http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/rss.aspx?blogid=3 Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:18:49 GMT Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:18:49 GMT Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below Mike Whitney http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/ending-syria-s-nightmare-will-take-pressure-from-below/

Ominous developments in east Syria have drawn the United States and Russia into closer proximity increasing the likelihood of a violent confrontation. The Trump administration has embarked on a dangerous plan to defeat the terrorist militia, ISIS, in Raqqa. But recent comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggest that Washington’s long-term strategy may conflict with Moscow’s goal of restoring Syria’s sovereign borders. Something’s got to give. Either Russia ceases its clearing operations in east Syria or Washington agrees to withdraw its US-backed forces when the battle is over. If neither side gives ground, there’s going to be a collision between the two nuclear-armed adversaries.

On Wednesday, the US airlifted hundreds of mainly-Kurdish fighters to an area behind ISIS lines where they were dropped near the town of al-Tabqa. The troops– who are part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF– were accompanied by an undisclosed number of US Marines serving as advisors. Ostensibly, the deployment was intended to encircle ISIS positions and retake the area around the strategic Tabqa Dam. But the operation had the added effect of blocking the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from advancing  along the main road towards Raqqa, the so called Capital of ISIS. While the blocking move might have been coincidental, there’s a strong possibility that Washington is in the opening phase of a broader strategy to splinter the war-torn country and prevent the reemergence of a united secular Syria.

According to Almasdar News:
'The Coalition supported the offensive with air movement and logistical support, precision airstrikes, Apache helicopters in close air support, Marine artillery, and special operations advice and assistance to SDF leadership,' the US-led coalition said in a statement. (AMN News)
In a matter of weeks, Washington’s approach to the war in Syria has changed dramatically. While the US has reportedly ended its support for the Sunni militias that have torn the country apart and killed over 400,000 people, the US has increased its aid to the SDF that is making impressive territorial gains across the eastern corridor. The ultimate goal for the SDF fighters is an autonomous Kurdish homeland carved out of west Iraq and east Syria, while US objectives focus primarily on the breakup of the Syrian state, the removal of the elected government, the control over critical pipelines routes, and the redrawing of national borders to better serve the interests of the US and Israel.

The idea of breaking up Syria is not new. The plan first appeared in an article by Oded Yinon in 1982 titled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”. Yinon believed that– for Israel to survive– it must become an imperial regional power that “must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states.” (Israel Shahak)

The most recent adaptation of Yinon’s plan was articulated by Brookings Institute analyst Michael O’ Hanlon in a piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal titled “A Trump Strategy to End Syria’s Nightmare.”  In the article, O’ Hanlon states bluntly:
To achieve peace, Syria will need self-governance within a number of autonomous zones. One option is a confederal system by which the whole country is divided into such zones. A less desirable but minimally acceptable alternative could be several autonomous zones within an otherwise still-centralized state—similar to how Iraqi Kurdistan has functioned for a quarter-century….

Security in the Sunni Arab and Kurdish autonomous zones would be provided by local police and perhaps paramilitary forces raised, trained and equipped with the direct support of the international community. …(“A Trump Strategy to End Syria’s Nightmare,” Wall Street Journal)
In an earlier piece, O’ Hanlon referred to his scheme as “Deconstructing Syria,” a plan that “would produce autonomous zones that would never again have to face the prospect of rule by either Assad or ISIL.”

Many of the details in O’ Hanlon’s piece are identical to those in Trump’s plan which was announced by Secretary of State Tillerson just last week. The Brookings strategy appears to be the script from which the administration is operating.

In his presentation, Tillerson announced that US troops would not leave Iraq after the siege of Mosul was concluded which has led many to speculate that the same policy will be used in Syria. Here’s an excerpt from an article at the WSWS that explains this point:
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Washington’s intention to keep troops deployed more or less indefinitely in the territories now occupied by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in remarks delivered at the beginning of a two-day meeting of the US-organized anti-ISIS coalition in Washington.

'The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS,' he told an audience that included Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. He gave no indication of when, if ever, US troops could be withdrawn from a war zone extending across Iraq and Syria, where there has been fighting of greater or lesser intensity throughout the 14 years since the US first invaded Iraq. (Tillerson pledges long-term US military role in Iraq and Syria, World Socialist web Site)
US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis reinforced Tillerson’s comments adding that the US plans a indefinite occupation of Iraq (and, possibly, Syria) stating that it was in America’s “national interest.”

“I believe it’s in our national interest that we keep Iraqi security forces in a position to keep our mutual enemies on their back foot,” he said, as quoted by the Military Times. The US “needs to remain decisively engaged in Iraq and in the region.”

In response to Mattis’s comments, Syrian President Bashar al Assad said:
Any military operation in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government is illegal, and any troops on the Syrian soil is an invasion, whether to liberate Raqqa or any other place. …The (US-led) coalition has never been serious about fighting ISIS or the terrorists.
Clearly, Washington is using the fight against ISIS as a pretext for capturing and holding territory in a critical, energy-rich area of the world. The plan to seize parts of east Syria for military bases and pipeline corridors fits neatly within this same basic strategy. But it also throws a wrench in Moscow’s plan to restore the country’s borders and put an end to the six year-long conflict.

And what does Tillerson mean when he talks about “interim zones of stability” a moniker that the Trump administration carefully crafted to avoid the more portentous-sounding “safe zones.” (Readers will recall that Hillary Clinton was the biggest proponent of safe zones in Syria, even though they would require a huge commitment of US troops as well as the costly imposition of a no-fly zone.)

Tillerson’s comments suggest that the Trump administration is deepening its involvement in Syria despite the risks of a catastrophic clash with Moscow. Ever since General Michael Flynn was forced to step down from his position as National Security Advisor, (Flynn wanted to “normalize” relations with Russia), Trump has filled his foreign policy team with Russophobic hawks who see Moscow as “hostile revisionist power” that “annex(es) territory, intimidates our allies, develops nuclear weapons, and uses proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries.” Those are the words of  the man who replaced Flynn as NSA,  Lt. General HR McMaster. While the media applauded the McMaster appointment as an “outstanding choice,” his critics think it signals a departure from Trump’s campaign promise:
We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past…We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments…. Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country [the United States] …In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will.
There won’t be any peace under Mattis or McMaster, that’s for sure. Both men are anti-Moscow hardliners who think Russia is an emerging rival that must be confronted and defeated. Even more worrisome is the fact that uber-hawk John McCain recently stated that he talks with both men “almost daily” (even though he has avoided talking to Trump since he was elected in November.)

According to German Marshall Fund’s Derek Chollet, a former Obama Pentagon official. “(McCain) is trying to run U.S. defense policy through Mattis and effectively ignore Trump.” (Kimberly Dozier, Daily Beast contributing editor)  Chollet’s comments square with our belief that Trump has relinquished his control over foreign policy to placate his critics.

Washington’s Syria policy is now in the hands of a small group of right-wing extremists who think Russia is the biggest threat the nation has faced since WWII. That’s why there’s been a sharp uptick in the number of troops deployed to the region. This is from The Nation:
On March 9, The New York Times reported that the United States is sending 400 troops to Syria…A week later, March 15, The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon has drawn up plans to send a 1,000 more troops within the coming weeks. Meanwhile, in anticipation of the coming … operation against the Islamic State, the administration has decided to send “an additional 2,500 ground combat troops to a staging base in Kuwait. (“Congress Needs to Stop Trump’s Escalation of the War on Syria,” Nation)
Here’s more from Sputnik:
Every two days the US deploys a large amount of weapons, primarily heavy armaments, to the region. They have sent tanks, armored vehicles, missiles, sniper rifles, mortar launchers and other types of weaponry…In addition, the United States has told us that a decision was made to send an additional 1,000 US troops to take part in the Raqqa operation,” he said, specifying that US troops will serve as military advisers during the operation and will not take part in the combat. (Sputnik)
Washington is increasing its weapons stockpile to fend off any attempt by Russia and its allies to keep the battered nation together. A weaker, fragmented Syria governed by tribal leaders and local warlords will pose no threat to Washington or Tel Aviv’s regional ambitions. At least, that appears to be the thinking among US foreign policy elites.

But while Washington continues to pour gas on the fire, Russia remains committed to preserving what Putin calls “the fair world order.” In a recent speech he said:
Russia opposes attempts to destabilize and weaken international relations, as this could lead to a chaotic and ever less controllable slide towards greater tension in the world.

