In New Video, Former CIA Analyst Disputes Claim That Russia Hacked DNC

By AFP Staff

In a new video posted to the Internet, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern contends that the Russians did not hack computers at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Instead, he argues, citing evidence from the intelligence committee, it was elements inside the CIA that made copies of emails and other digital content and leaked them.

McGovern was speaking at the Left Forum, North America’s largest gathering of U.S. and international left-wing activists.

The former spook begins by explaining why the CIA hates Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

“In March, there was a leak that WikiLeaks exposed,” said McGovern in the video. “It was a leak based on a contractor for the CIA, who was appalled at the offensive cyber tools that the CIA had developed in connection with NSA.”

McGovern was referring to the leak of Vault 7, which cost the CIA hundreds of millions of dollars and exposed some of the worst cyber tools in the U.S. intelligence community’s arsenal to include software that could take over a car’s computer or ones that facilitated spying.

That leak, he argued, proved that the CIA and NSA have the capabilities to hack into any computer system and then leave breadcrumbs behind, which fool computer investigators into thinking the crime was perpetrated by someone else. Specifically, McGovern said, it was the CIA’s Digital Intelligence Directorate that used a secret system called Marble Network to hack the DNC computers and then left behind the Russian words and the name of a Russian intelligence figure.

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Though he does not know who exactly was behind the leaking of internal DNC documents, he believes it was carried out by someone inside the DNC, who copied them and released them online.

How does he know this? McGovern contends that his colleagues in the watchdog group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, who include former NSA officials, told him this is what happened.

Watch the video above for the details, and don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments below. Do you believe McGovern, or do you think someone else was behind it?

They Disagree on Everything But Israel

The U.S. legislators voting to gut the U.S. Constitution to promote “free speech” for Israel may be trying to help Israel, but some believe they’re committing treason. 

By Philip Giraldi

There is currently considerable agitation in Congress over what is loosely being referred to as “free speech.” The crux of the matter appears to be that many self-identified conservatives appear to believe that rules put in place by many college and university administrations unfairly discriminate against them, establishing restrictions on speakers whose opinions might be viewed as offensive to liberals and minority constituencies. This has lately led to the blocking of attempts by notable conservative lecturers to speak on campus and in other public fora lest they cause a breakdown in public order. It is interesting to note that the campaign against conservatives is never packaged quite as an actual free speech issue. It is generally expressed as a desire to sustain community values and to avoid violent confrontations.

Many of the groups engaging in agitprop seeking to redefine the First Amendment at the college level are inevitably Jewish, many of them politically liberal, seeking to eliminate hurtful commentary or actions that involve criticism of Israel. A common complaint is that demonstrations or speakers on campus make Jews feel uncomfortable and therefore should be banned. Ironically, the political conservatives, who believe themselves to be victims of a suppression of free speech, often hypocritically support the Jewish students’ drive to curtail the same commodity because they are strong supporters of Israel. That reality demonstrates that the complaints from both parties are more ideologically driven than based on any perception of the need to maintain basic constitutional rights.

More curious still are the actions of some Jewish legislators in Congress. The debate over free speech on campus to allow conservative voices is much in the media, but the desire of many of America’s normally liberal Jews to curtail any and all criticism of Israel is hardly mentioned at all, even though it is in many respects far more serious an attack against the First Amendment, as support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement would be enshrined in federal legislation with draconian penalties attached.

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Two leading Jewish senators, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Chuck Schumer of New York, are the driving forces behind the so-called Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which is continuing to make its way through Congress. It was introduced by Cardin and quickly attracted a number of co-sponsors and supporters, many of whom were predictably Republicans. The irony inherent in the bill comes from the fact that both Cardin and Schumer are solidly liberal in their voting records, to include support of issues generally regarded as protective of constitutional rights and liberties.

Theirs might reasonably be considered reliable votes whenever the Bill of Rights is challenged, but when it comes to Israel they are quite willing to flip 180 degrees.

Schumer might be considered Israel’s senator in Congress now that Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has finally disappeared from the scene. Schumer has referred to himself as Israel’s “shomer” or protector, a derivation of his own name. If he is challenged at all in that status it would be by Cardin, who votes a straight pro-Israel line when called upon to do so and who is the product of Maryland’s largely Jewish dominated Democratic Party machine. Both are, not coincidentally, major recipients of campaign contributions coming from the Israel lobby. Two years ago both Schumer and Cardin opposed President Barack Obama’s agreement to the plan adopted to monitor Iran’s nuclear program, placing them in line with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in opposition to their own party’s president.

So here is the problem. Many American Jews in politics support Israel right or wrong without any regard for the impact on the rest of their constituents. This is obviously wrong, but they do it shamelessly because they believe that they will never be held to account. Unfortunately for them, attitudes toward Israel and its criminal regime are shifting, particularly in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

Cardin has indeed faced some problems with his promotion of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. The generally Israel-friendly American Civil Liberties Union objected strongly both to the obvious unconstitutionality of the bill as well as the punitive measures that it mandated, which included in the original version civil fines up to $250,000, criminal fines of up to $1 million, as well as a possible 20 years in prison. Two elements of the bill are particularly appalling. One criminalizes anyone even making inquiries about BDS and the other specifies that Israel includes by definition “settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories.” That means that the settlements, which all the world including the United States considers illegal, cannot be criticized under penalty of law.

These draconian features, which essentially criminalize a broad range of any criticism of Israel if implemented, were recently watered down but have not been completely eliminated from the current version of the bill. To be sure, a number of liberal Jewish organizations have come out against the bill but have been unable to make much progress, as the well-funded and much more numerous organizations that constitute the lobby have better access to both politicians and the mainstream media.

