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Had Vowed To Fight On, Even If Indicted; Now Says He's Quitting For The Good Of His Family
Flip-Flopper?? ... In the meantime, with DeLay and Ney gone, Tom Feeney is the only remaining congressman to have accompanied Jack Abramoff to Scotland!
By Winter Patriot on 8/7/2006 9:57am PT  



Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to ABC News and AP: Bob Ney Won't Seek Re-Election

COLUMBUS, Ohio Aug 7, 2006 (AP)— U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, dogged by an influence peddling probe in Washington, will not seek re-election, state Sen. Joy Padgett said early Monday.

AP writer Joe Danborn has some other details, including:

The six-term congressman from Heath in central Ohio had insisted he would not resign even if indicted over his dealings with now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In his first primary test in a decade, Ney won 68 percent of the vote May 2 against a little-known opponent.

However, he faced a tough challenge in November from Democrat Zack Space, who had made the Justice Department's investigation into Ney a focus of his campaign.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has more, including some quotes from an exclusive interview with Ney: Ney drops out of fall race

Ney has not been charged with a crime, and he insists he did nothing wrong. But his former chief of staff, Neil Volz, who left to join Abramoff's team, pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to use gifts and trips to influence Ney's official activities. Volz said he and other Abramoff associates provided Ney and members of his staff with free or reduced-price trips to England, Scotland and the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

Who went on that trip to Scotland? Let's see ...

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

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It's Nothing Less Than Treason If It's True...
... and by all accounts it appears to be true!
By Winter Patriot on 8/4/2006 2:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

USA Today has the "latest":
U.S. commander expresses fear about possible civil war in Iraq

The top U.S. military commander in the Middle East told Congress on Thursday that "Iraq could move toward civil war" if the raging sectarian violence in Baghdad is not stopped.

Much as I hate to disagree with the top U.S. military commander in the Middle East, I have to question this assertion. Waddaya mean: "move toward civil war"? How many civilians have to get blown to bloody smithereens every day to qualify this mess as a civil war? How many death squads have to roam the country simultaneously before we can all just can the sleazy rhetoric and admit that the Iraqi Civil War is here now?

And as the Washington Post reported recently, some of our guys are starting to get the impression that they are simply 'Waiting to Get Blown Up'.

The commanders in Baghdad and the Pentagon are "looking at the big picture all the time, but for us, we don't see no big picture, it's just always another bomb out here," said Spec. Joshua Steffey, 24, of Asheville, N.C. The company's commanding officer, Capt. Douglas A. DiCenzo of Plymouth, N.H., and his gunner, Spec. Robert E. Blair of Ocala, Fla., were killed by a roadside bomb in May.

Steffey said he wished "somebody would explain to us, 'Hey, this is what we're working for.' " With a stream of expletives, he said he could not care less "if Iraq's free" or "if they're a democracy."
...
"My personal opinion, I don't speak for the rest of anybody, I just speak for me personally, I think civil war is going to happen regardless," Steffey responded. "Maybe this country needs it: One side has to win. Be it Sunni, be it Shiite, one side has to win. It's apparent, these people have made it obvious they can't live in unity."

Did you ever wonder why they can't live in unity now even though they could live in relative peace before the Americans came to destroy their country?

Did you ever wonder why American soldiers in Iraq are considering the possibility that maybe the country "needs" a civil war?...

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

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Report cites 'Treaty Violations', 'Hubris', and 'Willful Disregard For International And Domestic Law' ... and even at that, it just scratches the surface!
WAKE UP, AMERICA! Your shame is world-wide.
By Winter Patriot on 8/4/2006 6:01am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

From Larisa Alexandrovna of RAW STORY:

UN report a 'moral indictment' of US

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has released its final report after a series of hearings in Geneva last week, which RAW STORY has learned amounts to a moral indictment of US treaty violations, as well as what some attendees and delegates described as US hubris, willful disregard for international and domestic law, and contempt for the Committee itself.

Anybody surprised? I didn't think so.

I can't quote the whole article but I can encourage you to read it!

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The Great Religions Have All Been Betrayed ... Welcome To 'The Time Of Ignorance'
By Chris Floyd on 7/28/2006 8:00am PT  

Guest blogged by Chris Floyd

A slightly expanded version of the column appearing in the July 28th edition of The Moscow Times, as posted at Empire Burlesque.

