Is That Russia Troll Farm an Act of War?

President Trump says Russians are laughing at the “revelations” from Mueller’s investigation that a Russian “troll farm” used social media to influence the 2016 election–through never in support of Hillary Clinton. Yet Democrats are screaming these shenanigans are the “equivalent of Pearl Harbor.” Never mind that U.S. intelligence continues to do what it wants to influence other countries’ elections “in support of democracy.”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

According to the indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Russian trolls, operating out of St. Petersburg, took American identities on social media and became players in our 2016 election.

On divisive racial and religious issues, the trolls took both sides. In the presidential election, the trolls favored Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Donald Trump, and almost never Hillary Clinton.

One imaginative Russian troll urged Trumpsters to dress up a female volunteer in an orange prison jump suit, put her in a cage on a flatbed truck, then append the slogan, “Lock Her Up!”

How grave a matter is this?

This Russian troll farm is “the equivalent (of) Pearl Harbor,” says Cong. Jerrold Nadler, who would head up the House Judiciary Committee, handling any impeachment, if Democrats retake the House.

When MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pressed, Nadler doubled down: The Russians “are destroying our democratic process.” While the Russian trolling may not equal Pearl Harbor in its violence, said Nadler, in its “seriousness, it is very much on a par” with Japan’s surprise attack.

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Trump’s reaction to the hysteria that broke out after the Russian indictments: “They are laughing their (expletives) off in Moscow.

According to Sunday’s Washington Post, the troll story is old news in Russia, where reporters uncovered it last year and it was no big deal.

While Mueller’s indictments confirm that Russians meddled in the U.S. election, what explains the shock and the fear for “our democracy”?

Is the Great Republic about to fall because a bunch of trolls tweeted in our election? Is this generation ignorant of its own history?

Before and after World War II, we had Stalinists and Soviet spies at the highest levels of American culture and government.

The Hollywood Ten, who went to prison for contempt of Congress, were secret members of a Communist Party that, directed from Moscow, controlled the Progressive Party in Philadelphia in 1948 that nominated former Vice President Henry Wallace to run against Harry Truman.

Soviet spies infiltrated the U.S. atom bomb project and shortened the time Stalin needed to explode a Soviet bomb in 1949.

As for Russian trolling in our election, do we really have clean hands when it comes to meddling in elections and the internal politics of regimes we dislike?

Sen. John McCain and Victoria Nuland of State egged on the Maidan Square crowds in Kiev that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine. When the democratically elected regime of Mohammed Morsi was overthrown, the U.S. readily accepted the coup as a victory for our side and continued aid to Egypt as tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members were imprisoned.

Are the CIA and National Endowment for Democracy under orders not to try to influence the outcome of elections in nations in whose ruling regimes we believe we have a stake?

 

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Laura Ingraham asked former CIA Director James Woolsey this weekend.

With a grin, Woolsey replied, “Oh, probably.”

“We don’t do that anymore though?” Ingraham interrupted. “We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?”

“Well,” Woolsey said with a smile. “Only for a very good cause.”

Indeed, what is the National Endowment for Democracy all about, if not aiding the pro-American side in foreign nations and their elections?

Did America have no active role in the “color-coded revolutions” that have changed regimes from Serbia to Ukraine to Georgia?

When Republicans discuss Iran on Capitol Hill, the phrase “regime change” is frequently heard. When the “Green Revolution” took to the streets of Tehran to protest massively the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, Republicans denounced President Obama for not intervening more energetically to alter the outcome.

When China, Russia, and Egypt expel NGOs, are their suspicions that some have been seeded with U.S. agents merely marks of paranoia?

The U.S. role in the overthrow of Premier Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, and of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, and of President Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon in 1963 are established facts.

When the democratically elected Marxist Salvador Allende was overthrown in Chile in 1973, and committed suicide with an AK-47 given to him by Fidel Castro, the Nixon White House may have had no direct role. But the White House welcomed the ascendancy of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

What do these indictments of Russians tell us? After 18 months, the James Comey-Robert Mueller FBI investigation into the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails has yet to produce evidence of collusion.

Yet we do have evidence that a senior British spy and Trump hater, Christopher Steele, paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to dig up dirt on Trump, colluded with Kremlin agents to produce a dossier of scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges, to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump. And the FBI used this disinformation to get FISA Court warrants to surveil and wiretap the Trump campaign.

Why is this conspiracy and collusion with Russians less worthy of Mueller’s attention than a troll farm in St. Petersburg?

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Finicums, Bundys File Lawsuits

Lawsuits have been filed by Jeanette Finicum, widow of Arizona rancher Robert LaVoy Finicum who was assassinated in cold blood by the Oregon State Police and FBI on Jan. 26, 2016 while apparently surrendering, and Cliven Bundy, who is disputing the Obama administration’s designation of public land in Utah as a national monument. The suits follow on the heels of dismissal of the last trial of the Bundy proceedings when the judge declared a mistrial due to “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.”

By Mark Anderson

Recently freed rancher Cliven Bundy is suing Clark County, Nev. over the Obama administration’s late-2016 designation of public cattle-grazing land as the Gold Butte National Monument.

Bundy, whose family’s roots in the region go back about 140 years, calls the designation “illegal and unlawful,” since it could destroy his livelihood by stopping him from functioning as a beef producer.

His complaint states: “The current leaders and government officials of the state of Nevada and its subdivision, Clark County, refuse to defend its or the people’s rights to all lands within Nevada’s and Clark County’s borders.”

In the suit, it’s estimated that Bundy has 1,000 head of cattle grazing on 160 acres of private land—along with “300,000 acres of unclaimed land belonging to the people of Nevada and Clark County.”

The establishment of Gold Butte came down when Bundy, his sons, and several others were still in federal custody in Nevada, stemming from the now-legendary spring 2014 standoff between Bundy and his supporters, and armed Bureau of Land Management and FBI agents accompanied by private contractors. The federal agents tried to enforce a warrant to impound the rancher’s cattle, ostensibly for unpaid grazing fees on public land.

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In the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas on Jan. 8, Bundy, his sons Ryan and Ammon, and Ryan Payne were freed from prison when the federal government’s case against them was dismissed, ending a nearly two-year period of imprisonment and a tortuous series of trials and hearings.

Judge Gloria Navarro’s decision to dismiss the case is seen by many as a major triumph of citizen activism regarding property rights and constitutional principles.

One thing to closely watch at this juncture is whether President Donald Trump carries out any changes to the Gold Butte designation. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, “Bureau of Land Management officials in Las Vegas postponed discussion of the monument at its meetings this month [January] until the Trump administration decides on possible changes to the Obama-era land designation.”

The lawsuit is rooted in what AFP and other alternative media have long reported but mainstream media sources have downplayed or ignored: Bundy insists that Clark County, which is affected by the Gold Butte designation, is not under federal jurisdiction. While the federal government claims ownership of more than 80% of Nevada land, it’s only now that the mainstream Review-Journal is giving Clark County’s status significant publicity.

Bundy’s complaint, filed the afternoon of Jan. 25, argues: “Recognizing that the land is not owned by the United States of America, [Bundy] has avoided erroneously giving money [for grazing fees] to an entity which does not actually own the land and has been careful not to give money erroneously to a stranger to the land. Thus, there is an actual, significant legal controversy of great consequence. . . .”

Bundy has called upon Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo to assist him in this matter. Just days after Navarro dismissed the charges against Bundy and the other three defendants noted above, Bundy stood outside Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters to argue that, within Clark County, the sheriff is more powerful than the president, a viewpoint based on the “Constitutional Sheriff” principle popularized by former Arizona sheriff and author Richard Mack.

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WIDOW SUING GOVERNMENT

Jeanette Finicum, widow of LaVoy Finicum— a much-loved Arizona rancher and foster father fatally shot by police at a roadblock about two years ago—has filed a civil demand for a jury trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The suit was filed Jan. 26, on the two-year anniversary of the tragic event in which Finicum was gunned down, one day before his 55th birthday, while appearing to surrender along a remote stretch of highway in Oregon.

Mrs. Finicum is a plaintiff along with 12 others, as well as the estate of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, according to court documents. The documents list the defendants as not only the United States of America but also the state of Oregon, Harney County, Harry Mason Reid (former Nevada U.S. senator), Ronald Lee Wyden (current Oregon U.S. senator), the Center for Biodiversity, and several others.

The complaint says, in part:

On Jan. 26, 2016, at approximately 4:40 p.m., decedent Robert LaVoy Finicum was fatally shot three times in the back, assassination style, by one or more militarized officers of the Oregon State Police and/or FBI. LaVoy had plainly and repeatedly explained he was going to go across the county border to meet with Grant County Oregon Sherriff Glen Palmer and invited several of the . . . defendants to come with him. The problem was, Sherriff Palmer had already been identified by several of the . . . defendants as an unfriendly political personality, and as being potentially uncooperative with what has now been discovered to be the illegal, diabolical, and shocking internal government scheme and conspiracy to do intentional violence to LaVoy Finicum and other political supporters of Cliven Bundy and those who were visible public critics of the [Bureau of Land Management] and federal government overreach.

Interestingly, the complaint compares the case of Finicum to recent reports of a North Korean dissident fleeing that communist regime, as both Finicum and the dissident had tried to cross a border.

Unlike the North Korean [dissident] who fled for the border to safety in 2017, after LaVoy Finicum was shot in the back—he died. As it turns out, he was deliberately executed [in deep snow] by a pre-planned government ambush, after he had exited his vehicle with his hands up along an isolated section of U.S. Route 395 in Harney County, Oregon, where the only other people within miles were those who had set up the ambush. . . .

Notably, the government’s own aerial video footage appears to support the plaintiffs. The mainstream-news based Wikipedia online claims, on the contrary, “After fleeing the officers, Finicum was stopped by a roadblock, where he challenged officers to shoot him. He was shot and killed by state troopers while moving his hands toward his pocket, where officers later claim to have found a loaded weapon.”

Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne were among several people who rode with Finicum that day. For those two men and Ammon Bundy, the Clark County, Nev. standoff back in April 2014 had already concluded with Bureau of Land Management and FBI agents backing down. But once the ensuing federal court trial from the Oregon affair concluded, these men were among those arrested when federal prosecutors decided it was payback time for the government having to abort its attempt in Nevada to confiscate Cliven’s cattle.

