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US Drone War Accelerates - Victims Unknown

The US drone war not only continues, but accelerates. More than 5,000 have been killed since 2009 in Obama's drone attacks and still the US has no idea how many of them might be innocent civilians. In fact, the US does not even bother to target only suspected terrorists. Instead, it targets patterns of behavior called "signatures." A male of military age is therefore considered a legitimate target. Does such an approach really keep us safe? Today's Liberty Report takes a look at this disturbing new form of US warfare...
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Power in the Service of Power

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It’s been a bad month for the angst-ridden US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. Last week, she was “outraged” by Russia’s veto at the UN Security Council of an international criminal court into the downing of Malaysian airliner MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

Three weeks prior, Power was again “outraged” by Russia’s veto of a draft resolution to declare the mass killing at Srebrenica during the Bosnian War in 1995 a “genocide.”

On Srebrenica, Power said:
“Russia’s veto is heartbreaking for those families and it is a further stain on this council’s record.”
On the latest MH17 veto, the American ambassador fulminated:
“When people see Russia’s hand up on something like this, when the whole world is united that when a civilian airliner goes up in smoke and so many families are affected, it is in all of our interests, our collective interests to see that justice is done.”
Leave aside Power’s assertion that “the whole world is united” over the crashed airliner, which was apparently shot down near the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, with the loss of all 298 people onboard.
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Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and My Lai Were All War Crimes

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On the 70th anniversary of the US government’s nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are still people coming out in favor of the bombings. They’re saying that since the bombings shortened the war by bringing a quick surrender of Japan in World War II, the targeting of those two cities was morally and legally justified, especially since it saved the lives of US soldiers who would have been killed in an invasion of Japan.

If those killings were justified, then was it wrong for the Army to criminally prosecute Army Lt. William Calley for killing innocent people at My Lai during the Vietnam War? Couldn’t the same have been said of his actions — that by killing the residents in that Vietnamese village, who were considered to be communists, he was helping to bring the war to a speedier end? Why was Calley treated as a war criminal rather than praised and glorified, as President Truman has been for targeting the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

The reason that Calley was prosecuted was that it is a war crime for a soldier to intentionally kill innocent civilians.

This might come as a shock to some people, but in war there are rules. If a soldier violates those rules, he is subject to criminal prosecution. The adage “anything goes” does not apply to war, not even if enemy soldiers are violating the rules.
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Ron Paul Plays Hardball

When are the neocons and the hawks going to stop getting us into more trouble, MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked Ron Paul during an appearance on Hardball. "Well I wish they'd look at reason and look at what is happening," replied Paul, but "I think it's unfortunately going to stop when we go broke and there's nothing left and then the people will find out that it is a total failure."
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Assad's 'Barrel Bombs'...and Ours

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In 2012, just a year after President Obama decided that "Assad must go," then-State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the Syrian military's use of unguided explosives in its fight against the US-sponsored insurgency. These weapons, deemed "barrel bombs," were, according to Nuland, "vicious things indiscriminately launched ... at targets without any concern about civilians."

Claims that "barrel bombs" were a form of terror deployed uniquely by the Syrian government primarily against citizens soon dominated media and western government coverage of the conflict. President Assad was a special kind of madman who, when given the opportunity, would particularly target his own citizens with "barrel bombs." Just as Gaddafi was about to commit genocide against his own citizens in Benghazi, Assad was barrel-bombing his own people and must be stopped, we were told.

The media and US government adoption of the term "barrel bomb" was in reality convenient war propaganda. Do the civilian victims of any military attack -- be they victims of Assad's bombs or US drones -- really care whether they are incinerated by a bomb with a Raytheon logo instead of a more crudely manufactured device? Are they any less or more dead?
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Washington’s Fifth Columns Inside Russia and China

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It took two decades for Russia and China to understand that “pro-democracy” and “human rights” organizations operating within their countries were subversive organizations funded by the US Department of State and a collection of private American foundations organized by Washington. The real purpose of these non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is to advance Washington’s hegemony by destabilizing the two countries capable of resisting US hegemony.

Washington’s Fifth Columns pulled off “color revolutions” in former Russian provinces, such as Georgia, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin and Ukraine, a Russian province for centuries.

