Follow & Support The BRAD BLOG!
&

Latest Featured Reports | Friday, July 31, 2015
NYTimes Blows It Again: 'BradCast' 7/30/15
Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on the latest fiasco by the 'paper of record' (and how it always hurts Dems); Also: Medicare turns 50; Trump dominates GOP (loses to Dems)...
'Green News Report' 7/30/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Portland activists blocking Arctic drilling; Wildfires explode across West, getting much worse around world; PLUS: The killing of Cecil the Lion ignites a firestorm of controversy...
Previous GNRs: 7/28/15 - 7/21/15 - Archives...
Michael Mann on 'Bombshell' New Report on Sea Level Rise: 'BradCast' 7/29/15
'Uncertainty, it turns out, was reason to act even faster,' says the Nobel Prize winning climate scientist...
Trump, 'Spousal Rape',
and His Horrible Attorney:
'BradCast' 7/28/15
Plus: Hacks, election debates, pipelines, spying, GOP approval ratings and much more...
'Green News Report' 7/28/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hillary goes big on solar; Jeb wants to eliminate ALL energy subsidies; PLUS: New study suggests worst case sea level rise may happen much sooner than previously thought...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/23/15 - Archives...
Hillary's Climate Plan & the Awful Truth About It: 'BradCast' 7/27/15
Journalist David Roberts of Vox.com; Plus: Bernie beats all GOPers; Trump continues to surge; MUCH MORE...
U.S. House Passes Bill to Block 'Right to Know' About GMOs
Despite recent scientific findings on dangers of GMOs, failure of existing governmental testing standards, Repubs lead fight to keep you in the dark about what's in your food...
Sunday Toons: Guns Trump All
Also in this week's collection from 'PDiddie': Sandra Bland, Donald Trump, Iran, Climate Science and Planned Parenthood...
High Times for Pot Biz; Plus: More Shootings, More Trump: 'BradCast' 7/24/15
Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project joins us to discuss some encouraging news. Also: The Lafayette theater shooting; Perry's felonies; and Trump cracks the code...
Kansas SoS Kobach Defrauding Voters; FBI Whistleblower Coleen Rowley on 'Terrorism': 'BradCast' 7/23/15
A big show. But even bigger when our guest is a TIME Mag Person of the Year!...
'Green News Report' 7/23/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
OH's Kasich jumps into 2016 GOP race - we decipher his climate position; Dem candidate links global warming to ISIS - Fox goes nuts; PLUS: Two CA Guvs slam climate deniers...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/16/15 - Archives...
The Woman Who Led the #BlackLivesMatter Protest Against Sanders & O'Malley in AZ: 'BradCast' 7/22/15
Tia Oso on why she did it and reaction from progressives. Plus: Hillary in trouble? MORE...
Who the Hell is John Kasich and Why is He Running for Prez?: 'BradCast' 7/21/15
Journalist John Michael Spinelli of Ohio's PlunderBund; Plus: Trump soars in polls!...
'Green News Report' 7/21/15
Extreme weather whips CA - bridges collapse and cars burn; June 2015 hottest on record; PLUS: Record warming in Pacific kicks hurricane season off to record start...
America's Top Psychological Org Colluded w/ Bush on Torture: 'BradCast' 7/20/15
Dr. Yosef Brody of Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Plus: Progressive protesters disrupt Sanders; Trump disrupts himself...
Sunday Toons: Plutocracy is Not a Planet
Plus: 'Jade Helm'; Cosby; Iran; Greece and the rest of last week's messes in cartoon form, as curated by 'PDiddie'...
Mother of All GOP Voter Suppression Laws on Trial in NC: 'BradCast' 7/17/15
Nation's Ari Berman, at the trial this week, joins us. Plus: More on Walker/WI corruption & Maine's dumb Guv!...
Walker Wins & Democracy Loses (Again. Big Time.): 'BradCast' 7/16/15
We don't use the phrase 'death of democracy' lightly. But there's good reason to today. Brendan Fischer explains today's outrageous ruling by WI's corrupt Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 7/16/15
Graham chides fellow GOPers on climate; Cap & trade nets big bucks for states; Dirty coal on the way out in U.S.; PLUS: Boy band joins climate movement...
Iran, Trump Rising & Confederate Monument Worth Keeping?: 'BradCast' 7/15
We cover a lot of ground today, plus listener calls and more (including Brad wrestling w/ tech probs, which is always amusing -- for you!)...
Chart of the Moment: You v. Donor Class
Wondering why you can't have nice things? This is why...
Not a Dime's Worth of Difference? Really?: 'BradCast' 7/14/15
Iran nuke deal; Then Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser on what really separates the two major parties...
'Green News Report' 7/14/15
Scott Walker's in! Here's his climate position; Warmest June ever for the Western U.S.; Exxon knew about global warming in 1981; PLUS: Latest denialist scam debunked...
Debunking New 'Mini Ice Age' Scam; Man Who Punked Scott Walker: 'BradCast' 7/13/15
Guests: Physicist Joe Romm; Ian 'David Koch' Murphy...
#FeelTheBern
Sanders is drawing crowds far larger than any other candidate, Dem or Repub, in the race for the 2016 Presidential nomination...
Stories Behind the Stories: On Confederate Flag, Trump, Marriage: 'BradCast' 7/10/15
Facts behind the headlines you may not have heard! Also: More on nation's dumbest Guv; Listener complaint...
Good Election & Campaign Finance News!: 'BradCast' 7/9/15
Prof. David Schultz on new rulings and how campaign finance can be reformed right now!; Plus: SC, Trump...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Why Was Cheney's Role as The Shooter Withheld for Hours from the White House?
PLUS: Video Still Not Posted from Today's WH Press Briefing
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 7:40pm PT  