At the time of Finicum’s shooting, the lingering protest-occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge facility was winding down, thankfully without an attempted assault by law enforcement on the protesters.

Finicum was known for addressing reporters outside the facility, where the occupiers, many of them ranchers, had taken a firm stance to protest father and son ranchers Dwight and Steve Hammond being sent back to federal prison. Much to the dismay of the protesters and likeminded people across the nation, the Hammonds were convicted of arson for setting “backfires,” a logical action to protect their property from fires on adjacent federal property.

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor.




Barack’s Big-Ticket Boondoggle

The planned Obama presidential library in Chicago, dubbed “Obamaland,” is an extravagant waste of taxpayer dollars, in a city that is already at the financial breaking point. And do W’s signed baseballs or Walt Disney memorabilia belong in presidential libraries? When even Bill Clinton thinks they’re a joke, what are we taxpayers actually paying for—and why?

By Philip Giraldi

America’s presidential libraries are, generally speaking, monuments to vanity and political mendacity, but the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center outdoes them all. It does not even call itself a library, as it will contain no books or documents to enable researchers to study what happened and why in the White House between 2004 and 2012. All the carefully selected and screened material in the center will be digitized and on computer while the original source material will be retained by the National Archives in Washington. At best, the center will be a curiosity, dear to fans of the former president but attracting few others.

The lack of seriousness of the presidential libraries was evident at the most recent dedication ceremony, that of George W. Bush at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where Bill Clinton even joked about the library’s displays, which included W’s collection of signed baseballs, as being the “latest, grandest example of former presidents to rewrite history.” Another critic described the library experience as “legacy polishing.”

There should be some concern over how “presidential libraries” are often colocated at major universities, because it creates a perhaps unhappy matrix where politics, personal commemoration, and archival information that is presumed to be both reliable and comprehensive have to coexist.

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There are 13 presidential libraries, many including museums and supporting foundations, all of which are now operated by the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA) at a cost of $100 million per year, meaning that essentially partisan political entities are being taxpayer funded. Most of the libraries actually attract few visitors, leading them to include book signings and unrelated exhibits. Even the most popular Reagan library recently featured a display of Walt Disney treasures.

The architect’s plan for Obama’s bid to greatness will center on an oddly shaped tower rising in a prime location of 20 acres along Chicago’s Lake Michigan shorefront. The city of Chicago is providing the land while construction costs for the building will be privately raised. Groundbreaking is in 2019 and it is expected to open in 2021. Though it is not part of the nearby University of Chicago, it does have “collaborative” status with the “host” institution. The university is under fire because it reportedly paid something like a secret bribe to the center’s organizers to obtain approval for the Chicago location. University President Robert Zimmer is already promoting the center as a major international attraction for scholars and the general public alike, adding that it will serve as a “catalyst for economic and cultural opportunities as well as community programing,” whatever that is supposed to mean.

The center will include a reading room, museum, exhibit rooms, a test kitchen, a recording studio, a rooftop community garden, a sledding hill, a playground, and office space for the Barack Obama Foundation. It doesn’t sound much like a real library, but that is because it is in fact more envisioned as something like a community outreach program for the black communities running to the south and west of the site. The Chairman of the Obama Foundation describes the development as a “dynamic, vibrant forum for civic participation, education, action and progress.”  It is already being dubbed in the Chicago media as “Obamaland.”

Obama, like his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, is not very easy to define, meaning that an assessment of his time in office will inevitably take on the coloration of whoever is structuring the narrative and to what end—which means that it will likely leave out more than it includes, and therein lies the dilemma.

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Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize will no doubt be prominently on display, but there will be no critical documents to explain the arguments made for assassination by drone. Position papers and meeting notes would be invaluable in trying to assess what occurred 10 years ago, but those documents will not be in the library archive, as they potentially disrupt the narrative and are considered both too recent and too sensitive for public consumption.

Obama should perhaps get top marks for his opening to Cuba and his willingness to negotiate with Iran, but there ought to be plenty of room for a serious discussion over the questionable mandate referred to as Obamacare as well as regarding the two wars in Libya and Syria motivated by “regime change,” initiated by the White House against nations with which the U.S. was not at war.

And then there are the innocent victims of the U.S. foreign policy that has been a hallmark of both the Bush and Obama years, an estimated 3-4 million Muslims who have perished in the so-called “War on Terror,” to include the more than 3,000 civilians who were killed under Obama by drones. And there needs to be some explanation for the treatment of whistleblowers who have attempted to expose criminal and unconstitutional activity only to be silenced through imprisonment, as well as for the “renditioned” and tortured foreigners seeking redress in U.S. courts who were blocked through repeated invocation of the State Secrets Privilege.And there is much more downside than that.

The land the library will be built on will be taken from Jackson Park, one of Chicago’s finest and a National Historic Register site, which is regarded in itself as a “dangerous precedent.” It is being slammed in the Chicago media as an “ugly waste of taxpayer resources” due to the $100 million plus of “renovations” and “improvements” to surrounding roads and the lakefront, which will have to be paid for by the city, which has no money to spare, and the state of Illinois, which is broke. The Center’s much criticized “soft-boiled egg” central tower will overwhelm surrounding buildings. Two hundred professors from the University of Chicago have signed a letter denouncing the design, the location, and the cost to the taxpayer.

All recent presidential libraries are flamboyant wastes of taxpayer money. The Obama Center is even worse, an ego trip that will diminish the part of Chicago where it will be placed. It is time to reconsider both it and its location before ground is broken next year.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.




Is U.S. Being Sucked Into Syria’s War?

Israel conducted a massive attack on Syria after one of its fighter jets was shot down, an act not surprisingly blamed on Iran. But, asks Pat Buchanan, “Why would Iran, which, with Assad, Russia, and Hezbollah is among the victors in Syria’s six-year civil war, wish to reignite the bloodletting and bring Israeli and U.S. firepower in on the other side? Naturally, Israel expects the U.S. to jump to assist. Will President Trump respond as expected by our Middle Eastern “ally”? Buchanan suggests what’s needed now is “active diplomacy, not military action.” 
By Patrick J. Buchanan

Candidate Donald Trump may have promised to extricate us from Middle East wars, once ISIS and al Qaeda were routed, yet events and people seem to be conspiring to keep us endlessly enmeshed.

Friday night [Feb. 9], a drone, apparently modeled on a U.S. drone that fell into Iran’s hands, intruded briefly into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights, and was shot down by an Apache helicopter.

Israel seized upon this to send F-16s to strike the airfield whence the drone originated. Returning home, an F-16 was hit and crashed, unleashing the most devastating Israeli attack in decades on Syria. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu says a dozen Syrian and Iranian bases and antiaircraft positions were struck.

Monday’s headline on The Wall Street Journal op-ed page blared:

“The Iran-Israel War Flares Up: The fight is over a Qods Force presence on the Syria-Israeli border. How will the U.S. respond?”

Op-ed writers Tony Badran and Jonathan Schanzer, both from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, closed thus:

“The Pentagon and State Department have already condemned Iran and thrown their support behind Israel. The question now is whether the Trump administration will go further. . . . Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (has) affirmed that the U.S. seeks not only to ensure its allies’ security but to deny Iran its ‘dreams of a northern arch’ from Tehran to Beirut. A good way to achieve both objectives would be back Israel’s response to Iran’s aggression—now and in the future.”

The FDD is an annex of the Israeli lobby and a charter member of the War Party.

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Chagai Tzuriel, who heads the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, echoed the FDD: “If you (Americans) are committed to countering Iran in the region, then you must do so in Syria—first.”

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Iran has dismissed as “lies” and “ridiculous” the charge that it sent the drone into Israeli airspace.

If Tehran did, it would be an act of monumental stupidity. Not only did the drone bring devastating Israeli reprisals against Syria and embarrass Iran’s ally Russia, it brought attacks on Russian-provided and possibly Russian-manned air defenses.

Moreover, in recent months Iranian policy—suspending patrol boat harassment of U.S. warships—appears crafted to ease tensions and provide no new causes for Trump to abandon the nuclear deal Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani regards as his legacy.

Indeed, why would Iran, which, with Assad, Russia, and Hezbollah is among the victors in Syria’s six-year civil war, wish to reignite the bloodletting and bring Israeli and U.S. firepower in on the other side?

In Syria’s southeast, another incident a week ago may portend an indefinite U.S. stay in that broken and bleeding country.

To recapture oil fields lost in the war, forces backed by Assad crossed the Euphrates into territory taken from ISIS by the U.S. and our Kurd allies. The U.S. response was a barrage of air and artillery strikes that killed 100 soldiers.

What this signals is that, though ISIS has been all but evicted from Syria, the U.S. intends to retain that fourth of Syria as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

In the northwest, Turkey has sent its Syrian allies to attack Afrin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened Manbij, 80 miles to the east, where U.S. troops commingle with the Kurd defenders and U.S. generals were visible last week.

Midweek, Erdogan exploded: “(The Americans) tell us, ‘Don’t come to Manbij.’ We will come to Manbij to hand over these territories to their rightful owners.”

The U.S. and Turkey, allies for six decades, with the largest armies in NATO, may soon be staring down each other’s gun barrels.

Has President Trump thought through where we are going with this deepening commitment in Syria, where we have only 2,000 troops and no allies but the Kurds, while on the other side is the Syrian army, Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran, and Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan?

Clearly, we have an obligation not to abandon the Kurds, who took most of the casualties in liberating eastern Syria from ISIS. And we have a strategic interest in not losing Turkey as an ally.

But this calls for active diplomacy, not military action.

And now that the rebels have been defeated and the civil war is almost over, what would be the cost, and what would be the prospects of fighting a new and wider war? What would victory look like?

Bibi and the FDD want to see U.S. power deployed alongside that of Israel, against Iran, Assad, and Hezbollah. But while Israel’s interests are clear, what would be the U.S. vital interest?

What outcome would justify another U.S. war in a region where all the previous wars in this century have left us bleeding, bankrupt, divided, and disillusioned?

When he was running, Donald Trump seemed to understand this.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Trump – Middle American Radical

Many think of Donald Trump as a conservative Republican. Yet this is not the case, explains Pat Buchanan, who refers to an article arguing a more accurate description is “radical anti-progressive.” So who is this president and why are so many Americans having a hard time wrapping their brains around this “new breed” of politician? 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

President Trump is the leader of America’s conservative party.

Yet not even his allies would describe him as a conservative in the tradition of Robert Taft, Russell Kirk or William F. Buckley.

