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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, October 21, 2014
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP candidates still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes lung cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year on record; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell Oil...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/16/14 - Archives...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
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'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'Green News Report' 10/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': Special Coverage of WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting lower court's finding of law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS precedent on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Previous GNRs: 10/9/14 - 10/7/14 - Archives...
Strange But True: Minority Ruled in WI Photo ID Case
A bizarre sidebar to the federal court's ruling in WI, thanks to a quirk in the law and Dems' inability to fill a vacant seat on the 7th Circuit...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
Liar, Liar: Father and Son Reps Duncan Hunter Just Make Shit Up
Son claims ISIS agents nabbed at Mexican border! Father, as BRAD BLOG reported in 2007, said non-citizens 'rounded up' and 'herded' to vote in CA!...
SCOTUS BLOCKS WI PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
Bad news for GOP and Gov. Scott Walker, good news for voters, as U.S. Supreme Court restores demoracy at last minute to the Badger State...
FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN TX GOP'S 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL, DISCRIMINATORY' PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
U.S. District Court judge permanently enjoins GOP law, finds it discriminates, amounts to a poll tax...
ACLU on 'Photo ID Needed to Fly' Canard
They nailed federal Judge Easterbrook's lies about WI's Photo ID voting restriction much more succinctly than we did: 'Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again'...
'Green News Report' 10/9/14
McConnell & other GOP candidates dodge and retreat from climate denial; U.S. auto fleet achieves record fuel efficiency; PLUS: 'Clean Coal' in Canada?...
Non-KPFK 'BradCast': Special Election Coverage/Primal Scream Edition
This year's elections may be decided by the courts even before Election Day: A BradCast special...
SCOTUS Overturns 4th Circ, Allows NC to End Same-Day Registration, Counting of 'Wrong Precinct' Ballots
100s already disenfranchised; Nation's worst suppression law to have full trial next year...
GAO: Republican Photo ID Voting Restriction Laws Lowered Turnout in KS, TN
Dems tout non-partisan government report to underscore need to fix Voting Rights Act, but there's more to story they aren't mentioning...
Federal Court Tosses VA's Ridiculously Gerrymandered Congressional Map
Ruling by GW Bush appointee is too late for 2014 election, but redrawn map could result in 2 to 3 new Dem U.S. House seats in 2016...
'Green News Report' 10/7/14
LED inventors win Nobel Prize; EPA regs slashed cancer risk 65% in CA; L.A. builds all-electric highway; PLUS: SCOTUS upholds (GW Bush's) EPA ozone regulations...
7th Circuit Offers Blatant FALSEHOODS in Ruling on WI Photo ID Voting Law
No, Photo ID is NOT required for boarding an airplane, no matter how many times wingnuts make the claim to influence a SCOTUS ruling...
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 Brad Friedman on 10/12/2009 4:35pm PT  

I've been offline for much of yesterday and today while re-installing everything in the world, and restoring gigs o' data on a new notebook we can't afford, after one of ours nearly met its maker (DELL) over the past week while I was pressing hard on a deadline for an article elsewhere. (And yes, the article had run-on sentences as well!)

But looks like I'm lucky and haven't missed much. Or have I, and you all just haven't told me yet? I'll hope it's the former. My brain needs rest.

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UPDATE: Historic accord signed following last minute intervention from SoS Clinton...
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2009 11:12am PT  

The highly-contentious diplomatic relationship between Armenia and Turkey is set to warm up a bit today --- maybe --- as the long-quarreling countries are scheduled to sign an agreement opening up both diplomatic relations and their shared border.

To the surprise of probably nobody, the signing ceremony has hit a few last minute snags, as U.S. Sec. of State Hilary Clinton, present for the occasion, has been attempting to broker peace between the two sides as disagreements about what would be said at the signing has momentarily derailed finalization of the historic accord.

We point out all of this today as the dispute over a long-sought resolution in the U.S. Congress --- declaring the deaths of some 1.5 million Armenians by Turkey during WWI to be a "genocide" --- has been at the heart of many of the disclosures made by FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds that we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG for some time.

Edmonds contends that FBI counterintelligence wiretaps from 1996 to 2002 document the Turkish lobby/government's extraordinary efforts to compromise members of the U.S. Congress, through both blackmail and bribery, in order to derail the passage of such a resolution. Though the resolution has garnered a great deal of support in Congress over the years, it has been derailed, sometimes at the very last minute, every time it has been raised over the last decade or two.

