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Whatever Happened to the Russia-gate ‘Scandal’?

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After all the screaming headlines and hysterical talk of “treason,” the Russia-gate hoax was almost entirely absent from the midterms. One would think that the other party being in the hands of a ruthless foreign dictator who has it in for America would be a major campaign issue – that is, if the Democrats actually believed their own propaganda. However, we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of Putin in all those campaign ads, or at least hardly a glance: that’s because Russia-gate has always been a fraud, a setup, and really a criminal conspiracy to take down a sitting US President on the basis of a gigantic lie.

As the promulgators of that lie are exposed – the Deep State amalgam that includes foreign intelligence agencies as well as Trump’s domestic opponents – Democrats are backing away from what has suddenly become, for them, a very messy narrative. For what has happened is that the narrative has turned on them, and now implicates them in a massive scheme to embroil the Trump campaign in a web of foreign influencers.

The campaign to penetrate the Trump campaign appears to have been initiated abroad as much as it was started by the Clinton campaign – who inherited the operation from a very mysterious Republican donor after the GOP primaries. The “former” MI6 agent Christopher Steele, now working for an ostensibly independent spy network, didn’t consider the job of digging up dirt on Trump just a normal job: he was passionately dedicated to stopping Trump from ever reaching the White House. One can easily impute the same motivations to the little group that took it upon themselves to break into the Trump campaign and put it under surveillance, all of them attached to British intelligence...
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Censorship and Gun Control Will Not Make Us Safe

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Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh is being used to justify new infringements on liberty. Of course, opponents of gun rights are claiming this shooting proves America needs more gun control. Even some who normally oppose gun control say the government needs to do more to keep guns out of the hands of the “mentally ill.”
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We Need a #MeToo Movement for Political Consent

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The #MeToo movement is spurring millions of Americans to reconsider the meaning of consent in sexual relations. But there is another realm where far too much has been presumed because of often token gestures. Political consent is defined radically differently than the consent that people freely give in their daily lives.

The Declaration of Independence enshrined the notion that government must possess “the consent of the governed.” Unfortunately, winning politicians often claim blank checks to define the hidden meaning behind citizens’ ballots. “Consenting” on Election Day is portrayed as pre-approving anything politicians dictate in the following years.

Regardless if your candidate campaigned on a peace platform, you “consented” to any wars he might subsequently start or support . Regardless if your candidate promised to end federal crackdowns on marijuana, you “consented” to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s raids on medical cannibis cooperatives. Regardless if your candidate promised to end deficit spending, you “consented” to trillions of dollars of additional federal debt. Regardless if your candidate promised transparency and honesty, you consented to the government keeping millions of secrets and shrouding its worst abuses.

Government agencies structure their policies to make even more absurd presumptions of “consent” in daily life.
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Why Do We Need a National Security State?

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Given President Trump’s impulsive decision to suddenly send 5,200 armed US soldiers to the US-Mexico border to prevent a few thousand women and children and others from seeking refugee status in the United States, which foreign citizens are entitled to do under US law, a question naturally arises with respect to those troops: What were they doing before they were sent to the border?

The answer is: Nothing, at least nothing productive.

Oh sure, one can say that they were training to kill more people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Africa, or other parts of the world. Or they might have been preparing an invasion of some other country in the world. Or they might be figuring out how to best enforce the embargoes and sanctions against the people of Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and elsewhere.

But how can any of that possibly be considered productive? None of the people they are killing are attacking and invading the United States. Neither are the governments in the countries in which the victims are citizens. Moreover, the constant, never-ending killing brings the constant, never-ending danger of terrorist blowback against the United States, which US officials then use as an excuse to destroy further our own freedom and privacy here at home.

How is that productive?
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Countering Technology Companies’ Crackdown on Alternative Voices

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There was bound to be a major pushback. Widespread use of the internet has helped make all sorts of information much cheaper to create and easier to access. That has been a boon for people seeking to communicate and receive information that would not have been readily available in the days when radio, TV, and newspapers were the overwhelming means of mass distribution of information about current events. At the same time, the internet-facilitated alternative voices boom threatens the interests of people who benefit from limiting the availability of information and commentary about current events to within a much narrower range.
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Feeding The Deep State: Trump's Big Intel Boost An Attack On Liberty

The 2018 US intelligence community budget saw its biggest increase in ten years and is now higher than it has ever been. President Trump's backers often claim that he's in Washington to fight the deep state, but it doesn't get more "deep state" than the US intelligence community. How to explain this massive increase? Do they think we are safer and more free with an even larger spy network watching us and meddling in the rest of the world's affairs? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Saudi Massacre In Yemen Worse Than Estimated. Will Congress Finally Speak Up?

According to a new study by the University of Sussex, the 10,000 civilian dead in the Yemen war is hugely understated. The actual number of civilians killed since the Saudi attacks started in 2015 may be as high as 80,000. And on top of that, 50,000 children die each year from preventable illnesses related to the war. Why does the US continue to act as an accomplice in this massacre? Will Congress finally step up and put a stop to it? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Jamal Khashoggi Died for Nothing

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The angst over the Jamal Khashoggi murder in the Saudi Arabian Consulate General building in Istanbul is already somewhat fading as the media has moved on in search of fresh meat, recently focusing on the series of attempted mail bombings, and currently on the mass shooting in Pittsburgh. But the affaire Khashoggi is still important as it potentially brings with it possible political realignments in the Middle East as well as in Europe as countries feel emboldened to redefine their relationship with Saudi Arabia.
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NATO Is At War With NATO In Northern Syria

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Not for the first time the Turkish army has attacked US-backed forces in northeastern Syria on Sunday in yet another absurd contradiction of American policy in the region. It highlights the awkward fact that in northern Syria for over the past year one NATO country (Turkey) is at war with another NATO country's proxy force, namely the Pentagon armed and trained Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, of which the YPG is a core part).

The new flair up of tensions comes as President Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again vowed to eliminate "terrorists and separatists" from near its border. Speaking at the four-way Syria summit involving Russia, Germany, and France in Istanbul over the weekend, Erdogan said, "We will continue eliminating threats against our national security at its root in the Euphrates' east as we have done so in its west."

Notably the Saturday summit with two major European/NATO powers did not include the United States.

Syrian Kurdish groups, for their part, have accused Turkey of committing ethnic cleansing on Syrian soil in a bid to essentially annex territory while conducting a campaign of 'Turkification' — a charge for which there's ample evidence. As a new AFP report finds in the northwest Syrian town of Azaz: "From Turkish-language classes for Syrian children to the state-owned Turk Telekom company erecting its first cell towers on Syrian soil, Ankara's role in the rebel-held region around Azaz has been expanding."
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