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Jacob G. Hornberger

The Never-Ending Wars on Terrorism and Drugs

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Not long after President George W. Bush declared a “war on terrorism,” I wrote that this war would end up being as perpetual as the federal government’s war on drugs. Some 18 years later, the US government’s killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria confirms how right I was.

After all, given all the media hype about the killing, you would think that the war on terrorism had been won and had finally been brought to an end. Some people were undoubtedly even getting ready for a ticker-tape parade in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the end of the war on terrorism.

Alas, not even close! Despite the much-ballyhooed killing of Baghdadi, there are still lots more terrorists, both big and little, in the world to kill. After 18 years of terrorism warfare, the Pentagon and the CIA are just getting a good start killing terrorists.

Indeed, the media is already speculating on who will replace Bagdadi as the new head of ISIS. Before too long, America will have another brand new official enemy to add to its long list of official enemies that need killing.

Haven’t we seen this picture, time and time again, in the war on drugs? Why, just recently we were treated to the federal spectacle of “El Chapo,” the notorious Mexican drug lord, being busted in Mexico, extradited to the United States, and, amidst great media hype, convicted and sentenced to life in a US federal penitentiary.
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What Exactly Is Trump’s Impeachable Offense?

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I confess that I still don’t get what exactly is going to be the particular offense for which President Trump is going to be impeached. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of impeaching Trump and removing him from office, but only for grave crimes, such as waging war illegally (i.e., without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war), wreaking death, suffering, and destruction in those wars, committing countless assassinations, and violating provisions in the Bill of Rights with respect to indefinite detention, torture, denial of speedy trial, and denial of due process of law.
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Foreign Aid for Dictators

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Notice something important about the hoopla regarding President’s Trump withholding of US foreign aid to Ukraine while he was requesting Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for possible corruption: Nobody in Washington, D.C., or within the establishment press is questioning the concept of foreign aid itself. Foreign aid has become such an established and accepted way of inducing foreign regimes to comply with the dictates of US officials that the thought of ending it entirely doesn’t even enter the minds of Republicans, Democrats, or member of the mainstream media.

But questioning foreign aid itself is precisely what the American people should be doing. Not only does foreign aid contribute to the out-of-control federal spending and debt that is hanging over the American people (with the debt now at $22.6 trillion and climbing), it also constitutes one of the most evil and immoral practices of the US government.

Case in point: Egypt. Notwithstanding the fact that the country is governed by one of the most brutal military dictatorships in the world, the US government delivers $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt’s military dictatorship every year.

Like the United States, Egypt’s government is based on the concept of a national-security state, which is a type of governmental system in which a vast and permanent military-intelligence establishment plays a major role in society. In Egypt, that role is much more pronounced and predominant than it is here in the United States.
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From the Anti-Russia Brouhaha to the Ukraine Brouhaha

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Since he became president, Donald Trump has killed thousands of people in Afghanistan and the Middle East in wars that are illegal under our form of government, given that he has never secured the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war to wage such wars.

Operating through his military-intelligence forces, he has also assassinated countless people in different parts of the world, notwithstanding the fact that the Constitution expressly prohibits him and his cohorts from killing anyone without due process of law.

He has also maintained a prison camp, torture center, and “judicial” system in Cuba that has denied people the right of speedy trial, trial by jury, due process of law, effective assistance of counsel, the right to confront adverse witnesses, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment, all in contravention to the guarantees provided in the Bill of Rights.

So let me see if I have this clear: Trump’s enemies oppose impeaching him for those things but instead want him removed from office for a telephone call in which Trump requested the Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to undertake an investigation into possible corruption in Ukraine by Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
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The Pentagon’s Upcoming Kangaroo Show Trial in Cuba

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After 18 years, there is a possibility that the Pentagon is finally going to permit a “trial” of five men who are accused of conspiracy to commit the 9/11 attacks. If so, the proceedings will prove what a charade the Pentagon’s entire “judicial system” at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been and continues to be. In fact, the trial, if it is even permitted to take place, will serve as a mirror for how “trials” are conducted in communist China or, for matter, in communist Cuba.

