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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Judge Nixes KS 'Proof of Citizenship' Voting Law, Slaps Humiliating Sanction on Kobach: 'BradCast' 6/19/18
Guest: ACLU trial atty Sophia Lin Lakin; Also: Trump's border 'crisis' worsens for Repubs...
'Green News Report' 6/19/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hurricanes moving slower; New EPA rules could kill thousands; China tariffs to hit US energy; McDonald's phasing out plastic straws; PLUS: Climate change eroding home values...
Previous GNRs: 6/14/18 - 6/12/18 - Archives...
Sunday 'Giving Peace a Chance' Toons
Just a glimpse of what happened over the past week via the eyes of the world's political cartoonists, as one of them lost his job this week for being too critical of Donald J. Trump...
Sessions 'Can't Do That': Immigration Atty on Admin Denial of Domestic Abuse Asylum: 'BradCast' 6/15/18
Guest: Law Prof Karen Musalo; Also: 1000s ripped from parents, warehoused by US Govt...
'Green News Report' 6/14/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOPers turning on Pruitt; Antarctica's ice melting 3x times faster; DNC bans fossil fuel donations; Flooding doubled over last 30 yrs; PLUS: Energy Dept: E-cars cheapest to drive...
Previous GNRs: 6/12/18 - 6/7/18 - Archives...
Ranked Choice Voting is a Terrible Idea; Election Results/Fails, Trump's GOP Cult: 'BradCast' 6/13/18
NV's new voting systems fail; WI seat flipped; Scheme to break CA up on 2018 ballot...
'It Doesn't Matter, We're Starting from Scratch': 'BradCast' 6/12/18
Guest: Former Dep. Asst. Sec. of State Michael Fuchs on Singapore agreement, 'denuclearization', NK atrocities...
'Green News Report' 6/12/18
Trump's G7 debacle over climate; CA electric co. faulted for deadly fires; EPA overhauls cost-benefit analyses; PLUS: Growing movement to ban single-use plastics...
Trump's Bonkers Turn Against G7 Allies Before NK Summit: 'BradCast' 6/11/18
Also: SCOTUS approves radical OH vote purge scheme; L.A. won't rule out hacking in 'print error' that left 118k off rolls; Callers ring in...
Sunday Toons Not Censored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
'PDiddie' features several recent toons by award-winning staff cartoonist Rob Rogers which were, remarkably enough, spiked by the paper's new RW editor...
HUD Scheme Raises Rent by 26% per Year on Low Income Familes: 'BradCast' 6/8/18
Guest: Former HUD official Diane Yentel; Also: DoJ spied on NYT journo, refuses to defend 'ObamaCare' in suit...
Election Failure, Fallout in CA, AL, SD: 'BradCast' 6/7/18
Several massive Election Day failures in L.A. and noteworthy results in CA and elsewhere; Also: The jaw-dropping kleptocracy of Trump's EPA chief Scott Pruitt...
'Green News Report' 6/7/18
CA voters choose climate action; Yet another ethics scandal for Pruitt; Judge orders denial evidence from EPA; PLUS: Trump withdrawal from Paris pact to cost trillions...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
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...


Contests 'vague voter intent' determinations, reliance on Diebold op-scan tallies on Constitutional grounds
But GOP candidate's decision to drop contest of Murkowski certification could prove fatal to overall case...
By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2010 6:53pm PT  

[Update 12/28/10: Federal judge dismisses Miller's complaint. Details now here...]

"We want the end result of this legal action to be for the people of Alaska to not only have full faith in the outcome of this race, but a confidence in the manner in which elections will be conducted in our state in the future," Alaska's "Tea Party"-supported, Sarah Palin-endorsed GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, Joe Miller said in a statement today calling for "fairness and transparency" in the election process, issued after filing an amended complaint in federal court. His statement concludes with the simple sentiment: "Election integrity is vital."

Miller has decided to press on in his election contest against the state's Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell and their Division of Elections (DoE), as overseen by Treadwell, by filing a Substitute Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief in U.S. District Court in Alaska today. The filing comes after resounding losses in state court and --- if the state's hand-count of write-in ballots and the Diebold optical-scanner tallies of all the other ballots are to be believed --- to Republican write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski in November's general election for the U.S. Senate. As the unofficial state count now stands, Murkowski reportedly defeated Miller (and Democratic candidate Scott McAdams) by more than 10,000 votes.

