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Cliven Bundy-FBI Debacle: Another Example of Why the Feds Need to be Leashed

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The Justice Department was caught in another high-profile travesty last month that continues to reverberate through the western states. On Dec. 20, federal judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial in the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and others after prosecutors were caught withholding massive amounts of evidence undermining federal charges. This is the latest in a long series of federal law enforcement debacles that have spurred vast distrust of Washington.

Bundy, a 71-year old Nevadan rancher, and his sons and supporters were involved in an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) beginning in 2014 stemming from decades of unpaid cattle grazing fees and restrictions. The Bundys have long claimed the feds were on a vendetta against them, and 3,300 pages of documents the Justice Department wrongfully concealed from their lawyers provides smoking guns that buttress their case.

whistleblowing memo by BLM chief investigator Larry Wooten charges that BLM chose "the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale and militaristic trespass cattle (seizure) possible'' against Bundy. He also cited a "widespread pattern of bad judgment, lack of discipline, incredible bias, unprofessionalism and misconduct, as well as likely policy, ethical and legal violations" by BLM officials in the case. BLM agents even "bragged about roughing up Dave Bundy, grinding his face into the ground and Dave Bundy having little bits of gravel stuck in his face'' while he was videotaping federal agents. Wooten also stated that anti-Mormon prejudice pervaded BLM's crackdown.
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Iran and Myths of Revolution

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In just the past few days during which Iran has seen anti-government protests, much has been written and said about Iranians’ desire for freedom, mixed with speculation about whether or not the ayatollahs’ Islamic republic is in danger of collapse. The following is not another such analysis. Rather, this is an attempt to address the underlying assumptions of most of the sage pronouncements to which we are treated – assumptions that are as lacking in substance as they are ubiquitous. Three of these myths are noted below.
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Birth Of An Insurgency: The US-Israeli 'Secret Deal' To Manipulate Protests In Iran

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Using the recent protests as cover, the governments of the United States and Israel are advancing a much larger plan for covert regime change against the Iranian government, one born out of the “secret deal” negotiated and signed between the two countries right before the widely covered but relatively small protests in Iran began in late December.

That deal, negotiated between National Security Adviser and neocon darling H.R. McMaster and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat, secured the full cooperation of the Trump and Netanyahu administrations in targeting Iran’s “threatening activities” through a series of “memorandums of understanding.” As the Times of Israel reported, such cooperation is ultimately expected to translate into “steps on the ground” — a vague way of implying that aggressive actions will soon target Iran, including potential military action.

Yet, since the agreement was announced in the press, the evidence seems to point to the development of a more covert operation that is set to begin with the assassination of a top Iranian general.

Reviving a once-thwarted assassination plan

On Monday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that an “American-Israeli agreement” had been forged that determined that Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, leader of the Quds Force active in fighting the Wahhabist insurgency in Syria, is a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.” This understanding subsequently resulted in the U.S. government giving Israel the “green light” to assassinate Soleimani, a plan Israel had unsuccessfully attempted to carry out three years earlier.
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Iran Protests: Convenient Pretext To Kill The Nuclear Deal?

Protests have broken out in Iran against the Iranian government. Other protests have broken out in favor of the Iranian government. Almost uniquely in the Middle East, Iran holds elections contested by parties representing different political philosophies. Yet US neocons insist that the mere presence of protests means the Iranian government is illegitimate and therefore must be overthrown. How do they get that? Do protests in the US mean that the US government must be overthrown? More in today's Liberty Report...
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The War Party's Desperate Assault On 'America First'

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The major -- perhaps only -- redeeming virtue of the Donald's ersatz campaign platform was his clear intent to seek a rapprochement with Russia, revamp America's commitments to NATO and other cold war relics and to discard "Regime Change" as the core tenant of foreign policy in favor of an "America First" approach to domestic security and safety.
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Expect Even Less Freedom of Internet in 2018

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Users of social media have been increasingly reporting that their accounts have been either censored, blocked or suspended during the past year. Initially, some believed that the incidents might be technical in nature, with overloaded servers struggling to keep up with the large and growing number of accounts, but it eventually emerged that the interference was deliberate and was focused on individuals and groups that were involved in political or social activities considered to be controversial.

At the end of last year a number of Russian accounts on Facebook and elsewhere were suspended over the allegations that social media had been used to spread so-called false news that had possibly materially affected the 2016 presidential election in the United States. Even though it proved impossible to demonstrate that the relatively innocuous Russian efforts had any impact in comparison to the huge investment in advertising and propaganda engaged in by the two major parties, social media quickly responded to the negative publicity.

Now it has been learned that major social media and internet service providers have, throughout the past year, been meeting secretly with the United States and Israeli governments to remove content as well as ban account holders from their sites. The United States and Israel have no legal right to tell private companies what to do but it is clearly understood that the two governments can make things very difficult for those service providers that do not fall in line. Israel has threatened to limit access to sites like Facebook or to ban it altogether while the U.S. Justice Department can use terrorist legislation, even if implausible, to force compliance. Washington recently forced Facebook to cancel the account of the Chechen Republic’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin loyalist that the White House has recently “sanctioned.”
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Koreans Agree To Talk To Koreans...Nikki Haley Furious!

In the last several days, North and South Korea have agreed to hold high-level talks, to re-establish a direct communication link, and to participate in the coming winter Olympic games. Taken together it appears a significant step toward reducing tensions on the peninsula and reducing the risk of catastrophic war. You would think the US would be pleased at the developments and hopeful that diplomacy might take over from saber-rattling. But you would be wrong. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has poured cold water on the developments, screeching that North Korea must first give up its nuclear program before talks can even take place. For more, tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Iraq War 3.0, the War to End All Wars, is Over

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America’s serial wars in Iraq are ending with a whimper, not a bang. And in the oddest of ironies, it may be President Donald Trump, feared as a war monger, the fifth president to make war in Iraq, who has more or less accidentally ended up presiding over the end.

Here’s how we ended up where we are, and how a quarter century of American conflict in Iraq created the post-Vietnam template for forever war we’ll be using in the next fight.

Iraq War 1.0+ The Good War

The end of the Soviet Union transitioned the Middle East from a Cold War battleground to an exclusive American sphere of influence. George H. W. Bush exploited the new status in 1991 by launching Iraq War 1.0, Desert Storm, reversing decades of U.S. support for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
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Iran Protests...CIA Fingerprints?

What a coincidence that just when news leaks out of a coordinated US, Saudi, and Israeli plan to undermine the Iranian government we see the largest protests in Iran since 2009! We are told that thousands of people carefully coordinated protests in multiple cities throughout the country over a hike in the price of eggs and that there were absolutely no foreign fingerprints on the unrest. Do you believe it? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Despite Setbacks, Liberty Will Prevail in 2018

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Happy New Year! We always approach a new year with anticipation, hope, and also some worries. Last year was one of the strangest political years I have seen in some time. A new Republican president spent his first year pursuing more or less the same foreign policy as his Democratic predecessor and the Democratic Party spent the year looking under every rock in the US for a “Russian connection” or any other reason to see him impeached over it.
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