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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2005 11:25pm PT  

Peg C asks for an open thread. Peg C gets one. Make good use of it...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2005 7:49pm PT  

We had just under 25,000 unique visitors to The BRAD BLOG yesterday. Without combing the records too deeply, I do believe that was a daily record for unique visits. It was a busy day.

And yet, out of those 25,000 visitors who immensely enjoyed The BRAD BLOG, only one of them made a donation. And that was a good day! :-)

Which either means I'm doing a lousy job at blogging, or a lousy job at letting folks know that your support here means everything. Especially now.

As this little habit of mine has become a 24/7/365 pursuit in the last several months, the imperative to toss out the occasional humiliating plea for your support becomes more and more necessary if I'm to have a chance of staying on the job and continuing to fight the evil-doers.

So thank you to all of you who have supported us with a donation of late! And to the others, feel free to cancel cable TV for a month, read The BRAD BLOG instead, and send at least half of your savings here!

You'll be more entertained, have a few more dollars in your pocket, become much better educated, and you won't go to bed at night feeling quite as dirty!

(Have a business or blog of your own that may benefit from reaching the many loyal BRAD BLOG readers? Consider buying a BlogAd! You can get a reasonably priced Premium ad by clicking here, or get The BRAD BLOG Top Spot by clicking here!

And seriously, if this is not your blog of choice, please consider donating to any other blogger or alternative media site whose work you appreciate. Almost all of us take donations these days. And we need it!

In case you haven't noticed, our work is becoming increasingly more important and influential in helping to set the national agenda and take back the media! But to continue do that, we need to be able to make at least part of a living along the way.

Please help to make that possible by giving whatever and whenever you can.

Your grandchildren may thank you some day. I'll thank you today.

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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty used Photo of same Nuke Plant --- presumably from Iran --- in a N. Korea Story in Early 2004!
Filename for that photo is 'IRAQ-Nuclear.jpg'!
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2005 2:00pm PT  

Yesterday we reported that CNN's website was using photos of the same alleged nuclear facility in two different stories about two different nuclear programs in two different countries.

One CNN story, from last Wednesday, was on Iran's purported nuclear program; the other, from last Saturday, was on North Korea's purported nuclear program.

The satellite photos accompanying each respective story turned out to be the same facility despite captions below each photo claiming each represented an alleged facility in the respective countries discussed in each article.

Later in the day, after our report swept the net (topping out mid-afternoon at #6 on Technorati) CNN changed the photo in the North Korea article to a different satellite image of, apparently, a different facility purported --- as was the first one --- to be near Pyongyang, North Korea.

No explanation was given for the error beyond a statement by CNN, in a correction box, that "an image that was incorrectly identified..."

And now...thanks to some crack sleuthing by "EarlG", an administrator over at Democratic Underground, we've discovered yet another "news" outlet who used another photograph of that same facility --- which is apparently in Iran --- in yet another story on North Korean nukes!

The newly discovered story is from March of 2004 and found on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website!

RFE/RL is a U.S. government funded "news" organization broadcasting over Europe!

And to make matters even more troubling and/or confusing, the filename of the photo used in the RFE/RL story is "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"!

Here is a screenshot from the RFE/RL story which shows the same facility as seen in the photos used with both of the CNN stories:

Here again are the photos from the two different CNN stories (prior to the so-far-unexplained "correction" by CNN):

And here is a side-by-side comparison of the photo from CNN's Iran story again, next to a rotated shot of the photo from RFE/RL's story on North Korea:

So we ask again, what the hell is going on here? And, again, who are the sources for these photographs that keep running with stories on both North Korea and Iran?

As we asked in yesterday's piece, is the source for these photos "someone who may have an interest in ginning-up fears over the two so-far unconquered players in Bush's 'Axis of Evil'?"

Or is it all just an innocent mix-up, as some commenters have suggested?

That "innocent mix-up" explanation certainly becomes more difficult to swallow now that the very same facility has shown up again, apparently errantly, in a story from almost a year ago, on an entirely different site, and one which is funded by the U.S. Government!

