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

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

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


Text transcript follows below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2010 4:17pm PT  

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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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[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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Tonight: David Swanson & War & Lies & WikiLeaks & More...
[Now UPDATED with audio archives!]
By Brad Friedman on 11/26/2010 3:12pm PT  

Hang on to your black Friday dollars by listening to free talk radio tonight on the peoples' airwaves(!), as I finish out the week as guest-host on nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show.

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

Scheduled for tonight's show...

  • DAVID SWANSON, Activist and author of the newly-released, provocative best-seller War is a Lie on wars and lies, of course, (and there seem to be a whole lot of both lately!)
  • PLUS: Speaking of war, the drums are beating in the Koreas and (naturally) towards Iran again. Plus WikiLeaks, Presidential fat lips, media lies and more, plus your calls at 877-520-1150 and tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

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: Wow. Turned out to be a pretty dark show. That's what happens with war, war, lies, war and lies. And Nazis. I guess. Lots of controversy too. Dig in. Commercial free audio archives are below (and the chat room archive is below them.) Thanks again to Mike and Kathy for allowing me to sit in this week, they'll be back on Monday!...

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

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By David Swanson on 11/22/2010 11:35am PT  

-- By David Swanson, Special to The BRAD BLOG

[Ed Note: I'll be guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show several days this week. David Swanson will be one of my guests to discuss his new book. UPDATE: That interview with Swason, a somewhat contentious one at times, is now posted here. - BF]

I didn't write this new book, "War Is A Lie" in order to knock George W. Bush's offensive plagiarized package of lies and open criminality off the top of the book charts, but it certainly would have been worth the effort.

"War Is A Lie" was to be published on Monday, but on Sunday night word was spreading. At 3 p.m. ET the book ranked #1,845 on Amazon.com while Bush's was #1. By 4 p.m. "War Is A Lie" was #1,088; and at 5:30 p.m. #696; at 7:10 p.m. #460; at 8:10 p.m. #226, and at 9:10 p.m. #130. If people kept buying books all night, and certainly if they did so on Monday, Bush was going to be uncrowned. Check where things stand now.

The throne room that Bush made of the oval office may someday be brought back within a representative republic as well.

I've blogged about this today over at Tom Dispatch. Or, rather, I've blogged about the prospects for war and peace in the coming year with the newly elected (or not, who knows?) Congress.

It's going to be fun watching Republican committee chairs subpoena the president and people who obey him, while President Obama has adopted the Bush-Cheney position that Congress has no power over the rest of the government...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/26/2010 9:54pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 do not represent Islam. Far better representatives of Islam are the over 100 Muslims who died at work in the towers that day. No one need apologize for Islam."—Hal Donahue, VoteVets.org

Seeing it as part of their duty to support and defend the Constitution and dismayed by the "toxic effect" of the never-ending "war on terror" upon our society by the process of "dehumanization" which has created "a propensity to violence, a devaluing of others, even our own citizens, and a decided lack of empathy," VoteVet.org, a nation-wide group of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is circulating an "open letter" in support of the right to build a Muslim community center near "Ground Zero"...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/13/2010 8:45pm PT  

Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Sorry, Mr. Gibbs, but your description of a "professional left" whose critiques of your boss, President Barack Obama, should be disregarded as the "crazy" musings of "people who ought to be drug tested" reflects that you are both authoritarian and out-of-touch.

The vast majority of citizens who supported the President in 2008 favor positions on policies that are far more progressive than anything which has emerged from either the corporate-controlled Democratic "leadership" in Congress or the Obama White House. The majority of Americans are by no means obligated to ignore the "democracy deficit" or the betrayal of the President's promise to bring "change we can believe in."

While one can readily agree that many of the Obama administration's policies are an improvement over those which are advanced by the reactionary fascist billionaires, and their mindless "Tea Party" followers, there are many instances in which the policies of the current administration threaten more harm than those of its predecessor. E.g,, those documented by a recent ACLU report (see Democracy Now video below) in which the current administration has created policies that may "enshrine permanently within the law policies and practices that were widely considered extreme and unlawful during the Bush administration."

Perhaps most disturbing is that the President's zeal to please his true constituency --- corporate America, Wall Street and the military-industrial complex --- comes from the same Presidential candidate whose soaring and lofty, yet deceptive campaign rhetoric gave rise to hope in so many that Election Day 2008 would mark a return to economic fairness, transparency, a restoration of the rule of law, an end to the fear-driven perpetual "war on terror," and a restoration of nature's ecological balance.

