Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2017 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Wed, 29 Mar 2017 04:00:00 GMT Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:38:43 GMT Rep. Walter Jones Challenges Speaker Paul Ryan’s Refusal to Allow Afghanistan War Debate Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/

Interviewed Tuesday at C-SPAN, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) challenged the continuing refusal of US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to allow the House to debate and vote on the Afghanistan War, the costs of which Jones presents as so far including the spending of over 800 billion dollars, the death of over 2,000 Americans, and the wounding of over 20,000 more.

Jones was a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to discuss HR 1666, legislation he introduced in the House of Representatives last week and says in the interview he hopes can lead to a debate on the House floor regarding “whether we should stay in Afghanistan or not stay in Afghanistan.” Jones was joined on the show by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), a cosponsor of the legislation.

Early in the interview, Jones points to Ryan for blame for the continuation of the Afghanistan War with neither a debate nor a vote in the House. Says Jones:
The reason we are not debating this is really not at the White House; it’s Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan can tell the committees of jurisdiction, ‘We want to have a debate on Afghanistan.’ You can use what [Rep. Garamendi] and I put in as a vehicle to have that debate — or something totally different. We just don’t debate this black hole, this waste of money and life in Afghanistan.
Similarly, Ryan and his speaker predecessor John Boehner (R-OH) have for years blocked House debate on authorizing or ending the ISIS War that is being pursued unilaterally by the executive branch.

Jones states bluntly in the C-SPAN interview that his Republican Party is “the war party simply because our leadership in the House will not let us debate and meet our constitutional responsibility” in regard to US wars.

Instead of Congress just funding without restraint whatever fighting to which successive presidents commit the US military, the US Constitution says that the power to declare war resides in Congress. Jones argues in the interview that Congress must rediscover and assert its constitutional control over whether wars are or are not fought. Jones says:
The president right now is operating under the same [authorization for use of military force (AUMF)] that [President George W. Bush] operated under and [President Barack Obama]. Congress is letting the president determine what is going to be done with our military when we have a constitutional duty to declare whether we want to send our men and women to die for this country or not.
Returning later in the interview to the topic of legislative power over the use of the US military overseas, Jones states:
We are frustrated that decisions are being made outside of Congress. And, yet, I blame Congress, quite frankly, for those decisions that are being made outside of Congress — primarily in the White House. We need to show that we are an equal branch of government. And [James] Madison said it better, and I’m paraphrasing very badly: ‘It is the legislative branch that will debate and vote for war, not the executive branch.’ We have allowed the executive branch to take over our foreign policy and determine how to use our troops; it’s wrong.
In the interview, Garamendi backs up Jones’ contention that Congress must exercise its constitutional responsibility regarding the Afghanistan war, stating:
It is unique to us — the 535 members of the Congress and the Senate; it is our obligation to deal with war. Nobody else has that responsibility.
A reason for the legislative branch’s failure to fulfill its responsibility, Garamendi suggests, is fear:
I think people are frightened. Members are frightened about having to vote on whether we are going to war or not. They would just assume somebody else make the decision, and we turned that over to the president.
Watch the complete interview here:



Jones is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:02:58 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Audit the Fed, Healthcare Bill, Veterans’ Guns, Bomb Threats, Police Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ 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.

At a Thursday hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the United Sates House of Representatives, Norman Singleton of the Campaign for Liberty linked the growth of the “welfare-warfare state” to the Federal Reserve in his presentation in favor of HR 24.

HR 24 is this Congress’ version of the Audit the Fed legislation Ron Paul previously sponsored as a House member.

Preventing war is one of the reasons Paul wants to audit the Fed as well as end the Fed. As Paul declares in his book Swords into Plowshares, “[w]ithout the power over the creation of money and credit employed by the politicians and central bankers working in secret, most wars could not be fought.”

Issue two.

In 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said people would learn what was is in the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, after Congress passed it. This week, an effort to pass legislation before people had a chance to understand it was taking place again in the House, this time with a major healthcare bill marketed as repealing and replacing Obamacare. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), a House member and a Ron Paul Instituted Advisory Board member, said in a statement, “the rushed, behind-closed-doors process they’ve used is shameful,”

The new bill, unable to gain sufficient support, was withdrawn Friday afternoon without a vote.

Issue Three.

Last week, the US House of Representatives approved HR 1181, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. The bill concerns protecting the right to bear arms. It also concerns protecting due process, the right to privacy, and the right not to be databased by the government for punishment based on bureaucrats’ decisions.

HR 1181 is intended to prevent US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decisions regarding veterans’ mental health, even just their ability to handle their finances, from resulting in veterans being listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) list of individuals prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns. The legislation states that such a determination requires instead an order or finding from “a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”

HR 1181 must also be approved by the US Senate for the bill to reach President Donald Trump for signing or a veto.

There is reason to expect that HR 1181 will become law. As I mentioned in the March 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, earlier this year Congress approved and Trump signed into law H.J. Res. 40 that prohibits the implementation of regulations that would have allowed the US Social Security Administration to take similar actions against people receiving Social Security benefits.

Issue four.

On Thursday, a Jewish teenager with US and Israel citizenship was arrested in Israel for allegedly making many of the bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions we have heard about in the news lately. The teenager’s lawyer says a brain tumor may have caused irrational behavior.

Earlier this month, Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for allegedly making some more of the threats against Jewish organizations. The allegations say Thompson sometimes made the threats in the name of a former girlfriend and other times in his own name and then claimed she was framing him.

Issue five.

Police body cameras have provided evidence of police brutality. But, Ava Kofman wrote Wednesday at The Intercept that, as real-time face recognition technology advances and photo databases grow, those body cameras along with other police cameras may be used more and more to conduct mass surveillance.

-----

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/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:31:54 GMT
Cornerstone of Afghan Reconstruction Effort — Roads — is Near-Total Failure Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/

One of the planned cornerstones of the 15+ year Afghan Reconstruction Effort was to be an extensive, nationwide network of roads.

The United States’ concept was roads would allow the Afghan economy to flourish as trade could reach throughout the country, security would be enhanced by the ability to move security forces quickly to where they were needed, and that the presence of the roads would serve as a literal symbol of the central government’s ability to extend its presence into the countryside.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its audit of the Department of Defense’s and USAID’s $2.8 billion investment in Afghanistan’s road infrastructure.

The project has been a near-total failure. The audit notes:

— An Afghan Ministry of Public Works’ (MOPW) official stated 20 percent of the roads have been destroyed and the remaining 80 percent continue to deteriorate.

— USAID estimated that unless maintained, it would cost about $8.3 billion to replace Afghanistan’s road infrastructure, and estimated that 54 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffered from poor maintenance and required rehabilitation beyond simple repairs.

— SIGAR inspections of 20 road segments found that 19 had road damage ranging from deep surface cracks to roads and bridges destroyed by weather or insurgents. Some 17 segments were either poorly maintained or not maintained at all.

— MOPW officials noted that Afghanistan’s road infrastructure plays an important role in the country’s development and governance, and if the Kabul to Kandahar highway were to become impassable, the central government would collapse.

— MOPW officials stated it will cost $100 million annually to carry out the necessary maintenance on Afghanistan’s road infrastructure. However, between 2011 and 2016, MOPW received only an average of $21.3 million annually from its American patrons.

— According to a former U.S. official, the Afghan government would always sign the required memorandum acknowledging it had the capability to sustain a project, despite not having the capability to do so. American advisors would always accept the memorandum despite knowing the Afghans did not have the capability to do so.

BONUS: Who in America would not want to see $2.8 billion of American taxpayer money spent on roads here in the Homeland?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:22:45 GMT
Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense? Robert Higgs http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/

Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”

This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.

This thinking presumes at least two critical ideas: first, that defense of a population requires a government that rules that population; and, second, that if a government has the power to take over another country, it will do so.

As for the first assumption, it seems clear that a national government may prove an ineffective means of defense in any event, as many governments have demonstrated through the ages. Moreover, it is certainly conceivable that decentralized measures of defense, such as pervasive guerrilla groups operating more or less independently, might prove effective in preventing a foreign takeover.

As for the second assumption, the persistence of many small countries with weak governments, even in today’s world, certainly calls into question the idea that effectively defenseless countries cannot persist. Surely Brazil has the means to conquer Uruguay, but it does not do so. Surely Germany or France has the means to conquer Belgium, but neither does so. And so forth in regard to many other countries. Governments have various good reasons for refraining from such possible conquests.

