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Watergate Redux or ‘Deep State’ Coup?

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President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday reflected a growing concern inside the White House that the long-rumored scheme by “deep state” operatives to overturn the results of the 2016 election may have been more than just rumors.

The fear grew that Comey and other senior officials in the US intelligence community had concluded last year that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump was a suitable future president, albeit for different reasons. I’m told that Clinton was seen as dangerously hawkish and Trump as dangerously unqualified, opinions privately shared by then-President Barack Obama.

So, according to this account, plans were made last summer to damage both Clinton and Trump, with the hope of putting a more stable and less risky person in the Oval Office – with key roles in this scheme played by Comey, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

When I first heard about this supposed cabal in the middle of last year, I dismissed it as something more fitting a Jason Bourne movie than the real world. But – to my amazement – the US intelligence community then began intervening in the presidential campaign in unprecedented ways.
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No Evidence of Russian Intrusion in US Political System

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I think this is good progress between the US and Russia, but there will be plenty of individuals in this country who complain about it because it just seems like they are very content to keep the aggravation going, Ron Paul told RT.

The focus of a meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday was the de-escalation of the Syrian conflict.

Despite the positive overtones, the American media preferred to take a different angle focusing on the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections and the firing of the FBI chief James Comey.

RT: Sergey Lavrov says President Trump wants productive relations with Moscow after the previous administration soured them. Can they be improved considering the storm over the alleged ties between the Trump team and Russia?

Ron Paul: Absolutely. And I think that has been. What is going on right now is an improvement. I think what is going on in Syria with these de-escalation zones; I think that is good. They are talking to each other. I just don’t understand why sometimes there is an impression that we shouldn’t be having diplomatic conversations … All the tough rhetoric doesn’t do any good. Trump’s statement to me sounded pretty good. I think the whole thing about the elections, putting that aside would be a wise thing because the evidence is not there for any intrusion in our election by the Russians. I think this is good progress, and there will be plenty individuals in this country who complain about it because it just seems like they are very content to keep the aggravation going. Right now, the relationship from my viewpoint has greatly improved. I think that is good.
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Arming The Kurds - A Dangerous Idea

The Turks are not at all happy about President Trump's plan to provide heavy weapons to the Kurds fighting as US proxies against ISIS in Syria. The Turks bombed some 20 Kurdish fighters in Syria just weeks ago but with US advanced weapons in Kurdish hands, future such missions may be risky. Would the Kurds use American weapons to attack the Turks? And why does President Trump believe that digging up President Obama's already-failed strategy for eastern Syria will work this time? We take a look in today's Liberty Report...
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Syria Doesn’t Need Our Help Against Terrorists

What was the real reason for the Lavrov/Tillerson/Trump meeting in Washington today? Likely it was to work out the new facts on the ground in Syria, where the "safe zones" that President Trump called for not long ago have actually been established through cooperation between Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Though the US was not a party to the agreement that created the "de-escalation" zones, it is important for Washington to understand what they mean and how the matter will proceed. Is this a sign that the Trump Administration is looking for a way out of the seemingly intractable Syrian mess created by Obama's interventionism? It is possible and would be a good sign that realism has once again entered US foreign policy decisions. I am interviewed on the implications of today's dramatic events:
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Comey Fired...Now Fire The FBI!

While everyone is talking about President Trump firing James Comey, Director of the FBI, what we should be talking about is whether we should even have an FBI. Look at the track record of this organization -- putting Americans in jail for opposing war, spying on Americans for being in peace groups, incinerating Americans at Waco, manufacturing terrorist plots and taking credit for thwarting them, and so on -- and ask whether the FBI has been a benefit to our liberty and safety or not. Forget about Comey -- it's the whole system that needs to be fired!
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McCain Hammers Tillerson On Human Rights: Why The Panic?

