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Who’s Afraid of the Trump/Putin Summit?

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President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton was in Moscow last week organizing what promises to be an historic summit meeting between his boss and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bolton, who has for years demanded that the US inflict “pain” on Russia and on Putin specifically, was tasked by Trump to change his tune. He was forced to shed some of his neoconservative skin and get involved in peacemaking. Trump surely deserves some credit for that!
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Turkey on a Roll

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Few phobias run deeper in Europe than the fear and hatred of Turks. For at least six hundred years, Europe was locked in innumerable wars with first Seljuk, then Ottoman Turks. My big St Bernard is a descendant of dogs bred to attack Arab and Turkish raiders coming over Switzerland’s St Bernard Pass.

Today, by contrast, there are some 10 million ethnic Turks in Europe, most of whom came in past decades as guest laborers, prized for their hard work, honesty and reliability.

Turkey joined NATO in 1952 at a time when the US dominated the continent and Mideast. The Turkish armed forces were the second largest in NATO after the US.  Joined at the hip with the US military, the Turkish generals ran the government in Ankara behind a screen of squabbling politicians. The US gave Turkey its marching orders. Turkey’s small but powerful westernized elite was delighted to follow Washington and keep Islam in Turkey handcuffed or exiled to rural areas.

This all changed in 1994 when a young, 40-year old nationalist, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, became a reformist mayor of Istanbul and began cleaning up and modernizing the decrepit metropolis.  After a brief jail term for reading an ancient Islamic poem, he was released and formed the Justice and Development Party (AK) which is an Islamist Lite party dedicated to democracy guided by Muslims principals of national pride, welfare for the poor and elderly, sharing wealth, supporting fellow Muslims and urging followers to lead lives of moderation. 

There was no stopping the dynamic Erdogan, who was a semi-pro footballer before his full-time political career. By 2003, he was elected prime minister by Turkey’s 81 million people and ever since has proved wildly popular with the majority of Turks. The big city westernized elites in Turkey, who deny their Muslim culture and try to pass for Europeans, bitterly oppose Erdogan and his Islamic allies.
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America’s Clueless Ambassadors

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Ambassadors have existed since the time of the ancient Greeks. They were from the beginning granted a special immunity which enabled them to talk to enemy spokesmen to attempt to resolve issues without resort to arms. In the modern context, Ambassadors are sent to reside in foreign capitals to provide some measure of protection for traveling citizens and also to defend other perceived national interests. Ambassadors are not soldiers, nor are they necessarily the parties of government that ultimately make decisions on what to do when dealing with a foreign nation. They are there to provide a mechanism for exchanging views to create a dialogue while at the same time working with foreign governments to avoid conflict, whether over trade or politics.

There has been a great deal of discussion in the European press about the new American Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. Grenell, a protégé of National Security Adviser John Bolton who doesn’t speak German, would seem to have enough on his plate defending the unpopular Trump Administration decisions on climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and on tariffs directed against European Union exports, but he has apparently gone out of his way to make the bilateral relationship with a key ally even worse. After the White House withdrew from the Iran agreement, Grenell tweeted that German businesses should “wind down operations immediately” in Iran. The ineptly worded advice was inevitably taken by the Germans as a threat. He has also celebrated anti-immigration sentiment in Europe, a slap at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and breached protocol by meeting with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on a state visit.

Nils Schmid, a German Social Democratic Party foreign policy spokesman, goes so far as to say that “He does not understand what the role of an ambassador should be. An ambassador is a bridge-builder who explains how American politics works, how the American government works, and at the same time explains to America how Germany sees things.” Grenell has, however, “defined his role for himself, and it is not the traditional role of an ambassador. … He will work as a propagandist [for Donald Trump]”
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The Supreme Court's Deference to the Pentagon

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Imagine a county sheriff that took a suspected drug-law violator into custody more than 10 years ago. Since then, the man has been held in jail without being accorded a trial. The district attorney and the sheriff promise to give the man a trial sometime in the future but they’re just not sure when. Meanwhile the man sits in jail indefinitely just waiting for his trial to begin.
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The Oil Weapon Trump Tightens Iran Stranglehold

President Trump has informed Washington's allies that they must cease purchasing Iranian oil by November. He is also trying to force/intimidate European countries into joining, de facto, a return to prior US sanctions on Iran. The goal seems clear: push regime change in Iran through economic strangulation. The Europeans may well go along, but will Russia and China? Turkey? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Did Sen. Warner and Comey ‘Collude’ on Russia-gate?

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An explosive report by investigative journalist John Solomon on the opinion page of Monday’s edition of The Hill sheds a bright light on how Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and then-FBI Director James Comey collaborated to prevent WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from discussing “technical evidence ruling out certain parties [read Russia]” in the controversial leak of Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election.

A deal that was being discussed last year between Assange and U.S. government officials would have given Assange “limited immunity” to allow him to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been exiled for six years. In exchange, Assange would agree to limit through redactions “some classified CIA information he might release in the future,” according to Solomon, who cited “interviews and a trove of internal DOJ documents turned over to Senate investigators.” Solomon even provided a copy of the draft immunity deal with Assange. 

