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Election 2016: Liberty Loses No Matter Who Wins

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For all the hand-wringing about the threat to liberty and constitutional government posed by the major party presidential candidates, there is little discussion of how this threat is due to the political class’s long history of supporting expanded presidential power. There is also little talk of how the imperial presidency is just as much a creation of Congress as it is of power-hungry presidents.

Since war is the health of the state, it is not surprising that presidential power expanded in tandem with the expansion of the warfare state. Perhaps the best, and most terrifying, example of how “national security” has been used to justify giving the president dictatorial powers is the Defense Production Act.
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Shocking Report Finds U.S. Military Consistently 'Distorted, Suppressed, Or Substantially Altered' ISIS-Related Intel

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Last week the US House of Representatives Joint Task Force released their initial findings on the intelligence analysis of the US Military's Central Command (CENTCOM). The report found that, among other things, CENTCOM leaders "distorted, suppressed, or substantially altered analytic products" to paint US efforts to combat ISIS in a more positive light. Moreover, 50 percent of analysts within CENTCOM said that the "procedures, practices, processes and organizational structures hampered objective analysis" while another 40 percent said they had experienced attempts to "distort or suppress intelligence" within the past year.
The annual Analytic Objectivity and Process Survey , directed by the ODNI, was conducted from August through October 2015, and included responses from 125 analysts and managers within CENTCOM. The survey results were significantly worse than those of other IC agencies or COCOMs, and showed that a substantial number of CENTCOM respondents felt theirsupervisors distorted, suppressed, or substantially altered analytic products. Over 50 percent of analysts responded that CENTCOM procedures, practices, processes and organizational structures hampered objective analysis, and 40 percent responded that they had experienced an attempt to distort or suppress intelligence in the past year. Yet despite receiving these results in December 2015, CENTCOM and IC leaders did not take corrective actions to address many of the issues identified in the survey results
Frankly we're shocked by these findings which seem to suggest that the military intelligence gather process is motivated less by gathering quality intelligence intended to keep our country safe and more by political pressure intended to help re-elect the incumbent party to the White House.
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Even Nukes Grow Old

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Everything grows old. I’m told one day the stars and planets will turn to dust. So I suppose it’s no surprise that America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons is also showing signs of advancing age, and may have to be replaced.

One would think that the growing decrepitude of our nukes would be a fine time to dismantle and junk these horrible weapons. President Barack Obama has fulsomely preached for the past seven years on the need to get ride of the nukes. Very nice.

Yet once away from the microphones, Obama has let the military-industrial-financial complex generate plans to refresh and update the US nuclear arsenal in a massive project estimated to cost at least $1 trillion.

No major effort has been made to assemble the world’s declared and undeclared nuclear powers and hammer out a plan to junk all nukes and make sure they are not replaced. On the contrary, it’s full speed ahead in the devil’s workshop.

The US Air Force wants to replace by 2044 all of its 1960’s vintage Minuteman ICBMs with 642 new ground-based, silo-launched ICBMs. Some $7 billion was already spent over the past two decades modernizing them.
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The Ron Paul Conference

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If you haven’t already registered for the Ron Paul Institute’s Peace and Prosperity Conference, now would be a great time to do so. When I spoke to RPI’s executive director Daniel McAdams about the conference a few weeks ago, he said that tickets were going fast and that space was limited. The date is Saturday, September 10, 2016. The time: 10:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. The place is the Washington Dulles Marriott. Only $65, including lunch.

Ron Paul has long been one of my real-life libertarian heroes. It is a big honor for me to be included among the speakers at this conference. Other speakers include Lew Rockwell, Brian McGlinchey, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Philip Giraldi, and, of course, Ron himself.
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In Vilifying Russian Swimmer Yulia Efimova, Americans are Splashing Murky Waters

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Feels good, doesn’t it, to slap water in the face of the rest of the world and go all jingoist? Lilly King kept America strong and pure when she sent a blast of chlorine into the eyes of that Russian criminal mastermind Yulia Efimova and prevented her from melting the earth’s core. Or something like that, right? But there is a disquieting aspect to the narrative going here at the Olympics. It’s not a moment of perfect American moral clarity.

King, 19, is a swaggeringly great swimmer, but the rivalry between her and 24-year-old Efimova in the breaststroke is hardly a simple matter of a clean swimmer prevailing over “drug cheating,” as King put it. The facts of Efimova’s case aren’t nearly so clear cut despite the self-righteous Cold War shunning of her. It’s worth looking a little more closely at the human face of Efimova and maybe even standing in her place for a minute. As she suggested tearfully the other night, “You can just try and understand me, like if you switch you and I.”

