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US Air Force Blames Lack Of October ISIS Strikes On 'Poor Weather'

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On September 30, a Russian general walked into the US embassy in Baghdad and told US diplomats that Moscow would commence air operations in Syria in “one hour.” 

It would be best, he said, if the US stayed out of the way. 

The general was affiliated with the newly created Iraqi intelligence cell staffed by Russia, Syria, and Iran. It was both hilarious and intriguing that Moscow gave such short notice and didn’t share any information about who Russia intended to target.
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The Sham Syrian Peace Conference

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I have always been enthusiastic in my support for peace negotiations, which have been neglected all too often in internal and international conflicts. But it is clear that the international conference on Syria that held its first meeting in Vienna on October 30 is a sham conference that is not capable of delivering any peace negotiations, and that the Obama administration knew that perfectly well from the start.

The administration was touting the fact that Iran was invited to participate in the conference, unlike the previous United Nations-sponsored gathering on Syria in January and February 2014. That unfortunate conference had excluded Iran at the insistence of the United States and its Sunni allies, even though several states without the slightest capacity to contribute anything to a peace settlement — as well as the Vatican — were among the 40 non-Syrian invited participants. 

Iran’s participation in the Vienna conference represents a positive step. Nevertheless, the conference was marked by an even more fundamental absurdity: none of the Syrian parties to the war were invited. The 2014 talks at least had representatives of the Assad regime and some of the armed opposition. The obvious implication of that decision is that the external patrons of the Syrian parties — especially Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia  — are expected to move toward the outline of a settlement and then use their clout with the clients to force the acceptance of the deal.
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An Age of Innocence, in Retrospect

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Ahmed Chalabi, age 71, has died of a heart attack in Baghdad. As a close observer of his unique role in provoking the Iraq War – a foreign policy and strategic military disaster 12 years ago – I can’t help but look back on that time as an age of innocence. That may sound ironic, but I think it’s true given that many Americans now see that even elections don’t change much.

As painful as it was to watch the US government plunge into the Iraq War based on false WMD warnings – raised in part by Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress – there was still a sense of hope back then that the truth could be told and the culprits could be held accountable. That seems now to have been a naïve dream.
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Who Downed Metrojet Flight 9268?

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First they said the downing of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 was most likely due to Russia’s “notorious” regional airlines, which supposedly are rickety and unreliable. The Egyptian government denied that terrorism is even a possibility, with Egyptian despot Abdel Fatah al-Sisi proclaiming:
“When there is propaganda that it crashed because of Isis, this is one way to damage the stability and security of Egypt and the image of Egypt. Believe me, the situation in Sinai – especially in this limited area – is under our full control.
However, it soon came out that the person in charge of Sharm el-Sheikh airport, where the Russia plane had landed before taking off again, had been “replaced” – oh, but notbecause of anything to do with the downing of the Russian passenger plane! As the Egyptian authorities put it:
“Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt’s civilian airports, says airport chief Abdel-Wahab Ali has been ‘promoted’ to become his assistant. He said the move late Wednesday had nothing to do with media skepticism surrounding the airport’s security. Mahgoub said Ali is being replaced by Emad el-Balasi, a pilot.”

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Gitmo Reflects Disdain For The Constitution

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Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has an op-ed in today’s New York Times entitled “Let’s Finally Close Guantanamo,” in which she points out what critics of the Guantanamo facility have been saying for years: It is a very effective tool that overseas terrorist organizations use to recruit new members. Feinstein calls for closing down the facility, transferring the remaining prisoners to the United States, and prosecuting them in US federal courts.

Among President Obama’s most notable campaign promises was to close the US national-security state’s prison camp and special tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay. As Obama enters into his last year in office, it is becoming increasingly likely that his promise is going to go unfulfilled. That’s because the Republican members of Congress, along with the US national-security establishment, are not likely to let it happen.
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Without Authority, Obama's Syria War Illegal

As the US State Department goes around the world lecturing other countries about how they must adhere to the rule of law, the White House again proves it is one of the most lawless entities on earth. The Constitution is clear; the War Powers Resolution is clear: the president is not allowed to commit the US military to combat without a Congressional declaration or at least authorization. Yet the president has been bombing Syria for a year and now is sending in US ground troops with no legal authority to do so. Congress is the president's partner in crime and we are the victims - today on the Liberty Report...
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CIA, Saudis To Give ‘Select’ Syrian Militants Weapons Capable Of Downing Commercial Airliners

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Wednesday brought a veritable smorgasbord of “new” information about the Russian passenger jet which fell out of the sky above the Sinai Peninsula last weekend. 

