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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, June 30, 2015
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CBS/AP jumps in with good coverage, McClatchy not so much
And other odds and ends of note...
By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2008 12:31pm PT  

Yesterday, "Mediabloodhound" Brad Jacobson (an occasional guest contributor to The BRAD BLOG) covered the coverage, noting the curious lack thereof, in the corporate mainstream, of the death of Mike Connell, the longtime top Bush/Rove/McCain IT consultant.

Jacobson's piece concludes:

Connell was allegedly a linchpin in the biggest maze of White House scandal this country's ever seen, yet the national news media is a no-show.

What caused Connell's crash is only one piece of this story. One that, as in many such stories, may or may never be confirmed. Pilot error? Aircraft malfunction? Weather conditions? Foul play? Suicide? Heart attack? A thorough investigation needs to take place. Part of what the media should be doing is making sure that happens.

But everything that has already been confirmed, having nothing to do with the crash, should also have the national media covering this with at least as much gusto as "BlaggoGate" or, say, Britney's comeback or Brangelina's pre-nup. So far, though, in a replay of journalistic fecklessness rife during the Bush years, mum's the word.

Shortly following the publication of Jacobson's piece, AP/CBS filed a rather detailed report, one which is actually quite thorough by MSM standards.

Nonetheless, it's still been fairly quiet in the bulk of the MSM, especially in the broadcast MSM, and especially given the high-ranks of Connell, who had been the chief IT consultant for Karl Rove, had received millions creating websites for the Bushes, McCain, the Swiftboaters, the state of OH and dozens of other GOP campaigns, as well as having created the network firewalls for top Congressional committees (for which his company reportedly received a sweetheart, no-bid contract) and the controversial alternate email server used by the White House and at the center of the US Attorney purge scandal.

Let's hope the AP/CBS report will now spur more MSM coverage...just in time to be lost in the XMas news hole, of course.

A few more odds and ends of note today on this matter, as we head into that news hole...

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

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Weather appears clear; 'Ear-witnesses' heard on tape describing sounds leading to crash
UPDATE: Audio interview with OH attorney who recently deposed Connell, asked for his protection from AG, in election fraud case...
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2008 10:34am PT  

I'm not sure what, if any, light this video --- as shot by local eye and ear-witnesses in Akron, OH --- sheds on the plane crash and death of high-ranking GOP IT operative Mike Connell. But, as it may reveal something, to somebody, in the still-unexplained, and surprisingly-timed crash, I suppose it may useful to put it on the record here.

For example, despite scattered reports that bad weather may have contributed to the cause of the crash, the weather seems to have been clear, at least on the ground, at least by the time the witnesses arrived, as seen in the video. Reports of "mist" seem to be belied in the early part of the video, shot through the front window of the car which does not appear to have its windshield wipers on. [UPDATE: RAW STORY also reports weather data during the hour of the crash, noting visibility was clear, and temperatures just above freezing.] Also, several descriptions of what was heard by the "ear-witnesses" as the crash occurred, may be of value as well.

The video, and an audio interview with OH attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who had sought Connell's protection after reported threats from Karl Rove, follow below...

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

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Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the growing federal election conspiracy case tells The BRAD BLOG that the loss of a key witness will not deter his pursuit of justice
U.S. Dept. of Justice ignored months-long effort to protect GOP 'IT guru' following reported threats from Karl Rove...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2008 1:52pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

The lead attorney in the widening 2004 federal election fraud conspiracy case which began in Ohio --- but is rapidly growing to other states and other elections --- says that the stunning death of a key witness last Friday is a blow to the case, but not the end of it by a long shot.

"Michael Connell was a critically important witness. His loss hurts our case," Cliff Arnebeck, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the King-Lincoln Bronzeville v. OH Sec. of State lawsuit, told The BRAD BLOG in an email responding to questions about Connell's death. The Republican 'IT guru,' a top IT consultant to Karl Rove, George W. Bush, John McCain, and a bevy of congressional Republicans, had been in the nation's capital on still-unknown business before his single engine plane crashed Friday night on the way home, just three miles short of the runway in Akron, Ohio. The cause of the crash remains similarly unknown as of today.

