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Capt. Humayun Khan: Sacrifice Or Victim?

Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's team invited the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq in 2004, to speak at the convention and criticize Republican nominee Donald Trump's policy on Muslim immigration. It was a classic trap and Trump bumbled into it. The ensuing blow-up may have made great ratings for the media, but what is unsaid is that both sides agreed that Khan's death was a great sacrifice for our liberties and freedoms back home in the US. The media went along with this view. But being killed in a war started by government and media lies does not make one a heroic sacrifice. In fact, it makes on a victim. Khan was a victim of both Republicans and Democrats who supported the war in 2002 and he is victim again today.
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Can Hillary Clinton Be Pro-War and a Progressive?

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Despite Hillary Clinton obtaining the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination last week, many people, including many Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delegates who publicly dissented throughout the Democratic National Convention and even walked off the convention floor in protest, dispute the claim that Clinton is a progressive. Reasons people offer for opposing the applicability of the progressive label to Clinton are many — from Clinton’s support for international managed trade deals to her close relationship with big financial institutions to her support for “law and order” policies that trample on individual rights.

Yet, maybe the greatest ire of people who define themselves as progressives or on the left toward Clinton arises in reaction to Clinton’s pro-war beliefs and actions. Former Greece Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis well described the objection earlier this year. Varoufakis, in a short video at Business Insider, concludes that Clinton “ruled herself out of progressive politics” when she backed the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the war that followed, as well as when, as US Secretary of State, she participated in the US government’s war on Libya and even “celebrated” the mutilation and killing of Libyan government leader Muammar Gaddafi.
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Americans Are Going to be Disappointed in Election Outcome

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It is a sad commentary on the state of political life in the United States that our political conventions have become more like rock music festivals than competitions of ideas. There has been a great deal of bombast, of insults, of name-calling, and of chest-beating at both party conventions, but what is disturbingly absent is any mention of how we got to this crisis and how we can get out. From the current foreign policy mess to the looming economic collapse, all we hear is both party candidates saying they will fix it, no problem.

In her convention speech Hillary Clinton promised that she would “fight terrorism” and defeat ISIS by doing more of what we have been doing all along: bombing. In fact we have dropped more than 50,000 bombs on ISIS in Iraq and Syria over the past two years and all she can say is that she will drop more. How many more bombs will defeat ISIS? How many more years will she keep us in our longest war, Afghanistan? She doesn’t say.
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America's Longest War Gets Longer

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Anti-Russian hysteria in America reached its apogee this week as Democrats tried to divert attention from embarrassing revelations about how the Democratic Party apparatus had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders by claiming Vlad Putin and his KGB had hacked and exposed the Dem’s emails.

This was rich coming from the US that snoops into everyone’s emails and phones across the globe. Remember German chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone being bugged by the US National Security Agency?

Unnamed US ‘intelligence officials’ claimed they had ‘high confidence’ that the Russian KGB or GRU (military intelligence) had hacked the Dem’s emails. These were likely the same officials who had ‘high confidence’ that Iraq had nuclear weapons.

Blaming Putin was a master-stroke of deflection. No more talk of Hillary’s slush fund foundation or her status as a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street. All attention was focused on President Putin who has been outrageously demonized by the US media and politicians.
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Gaddafi’s Ghosts: Return of the Libyan Jamahiriya

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When NATO murdered Gaddafi and blitzed his country in 2011, they hoped the socialist "Jamahiriya" movement he led would be dead and buried. Now his son has been released from prison to a hero’s welcome with his movement increasingly in the ascendancy.

There were various moments during NATO’s destruction of Libya that were supposed to symbolically crown Western supremacy over Libya and its institutions (and, by implication, over all African and Arab peoples): the "fall of Tripoli" in August 2011; Cameron and Sarkozy’s victory speeches the following month; the lynch-mob execution of Muammar Gaddafi that came soon after. All of them were pyrrhic victories - but none more so than the death sentence handed down to Gaddafi’s son (and effective deputy leader) Saif al-Gaddafi in July 2015.

