Former CIA official John Kiriakou, who spent two years in prison for revealing the truth about White House-sanctioned torture, became the 15th recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity at a ceremony at America University.
Last year, PEN Center USA, a human rights and freedom of expression organization, honored John Kiriakou, with its “First Amendment” award. It has since become clear that while John Kiriakou sat in prison, Senate Intelligence Committee investigators were uncovering heinous details about torture by the CIA from its own original banality-of-evil cables, which showed that CIA and others had lied in claiming torture “worked.”
My parents taught me a lot of common sense sayings. You’ve probably heard this one: mind your own business, or MYOB. Most people have enough problems of their own; it’s not a good idea to compound one’s problems by messing around with other people’s lives.
What’s common sense for individuals is also common sense for nations. Think of the USA. We’ve got plenty of problems: crumbling infrastructure, inefficient and inadequate health care, too many people in too many prisons, social divides based on race and sex and class, drug and alcohol abuse, not enough decent-paying jobs, huge budgetary deficits, the list goes on. Yet instead of looking inwards to address our problems, too often we look outwards and interfere in the lives of others. How can we solve other people’s problems when we can’t solve our own?
Consider our nation’s foreign policy, which is basically driven by our military. We have a global array of military bases, somewhere around 700. We spend roughly $700 billion a year on national “defense” and wars, ensuring that we have “global reach, global power.” To what end? Our nation’s first president, George Washington, famously warned us to avoid foreign entanglements. The nation’s great experiment in republican democracy, Washington knew, could easily be compromised by unwise alliances and costly wars.
A good friend passed along an article at Forbes from a month ago with the pregnant title, “U.S. Army Fears Major War Likely Within Five Years — But Lacks The Money To Prepare.” Basically, the article argues that war is possible — even likely — within five years with Russia or North Korea or Iran, or maybe all three, but that America’s army is short of money to prepare for these wars. This despite the fact that America spends roughly $700 billion each and every year on defense and overseas wars.
Now, the author’s agenda is quite clear, as he states at the end of his article: “Several of the Army’s equipment suppliers are contributors to my think tank and/or consulting clients.” He’s writing an alarmist article about the probability of future wars at the same time as he’s profiting from the sales of weaponry to the army.
As General Smedley Butler, twice awarded the Medal of Honor, said: War is a racket. Wars will persist as long as people see them as a “core product,” as a business opportunity. In capitalism, the profit motive is often amoral; greed is good, even when it feeds war. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is willing to play along. It always sees “vulnerabilities” and always wants more money.
What would former Congressman, former Reagan Budget Director, successful investor, and leading advocate for US non-interventionism David Stockman advise a President Trump to do to fix the mess we are in? Stockman joins today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report to discuss his new book, “Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back.” Trump is known as a “deal-maker” — Stockman offers him a great “Peace Deal” he could make that would save us billions and keep us far safer than we are today. Sounds like a great deal!
So the Americans have accidentally bombed another target of interest.
This time it was in Syria and after the aforementioned error ISIS happened to mount a strategic attack taking advantage of an otherwise wholly unforeseen situation which came in the middle of a supposed ceasefire. Naturally the Syrians are outraged.
(Incidentally, for some of us this episode is reminiscent of another American mishap in 1999 when five laser-guided United States missiles unintentionally obliterated the Chinese Embassy in then-Yugoslavia.)
Be that as it may the response from officials in The Homeland was less than somber contemplation. President Barack Obama went to the Congressional Black Caucus gala to browbeat the brethren into voting for candidate Hillary Clinton or else (in his words) their apathy would be a "personal insult."
After untold billions of dollars in US training and equipment, the Iraqi army is not capable of taking the city of Mosul back from ISIS control. Part of the problem is that the multi-sectarian Iraqi army is not so keen on fighting an ISIS that includes Sunni elements of the old Iraqi army among other things. What does that mean? The Pentagon has told the White House it needs even more troops as “advisors” in advance of the expected battle. Already more than 6,000 US troops remain in Iraq. This new infusion will make at least 6,500 and that many contractors as well. And if Mosul is “liberated”? Some warn that may be the beginning of the second Iraqi civil war. More today in the Ron Paul Liberty Report: