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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, October 30, 2014
Touch-Screen Votes Reportedly Flip R to D in MD
Diebold systems have been failing in Maryland since the state was the first to install them (and cover up their failures) in 2002. So why should 2014 be any different?...
'Green News Report' 10/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Change and Election 2014: High stakes at the ballot box on energy, the environment, and global warming...
Previous GNRs: 10/21/14 - 10/14/14 - Archives...
Deja Vu All Over Again.
Again.
Brad's appearance this week on Thom Hartmann's 'Big Picture' TV show, as touch-screen votes starting flipping across the country yet again...
NM 'Motor Voter' Registration Rates Dive Under GOP SoS
Facing tight re-election bid, 'voter fraud' fraudster and Sec. of State Dianna Duran stands to benefit from failed, unlawful new reg process in race against Dem challenger...
NJ's Emergency 'Internet Vote' Scheme After Sandy Failed Disastrously
Aside from being illegal, a new report finds Chris Christie's order resulted in tens of thousands of unauthenticated votes during the 2012 Presidential Election in NJ...
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...
More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)
Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois - What's happening (again), what it means (again), and what you can do about it (please?)...
Christie: GOP Governors Needs to Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016
NJ Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful offers interesting reason why Republicans in three key states need to win in 2014...
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
Turns out U.S. Vets' ID can be used to vote under TX' new GOP voting restriction. Official SCOTUS opinion updated...
'Mercy' and 'Restorative Justice'
Sentencing of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius offers stark reminder of concepts missing from U.S. justice system...
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
GOPers still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year ever; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attny dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow: 'Now we watch for ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
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?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


UPDATED WITH EXCLUSIVE NEW DETAILS: Sequoia CEO Jack Blaine Admits Company Does Not Control the Intellectual Property Rights for Sequoia's Voting Machines!
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2008 1:30pm PT  

[UPDATED: Please be sure to see the update, containing exclusive, previously unreported news, added at the bottom of this article.]

The BRAD BLOG learned this morning that a New Jersey judge has today given plaintiffs and Princeton University computer scientists the right to examine the state's Sequoia AVC Advantage touch-screen voting machines which failed to record voter totals accurately, in at least six different counties, during the Garden State's recent Super Tuesday primary.

Sequoia had previously both threatened legal action against the professors, despite a unanimous request from a state association of county election clerks, and attempted to quash the court-ordered subpoenas to have the machines impounded and examined independently.

The Courier-Post confirms this afternoon, and publishes the following account of the Judge's decision today...

A New Jersey judge says voting rights activists should have a chance to examine the programming of touch-screen voting machines.

The order was issued today by Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg in Trenton. She dropped a May trial date on the reliability of the machines but says the trial should start by September.

She has been asked to decide if the state's 10,000 electronic voting machines should be scrapped, as the voting rights advocates contend.

The state of New Jersey says the machines should continue to be used in elections.

The manufacturer of the machines, Sequoia Voting Systems, has resisted efforts to have the machines tested independently.

The BRAD BLOG has covered this (sometimes very amusing) saga in great detail, since it first came to light following the election (and even on Election Day, when machine failure kept the NJ Governor from being able to cast his own vote for 45 minutes).

For those who haven't been able to keep up with it all, a post which quickly recaps the bulk of Sequoia's disgraceful NJ behavior can be read here.

We've also continued to cover (with complete exclusivity, unless someone else in the media cares to join us! Hello?) the saga of beleaguered Sequoia's fight for their very life, as they attempt to fend off a hostile take-over by competitor Hart InterCivic.

IMPORTANT/EXCLUSIVE UPDATE!: AP jumps in with a few more details raising a point which The BRAD BLOG can reveal here for the first time, concerning Sequoia's "intellectual property" rights. Namely, they neither own, nor control them, as admitted recently by the company's own CEO...

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

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Mehdi Army Commander: 'They will see black days like they have never seen before in their life'
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2008 7:02pm PT  

The "surge is working" surge may not be "working" for much longer, now that al-Sadr is threatening to lift, in the next 24 hours, the 7-month long Mehdi Army cease-fire which made the surge appear to be working in the first place.