When Putin was last elected, Washington was able to use its Fifth Columns to pour thousands of protesters into the streets of Russia claiming that Putin had “stolen the election.” This American propaganda had no effect on Russia, where the citizen back their president by 89 percent. The other 11 percent consists almost entirely of Russians who believe Putin is too soft toward the West’s aggression. This minority supports Putin as well. They only want him to be tougher. The actual percentage of the population that Washington has been able to turn into treasonous agents is only 2-3 percent of the population. These traitors are the “Westerners,” the “Atlantic integrationists,” who are willing for their country to be an American vassal state in exchange for money. Paid to them, of course.
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Politics Is Not the Path to Pro-Life Victory

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During my time in Congress, I regularly introduced legislation forbidding organizations that perform abortions from receiving federal funding. The US Government should not force taxpayers to subsidize an activity they believe is murder. Thus, while I was horrified by the recently released videos showing Planned Parenthood officials casually discussing selling the organs of aborted babies, I am glad that the reaction to these videos has renewed efforts to end federal funding of abortion.

My experience in Congress does not leave me optimistic that federal funding of Planned Parenthood will be ended this year, however. This is not just because the current US president is pro-abortion. When I started my efforts to end taxpayer support of abortion, I was shocked to find out how many Republicans, including some self-described “pro-life” leaders, were unsupportive of, and sometimes hostile to, my efforts.
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Ron Paul, Champion of God’s Peace

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Ronald Reagan used to be called the Teflon president, on the grounds that no matter what gaffe or scandal engulfed him, it never stuck: he didn’t suffer in the polls. If Reagan was the Teflon president, the military is America’s Teflon institution. Even people who oppose whatever the current war happens to be can be counted on to “support the troops” and to live by the comforting delusion that whatever aberrations may be evident today, the system itself is basically sound.

To add insult to injury, whenever the US government gears up for yet another military intervention, it’s people who pretend to favor “limited government,” and who pride themselves on not falling for government propaganda, who can be counted on to stand up and salute.

I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff, and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. But Ron’s new book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity, a plainspoken and relentless case against war that ranks alongside Smedley Butler’s classic War Is a Racket, is possibly the proudest Ron Paul moment of all.

It’s been calculated that over the past 5,000 years there have been 14,000 wars fought, resulting in three and a half billion deaths. In the United States, between 1798 and 2015 there have been 369 uses of military force abroad. We have been conditioned to accept this as normal, or at the very least unavoidable. We are told to stifle any moral qualms we may have about mass killing on the question-begging grounds that, after all, “it’s war.”
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Dealing With The Cops

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Everyone has to do some serious soul-searching when it comes to dealing with the cops. This is especially true for African-Americans, given that police departments seem to have attracted a disproportionate share of racial bigots to that line of work. But it’s also true for everyone else, given that the police have effectively been given a license to kill citizens with impunity.

No one can escape the possibility of an encounter with the police, especially if driving on streets and highways. As the young black woman Sandra Bland discovered in Texas — indeed, as many drivers have discovered over the years — it’s not difficult for a cop to come up with an excuse for pulling over a driver. In Bland’s case, it was “changing lanes without signaling.” It could just as easily have been “failure to make a complete stop at a stop sign or while turning right at a red light” or “defective taillights” or “speeding” or whatever. In fact, the cop can just make up something if he wants because they all know that most every judge in the land is going to believe a police officer over a citizen.

Even though bigoted cops will never admit it, in the case of African Americans, the real offense is “driving while black” or simply “being black.”
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Monsters of Ukraine: Made in the USA

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We’re in the summer doldrums of the news cycle, a perfect time for our government and the media – or do I repeat myself? – to drop certain inconvenient stories down the Memory Hole. My job, of course, is to retrieve them….

Remember Ukraine? I seem to recall blaring headlines about a supposedly “imminent” and “massive” Russian invasion of that country: the Anglo-Saxon media was ablazewith a veritable countdown to D-Day and we were treated to ominous sightings of Russian troops and tanks gathering at the border, allegedly just awaiting the order from Putin to take Kiev. And it turns out there has been an invasion, of sorts – although it isn’t a Russian one. It’s the Kiev regime’s own foot-soldiers returning from the front and turning on their masters.

The war is going badly for the government of oligarch Petro Poroshenko. The east Ukrainians, who rose in revolt after the US-sponsored coup threw out democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, show no signs of giving up: they’ve repulsed the “anti-terrorist” campaign launched by Kiev, withstanding relentless bombardment of their cities and enduring many thousands of casualties, not to mention widespread destruction. Indeed, the brutal protracted war waged by Kiev against its own “citizens” has arguably steeled the rebels’ resolve and made any thought of reconciliation unthinkable.
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