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Iran Crisis: Will Trump Waiver On The Waiver...Or 'Hang Tough'?

This week President Trump will have to decide whether he will sign another waiver to keep the US in the Iran nuclear deal, or whether he will de facto pull the US out of the deal (which would likely result in the collapse of the deal and possibly war). The closest US allies are begging Trump to remain in the deal, and even some US hawks like Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry think we should stay in. But the neocons want us out. What will he do? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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The NSA Continues to Abuse Americans by Intercepting Their Telephone Calls

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One of the few positive things in the ill-named USA FREEDOM Act, enacted in 2015 after the Snowden revelations on NSA domestic spying, is that it required the Director of National Intelligence to regularly report on its domestic surveillance activities. On Friday, the latest report was released on just how much our own government is spying on us. The news is not good at all if you value freedom over tyranny.
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Pompeo Rocks the Middle East: Lessons from a Former CIA Officer for the Secretary of State

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Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo has recently completed his first trip to the Middle East as US Secretary of State. Perhaps not surprisingly as President Donald Trump appears prepared to decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) limiting Iran’s nuclear program creating a possible casus belli, much of what Pompeo said was focused on what was alleged to be the growing regional threat posed by Iran both in conventional terms and due to its claimed desire to develop a nuclear weapon.

The Secretary of State met with heads of state or government as well as foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan during his trip. He did not meet with the Palestinians, who have cut off contact with the Trump Administration because they have “nothing to discuss” with it in the wake of the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

During his first stop in Riyadh, Pompeo told a beaming Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir that Iran has been supporting the “murderous” Bashar al-Assad government in Damascus while also arming Houthi rebels in Yemen. He noted that “Iran destabilizes the entire region. It is indeed the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world…”

In Israel, Pompeo stood side by side with an smiling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region, and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains. The United States is with Israel in this fight. And we strongly support Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself.”
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Don't Celebrate Karl Marx. His Communism has a Death Count in the Millions.

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Saturday marked 200 years since the birth of Karl Marx, and tributes are arising out around the globe. In a New York Times tribute headlined, “Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!” philosophy professor Jason Barker declared that “educated liberal opinion is today more or less unanimous in its agreement (with) Marx’s basic thesis” on the flaws of capitalism. But this is true only if “educated liberal opinion” simply does not care about tyranny.

But Marxism in practice didn’t work out so well. Communist regimes produced the greatest ideological carnage in human history, killing more than a hundred million people in the last century. While some apologists claim it is unfair to Marx to blame him, the seeds of tyranny were there from the start.

Marx’s salvation scheme was built on a mystical foundation supplied by German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. Though The New York Times' eulogy for Marx touted Hegel as an advocate of a “rational liberal state,” Hegel was derided in his lifetime as the “royal Prussian court philosopher” and for promoting the notion that the State is inherently rational. Hegel deified government, asserting that “the State is the Divine Idea as it exists on earth.” 

Marx, perhaps blinded by Hegel, never recognized the inherent danger of Leviathan.  Nor did Marx explain how communism would actually arise after the demolition of capitalism.  Equally important, he never even attempted to reveal how the State would “wither away” after the “dictatorship of the proletariat” commenced. Marx’s humanitarian piffle did nothing to deter Lenin from decreeing that “liberty is so precious that it must be rationed.”
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The US is Playing with Fire if It Walks Away from the Iran Nuclear Deal on May 12

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A foreign policy crisis is coming May 12. President Donald Trump’s likely decision on that day to not continue waiving sanctions on Iran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will significantly increase the chances of war.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by China, Russia, and most of western Europe requires the American president to certify every three months Iran’s nuclear program is in compliance with the deal. In return, the next quarter’s economic sanctions are waived against the Islamic Republic. Earlier this year, Trump warned he was waiving sanctions for the final time, setting a May 12 deadline for significant changes in the agreement to be made. Failing those changes, Trump’s non-signature would trigger sanctions to snap into place.

The changes Trump is insisting on — reduce Iran’s ballistic missile capability, renegotiate the deal’s end date, and allow unrestricted inspections — are designed to force failure.

