U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from E to K]...
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
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U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from E to K]...
U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from L to R]...
U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from S to Z]...
Let the history books show that the Democrats, and the tiny number of Republicans, who voted NO on giving authority to George W. Bush to wage war in Iraq (and virtually everywhere else) anytime he wished, in October of 2002, were right on every score.
Those who spoke out, and were publicly tarred and feathered, labeled as unpatriotic, left-wing fringe, out of step with the country, and generally loons for having done so --- folks like Feingold, Kennedy, Durbin, Waters, Lee, Kaptur, Kucinich, Wellstone, Woolsey, Waters, Conyers, Hinchey, and perhaps, most prophetically, according to Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue's the new documentary film, Body of War, Robert Byrd of West Virginia --- are all owed a great debt of thanks by every American, particularly those who had maligned them for having the temerity to be right back then.
Last night I went to see Body of War, which opens this weekend in Los Angeles, and was struck by the simple message that an entire swath of courageous Congressional members, who had stood up, to little notice, to say the right thing, were almost entirely - to a man and a woman - branded as moonbats and traitors back in the dark days of 2002. To this day, they have never received the appropriate recognition for having resisted the systematically orchestrated lies and fear tactics of the pro-Bush crowd (which includes both Ds and Rs), nor have they received the appropriate thanks and apologies from those who were absolutely, undebatably, undeniably, 100% wrong in their horrific assessment of what will go down as perhaps the greatest policy mistake in American history.
To that same end, I would suggest that history will eventually regard the much-maligned Gold Star mother, Cindy Sheehan, as belonging side-by-side with courageous Americans before her like civil rights hero Rosa Parks. I predict that Sheehan will, one day, receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. I only hope she'll be alive to receive that honor, from that body, in person, when that day comes. And it will.
Donahue was on hand last night for a Q&A following the film, which I attended along with PDA's national chair, actress Mimi Kennedy. As I, personally, played a small part (and am seen briefly in the film) in originally helping to tell the story of disabled Iraqi vet Tomas Young, whose remarkable story is told in stark parallel to the fateful --- and often shameful --- words heard during the "so-called" Congressional debate on the resolution to allow the use of force in Iraq back in 2002, just three weeks prior to that year's election, I was delighted to be able to thank Donahue personally, for placing the entire story, finally, in correct, often maddening, often gut-wrenching, historical context.
(See bottom of this article for my audio interview with Young in August of 2005, his first for a national audience, from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, TX.)
Body of War should be seen by every American, left, right, center, and other. It should be mandatory viewing for every current and future Congressional representative. It should be shown over and over again, in an endless, Clockwork Orange-like loop, in the jail cells of those who will likely never be convicted for the unspeakable crimes they have knowingly and callously committed, at the expense of thousands of courageous dead American troops, and more than 100 thousand dead world citizens, who have all fallen victim to the cowardly and shameful actions of those entrusted to know better...
As Pope Benedict XVI was met with a resplendent ceremony on the White House lawn this morning, George W. Bush noted the visit would remind Americans to "distinguish between simple right and wrong."
"We need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism," Bush said.
Is it just us? Or, given the news of late, concerning meetings in the White House to discuss what kind of torture America would officially carry out, isn't there something perversely discordant in Bush's remarks?
The Pope, who is celebrating his 81st birthday today, gave a few of his own remarks in turn (to which Bush replied "awesome speech") before being serenaded with a rousing rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", as performed by a U.S. military choir.
Is it just us? Or is there something perversely discordant in that, too?
UPDATE: As is to help shore up our point, Rush Limbaugh positively gushed (full transcript here) for most of the first hour of his show today about the performance of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the WH ceremony today...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Is this your America?
The long saught DoJ "Torture Memo" written by John Yoo, offering a defense to George W. Bush and his sadistic friends to order the torture, and even killing, of detainees, has finally been made available. Not by the DoJ to Congress as they'd long sought, but to the ACLU via a FOIA request. (Thank you, ACLU!)
Yoo's document is some 80 pages long, offering what he feels --- or what the Administration wanted him to feel --- is a reasonable legal defense for the use of torture, even where it is explicitly disallowed by international treaties to which the U.S. has signed on.
