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Six Years and $17 Billion Wasted in Afghanistan

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What did you get for Christmas these last six years?

The U.S. government was nice enough to gift our loyal friends the Afghans $17 billion of your tax money, and, in the true spirit of giving, asked nothing in return for itself.

What that means in actual dollars and nonsense is that the U.S. government wasted $17 billion in taxpayer money in Afghanistan on various projects that never made it off the ground or were doomed to fail because of incompetence or lack of maintenance, according to a new report.

ProPublica looked at over 200 audits conducted by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) over the last six years and tallied up the costs for the wide range of failed efforts to reach the $17 billion price tag. This greatest hits study only scratched the surface of the estimated $110 billion spent to rebuild the country (the U.S. spent some $47 billion in rebuilding Iraq, and how’d that work out?)
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'Carpet Bomber' Cruz: Libertarian or Neocon?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is being advertised in some circles as the heir to the Ron Paul libertarian movement, yet one look at his foreign policy and it is immediately evident that he is anything but. His advisors are Bill Kristol, John Bolton, James Woolsey, Elliot Abrams and other washed-up neocon has-beens. No wonder he screams about "carpet bombing" the Middle East and making the sand glow in the dark. The libertarian movement is essentially built around rejection of wars of aggression and against interventionism. Ted Cruz, neocon, in today's Liberty Report...
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The Continuing Demonization Of Cash

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The insidious nature of the war on cash derives not just from the hurdles governments place in the way of those who use cash, but also from the from the aura of suspicion that has begun to pervade private cash transactions. In a normal market economy, businesses would welcome taking cash. After all, what business would willingly turn down customers? But in the war on cash that has developed in the 30 years since money laundering was declared a federal crime, businesses have had to walk a fine line between serving customers and serving the government. And since only one of those two parties has the power to shut down a business and throw business owners and employees into prison, guess whose wishes the business owner is going to follow more often?

The assumption on the part of government today is that possession of large amounts of cash is indicative of involvement in illegal activity. If you’re travelling with thousands of dollars in cash and get pulled over by the police, don’t be surprised when your money gets seized as “suspicious.” And if you want your money back, prepare to get into a long, drawn-out court case requiring you to prove that you came by that money legitimately, just because the courts have decided that carrying or using large amounts of cash is reasonable suspicion that you are engaging in illegal activity. Because of that risk of confiscation, businesses want to have less and less to do with cash, as even their legitimately-earned cash is subject to seizure by the government.
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Presidential Crimes Then And Now

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Not much remains of the once vibrant American left-wing. Among the brainwashed remnants there is such a hatred of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan that the commitment of these two presidents to ending dangerous military rivalries is unrecognized. Whenever I write about the illegal invasions of other countries launched by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, leftists point to Chile, Nicaragua and Grenada and say that nothing has changed. But a great deal has changed. In the 1970s and 1980s Nixon and Reagan focused on reducing Cold War tensions. Courageously, Nixon negotiated nuclear arms limitation agreements with the Soviet Union and opened to China, and Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev the end of the dangerous Cold War.

Beginning with the Clinton regime, the neoconservative doctrine of the US as the Uni-power exercising hegemony over the world has resurrected tensions between nuclear-armed powers. Clinton trashed the word of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and expanded NATO throughout Eastern Europe and brought the military alliance to Russia’s border. The George W. Bush regime withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, revised US war doctrine to permit pre-emptive nuclear attack, and negotiated with Washington’s East European vassals to put anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s borders in an effort to neutralize Russia’s nuclear deterrent, thus bringing major security problems to Russia. 

The Obama regime staged a coup against a government allied with Russia in Ukraine, traditionally a part of Russia, and imposed a Russophobia government as Washington’s vassal. Turning to China, Washington announced the “pivot to Asia” with the purpose of controlling shipping in the South China Sea. Additionally, the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes fomented wars across a wide swath of the planet from Yugoslavia and Serbia through the Middle East and Africa to South Ossetia and now in Ukraine.
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Saudi Arabia Is Killing Civilians with US Bombs

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Saudi Arabia has engaged in war crimes, and the United States is aiding and abetting them by providing the Saudis with military assistance. In September 2015, Saudi aircraft killed 135 wedding celebrants in Yemen. The air strikes have killed 2,800 civilians, including 500 children. Human Rights Watch charges that these bombings “have indiscriminately killed and injured civilians.”