In the primaries of 2016, all his rivals claimed the mantle of Mr. Conservative, Ronald Reagan. Yet Trump captured the party’s heart.

Who, then, and what is Donald Trump?

In a Federalist essay, “Trump Isn’t a Conservative—And That’s a Good Thing,” Frank Cannon comes close to the mark.

Trump, he writes, “would more accurately be described as a ‘radical anti-progressive’ ” who is “at war with the progressives who have co-opted American civil society.” Moreover, Trump “is willing to go further than any other previous conservative to defeat them.”

Many “elite conservatives,” writes Cannon, believe the “bedrock institutions” they treasure are “not subject to the same infectious politicization to which the rest of society has succumbed.”

This belief is naive, says Cannon, “ridiculous on its face.”

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“Radical anti-progressives” recognize that many institutions—the academy, media, entertainment, and the courts—have been co-opted and corrupted by the left. And as these institutions are not what they once were, they no longer deserve the respect they once had.
Yet most conservatives will only go so far in criticizing these institutions. We see this in how cradle Catholics find it difficult to criticize the Church in which they were birthed and raised, despite scandals and alterations in the liturgy and doctrine.

Trump sees many institutions as fortresses lately captured by radical progressives that must be attacked and besieged if they are to be recaptured and liberated. Cannon deals with three such politicized institutions: the media, the NFL, and the courts.

Trump does not attack freedom of the press but rather the moral authority and legitimacy of co-opted media institutions. It is what CNN has become, not what CNN was, that Trump disrespects.

These people are political enemies posturing as journalists who create “fake news” to destroy me, says Trump. Enraged media, responding, reveal themselves to be not far removed from what Trump says they are.

And, since Trump, media credibility has plummeted.

Before 2016, the NFL was an untouchable. When the league demanded that North Carolina accept the radical transgender agenda or face NFL sanctions, the Tar Heel State capitulated. When Arizona declined to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday in 1990, the NFL took away the Super Bowl. The Sun State caved.

This year, the league demanded respect for the beliefs and behavior of NFL players insulting Old Glory by “taking a knee” during the national anthem.

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Many conservative politicians and commentators, fearing the NFL’s almost mythic popularity in Middle America, remained mute.

But believing instinctively America would side with him, Trump delivered a full-throated defense of the flag and called for kicking the kneelers off the field, out of the game, and off the team.

“Fire them!” Trump bellowed.

And Trump triumphed. The NFL lost fans and viewers. The players ended the protests. No one took a knee at the Super Bowl.

Before Trump, the FBI was sacrosanct. But Trump savaged an insiders’ cabal at the top of the FBI he saw as having plotted to defeat him.

Trump has not attacked an independent judiciary, but courts like the Ninth Circuit, controlled by progressives and abusing their offices to advance progressive goals, and federal judges using lifetime tenure and political immunity to usurp powers that belong to the president—on immigration, for example.

Among the reasons Congress is disrespected is that it let the Supreme Court seize its power over social policy and convert itself into a judicial dictatorship—above Congress.

Trump is no Beltway conservative, writes Cannon.

“Trump doesn’t play by these ridiculous rules designed to keep conservatives stuck in a perpetual state of losing—a made-for-CNN version of the undefeated Harlem Globetrotters versus the winless Washington Generals. Trump instead seeks to fight and delegitimize any institution the Left has captured and rebuild it from the ground up.”

The Trump supporters who most relish the wars he is waging are the “Middle American Radicals,” of whom my columnist-colleague and late friend Sam Francis used to write.

 

There was a time such as today before in America.

After World War II, as it became clear our long-ruling liberal elites had blundered horribly in trusting Stalin, patriots arose to cleanse our institutions of treason and its fellow travelers.

The Hollywood Ten were exposed and went to jail. Nixon nailed Alger Hiss. Truman used the Smith Act to shut down Stalin’s subsidiary, the Communist Party USA. Spies in the atom bomb program were run down. The Rosenbergs went to the electric chair.

Liberals call it the “Red Scare.” And they are right to do so.

For when the patriots of the Greatest Generation like Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy came home from the war and went after them, the nation’s Reds had never been so scared in their entire lives.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store

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The Waco Massacre

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the massacre at the Branch Davidian Church near Waco, Texas, AFP begins a series of articles to look back on that terrible time when U.S. military and law enforcement waged war against a group of American citizens. This is part one of a four-part series.

By S.T. Patrick 

Twenty-five years ago, on April 19, 1993, America witnessed one of the most indelible moments of the Clinton presidency as it unfolded on cable news. In a field outside of the small community of Axtell, Texas—13 miles from Waco—a tank, on orders from the U.S. government, powered its way through the front door of Mount Carmel, a home to nearly 100 Branch Davidians. Mount Carmel was quickly ablaze in a gaseous inferno that would take the lives of approximately 80 Davidians, including almost 20 children.

Many questions lie in the smoldering ashes of Mount Carmel. The government spokesmen and national media owned the narrative immediately following the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) siege at Mount Carmel. Made-for-television films such as “In the Line of Duty: Ambush at Waco,” which presented the government’s view of the earlier Feb. 28 conflict with the Davidians, had been made even before the April siege.

In the years following the fire, the political right lifted its own public-relations torch regarding what is now simply known as “Waco.” Militias, Second Amendment activists, and libertarians have all pushed their own causes and anger through the hazy lens of Mount Carmel.

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Dick J. Reavis, a former senior editor of Texas Monthly and reporter for the Dallas Observer, wanted to take the story beyond the conflicts of current events. In 1995 Reavis released The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, which studied the origins of the Branch Davidians and the trek that found them in McLennan County, Texas, just 90 minutes from Dallas.

In an interview with this writer, Reavis pointed out that the media never discussed the demographics of the Davidian community outside of Waco. They preferred, instead, to paint the Davidians as right-wing gun nuts and religious zealots. To the mainstream media, the labels are synonymous with white racism. Reavis describes a multi-cultural community that is much different.

“There were about 120 people, perhaps 130, living in Mount Carmel at that time,” Reavis said.

“The press never pointed this out—or skipped over it—but those people were of all races on the face of the Earth. About 20% of them were mainly West Indians, but black. . . . In other words, you had an integrated community. There were Asians and there were some Mexican-Americans. The rest were white. There were several nationalities—Brits, Australians, all the West Indies.”

Most of the Branch Davidians had been born into and raised in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, domestically and internationally. Those living in Waco in 1993 had located there out of a belief that David Koresh was a successor to Ellen White, the founder of the church. They believed that Koresh was next in a line of leaders who could decode prophecies.

The pilgrimage to the McLennan County countryside dates back to Victor Houteff and a schism within the church. Houteff founded the Branch Davidians based upon the ideology of an imminent second coming of Jesus Christ, an apocalyptic event that, it is believed, will also see the final defeat of the armies of “Babylon.” Financial instability led them to Texas rather than to Israel, their intended destination. After Houteff’s death and a failed Armageddon prediction from his widow, control of Mount Carmel—the Davidian home named after the mountain in Joshua 19:26—fell to Benjamin and Lois Roden.

An eventual struggle for leadership ensued after Mr. Roden’s death. Mrs. Roden supported Vernon Howell (who changed his name to David Koresh in 1990) in the position of prophet, because her son, George, was unfit for the position due to mental instability. In 1987, after threatening a Texas court with sexually transmitted diseases if it did not rule in his favor, George Roden was jailed for contempt of court. In 1989 he killed another Davidian with an axe. Found not guilty due to insanity, Roden spent the remainder of his life in an asylum. Koresh assumed the leadership of the Branch Davidians and control of Mount Carmel.

The Davidians at Mount Carmel saw themselves as Messianic Jews who celebrated the traditions of Judaism with the ideology of Christianity. Each generation would have a messenger sent from God that would interpret end-times prophecy. The prophet would then lead the flock via his or her interpretation of God’s word, prophecy, and a biblical analysis of current events.

According to Reavis, Koresh and the Branch Davidians had no problems with local law enforcement and even assisted the local sheriff on one drug case. When local law enforcement found out that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were going to raid Mount Carmel, local officials asked, “Why don’t you just go talk to (Koresh)?”

Reavis is most perplexed by the way political groups have taken up the case since 1993. The Branch Davidians, he explained, were completely apolitical. They aligned with no political ideology and believed American politics were minutia when faced with the Second Coming. Koresh pragmatically believed he could profit from second-hand firearm upgrades and sales if a national gun-grab occurred, but he was not a boisterous Second Amendment advocate.

“What the remaining Davidians think of the gun rights question is, ‘Why do you bring that up?’ ” Reavis explained. “They think they were attacked for religious reasons. They do not believe—because they are ‘End Timers’—that human beings can do anything to improve our circumstances on Earth. Therefore, banning guns or allowing guns is a moot question, because it has to do with life on Earth, and they are anti-political.”

Rather than fleeing the compound when the February raid and the April siege began to threaten their lives, Reavis describes a more devout group of believers that chose to stay. In one intense moment during the fatal burning of Mount Carmel, one Davidian asked another what they would do next. “I guess we wait on the Lord,” he was told.

“They thought they were in something like Noah’s Ark,” Reavis explained. “You don’t jump off Noah’s Ark. They thought that the outside world would be destroyed and not the inside of Mount Carmel. If that was wrong, they also thought, they would go immediately to Heaven. I think there were some who stayed in because of their religious convictions. Those who did flee ran into a great theological problem. . . . (God) wanted to take those people (inside Mount Carmel) to Heaven, and I ran out on that chance.”

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News” show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




What the FBI/FISA Memo Really Tells Us About Our Government

When the “biggest cheerleader” for maintaining the secretive FISA court knew just how abused the process really is, why would he and the rest of Congress want to keep it a secret from the citizens? And how much do they actually care about surveillance abuse of Americans?

By Rep. Ron Paul

The release of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s abuse of the FISA process set off a partisan firestorm. The Democrats warned us beforehand that declassifying the memo would be the end the world as we know it. It was reckless to allow Americans to see this classified material, they said. Agents in the field could be harmed, sources and methods would be compromised, they claimed.

Republicans who had seen the memo claimed that it was far worse than Watergate. They said that mass firings would begin immediately after it became public. They said that the criminality of U.S. government agencies exposed by the memo would shock Americans.

Then it was released, and the world did not end. FBI agents have thus far not been fired. Seeing “classified” material did not terrify us, but rather it demonstrated clearly that information is kept from us by claiming it is “classified.”

