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Karma Over Russia?

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Not surprisingly, the mainstream media is aghast that President-elect Donald Trump is not automatically deferring to the CIA and its pronouncement that Russia intervened in the US presidential election with the intent of helping Trump defeat his Democratic Party opponent Hillary Clinton. 

Never mind that the CIA has provided no evidence to support its claims. In the eyes of the mainstream media and the national-security establishment, that’s irrelevant. Trump’s responsibility, they hold, is to automatically, without question or challenge, defer to the authority of the CIA and accept whatever it says.

Of course, one big problem here is that the CIA, along with the rest of the national-security establishment, sometimes lies. In fact, CIA officials are expected to lie if they feel that “national security” depends on it.
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War on ‘Fake News’ Part of a War on Free Speech

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A major threat to liberty is the assault on the right to discuss political issues, seek out alternative information sources, and promote dissenting ideas and causes such as non-interventionism in foreign and domestic affairs. If this ongoing assault on free speech succeeds, then all of our liberties are endangered.

One of the most common assaults on the First Amendment is the attempt to force public policy organizations to disclose their donors. Regardless of the intent of these laws, the effect is to subject supporters of controversial causes to harassment, or worse. This harassment makes other potential donors afraid to support organizations opposing a popular war or defending the rights of an unpopular group.
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US Sends 200 More Troops To Syria Days After Obama Lifts Ban On Arms Supplies To Rebels

With Assad on the verge of retaking Aleppo, and with it, regaining full control in the ongoing Syrian proxy war, we asked last week in "With Assad On Verge Of Historic Victory, Syrian Rebels Request A Ceasefire" how long before the US intervenes in an attempt to derail the sudden Syrian (and Russian) momentum.  We got the answer this morning, when US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday that the US is sending 200 additional military personnel to Syria to help drive Islamic State from its de facto capital of Raqqa.

Speaking in Bahrain at the Manama Dialogue conference on Middle East security, Carter said the 200, including special forces trainers, advisers, and explosive ordnance disposal teams, would join 300 US special forces already in Syria. “These uniquely skilled operators will join the 300 US special operations forces already in Syria, to continue organizing, training, equipping, and otherwise enabling capable, motivated, local forces to take the fight to ISIL,” Carter said quoted by AP.

Three years ago Obama vowed that he would not put American boots on the ground in Syria.
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Japan's 'Nobility of Failure' in 1941

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Seven decades after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor some truth is finally beginning to emerge from the miasma of propaganda that still clouds our vision of World War II.

It seems clear by now that President Franklin Roosevelt’s White House knew from deciphered codes that Japan was planning an attack on America’s key naval base in Hawaii. Shamefully, the senior US Navy and Army commanders at Pearl Harbor were not informed of the impending attack. The US Navy’s three aircraft carriers were coincidentally moved far from harm’s way before the attack, leaving only obsolescent World War I battleships in port as sitting ducks.

Roosevelt was eager to get the United States into war against Germany at all costs. But Americans wanted no part of Europe’s war, recalling how British propaganda had deceived America into World War I. The single largest ethnic group in America was of German origin. In the 1880’s, my native New York City was the third most populous German city on earth after Berlin and Hamburg.

Roosevelt, whose sympathies lay far to the left in spite of his patrician background, understood that only a surprise attack would provoke Americans into war.
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Freedom’s Just Another Word

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Here’s what’s left of democracy in America.

We had an election, and the candidate favored by Washington, media, and many business elites did not win. Here’s what happened next.

— CIA unambiguously but without documentation or evidence presented says, via anonymous leaks, that Russia interceded in the election to help elect Donald Trump.

— Democratic Congresspeople, alongside several media outlets, have called for investigations into whether or not Trump colluded with the Russians to influence the election. That would be an impeachable offense, a criminal offense, treason.

— The underlying message is that the Russians believe Trump as president will so favor them (for some reason) that they risk war, or a cyber version of war, to see him in power. Trump’s legitimacy is now undermined, and his every action toward the Soviet Union Russia will be tainted.

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Washington Post Issues Correction To 'Fake News' Story

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The Washington Post has been under fire for its publication of an article entitling “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say.” The article by Craig Timberg relied on a controversial website called PropOrNot, which published what is little more than a black list of website that the authors deemed purveyors of fake news including some of the largest sites on the Internet like Drudge Report. However, the previously unknown group was itself criticized for listing “allies” that proved false. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton ramped up the call for action against “fake news” which she described as an epidemic. Now the Washington Post has published a rather cryptic correction to the fake news story. The controversy is the subject of my latest column in USA Today.