In the statement (posted in full at end of this article) Miller explains that his team has decided to forgo challenging Murkowski's official certification as the winner, allowing her to be seated in the U.S. Senate on January 5th.

"The integrity of the election is vital and ultimately the rule of law must be our standard. Nevertheless, I have also decided to withdraw our opposition to the certification of the election, ensuring that Alaska will have its full delegation seated when the 112th Congress convenes next month." he said, "This decision will allow Alaskans to focus on bringing fairness and transparency to our elections process without distraction of the certification issue."

But Miller's decision to drop his challenge to Murkowski's seating may prove to be a fatal blow to his case --- at least if precedent set by Republicans in Congress some years ago, ironically enough, is any indication. But more on that below.

After winning the GOP nomination against Murkowski, and then reportedly losing to her unprecedented write-in bid in November, Miller originally filed his election contest in federal court in November. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline subsequently responded by sending the case down to state court for initial adjudication on relevant issues of state law. Late last month, Beistline temporarily halted state certification of the race until those issues were decided, and last week the state's Supreme Court rejected Miller's appeal, siding with the state, on all counts.

Beistline had given Miller until today to re-file his amended complaint in federal court. His filing now includes just three counts asserting violations of the U.S. Constitution's "Election Clause" and "Equal Protection Clause" as based on both the DoE's liberal interpretation of state law in counting write-in ballots, as well as the disparate weight the hand-count of those ballots was afforded, versus those tallied by Diebold optical-scanners in the case of "pre-printed" candidates...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2010 1:09pm PT  

As this noteworthy New York Times editorial was buried by its publication on Christmas Day, it's worth highlighting here today in hopes that a few more folks may actually read it.

To date, the lack of alarm (by both media and, subsequently, the public) caused by the idea of major U.S. financial services companies serving as little more than instruments of unofficial U.S. governmental policy is troubling enough as is. That WikiLeaks, the organization being outrageously penalized by these enormous corporations, has been been charged with absolutely no violation of law, makes the actions of these banks even more extraordinary and chilling.

And finally, the entire affair is made most disturbing of all, perhaps, due to the fact that in 2010 none of this seems to come as much of a surprise to anybody, as reflected by the lack of concern expressed in the bulk of the mainstream media and, therefore, by the populace at large (most of whom, thanks again, MSM, likely have no knowledge of any of it, or why it's extraordinary in the first place)...

The whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks has not been convicted of a crime. The Justice Department has not even pressed charges over its disclosure of confidential State Department communications. Nonetheless, the financial industry is trying to shut it down.

Visa, MasterCard and PayPal announced in the past few weeks that they would not process any transaction intended for WikiLeaks. Earlier this month, Bank of America decided to join the group, arguing that WikiLeaks may be doing things that are "inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments."
...
[A] bank's ability to block payments to a legal entity raises a troubling prospect. A handful of big banks could potentially bar any organization they disliked from the payments system, essentially cutting them off from the world economy.

The fact of the matter is that banks are not like any other business. They run the payments system. That is one of the main reasons that governments protect them from failure with explicit and implicit guarantees. This makes them look not too unlike other public utilities. A telecommunications company, for example, may not refuse phone or broadband service to an organization it dislikes, arguing that it amounts to risky business.
...
The decisions to bar the organization came after its founder, Julian Assange, said that next year it will release data revealing corruption in the financial industry. In 2009, Mr. Assange said that WikiLeaks had the hard drive of a Bank of America executive.

What would happen if a clutch of big banks decided that a particularly irksome blogger or other organization was “too risky”? What if they decided — one by one — to shut down financial access to a newspaper that was about to reveal irksome truths about their operations? This decision should not be left solely up to business-as-usual among the banks.




By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2010 3:28pm PT  
NORAD: Loses Contact With Santa Over Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan: December 24 - America's NORAD tracking facilities in Virginia confirmed that at 2:06 PM today they lost contact with Santa Clause's sleigh. At the time the signal showed Santa's slay over the autonomous tribal regions that share a border with Afghanistan.

