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'Green News Report' 3/5/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gag order lifted in Blankenship case; Sea levels rose 5" in 2 years; Oil drillers dumping in CA; Pollution rules cut asthma in half; PLUS: Repubs fail to override Keystone XL veto...
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Previous GNRs: 2/24/15 - 2/19/15 - Archives...
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'Green News Report' 2/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
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'Green News Report' 2/17/15
Another day, another TWO oil train explosions; Schizophrenic weather pounds U.S.; Southwest about to get a lot drier; PLUS: Ohio bans local fracking bans....
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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?...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


While White House Connections and Other Key Elements Central to the U.S. Attorney Scandal --- Many Long Ago Reported by The BRAD BLOG --- Still Being Overlooked, Ignored
Investigative Endgame Remains Unclear, Even as the ACVR's Thor Hearne and Other Unindicted Co-Conspirators Continue to Erase Their Tracks...
By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2007 4:43pm PT  

A WaPo article from Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein yesterday, headlined "Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals," reports:

It has been clear for months that the administration's eagerness to launch voter-fraud prosecutions played a role in some of the firings, but recent testimony, documents and interviews show the issue was more central than previously known.

"More central than previously known" to whom? Certainly not BRAD BLOG readers, as we've been reporting on the scam to invent actionable, yet phony "voter fraud" claims via the White House's Thor Hearne-run front group, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), since at least March of 2005.

The swing-state hotspots reported by WaPo and others of late, as named by Rove in 2006, etc., are almost precisely the same ones which led the coordinated ACVR effort going back for years. The same locations --- Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Missouri, etc. --- were named in the ACVR's phony report on phony "voter fraud" released back in July of 2005. We covered it at that time, while few, if any, in the MSM --- certainly not WaPo --- bothered to take notice.

As we reported back then, in our August 2, 2005 article headlined, "Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group Delivers Onslaught of Disinfo Today!":

In a massive new attempt today to disinform the American Voting Public and sidetrack the true bi-partisan Election Reform movement in this country, the phony "voting rights" group --- calling themselves deceptively "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) --- issued a new report today charging that Democrats were "Far More Involved In Voter Intimidation And Suppression In 2004."

Five different heavily Democratic-leaning cities were cited in each of six different Press Releases issued at once via US Newswire within the last hour as being amongst the "top Election Fraud Hotspots" in the country.

The complete report, which we linked to at the time, is now found here via the Internet archives, since the ACVR website was taken down shortly after the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal began to expose the entire conspiracy. Here's what the "Letter of Introduction" for their propaganda report said at the time:

ACVR Legislative Fund has identified five cities as "hot spots" which require additional immediate attention. These cities were identified based on the findings of this report and the cities' documented history of fraud and intimidation. ACVR Legislative Fund will work with national and state political parties, state legislators and local officials to create a process that supports local election officials in these cities and ensures that any effort to continue the historic pattern of fraud and intimidation in the 2006 election is exposed and stopped.

1. Philadelphia, PA
2. Milwaukee, WI
3. Seattle, WA
4. St. Louis/East St. Louis, MO/IL
5. Cleveland, OH

Those cities and states, of course, have almost all come into play in the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. Point being that very little of the entire scheme is actually "new" --- it's just that the mainstream media (and even elements of the progressive blogosphere) are finally beginning to wake up to what we've been running around with our hair on fire for years trying to let them know about.

It's all been there all along. The only thing that was missing was the will to investigate and report on it. And it's still being under-investigated and under-reported today.

So, if we might take the liberty, allow us once again to point to the person who holds the key to much of all of this: one Mr. Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the former national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., friend of Rove, and mastermind behind the ground game for national conspiracy as aided, abetted and orchestrated by the group he co-founded, the still-mysteriously funded ACVR.

