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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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DeLay's #1 Supporter Unapologetic About Money Taken from Duke Cunningham, Abramoff-Funded Golf Trip to Scotland, Foreign Agent-Funded Trips to Asia and More...
Clint Curtis' Campaign Gets Some Florida Ink in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2006 12:32pm PT  

Looks like our old friend, the indefatigably corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), is making news again.

St. Petersberg Times takes a front page look at the "allegations pil[ing] up" against Feeney. Here's some highlights:

Three members of Congress went on a golfing junket to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Two of them are under investigation.

The third is Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida.
...
Feeney, 47, has tried to move past the allegations but, in typical fashion, has shown little regret or caution.

He kept patronizing Abramoff's Washington restaurant, Signatures, long after others stopped. He defended former majority leader Tom DeLay even after the Texas congressman was indicted. He let a private group pay for his trip to China last month, even though many in Congress are avoiding such travel because of bad publicity over questionable trips.
...
Feeney, usually one of the most accessible of the state's congressional delegation, refused to answer questions. His staff described questions into his relationship as a "fishing expedition" and said he has done nothing wrong.

So will Feeney disclose who paid for that trip to China last month, in which he visited the Chinese Space Agency and called for more cooperation with them? Perhaps he should, considering that NASA, where his wife also works, is in Feeney's district. Even more notably, Feeney spent years as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for the firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. --- which harbored an illegal Chinese alien eventually found guilty of espionage charges related to sending military missile guidance chips to China --- a firm that currently has lucrative contracts with NASA.

Full disclosure on this matter would seem to be particularly important, given the revelation of Feeney's lies regarding his continuing relationship with the Yangs and their company.

On a related point, here's an unfortunate little tidbit from the article:

Feeney...has been infatuated with politics since he dressed up as his childhood hero Richard Nixon in a mock grade school election

The list of allegations against Feeney continues in the article, along with some ink for Clint Curtis' run for Congress against him:

Feeney was immediately taken with DeLay, to whom Feeney sometimes is compared, and voted with him almost all the time. Later, Feeney became a prominent defender of DeLay, giving $5,000 to his legal defense and supporting a Republican move to allow him to keep his leadership post if indicted.
...
He received $5,000 from former Rep. "Duke" Cunningham's PAC before Cunningham resigned last year amid a bribery scandal.

"My concern about him is that he seems to view the rules are optional," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a group that has primarily criticized Republicans. "Rules are there for a reason."

In September, Feeney was named one of "the 13 most corrupt members of Congress" by Sloan's group. The Congressional Accountability Project demanded that the House ethics panel investigate Feeney and others for their ties to Abramoff.

"No one likes being attacked but he still continues with his daily routine," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Brooksville Republican who served in the Florida Legislature with Feeney. "This hasn't changed him at all."

Feeney did not face opposition in 2004 but this year already has two opponents, veterinarian Andy Michaud, a Democrat, and computer programmer Clint Curtis, a lifelong Republican turned Democrat. Both Curtis and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee question Feeney's ethics.

Here's a complete list of Reps who received money from Duke Cunningham. Feeney is among those accepting the most, but has not returned the money at this time.

Hat-tip to Jesselee from Stakeholder, who has more on the St. Pete Times article.

Clint Curtis' campaign website, where he needs much financial and logistical support if he's to have a chance of taking on Feeney and the Florida Republican Machine is right here.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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Matalin Blames Press over Cheney's PR Blunder
By David Edwards on 2/20/2006 6:48am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...

Mary Matalin appeared on NBC Meet the Press (transcript) to defend Vice President Cheney's handling of the shooting scandal. She attacked NBC White House correspondent David Gregory and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd for their attention to the discrepancies in Cheney's story.

Gregory: Mary, ...the Vice President of the United States accidentally shot a man... and the Vice President's office doesn't feel an obligation to disclose that to the American people directly? You do it through a ranch owner in Texas? It just strikes me as odd.

Matalin: It strikes you as odd because you live in a parallel universe...

Gregory: ...If the Vice President did everything right by disclosing it the way he did, why did you do a big national interview this week?

Matalin: Because you went on a jihad, David. For four days you went on a jihad...

Gregory: That's an unfortunate use of that word, by the way.

Matalin: Oh OK... Were you saving up for that line?

So, Matalin slips in the inflammatory "jihad" remark and then accuses Gregory of "saving up for that line"?

I created a video compilation of the exchanges between Matalin, Gregory and Dowd that is posted at Crooks and Liars. If you haven't already seen it, watch the clip here in streaming flash format or download other video formats at Crooks and Liars.

Matalin's performance is a popular topic throughout the blogosphere: Arianna Huffington, firedoglake, Think Progress, AMERICAblog, James Wolcott, Hullabaloo, Talking Points Memo.

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Story of Army Specialist Tomas Young, First Revealed on The BRAD SHOW from Crawford, Texas, Discussed in Mike Wallace Story This Evening
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2006 5:48pm PT  

We're told that tonight's 60 Minutes features a segment with Mike Wallace on "Wounds of War" featuring soldiers injured in Iraq. (60 Minutes' website now has coverage of the segment, with a video link, but it's not the complete segment apparently.)

The segment, third on tonight's broadcast, features an interview with Tomas Young, whose story we first highlighted during our special "Operation Noble Cause" radio broadcasts on The BRAD SHOW from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, TX, last summer. Apparently footage of me interviewing Young is a quick part of the segment.

Army Specialist Young was paralyzed from the waist down --- on the same day and in the same city as Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey --- while riding in a canvas-covered truck through Sadr City during the uprising there.

