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Ron Paul: No Change in US Overall Policy No Matter Who Wins Presidential Race

As Americans voted in the Super Tuesday elections, former US House of Representatives member and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul threw some cold water on hopes that the US presidential election will usher in significant change for the better. Paul, a guest of host Adam Boulton on Sky News, concluded a seven minutes analysis of various candidates in the presidential race, and even potential new contender former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, by stating, “No matter who wins in this country, believe me, there will be no change in overall policy, I am convinced.”
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Ron Paul Ridicules Media’s Super Tuesday Focus on Fake KKK Scandal Instead of Important Issues

Ron Paul had little patience Tuesday morning for CNN host Carol Costello starting off an interview with Paul with questions regarding the supposed scandal of the day that presidential candidate Donald trump might be a fan of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Paul, who has run for president three times, called the scandal a media creation that is diverting attention away from important campaign issues on Super Tuesday, when voters across the nation are casting ballots that could be key in determining who wins the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations.
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Pot, Meet Kettle: Ash Carter Says Russia ‘Completely Wrongheaded’ to Join in Syrian Civil War

United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told Rachel Martin of National Public Radio, in a new interview released Sunday, that Russia behaved “completely wrongheaded” when it “came in and joined the [Syrian] civil war on the side of [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad], further fueling the civil war.” Carter’s statement is an immediately classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. The US government, including the military Carter oversees, long ago committed to supporting another side of the Syrian civil war — the side whose objective is deposing Assad.
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Guess Who's Violating the Syria Ceasefire?

...the Turks, of course. According to Qadri Jamil, one of the leaders of the opposition Syrian Popular Front for Change and Liberation, the temporary ceasefire in Syria is for the most part holding. But the main violator of the agreement thus far, he says, is the Turkish government...
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HOT: FBI Director Backtracks, Admits Apple iPhone Litigation Will be Precedent!

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey seems to have quickly reversed course to admit the obvious — that the February 16 magistrate judge’s order for Apple to help the US government breach an iPhone’s security, including encryption, is as much about establishing precedent for more court orders as it is about the government trying to obtain information connected to one phone related to the December 2 mass murder in San Bernardino, California.

On Sunday, Comey issued a statement that started with this declaration: “The San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message.” Then, on Thursday, Comey backtracked from this assurance by testifying before the US House Intelligence Committee that the order and appeals arising from the order “will be instructive for other courts.”
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The Incredible Shrinking Syrian 'Ceasefire'

The Syria "cessation of hostilities" agreement seems all the stranger as huge unanswered questions regarding signatories, partners, monitoring, reporting, adjudication, and enforcement are raised. It seems more and more like something cobbled together without much thought as to how it might work in practice. 

Indeed, the people who are paid to explain to us how it might work seem to be as confused as we are. Take State Department Spokesman Mark Toner. Asked whether the ceasefire requirements of the agreement would apply to Turkey, which has for the past week been bombing US-allied Kurds in Syria, he was unable to give a clear answer beyond the following confusing bit from Monday's press briefing:
Well, Turkey is a member of the ISSG, the stakeholders group. Ultimately, to be a part of that, you have – you’ve committed to implementing the cessation of hostilities. So again, it – we’ve talked about this a lot – it’s not just – we certainly point a finger at Russia quite often, and other members who are, we believe, taking counterproductive actions on the ground in Syria, but it’s incumbent on all members of the ISSG to buy into a cessation of hostilities.
How's that for clear diplomacy?
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Did the FBI Intentionally Bumble the San Bernardino iPhone Investigation?


Over at We Meant Well, always-interesting writer Peter Van Buren provides a funny rundown of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s blunders he suggests prevented it from accessing information on an iPhone connected to the December 2 San Bernardino, California killings. The FBI sure does look like the Keystone Cops with Van Buren’s tale of mistakes that put the FBI into a situation where, to uncover encrypted information from the iPhone, it has to depend on a US magistrate judge ordering Apple, the phone’s manufacturer, to create a means to breach the phone’s information security.

But, is there something more sinister taking place behind the scenes? Governments are renowned for incompetence, so you cannot rule out, barring more information, that a series of blunders did occur. At the same time, blunders in this instance would create a situation that sure is convenient for a US government intent on ensuring it can obtain access to everyone’s encrypted information. The blunders, after all, provided the FBI with a reason to seek the court order in a case where the facts are quite advantageous for the government.
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The Apple Court Order and the Obama Administration’s Anti-Privacy Push

In the fall of 2015, American privacy supporters were relieved that draconian legislation requiring companies to create backdoors for the US government to overcome encryption of individuals’ private information did not make its way through Congress. In fact, the Obama administration then represented that it would both stop seeking such legislation and refrain from otherwise pressuring companies to provide the government with backdoor access to customers’ encryption-secured information 

However, everything is not as the Obama administration desired the public to believe. It appears that the Tuesday court order demanding that Apple breach an iPhone’s built-in privacy protections so the government can access the secured information is a materialization of the executive branch’s stealth "plan B" effort to obtain its anti-privacy objectives via other means.
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