Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2018 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Sat, 17 Feb 2018 05:00:00 GMT Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:44:12 GMT In Trump’s 2019 Budget, Lockheed Looms Almost as Large as State Dept Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/

In great measure, the Pentagon runs on Lockheed Martin. The US armsmaker racked up $35.2 billion in sales to the US government last year, a preposterously large figure that positions them both as heavily reliant on the government for its profits, and gives them a level of influence unmatched.

Lockheed Martin, after all, gets nearly as much money from the US government as the State Department. CEO Marilyn Hewson is, by the reckoning of some analysts, as powerful as most US cabinet secretaries.

Teal Group’s Richard Aboulafia has the gold medal quote on this – “diplomacy is out; airstrikes are in.” From the F-35 on, Lockheed is a key facilitator of airstrikes, and soaring demands for its products are leading to soaring revenue and rising profit margins.

Reports on the company brag about “juicy” shipbuilding deals, and the money pouring in from nuclear weapons upgrades. Lockheed Martin’s status as a main seller of US arms and the US obsession with growing its military seem to ensure that the company will remain rich, and wildly influential, for years to come.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Strike Two: US Again Launches 'Defense' Attack on Russian and Syrian Forces in Syria Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/

For the second time in a week, US military forces occupying northeast Syria have attacked Syrian government forces, blowing up a Russian-made T-72 battle tank on Saturday. According to a statement made today by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, US forces saw a Russian tank in Syria that "took a shot at us" and the US side called in an airstrike in "self-defense." 

Harrigian said that the US troops were in a "defensive position" when they spotted the Russian tank and fired on it. He said he could not rule out the possibility that the tank was being driven by Russian soldiers when the US attacked it. 

Last week's US attack on forces loyal to the Syrian government were first reported to have killed a total of 100 fighters, with one or two Russians possibly in the mix. But just today new information suggests that the US attack may have killed up to 100 Russians fighting in special "ISIS killers" squads seeking to mop up the last of the extremist group in Syria.

Losing 100 Russians to a US attack in Syria not only shifts a US/Russia proxy war to a US/Russia hot war (on one side thus far), it also carries with it a great political downside for President Vladimir Putin as the Russian presidential election season begins. Liberal challenger to Putin, Grigory Yavlinsky, is already trying to score political points by criticizing the lack of transparency over what Russians are dying for inside Syria. Putin is stuck between a rock and hard place, as he surely understands the dangers of direct retaliation but also sees the political downside of doing nothing as US forces kill Russians in Syria.

Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the Inherent Resolve coalition, said of last week's strike that it was in response to what are likely Syrian government moves to re-claim control of territory that had been vacated when ISIS was defeated in the area.

US actions in northeastern Syria make it clear that Washington intends to carve out a large chunk of Syrian territory to control, with its proxy Kurd forces acting as boots on the ground. The name of the game is increasingly clear: deny the Syrian government the ability to consolidate its control over large parts of the country now that ISIS is defeated. 

The purpose? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that the ultimate US goal in Syria was, as it has been for more than ten years, regime change.

It distorts words beyond any stretch of meaning for a foreign military that illegally occupies the territory of another sovereign state to claim "self-defense" when the military of that sovereign state seeks to expel the invaders. 

How far is the United States willing to go to pursue the "regime change" policy of the past two US presidencies which remains a prime goal of Washington's friends in the region including primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia? 

Israel's recent military escalation in Syria was halted -- at least temporarily -- by a warning call from Putin to Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Will the Russian president make a similar call to Washington warning against any further US strikes on Russians operating (legally, unlike the Americans) in Syria? Will Trump's generals heed the warning...or will they seek to call Putin's bluff?

And what happens if Putin is not bluffing?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 01:17:31 GMT
David Stockman Challenges Economy-Harming, Unnecessary US Military Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/
Stockman, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Ronald Reagan administration, says DC politicians who say military spending needed to be increased in the spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday are “full of it.” Instead of having been too low, Stockman says there is already a “crazy” amount of US military spending, noting that such spending far exceeds that of nations — Stockman mentions China, Russia, and Iran — that are labeled as “so-called hostiles.”

The fact that the US military is “conducting seven wars that we don’t need to have,” explains Stockman, is why there are the troubles with military readiness that people are using to justify further military spending increases. You want a military that is actually ready to defend America, then “get out of these wars” from Somalia to Syria to Afghanistan, argues Stockman. What is happening in these places, argues Stockman, “is not a threat to the interests of the United States.”

Stockman also explains that the desire for more military spending among some DC politicians led them to agree to increase spending in other areas as well to ensure passage of the spending bill. “Well, here’s the scandal of it,” comments Stockman, “to get $82 billion for a defense increase that they don’t need — no way do they need, they agreed to give the Democrats $65 billion more of domestic spending that we absolutely can’t afford.” The combined “warfare state” and “welfare state” spending, Stockman says, threatens “to kill the financial outlook of this country.”

And all this military spending is not even making Americans safer or improving conditions where the US intervenes militarily. As an example, Stockman talks about ISIS. He explains that “we created ISIS” through the US government’s devastation of Iraq via the Iraq War followed by ISIS taking up the weapons the US military left behind. The lesson, says Stockman, a member the advisory board for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is that “we should stop intervening everywhere in the world.”

Watch Stockman’s complete interview here:



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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:49:25 GMT
Russian Fighters Killed In Clash With US-Led Coalition Forces In Syria http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/

With the calm of global capital markets shattered in the past two weeks, the ongoing military conflict in the Middle East has taken an understandable back seat to monetary matters. And yet, tensions involving Syria, Iran and Israel continue to escalate, most notably with this weekend's outright attack by Israel on Syria, allegedly in retaliation for an Iranian drone launch from a Syrian army base, and which led to the first downing of an Israeli F-16 jet in decades.

Yet what has so far prevented the proxy way from spinning out of control, was that Putin - as guarantor of the Syria-Iran axis on one hand - and Netanyahu as his nemesis on the other, had expressed restraint. For now.

That may change, however, following a Reuters report  that Russian fighters were among those killed when US-led coalition forces clashed with pro-government forces in Syria earlier this month.

While Russia’s Defense Ministry said at the time that pro-government militias involved in the incident had been carrying out reconnaissance "and no Russian servicemen had been in the area," the story changed on Monday when it emerged that at least two Russian men fighting informally with pro-government forces were killed in the incident in Deir al-Zor province, their associates told Reuters.
One of the dead was named as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Maxim Buga, a leader of the Cossack community there, said Loginov had been killed around Feb. 7 along with “dozens” of other Russian fighters.

The other man killed was named as Kirill Ananiev, described as a radical Russian nationalist. Alexander Averin, a spokesman for the nationalist party he was linked to, told Reuters Ananiev had been killed in shelling in the same fighting on Feb. 7.
If the deaths are confirmed, it could turn into a political scandal for Putin, with the public demanding why the government is keeping military deaths under wraps. Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances.

“If there was large-scale loss of life of Russian citizens, the relevant officials, including the commander-in-chief of our armed forces (Putin), are obliged to tell the country about it and decide who carries responsibility for this,” Yavlinsky said in a statement released by his Yabloko party.

Of course, if indeed Russian soldiers were killed while fighting under covert circumstances - in the same way as killed US "military advisors" are kept under seal - that is the last thing Moscow would like to publicize. Unless of course the political calculus shifts, and Putin decides that it is time for a full-blown military escalation, in which case the deaths will be used as the justification behind any armed conflict.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
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Five Minutes Five Issues: War on Kratom, Biden’s Advice, NRA and Marijuana, Testing for Fentanyl, US Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Eric Boodman reported at Stat News that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared on Tuesday that the plant kratom is an opioid and that “[t]here is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”

Gottlieb’s statement suggests he thinks kratom, which is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, should be listed in Schedule 1 and subject to total prohibition.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had planned to place kratom in Schedule 1 by the end of September 0f 2016. That proposed scheduling, which met opposition including from United States House of Representatives and Senate members, did not happen. In October of 2016, the DEA announced it was withdrawing the quick scheduling plan, opting instead to establish a public comment period and to request that the FDA expedite a "scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation."

Now that FDA evaluation seems to point to kratom prohibition. Indeed, the war on kratom appears to have already started. In November, the FDA commissioner was relating FDA seizures of kratom imports.

Unless Congress or the president intercedes, expect a full-fledged war on kratom.

Issue two.

Last Month, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano said in a Fox News interview that President Donald Trump should refuse to talk with Russiagate investigators. One reason Napolitano offered was that Trump, who tends to speak without word economy and in not the most respectful manner, may make a misstatement that could result in a charge for making a false statement.

