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New Job Seen as Payoff for 'Services Rendered'...
By Luke Ryland on 6/2/2008 11:45am PT  

Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland of Let Sibel Edmonds Speak...

So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proven right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

In the "Representative Engagements" section of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."


Dennis Hastert, who is listed in Sibel's "Rogues Gallery," was referred to in FBI wiretaps as apparently accepting bribes from Turkish criminal elements associated with the Turkish government, as documented in Vanity Fair in 2005 and elsewhere.

The short clip at left is from Kill The Messenger, a documentary about Sibel's case, where they discuss some of Hastert's involvement as mentioned in Vanity Fair.

In researching the Vanity Fair article, as mentioned in the clip, journalist David Rose interviewed various congressional staffers and counter-intelligence officials who are familiar with the case. He reported that there were three separate types of bribes allegedly paid to Hastert:

  1. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
  2. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
  3. "(A)t least $500,000"

Hastert was lucky that there was literally zero follow-up in the mainstream media to these most serious charges. Hastert did not sue Vanity Fair for libel; instead, Hastert got his spokesman to send Vanity Fair a bizarre Letter to the Editor in response, 6 months later. The BRAD BLOG has the letter here, along with Sibel's effective debunking of Hastert's response.

The only action taken in response to the startling revelations in Vanity Fair was by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks"...

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

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...and Other Quick Election Integrity Items of Note...
UPDATE: Dem Wins Hastert's Seat, Time to Impound Those Machines!
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2008 2:34pm PT  

Another Election Day, another Diebold election "failure" or two.

And a few other quick Election Integrity items of note as I try to get outta here today to head to Arizona where I'll be appearing next week at Q&A's for a couple of Uncounted screenings. (See the "Media Appearances" box on top-right for details, if you're in Phoenix or Tuscon, or thereabouts!)...

  • In Illinois today, they are holding an election to replace Denny Hastert. On the Diebold touch-screen machines used by the hopelessly partisan Republican DuPage County Election Commission, the word "REPUBLICAN" is popping on to the screen, such that some precincts have reportedly taken to placing tape over the screen where that occurs. The DuPage board is extraordinarily slimy, hopelessly corrupt, overtly willing to break the law, have hired Republican operatives to do "PR" for them (both overtly and covertly), and have recently launched an all out effort, with the help of their corrupt friends in the local media, to to swiftboat the non-partisan citizen Election Integrity advocate citizen volunteers of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP).
  • Nothing illegal about Republicanists dutifully following Rush's orders to cross over to the Dem side in order to vote for Hillary in the recent Ohio Primary. Or is there?
  • Diebold op-scan machines cause more trouble than they're worth. Again. This time in Vermont. And perhaps to the advantage of a Democrat over a Republican for a change. Someone needs to be fired for that.
  • 0 Republican votes recorded in 21 Texas counties during last week's Primaries? Yes. But here's why.

Backatcha from the road (see below if you feel like helping us with some gas money! We could much use it!)...

UPDATE FROM THE ROAD, FROM SOME MOTEL 6 SOMEWHERE... The Democratic candidate, Bill Foster has been announced as the winner of Hastert's once formidable seat (yes, pun intended.) Good. Now it's time to impound those machines and memory cards from DuPage County immediately. Both the machines that flashed "REPUBLICAN" and those that didn't need to be impounded by the AG, so they can be tested to find out what happened and why it happened.

And because the Dem candidate won, Election Integrity advocates can't be labeled as "sore losers" for taking this action immediately. Hopefully the good folks at IBIP will take swift action. Lord knows the DuPage County Election Commission won't.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Related. It looks like Foster's Democratic Primary Election opponent, John Laesch is asking for a recount of the February primary. Haven't gotten to speak to him or his camp, so not familiar with what the issues of concern are yet, but thought I'd drop a quick link here to put it on your radar. The BRAD BLOG, of course, supports any and all recount requests deemed necessary by any candidates or their supporters who feel they need to find confidence in any given election results, particularly as we currently --- and absurdly --- use so many non-transparent, wholly faith-based voting systems which have robbed the country of the ability to have the oversight needed to ensure confidence in our democratic system.

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!
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By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2007 8:55am PT  

I did quick 10 minutes this morning on the nationally syndicated Stephanie Miller Show, as Guest Hosted by our friend Bree Walker. The topic: the latest in the Sibel Edmonds case. And if you're not yet familiar with the case, here's a quickie on what it is, why it matters and what you can do about it.

