Michael Moore calmly, efficiently and elegantly mopped the floor up with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. Poor, sad, lost, cowardly Sean never saw it coming and never even knew what hit him. Via RAW STORY...
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Michael Moore calmly, efficiently and elegantly mopped the floor up with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. Poor, sad, lost, cowardly Sean never saw it coming and never even knew what hit him. Via RAW STORY...
Please see RAW STORY for the whole story, but Bush's former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer pulled a slick, if sleazy maneuver on CNN's Larry King Live last night while undermining the wingnut "birthers" who believe that Obama is not a U.S. citizen:
Actually, there is "evidence of that being the case," Ari. Plenty of it. Beginning (but not ending) with this years-old independent study [PDF] by a media/academic consortium posted at the "conservative" American Enterprise Institute showing that when all the ballots in the state of Florida were counted --- by any standard (hanging chads, swing chads, pregnant chads, etc.) --- Bush lost and Gore won. By. Every. Conceivable. Counting. Standard. Period.
Other than that, yeah, "for everyone...who's a little lulu on the right, there's about 1.8 who's lulu on the left," as Fleischer misled.
Dishonest Moral Equivalence Accomplished.
The video from the 10/6/09 Larry King Live, also featuring whacky Rep. Michele Bachmann's evasion of whether the "birthers" are crazy or not, is posted below...
Guest Blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us
Notorious electronic voting company Diebold, which has been hiding its election division under the name Premier Election Solutions, has bilked California taxpayers out of more than $100 million dollars for its failed, faulty, illegally certified electronic voting systems.
California officials recently discovered that ALL of Diebold/Premier's voting systems violate federal, and thus state, certifications guidelines! These systems do some or all of the following in violation of those certification standards and laws:
Yet Diebold has falsely claimed, for years, they their systems meet all federal voting system standards. Accordingly, VR demands that:
1) DIEBOLD: RETURN OUR MONEY!: Diebold/Premier has accepted well over $100 million in county, state and federal taxpayer funds in California for services which the company knew it could not perform. With California's devastating budget shortfall of $ 45.5 billion dollars, we demand the return of these funds from Diebold. The purchase price for hardware, software licenses, and maintenance fees should be returned to the State within 90 days. If Diebold's announced sale to Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S) becomes final, California must be fully reimbursed nonetheless, whether from Diebold or ES&S.
2) SOS DEBRA BOWEN: DECERTIFY DIEBOLD!: Diebold/Premier products, currently used in 20 California counties (and some 34 states across the country, by the way), violate federal voting system standards and must be immediately and permanently decertified for use in the state by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
3) AG JERRY BROWN: PROSECUTE DIEBOLD!: California's Attorney General Jerry Brown must immediately launch a comprehensive criminal investigation into Diebold/Premier's knowing use and sale of faulty election systems that have undermined our elections. Further, unless Diebold/Premier, within 90 days, refunds to California all monies paid for its fraudulent software and equipment, we call on the State of California to file suit against Diebold/Premier seeking the return of funds for breach of contract and fraud.
Visit the campaign page at DieboldReturnOurMoney.com to send a quick email to Diebold (c/o the aptly-named company rep Chris Riggall), SoS Bowen and AG Brown. Over 400 emails have already been sent in the first 48 hours of this campaign...
An 18-year Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Manager for the FBI has called for a Special Counsel to be appointed to investigate the allegations of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. John M. Cole, who now works as an intelligence contractor for the Air Force, made his comments during an audio interview released late last week with radio journalist Peter B. Collins.
He also offered a detailed insider's look at the concerns among high-level officials inside the Bureau as Edmonds' disturbing allegations began coming to light back in 2002, before they would be quashed for seven long years by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" to gag her.
Earlier last week, following the publication of a remarkable American Conservative magazine cover story interview with Edmonds --- detailing a broad bribery, blackmail, and espionage conspiracy said to have been carried out between current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and covert operatives from Turkey and Israel, resulting in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology on the foreign black market --- Cole had been quoted by the magazine confirming one of Edmonds' key allegations.
"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of" Marc Grossman, he said in response to the AmCon article/interview. Grossman had served as the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department and was alleged by Edmonds in the interview, and in a sworn, video-taped deposition a month earlier, to have been the U.S. ringleader for a massive Turkish espionage scandal reaching through the halls of power and into top-secret nuclear facilities around the country to the benefit of allies and enemies alike. Cole said that the FBI's counterintelligence probe "ultimately was buried and covered up," and that he believes it is "long past time" for an investigation of the case to "bring about accountability."
