Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=1 Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:13:11 GMT Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:13:11 GMT Israel's Fire Support For Its Al-Qaeda Mercenaries Started Three Years Ago Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/24/israels-fire-support-for-its-al-qaeda-mercenaries-started-three-years-ago/

Al-Qaeda attacked a Syrian Arab Army position in Madinat al-Baath (map) next to the Israel occupied Golan heights. Al-Qaeda requested Israeli fire-support by launching some mortars towards empty space in the Israel occupied area. The Israeli Defense Force accepted the request and destroyed two Syrian Arab Army tanks. Two Syrian soldiers were killed. The SAA held steady and the al-Qaeda attack on its position failed.

This was very easy to predict. Israel has supported al-Qaeda in the area since at least 2014. The al-Qaeda fire-request-by-mortar scheme has been in place for at least three years. The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which back then still covered the area, reported to the UN Security Council:
On 23 June [2014], Israel targeted nine Syrian army positions with tank fire and air strikes after mortar fire from the Syrian side the previous day killed an Israeli civilian. Israel’s assessment is that most of these incidents are due to errant fire resulting from fighting in Syria. Israel said that armed opposition groups were probably responsible but that its forces fired on Syrian military positions to stress that Syria was responsible for security on its side of the ceasefire line.
The UN observers mentioned the "black flags" the "rebels" were using. The "rebels" in that area are al-Qaeda forces. This "fire support request by mortar" scheme has been repeated again and again. The Israeli argument is an insult to logic: "The Syrian army is responsible for keeping al-Qaeda out of the area so we respond to "errant" al-Qaeda fire by destroying the Syrian army."

But "western" and Israeli media did not report or analyzed the obvious scheme. This even as this theater act was repeated over and over again. They lie and simply report the "errant fire" nonsense even when it is clear that this is coordinated military support for al-Qaeda. For years they have hidden Israeli support for al-Qaeda and its deep involvement in the Syrian war. Witness Haaretz which only today(!) headlines: Analysis - Israel’s Slow Creep Into the Syrian Civil War. That "slow creep", which Haaretz describes and analyzes as a new phenomenon, started at least three years ago and was neither slow nor a creep. It is full fledged support of terrorism and has been such since its beginning.

The Wall Street Journal, also three years late, reported last week that Israel had set up a special IDF unit to advise, train, support and control al-Qaeda in the Golan area: Israel Gives Secret Aid to Syrian Rebels

Israel even pays al-Qaeda's salaries:
The person familiar with Israel’s assistance confirmed that cash moves across the border but said it goes for humanitarian purposes. However, rebels interviewed said they use the cash to pay fighters’ salaries and to buy weapons and ammunition—something the Israeli military wouldn’t comment on.
Israel wants to steal and occupy even larger parts of Syria than the parts of the Golan heights it illegally holds. It pays al-Qaeda and supports it by fire to achieve that.

The main stream reporting on this is at least three years late. Why is it now starting to publish about this? Is there a new media advisory that Haaretz and the WSJ are now allowed (or required) to report on the issue? To what purpose?

Reprinted with permission from MoonofAlabama.org.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/24/israels-fire-support-for-its-al-qaeda-mercenaries-started-three-years-ago/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/24/israels-fire-support-for-its-al-qaeda-mercenaries-started-three-years-ago/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:13:11 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Philando Castile, Edward Snowden, CIA Thieves, Yemen Torture, Free California Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/24/five-minutes-five-issues-philando-castile-edward-snowden-cia-thieves-yemen-torture-free-california/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.


Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Smoking in your car can be a capital offense in America.

Two years ago a cop in Texas forced Sandra Bland out of her car, threw her to the ground, handcuffed her, and sent her to jail. The cop had pulled Bland’s car over for changing lanes without using a turn signal. The last thing Bland did before the cop forced her out of the car was contest the cop’s request that she extinguish her cigarette. Bland died in a jail cell after three days of confinement. Here is how I commented on her death at the time: “suicide or murder — it is all but certain that the unjust system that created so much needless anguish for Bland in her final days, and individuals who carried out tasks to advance the injustice, are culpable for Bland’s death.”

Last week, a jury acquitted a cop in a court case concerning him killing Philando Castile in Minnesota last year. Castile, like Bland, was pulled over purportedly for a minor issue — a broken taillight. Also in the car were two passengers — Castile’s girlfriend and her young daughter. Questioned the day after the killing, the cop offered his belief he smelled marijuana in the car as a reason for shooting Castile. Here is what the cop said was going through his mind:
…I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five year old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me. And, I let off the rounds…
Issue two. This week on the Ron Paul Liberty Report, Ron Paul asked Edward Snowden about the deliberation Snowden undertook in deciding to reveal National Security Agency (NSA) information. As part of his answer, Snowden explained:
The bottom line is I found evidence again and again, as I went to deeper and deeper levels of government, higher and higher levels of clearances, that these programs were never about terrorism. That’s the public justification for them. They’re about economic espionage. They’re about diplomatic manipulation. They’re about social influence. They’re about power.
Issue three.

Jason Leopold and David Mack reported Wednesday at BuzzFeed that documents recently obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that several Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractors were fired for stealing around $3,000 worth of snacks from vending machines.

Alex Emmons of The Intercept aptly responded to the revelation by commenting that he is “[p]retty sure this means more CIA staff have been held accountable for stealing from vending machines than for torture.”

Issue four.

The US government appears to be working with torturers in Yemen.

Maggie Michael reported Thursday at the Associate Press (AP) on hundreds of Yemeni individuals being detained in a network of secret prisons in southern Yemen. In the prisons, she writes, “[a]buse and torture are routine.”

Michael relates that US defense officials have confirmed “that U.S. forces have interrogated some detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses.”

Issue five.

In an April press release, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) commented about the potential secession of his home state of California. Rohrabacher had recently returned from a trip to Europe where he met with people including the president of Catalonia. Rohrabacher states that, while he thinks the outcome of a referendum on Catalonia independence from Spain should be accepted, he would not interject his opinion on how people should vote. Interestingly, Rohrabacher lists California among the places where he believes potential secession votes should be respected. Hopefully, many more people in the US government agree. The last time states seceded from the US hundreds of thousands of people died in a US war to conquer the newly-formed Confederate States of America.

