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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, August 30, 2015
10 Years Later - Crawford and Katrina: 'BradCast' 8/28/15
Personal remembrances and audio from our on-air, on-the-ground 2005 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war uprising at the Bush 'ranch' in TX as Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore...
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Mysterious whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China crash; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
Previous GNRs: 8/20/15 - 8/18/15 - Archives...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fox 'News' now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules to cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins create intersex fish...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/15 - 8/13/15 - Archives...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?: 'BradCast' 8/19/15
Investigative journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed the disturbing precedent that led to the completion and opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
'Green News Report' 8/18/15
Shell gets go-ahead to drill Arctic, Obama to visit to Arctic; July 2015 hottest on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing; PLUS: Oregon kids sue govt over global warming...
Demise of the Death Penalty and Rise of The Donald's GOP; 'BradCast' 8/17/15
With Diann Rust-Tierney of National Coaltion to Abolish Death Penalty; Plus: 'Godzilla El Nino!' & more!...
Sunday Toons: Money Changes Everything
Another great collection this week from 'PDiddie'! On money in politics, poison in the river, Rick Perry in trouble and much more...
Happy 80th Social Security! And What's China Up To?: BradCast 8/14/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler interviews Eric Kingson on Social Security and more and Dave Johnson on China's currency manipulation...
VERDICTS IN: On ME Guv; CO Cakes; CT Death Penalty, ID 'Ag-Gag' & TX Photo ID: 'BradCast' 8/13/2015
Analyzing several recent, important rulings along with BRAD BLOG's Ernest A. Canning...
'Green News Report' 8/13/15
Half of US Forest Service budget now fighting wildfires; Australia's climate targets denounced; New Zealand ditches coal; PLUS: Free solar for African schools...
Walker, Bush Lies and Bernie's Rise: 'BradCast' 8/12/15
The Nation's John Nichols on new Walker revelations and Black Lives Matter makes Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
'The Kids Who Die'
The words of Langston Hughes, spoken in a new video, capture the essence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please take less than three minutes to watch...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


More evidence they may be preparing an appeal strategy to call for a 'do-over' in MN's U.S. Senate Election
UPDATE: 'Swiftboat' Ben Ginsberg declares trial a 'legal quagmire'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2009 11:27am PT  

[Updated at end of article.]

While God may have chosen him, if not the voters of Minnesota, evidence is growing that former Sen. Norm Coleman may be preparing for a "do-over" gambit. We'd offered speculation on this front a week or two ago, and yesterday, following another slog of a day at the U.S. Senate Election Contest court in St. Paul, the Republican's top legal spokes, Ben Ginsberg, described the election as "fatally-flawed" in his post-trial presser. The freshly floated phrase has re-ignited speculation about Coleman's longer-term legal strategy...

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

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Republican National Lawyers Association Says Goodbye to Any Credibility They May Have Once Had...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2009 6:05am PT  

If the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) ever had any actual legitimacy, self-respect, or credibility as a professional organization --- and I think they used to have all three --- they have now, officially, thrown any last pretense of any of that down the drain, and have come out of the closet as hard-right, conspiracy theory-based, propagandist loons.

On the day that presumptive Senator-elect Al Franken (D) won a huge victory during former Senator Norm Coleman's (R) election contest in Minnesota, the RNLA issued an hysterical email with the subject line: "Al Franken Loses Legal Battle, He Is Very Desperate."

See below for the embarrassing email that the once-respectable-now-whack-job RNLA sent out via their equally looney-toons "media arm" partners at HumanEvents.com this past week, in hopes of raising funds to "Stop Al Franken From Stealing The Election"...

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

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Slams attorney in accompanying letter, refuses request for further delay...
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2009 9:45am PT  

U.S. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) has subpoenaed Karl Rove today, yet again (the third time, for those keeping score at home), to give sworn, public testimony before the committee on February 23rd concerning the politicization of the U.S. Dept. of Justice during the Bush Administration.

Today's subpoena was sent to Rove's attorney Robert D. Luskin. It's accompanied by a brief, two-page letter [PDF] in which the Congressman politely refuses a request by the attorney to delay Rove's appearance, yet again. The previous subpoena required Rove's appearance on Feb. 2nd, but was delayed at his request and rescheduled for the 23rd at that time.

Following the previous subpoena, Rove told Fox "News" that he would refuse to testify, and committee member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) responded on MSNBC by saying that he would either testify, or go to jail.

At the end of today's letter, refusing Luskin's request for further delay, Conyers, rather amusingly, notes:

[G]iven Mr. Rove's public statements that he does not intend to comply with the subpoena, I am puzzled as to why Mr. Rove needs a mutually convenient date to fail to appear.

RAW STORY's John Byrne reports that request for comment from Luskin was responded to with an auto-reply email stating that Luskin would "be out of the office and unable to check emails or voicemails until February 23, 2009."