Sure hope Stephanopoulos asks McCain why he doesn't wear a flag pin on tomorrow's This Week.

The latest ominous news, breaking over the past few hours out of Iraq, as culled from Cernig's round-up at Newshogger follows [emphasis Cernig's]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 9:44am PT  

Recently, Barack Obama indicated he would "immediately investigate" if "there [are] possibilities of genuine crimes" having been carried out by this White House, should he become President. He said he'd direct his DoJ and AG to "immediately review the information that's already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued."

In his comment, which seems to have carefully played every side of the street and both side of the fence, Obama told AttyTood's Will Bunch:

I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General --- having pursued, having looked at what's out there right now --- are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it's important-- one of the things we've got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing between really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity.

You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I've said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances.

Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law --- and I think that's roughly how I would look at it.

On the other hand, last night, during her appearance on the Colbert Report in Philadelphia, his wife Michelle was remarkably impressive, I thought. Really. For whatever that may be worth. Here's the video...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 9:10am PT  

As Pope Benedict XVI was met with a resplendent ceremony on the White House lawn this morning, George W. Bush noted the visit would remind Americans to "distinguish between simple right and wrong."

"We need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism," Bush said.

Is it just us? Or, given the news of late, concerning meetings in the White House to discuss what kind of torture America would officially carry out, isn't there something perversely discordant in Bush's remarks?

The Pope, who is celebrating his 81st birthday today, gave a few of his own remarks in turn (to which Bush replied "awesome speech") before being serenaded with a rousing rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", as performed by a U.S. military choir.

Is it just us? Or is there something perversely discordant in that, too?

UPDATE: As is to help shore up our point, Rush Limbaugh positively gushed (full transcript here) for most of the first hour of his show today about the performance of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the WH ceremony today...

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

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Could be Banned from Doing Business in State for Five Years After Missing Recertification Deadline Prior to 2006 Election...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2008 3:19pm PT  

Yet another voting machine company --- a small-ish one, MicroVote --- may soon be out of business, or so it claims in response to a court decision in Indiana, where the judge has had the temerity to actually bother enforcing the rule of law and holding a voting machine company to an actual standard. Go figure. Of course, we're broken hearted about it...

A judge has thrown out a voting-machine company's appeal of a 360-thousand-dollar fine imposed by the secretary of state.

The Marion Circuit Court says MicroVote missed a filing deadline to challenge a fine for selling uncertified equipment. The Indianapolis company didn't get its machines recertified until a week before the 2006 primary.

"We just can't tolerate vendors that have this lackadaisical attitude toward proper certification and say, 'Well, nothing bad really happened, so there's no reason to go after us like this,'" says Deputy Secretary of State Matt Tusing. "We simply enforce the laws that are currently in place."

MicroVote attorney John R. Price argues the decertification wasn't MicroVote's fault. In 2005, Congress required all voting-machine manufacturers to be recertified.

An administrative law judge recommended last week that MicroVote be banned from selling machines in Indiana for five years. The Indiana Election Commission must decide whether to follow that recommendation, which Price warns would put the company out of business.

MicroVote supplies voting machines to 49 of Indiana's 92 counties.

Not sure which law they refer to when they say that "In 2005, Congress required all voting-machine manufacturers to be recertified." Are they talking about the Indiana state legislature? Or did the reporter just get it wrong here? Color us clueless, but too busy to dig deeper for the moment. Your help comments are welcome if you know what the hell they're referring to there.

Back in April of 2006, as John Gideon had been covering the impending Train Wreck for The BRAD BLOG, he noted that the state had "found that MicroVote had installed software uncertified by both the fed and the state in voting machines of 47 Indiana counties."

He further reported that counties found themselves in the unenviable position of having to choose between using uncertified software or otherwise ignoring both federal and state laws requiring a voting device for those with disabilities. "Some counties are choosing to ignore state law and use the uncertified machines," Gideon wrote at the time.

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Along With Some Very Kind Words About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2008 10:43am PT  

Sitting in this week for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, David Bender joins Ring of Fire co-host/attorney Mike Papantonio to discuss, in the first five minutes of the show, the finally-unsealed qui tam fraud suit brought by Pap and RFK Jr's law firms against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, on behalf of former employee/computer technician turned whistleblower William Singer.