I began asking questions about this when the story came to light on Sunday.

The nearly 24 hours between the time Cheney shot Harry Whittington and the time the story was finally disclosed to the media remains unexplained --- and raises many questions.

Now it seems that the information that Cheney was the shooter in the incident was even withheld from Bush at the White House, at least for a time. In other words, the White House was informed that there had been "a hunting accident", but not that Cheney was the shooter.

It's not unusual in this White House, or any these days, that Presidents are only told the things they need to know, and nothing more. Particularly when the information could be damaging and they hope to retain "plausible deniability" should they have to testify or be asked questions about it later.

It is certainly starting to look like such a case where "plausible deniability" was on the table in the early hours, before they knew for certain if Whittington would survive the incident, after being admitted in critical condition to the hospital.

When the shooting was finally disclosed, it was by the property's owner, Katharine Armstrong. Cheney's office never actually announced it to the media, but simply "confirmed" the inquiries that came after the initial story in the Corpus-Christi Caller-Times. But media reports have said that Armstrong spoke with Cheney before doing so. In other words, he gave her the okay to let the news out finally on Sunday morning/afternoon.

In the meantime, back at the White House, as discussed in today's contentious Press Briefing, White House spokesman Scott McLellan makes it clear that though Bush was informed of the shooting Saturday evening, it wasn't until late Saturday Night --- or early Sunday Morning --- that he finally learned that Cheney himself was the shooter...

Q So as of Saturday night, you didn't know, the White House did not know that Vice President Cheney was involved?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, there were details coming in throughout that night and into the morning. There was additional information coming in at 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., and even after that.

Q But, again, Saturday night, you did not know the Vice President was involved, you just thought someone from his hunting party was ---

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I, personally, was informed by the Situation Room that there had been a hunting accident, and that is was a member of the Vice President's hunting party. But I didn't have additional information other than that at this point. Obviously, I asked questions about --- is he okay, and who was involved --- and they didn't have those facts at that point.

Q So Sunday morning you first learned that it was the Vice President?

MR. McCLELLAN: Early Sunday morning, that's correct.

The timeline here would seem to add some fuel to the question I had asked previously: If Whittington had died, would the incident --- or at least Cheney's involvement in it --- have been disclosed at all to the American people?

Or to twist another infamous question: What didn't the President know and why didn't he know it?

The fact that the officials were able to inform the White House of "a hunting accident" not long after the incident, but it wasn't until 3:00am or so, that they were notified that Cheney was the shooter, would seem to point fairly squarely to the idea that initially they were keeping the idea of "plausible deniability" for the White House on the table for some reason. Perhaps as needed in the event that Whittington didn't make it out alive and they had determined a cover-up of Cheney's involvement was needed to avoid embarrassment. Or criminal charges.

If there's a less sinister explanation for all of this, I'd be more than open to it. But Scottie certainly didn't present one in today's Press Briefing.

Speaking of which... So far, no video of that briefing on the White House website. There is usually a link to it on the same page as the transcript. I wish I had saved the WH site's front page earlier, since --- as I recall --- it had said something along the lines of "Today's Press Briefing has now concluded, we will have a transcript and video posted shortly."

