Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Let the history books show that the Democrats, and the tiny number of Republicans, who voted NO on giving authority to George W. Bush to wage war in Iraq (and virtually everywhere else) anytime he wished, in October of 2002, were right on every score.
Those who spoke out, and were publicly tarred and feathered, labeled as unpatriotic, left-wing fringe, out of step with the country, and generally loons for having done so --- folks like Feingold, Kennedy, Durbin, Waters, Lee, Kaptur, Kucinich, Wellstone, Woolsey, Waters, Conyers, Hinchey, and perhaps, most prophetically, according to Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue's the new documentary film, Body of War, Robert Byrd of West Virginia --- are all owed a great debt of thanks by every American, particularly those who had maligned them for having the temerity to be right back then.
Last night I went to see Body of War, which opens this weekend in Los Angeles, and was struck by the simple message that an entire swath of courageous Congressional members, who had stood up, to little notice, to say the right thing, were almost entirely - to a man and a woman - branded as moonbats and traitors back in the dark days of 2002. To this day, they have never received the appropriate recognition for having resisted the systematically orchestrated lies and fear tactics of the pro-Bush crowd (which includes both Ds and Rs), nor have they received the appropriate thanks and apologies from those who were absolutely, undebatably, undeniably, 100% wrong in their horrific assessment of what will go down as perhaps the greatest policy mistake in American history.
To that same end, I would suggest that history will eventually regard the much-maligned Gold Star mother, Cindy Sheehan, as belonging side-by-side with courageous Americans before her like civil rights hero Rosa Parks. I predict that Sheehan will, one day, receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. I only hope she'll be alive to receive that honor, from that body, in person, when that day comes. And it will.
Donahue was on hand last night for a Q&A following the film, which I attended along with PDA's national chair, actress Mimi Kennedy. As I, personally, played a small part (and am seen briefly in the film) in originally helping to tell the story of disabled Iraqi vet Tomas Young, whose remarkable story is told in stark parallel to the fateful --- and often shameful --- words heard during the "so-called" Congressional debate on the resolution to allow the use of force in Iraq back in 2002, just three weeks prior to that year's election, I was delighted to be able to thank Donahue personally, for placing the entire story, finally, in correct, often maddening, often gut-wrenching, historical context.
(See bottom of this article for my audio interview with Young in August of 2005, his first for a national audience, from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, TX.)
Body of War should be seen by every American, left, right, center, and other. It should be mandatory viewing for every current and future Congressional representative. It should be shown over and over again, in an endless, Clockwork Orange-like loop, in the jail cells of those who will likely never be convicted for the unspeakable crimes they have knowingly and callously committed, at the expense of thousands of courageous dead American troops, and more than 100 thousand dead world citizens, who have all fallen victim to the cowardly and shameful actions of those entrusted to know better...
The "surge is working" surge may not be "working" for much longer, now that al-Sadr is threatening to lift, in the next 24 hours, the 7-month long Mehdi Army cease-fire which made the surge appear to be working in the first place.
Sure hope Stephanopoulos asks McCain why he doesn't wear a flag pin on tomorrow's This Week.
The latest ominous news, breaking over the past few hours out of Iraq, as culled from Cernig's round-up at Newshogger follows [emphasis Cernig's]...
As Pope Benedict XVI was met with a resplendent ceremony on the White House lawn this morning, George W. Bush noted the visit would remind Americans to "distinguish between simple right and wrong."
"We need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism," Bush said.
Is it just us? Or, given the news of late, concerning meetings in the White House to discuss what kind of torture America would officially carry out, isn't there something perversely discordant in Bush's remarks?
The Pope, who is celebrating his 81st birthday today, gave a few of his own remarks in turn (to which Bush replied "awesome speech") before being serenaded with a rousing rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", as performed by a U.S. military choir.
Is it just us? Or is there something perversely discordant in that, too?
UPDATE: As is to help shore up our point, Rush Limbaugh positively gushed (full transcript here) for most of the first hour of his show today about the performance of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the WH ceremony today...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Is this your America?
The long saught DoJ "Torture Memo" written by John Yoo, offering a defense to George W. Bush and his sadistic friends to order the torture, and even killing, of detainees, has finally been made available. Not by the DoJ to Congress as they'd long sought, but to the ACLU via a FOIA request. (Thank you, ACLU!)
