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Inspector General report on FBI's FISA abuse tells us one thing: We need radical reform.

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In a bombshell report last week, the Justice Department Inspector General found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation made “fundamental errors” and persistently deceived a secret court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. Inspector General Michael Horowitz did not find that the FBI’s actions were spurred by political bias but that conclusion is not necessarily shared by Attorney General William Barr. Unfortunately, this is only the latest episode of decades of FBI misconduct before America’s most powerful secret court.  

Perhaps the most jolting revelations in the IG report detail the FBI’s efforts to secure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) search warrant to use against the Trump campaign after suspicions were raised of Russian collusion. A FISA warrant is the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI “to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the US person target’s home, workplace and vehicles,” as well as “physical searches of the target’s residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and US mails,” as a FISA court decision noted. The FISA court is extremely deferential, approving 99% of all search warrant requests.
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Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires

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“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

This week, the venerable Washington Post newspaper revealed a bombshell, 2,000 page, secret Pentagon report detailing the astounding failure of US war strategy in Afghanistan, America’s longest war.

Americans have been fed a steady stream of lies about the Afghan War, concluded the Post. So asserted this writer in ‘American Conservative’ magazine in 2003 when the US invaded Afghanistan.

`We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking,’ admitted three star General Douglas Lute who commanded US forces in Afghanistan under Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.

Arrogance and ignorance, backed by mammoth brute force, led US policy in the remote Asian nation. Attacking Afghanistan was revenge for the 9/11 attacks against the US. As this writer saw first hand in Afghanistan, all the claims about Osama bin Laden’s ‘terrorist training camps’ in Afghanistan were lies. 9/11 was not planned in Afghanistan.
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Those Torture Drawings in the NYT

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The New York Times last week published shocking drawings by Guantanamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah showing in graphic detail the types of tortures he endured at the hands of CIA officers and contractors at secret prisons around the world. The drawings were sickening. With a child’s simplicity, they showed the irrational cruelty of the CIA’s torture program, which weakened our country, violated domestic and international law and ended up saying so much more about us, as Americans, than it did about the terrorists who wished us harm.
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How Not To Be a CIA Propagandist


How enthusiastic should non-interventionists be about what appear to be "popular uprisings" overseas? RPI's Daniel McAdams argues at the Mises Institute's Lake Jackson Symposium that endorsing CIA-backed "regime change" operations overseas makes one responsible for the chaos and destruction when these "color revolts" inevitably devolve into disaster. When the CIA wants to change a regime, real non-interventionists should resist the urge to act as a conveyor belt for US regime propaganda...
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Schizophrenia! US Now Says Yemen NOT Iran Proxy War

In a sudden "about face," the Trump Administration now claims that Iran is NOT behind the Houthis in Yemen. Has Washington suddenly decided to recognize reality? Not likely. More likely is that the US is trying to help the Saudis out of a lost war. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of innocents were killed in the Saudi war of aggression with US support. Will anyone answer for it? Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Key Takeaway from Ukraine Peace Talks in Paris is that Zelensky’s Best Friend is Putin

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The Paris talks on Ukraine have enabled Putin and Zelensky to meet for the first time. But they have agreed only to kick the can down the road, to agree to disagree, while seeking progress on issues other than the war in Donbass.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the weakness of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s position. He is a political novice facing perhaps the most experienced and formidable statesman in the world. Although an intelligent man, the former TV comedian says he likes to do things quickly. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, by contrast, is known for his extreme attention to detail and for his propensity to play a very long game.

Putin is not in a rush. Zelensky is, because time is not on Ukraine’s side. The country has avoided default by a whisker only by negotiating a new IMF loan to pay off the old one taken out five years ago and due for repayment this year. 

The gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is about to be completed, partly sidelining Ukraine as a transit country for European gas, thereby reducing both its political clout in Europe and, crucially, its revenue from transit fees. Zelensnky needs a new agreement with Gazprom by the end of this year, i.e. in the next three weeks. It is not yet in the bag.
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America’s Unreliable Friends: Today’s Allies Are Tomorrow’s Enemies

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One might postulate that the United States is regularly supporting so-called allies whose very nature will eventually generate blowback that will do terrible damage to actual American interests. The recent example of the mass shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida by Saudi Second Lieutenant Mohammed Alshamrani is illustrative. Alshamrani killed three American sailors while three other Saudi students filmed what was taking place, presumably for posting on social media.
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Forget Impeachment! Washington Unites Behind Massive Military Bill!

As usual, when it comes to the warfare/welfare state there is no rancor in Washington. All the pretend acrimony between Republicans and Democrats is thrown out and consensus is magically reached. This week another massive military spending bill was approved by both parties - even as we learn about a trillion dollars being wasted in Afghanistan. The empire chugs along. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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The Fabricated 'Predicate' to Spy on the Trump Campaign

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While Inspector General Michael Horowitz did a pretty fair job of documenting the crimes of the FBI in getting the green light from a Federal Judge to spy on Carter Page as an ostensible agent of the Russians, he utterly failed to investigate the cornerstone (aka the "predicate") for launching this whole sordid affair. That predicate? George Papadopoulos, an obscure foreign policy advisor to the Trump Campaign, reportedly told Australia's High Commissioner to the UK (and Clinton crony), Alexander Downer, that the Russian Government had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
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Democrats Drop Bribery and Other Crimes In Favor Of A Two-Article Impeachment

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The Democratic leadership announced today that it has decided that President Donald Trump will be accused of just two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. I commend the Committee in dropping the previous claims of bribery, extortion, campaign finance and obstruction of justice. While my fellow witnesses made good-faith arguments for those articles, my testimony primarily focused on the legal and constitutional flaws in claiming those criminal acts.
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