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More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
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'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
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NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
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'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
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CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Congress cowers as White House expands secret wars, abandons all pretense of compliance with War Powers Resolution...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/3/2010 2:46pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"One of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population...[The WikiLeaks cables reveal a] profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership." -Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now, 11/30/2010

There is no issue of greater import to the aspirations of a democratic people than matters of war and peace. There can be no greater display of contempt for democracy on the part of an American President than that reflected by a covert decision to engage in a secret war without the knowledge or consent of Congress or the American people.

As late as 2002, George W. Bush felt compelled to seek some semblance of compliance with the War Powers Resolution of 1973, albeit via deceit in which false claims of Iraqi WMD and links to al Qaeda were presented in order to secure Congressional approval of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution.

According to Jeremy Scahill (video below), "in '03/'04 the Bush administration issued an Executive order that authorized U.S. forces to go anywhere in the world where al Qaeda was to fight them; essentially declared the whole world a battlefield..."

The WikiLeaks Pakistan/Yemen cables confirm that President Barack Obama, possibly relying upon the Bush/Cheney cabal's extremist position that the Sept. 14, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists ("AUMF") is tantamount to a blanket license to initiate wars anywhere and everywhere there is a "suspected" presence of al Qaeda, has both perpetuated and expanded these dangerous claims of lawless Executive power...

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

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Also: WikiLeaks cables reveal Obama Admin worked with GOP to protect Bush Admin from torture charges in Spain
Tea Bagger Concerns: 'Corrupt' ACORN!...
By Brad Friedman on 12/3/2010 1:22pm PT  

Just thought we should flag this one while Dick Cheney is still around (and while Obama is still in office).

According to Business Week, the former CEO of Halliburton will soon be wanted for arrest on bribery charges by Nigeria, with whom the U.S. has a long-standing extradition treaty. As well, they may also be asking Interpol, whom the U.S. is supposed to be cooperating with, to help in seeking Cheney's arrest. All of this at a time when Rightwingers (and some non-Rightwingers) are calling on Interpol to arrest WikiLeaks' Julian Assange for...something or other.

All of which may put the U.S. in "a very awkward position", according to Georgetown University's Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley, who discussed that --- and the Obama Administration's collusion with Republicans to protect the Bush Administration from torture charges in Spain, as we've now learned from recently released WikiLeaks cables --- on MSNBC last night...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2010 4:21pm PT  

The Colorado Independent's John Tomasic picks up on my interview with Dan Ellsberg yesterday.

While the article I wrote on the interview last night focused on Ellsberg's departure with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the issue of whether Hillary Clinton needs to resign, there was much more in my interview with the legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower, including his opinions on the much-derided and currently-arrested PFC Bradley Manning (believed to be the leaker of a lot of the recently published classified documents) whom Ellsberg calls a "patriot" and not guilty of "treason" under the law, and on the covert bombing of Yemen being carried out by the U.S. without approval from Congress or the knowledge of the American people, as we've learned more about from WikiLeaks' release of thousands of diplomatic cables.

Check out Tomasic's coverage here...

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By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2010 6:05am PT  

Daniel Ellsberg, the legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower, is an ardent supporter of the WikiLeaks project and of its co-founder Julian Assange, who finds himself under attack from many corners. The man whom Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once called "the most dangerous man in America" recently traveled to London to appear at a press conference with the besieged Australian in support of his release of some 400,000 classified Iraq War logs. But, as Ellsberg revealed during my interview with him on Wednesday, he disagrees with Assange on at least one point in regard to the latest round of documents released by the controversial organization. Unlike Assange, Ellsberg does not believe Hillary Clinton needs to resign.

In an interview with TIME magazine earlier this week, in the wake of WikiLeaks' recent release of thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables, Assange responded to a question from managing editor Richard Stengel, saying that he felt the U.S. Secretary of State should step down.

"She should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up," Assange told TIME. "Yes, she should resign over that."

But Ellsberg disagrees. During my on-air interview with him Wednesday, when I asked about that point and whether he agrees with Assange's assessment, he was direct in his response: "In a word, no," he told me.

Despite information from the released cables --- in this case, revealing that the State Department, under the approval of Clinton, ordered U.S. diplomats to spy on their foreign counterparts by secretly collecting personal information such as credit card numbers, frequent flier membership records, email addresses, even fingerprints and DNA --- Ellsberg does not believe the disclosure, which he concedes reveals illegalities, merits her resignation.

"I've come to respect Assange's judgment in a lot of these matters a lot more than I do the Pentagon spokespersons," Ellsberg said. "In this case, I don't agree with him."

