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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, November 27, 2014
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seemed before this week's show'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
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?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

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
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

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
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 2/10/2006 5:08pm PT  

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

Alaska is planning on finally turning over the voting files to the state Democratic party. It is hard to believe that what the party will get is going to prove or disprove anything now. In Florida the National Federation of the Blind lawsuit against Volusia Co. has been kicked out of the court. In New Mexico their voter verified paper ballot bill continues to move through the state legislature even against the scorn of some in the legislature and one stubborn county election official who may have staked her political future in her battle against verifiable elections. And the spigot of dis- and mis-information is wide open in Pennsylvania....

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

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Discusses 'Ragheads', Clinton Assassination, Death to Supreme Court Jusices & More...
[UPDATED WITH FULL AUDIO FROM SPEECH!]
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2006 3:34pm PT  

See RAW STORY for a few choice quotes from Coulter's standing room only speech just given at the "Conservative Political Action Conference" (CPAC) in D.C.

A couple such quotes reportedly include:

"I think our motto should be post-9-11, 'raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'" (This declaration prompted a boisterous ovation.)

Coulter on killing Bill Clinton:

(Responding to a question from a Catholic University student about her biggest moral or ethical dilemma) "There was one time I had a shot at Clinton. I thought 'Ann, that's not going to help your career.'"

As Max Blumenthal mentioned at RAW, Coulter is the "rock star" of CPAC, and the complete audio of the event of her address (now posted below) complete with hysterical cheers from the adoring jam-packed crowd, of the event bears that out.

BRAD BLOG's Special CPAC Correspondent Dan Borchers submitted the following, along with the complete audio of Coulter's speech. (See this previous post for Borchers' details on DAY 1 from yesterday, and how he came to cover the event for us.)

Ann Coulter Gets Ugly at CPAC...

Ann Coulter, speaking before a standing-room-only crowd, expressed racist views, said she wanted liberal Supreme Court Justices to be killed and explained that she once had a chance to kill President Clinton, but thought that would be a career-stopper. Here's the audio of that speech and Q&A [MP3]. A fuller report will follow, complete with photos and interviews.

(Apologies for the quality of the audio...it improves a bit as it goes on.)

UPDATE: Dan's more detailed report on the speech, including Audio interviews with some who are less than pleased with Coulter's appearance, as well as Video of protests outside and a warm BRAD BLOG greeting from Coulter is now posted here...

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Ranking House Judiciary Minority Member Asks for Confirmation, Clarification of Reported 'Authorization' by Cheney and other 'White House Superiors' in Plame CIA Leak Case...
Inquires into 'Legal Basis' for Leaks Which Bush Has Previously Decried...
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2006 1:26pm PT  

John Conyers (D-MI), ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, has just sent the following letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

The letter, published exclusively below, concerns questions about the revelations from National Journal yesterday that Cheney's former chief of staff, I. "Scooter" Libby testified to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury that he was "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" to leak classified national security intelligence to the media.

It should be noted that a Vice President's chief of staff, doesn't have all that many "superiors" in addition to the Veep himself.

The leaks, as reported by Murray Waas, were meant to discredit former Ambassador Joe Wilson's assertions that the Administration was manipulating various intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq War, and later, to justify the Administration's questionable use of pre-War Intelligence.

We post Conyers' letter in full, including questions seeking confirmation and clarification from both Bush and Cheney on these matters below...

February 10, 2006

The President
The Vice President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Vice President:

Yesterday, the National Journal and AP reported that the Vice President's former Chief of Staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, had testified to a federal grand jury that as part of an effort to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and defend your Administration's use of prewar intelligence, he had been authorized by the Vice President and other White House superiors to leak classified information to journalists.(1) Moreover, correspondence filed by Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald also reveals that Mr. Libby has asserted that he had been authorized to disclose to the media a still-classified portion of a National Intelligence Estimate about alleged efforts to develop nuclear weapons to the media.(2)

If this is true, I am concerned that it constitutes an abuse of power at best, and may be outright unlawful at worst. As I understand the applicable declassification regulations, they provide that "[i]nformation shall be declassified as soon as it no longer meets the standard for classification under this order."(3) Under these standards, it would appear that neither classified nuclear information nor Valerie Plame's status as a covert agent or the name of her employer warranted declassification. This is why Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has stated that these leaks were "a serious breach of public trust"(4)

As a result of these reports, I would like to ask you the following questions:

1. Is the report in the National Journal accurate? Have you or your staffs authorized Mr. Libby or other personnel within the Administration to declassify and leak information to the media relating to the Iraq war and the use of pre-war intelligence on any occasions? If so, please describe.

