http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/rss.aspx?blogid=3 Mon, 10 Dec 2018 17:34:20 GMT Mon, 10 Dec 2018 17:34:20 GMT Global Cops: Will US Jail Chinese Tech Exec? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/global-cops-will-us-jail-chinese-tech-exec/ Wanzhou faces 30 years in US prison for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran! What to expect? Tune in to today's Liberty Report:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/global-cops-will-us-jail-chinese-tech-exec/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/global-cops-will-us-jail-chinese-tech-exec/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 17:34:20 GMT
Mueller’s Investigation is Missing One Thing: A Crime Peter Van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/mueller-s-investigation-is-missing-one-thing-a-crime/

A baby born when Robert Mueller started his investigation would be talking by now. But would she have anything to say?

We last looked at what Mueller had publicly—and what he didn’t have—some 10 months ago, and I remained skeptical that the Trump campaign had in any way colluded with Russia. It’s worth another look now, but first let’s give away the ending (spoiler alert!): there is still no real evidence of, well, much of anything significant about Russiagate. One thing that is clear is that the investigation seems to be ending. Mueller’s office has reportedly even told various defense lawyers that it is “tying up loose ends.” The moment to wrap things up is politically right as well: the Democrats will soon take control of the House; time to hand this all off to them.

Ten months ago the big news was Paul Manafort flipped; that seems to have turned out to be mostly a bust, as we know now he lied like a rug to the Feds and cooperated with the Trump defense team as some sort of mole inside Mueller’s investigation (a heavily-redacted memo about Manafort’s lies, released by Mueller on Friday, adds no significant new details to the Russiagate narrative.)

George Papadopoulos has already been in and out of jail—all of two weeks— for his sideshow role. Michael Avenatti is now a woman beater who is just figuring out he’s washed up. Stormy Daniels owes Trump over $300,000 in fees after losing to him in court. There still is no pee tape. And if you don’t recall how unimportant Carter Page and Richard Gates turned out to be (or even who they are), well, there is your assessment of all the hysterical commentary that accompanied them a few headlines ago.

The big reveal of the Michael Flynn sentencing memo on Tuesday was that he will likely do no prison time. Everything of substance in the memo was redacted, so there is little insight available. If you insist on speculation, try this: it’s hard to believe that something really big and bad happened such that Flynn knew about it but still wasn’t worth punishing for it, and now, a year after he started cooperating with the government, still nobody has heard anything about whatever the big deal is. So chances are the redactions focus on foreign lobbying in the U.S.

This week’s Key to Everything is Michael Cohen, the guy who lied out of self-interest for Trump until last week when we learned he is also willing to lie, er, testify against Trump out of self-interest. If you take his most recent statements at face value, the sum is the failed negotiations to build a Trump hotel in Moscow, which went on a few months longer than was originally stated, and that we all knew about already.

Fair use excerpt. Read the full article here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/mueller-s-investigation-is-missing-one-thing-a-crime/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/mueller-s-investigation-is-missing-one-thing-a-crime/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 15:16:43 GMT
Too Much Partisanship in Washington? No, Too Much Bipartisanship! Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/too-much-partisanship-in-washington-no-too-much-bipartisanship/

Washington is once again gripped by the specter of a government shutdown, as Congress and President Trump negotiate an end-of-year spending deal. A main issue of contention is funding for President Trump’s border wall. Sadly, but not surprisingly, neither Congress nor the administration is fighting to cut, or at least not increase, spending.

Federal spending has increased from 3.6 trillion dollars to 4.4 trillion dollars since Republicans gained control over both chambers of Congress in 2014. Some may try to defend congressional Republicans by pointing out that for two years the Republican Congress had to negotiate spending deals with President Obama. But federal spending has increased by 7.5 percent, or over 300 billion dollars, since Donald Trump become President.

A big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree is the military-industrial complex. Republicans have increased the “defense” budget by eight percent in the past two years. President Trump and congressional Republicans claim the increases are necessary because sequestration “decimated” the military. But Congress, with the Obama administration’s full cooperation and support, suspended sequestration every year but one, so the planned cuts never went into full effect. Congress and Obama also “supplemented” the official military budget with generous appropriations for the Pentagon’s off-budget Overseas Contingency Operations fund. Spending on militarism increased by as much as 600 billion dollars over the amounts allowed for under sequestration.

President Trump has proposed reducing the projected military budget for fiscal year 2020 to 700 billion dollars. This would be a mere two percent cut, yet the usual voices are already crying that this tiny reduction would endanger our security. If history is any guide, the military-industrial complex’s congressional allies and high-priced lobbyists will be able to defeat the president’s proposed reductions and convince President Trump to further increase the military budget.

This huge military budget has little or nothing to do with America’s legitimate security needs. In fact, as candidate Trump recognized, America’s military interventions in the Middle East have endangered our security by empowering terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

While the warfare state has been a big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree, the GOP has hardly neglected the welfare state. Domestic spending has increased seven percent since 2016. Except for a half-hearted attempt to repeal Obamacare and some food stamp reforms that were included in and then dropped from this year’s farm bill, Republicans have not made any effort to roll back or even reform the welfare state.

The farm bill, which Congress is expected to pass this week, will spend as much as 900 billion dollars over the next ten years. Much of that spending will be on taxpayer subsidies for wealthy farmers and even “farmers in name only.”

Trump’s budget deals have been supported by the majority of Democrats. Even those who have called for the president’s impeachment are more than happy to vote with him when it comes to increasing spending and debt. These Democrats are the mirror image of 1990s Republicans who made a big spending deal with President Clinton while simultaneously trying to impeach him.

We suffer from too much bipartisanship when it comes to the welfare-warfare state. This bipartisanship has resulted in a national debt that is rapidly approaching 30 trillion dollars. This will inevitably lead to a major economic crisis. The way to avoid this crisis is to replace the bipartisan welfare-warfare consensus with a new consensus in favor of limited government, peace, free markets in all areas including currency, and auditing then ending the Fed.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/too-much-partisanship-in-washington-no-too-much-bipartisanship/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/too-much-partisanship-in-washington-no-too-much-bipartisanship/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 13:31:10 GMT
The ‘America Last’ Express Hurtles On: Saudi Arabia, INF, Ukraine James George Jatras http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/08/the-america-last-express-hurtles-on-saudi-arabia-inf-ukraine/

As the façade of 2016 Candidate Donald Trump’s promised “America First” continues to crumble away, the baked-into-the-cake pathologies of the foreign and security policy “experts” who monopolize President Trump’s administration plunge forward along their predetermined paths. Any realistic notion of American national interests comes last after the priorities of – well, pretty much everyone else with leverage in Washington.

Case in point, let’s start with Saudi Arabia and all the breast-beating over whether Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) really is guilty of ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. (Spoiler Alert: You betcha!)

American and western media were all a-twitter last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s high five to Crown Pariah MbS at the G20. Amid the faux outrage – come on, does anyone really think MbS was the only killer in that room? – the gesture received America’s highest media tribute: a parody on “Saturday Night Live.”

What a circus. Apart from Putin’s greeting, the assembled hypocrites went out of their way to shun the leprous MbS, even shunting him to the margins of the group picture – as though the killing of one dodgy journalist outweighed their abetting MbS’s business-as-usual slaughter in Yemen. Really! I barely know the guy. We were never actually friends...

Khashoggi’s gruesome death is the gift that keeps on giving, exacerbating as it does both international and domestic American fault lines. Let’s keep in mind that his affiliation was with the Muslim Brotherhood (and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan), the CIA, and (almost the same thing) the Washington Post. Internationally these line up with Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi elements currently on the outs with MbS and who would like to send him to join Khashoggi. Domestically in the US these add up to the Deep State and “the Resistance” to President Donald Trump, who are thrilled to be able to hang Khashoggi around his neck like an albatross, which he’s foolishly allowing to happen.

On the other hand, MbS is supported by Israel, which has a lot of clout on Capitol Hill (duh) and virtually owns the Trump administration (also duh). Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has Trump dancing to his tune via Jared Kushner (Trump and Kushner may now in fact be the same person), Ivanka Trump, and Sheldon Adelson, plus his entire foreign policy team, starting with National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Rather than wisely using the Khashoggi imbroglio as an opportunity to take the exit ramp away from US support for the crazed Wahhabist head-choppers in Riyadh of any faction, Team Trump is doggedly defending their the line in the sand in support of MbS personally as the spearhead of their anti-Iran, “Arab NATO” program.

The Resistance side is no less anti-Iran, but beating the Khashoggi drum and even tying it to support for Yemen slaughter (not that they really give a damn about Yemen, except for a few bleeding hearts like Senator Rand Paul and Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who even have the temerity to oppose the CIA’s arming of al-Qaeda in Syria!) is a twofer: to weaken and humiliate Trump, plus hoping at some point to install a replacement to MbS who would be a more reliable tool for their anti-Iran vendetta. The big break, if it comes, will be if Bibi’s foot soldiers around Trump decide they need to dump MbS as counterproductive to their agenda on Iran. Then they’ll stop resisting the Resistance, MbS will be removed (with extreme prejudice), and Trump will have egg on his face for having supported him for so long. For the Resistance, it’s win-win …

… if it happens that way. On the other hand, even exposed as the bloody minded killer he is, it’s not impossible MbS, with Israel backstopping him, can just tough it out. After all, those waiting in the wings in Riyadh are no angels either. At least in the short term MbS may still have the upper hand via squatter’s rights; he’s in power and the guy everybody still has to deal with. He can also still spread a lot of cash around as Khashoggi recedes into the rear view mirror.

If things really look as though they are going south on him, MbS might think to take leaf from the playbook of Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili in 2008 and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko a couple of weeks ago (more below) and provoke an incident with Iran on his own to force Washington back him up. That would be risky, to say the least. It’s unlikely that even Bolton and Pompeo are ready for war – yet. They seem to believe their own propaganda about regime change via sanctions and economic collapse and the supposedly yuge popularity of the “People's Mojahedin” (MEK), our designated replacement waiting to be parachuted into Tehran. They’ll at least want to run the sanctions game a while longer to weaken Iran (and humiliate the Europeans some more) before they go for Plan B if necessary. Also, they’d need a phony pretext along the lines of Iraqi WMDs, Benghazi, Racak, and it’s uncertain MbS is competent give them one all by himself.