The history of almost every religion is a tragedy of betrayal: the betrayal of the radical, egalitarian vision of its founders by generations of powerful elites, who twist and pervert the original principles in order to augment their own status, wealth and dominion. It has always been thus, but is nowhere more marked than among the "People of the Book" – Christians, Muslims and Jews – whose elites have for centuries steadily led their followers away from the sparks of light that shone in their beginnings, dragging them deeper into darkness, into error, until today the world finds itself mired in a new Jahiliyyah: "the time of ignorance."

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

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Case Links Ney and Abramoff, a Tribe, a Casino, Millions of Dollars and a Transparent Lie!
So ... What's Wrong With This Picture??? Hold out BOTH hands, Mr. Ney!! Book 'em, Danno!
By Winter Patriot on 7/26/2006 10:33pm PT  



Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

We've been reading some very interesting news today from John Stanton at Roll Call.

Justice Department investigators have begun a review of Senate Rules and Administration Committee records relating to negotiations over the Help America Vote Act, involving then-Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and former House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio), as they wrap up their investigation into Ney's connections to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Senate sources said Tuesday.

Senate aides familiar with the review said Justice officials indicated the inquiry was not focused on Dodd, who now serves as the committee's ranking member, and the type of information investigators were seeking - while not specific enough to indicate they were looking for a smoking gun - appear to point directly at Ney.

The full text is available to Roll Call subscribers only, but we have a few more excerpts after the fold.

Regular BRAD BLOG readers will have have seen this coming a long time ago.

So here's a big hat tip to Brad for being way-ahead-of-the-curve on this...

and now back to our story:

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

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Innocent Travelers Deliberately Snagged in Terror Net
Chris Floyd has the details, courtesy of Denver's 7NEWS and Buzzflash
By Winter Patriot on 7/24/2006 11:12am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Not for nothing is Chris Floyd one of my favorite journalists. He's one of my favorite bloggers too.

Why? Because he cares so much, because he writes so well, because he pays such close attention. And because he never fails to mention things like this:

Marshals: Innocent People Placed On 'Watch List' To Meet Quota

Want to know why the government shouldn't have overweening, unrestrained, unchallengeable "unitary executive power" to act as it pleases, even in the name of "national security?" Here's why – because such powers are always, always, always going to be abused, in ways large and small. This is an absolute, unalterable given of human nature, like the requirement for oxygen or the need for food: unchecked power will be abused, and innocent people will suffer. Only a cast-iron, gold-plated, copper-bottomed fool would think otherwise. Unfortunately, such specimens are swinging from the rafters in every branch of the government these days.

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

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By Joy Williams on 7/18/2006 6:17am PT  

An Exclusive Interview for The BRAD BLOG as Guest Blogged by Joy and Tom Williams...

"The Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, has been using old-fashioned, Jim Crow, apartheid-type maneuvers to steal the last two national elections."
-- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Recently, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., (bio) , wrote the article: "Was the 2004 Election Stolen" where he examined the election fraud in Ohio that took place during the last Presidential Election. He also has written a book "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush & His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking our Democracy". Mr. Kennedy, along with Mike Papantonio have filed a "qui tam" lawsuit against some of the voting machines companies, in an effort to save our Democracy.

I've long had a deep respect for Robert F. Kennedy for his dedicated work as an environmental advocate. Tom and I enjoyed interviewing him and were moved by his passion and dedication to our country and our Democracy. We spoke to him via phone at his office at Pace University's Environmental Litigation Clinic in White Plains, New York, which he founded, about the election of 2004. This was an experience to remember...

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

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HAVA Author, Abramoff Buddy, Diebold's Best Friend in Congress, Apparently in Dieb Dieb Doo Doo...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2006 7:38pm PT  

Just one of the many recent, yet notable, items I was unable to cover over the past week...

On Thursday, Roll Call reported that all three of the major staffers for Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), the lead author/co-sponsor of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), are running for the hills.

The departures are described as "the latest sign that Ney’s legal and ethical troubles stemming from the Jack Abramoff scandal are growing worse with each passing day."

Josh Marshall covered the exits of his "troika" --- his Chief of Staff, Legislative Director and Communications Director --- all scramming on the same day.

We first referred to Ney as "the soon-to-be-indicted" back in January when we published our exposé connecting the dots between Ney, Abramoff, Diebold, HAVA and Ney's even-more-former chief of staff, David DiStefano, who became Diebold's main congressional lobbyist. That exposé has been wholly ignored by the mainstream media ever since. (Except for Matt Taibbi who referenced the info, but without attribution, in an April Rolling Stone piece on Abramoff.)

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By David Edwards on 6/6/2006 11:44am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

In Iraq, the month of May saw the largest number of Iraqi civilian deaths since the war began 3 years ago. The Baghdad morgue reported over 1400 dead in May. Over 400 of the dead Iraqis could not be identified. Some journalists, like veteran reporter Robert Fisk, claim that the officials are under-reporting the actual number of deaths. In addition, many more bodies can never be counted because explosions and road side bombs often leave little evidence of human remains.

