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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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...


'Uncertainty, it turns out, was a reason to act even faster,' says the Nobel Prize winning climate scientist...
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2015 5:06pm PT  

Today, for a change, we're happy to offer you a (virtually) Trump-free BradCast! You're welcome!

First, a quick update on a conversation we had last week with FBI Special Agent turned 9/11 whistleblower turned TIME Magazine's 2002 "Person of the Year", Coleen Rowley. We had her on to speak about the difference between terrorism and hate crimes, as defined by the federal government, and as randomly applied after the (apparently non-terroristic) race-based hate crime shootings in Charleston, SC versus the shootings at U.S. Marine facilities in Chattanooga, TN last week. The latter which is being investigated as "terrorism". (My full conversation with Rowley from last week is here.)

During the discussion, Rowley noted how the difference between "terrorism" and "hate crimes" seems to be "clear as mud" to FBI and federal prosecutors, with "terrorism" charges now "uniquely set for Muslims or for Arab nations". But she also mentioned how terror charges are also applied to animal rights activists, specifically mentioning "mink farms". While we didn't have time to discuss that aspect last week, the very next day, news broke about the arrest of animal righs activists who'd released thousands of mink across the country. The crimes they are charged with, according to AP, "terrorizing the fur industry...under a conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act."

Next, we're joined by Dr. Michael E. Mann, climate scientist, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, creator of the infamous "Hockey Stick" graph, and author of more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, as well as the book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines to discuss last week's "bombshell" new study from NASA's former chief scientist Dr. James Hansen, warning that sea level rise of 10 feet or more is likely to happen much sooner than scientists previously expected. It could happen even as early as 2050.

Mann tells me Hansen's disturbing study suggests that "climate change is proceeding faster, and it's larger in magnitude than what the IPCC [UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] reported. And that's been true at every juncture. We have tended to underestimate the rate and magnitude of the changes...What Hansen has shown is that indeed there is reason to at least suspect the possibility of a worst case scenario that is a lot worse than anything the IPCC talks about."

We also discuss the politics of this entire fine mess and the irony of 2016 GOP Presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, both of Florida, denying the realities of the science --- each in their own way --- as their own state will be among the first to begin to disappear. That, of course, is only if Hansen is right --- as he has been in pretty much every case since he first rang the alarm about global warming in the U.S. Senate back in 1988.

"If we had acted when we already knew that there was a potential problem [back in 1988]," says Mann. "If we had acted then, then the emissions curve would be a bunny slope...a pretty gradual, smooth transition. It wouldn't be very hard to do, it wouldn't be very expensive. Instead, what several decades of delay have bought us is that we now face the black double diamond slope. That's what we're confronting now."

Listen to the entire conversation, please. It's really important and Mann --- who actually is a scientist (hint, hint, GOP candidates!) --- knows what he's talking about.

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Dr. Yosef Brody of Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Plus: Progressive protesters disrupt Bernie Sanders; Donald Trump disrupts himself...
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2015 6:05pm PT  

While the "news" networks covered Donald Trump and his comments about John McCain all weekend, we cover a bit of what they did not on today's BradCast.

First, the climate crisis comes home, as two different climate change-related disasters on California and Arizona freeways over the weekend (one drought related, one flood related) were averted --- just barely.

Then, we're joined by Dr. Yosef Brody, president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility to discuss the disturbing new independent 542-page report [PDF] commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA), confirming that top officials at the APA colluded with the Bush Administration to approve CIA and Dept. of Defense torture techniques after 9/11. The APA then spent the next decade covering it up and smearing the whistleblowers at Brody's organization.

The findings of the new report, and the scandal in its wake, has touched off a shakeup at the top echelons of the organization. The report by a former federal prosecutor reveals "a complete and utter failure of psychological ethics," Brody tells me. "What it's saying is that what we critics have suspected for about a decade now --- that senior [APA] staff have been currying favor with the Pentagon and the CIA, effectively facilitating torture. And to top it off, they've engaged in this very sophisticated, decade-long coverup."

It was all done, he explains, to protect the Bush Administration from legal liability for war crimes, allowing them to describe their "enhanced interrogation techniques," with the blessing of the APA, as "safe, legal, ethical and effective", when they were anything but.

