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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
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Purported 'journalism' outlet seems unfamiliar with the definition; Continues dangerous smears, innuendo...
By Brad Friedman on 12/28/2010 2:24pm PT  

The ignorance on display in this CNN interview segment concerning Wikileaks and Julian Assange yesterday is simply astonishing.

I'd expect the misinformed idiocy and/or out and out lying from one of the guests, former Bush Admin Homeland Security Advisor (now a paid CNN contributor) Fran Townsend. But the amount of ignorance about the profession of journalism, on display from CNN's very own journalist here, Jessica Yellin, almost defies words. Happily, Salon's Glenn Greenwald, a Constitutional attorney and actual journalist was the other guest on hand to help straighten both of these women out.

Watch the video, be amazed, and then I'll have a few more words on it below, as it mirrors another recent --- and embarrassing --- WikiLeaks-related segment on CNN, which we critically covered before later receiving a response from both CNN and host Don Lemon...


The week before last, we took CNN and host Don Lemon to task for a WikiLeaks segment in which, among other problems, they started off with a package that compared Assange to Bonnie & Clyde and other criminals who did things like, ya know, actually commit crimes, like killing people and stuff --- none of which either Assange or WikiLeaks has done. Not by a long shot. CNN's on-screen chyron for the segment was, shamefully, "ASSANGE: JOURNALIST OR TERRORIST" (no question mark even included)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2010 1:09pm PT  

As this noteworthy New York Times editorial was buried by its publication on Christmas Day, it's worth highlighting here today in hopes that a few more folks may actually read it.

To date, the lack of alarm (by both media and, subsequently, the public) caused by the idea of major U.S. financial services companies serving as little more than instruments of unofficial U.S. governmental policy is troubling enough as is. That WikiLeaks, the organization being outrageously penalized by these enormous corporations, has been been charged with absolutely no violation of law, makes the actions of these banks even more extraordinary and chilling.

And finally, the entire affair is made most disturbing of all, perhaps, due to the fact that in 2010 none of this seems to come as much of a surprise to anybody, as reflected by the lack of concern expressed in the bulk of the mainstream media and, therefore, by the populace at large (most of whom, thanks again, MSM, likely have no knowledge of any of it, or why it's extraordinary in the first place)...

The whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks has not been convicted of a crime. The Justice Department has not even pressed charges over its disclosure of confidential State Department communications. Nonetheless, the financial industry is trying to shut it down.

Visa, MasterCard and PayPal announced in the past few weeks that they would not process any transaction intended for WikiLeaks. Earlier this month, Bank of America decided to join the group, arguing that WikiLeaks may be doing things that are "inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments."
...
[A] bank's ability to block payments to a legal entity raises a troubling prospect. A handful of big banks could potentially bar any organization they disliked from the payments system, essentially cutting them off from the world economy.

The fact of the matter is that banks are not like any other business. They run the payments system. That is one of the main reasons that governments protect them from failure with explicit and implicit guarantees. This makes them look not too unlike other public utilities. A telecommunications company, for example, may not refuse phone or broadband service to an organization it dislikes, arguing that it amounts to risky business.
...
The decisions to bar the organization came after its founder, Julian Assange, said that next year it will release data revealing corruption in the financial industry. In 2009, Mr. Assange said that WikiLeaks had the hard drive of a Bank of America executive.

What would happen if a clutch of big banks decided that a particularly irksome blogger or other organization was “too risky”? What if they decided — one by one — to shut down financial access to a newspaper that was about to reveal irksome truths about their operations? This decision should not be left solely up to business-as-usual among the banks.

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By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2010 1:59pm PT  

Well, that's it. I've changed my position! WikiLeaks has finally gone too far!


[Hat-tip to "Cedar Park".]

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VIDEO: David Swanson's L.A. book event for 'War is a Lie', with Lila Garrett, Jason Leopold, Brad Friedman...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2010 4:05pm PT  

On the day it was published, David Swanson guest blogged here about his new book, War is a Lie. A few days later, while I was guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show he and I had a spirited debate about one aspect of the general premise of the book.

And last Sunday, the good Mr. Swanson came to Los Angeles for a book event at the home of actress and PDA advisory board chair Mimi Kennedy where I joined him, along with KPFK's Lila Garrett and Truthout's Jason Leopold, on a panel to discuss it.

The over-flow event --- impressive for any day in laid back L.A., much less in the middle of record rainfall --- was video-taped and is now posted below in seven parts, if you're interested.

(If you're looking for me in the videos below, my opening statement is near the beginning of Part 3, and my closing statement is in Part 7, beginning just before the 4 minute mark. As mentioned in my remarks, please support independent media and, along with it, the truth. You can help do so, among other ways, by buying David's book here.) Enjoy...

