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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, July 28, 2014
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Tom Engelhardt Asks Six Good Questions About the Anthrax Case...
By Brad Jacobson on 8/19/2008 10:52am PT  

Guest blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound

Do not miss Tom Engelhardt's article, "Double Standard in the Global War on Terror: Anthrax Department," in which he poses and explores six questions regarding the anthrax case. These questions, however, are not ones we're conditioned to ponder.

Prefacing his queries, Engelhardt writes:

Now, as the coverage fades and the story once again threatens to head for obscurity (despite doubts about Ivins's role in the attacks), I thought it might be worth mentioning a few questions that came to my mind as I read through recent coverage --- not on Ivins's guilt or innocence, but on matters that are so much a part of our American landscape that normally no one even thinks to ask about them.

His overall thesis is encapsulated in the first question:

Why wasn't the Bush administration's War on Terror modus operandi applied to the anthrax case?

Engelhardt first cites the hardships that suspects endured during the course of the investigation:

On August 10th, William J. Broad and Scott Shane reported on some of the human costs of the FBI anthrax investigation in a front-page New York Times piece headlined, "For Suspects, Anthrax Case Had Big Costs, Scores of the Innocent in a Wide F.B.I. Net." They did a fine job of establishing that those who serially came under suspicion had a tough time of it: "lost jobs, canceled visas, broken marriages, frayed friendships." According to the Times (and others), under the pressure of FBI surveillance, several had their careers wrecked; most were interviewed and re-interviewed numerous times in a "heavy-handed" manner, as well as polygraphed; some were tailed and trailed, their homes searched, and their workplaces ransacked.

Under the pressure of FBI "interest," anthrax specialist and "biodefense insider" Perry Mikesell evidently turned into an alcoholic and drank himself to death. Steven Hatfill, while his life was being turned inside out, had an agent trailing him in a car run over his foot, for which, Broad and Shane add, he, not the agent, was issued a ticket. And finally, of course, Dr. Ivins, growing ever more distressed and evidently ever less balanced, committed suicide on the day his lawyer was meeting with the FBI about a possible plea bargain that could have left him in jail for life, but would have taken the death penalty off the table.

But he then offers a chilling reminder of how Bush's War on Terror affected those accused of far less than masterminding the deadliest bio-terror attack on U.S. soil in our nation's history...

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

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My First Column for the UK's Guardian: On the Bizarre Case of the Supposed 'Anthrax Killer' Bruce Ivins
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2008 11:52am PT  

Having made all too precious-little headway in overcoming the failures of the U.S. corporate mainstream media --- see these comments from over the weekend on that point --- I guess I need to "go overseas" to see if we can make any headway from over there instead.

I'm now honored to be contributing to the UK's Guardian from time to time. My first column, posted today, picks up on the anthrax case, and the dismal, one-sided case made for the guilt of the now-deceased Bruce Ivins, by both the FBI and the mainstream corporate media outlets in this country, which were all too happy to pass on misleading report after misleading report from those prolific "unnamed government sources."

As with Iraq WMD, Valerie Plame, Torture, Secret Prisons, Spying on Citizens, the U.S. Attorney Purge, Election Integrity, and so many other almost-all-but-lost landmark issues from over the past seven years or so, it has been the remarkable efforts of the citizen media that managed, at least a bit, to mitigate the corporate media-propelled "conventional wisdom" in this entire sorry matter.

Please feel free to put in a good word over there for me.

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(Still unaware of any Bush crimes, Nancy?)
UPDATE: Pelosi Admits She's Not Read the Articles of Impeachment Against Bush!
By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2008 10:16pm PT  

A mother of a late Friday disclosure. From the Times tonight, in an unbylined story, for tomorrow's papers...

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday that it had improperly obtained the phone records of reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post in the newspapers’ Indonesia bureaus in 2004.

Robert S. Mueller III, director of the F.B.I., disclosed the episode in a phone call to Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, and apologized for it. He also spoke with Leonard Downie Jr., the executive editor of The Washington Post, to apologize.
...
The records were apparently sought as part of a terrorism investigation, but the F.B.I. did not explain what was being investigated or why the reporters’ phone records were considered relevant.

Remember two weeks ago when Nancy Pelosi said, on ABC's The View: "I thought that Impeachment would be divisive...If someone had a crime that the President had committed, that would be a different story"?

I do. Hey Nancy, ITMFA!