Thus, even if the Mexicans could get to the USA first, it is by no means certain that they would choose to do so. And if they did invade the USA, it is by no means certain that they would succeed in the conquest they sought.

Reprinted with permission from the Independent Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:21:44 GMT
Reports: US Airstrikes Killed 230 Civilians in Mosul Overnight Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/

As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city’s west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood.

That’s an enormous toll, of course, but is reported from several sources telling largely the same story, including that a single US airstrike against a large building full of civilians in Mosul killed over 130 people, while the other 100 or so were killed in the surrounding area.

Central Command said that they were “aware of the loss of life” and were carrying out “further investigation,” while insisting that all of their strikes against Mosul overnight “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.” Centcom’s official report for the overnight strikes claimed they’d hit “11 fighting positions” and didn’t mention killing hundreds of civilians.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that the civilian death toll was mostly women and children, saying that the bulk of the bodies were pulled from just three adjoining residences in the Jadida neighborhood. They speculated the civilians were “human shields” for ISIS snipers in the area.

That would be an awful lot of human shields, of course, and there wouldn’t be much point of stashing them inside buildings where the US forces clearly either didn’t know where they were or didn’t feel it amounted to a deterrent to bombing those buildings anyhow.

If the toll is ultimately confirmed by Centcom, which is a huge “if” given how often well documented incidents never end up on their official reports, it would roughly double the number of civilians the US has admitted to killing in Iraq and Syria over the ISIS war. NGOs have suggested the US strikes have killed well over 2,000 civilians already, and that’s not including last night’s massive toll.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:17:46 GMT
Tillerson: US Forces Will Stay in Iraq After Defeat of ISIS Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/

Imagine my surprise.

US military forces will remain in Iraq after the military defeat of the Islamic State in order to avert another resurgence of the terrorist organization, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Wednesday.

"The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS," Tillerson said in comments at the State Department before a meeting of "the global coalition to defeat ISIS."

In perfect doublespeak,  Tillerson said the soldiers will not be engaged in "nation-building," but described a process of "stabilization" and "normalization" that would lead to the development of a strong "civil society" in the war-torn region.

This, in other words, will be a multi-decade U.S. nation-building occupation---launched by President Trump.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:47:24 GMT
Revealed: Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information about Trump Transition People Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/

Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value — were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

Nunez also stated in a press release Wednesday that he has “asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of” related surveillance activities.

Nunes’ discussion of the information being “incidentally collected” and then being widely distributed despite having little or no apparent foreign intelligence value highlights a reason to reject the common claim that people who have done nothing wrong have no reason to worry about mass surveillance. When you allow surveillance to run wild, then information that has nothing to do with the supposed purposes of the surveillance, such as protecting Americans from terrorist attacks, can be easily and frequently swept up and shared.

It is naïve to believe that none of the people who obtain the surveillance-derived information will then use it to their advantage, even if that results in harm to the people “incidentally” surveilled. It is also naïve to assume that surveillance efforts will not be adjusted here and there to make sure that more of the desired, but definable as “incidentally collected,” information is obtained and shared.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:34:34 GMT
Honor the Great Peace Warrior, Ron Paul Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ undefined

Join the Mises and Ron Paul Institutes for a symposium on war and peace in the age of Trump. We’ll meet in Ron’s hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas, on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9am-1pm.

Speakers include Dr. Paul, David Stockman, Phil Giraldi, Jeff Deist, Dan McAdams, and me. The price, which includes luncheon, is just $40 per person. Register here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:30:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Phone Searches, War Guidelines, Michael Brown, Guilty Pleas, Assassination Secrets Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ 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.

Searches of United States citizen’s phones at US borders increased much in the final years of the Obama administration and continue in high numbers in the new Trump administration. A Monday report from NBC provides numbers from the Department of Homeland Security showing there was a fivefold increase in the searches “from fewer than 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 25,000 in 2016” and that 5,000 searches occurred in February of this year.

Maybe you think you can exercise your right, guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, not to have your phone searched. Good luck with that. The NBC report relates this story of a US citizen who, after his phone had been searched at the border when he had returned from a previous trip to Canada, refused to allow another search of his phone when he was again at the US/Canada border:
"One of the officers calls out to me and says, 'Hey, give me your phone,'" recalled [Akram] Shibly. "And I said, 'No, because I already went through this.'"

The officer asked a second time.

Within seconds, [Shibly] was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone.
Issue two.

Guidelines for ordering US military attacks, including targeted killings, in the Global War on Terror may soon be loosened.

Citing unnamed senior government officials, Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung wrote Monday in the Washington Post that the Trump administration “is close to finishing a review that would make it easier for the Pentagon to launch counterterrorism strikes anywhere in the world.”

In particular, the Post writers note that potential changes include the nixing of the requirement of presidential approval of attacks, thus leaving the decision to military leaders, and the scrapping of “the ‘near-certainty’ standard of no civilian deaths for strikes outside war zones.” They also write that “a standard that potential terror targets outside war zones pose a continuing and imminent threat to Americans” could be eliminated.

Issue three.

Be suspicious of reports of the bad character and violent actions of people who have been killed by police. Sometimes, certain information is selectively made public to make such individuals seem violent and of bad character while other information indicating that the truth is otherwise is withheld. Such may be the case with the widely reported allegation that Michael Brown, who in August of 2014 was shot dead by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, had stolen cigarillos from a store. The allegation was somewhat backed up with video from the store. What people did not see was video from earlier that may show Brown offering to trade with store employees a bag containing something — maybe marijuana — for cigarillos and, instead of walking out with the cigarillos, leaving them at the store to pick up later. The new documentary Stranger Fruit includes some of the additional video.

Issue four.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission’s 2016 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, in the years 2012 to 2016 only 2.7 to 3.1 percent of individuals charged in federal criminal cases had a trial. The remaining 97 percent just pled guilty. Are all the individuals in the 97 percent guilty? Certainty not. If the system is stacked against you, pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit can seem like the best option.

Issue five.

Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger wrote this week that thousands of pages of government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are scheduled to be released in October. But, Hornberger notes that some important documents are not included and that President Trump has the power to selectively keep secret, based on a “national security” justification, information scheduled to be released in October.

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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.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ Sun, 19 Mar 2017 19:56:37 GMT
Syria: The Micro World War Jack Perry http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/

Wow, who knew that the Israeli air force was running ops in Syria? In the news Friday, Israel is bragging that they intercepted and downed a Syrian SAM that was sent up after one of its planes. Israel says they’re in Syria to hit Hezbollah’s version of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Okay, now we’ve got Israel running its own airstrikes in there, Turkey also from time to time, Russia we know, the United States we know, and Iran when they find spare parts for their F-4 Phantoms. Plus the Syrian air force, of course. Hmmm…several nations involved in one war. Sounds like a micro world war to me.

Now this is just all up in the air, so to speak. But let some of those aircraft bump into one another, and someone panics and turns loose of a AAM or a burst from his 20mm cannon and this little air show could turn into dogfight city with detours through SAM Alley. You can’t have this many aircraft all operating in there before, sooner or later, something is going to happen. But more to the point, Israel in there is the joker in the deck that could really heat things up.

Israel can pull off ops like when they took out Saddam’s Osirak nuclear power plant. While they couldn’t say so out loud, most of the Arab states were quietly relieved that Saddam couldn’t get a hold of a nuclear weapon. But as far as sticking its mitts into a war that is in Syria and does not concern Israel, that could blow up badly. Israel SAYS this is about Hezbollah, but can they be believed? If that SAM had caught up with that Israeli plane and the pilot punched out and got captured by Syrian ground forces, we’d have seen some serious escalation. And that is exactly what’s going to happen if Israel is not ordered out of the pool ASAP.

Not that Israel being told to leave the party will stop this world war from continuing and escalating. The United States now has at least one heavy artillery firebase in Syria running 155mm howitzer fire missions. They came in there with up-armored Humvees and Stryker APCs, too. Plus, there’s a U.S. military “reaction force” squatting over in Kuwait on stand-by. And this all began because Assad needed to be removed??!! Oh, come on! There’s got to be more to it than that.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ Sat, 18 Mar 2017 14:20:40 GMT
Rep. Walter Jones Challenges Speaker Paul Ryan’s Refusal to Allow Afghanistan War Debate Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/

Interviewed Tuesday at C-SPAN, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) challenged the continuing refusal of US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to allow the House to debate and vote on the Afghanistan War, the costs of which Jones presents as so far including the spending of over 800 billion dollars, the death of over 2,000 Americans, and the wounding of over 20,000 more.

