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Obama Should Release MH-17 Intel

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It has been a year since the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, resulting in the death of 298 passengers and crew. The initial response by the US government supported the contention that the likely perpetrators were anti-government forces in southeastern Ukraine (the customary media misnomer for them is “separatists”), and that they were possibly aided directly by Moscow.

On July 29, 2014, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) suggested that the United States Government report publicly what intelligence it actually had relating to the shoot-down lest the incident turn into another paroxysm of blaming Russia without cause. We are still waiting for that report.

Executive Summary

Tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine are fast reaching a danger point. A major contributing factor in the American public’s negative perception of Moscow is last year’s downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

A public report detailing the investigation of the incident by the Dutch Safety authorities is expected by October but the draft is reportedly already in the hands of the United States government. There is speculation that the report will dovetail with media and leaked government sources that have placed primary blame on the ethnic Russian Ukrainians in southeastern Ukraine opposed to the government put in place after the Western-engineered coup of Feb. 22, 2014, in Kiev.
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The American Nightmare: The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System

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Justice in America is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Despite the fact that Deskovic’s DNA did not match what was found at the murder scene, he was singled out by police as a suspect because he wept at the victim’s funeral (he was 16 years old at the time), then badgered over the course of two months into confessing his guilt. He was eventually paid $6.5 million in reparation.

James Bain spent 35 years in prison for the kidnapping and rape of a 9-year-old boy, but he too was innocent of the crime. Despite the fact that the prosecutor’s case was flimsy—it hinged on the similarity of Bain’s first name to the rapist’s, Bain’s ownership of a red motorcycle, and a misidentification of Bain in a lineup by a hysterical 9-year-old boy—Bain was sentenced to life in prison. He was finally freed after DNA testing proved his innocence, and was paid $1.7 million.

Mark Weiner got off relatively easy when you compare his experience to the thousands of individuals who are spending lifetimes behind bars for crimes they did not commit.
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US Military Seeks Reasons To Prolong Afghanistan Occupation

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When the US attacked Afghanistan the purpose was to remove the Taliban government which had given guest status to the al-Qaeda leadership. Only a few weeks later, that job was done.


The alleged purpose of the occupation of Afghanistan then changed into hunting down al-Qaeda remnants. But those had already fled to Pakistan and elsewhere.

The US military instead started to hunt and kill former Taliban members even when those were just local farmers or former Taliban leaders who had given up any fighting and were willing to cooperate. This manhunt and the accompanying torture and killing of civilians revived the Taliban movement and a new revolt, now against the US occupation and its puppet government, started. The alleged purpose of the US military in Afghanistan changed again.
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Ron Paul at His Best

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This is the best book by Ron Paul that I have had the joy to read. It is an intimate look into the private thought life of Ron Paul as he grew up and lived in an age under the constant threat of war. He talks about his experiences growing up during World War II, how the events of the Korean war shaped his school years and how the war in Vietnam caught him up as a young medical practitioner.

He talks about his intellectual journey and what resources brought him to a pro-peace philosophy. Of course, he ties everything together into a consistent liberty philosophy as he did with his entire political career. In this book, he actually chides himself for not being more anti-war!

This book may be the closest to an autobiography that we may get from Dr. Paul. It is chock-full of anecdotes, quotes from sources that he has gleaned from over time, and each chapter heading includes lines of poetry that are appropriate to accompany each chapter’s main point. If his Youtube videos of house floor speeches and grillings of Fed chairmen and Presidential debates show the analytical and public side of Ron Paul, this book shows his emotional and deeply personal side. He mourns the tragedy of people he knew who were sent off to senseless wars never to come back, recounts stories of war in which the individuals sent to fight were able to rebel against the chickenhawks who sent them, and he fiercely cuts down the political class and military-industrial complex that profits off of lies and murder.
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Iran Agreement Boosts Peace, Defeats Neocons

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Last week’s successfully concluded Iran agreement is one of the two most important achievements of an otherwise pretty dismal Obama presidency. Along with the ongoing process of normalizing relations with Cuba, this move shows that diplomacy can produce peaceful, positive changes. It also shows that sometimes taking a principled position means facing down overwhelming opposition from all sides and not backing down. The president should be commended for both of these achievements.
 
