(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG emailer "Jazzolog")
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...|
Another criminal investigation has begun in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where two elections officials were found to have rigged the 2004 Presidential Election recount.
A special prosecutor has now been appointed to look into the early printing of absentee ballot and early voting election results prior to Election Day in 2006. As well, the investigators will be looking into a network cable which was left plugged into a tabulator computer overnight, allowing for unauthorized access all night long.
Fox 8's I-Team has a good video report.
As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned that Ohio's new Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, will be personally delivering termination notices to the county's four Board of Elections members tomorrow. On Monday, Brunner demanded the resignation of the entire board in Ohio's most Democratic-leaning county. The head of that election board, Bob Bennett, is also the chair of the Ohio Republican Party. He has vowed to fight Brunner in court, which, we're told by sources, she welcomes.
It should be noted that the illegal printing of election results prior to Election Day was recently discovered as well by Election Integrity advocate John Brakey, down in Pima County (Tucson), Arizona. That discovery has led to a lawsuit currently in hot progress down there.
Was a nationalized effort in place to print out election results prior to elections, to allow for the last-minute pinpointed targeting of Get Out the Vote efforts? We'll stay tuned...
Just out from Waxman's office. A letter [PDF] to House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairs Conyres and Leahy disputing Bush's contention yesterday that he is giving Congress "unprecedented" access to White House information and officials.
The letter begins this way...
Yesterday President Bush asserted that the White House would give Congress "unprecedented" access to information regarding the Administration's recent dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. This statement is misinformed. As you continue discussions with the White House regarding your investigation of the U.S. Attorneys matter, I wanted to bring to your attention relevant precedent.
The President said yesterday that he would not allow White House aides including Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, deputy counsel William Kelley, and political aide J. Scott Jennings testify under oath and on the record about the dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys. Contrary to the President's contention, there is extensive precedent for officials in these positions to appear before Congress.
When Republicans controlled Congress during the Clinton Administration, they routinely insisted that White House officials appear before Congress. During the prior Administration, a series of White House Counsels testified to congressional committees publicly and under oath:
Click here for the full letter [PDF], which outlines not only numerous White House officials who testified under oath before Congressional committees during the Clinton Administration, but even Bush Administration officials who were allowed to do so, as recently as last week!
This page at the House Oversight Committee has links to additional info and reports on the matter.
Cunningham, who by this point was acutely aware that Lam's investigation was breathing down his neck, was a co-author of a letter 19 House Republicans sent to the Attorney General complaining about Lam's record on prosecuting cases related to illegal immigration. However, at the same time, Department of Justice reports indicate that Lam's office was doing a good job prosecuting immigration related cases.
Also: after Lam notified the DoJ that more investigation was expected following the investigation that put Cunningham behind bars for more than eight years, the White House got a letter from the Department of Justice saying there was a "real problem" with Lam. A week after the White House was alerted to the "Lam problem," one Republican lawmaker Darryl Issa (R-CA) [from the Congressional district adjacent to Cunningham's] stepped up his efforts to smear Lam's record on immigration, leaking altered documents about Lam to the Associated Press and appearing on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight to complain about Lam's performance.
"We don't have a law that would make war profiteering specifically a federal crime," Sen. Leahy (D-VT) said in this morning's efficient hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, so he is introducing one.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is busy these days --- what with the scandal over White House manipulations of the prosecutorial function of the Department of Justice, the continuing scandals of war profiteering in the "war on terror," and other oversight matters, the Committee is in jeopardy of being overstretched. In fact, it already is overstretched.
The room was full for this morning's hearing, which I attended, on "Combating War Profiteering," but, as with last week's House Oversight Comittee hearings with Valerie Plame et al, this one was also scantly attended by GOP'ers. Of Republicans, only the co-chair of the committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) and --- to do him justice --- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) graced the hearing with their presence. The co-chair could do no less, and indeed did little, though I noticed that both he and Leahy alluded to their past jobs as prosecutors, from which it can safely be inferred that they too think the current manipulations of US Attorneys --- prosecutors --- by the DOJ look very bad...
3,000 pages were just released to the House Judiciary Committee by the Dept. of Justice in re: the U.S. Attorney purge. Judiciary is getting 'em posted as quickly as they can, even as we type. Says Conyers in a statement just released:
Earlier from U.S. News & World Report:
The fear that virtually any piece of communication will have to be turned over has paralyzed department officials' ability to communicate effectively and respond in unison to the crisis...
Accountability sucks, huh? Welcome to it. We believe your nightmare is just beginning.
Just out from AP...
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said she called the four board members of Ohio's most populous county late Sunday, asking them to leave by close of business Wednesday.