UPDATE 2/14/09: "White House counsel Gregory Craig issued a statement late Friday encouraging former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove to cut a deal with Congress, an indication the new administration has begun to put pressure on President George W. Bush's former chief adviser." More details...

UPDATE 2/16/09: "Representatives of the Bush White House are no longer advising former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove that he is protected by executive privilege as regards testimony about the alleged political prosecution of an Alabama governor.

"In an exchange with Raw Story, Rove’s Washington, D.C. attorney, Robert Luskin, also said Rove won’t invoke his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination, if and when he testifies about the firing of nine US Attorneys and the prosecution of the former governor." More details...

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Experts: Unpublished finding may impede grand jury probe into Abramoff-ties by corrupt former FL lawmaker, alleged vote-rigging conspirator, and other members of Congress
ALSO: Feeney now being represented by Karl Rove's(!) attorney...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2009 11:16am PT  

From Washington Post:

A federal appeals court has dealt a blow to the investigation of a former congressman in a ruling that could also limit probes of other lawmakers, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The order, which has not been made public, came during the grand jury investigation of former representative Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) and his potential ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the sources said. The appellate judges who issued the ruling did not say when they would release an opinion explaining their decision, which reversed a lower court order favorable to prosecutors seeking documents and grand jury testimony, the sources said.

Even without knowing the details of the ruling, sources and legal experts said it is important because it is the second time in two years that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has sided with Congress in its fight with the Justice Department over what protections lawmakers are granted under the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause. The clause is designed to shield lawmakers' official work from executive branch interference and has been increasingly cited by members of Congress under federal investigation.

The corrupt Feeney, as regular readers of The BRAD BLOG likely know, is currently under federal investigation due to his association with jailed Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In 2003 Feeney went on a junket with Abramoff to play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland. He would later claim he had no idea that the trip was illegally paid for by lobbyists.

For more details on the appellate court ruling --- or rather, hints, given what little is available on it for the moment --- please see WaPo's coverage today to hunt for clues.

One other very interesting point we hadn't noticed previously...

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

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Scott Horton says paper conflated Dubya's program of kidnap, long-term foreign imprisonment and torture with older, less-nefarious anti-terror tool...
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2009 11:41am PT  

From Scott Horton at Harper's...

In a breathless piece of reporting in the Sunday Los Angeles Times, we are told that Barack Obama “left intact” a “controversial counter-terrorism tool” called renditions. Moreover, the Times states, quoting unnamed “current and former U.S. intelligence figures,” Obama may actually be planning to expand the program. The report notes the existence of a European Parliament report condemning the practice, but states “the Obama Administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush Administration’s war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.”

The Los Angeles Times just got punked.

Horton --- who testified as an expert witness for the European Parliament report mentioned --- says the paper conflated the controversial Bush program, which often included torture and long-term abduction into secret CIA-run prisons in foreign countries, and a significantly less nefarious type of rendition, in use since the early 90's, and perhaps even during the Reagan era.

He explains the difference between the pre-Dubya "renditions program", which an Executive Order from Obama has not ended, versus Dubya's "extraordinary renditions program" which Obama has outlawed (despite media reports over the last several days to the contrary), thusly...

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

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In Memoriam (Again): Pat Tillman, 1976 - 2004...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2009 2:51pm PT  

Pat Tillman's mother Mary said in 2005, about the Bush Administration's unforgivable cover-up, exploitation of her son's death by "friendly-fire" in Afghanistan before the 2004 Presidential Election...

"Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did," Mary Tillman said in her first lengthy interview since her son's death. "The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."

And, as she reminded us again last spring:

I would like someone to be held accountable. I’d like for them to discover and try to discover who was involved with this cover-up. It’s a horrible thing that they did. And I think that if people don’t see that, it’s very sad, because it means that we have been numbed to all the lies and deceptions that we’ve been faced with during these last eight years.

Marcy Wheeler has much more, in memory of the man who shoulda been there today...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2009 2:46pm PT  

The previous media excuse, during the last administration, for so many more Rs than Ds on television news, was that Republicans were in power of both the White House and Congress. Of course, now that Democrats control both, well, as ThinkProgress detailed last week the more things change...


As Media Matters has documented, during the Bush administration, the media consistently allowed conservatives to dominate their shows, booking them as guests far more often than progressives. The rationale was that Republicans were “in power.”

It appears that old habits die hard. Even though President Obama and his team are in control of the executive branch and Democrats are in the majority in Congress, the cable networks are still turning more often to Republicans and allowing them to set the agenda on major issues, most recently on the debate over the economic recovery package.
...
The media have been aiding their efforts. In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that the five cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC — have hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio this week:
...
In total, from 6 AM on Monday to 4 PM on Wednesday, the networks have hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 24 times.