2. What is the legal basis for authorizing such declassifications and disclosures?

3. On September 30, 2003, the President declared, "[l]isten, I know of nobody - I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information ... If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."(5) Do you still stand by the President's pledge and, if so, what action are you planning to take against any individuals who may have authorized the leaks described in the National Journal article?

To the extent you believe any of the information needed to respond to the above questions may be classified or sensitive, I am happy to meet with you or your staffs directly on these matters. I may be reached through my Judiciary Committee office at 202-225-6504, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.

-------------------------------------

1 Murray Waas, Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information, National Journal, Feb. 9, 2006 available at http://nationaljournal.c...tories/2006/0209nj1.htm#.

2 Id.

3 Executive Order No. 12958, 68 Fed. Reg. 15,315 (Mar. 28, 2003).

4 Peter Slevin and Carol D. Leonnig, Inquiry as Exacting As Special Counsel Is, Washington Post, Oct. 24, 2005, at A3.

5 President George W. Bush, President Discusses Job Creation with Business Leaders, Remarks at University of Chicago (Sept. 30, 2003) (transcript available at: http://www.whitehouse.go.../2003/09/20030930-9.html).

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Guest Blogger Daniel Borchers Covers the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C. Exclusively for The BRAD BLOG!
PLUS: Photos and VR's 'ImpeachMobile' Met with Fingers from CPAC Attendees, 'Hitler Youth' and Cheney Motorcade in front of Omni Shoreham Hotel!
By Daniel Borchers on 2/10/2006 1:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Special BRAD BLOG CPAC Correspondent Daniel Borchers

EDITOR'S NOTE: The BRAD BLOG has obtained media credentials to cover this year's "Conservative Political Action Conference" (CPAC) which began on Thursday, and will be taking place this weekend in Washington D.C. We've asked Dan Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Brother Watch & Coulter Watch, to cover the event as our 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. We're pleased to have him corresponding for us from "Bloggers Row" at CPAC this year. This is his first dispatch...

If you think all conservatives think alike, guess again. CPAC is a great place for an education in Conservatism.

The 33rd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being held in Washington, DC, February 9-11, 2006. CPAC features prominent national speakers, with thousands of students in attendance. White House officials, senators and congressmen, special interest groups and media personalities all converge at this largest annual gathering of conservatives to network, debate political issues, channel grassroots activism and define the direction of Conservatism for the coming year.

Conservatives of all stripes coalesce at CPAC, though anti-war paleoconservatives have been scarce in recent years. Neoconservatives predominate. Pro-market conservatives abound. Cultural conservatives thrive. Libertarians are free to liberate (to whatever degree they can) the Conservative Movement from the pro-security and pro-life wings of the party. This year, even the legalization of marijuana is formally debated.

You can find conservatives opposed to the Iraq War, Muslims supporting President Bush and an organization against the war on Christmas.

This year's theme was modestly called, "The Conservative Agenda for America." Among this kaleidoscope of conservatives, what that agenda will be remains to be seen. Unquestionably, the majority at CPAC favor President Bush and the neoconservative. What, exactly, unites these disparate threads of Conservatism? I suspect a mixture of freedom and faith, family and fortune.

As this year's CPAC Conference progresses, I'll file additional reports and photos. (See below for a selection of photos from the first day.)

Till then,

Cheers,

Dan Borchers
www.BrotherWatch.com

(Ed Note: Photos from CPAC Day 1, taken by Dan follow, along with photos of Velvet Revolution's "ImpeachMobile" which was parked out front, and a report from the driver about the various "friendly gestures" they received from CPAC attendees, and a group he described as "Hitler Youth")...

