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...