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 Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:09:45 GMT Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:09:45 GMT RPI's Daniel McAdams: 'The American Public Has Been Weaponized by Propaganda Since 9/11' RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/rpis-daniel-mcadams-the-american-public-has-been-weaponized-by-propaganda-since-911/

President Trump's "de-certification" of Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal. CIA torture sites in Afghanistan. PATRIOT Act. FISA Amendments. Saudi Arabia. Israel. Syria. Mass surveillance. How does Rex Tillerson drag himself to work each day? Neocon triumph. RPI Director Daniel McAdams sits down for a full hour with KMEC's Heroes and Patriots program. The topics are wide ranging, the interview is fast-paced. What is the Ron Paul Institute working on? How can you be a part of it? Brew a tea, pour a beer, listen to the interview here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/rpis-daniel-mcadams-the-american-public-has-been-weaponized-by-propaganda-since-911/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/rpis-daniel-mcadams-the-american-public-has-been-weaponized-by-propaganda-since-911/ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:09:45 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: US ‘Marching Down the Road to War’ Against Iran Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/lawrence-wilkerson-us-marching-down-the-road-to-war-against-iran/
Wilkerson argues in the interview that President Donald Trump has taken actions that assure the failure of the Iran nuclear deal entered into by Iran, the US, and several other parties in 2015. Once the agreement fails, says Wilkerson, war follows.

Like with the lead-up to the Iraq War in 2003, with which Wilkerson has much familiarity as the former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, Wilkerson says the US is now “marching down the road to war,” this time against Iran.

Watch here Wilkerson’s complete interview, in which he also discusses both US involvement in the Yemen War and a potential US war against North Korea:



Wilkerson is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/lawrence-wilkerson-us-marching-down-the-road-to-war-against-iran/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/lawrence-wilkerson-us-marching-down-the-road-to-war-against-iran/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:26:20 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: ICE Seizures, Roy Moore, Marijuana Industry, JFK Assassination, Wisconsin Hemp http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/five-minutes-five-issues-ice-seizures-roy-moore-marijuana-industry-jfk-assassination-wisconsin-hemp/ A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at StitcheriTunesYouTube, 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.

On October 8, President Donald Trump sent a letter to United States congressional leaders regarding immigration-related matters. Trump mentions in the letter his desire to “hire an additional 1,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys, with sufficient support personnel,” as well as “an additional 10,000 ICE officers.”

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is all about dealing with illegal immigration. ICE actions extend into many other areas, including the war on drugs. One ICE focus is asset seizures, often from people not even charged with a crime, much less convicted. Ryan Devereaux and Spencer Woodman reported Friday at The Intercept that, “The Department of Homeland Security has seized billions of dollars in assets over the last decade, with the bulk of the revenue coming from investigations overseen by ICE.”

Issue two.

Alabama Republican US Senate nominee Roy Moore signed a resolution in 2010 that states in part, "We pledge to limit and restrain all federal government exercise of power that exceeds in any way the plain language of those few powers listed in the Constitution and to nullify all others that exceed such limit." No wonder many people in the US political establishment sought to prevent Moore’s Senate primary win.

Issue three.

Do not trust the marijuana industry to be a friend of liberty.

In Washington state, unlike in other states with legalized recreational marijuana, growing your own remains illegal.

Some state legislators are looking into changing that.

The Washington CannaBusiness Association describes itself as “an association of cannabis producers, processors and retailers” with a mission “to advocate on behalf of our member companies in the legislative, regulatory, legal and public policy arenas.”

The Association’s spokesman Aaron Pickus said, in a KCPQ-TV story last week regarding potential home grow legalization, that the association opposes allowing people to home grow, saying, “the current regulatory system is the best approach.”

Issue four.

In the March 18 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned that many documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are scheduled for release this month. Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation warned in a Wednesday article that President Trump could allow some of the documents to be held back. As Hornberger explains, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) took advantage of a provision in the 1992 law requiring disclosure to maintain secrecy of tens of thousands of pages for an additional 25 years, that is, until this month’s scheduled release.

Might the secrecy again be extended? Not if US Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and US House of Representatives Member Walter Jones (R-NC) get their way. The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and the Representative who also serves on the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board introduced legislation (S.Res. 281 and H.Res. 556) that calls on the president to release the remaining documents irrespective of the desire of the CIA or others to maintain secrecy.

Upon the introduction of the bill, Jones said in a press release:
After 54 years, there is no reason, for the sake of honesty and integrity in America, that the facts of the JFK assassination should not be made public. Virgil once said, ‘Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.’ It’s time to reveal what happened that awful afternoon in 1963.
Issue five.

Legal hemp farming may soon return to Wisconsin. Noelle Anderson reported Tuesday at WEAU-TV that legislation (SB 119) being considered this week by the state’s Senate Agriculture Committee that would legalize hemp farming in the state has the support of two major farming organizations — the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

But, might Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker prevent legalization? Walker expresses concerns in the TV report that the legalization of the low-THC plant may somehow interfere with the state dealing with “opioid and heroin abuse” because hemp — an ingredient in many food products available in Wisconsin and across America — could be, as Walker terms it, “a gateway” to illegal drugs.

-----

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/october/16/five-minutes-five-issues-ice-seizures-roy-moore-marijuana-industry-jfk-assassination-wisconsin-hemp/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/16/five-minutes-five-issues-ice-seizures-roy-moore-marijuana-industry-jfk-assassination-wisconsin-hemp/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:22:18 GMT
Libya Update: ISIS Moving in? Richard Galustian http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/15/libya-update-isis-moving-in/

ISIS and its head Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi have publicly declared that Libya will be its next home now that ISIS is being driven out Syria and Iraq.

It was reported recently that a former CIA Station Chief, one Daniel Hoffman, a distinguished career intelligence officer who served in the past in Russia, Iraq, and Pakistan, hypothesized ISIS’s regrouping strategy.

Hoffman specifically makes one particular point which many have been predicting for months: Essentially that ISIS needs a new base of operations following its loss of Raqaa and it has selected two potential sites in Libya.

