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Jacob G. Hornberger

From the Anti-Russia Brouhaha to the Ukraine Brouhaha

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Since he became president, Donald Trump has killed thousands of people in Afghanistan and the Middle East in wars that are illegal under our form of government, given that he has never secured the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war to wage such wars.

Operating through his military-intelligence forces, he has also assassinated countless people in different parts of the world, notwithstanding the fact that the Constitution expressly prohibits him and his cohorts from killing anyone without due process of law.

He has also maintained a prison camp, torture center, and “judicial” system in Cuba that has denied people the right of speedy trial, trial by jury, due process of law, effective assistance of counsel, the right to confront adverse witnesses, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment, all in contravention to the guarantees provided in the Bill of Rights.

So let me see if I have this clear: Trump’s enemies oppose impeaching him for those things but instead want him removed from office for a telephone call in which Trump requested the Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to undertake an investigation into possible corruption in Ukraine by Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
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The Pentagon’s Upcoming Kangaroo Show Trial in Cuba

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After 18 years, there is a possibility that the Pentagon is finally going to permit a “trial” of five men who are accused of conspiracy to commit the 9/11 attacks. If so, the proceedings will prove what a charade the Pentagon’s entire “judicial system” at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been and continues to be. In fact, the trial, if it is even permitted to take place, will serve as a mirror for how “trials” are conducted in communist China or, for matter, in communist Cuba.

Let’s review how the Pentagon’s “judicial” system got established in the first place. After the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon decided to establish a prison, torture center, and “judicial” system for accused terrorists that it would be capturing and kidnapping around the world. It decided to locate this center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Why Cuba rather than somewhere in the United States? The Pentagon wanted to make certain that it would have omnipotent power to run its center any way it wanted, without having to bother with the rights and guarantees enumerated in the Constitution, especially in the Bill of Rights. It also didn’t want any interference with its operation from the U.S. Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary. In other words, the Pentagon wanted a Constitution-free zone in which to operate its prison, torture center, and “judicial” system.
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Spending on Defense Is One Great Big Lie

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Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson is worried. He thinks that maybe — just maybe — the US government is not spending enough on defense. In a column entitled, “Here’s Why We Could Be Under-Spending on Defense,” Samuelson has come up with a complicated formula that has caused him to fear that China and Russia might actually be spending more money on their militaries than the United States. Bringing to mind the famous missile-gap controversy during the Cold War, Samuelson wrote, “Our reputed military superiority might be exaggerated or a statistical fiction.”
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End Foreign Aid to Israel and Everyone Else

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Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are calling on the US Congress to reevaluate US foreign aid to the Israeli government. Their reason? Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, denied entry into Israel for the two of them, owing to their public support of the Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions movement, a global protest against the Israeli government’s longtime mistreatment of Palestinians.

Omar stated:
We give Israel more than $3 [billion] in aid every year. This is predicated on them being an important ally in the region and the only democracy in the Middle East. But denying a visit to duly elected members of Congress is not consistent with being an ally, and denying millions of people freedom of movement or expression or self-determination is not consistent with being a democracy.
Unfortunately, however, Omar and Tlaib, like the rest of their Democratic counterparts, just don’t get it. In fact, neither does their nemesis, President Trump, and his Republican cohorts. Not only should the US government stop foreign aid to the Israeli regime, it should stop it for every other regime in the world.

For one thing, consider that the Trump administration is spending $1 trillion this year more than it is bringing in with taxes. The difference? He’s borrowing it, thereby adding another trillion dollars to the $22 trillion dollars in federal debt that is already hanging over American taxpayers.
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Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba

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The US Empire, which controls much of the world through hundreds of military bases in foreign countries, through foreign regimes run by domestic US puppets, and through foreign dependency on US foreign aid, got its start in 1898 during the Spanish American War. It was that war that enabled the Empire to acquire its imperialist domain in Cuba known as Guantanamo Bay, which is now the Empire’s premier international indefinite-detention prison, torture center, and kangaroo judicial system.

The late 1800s were a time of worldwide empires. Great Britain, France, Spain, and others were empires, possessing and oftentimes brutally controlling people in faraway colonies. Although the US Constitution had called into existence a limited-government republic, by the time the latter part of the 19th century had arrived, many Americans had been swept up in the pro-empire fervor, owing largely to the Progressive movement, which was also influencing America toward embracing the worldwide move toward socialism and interventionism. The Progressive idea was that in order for the United States to become a great nation, it needed to become an empire, just like other empires.

In 1898, Cuba and other possessions of the Spanish Empire were fighting for their freedom and independence. Since this was a time in which US officials were still following the Constitution’s declaration-of-war requirement, President William McKinley sought and secured a declaration of war against Spain, with the ostensible aim of helping the Spanish colonies win their freedom and independence.
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Gun Violence in California

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Upon hearing that a man dressed in a military-style outfit was shooting people with an assault rifle at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on Sunday, I imagine that there were at least some Californians saying to themselves, “That’s impossible. It’s illegal in California to take an assault rifle into a public festival.” Indeed, according to Wikipedia, “The gun laws of California are some of the most restrictive in the United States.” So, what are gun-control advocates in California going to do now? Make their gun laws even more restrictive?

For 20 years, I have been writing that people who are going to kill other people with guns don’t give a hoot about gun laws. After all, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, if a person doesn’t care about obeying a law against murder, he’s not going to care about violating a law against taking an assault rifle into a food festival.

But ordinary, law-abiding people do care about obeying gun laws. That’s because many of these laws make it a felony offense to violate them. That means jail time, big fines, and a serious criminal record. Even when it’s just a misdemeanor offense, oftentimes a conviction can also mean jail time.
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Ruler of the World

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Recently released secret documents from Chinese company Huawei provide insights into how the US Empire rules the world. According to the Washington Post, the documents reveal that Huawei secretly helped North Korea “build and maintain the country’s commercial wireless network.”

What’s wrong with that? you ask.

It violates US sanctions against North Korea!

What do US sanctions have to do with commercial relations between a Chinese company and North Korea?

Well, as the ruler of the world — or, in common parlance, as the world’s sole remaining empire — the US Empire’s rules and regulations apply to everyone in the world. If anyone anywhere in the world is caught violating them, he will be summoned to the United States to face criminal and civil prosecution.

What about President Trump’s lovefest with North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong-Un?
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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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