By Steve Watson
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has warned that some of Donald Trump’s likely picks for positions within his Presidential cabinet are ‘unfit’ for government.
Paul, who ran against President elect Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, but ultimately failed to elicit enough popular support, specifically referred to former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Referring to Giuliani, Paul said it was “Worrisome” that he is being considered for the position of secretary of state.
“Some of the ties to foreign governments, that was a big complaint for many of us about Hillary Clinton and her ties and money she received from foreign governments… More important than that is I think Trump should pick a secretary of state that agrees with his foreign policy.” Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“The thing Donald Trump said over and over again was that he was opposed to the Iraq War.” Paul stated, adding “He learned that lesson that regime change in the Middle East was not a good idea. Yet I don’t see Giuliani coming out with statements like that.”
“I certainly don’t see John Bolton. Both have been big cheerleaders for the Iraq War and more intervention in the Middle East.” the Libertarian leaning Senator urged.
“I hope Donald Trump will pick someone consistent with what he said on the campaign trail that the Iraq war was a mistake. Having a regime change in the Middle East is a mistake.” Paul noted.
Speaking further of Bolton, Blitzer asked Paul if he would “go so far as to vote not to confirm him as secretary of state if President-elect Trump goes ahead and nominates him?”
“I couldn’t vote for Bolton unless he repudiated his vote for war in the Middle East, and regime change throughout the Middle East.” Paul answered.
“You want a diplomat in charge of diplomacy, not a bomb thrower.” The Senator exclaimed.
“So, no. John Bolton’s totally unfit to be secretary of state. And I hope that the Trump administration will say, ‘You know what? He does not represent what Donald Trump represents,’ which is change, and which is the understanding the Iraq War was a mistake, and that regime change in the Middle East has been a mistake.” Paul said.
Since Trump’s victory, some have been concerned that the president elect may be overly influenced by neocons and shadow government elites.
Rand Paul’s father, former Congressman Ron Paul warned last week that such figures will to attempt to infiltrate and influence his presidency and prevent him from achieving successful change.
Former CIA director James Woolsey, whom many consider to be such a neoconservative, is acting as an advisor for Trump, leaving some concerned that Woolsey has Trump’s ear on who to appoint.
Woolsey told RT this week that the administration will likely be made up of “individuals who would normally be regarded as part of the establishment, but who are willing to work for him, with him to make some changes in American policy.”
So far Trump has appointed Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon as White House strategist, and Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus as chief of staff.
While the Bannon appointment is left of field, and has pleased many anti-establishment Trump supporters, the Priebus appointment was less pleasing for that base of supporters.
Trump has also ordered the removal of all lobbyists from his transition team following criticism that it did not jive with his anti-establishment campaign.
Rest assured, Trump will have his feet held to the fire over appointments he makes, given that he ran on the promise to ‘drain the swamp’ of Washington insiders.
This article was originally published at Infowars.com
If you could change just five key aspects of US foreign policy to realign it toward the Founders' vision, what would you pick? How to make the other broken parts of our policy fall into place? Here are our top five fixes.
By Chris Rossini
In this past election, it was widely believed that under a Hillary Clinton Administration, we would get more wars. Because of her horrendous war record, it was considered a given. Trump, on the other hand, has no war record, and his campaign rhetoric (for the most part) was not one of belligerence.
Placed side-by-side with Hillary, Trump was considered the peace candidate. This is always a smart move for a politician, as people naturally do not want war. Modern day America is so jaded by the string of failed military adventures that even wall-to-wall military propaganda can't move the needle. Americans simply do not want more war.
But the stock market doesn't seem to be buying Trump's campaign rhetoric. When real money is at stake in anticipating future events, that money is not being placed on less war.
Please take a look at the following military-industrial company stock charts:
You get the picture (pun intended).
Champaign and caviar are still on the menu for the military-industrial-complex.
Would that be the case if a genuine peace candidate were elected?
If Ron Paul were just elected president, the above stocks would have fallen through the floor! For it would mean that the troops were coming home and the sprawling Empire would be dismantled. It would mean the defense budget would be used for (you know) defending America and not policing the world.
The market is not indicating anything like that. If anything, it's anticipating business as usual.
Trump hasn't been sworn-in yet, and hasn't done a thing. But if he decides on business as usual, he's going to have a lot of disappointed supporters for sure.
The market is indicating (so far) that a warmonger Trump shall be.
