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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, September 3, 2014
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By David Edwards on 2/14/2006 8:38am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The GOP attacked Howard Dean's Sunday interview on CBS Face the Nation (video here). Dean responded to the attack on CNN's American Morning.

Dean also said that that Vice President Cheney "has to go" if he authorized Scooter Libby to leak the classified National Intelligence Estimate as court documents have indicated.


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

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By David Edwards on 2/13/2006 9:31pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards



Video in Streaming Flash format...

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Why Was Cheney's Role as The Shooter Withheld for Hours from the White House?
PLUS: Video Still Not Posted from Today's WH Press Briefing
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 7:40pm PT  

I began asking questions about this when the story came to light on Sunday.

The nearly 24 hours between the time Cheney shot Harry Whittington and the time the story was finally disclosed to the media remains unexplained --- and raises many questions.

Now it seems that the information that Cheney was the shooter in the incident was even withheld from Bush at the White House, at least for a time. In other words, the White House was informed that there had been "a hunting accident", but not that Cheney was the shooter.

It's not unusual in this White House, or any these days, that Presidents are only told the things they need to know, and nothing more. Particularly when the information could be damaging and they hope to retain "plausible deniability" should they have to testify or be asked questions about it later.

It is certainly starting to look like such a case where "plausible deniability" was on the table in the early hours, before they knew for certain if Whittington would survive the incident, after being admitted in critical condition to the hospital.

When the shooting was finally disclosed, it was by the property's owner, Katharine Armstrong. Cheney's office never actually announced it to the media, but simply "confirmed" the inquiries that came after the initial story in the Corpus-Christi Caller-Times. But media reports have said that Armstrong spoke with Cheney before doing so. In other words, he gave her the okay to let the news out finally on Sunday morning/afternoon.

In the meantime, back at the White House, as discussed in today's contentious Press Briefing, White House spokesman Scott McLellan makes it clear that though Bush was informed of the shooting Saturday evening, it wasn't until late Saturday Night --- or early Sunday Morning --- that he finally learned that Cheney himself was the shooter...

Q So as of Saturday night, you didn't know, the White House did not know that Vice President Cheney was involved?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, there were details coming in throughout that night and into the morning. There was additional information coming in at 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., and even after that.

Q But, again, Saturday night, you did not know the Vice President was involved, you just thought someone from his hunting party was ---

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I, personally, was informed by the Situation Room that there had been a hunting accident, and that is was a member of the Vice President's hunting party. But I didn't have additional information other than that at this point. Obviously, I asked questions about --- is he okay, and who was involved --- and they didn't have those facts at that point.

Q So Sunday morning you first learned that it was the Vice President?

MR. McCLELLAN: Early Sunday morning, that's correct.

The timeline here would seem to add some fuel to the question I had asked previously: If Whittington had died, would the incident --- or at least Cheney's involvement in it --- have been disclosed at all to the American people?

Or to twist another infamous question: What didn't the President know and why didn't he know it?

The fact that the officials were able to inform the White House of "a hunting accident" not long after the incident, but it wasn't until 3:00am or so, that they were notified that Cheney was the shooter, would seem to point fairly squarely to the idea that initially they were keeping the idea of "plausible deniability" for the White House on the table for some reason. Perhaps as needed in the event that Whittington didn't make it out alive and they had determined a cover-up of Cheney's involvement was needed to avoid embarrassment. Or criminal charges.

If there's a less sinister explanation for all of this, I'd be more than open to it. But Scottie certainly didn't present one in today's Press Briefing.

Speaking of which... So far, no video of that briefing on the White House website. There is usually a link to it on the same page as the transcript. I wish I had saved the WH site's front page earlier, since --- as I recall --- it had said something along the lines of "Today's Press Briefing has now concluded, we will have a transcript and video posted shortly."

Now it says only, "Today's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has concluded." with a link to the text only.

