Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
w/ Brad & Desi
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...|
Following up on our earlier piece, praising the DNC for their media release concerning vote caging issues, we find this superb and scathing condemnation also released today by the DNC, headlined "Bush Administration Owes Apology Over Assault on Voting Rights"...
"The list of tools that Republicans have used to enhance their electoral prospects at the expense of our right to vote reads like a shameful litany from past eras: restricting access to voter registration, improper attempts to purge voter lists, the use of voting machines that leave no verifiable audit trails, criminal phone jamming schemes, discriminatory voter ID laws, inconsistently administered elections, and now we find out, politicizing the Department of Justice. These Republican schemes are not just undemocratic, they're un-American. The time has come for Republicans to stop playing politics with our fundamental right to vote, and for President Bush, Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Party to apologize to the American people."
The release goes on to list a panoply of Republican voter disenfranchisement efforts from FL to WI to OH to CO to NV and more. Kudos. Had they been as aggressive in their report on Ohio after the '04 Election, we might not be fighting our way out of the nightmare we now find ourselves in.
(Listen to my '05 radio interview with the report's Exec. Dir. Vincent Frey [MP3] admitting that they didn't find any fraud in Ohio, essentially, because they didn't look for any!)
And sadly, as Democrats seem destined to shoot themselves in the face with ill-conceived Election Reform bills in both the House and Senate, the nightmare will likely continue no matter what. As we've tried to explain to DNC folks many times, you can fight to ensure every legal voter who wants to vote gets to vote, but if those aren't counted correctly, it ultimately means absolutely nothing.
Nonetheless, we'll keep our eyes forward for the moment, and hope the DNC continues to realize the breadth of what has been going on, and what will continue to go on unless they do something about it and finally stand up once and for all for both American values and voters.
As reported previously, investigative journalist Greg Palast was scheduled to meet with John Conyers this evening for an on-camera interview for the BBC. His team, just out from the interview, sends this dispatch to The BRAD BLOG...
Tim Griffin, formerly right hand man to Karl Rove, resigned Thursday as US Attorney for Arkansas hours after BBC Television 'Newsnight' reported that Congressman John Conyers requested the network's evidence on Griffin's involvement in 'caging voters.' Greg Palast, reporting for both BBC Newsnight and Democracy Now, obtained a series of confidential emails dating from the 2004 presidential election in which the GOP operative transmitted so-called 'caging lists' of voters to state party leaders.
Experts have concluded the caging lists were designed for a mass challenge voters right to cast ballots. The caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including African-American homeless men, students and soldiers sent overseas.
Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of US Attorneys, met Thursday evening in New York with Palast. After reviewing key documents, Conyers stated that, despite Griffin's resignation, "we're not through with him by any means."
Conyers indicated that he thought it unlikely that Griffin could carry out this massive 'caging' operation without the knowledge of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rove.
Griffin, who was chosen as US Attorney at Rove's request, has not responded to requests by BBC to explain the 'caging' memos.
For more on the caging lists, see Palast's BRAD BLOG Exclusive from last week, just after Monica Goodling's stunning admissions concerning vote caging allegations about Griffin in her House Judiciary Committee testimony.
Also see our coverage of Slate's article late this afternoon as they become the first MSM-ish outlet to give a serious look at Goodling's overlooked-by-the-MSM, yet bombshell statement.
Palast first reported on the emails from Griffin containing vote caging lists for BBC's Newsnight, prior to the 2004 Presidential Election.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Paul Wolfowitz lists three reasons why he thinks much of Africa is on track and moving forward. First is the recognition of the importance of sound economic policy. Jobs created by the private sector are also helping the continent. And the third and most important reason why parts of Africa are finally moving forward according to Wolfowitz --- Peace!
Exclusive cell phone photos follow below of a chance meeting between Karl Rove and a progressive Anti-War, Anti-Bush activist at a D.C. Safeway supermarket on Memorial Day. The activist, Brett Kimberlin, is a director at Justice Through Music, which is a co-founder, along with The BRAD BLOG of the Election and Media Reform organization, VelvetRevolution.us. Kimberlin was recently featured in an article by the Lonestar Iconoclast, George W. Bush's "hometown paper" in Crawford, Texas, after the release of his anti-war "Happy Springtime (Bush is Over)" song and video...which we highly recommend, by the way.
