U.S. Locked Into Endless Cycle of War

Given the fact that Washington spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined, says Phil Giraldi, the notion that U.S. isn’t spending enough on weapons is absurd. At what point will America stop playing (unwanted) global policeman, before or after the nation is bankrupted?

By Philip Giraldi

In the 18th century, the Vicomte de Mirabeau famously quipped, “Other states possess an army; Prussia is an army which possesses a state.” There is considerable danger that the United States is proceeding down the same road, as military spending has become untouchable and America continues to play the role of world policeman.

Some recent commentary has been suggesting that the United States is becoming a second-rate military power because it is not spending enough money on weapons. Given the fact that Washington spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined, the premise would seem to be either completely ridiculous or evidence of waste, fraud, and mismanagement at the Department of Defense (DoD) that far exceeds anything ever seen before. If it is true that the un-audited Pentagon has somehow mislaid $21 trillion over the course of 10 years, then no amount of increased spending will remedy the deficiencies in the DoD procurement system.

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One might object that the Pentagon is not underfunded, pointing out that it is the U.S. military’s perception of its mission that is grotesque, that no country needs 1,100 foreign bases worldwide to be secure. Nor does national defense require American soldiers to be fighting on multiple fronts in wars thousands of miles away that are undeclared, illegal under international law, and non-compliant with the Constitution of the United States of America.

There is definitely something wrong with the way the establishment prioritizes spending by the government, which relates to how the allegedly underfunded military story is being presented. One might well argue that the national debt, which is currently nearly $22 trillion and has grown enormously in support of America’s wars, is a far greater threat to the survival of the United States than is Iran or even Russia. That would be the fault of a feckless Congress and White House, which clearly don’t believe in the old maxim that you can spend only what you earn.

But instead of blaming the politicians, which is where the problem really derives from, the chattering class and media have instead focused on “entitlements.” The war on entitlements began, in its current formulation, with former Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), and it culminated in last year’s enrich-the-rich tax cut. Working Americans will now be taxed on their taxes since they can no longer deduct state and local taxes from their incomes when paying their federal taxes. Ryan meanwhile has departed Congress with a handsome pension and generous health insurance for life and will embark on a new career as a seven-figure lobbyist.

Much of the war on entitlements comes from neoconservative talking heads who mostly work for think tanks that are generously funded by defense contractors and pro-Israel oligarchs. The neocons are, like Ryan, well paid and benefited, much more so than the average American, so they have no real horse in the race apart from keeping the money flowing.

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An article that appeared recently in The Washington Post perfectly illustrates how the establishment and its media accomplices are selling a product that fearmongers use to sustain more military spending. It is entitled “Wake up. America’s military isn’t invincible,” written by regular columnist Robert J. Samuelson.

The piece begins with, “The most uncovered story in Washington these days is the loss of U.S. military power—a lesson particularly important in light of recent events: the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; President Trump’s rash decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria; North Korea’s announcement that it will keep nuclear weapons after all; and alleged massive computer hacking by Chinese nationals.”

But “loss of U.S. military power,” if it can be quantified at all, has nothing to do with Mattis or Syria, nor with North Korea or China—or even with Trump, who has increased the armed services budget. Samuelson makes his case by citing defense modernization programs in China and Russia and “advances” in Iran and North Korea that undercut U.S. military capabilities, but, if he were to be honest, he would be conceding that he is only discussing comparative advantage in some areas. He refers to a recent report suggesting that, because Russia and China have upgraded their capabilities, “If the United States had to fight Russia in a Baltic contingency or China in a war over Taiwan . . . Americans could face a decisive military defeat.”

It should come as no surprise that the possible armed conflicts cited by Samuelson are carefully chosen to produce the desired result. Confronting Russia or China in their home waters thousands of miles away from the U.S. gives all the advantage to the defense, which will be able to operate on interior lines and maximize available land, sea, and air forces while the Americans have to rely on a lengthy and vulnerable logistical chain. The reality is that the U.S. is second to none in terms of ability to project power, with the United States uniquely having 19 aircraft carrier battle groups that can deliver significant military air power to anywhere in the world.

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Samuelson goes on to condemn what he calls “unwise cuts in defense spending” and blames the lack of money for the Pentagon on “the American welfare state—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and the like.” He advocates cutting “welfare” to buy more and better weapons. Since he is a neocon, it is obligatory that he include some reference to Adolf Hitler. In this case he warns that Hitler’s Germany re-armed while the rest of the world did nothing, an analogy that is not even true, as Germany was outnumbered and outgunned by its enemies when World War II started.

As Samuelson is writing for The Washington Post it is also necessary that he conclude with a slap at Trump: “We need to keep our commitments—Trump’s abrupt withdrawal from Syria devalues our word. And we need to repair our alliances,” but one might well opine that there is something seriously wrong with that kind of thinking, where weapons and the promotion of violence overseas always take precedence over meeting the needs of the American people. Government pension and health programs, largely paid for by contributions from workers, do a great deal of good for many Americans and would be even better managed if the Congress would stop raiding the various trust funds. Government exists to benefit the citizens that together make up the state, not to meddle in the affairs of other nations and peoples worldwide.

The selling of America-the-vulnerable is a fiction promoted by those who make money from the continuation of a warfare nation. The United States and the American people have not benefited one bit from the pointless wars in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Real security will come when Washington brings the troops home.

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.

Corporate Madness the New Normal

As the destruction of America’s retail sector continues, 3,800 stores are set to close in 2019. Don’t expect to see executive bonuses decrease, however.

By Donald Jeffries

Corporate America, along with pliable and ineffective politicians, has destroyed U.S. industry with horrendous trade deals and cheap foreign labor.

They have done the same thing to retail operations nationwide. Hedge fund managers and investment analysts have supplanted company presidents who often had a personal or familial stake in their businesses. Despite his campaign rhetoric to the contrary, companies are moving offshore at a record pace under President Donald Trump, and the H-1B Visa worker program, which could have been ended with the stroke of a presidential pen, still lives.

Recently, a bankruptcy judge approved a plan by Sears to award over $25 million in bonuses to the executives who presided over the company’s bankruptcy proceedings in October.

Once Sears Holding Corp. took over Kmart in 2004, stores began closing regularly all over the country. In an egregious example of corporate welfare in 2011, Sears Holding Corp. threatened to move its headquarters out of Illinois, as NFL team owners often do, before being granted a lucrative $275 million “subsidy package” by the state. Eleven days after getting this taxpayer largesse, Sears announced the closing of 120 stores nationwide. As of the end of 2018, Sears Holding Corp. is in the process of closing 188 more. This didn’t stop them from handing out $25 million in executive bonuses.

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Under a globalist, predatory system, there is little competition and a startling culture of incompetence. Executive compensation seems to be the only thing that counts. Executive bonuses are permitted, often ludicrously, to be labeled “performance based,” which became essentially tax-free in 1993.

The Trump administration’s tax reforms of 2017 rather shockingly eliminated the deduction for “performance based” executive bonuses. Such bonuses were rarely earned and, in many cases, belied the utter failure of the lucky recipient.

“Golden parachutes” became extremely popular in the corporate world of the 1990s and by the 2000s they were all the rage. While CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina oversaw the significant decline of the company and instituted massive layoffs. Asked to leave in 2005, Ms. Fiorina was given an astounding $40 million to basically go away. Incensed by the payout, HP’s stockholders filed a class-action lawsuit, which a federal judge predictably dismissed in April 2008. Somehow emboldened by her failure, Ms. Fiorina became a top advisor to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and then actually ran for president herself in 2016.

Several golden parachutes are known to have been larger than $100 million. Topping them all was the $417 million given to long-time General Electric CEO Jack Welch. Welch oversaw several years where the corporate giant paid no taxes whatsoever, but he also was mired in personal corruption. Now GE is on the verge of collapse.

