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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, July 25, 2017
'Green News Report' 7/25/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Evacs, rescues as extreme weather slams US; Extreme heat to be "new normal"; Exxon violated Russia sanctions; PLUS: Talk-radio host nominated for top USDA science job...
Previous GNRs: 7/20/17 - 7/18/17 - Archives...
Myths, Dangers, and Powers of the Presidential Pardon: 'BradCast' 7/24/17
Guest: Constitutional expert Ian Millhiser; Also: Senate vows O'Care repeal vote; Dems unveil 2018 plan, put 'single-payer on table'...
Sunday Toons of the 'Job Well Done' Moment
PDiddie's latest weekly toon collection finds White House shake-ups, a still undead health care bill, and Dems still infighting...
Constitutional Crisis Nears, Democracy Crisis Now: 'BradCast' 7/20/17
Guest: Legal analyst Ernest A. Canning on lawsuit and media fail in GA-06; Also: Trump's DoJ threat; NYT health care failure; Israel to hand-count ballots due to hack threat...
'Green News Report' 7/20/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
CA extends landmark climate program, but enviros say it's not enough; Trump re-opens offshore drilling in Arctic; PLUS: 2017 already breaking new global heat records as of June...
Previous GNRs: 7/18/17 - 7/13/17 - Archives...
Civilian War Deaths Skyrocket; Bipartisan CA Climate Action: 'BradCast' 7/19/17
Guest: R.L. Miller, climate hawk Dem, on opposition to the CA bills; Also: Big Oil's big trouble; State Dept. war crimes office closing...
GOP's ObamaCare Repeal Collapses (Again. Twice.): 'BradCast' 7/18/2017
What's the next illegit plan for Trump and Congress?; Also: 2016 election hacks worse than known; Kobach commission's voter suppression already a success...
'Green News Report' 7/18/17
Raging wildfires in British Columbia; Trump reduces royalties on offshore drilling; Energy Dept. study contra- dicts Energy Sec. claims; PLUS: Nuns block gas pipeline...
With ObamaCare Repeal on Brink, Admin Ups Their Lies: 'BradCast' 7/17/17
Guest: Ned Resnikoff of ThinkProgress; Plus: Guess what happened after TX cut family planning funding...
Sunday Toons of 'Borscht Thickens' Moment
Trump White House 'nothing burgers' more rancid by the moment. Plus: Voter suppression, e-voting, melting Antarctica in PDiddie's latest weekly toon collection...
Are They Liars? Or Just Incompetent? Or Both?: 'BradCast' 7/14/2017
Breathtaking Team Trump perfidy. Congressional GOPers not much better. Also: Espionage Act turns 100...
Why Do Georgia Election Officials Insist on 100% Unverifiable Elections?
Another contested election in GA following more than a decade of failures, vulnerabilities, repeated warnings...
Nun Too Happy: Catholic Order Builds Chapel to Block Pipeline: 'BradCast' 7/13/17
Guest: Pastor Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck; Plus: What is Team Trump hiding? And why?...
'Green News Report' 7/13/17
Huge iceberg breaks off Antarctica; Tesla builds world's biggest battery; EPA reviving controversial Pebble Mine; PLUS: France nixing coal, internal combustion engine...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Was the 9/12 murder related to inflammatory rhetoric of Beck, Bachmann, and Fox 'News'? Or to recent local events that have rocked the rural, poor, Republican county? Or all of the above?
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2009 4:54pm PT  

We spent a fair amount of time earlier this year reporting on the election fraud conspiracy scandal in Clay County, KY, where seven election officials were indicted on charges of conspiracy for rigging elections, changing votes on voting machines without voters' knowledge, and more during elections from 2002 through 2006. The officials included the district court judge, the county clerk, the school superintendent, and other election officials and judges.

As you've likely read by now, Bill Sparkman, a part-time census worker, substitute teacher, and local Boy Scout director was found hanged on 9/12 in Clay County's Daniel Boone National Forest (though the story wasn't made public until last night) with the word "fed" written across his chest.

