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Dear France: Necessary Step Towards Stopping This Insanity

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Less than 24 hours before a man mowed down people with a truck in Nice, France, French President Hollande had confirmed that the state of emergency declared in the wake of the Nov. 2015 Paris attacks was going to expire on July 26, without renewal. During his traditional Bastille Day television interview, Hollande said, “We had to prolong the state of emergency until we could be sure that the law gives us the means to counter the terrorist threat effectively.”

Last May, France passed a comprehensive law that Hollande said “will give us the tools which, while not comparable with the state of emergency, give us the means to keep tabs on certain individuals administratively.” He added: “We can’t prolong the state of emergency forever. That would make no sense, it would mean that we were no longer a republic with laws which can apply in all circumstances.”

The state of emergency will now remain in effect.

French authorities claim the driver was not on a “radicalized” watch list. They claim he probably was inspired by online messaging from the Islamic State, and even more draconian crackdowns on the internet are coming as a result.
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The Horror in Nice

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The French have a saying, "un malheur n’arrive jamais seul." That translates into "when it rains, it pours." This week, the heavens opened and poured on the nation’s national fete, Bastille Day.

The day began with highly embarrassing revelations by a French satirical newspaper that the unpopular president, Francois Hollande, had a staff hairdresser making $11,000 a month at a time of national austerity. This was a genuine "let them eat cake" moment.

That same evening, a frightful attack occurred in Nice. A demented 31-year old man of Tunisian origin, Mohammed Bouhel, who had just lost his job and then his family through divorce, turned his truck into a mass murder weapon.

Bouhel sent his large truck down Nice’s famed seaside Promenade des Anglais, mowing down people celebrating Bastille Day. As of this writing, 86 victims died and scores are gravely injured, including many children. France reeled in horror.
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After Nice Attack - Round Up Usual Suspects?

Who benefits from attacks like we saw in Nice, France yesterday? The authoritarians never waste a minute exploiting these events to call for more restrictions on our liberties. Take away guns, monitor our phone calls, restrict our movement, censor the Internet. But the one thing they will never do is look at our foreign policy, to look at our unfair central banking system, to consider the damage of the drug war. Whether on the Right or the Left, authoritarians are hammers and all they see are nails. We are the nails. More on Nice attack and its aftermath in today's Liberty Report...
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The Risky Business of Being a US Ally

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It’s hardly a secret that the hardships of common people are getting worse by the year. Due to continuous attempts by Washington to redraw the map of the world, in many countries, American intelligence agencies have been particularly active in launching so-called “color revolutions” and staging military conflicts, bringing bitter hunger and poverty upon the heads of millions of people in the Middle East and other regions of the world. Consequently those events have triggered a massive and uncontrolled wave of migration to Europe.

The “War on Terror” that the White House declared has in fact resulted in the US military establishment, American intelligence agencies and a number of other states obtaining huge financial support in return for a brutal assault on the fundamental human rights as embodied in the adoption of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act and similar laws in a number of states.

In the constant pursuit of huge profits, political and military circles in the US are coming up with new “military threats” in a bid to push their allies into greater spending on NATO, the purchases of additional weapons, which in turn undermines the living conditions of the common people in the United States and its satellite states.

However, despite the so-called strengthening of these global security measures the  actual security situation has not improved. There’s an ever increasing number of terrorist attacks carried out every year, while terrorist threats persist. Moreover, various terrorist organizations across the globe are receiving direct support from the White House itself, which drives a wedge between the US and its allies, especially in Europe.
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Lena Dunham Encourages People To Tear Apart The Movie Posters Of Other Artists

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Fresh from declaring her support of Oberlin students in claiming the serving of sushi is cultural appropriation, actress Lena Dunham (creator of HBO’s “Girls”), is supporting producer Tami Sagher’s effort to get people to deface the posters for the Jason Bourne movie. The objection is to the inclusion of a gun. So Dunham and Sagher are calling for the work of other artists to be defaced because they disagree with the content. They are doing so without a hint of recognized hypocrisy. Despite the attack on free speech, the response has been muted from HBO and Hollywood figures to an actress and a producer calling for the vandalization of the work of other artists.

There has been a long complaint that advocates on the left appear to discard free speech values when they disagree with the content of speech, as we have seen on college campuses in recent years. That growing concern is evident in the call of producer Tami Sagher who posted a photo of the gun image ripped out of the Jason Bourne New York subway ad with the caption, “Hey New Yorkers, what if we do some peeling & get rid of the guns in the Jason Bourne subway ads. So tired of guns.”

