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‘The Best Interests of the People’: Ex-US Top Spy Clapper Justifies Election Interference

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Fret not, people of the over 80 countries where the US has interfered in elections – it was done in your “best interests,” according to former head of US Intelligence James Clapper.

Clapper, who famously lied about the NSA mass surveillance program before it was revealed by Edward Snowden, is back in the media spotlight, promoting his new book ‘Facts and Fears.’

The tome promises readers ‘Hard truths from a life in intelligence.’ However, perhaps the more interesting insights are on Clapper’s reflections on the so-called Russiagate scandal and investigations into the alleged hacking of the US presidential election. 

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Tobin Harshaw, Clapper is asked about the US’ own history of election interference...
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N. Korea Conundrum: ‘Washington Confuses Concept of Negotiation With Surrender’

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The US is essentially irrelevant to the solution of the Korean problem and, if a deal is made between the North and South, the US will be asked to leave, says Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Peace Institute.

Donald Trump said during a meeting with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the US capital on Tuesday that his much-anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 might not happen.

Both Washington and Pyongyang have previously suggested they may not be willing to hold talks unless certain conditions are met.

RT discussed the situation with McAdams, from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Daniel McAdams: It is interesting to see how Trump and his top advisers seem to be at odds with each other. I don’t know if his management style is to create chaos and see if some order comes from it or what in fact may be his style, but a few days ago you saw John Bolton bringing up the issue of the Libya scenario. I don’t believe this was an accident. This is the same Bolton who just before he was confirmed as the president’s national security adviser wrote an article encouraging the US to have a first strike against North Korea. I don’t believe that he has changed his tune in just a couple of months.
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Blackout: US military spent $60 million on Afghanistan power lines to nowhere

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The US military spent $60 million on a new section of power grid in Afghanistan’s northeast. It doesn’t work and may even put residents at risk, according to a report from the US government’s reconstruction watchdog.

While the power lines have been built, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that mismanagement by the Army Corps of Engineers led to the grid remaining at best useless and at worst, dangerous.

In 2013, the US Army awarded a $116 million contract to an Afghan company to build a power grid for part of northeastern Afghanistan in several phases. The mismanaged third phase of the project cost $60 million.

Before construction was due to begin, the Afghan government agreed to purchase privately held land to clear a path for power lines. This never happened, and the Afghan contractors built the lines regardless, over the heads of Afghan farmers still living on land that should have been cleared.

The contract required the company to “provide power” but did not include any provisions for actually connecting the lines to the nearest substation, rendering them useless.
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Lew Rockwell: ‘It’s About Time the US Realized it Needs to Get Out of Afghanistan’

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The US has no business in Afghanistan but it loves war and could be there for another 17 years, killing hundreds of thousands more people, according to Lew Rockwell, chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

The US State Department confirmed Tuesday that several Americans were among the victims in Saturday's attack on a hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, where 22 people died in the overnight siege by Taliban militants, local officials said. On Wednesday, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb next to the office of the humanitarian group Save the Children in Jalalabad.

RT spoke to Rockwell, a political consultant who believes the US military presence is aggravating the situation in Afghanistan.

RT: The US is now ramping up the fight against the Taliban by sending new aircraft for close-air support. Do you believe that's connected to the attack?

Lew Rockwell: No, I think Trump has already talked about sending in more troops and more planes and other weapons. This is a further unfortunate back down from the campaign promises he made. He said some very good things about getting out of Afghanistan, that the US had no business there. And then of course as soon as he was elected, he has switched and he is now stepping up the war in Afghanistan. It is terrible these people were killed. I don’t think we have an idea how many Afghan civilians have been killed in the 17 years of this war, how many soldiers on both sides. It is a terrible thing. The US has no business in Afghanistan, any more than Russia did, any more than Alexander the Great did. The US has got to get out, let the Afghans run their own county.
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‘US Govt Undermines Democracy’ Seeking More Control Over Social Media

It’s preposterous that the US government purports to tell Americans what they are allowed to read on social media, says Daniel McAdams, executive director of Ron Paul Institute. He adds that it undermines US democracy.