Young is seen in the photo at right at Camp Casey with his new wife, Bree, requesting a meeting with Bush. They had come to Crawford on their honeymoon. Bush had refused a meeting with Sheehan at the time on the grounds that he'd already met with her. As far as we know, Bush has still never met with Young, who wanted to ask him why he was refusing to support Stem Cell research so that he might someday be able to walk again.

-- The initial BRAD BLOG item on Young from Aug. 29, 2005 is right here.
-- My radio interview from Camp Casey on that same day with Young is right here [MP3].

UPDATE: Have now seen the segment, and it was interesting. We'll try to get it up here. One thing I didn't know until tonight was that Tomas' brother is still serving in Iraq. So for those who suggest that what Young is doing --- in speaking out against the war --- is harming our troops...well...he made clear on 60 Minutes that's the last thing he'd want to do with a brother still serving there!

FURTHER UPDATE: Here's the segment! Courtesy of the invaluable David Edwards!


Video in Streaming Flash format...

(Hat-tip Jesse of Stakeholder for the heads-up!)

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By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2006 2:19pm PT  

Velvet Revolution's ImpeachMobile has so far received nothing but thumbs-ups and high-signs from those who've seen it! (With the exception of a few cops who have pulled it over to make sure all papers were in order. They are.)

That may change this week, as the intrepid Velvet Revolutionary drivers take the rolling billboard into a few less-friendly settings. We'll see!

In the meantime, we still (The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR) welcome and appreciate your contributions to the effort. They help to fill up the gas tank, as well as to pay for future billboards. Perhaps we'll not be so subtle next time with our message ;-)

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The Continuing Pro-Administration Bias of both WaPo and Fox News
And the Hypocrisy of One Very Dangerous Republican Congressman from Florida
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2006 5:12pm PT  

Hopefully this will be my last words on the disgraceful incident involving the arrest, removal and detention of Cindy Sheehan, who gave the life of her child in defense of this country, just prior to Tuesday's State of the Union address.

This latest canary-in-the-coalmine story made the front page of WaPo today, and reveals quite clearly both the Media's and at least one Republican's bias against those who do not agree with the George W. Bush Administration...As well as the disregard for our Constitutional Freedom of Speech. At least by the Republican.

The WaPo article, written by Petula Dvorak, first reveals the pro-administration media bias and/or their consistent inability to fairly report on an unfair situation. Note this early graf:

[Capitol Police Chief Terrance W.] Gainer said he also would ask that charges against Sheehan --- she was arrested; Beverly Young left before it came to that --- be dropped. "It was," he said, "a good-faith mistake by officers operating under poor direction."

In other words it's implied here that Beverly Young, the wife of Congressman Bill Young (R-FL), who was removed from gallery at some point during Bush's speech wasn't arrested because, unlike Sheehan, it didn't come to that. Mrs. Young must have been polite (she wasn't) requiring no arrest, while Sheehan must have been unruly (she wasn't) requiring arrest and hours of detention.

The fact of the matter, however, as clearly explained later in the article, is that Mrs. Young was never threatened with arrest at all, unlike Sheehan who was frog-marched out of the chamber and handcuffed from the get-go. And that was even with Sheehan being polite in every respect, by all accounts of the story, while Young was abusive towards the cops, calling them "idiots" (that night, and even later after their eventually apology) and, as WaPo points out, "Witnesses said her words for him were much saltier the night before."

After a night of fingerprinting and booking and lockup, Sheehan departed the city. But Young had not, and her response as she enjoyed hugs from supporters yesterday after the apology was to call Gainer "an idiot." Witnesses said her words for him were much saltier the night before.

As I mentioned yesterday in my article on "Cindy Sheehan's Unequal Treatment Under the Law", the Wingnuts who've been busy trying to equate Sheehan's treatment with Young's ("They were both asked to leave, so clearly there's no political bias here!" say the apologists) have also overlooked the fact that Young was asked to leave much later. After the cops already had an embarrassing situation on their hands. As WaPo reported...

About 45 minutes into the speech, an officer asked Beverly Young to step outside, where he told her: "We consider you a protester" because of her shirt, she said.

She said she angrily challenged officers to explain what law she had violated, and they threatened arrest.

She said an officer mentioned that Sheehan was removed earlier and therefore "it was kind of only fair" that she be asked to leave, too.

It's clear that Mrs. Young would have been left alone with her "Support the Troops" T-shirt and would not have been asked to leave, had not the cops already had the Sheehan situation on their hands, and needed to cover their asses.

Finally then, it's revealed in the story that the hypocritical Congressman Young himself would likely not have said a word about Sheehan's treatment (which was much worse than his wife's) had his wife not been asked to leave. He admits as much:

Young said he wouldn't be so mad if it were just Sheehan. "I totally disagree with everything she stands for," he said. But by removing his wife, Gainer's officers clearly "acted precipitously," Young said.

So the woman actually arrested, detained, and perhaps even "roughed up" was no problem for Young's "standards" because he "totally disagree[s] with everything she stands for."

Welcome to the amazingly slipperly slope...as it gets still slipperier and slopier every damn day in this country.

Still unclear? See how Judge Anthony Napolitano --- who defended Sheehan on Fox News, ostensibly, once it became clear she broke no rules or laws --- reportedly contrasted Young's T-shirt with Sheehan's. Young's, said Napolitano, in regard to the "Support the Troops" T-shirt, was "a Republican T-shirt."

Fox happily took up the meme on their website:

"Sheehan's T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: '2245 Dead. How many more?' ... Young's shirt had just the opposite message: 'Support the Troops --- Defending Our Freedom.'"

The "opposite message"?!