This month, former Vice President Joe Biden echoed Napolitano’s advice and reasoning. Biden said, in an interview with host Chris Cuomo at CNN, that Trump has “some difficulty with precision” and that "one of the things that I would worry about if I were his lawyer is him saying something that was just simply not true without him even planning to be disingenuous."

Issue three.

In the September 8, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the National Rifle Association (NRA) not defending the gun rights of people who use marijuana or have state authorization to use medical marijuana. In explanation, I mentioned NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre’s declaration, “The NRA has demanded the strongest possible prosecution of the federal gun laws for over 20 years.”

If LaPierre and other NRA leaders are interested in reevaluating the NRA position, they could start with reading a Wednesday Washington Times editorial concerning medical marijuana and US gun laws by David Keene who was the NRA’s president from 2011 to 2013. Writes Keene, “The refusal of the federal government to accede to the judgment of the states on the issue has created problems for tens or even hundreds of thousands of gun owners who are being forced to either trade their Second Amendment rights for a chance to live pain-free or risk prosecution and imprisonment.”

Issue four.

Baynard Woods reported last week at The Real News regarding Tino Fuentes’ effort to prevent overdoses by teaching people to test drugs for fentanyl. Woods writes that Fuentes is risking arrest because he possesses drugs to demonstrate the testing process.

That illegality is outrageous. So also is the illegality of drugs.

If drugs were legal, danger from fentanyl would be much less. People could buy their drugs from stores that sell known, branded products offering predictable potency, just as people across America can now buy alcohol.

Issue five.

In a December 31, 2016 interview with host Joshua Bennett at KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska, I predicted that, in order to achieve his desired spending increases, including for the military, President Donald Trump would “compromise” with Congress members resulting in “increasing spending across-the-board.” That happened Friday when Congress passed and Trump signed a huge, deficit-boosting spending bill (HR 1892).

Trump commented at Twitter that the bill “is a BIG VICTORY for our Military,” but incudes “much waste” to gain Democrats’ votes.

-----

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/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ Sun, 11 Feb 2018 13:44:54 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Calls Out FISA Court Charade Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/
In a Monday interview at Fox Business, legal scholar and former New Jersey state Judge Andrew Napolitano called out the FISA court for its extreme flaunting of constitutional restraints. Presenting a scenario where he is woken in the middle of the night by a call from the courthouse regarding an urgent warrant request that the state police are waiting in the lobby of his building to discuss with him, Napolitano illustrates the difference between the process to obtain a FISA court warrant and the process he employed as a judge. Napolitano explains.
And they come into my living room, and we spend an hour going through what they have and how they can demonstrate to me that I should sign a piece of paper letting them break down somebody’s door at three in the morning in order to get evidence. It’s a give and take and a give and take, and I am satisfied that it is more likely than not that behind that door is evidence of a serious crime. The court has to go through that kind of give and take, give and take, give and take when they come to you with an emergency application for a warrant.

If the court blithely accepts what the government gives, it’s as much the court’s fault as the government. If the government knows that the court grants 99.9 percent of all warrants requested, which is an unbelievable number — a number never heard of in my career, then the government’s going to get lazy and sloppy, because they are going to walk in there saying 'we’re going to get this thing, we always do.'
Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:



The super-accommodative approach of the FISA court also opens the door to easily obtaining permission to search and surveil in order to fish for evidence of a criminal act to pin on someone, for information helpful in advancing an individual or company’s financial gain, for information the potential disclosure of which can be held over an individual to exert influence on him, or for information that can be leaked to the media for purposes including influencing an election, a congressional vote, or the confirmation decision on a presidential nominee.

While the FISA court’s activities are secret, the court did admit in 2013 that it had, during its several decades in existence, approved over 99.9 percent of the US government’s surveillance requests.

Napolitano is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.]]>
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Lawrence Wilkerson: Trump’s Iran War Push is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/

The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.

Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.

Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”

The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran — a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq — would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”

Read Wilkerson’s editorial here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:08:16 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Sanctions Suffering, Marijuana Record, Facial Recognition, Venezuela, Declassified Memo Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

During his Tuesday state of the union speech, United States President Donald Trump talked about suffering years back by Ji Seong-ho and members of Seong-ho’s family in North Korea. Then Seong-ho stood up in the audience. Trump suggested the North Korea government was to blame for the suffering.

Two weeks back, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in an on-stage conversation with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Hoover Institution event, claimed credit on behalf of the US government for North Korean fishermen, in boats with insufficient fuel, enduring great danger and dying in desperate efforts to collect fish due to a food shortage. This suffering is good, Tillerson claims, because it shows US sanctions against North Korea are working.

Issue two.

In the December 10, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned that one benefit of California voters approving marijuana legalization the month before is that some people will be able to clear their records of marijuana convictions.

In San Francisco at least, that process should take no effort for many people given a Wednesday announcement by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “Rather than leaving it up to individuals to petition the courts — which is time-consuming and can cost hundreds of dollars in attorney fees,” writes Evan Sernoffsky at the San Francisco Chronicle, “Gascón said San Francisco prosecutors will review and wipe out convictions en masse.”

Issue three.

The US government is moving forward on using facial recognition technology to identify people in American airports. Jefferson Graham reported Thursday at USA Today that Dan Tanciar, the deputy executive director of US Customs and Border Protection, says the plan is to implement within four years a program using the technology to match a databased photo — such as from a passport — with a photo generated at the airport, largely first for international flights and then for domestic flights as well. Graham notes that some airlines are already testing such facial recognition use at some airports and that the San Jose, California airport “hopes to go 100% biometric for international travels this year.”

Issue four.

In a Thursday speech at the University of Texas, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke about Venezuela, criticizing what he called “the corrupt and hostile regime of Nicolás Maduro” in the South American country. Tillerson continues that, in his words, this regime “clings to a false dream and antiquated vision for the region that has already failed its citizens.”

So what does Tillerson propose the US do to fix that? 

In the Q & A after the speech, Tillerson insisted that “[w]e have not advocated for regime change or removal of President Maduro.” That would be good if true. Think of how much worse things became in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine when the US pursued so-called regime change efforts.

Despite his outright denial, pushing regime change seems to be just what Tillerson has in mind when he says in the speech “[w]e will continue to pressure the regime to return to the democratic process that made Venezuela a great country in the past” and praises Venezuela sanctions imposed by the US and other governments. Also, in the same answer in which Tillerson denies regime change support, he suggests a military coup in Venezuela may be a fine way to resolve things.

Issue five.

While some people are downplaying the information contained in the US House Intelligence Committee Republican staff memorandum that was declassified on Friday, writer Peter Van Buren posted at Twitter a concise explanation of one reason the information is important. Van Buren writes:
Bottom line: [the Department of Justice] used unsubstantiated opposition research from one presidential campaign in whole or in part to get permission to spy on people connected to another. You want a Constitutional crisis? Look into that, sparky.
-----

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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Breaking: US-Backed Free Syrian Army Group Shoots Down Russian Jet, Kills Pilot Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/03/breaking-us-backed-free-syrian-army-group-shoots-down-russian-jet-kills-pilot/

The Jaysh al-Nasr rebel group in Syria, part of the US-backed Free Syrian Army, has posted footage of its fighters celebrating the shoot-down of a Russian Suhkoi-25 jet fighter in the Idlib province of Syria. It is the first time a Russian fighter has been shot down by Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. 

The plane was apparently brought down by a man-portable air defense system (ManPADS) surface-to-air missile. According to press reports, the pilot ejected from the plane safely but was killed by the Syrian rebels on the ground. 

The 2017 US military spending bill provided authorization for the Department of Defense to arm the rebels with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles or ManPADS. At the time, the Russians vigorously objected to the dramatic US move to provide sophisticated weaponry to the rebels, claiming (rightfully it turns out) that "[t]he relevant decision also poses a direct threat to aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces..."

The scenario where a US-backed, US-supplied jihadist group in Syria uses US weapons to shoot down a Russian plane and then murders the pilot on the ground should be seen as a near-nightmare escalation, drawing the US and Russia terrifyingly closer to direct conflict.
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RPI's Daniel McAdams on Congressional memo alleging FBI abused spying powers RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/


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In Trump’s 2019 Budget, Lockheed Looms Almost as Large as State Dept Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/

In great measure, the Pentagon runs on Lockheed Martin. The US armsmaker racked up $35.2 billion in sales to the US government last year, a preposterously large figure that positions them both as heavily reliant on the government for its profits, and gives them a level of influence unmatched.