Hoffman specifically stated that the Head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has decided that ISIS’s future is to be based out of Libya, and that he himself should physically be there to provide the morale and psychological support for their dream of a Caliphate.

The new political religious country which they wish to name "The Islamic State" to be made up from amongst the countries they have destroyed and pillaged.

ISIS moving its base of operations to Libya would be a game changer for the War on Terror and force a united Europe to collectively establish a definitive policy for Libya, something that has not existed before.

As to be expected, little has appeared in the "fake" mainstream media of the increased presence of ISIS in Libya particularly in two places, Sirte and Sabratha.

The reports that do appear attribute these recent Libyan skirmishes to elements paid, what can only be described as bribes, by the Italian Government to local Sabratha militias allegedly fighting "people smugglers" to stop the flow of migrants particularly from Zuwara, via Sabratha, to Italy.

An old mafia trick was to break someone's shop window then visit the owner in the morning saying they fix broken windows!

Nevertheless it's a strategy Italy is committed to as immigrants effect them more than any other nearby country.

However what the mainstream media fail to write about when describing the Italian strategy is that it has actually encouraged ISIS presence in Sabratha and Zawia as they are running short of sources of finance and what is better than European money?

The Catch-22 effect of the Italians bribing militias in Sabratha has been like spreading honey to attract bees. ISIS fighters want their share. It's that simple.

This is part of the reason thousands of ISIS fighters have recently arrived in Libya these past weeks from Iraq and Syria, where they have had to flee anyway.

The other important reason for ISIS to move to Libya is to try and capture "the oil crescent" currently controlled by Field Marshall Haftar's Libyan National Army (the LNA).

Sirte puts them within striking distance of the oil terminals of the crescent, ISIS have plans to start launching attacks on Tunisia and later Algeria and Morocco from Sabratha to further destabilize the rest of that part of North Africa.

Tunisians nationals make up more than 50 percent of all ISIS fighters.

Returning Tunisian ISIS fighters intend to bring turmoil to their country of origin as well as to Libya, so they need a base to operate from to do this.

What is described above is believed to be the new ISIS short and medium term strategy.

Italy and France have very publicly voiced their disagreements with each other over each's tactics in Libya.

Unconfirmed reports also have suggested that the Italians appealed to Haftar in the short term to send Zintani based troops loyal to him to help destroy ISIS in the Sabratha region and then to move on and take Zawia itself and help stop the immigrants no doubt offering him financial incentives also.

Haftar's LNA successfully took both Sabratha and Zawia last week.

A political consequence has emerged to these activities producing new politics for Libyans on the ground in the form of recent rallys and demonstrations of pro-Gaddafites, who now openly say the solution for Libya is the son of the late Colonel, Saif al Islam Gaddafi.

So the story continues to evolve from a counter intelligence perspective and a political one within Libya.

America seems to have taken its eye off the ball in Libya but with these events, the US may well encourage the EU rather than the UN to come up with a plan, something after six years of trying, the UN has yet to do.

Haftar said yesterday "No indications that the ongoing dialogue is the only way to resolve the crisis."]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/15/libya-update-isis-moving-in/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/15/libya-update-isis-moving-in/ Sun, 15 Oct 2017 04:59:33 GMT
Iran - Trump Has No Strategy, Only Aims And No Way To Achieve Them Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/13/iran-trump-has-no-strategy-only-aims-and-no-way-to-achieve-them/

President Trump hates the international nuclear deal with Iran. The agreement put temporary restriction of Iran's nuclear program and opened it up to deeper inspections. The other sides of the deal committed to lifting sanctions and to further economic cooperation. Trump wants to get rid of the deal; but he is unwilling to pay the political price.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was negotiated and signed by the five permanent UN Security Council members (US, Ch, Ru, UK, F), Germany, the EU and Iran. If the U.S. defaults on the deal it will be in a lone position. The diplomatic isolation would limit its abilities to use its influence on other issues.

Trump has little knowledge of Iran, the nuclear deal, the Middle East or anything else. What he knows comes from Fox News and from Netanyahoo and other Zionist whisperers who get to his ear. All he heard is that the deal with Iran is bad. Therefore, he concluded, it must end.

The White House handed a paper to the media which is supposed to describe President Donald J. Trump's New Strategy on Iran. But there is no strategy in that paper. It list a number of aims the Trump wants to achieve. But it does no explain how he plans to do that. It is a wish list, not a program to follow.

The "Core Elements of the Presidents New Iran Strategy" are:
-The United States new Iran strategy focuses on neutralizing the Government of Irans (sic) destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants.

-We will revitalize our traditional alliances and regional partnerships as bulwarks against Iranian subversion and restore a more stable balance of power in the region.

-We will work to deny the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.

-We will counter threats to the United States and our allies from ballistic missiles and other asymmetric weapons.

-We will rally the international community to condemn the IRGCs gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges.

-Most importantly, we will deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.
The list is full of factual mistakes:
Iran stabilized Iraq when the Islamic State was only days away from taking over Baghdad. Iran also helps to stabilize Syria and to defeat the Islamic State.

Ballistic missiles are not "asymmetric weapons." Iran's neighbors Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have such missiles. Iran's missiles are no threat to the United States.

The IRGC is the equivalent of the US special forces. It is funded by the state. It does not "extort the wealth of the Iranian people." (The IRGC's pension funds (bonyads) hold significant industrial assets. But they are different entities.)

The IRGC does not detain American citizens.

Iran has repeatedly declared that it rejects all nuclear weapons out of religious reasons. It signed several international agreements which prohibit and prevent it from seeking such weapons.
The White House list of aims, "the strategy," is followed by "background" information on Iran and its alleged behavior. Some White House intern must have copied it from a neoconservative version of Wikipedia. It is a conglomeration of general talking points which lack a factual basis.

When the JCOPA deal was closed, Congress legislated that the White House must certify every 90 days that Iran sticks to the deal. Trump will now stop certifying Iran's compliance even as everyone, including the White House, acknowledges that Iran is fulfilling all its parts. The White House claims that non-certification is not a breach of the agreement. The issue now falls back to Congress which might re-introduce the sanctions on Iran which the agreement had lifted. If it does that Trump will say that it is responsible for all consequences.

