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Boxed in by Neocons and the Media, Will Trump Launch Iran War?

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President Trump did the smart thing last week by calling off a US airstrike on Iran over the downing of an American spy drone near or within Iranian territorial waters. According to press reports, the president over-ruled virtually all his top advisors – Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel – who all wanted another undeclared and unauthorized US war in the Middle East.
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VIPS Memo to the President: Is Pompeo’s Agenda the Same As Yours?

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We are concerned that you are about to be mousetrapped into war with Iran. You have said you do not want such a war (no sane person would), and the observations below are based on that premise. In a word, we have serious doubts about Secretary Pompeo; it is clear to us that he has his own agenda, and we know from our own experience with him that his agenda is not always the same as yours.

Pompeo’s behavior betrays a strong desire to respond with military force — perhaps even without your express approval — to Iranian provocations (real or imagined), with no discernible strategic goal other than to curry favor with Israel and Saudi Arabia. He is a neophyte compared to his anti-Iran partner John Bolton, whose decades-long dilettante approach to interpreting intelligence, strong advocacy of the misbegotten war on Iraq (and continued pride in its “success”), and fierce pursuit of his own aggressive agenda are a matter of record. Not so with Pompeo, who has now taken the lead on Iran.

Our direct experience with Pompeo leaves us with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to you and the country, including the issue of alleged Russian hacking into the DNC. The sketchy evidence adduced for that story has now completely crumbled, thanks to some unusual candor from the Department of Justice. We refer to the extraordinary revelation in a recent DOJ Court filing that James Comey never required a final report from the DNC-hired cybersecurity company, CrowdStrike, upon which Comey chose to rely for forensics on alleged Russian “hacking.”
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Did Venezuelan coup leaders pocket $70 million from Citgo’s stolen US assets?

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Former Exxon Lawyer and Venezuela opposition envoy to Washington, Carlos Vecchio, may have overseen a multi-million dollar fraud scheme since his political allies were handed control of his country’s US-based oil accounts.

On June 17, Venezuela’s government claimed that the US Justice Department was opening an investigation into Citgo’s opposition-appointed board of directors. Hours later, the ad-hoc council confirmed it had received a subpoena from US officials.

Citgo appeared to confirm the existence of the US government probe, stating that it “received a subpoena from the Department of Justice, which has been conducting a multi-year investigation into corruption practices in PDVSA.” Citgo is a subsidiary of Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA), the country’s state-owned oil company.

Citgo said it has “pledged full cooperation” with the investigation. It did not specify the nature of the subpoena or whether it concerned illegal activities alleged to have taken place before or after Guaido’s appointees took control of the company.
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A View From the Frontline of the Drug War


Former NY Police Department narcotics detective John Baeza at the Ron Paul Institute's May conference on "Winning the War on the War on Drugs," speaking of his conversion from drug warrior to anti drug war warrior. Don't miss Baeza's harrowing tales of undercover drug buys and his emotional explanation when he finally realized the futility of it all. And...if you like this speech and the work of the Ron Paul Institute, consider picking up a ticket to our Washington DC conference on August 24th! Save now on our early bird rate. You won't regret it!
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June Madness Strikes Washington. Iranians, Russians and Britons Beware!

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It has been a lively June so far in light of Washington’s apparent zeal to remake the world in its own image. There is considerable buzz among those networking in ex- or current government circles that the White House is preparing to “do something” about Iran. The recent incidents involving alleged attacks on Norwegian and Japanese tankers in the Gulf of Oman were immediately attributed to Iran by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with so little regard for evidence that even the compliant American media was left gasping. In its initial coverage of the story The New York Times inevitably echoed the administration’s claims, but if one went to the readers’ comments on the story fully 90 percent of those bothering to express an opinion decided that the tale was not credible for any number of reasons.

Several commenters brought up the completely phony Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964 that led to the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam, a view that was expressed frequently in readers’ comments both in the mainstream and alternative media. Others recalled instead the fake intelligence linking Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 conspirators as well as the bogus reports of an Iraqi secret nuclear program and huge gliders capable to delivering biological weapons across the Atlantic Ocean.

There were a number of questionable aspects to the Pompeo story, most notably the unlikelihood that Iran would attack a Japanese ship while the Japanese Prime Minister was in Tehran paying a visit. The attack itself, attributed to Iranian mines, also did not match the damage to the vessels, which was well above the water line, a detail that was noted by the Japanese ship captain among others. Crewmen on the ship also reportedly saw flying objects, which suggests missiles or other projectiles were to blame, fired by almost anyone in the area. And then there is the question of motive: the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates all want a war with Iran while the Iranians are trying to avoid a B-52 attack, so why would they do something that would virtually guarantee a devastating response from Washington?
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Iran Downs US Spy Drone: Who's The Aggressor?

The downing of a US spy drone near (or within) Iranian airspace has - conveniently for neocons - raised tension and further boxed in President Trump. Pressure on Trump for a military response to Iranian "aggression" will increase. Will he take the bait this time? Or will more such provocations be needed? We look at the options in today's Liberty Report...
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From Coup Leaders to Con Artists: Juan Guaidó’s Gang Exposed for Massive Humanitarian Aid Fraud

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A new investigation has exposed members of Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó’s inner circle for embezzling tens of thousands of dollars designated for humanitarian aid and spending it on luxury goods and lavish accommodations for themselves. Guaidó had been aware of the fraud for weeks and stubbornly defended his cohorts until a leak from Colombian intelligence forced him to acknowledge the scandal.

The scandal unfolded this February, when Venezuelan opposition figures and their supporters descended upon the border town of Cúcuta, Colombia for what was billed as a Live Aid concert to raise millions of dollars for humanitarian aid for Venezuelans suffering the effects of an economic crisis.

The operation was supposed to have climaxed with a Live Aid concert hosted by billionaire Virgin Group founder Richard Branson while trucks full of US aid blasted across the Venezuelan border. Instead, as Branson gathered his performers on stage for a cringeworthy rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” opposition hooligans set fire to the truckloads of aid with molotov cocktails as they failed to reach the border.
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