As well, it's worth noting that RFE/RL's "corporate board of directors is composed of the nine Presidential appointees to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which has oversight responsibility for all nonmilitary U.S. government-funded international broadcasting activities" according to their website's "Mission Statement".

And now we must wonder why the RFE/RL photo was named "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"?! Just another "innocent mix-up"???

In regards to CNN's two stories, we have finally reached someone at CNN who has promised to get back to us with comment on the CNN-related questions from yesterday. We will, of course, share their explanation here if and when it's received.

We have asked RFE/RL for comment as well, and they too have promised a reply on this matter. The author of their North Korean piece, Mark Baker, RFE/RL's "deputy managing editor of the News and Current Affairs Department", apparently works out of Europe, however, and thus the time difference may delay a reply from him on this matter.

UPDATE 2/16/05: Same photo also used on Iraq stories at RFE/RL! While all North Korea and Iraq stories have now had the photo scrubbed from their web pages! Updated story with details here...

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And the Fake Moral Outrage from the Right...er...Media.
By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2005 4:34pm PT  

No, it's not Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute (Akroyd on SNL, circa 1979) but it might as well be.

The bloggers continue to break the news. And the news media continues to fault them for it. Feeling appropriately endangered much, boys?

AmericaBLOG gets the goods (and unfortunate --- no, really unfortunate --- naked pictures) on Gannon/Guckert's days as a gay male prostitute.

RAW STORY reports on WH press spokesman, Scott McClellan's possible gaiety and whether he may have come across Gannon/Guckert during alleged trips to gay bars in Austin. (Apologies for the almost-accidental disturbing turn of phrase there).

And the corporate media turns apoplectic as they begin to realize that we're doing the job they ain't. NY Times lashes out today and CNN's Judy Woodruff devoted the bulk of her Inside Politics hour this afternoon to us terrible bloggers.

The most appalling part of it all, ironically on a day where we had to hold CNN's feet to the fire for claiming an identical photo was a nuclear plant in both Iran and North Korea, is the MSM's new line that bloggers in the Gannon/Guckert story crossed the line by going into his private life.

To which we'd respond, as Aravosis has pointed out on several occassions, that one would think it somewhat troubling that a prostitute (gay or straight, former or current) used a fake name in the White House press briefing room and received, apparently, classified CIA briefings from the Administration. That's a legal issue. Not a personal one. We'll even leave the "moral" issue out of it for the moment.

Secondly, we note that it's only when leftie bloggers report on such things that it becomes an issue at all. In this case, the notion of "crossing the personal line" recently and continuingly floated by WaPo's Howard Kurtz and other soon-to-be dinosaurs is, pardon us, nothing but bullshit.

Setting aside the legal questions mentioned above, the assertion is being made that it's somehow inappropriate to question the sexuality of those in the administration, and/or Republican party in general, and/or their whores (in this case literally) in the media who have attempted to forward specifically anti-gay laws and constitutional amendments. Isn't it appropriate to point out when such people are saying one thing (supporting anti-gay laws) and doing another (being gay)?

So where was the collective fake moral outrage from the media when the internet (or the MSM themselves) reported for example that Al Gore was supporting public education, yet --- outrageous! --- in his private life he was sending his children to private schools?!

Did Howard Kurtz declare his self-righteous and self-serving indignation against the rightwing media that reported on that non-story at the time?

Of course not.

Lines are crossed by lefties only. While the wingnuts draw those lines where ever they damn well please (where it suits their political agenda, in other words).

And the so-called "liberal" media buys it. Hook, line and sinker. What a world.

Looks like we're on our own here, folks.

ReddIt this story!



Who's the source for the photos?!
And are there any responsible corporate media outlets left in America?!
By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2005 2:21am PT  

Two stories posted in the last week on the CNN website, one on nukes in Iran last Wednesday, and another on nukes in North Korea on Saturday, both use the same aerial photograph of the same purported nuclear power plant!