According to AP, "The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation," and the incident has drawn many to believe it may be related to recent distrust of the Census Bureau by elements of the Teabaggers, as sparked by comments made earlier this year by folks like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Glenn Beck, and many of the other personalities who advanced paranoia about the possibility of 2010 Census workers being hired from places such as favorite wingnut whipping-boy ACORN, via outlets like Fox "News."

Despite fomenting by comments like Bachmann's "enough is enough" (as seen in the video at right), Sparkman's death having come on September 12 (the day which Beck had called for his "9/12 Movement" Teabagger protests in D.C.), and the letters scrawled on Sparkman's chest, there is not yet definitive evidence that the hanging was tied to the Bachmann/Beck movement, though the blogosphere is understandably abuzz about it today.

As we spent quite a bit of time speaking to folks in Clay County last March while covering the election fraud scandal, we learned a bit about what's been going on there over the last several years. The hanging could be as much related to those events, and more that preceded them, as to Bachmann/Beck's ill-considered fear-mongering, even as that recent fear-mongering may well have served to inflame the local residents' already-inherent distrust of federal authorities...

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




FBI whistleblower rebuts Illinois Congresswoman's response with details, specific questions, and polygraph challenge...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2009 10:45pm PT  

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)'s office has vehemently denied serious allegations published by The American Conservative magazine on Tuesday, in which FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds names the Congresswoman as having participated in a lesbian affair with a Turkish agent, and being secretly video-taped for possible blackmail purposes while doing so.

Schakowsky's communications director, Trevor Kincaid, sent us a formal response to the allegations about her, as published as part of the AmCon cover story out today. In the response, Kincaid describes the claims made about the Congresswoman in the interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, as a "hit piece" and a "complete fantasy; cut from the same cloth as the stories by 'birthers' that President Obama is not an American citizen."

The Congresswoman's office also disputed a number of details in Edmonds' account by offering information they believe rebuts the claims made in the article. They further charge that "A simple review of the facts would lead any responsible person to conclude that there is not a shred of truth to any aspect of this story."

Edmonds has responded with specific points in her own rebuttal to the Schakowsky response, and has included a number of direct questions for the Congresswoman in return. She also states that she is "willing to take [a] public polygraph ... on these points if she accepts doing the same." The BRAD BLOG has shared that rebuttal with Kincaid, and the office has responded to that as well, though they failed to directly answer the questions posed by Edmonds, or accept the challenge to a polygraph test.

The interviewer Giraldi has also responded to several shots taken at AmCon in the original Schakowsky response, in which Kincaid writes that the magazine's "goal was not apparently good journalism, but to fabricate one more story line for the right wing smear machine and conspiracy theorists everywhere."

The complete responses, from everyone, all follow below, along with context and additional background...

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




'American Conservative' mag's description of interview with previously-gagged FBI whistleblower as 'explosive' may prove to be a gross understatement
Blackmail, bribery, infiltration, theft, and sale of nuke secrets by Turkey, Israel explained in clearer detail than ever before...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2009 10:17am PT  

[Update 9/22/09: The American Conservative story is now posted. As well, the office of the Congresswoman named for the first time in the report has offered a vehement denial of the allegations to The BRAD BLOG. Her full response, rebuttal now here...]

On Friday, we reported on the coming exclusive American Conservative cover story interview with formerly-gagged FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds by quoting the magazine's own teaser description of the piece as "explosive." Over the weekend, we received an embargoed look at the final version of the AmCon interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, and yes, "explosive" may be a vast understatement. At least if the U.S. corporate media bother to notice it this time.

It seems it may be difficult not to notice it, given that Edmonds finally names, on the record, for the first time, in a right-leaning periodical founded by Pat Buchanan, the identity of the currently-serving Democratic Congresswoman she has previously described as married with grown children and having been "hooked" into participating in a lesbian affair with a Turkish foreign agent, as she was secretly video-taped for blackmail purposes.

