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Senate GOP Twists Law to Gut Decades-Old Regs (Forever): 'BradCast' 4/20/18
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...and many more otherworldly reminders of the importance of elections...
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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?...

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Prosecutor Suggests Strong Evidence that VP Oversaw Libby's Cover Up of Outing of CIA Operative Plame-Wilson
Covert Status Confirmed (Yet Again)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2007 5:28pm PT  

Dan Froomkin in Washington Post [emphasis ours]:

Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has made it clearer than ever that he was hot on the trail of a coordinated campaign to out CIA agent Valerie Plame until that line of investigation was cut off by the repeated lies from Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
...
[W]hen his motives have been attacked during court proceedings, Fitzgerald has occasionally shown flashes of anger --- and has hinted that he and his investigative team suspected more malfeasance at higher levels of government than they were able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Friday's eminently readable court filing, Fitzgerald quotes the Libby defense calling his prosecution "unwarranted, unjust, and motivated by politics." In responding to that charge, the special counsel evidently felt obliged to put Libby's crime in context. And that context is Dick Cheney.

Froomkin's eminently readable report goes on to cover admissions (yet again) from Fitzgerald which demonstrate that Plame was indeed covert when she was outed --- for the first time in the history of the country --- by our own Government, much less members of the Executive Branch possibly as high as the Vice-President or even higher.

MSNBC reports on the new covert status confirmation (yet again) for Plame, describing a newly declassified employment record released by the CIA, which (yet again) underscores the point:

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD [Counterproliferation Division], Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias --- but always using cover --- whether official or non-official (NOC) --- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."

We look forward to the outpouring of corrections and retractions from disgraced GOP attorney/disinfo expert, Victoria Toensing, and her many ass clown supporters in the rightwing blogosphere who reported otherwise --- in no uncertain terms --- for years on end. Those apologies will be coming in any second, no doubt, since the wingnuts are always so very good when it comes to their appreciation of journalistic ethics and the like.

Froomkin's WaPo report focuses on Cheney's involvement in leaking the name of the covert CIA asset, quoting from Fitzgerald's recent court filing: "The evidence at trial further established that when the investigation began, Mr. Libby kept the Vice President apprised of his shifting accounts of how he claimed to have learned about Ms. Wilson's CIA employment."

And this: "[T]here was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President."

He quotes much more on what Fitz had to say in his filing which drew a bead most directly, for the first time, onto the man who still calls himself Vice President of the United States and concludes the point with this:

I suspect that people looking back on this story will see it with greater clarity: As a blatant --- and thus far successful --- cover-up for the vice president.

Give it a read for all of that, as well as the amusing argument the defense is now making about why the letters of support for Libby that they've had sent to the Judge, requesting leniency, should not be released to the public (Hint: It's those nasty bloggers again!)

UPDATE: Plame's former CIA classmate Larry Johnson, an ex-spook himself, takes a well-deserved victory lap which begins: "Victoria Toensing, Cliff May, Byron York and the other rightwing apologists who have long insisted that Valerie Plame Wilson was not undercover have some 'splaining' to do." Uh, yeah. But don't hold your breath, Larry.




Republican Commentators Misstate Chronology, Facts
Corporate Mainstream Media All Too Happy to Offer the Platform for Demonstrable Untruths...
By Margie Burns on 3/12/2007 10:55am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

After sitting in on the Libby trial every other day and posting about it on BRAD BLOG, I had intended not to write further about the matter barring new developments. Unfortunately, the rightwing spin machine has launched a new campaign of misstatements that sound intentional.

So much for respecting authority, upholding the law, and appreciating honest hard work: now that a conscientious jury has rendered a verdict of guilty on four of five counts of perjury and obstructing justice for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the GOP noise machine is vilifying the prosecution and smarmily denying any wrongdoing, any at all, in the CIA leak.

So much for conservatism.

Well, bad sports are bad sports, anywhere on the political spectrum. Still, the brazen willingness of commentators subsidized by Rupert Murdoch or the Bradley Foundation to falsify every significant fact in the Libby matter, usually without having sat even one day in court for the trial, is pretty much typical of their work ethic and intellectual rigor.

Sunday morning’s talk shows were representative. George F. Will and Torie Clarke on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos downplayed the CIA leak matter by saying the whole thing “all arose from one column” (Will), a column not very important at that (Clarke).

The right wing is trying hard to keep this one alive. But trial evidence and testimony have revealed that the attempt to “leak” – actually, plant – Mrs. Wilson's name with the media began BEFORE Wilson’s column was published.

