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The Pentagon Speaks

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff have spoken. Issuing a remarkable memorandum to all members of the Armed Forces, the JCS have declared that Joe Biden will be the new president of the United States. The memo may have been not only one to military personnel but also to President Trump: No matter how convinced you are that the election was stolen from you, don’t even think about remaining in power because we will ensure your forcible exit from the White House.
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Trump Impeachment 2.0: Necessity Or Farce?

After the January 6th mob ruckus inside the US Capitol building, the US House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rushed to put together articles of impeachment (again) for President Trump. Trump, they claim, led an insurrection on that day and must be held accountable. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley recently wrote in The Hill of the dangers of lowering the bar for impeachment. Do the House Democrats have a point that Trump must be removed from office days before he is removed from office, or is Impeachment 2.0 as much of a farce as Impeachment 1.0? Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Here Comes the Post- 'Invasion' Crackdown

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Just as thunder follows lightning, you can rest assured that Democrats, the Deep State, and the mainstream press are going to use recent events at the Capitol to crack down on civil liberties. Why let a good opportunity to expand governmental power go to waste?

Why, some of these people are even alluding to such things as a “fascist” attempt to take over the government, a “putsch,” and the “Reichstag Fire.” And why not? They know that Hitler was able to use the terrorist firebombing of the Reichstag to get the Enabling Act passed, which gave him “temporary,” emergency, omnipotent, and tyrannical powers to enable him to protect “national security.”

That’s what Democrats and liberals are now doing. They are setting the stage for another civil-liberties crackdown, just like the one that they and Republicans and conservatives engaged in after the 9/11 attacks. That’s when we got the so-called USA PATRIOT Act, the illegal telecom scandal, the massive secret surveillance schemes, assassinations of “terrorists,” indefinite detention, kangaroo military tribunals, Gitmo, secret prisons, denial of due process, denial of speedy trial, torture, and much more — all to protect us and keep us safe from the “terrorists” and the Muslims.

Democrats and liberals, as well as the mainstream press, are referring to the event at the Capitol as an “invasion.” But that’s patently ridiculous. An invasion is what the US government did to Iraq. Troops shooting people. Planes dropping bombs on people and buildings. Torture of people at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. Indefinite detention. POWs. Massive death, suffering, and destruction.
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Can Burns Change the CIA?

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In nominating former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to be CIA director, President-elect Joe Biden has chosen a highly experienced diplomat to lead a hydra-headed agency.

But, if past is precedent, the highest hydras who head calcified fiefdoms at CIA can be expected to resist any real control from the top. They are more likely to try to co-opt top management or make end runs around it. This is not new.

Most senior CIA operations officers, in particular, have never been comfortable with meaningful supervision, lest it lead to reining them in or impinging on their ample budgets. With secrecy always in play (including strict application of the “need-to-know” principle), Burns will need a good deputy — preferably a strong outsider — to avoid being blind-sided — or diddled.

Burns lacks proven experience managing organizations as large and variegated as the agency, so the jury is out on whether he will be able to do it.

One endemic challenge is to ensure that substantive intelligence analysis is not tainted by CIA’s operations. In recent years, analysts have been thrown together with operations officers, making it very difficult for analysts to maintain the distance needed to evaluate objectively the efficacy of policies and actions in which operations colleagues close by are fully engaged.
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Ron Paul Speaks Out On Social Media Dominance

The ongoing purges and restrictions of social media accounts by Big Tech are continuing, with Ron Paul's own main social media outlet having been restricted yesterday for a vague charge of "violation of community standards." In today's Liberty Report Ron Paul reflects on the dominance of social media and Big Tech in our daily discourse and how we can still promote peace, prosperity, and liberty. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Ron Paul Posts Criticism of Censorship on Social Media Shortly Before Facebook Blocks

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We have been discussing the chilling crackdown on free speech that has been building for years in the United States. This effort has accelerated in the aftermath of the Capitol riot including the shutdown sites like Parler. Now former Texas congressman Ron Paul, 85, has been blocked from using his Facebook page for unspecified violations of “community standards.” Paul’s last posting was linked to an article on the “shocking” increase of censorship on social media. Facebook then proceeded to block him under the same undefined “community standards” policy.

Paul, a libertarian leader and former presidential candidate, has been an outspoken critics of foreign wars and an advocate for civil liberties for decades. He wrote:
“With no explanation other than ‘repeatedly going against our community standards,’ @Facebook has blocked me from managing my page. Never have we received notice of violating community standards in the past and nowhere is the offending post identified.” 
His son is Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted, “Facebook now considers advocating for liberty to be sedition. Where will it end?”

Even before the riot, Democrats were calling for blacklists and retaliation against anyone deemed to be “complicit” with the Trump Administration. We have been discussing the rising threats against Trump supporters, lawyers, and officials in recent weeks from Democratic members are calling for blacklists to the Lincoln Project leading a a national effort to harass and abuse any lawyers representing the Republican party or President Trump.
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The Biggest Scam in History

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Soon after US officials declared their “war on terrorism” some 20 years ago, I wrote that this new war was likely to last longer than the “war on drugs.” There is a simple reason for that: the supply of “terrorists” would be endless, for two reasons: (1) the US government’s deadly foreign policy of interventionism to kill “terrorists” would inevitably generate a constant supply of terrorists who would be seeking to retaliate; and (2) the US national-security establishment would wield the omnipotent, non-reviewable power to determine who is a “terrorist” (or a “bad guy”), a power that would enable it to always have a steady supply of “terrorists” all over the world.

In 1989, the end of the Cold War came as a shock to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, as well as other US officials. Since the end of World War II, it was just assumed that the Cold War would go on forever, which would thereby justify not only the continued existence of the US national-security establishment but also its ever-increasing budgets.

Keep in mind that any national-security state needs official enemies, along with crises and emergencies. If there are none of those things, then people will ask: Why do we need a national-security state? Why not a limited-government instead? Why must we continue to fund a voracious monstrosity that is no longer needed.

That’s in fact why President John F. Kennedy was determined to be a grave threat to US national security. Having determined that the Cold War was a crock and scam, Kennedy shocked everyone, and especially the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, when he declared an end to the Cold War in his famous Peace Speech at American University in June 1963.
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Wednesday's Other Story

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Just before the madness at the Capitol broke out Wednesday, news came from London. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who seemed Monday to be the luckiest man alive when a judge denied an American request to extradite him, was now denied bail on the grounds that he might “fail to surrender to court to face” the inevitable US appeal. He goes back to legal purgatory, possibly a worse outcome than extradition, which might be the idea.

We sell politics in American media as a soap opera, and the personalities make for lively copy, but properly following the bouncing ball means watching institutions, not characters. Where are armies, banks, central banks, intelligence services, the press? Whose money is talking on the floor of the House and the Senate? How concentrated is financial and political power? How do public and private institutions coordinate? When they coordinate, what are their collective aims? How transparent are they or aren’t they? How accountable?

Assange became a celebrity at a time when popular interest in these questions was at its zenith in the United States. Eight years of the Bush administration inspired profound concern about the runaway power of the state, especially a new secret state-within-a-state the Bush administration insisted 9/11 gave them the moral mandate to build.
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The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Home

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Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.
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