Here's the audio from my appearance this morning on Stephanie's show...

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'Gagged' FBI Whistleblower, Risking Jail, Says American Media Have Refused Her Offer to Disclose Classified Information, Including Criminal Allegations, Information Concerning 'Security of Americans'
Charges Several Mainstream Publications Have Been Informed of 'Full Story' by Other FBI Leakers Nearly a Year Ago, Have Remained Mum...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2007 4:46am PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

"I'd say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers," Daniel Ellsberg told us in regard to former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

"From what I understand, from what she has to tell, it has a major difference from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and may involve impeachable offenses," Ellsberg explained. "And I don't necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn't be surprised if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive Branch may be impeached as well. And she says similar about Congress."

The BRAD BLOG spoke recently with the legendary 1970's-era whistleblower in the wake of our recent exclusive, detailing Edmonds' announcement that she was prepared to risk prosecution to expose the entirety of the still-classified information that the Bush Administration has "gagged" her from revealing for the past five years under claims of the arcane "State Secrets Privilege."

Ellsberg, the former defense analyst and one-time State Department official, knows well the plight of whistleblowers. He himself was prepared to spend his life in prison for the exposure of some 7,000 pages of classified Department of Defense documents concerning Executive Branch manipulation of facts and outright lies leading the country into an extended war in Vietnam.

Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised that today's American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to take Edmonds up on her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations.

As Edmonds has also noted, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who "sat on the NSA spying story for over a year" when they "could have put it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome."

"There will be phone calls going out to the media saying 'don't even think of touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,'" he told us.

"I have been receiving calls from the mainstream media all day," Edmonds recounted the day after we ran the story announcing that she was prepared to violate her gag-order to disclose all of the national security-related criminal allegations she has been kept from disclosing for the past five years.

"The media called from Japan and France and Belgium and Germany and Canada and from all over the world," she told The BRAD BLOG.

"But not from here?" we asked incredulously.

"I'm getting contact from all over the world, but not from here. Isn't that disgusting?" she shot back.

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

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Former House Speaker Said to Leave Seat Before End of Year...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2007 8:12pm PT  

Says Roll Call late tonight:

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is expected to announce Thursday that he is resigning his seat in Congress effective later this year, eventually setting up a special election to succeed him, knowledgeable GOP sources said late Wednesday.

Gosh, we hope it doesn't have anything to do with this old chestnut, which we updated a bit yesterday, along with a promise of more to come soon. But who knows?

Swing State Project offers a bit more detail from the RC article which hides behind the pay curtain:

Rumblings have persisted for months that Hastert, who announced this summer that he would not seek re-election in 2008, was unlikely to complete his current term.

This week Hastert met with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and was making calls to tell people of his decision on Wednesday morning.

They're just dropping like flies aren't they? Answer: Yes, but not nearly enough of 'em, and not nearly fast enough.

(Hat-tip for all of the above to our buddy Arlen Parsa over at The Daily Background.)

UPDATE 10/19/07: Hastert announced he will not run again, but has yet to give official word on whether he'll leave early or not. AP reports the delay in stepping down may be due to a fear that a Special Election during the February '08 primary may have a huge Dem turnout due to Illinois' favorite son, Barrack Obama, on the Presidential Primary ballot.

But with no official announcement yet, MSNBC asked after a flurry of "Hastert to Resign" reports, "Is Hastert really quitting?". "Not at this time," they are told, but adding that another source says otherwise:

The source says that Hastert is "definitely going to resign," but that it won't happen be announced [sic] officially for a couple of months or so.

Incidentally, Hastert has lost about 60 pounds and looks like a completely different person.

True. See the photo at left!

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If The Resolution is a 'Democratic Ploy,' It Sure Was Clever to Have the GOP House Speaker Lead the Way!
ALSO: Recalling FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' Claim that Hastert Called Off Full House Vote After Possibly Receiving $500k from Turkish Interests, And Additional New Information on Her Gag-Ordered 'States Secrets' Case...
By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2007 4:08pm PT  

We're anything but experts on the long and storied history of American-Turkish-Armenian relations. We're also not particularly partisan, or inclined to come to the defense of the Democrats. But we do have a thing about facts and fairness.

So with Rush Limbaugh, this morning, leading the charge of the Rightwing goon squad attempting to characterize an increase in saber rattling in Turkey as "Nancy Pelosi's War," it seems a bit of a fact-check reminder is necessary here.