Now it says only, "Today's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has concluded." with a link to the text only.

Can't imagine why they wouldn't want to post today's video. :-)

Let's see how long it takes 'em to get it up there. (Crooks and Liars has it in the meantime.)

UPDATE: The White House tacked the following on to the bottom of their Press Briefing transcript. Not certain what time they did so:

Q So when did the President definitively know that the Vice President had shot somebody?

A Chief of Staff Andy Card called the President around 7:30pm EST to inform him that there was a hunting accident. He did not know the Vice President was involved at that time. Subsequent to the call, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove spoke with Mrs. Armstrong. He then called the President shortly before 8:00pm EST to update him and let him know the Vice President had accidentally shot Mr. Whittington.

I'll let you decide about their credibility here and if they've earned the benefit of the doubt. But even with such benefit, why was Card told about the accident, but not told that Cheney was the shooter when they first notified him? Only after Karl "The Architect" Rove interceded was a decision made, apparently, to let Bush know. We report, you decide.

FURTHER UPDATE: Ron Brynaert looks at some related-ish timeline questions from Cheney's side of things.

TUESDAY UPDATE: Whittington suffers heart attack! McClellan fails to inform press corp! Thread continues now here...

ReddIt this story!



By John Gideon on 2/13/2006 5:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Jefferson Co., Kentucky election officials have told the local media that they will be 'testing' their new accessible voting machines in tomorrow's election. This is the same thing we are going to be seeing from jurisdictions all across the country this year. "Testing"! We, the voters, are going to be asked to test these new machines, which will fail more than they should, in real elections. Training for election workers is scarce. Training for the voter is non-existent. I hope I am wrong but I fear not....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

ReddIt this story!



Bush Crony, Appointee Pamela Willeford's Presence in Hunting Party Unreported by MSM, White House Spokesperson
McClellan Leaves Her Name Out of White House Grilling Today...
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 11:49am PT  

We reported late last night on the identify of the third hunter in Dick Cheney's ill-fated hunting party. Apparently, word didn't get out to the DC press corps about it however, as they were asking McClellan for the name of that third hunger this morning at an incredible grilling he received on the matter (Must read transcript here, must watch video here courtesy of Crooks & Liars since the WH doesn't have it up for some reason.)

While McClellan was busy with his greatest tap-dance yet today, avoiding questions about how a Vice-President of the United States can shoot somebody and have it go wholly unreported for a full 24 hours, he didn't need to dance around about this one...because the White House Press Corp apparently doesn't read The BRAD BLOG. At least they didn't this morning.

I'll have to review the full transcript of the Press Briefing when it becomes available, but for my money, the top-question is: Had the victim, 78 year-old, Harry Whittington ended up dying, would we have ever heard about the shooting at all?

The way the White House has behaved so far, and apparently avoided properly informing local law-enforcement officials (one such report is here), suggests this all would have simply disappeared had Whittington actually been shot to death by Cheney.

Anyway, here's what we reported late last night at the end of our long Sunday "Live Blogging" on Deadeye Dick:

===

THE THIRD HUNTER IS REVEALED... by Ron Brynaert over at RAW STORY. It seems the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, Pamela Willeford, another Bush Family crony, was also along for the festivities. The revelation by the Cox News Service, has yet to be picked up by any publication. As reported by RAW...

Pamela Willeford, a former Texas education official, accompanied Cheney and Whittington as they hunted quail at the Armstrong ranch in Texas on Saturday.
...
According to Open Secrets, "Willeford and her immediate family contributed a total of $23,200 to Republicans during the 2000, 2002 and 2004 election cycles, including $7,000 to the Bush campaigns and an additional $500 to the Bush-Cheney recount fund established after the 2000 election."

No explanation yet, for the lack of coverage of the Willeford story, despite a couple of lede grafs which seem to us to be too good not to print!...

Just before sunset Saturday, 78-year-old Harry Whittington pulled off "a double" --- bringing down two quails with two successive blasts from his shotgun.

One of Whittington's hunting companions, Vice President Dick Cheney, wasn't as accurate.

MORE UPDATES NOW HERE...

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2006 6:57pm PT  

...Still rolling on this previous item... Many curious questions exist. See the link for more details.

ReddIt this story!