Saif had been captured by the Zintan militia shortly after his father and brother were killed by NATO’s death squads in late 2011. The International Criminal Court – a neocolonial farce which has only ever indicted Africans – demanded he be handed over to them, but the Zintan – fiercely patriotic despite having fought with NATO against Gaddafi – refused. Over the next two years the country descended into the chaos and societal collapse that Gaddafi had predicted, sliding inexorably towards civil war.
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Strategic Shift? Putin to Receive Erdogan in Hometown

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The developments in Turkey are taking a dramatic turn. All Indications are that the Turkish government is in possession of definite information that the attempted military coup was orchestrated by the United States. (Anadolu)

The Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag made an open allegation in a television interview:
The US knows that Fethullah Gülen (the cleric who lives in Pennsylvania) carried out this coup. Mr. Obama knows this just as well as he knows his own name. I am convinced that American intelligence knows it too.
Bozdag is known to be one of the closest and trusted political associates of President Recep Erdogan. The well-informed Turkish political commentator Semih Idiz wrote that “This belief (Bozdag’s allegation) goes all the way to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It implies that Washington knew what was coming and did nothing to warn Ankara. The pro-government Islamist media has even claimed that the U.S. tried to kill Erdoğan with this coup attempt.”

The government has taken into confidence Turkey’s two main opposition parties – the Kemalist party CHP (Republican Party) and the nationalist party MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). The ruling AKP (Justice & Development Party) and the CHP and MHP have set aside their political differences and have voiced support for Ankara’s demand to Washington for the extradition of the Islamist cleric Fetullah Gulen. No doubt, this grand reconciliation could have implications in the downstream for the fractured Turkish political landscape. (VOA)
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Who Hacked the DNC?

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We haven’t seen this kind of hysteria since the darkest days of the cold war: a spy scare that is being utilized by one political party against another in a national election, with charges of disloyalty and even “treason” being hurled by one side against the other. The publication of the Democratic National Committee’s emails by WikiLeaks has caused a storm of spin and counter-spin that threatens to throw the entire election discourse off balance – not that it was all that centered to begin with – and cause an international incident with perilous consequences for us all.

The media, one and all, have decided that the DNC hack was the work of the Russian government, and the Democrats have taken this one step further and declared that Moscow is pushing the candidacy of Donald Trump due to his oft-stated hope to “get along” with Vladimir Putin. And US government officials have added their voices to this chorus, with the New York Times reporting that unnamed members of the “intelligence community” believe “with high confidence” that the Russian state is behind the hack.

This is impressive, at least in Washington, D.C., where the pronouncements of government officials are taken as holy writ. For the rest of us, however, who remember that this same “intelligence community” declared with certainty that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction,” this assertion should be taken with a very large grain of salt. Indeed, one might almost be tempted to write this conclusion off as quite obviously erroneous and self-serving, given the record of the people who are making it.
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Just Who Is The War Party?

As many neocons shift over to support Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, there are appearing a few bumps in the road. Last night at the convention, for example, former CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta found himself drowned out by chants of "no more war!" as he touted Hillary's hawkishness. There are insurgent antiwar factions in both major parties but the establishment is trying to minimize their power and influence. How long can the center hold? More today in the Liberty Report...
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The Secret Rules That Allow the FBI to Spy on Journalists

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The bones of our democracy — the core elements that separate that way of life from others — lie in the First Amendment to the Constitution, specifically the rights to free speech and a free press.

Without the ability to speak freely, and to have things about our government reported equally freely to us, most of the rest of the concept of what was laid out on July 4, 1776 and later falls away. Thomas Jefferson himself stated that an “informed citizenry” was the key to everything.

So it is with more than a little anxiety that we learned secret rules allow the FBI to spy on journalists with such ease that the restraints are really nothing more than a bit of paperwork. As always, the ostensible justifications for another deep step into Post Constitutional America are terrorism, security, protecting the homeland. And, as always, the outcome seems to be much more about stomping out whistleblowers than anything else.

As revealed by an anonymous whistleblower to The Intercept (the government refused to release the information), secret rules allow FBI agents to obtain journalists’ phone records with approval from only two internal officials. No warrant needed. No outside oversight. No courts, no judges, no hearings, no public records.
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Trump: Siberian Candidate?

Has Vladimir Putin taken over the US electoral process? That has been the media mantra over the past 24 hours or so, since a Wikileaks data dump revealed a deeply flawed presidential selection in the Democratic Party. Rather than address how Democratic National Committee employees colluded with the media to push their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, the Democrats and the media have claimed that the whole release was engineered by Russian president Vladimir Putin. They claim Putin is seeking to get Trump elected. RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams appears on RT's flagship political debate program Crosstalk to discuss...
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