It's a dangerous fucking line we're crossing here in America 2006. Pay attention.

ALSO... It's not just the MSM who get the story wrong in their rush for political points. Blogger Glenn Greenwald reports on tons of Wingnut bloggers who couldn't wait to lie about the Sheehan story to their readers...and then refuse to correct themselves after it was proven how incredibly wrong they were.

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Will Drop All Charges, According to NBC. 'We Screwed Up,' Says Capitol Police...
[LATE UPDATE] MSNBC Scrubs 'We Screwed Up' Article Without Explanation! Replaces with AP Story...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2006 2:46pm PT  

According to MSNBC...

WASHINGTON - Charges against antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested after a scuffle over a T-shirt she wore to the State of the Union address, will be dropped, officials told NBC News Wednesday.

U.S. Capitol Police took Sheehan away in handcuffs and charged her with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor, when she showed up to President Bush's address Tuesday night wearing a shirt that read, "2245 Dead. How many more?" --- a reference to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq.

But Capitol Police will ask the U.S. attorney's office to drop the charges, NBC News' Mike Viqueira reported Wednesday.

"We screwed up," a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said Sheehan didn't violate any rules or laws.

As we pointed out previously, Sheehan was arrested and detained for hours for wearing the T-shirt she had been wearing all day prior to the State of the Union Address, while a Republican Congressman's wife who wore a "Support the Troops" shirt was simply asked to leave (even though she called the cops "idiots").

On moral and "Freedom of Speech" grounds, neither should have been ejected. Now, as it turns out, neither of them should have been ejected on legal grounds or even "rules of Congress" grounds.

Here's a photo of a statement by Republicans from last year that was allowed. Here's our minute-by-minute coverage of the shameful affair as it played out last night.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday evening, it looks like MSNBC has scrubbed their "We Screwed Up" article and replaced it, at the same link, with an article by AP. No explanation is given at the MSNBC website for the switcheroo!

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And George W. Bush's Hatred of Both Freedom and the U.S. Constitution
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2006 11:55am PT  

Let me be very clear, since the Mainstream Wingnut Media Spinners are already attempting to "Fair and Balance" (read: level an unlevel playing field) this one.

Cindy Sheehan, who did not plan to, or even want to go to the State of the Union speech, was convinced to go. She wore the T-shirt she had been wearing all day long in support of our troops, including her own son who gave his life in service to this country while in Iraq. Sheehan's shirt said, "2,245 Dead --- How Many More??"

She was arrested for wearing the shirt, held for hours in detention, and claims to have been "roughed up" a bit in the process.

We covered the entire process, minute-by-minute, as it shamefully unfolded last night.

Later, during the speech --- after Sheehan had already been arrested --- the wife of a Republican Congressman from Florida, Bill Young, was politely asked to leave the chamber for wearing a T-shirt in support of our troops. Her shirt said "Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom."

She was not arrested for wearing the shirt, she was not held for hours in detention, nor roughed up. She does not face any legal charges or legal fees in connection with the incident that we know about. And, as far as we know, did not also make the ultimate sacrifice of giving the life of her child for this country.

Rep. Young reportedly decried, "Shame, shame," on the U.S. House Floor today for the treatment of his wife. His wife, who was not arrested as far as we know.

While neither woman should have been arrested --- or even removed from the gallery (in our opinion) --- they were not treated equally. Whatever the "rules" are about such things in the U.S. Congress, they did not receive "equal treatment under the law". (A law, we might add, which would seem to be unconstitutional, according to this 1971 Supreme Court decision which ruled that wearing a "Fuck the Draft" T-shirt into a courthouse was Constitutionally protected free speech).

Both T-shirts were in support of our troops. Both shirts made a political statement of sorts. One woman was arrested, the other was not.

In fact, the other was not even asked to leave until after the speech had already started. After Sheehan had been arrested and after the authorities knew they had a politically sticky situation on their hands. All of which begs the question of whether Mrs. Young would have been asked to leave the chamber at all, had not Sheehan's arrest occurred previously.

As to Sheehan's take on things, she wrote this morning about "What Really Happened" as she experienced it.

She describes the fact that she didn't want to go to Bush's speech at all, since it would be so difficult for her to here, didn't wish to protest or be disruptive, but was convinced, in the end, to go anyway.

You can read her entire description of events, but here's one notable passage:

I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2245, huh? I just got back from there."

I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

What did Casey die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shrit that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George's speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable that I would be arrested...maybe I would have, but I didn't.

All of that, even as Bush was saying at the exact same moment, as if he meant it, these words during his State of the Union Speech:

"No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it.
...
We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."

Cindy Sheehan understands what those words actually mean. She gave up the life of her son in supposed defense of that freedom. She is fighting for that freedom which George W. Bush doesn't have a clue about.

And frankly, any American who doesn't stand with her in that particular fight, hasn't a clue of what America --- or the U.S. Constitution --- actually stands for.

"Shame, shame," indeed.

UPDATE: John Nichols in The Nation gets it right. He discusses the events that took place "Minutes before the President of the United States would tell the Congress how much he appreciates 'responsible criticism and counsel'" and points out that Mrs. Young admits to having "argued loudly with officers and called one of them 'an idiot'". But, of course, unlike Sheehan, who behaved politely throughout the proceedings according to all accounts...

Mrs. Young was not handcuffed. She was not dragged from the Capitol. She was not arrested. She was not jailed.

Sheehan, who caused no ruckus, was arrested not because she engaged in "unlawful conduct." Rather, by every evidence, she was arrested because of what her t-shirt said --- and, by extension, because of what she believes.

