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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attorney dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical questions'...
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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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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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
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Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


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!... ---

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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!... ---

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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...

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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?...

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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. ...

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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...

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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.”

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Hooker-Cum-Phony White House Reporter Apparently Missed Reality Memo --- Attempts to Revive Discredited 'Joe Wilson is Liar' Line in Hopes of 15 More Minutes of Bush-Disgracing Infamy...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2007 4:10pm PT  

Oh, the indescribable irony continues.

Former-hooker-turned-fake-journalist James "Jeff Gannon" Guckert responded (sort of) to a recent BRAD BLOG article referencing his White House "correspondent" fakery, as filed by our special Libby/CIA Leak Trial correspondent Margie Burns.

We failed to notice the response/obfuscation on his little blog when it was originally published since, frankly, the traffic from "Gannon's" site didn't trigger high enough numbers for us to take note of it in our "incoming traffic" hit-counter.

While we hate to draw any more attention to the silly, disgraced GOP operative, his presence in the White House briefing room --- dropping phony Administration talking points (or perhaps more precisely, Office of the Vice-President) during the early days of the CIA Leak revelations --- deserves notice and further investigation, in our opinion.

Also of note is the subsequent scrubbing of White House website documents referring to "Gannon's" questions at the time. That matter was also recently reported by Burns, and seems to be in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

Anyway, we'll make "Jeff's" day and send him a bit of traffic today by quoting the lead of his blog item, in which he knocks the irony meter off the chart by calling Joe Wilson a "proven liar," and even goes so far as to write (apparently with a straight face): "The search for truth is not a smear campaign, it is the essence of journalism."

Fifteen more minutes, then, for silly "Jeff":

Joe Wilson The Only Proven Liar In "Leak" Case

The Old Media is breathlessly reporting on the tapes of Scooter Libby's Grand Jury testimony in the Valerie Plame Affair. The reporters/DNC operatives are certain that Libby lied, probably to protect Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, George Bush, et al. The question I still ask is: Lied about what? That loudmouth Joe Wilson's third-rate, desk-jockey analyst wife worked at the CIA? Why lie about that and so what if he did? The only proven liar in the entire saga thus far is JOE WILSON.

A Hard Left blogger is claiming that I led the "White House attacks on Joe Wilson." That accusation is UNEQUIVOCALLY FALSE.

You'll have to read the rest of his piece to see how Republi-journaloid "Gannon" doesn't actually bother to offer any actual "proof" for his case that Wilson is a "proven liar." But in "Jeff's" imaginary Fox "News"-based world, we suspect that simply saying something out loud --- like "we know for a fact that Saddam Hussein has nuclear weapons" or "the insurgency is in its last throes" --- is "proof" enough for him and the other Bush dead-enders still left out there.

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Libby's Team Drags Iran in By the Head and Shoulders
Are they trying to piggyback a war boost with Iran onto trial?
By Margie Burns on 2/14/2007 9:03am PT  

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

Two major items from the trial on perjury and obstruction charges of I. Lewis Libby, former Chief of Staff for Vice President Cheney, yesterday, as I heard in the courtroom: one was that Libby would not be taking the stand in his own defense, and Cheney would not testify on his behalf, “after all.” The other was that one defense attorney used a substantial chunk of testimony to plug war with Iran.

Predictably, the first item got more media attention. But the second one is more dangerous.

Sitting in on the trial every other day, I have never thought Libby likely to testify in his own defense...

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WH wanted intelligence agencies to push story of Iraq WMD
The same bogus Niger uranium story had to be corrected again and again
By Margie Burns on 2/11/2007 3:16pm PT  

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

As the congressional report released in 2004 (referenced in previous blog) makes clear, if U.S. intelligence agencies were unable to connect Iraq to weapons of mass destruction before the war, it was not for lack of trying.

From May 2002 to September 2002, five documents were produced by the intelligence community pertaining to Iraq WMDs. A CIA briefing book prepared on May 10, a Department of Energy (DOE) intelligence report on July 22, and a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence assessment in September all mentioned the Niger uranium issue, although the DOE report included caveats. The US embassy in Niger cabled on June 24, 2002, about an IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) agreement safeguarding Niger uranium. A CIA paper was published on August 1, 2002, titled ‘Iraq’s Reemerging Nuclear Program,’ but did not mention Niger uranium. (48)

As noted in the previous blog on this topic, investigation had ruled out any threat from Niger uranium in regard to Iraq. Evidently these efforts were not good enough. In September and October 2002, according to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report, the White House contacted the intelligence community at least five times to clear language regarding alleged Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium. On September 11, 2002 – the first anniversary of 9/11 --- the NSC asked the CIA to clear uranium language for inclusion in a possible statement by Bush...