Brunner, a Democrat, said new leadership is needed in the county before the 2008 presidential election. She said that if the board members don't resign by her deadline, they would face public hearings and removal.
The board's chairman, Robert Bennett, is also chairman of the state GOP in Ohio. His term on the board ends in 2010. The other board members are two Democrats and one Republican.
Bennett said Monday he plans to finish his term.
"We are making progress on our major goal, which is to restore voter confidence in Cuyahoga County elections," he said at a news conference
The issue comes in the wake of two Cuyahoga County Election Officials recently found guilty of rigging the 2004 Presidential Election recount and subsequently sentenced to the maximum 18 months in prison after they refused to cooperate with the state's special prosecutor, Kevin Baxter.
Both Baxter and the district court judge, Peter J. Corrigan, indicated they believed the conspiracy to game the recount was part of a larger, higher-reaching conspiracy. "It seems unlikely that your superiors wouldn't know what you were doing," Corrigan declared during the sentencing.
Brunner told the Plain-Dealer this morning that the convictions were "so serious that I don't think I had any alternative" but to request the resignations of the entire board. "It has to do with public confidence and perception," she said.
In a news conference this morning, Bennett vowed to fight Brunner in court rather than leave on his own accord.
Cuyahoga County's then-Election Director, Michael Vu, who was not charged in the incident but has since resigned, had previously admitted that sealed ballot boxes were opened and secretly counted prior to the state-mandated recount in order to assure the recount would not reveal any inconsistencies with the officially reported results. He has since recanted his original story.
After the recent sentencing, Bennett, who was ultimately responsible for overseeing the convicted elections officials --- supposedly one Republican and one Democrat --- who rigged a presidential election recount in his county said, incredibly enough, "the convictions are a travesty of justice."
The issue also underscores an important point we've been trying to make for years: Despite the claims by disgraced former Buckeye State SoS J. Kenneth Blackwell and his operatives (including Bennett) for the travesty that occurred in 2004, which suggest that Ohio's supposedly "bi-partisan" structure of county elections boards --- theoretically all comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats each --- prevents any partisan malfeasance, those boards and the officials who work under them have always served ultimately at the pleasure of the state SoS. That power and pressure were wielded frequently by Blackwell during his tenure, resulting in a host of not-so-bipartisan decisions and oversight from Ohio elections officials in 2004 and beyond.
UPDATE: We heartily recommend "OhioRebel's" superb citizen journalist coverage at ePluribus Media, with many useful additional details. Would that the non-citizen journalists were as thorough!
Don Rumsfeld 2/7/2003: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months"
George W. Bush 5/1/03: "My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
Dick Cheney 6/20/05: "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Just in from Waxman's office after this morning's stunning revelation that the White House never conducted an investigation into the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, despite a number of promises from Bush to do exactly that and an executive order signed in early 2003 which requires such an investigation in the wake of such a disclosure.
In a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG, Waxman's office explains that a letter just sent to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten asks for an explanation as to why the White House "did not follow the investigative steps prescribed by Executive Order 12958," as signed in March 2003. The order requires the White House to "'take appropriate and prompt corrective action' whenever there is a release of classified information," according to the statement. (Waxman's letter is posted in full at the end of the article.)
During this morning's testimony of James Knodell, Director of the Office of Security at the White House, it was revealed --- to the amazement of the assembled Congress members on the House Oversight Committee panel --- that no such investigation was ever conducted.
"Taken as a whole, the testimony at today's hearing described breach after breach of national security requirements at the White House," the letter reads. "The first breach was the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity. Other breaches included the failure of Mr. Rove and other officials to report their disclosures as required by law, the failure of the White House to initiate the prompt investigation required by the executive order, and the failure of the White House to suspend the security clearances of the implicated officials."
Waxman asked for the following from Bolten: "I request that you provide the Committee with a complete account of the steps that the White House took following the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity (1) to investigate how the leak occurred; (2) to review the security clearances of the White House officials implicated in the leak; (3) to impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions on the officials involved in the leak; and (4) to review and revise existing White House security procedures to prevent future breaches of national security."
Waxman's letter to Bolten follows in full...
As requested by a number of readers, the following chart was displayed at today's House Oversight Committee hearings (live blogged here) as chaired by Henry Waxman (D-CA). The BRAD BLOG obtained the chart from his office.
It was presented by Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) during the hearing and shows the known number of disclosures of Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity by the White House and the State Department. Plame-Wilson testified under oath today that she was a covert CIA operative working to monitor WMD in Iraq when her cover, and that of her entire network, was blown after the disclosure of her identity by White House officials.
