Thursday, October 5, 2017

Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.

  
Dear The Liberty,
Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.

When terrorists attacked the country, and government officials claimed to have been caught by surprise, the people believed them. And when the government passed massive laws aimed at locking down the nation and opening the door to total government surveillance, the people believed it was done merely to keep them safe. The few who disagreed (like The Rutherford Institute) were labeled extremists.

When the government waged costly preemptive wars on foreign countries, insisting it was necessary to protect the nation, the citizens believed it. And when the government brought the weapons and tactics of war home to use against the populace, claiming it was just a way to recycle old equipment, the people believed that too. The few who disagreed (like The Rutherford Institute) were labeled unpatriotic.

When the government spied on its own citizens, claiming they were looking for terrorists hiding among them, the people believed it. And when the government began tracking the citizenry’s movements, monitoring their spending, snooping on their social media, and surveying their habits—supposedly in an effort to make their lives more efficient—the people believed that, too. The few who disagreed (like The Rutherford Institute) were labeled paranoid.

When the government hired crisis actors to take part in disaster drills, never alerting the public to which “disasters” were staged, the people genuinely believed they were under attack. And when the government insisted it needed greater powers and military intervention to prevent such attacks from happening again, the people believed that too. The few who challenged the government’s narrative (like The Rutherford Institute) were dismissed as conspiracy theorists.

By the time the government locked down the nation, using local police and the military to impose martial law, there was little doubt left about the government’s true motives—total control and domination—but there was also no one left to fight back.

Now every fable has a moral, and the moral of this story is to beware of anyone who urges you to ignore your better instincts and trust the government. Remember, it was James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, who warned us to mistrust all those in power.

In other words, if it looks like trouble and it smells like trouble, you can bet there’s trouble afoot.

There’s a lot going on right now in this country for which we don’t have any satisfactory answers, but you can rest assured that The Rutherford Institute will not stop asking the hard questions.

Unfortunately, we can’t keep doing this critical work without your help. We’ve got to raise $50,000 between now and October 31, and you’re the only one who can help us.

Please take a moment right now to make a tax-deductible donation in support of critical work of The Rutherford Institute. Together, we WILL make America free again.

For freedom,

John W. Whitehead
President

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act Hijacked by Neocons


By William J. Murray - September 29, 2017 at 01:34AM

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The Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2017 (HR-390) which passed in the House without one dissenting voice and was supported by many relief agencies and social conservative organizations, has been transformed by Senator Corker into a Russia-bashing neocon bill that has little to do with genocide or with aid of any kind to victims of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Senator Corker, who authored the sanctions bill against Russia earlier this year, has crossed out every single line of the simple anti-genocide language in HR- 390 authored by Congressman Chris Smith.  He has transformed it into legislation to establish a worthless commission called the “Syria Study Group.” This “group” is tasked with furnishing a final report by November 30th, 2018.

Corker’s “substitute language” is more than four times longer than the original bill.

Senator Corker’s version of HR-390 would direct the “Syria Study Group” to “review the current situation with respect to the United States military and diplomatic strategy in Syria, including a review of current United States objectives in Syria and the desired end state in Syria.”

The Group is then to “develop recommendations on a military and diplomatic strategy for the United States with respect to the conflict in Syria.”

This “Study Group” will have eight members appointed for the “life of the group.” The selection process could not be more complex, and is designed to slow down the establishment of the group and to hold up any true investigation that would bring about results.  Here are the required members:
One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
Then of course there are co-chairs, plus the involvement of appointed advisors or “liaisons.”The Corker language states that the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence must each designate an officer as a “liaison” to the Group.

This will be a full-time endeavor for the assigned members, and office space will be required as well as communications equipment. Of course, “fact finding tours” will be needed, probably to interview “refugees” now living on the French Riviera.  And all of this will be done with smoke and mirrors, since the bill requests no funding for the “Syria Study Group” or any other aspect of the work mentioned in the new language proposed by Senator Corker for HR-390.

The final section – Section 13 states: “No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act. This Act shall be carried out using amounts otherwise authorized and appropriated.” In other words, money – lots of it-- must be taken out of other government entities’ existing budgets.

