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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, August 28, 2016
Trump Campaign Chief's Alleged Domestic Abuse, Vote Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/26/16
Credible new reports concerning Trump 'CEO' Steve Bannon appear to add him to a long list of very high-profile GOP voter reg fraudsters...
Standing Rock Sioux's Stand Against 'Dakota Access': 'BradCast' 8/25/16
Guest: David Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe; Plus: Clinton calls out Trump's 'Alt-Right' campaign...
'Green News Report' 8/25/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
300+ dead, 6 million displaced by India flooding; Obama pledges long term LA flood aid; Bad news for WA state wolves; PLUS: 100th birthday of the National Park Service...
Previous GNRs: 8/23/16 - 8/18/16 - Archives...
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
. Media failure on LA flooding; Floods accelerate Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two warming Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises just getting started...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/16 - 8/16/16 - Archives...
'What Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/16
Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
Sunday Toons of the Makeover Moment
PDiddie's round up of his favorite toons from last week focuses on campaign shake-ups, shuffles, makeovers and other political reality avoidance techniques...
Three Daves: 'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro w/ Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
6th Circ. Upholds 'Straight-Party' MI Voting
Republican AG vows appeal to optional voting method used in state for 125 straight years, disproportionately used at polls by African-American voters...
DoJ to 'End' Private For-Profit Federal Prison System: 'BradCast' 8/18/16
Guest: Carl Takei of ACLU's National Prison Project; Plus: GOP 'Civil War' v. Reality; Trump comes up short in NYC...
'Green News Report' 8/18/16
. Explosive CA fire forces evacs for 80,000; New rules for heavy trucks; Report: Ending oil subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: First-ever U.S. offshore wind farm...
Send in the Clowns: 'BradCast' 8/17/16
Eric Boehlert on Trump's bizarre staff shake-up; Plus: NC GOP's desperate voter suppression Hail Mary, California burning, and 'Bye-Bye' to John McLaughlin...
NC Files with SCOTUS for Emergency Stay of Unlawful Vote Suppression Law
State Republicans display remarkable chutzpah in their last gasp argument to keep a 'racially discriminatory' statute in place for November...
'Rogue' DEA Punts Pot: 'BradCast' 8/16/16
Guest: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance on 'rotten to core' DEA's marijuana announcement; Plus: 'Third-party' Presidential woes, disturbing climate news, more...
'Green News Report' 8/16/16
. Another historic, deadly rain event in LA; Another massive fire in CA; July 2016 Earth's hottest month ever recorded; PLUS: Green Party nom Jill Stein on climate...
Facts Behind Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/15/16
Debunking Trump on terror, 'voter fraud' in PA and climate change; Plus: Even Rightwing propagandists beginning to realize 'We've created this monster'...
Sunday Toons of Performance Art Moment
Trump fails to win the gold in this week's Presidential olympics. Plus, other pratfalls in PDiddie's latest collection of his favorite toons of the past week...
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 12/21/2005 6:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today has to be a bad day for two voting machine vendors. Diebold was told by the California SoS to send their system back to the Independent Test Authorities because some specific source code needs to be re-examined. In the meantime the state will not certify any Diebold voting machines. This morning a Temporary Restraining Order was filed by voters in New Mexico against the purchase of any Sequoia Edge voting machines. Included in the TRO is a statement from a developer of aides for disabled persons, who also happens to be blind, who correctly points out that the Sequoia AVC Edge DRE does not satisfy the disability access requirements of HAVA. There has been one disturbing announcement as a judge in North Carolina found for the state board of elections and against the voters of the state who pointed out that the voting systems certified by the state did not meet the law. Also in California a federal audit found that $3.8M of elections funds had been improperly spent by the previous SoS....

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




19 NM counties agree that Sequoia DREs should not be used by their voters
By John Gideon on 12/21/2005 3:04pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VoteTrustUSA.org

Last month The BRAD BLOG reported on an important lawsuit underway in New Mexico. We can now report that a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) has been filed and that plaintiffs have been added to the suit.

