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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2005 12:15pm PT  

We've said it before...and say it almost everytime we speak anywhere publicly in fact...but if you need any more proof that the actions of one person can make a difference, allow us to offer just a few more recent examples of the actions taken by just a few of the good BRAD BLOGGERS out there.

We're sure we could offer loads of similar examples from several score more of you, but these two folks have jumped out of late and we're happy to add to the noise they've already made.

Last week, a frequent BRAD BLOG commenter (whose name we'll leave out, since we didn't get express permission to mention it --- they can take credit for here in comments if they are so inclined) made a bit of news after sending a letter of complaint to the Tennessee Department of Health complaining about Sen. Bill Frist's videotaped (and incorrect) "diagnosis" of Terri Schiavo a few months back.

The letter, apparently, has triggered a review of Frist's actions, according to the return letter received from the Director of Investigations for Health Related Boards.

All we can say is: Well done!

And another BRAD BLOG commenter, Sheila Leavitt, has been bravely making noise for quite a while. She seems to have little fear when it comes to speaking out rather publicly and for that alone (sadly enough) she deserves a round of applause in this chilling day and age.

That's her on the right as photographed by AFP on the day Conyers was delivering the Downing Street letter to the White House.

Today, Sheila made the news again as she was featured in a great Boston Herald column.

We're not certain, but it may be her car that caught the attention of the Herald reporter :-)

In an email exchange we had today, Sheila told us, "My medium is cardboard, just as yours is words in the computer. Each of us only needs to do what we do best, and do it with love and persistence, don't you think? Eventually, maybe things will get better."

Yes, we think maybe eventually it will.

Since the Herald site is subscription only, here's a few more grafs than usual from today's article on Sheila, some of the thugs she's faced down in the course of bravely speaking out, and, of course...a must-see EXCLUSIVE BRAD BLOG photograph of...Sheila's car...

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

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(so far)
We'll get back to the 100,000+ Innocent Dead Civilians Later.
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2004 11:06pm PT  

Perhaps I missed the announcement on the Fox News Channel, but at some point over the last few days, the official number of U.S. Military deaths in Iraq (may not include troops who died after evacuation due to injuries received in country) went over the 1,300 mark to 1,304.

We congratulate Mr. Bush on his continuing "catastrophic success".

We also take note that as of today, The Washington Post is reporting that a majority of Americans finally understand that this war was "not worth fighting".

Wow. Who knew?

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(Shrub Scrub? HTML-File-Gate?)
** A BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE! **
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2004 2:09pm PT  

· 10/06/04: WH Scrubs Coalition List from Website...
· 10/17/04: WH caught red-handed trying to cover tracks...
· 10/18/04: Bush's "not that concerned" about bin Laden Audio/Video goes missing...
· 10/21/04: More embarrassing Audio/Video files found missing from site...
· 10/22/04: 'Vanished Coalition List' story hits AFP news wires...
· 10/24/04: Scrubbed files in violation of "Presidential Records Act"...
· 10/25/04: Washington Post gets in game, covers Scrub story twice in one day...
· 10/25/04: State Dept. website scrubbed as well!...
· 10/26/04: WH uses website to campaign for Prez!...
· 10/29/04: SUCCESS! WH restores Audio/Video! Though much still missing...
· 1/21/05 (Yes, '05!): Reuters Reports: "White House Scraps 'Coalition of the Willing' List" (What took ya so long?!)
· 9/15/07: White House Still Lying About Coalition in Iraq After All These Years...
· 12/5/08: Altered White House Iraq War Docs "Discovered" by University Professor...More Than Four Years After The BRAD BLOG Originally Reported Same

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2001 Edition
By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2004 1:49pm PT  

"[F]rankly, [the sanctions on Iraq] have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." - Colin Powell, February 24, 2001

"But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." - Condoleeza Rice, July 29, 2001

For more on the many stunning flips, flops, mixed-messages and more flops of Bush Iraq Policy, click here for documented details.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 2:16pm PT  

The case against Bush's failed execution of the War on Iraq is becoming clearer every day.

Best put this morning by Pro-Iraq Warrior, Andrew Sullivan, who said today:

"Mr president, you have the courage to launch vital wars; you just don't have the competence to win them. Get out of the way before we lose this battle - and make things even worse than before 9/11."

And in regards to the damning report today from the U.S. Marine Corps general in charge of western Iraq that Fallujah was completely bungled by the upper Civilian Command (after Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the boys have gone out of their way to suggest they wouldn't make the Vietnam mistake of getting in the way of Military Command on the ground), Sullivan --- a longtime BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Republican" Award winner --- was also on the money:

FALLUJAH FLIP-FLOP: How the White House bungled the Fallujah siege - against the advice of the military on the ground. Money quote from Lt. Gen. James T. Conway:

"When you order elements of a Marine division to attack a city, you really need to understand what the consequences of that are going to be and not perhaps vacillate in the middle of something like that. Once you commit, you got to stay committed."