In his subsequent interview with Collins last week (audio and text excerpts posted below) Cole elaborated on those comments in much greater detail, noting that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" and confirming the existence of an "ongoing and detailed effort by Turkey to develop influence in the United States" through various illegal activities.
"Yes, I can confirm that," Cole told Collins, "That's true."
The FBI veteran executive also offered an insider's account of the panic that ensued inside the highest echelons of the bureau following Edmonds' first disclosure of information in 2002, recounting how an executive assistant director admitted to him at the time, just after the story first broke, "Well, all I know is that everything that Sibel is stating is true. I read her file. Everything she stated is, in fact, accurate."
Cole further describes how the concerns about Edmonds ultimately led to the Bush Administration's two-time use of the Draconian "State Secrets Privilege" in hopes of keeping her extraordinary information from becoming public. "Everybody at headquarters level at the bureau knew that what she was saying was extremely accurate."
"I know they didn't want her to go out and speak about it at all," Cole revealed, "and I know they were trying to figure out ways of keeping this whole thing quiet, because they didn't want Sibel to come out."
He also offered information which directly counters one of the criticisms of Edmonds' allegations as frequently offered by skeptics. Namely, that as a short time FBI contract translator --- even though she was tasked to review some seven years of counterintelligence wiretaps made from 1996 to 2002 --- she couldn't have had enough understanding of the full scope of the investigations to understand what was really going on.
"The thing is," Cole explained to Collins, "the position that Sibel was in, she had access to extremely sensitive information. The translators have access to some of the most sensitive information that we receive."
He detailed how first-hand information goes first from the translators to the investigators who then act on it, as some of the most important information collected by FBI language specialists could have "implications that may affect even the White House, or policy."
"So what I'm saying is, I know she had access to some very sensitive stuff, and I could see why the Bureau would squirm over her coming out and speaking about some of the things that were going on."
The interview concluded with Cole's reiteration of both his confidence in Edmonds' credibility, and his call for accountability.
"I would love to see, especially with the allegations that Sibel has come out with, her allegations --- which I believe are in fact true, I have no reason to doubt what she's saying --- I would love to see somebody take that, a Special Counsel or whatever, some group of people that you could trust, have them investigate those allegations and have people's feet held to the fire. Have them be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."
"You know, no one's above the law, and no one should be above the law," he added, along with one more chilling thought: "You know, it really irritates me that people are getting away with murder, in some cases. They should not be allowed to get away with that. There needs to be accountability. And that's what I'd love to see."
The complete audio, and key text excerpts from Collins' interview with Cole follow below...
In advance of tomorrow's related story [Update: That story now posted here], I thought you might appreciate a quick look at the following if you've never seen it before. Diane Sawyer narrates the story of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds as she was awarded the 2006 PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award.
In the bargain, it's also worth remembering that Sawyer herself is at least aware of Edmonds, who she is, and some of what she's had to go through, further begging the question of why ABC News has failed to even note --- much less investigate and/or cover --- the recent revelations of bribery and blackmail of current and former U.S. Congressmembers and high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and the theft and sale of nuclear secrets by agents of Turkey and Israel, as detailed in her sworn deposition in August, and remarkable AmCon cover-story interview which followed it late last month...
Mind you, I'm unfamiliar with any actual felonies that ACORN has actually committed. But Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) is proposing that corporations found guilty of having committed a felony be ineligible for government contracts for 5 years and that corporate felons should be disallowed from making political donations for the same amount of time.
Sounds good to me. After all, both House of Congress idiotically voted overwhelmingly to deprive ACORN --- again, a community organization that committed no crime, and that comprises, in fact, American heroes --- from receiving federal funding (via a likely unconstitutional bill, btw). So shouldn't a similar measure be taken to protect the American tax-payer from corporations that have actually been found guilty of things like fraud, murder, prostitution, etc? Corporations that receive more money from American tax-payers in a day than ACORN has in its lifetime? Corporations like Exxon-Mobil, Pfizer, Halliburton, Blackwater, Lockheed-Martin, and hundreds of others?
