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As Venezuela Coup Fizzles, Pompeo Threatens US Attack

Self-proclaimed Venezuelan president Juan Guaido's coup yesterday failed to get off the ground. The military did not join him and protests were barely seen outside a few of Caracas's wealthy neighborhoods. Frustrated and furious, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded by threatening direct US military action to overthrow President Maduro. An urgent call with Russian foreign minister is scheduled today. Are neocons about to ignite the earth? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Venezuela Coup! Will Neocons (Finally) Get Their War?

At dawn, US-backed and self-proclaimed president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, announced the "final phase" of his coup against the Maduro government. While defections from the military are minor at this point, it is unknown whether the coup will reach critical mass. In the US, both Republicans and Democrats - who not long ago were furious over claims that the Russians have interfered in our elections - are cheering this US interference in Venezuelan elections. US neocons have joined the battle from the safety of their keyboards. Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Why Are Clapper and Brennan Not in Jail?

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The clearest of all the laws concerning US intelligence is Section 798, 18 US Code—widely known in the Intelligence Community as “the Comint Statute,” or “the 10 and 10.” Unlike other laws, this is a “simple liability” law. Motivation, context, identity, matter not at all. You violate it, you are guilty and are punished accordingly.

Here it is:
a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, . . . any classified information—

(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or

(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States …or

(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or

(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence . . .

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
On December 9 and 10, 2016, the New York Times and the Washington Post independently reported that anonymous senior intelligence officials had told them that, based on intercepted communications, the intelligence agencies agreed that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee to help Donald Trump win the election.
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Tit for Tat? Why Did Mueller Let Trump Off the Hook?

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Why did Robert Mueller end the Russia investigation when he did? He could have let it drag it out for another year or so and severely hurt Trump’s chances for reelection. But he didn’t do that. Why?

Of course, we’re assuming that the investigation was never intended to uncover the truth. If it was, then Mueller would have interviewed Julian Assange, Craig Murray and retired members of the Intelligence Community (Ray McGovern, Bill Binney) who have shown that the Podesta emails were leaked by an insider (on a thumbdrive) not hacked by foreign agents. Mueller would have also seized the servers at DNC headquarters and done the necessary forensic investigation, which he never did. He also would have indicted senior-level agents at the FBI and DOJ who improperly obtained FISA warrants by withholding critical information from the FISA court. He didn’t do that either. Mueller did none of these things which simply proves that his final report was what many people had expected from the very beginning; a purely political document that twists the truth to achieve Mueller’s particular objectives. But to understand what those objectives are, we need to determine what the real goals of the investigation were. So, here they are:

1) To help sabotage Trump’s political agenda;

2) To create a cloud of illegitimacy over Trump’s election;

3) And to prevent Trump from implementing his plan to normalize relations with Russia.
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Why is Maria Butina in Prison?

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Russian gun rights activist and graduate exchange student Maria Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison last week for “conspiracy to act as a foreign agent without registering.” Her “crime” was to work to make connections among American gun rights activists in hopes of building up her organization, the Right to Bear Arms, when she returned to Russia.
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With Assad Victorious, US Oil Sanctions Now Strangle Entire Syrian Population

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The deep irony of the tragic Syria war is that after seven years of massive bloodshed, as the government has emerged victorious, it is only now with relative stability and ensuing calm over most of the country that an "economic siege" has hit the population with full force. 

Damascus even during some of the worst years of war was always a bustling traffic-packed economic center for its six million inhabitants, but as we noted previously the country has been plunged into a fuel crisis that is the result of new US-led oil sanctions targeting Damascus and Tehran. As one recent WSJ report put it, Iranian oil deliveries to Syria have "fallen off a cliff" since January.

"Lifeless" and "decimated economy" are words used to describe the Syrian capital city and home to Assad in a new Bloomberg piece (which appeared just as busy as most any global cosmopolitan center only months ago), as further "traffic is light" and "morale is down," according to the report.

"Waiting 19 hours for gas in a lifeless city" — the headlines read. The ongoing weeks-long crisis has now been made especially worse after the Trump administration this week ended embargo exemptions for eight countries allowed to purchase Iranian crude.
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Int’l Monitors: US Coalition Killed Over 1,600 Civilians During Bombing of Raqqa, Syria

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According to a new report issued by an independent conflict monitoring group, the US-led bombing campaign waged in 2017 to ‘liberate’ the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State (ISIS), ended up killing more than 1,600 civilians – a figure that is 10 times as high as the number of dead claimed by the US-led coalition.

These numbers are according to reports submitted by Amnesty International, and Airwars, a London-based conflict monitoring group formed in 2014 to study the impact of the US-led air campaigns against target nations. After 18 months of researching civilian deaths, including two months on the ground in Raqqa, the group have finally released their findings, and are urging that the US-led coalition “end almost two years of denial” about the true death tolls resulting from their bombing runs in Syria, and Iraq.

“Our conclusive finding after all this is that the US-led coalition’s military offensive [US, UK and French forces] directly caused more than 1,600 civilian deaths in Raqqa,” said researchers.

Previously, US officials downplayed, and were likely lying – about having taken “great care to avoid civilian casualties” and also made the erroneous claims that they investigate any accusations regarding their lack of precision when seeking out their alleged “ISIS targets.”
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Saudi Savagery: Kingdom Beheads 16-Year-Old For Sending Whatsapp Message

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The controversy over Saudi Crown Prince MbS's alleged orchestration of the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi has largely subsided since the government insider-turned-critic walked into the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in early October and never walked out. But a new controversy is brewing over one of the kingdom's most controversial practices: Its mass-beheadings of men convicted of 'terrorism' charges, typically members of the Shiite minority living in the eastern part of the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has long practiced execution by beheading. But this year, the mass extermination of 37 of mostly Shiite men this week provoked condemnation from the UN and other human rights organizations, as several teenage boys were executed for crimes as seemingly petty a sending Whatsapp messages about government demonstrations.

One particularly disturbing case was recounted in the UK's The Sun tabloid. Abdulkareem al-Hawaj was just just 16 when he was arrested. Just a schoolboy at the time, he was detained and accused of being a "terrorist" for sending texts online about an anti-government demonstration.

Before making his 'confession', Abdulkareem, a Shiite Muslim who was 21 at the time of his execution, was reportedly brutally tortured. With his hands chained above his head, he was beaten and electrocuted. Amnesty International denounced his trial as a farce, since he was denied access to proper defense counsel.
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Trump's Crusaders March To War

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The world is still reeling in horror from the deadly Sri Lanka bombings that may have been the work of Islamic State madmen. Poor Sri Lanka has suffered so much after three decades of civil war and communal strife. We weep for this beautiful and once gentle nation.
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