Yoo's document is some 80 pages long, offering what he feels --- or what the Administration wanted him to feel --- is a reasonable legal defense for the use of torture, even where it is explicitly disallowed by international treaties to which the U.S. has signed on.
In short, that 7-page section amounts to:
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Progressive Democrats of America hosted Islamic scholar Reza Aslan, author of "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam" in Los Angeles on Sunday night at an event moderated by Bree Walker. Video of the entire conversation can be found below broken down into individual Q&A to make each part easily accessible:
The dirty little secret about the "Bush Doctrine" and how the last eight years have "opened up a Pandora's box" (6:53)
American misperceptions about the Muslim community (3:21)
Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, at the center of an alleged conspiracy to take him down --- a conspiracy with an extraordinary body of bi-partisan evidence to support it, and Karl Rove's direct involvement in it --- has finally been released from jail pending appeal.
We're on a few other beats for the moment, so for the latest, we'll refer you to RAW STORY's coverage, where Larisa Alexandrovna has done a great deal of heavy lifting on this story over the past several months.
Our own numerous stories on this woeful tale, including an occasional exclusive or two --- and some still grossly-undercovered aspects of Siegelman's story, such as the electronic election fraud he alleges was employed by state Republicans to unseat him --- can be read here.
UPDATE: Dan Abrams' coverage of Siegelman's pending release below...
(Hat-tip for the heads up to The BRAD BLOG's Alan Breslauer, with balls the size of Alabama, as seen in the photo at top-left.)
Blogged by Brad Friedman from the road...
After a week of being told how the situation has "improved" in Iraq --- with a compliant corporate media, as usual, all too willing to continue their five year service as Bush Administration propagandists at large --- "all hell broke loose" on Sunday as the 6th year of our War on Iraq commenced; at least 60 died in attacks on the Green Zone and elsewhere around the country and the 4,000th U.S. troop was killed for reasons that remain unknown.
At least 97% of those deaths occurred after George W. Bush's spectacular televised landing on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, where he proclaimed face-to-face with our troops, and on TV to the world --- while standing in front of an enormous banner reading "Mission Accomplished" --- that "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."
He was then, as he always has been, wrong. About absolutely everything.
As the 6th year of his disgraceful, criminal lie continues, we associate ourselves at this somber landmark, with blogger and Middle East expert, Juan Cole, who asks today why it has happened at all...
A roadside bomb killed 4 US troops, bringing the total dead in Iraq on the American side to 4,000. The thing I most mind about the deaths of those brave warriors is that our government has not been honest about why they died. We don't know the answer to that question. We've been lied to.
The Bush administration still has not told us why they died. It was not to protect the US from "weapons of mass destruction" (see [this earlier item]; that was a fabricated cover story). It was not to spread democracy. It may have been to nail down a major petroleum-producing country for US geostrategic goals (ensuring its resources were available to the US and could be denied if necessary to growing rivals such as China). If so, one has to ask whether the objectives (which were hidden from the American people) were the top priority for the US, or only for the petroleum industry; whether those objectives have been achieved; and whether there was another way to attain them. No such debate has ever been held. Was it in part to ensure Israeli security...? If so, that should be stated, it should be debated. Even the former head of Shin Bet did not agree that it increased Israel's security. It is not right to ask men and women under arms to die for their country without telling them exactly how they are benefiting their country. For all we know, they have died so that Bush and Cheney could throw goodies to their "base," so that Halliburton could escape bankruptcy and Hunt Oil could get new development contracts.
In the Summer of 2005, Cindy Sheehan, who gave the life of her son for reasons still unknown, was shamefully excoriated by supporters of George W. Bush for having the temerity to demand an explanation of the "noble cause" he claimed that her son Casey had died for. She never received that explanation. Nor have the American people --- not even the ones who attacked Cindy Sheehan so brutally, violently, and mercilessly on Bush's behalf.
Those willing to give their lives, and the lives of their sons and daughters, for our country deserve far better than they have received. Those willing to spend those lives, with a smirk and a "so?" --- without even the courtesy of an honest explanation as to why --- must be held accountable for these most unforgivable of crimes.
We fear such accountability will never come.
The BRAD BLOG stands by those who have fallen and with the millions who have, for so long, had the courage to ask "why?"
