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Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You)

You are a tool of the state, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA in the U.S., and its equivalent in the UK, GCHQ, are taking control of your phone not just to spy on you as needed, but also to use your device as a way to spy on others around you. You are a walking microphone, camera and GPS for spies.

Snowden, in a BBC interview, explained that for the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot.
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Into Africa: Obama's Newest War

What to do when an intervention has completely imploded, contributing to 200,000 deaths, destroying a country, and pushing the US closer to a nuclear conflict with Russia than at any time in the past 40 years? 

Well if you are President Obama you press forward with yet another US military intervention!

And of course you ignore the Constitution in the process.

President Obama announced yesterday that he would be sending some 300 US troops to the African country of Cameroon to help battle Boko Haram, a fundamentalist Sunni sect influenced by Wahhabism -- Saudi Arabia's second most famous export. Earlier this year, the leader of Boko Haram allegedly pledged his group's allegiance to ISIS.
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How Did ISIS Get All Those Toyota Trucks?

Recently the Department of the Treasury, responsible for keeping track of sanctions and violations of sanctions, turned its bureaucratic eye toward the massive convoys of Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks in possession of ISIS. How the heck did they get such a massive fleet of identical tactical war-machines? They put some pressure on Toyota at first: do you know anything about how these bad guys got all the trucks? Toyota had no clue, as it only makes cars.
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Breaking: Washington Airdrops Tons of Weapons to Rebels in Syria

Hopeful news at the end of last week that the Obama Administration was considering disengaging from its schizophrenic war in Syria  has given way to the ugly reality that Washington's neocons in charge will never back away from a fight (as long as they are not doing the fighting). 

First bit of bad news, we saw the policy shift away from vetting and training rebels. The Administration announced that because the $500 million plan to train and equip vetted "moderate" rebels has been an obvious failure, the solution was to remove the training and vetting part of the project and simply send military equipment. From now on only leaders of the rebel groups would be vetted. The fighters would simply be armed, no questions asked.
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Defense Spending Bill: $600 Million More to Train "Moderates" in Syria

Last year's National Defense Authorization Act allocated half a billion dollars to train "vetted," "moderate" rebels to attack ISIS in Syria and also to overthrow the country's sovereign government. This schizophrenic policy goal not surprisingly produced a total (after the others were killed, captured, or willingly gave their weapons to ISIS) of four or five fighters. Even this micro force of five ultimately found itself in the depths of embarrassment as it was carjacked by al-Qaeda. Half a billion dollars to have five guys carjacked! Put ten plumbers in a room and they could craft a more workable foreign policy than the entirety of the US foreign policy establishment.

So how does Capitol Hill respond to such a total failure? Reassess the policy and cut the losses? Welcome the Russian entry into the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria? Look at Iraq and Libya and decide that regime change is just an illicit fantasy of the perpetual adolescents of the neoconservative movement?
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Ron Paul’s Swords into Plowshares Soundtrack


Each chapter of Ron Paul’s latest book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity is preceded by song lyrics that help communicate the antiwar ideas Paul expresses in the book. That makes 21 songs for 21 chapters. Metallica, Willie Nelson, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, and Pete Seeger are among the performers featured in the song collection.
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Lawrence Wilkerson on the 70 Years Old and Counting US National Security State

On occasion a college professor answers an interview question in such a way that it creates in some listeners a sudden, if fleeting, urge to drop everything, move across the country, and sign up for a course. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson, whose background includes being a colonel in the United States Army and chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided such an answer at the end of a 12-minute interview on RT this week.

In his answer, Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute Academic Board member, provides an introduction to the 70 years-in-building US national security state that makes US foreign policy very focused on militarism. It certainly would be interesting to see this introduction fleshed out over a semester in a college course.
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Russia's Campaign To Snuff Off The CIA's Al-Qaeda Forces

With some 125 strikes in three days the Russian bombing campaign continues to build. The US media is now obsessed with the idea that Russia may be using "dumb bombs" instead of Syrian "barrel bombs". This is becoming a new propaganda meme. But videos from the Russian airbase show that at least some of the planes are armed with KAB-500S-E satellite (GLONAST) guided bombs which are precise "smart" bombs. (Other pictures and video from the Russian air base show a quite comfortable life including air conditioned quarters, a mess tent, Gulaschkanonen, a bakery, a laundry etc. This base is not an improvised short-term installation.)

Besides that how is it more humane to kill by a precise bomb than by a "dumb bomb" or "barrel bomb". Gaza was bombed by the Israelis with (US produced) smart bombs. That did not lead to less destruction or killing. The recent Saudi (US produced) bomb on the Yemen wedding that killed 130 people was also "smart" and hit right where it was targeted at.
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Eric Margolis: US Fight Against ‘Covert Western Asset’ ISIS is a ‘Big Charade’

Eric Margolis returned to the Scott Horton Show on Wednesday for another intriguing interview regarding international relations and war. In the interview, Margolis, a Ron Paul Institute Academic Board member and international affairs writer, lifted the lid on the ongoing fight of the United States and coalition members against the Islamic State (ISIS), referring to ISIS as a “covert western asset” and the US-supported fight against ISIS as a “big charade.”
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