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Washington, DC: Where Torture is More Forgivable Than Harassment

Less than a month ago, President Trump’s nominee for the VA head chose to withdraw his name from consideration as allegations mounted—which he vehemently denied—of his having created a “toxic” work environment and assorted other peccadillos. Meanwhile, most of us have lost count of how many members of Congress have resigned due to allegations of sexual harassment of various degrees, some proven, some not, including, for example, Al Franken, who issued this mea culpa:
The first thing I want to do is apologize: to [accuser] Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women.
Not good enough, Al.
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Ron Paul Interview with Larry King: Foreign Policy, Mueller Investigation, and More

Ron Paul and interviewing legend Larry King had a provocative discussion last week on King’s Politicking show at RT. The prominent libertarian communicator, who founded the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity in 2013 after leaving the United States House of Representatives, talked with King about a variety of topics running from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation to the US government’s interventionist foreign policy.
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War Codes in Trump's Iran Proclamation

Today President Trump announced that he was canceling US participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. The president's assertions were ludicrous and factually incorrect, but the neocons who were no doubt behind the speech have never been all that wedded to the truth. It became obvious fairly on that Trump's rationale was not to be taken seriously, when he cited last week's comical stage performance by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "Iran Lied" about its nuclear program. 

Netanyahu's fairy tale required us to believe that the Iranians were storing their most sensitive national security documents and compact discs in an unguarded hut, which the crack Israeli team of intelligence operatives were able to discover and remove by the truckload right under the noses of what they claim is among the most totalitarian "regimes" on earth.
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Huge Increase in NSA’s Phone Calls and Text Messages Collection after 'Major Reform' of Mass Surveillance Program


On Friday, the National Security Agency (NSA), which has played a primary role in the United States government’s mass surveillance program exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, disclosed it had collected 534 million phone calls and text messages of Americans in 2017 — more than three times the amount it collected the year before. But, what about the USA FREEDOM Act that the US Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law in 2015? There was much fanfare when the USA FREEDOM Act was enacted and during its consideration in Congress that the legislation’s “reform” would impose major new restraints on the mass surveillance program in order to defend liberty and privacy.
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Pentagon Seeks Arms for 65,000 US-Backed Troops in Syria



While US “relief funds” are frozen in Syria, the Pentagon continues to seek massive amounts of funding for its military operations in the country. This includes a request for $300 million in weapons to give to “partner forces” in Syria.

This amounts to enough arms for 65,000 fighters. This is expected to center on the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is to say, almost entirely the Kurdish YPG. The US has been arming the YPG for years now as part of its Syria operations.

This is being sought in spite of repeated US assurances to Turkey that their arming of the YPG was temporary. With ISIS virtually wiped out in Syria, the YPG no longer has offensive goals fitting into US plans for Syria, and rather is focused chiefly on fighting a Turkish invasion of northern Syria.
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US Sanctions Hit International Chess Organization FIDE

The bank account of FIDE, a premier chess organization that governs some major international chess competitions, maintains rules adhered to at many other tournaments, calculates players’ ratings, and awards titles such as Grandmaster, was shut down this week. Peter Doggers reports at chess.com that FIDE officials say UBS Bank was terminating FIDE’s account because FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is included “on the sanctions list of the US Department of the Treasury” though “Ilyumzhinov himself has stated that the sanctions were not mentioned by UBS.” Doggers notes that FIDE, also known as the World Chess Federation, has been unable to establish an account with another bank since UBS, a Switzerland bank, announced in February that the FIDE account would be terminated.
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