The Senate Intelligence Authorization Act (SB 1761), introduced Friday by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and already approved by the committee, concludes with a one sentence section – Section 623 – that appears to threaten WikiLeaks with potential harsh actions. The section categorizes the news organization, which helps expose information obtained from whistleblowers, as resembling “a non-state hostile intelligence service.”
“Senior leaders” of WikiLeaks, such as Julian Assange who will not leave the Ecuador Embassy in London for fear of being arrested and sent to the United States for detention or prosecution, are also included in the categorization.
Section 623 of the bill reads in full:
SEC. 623. Sense of Congress on WikiLeaks.
It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States.
Writing Tuesday at the Daily Beast, Spencer Ackerman noted the section’s language “echoes almost exactly CIA director Mike Pompeo’s scathing April speech calling WikiLeaks a ‘non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,’ a departure from the ‘I love WikiLeaks‘ rhetoric from then-candidate Trump.”
United States House of Representatives Member Walter Jones (R-NC) has for years ardently advocated terminating US involvement in the Afghanistan War. Jones’ efforts in this regard include his legislation introduced in the House, letters to US presidents and congressional leaders, interviews, and House floor speeches.
What often most surprises people is that this prominent proponent of ending the war represents a district with a population largely composed of current and retired US military members and their families. In such a district, people may suppose that advocating for peace would be unpopular. Yet, Jones has continued winning reelection despite well-funded efforts to defeat him.
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2018 to the United States House of Representatives. In addition to being one of the longest-serving Republican members of the House (representing the second district of Tennessee since 1988), Duncan, who argues that being antiwar is a conservative position, is also one of the House’s strongest proponents for peace.
In his April of 2015 editorial “A Return to The Peace Party,” Duncan lamented the Republican Party drifting toward being a war-supporting party and argued that it should revert to its past position as the peace party. “When I was a teenager,” Duncan wrote, “I remember reading a publication from the Republican National Committee that said, ‘Democrats start wars, Republicans end them.’” Duncan wrote in the editorial that he not only thought the party’s shift toward hawkishness is wrong but also declared, “I think it is a recipe for defeat if my Republican party becomes known as a party favoring permanent, forever wars – war without end.”
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and his legislation (HR 1666) to end the US government’s war in Afghanistan were the subject of a short and informative report on WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina this week. “Here we are sworn by the Constitution to have the responsibility to debate to send our young men and women to die in war, and we don’t do it,” Jones states in the television report. Jones further notes that the costs of America’s longest war continue to increase despite the Congress failing to even debate the war since 2001, stating that, 16 years after the Afghanistan War began, “we’ve spent almost a trillion dollars, 2,000 Americans have been killed, 20,000 wounded.”
Watch the report here:
Jones and HR 1666 cosponsor Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) spoke in more depth about their legislation and the Afghanistan War in a joint interview on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal in March.
Jones is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.
Interviewed Monday by Kennedy at Fox Business, Ron Paul challenged the contention that the United States government was acting in accord with good intentions in attacking Syria last week. Instead, Paul suggests a big motivation was generating profit for the military-industrial complex. Discussing the reason for the attack, the Ron Paul Institute Chairman and former presidential candidate concludes, “I think the only interest that has been involved here is to prop up the province of the military-industrial complex.”
Paul elaborates that the reason for the attack has “nothing to do” with concern about the Syria government’s purported use of chemical weapons to kill innocent people, given that the US has long been, and continues to be, in the practice of killing innocent people.
Paul also suggests in the interview that neoconservatives influence US actions in regard to Syria. Many people had hoped that President Donald Trump’s “America First” emphasis would cause a move away from military intervention against governments overseas. However, it appears that the influence of people supporting such intervention, including neoconservatives, continues strong in the Trump administration. While Paul says that “the neoconservatives politically are winning,” he proceeds to note that, at the same time, he believes that “the American people are still with us who believe that this war is absolutely unnecessary.”
Former presidential candidate and United States House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is not buying the Trump administration line on the US missile attack last week in Syria. Interviewed at Fox News, Kucinich both rejects the reason offered for the attack and says the attack will help the Islamic State (ISIS), which President Donald Trump has said it is a high priority for the US to counter.
Kucinich explains in the interview that there is no clear proof presented that the Syria government used chemical weapons in the country – the purported justification for the US missile attack. Kucinich also asks, “Why are we helping ISIS?” The Syria military that the US attacked last week is attempting to defeat ISIS in Syria.