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Jacob G. Hornberger

The Deadly and Destructive Futility of the Drug War

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Ever since President Richard Nixon declared war on drugs in the 1970s, advocates of this government program, both conservative and liberal, have argued that the only reason why the U.S. government has failed to win the drug war is that government officials have failed to fight it sufficiently hard. If U.S. officials would really crack down, the argument goes, the decades-long war could finally — finally! — be declared over and done with.

In their unwavering support of this failed government program, however, what these people fail to consider is that as U.S. officials have met with increasing failure to win their drug war over the decades, they have cracked down ever more in the hope that they could finally win it.

That’s what mandatory-minimum sentences were all about. Send enough drug users and drug dealers to jail for 10-20-30 years to serve as examples, and everyone else would immediately stop consuming or distributing drugs.

It didn’t work.
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Conscription Is Slavery

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Last month a federal judge in Texas declared the all-male military draft to be unconstitutional because it applies only to men and not also to women. The decision flies in the face of a decision by the Supreme Court in 1981 that upheld the constitutionality of the draft-registration process. Back then, however, women were not permitted to serve in combat roles, which was the justification for the Court’s ruling. Today, women are permitted to serve in combat roles, a point cited by that Texas federal judge.

While the controversy might seem academic given that we haven’t had conscription for several decades, that could change on a moment’s notice. Given the propensity of US officials, from the president down, to embroil the United States in foreign wars, lots of fathers and mothers might suddenly be shocked to see their daughters suddenly being hauled off to boot camp and then to war, where they would face the possibility of being shot, bombed, killed, injured, maimed, or raped. Lots of young women might also be shocked.

Yes, I know America has a volunteer army. And yes, I know that it has proven sufficient to fight America’s forever foreign wars for the past several decades. But the fact is that all that could change overnight if US officials were to embroil the United States in a war that the volunteer army couldn’t handle on its own. In that case, the Pentagon and the CIA would not hesitate to advise the president to immediately initiate the draft.
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Understanding Why Iranians Bash the US Government

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Two days ago, the New York Times carried an article by Times’ journalist Thomas Erdbrink entitled, “For Iran, a Grand Occasion to Bash the US,” which was about Iran’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of its revolution in 1979. The article included the following sentence, “And like some evil doppelgänger, the United States was omnipresent, despite having broken all ties with Iran in 1981.”
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Donald Trump, Dictator

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It is supremely ironic. To respond to the dictatorial mindset and policies of Venezuelan ruler Nicolas Maduro, President Trump has adopted his own dictatorial mindset and policies. Trump obviously believes that the way to fight foreign dictatorship is by adopting dictatorship here at home.
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The US Government's Love of Foreign Dictatorships

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Lest anyone be tempted to believe that President Trump and other US interventionists are intervening in Venezuela because of some purported concern for the Venezuelan people, let’s examining just a few examples that will bring a dose of reality to the situation. This latest intervention is nothing more than another interventionist power play, one intended to replace one dictatorial regime with another.

Egypt comes to mind. It is ruled by one of the most brutal and tyrannical military dictatorships in the world. The US government loves it, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for the Egyptian citizenry, who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Saudi Arabia also comes to mind. It too is a brutal and tyrannical dictatorship, also a murderous one. The US government loves it too, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for Saudi citizens who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Historically, this has been the case as well. Some examples:

1. Iran under the Shah. In 1953, the US national-security establishment destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy by ousting the democratically elected prime minister, Mohamad Mossadegh, from power and installed in his stead the Shah of Iran, one of the world’s most brutal tyrants. Even worse, they helped train his national-security establishment in the arts of torture, tyranny, and oppression. There was no concern for the well-being or liberty of the Iranian people. Even today, the US aim is to oust the current tyrannical regime and replace it with a pro-US tyrannical regime.
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US Policy Toward Cuba Attacked America's Freedom and Values

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The decades-long US interventionist policy against Cuba failed to achieve its goal of removing Fidel Castro from power and replacing him with a pro-US regime, similar to the pro-US Batista regime that the Cuban revolution ousted from power in 1959. More important, interventionism against Cuba ended up attacking the freedom and values of the American people.