Can't imagine why they wouldn't want to post today's video. :-)

Let's see how long it takes 'em to get it up there. (Crooks and Liars has it in the meantime.)

UPDATE: The White House tacked the following on to the bottom of their Press Briefing transcript. Not certain what time they did so:

Q So when did the President definitively know that the Vice President had shot somebody?

A Chief of Staff Andy Card called the President around 7:30pm EST to inform him that there was a hunting accident. He did not know the Vice President was involved at that time. Subsequent to the call, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove spoke with Mrs. Armstrong. He then called the President shortly before 8:00pm EST to update him and let him know the Vice President had accidentally shot Mr. Whittington.

I'll let you decide about their credibility here and if they've earned the benefit of the doubt. But even with such benefit, why was Card told about the accident, but not told that Cheney was the shooter when they first notified him? Only after Karl "The Architect" Rove interceded was a decision made, apparently, to let Bush know. We report, you decide.

FURTHER UPDATE: Ron Brynaert looks at some related-ish timeline questions from Cheney's side of things.

TUESDAY UPDATE: Whittington suffers heart attack! McClellan fails to inform press corp! Thread continues now here...

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By John Gideon on 2/13/2006 5:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Jefferson Co., Kentucky election officials have told the local media that they will be 'testing' their new accessible voting machines in tomorrow's election. This is the same thing we are going to be seeing from jurisdictions all across the country this year. "Testing"! We, the voters, are going to be asked to test these new machines, which will fail more than they should, in real elections. Training for election workers is scarce. Training for the voter is non-existent. I hope I am wrong but I fear not....

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

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Whistleblowing Computer Programmer Seeking to Challenge GOP Congressman Charged With Asking Him to Create Vote-Rigging Software!
Exploratory Campaign Website Created, Public Announcement to be Made Wednesday in Florida
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 2:01pm PT  

In what could be one of the most interesting campaigns for the U.S. House in 2006, The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that computer programmer turned electronic vote-rigging software whistleblower Clint Curtis is officially planning a run for the U.S. Congressional seat in Florida's 24th District.

The 24th Congressional District seat is currently occupied by Rep. Tom Feeney, the very man who Curtis has alleged once asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype program back when both men worked for the software firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) in Oviedo, Florida.

Curtis' startling allegations that then-State Senator Feeney had sought to have such a program built was first broken nationally by The BRAD BLOG in a story based on his sworn affidavit [PDF] which "rocked the vote from Tallahassee to Capitol Hill" when it was originally published in early December of 2004. Indeed, it was so popular that it took down our blog entirely for four straight days.

Since filing his original allegations, Curtis has given stunning sworn, video-taped testimony about the matter to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in a public hearing, and later, successfully passed a polygraph test in regard to the charges.

Feeney, who was once Jeb Bush's running-mate during his first ill-fated run for Governor in 1994, was also the Speaker of the Florida Legislature who infamously promised to award Florida's electoral votes to George W. Bush during the 2000 Election Debacle --- no matter what the state Supreme Court would ultimately decide about the matter. He later went on to run for the U.S. Congress in 2002 in Florida's conservative 24th District, which is said to have been carved out expressly by Feeney for himself during his time in the statehouse.

Rep. Feeney now sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and continues to face charges of ethical transgressions concerning his conduct during his tenure as a U.S. Congressman where was recently reported to be Tom DeLay's #1 supporter. Said Feeney at a "Salute to Tom DeLay" last May, "Tom DeLay is the most effective leader the House has seen in 50 years."

Curtis, in preparing for a run his against Feeney, (who has been caught by The BRAD BLOG in more than a few "contradictions" over the time we've been covering this story,) has set up a campaign website to support his potential run at www.ClintCurtis.com where he is currently welcoming much-needed contributions and supporters.