Lockheed Martin, after all, gets nearly as much money from the US government as the State Department. CEO Marilyn Hewson is, by the reckoning of some analysts, as powerful as most US cabinet secretaries.

Teal Group’s Richard Aboulafia has the gold medal quote on this – “diplomacy is out; airstrikes are in.” From the F-35 on, Lockheed is a key facilitator of airstrikes, and soaring demands for its products are leading to soaring revenue and rising profit margins.

Reports on the company brag about “juicy” shipbuilding deals, and the money pouring in from nuclear weapons upgrades. Lockheed Martin’s status as a main seller of US arms and the US obsession with growing its military seem to ensure that the company will remain rich, and wildly influential, for years to come.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Strike Two: US Again Launches 'Defense' Attack on Russian and Syrian Forces in Syria Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/

For the second time in a week, US military forces occupying northeast Syria have attacked Syrian government forces, blowing up a Russian-made T-72 battle tank on Saturday. According to a statement made today by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, US forces saw a Russian tank in Syria that "took a shot at us" and the US side called in an airstrike in "self-defense." 

Harrigian said that the US troops were in a "defensive position" when they spotted the Russian tank and fired on it. He said he could not rule out the possibility that the tank was being driven by Russian soldiers when the US attacked it. 

Last week's US attack on forces loyal to the Syrian government were first reported to have killed a total of 100 fighters, with one or two Russians possibly in the mix. But just today new information suggests that the US attack may have killed up to 100 Russians fighting in special "ISIS killers" squads seeking to mop up the last of the extremist group in Syria.

Losing 100 Russians to a US attack in Syria not only shifts a US/Russia proxy war to a US/Russia hot war (on one side thus far), it also carries with it a great political downside for President Vladimir Putin as the Russian presidential election season begins. Liberal challenger to Putin, Grigory Yavlinsky, is already trying to score political points by criticizing the lack of transparency over what Russians are dying for inside Syria. Putin is stuck between a rock and hard place, as he surely understands the dangers of direct retaliation but also sees the political downside of doing nothing as US forces kill Russians in Syria.

Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the Inherent Resolve coalition, said of last week's strike that it was in response to what are likely Syrian government moves to re-claim control of territory that had been vacated when ISIS was defeated in the area.

US actions in northeastern Syria make it clear that Washington intends to carve out a large chunk of Syrian territory to control, with its proxy Kurd forces acting as boots on the ground. The name of the game is increasingly clear: deny the Syrian government the ability to consolidate its control over large parts of the country now that ISIS is defeated. 

The purpose? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that the ultimate US goal in Syria was, as it has been for more than ten years, regime change.

It distorts words beyond any stretch of meaning for a foreign military that illegally occupies the territory of another sovereign state to claim "self-defense" when the military of that sovereign state seeks to expel the invaders. 

How far is the United States willing to go to pursue the "regime change" policy of the past two US presidencies which remains a prime goal of Washington's friends in the region including primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia? 

Israel's recent military escalation in Syria was halted -- at least temporarily -- by a warning call from Putin to Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Will the Russian president make a similar call to Washington warning against any further US strikes on Russians operating (legally, unlike the Americans) in Syria? Will Trump's generals heed the warning...or will they seek to call Putin's bluff?

And what happens if Putin is not bluffing?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 01:17:31 GMT
David Stockman Challenges Economy-Harming, Unnecessary US Military Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/
Stockman, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Ronald Reagan administration, says DC politicians who say military spending needed to be increased in the spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday are “full of it.” Instead of having been too low, Stockman says there is already a “crazy” amount of US military spending, noting that such spending far exceeds that of nations — Stockman mentions China, Russia, and Iran — that are labeled as “so-called hostiles.”

The fact that the US military is “conducting seven wars that we don’t need to have,” explains Stockman, is why there are the troubles with military readiness that people are using to justify further military spending increases. You want a military that is actually ready to defend America, then “get out of these wars” from Somalia to Syria to Afghanistan, argues Stockman. What is happening in these places, argues Stockman, “is not a threat to the interests of the United States.”

Stockman also explains that the desire for more military spending among some DC politicians led them to agree to increase spending in other areas as well to ensure passage of the spending bill. “Well, here’s the scandal of it,” comments Stockman, “to get $82 billion for a defense increase that they don’t need — no way do they need, they agreed to give the Democrats $65 billion more of domestic spending that we absolutely can’t afford.” The combined “warfare state” and “welfare state” spending, Stockman says, threatens “to kill the financial outlook of this country.”

And all this military spending is not even making Americans safer or improving conditions where the US intervenes militarily. As an example, Stockman talks about ISIS. He explains that “we created ISIS” through the US government’s devastation of Iraq via the Iraq War followed by ISIS taking up the weapons the US military left behind. The lesson, says Stockman, a member the advisory board for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is that “we should stop intervening everywhere in the world.”

Watch Stockman’s complete interview here:



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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:49:25 GMT
Russian Fighters Killed In Clash With US-Led Coalition Forces In Syria http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/

With the calm of global capital markets shattered in the past two weeks, the ongoing military conflict in the Middle East has taken an understandable back seat to monetary matters. And yet, tensions involving Syria, Iran and Israel continue to escalate, most notably with this weekend's outright attack by Israel on Syria, allegedly in retaliation for an Iranian drone launch from a Syrian army base, and which led to the first downing of an Israeli F-16 jet in decades.

Yet what has so far prevented the proxy way from spinning out of control, was that Putin - as guarantor of the Syria-Iran axis on one hand - and Netanyahu as his nemesis on the other, had expressed restraint. For now.

That may change, however, following a Reuters report  that Russian fighters were among those killed when US-led coalition forces clashed with pro-government forces in Syria earlier this month.

While Russia’s Defense Ministry said at the time that pro-government militias involved in the incident had been carrying out reconnaissance "and no Russian servicemen had been in the area," the story changed on Monday when it emerged that at least two Russian men fighting informally with pro-government forces were killed in the incident in Deir al-Zor province, their associates told Reuters.
One of the dead was named as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Maxim Buga, a leader of the Cossack community there, said Loginov had been killed around Feb. 7 along with “dozens” of other Russian fighters.

The other man killed was named as Kirill Ananiev, described as a radical Russian nationalist. Alexander Averin, a spokesman for the nationalist party he was linked to, told Reuters Ananiev had been killed in shelling in the same fighting on Feb. 7.
If the deaths are confirmed, it could turn into a political scandal for Putin, with the public demanding why the government is keeping military deaths under wraps. Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances.

“If there was large-scale loss of life of Russian citizens, the relevant officials, including the commander-in-chief of our armed forces (Putin), are obliged to tell the country about it and decide who carries responsibility for this,” Yavlinsky said in a statement released by his Yabloko party.

Of course, if indeed Russian soldiers were killed while fighting under covert circumstances - in the same way as killed US "military advisors" are kept under seal - that is the last thing Moscow would like to publicize. Unless of course the political calculus shifts, and Putin decides that it is time for a full-blown military escalation, in which case the deaths will be used as the justification behind any armed conflict.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:44:20 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: War on Kratom, Biden’s Advice, NRA and Marijuana, Testing for Fentanyl, US Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Eric Boodman reported at Stat News that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared on Tuesday that the plant kratom is an opioid and that “[t]here is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”

Gottlieb’s statement suggests he thinks kratom, which is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, should be listed in Schedule 1 and subject to total prohibition.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had planned to place kratom in Schedule 1 by the end of September 0f 2016. That proposed scheduling, which met opposition including from United States House of Representatives and Senate members, did not happen. In October of 2016, the DEA announced it was withdrawing the quick scheduling plan, opting instead to establish a public comment period and to request that the FDA expedite a "scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation."

Now that FDA evaluation seems to point to kratom prohibition. Indeed, the war on kratom appears to have already started. In November, the FDA commissioner was relating FDA seizures of kratom imports.

Unless Congress or the president intercedes, expect a full-fledged war on kratom.

Issue two.

Last Month, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano said in a Fox News interview that President Donald Trump should refuse to talk with Russiagate investigators. One reason Napolitano offered was that Trump, who tends to speak without word economy and in not the most respectful manner, may make a misstatement that could result in a charge for making a false statement.

This month, former Vice President Joe Biden echoed Napolitano’s advice and reasoning. Biden said, in an interview with host Chris Cuomo at CNN, that Trump has “some difficulty with precision” and that "one of the things that I would worry about if I were his lawyer is him saying something that was just simply not true without him even planning to be disingenuous."