Jones was a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to discuss HR 1666, legislation he introduced in the House of Representatives last week and says in the interview he hopes can lead to a debate on the House floor regarding “whether we should stay in Afghanistan or not stay in Afghanistan.” Jones was joined on the show by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), a cosponsor of the legislation.

Early in the interview, Jones points to Ryan for blame for the continuation of the Afghanistan War with neither a debate nor a vote in the House. Says Jones:
The reason we are not debating this is really not at the White House; it’s Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan can tell the committees of jurisdiction, ‘We want to have a debate on Afghanistan.’ You can use what [Rep. Garamendi] and I put in as a vehicle to have that debate — or something totally different. We just don’t debate this black hole, this waste of money and life in Afghanistan.
Similarly, Ryan and his speaker predecessor John Boehner (R-OH) have for years blocked House debate on authorizing or ending the ISIS War that is being pursued unilaterally by the executive branch.

Jones states bluntly in the C-SPAN interview that his Republican Party is “the war party simply because our leadership in the House will not let us debate and meet our constitutional responsibility” in regard to US wars.

Instead of Congress just funding without restraint whatever fighting to which successive presidents commit the US military, the US Constitution says that the power to declare war resides in Congress. Jones argues in the interview that Congress must rediscover and assert its constitutional control over whether wars are or are not fought. Jones says:
The president right now is operating under the same [authorization for use of military force (AUMF)] that [President George W. Bush] operated under and [President Barack Obama]. Congress is letting the president determine what is going to be done with our military when we have a constitutional duty to declare whether we want to send our men and women to die for this country or not.
Returning later in the interview to the topic of legislative power over the use of the US military overseas, Jones states:
We are frustrated that decisions are being made outside of Congress. And, yet, I blame Congress, quite frankly, for those decisions that are being made outside of Congress — primarily in the White House. We need to show that we are an equal branch of government. And [James] Madison said it better, and I’m paraphrasing very badly: ‘It is the legislative branch that will debate and vote for war, not the executive branch.’ We have allowed the executive branch to take over our foreign policy and determine how to use our troops; it’s wrong.
In the interview, Garamendi backs up Jones’ contention that Congress must exercise its constitutional responsibility regarding the Afghanistan war, stating:
It is unique to us — the 535 members of the Congress and the Senate; it is our obligation to deal with war. Nobody else has that responsibility.
A reason for the legislative branch’s failure to fulfill its responsibility, Garamendi suggests, is fear:
I think people are frightened. Members are frightened about having to vote on whether we are going to war or not. They would just assume somebody else make the decision, and we turned that over to the president.
Watch the complete interview here:



Jones is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:02:58 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Audit the Fed, Healthcare Bill, Veterans’ Guns, Bomb Threats, Police Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ 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.

At a Thursday hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the United Sates House of Representatives, Norman Singleton of the Campaign for Liberty linked the growth of the “welfare-warfare state” to the Federal Reserve in his presentation in favor of HR 24.

HR 24 is this Congress’ version of the Audit the Fed legislation Ron Paul previously sponsored as a House member.

Preventing war is one of the reasons Paul wants to audit the Fed as well as end the Fed. As Paul declares in his book Swords into Plowshares, “[w]ithout the power over the creation of money and credit employed by the politicians and central bankers working in secret, most wars could not be fought.”

Issue two.

In 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said people would learn what was is in the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, after Congress passed it. This week, an effort to pass legislation before people had a chance to understand it was taking place again in the House, this time with a major healthcare bill marketed as repealing and replacing Obamacare. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), a House member and a Ron Paul Instituted Advisory Board member, said in a statement, “the rushed, behind-closed-doors process they’ve used is shameful,”

The new bill, unable to gain sufficient support, was withdrawn Friday afternoon without a vote.

Issue Three.

Last week, the US House of Representatives approved HR 1181, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. The bill concerns protecting the right to bear arms. It also concerns protecting due process, the right to privacy, and the right not to be databased by the government for punishment based on bureaucrats’ decisions.

HR 1181 is intended to prevent US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decisions regarding veterans’ mental health, even just their ability to handle their finances, from resulting in veterans being listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) list of individuals prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns. The legislation states that such a determination requires instead an order or finding from “a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”

HR 1181 must also be approved by the US Senate for the bill to reach President Donald Trump for signing or a veto.

There is reason to expect that HR 1181 will become law. As I mentioned in the March 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, earlier this year Congress approved and Trump signed into law H.J. Res. 40 that prohibits the implementation of regulations that would have allowed the US Social Security Administration to take similar actions against people receiving Social Security benefits.

Issue four.

On Thursday, a Jewish teenager with US and Israel citizenship was arrested in Israel for allegedly making many of the bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions we have heard about in the news lately. The teenager’s lawyer says a brain tumor may have caused irrational behavior.

Earlier this month, Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for allegedly making some more of the threats against Jewish organizations. The allegations say Thompson sometimes made the threats in the name of a former girlfriend and other times in his own name and then claimed she was framing him.

Issue five.

Police body cameras have provided evidence of police brutality. But, Ava Kofman wrote Wednesday at The Intercept that, as real-time face recognition technology advances and photo databases grow, those body cameras along with other police cameras may be used more and more to conduct mass surveillance.

-----

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/featured-articles/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:31:54 GMT
Cornerstone of Afghan Reconstruction Effort — Roads — is Near-Total Failure Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/

One of the planned cornerstones of the 15+ year Afghan Reconstruction Effort was to be an extensive, nationwide network of roads.

The United States’ concept was roads would allow the Afghan economy to flourish as trade could reach throughout the country, security would be enhanced by the ability to move security forces quickly to where they were needed, and that the presence of the roads would serve as a literal symbol of the central government’s ability to extend its presence into the countryside.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its audit of the Department of Defense’s and USAID’s $2.8 billion investment in Afghanistan’s road infrastructure.

The project has been a near-total failure. The audit notes:

— An Afghan Ministry of Public Works’ (MOPW) official stated 20 percent of the roads have been destroyed and the remaining 80 percent continue to deteriorate.

— USAID estimated that unless maintained, it would cost about $8.3 billion to replace Afghanistan’s road infrastructure, and estimated that 54 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffered from poor maintenance and required rehabilitation beyond simple repairs.

— SIGAR inspections of 20 road segments found that 19 had road damage ranging from deep surface cracks to roads and bridges destroyed by weather or insurgents. Some 17 segments were either poorly maintained or not maintained at all.

— MOPW officials noted that Afghanistan’s road infrastructure plays an important role in the country’s development and governance, and if the Kabul to Kandahar highway were to become impassable, the central government would collapse.

— MOPW officials stated it will cost $100 million annually to carry out the necessary maintenance on Afghanistan’s road infrastructure. However, between 2011 and 2016, MOPW received only an average of $21.3 million annually from its American patrons.

— According to a former U.S. official, the Afghan government would always sign the required memorandum acknowledging it had the capability to sustain a project, despite not having the capability to do so. American advisors would always accept the memorandum despite knowing the Afghans did not have the capability to do so.

BONUS: Who in America would not want to see $2.8 billion of American taxpayer money spent on roads here in the Homeland?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:22:45 GMT
Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense? Robert Higgs http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/

Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”

This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.

This thinking presumes at least two critical ideas: first, that defense of a population requires a government that rules that population; and, second, that if a government has the power to take over another country, it will do so.

As for the first assumption, it seems clear that a national government may prove an ineffective means of defense in any event, as many governments have demonstrated through the ages. Moreover, it is certainly conceivable that decentralized measures of defense, such as pervasive guerrilla groups operating more or less independently, might prove effective in preventing a foreign takeover.

As for the second assumption, the persistence of many small countries with weak governments, even in today’s world, certainly calls into question the idea that effectively defenseless countries cannot persist. Surely Brazil has the means to conquer Uruguay, but it does not do so. Surely Germany or France has the means to conquer Belgium, but neither does so. And so forth in regard to many other countries. Governments have various good reasons for refraining from such possible conquests.

Thus, even if the Mexicans could get to the USA first, it is by no means certain that they would choose to do so. And if they did invade the USA, it is by no means certain that they would succeed in the conquest they sought.