But one is supposed to be in Iran and the other is supposed to be in North Korea!

A story posted Saturday to CNN's website suggesting that North Korea is rallying behind their leader Kim Jong Il in his latest nuclear saber-rattling makes use of a satellite photo described in the caption as "An aerial photo of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plant outside of Pyongyang".

The photo is the third in a "slide show" at this CNN page. Hit 'Next' two times in the "slide show" and the following photo with caption will appear:

Oddly enough, last Wednesday the CNN website ran a story on nuclear weapons in Iran with an image captioned "Satellite image of a suspected Iranian nuclear-related facility".

That CNN page is here. The photo from that story is below:

Look familiar? Look very closely at both pictures if it doesn't.

In truth, if this wasn't so sad (and actually somewhat frightening) the irony of the sub-title for CNN's Iran story --- "Former weapons inspector: 'It's déjà vu all over again'" --- might be somewhat amusing. In the piece, U.S. chief weapons inspector David Kay is quoted urging the U.S. "not to make the same mistakes with Iran that he said it made with Iraq".

Déjà vu, indeed.

All of which begs at least these questions:

Who is the source for these photos? Was it the same person in both instances? Were they supplied by someone who may have an interest in ginning-up fears over the two so-far unconquered players in Bush's "Axis of Evil"?

Or will it be another CNN staffer who steps forward again to take the fall for this one?

And finally, a question that has been asked all too frequently here over the past year: What the hell has happened to the media in this country? Are there simply no national media organizations left who know how to do the job of reporting accurately, responsibly and in such a way that doesn't send us to war again due to their utter failure to do their jobs correctly?! (Yes, Judith Miller of The New York Times, we're talking to you...but you're not the only one).

The tip on this came in after midnight early Monday morning, too late to make any calls to try and get some answers to the above before going to sleep for the evening. However, we hope that by the time we wake, someone from the responsible media --- which apparently seems to be now considerably narrowed to the likes of bloggers and Internet-only news sites like RAW STORY --- gets some answers to these questions before CNN once again aids and abets the Bush administration into sending this country into yet another unnecessary and immoral war.

Unbelievable.

UPDATE 10:30am PT: As of this update, it seems that CNN has quietly now replaced their previous photo on the North Korea story with the following one instead:

No comment was given to note the "correction", though the date for the story on the page has been updated to today's date. We will attempt to contact CNN for explanation if possible and will update here if we are able to do so.

UPDATE 1:56pm PT: CNN has added the following text to the Korea story:

CORRECTION
An earlier version of this article included an image that was incorrectly identified as an aerial photograph of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plant. The photo was actually a commercial satellite photo of a nuclear facility near Natanz, Iran.

No explanation yet for the error. Still attempting to get comment. Will update here when we do.

UPDATE 5:47pm PT: Our hopes of getting comment and/or explanation from CNN have so far been dashed for the today. About 15 different calls, with about 15 different forwards and 15 different answering machine messages left has yielded not one LIVE person who is willing to talk about what happened. We'll keep trying when "business hours" resume once again tomorrow.

UPDATE 2/15/05 6:27pm PT: A different news organization has published a story using a different photo of the same alleged nuclear facility that CNN used in both its North Korea and Iran stories! That story was also about... North Korea! And it's a U.S. government funded "news" site! Click here for that new story!

ReddIt this story!



TIME Reports China Exporting Spies by the Thousands!
While Republicans Pretend to Give a Damn.
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2005 2:24pm PT  

The short article in this coming week's TIME Magazine begins this way:

"Ning Wen and his wife were arrested last fall at their home office in Manitowoc, Wis., for allegedly sending their native China $500,000 worth of computer parts that could enhance missile systems."

Sound familiar? It will to regular BRAD BLOG readers.

The article, titled "China's Big Export: When it comes to spying, Beijing likes to flood the zone", continues...