All of that said, and with so much more irrefutable, hard data-be-damned to go with it, I've found, when out and about in the world, the "Myth of the Liberal Media" remains, to this day, among the most enduring of all unshakable, faith-based religious tenets of the Hopelessly Wingnutted Dead-Enders.

UPDATE: In related news, Eric Boehlert notices how "Right on cue, the White House press awakens from its Bush slumber," just in time for another Democrat in the Oval Office. Who could have predicted it?

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Senior Democratic House Judiciary member confident rule of law will be followed by Dept. of Justice under President Obama
NEWSWEEK: Before leaving office, Bush counsel ordered Rove, others, not to testify to Congress, arguing 'absolute immunity' from compelled testimony...
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2009 12:33pm PT  

A senior Democratic Congressman on the U.S. House Judiciary has said that either Karl Rove will testify before the committee, or he will go to jail. In the meantime, it has also now been learned, legal counsel for George W. Bush issued a letter just days before leaving the White House, claiming Rove, Bush, and other senior staffers have "absolute immunity" from testifying to Congress in the future.

Speaking on MSNBC, Judiciary member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said last night that if Rove fails to show, in answer to a subpoena issued earlier this week, he'll be cited for Contempt of Congress. Then, he said, "the grand jury indicts him, you arrest him for contempt, and you put him in jail until he is prepared to testify to obey the subpoena." (More details, as well as video of the Nadler interview, follow below.)

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

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Two Segments, Four Guests, All Republicans...
By Brad Jacobson on 1/29/2009 3:03pm PT  

Guest blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound

If you're Chris Matthews and you're attempting to regain a reputation for being "fair and balanced" after famously exhibiting excitement about Barack Obama and his presidential campaign, what do you do? How about facilitating a discussion about Obama's proposed stimulus plan with two lawmakers from the same party, the Republican Party?

That's precisely what Matthews did during a segment on his January 27 edition of Hardball, inviting only Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) and Representative Mike Pence, the House Republican Conference Chair, to discuss the plan.


Not enough?...

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

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Rove on Conyers: 'He's Captain Ahab and I'm the whale'
O'Reilly: 'If you need a place to hide, we have it here at The Factor'
By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2009 2:23pm PT  

Last night, on Bill "Paul Revere" O'Reilly's show on Fox "News," Karl Rove said he planned to refuse to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee next Monday, as required by the new Congressional subpoena he was served on Monday.

Mr. "Revere" noted, at the end of the interview, that he offered Rove the opportunity to not discuss the issue on the program. "I told Mr. Rove, 'Look, if you don't want to talk about this tonight, you don't have to,'" the hard-nosed, fair and objective, no-spin "newsman" said.

Offering further to further aide and abet Rove in dodging the rule of law and a Congressional subpoena, the courageous O'Reilly told Rove, "If you need a place to hide out, we have it here at the Factor." Impressive stuff. Video via RAW STORY...

UPDATE 1/30/09: House Judiciary's Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says Rove will either testify or go to jail. (Also, hearing date postponed to Feb. 23rd) Video, details...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2009 10:57pm PT  

Darn those Bush-hating liberals at that Bush-hating liberal New York Times, as John Byrne explains at RAW STORY...

Karl Rove has been subpoenaed for a second time --- the first sign that Democrats under President Barack Obama's tenure will boldly go after Bush Administration officials in scandals that outlast his presidency.

You probably wouldn't have known it, though, had you read Tuesday's New York Times. The Times ran the story with a four sentence Associated Press brief on page 19 of the national edition and page 23 in New York City.
...
The Times' four sentence brief ran after the stories in the National Briefing, "California: Union Local Seeks a Vote," "California: Second Set of Octuplets Born," "Tennessee: Plea Deal in Nuclear Case" and "Guilty Plea in Iran Exporting Case."

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'Change has come to Washington. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk.'
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2009 3:09pm PT  

Well, now, this could get interesting. Just in from Conyers' office...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove: "It's Time to Talk"

(Washington, D.C.) --- Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. issued a subpoena to Karl Rove requiring him to testify regarding his role in the Bush Administration's politicization of the Department of Justice, including the US Attorney firings and the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The subpoena was issued pursuant to authority granted in H.R. 5 (111th Congress), and calls for Mr. Rove to appear at deposition on Monday, February 2, 2009. Mr. Rove has previously refused to appear in response to a Judiciary Committee subpoena, claiming that even former presidential advisers cannot be compelled to testify before Congress. That "absolute immunity" position was supported by then-President Bush, but it has been rejected by U.S. District Judge John Bates and President Obama has previously dismissed the claim as "completely misguided."

"I have said many times that I will carry this investigation forward to its conclusion, whether in Congress or in court, and today's action is an important step along the way," said Mr. Conyers. Noting that the change in administration may impact the legal arguments available to Mr. Rove in this long-running dispute, Mr. Conyers added "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk."

