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PLUS: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) my guest on tonight's 'Malloy'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2011 2:11pm PT  

While prepping for tonight's Mike Malloy Show (which I will be busy guest hosting all week), here are just a few of the items which caught my eye so far today...in no particular order...

  • Record amounts of cash being spent by labor unions and the (supposedly grass-roots) "Tea Party" on tomorrow's Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, as the race between the unabashedly pro-Walker Justice David Prosser and Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg has turned into a proxy battle between the two clashing ideologies right now in WI. A defeat of Prosser would tilt the court's 4-3 majority from Right-leaning to not Right-leaning. The race is also seen as a bellwether for upcoming recall elections of GOP state Senators likely to occur there in the near future, as Ernie Canning reported on earlier today at The BRAD BLOG.
  • Nuclear triage. Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are dumping 11.5 tons of "low-level" radioactive water into the ocean to make room in filled storage containers for the more radioactive water leaking from reactor Unit 2. They say they have "no choice," but to dump that water (with radiation levels 100 times over the legal limit) as they must continue injecting new water to cool the plant's four crippled reactors, even as the radiated water floods out. Over the weekend, workers were unsuccessful in their attempt to use polymer, sawdust and newspaper (BP "JunkShot" anyone?!) to plug an 8 inch crack in a flooded tunnel at Unit 2 said to be gushing highly radioactive water, at 100,000 times legal levels, into the ocean.
  • A sweeping new election law in Florida is working its way through the GOP-controlled state legislature along predictably partisan lines, just in time for the 2012 Presidential election there. Some of the proposed changes will make it much more difficult for non-partisan voter registration groups, such as the League of Women Voters, to do their work, and will likely lead to a huge increase in "provisional" (and, therefore, frequently uncounted) ballots. Leon County's highly-respected Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho has called the bill "a travesty".
  • Former U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley --- recently forced to step down for referring to the treatment of alleged WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning as "stupid" --- compares WikiLeaks to the New York Times. The paper's Editor-in-Chief, who has been bashing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks themselves of late, even though the "paper of record" has written hundreds of stories based on WikiLeaks documents, will not be happy. Good. (Coverage at RAW STORY courtesy of BRAD BLOG alum David Edwards.)
  • Even Republican state Senators in Maine are beginning to become uncomfortable with the radical statements and extremist behavior of the state's new GOP Governor Paul LePage and are asking him to "tone it down". Beginning to see the writing on the wall, boys?

So what's on your radar?

In addition to some of the above possibly coming up for discussion tonight, we will definitely be discussing the U.S. Chamber Plot (which was to have targeted, among others, myself and my family) with my guest U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) who is trying to see some accountability in that horrific affair after House Republicans refused his request for investigative hearings into the matter.

Please tune in at 6p PT (9p ET) tonight --- and all week! We'll have live listening links and a lively chat room right here at The BRAD BLOG during those hours as usual!

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ALSO: HBGary's CEO finally resigns, VR files D.C. Bar complaint...
[Now UPDATED with full text of letter]
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2011 1:05am PT  

Washington Post's Dan Eggen reports tonight for Tuesday's paper that "more than a dozen" Democrats in the U.S. House are now calling on "Republican leaders" to open an investigation into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plot which had been set to target the Rightwing lobbying firms' perceived political enemies (which turned out to include me and my family at the top of their list, as reported in detail previously) with a proposed $12 million smear, forgery, fraud, and disinformation campaign.

While the Democrats letter calling for a Congressional probe will not be released until Tuesday [Update: The full text of the letter is now posted at the end of this article below], Eggen's reportage makes it clear that their concerns focus on the same disturbing point which we highlighted in one of our first detailed reports on this matter. Namely, that the Chamber's law firm Hunton & Williams was organizing the plot with three government-contracted cyber-security/intelligence firms that had planned to turn tools developed for the "War on Terror" against U.S. citizens, journalists, and progressive organizations [emphasis added]...