Reprinted with permission from the Independent Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:21:44 GMT
Reports: US Airstrikes Killed 230 Civilians in Mosul Overnight Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/

As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city’s west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood.

That’s an enormous toll, of course, but is reported from several sources telling largely the same story, including that a single US airstrike against a large building full of civilians in Mosul killed over 130 people, while the other 100 or so were killed in the surrounding area.

Central Command said that they were “aware of the loss of life” and were carrying out “further investigation,” while insisting that all of their strikes against Mosul overnight “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.” Centcom’s official report for the overnight strikes claimed they’d hit “11 fighting positions” and didn’t mention killing hundreds of civilians.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that the civilian death toll was mostly women and children, saying that the bulk of the bodies were pulled from just three adjoining residences in the Jadida neighborhood. They speculated the civilians were “human shields” for ISIS snipers in the area.

That would be an awful lot of human shields, of course, and there wouldn’t be much point of stashing them inside buildings where the US forces clearly either didn’t know where they were or didn’t feel it amounted to a deterrent to bombing those buildings anyhow.

If the toll is ultimately confirmed by Centcom, which is a huge “if” given how often well documented incidents never end up on their official reports, it would roughly double the number of civilians the US has admitted to killing in Iraq and Syria over the ISIS war. NGOs have suggested the US strikes have killed well over 2,000 civilians already, and that’s not including last night’s massive toll.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:17:46 GMT
Tillerson: US Forces Will Stay in Iraq After Defeat of ISIS Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/

Imagine my surprise.

US military forces will remain in Iraq after the military defeat of the Islamic State in order to avert another resurgence of the terrorist organization, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Wednesday.

"The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS," Tillerson said in comments at the State Department before a meeting of "the global coalition to defeat ISIS."

In perfect doublespeak,  Tillerson said the soldiers will not be engaged in "nation-building," but described a process of "stabilization" and "normalization" that would lead to the development of a strong "civil society" in the war-torn region.

This, in other words, will be a multi-decade U.S. nation-building occupation---launched by President Trump.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:47:24 GMT
Revealed: Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information about Trump Transition People Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/

Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value — were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

Nunez also stated in a press release Wednesday that he has “asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of” related surveillance activities.

Nunes’ discussion of the information being “incidentally collected” and then being widely distributed despite having little or no apparent foreign intelligence value highlights a reason to reject the common claim that people who have done nothing wrong have no reason to worry about mass surveillance. When you allow surveillance to run wild, then information that has nothing to do with the supposed purposes of the surveillance, such as protecting Americans from terrorist attacks, can be easily and frequently swept up and shared.

It is naïve to believe that none of the people who obtain the surveillance-derived information will then use it to their advantage, even if that results in harm to the people “incidentally” surveilled. It is also naïve to assume that surveillance efforts will not be adjusted here and there to make sure that more of the desired, but definable as “incidentally collected,” information is obtained and shared.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:34:34 GMT
Honor the Great Peace Warrior, Ron Paul Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ undefined

Join the Mises and Ron Paul Institutes for a symposium on war and peace in the age of Trump. We’ll meet in Ron’s hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas, on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9am-1pm.

Speakers include Dr. Paul, David Stockman, Phil Giraldi, Jeff Deist, Dan McAdams, and me. The price, which includes luncheon, is just $40 per person. Register here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:30:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Phone Searches, War Guidelines, Michael Brown, Guilty Pleas, Assassination Secrets Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ 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.

Searches of United States citizen’s phones at US borders increased much in the final years of the Obama administration and continue in high numbers in the new Trump administration. A Monday report from NBC provides numbers from the Department of Homeland Security showing there was a fivefold increase in the searches “from fewer than 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 25,000 in 2016” and that 5,000 searches occurred in February of this year.

Maybe you think you can exercise your right, guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, not to have your phone searched. Good luck with that. The NBC report relates this story of a US citizen who, after his phone had been searched at the border when he had returned from a previous trip to Canada, refused to allow another search of his phone when he was again at the US/Canada border:
"One of the officers calls out to me and says, 'Hey, give me your phone,'" recalled [Akram] Shibly. "And I said, 'No, because I already went through this.'"

The officer asked a second time.

Within seconds, [Shibly] was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone.
Issue two.

Guidelines for ordering US military attacks, including targeted killings, in the Global War on Terror may soon be loosened.

Citing unnamed senior government officials, Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung wrote Monday in the Washington Post that the Trump administration “is close to finishing a review that would make it easier for the Pentagon to launch counterterrorism strikes anywhere in the world.”

In particular, the Post writers note that potential changes include the nixing of the requirement of presidential approval of attacks, thus leaving the decision to military leaders, and the scrapping of “the ‘near-certainty’ standard of no civilian deaths for strikes outside war zones.” They also write that “a standard that potential terror targets outside war zones pose a continuing and imminent threat to Americans” could be eliminated.

Issue three.

Be suspicious of reports of the bad character and violent actions of people who have been killed by police. Sometimes, certain information is selectively made public to make such individuals seem violent and of bad character while other information indicating that the truth is otherwise is withheld. Such may be the case with the widely reported allegation that Michael Brown, who in August of 2014 was shot dead by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, had stolen cigarillos from a store. The allegation was somewhat backed up with video from the store. What people did not see was video from earlier that may show Brown offering to trade with store employees a bag containing something — maybe marijuana — for cigarillos and, instead of walking out with the cigarillos, leaving them at the store to pick up later. The new documentary Stranger Fruit includes some of the additional video.

Issue four.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission’s 2016 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, in the years 2012 to 2016 only 2.7 to 3.1 percent of individuals charged in federal criminal cases had a trial. The remaining 97 percent just pled guilty. Are all the individuals in the 97 percent guilty? Certainty not. If the system is stacked against you, pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit can seem like the best option.

Issue five.

Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger wrote this week that thousands of pages of government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are scheduled to be released in October. But, Hornberger notes that some important documents are not included and that President Trump has the power to selectively keep secret, based on a “national security” justification, information scheduled to be released in October.

-----

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/featured-articles/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ Sun, 19 Mar 2017 19:56:37 GMT
Syria: The Micro World War Jack Perry http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/

Wow, who knew that the Israeli air force was running ops in Syria? In the news Friday, Israel is bragging that they intercepted and downed a Syrian SAM that was sent up after one of its planes. Israel says they’re in Syria to hit Hezbollah’s version of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Okay, now we’ve got Israel running its own airstrikes in there, Turkey also from time to time, Russia we know, the United States we know, and Iran when they find spare parts for their F-4 Phantoms. Plus the Syrian air force, of course. Hmmm…several nations involved in one war. Sounds like a micro world war to me.

Now this is just all up in the air, so to speak. But let some of those aircraft bump into one another, and someone panics and turns loose of a AAM or a burst from his 20mm cannon and this little air show could turn into dogfight city with detours through SAM Alley. You can’t have this many aircraft all operating in there before, sooner or later, something is going to happen. But more to the point, Israel in there is the joker in the deck that could really heat things up.

Israel can pull off ops like when they took out Saddam’s Osirak nuclear power plant. While they couldn’t say so out loud, most of the Arab states were quietly relieved that Saddam couldn’t get a hold of a nuclear weapon. But as far as sticking its mitts into a war that is in Syria and does not concern Israel, that could blow up badly. Israel SAYS this is about Hezbollah, but can they be believed? If that SAM had caught up with that Israeli plane and the pilot punched out and got captured by Syrian ground forces, we’d have seen some serious escalation. And that is exactly what’s going to happen if Israel is not ordered out of the pool ASAP.

Not that Israel being told to leave the party will stop this world war from continuing and escalating. The United States now has at least one heavy artillery firebase in Syria running 155mm howitzer fire missions. They came in there with up-armored Humvees and Stryker APCs, too. Plus, there’s a U.S. military “reaction force” squatting over in Kuwait on stand-by. And this all began because Assad needed to be removed??!! Oh, come on! There’s got to be more to it than that.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ Sat, 18 Mar 2017 14:20:40 GMT
Rep. Walter Jones Challenges Speaker Paul Ryan’s Refusal to Allow Afghanistan War Debate Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/

Interviewed Tuesday at C-SPAN, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) challenged the continuing refusal of US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to allow the House to debate and vote on the Afghanistan War, the costs of which Jones presents as so far including the spending of over 800 billion dollars, the death of over 2,000 Americans, and the wounding of over 20,000 more.