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That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/24/five-minutes-five-issues-philando-castile-edward-snowden-cia-thieves-yemen-torture-free-california/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/24/five-minutes-five-issues-philando-castile-edward-snowden-cia-thieves-yemen-torture-free-california/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 15:10:50 GMT
The World Is Going Down With Trump Paul Craig Roberts http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/23/the-world-is-going-down-with-trump/

On June 21 the editorial board of the Washington Post, long a propaganda instrument believed to be in cahoots with the CIA and the deep state, called for more sanctions and more pressure on Russia.

One second’s thought is sufficient to realize how bad this advice is. The orchestrated demonization of Russia and its president began in the late summer of 2013 when the British Parliament and Russian diplomacy blocked the neoconned Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria. An example had to be made of Russia before other countries began standing up to Washington. While the Russians were focused on the Sochi Olympic Games, Washington staged a coup in Ukraine, replacing the elected democratic government with a gang of Banderite neo-nazi thugs whose forebears fought for Hitler in World War II. Washington claimed it had brought democracy to Ukraine by putting neo-nazi thugs in control of the government.

Washington’s thugs immediately began violent attacks on the Russian population in Ukraine. Soviet war memorials were destroyed. The Russian language was declared banned from official use. Instantly, separatist movements began in the Russian parts of Ukraine that had been administratively attached to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted overwhelmingly to seperate from Ukraine and requested to be reunited with Russia. The same occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

These independent actions were misrepresented by Washington and the presstitutes who whore for Washington as a “Russian invasion.” Despite all facts to the contrary, this misrepresentation continues today. In US foreign policy, facts are not part of the analysis.

The most important fact that is overlooked by the Washington Post and the Russophobic members of the US government is that it is an act of insanity to call for more punishment and more pressure on a country with a powerful military and strategic nuclear capability whose military high command and government have already concluded that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack.

Are the Washington Post editors trying to bring on nuclear armageddon? If there was any intelligence present in the Washington Post, the newspaper would be urging that President Trump immediately call President Putin with reassurances and arrange the necessary meetings to defuse the situation. Instead the utterly stupid editors urge actions that can only raise the level of tension. It should be obvious even to the Washington Post morons that Russia is not going to sit there, shaking in its boots, and wait for Washington’s attack. Putin has issued many warnings about the West’s rising threat to Russian security. He has said that Russia “will never again fight a war on its own territory.” He has said that the lesson he has learned is that “if a fight is unavoidable, strike first.” He has also said that the fact that no one hears his warnings makes the situation even more dangerous.

What explains the deafness of the West? The answer is arrogance and hubris.

As the presstitute media is incapable of reason, I will do their job for them. I call for an immediate face-to-face meeting between Trump and Putin at Reykjavik. Cold War II, begun by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, must be ended now.

So, where is President Trump? Why is the President of the United States unable to rise to the challenge? Why isn’t he the man Ronald Reagan was? Is it, as David Stockman says, that Trump is incapable of anything except tweeting? 

Why hasn’t President Trump long ago ordered all intercepts of Russian chatter gathered, declassified, and made public? Why hasn’t Trump launched a criminal prosecution against John Brennan, Susan Rice, Comey, and the rest of the hit squad that is trying to destroy him?

Why has Trump disarmed himself with an administration chosen by Russiaphobes and Israel?

As David Stockman writes, Trump “is up against a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/mainstream media prosecution” and “has no chance of survival short of an aggressive offensive” against those working to destroy him. But there is no Trump offensive, “because the man is clueless about what he is doing in the White House and is being advised by a cacophonous coterie of amateurs and nincompoops. So he has no action plan except to impulsively reach for his Twitter account.”

Our president twitters while he and Earth itself are pushed toward destruction.

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/23/the-world-is-going-down-with-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/23/the-world-is-going-down-with-trump/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:00:10 GMT
Ron Paul Interviews Snowden On 'The Rise Of The Deep State' Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/21/ron-paul-interviews-snowden-on-the-rise-of-the-deep-state/ “Liberty Report," Ron Paul and the former NSA contractor trace the genesis of the so-called Deep State, and discuss how the US intelligence community uses covert programs like those exposed by Snowden in 2013 to trample individual freedoms.

The most sinister quality of the Deep State, Snowden says, is its ability to mask its very existence from the public, allowing it to undermine President Donald Trump while remaining largely hidden from scrutiny. 
Generally, when we’re talking about the Deep State, what we’re talking about is a mass of government that survives beyond administrations, but that is not responding to the politics of the people. This belongs not to a particular political party, but it serves across parties. Across administrations.
The Deep State’s culture of secrecy convinces employees that they won’t ever be held accountable for their actions, Snowden said, since even routine communications between employees at the CIA and NSA are classified.
Everything we do at the NSA and CIA is typically classified by default, unless you actually work to make it not classified.

When I sent an email about lunch plans to one of my office buddies, that was going to be classified. Even the most banal email that you’re sending...is classified.
Though he says he favors small government and opposes widespread surveillance, Snowden balked at being branded a libertarian by Paul, arguing that labels like “libertarian” or “liberal” are often reductive and don’t allow for enough nuance to accurately represent his views.
We’re more than tribes or labels. It is true that I think we have challenges that are derived from governments reaching a new scale that they haven’t previously occupied historically, allowing for the rise of these sort of ‘Super States.’

Small government tends to be more respecting of individuals’ rights than large governments. And the question we need to ask, is why?
With the passage of time, the scrutiny on Snowden and the programs that he leaked has subsided, allowing him to focus on other tasks like advocacy.
Things were really crazy that close to the event in 2013. You never knew what was happening and what they were saying from the government side.

There was this cycle of deception that was occurring where the journalists would publish some report and say this is what’s happening and this is how they’re violating your rights... Then the government would immediately come out and say ‘oh no we don’t do that that’s a misunderstanding it’s not quite right’ and they’d issue various denials to these reports.

Then immediately the journalists would have to find some particular point that disproved [the government’s counter-report] then the government would sort of walk back their denial, and this went on and on and on.

This was really consuming my life, [the journalists] lives, and the lives of everybody involved for the longest time. But as we’ve gotten farther and farther from the event, I’ve gotten free to pursue my own interest once again.
Rejecting the idea that he’s a leader in the fight against deep-state overreach, Snowden assured his viewers that he’s “not a politician” and that he isn’t comfortable in the role of spokesman. Rather, he prefers to focus on engineering methods of protecting individuals’ privacy.
[Some people] want me to sort of be a frontman for these issues like civil liberty and peoples’ rights but I’m not a politician, I’m an engineer. Last year I gave a presentation…at MIT on how we can make phones safer by understanding what’s happening inside of them.