Against those who find the bill a bridge too far, even in defense of the Jewish state, one indeed finds an array of Jewish oligarchs who support Israel reflexively as well as the formidable power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) with its hundreds of employees and $100 million annual budget. AIPAC is America’s most powerful foreign policy lobby. In terms of getting out the votes in Congress it is comparable to the gun lobby for the GOP. It is committed to the Cardin bill and considers it its top priority because it, echoing the repeated warnings issued by Netanyahu, believes that BDS is the greatest internal threat to Israel. Netanyahu is, of course, not rational on threats to Israel. He has long promoted attacking a militarily inferior Iran because it is an alleged threat and his judgment on BDS is similarly 90% scaremongering.

So here we have it again. Two prominent Jewish senators are working to destroy the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and they are doing it to “help” Israel. Some might call it treason.

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.

Congress Votes to Probe U.S. Role in Torturing Yemenis

By AFP Staff

In late May, during confirmation hearings for newly appointed CIA head Gina Haspel, the Senate heard extensive testimony on the United States torture program carried out under the Bush administration following 9/11. The discussion revived that ugly time in recent U.S. history when military and intelligence officials engaged in despicable acts where innocent people, suspected terrorists, and captured foreign fighters were subjected to brutal treatment at the hands of U.S. citizens in secret prisons located in remote parts of the world.

Following the hearings, in a surprise move, Congress acted quickly to pass legislation by voice vote that tasked the Pentagon with investigating whether U.S. military or intelligence officials participated in torture in nearly a dozen prisons located in southern Yemen.

In 2016, the Associated Press exposed 20 secret prisons in southern Yemen that are run by U.S. ally the United Arab Emirates. AP estimated that several thousand Yemenis have been sent to these prisons where many undergo horrendous torture including rapes or being strapped to a “grill” and roasted over an open fire.

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U.S. military officials, who spoke to AP anonymously, said they were aware of the torture in the prisons, but, so far, they said, their roles were simply to “participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies.”

The measure, sponsored by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), specifically required the secretary of defense to initiate an investigation to see if any U.S. officials participated in torture in the Yemen prisons as well as to determine whether any U.S. officials who participated in interrogations in Yemen followed U.S. laws and policy. It was added to the 2019 defense authorization bill. It is not known, however, when Congress will take up the massive military spending legislation or whether the torture amendment will be included in the final funding legislation.

AFP will continue to monitor this important subject as the spending measure winds its way through Congress.

Is Israel Helping Saudi Arabia Develop Nukes?

By AFP Staff

Is the radical Israeli government helping the Saudis build nuclear weapons? According to a new report in the online news and commentary website “Middle East Monitor,” an Israeli writer is blowing the whistle on a secret deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia to sell detailed information on how to build a nuke.

“This information should shock us,” Ami Dor-on wrote in a whistle-blowing column posted online at the “News One” website, “as we see the world is changing for the worse, following the race for the possession of nuclear weapons that pass right over our heads in the Middle East.”

Dor-on claims that the Saudi push to go nuclear stems from concerns that Iran is building its own arsenal, despite the fact that objective nuclear scientists along with U.S. intelligence agencies contend Iran abandoned its nuclear weapon program back in the early 2000s. Also, the Saudis believe that President Donald Trump’s closeness to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu means the U.S. will not move to block the deal.

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In the 1960s, Israel stole nuclear technology from the United States and other countries in order to develop its own arsenal. AFP writer and editor Michael Collins Piper, who passed away in 2016, documented the thefts in his book The Golem: Israel’s Nuclear Hell Bomb and the Road to Global Armageddon. Piper also argues in Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, the book he is perhaps best known for, that President John F. Kennedy objected to Israel’s theft of U.S. nuclear secrets. As a result of that, the Israelis, with the help of organized crime and other elements, orchestrated Kennedy’s assassination.

For years, Israeli officials tried to cover up the fact that it has a nuclear arsenal of as many as 400 missiles. Long considered to be one of the worst kept secrets in the Middle East, Israel’s nuclear weapons have been acknowledged by multiple Israeli leaders as well as the Pentagon.

The Saudis have long sought to develop nukes, according to multiple reports. It is well known that the Saudis helped the Pakistanis steal nuclear secrets so the country could develop its own bombs.

More recently, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, while visiting the U.S., asked the Trump administration for permission to begin enriching uranium to weapons-grade so that it could begin its own nuclear program.

A nuclear race in the Middle East should be a concern for world powers, including the U.S., Russia, and China.

Up until Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal with Iran, Iran had been barred from enriching uranium to create its own weapons. Much has been made about Iran secretly having a nuclear program hidden away in military sites such as Parchin. In 2015, however, nuclear inspectors entered Parchin to quietly conduct inspections alongside the Iranians. Iran has promised to abide by the deal despite the U.S. rejecting it.

A nuclear-free world is in everyone’s interests and is something that all countries should back.

U.S. Workers Support Trump’s Tariffs But Wonder If It’s Too Late

By AFP Staff

It is not hyperbole to say that globalists are in a tizzy over the tariffs pushed by President Donald Trump on steel, aluminum, and other foreign goods. Tough talk over trade is resonating in many parts of the United States, however, where blue-collar workers and local shop owners have suffered for decades at the hands of multinational corporations and bought-and-paid-for politicians.

Since the passage of so-called “free trade” deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s, the United States has lost millions of good-paying jobs. Thousands more locally owned stores and manufacturers have been forced to close their doors, and the truth settled into America: Global trade was neither free nor fair for average Americans.

In trade deal after trade deal pushed by previous presidential administrations that were in the pockets of big business, the United States was forced to jettison any and all worker and industry protections while countries like South Korea, India, and China were allowed to keep theirs. Even wealthy European countries were allowed to keep their value-added taxes that make foreign goods more expensive and help local businesses and workers since, technically, they were not direct barriers to trade.

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Then came Trump, who called the world’s bluff and initiated trade policies that put America—and its hardworking middle class—first.

Evidence of all of this came recently when Trump announced that the U.S. was placing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Soft-handed executives from multinational corporations howled in pain, blasting the tariffs as violations of free trade. Undaunted, the Trump administration moved ahead with the plan, but not everyone is crying about it.