Today, attorneys for Patricia Rosas Lopategui, et al. and against Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, et al. filed a temporary restraining order asking District Judge Eugenio Mathis for an emergency order blocking the Secretary of State from spending millions of dollars on Sequoia AVC Edge touch screen voting machines for use in Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Santa Fe and 11 other counties. According to their press release VoterAction, the group who is providing support to the attorneys and the plaintiffs in this case, says:

The plaintiffs allege that the machines are not accessible by disabled voters and violate a state law requirement for voter verifiable paper trail printers, necessary for meaningful audits and recounts. Plaintiffs also submitted substantial evidence that the Sequoia touchscreen voting systems are inaccurate and unreliable, having lost thousands of votes and switched countless others in recent elections.

As a part of their case, plaintiffs submitted the affidavit of Noel Runyan, an expert on the design of disabled access devices. Mr. Runyan, who is blind, gave this harsh assessment:

In my opinion, the Sequoia AVC Edge DRE does not satisfy the disability access requirements of HAVA, as incorporated into New Mexico law. This opinion is based on (1) the Edge's complete lack of any accommodation for persons with severe physical dexterity impairments who are unable to use touchscreens or keypads; (2) the gross inadequacy of the Edge's audio assist feature for persons who are blind or low vision; and (3) the Edge's failure to accommodate elderly voters who have developed severe visual impairments with age but are unfamiliar with and unable to cope with audio-only access technology because they have had normal vision most of their lives. In short, it is my opinion that a large portion of disabled citizens who attempt to cast their votes on Sequoia AVC Edge voting machines will be unable to do so.

The work done by these attorneys has already begun to reap benefits outside of the state of New Mexico as attorneys in other states have begun asking for advice and assistance. VoterAction has a copy of the filing and all attached exhibits posted on their website.




A By-Request Open Thread...
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2005 11:33am PT  

Unfortunately, I'm likely off the grid for the bulk of the day/evening today. So, unless the mighty fine Guest Bloggers jump in, feel free to Be the Blog! BRAD BLOG regular, "Dredd" requested an Open Thread recently, so Happy HOLIDAYS, old boy!

In my stead, it'll be as if I'm here by my kicking the Open Thread off with a few things "BRAD" that all have roughly something to do with your occasionally humble host, but that I otherwise don't know what to do with...

Hometown Boy Does Good-ish
Jo Mannies of my one-time hometown paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch blogs about me. Please note that the commenters in St. Louis on both that item, and the one preceeding it about the city of St. Louis choosing Diebold (the county has yet to make their final determination), need some education and some help. Feel free to offer it to them politely.

Thanks for the Honor Danny!
The notable author/filmmaker Danny Schecter, currently of MediaChannel.org has taken note of The BRAD BLOG as one of the notable blogs listed amongst his notable list of "Media Heroes". Coming from someone such as Schecter, that is no small honor. Given the company we share on his list, we are about as humbled as we are cable of being. We'll not even note he called us "Brad's Blog" since humble beggars shouldn't be choosers. (For more on humble begging, read on to the end of this item...)

FINALLY! A Good Excuse to Go Out and Buy Hustler!
I've got a short piece in the January February issue, on stands now, so I'm told, about DIEB-THROAT! Go get it! Lemme know you think, since I've yet to see the final version. Finally, you can tell people you really did buy it for the articles!

FINALLY! A Good Excuse to Go Out and Buy Mother Jones!
I've got an article about Dan Borchers --- he the Conservative (real one) working on an Anti-Ann Coulter documentary as first discussed in this BRAD BLOG Exclusive --- in the January issue. Now also out on stands, or so I'm told. If you prefer to save your money, for a CHRISTMAKKAKWANZA DONATION to your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG, you can read the MoJo article online here. Be sure to note the cool Spewing Ann graphic with it!

And Speaking of Donations...and Beggars...
Remember, just a few days left to make your end of year tax-deductible donations! Of course, we're not tax-deductable as far as I know, but really...Who does more good for the world? Those losers over at Save the Children or The BRAD BLOG? ;-)

Okay. After you send the tax-deductible part to them, feel free to share whatever might left with us. We could use the end o' year help.

Alternately, a monthly subscription of any amount you choose (see the blue form on the right of this page) is also a very lovely way to end one helluva roller-coaster ride of a year!