We support joint action to ensure a democratic and fair world order based on strict respect for the norms of international law, the United Nations Charter, recognition of the unquestionable value of cultural and civilizational diversity, national sovereignty, and the right of all countries to decide their futures freely, without external pressure.
The Trump administration’s plan to splinter Syria and establish a permanent garrison in the eastern part of the country won’t be stopped unless the American people express their opposition en masse.  Investigative journalist, James Carden, recommends that Congress pass a “No Presidential Wars” resolution that “would prohibit the president from “initiating wars against state or non-state actors without prior congressional declarations under Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause).”  It’s a great idea, but it won’t happen without pressure from below.  People will have to get more involved if they want the bloodletting to end. There’s no other way.

Reprinted with author's permission from Counterpunch.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/ending-syria-s-nightmare-will-take-pressure-from-below/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/ending-syria-s-nightmare-will-take-pressure-from-below/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:18:49 GMT
Dick Cheney Surfaces: Claims Interfering In Elections 'An Act Of War' Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/dick-cheney-surfaces-claims-interfering-in-elections-an-act-of-war/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/dick-cheney-surfaces-claims-interfering-in-elections-an-act-of-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/dick-cheney-surfaces-claims-interfering-in-elections-an-act-of-war/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:16:26 GMT
Death at Your Door: Knock-and-Talk Police Tactics Rip a Hole in the Constitution John W. Whitehead http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/death-at-your-door-knock-and-talk-police-tactics-rip-a-hole-in-the-constitution/

It’s 1:30 a.m., a time when most people are asleep.

Your neighborhood is in darkness, except for a few street lamps. Someone—he doesn’t identify himself and the voice isn’t familiar—is pounding on your front door, demanding that you open up. Your heart begins racing. Your stomach is tied in knots. The adrenaline is pumping through you. You fear that it’s an intruder or worse. You not only fear for your life, but the lives of your loved ones.

The aggressive pounding continues, becoming more jarring with every passing second. Desperate to protect yourself and your loved ones from whatever threat awaits on the other side of that door, you scramble to lay hold of something—anything—that you might use in self-defense. It might be a flashlight, a baseball bat, or that licensed and registered gun you thought you’d never need. You brace for the confrontation, a shaky grip on your weapon, and approach the door cautiously. The pounding continues.

You open the door to find a shadowy figure aiming a gun in your direction. Immediately, you back up and retreat further into your apartment. At the same time, the intruder opens fire, sending a hail of bullets in your direction. Three of the bullets make contact. You die without ever raising your weapon or firing your gun in self-defense. In your final moments, you get a good look at your assailant: it’s the police.

This is what passes for “knock-and-talk” policing in the American police state.

“Knock-and-shoot” policing might be more accurate, however.

Whatever you call it, this aggressive, excessive police tactic has become a thinly veiled, warrantless exercise by which citizens are coerced and intimidated into “talking” with heavily armed police who “knock” on their doors in the middle of the night.

Poor Andrew Scott didn’t even get a chance to say no to such a heavy-handed request before he was gunned down by police in a scenario almost exactly like the one described above.

It was late on a Saturday night—so late that it was technically Sunday morning—and 26-year-old Scott was at home with his girlfriend playing video games when police, in pursuit of a speeding motorcyclist, arrived at Scott’s apartment complex, assumed tactical positions with guns drawn and ready to shoot, and began pounding on his apartment door (because it had a light on and there was a motorcycle parked nearby).

Understandably alarmed by the aggressive pounding on his door at such a late hour, Scott retrieved his handgun before opening the door. Upon opening the door, Scott saw a shadowy figure holding a gun outside his door.

Police failed to identify themselves.

Unnerved by the sight of the gunman, Scott retreated into his apartment only to have police immediately open fire on him. Of the six shots fired, three hit and killed Scott, who had no connection to the motorcycle or any illegal activity.

So who was at fault here?

Was it Andrew Scott, who was prepared to defend himself and his girlfriend against a possible late-night intruder?

Was it the police officers who banged on the wrong door in the middle of the night, failed to identify themselves, and then—without asking any questions or attempting to de-escalate the situation—shot and killed an innocent man?

Was it the courts, which not only ruled that the police had qualified immunity against being sued for Scott’s murder but also concluded that Andrew Scott provoked the confrontation by retrieving a lawfully-owned handgun before opening the door?

Or was it the whole crooked system that’s to blame? I’m referring to the courts that continue to march in lockstep with the police state, the police unions that continue to strong-arm politicians into letting the police agencies literally get away with murder, the legislators who care more about getting re-elected than about protecting the rights of the citizenry, the police who are being trained to view their fellow citizens as enemy combatants on a battlefield, and the citizenry who fail to be alarmed and outraged every time the police state shoots another hole in the Constitution.

What happened to Andrew Scott was not an isolated incident.

These knock-and-talk cases have grown legion.

Police insist that there’s nothing coercive about these tactics. Yet whether police are knocking on your door at 2 am or 2:30 pm, as long as you’re being “asked” to talk to a police officer who is armed to the teeth and inclined to kill at the least provocation, you don’t really have much room to resist, not if you value your life.

Mind you, these knock-and-talk searches are little more than police fishing expeditions carried out without a warrant.

The goal is intimidation and coercion.

Unfortunately, we’re going to see more of these warrantless knock-and-talk police tactics.

We’ve already seen a dramatic rise in the number of home invasions by battle-ready SWAT teams and police who have been transformed into extensions of the military. Indeed, with every passing week, we hear more and more horror stories in which homeowners are injured or killed simply because they mistook a SWAT team raid by police for a home invasion by criminals.

Never mind that the unsuspecting homeowner, woken from sleep by the sounds of a violent entry, has no way of distinguishing between a home invasion by a criminal as opposed to a government agent. Too often, the destruction of life and property wrought by the police is no less horrifying than that carried out by criminal invaders.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, these incidents underscore a dangerous mindset in which civilians (often unarmed and defenseless) not only have less rights than militarized police, but also one in which the safety of civilians is treated as a lower priority than the safety of their police counterparts (who are armed to the hilt with an array of lethal and nonlethal weapons).

Winston Churchill once declared that “democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.”

Clearly, we don’t live in a democracy.

No, in the American police state, when you find yourself woken in the early hours by someone pounding on your door, smashing through your door, terrorizing your family, killing your pets, and shooting you if you dare to resist in any way, you don’t need to worry that it might be burglars out to rob and kill you: it’s just the police.

Reprinted with permission from the Rutherford Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/death-at-your-door-knock-and-talk-police-tactics-rip-a-hole-in-the-constitution/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/death-at-your-door-knock-and-talk-police-tactics-rip-a-hole-in-the-constitution/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:11:19 GMT
Trump’s War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised Glenn Greenwald http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/trump-s-war-on-terror-has-quickly-become-as-barbaric-and-savage-as-he-promised/

From the start of his presidency, Donald Trump’s “war on terror” has entailed the seemingly indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in the name of killing terrorists. In other words, Trump has escalated the 16-year-old core premise of America’s foreign policy — that it has the right to bomb any country in the world where people it regards as terrorists are found — and in doing so, has fulfilled the warped campaign pledges he repeatedly expressed.

The most recent atrocity was the killing of as many as 200 Iraqi civilians from US airstrikes this week in Mosul. That was preceded a few days earlier by the killing of dozens of Syrian civilians in Raqqa province when the U.S. targeted a school where people had taken refuge, which itself was preceded a week earlier by the US destruction of a mosque near Aleppo that also killed dozens. And one of Trump’s first military actions was what can only be described as a massacre carried out by Navy SEALs, in which 30 Yemenis were killed; among the children killed was an 8-year-old American girl (whose 16-year-old American brother was killed by a drone under Obama).

In sum: Although precise numbers are difficult to obtain, there seems little question that the number of civilians being killed by the US in Iraq and Syria — already quite high under Obama — has increased precipitously during the first two months of the Trump administration. Data compiled by the site Airwars tells the story: The number of civilians killed in Syria and Iraq began increasing in October under Obama but has now skyrocketed in March under Trump.

What’s particularly notable is that the number of airstrikes actually decreased in March (with a week left), even as civilian deaths rose — strongly suggesting that the US military has become even more reckless about civilian deaths under Trump than it was under Obama.

This escalation of bombing and civilian deaths, combined with thedeployment by Trump of 500 ground troops into Syria beyond the troops Obama already deployed there, has received remarkably little media attention. This is in part due to the standard indifference in US discourse to US killing of civilians compared to the language used when its enemies kill people (compare the very muted and euphemistic tones used to report on Trump’s escalations in Iraq and Syria to the frequent invocation of genocide and war crimes to denounce Russian killing of Syrian civilians). And part of this lack of media attention is due to the Democrats’ ongoing hunt for Russian infiltration of Washington, which leaves little room for other matters.