In the following clip, which will air this weekend on Air America's Ring of Fire program, both Bender and Pap offer exceedingly kind words for The BRAD BLOG and yours truly. (Thank you kindly, gents.)

We had originally broken Singer's remarkable story back in 2006. Our conversations shortly thereafter with Kennedy, and then with Papantonio's lawfirm, led to the filing of the suit, alleging a host of improprieties and criminally fraudulent behavior by the voting machine company as they dummied up voting machines during sales presentations, and concealed known failures, such as the possibilities of lost and miscounted votes, in their systems.

Pap also notes, during discussion of the case, that the nearly-two years it had to stay sealed by law --- while the DoJ ate up time in deciding whether or not to join the case --- is unusual in and of itself. Normally, in such qui tam cases, the DoJ is given just 60 days to decide whether or not to join with the whistleblower on behalf of the United States. Pap also goes on to note what may, or may not, be a coincidence: the US Attorney in CO, where the suit was filed, was removed shortly after this case was brought in his district, but before the decision was ultimately made by the DoJ not to join the suit...For now...


UPDATE: Here is an audio version of the first five minutes of the show, for those who had problems using the video player above...

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Says Bush Ran 'Premeditated, Carefully Orchestrated Torture Program'
Constitutional Attorney Jonathon Turley Tells MSNBC Congress Refuses To Investigate Because They 'Do Not Want to Deal With That Fact'
By Alan Breslauer on 4/3/2008 6:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Jonathan Turley: It really is amazing because Congress, including the Democrats, have avoided any type of investigation into torture because they do not want to deal with the fact that the President ordered war crimes. But evidence keeps on coming out - the only thing we don’t have is a group picture with a detainee attached to electrical wires. I mean every time we see more evidence we have more and more high ranking people at the scene of this crime. And what you get from this is that this was a premeditated and carefully orchestrated torture program. Not torture, but a torture program.


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By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2008 2:11pm PT  

Is this your America?

The long saught DoJ "Torture Memo" written by John Yoo, offering a defense to George W. Bush and his sadistic friends to order the torture, and even killing, of detainees, has finally been made available. Not by the DoJ to Congress as they'd long sought, but to the ACLU via a FOIA request. (Thank you, ACLU!)

Yoo's document is some 80 pages long, offering what he feels --- or what the Administration wanted him to feel --- is a reasonable legal defense for the use of torture, even where it is explicitly disallowed by international treaties to which the U.S. has signed on.

Paul Kiel at TPMMuckraker, who offers his own summary on all of this, has posted one of the more remarkable sections here.

In short, that 7-page section amounts to:

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

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Bree Walker Interviews The Author Of 'No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, And Future Of Islam'
Says Bush's Middle East Policy Opened Up A 'Pandora's Box'
By Alan Breslauer on 4/1/2008 1:06am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Progressive Democrats of America hosted Islamic scholar Reza Aslan, author of "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam" in Los Angeles on Sunday night at an event moderated by Bree Walker. Video of the entire conversation can be found below broken down into individual Q&A to make each part easily accessible:

The dirty little secret about the "Bush Doctrine" and how the last eight years have "opened up a Pandora's box" (6:53)

American misperceptions about the Muslim community (3:21)

Click link below for many more videos...

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

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Company Employee Performance Review, Included in Complaint Itself, Dispels Assertion Made by Company Spokesperson
Other Replies from Defendant Similarly Debunked by Documents Obtained by The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2008 4:28pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman

In a statement given to the media last week, in response to a federal fraud/false claims act qui tam suit finally unsealed last week, a representative from the defendant, voting machine company, Hart InterCivic, alleged the suit's whistleblower, William Singer, was a "disgruntled employee."

Employee "Performance Evaluation" records written by company management, included in the complaint itself, however, would seem to strongly contradict the claims of company spokesperson Pete Lichtenheld, as given to a reporter last week.

Additional claims by Lichtenheld, as reported by Kim Zetter at Wired's Threat Level blog on Thursday, are also dispelled by a document from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, obtained by The BRAD BLOG. The DoJ, after requesting and receiving extensions for two years, has finally decided against joining the federal qui tam suit, for the time being, allowing it to become unsealed last week, so that it may now move forward in federal district court.