The title of Studs Turkel's powerful book is Hope Dies Last.

Even during the darkest days of the Bush/Cheney cabal, there was the hope that the foundering American ship of state could be righted by way of the electoral process. By raising the hopes of the American people during the course of the 2008 campaign, only to dash those hopes by betraying his own rhetoric, President Obama has, in some measure, caused more harm than the Bush/Cheney regime...

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

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'Targeted Assassinations' Threaten Very Foundation of Our Republic...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/6/2010 8:06am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"There's no difference between one's killing and making decisions that will send others to kill. It's exactly the same thing, or even worse." - Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir

In a March 25, 2009 article, "Prosecute or Perish," in which I urged that "the survival of our Constitutional Democracy may hinge on factually justified criminal prosecutions of the Bush/Cheney cabal," and again in "Fixing the Facts and Legal Opinions Around the Torture Policy," I took dead aim at the sophistry employed by President Barack Obama to evade his constitutionally mandated obligation to see that the laws are faithfully executed. The same Harvard Law School-educated President who said that, in torture, America had lost its "moral bearings," suggested we must only look forward --- an "illogical formulation [that] was incompatible with the very essence of the rule of law."

I was naive. I thought the President was merely evading his constitutional obligation out of political expediency; that he actually intended to restore the rule of law and salvage what was left of our nation's honor.

A growing body of evidence, including confirmation contained in the recently exposed Afghan "Pentagon Papers," suggests the President did not look back at his predecessor's war crimes because he saw, in the failure to prosecute, the ground work for his own round of "Unitary Executive" lawlessness --- an expanded, illegal and increasingly covert "war on terror" in which hundreds, perhaps thousands of paramilitary assassins, operating in secret and beyond the rule of law, carry out targeted killings of "suspected" terrorists on a global scale --- a program that has already produced massive collateral casualties amongst innocent civilians who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Worse, as revealed by a newly filed lawsuit, the Obama administration has moved beyond the Bush/Cheney cabal's assertion of unchecked Executive lawlessness in the form of extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention and torture. The Obama administration has now not only asserted a right to assassinate anyone that the Executive branch labels a terrorist, including U.S. citizens, but has gone so far as to place lawyers in legal jeopardy should they seek a court order to block an extrajudicial execution unless the executive branch grants the lawyer permission to do so...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2010 10:15am PT  

Ditto:

If We Cared About The Women And Children Of The World

It would be far better to spend $100 billion per year granting them political asylum and paying for their transport and relocation to the US than invading their countries and caressing them with our freedom bombs.

Or you could come up thousands of other ways to spend $100 billion all of which would be almost infinitely better than invading their countries and caressing them with our freedom bombs if we cared about the women and children of the world.

So when an asshole like [Time magazine's managing editor] Rick Stengel suggests we must stay in Afghanistan otherwise more girls will be mutilated even though we're currently in Afghanistan and poor girls are still being tragically mutilated, I don't think that's the real reason he thinks we should be there.

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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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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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By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2010 2:15pm PT  

Tom Ricks, author of the best-sellers Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005 and The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, on the June 27, 2010 Meet the Press after arguing to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) that leaving Afghanistan now would lead to an "endless war" ("I think if you want an endless war, Congresswoman, leave Afghanistan right now, and you'll find us having to go after al-Qaeda again and again there for decades."):

DAVID GREGORY: Twenty seconds, Tom. How does it end?

TOM RICKS: I don't think it does. I think we have landed in the middle of the Middle East, for better or worse, in a way that none of us expected us to. I think the war in Afghanistan was made much worse by the distracting war in Iraq, which never should have happened. But we are dealing with phenomena in the Middle East that's going to be crucial to this country as long as we're dependent on Middle East oil. So the best exit strategy I can think of is emphasize alternative fuels.

Um, yeah. Bingo. (On the "alternative fuels" part, not the 'can't leave now' part.)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/23/2010 1:24pm PT  

Yesterday, both Greta Van Susteren on Fox "News" and Ed Schultz on MSNBC asked the very same viewer poll question during their shows:

"Should President Obama fire Gen. McChrystal?"
Results from viewers as of last night...


YES: 3% - NO: 97%
Total Votes (via website): 7,410

YES: 94% - NO: 6%
Total Votes (via text msg): "Over 22,000"

Two Americas.

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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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