In the end, both sides got it wrong. Here’s what the memo really shows us:

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First, the memo demonstrates that there is a “deep state” that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump’s repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion-dollar yearly military budget.

Imagine if candidate Trump had kept his campaign promises when he became president. Without the “Russia threat” and without the “China threat” and without the need to dump billions into NATO, we might actually have reaped a “peace dividend” more than a quarter-century after the end of the Cold War. That would have starved the war-promoting military-industrial complex and its network of pro-war “think tanks” that populate the Washington Beltway area.

Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims. It is clear that the FISA abuse detailed in the memo was well known to Republicans like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes before the memo was actually released. It was likely also well known by Democrats in the House. But both parties suppressed this evidence of FBI abuse of the FISA process until after the FISA Amendments Act could be re-authorized. They didn’t want Americans to know how corrupt the surveillance system really is and how the U.S. has become far too much like East Germany. That might cause more Americans to call up their representatives and demand that the FISA mass surveillance amendment be allowed to sunset.

Ironically, Chairman Nunes was the biggest cheerleader for the extension of the FISA Amendments even as he knew how terribly the FISA process had been abused!

Finally, hawks on both sides of the aisle in Congress used “Russia-gate” as an excuse to build animosity toward Russia among average Americans. They knew from the classified information that there was no basis for their claims that the Trump Administration was put into office with Moscow’s assistance, but they played along because it served their real goal of keeping the U.S. on war footing and keeping the gravy train rolling.

But don’t worry: The neocons in both parties will soon find another excuse to keep us terrified and ready to flush away a trillion dollars a year on military spending and continue our arguments and new “Cold War” with Russia.

In the meantime, be skeptical of both parties. With few exceptions they are not protecting liberty but promoting its opposite.

Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.

© 2018 RonPaulInstitute



Nunes Duels the Deep State

Given the assorted cover-ups, lies, omissions, obfuscations, and now demotions and firings at the FBI, is it any wonder Americans have quit trusting the bureau . . . and pretty much every other political entity in the country? 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

That memo worked up in the Intel Committee of Chairman Devin Nunes may not have sunk the Mueller investigation, but from the sound of the secondary explosions, this torpedo was no dud.

The critical charge:

To persuade a FISA court to issue a warrant to spy on Trump aide Carter Page, the FBI relied on a dossier produced by a Trump-hating British spy, who was using old Kremlin contacts, while being paid to dig up dirt on Donald Trump by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Not only were the Clinton campaign and DNC paying the spy, Christopher Steele, for his dirt-diving, the FBI put Steele on its own payroll, until they caught him lying about leaking to the media.

In their requests for search warrants, the FBI never told the FISA court judge their primary source was a 35-page dossier delivered by Steele that their own Director James Comey described as “salacious and unverified.”

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From the Nunes memo, there was, at the highest level of the FBI, a cabal determined to derail Trump and elect Clinton. Heading the cabal was Comey, who made the call to exonerate Hillary of criminal charges for imperiling national security secrets, even before his own FBI investigation was concluded.

Assisting Comey was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, running for a Virginia state senate seat, received a windfall of $467,000 in contributions from Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Last week, McCabe was discharged from the FBI. Seems that in late September 2016, he learned from his New York field office that it was sitting on a trove of emails between Anthony Weiner and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, which potentially contained security secrets.

Not until late October did Comey inform Congress of what deputy McCabe had known a month earlier.

Other FBI plotters were Peter Strzok, chief investigator in both the Clinton email server scandal and Russiagate, and his FBI girlfriend, Lisa Page. Both were ousted from the Mueller investigation when their anti-Trump bias and behavior were exposed last summer.

Filling out the starting five was Bruce Ohr, associate deputy attorney general under Loretta Lynch. In 2016, Ohr’s wife was working for Fusion GPS, the oppo research arm of the Clinton campaign, and Bruce was in direct contact with Steele.

Now, virtually all of this went down before Robert Mueller was named special counsel. But the poisoned roots of the Russiagate investigation and the bristling hostility of the investigators to Trump must cast a cloud of suspicion over whatever charges Mueller will bring.

Now another head may be about to fall, that of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

If Mueller has given up trying to prove Trump collusion with the Kremlin and moved on to obstruction of justice charges, Rosenstein moves into the crosshairs.
For the heart of any obstruction scenario is Trump’s firing of James Comey and his boasting about why he did it.

But not only did Rosenstein discuss with Trump the firing of Comey, he went back to Justice to produce the document to justify what the president had decided to do.
How can Rosenstein oversee Mueller’s investigation into the firing of James Comey when he was a witness to and a participant in the firing of James Comey?

The Roman poet Juvenal’s question comes to mind. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchmen?

Consider where we are. Mueller is investigating alleged Trump collusion with Russia, and the White House is all lawyered up.

The House intel committee is investigating Clinton-FBI collusion to defeat Trump and break his presidency. FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz is looking into whether the fix was in to give Hillary a pass in the probe of her email server.

Comey has been fired, his deputy McCabe removed, his chief investigator Strzok ousted by Mueller for bigoted anti-Trump behavior, alongside his FBI paramour, Page. Bruce Ohr has been demoted for colluding with Steele, who was caught lying to the FBI and fired, and for his wife’s role in Fusion GPS, which was being paid to dig up dirt on Trump for Clinton’s campaign.

If Americans are losing confidence in the FBI, whose fault is that? Is there not evidence that a hubristic cadre at the apex of the FBI — Comey, McCabe, Strzok foremost among them — decided the Republic must be saved from Trump and, should Hillary fail, they would step in and move to abort the Trump presidency at birth?

To the deep state, the higher interests of the American people almost always coincide with their own.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Bookstore.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



National Defense Strategy Is Offensive

Defense Secretary James Mattis recently delivered “bombastic” remarks on the U.S.’s new National Defense Strategy report, which former spook Philip Giraldi calls “occasionally . . . actually delusional” and “bizarre.” His remarks have again revealed the idiocy and aggressiveness of current U.S. foreign policy.

By Phil Giraldi

On Jan. 19, Secretary of Defense James Mattis delivered prepared remarks on the upcoming year’s National Defense Strategy report. His comments were based on the unclassified summary of the document, which was also released on the same day.

Reading the report is illuminating, to say the least, and somewhat disconcerting, as it focuses very little on actual defense of the realm and relates much more to offensive military action that might be employed to further certain debatable national interests. Occasionally, it is actually delusional, as when it refers to consolidating “gains we have made in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.”

At times Mattis’s supplementary “remarks” were more bombastic than reassuring, as when he warned, “those who would threaten America’s experiment in democracy: If you challenge us, it will be your longest and worst day.” He did not exactly go into what the military response to hacking a politician’s emails might be and one can only speculate, which is precisely the problem. The report opens the door to all kinds of mischief wrapped in a poorly defined and infinitely expandable package that claims to represent essential “national security.”

One of the most bizarre aspects of the report is its breathtaking assumption that “competitors” should be subjected to a potential military response if it is determined that they are in conflict with the strategic goals of the U.S. government. It is far removed from the old-fashioned constitutional concept that one has armed forces to defend the country against an actual threat involving an attack by hostile forces. With this document, none of that need apply when Washington seeks to flex its muscles, and, as the possibility of an actual invasion from Mexico or Canada is infinitely remote, the entire concept of forward defense is clearly an excuse for serial interventions overseas.

The report summary states, “Failure to meet our defense objectives will result in decreasing U.S. global influence, eroding cohesion among allies and partners, and reduced access to markets that will contribute to a decline in our prosperity and standard of living.” It supports overwhelming military strength and reliance on hard power to maintain “influence” and friends while also enabling higher living standards for some lucky Americans even though diplomacy and soft power can accomplish the same things without having to threaten half the world.

Some real zingers in the report and in the remarks by Mattis relate to China and Russia. He said, “We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models—pursuing veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.” He clearly is referring to Russian attempts to minimize the impact of a hostile NATO having expanded up to its very doorstep and to Chinese assertion of maritime zones relating to disputed islands that it has occupied in the South China Sea. There is, however, no evidence that either country is exporting “authoritarian models,” nor are they vetoing anything that they do not perceive as direct and immediate threats frequently orchestrated by Washington, which is intervening in local quarrels thousands of miles away from the U.S. borders. And when it comes to exporting models, who does it more persistently than Washington?

The report goes on to state that Russia and China and rogue regimes like Iran have “. . . increased efforts short of armed conflict by expanding coercion to new fronts, violating principle of sovereignty, exploiting ambiguity, and deliberately blurring the lines between civil and military goals.” As there is no evidence whatsoever that Russia, China, and Iran are actually seeking to threaten the United States militarily, there is considerable irony in the claim about confusion of civil and military. It is what the United States itself has been doing in various places, to include the initiation of armed conflict, most notably in Libya, Iraq, and, currently, Syria.

But the scariest assertion in the summary is the following: “Nuclear forces—Modernization of the nuclear force includes developing options to counter competitors’ coercive strategies, predicated on the threatened use of nuclear or strategic non-nuclear attacks.” That means that the White House and Pentagon are reserving the option to use nuclear weapons even when the opponent is not nuclear armed and where there is no imminent or existential threat as long as there is a “strategic” reason for doing so. Strategic would, of course, be defined by the president and Mattis while the War Powers Act allows the country’s chief executive to legally initiate a nuclear attack.

What might that mean in practice? Back in 2005, I reported how Vice President Dick Cheney had requested “a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States . . . [including] a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons . . . not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States.”

The planned use of nukes was also confirmed by award-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. The possible employment of a “weapon of mass destruction” was reportedly in response to intelligence suggesting that conventional weapons would not be able to penetrate the deep underground hardened sites where many of the Iranian military facilities, to include their presumed nuclear weapons labs, were believed to be located.

As it turned out, Iran had no nuclear weapons program at that time and attacking it would have been totally gratuitous, which should surprise no one. Some other neocon-inspired plans to attack Iran also had a nuclear contingency built in because it was feared that the country would actually resist and not roll over when confronted by the American force majeure. To make it cease and desist, a small nuke might well be dropped in a sparsely populated area to send a message.

Thus, we Americans can anticipate another year of playing at defense by keeping the offense on the field. Hopefully we will get lucky and nobody in the White House or Pentagon will decide to drop a nuke.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.




