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Ryan Ignores, Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 Presidential hopeful has charming way of winning friends and influencing elderly voters in FL...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2011 3:23pm PT  

Reportedly a photo of President Obama and his national security team watching the U.S. Special Forces operation to capture/kill Osama bin Laden, live yesterday in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The photo is described this way on the White House Flickr stream...

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Please note: a classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

UPDATE: White House reporter Paul Brandus quotes Obama's chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan (seen second from top-right) as saying about the moment in the Situation Room: "It was clearly very tense, a lot of people holding their breath."

UPDATE 7:34pm PT: More details on what was going on in that room during that picture from CBS News.

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Al-Qaeda leader tracked to compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killed during fire fight ordered today by Commander-in-Chief...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2011 7:49pm PT  

New York Times, CNN, NBC, Fox "News" are all now reporting that Osama Bin Laden has been killed. CNN reports three sources have confirmed, and that the U.S. has his body and have matched it with DNA evidence.

CNN reports: "Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official tells CNN."

The White House has called back the press pool to make the dramatic announcement shortly. Crowds outside the the north lawn of the White House are now gathering and cheering, as we sill await the president's official announcement...

8:37pm PT:...

PRESIDENT OBAMA CONFIRMS: BIN LADEN HAS BEEN KILLED.

In live televised statement to the nation, the president says Bin Laden was killed today in Abbottabad, Pakistan after actionable intelligence led him to order an attack by the U.S. military. A fire fight ensued, though no U.S. forces were killed.

He added that the effort, ten years after the 9/11 attacks, comes as a result of one of his first acts in office two years ago, ordering that the capture or killing of the al-Qaeda leader would be the nation's top priority in the "War on Terror."

"Justice has been done," said the President...

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

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Four weeks ago, Pakistan paper reported ex-President had foreknowledge of ex-Prime Minister's murder...
By Ron Brynaert on 3/10/2011 2:30pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ron Brynaert

What if an arrest warrant related to an ex-prime minister's assassination was sent to Great Britain for an ex-dictator on the lam but nobody in America or England covered it?

Nearly a month ago, on February 6, I wrote at The BRAD BLOG asking if the U.S. media was enabling a U.S.-enabled dictator:

America's longtime economic and diplomatic support for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his despotic government has dominated news reports the last few weeks, but the US media has practically ignored stunning news regarding another former ally in the global war on terror.

"A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for ousted military leader Pervez Musharraf on Saturday over allegations he played a role in the 2007 assassination of an ex-prime minister and rival," the Associated Press reported over the weekend, although no major US newspaper seems to have followed up. "It was a major setback for the onetime U.S. ally, who was plotting a political comeback from outside the country."

Musharraf "seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999" and resigned in 2008 after impeachment charges were finalized against him by the newly elected government. After returning from self-imposed exile, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally on December 27, 2007.

But with an arrest warrant now issued for Musharraf --- a very close partner for much of the last decade in the U.S. "War on Terror" --- involving the assassination of a former Prime Minister, the U.S. corporate media has been curiously quiet, or otherwise extraordinarily sympathetic to Pakistan's former dictator...

[More information on the warrants and highlights from a UN report condemning Musharraf's government can be found at my last BRAD BLOG article.]

If you haven't read anything or seen anything or heard anything in the American or British media about this case since, perhaps, Saturday the latest, that doesn't necessarily mean nothing has happened. Quite the contrary, in fact. But, apparently, the US and UK media haven't felt you needed to know about it...

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

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Despite warrant issued for former Pakistani President Musharraf's arrest in the assassination of former Prime Minister Bhutto, major U.S. media remains curiously quiet...
By Ron Brynaert on 2/16/2011 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ron Brynaert

America's longtime economic and diplomatic support for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his despotic government has dominated news reports the last few weeks, but the US media has practically ignored stunning news regarding another former ally in the global war on terror.

"A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for ousted military leader Pervez Musharraf on Saturday over allegations he played a role in the 2007 assassination of an ex-prime minister and rival," the Associated Press reported over the weekend, although no major US newspaper seems to have followed up. "It was a major setback for the onetime U.S. ally, who was plotting a political comeback from outside the country."