ALSO... More on "Good SOTU Protests" versus "Bad SOTU Protests" here...

FURTHER UPDATE: Capitol Cops admit they "Screwed up"! Charges to be dropped!

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Was to Attend State of the Union Address! Was Already Seated in Gallery When Arrested by Capitol Police!
EXCLUSIVE DETAILS...'T-Shirt' Story Confirmed by AP...Media Fighting over Sheehan for Morning Show Appearances...Protesters Rallying for Sheehan's Release...Police push protesters away from Capitol...Sheehan Finally Released, Says She was 'Roughed Up...PHOTO OF THE 'T-SHIRT' FINALLY...
By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2006 5:52pm PT  

CNN is now reporting...

Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan --- who was invited to attend President Bush's State of the Union speech --- has been arrested, Capitol police say.

Invited by Rep. Lynn Woosley [sic] (D-CA) to attend the State of the Union, reports are that she was arrested inside the Capitol chamber.

MORE... 9:08p ET - CNN's "Breaking News" banner announcing the arrest at their website now removed, shortly after CNN reported arrest on air. No further news available currently at their site on the arrest...

9:14p ET - AP reports on CNN's report. Says, "Activist Cindy Sheehan Arrested at Capitol".

9:30p ET - The BRAD BLOG has confirmed the arrest moments ago with David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org.

According to Swanson, Sheehan was "arrested for wearing the shirt she was wearing all day, which had the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq...She was lifted out of her seat [in the Capitol Chamber gallery] by the Capitol Police and taken away."

Swanson told The BRAD BLOG moment ago that Sheehan is "now under arrest and lockup by Capitol Police." He confirmed that moments ago with Gael Murphy, a co-founder of CodePink, an organization which has been working Sheehan. Murphy spoke by cell with Sheehan after the arrest, and they are currently arranging for an attorney for her.

"This not the Park Police," said Swanson. "We're used to getting arrested by them. This was the Capitol Police....She didn't even want to go to the speech, she said she couldn't stand to listen to Bush, but she went. She didn't even protest, she was just wearing the same shirt she'd be wearing all day, a black shirt with the number of troops killed. It was already 'out of date' and she had to add 3 more to the previous number."

9:40p ET - Reports we are receiving are in conflict with AP's updated report that Sheehan had a protest banner prepared to be unfurled. It was, according to our sources, her T-Shirt which seems to be the given reason for her arrest... According to AP:

A Capitol police official reportedly said Sheehan had unfurled a banner, which is a violation of House rules.

We cannot confirm the "banner" reports, and have been told by several sources the arrest was due to the T-Shirt she was wearing after already being allowed into the Capitol chamber where Bush was to deliver his State of the Union address just moments later...

Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.

9:50p ET - Reuters confirms arrest. Few details given.

9:55p ET - Photo of the arrest from Reuters...

10:02p ET - CNN files its story. Sticks to "banner" reporting:

WASHINGTON (CNN) --- Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House chamber after she unfurled an anti-war banner before President Bush's State of the Union address.

Capitol police arrested Sheehan and questioned her for about an hour in a separate area of the House, a senior House official said.

Sheehan, who became a vocal war opponent after her son was killed in Iraq, was an invited guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-California, who has called for a withdrawal of troops in Iraq and supports legislation for the creation of a Department of Peace.

10:20p ET - AP updates their report. Confirms original exclusive BRAD BLOG report that it was a T-Shirt, not a banner that led to Sheehan's arrest:

[Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly] Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.

Police handcuffed Sheehan and removed her from the gallery before Bush arrived.

10:39p ET - Sheehan still in jail, Morning Shows "fighting over her"...

David Swanson, in D.C. tells The BRAD BLOG that Sheehan is still in jail. Swanson had been previously arrested along with Sheehan at earlier protests.

He tells us, "Attorneys are trying to get her out. Media is fighting over here...Today Show, Good Morning America, they all want her...but she has to get out of jail first."

11:30p ET - Bob Fertik reports:

There are 200 protesters standing outside the Capitol Police HQ between 1st and 2nd on D St NE (between Hart SOB and Union Station). They are chanting and demanding Cindy's release. Tell the DC media to cover the protest!

He also suggests...

Call the White House Comment Line 202-456-1111,1,1 and express your outrage that the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq was arrested for wearing a t-shirt with the number of soldiers killed in Iraq!!!!!

11:49p ET - Village Voice has more on Sheehan's recent arrests, including this evening's.

11:54p ET - CNN's Ed Henry finally corrects their report and confirms it was a T-shirt that was the reason for Sheehan's arrest.

He just reported during Anderson Cooper:

"She entered the gallery wearing a shirt with some sort of anti-war slogan...they were afraid she was going to do something with it in front of the cameras".

What, like wear it? The only opinions allowed in the people's Capitol tonight are George W. Bush's, we guess.

Here's another opinion on the "State of the Union" from outside the capitol tonight.

12:05a ET - Police Surround HQ to fend off Protesters... More from Fertik...

David Swanson reports by phone on the scene: During the protest in front of the Capitol Police HQ, 2-3 dozen police locked arms and pushed the crowd across the street. A protester named James from World Can't Wait was arrested for chanting "Free Cindy Now" with a megaphone. As the police grabbed the megaphone, they hit a woman protester in the head, but she is ok. They also kicked Aliska from World Can't Wait in the head, and she required treatment in an ambulance before she was released. Cindy is now being taken to the Central Processing Center in Judiciary Square, and the crowd is following her.

World Can't Wait is an organization that held a protest near the Reflection Pond on the elipse today, calling for Bush to step down.

