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NATO Admits Afghan Mission Failure

After 14 years, more than a trillion dollars, tens of thousands of lives lost on all sides, the US/NATO mission in Afghanistan is more adrift than ever. Next month NATO member state ministers will meet to determine the next steps in Afghanistan. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claims there will be no future combat mission for NATO, but NATO generals admit that if NATO leaves there will be an even swifter collapse. In today's Liberty Report, Ron Paul offers some advice to NATO leaders...
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The Deep State: The Unelected Shadow Government Is Here to Stay

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America’s next president will inherit more than a bitterly divided nation teetering on the brink of financial catastrophe when he or she assumes office. He will also inherit a shadow government, one that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country.

To be precise, however, the future president will actually inherit not one but two shadow governments.

The first shadow government, referred to as COG or continuity of government, is made up of unelected individuals who have been appointed to run the government in the event of a “catastrophe.”

The second shadow government, referred to as the Deep State, is comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes right now.

The first shadow government, COG, is a phantom menace waiting for the right circumstances—a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, an economic meltdown—to bring it out of the shadows, where it operates even now. When and if COG takes over, the police state will transition to martial law.
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Missile Test Terrorism Over Los Angeles

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“Wait, what the f*** is that?”

Julien Solomita finally managed to spit that out after two minutes of dumbfounded silence, as he recorded an unidentified flying object from a rooftop parking lot in Van Nuys, California on Saturday night.

He had been gathering footage for his video blog when he noticed a strange light in the sky. The light flared several times before developing a tail that expanded into a purple cone. The object then radiated nebulous purple rings and burst into a bright white bullet at the front of a huge white cloud, through which a vivid blue streak trailed across the night sky. Afterward, Solomita said:

“For a brief moment, when the cloud got bigger, I was wondering, ‘Should we run?’ It looked so close.”

His video has been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube. And the phenomenon was seen as far north as San Francisco and as far inland as Utah. Photographer Abe Blair got pictures of it above the San Francisco skyline, with the Golden Gate Bridge and Sutro Tower in view. And Justin Majeczky managed to capture it with time-lapse photography from a similar vantage.
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A Warmonger’s Guide to Militarism and Imperialism

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When Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton was an undergraduate at Harvard he took time out to become a “Publius Fellow” at the “Straussian” neocon Pentagon propaganda mill known as the Claremont Institute in Claremont, California. After graduating he returned to Claremont Graduate School to pursue graduate studies in “government” under the tutelage of the “Straussians” there, but dropped out to pursue a law degree instead. He then joined the US Army, eventually going to Iraq to kill Muslims.  All of this is why he is a darling of the most crazed neocons, especially Bill Kristol and his ilk. Since these crazed warmongers, who are now trying to start wars with Russia and China, control the Republican Party, they saw to it that the young Tom Cotton was elected to the US Senate from The Land of Bill Clinton — Arkansas.

Calling the Claremont Institute a “Pentagon propaganda mill” is no exaggeration. After the entire world understood that the invasion of Iraq was entirely based on a Big Lie, promoted by such people as those associated with the Claremont Institute, the Claremont Institute awarded its annual “statesman of the year” award to Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Rush Limbaugh and Victor Davis Hanson for their respective roles in instigating and prosecuting this senseless and catastrophic military intervention that even the Bush administration’s British political sock puppet Tony Blair has apologized for.

The Claremont Institute neocons claim to be “the” experts on the US Constitution, with their educational arm now being Hillsdale College, run by former Claremont Institute president Larry Arnn. They hold an annual “Constitution Day” event in Washington, D.C., with this year’s featured speaker being Senator Cotton, who spoke on the subject of foreign policy and the Constitution. The senator’s speech is published in the recent issue of Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College (a publication started by Lew Rockwell when he worked at Hillsdale, long before the neocon takeover).
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Does the Bell Toll for the Fed?

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Last week Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted that the Federal Reserve Board will increase interest rates at the board’s December meeting. The positive jobs report that was released following Yellen’s remarks caused many observers to say that the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate increase in almost a decade is practically inevitable.

However, there are several reasons to doubt that the Fed will increase rates anytime in the near future. One reason is that the official unemployment rate understates unemployment by ignoring the over 94 million Americans who have either withdrawn from the labor force or settled for part-time work. Presumably the Federal Reserve Board has access to the real unemployment numbers and is thus aware that the economy is actually far from full employment.
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Reinventing Guns and Butter Politics for the 21st Century

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The 
Center of American Progress (CAP) is a prominent Democratic "think tank" in the Hall of Mirrors that is Versailles on the Potomac. The CAP brands itself by saying it is "dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action." The Center also claims it presents a liberal viewpoint on economic issues. Its blog, inaptly named “Think Progress," is widely read among avant-garde "progressives." 

The blog and the CAP itself are quite useless for people trying to understand the real issues at stake for what remains of the old Democratic coalition put together by FDR and destroyed by Richard Nixon. That is because the CAP is really a political front for the progressive apparatchiks in the emerging Clinton neoliberal oligarchy. The CAP’s founder John Podesta, a long time Clinton aide, is managing Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president. The current CAP president, Neera Tanden, is a long time Clinton confidant and advisor. 

The independent investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald just exposed  the mentality of the people who are running the CAP. That mentality is made evident by their own words, expressed in emails leaked by someone inside of the CAP to Greenwald. The emails describe the CAP’s obsequious pandering to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and AIPAC. This is to be expected, of course; and the pandering is the primary focus of Greenwald’s report. That said, the cynical distancing of CAP and Ms. Clinton from a sitting Democratic President is worse than even the most jaded readers might expect. 
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TSA Trained Disney World in Goofy 'Terrorist Detection' Methods

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The same ridiculed and useless techniques used by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to not find terrorists at America’s airports are now being used at Orlando theme parks, including Disney World, Seaworld and Busch Gardens, to not find terrorists.

The Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, program is TSA’s one billion dollar “behavioral detection” scheme. SPOT requires TSA staff to be on the lookout for indicators, “tells” to you poker players out there, that give away bad guys.
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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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