According to a recent report in the UK Guardian newspaper, steel workers in the Rust Belt say they are happy that Trump is following through on his campaign promise of putting America first.

Bruce Haines, a former US Steel executive, told the Guardian that the tariff was “long overdue.”

He added: “Steel and aluminum tariffs are necessary to protect from unfair dumped steel. . . . Like the tax cuts, only Trump has the balls to pull this off. In this case he is fulfilling his campaign promise to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, while also helping West Virginia and Kentucky reopen coal mines needed for steel, as well as getting the Minnesota iron ore mines back up and running—all employing the forgotten American worker that crossed the aisle to vote for Trump.”

The problem, however, is that many are wondering, after nearly four decades of free trade, if it’s too late for the tariffs to help U.S. workers.

“Many of my brothers think it’s about 30 to 40 years too late,” Larry Neff, who worked at Bethlehem Steel for 25 years, told the Guardian. “None of the older plants could be started up again, and many of the mills producing steel now are owned by other countries.”

You can read the Guardian article here.

Tell us what you think about the tariffs on foreign imports in the comments below. Are they good for America, or will they just lead to a trade war that will cost struggling Americans even more money?

Boehner’s Right – It’s Trump’s Party Now

Given the history of the Republican Party in the last two decades and a look at what President Trump is doing now, Pat Buchanan asks whether the GOP is just napping or comatose.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party,” John Boehner told a Mackinac, Mich. gathering of the GOP faithful last week. “The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.”

Ex-Speaker Boehner should probably re-check the old party’s pulse, for the Bush-Boehner GOP may not just be napping. It could be comatose.

Consider. That GOP was dedicated to free trade, open borders, amnesty, and using U.S. power to punish aggressors and “end tyranny in our world.” That GOP set out to create a new world order where dictatorships were threatened with “regime change,” and democratic capitalism was the new order of the ages.

Yet, Donald Trump captured the Republican nomination and won the presidency—by saying goodbye to all that.

How probable is it that a future GOP presidential candidate will revive the Bush-Boehner agenda the party rejected in 2016, run on it, win, and impose it on the party and nation?

Bush-Boehner Republicanism appears to be as dead today as was Harding-Coolidge Republicanism after 1933. And if Trumpism is not the future of the GOP, it is hard to see what a promising GOP agenda might look like.

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A brief history: In seven elections starting in 1992, Republicans won the presidency three times, but the popular vote only once, in 2004, when George W. was still basking in his “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq.

What fractured and overwhelmed the Bush-Boehner Republican Party?

First, demography. The mass immigration of Third World peoples that began with the 1965 immigration act, and the decline in the birth rate of native-born Americans, began to swamp the Nixon-Reagan New Majority.

Second, the collapse of the Soviet Empire and USSR removed the party’s great unifying cause from Eisenhower to Bush I—the Cold War.

After the Red Army went home, “America First” had a new appeal!

Third, faithful to the free trade cult in which they were raised, Republicans championed NAFTA, the WTO, and MFN for China.

Historians will look back in amazement at how America’s free trade zealots gave away the greatest manufacturing base the world had ever seen, as they quoted approvingly 18th- and 19th-century scribblers whose ideas had done so much to bring down their own country, Great Britain.

Between 1997 and 2017, the EU ran up, at America’s expense, trade surpluses in goods in excess of $2 trillion, while we also picked up the bill for Europe’s defense.

Between 1992 and 2016, China was allowed to run $4 trillion in trade surpluses at our expense, converting herself into the world’s first manufacturing power and denuding America of tens of thousands of factories and millions of manufacturing jobs.

In Trump’s first year, China’s trade surplus with the United States hit $375 billion. From January to March of this year, our trade deficit with China was running at close to the same astronomical rate.

“Trade deficits do not matter,” we hear from the economists.

They might explain that to Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

And perhaps someone can explain the wisdom of handing 4% of our GDP each year to an adversary nation, as U.S. admirals talk tough about confronting that adversary nation over islets and reefs in the South China Sea.

Why are we enriching and empowering so exorbitantly those whom we are told we may have to fight?

Fourth, under Bush II and Obama, the U.S. intervened massively in the Near and Middle East—in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. And the forces that pushed up into those conflicts, and so disillusioned the nation that it elected Barack Obama, are back, pushing for a new war, on Iran. They may get this war, too.

Yet, given the anti-interventionist and anti-war stance of Trump’s winning campaign, and of the Bernie Sanders campaign, U.S. involvement in Middle East wars seems less America’s future than it does her past.

After his 16 months in office, it appears as though the Trump presidency, no matter how brief, is going to be a watershed moment in U.S. and world history, and in the future of the GOP.

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The world is changing. NATO and the EU are showing their age. Nationalism, populism, and tribalism are pervasive on the Old Continent. And America’s willingness to bear the burden of Europe’s defense, as they ride virtually free, is visibly waning.

It is hard to see why or how Republicans are ever again going to be the Bush-Boehner party that preceded the rise of Trump.

What would be the argument for returning to a repudiated platform?

Trump not only defeated 16 Bush Republicans, he presented an agenda on immigration, border security, amnesty, intervention abroad, the Middle East, NAFTA, free trade, Putin, and Russia that was a rejection of what the Bush-Boehner Party had stood for and what its presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012, John McCain and Mitt Romney, had run on.

If the Republican Party is “napping,” let it slumber on, undisturbed, for its time has come and gone. We are in a new world now.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of 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.


Bilderberg Officially Announces Topics, Attendees

Early in the morning on June 5, the shadowy globalist group known as Bilderberg officially released the location of its 2018 gathering as well as the list of its attendees.

By AFP Staff

In advance of its annual gathering June 8-10, Bilderberg posted to its website a list of topics on its agenda as well as the attendees who will be there when the shadowy globalist group gathers this upcoming weekend.

Every year, behind locked and guarded doors, 120-140 of the western world’s most powerful business executives, bankers, financial speculators, bureaucrats, and politicians gather together in secret at a five-star resort somewhere in Europe or North America to discuss the most pressing issues of the day—and figure out ways to profit off of them.