For starters, Efimova doesn’t live in Russia; she lives in Los Angeles, where she has trained with Southern Cal Coach Dave Salo since she was 19. He says via email, “She is a sweet kid and not the monster she is being branded.” She was born in the war-torn Chechen capital of Grozny and raised in the Russian swim-club system in Volgodonsk, but in 2011, her coaches feared she was wearied by the grind of the Russian program, so they asked Salo to take her on.
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Bush Administration Official: Saudi Ties to 9/11 Hidden to Protect Iraq War Narrative

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In his September 20, 2001 address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush laid out a defining principle of his nascent war on terror: “We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

Even as he spoke those words, however, his administration had already embarked on a course that would mark them as a towering example of US foreign policy hypocrisy. The Bush White House would soon present false claims linking 9/11 to Iraq, while simultaneously hiding credible evidence implicating Saudi Arabia—evidence summarized in the final, 28-page chapter of a 2002 joint congressional intelligence inquiry into 9/11.

Bush demanded the 28 pages be kept from the American public, and it’s increasingly clear why: As former State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson tells 28Pages.org, to a White House bent on selling an invasion of Iraq, compelling evidence of Saudi complicity in the attacks was an unwelcome distraction.
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War Clouds Gathering Over Crimea

Russia claims that Ukraine sent a sabotage team into Crimea over the weekend, armed with bombs and military equipment. Russian president Putin has pulled out of the "Normandy" talks in response. Ukrainian president Poroshenko denied any involvement in an attack on Crimea and responded to the charges by placing his military on high alert and massing on Ukraine's border with Crimea. Tensions are rising to levels not seen in a year. Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt is publishing incendiary Tweets designed to embolden Ukraine to make a move on Crimea. Is the US trying to stir things up, or is Pyatt a loose cannon? More on the dangerous situation in today's Liberty Report...
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Recovered Emails Show Clinton Foundation Officials Intervening For Donors and Aides With State Department

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The Clinton Foundation has been the subject of long-standing allegations of questionable donations and reporting. It is also viewed by many critics as a massive shadow campaign structure that employed aides and funded Clinton trips. However, the most serious allegation was a type of pay-to-play scheme where foreign and domestic donors gave money in the hopes of currying favor or gaining access to the State Department. 

Now, Judicial Watch has released dozens of emails that were deleted improperly by the Clinton staff, but contain non-personal communications. Among the recovered emails are communications showing interventions for donors at the State Department, including one on behalf of a convicted money launderer. The relative lack of coverage on both the proof of the improper deletion of such emails and the pay-for-play concerns is astonishing — and magnify concerns that mainstream media has been giving such controversies minimal coverage.

Clinton turned over 30,000 emails and repeatedly insisted that some 30,000 deleted emails were entirely and clearly personal in nature. That has been proven to be untrue. More importantly, the emails contain clear interventions for donors. Clinton just recently denied any such connection between the Foundation and State Department business. 

However, in one email exchange, Doug Band, an executive at the Clinton Foundation, intervened for Gilbert Chagoury — a convicted money launderer — with the  US ambassador to Lebanon. Band emphasizes that Chagoury is a “key guy there [Lebanon] and to us” and asks Clinton aide Huma Abedin call Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman on behalf of Chagoury. Chagoury was a major donor to both the Foundation and is a close friend of former President Bill Clinton. He also pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative. He was convicted in 2000 in Switzerland for money laundering, but cut a deal to avoid jail time.
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‘Prague Calling, Prague Calling’ - The Alternative Reality of RFE/RL

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“Germany calling, Germany calling, Germany calling.” During the Second World War, those words meant only one thing - that William Joyce was on the radio and spewing his unique brand of anti-British bile.

Known as “Lord Haw Haw,” the American-born Joyce tried to convince the British public, in a sneering and sarcastic tone, that resistance to the Nazi military machine was futile and defeat was inevitable. From Berlin, he blasted out crude agitprop about the weakness of Britain, and its leaders, and the superiority of the German system.

Nowadays, a few hundred kilometers down the road in Prague, there’s an heir to “Lord Haw Haw’s” crown of thorns. The dubious honor belongs to Brian Whitmore of the American state-broadcaster RFE/RL, who sits in front of a wall mounted image of Moscow’s Kremlin, five days a week, and tells the world how awful the country is. The video blog, known as the “Daily Vertical” is such a laugh that I’ve been keeping an occasional eye on it since its host became embroiled in a public spat with the noted journalist Ben Aris.
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The Military Base Dole

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During my recent visit to my hometown of Laredo, Texas, as I was heading out of town toward Corpus Christi, I passed by the former site of Laredo Air Force Base. Serving as a training base for new pilots, the base was a prominent part of Laredo life when I was growing up.

During that time, public officials and much of the citizenry were scared to death that the base might close. Like many people on the dole and like many other American communities with military bases, Laredoans were convinced that without LAFB, the city would die.

Then, in 1973 the unthinkable happened. US officials announced that the base was being closed. The official explanation was that the base was no longer needed given the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. The unofficial reason was that President Nixon had decided to retaliate against Laredo for supporting Nixon’s Democratic Party opponent in the 1972 presidential election, Sen. George McGovern.

Reflecting their disdain for a private-property system and their love of socialism, US officials decided to deed the land to the City of Laredo rather than auctioning it off to private owners. The base property land included not only the landing strips, which ultimately became the city-owned Laredo International Airport, but also all the surrounding buildings and properties that composed the entire military base. That put the Laredo government in the rental business, immediately making it the biggest landlord in town. My father used to remark that the area had become “Little Cuba.”
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