Technology and social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Google have been in the hot seat before US Congress intelligence committees. They were grilled on day two of hearings into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election in 2016. Lawyers for Twitter, Google, and Facebook testified that the amount of Russian-linked content on their platforms was relatively small. But was that what the Senators wanted to hear?
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Ron Paul: Anti-Russia Campaign Stems From Bias and Desire to Limit Free Speech

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The investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the US elections and the supposed use of social media by Moscow to sway public opinion is just a “witch hunt,” former US Congressman Ron Paul told RT.

“The people who promote this witch hunt do not care about what [the former US presidential candidate] Hillary [Clinton] was doing and they are very biased against the Trump campaign,” Paul said, adding that he believes that the “real problem” lies precisely in this bias.

He also said that the Washington lawmakers involved in Russia-bashing close their eyes to repeated meddling by the US in the internal affairs and electoral processes in many other countries.

“I would like our government to talk about our involvement in campaigns, most recently in Ukraine, [where] we participated in a coup,” the former Congressman said.

“So far, they have not shown me the ad that was pro-Trump and was paid for by the Russian government,” the politician said, referring to the fact that, after 10 months of investigating, the US authorities still failed to find any solid evidence of collusion with Moscow by Donald Trump or his campaign team.

The anti-Russian hysteria was stirred up in the US to draw people’s attention away from real problems, Paul said, adding that he is more concerned about a crisis in US relations with Russia as well as US actions in Syria.
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'US in Grip of Anti-Russia Hysteria, Worse Than Days of Salem Witch Trials'

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The whole "Russia thing" is due to the neocons who are looking for another Cold War because it is very profitable for them, Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, told RT.

Twitter has published a report on how the company battled against alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election and also mentioned RT.

In the report, Twitter revealed confidential information to the US Senate on RT's advertising outlay.

The company claims over a thousand tweets, "definitely - or potentially - targeted the US market."

RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, however, pointed out that all media outlets spend money on promoting themselves.

“Somehow it did not cross our mind that in a developed democracy, regular media advertising can be considered suspicious or detrimental activity,” Simonyan said.

RT:  How credible do you think these allegations are, given the US media isn't naming its sources?

Daniel McAdams: I think the whole story has already fallen apart for the most part. At first, it was the Russian government spent a $100,000 on Facebook ads to support President Trump. Well, that completely fell apart. So they started saying that this troll army somewhere in St. Petersburg spent this money. That’s never been shown to anyone, that’s never been proven, that’s speculation. We’ve never seen any of the ads. Some of them we are told are pro-Hillary, some are anti-Hillary; some are pro-Trump, some are anti-Trump.
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Hysteria in America: Congress Filled With ‘Totalitarians’ Who Oppose ‘Free Market of Ideas’

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There are members of Congress who don’t want anyone on TV saying America’s foreign policy is a disaster and it costs a fortune, Daniel McAdams, executive director, Ron Paul Institute, told RT. 

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2018, which passed the US Senate earlier this week, carries some added provisions that have little in common with the military.

Indeed, American legislators have published a bill that could potentially block Russian broadcasters from being shown in the US. It could allow US content providers to break their contracts, leaving Russian channels without any legal recourse.

The plan is buried inside a tiny amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The part about Russia is summarized in just a few lines, between details on funding of the US military.

Amendment No 1096, which aims to“prohibit multichannel video programming distributors from being required to carry certain video content that is owned or controlled by the Government of the Russian Federation”.
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US Taxpayers Will be ‘Crying in Their Beers’ When Iraqi Reconstruction Bill Arrives

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The neocons and the military-industrial complex are rubbing their hands with glee over profits to be made from Iraqi reconstruction, but that cannot be said of the US taxpayer who must foot the bill, says Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams.

After Amnesty International had published a report accusing the US coalition of partial responsibility for mass civilian casualties, Major General Rupert Jones, the deputy commander of the international anti-ISIS coalition, criticized the findings, calling the allegations disrespectful and naive.

“It strikes me as being written by people who simply have no understanding of the brutality of warfare. But we should be absolutely clear who were deliberately killing civilians,” Jones told the Telegraph.

RT: How much legitimacy is there to support the permanent basing of US troops in Iraq following the military operation in Mosul that has left much of the city in ruins?

Daniel McAdams: There is absolutely no consensus in Congress; there has been no new authorization. The ground is very shaky legally for the US to permanently base troops there.
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