McCollum makes the case for the "Against Corporations Organizing to Rip-off the Nation (A.C.O.R.N.)" Act [PDF] in an interview with Mike McIintee of The UpTake:
And, btw, for those under the delusion that ACORN employees committed crimes in those rightwing "sting" videos propagandized by Fox "News" and the other non-wingnut outlets who fell for it, think again. (The author of that dKos piece deserves a huge Project Censored award as far as I'm concerned!)
A New York judge rules the CIA can torture, destroy the video tape evidence of it whenever they want, and there's nothing any American citizen can do about it, apparently. Are we now the USSA?
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow continued her series last night, on the "purely political smear campaign" which ACORN has faced since registering nearly 2 million legal voters over the last decade. In the third installment of her continuing series, she focused on the ACORN smears over non-existent "voter fraud," which were at the heart of the U.S. Attorney scandal.
Before being joined by former Republican U.S. Attorney from New Mexico David Iglesias --- fired by the Bush White House because he refused to bring fraudulent voter fraud cases against Democrats, as we covered in exclusive detail in March of 2007 --- Maddow notes accurately: "No accusation has ever been substantiated that anyone ever registered by ACORN ever voted fraudulently."
She added astutely: "The Bush White House viewed voter fraud as the mother of all wedge issues. It's paying its dividends today, and remarkably, Democrats are playing right along with it."...
Maddow's excellent previous reports in this series are here:
Thursday: The truth about the extraordinary GOP lies and media failure concerning ACORN.
Friday: The hypocrisy (and unconstitutionality) of defunding ACORN while groups like Halliburton and Blackwater, which committed actual crimes, like murder and real fraud, still receive more federal funding in a day than ACORN has in its lifetime.
This is all much like watching a broadcast news version replay of the last 5 years here at The BRAD BLOG. And we're lovin' it. Thank you again, Rachel! Please keep it up! As "Annie" said in It's a Wonderful Life: "'Bout time one of you lunkheads said it!"
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, the author of American Conservative magazine's explosive cover story interview with FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds finds her to be "very credible," even though "as a former intelligence officer," he says, he's "normally suspicious of these kinds of stories."
Giraldi was a guest on the Thom Hartmann Program today, as guest hosted by Peter B. Collins. In the 13 minute segment, he discussed a number of aspects of Edmonds' disturbing allegations with Collins, including yesterday's confirmation by a long-time FBI veteran of a key element in her claims, which include bribery, blackmail, and the theft of nuclear secrets as aided and abetted by high-ranking U.S. officials.
Giraldi, a long-time counterterrorism specialist with the CIA, commented on the confirmation by 18-year FBI counterintelligence vet John Cole, who, in a published claim yesterday, acknowledged the existence of a "decade-long investigation" targeting the former third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department, Marc Grossman, as Edmonds has long maintained. Citing Cole's first-hand experience with the espionage investigations in question, Giraldi told Collins during the interview:
Listen online below, or download the MP3...
NOTE: I'll be sitting in to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show again tomorrow night (Wednesday), and have also scheduled Giraldi as a guest. We'll have him on for a full hour at the beginning of the show (live at 6p PT, 9p ET) and will invite your calls and questions for him at 877-520-1150.
UPDATE 10/1/09: Here's my interview with Giraldi on the Malloy Show last Wednesday (9/30/09). With commercials removed, the "hour" is appx. 38 minutes.
Download MP3 or listen online below...
[UPDATE 10/5/09: Cole has now greatly expanded on his confirmation of Edmonds' credibility and is calling for a 'Special Counsel' investigation, prosecution. Full story here...]
George W. Bush's third-highest ranking State Department official, Marc Grossman, who became the Under Secretary of State after previously serving as Ambassador to Turkey, was targeted as part of a "decade-long investigation" by the FBI, according to an 18-year veteran manager of the bureau's Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments.
For still-unknown reasons, the investigation, which also involved a multitude of cases involving Israeli espionage, was ultimately "buried and covered up," according to the official.
The comment from the former FBI official John M. Cole, in response to recent, stunning disclosures made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, helps to shore up a key aspect of her allegations. Cole is now calling for an investigation to help "bring about accountability" in the matter.
Edmonds' allegations of bribery, blackmail, and infiltration by foreign agents at the highest levels of the U.S. government were recently detailed in a remarkable cover story interview, as published last week by the American Conservative magazine.