Rove took the time to pose for a picture with Kimberlin and his daughter, after which he sent us both the photos and the following, rather amusing description of the encounter...
He then asked what we were going to do today [Memorial Day], and I said we are going to remember all the troops that Bush sent to be killed in this godforsaken war in Iraq. He then asked where I was from and I said, "VelvetRevolution, we support regime change here at home." He looked sick.
I then looked at what he bought and it was an entire shopping cart of toilet paper, Barq's root beer, and Land o' Lakes butter. That's it. No food whatsoever.
The photos of Kimberlin and Rove, and his swell butter-transporting Jaguar, follow below...
And they say there's not a vast rightwing conspiracy?
Glen Greenwald at Salon details dozens of no-uncertain-terms statements from Fox "News" and the near entirety of the wingnut blogosphere asserting that Valerie Plame was "not covert" in her role as a CIA agent. Despite myriad evidence for years, Plame's own sworn testimony to Congress, the admission by CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, and a court-filing last Friday which included an employment record from the CIA stating that she was, in fact, covert at the time she was outed by members of the Bush Administration, the sorry bunch of operatives who control the mainstream media, and a huge chunk of the blogosphere, refuse to admit they were simply wrong from the get-go. Period.
Says Greenwald today:
Just a few of the dozens of examples (most linked to the original sourcing over there) supplied by Greenwald...
It goes on and on, but you get the idea. Do the retractions and corrections similarly go on and on? Hardly. We've yet to see a single one. It's appalling. Imagine the circumstances had John Edwards or John Kerry or Hillary Clinton exposed the name of a covert CIA operative to the media. Would there be calls for treason trials from the same wingnut apologist-sphere? You bet.
We'll also await the many trolling dopes who have posted comments on these pages over the years, claiming that Plame was "not covert," to post their retractions here. We'll not hold our breath.
None of this is really news, of course. At least to those smart enough to seek out real news here. But to the rest of the world, carrying on blithely ignorant of the historic treason that has been and is being carried out by our own Government, this all would likely come as a shock. Fortunately for the wingnuts, none of this will even be a story for our corporate MSM.
RELATED: Be sure to read Greenwald's weekend story about a more recent similar embarrassment for the armchair Sam Spades of the wingnut blogosphere, and the lack of apologies and retractions thereof when they were revealed to be wrong. Again. As well, please see Eric Boehlert's February article detailing how the Washington Post aids and abets the fact-challenged rightwing blogosphere truth-haters, like Michelle Malkin and friends, while almost completely ignoring those of us who actually bother to diligently take the time to base our reporting on independently verifiable reality.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
What follows is a short compilation of video footage I took when visiting New Orleans earlier this month. While some parts of the city have made significant progress, the poorer and lower situated areas like the Lower 9th Ward remain devastated. Yet, the most difficult part for me was not viewing the destruction but witnessing the lack of activity, building, people, hope. All were conspicuously absent. Hence the final clip taken from the Convention Center just after Katrina of the stranded masses chanting for help. Although 20 months have passed since those desperate cries, it seems we are still waiting for someone to hear them.
The music is "Monday Night In New Orleans" by Kermit Ruffins (and The Barbeque Swingers) who, for my money, is the best living musician in the city.
Dan Froomkin in Washington Post [emphasis ours]:
In Friday's eminently readable court filing, Fitzgerald quotes the Libby defense calling his prosecution "unwarranted, unjust, and motivated by politics." In responding to that charge, the special counsel evidently felt obliged to put Libby's crime in context. And that context is Dick Cheney.
Froomkin's eminently readable report goes on to cover admissions (yet again) from Fitzgerald which demonstrate that Plame was indeed covert when she was outed --- for the first time in the history of the country --- by our own Government, much less members of the Executive Branch possibly as high as the Vice-President or even higher.
MSNBC reports on the new covert status confirmation (yet again) for Plame, describing a newly declassified employment record released by the CIA, which (yet again) underscores the point:
We look forward to the outpouring of corrections and retractions from disgraced GOP attorney/disinfo expert, Victoria Toensing, and her many ass clown supporters in the rightwing blogosphere who reported otherwise --- in no uncertain terms --- for years on end. Those apologies will be coming in any second, no doubt, since the wingnuts are always so very good when it comes to their appreciation of journalistic ethics and the like.