The original purpose of HR-390 author Congressman Chris Smith was to bring aid as quickly as possible to the victims of genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State. It required no additional aid, just redirected some existing aid to serve the victims of genocide first. Also, the original text of HR-390 would place the victims of genocide in the front of the line for immigration to the United States – something that would cost no additional money, just change procedures in the existing system.  Under the Obama Administration, Sunni Muslims from Syria were at the front of the line, with Christians rarely included. 

Most of the new language substituted by Senator Corker concerns the Syrian government, Russia and Iran -- with little mention of the victims of genocide which include Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims. The Shia Muslims are now totally excluded because of Senator Corker’s love for Saudi Arabia and to honor the Kingdom’s desire to eradicate Shia Islam from the face of the Earth. Iran, being Shia Muslim, is of course singled out for blame in a civil war actually begun with Saudi Arabian cash and weapons.

The only mention of humanitarian assistance comes in Section 7, subsection c which states:

“The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development are authorized to provide assistance, including financial and technical assistance as necessary and appropriate, to support entities described in subsection (a)(4) that the Secretary and the Administrator determine have access, and are capable of effectively managing and delivering such assistance, to the individuals and groups described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of such subsection.”

Note the last line which states that the groups and individuals are described in paragraphs (1) and (2). Those are to be determined by the Secretary of State with the help of the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence among others.

In earlier sections of the bill most of the blame for the ongoing genocide in Syria and Iraq is cast upon Russia which has only been involved for the last two years of the six-year civil war, and has not been involved in Iraq at all. In Section 3 (a) 7 the Corker version of the bill states as fact the “Widespread and systematic attacks on civilians, schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, in violation of international humanitarian law, continue in Syria, in particular as a result of the actions of the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian supporters.” These accusations are in fact not proven at all.

Throughout Section 3 and other sections of the new text of HR-390 most atrocities in Syria are blamed on the current secular government and their allies including Russia and Iran. Never mentioned is the funding of the original Sunni Muslim uprising against the secular government of Syria by Saudi Arabia. At no point in the new HR-390- text are the arms supplied by Saudi Arabia mentioned. The purpose of the Saudi arms supplies (which were facilitated by the CIA) to the Sunni rebels in Syria had the goal of establishing a Sharia compliant Islamic State not much that different than the one proposed by the terror group Islamic State (ISIS).

The original purpose of HR-390 was to aid the victims of Islamic State genocide … but Senator Corker’s version of the bill, probably with the input of Senators McCain and Graham, downplays aid and focuses on military and economic measures. In the Corker version, the Defense Department and the national security agencies play a large part.

This bill is part of the ongoing anti-Russia hysteria on Capitol Hill, with the added anti-Iran hysteria being pumped out of the White House. Some of the conclusions and assumptions in the bill are baseless. The bill for example presumes that the prison system run by the Assad government somehow led to the genocide of Christians. In reality, the greatest number of ISIS fighters in Syria have never been Syrian; Saudi Arabia is the largest supplier of jihadi fighters; the number two supplier of fighters is Jordan.

The “revolt” against Syria’s secular government is about religion, not repression. The Sunni Muslims of Syria, aided by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim Gulf States, sought to establish a Sharia compliant Syria that would have oppressed Christians and other minorities.

HR-390 is no longer an anti-Genocide bill … it has become an anti-Syrian government, anti- Russia, anti-Iran bill that actually downplays the Islamic State. The Islamic State (ISIS) becomes just a sideshow in this new bill, something for a commission to look at while condemning Syria, Iran and Russia.

As this new commission or “Study Group” chugs along eating up money over the next couple of years the United States will continue to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia to drop on schools, hospitals and funerals in Yemen. The disgusting human rights record of Saudi Arabia will be ignored in favor of arms sales, despite the fact that the royal family of Saudi Arabia makes President Bashir Assad of Syria look like someone who should receive an award for humanitarianism.

Reprinted with author's permission. 

William Murray is Chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Spies, Hollywood, And Neocons Team Up To Create New War Propaganda Firm


By Caitlin Johnstone - September 20, 2017 at 06:27PM

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“We have been attacked. We are at war.”