This year, Bilderberg picked Turin, Italy for its meeting location. AFP exposed the secret meeting site months ago, but Bilderberg only officially confirmed this on June 5, in an official press release. The global group has not identified what resort it bought out to host the meeting, but early reports indicate it will likely be the NH Torino Lingotto Congress hotel in Turin. AFP attempted to book a room for the weekend of June 8-10, but the entire resort was booked solid, a good indication that this will be the place.

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To no one’s real surprise, a press release by the Bilderberg group identified the key topics of the confab, which will include U.S. politics in the age of President Donald Trump as well as the rise of populism.

Specifically, Bilderberg listed the following topics on its website:

  • Populism in Europe
  • The inequality challenge
  • The future of work
  • Artificial intelligence
  • The U.S. before midterms
  • Free trade
  • U.S. world leadership
  • Russia
  • Quantum computing
  • Saudi Arabia and Iran
  • The “post-truth” world
  • Current events

“As of today, 128 participants from 23 countries have confirmed their attendance. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia, and the media has been invited,” Bilderberg’s press release noted.

Regular attendees of Bilderberg will be there this year, including Henry Kissinger, Robert Rubin, and Lawrence Summers. Of note, however, is that James H. Baker from the Pentagon will be attending as well as PayPal founder and noted conservative libertarian Peter Thiel.

The full list of attendees can be found here.

In its press release, Bilderberg teased readers by acknowledging that attendees follow so-called “Chatham House rules,” meaning they are forbidden from discussing what transpires at the event. Only recently, however, has Bilderberg come out of the closet officially. For years, the group was deadly serious about maintaining its secrecy, enforcing a strict blackout on reports in the mainstream media.

Arm Teachers; Save Students

After 10 years of success, one Texas school superintendent stands firmly in support of his armed-staff model to protect pupils. While the media and other school professionals contacted him previously, he’s surprised to have not have received calls after the recent Santa Fe, Texas shooting.

By Mark Anderson

Sitting in his office at the Harrold Independent School District in rural north-central Texas, school superintendent David Thweatt half expected the phone to ring off the hook in the aftermath of yet another murder by gunfire at Santa Fe High School in Galveston County, Texas on May 18.

It’s been 10 years now since Thweatt made headlines, nationally and internationally, by taking the lead in implementing a “controversial” school-protection plan that consists of training qualified teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms and maintain the crucial elements of uncertainty and surprise—to give any would-be school shooter reasons to think twice.

Of course, the success of such a program is mainly measured by simply noting that no one carrying a firearm with criminal intent has tried to enter or attack the district’s school facilities since Harrold’s school board approved Thweatt’s defense plan.

Contacted by AFP, he said he was a tad puzzled that AFP was the first and only media to have called him, as of May 21, regarding the events at Santa Fe’s high school.

“I got some calls after Parkland [the Florida school shooting in February 2018] and after Sandy Hook [December 2012 in Connecticut], but not after this one; it’s kind of weird,” he said, believing that calls from media and officials from other school districts would be more likely since Santa Fe is in his home state.

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Thweatt’s school district implemented the armed-staff approach, now also being implemented in some Florida school districts, when the use of a firearm for murder in a school setting was considerably less frequent than it is today—meaning that he’s something of a pioneer in this area. While he’s modest about his role, he’s passionate about its purpose and effectiveness.

His views cut like a knife through the arguably flimsy suggestions for “roundtable discussions from all sides in the gun debate” and other politically correct measures called for by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and most other officials. Only Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been more specific, having recently said that the issue is “not about the guns, it’s about us. . . . We have devalued life, whether it’s through abortion, whether it’s the breakup of families, through violent movies, and particularly violent video games.”

But Thweatt, who has been well ahead of the curve in that regard, says that those who fixate on guns don’t believe in the Constitution—copies of which adorn the walls at his school.

For years, he’s been acutely aware that most media constantly place the blame on the existence and availability of firearms while downplaying or ignoring various corruptive factors that adversely affect the mentality and sociability of school pupils. That includes the regimented education system itself, which operates on the basis of what Thweatt generally calls “humanism”—an anti-Christian worldview which posits that human beings are an evolutionary accident of the universe whose lives have no meaning or moral foundation.

In addition, basic emotional and psychological problems, as well as broken, unsupervised homes and various other factors—far removed from firearms issues—all play a role in inducing uncivilized behavior, often aggravated by the use of psychotropic drugs that have been linked to a number of teenage “school shooters” over the years.

Thweatt remarked that much of the resistance to the Harrold district’s approach seems to stem from the basic fact that many people have bought into the notion that teachers cannot be trusted in such a role.

In the year prior to the Santa Fe shooting incident, the district’s leadership reportedly had made plans to protect its schools via the Texas School Marshal Plan, introduced and approved in 2013 in the state legislature. That model is based on arming external employees, tasked with defending schools.

After the May 18 shooting, the president of Santa Fe’s Board of Trustees stated that the district’s policies and procedures “worked,” and that it was not the failure of the procedures that accounted for the incident.

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However, Thweatt told AFP there are some things the public needs to understand, considering that Santa Fe, like many school districts across the nation, has on-site campus police officers.

“Those officers are not for defense; they’re for dealing with kids who get rough with other kids—to protect kids from kids,” he said.

He added that while there are instances in which campus officers have provided some measure of defense, the problem is that they wear highly visible uniforms and external pistols, so any would-be school shooter can easily get familiar with the officers’ work patterns and locations as they come and go. Thweatt places much more confidence in his district’s model of non-uniformed internal staff using the concealed-carry approach.

Thweatt noted in passing that the Harrold district had approved ammunition that fragments when used, to minimize physical damage in the event of staff having to fire their weapons. But that policy has been changed to allow for standard rounds.

“They’re going to get real live ammo,” Thweatt said, referring to any would-be attacker.

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor.

