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The Case Against Michael Flynn: Lying to the FBI About Asking Russia’s Help to Protect Israel

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The indictment and guilty plea of General Flynn represent what I suspect is the high water mark of the Russiagate scandal.

A few weeks ago, following the indictments issued against Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, I speculated that Flynn would be the next person to be indicted, and so it has proved.

Flynn’s guilty plea has come with an apparent agreement to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.  Inevitably this is giving rise to speculation that Flynn has “flipped.” Is that speculation warranted?

Firstly, it needs to be said that the indictment against Flynn and his guilty plea have absolutely no bearing on the allegations of illegal collusion during the 2016 Presidential election between the Trump campaign and the Russians which are at the centre of the Russiagate scandal.

Instead they concern what is purely a "process crime": that Flynn falsely denied to the FBI that he had asked Russian ambassador Kislyak for Russia to react with restraint to the sanctions imposed on Russia in December 2016 by Barack Obama, and – much more interestingly – that he also falsely denied having asked Kislyak for Russia’s help to block or delay a vote on a Resolution in the UN Security Council.
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How Hitler Analogies Obscure Understanding of Mideast Power Struggle

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While growing up in America during the 1950’s, one would sometimes encounter supermarket tabloid headlines asserting that Adolph Hitler had not died in May 1945 in the ruins of the Reich’s Chancellery. It was claimed that he had somehow escaped and was living under a false identity somewhere in South America, most probably in Argentina. Eventually, as the Fuhrer’s hundredth birthday came and went in 1989, the stories pretty much vanished from sight though the fascination with Hitler as the ultimate manifestation of pure evil persisted.

The transformation of Hitler into something like a historical metaphor means that his name has been evoked a number of times in the past twenty years, attached to Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gaddafi, Vladimir Putin and, most recently, to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. The attribution in the cases of Hussein and Gaddafi was essentially to create popular support for otherwise unjustifiable wars initiated by the United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies. Putin, meanwhile, received the sobriquet from an angry Hillary Clinton, who certainly knows a thing or two about both personalizing and overstating a case.
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Massacre In Somalia: US Troops To Blame?

In August ten villagers in Somalia were killed in a military raid conducted by US and Somali troops. According to a recent investigation by the Daily Beast, they were killed by Americans. A subsequent Pentagon/AFRICOM investigation claimed that those killed were all enemy combatants. Who's telling the truth? But more importantly, why are American troops even operating in a country like Somalia. There are no legitimate threats to the US in Somalia. The only threats will come if the US continues to kill civilians, which leads to radicalization of the population. More in today's Liberty Report...
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The Trump Era and Weaponization of the Media

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Donald Trump's victory was so loathsome to many journalists that instead of acknowledging their cultural and partisan blindness lead to them misreport the election, they doubled down, growing two overlapping myths to delegitimize a presidency they never wanted to happen. Psychiatrists call this denial; political scientists may call it a kill shot to democracy.
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'Turning The Corner' in Afghanistan...Again

The US general in charge of our 16 year war in Afghanistan said yesterday that with this all-new strategy we are finally "turning the corner" in the war. A few thousand more troops and a commitment to stay as long as needed will finally deliver a "win." Haven't we heard this song before? Yes. Several times. Since 2004. Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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US & Europe’s Farcical Hypocrisy Over Russian Foreign Media Law

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It’s so brazenly hypocritical, it could be a joke. The US and the European Union rushed to condemn Russia’s new media laws restricting foreign entities. At the same time, they assume the unilateral right to hound Russian news outlets as “foreign agents.”


Do as we say, not as we do, is the arrogant mentality here.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new legislation into law last weekend, the Kremlin described the measures as a “symmetrical response” to moves in the US earlier this month forcing Russian state-owned broadcaster RT to register as a foreign agent.

Under Russia’s new law, any foreign-sponsored news outlet operating in Russia may be required to register as a foreign entity, disclosing its financial details and journalistic activities, in the same way RT’s affiliate in America has been compelled to do by the Department of Justice.

No Western news organizations have yet been officially affected by the Russian regulations, but there are reports of US government-owned Radio Free Europe and Voice of America as potential subjects. The Russian law does not seem to distinguish between government or privately owned media outlets. America’s cable TV network channel CNN, as well as German state-owned Deutsche Welle, have also been reported as possible entities liable under the new media registration law.
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What Good Are Domestic Military Bases?

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In an excellent 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times entitled “For U.S. Foreign Policy, It’s Time to Look Again at the Founding Fathers’ Great Rule’” (which I highly recommend reading), Texas A&M Professor Elizabeth Cobbs wrote:
In 2013, for the first time since the Pew organization began polling Americans on the question five decades earlier, the majority (52%) said the United States should “mind its own business” and allow other countries to get along on their own. Today, Pew finds, the number has risen to 57%.
That is an incredible statistic. After the debacles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, it seems that Americans are finally questioning the interventionist paradigm that has held our country in its grip since the Spanish-American War in 1898. They are questioning the notion that the U.S. government should serve as the world’s policeman, intervener, interloper, aggressor, assassin, kidnapper, and regime-changer.

The United States was founded as a non-interventionist, limited-government republic, one whose government did not “go abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” as John Quincy Adams put it in his Fourth of July address to Congress in 1821.
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Iran Re-Certified; Washington In Denial

The Trump Administration is increasingly isolated at the UN Security Council, as the UN has once again certified that Iran is in compliance with its obligations under the P5+1 agreement. Trump argues that Iran is not in compliance with the "spirit" of the deal -- a confusing claim that is difficult to understand. Are they looking to replay the Iraq war on Iran? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Russiagate Explained

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Michael Flynn is in the news again. Russiagaters are gushing with excitement at the revelation that Flynn’s lawyers are no longer sharing information with the president’s legal team now that Robert Mueller’s investigation is looking more closely at the former National Security Advisor’s involvement in the production of a film about an exiled cleric from Turkey. The story goes that this separation means that Flynn has struck a deal with Mueller, which Mueller wouldn’t permit him to do if he didn’t have damning information on Trump.

Of course this excitement is dependent on the false belief that Mueller’s job is to get the president impeached, and that he would only cut deals toward that ultimate end. It is also dependent on the false belief that there is any evidence to be found that Trump illegally colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election. And, like the rest of the Russiagate enthusiasm around Flynn, it is also somewhat dependent on compartmentalizing away from the fact the Turkey and Russia are two completely different countries.

This is all par for course in the interminable dance of soaring excitement followed by thinly veiled disappointment that Russiagaters have been engaged in for over a year. I’ve been receiving some complaints that I don’t recap enough on the specific details of why I reject the establishment Russia narrative so aggressively, so if you’re just tuning in, what follows is a quick synopsis of how this weird thing has been going so far.

At the beginning of 2015 Hillary Clinton was already scaring people with her intensely hawkish positions on Russia, long before she went all-in on her horrifying support for a no-fly zone in a region where Russian military planes were conducting operations. Coincidentally this same nation Clinton wanted to fight happens to be the nation everyone in her political party is supporting new cold war escalations with today.
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