12:18a ET - MSNBC now has an online poll on whether the Capitol Police should have arrested Sheehan for wearing a T-shirt. Go register your opinion...

12:22a ET - SHEEHAN FINALLY RELEASED! SAYS SHE WAS "ROUGHED UP"...According to Fertik who is in touch with David Swanson...

David reports Cindy has just been released. She was filmed by 3 networks and answered a few quick questions and mentioned she was "roughed up" - David said she looked tired and frustrated. She went off to sleep and will appear on the Today show in the morning.

12:44a ET- NBC reports the shirt in violation of the "law" read: "2,245 Dead - How Many More??"

Attytood points out:

Did you know that in 1971, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to arrest a man who wore a "F--- the Draft" T-shirt into the courthouse? (Cohen v. California, you can look it up.) So now Alito's on the court for 45 minutes and your civil liberties are already going down the toilet. You were warned.

1:21a ET - MBare gets the money shot!

Note the hand-corrected number on the shirt, as we reported previously, since 3 U.S. troops had been killed in Iraq since Sheehan put the short on earlier today.

Mbare points out that moments later, in Bush's speech, just after Sheehan's arrest, he said (without a hint of irony):

"Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer --- so we will act boldly in freedom's cause. Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time.

No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it.
...
We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."

So will we, Mr. "President"...

2:41am ET - David Swanson, now safe and sound back home, has details and more photos of both Sheehan wearing the shirt earlier in the day, as well as VR's Impeachment Truck (NOTE: Who is that debonair gent behind Sheehan in this photo? ;-)

3:13am ET - One final thought for tonight. Also with a hat-tip to MBare...

U.S. Constitution: First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Good night America.

NEXT DAY UPDATE: More on Sheehan's arrest, her own words, and the Republican Congressman's wife who was asked to leave for wearing her own T-shirt in support of the troops now posted here...

MORE UPDATE: Acceptable State of the Union protest...

FURTHER UPDATE: Capitol Cops admit they "Screwed up"! NBC reports they will be dropping all charges!

NOTE: We've now restored the Comment link that we had to temporarily turn off previously while this site was getting pounded with hits, making it impossible to update the item. Thanks for your understanding.

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May He Finally Rest in Peace.
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2006 11:22am PT  

Yesterday, I wrote about the suicide of Specialist Douglas Barber, an Iraq War vet who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon returning home from fighting on behalf of this country. A man who put his life on the line for this country, but who was unable to receive adequate help from the Veteran's Administration as run (and facing deep cutbacks) by George W. "Support the Troops" Bush.

Here is an email posted on SCOOP, from Barber, as written in January of 2005.

He had a difficult time getting people to listen to him while he was alive. Perhaps some of us can try to listen to him now that he's dead, so that perhaps his death will not be in vain.

In his email, Barber describes what many families go through when they witness their sons and daughters coming home in flag-draped coffins, hidden from view by the Bush Administration. And, even more telling in this case, some of the horrors veterans suffering from PTSD face once back on the homefront. Here's a few grafs...

All is not okay or right for those of us who return home alive and supposedly well. What looks like normalcy and readjustment is only an illusion to be revealed by time and torment. Some soldiers come home missing limbs and other parts of their bodies. Still others will live with permanent scars from horrific events that no one other than those who served will ever understand.

We come home from war trying to put our lives back together but some cannot stand the memories and decide that death is better. They kill themselves because they are so haunted by seeing children killed and whole families wiped out.
...
Still others come home to nothing, families have abandoned them: husbands and wives have left these soldiers, and so have parents as well. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become the norm amongst these soldiers because they don't know how to cope with returning to a society that will never understand what they have had to endure to liberate another country.

PTSD comes in many forms not understood by many: but yet if a soldier has it, America thinks the soldiers are crazy. PTSD comes in the form of depression, anger, regret, being confrontational, anxiety, chronic pain, compulsion, delusions, grief, guilt, dependence, loneliness, sleep disorders, suspiciousness/paranoia, low self-esteem and so many other things.

See his full post for some of the specific personal issues that Barber faced as he wrestled with his PTSD demons.

But then, he goes on to finish with some words for all of the Wingnuts out there who make this sort of disaster possible. Those who, from the comfort of their million dollar homes and multi-million media contracts, distort the cost of this war to sell it as "a noble cause," as if it's a Made-in-America product we can all be proud of and ought to promote to every corner of the earth. Those who bang on a political drum to give the death and destruction of others a "positive" spin for their own personal benefit. Those who gain from the nameless, faceless deaths of real heroes who --- unlike the media-politico scoundrels --- will never benefit by having their contracts renewed, their books promoted to the Best-Seller lists, or see offers for multi-thousand dollar speaking fees. Those who haven't the first clue of what heroes like Barber faced in order to make the lives of such Chickenhawks so cozy and swell. Those like Rush and Sean and O'Reilly who, in Barber's own words are "nothing but dirt under every soldier's boots!"

All of that, even as Barber's death, along with countless others, won't even rate to make the Pentagon's ever-growing list of U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, or even seem themselves added to the scores of thousands listed on the Injured Lists.

I'll let Barber finish out this post...

Talk show hosts like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and so many others act like they know all about war; then they refuse to give any credence to soldiers like me who have been to war and seen the brutality of war. These guys are nothing but WEAK SPINELESS COWARDS hiding behind microphones while soldiers come home and are losing everything they have.

I ask every American who reads this e-mail to stand up for the soldier who has given their everything for this country to stand up to these guys in the media; ask them why they don't pick up a weapon and follow in the steps of a soldier. Send this e-mail to as many people on your e-mail lists and ask them to do the same.