Wonder why GOP supporters of George W. Bush find that so uninteresting....

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




An Eyewitness 'Selective Memory' Postmortem...
By Margie Burns on 3/7/2007 8:35am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

“Postmortem” isn’t really the right term here, since Libby’s defense team promptly announced that it will file motions for a new trial and, if those are denied, will appeal the verdict. Also, nobody died. At least in the trial itself.

But I do want to wind up with one final post on the Libby trial before going on to other matters including Sibel Edmonds. Instead of going to my notes and the documentation, this time I’ll stick with that much-abused and exploited faculty of memory invoked in the trial. (BTW, memory is always selective. That’s why we have the word “memory,” to distinguish that which we can remember from that which we cannot.)...

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




Two Counts of Perjury, One Each of Obstruction of Justice, Giving False Statements to the FBI
NOW UPDATED - WITH DETAILS FROM THE COURTHOUSE FROM BRAD BLOG LIBBY TRIAL CORRESPONDENT MARGIE BURNS...
By Desi Doyen on 3/6/2007 10:49am PT  


"The results are actually sad," he added. "It's sad that we had a situation where a high level official person who worked in the office of the vice president obstructed justice and lied under oath. We wish that it had not happened, but it did."
-- Patrick Fitzgerald, Special Prosecutor

UPDATES FROM BRAD:

In meetings, on deadlines, and following several items at once is BRAD BLOG Libby Trial correspondent Margie Burns, with whom we've been in contact from the courthouse. She's now back at her home office, and we'll have details from her soon.

For the moment, we'll point to coverage from the two outlets that bothered to investigate and report on this story while the MSM was completely ignoring it:
+ RAW STORY's coverage...
+ Huffington Posts's coverage...
+ Libby Trial bloggers (firedoglake, etc.) react, Wilson/Plame statement...

We'll also point you to Burns's earlier piece this morning concerning questions worth asking, which are even more relevant, in our opinion, now that Libby has been found guilty. What exactly were Cheney and Bush and their aides told about the CIA findings that the Iraq/Niger uranium yellowcake story was bogus way back in 2002? Burns examines here...

FURTHER UPDATE 12:42pm PT:
FROM BRAD BLOG LIBBY TRIAL CORRESPONDENT MARGIE BURNS

Margie sends in the following based on her observations and notes from this morning, as the verdict was read and beyond...

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




Were Cheney, Bush and Their Top Aides Briefed on the Reports Revealing the Niger/Uranium/Iraq Deal Was Bogus?
What the Records from the CIA Briefing Books Might Show...
By Margie Burns on 3/6/2007 9:35am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

Testimony in the Libby trial from CIA briefer Craig Schmall, who had the unenviable task of getting up in the wee small hours to brief Vice President Cheney and Lewis "Scooter" Libby from Summer 2002 through the end of May 2004, establishes that the tables of contents of the CIA briefing binders for that period “still exist.”

As Schmall states clearly on the record, when he sent the briefing binders to shredder and burn bag, he kept the topic headings – where, not stated. But somewhere in the Executive, at this moment, rest stacks of Tables of Contents with at least a short-title indication of what Cheney, Libby and others, including Rumsfeld, were briefed on, for any given date.

Presumably Schmall isn’t the only intelligence briefer who kept these things, either. His trial testimony and exhibits refer to two previous briefers, one unnamed, for Cheney and Libby.

At this point it would be ludicrous for the administration to try to keep those tables of contents secret by claiming “national security.” There would be far more potential damage to domestic security in leaving a giant secret stash of blackmail material around...

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




One Week After the Bush-Cheney Cabal Learned About a Port That Shipped Uranium...A US Agency Found Uranium There!
What Were the Odds?
By Margie Burns on 2/28/2007 3:30pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

With the jury still out, here in D.C., I had time to look through some court documents in the Libby case and came across an aspect of the "yellowcake" saga which has not yet been reported to my knowledge. I have emailed the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for a comment on this matter and will report back when, and if, I hear from them.

The documents filed in USA v. Libby reveal an arresting short chronology within that longer saga of the bogus Iraq-Niger uranium item, the Wilson trip to Niger and the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.

An apparently related document may shed new light on the publicly-known points reported so far...

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




By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2007 12:36pm PT  

Will I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby be found...
Total Votes: 533 Started: February 28, 2007 Back to Vote Screen

Please feel free to 'splain your vote in Comments below...