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AT&T is earning record profits and expects some $20 billion in savings from Trump’s tax reforms yet continues to shut down call centers across the country, in favor of moving offshore to lower-salary locations like Mexico, India, and the Philippines. In December 2017, AT&T memorably announced generous bonuses for all its employees in the wake of the new tax package. What they neglected to mention is that the union had already negotiated these bonuses.

While CEO Randall Stephenson promised to invest a billion dollars in the United States to create some 7,000 “hard hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year,” the company has actually laid off an estimated 7,000 employees since that announcement. The union filed an unfair labor practice claim against AT&T over its failure to disclose its plans regarding new tax reinvestments in May 2018, declaring, “We don’t feel confident in what AT&T tells us.”

Comcast, like AT&T, boasted of giving bonuses already decided upon before the new tax package, and then celebrated by laying off 500 members of its sales department just before the Christmas holiday.

Trump, who certainly understands the nuances of bankruptcy law, chastised Sears Holding Corp. in October for being “improperly run” and called the bankruptcy “a shame.” He noted, “Somebody that is of my generation—Sears, Roebuck was a big deal.” Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sat on the Sears board of directors during the time it was being “improperly run.”

Reflecting upon the general demise of retail in America, Business Insider noted in October: “The retail apocalypse has descended on America. More than 3,800 stores are expected to close across the country this year. Department stores like Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney, and retailers including Toys “R” Us, BCBG, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Bebe have decided to close dozens of stores. . . . Sears isn’t the only company that is struggling to adjust to the rise of e-commerce and the fall of foot traffic. With vacancy rates continuing to rise, walking through a mall in 2018 is like walking through a graveyard.”

Store closings are part of the “new normal” in America, along with stagnant employee wages, foreign workers, offshore production, and ever-increasing executive compensation.

Donald Jeffries is a highly respected author and researcher whose work on the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations and other high crimes of the Deep State has been read by millions of people across the world. Jeffries is also the author of two books currently being sold by AFP BOOKSTORE.

Feds Go After Bundys Again

Rancher Cliven Bundy talked with Mark Anderson to update AFP readers on the feds’ continuing persecution of his family, on the front page of American Free Press Issue 3 & 4. Already a subscriber? Log in here to read your paper. If not, review subscription options here – including a special discount offer!

By Mark Anderson

The federal government is intent on appealing the dismissal of charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, two of his sons, and another supporter stemming from their now-legendary protest against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) policies, as reported in AFP’s front-page story in the Aug. 27 & Sept. 3, 2018 issue.

During the holidays, AFP caught up with family patriarch Cliven Bundy to get his take on the situation at this one-year anniversary of the Jan. 8, 2018 ruling and the five-year anniversary of the April 2014 protest.

The Bundys had faced various charges of conspiracy, obstruction, threats, and assault for the protest, which involved peacefully squaring off with federal agents and contractors who showed up to seize the family’s cattle under court order. The high-profile case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro, however. After a long, grueling trial, during which Bundy and the other defendants languished in jail amid sometimes harsh treatment, she scolded the government for its conduct in the case, finding that federal prosecutors had concealed evidence favorable to the defense. The judge dismissed the case “with prejudice,” meaning the government should not be allowed to retry the defendants regarding the protest.

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“My attorney [Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch] just wrote a letter to the Justice Department trying to get them to drop that appeal,” he told AFP. “They haven’t dropped it yet and they indicated they’re going forward with it. . . . You know, it’s Judge Navarro . . . I feel like she’s the one who needs to defend her decision there. But the attorneys don’t look at it that way, and they think they’ve got to get in there and have a big battle.”

Bundy agreed that this would violate double jeopardy, but the government doesn’t seem to care.

“They’re questioning [Judge Navarro’s] decision and sending her decision to the Ninth Circuit for appeal. I don’t see how they can do that, but the government just seems like they’re after me. They don’t care what they do. They’re going to get me one way or the other, I guess.”

Klayman, who founded Judicial Watch and another government watchdog group, Freedom Watch, was quoted Dec. 21, 2018 in a “WND” news exclusive as saying: “In light of the history of this case and the gross injustice which has already been meted out against my client Cliven Bundy, his sons, and family by rogue Obama-era prosecutors . . . the only reason for an appeal would be to cover up for corrupt prosecutors.”

He added that the behavior of prosecutors in the case remains “under review” by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General. Unfortunately, Bundy does not seem convinced that President Donald Trump will step in to shut down the lawsuit.

“[Former Attorney General Jeff] Sessions was supposed to have an investigation of this whole thing and supposedly got this rolling forward, but we never heard any more about that,” he said. “Either Sessions didn’t do what he said he was going to do, or he dropped the ball. People are always asking the question: ‘Who’s pushing the button here’?

You know, back in the Obama administration, maybe one of those people was, but why is Trump’s administration doing the same thing?”

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor.

Senate Vote to Pull U.S. Troops Out of Yemen Was Important

This is serious news, though you wouldn’t know it based on the near-complete lack of coverage in the corporate media. For the first time, Congress has taken action under the War Powers Act, something Americans have been demanding of their representatives at least since the beginning of the Iraq War. As Dr. Paul notes, this is important, and we should let our senators know we are watching and that we appreciate the action taken by those who voted yes. 

By Dr. Ron Paul

In early December, something historic happened in the Senate. For the first time in 45 years, a chamber of Congress voted to pull U.S. forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.

While there is plenty to criticize in the War Powers Act, in this situation it was an important tool used by a broad Senate coalition to require President Donald Trump to end U.S. participation in the Saudi war against Yemen. And while the resolution was not perfect—there were huge loopholes—it has finally drawn wider attention to the U.S. administration’s dirty war in Yemen.

The four-year Saudi war on neighboring Yemen has left some 50,000 dead, including many women and children. We’ve all seen the horrible photos of school buses blown up by the Saudis—using U.S.-supplied bombs loaded into U.S.-supplied aircraft. Millions more face starvation as the infrastructure is decimated and the ports have been blocked to keep out humanitarian aid.

Stopping U.S. participation in this brutal war is by itself a wise and correct move, even if it comes years too late.

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The Senate vote is also about much more than just Yemen. It is about the decades of presidential assaults on the Constitution in matters of war. Trump is only the latest to ignore Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which grants war power exclusively to Congress. Yes, it was President Barack Obama who initially dragged the U.S. illegally into the Yemen war, but Trump has only escalated it. And to this point Congress has been totally asleep.

Fortunately, that all changed last week with the Senate vote. Unfortunately, members of the House will not be allowed to vote on their own version of the Senate resolution.

Republican leadership snuck language into a rule vote on the farm bill prohibiting any debate on the Yemen war for the rest of this congressional session. As Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) correctly pointed out, the move was both unconstitutional and illegal.

However, as is often the case in bipartisan Washington, there is plenty of blame to go around. The Republicans were able to carry the vote on the rule—and thus deny any debate on Yemen—only because a group of Democrats crossed over and voted with Republicans. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) is being blamed by progressives for his apparent lack of interest in holding his party together.

Why would Democrats help a Republican president keep his war going? Because, especially when you look at congressional leadership, both parties are pro-war and pro-executive branch over-reach. They prefer it to be their president who is doing the over-reaching, but they understand that sooner or later they’ll be back in charge. As I have often said, there is too much bipartisanship in Washington, not too much partisanship.

Americans should be ashamed and outraged that their government is so beholden to a foreign power—in this case Saudi Arabia—that it would actively participate in a brutal war of aggression. Participating in this war against one of the world’s poorest countries is far from upholding “American values.” We should applaud and support the coalition in the Senate that voted to end the war. They should know how much we appreciate their efforts.

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.

Finally: The Real Donald Trump?

