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In Korea, Kim And Moon Embrace - No Need For Outsiders?

It looks like the neocons may not succeed with their plot to blow up the Trump/Kim meeting next month. With Trump canceling the meeting at the end of last week, the North and South Korean leaders held an impromptu meeting on the border to look for a path ahead toward peace. President Trump has taken notice and plans are again underway for the historic meeting. Are neocons sidelined for now? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back

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"I need a witness!" exclaimed the security screener at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Because I had forgotten to remove my belt before going through a scanner, he explained, I must undergo an "enhanced patdown." I told him that if he jammed his hand into my groin, I'd file a formal complaint. So he summoned his supervisor to keep an eye on the proceedings.

I thought of this exchange last week when the New York Times revealed that the Transportation Security Administration has created a secret watchlist for troublesome passengers. The TSA justified the list by saying that its screeners were assaulted 34 times last year, but did not release any details about the alleged assaults.

Naturally, the TSA's official definition of troublemaking goes well beyond punching its officers. According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is "offensive and without legal justification" can land a traveler on the list, as can any "challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening." Anyone who has ever "loitered" near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener's hands away from her breasts.
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MEK’s Money Sure Can’t Buy Love (But it can buy a lot of politicians)

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Iran’s radical Marxist cult Mohajedeen e Khalq, better known by its acronym MEK, is somewhat reminiscent of the Israel Lobby’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in that it operates somewhat in the shadows and is nevertheless able to punch well beyond its weight by manipulating politicians and understanding how American government functions on its dark side. MEK promotes itself by openly supporting a very popular hardline policy of “democratic opposition” advocating “regime change” for Iran while also successfully selling its reform credentials, i.e. that it is no longer a terrorist group. This latter effort apparently convinced then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 2013 as she and President Barack responded to the group’s affability campaign by delisting MEK from the government list of terrorist organizations.

This shift in attitude towards MEK was a result of several factors. First, everyone in Washington and the Establishment hates Iran. And second, the Executive Order 13224, which designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, ipso facto defines any group fighting against it as one of the good guys, justifying the change

MEK is best described as a cult rather than as a political movement because of its internal discipline. Its members are, according to the testimony of those who have somehow escaped, subjected to considerable indoctrination best described as brainwashing. Though not exactly imprisoned, adherents are kept isolated and separated insofar as possible and cannot contact their families. Their possessions are collectivized so they have no money or other resources. If they are in contravention of the numerous rules that guide the organization they are punished, including physically, and there are reports of members being executed for trying to escape.
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Memorial Day is Based on a Lie

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Today, Memorial Day, Americans across the land will hear the same message: that US soldiers who have died in America’s foreign wars and foreign interventions have done so in the defense of our rights and freedoms. It is a message that will be heard in sporting events, memorial services, airports, churches, and everywhere else that Memorial Day is being commemorated.

There is one big thing wrong, however. It’s a lie. None of those soldiers died protecting our rights and freedoms. That’s because our rights and freedoms were never being threatened by the enemy forces that killed those soldiers.

Let’s work our way backwards.

Syria. The Syrian government has never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any US soldier who has died in Syria was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Niger. The Niger government has never invaded the United States and tried to take away our freedoms. Therefore, any US soldier who has died in Niger was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Iraq. The Iraq government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any US soldier who has died in Iraq was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.
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America’s Incredible Shrinking Influence

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Just two weeks after President Trump pulled the US from the Iran nuclear agreement, his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, issued 12 demands to Iran that could never be satisfied. Pompeo knew his demands would be impossible to meet. They were designed that way. Just like Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia in July, 1914, that led to the beginning of World War I. And just like the impossible demands made of Milosevic in 1999 and of Saddam Hussein in 1991 and 2003, and so many other times when Washington wanted war. These impossible demands are tools of war rather than steps toward peace.
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Syria - US Moves To Protect Al-Qaeda And ISIS in Daraa

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The Syrian government and its Russian ally plan to clean up the southwest region of Syria around the city of Daraa. The move should open the M5 highway, Syria's lifeline, between Damascus and Jordan and secure the border with Jordan as well as the demarcation line with the Israel occupied Golan Heights. The operation was supposed to start in a day or two, but the US has now threatened to intervene.
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South Korean President Moons Bolton

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Thanks no doubt to his bellicose national security adviser John Bolton, President Donald Trump has now lost control of the movement toward peace between the two Koreas.  Trump has put himself in a corner; he must now either reject — or, better, fire — Bolton, or face the prospect of wide war in the Far East, including the Chinese, with whom a mutual defense treaty with North Korea is still on the books.