But what is becoming clear is that Trump is attempting to liberate the US military from the minimal constraints it observed in order to avoid massive civilian casualties. And this should surprise nobody: Trump explicitly and repeatedly vowed to do exactly this during the campaign.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read rest of article here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/trump-s-war-on-terror-has-quickly-become-as-barbaric-and-savage-as-he-promised/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/trump-s-war-on-terror-has-quickly-become-as-barbaric-and-savage-as-he-promised/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:55:10 GMT
Game of Thorns: Revelations From The 2016 Campaign Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/game-of-thorns-revelations-from-the-2016-campaign/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/game-of-thorns-revelations-from-the-2016-campaign/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/game-of-thorns-revelations-from-the-2016-campaign/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:09:02 GMT
Did the Government Spy on Trump? Of Course. It Spies on All of Us! Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/did-the-government-spy-on-trump-of-course-it-spies-on-all-of-us/

There was high drama last week when Rep. Devin Nunes announced at the White House that he had seen evidence that the communications of the Donald Trump campaign people, and perhaps even Trump himself, had been “incidentally collected” by the US government.

If true, this means that someone authorized the monitoring of Trump campaign communications using Section 702 of the FISA Act. Could it have been then-President Obama? We don’t know. Could it have been other political enemies looking for something to harm the Trump campaign or presidency? It is possible.

There is much we do not yet know about what happened and there is probably quite a bit we will never know. But we do know several very important things about the government spying on Americans.

First there is Section 702 itself. The provision was passed in 2008 as part of a package of amendments to the 1978 FISA bill. As with the PATRIOT Act, we were told that we had to give the government more power to spy on us so that it could catch terrorists. We had to give up some of our liberty for promises of more security, we were told. We were also told that the government would only spy on the bad guys, and that if we had nothing to hide we should have nothing to fear.

We found out five years later from Edward Snowden that the US government viewed Section 702 as a green light for the mass surveillance of Americans. Through programs he revealed, like PRISM, the NSA is able to collect and store our Internet search history, the content of our emails, what files we have shared, who we have chatted with electronically, and more.

That’s why people like NSA whistleblower William Binney said that we know the NSA was spying on Trump because it spies on all of us!

Ironically, FISA itself was passed after the Church Committee Hearings revealed the abuses, criminality, and violations of our privacy that the CIA and other intelligence agencies had been committing for years. FISA was supposed to rein in the intelligence community but, as is often the case in Washington, it did the opposite: it ended up giving the government even more power to spy on us.

So President Trump might have been “wiretapped” by Obama, as he claimed, but unfortunately he will not draw the right conclusions from the violation. He will not see runaway spying on Americans as a grotesque attack on American values. That is unfortunate, because this could have provided a great teaching moment for the president. Seeing how all of us are vulnerable to this kind of government abuse, President Trump could have changed his tune on the PATRIOT Act and all government attacks on our privacy. He could have stood up for liberty, which is really what makes America great.

Section 702 of the FISA Act was renewed in 2012, just before we learned from Snowden how it is abused. It is set to expire this December unless Congress extends it again. Knowing what we now know about this anti-American legislation we must work hard to prevent its renewal. They will try to scare us into supporting the provision, but the loss of our liberty is what should scare us the most!

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/did-the-government-spy-on-trump-of-course-it-spies-on-all-of-us/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/27/did-the-government-spy-on-trump-of-course-it-spies-on-all-of-us/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:08:11 GMT
Macedonia to George Soros and USAID: Go Away Victor Gaetan http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/macedonia-to-george-soros-and-usaid-go-away/

Small but mighty Macedonia is the mouse that roared this year, declaring war on George Soros, 86, and his US Government handmaidens, who, incredibly, have financed a left-wing agenda to divide the nation and bring a socialist-Muslim coalition to power.

It was the kind of Obama Administration manipulation that was so routine that it passed unnoticed in 2012, when USAID/Skopje selected Soros’ Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM) to manage $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars earmarked for oxymoronic “democracy building,” an amount increased to $4.8 million two years later.

As we speak, and yes, I mean currently, Macedonia’s Open Society Foundation is a USAID partner recruiting candidates for “Youth Engagement Support (YES) grants” — concept papers were due five days after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. It’s some part of a $9.5 million, five-year “civic engagement” boondoggle kicked off last year, which surely would be squelched if the Tillerson State Department were running on all cylinders.

Collusion between the Hungarian-American billionaire and the US against Macedonia’s national interest is outlined on the website, StopSoros.mk, launched in late January by journalists in Skopje, the capital city and, incidentally, birthplace of Mother Teresa.

Over the last three weeks, inspired by the Trump Revolution, tens of thousands of Macedonians have held peaceful rallies for national unity, an end to chaos-creating Soros/USAID largess, and the removal of the US Ambassador. One of the most common posters is a black and white, “No Soros Government.”

Macedonia’s plight has caught the attention of Capitol Hill: six Republican House members wrote to US Ambassador Jess Baily on January 17, quizzing him about “disturbing reports” that the US Mission “actively intervened” in domestic politics to promote “parties, media, and civil society groups of the center left.” They followed up with the Government Accountability Office, requesting an investigation. Last week, six Republican Senators directed a similar letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Unfortunately, conservative Members of Parliament from Macedonia have trouble finding Administration interlocutors to listen to their complaints — though several have flown to D.C. over the last three weeks to brief anyone who will listen. (USAID, they consider an utterly lost cause.)

Paging Mr. Trump

“Soros was Clinton and Clinton was Soros in the Balkans,” explained an agitated Macedonian MP, member of the Christian democratic VMRO-DPMNE party (commonly known as VMRO, pronounced VOOM-row), cooling his heels last week in a Dupont Circle cafe.

“Soros was Obama and Obama was Soros,” added the MP, who asked not to be named.

He fanned a stack of papers on the table before me, eager to make two well-documented points: First, Macedonia, the only nation to escape Yugoslavia without war, has been led by VMRO’s pro-growth, low-tax, family-values government for the last 11 years.
...
[As] the MP’s file demonstrates, rather than applauding Macedonia’s progress — or at least, leaving it alone — US-funded programs have provoked Saul Alinsky-style violence and ethnic division, inspiring a political crisis since 2015 as well as the empowerment of VMRO’s only political rival, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), a socialist party led by Zoran Zaev, who has close ties to the Soros network extending beyond his homeland.

“It’s still going on, despite the new Administration!” the clean-cut, 40-something, MP exclaimed, waving a copy of the Soros/USAID YES grants Request for Proposals in my face.

“Awaiting Hillary Clinton’s coronation, they extended this fusion between Soros and the US Government through 2021!”

Inviting me to consider what it means to pour $6-$7 million, Soros’ estimated annual budget for Macedonia, into a country of some two million people, the distraught man attracted attention from neighboring tables when he bellowed, “They are destroying my country!”

Hoping my new friend was exaggerating, I contacted several smart, reasonable, conservative analysts in Macedonia and a few in the US who travel there frequently. All agree: Not only has the US played negative, counterproductive games in Macedonia, they report our foreign policy has destabilized the country and promoted Islamic extremism.

US goals are so unsavory to the majority Orthodox population that many are beginning to look toward Russia as a more sympathetic — not to mention Christian — ally.

Fair Use Excerpt. To read the rest of the article click here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/macedonia-to-george-soros-and-usaid-go-away/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/macedonia-to-george-soros-and-usaid-go-away/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:48:20 GMT
'Has America become North Korea, where speaking to Russia is forbidden?' RT http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/has-america-become-north-korea-where-speaking-to-russia-is-forbidden/

It is natural that half of Washington works as lobbyists for foreign governments: Israeli, the UK, Macedonia, Germany. It is acceptable to speak with any country aside from Russia, says Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute.

The chief of the US House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has apologized to committee members for disclosing information on surveillance relating to Donald Trump.

Nunes revealed, before telling his committee colleagues, that communications involving the Trump campaign team may have been intercepted by intelligence agencies.

RT: Why has Nunes been forced to apologize? Did he break any rules by telling the President his team was being surveilled?

Daniel McAdams: It might have been technically poor etiquette not revealing it to his fellow committee members. But look at how his fellow committee members are behaving on the Democratic side of the aisle about this whole thing. Letting the cat out of the bag early to them would have just opened him up to the kind of attacks that we are seeing right now. You reveal something that is absolutely earth-shattering if true, of Watergate proportions, that the Obama administration was spying on Trump and the transition team, and what do the Democrats say? Investigate the guy who told us this, who found this out. It is completely preposterous, so why bother telling them anyway? They are not following the proper protocol either.

RT: Did this story get appropriate media coverage?