When we start looking at all of the problems we’re facing today, there’s sort of two tracks. There’s the political track where the government is passing laws that don’t protect citizens’ rights…the other problem is how is it that so many governments are spying on so many people?
Because of its global nature, the expansion of government surveillance has become an intractable problem, Snowden explained.
Even if we passed the best legal reforms in the world in the US, that doesn’t do anything against China or Russia or Germany or Brazil or any other country in the world. If we want to solve these problems, we need to find new means and mechanisms for enforcing those rights and I think that’s going to primarily be through science and technology.
At one point in the discussion, Paul asserted that the Deep State has usurped some of the powers of the legislative and executive branches of government.
It’s becoming more commonplace now for people to realize that the average congressman doesn’t call the shots, but there’s a force out there called the deep state and they’re the ones calling the shots.
The discussion then turned to the balance between security and freedom, which Snowden claimed is a false dichotomy. In reality, it’s a question of liberty vs. surveillance.
The idea here is apologists for the national security state like to trot out the old argument where they go ‘look we need to find a balance between your liberty and security.’ And it sounds persuasive, it sounds fair, until you actually start to analyze it….and you go ‘well, this isn’t really about liberty vs. security at all, it’s about liberty vs. surveillance. Because surveillance exists in a vacuum of security. Surveillance is enabled by a lack of security, it’s where you’re exposed, it’s where you’re available to be observed and can be tracked.

Life becomes more private, life becomes more free when you’re not observed, when you’re not watched…
Another problem that the public struggles with is that Americans don’t have a clear definition for what liberty is, which makes it more difficult to understand when their freedoms are being trampled.
People have said recently that privacy is what we used to call liberty, and then in the same breath they say that privacy is dead. What liberty is…is the right to self-determination. It’s the ability to have something that’s yours, rather than society’s.

This is codefied into our language, when we talk about private property, we’re talking about your right, your ability to have something that belongs to you. You decide how it’s going to be handled, you decide what color you want to paint your house, you decide what color shirt you’re going to wear - you don’t have to ask anyone.

Liberty is freedom from permission. It is the fountainhead from which all other rights spring.

Saying that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is the same as saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.
Interest in the Snowden leaks was revived earlier this year following Wikileaks’ “Vault 7” disclosures, which exposed the extent to which the CIA uses backdoors to hack smartphones, computer operating systems, messenger applications and internet-connected televisions. They also suggested that there is another leaker in the intelligence community.

An intelligence source cited by the Wall Street Journal said the “Vault 7” leaks are far more significant than the Snowden leaks. Even Snowden himself praised the Wikileaks disclosures, saying that "what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal", while making the following observations: "If you're writing about the CIA/@Wikileaks story, here's the big deal: first public evidence USG secretly paying to keep US software unsafe.”

Among the most high-profile programs exposed by Snowden were his revelations that the NSA could use secret court orders to force US telecoms companies like Verizon to hand over citizens’ phone records. Snowden also revealed the existence of “PRISM” – a program allowing the government to access servers of major tech companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple upon request. The Snowden revelations stretched beyond activities of the US government when he disclosed how the British intelligence service GCHQ had the capability to tap into fiber-optic cables to eavesdrop on foreign leaders.

Fundamentally, the growing power of the deep state cuts against the US democratic system.
It raises the question: Who really has the most power in our society? Is it the voter, or at least in theory the politicians who are supposed to be carrying out their will, or is it this larger group, this constellation of influential actors who are able to subvert and shape the decisions of these Congressmen or even Presidents.


Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/21/ron-paul-interviews-snowden-on-the-rise-of-the-deep-state/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/21/ron-paul-interviews-snowden-on-the-rise-of-the-deep-state/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:18:16 GMT
The CDC’s Vaping Spin Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/20/the-cdc-s-vaping-spin/

Jacob Sullum wrote Monday at Reason regarding the United States government’s spin on survey results regarding smoking and vaping by teenagers. Sullum relates that, while the results of the US government’s yearly National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) indicate that from 2011 to 2016 teenagers significantly substituted less-dangerous-to-health vaping for traditional cigarette smoking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests in the June 16 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that the substitution is of no health benefit.

This spin on the data is in line with the CDC’s promoting of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, including of e–cigarettes, in the final paragraph of the CDC report. These regulations, Sullum writes, “threaten to cripple an industry that could help millions of smokers prolong their lives by switching to a far less hazardous source of nicotine.”

The CDC, looking at a rather steady rate of use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes combined, glosses over the fact that the numbers are putting together apples and oranges. The CDC thus can conclude rather deceptively that “[c]urrent use of any tobacco product did not change significantly during 2011–2016 among high or middle school students,”

Instead of addressing differences in safety of different activities, the CDC’s report in the first paragraph makes the general assessment that “[a]mong youths, use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe.” Even if this assessment is supportable, it should not be the ending point of consideration if one is seeking to understand health consequences. It is important to consider, beyond whether activities fall into the “safe” category or the “unsafe” category, the comparative degrees of safety of alternative activities, such as vaping and smoking.

The CDC report is another example of why it is important to be skeptical when government agencies proclaim they are seeking to make people healthier, whether by restricting individuals’ activities or by providing health-related information.

Read Sullum’s article here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/20/the-cdc-s-vaping-spin/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/20/the-cdc-s-vaping-spin/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:48:28 GMT
America’s Real Loss of Prestige and Leadership Abroad Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/19/america-s-real-loss-of-prestige-and-leadership-abroad/

Because we traded the smooth talking guy for the clumsy boob with no manners, it is popular to bleat that America has given up its role as leader of the free world, to say other nations don’t respect us anymore, or look to us for moral guidance — in the extreme, that we are no longer that shining city on the hill we see ourselves as.

What such cliches overlook is that not everyone in the free world is as blind as a typical American op-ed writer. Some in fact see past who the current Spokesmodel of Democracy in the White House is, and look to what America actually does. And what it does is often not pretty, and when revealed suggests our nation is and has been morally bankrupt a lot longer than the Trump administration has been in charge.

One of the more recent revelations of what much of the world already knew comes, again, via Wikileaks, America’s conscience.

Leaked documents show home internet routers, that blinking thing in the corner of the room where you’re reading this, from ten American manufacturers, including Linksys, DLink, and Belkin, can be turned into covert listening posts that allow the Central Intelligence Agency to monitor and manipulate incoming and outgoing traffic and infect connected devices.

Short: American-made devices sold globally to allow the free world to use the Internet have been repurposed by the CIA as spy tools.