Froomkin's WaPo report focuses on Cheney's involvement in leaking the name of the covert CIA asset, quoting from Fitzgerald's recent court filing: "The evidence at trial further established that when the investigation began, Mr. Libby kept the Vice President apprised of his shifting accounts of how he claimed to have learned about Ms. Wilson's CIA employment."
And this: "[T]here was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President."
He quotes much more on what Fitz had to say in his filing which drew a bead most directly, for the first time, onto the man who still calls himself Vice President of the United States and concludes the point with this:
Give it a read for all of that, as well as the amusing argument the defense is now making about why the letters of support for Libby that they've had sent to the Judge, requesting leniency, should not be released to the public (Hint: It's those nasty bloggers again!)
UPDATE: Plame's former CIA classmate Larry Johnson, an ex-spook himself, takes a well-deserved victory lap which begins: "Victoria Toensing, Cliff May, Byron York and the other rightwing apologists who have long insisted that Valerie Plame Wilson was not undercover have some 'splaining' to do." Uh, yeah. But don't hold your breath, Larry.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
The opening teaser (1:12) to today's Democracy Now juxtaposes quotes resisting withdrawal from LBJ and Nixon during Vietnam to that of George W. Bush today. The bulk of today's program (which can be streamed here) was dedicated to screening the new Sean Penn narrated documentary "War Made Easy: How Presidents And Pundits Keep Spinning Us To Death" which is based on the Norman Solomon book by the same name.
As 10 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq on Memorial Day alone, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, is oblivious to how many actually been killed in this absurd farce total so far...
As RAW STORY, who pointed out Pace's grotesque and embarrassing error reported, 3,455 troops had been killed in Iraq at the time of Pace's statement. That number long ago eclipsed the 2,996 (as opposed to the "more than 3,000 Americans") killed on 9/11.
As of this morning, the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq is up to 3,466. But hey, it's just a few more dead people, so why quibble?
As well, 209 of those killed on 9/11 were not Americans, but rather foreign nationals. Which doesn't make a difference, other than Pace failed to include the hundreds of thousands of non-Americans which have been killed in his war.
Pace's numbers also fail to account for the more than 900 contractors reported to have been killed in Iraq, though that number is rarely reported by anyone.
"At least 146 contract workers were killed in Iraq in the first three months of the year," the NY Times recently reported, "That brings the total number of contractors killed in Iraq to at least 917, along with more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job, according to government figures and dozens of interviews."
And yes, Pace also failed to account for the 309 dead U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
All of which brings the most conservative grand total of dead U.S. citizens up to 4,675. All in brilliant retaliation for the 2,787 killed on 9/11. Heckuva job, Bushies.
One might think a 4-star Marine General serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would feel a responsibility to have an accurate understanding of such statistics and be able to report them a bit more accurately --- on Memorial Day of all days --- even as they change by the hour. One, apparently, would be wrong to make such an assumption.
CORRECTION: We originally reported that Pace was an Army General. He is actually a Marine. We regret the error, are happy to clarify it, and look forward to Pace's correcting his own error.
*** Investigative Journalist Greg Palast replies to Internet commentary following his Exclusive Report filed here at The BRAD BLOG on Monica Goodling's testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee last week, including her admissions concerning "Vote Caging" by former Karl Rove aide, now Arkansas U.S. Attorney, Tim Griffin.
Saturday morning, when most sensible folks were unfurling flags or taking their setters and children for a Memorial Day frisbee toss on the beach, someone using the nom d’puter of “DRATIONAL” was in his big sister’s bedroom furiously typing, “Greg Palast is Dangerous!” on her iMac.
Drat is quite right: I am dangerous, though not for the reasons in Drat’s screed.
So while the twins are off with the dog, let me respond between bites of this bagel, beginning with this immutable distinction:
There’s two kinds of illiterates in this world: those who can’t read, for whom I’m entirely sympathetic — and those who CAN read but WON’T, for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever.
Drat is of the latter. He (she/them/it?) has mounted a full-scale assault on the seven-year-long effort of my BBC and Guardian team investigating systematic suppression of the minority vote by the Republican Party and our latest revelation: ‘caging voters.’ His “evidence” is 100% limited to snippets of my conversations on talk radio or phone interviews, second-hand reports on websites and some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts, posted to this site.