Jones was a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to discuss HR 1666, legislation he introduced in the House of Representatives last week and says in the interview he hopes can lead to a debate on the House floor regarding “whether we should stay in Afghanistan or not stay in Afghanistan.” Jones was joined on the show by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), a cosponsor of the legislation.

Early in the interview, Jones points to Ryan for blame for the continuation of the Afghanistan War with neither a debate nor a vote in the House. Says Jones:
The reason we are not debating this is really not at the White House; it’s Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan can tell the committees of jurisdiction, ‘We want to have a debate on Afghanistan.’ You can use what [Rep. Garamendi] and I put in as a vehicle to have that debate — or something totally different. We just don’t debate this black hole, this waste of money and life in Afghanistan.
Similarly, Ryan and his speaker predecessor John Boehner (R-OH) have for years blocked House debate on authorizing or ending the ISIS War that is being pursued unilaterally by the executive branch.

Jones states bluntly in the C-SPAN interview that his Republican Party is “the war party simply because our leadership in the House will not let us debate and meet our constitutional responsibility” in regard to US wars.

Instead of Congress just funding without restraint whatever fighting to which successive presidents commit the US military, the US Constitution says that the power to declare war resides in Congress. Jones argues in the interview that Congress must rediscover and assert its constitutional control over whether wars are or are not fought. Jones says:
The president right now is operating under the same [authorization for use of military force (AUMF)] that [President George W. Bush] operated under and [President Barack Obama]. Congress is letting the president determine what is going to be done with our military when we have a constitutional duty to declare whether we want to send our men and women to die for this country or not.
Returning later in the interview to the topic of legislative power over the use of the US military overseas, Jones states:
We are frustrated that decisions are being made outside of Congress. And, yet, I blame Congress, quite frankly, for those decisions that are being made outside of Congress — primarily in the White House. We need to show that we are an equal branch of government. And [James] Madison said it better, and I’m paraphrasing very badly: ‘It is the legislative branch that will debate and vote for war, not the executive branch.’ We have allowed the executive branch to take over our foreign policy and determine how to use our troops; it’s wrong.
In the interview, Garamendi backs up Jones’ contention that Congress must exercise its constitutional responsibility regarding the Afghanistan war, stating:
It is unique to us — the 535 members of the Congress and the Senate; it is our obligation to deal with war. Nobody else has that responsibility.
A reason for the legislative branch’s failure to fulfill its responsibility, Garamendi suggests, is fear:
I think people are frightened. Members are frightened about having to vote on whether we are going to war or not. They would just assume somebody else make the decision, and we turned that over to the president.
Watch the complete interview here:



Jones is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:02:58 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Audit the Fed, Healthcare Bill, Veterans’ Guns, Bomb Threats, Police Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ 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.

At a Thursday hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the United Sates House of Representatives, Norman Singleton of the Campaign for Liberty linked the growth of the “welfare-warfare state” to the Federal Reserve in his presentation in favor of HR 24.

HR 24 is this Congress’ version of the Audit the Fed legislation Ron Paul previously sponsored as a House member.

Preventing war is one of the reasons Paul wants to audit the Fed as well as end the Fed. As Paul declares in his book Swords into Plowshares, “[w]ithout the power over the creation of money and credit employed by the politicians and central bankers working in secret, most wars could not be fought.”

Issue two.

In 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said people would learn what was is in the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, after Congress passed it. This week, an effort to pass legislation before people had a chance to understand it was taking place again in the House, this time with a major healthcare bill marketed as repealing and replacing Obamacare. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), a House member and a Ron Paul Instituted Advisory Board member, said in a statement, “the rushed, behind-closed-doors process they’ve used is shameful,”

The new bill, unable to gain sufficient support, was withdrawn Friday afternoon without a vote.

Issue Three.

Last week, the US House of Representatives approved HR 1181, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. The bill concerns protecting the right to bear arms. It also concerns protecting due process, the right to privacy, and the right not to be databased by the government for punishment based on bureaucrats’ decisions.

HR 1181 is intended to prevent US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decisions regarding veterans’ mental health, even just their ability to handle their finances, from resulting in veterans being listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) list of individuals prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns. The legislation states that such a determination requires instead an order or finding from “a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”

HR 1181 must also be approved by the US Senate for the bill to reach President Donald Trump for signing or a veto.

There is reason to expect that HR 1181 will become law. As I mentioned in the March 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, earlier this year Congress approved and Trump signed into law H.J. Res. 40 that prohibits the implementation of regulations that would have allowed the US Social Security Administration to take similar actions against people receiving Social Security benefits.

Issue four.

On Thursday, a Jewish teenager with US and Israel citizenship was arrested in Israel for allegedly making many of the bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions we have heard about in the news lately. The teenager’s lawyer says a brain tumor may have caused irrational behavior.

Earlier this month, Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for allegedly making some more of the threats against Jewish organizations. The allegations say Thompson sometimes made the threats in the name of a former girlfriend and other times in his own name and then claimed she was framing him.

Issue five.

Police body cameras have provided evidence of police brutality. But, Ava Kofman wrote Wednesday at The Intercept that, as real-time face recognition technology advances and photo databases grow, those body cameras along with other police cameras may be used more and more to conduct mass surveillance.

-----

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/neocon-watch/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:31:54 GMT
Cornerstone of Afghan Reconstruction Effort — Roads — is Near-Total Failure Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/

One of the planned cornerstones of the 15+ year Afghan Reconstruction Effort was to be an extensive, nationwide network of roads.

The United States’ concept was roads would allow the Afghan economy to flourish as trade could reach throughout the country, security would be enhanced by the ability to move security forces quickly to where they were needed, and that the presence of the roads would serve as a literal symbol of the central government’s ability to extend its presence into the countryside.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its audit of the Department of Defense’s and USAID’s $2.8 billion investment in Afghanistan’s road infrastructure.

The project has been a near-total failure. The audit notes:

— An Afghan Ministry of Public Works’ (MOPW) official stated 20 percent of the roads have been destroyed and the remaining 80 percent continue to deteriorate.

— USAID estimated that unless maintained, it would cost about $8.3 billion to replace Afghanistan’s road infrastructure, and estimated that 54 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffered from poor maintenance and required rehabilitation beyond simple repairs.

— SIGAR inspections of 20 road segments found that 19 had road damage ranging from deep surface cracks to roads and bridges destroyed by weather or insurgents. Some 17 segments were either poorly maintained or not maintained at all.

— MOPW officials noted that Afghanistan’s road infrastructure plays an important role in the country’s development and governance, and if the Kabul to Kandahar highway were to become impassable, the central government would collapse.

— MOPW officials stated it will cost $100 million annually to carry out the necessary maintenance on Afghanistan’s road infrastructure. However, between 2011 and 2016, MOPW received only an average of $21.3 million annually from its American patrons.

— According to a former U.S. official, the Afghan government would always sign the required memorandum acknowledging it had the capability to sustain a project, despite not having the capability to do so. American advisors would always accept the memorandum despite knowing the Afghans did not have the capability to do so.

BONUS: Who in America would not want to see $2.8 billion of American taxpayer money spent on roads here in the Homeland?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:22:45 GMT
Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense? Robert Higgs http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/

Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”

This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.

This thinking presumes at least two critical ideas: first, that defense of a population requires a government that rules that population; and, second, that if a government has the power to take over another country, it will do so.

As for the first assumption, it seems clear that a national government may prove an ineffective means of defense in any event, as many governments have demonstrated through the ages. Moreover, it is certainly conceivable that decentralized measures of defense, such as pervasive guerrilla groups operating more or less independently, might prove effective in preventing a foreign takeover.

As for the second assumption, the persistence of many small countries with weak governments, even in today’s world, certainly calls into question the idea that effectively defenseless countries cannot persist. Surely Brazil has the means to conquer Uruguay, but it does not do so. Surely Germany or France has the means to conquer Belgium, but neither does so. And so forth in regard to many other countries. Governments have various good reasons for refraining from such possible conquests.

Thus, even if the Mexicans could get to the USA first, it is by no means certain that they would choose to do so. And if they did invade the USA, it is by no means certain that they would succeed in the conquest they sought.

Reprinted with permission from the Independent Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:21:44 GMT
Reports: US Airstrikes Killed 230 Civilians in Mosul Overnight Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/

As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city’s west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood.

That’s an enormous toll, of course, but is reported from several sources telling largely the same story, including that a single US airstrike against a large building full of civilians in Mosul killed over 130 people, while the other 100 or so were killed in the surrounding area.

