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Overclassification and Mar-a-Lago


Let’s commit a potential crime by reading this: “Every day the Iraqis turn out military communiques threatening ‘severe punishment’ against Iran.” That line is classified, albeit from 1988. It was put into the public sphere via Wikileaks but never officially declassified. Technically it remains classified even though it is a click away for anybody with internet access.

It illustrates that if there are three things most everyone in government agrees on a) there are too many classified documents classified too highly, b) no one is going to risk their neck to be the first to start classifying less and c) handling all that classified is a major problem for even those trying to do the right thing.

As former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said, “Everything’s secret. I mean, I got an email saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ It carried a top secret NSA classification marking.”

In 2010 Congress passed the Reducing Over-Classification Act, which mandated several steps to improve classification practices.  But in a minor act of legislative malpractice, Congress failed to define the meaning of the term “overclassification.”   So it is not entirely clear what the Act was supposed to reduce.
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The Federal Reserve Wants You Fired


The Federal Reserve was no doubt troubled by July’s decline in the US unemployment rate to 4.5 percent and increase in job openings to 11.2 million. This is because the Fed’s strategy for reducing the historic price inflation now plaguing the economy — caused by the Fed’s unprecedented low or zero interest rate policies — is to increase unemployment in order to decrease consumer spending. In his speech to the annual monetary policy conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his commitment to increasing unemployment, or, as he puts it, “softening the labor markets.”
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Poking China: Biden Asks Congress to Approve $1.1 Billion in Weapons for Taiwan

As Congressional delegations line up to be more provocative toward China while visiting Taiwan, President Biden has announced that he would like to sell $1.1 billion in new weapons to Taiwan. China is not amused. What could go wrong? Also today: the Pentagon has sent all its toys to Ukraine, leaving US troops with "reduced readiness" to defend this country. Look for bigger military budgets in our future! Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Black Hole: as billions in American arms and aid enter Ukraine, US officials receive hand written receipts


Ukraine is consistently ranked as one of the most corrupt governments in all of Europe. Given that reality, it might not come as much of a surprise that Kiev has no functioning mechanism to track the massive amount of inflows of American weapons and aid into the country.

With tens of billions of dollars aid money allocated to Ukraine, and untold billions in military equipment shipped across the border, when US arms and aid enter Ukraine, it enters into a black hole. Given the notorious corruption in Kiev, perhaps that’s all by design.

Where do all of the weapons and aid end up, exactly? Nobody knows, not even the inspector general who is supposed to be America’s watchdog on this effort.

In a Bloomberg article from the weekend titled, “Torrent of Cash for Ukraine Arms Puts Pentagon Watchdog on Alert,” an amazing bombshell comes via a quote in the story that seems to imply the opposite of the piece’s accountability theme.

A Pentagon official, Inspector General Sean O’Donnell, is quoted as saying that Ukrainian officials do their accounting of American equipment and aid with “hand receipts, it’s all paper.”

O’Donnell added that he doesn’t “think they have much fidelity” as to where the arms end up.
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Are You Attending the RPI Conference This Saturday?


The Ron Paul Institute is holding its annual conference at the Westin Washington Dulles Airport this Saturday, September 3. It stands to be another outstanding one. I have the honor and pleasure of again speaking at it. I will also be speaking at the conference’s program for young scholars the day before.
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Salman Rushdie, Charles Murray, Fatwa and Cancel Culture


At first glance, there would appear to be something wrong with the title of this essay. Surely, the Muslim fatwa against Salman Rushdie (death sentence in his case) for writing The Satanic Verses, a book widely deemed offensive in this community, can have little or nothing to do with Charles Murray in particular and the wokester cancel culture in general?

Not so fast.

Au contraire, there are indeed similarities between the two, and important ones at that. Both Salman Rushdie and Charles Murray were physically attacked upon the occasion of them giving public speeches on intellectual/artistic matters.