You can read about those Congressmembers said to have been bribed/blackmailed here in our article covering that aspect of Edmonds' recent sworn deposition in an Ohio Election Commission case related to a dispute between Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2) and her 2008/10 opponent David Krikorian concerning the very same issue.

In addition to the Armenian Genocide dispute, Edmonds' disclosures also name high-ranking U.S. State and Defense Department officials as participating in espionage efforts said to include the theft of nuclear secrets from secure military bases, and their sale on the foreign black market. In a recent interview, 18-year FBI executive John M. Cole, a Counterintelligence and Counterespionage Manager, corroborated key elements of Edmonds' disclosures, including a "decade-long investigation" of Marc Grossman, our former Ambassador to Turkey, before he became the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department .

Cole, who says that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" in her disclosures, explained that the FBI's espionage probe "ultimately was buried and covered-up." Last week he called for a Special Counsel to investigate those named by Edmonds, so they may finally "be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."

UPDATE 12:31pm: Accord signed after Clinton's intervention, and the agreement that no statments would be made by either side. :-)

ZURICH (AP) --- Turkey and Armenia signed an accord Saturday to establish diplomatic relations after a century of enmity, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton helped the two sides clear a last-minute snag.

''It was pulled back from the brink,'' said a senior U.S. official

The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed the agreement in the Swiss city of Zurich after a dispute over the final statements they would make. In the end, the signing took place about three hours later and there were no spoken statements.

Officials say Clinton and mediators from Switzerland intervened to help broker a solution.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2009 11:33am PT  

Eric Kleefeld has rounded up highlights so far today of the wingers going "nuts" over Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize today, versus reasonable criticism about the award. Have a feeling folks here may want to ring in with their own thoughts on this today...

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Oslo, October 9, 2009

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After the laughter and concern, exceptionally kind words about our work here...
By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2009 7:35am PT  

On this coming weekend's Ring of Fire on Air America Radio, attorney/co-host Mike Papantonio can't stop laughing as he reads our headline from last week: "Georgia Supreme Court Rules Unauditable, Unverifiable Elections Are Just Fine".

Though they give me the credit, it was Rady Ananda's story here last week which expertly covered Diebold's wholly unverifiable touch-screen voting machines receiving the thumbs up for use across the entire state of Georgia, where they've been using them since 2002. That, even though there is no way to determine that any vote ever cast on any of them has ever been recorded accurately as per any voter's intent.

Once Pap stops laughing at our headline, he and David Bender discuss the article noting its even more terrifying "subtext", our previous coverage of the horrifying ES&S takeover over of Diebold's election division.

"Bad as Diebold was, it's now gonna be ES&S, their largest competitor ... ES&S may be the single voting machine company --- this one Goliath that will be unaccountable, unauditable to anybody --- and that's really where we're headed," Bender accurately warns. He advises folks to call Congress at 202-224-3121 in support of Sen. Chuck Schumer's demand for a DoJ antitrust investigation on this matter. We'll also point you to BlackBoxVoting.org who instructs how you can send your own antitrust complaint to the DoJ.

Finally, after Pap details ES&S' legendarily monumental "screw-ups" over the years (his firm was one of those who took on the state of Florida and ES&S after their voting machines simply lost 18,000 votes cast in the 2006 FL-13 U.S. House race, decided for the Republican candidate by just 369 votes), they go on to say some extraordinarily kind things about our work here at The BRAD BLOG.

My thanks to both Pap and David along with the swell Ring Of Fire producers for tipping us off with the exclusive heads-up in advance of this weekend's show --- both for their coverage of this issue, and for those exceptionally kind accolades.

Here's the 4.5 minute conversation [MP3] to air this weekend:

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with an online donation to help us keep going (Snail mail & other options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentaries in return! Details right here...
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By Brad Friedman on 10/8/2009 4:25pm PT  

Michael Moore calmly, efficiently and elegantly mopped the floor up with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. Poor, sad, lost, cowardly Sean never saw it coming and never even knew what hit him. Via RAW STORY...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/8/2009 12:43pm PT  

IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Climate slugfest in D.C. and Bangkok; Saving money by reducing emissions; How much weed killer is safe in your drinking water? ... PLUS: Lighting up the solar market and the National Mall ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Canada's "most disgusting export"; NIMBYism and the future of "Clean" Coal; In Michigan, a yellow light for green jobs; Converting greasy, dirty wastewater into fuel; Chamber of Commerce to Apple: You Don’t Understand Our '21st Century Approach To Climate Change'; DDT deposit off Southern California will be capped ... PLUS: What is BPA, and do I really need a new water bottle?....