A group of House Democrats is calling on Republican leaders to investigate a prominent Washington law firm and three federal technology contractors, who have been shown in hacked e-mails discussing a "disinformation campaign" against foes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In a letter to be released Tuesday, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and more than a dozen other lawmakers wrote that the e-mails appear "to reveal a conspiracy to use subversive techniques to target Chamber critics," including "possible illegal actions against citizens engaged in free speech."

The lawmakers say it is "deeply troubling" that "tactics developed for use against terrorists may have been unleashed against American citizens."

As we also noted some weeks ago, Eggen reports, "The companies proposed forming a 'corporate information reconnaissance cell' and discussed tactics such as creating online personas to infiltrate activist Web sites; planting false information to embarrass U.S. Chamber Watch and other groups; and trolling for personal information using powerful computer software."

Those "other groups" would include the non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization VelvetRevolution.us, as co-founded by The BRAD BLOG, in response to VR's StopTheChamber.com campaign launched in late 2009 to help expose the U.S. Chamber's perfidy and mafia-like tactics in their extremist Rightwing corporate "advocacy". The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the nation's largest corporate lobbying firm and has spent millions in disinformation campaigns fighting against clean energy legislation and health care insurance reform, just to name two of their recent projects.

While a Congressional investigation would normally be a no-brainer in a plot as pernicious as the one exposed here --- revealed by the release of tens of thousands of emails detailing highly dubious, and most likely illegal, schemes of this sort --- the fact that the U.S. Chamber and its member corporations also spent millions as the top funders of Republican Congressional campaigns in 2010 makes the likelihood of such hearings questionable in the now-GOP-controlled House.

A letter to Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice, demanding a special prosecutor be assigned to this case would be equally, if not more appropriate. Unfortunately, the DoJ is also compromised in this affair, having been the ones, incredibly enough, to refer the Chamber's law firm Hunton & Williams to the Bank of America for a parallel plot with the same three private security firms, in order to target WikiLeaks with a focus on discrediting their perceived supporters such as Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald. Given the DoJ's dubious involvement here, it seems similarly unlikely that they would take up such an investigation themselves either, but a letter calling for same from Congressional members might help.

In more new developments in this story tonight...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2011 10:41am PT  

On Thursday night, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert waded into the HBGary muck with an explanation of the scam that the cyber-security intelligence firm, along with two other firms (government contractors all) were putting together for law firm Hunton & Williams on behalf of Bank of America, in hopes of discrediting journalists and organizations that supported WikiLeaks.

As readers of The BRAD BLOG likely know by now, a parallel $12 million scheme was being hatched by the same law firm and same three cyber-security firms on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, targeting me and my family, as well as other citizens and progressive organizations the U.S. Chamber had regarded as their enemies.

(I was likely targeted due to my roll in The BRAD BLOG's co-founding of the non-profit, non-partisan VelvetRevolution.us which has, since late 2009, been running a StopTheChamber.com campaign to expose the insidious, mafia-like tactics of what has become the largest, most extreme corporate lobbying outfit in the nation. Relatedly, late last week, VR filed a complaint with the D.C. Bar Association against the three H&W attorneys heading up these schemes. I hope to have more on that at a later date, but you can now read the complaint yourself right here [PDF]. Legal Times coverage is here, Washington Post's coverage today is here.)

Though the U.S. Chamber side of the plot is not discussed here, here's Colbert summing up the scheme as proposed for Bank of America...


...And here is the short interview that followed with Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald who, the same as I in the U.S. Chamber plot, was placed front and center in the Bank of America plot...

By the way, though I didn't notice it while watching a Tivo'd verison of the interview above on Thursday night --- so don't know if it was in the actual broadcast, or just added online, by someone --- PC Magazine noticed a curious anomaly at the 3:22 mark of the above video. For no more than a moment, the infamous Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta, often used as a sort of trademark by the "hacktivist" collective Anonymous (the group which inadvertently exposed both of the above described plots when they broke into HBGary's corporate servers and stole the emails describing all of this) is briefly superimposed over Colbert's face, for reasons unknown --- but amusing.

* * *

For much more on the U.S. Chamber Plot, please see the links below for The BRAD BLOG's previous coverage of this disturbing story...