The lawsuit, posted in full by The BRAD BLOG after it became unsealed last Thursday, details an extraordinary list of fraudulent behavior by Hart InterCivic, as related by one-time employee Singer, who alleges the company deceived Election Officials in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and elsewhere in hopes of receiving federal monies as distributed via the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Allegations made in the suit include stunning revelations that Hart failed to test its products properly, and frequently at all, withheld information from prospective clients about the potential loss of votes in its voting systems, dummied-up machines, reports, and test results presented to clients in sales presentations, and much more in an attempt to win state and county contracts.

Much of the response to the suit by company spokesperson Lichtenheld, however, is easily dismissed upon examination of the evidence so far available in the case...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2008 4:45pm PT  

Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, at the center of an alleged conspiracy to take him down --- a conspiracy with an extraordinary body of bi-partisan evidence to support it, and Karl Rove's direct involvement in it --- has finally been released from jail pending appeal.

We're on a few other beats for the moment, so for the latest, we'll refer you to RAW STORY's coverage, where Larisa Alexandrovna has done a great deal of heavy lifting on this story over the past several months.

Our own numerous stories on this woeful tale, including an occasional exclusive or two --- and some still grossly-undercovered aspects of Siegelman's story, such as the electronic election fraud he alleges was employed by state Republicans to unseat him --- can be read here.

UPDATE: Dan Abrams' coverage of Siegelman's pending release below...


(Hat-tip for the heads up to The BRAD BLOG's Alan Breslauer, with balls the size of Alabama, as seen in the photo at top-left.)

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After Two Years, the Qui Tam Suit Against Hart InterCivic, Brought by Whistleblower William Singer with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio, May Proceed After DoJ Declines to Join Case
Download the Full Complaint here...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2008 2:50pm PT  

"The most serious thing any software company can do is not fully test its products," William Singer told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon about the federal fraud case he filed nearly two years ago, which has finally been unsealed by a judge as of today.

"To release a product for important purposes that has not been tested at all is quite shocking, I would say. Especially since it indicates that nobody can predict what, when, or how it might fail," Singer explained about the e-voting systems made by Hart InterCivic, for which he worked as a technician several years ago. "It would make a mockery of any certification."

Despite having some direct involvement in the case from the beginning, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to report any details on it for going on two years --- we haven't even been able to offer the names of the plaintiff or defendant in the case --- since originally reporting that it had been filed in federal court, due to the fact that it was under seal, waiting for the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether the DoJ would join the suit or not.

Singer's suit is the fraud case which originally made waves when it was first filed two years ago, with the aid of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, until it then went "underground" due to the legally mandated seal disallowing the plaintiff and his attorneys from offering any specific details to the public.

As AP reported today, the seal on that federal qui tam (fraud, false claims) complaint, brought on behalf of the United States by Singer against Hart, one of the big four American voting machines companies, has now been lifted, and the case may finally proceed as originally filed.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the complete complaint and the judge's order lifting the seal...

• The full complaint may be downloaded here [PDF, 45 pages].
• The judge's order unsealing the case as of last night is here [PDF, 2 pages]

The second page of the complaint, which we are still plowing through, sets the initial grounding for the case...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/26/2008 6:06pm PT  

Remember when an 18½ minute gap in an audio tape was enough to bring down a President? Those were the days.

But that was then, this is now...

WASHINGTON — Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005.

The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.

"When workstations are at the end of their lifecycle and retired ... the hard drives are generally sent offsite to another government entity for physical destruction," the White House said in a sworn declaration filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola.

It has been the goal of a White House Office of Administration "refresh program" to replace one-third of its workstations every year in the Executive Office of the President, according to the declaration.

Some, but not necessarily all, of the data on old hard drives is moved to new computer hard drives, the declaration added.

We suspect this may call for some more sternly worded letters from Democrats!

Or, if they really want to go whole hog, they can follow in the courageous steps of Walter Mondale on Monday, who offered "blistering" comments about how Bush and Cheney have broken the law...followed by his explanation as to why they shouldn't be impeached for having done so.