This conflict is part of a regional power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are bombing Yemen in order to defeat the Houthi rebels, who have been resisting government repression for a long time. Iran has been accused of supporting the Houthis, although Iran denies this. Yemen is strategically located on a narrow waterway that links the Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea. Much of the world’s oil passes through this waterway.

 A United Nations panel of experts concluded in October 2015 that the Saudi-led coalition had committed “grave violations” of civilians’ human rights. They include indiscriminate attacks; targeting markets, a camp for displaced Yemenis, and humanitarian aid warehouses; and intentionally preventing the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The panel was also concerned that the coalition considered civilian neighborhoods, including Marra and Sadah, as legitimate strike zones. The International Committee of the Red Cross documented 100 attacks on hospitals.
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However You Vote, The Secret Government Always Wins

It is not a conspiracy -- it is out in the open.  The permanent government behind the scenes ensures that foreign policy never changes, that endless wars continue to enrich the military-industrial complex, that the population is kept in fear to insure acquiescence, that civil libertarians are viewed as unpatriotic kooks. Voting has no effect on the secret government in Washington. Moving between government and pseudo-private sector jobs with ease, they always land on their feet. What can be done? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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You Won’t Like It, But Here’s the Answer to ISIS

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How can we stop the Islamic State?

Imagine yourself shaken awake, rushed off to a strategy meeting with your presidential candidate of choice, and told: “Come up with a plan for me to do something about ISIS!” What would you say?

What Hasn’t Worked

You’d need to start with a persuasive review of what hasn’t worked over the past 14-plus years. American actions against terrorism — the Islamic State being just the latest flavor — have flopped on a remarkable scale, yet remain remarkably attractive to our present crew of candidates. (Bernie Sanders might be the only exception, though he supports forming yet another coalition to defeat ISIS.)

Why are the failed options still so attractive? In part, because bombing and drones are believed by the majority of Americans to be surgical procedures that kill lots of bad guys, not too many innocents, and no Americans at all. As Washington regularly imagines it, once air power is in play, someone else’s boots will eventually hit the ground (after the US military provides the necessary training and weapons). A handful of Special Forces troops, boots-sorta-on-the-ground, will also help turn the tide. By carrot or stick, Washington will collect and hold together some now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t “coalition” of “allies” to aid and abet the task at hand. And success will be ours, even though versions of this formula have fallen flat time and again in the Greater Middle East.
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Senate To Offer President Total War Authority

The US Senate under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is poised to rush to the floor a bill that would give the president total war authority anywhere on the globe, perhaps even including on US soil. All in the name of fighting ISIS, Congress is about to crown the president with unlimited war powers. In today's Liberty Report we discuss the dangers of the incredible shrinking Legislative branch of government...
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Here Come the Free Staters!

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It looks like thousands — maybe tens of thousands — of libertarians will be moving to New Hampshire in the next few years. Via a vote in 2003, the Free State Project selected New Hampshire from among several low-population states as the state to target for a migration of people who share an interest in reducing government violations of liberty. Now, over 19,500 people have agreed to a Free State Project pledge saying that, once 20,000 people have made the pledge, the pledgers intend to move to New Hampshire within five years and “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property.” The project is over 97 percent of the way toward 20,000 pledgers, with that threshold expected to be reached soon.

Motivating the Free State Project is the reasoning that a few thousand devoted advocates for liberty can have an outsized influence in a relatively small state. This appears to already be the case with “early movers” who have relocated to New Hampshire before the pledge’s 20,000 threshold has been reached. As the Concord Monitor reported earlier this month, 18 early movers in the New Hampshire House of Representatives means “Free State movers, who represent 0.15 percent of the total population, comprise nearly 5 percent of the House.”
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Congress is Writing the President a Blank Check for War

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While the Washington snowstorm dominated news coverage this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was operating behind the scenes to rush through the Senate what may be the most massive transfer of power from the Legislative to the Executive branch in our history. The senior Senator from Kentucky is scheming, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, to bypass normal Senate procedure to fast-track legislation to grant the president the authority to wage unlimited war for as long as he or his successors may wish.

The legislation makes the unconstitutional Iraq War authorization of 2002 look like a walk in the park. It will allow this president and future presidents to wage war against ISIS without restrictions on time, geographic scope, or the use of ground troops. It is a completely open-ended authorization for the president to use the military as he wishes for as long as he (or she) wishes. Even President Obama has expressed concern over how willing Congress is to hand him unlimited power to wage war.
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