It is not clear if or what Congress will do. Senators Corker and Cotton are pushing for legislation that amounts to an unilateral change of the nuclear deal. It would introduce new sanctions if Iran does not accept their demands.

The EU countries are again craven and offer to push against Iran's ballistic missiles if Trump does not completely break the JCPOA deal. This is utterly stupid negotiation behavior. Why offer concessions to Trump even before he makes his self defeating move?

Iran will not give up to its rights and it will not disarm. Obama pushed sanctions onto sanctions to make Iran scream. But the country did not fold. Each new US sanction step was responded to with an expansion of Iran's nuclear program. In the end Obama had to offer talks to Iran to get out of the hole he had dug himself.

Now Trump is saying that stopping Iran from getting nukes is the priority. And that Obama was wrong to focus on it. The result is a bungled policy which will have either catastrophic, or no consequences at all.

Reprinted with permission from MoonOfAlabama.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/13/iran-trump-has-no-strategy-only-aims-and-no-way-to-achieve-them/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/13/iran-trump-has-no-strategy-only-aims-and-no-way-to-achieve-them/ Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:45:24 GMT
Ron Paul's New Book 'The Revolution at Ten Years': Get Your Personalized Copy! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/12/ron-pauls-new-book-the-revolution-at-ten-years-get-your-personalized-copy/

Early in his new book, The Revolution at Ten Years, Ron Paul writes this synopsis of our current situation:
Though the 'Revolution' of 2007 is essentially forgotten in a political sense, the ideology that inspired it is very much alive, and the anger and loss of confidence in our current system continues to grow.
That captures our current situation perfectly. As we all know, a political campaign can capture the imagination and garner huge, banner-waving crowds. But even a winning political campaign is a temporary phenomenon. As we know, a successful political campaign can be very quickly followed by disappointment and regret. 

The ideas of a peaceful foreign policy, protection of civil liberties, sound money, and non-intervention are proven to resonate, however. They may be adopted tactically by politicians seeking advantage only to be abandoned after electoral success, but that just means they are proven winners and must be advanced at every opportunity. That is what we are doing. And continue to do. 

Ron Paul has taken a good look at the past ten years -- the excitement of the first campaign, the seeds planted that continue to bear fruit across all sectors of society, the new challenges we face, the hope for the future -- and he put it all into a brand new book, the above-mentioned, The Revolution at Ten Years.

For a very limited time, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is offering a personalized copy of Ron Paul's new book -- signed by Ron Paul to you -- as a "thank you" for your contribution of $100 or more to his Institute.

Your contribution not only helps us continue our perfect record of sold-out major conferences, it helps us continue to educate the American public (and the world) that a peaceful foreign policy brings great prosperity and happiness. Your support also helps us continue our number one outreach tool: the Ron Paul Liberty Report, which has been viewed by nearly ten million people!

Getting your personalized copy of Ron Paul's exciting new book is easy!

1) Make your donation of $100 or more here.

2) Send us an email at Book@RonPaulInstitute.org with the name you would like Dr. Paul to sign the book to.

3) Wait for the Post Office to bring you your personalized copy of Ron Paul's book!!!

This offer is good only through the month of October, so act TODAY!

***Please note: If you make your donation you do NOT have to purchase the book separately. We will mail you a signed copy***

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/12/ron-pauls-new-book-the-revolution-at-ten-years-get-your-personalized-copy/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/12/ron-pauls-new-book-the-revolution-at-ten-years-get-your-personalized-copy/ Fri, 13 Oct 2017 01:00:08 GMT
Mike Pence’s Expensive Stunt Laurence M. Vance http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/10/mike-pence-s-expensive-stunt/

It may have cost taxpayers over $88,000 for Vice President Pence to fly to Indianapolis and then walk out on the football game because some players knelt during the national anthem. Pence tweeted: “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.” President Trump then tweeted that he had instructed Pence to leave the game if players knelt.

Is there anyone in America who actually thinks that Pence and Trump didn’t know that some players would kneel during the national anthem? Funny and tragic that Pence and Trump don’t think that American bombs and drones that kill foreigners who were no threat to the United States do not disrespect our soldiers, our flag, and our national anthem. I guess they believe, like many conservatives, that the flag stands for empire, hegemony, death, and destruction, but in a good way.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/10/mike-pence-s-expensive-stunt/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/10/mike-pence-s-expensive-stunt/ Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:46:16 GMT
Dennis Kucinich: We Must Challenge the ‘Two-Party Duopoly’ Committed to War Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/09/dennis-kucinich-we-must-challenge-the-two-party-duopoly-committed-to-war/
In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government.

Regarding the Iraq War, Kucinich, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, explains that his research showed that “Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al-Qaeda’s role in 9/11, didn’t have any connection to the anthrax attack, didn’t have the intention or the capability of attacking the United States, and didn’t have the weapons of mass destruction that were being claimed.” This information, Kucinich relates, he provided to US Congress members in an October 2, 2002 report showing “there was no cause for war.”

Despite Kucinich and other individuals’ efforts to stop the march toward war, Congress passed an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq later in October, and the invasion of Iraq commenced in March of 2003.

Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of “this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want” including with “over 800 bases in 132 countries” and to go around the world “looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home.”

Why are we “wasting the blood of our nation, the treasure of our nation, our young people” on these overseas activities that are “causing catastrophes among families in other countries?” Kucinich asks. He answers as follows:
This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in.
Continuing with his explanation for the support for the Iraq War and other US military intervention abroad, Kucinich says:
The problem today we have in Washington is that both political parties have converged with the military-industrial complex, fulfilling President Eisenhower’s nightmare and setting America on a path toward destruction.
Rescuing America from a future “cataclysmic war,” Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both “realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop,” and “challenge this two-party duopoly that’s committed to war.”

