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Fleecing the American Taxpayer: The Profit Incentives Driving the Police State

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If there is an absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the American taxpayer always gets ripped off.

This is true whether you’re talking about taxpayers being forced to fund high-priced weaponry that will be used against us, endless wars that do little for our safety or our freedoms, or bloated government agencies such as the National Security Agency with its secret budgets, covert agendas and clandestine activities. Rubbing salt in the wound, even monetary awards in lawsuits against government officials who are found guilty of wrongdoing are paid by the taxpayer.

Not only are American taxpayers forced to “spend more on state, municipal, and federal taxes than the annual financial burdens of food, clothing, and housing combined,” but we’re also being played as easy marks by hustlers bearing the imprimatur of the government.

With every new tax, fine, fee and law adopted by our so-called representatives, the yoke around the neck of the average American seems to tighten just a little bit more.
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In India, Defense Secretary Carter to Push Anti-China Alliance

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US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has outlined in some detail the purpose of his mission to India next week. Principally he hopes to discuss arms deals and explore the parameters of co-production of weapons feasible under American laws prohibiting technology transfer. His focus is on the “potential production of fighter aircraft.”

American diplomacy makes it a point to envelop arms deals with rhetoric couched in the idiom of "shared values" – even when the US wraps up highly lucrative multi-billion dollar deals with countries such as Saudi Arabia. Thus, it comes as no surprise that in an address at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Friday, entitled "America’s Growing Security Network in the Asia-Pacific," Carter endeavoured to habitate the upcoming “exciting new projects” with India within an proposed regional security architecture under US leadership.

From the US perspective, the growing “interoperability” involving the two militaries serves the purpose of anchoring India as a key non-NATO ally, which of course demands a fundamental shift by India away from its non-aligned policies and its aversion to military blocs.
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The Enemy Within: Terrorist Enablers on the Potomac

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Hillary Clinton and CIA director David Petraeus had a brilliant idea: they would fund, arm, and train a proxy army in Syria, overthrow the regime of strongman Bashar al-Assad, and jump on the rapidly moving train of the “Arab Spring” to extend US influence in the region. What could go wrong?

Plenty.

The “Free Syrian Army” created by Washington is, today, fighting alongside al-Qaeda and its Salafist allies, filling the vacuum left behind by the “Islamic State”/ISIS as it contracts under fire from Russian war planes and the Syrian army. As Middle East specialist Juan Cole points out:
[E]ven as Daesh has been set back, al-Qaeda has recovered some of the territory lost to the SAA earlier this year southwest of Aleppo.

Al-Qaeda is allied with the Freemen of Syria (Ahrar al-Sham) and the Jerusalem Army among other hard line Salafi Jihadis. These groups are in turn allied with remnants of the old Free Syrian Army (mostly Muslim Brotherhood) that are supported by the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. That is, the US-backed groups are battlefield allies of the allies of al-Qaeda. US and Gulf-supplied weaponry routinely makes its way to al-Qaeda.

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As Ukraine Collapses, Europeans Tire of US Interventions

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On Sunday Ukrainian prime minister Yatsenyuk resigned, just four days after the Dutch voted against Ukraine joining the European Union. Taken together, these two events are clear signals that the US-backed coup in Ukraine has not given that country freedom and democracy. They also suggest a deeper dissatisfaction among Europeans over Washington’s addiction to interventionism.

According to US and EU governments – and repeated without question by the mainstream media – the Ukrainian people stood up on their own in 2014 to throw off the chains of a corrupt government in the back pocket of Moscow and finally plant themselves in the pro-west camp. According to these people, US government personnel who handed out cookies and even took the stage in Kiev to urge the people to overthrow their government had nothing at all to do with the coup.
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A Media Unmoored from Facts

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Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh who had seen one of my recent stories about Syria and wanted to commiserate over the state of modern journalism. Hersh’s primary question regarding reporters and editors at major news outlets these days was: “Do they care what the facts are?”

Hersh noted that in the past – in the 1970s when he worked at The New York Times – even executive editor Abe Rosenthal, who was a hard-line cold warrior with strong ideological biases, still wanted to know what was really going on.

My experience was similar at The Associated Press. Among the older editors, there was still a pride in getting the facts right – and not getting misled by some politician or spun by some government flack.