A copy of the subpoena is attached.

Here's the subpoena [PDF]...

UPDATE 1/27/09: Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, attempts to put the ball in Obama's court. As we noted originally, this is gonna get very interesting...

UPDATE 1/28/09: The 'liberal' New York Times hate Bush and Rove so much they found this item notable enough to...bury on page 23. Details...

UPDATE 1/29/09: Rove tells Bill O'Reilly he won't answer the subpoena. Video, details...

UPDATE 1/30/09: House Judiciary's Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says Rove will either testify or go to jail. (Also, hearing date postponed to Feb. 23rd) Video, details...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2009 2:11pm PT  

Looks like it'll be back to Wingnut Welfare and Fox "News" (same thing) for the constantly-wrong "mainstream" propagandist Bill Kristol, whose column in the New York Times today, ends with a singular ed note: "This is William Kristol’s last column."

Well, what took ya so long NYTimes?! Kristol's laughable presence ends just over a year after it ignominiously began, and not a moment too soon.

As coincidence would have it, I had 90% of a column written on Kristol's penultimate column last week (when we didn't know it was his penultimate), which I eventually abandoned, for no particularly good reason, after getting distracted by some other story at the time.

So, for history's sake --- and a farewell gift --- my previously unpublished smack-down of the Times' now-formerly embarrassing nattering nabob follows...

Perhaps it's always been like this. Perhaps the misapprehension has been mine that op-ed writers offered opinion and editorial, as opposed to out-and-out propaganda. But just in case I'm right, and op-eds ought to represent independent, if often strongly opinionated position which may be more aligned with one party or political ideology than another, I'll just have to ask again: why the hell is disgraced Bush-administration mouthpiece, hack, apologist, Bill Kristol still allowed a weekly slot to sully the already-far-too-sullied pages of "the paper of record"?...

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

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Says international law, convention obligates Obama government to begin criminal investigation or extradite to country that would prosecute
Congressional Democrats indicate willingness to proceed with investigations...
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2009 5:30pm PT  

From Scott Horton at Harper's...

In an interview on Tuesday evening with the German television program “Frontal 21,” on channel ZDF Professor Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Rapporteur responsible for torture, stated that with George W. Bush’s head of state immunity now terminated, the new government of Barack Obama was obligated by international law to commence a criminal investigation into Bush’s torture practices.

“The evidence is sitting on the table,” he stated. “There is no avoiding the fact that this was torture.” He pointed to the U.S. undertakings under the Convention Against Torture in which the country committed that it would criminally prosecute anyone who tortured, or extradite the person to a state that would prosecute him. “The government of the United States is required to take all necessary steps to bring George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld before a court,” Nowak said.
...
Law professor Dietmar Herz clarifies that under U.S. and international law, George W. Bush bears personal responsibility for the introduction of torture. From the point of his departure from office, head of state immunity terminates, and under clear principles of international law, the United States is obligated to commence a criminal investigation and then a prosecution.

In related news, top Congressional Democrats, including Senators Reid, Levin and Whitehouse, as well as Representatives Pelosi, Hoyer and Conyers have all indicated recently, in various forms, interest in investigations and/or accountability for various Bush crimes, which, reports Jason Leopold at Public Record, amounts to a growing consensus among Dems to approve a probe into torture allegations, and perhaps more.

UPDATE 1/26/09: In an interview with CNN, Nowak said he believes there is already enough evidence to prosecute fomer SecDef Don Rumsfeld:

"We have clear evidence," he said. "In our report that we sent to the United Nations, we made it clear that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld clearly authorized torture methods and he was told at that time by Alberto Mora, the legal council of the Navy, 'Mr. Secretary, what you are actual ordering here amounts to torture.' So, there we have the clear evidence that Mr. Rumsfeld knew what he was doing but, nevertheless, he ordered torture."

RAW STORY has the video of the CNN interview with Nowak...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2009 4:35pm PT  

Tea leaves?...

President Obama announced the nomination on Thursday of a former government lawyer, who had been critical of the legal rationale for the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, to lead the Justice Department’s national security division.

The lawyer, David Kris, served as a senior Justice Department official in both the Clinton and Bush administrations from 2000 to 2003, and is widely respected in Washington for his knowledge of intelligence law.
...
In late 2005, following the public disclosure of the N.S.A. wiretapping program approved by President Bush, Mr. Kris wrote a 23-page legal analysis that described as “weak’’ and likely unsupportable some of the Bush administration’s key legal arguments in justifying the program.

And when he was still at the Justice Department, he advised his boss, who was at the time Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, not to sign a mysterious batch of wiretapping warrants — which grew out of the program — because intelligence officials would not reveal how the information in the wiretaps was obtained.

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