Central Command said that they were “aware of the loss of life” and were carrying out “further investigation,” while insisting that all of their strikes against Mosul overnight “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.” Centcom’s official report for the overnight strikes claimed they’d hit “11 fighting positions” and didn’t mention killing hundreds of civilians.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that the civilian death toll was mostly women and children, saying that the bulk of the bodies were pulled from just three adjoining residences in the Jadida neighborhood. They speculated the civilians were “human shields” for ISIS snipers in the area.

That would be an awful lot of human shields, of course, and there wouldn’t be much point of stashing them inside buildings where the US forces clearly either didn’t know where they were or didn’t feel it amounted to a deterrent to bombing those buildings anyhow.

If the toll is ultimately confirmed by Centcom, which is a huge “if” given how often well documented incidents never end up on their official reports, it would roughly double the number of civilians the US has admitted to killing in Iraq and Syria over the ISIS war. NGOs have suggested the US strikes have killed well over 2,000 civilians already, and that’s not including last night’s massive toll.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:17:46 GMT
Tillerson: US Forces Will Stay in Iraq After Defeat of ISIS Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/

Imagine my surprise.

US military forces will remain in Iraq after the military defeat of the Islamic State in order to avert another resurgence of the terrorist organization, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Wednesday.

"The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS," Tillerson said in comments at the State Department before a meeting of "the global coalition to defeat ISIS."

In perfect doublespeak,  Tillerson said the soldiers will not be engaged in "nation-building," but described a process of "stabilization" and "normalization" that would lead to the development of a strong "civil society" in the war-torn region.

This, in other words, will be a multi-decade U.S. nation-building occupation---launched by President Trump.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:47:24 GMT
Revealed: Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information about Trump Transition People Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/

Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value — were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

Nunez also stated in a press release Wednesday that he has “asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of” related surveillance activities.

Nunes’ discussion of the information being “incidentally collected” and then being widely distributed despite having little or no apparent foreign intelligence value highlights a reason to reject the common claim that people who have done nothing wrong have no reason to worry about mass surveillance. When you allow surveillance to run wild, then information that has nothing to do with the supposed purposes of the surveillance, such as protecting Americans from terrorist attacks, can be easily and frequently swept up and shared.

It is naïve to believe that none of the people who obtain the surveillance-derived information will then use it to their advantage, even if that results in harm to the people “incidentally” surveilled. It is also naïve to assume that surveillance efforts will not be adjusted here and there to make sure that more of the desired, but definable as “incidentally collected,” information is obtained and shared.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:34:34 GMT
Honor the Great Peace Warrior, Ron Paul Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ undefined

Join the Mises and Ron Paul Institutes for a symposium on war and peace in the age of Trump. We’ll meet in Ron’s hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas, on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9am-1pm.

Speakers include Dr. Paul, David Stockman, Phil Giraldi, Jeff Deist, Dan McAdams, and me. The price, which includes luncheon, is just $40 per person. Register here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:30:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Phone Searches, War Guidelines, Michael Brown, Guilty Pleas, Assassination Secrets Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ 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.

Searches of United States citizen’s phones at US borders increased much in the final years of the Obama administration and continue in high numbers in the new Trump administration. A Monday report from NBC provides numbers from the Department of Homeland Security showing there was a fivefold increase in the searches “from fewer than 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 25,000 in 2016” and that 5,000 searches occurred in February of this year.

Maybe you think you can exercise your right, guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, not to have your phone searched. Good luck with that. The NBC report relates this story of a US citizen who, after his phone had been searched at the border when he had returned from a previous trip to Canada, refused to allow another search of his phone when he was again at the US/Canada border:
"One of the officers calls out to me and says, 'Hey, give me your phone,'" recalled [Akram] Shibly. "And I said, 'No, because I already went through this.'"

The officer asked a second time.

Within seconds, [Shibly] was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone.
Issue two.

Guidelines for ordering US military attacks, including targeted killings, in the Global War on Terror may soon be loosened.

Citing unnamed senior government officials, Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung wrote Monday in the Washington Post that the Trump administration “is close to finishing a review that would make it easier for the Pentagon to launch counterterrorism strikes anywhere in the world.”

In particular, the Post writers note that potential changes include the nixing of the requirement of presidential approval of attacks, thus leaving the decision to military leaders, and the scrapping of “the ‘near-certainty’ standard of no civilian deaths for strikes outside war zones.” They also write that “a standard that potential terror targets outside war zones pose a continuing and imminent threat to Americans” could be eliminated.

Issue three.

Be suspicious of reports of the bad character and violent actions of people who have been killed by police. Sometimes, certain information is selectively made public to make such individuals seem violent and of bad character while other information indicating that the truth is otherwise is withheld. Such may be the case with the widely reported allegation that Michael Brown, who in August of 2014 was shot dead by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, had stolen cigarillos from a store. The allegation was somewhat backed up with video from the store. What people did not see was video from earlier that may show Brown offering to trade with store employees a bag containing something — maybe marijuana — for cigarillos and, instead of walking out with the cigarillos, leaving them at the store to pick up later. The new documentary Stranger Fruit includes some of the additional video.

Issue four.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission’s 2016 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, in the years 2012 to 2016 only 2.7 to 3.1 percent of individuals charged in federal criminal cases had a trial. The remaining 97 percent just pled guilty. Are all the individuals in the 97 percent guilty? Certainty not. If the system is stacked against you, pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit can seem like the best option.

Issue five.

Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger wrote this week that thousands of pages of government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are scheduled to be released in October. But, Hornberger notes that some important documents are not included and that President Trump has the power to selectively keep secret, based on a “national security” justification, information scheduled to be released in October.

-----

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/neocon-watch/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ Sun, 19 Mar 2017 19:56:37 GMT
Syria: The Micro World War Jack Perry http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/

Wow, who knew that the Israeli air force was running ops in Syria? In the news Friday, Israel is bragging that they intercepted and downed a Syrian SAM that was sent up after one of its planes. Israel says they’re in Syria to hit Hezbollah’s version of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Okay, now we’ve got Israel running its own airstrikes in there, Turkey also from time to time, Russia we know, the United States we know, and Iran when they find spare parts for their F-4 Phantoms. Plus the Syrian air force, of course. Hmmm…several nations involved in one war. Sounds like a micro world war to me.

Now this is just all up in the air, so to speak. But let some of those aircraft bump into one another, and someone panics and turns loose of a AAM or a burst from his 20mm cannon and this little air show could turn into dogfight city with detours through SAM Alley. You can’t have this many aircraft all operating in there before, sooner or later, something is going to happen. But more to the point, Israel in there is the joker in the deck that could really heat things up.

Israel can pull off ops like when they took out Saddam’s Osirak nuclear power plant. While they couldn’t say so out loud, most of the Arab states were quietly relieved that Saddam couldn’t get a hold of a nuclear weapon. But as far as sticking its mitts into a war that is in Syria and does not concern Israel, that could blow up badly. Israel SAYS this is about Hezbollah, but can they be believed? If that SAM had caught up with that Israeli plane and the pilot punched out and got captured by Syrian ground forces, we’d have seen some serious escalation. And that is exactly what’s going to happen if Israel is not ordered out of the pool ASAP.

Not that Israel being told to leave the party will stop this world war from continuing and escalating. The United States now has at least one heavy artillery firebase in Syria running 155mm howitzer fire missions. They came in there with up-armored Humvees and Stryker APCs, too. Plus, there’s a U.S. military “reaction force” squatting over in Kuwait on stand-by. And this all began because Assad needed to be removed??!! Oh, come on! There’s got to be more to it than that.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ Sat, 18 Mar 2017 14:20:40 GMT
Rep. Walter Jones Challenges Speaker Paul Ryan’s Refusal to Allow Afghanistan War Debate Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/

Interviewed Tuesday at C-SPAN, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) challenged the continuing refusal of US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to allow the House to debate and vote on the Afghanistan War, the costs of which Jones presents as so far including the spending of over 800 billion dollars, the death of over 2,000 Americans, and the wounding of over 20,000 more.

Jones was a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to discuss HR 1666, legislation he introduced in the House of Representatives last week and says in the interview he hopes can lead to a debate on the House floor regarding “whether we should stay in Afghanistan or not stay in Afghanistan.” Jones was joined on the show by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), a cosponsor of the legislation.