Edmonds has alluded to the Congresswoman, without naming her, in the past, most notably in her recent sworn and video-taped deposition in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case now pending before the Ohio Election Commission. In that testimony, she did manage to name the names of other Congress members she had previously identified publicly. At the time, we (and virtually no other media outlets) reported on her disclosures that Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), were all participants in blackmail and/or bribery schemes by and with agents of the Turkish government, as she became aware while translating wiretaps in the FBI's counterintelligence division after 9/11. Some of those crimes are said to have resulted in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology to allies and enemies alike.

In her 8/8/09 D.C. deposition, she discussed, for the first time on the public record since being previously gagged by the Bush Administration's use of so-called "State Secrets Privilege" (twice), details of what she heard while reviewing and translating wiretaps of Turkish agents who were targets of a long-running FBI investigation centered out of Chicago, but extending far beyond.

In addition to specific details on allegations of serious wrongdoing by the Congress members mentioned above, as well as State and Defense Department officials such as Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle, Edmonds had offered details, during the deposition, about a Democratic Congresswoman who is "married with...grown children, but she is bisexual."

"So they have sent Turkish female agents," she testified, in her sometimes-broken English, according to the transcript [PDF]. "And that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse actually in this area, and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman's house was bugged."

She went on to add that she hadn't used her name in the past because she left the FBI before knowing whether or not the information was actually used against the Congresswoman to blackmail her, or if the woman had even been made aware of it. "I don't know if she did anything illegal afterwards," Edmonds said.

In Giraldi's AmCon interview, Edmonds again repeats that she doesn't know if the Congresswoman "ever was actually blackmailed or did anything for the Turkish woman," but she does name her name this time...

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




4,000 word exclusive interview with 'the gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2009 11:08pm PT  

Broke the news on air tonight. 4,000 word cover story on FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in The American Conservative to hit stands and web early next week, by former CIA agent Phil Giraldi.

Here's the teaser from TAC...:

There’s a new issue of The American Conservative going to press today, and it includes a story that will make more than a few congressmen and foreign lobbyists intensely uncomfortable: an in-depth interview between Phil Giraldi and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She tells us exactly how Turkish intelligence have penetrated national secrets, suborned government officials, and blackmailed Congress. It’s going to be explosive.

Good. Rightwingers are covering it. So hopefully that means the "liberal media" will now pay attention!

UPDATE 9/18/09 1:15pm PT: Sibel posted the cover over at her site, and I've added it above. She also notes that the story is available online to subscribers on Monday when they'll release "a major press release" along with the print version out the same day. The story should then be available to all online on Tuesday.

The cover title: "Who's Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?: The gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale"

In an email she just sent me just now, she notes: "We've been getting foreign MSM inquiries; tons. Zilch here; so far..."

Not much of a surprise by now. After all, what U.S. media would possibly care about members of the U.S. Congress (both Republican and Democratic) and high-ranking State and Defense Dept. officials taking bribes, being blackmailed, and enabling the theft and sale of U.S. nuclear secrets? Even if the allegations came under sworn and video-taped deposition by a former FBI translator who overheard such things first hand. Non-story, apparently.

UPDATE 9/21/09: I've now gotten a look at the final version of the story. 'Explosive' may prove to be an understatement. Details now here...




$900 billion insurance carrier gift leaves 36 million uninsured...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/14/2009 1:07pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Last week, in his address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama correctly noted:

Our collective failure to meet this challenge --- year after year, decade after decade --- has led us to a breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy...

We are the only advanced democracy on Earth...that allows such hardships for millions of its people….In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage...

But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem of the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today…More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won’t pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.

That was the easy part. Anyone who has paid attention understands that the core problem lies in the profit motives of the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Thus, the President's diagnosis of the U.S. health care system was accurate, but did he prescribe "change we can believe in?"...

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




Link and Sign Petition on Behalf of H.R. 676 (Medicare for All)
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/8/2009 3:37pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

In "Single-Payer and the 'Democracy Deficit'," citing empirical studies, polls and the extensive data assembled by Physicians for a National Health Program, I argued that the current for-profit health care system is not merely corrupt, irrational and dysfunctional, but deadly; that it pits the obscene profits of a few health insurance company CEOs and their Wall Street investors against the health of our people, whose very lives are treated as nothing more than a commodity.

