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Trump Caves on Flynn’s Resignation

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The neocon-dominated U.S. foreign policy establishment won an important victory in forcing the resignation of President Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn over a flimsy complaint that he had talked to the Russian ambassador during the transition.

The Washington Post, the neoconservatives’ media flagship, led the assault on Flynn, an unorthodox thinker who shared the neocons’ hostility toward Iran but broke with them in seeing no strategic reason to transform Russia into an implacable enemy.

After Flynn’s resignation on Monday evening, the Post gloated over its success in achieving the first major crack in Trump’s resistance to Official Washington’s establishment. The Post cited Flynn’s “potentially illegal contacts” with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a reference to the Logan Act, a 1799 never-enforced law that forbids private citizens from negotiating with a country in dispute with the U.S. government.

Though no one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act, it has been cited in recent decades as an excuse to attack American citizens who disagree with U.S. government policies while traveling abroad and having contacts with foreign leaders.

Often those accusations are aimed at Americans seeking to peacefully resolve disputes when a U.S. president is eager to escalate a conflict, such as President Ronald Reagan’s denunciations of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson for visiting Cuba and House Speaker Jim Wright for exploring ways to end the Contra war in Nicaragua.
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Ignore The Tough Talk - Trump’s Iran Policy Will be Much Like Obama’s

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The first public pronouncements by President Donald Trump's administration on Iran have created the widespread impression that the US will adopt a much more aggressive posture towards the Islamic Republic than under Barack Obama's presidency.

But despite the rather crude warnings to Tehran by now ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and by Trump himself, the Iran policy that has begun to take shape in the administration’s first weeks looks quite similar to Obama's.

The reason is that the Obama administration’s policy on Iran reflected the views of a national security team that adhered to an equally hardline stance as those of the Trump administration. 

Flynn declared on 1 February that the Obama administration had “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions” and suggested that things would be different under Trump. But that rhetoric was misleading, both with regard to the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran and on the options available to Trump going beyond that policy.
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Gen. Flynn Out At NSC -- Winners and Losers

Did the CIA conspire to undermine President Trump's National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, by leaking information about a phone call Gen. Flynn had with the Russian ambassador after Trump was the president-elect? The phone call was intercepted by the intelligence community and illegally leaked to the press. Why? Who benefits? What can we expect of President Trump's stated policy of better relations with Russia now that Flynn, who supported the policy, has been forced to resign? We look at the winners and losers of this early shake up in the Trump Administration in today's Liberty Report...
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Can’t Judge Fake News in the Dark

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This isn’t about Trump. It’s about judging the media, whoever and whatever they report on. It is about reading critically when so much out there is just simply inaccurate. Not maybe inaccurate, pure dead solid perfect stupid. So don’t call me a nazi.

Step One is to note if the story you’re reading/seeing is all or mostly unsourced, or anonymously sourced. Red flag.

Step Two is to see if the story is bombastic, dramatic, something that really makes you angry. Something that adds to or dovetails with something you already believe is true. If it sounds like gossip, that’s probably all it is. Red flag.

Step Three is to check if the story is a negative one about a person or subject from a media outlet that celebrates its partisan position. Red flag.

Congratulations! You’ve got a sample target, and are ready to apply a basic test.
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Saudi Lobbyists Recruiting Veterans to Kill 9/11 Lawsuit

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Using misinformation and lots of cash, Saudi Arabia is recruiting well-meaning U.S. military veterans into its campaign to eviscerate a recently-passed law allowing 9/11 families to sue the monarchy for its alleged role in facilitating the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

It’s a brazen effort, considering 9/11 inspired so many veterans to enter military service. However, working through hired American proxies who don’t draw attention to their Saudi sponsorship, the kingdom is finding success by taking advantage of veterans’ patriotic instincts.

Specifically, lobbyists are telling veterans that, if other countries reciprocate by passing laws like the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), military service members and veterans will be sued in foreign courts.

Veterans who do their own research will discover an essential fact Saudi Arabia doesn’t want them to know: JASTA only allows U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments for supporting terrorism—not individuals.
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Will Congress Stop Forcing Pro-Life Americans to Subsidize Abortion?