Musharraf "seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999" and resigned in 2008 after impeachment charges were finalized against him by the newly elected government. After returning from self-imposed exile, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally on December 27, 2007.

But with an arrest warrant now issued for Musharraf --- a very close partner for much of the last decade in the U.S. "War on Terror" --- involving the assassination of a former Prime Minister, the U.S. corporate media has been curiously quiet, or otherwise extraordinarily sympathetic to Pakistan's former dictator...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2010 3:28pm PT  
NORAD: Loses Contact With Santa Over Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan: December 24 - America's NORAD tracking facilities in Virginia confirmed that at 2:06 PM today they lost contact with Santa Clause's sleigh. At the time the signal showed Santa's slay over the autonomous tribal regions that share a border with Afghanistan.

"We have no further information at this time," said a NORAD spokesman. "The last transmission we had from Santa was when he filed his flight plan upon leaving Iranian airspace headed for Afghanistan. We had issued Santa the standard travel warnings about the region, but he insisted on keeping to his traditional flight track."

Pentagon sources, who asked to remain anonymous, said a CIA listening post on the Afghan/Pakistan border picked up a garbled distress call around the time NORAD lost Santa's signal. "It was barely legible," the sources said, "but there was something about going down and something about a drone. After that all we heard were jingle bells ringing like holy hell followed by twelve 'splat-like" sounds and then silence."
...
As we went to press al Qaeda in Pakistan issued a statement on Santa's disappearance.

"The infidel Claus was struck from our skies by the hand of Allah who caused a US drone to fire on his craft. Our fighters reached the crash site and report that reindeer taste like goat, but tougher. The infidel Claus is alive and is being held for interrogation. Our demands for his release will follow shortly. In the meantime, thanks for the printer cartridges. As for the mens' underwear, we clearly asked for briefs, not boxers. You are not only infidels but also stupid."

Full report...

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

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

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

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

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

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

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At Least 20 Others Also Killed in Combination Shooting-Suicide Bomb Attack
UPDATE: Al Qaeda Claims Responsiblity; Violence Erupts Across Pakistan
By Desi Doyen on 12/27/2007 9:19am PT  

Guest Blogged by DES

Washington Post coverage...

Bhutto, 54, was being driven from the rally in her bulletproof vehicle when she asked that the rooftop hatch be opened so she could bid supporters farewell, according to several aides, including one who was sitting next to her.

As she leaned her head through the hatch, between three and five gunshots rang out, aides said. Bhutto sank back into her seat, just as a large bomb detonated to the left of her vehicle. Those inside the car said her face was badly bloodied. It was not clear whether she'd been hit by bullets or shrapnel from the bombing. She lost consciousness, aides said, and never regained it.

The explosion, apparently by a suicide bomber, killed at least 20 people outside the car, and injured many others. Police were investigating whether the bomber was also the gunman. One possibility was that the assailant fired the shots and then, after being tackled by security officials, detonated the bomb.

Coverage from around the world, including the inevitable politicization in this country, and a late update or two, all follow below...

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

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Unrest following killing of 'rebel leader' Nawab Akbar Bugti doesn't want to go away ...
By Winter Patriot on 9/5/2006 2:08pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Online News [Pakistan] September 6, 2006: NATO forces be deployed in Balochistan: BNP [emphasis added, here and below]

ISLAMABAD: Abdul Rauf Mengal MNA of Balochistan National Party (BNP) has said he will resign from his assembly seat as per party decision today to register protest against killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti (photo).

He said this while addressing a press conference in cafeteria of parliament here Tuesday. He told BNP had decided to resign from senate , national assembly, provincial assembly and district government.
...
He alleged the incumbent government and the generals are murderers of Nawab Akbar Bugti. Forces be withdrawn from Balochistan and NATO troops be deployed there.

What? Did we miss something?

Apparently! Somewhere in between the hunt for the real reason why Rashid Rauf was arrested and the stunning interruption in the Pakistani cricket tour to Britain, we did miss something of importance. I've been meaning to blog about it, but in the midst of everything else it hasn't quite risen to the top of my To-Do List --- until now!

Quotes and links from relevant stories you may have missed, below the fold:

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

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