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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'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
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
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
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

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...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Only if They Make Enough Money At It, According to House Version of Bill...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2007 11:55am PT  

Earlier this month, BRAD BLOG's D.C. Correspondent, Margie Burns, sat in on Senate Judiciary Committee hearings concerning a federal "reporter's shield law," ostensibly meant as a way to offer protection for the sources of journalists, while defining exceptions for national security issues. As the bill was voted out of committee she posed some interesting concerns here about it.

Yesterday, Burns wrote at her own site, the House passed their own version of the GOP-introduced, MSM-supported law, but she notes there's a small --- yet very important --- difference in the House bill's definition of "covered person"...

The House version reads,

"(2) COVERED PERSON- The term 'covered person' means a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person."

The Senate version reads,

"(2) COVERED PERSON- The term 'covered person' means a person who is engaged in journalism and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such person."

Well, that's an important difference, indeed. One that could substantially effect bloggers, such as ourselves, and certainly those on blogs both smaller and larger (e.g., even the huge Huffington Post, where bloggers are not paid). Under the law, if the compromise version of both houses is passed using the House definition, it could potentially mean that we would not be "covered person" and thus not protected from being required by law to disclose our sources.

Such a statue could be a devastating blow to the ability of folks like us, not on a regular salaried contract with a major metropolitan newspapers or broadcast network, to guarantee privacy to our sources. Many of the stories that The BRAD BLOG has broken and reported over the years simply could not have existed without such promises to insider and whistleblower sources.

Burns goes on to bullet-point a list of those she feels would and wouldn't be covered by the definition of "covered person" in the House version of the bill, including most bloggers as she sees it.

"In other words," she charges, "a 'covered person' is basically anyone Bob Novak could tolerate, and not covered is everyone who might hypothetically or even accidentally be perceived as a threat to the Novaks of this world. What could be sweeter? --- for Robert Novak."

UPDATE: Nate Anderson at ars technica offers additional thoughts.

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After 17 Years on Death Row, Davis Will Have Opportunity To Present New Evidence
The 'Forgotten Victim' Speaks in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive...
By Emily Levy on 8/3/2007 1:32am PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Emily Levy

"The part what really makes me mad is the part that I don't know who hit me. You know, it might sound weird, but that'd be a little bit of closure for me to know who done it. You know, because when I got hit, and I hearin' somebody clicking a gun by my head about three, four times, and that gun not going off. You know, for a lot of years I've been hearing that click and I've been hearing that gun going off. Jumping up out of my sleep."
--Larry Young, July 2007, 18 years after he was attacked in the parking lot of a Savannah, Georgia Burger King.

You might think Larry Young would know who hit him, because two weeks ago the man who was convicted in the case came within 24 hours of being executed by the State of Georgia. But Larry Young doesn't know because he, like nearly all the witnesses whose testimony originally convicted Troy Anthony Davis of the assault on Young and the murder of a white police officer that night, doesn't believe Davis is guilty. Next week, the testimony these witnesses want to give, testimony that will show their original "witness statements" were coerced by police, will finally be heard.

On August 19, 1989, Larry Young, an African American man who was then homeless, was assaulted in a Burger King parking lot by two or three men. He was hit in the head by what is believed to be a gun. As Young described to The BRAD BLOG in a phone interview, he fell to the ground, bleeding. Someone held a gun to his head and tried to shoot him, but the gun didn't fire. Young's friend dragged him away from the assailants. Before they got far, they heard two gunshots. Police officer Mark Allen McPhail had been killed.

Young himself was detained that night, he told The BRAD BLOG. "The blood was just steady fallin', sort of fallin' … The police grabbed me, threw me on the car, handcuffed me and threw me in the police car. And I was back there for about a hour and a half, maybe about a hour and a half. And I kept telling 'em, you know, I needed some medical attention."

The police took him in for questioning, refusing him medical care until he signed a statement implicating Troy Davis, a man he says he never saw that night, in his attack and the killing of Officer McPhail.

Young told The BRAD BLOG, "So whatever statements that they made me take, I mean, it was just a lot of statements made like, 'Well, you give me a statement of what you need, what we need, and then you'll go to the hospital.' So therefore whatever the statements were that was given was not accurate statements. ... I'm concerned ... about my health, you know. And I'm hearing these clicks in my head still, you know what I'm saying, sitting up there, I'm pretty much kinda scared. So I just pretty much signed what they wanted me to sign and whatever went on the courtroom, you know, I mean it was all pretty much like coerced."

On evidence like this, the State of Georgia may send Troy Davis to his death?...