Issue three.

In the September 8, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the National Rifle Association (NRA) not defending the gun rights of people who use marijuana or have state authorization to use medical marijuana. In explanation, I mentioned NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre’s declaration, “The NRA has demanded the strongest possible prosecution of the federal gun laws for over 20 years.”

If LaPierre and other NRA leaders are interested in reevaluating the NRA position, they could start with reading a Wednesday Washington Times editorial concerning medical marijuana and US gun laws by David Keene who was the NRA’s president from 2011 to 2013. Writes Keene, “The refusal of the federal government to accede to the judgment of the states on the issue has created problems for tens or even hundreds of thousands of gun owners who are being forced to either trade their Second Amendment rights for a chance to live pain-free or risk prosecution and imprisonment.”

Issue four.

Baynard Woods reported last week at The Real News regarding Tino Fuentes’ effort to prevent overdoses by teaching people to test drugs for fentanyl. Woods writes that Fuentes is risking arrest because he possesses drugs to demonstrate the testing process.

That illegality is outrageous. So also is the illegality of drugs.

If drugs were legal, danger from fentanyl would be much less. People could buy their drugs from stores that sell known, branded products offering predictable potency, just as people across America can now buy alcohol.

Issue five.

In a December 31, 2016 interview with host Joshua Bennett at KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska, I predicted that, in order to achieve his desired spending increases, including for the military, President Donald Trump would “compromise” with Congress members resulting in “increasing spending across-the-board.” That happened Friday when Congress passed and Trump signed a huge, deficit-boosting spending bill (HR 1892).

Trump commented at Twitter that the bill “is a BIG VICTORY for our Military,” but incudes “much waste” to gain Democrats’ votes.

-----

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/featured-articles/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ Sun, 11 Feb 2018 13:44:54 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Calls Out FISA Court Charade Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/
In a Monday interview at Fox Business, legal scholar and former New Jersey state Judge Andrew Napolitano called out the FISA court for its extreme flaunting of constitutional restraints. Presenting a scenario where he is woken in the middle of the night by a call from the courthouse regarding an urgent warrant request that the state police are waiting in the lobby of his building to discuss with him, Napolitano illustrates the difference between the process to obtain a FISA court warrant and the process he employed as a judge. Napolitano explains.
And they come into my living room, and we spend an hour going through what they have and how they can demonstrate to me that I should sign a piece of paper letting them break down somebody’s door at three in the morning in order to get evidence. It’s a give and take and a give and take, and I am satisfied that it is more likely than not that behind that door is evidence of a serious crime. The court has to go through that kind of give and take, give and take, give and take when they come to you with an emergency application for a warrant.

If the court blithely accepts what the government gives, it’s as much the court’s fault as the government. If the government knows that the court grants 99.9 percent of all warrants requested, which is an unbelievable number — a number never heard of in my career, then the government’s going to get lazy and sloppy, because they are going to walk in there saying 'we’re going to get this thing, we always do.'
Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:



The super-accommodative approach of the FISA court also opens the door to easily obtaining permission to search and surveil in order to fish for evidence of a criminal act to pin on someone, for information helpful in advancing an individual or company’s financial gain, for information the potential disclosure of which can be held over an individual to exert influence on him, or for information that can be leaked to the media for purposes including influencing an election, a congressional vote, or the confirmation decision on a presidential nominee.

While the FISA court’s activities are secret, the court did admit in 2013 that it had, during its several decades in existence, approved over 99.9 percent of the US government’s surveillance requests.

Napolitano is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:25:38 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: Trump’s Iran War Push is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/

The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.

Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.

Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”

The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran — a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq — would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”

Read Wilkerson’s editorial here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:08:16 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Sanctions Suffering, Marijuana Record, Facial Recognition, Venezuela, Declassified Memo Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

During his Tuesday state of the union speech, United States President Donald Trump talked about suffering years back by Ji Seong-ho and members of Seong-ho’s family in North Korea. Then Seong-ho stood up in the audience. Trump suggested the North Korea government was to blame for the suffering.

Two weeks back, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in an on-stage conversation with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Hoover Institution event, claimed credit on behalf of the US government for North Korean fishermen, in boats with insufficient fuel, enduring great danger and dying in desperate efforts to collect fish due to a food shortage. This suffering is good, Tillerson claims, because it shows US sanctions against North Korea are working.

Issue two.

In the December 10, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned that one benefit of California voters approving marijuana legalization the month before is that some people will be able to clear their records of marijuana convictions.

In San Francisco at least, that process should take no effort for many people given a Wednesday announcement by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “Rather than leaving it up to individuals to petition the courts — which is time-consuming and can cost hundreds of dollars in attorney fees,” writes Evan Sernoffsky at the San Francisco Chronicle, “Gascón said San Francisco prosecutors will review and wipe out convictions en masse.”

Issue three.

The US government is moving forward on using facial recognition technology to identify people in American airports. Jefferson Graham reported Thursday at USA Today that Dan Tanciar, the deputy executive director of US Customs and Border Protection, says the plan is to implement within four years a program using the technology to match a databased photo — such as from a passport — with a photo generated at the airport, largely first for international flights and then for domestic flights as well. Graham notes that some airlines are already testing such facial recognition use at some airports and that the San Jose, California airport “hopes to go 100% biometric for international travels this year.”

Issue four.

In a Thursday speech at the University of Texas, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke about Venezuela, criticizing what he called “the corrupt and hostile regime of Nicolás Maduro” in the South American country. Tillerson continues that, in his words, this regime “clings to a false dream and antiquated vision for the region that has already failed its citizens.”

So what does Tillerson propose the US do to fix that? 

In the Q & A after the speech, Tillerson insisted that “[w]e have not advocated for regime change or removal of President Maduro.” That would be good if true. Think of how much worse things became in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine when the US pursued so-called regime change efforts.

Despite his outright denial, pushing regime change seems to be just what Tillerson has in mind when he says in the speech “[w]e will continue to pressure the regime to return to the democratic process that made Venezuela a great country in the past” and praises Venezuela sanctions imposed by the US and other governments. Also, in the same answer in which Tillerson denies regime change support, he suggests a military coup in Venezuela may be a fine way to resolve things.

Issue five.

While some people are downplaying the information contained in the US House Intelligence Committee Republican staff memorandum that was declassified on Friday, writer Peter Van Buren posted at Twitter a concise explanation of one reason the information is important. Van Buren writes:
Bottom line: [the Department of Justice] used unsubstantiated opposition research from one presidential campaign in whole or in part to get permission to spy on people connected to another. You want a Constitutional crisis? Look into that, sparky.
-----

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/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 15:26:23 GMT
Breaking: US-Backed Free Syrian Army Group Shoots Down Russian Jet, Kills Pilot Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/03/breaking-us-backed-free-syrian-army-group-shoots-down-russian-jet-kills-pilot/

The Jaysh al-Nasr rebel group in Syria, part of the US-backed Free Syrian Army, has posted footage of its fighters celebrating the shoot-down of a Russian Suhkoi-25 jet fighter in the Idlib province of Syria. It is the first time a Russian fighter has been shot down by Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. 

The plane was apparently brought down by a man-portable air defense system (ManPADS) surface-to-air missile. According to press reports, the pilot ejected from the plane safely but was killed by the Syrian rebels on the ground. 

The 2017 US military spending bill provided authorization for the Department of Defense to arm the rebels with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles or ManPADS. At the time, the Russians vigorously objected to the dramatic US move to provide sophisticated weaponry to the rebels, claiming (rightfully it turns out) that "[t]he relevant decision also poses a direct threat to aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces..."

The scenario where a US-backed, US-supplied jihadist group in Syria uses US weapons to shoot down a Russian plane and then murders the pilot on the ground should be seen as a near-nightmare escalation, drawing the US and Russia terrifyingly closer to direct conflict.
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RPI's Daniel McAdams on Congressional memo alleging FBI abused spying powers RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/


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In Trump’s 2019 Budget, Lockheed Looms Almost as Large as State Dept Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/

In great measure, the Pentagon runs on Lockheed Martin. The US armsmaker racked up $35.2 billion in sales to the US government last year, a preposterously large figure that positions them both as heavily reliant on the government for its profits, and gives them a level of influence unmatched.

Lockheed Martin, after all, gets nearly as much money from the US government as the State Department. CEO Marilyn Hewson is, by the reckoning of some analysts, as powerful as most US cabinet secretaries.

Teal Group’s Richard Aboulafia has the gold medal quote on this – “diplomacy is out; airstrikes are in.” From the F-35 on, Lockheed is a key facilitator of airstrikes, and soaring demands for its products are leading to soaring revenue and rising profit margins.