Let’s review how the Pentagon’s “judicial” system got established in the first place. After the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon decided to establish a prison, torture center, and “judicial” system for accused terrorists that it would be capturing and kidnapping around the world. It decided to locate this center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Why Cuba rather than somewhere in the United States? The Pentagon wanted to make certain that it would have omnipotent power to run its center any way it wanted, without having to bother with the rights and guarantees enumerated in the Constitution, especially in the Bill of Rights. It also didn’t want any interference with its operation from the U.S. Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary. In other words, the Pentagon wanted a Constitution-free zone in which to operate its prison, torture center, and “judicial” system.
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Spending on Defense Is One Great Big Lie

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Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson is worried. He thinks that maybe — just maybe — the US government is not spending enough on defense. In a column entitled, “Here’s Why We Could Be Under-Spending on Defense,” Samuelson has come up with a complicated formula that has caused him to fear that China and Russia might actually be spending more money on their militaries than the United States. Bringing to mind the famous missile-gap controversy during the Cold War, Samuelson wrote, “Our reputed military superiority might be exaggerated or a statistical fiction.”
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End Foreign Aid to Israel and Everyone Else

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Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are calling on the US Congress to reevaluate US foreign aid to the Israeli government. Their reason? Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, denied entry into Israel for the two of them, owing to their public support of the Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions movement, a global protest against the Israeli government’s longtime mistreatment of Palestinians.

Omar stated:
We give Israel more than $3 [billion] in aid every year. This is predicated on them being an important ally in the region and the only democracy in the Middle East. But denying a visit to duly elected members of Congress is not consistent with being an ally, and denying millions of people freedom of movement or expression or self-determination is not consistent with being a democracy.
Unfortunately, however, Omar and Tlaib, like the rest of their Democratic counterparts, just don’t get it. In fact, neither does their nemesis, President Trump, and his Republican cohorts. Not only should the US government stop foreign aid to the Israeli regime, it should stop it for every other regime in the world.

For one thing, consider that the Trump administration is spending $1 trillion this year more than it is bringing in with taxes. The difference? He’s borrowing it, thereby adding another trillion dollars to the $22 trillion dollars in federal debt that is already hanging over American taxpayers.
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Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba

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The US Empire, which controls much of the world through hundreds of military bases in foreign countries, through foreign regimes run by domestic US puppets, and through foreign dependency on US foreign aid, got its start in 1898 during the Spanish American War. It was that war that enabled the Empire to acquire its imperialist domain in Cuba known as Guantanamo Bay, which is now the Empire’s premier international indefinite-detention prison, torture center, and kangaroo judicial system.

The late 1800s were a time of worldwide empires. Great Britain, France, Spain, and others were empires, possessing and oftentimes brutally controlling people in faraway colonies. Although the US Constitution had called into existence a limited-government republic, by the time the latter part of the 19th century had arrived, many Americans had been swept up in the pro-empire fervor, owing largely to the Progressive movement, which was also influencing America toward embracing the worldwide move toward socialism and interventionism. The Progressive idea was that in order for the United States to become a great nation, it needed to become an empire, just like other empires.

In 1898, Cuba and other possessions of the Spanish Empire were fighting for their freedom and independence. Since this was a time in which US officials were still following the Constitution’s declaration-of-war requirement, President William McKinley sought and secured a declaration of war against Spain, with the ostensible aim of helping the Spanish colonies win their freedom and independence.
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Gun Violence in California

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Upon hearing that a man dressed in a military-style outfit was shooting people with an assault rifle at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on Sunday, I imagine that there were at least some Californians saying to themselves, “That’s impossible. It’s illegal in California to take an assault rifle into a public festival.” Indeed, according to Wikipedia, “The gun laws of California are some of the most restrictive in the United States.” So, what are gun-control advocates in California going to do now? Make their gun laws even more restrictive?

For 20 years, I have been writing that people who are going to kill other people with guns don’t give a hoot about gun laws. After all, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, if a person doesn’t care about obeying a law against murder, he’s not going to care about violating a law against taking an assault rifle into a food festival.

But ordinary, law-abiding people do care about obeying gun laws. That’s because many of these laws make it a felony offense to violate them. That means jail time, big fines, and a serious criminal record. Even when it’s just a misdemeanor offense, oftentimes a conviction can also mean jail time.
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