The CIA’s technique requires new firmware to be added to the router. This can be done remotely, over WiFi, at the factory, or at any point along the supply chain. It is unknown if America’s leading electronics manufacturers actively helped the CIA do this, passively allowed the CIA to do this after sharing technical data, or simply looked the other way.

The results of this CIA hack are spectacular.

The firmware allows the CIA full access to the router, and all connected devices and networks. The spooks can insert malware, copy passwords, see what is being sent and received, redirect browsers to fake websites, why there is little-to-no limit. Apparently the user interface the CIA created for itself is quite friendly. There’s even aQuick Start Guide.

And you know what?

The CIA has been doing all this since at least 2007. That means it started under the George W. Bush administration, ran during both Obama terms, and continues without a break right into the Trump years. Three very different presidents, three very different self-images for America, yet underlying all was the same CIA, turning American products to their own needs and spying on well, everyone. Anyone. Free world or not.

From a global perspective, it doesn’t really matter whether the person in the White House is a Nobel Peace Prize winner or a bumbling oaf. Because the real America, the one that spies on a global scale for its own ends, never changes. That guy on TV you hate? He’s just a placeholder, maybe a distraction, about as consequential to the real role of the United States as a professional wrestler.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/19/america-s-real-loss-of-prestige-and-leadership-abroad/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/19/america-s-real-loss-of-prestige-and-leadership-abroad/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:02:37 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump’s Non-Obstruction, Cuba, Yemen Cholera, Veterans’ Holiday, Afghanistan Surge Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/18/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-s-non-obstruction-cuba-yemen-cholera-veterans-holiday-afghanistan-surge/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.


Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

It seems silly that President Donald Trump could be guilty of the crime of obstruction of justice because he talked with James Comey.

If I talk with the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I have the right to tell him that the FBI should not investigate or prosecute Michael Flynn, Donald Trump, me, somebody I saw mentioned in the news, or a whole class of people such as individuals alleged to have violated drug laws. You have the right to do the same thing.

When you communicate these opinions you are exercising your rights, including rights to speak freely or to seek a redress of grievances that are recognized in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. You are not obstructing justice.

Trump can exercise these rights too. On top of that, Trump, as the president, is responsible for overseeing the executive branch, including the FBI. Telling the FBI director what he thinks of FBI investigations is within the scope of the president’s job.

Issue two.

President Trump said while he was campaigning for the presidency that he would roll back actions President Barack Obama took to improve relations with Cuba. On Friday, Trump followed through on that promise, announcing in a Florida speech that he is reversing some Obama administration efforts, including through opening up business dealings and travel, to improve relations with Cuba.

In a May of 2016 Fox Business interview Ron Paul had called these actions of Obama in regard to Cuba, along with Obama’s actions to improve relations with Iran (something else Trump has targeted for a roll back), the two “best things Obama ever did.”

Issue three.

Diseases can be as destructive as bullets and bombs in war.

The ongoing war on Yemen by Saudi Arabia and allies, with the assistance of the US government, including via the providing of weapons and aerial refueling, is killing many people through direct attacks. Many are also being killed by the blockading of imports, including food and medicine, and the destruction of infrastructure and facilities, including hospitals, that help people be healthy.

Bethan McKernan reported at the Independent last week on a cholera epidemic in Yemen that Oxfam indicates has killed nearly 800 people in a little over a month and that the World Health Organization says has 100,000 suspected cases identified.

McKernan relates that, while cholera is “easily treatable and preventable with proper sanitation procedures, the country’s health, water and sanitation systems are on the verge of collapse.”

Issue four.

Some businesses offer perks or discounts to customers who are veterans. Some businesses make special efforts to recruit veterans to be employees. Agree or not with such choices, they are these businesses’ prerogative.

In contrast, the government mandating that businesses provide special treatment to veterans violates those businesses’ freedom to operate as they choose. Nevertheless, some legislators in Wisconsin want to force employers in the state to give veterans an extra day off work with pay. Wisconsin State Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling issued a press release this week in which she criticized the state senate’s rejection of consideration on Wednesday of an amendment she and several other senators offered that would require businesses in the state to give veteran employees Veterans Day off as a paid holiday.

Issue five.

Interviewed Thursday on RT, Ron Paul made an interesting point regarding talk of a surge of US troops in Afghanistan. Looking at the Trump administration potentially adding about 8,000 US troops to the around 9,000 now in Afghanistan, Paul concludes, “that’s not going to work.” Back in 2009, Paul reminds us, President Obama increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 100,000, and even that comparatively huge troops presence did not work.

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That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/18/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-s-non-obstruction-cuba-yemen-cholera-veterans-holiday-afghanistan-surge/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/18/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-s-non-obstruction-cuba-yemen-cholera-veterans-holiday-afghanistan-surge/ Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:24:03 GMT
There Will be Blood: The Alexandria Shooting and Civil War in America Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/15/there-will-be-blood-the-alexandria-shooting-and-civil-war-in-america/

The shooting at a Republican baseball practice in Virginia shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s the result of months of establishment agitprop. From Kathy Griffin posing with Trump’s severed head to a Trump-like Julius Caesar killed in Central Park play, the media has fixated on strife between the two establishment parties.

This isn’t an accident. It’s designed to keep Americans distracted and at each other’s throats as the economy slowly implodes and the wars expand with horrific toll.

The election of Trump provides a unique opportunity to create partisan battle lines. Social media is rife with venom and hatred as the alt-left faces off against the alt-right. Factions are established and receive support behind the scenes from George Soros, the Koch Brothers, and the Democrat “resistance,” a ludicrous moniker cooked up by the Democratic National Committee under its new chairman Tom Perez. The DNC announced it will throw a million dollars at its Summer of Resistance. This will further widen the political divide. Polarization is increasingly intense and the establishment propaganda media is fanning the flames. Violence is escalating. Antifa leftists attack Trump supporters and they respond in kind. Activists are now openly carrying weapons.

We’re in the early stages of an engineered civil war. Who benefits from this? The state. It’s a classic example of problem, reaction, solution. Create political violence, or exploit that which is already festering, and then unleash an authoritarian and militarized response.

Last year, a report by a government watchdog group tracked the weapon expenditures of the federal government and found nearly a billion and a half dollars in “military-style equipment” purchases for 67 of its non-military agencies, including the IRS and the EPA.

The federal government is preparing for civil unrest. The Pentagon is strategizing a response to large-scale civil unrest, not only in America but around the world. It began looking into this in 2008 after the engineered financial crisis. In 2013, it was reported the Department of Homeland Security engaged in a massive, covert military buildup. The DHS has purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, enough to sustain an Iraq-sized war for over twenty years. DHS has also acquired heavily armored tanks, which have been seen roaming the streets.