Yes, it cannot be denied that no one, at least of yet, has been murdered by the progressives for articulating viewpoints they regard as invasive. But, then, the same can be said of Salman Rushdie. He was recently subjected to a violent attack on him in Chautauqua, near Lake Erie in western New York, at the Chautauqua Institution, a community that offers arts and literary programming; despite that, he is still alive. Moreover, a fatwa is merely a finding emanating from a recognized Islamic authority on a point of Muslim law. By no means do all fatwas call for the death of those judged in this manner.
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Iraq and Libya Imploding - Another 'Successful' US Intervention!

First Afghanistan imploded and now it appears Iraq and Libya are about to follow suit. Syria simmers. The fruits of US interventionism are everywhere the same: chaos and death, not the promised "triumph of peace and democracy." Also today: Facebook exec admits FBI pushed the company to censor "the laptop from hell." Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Keeping Out the Jacobins


I’ve been reading The New Jacobinism: America as Revolutionary State by Claes G. Ryn, first published in 1991. It’s a short but insightful polemic about the pernicious influence of neoconservatism—the “New Jacobinism”—on American affairs. Here is a brief overview:

"This strongly and lucidly argued book gave early warning of a political-intellectual movement that was spreading in the universities, media, think-tanks, and foreign-policy and national security establishment of the United States. That movement claims that America represents universal principles and should establish armed global hegemony. Claes G. Ryn demonstrates that, although this ideology is often called 'conservative' or 'neoconservative,' it has more in common with the radical Jacobin ideology of the French Revolution of 1789. The French Jacobins selected France as savior of the world. The new Jacobins have anointed the United States. The author explains that the new Jacobinism manifests a precipitous decline of American civilization and that it poses a serious threat to traditional American constitutionalism and liberty. The book’s analyses and predictions have proved almost eerily prophetic."

“Prophetic,” indeed, for two reasons.

First, it was published a decade before “President George W. Bush made neo-Jacobin ideology the basis of US foreign policy,” transforming America into the spearhead of the “global democratic revolution” with all the blood and tears that has entailed. Second, Ryn’s close encounter with neoconservatism helps to make sense of certain intellectual trends today.
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Biden’s Student Debt Forgiveness Scheme is Unforgivable


Last week, President Biden announced he is creating a new program forgiving 10,000 dollars of student loan debt for those with income under 125,000 dollars a year. The amount rises to 20,000 dollars for borrowers who are Pell Grant recipients. Biden flip-flopped on the issue as he previously denied that the president has the authority to create a new student loan debt forgiveness program.
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The Emperor has no Clothes: US Strategy for Africa


The US government recently disclosed its latest strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa. The document, while not showing surprises or changes from previous policy permutations, is eloquent on the US real priorities in the continent. For the US, its geopolitical agenda based on unipolar world hegemony is far more important that the issues that really matter Africa and that would allow a viable strategic partnership, namely economic prosperity and political stability. The pecking order of US goals is self-evident while reading the paper, with the fostering of “open societies” and delivering “democratic and security dividends” taking priority over mundane matters such as health, economic recovery and environmental protection.

To understand what promoting open societies and democracy really means for the US, and notwithstanding the passage of time, NATO’s origins and its former support of the Portuguese colonial wars in Africa is a valid starting point. NATO’s 1949 treaty preamble expressed its member states’ intention to ‘safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law’. With US backing Portugal, a NATO founding member, successfully blocked efforts of some Nordic member countries to confront its repressive colonial policies in the early 1970s. Under US leadership, NATO had no qualms dismissing its idealistic preamble by supporting the Estado Novo regime in Portugal, a straight residue of Europe’s fascist era. In the context of the Cold War, the Nixon administration did not shy away from considering Portuguese dominance of its colonies as a stabilising force in the region.

Back to 2022, it is ominous how the new US strategy document quotes Freedom House - a Washington based US government funded organization – on its assertion that only eight Sub-Saharan Africa countries are nowadays to be considered free. If this is the case and given that “fostering freer societies” is the main US goal in Africa, it then perhaps appears inevitable that the US will need to confront or even subvert the remaining 42 African governments to honour its commitment, which inevitably brings back memories of recent US actions in Iraq and Libya.
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