By John Gideon on 2/12/2006 5:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Election officials in Cambria and Somerset Counties in Pennsylvania "know" they will have touch-screen voting machines (DREs) in place for this May's primary election even though no contracts have yet been signed. They stupidly think they can take custody of completely new technology, train election workers and the voters and have a trouble free election all with a few weeks preparation. This is pure incompetence. Also Illinois violates their own state laws to help out Sequoia and Sequoia gets an attempted assist in New Mexico....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

ReddIt this story!



UPDATES...Ranch Owner Hired Cheney at Halliburton, on Covert FISA Board Under Reagan, Bush Pioneer...
Incident Occurred Saturday, Not Released Until Moments Ago...HOSPITAL SPOKESMAN ON WHITTINGTON'S CONDITION...In Intensive Care Unit for 2nd Night in a Row...Eye-Witness/Media Continue to Downplay Incident...Victim in Intensive Care Unit for Second Night...Third Hunting Party Revealed as Bush Crony, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland...
By John Gideon on 2/12/2006 1:29pm PT  

This just out minutes ago from Associated Press...

WASHINGTON --- Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said today.

Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets on Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.

Armstrong said Cheney turned to shoot a bird and accidentally hit Whittington. She said Whittington was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said the vice president was with Whittington, a lawyer from Austin, and his wife at the hospital this afternoon.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: Several sources (Fox, CNN, Reuters) confirming incident, but reporting it took place yesterday (Saturday) at 5:30pm Texas time. Why was the story withheld from the media until now? Almost 24 hours later? The man is reported to be in stable condition, apparently, at this time. Did they wait until they could report that he would be fine before releasing it at all? Would we have found out about it at all, therefore, if the man had died? Did they wait until after it was too late to be discussed discussed on the Sunday News shows?

Just some of the questions I expect we'll be hearing shortly.

FURTHER UPDATES...

Cheney on hunting...

I much prefer to catch wild fish or chase wild quail in South Texas...and perfectly happy to adjust as required.

And I also care a lot about gun laws. I worry sometimes that there is a growing antihunting sentiment that I run into with people...people who have no idea what it's all about...have never done it and don't like the idea of somebody else doing it.

On the Armstrongs, on whose ranch the incident occurred, and their relation to Cheney et al...From WhiteHouseForSale.org...

"We go out when the dew is still on the grass, and then hunt until we shoot our limit," Tobin said in 2000 of his ranch outings with Dick Cheney. "Then we pick a fine spot and have a wild game picnic lunch." True conservatives might choke on their javelina steaks if they knew that Tobin Armstrong dunned the government for $11,336 in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2002, according to the Environmental Working Group. Anne Armstrong served as: a close advisor to President Nixon; President Ford's British Ambassador; and approved covert actions on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Reagan. A veteran of blue-chip corporate boards, Anne Armstrong was a Halliburton director when that corporation hired Cheney. She is Kay Bailey Hutchison's best friend...

Katherine Armstrong is the daughter of Anne, and was the one who witnessed the incident, quoted in the stories.

MORE... Shakespeare's Sister has details on Cheney's victim, Harry Whittington, and his long-standing crony-hood with Boy Bush...

DETAILS FROM HOSPITAL ON WHITTINGTON'S CONDITION... As Josh Marshall points out, details on Whittington's condition has so far only been reported by the property owner, Katharine Armstrong who has, by-and-large, downplayed the injury as no big deal.

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital spokesperson, Yvonne Wheeler, tells The BRAD BLOG that the only information currently given to them by doctors is that Whittington is in "stable condition."

She's not able to say whether or not his condition has been worse previously when he was admitted to the facility at 8:15pm CT on Saturday, and then upgraded more recently.

News reports have said that Whittington was shot at 5:30pm CT, but Wheeler had no explanation for the apparent delay in his admission, other than she understands he was initially treated on-site. While the hospital is a two-hour drive from Armstrong's ranch, Whittington was transported to the facility by the hospital's own helicopter, so the reason for the apparent two-hour time-delay is still unclear.

No word yet on when Whittington may be released from the hospital.

Wheeler said that the media has requested a doctor there give a briefing on hunting accidents in general, and they will be doing so shortly.

We've so far been unable to receive comment from Cheney's office.

According to AP, Armstrong had said about the shooting:

"It broke the skin," she said of the shotgun pellets. "It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that."
...
"This is something that happens from time to time. You now, I've been peppered pretty well myself," said Armstrong.

THE LEFT COASTER POINTS OUT... That apparently it's all Whittington's own fault --- not Cheney's! --- that he got shot...At least according to Armstrong...

Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong said.

"The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

BRAD BLOG commenter Bonnie reports...

