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By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2010 10:15am PT  

Ditto:

If We Cared About The Women And Children Of The World

It would be far better to spend $100 billion per year granting them political asylum and paying for their transport and relocation to the US than invading their countries and caressing them with our freedom bombs.

Or you could come up thousands of other ways to spend $100 billion all of which would be almost infinitely better than invading their countries and caressing them with our freedom bombs if we cared about the women and children of the world.

So when an asshole like [Time magazine's managing editor] Rick Stengel suggests we must stay in Afghanistan otherwise more girls will be mutilated even though we're currently in Afghanistan and poor girls are still being tragically mutilated, I don't think that's the real reason he thinks we should be there.

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Our military and political leaders are still deceiving us after all these years...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/26/2010 6:16pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Somehow this madness must cease."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" April 4, 1967.

In Beyond Afghanistan, I utilized Dr King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech to deconstruct the empty words used by our Harvard-educated President during a December 1, 2009, address in which he sought to justify an escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

I noted then that President Barack Obama deliberately conflated the Taliban with al Qaeda just as "President" George W. Bush conflated Saddam with al Qaeda to exploit the fear and anger engendered by 9/11. Robert Scheer revealed, in War of Absurdity that there were, at that time, less than 100 members of al Qaeda still inside Afghanistan, who, per General James Jones, did not retain the "ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies." I added:

To defeat the ignoble 100, the U.S. is rapidly building toward an in-country presence of 100,000 American troops at a cost of $100 billion per year. NATO will also add 7,000 more troops, bringing a combined total to 140,000 foreign occupiers to that impoverished nation. To this, add some 104,000 "private contractors" aka armed mercenaries, who are paid more than three times the amount received by American troops.

Earlier, I posted a five part series on the more than 50-year history of CIA torture. In Part III, citing Victor Marchetti's heavily redacted The CIA & The Cult of Intelligence, I reported on how the CIA's William Colby constructed interrogation centers whose [emphasis added] “operations…consisted of torture tactics against suspected Vietcong…usually carried out by Vietnamese nationals”; that this morphed into the infamous Phoenix torture, then kill and dump program, in which an estimated 46,000 Vietnamese lost their lives; that General Petreus suggested that the Phoenix Program be reinstated on a “global scale.”

A powerful, must-see Democracy Now segment, The New Pentagon Papers: WikiLeaks Releases 90,000+ Secret Military Documents Painting Devastating Picture of Afghanistan War (video below) potently establishes that nothing has really changed.

Our current crop of military and political leaders inside the Bush and Obama administrations have erected an elaborate deception as they carry out wars of imperial conquest and war crimes, including targeted killings of suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, just as our past military and political leaders in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations erected an elaborate deception to justify the quagmire in Southeast Asia a generation ago...

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

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Says 'evidence overwhelming' they 'participated in criminal conspiracies to violate federal law and guaranteed civil liberties of hundreds, maybe thousands of human beings'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2010 4:17pm PT  

Wow. Seriously. Just...really...Wow.

Fox "News" analyst and former NJ Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano was featured on a segment of C-Span's BookTV over the weekend, to discuss his book, Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History.

While being interviewed by Ralph Nader, Napolitano says what Bush and Cheney did while in office was "blatantly unconstitutional, and in some cases criminal."

When asked by Nader what the consequences should be, the judge says, in no uncertain terms: "They should have been indicted! They absolutely should have been indicted! For torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrant."

Wow. Guess his contract on Fox must be up. If it wasn't, we suspect it is now. The text transcript and video --- with Napolitano explaining that the "evidence...is overwhelming" that Bush and Cheney "participated in criminal conspiracies to violate the federal law and the guaranteed civil liberties of hundreds, maybe thousands of human beings --- follows below. Take a look...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2010 11:21am PT  

Eavesdrop on the phone calls of a U.S. citizen without court order? No.

Target a U.S. citizen for assassination without court order or trial? No problem!...