In short, that 7-page section amounts to:
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Progressive Democrats of America hosted Islamic scholar Reza Aslan, author of "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam" in Los Angeles on Sunday night at an event moderated by Bree Walker. Video of the entire conversation can be found below broken down into individual Q&A to make each part easily accessible:
The dirty little secret about the "Bush Doctrine" and how the last eight years have "opened up a Pandora's box" (6:53)
American misperceptions about the Muslim community (3:21)
From one side of the globe to the other, as expected, the explosive whistleblower allegations concerning highly-placed, well-known U.S. officials in the Departments of State and Defense involved in an illicit, for-profit scheme to develop and protect a network of spies, who then stole and sold American nuclear secrets to the international black markets via Turkey, Israel and Pakistan, is now worldwide news!
That, even though the Times only covered "about 20%" of the story she has to tell, according to Edmonds, with whom we spoke late last night.
Sunday's British blockbuster, detailing how nuclear secrets were then proliferated to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and potentially even al-Qaeda, was picked up on Monday and reported by international mainstream outlets such as The Times of India, Pakistan's Daily Times, Iran's PressTV, Israel's Haaretz and even the Turkish Daily News.
Here in the United States, the mainstream media coverage included:
That's right. Nobody. None of them. Zilch. Not a one.
Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG last night that her phone had been ringing of the hook since the Times story hit. From reporters around the globe, she said. As to America: "Not a single mainstream media channel, not even a newspaper."
Apparently American nuclear secrets, stolen by "moles" at America's most sensitive nuclear installations, sold on the black market with the help and protection of highly placed American officials, which then found their way into the hands of America's enemies, is not notable news to Americans. According to the American corporate mainstream media, anyway. We suppose they're all too busy fighting the War on Terror in New Hampshire or something.
And you wonder how our country got into this mess?
Edmonds was no longer amazed by it all. We still are.
(Hat-tip to Mizgîn, a Kurdish blogger at Rastî, for her collection of foreign press articles covering the Sunday Times story. Note: Mizgîn also has some harsh words for the coverage of our friend Larisa Alexandrovna of RAW STORY at that same link. We are friends with Alexandrovna, and are thus likely compromised on this point. So we'll stay out of it for now and let each of them deal with the particulars as they see fit.)
UPDATE 6:22pm PT Credit where it's due. Independent American broadcast media outlet, INN World Report, seen on some satellite TV providers, covered the report in detail, including an interview with yours truly...
Washington, D.C. -- U.S. District Court Judge Henry H. Kennedy held a hearing this morning on a motion filed by attorneys representing detainees being held in Guantanamo. Following reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post that CIA videotapes of ‘harsh interrogations’ of detainees had been destroyed, apparently by the CIA, possibly under administration approval, attorneys David Remes and Marc Falkoff filed an Emergency Motion [PDF] for inquiry into the preservation of documents relating to prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Before Judge Kennedy and a courtroom packed with journalists,
• Lawyers for the detainees are asking the court to schedule a hearing for inquiry into whether the government is preserving evidence relating to detainees. Attorney David Remes expressed concern that the destruction of the two videotapes, as reported, may not be the full extent of the evidence destroyed...
-- By Brad Friedman
Attention CBS 60 Minutes: we've got a huge scoop for you. If you want it.
Remember the exclusive story you aired on Sibel Edmonds, originally on October 27th, 2002, when she was not allowed to tell you everything that she heard while serving as an FBI translator after 9/11 because she was gagged by the rarely-invoked "States Secret Privilege"? Well, she's still gagged. In fact, as the ACLU first described her, she's "the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America."
But if you'll sit down and talk with her for an unedited interview, she has now told The BRAD BLOG during an exclusive interview, she will now tell you everything she knows.
Everything she hasn't been allowed to tell since 2002, about the criminal penetration of the FBI where she worked, and at the Departments of State and Defense; everything she heard concerning the corruption and illegal activities of several well-known members of Congress; everything she's aware of concerning information omitted and/or covered up in relation to 9/11. All of the information gleaned from her time listening to and translating wire-taps made prior to 9/11 at the FBI.
Here's a handy bullet-point list, as we ran it in March of 2006, for reference, of what she's now willing to tell you about.
"People say, 'why doesn't she just come forward and spill the beans?' I have gone all the way to the Supreme Court and was shut down, I went to Congress and now consider that shut down," she told The BRAD BLOG last week when we spoke with her for comments in relation to our story on former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's original attempt to move a resolution through the U.S. House in 2000 declaring the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians in Turkey as "genocide."
"Here's my promise to the American Public: If anyone of the major networks --- ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX --- promise to air the entire segment, without editing, I promise to tell them everything that I know," about everything mentioned above, she told us.