At 7:00pm [ET] tonight CNN's anchor was interviewing a doctor from the hospital the shooting victim was in. The anchor asked him how the patient was doing and the doctor stated that he was in the Trauma ICU but stable. The anchor was then so dumb as to ask if the patient would be able to go home tonight. The doctor repeated that he was in ICU. This guys wounds did more than break the skin.

JAMES AND SARAH BRADY RELEASE COMMENT... And a hilarious one at that...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

ReddIt this story!



By John Gideon on 2/11/2006 5:52pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The February 07 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

ReddIt this story!



Rare Saturday Email in Advance of Resolutions of Inquiry Mark-Up Said a Sign of GOP/White House Concern About Warrantless Eavesdropping Program...
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2006 2:18pm PT  

Is the Bush Administration getting nervous about growing GOP defections concerning their warrantless NSA domestic eavesdropping program?

A rare Saturday email to Congressional members announcing a last-minute scheduled briefing on Monday by the Dept. of Justice would seem to indicate that may be the case.

The email, sent earlier today and obtained by The BRAD BLOG, notified Congressional Republicans and Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee of the newly announced briefing for Monday --- in advance of next Wednesday's mark-up of two Resolutions of Inquiry being put forward in the committee.

The email announcement follows in full...

From: Cylke, Chris
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:14 AM
To: Cylke, Chris; Judiciary, Rep Leg Staff; Judiciary, Dem Staff & LAs
Cc: Judiciary, Majority Staff
Subject: Unclassified briefing by DOJ on NSA surveillance program
Importance: High

Will be held at 3 pm on Monday, Feb 13th. Presentation will be followed by an opportunity for Q & A. This briefing is for Judiciary Committee Members and staff only. If you have questions, please contact Beth Sokul at 5-3951.
Christopher Cylke
House Judiciary Committee

A House staffer confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that such Saturday notices are very unusual and speculated that the White House may be becoming increasing concerned about GOP defections concerning the legality of their warrantless domestic eavesdropping program.

The staffer speculated the move may be meant as an attempt to give the House Judiciary Committee a way to say, "Well, we've had this briefing now, so there's no need for full hearings on it."

Next Wednesday, the Committee is scheduled for mark-up of the two following resolutions:

  • H. Res. 643, "Directing the Attorney General to submit to the House of Representatives all documents in the possession of the Attorney General relating to warrantless electronic surveillance of telephone conversations and electronic communications of persons in the United States conducted by the National Security Agency"
  • H. Res. 644, "Requesting the President and directing the Attorney General to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution documents in the possession of those officials relating to the authorization of electronic surveillance of citizens of the United States without court approved warrants"
  • The mark-up conference will be carried live on the web next Wednesday, February 15, 2006 beginning at 10:00am ET.

    Full audio and video will be available via the Judiciary Committee website at www.Judiciary.House.gov

    ReddIt this story!



    By John Gideon on 2/10/2006 5:08pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    Alaska is planning on finally turning over the voting files to the state Democratic party. It is hard to believe that what the party will get is going to prove or disprove anything now. In Florida the National Federation of the Blind lawsuit against Volusia Co. has been kicked out of the court. In New Mexico their voter verified paper ballot bill continues to move through the state legislature even against the scorn of some in the legislature and one stubborn county election official who may have staked her political future in her battle against verifiable elections. And the spigot of dis- and mis-information is wide open in Pennsylvania....

    --- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

    ReddIt this story!



    Ranking House Judiciary Minority Member Asks for Confirmation, Clarification of Reported 'Authorization' by Cheney and other 'White House Superiors' in Plame CIA Leak Case...
    Inquires into 'Legal Basis' for Leaks Which Bush Has Previously Decried...
    By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2006 1:26pm PT  

    John Conyers (D-MI), ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, has just sent the following letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

    The letter, published exclusively below, concerns questions about the revelations from National Journal yesterday that Cheney's former chief of staff, I. "Scooter" Libby testified to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury that he was "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" to leak classified national security intelligence to the media.

    It should be noted that a Vice President's chief of staff, doesn't have all that many "superiors" in addition to the Veep himself.

    The leaks, as reported by Murray Waas, were meant to discredit former Ambassador Joe Wilson's assertions that the Administration was manipulating various intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq War, and later, to justify the Administration's questionable use of pre-War Intelligence.

    We post Conyers' letter in full, including questions seeking confirmation and clarification from both Bush and Cheney on these matters below...