The state will exercise it monopoly of violence and terror. It’s the defining characteristic of the modern state. The endgame is an authoritarian police and surveillance state.

As the Nazi Hermann Goering knew, the people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders as they respond to political violence. He said it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

As an operative for Operation Gladio pointed out, in order to establish a police state innocent civilians must be attacked and killed to force the public to turn to the state and demand greater security.

Now that a so-called progressive, a Bernie Sanders volunteer, has shot up Republicans playing baseball, how long before Congress introduces yet another draconian law in response? Now that the political class has been targeted, it probably won’t take long.

Reprinted with permission from A Day in the Empire blog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/15/there-will-be-blood-the-alexandria-shooting-and-civil-war-in-america/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/15/there-will-be-blood-the-alexandria-shooting-and-civil-war-in-america/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 17:29:27 GMT
RPI's McAdams: Senate's Russia Sanctions a ‘Pre-Emptive Strike Against Trump’ RT http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/14/rpis-mcadams-senates-russia-sanctions-a-pre-emptive-strike-against-trump/
“[Members of] Congress try to tie the president’s hands, trying to remove his ability to make foreign policy, and they are doing it for a simple reason – they do not want the relations with Russia to improve,” McAdams told RT. He added that by striking an agreement with the Democrats on the issue “Republicans are launching a pre-emptive strike against their own president.”

As far as the formal justification of yet another anti-Russian move is concerned, McAdams believes that “the whole pretext of the sanctions is absurd,” in particular, the refrain of Russia’s alleged meddling in the US elections.

“Nobody would go down to the Senate of the House floor and say what exactly did they do, how did they meddle in our relations, because nobody knows,” McAdams said.

A US intelligence report, from which stem the bulk of allegations implicating Russia could not be regarded as “an entire inter-agency intelligence community review” as claimed, he noted, because it was compiled by a “few hand-picked analysts who had come to this conclusion.”

Citing Russia’s alleged “aggression” in Syria as one of the reasons to roll over a new round of sanctions is another example of the inadequacy of the measure, McAdams argued.

“Who is in Syria illegally occupying territory, who is violating Syrian sovereignty?… The US military,” he said, dubbing the sanctions “a reflection of lack of any creativity” in the Senate.



Reprinted with permission from RT.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/14/rpis-mcadams-senates-russia-sanctions-a-pre-emptive-strike-against-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/14/rpis-mcadams-senates-russia-sanctions-a-pre-emptive-strike-against-trump/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:09:46 GMT
Rep. Walter Jones: Debate and End the Afghanistan War Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/14/rep-walter-jones-debate-and-end-the-afghanistan-war/
Watch the report here:



Jones and HR 1666 cosponsor Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) spoke in more depth about their legislation and the Afghanistan War in a joint interview on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal in March.

Jones is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/14/rep-walter-jones-debate-and-end-the-afghanistan-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/14/rep-walter-jones-debate-and-end-the-afghanistan-war/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:09:00 GMT
Five Democrat Votes Allow Trump's Saudi Weapons Deal To Clear Senate Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/13/five-democrat-votes-allow-trumps-saudi-weapons-deal-to-clear-senate/

A bipartisan bid to block President Trump's recently negotiated $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia failed in the Senate. The effort to stop the weapons sales, authored by Senators Rand Paul and Chris Murphy, fell short on a 47-53 vote, with four Republicans joining most Democrats in voting against it and five Democrats voting to preserve deals that will arm the Saudi Kingdom with some of the most sophisticated equipment available.

The five democrats who made the passage of the weapons deal possible were Sens. Bill Nelson, Claire McCaskill, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Mark Warner.

Despite the failure, Politico notes that Paul and Murphy fared better on Tuesday than they did last year in a similar effort to block a Saudi arms sale under former President Barack Obama, thanks entirely to new Democratic supporters: it's curious how ideology changes one's outlook on lethal weaponry.

"Regardless of whether the number is 48 or 51 or 45" in favor of blocking the deals, Murphy told reporters before the vote, "this is an important message to the Saudis that we are all watching. And if they continue to target civilians and they continue to stop humanitarian aid from getting into Yemen, this vote will continue to go in the wrong direction for them."

Paul said after the vote that he and Murphy would discuss possible future attempts to block Trump's arms deals to Riyadh, warning that senators are growing more concerned about the civilian toll in a Yemen conflict that is pitting Saudi-backed government forces against rebel factions reportedly supported by Iran.

Before that happens, Paul told reporters, "there needs to be a period of time to see if there's a change in Saudi warfare tactics."

Like, for example, if Saudi Arabia plans on launching an assault on Qatar any time soon perhaps.

While Paul and Muprhy lost, the winners were the Trump administration, Saudi Arabia, and some Republicans such as Mitch McConnell, who claims this deal "will help Saudi Arabia fight ISIS and serve as a check on Iran." Bob Corker was also a big supporter of the deal: "There is no classified intelligence that shows they have never intentionally bombed civilians — as a matter of fact, intelligence down there shows that they didn't," Bob Corker told reporters before the vote, describing the attempted blockade of the sales as "cutting your nose off to spite your face."

While previously there was little information on the specifics of the multi-billion dollar deal, over the weekend Defense News reported that it "includes seven THAAD missile defense batteries, over 100,000 air-to-ground munitions and billions of dollars' worth of new aircraft."

Reprinted with permission form ZeroHedge.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/13/five-democrat-votes-allow-trumps-saudi-weapons-deal-to-clear-senate/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/13/five-democrat-votes-allow-trumps-saudi-weapons-deal-to-clear-senate/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:46:54 GMT
US Troops Kill Three Civilians After Afghan Roadside Bombing Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/12/us-troops-kill-three-civilians-after-afghan-roadside-bombing/

A US military convoy in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province was hit by a roadside bomb earlier today, with Pentagon officials quick to insist that no one was wounded in the incident. Three civilians, however, two of them children, were killed in the immediate aftermath.

The US troops responded to the bomb hitting their vehicle by getting out and firing indiscriminately, according to Afghan police, who say that the US gunfire killed a brickworker named Ziyar Gul, and two of his children, both 10-year-old boys. A third son who was present at the scene survived, running to get help, though by the time he returned everyone else was dead.

Relatives say this is the second time US troops have killed members of this family in the past 12 months, as during an incident last year US troops killed another four members of the family, including Ziyar’s 6-year-old son.

