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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By David Edwards on 5/24/2006 7:45am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Yesterday, The New York Daily News reported that two top CIA officials discussed Valerie plame with Cheney's former Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. If true, the CIA officials' testimony will show that Libby knew of Valerie Plame's status at the CIA at least a month prior to Robert Novak's column which first publicly exposed Valerie Plame's undercover status. The testimony of the two top CIA officials is expected to bolster the charge of perjury against Libby. Libby has previously testified that he first learned about Plame from a reporter.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann takes notice that this story had been originally reported 2 months earlier by Jason Leopold, an internet journalist writing for Truthout. On May 13th, Leopold reported that Karl Rove, like Libby, had been served with an indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice. This report has not been confirmed by other media sources, triggering a fierce debate on the internet about the accuracy Leopold's report that Rove has been served with an indictment. Truthout editor, Marc Ash, is defending the accuracy of the report.

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Experts: Odds Increase that Veep to be Called as Witness in Perjury Case Against his Former Chief of Staff
Pre-Trial Disclosures Reveal Libby 'Does Not Recall' Seeing Veep's Hand Written Notes about Valerie Plame on copy of NY Times Editorial...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2006 3:47pm PT  

New pre-trial filings by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby perjury trial related to the outting of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, seem to draw Dick Cheney still closer to the center of the scandal, MSNBC's David Schuster is now reporting.

In the newly released documents, defendant Libby denies having seen Cheney's handwritten notes on the margins of a 2003 NY Times op/ed, in which Cheney raises questions about Plame's involvement in former Ambassador Joe Wilson's fact-finding trip to Niger. In the op/ed, Wilson exposes what he didn't find on that trip --- evidence that Saddam was attempting to purchase uranium from Niger.

(See BRAD BLOG's report, as filed last week by David Edwards, with video and other details as the NY Times marginalia was disclosed.)

From Schuster's report this evening:

If the chief of his office did not see the Vice President's notes, who were they intended for?
...
Meanwhile, legal experts say the latest Libby filing could be telling for what the defense does not argue. Libby does not challenge the prosecution statement that on the day columnist Robert Novak first disclosed Valerie Wilson's identity, a quote "CIA official discussed in the defendant's presence the dangers posed by disclosure of the CIA affiliation of one of its employees as had occurred in the Novak column. This evidence directly contradicts the defense position."

RAW STORY has the text transcript and reports that Rove's legal team expects a decision on his indictment "at any time".

Here's the video, just out from MSNBC's Hardball, including the new details as reported by Schuster...


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By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2006 3:22pm PT  

High-larious. From last Saturday's SNL. Courtesy of Crooks & Liars...


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By David Edwards on 5/19/2006 10:20am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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During a Wednesday press confernce, Representative Jack Murtha (D-PA), a former marine, revealed that an ongoing military investigation will show that Marines killed innocent women and children "in cold blood". The incident happened in Haditha, Iraq on November 19, 2005.

While the Pentagon's investigation has not been completed, Murtha reported:

Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. That is what the report is going to tell.
..
There was no firefight... There were no [roadside bombs] that killed these innocent people.
..
These [Marines] are under tremendous strain, more strain than I can conceive of. And this strain has caused them to crack in situations like this.

At the time of the incident, a Marine spokesman said that 15 innocent civilians had been killed in a roadside bomb explosion and 8 insurgents were killed by U.S. Marines in a related gun battle.

Outraged locals reported a very different version of events. The Marines forcefully entered a home and murdered 15 unarmed civialians. There had been no explosion from a roadside bomb. There were no insurgents in the area. The Pentagon flatly denied the Iraqi's version of events.

We first reported on this incident on March 22, 2006 with video evidence (see our flash video or wmv video) that the Pentagon's version of events were largely a fabrication. The Haditha video evidence, shot by an Iraqi film student, showed the aftermath of the murders in Haditha. Unarmed bodies of women children were seen slain in praying positions. The walls were covered with blood and bullet holes.

