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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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US Wants Control Over Anbar And Beyond - Iraq and Syria Will Prevent It

The US is casting its net over the desert between Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to install military bases and power-structures that will guarantee major influence in the area for the foreseeable future. A part of that plan is to develop Sunni proxy forces that will keep the government forces of Damascus and Baghdad out of the area. Another part is to privatize important infrastructure to keep it under direct US control.
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Through the Looking Glass: Jared Kushner, the Russians and the Leaks

Welcome to Trump World.

According to the Washington Post:
Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.

The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.

Mainstream media is giving this report major play as though a United States president has never used a back-channel before, which of course is absurd. Donna Brazile, who leaked debate questions to Hillary Clinton, got in on the act and tweeted #ProtectOurDemocracy.
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US Is Killing More Civilians in Syria Air War Than Assad Is

Exemplified by the hundred and some odd people they’ve killed in the last 48 hours,the US is struggling mightily with the narrative that they are taking extraordinary care to limit the number of civilian casualties in the air war in Syria, and are rapidly losing any pretense of a moral high ground.

Indeed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is noting that the soaring death toll from US airstrikes has now surpassed the civilian toll of the Assad government’s own airstrikes, which the US and other Western nations have condemned as indiscriminate and irresponsible.
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