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

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UPDATED: 'GRITtv' covers as well, with in-depth discussion...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2011 1:21pm PT  

Sad to say the best video coverage so far (though that's not saying much as I noted Friday night), of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plot to dishonestly, and perhaps illegally, try and discredit, smear and illicitly undermine their perceived political enemies (such as me and, for some reason, my family) comes from HNN. That's right, from the Hacker News Network.

The report on the U.S. Chamber plot (and the related BofA/WikiLeaks plot) is the very first story --- approximately 5 mins --- right at the top of the video...

See? Was that so hard? [Hat-tip Jeannie Dean.]

* * *

UPDATE 3:55pm PT: GRITtv also covered the story in an in-depth discussion with ThinkProgress' Lee Fang and Firedoglake's Michael Whitney last Wednesday...

* * *

Previously related at The BRAD BLOG:

2/18/11: U.S. Chamber Plot Update: Malware, Fake Personas, Government Contracts, Public Shame, Bar Complaints, Media Failures and Other News

2/15/11: Special Green News Report on the U.S. Chamber Plot

2/14/11: Late Updates on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Plot to Target, Discredit, Defraud Political Enemies

2/14/11: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thugs Used 'Terror Tools' for Disinfo Scheme Targeting Me, My Family, Other Progressive U.S. Citizens, Groups

2/10/11: Hacked Emails Show U.S. Chamber of Commerce Targeted VelvetRevolution.US, Other Progressive Groups With Massive Disinfo Campaign

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Latest developments in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce scheme to illicitly target me and my family, as well as other progressive citizens, journalists and organizations...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2011 8:04pm PT  

It's strange, difficult and a bit uncomfortable reporting on the $12 million U.S. Chamber disinfo plot and smear campaign after finding myself (and my family), much less VelvetRevolution.us (VR), the non-profit organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG, as direct targets of it. As you might have assumed, there is much going on behind the scenes that I can't report on at this time, but I've been happy to see some fairly decent coverage --- even by some in the print MSM, if not much in the broadcast media yet --- of this important, disturbing and still developing story.

It's easier to talk and opine on what I've learned about the plot, as I've been doing in a lot of media interviews over the past week (a few of those radio appearances are linked below), than it is to actually report on it, per se. Yet, there have been several noteworthy points and advancements in the story over the past week since I originally covered it in depth here on Monday.

New information being dug up over the last several days, since I initially reported on this story in depth at the beginning of the week, now indicates that the Chamber Plotters had likely intended to use cyber attacks and hacks against us as well.

Those key updates, and the very quickest of backgrounders for those unfamiliar with the sordid tale up until now, follow below...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
SPECIAL: The U.S. Chamber's Secret Smear Campaign...
By Desi Doyen on 2/15/2011 1:44pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S SPECIAL RADIO REPORT: All-out Info War: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest & most powerful corporate lobbying firm, caught plotting a $12 million disinformation campaign against progressive U.S. organizations, journalists and citizens, including yours truly...

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EXTENDED (non-Chamber-related) EXTRA!:... Obama budget, GOP's draconian cuts; Judge fines Chevron $8 Billion for Ecuador pollution; Strip-mining to begin on sea floor; Actor Costner sued over Gulf oil invention; World approaching "peak phosphorous"?; Alaska warming at 3x rate of Lower 48; Natural gas surge in BP spill; KY protestors sit-in at gov's office against mountaintop removal mining; GE pays handsomely for stake in oil business; EU Carbon trading system plagued by fraud; Smog continues to plague Joshua Tree NP; Insurers warn premiums set to rise for natural disasters; Solar panels can help your home sell faster; Generation HOT: Calling out "climate cranks"; Pesticide co. hires federal agency to challenge pesticide-Parkinson's link ... PLUS: The worst eco-disasters of all time! ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2011 11:53pm PT  

A few quick followups tonight to my lengthy story from this morning on the proposed $2 million per month plot created for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to use tools and techniques from the so-called "War on Terror" against U.S. citizens, journalists and groups who opposed their strong-arm lobbying tactics.