Nowhere does he suggest he’s bothered reading the one hundred-page description of the attack on voters, including caging, in the new edition of Armed Madhouse. Shame that. Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., using the book as a source, verified by his own corroborative work, found the matter therein convincing enough to call for putting Rove’s right hand man, Tim Griffin, “in prison, not in office.”
Picking up a book won’t hurt you, Mr. Drat, at least until Patriot Act IV goes into effect...
As we mentioned yesterday, when we posted the Maher interview with Ron Paul, the final Real Time of the season kicked ass, and Maher killed (sorry, Dredd) from top to bottom. Here's his closing "New Rules" of the season so you can decide for yourselves. Enjoy...
In Maher's final show of the season (he'll return Aug. 24), he absolutely killed. This interview with Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul is one example, as were the final "New Rules" of the season which I'll also try post here soon (UPDATE: "New Rules" video now posted here)...
Post-script: Democrats may wish to pay very close attention to the reception Paul received from Maher's quite liberal studio audience.
UPDATE 5/31/07: Late breaking news on Griffin resignation from Palast interview with Conyers, now posted here...
*** Special to The BRAD BLOG by Greg Palast
This Monica revealed something hotter --- much hotter --- than a stained blue dress. In her opening testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling, the blonde-ling underling to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Department of Justice Liaison to the White House, dropped The Big One....And the Committee members didn't even know it.
Goodling testified that Gonzales' Deputy AG, Paul McNulty, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: McNulty denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin's "involvement in 'caging' voters" in 2004.
Huh?? Tim Griffin? "Caging"???
The perplexed committee members hadn't a clue --- and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling. If the members had gotten the clue, and asked the right questions, they would have found "the keys to the kingdom," they thought they were looking for. They dangled right in front of their perplexed faces.
The keys: the missing emails --- and missing link --- that could send Griffin and his boss, Rove, to the slammer for a long, long time.
Kingdom enough for ya?
But what's 'caging' and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer McNulty put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin's involvement in it? Because it's a felony. And a big one.
Here's how caging worked, and along with Griffin's thoughtful emails themselves you'll understand it all in no time.
The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked "Do not forward" to voters' homes. Letters returned ("caged") were used as evidence to block these voters' right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and --- you got to love this --- American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.
Why weren't these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation --- and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.
How do I know? I have the caging lists...
A Guest Blog Editorial by Rebecca Abrahams, Freelance Network News Producer
Poor Monica Goodling. Poor, poor Monica. Oh, the indignity of it all --- having to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and all. With Immunity.
She may have violated laws but she didn't mean to. I guess it's all better now. And clearly Committee members agreed --- practically falling all over her with apologies for having been brought forth to testify. Goodling, the former Department of Justice's liaison to the White House and senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, was granted immunity from prosecution during testimony regarding the White House's role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. And while she was the liaison to the White House, Goodling asserted that she did not "hold the keys to the kingdom" as some have suggested.
The first three hours of testimony shed little light on the plan to remove the USA's. Although Goodling did say she believed Deputy Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty had delivered inaccurate testimony before Congress. In particular, Goodling said, McNulty had not been forthcoming about newly appointed Arkansas US Attorney Tim Griffin's use of vote caging lists.
Goodling testified that there were "problems with her historic memory" and agreed that the firings should have been handled differently. She believed the USA's in question should have been given a chance to learn about their performance and given an opportunity to improve. Goodling believed the firings should have been done in person, noting "it was the right thing to do."
Goodling recounted a November 27, 2006 meeting she attended concerning the firing of Nevada US Attorney Daniel Bogden. She said the general consensus was that the Justice Department could do better than Bogden, noting, "good people needed to be put in those spots." Goodling said Gonzales agreed to use a provision within the Patriot Act to axe Bogden. Funny, Gonzales has sworn up and down he doesn't even remember attending the meeting. Regardless, Bogden, an Independent, was not the man for the job, despite the fact that he served the Department for more than sixteen years.
The Nevada US Attorney, testifying before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on March 6, 2007, recounted what Associate Deputy Attorney General William Mercer had told him the reason for his dismissal, was so that the United States Department of Justice could do it's job for the American people...by helping to build the resume of all of their close friends...
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· RAW STORY
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