In that article, and in subsequent posts, I noted that those who seek to preserve the status quo are advocating nothing less than a death sentence for the more than 18,000 Americans who die each year simply because they can't afford insurance; that countless others die after being denied vital procedures.

I cited empirical data that demonstrates that so-called hybrid systems, including one with a "public option," are inordinately expensive as most of the monies find their way into the insurance industry coffers by way of subsidies. Single-payer systems, with administrative costs in the 1% to 2% range, are far more efficient than our multi-payer system where 31% is squandered on for-profit carriers.

I pointed to the undue influence of corporate campaign contributions which have corrupted the legislative process, where the likes of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) have worked tirelessly to keep single-payer off-the-table. In yet another piece, I noted how wing-nut mobs have provided cover for this betrayal of the American people.

Well, here's your chance, America...

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




Rep. Nadler on Fox, Sen. Whitehouse on MSNBC agree, no legal choice but to investigate torture allegations, wherever they may lead...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/4/2009 1:40pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Former U.S. Attorney and Rhode Island Attorney General Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently wrote in National Law Journal:

The judicial branch...has determined that waterboarding is torture...The Bush administration has admitted to waterboarding captives. The corpus delicti of that crime exists. For there to be investigation now is unexceptional.

The only exceptional thing is the parties involved: the former vice president of the United States, his counsel David Addington, Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) lawyer John Yoo and their private contractors Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, psychologists who designed the torture program.

During a Sept. 2, 2009 segment of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann interviewed Whitehouse about his National Law Journal piece (video below) and quoted former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who praised Attorney General Eric Holder's appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate CIA employees who exceeded the guidelines contained in the infamous Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) torture memos.

Olbermann's interview included a Fox "News" segment in which Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was cut-off by a Fox anchor while making the following crucial point...

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




'High drama at the otherwise sleepy Ohio Elections Commission'...
LATE UPDATE: HEARING CONTINUED TO OCT. 1, SIBEL EDMONDS COULD TESTIFY; MORE: SUGGESTS FBI TESTIMONY AS WELL...
By Brad Friedman on 9/3/2009 12:39pm PT  

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Jon Craig is live tweeting the Schmidt v. Krikorian hearing going on today before the Ohio Election Commission, for those of you interested in the actual case that resulted in the stunning --- though MSM-ignored --- deposition of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. He writes to let us know both that, and that it's running longer than expected today...

UPDATE: Noteworthy tweet, as tensions reportedly running very high in hearing:

You'd think Congresswoman Schmidt was on trial if you watched this cold. Remember it was Rep. Schmidt who filed the false statements' case.

...and prior to that:

Hearing room thermometer reads 72 but it feels A LOT HOTTER in here.

...and before that:

I am surprised no TV stations are here, even local news. Geragos vs. Fein. High drama at the otherwise sleepy Ohio Elections Commission.

...though Craig notes AP and other local media are there.

UPDATE 1:46pm PT: Also, Geoffrey Sea, is live blogging the hearing as "Ohiobama" at dKos. An early report of his, on attorney Mark Geragos' defense of Krikorian who is facing "false statements" charges alleged by Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2nd) after he'd claimed last year she accepted "blood money" from Turkish interests:

He then presented a strong positive defense of Krikorian's efforts in the 2008 campaign: "Krikorian is exposing the truth of a congresswoman who is bought and paid for by the Turkish lobby." Wow.

...and in a later update, with Schmidt on the stand, Sea notes:

UPDATE 19: Schmidt admits to two fundraisers for her thrown by the Turkish lobby, at which $10,000 and $15,000 were raised respectively. She "does not recall" any conversation at either of those fundraisers. Great Reagan impression, Congresswoman! She also does not remember the discussion that led to her joining the Congressional Turkish-American Caucus.

UPDATE 3:02pm PT: As hearing was running very long, Krikorian team asked for a continuance to another day. Craig tweets "Hearing is being continued to Oct. 1."