Things Are Getting Worse, Not Better: Round Ups, Checkpoints and National ID Cards

Here in Amerika, things are getting worse—not better—as the nation inches ever closer toward totalitarianism, that goose-stepping form of tyranny in which the government has all of the power and “we the people” have none.

By John Whitehead

“The roundups are getting worse. The checkpoints are getting worse. The harassment is getting worse. The things we were worried would happen are happening.”—Angus Johnston, professor at the City University of New York

No one is safe.

No one is immune.

No one gets spared the anguish, fear and heartache of living under the shadow of an authoritarian police state.

That’s the message being broadcast 24/7 to the citizens and residents of the American police state with every new piece of government propaganda, every new law that criminalizes otherwise lawful activity, every new policeman on the beat, every new surveillance camera casting a watchful eye, every sensationalist news story that titillates and distracts, every new prison or detention center built to house troublemakers and other undesirables, every new court ruling that gives government agents a green light to strip and steal and rape and ravage the citizenry, every school that opts to indoctrinate rather than educate, and every new justification for why Americans should comply with the government’s attempts to trample the Constitution underfoot.

Here in Amerika, things are getting worse—not better—as the nation inches ever closer toward totalitarianism, that goose-stepping form of tyranny in which the government has all of the power and “we the people” have none.

Take what happened recently in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

On Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, immigration agents boarded a Greyhound bus heading to downtown Miami from Orlando and demanded that all passengers provide proof of residence or citizenship. One grandmother, traveling by bus to meet her granddaughter for the first time, was arrested and taken off the bus when she couldn’t provide proof of residency.

No word on whether that grandmother was actually in the country illegally.

All we know is that the woman didn’t have proof of identification or residency on her, which is common for many older people who don’t happen to drive and have no reason to walk around with a photo ID. According to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice, more than three million Americans don’t actually own a government-issued picture ID. That group includes the elderly, the poor, city dwellers, young people, college students, and some rural residents who might not live near a DMV.

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This isn’t is a new occurrence.

A year ago, passengers arriving in New York’s JFK Airport on a domestic flight from San Francisco were ordered to show their “documents” to border patrol agents in order to get off the plane.

With the government empowered to carry out transportation checks to question people about their immigration status within a 100-mile border zone that wraps around the country, you’re going to see a rise in these “show your papers” incidents.

That’s a problem, and I’ll tell you why.

We are not supposed to be living in a “show me your papers” society.

Despite this, the U.S. government has recently introduced measures allowing police and other law enforcement officials to stop individuals (citizens and noncitizens alike), demand they identify themselves, and subject them to patdowns, warrantless searches, and interrogations.

These actions fly in the face of longstanding constitutional safeguards forbidding such police state tactics.

Set aside the debate over illegal immigration for a moment and think long and hard about what it means when government agents start demanding that people show their papers on penalty of arrest.

The problem with allowing government agents to demand identification from anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant—the current scheme being employed by the Trump administration to ferret out and cleanse the country of illegal immigrants—is that it lays the groundwork for a society in which you are required to identify yourself to any government worker who demands it.

Such tactics quickly lead one down a slippery slope that ends with government agents empowered to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but also that they are in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books.

This flies in the face of the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that all persons have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. At a minimum, the Fourth Amendment protects the American people from undue government interference with their movement and from baseless interrogation about their identities or activities.

Unless police have reasonable suspicion that  a person is guilty of wrongdoing, they have no legal authority to stop the person and require identification. In other words, “we the people” have the right to come and go as we please without the fear of being questioned by police or forced to identify ourselves.

The Rutherford Institute has issued a Constitutional Q&A on “The Legality of Stop and ID Procedures” that provides some guidance on one’s rights if stopped and asked by police to show identification.

Unfortunately, even with legal protections on the books, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average American to avoid falling in line with a national identification system.

We’re almost at that point already.

Passed by Congress in 2005 and scheduled to take effect nationwide by October 2020, the Real ID Act, which imposes federal standards on identity documents such as state drivers’ licenses, is the prelude to this national identification system.

Fast forward to the Trump administration’s war on illegal immigration, and you have the perfect storm necessary for the adoption of a national ID card, the ultimate human tracking device, which would make the police state’s task of monitoring, tracking and singling out individual suspects—citizen and noncitizen alike—far simpler.

Granted, in the absence of a national ID card, “we the people” are already tracked in a myriad of ways: through our state driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, bank accounts, purchases and electronic transactions; by way of our correspondence and communication devices—email, phone calls and mobile phones; through chips implanted in our vehicles, identification documents, even our clothing.

Add to this the fact that businesses, schools and other facilities are relying more and more on fingerprints and facial recognition to identify us.

All the while, data companies such as Acxiom are capturing vast caches of personal information to help airports, retailers, police and other government authorities instantly determine whether someone is the person he or she claims to be.

This informational glut—used to great advantage by both the government and corporate sectors—is converging into a mandate for “an internal passport,” a.k.a., a national ID card that would store information as basic as a person’s name, birth date and place of birth, as well as private information, including a Social Security number, fingerprint, retinal scan and personal, criminal and financial records.

A federalized, computerized, cross-referenced, databased system of identification policed by government agents would be the final nail in the coffin for privacy (not to mention a logistical security nightmare that would leave Americans even more vulnerable to every hacker in the cybersphere).

Americans have always resisted adopting a national ID card for good reason: it gives the government and its agents the ultimate power to target, track and terrorize the populace according to the government’s own nefarious purposes.

National ID card systems have been used before, by other oppressive governments, in the name of national security, invariably with horrifying results.

For instance, in Germany, the Nazis required all Jews to carry special stamped ID cards for travel within the country. A prelude to the yellow Star of David badges, these stamped cards were instrumental in identifying Jews for deportation to death camps in Poland.

Author Raul Hilberg summarizes the impact that such a system had on the Jews:

The whole identification system, with its personal documents, specially assigned names, and conspicuous tagging in public, was a powerful weapon in the hands of the police. First, the system was an auxiliary device that facilitated the enforcement of residence and movement restrictions. Second, it was an independent control measure in that it enabled the police to pick up any Jew, anywhere, anytime. Third, and perhaps most important, identification had a paralyzing effect on its victims.

In South Africa during apartheid, pass books were used to regulate the movement of black citizens and segregate the population. The Pass Laws Act of 1952 stipulated where, when and for how long a black African could remain in certain areas. Any government employee could strike out entries, which cancelled the permission to remain in an area. A pass book that did not have a valid entry resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of the bearer.

Identity cards played a crucial role in the genocide of the Tutsis in the central African country of Rwanda. The assault, carried out by extremist Hutu militia groups, lasted around 100 days and resulted in close to a million deaths. While the ID cards were not a precondition to the genocide, they were a facilitating factor. Once the genocide began, the production of an identity card with the designation “Tutsi” spelled a death sentence at any roadblock.

Identity cards have also helped oppressive regimes carry out eliminationist policies such as mass expulsion, forced relocation and group denationalization. Through the use of identity cards, Ethiopian authorities were able to identify people with Eritrean affiliation during the mass expulsion of 1998. The Vietnamese government was able to locate ethnic Chinese more easily during their 1978-79 expulsion. The USSR used identity cards to force the relocation of ethnic Koreans (1937), Volga Germans (1941), Kamyks and Karachai (1943), Crimean Tartars, Meshkhetian Turks, Chechens, Ingush and Balkars (1944) and ethnic Greeks (1949). And ethnic Vietnamese were identified for group denationalization through identity cards in Cambodia in 1993, as were the Kurds in Syria in 1962.

And in the United States, post-9/11, more than 750 Muslim men were rounded up on the basis of their religion and ethnicity and detained for up to eight months. Their experiences echo those of 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were similarly detained 75 years ago following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Despite a belated apology and monetary issuance by the U.S. government, the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to declare such a practice illegal. Moreover, laws such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) empower the government to arrest and detain indefinitely anyone they “suspect” of being an enemy of the state.

You see, it’s a short hop, skip and a jump from allowing government agents to stop and demand identification from someone suspected of being an illegal immigrant to empowering government agents to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but that they are also lawful, in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books, and not suspected of having committed some crime or other.

It’s no longer a matter of if, but when.

You may be innocent of wrongdoing now, but when the standard for innocence is set by the government, no one is safe. Everyone is a suspect. And anyone can be a criminal when it’s the government determining what is a crime.

Remember, the police state does not discriminate.

At some point, it will not matter whether your skin is black or yellow or brown or white. It will not matter whether you’re an immigrant or a citizen. It will not matter whether you’re rich or poor. It won’t even matter whether you’re driving, flying or walking.

After all, government-issued bullets will kill you just as easily whether you’re a law-abiding citizen or a hardened criminal. Government jails will hold you just as easily whether you’ve obeyed every law or broken a dozen. And whether or not you’ve done anything wrong, government agents will treat you like a suspect simply because they have been trained to view and treat everyone like potential criminals.

Eventually, when the police state has turned that final screw and slammed that final door, all that will matter is whether some government agent—poorly trained, utterly ignorant of the Constitution, way too hyped up on the power of their badges, and authorized to detain, search, interrogate, threaten and generally harass anyone they see fit—chooses to single you out for special treatment.

We’ve been having this same debate about the perils of government overreach for the past 50-plus years, and still we don’t seem to learn, or if we learn, we learn too late.

All of the excessive, abusive tactics employed by the government today—warrantless surveillance, stop and frisk searches, SWAT team raids, roadside strip searches, asset forfeiture schemes, private prisons, indefinite detention, militarized police, etc.—started out as a seemingly well-meaning plan to address some problem in society that needed a little extra help.

Be careful what you wish for: you will get more than you bargained for, especially when the government’s involved.

In the case of a national identification system, it might start off as a means of curtailing illegal immigration, but it will end up as a means of controlling the American people.

Remember, nothing is ever as simple as the government claims it is.

The war on drugs turned out to be a war on the American people, waged with SWAT teams and militarized police.

The war on terror turned out to be a war on the American people, waged with warrantless surveillance and indefinite detention.

The war on immigration is turning out to be yet another war on the American people, waged with roving government agents demanding “papers, please.”

Where things start to get dicey is when the stakes get higher, when there’s money to be made, when there are lives on the line. All of these government-fueled wars—on drugs, on terror, on immigration—have given risen to whole industries (defense contractors, prison contractors, security contractors, etc.) devoted to profiting off them. And “we the taxpayers” are footing the bill.