    February 10, 2006

    The President
    The Vice President
    The White House
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear Mr. President and Mr. Vice President:

    Yesterday, the National Journal and AP reported that the Vice President's former Chief of Staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, had testified to a federal grand jury that as part of an effort to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and defend your Administration's use of prewar intelligence, he had been authorized by the Vice President and other White House superiors to leak classified information to journalists.(1) Moreover, correspondence filed by Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald also reveals that Mr. Libby has asserted that he had been authorized to disclose to the media a still-classified portion of a National Intelligence Estimate about alleged efforts to develop nuclear weapons to the media.(2)

    If this is true, I am concerned that it constitutes an abuse of power at best, and may be outright unlawful at worst. As I understand the applicable declassification regulations, they provide that "[i]nformation shall be declassified as soon as it no longer meets the standard for classification under this order."(3) Under these standards, it would appear that neither classified nuclear information nor Valerie Plame's status as a covert agent or the name of her employer warranted declassification. This is why Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has stated that these leaks were "a serious breach of public trust"(4)

    As a result of these reports, I would like to ask you the following questions:

    1. Is the report in the National Journal accurate? Have you or your staffs authorized Mr. Libby or other personnel within the Administration to declassify and leak information to the media relating to the Iraq war and the use of pre-war intelligence on any occasions? If so, please describe.

    2. What is the legal basis for authorizing such declassifications and disclosures?

    3. On September 30, 2003, the President declared, "[l]isten, I know of nobody - I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information ... If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."(5) Do you still stand by the President's pledge and, if so, what action are you planning to take against any individuals who may have authorized the leaks described in the National Journal article?

    To the extent you believe any of the information needed to respond to the above questions may be classified or sensitive, I am happy to meet with you or your staffs directly on these matters. I may be reached through my Judiciary Committee office at 202-225-6504, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    John Conyers, Jr.

    -------------------------------------

    1 Murray Waas, Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information, National Journal, Feb. 9, 2006 available at http://nationaljournal.c...tories/2006/0209nj1.htm#.

    2 Id.

    3 Executive Order No. 12958, 68 Fed. Reg. 15,315 (Mar. 28, 2003).

    4 Peter Slevin and Carol D. Leonnig, Inquiry as Exacting As Special Counsel Is, Washington Post, Oct. 24, 2005, at A3.

    5 President George W. Bush, President Discusses Job Creation with Business Leaders, Remarks at University of Chicago (Sept. 30, 2003) (transcript available at: http://www.whitehouse.go.../2003/09/20030930-9.html).

    ReddIt this story!



    By David Edwards on 2/10/2006 11:01am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards

    At the end of December 2005, there were 84 detainees on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay. Today, there are 4 detainees on hunger strike. The Pentagon has confirmed that some detainees on hunger strike were force-fed through a feeding tube.

    Now, several detainees are claiming that the force feeding procedure is intentionally cruel and amounts to torture. CNN is reporting that detainees say their arms and legs were strapped down as they were overfed through the feeding tube. Afterwards, detainees were left strapped to the chair where they were forced to urinate on themselves.

    CBS News reports:

    ...officials warned detainees on Jan. 9 that hunger strikers would be strapped tightly to a restraint chair and force-fed with a thicker tube than had been used earlier.

    He also said that detainees would no longer receive throat lozenges to ease the pain of the feeding tubes and that they would have their shoes, blankets and towels taken from them and confined to a room that was deliberately kept colder than normal if they refused food.

    "I'm brave, but I'm not stupid," al-Odah is quoted as saying to explain his decision to quit the hunger strike. "On the chair, I'll be restrained and unable to resist. They are determined to torture me."

    The Pentagon and the White House deny, deny, deny that torture is condoned or being used at Gitmo. (Scottie always takes an uncomfortably long pause right before he lies about vehemently denies something.)

    Here's a video report from CNN that includes comments from a lawyer for 3 of the detainees and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's vehement denial of torture and abuse.


    Video in Streaming Flash format...
    Video in Windows Media format...

    ReddIt this story!



    By David Edwards on 2/10/2006 7:33am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards

    Crooks and Liars first posted a MSNBC Countdown clip last night which exposed Bush's LA terror speech as a load of bullshit.

    MSNBC Security Expert Gerald Posner made some important points that are worth highlighting:

    OLBERMANN: Was this a real plot?

    POSNER: ...it wasn't a plot that all of the sudden, like in [the Fox TV Series] "24", that they stopped on the eve of the execution taking place. It just happened to unravel and the people were eventually arrested.

