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Daniel McAdams

'We Tortured Some Folks...And Thinking About Torturing Some More Folks'

The New York Times reports that the Obama Administration is considering a return to the Bush-era interpretation of the UN Convention Against Torture, which is that it does not apply to torture conducted outside US borders. This would mean that those conducting what would be considered torture in the US would not be legally liable for such actions in CIA facilities or US military prisons overseas.

According to the Times, State Department lawyers are urging that the president drop the Bush-era position, while lawyers from the military and intelligence community are concerned that the folks tortured could turn and sue those US officials involved should the US view be officially changed.


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Germany Knows Who Shot Down Flight MH-17?

That is the claim of the head of German intelligence, the BND, writes German newsmagazine Der Spiegel over the weekend. On RT, RPI's Daniel McAdams remains skeptical of these supposed German claims and criticizes the secrecy and lack of transparency in the investigation...


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White House 'Inherently Resolved' to Defeat ISIS

Sometimes it takes a while for the PR folks to come up with a branding scheme for another US war. 

In the recent past, we had Desert Shield, which gave way to Desert Storm, when the US first attacked Iraq in 1990. Very exciting, like a storm in the desert. Then came "Operation Iraqi Freedom." A little less dramatic but it got the point across: "we come to give you freedom whether you want it or not." As it turned out, there was little real freedom produced by Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Now, two months after the US began bombing Iraq again -- and now Syria as well -- Pentagon branders have agreed on a name for President Obama's determination to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (or Islamic State, or ISIL, or whatever you want to call it).

The name: "Operation Inherent Resolve."


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Khorasan Group: Anatomy of Propaganda

Remember the Khorasan Group? It was only three weeks ago, when the Obama Administration was desperate for any kind of legal justification for its plan to begin bombing Syria, that we began hearing about a horrifically dangerous group that was worse than ISIS and was in the final stages of planning an attack on the United States.

Absent a threat from Syria, absent Congressional authorization, absent a UN resolution, any US missile strike on Syria would be illegal, an aggressive move characteristic of a rogue state. If a story line could be crafted that there was an imminent threat to the United States, however, the president would have Constitutional authority to thwart the attempted strike.
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Crimes and Hope: Ron Paul's Conversation With Lew Rockwell

Two legendary voices for peace and liberty are at the top of their game in this historic conversation between Ron Paul and his first Congressional chief of staff, Lew Rockwell. Having worked so long for Dr. Paul I can say it sounds in many ways like the conversations we would have in his Congressional office in the 2000s-2010s. I imagine Lew Rockwell, who went before my colleagues and me, in Dr. Paul's Congressional office sitting down and bouncing ideas off of him. Listening to Dr. Paul's perspectives and latest thinking. Taking that as inspiration for further research. It brings back so many memories.
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How Much is Obama's War on ISIS Going to Cost? You Don't Want to Know!

How much is Obama's new war on Iraq and Syria going to cost? If you believe the woman who was right about the costs of the last US war on Iraq, Harvard Professor Linda J. Bilmes, it's going to cost a fortune. 

In a critically important article Professor Bilmes wrote for the Boston Globe this week, the author of The Three Trillion Dollar War (with Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz) points out that although the US has already spent approximately one billion dollars thus far on President Obama's plan to "degrade and destroy" ISIS, the price tag is going to climb steeply —and quickly — from there.

Direct costs of the president's plan will likely be on the order of $22 billion per year, but that is only the start.
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Libya Up Next (Again) On Obama's 'Bomb the World' Tour?

While the media tends to tread lightly on the subject (they were, after all, war cheerleaders), it is nevertheless widely known that President Obama's war on Libya to spread democracy and save the Libyan people from a dictator did not quite turn out as advertised. 

On March 28, 2011, the president announced of his attack on Libya:
We are succeeding in our mission... Because we acted quickly a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians...have been saved.
Fast forward just a bit and it is obvious that his confidence in the righteousness of his bombing mission is misplaced. Shortly after the president proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" in Libya, the radical Islamists with which his administration had allied to overthrow Gaddafi gained the upper hand and began to unleash a whole new kind of terror on the Libyan people. And, famously, on US diplomats as well.
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Does Obama's 'Pivot to Asia' Include Regime Change For China?

President Barack Obama's "pivot to Asia" was supposed to mean that the US would pull back from its commitments in the Middle East and Europe and focus on improving economic and other ties with East Asia. Instead, the US government has helped foment a coup against an elected president in Ukraine, sparking a bloody civil war in the country; ignited a new cold war with Russia, including the imposition of broad economic sanctions; and launched yet another war in the Middle East, this time attacking both Iraqi and Syrian territory. 

Fallout from the administration's turn against Russia (ostensibly in retaliation for what Washington insists is a strong Russian hand in eastern Ukraine's fight for independence from post-coup Kiev), includes a significant warming of relations between Russia and China and a soaring level of trade between the two countries in Chinese currency, the yuan, instead of the dollar. The result may well be a US own-goal, with the dollar as the global reserve currency soon a faded memory.
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Hilarious German Satire of Anti-Russian Propaganda

While the German media has been at least as propagandistic as the US/UK media in its resurrection of wild, Cold War-style rhetoric over the Ukraine situation, cracks are beginning to appear. Satire, humor, and ridicule have always been among the best forms of social critique, and the below clip lampooning the information war over Ukraine is among the very best. When people laugh at their government's propaganda, truth begins to break through. It was true with the Soviet Union and it is true today in the west. Watch and enjoy...
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US War on Syria, Day Two: Civilian Casualties, New Scarier Group Hit, Israel Joins

In an attack on Syria that the Obama administration promises will be "ongoing," the first day of US bombs has reportedly left eight civilians dead including three children. Some 33 fighters were reportedly killed, producing a typical but troubling civilian-to-fighter kill ratio. US airstrikes struck inside the city of Raqqa, including residential buildings claimed to be occupied by ISIS. The group has already re-located its heavy weaponry out of the area, however.

The US has also, according to press reports, attacked the newly discovered (by the media at least) "Khorasan" group, touted as even scarier than ISIS and far more terrifying than the relatively tame al-Qaeda. The Pentagon claimed in a statement that this latter group was plotting an “imminent attack... against the United States and western interests.”
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