(And don't forget the swell merchandise in The BRAD STORE! Though who knows if it'll get there in time for the Holidays...Well, hell, there's eight full days of Chanukah to come! So, sure! It'll make it!...Maybe.)

Discuss all or none of the above...in comments below...




Federal Judge Rules Dover, PA 'Intelligent Design' Mandate in Biology Class Unconstitutional...
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2005 11:31am PT  

Yesterday, from AP:

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.

The school board policy, adopted in October 2004, was believed to have been the first of its kind in the nation.

"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID [Intelligent Design] Policy," Jones wrote.
...
"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom," he wrote in his 139-page opinion.

The Dover policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. The statement said Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It refers students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People," for more information.
...
Said the judge: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."

We should also note that the smart voters of Dover, removed all of the board members responsible for this idiocy from their jobs in last November's election.




Gun Lovers Take 'War on Christmas' to New Heights (Lows?)
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2005 9:48am PT  




SoS: 'Unresolved significant security concerns', 'Source Code Never Ever Reviewed'
State 'Punts' Issue Back to Feds for Further Testing, State Senator Objects --- Complete Letter from SoS, Senator Bowen's Full Statement...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005 7:16pm PT  

Late this afternoon, Sec. of State Bruce McPherson's office sent a letter to Diebold Election Systems, Inc. Vice President David Bryd, informing him that the state is declining --- for the time being --- to re-certify Diebold AccuVote touch-screen machines in the state of California pending further testing and certification by Federal authorities.

In the letter, on McPherson's letterhead (complete letter at bottom of this article), Caren Daniels-Meade, chief of the Elections Division writes that "Unresolved significant security concerns exist with respect to the memory card used to program and configure" the Accu-Vote operating system and touch-screen equipment.

In a statement reported by AP, SoS spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns announced problems "discovered during routine testing...by state employees and independent consultants":

She said each system approved for use in California must meet 10 security requirements, and the Diebold machines did not meet one of those standards.

"This is a unique case in which we discovered that the source code had never, ever been reviewed," said Kerns. "There were potential security risks with it."

Some of those "potential security risks" may have been revealed in a test last week using similar Diebold equipment in Leon County, FL, where the results of a test election were reversed by a hacked program inserted onto one of the AccuVote memory cards. The hacked election was completed without a trace of the manipulation left behind.

In 2004 Diebold machines were de-certified by California's then Democratic Sec. of State Kevin Shelley after it was revealed that the company had used uncertified software in voting machines in the state. That matter was resolved in a $2.6 million settlement by Diebold with the state. A recent Securities Fraud Class Action complaint has alleged the settlement was meant to shield the public from a litany of flaws in Diebold voting systems. Additional complaints are now pending against the Ohio-based company whose former CEO had promised to "deliver the state of Ohio" to George W. Bush in an infamous fundraising letter sent to Republicans prior to the 2004 Presidential Election. The CEO, Walden O'Dell, was forced to resign early last week just prior to the filed litigation.

Republican McPherson, who later replaced Shelley, carried out a massive mock election test over the summer revealing that 20% of Diebold's AccuVote touch screen machines failed to operate as promised, with many of the touch-screens freezing and printers jamming.

Several weeks ago, McPherson's staff, however, suddenly announced that they were recommending the re-certification of Diebold machines again (under specific conditions) after a secret test, using machines specially prepared by Diebold, found this time that only 3% of the machines failed.

Then came the protests, the Securities Fraud Litigations, and last week's devasting Leon County hack test which resulted in the county announcing they would never use Diebold in another election. Another county in Florida, Volusia, quickly followed suit in deciding to dump their Diebold machines.

McPherson's office, rather than simply decertifying Diebold once and for all in California, has today decided instead to pass the buck back to the the so-called Federal "Indepenent Testing Authority" (ITA). The ITA is a group of several companies chosen and paid for by the voting machine companies such as Diebold themselves, to test their equipment and software on behalf of the Federal Government. Those ITA labs then either certify the software and/or hardware or send it back to the company with the results of the failed tests kept confidential.

State Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach) has been an outspoken critic of McPherson's process for considering recertification of Diebold and has otherwise been a watchdog on issues related to the quickly changing Electoral landscape in the Golden State. She released a statement to The BRAD BLOG late this evening (complete statement posted at end of this article). Bowen is critical of McPherson's plan to "punt" the issue back to the Feds and says in her statement:

“The Secretary of State shouldn't punt the decision about whether Diebold machines should be used to count ballots in California to the federal government and an ‘independent' testing authority that's financed by the voting machine vendors. That decision needs to be made in the open, right here in California.”

Bowen, the author of the so-called "Bowen Amendment" (SB 370) recently signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. That legislation mandates, among other things, paper records created for all votes cast in California, as well as mandatory audits of ballots. She has also recently announced her intention to run for Secretary of State in 2006. Her website is here.

Bowen is highly critical of the secretive processes of the ITA, and various electronic voting machinery being deployed around the state using secret software to count Californians votes:

“The federal testing process is notoriously weak and it's done in secret,” continued Bowen. “Plus, these supposedly ‘independent testing authorities' the Secretary of State wants to rely on are financed by the voting machine industry and conduct their tests in secret as well. That's why California shouldn't be relying on proprietary software that uses secret code to count ballots. If we want to ensure we have voting systems that are reliable and secure – and that voters have confidence in – we need to be moving toward an open source software structure.”

Computer security expert, Avi Rubin, who originally discovered some of the astounding security flaws in Diebold's GEMS central tabulator, recently wrote at Huffington Post about the "Dirty Little Secrets of Voting System Testing Labs". We highly recommend his insightful and revealing article on both that and his recent experience at a summit held on Electronic Voting Security issues in California.

In a report just filed by Contra Costa Times Rubin says that review of the source code will determine little, since the source code has little do to with whether or not a hacker is able to introduce a malicious program. It's "definitely not something that's going to give a definitive answer," said Rubin.

McPherson's decision is surely a setback for Diebold who, like several other Voting Machine Companies, are currently scrambling for contracts in the wake of the impending Jan. 1, 2006 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) deadline. If States and Counties wish to receive Federal money to pay for voting systems upgrades, they must make their final decision on which companies to use by that date. Many of those States and Counties had been watching and waiting to see what California would do, given their previous history with Diebold. And of course, as Diebold --- one of several private companies vying to control the country's public voting system --- has described the state: it is America's "largest voting market."

The complete letter from Sec. of State McPherson's office to Diebold, along with Bowen's complete statement follow...

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




A Video of the Moment Flashback...
PLUS: Why Was Bush Admin First Ever, Reportedly, to be Rejected by FISA Court?
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005 3:00pm PT  

Emailer Expathos sends us an interesting compilation of video clips taken from both C-SPAN and Whitehouse.gov. Here's an outake from part of it, taken from speeches in Pittsburgh and Buffalo in 2004:

BUSH: Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires --- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.

-- View the complete video here

The emailer also adds:

Wiretaps are conducted around the country every day. The FISA Court alone approves something like a half a dozen a day in highly classified national security or espionage related cases. Bush can tap up to 72 hours prior to asking permission.

The only issue here is why the president decided to go around the normal rules that govern such surveillance, why he chose to make himself above the law.

Indeed.

UPDATE: Additional info on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in response to those Bush apologists suggesting he had no time to go to the court (Rush Limbaugh told his listeners today that it could take "10 to 12 days" to get approval back from the court which frequently gives appropral to such requests in hours, if not minutes). This from an Op/Ed by Anthony Wade yesterday:

From 1979 through 2002 there were 15,264 surveillance warrants issued by the FISA court, clearly displaying that the process is quite favorable to the government seeking such wiretaps. Further supporting this is the amount of surveillance warrants which were rejected during that same 23 year period, ZERO. That is right; in a 23 year period not one request was denied.

But then Wade adds this:

From 2002 until now, only four such requests were denied.

Interesting. So from the time the act was established until 2002, nobody seeking a warrant was denied. Then, the Bush Admin was turned down four times. Why? And could that be why they simply decided to go around the FISA court?




Would you expect anything less?
The Right Makes Up Stuff to Defend Their President's Flagrant Disregard for 'The Rule of Law' While Spying on American Citizens
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005 1:02pm PT  

The wingnuts are in a full-blown panic to try and justify the latest admission by George W. Bush that he authorized the warrant-less spying on American Citizens. That would be strictly against the law, of course, and likely an impeachable offense (remember, Presidents, we used to be told, are not above "the rule of law").

