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The Persecution of Julian Assange

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The persecution of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is now seven years old. Ecuador has protected Assange for the past half decade from being turned over to Washington by the corrupt Swedish and British for torture and prosecution as a spy by giving Assange political asylum inside the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.
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Who or What Is Feeding the Unrest in Iran?

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There are two general theories about the protests that are taking place in Iran. One, unfavorable to the Iranian government and establishment, is that the widespread discontent and rioting is over mismanagement of the economy that has particularly hurt poorer Iranians. The other is that we are seeing a contemporary replay of 1953 Iran and the downfall of Mohammad Mossadegh, which was orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British MI-6.


The Iranian public’s expectation that the nuclear deal would lead to improvements in their lives were wrecked by Donald Trump’s decertification of the agreement and expectations that the pact would be wrecked by America’s renewing sanctions on Iran later this month. All of Trump’s advisers are hostile to Iran and it has also been reported that tearing up the agreement derived from a personal pledge made by Trump to Israeli/American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who also demanded that the US Embassy be moved to Jerusalem.

The vanishing nuclear deal and struggling economy bore fruit in the 2018 government budget that cut subsidies on food and government services while increasing fuel and commodity prices. Religious institutions controlled by the Supreme Religious Council and the business entities run by the Revolutionary Guards were reportedly spared the cuts, fueling popular anger.
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House Approves More FISA Spying...Can The Senate Stop Them?

Unfortunately the Amash Amendment to the FISA extension bill was defeated today and the extension itself passed with ease. What does it mean? The NSA and various US intelligence agencies can continue to collect your personal communications without a warrant and store them indefinitely. Thus foreign intelligence information is stored to be later used for law enforcement purposes. Completely unconstitutional. But there is not yet enough dedication to the Constitution and to liberty. We explain what's at stake and how the extension could still be halted in today's Liberty Report...
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The British Empire in Yemen

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Over the holidays, I began watching a Netflix/BBC series entitled The Last Postwhich revolves around a contingent of British troops in the early 1960s stationed in Aden, a port city in Yemen, the Arabian country today that Saudi Arabia and the United States are bombing to smithereens.

The British troops were there as a remnant of the British Empire, which once controlled foreign lands all across the globe but which, mostly as a result of World War II, had been pretty much dismantled. The British troops in Aden were able to have their families living with them. One of their favorite pastimes was enjoying the amenities of a beautiful seaside resort in Aden.

But not all was hunky dory. Periodically British patrols were being ambushed and killed by Yemeni terrorists. The terrorists also kidnapped the 8-year-old son of a British officer and threatened to kill him if the British refused to release a Yemeni terrorist who had been arrested for killing British troops.

One British soldier innocently asked another, “Why do they want to kill us?” He really didn’t know. The soldier to whom he addressed the question responded, “I just don’t know.”
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NATO’s Fraudulent War on Behalf of Women

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In a recent Guardian article titled “Why NATO Must Defend Women’s Rights,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Soltenberg and Hollywood movie star Angelina Jolie assert that “NATO has the responsibility and opportunity to be a leading protector of women’s rights.” NATO, moreover, “can become the global military leader in how to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict.” The two vowed to identify “ways in which NATO can strengthen its contribution to women’s protection and participation in all aspects of conflict-prevention and resolution.”

The pairing of a NATO bureaucrat and a famous movie actress may at first glance appear odd. However, this partnership has been long in the making. Some years ago, NATO, always on the lookout for a reason to justify its continued existence, not to mention its perpetual expansion, came up with a new raison d’être: It would be the global champion of women. “Achieving gender equality is our collective task. And NATO is doing its part,” said Mari Skåre, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, in 2013. In March 2016, on International Women’s Day, NATO held a so-called “Barbershop Conference” on gender equality. Stoltenberg took the opportunity to declare that gender equality was a frightfully important issue for NATO because “NATO is a values-based organization and none of the Alliance’s fundamental values—individual liberties, democracy, human rights and the rule of law—work without equality.” Diversity was a source of strength. “We learned in Afghanistan and in the Balkans that by integrating gender within our operations, we make a tangible difference to the lives of women and children,” Stoltenberg explained. He stressed that NATO is proud of its record in embedding gender perspectives within its work. Last November, Stoltenberg was at it again: “Empowering women is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do: it makes countries safer and more stable. NATO is determined to make a difference.”

