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US Commander: ‘US Troops Prepared to Die for Israel’ in War against Syria, Hezbollah

US Commander: ‘US Troops Prepared to Die for Israel’ in War against Syria, Hezbollah

Last Sunday, the largest joint military exercise between the United States and Israel began with little fanfare. The war game, dubbed “Operation Juniper Cobra,” has been a regular occurrence for years, though it has consistently grown in size and scope. Now, however, this year’s 12-day exercise brings a portent of conflict unlike those of its predecessors.Previous reports on the operation suggested that, like prior incarnations of the same exercise, the focus would be on improving Israeli...

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Why Not Execute Alcohol and Tobacco Dealers?

Why Not Execute Alcohol and Tobacco Dealers?

Although about thirty countries have the death penalty for drug trafficking, only in China, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Vietnam are drug offenders routinely executed. Yet, the worst place to be caught drug trafficking is in the Philippines, where thousands have died in extra-judicial killings.In the United States, not only can some drug offenses result in life in prison, “the sentence of death can be carried out on a defendant who has been found guilty of...

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Christopher Steele As Seen By the New Yorker

Christopher Steele As Seen By the New Yorker

The latest salvo in the Russiagate saga is a 15,000 word New Yorker article entitled “Christopher Steele the man behind the Trump dossier: how the ex-spy tried to warn the world about Trump’s ties to Russia” by veteran journalist Jane Mayer. The premise of the piece is clear from the tediously long title, namely that the Steele dossier, which implicated Donald Trump and his associates in a number of high crimes and misdemeanors, is basically accurate in exposing an existential threat posed to...

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Nikki Haley’s Compulsion Flouts the Law of Nations

Nikki Haley’s Compulsion Flouts the Law of Nations

Flip Wilson had a comedy routine “The Devil Made Me Do It”. Nikki Haley is far from funny when she uses the same kind of excuse, telling us that the US is prepared to attack Syria again. Why? Compulsion, or the devil made me do it. In her words: “…there are times when states are compelled to take their own action.”Is the US also compelled to ally with Saudi Arabia in its brutal bombings and embargo/blockade in Yemen? Is the US compelled to aid Israel when it brutally invades Gaza? Was the US...

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Politics, Justice, and the Surveillance State

Politics, Justice, and the Surveillance State

The role pervasive surveillance plays in politics today has been grossly underreported. Set aside what you think about the Trump presidency for a moment and focus instead on the new paradigm for how politics and justice work inside the surveillance state.“Incidental collection” is the claimed inadvertent or accidental monitoring of Americans’ communications under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Incidental collection exists alongside court-approved warranted surveillance authorized on a...

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Happy Anniversary, James Clapper

Happy Anniversary, James Clapper

Today is an important anniversary for former intelligence chief James Clapper. No it is not his marriage anniversary or conventional milestone. Clapper can celebrate the running out of the statute of limitations on his alleged perjury before Congress — five years and Clapper is now beyond the reach of the law.I recently wrote a column on the approaching anniversary and how it reaffirms the widely held view that powerful people in Washington are immune from laws used against the rest of...

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Tariffs Are Not the Answer

Tariffs Are Not the Answer

President Trump’s planned 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports may provide a temporary boost for those industries, but the tariffs will do tremendous long-term damage to the American and global economies. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians, instead of the preferences of consumers, to determine how resources are allocated. This reduces economic efficiency and living standards....

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Trump Seeks Congressional Funding For 60,000-Man Army To Overthrow Assad

Trump Seeks Congressional Funding For 60,000-Man Army To Overthrow Assad

ISIS, or ISIL, or Islamic State, has been almost completely defeated in Syria, but the U.S. Department of Defense is requesting an increase instead of a decrease in funding to support “Vetted Syrian Opposition,” or fighters in Syria against Syria’s Government, and it refers to these fighters as being part of America’s “strategy to defeat ISIS,” instead of as being what they now obviously are: fighters for regime-change, or to overthrow Syria’s Government (which is headed by its President...

