The decision by President Obama, egged on by his then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to depose Libya’s longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, led to near-complete chaos inside a country that had been otherwise stable since the 1960s.

This lead directly to the tragedy at Benghazi, a massive flow of weapons out of Libya into Syria and elsewhere, the spread of violence into neighboring Mali and French intervention there, and turned Libya into an ungoverned space and a new haven for ISIS and other terrorists.

Not content with that, the U.S. is about to double-down on the mess with the deployment of additional troops on the ground.

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Speaking Wednesday with host Sandra Smith on Fox Business, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Chairman Ron Paul praised President Barack Obama for opening relations with Cuba and Iran. Paul strongly criticizes in the interview Obama’s interventions overseas — mentioning Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan interventions in particular. Yet, Paul also comments that improving relations with Cuba and Iran are “the best things that Obama ever did.”

Paul compares Obama’s actions concerning Cuba and Iran to President Richard Nixon working to establish more peaceful relations with China, which Paul terms “fantastic.”

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For the “privilege” of being groped and radiated before being allowed to travel, passengers are now facing the additional TSA abuse of being forced to miss their flights due to unimaginably long security check lines. Thousands are missing their flights, and much of the problem is that the agency has thrown a hissy-fit over a slight reduction in the number of screeners. Some 4,600 screeners were cut in hopes that more people would sign up for “TSA-PRE” (they didn’t) and thus fewer screeners would be necessary. They now want not only all of those back – they want an additional 6,000 screeners, which would far exceed the limit set by Congress! To top it off, a recent Homeland Security investigation of TSA performance at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport found that nine out of twelve times TSA screeners missed simulated explosive material passing through checkpoints. What to do about an inefficient government agency that abuses our civil liberties? We have some ideas in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Provided by the NSA, courtesy of former employee Edward Snowden

Provided by the NSA, courtesy of former employee Edward Snowden

In another example of multi-dimensional clash among the Fourth Amendment, privacy, technology and the surveillance state, hidden microphones that are part of a broad, public clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the San Francisco Bay Area have been exposed.

The FBI planted listening devices at bus stops and other public places trying to prove real estate investors in San Mateo and Alameda counties are guilty of bid rigging and fraud. FBI agents were previously caught hiding microphones inside light fixtures and at public spaces outside an Oakland Courthouse, between March 2010 and January 2011.

The apparent goal of the feds was to catch the defendants in their impromptu conversations following court sessions.

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One of the latest tools for violating our privacy and creating the American police state are license plate scanners.

Watching You

This technology allows the police to cruise through a city at normal speed and photographically gather images of vehicle license plates, along with geolocation data. This is all stored, and can easily be used to create a record of everywhere your car has been. Coupled with cellphone and WiFi data being collected along with its own geodata, and tied to things like tracked credit card activity, emails and the now-ubiquitous public surveillance cameras, it is very, very easy for law enforcement to know where you are, where you have been and have a pretty good idea of what you were doing.

Run that same process for lots and lots of people, and you can also tell who spent time with who.

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The Defense Authorization bill is supposed to be an opportunity for Congress to shape national defense priorities and share the responsibility with the president when it comes to foreign policy. Generally the president has significant authority to make his mark on foreign and defense policy and the authorization process for both the Defense and State Departments is the Constitution’s way to make sure the co-equal Legislative Branch of government is properly part of the process. Sadly though this is what was intended, current reality no longer resembles what was meant to be. Instead, Congress members abrogate their authority to set defense spending priorities to the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, and to special interests in their districts. The result is a mess that has very little to do with defending this country and a whole lot to do with enriching those in position to feed from the trough. This week the House will vote on the Defense Authorization Act for 2017. Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report explains the process and previews the result:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.