"We will have to adjust," Arnebeck told us in response to queries about where the case may necessarily need to go from here. "The kind of organized criminal enterprise we are addressing requires the resources of the very best that the investigative press corps and law enforcement, at all levels, can muster."

As posted on the New York Times website in full on Saturday, the last line of a press release from VelvetRevolution.us, who has retained Arnebeck as counsel in the case, reads "Our prior request to have Mr. Connell protected went unheeded and now he is dead." [DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

However, despite Connell's elite status as a top-rung Republican consultant for years --- he reportedly received some $800,000 from the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004 alone --- the NYTimes, the nation's paper of record, has yet to run anything else on the death of the man who, Arnebeck notes, he had intended to both further depose, as well as call to testify as a key trial witness in the federal conspiracy case. Coverage from the UK's Telegraph, however, is published here.

Connell had been compelled by the federal district judge in the case, on the Friday prior to last month's Presidential Election, to give a deposition to plaintiff attorneys on the Monday before the general election. The order for that deposition came after the OH attorneys had sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, seeking protection for Connell and his wife. While Connell had expressed a willingness to testify about what he knew concerning the '04 election, and the election website network he had created for Ohio's then-Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, he had become reticent after Rove had sent threats to Connell and his wife, according to tipsters...

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

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Said Recently Threatened by Karl Rove, Had Been Key Witness in OH '04 Election Fraud Case
Built Alternate WH Email System, Websites for Bush, McCain, Swiftboaters, '04 OH Election, More...
By Emily Levy on 12/19/2008 11:27pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy of Velvet Revolution
[Additional material added on 12/20/08 by Brad Friedman]

The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the private plane of the GOP's highly-placed "IT guru" Mike Connell's went down in Lake Township, Ohio on Friday evening. Connell was killed in the crash and is reported to have been the only person on board. There are no reports of anyone on the ground being hurt, though his plane crashed in a residential neighborhood.

Connell is a familiar name to readers of The BRAD BLOG as a key witness in the King-Lincoln v. Blackwell lawsuit regarding fraud in the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio. That recently revived, long-standing lawsuit led to Connell's recent deposition on November 3, 2008, the day before this year's general election. According to plaintiff's lead attorney Cliff Arnebeck in July, a tipster had warned that Connell had been threatened by Karl Rove, as The BRAD BLOG reported at the time, in an attempt to intimidate him into "taking the fall" for Ohio election fraud not long after a motion was filed to lift the stay in that case.

Connell had been memorably described as a "high IQ Forrest Gump", by the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Ohio fraud case, for his apparent penchant at the scene of "every single crime" from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 to the network firewall on a number of key Congressional committees to the case of the missing White House emails. (Video and text transcript of the interview with the attorneys here.)

In late September, the federal judge in the Ohio case agreed to lift the stay, and in late October he compelled Connell to give a deposition to plaintiff attorneys on the Monday before the Tuesday general election.

Connell had been served with a subpoena to appear in the federal courtroom in Ohio at the same College Park, MD airport where his single engine plane reportedly took off from last night, on his final solo flight...

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

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Constitutional Law Professor Charges Citizenry With Responsibility for Bringing Accountability...
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2008 5:06pm PT  

As Jon Ponder noted here on Tuesday, a bi-partisan U.S. Senate panel has found [PDF] that George W. Bush was responsible for approving War Crimes (torture and abuse) at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Dick Cheney admitted in a recent interview to helping to approve War Crimes (torture and abuse) in interrogations, and the corporate media --- with the lone exception of MSNBC --- have been virtually as silent on what may be the most offensive crimes ever committed by an Executive Branch in the U.S. as they were during the lead-up to and follow-through on the War on Iraq, when those same officials sent our nation into war on the basis of demonstrable lies.


George Washington University's highly-respected constitutional law professor Jonathon Turley, noting the War Crimes now known and admitted to by Bush and Cheney, asked Keith Olbermann Tuesday night, "If someone commits a crime and everyone's around to see it and does nothing, is it still a crime?"

