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The Koch-Soros Foreign Policy Project: 'Restraint' Or Deception?

The big news last year was that billionaire oligarchs Charles Koch and George Soros were "burying the hatchet" and teaming up to fund a new US foreign policy based on restraint rather than "endless wars." From that cooperation came the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, as well as additional funding for other organizations working on "restraint." Is this a game-changer or is it an attempt to re-brand old ideas and discredited individuals and institutions? Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Trump’s Budget: More Warfare, Slightly Less Welfare

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Listening to the howls from Democrats and the applause from Republicans, one would think President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget is a radical assault on the welfare state. The truth is the budget contains some minor spending cuts, most of which are not even real cuts. Instead they are reductions in the “projected rate of growth.” This is equivalent of saying you are sticking to your diet because you ate five chocolate chip cookies when you wanted to eat ten.
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Trump Supporters Are George W Bush Supporters LARPing As Ron Paul Supporters

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The Trump administration has released its official statement to Congress justifying its drone assassination of Iran’s top military official Qassem Soleimani last month. Surprising exactly zero people, the formal notification makes no mention whatsoever of any imminent threat posed by Soleimani, a direct contradiction of this administration’s previous claims defending the assassination.

“The Trump administration has been accused of lying after the publication of a new report that undermined its reasoning for assassinating Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last month,” reports Middle East Eye. “The chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday that President Donald Trump’s official notification to Congress defending the 3 January strike failed to specify an ‘imminent threat’ posed by Soleimani.”

“This official report directly contradicts the president’s false assertion that he attacked Iran to prevent an imminent attack against United States personnel and embassies,” Democratic Representative Eliot Engel of New York said.
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White House Justifies Killing Soleimani for Past Actions, not Imminent Threats

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The White House released a memo on Friday to Congress justifying the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Despite earlier claims from the administration of Soleimani and his Quds Force planning imminent attacks on US personnel in the region, the memo uses past actions as the justification for the killing.

The memo says President Trump ordered the assassination on January 2nd “in response to an escalating series of attacks in preceding months by Iran and Iran-backed militias on United States forces and interests in the Middle East region.”

Although the memo says one purpose of the action was to “deter Iran from conducting or supporting further attacks against United States forces,” it does not cite any specific threats. Both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the killing was done to prevent imminent attacks and led on like they had the intelligence to prove it.
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The Koch-Soros Quincy Project: A Train Wreck of Neocon and 'Humanitarian' Interventionists

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Those hoping the non-interventionist cause would be given some real muscle if a couple of oligarchs who've made fortunes from global interventionism team up and pump millions into Washington think tanks will be sorely disappointed by the train wreck that is the Koch/Soros alliance.

The result thus far has not been a tectonic shift in favor of a new direction, with new faces and new ideas, but rather an opportunity for these same old Washington think tanks, now flush with even more money, to re-brand their pet interventionisms as "restraint." 

The flagship of this new alliance, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, was sold as an earth-shattering breakthrough - an "odd couple" of "left-wing" Soros and "right-wing" Koch boldly tossing differences aside to join together and "end the endless wars."

That organization is now up and running and it isn't pretty.
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New leaks shatter OPCW’s attacks on Douma whistleblowers

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For the past year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been roiled by allegations that it manipulated an investigation to falsely accuse the Syrian government of a chemical weapons attack. An OPCW report released in March 2019 lent credence to claims by Islamist militants and Western governments that the Syrian military killed around 40 civilians with toxic gas in the city of Douma in April 2018. The accusation against Damascus led to US-led military strikes on Syrian government sites that same month.

But leaked internal documents published by Wikileaks show that OPCW inspectors who deployed to Douma rejected the official story, and complained that higher-level officials excluded them from the post-mission process, distorted key evidence, and ignored their findings.

After months of virtual silence, the OPCW has responded with an internal inquiry that lambasts two veteran officials who raised internal objections, attacking their credibility and qualifications. The OPCW’s self-described “independent investigation” describes the pair as rogue, low-level actors who played minor roles in the Douma mission and lacked access to crucial evidence. In a briefing to member states, OPCW Director General Fernando Arias dismissed them as disgruntled ex-employees. The two “are not whistle-blowers,” Arias said. “They are individuals who could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence.”
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More Lies on Iran: The White House Just Can’t Help Itself as New Facts Emerge

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Admittedly the news cycle in the United States seldom runs longer than twenty-four hours, but that should not serve as an excuse when a major story that contradicts what the Trump Administration has been claiming appears and suddenly dies. The public that actually follows the news might recall a little more than one month ago the United States assassinated a senior Iranian official named Qassem Soleimani.
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No Quid Pro Quo? Trump Cancels Palestine Security Funding

President Trump's State Department has for the first time cancelled US funding for Palestinian security forces who cooperate with their Israeli counterparts to reduce violence in the West Bank. As Israel appears poised to annex the West Bank, is this a pre-text for that action? Is there a quid pro quo for Trump in suspending this aid that no one wants to talk about? Watch today's Liberty Report...
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