Posts tagged national security
Written by Ron Paul
New Egyptian War: Americans Lose, Again
Looking at the banners in the massive Egyptian protests last week, we saw many anti-American slogans. Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government that was deposed by the military last week was very critical of what it saw as US support for the coup. Why is it that all sides in this Egyptian civil war seem so angry with the United States? Because the United States has at one point or another supported each side, which means also that at some point the US has also opposed each side. It is the constant meddling in Egyptian affairs that has turned Egyptians against us, as we would resent foreign intervention in our own affairs.
For more than 30 years, since the US-brokered Camp David Accord between Israel and Egypt, the US supported Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. Over that period the US sent more than $60 billion to prop up Mubarak and, importantly, to train and seek control over the Egyptian military. Those who opposed Mubarak’s unelected reign became more and more resentful of the US, which they rightly saw as aiding and abetting a dictator and denying them their political aspirations.
Then the US began providing assistance to groups seeking to overthrow Mubarak, which they did in 2011. The US continued funding the Egyptian military at that time, arguing that US aid was more critical than ever if we are to maintain influence. The US Administration demanded an election in Egypt after Mubarak’s overthrow and an election was held. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won a narrow victory. The US supported Morsi but kept funding the Egyptian military.
After a year of Morsi’s rule, Egyptians who did not approve of his government took to the streets to demand his removal from power. The US signaled to the Egyptian military that it would not oppose the removal of Morsi from power, and he was removed on July 3rd. With the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government came the arrest of many politicians and the closure of many media outlets sympathetic to them. Then the US government warned the same Egyptian military that undermined democracy that it needed to restore democracy! Is it any wonder why Egyptians from all walks of life are united in their irritation with the United States?
Despite the Egyptian government being overthrown by a military coup, the Obama Administration will not utter the word “coup” because acknowledging reality would mean an end to US assistance to the Egyptian government and military. That cannot be allowed.
Instead, we see the same Obama administration that is on a worldwide manhunt for pro-transparency whistle-blower Edward Snowden demand that the Egyptian military exercise “political transparency” in its dealings with the ousted Muslim Brotherhood-led government.
So, successive US administrations over the decades have supported all sides in Egypt, from dictator to demonstrator to military. There is only one side that the US government has never supported: our side. The American side. It has never supported the side of the US taxpayers who resent being forced to fund a foreign dictatorship, a foreign military, and foreign protestors. It has never supported the side of the majority of Americans who do not wish to get involved in the confusing internal affairs of countries thousands of miles away. It has never supported the side of those of us concerned about blowback, which is the real threat to our national security. Unfortunately, US administrations continue to follow the same old failed policies and Obama is no different. More intervention, more foreign aid, more bullying, more empire.
Copyright © 2013, The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
While the world watches every twist and turn in the unfolding Edward Snowden drama, the story becomes less and less about the information he revealed and more and more about an international manhunt. But if the issues of PRISM and spying on China and GCHQ’s spying at the G20 are falling off the radar, then how much further off the radar is the story of Russell Tice?
Join us for this week’s EyeOpener Report to examine political blackmail-from J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, to Ruppert Murdoch’s hacking scandal, the latest revelations by NSA whistleblower Russ Tice and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the role of the US media as gatekeeper for these government illegalities by censorship and or well-designed misdirection.
Watch the Preview Clip Here:
First Congress Member Allowed to Read Secret Treaty Says “There Is No National Security Purpose In Keeping This Text Secret … This Agreement Hands The Sovereignty of Our Country Over to Corporate Interests”
Corporations Push to Overrule National Laws
We reported last year:
Democratic Senator Wyden – the head of the committee which is supposed to oversee it – is so furious about the lack of access that he has introduced legislation to force disclosure.
Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is so upset by it that he has leaked a document on his website to show what’s going on.
What is everyone so furious about?
An international treaty being negotiated in secret which would not only crack down on Internet privacy much more than SOPA or ACTA, but would actually destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. and all other signatories.
It is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Wyden is the chairman of the trade committee in the Senate … the committee which is supposed to have jurisdiction over the TPP. Wyden is also on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and so he and his staff have high security clearances and are normally able to look at classified documents.
And yet Wyden and his staff have been denied access to the TPP’s text.
Indeed, the decision to keep the text of TPP secret was itself classified as secret:
Yesterday, Congressman Alan Grayson (who knows how to read legislation … he was a successful lawyer before he was elected to Congress, and has written and co-sponsored numerous bills himself including the bill to audit the Federal Reserve and – most recently – the “Mind Your Own Business Act” to stop NSA spying) announced that he had been allowed to read the text of TPP – and that it is an anti-American power grab by big corporations:
Last month, 10,000 of us submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in which we objected to new so-called free trade agreements. We asked that the government not sell out our democracy to corporate interests.