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

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

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Never mind actual evidence for the former, none for the latter...
By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2009 4:34pm PT  

Please see RAW STORY for the whole story, but Bush's former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer pulled a slick, if sleazy maneuver on CNN's Larry King Live last night while undermining the wingnut "birthers" who believe that Obama is not a U.S. citizen:

I want to point out something that is a terrible hypocrisy about all of this. When George Bush was elected, there were many people who called him illegitimate and said that he lost Florida despite there being no evidence of that being the case.

Actually, there is "evidence of that being the case," Ari. Plenty of it. Beginning (but not ending) with this years-old independent study [PDF] by a media/academic consortium posted at the "conservative" American Enterprise Institute showing that when all the ballots in the state of Florida were counted --- by any standard (hanging chads, swing chads, pregnant chads, etc.) --- Bush lost and Gore won. By. Every. Conceivable. Counting. Standard. Period.

Other than that, yeah, "for everyone...who's a little lulu on the right, there's about 1.8 who's lulu on the left," as Fleischer misled.

Dishonest Moral Equivalence Accomplished.

The video from the 10/6/09 Larry King Live, also featuring whacky Rep. Michele Bachmann's evasion of whether the "birthers" are crazy or not, is posted below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2009 12:39pm PT  

We closed yesterday's Green News Report, with a new tune from They Might Be Giants called "Science is Real". The song was written for children, but seems to work as aptly for today's wingnut denialists, such as the embarrassing George Will, who, again, as we noted in the report, used his Washington Post column last week to make a fool of himself by ignoring and/or misunderstanding and/or misusing actual science when making his "scientifically illiterate" case that the world is cooling down, rather than heating up.

As Des noted during our report, which you can listen to here...

'Green News Report' w/ Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen
October 6, 2009


Click to listen (or download)
More info on today's report here...

...using the last ten years of "relatively stable" temperatures, the hottest years on record, and the "absence of significant warming since 1998" as evidence that the earth is cooling, versus the very clear evidence from the last several hundred thousand years showing that it's rapidly warming, is akin to using "one day on the stock market and calling it a trend."

Will's use of quotation marks around the word "scientists" is also rather telling.

To make matters even more embarrassing from him, his column, titled "Cooling Down the Cassandras," also misuses mythology, in that Cassandra was the prophetess who was actually always correct in sounding her alarms in hopes of avoiding disaster, but was never believed by those in power until it was too late.

Anyway, while I'm working a deadline in the background, I thought you guys might appreciate the light-hearted video for the awesome They Might Be Giants tune as a short respite from our heavy-ish coverage of late. Hopefully your kids will appreciate it. And perhaps even the wingnuts who chance across The BRAD BLOG today might end up learning something they should have picked up in 2nd grade...


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Election watchdog org demands accountability and the return of millions in fraudulently collected tax-payer dollars...
By Emily Levy on 10/6/2009 3:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us

Notorious electronic voting company Diebold, which has been hiding its election division under the name Premier Election Solutions, has bilked California taxpayers out of more than $100 million dollars for its failed, faulty, illegally certified electronic voting systems.

Velvet Revolution has now launched a new campaign: Diebold: Return Our Money! at DieboldReturnOurMoney.com and we hope you'll sign on in support.

California officials recently discovered that ALL of Diebold/Premier's voting systems violate federal, and thus state, certifications guidelines! These systems do some or all of the following in violation of those certification standards and laws:

  • delete ballots without notice
  • allow the "permanent" audit log records to be deleted
  • fail to properly record deletion of ballots
  • insert incorrect time stamps on audit log items.