A 9 year old girl survived the Haditha massacre and was able to provide an eyewitness account of the crimes. In the video at the beginning of this article (pictured at left), the 9 year old girl describes what she witnessed, "The American's came into my room where my father was praying. They went to my grandmother and killed her too. I heard an explosion. They threw a grenade under my grandfather's bed."

The Haditha video evidence was eventually obtained by Time Magazine and broadcast on Arab television. The Pentagon gave way to public pressure and opened an investigation into the killings at Haditha. We can't help but wonder how many other atrocities have been ignored or covered-up due to a lack of public evidence and public pressure?

This video contains yesterday's report from the UK's Channel 4 News. Then, in an interview on MSNBC, Rep. Jack Murtha can barely contain his frustration with Bush Administration's Iraq "policy" which he blames for creating overwhelming stress on American soldiers. The playing time is about 8 minutes.

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By David Edwards on 5/17/2006 7:33am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Hidden amongst the smoke and mirrors of Bush's plan to boost sinking poll numbers, pander to his base enact immigration reform, the media largely missed revelations that Vice President Dick Cheney has been directly implicated in the CIA leak case.

MSNBC's Countdown managed to sneak in this short report about the new details of Cheney's involvement. My apologies for not posting this video sooner but the issue is still relevant and deserves further scrutiny.

A recent court filing by Patrick Fitzgerald includes Cheney's handwritten notes on a copy of Joe Wilson's July 6, 2003 New York Times op-ed. According to Fitzgerald, the handwritten notes show "the contemporaneous reaction of the vice president". In his notes, Cheney writes talking points that are later leaked to the press and used to smear Joe Wilson.

Christy Harden Smith of Firedoglake writes,

At the time that Cheney is writing these margin notes, he has already been informed of the answers to these questions --- so the big question becomes, are these Dick's talking points --- his marching orders to Scooter and others --- as to what the Administration's push-back on Wilson ought to be? And if so, doesn't it sound awfully familiar in terms of what was said to Judy Miller, Matt Cooper, and Bob Novak, at a minimum?

I don't need to tell all of you that this is potentially HUGE.

In an interview on MSNBC, Richard Wolfe of Newsweek, went even further by leaving no doubt that Cheney's notes on Wilson's opinion article were actually "an order" directing his staff to push Cheney's loaded questions to friendly journalists...

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

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Unmistakable Signs or Irresponsible Rumor Mongering?
You be the judge...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2006 4:46pm PT  

As longtime BRAD BLOG commenter, Czaragorn asked for some red meat today, and as we've been conflicted on whether to "report" anything on this or not, we'll just toss it out there and say, oh well, Czaragorn asked for it. And we aim to please.

Surely, you've all heard the many and various rumors and speculation of late about a Karl Rove indictment being handed down from the Grandy Jury in the Valerie Plame TreasonGate case. Either that, or you've read Jason Leopold's article from Friday reporting that Rove has informed the White House he's about to be indicted. Or the follow-up story yesterday, in which he reports that it's a done deal, Rove's attorneys have been served with the indictment and that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has spent Friday and Saturday with Rove's attorneys in pursuit of some sort of plea deal.

While we can't independently confirm or deny any of Jason's specific reporting, we have received various bits and pieces of note from sources that we have more than a fair bit of confidence in, while at the same time noting a few other interesting signs and tea leaves worth pondering...at least for Cazaragorn's sake...

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

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Also: Prosecutors Considering Indictment for Bob Ney
By David Edwards on 5/9/2006 7:10am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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MSNBC's David Shuster has followed the Plame leak case as closely as any reporter working for the corporate media. Last night on MSNBC's Countdown, Shuster reported on the possible indictment of Karl Rove.

Lawyers familiar with the case say that Rove would have been notified that he was no longer a subject of the investigation if Fitzgerald were not pursuing an indictment. Fitzgerald referred to Karl Rove as "official A" in the indictment of Scooter Libby. Shuster reports that in every case where Fitzgerald has referred to a person as "official A", that person was eventually indicted...