Now just imagine if a president Gore had done such a thing. Do you think Republicans would have stayed mum?

Sullivan's last question there is a doozy. Just imagine if Al Gore had executed this "War on Terror" in exactly the same fashion and as disastrously. Imagine what the Republicans would be saying with 1000+ dead, no WMD's to be found, no exit strategy anywhere on the horizon, and if "insurgents" in Fallujah were now using the arms we gave them against us now as they are! Can you imagine?!

The blatant and outrageous hypocrisy at work amongst the apologists on the Right at this moment is surely at an all time high (or low). Just incredible.

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A vial of anthrax doesn't look all that bad compared to a nuclear bomb.
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2004 4:25pm PT  

Ann Coulter makes Bill O'Reilly appear - if only briefly - to not be a hideous person with an evil insidious agenda! Not all that easy to do. But if anyone can, it would be the insipid Ann Coulter.

This sample exchange, and it's "Editor's notes" come courtesy of "Left I..." as taken from the full O'Reilly Factor transcript from May 27, 2004:

O'REILLY: Why has Bush fallen in the polls?

COULTER: Well, I suppose the question is, why isn't he soaring in the polls? He's running against a nitwit, the war is going magnificently well, the economy is picking back up, why isn't he at like 80 percent?

O'REILLY: I've talked to all of our Fox News political analysts. These are not raving liberals, all right, Ann? None of them come close to telling me the war is going magnificently well. What do you know that all of the Fox News military analysts don't know?
...
COULTER: It's pretty darn safe over there.

O'REILLY: Our Fox correspondents in Baghdad won't go out of the hotel. That's not a good sign, Ann.
...
O'REILLY: The weapons of mass destruction fiasco when they couldn't find them.

COULTER: Wait. We have found weapons of mass destruction...

O'REILLY: No we didn't, not to any great extent. [Editor's note - no, not to any extent]

COULTER: That is an important point. We have found weapons of mass destruction. That is something the media is repeatedly lying about. We have not found stockpiles. We found the plants for manufacturing, we found the experiments, we found the room for human experimentation labs. We found lots of weapons of mass destruction. [Editor's note - aside from "plants" and "experiments" not being "weapons of mass destruction," no such "plants" or "experiments" have been found]

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By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2004 8:44am PT  

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Worth the paper they're printed on
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2004 6:52pm PT  

As the bad news for the Administration continues to unfold over the next several months (continuing trouble in Iraq as we approach 1 July, a passel of new books that they won't be able to stand any more than they could stand Richard Clarke's, the 9/11 Commission Report, as well as fallout from the widening investigations of the outrageous and still under-reported Medicaire hoax and the growing Plame outing scandal) someone is gonna have to take a fall or two for Bush's re-select chances to survive.

Thus, I offer my stunning prediction that at least two of the following will not be a part of the Administration by the time we get to November 2nd. CYA Mitigator --- While I believe at least two of them will actually resign, the worst case scenario is that instead of actually resigning they will announce *ahead* of the election that they will not be serving in a second Bush term:

(Listed in order of likelihood that they'll be gone - sez me)
George Tenet
Richard Foster
Dick Cheney
Karl Rove
Paul Wolfowitz
Condoleezza Rice
Colin Powell

Anyone I missed?

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By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2004 3:58pm PT  

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Sometimes a trailer is just a trailer.
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2004 11:24am PT  

On late Friday afternoon --- the best time to hide embarrasing information from the news media and the public - Colin Powell finally admitted in regards to his United Nations testimony that would eventually send this country to war and 600 Americans (so far) to die, that the information he presented now "appears not to be the case that it was that solid."

Um, duh? Anyway, will anybody ever take any responsibility for this debacle? Powell seems to continue the idea of blaming it all on the Intelligence Agencies. So, who is it who takes responsibility for those agencies anyway? Apparently nobody.

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(and a reason to support Kerry other than he's not Bush?)
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2004 6:20pm PT  

It's nice occasionally to come across the intellectually honest Conservative. A rare breed these days. So it was nice to catch this blog item from Andrew Sullivan today. Of note...

CONCEDING A POINT: Here's where some war critics surely have a point. Fighting back aggressively can and will increase the numbers of alienated young men across the globe eager to kill in the name of anti-Western Islamism...The strongest argument for Kerry is that we have already gained as much as we can for the time being with hard power and war; he won't pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan; he won't be able to duck a serious response to another terror attack; but he might help ease some of the hatred of the United States that this president has - undeservedly, in my view, but still undeniably - ratcheted to unseen levels.

Not sure if it's because he's British or gay, but it's certainly nice to see a bit of both "nuance" (overworked word of the year so far in 2004) and honesty from the Right.