"We have no further information at this time," said a NORAD spokesman. "The last transmission we had from Santa was when he filed his flight plan upon leaving Iranian airspace headed for Afghanistan. We had issued Santa the standard travel warnings about the region, but he insisted on keeping to his traditional flight track."

Pentagon sources, who asked to remain anonymous, said a CIA listening post on the Afghan/Pakistan border picked up a garbled distress call around the time NORAD lost Santa's signal. "It was barely legible," the sources said, "but there was something about going down and something about a drone. After that all we heard were jingle bells ringing like holy hell followed by twelve 'splat-like" sounds and then silence."
...
As we went to press al Qaeda in Pakistan issued a statement on Santa's disappearance.

"The infidel Claus was struck from our skies by the hand of Allah who caused a US drone to fire on his craft. Our fighters reached the crash site and report that reindeer taste like goat, but tougher. The infidel Claus is alive and is being held for interrogation. Our demands for his release will follow shortly. In the meantime, thanks for the printer cartridges. As for the mens' underwear, we clearly asked for briefs, not boxers. You are not only infidels but also stupid."

Full report...




VIDEO: David Swanson's L.A. book event for 'War is a Lie', with Lila Garrett, Jason Leopold, Brad Friedman...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2010 4:05pm PT  

On the day it was published, David Swanson guest blogged here about his new book, War is a Lie. A few days later, while I was guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show he and I had a spirited debate about one aspect of the general premise of the book.

And last Sunday, the good Mr. Swanson came to Los Angeles for a book event at the home of actress and PDA advisory board chair Mimi Kennedy where I joined him, along with KPFK's Lila Garrett and Truthout's Jason Leopold, on a panel to discuss it.

The over-flow event --- impressive for any day in laid back L.A., much less in the middle of record rainfall --- was video-taped and is now posted below in seven parts, if you're interested.

(If you're looking for me in the videos below, my opening statement is near the beginning of Part 3, and my closing statement is in Part 7, beginning just before the 4 minute mark. As mentioned in my remarks, please support independent media and, along with it, the truth. You can help do so, among other ways, by buying David's book here.) Enjoy...

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




Featuring interviews with Coleen Rowley, Daniel Ellsberg & more...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2010 3:10pm PT  

...is posted below, commercial-free, in case you missed it the first time around when it ran live, as guest hosted by yours truly.

Lots of important stuff discussed, much of which, I predict, will be worth remembering in the days, weeks, months (and possibly even years) ahead as the fallout continues around WikiLeaks (the new new media), and as the outrageously irresponsible governmental/state media assaults against both WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and alleged leaker PFC Bradley Manning continue to disinform the American people.

[My thanks also to Daily Kos blogger "cedar park" for picking up Friday's show and letting folks over there know about it over the weekend.]

Listen to each 38-minute "Hour" online below, or right-click "Download MP3" and select "Save Target As..." to save it to your hard drive for listening later.

HOUR 1: The FBI's 9/11 whistleblower and TIME's 2002 Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley, joins us for a very compelling hour, literally on her way home from her arrest at the White House Thursday while protesting war crimes and rallying in favor of the exposure of war crimes via WikiLeaks, and in support of alleged leaker PFC Bradley Manning; We also discuss her recent LA Times op-ed asserting that WikiLeaks might have helped to avert 9/11, her concerns about federal whistleblower legislation just passed by the U.S. Senate and much more...
Download MP3 or listen online below...

HOUR 2: ...Rowley (and the 17 compatriots in her van heading back to MN with her) continue with us for a few more minutes. Then we take some calls and offer some thoughts on the allegations made against Julian Assange and the deplorably inhumane captivity of Bradley Manning.
Download MP3 or listen online below...

HOUR 3: We play some clips in support of Manning from my recent interview with "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, as well as from the interview with 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern by CNN's Don Lemon, along with their official statement in response to my recent critique of that interview where they irresponsibly smeared Assange as a "terrorist" despite his having been charged with no crime nor having killed a single person. Plus more listener phone calls on all of the above...
Download MP3 or listen online below...

* * *




By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2010 7:35pm PT  

Both of these are rather ingenious. Both well worth watching. The first one makes an absolutely brilliant point, though you must wait until the very end to hear it. I hope you will. It also has the added benefit of making Alex Jones fans very happy as well, no doubt :-) ...