In addition to the vote-rigging charges, Curtis also alleged that YEI employed an illegal Chinese alien involved in placing "wire-tapping" modules into software created by the company who had top-secret security contracts with NASA, the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT), amongst other clients. Feeney was both general counsel and registered lobbyist for YEI for years during that time, even while he was Speaker of Florida's Legislature, where he also faced ethics charges during his tenure.

One of the illegal aliens at YEI reported by Curtis to the Florida's Inspector General's office in 2001 as working at the company and said to have been placing the "wire-tapping" modules into software before it shipped, was arrested in 2004 after a four-year sting, and has pled guilty to charges related to espionage in attempting to illegally ship Hellfire anti-tank missile chips to China. Feeney himself just returned from yet another trip to Asia, this time touring China's space facility where he reportedly called for "more balanced relations" with the Communist nation.

Charges that Curtis had made concerning over-billing of YEI contracts with FDOT have also since been confirmed by the Florida Inspector General's office who finally completed their report on Curtis' case in early 2005.

Feeney, who claimed, as late as February of 2005 that he had ended his relationship with YEI once he reached the U.S. House in 2002, was revealed by The BRAD BLOG to have been the honoree at a private party/reception given by company owners --- and continuing large contributors to Feeney's campaign --- Dr. and Mrs. Yang in 2003. As well, Feeney's campaign headquarters for his 2004 campaign, during which he ran unopposed, was housed in YEI's main headquarters building in Oviedo. Feeney's campaign website still lists YEI's address --- 1420 Alafaya Trail --- as the place to contact his campaign.

Unlike Curtis, Feeney has not taken a polygraph test in relation to his denial of Curtis' charges.

Many of those denials have since been debunked by The BRAD BLOG.

As our coverage of the Clint Curtis story has been extensive over the last 14 months, we'll refer you to this Quick Summary of the main points in his extraordinary story, as well as this Index of Key Articles, for more details in the continuing saga. We promise there is more stunning revelations to be found there, including some startling details of the mysterious death of the original Florida Inspector General's investigator assigned to Curtis' case.

Beyond the Curtis-related allegations, Feeney has been described as one of the "13 Most Ethically Challenged Members of Congress" in light of his lobbyist and foreign-agent sponsored trips such as his Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff golf junket to St. Andrews, Scotland (yes, he was right there along with them) and elsewhere. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo described Feeney just last month as a "bamboozler" for his attempts at playing both sides of the field concerning his vote on new rules which DeLay was pushing through the House Ethics Committee. When asked how he voted on the new rules, as attempted by DeLay, Feeney tried to avoid giving an answer to the media by saying there was no actual vote on the matter. Despite the fact that there was.

Feeney's history as a bamboozler seems to be becoming legendary.

Curtis, formerly a "life-long Republican," became a self-described "Conservative Democrat" after his various disturbing dealings with Feeney and friends. He will be making his first public announcement about his intentions to form an exploratory campaign at a local Democratic party gathering at the Cocoa Civic Center in Brevard County this Wednesday evening.

Before facing Feeney directly, however, Curtis will have to survive a primary race against Dr. Andy Michaud who has reportedly pledged to spend quite a bit of his own money in order to face one of the most effective fundraisers in Congress.

We also imagine Michaud will be seeing a sudden influx of financial support in the days ahead from the many supporters of Feeney who, we have a feeling, would rather not have to face Curtis in the General Election next November.

Therefore fundraising from across the nation, Curtis tells The BRAD BLOG as part of a "Campaign Q&A" with him which we will publish here tomorrow, will be key.

"As with most battles of good vs. evil, good can only win if it receives sufficient help," says Curtis. "If my campaign does not receive both unprecedented financial support as well as huge volunteer efforts, this could be a very difficult quest to fulfill."

Difficult indeed. Curtis who, unlike both Michaud and Feeney, has never participated in a political campaign before, will have his work cut out for him. But he's faced more daunting --- and terrifying --- fights in the past. His tireless years-long effort to hold accountable those who he sees as having committed wrong-doing against this country has not come at a small cost. But that struggle may serve him well in his "good vs. evil battle."