It’s easy to point fingers at the Trump Administration, but this feeding frenzy started long before Trump ascended to the White House. He’s just a red herring—as journalist Glenn Greenwald puts it, “a shiny red herring—one that distracts from the failures, corruption, and malice of the very Establishment so invested in promoting it.”

We’re in trouble, and we’re all to blame: the government bureaucrats who are marching in lockstep with the regime just as much as the populace that obeys every order, that fails to question or resist or push back against government dictates that are unjust or unconstitutional or immoral, and that allows itself to become so focused on the political circus before them that they fail to heed the danger creeping up behind them.

We have been down this road before.

Reporting on the trial of Nazi bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker in 1963, Hannah Arendt describes the “submissive meekness with which Jews went to their death”:

arriving on time at the transportation points, walking under their own power to the places of execution, digging their own graves, undressing and making neat piles of their clothing, and lying down side by side to be shot—seemed a telling point, and the prosecutor, asking witness after witness, “Why did you not protest?,” “Why did you board the train?,” “Fifteen thousand people were standing there and hundreds of guards facing you—why didn’t you revolt and charge and attack these guards?,” harped on it for all it was worth. But the sad truth of the matter is that the point was ill taken, for no non-Jewish group or non-Jewish people had behaved differently.

The lessons of history are clear: chained, shackled and imprisoned in a detention camp, there is little chance of resistance. The time to act is now, before it’s too late. Indeed, there is power in numbers, but if those numbers will not unite and rise up against their oppressors, there can be no resistance.

You can’t have it both ways.

You can’t live in a constitutional republic if you allow the government to act like a police state.

You can’t claim to value freedom if you allow the government to operate like a dictatorship.

You can’t expect to have your rights respected if you allow the government to treat whomever it pleases with disrespect and an utter disregard for the rule of law.

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If you’re inclined to advance this double standard because you believe you have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide, beware: there’s always a boomerang effect.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, whatever dangerous practices you allow the government to carry out now—whether it’s in the name of national security or protecting America’s borders or making America great again—rest assured, these same practices can and will be used against you when the government decides to set its sights on you.

As Arendt concludes, “under conditions of terror most people will comply but some people will not, just as the lesson of the countries to which the Final Solution was proposed is that ‘it could happen’ in most places but it did not happen everywhere.”

It does not have to happen here.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, is available from AFP  at www.americanfreepress.net or 1-888-699-6397. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

 




Republicans Pushing National Biometric ID Bill

It’s “deja vu all over again” as the issue of biometric national ID cards, which would be required in order to work, travel, receive benefits, or otherwise move about in America, has reared its ugly head yet again, and people paying attention are warning, “H.R. 4760 forces a new biometric national ID on every American citizen.” Stop this bill!

By Chuck Baldwin

The two major parties in Washington, D.C., have been playing “good cop, bad cop” with the American people for decades, and the charade is still working. The vast majority of voters seem totally oblivious to the fact that both parties are little more than puppets for the “man behind the curtain” (to borrow a line from “The Wizard of Oz”). After all is said and done, both parties are destroying constitutional government and liberty in America. They merely approach their duplicity from different directions. But both parties are taking the country down the same slippery slope to serfdom.

Democrats are the out-front bad guys on domestic/social issues such as abortion, gay rights, and gun control. Unfortunately, these are about the only issues conservative Christians pay much attention to. So, to them, Democrats are big, bad sinners and Republicans are spotless saints. But what Christians and most conservatives never seem to notice is that when it comes to the advancement of the warfare state and the promotion of the police state, Republicans are far and away the baddest of the bad. So, depending on what the “man behind the curtain” wants to push at the time, he knows he has both parties in his pocket to do his bidding.

When pushing a pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, pro-gun control agenda is on tap, the game is rigged for Democrats. And when pushing a perpetual war, police state agenda is on tap, the game is rigged for Republicans. No matter who wins, the “man behind the curtain” is always able to successfully push one part of his agenda or the other. So, now that Republicans are in power in Washington, D.C., perpetual war and a burgeoning police state is on tap. And, again, most conservatives and Christians will not even notice.

But for those who are interested in preserving whatever is left of America’s individual liberty, they need to be aware that the Republicans in D.C. are in the process of pushing a bill through Congress (Donald Trump would sign it in a heartbeat) that creates a biometric national ID card for every American.

Couched in anti-immigration language, Republican House members—the main sponsor of the bill is Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.-6)—have proposed H.R. 4760. The bill already has 82 cosponsors. The bill was introduced on Jan. 10.

H.R. 4760 forces a new biometric national ID on every American citizen. One would not be able to get a job, get a loan, open a bank account or board a plane without this national ID. And as is always the case, there is a total blackout in reporting on this bill by the mainstream media—including FOX News.

At The New American, Alex Newman writes in “GOP Leaders Plot Amnesty In Exchange For National ID”:

Republican leaders in Congress are once again plotting with Democrats to stab the American people and the U.S. Constitution in the back, on multiple key issues. Under the guise of getting “something” in exchange for providing amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants (and future Democrat voters) in Obama’s illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the establishment wing of the GOP is pushing a radical longtime goal of the bipartisan deep state: mandatory national biometric ID cards for all Americans. Privacy and liberty are under serious threat, critics warned.

The Orwellian national ID scheme, known as “E-Verify,” is ostensibly aimed at making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in the United States. Basically, as part of the program, which would become mandatory under the bill, every employer would be forced to buy a scanner and use it to check the legal work status of potential employees. On top of that, every worker would be forced to have a biometric ID issued by the federal government in order to be able to legally work. Without this national ID, employers would not legally be able to hire somebody.

But in reality, illegal immigrants are typically paid under the table anyway—many of them simply work as day laborers and get paid in cash at the end of the day. In light of that fact, the unconstitutional plot to mandate a national ID will do little to prevent unscrupulous employers from continuing to hire illegal immigrants, off the books. What the scheme will do, though, is force all law-abiding Americans to carry an unconstitutional national ID with all their information on it, including sensitive biometric data, just to be allowed to work. It will also give the feds a key new tool to monitor and control people.

There is a reason the leadership of both parties have supported the effort for many years. Indeed, even Obama, who did his best to help the United Nations flood America with Third World immigration under various guises, firmly supported the national ID plan, calling for a package containing it to be sent to him so he could sign it as quickly as possible. But now, instead of a Big Government liberal program to track Americans, the plot is being marketed as an ostensibly “conservative” measure to supposedly boost “border security” and limit illegal immigration.

A previous version of the scheme was actually sponsored by ultra-leftist open-borders advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). But with the GOP in firm control now, the controversial national ID provision most recently surfaced in the Republican-backed “Securing America’s Future” Act (H.R. 4760). Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the bill has some 70 cosponsors less than two weeks after being introduced. And already, organizations such as NumbersUSA that portray themselves as pro-America, anti-amnesty are expressing a willingness to cave on amnesty as long as the national ID and E-Verify become law.

Former Congressman Ron Paul is also trying to sound the alarm about this Orwellian bill. Writing to his supporters at Campaign for Liberty, Dr. Paul warns:

This bill would give DACA recipients a 3-year renewable legal status while forcing a biometric National ID card on virtually everyone else.

That’s right—the statists want to control you. Just think about it. . . . Gun ownership.  Employment history.  Family and friends. Purchasing habits.  Health records.  Travel.  Religious beliefs. Past political contributions. . . . Just imagine all these records and more on EVERY American citizen stored in a massive national database right at a federal government bureaucrat’s finger tips.

But that’s not all. Under the statists’ National ID scheme, you’d be forced to carry around your National ID card, tied to this massive database, chockfull of biometric identifiers like fingerprints and retina scans.

Without this ID, you won’t be able to legally hold a job—or likely even open a bank account or even board a plane!

You see, this National ID scheme is a key component of H.R. 4760. If passed, this dangerous scheme would require all Americans to carry an ID card that would:

  • Allow federal bureaucrats to include biometric identification information on the card, potentially even including fingerprints, retinal scans, or scans of veins on the back of hands, which could easily be used as a tracking device;
  • Be required for all U.S. workers regardless of place of birth, making it illegal for anyone to hold a job in the United States who doesn’t obtain an ID card;
  • Require all employers to purchase an ‘ID scanner’ to verify the ID cards with the federal government.  Every time any citizen applies for a job, the government would know–and you can bet it’s only a matter of time until ‘ID scans’ will be required to make even routine purchases, as well.

Of course, you and I have seen this before. . . . For years now, statists in BOTH parties have been fighting to RAM their radical National ID-database scheme into law.

In fact, this scheme was a key portion of the infamous failed “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bills BOTH parties tried to ram through during the Obama administration.

Now, using the momentum behind Trump’s tough talk on immigration and border security, I’m afraid the statists believe the best way to finally enact their National ID scheme is by promoting their bill on Capitol Hill as a “DACA fix” while they sell it to the GOP base as a border “security” measure.

Of course, that’s nothing more than a buzzword meant to trick Americans from all over the country into thinking that Congress is going to seal our southern border.

But in reality, it means something far different. [What] the “security” members of BOTH parties in the U.S. House want doesn’t target any U.S. border.  Instead, it’s meant to create an all-out police state within them.

See Ron Paul’s full letter here: “Papers, Please

So, what Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress want to do is provide amnesty for illegals (1.8 million vs. the 800,000 proposed under Barack Obama—meaning another Trump campaign promise goes down the toilet), while strapping the American citizenry with a biometric national ID card, so WE can be tracked by Big Brother.

And, again, the national news media is hiding the bill from public scrutiny by completely ignoring it (which is what they always do to help an anti-freedom bill become law), and since Republicans are the ones promoting this bill, so-called conservatives and Christians are ignoring it also. More than that, many so-called conservatives and Christians are actively supporting the bill.

It’s the “good cop, bad cop” façade working to perfection.

If conservatives, constitutionalists, Christians, and civil libertarians do not awaken to this phony left/right, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat dog and pony show that plays nonstop in Washington, D.C., freedom is not long for this country of ours.

H.R. 4760 doesn’t secure America’s borders; it puts the people who live inside America’s borders in a cage—a Big Brother, Orwellian, police state cage. It makes illegals legal and liberty illegal.

If you want to protect your children and grandchildren’s prospects of inheriting even a modicum of freedom, you will do everything you can to dissuade your congressman from supporting and voting for this horrific bill. A good place to start is finding out if your congressman is a cosponsor.

