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The New Blacklist

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Putin loves you; therefore, you love Putin. The enemy re-tweets you, therefore, you're in league with the enemy. We're at war with them, therefore we're at war with you.

One of the first rules of a shunning campaign is that it doesn't have to make sense. It just has to be what everyone's saying. Since most Americans went to high school, we tend to be instinctively familiar with the concept.

The crazy inverse logic of the new national blacklist was on full display after special prosecutor Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian "troll farm" operatives in February. In the wake of this foreign meddling charge, CNN reporter Drew Griffin banged on the door of an elderly female Trump supporter named Florine Goldfarb and accused her of being a Russia-collaborator.

Goldfarb had attended a pro-Trump rally allegedly promoted on Facebook by Russian trolls. There were no Russians at the rally. The group didn't meet to discuss the subjugation of Abkhazia. They were plain, ordinary, Floridian Trump supporters – idiots, maybe, but not traitors.

Not according to CNN.
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Russia Blamed For Italian Election Outcome

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If there is a European election, and the anti-establishment parties score a stunning victory (as just happened in Italy, and a few months prior, in Austria), who're you gonna blame? Vladimir Putin (of course)!


That's what Samantha Power, one of the top diplomats in the Obama administration, did when she shared an article by Spain's El Pais newspaper about how Russia predetermined the outcome of Sunday's election by spinning an immigration discourse in Italy: "Italy’s joins long list of elections influenced by Russia. Sputnik will do what Sputnik does. The question is: what are our democracies going to do about it? Will voters repudiate candidates who seek to benefit from Russian interference?"

You see, it had nothing to do with the 38% youth unemployment, the stagnant economy, the record debt load, the record number of young people living with their parents, the meager opportunities for career advancement and the sense that everything is rigged. It was... Russia!

In fact, it is safe to assume that without Russia, and its subversive trolls, operatives - and of course RT and Sputnik - western democracies would all be one endless utopia, with no economic, social or political disagreements, and without such central-bank created artifacts as record wealth and income divisions resulting in unprecedented ideological and political polarization.
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What Mueller Has, and What He is Missing

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Each week brings a new indictment from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller along with the same question: when will he produce evidence that the president of the United States committed treason?

Because that’s what this is really about; Some Russians somewhere may have meddled in the election. But what Mueller has to answer is whether Trump knowingly worked with a foreign adversarial government to help get himself elected in return for some quid pro quo. Mueller is tasked with proving the president, now in his 13th month in office, purposefully acts against the interests of the United States because of some debt to Russia. Here’s what Mueller has, and does not have, so far in his case.

Manafort and Gates

Last Friday saw a 32 count indictment charging Paul Manafort and Richard Gates with a variety of money laundering, tax evasion, and wire fraud crimes, going back eight years or more, all related to the men’s work Ukraine. Manafort and Gates were indicted by Mueller on similar charges in October. There’s a lot of money involved, and the details in the indictment don’t look good for Manafort.

A day after the indictment, Gates pled guilty to the very minor charges of participating in a financial conspiracy with Manafort wholly unrealted to Trump, and lying to the FBI about the details of a 2013 meeting. An associate of Gates, Alex van der Zwaan, pled guilty earlier last week to false statements about contacts with Gates regarding Ukraine.
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Trump Is Right On Iraq

Over the weekend, President Trump told an audience at a fundraiser that the US attack on Iraq was the "worst decision ever." As we approach 15 years since the launch of "shock and awe," the truth of Trump's words are evermore obvious. As president, however, he has the power to correct that terrible decision and  not just for Iraq but for every country "liberated" by previous presidents. He can end the US military presence in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc. Will he do it? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Why Libertarians Should Shrug-Off Memo Mania

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First came the Republican memo, courtesy of the Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes. Their memo detailed the surveillance abuses against one Carter Page, enabled by a kangaroo court which was strengthened immeasurably by the old Republican-Party boss, George Bush.

