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Five Democrat Votes Allow Trump's Saudi Weapons Deal To Clear Senate

A bipartisan bid to block President Trump's recently negotiated $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia failed in the Senate. The effort to stop the weapons sales, authored by Senators Rand Paul and Chris Murphy, fell short on a 47-53 vote, with four Republicans joining most Democrats in voting against it and five Democrats voting to preserve deals that will arm the Saudi Kingdom with some of the most sophisticated equipment available.

The five democrats who made the passage of the weapons deal possible were Sens. Bill Nelson, Claire McCaskill, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Mark Warner.

Despite the failure, Politico notes that Paul and Murphy fared better on Tuesday than they did last year in a similar effort to block a Saudi arms sale under former President Barack Obama, thanks entirely to new Democratic supporters: it's curious how ideology changes ones outlook on lethal weaponry.
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US Troops Kill Three Civilians After Afghan Roadside Bombing

A US military convoy in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province was hit by a roadside bomb earlier today, with Pentagon officials quick to insist that no one was wounded in the incident. Three civilians, however, two of them children, were killed in the immediate aftermath.

The US troops responded to the bomb hitting their vehicle by getting out and firing indiscriminately, according to Afghan police, who say that the US gunfire killed a brickworker named Ziyar Gul, and two of his children, both 10-year-old boys. A third son who was present at the scene survived, running to get help, though by the time he returned everyone else was dead.
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Qatar Will Pay John Ashcroft $2.5 Million To Defend Against Terrorism Accusations

Who better to defend Qatar from accusations it is a hotbed of terrorism-funding (as per a recent list released by Saudi Arabia et al according to which 59 individuals and 12 entities in Qatar are terrorist) than the US Attorney General who served during the September 11 attacks, John Ashcroft. At least that's what the government of Qatar is thinking, which hired the former US AG to defend the world's wealthiest (on a GDP/capita basis) nation from accusations by Donald Trump and Arab neighbors that it supports terrorism.

As a reminder, Ashcroft was U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush from February 2001 to February 2005, years in which US policies and laws were reshaped by the so-called war on terrorism that followed the 2001 al Qaeda attacks. Under Ashcroft the US spawned the "Patriot Act", trampling over civil rights everywhere, and made pervasive spying on virtually everyone the norm, courtesy of the NSA.
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Ron Paul: US Intervention in Syria Undermining Syria War Deescalation Effort and US National Security

Interviewed Thursday at RT regarding United States actions in opposition to Syrian and allied military forces in Syria, libertarian communicator Ron Paul argued that the US should have respected Syrian sovereignty and kept out of the country. Refraining from intervening, Paul suggests, would have better aided the progress of an effort to deescalate the war in Syria. Further, says Paul, US intervention in Syria, as in many other countries, undermines American national security.
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Did Comey Violate Laws In Leaking The Trump Memo?

One of the most interesting new disclosures today in the Comey hearing was the admission by former FBI Director James Comey that he intentionally used a “friend” on the Columbia law faculty to leak his memos to the media.  Comey says that he did so to force the appointment of a Special Counsel. However, those memos could be viewed as a government record and potential evidence in a criminal investigation.

Notably, Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman on a faculty webpage reads that he is “currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.” Richman specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure.

The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memoranda to file suggests that these are arguably government documents.  Comey admitted that he thought he raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress.  They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.
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White House Blames Iranian Victims for ISIS Attack

It is particularly bloody to use an official statement of sympathy over a terrorist attack as a vehicle to promote war against the victim country, but that is exactly what the Trump White House did today after dual attacks in Iran left at least a dozen civilians dead.
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Jeremy Corbyn Talks of War and Blowback on the Campaign Trail

Here is a quote from a May 26 speech: "Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed out the connections between wars that we have been involved in or supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.”

Who said this? You might guess Ron Paul. It does sound very much like the sort of explanation of blowback that Paul frequently offers in relation to United States foreign interventions. But, the quote is not from Paul. The quote is from a speech by Jeremy Corbyn four days after the killing of over 20 people at a concert in Manchester, England attended largely by teenage and younger individuals.
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