There needs to be a National awareness for every Veteran who has ever served in any war. Send e-mails to the Big Mouths on TV and ask them to have soldiers like me on their programs. I am asking you as Americans to BOYCOTT every TV show or host/journalist that refuses to tell the real truth.

THIS IS A PERSONAL CHALLENGE TO BILL,SEAN AND RUSH TO HAVE ME ON YOUR PROGRAM TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. Otherwise you are nothing but dirt under every soldier's boots!

SPC. Douglas Barber

(Please consider supporting Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), formerly OpTruth.org --- Unlike Rush and Sean and O'Reilly, these guys were actually there...and they actually give a damn.)

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May America 'Never Forget' What Has Gone on Here...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2006 2:34pm PT  

I'm on the road for a few days, currently near Palm Springs (or, as I like to call it, the Hollywood Old Folks Home), so unable to blog as around-the-clock as normal. But a couple of points today have really got me upset.

One is the spin-meister Bill O'Reilly's unpardonable apologies for the criminal George W. Bush administration. His remarkable rationalizations and attempts to excuse what noted constitutional attorney Jonathon Turley just called "an open and shut criminal case" against Bush (at the bottom of the first hour of O'Reilly's radio show today), are simply appalling.

O'Reilly's reasons why none of these broken rules of law or corruption of the U.S. Constitution rises to impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors? Because the American people don't support the impeachment of Bush. (Never mind the new Zogby poll showing that 52% of Americans would support such action for illegal, warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. And never mind that no more than 30% of Americans ever supported the impeachment of Clinton!). But more on that, hopefully, later or tomorrow as my stomach, and time-away allows it.

For the moment however, a very disturbing story...just another one of far too many similar ones, I'm afraid...pointing up why this son-of-a-bitch who sits in the White House needs to be held accountable for the horrific actions of which I don't believe he actually has a clue. Or, at least, has insulated and lied to himself so much, that he can't even conceive anymore of the pain he has caused the citizenry of this country which he once swore to protect and defend. That, on top of the cynical claims of looking after the armed forces which he (fallaciously) claims at every opportunity to support.

I received some very disturbing email messages this morning, which have, by now, become all too familiar...

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

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And Other Hightlights from an Extraordinary Speech to a Bi-Partisan Audience...
Calls for Special Counsel, Exec Branch Whistleblower Protection, Comprehensive Congressional Hearings to Immediately Investigate Constitutional Crimes by the Executive Branch...
By Brad Friedman on 1/16/2006 9:52am PT  

Al Gore's speech, to a bi-partisan audience, on our "Constitutional Crisis" has just concluded. UPDATE: We've posted extended video highlights from the speech here...

Gore was to have been introduced by former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), but Barr's live video feed broke down at the last moment. We are told by the Liberty Coalition's Michael Ostrolenk (who jumped up to introduce Gore in an improvised statement), that Barr will be appearing on CNN's Situation Room later this afternoon.

An early highlight from Gore's address: "The President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently."

MORE HIGHLIGHTS...

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. Indeed, they recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution - our system of checks and balances - was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law.
...
The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real...Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable.
...
It is this same disrespect for America's Constitution which has now brought our republic to the brink of a dangerous breach in the fabric of the Constitution. And the disrespect embodied in these apparent mass violations of the law is part of a larger pattern of seeming indifference to the Constitution that is deeply troubling to millions of Americans in both political parties.
...
This shameful exercise of power overturns a set of principles that our nation has observed since General Washington first enunciated them during our Revolutionary War and has been observed by every president since then - until now.
...
But the most serious damage has been done to the legislative branch. The sharp decline of congressional power and autonomy in recent years has been almost as shocking as the efforts by the Executive Branch to attain a massive expansion of its power.
...
The Congress we have today is unrecognizable compared to the one in which my father served. There are many distinguished Senators and Congressmen serving today. I am honored that some of them are here in this hall. But the legislative branch of government under its current leadership now operates as if it is entirely subservient to the Executive Branch.
...
In the 70's and 80's, the oversight hearings in which my colleagues and I participated held the feet of the Executive Branch to the fire - no matter which party was in power. Yet oversight is almost unknown in the Congress today.
...
It is the pitiful state of our legislative branch which primarily explains the failure of our vaunted checks and balances to prevent the dangerous overreach by our Executive Branch which now threatens a radical transformation of the American system.

I call upon Democratic and Republican members of Congress today to uphold your oath of office and defend the Constitution. Stop going along to get along. Start acting like the independent and co-equal branch of government you're supposed to be. [standing ovation received after this section]
...
Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt women."

The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.

We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."

A special counsel should immediately be appointed by the Attorney General to remedy the obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from investigating what many believe are serious violations of law by the President.
...
new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive Branch who report evidence of wrongdoing --- especially where it involves the abuse of Executive Branch authority in the sensitive areas of national security.

Third, both Houses of Congress should hold comprehensive-and not just superficial-hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior on the part of the President. And, they should follow the evidence wherever it leads.
...
As I stand here today, I am filled with optimism that America is on the eve of a golden age in which the vitality of our democracy will be re-established and will flourish more vibrantly than ever. Indeed I can feel it in this hall.

As Dr. King once said, "Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us."

Much more in the extraordinary full speech, for which RAW STORY now has the complete prepared text.

UPDATE: FBI Whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds issues an exclusive statement to BRAD BLOG in reply to Gore's speech...

Crooks and Liars has video highlights.

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By John Gideon on 1/15/2006 5:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

In an attempt to beat the inevitable and still save some face, Rep. Bob Ney has announced that he will agree to step down from his seat of power as the House Administration Committee Chairman.