In their usual well-oiled lockstep fashion, the dead-ender wingnut bloggers and hate-radio folks are now attempting to forward the notion that "Clinton did the same." As usual, the apologists get their talking point assists from the extremist rightwing "news" site, NewsMax who reported:

During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon…all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.

Trouble is, this report, from ThinkProgress, would seem to prove otherwise. Testimony given to Congress in 2000 (back when Republicans pretended to care about this sort of thing) by then FBI Director George Tenet would seem to indicate (surprise!) that NewsMax and the other apologists are wrong:

I'm here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency…

There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

Whether Tenet was lying or not in his testimony --- which NewsMax didn't bother to quote --- we couldn't tell you. If Bill Clinton actually broke the law in this regard, as the wingnuts suggest, perhaps Republicans should impeach him. Oh, wait, it may be a bit late for that. But perhaps they should have impeached him for it (if it actually occured), instead of impeaching him for receiving an unauthorized blow job. We're just saying.




Resolutions Call for Censure of Bush, Cheney and Creation of 'Select Committee' to Investigate Impeachable Offenses
-- Complete Texts of Resolutions, Links to Report, Petion Campaigns in Support, Conyers Press Release in Full, and More...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005 11:42am PT  

Lots of fur flying this morning, and us West Coast bloggers, of course, are as ever behind the time-zone eight-ball. So consider this a first volley as we try to bring you the nuts and bolts and offer a lot of summarized raw data and links for you to read through it all yourselves, even as we do same.

The skinny is that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by ranking minority member John Conyers (D-MI) have now released their full 250-page report, said to be more than six months in the making, on the Administration's use/abuse of pre-war intel, torture policies and much more. The BRAD BLOG first reported exclusively on all of this as 'coming soon' last week. Yesterday, we added quite a few details about what to expect in this report. Our friends at RAW STORY have several articles, including links to the Full Report and its Executive Summary.

-- Report Executive Summary here
-- Report in full here [PDF]
-- Report by chapters here (Includes links to all exhibits, key documents, etc.)

Along with the report, Conyers has introduced three resolutions in the House which call for the Censure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for failure to provide oversight materials to Congress and for "misstatements" in their lead-up to war. One of the resolutions also calls for the creation of a new "Select Committee" --- with subpeona power --- to discover whether there are grounds for Impeachment of both Bush and Cheney. This committee has been described to us by a Judiciary Committee staffer as "similar to the Ervin Committee on Presidential Campaign Acitivites that kicked off Watergate, to conduct further investigation of the matters described in the report." The committee would then refer evidence constituting impeachable offenses to the House Judiciary Committee.

The report --- entitled THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Toture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War --- is described by Conyers this way in a Press Release this morning (complete text of Press Release posted at end of this article):

"In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. There is at least a prima facie case that these actions that federal laws have been violated - from false statements to Congress to retaliating against Administration critics."
...
"The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that there pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision to go to War, and the Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of pre-war intelligence information, while the Silberman-Robb report specifically cautioned, that intelligence manipulation "was not part of our inquiry." There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of cover-ups and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald."

The three House Resolutions created along with the report, were filed in the House on Sunday. Links to the complete draft text of each Resolution, and the introductory paragraph for each follow:

-- H.R. 635 [PDF], Resolution calling for creation of a "Select Committee":

Creating a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and thwarting congressional oversight, and to make recommendations regarding grouns for impeachment.

-- H.R. 636 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of George W. Bush:

Censuring President George W. Bush for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in his Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, counteananced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of his Administration, for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war, and for failing to comply with Executive Order 12958.

-- H.R. 637 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of Richard B. Cheney:

Censuring Vice President Richard B. Cheney for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in the Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of the Administration and for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war.

As we reported yesterday, the AfterDowningStreet.org advocacy website has introduced a new look along with a new URL. In addition to their previous name, they are now also known as CensureBush.org.