Curtis explains that he feels he has little choice at this point but to enter the battle, and in discussing it, he expresses a sentiment heard all too rarely from Democrats these days: "I am now convinced that fearing a loss is not a valid reason for never entering the fight."

And so the fight begins...

###

BRAD BLOG's exclusive Q&A with Candidate Curtis is now published here. Contributions to Curtis' exploratory campaign may be made via his website at this link.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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Bush Crony, Appointee Pamela Willeford's Presence in Hunting Party Unreported by MSM, White House Spokesperson
McClellan Leaves Her Name Out of White House Grilling Today...
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 11:49am PT  

We reported late last night on the identify of the third hunter in Dick Cheney's ill-fated hunting party. Apparently, word didn't get out to the DC press corps about it however, as they were asking McClellan for the name of that third hunger this morning at an incredible grilling he received on the matter (Must read transcript here, must watch video here courtesy of Crooks & Liars since the WH doesn't have it up for some reason.)

While McClellan was busy with his greatest tap-dance yet today, avoiding questions about how a Vice-President of the United States can shoot somebody and have it go wholly unreported for a full 24 hours, he didn't need to dance around about this one...because the White House Press Corp apparently doesn't read The BRAD BLOG. At least they didn't this morning.

I'll have to review the full transcript of the Press Briefing when it becomes available, but for my money, the top-question is: Had the victim, 78 year-old, Harry Whittington ended up dying, would we have ever heard about the shooting at all?

The way the White House has behaved so far, and apparently avoided properly informing local law-enforcement officials (one such report is here), suggests this all would have simply disappeared had Whittington actually been shot to death by Cheney.

Anyway, here's what we reported late last night at the end of our long Sunday "Live Blogging" on Deadeye Dick:

===

THE THIRD HUNTER IS REVEALED... by Ron Brynaert over at RAW STORY. It seems the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, Pamela Willeford, another Bush Family crony, was also along for the festivities. The revelation by the Cox News Service, has yet to be picked up by any publication. As reported by RAW...

Pamela Willeford, a former Texas education official, accompanied Cheney and Whittington as they hunted quail at the Armstrong ranch in Texas on Saturday.
...
According to Open Secrets, "Willeford and her immediate family contributed a total of $23,200 to Republicans during the 2000, 2002 and 2004 election cycles, including $7,000 to the Bush campaigns and an additional $500 to the Bush-Cheney recount fund established after the 2000 election."

No explanation yet, for the lack of coverage of the Willeford story, despite a couple of lede grafs which seem to us to be too good not to print!...

Just before sunset Saturday, 78-year-old Harry Whittington pulled off "a double" --- bringing down two quails with two successive blasts from his shotgun.

One of Whittington's hunting companions, Vice President Dick Cheney, wasn't as accurate.

MORE UPDATES NOW HERE...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 2:45am PT  

This could be fun.

Until it's good to go, if you're not familiar with the Clint Curtis story, see this Quick Summary or this Index of Key BRAD BLOG Articles on the matter from the last 14 months of reporting the amazing saga. It's well worth diving into if you're not familiar with it.

If you're already up to speed on Curtis, distract yourself until we break the new story with Sunday's "Live Blogging" of Deadeye Dick...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2006 6:57pm PT  

...Still rolling on this previous item... Many curious questions exist. See the link for more details.

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Story of Army Specialist Tomas Young, First Revealed on The BRAD SHOW from Crawford, Texas, Discussed in Mike Wallace Story This Evening
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2006 5:48pm PT  

We're told that tonight's 60 Minutes features a segment with Mike Wallace on "Wounds of War" featuring soldiers injured in Iraq. (60 Minutes' website now has coverage of the segment, with a video link, but it's not the complete segment apparently.)

The segment, third on tonight's broadcast, features an interview with Tomas Young, whose story we first highlighted during our special "Operation Noble Cause" radio broadcasts on The BRAD SHOW from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, TX, last summer. Apparently footage of me interviewing Young is a quick part of the segment.