Richard Nixon's former enemy, and the subject of the 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America, explained during our live interview on Pacific Radio's KPFK in Los Angeles on Wednesday that, in this case, at least, Assange may be "far too idealistic and romantic"...

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

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[Now UPDATED with audio archives from today's show]
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2010 1:38pm PT  

I'll be interviewing the 1970s legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg live today during the 3p PT/6p ET hour on KPFK, the Pacific Radio outlet in Los Angeles (90.7FM), San Diego (93.7FM), Santa Barbara (98.7FM) and China Lake (99.5FM). It will also be streamed live via KPFK.org

I'll be talking with Ellsberg, "The Most Dangerous Man in America," about WikiLeaks, it's founder Julian Assange (now "The Most Dangerous Man in the World"???), and all things related.

In early 2008, as I noted over the weekend, Ellsberg wrote an op/ed for The BRAD BLOG in which he noted:

Many, if not most, covert operations deserve to be disclosed by a free press. They are often covert not only because they are illegal but because they are wildly ill-conceived and reckless. "Sensitive" and "covert" are often synonyms for "half-assed," "idiotic," and "dangerous to national security," as well as "criminal."

Those comments, and ones from JFK in 1961 which I also posted in the same weekend article, in which he calls "the very word 'secrecy'...repugnant in a free and open society", seem to offer a bit of perspective on these recently released documents. I'll ask Ellsberg about those comments, and much more today --- including his support for Assange and his recent assertions, prior to the WikiLeaks release of hundreds of thousands of Iraq War Logs last that month, that he's been waiting for such a release of documents for 40 years.

Hope you'll tune in!

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The audio from the complete hour today follows. It includes a bit of my own commentary on Ellsberg and the WikiLeak situation in the first half hour --- along with a check-in from Cary Harrison (the show's regular host who I was filling in for today) on World Aids Day. My interview with Ellsberg begins at approximately the :34 mark.

I spoke with Ellsberg, a bit, after the show to follow up on a few points, particularly concerning Hillary Clinton, and hope to have an article a bit later on both the on-air interview, as well as some of the points we discussed aftewards.

For now though, here's the complete hour, including the full on-air interview (Text transcript of the Ellsberg interview is now posted here.)

Download MP3, or listen online (complete show is appx 58 mins. Ellsberg interview is about 23 mins)...

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[Now UPDATED with audio archives from today's show]
By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2010 2:05pm PT  

Our friend Harrison had a family emergency, so the folks at KPFK (the Pacifica Radio outlet in Los Angles, San Diego and Santa Barbara) have asked me to fill in for him today and tomorrow from 3p - 4p PT (6p - 7p PT).

We'll be discussing, among other things, the WikiLeaks disclosures, and the extraordinary campaign against both the organization itself and its founder Julian Assange. Talk about blaming the messenger.

I wrote about it all a bit over the weekend, quoting from both legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg as well as John F. Kennedy. And by way of heads up, Ellsberg will be joining me to discuss the entire situation on tomorrow's show!

KPFK is heard on air at 90.7 FM in L.A., on 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, on 93.7FM in San Diego and coast-to-coast and around the globe via KPFK.org where there are more live streaming options for ya. The call-in number is: 310-737-TALK.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The audio archive of today's show follows. We discussed the WikiLeaks, the attacks on the organization, JFK's 1961 thoughts on "secrecy", plus election fraud in Alaska, the "Tea Party's" assault on democracy, Obama's horrific negotiating skills and much more. It's a lively commercial-free hour that I hope you enjoy...

Download MP3, or listen online right here...

Tomorrow: We'll be joined live by Dan Ellsberg! Please tune in for that interview!

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JFK '61: 'Word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society'
Ellsberg '08: 'Most covert ops deserve to be disclosed by free press'
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2010 1:39pm PT  

Some 250,000 classified cables and embassy dispatches from the State Department are being released today via WikiLeaks latest, and reportedly largest, document dump ever. Within the last hour, news reports based on those documents have begun to be published by various world media outlets that are said to have been given advanced access.

[Update: Browse all of the documents now via WikiLeaks' "CableGate" database.]

Among the very first revelations to emerge, as quickly highlighted on Twitter via search hashtags #WikiLeaks and #CableGate this morning, are details on the U.S. having pleaded with Germany in 2007 to not prosecute CIA operatives who kidnapped and tortured a terror suspect, Yemeni officials covering up U.S. drone strikes in their country, Saudi officials encouraging U.S. to take attack Iran, the U.S. spying on UN diplomats, as well as various, potentially embarrassing State Department assessments of allied world leaders. There will be much more to come.