I shudder to think what America will look like a year after this bill passes.

WE MUST STOP H.R. 4760.

P.S. Since both parties in Washington, D.C. (including and especially Donald Trump) seem determined to turn America into a police state, it is urgent that every freedom-minded citizen educate themselves as to constitutional principles relating to police contacts.

Not long ago, my constitutional attorney son brought an outstanding lecture to help people know how to act constitutionally and safely when they are stopped, pulled over, or brought into contact with police officers. The address is simply entitled “Police Contact: How to Respond.”

Americans are more and more frequently falling victim to bad arrests and even physical harm at the hands of eager—but reckless—police officers. If a policeman believes you are guilty, being innocent may not be enough to keep you protected. There are many innocent people incarcerated in America’s prisons—or worse, killed by trigger-happy police officers. And oftentimes, citizens themselves help bring on this improper conduct through their own ignorance of the law or through their egregious misunderstanding of the proper way to interact with police officers.

This presentation focuses directly on the “Dos and Don’ts” of dealing with police contacts. Tim discusses how to—and how not to—react to police traffic stops and other contacts. He clearly and simply shows citizens their rights and duties under the Constitution and why it is so important that citizens understand these rights. This material will help citizens preserve liberty in their communities, and it will help policemen be better peace officers. It also might keep you out of jail—or out of the morgue.

Order “Police Contact: How to Respond,” here.

© Chuck Baldwin




Anybody But Romney

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who lost both the 2008 Republican presidential primary to John McCain and the 2012 presidential election to Barack Obama, has since stayed mainly out of politics. But now, the wishy-washy candidate is eyeing the Utah U.S. Senate seat being vacated by 40-year Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. While Romney and President Trump have gone verbally toe-to-toe over a few matters, Trump reportedly called Romney to encourage him to run in what will be a mid-term referendum on the president’s performance.

By S.T. Patrick

As Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) prepares to retire after 40 years in the Senate, Mitt Romney has made recent headlines as the likely Republican replacement for Hatch on the 2018 senatorial ballot. Since losing the GOP’s presidential primary to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 and then the presidential election to President Barack Obama in 2012, Romney has for the most part steered clear of political battles.

First-term mid-term elections are usually referendums on the first two years of a new presidency. In a political environment as emotionally charged as Washington, D.C. is today, the elections of 2018 will center on President Donald Trump and a candidate’s support or opposition for the Trump agenda. Though a source close to the White House confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune that Trump called Romney and encouraged him to run, the White House only confirmed the call and not the reason for the call.

Recently, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said that Ken Gardner, a local businessman, phoned him to say that he had received a text from Romney.

“I’m running,” it said.

drowning in IRS debt?

In the political world of alliances, mending fences that appeared irreparably broken is not as far-fetched as it seems. In a March 2016 speech, Romney was harshly critical of Trump, declaring, “Here’s what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.”

After Romney was critical of Trump for not releasing his tax records, Trump responded that Romney was “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.” After predicting that a Trump victory would mean that “the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished,” Trump called Romney “a choke artist.”

Romney publicly stated that he voted for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in the 2016 Utah caucus, but he never revealed his 2016 general election vote.

After Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, Romney congratulated him via Twitter and a phone call. Shortly thereafter, Romney met with president-elect Trump at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. The two reportedly discussed a possible appointment for Romney as secretary of state in the new administration. The position eventually went to Rex Tillerson.

After the August violence in Charlottesville, Romney again criticized Trump’s handling of what Romney said should have been a “defining moment” for the Trump presidency. “Whether he intended to or not, what (Trump) communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn,” Romney wrote in a Facebook post. “The president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville.” Trump had said that there was “blame on both sides” for the violence.

After recent reports surfaced that Trump had used the expression “sh**hole countries” to describe nations like Haiti, Romney took to Twitter in response. “The poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race,” Romney tweeted. “The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent (with) America’s history and antithetical to American values. May our memory of Dr. King buoy our hope for unity, greatness, and charity for all.”

Romney emerged again last November as he opposed the Alabama senate candidacy of Roy Moore. Political strategist Steve Bannon, giving a speech in support of Moore, addressed Romney directly.

“You hid behind your religion,” Bannon said. “You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

Bannon was referring to Romney’s devoted membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons. While Romney’s religion may not present problems in Utah, the global center for Mormonism, many have expressed doubts about the religion’s legitimacy and its practices. Right or wrong, many American evangelical Christians consider Mormonism to be a non-Christian cult, while revisionists and conspiracy theorists are troubled by its structural and traditional proximity to freemasonry. The once-secret, “sacred” rituals performed by Mormons in exclusive temples are now viewable as hidden camera footage on YouTube.

If Romney arrives in Washington, D.C. as the next senator from Utah, his support will be coveted by both the White House as well as the #NeverTrumpers. The milieu of Senate Republicans who indirectly and directly have criticized the president is not small. But a newly elected Sen. Romney may not choose to blend in at all. He may, instead, choose to carve his own path—and maybe in preparation for another even-larger campaign.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News” show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Bilderberg Group Reveals 2018 Meeting Date, Location

With more advance notice than ever before, the Bilderberg Group has revealed its 2018 meeting location and dates in an invitation to Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic issued following the recent World Economic Forum in Davos where Ms. Brnabic spoke.

By Mark Anderson

More advance notice than ever before has been given this year regarding where and when the infamous, highly secretive Bilderberg Group will next meet. Apparently, the “Bilderbergers,” as they’re often called, will return to Italy for the first time in 14 years, having last met there in 2004 in the city of Stresa.

According to a Jan. 29 news item at the Independent Balkan News Agency (IBNA) website, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic “received an official invitation to the Bilderberg meeting of this year, which will be held in Turin, Italy, June 7-10.” AFP will continue to monitor this matter, in case Bilderberg changes its meeting plans.

Besides the Stresa meeting, the Bilderberg Group has met in Italy two other times, in April 1987 and April 1965, both in Villa d’Este.

Bilderbergers Puppet Masters Cover
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The 2018 meeting will represent the 66th time the Bilderbergers have gathered. The group first met in 1954 at the Hotel De Bilderberg in the Netherlands—hence its name—with the help of CIA funds that were floated to nurture the early European Movement. The movement planted the seeds for the European Union superstate, according to Richard Aldrich, professor of international security at the University of Warwick in England.

The Bilderberg Group meets annually at the world’s most ritzy hotels and resorts, surrounded by an armada of armed private security and local police, for a closed-door, three-day forum involving about 140 top corporate titans, technology gurus, select royalty, central bankers, former and current intelligence officials, think-tank fellows, and select reporters and editors who leave their ethics and notebooks at the gate. The sitting head of NATO attends every year. Most attendees come from Europe and North America.

The group is managed by a 31-member steering committee that currently includes nine Americans, including Alphabet Inc. executive chairman Eric Schmidt, NEOM CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, Palantir Technologies CEO Alex Karp, and Marie-Josée Kravis, a Hudson Institute fellow and president of the American Friends of Bilderberg—which raises funds for the group’s meetings but claims to be a type of charity in its Form 990 tax filings—even though its “charitable” activities are reported as addressing issues surrounding the transatlantic alliance.

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IBNA specified that Ms. Brnabic’s presentation to the New Leaders for Europe meeting at the recently held World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland—an annual, comparatively open confab of high flyers from government, business, entertainment, technology, and academia—was reportedly impressive enough “to grant her access to one of the most prestigious annual meetings worldwide, the Bilderberg Group.”

The invitation came from Bilderberg Steering Committee Chairman Henri de Castries, former chairman and CEO of multinational insurance company AXA Group. In the fall of 2015, this AFP writer, for an exclusive report, caught up with de Castries when he gave a speech at the Brookings Institution, a key Bilderberg network partner.

There, de Castries outlined a plan for Europe first conceived decades ago that carries well into the future, the scheme to create a “United States of Europe,” in the which the EU’s formerly independent nations would further surrender their sovereignty, evidently to the point of no return, for the sake of making the EU a seamless building block of world government.

An official Government of Serbia press release dated Jan. 28 announced the prime minister was invited to Bilderberg following her Davos appearance. It noted Ms. Brnabic has been a member of the New Leaders for Europe, which “is made up of young politicians and decision makers from several European countries,” since 2016. The release did not specify whether she has accepted Bilderberg’s invitation.

That press release noted, “As the only prime minister from the region, Brnabic also participated in the preparation of the ‘Renew Europe’ report of the World Economic Forum, in which she prepared a section on migration and border issues.”

Last year, AFP covered Bilderberg’s return to Chantilly, Va., attended by five current U.S. officials, including two senators and three Trump administration officials. Official topics included: “The Trump Administration: A Progress Report,” “Trans-Atlantic Relations: Options and Scenarios,” “The Trans-Atlantic Defence Alliance: Bullets, Bytes and Bucks,” and “The Direction of the EU,” along with: “Why is Populism Growing?” “Russia in the International Order,” and “The War on Information.”

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




The Last Fed Chairman?

Jerome Powell has his hands full as he steps into the role of Federal Reserve Chairman. Tireless monetary reformer and watchdog Ron Paul warns, “The economy may seem to have recovered, but the recovery is not built on a firm foundation. Instead it rests on Fed-created bubbles. . . .” The U.S. had better get its economic house in order, he says, if it wants to remain the world reserve currency.

By Ron Paul

Last week the Senate confirmed Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve Chairman by a vote of 84-13. This is in contrast to the contentious debates and closer votes over Janet Yellen’s confirmation in 2014 and Ben Bernanke’s confirmation for a second term in 2010. Powell benefited from a perception that the economy’s recovery from the 2007-08 meltdown proves that the Fed is a capable manager of monetary policy. However, the perceptions of economic recovery and Federal Reserve competence are both far from the truth.

The economy may seem to have recovered, but the recovery is not built on a firm foundation. Instead it rests on Fed-created bubbles in areas such as automobile sales, credit cards debt, student loan debt, stocks, and even a new housing bubble.

The most dangerous bubble is the government debt bubble. The Fed facilitates deficit spending by monetizing the federal debt. The desire to enable Congress’ spending addiction is a major reason why the Fed cannot significantly raise interest rates, as increasing rates could increase federal debt payments to unsustainable levels. This may be one reason why President Trump has reversed course and endorsed low interest rates. Of course, all first-term presidents want low interest rates since they believe the low rates boost the economy and thus help them win reelection.