The Obama administration’s decision to authorize the killing by the Central Intelligence Agency of a terrorism suspect who is an American citizen has set off a debate over the legal and political limits of drone missile strikes, a mainstay of the campaign against terrorism.
...
To eavesdrop on the terrorism suspect who was added to the target list, the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is hiding in Yemen, intelligence agencies would have to get a court warrant. But designating him for death, as C.I.A. officials did early this year with the approval of the National Security Council, required no judicial review.

“Congress has protected Awlaki’s cellphone calls,” said Vicki Divoll, a former C.I.A. lawyer who now teaches at the United States Naval Academy. “But it has not provided any protections for his life. That makes no sense.”

More from NYTimes...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2010 2:38pm PT  

House Judiciary Chair Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has just issued a statement [posted in full below] calling on the FBI to fire those who broke the law by issuing improper letters from the FBI in order to receive access to thousands of Americans' phone records from 2003 through 2006 under the guise of "national security."

"I call upon FBI Director Mueller to take immediate action to punish those who violated the rules," Conyers says in the statement, "including firing them from the agency."

"Today's hearing showed that the FBI broke the law on telephone records privacy and the General Counsel's Office, headed by Valerie Caproni, sanctioned it and must face consequences," said Conyers. "In some cases agents sent letters with information known to be false."

His statement even quotes the former Republican chair of the Committee, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), sharing the sentiment:

'I'm extremely disappointed that every time Congress has tried to plug potential civil rights and civil liberties violations in our counterterrorism activities, the FBI seems to have figured out a way to get around it.

In a related matter, late last month a federal judge found the Bush Administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program to be illegal. So this would be the second time in several weeks where the former administration was found to have violated the law and the U.S. Constitution in order to spy inappropriately and illegally on American citizens.

Will those Tea Baggers who claim to believe in the Constitution and the Rule of Law join the call for accountability yet? (Careful: It's a trick question, Tea Baggers, since the accountability would include members of the Bush Administration, and we realize your calls for "accountability" only go so far. On the other hand, if it's okay for Bush to have done it, we'll presume you don't mind if Obama spies on you either.)

Conyers' complete statement, issued late this afternoon, follows below...

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

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U.S. Intelligence treats whistleblowing website as security threat, seeks ways to marginalize them...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/6/2010 2:28pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Appearing on Democracy Now (video posted below) today, constitutional law attorney and Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald observed:

WikiLeaks has done an extraordinary valuable service because it has exposed what it is that war actually is; what we are actually doing in Afghanistan and Iraq on a day-to-day basis. My concern with the discussions that have been triggered, though, is that there seems to be the suggestion in many circles ... that this is some sort of extreme event, or this is some sort of aberration ... In fact it’s anything but rare. The only thing that’s rare about this ... is that we happen to be seeing it take place on video.

This is something that takes place on a virtually daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places where we invade, bomb and occupy, and the reason why there are hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq and thousands of dead in Afghanistan is because this is what happens, constantly when we are engaged in warfare ... This is what war is. This is what the United States does in these countries and that is the crucial point to note along with the point that the military fought tooth and nail to prevent this video from surfacing precisely because it would shed light on what their actual behavior is during war.

During the same remarkable Democracy Now broadcast, Julian Assange, a WikiLeaks co-founder, revealed that even before it exposed this horrific video yesterday, Wikileaks had been targeted in a counterintelligence report [PDF], which describes WikiLeaks as an "information security threat to the U.S. Army." The report discusses outing the identify of the whistleblowers in hopes of destroying them and to deter others from leaking to the website:

The report states:

Web sites such as Wikileaks.org use trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers. The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.

But, as revealed by The BRAD BLOG's extensive coverage of the Sibel Edmonds story --- and as discussed by "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg in his 2008 BRAD BLOG guest editorial --- the real threat to U.S. national security more often lies not with those who expose government lies, but with those who hope to keep them.

Greenwald wrote more about the leaked video yesterday, and later sent out this noteworthy tweet commenting on both that news and word yesterday of a massacre by NATO forces in Afghanistan which U.S. Special Forces attempted to cover up as well:

The key thing to remember when watching the WikiLeaks/Iraq video and reading about the Afghan massacre: THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOMS!!!

UPDATE 04/07/10: Democracy Now reported today that the "Obama administration is refusing to call for a new probe into the US military’s killing of twelve Iraqis despite the public release of video footage capturing the attack on tape."