Because of this pressure, the USTR finally let a member of Congress – little ole me, Alan Grayson [anyone who's seen Grayson in action knows that he is formidable] – actually see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America.
The TPP is nicknamed “NAFTA on steroids.” Now that I’ve read it, I can see why. I can’t tell you what’s in the agreement, because the U.S. Trade Representative calls it classified. But I can tell you two things about it.
1) There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret.
2) This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.
3) What they can’t afford to tell the American public is that [the rest of this sentence is classified].
I will be fighting this agreement with everything I’ve got. And I know you’ll be there every step of the way.
Congressman Alan Grayson
Grayson also noted:
It is ironic in a way that the government thinks it’s alright to have a record of every single call that an American makes, but not alright for an American citizen to know what sovereign powers the government is negotiating away.
Having seen what I’ve seen, I would characterize this as a gross abrogation of American sovereignty. And I would further characterize it as a punch in the face to the middle class of America. I think that’s fair to say from what I’ve seen so far. But I’m not allowed to tell you why!
Remember that one of the best definitions of fascism – the one used by Mussolini – is the “merger of state and corporate power”. Our nation has been moving in that direction for a number of years, where government and giant corporations are becoming more and more intertwined in a malignant, symbiotic relationship. TPP would be the nail in the coffin for free market economics and democracy.
Note to progressives who support public banking: This is a key battle.
Note to those who oppose to what they call “one world government” or a “new world order”: This is the big fight.
By Ron Paul
The Real Meaning of President Obama’s National Security Speeches
The president will continue and even expand drone attacks overseas because they are “less deadly” than ground invasions. He promises to be more careful in the future.
He is entertaining the introduction of “kill courts” which will meet in secret to decide who is to be executed without trial or charge. He promises these will have sufficient oversight.
He will seek a new and updated Authorization for the Use of Military Force to expand his legal authority to wage war wherever and whenever he wants. He promises it will one day be repealed.
He will continue to indefinitely detain at Guantanamo individuals who have been neither charged nor convicted of any crime, and who cannot even be tried because they were tortured and thus the evidence is tainted. He promises to “commit to a process of closing GTMO.”The speech speaks of more war and more killing and more interventionism all masked in the language of withdrawal.
The president warns of the threats of the new al-Qaeda affiliates that have sprung up in places like Iraq without explaining that it was the US invasion of Iraq that opened the door to their entry in the first place. There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before the US overthrow of Saddam Hussein, just as there was little extremism in Libya before the US attack on that country in 2011.
The president claims that “unrest in the Arab world has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria.” However, it was the US-led attack on Libya that resulted in extremists gaining power there, with many fighters afterward spreading unrest and destruction by joining the wars against the Syrian and Malian regimes. The extremists brought to de facto power in places like Benghazi were responsible for the murder of the US ambassador, yet the president says nothing about that unintended consequence of his interventionist policies.
He calls for even more interventionism in the future, but he promises that it will be a different kind of interventionism. He wants the US to shape democratic transitions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya while actively supporting those seeking to overthrow the government in Syria.
He wants to take nation-building to a whole new level, urging that the US “help countries modernize economies, upgrade education, and encourage entrepreneurship.” He promises to battle extremism overseas by “training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists.”
What the president does not seem to understand is that we do not have the money to build schools, upgrade education, modernize economies, and encourage entrepreneurship overseas at a time when our national debt is $16 trillion. And besides, isn’t it a deeply flawed idea that the US government can achieve all of these remarkable results overseas when we know what a disaster these big government undertakings have produced at home? What we reject at home as Soviet-style central planning is fully embraced as effective foreign policy overseas. Should it really be the US government’s role to “modernize economies” or “encourage entrepreneurs” anywhere? Those are activities best left to the private sector, whether here at home or in far off lands.
President Obama’s speech is not at all what it seems. It is a call for more empire and more power to the executive branch. The president promises that “this war, like all wars, must end.” Unfortunately the war on the American taxpayer never seems to end. But end it will, as we are running out of money.
Written by Ron Paul
Our Honorary Chairman, Congressman Ron Paul, has list of resolutions for the upcoming Congress in his latest Texas Straight Talk:
As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider. For the sake of liberty, peace, and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.
In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.
I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.
All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs–and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.
Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.
Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity better than any legislation or regulation. Understand that economic freedom IS freedom. Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults. Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they do want to. Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness. Protect property rights. Protect the individual. That is enough.