Conyers has set up some actions items at his own website JohnConyers.com where he is asking Americans to sign his letter informing George W. Bush about his intentions to censure and call for a Select Committee. A similar letter, asking for answers in regards to the so-called "Downing Street Documents" was signed by more than half a million Americans and delivered to the White House by Conyers' earlier this year.

As well, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has created a letter writing campaign to allow you to ask your own Representatives to support the resolution calling for the creation of a "Select Committee". You can send that letter to your reps here.

We'll update this item as appropriate throughout the day with additional material and/or links as we move through things.

The complete text of John Conyers' Press Release as issued this morning follows...

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




By John Gideon on 12/19/2005 10:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

North Carolina counties continue to meet and make their selections of voting machines for the future. Unfortunately they cannot wait until a decision from the court on whether any voting system presently certified by the state board of elections can, by law, be considered to be certified. The state is certainly doing nothing to stop the counties from making their decisions....

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




Damning Report on Bush Admin Use/Misuse of Pre-War Intel! Both Conyers' and 'Downing Street Documents' Advocacy Group to Launch Additional Internet Domains With Release of Report!
PLUS: Increasing Buzz About Bush Impeachment Proceedings May Soon Be Getting Much Louder...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2005 4:41pm PT  

As broken this morning by RAW STORY, the House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff is set to release an extensive and damning new report tomorrow entitled "THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Toture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War."

The BRAD BLOG has been able to gather a few additional details, some we are able to report today, others cannot be announced until the final report is released to the public. The report is currently scheduled for release tomorrow.

In anticipation for tomorrow's report, The BRAD BLOG revealed in an exclusive report last week that Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee staff had registered a number of websites including dsmreport.com, theiraqreport.net and other similar domains. All of those domains have been automatically re-directed to Conyers' personal website JohnConyers.com. Conyers is the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

We can also now report that, beginning tomorrow, along with the release of the upcoming report, AfterDowningStreet.org will change its look and nature and will be accessible via an additional URL. Though, David Swanson, one of the founders of the site which is devoted to spreading news surrounding the so-called "Downing Street Documents" was somewhat cryptic in what he'd allowed us to report about the changes that will be taking place tomorrow.

"I could tell you more," said Swanson, "but for now I need to keep it to myself and the NSA spies assigned to my house."

Additionally, though not necessarily directly related, both AP and RAW STORY are now reporting that several members of Congress have begun discussing the possibilities of Impeachment for George W. Bush. And at least one member of the House Judiciary Committee has asked the Attorney General for a Special Counselor to be assigned to the matter of George W. Bush's recent admission to domestic spying on U.S. citizens.

The BRAD BLOG has learned and confirmed from congressional sources, that the report from the Judiciary Committee Democratic staffers is expected to be the most comprehensive, indepth look at the Bush Administration's use and misuse of pre-war intelligence in the run-up to war in Iraq.

The landmark report, said to be more than six months in the making, will include extensive, detailed allegations concerning the Bush Administration's use of manipulated facts and intelligence, retribution against domestic opposition, coverup of facts and intelligence known to be in contradiction with their contentions about Iraq's weapons programs, and illegal torture.

The report will be more than 200 pages long, including an additional 100 pages or more of evidence and documentation for the very serious Constitutional charges that are being made.

The report is said to be far more extensive than a detailed report issued previously by the House Judiciary Committee Democrats concerning so-called "irregularities" in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential Election and its aftermath. Like that report, this one will also be published in book format.

As with an earlier effort by Judiciary Committee Democrats to raise public awareness of the Downing Street Documents --- top-secret leaked memos from British officials charging that the Bush Administration had determined to topple Saddam through military means and that the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" even while they were telling both Congress and the American people that war could be avoided by diplomatic means --- this report will also coincide with a public effort to raise awareness and support for the allegations being made. The earlier DSM effort resulted in more than half a million signatures from the American people being delivered by hand to the White House. This report will also be released concurrently with an initiative to gather support from the American people to help raise awareness to the very serious allegations being made.

AP reported earlier today on Civil Rights-era icon, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) as calling for the potential impeachment of George W. Bush in a radio interview earlier today. His suggestion comes in light of recent admissions that Bush had authorized spying on U.S. citizens in apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Lewis reportedly added, "The president should abide by the law. He deliberately, systematically violated the law. He is not King, he is president."