Yet Diebold has falsely claimed, for years, they their systems meet all federal voting system standards. Accordingly, VR demands that:

1) DIEBOLD: RETURN OUR MONEY!: Diebold/Premier has accepted well over $100 million in county, state and federal taxpayer funds in California for services which the company knew it could not perform. With California's devastating budget shortfall of $ 45.5 billion dollars, we demand the return of these funds from Diebold. The purchase price for hardware, software licenses, and maintenance fees should be returned to the State within 90 days. If Diebold's announced sale to Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S) becomes final, California must be fully reimbursed nonetheless, whether from Diebold or ES&S.

2) SOS DEBRA BOWEN: DECERTIFY DIEBOLD!: Diebold/Premier products, currently used in 20 California counties (and some 34 states across the country, by the way), violate federal voting system standards and must be immediately and permanently decertified for use in the state by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

3) AG JERRY BROWN: PROSECUTE DIEBOLD!: California's Attorney General Jerry Brown must immediately launch a comprehensive criminal investigation into Diebold/Premier's knowing use and sale of faulty election systems that have undermined our elections. Further, unless Diebold/Premier, within 90 days, refunds to California all monies paid for its fraudulent software and equipment, we call on the State of California to file suit against Diebold/Premier seeking the return of funds for breach of contract and fraud.

Visit the campaign page at DieboldReturnOurMoney.com to send a quick email to Diebold (c/o the aptly-named company rep Chris Riggall), SoS Bowen and AG Brown. Over 400 emails have already been sent in the first 48 hours of this campaign...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/6/2009 12:01pm PT  

IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: The planet strikes back; Mountaintop removal stalled again; San Francisco goes for scraps; Apple takes another bite out of the Chamber of Commerce... PLUS: where there’s a Will, there’s a denial ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Malawian boy uses wind to power hope, electrify village; Supreme Court rules against U.S. on offshore drilling royalties; China says rich nations need to honor climate commitments; Obama orders agencies to reduce emissions; EPA announces Toxics Reform; "Smart" Clothes Dryers could reduce electricity demand by the equivalent of 6 coal power plants ... PLUS: The Copenhagen Wrangling, Explained ....

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

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

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Details panic inside the Bureau, executive effort to 'keep this whole thing quiet' when matter first came to light in 2002
Further confirms FBI translator/whistleblower's allegations, credibility...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2009 11:18am PT  

An 18-year Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Manager for the FBI has called for a Special Counsel to be appointed to investigate the allegations of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. John M. Cole, who now works as an intelligence contractor for the Air Force, made his comments during an audio interview released late last week with radio journalist Peter B. Collins.

He also offered a detailed insider's look at the concerns among high-level officials inside the Bureau as Edmonds' disturbing allegations began coming to light back in 2002, before they would be quashed for seven long years by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" to gag her.

Earlier last week, following the publication of a remarkable American Conservative magazine cover story interview with Edmonds --- detailing a broad bribery, blackmail, and espionage conspiracy said to have been carried out between current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and covert operatives from Turkey and Israel, resulting in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology on the foreign black market --- Cole had been quoted by the magazine confirming one of Edmonds' key allegations.

"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of" Marc Grossman, he said in response to the AmCon article/interview. Grossman had served as the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department and was alleged by Edmonds in the interview, and in a sworn, video-taped deposition a month earlier, to have been the U.S. ringleader for a massive Turkish espionage scandal reaching through the halls of power and into top-secret nuclear facilities around the country to the benefit of allies and enemies alike. Cole said that the FBI's counterintelligence probe "ultimately was buried and covered up," and that he believes it is "long past time" for an investigation of the case to "bring about accountability."

In his subsequent interview with Collins last week (audio and text excerpts posted below) Cole elaborated on those comments in much greater detail, noting that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" and confirming the existence of an "ongoing and detailed effort by Turkey to develop influence in the United States" through various illegal activities.

"Yes, I can confirm that," Cole told Collins, "That's true."

The FBI veteran executive also offered an insider's account of the panic that ensued inside the highest echelons of the bureau following Edmonds' first disclosure of information in 2002, recounting how an executive assistant director admitted to him at the time, just after the story first broke, "Well, all I know is that everything that Sibel is stating is true. I read her file. Everything she stated is, in fact, accurate."

Cole further describes how the concerns about Edmonds ultimately led to the Bush Administration's two-time use of the Draconian "State Secrets Privilege" in hopes of keeping her extraordinary information from becoming public. "Everybody at headquarters level at the bureau knew that what she was saying was extremely accurate."

