(Hat tip BRAD BLOG Toon Scout, Pokey Anderson)
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...|
Guest Blogged by Jon Ponder of Pensito Review.
It's hard to imagine a counterpoint to Scooter Libby's criminal case more apt and revealing than the case of Victor Rita, a North Carolina veteran who was convicted by the feds of lying under oath about buying an illegal machine gun.
Both Rita and Libby were convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in federal cases. Both were sentenced to around 30 months in jail. Both sentences were appealed, and Bush officials at the highest levels were involved in the appeals as they played themselves out in the past few months.
In their appeals, both Rita and Libby sought leniency based on their records of public service and current circumstances. Victor Rita served in the Marine Corps for 25 years, including tours of duty in Vietnam and Gulf War I. He is now advanced in age and in failing health. As a result of his crimes, he has reportedly been wiped out financially.
George W. Bush described Scooter Libby's career in public service as "exceptional," but a review of Libby's bio reveals him to be a neocon bureaucrat who held a series of political positions in Republican administrations before moving up to the White House with Cheney and Bush --- where he was either a witness to or a participant in skullduggery and shenanigans the half of which we don't yet know. Libby is in his late 50s, appears to be in good health, and was able to pay his $250,000 fine out of his checking account, probably with the help of a defense fund set up by powerful Republicans friends like Fred Thompson and Mary Matalan.
Earlier this year the appeals by Rita and Libby both took dramatic turns, at which point the similarities between the two cases came to an abrupt end.
Rita's moment came when his appeal was heard before the Supreme Court...
Blogged by Brad from the road in St. Louis...
The poll also asked about Bush's commuting of I Lewis Scooter Libby's sentence, and found that 31% of Americans approve, and 11% would approve of a full pardon.
So what's the hold up? Accountability awaits.
Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon
For months, the so-called "DC Madam" --- Deborah Jeane Palfrey --- has been forbidden by a court injunction from discussing or sharing the contents of the meticulous phone records she kept of her Washington D.C. client base.
Before the injunction was handed down, ABC News' Brian Ross had received a partial list. Ross declared, in a broadcast report, that the phone records did not point to any "newsworthy" individuals beyond the three known names of Randall Tobias (former head of the Agency for International Development), Harlan Ullman (developer of the "shock and awe" military doctrine) and former presidential adviser Dick Morris.
ABC dealt only with records going back five years, and did not have access to the earlier records. Long-standing rumors --- as-yet unconfirmed --- have held that Vice President Dick Cheney used Palfrey's escort service, Pamela Martin and Associates, in the 1990s, while he was still the CEO of Haliburton.
Less than two hours ago, Judge Kessler released the injunction. Palfrey is now free to make those phone records available to any journalists or bloggers who ask for them. She has set out certain circumstances for their release; her primary hope is that those looking into the matter will do so thoroughly. Palfrey has expressed disappointment in ABC's treatment of this story.
When contacted by The BRAD BLOG, Palfrey first expressed her thanks to Judge Kessler. "This decision could have gone either way," said Palfrey, "given our current political climate."
The question everyone is asking, and that we asked, of course, is this: Can Ms. Palfrey confirm that Dick Cheney was a client?...
Blogged by Brad from "Thor" Country (St. Louis, Missouri)...
"Emptywheel" at Next Hurray has the details on the latest Republican front group to go missing on the Internets in the time-honored cowardly tradition of George W. Bush's cut and run vote-suppression capo Thor Hearne of the "non-partisan" propaganda outlet, "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR).
At least the latest GOP scam outfit to see their website set to "This site is temporarily unavailable," Italia Federici's "Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy," (CREA) had the decency to include the name of their party in the group's name. As well, unlike Thor and his buddies, the group --- whose major funder was the now-jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff --- waited until its President, Federici, had pled guilty to obstruction and tax charges before giving up their website's ghost.