Watch Kucinich’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/09/dennis-kucinich-we-must-challenge-the-two-party-duopoly-committed-to-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/09/dennis-kucinich-we-must-challenge-the-two-party-duopoly-committed-to-war/ Mon, 09 Oct 2017 21:12:06 GMT
How George Clooney Was Asked to Spy on Gadaffi, Before Hillary Clinton Decided to Destroy Libya Alex Christoforou http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/09/how-george-clooney-was-asked-to-spy-on-gadaffi-before-hillary-clinton-decided-to-destroy-libya/

George Clooney has played many spies on the big screen.

George Clooney was a perfect candidate to spy on Libya and help the globalist cabal, under Hillary Clinton, dismantle what used to be the richest and most prosperous nation in Africa.

Clooney is the latest celebrity to be linked in documents from within the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, asking the hollywood star to spy on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his generals in Libya.

ICC chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, asked several celebrities, including Cooney, to help in bringing war crimes committed by Colonel Gaddafi and his generals during the Libyan civil war to light.

Clooney’s recruitment by the ICC never materialized, as then Obama Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quickly move ahead with here destruction of a stable Libya, before the hollywood stars could utilize their celebrity propaganda against Gaddafi government.

Via The International Business Times
A series of leaked emails, seen by The Sunday Times, revealed how the Argentinian prosecutor urged the Hollywood actor to focus a number of commercial satellites on Libya and 'put pressure on Gaddafi generals' by documenting evidence of humanitarian crimes.

Clooney is the co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses commercial satellites to document war atrocities committed by the government in South Sudan.

Since the project launched in 2011, satellites have detected mass grave sites in the southern part of the Sudan, where the army has been accused of targeting a black ethnic minority.

Moreno Ocampo’s offer was declined by Clooney who wrote in an email that the satellite was not yet 'sophisticated enough' to carry out the proposed operation.

The actor is not the only celebrity Moreno Ocampo tried to recruit in his attempt to prosecute some of the world’s most notorious warlords and dictators during his nine-year term at the helm of the ICC.

He also enlisted the help of actress Angelina Jolie in a plot to snare Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony at a honeytrap dinner. The prosecutor wrote in an email that Jolie had "the idea to invite Kony to dinner and then arrest him." He planned to send Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt to the warlord’s stronghold with US special forces, according to the leaked documents.

There are no further details in the documents about the proposed dinner, which appears not to have gone ahead.
Via Business Insider
Britain’s Sunday Times has seen a cache of leaked emails from the ICC that include correspondence between former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and Jolie and Clooney. Moreno Ocampo also emailed actor Sean Penn, as well as the wife of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

The emails allegedly show:

– Moreno Ocampo emailed Jolie to ask her to take part in a 'honeytrap' dinner to capture Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, whose use of child soldiers was highlighted by a viral campaign in 2012. Moreno Ocampo wrote that Jolie 'has the idea to invite Kony to dinner and then arrest him,' and said Jolie’s husband at the time, Brad Pitt, may accompany her to the Central African Republic.

– Clooney cofounded a project in 2010 using commercial satellites to fly over South Sudan and gathering evidence of war crimes. Moreno Ocampo emailed Clooney 'asking for help investigating atrocities committed by Colonel Muammar Gadaffi’s regime in Libya during the 2011 civil war,' the Sunday Times reported. Clooney responded that his satellites were not powerful enough.

– Moreno Ocampo invited Sean Penn to a UN Security meeting on Sudan and made plans to meet at a hotel in New York.

Penn, Jolie, and Clooney are all vocal on global political issues and are regularly involved in charity work. Jolie is also a Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The ploy involving Jolie and Kony appears to have amounted to nothing.
Reprinted with permission from The Duran.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/09/how-george-clooney-was-asked-to-spy-on-gadaffi-before-hillary-clinton-decided-to-destroy-libya/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/09/how-george-clooney-was-asked-to-spy-on-gadaffi-before-hillary-clinton-decided-to-destroy-libya/ Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:57:17 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: TSA Biometrics, Atlanta Decrim. Secession, Sheriff Indicted, Nicaragua Democracy Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/06/five-minutes-five-issues-tsa-biometrics-atlanta-decrim-secession-sheriff-indicted-nicaragua-democracy/ 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.

Last week, United States Senator John Thune (R-SD) introduced the TSA Modernization Act (S. 1872). For Thune, “modernization” apparently includes increasing the government’s privacy invasion and tracking people. The bill directs the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to “assess the operational and security impact of using biometric technology to identify passengers” and to “facilitate, if appropriate, the deployment of such biometric technology” in areas including “checkpoints, screening lanes, bag drop and boarding areas.”

The bill is moving forward quickly. Thune, the bill’s sponsor, is the chairman of the Senate committee that oversees transportation matters. On Wednesday, the committee approved the bill by a voice vote.

Issue two.

When states fail to legalize marijuana, some local governments decide to go their own way and opt out of much of the war on marijuana.

Marijuana decriminalization is on its way to Atlanta, the 400,000-plus population capital of Georgia. On Monday, the Atlanta City Council approved by a unanimous vote legislation decriminalizing possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. Also on Monday, the city mayor said he will sign the legislation.

Issue three.

Over the last two weeks, elections in Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan have resulted in votes in favor of independence, respectively, from the governments of Spain and Iraq.

Would independence be good for the people in these regions? Robert Wenzel wrote Monday at Target Liberty that, from a libertarian perspective, we need to dig deeper than the vote result to determine the answer. Wenzel explains:
We should recognize that separatist movements are not the discarding of state rule. They are merely the reorganizations of state rule over given areas.

The reorganization can lead to a state rule that is less oppressive or more oppressive. A separatist movement, without an understanding of the new rule that will replace the old rule, tells us nothing as to whether the separatist movement is moving away from or toward liberty--whether it will result in more statism or less statism.
Issue four.

In the April 28 and June 10 episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues I talked about the sheriff’s department of Worth County, Georgia frisking 900-plus students at a high school. These April 14 friskings were purportedly undertaken in an effort to find illegal drugs.

Brad Schrade reported at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, this week, a grand jury indicted Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby for sexual battery, false imprisonment, and violation of his oath of office related to his ordering of the friskings in which “[d]eputies allegedly touched girls’ vaginas and breasts and groped boys in their groin area.” Schrade notes that two sheriff’s deputies were also indicted.