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

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91% Of Country Supports Legislation That Bush Has Threatened To Veto
By Alan Breslauer on 7/25/2007 12:00am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer




Marian Wright Edelman appeared on Democracy Now today to discuss legislation supported by Democrats and Republicans in both houses, along with 91% of the American people, to extend health coverage to nine million uninsured children. Amy Goodman points out that the expansion of the so-called "S-CHIP program" to cover more children even enjoys "tepid" support from pharma and insurance groups.

Yet, while Americans overwhelmingly want to protect the most vulnerable among us, at least one person fervently disagrees:

President Bush: “I believe government cannot provide affordable health care. I believe it would cause --- it would cause the quality of care to diminish. I believe there would be lines and rationing over time. If Congress continues to insist upon expanding health care through the S-CHIP program --- which, by the way, would entail a huge tax increase for the American people --- I'll veto the bill.”

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

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By Alan Breslauer on 7/10/2007 7:16pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Following on yesterday's Michael Moore smackdown of Wolf Blitzer, Sanjay Gupta, and CNN specifically and the MSM in general, Moore and Gupta had it out tonight on Larry King Live after Moore fact-checked Gupta's so-called "Reality Check" from the evening before.

The Moore/Gupta appearance is below, broken into three parts...

Part 1


Parts 2 and 3 of the Moore/Gupta appearance on Larry King Live follow below...

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

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By Alan Breslauer on 7/10/2007 5:13pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

The continuation of the well publicized brouhaha (ed note: ass kicking!) between Michael Moore and Wolf Blitzer may not provide the fireworks witnessed around the country yesterday but it is still a worthy watch. Blitzer is considerably more conciliatory (ed note: tamed!) this time around referring to parts of Moore's new movie Sicko as "powerful" on more than one occasion. Moore, however, saved the best for last with a classic comment to Blitzer at the very end of the segment that had me laughing out loud and should not be missed.

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Bravo...
By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2007 11:22pm PT  

We just saw Michael Moore's Sicko tonight in St. Louis, and so were pleased to return to our current home base, to find RAW STORY's video coverage of Moore's long overdue smack down with Wolf Blitzer and CNN from earlier this afternoon.

Go watch it. If only for Moore's taking Blitzer and his network to task for helping us into the endless and idiotic Iraq quagmire. (If you can't watch the video, the tull text transcript is now posted here.)

"Just apologize to the American people and to the families of the troops for not doing your job four years ago," Moore excoriated Blitzer after a "Reality Check" report on Sicko by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, which the filmmaker declared "so biased it's unbelievable."

"We wouldn't be in this war if you had done your job. Come on. Just admit it. Just apologize to the American people," he continued in just one choice selection of his rant against the CNN and the mainstream media failures that sent us into --- and have kept us in --- this mess. (After checking out the video, you can send your thoughts to CNN here.)

Thank you, Michael. Again.

As to the movie, go watch that too. We'd have more to say about it, but we're still pondering it all. We had hoped to go with a couple of doctors (our cousins) so they could tell us what was "wrong" with the movie. But for some reason, they weren't interested in going. We hope you will be. It was exceedingly eye-opening even if --- despite all the kudos Moore has received for "his most mature film to date" --- we think he pulled a few punches. Perhaps we preferred him when he was less mature, but maybe that's just us.

But if that was any drawback to his film, and it really wasn't, he made up for it --- in spades --- today with dead on-target ass-whooping to the hapless Wolf Blitzer and friends.

UPDATE 7/10/07: As promised, during his fracas with Blitzer, Moore has now posted a fact-filled refutation of Gupta's so-called "Reality Check". We'll see if CNN and Blitzer, as promised, issues the appropriate apologies and corrections in light of it. Also, well worth reading in response to all of those MSM'ers who so diligently "fact check" when it comes to Moore's film (hey, they need to hold "power" accountable, right? Might as well try to do it once every three years when a Michael Moore film comes out!) see James Clay Fuller's "Commenting on the Commentaries" from Twin Cities Daily Planet. Finally, Moore appears for "Part 2" with Blitzer tonight at 7pm ET on CNN's The Situation Room, and perhaps more notably, with Gupta himself on CNN's Larry King Live tonight at 9pm ET. Someone feel like counting the number of commercials for Health Providers and Pharmaceutical Companies during those two hours alone on CNN, just for yucks?

LATER UPDATES: Video of Part 2 of the Moore/Blitzer interview, aired the next day, now posted here. Video of the Moore appearance with Gupta on Larry King Live now posted here.

