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Jacob G. Hornberger

Are You Attending the RPI Conference This Saturday?

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The Ron Paul Institute is holding its annual conference at the Westin Washington Dulles Airport this Saturday, September 3. It stands to be another outstanding one. I have the honor and pleasure of again speaking at it. I will also be speaking at the conference’s program for young scholars the day before.
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How Did America Survive Without an Espionage Act?

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For some 140 years, the United States did not have an Espionage Act. It didn’t come into existence until 1917, when US officials used it to punish Americans who had the audacity to question the US intervention into World War I, an intervention that ultimately led to the rise of the Hitler regime in the 1930s. 

No one can deny that the United States did not fall into the ocean during those 140 years when it didn’t have an Espionage Act. So, the question naturally arises: How did the country survive without an Espionage Act for almost a century and a half?

Just think: The whole world was free to spy on America without fear of being prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated by US officials. Think about how scary that must have been for all those Americans who were living during those 140 years. 

After all, everyone knows that the whole world wants to spy on America. And without an Espionage Act, we all know that everyone in the world would spend large portions of their lives and fortunes spying on America.
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America’s Perpetual Foreign-Policy Crises

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Ever since the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II, America has lived under a system of ongoing, never-ending, perpetual foreign-policy crises. That’s not a coincidence. The national-security establishment — i.e. the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — need such crises to justify their continued existence and their ever-growing taxpayer-funded largess. 

An interesting aspect of this phenomenon is that oftentimes the crises are ginned up by the national-security establishment itself. Once the crisis materializes, the Pentagon and the CIA play the innocent. “We had nothing to do with ginning up this crisis,” they cry. “We are totally innocent.” 

After the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon and the CIA were desperately in need of a crisis that could replace the Cold War crisis, which they were convinced would last forever. That’s when they began going into the Middle East and killing people. When that massive killing spree, which included killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, ended up producing terrorist blowback, the national-security establishment had its new crisis — terrorism, which replaced communism as America’s big official enemy. 

The “war on terrorism” replaced the Cold War’s “war on communism.” Americans began fearing the terrorists (and the Muslims) almost as much as they feared the Reds. With the new crisis, the national-security establishment, including its army of “defense” contractors, was assured of continued existence and ever-expanding taxpayer-funded largess.
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US Audacity on Brittney Griner

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Only a person who is willfully blind cannot see that the US position on the Brittney Griner case is driven not by some compassionate concern for her welfare but rather by the extreme anti-Russia animus that has afflicted US officials for more than 75 years.
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What’s So Great About Democracy?

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At the recent Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, President Biden refused to permit Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to attend because they aren’t democracies. As everyone knows, for the past several decades, the US government has made democracy its shibboleth. It’s as if democracy is something sacred.

Yet, what’s so great about democracy? It’s really nothing more than people selecting their rulers by votes rather than rulers selecting themselves. What’s so sacred about voters? US officials promote the notion that voters select the best people to public office, as if they always elect saints.

Given that this is the 50th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, why not apply the democracy test to Richard Nixon, a president who was forced to leave office because of his criminal activity?

And then there was Lyndon Johnson, the president that Nixon succeeded. Many years after he had died, it was determined that LBJ cheated his way to victory in his 1948 race for US Senate. If he hadn’t had his political cronies illegally stuff the ballot box in a county in South Texas, he would have lost that race and undoubtedly would never have become president.
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Assange Should Put the Pentagon and the CIA on Trial

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With the recent decision by British Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, it is now a virtual certainty that Assange will soon be brought to the US for trial.

Let’s hope that he uses the opportunity to put the Pentagon and the CIA on trial. Yes, I know that whichever federal judge is appointed to preside over the trial will do his best to not permit that to happen, but what’s wrong with a little civil disobedience in what will inevitably be a rigged kangaroo court whose outcome of guilt will be preordained?

Let’s not forget, after all, that Assange isn’t the criminal here. He’s the guy who disclosed the criminal conduct to the world through his organization WikiLeaks. That criminal conduct was committed by the Pentagon and the CIA, supported by their enablers in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. 

In a just society, the people who disclose criminal conduct would be hailed as heroes and the people who engage in criminal conduct would be going to jail. But in the Bizarro world of a national-security state, it’s the exact opposite — the criminals are the accusers and jailers and the opponents of their criminal conduct are the ones who are punished, tortured, and sent to jail.
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An Endless Stream of Scary Official Enemies

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Any government that is a national-security state needs big official enemies — scary ones, ones that will cause the citizenry to continue supporting not only the continued existence of a national-security state form of government but also ever-growing budgets for it and its army of voracious “defense” contractors.

