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Ron Paul Warned About This: TSA Removes Opt-Out From Full Body Scanners

Never let a crisis go to waste. That is the motto of every government agency and every bureaucrat. Citing "heightened tensions over terrorism," the Transportation Safety Administration has unilaterally decided that fliers can no longer "opt-out" of the potentially cancer-causing and completely useless full body scanners in favor of a pat-down from a TSA agent. There was no debate in Congress. Not even an executive order. It was just a rule made by an unelected and unaccountable body, as one might expect in a dictatorship. The TSA decision is a psychological defeat for liberty as well. Removing the option to "defy" the agency's demand that travelers submit to the scanners takes away that little bit of what America once was, the independent spirit of a free people. Now, head down, we must march through like cattle as our rude overlords bark out orders. It didn't have to be this way. Ron Paul saw this coming and introduced in several Congresses the American Traveler Dignity Act, which would have curtailed TSA powers and made TSA agents subject to the same assault laws as the rest of us. Here is a clip to remember while being corralled through the TSA cancer machines this Christmas season...
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Your Business Been Hacked? Thanks NSA!

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It appears that the NSA (“or someone”) hacked into the code of a popular firewall and planted a password in there that would allow them access as needed.

That means the NSA (“or someone”) would be able to bypass the security features of a network and do what they wanted inside. This is basically an act of sabotage. Given that American organizations as well as foreign ones use these same firewalls, and that the planted password could be discovered by others outside the NSA, the act made vulnerable a multitude of innocent, untargeted systems.

Juniper Networks makes a popular line of enterprise firewalls whose operating system is called Screen OS. The company raised alarm bells with an advisory announcing that they’d discovered “unauthorized code” in some versions of Screen OS, a strange occurrence that hinted that a security agency had managed to tamper with the product before it shipped. One possible route would be for any such agency to have its own people inside the company, acting under cover.
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Kerry In Moscow: Assad Can Stay?

Last week in Moscow, US Secretary of State John Kerry said it was not US policy that Assad must be overthrown in Syria. Days later in his end-of-year press conference President Obama said, once again, Assad must go. Is President Obama not in control of his own administration, as a recent Seymour Hersh article has suggested? Whatever the case, US policy toward Syria seems completely incomprehensible. Do they know what they are doing? Those are the questions we have on today's Liberty Report...
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The SEALS Beat a Man to Death — Should We Care?

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Here’s what happened:

The three Navy SEALs stomped on bound Afghan detainees and dropped heavy stones on their chests. They stood on the prisoners’ heads and poured bottles of water on their faces in an improvised form of waterboarding.

A bomb had exploded at an Afghan Local Police checkpoint where the SEALs were conducting training. Angered by the death of one of their comrades, the police rounded up half a dozen or more “suspects” from a nearby village. Along the way, they beat them with rifle butts and car antennas. The men from SEAL Team 2 joined in, jump-kicking a man kneeling on the ground. They beat one detainee to death.

Four American soldiers working with the SEALs reported the episode. In a Navy criminal investigation, two American support personnel said they had witnessed the abuse by the SEALs, as did a local police officer. Another Afghan provided a detailed account to investigators.
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What If Jesus Had Been Born 2,000 Years Later in the American Police State?

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The Christmas narrative of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one.

The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There being no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable, where Mary gave birth to a baby boy. That boy, Jesus, would grow up to undermine the political and religious establishment of his day and was eventually crucified as a warning to others not to challenge the powers-that-be.

But what if Jesus, the revered preacher, teacher, radical and prophet, had been born 2,000 years later? How would Jesus’ life have been different had he be born and raised in the American police state?

Consider the following if you will.

Had Jesus been born in the year 2015…

Rather than traveling to Bethlehem for a census, Jesus’ parents would have been mailed a 28-page American Community Survey, a mandatory government questionnaire documenting their habits, household inhabitants, work schedule, and even how many toilets were in their home, etc. The penalty for not responding to this invasive survey would have resulted in a fine of $5,000.
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Congress Passes PATRIOT Act II In Secret

Brand new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan made grand-sounding promises of reform. The House would go back to regular order, no more sneaking bills to the Floor in the dead of night. Well that didn't last long: Ryan snuck a dangerous and anti-American "PATRIOT Act, II" into the "must-pass" Omnibus spending bull. As bad as the PATRIOT Act was, allowing the government to spy on us nearly at will, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) may be even worse. The bill forces private companies to spy on their customers and hand the information over to US intelligence services. When Obama signed the bill into law days ago, he essentially turned the "private" sector in the United States into an adjunct intelligence service for the government. More on this chilling move in today's Ron Paul Liberty Report...
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Do We Need the Fed?