This one is mostly just terribly clever and toe-tappingly fun, but also includes some smart points [Hat-tip to @JeannieDean via Twitter]...


And with all of that now out of the way, I hope, if you haven't already, you'll give a listen to some of my coverage on all of the above on last Friday's Mike Malloy Show from quite a few different angles, including interviews with some of the most knowledgeable former-insiders and whistleblowers who know of what they speak.

The complete, commercial-free audio of the show is now posted here. I think you'll enjoy it. (Also, my thanks to dKos blogger "cedar park" for highlighting some of it for readers over there yesterday!)




Tonight: FBI 9/11 Whistleblower Coleen Rowley on WikiLeaks, Secrets & Lies...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2010 3:39pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below! Enjoy!]

Secrets and lies. Secrets and lies. Virtually every problem our nation (and world) now faces, seem to stem from secrets and lies. We'll be discussing that throughout the evening, as WikiLeaks changes our world, and as I guest-host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show once again tonight.

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

Don't miss tonight's show!

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

Scheduled (so far) for tonight:

* * *

Click here to jump into our LIVE Chat Room during the show. Or just see below!...

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The show flew by tonight! At least for me! Audio archives are all below and I think you'll enjoy 'em. Have a listen (and the chat room archives are below those, if you like)...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2010 1:34pm PT  

I'm preparing to host tonight's Mike Malloy Show, so not much time to go into details or deep background. Suffice to say, once again, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show have shamed the bulk of the mainstream media by demonstrating, in just a matter of minutes, what journalism looks like. Or is supposed to. His entire show last night became devoted to one single issue.

It starts here, in the first segment, with Stewart taking his final shot of the year (on his final show of the year) at Senate Republicans who have shamefully "filibustered" to avoid voting on the "Zadroga Bill", an act to provide health care funding for 9/11 first responders, many of them suffering and dying from severe issues, including cancer and other serious respiratory disease, along with the failure of Fox "News" and the major broadcast networks (ABC/NBC/CBS) to even mention the story and the outrageous insult by those who have, for years, pretended to give a damn about 9/11 and those who gave their lives in responding to it...

Next, in perhaps the most important/journalistic segment, Stewart interviewed, in studio, four New York City first responders, some of them suffering from cancer following the toxic, hazardous conditions they worked in, with inadequate protection, on the day of, and in the months following 9/11, and allowed them to respond directly to the behavior of GOP Senators and Fox "News"...

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




TIME's 2002 'Person of the Year' detained along with fellow whistleblowers, former intelligence agents, military vets
Rowley set to appear live with Brad on the 'Malloy Show' Friday....
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2010 5:52pm PT  

Snow-covered peace activists and military veterans --- as well as legendary whistleblowers and former intelligence officers --- were arrested today in front of the White House while protesting the War in Afghanistan and rallying in support of WikiLeaks and for the exposure of war crimes.

The BRAD BLOG spoke with one of those arrested, the FBI's 9/11 whistleblower and TIME's 2002 Person of the Year Coleen Rowley, within the past two hours, shortly after she was released from custody by the Capitol Hill police. Rowley had traveled some 22 hours with a group of about 17 fellow Minnesotans to participate in today's protest and paid a $100 fine for the charge of "refusal to obey a lawful order."

"Over a hundred of us got arrested standing at the White House fence, singing and showing our signs," the former FBI analyst told us. "We sang all 15 versus of 'We shall Overcome', versus that you probably never heard, and sang new words to 'Down by the Riverside' as 'Down at the White House Fence.'"

Also arrested at the protest today were Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg (whom we recently interviewed about WikiLeaks), 27-year veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern (about whom we recently wrote after last weekend's appearance on CNN) telling host Don Lemon that CNN should "following [WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange's] example" by "seek[ing] out secrets," and Pulitzer prize-winning former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges.

Rowley will be our guest tomorrow night (Friday) on the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show, which we are again scheduled to co-host.