"This is really about a culture of corruption at the top of the largest organization of psychologists in the world," says Brody, about the APA's complicity. "We're talking about war crimes here, ultimately. And we're talking about a health professional association!"

Then, some politics: First, #BlackLivesMatter protesters disrupt Democratic Presidential candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders at the progressive Netroots Nation conference over the weekend. And then, can Al Franken be blamed for Donald Trump's controversial comments about the war record of John McCain? Maybe. I explain all of that on today's BradCast!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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GUEST: VICE News investigative journalist Jason Leopold; Plus: MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 6/11/2015 4:45pm PT  

Lots of breaking news today on The BradCast, including the Cleveland, Ohio court which has now found probable cause to recommend murder charges in the police killing of 12-year old African American Tamir Rice; and, yet another huge security breach at a federal website. (But don't worry, Internet Voting is still totally safe, right?); Rep. Alan Grayson and other progressives say it's time to "burn up the phones" to stop TPP "Fast Track" authority in the U.S. House; And the climate science denying, "free speech loving" loons at Heartland Institute toss out an environmental journalist from their 10th annual pretend "Climate Change Conference".

Then, speaking of freedom of the press, we talk with Vice News' investigative reporter Jason Leopold on new information he's obtained on the U.S. drone killing of U.S. citizen Samir Kahn, as well as his own testimony (full video here, written testimony here [PDF]) before the U.S. House Oversight Committee last week in regard to the Obama Administration's "slow-walking" of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. He tells both them and me about the "thousands" of requests he's filed as a journalist and has had to sue to try and see fulfilled; the irony involved in his entertaining testimony before Republican legislators; and just some of the crazy news he made in the bargain.

Plus: don't miss the saddest story you'll ever hear about poor Rick Santorum's run for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. All on today's BradCast!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Heidi Hess of CredoAction...
By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2015 5:08pm PT  

The USA Freedom Act passes as a long overdue replacement to the Patriot Act. Mitch McConnell weeps and Rand Paul raises money. That's good. But is it a good bill and will it end mass government surveillance by the NSA?

Then, we've finally learned if disgraced U.S. District Judge Mark 'Wife-Beater' Fuller, set to 'resign in shame', will receive a federal retirement pension. Heidi Hess of CREDOAction.com joins us to discuss that, her organization's complaint against Fuller at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the five vacancies now on Alabama's federal court (which Republicans are trying to keep vacant for as long as possible.)

Plus some good voting news in Vermont and maybe in Wisconsin; the bizarre disposition of the Dennis Hastert indictments; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with the climate change positions of four new candidates in the 2016 race...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Plus: A spate of new voting laws, good and bad, around the country...
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2015 4:53pm PT  

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-4) returned to The BradCast today to take a bit of a victory lap after President Obama's Executive Order this week restricting the flow of heavy armaments from the Dept. of Defense to state and local police via the Pentagon's 1033 program.

Johnson spoke with us most recently last summer, after Ferguson blew up, and as he was preparing to file his "Stop Militarization Law Enforcement Act of 2015" [PDF]. Long before that, he had been working to roll back the obscene militarization of our local police. So he was justifiably happy about this week's development, even while explaining that its still important to pass his legislation because Executive Orders are easily undone by Congress and Republicans are, somewhat schizophrenically, in the process of actually trying to expand the 1033 program.

Then we cover a spate of new voting laws working their way through statehouses around the country from TX to OH to NH to FL to VT to MD. While most off the new laws in Republican states are predictably restrictive and in Democratic states more expansive, there is one pleasantly surprising exception to that rule this week.

Also, millions of spiders falling from the skies in Australia! And Desi Doyen joins for the latest Green News Report, which actually includes a some encouraging good for a change!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guests: TX blogger Perry 'PDiddie' Dorrell; Attorney Ernest A. Canning...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2015 4:22pm PT  

It was a very busy BradCast today!

We started with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling finding that the NSA's mass surveillance of US citizens under the Patriot Act is, in fact, illegal; Then, more arrests of top elected officials in NY state (Who's next?);

Next, I was joined by BRAD BLOG's Texas blogger and 'toon curator Perry "PDiddie" Dorrell of Brains & Eggs to discuss the "Ace in the Hole (and on the Bench)" in the ongoing criminal felony trial of former TX Governor and presumptive 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry. (And for an update on whether he's properly prepared for the imminent "Jade Helm 15" U.S. government takeover of Texas!)

