w/ Brad & Desi
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...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Tom Ricks, author of the best-sellers Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005 and The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, on the June 27, 2010 Meet the Press after arguing to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) that leaving Afghanistan now would lead to an "endless war" ("I think if you want an endless war, Congresswoman, leave Afghanistan right now, and you'll find us having to go after al-Qaeda again and again there for decades."):
TOM RICKS: I don't think it does. I think we have landed in the middle of the Middle East, for better or worse, in a way that none of us expected us to. I think the war in Afghanistan was made much worse by the distracting war in Iraq, which never should have happened. But we are dealing with phenomena in the Middle East that's going to be crucial to this country as long as we're dependent on Middle East oil. So the best exit strategy I can think of is emphasize alternative fuels.
Um, yeah. Bingo. (On the "alternative fuels" part, not the 'can't leave now' part.)
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
"Fact, the world has divided into rich and poor as at no time in our history," warns Maude Barlowe, head of the Council of Canadians and a founder of the Blue Planet Project.
"Fact, global climate change is rapidly advancing, claiming at least 300,000 lives and $125 billion in damages every year," she says. "Called the silent crisis, climate change is melting glaciers, eroding soil, causing freak and increasingly wild storms, displacing untold millions from rural communities to live in desperate poverty in peri-urban centers. Almost every victim lives in the Global South in communities not responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and not represented here at the summit."
Speaking out as a counterpoint to last week's billion dollar, G-20 Summit, whose leaders she referred to as a "global royalty, who have more in common with one another than they do with their own citizens," and as leaders who came to Toronto with an agenda which offers "more of the bad medicine that made the world sick in the first place—environmental deregulation, unbridled financial speculation, unlimited growth, unregulated free trade, relentless resource exploitation, tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts to Social Security and a war on working people," Barlowe delivered a must-see, fact-filled condemnation of a bleak economic and ecological future that is at the heart of what she described as "savage capitalism."
The video and text transcript of excerpts from Barlowe's powerful "Savage Capitalism" speech, courtesy of the July 2nd, 2010 Democracy Now!, follow below...
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!...
“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.”
Hilarious. Fox "News" refuses to run the following :30 second ad --- which MSNBC and CNN have already been running without problem --- from VoteVets.org, on the grounds that it's "too confusing", according to Ben Smith at Politico:
"Too confusing"? The only thing too confusing about it for Fox "News" viewers, perhaps, is that it may not sync up with their spoon-fed Republican/Fossil Fuel Industry political propaganda programming. The ad might just blow their circuits or something.
Why anybody still refers to that network without putting quotes around the word "News," as we have been doing here for years, is beyond us. And oh yeah, why does Fox "News" hate both the troops and free speech?!
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:
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...
As we have long tried to get across to anyone who would listen, the greatest threat to "secure" computerized systems --- such as the electronic voting systems, incredibly, still in use in all 50 states for this year's crucial election cycle --- comes from insiders.
Late last week, another report, this one via ComputerWorld, underscored the point yet again:
IDG News Service - A Bank of America computer specialist is set to plead guilty to charges that he hacked the bank's automated tellers to dispense cash without recording the activity.
Rodney Reed Caverly, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is scheduled to plead guilty to a computer fraud charge next Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, according to his lawyer Christopher Fialko, who declined to comment further on the case.
Caverly was charged last week with one count of computer fraud for allegedly writing a malicious program that ran on Bank of America's computers and ATMs, according to court filings.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Caverly had worked in Bank of America's IT department where he designed and maintained computer systems, including those used by the ATMs. The alleged scam ran between March 2009 and October 2009.
The gullible are welcome to buy into the Rightwing propaganda that ACORN is somehow stealing elections, despite the complete dearth of any actual evidence that any vote has ever been illegally cast in any election vis a vis an improper registration by an ACORN worker.
But the facts, demonstrated yet again by the BofA story, are much as non-ideological computer scientists and security experts have been trying to warn for years in regard to electronic voting systems: the greatest threat to such systems comes from insiders, such as election officials who can manipulate results simply and directly and in such a way that they are unlikely to ever get caught doing it.
Even the sham 2005 Rightwing-created Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission --- created almost entirely to put an "official"-appearing imprimatur on the call for disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at polling places --- was forced to admit as much in their final report...