"We were protesting against war crimes and for exposing war crimes," Rowley explained earlier tonight. She said she made her own sign back home Minnesota before traveling to D.C.. She says her sign had "The War is a Lie" on one side and "Expose War Crimes, Free Bradley Manning" on the back, with photos from WikiLeaks' "Collateral Murder" video revealing a U.S. Army Apache helicopter firing and killing approximately a dozen individuals, including two Reuters employees, and wounding two children. The video is alleged to have been leaked to WikiLeaks by Army PFC Bradley Manning who, Salon's Glenn Greenwald reported yesterday, has been detained and held "in intensive solitary confinement" for the past seven months "under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture," even as he has reportedly behaved as "a model detainee"...

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




'War on Terror' or War to Inflict State Terror?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/14/2010 7:13pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

In "Plumbing the Depths of Lawless Executive Depravity", I argued that targeted assassinations threaten the very foundation of our republic. This occurs not only due to the potential for collateral damage but due to the distinct possibility that many whom we target as "suspected" terrorists may be entirely innocent.

A more recent article of mine here, "WikiLeaks' Pakistan, Yemen Cables Expose Unchecked Executive Power, 'Hatred for Democracy'" addressed a specific form of targeted assassinations --- the predator drone strike. In it, I noted that the secret expansion of such strikes into Pakistan and Yemen, as confirmed by diplomatic cables recently published by WikiLeaks and their media partners, reflected a dangerous usurpation of power by the Executive branch.

These two articles, and former CIA field operative Robert Baer, in a must-see RethinkAfganistan.com video (embedded at end of this article), assume the targets of the drone strike are suspected insurgents and terrorists. Both of them deal with the counterproductive effect of unintended civilian deaths ("collateral damage") which serves to destabilize "friendly" governments, provide a recruiting tool for those bent on revenge, and increase the likelihood of "blowback," a CIA term that describes "the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people."

Have Baer and I erred in assuming these strikes are not aimed at civilians?...

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




Interview with former CIA analyst reveals CNN's shameful failure...
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2010 5:04pm PT  

Take a look at the short CNN video interview below with 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. It's astonishing and disturbingly telling.

McGovern, as we noted on Friday, is one of a number of high-level intelligence whistleblowers and former government officials who signed a very strong statement in support of WikiLeaks and Assange last week. Other signatories of the statement include Pentagon Papers' whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the FBI's 9/11 whistleblower and TIME 2002 Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley.

McGovern, who was formerly personally responsible for giving Presidential Daily Briefings to both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton has, for years, been an outspoken opponent of the Bush Administration's unprecedented secrecy regime. He's perhaps best known for his remarkable 2006 confrontation with Don Rumsfeld, calling him directly out as a liar for tying Iraq to WMD and al-Qaeda.

It's embarrassing enough, in the below, to see CNN shamefully use the chyron "ASSANGE: JOURNALIST OR TERRORIST", since Assange has not been charged with anything remotely akin to "terrorism", nor has he like, ya know, a terrorist, either killed someone, tried to kill someone, or even advocated killing anybody --- unlike many of those who have advocated killing him.

But in the exchange that follows, as posted yesterday, note the telling positions expressed by CNN's Don Lemon about not only his, but CNN's apparent regard for WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange as "a pariah". He seems genuinely taken aback at the notion that, as McGovern tells him, CNN "should be following his example."

Watch the whole thing, please, for other important points and CNN embarrassments, but the section I mention above is transcribed below the video, along with one point on which McGovern appears to be wrong...

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




UPDATED: Offer now reported by Nigerian official as $250m after meeting with Cheney and Halliburton reps over the weekend...
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2010 11:37am PT  

We recently detailed the "very awkward position", as Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley described it, that the U.S. could find itself in in regard to Nigeria's indictment of Dick Cheney on bribery charges last week, considering the long-standing extradition treaty the U.S. holds with Nigeria. The allegations against Cheney include some $180 million in bribes said to have been paid in exchange for some $6 billion in contracts during his tenure as CEO of Halliburton.

So how might the U.S. government avoid that "very awkward position"? It appears Halliburton may be willing to pay some $500 million to Nigeria to help them do just that, according to the Global Post...

* * *

UPDATE: One point worth noting here is that we have recently learned, thanks to the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks and their media partners, that the U.S. Government has proven more than willing to step up to the plate to protect the Bush Administration from prosecution on charges related to torturing of citizens in a number of countries. The Bush Administration itself brought diplomatic pressure to stop investigations into CIA torture in Germany, according to information in those leaked cables, and even the Obama Administration stepped up to protect Bush officials from prosecution in Spain.