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

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Featuring interviews with Coleen Rowley, Daniel Ellsberg & more...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2010 3:10pm PT  

...is posted below, commercial-free, in case you missed it the first time around when it ran live, as guest hosted by yours truly.

Lots of important stuff discussed, much of which, I predict, will be worth remembering in the days, weeks, months (and possibly even years) ahead as the fallout continues around WikiLeaks (the new new media), and as the outrageously irresponsible governmental/state media assaults against both WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and alleged leaker PFC Bradley Manning continue to disinform the American people.

[My thanks also to Daily Kos blogger "cedar park" for picking up Friday's show and letting folks over there know about it over the weekend.]

Listen to each 38-minute "Hour" online below, or right-click "Download MP3" and select "Save Target As..." to save it to your hard drive for listening later.

HOUR 1: The FBI's 9/11 whistleblower and TIME's 2002 Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley, joins us for a very compelling hour, literally on her way home from her arrest at the White House Thursday while protesting war crimes and rallying in favor of the exposure of war crimes via WikiLeaks, and in support of alleged leaker PFC Bradley Manning; We also discuss her recent LA Times op-ed asserting that WikiLeaks might have helped to avert 9/11, her concerns about federal whistleblower legislation just passed by the U.S. Senate and much more...
Download MP3 or listen online below...

HOUR 2: ...Rowley (and the 17 compatriots in her van heading back to MN with her) continue with us for a few more minutes. Then we take some calls and offer some thoughts on the allegations made against Julian Assange and the deplorably inhumane captivity of Bradley Manning.
Download MP3 or listen online below...

HOUR 3: We play some clips in support of Manning from my recent interview with "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, as well as from the interview with 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern by CNN's Don Lemon, along with their official statement in response to my recent critique of that interview where they irresponsibly smeared Assange as a "terrorist" despite his having been charged with no crime nor having killed a single person. Plus more listener phone calls on all of the above...
Download MP3 or listen online below...

* * *

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By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2010 7:35pm PT  

Both of these are rather ingenious. Both well worth watching. The first one makes an absolutely brilliant point, though you must wait until the very end to hear it. I hope you will. It also has the added benefit of making Alex Jones fans very happy as well, no doubt :-) ...


This one is mostly just terribly clever and toe-tappingly fun, but also includes some smart points [Hat-tip to @JeannieDean via Twitter]...


And with all of that now out of the way, I hope, if you haven't already, you'll give a listen to some of my coverage on all of the above on last Friday's Mike Malloy Show from quite a few different angles, including interviews with some of the most knowledgeable former-insiders and whistleblowers who know of what they speak.

The complete, commercial-free audio of the show is now posted here. I think you'll enjoy it. (Also, my thanks to dKos blogger "cedar park" for highlighting some of it for readers over there yesterday!)

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Tonight: FBI 9/11 Whistleblower Coleen Rowley on WikiLeaks, Secrets & Lies...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2010 3:39pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below! Enjoy!]

Secrets and lies. Secrets and lies. Virtually every problem our nation (and world) now faces, seem to stem from secrets and lies. We'll be discussing that throughout the evening, as WikiLeaks changes our world, and as I guest-host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show once again tonight.

We're BradCasting LIVE once again from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! The LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show as ever, so come on by while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Don't miss tonight's show!

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

Scheduled (so far) for tonight:

* * *

Click here to jump into our LIVE Chat Room during the show. Or just see below!...

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The show flew by tonight! At least for me! Audio archives are all below and I think you'll enjoy 'em. Have a listen (and the chat room archives are below those, if you like)...

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

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TIME's 2002 'Person of the Year' detained along with fellow whistleblowers, former intelligence agents, military vets
Rowley set to appear live with Brad on the 'Malloy Show' Friday....
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2010 5:52pm PT  

Snow-covered peace activists and military veterans --- as well as legendary whistleblowers and former intelligence officers --- were arrested today in front of the White House while protesting the War in Afghanistan and rallying in support of WikiLeaks and for the exposure of war crimes.

The BRAD BLOG spoke with one of those arrested, the FBI's 9/11 whistleblower and TIME's 2002 Person of the Year Coleen Rowley, within the past two hours, shortly after she was released from custody by the Capitol Hill police. Rowley had traveled some 22 hours with a group of about 17 fellow Minnesotans to participate in today's protest and paid a $100 fine for the charge of "refusal to obey a lawful order."

