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John McCain’s Disastrous Militaristic Legacy

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When Sen. John McCain passed away last August, he was lauded far and wide for his long career of public service. Rep. John Lewis, the famous civil-rights activist, hailed McCain as a “warrior for peace.” In reality, McCain embodied a toxic mix of moralism and militarism that worked out disastrously for America and the world.

In his funeral eulogies, McCain was portrayed as a hero and a visionary. But early in his congressional career, he barely avoided indictment as part of the Keating Five Savings and Loan bribery scandal that cost taxpayers billions of dollars. McCain repaired his image by becoming a champion of campaign-finance reform and new restrictions on political contributions. In 2002, Congress enacted the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which proved more effective at suppressing criticism than at reforming political life. The McCain-Feingold Act authorized harsh penalties for private citizens who accused their rulers of abusing their power. It prohibited most issue ads by private groups on television or radio in the months before a presidential or congressional election.

In 2003, the Supreme Court (by a 5-4 margin) upheld the new law in response to activities with “a significant risk of actual and apparent corruption.” Justice Antonin Scalia noted in a dissent to the decision upholding the law, that the McCain-Feingold act “cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government.” But that was fine with McCain, since he declared that if he had the power, he would outlaw all negative political ads. He declared, “I detest the negative advertising. I think it is one of the worst things that has ever happened in American politics.” Banning negative ads but not political lies was McCain’s notion of a level playing field.
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Fox News Doubles Down on the Big Lie and Venezuela

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It doesn’t matter what corporate alphabet propaganda network you watch, you’re going to get the same line on Venezuela. 

Here we have Trish Regan, a fixture at Fox News, telling numerous lies about Venezuela, lies put out by neocons and their captured president. 

Ms. Regan’s rehearsed outrage centers on China for announcing it will help Venezuela get its power back in working order.

China, of course, is interested in Venezuela’s oil, same as the United States, or I should say the transnational corporations and banks that own the US government.

Regan says the latter is a conspiracy theory. Because Venezuela is in our “backyard,” it should be told in no uncertain terms selling oil to China is forbidden. “It matters that the others (China) don’t get it,” declared Ms. Regan.
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The Trump Phenomenon as Seen in Europe

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President Donald Trump is frequently seen through the prism of an American media that despises him and wants to discredit him so that he can either be impeached soon or defeated in 2020. To a certain extent the foreign media has picked up on that depiction of Trump, emphasizing his boorish qualities and narcissism while neglecting what he has or has not accomplished while in office.
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Senate Votes To End Yemen War...Will Trump Veto?

The Senate has passed "war powers" legislation ordering the president to cease and desist his cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the destruction of Yemen. A House vote is expected soon, which would throw the issue to the president who has promised a veto. Will there be political fallout for a president failing to accede to the will of Congress on matters of war and peace? Tune in to the Liberty Report...
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Rep. Ilhan Omar: Riding The Third Rail - With Guest Phil Giraldi

Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar (MN) has stirred up both political parties with her comments on the Israel Lobby, has infuriated the Republicans with her aggressive line of questioning for Trump's "regime change" expert Elliott Abrams, and has driven the Democrats mad with her criticisms of Barack Obama. Is she on the right track, or off the rails? Today on the Liberty Report...
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US Regime Change Blueprint Proposed Venezuelan Electricity Blackouts as 'Watershed Event' for 'Galvanizing Public Unrest'

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September 2010 memo by a US-funded soft power organization that helped train Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido and his allies identifies the potential collapse of the country’s electrical sector as “a watershed event” that “would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate.”
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Ethiopia Crash of Boeing 737 Max Might be Latest Example of Backfiring Safety Efforts

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Another Boeing 737 crashed Sunday in Ethiopia, killing all 157 aboard. This is the second crash of the new Boeing model Max 8 since October. Investigators have only begun sorting out this tragedy but some experts suggest that the plane’s automated safety software may have prevented the pilot from preventing the fatal plunge.

If software and sensors designed to prevent crashes actually increased the risk of catastrophe, then the Boeing accidents are another reminder that safety policies can have unintended fatal consequences.

Unfortunately, policymakers routinely ignore the unforeseen costs of well-intended safety efforts. For instance, the Transportation Security Administration, seeking to make air travel perfectly safe from terrorists in the months after 9/11, spawned airport checkpoint regimes that are so intrusive that many Americans choose to drive instead. A Cornell University study estimated that TSA’s heavy-handed policies helped boost traffic fatalities by at least 1,200 additional deaths.
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War Drums: US Diplomats Ordered Home From Venezuela

Secretary of State Pompeo has ordered all US diplomats to return from Venezuela. Their presence in country is "constraining" US foreign policy, he says. Is this the pre-cursor to a US attack? What about the power outages in Venezuela? A US cyber-attack? Are the neocons about to pull the trigger? Former US Diplomat and Senior Advisor to Senate Republicans Jim Jatras joins today's Liberty Report...
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Bruce Ohr, Liar or Moron?

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Last week's release by Congressman Collins of the interview transcript of Bruce Ohr, who appeared before the House Judiciary Committee last year, is quite damning of the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ). If our system of justice is truly blind and committed to fairness, there is little doubt that former FBI and DOJ officials - Comey, McCabe, Yates and Rosenstein - will be facing serious legal jeopardy. They have lied.

The biggest "revelations" from Ohr are as follows:

1) Christopher Steele, a "former" MI-6 officer, had been a paid FBI informant for several years.

2) Bruce Ohr met with Glenn Simpson in August 2016, which totally contradicts Simpson's previous sworn testimony that he did not meet with Ohr until after the 2016 election.

3) Ohr informed FBI and senior DOJ officials, who signed off on the FISA application in October 2016 to spy on Carter Page, that the "dossier" had a tainted political history.

I put "revelations" in quotations because we already knew most of this - specifically Steele's status as a paid informant and the failure of the FBI and DOJ to verify the accuracy of the so-called dossier. The new meat on the bone is Ohr's claim that he met with Simpson in August 2016. Simpson swore under oath that no such meeting took place. That's a substantive lie and, if the Flynn case is a guide, Mr. Simpson will be looking at prison.
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NYT’s Exposé on the Lies About Burning Aid Trucks in Venezuela Shows How US Government and Media Spread Pro-War Propaganda

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Every major US war of the last several decades has begun the same way: the US government fabricates an inflammatory, emotionally provocative lie which large US media outlets uncritically treat as truth while refusing at air questioning or dissent, thus inflaming primal anger against the country the US wants to attack. That’s how we got the Vietnam War (North Vietnam attacks US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin); the Gulf War (Saddam ripped babies from incubators); and, of course, the war in Iraq (Saddam had WMDs and formed an alliance with Al Qaeda).

This was exactly the tactic used on February 23, when the narrative shifted radically in favor of those US officials who want regime change operations in Venezuela. That’s because images were broadcast all over the world of trucks carrying humanitarian aid burning in Colombia on the Venezuela border. US officials who have been agitating for a regime change war in Venezuela – Marco Rubio, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, the head of USAid Mark Green – used Twitter to spread classic Fake News: they vehemently stated that the trucks were set on fire, on purpose, by President Nicolas Maduro’s forces.

As it always does – as it always has done from its inception when Wolf Blitzer embedded with US troops – CNN led the way in not just spreading these government lies but independently purporting to vouch for their truth. On February 24, CNN told the world what we all now know is an absolute lie:  that “a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks,” though it generously added that “the network’s journalists are unsure if the trucks were burned on purpose.”
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