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US Intel Stands Pat on MH-17 Shoot-down

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Despite the high stakes involved in the confrontation between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States over Ukraine, the US intelligence community has not updated its assessment on a critical turning point of the crisis – the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – since five days after the crash last July 17, according to the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

On Thursday, when I inquired about arranging a possible briefing on where that US intelligence assessment stands, DNI spokesperson Kathleen Butler sent me the same report that was distributed by the DNI on July 22, 2014, which relied heavily on claims being made about the incident on social media.

So, I sent a follow-up e-mail to Butler saying: “are you telling me that US intelligence has not refined its assessment of what happened to MH-17 since July 22, 2014?”

Her response: “Yes. The assessment is the same.”

I then wrote back: “I don’t mean to be difficult but that’s just not credible. US intelligence has surely refined its assessment of this important event since July 22.”

When she didn’t respond, I sent her some more detailed questions describing leaks that I had received about what some US intelligence analysts have since concluded, as well as what the German intelligence agency, the BND, reported to a parliamentary committee last October, according to Der Spiegel.
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Iran Fighting ISIS – Is it Really a Problem?

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As Iran continues to take an active role in helping Iraq fight ISIS, many US neocons are upset that the US military is not over there on the ground doing the fighting. They want Americans to believe that only another US invasion of Iraq – and of Syria as well – can defeat ISIS. But what is wrong with the countries of the region getting together and deciding to cooperate on a common problem?
 
While the entry of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias into ISIS-occupied areas may not be ideal – there is bound to be revenge killings and sectarian fighting – it is far more likely that the ISIS problem will be solved by the countries in the region than by US bombs and ground troops. Our bombs will continue to make the problem worse because it was our bombs that helped create the problem in the first place. What the neocons who lied us into the Iraq war don’t like to admit is that there was no ISIS problem and no al-Qaeda problem in Iraq and Syria before we invaded Iraq.
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CNN is Beating the Drums of War

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President George W. Bush’s national security advisor, Condi Rice, warned Americans that Saddam Hussein’s (nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction could result in a mushroom cloud going up over an American city. No such threat existed. But today a very real threat exists over all American cities, and the national security advisor does not notice.

The threat issues from Washington and arises from the demonization of Russia and its leadership.

Wolf Blitzer (CNN, March 13) used the cover of a news program to broadcast a propaganda performance straight out of the Third Reich or perhaps from George Orwell’s 1984. The orchestration presented Russia as a massive, aggressive military threat. The screen was filled with missiles firing and an assortment of American General Strangeloves urging provocative measures to be deployed against the Russian Threat. Blitzer’s program is part of the orchestrated propaganda campaign whose purpose is to prepare Americans for conflict with Russia.

It was such irresponsible propaganda and so many blatant lies for a media organization to sponsor that it was obvious that CNN and Wolf Blitzer had no fear of being called on the carpet for spreading war fever. The so-called “mainstream media” has been transformed into a Ministry of Propaganda.
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Ron Paul on the 'Green Light for American Empire'

RPI Chairman discusses his new essay on United States' 25 year war in the Middle East, starting with the green light US Ambassador April Glaspie gave Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, then the first US attack on Iraq in 1990, and up to today with the war in ISIS in Iraq and Syria...
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A Green Light for the American Empire

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The American Empire has been long in the making. A green light was given in 1990 to finalize that goal. Dramatic events occurred that year that allowed the promoters of the American Empire to cheer. It also ushered in the current 25-year war to solidify the power necessary to manage a world empire. Most people in the world now recognize this fact and assume that the empire is here to stay for a long time. That remains to be seen.

Empires come and go. Some pop up quickly and disappear in the same manner. Others take many years to develop and sometimes many years to totally disintegrate. The old empires, like the Greek, Roman, Spanish and many others took many years to build and many years to disappear. The Soviet Empire was one that came rather quickly and dissipated swiftly after a relatively short period of time. The communist ideology took many decades to foment the agitation necessary for the people to tolerate that system.