"Over a hundred of us got arrested standing at the White House fence, singing and showing our signs," the former FBI analyst told us. "We sang all 15 versus of 'We shall Overcome', versus that you probably never heard, and sang new words to 'Down by the Riverside' as 'Down at the White House Fence.'"

Also arrested at the protest today were Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg (whom we recently interviewed about WikiLeaks), 27-year veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern (about whom we recently wrote after last weekend's appearance on CNN) telling host Don Lemon that CNN should "following [WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange's] example" by "seek[ing] out secrets," and Pulitzer prize-winning former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges.

Rowley will be our guest tomorrow night (Friday) on the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show, which we are again scheduled to co-host.

"We were protesting against war crimes and for exposing war crimes," Rowley explained earlier tonight. She said she made her own sign back home Minnesota before traveling to D.C.. She says her sign had "The War is a Lie" on one side and "Expose War Crimes, Free Bradley Manning" on the back, with photos from WikiLeaks' "Collateral Murder" video revealing a U.S. Army Apache helicopter firing and killing approximately a dozen individuals, including two Reuters employees, and wounding two children. The video is alleged to have been leaked to WikiLeaks by Army PFC Bradley Manning who, Salon's Glenn Greenwald reported yesterday, has been detained and held "in intensive solitary confinement" for the past seven months "under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture," even as he has reportedly behaved as "a model detainee"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2010 1:16pm PT  

Not much of a "slippery slope" here, right?...

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Air Force has blocked its personnel from reading Web sites that have posted WikiLeaks cables. This includes the sites of The New York Times, The Guardian, and "more than 25 other news organizations," according to the Times. Any Air Force member trying to access these sites from a work computer will get a message reading "Access Denied: Internet usage is logged and monitored." The ban only applies to sites that have posted "full classified documents, not just excerpts," says the Times, and it has not been adopted by the Army, Navy, or Marines. Since Air Force personnel can still access the blocked sites from home, bloggers are puzzling over why the Air Force bothered to take this step at all.

Of course, one would think that conservatives would be up in arms about such blatant (and stupid) assaults on at least the spirit of the U.S. Constitution's first amendment. However, fake "conservatives" of the Fox "News", Sarah Palin, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Peter King, Sen. Joe Lieberman seem to have no such concerns. They'd prefer, it seems, to see censorship of the media and/or the targeting of a man --- even for assassination --- who has been charged with breaking no U.S. laws.

Unfortunately, the new batch of elected officials heading to D.C. in January look to be just as confused about who and what they are supposed to be defending...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2010 12:22pm PT  

I was interviewed briefly on Monday by David Pakman on his nationally syndicated radio/video-stream show, on issues mostly related to WikiLeaks. Here's that interview...


Related: I'll be guest hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show again this Friday night. What should we talk about? :-)

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'War on Terror' or War to Inflict State Terror?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/14/2010 7:13pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

In "Plumbing the Depths of Lawless Executive Depravity", I argued that targeted assassinations threaten the very foundation of our republic. This occurs not only due to the potential for collateral damage but due to the distinct possibility that many whom we target as "suspected" terrorists may be entirely innocent.

A more recent article of mine here, "WikiLeaks' Pakistan, Yemen Cables Expose Unchecked Executive Power, 'Hatred for Democracy'" addressed a specific form of targeted assassinations --- the predator drone strike. In it, I noted that the secret expansion of such strikes into Pakistan and Yemen, as confirmed by diplomatic cables recently published by WikiLeaks and their media partners, reflected a dangerous usurpation of power by the Executive branch.

These two articles, and former CIA field operative Robert Baer, in a must-see RethinkAfganistan.com video (embedded at end of this article), assume the targets of the drone strike are suspected insurgents and terrorists. Both of them deal with the counterproductive effect of unintended civilian deaths ("collateral damage") which serves to destabilize "friendly" governments, provide a recruiting tool for those bent on revenge, and increase the likelihood of "blowback," a CIA term that describes "the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people."

Have Baer and I erred in assuming these strikes are not aimed at civilians?...

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

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Interview with former CIA analyst reveals CNN's shameful failure...
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2010 5:04pm PT  

Take a look at the short CNN video interview below with 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. It's astonishing and disturbingly telling.

McGovern, as we noted on Friday, is one of a number of high-level intelligence whistleblowers and former government officials who signed a very strong statement in support of WikiLeaks and Assange last week. Other signatories of the statement include Pentagon Papers' whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the FBI's 9/11 whistleblower and TIME 2002 Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley.

McGovern, who was formerly personally responsible for giving Presidential Daily Briefings to both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton has, for years, been an outspoken opponent of the Bush Administration's unprecedented secrecy regime. He's perhaps best known for his remarkable 2006 confrontation with Don Rumsfeld, calling him directly out as a liar for tying Iraq to WMD and al-Qaeda.