If MbS does hazard to strike out on his own before they (Donald Kushner and Boltpeo) are ready, he may end up chewing on his tie like Saakashvili (or whatever the equivalent of that is with a thobe and gutra). At that point he would be universally seen as a liability and removed. Nothing can be ruled out of course, and if MbS thinks are getting really shaky he just might do it, figuring he's got nothing to lose ... but his head

Shifting gears to the big league between the US and Russia, it’s virtually certain the Trump administration will follow through on its threat to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, originally concluded between the US and the USSR in 1987. Pompeo’s ultimatum to Russia to confess they were cheating and dispose of the offending 9M729 missiles was couched in a laundry list of “admit when you stopped beating your wife” charges: “These violations of the INF treaty cannot be viewed in isolation from the larger pattern of Russian lawlessness on the world stage. The list of Russia’s infamous acts is long: Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, election meddling, Skripal and now the Kerch Strait, to name just a few.”

Pompeo’s ultimatum came literally one day after Trump signaled in a Tweet that he does not want a new arms race:
‘I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The US spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!’
Ha! Who does this Trump fellow think he is – the President? He doesn’t want a “crazy” arms race? Too bad. He’d better check with the guys he’s picked to run his administration for him. They’re completely copasetic with crazy – and then some!

Perhaps we can hold out a desperate hope that Trump’s intention is to replicate his tentative win on Korea, that threatening to pull out of the INF Treaty and accusing Moscow of every sin under the sun is just part of the “art of the deal,” “little rocket man” versus “mentally deranged dotard,” etc., with the real goal a new and better deal with Russia, maybe including China as well. But if that were so (there’s no evidence for it) there’s no need to trash the current agreement or even to threaten to do so. There is a lot that has changed technologically since 1987, and updates and revisions, perhaps in a protocol to the existing treaty might make sense.

That’s unlikely to happen though. Instead, not only will there be a new arms race in the intermediate range – which Moscow declares its willingness to undertake, however reluctantly – the flaccidity of America’s European so-called allies is again relevant. US threats to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe would be meaningless if European countries refused to host them because doing so would make them a target for Russian weapons. But while the European Union whines it would be better to keep the Treaty (just like it whined impotently about the JCPOA), NATO – mainly the same countries as belong to the EU – dutifully backed up the US position. There’s no evidence Europeans are prepared to confront Washington with a firm “Ohne uns!” if the INF agreement is terminated. Servility to their Transatlantic hegemon outweighs even their instinct for self-preservation. Whereas in the 1980s the first intermediate-range deployment of US Pershing missiles sparked a huge, mainly Leftist, European peace movement – which in turn helped lead to the INF Treaty in the first place – nothing of the sort exists now. This perhaps reflects the fact that today’s Left, which has little affinity with ordinary working people and is obsessed with Cultural Marxist identity politics, has become quite anti-Russian with the demise of communism.

Finally, moving to Ukraine, one would think the Trump Administration would not be particularly friendly towards a government that was complicit in the attempt to use the Christopher Steele dossier to put Hillary Clinton in the White House and then, when that failed, to cripple the Trump administration through the witch hunt known as Russiagate. While the major players were intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the United States and the United Kingdom(not necessarily in that order), other countries were involved too. One of the prominent ones was Ukraine, whose President Petro Poroshenko feared could be left out in the cold if Trump improved ties with Russia per his oft-stated intent– since after all, nobody in Washington could care less about Ukraine except as a club to beat Russia with. Steps were taken to avert that:
Andrii Telizhenko, a former high-ranking Ukrainian diplomat known well in Washington circles, had vital information about collusion between elements of Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko administration and the US’ Democratic National Committee (DNC) to dig up - or create - dirt on Donald Trump, but he has been chronically ignored by US investigators.

Telizhenko appeared as a key source in a January 2017 Politico article by Ken Vogel titled, 'Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire: Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.’
Whatever concerns Poroshenko might have had that his complicity in the anti-Trump US-UK Deep State plot would hurt his standing with the administration of his target have long since been put to rest. Trump’s turning his administration into a haven for Bush-era recidivists and others of the sort who have turned American policy into a shambles for the past three decades has seen to that. Hostility to Russia is and will remain a lodestar of US policy, whichipso facto makes Poroshenko our “friend.”

That means that Poroshenko need only poke the bear to get a growl and kneejerk pledges of support will click into place. While Ukraine may not be a full member of the golden circle of countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom that have the US on a leash, it’s not too far from it either.

With his reelection prospects in March 2019 appearing dismal, Poroshenko decided to “wag the dog” with a stunt in the Kerch Strait connecting Crimea to the Russian mainland that he knew would provoke a Russian response. 

As Moon of Alabama reports:

"The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko sent the boats with the order not to coordinate their passage with Russian authorities. The captured sailors confirm that. He obviously wanted to provoke a violent Russian reaction.
‘The government of Ukraine practically admitted that the mission had nefarious intent:
“Ukraine’s state security service [SBU] says that its intelligence officers were among the crew on Ukrainian naval ships seized by Russia in a standoff near Crimea.

“The SBU agency said in a statement Tuesday that the officers were fulfilling counterintelligence operations for the Ukrainian navy, in response to ‘psychological and physical pressure’ by Russian spy services. It didn’t elaborate, but demanded that Russia stop such activity.”

“Russia’s FSB intelligence agency said late Monday that that there were SBU officers on board the Ukrainian ships, calling that proof of a “provocation” staged by Ukraine.”"
Moscow is acutely aware of the danger of an attack to disable the Kerch Strait Bridge, built quickly and at great expense (a fact that undermines the oft-repeated anti-Russian claim that Moscow is plotting to seize Mariupol, Zaporozhye Oblast, and part of Kherson Oblast to establish a mainland route from Donbas to Crimea from the north). There have been rumors (perhaps no more than that) that Ukraine seeks to deploy a Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM), a small, man-portable, low-yield (circa one kiloton) device developed by NATO in the 1950s for destroying European infrastructure in advance of a Soviet invasion. Such a device would be deployable by divers if they had access to the bridge. Whether or not there’s any factual basis for such concerns, Moscow takes threats to the bridge seriously. In May 2018 the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against establishment commentator Tom Rogan and his Washington Examiner editor for advocating blowing up of the bridge, which Russian officials called incitement to terrorism.

Right on cue, Washington is preparing new sanctions, planning to send US warships into the Black Sea in a show of support for a country to which we are not allied (amid a lunatic call from the Atlantic Council to force an entry into the Sea of Azov as well!), and conducting “extraordinary” observation flight over Ukraine. What could possibly go wrong?

The bottom line is that Poroshenko now can jerk our chain and we will respond. While this time he failed to get a nationwide, 60-day martial law declaration approved by a Rada concerned he’d use it to cancel next year’s election, he did get 30 days in oblasts bordering Russia and Pridnestrovie. This will be useful not only for hampering electoral activities of his opponents in areas where he is even more unpopular than in the rest of Ukraine, it will facilitate seizures of churches and monasteries from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church – a process that has already begun. He is secure in the knowledge that another provocation is always an option, in Kerch again, or the Donbas, or a grab against a major Church site like Pochaev or Perchesk.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that it has now become all so predictable. We were told that Donald Trump’s administration would put America and American interests first. But instead, those acting in his name tell us through their actions: “Get in line, peasants.”

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/08/the-america-last-express-hurtles-on-saudi-arabia-inf-ukraine/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/08/the-america-last-express-hurtles-on-saudi-arabia-inf-ukraine/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 15:35:11 GMT
Nikki Haley To Be Replaced By Blonde Version Of Nikki Haley Caitlin Johnstone http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/07/nikki-haley-to-be-replaced-by-blonde-version-of-nikki-haley/

When UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced her upcoming resignation from the position, establishment loyalists spent the day awash with grief that the Trump administration was losing one of its remaining moderate Republican voices.

“Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned, leaving the administration with one less moderate Republican voice,” tweeted the New York Times, without defining what specifically is “moderate” about relentlessly pushing for war and starvation sanctions at every opportunity and adamantly defending the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters with sniper fire.

“Too bad Nikki Haley has resigned,” tweeted law professor turned deranged Russia conspiracy theorist Laurence Tribe. “She was one of the last members of Trumplandia with even a smidgen of decency.”

Well I've got some good news for those who lamented the loss of a virulent psychopathic war whore as UN ambassador, and bad news for any anti-interventionist Trump voters who've been secretly hoping this administration would use Haley's vacancy to move in a less hawkish direction: you're getting another one just like her. According to multiplesources, Trump has confirmed early rumors and selected State Department Spokeswoman and former Fox News pundit Heather Nauert as Haley's replacement.

Ever since rumors emerged of Nauert's selection for the job last month, the dominant criticisms have been that she lacks "experience" and "qualifications" for the job of US Ambassador to the United Nations. These criticisms have picked up ever since these early rumors were confirmed, and they are illegitimate for two reasons. The first is that a position as Fox News propagandist is very much the sort of experience an American needs to be a UN Ambassador, especially for this administration. The second is that all the job requires is a willingness to sell one's soul for the promotion of US war agendas, and to occasionally help kick Palestinian human rights further into the gutter than they already are. No experience is required for this, and these are things we already know Nauert could do in her sleep.

As State Department Spokeswoman, Nauert's messaging has already been moving in lockstep with that of Haley anyway. She speaks about Syria as though it is the property of the United States, routinely warning the Syrian government not to re-take its own land from the western-backed terrorist factions that nearly overran the nation. She regularly promotes the unrest in Iran that the Trump administration has been deliberately attempting to foment with starvation sanctions and CIA covert ops, and helps sell the absolute lie that Iran is "the leading state sponsor of terrorism". She promotes anti-Venezuela narratives, anti-Russia narratives, anti-North Korea narratives, anti-Houthi narratives, and anti-Palestinian narratives. She's been at this job since April of last year, and her talking points have consistently mirrored Haley's.

Nauert is perfectly qualified for the job of UN Ambassador, because all that job requires is being a sociopathic war pig. She's already been doing that.

All this fuss about Nauert's "experience" highlights perfectly why Trump's ostensible opposition has been almost entirely worthless: they don't focus on any of the evil foreign policy decisions that this administration is actually advancing, because they don't actually oppose those decisions. They aren't concerned that Nauert will promote senseless, psychotic acts of military mass murder, they are concerned that she lacks the necessary qualifications to promote it skillfully and professionally. On this matter, as always, the self-proclaimed "resistance" is perfectly comfortable with the blood-spattered face of world-dominating imperialism. They just want it to go back to smiling and saying things politely.

The problem with most of the opposition to Trump is that they're not interested in waking up, they're interested in removing an annoying wrinkle in their bedsheets so that they can go back to sleep. They don't care about the monstrous acts of violence that are inflicted upon human beings on the other side of the globe in their name, so they focus on irrelevant nonsense like whether or not Heather Nauert is qualified to read from the same imperialist script that was read by Haley, Samantha Power and Susan Rice.

