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Newsweek Gets Russia Experts from the Atlantic Council, the Atlantic Council & the Atlantic Council

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Sources are everything to a journalist. Without them, their stories would be hollow. Imagine there was a ready-made list of experts always willing to bring that crucial air of credibility to any story about...Russia, for example.

Well, it turns out there is — and that list can be found on the website of the Atlantic Council — a think tank well-known for its ceaseless and enormous hostility toward Russia. Wherever there is an opportunity to throw balance and fairness to the wind in a story concerning Russia, an Atlantic Council analyst will always show up to lend a hand.

You see, experts and analysts bring the believability and legitimacy to a story; if the expert said it, that must count for something, is the general theory. These ‘experts’ provide journalists with insight into the issues and places they report on — so a journalist covering, say, Eastern Europe and Russia would make it their business to cultivate a list of people who know a little something about that region’s political, economic, social and cultural landscape who they can then approach for analysis on various stories and topics. Usually, it’s a good idea, too, to take these experts from a broad spectrum of society and political thought, so that readers are given a well-rounded and balanced view of a particular issue.

Or, you could scrap all that and just choose from the same pool of people who think exactly the same way — in this case, the Atlantic Council — over and over again. Much handier...and sure, who’s going to notice, anyway? That seems to be the modus operandi for a number of journalists on the Russia beat. Atlantic Council ‘analysis’ is prevalent across the entire Russia-focused Western media, but Newsweek seems to have a particular problem with over-reliance on the US-government and arms manufacturer-funded think tank.
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LinkedIn Billionaire ‘Sorry’ for Funding ‘Russian bot’ Disinformation Campaign Against Roy Moore

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The co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, has apologized to Republican Roy Moore for funding an organisation that faked a "Russian bot" involvement to mar his election campaign in Alabama.

American Engagement Technologies (AET), which Hoffman gave $750,000 to, put $100,000 of the entrepreneur’s money towards New Knowledge, a cybersecurity firm which fabricated some 1,000 Russian language Twitter accounts to follow Moore.

The company used the tactic to link the controversial Republican to so-called Russian influence campaigns and then fed it to the mainstream media. They also created misleading Facebook pages urging Republicans to support a "write-in" candidate instead of supporting Moore. The ploy was revealed by New York Times earlier this month.

“I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing,” Hoffman told the Washington Post. “For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET — the organization I did support — more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject.”
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The Mattis Dilemma

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The resignation letter of Secretary of Defense James Mattis that was published last Thursday revealed much of the Deep State mindset that has produced the foreign policy catastrophes of the past seventeen years. Mattis, an active duty general in the Marine Corps who reportedly occasionally reads books, received a lot of good press during his time at Defense, sometimes being referred to as “the only adult in the room” when President Donald Trump’s national security and foreign policy team was meeting. Conveniently forgotten are Mattis comments relating to how to “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” His sobriquet in the Corps was “Mad Dog.”

In the media firestorm that has followed upon General Mattis’s resignation, he has been generally lauded as a highly experienced and respected leader who has numerous friends on both sides of the aisle in Congress. Of course, the press coverage should be taken with a grain of salt as it is designed less to praise Mattis and more to get at Trump over the decision to leave Syria, which is being assailed by both neoliberals and neoconservatives who believe that war is the health of the state.

The arguments against the Trump decisions to depart from Syria and downsize in Afghanistan are contrived for the most part and based on the premise that American intervention in places that Washington deems not to be sufficiently promoting democracy, rule of law and free trade is a good thing. Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Syria, put it nicely when discussing the reaction in the media: “Trump's critics…will have the vapors about 'losing ground to Russia', 'making Iran's day', and 'abdicating influence,' but their criticism is ill-founded. Contrary to their apparent belief, the US does not have a God-given right to send its forces anywhere on the planet it deems fit. Withdrawal will see the US in one respect at least follow the international rules-based system we are so fond of enjoining on others, and will therefore be a victory of sorts for upholders of international law.”
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Looking To 2019 At The Ron Paul Liberty Report

Thanks to President Trump's surprise announcement, all of a sudden America is talking about ending wars! Naysayers may tell us that the president won't follow through with his decision to remove all US troops from Syria and several thousand from Afghanistan. They miss the point! The neocons, mainstream media, and even some progressives suddenly find themselves defending endless and pointless wars. Our non-interventionist views are being actively debated. We believe 2019 may be the most exciting year yet for the ideas of peace and prosperity. Join today's Liberty Report to hear some of our plans...and how you can be a part of it...
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Senate Report on Russian Interference Was Written by Information Warriors Behind Alabama 'False Flag' Operation

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On December 17, two reports detailing ongoing Russian interference operations commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public. They generated a week’s worth of headlines and sent members of Congress and cable news pundits into a Cold War frenzy. According to the report, everything from the Green Party’s Jill Stein to Instagram to Pokemon Go to the African American population had been used and confused by the deceptive Facebook pages of a private Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.