As noted, one of those they'd planned to target in hopes of discrediting in their nefarious scheme was yours truly, as well as my family, and VelvetRevolution.us, the non-profit, non-partisan organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG. I was specifically targeted personally as the Chamber's first, "Tier 1" opponent in a Power Point presentation prepared for the nation's largest corporate lobby's law firm Hunton & Williams (H&W) by the three cyber-security/intelligence firms, HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies & Palantir Technologies. The triumvirate called themselves "Team Themis" in the plots developed for the U.S. Chamber to fraudulently discredit opponents and for a very similar scheme made for Bank of America to try and disrupt WikiLeaks.

So here are a few items following up on our previous report...

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

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And why they are likely to get away with it...
By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2011 6:05am PT  

"[W]ho better to develop a corporate information reconnaissance capability than companies that have been market leaders within the DoD and Intelligence Community."
- 'Team Themis', from their 11/3/10 "Corporate Information Reconnaissance Cell" proposal delivered to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's law firm Hunton & Williams.


As I learned late last Thursday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful Rightwing lobbying group in the country, was revealed to have been working with their law firm and a number of private cyber security and intelligence firms to target progressive organizations, journalists and citizens who they felt were in opposition to their political activism, tactics and points of view.

As I went on the air Thursday night --- my fifth in a six-day guest hosting stint on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show --- revelations about the planned multi-million dollar political hit job by the security/intelligence firms working to develop a scheme for the U.S. Chamber (and another one, almost identical to it, on behalf of Bank of America) were just beginning to come to light. Both plots were being developed by the Chamber and BofA by the very same law firm, Hunton & Williams and with the cyber intelligence firms HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies & Palantir Technologies.

As the show began, I was able to report the news, based on an exclusive report from Lee Fang at ThinkProgress, that internal emails from one of the firms, confirmed that VelvetRevolution.us (VR), a progressive non-partisan, non-profit organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG, and its StopTheChamber.com campaign were specifically highlighted as targets of the Chamber's plot which was proposed to include the planting of a "false document", in hopes they'd be publicly released by VR or other progressive groups, so the U.S. Chamber could then claim the groups involved had created a forgery.

The plan also involved creating "two fake insider personas", one at VR and another at the unrelated Change To Win organization, which had employed a coalition of union groups to create a non-profit campaign, some months after VR's, called U.S. Chamber Watch. The plan presented by Team Themis, as the three security firms called themselves, would then use one of the "fake personas" as "leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second" in hopes of publicizing the fraudulent appearance of some sort of "conspiracy" between the various progressive organizations in order to somehow discredit them.

As Thursday's show continued, I received confirmation that I, personally, along with members of my family, had been highlighted in Themis' proposed hit job, as ThinkProgress followed up with a second story, based on several other emails from HBGary's CEO Aaron Barr. The email focused on me included names, personal information, home addresses, etc. of myself, family members and a number of other members of VR. Naturally, I reported on the then-confirmed news in the second hour of that night's Malloy Show.

An hour or so after the show went off the air Thursday night, The BRAD BLOG was no longer reachable, as our server had been knocked off line hard, so I was unable to follow up with much more information. The server we use, which is also the home for many other progressive websites, was out of commission for nearly 24 hours, though I am told by our server admin that the very unusual outage was related to a serious hardware failure which occurred at what was clearly a very inopportune --- and, naturally, suspiciously timed --- moment. Moments before Friday's show, The BRAD BLOG was finally back up and online.

Over the weekend then, I've finally been able to catch up with a lot of what I had otherwise been unable to on Friday due to the server outage and the need to prep for Friday's show while all of this was happening (and as the Egypt regime was collapsing at the same moment).

As I, and other journalists, have been plowing through some of the tens of thousands of emails from HBGary's CEO --- as stolen and released by the "hacktivist" organization calling themselves Anonymous, following Barr's public threat to expose their names --- I've been able to learn a lot more about the U.S. Chamber plan.

Part of the plan included highlighting me as a "Tier 1" player in a sophisticated disinformation/discrediting scheme that relied on high-tech tools developed for the U.S. Government's "War on Terror".