"I read the recent cover story by The American Conservative magazine. I applaud their courage in publishing this significant interview," Cole says in his public response, as posted today at the AmCon website by interviewer and former CIA agent Philip Giraldi.
Cole then went on to verify his knowledge of the espionage investigation which, he says, included Grossman. Edmonds has long alleged he had been a key target in the agency's counterintelligence probe of the Turkish lobby and their relationship to current and former members of Congress and high-ranking officials in the Bush State and Defense Departments.
Cole also charges, in his brief comment, that the investigation was ultimately quashed by still-unnamed officials.
"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of the High-level State Department Official named in this article, Marc Grossman, which ultimately was buried and covered up," Cole notes, adding his call to re-open the matter. "It is long past time to investigate this case and bring about accountability."...
Following on Rachel Maddow's tremendous coverage last Thursday of the GOP's years-long witch-hunt of ACORN, and the media's abysmal job at telling the truth about the lies used to smear the community organization, the MSNBC journalist calls it an "outrage" and kept her promise of following up with another episode on Friday. The video is below.
We welcome her coverage of so much of what we have been reporting, sometimes almost completely alone, for years, and as further detailed now by a new academic study titled "Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong."
Maddow continued her long-overdue exposé, by examining the "Defund ACORN Act of 2009," which recently passed both houses of Congress by large margins, after sting videos showing low-level ACORN employees behaving stupidly (but breaking no laws) were created and posted by rightwing operatives. As she notes, the Congressional bill appears to be both unconstitutional, and incredibly hypocritical, given that other, still-federally funded organizations --- such as Halliburton, Blackwater, and many, many more --- often receive far more federal funding in a single day than ACORN has received during the organization's entire lifetime.
Furthermore, those other organizations, which still receive billions from the U.S. government, were actually found to have committed actual crimes, such as millions of dollars worth of fraud, have been charged with murder and the deaths of U.S. troops, and even involve child prostitution and sex slavery!
It's odd that Fox "News," Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, et al. (including the bulk of the non-wingnut media!) have yet to point these matters out, isn't it? So thanks to Maddow, again, for doing so, along with credit to both Joe Conason, who pointed out some of this hypocrisy recently at Salon and, yes, ourselves, who similarly opined at the UK's Guardian.
Be sure to see her must-watch Thursday report back here. Her Friday report follows below, along with our repeated "thank you" to Rachel, and offer to help on any number of still-unreported points in the continuing GOP witch-hunt that both the media and Democrats have embarrassingly fallen for, and about which we have been reporting for years...
UPDATE 9/29/09: The third report in Maddow's must-see series is now posted here...
The Chicago News Bench blog cornered Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) at a Health Care Townhall event over the weekend, to ask her about former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' allegation, as published by American Conservative magazine last week, that she had become involved in a secretly-videotaped lesbian affair with a Turkish agent.
In the brief video, Schakowsky is asked directly about the affair, and denies the allegations as "total fantasy" and "totally made up."
As reported exclusively by The BRAD BLOG last Tuesday, Schakowsky's Communications Director Trevor Kincaid issued a formal statement on her behalf, following the AmCon cover story interview with Edmonds, using similar language. "A simple review of the facts would lead any responsible person to conclude that there is not a shred of truth to any aspect of this story," Kincaid wrote, adding "not one of the events in this fantastic tale ever took place."
Edmonds replied in kind, offering direct questions to the Congresswoman, and a challenge to take a polygraph test in regard to the matter, if she would do the same. Today, while speaking to The BRAD BLOG, Edmonds upped the ante by challenging her to sue her for libel, if she denies the charges, but refuses to hold Congressional hearings as Edmonds also invited her to do last week...
I was delighted (an understatement) to see Rachel Maddow on Thursday night jump into coverage of ACORN --- finally --- by highlighting so much of what we've been reporting here, sometimes completely alone, for years!
She details the facts about the GOP's long-waged phony war against the right's "most reliable trumped-up boogeyman" (using language akin to that in my recent article in the UK's Guardian on the recent rightwing hit job on ACORN and the Democrats' pathetic capitulation to it). Maddow goes on to note the corporate mainstream media's gullibility in "reporting" the wingnuts' out-and-out lies about the group while failing, miserably, for years, to note the truth.