Well, well. As The BRAD BLOG reported previously, Sibel Edmonds will be back in the country by then, and likely able to testify LIVE on the stand, if the Commission allows it. Krikorian wanted her to do so originally --- and she was willing to do so as well --- but she was gone, and the Commission refused to extend original hearing date. Now, this could get very interesting...

UPDATE 7:16pm PT: In response to an email query about testifying in the case, if called, Edmonds wrote back to us tonight:

1- If I'm asked I will certainly testify.

2- I will suggest that Krikorian party depose the FBI agents who have first hand knowledge of the relevant matters. I know these agents, and I know they will tell the truth under oath. In fact, they may be glad to finally find an outlet for the truth and what's been covered up for many years. They pursued these cases avidly, seeking criminal indictment (justice) for the involved treasonous US officials...

ALSO: Jon Craig's full coverage of today's hearings, for tomorrow's Cincinnati Enquirer, is now published here... (And he even dares to use the words "Sibel Edmonds" in the article! Shocking.)




Breaking down the formerly-gagged FBI whistleblower's sworn testimony...
By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2009 1:24pm PT  

It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called "state secrets privilege" in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.

The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.

Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds' startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.

Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General's report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson's death was ruled a homicide. And, it's true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being made here. Still, given the serious national security issues at stake, said to have the been among the most important matters of the past 8 years, one would think someone in the corporate MSM might have taken the time to go through the material, and report on it. Particularly as Edmonds' claims have previously been found "credible" "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review," by the DoJ Inspector General, and confirmed as such, on several occasions, by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and many many others.

So for the benefit of the U.S. media, and other readers, who may find it helpful for this large body of newly-available information to be culled down into more digestible pieces, I will attempt to break down the deposition, a bit, into some of its subject matter-based component parts. I will try to go through the major disclosures from the deposition, one-by-one, in a series of pieces which might help others to further report and/or investigate these breathtaking disclosures from a former FBI official who, following 9/11, listened to and translated wiretap recordings made from 1996 through 2002, in the FBI's counterintelligence and counterterrorism departments, under top-secret clearance.

In this first break-down article, we'll look at the answers given by Edmonds during her deposition in regard to bribery and blackmail of current and former members of the U.S. Congress, including Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased) and an unnamed, currently-serving, married Democratic Congresswoman said to have been video-taped in a Lesbian affair by Turkish agents for blackmail purposes.

In further breakdown articles, we'll look at her disclosures concerning top State and Defense Department officials including Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, the former Deputy Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman, the third-highest ranking official in the State Department. Also, details on the theft of nuclear weapons technology; disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA front company Brewster-Jennings; items related to U.S. knowledge of 9/11 and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001; infiltration of the FBI translation department and more...

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




Updated: Remarkable testimony from Schmidt's deposition...
And now updated again with followup news...
By Brad Friedman on 8/31/2009 1:05am PT  

A couple of quick updates, and a few notable developments in the status of the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) case between the Republican 2nd-District U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt and her independent '08 (and now, Democratic '10 ) challenger David Krikorian.

This is the case which resulted in the recent stunning deposition of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, as Schmidt has alleged "false statements" by Krikorian when he claimed that she accepted "blood money" from the Turkish Lobby in exchange for opposing a Congressional vote on the "Armenian Genocide" resolution. He says her campaign received more money from that lobby than any other member last year, after which she became the co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Coalition. That, despite the paucity of any actual ethnic Turks in her district.

Krikorian offered a few interesting status updates on the case to The BRAD BLOG, late last week during a phone conversation...

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




By Brad Friedman on 8/26/2009 1:43pm PT  

In an update to his story detailing some of the most disturbing revelations about illegal and unconstitutional methods of torture used by our own government, in our own name, as revealed in the less-redacted 2004 CIA Inspector General's report [PDF] released on Monday, Glenn Greenwald replies to those who'd written in support of such illegal behavior as follows [emphasis his]...