Issue five.

The US government has for decades provided much military support for the Saudi Arabia government, including in recent years for that monarchial government’s war in Yemen. Further, the US has a long history of supporting other governments that have been far from exemplars of respecting democracy and human rights.

Yet, on Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed by a voice vote legislation (HR 1918) condemning the government of Nicaragua for anti-democratic and anti-human rights actions. The legislation also calls for using US influence to oppose any international loans “for the benefit of the Government of Nicaragua, other than to address basic human needs or promote democracy, unless the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Nicaragua is taking effective steps” related largely to improving democratic and human rights conditions in the country.

There is plenty of reason to be skeptical of the democracy and human rights rationale for this legislation. More likely, the reasons for action against Nicaragua relate to advancing US imperial objectives and the profits of politically-connected businesses and individuals.

 -----

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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Ron Paul: Common Sense and Diplomacy are ‘Off the Table’ Regarding North Korea Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/03/ron-paul-common-sense-and-diplomacy-are-off-the-table-regarding-north-korea/

Talking Monday with host Scott Horton at the Scott Horton Show, nonintervention advocate Ron Paul bemoaned that, while the Trump administration says that nothing is off the table in relation to what the US government may do concerning North Korea, something is off the table, namely, “common sense and diplomacy.”

In the interview, Paul both discusses his concerns about moves toward a US war against North Korea and reflects on the abuse of the authorization for use of military force (AUMF) that Congress passed in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks in America.

Listen to the complete interview here.

In the interview, Paul and Horton discuss President Donald Trump’s disparaging of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attempting some diplomatic interaction with the North Korea government. Paul discussed this matter Monday at the Ron Paul Liberty Report as well.]]>
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A Libertarian Perspective on Separatist Movements Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/02/a-libertarian-perspective-on-separatist-movements/

With separatist movements in the northern Iraq region of the Kurds, and in Catalonia, grabbing headlines, it is an appropriate time to think about such movements.

Murray Rothbard once wrote:
There runs through For a New Liberty (and most of the rest of my work as well) a deep and pervasive hatred of the State and all of its works, based on the conviction that the State is the enemy of mankind. 
This is an understandable position for anyone who is an advocate of a Private Property Society.  It is sound and noble. Noble, because although sound, it goes against the perspective of the masses and the house intellectuals.

If we take this Rothbard insight of hate of the state as our guiding light, what should we make of separatist movements?

We should recognize that separatist movements are not the discarding of state rule. They are merely the reorganizations of state rule over given areas.

The reorganization can lead to a state rule that is less oppressive or more oppressive. A separatist movement, without an understanding of the new rule that will replace the old rule, tells us nothing as to whether the separatist movement is moving away from or toward liberty--whether it will result in more statism or less statism.

Just because the region of rule will be smaller does not imply a move toward liberty, Both North Korea and Cuba are relatively small countries but have horrific totalitarian rule.

Thus, more must be asked if one is in the middle of a domestic separatist movement. Namely: What will come in its place?

For an outsider looking at a separatist movement, the perspective is different, For the outsider, almost always, smaller governments are preferable to larger governments, because larger governments are almost always more capable of launching wars. (The United States has much greater nuclear capability and other military resources than North Korea).

Governments that maintain a larger region have more men and resources to use in war. Thus, for the outsider, separatist movements are a positive as they lead to steps in the direction of greater peace.

But it is the domestic separatist movement fighter who must be careful that his actions will not, from a domestic perspective, lead to more chains. The idea of separatism fills the air with high energy by the battlers for such, but rarely is the questioned asked: What will come in its place?

And in the end, domestically, that is the most important question.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Anthem Protests, Section 702, Yemen War, Russian Meddling, Surveillance Towers Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/october/01/five-minutes-five-issues-anthem-protests-section-702-yemen-war-russian-meddling-surveillance-towers/ 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.

Many more National Football League (NFL) players this season than last are kneeling, or standing with their arms interlocked with teammates’ arms, when the national anthem plays before games. Plus, some team coaches and owners have joined in these alternative activities to standing with a hand over one’s heart.

Several teams have even stayed off the field and out of view during the singing of the national anthem. These opting-out teams seem to be on to something in avoiding the whole matter. Indeed, professional football would do just fine without the national anthem, as well as without the police and military displays that have become much more common and over-the-top at games in recent years.

Issue two.

Alex Emmons reported Friday at The Intercept that the Trump administration is going all out to convince members of the United States Congress to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that serves as a legal justification for the US government’s mass surveillance program. Emmons writes that, “according to an internal announcement … provided to The Intercept and confirmed by multiple sources on Capitol Hill,” the effort includes the Trump administration “holding classified, members-only briefings for the entire House and Senate next Wednesday” at which “Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, NSA Director Mike Rogers, and FBI Director Christopher Wray will give the briefings.”

Issue three.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced H.Con.Res. 81 in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill would exercise congressional power under the War Powers Resolution to direct the president to “remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities” in Yemen within 30 days after Congress approves the bill. US forces “engaged in operations directed at Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or associated forces” are exempted. Fellow Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, along with two Republicans who are both members of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board — Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Walter Jones of North Carolina — are the bill’s original cosponsors.

Issue four.

One of the latest suggested ways the Russian government won the US presidential election for Donald Trump relies on the announcement from Facebook that a Russian business spent over $100,000 on advertisements on Facebook with content related to a variety of current events topics. The ads ran between June of 2015 and May of 2017 — several months after the election.

Many people right away determined that the ads’ influence was most likely somewhere from trivial to nothing. Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to have about the same assessment. He wrote this Wednesday on his Facebook page:
- This was the first US election where the internet was a primary way candidates communicated. Every candidate had a Facebook page to communicate directly with tens of millions of followers every day.

- Campaigns spent hundreds of millions advertising online to get their messages out even further. That's 1000x more than any problematic ads we've found.
Issue five.

