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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Convicted rightwing criminal may also have violated terms of his federal probation...
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2010 2:19pm PT  

Convicted federal criminal and Rightwing dirty-trickster James O'Keefe appears to have flagrantly run afoul of the rule of law yet again. This time, he appears to have violated and/or conspired to violate Maryland's Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act. It would not be the first instance of him having done so.

The apparent violation(s) of state felony laws, revealed today as part of what is being reported as O'Keefe's "botched" attempt to "punk CNN", comes on the heels of O'Keefe's previous apparent violations of the very same laws in MD, though law enforcement officials have yet to hold him accountable, to date, for those previous offenses.

Documents and other material produced by CNN today suggest that O'Keefe secretly, and illegally, taped phone calls he had with CNN's investigative journalist Abbie Boudreau, and conspired to secretly video tape her in a compromising situation, also in violation of MD law.

O'Keefe, who is currently on probation after pleading guilty to a federal misdemeanor following another botched scheme in Louisiana earlier this year, seems to have broken similar laws last year in a number of states, including Maryland, where he secretly video taped employees at the offices of the community organization ACORN in Baltimore. Despite requests to MD law enforcement by a non-profit watchdog organization for a criminal investigation into the previous apparent violations of the state's felony wiretap laws --- and despite recognition of the "possible" violation of those laws in a number of law enforcement investigations elsewhere --- no action has been taken to date by state officials...

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

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Dire, deadly consequences of our irrational, greed-driven, vice-into-virtue economic system
Perverse priorities undermine democracy, destroy our sense of humanity and community...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/1/2010 5:48am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

While the recent recall of more than a half billion eggs in the wake of some 1,470 Salmonella infections has triggered a renewed focus on the dangers posed by factory farms to human health and to the environment (see videos below), the discussion stops short because factory farms are but one symptom of the deadly consequences of a perverse ideology whose sole purpose is to expand the already obscene wealth of less than 1% of the population at the expense of a healthy economy, community, the environment, peace, and the very ability of our planet to sustain life...

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

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Vic Rawl says inexplicable Democratic primary contest casts 'cloud' over state election; Notes 'irregularities', problem reports from voters, poll workers, vows 'electoral reform', calls for 'full and unblinking investigation of overall integrity' of state's ES&S voting system...
UPDATE: 'Burden of proof' on Rawls. Good luck with that.
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2010 12:32pm PT  

[UPDATED at end of article.]

A formal challenge to the announced results of South Carolina's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate has now been filed by Judge Vic Rawl, the candidate who wasn't announced the winner by the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, 100% unverifiable ES&S e-voting system.

Rawl released an official statement on his website today, in conjunction with the filing and a press conference he held in Charleston this afternoon.

The statement points generally to a number of findings being made by the campaign as independent experts have analyzed the results, voting patterns and problems being reported by poll workers and voters on Election Day where the unknown, unemployed candidate Alvin Greene defeated Rawl on the unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems, performing 11 points better on those machines than he did in the paper-based absentee results. The oft-failed, easily-manipulated ES&S election results reporting system gave Greene a 59% to 41% "victory" over Rawl.

Greene did no campaigning, had no name recognition, had no campaign website, faces felony obscenity charges and managed, somehow, according to the electronic results, to best Rawl, a four-term state legislator to win the nomination to face incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in this November's general election.

We've covered details and analysis of this bizarre matter in two previous articles since last Tuesday's election:

As you'll see below, Rawl's official statement today reads as an indictment of the state's electronic voting system and, frankly, as a summary of years of The BRAD BLOG's oft-ignored reporting (and warnings) about the ES&S e-voting system's disastrously failed record...

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

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Carnage continues to mount as Obama's lethal 'look forward, not backward' strategy continues to fail...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2010 4:02pm PT  

An argument could be made that the greatest beneficiary of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf has been Massey Energy's CEO Don Blankenship. Until the Gulf Gusher took over the front pages, the serious heat, in both media and Congress, had been on Blankenship and the coal mine explosion which took the lives of 29 miners at Massey's Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. Remember that?

Well, the investigation has very quietly --- and largely behind closed doors, to the chagrin of family members of the victims --- proceeded into that fossil fuel-related disaster, even as Blankenship must be thanking the Oily Gods for taking him momentarily out of the spotlight. So let's put him back in it, shall we?

Given that the mafia-like strongman tactics seen in remarkable video tape revealing Blankenship roughing up an ABC News reporter in 2008 --- which we've only just now seen (it's posted in full below) --- could as well be a scene straight out of Goodfellas or The Sopranos, the news today from the Charleston Gazette seems par for the course.