(Please watch the video at right, or read the text transcript at the end of this article.)

During the discussion, Turley mentioned --- no less than three different times --- that it'll be up to the citizens whether or not any action is actually taken to prosecute those who committed these crimes.

But is there any real basis --- in 2008 --- for his well-meaning argument? Not bloody likely...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2008 1:01pm PT  

Journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi, the new hero in Iraq, much of the Muslim world, and even among many in this country, is facing less than friendly treatment from the Iraqi military and, according to some news reports, the U.S. forces overseeing his custody...

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents, his brother told AFP on Tuesday.

Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother Muntazer had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during Sunday's protest against Bush's visit to Baghdad or while in custody later.

He said he had been told that his brother was being held by Iraqi forces in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in central Baghdad where the US embassy and most government offices are housed.

"He has got a broken arm and ribs, and cuts to his eye and arm," said Durgham.

And yes, as we noted in our coverage on Sunday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino did, in fact, receive both a literal and symbolic black eye during the melee following the shoe toss. In what would be dismissed as ridiculous heavy-handed Hollywood symbolism, had it been featured in a movie, Perino actually received a black-eye when she was hit during the fracas, in the eye, with a microphone...

More photos here...

In other shoe-throwing news, you can now throw virtual shoes at Bush in a number of online games, or you can send him some actual shoes via a new online campaign promising to give Bush the boot. They all sound like good ideas to us!

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Now Cheney Has Admitted Approving Torture...
And Yet the 'Liberal' Media Yawn...
By Jon Ponder on 12/16/2008 12:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

The myth of the "liberal media" has become such an article of faith these days that attempting to refute it is futile. But if evidence against liberal bias were being collected, on top of the pile would go the scant coverage the liberal media are giving two stories about the approval of torture and prisoner abuse by the conservatives currently holding the offices of president and vice president of the United States.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan U.S. Senate committee put the blame for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison squarely at the top of the chain of command. Here's Andrew Sullivan:

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

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Staged Legacy Visit 'Marred' by Actual Event, Expression of Truth
UPDATED: WH Spokesliar Perino Said to Receive Literal, Symbolic Blackeye...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2008 12:23pm PT  

Unlike the previous video, this one is real, as the line between satire and Bush's 'Presidency' grows increasingly impossible to discern in his waning days, and as his final visit to Iraq becomes as embarrassing as his first (when he delivered a fake turkey to the troops).

From NYTimes:

BAGHDAD — President Bush flew to Iraq on Sunday, his fourth and final trip, to highlight the recently completed security agreement between the United States and the country that occupied the bulk of his presidency and will to a large extent define his legacy.

But his appearance at a news conference here was interrupted by a man, apparently a journalist, who leaped to his feet and threw one shoe at the president, who ducked and narrowly missed being struck. Chaos ensued. He threw a second shoe, which also narrowly missed Mr. Bush. The man was roughly 12 feet from the lecturn in the center of two rows of chairs, about two feet from a pool of reporters. A scrum of security agents descended on the man and wrestled him, first to the floor and then out of the ornate room where the news conference was taking place.

TV news coverage has noted that throwing shoes is one of the culture's greatest insults. So is calling someone a "dog." Unlike hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by Bush's attacks over the last 5 years, however, he was able to survive this one with his life, and even make a joke about it...

The president was uninjured and brushed off the incident. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” he said jokingly. An Iraqi accompanying the pool of reporters, colleague said the man had shouted, “This is a farewell kiss, dog.”

UPDATE: The video of both shoes dropping follows below. Also, MSNBC reports that WH Spokesliar Dana Perino may have ended up with a black eye. Both a literal, and an unbelievably symbolic one at the same time...

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

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UPDATE: BRAD BLOG Credited for Original Findings in Academic Study...
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2008 1:13pm PT  

[Ed Note: Be sure to see the second of two UPDATES added to the bottom of the story below for Prof. Scott Althaus email sent in to note that his University of Illinois report does indeed cite The BRAD BLOG, several times, for our original contribution to their findings.]