America-firsters should support the president’s move to end U.S. involvement in Syria.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

Donald Trump won the 2016 Republican primaries in a landslide by speaking honestly about the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Candidate Trump even said, “Elect me and you’ll find out who really did 9/11.” He hinted that the Saudis (close associates of the Bush family) were behind it. And he spoke of a “Deep State” that secretly orchestrates America’s wars.

For these and other reasons, many patriotic Americans chose to overlook Trump’s personal and political failings. They saw Trump as the second coming of the America First movement, and they hoped he would start pulling American troops out of the various quagmires in which they are slowly sinking, and instead focus on protecting America’s borders and the interests of its working people.

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On all of these counts, Trump’s first two years were a disappointment. Instead of revealing the truth about 9/11, Trump continued the coverup. Instead of declassifying JFK assassination records on schedule, Trump cited “national security” and kept them secret. Instead of cracking down on the Saudis, Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner became their bosom buddies and business partners.

Throughout his first two years Trump, guided by Kushner and his handlers, consistently put Israel, not America, first. Following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s orders, Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, shredded the nuclear deal with Iran, and declared economic war on Iran. He has let Israel continue stealing U.S. military and trade secrets and selling them to America’s biggest rival, China. Some even speculate that Trump is the tool of an Israeli effort to take down the United States as the world’s leading Zionist-puppet superpower and put China in its place. Netanyahu’s decision to grant China control of the port of Haifa, which ushers Chinese power into the Mediterranean, lends credence to that interpretation.

But just as patriotic America-first Trump voters were beginning to think they had been taken for a ride, the real Trump stepped up with a courageous decision that put him squarely in the crosshairs of the Deep State. On Dec. 19, Trump announced the rapid and complete pullout of U.S. troops from Syria.

The reaction from both the liberal and neoconservative branches of the Deep State was swift and shrill. The New York Times editorialized: “That abrupt and dangerous decision, detached from any broader strategic context or any public rationale, sowed new uncertainty about America’s commitment to the Middle East, its willingness to be a global leader, and Mr. Trump’s role as commander in chief.” The hardline neocon-Zionist outlet Commentary ran an even more hysterical piece headlined “Trump’s Syrian Retreat: A Disaster in the Making.”

The claim made by the Times that Trump’s pullout lacked “strategic context or any public rationale” was false. Trump’s public rationale, of course, was that ISIS has been defeated. But the real reason or “strategic context” for the pullout is that the only U.S. proxies in Syria—radical Kurdish separatists—are inevitably going to clash with the Turkish as well as Syrian governments, and there is no good reason to put U.S. troops in the line of fire. No compelling U.S. national interest would be served by doing so.

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Yes, the U.S. empire will suffer a public relations defeat by retreating abjectly from Syria and allowing the Russians, Turks, Iranians, and especially the Syrians themselves to hammer out a compromise settlement. And the Israeli Zionists will also suffer, since the victorious Assad government owes its existence to the Hezbollah and Iranian fighters who helped defeat Israel’s ISIS friends. Iran and Hezbollah presumably will not be leaving Syria, much less Lebanon, anytime soon.

But the retreat of the U.S. empire and its Zionist overlords could become a victory for the American republic—especially if Trump follows his instincts and pulls out of Iraq and Afghanistan, too. According to Deep State asset Bob Woodward’s anti-Trump book Fear, Trump has wanted to pull out of both countries ever since he became president. Only continuous browbeating, trickery, and implied threats by Deep State partisans in and around the White House has prevented Trump from following his “isolationist” inclinations, Woodward’s sources suggest.

Does the Syria pullout represent the emergence of the real Trump? Will pullouts from Afghanistan and Iraq follow?

If Trump really wants to make America great again, he should follow these pullouts by bringing U.S. forces home from all overseas military bases and announce a New Deal-scale plan to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure. Some newly repatriated troops could work on this infrastructure initiative, which could be paid for by nationalizing the Federal Reserve and issuing currency directly, rather than by borrowing it at compound interest from private bankers.

Will Trump dare defy the Deep State to such an extent? One can only hope.

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.

A Good Start

We are pleased to be able to kick off 2019 with happy front-page news in Issue 1 & 2. (Subscribers, log in now to read your paper.) AFP applauds pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, Afghanistan . . . and every other nation possible.

By Dr. Ron Paul

We all had a big shock in late December when, seemingly out of the blue, President Donald Trump announced that he was removing U.S. troops from Syria and would draw down half of the remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The president told us the troops were in Syria to fight ISIS and, with ISIS nearly gone, the Syrians and their allies could finish the job.

All of a sudden, the Trump haters, who for two years had been telling us that the president was dangerous because he might get us in a war, were telling us that the president is dangerous because he was getting us out of a war. These are the same people who have been complaining about the president’s historic efforts to help move toward peace with North Korea.

There was more than a little hypocrisy among the “never Trump” resistance over the president’s announcement. Many of the talking heads and politicians who attacked George W. Bush’s wars, then were silent for President Barack Obama’s wars, are now attacking Trump for actually taking steps to end some wars. It just goes to show that for many who make their living from politics and the military-industrial complex, there are seldom any real principles involved.

Among the neoconservatives, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reaction was pretty typical. Though it seems Graham is never bothered when presidents violate the Constitution to take the U.S. into another war without authorization, he cannot tolerate it when a president follows the Constitution and removes U.S. troops from wars they have no business being involved in. Graham is now threatening to hold congressional hearings in an attempt to reverse the president’s decision to remove troops from Syria.

Neoconservatives are among the strongest proponents of the idea that as a “unitary executive,” the president should not be encumbered by things like the Constitution when it comes to war-making. Now, all of a sudden, when a president uses his actual constitutional authority to remove troops from a war zone, the neocons demand congressional meddling to weaken the president. They get it wrong on both fronts. The president does have constitutional authority to move U.S. troops and to remove U.S. troops; Congress has the power and the obligation to declare war and the power of the purse to end wars.

Most of the Washington establishment—especially the “resistance” liberals and the neocons—are complaining that by removing U.S. troops from these two war zones Trump has gone too far. I would disagree with them. I call Trump’s announcement a good start. Americans are tired of being the world’s policemen. The United States does not “lose influence” by declining to get involved in disputes oceans away. We lose influence by spending more on the military than most of the rest of the world combined and meddling where we are not wanted. We will lose a whole lot more influence when their crazy spending makes us bankrupt. Is that what they want?

We should pay attention to Washington’s wild reaction to Trump’s announcement. The vested interests do not want us to have any kind of “peace dividend” because they have become so rich on the “war dividend.” Meanwhile the middle class is getting poorer, and we’re all less safe. Let’s hope Trump continues these moves to restore sanity in our foreign policy. That would really make America great again.

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.

9/11 Evidence Tampering at WTC?

The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, with Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, is pushing for a grand jury focusing on the Sept. 11 crimes. A recent response from a U.S. attorney seems promising.

By John Friend

On Nov. 7, the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry received an encouraging letter from Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Berman pledged that his office would initiate steps to convene a special grand jury relating to the crimes committed on 9/11.

The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, working in collaboration with Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth), two professional organizations dedicated to exposing the falsehoods of the official 9/11 conspiracy theory, first submitted a petition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York in April “demanding that the U.S. attorney present to a special grand jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2, and WTC7),” according to AE911Truth’s official website.

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In his response to the petition, Berman indicated his office would “comply with the provisions” of the 9/11 activist groups’ request, a potential breakthrough in the struggle for 9/11 truth and justice. Both organizations have attempted to initiate an official grand jury investigation into the crimes committed on 9/11. AE911Truth has gathered extensive evidence documenting and exposing the WTC buildings’ destruction aspect of the false official narrative explaining this momentous event, which has been used to justify the global war on terror as well as other tyrannical assaults on the Constitution.

Berman’s letter is vague, but the intent of the petition is clear: Any U.S. “attorney receiving information concerning such an alleged offense from any other person shall, if requested by such other person, inform the [special] grand jury of such alleged offense, the identity of such other person, and such attorney’s action or recommendation,” according to 18 U.S.C. § 3332, the U.S. federal code cited by the 9/11 groups in their petition.

