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Greenwald Previews New Blockbuster NSA Story

Guardian newspaper journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on ABC News "This Week" program yesterday to preview a story he will be publishing this week on just how widespread is the NSA spying on Americans. His revelations may shock you.
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The Rise of SWAT

In a KERA Radio interview this week, investigative reporter Radley Balko provides an informative overview of the the history of police SWAT teams in the United States. Balko addresses factors that have contributed to the rise of SWAT including the war on drugs, civil asset forfeiture, joint task forces, and the providing of US government grants and surplus military equipment to state and local police.
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DC Politics Commentators Express High Expectations for Ron Paul Channel

DC politics commentators are expressing high expectations for Ron Paul Institute Chairman and Founder Ron Paul's next project, the Ron Paul Channel. In The Hill, Brent Budowsky predicts the Ron Paul Channel will be "a very huge hit" through which "Paul will make a profound contribution to American and even global discourse." Meanwhile, at the Washington Times, Jennifer Harper writes regarding the new channel that Paul "has become a media mogul of sorts" who "is tapping into the vast audience disenchanted by news coverage tainted with partisan bias and tabloid flourishes."
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Chilling Development: NSA Takes on Amash Amendment

The Huffington Post reports today that NSA director General Keith Alexander called an emergency Top Secret/SCI-level meeting on Capitol Hill to urge Members to vote against Rep. Justin Amash's (R-MI) amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill which would end blanket collection authority under the Patriot Act and stop the NSA and other agencies "from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215."
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Navalny Reporting Shows Western Media Clueless on Russia

Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member John Laughland appeared on France 24 recently to discuss the Alexei Navalny trial in Russia. Dr. Laughland was outnumbered on the panel, but his main point was that the Western mainstream media continues to completely misunderstand and mis-report events in Russia. In the vast majority, the US and European media continues to report on Russia as if it were still 1991 -- or earlier.

Watch this very interesting and confrontational segment here:

Part One
Part Two
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Who Needs Prison Time: Greenwald or Hayden?

Former director of the CIA and NSA, General Michael Hayden, oversaw the early construction of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping database of the telephone conversations of American citizens. He demonstrated his ignorance by arguing in a 2006 interview that the 4th Amendment of the Constitution did not mention "probable cause." While Director of Central Intelligence he fought for a new rules of engagement for US drone operators that allowed them to shoot at vehicles based solely on the behavior of the drivers rather than any suspected association with terrorism. It is not known how many innocent people were murdered based on Hayden's directions.
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Why is US Ambassador McFaul Sticking His Nose Into the Navalny Trial?

As Bradley Manning finds his escape routes from a life sentence for his whistle-blowing quickly shut down by judges who are closely tied to the prosecutors, and as whistle-blower Edward Snowden faces life on the run from the largest intelligence network in history along with its army of drones, US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul found time to Tweet his extreme dissatisfaction with a criminal trial in Moscow. “We are deeply disappointed in the conviction of Navalny and the apparent political motivations in this trial,” he announced to his Twitter followers. The irony escaped him, to be sure.

Like the majority of Russians who have never heard of Alexei Navalny, most Americans are likely unfamiliar with the dissident so cherished by the neoconservative regime change crowd in the US.  To Washington Post’s extreme Russophobic editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, Navalny is a “daring opposition blogger” who is to be held up as the model of a civil society that would emerge if only the tyrant Putin were overthrown.
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Goodbye, Janet

As Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano departs her post for the fairer climes of the University of California, she leaves behind a government monstrosity that not only is not in better shape than when she arrived, but is teetering on the verge of total collapse. The woman whose husky voice reminded us -- in the Metro, in Walmart, everywhere -- to say something if we see something, has left behind a workplace where the employees have the lowest morale anywhere in government -- despite pay boosts and numerous colorful special recognition awards programs.

In all fairness, it would be wrong to blame only Ms. Napolitano for the fact that most DHS employees would rather get a root canal than go to work. Imagine the humiliation of working for the Transportation Security Administration, for example, where days are spent either irradiating innocent Americans or groping them. Snatching an iPad from someone's bag may give a temporary boost, but in all it is miserable work.
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Obama's Second Term Foreign Policy: A Full Tank or Running on Empty?

At the Ron Paul Institute, our job is to look critically at US foreign policy and point out the disasters of successive interventionist and empire-building administrations. But asked to more clearly define what this Administration is really up to thus far in its second term -- what are its goals, what values does it seek to convey worldwide, what are its motivations -- we often feel at a profound loss.

What does the president want to see happen in Egypt? Syria? What happens next in Afghanistan, Obama's "good war"? Russia re-set?
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A 'Salafi Shindig': Obama's Middle East Disaster

The jihadis in Syria have now declared that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are as much the enemy as the Syrian government. They have backed that up by killing one of the senior leaders of the FSA and declaring in telephone calls that they intend to kill all the leaders of the FSA in order to insure the creation of an Islamic emirate in Syria. The Afghan Taliban have set up a base in Syria. Jihadis are pouring into the country.
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