What's clear is that the violence in Iraq is increasing at a pivotal time for the fledgling Iraqi government. Even the shell-shocked Iraqis are stunned by the new level of violence. For example, over a two day period, 18 severed heads wrapped in plastic have been discovered. The likely cause are the escalating sectarian revenge killings.

In this video, an Iraqi woman cries,

Where is the government?

Where is Bush who occupied our country?

Why did they kill us?

ADDENDUM FROM BRAD: Good timing for David Edward's post here. I was about to do one of my own, pointing out this report that 6,000 Iraqi corpses have been discovered in the last 5 months. Given Iraq's population of appx. 25 million, compared with the US's population of 300 million. The equivalent of 6000 deaths in Iraq over the past five months would be some 72,000 in America. If we had 72,000 murders via "sectarian violence" in America in just five months, would that be considered a civil war? Or would we criticize the media for not reporting all the "good news" in our country?

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By David Edwards on 6/1/2006 9:14am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
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Earlier this week, during the trial of David Safavian, photos were released from one of the Abramoff-sponsored golf trips to Scotland. David Safavian is charged with lying to investigators about his relationship with Jack Abramoff.

The photos show Abramoff with some of his "Champions", a term he used to describe people in government who could provide information and assistance to Abramoff's clients. Champions were showered with gifts and trips like the golf trip seen in the released photos.

In the group photo above, Abramoff's Champions are shown prior to boarding the Gulf Stream jet. Neil Volz, pictured on the far left, was chief of staff to Bob Ney. He is considered a star witness for the prosecution. Standing next to Volz is Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition. Congressman Bob Ney is 4th from the left. He is the short guy wearing the grey shirt. Jack Abramoff is on the far right.

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown. David Shuster explains the story behind the photos and the lengths to which Abramoff would go to provide favors for his Champions. Shuster also has an update on the status of the Safavian trial.

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Haditha is 'as bad or worse than My Lai' Massacre in Vietnam
By David Edwards on 5/30/2006 11:37am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
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Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha appeared on CNN America Morning where he expressed outraged at the military's handling of the massacre of innocent Iraqis by Marines in Haditha, Iraq. It's been over 6 months since the incident occurred, yet the investigation is still not complete. The Pentagon refused to drop their cover story until Time Magazine published an article in February of this year. If it were not for that article, the military would have never publicly recognized the atrocities in Haditha.

Murtha said that, even now, the Military was trying to spin the report by telling the press that the incident happened during a combat situation. According to Murtha:

I think is just as bad if not worse than the My Lai massacre [during the Vietnam conflict]. In My Lai... they were out in the field and they killed civilians and they used the excuse that they looked like they were enemy. Here [in Haditha], there were no shots fired. There was no enemy action at all. A taxi drives up, they kill everybody in the taxi and then they go into the homes and pull the people out.

The stories keep getting worse and worse. Then they try to cover it up by saying they were killed by an IED to confuse the message. They're still trying to confuse the message.
...
Today, I was talking to Charlie Johnson, ABC News, and he says "the military says this, the military says that." Look, this happened 6 months ago, this happened Nov. 19th. They knew the day after what had happened. They keep spinning it to make it look like it was something that happened during [combat] action.

CNN's Pentagon official ass-kisser correspondent reviewed the timeline of events originally compiled by Time Magazine. After a roadside bomb killed one soldier, the Marines killed four teenagers in a taxi. The taxi driver was also killed. In the first house, Marines killed 7 people, including women and children. In the next house, 8 were killed, including 6 women. The third house was spared. In the fourth house, however, 4 were killed.

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Exclusive Audio Passages from 'Chasing Ghosts' as Read by the Author, Paul Rieckhoff
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2006 1:08pm PT  

Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA, formerly OpTruth) sends The BRAD BLOG a few exclusive passages, as read by the author, from his new book Chasing Ghosts --- documenting his extraordinary experiences in Iraq.

Paul was kind enough to send to us a copy of the book recently which we hope to be able to read in full some time this summer, if the gods ever lend us a few quiet hours.

The title of the first chapter alone, however --- "George Bush Had Better Be Fucking Right" --- should highly recommend this book to anyone.

Here's Paul reading a few passages from the book, which we're honored to run on Memorial Day, as just part of our thanks to those American troops fighting on our behalf...whether many of them like it or not. We particularly appreciate those like Reickhoff, and all of the tremendous folks at IAVA, who have had the courage to speak out about where this Administration and this Congress is letting them down and where they are abysmally failing to adequately support our troops.

