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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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
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...
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:
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...
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....
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...
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!...
One of Whittington's hunting companions, Vice President Dick Cheney, wasn't as accurate.
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....
This just out minutes ago from Associated Press...
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.
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...
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:
"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."
JAMES AND SARAH BRADY RELEASE COMMENT... And a hilarious one at that...
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!...
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...
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.
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:
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
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....
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...
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.
John Conyers, Jr.
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).
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:
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.
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:
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.
Crooks and Liars has this video in additional formats.
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...
WARRANTLESS NSA SPYING UPDATE...
VALERIE PLAME CIA LEAK INVESTIGATION...
Liepold describes the following exchange with one of his CIA sources:
Lots ahead. Unfortunately. Hell, we didn't even mention Abramoff or Electoral Fraud once in the above report! Stay tuned...
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