Those who care about reality don't care about who's reading from that script. It is the script itself they seek to burn.

Reprinted with author's permission from Steemit.

Support Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/07/nikki-haley-to-be-replaced-by-blonde-version-of-nikki-haley/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/07/nikki-haley-to-be-replaced-by-blonde-version-of-nikki-haley/ Fri, 07 Dec 2018 16:11:22 GMT
The Russia Investigation is about Criminalizing Peace David Gornoski http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/06/the-russia-investigation-is-about-criminalizing-peace/

"For those who long wondered why throughout the presidential campaign Trump could not bring himself to say a critical word about Russian President Vladimir Putin, we now know the answer: Trump was hoping to do business in Russia, and doing so would require the approval of Putin." – USA Today Opinion

Make no mistake, the mainstream left and state serving-media voices are trying to gaslight an entire generation into believing any candidate that wants peace with Russia may be a foreign conspirator worthy of prison, shame, and family persecution.

Former congressman Ron Paul, as a peace presidential candidate, did not regurgitate war propaganda against Russia either. Neither did Senator Rand Paul when he ran. What Paul hotel do you see in Moscow? Yet for future generations, many in the media want to ensure no such candidate ever runs again without baked-in misgivings of treason and criminality.

No serious observer of recent events can honestly believe the mono-narrative the old media, including “hard news” outfits, has tried to curate about the 2016 election. However, the aim of the last two years of conspiratorial hysteria has been to sear into the minds of low information voters suspicion of any successful political figure who even half challenges the conventional wisdom that America must perpetually spend hundreds of billions on NATO, collect citizens' private conversations, sanction Russian citizens, and intervene in Russia's local border disputes.

This is nothing new. When Martin Luther King Jr. used his national spotlight to challenge the moral authority of the Vietnam War, he was denounced as a subversive agent of enemy foreign powers.

What voters need to understand is that those who challenge bipartisan orthodox foreign policy are the leaders most likely to keep them safe from foreign authoritarians. Free trade and travel with Russia would do more to undermine internal Russian tolerance for Putin's corruption than any bellicose grandstanding and arms build up ever could. In fact, Putin's administration's domestic popularity was at an all-time low prior to the Obama administration's 2013-2014 involvement in the Ukrainian civil conflict. Like clockwork, with economically damaging sanctions and foreign missiles accumulating along their border, the Russian public has begrudgingly fallen back into the arms of the local devil they know.

Conservatives and liberals informed by military wisdom must remind the public the lessons of history when we abandon a policy of strategic independence on the world stage. Sanctions and debt-financed bloated budgets are the best gifts we can give to corrupt foreign regimes. They saddle our economies with capital-destroying debt and malinvestment, and they repel otherwise sympathetic populations by ruining their lives over Machiavellian nihilistic turf wars with their rulers.

How would we feel if China placed missiles all along the Mexican and Canadian border? How would we feel if their state department and intelligence agencies helped install a rabidly anti-American leader in Canada and armed them to the teeth? One would think that with all the cultural leftist and media preening about social mindfulness of others, the nightly news narratives about Russia and other foreign bogeymen would illustrate this context for viewers. But alas, DC interventionist interests and their career bureaucratic allies prove too intoxicating for power-struck press fawners.

In 2017, the US reported military budget was 610 billion dollars. This was before Trump's 700 billion defense bill in 2018. In contrast, Russia spends roughly 66 billion a year on defense. No matter what TV talking heads say, it is never a winning strategy to spend over ten times an adversary to remain safe. One of these country's citizens is getting a better return for every dollar taken from the productive sector. It is not you.

Putin and other rival powers are watching the same strategy that bankrupted the Soviet Union: allow a debt-crippled economy, deeply hampered by crony corporatism, to destroy its currency by creating too much of it to finance foreign adventures. The bureaucrats and military cronies cannot help it: with a decades-long world reserve currency to export the effects of spending, their specialist knowledge blinds them with stupendous tunnel vision. Behold, their glorious strategy: “Putin bad, money grow on tree, my pension nice, me too smart to put skin in game, other people pay for our smart plans, we spend 700 billion and still behind rivals' nuclear technology, we spend 10 trillion more.”

Whatever they are feeding in Foggy Bottom's farm-to-table cafes does not a Sun Tzu make.

Morally-blind people locked in herd inertia cannot course correct. For merely questioning NATO spending and floating a desire to talk to Putin, Trump and his entire family have received a two year media-massaged rectal exam by Robert Mueller, an architect of the Iraq War trillion dollar disaster.

But sober people who understand that money is scarce and free trade and travel undermines and defangs foreign (and domestic) authoritarians, can do something about our predicament. We can just say no.

Just say no to sending youth into a military that has been abused of its original constitutional designs as it polices the world's internal disputes for cronies.

Just say no to voting for anyone that does not oppose the folly of trillion dollar interventions that make the world less safe, less free, and less interested in America's model of liberty.

Just say no to media outlets that stupidly cheer family-starving sanctions, drone strikes, and failed coups and then scapegoat the president in office when the wars drag on too long or show too many maimed and killed.

Just say no to fetid, decrepit, dying DC groupthink—toxic as it is for our minds, bodies, and souls.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/06/the-russia-investigation-is-about-criminalizing-peace/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/06/the-russia-investigation-is-about-criminalizing-peace/ Thu, 06 Dec 2018 19:18:06 GMT
What the ‘Neocon Chickenhawks’ Have Wrought John J. Duncan, Jr. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/06/what-the-neocon-chickenhawks-have-wrought/

The 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice to end World War I has generated a lot of discussion and articles about the so-called “Great War.”

Most of the neocon chickenhawks who so eagerly led us into the disastrous war in Iraq seemingly want to be regarded as modern-day Winston Churchills.

They might be very surprised to read Scott Berg’s great biography of Woodrow Wilson, which quotes Churchill as saying: “America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War,” meaning World War I.

Churchill told William Griffin, editor of the New York Enquirer newspaper in August 1936: “If you hadn’t entered the war, the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the Spring of 1917. Had we made peace, then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism, no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany would not have…enthroned Nazism.”

It is amazing how often one war leads to or causes another one.

It is also amazing how cavalier those who have never fought in war can be about sending others to fight and even be killed or maimed.

It is a sad commentary on our recent history of unnecessary but seemingly permanent wars that the most anti-war president that we’ve had in the last 70 years has been Dwight D. Eisenhower, a career military man and leader in World War II.

Eisenhower’s most famous words came in his farewell address at the very end of his presidency when he warned against the excesses of the military-industrial complex.

I believe he would be shocked at just how far we have gone down the road he told us to avoid.

Less famous are the words from his first major speech as president when he spoke to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April 1953.

In that address, he called peace the “issue which most urgently challenges and summons the wisdom and courage of our whole people.”

He added: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

President Donald Trump seems to have good instincts, having spoken out against the war in Iraq and said we should not be paying so much of other countries’ defense bills.

Just as importantly, in December 2016, five weeks after winning the election, he criticized the $400 billion F-35 program and said there should be a “lifetime restriction” on top military officials going to work for defense contractors, the famous revolving door at the Pentagon.

However, the president has thus far not brought home any significant number of troops. He’s also bragged about his big increases in defense spending.

Defense spending has more than doubled since 2000. I opposed most of President Barack Obama’s programs, but it is false to say he decimated the military when defense spending went up under both Presidents Bush and Obama.

By some estimates, we now spend almost $1 trillion a year on defense and defense-related programs. Additionally, Congress gave the Defense Department more than $200 billion in relief from the very ineffective budget caps that were in place from 2013 to 2017.

Now, of course, we are entering our 18th year of war in Afghanistan, are supporting the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and are operating 800 military bases around the world.

Our very determined but very foolish neocons, not embarrassed at all by the foreign policy blunder in Iraq, continue to demand sanctions and ever-tougher action against Iran.

Stephen Kinzer, longtime foreign correspondent for The New York Times, wrote that “violent intervention (by the CIA) in Iran seemed like a good idea in 1953, and for a time it appeared to have succeeded. Now however, it is clear that this intervention not only brought Iran decades of tragedy, but also set in motion forces that have gravely undermined American national security.”

He added that “the results were exactly the opposite of those for which American leaders had hoped.”

Those words could be applied to almost everything we have done in the Middle East over the last many years. Our unnecessary wars and other diplomatic initiatives there have caused much more harm than good and have created even more enemies for the US

Too many members of Congress are afraid to vote against or even criticize defense spending for fear of being called unpatriotic. I hope more will begin to realize that our recent wars have been more about money and power than any real threat to this nation.

And I wish they would consider the words of columnist John T. Flynn, written in 1956, about what he called the “racket” of using government money to buy votes.

“In pursuit of this racket,” Flynn wrote, “the politicians are confronted by the problem of finding defensible activities on which to spend. There must be visible in the spending some utility to justify the heavy taxes. Of course, the oldest racket for spending the people’s money is the institution of militarism.”

We need more people to heed the dictates of the Bible, where it tells us in both the Old Testament and the New to “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14 and 1st Peter 3:11).

Reprinted with author's permission from The American Conservative.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/06/what-the-neocon-chickenhawks-have-wrought/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/06/what-the-neocon-chickenhawks-have-wrought/ Thu, 06 Dec 2018 19:03:14 GMT
Pompeo Promises New Liberal World Order - New Wine In Old Bottles? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/pompeo-promises-new-liberal-world-order-new-wine-in-old-bottles/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/pompeo-promises-new-liberal-world-order-new-wine-in-old-bottles/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/pompeo-promises-new-liberal-world-order-new-wine-in-old-bottles/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 19:14:26 GMT
Loophole in Bernie Sanders’ Yemen Bill Actually Allows Continued US Involvement in Yemen Whitney Webb http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/loophole-in-bernie-sanders-yemen-bill-actually-allows-continued-us-involvement-in-yemen/

Last week, many celebrated the advancement of Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 54, which had been introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as a sign that the US Congress was finally willing to act to reduce the US’ culpability for the situation in Yemen, currently the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The bill, which will be voted on by the Senate this week, has been praised by many within the anti-war movement for its bid to “end” US military involvement in Yemen. Passage of the bill would, however, do no such thing.

Much of the media coverage of the bill has noted that the resolution invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which prohibits the president from deploying US troops into armed conflicts without congressional approval. Though that resolution has been ignored many times since its passage, particularly since the War on Terror began in 2001, SJR 54 has been promoted as a “progressive” effort to bring the US’ military adventurism to heel at a time when Saudi Arabia — one of the two countries leading the war against Yemen – is under increased scrutiny.