The original 52-page petition submitted in April “presented extensive evidence that explosives were used to destroy three WTC buildings,” according to AE911Truth. “That evidence included independent scientific laboratory analysis of WTC dust samples showing the presence of high-tech explosives and/or incendiaries, numerous firsthand reports by first responders of explosions at the WTC on 9/11, expert analysis of seismic evidence that explosions occurred at the WTC towers on 9/11 prior to the airplane impacts and prior to the building collapses, and expert analysis by architects, engineers, and scientists concluding that the rapid onset symmetrical near-free-fall acceleration collapse of three WTC high-rise buildings on 9/11 exhibited the key characteristics of controlled demolition.”

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An amended petition was submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in July that “addresses several additional federal crimes beyond the federal bombing crime addressed in the original petition,” the groups noted. Members of the Lawyers’ Committee and AE911Truth are hopeful the U.S. Attorney’s Office will take concrete steps to set up a grand jury, which will not only raise awareness of the 9/11 Truth movement but also begin the process of hopefully bringing to justice those responsible for planning and executing 9/11.

“The failure of our government to diligently investigate this disturbing evidence has contributed to the erosion of trust in our institutions,” Mick Harrison, an attorney who serves as litigation director for the Lawyers’ Committee, noted following the receipt of the U.S. attorney’s letter. “The Lawyers’ Committee felt it was our duty as public citizens to submit this evidence to the U.S. attorney for submission to the special grand jury.”

William Jacoby, an attorney who sits on the board of the Lawyers’ Committee, is encouraging the public and legal community to support the groups’ efforts. “We call upon the public and legal community to contact us and support our efforts to contribute to this grand jury process and to monitor and ensure compliance by the Justice Department,” Jacoby recently stated.

Attorney David Meiswinkle, current president of the Lawyers’ Committee, has pledged “to assist the U.S. attorney in the presentation of this evidence to a special grand jury,” and hopes that members of the Lawyers’ Committee and AE911Truth will be given an opportunity to present their findings to the grand jury.

“The U.S. attorney’s decision to comply with the special grand jury statute regarding our petitions is an important step towards greater transparency and accountability regarding the tragic events of 9/11,” stated Ed Asner, a longtime 9/11 skeptic and famous actor who is involved with the 9/11 truth movement.

As readers of this newspaper are well aware, an honest, objective grand jury investigation into the atrocities committed on 9/11 is long overdue.

John Friend is a freelance author based in California.

California Election System in Mayhem

Ballot harvesting and jungle primaries have made the Golden State ripe for vote fraud.

By John Friend

Voter fraud and corruption is a very real problem, even in so-called “advanced democracies,” such as the United States. For example, changes made in 2016 to AB1921, a California state law dealing with collecting and submitting voter ballots, may have exacerbated the problem in the Golden State, at least according to some political experts.

Prior to 2016, California election laws stated that voters wishing to vote by mail had to either mail their ballot in or have a family or household member submit the ballot on their behalf at their local polling place. The changes made to AB1921 and signed into law in 2016 by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown updated the law to allow anyone to return mail ballots on behalf of other voters. Called “ballot harvesting,” the updates allowed third parties—really anyone—to collect ballots from voters and submit them to election officials with little oversight.

The changes were instigated and supported by California Democrats, while Republicans largely opposed the updates.

In the 2018 mid-term election, Democrats in California exploited the new law, befuddling state and national Republican leaders, especially considering that many Republican contenders for various congressional seats around the state were winning on election day. After all ballots were finally counted—weeks after the election—Republicans ended up losing to Democrats in most races, as ballots submitted by third parties were finally counted and factored into the race.

“California just defies logic to me,” outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan stated shortly after the election results were in. “We were only down 26 seats the night of the election, and three weeks later, we lost basically every California contested race. This election system they have—I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is.”

At least six Republican congressional contenders in California were leading their races on election night, but eventually lost after all votes were finally counted. In Orange County, where Democrats won every single House seat, “the number of Election Day vote-by-mail drop-offs was unprecedented—over 250,000,” Fred Whitaker, the chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, noted shortly after the election. “This is a direct result of ballot harvesting allowed under California law for the first time. That directly caused the switch from being ahead on election night to losing two weeks later.”

Ryan called California’s voting system “really bizarre” and appeared quite suspicious of the final vote tallies.

The point is, Ryan stated, “when you have candidates that win the absentee ballot vote, win the day of the vote, and then lose three weeks later because of provisionals, that’s really bizarre.”

Democrats insist they are simply taking advantage of the updated laws and working their hardest to get the vote out, while some Republicans have conceded that they were ill-prepared to take advantage of the updated laws.

“One of the lessons that the GOP needs to learn out of this election cycle is how to work within all of the new rules, same-day voter registration, motor voters,” Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican congressman who lost in the mid-term election to a Democrat this year, told reporters. “There have been a lot of changes in laws that I think have caught many in the Republican Party by surprise. You can’t just run a traditional campaign as you did before.”

Other GOP leaders indicated that it is time for Republicans to adapt to the new rules in order to compete with Democrats, who were well prepared to exploit the updated laws.

“The Democrats are creating a new, highly efficient tool to turn out voters,” Dale Neugebauer, a Republican consultant in California, stated shortly after the election. “If Republicans can’tfind a way to match it, we’re going to lose more elections all over the country.”

California Republicans have their work cut out for them, as Democrats continue to solidify their power in the state at the local, state and national level.

John Friend is a freelance author based in California. 

California’s ‘Jungle Primary’ Primed Golden State for Vote Scam

By AFP Staff

As if California’s new laws allowing “ballot harvesting” aren’t bad enough, the Golden State’s so-called “jungle primary” before the mid-term election in November made the voting even more chaotic and suspicious.

Back in May 2018, the San Diego Tribune published a lengthy article that explained the state’s jungle primary. “California is one of three states that employ an election process known as the ‘jungle primary’ that leaves the top two vote getters, regardless of political party, facing off in runoff elections in November,” reported the Tribune. “That means in theory a Democrat could compete against another Democrat, or a Republican could compete against another Republican instead of having the top vote getter in each party’s primary advancing.”

Think the IRS Never Loses Cases? Think again!The Tribune noted that this was supposed to open the primaries to third parties and independents. In reality, what Californians witnessed was the Democratic Party taking advantage of this chaotic system to advance even more of its candidates.

For example, this explains why there was no Republican candidate for Senate on the ballot. Instead, voters were only able to choose between two Democrats: Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León.

Typically, in primaries, registered Democratic voters can only vote for Democrats while registered Republican voters can only vote for candidates from their own party. This usually translates into a general election where a Democrat, a Republican, and anyone else who can get on the ballot is listed for voters. California’s jungle primary, however, opens the primary race to all of the candidates, regardless of political party affiliation.

This has been going on since 2012, and the results are in for independents and third parties. In the past six years, only a handful of candidates who are neither Democrat nor Republican have been able to get on ballots for federal offices.

According to the Tribune, what they have seen, instead, are races flooded with candidates from the two major political parties, drowning out independents and third parties.

Nebraska and Washington are the only other states in the U.S. that have jungle primaries.

Democrats Desperate for Presidential Candidates

The current top contenders for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke.

By S.T. Patrick

The Democratic Party has caught “Betomania,” and it’s spreading all the way to a potential 2020 nomination for president. One prominent Democrat has yet to purchase his own ticket for the Beto bandwagon. Outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hesitant about the early hype of Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas). The former chief of staff to President Barack Obama questioned the wisdom of getting behind O’Rourke, who just lost a surprisingly close Senate race to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

“If Beto O’Rourke wants to go and run for president, God bless him. He should put his hat in and make his case,” Emanuel recently told MSNBC. “But, he lost. You don’t usually promote a loser to the top of party.”