UPDATE: Borcher's dispatch from Day 2, including details (audio and video) from Ann Coulter's big keynote speech is now posted here...

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

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By David Edwards on 2/10/2006 11:01am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

At the end of December 2005, there were 84 detainees on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay. Today, there are 4 detainees on hunger strike. The Pentagon has confirmed that some detainees on hunger strike were force-fed through a feeding tube.

Now, several detainees are claiming that the force feeding procedure is intentionally cruel and amounts to torture. CNN is reporting that detainees say their arms and legs were strapped down as they were overfed through the feeding tube. Afterwards, detainees were left strapped to the chair where they were forced to urinate on themselves.

CBS News reports:

...officials warned detainees on Jan. 9 that hunger strikers would be strapped tightly to a restraint chair and force-fed with a thicker tube than had been used earlier.

He also said that detainees would no longer receive throat lozenges to ease the pain of the feeding tubes and that they would have their shoes, blankets and towels taken from them and confined to a room that was deliberately kept colder than normal if they refused food.

"I'm brave, but I'm not stupid," al-Odah is quoted as saying to explain his decision to quit the hunger strike. "On the chair, I'll be restrained and unable to resist. They are determined to torture me."

The Pentagon and the White House deny, deny, deny that torture is condoned or being used at Gitmo. (Scottie always takes an uncomfortably long pause right before he lies about vehemently denies something.)

Here's a video report from CNN that includes comments from a lawyer for 3 of the detainees and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's vehement denial of torture and abuse.


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

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By David Edwards on 2/10/2006 7:33am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Crooks and Liars first posted a MSNBC Countdown clip last night which exposed Bush's LA terror speech as a load of bullshit.

MSNBC Security Expert Gerald Posner made some important points that are worth highlighting:

OLBERMANN: Was this a real plot?

POSNER: ...it wasn't a plot that all of the sudden, like in [the Fox TV Series] "24", that they stopped on the eve of the execution taking place. It just happened to unravel and the people were eventually arrested.

...
OLBERMANN: ...why did this speech occur? What was accomplished by it?

POSNER: ...they're really trying to get [support] built up for The Patriot Act. They are trying to pass The Patriot Act. At the same time, I think they are looking at getting this scandal off of them - which is the NSA hearing scandal - something they are having trouble with.

...
OLBERMANN: The White House is also saying that it was able to disclose these plot details today because they no longer had intelligence value. Do you concur with that assessment?

POSNER: Boy, not at all. As a matter of fact, I'll tell you I've seen this game played by Democratic and Republican administrations. The Bush Administration plays hardball with it all the time and when they decide something doesn't have intelligence value they release it for political purposes as they did today. They want to get The Patriot Act through and they want to make sure they quell all this furor taking place over the NSA Domestic Spying routine.

So I'll tell you, they say it has no value at all but everything else... they are still holding on to information from World War II. We can't get documents released on the Kennedy assassination yet here's the President disclosing details on what happened on 911 just a few years ago.

OLBERMANN: We have talked before with deep sadness about the politicizing of counter-terror measures here. You have just put this into a political context. My stomach is queasy as I ask this. In the context of this today and what you have seen, are we far enough removed from that component of the [Orwell] novel "1984" - the part where the government turns a kind of terror faucet on and off to scare the public in to acquiescing to whatever [the government] wants to do?

POSNER: I'm afraid that we are unfortunately at that point. ...the government is also very effective, the Bush Administration, at using terror as a political weapon an making sure it can turn on the "fear spigot" when it wants to and turn it off at other times.


Video in Streaming Flash format...

Crooks and Liars has this video in additional formats.

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By David Edwards on 2/9/2006 9:37pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Here's a short clip from tonight's broadcast:




Video in Streaming Flash format
Video in Windows Media format

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Cheney 'Authorized' CIA Leaks, NSA Wiretapping Worse Than Previously Described & Developments on the Denny Hastert/Sibel Edmonds Bribery Allegations...
By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2006 5:27pm PT  

I've been on the road all day and, as well, working on a number of important reports for the coming week. You'll want to keep your eyes on The BRAD BLOG in the the days ahead. We may be unloading fast and furiously on a number of breaking and important news items.