UPDATE 8/10/08, 12:30pm PT: Pelosi admits not even having read the Articles of Impeachment filed against George W. Bush

What a disgrace. And once again, it's a citizen who tries to do the media's job for them, by asking her about those Articles, as filed by Kucinich, against Bush.

"I didn't read it yet!," the Democratic House Speaker tells the citizen when he hands her a copy of the Articles, as submitted into the Congressional record, and voted by the full House to be deferred to the Judiciary Committee.

She didn't even read them?! And yet she has the temerity to go on national television, on ABC, to say that she's unaware of any crimes he's committed and that Impeachment shouldn't be done "unless you have the goods that this President committed a crime"?! Amazing. Here's the video...


(h/t AfterDowningStreet.org)

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By Brad Friedman on 8/6/2008 11:09pm PT  

Unfortunately, I've been gone all day today, with appointments beginning at the crack of ridiculous, and now, going on about 3 hours of sleep, I'm on deadline for an article elsewhere at the moment. So I'm way behind in reviewing the summary of claims released by the FBI today in the Bruce Ivins anthrax case. They say he's the one, and he acted alone, in the largely circumstantial case put forward today.

For the moment then, I'll simply refer you, without comment, to the NYTimes' initial coverage today, which I was able to check while on the roll.

Likely of much more value are both the actual released documents themselves, and (undoubtedly more valuable still) expert Glenn Greenwald's early, cursory review of their "selective release" in which he does have a comment or two about the NYTimes' report. Beyond that, his caveat, as he began looking through the case today, seems worth sharing:

One critical caveat to keep at the forefront of one's mind is that when one side is in exclusive possession of all documents and can pick and choose which ones to release in full or in part in order to make their case, while leaving out the parts that undercut the picture they want to paint - which is exactly what the FBI is doing here --- then it is very easy to make things look however you want.

Beyond that, as always, I've got an open mind and will share any thoughts --- either way --- that I may have on things, as determined to be of note. Your comments on the information released today, especially since you guys may be way ahead of me, are always welcome.

UPDATE: This NPR article, as recommended in a late update by Greenwald, is very well done, as it offers replies from Ivins' attorney Paul Kemp, offering rebuttal to the main points in the one-sided case put forward today by the FBI.

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As The Media's Case Against Bruce Ivins Seems to be Going from Bad to Worse...
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2008 7:46pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

The case against the supposed "Anthrax Killer," Bruce E. Ivins, a researcher who worked at the Army lab confirmed by the government as being the source for the dry, powdered anthrax used in the letters targeted mainly at Democrats and other perceived "liberals," is going from bad to worse. At least the coverage of it from mainstream outlets such as AP is.

We noted, when we first jumped into this horrendous beat last Friday, that AP and many of the other corporate outlets failed to even bother noting the perceived "liberals" who made up the targets of the post-9/11 terrorist attacks. Today, Glenn Greenwald (who's been doing yeoman's work on this beat) notes AP's latest unnamed government source-based buffoonery.

Offering a fresh new bizarre angle in the anthrax case --- as per their wont, from "Multiple U.S. officials," all unnamed and all who "spoke on condition of anonymity" --- AP purports to explain Ivins' supposed seven-hour round-trip drive from Frederick, MD, to Princeton, NJ, to mail his letters, by describing a long-term obsession he supposedly had with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

"The bizarre link to the sorority," AP's report proffers based on leaks from those unnamed officials, "may indirectly explain one of the biggest mysteries in the case: why the anthrax was mailed from Princeton, 195 miles from the Army biological weapons lab the anthrax is believed to have been smuggled out of."

Oookay...we'll bite. But then, with the unsubstantiated genie out of the bottle, a few problems appeared as AP's initial report then morphed shortly thereafter, and an update was filed...

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

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Party Affiliation of the Now-Deceased Bruce Ivins, as Confirmed by His Local County Board of Elections, Adds Yet Another Curious Question to the Increasingly Troubling Investigation into the Post-9/11 Terrorist Attacks on American Soil...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2008 6:13pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

Bruce E. Ivins, reportedly on the verge of being indicted for capital murder in the anthrax killings, was a registered Democrat, according to the Fredrick County, MD, Board of Elections. He had been registered there since 1982 and records indicate that he voted in "every election since 1996," including Democratic primaries, according to the official who responded to a request from West Virginia-based radio host Bob Kincaid.