Although some light was finally shone onto Hearne and the ACVR in a recent groundbreaking McClatchy report, he and his entire direct connection to the White House remain incredibly under-investigated, even while he and his ACVR co-conspirators have been trying to hide their tracks wherever possible of late. (E.g., Thor's online profile at his very powerful, corrupt Missouri legal firm, Lathrop & Gage --- also very much at the center of all of this, btw --- had described him as "General Counsel for the American Center of Voting Rights (ACVR)" as of April 27, 2007, as seen via the Internet archives. That reference to ACVR has now been quietly excised from Thor's current online profile.)

So again, all we can do is try to get the word out that MSM reporters and progressive bloggers looking into the US Attorney scandal may want to peruse our years of coverage on all of this, nicely indexed for their review at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.

On a related note, moving the ball one step forward...WaPo's piece also goes on to quote Dan Tokaji, election law specialist at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, as saying: "There is reason for worry and suspicion at this point as to whether voting fraud played an inappropriate role in personnel decisions by the department."

"Reason for worry and suspicion?" With all due respect to Tokaji, we'd say it's gone far beyond that. We'd suggest "reason for indictments and jail time" would be more accurate.

But the question, however, which occurs to us at this point is: What is the next step? It's unclear where Congress plans to go with this investigation, as it's become clearer and clearer that the White House was directly behind the use of the DoJ as little more than a political bludgeon and an outreach arm of the RNC.

Do they plan to recommend indictments? If so, to whom? The DoJ? Will they ask for a Special Prosecutor to do same? Or will they exercise their Constitutional duty to impeach those Administration officials who have criminally violated their oaths to protect and defend that Constitution?

We don't pretend to know where all of this goes, and the endgame seems hazy right now to say the least, but we'd suggest it's time for Congressional investigators to start thinking and/or talking about it.

We hope to have a fresh Exclusive here tomorrow from Greg Palast, with some new details, which begin to look at exactly that. Stay tuned...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2007 1:43pm PT  


Willie Horton lives! At least in spirit. At least on Fox "News" anyway, where fears of rampant, uncontrollable black people running wild still rule the day! And they're even voting now! The "fear" of double-voting in next year's South Carolina Presidential primary is thoughtfully illustrated at left for us by the nice white men at Fox "News."

As Greg Sargent, who caught this item yesterday pointed out about this clip: "Notice anything missing? As in, non-black voters?"

Black people voting! Twice! Run for the hills!

The report ran yesterday, on Special Jim Crow Report with Brit Hume at the very least. It was probably repeated throughout the day, we're guessing. No mention of the actual recent indictment for double-voting by the white GOP aide of the white Republican Congressman from North Carolina, Rep. Patrick McHenry. Nor, of course, of the demonstrable felony voter fraud in Florida, by white GOP superstar Ann Coulter.

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Report Doesn't Bother to Mention Inappropriate FBI Interference in Case, or Internal Investigation That's Begun Because of It...
How Lazy Can These People Possibly Get?!
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2007 6:56pm PT  

[Ed Note: Story updated with additional details. Brian Skoloff, of AP's Florida bureau was later revealed as the writer of the article in question. See end of this item for details.]

OATH: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...All information on this form is true. I understand that if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years.
-- Oath signed by Ann Coulter when she fraudulently lied about her address on her Florida Voter Registration Form

AP never fails to fail. Incredible.

Their unbylined report, out this afternoon, is surely good news for Ann Coulter! And we'll bet their headline is currently scrolling by on the Fox "News" and CNN crawls, it's certainly everywhere else. Here's the headline:

Coulter Cleared in Florida Vote Probe
Commentator Coulter Cleared of Wrongdoing in Investigation of Her Vote in Wrong Fla. Precinct

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. May 11, 2007 (AP)

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was cleared of wrongdoing after an investigation into whether she violated Florida law by voting in the wrong precinct.
...
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office closed the case April 12, concluding "there was insufficient probable cause to determine that Ann Coulter willfully or deliberately" violated any laws.

We guess the fact that an FBI agent --- who, as we reported earlier today, is apparently her former boyfriend --- interceded inappropriately in the case to claim she was being "stalked" (without evidence apparently) isn't noteworthy enough to include in AP's report.

Neither is the fact that the FBI has begun an internal investigation into the matter, according to the Palm Beach Post this morning.