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The Real Lessons...not the Spin
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2004 1:48pm PT  

After pondering and reading and pondering some more...It seems there is a real lesson to learn from the horror of Madrid. The knee-jerk one, of course, is that Terrorism works. At least that's the one that al-Qaeda will take away, and the one that ought to terrify everyone. But that's a lesson al-Qaeda already knows, in no small part, from the capitulation to Bin Laden demands that has already quietly occured when Bush pulled our troops out of Saudi Arabia. Just as Osama requested on 9/12.

The real lesson is one for the Bush Administration. Though it may contain a bit more nuance than the true DittoHead believers are capable of understanding as I mentioned yesterday. They certainly won't have this nuance explained to them by Lord and Savior Rush.

The lesson that the Bush Administration may or may not begin to understand is that the Conservatives in Spain were ousted by the people not for their stand on Iraq or their complicity with the Bush Administration, but because - in the face of the bombings and the impending elections - they lied to the electorate and expected the people to be dumb enough to fall for it.

The Spanish people are well aware of the type of attacks to expect from ETA (the Basque Terrorists that they have been dealing with for years), and they were smart enough to immediately recognize that the Train Bombings were most definitely not the work of ETA, but the work of al-Qaeda.

None the less, the Conservative Aznar government insisted on trying to sell the idea to the people that it was the work of ETA - a long-time opponent of the Aznar government.

The people knew better. The people didn't appreciate being lied to for political purposes. And so the people removed the Aznar government.

It is that lesson which ought to be sending a chill through the Karl Rove Bunch right about now. But they've proven themselves willing to put their head in the sand before, so only time will tell if they will finally get it, or if they will continue on their current trajectory towards defeat this November by trying - as Aznar did - to obfuscate what the People are able to see quite clearly.

See the fascinating broken English letter to Tom Tomorrow from a Spanish voter for one inside account of what happened there last week.

On the homefront then, Bush needs to put the lesson learned into action immediately if he wants a chance of hanging onto Power this November (and we all know they want nothing more desperately than that).

They best heed the warnings coming from inside their very own base and come clean about their various and numerous failures in their mismanaged "War on Terror".

As the excellent David Corn pointed out, the "Washington Post quoted a Senior CIA official last week as stating that thanks to the war in Iraq, the CIA 'is stretched beyond their limits.'"

He goes on to point to more failures and misdirections currently being obfuscated by this Administration:

It's not just the usual anti-war types who have argued that Bush undermined the war on terror with his war in Iraq. In December, the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College published a report that harshly called the war on Iraq �an unnecessary preventive war of choice against a deterred Iraq that has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable al Qaeda. The war against Iraq was not integral to the [global war on terrorism], but rather a detour from it.�

A few weeks ago, James Webb, secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, made the same point more brutally: �Bush arguably has committed the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory. To put it bluntly, he attacked the wrong target. While he boasts of removing Saddam Hussein from power, he did far more than that. He decapitated the government of a country that was not directly threatening the United States and, in so doing, bogged down a huge percentage of our military in a region that never has known peace. Our military is being forced to trade away its maneuverability in the wider war against terrorism while being placed on the defensive in a single country that never will fully accept its presence.� Webb added, �The reckless course that Bush and his advisers have set will affect the economic and military energy of our nation for decades. It is only the tactical competence of our military that, to this point, has protected him from the harsh judgment that he deserves.�

We know that Bush doesn't much listen to the common folk (or bother reading their Newspapers), but if they wish to stop the hemorrhaging of their own base, not to mention the all-import "middle", they may want to start coming clean on the only issue on which the American people are still barely willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They need to begin telling the truth about their failures in the "War on Terror" and stop under-estimating the ability of the Electorate to smell a rat and turn insulted enough to hold them accountable for it at the next Election.

Otherwise, they risk missing the real lesson to be learned from Spain last week. I have no idea whether this bunch will "get it" or not. It would certainly be much better for the country if they did.

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A Public Service to America
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2004 6:05pm PT  

It seems to me that the most dangerous internal threat to our country, may just be the coup d'�tat by the Right to counter what they see as Liberal Media Bias by taking over said media and spinning it so far beyond reason to the Right, with such daily lockstep consistency, that it's become very difficult for the average American to even realize they are being spun anymore.

Thus, the Brad Blog - as a public service to America - is pleased to offer the occasional correction to the record.

True, we don't have a 3-hour-a-day radio show (yet), but we gotta start somewhere. So here we go:

Dear DittoHeads: Today Riush is telling you that "Liberals were in a panic" after the terrorist attack in Madrid last week because it demonstrated that Bush was proven right about this being a dangerous world. The "Liberals were terrified", Rush told you, until, of course, they began dancing with the joy three days later after the surprise victory of the Socialist Party in the elections which ousted the Conservative Administration that was complicit with Bush and his elective War on Iraq.