The brouhaha, which Limbaugh hopes to turn into a Republican electoral advantage, surrounds a House resolution to declare the 1915 mass killing of more 1.5 million ethnic Armenians a "genocide." While the resolution passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee last week on a bi-partisan 27 to 21 vote, the Bush Administration has suggested it will make life difficult for their efforts in Iraq, such that they are, which depend on Turkish support. Passage of the resolution could lead to inflamed ethnic violence on the Turkish/Kurdish border and lead to a widening of the war.

Limbaugh and the GOP opportunists have been declaring the resolution a Democratic ploy to ruin Turkish-American relations, embarrass George W. Bush, and help spread the war into a full-blown regional conflagration.

But what Limbaugh and friends seem to be avoiding is the fact that it was Republican Dennis Hastert who, as House Speaker back in 2000, last pushed for the same resolution, seeing it through the then-Republican-led International Relations Committee, where it passed by a large majority, and then scheduled it for a full vote on the House floor, only to pull the legislation just minutes before the vote --- supposedly at the urging of President Bill Clinton.

A similar resolution made it through the then-Republican-led House International Relations Committee by a lopsided vote of 40 to 7 just two years ago, even though Republican Minority Leader John Boehner now declares the measure to be "totally irresponsible."

When reporting on claims made by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in 2005, Vanity Fair's David Rose reported notable details on the 2000 Hastert-pushed version...

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

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'Gagged-Ordered' FBI Whistleblower Calls on BRAD BLOG Readers to 'Demand, Beg and Implore' Congressional Dems to Announce Public Hearings
'State Secrets Act' Still Used by DoJ to Prevent the Fired Translator from Testifying on 9/11, Corruption by Hastert, Perle, Feith...
By Luke Ryland on 3/14/2007 9:19am PT  

Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland

Last week, more than thirty 'good government' groups including the ACLU, POGO, CREW, Liberty Coalition, and September 11th Advocates called on Henry Waxman's Committee "to hold public hearings into the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case."

Sibel Edmonds says: "Thanks to Brad and Bradblog readers. Exactly twelve months ago, Bradblog helped launch this petition and we had a great response. Fifteen thousand people signed the petition and we have delivered it to Congress. Now we'd like to ask for your help again."

We've had solid indications that Waxman is ready and willing to hold public, open hearings into Sibel's case. We need to give Waxman a final push and get him to commit to a date, in May or June, and that's where you come in. We want you to call the offices of Congressmen Henry Waxman, John Conyers, Patrick Leahy, and Charles Grassley and demand, beg, and implore them to publicly announce that they will have hearings.

Sibel has already told her story in classified briefings to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Henry Waxman's staff, and the 911 Commission, and her case has been investigated by the Department of Justice Inspector General. All of them have verified Sibel's claims. As Republican Senator Charles Grassley said (YouTube) on 60 Minutes in 2002: "Absolutely, she's credible. And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story." ...

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

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UPDATE: Also, Michael Reagan Calls for Same!
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2006 8:01pm PT  

This via AmericaBlog from Drudge...And note, if it's correct (Drudge isn't always, as you likely know) this if from the Washington Times, the White House organ! Not the Washington Post!

WASHINGTON TIMES ON TUESDAY WILL CALL FOR SPEAKER HASTERT'S RESIGNATION, NEWSROOM SOURCES TELL DRUDGE... DEVELOPING... Editorial titled: 'Resign, Mr. Speaker': 'House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once... Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance'... --- Washington Times, October 3, 2006...

Holy crap.

UPDATE: We hear that Olbermann is reporting that Michael Reagan is calling for same! That's Michael Reagan, the White House organ! Not Ronny Reagan!

Holy holy crap crap.

LATE UPDATE: The Washington Times editorial --- "Resign, Mr. Speaker" -- is now up in full. Could this be the all-out implosion that seems like it should have come years ago? Should be an interesting coupla days/weeks...

LATER UPDATE: The New York Times weighs in on Republicans eating their own... "Pressure grows for G.O.P. Over Foley Scandal"

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Is the right-wing trying out a new tool; the US Constitution?
Could these court rulings in San Diego and now Nevada simply be to set precedents? Could it be the move of the GOP using activist judges who are clearly legislating from the bench in order to set a precedent to be used in November? Is this all the portent of things to come in November?
By John Gideon on 9/2/2006 10:29am PT  

Let me preface this with a statement. I am not an attorney. I'm just a retired "knuckle dragger" (marine machinist). While I'm not an academic I do have the ability to read something and know what it says especially when it is written in clear English. I've also got a bit more common sense than most academics because I've had to exercise it throughout my life.