NATO has indeed made a difference but not through empowering women. When it isn’t bombing, killing, blowing up bridges and buildings, destroying wedding receptions, empowering jihadis, triggering refugee flows and ruining the lives of countless women, NATO holds unctuous press briefings, organizes self-congratulatory conferences and publishes articles such as the one by Stoltenberg/Jolie seeking to present a gargantuan 29-state military coalition as a do-gooder charity helping out the needy.
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Trump To Embassies: Sell American Weapons!

President Trump is expected to direct US embassy staff overseas to more aggressively push the sales of US-manufactured military items to their foreign counterparts. His "National Security Decision Directive" due next month will reportedly also ease the rules and regulations for the export of military hardware. In today's Liberty Report we take a critical look at US taxpayer-funded salespeople for the US arms industry. Should middle class Americans, who have seen their real incomes decline over the years, really be subsidizing the sales force for large, wealthy corporations? And what of the danger of yet more weapons to get into the hands of bad actors overseas?
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Showdown: Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Memo vs Legalization Momentum and Public Support

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On Thursday, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum in the Department of Justice (DOJ) that many people are concerned will lead to a crackdown by the US government on people acting in compliance with state laws under which, in varying ways, the growth, distribution, sale, possession, and use of marijuana is legal. While the issuing of the memorandum is an important development, there are several reasons to expect that the public support for, and the momentum in favor of, marijuana legalization will overpower any potential US government effort to counter states’ legalization.
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Korea Breakthrough Talks Today: Victory For Sports Diplomacy

Despite US Defense Secretary James Mattis' promises that North and South Korean talks today would be about only one subject, the Olympics, the North and South ended up after 12 hours of talks opening the door quite a bit wider between the two countries. In addition to the North sending a team to participate in the South Korean Winter Olympic games next month, the two countries agreed to continue meeting bilaterally in attempt to find ways to reduce military tension on the peninsula. President Trump has taken credit for the breakthrough talks taking place...does he have a point? Join us for today's Liberty Report...
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Steve Bannon's Done - But It's Way Too Late

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Good riddance to Steve Bannon. The last thing America needed was a conservative/populist/statist alternative to the Welfare State/Warfare State/Bailout State status quo. Yet what Bannonism boiled down to was essentially acquiescence to the latter -- even as it drove politicization deeper into the sphere of culture, communications and commerce.


Stated differently, the heavy hand of the Imperial City in traditional domestic, foreign and financial matters was already bad enough: Bannonism just gave a thin veneer of ersatz nationalism to what was otherwise the Donald's own dogs' breakfast of protectionism, nativism, xenophobia, jingoism and strong-man bombast.

By the latter, of course, we mean Trump's essentially content free notion that America was falling from greatness mainly due to stupidity, corruption and a penchant for bad deals among Washington pols; and that the undeniable economic malaise, if not decline, of Flyover America was due to some kind of grand global zero sum-game.

That is, what rightly belonged to America was being stolen by immigrants, imports, and the nefarious doings of foreign governments and globalist elites. What was needed to make America Great Again (MAGA), therefore, was a Washington-erected moat to hold back the tide of bad people and unfair foreign economic assaults and a new sheriff in the Oval Office with the "smarts" (with which he believed himself amply endowed) to start "winning" again.
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Justice Denied: The Government Is Not Going to Save Us

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled: it will not hear the case of Young v. Borders.
 
Despite the fact that a 26-year-old man was gunned down by police who banged on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failed to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shot and killed the innocent homeowner who answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense, the justices of the high court refused to intervene to address police misconduct.
 
Although 26-year-old Andrew Scott committed no crime and never fired a single bullet or lifted his firearm against police, only to be gunned down by police who were investigating a speeding incident by engaging in a middle-of-the-night “knock and talk” in Scott’s apartment complex, the Supreme Court refused to balance the scales between justice and injustice.
 
Despite the fact that police shot and killed nearly 1,000 people nationwide for the third year in a row (many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, minors or were shot merely because militarized police who were armed to the hilt “feared” for their safety), the Supreme Court will not act to right the wrongs being meted out by the American police state.
 
Although “knock-and-talk” policing has become a thinly veiled, warrantless—lethal—exercise by which citizens are coerced and intimidated into “talking” with heavily armed police who “knock” on their doors in the middle of the night, the Supreme Court will not make the government play by the rules of the Constitution.
 
The lesson to be learned: the U.S. Supreme Court will not save us.
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