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Bureau of Intelligence and Research, at the State Department, Warned the Niger Uranium 'Yellow Cake' Story Was Bogus...
By Margie Burns on 2/10/2007 3:08pm PT  

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

When the full history of bogus WMD propaganda is written, a few individuals and agencies in our government will stand out for having tried to be rational voices during the administration’s juggernaut PR campaign to invade Iraq. Among these is the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in the State Department.

The whole Niger story, that Iraq tried to buy tons of unenriched uranium, called yellowcake, from the African nation of Niger, displays the chasm between genuine analysts on one side and weird administration war boosters on the other. This story, which birthed the famous 16 words in a State of the Union speech, led to former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Niger, his subsequent criticisms of the administration, pundit Robert Novak’s outing Wilson’s wife as a CIA operative, at least two investigations into the leak --- with Novak and George W. Bush among those hiring attorneys – and the current trial of Lewis Libby, Vice President’s former Chief of Staff.

The Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq is 521 pages online (http://intelligence.senate.gov/iraqreport2.pdf; link down). Part II, on Niger, is pages 36-83. Numbers in parentheses, below, are the pages cited.

“Reporting on a possible yellowcake sales agreement between Niger and Iraq first came to the attention of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) on October 15, 2001,” when the CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) passed along a report from a “foreign government service indicating that Niger planned to ship several tons of uranium to Iraq.” At the time, all IC analysts regarded this forwarded cable to be limited and lacking in detail. The CIA, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), and Department of Energy (DOE) called it “possible.” The State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) regarded it as “highly suspect.” (36) The INR turned out to be right...

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'Jeff Gannon'/James Guckert References Get Hard to Find at the White House Website
As Previously Revealed by BRAD BLOG, Scrubbing Even of Helpful
By Margie Burns on 2/10/2007 8:33am PT  

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

Just prior to the 2004 elections, The BRAD BLOG revealed a number of embarrassing White House moments that had been scrubbed --- in violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 --- from their website. Eventually, in the weeks just prior to the election, and after WaPo, AFP and other wire services picked up the story which broke here, they were forced to restore all of that information to the website. (Highlights from that series of reports here.)

Now it looks like they may be at it again.

Two years ago, I posted a piece at another web site on “Go ahead, Jeff,” i.e. Jeff Gannon, actually named James Guckert, at White House press briefings. The White House web site has a search function of sorts, usable given the exact name or phrase as a keyword. My search term in February 2005 was Scott McClellan’s phrase “go ahead, Jeff,” meaning – as Jeff’s sympathetic questions made amply clear – that McClellan was calling on mysterious White-House-press-pass person Guckert/Gannon, whose exact activities in the White House have yet to be clarified. I have tried to phone Mr. Guckert but probably have not gotten through.

The precise dates of those press briefings at which Mr. Gannon/Guckert had been explicitly called on, found at that time, were November 17, 2004; December 10, 13, 17 and 21, 2004; and January 10 and 25, 2005.

Now, belatedly running the same search this morning, I found further briefings with equally revealing questions posed by Mr. Gannon. However, the previous references to Gannon/Guckert appear to have been scrubbed...

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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...

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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...

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Transcripts from WH Press Briefings and Gaggles Show Faux-Journalist Gannon/Guckert Leading the White House-Approved Attacks on Wilson from the First...
By Margie Burns on 2/4/2007 7:12am PT  

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

We do not have a political system of government by one man. By virtue of that fact, by definition the man at the top --- the president --- is responsible for what his people do. When former ambassador Joseph Wilson belatedly published demurrals about purported Iraq efforts to obtain uranium, in July 2003, CIA skepticism about the uranium story also gradually became known to the wider public. In simplest terms, what followed was that the White House including Cheney’s office launched a campaign not only against Wilson personally but also against offices within the CIA that still functioned in intelligence gathering and analysis.

In this endeavor, the Bush-Cheney faction relied heavily on the media, and the Libby trial demonstrates how the administration took a campaign to, and through, major media figures to attribute purported nepotism to a CIA office. But just as a reminder, “Jeff Gannon” -- actually James Guckert --- demonstrates that small fish also had their uses; it wasn't only the Tim Russerts of the world who served.

The excerpts below from White House Press Briefiings and Gaggles during Scott McClellan's tenure represent only a fraction of the faux-journalist Gannon/Guckert's White House-friendly lines and, undoubtedly, helpful Administration-approved attacks on Wilson...

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

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