Army Specialist Young was paralyzed from the waist down --- on the same day and in the same city as Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey --- while riding in a canvas-covered truck through Sadr City during the uprising there.

Young is seen in the photo at right at Camp Casey with his new wife, Bree, requesting a meeting with Bush. They had come to Crawford on their honeymoon. Bush had refused a meeting with Sheehan at the time on the grounds that he'd already met with her. As far as we know, Bush has still never met with Young, who wanted to ask him why he was refusing to support Stem Cell research so that he might someday be able to walk again.

-- The initial BRAD BLOG item on Young from Aug. 29, 2005 is right here.
-- My radio interview from Camp Casey on that same day with Young is right here [MP3].

UPDATE: Have now seen the segment, and it was interesting. We'll try to get it up here. One thing I didn't know until tonight was that Tomas' brother is still serving in Iraq. So for those who suggest that what Young is doing --- in speaking out against the war --- is harming our troops...well...he made clear on 60 Minutes that's the last thing he'd want to do with a brother still serving there!

FURTHER UPDATE: Here's the segment! Courtesy of the invaluable David Edwards!


Video in Streaming Flash format...

(Hat-tip Jesse of Stakeholder for the heads-up!)

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By John Gideon on 2/12/2006 5:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Election officials in Cambria and Somerset Counties in Pennsylvania "know" they will have touch-screen voting machines (DREs) in place for this May's primary election even though no contracts have yet been signed. They stupidly think they can take custody of completely new technology, train election workers and the voters and have a trouble free election all with a few weeks preparation. This is pure incompetence. Also Illinois violates their own state laws to help out Sequoia and Sequoia gets an attempted assist in New Mexico....

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

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UPDATES...Ranch Owner Hired Cheney at Halliburton, on Covert FISA Board Under Reagan, Bush Pioneer...
Incident Occurred Saturday, Not Released Until Moments Ago...HOSPITAL SPOKESMAN ON WHITTINGTON'S CONDITION...In Intensive Care Unit for 2nd Night in a Row...Eye-Witness/Media Continue to Downplay Incident...Victim in Intensive Care Unit for Second Night...Third Hunting Party Revealed as Bush Crony, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland...
By John Gideon on 2/12/2006 1:29pm PT  

This just out minutes ago from Associated Press...

WASHINGTON --- Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said today.

Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets on Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.

Armstrong said Cheney turned to shoot a bird and accidentally hit Whittington. She said Whittington was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said the vice president was with Whittington, a lawyer from Austin, and his wife at the hospital this afternoon.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: Several sources (Fox, CNN, Reuters) confirming incident, but reporting it took place yesterday (Saturday) at 5:30pm Texas time. Why was the story withheld from the media until now? Almost 24 hours later? The man is reported to be in stable condition, apparently, at this time. Did they wait until they could report that he would be fine before releasing it at all? Would we have found out about it at all, therefore, if the man had died? Did they wait until after it was too late to be discussed discussed on the Sunday News shows?

Just some of the questions I expect we'll be hearing shortly.

FURTHER UPDATES...

Cheney on hunting...

I much prefer to catch wild fish or chase wild quail in South Texas...and perfectly happy to adjust as required.

And I also care a lot about gun laws. I worry sometimes that there is a growing antihunting sentiment that I run into with people...people who have no idea what it's all about...have never done it and don't like the idea of somebody else doing it.

On the Armstrongs, on whose ranch the incident occurred, and their relation to Cheney et al...From WhiteHouseForSale.org...

"We go out when the dew is still on the grass, and then hunt until we shoot our limit," Tobin said in 2000 of his ranch outings with Dick Cheney. "Then we pick a fine spot and have a wild game picnic lunch." True conservatives might choke on their javelina steaks if they knew that Tobin Armstrong dunned the government for $11,336 in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2002, according to the Environmental Working Group. Anne Armstrong served as: a close advisor to President Nixon; President Ford's British Ambassador; and approved covert actions on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Reagan. A veteran of blue-chip corporate boards, Anne Armstrong was a Halliburton director when that corporation hired Cheney. She is Kay Bailey Hutchison's best friend...

