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Rich’s Ghost Haunts the Courts

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As if it weren’t enough of a downer for Russiagate true believers that no Trump-Russia collusion was found, federal judges are now demanding proof that Russia hacked into the DNC in the first place.

It is shaping up to be a significant challenge to the main premise of the shaky syllogism that ends with “Russia did it.”

If you’re new to this website, grab onto something, as the following may come as something of a shock. Not only has there never been any credible evidence to support the claim of Russian cyber interference, there has always been a simple alternative explanation that involves no “hacking” at all — by Russia or anyone else.

As most Consortium News habitués are aware, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes two former NSA technical directors), working with independent forensic investigators, concluded two years ago that what “everyone knows to be Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee” actually involved an insider with physical access to DNC computers copying the emails onto an external storage device — such as a thumb drive. In other words, it was a leak, not a hack.
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Can Trump Get Out Of Afghanistan?

With a peace agreement between the US and the Taliban nearly completed, will President Trump be able to do what his two predecessors were unable to do - end the US military's 18 year war on Afghanistan? Neocons at home are screaming that we must stay, Trump has promised a departure. And election season is heating up. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The US Government and Its Police Forces

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Yes, gun violence is a problem in America.

Yes, mass shootings are a problem in America.

Yes, mentally ill individuals embarking on mass shooting sprees are a problem in America.

However, tighter gun control laws and so-called “intelligent” background checks fail to protect the public from the most egregious perpetrator of gun violence in America: the US government.

Consider that five years after police shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old man in Ferguson, Missouri, there has been no relief from the government’s gun violence.

Clearly, the US government is not making America any safer.

Indeed, the government’s gun violence—inflicted on unarmed individuals by battlefield-trained SWAT teams, militarized police, and bureaucratic government agents trained to shoot first and ask questions later—poses a greater threat to the safety and security of the nation than any mass shooter.
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A Sino-Russian Firewall Against US Interference

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China has explicitly accused the United States and Britain for fomenting the “pro-democracy” protests in Hong Kong. Beijing has taken up the matter via the diplomatic channel demanding that the US intelligence should stop inciting and abetting the Hong Kong protestors. Last week photographic evidence appeared in the media showing the political counsellor in the US consulate in Hong Kong Julie Eadeh confabulating in the lobby of a local luxury hotel with the student leaders involved in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. 

Washington has taken umbrage that Julie’s cover has been blown. She is apparently an expert who organised “colour revolutions” in other countries and it has been disclosed that she was involved in plotting “subversive acts” in the Middle East region. The Global Times wrote a blistering editorial. It said: 

“The US administration has played a disgraceful role in the Hong Kong riots. Washington publicly supports the protests and never condemns violence that targets police. The US consulate general in Hong Kong is stepping up its direct interference in Hong Kong’s situation. The US administration is instigating turmoil in Hong Kong the way it stoked “colour revolutions” in other places worldwide.”
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Endgame for the Fed?

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The Federal Reserve, responding to concerns about the economy and the stock market, and perhaps to criticisms by President Trump, recently changed course on interest rates by cutting its “benchmark” rate from 2.25 percent to two percent. President Trump responded to the cut in already historically-low rates by attacking the Fed for not committing to future rate cuts.
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Eight Years Ago NATO Killed My Family in Their Sleep

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Eight years ago, NATO and its partners, killed nearly 200 Libyan civilians across the North African country. Eight years on, no one has been held accountable. Neither NATO nor its partners gave any explanation or offered an apology let alone compensation while the families of those killed still reel with pain and the lack of an explanation as to why their loved ones were killed as they slept.
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China Accuses US Of 'Gangster Logic' For Defending Meetings With HK Independence Activists

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China hit back Friday over the developing fresh diplomatic crisis centered on a US State Department official caught meeting with notable Hong Kong independence activists. The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong said Washington is applying “gangster logic” after the day prior a US spokesperson called Beijing a “thuggish regime”.

“The spokesperson at the commissioner’s office denounced the claim as a blatant slander against China, which has confounded right with wrong and again exposed US gangster logic and hegemonic thinking. China deplores and firmly opposes the remarks,” the statement said.

A woman identified as Julie Eadeh, chief of the US consulate in Hong Kong's political unit - which Chinese media figures had denounced as a "subversion expert" - had been photographed early in the week holding a secretive meeting with key anti-Beijing protest leaders at a downtown hotel in the semi-autonomous city.
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The Persistent Myth That Trump Opposes War

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Whenever I criticize the foreign policy of the current US administration, I always get some pushback from Trump supporters who insist that this president is doing more good than harm by “fighting the Deep State” and, even more commonly, by “keeping us out of wars”.
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Official Secrets: Priti Patel’s Early War on Whistleblowers

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As British ambassador to the US Kim Darroch tended his wounds of humiliation last month, following the leak of a cache of diplomatic cables and documents, including emails describing President Trump as ‘inept’ and ‘uniquely dysfunctional,’ an outraged UK government descended into panic over how to handle such an apparently sensitive and damaging betrayal of confidential information. A police investigation was launched to find the leaker. 

Is this dubious leak now being used to mount an attack on whistleblowers – with the help of Boris Johnson’s new Home Secretary, Priti Patel?

A leak useful for mobilising outrage

The leak, which led to Trump’s refusal to work with Darroch, and consequently Darroch’s resignation, is a useful type of leak for a government set on tightening the Official Secrets Act(OSA). After all, it has not exposed evidence of any government crime, so cannot really be applauded as a courageous stand against abuse of power as in the case for example of the leaks released by Chelsea Manning and published by Wikileaks, exposing US war crimes.
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