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

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...As Ney Chief of Staff Becomes Latest GOP Player to Cop a Plea Today
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 2:38pm PT  

Over the weekend, AP reported that email from Tom DeLay's (R-TX) office to Jack Abramoff's office reveals that the indicted former-majority leader was quite aware of who was paying for his $75,000 trip to St. Andrews, Scotland to play golf in 2000.

All of which makes it likely that Bob Ney (R-OH) was similarly aware of who was paying for the lobbyist funded vacation to St. Andrews when he took a similar trip with Abramoff in 2002.

All of which makes it likely that Tom Feeney (R-FL), the third Republican Congressman to take the trip to hit the links in Scotland with Abramoff, he in 2003, was also aware of who was paying for it.

Feeney has done a fine job of flying under the radar on this matter up until now. But with DeLay now down and out, and Ney's chief-of-staff, Neil Volz, copping a guilty plea today --- making him the fourth such criminal to implicate Ney in the vast Right Wing Conspiracy --- we'd think it only a matter of time before the media start noticing Feeney's conspiratorial involvement as well.

Along those lines, a couple of notable pieces from from the Volz plea (courtesy of Paul Kiel over at Muckraker)...

[W]e learn about a new, particularly shameless perk: Abramoff helped pay for a two-night vacation of Ney's, without even bothering to funnel the money through one of his nonprofits. "In or about August 2003," the plea reads, "defendant VOLZ paid for part of a two-night trip to the Sagamore Resort at Lake George, New York, for Representative #1 and members of his staff. Defendant VOLZ assured Representative #1 that defendant VOLZ would be reimbursed for his payments by Abramoff." Apparently Ney didn't want his old chief of staff laying out the bribe - he preffered to get it from a familiar source.

That point may be useful as investigators and/or media take a closer look at Feeney and his other questionable trips, several of which are described here as part of CREW's "13 Most Corrupt" in Congress.

Secondly, Kiel reminds us about Ney's use of his pet bill, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, to help a few of his closest "friends":

We learned from prior plea agreements that Ney agreed to insert a line into the Help America Vote Act that would lift the Texas gaming ban on an Abramoff client, the Tigua tribe.

We've discussed how Ney used his authorship of HAVA and control of the House Administration Committee --- which he chaired until being forced to step down because of all of this --- in the past (almost one full year ago today, as a matter of fact).

More pointedly, however, we've reported on the roll Abramoff and Diebold played along with another former Ney chief-of-staff, David Distefano, in both passing HAVA in the first place, and ensuring it stayed intact as Diebold needed it to.

That story, in which funds were apparently funnelled through to Ney from both Diebold and Abramoff's firm Greenburg Traurig, has also been overlooked by the media in general. If they care to pick up that ball now, they can find a lot of still-uninvestigated open ends in our report right here.

Please feel free to let your media contacts know about both the Feeney issue and the Ney/HAVA/Abramoff issue, since both could use much more scrutiny by many more eyeballs.

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Red Crescent Claims 'Somebody is Behind Highly Organized Ethnic War'
By David Edwards on 5/6/2006 8:49am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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The number of Iraqis forced from their homes due to organized campaigns of ethnic cleansing has increased from 30,000 to 100,000 in the month of April.

Only a month ago, we posted a video from ABC News which reported that 30,000 Iraqi had been forced from their homes due to sectarian threats. Some have described the situation that has created thousands of Iraq refugees as an organized effort of ethnic cleansing.

Just 20 days after our initial report, the Iraqi Red Crescent estimates that over 100,000 Iraqis have become refugees in their own country. Some suggest that the number of displaced people might be much higher but the current security situation in Iraq prevents even a cursory audit of more than 1000 refugee camps.

This video combines a report from BBC with an Arab news report from Baghdad. The BBC's James Reynolds reports from one of the 'tent cities'. Reynolds is told by the Iraqi Red Crescent that "somebody is behind this war. It is highly organized."...

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

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By David Edwards on 5/5/2006 7:50am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern smackdowned of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld during an event in Atlanta yesterday. During a Q&A period, McGovern demanded answers for a few of Rumsfeld's more specious claims.