To those blithely dismissing all of this as things that don't seem particularly bothersome, I'd say two things:

(1) The fact that we are not really bothered any more by taking helpless detainees in our custody and (a) threatening to blow their brains out, torture them with drills, rape their mothers, and murder their children; (b) choking them until they pass out; (c) pouring water down their throats to drown them; (d) hanging them by their arms until their shoulders are dislocated; (e) blowing smoke in their face until they vomit; (f) putting them in diapers, dousing them with cold water, and leaving them on a concrete floor to induce hypothermia; and (g) beating them with the butt of a rifle --- all things that we have always condemend as "torture" and which our laws explicitly criminalize as felonies ("torture means. . . the threat of imminent death; or the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering . . .") --- reveals better than all the words in the world could how degraded, barbaric and depraved a society becomes when it lifts the taboo on torturing captives.

(2) As I wrote rather clearly, numerous detainees died in U.S. custody, often as a direct result of our "interrogation methods."  Those who doubt that can read the details here and here.  Those claiming there was no physical harm are simply lying --- death qualifies as "physical harm" --- and those who oppose prosecutions are advocating that the people responsible literally be allowed to get away with murder.

Moreover, yesterday Greenwald took on Rep. Peter King (R-NY)'s outrageous and ignorant defense of torture and of breaking the law and disregarding the U.S. Constitution, along with the other pretend Thomas Paines out there (such as Glenn Beck), who appear to have absolutely no understanding or interest in the either the Rule of Law, the Constitution, or just how far afield they are from the actual words of Paine himself.

It's a must-read, though mostly for folks like Beck and King who likely won't be bothered by information that specifically undermines their own warped, twisted, sick, anti-American worldview.




Long-gagged FBI whistleblower's full under-oath testimony from Ohio election case, details Congressional blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, more...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2009 4:52am PT  

Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice's invocation of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.

Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio's 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations of blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition. Both the complete video tape and transcript of the deposition follow below.

Though there was much concern, prior to her testimony, that the Obama Dept. of Justice might re-invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" to keep her from speaking, they did not do so. Nor did they choose to be present at the Washington D.C. deposition.

The BRAD BLOG covered details of some of Edmonds' startling disclosures made during the deposition, as it happened, in our live blog coverage from August 8th. The deposition included criminal allegations against specifically named members of Congress. Among those named by Edmonds as part of a broad criminal conspiracy: Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), as well as an unnamed, still-serving Congresswoman (D) said to have been secretly videotaped, for blackmail purposes, during a lesbian affair.

High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.

During the deposition --- which we are still going through ourselves --- Edmonds discusses covert "activities" by Turkish entities "that would involve trying to obtain very sensitive, classified, highly classified U.S. intelligence information, weapons technology information, classified Congressional records...recruiting key U.S. individuals with access to highly sensitive information, blackmailing, bribery."

Speaking about current members of Congress during a break in the testimony, Krikorian told The BRAD BLOG that "for people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don't take action against it, in my opinion, it's negligence." (More video statements from Krikorian, Edmonds and attorneys from all parties, taped before, during, and after the 8/8/09 testimony, are available here.)

Edmonds' on-the-record disclosures also include bombshell details concerning outed covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings. Edmonds alleges the front company had actually been shut down in August of 2001 --- three years prior to Bob Novak's public disclosure of the covert operative's identity --- following a tip-off to a wire-tap target about the true nature of the CIA front company. The cover was blown, Edmonds alleges, by Marc Grossman, who was, at the time, the third highest-ranking official in the U.S. State Department. Prior to that, Grossman served as ambassador to Turkey. He now works "for a Turkish company called Ihals Holding," according to Edmonds' testimony.

An unclassified FBI Inspector General's report, released on her case in 2005, declared Edmonds' classified allegations to be "credible," "serious," and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." In 2002, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), then the senior members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, co-wrote letters on Edmonds' behalf to Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and DoJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, calling on all of them to take action in respect to her allegations. And in a 2002 60 Minutes report on Edmonds' case, Grassley noted: "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."

