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Ron Paul: Killing of Boris Nemtsov and War Propaganda
Who killed Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov? No one but the killers know at this point. But that does not stop the propagandists from speculating endlessly. Join Ron Paul and co-host Daniel McAdams for an unvarnished view...at the Ron Paul Liberty Report

2 March 2015read on...

Department of Homeland Security: What is it Good For?
Late Friday night, Congress passed legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security for one week. This vote followed weeks of debate over efforts to attach a prohibition on funding President Obama’s executive order granting amnesty to certain illegal immigrants to the Homeland Security funding bill.

1 March 2015read on...

Liberty in Search of Protector - Interview With Vaclav Klaus
Liberty is a fundamental human right; it is the cornerstone of our existence. But liberty is under attack from all directions, whether through higher state control or individuals themselves. Liberty is in search for its protector.

28 February 2015read on...

Ron Paul: Is Government Regulation of Internet Helpful?
Ron Paul explains his opposition to the recent FCC vote to begin regulating the Internet as a public utility. Dr. Paul warns that government control will lead to a decrease in innovation, an increase in prices, and more surveillance of Americans' online activities. Tune in to Ron Paul and co-host Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute in this latest Liberty Report:

27 February 2015read on...

State Department Gives 87 Percent of Afghan Funds to Only Five Recipients
The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) issued a scathing report showing the Department of State gave a staggering 87 percent of all Afghan reconstruction funds to only five recipients.

27 February 2015read on...

Stephen Hawking and the Meaning of Non-Aggression
Ron Paul's latest Liberty Report takes a look at famed physicist Stephen Hawking's comments that aggression is the greatest human failing and that the solution is empathy, which "brings us together in a peaceful, loving state." Whether intentionally or not, Dr. Hawking spells out the beauty and simplicity of the non-aggression principle.

27 February 2015read on...

‘US Spends Millions on Overseas Propaganda, But No One is Buying it’
Despite the US’ bottomless PR budget to influence overseas, people are not attracted by what’s on offer as they are tired of US interventionism, exceptionalism, and the bombing of their countries, Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute told RT.

26 February 2015read on...

Domestic Fear is the Price of Empire
If you find no other argument against American intervention abroad persuasive, how about this one? When the US government invades and occupies other countries, or when it underwrites other governments’ invasions or oppression, the people in the victimized societies become angry enough to want and even to exact revenge — against Americans.

26 February 2015read on...

Janet Yellen On Capitol Hill - Ron Paul Liberty Report
Fed Chairman Janet Yellen goes to Capitol Hill this week for her bi-annual report to Congress. At her first stop, in the Senate Banking Committee, she rejected any call for an audit of the Federal Reserve and claimed that Fed is doing a fine job of managing the country's monetary policy. Join Ron Paul and co-host Daniel McAdams (of RPI), along with special guest Paul-Martin Foss, a former Ron Paul Congressional staffer and current president of the Carl Menger Center, to get the real story of the Federal Reserve and the US economy.

25 February 2015read on...

Ukraine: A Cuban Missile Crisis in Reverse
In a rather ghastly 19th century experiment, a biologist by the name of Heinzmann found that if he placed a frog in boiling water, the frog immediately leapt out but that if he placed the frog in tepid water and then gradually heated it, the frog stayed put until he was scalded to death. Are we like the frog? I see disturbing elements of that process today as we watch events unfold in the Ukraine confrontation. They profoundly frighten me and I believe they should frighten everyone. But they are so gradual that we do not see a specific moment in which we must jump or perish. So here briefly, let me lay out the process of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and show how the process of that crisis compares with what we face today over the Ukraine.

24 February 2015read on...

Featured Articles

Adam Kokesh and the Drugs and Guns Prosecution Trap


Drugs And Guns
photo: Daveybot

Podcast host Adam Kokesh appears to have joined the long list of victims of the US government's drugs and guns prosecution trap. After a US Park Police raid on his Virginia residence last week, media reported Monday that Kokesh was charged with possession of a Schedule I or II drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act while in possession of a gun. After his arrest, a judge ruled that Kokesh is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm through the end of his prosecution.

In the drugs and guns prosecution trap, when a defendant merely possesses a gun while allegedly in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, the government seeks to impose additional penalties for the gun possession. These penalties may be imposed even if the defendant did not use a gun in any violent activity or even in any activity related to drugs.

The drugs and guns prosecution trap can be used to pressure a defendant to plead guilty in return for a reduced penalty instead of exercising his right to a trial. As explained by Eric Stern, counsel to former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, the top US government prosecutor in Montana used gun possession charges "pervasively" as part of a strategy to intimidate Montanans who possessed marijuana in compliance with state medical marijuana laws into pleading guilty in plea-bargains. Stern elaborates:
And some of the government’s tactics in Montana were simply over the top. Charges were piled on high and thick, basic federal items like “possession with intent to distribute” or “conspiracy to manufacture,” carrying enormous penalties and designed to give the defendant little choice but to say “uncle,” and plea-bargain for a lesser sentence.

And one charge, used pervasively, was almost laughable if you know anything about Montana: “use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime,” by which was meant that a defendant kept a shotgun in his greenhouse, or in his truck that he used to transport seed and fertilizer, or that he carried a sidearm. Montanans commonly keep guns on their person, in their vehicles, at their homes, at their ranches, and at their place of business and especially if they have valuable wares on the premises. They require no permits. But the gun charge gave prosecutors powerful leverage because it carries mandatory prison time under federal rules.
Chris Williams is one of the few Montana medical marijuana defendants who went to trial instead of taking a plea deal. Reason.com writer Jacob Sullum relates how Williams, a partner in Montana Cannabis, was found guilty at a trial in which he was not allowed to even mention the state's medical marijuana law. Sullum explains how the gun charges accounted for 80 years of Williams's effective life sentence:
What explains this astonishing range of penalties, from zero prison time to nearly a century? Mandatory minimums. Specifically, prosecutors charged Williams, after he turned down a series of plea deals, with four counts of using firearms in furtherance of a drug crime, based on pistols and shotguns kept at the Helena grow operation where he worked. Federal law prescribes a five-year mandatory minimum penalty for the first such offense and 25 years for each subsequent offense. Furthermore, the sentences must be served consecutively. Hence Williams, who was convicted of all four gun charges, will get at least 80 years when he is sentenced in January, even though he was not charged with wielding the guns, let alone hurting anyone with them. In fact, having the guns around would have been perfectly legal had he not been growing marijuana.
After Williams's arrest, incarceration, and rigged trial for trying to provide people with medial marijuana in compliance with state law, Williams was offered a second chance at a plea-bargain. This time, Williams agreed to drop his appeal in return for the prosecutor dropping three of Williams's four gun charges and three of his four drug charges. As a result, the judge sentenced Williams to five years in prison for the first gun charge and 130 days of time already served for the remaining drug charge. Stern suggests that the prosecutor's willingness to offer Williams a second chance at a plea-bargain was due to Williams having become "something of a cause célèbre" with "websites devoted to freeing him." Williams explains that the primary factor behind his acceptance of the "very rare post-verdict compromise" was that the top US prosecutor in Montana "threatened to use legal maneuvering" to take away Williams's ability to appeal.

The accounts of Kokesh's housemates and colleagues in various news reports and on his podcast website relate a brutal, SWAT-style raid on their home and uncomfortable conditions in jail for Kokesh. This may be just the beginning of Kokesh’s problems now, as he is facing effectively limitless prosecution resources while caught in the drugs and guns prosecution trap.

Copyright © 2013, The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted provided full credit is given and a live link provided.
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