Early in the interview, Jones points to Ryan for blame for the continuation of the Afghanistan War with neither a debate nor a vote in the House. Says Jones:
The reason we are not debating this is really not at the White House; it’s Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan can tell the committees of jurisdiction, ‘We want to have a debate on Afghanistan.’ You can use what [Rep. Garamendi] and I put in as a vehicle to have that debate — or something totally different. We just don’t debate this black hole, this waste of money and life in Afghanistan.
Similarly, Ryan and his speaker predecessor John Boehner (R-OH) have for years blocked House debate on authorizing or ending the ISIS War that is being pursued unilaterally by the executive branch.

Jones states bluntly in the C-SPAN interview that his Republican Party is “the war party simply because our leadership in the House will not let us debate and meet our constitutional responsibility” in regard to US wars.

Instead of Congress just funding without restraint whatever fighting to which successive presidents commit the US military, the US Constitution says that the power to declare war resides in Congress. Jones argues in the interview that Congress must rediscover and assert its constitutional control over whether wars are or are not fought. Jones says:
The president right now is operating under the same [authorization for use of military force (AUMF)] that [President George W. Bush] operated under and [President Barack Obama]. Congress is letting the president determine what is going to be done with our military when we have a constitutional duty to declare whether we want to send our men and women to die for this country or not.
Returning later in the interview to the topic of legislative power over the use of the US military overseas, Jones states:
We are frustrated that decisions are being made outside of Congress. And, yet, I blame Congress, quite frankly, for those decisions that are being made outside of Congress — primarily in the White House. We need to show that we are an equal branch of government. And [James] Madison said it better, and I’m paraphrasing very badly: ‘It is the legislative branch that will debate and vote for war, not the executive branch.’ We have allowed the executive branch to take over our foreign policy and determine how to use our troops; it’s wrong.
In the interview, Garamendi backs up Jones’ contention that Congress must exercise its constitutional responsibility regarding the Afghanistan war, stating:
It is unique to us — the 535 members of the Congress and the Senate; it is our obligation to deal with war. Nobody else has that responsibility.
A reason for the legislative branch’s failure to fulfill its responsibility, Garamendi suggests, is fear:
I think people are frightened. Members are frightened about having to vote on whether we are going to war or not. They would just assume somebody else make the decision, and we turned that over to the president.
Watch the complete interview here:



Jones is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/29/rep-walter-jones-challenges-speaker-paul-ryan-s-refusal-to-allow-afghanistan-war-debate/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:02:58 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Audit the Fed, Healthcare Bill, Veterans’ Guns, Bomb Threats, Police Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ 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.

At a Thursday hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the United Sates House of Representatives, Norman Singleton of the Campaign for Liberty linked the growth of the “welfare-warfare state” to the Federal Reserve in his presentation in favor of HR 24.

HR 24 is this Congress’ version of the Audit the Fed legislation Ron Paul previously sponsored as a House member.

Preventing war is one of the reasons Paul wants to audit the Fed as well as end the Fed. As Paul declares in his book Swords into Plowshares, “[w]ithout the power over the creation of money and credit employed by the politicians and central bankers working in secret, most wars could not be fought.”

Issue two.

In 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said people would learn what was is in the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, after Congress passed it. This week, an effort to pass legislation before people had a chance to understand it was taking place again in the House, this time with a major healthcare bill marketed as repealing and replacing Obamacare. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), a House member and a Ron Paul Instituted Advisory Board member, said in a statement, “the rushed, behind-closed-doors process they’ve used is shameful,”

The new bill, unable to gain sufficient support, was withdrawn Friday afternoon without a vote.

Issue Three.

Last week, the US House of Representatives approved HR 1181, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. The bill concerns protecting the right to bear arms. It also concerns protecting due process, the right to privacy, and the right not to be databased by the government for punishment based on bureaucrats’ decisions.

HR 1181 is intended to prevent US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decisions regarding veterans’ mental health, even just their ability to handle their finances, from resulting in veterans being listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) list of individuals prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns. The legislation states that such a determination requires instead an order or finding from “a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”

HR 1181 must also be approved by the US Senate for the bill to reach President Donald Trump for signing or a veto.

There is reason to expect that HR 1181 will become law. As I mentioned in the March 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, earlier this year Congress approved and Trump signed into law H.J. Res. 40 that prohibits the implementation of regulations that would have allowed the US Social Security Administration to take similar actions against people receiving Social Security benefits.

Issue four.

On Thursday, a Jewish teenager with US and Israel citizenship was arrested in Israel for allegedly making many of the bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions we have heard about in the news lately. The teenager’s lawyer says a brain tumor may have caused irrational behavior.

Earlier this month, Juan Thompson was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for allegedly making some more of the threats against Jewish organizations. The allegations say Thompson sometimes made the threats in the name of a former girlfriend and other times in his own name and then claimed she was framing him.

Issue five.

Police body cameras have provided evidence of police brutality. But, Ava Kofman wrote Wednesday at The Intercept that, as real-time face recognition technology advances and photo databases grow, those body cameras along with other police cameras may be used more and more to conduct mass surveillance.

-----

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/congress-alert/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/27/five-minutes-five-issues-audit-the-fed-healthcare-bill-veterans-guns-bomb-threats-police-cameras/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:31:54 GMT
Cornerstone of Afghan Reconstruction Effort — Roads — is Near-Total Failure Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/

One of the planned cornerstones of the 15+ year Afghan Reconstruction Effort was to be an extensive, nationwide network of roads.

The United States’ concept was roads would allow the Afghan economy to flourish as trade could reach throughout the country, security would be enhanced by the ability to move security forces quickly to where they were needed, and that the presence of the roads would serve as a literal symbol of the central government’s ability to extend its presence into the countryside.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its audit of the Department of Defense’s and USAID’s $2.8 billion investment in Afghanistan’s road infrastructure.

The project has been a near-total failure. The audit notes:

— An Afghan Ministry of Public Works’ (MOPW) official stated 20 percent of the roads have been destroyed and the remaining 80 percent continue to deteriorate.

— USAID estimated that unless maintained, it would cost about $8.3 billion to replace Afghanistan’s road infrastructure, and estimated that 54 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffered from poor maintenance and required rehabilitation beyond simple repairs.

— SIGAR inspections of 20 road segments found that 19 had road damage ranging from deep surface cracks to roads and bridges destroyed by weather or insurgents. Some 17 segments were either poorly maintained or not maintained at all.

— MOPW officials noted that Afghanistan’s road infrastructure plays an important role in the country’s development and governance, and if the Kabul to Kandahar highway were to become impassable, the central government would collapse.

— MOPW officials stated it will cost $100 million annually to carry out the necessary maintenance on Afghanistan’s road infrastructure. However, between 2011 and 2016, MOPW received only an average of $21.3 million annually from its American patrons.

— According to a former U.S. official, the Afghan government would always sign the required memorandum acknowledging it had the capability to sustain a project, despite not having the capability to do so. American advisors would always accept the memorandum despite knowing the Afghans did not have the capability to do so.

BONUS: Who in America would not want to see $2.8 billion of American taxpayer money spent on roads here in the Homeland?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/25/cornerstone-of-afghan-reconstruction-effort-roads-is-near-total-failure/ Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:22:45 GMT
Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense? Robert Higgs http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/

Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”

This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.

This thinking presumes at least two critical ideas: first, that defense of a population requires a government that rules that population; and, second, that if a government has the power to take over another country, it will do so.

As for the first assumption, it seems clear that a national government may prove an ineffective means of defense in any event, as many governments have demonstrated through the ages. Moreover, it is certainly conceivable that decentralized measures of defense, such as pervasive guerrilla groups operating more or less independently, might prove effective in preventing a foreign takeover.

As for the second assumption, the persistence of many small countries with weak governments, even in today’s world, certainly calls into question the idea that effectively defenseless countries cannot persist. Surely Brazil has the means to conquer Uruguay, but it does not do so. Surely Germany or France has the means to conquer Belgium, but neither does so. And so forth in regard to many other countries. Governments have various good reasons for refraining from such possible conquests.

Thus, even if the Mexicans could get to the USA first, it is by no means certain that they would choose to do so. And if they did invade the USA, it is by no means certain that they would succeed in the conquest they sought.

Reprinted with permission from the Independent Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/24/is-a-national-government-necessary-for-national-defense/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:21:44 GMT
Reports: US Airstrikes Killed 230 Civilians in Mosul Overnight Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/

As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city’s west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood.