According to the Associated Press:

"Unfortunately it has become clear to me in recent days that the false allegations made against me have become a distraction to the important work of the House Republican Conference and the important work that remains ahead for the House Administration Committee," Ney said in a written statement.

It appears that Bob Ney will continue in the same vein as Tom Delay and kick and scream and deny all the way to court.

If you haven't already, please see BRAD BLOG's exclusive expos� from last week revealing Ney's previously unreported connections to Abramoff, Diebold and HAVA.

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Soon-to-be-Indicted Ohio Congressman's Luck Begins to Run Out...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2006 4:45pm PT  

The powerful Ohio Congressman man who, while gambling at a London casino on a lobbyist paid vacation, got "lucky" and won $34,000 on a $100 bet (just in time to pay off a $30,000 credit card debt) may be seeing his luck finally run out.

Reports now breaking all over the place that House Speaker Denny Hastert is pushing Ney out of his chairmanship position on the House Adminstration Committee...

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is trying to force out Ohio Rep. Bob Ney as chairman of the House Administration Committee, a week after Justice Department documents linked Ney to a bribery scheme involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ney's committee has jurisdiction over the Republican reform agenda in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, and Hastert believes it is inappropriate to let Ney run it, said a GOP leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the negotiations between Ney and the speaker.
...
"I'm considering it --- stepping down temporarily --- and once the issue is over, I'll come back," he said.
...
The aide said the speaker himself cannot fire Ney, and unless Ney steps aside it would be at least three weeks until the GOP caucus, on holiday break, could consider removing him.

He'll step down "temporarily" and "come back". Now where have we heard that before?

COVERAGE:

-- MSNBC...
-- Hotline...
-- Roll Call... [subscription required]
-- AP...
-- CNN...

-- BRAD BLOG's Ney exposé from Tuesday...

UPDATE from David Edwards: Video Report by CBS News:

-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media format...

Ney, a principal author and advocate for the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was revealed, last Tuedsay, in a detailed BRAD BLOG exposé to have had very close ties to lobbyists paid by Diebold and Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig.

Most of those ties had yet to be reported by the mainstream media who have been focusing primarily on information concerning Ney's lobbyist-funded trips, gifts and other monies raised via his close relationship with Abramoff and his clients. Much of the information so far reported by the MSM was revealed by the guilty plea agreements filed by Abramoff and his former associate Michael Scanlon.

As we reported in our piece on Ney, his former chief of staff, David DiStefano, was hired by the beleagured and duplicitous Voting Machine Company, Diebold, Inc. in order to lobby Ney to ensure that HAVA's provisions mandating disabled-accessible voting machines in every precinct in the country stayed firmly in place. At the same time, via his post as Chair of the House Administration Committee, Ney was able to hold hearings to smokescreen massive election irregularities in Ohio in 2004 and see to it that bills calling for voter-verified paper records for every ballot cast would never see the light of day.

Our story also reported the thousands of dollars being paid by Diebold to Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig. Though we have yet to find any official disclosure of those payments via congressional lobbying databases. So for the moment, we're still left wondering what happened to that money, and what precisely it was meant to be used for.

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The Dots Connect Between Abramoff, Ohio 2004 Election Smokescreen and Ney's Former Staffer Revealed to be on Diebold's Payroll While Working for White House Law Firm
All the While as HAVA --- America's 'Election Reform' Bill --- is Used for Political Payoff in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2006 11:21am PT  

There's been a great deal of speculation over the last several days, particularly in the light of Jack Abramoff's recent guilty pleas, concerning the connection of Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) to Election Fraud in Ohio, vis a vis his stewardship and authoring of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) back in 2001 and 2002. The heavy-handed tactics he has taken since, in order to keep the flawed act from being changed in any way over the years, along with going to great lengths to keep the nation's eyes off of massive electile dysfunction in Ohio and elsewhere since 2004, may finally get the attention it all properly deserves.

Both Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon have directly informed prosecutors of Ney's alleged wrong-doing in regard to money and gifts given to Ney, in apparent exchange for support on various legislation and even personal business deals. Ney, who chairs the important U.S. House Administration Committee, has been fingered, and now subpoenaed, for accepting illegal trips, gratuities and other apparent quid pro quo deals with Abramoff's former firms, partners, friends and groups who had paid both him and Scanlon as lobbyists.

His direct connection to the HAVA Election Reform bill passed in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, and his various extraordinary efforts to specifically block amendments to the bill and to smokescreen attempted investigations into his home state's conduct during the 2004 Election Debacle, has been less widely reported. Until now.

While Common Cause quietly reported in December of 2004 that Diebold --- the much-beleagured-of-late American Voting Machine company --- paid as much as $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig for lobbying work, The BRAD BLOG has now found additional details that begin to shed new light on Ney's personal connections to Diebold lobbyists.

Such personal connections include those with Ney's former chief of staff turned lobbyist, David DiStefano, who has been working on behalf of Diebold, Inc. and at least one other Voting Machine Company as a registered lobbyist in the House going back to at least 2001. One of DiStefano's online bios crows about his having "an insider's edge to hard-to-reach political officials." That "insider's edge" has proven to have been a very worthwhile investment for the Voting Machine Companies who'd purchased access into Ney's political office.

Congressional lobbying records reveal that Diebold, Inc. has paid at least $180,000 to DiStefano and eventually his partner, Roy C. Coffee, to lobby for the "Help America Vote Act" and other "Election Reform Issues" in Congress since 2003. Another Electronic Voting Machine Company, AccuPoll, Inc., also paid DiStefano some $70,000 to lobby for HAVA on their behalf in 2002, although that relationship was apparently terminated once the legislation was passed by Congress.