Since Lewis' comments were reported, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has issued a news release referring to the "'I' word" as well. Boxer's comments point to analysis offered by Watergate figure and one-time White House Counsel John Dean who has suggested that Bush has now admitted to an "impeachable offense" in regards to the authorization of domestic spying.

Additionally, Congressman Jerold Nadler (D-NY) has today written a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales demanding that a Special Prosecutor be assigned to investigate the "secret directive that authorizes domestic eavesdropping on United States citizens, without a warrant." The congressman, who also sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, added in his letter, that "This unprecedented intelligence gathering policy is clearly prohibited by law."

It remains to be seen whether tomorrow's report from the House Judiciary staff will add to the now-increasing drumbeat of voices suggesting Investigations and/or Impeachment Proceedings for yet another sitting United States President. The BRAD BLOG will, as always, be keeping our eye on the latest developments...

UPDATE: Late word and a brief post to ConyersBlog, says:

If all goes well, I expect to make an announcement on the Stephanie Miller Show in the third hour of her show (beginning 11am EST).



By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 11:44pm PT  

Last year we were nominated for more categories than any other blog, but in the end, didn't win in any of them.

This year, let's see if we can win in all of the categories, without being nominated for any of them! Oh...wait...that may not work...

So...nominations are now being accepted for the 2005 Koufax Weblog Awards. If you are so inclined, we'd be honored if you put in a few good words (and nominations) for your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG! http://www.BradBlog.com

-- Read About Categories Here
-- Leave your nominations in the Comments section here!
(NOTE: New thread now opened, previous one had gotten full and they closed it)

(NOTE: Apparently there are several stages in this process...semi-finals, finals and so on. So pardon us if we bug you periodically to consider putting in a good word for us over there. You'll be pleased to know the election will be run with all of the strict air-tight security standards as mandated by the Help America Vote Act of 2002! So get hacking!)




A Look Back at the Most Notable Stories from the Week That Was In Our Continually Crumbling Democracy...
By John Gideon on 12/18/2005 6:33pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

As an introduction, the "DVN Top 5" is a feature that I have been providing in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The December 13 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 BRAD BLOG!...

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




Op/Ed Slams Diebold, Though Elsewhere in Paper it's Still Nothing More Than 'Conspiracy Theories'
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 4:44pm PT  

"The counting of votes is a public trust. Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this."

So writes the NY Times correctly in a very good Op/Ed in today's Sunday paper. The piece smartly summarizes the bad week for Diebold and their years-long failure to understand the importance of the role they have been entrusted with in participating in our public elections process. We appreciate the coverage, if only because the paper's news division didn't devote any ink, as far as we know, to Diebold's growing troubles all week long.

Though elsewhere in the paper, on Saturday, Dan Mitchell embarrassed both himself and the once-great Grey Lady by announcing a "New Day for Diebold" along with further pimping the company's now-discredited PR attempts to marginalize those of us who give a damn about an accountable democracy in America. Mitchell reports very briefly in the technology section on the dumping of CEO Walden O'Dell last Monday in order to suggest this could be "the beginning of an interesting turnaround story" for Diebold. No mentions of the Securities Fraud Class Action against them, nor the devasting hack of their Voting Equipment later in the week. But Mitchell does use the opportunity to knee-jerk about both "conspiracy theories" and "black-helicopter theorizing."

In the best case, we'll suggest Mitchell suffers from either incomptence or sheer laziness. In a not so generous speculation, we'd wonder if he's taking the opportunity to attempt to boost the sagging stock price of DBD. Hey Dan, you'd tell us if you happened to own any Diebold shares, right?

Perhaps instead of appearing as a democracy-hating stooge, Mitchell should bother to read his own newspaper, which wrote far more responsibly in their Op/Ed today:

Diebold's voting machines have a troubled history. The company was accused of installing improperly certified software, which is illegal, in a 2002 governor's race in Georgia. Across the country, it reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the California attorney general last year of a lawsuit alleging that it made false claims about the security of its machines. Last week, the top elections officer in Leon County, Fla., which includes Tallahassee, concluded after a test that Diebold machines can be hacked to change vote totals.
...
As Diebold enters the post-O'Dell era, it should work to make itself worthy of the important role it now plays in American democracy.