Ok, you are tired of guns, but what you are really saying is that you reserve the right to prevent others from seeing images if you are “tired” of seeing them. To make matters worse, you want others to tear apart the images of other film artists because you are tired of them. Nevertheless, Dunham loved the idea of vandalizing images that she does not want to see. She reposted Sagher’s juvenile message and added “Good idea @tulipbone! Let’s go!”
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How Disinformation Feeds The War Machine

According to recent polls by both Pew and Gallup, when Americans understand the actual level of US military spending they by a large margin back a decrease. That is why we hear the constant refrain of politicians screeching about the need to "rebuild" the military and to spend a trillion dollars updating our nuclear weapons program. The media plays its part as well, broadcasting endless segments meant to ratchet up the fear factor. The "think tanks" funded by the military-industrial complex come out with papers laying out the case for US global domination. The US national security state is maintained through fear and propaganda, just like in the Soviet Union. Are we headed for a similar collapse? More today in the Liberty Report...
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Time to Talk to Syria

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As the horrific carnage in Syria continues, a depressingly familiar chorus is rising from Washington. The new consensus is the same as it was in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Bombing isn’t working, so let’s bomb more. A familiar coalition — generals, defense contractors, and politicians, along with think tanks and much of the press — is demanding escalation of our military campaign in Syria. There may be a limit to how many unwinnable wars the United States wants to wage in the Middle East, but it evidently has not yet been reached.

Refusing to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria is nothing new for the Obama administration. In 2012, the United Nations and the Arab League launched a peace process and named former UN secretary general Kofi Annan to direct it. Annan’s first proposal was that all parties to the conflict meet for discussions. The United States flatly refused. Our policy then was to reject all contact with the Syrian government or any faction that did not announce in advance that it supported the overthrow of President Bashar Assad. Making that political point was considered more important than stopping the killing. Annan recognized that the US position doomed his mission, so he abandoned it. If the United States had placed peace ahead of misguided principle in 2012, much of Syria’s agony might have been avoided.

This callous disregard for the destruction of a nation and the suffering of its people has remained central to US policy toward Syria. Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state delivered the message to Annan that the United States would not join his peace effort, is among those calling for escalation. In one of her e-mails as secretary of state, Clinton asserted that deposing Assad would be “a massive boon to Israel’s security” and that “only the threat or use of force will change the dictator Bashar Assad’s mind.”
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State Department Stonewalls On Syria Weapons

Why can't the State Department spokespersons give a straight answer when asked a clear and direct question by the media? And when they do give an answer why is it often such a bold-faced lie? Either it's "I cannot comment on that because there is an ongoing investigation" or "'no boots on the ground' in syria has never been our policy." When it comes to US transfers of weapons in Syria that are ending up in the hands of ISIS -- particularly when some have possibly been used recently to shoot down a Russian helicopter -- the US government needs to do more than cover up. We must demand the truth! That is what we are doing in today's Liberty Report...
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Connecting the Dots

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In the last few days, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have contained the following news stories:

1. “North Korea Cuts UN Line With US” The story showed how the US government’s latest round of sanctions against North Korea failed, once again, to bring North Korea to its knees. Instead, in retaliation for the sanctions, North Korea severed the last diplomatic link to the United States, thereby eliminating any possibility of communications between the two regimes. The North Korean regime called the sanctions “an open declaration of war.” It also announced that American citizens incarcerated in North Korea would be held under wartime conditions, which isn’t a positive development for American college student Otto Warmbier and Korean-American missionary Kim Dong-Chul, both of whom are jailed in North Korea.

Bottom line: Another crisis for the US national-security state.

2. “In Pattern, Iranian Boats Veer Close to US Warships.” This story detailed complaints by US national-security state officials that Iranian patrol boats were coming too close to American warships traveling in international waters near Iran, thereby increasing tensions between the two regimes.

Bottom line: Another crisis for the US national-security state.
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Brexit: A Win For Localism?

Will UK leaders ignore the recent Brexit vote and go ahead with business as usual? European Parliament Member and leading voice in the "leave the EU" movement Daniel Hannan tells today's Liberty Report that he does not think so. He is confident that the move toward localism and away from the centralism of Brussels will be good for the UK and for its friends and partners around the world. For more on what to expect next, tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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