"I can tell the American public exactly what it is, and what it is that they are covering up," she continued. "I'm not compromising ongoing investigations," Edmonds explained, because "they've all been shut down since."
Yes, she was covert until being outed by the White House.
Yes, she was monitoring nuclear weapons and other WMD going into and coming out of Iraq and Iran, as RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna correctly and originally and exclusively reported in February of 2006.
Yes, her outing led to a still-classified CIA damage assessment and "serious" consequences" to other members of her CIA intelligence network.
No, despite Bush's promise, no one has ever been held accountable for leaking her identity in the first such outing of a covert CIA operative by agents of the U.S. Government itself.
No, Bush "is not a man of his word," as Valerie Plame Wilson told 60 Minutes tonight in her first broadcast network interview. Here's the video in two parts...
Some of what Plame is still not allowed to say, including details about "being taken hostage and subjected to torture for two days," is covered by her former CIA colleague, Larry Johnson, right here...
And in another posting today, Johnson gives us some details from Plame's new book, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, in which it's disclosed that "In 2004 the FBI received intelligence that Al Qaeda hit teams were en route to the United States to kill Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Valerie Plame."
So what did the White House do about it? Johnson tells us...
Valerie contacted the office of Security at CIA and requested assistance. They told her too fucking bad and to go pound sand. They did not use those exact words, but they told her she was on her own.
While folks may have heard about the New York Times report last week concerning the secret DoJ memos created to give legal cover to the Administration to continue their policies of torturing prisoners of war, we suspect that most have not read the full, detailed 5-page investigative report.
But it's an important one, and it details the lengths to which the Bush team went to keep their pro-torture policies in place, even in the face of a DoJ rebellion, Congressional legislation, and even Supreme Court decisions. It was alarming to learn --- though we should hardly be alarmed at such things by now --- that when Bush signed the Detainee Treatment Act in December 2005, meant to ban the "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of prisoners in American custody anywhere in the world, he already knew, even if Congress didn't, that his Dept. of Justice had previously created secret legal documents declaring their ongoing torturous interrogation techniques as not "cruel, inhuman or degrading."
In other words, he knew he'd be able to continue with torture as usual, since new AG Alberto Gonzales oversaw the crushing of an internal DoJ rebellion finding the practices to be both illegal and in violation of the Geneva Convention.
Also alarming (but also, shouldn't be by now), is the lackluster way in which Congress has reacted to this stunning news which --- like so many other things --- might have led to immediate Impeachment talk for almost any other administration.
For those with short-attention spans, however (like the aforementioned Congress members!), the NYTimes story included an excellent sidebar graphic summarizing the timeline and main beats in the "Interrogation Wars" from DoJ to the White House to Congress to the Supreme Court.
Since the graphic is too wide to easily run on most blogs, we've recreated the short, easy to read timeline in text format below. We'd strongly suggest, if nothing else, you familiarize yourself with it so you understand, in simple terms, the con game that has been played out here by this Administration.
As a bonus, below that, is a video from last Thursday Daily Show with John Stewart in which he interviews Jack Goldsmith, once the head of the DoJ's Office of Legal Counsel, and the man who fought back, along with Dep. AG James Comey, against the policies. Though successful in their efforts, for a time, and to an extent, both men were eventually pushed out of the DoJ, as Gonzales was dispatched to quell the rebellion as AG.
One very short and very amusing anecdote, if we may, before both of those, buried on page 5 of the Times report....
The Washington Post reports that the United States and the European Union signed an agreement this week detailing the amount of private information the U.S. can obtain on EU citizens traveling to and from the United States, what kinds of information can be gathered, and for how long the data may be stored.
Privacy advocates in the U.S. and the E.U. immediately questioned the agreement's sweeping expansion of data mining of travelers’ private information, including such data fields as medical history, religious affiliation, trade union membership, sexual orientation, and sexual partners.
According to WaPo:
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff praised the pact as an "essential screening tool for detecting potentially dangerous transatlantic travelers." If available at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Chertoff said, such information would have, "within a matter of moments, helped to identify many of the 19 hijackers by linking their methods of payment, phone numbers and seat assignments."
Paul Rosenzweig, Homeland Security’s deputy assistant secretary for policy, explained that the broad categories of information gathered are due to U.S. authorities' fears of risks they haven't yet imagined. Rosenzweig justified the unusual data fields if, for example, U.S. officials learned of an alert about passengers who request wheelchairs hiding bombs in leg casts.
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