Where we now know they've been willing to do so in the past, thanks to the release of those cables, it seems perfectly reasonable to speculate that the Obama Administration would be willing, even eager, to apply similar pressure to Nigeria here in order to protect Cheney and to help avoid the "very awkward situation" the U.S. would find itself in with the issuance of an Interpol "red notice" requiring us to help "find" and then extradite the indicted Cheney to Nigeria.

To that end, no doubt the U.S. has much leverage, economic and otherwise, to bring to bear over a country like Nigeria to help "encourage" them to accept such a settlement of a half a billion dollars from Halliburton. Whether such settlements are legal under Nigerian law (as someone quoted in the linked article suggests they are not) is a different question, but one that I'd not be surprised to see ignored so that this matter can go away quickly. Hoping there's someone out there whose willing to leak evidence of such diplomatic pressure when and if it is brought to bear. Which, of course, is just another reason why we need media organizations like WikiLeaks!

UPDATE 12/14/10: The reported $500 million settlement is now being reported as $250 million, according to a spokesperson from Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), even as Halliburton maintains "there is no legal basis for the charges." The agreement would need to be ratified by the government, he says, with a decision on the deal expected by the end of the week. The statement comes after "Representatives for Cheney and Halliburton met with Nigerian officials in London over the weekend."




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

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

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


Text transcript follows below...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2010 8:13pm PT  

It's been quiet around here over the last 24 hours or so, largely because I've been absolutely fascinated following what is going on with WikiLeaks across the net, the nation and the world, despite the decidedly much-less-than-one-might-have-otherwise-expected coverage of the continuing fall out from new documents as they are released, the unprecedented cyber/info war for and against them which continues to rage, and the various whistleblowing heroes speaking up in defense of the "revolutionary" media organization.

For the record, to date, WikiLeaks has released just 1,295 out of the 251,287 leaked diplomatic cables they purportedly have so far. That's about "0.5% down, 99.5% to go" as they tweeted today. That, despite the inaccuracies you'll continue to hear and read in the media about the organization "causing havoc" and being "anarchists" by "indiscriminately dumping 250,000 classified documents!" It should be noted that almost all of the cable documents released to date have been published first by WikiLeaks' media partners such as the UK's Guardian, Germany's Der Spiegel, Spain's El Pais and the New York Times.

Never mind the very serious substance of the cables themselves --- it's not simply "embarrassing gossip" and "nothing new" as many in the media are shamefully downplaying it, perhaps because they didn't report it first! --- there is so much information and opinion flying out here about WikiLeaks and Assange themselves, it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with it all. In general, if you haven't noticed over the years, I only tend post when I feel I have something to contribute to any particular issue. So, of late, I've simply been trying to take much of it in, trying to make sense of it all in this extraordinary moment in history, and tweeting items of note (via @TheBradBlog) as I come across them in the bargain.

A few of those things, and a discussion --- at times, a somewhat contentious debate --- I had with someone on Twitter today in regard to WikiLeaks and Assange et al, are below, and I'd very much love to hear your thoughts on all of it. Read on...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2010 2:06pm PT  

Via AP...

LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigeria's anti-corruption agency on Tuesday charged former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney over a bribery scheme involving oil services firm Halliburton Co. during time he served as its top official, a spokesman said.

The charges stem from a case involving as much as $180 million allegedly paid in bribes to Nigerian officials, said Femi Babafemi, a spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Halliburton and other firms allegedly paid the bribes to win a contract to build a $6 billion liquefied natural gas plant in Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta, he said.
...
Babafemi declined to comment when asked how likely it was that Cheney would be extradited to Nigeria over the charges.

"We are following the laws of the land. We want to follow the laws and see where it will go," the spokesman said. "We're very convinced by the time the trial commences, we'd make application for appropriate court orders to be issued."

For more on the "very awkward position" the U.S. may soon find itself in regarding the possible legal requirement of sending Cheney to Nigeria, with whom we have a long-standing extradition treaty, see our story from last Friday quoting Constitutional law profession Jonathan Turley on this rather interesting turn of events.

No doubt there are plenty of diplomatic cables flying around on this between the U.S. and Nigerian governments right about now. Let's hope someone shares them with WikiLeaks soon.




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