    ...
    OLBERMANN: ...why did this speech occur? What was accomplished by it?

    POSNER: ...they're really trying to get [support] built up for The Patriot Act. They are trying to pass The Patriot Act. At the same time, I think they are looking at getting this scandal off of them - which is the NSA hearing scandal - something they are having trouble with.

    ...
    OLBERMANN: The White House is also saying that it was able to disclose these plot details today because they no longer had intelligence value. Do you concur with that assessment?

    POSNER: Boy, not at all. As a matter of fact, I'll tell you I've seen this game played by Democratic and Republican administrations. The Bush Administration plays hardball with it all the time and when they decide something doesn't have intelligence value they release it for political purposes as they did today. They want to get The Patriot Act through and they want to make sure they quell all this furor taking place over the NSA Domestic Spying routine.

    So I'll tell you, they say it has no value at all but everything else... they are still holding on to information from World War II. We can't get documents released on the Kennedy assassination yet here's the President disclosing details on what happened on 911 just a few years ago.

    OLBERMANN: We have talked before with deep sadness about the politicizing of counter-terror measures here. You have just put this into a political context. My stomach is queasy as I ask this. In the context of this today and what you have seen, are we far enough removed from that component of the [Orwell] novel "1984" - the part where the government turns a kind of terror faucet on and off to scare the public in to acquiescing to whatever [the government] wants to do?

    POSNER: I'm afraid that we are unfortunately at that point. ...the government is also very effective, the Bush Administration, at using terror as a political weapon an making sure it can turn on the "fear spigot" when it wants to and turn it off at other times.


    Video in Streaming Flash format...

    Crooks and Liars has this video in additional formats.

    ReddIt this story!



    By David Edwards on 2/9/2006 9:37pm PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards

    Here's a short clip from tonight's broadcast:




    Video in Streaming Flash format
    Video in Windows Media format

    ReddIt this story!



    Cheney 'Authorized' CIA Leaks, NSA Wiretapping Worse Than Previously Described & Developments on the Denny Hastert/Sibel Edmonds Bribery Allegations...
    By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2006 5:27pm PT  

    I've been on the road all day and, as well, working on a number of important reports for the coming week. You'll want to keep your eyes on The BRAD BLOG in the the days ahead. We may be unloading fast and furiously on a number of breaking and important news items.

    In the meantime, however, today there have been some very notable developments in several of the plethora of continuing Republican Scandals wending their way through the courts, the media and the hearts and minds of the American people...

    DENNIS HASTERT BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS...


  • More on Hastert and the allegations that he may have been bribed to withdraw a Congressional resolution naming the murder of anywhere from 600,000 to 1.5 million Armenians as a "genocide" by the Turkish government. On Tuesday, in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive, we reported on former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds' reaction to recent curious developments including a surprise denial of parts of the story from Hastert's attorney several months after the original report. Edmond's is reported to have listened in on FBI wiretaps out of Chicago discussing the possible bribes of "Denny Boy" as he's said to have been described on the tapes. Bob Fertik has a few more details and thoughts on the matter.
  • Blogger "Lukery" has now set up a blog devoted to related developments and the call for Hastert to disclose his "un-itemized" $500,000 in contributions between 1996 and 2002. The site is: http://DiscloseDenny.blogspot.com.
  • WARRANTLESS NSA SPYING UPDATE...


  • AmericaBlog has coverage of the Washington Times article critical of Bush's eavesdropping program. (Yes, that Washington Times, and yes, we said "critical"! Which makes this article very notable!) The Washington Times piece reports that the program included American to American calls, not just al Qaeda folks as previously reported; "has failed to make a dent in the war against al Qaeda"; and that apparently al Qaeda members are currently running free in the United States and the Bush admin is unable to found them due to "insufficient intelligence and even poor analysis."
  • WaPo has new details on the two FISA court judges who are reportedly pissed off about the way the Bush Administration had been, and continue to, deal with them. Reportedly, the FISA court went so far as to shut down the NSA spying program for a time after repeatedly finding that the Bush Administration was using information gleaned from warrantless spying to receive warrants for additional spying from FISA. The judges also had questions about the constitutionality of the program.
  • VALERIE PLAME CIA LEAK INVESTIGATION...