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Stocks rose Wednesday following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of the first interest rate increase since 2006. However, stocks fell just two days later. One reason the positive reaction to the Fed’s announcement did not last long is that the Fed seems to lack confidence in the economy and is unsure what policies it should adopt in the future.

At her Wednesday press conference, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged continuing “cyclical weakness” in the job market. She also suggested that future rate increases are likely to be as small, or even smaller, then Wednesday’s. However, she also expressed concerns over increasing inflation, which suggests the Fed may be open to bigger rate increases.
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The Clash of Stupidity: Republican Debate Part V

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Watching the Republican debates has become a surreal experience, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. Terrorism in general and ISIS in particular were very much the focus area of the fifth and final GOP presidential debate in 2015 and fear is what’s for Christmas. There was actually nothing to debate during the undercard discussion…hardcore war is the consensus. Hoorah Master Sergeant may I have another? Well yes, if the GOP has anything to do with it, you’re certain to get your fill. Here’s what they had to say:

Lindsey Graham: “If you don’t realize we need more American boots on the ground in Iraq and eventually in Syria as part of a regional army you’re not ready to be Commander in Chief…There’s four things you need to understand about this war: it’s a religious war, them against the world. If you don’t fight them over there, they’re coming here. If you don’t hit them first, they’re gonna hit us. If you’re not determined to fight it as a war you’re gonna lose it…The next 9/11 is coming from Syria, it’s coming soon, we better do something about it.”

On the contrary, there’s only one thing you need to understand about this so-called “war” on terror. It’s the number one recruiting tool for terrorism. If you have figured that out, then there are a few other things you might consider before you take anything Lindsey Graham says seriously: first, ISIS hasn’t actually attacked the United States. Considering the fact that the United States has been bombing them since 2013, if they were to attack the United States it would be much more an act of retaliation than anything the United States is doing. This group wasn’t even around during 9/11. They had nothing to do with it. That said, if you want to motivate them to replicate it in the future, listen to Lindsey Graham.
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Why the US Pushes an Illusory Syrian Peace Process

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The anti-Assad coalition led by the United States continues to stagger toward the supposed objective of beginning peace negotiations between the Syrian government and what has now been blessed as the politically acceptable “opposition”. The first such meeting was scheduled for 1 January, but no one on either side believes for a moment that any such negotiations are going to happen any time in the foreseeable future. 

The notion that negotiations on a ceasefire and political settlement will take place lacks credibility, because the political-military realities on the ground in Syria won’t allow it. Those opposition groups that are prepared to contemplate some kind of settlement with the Assad regime do not have the capacity to make such an agreement a reality. And those organisations that have the capacity to end the war against the Damascus regime have no interest in agreeing to anything short of forcible regime change.
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Obama Administration Fights To Withhold Over 2,000 Photos Of Alleged US Torture and Abuse

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President Obama once pledged that his government would be the most transparent in history — a claim that is often mocked by civil libertarians and other critics who accuse him of almost Nixonian secrecy policies and inclinations. That troubling record is playing out again before U.S District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Administration continues to fight to withhold over 2,000 images of torture and abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan simply because it would make the United States look bad. Ironically, there is a transparent element to this case. 

Few Administrations have been so transparently obvious in their use of classification rule to simply bar the disclosure of information that would be embarrassing to officials or the government. Usually, the Justice Department attempts to spin a tale of some other national security rationale for non-disclosure. Here, however, there is nothing even plausible to come up with. The Obama Administration simply wants to deep six the photos because people would be really angry if they saw what the government did, including photos that are believed to be far worse than those Abu Ghraib (like the one above).

Hellerstein gave the Justice Department until December 12th to come a rational explanation why each individual photograph has been withheld from the public. In 2009, Obama insisted that disclosing the photos would “further inflame anti-American opinion.” However, that rationale could be used for wholesale cover ups and information controls by the government.
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