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Gov. Charlie Baker Applauds US Government Circumventing State Law to Execute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Massachusetts does not have a death penalty. It has not had one for over thirty years — since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 1984 that the state’s death penalty violated the state constitution. Yet, we have the spectacle of Charlie Baker, the state’s Republican governor, proclaiming on Wednesday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who a United States district court trial jury had that day found guilty of counts related to the Boston Marathon bombing, should be executed in contravention of Massachusetts law.

Executing Tsarnaev is an option only because the United States Department of Justice decided to prosecute him in the US court system. Had that decision to intervene not been made, prosecution would have surely been pursued in the Massachusetts state court system where Tsarnaev would face incarceration upon a guilty verdict, but not execution.
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How the War on Drugs Facilitated the Global War on Terrorism

When President George W. Bush announced the Global War on Terrorism in 2001 he did not have to start his war from scratch. Instead, the development of the United States government’s war on drugs that President Richard Nixon announced forty years earlier facilitated much of Bush’s new war. Two revelations this week provide new examples of the linkage between the two wars.

First, Brad Heath reported Wednesday at USA Today that from 1992 through 2013 the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collected calling records of “virtually all” phone calls from America to a long list of countries. At the list’s peak size, bulk collection was undertaken on calls between the US and over 100 countries. Countries that the article notes were on the list at “one time or another” include most countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as Canada, Mexico, Italy, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and other countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
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Toronto Symphony Orchestra Goes Full Stalin

Ukrainian-born, North Carolina-dwelling pianist Valentina Lisitsa is an impressive talent. Most recently she released albums of Rachmaninov Concertos and works by Liszt on Decca Records. She is known for developing a massive following with the savvy use of social media like YouTube. In 2012 she sold out the Royal Albert Hall in an event that was also live-streamed to 100,000 people.

However, it was also on social media that she committed an unpardonable political crime that led the thought police in Canada to cancel an upcoming performance and offer to pay her as if she played if she would just keep her mouth shut about being blacklisted.

Thankfully she refused.
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Guess Who's Loving Saudi Bombs in Yemen?

As the US-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen enters into its second week, more than 500 people -- including many civilians -- have been killed, what infrastructure existed in the impoverished country has been destroyed, and the ousted president cheers on the destruction of his country within the protective embrace of the country that is bombing his own.

What is less reported in US mainstream media is that one group in Yemen seems to be making out quite well in the US-backed and Saudi-created chaos: al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Yes, al-Qaeda. The group that the US has been droning in Yemen since 2010. The drone strikes that set the population and especially various tribes like the Houthis against the US-accommodating Hadi. The Houthis who had been fighting al-Qaeda in Yemen before they started being bombed by Saudi Arabia. That al-Qaeda.
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The Iran Deal Deconstructed - RPI's Daniel McAdams With Jay Taylor

With so much spin being spun around the Framework Deal between Iran and the P5+1, RPI's Daniel McAdams goes point-by-point on what Iran agreed to give up in exchange for an end to the decades-long US, EU, and UN sanctions. The neocons in the US and their kindred spirits in Israel claim that Iran gave up nothing and will continue to build a nuclear weapon. Of course their own countries' intelligence services disagree, but that has never stopped neocon hyperbole. This deal, in the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "does not block Iran's path to the bomb. Such a deal paves Iran's path to the bomb." Of course Netanyahu's Iran hysteria goes back to at least 1992, when he claimed that Iran was just a couple of years away from a nuclear weapon.
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As Civilian Deaths Mount in Yemen, US Pledges Saudi Attackers More Support

Saudi fighter planes continue to attack neighboring Yemen in hopes of re-installing ousted Yemeni president Mansur Hadi and putting down the rebellion that forced him to depart. As usual, civilians bear the brunt of such a foreign attack. Today, the Saudi-led coalition bombed a refugee camp, killing more than 40 and wounding as many as 200. 

Hadi's ouster earlier this year came on the heels of mounting public anger over his cooperation with the US government's five years of drone attacks on Yemen, which killed scores of civilians. Hadi, who was "elected" by an impressive 99.80% of the vote (on a single-candidate ballot) had previously overthrown long-time Yemeni ruler, Abdullah Saleh, in the "Arab Spring" uprisings of 2011.
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When it's OK to Bomb Your Own People

One of the chief US/UK justifications for their regime change policy in Syria is the claim that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "bombing his own people." While in fact the intentional targeting of his civilian population is more propaganda than fact, there is a country not far from Syria where the president actively calls for the bombing of his own people. As RPI advisor Mark Almond points out, ousted Yemeni president Hadi escaped to Saudi Arabia from where he urges the continued bombing of his own country and his own people. To the enthusiastic approval of the US and UK governments.
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Norman Singleton Discusses the Terrible Way the PATRIOT Act Became Law

Norman Singleton, who worked for years as the legislative director for former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), provided a very revealing account on Tuesday of the terrible way the PATRIOT Act was moved quickly to passage by a huge majority of votes in the US House of Representatives and Senate in October of 2001. Singleton, who is currently the vice president of policy at the Campaign for Liberty, made the comments as a panelist in a Washington, DC congressional briefing regarding the Surveillance State Repeal Act (HR 1466) introduced this week by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY).
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The Interventionist Holocaust

This month, the Physicians for Social Responsibility released a report on the number of Afghanis, Iraqis, and Pakistanis killed in the ten year US "war on terror." Titled "Body Count" the report from the Nobel Peace Prize winning organization has found that what was supposed to make the world a safer place has in fact resulted in mass casualties of historic proportions. 

In terms of body count, the report has found that:
...the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs. And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.
As many as two million people killed. And three trillion dollars spent. The result of this decade of destruction is a far more dangerous and volatile Middle East and south Asia than before the interventionists started. Not only a failure, but a hugely immoral and ugly failure.
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Melkite Church Patriarch: Please Stop Bombing Us

Melkite Catholic Church Patriarch Gregoire III Laham of Damascus, Syria, has a message for those who continue to intervene in Syria's tragic four year civil war: please stop. 

The Patriarch rejected the idea that international military intervention would be helpful to Syria's beleaguered Christian community, which has suffered greatly under the insurgency of US and Gulf State-backed Islamists seeking to overthrow the Assad government...
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