In the meantime, however, today there have been some very notable developments in several of the plethora of continuing Republican Scandals wending their way through the courts, the media and the hearts and minds of the American people...

DENNIS HASTERT BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS...


  • More on Hastert and the allegations that he may have been bribed to withdraw a Congressional resolution naming the murder of anywhere from 600,000 to 1.5 million Armenians as a "genocide" by the Turkish government. On Tuesday, in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive, we reported on former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds' reaction to recent curious developments including a surprise denial of parts of the story from Hastert's attorney several months after the original report. Edmond's is reported to have listened in on FBI wiretaps out of Chicago discussing the possible bribes of "Denny Boy" as he's said to have been described on the tapes. Bob Fertik has a few more details and thoughts on the matter.
  • Blogger "Lukery" has now set up a blog devoted to related developments and the call for Hastert to disclose his "un-itemized" $500,000 in contributions between 1996 and 2002. The site is: http://DiscloseDenny.blogspot.com.
  • WARRANTLESS NSA SPYING UPDATE...


  • AmericaBlog has coverage of the Washington Times article critical of Bush's eavesdropping program. (Yes, that Washington Times, and yes, we said "critical"! Which makes this article very notable!) The Washington Times piece reports that the program included American to American calls, not just al Qaeda folks as previously reported; "has failed to make a dent in the war against al Qaeda"; and that apparently al Qaeda members are currently running free in the United States and the Bush admin is unable to found them due to "insufficient intelligence and even poor analysis."
  • WaPo has new details on the two FISA court judges who are reportedly pissed off about the way the Bush Administration had been, and continue to, deal with them. Reportedly, the FISA court went so far as to shut down the NSA spying program for a time after repeatedly finding that the Bush Administration was using information gleaned from warrantless spying to receive warrants for additional spying from FISA. The judges also had questions about the constitutionality of the program.
  • VALERIE PLAME CIA LEAK INVESTIGATION...


  • Murray Waas files another superb report in National Journal on the CIA/Valerie Plame leak investigation. The headline is that former Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby testified to Fitzgerald's Grand Jury that he was "authorized" by Cheney and "other White House superiors" to leak classified intelligence information to the media in order to shore up the Administration's case for going to war with Iraq. The leaks included the disclosure of the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame in an attempt to discredit her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson prior to the war's start, as well as additional classified intel later in order to make the case that the Administration did not manipulate pre-war intelligence. As well, Waas describes evidence of the emerging "Oliver North Defense Strategy" that Libby seems to be employing by demanding classified docs that the White House won't allow to be released, in hopes that it may force the Judge to toss out the case entirely.

    UPDATE from David Edwards: CBS News reports on Cheney's leak "authorization"...

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

  • Jason Liepold at TruthOut also has a a superb detailed report which seems to confirm the above concerning Cheney's authorization to go after Wilson. Liepold quotes sources from State, CIA and the NSC who were aware of and/or present at meetings in Cheney's office concerning Wilson. The sources say that both Cheney and then-Deputy National Security Advisor (now Cheney chief of staff) Stephen Hadley, "led a campaign beginning in March 2003 to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson for publicly criticizing the Bush administration's intelligence on Iraq." The sources, who are said to have testified before Fitzgerald's Grand Jury investigating the leak, said their roles in the matter "included digging up or 'inventing' embarrassing information on the former Ambassador that could be used against him"

    Liepold describes the following exchange with one of his CIA sources:

    "The way I remember it," the CIA official said about that first meeting he attended in Cheney's office, "is that the vice president was obsessed with Wilson. He called him an 'asshole,' a son-of-a-bitch. He took his comments very personally. He wanted us to do everything in our power to destroy his reputation and he wanted to be kept up to date about the progress."
  • Lots ahead. Unfortunately. Hell, we didn't even mention Abramoff or Electoral Fraud once in the above report! Stay tuned...