The visuals of the surprise meeting late yesterday (local time) between the top leaders of South Korea and North Korea pretty much tell the story.  South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in drove into the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), and Seoul quickly released a one-minute video of what, by all appearances, was an extremely warm encounter with Kim Jung-un. It amounted to a smiling, thumbing of two noses at Bolton and the rest of the “crazies” who follow his advice, such as Vice President Mike Pence who echoed Bolton’s insane evocation of the “Libya model” for North Korea, which caused Pyongyang to go ballistic. Their angry response was the reason Trump cited for cancelling the June 12 summit with Kim.

But Trump almost immediately afterward began to waffle. At their meeting on Friday the two Korean leaders made it clear their main purpose was to make “the successful holding of the North Korea-U.S. Summit” happen. Moon is expected to announce the outcome of his talks with Kim Sunday morning (Korean time).
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Real Patriotism on Memorial Day Means Losing Fewer Soldiers in Meaningless Wars

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Most people, when thinking of Memorial Day—if they don’t confuse it with Veterans Day—think of the start of the summer season or great sales at the stores and online. Yet the holiday is supposed to honor those who died in America’s wars. Even some of the limited remembrance on TV and in the news is more superficial than deeply reflective.

Perhaps the greatest tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice might be to reduce the number of those who die in future wars. Unfortunately, throughout US history, but especially after the Cold War ended, politicians of both parties have been too quick to send American boys (and now girls) into harm’s way, rather than thinking of war as a last resort – as the nation’s founders did.

The original patriots realized the expenditure of blood and treasure for the leaders’ political goals usually fell to common citizens. The founders believed that war severely undermined the American republic.

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other,” wrote James Madison, our fourth president and an author of our Constitution. “War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.
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Your Tax Dollars Bankroll Afghan Child Molesters

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Donald Trump was hailed by the media last August when he announced he was sending more US troops to fight in Afghanistan. A Washington Post editorial praised his “principled realism” and saluted “a rare but welcome story of self-correction” (since Trump had portrayed Afghanistan as a lost cause when he was a presidential candidate). A New York Daily News op-ed praised the president because “Trump said ‘win’ and ‘victory’ more times in 15 minutes than President Barack Obama did in eight years.” CNN cheered that expanding the Afghan war allowed Trump to “stake out a more conventional presidential posture.”
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For US Congress, Running a Torture Prison Is a Good Career Move

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Gina Haspel has now been confirmed as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by a Senate vote of 54 to 45. She had previously been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee by 10 votes to 5, with six Democrats joining all but three of the committee’s Republicans. Haspel seems fully qualified in terms of her experience to do the job, though it is admittedly difficult to make that judgement because her full professional biography has not been revealed by CIA. Claims by supporters seeking to enhance her record that she was “under cover” for 32 years are meaningless as many officers who serve at Agency Headquarters in Langley have that status.

Accurate information on Haspel is hard to come by. Access to a top secret memo reportedly prepared by Committee Democrats concerning her possibly illegal activities has been restricted even among Senators. Nevertheless, as the first woman to become head of the Agency one might reasonably say that Haspel has certainly broken through several glass ceilings to obtain her new position.

During the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings Haspel vowed that, if approved, she would never again permit torture to be employed by the Agency. It was, of course, a necessary though empty gesture in that it appears quite clear that she did not demur at torture being used in the past. Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden expressed his opinion with a tweet when news of the confirmation became public, writing that “Gina Haspel participated in a torture program that involved beating an innocent pregnant woman’s stomach, anally raping a man with meals he tried to refuse, and freezing a shackled prisoner until he died. She personally wrote the order to destroy 92 tapes of CIA torture.”
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