The agreement has reduced the chance of a US attack on Iran, which is a great development. But the interventionists will not give up so easily. Already they are organizing media and lobbying efforts to defeat the agreement in Congress. Will they have enough votes to over-ride a presidential veto of their rejection of the deal? It is unlikely, but at this point if the neocons can force the US out of the deal it may not make much difference. Which of our allies, who are now facing the prospect of mutually-beneficial trade with Iran, will be enthusiastic about going back to the days of a trade embargo? Which will support an attack on an Iran that has proven to be an important trading partner and has also proven reasonable in allowing intrusive inspections of its nuclear energy program?
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Praise To Barack Obama For Stiffing The War Party — Peace Is Finally Being Given A Chance

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I have rarely found anything President Obama has done to be praiseworthy, and believe his domestic policies of Keynesian borrow and spend and incessant statist intervention in capitalist enterprise to be especially deplorable. But finally he has stood up to the War Party—and that could mark a decisive turning point in rolling back Washington’s destructive interventionism and imperial pretensions in the Middle East and, indeed, around the world.

The Iranian nuclear agreement is a decisive refutation of the War Party’s hoary claim that Iran is hell-bent upon obtaining nuclear weapons. This deafening but untruthful narrative was long ago debunked by the 2007 National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs). These authoritative findings were issued by the nation’s 16 top intelligence agencies in November 2007, and they held that what had possibly been a small-scale Iranian weapons research effort was abandoned in 2003 and never restarted. That NIE verdict has been reiterated several times since then.

Not surprisingly, it was also these NIE findings that stopped cold in its tracks George Bush’s plan to bomb the alleged Iranian nuclear sites in late 2007. In his memoirs the Great Decider admitted that it would have been hard to explain to the American public why he was launching another war to eliminate an alleged Iranian WMD threat when his own intelligence agencies had just concluded it did not even exist!
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US/Israeli/Saudi ‘Behavior’ Problems

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There is a madness in how the mainstream US media presents the world to the American people, a delusional perspective that arguably creates an existential threat to humanity’s survival. We have seen this pattern in the biased depiction of the Ukraine crisis and now in how Official Washington is framing the debate over the Iranian nuclear agreement.

In this American land of make-believe, Iran is assailed as the chief instigator of instability in the Middle East. Yet, any sane and informed person would dispute that assessment, noting the far greater contributions made by Israel, Saudi Arabia and, indeed, the United States.

Israel’s belligerence, including frequently attacking its Arab neighbors and brutally repressing the Palestinians, has roiled the region for almost 70 years. Not to mention that Israel is a rogue nuclear state that has been hiding a sophisticated atomic-bomb arsenal.
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Central Banking and War: Ron Paul’s ‘Swords Into Plowshares’ reviewed

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It’s July 17th, which means that Ron Paul’s new book “Swords Into Plowshares” is finally available. And what a book it is. Only the hardest of hearts and most closed of minds could read Dr. Paul’s new book and fail to be convinced of the futility of war. But what interests us the most is Dr. Paul’s discussion of the connection between central banking and war. Almost since the first banks were developed, bankers have funded government wars in exchange for receiving privileges from government. The relationship continues today, but very few politicians ever touch on it. So what does Dr. Paul have to say about central banking and warmaking?

Dr. Paul’s book starts off with personal reminiscences of life during times of war. It includes his personal experiences during World War II, his awareness of the possibility of being drafted to fight in Korea, and his eventual drafting into the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Included among his personal recollections are his comments on rationing during World War II. As a child, that was just the system that was in place, but his future understanding of Austrian economics allowed him to look back on that period of time and realize how detrimental to an economy war could be. In particular, it allowed Dr. Paul to continuously fight against those economists who repeat the lie that government spending in World War II pulled the United States out of the Great Depression. Au contraire – the government war effort did nothing for the common man, as the rationing system merely extended the misery of the Depression.

Of real interest too is Dr. Paul’s discussion of how his views developed over time. While his personal experiences always led him to be uncomfortable with the idea of war, his nascent antiwar impulses took a long time to manifest themselves fully.
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New Law Says Web Sites Would Have to Inform Law Enforcement about Readers’ ‘Terrorist Activity’

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Social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube would be required to report “terrorist” videos and other content posted by users to federal authorities under legislation approved this past week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The measure, contained in the 2016 intelligence authorization, still has to be voted on by the full Senate. The measure applies to “electronic communication service providers,” which includes e-mail services such as Google and Yahoo. “Posted content” would likely also apply to readers’ comments, and in theory to authors’ postings such as this one. 

Companies such as Twitter have recently stepped up efforts to remove terrorist content in response to growing concerns that they have not done enough to stem whatever the government deems propaganda. Twitter removed 10,000 accounts over a two-day period in April. Officials want more. “In our discussions with parts of the executive branch, they said there have been cases where there have been posts of one sort or another taken down” that might have been useful to know about, a Senate aide said.
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