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Chelsea Manning: Solitary Confinement is ‘No Touch’ Torture

Torture comes in many forms. In comes in the form of waterboarding, in which an individual is made to believe he will drown. It comes in the form of pain-inducing, humiliating, and disfiguring treatment. Torture can also take the form of solitary confinement, the widespread use of which in American prisons has spilled over into use on so-called unlawful enemy combatants in wars overseas.
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NATO Prepares Four Battalions for Russian Border

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that NATO is preparing to deploy four battalions -- approximately 4,000 troops -- to Russia's western border. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work was in Brussels today to announce the Western military escalation on Russia's border, which he claimed was in response to Russian military exercises near the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

According to Deputy Secretary of Defense Work, two of the battalions would come from the United States, with one each coming from the UK and Germany. This announcement might come as news to German lawmakers, as such a significant German military presence on Russia's borders has not been approved by Germany. Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel has given Washington every reason to believe that Germany would join the escalation, the move is considered highly controversial in a Germany growing weary of following US foreign policy dictates. In fact, according to recent polling, only one in three Germans supports the idea of the German military defending the Baltics even if there were a Russian attack. A clear majority of Germans oppose NATO military bases on Russia's border.
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In Syria, US Rejects Russia Call to Name al-Qaeda Allies 'Terrorist'

The total muddle that is US policy toward Syria continues to astonish. This week we saw the spectacle of a State Department Spokesman telling us that President Obama's promise to not put US boots on the ground in Syria, was never a promise not to put boots on the ground in Syria. Yes, it was funny to see him squirm, but there is nothing funny about the past five years of disastrous policy in Syria. Particularly considering the thousands killed once the US decided that "Assad must go" and began sending in fighters to make that happen.

Now we see the extraordinary situation where the US government admits that the militia groups Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham are fighting alongside and are "intermingled with" al-Qaeda's Nusra Front, but resoundingly rejects the Russian request to therefore classify these two groups terrorist.
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State Department Jokesman: 'Obama Never Said No Boots on Ground in Syria!'

Watching State Department Spokesman John Kirby spar with one of Washington's last real journalists, AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee, is one of the best tickets in town. From his claims that "the entire international community" is demanding that Syria's Assad step down -- which earned a guffaw from Lee -- to his claim that the Syrian people have the right to live any way they choose as long as Washington agrees with their choice, John Kirby is the absolute epitome of the clueless Washington foreign policy establishment. He is the Baghdad Bob of the US State Department.
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Breaking: Obama to Announce Major US Escalation in Syria

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that tomorrow (Monday) President Obama will announce that he is quintupling the number of US troops inside Syria. From the current 50 troops the US admits are operating in Syria, the US will raise the total to 300 under the guise of increasing efforts against ISIS in the country. 

The Journal reports that Obama has been "persuaded by his top military advisers and others that additional U.S. personnel would allow the Pentagon to extend recent gains against Islamic State." He will make the announcement while in Germany.
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'How the War Party Works': RPI's Daniel McAdams on Mises Weekends

Washington, D.C. is a foreign policy bubble, where big money rules and coloring outside the interventionist lines is forbidden. Does the rest of the country buy into the idea that we must run the world? RPI Director Daniel McAdams speaks with his former colleague in Ron Paul's Congressional office, now President of the Mises Institute, Jeff Deist on just how war rules the roost among the Beltway powerbrokers. What happens to young and idealistic newly-elected Members of Congress to turn them into parrots war party propaganda? How are the sucked into the machine? They are sucked in by the "deep state" -- the permanent government. How do the neocons like Bill Kristol continue to dominate the airwaves when they are so consistently wrong? Listen to the whole interview here.
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White House ‘Concerned’ as Russia Moves Equipment to North Syria

White House officials are complaining of being “concerned” by recent media reports of Russia shifting its artillery further north in Syria, with suggestions they were moving to back the Syrian military in renewed offensives against al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Even though al-Qaeda was deliberately not included in the Syrian ceasefire, the rebels have presented Syrian strikes on them as “violations” of the truce, and the US seems to be siding with them, suggesting the latest moves are “aggression” on the part of the Russians.
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Ron Paul on the Military-Industrial Complex’s Role in US Militarism from Latin America to Europe

Speaking last week with host Scott Horton on the Scott Horton Show, three-time presidential candidate and former Republican member of the US House of Representatives Ron Paul discussed the military-industrial complex’s role in US militarism across the world, including in Latin America and Europe.

After Horton introduced Paul as “the greatest American hero,” Paul and Horton entered a fascinating discussion of US foreign policy. Their wide-ranging discussion concerns matters including US intervention in Iraq and Ukraine, a potential “Brexit” — exit of Great Britain from the European Union (EU), and Paul’s preference for free trade over international trade deals that Paul says put in place “managed trade to serve the interests of some special interests.”
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