No, instead, the AP reports --- in an unbylined article! --- Coulter's wet dream headline that she's been "cleared."

And despite the fact that her Loyal Bushie attorney didn't even bother to respond to AP's request for comment, AP passed on his wet dream by reporting completely unsubstantiated horseshit to the effect of: "Her attorney, Marcos Daniel Jimenez, told the detective Coulter may have not changed a previous address because of a stalking incident."

That's a bald-faced lie. Coulter didn't "not change" anything....

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

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Says Their Legal Firm, Lathrop & Gage, Not Consulted Before Running Altered McClatchy Piece Related to Several Clients, Employees of Firm
Star's Deputy National Editor Explains, Offers BRAD BLOG Contradicted Reason for Delayed Publication...
By Chris Tackett on 5/10/2007 5:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Chris Tackett

After reading Greg Gordon’s excellent piece for McClatchy discussing Missouri’s place as "ground zero" for the GOP "voter fraud" scam, we – along with others – were surprised to learn that of all of McClatchy’s papers, The Kansas City Star had failed to run the piece when others, in different states, had done so on the first day it was filed.

When the piece finally ran at KC Star, FiredUp! Missouri's Howard Beale pointed out, it was greatly altered and had become what one could argue was a much different story. Their edited version of the story greatly downplayed failed Republican attempts to prove claims of massive Democratic "voter fraud," and excised references to many GOP politicians, such as Karl Rove, and perhaps most notably, a number of powerful Missouri politicians.

We wanted to allow the paper an opportunity to respond to those criticisms. We were able to receive such a response from The Star's Deputy National Editor, Keith Chrostowski. But later yesterday, the reason he gave to The BRAD BLOG for the delayed publication was directly contradicted in a public post Chrostowski made on the KC Star's own blogsite.

While originally waiting for him to respond to our numerous calls, we spotted Beale’s follow-up post from Tuesday morning revealing that The Star happens to be a client of the powerful Missouri GOP law firm Lathrop & Gage.

As BRAD BLOG readers surely know by now, Lathrop & Gage is the law firm of Mark F. “Thor” Hearne, who has been a central figure involved in the ongoing "voter fraud" scam in his role as founder of the GOP front group known as "American Center for Voting Rights" (our ACVR Special Coverage Page is here).

Missouri's Governor Matt Blunt is also a client of L&G, and has been represented for years by Hearne. Blunt, Hearne, and the ACVR were all central to the McClatchy piece as originally filed by Gordon and the role of each of them in the Star's altered version of the story was subsequently removed or otherwise greatly watered down.

Of course, there's no way of knowing if the editors at the Star were directly or indirectly influenced by this connection. But even if they are given the benefit of the doubt and the presumption that there was no influence on their delayed publication and editing of the McClatchy piece, the issue still remains that they failed to disclose the relationship to L&G to their readers. Such disclosure would seem to be a common sense journalistic principle.

On Tuesday afternoon, Chrostowski finally returned our call to provide a statement and an explanation. A transcript of the pertinent portion our conversation, along with his later posted contradiction, follows…

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

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KC Star's Corporate Attorney is Lathrop & Gage of Thor Hearne/ACVR (and Much More) Fame
Failed to Make Disclosure When Re-Writing About Corrupt Firm's Corrupt Clients...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 1:23pm PT  

If you've yet to notice, the latest daily must-read covering the very heart and soul of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal is Fired Up ! Missouri.

They have been reporting on the nub of the issue --- the resounding corruption and/or cover-ups emanating out of Thor Hearne's MO law firm Lathrop & Gage --- in a way that even the good folks at TPMMuckracker have yet to fully comprehend and/or adequately cover.

Anyway, Howard Beale at FU!MO (an interesting acronym, now that we write it) has a notable follow-up today to his Friday story on the KC Star having re-written the excellent McClatchy story on Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP "Voter Fraud" fraud.

The KC Star, ironically enough, owned by McClatchy's parent company, had rewritten the piece to make it far more GOP/Missouri Politico-friendly as we subsequently covered here.