Today's "news" that the White House altered Iraq War documents on its website regarding "the coalition of the willing" is not actually news at all.

The BRAD BLOG broke that story --- the first such scoop of ours to be noticed and picked up by the national media --- back in 2004, prior to the Presidential Election. At the time, the noise we helped cause with the revelations led to the WH being forced to restore terrabytes of documents, audio and video to their website in the week prior to the election. You're welcome.

We initially made the discovery of the missing WH website documents on the night of the Vice-Presidential Debate, after Dick Cheney claimed to be offended by John Edwards' assertion that the U.S. had "taken 90 percent of coalition casualties" in Iraq.

Cheney faked indignation in response, arguing that it was "beyond the pale" that Edwards was ignoring the sacrifices of Iraqis. Not recalling that Iraq was ever named as part of the "Coalition of the Willing," we checked the WH website, only to find the link to the list still there, but the page itself missing. Afterwards, we found many other pages, as well as audio and video, had been illegally removed from the website.

Here's our Special Coverage page, indexing our series of reports on the "White House Website Scrubbing" scandal, beginning in October of 2004.

We're very happy, in any case, that it's now "officially" news, and that the violation of the federal Presidential Records Act that we noted at the time is also confirmed, now that a professor at a university has found the same, and written about it. Guess we'll have to find a professorship somewhere. Haven't gotten to read his original report yet, but I'll assume he offered us the hat-tip we're due. :-)

UPDATE: The above benefit-of-the-doubt, concerning credit where its due, may not be a safe assumption. The rather irony-laden coverage of professor of political science and communication Scott Althaus' findings, as reported by the Daily Illini today, follows. Get a load of this...

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

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Campagin to Rehabilitate Bush's Image Starts with New Take on Bush's Role in Decision to Invade Iraq...
By Jon Ponder on 12/5/2008 5:19am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.


On Tuesday, Stephen Hayes, a conservative columnist and analyst for CNN, revealed that George Bush and Karl Rove have launched a new propaganda campaign with the monumental goal of rewriting the history of the past eight years. The newspeak title of the enterprise is the "Bush legacy project."

The campaign rolled out this week, first in an "exit interview" Bush gave Charlie Gibson of ABC News and then in an Oxford-style debate in Manhattan in which Rove argued against the proposition that "Bush 43 Is the Worst President of the Last 50 Years." In the separate venues, both men attempted to reposition Bush's role in the invasion of Iraq from resolute war president, as he depicted himself at the time, to a reluctant warrior who was misled by bad intelligence into making what many analysts rate as the worst military decision in U.S. history.

The BRAD BLOG commented previously on the newly retreaded myth of "bad" pre-war intel, and how it's now being used to prop up both Bush's and the mainstream corporate media's tragic legacy of failure which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and innocent Iraqi civilians.

Bush was up first, on Monday night, with the interview with ABC's Gibson, but notice how Bush whiffs on the revisionist script when he is supposed to second-guess the decision to invade:

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

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UPDATE: NY Times Adds Unique Twist in Censoring Genocidal Numbers
By Brad Jacobson on 12/2/2008 6:33pm PT  

Guest blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound

From the aftermath of the 2003 "shock and awe" bombing campaign all the way through Thanksgiving Day 2008, major US news outlets have nearly uniformly blacked out or downplayed reports of the Iraqi death toll. But a recent Associated Press article reveals the depths to which these outlets are still willing to delve to censor this information.

In the November 27 article "Iraqi Parliament OKs US Troops for 3 More Years," by Christopher Torchia and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP editors approved the following characterization of Iraqi deaths suffered since the US invasion:

The war has claimed more than 4,200 American lives and killed a far greater, untold number of Iraqis, consumed huge reserves of money and resources and eroded the global stature of the United States, even among its closest allies.

How's that for a statistically rigorous accounting? With the exactitude of a third-grader's book report cribbed from a novel's dust jacket copy, the AP --- America's #1 wire news service --- blankets US news outlets with a quantification of Iraqi casualties that would've made Stalin proud.