UPDATE 04/08/10 Rick Rowley, an independent journalist with Big Noise films, who interviewed witnesses one day after this massacre, told Amy Goodman that there was "no reason at all to believe...any of the people in that picture [were] armed insurgents:"

you can see two men with Kalashnikovs, but this is 2007 in Baghdad. This is the height of the civil war, when dozens of bodies a day were being picked up from the street, when sectarian militias filled the Iraqi security forces, the police and the army. Every neighborhood in Baghdad organized its own protection force. And it was legal at the time for every household to own a Kalashnikov in Iraq, and every household I ever went to did.

* * *

The April 6, 2010 segment of Democracy Now's coverage of the WikiLeaks video follows below...

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

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Also, Maxim's feature on Death of Mike Connell also online...
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2010 1:02pm PT  

[Ed note: This blog item was originally published on 2/6/2010. I'm re-dating it to today, to let you know that my full Hustler article, sans graphics, has now been posted online at the LarryFlynt.com site.. Edmonds has now named names, but the media won't investigate. Why would that be? I look at the possibilities in my article. --- As well, the Mike Connell feature story in February's Maxim, mentioned below, is also now posted online. -BF]

You're welcome. My 2000+ word article on former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is now featured in the March 2010 edition of Hustler. Sorry, she's wearing all her clothes. Go buy it anyway.

The article brings the story of Edmonds, who was twice-gagged by the Bush Administration's outrageous use/abuse of the "States Secrets Privilege," fully up to date following her naming of names, finally, under oath, in remarkable testimony last summer. (Some of those names: Hastert, Burton, Blunt, Lantos, Schakowsky, Wolfowitz, Perle, Grossman, etc.)

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2010 8:50pm PT  

Can't believe Andrew Breitbart and the heroic citizen watchdogs fighting against bloated government corruption at BigGovernment.com haven't said a word about this yet! Perhaps James O'Keefe is not donning his pimp costume even now, for some "undercover journalism" to shut these corrupt, tax-payer robbing bastards down once and for all! And prostitution foe "Patterico" is sharpening his poison pen of the people even as we speak!

I can't deny it any longer. These are, after all, the most outrageous examples of ACORN corruption yet! And apparently it wasn't just a few low level employees this time, but system corruption said to go to the very top of the organization, resulting in the defrauding of millions, if not billions of tax-payer dollars! It's now clearer than ever that all of their federal funding must be denied once and for all! Get this...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 2/3/2010 6:16am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

While I've always had the utmost respect for Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger, I must admit that the first time I watched his video, "Obama is a corporate marketing creation," I thought that, in implying that the President was some type of CIA-connected Manchurian Candidate, Pilger was a bit over the top.

In 1983 Obama went to work for "Business International Corporation," which, according to Pilger, had "a long history of providing cover for the CIA and infiltrating unions on the left." Though Pilger conceded that there "might be nothing sinister" in that, he cited Obama's failure to identify Business International by name or what he did there in Dreams of My Father. The President simply said he worked at “a consulting house to multinational corporations.” Coupling this with a litany of examples which place Obama on the wrong side of Empire and the corporate divide, Pilger implied the connection was not coincidental, then concluded his remarks by quoting Chris Hedges:

President Obama does one thing and brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they make you feel.

Perhaps it's an accumulation of all that has transpired this past year; perhaps it's the striking revelations that emerged during an extraordinary Feb. 2, 2010, broadcast of Democracy Now, especially as it pertains to torture (video below), but I now can't help feeling like Claire Kubik, the sharp attorney played by Ashley Judd in High Crimes who starts out vigorously defending her husband Tom (Jim Cazviel) against charges he murdered innocent civilians in a covert military operation. She's convinced the man she married has been wrongfully accused; convinced of his innocence until, almost when it's too late, she learns the man she thought she knew so well was a murderous sociopath.

Who is this guy whose election so many so happily celebrated on a brisk November evening that now seems so long ago?...