Emanuel, a power player in the Democratic Party, was on MSNBC to publicly support Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in her effort to once again become House speaker. “Nancy Pelosi led the Democratic Party for the last two years from a really bad election in 2016,” Emanuel said. “I’m from Chicago. Maybe I’m really old school, but to the victor go the spoils.”

When asked if a presidential run is possible, O’Rourke has responded that “anything is possible.” A “Draft Beto 2020 PAC” has already been formed by Lauren Pardi, Will Herberich, and Adam Webster, three Democratic strategists based in the Northeast.

“Make no mistake about it,” the strategists wrote, “Beto can win. A recent Politico poll showed that among the field of potential Democratic candidates, Beto was third—behind only Vice President Joe Biden and [Vermont] Sen. Bernie Sanders. . . . Our goal is to show Beto that there is support for his candidacy, starting here in New England.”

In 2016, Emanuel supported Hillary Clinton over both Biden and Sanders. If Mrs. Clinton runs again, he may re-up his support or he may go another direction. It’s feasible that he could run, himself, though there are few Democratic strategists predicting an Emanuel campaign. The strategy at this point would be to appear cold and unimpressed by all potential candidates. In doing so, Emanuel’s support becomes more valuable and could earn him a better position within his chosen candidate’s administration. In politics, support is a commodity. The wise political move is to use it as such, especially when a candidate needs a boost among the party faithful in the primary polls.

Drowning in IRS debt? The MacPherson Group could be a lifesaver!

While Obama has not yet endorsed even the possibility of an O’Rourke run—and did not officially endorse his Senate candidacy—the former president has recently made some glowing remarks about the Democratic Party’s favorite new hope.

“It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed,” Obama said. “And that, you’d like to think, is normally how things work. Sadly, it’s not.”

When O’Rourke was a city councilman in El Paso in 2008, he broke with his local party faithful and supported Obama over Mrs. Clinton in the primaries. Like Obama and Trump, he would hope to catch a sort of “rock star vibe” that pushes candidates through primaries in this new millennium. He has already embraced social media and eschewed consultants, preferring an online presence to a sizeable staff.

In a November poll of Democratic voters, O’Rourke ranked third among 21 other choices. Biden ranked first with Sanders coming in a strong second. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.), and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg were the only other candidates to receive over 1% in the poll. Whispers within the party are still discussing the remote possibility of a billionaire celebrity run by someone such as television production mogul Oprah Winfrey or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The Democratic Party may be in the midst of an identity crisis, still guessing what it will be in 2020. Will it be the blatantly Democratic Socialist party of Sanders and 28-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) or will it move toward a more popular centrism as it did in Pennsylvania when 34-year-old Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) flipped a long-held Republican seat in conservative southwestern Pennsylvania? Lamb, a former Marine and federal prosecutor, pushed his military service and moderate views on issues to a victory.

As the Democrats learned in November, they underestimate President Trump at their own expense. Chastising him has only strengthened his base. Antagonizing the base will only further the separation and drive moderates to the right. In a country rife with polarization, both parties will still have to seek those in the middle to win in 2020.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.

Chapel for Homeless Vets Sold at Auction

A New Hampshire town didn’t want a safe haven for homeless veterans in one of its spacious neighborhoods. Instead, these “neighbors” would rather see the men back on the streets without shelter. But one vet isn’t giving up the fight. 

By Dave Gahary

Over 500,000 Americans remain homeless on any given night in this once-great nation. Now, a story out of the Granite State has many shaking their heads in disbelief. In the spring of 2015 when this newspaper covered the story of Marine Corps veteran Peter MacDonald’s attempts to care for homeless combat veterans with his Veteran Resort Chapel in Lee, N.H., readers were shocked to learn that the town not only wanted no part in his selfless efforts, but they were intent on shutting them down. They’re now on the verge of succeeding.

MacDonald, born in 1952 in Lynn, Mass., joined the Marines when he was 17 years old after his father caught him—a second time—fooling around with a girl in the house. It was two days before Christmas, and the youngster found himself homeless.

“He threw me out of the house and it was snowing, and the only place open when I hitched 40 miles to Manchester, N.H., was a Marine recruiter at 11:30 at night,” MacDonald told this reporter. “He told me if I signed a piece of paper, he’d put me up in a hotel room, so I signed the paper, and next thing I knew I woke up in Parris Island, S.C.”

After graduating and on his way home from boot camp, he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash and lost his entire memory. “I had the mind of an infant, but I was in perfect physical shape, and after 60 days in the hospital, because of an admin error I was sent back to active duty,” he explained, getting shipped to Vietnam.

Plagued with multiple disabilities on combat missions, including a broken back, MacDonald finished his time in the Marine Corps and was discharged.

Making his way back home to New Hampshire, he had a hard time adjusting, and after 30 days ended up homeless on the streets of Portsmouth. “I spent the next several years living under a metal box out in the woods,” he explained, “until another Vietnam veteran found me and brought me to the VA, where they discovered I had four service-connected disabilities.”

AFP Podcast
Dave Gahary talks with U.S. Marines veteran Peter MacDonald about his work with homeless vets and attempt to create shelter on his property in one New Hampshire town.

MacDonald turned his life around with the help of the VA, his future wife, and kids. “We’ve been married 27 years,” he said, “and my three daughters graduated with master’s degrees.”

It was, in fact, his family who came up with the idea to give back. “My wife and three daughters were sitting around the table one night, and they suggested that because I volunteered to help veterans all the time,” he explained, “that maybe it was time that we bought some property and donated it, and started a little chapel and tiny homes for homeless combat veterans where they can live free of charge with all utilities paid until they get back on their feet or they die.”

In 2012, the MacDonalds purchased 11 acres of waterfront property, started a nonprofit, and set it up so “for eternity” this property would be for the purpose of helping homeless combat veterans. “We built the church on it, and we’ve helped over 23 veterans so far; 15 of them have gotten their benefits or gotten their jobs and got back on their feet and now have their own apartments and they’re living a good life, three of them have died, and the town evicted six of them from the property last December,” he said.

Kingdom Identity

The church was built on the property because MacDonald is an ordained minister. “Since 1974 when I got back, even when I was homeless, I’d walk around and talk to homeless people,” he explained. “And when I found a veteran, I’d try to talk them into getting help. It became an obsession with me.”

Forty years on, MacDonald still pounds the pavement. “So even today I still walk around—at least a couple of days a week—looking for homeless people in New England,” he said. “And when I find a veteran now, I buy them a McDonald’s Happy Meal and a cup of coffee, and I talk to them about God and me and helping them come back to real life. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s what I’m doing with my minister’s certificate. And that’s why we built the chapel, because I wanted the veterans, no matter what faith they are or denomination, to have a place to go to pray and talk to the supreme being of their choice to try to come home mentally.”

MacDonald’s property was a dream come true for homeless vets, but the town’s elite didn’t see it that way.

Toward the end of 2013, MacDonald’s neighbor didn’t want homeless combat veterans living across the street from him. He was on the planning board, so he conspired with a town selectman to shut down the shelter before the completion of the chapel’s construction.

After many court battles, including a judge ruling that MacDonald’s church is not a church, the town came in for the kill this year. “They gave us a writ of execution and fined us $93,447.95,” MacDonald explained. “I refused to pay the money, and so the judge ordered the writ of execution auction,” where, in May, “$500,000 worth of property sold for $105,000.”

MacDonald is not giving up.

“This isn’t over, yet. I cannot allow combat veterans to live out in the woods. Somebody has to fight for them,” MacDonald vows.

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 erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.

A Lost Opportunity to Teach People About the USS Liberty

Brett Favre was recently pranked by an activist called “Handsome Truth.” But did he go too far and, in doing so, miss an opportunity to draw attention to the plight of the USS Liberty?