The 8/8/09 deposition was brought by Krikorian as part of his defense in a case filed against him before the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH). The 2nd district Congresswoman has accused Krikorian, an Armenian-American who ran against her as an independent in 2008, of "false statements" during the campaign last year alleging that she had accepted "blood money" from Turkish interests. Krikorian says that Schmidt, co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Committee, accepted more money from Turkish interests during last year's campaign than any other member of Congress, despite few, if any, ethnic Turks among her local constituency. He has suggested she may have been instrumental in helping to hold off a Congressional vote on a long-proposed, much-disputed resolution declaring the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians during WWI as a "genocide" by the Turks.

Edmonds herself happens to be a Turkish-American, though she was recently attacked by the Turkish Lobby, following her long-sought, long-blocked testimony.

The complete transcript of Sibel Edmonds' under-oath testimony, may now be downloaded here [PDF]. The complete video-taped testimony follows, in five parts, below...

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




Call for 'broad mandate to investigate abuses...policymakers and lawyers...without predetermination of where it may lead'
Update: Holder announcement said little more than a 'review' based on the shameful 'Abu Ghraib' model...
By Brad Friedman on 8/24/2009 2:07pm PT  

[8/26/09: Updated at bottom of article.]

After many weeks of speculation, and embarrasingly bad media coverage, Attorney General Eric Holder has finally named a Special Prosecutor to probe the use of torture by the Bush/Cheney Administration. The announcement comes on the same day that a redacted version of a 2004 Inspector General's report [PDF] on the CIA's use of torture was also released. RAW STORY has a good backgrounder on the announcement.

The prosecutor, John Durham, a career DoJ attorney from Connecticut, has already been investigating the CIA's destruction of torture video tapes, and has been described by AP as "one of the nation’s most relentless prosecutors."

The IG's 122-page report details the beating and death of detainees, threats of violence, death and sexual assault to their family members, and other techniques used by U.S. government interrogators that were "inconsistent with the public policy positions that the U.S. has taken regarding human rights."

Shortly after the announcement today, U.S. House Judiciary chair John Conyers (D-MI) and subcommittee chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released a statement applauding the appointment of the Special Prosecutor and calling for a 'broad mandate' to prosecute not just 'frontline personnel,' but also the 'policymakers and lawyers' who created the "conditions where such absues were all but inevitable to occur."

"Seeking out only the low-level actors in a conspiracy to torture detainees will bring neither justice nor restored standing to our nation," says Nadler in the statement (posted in full below)...

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




The extent to which 21st Century American culture is imbued by anti-Arab racism
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/21/2009 4:02am PT  

Guest Blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Shortly after my original piece, “Hate Speech and the Process of Dehumanization,” I received a form of constructive criticism. A friend suggested that while I provided a coherent explanation of Prof. Zimbardo’s basic concepts regarding the process of dehumanization as it relates Nazi atrocities and the Jim Crow South, my application of Zimbardo to the more contemporary question of Muslims and Arabs failed to do justice to Prof. Shaheen’s academic study of American films.

While the criticism is valid, that certainly had not been my intent.

The problem entails issues of length in the blog format --- the risk that length will reduce the size of the audience one hopes to educate.

For those who feel they’ve read enough, please stop here.

For everyone else, there is Prof. Shaheen’s Oct. 19, 2007 appearance on Democracy Now, and the following….

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




Sticks & stones break bones but names can kill indiscriminately
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/19/2009 10:13am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In "Radio Speech is not Free Speech," Sue Wilson touches upon the trend toward an increasingly strident, right-wing talk radio.

Setting aside First Amendment issues, one has to understand the true danger posed by "hate speech," which is both product and cause of the process of dehumanization --- a process defined by Professor Phillip Zimbardo in The Lucifer Effect as a means "by which certain other people or collectives of them are depicted as less than human….”

Zimbardo regards this as “one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil….a ‘cortical cataract’ that clouds one’s thinking and fosters the perception that other people are less than human…to see…others as enemies deserving of torment, torture, and even annihilation.”...

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




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