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

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Our view of 9/11; Their view of Fallujah...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/8/2010 3:40pm PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

"The terrorist of yesterday becomes the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today." --- Eqbal Ahmad

Irrespective of whether one accepts the government's official explanation or one of the multiple "inside job/false-flag" theories advanced by the "9/11 Truth" movement, or even if you simply regard the current state of public information about 9/11 to be inadequate to arrive at any hard-and-fast conclusions about that seminal event, the mere mention of it evokes the word "terror" in some way for all Americans.

But the word "terror" is rarely applied to Donald Rumsfeld's "shock and awe" assaults on the city of Fallujah. Why?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/7/2010 1:11pm PT  

While that may be biggest "no, duh" headline ever for readers of The BRAD BLOG, happily it's actually news today at Washington Post [emphasis added]:

SANAA, Yemen --- In its strongest language yet, Yemen's government declared Thursday that there are limits to its military cooperation with the United States, warning that any direct U.S. action in this impoverished Middle East nation could bolster the popularity of Islamic militants.

"If there is direct intervention by the United States, it will strengthen al-Qaeda," warned Rashad al-Alimi, Yemen's deputy prime minister for security and defense.

Note to rest of media: Begin ignoring the above immediately. It never happened.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2010 1:28pm PT  

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The discussion not being had about the 'War on Terror'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2010 5:05am PT  

The baseball metaphors were theirs. I just thought I'd pick up on them.

Over the holiday weekend, there was a bit of an "academic" tête-à-tête in the upper-blogosphere over President Obama's handling of the arrest, detention and prosecution of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Detroit "Underwear Bomber," as it compared to George W. Bush's almost exactly similar handling of the arrest, detention and prosecution of Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber," and other alleged terrorists by the former administration.

While there were swell arguments into which "both" sides could firmly dig their heels, as usual, the conversation that the people of this country really need to be having was shunted far aside in favor of the one Dick Cheney and Karl Rove prefer to be having...

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

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Escalation in the 'War on Terror' continues...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/3/2010 8:03am PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

In "Beyond Afghanistan," I responded to President Obama's Dec. 1 Afghan escalation speech by quoting from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" speech: "Somehow this madness must cease."

I directed readers’ attention to King’s assessment that our obsession with war and occupation was but a symptom of “a far deeper malady within the American spirit;" that our presence in Afghanistan and so many other conflicts over the past 60 years was not the product of a desire to insure our safety; that it was the product of a military-industrial complex and a U.S.-led, corporate Empire whose core purpose is to feed the insatiable greed of the privileged few.

In the short time since I wrote “Beyond Afghanistan,” we have witnessed an expansion of the absurd...

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

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Rachel Maddow, journalist, fact-checker, explains what the others apparently haven't been able to
UPDATED: A Democrat finally pushes back...
By Frank Schaeffer on 12/31/2009 6:44am PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer (with a little help from Rachel Maddow)

I am the father of a Marine who served his country with honor in Afghanistan and Iraq. In that role --- as part of the military family --- I call on anyone who cares about this country to speak out against the Republican Party, its leaders and followers and tell the truth: they are trying to cash in on the Detroit/terror attempt in a way that has clearly crossed a line. They are over the line of not just good taste, but into an area that has to be called what it is: unpatriotic, un-American cynicism on a new level.

I was going to write a post on this but Rachel Maddow said it better on MSNBC last night...


Please watch and pass on. One last thing: why is Rachel Maddow the only journalist who seems to be doing her job on this (and so many other matters!) of actually fact-checking?

UPDATE/ADDENDUM FROM BRAD: With all due respect to the indispensable Rachel, and our friend Frank Schaeffer, Glenn Greenwald and a few others in the blogosphere, were also early on this particular beat, as the non-Rachel corporate media were predictably performing their usual failure. And, if we may say so ourselves, we had a word (okay, a coarse and infuriated rant) or two on these very same matters, while guest hosting last night's Mike Malloy Show ourselves. That rant, at least a good chunk of it, can be downloaded here [MP3] or heard by hitting the play button below...

ANOTHER UPDATE FROM BRAD: Finally, a Democrat manages to grow a pair, and pushes back --- loudly and directly --- at the outrageous, appalling, hypocritical, anti-American attacks from Cheney and the rest of the America-hating Right...

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

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