Katherine Armstrong is the daughter of Anne, and was the one who witnessed the incident, quoted in the stories.

MORE... Shakespeare's Sister has details on Cheney's victim, Harry Whittington, and his long-standing crony-hood with Boy Bush...

DETAILS FROM HOSPITAL ON WHITTINGTON'S CONDITION... As Josh Marshall points out, details on Whittington's condition has so far only been reported by the property owner, Katharine Armstrong who has, by-and-large, downplayed the injury as no big deal.

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital spokesperson, Yvonne Wheeler, tells The BRAD BLOG that the only information currently given to them by doctors is that Whittington is in "stable condition."

She's not able to say whether or not his condition has been worse previously when he was admitted to the facility at 8:15pm CT on Saturday, and then upgraded more recently.

News reports have said that Whittington was shot at 5:30pm CT, but Wheeler had no explanation for the apparent delay in his admission, other than she understands he was initially treated on-site. While the hospital is a two-hour drive from Armstrong's ranch, Whittington was transported to the facility by the hospital's own helicopter, so the reason for the apparent two-hour time-delay is still unclear.

No word yet on when Whittington may be released from the hospital.

Wheeler said that the media has requested a doctor there give a briefing on hunting accidents in general, and they will be doing so shortly.

We've so far been unable to receive comment from Cheney's office.

According to AP, Armstrong had said about the shooting:

"It broke the skin," she said of the shotgun pellets. "It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that."
...
"This is something that happens from time to time. You now, I've been peppered pretty well myself," said Armstrong.

THE LEFT COASTER POINTS OUT... That apparently it's all Whittington's own fault --- not Cheney's! --- that he got shot...At least according to Armstrong...

Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong said.

"The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

BRAD BLOG commenter Bonnie reports...

At 7:00pm [ET] tonight CNN's anchor was interviewing a doctor from the hospital the shooting victim was in. The anchor asked him how the patient was doing and the doctor stated that he was in the Trauma ICU but stable. The anchor was then so dumb as to ask if the patient would be able to go home tonight. The doctor repeated that he was in ICU. This guys wounds did more than break the skin.

JAMES AND SARAH BRADY RELEASE COMMENT... And a hilarious one at that...

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

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By John Gideon on 2/11/2006 5:52pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The February 07 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

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

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The Former FBI Translator Destroys the Current CIA Director's Latest Attempt at Misleading America...
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2006 3:32pm PT  

On Friday, CIA Director Porter Goss wrote an op-ed for the New York Times claiming that national security whistleblowers are harming U.S. intelligence interests. That, as a "pre-emptive" attack on next week's U.S. House sub-committee hearings on the need for new whistleblower protection litigation.

Today, Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator turned whistleblower --- who knows a thing or two about what protections are and aren't available to patriots who wish to reveal unlawful behavior inside America's intelligence agencies --- posts a reply to Goss which cleans his clock. I mean: Cleans. His. Clock.

Read it in full to learn what's really at stake in this issue. But as a tease, here's her closing graf:

Mr. Goss, I cannot attribute this misleading op-ed to your ignorance, since you were a member of Congress until recently and are surely aware of the lack of meaningful protection for national security whistleblowers; so I won't. I will not attribute it to your stupidity, since obviously our Congress confirmed your position and I do not intend to insult their wisdom and intelligence. Thus, it must be your arrogance, nurtured and fed by your boss on your purported inherent and limitless authority and power, leading you to treat us, the American Public, as stupid.
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Rare Saturday Email in Advance of Resolutions of Inquiry Mark-Up Said a Sign of GOP/White House Concern About Warrantless Eavesdropping Program...
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2006 2:18pm PT  

Is the Bush Administration getting nervous about growing GOP defections concerning their warrantless NSA domestic eavesdropping program?