Let's hope that changes.
Ambassador Charles Freeman, a highly decorated US diplomat, joins the Liberty Report to discuss what the next Administration's foreign policy might look like...and what it should look like.
By Chris Rossini
When Trump supporters chanted "Drain The Swamp," one naturally comes to the conclusion that they were looking for a change. They wanted Trump to dismiss the failed ideas and political players who espoused them. This makes Donald Trump's selection of James Woolsey as a Senior Advisor on National Security look like a very curious move.
A few months ago The Intercept did a profile on Woolsey. Here are some key excerpts:
Woolsey, who left the CIA in 1995, went on to become one of Washington’s most outspoken promoters of U.S. war in Iraq and the Middle East.
Aren't these the wars that Trump campaigned against?
Woolsey, by contrast, was a key member of the Project for the New American Century — a neoconservative think tank largely founded to encourage a second war with Iraq. Woolsey signed a letter in 1998 calling on Clinton to depose Saddam Hussein and only hours after the 9/11 attacks appeared on CNN and blamed the attacks on Iraq. Woolsey has continued to insist on such a connection despite the complete lack of evidence to support his argument. He also blames Iran.
For a thorough look at the workings of the Project for the New American Century, please watch the incredible documentary by Robbie Martin titled A Very Heavy Agenda.
Woolsey has also put himself in a position to profit from the wars he has promoted. He has served as vice president of Pentagon contracting giant Booz Allen, and as chairman of Paladin Capital Group, a private equity fund that invests in national security and cybersecurity.
Didn't millions of Americans just watch Clinton Cash?
Woolsey has previously called for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to be “hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted.”
Such a statement needs no further comment, but without the heroic Wikileaks, and others who put their necks on the line to expose the Clinton machine, would Donald Trump have won the presidency?
If Americans wanted neocon advisors, they would have elected Hillary Clinton!
By Chris Rossini
It shouldn't be this way, but The Federal Reserve "runs" the economy. America is not a free market, but has a group of central planners that manipulates our economic lives. The Fed sets into motion artificial booms and busts by counterfeiting dollar bills and meddling with interest rates. As the wild swings take place, presidents who happen to be in power during the booms pat themselves on the back as geniuses, while those in power during the busts are forced to grin and bear it.
Contrary to all the political entertainment found in the mainstream media, it's not the president who steers the economy with his "policies". The president is merely along for the ride that The Fed has put into place.
This phenomenon is nothing new. While colonial Americans were dabbling in the fraud known as central banking in the early days of our republic, they dealt with the same artificial booms and busts.
In 1797, Thomas Jefferson said, “The President [Washington] is fortunate to get off just as the [bank and paper] bubble is bursting, leaving others to hold the bag. Yet, as his departure will mark the moment when the difficulties begin to work, you will see that they will be ascribed to the new administration, and that he will have his usual good fortune of reaping credit from the good acts of others, and leaving to them that of his errors.”
Jefferson was taking over as the bubble was bursting. Washington could attribute the "good times" to himself, while Jefferson was stuck holding the bag.
Fast forward to modern times. How often do we (still) hear the nonsense that the U.S. economy was great under Bill Clinton?
Clinton's Administration coincided with The Fed's artificial Nasdaq boom. It was the Fed that created the euphoria which had to be followed by the pain of reality. In came George W. Bush, and he was stuck holding the bag during the bust.
The Fed would counterfeit its way out of the Nasdaq bust, and create another false euphoria known as the housing bubble. Of course, reality must always follow and the housing bust and bank bailouts would greet the new President Obama.
This time, The Fed would counterfeit money and credit like never before. All vestiges of sanity would be thrown out the window in order to save their precious experiment. Yet, despite the unbelievable creation of money and credit, the result has been a very impotent (yet still artificial) boom that has lasted until the present day.
Almost on cue President Obama comes out today to say:
"We're handing over the keys when the car is in pretty good shape"
Yeah, sure he is.
President Obama was lucky to ride the artificial upswing created by The Fed's counterfeiting. His genius "policies" deserve no credit whatsoever.
In fact, The Fed's counterfeiting has produced results that are so impotent that Democrats lost the White House, Senate, House, and The Supreme Court.
People vote with their wallets. If the "car" is in "pretty good shape," as Obama has the chutzpah to claim, the electoral rout would not have occurred.
