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Jacob G. Hornberger

Hating America After 9/11

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Listening to President Trump accuse Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of supporting al-Qaeda reminds me of how conservatives behaved toward libertarians who dared talk about motive immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

At the time of those attacks, some of us libertarians understood that this was a watershed event in US history, one that would inevitably adversely affect the rights and liberties of the American people. Fueled by deep anger and fear, the overwhelming sentiment among the American people was to support the desire of federal officials to lash out against “the terrorists” anywhere and everywhere they could be found in the world. That’s, of course, how we got the ongoing, never-ending “war on terrorism.”

Equally important, it was a time when Americans were ready and willing to sacrifice whatever liberties they had to the federal government in order to keep them safe from the terrorists. Not surprisingly, US officials were eager and willing to adopt whatever totalitarian and dark-side measures they deemed necessary to keep America “safe.” That’s how we got those secret surveillance schemes, the USA PATRIOT Act, the TSA at the airports, and the formalized assassination program, all of which shredded the protections our ancestors had enacted in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. It’s also how we got the undeclared forever wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the regime-change efforts in Libya and Syria, which have killed, maimed, and destroyed hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.
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Pompeo’s Big Lie on Iran

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In a tiff over whether Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his delegation would be permitted to enter the United States as part of a meeting of the United Nations and over whether they would be free to travel freely around New York City, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a whopper, one that might have even embarrassed Pinocchio. Expressing a desire to be invited to appear on Iranian television, Pompeo said that he would tell Iranians that “we care deeply about them, that we’re supportive of the Iranian people, that we understand that the revolutionary theocracy is not acting in a way that is in their best interest.”

Why, that’s just a lie, a plain old, downright, old-fashioned lie.

When Pompeo is using the pronoun “we,” he is referring to US officials. And the fact is that US officials, from President Trump on down, couldn’t care less about the well-being of the Iranian people. All that US officials care about is re-installing a pro-US dictatorship in Iran, no different from that of the Shah, who US officials made Iran’s brutal dictator in 1953.

After all, look at the US sanctions on Iran. They target the Iranian people for economic impoverishment and even death. The idea is that if the US government can squeeze the life out of the Iranian people, they will rise up in a violent revolution against the ruling regime and replace it with one that is acceptable to US officials.
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Americans Should Adopt Unilateral Free Trade

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Given the ongoing destruction of liberty and prosperity from President Trump’s trade wars, tariffs, sanctions, and embargoes, it’s time to think at a higher level, one that goes beyond mere criticism of Trump’s trade antics. It’s time to think in terms of individual liberty, free markets, and limited government, all of which translate to the idea of unilateral free trade.

What does unilateral free trade mean? It means that the US government should simply lift, dismantle, abolish, repeal, and end all of its tariffs, trade restrictions, sanctions, embargoes, import quotas, and trade wars. No meetings. No negotiations. No demands. No “free trade” agreements. Just free the American people to travel wherever they want and trade with whomever they want.

Does this mean that other nations will do the same? Nope. Other nations might follow suit but not necessarily. Should that affect America’s decision to adopt a policy of unilateral free trade? Absolutely not! Americans should be liberated to travel and trade with others regardless of what foreign regimes are doing in their particular nations.
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Trump Reminds Us That America is a Military Nation

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President Trump is being criticized for surrounding himself with tanks, armored vehicles, flyovers, and generals and admirals during his Fourth of July celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. Critics say that it was unseemly for the president to be showing off the federal government’s military process on Independence Day. Some said it conjured up images of the Soviet Union, when that communist regime would showcase its tanks and military hardware in parades in Moscow’s Red Square.

But the fact is that America is a military nation. As Trump pointed out in his Independence Day address, the United States has the most powerful military in history, one that can pulverize any other nation on earth. His critics don’t have any problem with that. They just don’t want Trump to highlight it.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way. In extolling America’s position as a military nation, Trump left out something important in his talk: America did not start out as a military nation. In fact, quite the contrary. America was founded as a limited-government republic, not a military nation.
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More US Dictatorship Against Cuba

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Lamenting dictatorship in Cuba, the US government has decided to tighten restrictions on the freedom of Americans to travel to Cuba. Never mind that the restrictions were not enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. When it comes to fighting totalitarian dictatorship, the reasoning goes, it’s necessary to adopt dictatorial policies here at home.

Freedom of travel has long been considered a fundamental, natural, God-given right with which no government, not even the US government, can legitimately infringe. Recall the Declaration of Independence, which Americans will be celebrating on the Fourth of July. It holds that liberty is among the rights with which all people have been endowed by their Creator. When God endows people with certain rights, including the right of freedom of travel, it goes without saying that Caesar behaves illegitimately when he infringes on such rights.