A story at WCBS-TV in New York City this week shows roughly 30-feet-tall metal towers that the Mass Transit Authority (MTA) is putting up near the city’s tunnels and bridges at a cost of $100 million dollars. Though the towers are in public view, their purpose is being kept secret.

WCBS-TV reporter Dave Carlin was told “no comment” by the Mass Transit Authority official in charge of bridges and tunnels when asked about the towers. MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said a little more. He said the bases of the towers “include whatever fiber optics are necessary” for “Homeland Security items.” But, when asked if the towers could one day be used for facial recognition, Lhota responded, “I’m not at liberty to discuss that.”

The effort to extend surveillance further and further is proceeding. These towers in New York City appear to be part of that effort.

-----

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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'Clear That DHS Was Wrong': California Says Russians Did Not Hack Voting Systems Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/28/clear-that-dhs-was-wrong-california-says-russians-did-not-hack-voting-systems/

Last Friday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dropped a "bombshell" statement that sent a "thrill up the leg" (to quote Chris Matthews) of every CNN reporter across the country.  The news from DHS implied that the election systems of 21 states around the country had been hacked, or at least were close to being hacked, which set off a new wave "Russian collusion" speculation in the U.S. news media (see: DHS Notifies 21 States Of Hacker Targeting; Election Officials Blame "Russian Government Cyber Actors").

That said, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla who released a statement this morning in response to the DHS, the whole thing was just a bunch of "fake news."  Padilla noted that after requesting additional information from DHS on the "hacks" it quickly became clear that their "conclusions were wrong" and that "California's elections infrastructure and websites were not hacked or breached by Russian cyber actors.”
Last Friday, my office was notified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that Russian cyber actors 'scanned' California’s Internet-facing systems in 2016, including Secretary of State websites. Following our request for further information, it became clear that DHS’ conclusions were wrong.

DHS confirmed that Russian scanning activity had actually occurred on the California Department of Technology statewide network, not any Secretary of State website. Based on this additional information, California voters can further rest assured that the California Secretary of State elections infrastructure and websites were not hacked or breached by Russian cyber actors.

Our notification from DHS last Friday was not only a year late, it also turned out to be bad information. To make matters worse, the Associated Press similarly reported that DHS has reversed itself and 'now says Russia didn’t target Wisconsin’s voter registration system,' which is contrary to previous briefings.

The work of our intelligence agencies is critical in defending against cyber threats. I remain committed to a partnership with DHS and other intelligence agencies, however, elections officials and the American public expect and deserve timely and accurate information.”
Meanwhile, this comes after another stunning and embarrassing reversal from the DHS earlier this week in which they first blamed Russians for hacking the Wisconsin election systems, then reversed and said it wasn't the Russians then reversed further and said there was actually no hack on the WI election system at all.
But in a stunning reversal - one which we doubt will put endless rumors of Russian cyberinterference to bed - the AP now reports that DHS has told Wisconsin that the Russian government was not involved in the cyber-targeting.

In an email to the state’s deputy elections administrator that was provided to reporters at the Wisconsin Elections Commission meeting on Tuesday, Homeland Security said that initial notice of Russian involvement was made in error. Also, as we noted at the time, the government did not originally assign blame to the Russians when news of the alleged "scanning" initially broke on Friday although most medias jumped at the opportunity to blame Putin.

Infuriated by the error, some state officials said that DHS should provide an expalanation for the errror, or at least issue an apology to state elections officials, who were understandbly unnerved by the news of Russian involvement.

Wisconsin’s chief elections administrator Michael Haas told AP that Homeland Security had assured the state that it had not been targeted - by Russians, or anybody else, for that matter.

'Wisconsin was not provided any information that indicated before the November election that Russian government actors were targeting election systems,' Haas said. He said one theory is that Homeland Security saw suspicious activity from IP addresses targeting state election systems in other states and assumed that was the intent in Wisconsin as well.

Others were apparently in shock: 'It’s been a difficult process trying to piece all of this together,' said Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney. 'We’re trying to understand what happened.'
So, for folks, like WI's Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney, who are still "trying to understand what happened"...allow us to clarify: NOTHING HAPPENED.  Hillary Clinton lost an election...other than that, not much happened that hasn't happened in every election since the 1950's.  

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
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Ron Paul Urges Americans to Resist Deep State and Media Push for War on North Korea Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/26/ron-paul-urges-americans-to-resist-deep-state-and-media-push-for-war-on-north-korea/
In the interview focused on US foreign policy and, in particular, relations between the US and North Korea, Paul declared:
Just remember … the propagandists, the deep state and the media, convinced the American people that Saddam Hussein was a danger, They’re doing the same thing now with North Korea.
In response to this propaganda, Paul, who has served as chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity since leaving the US House, says Americans “ought to wise up and just not buy into this.”

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:



Paul wrote this week about the move toward a US war against North Korea in his editorial “How to End the Korea Crisis]]>
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Media Matters’ Goofball Argument that the Drudge Report is a Russian Propaganda Pipeline Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/25/media-matters-goofball-argument-that-the-drudge-report-is-a-russian-propaganda-pipeline/

Media Matters published an article Wednesday with the provocative title “How Matt Drudge became the pipeline for Russian propaganda.” The explanation offered in the article for the title’s grand claim, however, would be convincing only to someone who has no familiarity with what the Drudge Report, founded and edited by Matt Drudge, is.

Here is the argument made in the article for how the Drudge Report is a Russian propaganda pipeline:
Drudge has for years used his site as a web traffic pipeline for Russian propaganda sites, directing his massive audience to nearly 400 stories from RT.com and fellow Russian-government-run English-language news sites SputnikNews.com and TASS.com since the beginning of 2012, according to a Media Matters review. Those numbers spiked in 2016, when Drudge collectively linked to the three sites 122 times.
It may seem like the people at Media Matters are onto something until you consider how the Drudge Report website works. It is a news aggregating website that, on its homepage, presents many phrases or even single words in hypertext. Click on one of the hypertext items and you immediately access a linked article, video, image, or other information at its own website. Also, these hypertext items, and the information linked from them, at the Drudge Report change frequently so the website can maintain its popularity as a source for breaking and up-to-date information.