“Judge Walker is saying that FISA and federal statutes like it are not optional,” Mr. Eisenberg said. “The president, just like any other citizen of the United States, is bound by the law. Obeying Congressional legislation shouldn’t be optional with the president of the U.S.”
The ruling is the second time a federal judge has declared the program of wiretapping without warrants to be illegal.
But Judge [Vaughn R.] Walker limited liability in the case to the government as an institution, rejecting the lawsuit’s effort to hold Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, personally liable.
So, it was illegal, as long argued. Yet nobody will go to jail for it, naturally, because Presidents, particularly George W. Bush, and their men, though theoretically "bound by the law," as Eisenberg says, are still above the law, apparently.
For you Tea Baggers: The comment section below is open so that you can let us hear your arguments as to why you believe that Barack Obama should be allowed to violate the law and the Constitution in order to read your emails and listen to your phone calls, at any time, and for whatever reason he chooses, without ever receiving court approval, the way you used to argue that Bush was allowed to do.
For you non-Tea Baggers in the reality-based world: We'll note here that the Judge in this case also, thankfully, rejected the DoJ's attempt to invoke the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" as "first asserted by the Bush administration and continued under President Obama."
The SSP is what the Bush Administration had twice used to gag FBI whistelblower Sibel Edmonds for so many years, successfully ensuring that her case would never see the light of day in a court of law, despite her appealing the Administration's use of the draconian and (previously) rarely-invoked "privilege" all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Can we assume then that the "State Secrets" the Bush Administration was hoping to keep from seeing the light of day in the Edmonds case were even more of a national security threat than exposing the fact that the Government was spying, illegally, on anybody in this country that they wanted to?
Guest blogged by David Swanson
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and the corporate "mainstream" media make quite a pair. We're hearing a very "balanced" debate over whether KSM should be tried in New York City, and whether the most insane objections to that proposal are really insane or not. But what are we not hearing?
We're not hearing that trying criminals for the crime of 9/11 ought to have been what we did years ago, rather than waging wars in response to a crime. We're not discussing the possibility that had alleged 9/11 criminals been tried years ago rather than being imprisoned and tortured together with hundreds of innocents depicted as subhuman monsters, the "war on terror" might have been replaced with simply the wars on Iraqis and Afghans and Pakistanis. What effect might that have had on Americans' willingness to surrender their Bill of Rights? We aren't hearing about that.
And that's only the tip of the iceberg about what we're not hearing...
The military news outlet Military.com is covering the story of FBI linguist-turned-whistelblower Sibel Edmonds as their lead story today.
Reporter Bryant Jordan's 1,500 word feature includes a background summary of Edmonds' story, which The BRAD BLOG has been detailing for years, and a summary of the allegations she offered under oath last August in her sworn deposition following seven years of "forced silence" under a court-ordered gag due to the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" twice-invoked by George W. Bush's Department of Justice. A good round-up of the startling information Edmonds says she gleaned while listening to and translating wiretaps in the counterintelligence division at the FBI after 9/11 is offered throughout his coverage.
Jordan's piece is well reported and includes, for the first time to our knowledge, several forms of denials of Edmonds allegations by some of Bush's key State and Defense Department officials --- such as Richard Perle and Douglas Feith --- who, she says, were participants in espionage plots against the United States in order to share military and even nuclear secrets with Turkish and Israeli government operatives.
Edmonds also offers a very spirited and seemingly common-sense response to those denials (one of which is rather ironic in retrospect) and to critics who maintain she has been offering these allegations due to some form of vendetta.
If you're not already familiar with Edmonds' story, we'll recommend Jordan's full article at Military.com, just as we have previously recommended the excellent cover-story interview by CIA vet Philip Giraldi at American Conservative magazine also published following her 8/8/09 deposition in which she was finally able to tell her story publicly and on the record for the first time. She did so as the Obama Dept. of Justice chose not to invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" when they had the opportunity this time.
If you are already familiar with her story, then read on, as we'll try to highlight the new information in which Jordan advances the story a few beats --- as every other U.S. mainstream corporate media outlet has simply failed to since Edmonds' remarkable allegations have finally become public...
This is, of course, the precise sort of thing which FBI linguist-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has been alleging concerning both Turkish and Israeli interests for some time. In her case, she has testified under oath to nearly-identical behavior by U.S. scientists, military personnel and academics at top-secret nuclear and military installations who are alleged to have done precisely what Stewart David Nozette has now been busted for, as reported today by AFP...