Perennial Spring Vegetable Can Boost Your Health

Eat your vegetables! Not only does asparagus contribute valuable nutrients important for our everyday health, but research has shown asparagus may actually be effective in fighting lung cancer.

By John Tiffany

Asparagus is a perennial vegetable celebrate annually in festivals in California, Michigan, Britain, and Germany, but especially interesting is the effects of this delicious vegetable on human health. Garden asparagus (simply “asparagus” for the rest of this article) has many great nutritional benefits and is high in antioxidants, which may have anti-cancer effects.

Asparagus is also known to be high in folate, or vitamin B9. Deficiency of B9 may cause low numbers of red blood cells, fatigue, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, open sores on the tongue, and changes in the color of the skin or hair. Folate occurs in natural food, whereas folic acid, commonly confused with folate, is a synthetic chemical used in dietary supplements and for food fortification and should be avoided, as studies indicate it can actually increase cancer and all-cause mortality. Folate prevents birth defects, regulating embryonic and fetal nervous system development. It also helps prevent premature births.

Asparagus also can help you to lose weight, as a single serving contains about 11% of your daily requirement of dietary “fiber.” Food fiber, found only in plants, has innumerable benefits, promoting a healthy gut biome and helping you to feel fuller longer so you are less tempted to eat fattening things you don’t really need. A study published in 2008 reported that a combination of asparagus and elderberry extracts helped patients lose weight. Many suspect that intact asparagus and intact elderberries might be even more effective.

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Asparagus keeps your bones healthy, as a serving contains 70% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin K, helping with bone formation and repair and preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K is important for the biosynthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that serves as a nucleus for bone calcium to crystallize upon.

It is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that has anti-aging properties—in particular, keeping your skin “young” and healthy. It also has vitamins A and C and calcium, promoting healthy hair, stimulating the hair follicles.

Asparagus has only 25 calories per serving, and in addition to the above is high in thiamin, potassium, and iron, numerous phytochemicals (some of which are yet to be discovered), and glutathione. Glutathione is said to protect us against certain types of cancer and viruses, and it gives immune cells a boost.

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Abstain from asparagus if you have acute lymphoblastic leukemia, as there is reason to think it actually worsens that form of cancer.

The “roots” or tubers of the closely related Chinese asparagus have been used for centuries against cancer and hepatitis, but scientists are unsure how it works.

According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, extracts did slow the growth of isolated lung cancer cells and also protected liver cells from alcohol toxicity, but it is unknown if these effects also occur in the human body, and more research is needed to evaluate its safety and efficacy.

Modern science has discovered this herb can also minimize bacterial growth. Chinese asparagus is listed as a top-grade medicine in the Shen Nong Ben herbal classic.

Watergate Mysteries Remain 45 Years Later

Some researchers believe John Dean and his wife hold the key to the real reasons for the 1972 Watergate break-in. 

By S.T. Patrick

Forty-five years after the two Watergate break-ins of June 1972, researchers are still tangling over who ordered the break-ins and why. Since 1984, revisionists have researched and formulated a theory that has changed how skeptical students of Watergate view the scandal that forced the resignation of Richard Nixon.

At a Hofstra University speech in 1987, former Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman summarized the conventional wisdom among reflective Nixon-era conservatives. “To this day I still don’t know why that was done,” Haldeman said, “and I don’t know anybody who does. Why they would hit the (Democratic) National Headquarters is beyond me, because nobody in that place knows anything anyway.”

At the same symposium, Jeb Magruder, former deputy director of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP), pushed the Hughes-Rebozo theory for the break-ins. Multimillionaire Howard Hughes, the theory states, gave $100,000 to Nixon’s close friend Bebe Rebozo. The money was then used by the Nixon family, in part for furniture and jewelry. The break-ins were executed to find out what information DNC chairman Lawrence O’Brien may have had about the Hughes-Rebozo transaction, as well as to gather damaging information that may persuade O’Brien to withhold the information throughout the 1972 campaign.

Since the 1980s, a team of revisionist historians and researchers have developed a theory that puts former White House Counsel John Dean in the crosshairs of the Watergate debacle. And though Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) famously asked Dean what Nixon knew about Watergate and when he knew it, researchers now believe that the key to understanding the break-ins themselves lies with Dean, his wife Maureen, and Magruder.

Author Phil Stanford wrote White House Call Girl: The Real Watergate Story to detail the life of Heidi Rikan, who ran a call-girl operation at the luxurious Columbia Plaza Apartments, blocks from the Watergate complex. Stanford’s work built on and expanded the research of Jim Hougan’s Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat, and the CIA and Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin’s Silent Coup: The Removal of a President.

Ms. Rikan had gathered a crop of women new to the Beltway to entertain Democrat politicians in town on business. Typical for Washington, D.C. prostitution rings of the era, the Columbia Plaza setup was an intelligence-gathering operation that would be used for potential blackmail and political advantage. Private eye Lou Russell served as security for Rikan at the apartments and has admitted tape-recording telephone conversations between Ms. Rikan’s girls and their clients at the DNC.

Hair Tissue Mineral Testing

One of the Watergate burglars was found with a key belonging to the desk of secretary Ida “Maxie” Wells, the DNC contact who historians believe allegedly instigated the liaisons and whose desk may have contained the real names of the johns that had used Ms. Rikan’s service.

Stanford found witnesses who tied Maureen (Kane) Biner to Ms. Rikan. “Mo” Biner would later date and then marry Dean. Arguably the most interesting pieces of evidence in the case are Ms. Rikan’s little black books. Unearthed by Ms. Rikan’s sister, the little black books contain the names of politicians, dignitaries, and athletes. Interestingly, one book contains home addresses and phone numbers for Maureen Kane and her mother, Irene. A later version of Ms. Rikan’s black book contains both home and office numbers for the Deans, as well as John Dean’s number at the White House.

Speculation has existed as to the nature of Maureen’s involvement with Ms. Rikan’s operation. Stanford confirmed to this writer that Ms. Rikan and Maureen were friends who partied and traveled together. In White House Call Girl he alludes to testimony from various sources that Maureen had been a high-level prostitute, but he denies having documented evidence.