Yet, the text of the bill itself reveals that SJR 54 invokes the War Powers Resolution in name only. Indeed, while the bill claims to be aimed at achieving “the removal of United State Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress,” it contains a major loophole that will allow the majority of US troops in Yemen – if not all – to stay.

As the bill states, it will require the president to remove troops “except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations directed at al Qaeda or associated forces.” Notably though, the only US troops “on the ground” in Yemen that are involved in “hostilities” (i.e., combat operations) are those that are allegedly involved in operations targeting Al Qaeda — operations that the US frequently conducts jointly with the countries waging war against western Yemen, such as the United Arab Emirates.

US troops deployed in Yemen to target Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) also collaborate with the UAE and Saudi Arabia in “intelligence sharing,” “midair refueling,” and “overhead reconnaissance” for forces involved in counterterrorism operations that the US is leading. This cooperation is what the very text of SJR 54 claims to want to end, but only in regard to the coalition’s war in western Yemen. However, the current text of the bill would allow all of this cooperation to continue, just not in areas where there are no claims of AQAP presence.

Thanks to the loophole in SJR 54, all that would need to change for the US military’s assistance to the Saudi/UAE coalition to remain as is would be for either the Saudis, Emiratis or the US to claim that there is an AQAP presence – however small – in an area they wish to target. Given that AQAP regularly collaborates with coalition forces elsewhere in Yemen, the coalition would only need move AQAP forces near a site in western Yemen that they wish to bomb in order for US military involvement in its war against Yemen’s resistance to continue unimpeded.

Alternatively, either of those countries could supply “intelligence” that would seek to link Yemen’s resistance movement Ansarullah or the Houthis to AQAP, thus allowing US involvement in the coalition’s war in Yemen to continue unchanged. This is a very likely scenario if SJR 54 is passed given that some top Trump administration officials have a history ofproviding false intelligence in order to justify aggressive policies and push for military intervention abroad. Furthermore, the Trump administration also has experience linking countries it doesn’t like to Al Qaeda without evidence in order to justify such policies. Thus, linking Yemen’s resistance movement to AQAP despite a lack of evidence is something the Trump administration would likely pursue were this bill to pass in its current form.

In addition, the Sanders-introduced bill will do nothing to stop the US’ use of drone strikes that regularly kill scores of civilians in Yemen. Indeed, a recent investigation conducted by the Associated Press found that at least one-third of all Yemenis killed by US drone strikes in Yemen were civilians, many of them children. Even though US intelligence has regularly shown that the US drone war in Yemen actually strengthens AQAP, this bill would do nothing to stop the US military’s deadliest practice in Yemen, with a documented history of murdering civilians.

The bill’s failure to touch on the US drone war in Yemen is unsurprising given that Bernie Sanders — who introduced SJR 54 — supported drone strikes and the controversial “kill lists” during the Obama administration. Furthermore, when asked on Meet the Press in 2015 if his foreign policy if elected President would involve the use of drones and Special Forces in military operations overseas, Sanders stated that it would involve “all of that and more.”

SJR 54 as mostly kabuki

Given the fact that SJR 54 provides a huge loophole that would prevent it from having the advertised effect, it seems that the measure is meant to serve other purposes, namely political, instead of its stated purpose of ending US military involvement in Yemen. The bill appears to be little more than a PR stunt by Democrats and Democratic-aligned senators to distance themselves from Republicans.

This is supported by the fact that not a single Democrat in the Senate voted against the bill last week, while several Senate Democrats had voted against it earlier this year, setting up the case that only Republicans are against halting the US-backed war in Yemen. Another suggestion that this is the case is how the media widely reported the vote as a “rebuke” of President Trump, as is the fact that 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, such as Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, co-sponsored this bill even though they both hold pro-war positions regarding another Middle Eastern country, Iran.

The “anti-war” credentials of Warren — as well as Bernie Sanders, who wrote SJR 54 — have long been questionable, particularly after they both backed James Mattis as Secretary of Defense even though he had led the US assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, an attack that killed thousands of civilians and used chemical weapons that still cause birth defectsin those born in Fallujah over a decade later.

Though the death of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi has been blamed for the change of heart of Senate Democrats and some Republicans, reporting from MintPressand others has shown that the “outrage” regarding Khashoggi’s death is not about “human rights” but about money and pushing Saudi Crown Prince to move forward with expensive weapons deals and the neoliberalization of Saudi state assets that he had tried to back away from. Viewing the situation from this lens, SJR 54 seems little more than a PR effort to cast Democrats as “anti-war” when they are just as beholden to the military-industrial complex as the Republicans.

Yet, most importantly, the toothless text of SJR 54 shows that relying on either of the corporate, war-loving political parties in the US to end the country’s involvement in the war in Yemen is misguided, as such action if more likely to come about from sustained public pressure or grassroots activism than from politicians beholden to special interests such as the Saudi or weapons lobbies.

Reprinted with permission from MintPressNews.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/loophole-in-bernie-sanders-yemen-bill-actually-allows-continued-us-involvement-in-yemen/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/loophole-in-bernie-sanders-yemen-bill-actually-allows-continued-us-involvement-in-yemen/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 15:23:51 GMT
Trump’s Fawning Over Saudi Ties Backfires Melkulangara Bhadrakumar http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/trump-s-fawning-over-saudi-ties-backfires/

The G20 is an economic club and it has traditionally stuck to that groove. And Saudi Arabia has traditionally been represented at G20 events by government ministers, usually the oil minister. But this time around, the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, who is just a heartbeat away from becoming the king of Saudi Arabia, showed up.

By doing so, Riyadh was pushing the envelope. It was insisting that the international community had better come to terms with the reality that MBS is the prince who counts in the House of Saud and should learn to deal with him as their principal interlocutor. No doubt, this also was a calculated signal that in Riyadh’s estimation, MBS has weathered the Jamal Khashoggi storm.

The western countries face the dilemma that they have to normalize their relationship with MBS if it is to be business as usual with Saudi Arabia. Now, that is a bitter pill to swallow. It is one thing not to criticize MBS or Saudi Arabia publicly but it is another thing that under duress, they conduct business with the Crown Prince.

So far, the international reprisal against Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi affair has been rather muted. The US, Germany, France and Canada have imposed targeted sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals over Khashoggi’s killing. But they have neatly sidestepped MBS himself. Evidently, there is an honesty deficit here, considering that Turkey had shared the recordings of Khashoggi’s killing with all these 4 countries at their specific request. Diplomatic considerations and geopolitical interests dampen their spirit to go after Saudi Arabia’s jugular veins.

Of course, the G20 picture that became viral was the ‘high-five’ between MBS and Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Trump in the backdrop watching with a worried look. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later explained that “good personal relations are the basis for effective bilateral cooperation.” In fact, Putin and MBS also had a productive ‘bilateral’ meeting on the sidelines of the G20 on December 1.

Putin later disclosed that the two countries have agreed to extend into 2019 their deal to manage the oil market, known as OPEC+. Putin told reporters, “There is no final decision on volumes, but together with Saudi Arabia we will do it. And whatever number there will be based on this joint decision, we agreed that we will monitor the market situation and react to it quickly.”

Following up on Putin-MBS talks, technical teams are working on the level of the cuts necessary and the reference baseline for the reduction. There is growing confidence that OPEC+ will reach an agreement over a cut in production for 2019 when they meet in Vienna next week.

Just look at the great irony of it: The western powers dial back their criticism of Saudi Arabia taking care not to annoy the Saudi Crown Prince, lest vital economic and geo-strategic interests are affected, and yet MBS finalizes with Putin the state of play in the oil market through 2019, which would critically impact the western economies. Implicit in this is also a gentle warning to Trump – that Saudi Arabia is not beholden to him and what is at work is a marriage of convenience.

There is no question that Trump’s statement on Saudi Arabia two weeks ago was an example of strategic clarity although it drew forth a lot of derision and criticism within the US foreign policy elite. In his dogged pursuit of America-centred Saudi policy, Trump is betting on his key American audience, which supports his America First project. Simply put, he hopes to sell his Saudi policy directly to the American people and he is unapologetic about the actual drivers of the US policies toward Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. And he explained in his statement in unsentimental terms the values and purpose of the Saudi alliance.

Trump had rounded off his statement by putting American interests first and last: “As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm.”

But this may turn out to be a big gambit. Trouble is brewing in the Congress where US-Saudi relations are in focus not only on account of the Khashoggi killing, but also over the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Last week, the US Senate voted to take up a resolution to terminate American support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. It was no doubt a warning shot to Trump.

Meanwhile, the unusual closed-door briefing by the CIA Director Gina Haspel to the US senators on Tuesday on the Khashoggi killing may have queered the pitch for strident demands on the Hill that time has come for a comprehensive review of the American policy towards Saudi Arabia. Quite obviously, the CIA is seething with anger about Trump’s fawning over Saudi Arabia despite the compelling evidence of MBS’ complicity in Khashoggi’s murder. Read the Washington Post report entitled Senators accuse Saudi prince of complicity in Khashoggi’s killing here.

Reprinted with permission from Indian Punchline.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/trump-s-fawning-over-saudi-ties-backfires/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/05/trump-s-fawning-over-saudi-ties-backfires/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 14:35:55 GMT
Why Are We Talking About Khashoggi Murder When US Drones Kill Thousands? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/why-are-we-talking-about-khashoggi-murder-when-us-drones-kill-thousands/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/why-are-we-talking-about-khashoggi-murder-when-us-drones-kill-thousands/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/why-are-we-talking-about-khashoggi-murder-when-us-drones-kill-thousands/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 17:31:55 GMT
Why Can the CIA Assassinate People? Jacob G. Hornberger http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/why-can-the-cia-assassinate-people/

Given that we have all been born and raised under a regime that has the CIA, hardly anyone questions the power of the CIA to assassinate people. The CIA’s power of assassination has become a deeply established part of American life.

Yet, the Constitution, which called the federal government into existence and established its powers, does not authorize the federal government to assassinate people.

If the proponents of the Constitution had told the American people that the Constitution was bringing into existence a government that wielded the power to assassinate people, there is no way that Americans would have approved the deal, in which case they would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation.

Under the Articles, the powers of the federal government were so weak, it didn’t even have the power to tax, much less the power to assassinate people. That’s because our American ancestors wanted it that way. The last thing they wanted was a federal government with vast powers.

In fact, the purpose of the Constitutional Convention was simply to amend the Articles of Confederation. During the 13 years of operating under the Articles, problems had arisen, such as trade wars between the states. The convention was intended to fix those problems with amendments to the Articles.

Instead, the delegates came out with an entirely different proposal, one that would call into existence a federal government that had more powers, including the power to tax.