You can review more of the coverage yourself at the UK Guardian, the New York Times, German's Der Spiegel, and Israel's Haaretz among many others to emerge over the next several hours and, indeed, days. The Nation's Greg Mitchell is live blogging the release, and rounding up many of the key links.

As this information becomes public, and as the U.S. Government continues to scramble to mitigate what the White House is calling today a "reckless and dangerous" leak, condemning it "in the strongest terms" as an alleged threat to national security, it's worth keeping in mind, for valuable perspective, what the 1970s legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg wrote in an op/ed for The BRAD BLOG in early 2008...

Many, if not most, covert operations deserve to be disclosed by a free press. They are often covert not only because they are illegal but because they are wildly ill-conceived and reckless. "Sensitive" and "covert" are often synonyms for "half-assed," "idiotic," and "dangerous to national security," as well as "criminal."

As well, John F. Kennedy's April 1961 speech on what he described as this nation's abhorrence of secrecy, and the necessity of a free press --- as delivered to the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York a year or so before his death --- is rather astonishing, and more than a bit ironic, in light of today's leaks and, as directly, the actions of the Executive Branch and its enablers in this country --- in Congress, in the mainstream media and in the public --- over the past dark decade. JFK's remarks include these thoughts among others that must be heard or read...

The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
...
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
...
And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
...
No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.

Here is a five minute or so excerpt from that speech (the full 19-minute version, and complete text transcript are both posted here)...


Please read on for both a transcript of the above video excerpt, and one or two more quick, but noteworthy, thoughts on it thereafter...

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

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The Democratic underdog is pushing buttons, if not touch-screen voting machines, in the Golden State's 4th Congressional District...
By Jim Cirile on 8/31/2010 8:35am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG by Guest Blogger Jim Cirile

It's been a while since we've checked in with election fraud whistleblower turned would-be politician Clint Curtis, so let's bring everyone up to speed. Clint Curtis is the computer programmer who was allegedly asked to write election-flipping software by former Florida Speaker of the House-turned-U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R) back in 2000. Curtis blew the whistle and testified, under oath and on video tape, before a U.S. House Judiciary Committee panel shortly after The BRAD BLOG broke the extraordinary story in late 2004. (Quick recap of the Curtis story and links to our years-long, in-depth coverage right here.)

Curtis fought back, taking on Feeney twice for his congressional seat, only to lose both times - the first to a fishy vote count in 2006 (which Curtis challenged with evidence in hand, only to be shot down by a Democrat-led Congressional committee) and the second time to a pro-Bush Blue Dog millionaire put up by the Dems in the 2008 primary. Feeney, dogged by Curtis' allegations, and an FBI investigation into his dealings with disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, would finally lose his seat in '08. (Curtis' story is covered in depth in the award-winning 2008 documentary film Murder, Spies & Voting Lies.)

You'd think that'd be enough politics for anyone, but not Curtis. He loaded up the truck and moved several hundred miles north of Beverly… Hills, that is. Now armed with a brand-spankin' new law degree, he is mounting one more assault on a Congressional seat --- this time in Northern California's 4th Congressional district.

Will this be another quixotic attempt? Or will the progressive Democratic candidate who ran unchallenged in the recent CA primary, finally break through, giving Congress a much-needed voice of reason and election integrity advocates a serious ally in the House of Representatives?

I recent spoke to Curtis about all of the above, and much more...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/28/2010 11:00am PT  

NYU media prof Jay Rosen offers a number of observations well worth reading in regard to the classified Afghan War documents posted to Wikileaks this week, and how this new form of "journalism" changes the game in many different respects (and in very good ones, overall, I would argue).

One of his points in particular caught my eye, as it seems quite pertinent to the extraordinary allegations of former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds which we've been attempting to dig into and report on --- with far too much exclusivity --- for years here at The BRAD BLOG. Rosen's observation, posted below, echoes the general notion I've come to, of late, in regard to her story, and the lack of media coverage of it. In short, it's likely that the Sibel Edmonds story is simply too large for the media to handle --- even those organizations which aren't, themselves, directly implicated in her explosive allegations.

I'm on the road this week (and for the next many), so don't have time at the moment to provide full background on the Edmonds story for those who don't know of it yet, but we've got plenty here at The BRAD BLOG from our years of coverage if you'd like to poke around. Here's a link to one of my recent Hustler articles on her, which offers the basics and includes some discussion of the "too big to bust" theory that Rosen seems to be articulating below.

His point here seems as germane in regard to the Edmonds story as it does to the massive leak of the classified Afghan War documents which he was writing about...