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

Quarterback Brett Favre was by far the best thing that happened to the Packers since the Bart Starr era. He was great fun to watch: His love of playing the game was contagious, and his toughness was legendary. Favre was a terrific passer, except when he had lousy receivers and lousy protection and had to keep trying to force the ball into nonexistent windows, which led to his throwing lots of stupid interceptions.

Aaron Rodgers, Favre’s understudy during his last three years with the Packers, watched, took notes, and learned an important lesson: Don’t throw when the receiver isn’t open.

But as much as I love Favre, I have to admit I was rolling on the floor laughing when I saw that somebody had pranked him into making an “anti-Semitic” video. An anonymous individual calling himself “Handsome Truth” had paid Favre $500 to say: “Brett Favre here with a shout-out to Handsome Truth and the GDL boys. You guys are patriots in my eyes. So keep waking them up and don’t let the small get you down. Keep fighting, too, and don’t ever forget the USS Liberty and the men and women [sic] who died on that day. God bless and take care.”

The GDL (Goyim Defense League), which puts up Twitter accounts almost as fast as they can be taken down, describes its mission as being “To stop the defamation of the non-Jewish people, and secure justice and fair treatment to all.” The GDL name is obviously a parody of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and JDL (Jewish Defense League), both of which are rabidly Zionist-extremist organizations.

So far so good. But if you look at the GDL’s material on Twitter you’ll see legitimate criticism of Zionism and Jewish supremacism mixed in with words and images that appear to be racial attacks on, and caricatures of, Jewish people.

While some may find such material funny and refreshingly politically incorrect, most of it strikes me as stupidly racist and not particularly funny.

Playing around with racial and ethnic stereotypes can be done well, or it can be done poorly, and the best rule to follow is: If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all.

By mixing in stupidly racist material with the good stuff, the GDL is turning itself into an off-color joke at best, an obnoxious, offensive, and strategically counterproductive fiasco at worst.

Consider the Favre video. The “remember the USS Liberty” part is great. How could Favre or anyone else ever renounce that? If Handsome Truth had left it there, Favre might have come under pressure, investigated the attack on the USS Liberty, and decided that honoring veterans and dead sailors was defensible. In short, Favre might have come down on the side of free speech, patriotism, and (at least in appearance) anti-Zionism.

But Handsome Truth didn’t leave it there. He couldn’t resist having Favre do an unknowing shout-out to the Goyim Defense League. Sure, it’s hilarious, since the concept of the GDL is a clever parody of the obnoxiously extremist ADL and JDL. But the reality is that most people are brainwashed into believing that Jews have good reasons and the right to defend themselves against non-Jews, but that non-Jews most certainly do not have a corresponding right to defend themselves against Jews. So including the GDL in Favre’s script guaranteed that Favre would eventually have to walk it back.

AFP 2019 Catalog

And then there is the small matter of the “small,” i.e., the “small hats,” a derogatory reference to yarmulkes, and by extension, a slur on Jews. Obviously, this is something that Favre could never defend saying. Nor could media coverage of the ensuing scandal possibly cast it in anything but a “hateful anti-Semitic” light.

By including “GDL” and especially “small (hats)” in Favre’s script, Handsome Truth made the video a whole lot funnier than it would have been if Favre had just said, “Remember the USS Liberty.” So let’s give him an A+ for comedy, and another A+ for shock value.

But the offensive material detracts from the prank’s rhetorical effectiveness.

In the future, it would be interesting to see whether celebrities can be tricked—or convinced—to just “remember the USS Liberty.”

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. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.

Can America Fight Two Cold Wars at Once?

How did the U.S. reach the point where we’re looking at cold wars on two fronts, and for how long can we maintain this tension?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Kim Jong Un, angered by the newest U.S. sanctions, is warning that North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization could be imperiled and we could be headed for “exchanges of fire.”

Iran, warns Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is testing ballistic missiles that are forbidden to them by the UN Security Council.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that, within days, he will launch a military thrust against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria, regarding them as allies of the PKK terrorist organization inside Turkey.

Vladimir Putin just flew two Tu-160 nuclear capable bombers to Venezuela. Ukraine claims Russia is amassing tanks on its border.

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How did the United States, triumphant in the Cold War, find itself beset on so many fronts?

First, by intervening militarily and repeatedly in a Mideast where no vital U.S. interest was imperiled, and thereby ensnaring ourselves in that Muslim region’s forever war.

Second, by extending our NATO alliance deep into Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Baltics, thereby igniting a Cold War II with Russia.

Third, by nurturing China for decades before recognizing she was becoming a malevolent superpower whose Asian-Pacific ambitions could be realized only at the expense of friends of the United States.

The question, then, for our time is this: Can the U.S. pursue a Cold War policy of containment against both of the other great military powers, even as we maintain our Cold War commitments to defend scores of countries around the globe?

And, if so, for how long can we continue to do this, and at what cost?

Belatedly, the U.S. establishment has recognized the historic folly of having chaperoned China onto the world stage and seeking to buy her lasting friendship with $4 trillion in trade surpluses at our expense since Bush 41.

Ship of Fools, Carlson
Now available from AFP, Tucker Carlson’s “Ship of Fools”

Consider how China has reciprocated America’s courtship.

She has annexed the South China Sea, built air and missile bases on half a dozen disputed islets, and told U.S. ships and planes to stay clear.

She has built and leased ports and bases from the Indian Ocean to Africa. She has lent billions to poor Asian and African countries like the Maldives, and then demanded basing concessions when these nations default on the debts owed for building their facilities.

She has sent hundreds of thousands of students to U.S. colleges and universities, where many have allegedly engaged in espionage.

She kept her currency below market value to maintain her trade advantage and entice U.S. corporations to China where they are shaken down to transfer their technology secrets.

China has engaged in cyber theft of the personnel files of 20 million U.S. federal applicants and employees. She apparently thieved the credit card and passport numbers of 500 million guests at Marriott hotels over the years.

She has sought to steal the secrets of America’s defense contractors, especially those working with the Navy whose 7th Fleet patrols the Western Pacific off China’s coast.

She is believed to be behind the cybersecurity breaches that facilitated the theft of data on the U.S. F-22 and F-35, information now suspected of having played a role in Beijing’s development of its fifth-generation stealth fighters.

Christians are persecuted in China. And Beijing has established internment camps for the Uighur minority, where these Turkic Muslim peoples are subjected to brainwashing with Chinese propaganda.

China’s interests, as manifest in her behavior, are thus in conflict with U.S. interests. And the notion that we should continue to cede her an annual trade surplus at our expense of $400 billion seems an absurdity.

We have, for decades, been financing the buildup of a Communist China whose ambition is to expel us from East Asia and the Western Pacific, achieve dominance over peoples we have regarded as friends and allies since World War II, and to displace us as the world’s first power.

Yet if engagement with China has failed and left us facing a new adversary with 10 times Russia’s population, and an economy nearly 10 times Russia’s size, what should be our policy?

Can we, should we, pursue a Cold War with Russia and China, using Kennan’s containment policy and threatening war if U.S. red lines are crossed by either or both?

Should we cut back on our treaty commitments, terminating U.S. war guarantees until they comport with what are true vital U.S. interests?

Should we, faced with two great power adversaries, do as Nixon did and seek to separate them?

If, however, we conclude, as this city seems to be concluding, that the long-term threat to U.S. interests is China, not Putin’s Russia, President Trump cannot continue a trade relationship that provides the Communist Party of Xi Jinping with a yearly $400 billion trade surplus.

For that would constitute a policy of almost suicidal appeasement.

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, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? and Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, all available from the AFP Online Store.


Truths, Lies and Myths of Bush 41

From the JFK assassination to Iran-Contra to John Hinckley Jr.,former President George H.W. Bush was omnipresent. With his recent death and the exorbitant media hoopla over his “greatness,” AFP is pleased to offer our readers S.T.’s article from last week’s paper as well as another timely interview from the Midnight Writer News Show.