DM: No, it hasn’t, and it is unfortunately very politicized because the real issue here at hand is Section 702 of the FISA law. That was brought in amendments in 2007-2008. That allowed the NSA to essentially spy on any American. We were told at the time, “They won’t do it, it won’t happen.” But we know from Edward Snowden they routinely use this. This allows the NSA to listen into a phone call as long as one person in the call is a foreigner on foreign soil and the call has to have counterintelligence value; there has to be some foreign intelligence component to the discussion. That is why it is so important when Nunes said that he discerned from what he has seen – there is no foreign counterintelligence data on here. That means somebody broke the law big time. That is what we should be talking about, not who is vindicated or who should be investigated.

RT: Democratic Party Representative Adam Schiff said Nunes needs to pick sides either to help investigate Trump's alleged connections with Russia or to act as the White House surrogate, as he put it. What do you make of that?

DM: I would say that Schiff has a panic attack. He is not facing the facts that are in front of him. He would rather live in a fantasy world. During the hearing, he cited this completely discredited dossier put together by some murky British intelligence officer with all kind of totally bizarre and unproven allegations. That is what he is using as his source. He has delivered no evidence as he has no evidence. And once the evidence comes up, what does he do – he says, “There is nothing here. Let’s go back to Russia and Putin.” Totally insane.

RT: What about allegations that there were conversations with Russia?

DM: It’s desperation. But what does it mean? “They had contacts with Russians.” Half of Washington works as lobbyists for foreign governments. It’s amazing Americans are shocked by this. People work for the Israeli government, the UK government, Macedonia, Germany, whatever. It’s a natural thing to do, so if some people have had contacts in that way, it is perfectly normal if they talked to Russian counterparts. What Flynn did was nothing out of the ordinary. What Flynn did, what Sessions did. That’s what people do all the time. Are we North Korea? We can’t talk to people from any other country? I guess it’s okay with any country except Russia, I suppose.

Reprinted with permission from RT.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/has-america-become-north-korea-where-speaking-to-russia-is-forbidden/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/has-america-become-north-korea-where-speaking-to-russia-is-forbidden/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:42:35 GMT
The evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC is collapsing Justin Raimondo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/the-evidence-that-the-russians-hacked-the-dnc-is-collapsing/

The allegation – now accepted as incontrovertible fact by the “mainstream” media – that the Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee (and John Podesta’s emails) in an effort to help Donald Trump get elected recently suffered a blow from which it may not recover.

Crowdstrike is the cybersecurity company hired by the DNC to determine who hacked their accounts: it took them a single day to determine the identity of the culprits – it was, they said, two groups of hackers which they named “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear,” affiliated respectively with the GRU, which is Russian military intelligence, and the FSB, the Russian security service.

How did they know this?

These alleged “hacker groups” are not associated with any known individuals in any way connected to Russian intelligence: instead, they are identified by the tools they use, the times they do their dirty work, the nature of the targets, and other characteristics based on the history of past intrusions.

Yet as Jeffrey Carr and other cyberwarfare experts have pointed out, this methodology is fatally flawed. “It’s important to know that the process of attributing an attack by a cybersecurity company has nothing to do with the scientific method,” writes Carr:
Claims of attribution aren’t testable or repeatable because the hypothesis is never proven right or wrong. Neither are claims of attribution admissible in any criminal case, so those who make the claim don’t have to abide by any rules of evidence (i.e., hearsay, relevance, admissibility).
Likening attribution claims of hacking incidents by cybersecurity companies to intelligence assessments, Carr notes that, unlike government agencies such the CIA, these companies are never held to account for their misses:
When it comes to cybersecurity estimates of attribution, no one holds the company that makes the claim accountable because there’s no way to prove whether the assignment of attribution is true or false unless (1) there is a criminal conviction, (2) the hacker is caught in the act, or (3) a government employee leaked the evidence.
This lack of accountability may be changing, however, because Crowdstrike’s case for attributing the hacking of the DNC to the Russians is falling apart at the seams like a cheap sweater.

To begin with, Crowdstrike initially gauged its certainty as to the identity of the hackers with “medium confidence.” However, a later development, announced in late December and touted by the Washington Post, boosted this to “high confidence.” The reason for this newfound near-certainty was their discovery that “Fancy Bear” had also infected an application used by the Ukrainian military to target separatist artillery in the Ukrainian civil war. As the Post reported:
While CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC to investigate the intrusions and whose findings are described in a new report, had always suspected that one of the two hacker groups that struck the DNC was the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, it had only medium confidence.

Now, said CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch, ‘we have high confidence’ it was a unit of the GRU. CrowdStrike had dubbed that unit ‘Fancy Bear.’
Crowdstrike published an analysis that claimed a malware program supposedly unique to Fancy Bear, X-Agent, had infected a Ukrainian targeting application and, using GPS to geo-locate Ukrainian positions, had turned the application against the Ukrainians, resulting in huge losses:
Between July and August 2014, Russian-backed forces launched some of the most-decisive attacks against Ukrainian forces, resulting in significant loss of life, weaponry and territory.

Ukrainian artillery forces have lost over 50% of their weapons in the two years of conflict and over 80% of D-30 howitzers, the highest percentage of loss of any other artillery pieces in Ukraine’s arsenal.
Alperovitch told the PBS News Hour that “Ukraine’s artillery men were targeted by the same hackers, that we call Fancy Bear, that targeted DNC, but this time they were targeting cell phones to try to understand their location so that the Russian artillery forces can actually target them in the open battle. It was the same variant of the same malicious code that we had seen at the DNC.”

He told NBC News that this proved the DNC hacker “wasn’t a 400-pound guy in his bed,” as Trump had opined during the first presidential debate – it was the Russians.

The only problem with this analysis is that is wasn’t true. It turns out that Crowdstrike’s estimate of Ukrainian losses was based on a blog post by a pro-Russian blogger eager to tout Ukrainian losses: the Ukrainians denied it. Furthermore, the hacking attribution was based on the hackers’ use of a malware program called X-Agent, supposedly unique to Fancy Bear. Since the target was the Ukrainian military, Crowdstrike extrapolated from this that the hackers were working for the Russians.

All somewhat plausible, except for two things: To begin with, as Jeffrey Carr pointed out in December, and now others are beginning to realize, X-Agent isn’t unique to Fancy Bear. Citing the findings of ESET, another cybersecurity company, he wrote:
Unlike Crowdstrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone. In other words  –  malware deployed is malware enjoyed!

In fact, the source code for X-Agent, which was used in the DNC, Bundestag, and TV5Monde attacks, was obtained by ESET as part of their investigation!

During our investigations, we were able to retrieve the complete Xagent source code for the Linux operating system….”

If ESET could do it, so can others. It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will.
Secondly, the estimate Crowdstrike used to verify the Ukrainian losses was supposedly based on data from the respected International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). But now IISS is disavowing and debunking their claims:
“[T]he International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told [Voice of America] that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened….

’The CrowdStrike report uses our data, but the inferences and analysis drawn from that data belong solely to the report’s authors,” the IISS said. “The inference they make that reductions in Ukrainian D-30 artillery holdings between 2013 and 2016 were primarily the result of combat losses is not a conclusion that we have ever suggested ourselves, nor one we believe to be accurate.’

One of the IISS researchers who produced the data said that while the think tank had dramatically lowered its estimates of Ukrainian artillery assets and howitzers in 2013, it did so as part of a ‘reassessment” and reallocation of units to airborne forces.’

’No, we have never attributed this reduction to combat losses," the IISS researcher said, explaining that most of the reallocation occurred prior to the two-year period that CrowdStrike cites in its report.

’The vast majority of the reduction actually occurs … before Crimea/Donbass,’ he added, referring to the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The definitive “evidence” cited by Alperovitch is now effectively debunked: indeed, it was debunked by Carr late last year, but that was ignored in the media’s rush to “prove” the Russians hacked the DNC in order to further Trump’s presidential ambitions. The exposure by the Voice of America of Crowdstrike’s falsification of Ukrainian battlefield losses – the supposedly solid “proof” of attributing the hack to the GRU – is the final nail in Crowdstrike’s coffin. They didn’t bother to verify their analysis of IISS’s data with IISS – they simply took as gospel the allegations of a pro-Russian blogger. They didn’t contact the Ukrainian military, either: instead, their confirmation bias dictated that they shaped the “facts” to fit their predetermined conclusion.

Now why do you suppose that is? Why were they married so early – after a single day – to the conclusion that it was the Russians who were behind the hacking of the DNC?