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) published an op-ed in the New York Times yesterday taking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to task for Tillerson's recent comment that our national security goals overseas may on some occasions preclude the export of our human rights values. In McCain's view, it is our duty always and everywhere to export American values and help "liberate" oppressed masses overseas. But what about McCain's own record? How are the people doing in those countries "liberated" by the policies he has endorsed? Is the average Iraqi, or Libyan, or Syrian better off now, after US military intervention to "promote our values"? Most likely McCain's article is meant to scuttle tomorrow's meeting between Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Will McCain succeed? We discuss in today's Liberty Report...
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On That Day Began Lies

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Like many other mainstream political commentators, Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum is outraged and indignant over Donald Trump’s public praise and open embrace of foreign dictators who are allied or friendly with the US government. In an op-ed in the Post’s Sunday edition entitled “How Trump Makes Dictators Stronger,” Applebaum argues that Trump’s words and actions constitute a “paradigm shift” for the United States because they are now, she asserts, going to solidify pro-US dictators, justify their brutality, and reinforce their power.

That’s sheer nonsense. It’s not Trump’s words or actions that are solidifying and reinforcing the brutal, tyrannical rule of these regimes. It is US foreign aid — money and weaponry — that does that. Trump’s words and actions simply confirm the truth.

As I pointed out in last week’s article entitled “The National-Security State’s Tradition of Embracing Dictators,” the US government has been providing cash and weaponry to dictatorial regimes ever since the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II.

What is the purpose of such aid, which naturally comes from US taxpayers, compliments of the IRS? To help those pro-US dictatorial regimes maintain their power over their citizenry in exchange for their loyalty to the US government. The US-provided money funds the troops, intelligence agents, police, jails, and torture centers that enable the dictatorships to retain power over their citizenry. The US-provided weaponry provides the pro-US regimes with the ability to kill people who dissent or object or to take them into custody for punishment, indoctrination, torture, or execution.
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Trump's First Trip: Will He 'Stabilize' The Middle East?

President Trump is off to Saudi Arabia and Israel later this month, with stops at the Vatican and at a NATO summit. Since the election, a once-critical Trump has flip-flopped on Saudi Arabia, now he's expected to provide further US assistance to the ongoing Saudi war on Yemen. But much of the Saudi visit will no-doubt focus on something Trump shares with the Saudi leadership: violent antipathy toward Iran. We preview the President's trip in today's Liberty Report...
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ProPublica Attacks First Amendment, Cloudflare Edition

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You’re almost certainly interacting with Cloudflare right now. Feel OK?

Cloudflare is a web services company that, among other things, protects sites against various malicious attacks and hacks. They don’t “host” data in most cases, but work as a kind of middleman between you and the server out there somewhere on the web that has the actual data. Cloudflare processes more web traffic than Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Instagram, and Wikipedia combined, because it handles data for most of those places at the same time. On average, you have interacted with a Cloudflare service 500 times today. This blog uses Cloudflare, as does the FBI, OKCupid and The Daily Stormer.

You may not be as familiar with The Daily Stormer, but it is a nasty white supremacist site. They feature all sorts of hate, with a particular focus on anti-Semitism. Real garbage. But garbage fully protected under America’s long tradition of free speech (and yes, I understand the legal side of the First Amendment applies to government and not private businesses, but the broader concept of free speech underlies every democracy and has been the cornerstone of our inalienable rights in America. America at its best has always sought ways to broaden speech and access to ideas, not game ways to block them.)

Yet in another example of assault on free speech from the left, investigative journalists ProPublica are now “outing” Cloudflare for providing business services to The Daily Stormer.
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President Trump: Cancel Your Saudi Trip, Play More Golf

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President Trump is about to embark on his first foreign trip, where he will stop in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, before attending a NATO meeting in Brussels and the G-7 summit in Sicily. The media and pundits have loudly wondered why hasn’t he gone on a foreign trip sooner. I wonder why go at all?


What does the president hope to achieve with these meetings? This is a president who came into office with promises that we would finally start to mind our own business overseas. In December, he said that the policy of US “intervention and chaos” overseas must come to an end. Instead, he is jumping into a region – the Middle East – that has consumed the presidencies of numerous of his predecessors.
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