A rare Saturday email to Congressional members announcing a last-minute scheduled briefing on Monday by the Dept. of Justice would seem to indicate that may be the case.

The email, sent earlier today and obtained by The BRAD BLOG, notified Congressional Republicans and Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee of the newly announced briefing for Monday --- in advance of next Wednesday's mark-up of two Resolutions of Inquiry being put forward in the committee.

The email announcement follows in full...

From: Cylke, Chris
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:14 AM
To: Cylke, Chris; Judiciary, Rep Leg Staff; Judiciary, Dem Staff & LAs
Cc: Judiciary, Majority Staff
Subject: Unclassified briefing by DOJ on NSA surveillance program
Importance: High

Will be held at 3 pm on Monday, Feb 13th. Presentation will be followed by an opportunity for Q & A. This briefing is for Judiciary Committee Members and staff only. If you have questions, please contact Beth Sokul at 5-3951.
Christopher Cylke
House Judiciary Committee

A House staffer confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that such Saturday notices are very unusual and speculated that the White House may be becoming increasing concerned about GOP defections concerning the legality of their warrantless domestic eavesdropping program.

The staffer speculated the move may be meant as an attempt to give the House Judiciary Committee a way to say, "Well, we've had this briefing now, so there's no need for full hearings on it."

Next Wednesday, the Committee is scheduled for mark-up of the two following resolutions:

  • H. Res. 643, "Directing the Attorney General to submit to the House of Representatives all documents in the possession of the Attorney General relating to warrantless electronic surveillance of telephone conversations and electronic communications of persons in the United States conducted by the National Security Agency"
  • H. Res. 644, "Requesting the President and directing the Attorney General to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution documents in the possession of those officials relating to the authorization of electronic surveillance of citizens of the United States without court approved warrants"
  • The mark-up conference will be carried live on the web next Wednesday, February 15, 2006 beginning at 10:00am ET.

    Full audio and video will be available via the Judiciary Committee website at www.Judiciary.House.gov

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    But Some in Attendance Feel She 'Hurts' the Conservative Movement with 'Blatant' Attacks
    BRAD BLOG's Special CPAC Correspondent on the 'Conservative' Darling's Most Hostile Address To Date...Including AUDIO Interviews, VIDEO of Protests and Coulter Dissing BRAD BLOG!
    By Daniel Borchers on 2/11/2006 1:47pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by Special BRAD BLOG CPAC Correspondent Daniel Borchers

    EDITOR'S NOTE: We've asked Dan Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Brother Watch & Coulter Watch, to cover the "Conservative Political Action Conference" (CPAC) in D.C. this weekend as our Special BRAD BLOG correspondent. We've written about Borchers --- who was escorted out of CPAC in 2002 for distributing material critical of CPAC darling Ann Coulter and disallowed media credentials in the years following --- in several previous articles here, here, both of which include videos he's compiled showing Coulter to be a detriment to the Conservative Movement. As well, we wrote about Borchers in an article for the February issue of Mother Jones. He previous dispatch from "Bloggers Row" at CPAC on DAY 1 is here.

    Anticipation for Ann Coulter's performance was high. Throughout the afternoon, the emcee repeatedly announced that the first four rows of seats were specifically reserved for gold club members. The panel preceding Coulter's speech was cut short to prepare for hers. Coulter's personal bodyguard ensured the stage was secure.

    Coulter entered as if she owned that stage.

    The audience gave Coulter a standing ovation as she graced the mesmerized crowd with her welcoming smile. The enthralled throng was jubilant. Audience members standing along the walls on the sides and back of the packed auditorium jockeyed for better viewing positions. Cameras flashed. And the audience cheered as she began to speak.