Reports on the company brag about “juicy” shipbuilding deals, and the money pouring in from nuclear weapons upgrades. Lockheed Martin’s status as a main seller of US arms and the US obsession with growing its military seem to ensure that the company will remain rich, and wildly influential, for years to come.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/ Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:36:36 GMT
Strike Two: US Again Launches 'Defense' Attack on Russian and Syrian Forces in Syria Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/

For the second time in a week, US military forces occupying northeast Syria have attacked Syrian government forces, blowing up a Russian-made T-72 battle tank on Saturday. According to a statement made today by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, US forces saw a Russian tank in Syria that "took a shot at us" and the US side called in an airstrike in "self-defense." 

Harrigian said that the US troops were in a "defensive position" when they spotted the Russian tank and fired on it. He said he could not rule out the possibility that the tank was being driven by Russian soldiers when the US attacked it. 

Last week's US attack on forces loyal to the Syrian government were first reported to have killed a total of 100 fighters, with one or two Russians possibly in the mix. But just today new information suggests that the US attack may have killed up to 100 Russians fighting in special "ISIS killers" squads seeking to mop up the last of the extremist group in Syria.

Losing 100 Russians to a US attack in Syria not only shifts a US/Russia proxy war to a US/Russia hot war (on one side thus far), it also carries with it a great political downside for President Vladimir Putin as the Russian presidential election season begins. Liberal challenger to Putin, Grigory Yavlinsky, is already trying to score political points by criticizing the lack of transparency over what Russians are dying for inside Syria. Putin is stuck between a rock and hard place, as he surely understands the dangers of direct retaliation but also sees the political downside of doing nothing as US forces kill Russians in Syria.

Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the Inherent Resolve coalition, said of last week's strike that it was in response to what are likely Syrian government moves to re-claim control of territory that had been vacated when ISIS was defeated in the area.

US actions in northeastern Syria make it clear that Washington intends to carve out a large chunk of Syrian territory to control, with its proxy Kurd forces acting as boots on the ground. The name of the game is increasingly clear: deny the Syrian government the ability to consolidate its control over large parts of the country now that ISIS is defeated. 

The purpose? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that the ultimate US goal in Syria was, as it has been for more than ten years, regime change.

It distorts words beyond any stretch of meaning for a foreign military that illegally occupies the territory of another sovereign state to claim "self-defense" when the military of that sovereign state seeks to expel the invaders. 

How far is the United States willing to go to pursue the "regime change" policy of the past two US presidencies which remains a prime goal of Washington's friends in the region including primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia? 

Israel's recent military escalation in Syria was halted -- at least temporarily -- by a warning call from Putin to Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Will the Russian president make a similar call to Washington warning against any further US strikes on Russians operating (legally, unlike the Americans) in Syria? Will Trump's generals heed the warning...or will they seek to call Putin's bluff?

And what happens if Putin is not bluffing?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 01:17:31 GMT
David Stockman Challenges Economy-Harming, Unnecessary US Military Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/
Stockman, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Ronald Reagan administration, says DC politicians who say military spending needed to be increased in the spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday are “full of it.” Instead of having been too low, Stockman says there is already a “crazy” amount of US military spending, noting that such spending far exceeds that of nations — Stockman mentions China, Russia, and Iran — that are labeled as “so-called hostiles.”

The fact that the US military is “conducting seven wars that we don’t need to have,” explains Stockman, is why there are the troubles with military readiness that people are using to justify further military spending increases. You want a military that is actually ready to defend America, then “get out of these wars” from Somalia to Syria to Afghanistan, argues Stockman. What is happening in these places, argues Stockman, “is not a threat to the interests of the United States.”

Stockman also explains that the desire for more military spending among some DC politicians led them to agree to increase spending in other areas as well to ensure passage of the spending bill. “Well, here’s the scandal of it,” comments Stockman, “to get $82 billion for a defense increase that they don’t need — no way do they need, they agreed to give the Democrats $65 billion more of domestic spending that we absolutely can’t afford.” The combined “warfare state” and “welfare state” spending, Stockman says, threatens “to kill the financial outlook of this country.”

And all this military spending is not even making Americans safer or improving conditions where the US intervenes militarily. As an example, Stockman talks about ISIS. He explains that “we created ISIS” through the US government’s devastation of Iraq via the Iraq War followed by ISIS taking up the weapons the US military left behind. The lesson, says Stockman, a member the advisory board for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is that “we should stop intervening everywhere in the world.”

Watch Stockman’s complete interview here:



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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:49:25 GMT
Russian Fighters Killed In Clash With US-Led Coalition Forces In Syria http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/

With the calm of global capital markets shattered in the past two weeks, the ongoing military conflict in the Middle East has taken an understandable back seat to monetary matters. And yet, tensions involving Syria, Iran and Israel continue to escalate, most notably with this weekend's outright attack by Israel on Syria, allegedly in retaliation for an Iranian drone launch from a Syrian army base, and which led to the first downing of an Israeli F-16 jet in decades.

Yet what has so far prevented the proxy way from spinning out of control, was that Putin - as guarantor of the Syria-Iran axis on one hand - and Netanyahu as his nemesis on the other, had expressed restraint. For now.

That may change, however, following a Reuters report  that Russian fighters were among those killed when US-led coalition forces clashed with pro-government forces in Syria earlier this month.

While Russia’s Defense Ministry said at the time that pro-government militias involved in the incident had been carrying out reconnaissance "and no Russian servicemen had been in the area," the story changed on Monday when it emerged that at least two Russian men fighting informally with pro-government forces were killed in the incident in Deir al-Zor province, their associates told Reuters.
One of the dead was named as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Maxim Buga, a leader of the Cossack community there, said Loginov had been killed around Feb. 7 along with “dozens” of other Russian fighters.

The other man killed was named as Kirill Ananiev, described as a radical Russian nationalist. Alexander Averin, a spokesman for the nationalist party he was linked to, told Reuters Ananiev had been killed in shelling in the same fighting on Feb. 7.
If the deaths are confirmed, it could turn into a political scandal for Putin, with the public demanding why the government is keeping military deaths under wraps. Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances.

“If there was large-scale loss of life of Russian citizens, the relevant officials, including the commander-in-chief of our armed forces (Putin), are obliged to tell the country about it and decide who carries responsibility for this,” Yavlinsky said in a statement released by his Yabloko party.

Of course, if indeed Russian soldiers were killed while fighting under covert circumstances - in the same way as killed US "military advisors" are kept under seal - that is the last thing Moscow would like to publicize. Unless of course the political calculus shifts, and Putin decides that it is time for a full-blown military escalation, in which case the deaths will be used as the justification behind any armed conflict.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:44:20 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: War on Kratom, Biden’s Advice, NRA and Marijuana, Testing for Fentanyl, US Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Eric Boodman reported at Stat News that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared on Tuesday that the plant kratom is an opioid and that “[t]here is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”

Gottlieb’s statement suggests he thinks kratom, which is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, should be listed in Schedule 1 and subject to total prohibition.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had planned to place kratom in Schedule 1 by the end of September 0f 2016. That proposed scheduling, which met opposition including from United States House of Representatives and Senate members, did not happen. In October of 2016, the DEA announced it was withdrawing the quick scheduling plan, opting instead to establish a public comment period and to request that the FDA expedite a "scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation."

Now that FDA evaluation seems to point to kratom prohibition. Indeed, the war on kratom appears to have already started. In November, the FDA commissioner was relating FDA seizures of kratom imports.

Unless Congress or the president intercedes, expect a full-fledged war on kratom.

Issue two.

Last Month, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano said in a Fox News interview that President Donald Trump should refuse to talk with Russiagate investigators. One reason Napolitano offered was that Trump, who tends to speak without word economy and in not the most respectful manner, may make a misstatement that could result in a charge for making a false statement.

This month, former Vice President Joe Biden echoed Napolitano’s advice and reasoning. Biden said, in an interview with host Chris Cuomo at CNN, that Trump has “some difficulty with precision” and that "one of the things that I would worry about if I were his lawyer is him saying something that was just simply not true without him even planning to be disingenuous."

Issue three.

In the September 8, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the National Rifle Association (NRA) not defending the gun rights of people who use marijuana or have state authorization to use medical marijuana. In explanation, I mentioned NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre’s declaration, “The NRA has demanded the strongest possible prosecution of the federal gun laws for over 20 years.”

