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Trump Must Expose Obama-era Power Grabs

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President-elect Donald Trump will face pervasive doubts about his legitimacy from the day he takes office. His opponents will likely portray him as governing in unprecedented and reckless ways. The best response to such charges is to open the books and expose how the Obama administration commandeered far more power than most Americans realized.

Trump should follow the excellent precedent set by President Obama. In 2009, shortly after he took office, Obama released many of the secret Bush administration legal memos that explained why the president was supposedly entitled to order torture,deploy troops in American towns and cities, and ignore the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on warrantless, unreasonable searches. The disclosures signaled a new era in Washington and helped give Obama a reputation as a champion of civil liberties.

Turnabout is fair play. Trump should quickly reveal the secret memos underlying Obama’s “targeted killing” drone assassination program.

Administration lawyers defeated lawsuits by the ACLUThe New York Times, and others seeking disclosure of key legal papers on how the president became judge, jury and executioner. A Trump administration could disclose the memos and white papers without endangering anything other than the reputation of the soon-to-be former president and his policymakers.
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Will Obama’s ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Continue?

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Last week, as the mainstream media continued to obsess over the CIA’s evidence-free claim that the Russians hacked the presidential election, President Obama quietly sent 300 US Marines back into Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. This is the first time in three years that the US military has been sent into that conflict zone, and it represents a final failure of Obama’s Afghanistan policy. The outgoing president promised that by the end of his second term, the US military would only be present in small numbers and only on embassy duty. But more than 8,000 US troops will remain in Afghanistan as he leaves office.

When President Obama was first elected he swore that he would end the US presence in Iraq (the “bad” war) and increase US presence in Afghanistan (the “good” war). He ended up increasing troops to both wars, while the situation in each country continued to deteriorate.
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Stop Demonizing North Korea and Talk Business

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North Korea has "entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM)." So crowed North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s Day message aimed at tough-talking US president-elect, Donald Trump.

In case there was any doubt about Pyongyang’s meaning, Kim warned his nation would continue to build its  ‘capability for preemptive strike’ as long as the US and its allies continued their nuclear threats and "war games they stage on our doorstep."

Trump fired back, tweeting that North Korea’s nuclear threats against the US ‘won’t happen.’ Well, not if tweets can shoot down incoming ICBM’s.

A lot of Americans dismissed Kim’s braggadocio as more hot air from a world-class producer. But one should not quickly dismiss North Korea’s claims. The US has always underestimated North Korea.

But there is no need to squander trillions on new anti-missile defenses based in Alaska and California that may not work as advertised. North Korea’s missiles are designed to deter a US attack.

The alleged dire threat from North Korea can be better and more swiftly resolved by intelligent diplomacy and some calm thinking.
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Is That All There Is? Intel Community Releases Its Russia 'Hacking' Report

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The much-anticipated Intelligence Community report backing up its claims that the Russians hacked the US elections in November has just been released. Titled "Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections," the report is long on speculation and short on any evidence for the claims it was supposed to prove. It even came with a warning label stating that though the conclusions are reached with "high confidence," that "does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgements may be wrong." We who lived through the 2002 "high confidence" in Iraqi WMDs remember this well.
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Here’s Why the US Elite Fear RT

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James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, on the basis of his comments to the Senate committee on Thursday about RT, would appear to agree with Alex Jones in thinking "there’s a war on for your mind."

I happen to disagree. I think there’s a race to the bottom, in order to see how much the American deep state and Congressional supporters of Obama’s neo-liberal ideology can condescend to ordinary Americans.

The truth behind the ‘media wars’ is far less exotic, let alone dramatic than the powers that be would like people to believe.

In business there is something known as the 80/20 Rule which states that 80 percent of all effects stem from 20 percent of all causal occurrences. When applied to retail it can mean that 80 percent of all revenue comes from 20 percent of one’s customer base. It can also mean that 80 percent of sales are derived from 20 percent of one’s inventory.

In media, one can apply this rule in the following ways: 80 percent of a media outlet’s viewership comes from 20 percent of a population who broadly agree with the editorial line of the outlet in question. Indeed, most viewers of media tune in and turn on to hear recent facts (and in some cases fake facts) which help to bolster their inherent views of the world. Clinton voters will watch CNN for reassurance, anti-Zionists will do with same with Press-TV, and neo-liberal globalists will put on BBC World.
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‘Surreal Echo Chamber’ - Challenging the 'Russia Hacked US Elections' Narrative

Did the Russians hack the US elections? In a Senate hearing yesterday, National Intelligence Director James Clapper assured the Senators that Russia had indeed taken a role in affecting the outcome of the US election. The proof was not supplied, however, and Clapper's credibility as a witness is tainted by his admitted previous lie before Congress. RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins a panel on RT to discuss the Russia hacking claims, the credibility of the US mainstream media, and more in this heated debate...
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Purge the CIA

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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified at a hearing on “Russian interference” in the election that there’s a difference between “skepticism” of the intelligence community’s assessment and “disparagement” of said community. While stopping short of asking for a “safe space,” this admitted liar used the opportunity to cry on the shoulders of Donald Trump’s assembled enemies: “We’re not perfect,” he burbled, but hey everybody makes mistakes.

