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Trump In Asia: Diplomacy Or Sabre-Rattling?

Will President Trump's lengthy visit to Asia signal the beginning of a more diplomatic approach to Washington's disputes in the region? Will President Trump have a face-to-face with Russian President Putin? Trump has signaled a willingness to sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Any chance that will take place? Our hopes and concerns so far in today's Liberty Report...
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Dubious Osama bin Laden Documents: A Pretext for a War on Iran

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The CIA has given the Long War Journal exclusive access to the supposed Osama bin Laden files taken from his “compound” in Pakistan.

The Long War Journal is a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) where its editors are senior fellows. The foundation is a refuge for neocons and a staunch supporters of Israel and its policies. It is also a vocal advocate of confronting Iran.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise the CIA “shared” a carefully selected portion of the documents — some 500,000 files — with the Long War Journal.

The released documents focus on Iran and its supposed relationship with al-Qaeda.

On November 1, NBC News reported:
The trove also provides new insight into the often adversarial relationship between al Qaeda and Iran — the Sunni Muslim terror group and the Shiite republic — in the form of a 19-page report described by the Long War Journal as “a senior jihadist’s assessment of the group’s relationship with Iran.”
Intelligence officials describe the report as “evidence of Iran’s support of al Qaeda’s war with the United States.”
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GOP Tax Plan Increases the Most Insidious Tax

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Last Thursday, congressional Republicans unveiled their tax reform legislation. On the same day, President Trump nominated current Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell to succeed Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair. While the tax plan dominated the headlines, the Powell appointment will have much greater long-term impact. Federal Reserve policies affect every aspect of the economy, including whether the Republican tax plan will produce long-term economic growth.
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Visitors to the Colony of Afghanistan

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US and NATO representatives keep trying to convince the world that Afghanistan is not a corruption-ridden quagmire of violence, and US Defence Secretary, General Mattis, told reporters in Kabul on September 28 that “uncertainty has been replaced by certainty” because of new US policy, and that “the sooner the Taliban recognizes they cannot win with bombs, the sooner the killing will end.”
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Facebook Farce Shows Lawmaker Deviousness, Demagoguery

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The 2016 election was the first time in history that goofy advertisements were considered an act of war. The frenzy on Capitol Hill over a smattering of Russian advertisements would be comical except that most of the American media has jumped on the hysteria bandwagon. The latest clamor is a stark warning to anyone who presumes that politicians are natural friends of freedom of speech.

Russian political advertisements amounted to only .004 percent of the total content that Facebook users saw last year in the United States.Russian ads on Facebook were clumsy and schizophrenic, hitting multiple sides of issues, and were often laughably simplistic (such as the “Jesus Punches Hillary” ad shown here).

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) railed that “a dictator like Vladimir Putin abused flaws in our social media platforms to inject the worst kind of identity politics into the voting decisions of at least 100 million Americans.” This presumes that Russian ads had a mysterious power to zap the minds of Facebook users who perhaps had zero resistance after viewing too many cat videos. But my experience running a few ads on Facebook for one of my books found that it was a worse investment than buying used lottery tickets from a wino on the street corner.

Axios reporter Sara Fischer observed, “In the political advertising world, you would need to serve at least 7-10 viewable impressions to a person over a short window, two-four weeks, to even begin driving intent or action."
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Mission Creep in Darkest Africa

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The British Empire, which at the end of the 19th century ruled one quarter of the earth’s land surface, is long gone. But its robust successor and heir, the United States, has set about enlarging it.

As I sought to explain in my last book "American Raj – How the US Rules the Muslim World," the US imperium exerts its power by controlling tame, compliant regimes around the world and their economies. They are called "allies" but, in fact, should be more accurately termed satrapies or vassal states. Many states are happy to be prosperous US vassals, others less so.

The US power system has successfully dominated much of the world, except of course for great powers China, Russia and India. Germany and much of Western Europe remains in thrall to post WWII US power. The same applies to Canada, Latin America, Australia, and parts of SE Asia.

There is one part of the globe that has remained free from heavy US influence since 1945, sub-Saharan Africa. But this fact is clearly changing as the US military expands its operations the width and breadth of the Dark Continent.