That’s an enormous toll, of course, but is reported from several sources telling largely the same story, including that a single US airstrike against a large building full of civilians in Mosul killed over 130 people, while the other 100 or so were killed in the surrounding area.

Central Command said that they were “aware of the loss of life” and were carrying out “further investigation,” while insisting that all of their strikes against Mosul overnight “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.” Centcom’s official report for the overnight strikes claimed they’d hit “11 fighting positions” and didn’t mention killing hundreds of civilians.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that the civilian death toll was mostly women and children, saying that the bulk of the bodies were pulled from just three adjoining residences in the Jadida neighborhood. They speculated the civilians were “human shields” for ISIS snipers in the area.

That would be an awful lot of human shields, of course, and there wouldn’t be much point of stashing them inside buildings where the US forces clearly either didn’t know where they were or didn’t feel it amounted to a deterrent to bombing those buildings anyhow.

If the toll is ultimately confirmed by Centcom, which is a huge “if” given how often well documented incidents never end up on their official reports, it would roughly double the number of civilians the US has admitted to killing in Iraq and Syria over the ISIS war. NGOs have suggested the US strikes have killed well over 2,000 civilians already, and that’s not including last night’s massive toll.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/23/reports-us-airstrikes-killed-230-civilians-in-mosul-overnight/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:17:46 GMT
Tillerson: US Forces Will Stay in Iraq After Defeat of ISIS Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/

Imagine my surprise.

US military forces will remain in Iraq after the military defeat of the Islamic State in order to avert another resurgence of the terrorist organization, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Wednesday.

"The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS," Tillerson said in comments at the State Department before a meeting of "the global coalition to defeat ISIS."

In perfect doublespeak,  Tillerson said the soldiers will not be engaged in "nation-building," but described a process of "stabilization" and "normalization" that would lead to the development of a strong "civil society" in the war-torn region.

This, in other words, will be a multi-decade U.S. nation-building occupation---launched by President Trump.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/23/tillerson-us-forces-will-stay-in-iraq-after-defeat-of-isis/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:47:24 GMT
Revealed: Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information about Trump Transition People Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/

Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value — were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

Nunez also stated in a press release Wednesday that he has “asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of” related surveillance activities.

Nunes’ discussion of the information being “incidentally collected” and then being widely distributed despite having little or no apparent foreign intelligence value highlights a reason to reject the common claim that people who have done nothing wrong have no reason to worry about mass surveillance. When you allow surveillance to run wild, then information that has nothing to do with the supposed purposes of the surveillance, such as protecting Americans from terrorist attacks, can be easily and frequently swept up and shared.

It is naïve to believe that none of the people who obtain the surveillance-derived information will then use it to their advantage, even if that results in harm to the people “incidentally” surveilled. It is also naïve to assume that surveillance efforts will not be adjusted here and there to make sure that more of the desired, but definable as “incidentally collected,” information is obtained and shared.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/22/revealed-intelligence-community-collected-and-shared-information-about-trump-transition-people/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:34:34 GMT
Honor the Great Peace Warrior, Ron Paul Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ undefined

Join the Mises and Ron Paul Institutes for a symposium on war and peace in the age of Trump. We’ll meet in Ron’s hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas, on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9am-1pm.

Speakers include Dr. Paul, David Stockman, Phil Giraldi, Jeff Deist, Dan McAdams, and me. The price, which includes luncheon, is just $40 per person. Register here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/21/honor-the-great-peace-warrior-ron-paul/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:30:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Phone Searches, War Guidelines, Michael Brown, Guilty Pleas, Assassination Secrets Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ 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.

Searches of United States citizen’s phones at US borders increased much in the final years of the Obama administration and continue in high numbers in the new Trump administration. A Monday report from NBC provides numbers from the Department of Homeland Security showing there was a fivefold increase in the searches “from fewer than 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 25,000 in 2016” and that 5,000 searches occurred in February of this year.

Maybe you think you can exercise your right, guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, not to have your phone searched. Good luck with that. The NBC report relates this story of a US citizen who, after his phone had been searched at the border when he had returned from a previous trip to Canada, refused to allow another search of his phone when he was again at the US/Canada border:
"One of the officers calls out to me and says, 'Hey, give me your phone,'" recalled [Akram] Shibly. "And I said, 'No, because I already went through this.'"

The officer asked a second time.

Within seconds, [Shibly] was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone.
Issue two.

Guidelines for ordering US military attacks, including targeted killings, in the Global War on Terror may soon be loosened.

Citing unnamed senior government officials, Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung wrote Monday in the Washington Post that the Trump administration “is close to finishing a review that would make it easier for the Pentagon to launch counterterrorism strikes anywhere in the world.”

In particular, the Post writers note that potential changes include the nixing of the requirement of presidential approval of attacks, thus leaving the decision to military leaders, and the scrapping of “the ‘near-certainty’ standard of no civilian deaths for strikes outside war zones.” They also write that “a standard that potential terror targets outside war zones pose a continuing and imminent threat to Americans” could be eliminated.

Issue three.

Be suspicious of reports of the bad character and violent actions of people who have been killed by police. Sometimes, certain information is selectively made public to make such individuals seem violent and of bad character while other information indicating that the truth is otherwise is withheld. Such may be the case with the widely reported allegation that Michael Brown, who in August of 2014 was shot dead by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, had stolen cigarillos from a store. The allegation was somewhat backed up with video from the store. What people did not see was video from earlier that may show Brown offering to trade with store employees a bag containing something — maybe marijuana — for cigarillos and, instead of walking out with the cigarillos, leaving them at the store to pick up later. The new documentary Stranger Fruit includes some of the additional video.

Issue four.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission’s 2016 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, in the years 2012 to 2016 only 2.7 to 3.1 percent of individuals charged in federal criminal cases had a trial. The remaining 97 percent just pled guilty. Are all the individuals in the 97 percent guilty? Certainty not. If the system is stacked against you, pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit can seem like the best option.

Issue five.

Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger wrote this week that thousands of pages of government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are scheduled to be released in October. But, Hornberger notes that some important documents are not included and that President Trump has the power to selectively keep secret, based on a “national security” justification, information scheduled to be released in October.

-----

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/congress-alert/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/19/five-minutes-five-issues-phone-searches-war-guidelines-michael-brown-guilty-pleas-assassination-secrets/ Sun, 19 Mar 2017 19:56:37 GMT
Syria: The Micro World War Jack Perry http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/

Wow, who knew that the Israeli air force was running ops in Syria? In the news Friday, Israel is bragging that they intercepted and downed a Syrian SAM that was sent up after one of its planes. Israel says they’re in Syria to hit Hezbollah’s version of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Okay, now we’ve got Israel running its own airstrikes in there, Turkey also from time to time, Russia we know, the United States we know, and Iran when they find spare parts for their F-4 Phantoms. Plus the Syrian air force, of course. Hmmm…several nations involved in one war. Sounds like a micro world war to me.

Now this is just all up in the air, so to speak. But let some of those aircraft bump into one another, and someone panics and turns loose of a AAM or a burst from his 20mm cannon and this little air show could turn into dogfight city with detours through SAM Alley. You can’t have this many aircraft all operating in there before, sooner or later, something is going to happen. But more to the point, Israel in there is the joker in the deck that could really heat things up.

Israel can pull off ops like when they took out Saddam’s Osirak nuclear power plant. While they couldn’t say so out loud, most of the Arab states were quietly relieved that Saddam couldn’t get a hold of a nuclear weapon. But as far as sticking its mitts into a war that is in Syria and does not concern Israel, that could blow up badly. Israel SAYS this is about Hezbollah, but can they be believed? If that SAM had caught up with that Israeli plane and the pilot punched out and got captured by Syrian ground forces, we’d have seen some serious escalation. And that is exactly what’s going to happen if Israel is not ordered out of the pool ASAP.

Not that Israel being told to leave the party will stop this world war from continuing and escalating. The United States now has at least one heavy artillery firebase in Syria running 155mm howitzer fire missions. They came in there with up-armored Humvees and Stryker APCs, too. Plus, there’s a U.S. military “reaction force” squatting over in Kuwait on stand-by. And this all began because Assad needed to be removed??!! Oh, come on! There’s got to be more to it than that.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/march/18/syria-the-micro-world-war/ Sat, 18 Mar 2017 14:20:40 GMT