Ken Ward Jr. is reporting at the paper's "Coal Tattoo" blog today that the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has reportedly told victim's family members that a page is mysteriously missing from the "fireboss book" at Massey's Upper Big Branch Mine...

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For Hunter to be disbarred, for Blankenship to be arrested...
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2010 4:05pm PT  

Following on Brad Jacobson's investigative expose last month at RAW STORY concerning GOP operative turned EAC commissioner turned FEC commissioner Caroline Hunter, Velvet Revolution.us (VR) has filed a complaint [DOC] with the DC Court of Appeals asking for her disbarment based on the purposely misleading statements she offered under oath in a federal court hearing concerning allegations of voter suppression by the RNC in Ohio in the final days of the 2004 election. RAW's Muriel Kane provides details here...

And in other accountability news, VR's StopTheChamber.com campaign called yesterday for the arrest of Massey Energy CEO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Director Don Blankenship for being "criminally culpable as any mass murderer," following the deaths of 29 miners at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia last week. RAW's Daniel Tencer covers that story here...

[Full Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]

The heat is just beginning to build for Blankenship, and hopefully it will continue, as it should have long ago but for the millions he has spent to date to avoid virtually any and all such accountability. His ability to do so, using the abusive power of the U.S. Chamber to help in that effort, needs to end...

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Assassination threat issued; Windows smashed at Democratic Congressional offices in five states, so far
Since report, direct threat apparently acted upon against VA Rep...
By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2010 2:32pm PT  

This is an exceedingly disturbing report from last night's Rachel Maddow Show on the rising wave of terrorism by Rightwing extremists --- now known as the Republican Party --- in the wake of the passage of healthcare insurance reform.

I've long warned, and stand by the disturbing prediction again today, that someone will end up dead before this is all over. Where, oh, where, are the responsible GOP leaders who ought to be denouncing what's going on here loudly and clearly?

It's somewhat remarkable that Maddow never uses the word "terrorism" in this report, despite this meeting the very definition of the word. (Ed note: Please see correction on this point below.)


Since Maddow's report last night, things have only gotten reportedly worse. In VA, according to Politico, a tea bagger has posted what he thought was the home address of Democratic Rep. Thomas Perriello, inviting others to "drop by" and lend a "personal touch" to their opinions on the freshman Congressman's vote on health insurance reform. The address, however, turned out to be that of his brother who has a wife and four children under the age of eight.

Officials are now investigating a severed gas line at his brother's home.

Watch Maddow's report. This story ought to be the lead of every broadcast media outlet right now (and it certainly would have seen wall-to-wall coverage on Fox "News" had these been Republican offices vandalized by domestic Democratic-leaning terrorists.)

Also, please consider signing on to Velvet Revolution's StopDomesticTerror.com campaign before it's too late again. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR. Hat-tip: BRAD BLOG reader "PS".]

* * *

CORRECTION 3/26/10: Not sure how I missed it --- must have been jotting down a note at the moment she mentioned it --- but in fact, Maddow did note that some of these acts sound very much as if they are "close to the legal definition of terrorism in this country." She did so at appx. the 8:30min mark in the video above. My apologies for the oversight, and my thanks to BRAD BLOG commenter Lora for pointing it out.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2010 12:06pm PT  


Doris "Granny D" Haddock
1910 - 2010


"Granny D" was surely one of the greatest Americans of all time. In 2005 we were "moved beyond words" when she helped to launch VelvetRevolution.us, the activist organization co-founded early that year by The BRAD BLOG.

More on this extraordinary patriot who, at the age of 89 walked 3,200 miles from coast to coast to draw attention to the need for campaign finance form, and kept up the fight until the day she died, right here and here.

This nation could use millions more like her. Our loss today is immeasurable.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2010 2:44pm PT  

Press release, as issued today, by media/election/corruption watchdog organization Velvet Revolution.us [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is co-founder of VR], concerning the New York Times' blatant and repeated mis-reporting on the James O'Keefe/Andrew Breitbart false ACORN "pimp" story, and the "paper of record's" remarkable excuses for still refusing to issue retractions, explanations and apologies:

Watchdog Group Demands Retraction and Explanation From New York Times for Multiple Inaccurate O'Keefe/ACORN/'Pimp' Reports

NYT's Senior Editor for Standards "stands by" repeated misreporting, cites Fox News appearance by rightwing propaganda "journalist" as "evidence," despite contrary eye-witness testimony, independent reports and video

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- National nonpartisan watchdog group Velvet Revolution calls on the New York Times to immediately issue a retraction and correction of its repeated, inaccurate reporting that James O'Keefe entered offices of The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) dressed as a "pimp." This information is false.