Crowdstrike founder Alperovitch is a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council, and head honcho of its “Cyber Statecraft Initiative” – of which his role in promoting the “Putin did it” scenario is a Exhibit A. James Carden, writing in The Nation, makes the trenchant point that “The connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council – which is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk – has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia.” Adam Johnson, writing on the FAIR blog, adds to our knowledge by noting that the Council’s budget is also supplemented by “a consortium of Western corporations (Qualcomm, Coca-Cola, The Blackstone Group), including weapons manufacturers (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman) and oil companies (ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP).”

Johnson also notes that CrowdStrike currently has a $150,000 / year, no-bid contract with the FBI for “systems analysis.”

Nice work if you can get it.

This last little tidbit gives us some insight into what is perhaps the most curious aspect of the Russian-hackers-campaign-for-Trump story: the FBI’s complete dependence on Crowdstrike’s analysis. Amazingly, the FBI did no independent forensic work on the DNC servers before Crowdstrike got its hot little hands on them: indeed, the DNC denied the FBI access to the servers, and, as far as anyone knows, the FBI never examined them. BuzzFeed quotes an anonymous “intelligence official” as saying “Crowdstrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything they have concluded is not accurate.”

There is now.

Alperovitch is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, and one wonders if our clueless – and technically challenged – Republican members of Congress will question him about the debunking of Crowdstrike’s rush to judgment. I tend to doubt it, since the Russia-did-it meme is now the Accepted Narrative and no dissent is permitted – to challenge it would make them “Putin apologists”! (Although maybe Trey Gowdy, the only GOPer on that panel who seems to have any brains, may surprise me.)

As I’ve been saying for months, there is no evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC: nonezilchnada. Yet this false narrative is the entire basis of a campaign launched by the Democrats, hailed by the Trump-hating media, and fully endorsed by the FBI and the CIA, the purpose of which is to “prove” that Trump is “Putin’s puppet,” as Hillary Clinton put it. Now the investigative powers of the federal government are being deployed to confirm that the Trump campaign “colluded” with the Kremlin in an act the evidence for which is collapsing.

This whole affair is a vicious fraud. If there is any justice in this world – and there may not be – the perpetrators should be charged, tried, and jailed.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.


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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/the-evidence-that-the-russians-hacked-the-dnc-is-collapsing/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/24/the-evidence-that-the-russians-hacked-the-dnc-is-collapsing/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:59:21 GMT
Is Tillerson Skipping NATO for Russia a Crisis? (No.) Peter Van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/is-tillerson-skipping-nato-for-russia-a-crisis-no/

Is Tillerson committing treason skipping a NATO meeting for Russia? A diplomatic crisis? The end of the alliance? A favor to Putin? No. It’s just a scheduling decision.

Senior government leaders are often called on to be in more than one place at a time. They make choices. Not everyone agrees with those choices. Sometimes deputies go instead. This happens to every country; the more global a nation’s interests, the more it happens. None of this is new.

Yet a decision to have Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attend a meeting between President Trump (Tillerson’s boss) and Chinese President Xi rather than a NATO ministers gathering (i.e., Tillerson’s peers) in early April has been blown up into yet another end-of-the-world scenario. The fact that Tillerson will attend an event in Russiaweeks later was somehow thrown into the mix and the resulting cake was pronounced proof that the U.S.-NATO relationship is in tatters.

It is fully reasonable to debate which event, meeting with Xi or NATO, is the best use of Tillerson. It’s just not a hard debate to resolve.

“Skipping the NATO meeting and visiting Moscow could risk feeding a perception that Trump may be putting U.S. dealings with big powers first, while leaving waiting those smaller nations that depend on Washington for security,” two former U.S. officials said.

Bigger stuff over smaller stuff, who could imagine?

Despite much rhetoric, NATO has been a stable, predictable relationship for the United States over decades. Tillerson, and the U.S., will be represented at the April event by the familiar (he’s worked for State since 1984) and competent Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Shannon. Tillerson may be skipping the event; the United States is not. And FYI, Colin Powell skipped the same meeting once as Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, Trump is set to attend a NATO summit in Brussels in May. Tillerson met his NATO counterparts at an anti-ISIS conference on March 22. State is proposing other dates for NATO’s foreign ministers to gather. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner stated in the midst of all this “the United States remains 100 percent committed” to the alliance.

NATO is covered.

China meanwhile is dead center on action. China will play a significant role in anything to do with North Korea. China and U.S. allies Japan and South Korea face continued friction in the South China Sea, with the U.S. involved as well. China is one of America’s most significant trading partners, and holds considerable U.S. Treasury debt. Weigh all that against sending a signal to NATO about a problem in the alliance that sort of doesn’t even exist outside the self-created media spectacle.

And the same people criticizing Tillerson for attending the meeting between Trump and Xi have only recently criticized Tillerson for not attending meetings between Trump and other world leaders.

Problems with Tillerson’s plan to go to Russia weeks after the missed NATO meeting are just conflation. Tillerson will be doing all sorts of things following the NATO meeting and simply throwing Russia into this NATO story is pure sensationalism, a desperate attempt to get the news hook of the moment, Putin, into the headlines and imply more diplomatic naughtiness on the part of Trump.

Much of the can’t-win-either-way positions taken on Tillerson flow from two interlocking issues.

The first is the trope that basically anything the Trump administration does is wrong, dangerous, and reckless. Politico comes out with it, saying “Two months and a string of eyebrow-raising decisions later, people in and outside the State Department wonder if there’s any tradition Tillerson thinks is worth keeping.” Suggest negotiations and you’re too soft. Rattle the saber and you’re tempting Armageddon.

The second is Tillerson’s disdain for the media. The media as a rule is nothing but self-righteous and jealous, ready to wave the flag, wrap themselves in it, then throw themselves writhing to the ground claiming they alone stand between The People (who no longer trust them) and the abyss. Tillerson didn’t take a press pool with him to Asia, and this set off the latest round. Left out of course is that the press could and did travel commercially to Asia longside Tillerson and missed out only on the possibility of some back-of-the-official-plane leaking.

This will become a self-licking ice cream cone, as 24/7 press criticism of Tillerson makes him even less likely to engage with a press that will seize on his comments to criticize him further.

It is also deeply amusing to watch the press decry the lack of official State Department briefings that they for years criticized as being content free and little more than propaganda. It reminds of an old joke — Q: How was the food on your vacation? A: Terrible! And such small portions!

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/is-tillerson-skipping-nato-for-russia-a-crisis-no/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/is-tillerson-skipping-nato-for-russia-a-crisis-no/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:47:12 GMT
Comey Lied? Trump Vindicated? Nobody's Safe From PATRIOT Act Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/comey-lied-trump-vindicated-nobodys-safe-from-patriot-act/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/comey-lied-trump-vindicated-nobodys-safe-from-patriot-act/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/23/comey-lied-trump-vindicated-nobodys-safe-from-patriot-act/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:23:09 GMT
Fool Me Once: Crowdstrike Claimed Two Cases Of 'Russian Hacking.' One Has Been Proven Wrong. Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/fool-me-once-crowdstrike-claimed-two-cases-of-russian-hacking-one-has-been-proven-wrong/

The cyber-security company Crowdstrike claimed that the "Russia" hacked the Democratic National Committee. It also claimed that "Russia" hacked artillery units of the Ukrainian army. The second claim has now be found to be completely baseless. That same is probably the case with its claims related to the DNC.

Sometime around May 2016 the Democratic National Committee lost control over its email archives. It claimed that its servers had been "hacked" by someone related to Russian interests. DNC emails were published by Wikileaks and provided that the DNC had worked during the primaries against its statutes and in favor of one presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. The DNC chair was forced to resign over the case.

The DNC had called in Crowdstrike, a company led by a one Dimitry Alperovich, a Senior Fellow of the NATO aligned "think tank" Atlantic Council. After a short investigation Crowdstrike claimed to found intruding software on the DNC servers that, it says, has been exclusively used by Russian intelligence services. From there followed claims that "Russia hacked the U.S. elections."

When the DNC went public with the Crowdstrike claims the FBI never requested access to the servers to determine if a crime had been committed and to detect the culprit. Access to the servers had been informally denied by the DNC. The FBI simply followed (pdf), without any own forensic investigation of its own, the conclusions Crowdstrike had made.
...
A month later and in a different case the same Crowdstrike investigators claimed (pdf) that the artillery units of the Ukrainian army had had "excessive combat losses" of up to 80 percent in their fight with Ukrainian separatists. Crowdstrike asserted that Russian intelligence hacked an application used by the Ukrainians to aim their guns. The hack, it was claimed, enabled well targeted counter-fire that then destroyed the Ukrainian guns.

The author of the application denied that any such hacking had taken place. His software was provided only directly from him to Ukrainian army units. Independent cyber-security researchers also doubted the claims.