Looking at the Drudge Report on Monday morning, I counted 60 such hypertext items linking to information at many websites. If I look at the Drudge Report tomorrow, I can expect to see a similar number of such hypertext items, with many or even the majority of them new.

In this context, the number of links to three websites with a connection to the Russia government that the Media Matters article asserts have been present on the Drudge Report provides no indication of any Russian propaganda pipeline. Instead, it just indicates that the Drudge Report includes these websites among the many websites to which it links.

If Media Matters’ numbers are correct, the Drudge Report’s linking to these websites is sparing, especially considering how many links cycle through the website. Nearly 400 links in a little over five and a half years amounts to about one link every five days. The so-called spike to 122 such links Media Matters claims were at the Drudge Report in 2016 amounts to about one link every three days in that year.

The Drudge Report is a pipeline for current events information from a variety of sources. But, the portion of the information in that pipeline that the Media Matters article asserts is Russian propaganda amounts to a trickle at most.]]>
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Libya Report: Gaddafi for President? Richard Galustian http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/25/libya-report-gaddafi-for-president/

In a one-on-one interview on Saturday with France 24, Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame said Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi can of course be part of the forthcoming political process under the auspices of the United Nations along with other qualified candidates.

Saif Gaddafi, the son of the late Colonel, could become Libya's President, said UN envoy Salame, which suggests the United States and the bulk of the UN have officially or unofficially approved that statement. This is an extraordinary development.

What does this say about the arrest warrants the ICC "kangaroo" Court has unjustly issued against Gaddafi and other Libyans in The Hague?

Importantly Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, has repeatedly stated over the past several months that he would welcome the participation of Saif Gaddafi in Libya's future political process.

"Parliamentary and Presidential elections must be open for all," the UN's Salame said. He added that election laws shouldn't cherry-pick who must or mustn't be part of them, saying Gaddafi-era officials can partake and "I myself held talks with them in public."

"Islamists are a big portion of the current political strife and they will be part of the process, but if we're talking about those that advocate violence, those 'groups' are outside the democratic process," Salame continued.

Meanwhile, from New York, Salame announced his action plan for Libya, which he said will have three stages that will see Libya going forward toward Presidential elections.

The disjointed nature of those working to bring peace to Libya could not have been more apparent than when viewing the address by Faiz Serraj to the UNGA also in New York last week, where the re-titled former Prime Minister, now calling himself President of the UN-recognized Government of Libya, gave a totally different, and very questionable, picture of the facts in Libya.

In the speech, Serraj spoke of taking personal credit for "progress" in the country. What progress is he talking about exactly? Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) was responsible for two main achievements: the liberation of Benghazi and the retaking of the oil terminals in the oil crescent. Both of these were Haftar's LNA successes not Serraj nor the UN self styled Government for Libya, the GNA.

The GNA is now down to three men, chosen only by the UN, who have no control over the Libyan National Army or any other institution. It does pay mercenaries calling themselves militias to protect those three men's movements, but that's as far as it goes. Serraj is a man who in fact represents no one but himself and his two friends, who in turn are appointed and controlled solely by the UN.

For those who want to watch Serraj's UNGA address, it is available on You Tube. Seeing is believing.

In the meantime, what would the US make of its Libya "regime change" if the result was another Gaddafi in charge?]]>
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Secession, Surveilling Manafort, Catalonia Crackdown, Hemp Farms, Marijuana Use Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/23/five-minutes-five-issues-secession-surveilling-manafort-catalonia-crackdown-hemp-farms-marijuana-use/ 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.

A new poll suggests a rather narrow divide in Americans’ opinions regarding whether the United States government should again respond to secession, as it did in the 1860s, with war.

The John Zogby Strategies poll indicates 39 percent of Americans agree that[i]f a majority of residents within a given state prefer to have the final say over their destiny without the control of Washington D.C. then let them have it – it is their right.” Close behind, 32 percent said “the federal government would be justified in sending in the military to prevent secession from taking place.” Another 29 percent of polled Americans presented with the two options chose neither.

Issue two.

The impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon included that he sought to cover up “unlawful covert activities.” The primary covert activity mentioned was that “agents of the Committee for the re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in [Washington, DC] for the purpose of securing political intelligence.”

Might the same sort of allegation be made against people in the Obama administration in regard to surveillance of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign? Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, and Pamela Brown reported Tuesday at CNN, based on confidential sources, that US government secret surveillance of Paul Manafort from 2014 into 2016 was terminated “for lack of evidence” only to be reinstated later in 2016 as “part of the [Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI)] efforts to investigate ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives.” Manafort was a campaign manager for Trump’s campaign.

Issue three.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the extreme threats and actions the Spain government had pursued to oppose a planned October 1 independence referendum vote in Catalonia. Raquel Castillo and Sam Edwards reported Wednesday at Reuters that the crackdown intensified this week with actions including arresting Catalan government officials, raiding Catalan government offices and seizing election materials such as ten million paper ballots, and taking over Catalonia’s finances.

Carles Puigdemont, the head of the Catalonia government, is quoted Wednesday at the Guardian as saying the Spanish government “has de facto suspended self-government and applied a de facto state of emergency” in Catalonia.

Issue four.

This year, Libby Rainey reports at the Denver Post, farms in Colorado “are expected to harvest up to 9,000 acres of hemp” — a record amount since hemp’s legalization via a 2012 state marijuana legalization referendum.

While Rainey terms hemp farming a “rapidly growing industry,” she also notes powerful barriers imposed by the US government. In particular, Rainey writes that the illegality of hemp under US law results in interference with hemp farmers buying hemp seeds from other states and exporting raw hemp material, dealing with banks and money transfer companies, and gaining recognition of water rights. The threat of US government raids also persists, though it is likely holding farmers back less each year that raids fail to materialize.

What action could the US government take to remove barriers to the growth of hemp farming in Colorado? Rainey’s article suggests that the US enacting the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (HR 3530) that seeks greater US respect for states’ hemp legalization would help. The original version of the legislation was introduced in 2005 by then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

Issue five.