We are seeing a rerun of the fine old 1930’s film, "Beau Geste" which was taken from a cracking good 1924 Victorian novel by C. Percival Wren. Set in French North Africa, Wren’s dashing French Legionnaires end up defending a remote fort against masses of hostile Arab and Berber tribesman.
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'It Sure Looked Unethical': Brazile Discloses Deal That Gave Hillary Clinton Control Over DNC Before Primary

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The DNC and Clinton emails released by Wikileaks ultimately exposed a pattern of false statements by Democratic leaders particularly Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Schultz insisted that they were completely neutral in the primary despite every indication to the contrary. It was later revealed that Donna Brazile, who replaced Schultz, had first leaked questions for the debate with Sanders to Clinton and then lied about the incriminating emails later to the media (she suggested that they were fake). 

Now Brazile is making a comeback and has been put back into a position of power at the DNC and ironically on the Rules Committee. She is also shopping a book. In the book, Brazile confirms that Hillary Clinton essentially bought the DNC by assuming responsibility for its crippling debt in exchange for control over the organization before the primary. In other words, as shown by the earlier emails and now by Brazile’s own account, the primary was indeed rigged against Bernie Sanders and anyone running against Clinton.

Brazile says that she discovered an August 2015 agreement between the national committee and Clinton’s campaign that gave Clinton “control (of) the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.” She in return agreed to take care of the massive debt leftover from President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. Even Brazile (who was fired from CNN for unethical conduct) said that the deal was legal “but it sure looked unethical.” She further states that the deal gave one campaign (Clinton) “control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead.” She now agrees that the Clinton deal “compromised the party’s integrity.”

What is obvious from this latest disclosure is the utter mismanagement of the DNC during the Obama Administration as well as misleading statements from a host of Democratic figures . That failure played into the hands of the Clintons who proceeded to take over control over the DNC to guarantee that no one but Hillary would be nominated. It was not just a dubious arrangement from an ethical standpoint but ultimately rigged the primary for what many view as the worst possible candidate for that election. From the earliest polling, it was widely understood that the election would an anti-establishment election.
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Bombshell Revelation of US and Saudi Culpability in Creating ISIS Ignored by Mainstream Media – and by Team Trump

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Here it is, right from the horse’s mouth! Qatar’s former prime minister spills his guts about how his country worked with Saudi Arabia and Turkey under the direction of the United States – meaning then the Obama Administration – to funnel arms and money to jihad terrorists in Syria:

‘The explosive interview constitutes a high level "public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda." ...  Former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013,... said while acknowledging Gulf nations were arming jihadists in Syria with the approval and support of US and Turkey: "I don't want to go into details but we have full documents about us taking charge [in Syria]." He claimed that both Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah (who reigned until his death in 2015) and the United States placed Qatar in a lead role concerning covert operations to execute the proxy war.

‘The former prime minister's comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar's support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar "holding the bag" in terms of the war against Assad. Al-Thani explained that Qatar continued its financing of armed insurgents in Syria while other countries eventually wound down large-scale support, which is why he lashed out at the US and the Saudis, who initially "were with us in the same trench."’ [“In Shocking, Viral Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War,” Zero Hedge, October 29]

Busted! Consider the vulnerability of the former U.S. officials who were in charge at that time, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Just now, the latter had had her worst week since losing the election with the revelations about the Steele dossier, the Uranium One caper, and the Podesta Group’s implication in “RussiaGate.” The only thing now is to sit back and watch the fireworks show!
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How Obama and Hillary Clinton Weaponized the ‘Dossier’

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The Trump-Russia collusion story was a joint invention of the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign. It enabled the Obama administration to make use of the nation’s security and intelligence services to spy on Trump and his associates and to use whatever information they thereby gleaned to try to get Hillary into the White House. The failure of the scheme didn’t stop either Obama or the Clintons.
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‘US Govt Undermines Democracy’ Seeking More Control Over Social Media

It’s preposterous that the US government purports to tell Americans what they are allowed to read on social media, says Daniel McAdams, executive director of Ron Paul Institute. He adds that it undermines US democracy.

Technology and social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Google have been in the hot seat before US Congress intelligence committees. They were grilled on day two of hearings into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election in 2016. Lawyers for Twitter, Google, and Facebook testified that the amount of Russian-linked content on their platforms was relatively small. But was that what the Senators wanted to hear?
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