As these naturalized citizens await trial, similar episodes in Mount Pleasant, N.J., and Palo Alto, Calif., point only to the tip of the iceberg, according to FBI officials keeping tabs on more than 3,000 companies in the U.S. suspected of collecting information for China...Says a senior FBI official: "China is trying to develop a military that can compete with the U.S., and they are willing to steal to get [it]."

But instead of assigning one well-trained agent to pursue a target, "the Chinese are very good at putting a lot of people on just a little piece and getting a massive amount of stuff home," says a U.S. intelligence official.

So if this is a real problem in the United States, why has at least one --- Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee), the one who was reported to authorities years ago by Clint Curtis as spying on the United States while working at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) --- been arrested on three counts, allowed to plead guilty to just one, and then let go with hardly a slap on the wrist?

(Nee, believed by Curtis and YEI CEO's Executive Secretary, Mike Cohen, to be an illegal alien has been allowed to stay in the U.S. and received just three-years probation and a $100 fine after having admitted "that business has been slow in the last year and that he had only sent parts out of the country ten to twenty times" according to the plea agreement. See our earlier exclusive report for more details and a look at the court papers.)

Perhaps the answer to that question might be found in TIME's closer:

To help sort the few who go to America to spy from the thousands who go there for a better life, the FBI relies heavily on Chinese informants. Says a high-ranking Silicon Valley agent: "We have almost more assets than we can deal with."

Hmmm...Has Henry Nee turned "asset"?

Is he now spying on/informing on his old friends at YEI?

Is that why late just last year the Feds allowed him to plead guilty to just one charge and then walk despite his arrest after a four-year sting operation?

Is that why he is still allowed to work for YEI, a company which requires "Top Secret clearance" for sensitive contracts with NASA and others which Jeb Bush's former running-mate Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) had helped them attain? A company which, despite their denials, a "Special Agent assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orlando, Florida" claimed via email on Nov. 22 of 2004 was "under investigation by another Division of the FBI"? (Would the company even know if they were being investigated by the FBI? Does the FBI send out telegrams as a courtesy to inform such companies in order to give them time to shred the evidence?) A company, mind you, which still claims that Nee had never been an "employee" or a "consultant" despite public records published late last year by The BRAD BLOG which demonstrate they are lying?

Has Henry made a secret deal with the FBI to turn state's evidence against the Yang's in exchange for his extraordinarily light sentence?

And finally, on a somewhat personal sidenote, shouldn't all the rightwingers who've unsuccessfully attempted to discredit Curtis as a liar be ashamed of themselves for doing so simply to protect Feeney and his good friends, the Bush's, while Curtis has been, apparently, both patriotic and extremely courageous in trying to help keep secrets of United States weapons technology from being stolen by the People's Republic of China?

Do such rightwingers have any allegiance to their country and the safety of its citizens? Or is the retension of political power for their party of choice, even at the expense of National Security, one of those "moral values" they pretend to have and that we've heard so much about?

We have a feeling this story will continue...

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG friend, reader, occassional guest-blogger and "asset", Fin of What We Know, for the tip on the TIME article!)

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By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2005 12:29pm PT  

For the record, as of today, at least 1,460 "young Americans" have died "for the chickenhawks who dreamt up this war". Scores of thousands of "young Americans" have been wounded for life.

Nearly 50 times the number of innocent women and children who were killed on 9/11 have been killed in Iraq alone by the United States of America.

0 Weapons of Mass Destruction have so far been found. But, of course, you knew that.

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4,258 votes for Bush out of 638 cast, nothing to worry about.
Franklin County Board of Elections and E-Vote Manufacturer Agree it Was Just a Computer 'Error'.
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2005 6:56pm PT  

Despite having spent a fair portion of our adult life as a computer programmer and having read the following AP story some four times, we still fail to discern what the hell they are talking about or how the following error could have occurred. Perhaps a computer whiz who is whizzier than us can explain it all for us in comments...

The maker of Franklin County's election machines has pinpointed the error that made a laptop computer give thousands of extra votes to President Bush on election night: Just like any overworked and distracted human, the machine was trying to do too much at once.