Americans were leery. The last thing they wanted was a powerful central government. They had had enough of that type of government as British citizens under the British Empire. They believed that the biggest threat to people’s freedom and well-being lay with their own government. They believed that if they approved a federal government, it would become tyrannical and oppressive, like other governments had done throughout history.

They were especially concerned with the power of the government to murder people, including citizens. They knew that state-sponsored murder was the ultimate power in any tyrannical regime. When a government can kill anyone it wants with impunity, all other rights are effectively nullified. And our ancestors were sufficiently well-versed in history to know that tyrannical regimes were notorious for killing their own citizens, especially those people who challenge, criticize, or object to the tyranny.

The proponents of the Constitution told Americans that they had nothing to be concerned about. The Constitution wasn’t calling into existence a government with general powers to do anything it wanted. Instead, by the terms of the document that would be calling the federal government into existence, its powers would be limited to the few powers that were enumerated within the document. Thus, if a power wasn’t enumerated, it didn’t exist and, therefore, couldn’t be exercised. Since the Constitution wasn’t giving the federal government the power to murder people, it couldn’t exercise that power.

On that basis, our American ancestors approved the deal, but only on the condition that the Constitution would be immediately amended after approval with a Bill of Rights. To make sure that federal officials understood that they didn’t have the power to murder people, the Fifth Amendment was enacted. It prohibited the federal government from killing people without first according them due process of law. It’s worth noting that the protections of the Fifth Amendment are not limited to American citizens. The Amendment prohibits the federal government from murdering anyone, including people who are not US citizens.

What is due process of law? It’s a phrase that stretches all the way back to Magna Carta in 1215, when the barons of England forced their king to acknowledge that his powers over them were limited. Magna Carta prohibited the king from killing British citizens in violation of the “law of the land,” a phase that evolved over the centuries into “due process of law.”

Essentially, due process means notice and hearing. It says to the government: “You cannot kill anyone unless you first give him formal notice of the particular criminal offense that you are claiming warrants killing him.” Then, after notice, there has to be fair trial in which the accused has the right to be heard. The Sixth Amendment ensured that people would have the right of trial by jury because our ancestors didn’t trust judges or tribunals.

And so it was that the American people lived in a society for more than 150 years in which the federal government lacked the power to assassinate people, which is really just a fancy word for murder. A governmental assassination is the state-sponsored killing of a person without notice and trial — that is, without due process of law.

The situation changed after World War II, when the federal government, in a watershed event, was converted from a limited-government republic into what is known as a “national-security state,” a type of governmental system that is inherent to totalitarian regimes. US officials maintained that the conversion was necessary in order to confront the Soviet Union, a communist state, which itself was a national-security state. The idea was that in order to defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War, it would be necessary for the United States to adopt, temporarily, its same type of national-security state system.

In 1947, the CIA was called into existence as part of this new national-security state. President Truman, the president who was responsible for the federal government’s conversion to a national-security state, intended for the CIA to be strictly an intelligence-gathering agency. But someone slipped a bit of nebulous language into the law that called the CIA into existence, which the CIA seized upon to justify the adoption of omnipotent powers, including the power to assassinate people with impunity, so long as the assassination was to protect “national security.” Needless to say, the CIA had the omnipotent power to make that determination.

As monumental as the conversion to a national-security state was, it was not done through a constitutional amendment. The Constitution continued to be the supreme law that governed the operations of the federal government, including the CIA. Thus, since the Constitution did not give the federal government the power to assassinate people and since the Fifth Amendment expressly prohibited the federal government from assassinating people, the US Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary had the responsibility to declare the CIA’s power to assassinate people unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, however, in a national-security state power is everything and especially omnipotent power. Recognizing that as a practical matter, there would be no way that the federal judiciary could keep the CIA from assassinating people in the name of protecting “national security,” the federal courts went silent or even supportive.

In 1989 the Cold War ended. Yet, we still have a national-security state and we still have a CIA with the power to assassinate people, including Americans. Why is that?

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/why-can-the-cia-assassinate-people/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/why-can-the-cia-assassinate-people/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 13:47:59 GMT
What Foreign Threats? The Biggest Threats to America Come From its 'Friends' Philip Giraldi http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/what-foreign-threats-the-biggest-threats-to-america-come-from-its-friends/

One of the local Washington television stations was doing a typical early morning honoring our soldiers schtick just before Thanksgiving. In it soldiers stationed far from home were treated to videolinks so they could talk to their families and everyone could nod happily and wish themselves a wonderful holiday. Not really listening, I became interested when I half heard that the soldier being interviewed was spending his Thanksgiving in Ukraine.

It occurred to me that the soldier just might have committed a security faux pas by revealing where he was, but I also recalled that there have been joint military maneuvers as well as some kind of training mission going on in the country, teaching the Ukrainian Army how to use the shiny new sophisticated weapons that the United States was providing it with to defend against “Russian aggression.”

Ukraine is only one part of the world where the Trump Administration has expanded the mission of democracy promotion, only in Kiev the reality is more like faux democracy promotion since Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is clearly exploiting a situation that he himself provoked. He envisions setting himself up as a victim of Moscow to aid in his attempts to establish his own power through a security relationship with Washington. That in turn will help his bid for reelection in March 2019 elections, in which his poll numbers are currently running embarrassingly low largely due to the widescale corruption in his government. Poroshenko has already done much to silence the press in his county while the developing crisis with Russia has enabled him to declare martial law in the eastern parts of the country where he is most poorly regarded. If it all works out, he hopes to win the election and subsequently, it is widely believed, he will move to expand his own executive authority.

There also has to be some consideration the encounter with the Russians on the Kerch Strait was contrived by Poroshenko with the assistance of a gaggle of American neoconservative and Israeli advisers who have been actively engaged with the Ukrainian government for the past several years. The timing was good for Poroshenko for his own domestic political reasons but it was also an opportunity for the neocons warmongers that surround Trump and proliferate inside the Beltway to scuttle any possible meeting between a vulnerable Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 gathering in Argentina.

The defection of Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, together with the assumption that a lot of anti-Trump dirt will be spilled soon, means that the American president had to be even more cautious than ever in any dealings with Moscow and all he needed was a nod of approval from National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel the encounter. A heads-of-state meeting might not have solved anything but it certainly would be better than the current drift towards a new cold war. If the United States has only one vitally important relationship anywhere it is with Russia as the two countries are ready, able and apparently willing to destroy the world under the aegis of self-defense.

Given the anti-Russian hysteria prevailing in the US and the ability of the neocons to switch on the media, it should come as no surprise that the Russian-Ukrainian incident immediately generated calls from the press and politicians for the White House to get tough with the Kremlin. It is important to note that the United States has no actual national interest in getting involved in a war between Russia and Ukraine if that should come about. The two Eastern European countries are neighbors and have a long history of both friendship and hostility but the only thing clear about the conflict is that it is up to them to sort things out and no amount of sanctions and jawing by concerned congressmen will change that fact.

Other Eastern European nations that similarly have problems with Russia should also be considered provocateurs as they seek to create tension to bind the United States more closely to them through the NATO alliance. The reality is that today’s Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union and it neither aspires to nor can afford hegemony over its former allies. What it has made very clear that it does want is a modus vivendi where Russia itself is not being threatened by the West.

Recent military maneuvers in Poland and Lithuania and the stationing of new missiles in Eastern Europe do indeed pose a genuine threat to Moscow as it places NATO forces on top of Russia’s border. When Russia reacts to incursions by NATO warships and planes right along its borders, it is accused of acting aggressively. One wonders how the US government would respond if a Russian aircraft carrier were to take up position off the eastern seaboard and were to begin staging reconnaissance flights. Or if the Russian army were to begin military exercises with the Cubans? Does anyone today remember the Bay of Pigs?

When it comes to international conflicts context is everything. Seeing the incident between Russia and Ukraine in Manichean terms as an example of Moscow’s aggressive instincts is satisfying in some circles, but it does not in any way reflect the reality on the ground. Internal politics of the two countries combined with deliberate fabrications that are expected to generate a certain response operate together to create a largely false narrative for both international and domestic consumption. Unfortunately, narratives have consequences: in this case, the sacrifice of the possibly beneficial meeting between Trump and Putin.

The same dynamic works vis-à-vis Washington’s other enemy du jour Iran. In the case of Russia, useless “friend” Ukraine is pulling the strings while regarding Iran it is conniving Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iran has been accused of being the world’s leading sponsor of terror, of destabilizing the Middle East, and of having a secret nuclear weapon program that will be used to attack Israel and Europe. None of those assertions are true. The terrorism tag comes from the country’s relationship with Hezbollah, which is only a terrorist group insofar as it is hostile to Israel and pledged to resist any future Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Washington and Israel have pushed the terrorism label for Hezbollah, but most Europeans have begun to disregard the designation since the group has become a part of the Lebanese government.

And regarding destabilizing the Middle East, that has largely been the end result of actions undertaken by the United States, Israel, and the Saudis, while the alleged Persian nuclear weapons program is a fantasy. If someone in the US national security apparatus had any brains the United States would work to improve relations with Iran real soon as the Iranians would in the long run quite likely prove to be better friends than those rascals who are currently running around using that label.

And there are other friends in unlikely places. Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May is wailing loudly against a Trump threat to reveal classified documents relating to Russiagate. The real problem is that the documents apparently don’t expose anything done by the Russians. Rather, they seem to appear to reveal a plot by the British intelligence and security services working in collusion with then CIA Director John Brennan to subvert the course of the 2016 election in favor of the Deep State and Establishment favorite Hillary Clinton. How did that one work out?

So how about it? Teenagers who get in trouble often have to ditch their bad friends to turn their lives around. There is still a chance for the United States if we keep our distance from the bad friends we have been nurturing all around the world, friends who have been convincing us to make poor choices. Get rid of the ties the bind to the Saudis, Israelis, Ukrainians, Poles, and yes, even the British. Deal fairly with all nations and treat everyone the same, but bear in mind that there are only two relationships that really matter – Russia and China. Make a serious effort to avoid a war by learning how to get along with those two nations and America might actually survive to celebrate a tricentennial in 2076.