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Double Standards in Libya

Double Standards in Libya

Two weeks ago Interpol issued a Red Notice for the Libyan National Army "Saiqa" Special Forces Major, Mahmoud Werfalli. According to the notice, Werfalli is "wanted by the Judicial Authorities of the International Criminal Court."As to the Werfalla case, the Libya National Army (LNA) had twice announced Werfalla’s questioning and arrest, and his subsequent release twice, amid its own ongoing internal investigation.But the Red Notice muddies a wider, more complicated picture.First, what is the...

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The US Ponders a Strike Against Syrian Government Forces: What’s Behind This Aggressive Approach?

The US Ponders a Strike Against Syrian Government Forces: What’s Behind This Aggressive Approach?

The US is considering the option of military action against Syria. The alleged use of chemical weapons (CW) by the Syrian government, which is not backed by any solid evidence, is to serve as the pretext. Syrian President Assad is going to be “punished.” On March 6, US President Trump and Israeli PM Netanyahu discussed the threat posed by Iran’s presence in Syria and ways to counter it.Chemical weapons? But why should Syria’s President Assad use them if he has had no trouble winning with...

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Gun Crackdowns Have Already Led to Too Many Federal Abuses

Gun Crackdowns Have Already Led to Too Many Federal Abuses

President Trump declared last week that the law enforcement should “take the guns first, go through due process second.” But the history of federal firearms enforcement shows that due process is often a mirage when federal bureaucrats drop their hammer. Before enacting sweeping new gun prohibitions, we should remember the collateral damage and constitutional absurdities from previous federal crackdowns.Gun control advocates have called for prohibiting possession of AR-15 rifles — a ban that...

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What the Media Isn’t Telling You About America’s True Intentions in Syria

What the Media Isn’t Telling You About America’s True Intentions in Syria

Just days ago, Israel openly voiced its frustrations with the United States for not taking a stronger role in countering Iran’s growing influence in neighboring Syria, a red line for Israel that has them planning to assault Syria’s sovereignty in order to defend its interests. “It is convenient for the Americans to let us be their proxy against Iran in Syria,” one senior Israeli official said, according to the Times of Israel. “We are very worried.”“Let me be direct. There is a need for...

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Washington Is Intent on Destroying Iran

Washington Is Intent on Destroying Iran

On February 18 the leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that Iran “is trying to establish this continuous empire surrounding the Middle East from the south in Yemen but also trying to create a land bridge from Iran to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. This is a very dangerous development for our region.” Netanyahu’s presentation was dismissed by the Iranian foreign minister as “a cartoonish circus,” but it was nonetheless a reflection of the policy of the United States, which is...

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The New Blacklist

The New Blacklist

Putin loves you; therefore, you love Putin. The enemy re-tweets you, therefore, you're in league with the enemy. We're at war with them, therefore we're at war with you.One of the first rules of a shunning campaign is that it doesn't have to make sense. It just has to be what everyone's saying. Since most Americans went to high school, we tend to be instinctively familiar with the concept.The crazy inverse logic of the new national blacklist was on full display after special prosecutor Robert...

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Russia Blamed For Italian Election Outcome

Russia Blamed For Italian Election Outcome

If there is a European election, and the anti-establishment parties score a stunning victory (as just happened in Italy, and a few months prior, in Austria), who're you gonna blame? Vladimir Putin (of course)!That's what Samantha Power, one of the top diplomats in the Obama administration, did when she shared an article by Spain's El Pais newspaper about how Russia predetermined the outcome of Sunday's election by spinning an immigration discourse in Italy: "Italy’s joins long list of...

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What Mueller Has, and What He is Missing

What Mueller Has, and What He is Missing

Each week brings a new indictment from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller along with the same question: when will he produce evidence that the president of the United States committed treason?Because that’s what this is really about; Some Russians somewhere may have meddled in the election. But what Mueller has to answer is whether Trump knowingly worked with a foreign adversarial government to help get himself elected in return for some quid pro quo. Mueller is tasked with proving the...

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