But the vast majority of Americans do not understand that it's The Fed who pulls all the strings that count. The presidents are merely along for the ride. If it were up to the president's, they'd all like to be in power during the artificial boom if they could. But they can't.
Some must endure the bust....which brings us to Trump.
It seems extremely likely that President Trump will be holding the bag during the next downturn.
Will it all be Trump's fault? No. Will he be completely blamed? You bet he will.
Will President Trump vociferously place the blame where it belongs, on The Fed? Perhaps. That would be unprecedented.
In any case, when the inevitable bust occurs, the best that Trump can do is let it run its course. All of the malinvestments and debts that have been piled up during The Fed's artificial boom must be liquidated in order for the economy to stand on solid ground.
But sadly, it is the nature of politicians to try to avoid this as much as possible. They always seek to intervene and "do something" in order to keep the artificial conditions alive. Reality is painful, and Trump is surely going to want to be re-elected.
While nothing has happened yet, Trump doesn't seem like the type that will let the market clear out all the waste and malinvestments. He seems like the type that will try to "do something" in order to secure his re-election.
In any case, what America needs now more than ever is a free market economy with sound money. It needs a president that will pull the government albatross off of our backs. It needs to get rid of The Federal Reserve, which creates this entire mess in the first place.
As of this moment, it doesn't look good that any of this will happen in the short run.
But a silver lining remains. The Internet exists and the ideas of liberty are spreading quickly.
Amazing things can happen.
The White House announced last week that it was shifting its approach on Syria. From now on it would target al-Qaeda in Syria instead of backing them to overthrow Assad.
By Ron Paul
In a disturbing indication of how difficult it would be to bring military spending in line with actual threats overseas, House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R – TX) told President Obama last week that his war funding request of $11.6 billion for the rest of the year was far too low. That figure for the last two months of 2016 is larger than Spain’s budget for the entire year! And this is just a “war-fighting” supplemental, not actual “defense” spending! More US troops are being sent to Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and the supplemental request is a way to pay for them without falling afoul of the “sequestration” limits.
The question is whether this increase in US military activity and spending overseas actually keeps us safer, or whether it simply keeps the deep state and the military-industrial complex alive and well-funded.
Unfortunately many Americans confuse defense spending with military spending. The two terms are used almost interchangeably. But there is a huge difference. I have always said that I wouldn’t cut anything from the defense budget. We need a robust defense of the United States and it would be foolish to believe that we have no enemies or potential enemies.
The military budget is something very different from the defense budget. The military budget is the money spent each year not to defend the United States, but to enrich the military-industrial complex, benefit special interests, regime-change countries overseas, maintain a global US military empire, and provide defense to favored allies. The military budget for the United States is larger than the combined military spending budget of the next seven or so countries down the line.
To get the military budget in line with our real defense needs would require a focus on our actual interests and a dramatic decrease in spending. The spending follows the policy, and the policy right now reflects the neocon and media propaganda that we must run the rest of the world or there will be total chaos. This is sometimes called “American exceptionalism,” but it is far from a “pro-American” approach.
Do we really need to continue spending hundreds of billions of dollars manipulating elections overseas? Destabilizing governments that do not do as Washington tells them? Rewarding those who follow Washington’s orders with massive aid and weapons sales? Do we need to continue the endless war in Afghanistan even as we discover that Saudi Arabia had far more to do with 9/11 than the Taliban we have been fighting for a decade and a half? Do we really need 800 US military bases in more than 70 countries overseas? Do we need to continue to serve as the military protection force for our wealthy NATO partners even though they are more than capable of defending themselves? Do we need our CIA to continue to provoke revolutions like in Ukraine or armed insurgencies like in Syria?
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then I am afraid we should prepare for economic collapse in very short order. Then, with our economy in ruins, we will face the wrath of those countries overseas which have been in the crosshairs of our interventionist foreign policy. If the answer is no, then we must work to convince our countrymen to reject the idea of Empire and embrace the United States as a constitutional republic that no longer goes abroad seeking monsters to slay. The choice is ours.
By Chris Rossini
NATO has been obsolete for a long time. It should have been dissolved when the Cold War ended. After all, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, and thank goodness for that. It would be quite unnerving were the Warsaw Pact still around and gobbling up countries that border the United States. Americans would rightfully be concerned about the motivations behind such actions.
