Libya Report: New Wrinkle in US Plan for Gaddafi-Free Libya

Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, has stated that former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif Islam, "is free and in a safe place." Haftar further said he welcomed the idea of the younger Gaddafi playing some sort of political role in Libya’s future.

In an interview (Arabic) with Al-Hayat newspaper, Haftar also stressed that he had no problems with moderate Muslim Brotherhood members but could never deal with the extremist elements.

The recent talks in Paris between Haftar and UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj were little more than a "show," an attempt to stage manage an impression of a Libyan unity government. It failed!

The Libyan Muslim Brotherhood’s Executive’s rejected all communiqués from Paris despite the olive branch extended to it by Haftar.

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William Astore on Collateral Damage: A Terrifying Euphemism

The term “collateral damage” is a terrifying euphemism. The U.S. military didn’t invent it, but it sure has embraced it. The dictionary definition is “unintended civilian casualties or damage in a war,” which is about as anodyne a description as one could imagine.

In common usage, “collateral” is something we put up to secure a loan, so it often has a positive meaning. (No worries: I have lots of collateral.) “Damage” is a neutral-sounding word: the book was damaged in shipping. Storm damage. And we also speak of “damages” when we sue someone. In sum, “collateral” and “damage” are impersonal and imprecise words.

Let’s think personally and precisely. What is “collateral damage” in the “war on terror”? Bodies blown to bits. Blood everywhere. Skin burnt and melted by Willy Peter (White Phosphorous). Eviscerated children. Rotting corpses.

The military has a colorful saying: “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” Maybe we need a new saying: “Don’t murder my child and tell me it’s collateral damage.”

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Peter Van Buren: Drinking Rum Until I Understand the Cuban Embargo

It was easier for me to pass through Cuban customs and immigration than it was for me to come home to the U.S. “Be sure to try our rum while you’re here!” said the Cuban official. “You’ll need to pay duty on that rum,” grumped the American official a week later, after the retinal scan, facial recognition scan, photo, passport inspection, agricultural questioning, and bag check that allowed me home.

The rum is in a way what a trip to Cuba for an American is really all about. Rum, and el bloqueo.

It becomes the first Spanish word you learn after the glasses are filled: El bloqueo, the blockade, the economic and political embargo. Some 60 years ago the United States slapped a near-complete economic embargo on Cuba, a Cold War spasm that lives on long after the struggle it may have served ended. It accomplished little of substance in Cuba except perhaps to impoverish some while fostering blackmarkets and corruption that enriched others. And like that other imperial boil, Guantanamo, the embargo sits atop Cuba as a symbolic wet blanket of American foreign policy, maintained by presidents Democratic and Republican alike.

The embargo is also why you can’t buy Cuban rum in America.

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Israel Anti-Boycott Act – An Attack on Free Speech

A widely-supported bill in the House and Senate would make it a felony to support or endorse efforts to boycott the state of Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians. Conviction could result in a maximum $250,000 civil fine plus a $1,000,000 criminal fine and 20 years in prison. Regardless of one’s views of the Israel/Palestine conflict, the right to boycott anything, anywhere for political reasons is political speech protected by the First Amendment of our Constitution. Will Congress succeed in overthrowing this fundamental principle upon which our republic was founded? We take a good look at the issue in today’s Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Ron Paul Tells President Trump: Veto This Bill! – Sanctions Lead To War

The US House is expected to vote tomorrow on yet another round of sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Russia and Iran are targeted for their role in fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq, which Congress calls “destabilizing.” Russia is also targeted for its involvement in the 2014 Ukrainian coup d’etat, which was in fact started by the United States under the Obama Administration! Will President Trump veto this bill, which will prohibit him from removing the sanctions without Congressional permission? He’s leaning toward signing it, in what looks like a big surrender to the deep state..

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?

Executive Summary

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted.

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see here and here].

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