Beale today, has a suggestion as to why the Star may have gone out of their way to whitewash a previously brilliant piece of investigative reporting by McClatchy's Greg Gordon when they reran it (a day after McClatchy's other papers had done so): KC Star's corporate attorney is none other than Hearne's Lathrop & Gage, the very firm that is at the absolutely epi-center of this entire matter in many more ways than one, including representing a number of the subjects of Gordon's story, such as Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.

All of which begs another important question which Beale forgot to ask in his coverage: Why did the Star fail to make that disclosure for readers when they reran even the whitewashed version of the McClatchy piece?

After bullet-pointing several of the L&G connections to all of these coming out of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, Beale concludes:

It has, in some ways, always been puzzling that the Star has been so far behind other news outlets in reporting on the DOJ/U.S. Attorney scheme despite its connection to the Kansas City area and the region's own U.S. Attorney. Makes you wonder about just what sort of counsel the paper's been keeping.

Indeed. But readers shouldn't have to "wonder". The paper ought to be disclosing it in every article --- if they still have any journalistic ethics left at the joint, in any case.

Go figure...

UPDATE: What is disclosed by the Star at the end of their re-written McClatchy hatchett job, btw, is this: "McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Margaret Talev, and The Star’s Steve Kraske and Mark Morris contributed to this report." McClatchy's Talev was listed as a contributor on the original version of the piece. As to the others, we don't yet know much about Morris personally, but Kraske's GOP leanings and Fox "News"-style tactics of "journalism" are well-dissected in this Sunday piece from Beale, covering Kraske's own whitewashing of the duplicitous, anti-democratic, politicization of the DoJ under the guise of the GOP's "Voter Fraud" canard as run at the Star over the weekend.

Why even one reporter would be needed to rewrite such a story is already worth questioning. Putting two on the case, especially in light of the grotesque rewrites, is certainly notable. Especially when one of them is Kraske.

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Removes References to Republican Missouri Politicians, Karl Rove, Thor Hearne, ACVR, Lack of 'Voter Fraud' Evidence and More
Yet Another Mind-Blowing Mainstream Media Embarrassment...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2007 12:54pm PT  

Howard Beale at the Show-Me State's watchdog, Fired Up! Missouri, hits another home run on Friday with a devastating piece comparing the Kansas City Star's altered version of Greg Gordon's recent brilliant piece at McClatchy exposing Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP's widespread, well-funded national "voter fraud" scam. As Thor Hearne, of the now-defunct American Center for Voting Rights (BRAD BLOG's Special Coverage Page here) and his Missouri law firm Lathrop & Gage were at the epicenter of "Ground Zero," the Star's actions in butchering the original piece --- in order to save GOP/Missouri face and deceive their own readers in the bargain --- is all the more scandalous.

The Star, it seems, after waiting a day to run the story in their pages at all, managed to hack up Gordon's excellent exposé to effectively excise as much GOP culpability as possible. With a particular eye towards removing anything that could be seen as embarrassing to local GOP'ers, like Thor Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.

"Every change made to the story has the clear effect of reducing the exposure of the GOP," writes Beale, who calls the hatchet job "a total embarrassment" for the once-distinguished KC newspaper which is, ironically enough, actually owned by McClatchy!

See Beale's full piece for the undeniable sham exposed when the two versions of the story are compared side-by-side.

By way of just one example, the headline of Gordon/McClatchy's original was changed from "2006 Missouri's election was ground zero for GOP" to the Fox "News"-like "GOP sought to suppress votes in Missouri, critics say."

As Beale points out, this not-so-subtle change has the effect of turning the detailed, fact-based reporting by Gordon into a "he-said-she-said" difference of opinion:

The story was obviously not initiated by --nor is it at all about-- the claims of "critics" nor anyone else. Gordon was not reporting on some press event by Democrats who were making claims of voter suppression. Rather he did real reporting and wrote about how, as the facts indicate, the GOP historically undertook specific actions on the issue of voter fraud in Missouri with the intent of helping Republican candidates.