The party affiliation of the bio-terror researcher who worked at U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) adds a notable twist to the ever increasing questions surrounding the bizarre case following Ivins' reported suicide last week. He was, according to media reports, soon to be indicted for charges related to the post-9/11 terror attacks that rocked the nation and, as Salon's Glen Greenwald has very effectively argued, served as a crucial influence in marching the country towards war with Iraq.

Last week, as the story of Ivins' reported suicide was breaking, The BRAD BLOG excoriated the corporate mainstream media for failing to note that the targets of the multiple post-9/11 terror attacks on American soil were primarily powerful men, perceived as "liberals" by the Republican right wing. Nonetheless, despite two senior Democratic U.S. senators, Tom Daschle of SD and Patrick Leahy of VT, having been the only known governmental targets in the deadly letter campaign which also included perceived "liberal" media figurehead Tom Brokaw, the MSM coverage --- almost uniformly --- failed to note the obvious correlations in the attacks. Most even failed to even mention the names of those who were directly targeted in what was clearly meant to appear as a follow-up attack from Muslim extremists.

Furthermore, as we also noted on Friday, despite a parade of reporters who had contacted Ivins' oldest brother Thomas that day for comment, not one of them --- until us --- bothered even to inquire about Bruce's political leanings or affiliations.

That it now turns out Ivins was a registered Democrat adds yet another curious twist to a story which is already revealing bizarre and potentially exculpatory evidence and other cracks in the government's reported (though, as yet, not publicly disclosed) case against him. Today, the New York Times noted, as we similarly did yesterday, that the FBI's case against Ivins appears to be almost entirely circumstantial, at least based on the information so far available...

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

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Then Returns to Similar Questions About Ivins' Lack of Access to 'Dry, Powdered Anthrax' in Sunday Article
New WaPo Story Begs Additional New Questions in Feds' Purported Case...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2008 3:01pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

We're glad it's the Washington Post, and not just us "bloggers," asking questions about this anthrax case. Had we been the ones pointing to the questions that WaPo is now pointing to, we'd have been accused of forwarding "just another conspiracy theory" and the notable questions raised might have been relegated to the trash-bin of history.

Since it's WaPo raising the questions, on the other hand, the trash-bin will take an extra day or two to fill up, but we suspect the results may eventually be the same: Legend will have it that the lone "Anthrax Killer," Bruce E. Ivins, killed himself just before he was to be indicted on capital murder charges. Case closed on the previously-unsolved deadly series of terrorist attacks that occurred on American soil since 9/11.

That said, it's certainly odd the way that WaPo has been covering this story. While their top story on page A1 today is headlined "Scientists Question FBI's Probe of Anthrax Attacks" and sub-titled "Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say," the paper nonetheless managed to scrub from their website --- or at least completely replace --- a story they ran originally on Friday afternoon questioning the same points (whether Ivins had the means, ability, or access to the dry, weaponized anthrax used in the attack letters against senior Democratic Senators and other perceived "liberals") with another that greatly softened concerns about those questions.

No retraction or correction notice --- unethically, in our opinion --- was given for WaPo's odd swaperoo. The Friday WaPo story we linked to that day --- which was dated "Friday, August 1, 2008; 5:46 PM" and reported that that the purported "Anthrax Killer," Bruce E. Ivins, "had no access to dry, powdered anthrax" at his U.S. Army bioweapons lab in Fort Detrick, MD --- was simply swapped out with a completely different story in its place on the matter, dated Saturday, August 2, 2008. The same URL was used for both stories, but the Saturday story didn't have the bulk of the reporting which quoted named experts and colleagues questioning Ivins' ability to even carry out such an attack.

After noticing the swap/excising of the original Friday story (hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter Bruce Sims), we were set to run a story focusing on the spiked report, when we then checked today's paper to see that they were leading the Sunday edition with a story that raised many of those same questions from the Friday story again.

Fortunately, we cached the original Friday story here, before it was disappeared and replaced, and have done the same for today's story, should that one go missing as well. Comparisons between WaPo's (disappeared) Friday, Saturday, and Sunday coverage is curious enough, however, --- and offers some fresh, additional unanswered questions --- that it seems worth noting all of it, and the differences in each days' coverage, for the record...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2008 7:21pm PT  

[Ed Note 8/3/08: The article from Washington Post, referenced and quoted in the story below, has now been scrubbed by the paper and replaced with a different story, without explanation or notice. Luckily, we have the original version of the article cached here, however. After reading the following, please see this new follow-up report with details on WaPo's scrubbing of the original story.]