According to Ms. Rikan’s attorney, Phil Bailley, Magruder was seeing “Candy Cane,” one of Ms. Rikan’s prostitutes. As Bailley was walking toward Cane’s apartment one day, he saw a dark-haired man get into a chauffeured black sedan. When Bailley asked who the man was, Cane responded, “You weren’t supposed to see that. That’s the boss of bosses.”

Bailley later identified the man with Cane as Magruder, whose home phone number was also found in Rikan’s books.

Revisionist historians were not alone in doubting Magruder’s Hughes-Rebozo theory for the Watergate motive. Charles Colson, the former presidential counsel, told The New York Times that he was almost knocked off his chair when Magruder made the accusation at Hofstra.

Colson once embraced Magruder in a hallway as they served time together in federal prison. Colson wanted real answers to the “what” and “why” questions of the break-ins.

“What were we doing at the Watergate, Jeb?” Colson asked Magruder. “(Magruder) turned white as a sheet and wouldn’t tell me. Later, on the outside, I asked him again. Still he wouldn’t say.”

Magruder did eventually tell author Len Colodny that Dean ordered the break-ins. G. Gordon Liddy had also affirmed Dean’s involvement in testimony given when Ida Wells unsuccessfully sued him for statements he had made about her involvement.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals summarized Liddy’s testimony: “Liddy stated that the burglars’ objective during the Watergate break-in was to determine whether the Democrats possessed information embarrassing to John Dean.”

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Magruder, like Colson, would turn to the ministry after leaving prison. He was a Presbyterian minister from 1981 through his death in 2014.

John and Maureen Dean have spent decades defending their side of the Watergate story. Most notably, they sued Colodny. The case was settled out of court and terms were not released. Both parties claim victory to this day. The Deans have denied a close relationship with Ms. Rikan, they have denied that Ms. Rikan ran a call-girl ring, and they deny that the motive for the Watergate break-ins had anything to do with their relationship.

Dean frequently writes about political scandal, predictably comparing each scandal to Watergate and each president to Nixon. Dean’s cooperation with prosecutors on Watergate aided the indictments of administration officials who had once trusted him. To revisionist historians who continue to challenge the accepted view of Watergate, both Dean and Magruder had links to Ms. Rikan’s operation that had to be extracted from the DNC offices.

The near-unanimous opinion of former Nixon appointees is that Dean is a self-serving traitor. To media outlets such as MSNBC that hire him for political commentary to this day, he is the hero who brought down Nixon.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as a respected educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” You may email him at

This article was originally published in American Free Press Issue 1 & 2, January 1 & 8, 2018.

Censorship Plague Infects America

Many are surprised to learn the true carriers of the exploding censorship plague is “Zionists hiding behind the banner of the neo-Bolshevik antifa movement.”

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

Albert Camus’s 1947 novel used The Plague as a metaphor for fascism. Today, the plague of fascist-style intolerance is once again spreading. But the carriers are not so much the paleoconservative nationalists that antifa hates as antifa itself . . . and the milieu from which it arises.

The core principle of fascism is crushing dissent. And it is antifa and its allies who are the worst censors and most fanatical enemies of free speech.

American Freedom Party Conference in Tennessee

On May 10, 1933, 40,000 pro-Nazi Germans gathered in Berlin to stage a gigantic book-burning bonfire. Exactly 85 years later, on May 10, 2018, philosopher and author Gilad Atzmon was barred from the Wil-Mar Community Center in Madison, Wisc. on the grounds that he was a supposed “Holocaust denier.”

In fact, Atzmon does not deny any facts about any of the many 20th century holocausts, but he insists that events in the past must be treated in an open, scholarly manner as opposed to as a religion. Atzmon opposes all forms of history laws. He prefers to remember his grandmother as a victim of the larger holocaust, World War II—which killed 60 million innocent people—rather than giving her special status because she, unlike more than 50 million other innocent victims of that horrific war, happened to be Jewish.

Like the 1930s German authors whose books were burned by Nazis, Atzmon is a dissident. A healthy society welcomes and embraces heretics like Atzmon. But our society is increasingly unhealthy, sickened by the plague of censorship, which festers in the stinking marshes of political correctness, then creeps out to strike down free thought.

Atzmon has been censored so many times he has lost count. When I informed him that his Madison venue had been abruptly canceled less than a week before the event, he told me, “It happens all the time.” Often the cancellations come on the very day of the event, making it difficult or impossible to find alternative locations.

Atzmon is censored because he criticizes Israel’s sacred cows and defends the rights of Palestinians. In this, he resembles the vast majority of censorship victims in America and Western Europe. Is it not odd that Americans and Europeans can critique and mock their own culture’s sacred symbols, yet are forced to kowtow to Israel’s?

I was recently banned from KBOO community radio in Portland, Ore. shortly before I was scheduled to appear. The witch-hunt that terrorized KBOO management into banning me was led by Zionists hiding behind the banner of the neo-Bolshevik antifa movement.

The previous year I was banned from the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarians and Universalists after a hate campaign led by a “liberal Zionist” member. That was the first time I had ever had a speaking event canceled. Israel lobby groups had tried to cancel my events several times before that, but they had always failed. In 2015, they got me briefly banned from Canada, but it backfired when the ban was quickly lifted and I spoke in many Canadian cities. In several of those cities, B’nai B’rith Canada pressured the venue to cancel, but none ever did.

In Edmonton, B’nai B’rith lodged a hate speech complaint with the local police. After the first half of my talk, two plainclothes officers approached me and identified themselves as members of the Edmonton Police Department hate squad. They told me they had no problem with anything I had said. So I can now brag that my talks are “certified hate-free by the Edmonton PD hate squad.”

This book by Israeli intellectual Gilad Atzmon is an exposé of Jewish identity politics. Order now from AFP Store.