But Comey’s intervention to stop the negotiations with Assange ultimately ruined the deal, Solomon says, quoting “multiple sources.” With the prospective agreement thrown into serious doubt, Assange “unleashed a series of leaks that U.S. officials say damaged their cyber warfare capabilities for a long time to come.” These were the Vault 7 releases, which led then CIA Director Mike Pompeo to call WikiLeaks “a hostile intelligence service.”

Solomon’s report provides reasons why Official Washington has now put so much pressure on Ecuador to keep Assange incommunicado in its embassy in London.

The report does not say what led Comey to intervene to ruin the talks with Assange. But it came after Assange had offered to  “provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases,” Solomon quotes WikiLeaks’ intermediary with the government as saying.  It would be a safe assumption that Assange was offering to prove that Russia was not WikiLeaks’ source of the DNC emails.
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That Time the Media Cheered for Gestapo Immigration Tactics

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Every Trump voter is effectively "standing at the border, like Nazis, going 'you here, you here,'" MSNBC guest Danny Deutsch declared on Friday. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden also compared the Trump administration's immigration crackdown with Nazi concentration camps. The media is showcasing the anguish of parents and children forcibly separated at the southwestern border.

Eighteen years ago, the media had a mirror-image reaction to perhaps the most famous immigration raid in American history. Though some critics back then complained of Gestapo-like federal raid, much of the media downplayed or whitewashed the alleged brutality.

On April 22, 2000, 130 federal agents conducted a pre-dawn raid in Miami’s Little Havana section to seize Elian Gonzalez, a six-year-old Cuban boy. The raid shattered doors, broke a bed, roughed up Cuban-Americans, and left two NBC cameramen on the ground, writhing in pain from stomach-kicks or rifle-butts to the head. The raid seemed to go off without a hitch until a photo surfaced taken by Associated Press stringer Alan Diaz showing a Border Patrol agent pointing his submachine gun toward the terrified boy being held by the fisherman who rescued him six months earlier from the Atlantic Ocean.

While Trump administration’s falsehoods on immigrations have been widely hammered, few people recall the Clinton administration’s rhetorical backflips. A few hours after the Elian raid, Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder asserted in a press conference that the boy "was not taken at the point of a gun ." When challenged about the machine gun in the photo, Holder explained: "They were armed agents who went in there who acted very sensitively ."
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Crowley's Shocking Loss! Is Socialism On The March?

In a stunning upset, 28 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated long-time incumbent Joe Crowley (D-NY) in yesterday's New York Democratic Party primary. Crowley has long been in tight with the financial establishment and most of his donations came from mega-corporations. His challenger was largely financed by small, individual donations. Ocasio-Cortez is a self-described socialist whose views on the Middle East seem to contrast with Crowley's strong pro-Israel position. Should we cheer this challenge to the status quo, or fear creeping socialism? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Is Mattis Next on Chopping Block for Questioning the 'Adelson Agenda'?

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Like Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster before him, Secretary of Defense James Mattis – one of the longest-serving members of the Trump cabinet – may soon be out of a job. Just as was the case for the former secretary of state and the former national security adviser, media reports are now asserting that Mattis has been shut out of major White House decisions for months and is increasingly “out of the loop.”

According to NBC News, Mattis was shut out of major administration decisions such as President Trump’s decision to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (better known as the Iran nuclear deal), Trump’s call to militarize outer space, and his decision to cancel war games near North Korea during recent negotiations with that country’s leadership.

The Secretary of Defense’s “fall from grace” is a dramatic departure from the early days of the administration, when Trump – out of respect for Mattis – kept him informed of key decisions even when they had disagreed. Now, however, the report notes that Trump relies heavily, if not exclusively, on the advice of two administration officials: John Bolton andMike Pompeo, the very men who replaced McMaster and Tillerson.

Overall, the report mirrors those that had preceded the firings of both Rex Tillerson from the top post at the State Department and H.R. McMaster from his position as national security adviser. In each of those instances, first Tillerson and then McMaster were described by administration officials as being “at odds” with the President over key decisions such as North Korea and the Iran deal.

The similarities, however, between Mattis’ fall from favor and those experienced by his former allies in the administration don’t end there.
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The Drug War Is Pushing More Migrants to Our Borders

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Over the last couple of weeks we have been bombarded by news coverage of the US government handling of foreigners illegally crossing the southern border and having their children separated from parents by our government. At first I tried to avoid subjecting myself to this circus, but I have been paying close attention for about a week.

I describe it as a circus because of the hysteria involved. Everyone from the Know- Nothing wing of the Trump party to the ultra-PC progressives, and the libertarians, and even the First Lady Melania Trump have jumped on the emotional roller coaster. The story is all the rage on talk shows and even reporters for NPR, remarkably, have shown audible signs of emotion.

Despite my diligence in reluctantly following this story, without exception there has been no coverage of the reason why these people from Central American are risking their lives during a treacherous journey. They leave all to get to a country where they face our hostile president and government and they don’t even speak the local language. While Mexicans have been crossing into America at least since the US annexed Texas in 1845 and stole the northern half of Mexico in 1848, Central American immigration to the US is a relatively new phenomenon.

If we knew what was causing this new phenomenon of the highly risky immigration we might be able to stop it and end all the hysteria. Yet, the media does not appear to be interested in discovering the cause of this effect. Maybe they are not bright enough to recognize that most effects have causes?
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