Bush II had fortified the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and the Stupid Party greased the skids for the expansion of FISA infractions. Following Barack Obama's lead, Republicans have reauthorized the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which has resulted in the "incidental" collection of the communications of American citizens, and likely served as an impetus for prosecutions.

Enter Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat from California. He and the other Democrats on the House intelligence committee have now presented their distillation of the counter case, namely that the "FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page" were all justified. Well of course.

Media eminences—Republican Mark Steyn, for instance—have accused the Democrats of assaulting the rule of law. The libertarian, however, might wish to avoid wading into an intra-party fracas. Why intra-party? Because the Democrats and the Republicans of DC share most of their political DNA.
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We Should Listen to the Iraqi Parliament

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This month marks the 15th anniversary of the US war on Iraq. The “shock and awe” attack was launched based on “stove-piped” intelligence fed from the CIA and Pentagon through an uncritical and compliant US mainstream media. The US media was a willing accomplice to this crime of aggression committed by the George W. Bush Administration.
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Putin Trumps Trump

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In December, 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed that the US would unilaterally pull out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that had curtailed the development of nuclear missiles and anti-missile systems to defeat them.

The arrogant, dim-witted Bush believed that US space technology was advancing so rapidly that it would neutralize Russia’s force of ICBM missiles.  Bush was just a puppet.  The real power behind him was Vice President Dick Cheney, the leading neocon who sneered at Russia, dismissed it as a mere ‘gas-station,’ and was determined to see the US achieve global dominance. 

In Cheney’s view, the ABM Treaty was holding the US back from this goal.  Bankrupt Moscow would never be able to stand up to the mighty USA.  Moscow warned that reneging on the ABM Treaty would re-ignite a ruinous arms race.  A then little known politician, Vladimir Putin, vowed that Russia would never bend its knee to the US nuclear colossus.

This week, President Putin stunned the world by revealing a new arsenal of nuclear-armed weapons that have stolen a march on Washington and left the warlike President Donald Trump looking foolish.
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My First Day as CIA Director

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Now that I have been nominated again – this time by author Paul Craig Roberts – to be CIA director, I am preparing to hit the ground running.

Last time my name was offered in nomination for the position – by The Nation publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel – I did not hold my breath waiting for a call from the White House. Her nomination came in the afterglow of my fortuitous, four-minute debate with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when I confronted him on his lies about the attack on Iraq, on May 4, 2006 on national TV. Since it was abundantly clear that Rumsfeld and I would not get along, I felt confident I had royally disqualified myself.

This time around, on the off-chance I do get the nod, I have taken the time to prepare the agenda for my first few days as CIA director. Here’s how Day One looks so far:

Get former National Security Agency Technical Director William Binney back to CIA to join me and the “handpicked” CIA analysts who, with other “handpicked” analysts (as described by former National Intelligence Director James Clapper on May 8, 2017) from the FBI and NSA, prepared the so-called Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017. That evidence-impoverished assessment argued the case that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his minions “to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton.”

When my predecessor, CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited Binney to his office on Oct. 24, 2017 to discuss cyber-attacks, he told Pompeo that he had been fed a pack of lies on “Russian hacking” and that he could prove it. Why Pompeo left that hanging is puzzling, but I believe this is the kind of low-hanging fruit we should pick pronto.
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Hollywood Hoopla Ignores Media's History of Servility

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Much of the media nowadays is portraying itself as heroes of the #Resist Trump movement. To exploit that meme, Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg rushed out “The Post,” a movie depicting an epic press battle with the Nixon administration. But regardless of whether Spielberg’s latest wins the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday night, Americans should never forget the media’s long history of pandering to presidents and the Pentagon.
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'Take The Guns First' - Trump's War On The Second Amendment

President Trump shocked his base of supporters yesterday when he recommended that police grab guns of those they suspect shouldn't have them before any due process takes place. He is also appearing to cave in to demands primarily from Democrats that more restrictions on gun ownership be implemented. While the shooting in Florida was a tragedy, as we point out in today's Liberty Report a recent university study has shown that school shootings are significantly down over the past 20 years. It is a largely manufactured crisis in search of more restrictions on our liberties...
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