Almost certainly, you have already seen or heard highlights of this clip. This version from MSNBC's Countdown contains the full 4 minute exchange between Rumsfeld and McGovern as well various other protesters being roughly handled and removed from the venue. Richard Wolffe of Newsweek provides analysis of the political fallout for Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration.

UPDATE: Text transcript here...

FURTHER UPDATE: Brad conducted an hourlong interview McGovern on The BRAD SHOW in June of 2005 just prior to his congressional testimony on the Downing Street Memos. It was a fascinating interview, if we may say so ourselves. Audio archive [MP3] or text transcript of the interview.

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By David Edwards on 5/4/2006 9:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appeared on CNN's American Morning to announce her new book, "The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs." The new book critiques U.S. foreign policy and imperialist notions of manifest destiny. She is particularly critical of the way that George W. Bush has invoked God in the name of advancing narrow political and foreign policy goals.

In her new book, Madam Secretary Albright writes that the invasion of Iraq may be "the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history." CNN's Miles O'Brien asked Albright to explain her statement (transcript)...

M. O'BRIEN: First of all, one of the important themes of this book is your feeling about how the Iraq situation has played out. And you say this: "The invasion of Iraq and its aftermath may eventually rank among the worst foreign policy disasters in U.S. history." You don't even couch the statement. It's that bad.

ALBRIGHT: I am very troubled by it, because there are so many immediate consequences and then the unintended consequences. First of all, I never believed that there was a connection between Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. But clearly now Iraq has become a major recruiting ground for everybody who hates us. Then there is the real question about what this has done to America's authority --- our moral authority as a result of what happened in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and it has damaged us in terms of what we can do in other parts of the world.

Then I think the biggest unintended consequence is that all of a sudden, Iran is the one that has gained incredible influence in the region. And finally, it has put real question about American power. How do we use it? What are the messages that we're sending with it? So I think Iraq is a mess. That's a diplomatic term of art. And I am very worried about the intended and unintended consequences.

Madeleine Albright explains the damage caused by aligning the "Global War on Terror" or any policy with the idea that God is on America's "side". If you oppose Bush, the War in Iraq, or the way that American power is being used then you are "picking a fight with God.", Albright says. The unbridled use of religion in foreign policy narrows our supporters throughout the world and leads to continued conflict.

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Embattled Incumbent, HAVA Author, Loses 32% of Vote to No-Show Primary Opponent
'Congressional Quarterly' Says Numbers Predict Trouble
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:00pm PT  

The soon-to-be-indicted lead pusher of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) had his primary race in Ohio's 18th District tonight. While most congressmen named in four different criminal indictments and convictions would usually be toast, this is, after all, Ohio.

That said, Justin Rood over at TPM Muckraker, had this to say earlier this afternoon about the outlook for Ney tonight...

...Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is expected to win his congressional primary, being held today. His competitor, James Broadbelt Harris, is an unknown who hasn't campaigned --- he hasn't even filed with the FEC, which indicates he has raised less than $5,000, [Congressional Quarterly's] Greg Giroux tells me.

I called Giroux to get his take on the election. While he expects Ney to win, he said, he's curious about what kind of "protest vote" Republicans in the district will cast for Harris, reacting to Ney's ethical troubles.

"I'd be surprised if Harris got more than 20 or 25 percent," Giroux told me. "That would be a sign that there is a chunk of the Republican base that's disenchanted with the incumbent."

"If Ney gets in the 80s --- and he very well may --- that'd show that at least Republican voters are behind him, and they weren't willing to look at this alternative candidate," Giroux said.

100% of the results are now in from all but 1 of the 16 counties which make up Ohio's fightin' 18th. (Belmont County's results have been stuck at 25.3% for the last several hours, about which I suspect we'll hear more tomorrow. Trouble with those pricey new op-scan machines, Belmont?)

As of 2:13am ET, these are the results from the Ohio SoS website:

If Giroux is correct, it looks like Ney may be in for a tough ride this fall...If he makes it that far without ending up in the slammer.

