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Pompeo Slaps On Major Russia Sanctions...Over Unproven UK Poisoning!

Is Pompeo launching a coup against his boss? By kicking in sanctions on Russia - invoking a 1991 US law on chemical weapons - the US State Department is further poisoning President Trump's efforts to improve relations with his Russian counterpart. If President Trump refuses to enforce the sanctions, he will hand a political gift to Democrats who believe their election fortunes in November rest on endlessly screaming "Russia, Russia, Russia." And what are these new sanctions all about? The totally unproven, full-of-holes claims that the Russian government was behind the Skripal "poisoning" in the UK in March. We untangle some of this madness in today's Liberty Report...
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A Four Person NATO-Funded Team Advises Facebook On Flagging 'Propaganda'

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This is not at all comforting: during a week that's witnessed Alex Jones' social media accounts taken down by Facebook, Apple, Spotify and Google, and what appears to be a growing crackdown against alternative media figures including several prominent Libertarians, notably the Ron Paul Institute director, and the Scott Horton Show, who found their Twitter accounts suspended — we learn that the Atlantic Council is directly advising Facebook on identifying and removing "foreign interference" on the popular platform. 

While the initiative was initially revealed last May through an official Facebook media release, more details of the controversial think tank's role have been revealed. 

Supposedly the whole partnership is aimed at bringing more objectivity and neutrality to the process of rooting out fake accounts that pose the threat of being operated by nefarious foreign states.

And yet as a new Reuters report confirms, Facebook is now itself a top donor to the Atlantic Council, alongside Western governments, Gulf autocratic regimes, NATO, various branches of the US military, and a number of major defense contractors and corporations.
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Senate Moves To Seize The Internet - Do We Need More Government Censorship?

Senator Mark Warner's (D-VA) office has drawn up a proposal for the US government to become much more involved in the Internet and particularly social media. They tell us for our own good they must protect us from "disinformation" and be able to determine the identity of each social media account as well as the user's location. Ironically - or not - this is pretty much what the Chinese government is doing with its social media and search engines. Is this the direction we should be heading? Is there a better solution? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Senator Rand Paul Visits Russia to Encourage ‘Vital Engagement’ Between Lawmakers

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Donald Trump is not the only American politician to be striving for a better relationship with Moscow in defiance of multiple opponents who are raising a ruckus about his stance on Russia. The hysterical reaction to the US president’s summit with the Russian leader in Helsinki did not keep Republican Senator Rand Paul from doing what he believes is right — going to Moscow as the head of a US delegation, which also included Texas State Senator Don Huffines and the president of the Cato Institute, Peter Goettler, in order to spur contacts with Russian lawmakers.

During the talks in Moscow on Aug.6, he invited Russian senators to visit Washington.“Today, I met with Chairman Kosachev, and we agreed on the importance of continued dialogue. I invited the Russian Federation to send a delegation to the Capitol, and they have agreed to take this important next step,” Mr. Paul stated. It’ll be the first Russian parliamentary delegation to have traveled to Washington in nearly three years. The senator thinks "our biggest problem right now is no dialogue," emphasizing that"engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world."

Last year, Rand Paul, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, was one of two senators who voted against the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which included  massive sanctions against Russia. Prior to that, he had voted against Montenegro’s NATO membership, which was also opposed by Moscow. According to Sen. Paul, “Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan). In addition, the United States is pledged to defend twenty-eight countries in NATO. It is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”
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VIPS Asks Twitter to Restore Van Buren’s Account

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We at Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) are greatly disturbed by the recent decision of your management to permanently suspend the Twitter account @WeMeantWell of our colleague Peter Van Buren. Peter is a highly respected former Foreign Service Officer possessing impeccable credentials for critiquing current developments that might lead to a new war in Eastern Europe or Asia, something which we Americans presumably all would like to avoid.
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Shocker: AP Reports On US/Al-Qaeda Coalition In Yemen

