You are browsing the archive for 2020 January 06.

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Emancipation Proclamation

January 6, 2020 in History

By History.com Editors

On September 22, 1862, President (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010)

Allen C. Guelzo, “Emancipation and the Quest for Freedom.” National Park Service.

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Source: HISTORY

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Trump Stokes Endless War: His Attack on an Iranian Military Leader Will Come Back to Haunt Him and Us

January 6, 2020 in Economics

By Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser

Christopher A. Preble and John Glaser

In his last State of the Union address, President Trump boldly stated that “great nations do not fight endless wars.” It was a statement in keeping with at least some of the rhetoric from the 2016 campaign. Taking aim at both Democratic and Republican administrations, he complained about Americans expending precious blood and treasure in Middle East conflicts, to the detriment of both U.S. interests and regional stability.

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Trump’s decision to order the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani near the Baghdad Airport on Thursday, however, is likely to further draw the United States into the Middle Eastern morass. Tensions between the United States and Iran have now risen to new heights and the world is bracing for a violent Iranian response that could put U.S. forces in the region, and the many civilians likely to be caught in the cross-fire, in grave danger.

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How did we get here? It all started with Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. That agreement (officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) obligated Iran to give up 98% of its stockpile of enriched uranium, two-thirds of its operating centrifuges, and to open itself up to the most intrusive UN inspections regime in the world, according to the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Trump, however, always hated the JCPOA — even though it was never clear that he understood what it actually did. Following months of secret meetings and negotiations, Secretary of State John Kerry presented the framework agreement on the evening of April 2, 2015, with the understanding that additional details would be worked out in the ensuing months.

But by the following day, on April 3, 2015, Trump had concluded that the deal was “terrible…for the United States and the world” and that it did “nothing but make Iran rich.” He predicted via Twitter that it would “lead to catastrophe.”

It was unsurprising, therefore, when he withdrew from the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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How the CIA Tried to Quell UFO Panic During the Cold War

January 6, 2020 in History

By Becky Little

Amid reports of flying saucers swarming the nation’s capital, the intelligence agency realized it needed a P.R. strategy.

In January 1953, the fledgling , points to one likely example: a television special put on by Walter Cronkite in 1966…called “UFO: Friend, Foe or Fantasy?”

“We have a record that one of the people on the Robertson panel wrote a letter to another person who was on the Robertson panel,” says Kean, “and said…that he, quote, ‘helped organize the CBS TV show around the Robertson panel conclusions.’” Just as the panel had suggested, the program focused on debunking UFO sightings.

READ MORE: UFO Stories

The Condon report: Were its findings a foregone conclusion?


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Between 1966 and 1968, the government called for another, lengthier scientific inquiry into Project Blue Book led by physicist Edward U. Condon. Though the CIA had some involvement with the Condon Committee, it was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force and conducted by scientists at the University of Colorado, and its report was immediately available to the public. Like the Robertson panel, it concluded UFOs posed no threat to the U.S., and that most sightings could be easily explained. In addition, it suggested that the Air Force end Project Blue Book’s investigations into UFOs—which it did in 1969.

Many people who study UFO sightings have suggested that the government never really allowed the Robertson panel, the Condon Committee or even Project Blue Book to review the most sensitive UFO sightings, incidents that may have contained classified information. One of the main pieces of evidence for this is a 1969 memo signed by Brigadier General Carroll H. Bolender suggesting the Air Force hadn’t shared all UFO sightings with Project Blue Book and would continue to investigate sightings that could present a national security threat after the project ended. (Today, the Navy tracks sightings of “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAPs.).

Critics have also suggested that the real goal of the Robertson panel, the Condon Committee and/or Project Blue Book was never to identify what was really going on with UFO sightings, but simply to assuage public concern about them.

If true, this would not necessarily mean the government had information about extraterrestrials it wanted to conceal. In some cases, the government may have been trying to cover up its own activities. Since Project Blue Book’s end, the CIA has admitted that more …read more

Source: HISTORY