Over the past three years, it seems that the censorship plague has metastasized and spread not only through community institutions like the Berkeley Unitarian church, the Wil-Mar Center in Madison, and KBOO radio but in even more virulent forms across the Internet. Many dozens of history books have been banned by Amazon. Facebook and Google are tweaking their algorithms to hide alternative media. An Internet publication I write for, “Veterans Today”—the most-read veterans publication in America—has been completely banned from Facebook without any explanation. The most likely reason: offending Zionist sensibilities.

Academia is also affected. Professors who question Zionist propaganda, like Anthony Hall, Steven Sulaita, and Joy Karega, have been the focus of hysterical witch-hunts. I recently interviewed Alan Sabrosky about censorship. Sabrosky, an ex-Marine officer and former director of strategic studies at the U.S. Army War College, is on record stating that “9/11 was a Mossad operation, period.” He told me that the ultimate form of censorship is assassination and voiced his suspicions about the untimely deaths of two great AMERICAN FREE PRESS journalists, Michael Collins Piper and Victor Thorn.

AFP is the last print publication braving the Zionist censorship hurricane. Writing for this newspaper may be a dangerous job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host.

Congress Leaves for Memorial Break Without Deal on Immigration

By AFP Staff

Congress left to go on an 11-day vacation Thursday, May 24, before completing a deal on much-needed immigration reform—something that legislators have been promising their constituents for years now.

Despite having solid majorities in the House and the Senate in the 115th Congress—237 seats out of the 430 in the House, and 52 out of 100 in the Senate—and a Republican president, so far, legislators have been unable to produce immigration reform that funds the president’s requests for a border wall and more Border Patrol on the border.

Kingdom Identity

According to The Hill, a Capitol Hill daily, the GOP is “nearing the end game” on immigration. The problem is, the end game involves protecting hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers,” the children of illegal aliens born in the United States. The Republican leadership has been able to keep most Republicans in line, but increasingly in states where Republican legislators are finding themselves in tough campaigns, a few have folded and support a Democrat-backed deal that aids Dreamers.

While the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, illegal immigration is a slap in the face of every immigrant who went through the long and often difficult process of gaining U.S. citizenship legally. Even the United States’s neighbor to the south, Mexico, takes an aggressive stance on illegal immigration. In 2015, Mexico went so far as to deport several thousand U.S. citizens who had been living in the country illegally. On average, every year, Mexican authorities deport over 100,000 illegal immigrants who come to Mexico from all over Central and South America.

There are currently several bills addressing illegal immigration that are pending in Congress. One bill that has the backing of conservatives is immigration legislation sponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

According to a press release issued by Goodlatte’s office, the Securing America’s Future Act:

  • Ends the Diversity Program—Eliminates the visa lottery green card program;
  • Ends Chain Migration—Eliminates green card programs for relatives (other than spouses and minor children); creates a renewable temporary visa for parents of citizens to unite families at no cost to taxpayers;
  • Reduces Overall Immigration Levels—Reduces immigration levels (now averaging over 1,060,000 a year) by about 260,000 a year—a decrease of about 25%;
  • Increases Immigration Levels for Skilled Workers—Increases the number of green cards available in the three skilled worker green card categories from about 120,000 a year to about 175,000—an increase of 45%;
  • Agricultural Workers—Creates a workable agricultural guest worker program to grow our economy;
  • Visa Security—Sends additional ICE agents to more high-risk embassies overseas to vet visitors and immigrants;
  • Build the Border Wall—Authorizes border wall construction;
  • Advanced Technology—Additional technology, roads and other tactical infrastructure to secure the border;
  • Secures Ports of Entry—Improves, modernizes, and expands ports of entry along the southern border;
  • More Boots on the Ground—Adds 5,000 Border Patrol Agents and 5,000 CBP Officers;
  • Use of the National Guard—Authorizes the Guard to provide aviation and intelligence support for border security operations;
  • Biometric Entry-Exit System—Requires full implementation at all air, land, and sea ports of entry;
  • Makes E-Verify Mandatory—Employers must check to see that they are only hiring legal workers;
  • Cracks Down on Sanctuary Cities—Authorizes the Department of Justice to withhold law enforcement grants from sanctuary cities/allows victims to sue the sanctuary cities that released their attackers;
  • Facilitates Cooperation with Local Law Enforcement—Establishes probable cause standards for ICE detainers/indemnifies localities that comply/requires ICE enter into 287(g) agreements requested by localities;
  • Detaining Dangerous Individuals—Allows DHS to detain dangerous illegal immigrants who cannot be removed;
  • Kate’s Law—Enhances criminal penalties for deported criminals who illegally return;
  • Combats Asylum Fraud—Tightens the “credible fear” standard to root out frivolous claims and increases penalties for fraud/terminates asylum for individuals who voluntarily return home;
  • Keeps Out and Removes Dangerous Criminals—Makes illegal immigrants removable for being gang members/makes those with convictions for aggravated felonies, not registering as sex offenders, and multiple DUIs removable;
  • Visa Overstays—Makes illegal presence a federal misdemeanor (illegally crossing the border already is a crime);
  • Safely Returns Unaccompanied Minors—Ensures the safe and quick return of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border; allows for the detention of minors apprehended at the border with their parents;
  • Legislatively Provides Legal Status—Individuals who received deferred action on the basis of being brought to the U.S. as minors get a 3-year renewable legal status allowing them to work and travel overseas (without advance parole). There is no special path to a green card. Recipients may only make use of existing paths to green cards;
  • No Criminals—No gang members or those with criminal convictions/convictions in juvenile court for serious crimes are eligible;
  • Combats Fraud—Strong anti-fraud measures/allows for prosecutions for fraud.

Feds Betray America’s Vets Yet Again

An Air Force veteran is fighting the VA for reimbursement of his unpaid emergency room bills, denied due to a “coding error.” Fortunately for the estimated 98,000 other vets who’ve also been denied benefits, he’s determined to win the battle.