Thor, on the other hand, got out as soon as the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal began to shine a spotlight on the "Democratic voter fraud" scam he had been perpetrating for years on a gullible nation and a pliant corporate mainstream media. If we ever find out who funded Thor's tax-exempt ACVR scam to the tune of more than $1 million, we'll not be surprised to see Abramoff's finger prints all over it. Pointing even more directly towards the White House, we've got reason to believe that James A. Baker and friends were also likely on the inside of the hoax set up by the man who was Karl Rove's top election "legal" eagle and, by no coincidence, Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.'s general counsel.
With groups like ACVR and CREA, the GOP helped raise the art of "astroturfing" to new, unforgivable heights of cynicism and criminal fraud. The CMSM let 'em do it for years, as most of us looked the other way in disbelief that the folks who ran this country --- by hook and mostly crook --- would ever be so blatantly disingenuous. They were. We fell for it. And it'll likely take years to undo the damage.
Blogged by Brad from St. Louis...
When we first ran the full Declaration of Independence here at The BRAD BLOG on the Fourth of July, 2005, it felt very much like a seditious act during those dark, oppressive days. Incredibly, we actually paused for a moment or two to consider whether there would be blowback of some sort for posting such a thing publicly. That we felt some level of concern in posting this document --- described by the National Archives as "the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty" --- at that time, is an irony that may take the historians decades to fully explain.
This is the third Fourth of July in a row on which we post this extraordinary document in full, along with the strong encouragement for you to read it. In full.
We have just done so again ourselves, and find it more incredibly apropos than ever. The section enumerating the crimes of King George against his country and constituents is remarkable in its near line-by-line parallels to the crimes of our own King George today: "A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
We stand by both the following Declaration and the words of Kieth Olbermann on MSNBC last night, calling on Bush and Cheney to do the right thing for their nation and Resign. For the good of this country. For the good of the world.
We challenge you to read America's Declaration of Independence which follows and not draw the direct and striking parallels that are so apparent from the very first paragraph on through the end.
On Independence Day, 2007, the following words likely ring more true than any single day since they were first adopted, some 231 years ago, by a small band of rag-tag patriots who declared their right to be free from tyranny, for a Government which derives its power from the consent of the governed, and "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Please read on...
Guest blogged by Margie Burns.
President Bush's "Statement by the President on Executive Clemency for Lewis Libby" says that
Bush goes on to mention specifically the only remaining elements of legal punishment, probation and a fine of $250,000.
Now it looks as though even these two residual sanctions on Libby may turn out to be nonexistent.
On July 3 (yesterday), Judge Reggie B. Walton, the trial judge, issued a new order in the Libby case. Noting that probation appears to be defined by law as "supervised release after imprisonment" and that the president had commuted all of Libby's imprisonment, the judge said that the law,
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
It was fitting that George W. Bush commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence while visiting with Daddy Bush since it was 41 who likely taught him about such dirty tricks. In fact, Bush the Elder took a similar route by pardoning Caspar Weinberger who was indicted for lying to the special prosecutor investigating the Iran/Contra affair. As Marcy Wheeler stated on Democracy Now (seen in the video), Senior Bush's pardon similarly prevented investigators from discovering his role in the Iran/Contra scandal. For kicks, you'll also see Fox "News" pundit, Fred Barnes, mentioning the older Bush's pardon of Weinberger in defense of 43's actions, which might be the reason he is fuzzy with the details.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
MSNBC's Dan Abrams looks up the definition of "Excessive" in the dictionary, reviews Justice Department guidelines for commuting prison sentences and evidences how Bush ignored all proper procedure in the Libby case, before concluding: "I fear this is another example of the disdain for the courts and for rules that attempt to ensure equal justice for all."
Blogged from D.C. by Margie Burns
In a pretty spectacular peroration tonight, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann delivered a ten-minute indictment of the president and vice president and asked Bush to perform one last act of patriotism: resign.
Complete transcript here, video at left.
Saying “Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign” and adding that Nixon’s resignation, belated though it was, ranked as one final action of nonpartisanship, Olbermann urged George W. Bush to emulate Nixon, “not for self, not for party,” but for the country.