So begins a video released today by The Committee to Investigate Russia, an organization founded by When Harry Met Sally director Rob Reiner and neoconservative senior editor of The Atlantic David Frum. The video, which stars Morgan Freeman and is rife with patriotic images of American flags, soldiers and bald eagles, continues as follows:
Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge. Taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-Soviet Russia, and becomes president. He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy: the United States. And like the true KGB spy he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins.

We need our president to speak directly to us and tell us the truth. We need him to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and say, 'My fellow Americans. During this past election, we came under attack by the Russian government. I’ve called on Congress and our intelligence community to use every resource available to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly how this happened.'

The free world is counting on us for leadership. For 241 years, our democracy has been a shining example to the world of what we can all aspire to. And we owe it to the brave people who have fought and died to protect this great nation and save democracy. And we owe it to our future generations to continue the fight.
Wow. There’s a lot going on there.

Firstly, the establishment narrative that Russia used cyber warfare to hand the election to Donald Trump remains wholly unsubstantiated and riddled with gaping plot holes that the US intelligence community has yet to address; there is currently no publicly available evidence whatsoever that the Russian government did what Morgan Freeman tells us it did, let alone that Donald Trump was involved in it. The Russian hacking narrative is getting flimsier by the day, with the assertion that WikiLeaks is a Kremlin proxy being sorely weakened just today by a new leak drop on Russian surveillance activities, which itself comes on the back of an extensive amount of critical Russia-related leaks that the transparency organization had already published.

Establishment loyalists only believe the Russian government hacked the Democratic party and gave its emails to WikiLeaks because pundits, politicians and celebrities have been saying this happened in an authoritative tone, not because there’s any publicly available evidence for it. In a post-Iraq invasion world, this is simply unacceptable.

Secondly, the assertion that America is currently at war with Russia is horrifying, and if Americans start swallowing this disgusting propaganda there’ll be no public outcry if the US really does enter into actual warfare with the only other nuclear superpower on the planet. The evidence-free assertion that America has “been attacked” is plainly geared to elicit a fear response from the video’s intended audience and manufacture support for counter-attacks and/or dangerous new cold war escalations.

Third, a blatant war psy-op advanced by Bush-era neocons bitching about the Russian government using propaganda is hilarious.

Fourth, the notion that “the free world is counting” on the US for leadership is moronic flag-waving, chest-pounding B.S. I assure you that the free world is not counting on any such thing. The idea that America is destined to occupy a dominant role in world affairs is an integral part of neoconservative PNAC doctrine, which posits that its victory in the Cold War means history has selected the United States to hold a unique position of leadership over the rest of the world. Most US military aggression since the end of the Cold War can be seen as a nonstop global disruption campaign to prevent the rise of another rival superpower like the Soviet Union, and the neocons have been responsible for spearheading this initiative.

David Frum, author of President George W. Bush’s infamous “Axis of Evil” talking point, is a notorious neoconservative who has been pushing for war at every opportunity for nearly two decades. He is an unforgivable bloodthirsty psychopath, and everything he touches is cancer.

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In addition to Reiner — a virulent #Resistance Clintonist and Russiagate conspiracy theorist — Frum’s advisory board for his new Committee to Start World War Three includes PNAC signatory Max Boot, who has relentlessly pushed for increased US military aggression throughout his entire career, and who once called in plain English for America to “unambiguously to embrace its imperial role.”

There’s also former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has on more than one occasion voiced blatantly racist opinions about the nefarious genetic predispositions of the entire population of Russia. This eugenicist bigot’s handful of hand-picked analysts were behind the conclusions drawn in the intelligence community’s official statements regarding the alleged Russian election interference, forming both (A) the basis for the false narrative that there is unanimous consensus within the intelligence community about Russian hacking and (B) the foundation for the entire Russiagate conspiracy theory.

Also on the advisory board are Norman Ornstein of the neocon think tank American Enterprise Institute and conservative never-Trump pundit Charlie Sykes, who laughably just used the term “strange bedfellows” in reference to the idea of neoconservative Democrats working with neoconservative Republicans to advance their common goal of endless war.