Though Afghan officials publicly confirmed the incident, the Pentagon insisted they had heard no official word that any civilians might’ve been killed in the incident, and that they believe the troops firing wildly after a roadside bombing amounted to “self-defense” at any rate.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/12/us-troops-kill-three-civilians-after-afghan-roadside-bombing/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/12/us-troops-kill-three-civilians-after-afghan-roadside-bombing/ Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:43:34 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Comey’s Memos, Back Channel, Arizona Gold, Frisking Students, Total Information Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/11/five-minutes-five-issues-comey-s-memos-back-channel-arizona-gold-frisking-students-total-information/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:


The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.


Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Might former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey, with his memos on conversations he had with President Donald Trump, be using a shady practice similar to one FBI agents employ regularly?

Lawyer and author Harvey Silverglate advised in a May of 2013 Boston Globe editorial that “the public should look skeptically at the accuracy of any FBI claim regarding what transpires in the bureau’s infamous witness interviews.” Silverglate explains that the FBI has a practice of not audio or video recording these interviews and instead having an agent write a report that becomes “the official record of the exchange.” An interviewee who challenges the report’s accuracy “risks prosecution for lying to a federal official, a felony.” “[S]uch interview tactics,” Silverglate writes, “seem virtually geared toward establishing as fact what the FBI wanted to hear from the witness.”

Issue two.

Allegations have been made that President Trump’s aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner looked into setting up back-channel communication with people in the Russian government in December — after Trump had won the presidential election but before Trump became president.

Gareth Porter, in a Monday article at antiwar.com, wrote about a similar occurrence decades before. Porter writes that in December of 1968, between Richard Nixon winning the presidential election and his taking office, Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s choice for national security advisor, began setting up back-channel communication with Soviet Union leaders. The system ultimately included a secure phone line in the White House that Nixon used.

Porter recounts that “US intelligence agencies, the National Security Council staff and the Pentagon were kept in the dark” about the back-channel conversations. A reason the back channel was appealing to Nixon was that it avoided leaks from inside the United States government. Trump should have the same concern.

Issue three.

In the March 10 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Ron Paul’s testimony before an Arizona State Senate committee. Paul spoke in favor of legislation (HB 2014) that defines certain coins containing precious metal as legal tender and eliminates the state’s taxation of capital gains from the exchange of such coins for US dollars. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on May 22.

Issue four.

In the April 28 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I talked about the sheriff’s department of Worth County, Georgia frisking 900-plus students at a high school, purportedly in an attempt to find illegal drugs.

Sometimes we hear words like “frisk” or “pat-down” and it does not register what is being discussed. Megan Cerullo reported Wednesday at the New York Daily News regarding a lawsuit filed by nine of the students. In the article, Cerullo recounts allegations related to one of the students as follows:
A 16-year-old plaintiff identified only by her initials, K.A., described being searched. She said a deputy “kicked her legs to open them wider” and “pulled the front of K.A.’s bra away from her body by the underwire and flipped it up.”

The deputy’s hands “went underneath K.A.’s dress” as he felt up her leg. He also allegedly cupped her vaginal area and buttocks.
Issue five.

Back in 2003 Congress terminated the Total Information Awareness program. But, that was not the end of the story. James Bamford, in an article released last week at the Foreign Policy website, reports that a similar program continues, overseen by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which Bamford calls “the spy world’s premier research center.”

Bamford notes that a goal of this program called Open Source Indicators (OSI) is “cataloging the lives of everyone everywhere, 24/7,” including “[t]apping real-time into tens of thousands of different data streams — every Facebook post, tweet, and YouTube video; every tollbooth tag number; every GPS download, web search, and news feed; every street camera video; every restaurant reservation on Open Table.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/11/five-minutes-five-issues-comey-s-memos-back-channel-arizona-gold-frisking-students-total-information/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/11/five-minutes-five-issues-comey-s-memos-back-channel-arizona-gold-frisking-students-total-information/ Sun, 11 Jun 2017 21:24:14 GMT
Qatar Will Pay John Ashcroft $2.5 Million To Defend Against Terrorism Accusations Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/10/qatar-will-pay-john-ashcroft-25-million-to-defend-against-terrorism-accusations/ undefined

Who better to defend Qatar from accusations it is a hotbed of terrorism-funding (as per a recent list released by Saudi Arabia et al according to which 59 individuals and 12 entities in Qatar are terrorist) than the US Attorney General who served during the September 11 attacks, John Ashcroft. At least that's what the government of Qatar is thinking, which hired the former US AG to defend the world's wealthiest (on a GDP/capita basis) nation from accusations by Donald Trump and Arab neighbors that it supports terrorism.

As a reminder, Ashcroft was U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush from February 2001 to February 2005, years in which US policies and laws were reshaped by the so-called war on terrorism that followed the 2001 al Qaeda attacks. Under Ashcroft the US spawned the "Patriot Act", trampling over civil rights everywhere, and made pervasive spying on virtually everyone the norm, courtesy of the NSA.

Perhaps relying on the assumption that Qatar can simply bribe its way again into America's good graces -- recall Qatar give Bill Clinton a $1 million "present" for his Birthday, and was one of the biggest foreign "donors" of the Clinton Foundation even when Hillary was still at the State Department... and was never once accused of sponsoring terrorism -- on Friday a Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, with the Justice Department revealed that Qatar will pay the Ashcroft Law Firm $2.5 million for a 90-day period as the country seeks to confirm its efforts to fight global terrorism and comply with financial regulations including U.S. Treasury rules.

In a letter by Ashcroft partner Michael Sullivan, included in the filing, the law firm said that "the firm's work will include crisis response and management, program and system analysis, media outreach, education and advocacy regarding the client's historical, current and future efforts to combat global terror and its compliance goals and accomplishments."

In other words, propaganda aka "fake news."

The filing came just hours after Trump accused Qatar of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism in public remarks made shortly after his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, pushed Qatar's Arab neighbors to "immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation."

The Ashcroft firm was also hired to do a compliance and regulatory view of Qatar's anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing framework, Sullivan told Reuters in an email. Considering it is being paid nearly $30,000/day by the gas rich country, we are confident Ashcroft will find "nothing there."

"Qatar is confident that the review and analysis will confirm that Qatar has significant measures in place to prevent and detect efforts to launder funds and/or to use its financial systems to finance terrorist organizations," Sullivan said.