Team Themis' U.S. Chamber of Commerce plan was to deploy the very same techniques and technology used to track terrorists, terror organizations, and nations such as Iran, against private non-profit political advocates and citizens in the U.S.

As disturbing (and there is a lot that every American citizen and every member of the American media ought to be very disturbed by in this story) Hunton & Williams (H&W), the law firm working on behalf of the U.S. Chamber and the Bank of America, had been recommended to BofA, the nation's largest bank, for the parallel hit scheme to target and discredit WikiLeaks, by our own U.S. Department of Justice.

In addition to Barr's email offering personal information on me and my family, the H&W scheme by Team Themis, created for the U.S. Chamber, also included a Power Point presentation in which I am personally highlighted, with photograph, along with my wife "Martha" and "2 boys, James and John Friedman" at our "home at 1055 Raywood Ln, Silver Springs, MD".

Of course, I'm not married and have no children and don't live in MD, but these are the huge private firms receiving millions, if not billions, in U.S. tax-payer dollars to target terrorists, after all, so why let such details like accuracy, or targeting innocent people, or citizens and journalists exercising their right to free speech get in the way of a potential $2 million dollar per month contract from the U.S. Chamber get in the way? The Chamber, of course, is also funded by the world's largest corporations who receive billions in tax-payer bailout dollars and subsidies from the U.S. Government. Can you feel the synergy? Team Themis certainly did...

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

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UPDATE: 'Brad Friedman' and family personally targeted as well...
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2011 4:00pm PT  

UPDATE 2/14/11: A big update, and a lot of new details on this entire story (including the Chamber plot targeting me) now here...

* * *

UPDATE 9:03pm PT: Yes, they do target and name ME and my family, including personal details about us specifically, as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's disinformation attack, as ThinkProgress notes in an update tonight:

Another target was Brad Friedman, co-founder of The Brad Blog. Barr’s profile of Friedman included information about his life partner and his home address.

See TP's most recent article for some of the emails, etc. These are horrible people.

* * *

[Preparing to guest host tonight's Mike Malloy Show, so forgive the terser than usual coverage here as I'm just now learning about this, but wanted to get something out quickly. I expect there will be more to come on this, as you can probably imagine.]

It looks like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce --- the Rightwing lobbying firm now allowed to accept hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in secret funding from corporations likely subsidized with your tax dollars --- has been caught in the act of creating a $2 million disinformation campaign to attack progressive organizations such as VelvetRevolution.us and its StopTheChamber.com initiative. [Since we believe in disclosure, unlike the Chamber: VR was co-founded by The BRAD BLOG.]

After the disinfo campaign targeted "Anonymous," the online "hacktivist" organization which had been working to disrupt those who companies who had attacked WikiLeaks (see our December '10 report: "'ALL-OUT CYBER WAR' OVER WIKILEAKS"), "Anonymous" struck back by hacking one of the "intelligence security firms" retained by the Chamber and posting thousands of their emails online.

Coverage from ThinkProgress' Lee Fang just an hour or two ago includes a snippet from one of the proposals given to the Chamber on November 29, 2010 mentioning Velvet Revolution and a plan to "create a false document," "fake insider personas," and do whatever they needed to do to "discredit" the organization by planting misinformation....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2011 8:05am PT  

Here we are. A full seven years as of today, after I began, on a complete lark, what I had thought would be little more than something to keep me occasionally occupied after I had finished up a different project I'd worked on for five years prior. I had no idea or hopes for what it would, and has become --- or that it would keep me from being able to make the living I had been able to before starting --- or even that I'd find myself, with disturbing regularity, having nearly front-row seats to moments of historic importance, as witness to the unraveling of a nation.

But here we are. Seven years later, and still at it, still digging, still fighting, still crying, still laughing, still witnessing in wonder as the unraveling continues, and still more disturbed by it all than I could have ever even imagined.

For those of you who have joined us for all or any part of the long, strange journey along the way, I can only hope it has been as thought-provoking, informative, and enlightening as it has been, at times, absolutely maddening.