"Not since the Times' flagrant and inexcusable front-page 'reporting' by Judith Miller on Saddam Hussein's non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction has the paper so irresponsibly, and repeatedly, in saturation coverage, helped to mislead the American people in a way that has caused so much harm," says Brad Friedman, Velvet Revolution co-founder and publisher of The BRAD BLOG, which first reported on the Times' errors.

In several stories over the past six months, the Times falsely reported that O'Keefe:

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2010 1:40pm PT  

After just 37 minutes of deliberation, a jury in Kansas found Scott Roeder, the murderer of Dr. George Tiller guilty on all counts. The 51-year-old airport shuttle driver faces a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole in 25 years, though prosecutors have expressed they hope to get a "Hard 50" for him --- meaning he'd not be eligible for parole unless he lived to be 101.

Though during the trial the domestic terrorist Roeder told the court he'd decided as long ago as 1993 to try and kill Tiller, it wasn't until after months of increasing demonization by the rightwing media that Roeder finally found the courage to shoot Tiller in the head during a Sunday church service in Wichita last year.

Before his murder, Tiller, who for years had performed perfectly legal abortion procedures, had been villainized in an ongoing media campaign, led most notably by Bill O'Reilly of Fox "News." O'Reilly, who, despite his own false claims to the contrary had described him on air, time and again, as "Tiller the Baby Killer" and repeatedly told viewers on the most popular program on cable "news" that "This guy will kill your baby for $5,000, any reason. Any reason."

Roeder testified during the trial that he "did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children. ... If I didn’t do it, the babies were going to die the next day."

Other related statements, for which O'Reilly has never been held accountable, include:

  • "In the state of Kansas, there is a doctor, George Tiller, who will execute babies for $5,000."
  • "For $5,000, 'Tiller the Baby Killer' --- as some call him --- will perform a late-term abortion for just about any reason."
  • "Tiller has killed thousands, thousands of late-term fetuses without explanation."
  • "No question, Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands."
  • " 'Tiller the Baby Killer' out in Kansas, acquitted, acquitted today of murdering babies."
  • "This guy will kill your baby for $5,000, any reason. Any reason."
  • "If we allow Dr. George Tiller and his acolytes to continue, we can no longer pass judgment on any behavior by anybody."
  • "If we allow this, America will no longer be a noble nation."

O'Reilly also said of Tiller:

  • He "destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000."
  • He's guilty of "Nazi stuff,"
  • a moral equivalent to NAMBLA and al-Qaida
  • "This is the kind of stuff that happened in Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union"
  • "operating a death mill"
  • "has blood on his hands"
  • "executing babies about to be born"

...Among many other similar statements.

While legal abortion providers have been forced to further defend themselves against continuing terror threats such as that carried out by Roeder, O'Reilly, who arguably helped foment the rage expressed by the murder of Tiller, remains on Rupert Murdoch's cable channel where he continues to "report" in similarly irresponsible fashion to millions of Americans each night.

VelvetRevolution.us has called on the U.S. Dept. of Justice to take the threat of domestic rightwing terrorism such as Roeder's, and the use of public and government-subsidized broadcast media to help foment it, seriously, via its StopDomesticTerror.com campaign. Please sign on to that campaign in you haven't already. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

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By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2009 3:05am PT  

Those "conservative" Fox "News" fans sure do use a lot of F-words in their death threats.

We're used to various death threats by now, of course, even from Drudge's poodle, Andy "Big Government" Breitbart, but those socially "conservative," American "values"-lovin', Fox "News" viewers have really outdone themselves this time.

On Monday night, FoxNews.com featured a story on the latest announcement from VR's StopTheChamber.com campaign, concerning the offer of a $200,000 reward for insider information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tom Donohue, the CEO of the right-wing corporatist lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]

Apart from his work at the Chamber, Donohue has run a number of major corporations into the ground, as his tenure as CEO at each was generally plagued by improprieties, plunging stock values (coupled with soaring executive pay), scandal, various forms of illegal behavior, and SEC investigations. He was found by the FEC to have made millions of dollars in illegal corporate campaign contributions in 2004 and is now facing a criminal investigation by the DoJ about that, even while he runs the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in many ways, as nothing short of a criminal racket.