  • Murray Waas files another superb report in National Journal on the CIA/Valerie Plame leak investigation. The headline is that former Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby testified to Fitzgerald's Grand Jury that he was "authorized" by Cheney and "other White House superiors" to leak classified intelligence information to the media in order to shore up the Administration's case for going to war with Iraq. The leaks included the disclosure of the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame in an attempt to discredit her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson prior to the war's start, as well as additional classified intel later in order to make the case that the Administration did not manipulate pre-war intelligence. As well, Waas describes evidence of the emerging "Oliver North Defense Strategy" that Libby seems to be employing by demanding classified docs that the White House won't allow to be released, in hopes that it may force the Judge to toss out the case entirely.

    UPDATE from David Edwards: CBS News reports on Cheney's leak "authorization"...

    Video in Streaming Flash format...
    Video in Windows Media format...

  • Jason Liepold at TruthOut also has a a superb detailed report which seems to confirm the above concerning Cheney's authorization to go after Wilson. Liepold quotes sources from State, CIA and the NSC who were aware of and/or present at meetings in Cheney's office concerning Wilson. The sources say that both Cheney and then-Deputy National Security Advisor (now Cheney chief of staff) Stephen Hadley, "led a campaign beginning in March 2003 to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson for publicly criticizing the Bush administration's intelligence on Iraq." The sources, who are said to have testified before Fitzgerald's Grand Jury investigating the leak, said their roles in the matter "included digging up or 'inventing' embarrassing information on the former Ambassador that could be used against him"

    Liepold describes the following exchange with one of his CIA sources:

    "The way I remember it," the CIA official said about that first meeting he attended in Cheney's office, "is that the vice president was obsessed with Wilson. He called him an 'asshole,' a son-of-a-bitch. He took his comments very personally. He wanted us to do everything in our power to destroy his reputation and he wanted to be kept up to date about the progress."
  • Lots ahead. Unfortunately. Hell, we didn't even mention Abramoff or Electoral Fraud once in the above report! Stay tuned...

    ReddIt this story!



    By John Gideon on 2/9/2006 5:02pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    John Fund, writing in the WallStreetJournal, attacks the Maryland legislature for not taking action against voter fraud and for not doing like other states and making it harder for some voters to vote. Fund continues to think that voter fraud is a big problem while there is not evidence to prove this but he ignores election fraud which is a huge problem. An Appeals Court in New Jersey has reinstated a lawsuit filed by a Rutgers University Law Clinic in 2004 that challenges the ability of New Jersey's electronic voting machines to count votes accurately, in compliance with voting rights laws. This may be huge news....

    --- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

    ReddIt this story!



    Total Pages (147):
    « Newest ... « 9 10 11 12 13 [14] 15 16 17 18 19 » ... Oldest »

    Support The BRAD BLOG
    Please visit our advertisers




    Spend your advertising dollars wisely! And support the good guys at the same time! or Advertise with the good guys! We're it!












    Support The BRAD BLOG
    Please visit our advertisers
    Brad Friedman's
    The BRAD BLOG



    Recent Entries

    Archives
    Important Docs
    Categories

    A Few Great Blogs
    Political Cartoonists

    Follow The BRAD BLOG on Twitter! Follow The BRAD BLOG on Facebook!
    Add to Google
    BRAD BLOG RSS 2.0 FEED
    Please Help Support The BRAD BLOG...
    ONE TIME ONLY
    any amount you like...
    $
    MONTHLY SUPPORT
    any amount you like...
    $
    Or by Snail Mail
    Make check out to...
    Brad Friedman
    7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    The BRAD BLOG receives no foundational or corporate support. Your contributions make it possible to continue our work.
    About Brad Friedman...
    Brad is an independent investigative
    journalist, blogger, broadcaster,
    VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
    expert on issues of election integrity,
    and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

    Brad has contributed chapters to these books...


    ...And is featured in these documentary films...

    Our Radio Shows...

    Additional Stuff...
    Brad Friedman/The BRAD BLOG Named...
    Buzz Flash's 'Wings of Justice' Honoree
    Project Censored 2010 Award Recipient
    The 2008 Weblog Awards



    Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics

    Other Brad Related Places...

    Admin
    Brad's Test Area
    (Ignore below! It's a test!)

    Help save the planet by going green with solar. Get a SolarCity solar system with no money down.
    All Content & Design Copyright © Brad Friedman unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved.
    Advertiser Privacy Policy | The BradCast logo courtesy of Rock Island Media.
    Web Hosting, Email Hosting, & Spam Filtering for The BRAD BLOG courtesy of Junk Email Filter.
    BradBlog.com