Reprinted with permission from Unz Review.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/what-foreign-threats-the-biggest-threats-to-america-come-from-its-friends/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/what-foreign-threats-the-biggest-threats-to-america-come-from-its-friends/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 13:21:58 GMT
Trade War On Hold? Trump, Xi, And The G20 Summit Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/trade-war-on-hold-trump-xi-and-the-g20-summit/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/trade-war-on-hold-trump-xi-and-the-g20-summit/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/trade-war-on-hold-trump-xi-and-the-g20-summit/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 17:30:01 GMT
Julian Assange Will Die Alongside Your 1st Amendment Rights Peter Van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/julian-assange-will-die-alongside-your-1st-amendment-rights/

Accidentally disclosed information confirms the US is actively planning to prosecute Julian Assange. What happens to Assange will almost certainly change what can be lawfully published in our democracy. This threat to our freedoms is being largely ignored because Assange, once a progressive journalist, is now regarded as a hero-turned-zero. At stake? The ability of all journalists to inform the public of things the government specifically wants to withhold

A clerical error revealed the Justice Department secretly has filed criminal charges against Assange. Court papers in what appears to be an unrelated case used cut-and-pasted language from documents prepared previously against Assange.

Though the new information makes clear prosecution is planned if Assange can be delivered to American custody, no further details are available. Assange is under scrutiny at a minimum for unauthorized possession of classified material going back to at least 2010, when Wikileaks burst on to the international stage with evidence of American war crimes in Iraq, and exposed years worth of classified State Department diplomatic cables.

More recently, Assange has been accused of trying to manipulate the 2016 US presidential election with his release of emails from the Democratic National Committee server. The emails, some believe, came to Wikileaks via hackers working for the Russian government (Assange denies this) and are deeply tied to the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow otherwise known as “Russiagate.” Less publicized in the media but of critical concern inside the US government is Wikileaks’ publication of the so-called Vault 7 materials, CIA hacking and malware tools, which revealed American technical intelligence skills and methods. Assange has hinted on at least one occasion he may have “Vault 8” materials as yet unreleased.

When Assange is prosecuted, on trial with him will be a key question concerning the First Amendment: do journalists actually enjoy special protection against national security charges? Can they publish classified documents because the national interest creates a 1A shield to do so? Or only when the government allows it?

Under the current “rules,” you get caught handing me a SECRET document, you go to jail. Meanwhile, I publish to millions, including any Russian intelligence officers with Internet access, and end up on Kimmel next to Taylor Swift. I whisper “I’m a freedom fighter, you know” into Taylor’s moist ear and she sighs.

Ask Edward Snowden, in dark exile in Moscow. Talk to Chelsea Manning, who spent years in Leavenworth while journalists for the New York Times and the Washington Post won accolades for the stories they wrote based on the documents she leaked. See how many stories today cite sources and reports, almost all of which are based on leaked classified information, stuff the government doesn’t want published yet accepts as part of the way journalism and the 1A work.

Yet despite widespread practice, there is no law rendering journalists immune from the same national security charges their sources go to jail for violating. There is no explicit protection against espionage charges written between the lines of the First Amendment. It is all based on at best an unspoken agreement to not prosecute journalists for revealing classified data, and it appears it is about to be thrown away to nail Julian Assange.

In 1971 Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of the Vietnam War, to the New York Times. Reporters at the Times feared they would go to jail under the Espionage Act but published anyway, even as the Washington Post wimped out. The Nixon administration quickly found a court to order the Times to cease publication after initial excerpts were printed, the first time in US history a federal judge censored a newspaper.

The Supreme Court then handed down New York Times Company v. United States, a victory for the First Amendment which allowed the Papers to be published, but an opinion which sidestepped the larger question about whether the 1A protects journalists publishing classified in favor of simply affirming the government couldn’t censor the news in advance. The Court left the door open for the government to prosecute both the leakers (by dismissing Ellsberg’s leaker case on technical grounds and ignoring his public interest defense) and the journalists who publish them (by focusing narrowly on prior restraint.) The Justices avoided saying the 1A offered a specific shield to journalists in matters of national security.

The Pentagon Papers case has governed everything about national security journalism from that day until the moment the US government finally gets Julian Assange into an American courtroom.

On the source side, the Obama administration was especially virulent in prosecuting leakers. Trump continued the policy by throwing the book at Reality Winner. Both administrations made clear there was nothing to distinguish between taking classified documents to inform the public and taking them say with the intent to hand over secrets to the Chinese. On the other side of the equation, the journalists, the government (including, to date, Trump despite all the noise about attacking the press) has chosen not to prosecute journalists for publishing what leakers hand over to them.


The closest step toward throwing a journalist in jail over classified information came in 2014, when Obama Attorney General Eric Holder permitted subpoenaing New York Times reporter James Risen regarding a former CIA employee. After much legal muscle tussle, the Supreme Court turned down Risen’s appeal, siding with the government in a confrontation between a national security prosecution and infringement of press freedom. The Supreme Court refused to consider whether the First Amendment includes an unwritten “reporter’s privilege” in the free press clause. The Court instead upheld existing decisions finding the Constitution does not give journalists special protections. The door was w-a-y open to throwing Risen in jail.

But instead of becoming the first president to jail a journalist for what he published, Obama punted. Happy with the decision affirming they could have prosecuted Risen, with no explanation prosecutors asked the US District Court to simply leave Risen alone. Risen’s alleged source went to jail instead for leaking classified. The unspoken rules stayed intact.

Unspoken rules are useful — they can be read to mean one thing when dealing with the chummy MSM who understands where the unspoken lines are even if they need the occasional brush back pitch like with Risen, and another when the desire is to deep-six a trouble-maker like Assange. Julian Assange poked the Deep State — he exposed the military as war criminals in Iraq (ironically in part for gunning down two Reuters journalists), the State Department as hypocrites, laid bare the CIA’s global hacking games in the Vault 7 disclosures, and showed everyone the Democratic primaries were rigged. None of those stories would have come to light under the MSM alone. And if Assange does know something about Russiagate (did he meet with Manafort?!?), what better place to silence him than a SuperMax.

The government is likely to cite the clear precedent from the Obama years it damn well can prosecute journalists for revealing classified information, and keep the established media happy by offering enough thin exceptions (natsec journalism groupies have already started making lists) to appear to isolate Assange’s crucifixion from setting broad precedent. Say, start with the fact that he wasn’t covered by the 1A outside the US, that his sources were Russian hackers seeking to harm the US instead of misguided chaps like Ellsberg and Manning. Assange had no national interest in mind, no sincere desire to inform the public. He, a foreigner no less, wanted to influence the 2016 election, maybe in collusion!


Shamefully, those stuck in journalism’s cheap seats are unlikely to side with Assange, even though they wrote stories off what he published on Wikileaks. They’ll drift along with the government’s nod and wink this is all a one-off against Julian, and those who play by the government’s unspoken rules are still safe.

They’ll self-righteously proclaim Assange going to jail is a sad but unfortunately necessary thing, claiming he just took things too far dealing with the Russkies, ignoring while the door to prosecute a journalist for national security has always been carefully left open by administrations dating back to Nixon, it is only under their watch that it may be slammed on the hands of one of their own whom they refuse to see, now, for their own misguided self-preservation, as a journalist. The Daily Beast’s take on all this, for example, is headlined a TMZ-esque “Unkempt, Heavily Bearded Julian Assange No Longer Has Embassy Cat For Company.”

They will miss where previous cases avoided delineating the precise balancing point between the government’s need to protect information, the right to expose information, and the media’s right to publish it, an Assange prosecution will indeed create a new precedents, weapons for the future for clever prosecutors. It will be one of those turning points journalists someday working under new press restrictions will cite when remembering the good old days.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/julian-assange-will-die-alongside-your-1st-amendment-rights/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/julian-assange-will-die-alongside-your-1st-amendment-rights/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 15:42:27 GMT
Trump Foreign Policy: Doing the Same Thing and Expecting a Different Result Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/trump-foreign-policy-doing-the-same-thing-and-expecting-a-different-result/

After a week of insisting that a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina was going to happen, President Trump at the last minute sent out a Tweet explaining that due to a Russia/Ukraine dispute in the Sea of Azov he would no longer be willing to meet his Russian counterpart.

According to Trump, the meeting had to be cancelled because the Russians seized three Ukrainian naval vessels in Russian waters that refused to follow instructions from the Russian military. But as Pat Buchanan wrote in a recent column: how is this little dispute thousands of miles away any of our business?

Unfortunately it is “our business” because of President Obama’s foolish idea to overthrow a democratically-elected, pro-Russia government in Ukraine in favor of what his Administration believed would be a “pro-Western” and “pro-NATO” replacement. In short, the Obama Administration did openly to Ukraine what his Democratic Party claims without proof the Russians did to the United States: meddled in a vote.

US interventionism in Ukraine led to the 2014 coup and many dead Ukrainians. Crimea’s majority-Russian population held a referendum and decided to re-join Russia rather than remain in a “pro-West” Ukraine that immediately began discriminating against them. Why would anyone object to people opting out of abusive relationships?

What is most disappointing about President Trump’s foreign policy is that it didn’t have to be this way. He ran on a platform of America first, ending foreign wars, NATO skepticism, and better relations with Russia. Americans voted for this policy. He had a mandate, a rejection of Obama’s destructive interventionism.

But he lost his nerve.

Instead of being the president who ships lethal weapons to the Ukrainian regime, instead of being the president who insists that Crimea remain in Ukraine, instead of being the president who continues policies the American people clearly rejected at the ballot box, Trump could have blamed the Ukraine/Russia mess on the failed Obama foreign policy and charted a very different course. What flag flies over Crimea is none of our business. We are not the policemen of the world and candidate Trump seemed to have understood that.

But now Trump’s in a trap. He was foolish enough to believe that Beltway foreign policy “experts” have a clue about what really is American national interest. Just this week he told the Washington Post, in response to three US soldiers being killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, that he has to keep US troops fighting in the longest war in US history because the “experts” tell him there is no alternative.

He said, “virtually every expert that I have and speak to say if we don’t go there, they’re going to be fighting over here. And I’ve heard it over and over again.”

That is the same bunkum the neocons sold us as they lied us into Iraq! We’ve got to fight Saddam over there or he’d soon be in our streets. These “experts” are worthless, yet for some reason President Trump cannot break free of them.

Well here’s some unsolicited advice to the president: Listen to the people who elected you, who are tired of the US as the world’s police force. Let Ukraine and Russia work out their own problems. Give all your “experts” a pink slip and start over with a real pro-American foreign policy: non-interventionism.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/trump-foreign-policy-doing-the-same-thing-and-expecting-a-different-result/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/trump-foreign-policy-doing-the-same-thing-and-expecting-a-different-result/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 14:07:28 GMT
Big Thanks to #GivingTuesday Peace Heroes! http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/big-thanks-to-givingtuesday-peace-heroes/

On Tuesday of this week, designated #GivingTuesday, I sent to our subscribers a rare direct call for donations. We are only too aware of the many organizations who constantly demand your contributions while never really demonstrating what you are getting for your money. So we regularly send our subscribers  a weekly update of what we have published and the projects we are working on, packaged together with original and exclusive commentary/analysis usually provided by yours truly.