Then BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning on "the democracy deficit" and how it applies to Bernie Sanders and his run for the 2016 Dem nomination.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for a very busy Green News Report on Oklahoma tornado outbreak, 'oil bomb' trains, the progressive take over of Alberta, Canada's government, and Elon Musk's huge new announcement...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2015 6:59pm PT  

"War is peace. And more war is 'mellowing out'," according to the U.S. corporate mainstream media. War is now the default. Peace is "extremist" and we can't have it breaking out in Iran.

I explain in this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio.

Plus, we take tons of listener calls, details some more GOP lies about 'Obamacare' and much more. And, of course, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By David Swanson on 2/21/2015 12:44pm PT  

[Remarks prepared for event with comedian Lee Camp, Charlottesville, Va., February 21, 2015, event postponed by snow storm. When it's rescheduled I'll say something completely unrelated. - DS]

This is the serious part of tonight's event, except that Lee often deals with very serious topics. So what I mean is: this is the unfunny part of tonight's event, except that I'm going to talk about the United States government. One of my favorite things that Mark Twain didn't really say but definitely should have said was "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." He left out the possibility of imbeciles who are putting us on.

On Thursday, Comcast Internet was not working at my house, just as Comcast's hired Congress members were introducing a bill to create a closed Internet with fast lanes for the corporate crap we didn't need the Internet for. And a good Internet media outlet called TheRealNews.com wanted to do a video interview with me, which I didn't want to do in Java Java because I try not to be quite that rude. So I sat out on the Downtown Mall and did the interview. It was about 12 degrees out, and I think you can see me shaking. And what did they want to talk about? War? Peace? The climate?

They wanted to talk about Jeb Bush. Clearly he is an imbecile who is putting us on. He'd been talking on foreign policy, and of course he agreed with Obama on most everything but claimed not to. On NSA spying, for example, he disagreed basically with the fact that there has been public criticism of Obama's abuses. How he would eliminate criticism he didn't say. He didn't bring up Ukraine or Afghanistan or drone wars, because what would he disagree with? He did bring up the Korean War in order to claim it was a success and not the stupid pointless draw that everyone called it for decades, but of course the innovator in popularizing that ridiculous claim was ... President Obama...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2015 11:59am PT  

Via the The News & Observer...

CHAPEL HILL --- The father of two of three students shot to death in Chapel Hill on Tuesday says the shooting was a "hate crime" based on the Muslim identity of the victims.

Chapel Hill police said Wednesday morning that a dispute about parking in the neighborhood of rented condominiums near Meadowmont may have led Craig Stephen Hicks to shoot his neighbors, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and Abu-Salha's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.

But the women's father, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, who has a psychiatry practice in Clayton, said regardless of the precise trigger Tuesday night, Hicks' underlying animosity toward Barakat and Abu-Salha was based on their religion and culture. Abu-Salha said police told him Hicks shot the three inside their apartment.

"It was execution style, a bullet in every head," Abu-Salha said Wednesday morning. "This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far."

Abu-Salha said his daughter who lived next door to Hicks wore a Muslim head scarf and told her family a week ago that she had "a hateful neighbor."

"Honest to God, she said, 'He hates us for what we are and how we look,'" he said.
...
Police charged Hicks with three counts of first-degree murder.

"Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking," said police spokesman Lt. Joshua Mecimore. "Hicks is cooperating with investigators."

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By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2015 4:29pm PT  

When will those butchers of ISIS and al-Qaeda learn how to treat others with peace, respect and dignity so that they can be welcomed into the world of civilized nations like our long time ally Saudi Arabia?...

Gruesome footage circulating on social media shows Saudi authorities publicly beheading a woman in the holy city of Mecca earlier this week. The execution is the tenth to be carried out in country in the last two weeks; setting 2015 up to be even more bloody than last year, when 87 people were punitively killed by the state.

Rare video of Monday's killing shows the woman, a Burmese resident named as Lalia Bint Abdul Muttablib Basim, screaming while being dragged along the street. Four police officers then hold the woman down before a sword-wielding man slices her head off, using three blows to complete the act.

