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By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2008 12:28pm PT  

Scott McClellan has previously said he'd be "happy" to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. Looks like he's about to get his chance. On June 20th. Unlike Karl Rove, who said he'd similarly be happy to tell his story (on the Siegelman affair) to Congress, we suspect McClellan will actually keep his word.

This just in from Conyers' office...

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2008

Conyers Invites McClellan to Testify June 20th

(Washington, DC)- Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) invited former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to testify before the Committee at a June 20th hearing about reported efforts to cover up the role of the White House in the Valerie Plame leak as described in his recent book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception.

I have extended an invitation to Mr. McClellan to testify before the Judiciary Committee after discussions between Committee staff and his attorneys, said Conyers. In his book, Mr. McClellan suggests that senior WhiteHouse officials may have obstructed justice and engaged in a cover-up regarding the Valerie Plame leak. This alleged activity could well extend beyond the scope of the offenses for which Scooter Libby has been convicted and deserves further attention. A copy of Chairman Conyers' letter is attached.

##110-JUD-060908##

The letter referred to above is just a single paragraph invitation, and largely restates the above.

UPDATE: McClellan accepts invitation. Public Record has details...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2008 9:00pm PT  

O'Reilly uses every bully-boy, tough-guy, strong-arm tactic in his thuggish satchel. McClellan didn't blink. To his credit, he's standing by his book. All. of. it. In fact, the deer-in-the-headlights glaze he had for years at the WH press podium seems now to be entirely gone. We're impressed.

Here's O'Reilly's complete, three-segment, testosterone-amped, failed attempt to take down McClellan on tonight's O'Reilly Factor...




BTW, some on the supposedly-Progressive side --- such as the folks at MoveOn and other friends of ours --- have condemned McClellan for not speaking up sooner and for "profiting from lying to the public" during his time at the White House. While we understand that general impulse, we think the knee-jerk reaction may be a mistake. McClellan himself said last Sunday on Meet The Press that he hopes others will step forward to do as he did. So do we.

He's taken a huge hit from "his own" side by coming out as he has in a rather extraordinary and unprecedented way. His realizations, late in coming or otherwise, seem to be quite legit, heartfelt and rather courageous. It seems to us we should be more interested in making those who might do the same feel safe to do so, rather than kick them from all sides. Just our .02.

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Former Ambassador Not Sure Whether Congress Will 'Be Able To Get To Karl' But Praises Conyers For 'Keeping The Pressure On Rove'
Says 'These Guys Have Operated with Absolute Impunity, Disregard for American Law'...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/29/2008 11:36am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Last Thursday Keith Olbermann began an excellent conversation with George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley on the Karl Rove subpoena matter by stating, "Joe Wilson's dream of watching Karl Rove frog marched out of the White House in handcuffs is long since gone. But a new dream has been born tonight. What about a Turdblossom perp walk out of the front door of Fix News."


Later that night The BRAD BLOG asked Ambassador Joe Wilson to comment on Olbermann's statement and the Karl Rove subpoena.

As seen in the video at right, the freshly shorn former Ambassador responds to the news and our question at a small gathering where he was speaking in Los Angeles. He said he was unsure whether or not Congress will be able to "get to" Rove, though he was certainly behind the effort.

"Whether they will actually be able to get to Karl I don't know," Wilson told us. "But it's great to keep the pressure on him. It forces him back on defense." He then added: "It's amazing to me the extent to which these guys have operated with absolute impunity, absolute disregard for American law and American jurisprudence."

Following below is the entire 40 minutes or so of Wilson's talk to the small gathering last week in Los Angeles, covering all aspects of his ordeal with the Bush administration...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:04am PT  

[Ed Note: Had to break the list up over four different postings, since the blog software would not allow an item even half the size of the entire list. --- BF]

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from A to D]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:03am PT  

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from E to K]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:02am PT  

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from L to R]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:01am PT  

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from S to Z]...

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

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ALSO: DoJ Office of Professional Responsibility Opens Investigation into 'Selective Prosecution' of Siegelman 'and Othersm,' According to Announcement from John Conyers
Download the Documents: Full Subpoena, Atty Letters, Announcement of Investigation from DoJ OPR...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2008 12:04pm PT  

Just sent to The BRAD BLOG by John Conyers' office...

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2008

Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove

(Washington, DC)-Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), issued a subpoena to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for testimony about the politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman's case. Yesterday, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, sent a letter to the Committee expressing that Rove would not agree to testify voluntarily, per the Committee's previous requests.

"It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests," Conyers said.

"Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters."

Separately, Chairman Conyers recently received a letter from DOJ's Office of Professional Responibility (OPR) indicating that the office has opened an investigation into allegations of selective prosecution of Siegelman and others.

Included below and attached are the relevant documents:

  • Full text of the cover letter sent to Robert Luskin, Karl Rove's attorney (attached and below); [Download here]
  • Full text of the subpoena (attached); [Download here]
  • Full text of the letter received yesterday from Luskin, declining to provide voluntary testimony (attached); [Download here]
  • Letter from OPR regarding new investigation into selective prosecution allegations (attached). [Download here]

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

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Including 6 1/2 Minutes Previously Edited Out for Time...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2008 8:35am PT  

It's the first actually intelligent, respectful discussion/debate on the Iraq War I ever recall seeing on television, certainly with an administration official. And it had to happen on a fake news show. About 6 years later than it should have.

Here's the complete uncut version of Jon Stewart's Monday night Daily Show interview with Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. Part 1 is 8 mins, Part 2 (uncut) is just over 11 mins. If you saw it on air, you missed a good 6 1/2 minutes or so which were edited out for time from Part 2...


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Huge Crowds March In Support Of Immigrants, Workers Rights And Against The Iraq Occupation...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/2/2008 8:09am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


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By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2008 9:17pm PT  

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...

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

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Mehdi Army Commander: 'They will see black days like they have never seen before in their life'
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2008 7:02pm PT  

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]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 9:10am PT  

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...

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

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Says Bush Ran 'Premeditated, Carefully Orchestrated Torture Program'
Constitutional Attorney Jonathon Turley Tells MSNBC Congress Refuses To Investigate Because They 'Do Not Want to Deal With That Fact'
By Alan Breslauer on 4/3/2008 6:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Jonathan Turley: It really is amazing because Congress, including the Democrats, have avoided any type of investigation into torture because they do not want to deal with the fact that the President ordered war crimes. But evidence keeps on coming out - the only thing we don’t have is a group picture with a detainee attached to electrical wires. I mean every time we see more evidence we have more and more high ranking people at the scene of this crime. And what you get from this is that this was a premeditated and carefully orchestrated torture program. Not torture, but a torture program.


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By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2008 2:11pm PT  

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.

Paul Kiel at TPMMuckraker, who offers his own summary on all of this, has posted one of the more remarkable sections here.

In short, that 7-page section amounts to:

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

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