IRS Loses Cases

One of the issues Powell will face is increasing challenges to the dollar’s world reserve currency status. China is pressuring Saudi Arabia to price oil in Chinese yuan instead of in American dollars. China and other countries may take other steps, such as halting purchases of Treasury bonds, that could weaken the dollar. The threats to the dollar’s world reserve currency status will increase as concerns about U.S. government and private sector debt, as well as resentment over U.S. militarism and protectionism, grow.

The dollar still maintains its reserve currency status not because the dollar is strong, but because other countries’ currencies are weak. However, unless the U.S. gets its economic house in order, that may not long be the case.

Web of Debt cover

A new challenge to the dollar’s status is emerging from the private sector as more individuals seek alternatives to government-created fiat currency. The dramatic increase in the value of bitcoin may very well be another Fed-created bubble, but it is one fueled in part by desire to be free of the Fed’s ever-depreciating paper dollars.

Another sign of the people’s rejection of the Fed is the passage of state laws recognizing gold and silver as legal tender. Arizona passed such a law last year and Wyoming will soon consider a similar bill. As the failure of our current system becomes more apparent, more states will give their citizens freedom from the Fed’s money monopoly.

Much to new Fed Chairman Powell’s chagrin, support for the Audit the Fed bill remains high. As knowledge of how the Fed endangers prosperity grows, the pressure on Congress to pass Audit the Fed will prove irresistible.

Jerome Powell may seem to be assuming the Fed chairmanship at a time of increasing prosperity and renewed respect for the Fed. However, the prosperity is an illusion built on a series of Fed-created bubbles whose bursting will cause a major economic downturn. This will increase both the growing challenges to the dollar’s world reserve currency status and the number of people seeking alternatives to Federal Reserve-created fiat currency. Powell could be the last Fed chairman if the next Fed-created economic crisis leads the people to force Congress to audit and then end the Fed.

Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.

Copyright © 2018 by RonPaul Institute.



Ending SPLC’s Reign of Terror: Christian Ministry Sues National Hatemonger

In an exclusive interview, AFP talked with a senior staffer at the Christian ministry taking a stand against the SPLC hatemongers. He explains the critical importance to every American of D. James Kennedy Ministries’s case, why the ministry also sued Amazon, and why we must prevail against real hate if the First Amendment is to have any meaning at all.

By Dave Gahary

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), one of the legal arms of the cultural Marxist gangsters running rough-shod over this once-great nation’s traditions and institutions, is being called on the carpet. No, not by any governmental agency or regulatory body, but by a conservative, Christian ministry, which is demanding answers as to why the SPLC believes it has the right to classify the Christian charity as a “hate group.”

As this newspaper reported in its Dec. 18 & 25, 2017 edition in the article “Christianity vs. the SPLC,” Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) has the SPLC in its sights and has filed a federal lawsuit against the organization. The importance of this case for free speech cannot be overemphasized.

DJKM became “the fastest-growing Presbyterian church in the U.S.” when at its peak its weekly television programming aired on more than 400 TV stations and four cable networks with an audience of 3.5 million viewers in 200 countries.

In an exclusive interview with AFP, DJKM senior staff member John Rabe, DJKM’s director of creative production and on-air host, delved into great detail about why the organization feels it is critical to stand up to the SPLC ) and what the group’s leaders are hoping to accomplish.

Listen here!

“Because [we take] a biblical position saying that marriage is a God-ordained institution between one man and one woman—which is simply what all Christians at all times have believed over 2,000 years—and because [we say] that marriage is a one-man one-woman union, and because we’ve said that sex is ordained by God,” explained Rabe, “for upholding those views and for broadcasting those views, we have been designated a ‘hate group’ by the SPLC.”

Rabe explained why the SPLC’s designations are dangerous.

“The SPLC sets themselves up as sort of the clearinghouse of information on hate groups in America,” he said, “and so they’re frequently quoted by the media [and] they are often relied upon by law enforcement groups. And because it’s taken seriously by so many, we decided the time has come to act.”

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 23, 2017 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, “alleges, among other things, that the SPLC illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of the services offered by DJKM and committed defamation against DJKM arising from the publication and distribution of false information that libels the ministry’s reputation and subjects the ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public.”

Rabe explained the danger the SPLC poses to everyone’s free speech.

“They are trying to marginalize and ultimately silence Christians if they can designate you as a hater,” he said. “So if you can get someone designated as a hater and get their speech designated as hate speech, then you could say they’re not covered by the First Amendment and you can have the government silence them.”

“This lawsuit has been a long time coming,” Rabe continued, “and it’s a way of planting that flag to say, ‘Thus far and no farther,’ that it’s time to take a stand.”

DJKM was founded by pastor, evangelist, and broadcaster Dennis James Kennedy, who built Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church into a $37-million-a-year powerhouse. Kennedy was such a force that the day after his passing in 2007, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush issued a statement saying they were “deeply saddened” by his death, calling him “a man of great vision, faith, and integrity. . . . Dr. Kennedy’s message of love and hope inspired millions through the institutions he founded.”

Rabe explained the genesis of the lawsuit.

“DJKM has continued on Dr. Kennedy’s mission,” he said. “We’ve continued promoting his viewpoints, using his sermons on our television programs, and those issues . . . include issues of sexuality. Well, as you probably know, in today’s culture, to take a biblical viewpoint on those issues—which is essentially a conservative viewpoint on those issues—will make you very unpopular with those who are intent on remaking our society upon new lines.”

Although the First Amendment to the Constitution was designed to protect the states from central government power, the SPLC’s arbitrary “hate group” ratings have the potential to put a serious chill on free speech.

Rabe continued: “The SPLC is a private organization and so it’s not the government, and the SPLC calling us haters is slanderous, but it’s not a violation of the First Amendment.

“But, where the religious liberty concerns come in and the First Amendment concerns come in is that often law enforcement agencies have relied upon the SPLC’s designations. The FBI has relied upon the SPLC’s designations, and so government entities are taking these designations of the highly ideological, far-left SPLC at face value.

“There is a danger in that, and that’s one of the reasons for this lawsuit as well—that the SPLC cannot be allowed to damage people by making these false claims about them, and that the government cannot rely at face value upon the designations of this highly partisan group. It’s part of a larger strategy that will ultimately threaten our First Amendment freedoms, designating people haters and trying to argue that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.”

If Americans understand the First Amendment, Rabe explained, “it was to protect dissenters; it is to protect unpopular speech. And so if it doesn’t protect ‘hate speech,’ whether it actually is hate speech or whether it’s just something that someone falsely designates hate speech, if the First Amendment doesn’t cover that, I don’t know what it really does cover.”

Rabe turned his sights on the SPLC and why it is so dangerous to this country.

“The [SPLC] engage[s] in a fallacy by lumping in groups like ours that simply promote mainstream, historic, Christian doctrine with actual violent hate groups,” he said. “We all recognize there is such a thing as a hate group; there are groups based along racial lines or others [that] will designate people for targeting and will incite violence against those kind of people—although [it’s] very interesting to note that radical Islam is largely absent from the SPLC’s hate maps. We’ve had mosques in America where terrorist attacks had been coordinated in the United States—in Virginia and elsewhere—and yet these mosques do not appear on the SPLC’s hate map. They’re very selective about the groups that they choose, and they end up lumping together Christian organizations—like the Family Research Council and DJKM and the Alliance Defending Freedom, who simply defends the First Amendment in court—together with groups like neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, which is extremely disingenuous.”

Rabe explained how the SPLC’s ostensible mission has swayed far from its beginnings.

“The SPLC was founded after the bulk of the civil rights movement by an attorney named Morris Dees in 1971,” Rabe said. “Early on, they fought some cases in court against the Ku Klux Klan and others and built a reputation as an anti-hate group organization that will do something about it during that period. However, if you look beyond the early ‘70s you will be very hard-pressed to find actual cases of the SPLC going up against true hate groups and being effective against them. What you instead find is that they’ve largely built an enormous fundraising machine [by] basically [scaring] Northeastern liberals who never met a Christian or never met a conservative into thinking that there are hate groups around every corner. They currently have—and this is not speculation, this is in their own financial filings—over $300 million in endowments right now, much of that sitting in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere.”

Besides the SPLC, DJKM is also suing Amazon, “the world’s largest online shopping retailer,” headed by Jeff Bezos, who is on track to become the wealthiest person in history, worth over $100 billion.

Rabe explained why the online powerhouse is included in the lawsuit. “Amazon.com has been relying upon the SPLC’s hate group designations” for their charity program called AmazonSmile, he said. This program allows customers to donate a portion of the purchase price to a charitable organization, but Rabe said they were barred due to the SPLC’s classification.

“We applied to become one of the charity groups, and they refused us entrance into AmazonSmile,” Rabe explained. “The basis that they gave us was that ‘you’ve been designated by the SPLC as a hate group.’ We view this as religious discrimination because we have been falsely designated a hate group simply for holding traditional orthodox Christian beliefs on issues like sexuality.”

DJKM’s lawsuit is being litigated by Texas-based National Center for Life and Liberty, headed by David C. Gibbs III, who is on the ministry’s board of directors and is a frequent Fox News legal contributor. Gibbs litigated the Terri Schiavo case, the gripping 1990-2005 “right-to-die” legal matter that saw Theresa Marie “Terri” Schiavo in an “irreversible persistent vegetative state” with her husband wishing to remove her feeding tube. Schiavo’s parents challenged the medical diagnosis, and the prolonged series of legal challenges reached state and federal politicians including President George W. Bush, causing a seven-year delay before Ms. Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed, on March 18, 2005. She died 13 days later.

Rabe discussed the federal lawsuit, its cost, and its significance against the arguably out-of-control, rogue SPLC.

“I can tell you right now we do not have a $300 million bank account at DJKM, not anywhere near it,” said Rabe, “so this is a little bit of a David-and-Goliath type of situation. They are far, far larger than we are in terms of resources, in terms of their ability to just sort of overwhelm us with motions and with what lawyers call ‘punitive discovery,’ frivolous discovery claims. So we are gonna be up against it here, so anyone who feels led to help with that, we welcome that, as well as prayer.”

Those wishing to donate to support DJKM’s lawsuit can do so at djameskennedy.org/donate or via U.S. Mail to D. James Kennedy Ministries, P.O. Box 11184, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33339.

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See the website erasingtheliberty.com or call (850) 677-0344 for more information.