If LaPierre and other NRA leaders are interested in reevaluating the NRA position, they could start with reading a Wednesday Washington Times editorial concerning medical marijuana and US gun laws by David Keene who was the NRA’s president from 2011 to 2013. Writes Keene, “The refusal of the federal government to accede to the judgment of the states on the issue has created problems for tens or even hundreds of thousands of gun owners who are being forced to either trade their Second Amendment rights for a chance to live pain-free or risk prosecution and imprisonment.”

Issue four.

Baynard Woods reported last week at The Real News regarding Tino Fuentes’ effort to prevent overdoses by teaching people to test drugs for fentanyl. Woods writes that Fuentes is risking arrest because he possesses drugs to demonstrate the testing process.

That illegality is outrageous. So also is the illegality of drugs.

If drugs were legal, danger from fentanyl would be much less. People could buy their drugs from stores that sell known, branded products offering predictable potency, just as people across America can now buy alcohol.

Issue five.

In a December 31, 2016 interview with host Joshua Bennett at KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska, I predicted that, in order to achieve his desired spending increases, including for the military, President Donald Trump would “compromise” with Congress members resulting in “increasing spending across-the-board.” That happened Friday when Congress passed and Trump signed a huge, deficit-boosting spending bill (HR 1892).

Trump commented at Twitter that the bill “is a BIG VICTORY for our Military,” but incudes “much waste” to gain Democrats’ votes.

-----

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/neocon-watch/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ Sun, 11 Feb 2018 13:44:54 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Calls Out FISA Court Charade Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/
In a Monday interview at Fox Business, legal scholar and former New Jersey state Judge Andrew Napolitano called out the FISA court for its extreme flaunting of constitutional restraints. Presenting a scenario where he is woken in the middle of the night by a call from the courthouse regarding an urgent warrant request that the state police are waiting in the lobby of his building to discuss with him, Napolitano illustrates the difference between the process to obtain a FISA court warrant and the process he employed as a judge. Napolitano explains.
And they come into my living room, and we spend an hour going through what they have and how they can demonstrate to me that I should sign a piece of paper letting them break down somebody’s door at three in the morning in order to get evidence. It’s a give and take and a give and take, and I am satisfied that it is more likely than not that behind that door is evidence of a serious crime. The court has to go through that kind of give and take, give and take, give and take when they come to you with an emergency application for a warrant.

If the court blithely accepts what the government gives, it’s as much the court’s fault as the government. If the government knows that the court grants 99.9 percent of all warrants requested, which is an unbelievable number — a number never heard of in my career, then the government’s going to get lazy and sloppy, because they are going to walk in there saying 'we’re going to get this thing, we always do.'
Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:



The super-accommodative approach of the FISA court also opens the door to easily obtaining permission to search and surveil in order to fish for evidence of a criminal act to pin on someone, for information helpful in advancing an individual or company’s financial gain, for information the potential disclosure of which can be held over an individual to exert influence on him, or for information that can be leaked to the media for purposes including influencing an election, a congressional vote, or the confirmation decision on a presidential nominee.

While the FISA court’s activities are secret, the court did admit in 2013 that it had, during its several decades in existence, approved over 99.9 percent of the US government’s surveillance requests.

Napolitano is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:25:38 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: Trump’s Iran War Push is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/

The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.

Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.

Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”

The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran — a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq — would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”

Read Wilkerson’s editorial here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:08:16 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Sanctions Suffering, Marijuana Record, Facial Recognition, Venezuela, Declassified Memo Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

During his Tuesday state of the union speech, United States President Donald Trump talked about suffering years back by Ji Seong-ho and members of Seong-ho’s family in North Korea. Then Seong-ho stood up in the audience. Trump suggested the North Korea government was to blame for the suffering.

Two weeks back, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in an on-stage conversation with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Hoover Institution event, claimed credit on behalf of the US government for North Korean fishermen, in boats with insufficient fuel, enduring great danger and dying in desperate efforts to collect fish due to a food shortage. This suffering is good, Tillerson claims, because it shows US sanctions against North Korea are working.

Issue two.

In the December 10, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned that one benefit of California voters approving marijuana legalization the month before is that some people will be able to clear their records of marijuana convictions.

In San Francisco at least, that process should take no effort for many people given a Wednesday announcement by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “Rather than leaving it up to individuals to petition the courts — which is time-consuming and can cost hundreds of dollars in attorney fees,” writes Evan Sernoffsky at the San Francisco Chronicle, “Gascón said San Francisco prosecutors will review and wipe out convictions en masse.”

Issue three.

The US government is moving forward on using facial recognition technology to identify people in American airports. Jefferson Graham reported Thursday at USA Today that Dan Tanciar, the deputy executive director of US Customs and Border Protection, says the plan is to implement within four years a program using the technology to match a databased photo — such as from a passport — with a photo generated at the airport, largely first for international flights and then for domestic flights as well. Graham notes that some airlines are already testing such facial recognition use at some airports and that the San Jose, California airport “hopes to go 100% biometric for international travels this year.”

Issue four.

In a Thursday speech at the University of Texas, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke about Venezuela, criticizing what he called “the corrupt and hostile regime of Nicolás Maduro” in the South American country. Tillerson continues that, in his words, this regime “clings to a false dream and antiquated vision for the region that has already failed its citizens.”

So what does Tillerson propose the US do to fix that? 

In the Q & A after the speech, Tillerson insisted that “[w]e have not advocated for regime change or removal of President Maduro.” That would be good if true. Think of how much worse things became in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine when the US pursued so-called regime change efforts.

Despite his outright denial, pushing regime change seems to be just what Tillerson has in mind when he says in the speech “[w]e will continue to pressure the regime to return to the democratic process that made Venezuela a great country in the past” and praises Venezuela sanctions imposed by the US and other governments. Also, in the same answer in which Tillerson denies regime change support, he suggests a military coup in Venezuela may be a fine way to resolve things.

Issue five.

While some people are downplaying the information contained in the US House Intelligence Committee Republican staff memorandum that was declassified on Friday, writer Peter Van Buren posted at Twitter a concise explanation of one reason the information is important. Van Buren writes:
Bottom line: [the Department of Justice] used unsubstantiated opposition research from one presidential campaign in whole or in part to get permission to spy on people connected to another. You want a Constitutional crisis? Look into that, sparky.
-----

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/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 15:26:23 GMT
Breaking: US-Backed Free Syrian Army Group Shoots Down Russian Jet, Kills Pilot Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/03/breaking-us-backed-free-syrian-army-group-shoots-down-russian-jet-kills-pilot/

The Jaysh al-Nasr rebel group in Syria, part of the US-backed Free Syrian Army, has posted footage of its fighters celebrating the shoot-down of a Russian Suhkoi-25 jet fighter in the Idlib province of Syria. It is the first time a Russian fighter has been shot down by Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. 

The plane was apparently brought down by a man-portable air defense system (ManPADS) surface-to-air missile. According to press reports, the pilot ejected from the plane safely but was killed by the Syrian rebels on the ground. 

The 2017 US military spending bill provided authorization for the Department of Defense to arm the rebels with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles or ManPADS. At the time, the Russians vigorously objected to the dramatic US move to provide sophisticated weaponry to the rebels, claiming (rightfully it turns out) that "[t]he relevant decision also poses a direct threat to aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces..."

The scenario where a US-backed, US-supplied jihadist group in Syria uses US weapons to shoot down a Russian plane and then murders the pilot on the ground should be seen as a near-nightmare escalation, drawing the US and Russia terrifyingly closer to direct conflict.
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RPI's Daniel McAdams on Congressional memo alleging FBI abused spying powers RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/


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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/ Sat, 03 Feb 2018 00:09:42 GMT
In Trump’s 2019 Budget, Lockheed Looms Almost as Large as State Dept Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/

In great measure, the Pentagon runs on Lockheed Martin. The US armsmaker racked up $35.2 billion in sales to the US government last year, a preposterously large figure that positions them both as heavily reliant on the government for its profits, and gives them a level of influence unmatched.

Lockheed Martin, after all, gets nearly as much money from the US government as the State Department. CEO Marilyn Hewson is, by the reckoning of some analysts, as powerful as most US cabinet secretaries.

Teal Group’s Richard Aboulafia has the gold medal quote on this – “diplomacy is out; airstrikes are in.” From the F-35 on, Lockheed is a key facilitator of airstrikes, and soaring demands for its products are leading to soaring revenue and rising profit margins.