The truth, of course, is that ACORN is responsible for registering millions of legal low and middle-income citizens (read: Democratic-leaning, as the GOP sees them) to vote. The truth is that when they find potentially fraudulent voter registration forms submitted by a handful of their 13,000 employees, it is they who alert authorities about the fraud, and turn both the forms (as required by law), and the workers who defrauded them in to officials so they can be investigated. The truth is that there is not a single recorded instance of voter fraud committed by any illegally registered voters via ACORN. Not one.
"The more that I look into the misleading nature of the charges against ACORN," Maddow notes, "not just from people from whom I expect misleading charges, but from reporters and people in the mainstream media who ought to know better, the angrier I get. ... And I think we're going to cover the lies about ACORN over a number of shows in the upcoming days." THANK YOU RACHEL!!!
Her report follows on a new study, "Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong," just out from Occidental College and the University of Northern Iowa, detailing, as she describes it, "the embarrassing extent to which the media has gotten the ACORN story really really wrong." (I've yet to read the report, but am looking forward to it!)
I can't recommend this video enough. And, as Maddow promises to continue her coverage on this story, let's hope she'll take a serious look at snake-oil salesman Thor Hearne, his direct connections to Karl Rove and the Bush White House, and the unconscionable astroturf group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), which The BRAD BLOG outed years ago and has been covering ever since. ACVR, of course, was the phony tax-exempt "non-partisan" organization set up after the 2004 election to lead the disinformation campaign against ACORN and disenfranchise legal voters by issuing propaganda meant to fool Americans into instituting unconstitutional photo ID requirements at the polling place, despite the fact that some 20-30 million legal U.S. voters --- largely Democratic-leaning voters --- are likely to be disenfranchised in the process!
Yes, Rachel, "this story gets [us] mad" too! Has for years! Please give me a shout if I can help. Got some swell stuff I've never reported on this that I'd be happy to share with you! Would be delighted to!
CORRECTION: Thanks to alert reader "TM," we had originally noted that ACVR was formed after the 2000 election. We should have said after the 2004 election, when Hearne first appeared to give testimony to then-Rep. Bob Ney's House Administrative committee, as the only supposed "voting rights" group called to testify in the only Congressional hearing convened following the election, to supposedly discuss its many problems. Hearne represented himself only as a "long-time voting rights advocate" at the hearing, failing to note to the committee, or for the record, that he had been the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The "non-partisan" ACVR was formed by Hearne and former RNC communications director Jim Dyke, who would later go on to work in Dick Cheney's office, and now represents various Republican candidates. Other than that, they were completely non-partisan. Oh, and they never disclosed whom they received nearly $1 million dollars from when they initially started up. See BradBlog.com/ACVR for much more in our years-long coverage of these anti-democracy bamboozlers.
UPDATE 9/28/09: The second report in Maddow's must-see series is now posted here...
A few quick updates so far today...
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)'s office has vehemently denied serious allegations published by The American Conservative magazine on Tuesday, in which FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds names the Congresswoman as having participated in a lesbian affair with a Turkish agent, and being secretly video-taped for possible blackmail purposes while doing so.
Schakowsky's communications director, Trevor Kincaid, sent us a formal response to the allegations about her, as published as part of the AmCon cover story out today. In the response, Kincaid describes the claims made about the Congresswoman in the interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, as a "hit piece" and a "complete fantasy; cut from the same cloth as the stories by 'birthers' that President Obama is not an American citizen."
The Congresswoman's office also disputed a number of details in Edmonds' account by offering information they believe rebuts the claims made in the article. They further charge that "A simple review of the facts would lead any responsible person to conclude that there is not a shred of truth to any aspect of this story."
Edmonds has responded with specific points in her own rebuttal to the Schakowsky response, and has included a number of direct questions for the Congresswoman in return. She also states that she is "willing to take [a] public polygraph ... on these points if she accepts doing the same." The BRAD BLOG has shared that rebuttal with Kincaid, and the office has responded to that as well, though they failed to directly answer the questions posed by Edmonds, or accept the challenge to a polygraph test.
The interviewer Giraldi has also responded to several shots taken at AmCon in the original Schakowsky response, in which Kincaid writes that the magazine's "goal was not apparently good journalism, but to fabricate one more story line for the right wing smear machine and conspiracy theorists everywhere."
The complete responses, from everyone, all follow below, along with context and additional background...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028