Earlier today we singled out the media's failure to note the purported "liberal" leanings of those targeted by the "Anthrax Killer" (such as two leading Senate Democrats) in their coverage of the reported suicide of suspect Bruce E. Ivins.

Those reports noted that Ivins was soon to be indicted in the case. But was he the one who really dunnit?

A BRAD BLOG reader points us to this curious note, near the end of a late-afternoon story from today's Washington Post coverage, noting that Ivins had "no access to dry, powdered anthrax" at the Fort Detrick lab where he worked [emphasis ours]:

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

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Leading Data Security Expert Joins Press Conference, Case, Notes Fraudulent Patterns That Should Have Triggered Investigation
Motion to Proceed with Targeted Discovery in Case Explained as Effort to Help Protect Integrity of '08 Election...
By Steve Heller on 7/17/2008 4:04pm PT  

-- Special to The BRAD BLOG by Steve Heller of Velvet Revolution

At a press conference this morning in Columbus, Ohio, Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case of King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell, announced that he is filing a motion to "lift the stay in the case [and] proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election."

Courtesy of our colleagues at Velvet Revolution, you can watch the entire press conference here, and an interview with Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis is here.

Arnebeck will also "be providing copies of document hold notices to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and the U.S. Justice Department for Karl Rove emails from the White House."

See PDFs of the hold letter to AG Mukasey here, the hold letter to the U.S. Chamber here, and the motion to lift the stay here.

This case has the potential to put some of the most powerful people in the country in jail, according to Arnebeck, as he was joined by a well-respected, life-long Republican computer security expert who charged that the red flags seen during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election would have been cause for "a fraud investigation in a bank, but it doesn't when it comes to our vote."

"This entire system is being programmed in secret by programmers who have no oversight by anybody," the expert charged, as Arnebeck detailed allegations of complicity by a number of powerful GOP operatives and companies who had unique access both to the election results as reported in 2004, as well as to U.S. House and Senate computer networks even today.

The presser was attended by some of the corporate-controlled media, including the head of the Ohio AP bureau, the Columbus Dispatch, and IndyMedia. Listening in by phone were ABC News, our friends from RAW STORY, and I, your humble blogger. I recorded the presser, so I have no links for the quotes in this post, but I transcribed them word-for-word and can vouch for their accuracy.

One of the more delightful and interesting quotes comes from Arnebeck, concerning what he expects to discover as the stay is lifted: "[W]e anticipate Mr. Rove will be identified as having engaged in a corrupt, ongoing pattern of corrupt activities specifically affecting the situation here in Ohio."

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

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New Job Seen as Payoff for 'Services Rendered'...
By Luke Ryland on 6/2/2008 11:45am PT  

Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland of Let Sibel Edmonds Speak...

So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proven right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

In the "Representative Engagements" section of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."


Dennis Hastert, who is listed in Sibel's "Rogues Gallery," was referred to in FBI wiretaps as apparently accepting bribes from Turkish criminal elements associated with the Turkish government, as documented in Vanity Fair in 2005 and elsewhere.

The short clip at left is from Kill The Messenger, a documentary about Sibel's case, where they discuss some of Hastert's involvement as mentioned in Vanity Fair.

In researching the Vanity Fair article, as mentioned in the clip, journalist David Rose interviewed various congressional staffers and counter-intelligence officials who are familiar with the case. He reported that there were three separate types of bribes allegedly paid to Hastert:

  1. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
  2. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
  3. "(A)t least $500,000"

Hastert was lucky that there was literally zero follow-up in the mainstream media to these most serious charges. Hastert did not sue Vanity Fair for libel; instead, Hastert got his spokesman to send Vanity Fair a bizarre Letter to the Editor in response, 6 months later. The BRAD BLOG has the letter here, along with Sibel's effective debunking of Hastert's response.

The only action taken in response to the startling revelations in Vanity Fair was by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2008 12:02pm PT  

More power to you if you can figure out who the actual bad guys are here, versus the actual good guys (if any) in the following news, breaking this afternoon. At this point, the corruption across so many federal agencies has become so pervasive we couldn't even begin to guess at what's actually going on here, and who, if anyone anymore, can be trusted.

Call it the unintended (or, the intended) consequences of the Bush Era of Shame and Criminality.

Wall Street Journal's coverage is posted in full below, since it's otherwise behind their pay wall. Good luck...