Olbermann also prefaced his speech, in one of several promotional moments, with the comment that “No one is holding their breath on this, but frankly, were Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush true patriots, they would resign.”
Blogged by Brad on our way out of Nashville...
Looking back at the original CNN report from February 11, 2004, announcing that a Special Prosecutor had been assigned to the CIA Leak matter, it's clear that what Bush had said at the time is exactly what he meant...
"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of."
Scooter has now been well "taken care of", so once again, George W. Bush has proven to be a man of his word.
Though his interest in "want[ing] to know who" may have leaked the classified identify of a covert CIA operative overseeing worldwide WMD networks may have been somewhat overstated. As we recently learned during sworn Congressional testimony, White House Security Chief, Joe Knodell admitted that they never bothered to launch an investigation into the matter.
"Leaks of classified information are bad things," the Commutator-in-Chief said, apparently just kidding, back in early 2004.
UPDATE: Not yet "taken care of" enough, Bush refuses to rule out a full pardon...
Blogged by Brad from Nashville...
And from Patrick Fitzgerald's reaction:
Meanwhile, former Sen. Fred Thompson couldn't be happier:
...And Guilliani joins him in standing firmly against National Security for America, and in favor of outing covert CIA assets:
George W. Bush's father, however, feels differently. Or, at least he did back in 1999 when addressing his former colleagues at the CIA...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Filling in for Bill O'Reilly on tonight's Factor, Michelle Malkin ripped Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff for destroying the faith of the American people in our government's ability to enforce immigration laws. Later, she went after an immigrant advocate attorney who called for an end to the deportation of illegals, stating, "it is not a bumper sticker to say that we should enforce the laws that are on the books." Between the two, Malkin finds time to joke with "Democratic" Strategists, Kirsten Powers and Laura Schwartz, about Bush letting Scooter Libby "Off The Hook." Surprisingly, she appeared much less concerned with the law and order aspects of the Libby case.
UPDATE FROM BRAD 7/3/07: I believe it's worth underscoring Alan's point above. The two Fox 'News' analysts interviewed by Malkin, claiming that commuting Libby's sentence was "the right thing to do" are both identified as "Democratic" strategists. Incredible. Only on Fox...
Guest blogged from D.C. by Margie Burns
The total commutation of Libby’s sentence should put an end to any questions, if any remain, about whether the Bush-Cheney cabal is completely crooked.
Briefly: the published statement for public consumption that the president found Libby’s sentence “excessive” is transparently false. If he had merely found the sentence excessive, he could have commuted it PARTLY. Two and a half years could have been reduced to two, or to one and a half, or to one year. It could have been drastically commuted to six months, or to three months.
That did not happen. Instead, George Walker Bush elevated smarmy propagandists like Byron York over federal judges. He elevated Charles Krauthammer over three U.S. Circuit Court Judges appointed by three former presidents. (Not that Krauthammer’s first reaction after Libby was indicted was to defend Libby. Au contraire: Krauthammer took the line, on ABC’s Inside Washington, that Libby’s actions were the work of one man, namely Libby. Neocon loyalty at work – until the echo chamber pulled Krauthammer back in line.) Bush elevated rightwing talk show hosts, the creepy National Review, Fox television and Rupert Murdoch's media empire and the now-moribund PNAC over the U.S. justice system.
Typical for him, that.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Bloomberg reports that, "George W. Bush commuted Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence in the CIA leak case, sparing him from punishment the president called 'excessive.'" It seems W. changed his mind in the last four months about respecting jury verdicts involving serious matters as seen in the video above. Or, maybe the White House had given up all hope of restoring "honor and dignity," and thus felt it had nothing to lose.
UPDATE: RAW STORY has more details, reaction. This is amazing. But what else is new? Revealing the identities of covert CIA assets is now just fine, apparently.
UPDATE FROM BRAD 10:54pm PT: A short message from Bush's dad. Sent to him from 1999 when he was speaking to his former colleagues at the CIA. Li'l Bush, apparently, disagrees...
(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG commenter "PatriotNW")
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