Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Foreign Policy

WikiLeaks: Asking the Right Questions

Julian Assange (2)

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Nearly everyone with an internet connection knows the website WikiLeaks.org to be the notorious publisher of inconvenient truths about the secret machinations of government and military operations. Scarcely fewer know that the founder, Julian Assange, was arrested last week in London. Only a few are asking the right questions.

In an interview in April, Assange was quite forthright about his intentions. He said:

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Saving Thelma Diaz

Cover of "Broke: The Plan to Restore Our ...

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When 17-year-old Thelma Diaz showed up for work at Lolo’s Seafood restaurant on Tuesday morning, September 21, in Ascencion, Mexico, about an hour’s drive south of the New Mexico border, she had no idea that she would come close to losing her life.

Ascencion is known to be sleepy, dusty, hot, and dangerous. Since the first of the year, more than 40 people in that community have been kidnapped, with many of them being murdered and their bodies mutilated and displayed in public. It was a continual reminder that, for all intents and purposes, the Mexican drug cartels controlled the place.

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American Austerity and the End of “Wars of Choice”

Looking south from Top of the Rock, New York City

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Foreign Affairs, the mouthpiece of the Council on Foreign Relations, is like a 500-pound canary: When it speaks, people listen. Gary North referred to the article in the November-December 2010 issue entitled “American Profligacy and American Power” as “a turning point…the first official announcement…that the Federal deficit is out of control…which threatens the survival of America’s position as the world’s most influential political-military participant.”

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Removing “Technical” Obstacles to Surveillance

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Buried in an otherwise innocuous-appearing article in the New York Times about wiretapping was this chilling sentence: “The issue [of surveillance of individuals by law enforcement agencies] has added importance because [these technologies] developed by the United States to hunt for terrorists and drug traffickers can also be used by repressive regimes to hunt for political dissidents” [emphasis added].

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Tea Party Giving Neocons Heartburn

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Several neoconservative writers have recently expressed nervousness about Tea Party supporters threatening to make substantial cuts in military expenditures in order to rein in government spending. Articles in the Washington Post and at Heritage.com, by Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, Arthur Brooks, Edwin Fuelner, and William Kristol have made it clear that “the conservative movement—and the party that seeks to represent it—is at a crossroads.” One road will continue funding the military-industrial complex in “defense of freedom,” while the other road “beckons in an almost Calvinistic call to fiscal discipline” resulting in potentially severe defense department cuts.

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The Real Cost of the Wars

military cemetary

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When the book The $3 Trillion War debuted in 2008, it was roundly criticized by such notables as John Lott, Richard Zerbe and Edgar Browning, who held that estimates of the cost of the war in Iraq were overstated. But in a conference call earlier this week, authors Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner) and Linda Bilmes (Harvard University professor), said they underestimated those costs by at least one third.

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Wiretapping Your Emails

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As communications technology has raced ahead of government attempts to tame it, in the name of law enforcement, the Obama administration, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the National Security Agency and other government agencies have been meeting for months to come up with regulations that would allow broadening government powers to intercept, read, and analyze Internet messages, and then prosecute perceived violations of law. Arguments by proponents of further incursions into citizens’ privacy initially sound reasonable: new technology, and private citizens’ use of the Internet for private communications, have exceeded government’s ability to keep up, and consequently its ability to monitor, track and follow people is “going dark,” unless something is done.

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Will the U.S. Bail Out Kabul Bank?

45th Munich Security Conference 2009: Hamid Ka...

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The bank run at Afghanistan’s largest bank, Kabul Bankwas precipitated by the takeover of the bank by Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank, last week. By Friday nearly all of its currency reserves and most of its capital had been withdrawn by nervous customers, with no end in sight.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai blamed the run on the bad press the bank had been getting in the United States ever since a major article about corruption at the bank appeared in the Washington Post in February. Last Thursday, the second day of the run on the bank, Karzai said, “The Western press is…printing out our decision [to take over the bank] in a negative way and in a provocative way. It’s sad to hear that. It’s unfortunate.”

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Cell Phones, Big Brother and the 4th Amendment

Cell Phone

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The Obama Justice Department is appealing a lower court decision that requires it to provide “probable cause” before it can track cellphone users. The DOJ wants instead to operate under a lower standard for tracking cellphone users, based on a reasonable belief that such information is “relevant to a…criminal investigation.”

Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan wrote: “Where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, intrusion on that right by the Government for investigatory purposes requires that the Government obtain a warrant by demonstrating to the Court that it has probable cause, i.e., that it make a showing of a fair probability of evidence of criminal activity.”

Police have been tapping into the locations of cellphones thousands of times a year.

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China Reacts to U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan

Chiang Pin-kung, vice-chairman of the Kuominta...

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Last month’s decision by the United States to sell $6.4 billion worth of arms and military supplies to Taiwan “will not affect steadily improving ties between Taipei and Beijing,” according to Chiang Pin-kung, Taiwan’s top China negotiator. The deal “should not have any impact on ongoing China talks and the future development of bilateral ties,” he added.

China’s reaction, however, was much less sanguine. Beijing immediately suspended military exchanges with Washington and threatened sanctions against the military contractors supplying the war matériel to Taiwan.  And on Monday a group of Chinese military officers, in state-controlled media interviews, urged China to increase its defense spending and deploy additional troops to offset the new agreement between the United States and Taiwan.

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Yemen: Intervention, Nation-building, and the Constitution

Map of the modern state of Yemen. Map of Yemen...

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When Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) vented his frustration at further involvement by the United States in foreign countries despite constitutional limitations against such involvement, he declared:  “Stay out of Yemen!” Unfortunately, almost no one is listening.

Yemen is located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by Saudi Arabia on the north, the Red Sea on the west, the Gulf of Aden on the south, and Oman on the east. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, with unemployment exceeding 40 percent and the average citizen living on less than $1.25 a day. Its history is a running sore of intervention by outside influences and internal civil wars. It could be a vital, prosperous country by dint of its strategic location alone. Instead, it is best known for internal political corruption and increasing dependence upon foreign aid.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.