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Jacob G. Hornberger

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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The Supreme Court's Deference to the Pentagon

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Imagine a county sheriff that took a suspected drug-law violator into custody more than 10 years ago. Since then, the man has been held in jail without being accorded a trial. The district attorney and the sheriff promise to give the man a trial sometime in the future but they’re just not sure when. Meanwhile the man sits in jail indefinitely just waiting for his trial to begin.
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The Emergency Destruction of American Liberty

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Emergencies are the time-honored method by which people lose their freedom. That’s because public officials use emergencies as a way to acquire totalitarian powers, under the rationale that they need such powers to keep people “safe.” Of course, officials usually make it clear that the totalitarian powers will only be “temporary.” As soon as the emergency is over, they say, the powers will be canceled and things will return to normal.

During emergencies, much of the citizenry becomes afraid, very afraid. Being kept safe zooms to near the top of many people’s priority list. They become willing, even eager, for the government to acquire totalitarian powers to keep them safe, especially since the use of such powers is temporary anyway.

One of the best examples of this phenomenon was the Reichstag Fire in Nazi Germany, when the German Parliament building was made the target of a terrorist attack. After the fire-bombing of the building, German leader Adolf Hitler approached the Reichstag and requested totalitarian powers to deal with the terrorist threat facing Germany. After considerable discussion and debate, the legislature gave Hitler the powers he was seeking to wage a war on terrorism.
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Memorial Day is Based on a Lie

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Today, Memorial Day, Americans across the land will hear the same message: that US soldiers who have died in America’s foreign wars and foreign interventions have done so in the defense of our rights and freedoms. It is a message that will be heard in sporting events, memorial services, airports, churches, and everywhere else that Memorial Day is being commemorated.

There is one big thing wrong, however. It’s a lie. None of those soldiers died protecting our rights and freedoms. That’s because our rights and freedoms were never being threatened by the enemy forces that killed those soldiers.

Let’s work our way backwards.

Syria. The Syrian government has never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any US soldier who has died in Syria was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Niger. The Niger government has never invaded the United States and tried to take away our freedoms. Therefore, any US soldier who has died in Niger was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Iraq. The Iraq government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any US soldier who has died in Iraq was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.
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Political Gamesmanship at the Olympics

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So, why is Vice-president Mike Pence attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea? Is it because he’s a sports fan who just wants to enjoy the quadrennial spectacle of the Olympic games?

Unfortunately, no.

Pence is going to the games for political purposes. He intends to use them as an opportunity to level a propaganda attack against North Korea, the communist regime that the US government has long been committed to regime-changing. To advance this political aim, Pence will be accompanied by Fred Warmbier, the father of the University of Virginia student who died in the United States after being held in North Korean custody for more than a year.

I wonder if the thought has even occurred to Warmbier that President Trump and Pence are just using him as a political pawn, one whose role is to highlight the brutality of the North Korean regime. Never mind that the Olympics are supposed to be a forum for sports events, not political attacks and propaganda. The Trump-Pence mindset is: Why let a good opportunity to make propaganda points go unseized?

Actually though, Fred Warmbier’s participation in this dangerous political gamesmanship serve to provide valuable lessons to the American people, not about North Korea, but about our very own government.
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America: A Military Nation

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Americans like to think of their country as different from those run by military regimes. They are only fooling themselves. Ever since the federal government was converted into a national-security state after World War II (without a constitutional amendment authorizing the conversion), it has been the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that have run the government, just like in countries governed by military dictatorships.

Oh sure, the façade is maintained — the façade that is ingrained in all of us in civics or government classes in high school and college: that the federal government is composed of three co-equal, independent branches that are in charge of the government.

But just a façade. It’s fake. It’s a lie.

It’s true that the federal government used to consist of three branches. But that quaint notion disintegrated when the federal government was converted to what is known as a “national-security state” after World War II. Even though it was done without a constitutional amendment, that conversion effectively added a fourth branch of government to the federal government — the national-security branch, which consists of the NSA, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

The addition of that fourth branch fundamentally altered the original three-branch concept, especially because the fourth branch quickly became the most powerful branch. The reason is because ultimately government is force, and the fourth branch is where the most force was concentrated within the new, altered governmental structure.
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The Biggest Threat to our Country

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The New York Times recently profiled three military veterans who are running for Congress. All three are women and all three graduated from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. The Times highlighted the military experience of the women, which they plan to rely on to establish their credentials for running for Congress.

Of course, hardly anyone asks the obvious question: Why should serving in the military operate as a credential for serving in Congress? At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the members of Congress don’t personally do the types of things soldiers do, such as drop bombs on people, torture people, or assassinate people. So, why should a person’s military service operate as any special credential for serving as an elected representative in Congress?

Some people might say, “Because they served their country.” That seems to be the mindset of at least one of the three women, Mikie Sherrill, who said, “It’s incredibly important that I decided to serve my country before deciding to run for office.”

But there is one big important thing about her statement: It’s not true. Sherrill, like other US soldiers, was not serving her country when she was a soldier. She was serving her government. There’s a difference, a big one.
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The First Amendment Does Not Give Us Freedom of Speech

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A special insert in Sunday’s New York Times reflects that it’s not just people in countries run by totalitarian regimes that are indoctrinated by the state. It also happens in representative democracies like the United States, especially owing to the government’s educational system.

The insert, which consisted of a variety of articles on different subjects, was oriented toward children. One article was entitled “What’s the Deal with North Korea?” and summarized the decades-long dispute between North Korea and the United States.

The article tells children that Americans are far freer than South Koreans are. It points out, for example, that North Koreans go to jail for criticizing their ruler, Kim Jong-un, while Americans are free to criticize their political leaders.

Here is where U.S. indoctrination come into play. The author of the piece, Elise Craig, writes:
The First Amendment gives Americans the right to be critical of elected leaders without punishment.
That statement is engrained in every single American from the time he enters the first grade and, unfortunately, produces a mindset that continues through adulthood.
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