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Ethiopia Crash of Boeing 737 Max Might be Latest Example of Backfiring Safety Efforts

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Another Boeing 737 crashed Sunday in Ethiopia, killing all 157 aboard. This is the second crash of the new Boeing model Max 8 since October. Investigators have only begun sorting out this tragedy but some experts suggest that the plane’s automated safety software may have prevented the pilot from preventing the fatal plunge.

If software and sensors designed to prevent crashes actually increased the risk of catastrophe, then the Boeing accidents are another reminder that safety policies can have unintended fatal consequences.

Unfortunately, policymakers routinely ignore the unforeseen costs of well-intended safety efforts. For instance, the Transportation Security Administration, seeking to make air travel perfectly safe from terrorists in the months after 9/11, spawned airport checkpoint regimes that are so intrusive that many Americans choose to drive instead. A Cornell University study estimated that TSA’s heavy-handed policies helped boost traffic fatalities by at least 1,200 additional deaths.
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War Drums: US Diplomats Ordered Home From Venezuela

Secretary of State Pompeo has ordered all US diplomats to return from Venezuela. Their presence in country is "constraining" US foreign policy, he says. Is this the pre-cursor to a US attack? What about the power outages in Venezuela? A US cyber-attack? Are the neocons about to pull the trigger? Former US Diplomat and Senior Advisor to Senate Republicans Jim Jatras joins today's Liberty Report...
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Bruce Ohr, Liar or Moron?

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Last week's release by Congressman Collins of the interview transcript of Bruce Ohr, who appeared before the House Judiciary Committee last year, is quite damning of the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ). If our system of justice is truly blind and committed to fairness, there is little doubt that former FBI and DOJ officials - Comey, McCabe, Yates and Rosenstein - will be facing serious legal jeopardy. They have lied.

The biggest "revelations" from Ohr are as follows:

1) Christopher Steele, a "former" MI-6 officer, had been a paid FBI informant for several years.

2) Bruce Ohr met with Glenn Simpson in August 2016, which totally contradicts Simpson's previous sworn testimony that he did not meet with Ohr until after the 2016 election.

3) Ohr informed FBI and senior DOJ officials, who signed off on the FISA application in October 2016 to spy on Carter Page, that the "dossier" had a tainted political history.

I put "revelations" in quotations because we already knew most of this - specifically Steele's status as a paid informant and the failure of the FBI and DOJ to verify the accuracy of the so-called dossier. The new meat on the bone is Ohr's claim that he met with Simpson in August 2016. Simpson swore under oath that no such meeting took place. That's a substantive lie and, if the Flynn case is a guide, Mr. Simpson will be looking at prison.
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NYT’s Exposé on the Lies About Burning Aid Trucks in Venezuela Shows How US Government and Media Spread Pro-War Propaganda

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Every major US war of the last several decades has begun the same way: the US government fabricates an inflammatory, emotionally provocative lie which large US media outlets uncritically treat as truth while refusing at air questioning or dissent, thus inflaming primal anger against the country the US wants to attack. That’s how we got the Vietnam War (North Vietnam attacks US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin); the Gulf War (Saddam ripped babies from incubators); and, of course, the war in Iraq (Saddam had WMDs and formed an alliance with Al Qaeda).

This was exactly the tactic used on February 23, when the narrative shifted radically in favor of those US officials who want regime change operations in Venezuela. That’s because images were broadcast all over the world of trucks carrying humanitarian aid burning in Colombia on the Venezuela border. US officials who have been agitating for a regime change war in Venezuela – Marco Rubio, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, the head of USAid Mark Green – used Twitter to spread classic Fake News: they vehemently stated that the trucks were set on fire, on purpose, by President Nicolas Maduro’s forces.

As it always does – as it always has done from its inception when Wolf Blitzer embedded with US troops – CNN led the way in not just spreading these government lies but independently purporting to vouch for their truth. On February 24, CNN told the world what we all now know is an absolute lie:  that “a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks,” though it generously added that “the network’s journalists are unsure if the trucks were burned on purpose.”
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Manafort To Jail - Not About Justice; Not About Russia

Former Trump campaign official Paul Manafort has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for acting as an unregistered agent for Ukraine. But looking at the media coverage of the case one would never know that "taking down" Manafort was not all about Russia collusion. Reporting...or propaganda? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Bipartisan Attacks on the Second Amendment

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The House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would expand the national background check system to require almost everyone selling firearms, including private collectors who supplement their incomes by selling firearms at gun shows, to perform background checks on the potential buyers. The bill has a section purporting to bar creation of a national firearms registry.
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US Taxpayers On the Hook for Nearly $1 Billion in Saudi Arabia’s Recent Missile Defense Purchase

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On Monday, in an all-but-unreported news item, the Pentagon announced that it would be paying $946 million to Lockheed Martin toward the installation of a missile defense system that was purchased — not by the United States government — but by Saudi Arabia. In other words, the Pentagon is paying nearly $1 billion to subsidize a purchase made by a foreign power.
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Sen. Rubio Makes Fun of the Suffering of the Venezuelan People

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Marco Rubio, the neocon senator from Florida, considers a suspicious power outage across Venezuela to be funny. He would no doubt feel different if his mother was on a ventilator in a Caracas hospital—then again. 

Rubio’s little joke is comparable to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s national television chortle over the rape and murder of Gaddafi in Libya. 

However, the top award for sociopathic viciousness remains on Madeleine Albright’s mantle of accomplishments. Albright was a protege of the late Zbigniew Brzezinski. She also went on national television and declared the engineered murder of half a million Iraqi children during the medieval siege of Iraq to be “worth it.” For her service to the Empire, she received the Senator H. John Heinz III Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award handed out annually by the Jefferson Awards Foundation.
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Meghan McCain Is A Fake, Blubbering Ass

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The View is an American morning talk show in which current events are discussed by a panel of women with radically diverse political beliefs ranging from Democratic Party neoconservatism all the way to Republican Party neoconservatism. Within this microscopic Overton window of public discourse, the subject of the House debate over a resolution to denounce Ilhan Omar’s criticisms of America’s involvement with the Israeli government came up at the beginning of the show today.
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Breaking Our Biggest Taboo

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Saying anything negative about Israel has long been the third rail of US politics and media. Israel is our nation’s most sacred cow. Any questioning of its behavior brings furious charges of anti-Semitism and professional oblivion.

I keep in my bookcase a cautionary book, "They Dared Speak Out" written by US senators and congressmen who all lost their positions after rebuking Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians or daring to suggest that Israel had far too much influence in the US.

Journalists learn this first commandment very early. Criticize, or even question, Israel at your own peril. Until recently, we journalists were not even allowed to write there was an "Israel lobby." It was widely considered Washington’s most powerful lobby group but, until lately, mentioning its name was seriously verboten.

Now, young Democratic stars Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a feisty congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, have suddenly broken the taboo and said what dared not be said: there is too much rightwing Israeli influence and there must be justice for Palestine.
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