In the chilling recording, Bashim, who was found guilty in a Saudi Sharia court of sexually abusing and murdering her seven-year-old step-daughter, is heard protesting her innocence until the very end. "I did not kill. I did not kill," she screams repeatedly.

[Ed Note: The original story at Vice links to a YouTube video of the beheading. We chose not to include that link in the above quoted text.]

The United States' long time friend Saudi Arabia, the world's second biggest oil producer (after Russia), and purchaser of the largest U.S. arms sale in American history (in 2010), has also made headlines of late for, as Vice's Harriet Salem describes it in the same article, "the public flogging of Raif Badawi, a blogger and political activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a total of 1,000 lashings for a range of offenses, including insulting religious authorities."

Last year, Saudi Arabia introduced a series of new laws following uprisings in other Arab nations. They claimed the laws were in response to the threat of terrorism. The royal decree is said to have defined terrorism, reportedly, as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based". The favored nation, according to the UK's Independent, also identified "a broad list of groups which the government considers to be terrorist organisations --- including the Muslim Brotherhood."

A spokesman for Human Rights Watch at the time explained that "Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism."

But, of course, they're our friends. So, beheadings? Oppression in the name of religion? It's all good.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2015 6:46pm PT  

This week we picked up on the KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast where my "Why?" post (and excellent subsequent comments here at The BRAD BLOG), following the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, left off last week.

In short, my question is: Just because we can publish material offensive to millions, should we? Callers ring in with their thoughts --- lots of them --- during this interesting hour. Plus, Desi Doyen joins us, as usual, for the latest Green News Report, and to beat up the state of Texas a bit (because they deserve it)...

Download MP3 here or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2015 12:06pm PT  

Idiot former "family values" Congressman and deadbeat dad Joe Walsh (R-IL) helps world understand why he was run out of Congress...

Because nothing says "courage" like calling for people to be beheaded! Am I right, Congressman?

Apparently, Freedom of the Press applies to the publication of offensive cartoons, but not to the decision to not publish them, according to the idiot Walsh. If you choose to not publish such things, you should be beheaded.

It's that sort of question I asked about in my "Why?" piece following the Charlie Hebdo massacre last week, and that Glenn Greenwald speaks to even more specifically in his own must read piece on the issue.

I'll also be talking a bit more about all of this (and taking calls on it) on The BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio later today. (6-7p ET/3-4p PT, streaming live right here. If you'd like to call in, please do: 818-985-5735.)

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By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2015 3:00pm PT  

Certain to not get nearly the amount of attention as those hoping to attack the Islamic religion based on the behavior of its extremists, this story from AP, in the wake of last week's tragedies in Paris...

In the days after the bloody end of twin French hostage crises Friday, stories of life-saving courage are beginning to filter out. One of the most striking is the story of Lassana Bathily, a young [Muslim] immigrant from Mali who literally provided police with the key to ending the hostage crisis at the supermarket.

Bathily was in the store's underground stockroom when gunman Amedy Coulibaly burst in upstairs, according to accounts given to French media and to a friend of Bathily's who spoke to The Associated Press. Bathily turned off the stockroom's freezer and hid a group of frightened shoppers inside before sneaking out through a fire escape to speak to police. Initially confused for the attacker, he was forced to the ground and handcuffed.

Once police realized their mistake, he provided them with the key they needed to open the supermarket's metal blinds and mount their assault.

"The guy was so courageous," said Mohammed Amine, a 33-year-old friend and former coworker of Bathily's who spoke to him about the assault on Saturday.

Washington Post's account of the story explains that, after he slipped out, "Bathily spent the next 90 minutes in cuffs before he managed to convince authorities he was who he said he was. He told the cops he wasn't alone. There were more than a dozen other hostages locked inside the store's freezer."

Apparently Bathily's quick thinking and acts of courage at the kosher supermarket where he worked saved the lives of at least seven Jews at the store, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu who cited him over the weekend.

One who didn't make it, who was killed when Coulibaly entered the market, was 22-year old Yohan Cohen, who Bathily's friend Amine described to AP as "someone amazing, friendly, who likes (and) who respects people."