Clapper’s remarks were clearly aimed at Trump, who has tweeted his contempt for the effort by the CIA and allied agencies to conjure up a Russian conspiracy to put him in the White House. Citing Julian Assange’s statement to Sean Hannity that a teenager could’ve hacked the Podesta emails, Trump’s tweets evoked the rage of the Washington Establishment – how dare he question those who failed to prevent 9/11, told us Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction,” and failed to foresee the rise of ISIS, which they (through President Obama) characterized as “the JV team”!

The hearing quickly degenerated into a “Hate Assange” session, with McCain asking Clapper "if any credibility should attached to this individual” given WikiLeaks’ “record of leaking materials that put U.S. lives in direct danger.”

"Not in my view," Clapper replied.

Only in Washington would this exchange not be followed by howls of jeering laughter. It was Clapper, after all, who lied under oath to Sen. Ron Wyden and the Senate when asked about the extent of spying on US citizens engaged in by the National Security Agency, and later was forced to apologize for it.
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The Coup Against Truth

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Ridicule is effective, and nothing deserves ridicule more than the Washington Post, New York, Times, CNN, and the rest of the presstitutes who pretend to be real journalists. But as I have emphasized, and other real journalists, such as Glenn Greenwald (see, for example, here and here) imply, the fake news recklessly promoted by the presstitutes brings with it the threat of thermo-nuclear war.

For several years Russia and her president have experienced endless demonization. The Russians know that Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia (done while Putin was at the Beijing Olympics) was a Washington provocation. The Russians know that Washington’s coup in Ukraine (done while Putin was at the Sochi Olympics) was a provocation aimed at seizing Russia’s Black Sea naval base in Crimea and cutting Russia off from the Mediterranean. The Russians know that Washington knows that the charges that Russia hacked Hillary’s emails and the US presidential election are lies. The Russians know that the “Russian threat” created by Washington is a lie along with all of its permutations, such as an impending Russian invasion of Poland and the Baltics. The Russians understand that US ABM bases on Russia’s borders are provocations, as are NATO military exercises on Russia’s borders and in the Black Sea. You can add to this list on your own.

The lies are ubiquitous, have grown more absurd, and are now institutionalized in the US government in the CIA, executive branch agencies, and among many US senators and representatives. That these lies are validated by endless media repetitions throughout the Western world are viewed by Russia as indications that Western populations are being prepared for a military attack on Russia. Putin has warned publicly on many occasions that the Western propaganda is dangerously destabilizing. Yet, as he also notes, no one hears his warnings.
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Can Trump Rein In The CIA?

President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to shrink and reform the CIA and much of the US intelligence community, which he has claimed has become very politicized. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently warned Trump about crossing the CIA, stating that, "You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." Will Trump try to really take on the destructive policies and actions of the CIA, or will he focus on re-arranging the deck chairs and putting his own people in positions of power? Our take in today's Liberty Report...
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Foreign Policy Blowback in Germany

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Ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, one of the things that has fascinated me most is the response of the mainstream media. Supporting the retaliatory invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, ever-increasing budgets for the national-security establishment, and constantly expanding infringements on civil liberties and privacy, mainstream reporters, commentators, and pundits have steadfastly resisted focusing on the root cause of anti-American terrorism: deadly foreign interventionism on the part of the United States and other Western countries in the Middle East.

In fact, woe to those who have focused attention on U.S death and destruction in the Middle East as the motivating factor in the 9/11 attacks and the anti-American terrorist attacks that have come after 9/11. Whenever a libertarian has focused on terrorist blowback that comes with foreign interventionism, the response among the supporters of interventionism has been quick and fierce: “Are you blaming America for the terrorist attacks? Are you saying we are responsible for those attacks?”

Americans witnessed this phenomenon in the first Republican presidential debate in the 2008 presidential race. Referring to the blowback produced by US interventionism in the Middle East, Paul said something to the effect of “They came here to kill us because we were over there killing them.” By “we” Paul was referring to the US government.

As Paul immediately learned, he had committed the grave sin of focusing people’s attention on US foreign interventionism as the root cause of anti-American terrorism. His opponents, the mainstream press, and liberals and conservatives alike went on the attack with variations of “Oh, so you’re blaming us for the attacks? You think America is responsible for the attacks?”
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