That’s, of course, what the current brouhaha about Russia is all about. It’s really a replay of the Cold War decades, when Americans were made to believe that the Reds were coming to get them, take over the federal government and the public schools, and indoctrinate everyone into loving communism and socialism. 

In those Cold War years, Americans citizens were so scared of the Reds that they were willing to ignore — or even support — the dark-side powers that were being wielded and exercised by the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, which are the three principal components of the national-security establishment. The idea was that if the U..S. government failed to adopt the same dark-side totalitarian-type powers, such as assassination and torture, that the Soviet Union and Red China were wielding and exercising, the United States would end up falling to the Reds and becoming communist.
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Bribe Money for Ukrainian Officials?

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In my blog post of May 18, 2022, I raised the possibility that the $40 billion aid package that Congress quickly approved for Ukraine was going to be used, at least in part, to pay multimillion dollar bribes to Ukrainian officials. After all, why else would the members of Congress, as well as the Pentagon’s assets within the mainstream press, react so vociferously against the idea of having the Inspector General monitor how the money is being used? And what better way to ensure that Ukrainian officials remain on board for perpetual war than the payment of bribes to officials serving in what is perhaps the most corrupt regime on the planet?

For skeptics, I refer to an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal whose title pretty much tells it all: “High-Ranking Afghan Officials Escaped to Luxury Homes Abroad.” The opening paragraph states, “Some senior Afghan officials and their families spent millions purchasing expensive homes in the US and abroad in the final years of the war, which became luxurious landings when they escaped the escalating violence in Afghanistan.” The article then goes on to detail some of those “luxurious landings.”

Okay, yes, it is conceivable that those Afghan officials are all honest politicians and bureaucrats in an impoverished nation who became millionaires by dutifully saving portions of their government salaries. 

But there is another possibility, a much more likely one in my opinion. Do you remember those planeloads of US-taxpayer-provided hundred-dollar bills that Pentagon officials were shipping into Afghanistan? Do you recall how there wasn’t any Inspector General monitoring how all that moolah was being disbursed? I think there is a very good chance that it was being handed out to Afghan officials as bribes to bring them on board in support of the US invasion and occupation of their country.
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What If the US Had Invaded Ukraine?

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Let’s engage in a thought experiment. Suppose that Ukraine was headed by a pro-Russia regime. After repeated failed attempts at assassination by the CIA, the Pentagon finally decides to invade Ukraine for the purpose of bringing about regime change — i.e., ousting the pro-Russia regime from power and replacing it with a pro-US regime.

What then would be the response of American statists, especially those within the US mainstream press?

There is no doubt about the answer. Everything would be different than it is today with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The media would be proudly embedding itself within the US military’s invading forces. Mainstream papers would be reporting and commenting on the courage of US troops. There would be no sympathetic pictures or videos of Ukrainian civilians killed; they would all be labeled as “collateral damage.” Church ministers across the land would be exhorting their congregations to pray for the troops. Every statist across the land would be tripping over himself to find some soldier to thank for his service. Airlines would be inviting soldiers to board planes first as a way to honor them. Statists would be condemning the “bad guys” — that is, those Ukrainians who were shooting at American soldiers. Every statist would be praising and glorifying the Pentagon for bringing freedom to Ukraine. 

How do we know that American statists would react in this way to a Pentagon invasion of Ukraine?
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Seven Days in May

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Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed entitled, “Why Does the Pentagon Give a Helping Hand to Films Like ‘Top Gun’?” by Roger Stahl, a communication studies professor at the University of Georgia and director of the documentary film “Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA Took Hollywood.”

The op-ed pointed out that if a proposed film does not meet with the approval of the Pentagon and the CIA, it will probably not get made. Moreover, according to 30,000 documents from the Department of Defense that Stahl and his team of researchers secured under the Freedom of Information Act, “the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have exercised direct editorial control over more than 2,500 films and television shows.”

There is one film from the early 1960s that did not meet with the approval of the Pentagon and the CIA that was nevertheless put into production. That film was entitled Seven Days in May and starred Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, and Frederic March. You can watch a trailer for the movie here.

The movie is based on the overwhelming power of the US national-security establishment within America’s federal governmental structure. America’s military generals decide that the president is leading America to doom and decide that they have no choice but to remove him from office in order to save the country. The president gets wind of the scheme and moves to foil it.
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