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

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Dallas Morning News Runs Edited Version of Phil Giraldi's Detailed 'American Conservative Magazine' Report on Former FBI Translator's Corroborated Allegations Against High-Ranking U.S. Officials...
By Brad Friedman on 2/17/2008 1:12pm PT  

Kudos the Dallas Morning News for becoming the first U.S. corporate mainstream outlet to run coverage of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds' startling allegations of high-treason and the sale of U.S. nuclear secrets to the foreign black market, with the cooperation of high-ranking U.S. officials, originally published weeks ago by UK's Sunday Times, and papers in virtually every other country --- except for this one.

Today, the Morning News runs a lengthy version of former CIA officer Phil Giraldi's "Found in Translation" essay, originally published at American Conservative Magazine several weeks ago. Though the Morning News version is labeled as "Commentary" and replaces the named identity of former #3 at the State Department, Marc Grossman with "high-ranking official," along with other edits, the piece succeeds in breaking the U.S. media silence on the bulk of the details recently revealed in this remarkable story.

This version of Giraldi's story is sub-headlined, "Why is her story being covered up?" and begins as follows...

Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will.
...
And if she is to be believed, a treasonous plot to embed moles in American military and nuclear installations and pass sensitive intelligence to Israeli, Pakistani and Turkish sources was facilitated by figures in the upper echelons of the State and Defense Departments. Her charges could be easily confirmed or dismissed if classified government documents were made available to investigators.

Go read it. Then take five minutes to write a letter to your local papers and/or news stations (Dem-based web tool, Rep-based web tool) to ask them why they are not investigating and/or reporting this story.

The BRAD BLOG's extensive, years-long catalog of too-frequently-exclusive coverage of the Sibel Edmonds story can be read here.

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Says She Has Been Following Recent Blockbuster Series in British Paper Concerning U.S. Nuclear Secrets Espionage, Allegations That Her Cover Company, Brewster Jennings, Was Exposed by a Former High-Ranking State Department Official as Far Back as 2001...
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2008 2:51pm PT  

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson says the recent disclosures in the UK's Sunday Times concerning the sale of U.S. nuclear secrets to the foreign black market, as aided by high-ranking government officials, are "stunning."

The previously covert agent, who had worked in the agency's counter-proliferation division for years monitoring traffic in the nuclear black market under the guise of a cover company named Brewster Jennings until being outed by Bush Administration officials, was asked about the recent series of explosive stories in the British paper during an interview this morning with Florida radio host Henry Raines of American AM.

Those disclosures include allegations that Brewster Jennings' real identity as a CIA front company was outed to Turkish officials by then-Asst. Sec. of State for European Affairs Marc Grossman as early as 2001...

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

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Philip Giraldi Slams the American MSM, Says Former FBI Translator's Allegations of the Sale of U.S. Nuke Secrets to the Foreign Black Market 'Must be Heard'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2008 4:49pm PT  

Former CIA analyst and international security and counter-terrorism expert Philip Giraldi has filed some of the American media's best reports (even though we realize that's not necessarily saying much) on the Sibel Edmonds case.

If you missed it a week or two ago, Giraldi filed a detailed report on the latest of Edmonds' allegations on the sale of U.S. nuclear secrets, on the foreign black market, to friend and foe alike, as aided and abetted by very high-ranking U.S. officials. His article, published at American Conservative Magazine and titled "Found in Translation," is a must read for both folks new to the issue and those who may have missed a beat or two along the way. The case also, if you haven't noticed, ties in to the Valerie Plame Wilson/Brewster Jennings CIA Leak Case, and includes allegations that her cover company was outed to foreign agents by the #3 in the State Department, Marc Grossman, years before Robert Novak wrote his infamous column blowing the cover of the previously covert Plame Wilson.

Giraldi has now posted a slightly more general read this morning at Huffington Post, in an article titled "Sibel Edmonds Must Be Heard." The piece offers both an easily readable summary of the case so far and another scathing (and well-deserved) condemnation of the American corporate mainstream media for all but ignoring the story.

He even notes, correctly, the failure of "so-called gadflies like Olbermann and Moyers" to cover this story, as we detailed ourselves several moons ago...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2008 9:05am PT  

(Toon by Paul Jamiol. Hat-tip to TheZoo's "nwmuse" who offers, along with the above, a bunch of good details on the Sibel Edmonds case. Our own extensive Edmonds coverage can be read by you, and ignored by the MSM, right here.)

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