Trial Docs, Testimony Reveal Admin Reasons for Outting CIA WMD Analyst May Be More Than Simple Retaliation Over 'Yellowcake' Op-Ed...
What Were They REALLY After?
By Margie Burns on 2/25/2007 4:57pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

In today’s Washington Post ombudsman column, “Covert Question, Open Controversy,” Deborah Howell says, “Wilson's New York Times op-ed piece, critical of the Bush administration's use of intelligence, set off a chain of events that led to the disclosure of Plame's job.”

But information and testimony revealed during the course of the Libby Trial indicates that it wasn't Wilson's op-ed piece that set the off the chain of events leading to their disclosure of the CIA WMD analyst and her covert network. The Bush administration began its campaign to discredit Valerie Plame/Wilson at least a month prior to the release of her husband's article.

I can’t criticize Howell for her focus on the op-ed as the ball that got the campaign rolling. I, and most of the media, having been basically taking the same line in previous postings on this topic. Most of the writers on the CIA leak have been doing the same. Joseph Wilson’s book, The Politics of Truth: A Diplomat's Memoir: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity, takes the same tack: that the outing of CIA analyst Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife, was retaliation for Wilson’s July 6, 2003, op-ed column, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”

But when Wilson wrote his book, he did not have access to behind-the-scenes discussions about his wife now revealed through the perjury and obstruction trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff. Retaliation there was, in spades, but testimony and documents in the Libby trial demonstrate, unrefuted, that administration discussion of Mrs. Wilson began several weeks before Wilson’s column appeared.

The reasons why are still unclear, and the prosecution was not permitted to delve into ramifications of the leak. But that the administration was already targeting both Wilson and his wife, Valerie --- overseeing a crucial intelligence network monitoring WMD activity in the middle east --- is now beyond question.

So why, beyond Wilson's op-ed, was the Bush Administration previously so intent on discrediting one of its own CIA assets?...

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




The vengefully insignificant are hoping to rampage
Two and a half days of jury deliberations, and they're already coming out of the woodwork
By Margie Burns on 2/23/2007 5:34pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

Conventional wisdom is that when a jury spends much time deliberating, it will find a defendant not guilty. After two and a half days deliberating, the jury in the Libby trial went home today for the weekend.

So the rightwing noise machine thinks it smells blood and is starting some early gloating. Here, for example, is Rush Limbaugh --- premature but already tasteless: “So Fitzpatrick is sweating it out. Fitzrussert sweating it out. Fitzmatthews is sweating it out. Nobody knows what it means that the jury has yet to come back. Fitzsulzberger at the New York Times is probably sweating this out just a little bit.”

I don’t have time to rebut the kind of dishonesty that would connect the excellent and dedicated Special Prosecutor in the Libby trial, Patrick Fitzgerald, with NBC and the New York Times. I heard closing arguments in the trial last Tuesday and have not changed my own opinion that the prosecution rebuttal by Fitzgerald was awesome. Phenomenal. ...

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




Administration coordinated a PR firing squad, put together ad hoc PR hit on the Wilsons
The collateral damage was to classified, objective WMD analysis at the CIA...
By Margie Burns on 2/22/2007 1:08pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

At this writing, the jury is out in the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of I. Lewis Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Cheney. When I left the courthouse this afternoon, Judge Reggie Walton was attending a memorial service, with the jury still deliberating for the second day.

I can make no prediction as to the trial outcome. However, in the interim some media outlets are pushing or falling into an insidious line that the Libby case is either too difficult and obscure to understand, or too trivial to bother with. Setting aside the allegations against Libby individually, this line is dangerous, partly because it is so blatantly the reverse of accurate. The CIA leak matter itself is actually very simple.

What the Libby case is about...

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




The Bush Administration, its Loyal Supporters and Now Even the Washington Post Help Spread the Demonstrably Misleading Canard
But Why?
By Margie Burns on 2/19/2007 11:05am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

One of the pettiest distortions connected with the CIA leak matter is simple: the flat-footed, bogus claim that Ambassador Joseph Wilson said he was ‘sent’ to Africa by Vice President Cheney.

Wilson did not make the assertion, but White House operatives and their media/think-tank allies continue, even today, to forward the fiction that he did.

This claim – that Wilson went around saying Cheney sent him to Niger – has been recycled by the rightwing echo chamber every time the radar screens registered some political fallout from the CIA leak case (many examples shown below). It has also arisen during testimony in the Libby trial.