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

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Repeating Misreported Facts on Pre-War Intel Gets Both of Them Off the Hook...
By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2008 10:35am PT  

In truth, the worst of it isn't Rightwing Radio and other such outlets which we expect to be GOP shills. Far more insidious --- as we discussed recently on the Gregory Mantell Show --- is the lazy, enabling, complicit, rightwing slant of actual news outlets, such as AP, WaPo, NYTimes, etc., which are generally believed by the public to be credible, down the middle, unbiased, and legitimate. They aren't. As proven time and again over the last eight years. And they're still at it, even in the waning days of Bush. They're now helping him to prop up a phony legacy as phony as the last eight years of the phony illusions of "success" they helped him invent in the first place.

Greg Sargent elucidates the latest round of corporate mainstream media misreporting which, conveniently, helps both Bush and --- perhaps more to the point --- themselves by justifying their own failure to report the story of the unnecessary War on Iraq accurately, as they did, straight from the jump...

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

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Response to Fake Paper from Disturbed Times Employee: Priceless...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2008 3:05pm PT  

The response from the guy who works at the real NYTimes alone --- after he claims "we've been all over the Bush administration since day one, we set the standard for coverage of the Iraq War" before the reporter mentions the name "Judith Miller" --- makes this a must-see video (appx. 2 minutes)...


Thank you to those who dare to dream, even if such dreams are little more than saying out loud what we all know to be possible. Even that much, incredibly, in 2008, seems to have become the impossible for so many, in a country which once saw nothing as impossible.

More on the special (fake) edition of the NYTimes here. Hat-tip "Floridiot" in BRAD BLOG comments.

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Contentious Hearing Today Results in Order For Republican 'High-Tech Forrest Gump' to Testify Under Oath on Monday
Appearance to Answer Questions on 2004 Election Scheduled Just 24 Hours Prior to Election 2008...
By Steve Heller on 10/31/2008 6:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Steve Heller of VelvetRevolution.us

The Republican IT guru, recently described as a "high tech Forrest Gump" for his proclivity to be "at the scene" of so many troubling elections since 2000, and even at the heart of the "lost" White House email scandal, has been ordered by a federal judge to appear for an under-oath deposition next Monday in Ohio.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Mike Connell, the Republican IT guru whose company, GovTech Solutions, created Ohio's 2004 election results computer network, appeared in federal court today, as compelled, and has been ordered to appear for his deposition on Monday, November 3, just 24 hours before Election Day 2008.

Today's court order came after a contentious hearing, at which Connell was present. The hearing was part of a long-standing voting rights violations lawsuit, King Lincoln v. Blackwell, as previously covered by The BRAD BLOG and by Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force here and here.

Though Connell's attorneys have fought to quash the subpoena, recently issued after the judge lifted a stay on the case several weeks ago, it looks like his options to avoid testimony, or at least jail for avoiding it, may have come to an end. The attorneys in the case have said that Connell's testimony may well lead to the subpoenaing and under-oath questioning of Karl Rove, who, they say, would be unable to use Executive Privilege as an excuse to avoid such a subpoena in a civil RICO case...

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

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Hopelessly Corrupt Rep Goes On to Compare the Community Organization to the KKK!...
By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2008 1:07pm PT  

Well, isn't this rich? Tom Feeney --- yes, that Tom Feeney, the one who is alleged to have commissioned vote-rigging software for touch-screen voting machines in 2000, as testified to by former Republican software programmer Clint Curtis in a sworn affidavit, sworn testimony to congress, and a successful polygraph test --- went on Fox "News" this week to decry unsubstantiated charges of "voter fraud" by the low-income voter registration community organization ACORN.

(And if you're done laughing...)

Feeney --- the man who, as Speaker of the FL House in 2000, also promised to award all of the state's electoral votes to George W. Bush no matter what the ballots and Supreme Court had to say about it --- then went on to compare ACORN to the KKK...

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

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