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Author Chris Hedges Warns About The Christian Nationalist Movement
By Alan Breslauer on 2/12/2007 4:44pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

If it sounds like fascism and looks like fascism, it probably is fascism. This harrowing six plus minute clip is cut from a recent Chris Hedges talk for American Fascists, his newly released book about the totalitarian Christian Nationalist Movement. Hedges believes that the movement has grown to the stage whereby comparisons to Germany in the early 1930s are not unjust. And he reminds Americans that even with the Nazis, the process was a "slow, gradual, almost imperceptible" erosion of society which went unnoticed until it was too late.

Particularly worrisome is that very few leaders, especially within the Democratic party, are "standing up and ringing the alarm bells." One leader who "gets it" is newly elected Senator Jim Webb, who understands the threat that economic dislocation and the creation of an American oligarchy pose to our democracy. It is hardly a new idea, Hedges points out, that the "disparity between the rich and the poor is the worst ailment that can beset any republic."

Another truism dating back to Athenian Democracy is "that the tyranny we impose on others we will one day impose on ourselves." And today we are a country only capable of speaking in the language of violence. That this violence has already begun to show up locally, whether in our prison system or Blackwater mercenaries patrolling the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, should scare everyone.

Finally, Hedges worries that in the event of a crisis we will not have the organized power to stand up against them. In an unrelated story, the New York Times and most news outlets are printing bogus articles about Iran in what former administration officials believe is an attempt to spark a conflict.

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Report cites 'Treaty Violations', 'Hubris', and 'Willful Disregard For International And Domestic Law' ... and even at that, it just scratches the surface!
WAKE UP, AMERICA! Your shame is world-wide.
By Winter Patriot on 8/4/2006 6:01am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

From Larisa Alexandrovna of RAW STORY:

UN report a 'moral indictment' of US

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has released its final report after a series of hearings in Geneva last week, which RAW STORY has learned amounts to a moral indictment of US treaty violations, as well as what some attendees and delegates described as US hubris, willful disregard for international and domestic law, and contempt for the Committee itself.

Anybody surprised? I didn't think so.

I can't quote the whole article but I can encourage you to read it!

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If You Haven't Done So Lately, Please Read It...It May Suprise You...
And Happy 4th...
By Brad Friedman on 7/4/2006 12:10pm PT  
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

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

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Tony Snow's Denial May Haunt Him As First Lie While Press Secretary
By David Edwards on 5/18/2006 8:22am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

This video provides some background to a special story posted on THE BRAD BLOG yesterday, by White House Correspondent Eric Brewer of BTC News. During a White House press conference, Eric Brewer asked about reports of the Patriot Act being used to spy on journalists. The video is an interview with ABC's Brian Ross who first reported that the Patriot Act is being used to spy on journalists.

White House Press Secretary issued a rather weak denial. Snow denied that National Security Letters, enabled by the Patriot Act, were being used to spy on journalists. He then said that National Security Letters were only concerned with Foreign to Domestic calls so "the pieces just don't add up." (see: Eric Brewer's article for Snow's full response.)

Snow's answer was misleading and possibly wrong. The FBI can issue National Security Letters (NSL) to collect personal records for a target and all of that target's contacts. In this way, a single NSL can collect records for a social network of hundreds of people. Organizations that are ordered to hand over their customer's information via an NSL are immediately gagged from revealing the NSL to anyone. Last year, the FBI targeted about 3500 Americans using NSL's without a warrant or the approval of any court. The FBI investigates domestic crimes; NSL's issued by the FBI are certainly being used to spy on Americans.

In this video, Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! interviews ABC's Brian Ross who was first to report that the federal government was spying on ABC News and other media organizations. Some of what Ross says is truly shocking and should give every American pause.

The video consists of about 7 minutes of clips from the Brian Ross interview. The entire 16 minute interview is available at DemocracyNow!.

Keep reading for a few selected quotes from the Ross interview...

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

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Tony Snow gets his first tough question from BRAD BLOG's WH correspondent...
By Winter Patriot on 5/17/2006 2:25pm PT  

Special to BRAD BLOG by BTC News White House Correspondent Eric Brewer

Today during the White House briefing I asked Tony Snow this question:

There have been news reports this week that the FBI is using the Patriot Act to obtain phone records of journalists without their knowledge and without judicial oversight. As a former journalist, are you at all concerned about this sort of intrusion on press freedom?

Tony denied the allegation, saying:

I would be concerned if there was grounding to it. There have been reports, but once again, what it has referred to, the NSF [sic] program, which is strictly concerned with foreign, international terrorism. I'm sorry, the pieces just don't add up.

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

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BONUS VIDEO - Bush Prefers to Promote Inner-Circle of Criminals
By David Edwards on 5/12/2006 7:43am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Jonathan Turley is a Law Professor at George Washington University. He is an expert on Constitutional Law and legal ethics. He also specializes in legal services for defendants in cases involving classified material. Turley appeared as guest on MSNBC's Countdown to help explain the legal issues with the NSA's ongoing collection of "billions of phone calls" of "tens of millions of Americans."