A veritable tribute to neo-conservatism, Ashcroft's firm includes an array of former senior government officials including Michael Sullivan, a former U.S. attorney in Massachusetts appointed by Bush to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Johnny Sutton, who led the Bush-Cheney transition team, and Luis Reyes, another ex-Bush appointee, who served as General Counsel for the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

Read the full filing and retention letter here.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/10/qatar-will-pay-john-ashcroft-25-million-to-defend-against-terrorism-accusations/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/10/qatar-will-pay-john-ashcroft-25-million-to-defend-against-terrorism-accusations/ Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:48:15 GMT
Ron Paul: US Intervention in Syria Undermining Syria War Deescalation Effort and US National Security Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/09/ron-paul-us-intervention-in-syria-undermining-syria-war-deescalation-effort-and-us-national-security/
Watch here Paul’s complete interview, in which Paul also discusses former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey’s Thursday testimony at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing:




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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/09/ron-paul-us-intervention-in-syria-undermining-syria-war-deescalation-effort-and-us-national-security/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/09/ron-paul-us-intervention-in-syria-undermining-syria-war-deescalation-effort-and-us-national-security/ Fri, 09 Jun 2017 14:42:13 GMT
Did Comey Violate Laws In Leaking The Trump Memo? http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/08/did-comey-violate-laws-in-leaking-the-trump-memo/

One of the most interesting new disclosures today in the Comey hearing was the admission by former FBI Director James Comey that he intentionally used a “friend” on the Columbia law faculty to leak his memos to the media. Comey says that he did so to force the appointment of a Special Counsel. However, those memos could be viewed as a government record and potential evidence in a criminal investigation.

Notably, Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman on a faculty webpage reads that he is “currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.” Richman specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure.

The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memoranda to file suggests that these are arguably government documents.  Comey admitted that he thought he raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress.  They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.

The admission of leaking the memos is problematic given the overall controversy involving leakers undermining the Administration. Indeed, it creates a curious scene of a former director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.

Besides being subject to Nondisclosure Agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and nonclassified information. Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641 which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.”

There are also ethical and departmental rules against the use of material to damage a former represented person or individual or firm related to prior representation. Lawyers generally ask for clients or employers to release information, particularly when it may be detrimental to the firm or the client or someone associated with your prior representation.

By the way, waking up in the middle of the night (as described by Comey) is not generally the best time to decide to leak damaging memos against a sitting president. There are times when coffee and a full night’s sleep (and even conferral with counsel) is recommended. Leaking damaging memos is one of those times.  Moreover, if Comey was sure of his right to release the memo, why use a law professor to avoid fingerprints?

I find Comey’s admission to be deeply troubling from a professional and ethical standpoint.  Would Director Comey have approved such a rule for FBI agents?  Thus, an agent can prepare a memo during office hours on an FBI computer about a meeting related to his service . . . but leak that memo to the media. The Justice Department has long defined what constitutes government documents broadly.  It is not clear if Comey had the documents reviewed for classification at the confidential level or confirmed that they would be treated as entirely private property.  What is clear is that he did not clear the release of the memos with anyone in the government.

Comey’s statement of a good motivation does not negate the concerns over his chosen means of a leak. Moreover, the timing of the leak most clearly benefited Comey not the cause of a Special Counsel. It was clear at that time that a Special Counsel was likely. More importantly, Comey clearly understood that these memos would be sought. That leads inevitably to the question of both motivation as well as means.

Reprinted with permission from JonathanTurley.org.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/08/did-comey-violate-laws-in-leaking-the-trump-memo/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/08/did-comey-violate-laws-in-leaking-the-trump-memo/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 20:08:54 GMT
White House Blames Iranian Victims for ISIS Attack Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/07/white-house-blames-iranian-victims-for-isis-attack/

It is particularly bloody to use an official statement of sympathy over a terrorist attack as a vehicle to promote war against the victim country, but that is exactly what the Trump White House did today after dual attacks in Iran left at least a dozen civilians dead.

In a breathtaking display of cruel indecency, Trump's team used the attack as an occasion to stick the boot in and blame the victims.

Wrote the White House:
We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times. We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.
In other words, too bad you got killed but because we determine your government to be "state sponsors of terrorism" you got what you deserved.

When was the last time Iran or Iranian allies attacked the US or US interests? If we count Beirut, it's been over three decades. Why exactly is Iran a "state sponsor of terrorism"? Because they haven't buckled under aggression from Saudi Arabia and threats from Israel?

Blaming the victims in Tehran for an attack undertaken by ISIS -- which ironically has ties to the biggest state sponsor of terrorism, US ally Saudi Arabia -- shows the rest of the world just what kind of monsters control our foreign policy in Washington. The rest of America should be ashamed and disgusted by those who claim to rule over us, "promoting freedom" in our name.

(H/T Dan Larison)]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/07/white-house-blames-iranian-victims-for-isis-attack/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/07/white-house-blames-iranian-victims-for-isis-attack/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 21:52:25 GMT
Jeremy Corbyn Talks of War and Blowback on the Campaign Trail Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/07/jeremy-corbyn-talks-of-war-and-blowback-on-the-campaign-trail/
Who said this? You might guess Ron Paul. It does sound very much like the sort of explanation of blowback that Paul frequently offers in relation to United States foreign interventions. But, the quote is not from Paul. The quote is from a speech by Jeremy Corbyn four days after the killing of over 20 people at a concert in Manchester, England attended largely by teenage and younger individuals.

Corbyn is the leader of the British Labour Party. Over the past few weeks, his party has continued to reduce the lead of the ruling Conservative Party in polling for Britain’s June 8 general election. Whether or not Corbyn’s party wins the most seats in the House of Commons, Corbyn is showing, as Paul has in America, that, contrary to the fretting of many pundits, being upfront about blowback and opposing wars is not a political liability.

Corbyn, in his speech, did more than just acknowledge the reality of blowback. Like Paul, Corbyn argued that blowback is a reason for changing foreign policy. We can see this when we look at Corbyn’s blowback comment in context. Corbyn stated:
There is no question about the seriousness of what we face. Over recent years, the threat of terrorism has continued to grow. You deserve to know what a Labour government will do to keep you and your family safe. Our approach will involve change at home and change abroad.

We will also change what we do abroad. Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed out the connections between wars that we have been involved in or supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.

That assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably held to account for their actions.

An informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people, that fights rather than fuels terrorism.

Protecting this country requires us to be both strong against terrorism and strong against the causes of terrorism. The blame is with the terrorists. But, if we are to protect our people, we must be honest about what threatens our security.

We must be brave enough to admit that the War on Terror is not working. We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.