    Coulter held the audience in the grip of her words, her voice, her message. A burst of applause and cheers greeted her "Raghead" joke: "I think our motto should be post-9-11, 'raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'"

    But just moments later, a deathly silence filled the room as people grasped the full import of Coulter's express wish that liberal Supreme Court Justices be targeted for assassination. But Coulter quickly lured back her audience.

    During Q&A, one student asked Coulter what her greatest ethical dilemma was. Coulter toyed with the audience as the hushed auditorium awaited her answer to this personal question. Then Coulter replied, "One time I had a shot at Clinton. I thought, 'Ann, that's not going to help your career.'"

    The audience went wild in appreciation, suggesting hatred of the former president remains high among conservatives.

    Another student (a Muslim) suggested Coulter stop denigrating all Muslims for the actions of a few, while a third student criticized her for her racist rhetoric. Coulter's responses were lackluster and non-responsive. Afterwards, one student noted, "She can dish it out, but she can't take it."

    Coulter left the stage to another standing ovation and the emcee begged the audience to remain for the next panel. Many left to follow Coulter to a book signing at the Claire Boothe Luce Policy Institute booth. (Complete Audio of Coulter Speech posted previously here.)

    But not everyone at CPAC was thrilled about Coulter's presence. Prior to the speech, I spoke with Mohammed Ali Hasan, a spokesman for "Muslims for Bush" and "Muslims for America" who feels that Coulter is "completely inappropriate" and that she "hurts" the Conservative movement. Hasan unapologetically denounced Coulter as a poor representative for Conservatism. "Ann Coulter spends more time being a racist and bigot, and we don't welcome her at this conference."

    "Right now," Hasan went on, "I'd advise the leadership of CPAC to re-think who should be there speaker for next year." (Listen to my short interview with Hasan [MP3].)

    After the speech, I spoke with one student, a Christian, who had deliberately gone down to the exhibit hall to apologize to the Muslim student for Coulter's objectionable "raghead" comments and others. Many other students were unnerved by portions of Coulter's speech and her "blatantly beating up on Muslims." (Listen to my short interview with several of the Students [MP3].)

    Perhaps the weirdest recurrence at CPAC is Coulter-mania ? Ann Coulter has spoken at nine consecutive CPAC conferences ? and each year is more manic than the last. The longest lines are always for her book signings. Coulter-abilia is everywhere.

    One remarkable aspect of Coulter's annual CPAC speeches is this startling fact: rarely is the subject known in advance. She is given free rein to speak on whatever she wants.

  • 1998. Speech and panel debate.
  • 1999. Panel debate. Coulter was in tears because of being yanked off the stage.
  • 2000. Coulter was lauded the Conservative Journalist of the Year.
  • 2001. Coulter answered one fan's question about the authorship of her first book, claiming the failure to credit Michael Chapman was an "editorial oversight." Neither Coulter nor Regnery have ever given official credit to Chapman for his literary and research contributions to that book.
  • 2002. Coulter infamously threatened liberals with death ? to conservative applause.
  • 2003. Coulter was acclaimed the Conservative Woman of the Year.
  • 2004. Coulter played the Anti-Semitism card in denouncing liberals.
  • 2005. Coulter proclaimed the need for a New McCarthyism to a wildly-cheering standing-room-only audience.
  • 2006. Coulter advocated the killing of liberal Supreme Court Justices.
  • It is shocking how complacent conservatives have become despite Coulter's most extreme rhetoric. Indeed, many come to CPAC to see her because of her extreme rhetoric.

    Cheers,

    Dan Borchers
    www.BrotherWatch.com

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Later that evening, Coulter gave another address at George Washington University. A BRAD BLOG fan was on hand with a video recorder, but not allowed to tape the address despite prior permission granted.

    Instead, he was able to tape some of the student protests of Coulter's appearance outside the auditorium as well as catching Coulter greeting fans...but dissing The BRAD BLOG...on her way home from the event!

    Why does Ann Coulter hate us so?


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

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