UPDATE 5/3/06: 100% of counties now reporting in full. Ney: 68.38% Harris: 31.62%

UPDATE 5/4/06: As expected, the reasons for the delayed reporting out of Belmont was due to all manners of mess in counting votes off of their new machines. Here's a description of the mess..

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Intel Sources Confirm White House Outing of Covert Operative Damaged National Security Interests!
Report Confirms RAW STORY Scoop from Months Ago, Includes Newest Video of Valerie Plame-Wilson
By David Edwards on 5/1/2006 3:55pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Shuster attended the White House Correspondent's Dinner. He was able to get a short interview with Joe Wilson. Republican operatives have renewed their baseless claim that Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity was not classified. For her part, Valerie Plame-Wilson stood silently by as her husband rejected the well used right-wing talking point.

More importantly, David Shuster reports that sources have told him how National Security was damaged when Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity was leaked by the White House. His intel sources say that she worked with gathering intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction. The outing of her name specifically damaged our national ability to collect intelligence on Iran's nuclear capabilities.

Says Shuster...

INTELLIGENCE SOURCES SAY VALERIE WILSON WAS PART OF AN OPERATION THREE YEARS AGO TRACKING THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS MATERIAL INTO IRAN. AND THE SOURCES ALLEGE THAT WHEN MRS. WILSON'S COVER WAS BLOWN, THE ADMINISTRATION'S ABILITY TO TRACK IRAN'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS WAS DAMAGED AS WELL.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: It should be noted that RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna broke the Plame/Iran/WMD connection several months ago. They've got the text transcript of Schuster's report now up as well.

Crooks & Liars has several other noteworthy details and thoughts...

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Iraqi Officials Pledge Suicide Bombers to Stop Attack on Iran
Israeli Propaganda TV: Iranian Threat Worse Than Nazi Germany
By David Edwards on 5/1/2006 1:44pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com

Here are two recent news broadcasts from the Middle East. The first is from the city of Al-Basra in Southern Iraq and the other from Israel. Both clips are evidence that the threat of war with Iran has already become a reality for those who are living on its' battlefield.

VIDEO - Iraqi Officials Pledge Suicide Bombers to Stop Attack on Iran


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Al-Basra City is located in the southern part of Iraq. The city has a seaport that is crucial for the export of Iraq's oil. Basra's location on Iran's southern border makes the city valuable strategically for the launch of a ground attack against Iran (map).

The City Council of Al-Basra has vowed that it will "do everything in their power" to prevent U.S. forces from launching an attack on Iran from Southern Iraq. The Council said that it wanted to maintain a good relationship with neighboring countries. The Council believes that Iran has a right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

The head of Basra's City Council stressed their resolve to stop any attack by saying, "I assure you when we talked about martyring that it wasn't a slip of the tongue. Iraqis are known for their willingness to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of their principals."

Iran claims that coalition forces are already conducting operations along the southern Iraq/Iran border.

VIDEO - Israeli Propaganda TV: Iranian Threat Worse Than Nazi Germany


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The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) recently aired this segment of a new film, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West."

The film compares the threat of Radical Islam to the threat of Nazism. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.

Background music builds tension and suspense. Pictures of radical Islamists overlay film of soldiers marching in Nazi Germany. Hitler's followers cheer as he promises death to all Jews. Thousands of Iranians chant "Death to America". Writers and Historians speak with authoritative voices of dire warnings and predictions that this terrible history is repeating itself.

The film evokes feelings of helplessness along with the psychological terror of an impending nuclear Holocaust. It's emotional manipulation worthy of the most vile Bush/Cheney campaign advertisement.

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We Have a Suggestion for a Rock the Prosecutors May Wish to Look Under...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2006 7:21pm PT  

Washington Post is reporting today...

Federal prosecutors signaled this week that they have decided to pursue a wide range of allegations about dealings between Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, rather than bringing a narrowly focused bribery case against the congressman.

As long as the investigation is widening into Ney's wrongdoing with Abramoff and friends, might we suggest the prosecutors look into this part of it.

Thanks!

ReddIt this story!



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