The independent press has long reported the seeming collusion between the US and al-Qaeda in the war on the Houthis in Yemen. Now the most mainstream of mainstream media outlets - AP - has concluded a blockbuster report that reaches the same findings. The US and its allies in the war on Yemen are so focused on curbing "expansionist" Iran that they are actually looking the other way - and even in some cases funding - al-Qaeda. More on this in today's Liberty Report...
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More Lies About the White Helmets

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When is a terrorist group not a terrorist group? Apparently the answer is that it ceases to be terrorist when it terrorizes someone who is an enemy of the United States. The most prominent recent example is the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK), a murderous Iranian Marxist cult which assassinated five Americans in the 1970s as part of its campaign against the Shah’s government. It was removed from the State Department terrorist list in 2012 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after it had promised not to kill any more Americans but really because it had bought the support of prominent politicians to include Elaine Chao, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and John Bolton. It also had the behind the scenes endorsement of both the Israeli Mossad and CIA, both of whom have been using it in their operations to kill Iranians and damage the country’s infrastructure. Someone high up in the federal government, perhaps Hillary or even President Obama himself, must have decided that terrorists who kill only Iranians deserve a get out of jail free card from the State Department.

There are other examples of cynical doublespeak from the Syrian conflict, including labeling rebels against the Damascus government “freedom fighters” when in reality they were as often as not allied with the al-Qaeda affiliated group Al-Nusra or even with ISIS. Frequently they received training and weapons from Washington only to turn around and either join Al-Nusra and ISIS as volunteers or surrender their weapons to them.
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Institutionalizing Intolerance: Bullies Win, Freedom Suffers When We Can’t Agree to Disagree

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What a mess.

As America has become ever more polarized, and those polarized factions have become more militant and less inclined to listen to—or even allow for the existence of—other viewpoints, we are fast becoming a nation of people who just can’t get along.

Here’s the thing: if Americans don’t learn how to get along—at the very least, agreeing to disagree and respecting each other’s right to subscribe to beliefs and opinions that may be offensive, hateful, intolerant or merely different—then we’re going to soon find that we have no rights whatsoever (to speak, assemble, agree, disagree, protest, opt in, opt out, or forge our own paths as individuals).

In such an environment, when we can’t agree to disagree, the bullies (on both sides) win and freedom suffers.

Intolerance, once the domain of the politically correct and self-righteous, has been institutionalized, normalized and politicized.

Even those who dare to defend speech that may be unpopular or hateful as a constitutional right are now accused of “weaponizing the First Amendment.”

On college campuses across the country, speakers whose views are deemed “offensive” to some of the student body are having their invitations recalled or cancelled, being shouted down by hecklers, or forced to hire costly security details. As The Washington Postconcludes, “College students support free speech—unless it offends them.”
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New Sanctions Kick In: Trump Declares (Trade) War On Iran...And EU!

Starting tonight, US sanctions on Iran and anyone who does business will kick in. Did Iran attack someone? Threaten someone? No. President Trump has unilaterally pulled the US out of the nuclear agreement and now demands that all US allies follow suit and, de facto, abrogate the treaty. The Europeans are making a lot of noise, claiming that they will back up any EU businesses that remain in Iran. That won't hold. Brussels will cave. But no one seems to be thinking about unintended consequences. Who stands to benefit the most from Washington's obsession with regime change in Iran? China, which is already rapidly expanding its economic presence in Iran. More on this colossal Trump blunder in today's Liberty Report...
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Silence on US Meddling Abroad

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Among the most fascinating aspects of the brouhaha over supposed Russian meddling in America’s electoral system is the total silence in the US mainstream press about US meddling in the political affairs of other countries.

Consider the mass outrage and indignation among the mainstream press that Russia would actually want to help a US presidential candidate who favors normalizing relations with Russia over a candidate that was determined to do the opposite.

Why not the same outrage against the US national-security establishment for helping its favorite people come to office in foreign countries?

By their silence regarding US meddling in foreign countries, one could easily draw the conclusion that the US mainstream press is saying the following: It’s wrong for Russia to meddle in the US electoral system but it’s okay for the US national-security establishment (i.e., the military, CIA, and NSA) to meddle in the electoral affairs of foreign countries.
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