The Star's editorial decision, via its headline, to turn the story into some sort of he-said-she-said difference of opinion is an insult to the intelligence of its readers as well as a slap in the face to Greg Gordon, whose remarkable reporting their headline trivializes.

Ditto. But it gets far worse throughout the altered and excised text of the article itself where entire passages are re-written and phrases such as "No significant voter fraud was ever proved" and "inquiries found little evidence to support the claims" and "the government had produced no evidence of fraud" have been entirely removed.

KC Star ought to be absolutely ashamed of themselves, McClatchy ought to bust out some pink slips, and subscribers would do well to raise holy hell and/or cancel subscriptions as quickly as possible while letting them know why.

Where the hell have all of the real newspapers gone in this country?

Thor Hearne is no doubt smiling in his grave (or, more accurately, his mansion in Ladue...but if the facts don't matter to KC Star why should we give a damn either?).

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And as Cal Thomas Once Said: 'Let the Tribunal Begin'
First to Be Charged: Cal Thomas [ARTICLE UPDATED]
By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2007 1:44pm PT  

The emailer who forwarded us the following toon, marking the 4th Anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, aptly commented: "The amazing thing about this is that all of these people still have their jobs and appear as expert pundits in the media, while the people who were right all along are often portrayed as left-wing out-of-touch-with-reality naive nutty fools, and they don't get on the talk shows very much."

No kidding. The failure of our current corporate mainstream media in a nutshell.

But be sure to read through to the bottom of this post, for an additional stunning quote from Cal Thomas' April 15, 2003 column which Tom Tomorrow, the creator of this toon, mentioned he wasn't able to fit into this strip...

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

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From the 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose' School of Journalism...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2007 12:28am PT  

One of the newspapers often attacked by Bill O'Reilly as an example of the "liberal" media is the Los Angeles Times, currently owned by the Rightwing Chicago Tribune.

On Saturday, LA Times ran a story by Chris Kraul on the reaction of Iraqi citizens to the Iraq War spending bill battle. But no need to click on the link. Here's the summary of the "fair and balanced" story as kindly provided on the inside page of the paper edition:

Iraqis uneasy over funding battle

With Congress passing spending bills with timelines for U.S. troop withdrawal, some Iraqis fear further chaos if American soldiers leave Iraq. Others hope President Bush, who has threatened a veto, will prevail and the U.S. will stay, if only for its own strategic interests. Page A5

So...if the bill is signed into law, some Iraqis fear it will make things worse. While on the other hand, some of them hope Bush vetoes it so US troops will stay.

That would be the "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" school of journalism, I guess.

Those quoted in the story were among the "20 Iraqis interviewed Friday in several cities after both houses of Congress passed measures that set timelines for a withdrawal of U.S. troops as a condition of funding for the war effort."

Kraul failed to quote any Iraqis who are in favor of withdrawal of U.S. troops, despite polls of Iraqis in 2004, 2005 and 2006 all showing a majority of Iraqis want the U.S. to leave. That last one found "70% of Iraqis favor setting a timeline for the withdrawal of US forces."

On the other hand, a story on George Tenet's new criticism of the Administration for ignoring pre-9/11 terrorism warnings and failing to plan for postwar Iraq is featured...on Page 18.

Darn those America/Bush hating "liberals" at the Los Angeles Times!

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UPI/Washington Times Headline Blames Abramoff for Misreported Cost of Feeney's Trip...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2007 8:11pm PT  

Given this morning's Fox "News"/AP switcheroo, here's a bit of headline bait-and-switch that's at least as nifty from UPI and Washington Times tonight (both owned by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church):

The same headline/article is currently on UPI's website as well.

What next, Mark Foley as a "Democrat"? Oh, wait, never mind...Been there, done that.