Crowdstrike had based its numbers for "excessive losses" of Ukrainian artillery units on statistics collected by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The IISS now says that its statistics do not provide what Crowdstrike claimed. There were no "excessive losses" of Ukrainian artillery.
VOA first contacted IISS in February to verify the alleged artillery losses. Officials there initially were unaware of the CrowdStrike assertions. After investigating, they determined that CrowdStrike misinterpreted their data and hadn’t reached out beforehand for comment or clarification.

In a statement to VOA, the institute flatly rejected the assertion of artillery combat losses.
It seems that the whole "Ukrainian artillery hack" claims by Crowdstrike was simply made up. There was no "hack" and the claimed damage from the "hack" did not occur at all. Crowdstrike evidently found a "crime" and "Russian hacking" where none had happened.

In the case of the DNC hacking Crowdstrike also alleged a "crime" and "Russian hacking". No hard evidence was ever provided for that claim, no competent police force ever investigated the crime scene and serious security researchers found that the Crowdstrike claims were likely taken from hot air.

The DNC was likely not hacked at all. Some insider with access to its servers may have taken the emails to publish them. On July 10 2016 the DNC IT administrator Seth Rich was found fatally shot on the streets of Washington DC. To this day no culprit has been found. The crime is unsolved. Five Congressional staffers and IT administrators from Pakistan, some of whom also worked for the DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, are under criminal investigation for unauthorized access to Congressional computers. They had the password of Wasserman-Schultz and may have had access to the DNC servers.

Crowdstrike's claims of "Russian hacking" have evidently been false with regards to the Ukrainian artillery. Crowdstrike's claims of "Russian hacking" in the case of the DNC have never been supported or confirmed by independent evidence. There are reasons to believe that the loss of control of the DNC's email archives were a case of unauthorized internal access and not a "hack" at all.

A company related to a NATO aligned "think-tank," which is financed by weapon producers and other special interests, raises allegations against Russia that are quite possibly unfounded. These allegations are then used by NATO to build up a public boogeyman picture of "the Russian enemy." In consequence the budgets for NATO militaries and the profits of weapon producers increase.

It is a simple racket, but with potentially very bad consequences for all of us.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/fool-me-once-crowdstrike-claimed-two-cases-of-russian-hacking-one-has-been-proven-wrong/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/fool-me-once-crowdstrike-claimed-two-cases-of-russian-hacking-one-has-been-proven-wrong/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:56:32 GMT
Is North Korea An 'Imminent Threat'? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/is-north-korea-an-imminent-threat/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/is-north-korea-an-imminent-threat/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/22/is-north-korea-an-imminent-threat/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:27:09 GMT
‘US Democrats and Neocons Need Some Anti-Psychotic Medication Over Trump' RT http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/us-democrats-and-neocons-need-some-anti-psychotic-medication-over-trump/

Washington insiders are attempting to undermine the presidency by having a continual investigation, and it’s unbelievably irresponsible, Daniel McAdams, executive director at Ron Paul Institute told RT.

FBI Director James Comey has admitted the agency is investigating suspected collusion between President Trump and Russia, something which had not been publicly confirmed until now.

Comey and other intelligence chiefs testified before Congress on Monday about claims Russia meddled in last year's US presidential election.

Asked whether alleged Russian influence changed vote tallies in key states, both the FBI and NSA chiefs said "no."

McAdams said it seems like Washington has been gripped by “a collective hysteria” and most noticeably among “Democrats and their new best buddies – the neocons.”

The executive director of the Ron Paul Institute posed the rhetorical question: "What are the Russians accused of doing?"

"We know now that they didn’t hack, they didn’t change any votes, they didn’t hack the voting machines, they didn’t go and switch the votes,” he continued.

“What did they do?"

McAdams provided the answer to his own question: "They exposed the fact that Hillary Clinton cheated Bernie Sanders out of a bunch of votes. Supposedly, that is what Russian hacks revealed, but of course we found out from WikiLeaks subsequently that the US intelligence agencies have the ability to put false flags in hackings. So, was it a CIA false flag? Who knows."

McAdams said, “We are perfectly willing to accept this possibility" that Russia somehow helped Trump win the elections, but said providing evidence of such serious allegations is essential. 

Then, with a thinly veiled swipe at the US intelligence agency's well-known spying capabilities, McAdams requested some evidence: "Coming from the world champion-meddler in other people’s elections, I think we deserve to have at least a little bit more proof than has been given.”

McAdams continued:
Hopefully the Democrats and the neocons in Washington will take some anti-psychotic medication and come back down to earth. Look at Adam Schiff (US Representative for California's 28th congressional district). His performance in this hearing was unbelievable. He cited over and over again the fake news dossier that some strange, murky British intelligence agent put together about all of these ties between Trump. So much of it has already been proven false.

[Schiff] puts all of these things out there in a crazed Rachel Maddow style, and then he says: ‘Are these coincidences? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. That’s why we need more investigations.’ And that’s what it’s all about. Continuing to investigate. Don’t criticize Trump for the things that he is doing wrong, but try to undermine the presidency by having a perpetual investigation of the presidency, and it’s unbelievably irresponsible.
Reprinted with permission from RT.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/us-democrats-and-neocons-need-some-anti-psychotic-medication-over-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/us-democrats-and-neocons-need-some-anti-psychotic-medication-over-trump/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 22:31:20 GMT
House Russia Hearing: Revelations Or More Speculation? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/house-russia-hearing-revelations-or-more-speculation/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/house-russia-hearing-revelations-or-more-speculation/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/house-russia-hearing-revelations-or-more-speculation/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:21:03 GMT
Israel Precipitates New Tensions in Syria Melkulangara Bhadrakumar http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/israel-precipitates-new-tensions-in-syria/

The Israeli air attacks on Friday near Palmyra in Syria targeting what Tel Aviv claims to be a convoy ferrying weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon – and what Damascus alleges was a calculated act directed against the positions of the government forces fighting the Islamic State active in the region – cannot be regarded as a "stand-alone" event.

On the face of it, the Israeli claim lacks credibility since Palmyra is twice removed from the Syrian-Lebanon border in terms of geographical proximity. Possibly, Syrian government has a point that the Israelis were deliberately targeting its forces. This explains why Russian Foreign Ministry called in the Israeli ambassador in Moscow on the same day and sought explanation.

Evidently, some "ground rule" as per the unwritten Russian-Israeli understanding over Syrian frontlines has been breached and Moscow took note. In previous instances when Israel attacked Hezbollah – even assassinating its top commanders fighting on Syrian frontlines – Moscow had looked away. But this time around, it promptly signaled displeasure. It stands to reason that Israel crossed some "red line."

At first, Moscow did not publicise its demarche. But then, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman flew off the handle on Sunday with a belligerent remark that Israel “will not hesitate” to destroy Syria’s air defence systems if that country ever again targeted attacking Israeli jets. It was an illogical statement insofar as Israel insists it can violate Syrian air space but Damascus has no right to defend. Liberman also held a veiled threat saying, “We do not want to clash with the Russians.”

Whereupon, on Monday, Moscow disclosed that it had made a demarche. Curiously, the Israeli ambassador had presented his credentials at the Kremlin only the day before he received the summons. As far as diplomatic practices go – and Russians are seasoned practitioners – Moscow made a strong point.

Interestingly, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Moscow recently with a focused mission to get Russia to dump its alliance with Iran in Syria. From Russian commentaries, it appears he got a short shrift in the Kremlin. (Read a hilarious piece, here, by Israel Shamir.) One likelihood is that Netanyahu showed irritation over the snub. By the way, Liberman is an ethnic Russian Jew.

By making the demarche, Russia inserted itself into what Israel pretended to be a standoff with Damascus, and has warned Israel not to escalate. On the contrary, Israel may have much to be gained through escalation. Consider the following.

Israel is watching with growing despair that Iran has emerged as the "winner" in the Syrian conflict. Israel’s proxies – al-Qaeda affiliates and other extremist groups – are facing defeat. Its plans to create a "buffer zone" in Syrian territory straddling the Golan Heights are in shambles. Israel’s illegal occupation of Golan Heights may come under challenge if Iranian/Hezbollah militia resort to the politics of "resistance."