But the West "won" the Cold War, and NATO bureaucrats sought to find a reason to keep their jobs in existence. So America decided to go find some new dragons to slay, and into the Middle East they went. We know how that panned out.
Meanwhile, a promise was made to the Russians that NATO would not expand to Russia's borders. Of course, that promise was broken. Bush, Clinton and Obama would expand right up to Russia's door, even conducting the biggest military exercises since World War II right on Russia's border!
Then comes Donald Trump.
Boy does he rock the boat with words like: "We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore. NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money."
Those are fightin' words when you're dealing with military bureaucracy.
At the same time, Europe has not fared well by following the U.S. empire around the world. Europe too has experienced blowback, with terrorist attacks occurring on its own soil. They've also had to absorb extraordinary amounts of refugees from war-torn countries. The ramifications have been disastrous as rapes, violence and assaults are now a common occurrence in Europe.
Throw in the religious and cultural clashes that are taking place, and you wonder why it's not Europe itself that is trying to unglue itself from the U.S. and NATO.
But it is NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg who is out telling Donald Trump that: “Going it alone is not an option, either for Europe or for the United States.”
What a slap in the face. America can't just defend itself?
Of course 'going it alone is an option'! The U.S. government should be defending the U.S. homeland. That's it! Not another morsel of the Earth.
Europe should defend itself and pay for its own defense. It's not complicated, unless you're a bureaucrat who's about to lose his job.
George Washington said in his farewell address: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world". Thomas Jefferson would echo him in his inaugural: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."
That's what America was about, and should be about again.
But the NATO Chief continues: "...we need to recognize the value of the partnership between Europe and America. It remains indispensable."
Trump, as President, should go the way of America's founders. NATO is completely dispensable, just as the Warsaw Pact was. Europe can, and should, defend itself. Yes, it's easier for Europe to snuggle into the Empire's arms, as American taxpayers foot the bill, but America is bankrupt. We can no longer afford a foreign policy of being the policeman on the world.
Will Trump be able to resist the Beltway 'experts' and the military-industrial complex? We shouldn't be too optimistic. Already the GW Bush neocons are working double-time trying to get their cronies into positions of authority in his Administration. Trump has shown no interest in opposing them.
However, until the final decisions are made, we're yet to see which way President Trump decides to go. Will he continue us on the current road to serfdom, or will he heed the words of Washington and Jefferson?
If Trump cares about his legacy, he'll chose the latter.
By Simon Black
Bleary-eyed from the 16+ hour flight from Asia, I checked my phone last night once the plane landed to find that riots have broken out across the Land of the Free.
It was enough to wake me from my jet lag.
All the televisions in the airport terminal were showing footage of the chaos along with occasional interviews with some of the protestors.
Naturally there was outcry against racism, sexism, violence, and all the usual anti-Trump arguments.
(Which I found ironic given this video of a Trump voter being viciously beaten in Chicago.)
But one of the recurring themes from these protestors being interviewed, primarily young people, was that Trump wasn’t going to do anything about student debt.
This was a major issue during the election, one that Bernie Sanders grabbed onto with promises of free education and debt reduction.
His message resonated with young people.
I’ve see this same theme all over the world, from Chile to the United Kingdom– students want free education, underpinned by a fundamental belief that quality education is a basic human right to be provided by the government.
Even if you agree with this assertion, there’s a MAJOR problem with the logic: these students are conflating “education” with “university degree.”
Anytime young people tell me they’re entitled to free education, I always ask the same questions–
How many books did you read in the past six months?
How many times did you go to the local library?
How many free online courses from top universities like Harvard, MIT, and Georgetown did you take at edx.org?
How often have you actually used the multitude of free resources at your disposal to educate yourself?
Most times I just get the deer in the headlights look.
The truth is that they’re not interested in free education.
They just want a free university degree… a piece of paper that confers neither education nor any guarantee of success in life.
Candidly, many of the important things we need to learn in life are not taught in school.
I’ve started more businesses than I can count, some of them spectacular failures, others highly successful. I didn’t learn any of those skills at school.
And everything I learned about farming, for example, was on the land, not in the classroom.
This is true with many other elements that help us achieve success in life– business, investing, networking, romance, personal health, etc.
Understandably, certain professions do require formal schooling.
But that’s not really the point.
This is ultimately about people expecting the government to steal from others and give them something of questionable value for free when they haven’t yet taken steps to provide for themselves.
Read the rest of the article on Sovereign Man here.