That journalistic code, however, no longer exists – at least not on foreign policy and national security issues. The major newspapers and TV networks are staffed largely by careerists who uncritically accept what they are fed by US government officials or what they get from think-tank experts who are essentially in the pay of special interests.
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Syria - As Rebels Break Ceasefire Army Gathers For New Campaign

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The ceasefire in Syria held for some five weeks but is now about to end. During the ceasefire Russia reduced its forces in Syria and the Syrian Arab Army made significant progress against the Islamic State.  But the opposition and their sponsors abused the ceasefire to rearm. They prepared and executed new attacks against the Syrian government and Syrian civilians.

The sponsors of the opposition, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the US delivered new arms and munition to the "moderate" opposition. It is known that up to half of all supplies the "moderates" receive is inevitably delivered to al-Qaeda in Syria. The sponsors also broke a long-standing taboo and introduced portable anti-air missiles (MANPADs) onto the battle field. Several fighters of the US and Turkey supported Al Hamza brigade posted pictures showing off their new toys. The US claims that these fighters are supposed to only fight the Islamic State. But the Islamic State has no aircraft and these weapons are clearly to be used against the Syrian government and its supporters.

Earlier this week, Ahrar al-Sham, a Salafist group near to al-Qaeda, downed (video) a Syrian Su-22 ground-attack plane with a MANPAD near the city of Tal Eis, south of Aleppo city. The pilot, Lt. Col Musad Zayed Hirani, was taken prisoner by al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al Nusra). This incident shows that MANPADs immediately proliferate on the battle field and beyond and may soon be used against civilian planes in the Middle East and around the world.
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Dutch People Say 'No' To Ukraine Treaty - Big Blow To The NWO?

Yesterday's "no" vote in a Dutch referendum on Ukrainian accession to the European Union has Brussels in a panic. None of the other EU member states allowed a popular vote on bringing in basket case Ukraine -- their parliaments rubber-stamped the agreement. But because unanimity is required for any new members, the Dutch "no" -- even if only technically advisory -- means that the deal is scrapped. For now, at least. Brussels has a way of bringing back vote after vote until the people choose the "right" way. But for now, the result is a huge boost for the Brexit movement as well as for other Euroskeptic parties and politicians throughout Europe. Why did the Dutch vote no? Frustration and anger over Brussels' immigration policy, over the EU blindly following the US "regime change" of Ukraine that has left the country worse off than before, and over Ukraine's suspicious secrecy on the facts of the 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine. What's next? It could get interesting...
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Congress Shirks War Responsibility-What Are The Costs?

Congress loves war, but it just doesn't like to have to vote for it. When you vote for a war you are on record having supported it. So what happens if instead of turning Libya into Switzerland into Libya, the bombing turned Libya into Bangladesh? Better to not have supported it on record. But there is a very dangerous downside to Congress habitually ignoring its Constitutional obligations. It leads to a general policy recklessness and inability to look at cause and effect. Dangerous for us at home and for those abroad. We try to tackle this issue in today's Liberty Report...
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Fixing The Intelligence Around The Policy...In Syria

The scandal around the fixing of intelligence around the Pentagon training program for Syrian rebels has been on slow burn for some time. The mainstream media has largely avoided it, but when Pentagon superiors quash reports of intelligence analysts because they don't match the desired outcome of the policy there is a big problem. Having spent $500 million to train rebels last year and only produced five fighters, there should be more scrutiny of this program, not less. More today in the Liberty Report...
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Happy Birthday, NATO: It’s Time to Retire!

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Birthdays are always a good time to take stock of one’s achievements, make some resolutions and contemplate the road ahead. So, with NATO turning sixty-seven today, perhaps it’s time for the military alliance to engage in some honest self-reflection.

The problem is, sometimes it’s just hard to let go. No one wants to admit their glory days are behind them. Everyone wants to feel they have a purpose, some grand vision yet to fulfill. When the time comes to hang up your hat, some bow out gracefully. Others need to be dragged kicking and screaming.

If Supreme Allied Commander General Philip Breedlove’s latest comments are anything to go by, the alliance won’t be performing a graceful exit any time soon. Instead, the 28-member bloc is simply recalibrating its efforts in an attempt to justify its existence and remain relevant.
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