However, the MSM (except Fox) have not parroted the same claim – with the interesting exception of NBC, mainly Chris Matthews.

Regrettably, this bogus claim is again given space in Sunday's Washington Post, in an article by the hard Bush partisan and former Reagan Justice Department attorney, Victoria Toensing, called “Trial in Error.”

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




Russert omitted any mention to his audience of his FBI interview in CIA leak investigation...
By Margie Burns on 2/8/2007 6:09pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

What did we learn from Tim Russert today, children?

Well, for one thing, we learned that Mr. Russert was interviewed – apparently willingly --- by the FBI about the CIA leak matter back in November, 2003. Under cross-examination by Libby defense attorney Theodore Wells, Russert disclosed that he had been questioned by FBI Special Agent Eckenrode, formerly the case agent for the Plame matter. Russert said that Eckenrode was the one who informed Russert that Libby had said he (Russert) was his (Libby’s) source on the item that Mrs. Wilson, wife of former ambassador Joe Wilson, worked in the CIA. “Mr. Eckenrode shared with me what Mr. Libby had said.”

Russert is on record as testifying firmly and clearly that he did not tell Libby about Mrs. Wilson; he was not Libby’s source. Though he would do well to be equally clear and direct about everything concerning his involvement in the matter...

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




The Reporter Who Stepped up to the Plate, Pinned Scott McClellan on CIA leak
No wonder the White House tried to keep her from asking questions...
By Margie Burns on 2/5/2007 8:50am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

Yesterday, we looked at faux-journalist "Jeff Gannon's" assiduous work at planting administration propaganda during White House press briefings. His "questioning" of then-Press Secretary Scott McClellan seems to have been focused quite specifically on the story line --- which we now know to be wholly false --- as being propagated by Office of the Vice President. In retrospect, it leads one to wonder just what Gannon's relationship to the OVP might have been.

On the other side of the coin, the real journalist, Helen Thomas, seemed to be cutting quite close to the bone when she opened the White House press briefing with questions about the CIA leak on Monday, September 29, 2003. An unnamed "senior administration offical" in the WashPost the day before had said that two administration officials had mentioned Mrs. Wilson’s CIA link with at least six Washington journalists, and shouldn’t have done so.

After – or during – this press briefing, things started happening even faster; the DOJ requested the FBI to investigate the leak, Bob Novak made a defensive television appearance on Crossfire, and DOJ notified the CIA that its Counterespionage division had also requested an investigation.

The briefing itself shows White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan aggressively trying to evade even a direct denial that the White House was involved, though he opened with the now-quite-dubious "The President expects everyone in his administration to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. No one would be authorized to do such a thing."

Here's how Thomas's line of inquiry began and continued that morning...

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




FBI interviewed Libby in the CIA leak matter Oct. 12, 2003
Libby learned about Joe Wilson's wife from VP Cheney, but later forgot
By Margie Burns on 2/1/2007 4:55pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

Always bearing in mind that so far only the government has presented in U.S. v. Libby – the defense will begin next week, probably Wednesday or so – the government’s chronology of events looks pretty solid to date.

Today Deborah Bond, now the FBI case agent for the CIA leak matter, recounted in low-key and organized point-by-point responses under government questioning how Libby responded to questions in his first FBI interview, on October 12, 2003.

Shorn of editorializing and condensed for brevity, here was the substance of Libby’s statement to the FBI:

• Libby said that he had learned that Mrs. Wilson worked for the CIA in a telephone conversation with Vice President Cheney on or about June 12, 2003;
• He said the call had been made in reference to an upcoming newspaper article by WashPost reporter Walter Pincus;
• Libby said that he later forgot he had been told this information by the VP;
• He said he recalled this item only when he found the note of this phone call with the date 06-12-03 inserted on it by him;
• Libby also stated that he did not know the name Joe Wilson at that time.

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




Truthout Posts Note Revealed at Libby Trial, Referencing 'This Pres.' as Having Asked Libby to 'Stick Neck in Meat Grinder'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2007 1:24pm PT  

Are the wheels finally beginning to come off this thing?

TruthOut's Jason Leopold and Marc Ash get a great scoop from the Libby/CIA Leak Trial as George W. Bush appears to be dragged into protecting the identity of the CIA leak via a hand-written note from Dick Cheney...

From TruthOut:

Copies of handwritten notes by Vice President Dick Cheney, introduced at trial by defense attorneys for former White House staffer I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, would appear to implicate George W. Bush in the Plame CIA Leak case.

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




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