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    By John Gideon on 2/9/2006 5:02pm PT  

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

    John Fund, writing in the WallStreetJournal, attacks the Maryland legislature for not taking action against voter fraud and for not doing like other states and making it harder for some voters to vote. Fund continues to think that voter fraud is a big problem while there is not evidence to prove this but he ignores election fraud which is a huge problem. An Appeals Court in New Jersey has reinstated a lawsuit filed by a Rutgers University Law Clinic in 2004 that challenges the ability of New Jersey's electronic voting machines to count votes accurately, in compliance with voting rights laws. This may be huge news....

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

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    Appellate Court Reinstates Lawsuit Challenging Ability of E-Vote Machines to Count Votes Accurately and in Accordance with Both the State Constitution and Election Law
    Suit May Have Far-Reaching Implications for Other States...
    By John Gideon on 2/9/2006 4:12pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    In a just released press release the Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ has announced that all electronic voting machines used in New Jersey may violate New Jersey's Constitution and election laws.

    The press release goes on to say:

    In its decision, the Appellate Division reinstated a lawsuit filed by the clinic in 2004 that challenges the ability of New Jersey's electronic voting machines to count votes accurately, in compliance with voting rights laws. The Court reinstated the lawsuit even though, as a result of judicial and legislative efforts led by the clinic, all voting machines in the state must be equipped with a voter verified paper ballot component by 2008. The Court was concerned with protecting the hundreds of millions of votes that would be cast on voting machines between now and 2008. The Court also expressed its concern that the Attorney General's office would use a loophole in the statute and issue waivers to the 2008 voter verified paper ballot requirement further jeopardizing the franchise.

    The lawsuit is the first in the nation to successfully challenge electronic voting machines. Professor Penny Venetis, associate director of the clinic and lead counsel on the case, commented, "This shows that our courts take very seriously their role in protecting our most fundamental of all rights the right to vote. Despite clear evidence that New Jersey's voting machines are insecure, the other branches of government failed to take appropriate action. That is why the Court stepped in," Venetis added.

    The same voting machines used by almost all of New Jersey's five million registered voters have been found too insecure to use and have been de-commissioned by California, Ohio, Nevada, and New York City. New Jersey does not check the software of electronic voting machines to determine whether they have been tampered with or whether they are faulty.

    The Rutgers clinic filed the suit on behalf of the Coalition for Peace Action, a citizens group based in Princeton that has been in the forefront of advocating for safe, transparent and auditable elections, as well as voter Stephanie Harris, a farmer whose vote was lost by a malfunctioning Mercer County electronic voting machine. Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, an early proponent of the voter verified paper ballot.

    This lawsuit could have an impact on lawsuits in other states. Paul Lehto, who is a complainant in a suit against Sequoia in Washington state because using secret software to count votes secretly is contrary to the Washington state Constitution, is very interested in the opinion in this case.

    We will keep an eye on this and report back when more is known.

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    By David Edwards on 2/9/2006 2:00pm PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards

    The Daily Show doesn't hold back as it covers two of this week's hot topics in a single hilarious segment.



    Video in Streaming Flash format
    Video in Windows Media format

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    By David Edwards on 2/9/2006 1:20pm PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards

    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on PBS Newshour along with Democratic Representative Jane Harman. Both expressed serious doubts about the legal underpinnings of the Bush-approved NSA Domestic Spying program.

    It is a rare occasion when words resembling actual wisdom grace the lips of the ultra-conservative South Carolina Senator. In this case, Senator Graham makes a strong argument in favor of the system of checks and balances required by The Constitution:

    ...the arguement that the Congress is unable to provide legal protections to American citizens in a time of war because the commander in chief believes that hurts his ability or her ability to make us safe would basically, over time, neuter the Congress and do away with the courts.

    During our entire history, during a time of war, Congress has been involved in passing legislation [like] "The War Powers Act". Courts have reviewed military decisions... I don't want that to change because checks and balances at a time of war are more important than ever.


    Video in Streaming Flash format...

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    Open Letter Also Calls for National Security Whistleblower Protection
    By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 11:31pm PT  

    George W. Bush's conservative flank continues to show signs of crumbling.