Reports on the company brag about “juicy” shipbuilding deals, and the money pouring in from nuclear weapons upgrades. Lockheed Martin’s status as a main seller of US arms and the US obsession with growing its military seem to ensure that the company will remain rich, and wildly influential, for years to come.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/17/in-trump-s-2019-budget-lockheed-looms-almost-as-large-as-state-dept/ Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:36:36 GMT
Strike Two: US Again Launches 'Defense' Attack on Russian and Syrian Forces in Syria Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/

For the second time in a week, US military forces occupying northeast Syria have attacked Syrian government forces, blowing up a Russian-made T-72 battle tank on Saturday. According to a statement made today by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, US forces saw a Russian tank in Syria that "took a shot at us" and the US side called in an airstrike in "self-defense." 

Harrigian said that the US troops were in a "defensive position" when they spotted the Russian tank and fired on it. He said he could not rule out the possibility that the tank was being driven by Russian soldiers when the US attacked it. 

Last week's US attack on forces loyal to the Syrian government were first reported to have killed a total of 100 fighters, with one or two Russians possibly in the mix. But just today new information suggests that the US attack may have killed up to 100 Russians fighting in special "ISIS killers" squads seeking to mop up the last of the extremist group in Syria.

Losing 100 Russians to a US attack in Syria not only shifts a US/Russia proxy war to a US/Russia hot war (on one side thus far), it also carries with it a great political downside for President Vladimir Putin as the Russian presidential election season begins. Liberal challenger to Putin, Grigory Yavlinsky, is already trying to score political points by criticizing the lack of transparency over what Russians are dying for inside Syria. Putin is stuck between a rock and hard place, as he surely understands the dangers of direct retaliation but also sees the political downside of doing nothing as US forces kill Russians in Syria.

Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the Inherent Resolve coalition, said of last week's strike that it was in response to what are likely Syrian government moves to re-claim control of territory that had been vacated when ISIS was defeated in the area.

US actions in northeastern Syria make it clear that Washington intends to carve out a large chunk of Syrian territory to control, with its proxy Kurd forces acting as boots on the ground. The name of the game is increasingly clear: deny the Syrian government the ability to consolidate its control over large parts of the country now that ISIS is defeated. 

The purpose? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that the ultimate US goal in Syria was, as it has been for more than ten years, regime change.

It distorts words beyond any stretch of meaning for a foreign military that illegally occupies the territory of another sovereign state to claim "self-defense" when the military of that sovereign state seeks to expel the invaders. 

How far is the United States willing to go to pursue the "regime change" policy of the past two US presidencies which remains a prime goal of Washington's friends in the region including primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia? 

Israel's recent military escalation in Syria was halted -- at least temporarily -- by a warning call from Putin to Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Will the Russian president make a similar call to Washington warning against any further US strikes on Russians operating (legally, unlike the Americans) in Syria? Will Trump's generals heed the warning...or will they seek to call Putin's bluff?

And what happens if Putin is not bluffing?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/13/strike-two-us-again-launches-defense-attack-on-russian-and-syrian-forces-in-syria/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 01:17:31 GMT
David Stockman Challenges Economy-Harming, Unnecessary US Military Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/
Stockman, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Ronald Reagan administration, says DC politicians who say military spending needed to be increased in the spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday are “full of it.” Instead of having been too low, Stockman says there is already a “crazy” amount of US military spending, noting that such spending far exceeds that of nations — Stockman mentions China, Russia, and Iran — that are labeled as “so-called hostiles.”

The fact that the US military is “conducting seven wars that we don’t need to have,” explains Stockman, is why there are the troubles with military readiness that people are using to justify further military spending increases. You want a military that is actually ready to defend America, then “get out of these wars” from Somalia to Syria to Afghanistan, argues Stockman. What is happening in these places, argues Stockman, “is not a threat to the interests of the United States.”

Stockman also explains that the desire for more military spending among some DC politicians led them to agree to increase spending in other areas as well to ensure passage of the spending bill. “Well, here’s the scandal of it,” comments Stockman, “to get $82 billion for a defense increase that they don’t need — no way do they need, they agreed to give the Democrats $65 billion more of domestic spending that we absolutely can’t afford.” The combined “warfare state” and “welfare state” spending, Stockman says, threatens “to kill the financial outlook of this country.”

And all this military spending is not even making Americans safer or improving conditions where the US intervenes militarily. As an example, Stockman talks about ISIS. He explains that “we created ISIS” through the US government’s devastation of Iraq via the Iraq War followed by ISIS taking up the weapons the US military left behind. The lesson, says Stockman, a member the advisory board for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is that “we should stop intervening everywhere in the world.”

Watch Stockman’s complete interview here:



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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/13/david-stockman-challenges-economy-harming-unnecessary-us-military-spending/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:49:25 GMT
Russian Fighters Killed In Clash With US-Led Coalition Forces In Syria http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/

With the calm of global capital markets shattered in the past two weeks, the ongoing military conflict in the Middle East has taken an understandable back seat to monetary matters. And yet, tensions involving Syria, Iran and Israel continue to escalate, most notably with this weekend's outright attack by Israel on Syria, allegedly in retaliation for an Iranian drone launch from a Syrian army base, and which led to the first downing of an Israeli F-16 jet in decades.

Yet what has so far prevented the proxy way from spinning out of control, was that Putin - as guarantor of the Syria-Iran axis on one hand - and Netanyahu as his nemesis on the other, had expressed restraint. For now.

That may change, however, following a Reuters report  that Russian fighters were among those killed when US-led coalition forces clashed with pro-government forces in Syria earlier this month.

While Russia’s Defense Ministry said at the time that pro-government militias involved in the incident had been carrying out reconnaissance "and no Russian servicemen had been in the area," the story changed on Monday when it emerged that at least two Russian men fighting informally with pro-government forces were killed in the incident in Deir al-Zor province, their associates told Reuters.
One of the dead was named as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Maxim Buga, a leader of the Cossack community there, said Loginov had been killed around Feb. 7 along with “dozens” of other Russian fighters.

The other man killed was named as Kirill Ananiev, described as a radical Russian nationalist. Alexander Averin, a spokesman for the nationalist party he was linked to, told Reuters Ananiev had been killed in shelling in the same fighting on Feb. 7.
If the deaths are confirmed, it could turn into a political scandal for Putin, with the public demanding why the government is keeping military deaths under wraps. Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances.

“If there was large-scale loss of life of Russian citizens, the relevant officials, including the commander-in-chief of our armed forces (Putin), are obliged to tell the country about it and decide who carries responsibility for this,” Yavlinsky said in a statement released by his Yabloko party.

Of course, if indeed Russian soldiers were killed while fighting under covert circumstances - in the same way as killed US "military advisors" are kept under seal - that is the last thing Moscow would like to publicize. Unless of course the political calculus shifts, and Putin decides that it is time for a full-blown military escalation, in which case the deaths will be used as the justification behind any armed conflict.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/12/russian-fighters-killed-in-clash-with-us-led-coalition-forces-in-syria/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:44:20 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: War on Kratom, Biden’s Advice, NRA and Marijuana, Testing for Fentanyl, US Spending Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Eric Boodman reported at Stat News that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared on Tuesday that the plant kratom is an opioid and that “[t]here is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”

Gottlieb’s statement suggests he thinks kratom, which is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, should be listed in Schedule 1 and subject to total prohibition.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had planned to place kratom in Schedule 1 by the end of September 0f 2016. That proposed scheduling, which met opposition including from United States House of Representatives and Senate members, did not happen. In October of 2016, the DEA announced it was withdrawing the quick scheduling plan, opting instead to establish a public comment period and to request that the FDA expedite a "scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation."

Now that FDA evaluation seems to point to kratom prohibition. Indeed, the war on kratom appears to have already started. In November, the FDA commissioner was relating FDA seizures of kratom imports.

Unless Congress or the president intercedes, expect a full-fledged war on kratom.

Issue two.

Last Month, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano said in a Fox News interview that President Donald Trump should refuse to talk with Russiagate investigators. One reason Napolitano offered was that Trump, who tends to speak without word economy and in not the most respectful manner, may make a misstatement that could result in a charge for making a false statement.

This month, former Vice President Joe Biden echoed Napolitano’s advice and reasoning. Biden said, in an interview with host Chris Cuomo at CNN, that Trump has “some difficulty with precision” and that "one of the things that I would worry about if I were his lawyer is him saying something that was just simply not true without him even planning to be disingenuous."

Issue three.

In the September 8, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the National Rifle Association (NRA) not defending the gun rights of people who use marijuana or have state authorization to use medical marijuana. In explanation, I mentioned NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre’s declaration, “The NRA has demanded the strongest possible prosecution of the federal gun laws for over 20 years.”

