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Jacob G. Hornberger

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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The Korean War: The Moral Bankruptcy of Interventionism

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An article in Sunday’s New York Times entitled “Remembering the Forgotten War” demonstrates perfectly the moral bankruptcy of the philosophy of foreign interventionism. Calling for the Korean War to become more highly remembered, the author, Hampton Sides, extols some of the popular justifications for subjecting US troops to death, injury, and maiming in the Korean War.
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Did the Russians Influence My Vote?

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I voted Libertarian yesterday, and the New York Times has me really worried. In an article yesterday entitled “Russians Meddling in the Midterms? Here’s the Data,” the authors, Jonathan Morgan and Ryan Fox, state that while Russian meddling in the midterm election was not as extensive as it purportedly was in the 2016 election, it was nonetheless still pervasive. Morgan and Fox, who run a cybersecurity company, pointed out, “Indeed, our company is currently detecting more overall activity in real time from continuing Russian online influence operations targeting the midterm elections than has been disclosed by social media platforms or detected by researchers during the same period before the election in 2016.”
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Why Do We Need a National Security State?

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Given President Trump’s impulsive decision to suddenly send 5,200 armed US soldiers to the US-Mexico border to prevent a few thousand women and children and others from seeking refugee status in the United States, which foreign citizens are entitled to do under US law, a question naturally arises with respect to those troops: What were they doing before they were sent to the border?

The answer is: Nothing, at least nothing productive.

Oh sure, one can say that they were training to kill more people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Africa, or other parts of the world. Or they might have been preparing an invasion of some other country in the world. Or they might be figuring out how to best enforce the embargoes and sanctions against the people of Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and elsewhere.

But how can any of that possibly be considered productive? None of the people they are killing are attacking and invading the United States. Neither are the governments in the countries in which the victims are citizens. Moreover, the constant, never-ending killing brings the constant, never-ending danger of terrorist blowback against the United States, which US officials then use as an excuse to destroy further our own freedom and privacy here at home.

How is that productive?
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Still Dying for Nothing in Afghanistan

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It wasn’t until history class in college that I heard of the Thirty Years War. My immediate reaction was: No way! It just wasn’t possible that a war could last 30 years. Nobody would be that dumb.

But given that the US war in Afghanistan has now been going on for 17 years, it’s now easier for me to understand how a war could go on for 30 years. Just think: Another 13 years, and the US government can tie that record.

Over the past weekend, another US soldier was killed in Afghanistan and another was wounded in what the media calls an “insider attack.” That means that a member of the Afghan military or police was the one who killed and wounded those two soldiers. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it is rather difficult to protect against an attack from your friends.

That was the sixth US soldier killed in Afghanistan this year, bringing the total death toll to 2,200.
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Trump is Right About 'Flipping'

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In the wake of the federal criminal conviction of former Trump official Paul Manafort and the guilty plea in federal court of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the mainstream press is singing the praises of special prosecutor (and former FBI Director) Robert Mueller and the Justice Department.

In the process, Trump’s critics are condemning his denunciation of “flipping,” the process by which federal prosecutors offer a sweet deal to criminal defendants in return for testifying against a “higher-up” who the feds are also prosecuting. The press and the anti-Trumpsters say that such a practice is part of the “rule of law” and essential to the proper administration of justice.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever else might be said about Trump, he is absolutely right on this point. The process of offering sweetheart deals to people in return for their “cooperation” to get someone else convicted has long been one of the most corrupt aspects of the federal criminal-justice system, especially as part of the federal government’s much-vaunted (and much-failed) war on drugs.
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Trump Would be Stupid to Talk to Mueller

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The US mainstream press is obviously becoming increasingly anxious about Special Counsel (and former FBI Director) Robert Mueller’s efforts to bring an early end to Donald Trump’s presidency. After all, it has now been 15 months (and millions of taxpayer dollars) since Mueller received his special appointment, and he still has not charged Trump with any wrongdoing whatsoever.

What Mueller has done is secure indictments against a few Russians who, according to Wikipedia, supposedly attempted “to trick Americans into consuming Russian propaganda that targeted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and later President-elect Donald Trump.”

Big deal.  I can’t help wonder which Americans ended up being tricked by that dangerous, mind-altering Russian propaganda. Maybe they ought to sue their public schools for educational malpractice.

Currently, Mueller is spending his time and US taxpayer money going after former Trump campaign official Paul Manafort. The charges? Income-tax violations and bank fraud.
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Silence on US Meddling Abroad

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Among the most fascinating aspects of the brouhaha over supposed Russian meddling in America’s electoral system is the total silence in the US mainstream press about US meddling in the political affairs of other countries.

Consider the mass outrage and indignation among the mainstream press that Russia would actually want to help a US presidential candidate who favors normalizing relations with Russia over a candidate that was determined to do the opposite.

Why not the same outrage against the US national-security establishment for helping its favorite people come to office in foreign countries?

By their silence regarding US meddling in foreign countries, one could easily draw the conclusion that the US mainstream press is saying the following: It’s wrong for Russia to meddle in the US electoral system but it’s okay for the US national-security establishment (i.e., the military, CIA, and NSA) to meddle in the electoral affairs of foreign countries.
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Iran: Another US War of Aggression?

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I am getting that Iraq deja vu feeling again, only this time with respect to Iran.

You’ll recall the build-up to the US war of aggression against Iraq: WMDs. Mushroom clouds. Charts and graphs. Preventive war.

The anti-Iraq propaganda from US officials was overwhelming, so much so that by the time US officials initiated their war of aggression against Iraq, many Americans had completely accepted the notion that the United States was an innocent victim about to come under nuclear attack from Saddam Hussein and that the US government needed to initiate a massive military attack and invasion of Iraq in order to defend the United States.

Of course, as everyone learned afterward, the propaganda was entirely bogus. There were no WMDs and even if there were, the last thing that Iraq was doing to do with them was start a war against the most powerful military in history. The entire propaganda build-up was designed to get the American people on board with a war of aggression and not ask too many questions.

President Trump just issued one of his infamous midnight tweets, this one telling Iranian officials (with caps in the original)...
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