There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.
Photo added to original post.
By Amber Lyon
If by “change” President Obama meant criminalizing journalism in the United States, then he’s succeeded.
Why should you care? The investigative journalism that Obama has silenced could have exposed more corruption in the U.S. government, military, banking industry; corruption that has caused anguish to numerous Americans. The reports that will never be heard, read, or seen on TV may have led to positive change.
The Obama administration is suffocating investigative journalism at an alarming rate through the abuse of the Espionage Act of 1917, an act more prone to be used to protect government secrecy than national security. Before Obama, the act had been used only three times total since 1917. The current administration has used it six times to go after whistleblowers and the journalists who protect and reveal their information.
President Obama was bold enough to use the Espionage Act to subpoena New York Times journalist James Risen in an attempt to force him to ‘give up’ information on a CIA whistleblower. Risen accused the administration of trying to silence journalists and refused to acquiesce stating,
“Can you have a democracy without aggressive investigative journalism? I don’t believe you can, and that’s why I’m fighting.”
Risen predicted Obama’s attack against him would have an unprecedented chilling effect on mainstream investigative journalism in the US. He was right.
The Ethiopian government has just made it a criminal offense to use VoIP services within the country such as Skype and Google Talk. Anyone caught using VoIP service can now spend 15 years in prison. Ethiopia passed the new law last month, and it’s only just now becoming known outside of the country.
The Ethiopian government argues that the bans on VoIP services are because of “national security concerns.” Ethiopia currently has a single telecommunications carrier, which is state owned, and called Ethio telecom. This ban of VoIP services also happens to help protect the state’s monopoly on communication services.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology also gained “the power to supervise and issue licenses to all privately owned companies that import equipment used for communication and information.” Ethiopia’s ban also extends to social networking with people not be able to make audio and video communications. Ethio Telecom is also said to be blocking access to the Tor network, which allows people to surf the web anonymously.
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
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Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
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Writes International Business Times’ Joe Romaine:
Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential aspirations are hurt by his foreign policy stance. Or so say the polls.
The truth, however, is that foreign policy is one of Paul’s strongest points.
Paul is a non-interventionist. He wants to bring troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan and from all over the world. He wants the U.S. to stop policing the world, mind its own business and spend less money on defense.
This is in sharp contrast to the current state of U.S. foreign policy, which has the U.S. spending nearly five percent of its GDP on the military each year and stationing troops in over 150 countries (including heavy presences in friendly countries like Japan).
The U.S., in fact, accounts for 43 percent of the total global military spending in 2010, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute…
(T)he justifications for the U.S. to have massive military budgets in the past 70 years… are no longer valid.
In 2011, only one country — China — poses a credible threat to the U.S. The U.S. is not threatened by China’s military might; the Chinese military is woefully behind the U.S. military. However, the U.S. is threatened by China’s vast influence on the international stage.
China’s power comes from dangling access to its vast consumer market (i.e. the right to export to it) and its government’s staggering $3-trillion cash hoard. So far, it has used these powers to gain access to technology (from the West) and natural resources (from Asia, Latin America and Africa).
The primary fear of the U.S is that once the size of the Chinese economy exceeds that of the U.S. – which the IMF thinks can happen as soon as 2016 – China could marginalize the influence and national interest of the U.S. on the global stage.
A darker fear is the possibility that China will dump its holdings of U.S. Treasuries in the open market and engineer a financial crisis in the U.S…
These fears are not entirely unfounded. What is unfounded is the phantom threat the U.S. is fighting with its massive military budget. (While terrorism is a credible threat, an enormous spending on conventional military buildup is not the answer).
The same cannot be said about the standing of the U.S. on the international stage. The U.S. economy is stagnating, its industrial base is eroding, its technological edge is slipping and its national debt is swelling. (Washington, interestingly, also urged Americans to “cherish public credit” in his farewell address).
In response to these challenges, Paul proposes slashing the military budget and bringing back U.S. troops stationed abroad. He also wants to massively cut government spending.
While the merits of big spending cuts are debatable… there is little question that the general idea of reducing U.S. debt and cutting conventional military spending will bolster U.S.’s national security and address potential threats from China.
If nothing else, consider the fact that Paul has raised more money than of any other 2012 presidential candidates from members of the military. In fact, while contributions from members of the military topped Paul’s campaign, contributions from individuals associated with Goldman Sachs topped Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Military members, after all, know firsthand a thing or two about U.S. foreign policy.
[CIM Photo added to original article. Comment: Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!]
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site and donate today!