Stewart David Nozette, 52, developed an experiment that fueled the discovery of water on the south pole of the moon, and previously held special security clearance at the Department of Energy on atomic materials, the DOJ said.
He is charged with "attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer," the DOJ said.
Nozette had been dealing with an FBI undercover agent in a sting operation, the department said, adding there was no wrongdoing by Israel.
"The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation's secrets for profit," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.
"From 1989 through 2006, Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and had regular, frequent access to classified information and documents related to the US national defense," the Justice Department said.
"In addition, Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems," DOJ said.
In addition to allegations against a network of moles said to be based at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, Edmonds has also fingered current and former members of Congress, such as Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), as well as high-ranking Pentagon and State Dept. officials such as Marc Grossman, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, as having participated, via bribery and blackmail schemes, in related espionage with Turkish and Israeli interests.
Despite several high profile front-page features on all of this in the UK Sunday Times last year (here, here and here), Edmonds' recent sworn deposition on these matters, a recent cover-story interview in American Conservative magazine, and an 18-year FBI executive officer corroborating key elements of her story and calling for a "Special Counsel" to investigate and prosecute, the U.S. corporate mainstream media have failed to report on the Edmonds story at all since she was finally allowed to speak about these matters in August following seven years of gag orders from the Bush Administration's invocation of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege."
The BRAD BLOG receives no corporate or foundational funding. Please consider donating to The BRAD BLOG in support of our years-long continuing coverage of the Sibel Edmonds case.
The highly-contentious diplomatic relationship between Armenia and Turkey is set to warm up a bit today --- maybe --- as the long-quarreling countries are scheduled to sign an agreement opening up both diplomatic relations and their shared border.
To the surprise of probably nobody, the signing ceremony has hit a few last minute snags, as U.S. Sec. of State Hilary Clinton, present for the occasion, has been attempting to broker peace between the two sides as disagreements about what would be said at the signing has momentarily derailed finalization of the historic accord.
We point out all of this today as the dispute over a long-sought resolution in the U.S. Congress --- declaring the deaths of some 1.5 million Armenians by Turkey during WWI to be a "genocide" --- has been at the heart of many of the disclosures made by FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds that we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG for some time.
Edmonds contends that FBI counterintelligence wiretaps from 1996 to 2002 document the Turkish lobby/government's extraordinary efforts to compromise members of the U.S. Congress, through both blackmail and bribery, in order to derail the passage of such a resolution. Though the resolution has garnered a great deal of support in Congress over the years, it has been derailed, sometimes at the very last minute, every time it has been raised over the last decade or two.
You can read about those Congressmembers said to have been bribed/blackmailed here in our article covering that aspect of Edmonds' recent sworn deposition in an Ohio Election Commission case related to a dispute between Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2) and her 2008/10 opponent David Krikorian concerning the very same issue.
In addition to the Armenian Genocide dispute, Edmonds' disclosures also name high-ranking U.S. State and Defense Department officials as participating in espionage efforts said to include the theft of nuclear secrets from secure military bases, and their sale on the foreign black market. In a recent interview, 18-year FBI executive John M. Cole, a Counterintelligence and Counterespionage Manager, corroborated key elements of Edmonds' disclosures, including a "decade-long investigation" of Marc Grossman, our former Ambassador to Turkey, before he became the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department .
Cole, who says that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" in her disclosures, explained that the FBI's espionage probe "ultimately was buried and covered-up." Last week he called for a Special Counsel to investigate those named by Edmonds, so they may finally "be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."
UPDATE 12:31pm: Accord signed after Clinton's intervention, and the agreement that no statments would be made by either side.
''It was pulled back from the brink,'' said a senior U.S. official
The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed the agreement in the Swiss city of Zurich after a dispute over the final statements they would make. In the end, the signing took place about three hours later and there were no spoken statements.
Officials say Clinton and mediators from Switzerland intervened to help broker a solution.
An 18-year Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Manager for the FBI has called for a Special Counsel to be appointed to investigate the allegations of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. John M. Cole, who now works as an intelligence contractor for the Air Force, made his comments during an audio interview released late last week with radio journalist Peter B. Collins.