Unlike many similar campaigns VR has run in the past, offering such rewards for whistleblower information about wrong-doers over the years, this one caught the attention of the folks at Fox for some reason, and they decided to splash it on the front page of their website this week with a bold graphic shouting: "HUNTED BY THE LEFT: Bounty Put on Head of Chamber Boss." For good measure, in the story itself, they used the word "Liberal" a total of four times before they even finished the second graf. (An email to the story's author, Judson Berger, explaining that VR is a non-partisan group and works with folks of many different political bents, including Republicans, led them to change their headline from the wholly misleading "Liberal Group Puts Bounty on Head of Chamber of Commerce CEO" to the slightly-less misleading "Activist Group Puts Bounty on Head..." etc.)

Anyway, while there is no bounty on anybody's "head," and no one is being "HUNTED," the StopTheChamber.com campaign does feature a reward for information leading to Donohue's arrest and conviction. Roll Call also covered [$-only] VR's announcement on Monday, though much more responsibly (in a far less inflammatory way) than Fox did.

But this story is not about that, it's about the unbelievable amount of email that was sent from, presumably, those "socially conservative" Fox "News" fans in which a good 98% of those notes contained one or more of the following:

  • Threats of death or violence;
  • The F-Word (or similar);
  • Accusations of Nazism and/or Communism (never mind that it's difficult to be both) or Marxism or Socialism;
  • Racist slurs against Obama;
  • Accusations that VR is working with or for the White House or the Democrats (which is somewhat amusing if you know anything about VR).

And, of course, many of them offer the cruelest cut of them all; they wish VR a "Merry Christmas." Ouch, that one hurts!

So here are just a few samples from some of those friendly emails from those good "conservatives" of Fox "News" willing to send out death threats, we'll guess, in support of the millionaire corporate lobbyists and billionaire corporations of the U.S. Chamber who've spent more money buying Congressmembers than anybody else in the country. These, apparently, are the Fox "News" "conservatives" --- Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly's "patriots" and Sean Hannity's "great Americans" --- as almost all of them came in at the same time that Fox's story on VR's reward offer was posted on the front page of FoxNews.com.

Out of an abundance of generosity, we're not posting the emailers names here (each bullet-point quote below comes from a different note) but the ones which include threats of violence have been given to the FBI [PDF] in D.C., along with a request for an investigation to find out if the Chamber itself might be behind the hit campaign.

As many of these are not safe for work, we'll post them below the fold...

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The repentant former right wing fundamentalist leader applauds the White House for holding Fox 'News' accountable, charges they 'seem to be trawling for assassins'...
By Frank Schaeffer on 10/22/2009 2:28pm PT  

[Ed Note: My audio interview with Frank Schaeffer on Green960's "Live from the Left Coast" in San Francisco, following the publishing of this article, can now be heard here... - Brad]

Guest Blogged by Frank Schaeffer

President Obama is getting criticism for going after Fox News. I fault the White House too: for not going far enough. The real issue is not Fox's right wing "bias." The real issue is that Fox News seems to be trawling for assassins. Here's the letter White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs should write. Or maybe it should come from the head of the United States Secret Service...

Dear Rupert Murdoch, since you are responsible for what is on Fox News I have a question for you: Do you ever wonder how you'll be remembered by Americans and the world (not to mention your children) if someone takes a shot at President Obama, and when asked why they did it, quotes the misinformation spouted by Fox News as their "reason?"...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/29/2009 4:21pm PT  

From RAW's coverage of Cheney's upcoming "interview" on Fox in which the war criminal continues his public defense/deception on his use of illegal torture against detainees [emphasis ours]:

"The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, 'How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?'" Cheney stated. "Instead, they're out there now threatening to disbar the lawyers who gave us the legal opinions."

Just prior to that moment, according to the transcript, Cheney also says: "The fact of the matter is the lawyers in the Justice Department who gave us those opinions had every right to give us the opinions they did. Now you get a new administration and they say, well, we didn't like those opinions, we're going to go investigate those lawyers and perhaps have them disbarred."

I don't believe I've seen any noteworthy discussion about disbarring any torture lawyers in the public domain other other than from VelvetRevolution.us' DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is co-founder of VR], and certainly not from the Obama Administration, with which we have no relation...not by a long shot.

So, unless I'm wrong, it seems we (VR) have succeeded in getting Cheney's attention, at least.

Good. Let's hope they're all disbarred for the shameful example they've proven to be to both their country and their profession.