Our thanks to Paul for all of the above. Please enjoy the audio clip, and please consider buying the book. The Chasting Ghosts website is right here...

-- Audio in MP3 Format...

ADDENDUM... Rieckhoff recently appeared as a guest on Steven Colbert's show, just days after Colbert's infamous appearance at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. He talked about the book, and otherwise held up under Colbert's "nailing" as well as I've ever seen anybody. Check out the video of Rieckhoff's appearance on Colbert if you didn't catch it when it aired.

UPDATE: Broken links in this item now corrected. Sorry about that!

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Karen Meredith Remembers Her Son, Kenneth Michael Ballard, KIA in Iraq on May 30, 2004...
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2006 10:58am PT  

We first met Karen Meredith in Crawford, Texas last Summer where she was one of many Gold Star family members standing with Cindy Sheehan who'd also lost her only son in Iraq. We interviewed Karen live [mp3] from Camp Casey on The BRAD SHOW about her son, Kenneth Michael Ballard, and her courageous stand against this war. We continue to both wear and cherish the duplicate dog tag of Ken's that she gave us while we were there, and think of both of them often.

On September 9, 2005, nearly a year and a half after she learned of the death of Ken in Najaf, the Army informed her that her son's death was an accident. They had known for a year, but failed to tell her. We blogged about that here.

What follows, is a letter Karen shared with us, as written to mark the occasion of yet another Memorial Day spent without her son. We're pleased to share it with you on yet another Memorial Day as our troops continue to fight and die by the thousands in this continuing, senseless war...

An Open Letter to Members of Congress and the Senate

On Memorial Day, we raise our flags; we want to show our patriotism. We have a holiday from work and we have BBQ's with our friends and families. For some, it is a day to save some money at the mall- 15% off- Memorial Day sale! When we celebrate those events, we ignore the origins of Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the day that we, as a country pay our respects and remember those soldiers who were killed or who died in service to America. For politicians it is a day to participate in civic activities and to visit cemeteries. Politicians articulate our sorrow as a nation.

I want to tell you about one soldier that will be remembered this Memorial Day. 1Lt Kenneth Michael Ballard of Mountain View, California was 26 years old when he was killed in a fierce battle in Najaf, Iraq on 5.30.04. His gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery is plain. That headstone in Section 60, Site 8006 tells when he was born and when he died. It describes his valor and heroism with his medals, his 3 Bronze Stars, 2 with valor and his Purple Heart.

But you need to know more than that about Ken. You need to know this because you sent my only child to his untimely death. You are keeping our members of the military in harm's way in Iraq and you have the power to bring them home and to stop this senseless killing...

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

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Jesse Dyen's Camp Casey Tune, Released as a Beautiful Video...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2006 9:00pm PT  

One of our favorite tunes to come out of Camp Casey in Crawford, TX last summer was Jesse Dyen's "Sons & Daughters". We interviewed Jesse [MP3], who sang it for us live on air when we were there for our special "Project Noble Cause" broadcasts of The BRAD SHOW. The moment Jesse began singing, a mighty wind blew through the big tent, perhaps on the leading edge of Katrina, on one of our last days there, on August 29, 2005. As ever, the mighty denizens of Camp Casey swung into action during the live broadcast with trashcan lids and cardboard and bodies to protect Jesse, and the live microphone, from the sudden gust during his song. Yet another memorable moment.

Anyway...Jesse recently let us know about a video of the song that's just been released on the Internet, using footage taken at Camp Casey by videographer Chun Pan.

We never tire of the song and, of course, the footage brought back memories for us. Memorial Day Weekend seems an apropos time to share the link with you. Please give it a look, a listen, and enjoy...

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By David Edwards on 5/25/2006 7:26am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The Special Prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA officer, Valerie Plame-Wilson, has indicated in a court filing that Vice President Cheney is likely to be a witness in the Libby trial.

The New York Times quotes Fitzgerald writing, "Contrary to defendant's assertion, the government has not represented that it does not intend to call the vice president as a witness at trial." (see: Muckraker). Cheney's testimony is expected to reflect the state of mind in the Office of the Vice President during the organized attack on Joe Wilson's credibility and the outing of Plame-Wilson. The testimony will likely show that Libby had motive to leak selective information to reporters to smear Wilson and bolster the Administration's justification for war on Iraq.

Fingering Cheney as a possible witness may lead to questions about a conspiracy secret illegal scheme planned and executed within the Vice President's office.

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