Seeing the army on our own streets today is a stark reminder that the current approach isn’t really working so well. So, I would like to take a moment to speak to our soldiers on the streets of Britain. You are doing your duty as you have done so many times before. I want to assure you that, under my leadership, you will only be deployed abroad when there is a clear need and only when there is a plan that you have the resources to do your job and secure an outcome that delivers lasting peace.
Watch Corbyn’s speech here:



As when Paul talked about blowback in his 2008 and 2012 US presidential campaigns, Corbyn’s comments have been met with derision from politicians representing the foreign intervention establishment. For example, Lizzie Dearden reported in The Independent that Britain Security Minister Ben Wallace “attacked Jeremy Corbyn for helping ‘justify’ terrorism” in the speech and that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson “called the speech ‘absolutely monstrous’, adding that he found it ‘absolutely extraordinary and inexplicable in this week of all weeks that there should be any attempt to justify or to legitimate the actions of terrorists in this way’.”

These attacks on Corbyn by British Conservative politicians are reminiscent of the debate within the debate between US presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Paul in which Giuliani challenged Paul’s discussion of blowback in a 2007 Republican presidential primary debate.

Corbyn, in his May 26 speech, did not clearly express Paul’s comprehensive noninterventionist sentiment. That, though, is a high standard of comparison. Plus, Corbyn’s comments were likely tempered by the fact that Corbyn was speaking for his party rather than for just himself.

Corbyn does have a history of opposing British involvement in foreign wars, including in Iraq and Libya.

At a 2003 rally against the then-upcoming Iraq War, Corbyn declared that the obvious answers included “no to war” and “yes to peace.” Corbyn also noted some of the negative consequences he expected would come from the Iraq War that fit in well with his comment on May 26 regarding blowback. Corbyn said:
… September 11 was a dreadful event. Eight thousand deaths in Afghanistan brought back none of those who died in the World Trade Center. Thousands more deaths in Iraq will not make things right. It will set off the spiral of conflict, of hate, of misery, of desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism, the depression, and the misery of future generations.
Watch Corbyn’s speech against the Iraq War here:



In a 2011 speech at another rally, Corbyn declared his opposition to British involvement in the effort to depose Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi. Corbyn declared his opposition to the ongoing bombing as well as the British-aided U.S. bombing of Libya in 1986. “And it seems to me that this invasion, and it is an invasion in reality, is really all about oil, it’s all about control, and it’s all about a message to the rest of the world and the rest of the region that we can do it if we want to,” declared Corbyn. Continuing, Corbyn addressed a topic often discussed by Paul as well — the arming of foreign governments. Corbyn, stated:
We have been supplying arms to Bahrain, to Saudi Arabia, to Oman, to Yemen, every single country in the region. Three weeks ago, this country was happily trading with, investing with, buying from Libya and Colonel Gaddafi. He was not an enemy three weeks ago. It’s all happened remarkably quickly under remarkable levels of hypocrisy. We cannot complain about human rights abuses by unaccountable, unelected dictators if we arm them, we supply them, we profit from them, and we happily consort with them.
Watch the speech here:



The June 8 British election is not a referendum on foreign intervention. People will be considering many different issues in deciding their votes. And people will be voting to fill the House of Commons, not directly for Corbyn or others to be prime minister. Nonetheless, it is significant that Corbyn is speaking about blowback and the negatives of militarism as his party appears to be gaining support.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/07/jeremy-corbyn-talks-of-war-and-blowback-on-the-campaign-trail/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/07/jeremy-corbyn-talks-of-war-and-blowback-on-the-campaign-trail/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:27:20 GMT
Ron Paul Tops List of ‘Most Influential Libertarians’ Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/02/ron-paul-tops-list-of-most-influential-libertarians/

Ron Paul holds the top place in a Newsmax list of the 100 most influential libertarians released Thursday. “Perhaps no one has done more to bring the libertarian platform into the national spotlight than Ron Paul,” begins the description of Paul in the list.

Since his last presidential campaign and retirement from United States House of Representatives several years ago, Paul has kept busy communicating his ideas and commenting on the news. Paul has done so via means including his weekly column and his 2015 book Swords into Plowshares, as well as by hosting the Ron Paul Liberty Report each weekday and serving as chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPI).

Talking about RPI, several members of the RPI Advisory and Academic Boards — Water Block, Robert Higgs, Thomas Massie, Andrew Napolitano, and Lew Rockwell — are keeping Paul company on the most influential libertarians list.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/02/ron-paul-tops-list-of-most-influential-libertarians/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/02/ron-paul-tops-list-of-most-influential-libertarians/ Fri, 02 Jun 2017 04:25:53 GMT
The One Thing the 'Intelligence' Community Leak About Kushner Does Tell Us About Team Trump Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/31/the-one-thing-the-intelligence-community-leak-about-kushner-does-tell-us-about-team-trump/

As I have previously reported, the Washington Post has published a story that, in early December, Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s presidential transition team and the Kremlin.

No doubt the WaPo story is coming from US intelligence sources. In the story, WaPo told us as much:
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. 
So what does this definitely tell us?

That there were no back channel communications between the Trump campaign and the Russians during the election. Otherwise, Kushner would not have brought the topic up in such a ham-handed fashion in December. He would have used any previous back channel communication method to discuss more security for the communications. Not a new discussion with an apparently surprised Russian Ambassador Kislyak.

The "intelligence" community that hates Trump just gave Team Trump some pretty decent evidence that there was no back channel communication between Team Trump and Russia during the campaign. This is a bizarre attack on Kushner and Team Trump.

There is no logic here, It is just throwing scare headlines up against the wall.

Further, as I have 
previously pointed out, not even the masses believe a back-channel is going to do anything but ease tensions with Russia:
They don't really think Trump is going to sell Putin Detroit. They don't really think Trump is going to cut Putin in on withholding tax income. They don't even think that Trump has secretly agreed to put Putin on US social security.
Kushner was setting up a back-channel to talk a deal over Syria and sanctions on Russia, These are noble causes to discuss. They are not unsimilar to back-channels in previous administrations.

And, I repeat, if Kushner was just attempting to set this back-channel up in December, the "intelligence" community leak just proved that the Trump administration did not have a back-channel before the election.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/31/the-one-thing-the-intelligence-community-leak-about-kushner-does-tell-us-about-team-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/31/the-one-thing-the-intelligence-community-leak-about-kushner-does-tell-us-about-team-trump/ Wed, 31 May 2017 13:24:18 GMT