The organization listed a variety of news sites as illegitimate. It included some of the most popular political sites from the left and right Truthout, Zero Hedge, Antiwar.com, and the Ron Paul Institute. It even includes one of the most read sites on the Internet, the Drudge Report. Notably, it also included WikiLeaks, which has been credited with exposing political corruption and unlawful surveillance programs.

The Washington Post is the largest newspaper to buy the clearly biased list as the work of objective “experts” — ignoring that the site relies on anonymity of those contributors. When the Post ran the story, some were eager to push the story as a reason why they lost the election. The former White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted, “Why isn’t this the biggest story in the world right now?” The reason is that it was facially absurd.
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Hillary Reemerges, Slams 'Dangerous Epidemic' Of Fake News

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Having disappeared from the public scene for almost a month (with the occasional backwood spotting thrown in for dramatic effect), today Hillary Clinton reemerged from a self-imposed social quarantine, and in a exquisitely choreographed Podesta special, addressed the nation from Capitol Hill. What was first and foremost on the mind of person who the "impartial" media declared had a 90 percent chance of being America's next president: was it some intense introspection; perhaps it was some idea of how to reform and fix the imploding Democratic party; or maybe it was her finally accepting responsibility for her actions and her loss?

None of the above.

Instead, the one thing that appears to have preoccupied the former Secretary of State is the proliferation of so-called "fake news", a phenomenon she called an "epidemic." It was not immediately clear if she also lumped in the Washington Post into that bucket: recall that last night, in an editorial note to the WaPo's fake, slanderous story about "Russian Propaganda Fake News", the newspaper effectively distanced itself from its primary source, PropOrNot, which itself has allegedly been exposed as propaganda.

Speaking on Capitol Hill, Clinton said that “the epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year — it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences." Like, perhaps, poring through thousands of emails which the co=opted and captured mainstream press - especially those who had dinner with John Podesta to offer their PR services to the Clinton campaign  - would not touch, revealing the crony and illicit dealings of the Clinton Family foundation, leading to - among other things - Clinton losing the presidency?
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The Horrific Consequences of US Interventionism

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Two seemingly unrelated stories in the New York Times yesterday serve as potent reminders of the deadly and disastrous consequences of US interventionism in the Middle East. The stories involve Iran and Libya.

Referring to Donald Trump’s campaign vow to tear up the nuclear agreement entered into last year between the United States and Iran, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, told an audience at Tehran University, “America cannot influence our determination, this nation’s resistance and its struggle. America is our enemy; we have no doubt about this. The Americans want to put as much pressure on us as they can.” During the talk, the student audience chanted, “Death to America.”

Rouhani is especially chagrined at what he perceives to be a double cross by US officials, who have continued their regime of brutal sanctions against Iran notwithstanding Iran’s signing of the nuclear agreement.

What’s important to realize, however, is that the bad relations between the United States and Iran are rooted in US interventionism, specifically the CIA’s violent coup in 1953, which succeeded in destroying Iran’s experiment with democracy.
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Will Gen. Kelly Re-Militarize The Drug War?

As head of the US Southern Command, Gen. John Kelly was in charge of the US military involvement in the drug war in Central and South America. He blames the liberalization of marijuana in some US states for the ongoing failure of the drug war, even though the drug war has drug on for decades and marijuana decriminalization is a very recent phenomenon. Will the general take his military approach to the drug war to his domestic position as the next Secretary of Homeland Security? We look at the general and his views in today's Liberty Report...
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Requiem for the Obama Administration, Trump Edition

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The problems many are now predicting under the Trump administration did not start on November 8. The near-unrestrained executive power claimed by the Obama administration will be transferred to the president-elect. Here’s what that means.

Torture

Obama did not prosecute, fire, or discipline anyone for torturing people on behalf of the people of the United States. He did not hold any truth commissions, and ensured almost all of the government documents on the torture program remain classified. He did not prosecute the CIA official who willfully destroyed video tapes of the torture scenes. He has not specifically disavowed secret prisons and renditions,just suspended their use.

As with the continued hunting down of Nazis some 70 years after their evil acts, the message that individual responsibility exists must stalk those who would do evil on behalf of a government. “I was only following orders” is not a defense against inhuman acts. The purpose of tracking down the guilty is less to punish and more to discourage the next person from doing evil; the purpose is to morally immunize a nation-state.
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