Our philosophy is "deliver the goods first, then ask for support."

#GivingTuesday is the designated day at the beginning of the holiday shopping surge - after "Black Friday," "Small Business Saturday," "Cyber Monday," etc. - where individuals are encouraged to support the non-profit organizations they believe are working to make the world a better place. I am delighted and humbled to inform our friends that this year the participation was the greatest yet. So many wonderful folks stepped up and made their tax-deductible donation to keep the Ron Paul Peace Movement growing and healthy!

So from Dr. Paul, myself, and all of us at the Ron Paul Institute and the Ron Paul Liberty Report, please allow us to publicly thank all of you on this list from the bottom of our hearts for your generous support for our efforts. 

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/big-thanks-to-givingtuesday-peace-heroes/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/big-thanks-to-givingtuesday-peace-heroes/ Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:18:17 GMT
Never, Ever Forget The Guardian/Politico Psyop Against WikiLeaks Caitlin Johnstone http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/never-ever-forget-the-guardianpolitico-psyop-against-wikileaks/

For the first few hours after any new “bombshell” Russiagate story comes out, my social media notifications always light up with poorly written posts by liberal establishment loyalists saying things like “HAHAHA @caitoz this proves you wrong now will you FINALLY stop denying Russian collusion???” Then, when people start actually analyzing that story and noting that it comes nowhere remotely close to proving that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election, those same people always forget to come back afterward and admit to me that they were wrong again.

This happens every single time, including this past Tuesday when the Guardian published a new “bombshell” report saying that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had had secret meetings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. When experts all across the political spectrum began pointing out that the story contained no evidence for its nonsensical claims and was entirely anonymously sourced, nobody ever came back and said “Hey sorry for calling you a Russian propagandist, Caitlin; turns out that story wasn’t as fact-based as I’d thought!” When evidence for a single one of the article’s claims failed to turn up for a day, then two days, then three days, nobody came back and said “Gosh Caitlin, I owe you an apology for mocking you and calling you Assange’s bitch; turns out WikiLeaks and Manafort are suing that publication and its claims remain completely unproven.”

And of course they didn’t. They weren’t meant to. They were meant to absorb the Guardian‘s false claims as fact, add it to their Gish gallop mountain of false evidence for Trump-Russia-WikiLeaks collusion, and then be shuffled onward by the relentless news churn of the corporate propaganda matrix like always. But I’m never going to let them forget that this happened, and neither should you.

If it wasn’t obvious to you last week that there is an unelected power establishment which needs above all else to control the public narrative about what’s going on in the world, it should certainly be obvious to you this week. The Guardian hit piece was so spectacularly desperate in its over-reaching to advance a narrative which has been used to manufacture support for longtime CIA/MI6 agendas like arresting Julian Assange, stopping WikiLeaks, censoring the internet and subverting Russia that it completely exposed itself as the establishment psyop firm that it is.

If that wasn’t evidence enough, in the wake of the Guardian controversy Politico took the downright shocking step of allowing an anonymous former CIA officer to publish a lie-filled article speculating, on no evidence whatsoever, that if the story proves untrue it will be because false information was fed to the Guardian by Russia-linked operatives. The article’s anonymous author claims that there are exactly two main possibilities here: (1) that the article is 100 percent true and will be vindicated, or (2) that the article is based on disinformation which was planted in “an attempt to make [Guardian author Luke] Harding look bad.”

This is obviously absurd for two reasons. The first reason is because no Kremlin operative could possibly make Luke Harding look worse than Luke Harding did in his pathetic, fumbling attempts to argue his case for collusion while promoting his book Collusion to a less-than-sycophantic interviewer in December of last year, in which Harding grew frustrated and hung up on his own interview. The second reason is that there is another far more likely possibility than the two offered by Politico‘s anonymous spook.

Former Guardian employee Jonathan Cook explains  that from what he learned while working at the outlet, the most likely explanation is that the editors permitted the article to be published because its anonymous sources came from within an intelligence or defense agency. As we’ve seen time and time again, from the Iraq WMD narrative to the Russian hacking narrative, western mass media outlets have a ubiquitous standing policy of printing assertions by opaque, dishonest, unaccountable government agencies as objective fact. When asked why she unquestioningly printed a false assertion that real social media users who deny any connection to Russia were Russian “bots”, the Guardian’s own political editor Heather Stewart unapologetically stated, “It’s not my analysis – as the piece makes quite clear – it’s the government’s.” As long as it comes from the government, the mass media stenographers will print what they’re told to print. But tell me more about how awful RT is because it’s “state media”.

Cook writes as follows:
I worked for the Guardian for a number of years, and know well the layers of checks that any highly sensitive story has to go through before publication. In that lengthy process, a variety of commissioning editors, lawyers, backbench editors and the editor herself, Kath Viner, would normally insist on cuts to anything that could not be rigorously defended and corroborated.

And yet this piece seems to have been casually waved through, given a green light even though its profound shortcomings were evident to a range of well-placed analysts and journalists from the outset.

That at the very least hints that the Guardian thought they had ‘insurance’ on this story. And the only people who could have promised that kind of insurance are the security and intelligence services – presumably of Britain, the United States and / or Ecuador.

It appears the Guardian has simply taken this story, provided by spooks, at face value.
The claims made by Luke Harding and the Guardian will never be proven true, and they know it. They knowingly printed claims that they were one hundred percent aware they’d never be able to provide proof of, and the clicks their viral story generated rewarded them with a shower of cash. Their fake story was then passed along by news outlets everywhere, including an MSNBC panel which hilariously kept informing its readers that if this Guardian report is confirmed it would be the first ever actual evidence linking Trump to WikiLeaks in a meaningful way.

We must never forget that this was done. We must keep bringing up the undeniable fact that the Guardian published false claims about a longtime target of western intelligence and defense agencies, then was backed up by a longtime insider from one of those agencies who was permitted to publish anonymously in an ostensibly unrelated outlet. This is one of those jaw-dropping glimpses behind the puppet stage we must never permit the world to forget, much like the time CNN knowingly staged a fake interview with a Syrian girl reciting scripted war propaganda. We must keep bringing this up at every opportunity in our efforts to give people glimpses behind the propaganda curtain, continuing to remind them next week, next month, next year, and ten years from now.

Forgiveness is overrated. Forgiveness is a key foundational element in most abusive relationships, wherein the abusee is manipulated or bullied into forgiving the abuser again and again, without ever holding a grudge. This is true of a battered spouse, and it is true of an oppressed populace. The ability to hold a grudge is therefore of paramount importance in fighting the propaganda machine on which our rulers have built their oppressive empire. Otherwise we will be shuffled forward in the news churn, just like the goldfish-brained Russiagaters who are moved along from one false story to the next into the amnesia of the endlessly spewing news churn.

Don’t forget. Remember this one. Remember it, and keep bringing it up.

Reprinted with permission from CaitlinJohnstone.com.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/never-ever-forget-the-guardianpolitico-psyop-against-wikileaks/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/never-ever-forget-the-guardianpolitico-psyop-against-wikileaks/ Sat, 01 Dec 2018 19:25:18 GMT
Sayonara, ‘America First’! We Hardly Knew Ye! James George Jatras http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/sayonara-america-first-we-hardly-knew-ye/

President Donald Trump’s cancellation of his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Buenos Aires G20 is another sign of the now almost certain demise of his declared “America First” agenda – and perhaps of his presidency. Supposedly decided in response to a Ukraine-Russia naval incident in the Kerch Strait, dumping the meeting is universally and correctly seen as a response to the guilty plea of his former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, to lying to Congress (notice that James Clapper isn’t forced to plead to his perjury before the Senate) and Cohen’s disclosure of Trump’s fruitless business dealings in Russia.

Keep in mind that this comes at a time when grand inquisitor Robert Mueller is on thin ice – or would be, if Trump and his team had a clue. Consider: in just the past few days Jerome Corsi, Roger Stone, and belatedly perhaps even Paul Manafort have delivered what amounts to a case against Mueller’s underlings, including subornation of testimony they knew to be false – a felony punishable by five years in the slammer (18 US Code § 1622 – Subornation of perjury). Is Trump or any of his lawyers thinking of having the victims swear out a complaint and instructing the Justice Department actually to prosecute these miscreants? No, of course not, even though at least Corsi appears to be willing.

Likewise Trump threatens to declassify “a wide swath of ‘devastating’ documents related to the Mueller probe, which he had initially planned to do in September before changing his mind” on the beseeching of British Prime Minister Theresa May. Britain’s worst prime minister ever is desperate to hide the fact that at its root there’s nothing Russian about “Russiagate” but there’s lots and lots of British MI6, GCHQ, and other Five Eyes skullduggery aimed at subverting the 2016 US election and preventing any possible rapprochement between Washington and Moscow. With respect to both goals this massive PSYOP and political warfare campaign by the US-UK Deep State has been a smashing success.

Trump has the goods on them but just sits on his hands and threatens. (He should heed that great philosopher Tuco from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: “When you have to shoot, shoot – don’t talk.”) For those patiently waiting for Trump’s “4D chess” game to unleash QAon’s “Storm,” here’s a news flash: the cavalry is not coming to the rescue. The following are just a few names that will never be brought to justice: Rod Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, James Comey, Lisa Page, Andrew Weissmann, Stefan Halper, Christopher Steele, Joseph Mifsud, Richard Dearlove, Andrew Wood, Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Samantha Power, Sally Yates, Jeannie Rhee, Eric Holder, James Clapper, John Brennan, and Barack Hussein Obama. Oh, and Hillary Clinton of course (while the whistleblower on her corrupt activities gets raided by the FBI).

These august personages are not subject to the laws binding on ordinary mortals like thee and me. These scoundrels will skate. All of them. That’s why a smug, world-class criminal like Brennan can mock Trump’s complaints as similar to how “corrupt authoritarian leaders abroad behaved before they were deposed.” He already anticipates dancing on Trump’s (probably figurative) grave.

Back to the Cohen plea, it’s entirely likely it was timed to have precisely the result of scuttling the Trump-Putin meeting. There can be no better illustration of the weakness of Trump's position than his inability to engage in even a semblance of statesmanship with respect to the leader of the one power on the planet with which the US absolutely must have some minimal working relationship.