Since 1990 the United States has had to fight many battles to convince the world that it was the only military and economic force to contend with. Most people are now convinced and are easily intimidated by our domination worldwide with the use of military force and economic sanctions on which we generously rely. Though on the short term this seems to many, and especially for the neoconservatives, that our power cannot be challenged. What is so often forgotten is that while most countries will yield to our threats and intimidation, along the way many enemies were created.
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Get Out Peacefully: The Libertarian Principle of Secession

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For a century and a half, the idea of secession has been systematically demonized among the American public. The government’s schools spin fairy tales about the “indivisible Union” and the wise statesmen who fought to preserve it. Decentralization is portrayed as unsophisticated and backward, while nationalism and centralization are made to seem progressive and inevitable. When a smaller political unit wishes to withdraw from a larger one, its motives must be disreputable and base, while the motivations of the central power seeking to keep that unit in an arrangement it does not want are portrayed as selfless and patriotic, if they are considered at all.

As usual, disinformation campaigns are meant to make potentially liberating ideas appear toxic and dangerous, and conveying the message that anyone who seeks acceptance and popularity ought to steer clear of whatever it is — in this case, secession — the regime has condemned. But when we set the propaganda aside, we discover that support for secession means simply this: it is morally illegitimate to employ state violence against individuals who choose to group themselves differently from how the existing regime chooses to group them. They prefer to live under a different jurisdiction. Libertarians consider it unacceptable to aggress against them for this.

The libertarian principle of secession is not exactly embraced with enthusiasm by the people and institutions I call “regime libertarians.” Although these people tend to be located in and around the Beltway, regime libertarianism transcends geographical location, which is why I coined this special term to describe it.
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Will the US and Israel Send a 'Thank You' Note to Iran?

One would think news this week that the Iranians are helping defeat ISIS in Iraq would be greeted enthusiastically by those who insist we must fight the Islamist extremists. However, neocons like John McCain are furious that the US is not on the ground doing the fighting. Tune in to the Ron Paul Liberty Report to see what Ron Paul and RPI's Daniel McAdams have to say about it.
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Obama's Venezuelan Dictatorship

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Ever since the advent of the Cold War, US officials have told us that it was necessary for the United States to adopt the totalitarian structure known as the national-security state in order to combat communist totalitarianism.

We are now witnessing a similar spectacle with respect to President Obama’s exercise of dictatorial powers to deal with the socialist regime of President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela. Obama’s justification for his embrace of dictatorial powers would undoubtedly be the same as that of the old Cold Warriors — that in order to combat the dictatorial powers of Maduro, it has become necessary for Obama himself to assume and exercise dictatorial powers here in the United States.

Yesterday, President Obama issued an executive order declaring the Venezuelan government “an extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States.” According to the New York Times, as part of his executive order Obama froze the American assets of various Venezuelan law enforcement and military officials.

Imagine that — an “extraordinary threat to US national security.”
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Ron Paul: Why is Libya Going to ISIS?

The US/NATO invasion of Libya was supposed to be another cakewalk, the interventionists promised. But just like Iraq, it turned out just like Iraq! Now, after "liberation," Islamic radicals like ISIS and al-Qaeda have a strong foothold there. Join Ron Paul and Co-Host Daniel McAdams for another edition of the Ron Paul Liberty Report.
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The Intellectual as Servant of the State

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Policy intellectuals — eggheads presuming to instruct the mere mortals who actually run for office — are a blight on the republic. Like some invasive species, they infest present-day Washington, where their presence strangles common sense and has brought to the verge of extinction the simple ability to perceive reality. A benign appearance — well-dressed types testifying before Congress, pontificating in print and on TV, or even filling key positions in the executive branch — belies a malign impact. They are like Asian carp let loose in the Great Lakes.


It all began innocently enough. Back in 1933, with the country in the throes of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first imported a handful of eager academics to join the ranks of his New Deal. An unprecedented economic crisis required some fresh thinking, FDR believed. Whether the contributions of this “Brains Trust” made a positive impact or served to retard economic recovery (or ended up being a wash) remains a subject for debate even today.  At the very least, however, the arrival of Adolph Berle, Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and others elevated Washington’s bourbon-and-cigars social scene. As bona fide members of the intelligentsia, they possessed a sort of cachet.

Then came World War II, followed in short order by the onset of the Cold War. These events brought to Washington a second wave of deep thinkers, their agenda now focused on “national security.” This eminently elastic concept — more properly, “national insecurity” — encompassed just about anything related to preparing for, fighting, or surviving wars, including economics, technology, weapons design, decision-making, the structure of the armed forces, and other matters said to be of vital importance to the nation’s survival. National insecurity became, and remains today, the policy world’s equivalent of the gift that just keeps on giving.

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