Israel anticipates that Iran will establish a permanent presence in Syria. There are reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given go-ahead for an Iranian naval base in Latakia, close to the Russian airbase at Hmeymim. If that happens, Iran will be in an even stronger position than before to build up Hezbollah (and Syria and Lebanon) as the bulwark of ‘resistance’ against Israel.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah is also emerging as a more capable fighting force after the baptism under fire in Syria. Hezbollah has a massive stockpile of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles – some estimates put the number as 100000 – targeting Israel, which deterred an Israeli attack on Lebanon for the past ten years. Israel has no answer to the missile threat from Hezbollah. As an Israeli commentator put it:
Sending special infantry units to search for rocket and missile launch sites on the ground is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. Israel tried to do this in the second Lebanon war (2006) with no real results. What this means is that the only option left to Israel is an immediate, dramatic and aggressive attack against all of Lebanon’s vital infrastructure, or as Israeli officers and senior Israeli officials have been describing for the past decade, 'sending Lebanon back to the Stone Age.'
The catch here is that Hezbollah is not spoiling for a fight with Israel, but it will hit back if attacked. Israel tried repeatedly to provoke Hezbollah, but the latter kept cool, given the overriding priorities of the Syrian conflict where it plays a major role in the ground fighting. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah listed recently that targets in Israel include the ammonia plant in Haifa, the nuclear reactors in Dimona and Nahal Sorek, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems weapons development facilities and so on.

The short point is, Israel is desperately keen to somehow get the US directly involved. Israel will not hesitate to precipitate a US-Iranian confrontation. How far President Donald Trump would play ball with Netanyahu is a moot point. Israel may simply create a new fact on the ground whereby US intervention becomes unavoidable. Russia probably senses that.

Reprinted with permission from Indian Punchline.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/israel-precipitates-new-tensions-in-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/israel-precipitates-new-tensions-in-syria/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:38:42 GMT
McCain and Montenegro: The Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory Justin Raimondo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/mccain-and-montenegro-the-anatomy-of-a-conspiracy-theory/

Just in case you thought the conspiracy theory that Russia secretly controls the US government is exclusively an affliction affecting the Democratic party, Sen. John McCain’s recent performance on the floor of the US Senate should disabuse you of this optimistic notion. Responding to Sen. Rand Paul’s blocking of a vote in favor of the accession of Montenegro to NATO, the failed former GOP presidential candidate let it all hang out:
I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any rationale for the action he has just taken. That is really remarkable, that a senator blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number, perhaps 98 – at least – of his colleagues would come to the floor and object and walk away. The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is he has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians. So I repeat again, the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.
What’s “remarkable” is that this kind of lunacy is tolerated in the US Senate: I recall that Sen. Elizabeth Warren was rebuked – and silenced – by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell because she read a letter from Coretta Scott King that called into question the motives of Jeff Sessions, then a Senator and a candidate for the office of Attorney General. Surely McCain’s outburst was an even more egregious violation of the rules than Warren’s, and yet McCain was allowed to proceed uninterrupted. Perhaps this is an example of “warmonger’s privilege.”

In a later interview, Sen. Paul sought to explain McCain’s behavior as an indication of the Senator from Arizona’s advanced age: perhaps, he suggested, McCain is “past his prime,” and, by the way, “this is a good argument for term limits.” Well, yes, but in the current political atmosphere – where Vladimir Putin has been elevated to the status of a virtually omnipotent force who has the power to change election results and infiltrate the highest reaches of Western governments – it’s no crazier than anything else we’re hearing out of Washington these days.

Be that as it may, ordinary Americans may have a few questions about this bizarre incident, starting with: What the heck is Montenegro?

A tiny republic in the middle of the Balkans, Montenegro has a population equal to that of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a military force of around 2,000 soldiers and sailors. Up until the break up of Yugoslavia, it was never a unified independent country (except for a few years early in the twentieth century). Today, it is even less unified, beset as it is with rival factions that routinely battle it out in the streets. It’s former President (and, alternately, Prime Minister) Milo Djukanovic, is a former top Communist official who came to power in 1997 in an election marred by allegations of fraud and violent protests, and is known as “Mr. Ten Percent” on account of his reputation for corruption. Although “retired” (this is, I believe, his third “retirement”) he is still the real nexus of power in the country.

Formerly a bastion of Serbian nationalism, Montenegro has undergone demographic changes since the end of the Yugoslav era, with a large incursion of Albanians – who have initiated a campaign to create a “Greater Albania” by merging the southern portion of the country with Albania proper. Aside from that, however, there is the question of whether Montenegro will join NATO and the European Union, a project dear to the heart of Djukanovic, and opposed by the former Serbian majority which still remembers how the country was bombed under NATO’s rubric during the Kosovo war.

The recent elections, billed as a referendum on NATO membership, yielded ambiguous results for Djukanovic’s party: the hope was that Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), the successor to the old Communist Party, would win an outright majority, thus enabling the pro-NATO forces to push NATO membership through parliament without having to resort to a referendum. The DPS ended up winning 41 percent of the vote, not enough to form a government, although an alliance with smaller parties – not all of them pro-NATO – gave Djukanovic a parliamentary majority. The opposition parties are now pushing for a popular vote on entering NATO, and recent polls indicate that voters are split almost exactly down the middle on the issue.

That doesn’t deter Djukanovic, who, with the help of the Western media, has managed to replicate the anti-Russian hysteria we are seeing infect our own politics. According to Djukanovic, a Russian plot to attack the parliament, kill members of the ruling party, and take over the country was narrowly averted when a number of “plotters” were arrested. The New York Times describes these sinister “plotters” as follows:
Mr. Djukanovic and his officials initially provided no evidence to support their allegation of a foiled coup attempt on Oct. 16, the day of national elections. They said only that 20 Serbs – some of whom turned out to be elderly and in ill health – had been detained just hours before they were to launch the alleged putsch. Nonetheless, Mr. Djukanovic insisted it ‘is more than obvious’ that unnamed ‘Russian structures’ were working with pro-Moscow politicians to derail the country’s efforts to join NATO.
After months of searching, the alleged weapons cache that was to be used in the coup attempt has yet to turn up. But, hey, who needs weapons when you’re part of the vast Putinite Conspiracy? Oh, those Russians – stealing elections from Michigan to Montenegro! Is there anything they can’t do? The alleged leader of the “plot” has been granted a plea deal, and is now spinning a tale of intrigue so murky that light cannot penetrate its depths. One version has it that Russian “special forces” “disguised as a Cossack folk band” arrived on the scene to “recruit” those plotting to off Djukanovic. Those are some very special forces indeed. Oddly, the alleged “plotters” have all been released, including the supposed ringleader. Meanwhile, leaders of the anti-NATO opposition are being arrested for “ties” to the “plot.”

This what Sen. McCain was talking about when he claimed that Montenegro is “under assault from the Russians.” It’s the Montenegrin version of the same line of baloney he’s been pushing here in the US: that the Russians “stole” the 2016 presidential election, and are “subverting” American democracy.

Sen. Paul was right to block approval of Montenegro’s accession to NATO: that country is the perfect backdrop for an international incident that would drag us into a conflict with Russia. In accusing Paul of “working for Vladimir Putin,” McCain is limning the tactics of Djukanovic, who is busy framing up and arresting his political opponents on similarly phony charges.

The alleged “Russian agent” Mike Flynn, forced to resign as National Security Advisor because of his nonexistent “ties” to Moscow, reportedly recommended that the Trump administration approve Montenegro’s bid to join NATO. I guess he didn’t get his directive from Putin in a timely manner. On the other hand, the Montenegrin opposition is petitioning Trump advisor Steve Bannon to urge the President to veto it.

Montenegro’s accession to NATO would plant yet another tripwire that could easily lead directly to a collision with Russia. At the very least it would cause substantial internal turmoil in the country, perhaps ending in an all-out civil war such as happened in Ukraine.

President Trump was right when he said during the campaign that NATO is “obsolete.” It is also dangerous in that it pledges us to go to war in defense of member nations. With Turkey, a NATO member, moving rapidly into Syria, and now face-to-face with Russian and Syrian soldiers, and with British troops now entering Estonia, where a make-believe Russian “threat” is supposedly being thwarted, our membership in NATO could very well drag us into a conflict on two fronts.

How is this putting “America first”?

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/mccain-and-montenegro-the-anatomy-of-a-conspiracy-theory/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/21/mccain-and-montenegro-the-anatomy-of-a-conspiracy-theory/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:16:44 GMT
Trump Budget Cuts Bankroll New Waste James Bovard http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/trump-budget-cuts-bankroll-new-waste/

President Trump’s proposed budget takes a big step towards draining the swamp in Washington. This is the first time since the Reagan era that a president has sought a wholesale demolition of boondoggles. On the other hand, Trump’s defense and homeland security spending increases will squander bounties that should be reserved for taxpayers, not bureaucrats and bombs.