But here we are still. Still fighting many of the same battles, still witnessing many of the victories and disappointments over and again. We don't drive the bus, however. We just ride along with it, and help, to the best of our abilities, in trying to steer it back on to a road toward sanity, peace, love, hope, and improvement tomorrow over failure yesterday and today.

Were it not for the support of many of you out there, we'd not be here today at all. As I have to point out too often when folks ask how we make a living at this: we don't. Truly independent investigative progressive bloggers with specialties in muckraking, trouble-making, snark, whistleblowing and election integrity don't make nearly the great fortune that one might think.

Instead, we beg, borrow, try not to steal, and hope to keep on keeping on, with your support, whenever and however possible. To that end, yes, I will again ask for your support in a moment, even as I offer a purposely and extraordinarily vague hint about possible changes (both positive and likely temporary) coming in the weeks and months ahead, if I am able to see things through as I hope. But more on that later as/if things develop.

So with that small vagary, please forgive my using this moment for what I am so loath to do, even as so many other news and blog sites do so with far more regularity than I ever feel comfortable. Please consider supporting The BRAD BLOG with a "birthday gift" of any amount. Of course, the larger --- as you are able to afford and still take care of more pressing priorities --- the better. You are, and always have been, by and large, what stands between our ability to keep going at whatever it is that we do, and the (always) far more plausible notion that we'll be forced to simply roll up our tent of ever-good intentions in order to find a much more reasonable way to pay a meager rent, put food on the table, and some gas in the tank.

One-time donations are, as ever, tremendously appreciated. Even more so are sustaining, automated, monthly contributions of any amount you can comfortably afford. For the latter, please see the form in the light blue box mid-way down our right sidebar. Monthly sustaining support is a quick and easy matter to create, via credit card or PayPal, as you prefer, and will hopefully take you less than three minutes or so to set up.

One-time donations, also via credit card or PayPal, can be made right here. Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" is similarly welcome and greatly appreciated!

Most of all, of course, your support --- by reading, clicking, commenting, DIGGING, REDDITing, Tweeting, Facebook "sharing," and/or emailing the fruits of the efforts of myself and of all of those many who have contributed here in any way over these past seven years --- continues to be the greatest gift of all. Without you, as they say, we are nothing. So for that, as we head into Year Number Eight(?!) I thank you yet again, from the bottom of my ever-exhausted, yet still hopeful, heart.

Onward. Peace.
-- Brad
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By Brad Friedman on 12/25/2010 12:01am PT  

Someday. How about today?

With love and best wishes to you and yours...

From All of Us Here at The BRAD BLOG...

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Featuring interviews with Coleen Rowley, Daniel Ellsberg & more...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2010 3:10pm PT  

...is posted below, commercial-free, in case you missed it the first time around when it ran live, as guest hosted by yours truly.

Lots of important stuff discussed, much of which, I predict, will be worth remembering in the days, weeks, months (and possibly even years) ahead as the fallout continues around WikiLeaks (the new new media), and as the outrageously irresponsible governmental/state media assaults against both WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and alleged leaker PFC Bradley Manning continue to disinform the American people.

[My thanks also to Daily Kos blogger "cedar park" for picking up Friday's show and letting folks over there know about it over the weekend.]

Listen to each 38-minute "Hour" online below, or right-click "Download MP3" and select "Save Target As..." to save it to your hard drive for listening later.

HOUR 1: The FBI's 9/11 whistleblower and TIME's 2002 Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley, joins us for a very compelling hour, literally on her way home from her arrest at the White House Thursday while protesting war crimes and rallying in favor of the exposure of war crimes via WikiLeaks, and in support of alleged leaker PFC Bradley Manning; We also discuss her recent LA Times op-ed asserting that WikiLeaks might have helped to avert 9/11, her concerns about federal whistleblower legislation just passed by the U.S. Senate and much more...
Download MP3 or listen online below...

HOUR 2: ...Rowley (and the 17 compatriots in her van heading back to MN with her) continue with us for a few more minutes. Then we take some calls and offer some thoughts on the allegations made against Julian Assange and the deplorably inhumane captivity of Bradley Manning.
Download MP3 or listen online below...