"I'm Muslim and he's Jewish," said Amine, an immigrant from Morocco. "But there's such respect between us. We're like brothers. They took my best friend."

Seems like that's all worth mentioning here.

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The BRAD BLOG's Ernie Canning on his father's torture during WWII and on accountability for the same war crimes by the U.S. today...
By Brad Friedman on 1/7/2015 9:33pm PT  

We were back live today for the first BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio since the holidays.

First up, a few incomplete words on the breaking news of today's horrific terror attacks at the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.

Then, BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernest A. Canning joined us to discuss his own father's detention and torture (including water-boarding) under the Japanese Kempetai at the notorious Shanghai Bridge House during WWII. After the war, his father, James Robert Canning, testified against his captors [PDF] at the Hong Kong War Crimes Trials, where some members of the Japanese Imperial Army received life sentences --- and, some, the death penalty --- for many of the same crimes against humanity carried out by the U.S. in the wake of the 9/11 attacks [PDF], as Ernie wrote about here recently.

Then, we cover what we hope might be the last report of the 2014 election, the (good news on several accounts) solution to the great Maine Ballot Mystery!

Finally, as ever, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report to quickly cover all that happened in the green news world while we were off for holiday break at the end of the warmest year for the planet in recorded history...

Download MP3 here or listen online below...

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Standards applied by the Allies after WWII to those who tortured my father help to explain why a special prosecutor should investigate Bush Administration officials for war crimes today...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/30/2014 6:35am PT  

If there is a downside to the recently released executive summary of the U.S. Senate Torture Report [PDF], it can be found in the extraordinary lengths to which it goes to demonstrate a long-established fact: Torture is ineffective as a means for extracting actionable intelligence.

Emboldened by that focus, U.C. Berkeley Law Prof. John Yoo authored a response to the Senate Torture Report by way of a recent, Los Angeles Times op-ed. In 2002, while serving as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Yoo authored a memo that green-lighted CIA torture following the 9/11 attacks. The memo, according to UC-Irvine's renowned constitutional law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, should now serve as the basis for the prosecution of Yoo for war crimes. Shielded by the Obama/Holder Dept. of Justice's refusal to prosecute, Yoo shamelessly argued in his Los Angeles Times editorial that the newly released Senate Torture Report had shifted [emphasis added] "the debate beyond legality to effectiveness."

The issue of torture's "effectiveness" is not and never has been an appropriate subject for "debate." Robert Colville, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights makes that clear in referencing the U.N. Convention against Torture, an international human rights treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory. "Torture is prohibited absolutely, in all circumstances, at any time," he explains in regard to the treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan. "It cannot be practiced in war, in peace, during emergencies, during internal instability, any circumstances whatsoever."

Those legal proscriptions apply not only to those who carry out torture but also, under the principle of "command responsibility," to high level officials who facilitate or fail to prevent torture by their subordinates.

As I revealed in my five-part series on the History of CIA Torture: Unraveling the Web of Deceit back in 2009, for me, torture is exceedingly personal. In late 1942 my father, James R. Canning, was waterboarded at Shanghai's Bridge House, an infamous torture chamber --- something that entailed a frightening, traumatic and "exquisitely painful," six-hour ordeal. He eventually signed a "false confession" stating that he was a British agent, even though he knew it wasn't true and even though he believed at that moment he was signing his own death warrant.

This Partial Trial Transcript [PDF] includes my father's testimony at the 1948 Hong Kong War Crimes Trials. It exposes the hypocrisy in the Obama/Holder DoJ's failure to apply the same ("command responsibility") legal standard to Yoo, former Vice President Dick Cheney --- who now proudly declares "I'd do it again in a minute!" --- and other high-level, Bush administration officials.

In 1948, that "command responsibility" standard was used to convict Lt. General Eiichi Kinoshida, who received a life sentence even though there was no evidence he personally participated in torture.

If we are indeed, as proclaimed by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) in her Forward to the Senate Torture Report, a "nation of laws," President Obama will heed the calls now being made by the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and even by The New York Times to appoint a special prosecutor who would investigate the crimes the CIA allegedly committed at the behest of Cheney et al --- crimes that appear as heinous and more so than those that were inflicted upon my father and his fellow civilian inmates during World War II...

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

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