Never mind that 56 percent of the troll farm’s pages appeared after the election, that 25 percent of them were seen by no one, or that their miniscule online presence paled in comparison to the millions of dollars spent on social media by the two major presidential campaigns and their supporters to sway voters. This was an act of war that demanded immediate government action.

According to Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the reports were “a wake up call” and a “bombshell” that was certain to bring “long-overdue guardrails when it comes to social media.” His Republican counterpart on the committee, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, hailed the research papers as “proof positive that one of the most important things we can do is increase information sharing between the social media companies who can identify disinformation campaigns and the third-party experts who can analyze them.”
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Syria Withdrawal Enrages the Chickenhawks

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President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw from Syria has been greeted, predictably, with an avalanche of condemnation culminating in last Thursday’s resignation by Defense Secretary James Mattis. The Mattis resignation letter focused on the betrayal of allies, though it was inevitably light on details, suggesting that the Marine Corps General was having some difficulty in discerning that American interests might be somewhat different than those of feckless and faux allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia that are adept at manipulating the levers of power in Washington and in the media.
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Was Jim Mattis the Last 'Adult' in Trump’s Room?

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The idea Mattis was the “adult in the room,” the moral and intellectual restraint on Trump’s evil wishes, is tired. We’ve been recycling that one for two years and more now, as various “adults” were christened as such and rose and fell in the eyes of the media — Flynn, McMaster, Tillerson, Kelly, and now Mattis (the media regards Pompeo and Bolton as “dangerous” and thus not adults. Nobody else seems to make the news.)

Despite these adults’ irregularly scheduled regular departures, there has been no catastrophe, no war with Iran or China, no dismantlement of NATO, no invasion of Freedonia. We can certainly argue over the rights and wrongs of Trump’s foreign policy decisions (for example, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement) as with any other president, but that clearly falls within the boundaries of standard disagreements, not Apocalypse 2018: Trump Unleashed. The big news is that none of the terrible things and in reality, tweets aside, very few of the small bad things, have come to pass. It’s almost as if all the predictions have been… wrong.

Somewhat unique to the Trump era is the idea cabinet officials, appointed by the President and who work for the executive branch, are supposed to be part of some underground #Resistance check and balance system. One pundit critically observed “If Trump holds to form, he will look for a new secretary of Defense who sees the job as turning his preferences into policy rather acting as a guardrail on his impulses.” Leaving out the hyperbole, isn’t that what all presidents look for in their cabinet, people who will help them enact policy?


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Troops Out of Syria and Afghanistan? That’s a Good Start!

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We all had a big shock this week when, seemingly out of the blue, President Trump announced that he was removing US troops from Syria and would draw down half of the remaining US troops in Afghanistan. The president told us the troops were in Syria to fight ISIS and with ISIS nearly gone the Syrians and their allies could finish the job.
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Fallout Of Trump's Syria Withdrawal - Why Erdogan Does Not Want To Invade

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President Trump's strategic decision to withdraw US troops from Syria creates some significant fallout. The US and international borg is enraged that Trump ends an occupation that is illegal under international as well as US domestic law. "That's un-American!"

Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis resigned from his position effective February 28. He disagreed with the president's decision. It was the second time in five years that an elected commander in chief had a serious conflict with Mattis' hawkishness. President Obama fired him as Central Command chief for urging a more aggressive Iran policy. Mattis is also extremely hawkish towards Russia and China.

President Trump campaigned on lessening US involvement in wars abroad. He wants to get reelected. He does not need a Secretary of Defense that involves him in more wars that have little to none defined purpose.

Mattis is an ingrained imperialist. He always asked for more money for the military and for more meddling abroad.  One of Mattis' little notice acts as Defense Secretary was a unannounced change in the mission of the Pentagon...
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