By S.T. Patrick

As former President George H.W. Bush was lying in state beneath the rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., indelible moments emerged from the mourning. President Donald Trump and former Sen. Bob Dole both saluted the former World War II veteran. Bush’s service dog, Sully, sat near the coffin in a photo widely circulated by Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath.

Jon Meacham, one of the “great historians” of academia, and Bush grandson George Prescott Bush were two of the four persons chosen to eulogize the man who had, in his last decades, been simply called “41,” denoting the number of his presidency and differentiating him from “W,” his son. It was state-sponsored drama on the largest scale, and the mainstream media bit. Propaganda is often beautiful.

AFP 2019 Catalog

Many of the memories and accolades dispensed after Bush passed away on Nov. 30 have been bookends of his life: salutes to military service and tales of the congenial elder statesman. Bush, to many, is heard internally in the voice of comedian Dana Carvey saying, “Not gonna do it.” The intentional error of the media saturation is that there is much about Bush’s life that should be discussed. The most consequential sections of his long life reside within the bookends.

After graduating from Yale as a member of the secret society Skull and Bones in 1948, Bush was almost immediately initiated into the globalist hierarchy of his father, Prescott, who had been a senator from Connecticut. After questionable successes and failures with Zapata Oil, an offshore drilling firm, Bush moved to partisan politics, becoming the chairman of the Harris County (Texas) Republican Party in February 1963. That November, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, three hours by car from Harris County. It was a moment never forgotten by everyone who had lived through it. Everyone, that is, except Bush.

For years, Bush peddled “somewhere in Texas” as his location in reference to Kennedy’s last day. Bush’s penchant for misremembering vital historical moments would not end in 1963, but that was an important year for Bush. He had just concluded a hotly contested Senate race against incumbent Democrat Ralph Yarborough (which Bush lost by eight points). Being the only living adult in Texas to forget where they were on Nov. 22, 1963 was more than perplexing. It was suspicious.

In fact, researcher and author Joseph McBride gave us a reason to be suspect of Bush and Dallas, with documentation. While researching an unrelated book, McBride unearthed an FBI document stating that a “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency” had been briefed on Cuban activities the day after the assassination. When Warren Commissioner Gerald Ford appointed Bush to be the director of Central Intelligence Agency in 1976, one of the public persuasions was that he had never had a tie to the CIA. The agency was still reeling from a public-relations war it had temporarily been losing after the Church Committee had exposed its global misdeeds in 1975. Bush claimed he had no ties to the CIA before being named as its director, but further research has validated McBride and not Bush, potentially taking the tie back to 1953.

Kingdom Identity

When Lee Harvey Oswald’s closest confidant in Dallas, oil geologist and Russian anti-communist George DeMohrenschildt, was suicided in March 1977, shortly before testifying to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the nickname (“Poppy”), address, and phone number of Bush was found in one of DeMohrenschildt’s important notebooks. As it turns out, Oswald’s Dallas handler (as some called him) was an uncle of Bush’s prep school roommate and a friend of Jackie Kennedy’s parents.

After spending the Watergate era chairing the Republican National Committee and sharing mutual friends with Nixon administration counsel John Dean, Bush was attached to the GOP presidential ticket in 1980. Ford had rejected the idea of having Bush as his own vice president. Instead, Bush was given the infinitely more valuable position at the CIA. Ford may not have liked the idea of having Bush one heartbeat away from the oval office.

In Barbara Honegger’s book October Surprise, Bush and Ronald Reagan-era CIA director William Casey are blamed for much of the campaign strategy that resulted in the Iranian hostage crisis being extended until Reagan’s inauguration day. This would lead to funds from Iranian arms sales being siphoned off and sent to Central America to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras.

On March 30, 1981, Bush almost found that heartbeat he needed to ascend to the West Wing when Reagan was shot and nearly killed by John Hinckley Jr., who proclaimed he had shot at Reagan as a means by which he could “impress” actress Jodie Foster.

These are still, today, the establishment’s plot points. What is often ignored is that Bush’s son, Neil, was scheduled to have dinner with Hinckley’s brother, Scott, the night of the assassination attempt. Bush had long known John Hinckley Sr., who had been president of both Vanderbilt Energy and World Vision.

On Sept.11, 1990, Bush’s ideological directions became clear as he stood before a joint session of Congress and proclaimed that a “New World Order” (NWO) could emerge out of the strife in the Middle East. Former ally Saddam Hussein had just sent troops into disputed borderlands between Iraq and Kuwait. Reorganizing the Middle East, a project ongoing today and further complicated by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was the key to establishing Bush’s NWO. It’s also vital to understanding Bush, a man who had, for over 40 years, gleefully aligned himself with the CIA, the UN, globalists, neoconservative war hawks, and Big Oil—misremembering much of it and yet always reminding us that he was a veteran.

The Midnight Writer News Show Episode 105: “Presidential Puppetry with Andrew Krieg”

To discuss the abysmal media coverage surrounding the passing of the late George H.W. Bush, we decided to talk to a man who has traversed the beltway for decades, digging up the inside information on past presidents and candidates. Andrew Krieg, director of the Justice Integrity Project and author of Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, joins S.T. Patrick to discuss presidential politics of the last 40 years.

What should we have known about George H.W. Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, John Kerry, John Edwards, and John McCain? Krieg takes a non-partisan approach to dissecting the pros, cons, misdeeds, and motivations of American presidential and vice-presidential candidates, dating back decades.

In the interview, Krieg covers the Bush dynasty, why Reagan chose Bush in 1980, Bush and the October Surprise, the Willie Horton ad, The Election of 1992, Ross Perot’s deficiencies, what Fletcher Prouty still teaches us, the legitimacy of Bob Dole’s 1996 nomination, the value of Jack Kemp, Bush v Gore, the Two Johns: Kerry & Edwards, the real John McCain, and much more.

Krieg also discusses current events with us, including the Corsi/Stone vs. Mueller situation and the unbelievable resolution of the Jeffery Epstein trial in Palm Beach.

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.” He can be reached at STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.

Will Congress Ban Boycotts of Israel?

The Israel lobby and its supporters are making a last push before the end of the year to stop the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. If they don’t get it included as pork in the omnibus spending bill, they’ll have to begin the legislative process in committee over again in 2019. Among these efforts,  Sen. Ben Cardin’s Israel Anti-Boycott Act “is particularly dangerous, going well beyond any previous pro-Israeli legislation, as it essentially denies freedom of expression when the subject is Israel.”

By Philip Giraldi

On Dec. 6, the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution appropriations bill that will keep the government funded until Dec. 20. By that date it is anticipated that an omnibus end-of-year bill extending that spending authority for 2019 will be completed, assuming that a deal on funding President Donald Trump’s border wall can be worked out.

No one would be surprised if the final appropriations package that comes out of the process will be ill-considered and full of pork for individual congressmen and districts. One trick used to pass legislation that would otherwise fail is to attach a bill anonymously (no name and no number) to the spending bill, which must be passed in one form or another if the government is to continue to function.

One such attachment that has currently and somewhat mysteriously appeared is reportedly entitled “Consideration of Legislation Making Further Appropriations for 2019.” Bills attached in that fashion will become law without debate or being subjected to any challenge from opponents.

There are a number of bills in Congress relating to Israeli interests, most focused to some extent on undermining the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. For the friends of Israel in Congress it is urgent that the bills pass before the end of the year, because if they do not, they will have to begin the legislative process in committee over again in 2019.