The US national-security establishment, which has long been the driving force behind the US government’s forever war against Cuba, would no doubt point to the fact that Cuba is still headed by a communist regime. That of course was the mindset of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA throughout the Cold War, when, US officials maintained, the communists from Russia, China, and elsewhere were coming to get us and take over our nation as part of a supposed worldwide communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow. Cuba, they steadfastly maintained, was part of that worldwide communist conspiracy — a communist dagger pointed at America’s neck from only 90 miles away.
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Repeal the Espionage Act

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World War I is the gift that just keeps on giving. Although the US government’s intervention into this senseless, immoral, and destructive war occurred 100 years ago, the adverse effects of the war continue to besiege our nation. Among the most notable examples is the Espionage Act, a tyrannical law that was enacted two months after the US entered the war and which, unfortunately, remained on the books after the war came to an end. In fact, it is that World War I relic that US officials are now relying on to secure the criminal indictment of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks head who released a mountain of evidence disclosing the inner workings and grave wrongdoing on the part of the US national-security establishment, especially with respect to the manner in which it has waged it undeclared forever wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Some news media commentators are finally coming to the realization that if the Espionage Act can be enforced against Assange for what he did, it can be enforced against anyone in the press for revealing damaging inside information about the national-security establishment — i.e., the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. Therefore, they are calling on the Justice Department to cease and desist from its prosecution of Assange.

Of course, they are right, but the problem is that they don’t go far enough. Their mindsets reflect the customary acceptance of the status quo. The mindset is that we Americans simply have to accept the way things are and plead with the government to go easy on us.
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The Drug War Is Totally Idiotic

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Pardon me for being blunt, but it would be difficult to find anything more idiotic than the war on drugs, an ongoing federal program that has been enacted and enforced by both Republicans and Democrats for decades. The program is sheer idiocy in that its supporters continue to keep it going despite the manifest failure, violence, ruination of lives, expense, racism, and destruction of liberty and privacy that this federal program has produced and continues to produce.

But hope springs eternal in the minds of the drug war’s supporters and enforcers. Each new drug bust over the decades, oftentimes accompanied with a large amount of hoopla from the mainstream press, provides these people with confirmation that victory is just around the corner. Just a few more drug busts and the long drug-war nightmare will finally be over.

It has never happened, More important, it will never happen. And to believe it will happen is, well, sheer idiocy. There is a simple reason why victory is impossible in the drug war: the laws of supply and demand. Although the members of Congress, having heard of the laws of supply and demand, oftentimes think they can be repealed by Congress, that’s just more idiocy. That’s because these laws are natural laws, not man-made laws. Like the law of gravity, the laws of supply and demand cannot be repealed by the members of Congress.
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Impeach Trump But Only for the Right Reason

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Notwithstanding the fact that their Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after a long detailed investigation, found no evidence that President Trump illegally conspired with Russian officials in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Democrats are still hell bent on impeaching Trump. The problem with their position, however, is that they want to impeach him for invalid reasons, reasons that do not amount to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard set forth in the Constitution.

For one thing, while “conspiring” or “colluding” to establish normal and friendly relations with Russia is considered a cardinal sin by the US national-security establishment and the Republican-Democrat political establishment, it does not constitute a “high crime or misdemeanor” under the US Constitution.

Realizing that, Democrats are falling back on the notion that President Trump engaged in “obstruction of justice” with respect to Mueller’s investigation. The problem with that charge, however, is that “obstruction of justice” is the federal government’s counterpart to local governments’ offense of “disorderly conduct.” It’s a classic example of a nebulous crime that turns on subjective interpretation, one whose purpose is to enable officials to target anyone they don’t like whenever they want.
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Iraq Déjà Vu with Iran

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Given US National-Security Advisor John Bolton’s war-provoking antics with Iran, I’m getting that déjà vu feeling with how President George W. Bush and his team of interventionists took the US to war with Iraq.

Of course, the first question that naturally arises is: Who’s the real acting president, Donald Trump or John Bolton? The Washington Post reports that Trump is lamenting that Bolton wants to get him “into a war.” So, who’s in charge — Bolton or Trump?

The second question that arises is whether Bolton will succeed in achieving a war with Iran, either by provoking an Iranian attack on “US interests” or by just concocting an attack, which would then enable him to exclaim, “We have been attacked! We are innocent! We had no idea that this was going to happen! We are peaceful regime! We are a force for good in the world! Unfortunately, we now need to carpet-bomb Iran to defend ourselves.”

After all, isn’t that what happened with Iraq, a country whose government never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so? Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people killed, tortured, maimed, or injured. Countless homes, businesses, industries, roads, and bridges bombed and destroyed. A brutal and ruthless multi-year military occupation to protect a crooked, corrupt, and tyrannical puppet regime, all billed under the false label “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
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The World’s Dictatress

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In his Fourth of July address to Congress in 1821, US Secretary of State John Quincy Adams stated that if America were ever to abandon its founding foreign policy of non-interventionism, she would inevitably become the world’s “dictatress” and begin behaving accordingly.

No can can deny that Adams’ prediction has come true. America has truly become the world’s dictatress — an arrogant, ruthless, brutal dictatress that brooks no dissent from anyone in the world.

Now, I use the term “America” because that’s the term Adams used. In actuality, however, it’s not America that has become the world’s dictatress. It is the US government that has become the world’s dictatress.

A good example of this phenomenon involves Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese citizen who serves as chief financial officer of the giant Chinese technology firm Huawei. Having been arrested by Canadian authorities and placed under house arrest, Meng is suffering the wrath of the world’s dictatress.
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