Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), speaking Tuesday at a hearing of the US House Armed Services Committee, returned to a subject he has addressed many times — the US government’s incredible waste of money and lives in Afghanistan. Providing one example to illustrate the “boondoggles” that permeate US activity in Afghanistan, Jones shed light on the six million dollars the US spent on a program involving importing “rare blonde Italian goats” to Afghanistan. The pricey goats, Jones relates, may have then just been eaten instead of being used to boost the cashmere industry in Afghanistan.
Jones, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board member, further states that the goats boondoggle is one among many wastes of money in Afghanistan that John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, mentioned in January as a witness before a subcommittee of the US Senate Armed Services Committee. Jones expresses exasperation that the US may continue its presence, militarily and otherwise, in Afghanistan for another “20, 30, 40 years.” This costly foreign intervention, says Jones, is particularly worrisome considering the US government debt is at $19 trillion.
The Washington Post "revealed" today, as their headline read: ‘Eyewash’: How the CIA deceives its own workforce about operations. This would not come as news to anyone who pays attention to CIA pronouncements and reads Antiwar.com or Consortiumnews.com. But it begs the question of why the Post limited their article to the CIA and did not mention the many other so-called "national security" agencies who routinely engage in "eyewashing" with their every pronouncement? "Common sense" should tell us that the CIA isn’t the only national security agency which engages in deception, either of their own workforce, their Congressional "watchdogs," or of the public.
"Eyewashing" agencies include the DOD and its subordinate branches of the military, particularly the NSA and the Special Operations Commands, the FBI, Homeland Security, and the many other agencies, known and perhaps unknown, engaged in "protecting" the U.S. But the greater blame for failing to keep the public informed so they can, hopefully, override disastrous and self-damaging policies cooked up in the hothouses of national security agencies might better be placed upon the journalists, lawyers, etc. who were intended by the framers to form a part of the system of checks and balances as obstacles to policies pursued by incompetent, negligent, derelict, and/or odious officials.
No matter who occupies the US presidency, it seems the neoconservatives always occupy positions of foreign policy power. A neocon like Robert Kagan, for example, is perfectly comfortable going from a senior position in the GW Bush administration to another senior post in Barack Obama’s State Department. When their failed policies wear out the name of one of their institutes, like Project for a New American Century, they simply change the name without losing a beat, in this case turning into the “Foreign Policy Initiative.” Filmmaker Robbie Martin has done a terrific job looking into the neocon domination of Washington in his three-part documentary film, A Very Heavy Agenda. Martin joins today’s Liberty Report to talk about his films and to talk about the neocons who star in them:
There are two ways to look at the video below, and they are both right. It shows the remains of a soldier and his K-9 coming home for the last time from Afghanistan. The circumstances of their deaths are unknown.
If you can get through the video with dry eyes, you may not be human, or may not at least deserve the title. Someone replaced your heart with dry meat. Despite the sappy music, the expression of utter emotion packed into a mundane activity – unloading “cargo” from an airplane – is raw and undeniable and good. Each set of remains is brought from overseas into Dover, Delaware, where the U.S. military operates its largest mortuary and receiving facility. Each container is flag-draped and accompanied by military members, so the soldier is never alone on the long trip off the battlefield.
There is much to praise and agree with in National Review’s cover editorial, “Against Trump.” Donald Trump is no friend to limited government proponents. Indeed, his flip-flopping on key issues of concern to libertarians and conservatives make it unclear whether a President Trump would govern from his current perspectives or be the Trump who is a dear friend of the Clintons. But National Review misses a key part of the Trump phenomenon. It isn’t an aberration, but is a natural outgrowth of conservatism abandoning its core values of limited government and a strict national interest foreign policy during the Bush years. It may even be an expression of an underlying worldview of fear and defeatism present in conservatism ever since National Review led the Cold War break with the antiwar, anti-New Deal Old Right.
Trump isn’t killing conservatism. It already died over a decade ago. It died in the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib, on the battlefields of unnecessary and counterproductive wars, in the secret meetings that created an unprecedented domestic surveillance program, and in the spending spree to pay for it all that turned a budget surplus into record deficits. It clung to life support on some domestic economic programs, but died again when political capital that could have been spent on Social Security reform went to promoting war instead. It died every single time the Bush Administration pursued policies contrary to American values and the principles of limited government – and it died whenever Bush’s cheerleaders in what passed for the conservative movement championed his policies.
Hey, did you wake up today wondering what was going on in Afghanistan, America’s 51st state, you know, the one we’ve been occupying for over 14 years, that one where thousands of Americans have died and where thousands still serve? Yeah, that Afghanistan.