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Israel and its ardent supporters in the media, in lobbies, and in Congress are engaged in a determined push to make BDS illegal in both the U.S. and Europe because they feel threatened by its success, particularly among young people. The most contentious measure currently being promoted is the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (IABA), introduced in the Senate by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), which many observers fear will be attached to the impending spending legislation. Cardin and his fellow Democratic senator Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) are the most prominent Israel-firsters in the Senate. In their view, nothing is either too good or too much to give to the Jewish state, while Israel can do no wrong, even when it steals other people’s land while also setting up unarmed demonstrators and medical staff for target practice.

The possible federal legislation would far exceed what is happening at the state level, where 25 governments have passed laws punishing citizens who advocate boycotts of Israel. In Texas and Missouri, citizens have had to sign documents confirming that they would not boycott Israel before receiving disaster assistance or obtaining a state job. IABA would undoubtedly set a new standard for deference to Israeli interests on the part of the national government.

The act would criminalize any U.S. citizen “engaged in interstate or foreign commerce” who supports a boycott of Israel or who even goes about “requesting the furnishing of information” regarding it, with penalties enforced through amendments of two existing laws, the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Export-Import Act of 1945. The laws include potential fines of between $250,000 and $1 million and up to 20 years in prison, though it is reported that the prison penalty has been removed from the IABA draft in response to objections from civil libertarians.

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The IABA was drafted with the assistance of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The proposed legislation has been strongly opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other watchdog groups as a major assault on freedom of speech. Some believe it would almost certainly be overturned as unconstitutional if it ever does in fact become law, but that is not a certainty, and it is particularly dangerous, going well beyond any previous pro-Israeli legislation, as it essentially denies freedom of expression when the subject is Israel

The Israel lobby’s Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is also pushing for passage of three other bills dealing with anti-Semitism abroad and in the U.S. One might well question what right the U.S. government has to target allegations of anti-Semitism in other countries, but there appear to be no geographical limits to the hubris of American Jews and their bought-and-paid-for congress-critters. The ADL and friends have demanded “… action on these bills before Congress ends its session would send an important message that America will not remain silent as international Jewish communities are threatened.”

One bill relates to the immediate appointment of a new special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, a unique and uniquely hypocritical position that has been vacant since January 2017. The special envoy would be responsible for enforcing the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act, which was passed in 2017 unanimously, as well as having input on the definition of anti-Semitism in the pending domestic Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. That definition will include criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.

Other pending bills condemn Hamas for using human shields against Israel, presumably making the group responsible for the deaths of at least 214 Gazans and the wounding of 10,000 more, all targeted by Israeli army snipers and special ops teams.

There is also the delay in the approval of the 10-year $38 billion guaranteed aid package for Israel, which Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is currently blocking. Paul, characteristically, is demonstrating what political waffling is all about. A long-time critic of foreign aid in general, he claims that he wants to take away money from countries that criticize the United States to free it up to give to Israel.

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The power of Jewish and Israeli advocates to make what is normally legal illegal cannot be overstated. Recently, professor Marc Lamont Hill was fired by CNN after speaking in support of Palestinian statehood. Critics claimed they were not denying his right to speak but that his comments constituted “hate speech,” yet another mechanism used to dismiss any and all criticism of Israel or the behavior of Jewish groups as anti-Semitism, which is presumably now a criminal offense. Though Hill did nothing wrong, quite the contrary, he apparently recognized force majeure and quickly issued a groveling apology.

The record is clear on what is important to those we have elected to high office. How exactly is it that pandering to something like 2% of the population of the United States has become an obsession in the White House, in Congress, and also, one might add, in the media? Would any other country in the world be passing legislation to protect a racist foreign country that has been with impunity interfering in American elections, robbing the U.S. Treasury and committing what nearly everyone believes to be war crimes?

Senators like Cardin and Schumer should be impeached due to their primary allegiance to a foreign power. That these people are agents of an alien government should be exposed far and wide in the media, but, alas, the media is in collusion with them. Some American voters thought they were taking steps to drain the swamp back in 2016, but, under the current regime, the swamp appears to have grown larger and is now all around us.

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.

Border Bedlam

In the front-page story of American Free Press Issue 51&52, mailed out on Friday (and available online for digital subscribers here), reporter John Friend describes what he found upon traveling to Mexico to investigate firsthand the current situation with the Central American immigrant caravan on the ground in Tijuana, just outside the U.S. border in California.

By John Friend

TIJUANA, Mexico—Hundreds of migrants are camping in tents in a public street just outside the Benito Juarez sports complex in Tijuana, Mexico, home to a makeshift shelter set up by the migrants, local officials, and charity groups to assist the thousands of mostly Central American migrants who have trekked thousands of miles in an attempt to enter the United States.

Local authorities closed the sports complex late last month due to unsanitary and squalid living conditions and set up a new camp in the Mariano Matamoros neighborhood of Tijuana, roughly 10 miles from the U.S. border. That hasn’t stopped hundreds of migrants from continuing to squat near the sports complex, which this reporter visited last weekend to get a firsthand account of the ongoing situation.

Men, women, and children are camping in tents and other handmade shelters in a public street next to the sports complex, which is a roughly 10-minute drive from the main U.S. border-crossing entry. The vast majority of those camping are young men aged 16-25, based on this reporter’s estimation. According to locals, thousands of migrants had been living in or near the sports complex in previous weeks, but many have either relocated, attempted to cross the border, or have begun the arduous journey back home after realizing gaining asylum or refugee status in the United States is a much more difficult process than they had anticipated or were promised.

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The sports complex and surrounding area is covered with garbage, discarded items, and human waste. The main entryway to the complex is locked, and signs are posted indicating the facility is closed. Local faith-based organizations and charities in the area are providing warm meals and other basic living essentials to the migrants, while local law enforcement officials keep a close eye on the situation.

This reporter spoke with one young man named Gilbert camping near the sports complex. Gilbert, originally from Honduras, joined the caravan of migrants several weeks ago and made his way to Tijuana with the aim of entering and eventually working in the U.S. Gilbert explained that he had been camping near the sports complex for roughly 20 days after arriving in Tijuana with some of his friends who fled Honduras with him.

“In Honduras, life is so hard right now,” Gilbert told this reporter. “My plan is to stay over here to work, stay over here for one year or two years, and then I want to go to the United States to work.” According to Gilbert, he obtained a one-year visa from the Mexican government, which allows him to work legally in the country. Thus far, however, he has failed to obtain gainful employment.

Reports have emerged that many of the migrants are sick, with many having respiratory diseases, lice, and chicken pox, among other common ailments. Due to the unsanitary living conditions and lack of clean water, disease has spread, raising concerns among health experts and local officials in Tijuana. Gilbert confirmed that many of the migrants he was living with near the sports complex were sick.

The majority of the migrants appear to have been under the impression that gaining entry to the United States would be a relatively simple process. They were expecting to cross the border and either obtain a visa from U.S. customs officials or be granted refugee status. Sadly, most appear to have at least temporarily abandoned their families in their home countries in their attempt to enter the U.S.

Leslie Yoana Coban left her four children with their father in Honduras before joining the caravan and traveling to Tijuana. She recently told reporters she is waiting to cross the border, perhaps illegally using a “coyote”—which costs migrants thousands of dollars—to be smuggled illegally into the United States.

“Yesterday, I cried when I spoke to them because the one that’s four asked me if I would return. I said no,” Ms. Coban explained to reporters. “I speak with them, and I tell them that I’m fine, to not worry, and to take care, that I love them very much.”

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Coban’s attitude mirrors that of many of the migrants this reporter encountered at the sports complex.

“Yeah, everybody thought that the border would just open and we were going to cross,” Christian Chavez, a 24-year-old Honduran migrant, explained to reporters recently. “But it’s a difficult thing.”

Local officials in Tijuana have expressed concern and frustration with the caravan situation, which is costing the city thousands of dollars per day, according to officials. Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum, who has been critical of not only the migrants but also Mexico’s handling of the situation, estimates the city is spending $25,000 per day feeding and housing the migrants.

John Friend is a freelance author based in California.