With the Democrats set to take over in the House of Representatives in just over a month, we'll soon see intensified investigations coordinated with Mueller to find any possible pretext for impeachment in Trump’s business or private life. It’s conventional wisdom that even if the Democrat-controlled House can find something to support articles of impeachment the GOP-held Senate will be Trump’s firewall. Bunk. Democrats rallied around their president Bill Clinton but it was Republicans who threw Richard Nixon to the wolves. Are there a dozen or so Republican Senators who would be ready to dump Trump and install Mike Pence in the Oval Office? You betcha. Start with Mitt Romney.

As the noose around Trump’s neck continues to tighten, his response will be to keep on carping about how unfair it all is, that there was no collusion with Russia, that it’s a “total witch hunt” that should be ended. All true, all meaningless. He has the weapons to fight back but lacks the knowledge or personnel to use them. So he complains. He tweets. Meanwhile, on substance he's jumping up and down like a monkey on a string.

Which leaves us asking: Why?

One of the burdens carried by those of us Deplorables who early in 2016 declared our support for the then-improbable candidacy of Donald Trump has been the taunts of those who “knew better.” Trump was a fraud, they said, “just a BS-ing con man who would say anything to get elected.” He was a stalking horse to help usher in President Hillary (what other Republican could she possibly beat?). He was crude, impulsive, irritable, egotistical, dyslexic, and incapable of and uninterested in learning anything he doesn’t already know. He was a flimflam artist who had cheated everyone he’d ever done business with or been married to and would abuse his lumpen Murican political supporters in Flyover Country accordingly. He was just another globalist neocon flunky of the Israelis, the Saudis, and the Deep State who was only mouthing populist rhetoric to get elected. He was a shyster on the make whose only goal was to enhance his “brand” to get even richer. He was a huckster with big assets in Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, and other nasty, nasty places, who just wanted to make a killing on his investments. And so on …

Those of us who supported Trump (and who still struggle to support him) point to his repeated use of America First and national interest language even when it was politically counterproductive and only served to subject him to vilification by Democrats and establishment Republicans alike. Ditto his repeated appeals for better relations with Russia, even at the cost of being accused of treason by the same antagonists and their media shills. Ditto the claim from a hostile source like Bob Woodward that behind doors Trump repeatedly tries to do the right thing, like get the US out of Afghanistan and Syria, but then is overruled by “experts” who are his nominal subordinates. Ditto his seeming “art of the deal” transformation of his bluster and threat competition with “Little Rocket Man” into the best chance for peace on the Korean peninsula in seven decades. From his unscripted comments and tweets, there always seems to be a little 2016 Candidate Trump fighting to get out of President Trump but never quite succeeding . . .

But how then to explain his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team? His beeline to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and NATO headquarters in his maiden foreign policy trip to reaffirm mindless hostility to Iran and America’s suicide pact with useless so-called “allies” in Europe? His authorization of lethal weapons to Ukraine? His two cruise missile strikes on Syria on transparently bogus claims of chemical weapons use? His ever-tightening of sanctions on Russia and nonstop expansion of NATO? His continued naval provocations against China?

To characterize as “low” expectations of any Trump-Putin sidebar meeting that might have happened at the G20 is putting it extremely mildly. (Who knows, maybe they’ll still manage to steal a few sweet moments for a quick tête-à-tête, like a secret tryst of illicit lovers. Maybe Strzok and Page can provide some pointers.) Even laying aside the endless navel-gazing about what President Trump really wants, and why his administration’s foreign policy bears almost no resemblance to his 2016 America First platform, it’s pretty clear that in practice the US course will remain essentially a continuation of the failed policies of the past three decades: a futile attempt to maintain US global hegemony indefinitely at any cost. That can have only one hideous outcome.

With regard to Russia, the Kerch Strait incident will serve as another pretext for sanctions that will soon be added with the predictability that night follows day. The ongoing trade war with China (on purely economic grounds not wrong in itself) serves as a backdrop for continued dragon-baiting in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and Xinjiang, all places where the US has no actual interests. Even Trump’s minimal potential as a wrecking ball to disrupt the dysfunctional commitments he inherited doesn’t seem to be working out. The Swamp-critters to whom he’s entrusted his administration dance along their merry way as though Mitt Romney or ¡Jeb! Bush were president, with little or no interference from their nominal boss.

On top of hastening the bankruptcy of the US, the danger of war with Russia, or China, or both will continue to increase. Neither Russian President Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping can still have any illusions about that and are planning accordingly. No one knows exactly when or where we will reach the point of no return.

Russian and Chinese officials have warned the US about their preparedness for war in so many words. No one in Washington is listening, except to the extent that the new report of a Congressionally mandated commission has concluded that despite spending on our military ten times what Russia does and three times China’s outlays, we still might lose a war to either of those powers.

So what do the Swamp-critters draw from that? We need to spend even more! And Trump will accommodate them.

The one bright spot so far has been on the Korean peninsula – for which Trump deserves great credit, though his minions are working overtime to avert the horrid prospect that peace might break out and we’d no longer have an excuse to keep troops in South Korea. On everything else, even where developments favor disengagement from involvements not conducive to American interests, Trump’s administration insists on digging back in.

For example, France’s “Little Macro” wants a European army. It’s a ridiculous pipe dream, especially since Europe faces no external threat except migration, against which a conventional force is mostly useless. But Trump should be thrilled to take him up on the offer and turn European security over to Europeans. Instead he’s trying to sink the idea.

Likewise, in the Syrian conflict it’s clear that with Russian and Iranian help President Bashar al-Assad’s government has beaten the jihadists sicced on that unfortunate land by the US and our so-called allies, but Washington won’t admit it and still hopes to leverage Assad’s departure. Why, because of ISIS, which Trump said was the sole reason we have thousands of US troops (illegally) in that country? No, but because of the need to oppose Iran and impose regime change in Tehran, as well as denying Moscow a “win.”

Iran (an Israeli obsession having no bearing on US security) is also the reason Trump declined to take the exit ramp the Khashoggi murder offered from our unnecessary commitment to the despicable Wahhabist regime in Riyadh. Instead he has doubled down on US support for Mohammed bin Salman while absurd plans for an “Arab NATO” proceed, as though one NATO weren’t already bad enough.

None of this is America First. In a sane policymaking world, Trump should be looking to cut a spheres of influence deal with Putin (and with Xi and maybe with India’s Narendra Modi). Maybe that’s what Trump really wants, maybe it isn’t. Or maybe someone just gave him The Talk: “Do what you’re told, Mr. President, or you and maybe your kid will end up like Jack Kennedy.”

In the final analysis, it doesn’t seem to matter much what Trump wants. It would be only a small exaggeration to say that with respect to foreign and security policy Trump is now a mere figurehead of the permanent state. Even if Trump and Putin do happen to meet again, what can the latter expect the former to say that would make any difference?

As a signal of the approaching end of the short-lived hope of America First, cancellation of Trump-Putin is the penultimate act but not yet the final one. The fat lady’s aria will be when Julian Assange is dragged to Washington in chains, like some barbarian chieftain paraded in a Roman triumph.

Ultimately, as Ann Coulter writes (with respect to the Mexican border crisis, where Trump is at least doing slightly better than in foreign affairs but not by much), Trump might “only be remembered as a small cartoon figure who briefly inflamed and amused the rabble.” If so, his failure will have frittered away the only peaceful chance to avert the looming death of our nation at the hands of the Cultural Marxist duopoly as well as to turn aside from the real prospect of a world war – one from which America cannot emerge undamaged as we did from the first two.

P.S. I would be genuinely thrilled to be wrong about all of the foregoing.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/sayonara-america-first-we-hardly-knew-ye/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/01/sayonara-america-first-we-hardly-knew-ye/ Sat, 01 Dec 2018 18:03:48 GMT
'Anti-Russia Neocons' in US Office Plotted to Cancel Trump-Putin Talks - Scholar Sputnik News http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/30/anti-russia-neocons-in-us-office-plotted-to-cancel-trump-putin-talks-scholar/

US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel his G20 talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals how easily he is swayed by the neoconservative hawks he appointed who exploited the Kerch Strait incident, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Director Daniel McAdams told Sputnik.
'The President [Trump] has spent decades puffing himself up as a great dealmaker and tough guy, but in fact, he's just a pushover,' McAdams said on Thursday. 'He's putty in neocon hands.'
Trump's sudden cancellation of a planned private meeting with Putin at the G-20 Summit should not come as a surprise, McAdams explained.
'President Trump has completely surrounded himself with extreme anti-Russia neocons and they have no-doubt been plotting to get the meeting cancelled,' he said. 'Does anyone believe it is a coincidence that the Ukraine provocation in the Kerch Strait happened just as Trump/Putin meeting plans were being finalized?'
According to McAdams,  Russia was within its rights in responding to the Ukrainians abandoning internationally accepted norms of maritime behaviour and sending their vessels into Russian territorial waters.
'Russia defended Russian territory and the lying Western media reports it as 'Russian aggression'. How would the US react if enemy military forces approached a militarily sensitive area of US territorial waters without following agreed-upon protocol and refusing to stop when so ordered?' he stressed.
McAdams also emphasized that Trump was allowing himself to be manipulated and led by the very people he fiercely criticized during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
'President Trump is sadly proving that he has no spine whatsoever when it comes to standing up to the neocons and fulfilling his campaign promises,' McAdams said. 'For all his bluster, Trump is beholden to the very same ‘experts’ as his predecessors.'
Trump’s failure to appoint a new generation of decision-makers had ensured that he would be trapped in the same expensive and futile policies of his predecessor, the scholar argued.

Earlier, Trump canceled a scheduled meeting with his Russian counterpart at the G20 summit in Argentina, citing the fact Moscow had not yet returned Ukrainian ships that were seized for illegally attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait. The White House said Trump made the decision on the way to Buenos Aires after discussing the Kerch strait incident with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Prior to that, Andrei Klimov, the deputy chair of the Russian upper house International Affairs Committee, told Sputnik that Russian-US relations may suffer due to Trump’s decision to cancel the Buenos Aires summit with Putin.

The mentioned accident in Kerch Strait took place on Sunday, Russia seized two Ukraine gunboats and 1 tugboat sailing toward the Kerch Strait, the only entrance to the Sea of Azov, after the vessels failed to respond to lawful demands to stop, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB also said the provocations were coordinated by two Ukrainian Security Service officers who were on the boats. In response to the situation, Ukrainian authorities introduced martial law along the border with Russia as well as the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov for 30 days.

Reprinted with permission from Sputnik.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/30/anti-russia-neocons-in-us-office-plotted-to-cancel-trump-putin-talks-scholar/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/30/anti-russia-neocons-in-us-office-plotted-to-cancel-trump-putin-talks-scholar/ Fri, 30 Nov 2018 21:54:08 GMT