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Bolton: Trump's Wrong - We're Not Leaving Syria!

Who's in charge here? President Trump clearly states that US troops would quickly exit Syria and immediately the president's advisors tell the world he's only kidding. Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton went even further than that: they are touring the Middle East assuring everyone who will listen that there is no way Trump's policy will be implemented. Insubordination? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Cuban Crickets Blamed For Brain-Melting Sonic Embassy Attacks

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Forget Vladimir Putin and hi-tech microwave weapons, the mystery behind US Embassy workers in Havana suffering from "sonic attacks" has apparently been solved.

The culprit of the mystery ailments which include damaged hearing, vision, cognition, balance and sleep? According to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, the mysterious noise heard by dozens of embassy workers may have been crickets. 
[A] new study indicates that the culprit behind this debacle is in fact… a cricket. According to Alexander Stubbs, a scientist in the Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, the mysterious noise is actually the echoing call of the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus). Stubbs will present his findings this week at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Tampa, Florida, based on a paper that was just released through the bioArxive online database. -NewsWise
Stubbs decided to investigate crickets after the Associated Press (AP) released a recording of the ear-shattering noise in October, 2017, which reminded him of insect calls he had heard while doing field work in the Caribbean. 

What about the US diplomats who have fallen ill in China with similar symptoms?
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New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social-Media Involvement in US Politics

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The release of two Senate-commissioned reports has sparked a new round of panic about Russia manipulating a vulnerable American public on social media. Headlines warn that Russian trolls have tried to suppress the African-American votepromote Green Party candidate Jill Steinrecruit “assets,” and “sow discord” or “hack the 2016 election” via sex-toy ads and Pokémon Go. “The studies,” writes David Ignatius of The Washington Post, “describe a sophisticated, multilevel Russian effort to use every available tool of our open society to create resentment, mistrust and social disorder,” demonstrating that the Russians, “thanks to the Internet…seem to be perfecting these dark arts.” According to Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times, “it looks increasingly as though” Russian disinformation “changed the direction of American history” in the narrowly decided 2016 election, when “Russian trolling easily could have made the difference.”

The reports, from the University of Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Research Project and the firm New Knowledge, do provide the most thorough look at Russian social-media activity to date. With an abundance of data, charts, graphs, and tables, coupled with extensive qualitative analysis, the authors scrutinize the output of the Internet Research Agency (IRA) the Russian clickbait firm indicted by special counsel Robert Muellerin February 2018. On every significant metric, it is difficult to square the data with the dramatic conclusions that have been drawn.

• 2016 Election Content: The most glaring data point is how minimally Russian social-media activity pertained to the 2016 campaign. The New Knowledge report acknowledges that evaluating IRA content “purely based on whether it definitively swung the election is too narrow a focus,” as the “explicitly political content was a small percentage.” To be exact, just “11% of the total content” attributed to the IRA and 33 percent of user engagement with it “was related to the election.” The IRA’s posts “were minimally about the candidates,” with “roughly 6% of tweets, 18% of Instagram posts, and 7% of Facebook posts” having “mentioned Trump or Clinton by name.”
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Trump’s Neocons Reverse His Syria Withdrawal Plan

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I’m starting to wonder whether President Trump has any power over US foreign policy at all. Many people believe that the US president is just a figurehead, with actual foreign policy firmly in the hands of the deep state. Trump’s latest dramatic U-turn on pulling troops from Syria certainly feeds such theories.
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Some Confucian Calm, Please!

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The United States and China look like two punch-drunk prizefighters squaring off for a major championship fight. They have no good reason to fight and every reason to cooperate now that both their stock markets have been in turmoil.
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'Secret' Evidence Vindicates Michael Flynn's 'Treasonous' Dinner With Putin

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Over the last month we have learned much more about the circumstances surrounding the departure of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.  Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about a conversation with then-Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak; one on December 29, 2016 in which Flynn urged the Russians to "refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the US had imposed against Russia," and another conversation in which Kislyak told Flynn that Russia had decided to moderate its response following the request.
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Prospects For Peace And Prosperity In 2019: Our New Year Predictions

President Trump has taken credit for an early stock boom in his presidency. Will a bust threaten him more than "Russiagate"? Are we about to see a real crack-up of the mainstream media, as credibility among the American public plummets. What hot spots threaten to break into open flame? Ukraine? Liberty Report predictions for 2019...
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'The Machine of Perpetual War Acceptance': Veteran NBC Journalist Resigns in Protest Over One-Sided Coverage

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This week I published a column on how the Democratic Party seems to have jettisoned many of its defining values to simply become the anti-Trump party. The best example of that transformation is the automatic opposition to Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria and other countries. At the same time, liberal media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have been airing continual experts denouncing the “hasty” withdrawal. 

Now veteran NBC award-winning journalist William Arkin has resigned in protest of what he says is the unrelenting support of the network for endless wars. He notes that the anti-Trump agenda at the network has overwhelmed what used to be critical coverage of “the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness.” Now the reflective anti-Trump response at the network has overwhelmed all such considerations, according to Arkin. While Arkin calls Trump “an ignorant and incompetent impostor,” he cites the transformation of NBC into an opposition network as the main reason for his departure.

In my recent speech at the Newseum, I raised the same issue over the change in national media coverage. While praising the investigative reporting of various outlets, I objected to the raw advocacy that you now see from hosts in being live and immediate opposition talking points against new developments in the Administration.
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Giuliani Is Right! Free Assange!

President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, stunned Washington over the weekend by stating the obvious: Julian Assange and Wikileaks are simply publishers, like the Washington Post and New York Times. If Assange is prosecuted by the US for publishing information, what's to stop prosecution of the rest of the US media? We agree with Giuliani for a change! Let's hope Trump agrees as well! Join us for the first Liberty Report of the New Year...
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US Defeat in Syria is a Crisis of Empire

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The US lost in Syria. Donald Trump finally had the courage to admit that to the world when he ordered the pull out of all US troops there.

Syria was to be the sparkling jewel in the Empire of Chaos’ Crown. A masterstroke of realpolitik which would advance every major US, Israeli and Saudi objective while thoroughly destabilizing the Levant and setting the stage for wiping out Iran and eventually Russia.

If the Assad government fell Syria would become something worse than Libya. It would become a source of abject chaos for decades to come. And the formation of greater Kurdistan would put advanced US and Israeli military assets on Iran’s doorstep.

Carving up Syria, Iraq and possibly even Turkey, once Erdogan was removed from power, would put the US and Israel in control of the oil assets to fund a jihadist-led insurgency across all of central Asia.

Moreover, the chaos would ensure a steady stream of refugees into Europe to destabilize it. That chaos would lead to further political integration of Europe under EU control.
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