But disbarring Cheney's torture attorney stooges is hardly enough, of course. And no doubt, that's why he's kicking back into full save-his-ass mode this weekend, in light of Holder's announced torture probe following the release of the CIA Inspector General's devasting torture report [PDF] and more CIA docs said coming on Monday. Yes, it's another full media blitz from the Cheneys, as both he and Mary Liz will be making appearances on the Sunday Shows this weekend where Republican Insiders are allowed full, unfettered access to our public airwaves, allowed to lie with impunity, with the assurance that nobody will counter or fact-check them, and where they will even be able to refer to stories they've previously planted in major papers via "anonymous sources" as proof of the case they will make. (See both Greenwald and Wheeler today on how WaPo has now completely discredited itself, Judith Miller-style, once and for all).

So with Cheney defending his stooge lawyers, and on full-throated Orwellian attack yet again against Team Obama's so-far pathetic baby step towards accountability, I'm reminded, for some reason, of the scene from Rambo in which he's been captured, detained, tortured, and shackled, before being allowed by his captors to radio back to his base to prove he's being held by the enemy, but is still alive. With everything absolutely stacked against him, he asks to speak to the man on his own team who, as it turns out, turned traitor to allow him to be captured in the first place, leading to one of the great twists in 80's action film history.

The quick scene follows. Replace "Murdock" with "Cheney," and Rambo with me, and that's a little bit of how I'm feeling this afternoon...

{The video from Rambo has been removed following a copyright complaint from Studio Canal and Lionsgate}

[Message to Secret Service: No, that is not a threat of violence. Thank you.]

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Randal Terry ejected after previously announcing intention to disrupt...
By Brad Friedman on 8/26/2009 2:45pm PT  

Americans finally stand up against the phony, democracy-hating town hall disrupting bullies. VelvetRevolution.us (of whom The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder) was there to document it last night...


Will this event receive as much coverage in the corporate media as those where the wingnuts weren't outnumbered and shouted down?

And...as we've asked before...how long will this keep escalating before someone ends up dead? (And I'm not referring to those thousands of Americans already dead because a bureaucrat from the corporate healthcare industry was allowed to come between them and a doctor to help deny them healthcare.)

ReddIt this story!



Rizzo and Fredman authorized, oversaw war crimes on behalf of our intelligence agencies, still serve under Obama Administration...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2009 2:08pm PT  

Several weeks ago, VelvetRevolution.us, in coalition with a number of other accountability groups, filed bar disbarment complaints against 12 different Bush Administration attorneys in four states and the District of Columbia in regard to their approval of banned torture techniques used during detainee interrogations.

In a press conference today we (Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is co-founder of VR) added two more to that list, both top CIA attorneys who continue to serve at the agency under the Obama Administration.

As RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna reports today:

A grassroots coalition will file complaints today with the Washington, D.C. bar against two Central Intelligence Agency lawyers for their involvement in authorizing the use of controversial interrogation techniques against detainees in US custody.

Velvet Revolution, a coalition of over 150 grassroots groups, will register complaints against CIA lawyers Jonathan M. Fredman and John A. Rizzo. Fredmen, who is currently counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, served as the Associate General counsel for the CIA from 2001-2004. Rizzo is the current Acting General Counsel for the CIA but is retiring this month. His nomination to become full General Counsel has been held up for years over his alleged role in enabling the CIA’s controversial interrogation program.

DC lawyer and activist Kevin Zeese, along with a former Reagan administration Associate Attorney General Bruce Fein, held a press conference this morning at the National Press Club in which they discussed the complaints they will be filing later today.
...
“We call for dismissal of two torture architects still working in the Obama administration,” said Zeese. “The United States must face the reality of the extent of the torture program under the Bush-Cheney administration. War crimes were committed. The toxic poison of torture will not be removed from the body politic unless the rule of law is applied.”

Please see Alexandrovna's coverage today for details of revelations discussed at the presser this morning (eg. the "crucifixion" of a detainee who "died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs" and details on, and links to, the new complaints against Rizzo and Fredman, both of whom still serve in the CIA today, incredibly enough).

More information on the campaign, including all of the complaints filed, is available at VR's DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign. A quick video of Zeese's announcement, summarizing the complaints after today's press conference follows below...


ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2009 4:53pm PT  

Speaking of VR's DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign, unleashed earlier this week, with quite a bit of fanfare in the corporate media (see our coverage here), VR's previous, and still on-going campaign, launched several weeks earlier, RestoreJusticeAtJustice.com (as originally discussed on The BRAD BLOG here) made the latest cover of Bush's one-time "hometown" newspaper, Crawford's Lonestar Iconoclast.

Yours truly is liberally quoted throughout Nathan Diebenow's fine coverage which is posted in full right here...

[Full Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]

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