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AP Reporter: 'I didn't write anything remotely like that.'
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2007 1:38pm PT  

This one is just incredible. Fox "News'" Rightwing owner/idealogue Rupert Murdoch's NY Post may have hit an all-time nadir for corporate mainstream media "reporting" in this remarkable historical period. Greg Sargent has the scoop...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2007 1:48pm PT  

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Issues reported by BRAD BLOG for last three years hit mainstream, are advanced several steps by NYTimes, McClatchy...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2007 9:35am PT  

The most valuable takeaway from the entire U.S. Attorney Purge scandal will likely prove to have been the exposure of the long-perpetuated GOP "voter fraud" scam. The scheme has been been so pervasive for so long, but the coverage of it has been largely contained to blogs like ours.

In the interim, the MSM coverage of the issue had been given over to the well-funded Republican propaganda machine which had detailed the phony claims of "voter fraud" as if they were legitimate.

The result, as designed, were calls for restrictive Voter ID legislation at the polling place, an effort that was successful in a number of states. After all, as the Republican snakeoil salesmen oft-repeated, "you need an ID to get on a plane, to cash a check, why not to vote?"

It was a difficult line to refute on its face, but it was built on lies, disinformation, and attempts by this White House and this Republican party to wage an unprecedented effort to keep any portion of the 10 to 30 million Americans (mostly Dem-leaning) without photo ID's (many even without birth certificates!) from being able to cast a vote.

The U.S. Attorney Purge scandal has helped to reveal the insidious scheme, opening it up for everyone to see by helping to expose the slimy, well-funded campaign for what it really is: little more than a broadly-waged, party-funded, voter suppression ploy.

Scores of MSM articles and columns over the past week or two have finally helped expose this scam to the public, and the likes of vote-suppression operative Thor Hearne's well-financed, systematic, White House-run "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) has, for now, slithered back underground.

Much of the MSM coverage to date has repeated what BRAD BLOG readers already know since we've been covering it for so long. But there are a couple of notable must-read exceptions recently which move many of these inter-related stories forward several moves...

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

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Has the Former DoD War Architect Ever Met Condi Rice or Colin Powell?
Just Asking...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2007 11:42pm PT  

NPR's Morning Edition reported yesterday that Douglas Feith, the Bush Administration's former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, has a new job since leaving the Pentagon. Apparently he's busy rewriting history as a professor at Georgetown University.

In apparent and extreme denial, one of the main Neocon architects for Bush's failed war had the following extraordinary exchange with host Steve Inskeep (who, unfortunately, didn't correct the record, so we guess we'll have to) concerning the rationale for going to War in Iraq. Feith turned downright indignant when Inskeep suggested that there were analysts who didn't see Saddam Hussein as a threat before the war...

NPR: Feith insists that many accounts misstate the reasons the U.S. chose war against Saddam Hussein.

DOUGLAS FEITH: He had demonstrated that he was interested in WMD and the danger was that he could take action in the future that would get him in a major fight with us. At which point he might use the WMD capabilities and connections to terrorists to hurt us.

NPR: Is there any point in that that you ended up assuming too much?

FEITH: I think that...I think that was a reasonable assumption under the circumstances...

NPR: Still...

FEITH: ...Do you not?

NPR: It sounds reasonable the way that you put it.

FEITH: Well that's what we were worried about (laughs)...I don't think that there's anything unreasonable in in...

NPR: ...But of course there were analysts making an entirely different...

FEITH: No, there weren't. No, there weren't....I mean that's just false. I, I, I hope you can do something to clarify this point. I mean, this notion that there were analysts who were saying that Saddam Hussein was not a threat?! There was nobody saying that.

"Nobody saying that"?! Really? Here's just two of them for a start. Names that Mr. Feith might be familiar with:

"[F]rankly, [the sanctions on Iraq] have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
- Colin Powell, February 24, 2001

"But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
- Condoleeza Rice, July 29, 2001

What planet do these Bush dead-enders live on, anyway?! Amazing.

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American Media Stays Fixated on VTech Killings; George W. Bush Still Not in Jail...
By Brad Friedman on 4/18/2007 2:38pm PT  

Killed or Found Dead (So Far) This Week in Iraq...
Sunday: 65
Monday: 51
Tuesday: 85
Wednesday: 233

Look, I hate to keep banging this same drum, but someone needs to.