Any reader of The BRAD BLOG is familiar with the court decision from San Diego County. Essentially the judge ruled that he did not have jurisdiction in an election contest of the Busby/Bilbray CA50 U.S. House Special Election because Bilbray was already sworn in as a member of Congress and the US Constitution gives the Legislative Branch jurisdiction over elections of their members.

Today's Nevada Appeal has an article regarding a court challenge that stemmed from problems in the GOP primary election for Congress. That race between Dean Heller, present Secretary of State, and Sharron Angle, was closely contested and Ms. Angle filed the challenge based on what she thought to be possibly illegal practices in Washoe County.

But then they played the Busby/Bilbray 'Constitutional Jurisdiction' card. Just as in Busby/Bilbray...

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

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New Charges Harken Back to February BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE with Details from FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds on Additional Hastert Bribery Allegations...
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2006 8:44pm PT  

As controversy swirls again around House Speaker Dennis Hastert and whether he is or isn't under investigation by the DoJ on bribery related charges as ABC News is reporting (and standing by), now might be a good time to remind of you this earlier exclusive which The BRAD BLOG reported in February concerning FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' charges that Hastert may be involved with yet another bribery scandal.

In light of today's new story, it may well be worth taking a look back at that previous piece including a detailed statement from Edmonds wherein she calls on Hastert to "come clean" in regard to $500k in un-itemized campaign donations and his relationships with various Turkish interest groups.

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'Gag Ordered' FBI Whistleblower Gives Statement to BRAD BLOG Questioning Letter to Vanity Fair by House Speaker's Legal Counsel
Calls on Hastert to 'Come Clean' on $500k in Un-Itemized Campaign Donations, Relationship With Turkish Interest Groups
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2006 10:43am PT  

In the September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair, a lengthy feature article on former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds discussed a number of claims that Edmonds has by and large been disallowed from expressing publicly.

Her attempts at whistleblowing on the malfeasance and cover-ups she alleges to have witnessed during her time at the bureau in late 2001 and early 2002 --- during which she translated covert wiretaps recorded prior to 9/11 --- have been silenced by the U.S. government. An arcane "states-secret privilege" has been applied to her which effectively "gag orders" her from discussing her claims including allegations which the Dept. of Justice's own Inspector General found to be "credible" and "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI," according to a declassified version of their investigation into her claims.

One of the allegations discussed by reporter David Rose in the VF article concerned FBI intercepts out of Chicago that Edmonds claims to have listened to. Reportedly, those intercepts suggest that U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), may have been bribed by a large number of small "donations" emanating from shadowy Turkish interest groups. Such donations, $199 and smaller, are not required to be itemized in public filings according to Federal Election Commission rules.

Rose's article reports that Hastert's campaign received nearly $500,000 in such "un-itemized contributions" between 1996 and 2000. By contrast, Tom DeLay (R-TX), one of the House's best fundraisers, received just under $100,000 in such contributions. Only one other congressman, Clay Shaw (R-FL), received more in such contributions than Hastert, bringing in just over $550,000, during that same period.

In late 2000, Hastert announced he would support a resolution in the House declaring the killings of Armenians in Turkey from 1915 to 1923 to have been a "genocide". Armenians have long been pushing for such a resolution in Congress to little avail until Hastert's sudden interest in the effort. The Turkish government has long opposed such a resolution.

The VF article claims the reported content of one of the Chicago wiretaps is of "a senior official at the Turkish Consulate" claiming that "the price for Hastert to withdraw the resolution would have been at least $500,000." After Hastert was able to see the resolution through the House International Relations Committee, he withdrew it just minutes before the full House was to have voted on it, citing a plea from President Bill Clinton who is said to have warned the measure would harm U.S. interests.

The February issue of Vanity Fair finally offers a rebuttal of sorts from Hastert's counsel, Randy Evans, in the form of a letter to the editor. That letter, as printed in VF, is posted below, followed by Edmonds rebuttal which she submitted to us over the weekend for publication by The BRAD BLOG...

Edmonds' reply to Evans' letter, in which she calls on Hastert to fully disclose his un-itemized contributions and explain apparent contradictions in his claims about his relationship with Turkish interest groups follows...

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

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