He also offered a detailed insider's look at the concerns among high-level officials inside the Bureau as Edmonds' disturbing allegations began coming to light back in 2002, before they would be quashed for seven long years by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" to gag her.
Earlier last week, following the publication of a remarkable American Conservative magazine cover story interview with Edmonds --- detailing a broad bribery, blackmail, and espionage conspiracy said to have been carried out between current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and covert operatives from Turkey and Israel, resulting in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology on the foreign black market --- Cole had been quoted by the magazine confirming one of Edmonds' key allegations.
"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of" Marc Grossman, he said in response to the AmCon article/interview. Grossman had served as the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department and was alleged by Edmonds in the interview, and in a sworn, video-taped deposition a month earlier, to have been the U.S. ringleader for a massive Turkish espionage scandal reaching through the halls of power and into top-secret nuclear facilities around the country to the benefit of allies and enemies alike. Cole said that the FBI's counterintelligence probe "ultimately was buried and covered up," and that he believes it is "long past time" for an investigation of the case to "bring about accountability."
In his subsequent interview with Collins last week (audio and text excerpts posted below) Cole elaborated on those comments in much greater detail, noting that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" and confirming the existence of an "ongoing and detailed effort by Turkey to develop influence in the United States" through various illegal activities.
"Yes, I can confirm that," Cole told Collins, "That's true."
The FBI veteran executive also offered an insider's account of the panic that ensued inside the highest echelons of the bureau following Edmonds' first disclosure of information in 2002, recounting how an executive assistant director admitted to him at the time, just after the story first broke, "Well, all I know is that everything that Sibel is stating is true. I read her file. Everything she stated is, in fact, accurate."
Cole further describes how the concerns about Edmonds ultimately led to the Bush Administration's two-time use of the Draconian "State Secrets Privilege" in hopes of keeping her extraordinary information from becoming public. "Everybody at headquarters level at the bureau knew that what she was saying was extremely accurate."
"I know they didn't want her to go out and speak about it at all," Cole revealed, "and I know they were trying to figure out ways of keeping this whole thing quiet, because they didn't want Sibel to come out."
He also offered information which directly counters one of the criticisms of Edmonds' allegations as frequently offered by skeptics. Namely, that as a short time FBI contract translator --- even though she was tasked to review some seven years of counterintelligence wiretaps made from 1996 to 2002 --- she couldn't have had enough understanding of the full scope of the investigations to understand what was really going on.
"The thing is," Cole explained to Collins, "the position that Sibel was in, she had access to extremely sensitive information. The translators have access to some of the most sensitive information that we receive."
He detailed how first-hand information goes first from the translators to the investigators who then act on it, as some of the most important information collected by FBI language specialists could have "implications that may affect even the White House, or policy."
"So what I'm saying is, I know she had access to some very sensitive stuff, and I could see why the Bureau would squirm over her coming out and speaking about some of the things that were going on."
The interview concluded with Cole's reiteration of both his confidence in Edmonds' credibility, and his call for accountability.
"I would love to see, especially with the allegations that Sibel has come out with, her allegations --- which I believe are in fact true, I have no reason to doubt what she's saying --- I would love to see somebody take that, a Special Counsel or whatever, some group of people that you could trust, have them investigate those allegations and have people's feet held to the fire. Have them be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."
"You know, no one's above the law, and no one should be above the law," he added, along with one more chilling thought: "You know, it really irritates me that people are getting away with murder, in some cases. They should not be allowed to get away with that. There needs to be accountability. And that's what I'd love to see."
The complete audio, and key text excerpts from Collins' interview with Cole follow below...
In advance of tomorrow's related story [Update: That story now posted here], I thought you might appreciate a quick look at the following if you've never seen it before. Diane Sawyer narrates the story of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds as she was awarded the 2006 PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award.
In the bargain, it's also worth remembering that Sawyer herself is at least aware of Edmonds, who she is, and some of what she's had to go through, further begging the question of why ABC News has failed to even note --- much less investigate and/or cover --- the recent revelations of bribery and blackmail of current and former U.S. Congressmembers and high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and the theft and sale of nuclear secrets by agents of Turkey and Israel, as detailed in her sworn deposition in August, and remarkable AmCon cover-story interview which followed it late last month...
A New York judge rules the CIA can torture, destroy the video tape evidence of it whenever they want, and there's nothing any American citizen can do about it, apparently. Are we now the USSA?
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028