The Communications Act of 1934 states that phone companies can not give out information on its' customers calling habits. Examining the possible legality of the NSA program, Jonathan Turley says, "If what was reported in USA TODAY is true... it seems to me, once again to violate Federal Law." Turley concludes, "I've spent a day now looking for the possible authority that they would use for this operation and I've come up with nothing."

BONUS VIDEO - Turley: Bush Prefers to Promote Inner-Circle of Criminals


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The night before USA TODAY broke the NSA Call Database story, Jonathan Turley made another appearance on MSNBC's Countdown. In this interview, Turley uses the nomination of General Hayden as CIA Director to point out a pattern in the types of activities and people that President Bush prefers to promote.

Turley notes the large number of people in Bush's inner-circle that have been accused of criminals activities, a lack of legal ethics and even indicted/convicted crimnals. General Hayden's creation and subsequent defense of NSA programs that violate civil rights and FISA laws is the latest visible example in this pattern.

Jonathan Turley makes a serious comparison between the HBO's fictional crime family and the Bush's inner-circle. There is an obvious comparison between the loyalty and obedience required to be "made" in the Soprano family and the people allowed in Bush's bubble. Turley also wonders if criminal activity benefiting the Bush's goals is an attribute that accelerates a person's initiation into the "Bush Crime Family".

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By David Edwards on 5/11/2006 9:15am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

This morning, USA TODAY is reporting that their sources confirm that the National Security Agency is secretly building a massive database of American's phone calls. The database has been called the "largest database ever assembled in the world."

The source said that the NSA's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the borders of the United States. This particular program does not actually monitor conversations but is used for data mining along with data collected by other secret NSA program such as the warrantless domestic spying program and numerous other sources. Data collected by U.S. companies such as credit history, buying patterns and mailing lists are used along with data collected by the intelligence community. NSA whistleblower Russell Tice has said (60 Minutes video clip here) that there may be many other secret programs which spy on "millions of Americans". The phone call database alone is said to collect information on "tens of millions of Americans." Combining and analyzing all of these sources of data amount to an appalling and possibly illegal invasion into the private lives of Americans.

If you use AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth --- the three largest phone companies --- then your phone calls are being collected by the NSA. These three companies alone provide service to over over 200 million customers. Like the warrantless domestic spying program, the NSA has not obtained warrants or notified the FISA court about collecting phone calls. Qwest was the only phone company that refused to hand over phone call records until the NSA obtained a FISA warrant. (You can thank Qwest right here.) The NSA refused to go the FISA court. But customers with Qwest accounts are not immune to the NSA's violation of privacy. Many customers who have Qwest also use AT&T or Verizon for long distance service. The NSA can also cross-reference other databases to build a nearly complete profile for an individual.

George W. Bush has said that the program is lawful and necessary for fighting terrorism. He also says that the private lives of Americans are not being violated.

In this video clip, NBC's Today Show reports on the NSA's ongoing collection of domestic phone calls.

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By David Edwards on 5/5/2006 7:50am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern smackdowned of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld during an event in Atlanta yesterday. During a Q&A period, McGovern demanded answers for a few of Rumsfeld's more specious claims.

Almost certainly, you have already seen or heard highlights of this clip. This version from MSNBC's Countdown contains the full 4 minute exchange between Rumsfeld and McGovern as well various other protesters being roughly handled and removed from the venue. Richard Wolffe of Newsweek provides analysis of the political fallout for Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration.

UPDATE: Text transcript here...

FURTHER UPDATE: Brad conducted an hourlong interview McGovern on The BRAD SHOW in June of 2005 just prior to his congressional testimony on the Downing Street Memos. It was a fascinating interview, if we may say so ourselves. Audio archive [MP3] or text transcript of the interview.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2006 11:58pm PT  

From Charlie Savage in today's Boston Globe...

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office

WASHINGTON --- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

I began to try and pick and choose a few grafs to highlight from this extensive article. Upon reading it in full, however, I was generally so sickened I had no idea where to start.

Suffice to say, that --- unless someone can offer some alternative view to the situation about which Savage adeptly reports --- those so-called "Bush Haters" who've been saying for years that we are on a clear trajectory, hurling towards full-blown tyranny and/or fascism and/or dictatorship, were far more correct than I'd ever given them credit for.

Without some mitigating information in reply to Savage's work, the article suggests we are in a gravely serious Constitutional Crisis in this country. Far above and beyond what I believe has generally been understood. At least by me.

Please read the full article...

(A non-registration-required version here.)

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