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'Have You Committed your Three Felonies Today?' - Jim Jatras At RPI's Media & War Conference

What can we do to resist the dark clouds of war and oppression that are gathering overhead? Former US diplomat, Republican Senate official, and attorney Jim Jatras joins the Ron Paul Institute's "Media & War" conference this month with a powerful - and humor filled! - presentation on Russiagate, neocons, and the Orwellian machinations of the US global empire...
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Sources Go Quiet in Moscow

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A quite astonishing article recently appeared in the New York Times, astonishing even by the standards of that newspaper, which featured Judith Miller and Michael Gordon in the Pentagon-sponsored lie machine that led up to the catastrophic war against Iraq. The article, entitled “Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving CIA in the Dark about Putin’s Plans for Midterms,” claims that the United States has had a number of spies close to the Russian president “who have provided crucial details” that have now stopped reporting at a critical time with midterm elections coming up. The reporting is sourced to “…American officials familiar with the intelligence” who “…spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal classified information.”

After reading the piece, my first reaction was that Judith Miller was back but the byline clearly read Julian E. Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg. Noms de plume, perhaps? The article is so astonishingly bad on so many levels that it could have been featured in Marvel Comics instead of the Gray Lady. First of all, if American intelligence truly has in the Kremlin high level human agents, referred to as humint, it would not be publicizing the fact for fear that Moscow would intensify its search for the traitors and discover who they were. No intelligence officer speaking either openly or anonymously would make that kind of fatal mistake by leaking such information to a journalist.

If indeed the source of the leak was a genuine intelligence officer it suggests a different, more plausible interpretation. The CIA might, in fact, have no high-level agents at all at the Kremlin level and is intent on having the Russians waste time and energy looking for the moles. There is additional evidence in the article that the agent story might be a fabrication. The authors assert that the CIA agents in Moscow provided critical information relating to the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
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How the Department of Homeland Security Created a Deceptive Tale of Russia Hacking US Voter Sites

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The narrative of Russian intelligence attacking state and local election boards and threatening the integrity of US elections has achieved near-universal acceptance by media and political elites. And now it has been accepted by the Trump administration’s intelligence chief, Dan Coats, as well.  But the real story behind that narrative, recounted here for the first time, reveals that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created and nurtured an account that was grossly and deliberately deceptive.
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US Military Presence in Africa: All Over Continent and Still Expanding

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Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exemption. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.”

The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special ops are currently conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time, waging secret, limited-scale operations. According to the magazine Vice, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day — an astounding 1,900% increase since the command rolled out 10 years ago. Many activities described as “advise and assist” are actually indistinguishable from combat by any basic definition.

There are currently roughly 7,500 US military personnel, including 1,000 contractors, deployed in Africa. For comparison, that figure was only 6,000 just a year ago. The troops are strung throughout the continent spread across 53 countries. There are 54 countries on the “Dark Continent.” More than 4,000 service members have converged on East Africa. The US troop count in Somalia doubled last year.

When AFRICOM was created there were no plans to establish bases or put boots on the ground. Today, a network of small staging bases or stations have cropped up. According to investigative journalist Nick Turse, “US military bases (including forward operating sites, cooperative security locations, and contingency locations) in Africa number around fifty, at least.” US troops in harm’s way in Algeria, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan Tunisia, and Uganda qualify for extra pay.
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The Torture Of Assange: A Blight On The US Justice System

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been forced to spend nearly 3,000 days in solitary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. His crime? He isn't charged with anything. But the neocons and warmongers in the US government want to put him in a box - or worse - for publishing government secrets. Wait...isn't that what all journalists do? Yes, that is what they are supposed to do. So isn't the persecution of Assange actually an attack on the free press? Yes. What can we do to help Assange? Our ideas in today's Liberty Report...
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UN Sees War Crimes In Yemen...But Mattis Vows Continued War Support

A new UN report found possible war crimes committed in the three-plus Saudi-led war on Yemen. While the US has backed the war from the beginning, providing weapons and targeting, the Pentagon claims that its involvement is saving lives rather than taking them. Secretary of Defense Mattis has said that the US will continue to support the Saudis. What are the moral implications of being involved on the side of war crimes and torture? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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US: NATO Think Tank Continues Pre-Election Interference

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On August 24 what is in effect the social media warfare division of the Atlantic Council published an article  accusing the Russian television and print news outlet RT of running a one-sided attack against the Democratic Party and several leaders thereof ahead of this November's politically pivotal Senate and House of Representatives elections. (Thirty-five Senate seats and all 435 House seats are being contested.)

The Atlantic Council, until recently kept comparatively in the shadows for obvious reasons, is a think tank that has more than any other organization effected the transition of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from a seeming Cold War relic with the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the world's only and history's first international military network with 70 members and partners on six continents currently. All thirteen new full member states are in Eastern and Central Europe; four of them border Russia.

Three months ago it began collaborating with Facebook to police and censor that and (presumably) soon after other social media companies which in recent decades have become the major sources of information and communication for the seven billion citizens of the planet. No modest undertaking.
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Media & War: Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity 2018 Conference

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The heart and soul of the American antiwar movement participated in the sold-out Ron Paul Institute of Peace and Prosperity’s 2018 “Media and War” Conference on August 17 held outside Washington, D.C. Some alternative media voices have abandoned or toned down their antiwar reporting to support President Trump. The “progressive left” has abandoned its opposition to war, for instance, activists commemorating the 1968 Vietnam War protests at the Democratic National Convention have diverted the issue of peace to racism, climate change, poverty, and police violence.
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South Korea Seeks Peace With North: Will US Sanction Seoul?

Are the neocons running circles around President Trump? His Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has opposed the president's moves to open dialogue with North Korea from the get-go. Now he has managed to scuttle a visit to Pyongyang by showing Trump a letter from a North Korean official that is reported to be "belligerent." That was enough for Trump to cancel Pompeo's trip. Meanwhile, South Korea is pursuing good relations with the North regardless of US backtracking. Washington is reportedly considering sanctions on its South Korean ally if Seoul continues on a peace path with Pyongyang. More on this bizarre turn of events in today's Liberty Report...
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Trump is Right About 'Flipping'

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In the wake of the federal criminal conviction of former Trump official Paul Manafort and the guilty plea in federal court of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the mainstream press is singing the praises of special prosecutor (and former FBI Director) Robert Mueller and the Justice Department.

In the process, Trump’s critics are condemning his denunciation of “flipping,” the process by which federal prosecutors offer a sweet deal to criminal defendants in return for testifying against a “higher-up” who the feds are also prosecuting. The press and the anti-Trumpsters say that such a practice is part of the “rule of law” and essential to the proper administration of justice.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever else might be said about Trump, he is absolutely right on this point. The process of offering sweetheart deals to people in return for their “cooperation” to get someone else convicted has long been one of the most corrupt aspects of the federal criminal-justice system, especially as part of the federal government’s much-vaunted (and much-failed) war on drugs.
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