By Dave Gahary

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), called the Veterans Administration (established 1930) until it became a cabinet-level department in 1989, has been playing dirty tricks on the men and women who have sacrificed for this once-great nation, by regularly refusing to pay for emergency room (ER) visits. But this time, they picked on the wrong veteran.

Minnesota-based U.S. Air Force (USAF) veteran Benjamin Krause—who has been interviewed by this newspaper several times—is a lawyer, investigative reporter, and award-winning veterans advocate, running the website “” He’s also the author of a benefits guide for veterans that shows how to maximize what they have earned from serving their country. An authority on VA policy, Krause is featured regularly on Fox, CBS, and NBC as well as in the pages of Bloomberg, The Washington Times, Minnesota’s largest newspaper the Star Tribune, and many others.

Veterans across the U.S. were served a heaping helping of good fortune when the VA denied Krause’s $6,066.91 ER bill. And although Krause’s visit to the ER occurred last year, the 2.4 million-member American Legion just recognized this nationwide “ER billing denial scandal” as worthy of exposure.

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Krause’s nine-hour visit to the ER had its roots in the loss of a loved one, as he explained on his website:

My chest pains immediately followed the untimely death of my ex-wife, Amie Muller, from pancreatic cancer believed linked to her burn pit exposures at Balad, AB, Iraq. The stress of her passing most certainly triggered my chest pains, and we swiftly went to the nearest emergency room to be safe.

“I felt like my chest was about to pop,” he told Minneapolis-based KARE 11 News.

Thankfully, he said, doctors eventually determined that it was not a heart attack but instead an extreme form of stress, exacerbated by a recent death in the family.

“The technical term for it is malignant hypertension with neurological and cardiovascular complications,” Krause explained. “I couldn’t dial back the stress.”

As a USAF veteran, Krause was sure he’d be covered, especially since he followed the procedure for ER visits required by the VA. “I followed the rules,” Krause explained. “I notified the [VA] within 72 hours of the hospitalization.”

He was mistaken when he thought the VA would cover his visit, however. “I received a denial three weeks later asserting my decision to seek emergency care when I did was not what a ‘prudent layperson’ would do,” Krause explained.

It was then he reached out to KARE 11 to see if they might be interested in his story.

According to the VA’s own “Prudent Layperson Fact Sheet,” a “prudent layperson” is someone who possesses:

. . . an average knowledge of medicine and health, to believe that his or her condition, sickness, or injury is of such a nature that failure to obtain immediate medical care could result in placing the patient’s health in serious jeopardy, cause serious impairment to bodily functions, serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part, or in the case of a behavioral condition placing the health of such person or others in serious jeopardy.

In fact, the fact sheet’s first example of when an ER visit is covered seems as if it was written for Krause’s visit:

A patient presents to the emergency department with a complaint of chest pain. The patient is examined and evaluated and discharged with a diagnosis of mild gastric irritation. Retrospective analysis by a Fee Basis Unit may determine that gastro-intestinal upset is not an appropriate use of an emergency department and deny the claim as non-emergent. However, the patient’s initial judgment seeking emergency treatment regarding his/her chest pain, a potentially serious problem, is appropriate. This type of visit clearly falls into the category of what any prudent layperson would consider an appropriate use of an emergency department.

Coincidentally, the same day KARE emailed the Minneapolis VA for an interview to discuss Krause’s case, he received a call from a VA official “saying a mistake had been made and his claim should not have been denied.”

They blamed Krause’s denial on a “coding error” and some other matters.

“If it happened to me,” Krause told KARE, “I guarantee it’s happening to thousands of veterans nationwide.”

Turns out he’s right.

In a 2017 congressional hearing, VA official Dr. Baligh Yehia addressed the scandal of veterans being denied payment for ER visits in a statement detailing that “between the beginning of fiscal year 2014 and August of 2015, approximately 98,000 claims were denied because the condition was determined not to be an emergency.” He further admitted, “Many of these denials are the result of inconsistent application of the ‘prudent layperson’ standard. . . .”

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 full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.

#GoSilent Strives to Put Memory Back In Memorial Day

By AFP Staff

A campaign headed up again this year by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is encouraging Americans to remember the reason we celebrate Memorial Day. IAVA asks people to pledge to go silent for one minute at 3 p.m. to “honor, remember, and reflect.”

A pledge page is set up at where people can publicly or privately commit to this minute of silence, and to name the individual(s) being honored if so desired. “This Memorial Day, IAVA will lay a wreath before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and later pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. EST. Gather your friends and family across the country and pause with us for a national moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

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IAVA, a non-partisan advocacy organization, was founded and is led by veterans, calling itself “the modern-day veterans hall for the current generation with over 400,000 members worldwide.” It strives to “connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans.” The group offers one-on-one case management help to assist veterans in finding needed services in addition to its advocacy work.

“This year, as a part of an ongoing campaign to elevate the voices of veterans and combat the unprecedented politicization of our military and veterans, #GoSilent is more important than it has ever been before,” Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA founder and CEO, told

“As veterans and our military are being used as political props and shields by special interest groups and politicians across the aisle, it has never been more important to come together as a nation to remember what this day is really about, and to honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our freedoms.”

And Washington Is Worried About Russian Trolls?

By AFP Staff

While Washington works itself into a lather over Russians supposedly trolling Americans and “ruining democracy,” a new poll from Pew Research Center found that less than 25% of American adults actually reads books. The percentage of non-readers is even higher among those over age 50.

It’s even worse than that. Television is normally a wasteland, but occasionally it shines a mirror on us and can reflect our flaws. A new video by late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel does exactly that when he sends staff out to interview the man-in-the-street with the simplest of questions: “Can you name a book?”

You can watch the video here:

For those who don’t want to patronize YouTube, here is the gist of the video: The comedian sent a team into the streets to ask average Americans if they could just name one book. They didn’t even ask for the last book they read—only to name the title to one single book. How did most people respond? Most couldn’t, but some went to so far as to name movies.

It’s painful to watch but worth a moment of your time.

And Washington is worried about Russian trolls?