HOUR 3: We play some clips in support of Manning from my recent interview with "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, as well as from the interview with 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern by CNN's Don Lemon, along with their official statement in response to my recent critique of that interview where they irresponsibly smeared Assange as a "terrorist" despite his having been charged with no crime nor having killed a single person. Plus more listener phone calls on all of the above...
Download MP3 or listen online below...

* * *

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JFK '61: 'Word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society'
Ellsberg '08: 'Most covert ops deserve to be disclosed by free press'
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2010 1:39pm PT  

Some 250,000 classified cables and embassy dispatches from the State Department are being released today via WikiLeaks latest, and reportedly largest, document dump ever. Within the last hour, news reports based on those documents have begun to be published by various world media outlets that are said to have been given advanced access.

[Update: Browse all of the documents now via WikiLeaks' "CableGate" database.]

Among the very first revelations to emerge, as quickly highlighted on Twitter via search hashtags #WikiLeaks and #CableGate this morning, are details on the U.S. having pleaded with Germany in 2007 to not prosecute CIA operatives who kidnapped and tortured a terror suspect, Yemeni officials covering up U.S. drone strikes in their country, Saudi officials encouraging U.S. to take attack Iran, the U.S. spying on UN diplomats, as well as various, potentially embarrassing State Department assessments of allied world leaders. There will be much more to come.

You can review more of the coverage yourself at the UK Guardian, the New York Times, German's Der Spiegel, and Israel's Haaretz among many others to emerge over the next several hours and, indeed, days. The Nation's Greg Mitchell is live blogging the release, and rounding up many of the key links.

As this information becomes public, and as the U.S. Government continues to scramble to mitigate what the White House is calling today a "reckless and dangerous" leak, condemning it "in the strongest terms" as an alleged threat to national security, it's worth keeping in mind, for valuable perspective, what the 1970s legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg wrote in an op/ed for The BRAD BLOG in early 2008...

Many, if not most, covert operations deserve to be disclosed by a free press. They are often covert not only because they are illegal but because they are wildly ill-conceived and reckless. "Sensitive" and "covert" are often synonyms for "half-assed," "idiotic," and "dangerous to national security," as well as "criminal."

As well, John F. Kennedy's April 1961 speech on what he described as this nation's abhorrence of secrecy, and the necessity of a free press --- as delivered to the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York a year or so before his death --- is rather astonishing, and more than a bit ironic, in light of today's leaks and, as directly, the actions of the Executive Branch and its enablers in this country --- in Congress, in the mainstream media and in the public --- over the past dark decade. JFK's remarks include these thoughts among others that must be heard or read...

The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
...
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
...
And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
...
No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.

Here is a five minute or so excerpt from that speech (the full 19-minute version, and complete text transcript are both posted here)...


Please read on for both a transcript of the above video excerpt, and one or two more quick, but noteworthy, thoughts on it thereafter...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/25/2010 1:26pm PT  

Happy Thanksgiving!
From all of us here at The BRAD BLOG.

Because it could be worse.

[Hat-tip for the photo to @shannynmoore and @markjholmes]

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By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2010 9:05am PT  

A video of a computer animated "debate" between a Tea Partier and a non-Tea Partier, which has gone insanely viral over the last few days, inspired me to try creating one of my own.

Here my first quick effort. Hope you'll enjoy it and will help spread the word, because while computer generated animations are great, computer generated, unverifiable e-voting ain't. Vote on a paper ballot this year (not on a touch-screen system with or without a so-called "paper trail"), if you can. Here's why...



YouTube Link:
YouTube Embed:

P.S. I've been asked how voters can make the decision to vote on paper ballots this late in the game. Many states and counties which offer touch-screen systems on Election Day also allow the voter to request a paper ballot at the polls. Others offer voters a choice when voting between "paper or plastic" (touch-screen or paper ballot). For example, in CA, every voter has the right to vote on a paper ballot, even as some jurisdictions tend to simply point voters towards the touch-screens. Check with your state and/or county before voting to find out your rights and if you're allowed to vote on paper on Election Day! The unverifiable vote you cast may otherwise be your own!

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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