The result of those elections, Rush instructs you, was that "the terrorist have won" (true) and thus Liberals in this country are beside themselves with happiness over those results (a complete and total fabrication made up to suit Rush's agenda).

Now despite Rush's misinformation to the contrary - he doesn't actually know any Liberals or what they actually think about anything, or if he does, he won't waste his time by reporting it, but rather will simply makes up an absurd position for them that best fits his need to fill 3-hours-a-day with Pro-Republican propaganda.

Yo, Rushies, you are being played by your Master! Don't be a DittoChump!

It was the Bush Administration that was, and continues to be in a panic over these attacks. At least they should be (you see, I don't actually know anybody in the Bush Administration, so I'd merely be speculating on what they feel. See how I've actually told you about that? - That's what intellectual honest folks do. Get it?) But, if I were them, I would certainly be concerned. Both over the attacks, and the chill that must be running through their bones upon seeing the reactionary results of the election that followed.

It was the Bush Administration who didn't want to admit to you over the weekend (see Colin Powell's contortions on Sunday's Meet the Press for example) what was so obvious from the beginning: That these attacks were clearly the work of al-Qaeda. The same al-Qaeda that you have previously been told are "on the run" and "decimated" and "crippled". They are - clearly - no such thing. They have been radicalized and enthused by the West having fallen into the sand trap they've laid for us. We fell for it. Lost the focus on the War on Terrorism by our distraction in Iraq. An invasion which is the very Public Service Announcement that The Terrorists were looking for to display to their potential recruits that America is a threat to Islam.

That can't be admitted, of course, because it wouldn't do for the Bushies to be seen again as misleaders. Especially on the issue of Terrorism. Not for now, anyway. Not until they do their inevitable pre-Election switcheroo and go into The-World-is-More-Dangerous-than-Ever-and-only-Republicans-Can-Save-You! Mode. Coming soon to a Presidential Campaign near you!

It may take a while, but we will do our best to de-Spin you, DittoHeads! It's our patriotic American duty at least to try.

For the record, anybody who could speculate that the attacks in Madrid weren't the work of al-Qaeda, should note that the attack in Madrid came on March 11, 2004 - the precise 2� year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and exactly 911 days since that day! Coincidence? We report, you decide. But try not to be a sucker in the meantime. Really, it's just not good for the country - or the world.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2004 9:55pm PT  

Bill Clinton believed there were WMD's. So did the French and the Germans and the British and the Russians and the UNITED NATIONS for Christ sake!

How many times will we have to sit around listening to Sean Hannity et al repeat that blather before we can find a Media-Approved-Liberal who is smart enough to pipe up and say "RIGHT, THEY DID! BUT THEY DIDN'T SEND OUR BOYS TO WAR FOR IT, YOU JACKOFF!".

You'd think the level of certitude required for a "Pre-emptive Strike" would be a bit higher than "Uh, well, geez, Bill Clinton said they were bad guys too!"

Just about everybody who reads this, and knows who Scott Ritter is, most likely owes him an apology.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2004 12:18pm PT  

FACTS:
+ I was right about Howard Dean's rant. It's kept him in the news, and the fact that he placed a disappointing 3rd place in Iowa out of the news.

+ Nobody was "frightened by Howard Dean" in that rant other than the Media who saw a story ("See! He's unstable!" - which, of course, he isn't).

+ Dean is coming back in the polls now, only 7 points behind Kerry according to Zogby, who was the only pollster to actually get it absolutely right in both the '00 and '96 elections. Everyone else got it wrong.

+ In case you need further proof, the Media continue to call Dean "dead". Nuff said.

+ The best thing that could happen for the Dems is this 4 (or 5 or 6) man scrum at the top. More media attention for the Dems than money can buy.

+ Those who have claimed - for the past year or more - that Bush is undefeatable were/are wrong. If you have any doubt, you must not have seen his State of the Union address. He's in big big trouble, as long as the Dems don't screw it up. Nominating Kerry might be a screw up. We'll see.

+ John Edwards will be the VEEP nominee to either Dean or Kerry.

+ Kerry (most likely) wins NH, but not by much. But it's enough to make him the new "front runner" and begin to receive the wrath of FOX and RUSH. Which is great for Dean.

In other news, David Kay has resigned his commission as top US WMD Seeker in Iraq. And has found a resounding nothing. Not good for Bush.

And in case you were wondering what all we actually were fighting for in Iraq, here's a picture of the next leader of Iraq - as soon as they are allowed the freedom of elections:


Ayatollah Sistani,
Next Leader of Iraq

Look like any one you know?


Ayatollah Khomeini,
Former Leader of Iran

I guess we really thought this one through, huh?

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VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

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