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Last month marked 44 years since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion. Roe remains one of the Supreme Court’s most controversial decisions. Even some progressive legal theorists who favor legalized abortion have criticized Roe for judicial overreach and faulty reasoning.
 
Throughout my medical and political careers, I have opposed abortion. I believe abortion is the killing of an innocent human life and, thus, violates the non-aggression principle that is the basis of libertarianism. Unfortunately many libertarians, including some of my close allies, support legalized abortion. These pro-abortion libertarians make a serious philosophical error that undermines the libertarian cause. If the least accountable branch of government can unilaterally deny protection of the right to life to an entire class of persons, then none of our rights are safe.
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US Special Forces Deployed To 70 Percent Of The World In 2016

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US Special Operations Command launched a raid in Yemen’s Baida Province on Jan 29, targeting Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The first high-profile special forces operation of Trump’s presidency, the raid resulted in the deaths of at least 14 Al Qaeda fighters, 20 civilians and Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens.

Three other Americans were reportedly wounded and an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft was destroyed by US forces after it was heavily damaged in a forced landing. Over the past few days, it has emerged that al-Rimi survived the raid and he has subsequently released an audio message taunting President Trump.

As The Burning Platform's Jim Quinn notes, special forces operations like the one in Yemen are nothing new. America’s elite troops have found themselves on the frontlines constantly since 9/11, conducting operations everywhere from the dusty back alleys of North Africa to the snow-capped mountains of Afghanistan.
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The Warlords of Kiev

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The warlords of Kiev are going on the offensive, violating the terms of the Minsk peace accords, and attacking separatist rebels in the eastern part of the country in a desperate bid to provoke open conflict with Russia. What motivates them is fear of President Donald Trump, who has often expressed a desire to “get along with Russia” and who has openly said Ukraine is not a vital US national security interest. What motivates their new aggression is the possibility that the US subsidies that have kept their vicious war on their own people going – 10,000 killed so far – will dry up.
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Trump is Wrong - Saudi Arabia, Not Iran is the World's 'Number One Terrorist State

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Donald Trump is proving himself a President prone to unleashing inconvenient truths side by side with blatant falsehoods. One of the most scurrilous of those falsehoods is his recent claim that Iran is the “number one terrorist state.”

Throughout his campaign for the White House in 2016, and since assuming office in January, Trump has made Iran the focus of his ire, to the point where the Iranians are more than justified in preparing for the very real prospect of military confrontation with the US - and sooner rather than later.

The Trump administration’s consistent and ongoing demonization of Iran flies in the face of reality in which Iran has stood, alongside Syria, Russia, the Kurds, and the Iranian-backed Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, as a pillar against the very same Salafi-jihadist terrorism that poses a threat to the American people. It is a struggle in which the Iranians have expended both resources and blood in recent years, and as such justice demands that the world, including the United States, acknowledges that it owes Tehran a debt of gratitude.
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Trump’s Fearmongering is White House Tradition

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President Trump is being reviled for wildly exaggerating the peril of Muslim refugees. Some commentators fret that his rhetoric signals a new fascist era descending on America. A Washington Post news analysis on Saturday derided Trump’s fear-mongering: “Playing upon the nation’s anxieties about what might happen also stands as a stark contrast to how presidents have lifted the country out of actual crisis in the past.”

But presidential fear-mongering has a long and sordid history. We cannot understand the threat that Trump poses without recognizing how prior presidents used similar ploys.

Though former president Barack Obama’s popularity is now on the rise, he sometimes greatly exaggerated threats to push his legislative agenda. In a speech last year at the funeral of slain Dallas police officers, he asserted, “We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.” But Amazon doesn’t deliver Glocks to your doorstep. Washington Post fact-checkers contacted the White House but none of the information it provided “directly made a connection between the ability of teens to buy handguns and their access to books or computers… There’s no minimum age or a background check required to get a book or use the computer for free at a public library.” The Post awarded three Pinocchios to Obama for his claim.
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