During the Cold War, US officials claimed that their interventionist policy against Cuba was justified because Cuba posed a grave threat to US national security. Yet not once did Cuba ever attack or invade the United States or even threaten to do so. Moreover, there was never any possibility that the Cuban military could defeat US military forces in a full-scale war. Throughout the Cold War years, it was always the US government, especially the Pentagon and the CIA, that was the aggressor in the conflict with Cuba.

Consider the brutal economic embargo against Cuba, which exists to this day, more than 25 years after the Cold War supposedly ended. In combination with Cuba’s socialist system, the embargo has squeezed the economic life out of the Cuban people, helping consign them to extreme poverty verging on starvation.

Americans have become so accustomed to economic sanctions and embargoes as a tool of US foreign policy that many of them hardly give a thought to how they operate. Sanctions and embargoes target the population of a foreign country with economic suffering, with the aim of bringing about a change in their government or in how their government operates. The idea is that if the civilian population can be made to significantly suffer, either their regime will abdicate in favor of one that is acceptable to US officials, the regime will agree to comply with US dictates, a military coup will take place, or the civilian population will initiate a violent revolution.
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The Disgrace of Maria Butina's Prosecution

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Some anti-Russianites and Trump critics are saying that the guilty plea by 30-year-old Russian citizen Maria Butina confirms that the Russian government was meddling in the 2016 presidential election. It’s true that Russia might well have been helping Donald Trump, who was committed to establishing friendly relations with Russia, defeat Hillary Clinton, who was committed to maintaining a relationship of anger, animosity, and hatred toward Russia. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Butina’s guilty plea to agreeing to fail to register as a foreign agent establishes that she was knowingly part of a conspiracy within the Russian government to meddle in the presidential election. 

Anyone who believes that has a genuinely naïve and innocent way of viewing the federal criminal justice system, which is akin to how sausage and congressional laws are made, which many people would rather not see or know about.

Here’s how the federal criminal-justice system works.

When the feds decide to target someone, they charge them with every conceivable crime that even remotely relates to the targeted person’s conduct. The potential time in jail, if convicted on all counts, usually adds up to several decades or even to life in prison.
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Celebrating another Regulatory Conviction in the Anti-Russia Brouhaha

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The mainstream press is tipping its glasses in exultation over the latest regulatory conviction in the anti-Trump, anti-Russia brouhaha. This one comes in form of a upcoming guilty plea by a 28-year-old Russian woman named Maria Butina. Her crime? Failing to register as a foreign agent of the Russian government.

The press is reporting how Butina has infiltrated the conservative movement by dating a GOP operative, making contacts with the Heritage Foundation, the NRA, the National Prayer Breakfast, CPAC, the Trump administration, and others conservative organizations and people.

This is obviously very scary stuff. I mean, just think about it: The entire conservative movement facing the danger of going Red, or at least pro-Russia. Then it’s just a matter of time before the U.S. government falls to the commies, or least the Russkies under former KGB officer Vladimir Putin.

Pardon the Red slip but all this anti-Russia brouhaha really does remind me of the Cold War, when the U.S. national-security establishment was warning Americans of the danger of communist infiltration within our nation. The main danger, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA maintained, was that posed by the Soviet Union, of which the principal member was Russia.
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Why Can the CIA Assassinate People?

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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.
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The Reason for Killing Iranians

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While US sanctions technically permit Iran to import medicines, it is actually just a ruse to make it look like US officials are kind, compassionate, and benevolent. In actuality, the way the sanctions work will mean that the Iranian people will inevitably be deprived of much-needed medicines. That’s because the US extends its sanctions system to banks that process payments to Iran, which is likely to inhibit the importation of medicines into Iran.

But that’s the point behind the sanctions: to kill as many Iranians as possible in the hope that they will rise up in a violent revolution, oust Iran’s anti-US regime from power, and install another pro-US regime, like that of the Shah of Iran, who the CIA installed into power in its 1953 coup that destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy.

Never mind that the Iranians, who live in a country that has strict gun control, lack the means to violently overthrow their government. And never mind that hundreds of thousands of Iranians would likely die in such a revolution, just like what has happened in the US-supported revolution in Syria.


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