Don't the NY Times Op/Ed folks realize that that all those items outlined as "a troubled history" are nothing more than "black helicopters" and "conspiracy theories"? We know it for a fact! We read it, after all, in the NY Times!

Or perhaps we can just conclude by paraphrasing them:

"The counting of votes is a public trust. So is the reporting on how it is done. Dan Mitchell, like Diebold, has never acted as if he understood this."




Counters Previous Positions by both the Acting Secretary of State and Voting Machine Company Diebold
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

Over the weekend, at least two reports out of mainstream Florida papers --- one in the Miami Herald and one in the Tallahassee Democrat --- report that Gov. Jeb Bush himself is now questioning the reliability of Florida's electronic voting system in light of the recent hack test in Leon County, home of the state's capitol Tallahassee. That security test, carried out last week, successfully flipped the results of a simple mock election test held on Diebold, Inc. voting equipment. The hack, which changed the results of an election from 2-6 to 7-1, left no trace of evidence behind.

After reports of the test were released, Florida's Sec. of State's office had initially criticized the messenger, Leon County's Director of Elections, Ion Sancho, suggesting that the matter was not the state's concern, but rather was an issue between Diebold and the county. That, despite the fact that it was the state of Florida who had certified the particular Diebold made machinery for use in the Sunshine State.

Acting FL Sec. of State David Mann also echoed Diebold's statement on the matter, criticizing Sancho himself because they believe that in allowing the hackers to gain access to the memory cards --- where a very short executable program capable of changing the election results had been secretly placed --- the test did not replicate 'real world' conditions.

Bush, who may be realizing the untenable position the state and their friends at Diebold now find themselves in, is at least taking the public stance that Sancho's findings and concerns should be taken seriously.

Quoting from the Herald coverage:

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that the state ought to consider relooking at the way it examines electronic voting machines, following a county election chief's tests that showed insiders could hack into the computers, change votes and not leave an electronic fingerprint behind.

Bush, saying the subject is ''too important'' to ignore, echoed national computer-security and voting experts, and struck a dissimilar chord to acting Secretary of State David Mann, who expressed less urgency Thursday to retest vote machines. Mann said he was ''concerned'' only that Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho might have given an outsider access to his vote machines' computer codes Tuesday.

Bush also questioned whether Sancho gave away privileged information --- which Sancho denies --- and noted Sancho's ''unorthodox'' media-friendly style, in which he conducted his computer-hacker tests and spoke about them with The Herald before discussing them with the secretary of state's office, which oversees elections.

'My general thought is, probably, they're saying, `Well, here he goes again. We don't want to deal with him because he's a maverick.' And I would suggest that, no, this is too important, that we ought to get his information, look at it carefully,'' Bush said.

"If there needs to be any changes in policy as it relates to certification of machines, then we should do so."

Over in the Tallahassee Democrat Sancho responds to the criticisms of the state and Diebold about granting access internally to the hackers, and the absurd charge that such things could never occur in a "real world" election:

"What am I going to do if somebody offers one of my employees $4 million in a secret bank account in the Bahamas, if they'll rig an election?" said Sancho. "I'm charged with safeguarding the votes of our citizens in this county."

Of course, we know that nobody in either Florida or Ohio or any other state in the union would ever try to rig an election from the inside.

Since the test, Sancho has announced that Diebold voting equipment will no longer be used in the county's elections and has requested funding to replace them with an alternate system that allows for recountable paper ballots and additional access for the disabled.

Earlier in the week, a Securities Fraud Class Action suit was launched against Diebold, in part, for failing to disclose flaws in their voting equipment.

Later in the week, after the test in Leon County, another Florida county, Volusia, decided against using the same unsecure Diebold machinery for their elections as well.

The BRAD BLOG has previously reported that even a branch of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has warned about security flaws in Diebold voting machinery, and a recent non-partisan GAO report which has further confirmed such concerns about all of the currently available electronic voting systems now being deployed around the country.

UPDATE 12/22/05: Miami Herald calls on Bush to retest all touch-screen and optical scan machines in the state!




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