Iran’s ballistic missile program was purposefully never part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; as learned during the Cold War, trying to throw every problem into the same pot assured no agreement could ever be reached. Trump trying to add the missile program in three years after the agreement was signed is wholly outside the norms of diplomacy (and the art of dealmaking.) Ballistic missile capability lies at the heart of Iran’s defense. Sanctions have already kept the country from fielding any significant air force, and memories in Tehran of Iraqi air strikes on its cities in the 1980s when Iran lacked retaliatory capability lie deep. The missile program is the cornerstone of Iranian self-preservation and thus understood to be non-negotiable.
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Trump Cuts Off Funding For Syria's 'White Helmets'

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The Trump State Department has frozen funding to the controversial Syrian aid group known as the White Hemlets, a non-governmental organization (NGO) which provided the sole evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reportedly used chemical weapons on his own people in an April 7 attack on the city of Douma, according to CBS News.
Having not received U.S. funding in recent weeks, White Helmets are questioning what this means for the future. They have received no formal declaration from the U.S. government that the monetary assistance has come to a full halt, but the group's people on the ground in Syria report that their funds have been cut off. -CBS News
The evidence provided by the White Helmets of the alleged chemical attack was used by the West to justify several airstrikes on Syrian scientific and military facilities throughout April - the first one conducted on Syria's T4 airbase by Israel 48 hours after the White Helmets' report. Many Douma residents, meanwhile - including Hospital personnel, say the chemical attack never happened.

The White Helmets are a 3,000 member NGO formally known as the Syrian Civil Defense. Established in "late 2012 - early 2013" after a group of 20 Syrians were trained and organized by former British army officer James Le Mesurier. The group then received funding from Le Mesurier's Netherlands-based non-profit group, Mayday Rescue - which is in turn funded by grants from the Dutch, British, Danish and German governments.
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Atlantic Council Explains Why We Need To Be Propagandized For Our Own Good

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I sometimes try to get establishment loyalists to explain to me exactly why we’re all meant to be terrified of this “Russian propaganda” thing they keep carrying on about. What is the threat, specifically? That it makes the public less willing to go to war with Russia and its allies? That it makes us less trusting of lying, torturing, coup-staging intelligence agencies? Does accidentally catching a glimpse of that green RT logo turn you to stone like Medusa, or melt your face like in Raiders of the Lost Ark?
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Is The Libertarian Moment Over? With Special Guest John Stossel

Is libertarianism cool? Legendary libertarian communicator John Stossel joins today's Liberty Report to explain whether the libertarian moment is over, whether we are winning, whether we are on the right track, and how we can better win young people over to the idea of limited government and non-interventionism. What does John Stossel say to John Bolton when they meet at Fox News Studio? You won't want to miss it!
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Congress Again Fails to Discover Collusion to Subvert the 2016 Election

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There have been a number of developments in the endless inquiry into possible collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump to manipulate perceptions and voting relating to the two presidential candidates in the November 2016 election. In particular, it has been alleged that the Russians were, with the connivance of some in the Trump team, able to obtain information damaging to Hillary Clinton while also misusing social media to send a message critical of the Democratic Party candidate.


“Russiagate” was born out of a desire to explain how Trump was able to defeat the Establishment candidate Clinton and it quickly focused on emails in possession of Wikileaks and meetings of Trump associates with Russians as a plausible explanation for the electoral result. The media opined that “It had to be the Russians,” who also had motive in their recognizing that Clinton was the stronger candidate whose harsh and steely glare was focused on the various crimes and misdemeanors alleged to be committed by Kremlin President Vladimir Putin in places like Ukraine and Georgia, not to mention Syria. Clinton’s campaign message was that she was prepared to do something about Putin while Trump was instead arguing that a good relationship with Moscow was a sine qua non for American foreign policy.

There are currently three investigations proceeding simultaneously looking into the Russian-Trump collusion, though one of them has finally come to an end. The House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee investigation has concluded that there was no evidence that there had been “collusion, conspiracy, or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians” to influence or subvert the outcome of the election. The committee did, however, accept that there had been Russian “active measures” interference, apparently based largely on assumptions about WikiLeaks and the alleged activities of employees of Putin confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Internet Research Agency on social media sites.
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Iran Isn’t Violating the Nuclear Agreement — America Is

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On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his most 
grandiose anti-Iranian performance to date, revealing what he believed was direct proof that Iran “lied” about its nuclear program. This isn’t the first time Netanyahu has overhyped the threat of Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program. He has been crying wolf over Iran since as far back as 1992.
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