"I know they didn't want her to go out and speak about it at all," Cole revealed, "and I know they were trying to figure out ways of keeping this whole thing quiet, because they didn't want Sibel to come out."

He also offered information which directly counters one of the criticisms of Edmonds' allegations as frequently offered by skeptics. Namely, that as a short time FBI contract translator --- even though she was tasked to review some seven years of counterintelligence wiretaps made from 1996 to 2002 --- she couldn't have had enough understanding of the full scope of the investigations to understand what was really going on.

"The thing is," Cole explained to Collins, "the position that Sibel was in, she had access to extremely sensitive information. The translators have access to some of the most sensitive information that we receive."

He detailed how first-hand information goes first from the translators to the investigators who then act on it, as some of the most important information collected by FBI language specialists could have "implications that may affect even the White House, or policy."

"So what I'm saying is, I know she had access to some very sensitive stuff, and I could see why the Bureau would squirm over her coming out and speaking about some of the things that were going on."

The interview concluded with Cole's reiteration of both his confidence in Edmonds' credibility, and his call for accountability.

"I would love to see, especially with the allegations that Sibel has come out with, her allegations --- which I believe are in fact true, I have no reason to doubt what she's saying --- I would love to see somebody take that, a Special Counsel or whatever, some group of people that you could trust, have them investigate those allegations and have people's feet held to the fire. Have them be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."

"You know, no one's above the law, and no one should be above the law," he added, along with one more chilling thought: "You know, it really irritates me that people are getting away with murder, in some cases. They should not be allowed to get away with that. There needs to be accountability. And that's what I'd love to see."

The complete audio, and key text excerpts from Collins' interview with Cole follow below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2009 12:25pm PT  

In advance of tomorrow's related story [Update: That story now posted here], I thought you might appreciate a quick look at the following if you've never seen it before. Diane Sawyer narrates the story of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds as she was awarded the 2006 PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award.

In the bargain, it's also worth remembering that Sawyer herself is at least aware of Edmonds, who she is, and some of what she's had to go through, further begging the question of why ABC News has failed to even note --- much less investigate and/or cover --- the recent revelations of bribery and blackmail of current and former U.S. Congressmembers and high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and the theft and sale of nuclear secrets by agents of Turkey and Israel, as detailed in her sworn deposition in August, and remarkable AmCon cover-story interview which followed it late last month...


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By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2009 3:31pm PT  

Mind you, I'm unfamiliar with any actual felonies that ACORN has actually committed. But Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) is proposing that corporations found guilty of having committed a felony be ineligible for government contracts for 5 years and that corporate felons should be disallowed from making political donations for the same amount of time.

Sounds good to me. After all, both House of Congress idiotically voted overwhelmingly to deprive ACORN --- again, a community organization that committed no crime, and that comprises, in fact, American heroes --- from receiving federal funding (via a likely unconstitutional bill, btw). So shouldn't a similar measure be taken to protect the American tax-payer from corporations that have actually been found guilty of things like fraud, murder, prostitution, etc? Corporations that receive more money from American tax-payers in a day than ACORN has in its lifetime? Corporations like Exxon-Mobil, Pfizer, Halliburton, Blackwater, Lockheed-Martin, and hundreds of others?

McCollum makes the case for the "Against Corporations Organizing to Rip-off the Nation (A.C.O.R.N.)" Act [PDF] in an interview with Mike McIintee of The UpTake:

And, btw, for those under the delusion that ACORN employees committed crimes in those rightwing "sting" videos propagandized by Fox "News" and the other non-wingnut outlets who fell for it, think again. (The author of that dKos piece deserves a huge Project Censored award as far as I'm concerned!)

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By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2009 2:13pm PT  

A New York judge rules the CIA can torture, destroy the video tape evidence of it whenever they want, and there's nothing any American citizen can do about it, apparently. Are we now the USSA?

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By Rady Ananda on 10/1/2009 5:57pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Rady Ananda

On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled [PDF] that unauditable voting in the state does not infringe upon the fundamental right to vote and to have that vote counted. In 2002, Georgia was among the first in the nation to implement Diebold touch-screen voting machines across the entire state.

The lead plaintiff, Garland Favorito, was astounded. "This ruling essentially gives the state a license to pretend to conduct elections. Not one of the 100+ million votes that have been cast on the machines since 2002 can be audited for accuracy and correctness of vote recording." ...

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

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