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "Karen")

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By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2008 10:41am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from the road...

After a week of being told how the situation has "improved" in Iraq --- with a compliant corporate media, as usual, all too willing to continue their five year service as Bush Administration propagandists at large --- "all hell broke loose" on Sunday as the 6th year of our War on Iraq commenced; at least 60 died in attacks on the Green Zone and elsewhere around the country and the 4,000th U.S. troop was killed for reasons that remain unknown.

At least 97% of those deaths occurred after George W. Bush's spectacular televised landing on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, where he proclaimed face-to-face with our troops, and on TV to the world --- while standing in front of an enormous banner reading "Mission Accomplished" --- that "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

He was then, as he always has been, wrong. About absolutely everything.

As the 6th year of his disgraceful, criminal lie continues, we associate ourselves at this somber landmark, with blogger and Middle East expert, Juan Cole, who asks today why it has happened at all...

All hell broke loose again in Iraq on Sunday, with political violence killing nearly 60 persons according to official statistics.

A roadside bomb killed 4 US troops, bringing the total dead in Iraq on the American side to 4,000. The thing I most mind about the deaths of those brave warriors is that our government has not been honest about why they died. We don't know the answer to that question. We've been lied to.

The Bush administration still has not told us why they died. It was not to protect the US from "weapons of mass destruction" (see [this earlier item]; that was a fabricated cover story). It was not to spread democracy. It may have been to nail down a major petroleum-producing country for US geostrategic goals (ensuring its resources were available to the US and could be denied if necessary to growing rivals such as China). If so, one has to ask whether the objectives (which were hidden from the American people) were the top priority for the US, or only for the petroleum industry; whether those objectives have been achieved; and whether there was another way to attain them. No such debate has ever been held. Was it in part to ensure Israeli security...? If so, that should be stated, it should be debated. Even the former head of Shin Bet did not agree that it increased Israel's security. It is not right to ask men and women under arms to die for their country without telling them exactly how they are benefiting their country. For all we know, they have died so that Bush and Cheney could throw goodies to their "base," so that Halliburton could escape bankruptcy and Hunt Oil could get new development contracts.

In the Summer of 2005, Cindy Sheehan, who gave the life of her son for reasons still unknown, was shamefully excoriated by supporters of George W. Bush for having the temerity to demand an explanation of the "noble cause" he claimed that her son Casey had died for. She never received that explanation. Nor have the American people --- not even the ones who attacked Cindy Sheehan so brutally, violently, and mercilessly on Bush's behalf.

Those willing to give their lives, and the lives of their sons and daughters, for our country deserve far better than they have received. Those willing to spend those lives, with a smirk and a "so?" --- without even the courtesy of an honest explanation as to why --- must be held accountable for these most unforgivable of crimes.

We fear such accountability will never come.

The BRAD BLOG stands by those who have fallen and with the millions who have, for so long, had the courage to ask "why?"

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Featuring Heroic Paralyzed Army Specialist Tomas Young...
By Alan Breslauer on 3/23/2008 2:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Longtime BRAD BLOG readers might recall Brad Friedman's live audio interview [mp3] (and part 2) with Army Specialist Tomas Young from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, Texas, during the Summer 2005. Young was paralyzed from the chest down when he was shot in Sadr City, Iraq on April 4, 2004. Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was killed in the same city on the same day.

During The BRAD SHOW'S special "Operation Noble Cause" national radio broadcast we helped Tomas (who was there on his honeymoon!), create a "Mr. Bush, Why won't you meet with ME?" poster which was picked up by the national media. Later 60 Minutes ran a segment with Mike Wallace on "Wounds of War" featuring soldiers injured in Iraq including Young (and a quick shot of Brad interviewing him in Crawford).

And now documentarian Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue are bringing Tomas Young's story to the masses in the soon to be released documentary, "Body of War." On Friday the filmmakers appeared on Bill Moyers Journal to discuss the movie. The segment began, however, by showing about 14 minutes of excerpts from the movie which can be seen in two parts below. Note that Brad is briefly seen and heard in footage taken from his interview of Young at "Camp Casey."

Part 1


Part 2


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