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

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TONIGHT: CA-4 Candidate Clint Curtis, PLUS: Guy Who Hates Brad!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2010 4:32pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives at the bottom. Enjoy!]

It's my final night this week guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. Mike will be back Monday, but until then, we'll be BradCasting our last show for a while again LIVE from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). It's your last chance for a while to join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in!

The LIVE (and very lively!) chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, 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.)

So far scheduled for tonight's show...

  • GORDON PETERSON, a long-time Democratic Party activist from Dallas and a now-former Malloy Show podcast subscriber who cancelled his subscription, in no small part, because he hates it when I guest host, believes I'm "election-wise clueless", a "Ludditte", doesn't like my "kneejerk halfassed crap" about getting rid of e-voting, and believes we need "MORE computers, rather than less" in our public election systems. He'll explain all of the above tonight! Should be a lively conversation!
  • CLINT CURTIS, former Florida computer programmer/whistleblower who has long-alleged (via sworn affidavit, video-taped testimony to a U.S. House Judiciary panel, and a polygraph test ) that he was asked by former Republican Congressman Tom Feeney to create a vote-rigging software prototype, as originally reported by The BRAD BLOG in 2004, and continuously ever since, and now as told in the documentary: Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, on his candidacy in California's 4th U.S. Congressional district to unseat incumbent Republican Tom McClintock.
  • PLUS: Everything else we didn't get to this week, including YOUR calls on anything you'd like at 877-520-1150, and your tweets to @TheBradBlog and whatever else comes up along the way...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around 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.

* * *

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

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: We had a terrific week sitting in for Mike and Kathy, and hope you enjoyed it even a fraction as much as we did. It was a great week of shows, and tonight (I don't think) was no exception. Audio archives all posted down below, and the archive of the chat room, as usual, below it (wherein Gordon showed up to take still more punishment after coming on air, for some reason)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2010 2:31pm PT  

If you're in or near L.A., there will be a FREE screening tomorrow (Saturday, 5/22) at 1pm, of Murder, Spies and Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story at the Unurban Cafe, 3301 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica. I'll be there for a Q&A afterwards, and to sign DVDs, and would love to see ya there!



And Tonight (Friday, 5/21) at 5pm PT (8pm ET), I'll be live on Russian television's English language news network, RT (formerly "Russia Today") to discuss Rand Paul. Should be fun! If you don't have RT on your cable or satellite system, you can watch RT live online here. Otherwise, I'll try to add the video here later if they post it to YouTube as they often do.

* * *

UPDATE 7:28pm PT: I wish they hadn't called me a "Liberal Blogger," which I find grossly inaccurate. I've corrected them for next time. In any case, had fun on RT. You'll let me know how I did!...


BTW, for those who had been paying attention, I predicted all of this Rand Paul fun earlier in the week, when I wrote in my "Super-ish Tuesday Backgrounder" on Monday:

The "Tea Party," however, may be in for a surprise should Paul win tomorrow and then in November, as he is an actual conservative candidate --- now otherwise known as a libertarian --- meaning he, like his father, calls for removing government entirely from all but those functions called for directly in the Constitution. For example, he supports an immediate pull out of U.S. troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan, an idea that, in truth, is largely anathema to the bulk of the grossly disinformed "Tea Baggers"/GOP base (versus the true "Tea Partiers" who first emerged in 2006 in support of Ron Paul, against George W. Bush, and who were consequently marginalized as wackos back then by the bulk of the GOP and its Bush-lovin' base.)

I just didn't think it was gonna happen on the Wednesday after his Tuesday election! :-)

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By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2010 7:35am PT  

Wonder if our good friend, the alleged vote-rigging conspirator and high-flying Abramoff golf buddy, former Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), will finally get the starring role he deserves in this new documentary. We're very much looking forward to it...


By the way, this is just one of the upcoming films on GOP uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Another one, a theatrical re-telling of his story, is currently in production with Kevin Spacey starring as "Casino Jack," and me not starring, despite my best efforts, as the diminutive yet dangerous Tom Feeney.

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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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Rejects DoJ attempt to invoke so-called 'State Secrets Privilege'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2010 7:34pm PT  

What a shock...

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush.
...
The ruling delivered a blow to the Bush administration’s claims that its surveillance program, which Mr. Bush secretly authorized shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was lawful. Under the program, the National Security Agency monitored Americans’ international e-mail messages and phone calls without court approval, even though the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, required warrants.
...
[Plaintiff's attorney] Jon Eisenberg, said Judge Walker’s ruling was an “implicit repudiation of the Bush-Cheney theory of executive power.”

“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?

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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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