It's embarrassing enough, in the below, to see CNN shamefully use the chyron "ASSANGE: JOURNALIST OR TERRORIST", since Assange has not been charged with anything remotely akin to "terrorism", nor has he like, ya know, a terrorist, either killed someone, tried to kill someone, or even advocated killing anybody --- unlike many of those who have advocated killing him.

But in the exchange that follows, as posted yesterday, note the telling positions expressed by CNN's Don Lemon about not only his, but CNN's apparent regard for WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange as "a pariah". He seems genuinely taken aback at the notion that, as McGovern tells him, CNN "should be following his example."

Watch the whole thing, please, for other important points and CNN embarrassments, but the section I mention above is transcribed below the video, along with one point on which McGovern appears to be wrong...

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

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This is for you, 'Tea Partiers'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2010 6:45pm PT  

Dear "Tea Party": Whether you know it or not, your founding father is below. If you are to be what you claim you are (what you've been told to believe you are), then pay attention to what Rep. Ron Paul --- who actually is --- said on the floor of the U.S. House this week.

If you really think you are "conservative", isn't it time you started acting like it? Like Paul (The Elder, unlike The Younger) has been doing now for years? Pay attention. This is for you...


Text transcript follows below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2010 8:13pm PT  

It's been quiet around here over the last 24 hours or so, largely because I've been absolutely fascinated following what is going on with WikiLeaks across the net, the nation and the world, despite the decidedly much-less-than-one-might-have-otherwise-expected coverage of the continuing fall out from new documents as they are released, the unprecedented cyber/info war for and against them which continues to rage, and the various whistleblowing heroes speaking up in defense of the "revolutionary" media organization.

For the record, to date, WikiLeaks has released just 1,295 out of the 251,287 leaked diplomatic cables they purportedly have so far. That's about "0.5% down, 99.5% to go" as they tweeted today. That, despite the inaccuracies you'll continue to hear and read in the media about the organization "causing havoc" and being "anarchists" by "indiscriminately dumping 250,000 classified documents!" It should be noted that almost all of the cable documents released to date have been published first by WikiLeaks' media partners such as the UK's Guardian, Germany's Der Spiegel, Spain's El Pais and the New York Times.

Never mind the very serious substance of the cables themselves --- it's not simply "embarrassing gossip" and "nothing new" as many in the media are shamefully downplaying it, perhaps because they didn't report it first! --- there is so much information and opinion flying out here about WikiLeaks and Assange themselves, it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with it all. In general, if you haven't noticed over the years, I only tend post when I feel I have something to contribute to any particular issue. So, of late, I've simply been trying to take much of it in, trying to make sense of it all in this extraordinary moment in history, and tweeting items of note (via @TheBradBlog) as I come across them in the bargain.

A few of those things, and a discussion --- at times, a somewhat contentious debate --- I had with someone on Twitter today in regard to WikiLeaks and Assange et al, are below, and I'd very much love to hear your thoughts on all of it. Read on...

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

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Extraordinary battle underscores serious threats to our very democracy, in more ways than one...
By Brad Friedman on 12/8/2010 3:46pm PT  

"We will fire at anyone or anything that tries to censor WikiLeaks, including multi-billion dollar companies such as PayPal. ... The major shitstorm has begun."

That's the message currently posted by the hacker group calling themselves "Anonymous", as part of what they call "Operation Payback".

The group has already reportedly succeeded in taking down both MasterCard and Visa's servers following the two corporations freezing the credit card transactions of WikiLeaks.

Earlier, according to RAW STORY, Anonymous issued a statement which read:

While we don't have much of an affiliation with WikiLeaks, we fight for the same reasons. We want transparency and we counter censorship. The attempts to silence WikiLeaks are long strides closer to a world where we can not say what we think and are unable to express our opinions and ideas.

We can not let this happen. This is why our intention is to find out who is responsible for this failed attempt at censorship. This is why we intend to utilize our resources to raise awareness, attack those against and support those who are helping lead our world to freedom and democracy.

What appears to be the first real and serious --- at least the first known and serious --- "all-out cyber war", as Secure Computing Magazine is now calling it, seems to be underway. In this case, however, it wasn't the hackers or even a foreign government who appear to have fired the first shots, but the U.S. Government who did so via apparently successful tactics used to intimidate both Amazon and PayPal into cutting off service to WikiLeaks, the international media organization which has leaked thousands of classified U.S. documents, but has been charged with breaking absolutely no U.S. laws.

The entire episode reveals a number of very serious concerns, and at least one that may not be quite as obvious...

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

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