Regardless of whether Trump can cajole Congress into imposing the cuts, Americans should welcome candor on an array of federal programs that should have been decimated or abolished long ago:

The Housing and Urban Development budget takes one of the biggest hits — down $6 billion or 13%. The administration aims to sharply cut spending on rental vouchers that are notorious for redistributing violent crime from public housing projects to previously safe urban and suburban neighborhoods. HUD’s flagship HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which provides grants to states and localities, is also in the budget crosshairs. That program is such a fiasco that HUD was not even aware that hundreds of projects it was bankrolling had not been built until a Washington Post investigation compiled hundreds of aerial photos of empty lots.

Trump calls for abolishing both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The vast majority of spending for the arts comes from private pockets. America does not need a culture commissariat to give federal seals of approval to efforts that please Washington bureaucrats. There is no justice in taxing dishwashers in Arkansas to subsidize programs such as Synetic Theater’s Silent Shakespeare — in which actors gyrate and grope in lieu of delivering the richest bounty of the English language.

Trump recommends abolishing federal subsidies for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. When federally financed television and radio began, there were vastly fewer options on the television and radio dial. Considering the bounty that technology is delivering, there is no excuse for spending $445 million a year for news and cultural programming that is consistently biased in favor of Big Government.

According to The Post, Trump wants a 17% cut for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which includes the National Weather Service. The service nowadays prefers to play therapist instead of giving taxpayers the best information available. Last Monday, it realized that it had greatly exaggerated likely snowfalls from winter storm Stella but refused to correct itself because it feared confusing folks. A headline from the Gothamist website summarized that debacle: "National Weather Service: Sorry, you're too stupid to trust with the REAL forecast."

Trump calls for sharply slashing the $1.5 billion budget for Food for Peace, America’s most destructive foreign aid program. For decades, foreign farmers have been bankrupted when US government agencies dump crops in their nations at harvest time. But the program works out well for the farm lobby, the merchant marine and non-profit groups, and its foreign victims have no lobby in Washington.

The homeland security budget proposes to fizzle away billions of dollars on a border wall — a monument to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign that will have little or no impact on curbing illegal immigration.

On the bright side, the budget favors slashing Urban Area Security Initiative grants — a howler of a program that has paid for a latrine-on-wheels in Texas; sno-cone machines in Michigan; and a "zombie apocalypse" show at a training seminar. Also targeted for cuts is the Transportation Security Administration’s goofily named VIPR program (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) — which dispatches TSA teams to pointlessly hassle bus and train passengers in "security theater" at its most absurd.

On the other hand, Trump proposes to devote almost all of the savings from cutting domestic programs into the Pentagon, whose budget would rise by $52 billion, roughly 10%. Since 9/11, the Defense Department has been Washington’s ultimate sacred cow — regardless of how badly US military interventions abroad turned out. A Pentagon advisory panel recently documented $125 billion in bureaucratic waste; Pentagon honchos and their political allies quickly buried that report. The Pentagon Inspector General reported that the Army made $6.5 trillion in erroneous adjustments  (Yes,trillions) to its general fund in 2015. At the least, the Pentagon should receive no additional money until it reveals how it spent previous windfalls.

The specter overhanging Trump’s budget is the possibility that he could jettison his campaign promises and plunge the nation more deeply into conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. If that happens, federal spending could quickly soar out of control as it did in the George W. Bush administration. What is the point of draining the swamp if all the savings are poured down other budgetary rat holes?<

Trump’s budget would be better if it included more corporate welfare targets — such as farm subsidies — on the hit list.

Regardless, his proposals are evoking screams of agony inside The Beltway. A Postarticle fretted that under Trump’s budget, "government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America."

Actually, there was an election last November, and the people who did not want their lives micromanaged by federal agencies won.

James Bovard is author of Public Policy Hooligan.

Reprinted with author's permission from USA Today.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/trump-budget-cuts-bankroll-new-waste/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/trump-budget-cuts-bankroll-new-waste/ Mon, 20 Mar 2017 18:23:33 GMT
Neocons Strike Back: Kagan Family On The Warpath (Again) Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/neocons-strike-back-kagan-family-on-the-warpath-again/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/neocons-strike-back-kagan-family-on-the-warpath-again/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/neocons-strike-back-kagan-family-on-the-warpath-again/ Mon, 20 Mar 2017 17:42:40 GMT
Mainstream Media in Total Collapse Paul Craig Roberts http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/mainstream-media-in-total-collapse/

Few any longer believe the “mainstream media,” that is, the presstitutes. This has put them into a panic as the presstitutes lose their value to the ruling elite if the presstitutes cannot control the explanations in order to justify the self-serving agendas of the ruling elite.

To fight back against the alternative media that does tell the truth, a secret group, PropOrNot, as well hidden as an offshore money-laundering operation, published a list of 200 websites accused of being “Russian agents/dupes.” 

PropOrNot’s effort to discredit truth-tellers was hurt by the site’s anonymity.

Consequently, the next list appeared on the website of the Harvard University library, where it is attributed to a Melissa Zimdars of whom no one has ever previously heard. The websites on the list are also on the PropOrNot list, but those of us on Zimbars’ list are no longer “Russian agents/dupes,” merely purveyors of “fake news.”

None of my readers agree that I provide fake news. Indeed, when I tried to retire, my readers demanded that I continue providing them with reliable information as they understand that the presstitue media consists of lies.

Now I hear from bloggers in France that the French newspaper Le Monde has posted a list of conspiratorial news sites, and, yes, French sites that translate and post my columns in the French language are on the list.

It appears that the campaign against truth is being extended to the entirety of the American Empire.

Just as the Washington Post and the Harvard Library made themselves look ridiculous and had to put some distance between themselves and the lists that they publicized, Le Monde will also. Not only was I a columnist for leading French newspapers, such as Liberation (Paris) in the late 1980s and for Le Figaro (Paris) in the early to mid-1990s, but also I was awarded the French Legion of Honor by the President of France in 1987. The honor was personally presented to me at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., by the French Minister of Economics and Finance, and later Prime Minister, Edourad Balladur, at a grand party at which top level Reagan Administration officials attended bearing a letter from the President of the United States congratulating France for recognizing my contributions.

That Le Monde would post such a list proves the truth of Udo Ulfkotte’s statement in his well known book that there is no significant journalist anywhere in Europe that is not on the CIA payroll.

I have wondered if the PropOrNor list was a creation of the presstitute media, such as CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, MSNBC, in order to protect their monopoly over explanations, or whether it was a creation of the CIA in an effort to protect the presstitutes who serve the CIA by controlling the explanations that gullible and ignorant people receive. I suspect that the list is a creation of the CIA or the Department of State. It is a desperate act by those who have lost credibility to keep control over explanations.

The world of lies that comprises life in the Western world and hides reality from the people has destroyed all justification for the West’s long hegemony over humanity. Today the West, corrupt, violent, greedy beyond all measure, evil beyond Satan, is a collection of populations comfortable with the mass murder of millions of Muslims in many countries. When evil can go without challenge, what hope does humanity have?

The Harvard Library website, perhaps in response to criticism, has now identified Melissa Zimdars as an assistant professor of communication at Merrimack College. The library distances itself from the list by declaring it to be “an informal list.” The library still has a link to Zimdars’ list of fake news websites, but the link opens to something else. Stephen Lendman provided a copy of Zimdar’s list on Global Research. Notice that WikiLeaks is on Zimdar’s list, which shows Zimdar’s absurdity. WikiLeaks posts no commentary or news, only vetted documents. Here is Zimdars’ list:

21st Century Wire
Activist Post
Antiwar.com
Before Its News.com
Black Agenda Report
Boiling Frogs Post
Common Dreams
Consortium News
Corbett Report
Countercurrents
CounterPunch
David Stockman Contracorner
Fort Russ
Freedoms Phoenix
Global Research
The Greanville Post
Information Clearing House
Intellihub
Intrepid Report
Lew Rockwell
Market Oracle
Mint Press News
Moon of Alabama
Naked Capitalism
Natural News
Nomi Prins
Off-Guardian
Paul Craig Roberts
Pravda.ru
Rense
Rinf
Ron Paul Institute
Ruptly TV
Russia-Insider
Sgt Report
ShadowStats
Shift Frequency
SJLendman.blogspot.com – my alma mater (Harvard) recommends avoiding my writing; new articles posted daily; featuring truth-telling on major issues
Solari
Sott.net
South Front
Sputnik News
Strategic Culture.org
The Anti-Media
The Duran
The Intercept
The People’s Voice
The Saker
The Sleuth Journal
Third World Traveler
Voltairenet
What Really Happened
Who What Why
WikiLeaks
Zero Hedge

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/mainstream-media-in-total-collapse/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/20/mainstream-media-in-total-collapse/ Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:46:56 GMT