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What We Haven't Learned Since 9/11

Seventeen years after 9/11, we've spend $5.6 trillion in a "war on terror" that has left al-Qaeda "stronger than ever" (as in a recent LA Times article). Most of that war effort seems to have been directed against the American people, who these days cannot fly on a plane without a TSA sexual assault, cannot be secure in their papers and persons due to government spying, and cannot speak freely due to government censorship. Have we just gone completely off the rails this past 17 years? Can we right our course? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Butina prosecutors wrote their own James Bond novel with sex allegations – and the media loved it

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US prosecutors who wrongly accused Russian ‘foreign agent’ and gun activist Maria Butina of trading sex for influence peddled their own cheap James Bond fan fiction. No matter how incorrect, the media lapped it up.

Butina’s request to be released until the time of her trial was declined by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday. Chutkan ruled that the Russian activist is to remain in jail until she’s tried on the charges of acting as an unregistered agent for a foreign government. Butina has pleaded not guilty.

The judge has also slapped both the prosecution and the defense with a media gag order, after berating the defense attorney for giving interviews on his client’s innocence and slamming the prosecution for opening the case with a “salacious” and “notorious” claim that proved to be completely false. Days after Butina was arrested in July, Assistant US Attorney Erik M. Kenerson claimed she was offering an individual “sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization.”
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Target Syria

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It’s official. The Syrian Army assisted by Russian air support is closing in on the last major pocket of terrorists remaining in the country in the province of Idlib near Aleppo. The United States, which has trained and armed some of the trapped gunmen and even as recently as a year ago described the province as “al-Qaeda’s largest safe haven since 9/11,” has perhaps predictably warned Syria off.
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More War Lies? 'Anonymous Sources' Claim Assad About To Use Gas

The Wall Street Journal tells us that an anonymous US Administration official claims the existence of secret intelligence showing that Syrian President Assad has already given the order to release chlorine gas in Idlib. The US stands by waiting to begin bombing. How strangely like the run-up to the Iraq war, with the "just trust us" evidence of Saddam's WMD. Will America fall for it again? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Moscow Has Upped the Ante in Syria

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MEMORANDUM FOR
: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Moscow Has Upped the Ante in Syria

Mr. President:

We are concerned that you may not have been adequately briefed on the upsurge of hostilities in northwestern Syria, where Syrian armed forces with Russian support have launched a full-out campaign to take back the al-Nusra/al-Qaeda/ISIS-infested province of Idlib. The Syrians will almost certainly succeed, as they did in late 2016 in Aleppo. As in Aleppo, it will mean unspeakable carnage, unless someone finally tells the insurgents theirs is a lost cause.

That someone is you. The Israelis, Saudis, and others who want unrest to endure are egging on the insurgents, assuring them that you, Mr. President, will use US forces to protect the insurgents in Idlib, and perhaps also rain hell down on Damascus. We believe that your senior advisers are encouraging the insurgents to think in those terms, and that your most senior aides are taking credit for your recent policy shift from troop withdrawal from Syria to indefinite war.
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Trump’s Wars and the Threat to Free Speech

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It looks like Trump will plunge us into war, either in Iran or Syria, and possibly both with the truly frightening prospect of Russia and the US going up against each other. 

I remember Bush the Elder’s first war in Iraq. I recall my coworkers all of a sudden morphing into little war zealots overnight, demanding I show the flag and support for “our” troops. 

During the second rape of Iraq it was simply remarkable watching the televised talking heads condemning those of us opposed to that illegal and criminal war. Bill O’Reilly of Fox News told us to shut up. All of a sudden practicing the First Amendment was considered traitorous behavior (unless you worked for Fox News). Supporting the troops was mandatory. There were waving flags and SUPPORT OUR TROOPS billboards and bumperstickers everywhere. Yellow ribbons tied around old oaks trees. Endless super-hysterical news broadcasts spreading easily debunked lies. 

Later, it was discovered Bush and his coterie of mentally-disturbed neocons had lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But this didn’t matter, not to the president and his advisers or, for that matter, millions of Americans who were convinced—thanks primarily to non-stop war propaganda—Saddam wanted to kill every last American with nukes and nerve agents. A couple years later George W. Bush responded to the criticism by staging a comedy routine about not finding WMDs under his desk.
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Why Are We Siding With al-Qaeda?

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Last week, I urged the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to stop protecting al-Qaeda in Syria by demanding that the Syrian government leave Idlib under al-Qaeda control. While it may seem hard to believe that the US government is helping al-Qaeda in Syria, it’s not as strange as it may seem: our interventionist foreign policy increasingly requires Washington to partner up with “bad guys” in pursuit of its dangerous and aggressive foreign policy goals.
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US Military Preparing For 'Options' In Syria

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Events are moving rapidly in Syria as Russian jets pound insurgent positions in Idlib Province and as the Syrian Army initiates a ground invasion which Damascus has described as coming in a "phased" approach. 

The White House responded to the Syrian and Russian bombing campaign by vowing it would act “swiftly and vigorously” should chemical weapons be used, and a day ago claimed there's “lots of evidence” chemical weapons are being prepared by the Syrian forces, citing intelligence of such activities. 

And now America's top general has confirmed the Pentagon is drawing up military options to attack Syria and is in currently in close discussion with the White House over the plans. Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters on Saturday during a trip to India, according to Reuters:
...he was involved in “routine dialogue” with the White House about military options should Syria ignore US warnings against using chemical weapons in an expected assault on the enclave of Idlib.
However, Gen. Dunford noted that no decision has been made to intervene militarily in response to Idlib.
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US Senator Meets With Syria's Assad, Claims West is Planning Fake Chemical Attack

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Republican State Senator Richard Black of Virginia has met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and claimed to have knowledge of an alleged Western plot to stage a chemical weapons attack there as a pretext for military action. 

Black, an Army veteran, traveled to Syria on Wednesday to express his support for the government's war against insurgents and jihadis who rose up in a 2011 rebellion backed by the West, Turkey and Gulf Arab states. The U.S. and its allies have accused Assad of war crimes, including the use of chemical weapons, but the Syrian leader and his Russian and Iranian allies have alleged that such incidents were "false flag" plots conjured up to justify foreign intervention.

As the Syrian military prepares for a major showdown with the final Islamist-held province of Idlib, U.S. officials have claimed that Assad may order the use of restricted poison gas, while Russia has claimed that the U.K. was working with local militants in an apparent attempt to stage such an incident. In an interview with regional media the following day, Black sided with the pro-Syrian government camp.
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New York Times Undermining Peace Efforts by Sowing Suspicion

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The New York Times continues to outdo itself in the production of fake news. There is no more reliable source of fake news than the intelligence services, which regularly provide their pet outlets (NYT and WaPo) with sensational stories that are as unverifiable as their sources are anonymous. A prize example was the August 24 report that US intelligence agencies don’t know anything about Russia’s plans to mess up our November elections because “informants close to … Putin and in the Kremlin” aren’t saying anything. Not knowing anything about something for which there is no evidence is a rare scoop.
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