Answering a question regarding marijuana at a Wednesday press conference in California, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions commented that, “we do know that legalization results in greater use.” Tom Angell responded at Forbes that a study released last week in the journal Addiction shows states’ legalization of marijuana is not the cause of increased marijuana use in America.

The dispute is interesting. But, for people seeking to increase respect for liberty, whether rolling back the war on marijuana reduces or increases marijuana use is a side issue. Respecting liberty means that people are free to choose, no matter whether others approve or disapprove the choices made.

-----

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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Russell Brand on Drug Legalization Benefits Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/21/russell-brand-on-drug-legalization-benefits/

British commentator, comedian, and author Russell Brand has presented a short summation of some benefits from legalizing currently illegal drugs. Brand, in a new video commentary, presents the summation in response to Stephen Glover’s Wednesday editorial in the Daily Mail that criticizes Britain’s Prince William for questioning publicly if drugs should be legalized while visiting with illegal drug users.

Brand, in the video commentary, calls the prince a “rogue,” yet commends him for both “meeting with addicts” and “asking an intelligent question.” “My personal experience is making drugs illegal simply inconveniences addicts, turns addicts into criminals, and exacerbates the problems,” says Brand.

Continuing, Brand argues that, “by legalizing drugs, you would be able to address the problem at its essence — a mental health problem, a problem of need, a problem of loneliness and loss.” Also, in response to the editorial’s message that “parents groan” at the idea of legalization, Brand responds in part, “I’m a parent, and I think I’d rather my kid grew up in a world where drugs were legalized so we can have an honest, clear conversation.”

Given the scheduled October 3 release of Brand’s book Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions, we can expect to hear more from Brand regarding the drug war and drug legalization in the coming weeks.

Watch Brand’s video commentary here.]]>
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Libya Update: A Clash of Egos Richard Galustian http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/20/libya-update-a-clash-of-egos/

Libya has two rival governments and parliaments, as well as several militia groups aligned to both sides, and some "independent" ones, battling to control its oil wealth. 

Inexplicably for many, the only one that is recognised is called the Government of National Accord (GNA), totally unelected by the Libyan people, consisting of a handful of Ministers and headed by an architect. All of these were chosen by the UN, which also selected as Prime Minister, Faez Serraj who resides mostly in Tunis and intermittently visits Tripoli and a few other parts of Libya, dependent on the good graces of the mercenaries calling themselves Militias that get paid for their service to the GNA, underwritten for them by the UN no less.

The other Government of Abdullah Al-Thinni, who is Prime Minister as designated by the elected HoR Parliament based in Tobruk, is a former soldier. He gave an interview to AFP last weekend calling on the UN General Assembly meeting in New York this past week to bestow full and proper recognition to his administration, which he states controls most of the North African country.

However what is the intent of PM Al-Thinni and the HoR Parliament in relation to Libya’s eastern supreme military commander, who recaptured both Benghazi and the oil crescent fields, Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar?

Haftar's legitimacy is bol­stered by a number of countries including France, Egypt, and Russia, though less so now in comparison to the Kremlin's previous closer relations with Haftar.

Senior sources announced on Tuesday that HoR-appointed Field Marshall Haftar has just "launched" a campaign to declare himself President for four years without a vote.

This grass-roots pro-Haftar campaign is being unofficially launched in several towns in eastern Libya, though no comment has so far been made by Haftar himself.

The objective appears to be to collect enough support for Haftar by De­cember 17th, 2017, when a UN-bro­kered accord granting legitimacy to Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) expires.

France has elevated Haftar’s status on the world stage to that of UN-endorsed Prime Minister Serraj, with Macron saying that “like Prime Minister Serraj, 'General' Haf­tar is part of the solution” during a trilateral meeting in Paris on July 25th.

After the gathering, Macron an­nounced a ten-point agreement to the Libyan conflict allegedly agreed upon, but not signed, by Haftar and Serraj. 

To add to the confusion, PM Serraj took to State television for a two-hour interview last week. During his television appearance, he proposed a plan to resolve the crisis by organ­ising Presidential elections by March 2018 for which no doubt he will also nominate himself.

All face the prospect of the Islamic State (IS) retaking both Sirte and Sabratha, two important military strategic objectives.

When the European Union was challenged by waves of migrants using Libya as a springboard, Italy provided large financial incentives to certain "towns and individuals" to help limit migration. 

As a consequence, Mediterranean crossings dropped from nearly 28,000 peo­ple in June to below 10,000 in Au­gust, according to UN figures.

EU ministers in Brussels have failed to explain the true reason for the drop in migrant crossings, just saying “Trust in Italy!” Not what the French would say.

France’s courtship of Haftar was no doubt encouraged by the French military, which has seen Haftar’s forces ex­pand their presence in the south­ern Fezzan region, which falls into the domain of the French military’s "Operation Barkhane" in Mali and sub-Saharan Africa.

Lastly various Libyans have advanced their names to "save" Libya, even Saif Gaddafi, son of the former leader, but the most serious of them is without doubt Dr. Mahmoud Jibril, a well-educated and capable technocrat and Libya's first Prime Minister after the fall of Col. Gaddafi.

The big question is how coordinated are plans between Al Thinni and Haftar? If uncoordinated then a Libyan clash of egos will begin!

Meanwhile the UN's new Libya head of UNSMIL, Ghassan Salame, trying to assert his authority, announced last Tuesday he is sending to Tripoli 200 Nepalese Ghurka Soldiers to act as "Security Guards only" emphasizing that they are not peacekeepers, to protect the UN Facility which is adjacent to the  "Palm City Complex" presumably where the five or so men that make up the GNA will live. It should be noted, as I have emphasised in the past, that 1000+ professional Ghurkas could literally wipe out all militias in Tripoli and probably ISIS too.

Don't expect Libya's would-be leaders to make logical, rational decisions, however; those are made only when related to receiving money, as the Italians proved.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/20/libya-update-a-clash-of-egos/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/september/20/libya-update-a-clash-of-egos/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:27:30 GMT