As viscerally disturbing as it is to see the actor who played God conducting a brazen psy-op on the American people, it is already a well-documented fact that the CIA, the NSA and the Pentagon have been balls deep in Hollywood for decades. They’re just being more blatant about that collaboration now.

As Noam Chomsky puts it:
Control of thought is more important for governments that are free and popular than for despotic and military states. The logic is straightforward: a despotic state can control its domestic enemies by force, but as the state loses this weapon, other devices are required to prevent the ignorant masses from interfering with public affairs, which are none of their business…the public are to be observers, not participants, consumers of ideology as well as products.
Don’t let them control your mind. Fight the propaganda machine, disrupt their craven agendas, and wake up the others.

Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com. Support Johnstone's writing here.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Nikki Haley Meltdown: Assad Must Go...and War With North Korea!


By Daniel McAdams - September 15, 2017 at 08:06PM

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There must be something about being named US Ambassador to the UN that brings out the inner mass murderer in people. Madeline Albright famously admitted that she thought 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to US sanctions was "worth it." John Bolton never met a disagreement he didn't want to turn into a war. Samantha Power barked about human rights while her Administration's drones snuffed out human life in unprecedented numbers. The real "butcher of the Balkans" Richard Holbrooke sold the Yugoslavia war on lies. John "Death Squad" Negroponte sold the lie that Saddam Hussein needed to be killed and his country destroyed for democracy to flourish, and so on.

Considering how many millions of civilians have been killed on the war propaganda of US ambassadors to the UN, perhaps the equivalent of another Holocaust could have been avoided if Ron Paul's HR 1146 has passed 30 years ago.

But nothing could have prepared us for Nikki "Holocaust" Haley, who has thundered into the Trump Administration as US Ambassador to the UN despite hating Trump and Trump hating her. Why would President Trump pick someone for such an influential position despite her being vocally and publicly opposed to the foreign policy that provided the margin of victory for him? We can only guess. Was Trump lying on the campaign trail? Possibly. Does he not bother to notice that he has surrounded himself with people who are deeply opposed, at the DNA level, to the policies he ran and won on? Seems more likely. As Johnny Rotten famously ended the Sex Pistols run, "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

In fact yes. One-time top Trump supporter Ann Coulter today Tweeted the question "is there anyone out there left who doesn't want Trump impeached?"

Coulter meant the wall or something else, but she could just as well have been complaining about the foreign policy about-face. Trump ran as a Ron Paul Republican, he governs as a George W. Bush Republican. Cheated? Yes, once again.

Which brings us back to the odious Nikki Haley. Today she no doubt thought she was being clever Tweeting in response to the predictable fact that yet another round of sanctions against North Korea did not result in Kim Jong-Un doing a Gaddafi suicide knife dance, that since the sanctions destroying the North Korean economy -- such as it is -- have not resulted in Kim's surrender it was time to hand the matter over to Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Said US top UN diplomat Nikki: "We cut 90% of trade & 30% of oil. I have no problem kicking it to Gen. Mattis because I think he has plenty of options."

We killed their trade, we destroyed their oil imports and still they have the nerve to defy us and not surrender...so time for World War Three! That's Nikki. No foreign policy experience beyond the fetid breath of the neocon "experts" whispering in her all-too-willing ear.

But Nikki was not done today. After threatening a war on North Korea that would likely leave ten or more thousand US troops dead, hundreds of thousands of South Korean civilians dead, and maybe another million North Koreans dead, she decided to opine on the utterly failed six year US regime change operation in Syria. Today, as Deir Ezzor has finally been liberated by the Syrian government from the scourge of ISIS, Nikki Haley chose to go on record defending ISIS and al-Qaeda by repeating Obama's line that Assad must go.  

Ponder this for a minute: Assad has just defeated ISIS in Deir Ezzor. ISIS is the reason the US has invaded Syrian sovereignty and initiated military action. Yet according to Nikki Haley Assad's reward for wiping out ISIS is that he must be deposed -- presumably in favor of US-backed rebels who have been in bed with ISIS for six years!

Is Nikki Haley pro-ISIS? Is she pro-al-Qaeda? Is she evil or just stupid? 

You decide.

But if she is not removed from office soon, she will be leading perhaps a million people to their graves.

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