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Longtime BRAD BLOG readers might recall Brad Friedman's live audio interview [mp3] (and part 2) with Army Specialist Tomas Young from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, Texas, during the Summer 2005. Young was paralyzed from the chest down when he was shot in Sadr City, Iraq on April 4, 2004. Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was killed in the same city on the same day.
During The BRAD SHOW'S special "Operation Noble Cause" national radio broadcast we helped Tomas (who was there on his honeymoon!), create a "Mr. Bush, Why won't you meet with ME?" poster which was picked up by the national media. Later 60 Minutes ran a segment with Mike Wallace on "Wounds of War" featuring soldiers injured in Iraq including Young (and a quick shot of Brad interviewing him in Crawford).
And now documentarian Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue are bringing Tomas Young's story to the masses in the soon to be released documentary, "Body of War." On Friday the filmmakers appeared on Bill Moyers Journal to discuss the movie. The segment began, however, by showing about 14 minutes of excerpts from the movie which can be seen in two parts below. Note that Brad is briefly seen and heard in footage taken from his interview of Young at "Camp Casey."
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
Interview by Martha Raddatz of ABC News with Dick Cheney:
CHENEY (with smirk): So?
Q: So... You don't care what the American people think?
CHENEY: No, I think you can't be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.
Update: You must see the smirk to believe it. Video available here.
Blogged by Brad Friedman from San Francisco...
If you had any doubt, this seals it.
A more shameful display of "journalism" we don't believe we've ever seen. As our friend Susie Madrack of Suburban Guerrilla just wrote in an email, about the new low for corporate mainstream media, appallingly displayed at the link above...
THIS was why they wanted Clinton's White House schedule? This is what passes for investigative journalism at ABC News?
I don't care who you're supporting in this primary election - if we let them do this now to Hillary Clinton, it will only embolden them to do worse later. What a piece of trashy, superfluous, truly MEAN excuse for journalism.
I was an investigative journalist for 15 years, and I've NEVER been so ashamed of my former profession.
Should you wish to organize a reader action, this is the phone number for Brian Ross, head of ABC News Investigative Division. I've already left my own message - feel free to share:
212-456-7612 [ed note: Previous number was incorrect, ABC's main switchboard is: 212-456-7777.]
What she said. And then some.
Meanwhile, today marks the 5th Anniversary of the War on Iraq. How many lie dead? And for what?
Heckuva job, Mr. Ross. You, and "the ABC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE UNIT" --- as our friend the Freeway Blogger might say --- are all wearing the blue dress now.
UPDATE 3/20/08: Glenn Greenwald, as usual, has more cogent thoughts on this, as AP joins Ross and "the ABC Investigative Unit" in covering this "story". Greenwald writes aptly: "It just isn't possible for this country to have a more depraved and wretched press corps."
He goes on to write of previous Ross failures as a "reporter", as does our own Alan Breslauer in this video. And as long as we're piling on, I'll point out that while ABC was more than happy to find the journalistic value in this "story", the same unit took a pass on an exclusive interview with Sibel Edmonds for reasons that we'll let them justify. Elsewhere, the ABC News division had previously spiked a number of important stories on Election Integrity.
Wonder why this country is in the mess that we're in? Look no further than our Corporate Mainstream Media. The links and stories above tell you all you need to know. It all begins and ends with them. Period. They have abused both the public trust and their First Amendment obligations to this country.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Amy Goodman's introduction to Democracy Now's coverage of "Winter Soldier":
JON MICHAEL TURNER: 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines.
He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq.
Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate." A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."
The mistake threatened to undermine McCain's argument that his decades of foreign policy experience make him the natural choice to lead a country at war with terrorists. In recent days, McCain has repeatedly said his intimate knowledge of foreign policy make him the best equipped to answer a phone ringing in the White House late at night.
But then again, it's not actually about experience or knowledge, as you know, it's about the image of having any...
And so it goes...
UPDATE: Think Progress has more, including audio of McCain making the same misstatement on right-wing Hugh Hewitt's radio show earlier. So it wasn't an accidental "gaffe". It was a fundamental misunderstanding --- by the man regarded by the mainstream corporate media as having the most foreign policy expertise among all of the major American Presidential candidates --- of a key issue at the very heart of one ongoing war in Iraq, and at the very heart of a possible second one in Iran.
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