She also testified it was the first time such a CIA agent's cover was purposely blown by our own government.
The chart is followed by the section from the text transcript when the chart was initially displayed this morning...
What happened to you is deadly serious. You were the victim of a national security breach. If this was a law enforcement context, something I'm familiar with, it would be equivalent to disclosing the identity of an undercover police officer who has put his life on the line, and the lives of all those who help that officer.
Our job on this committee is to find out how the breach happened. Now, I'd like to show you a chart that we prepared on the committee --- you'll see it up on the screens, and we're putting it up here on paper. That chart is a graphic depiction of all the ways that your classified CIA employment was disclosed to White House officials and then to the press.
Every colored block on that chart is an individual, and every arrow shows a disclosure of classified information. That classified information was your CIA employment status. And the arrows are based on the testimony in Mr. Libby's criminal case and press reports. This chart shows over 20 different disclosures about your employment. Let me ask you, looking at this chart, are you surprised that so many people had access to the classified information about your CIA employment?
MS. PLAME WILSON: Yes, I am, Congressman. And I'm also surprised at how carelessly they used it.
In the second panel in the House Oversight Committee hearings this morning, following the testimony of Valerie Plame-Wilson, the Director of the White House Security Office, James Knodell, has stunned the Congress members by disclosing that no investigation into the leaking of Plame-Wilson's covert identity as a CIA operative was ever conducted by his office!
The members are flabbergasted. The questioning is intense. My live-blogging notes are posted, and updated live, below...
Also, the third panel, featuring Victoria Toensing, apologist for White House leaks, was fascinating, as her previous claims that "Plame was not covert" and that "she didn't serve overseas within five years prior to the leak" had been demolished by Plame-Wilson's earlier testimony. She attempted to mitigate the situation throughout her testimony by claiming that Plame-Wilson was not covert "under the provisions of the statute." Many more details below...
(Live blogging of Valerie Plame-Wilson's testimony is back here...)
UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...
Absolutely riveting, historic, under-oath testimony by Valerie Plame-Wilson in the House Oversight Committee on-going right now. Recurring theme over and over again: She was covert, covert, covert when her identity was outed and her cover was blown --- for the first time in history by her own government.
Every wingnut argument to the contrary, and concerning her case has been utterly destroyed. The Republican questioning of Plame-Wilson has come up with absolutely nothing to counter and it's been confirmed that CIA Director Gen. Hayden has also confirmed her covert status and that she we worked overseas (as per the Intelligence Identity Protections Act) in the last five years.
Hearings were covered for first 15 minutes or so on all three cable news nets. Now only LIVE currently on C-SPAN.
AP just filed this short initial item:
Plame, whose 2003 outing triggered a federal investigation, said she always knew her identity could be discovered by foreign governments.
"It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover," she told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
RAW STORY currently has details on her opening testimony.
Live blogging notes on the testimony below follow below...
(NOTE: Second and Third panels now live blogged here. Includes details on stunning admission from White House Security Director that no investigation was ever made into the leak by his office!)
UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...
Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland
Last week, more than thirty 'good government' groups including the ACLU, POGO, CREW, Liberty Coalition, and September 11th Advocates called on Henry Waxman's Committee "to hold public hearings into the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case."
Sibel Edmonds says: "Thanks to Brad and Bradblog readers. Exactly twelve months ago, Bradblog helped launch this petition and we had a great response. Fifteen thousand people signed the petition and we have delivered it to Congress. Now we'd like to ask for your help again."
We've had solid indications that Waxman is ready and willing to hold public, open hearings into Sibel's case. We need to give Waxman a final push and get him to commit to a date, in May or June, and that's where you come in. We want you to call the offices of Congressmen Henry Waxman, John Conyers, Patrick Leahy, and Charles Grassley and demand, beg, and implore them to publicly announce that they will have hearings.
Sibel has already told her story in classified briefings to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Henry Waxman's staff, and the 911 Commission, and her case has been investigated by the Department of Justice Inspector General. All of them have verified Sibel's claims. As Republican Senator Charles Grassley said (YouTube) on 60 Minutes in 2002: "Absolutely, she's credible. And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story." ...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
That Iran and al-Qaeda have been the prime beneficiaries of George W's foreign policy is incontrovertible. Another beneficiary is China which has exploited anti-American sentiment in Latin America to sign major trade and arms deals with our neighbors. To add insult to injury, not only has Bush opened the door to stronger China - Latin American ties, but his economic policies are financing China's efforts.
McLaughlin Group clip runs 5:39 with Pat Buchanan and Eleanor Clift comments (03/10/07).
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