If LaPierre and other NRA leaders are interested in reevaluating the NRA position, they could start with reading a Wednesday Washington Times editorial concerning medical marijuana and US gun laws by David Keene who was the NRA’s president from 2011 to 2013. Writes Keene, “The refusal of the federal government to accede to the judgment of the states on the issue has created problems for tens or even hundreds of thousands of gun owners who are being forced to either trade their Second Amendment rights for a chance to live pain-free or risk prosecution and imprisonment.”

Issue four.

Baynard Woods reported last week at The Real News regarding Tino Fuentes’ effort to prevent overdoses by teaching people to test drugs for fentanyl. Woods writes that Fuentes is risking arrest because he possesses drugs to demonstrate the testing process.

That illegality is outrageous. So also is the illegality of drugs.

If drugs were legal, danger from fentanyl would be much less. People could buy their drugs from stores that sell known, branded products offering predictable potency, just as people across America can now buy alcohol.

Issue five.

In a December 31, 2016 interview with host Joshua Bennett at KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska, I predicted that, in order to achieve his desired spending increases, including for the military, President Donald Trump would “compromise” with Congress members resulting in “increasing spending across-the-board.” That happened Friday when Congress passed and Trump signed a huge, deficit-boosting spending bill (HR 1892).

Trump commented at Twitter that the bill “is a BIG VICTORY for our Military,” but incudes “much waste” to gain Democrats’ votes.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/11/five-minutes-five-issues-war-on-kratom-biden-s-advice-nra-and-marijuana-testing-for-fentanyl-us-spending/ Sun, 11 Feb 2018 13:44:54 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Calls Out FISA Court Charade Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/
In a Monday interview at Fox Business, legal scholar and former New Jersey state Judge Andrew Napolitano called out the FISA court for its extreme flaunting of constitutional restraints. Presenting a scenario where he is woken in the middle of the night by a call from the courthouse regarding an urgent warrant request that the state police are waiting in the lobby of his building to discuss with him, Napolitano illustrates the difference between the process to obtain a FISA court warrant and the process he employed as a judge. Napolitano explains.
And they come into my living room, and we spend an hour going through what they have and how they can demonstrate to me that I should sign a piece of paper letting them break down somebody’s door at three in the morning in order to get evidence. It’s a give and take and a give and take, and I am satisfied that it is more likely than not that behind that door is evidence of a serious crime. The court has to go through that kind of give and take, give and take, give and take when they come to you with an emergency application for a warrant.

If the court blithely accepts what the government gives, it’s as much the court’s fault as the government. If the government knows that the court grants 99.9 percent of all warrants requested, which is an unbelievable number — a number never heard of in my career, then the government’s going to get lazy and sloppy, because they are going to walk in there saying 'we’re going to get this thing, we always do.'
Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:



The super-accommodative approach of the FISA court also opens the door to easily obtaining permission to search and surveil in order to fish for evidence of a criminal act to pin on someone, for information helpful in advancing an individual or company’s financial gain, for information the potential disclosure of which can be held over an individual to exert influence on him, or for information that can be leaked to the media for purposes including influencing an election, a congressional vote, or the confirmation decision on a presidential nominee.

While the FISA court’s activities are secret, the court did admit in 2013 that it had, during its several decades in existence, approved over 99.9 percent of the US government’s surveillance requests.

Napolitano is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/07/andrew-napolitano-calls-out-fisa-court-charade/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:25:38 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: Trump’s Iran War Push is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/

The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.

Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.

Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”

The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran — a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq — would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”

Read Wilkerson’s editorial here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/05/lawrence-wilkerson-trump-s-iran-war-push-is-a-replay-of-bush-s-iraq-war-push/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:08:16 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Sanctions Suffering, Marijuana Record, Facial Recognition, Venezuela, Declassified Memo Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at StitcheriTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

During his Tuesday state of the union speech, United States President Donald Trump talked about suffering years back by Ji Seong-ho and members of Seong-ho’s family in North Korea. Then Seong-ho stood up in the audience. Trump suggested the North Korea government was to blame for the suffering.

Two weeks back, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in an on-stage conversation with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Hoover Institution event, claimed credit on behalf of the US government for North Korean fishermen, in boats with insufficient fuel, enduring great danger and dying in desperate efforts to collect fish due to a food shortage. This suffering is good, Tillerson claims, because it shows US sanctions against North Korea are working.

Issue two.

In the December 10, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned that one benefit of California voters approving marijuana legalization the month before is that some people will be able to clear their records of marijuana convictions.

In San Francisco at least, that process should take no effort for many people given a Wednesday announcement by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “Rather than leaving it up to individuals to petition the courts — which is time-consuming and can cost hundreds of dollars in attorney fees,” writes Evan Sernoffsky at the San Francisco Chronicle, “Gascón said San Francisco prosecutors will review and wipe out convictions en masse.”

Issue three.

The US government is moving forward on using facial recognition technology to identify people in American airports. Jefferson Graham reported Thursday at USA Today that Dan Tanciar, the deputy executive director of US Customs and Border Protection, says the plan is to implement within four years a program using the technology to match a databased photo — such as from a passport — with a photo generated at the airport, largely first for international flights and then for domestic flights as well. Graham notes that some airlines are already testing such facial recognition use at some airports and that the San Jose, California airport “hopes to go 100% biometric for international travels this year.”

Issue four.

In a Thursday speech at the University of Texas, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke about Venezuela, criticizing what he called “the corrupt and hostile regime of Nicolás Maduro” in the South American country. Tillerson continues that, in his words, this regime “clings to a false dream and antiquated vision for the region that has already failed its citizens.”

So what does Tillerson propose the US do to fix that? 

In the Q & A after the speech, Tillerson insisted that “[w]e have not advocated for regime change or removal of President Maduro.” That would be good if true. Think of how much worse things became in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine when the US pursued so-called regime change efforts.

Despite his outright denial, pushing regime change seems to be just what Tillerson has in mind when he says in the speech “[w]e will continue to pressure the regime to return to the democratic process that made Venezuela a great country in the past” and praises Venezuela sanctions imposed by the US and other governments. Also, in the same answer in which Tillerson denies regime change support, he suggests a military coup in Venezuela may be a fine way to resolve things.

Issue five.

While some people are downplaying the information contained in the US House Intelligence Committee Republican staff memorandum that was declassified on Friday, writer Peter Van Buren posted at Twitter a concise explanation of one reason the information is important. Van Buren writes:
Bottom line: [the Department of Justice] used unsubstantiated opposition research from one presidential campaign in whole or in part to get permission to spy on people connected to another. You want a Constitutional crisis? Look into that, sparky.
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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/congress-alert/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/05/five-minutes-five-issues-sanctions-suffering-marijuana-record-facial-recognition-venezuela-declassified-memo/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 15:26:23 GMT
Breaking: US-Backed Free Syrian Army Group Shoots Down Russian Jet, Kills Pilot Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/03/breaking-us-backed-free-syrian-army-group-shoots-down-russian-jet-kills-pilot/

The Jaysh al-Nasr rebel group in Syria, part of the US-backed Free Syrian Army, has posted footage of its fighters celebrating the shoot-down of a Russian Suhkoi-25 jet fighter in the Idlib province of Syria. It is the first time a Russian fighter has been shot down by Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. 

The plane was apparently brought down by a man-portable air defense system (ManPADS) surface-to-air missile. According to press reports, the pilot ejected from the plane safely but was killed by the Syrian rebels on the ground. 

The 2017 US military spending bill provided authorization for the Department of Defense to arm the rebels with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles or ManPADS. At the time, the Russians vigorously objected to the dramatic US move to provide sophisticated weaponry to the rebels, claiming (rightfully it turns out) that "[t]he relevant decision also poses a direct threat to aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces..."

The scenario where a US-backed, US-supplied jihadist group in Syria uses US weapons to shoot down a Russian plane and then murders the pilot on the ground should be seen as a near-nightmare escalation, drawing the US and Russia terrifyingly closer to direct conflict.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/03/breaking-us-backed-free-syrian-army-group-shoots-down-russian-jet-kills-pilot/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/03/breaking-us-backed-free-syrian-army-group-shoots-down-russian-jet-kills-pilot/ Sat, 03 Feb 2018 17:34:53 GMT
RPI's Daniel McAdams on Congressional memo alleging FBI abused spying powers RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/


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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/february/02/rpis-daniel-mcadams-on-congressional-memo-alleging-fbi-abused-spying-powers/ Sat, 03 Feb 2018 00:09:42 GMT