    A Libertarian-leaning coalition, comprised of many conservative Republican groups, is now joining the chorus of Americans calling for a full Congressional investigation into George W. Bush's warrantless government eavesdropping program, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

    In an open letter obtained from The Liberty Coalition, to be released publicly tomorrow, the group --- which features such noted true conservatives as former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) and the Republican Liberty Caucus --- is calling on Congress to hold comprehensive hearings into the warrantless NSA domestic wiretapping program. As well, the group calls on the Dept. of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter and stresses the need for Whistleblower protections to allow employees of national security agencies to come forward to testify to Congress about criminal behavior in their respective agencies.

    The letter says Bush's program threatens the ability of America to prosecute terrorists due to "tainted evidence obtained in possible violation of federal law." As well, it asks "what limit is there on any future president to secretly re-write our civil and criminal laws at will" if constitutional transgressions, such as those admitted to by the Bush Administration, continue to go unaddressed.

    Michael Ostrolenk, the group's co-founder, was most recently seen introducing Vice President Al Gore before a January 16th speech which was highly critical of Bush's program, describing it as in criminal violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In his address, Gore said, "The President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently." (Highlights of the speech available here.)

    FISA requires that the NSA receive a court order for wiretaps of U.S. citizens on American soil. Such warrants may be requested for up to 72 hours after the eavesdropping takes place. Ostrolenk's impromptu introduction was in place of Barr whose live video link to the event failed at the last minute. The Liberty Coalition was a co-sponsor of the event.

    Several "non-Conservative" groups, including Democrats.com and the non-partisan VelvetRevolution.us are also members of the coalition which describes itself as a "transpartisan network dedicated to protecting civil liberties and privacy rights". Additional groups from all across the American political spectrum have been joining of late. (DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us which is a signatory to the letter.)

    The complete Liberty Coalition letter (WORD version here), beginning with a quote from the "Federalist Papers" by James Madison, follows...

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

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    By John Gideon on 2/8/2006 5:04pm PT  

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

    After yesterday's reports from electionline.org and the large number of articles that were the result, today has been pretty quiet. The big news is the update of an AP article from yesterday that discussed Diebold and possible actions to be taken to save the corporation. The update includes more quotes from their CEO and plainer language regarding the possibility that Diebold will divest themselves of the money losing elections unit. Another blow to Diebold was announced today as the largest county in Washington state announced that they were going to go all vote-by-mail next year, thus not needing all of the Diebold TSx's they would otherwise need to purchase....

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

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    By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 1:35pm PT  

    As we pointed out in our story on Diebold yesterday, AP ran a short piece including an interview with new CEO Tom Swidarski revealing indications that he seems to be looking to unload the beleaguered Diebold Elections Division as part of his $100 million "restructuring plan" as recently promised to share holders.

    Shortly after our post about that article, AP reissued the same article, but with an additional quote from Swidarski, a bit more background on Diebold's many woes (former CEO Walden O'Dell's promise to deliver the state of Ohio to Bush, etc.) and a new headline: "Diebold chief says fate of e-voting unit under review".

    Looks like they changed their lede after they realized what Swidarski was actually signaling in his comments, which --- in the new piece --- also includes these two quotes:

    NORTH CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Diebold Inc.'s new chief executive, determined to cut $100 million in costs over three years, said he is reviewing whether the company should continue investing in its embattled electronic voting business.
    ...
    "There's pieces and aspects of each of our businesses that I'm going to be looking at with a very critical eye in terms of what the future holds for us," Swidarski said in his first media interview since taking over in December the company best known for its automatic teller machines and security systems.

    Risk within any of Diebold's businesses will be weighed against profit potential, Swidarski said. "If any of the pieces don't fit or any of the pieces don't add the value we think is associated with that risk, then we'll make appropriate decisions at that point," he said.

    Got that? Diebold is now looking to get the hell out of the Election Business.

    Feel free to contact your local Board of Election or Secretary of State who is considering signing a contract with these guys and let them know that Diebold may well not even be there a few months from now!

    For more information and key articles on the downfall of Diebold, see this BRAD BLOG Special Coverage Page...

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