First there was an audio recording from ISIS’ Egyptian affiliate reiterating that they did indeed “down” the plane. Next, the ISIS home office in Raqqa (or Langley or Hollywood) released a video of five guys sitting in the front yard congratulating their Egyptian “brothers” on the accomplishment.

Then the UK grounded air traffic from Sharm el-Sheikh noting that the plane “may well” have had an “explosive device” on board.

Finally, US media lit up with reports that according to American “intelligence” sources, ISIS was probably responsible for the crash.

Over the course of the investigation, one question that’s continually come up is whether militants could have shot the plane down. Generally speaking, the contention that ISIS (or at least IS Sinai) has the technology and/or the expertise to shoot down a passenger jet flying at 31,000 feet has been discredited by “experts” and infrared satellite imagery. 

But that’s nothing the CIA can’t fix.
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Washington DC’s 'Missing' Memorial

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Washington, DC is home to a host of memorials. Walk in any direction for long and you’re bound to run into at least one of them. By far, the memorial that generates the strongest reaction from me is the Vietnam memorial. The name of all the US casualties are chiseled on the wall, from the start of the war to end. Someone is always there crying or making a rubbing of their loved-one’s name. What resonates with me about the memorial is that it’s strikingly cold, but hauntingly personal. It’s amazing how much emotion a name can generate—even on you don’t know. When I think that many of these men went to their deaths without a choice (as they were drafted), it’s hard to not feel emotional.

Certainly, the war memorials are full of tributes to the oft-citied “sacrifices of brave men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom.”

Although the city is full of memorials, there’s one group, one who arguably paid the highest price for all of the U.S. government’s interventions, for whom no memorial has been erected. It’s doubtful one will ever be built.

How could this be? What group has been denied honor in the nation’s Capitol?
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Is Germany's Migrant Crisis Leading To War?

Hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Africa, even western Asia are pouring into western Europe through central Europe as Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has laid down a welcome mat. Meanwhile political pressure within Germany builds, as villages of just 100 or more residents are told they must house thousands of refugees who know neither the language nor the customs of the area. Parties like the Alternative for Germany are enjoying increased popularity and electoral success. Is Germany -- and the EU -- headed for a crack-up? More today in the Liberty Report...
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US Officials Outline 'Secret' Summer Operation To Stop Flow Of Dollars To ISIS

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Over the last five or so weeks, Washington has been in panic mode with regard to America’s “fight” against ISIS. Once the Russians arrived at Latakia and began to provide air cover for Iranian ground troops operating in Syria it was clear that the clock was ticking on the strategy of using Sunni extremists to overthrow the Assad regime. 

That was bad news for Washington and its regional allies for a number of reasons. First, it meant that Iran was set to preserve the “Shiite crescent” and therefore Tehran’s supply line to Hezbollah. Second, it meant that the installing a “friendly” puppet government in Damascus was no longer in the cards and that doesn’t bode well for lucrative energy deals like the Qatar-Turkey natural gas pipeline. Third, it raised the possibility that the public would begin to get wise to the rather peculiar arrangements in place between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the various Sunni militias fighting in Syria - including ISIS. 

That last point is critical. If the US electorate ever gets anything that even looks like definitive evidence that Washington is knowingly supporting the group that’s been held up as the scourge of humanity they’ll be a public outcry the likes of which America hasn’t seen since Vietnam. So, Washington has done its best to suggest that the US is set to step up the fight. The campaign began with helmet cam footage depicting a successful raid on an ISIS prison in northern Iraq and swiftly morphed into an announcement from the Obama administration that America would soon put boots on the ground in Syria, presumably to be embedded with the Kurdish YPG.
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