While the American media continue their infatuation with the horrible shootings at VTech on Monday where 33 students were killed, the carnage continues, several times over, every single day in Iraq. Never mind all that "signs say that the surge is working" bullshit you've been hearing from wingnuts and repeated in the Mainstream Media. It doesn't seem to be doing anything of the kind.

233 were killed or found dead across Iraq today (Wednesday) in a country of 27.5 million.

183 of them were killed in a single car combing incident in the exact same marketplace where 137 were killed at once in a February bombing the month before last.

That follows 85 killed or found dead on Tuesday, 51 killed on Monday, and 65 killed on Sunday (when 20 police officers were also taken captive).

None of that takes away from the tragedy of the 33 killed on Monday at Virginia Tech. But in the United States, a country of more than 300 million, where such mass killings are exceedingly rare --- versus horrifically daily occurrences, year after year after bloody year on end in a country less than one-tenth the size of the U.S. --- one might think the American Mainstream Media would finally pause to take a serious review of the way in which they cover news events.

In case you feel, as one emailer suggested to me, that Americans seem to view the lives of non-American citizens as somewhat less valuable than those of American citizens, I'll also remind you that the killings in Iraq --- though you wouldn't necessarily know it based on American news coverage --- also result in dead Americans.

Some 3,312 American troops have now been killed in Iraq.

3,312.

To date, George W. Bush has failed to attend even one funeral, or ordered flags lowered to half-staff for a single one of them.

Leading me to ask again...At what point does the entire debacle become a criminal action? I suspect that point occurs just as soon as the Mainstream Media realizes that it is, and begins to regard the murders of U.S. Troops and Iraqi Civilians in the same light they view the VTech murders.

Perhaps Nancy Grace can make an honorable woman of herself yet. But I seriously doubt she will.

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'Now Do You Understand?' Asks Larry Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2007 1:21pm PT  

Larry Johnson put the whole thing in perspective rather quickly and to the point yesterday when the body count in the VTech shooting was still at 22.

Even with the latest numbers of those murdered in Monday's shooting now at 33, it's dwarfed by Sunday's numbers in Iraq, where 65 lives were lost and 20 policemen were taken hostage.

And yet, that has been happening virtually every day for years now in Iraq, where jerks like Cheney and McCain and Bush continue to tell us that "things are getting better" and it's the media who are failing to report the "good news."

Take a look at the wall-to-wall media coverage ever since the 33 tragic fatalities on Monday in America, and imagine what would be going on here if a VTech-sized tragedy or two or three happened every single day in this country for years on end. Imagine if it happened just two or three days in a row! (Not to mention the population of Iraq is less than 10% the size of the United States.)

Would we blame the media for not reporting the "good news" each day? Or would we demand that something be done --- now --- to stop the carnage?

As usual, Johnson's take, documented with AP's reports on killings in Iraq on Sunday, is worth reading and noting.

In a follow-up today, Johnson notes the failures of the cable news channels, in their continuous, wall-to-wall coverage, to point out the following:

  • "Bush is going to attend services for the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting today. When was the last time Bush did that for the troops? Oh, right, never!," writes Leslie below.
  • Bush has ordered the nation's flags flown at half-staff until Sunday. Did Bush order flags lowered after Katrina's devastation and the deaths of hundreds of people?
  • It was astonishing to watch news reporters rabidly attack Virginia Tech's president and chief of police. Why don't news reporters regularly attack Bush and Cheney like that?

Lest we be criticized for not taking the VTech shootings seriously, make no mistake, they are an indescribable tragedy. But so are the number of human beings killed every single day in Iraq, day after day after nightmarish day, since the United States needlessly invaded their country.

And yet, the number one story reported by the media last week was Don Imus, followed by Anna Nicole, followed by the number one under-reported story: the death of our national conscience...

UPDATE 9:21pm PT: 85 killed or found dead in Iraq on Tuesday...
UPDATE 4/18/07: 233 killed of found dead in Iraq on Wednesday...

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