In turn, Ney's former employee DiStefano and Coffee themselves have given nearly $20,000 to Bob Ney's campaigns dating back to 2002.

The connections of DiStefano and Coffee don't stop at Congress, however. Both lobbyists now work out of the new Washington office of the Texas-based law firm of Lock, Liddell & Sapp LLP --- the firm of George W. Bush's White House Counsel Harriet Miers. And Coffee, himself, had previously worked as a senior aide to then-Governor Bush back in Texas.

In addition to lobbying in favor of Electronic Voting, DiStefano and Coffee were also paid thousands to lobby Ney on behalf of an obscure firm by the name of FN Aviation, which later became known as FAZ Aviation. FN/FAZ Aviation, the Columbus Dispatch reported last December, paid for Ney's 2003 trip to England. On that trip, Ney met at a casino with FN Aviation's director, Nigel Winfield, a three-time convicted felon, and Fouad al-Zayat, the Syrian-born head of FN Aviation. Zayat, as reported by NBC News, is known as "one of London's biggest gamblers."

As has also been reported by NBC and others, the apparently once-very lucky Ney reported winning some $34,000 a few months later at that same London casino, after an initial $100 bet "on two hands of a three-card game of chance," according to his spokesperson Brian Walsh. Ney, who coincidentally carried at least $30,000 in credit card debt in 2002, was fortunate to be able to report that the debt was paid off in full by the end of 2003.

The dots begin converging, however, in regard to both large campaign contributions and lobbying done by Ney's former chief of staff, DiStefano along with Coffee on behalf of both FN/FAZ Aviation and Diebold, Inc.

Ney was one of the original authors and lead co-sponsors of HAVA, and a fierce defender of both the act and the effort to keep further legislation from moving forward in Congress that would mandate Voter Verified Paper Ballots for electronic voting machines made by Diebold and other e-voting vendors.

In 2004, prior to the Presidential Election, Ney went so far as to send a "Dear Colleague" letter signed along with the other HAVA co-sponsors, to members of congress urging them not to amend the original legislation. He argued at the time that paper records on such machines would somehow disenfranchise disabled voters, who had been cleverly afforded a special provision in the bill which mandated at least one disabled-accessable device in every voting precinct in the country. That device, of course, would be a paperless touch-screen electronic voting machine, like the ones made by Diebold, which, legislators, vendors and lobbyists would later proffer, were required to meet provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Ney had also personally gone out of his way to keep Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (HR 550), which would mandate paper records for all votes cast, from ever seeing the light of day in the House Administration Committee. That, despite Holt's bill having now nearly 160 bi-partisan co-sponsors. Ney has succeeded brilliantly at squashing Holt's bill, first proposed as HR 2239 back in 2003, as it continues to both gain co-sponsors and gather dust as the powerful Republican committee chair still refuses to allow it even to be brought up for hearings.

The American Prospect's Art Levine broke a superb exposé last May concerning Ney's alleged payoffs from a number of the Indian tribes that now-disgraced, once-uber-lobbyist Abramoff was representing in exchange for promises to support their hope for new gambling legislation back in 2002.

"Just met with Ney!!! We're f'ing gold!!!! He's going to do Tigua," wrote Abramoff to Scanlon in an Email, after Ney reportedly promised to add the Tribe's hoped-for legislation to HAVA while the bill was still pending.

Ney then told the tribes --- who had been instructed by Abramoff and Scanlon to give tens of thousands of dollars to his campaign and to pay for a $100,000 trip to play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland --- that he was working with the Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd, to add gambling language in HAVA that would be favorable to the tribes.

In reality, Dodd had rejected the idea early on in no uncertain terms, as Levine reports, but that didn't keep Ney from spinning tales to the tribal groups. He told them on several occassions, at least once personally, that things were moving smartly forward as he kept accepting more cash and gifts from them along the way.

Finally, when the HAVA legislation was passed, and the promised language was nowhere to be found, Ney informed the tribes that Dodd had reneged on the deal at the last minute.

That was, of course, not true, since Dodd had rejected the plan months earlier.

But as the spotlight of corruption has finally begun to shine bright and clear in the Mainstream Media onto Ney, renewed interest in his support and authorship of HAVA itself --- along with the connections between that legislation, chicanery in Ohio's Election, Abramoff and several other GOP operative and lobbying firms' merry band of pay-for-players --- are helping to bubble up towards the surface a few previously overlooked, but very important, details that may finally now receive the attention they always deserved from the Mainstream Media...

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

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Assistant A.G. Refused to Renew NSA Program in 2004
By David Edwards on 1/1/2006 5:30pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The New York Times reports that in 2004 Deputy Attorney General James Comey refused to sign off on renewal of Bush's warrantless NSA spying program. Instead of addressing Comey's concerns, Bush Administration officials took the desperate move of actually visiting Attorney General Ashcroft in the hospital to get his authorization for renewal of the program. Ashcroft was, at the time, in intensive care recovering from pancreatitis.

Comey refused to approve renewal of the program based on concerns over "whether the president had the legal and constitutional authority to conduct such an operation."

In light of these new revelations, Senator Charles Schumer, appearing on Fox News Sunday, demanded that Bush Administration officials testify before congress.

Mitch McConnel, who appeared along with Schumer, chastised The Times for continuing to report on details of the wiretap program. While Schumer said that any investigation should consider a possible whistle-blower status for anyone who leaked this information, Senator McConnel was more interested in punishing the whistleblower.

Because the NSA shared the wiretap information with many federal agencies, it will be very difficult to assign blame to a specific leaker.


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