The mistake, caught several days after the election, had Bush receiving 4,258 votes in a precinct in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna where only 638 voters cast ballots. The corrected official count showed 365 votes for bush.
...
The review completed last week showed no fraud or tampering, said Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County elections board.

Since December, Damschroder has said the error occurred when cartridges from individual voting machines were inserted into a reader connected to a laptop that sends data over secure lines to a central computer.

Danaher Controls, the voting machine manufacturer based in Gurnee, Ill., inspected the counting system from beginning to end and agreed that was when the error occurred, then figured out how.

Technicians concluded the laptop was busy completing another task just as numbers from that precinct were being fed into it.

"As a result, the laptop did not receive the data as fast as it was sent," said an elections board report on the probe. "Consequently, data was lost."

Danaher went further, identifying what computer bytes in the data disappeared. By feeding in data missing those bytes, technicians produced the same wrong vote total.

The good news, at least, is that both the Board of Elections in Franklin County, Ohio and the manufacturer that sold them the machines both agree that it wasn't their fault in any way, and was just a computer error, and we have nothing to be worried about.

Glad that's been cleared up.

Oh...P.S....These aren't the droids you're looking for.

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Memo Also Warns of Al Qaeda Goal for Theocratic States!
ALSO: Violence in Iraq as Preliminary Election Results Announced for Theocratic State.
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2005 4:28pm PT  

The National Security Council memo by Richard Clarke written on January 25, 2001 requesting an urgent "Principals level review on the al Qida network has finally been released, just yesterday, by the National Security Archive.

Reuters reported this story last night.

The document was submitted by Clarke, George W. Bush's official Counterterrorism Coordinator just days after Bush took his first oath of office.

The first paragraph of the "Memorandum to Condoleezza Rice" contains the following sentence [emphasis in original]:

We urgently need such a Principals level review on the al Qida network.

The memo was declassified on April 7th, 2004. The day before Condolleeza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission on the 8th.

It was not released to the public until yesterday, almost one year and exactly one Presidential Election later.

Rice had said prior to her sworn testimony in a Washington Post op-ed that "No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration".

It would appear that Rice was either lying in op-ed, or to the commission, or perhaps it depends on what the meaning of either "plan" or "turned over" means.

Part of the first page of the memo is posted below. The National Security Archive has posted a story on the matter with other supporting documents including a copy of Richard Clarke's full 3-page memo [PDF].

The first page of the memo also cites Al Qaeda as having two major goals. One of which is to install "Muslim countries with theocracies".

In not-unrelated news, 23 people were killed in one attack in Iraq today which, according to AP, "occurred as election officials announced provisional final results from the Jan. 30 elections for provincial councils in 12 of the 18 provinces, showing Shiite religious groups winning handily over secular tickets in local races in much of the country."

In actual unrelated news, we're working on several investigations related to the Clint Curtis matter so posting here has been light over the last couple of days while we've been on that job. We trust you understand. More news on that when it's appropriate and not a moment sooner.

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Thanks to you, BRAD BLOG Nominated in Two FOUR Categories!
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2005 11:57am PT  

UPDATED 2/12/04: Thanks to you, we're four for four!

Now that all the categories for Finalists in the 2004 Koufax (Best Blog) Awards have been announced, it looks like your votes have brought The BRAD BLOG to the final step in all four categories in which we were nominated as semi-finalists!

Thanks again to the fine folks of Wampum for sponsoring the awards, and thanks to you all for voting. Now that all the categories are announced, we promise this will be the last time (this year anyway), that we'll ask you to stop on by to give us your vote!

If you are so inclined, please vote for The BRAD BLOG in the FINALIST voting in each of the following categories! (Click each of the links below, scroll to the bottom, and leave a Comment with your vote):

We're in very good company! The competition is stiff now with some of the best (and widest read!) blogs up against us! So we'll need all the votes we can muster to overtake some of the big boys!

Of the thousands (millions?) of blogs in the sphere, however, we're pleased to have just made it this far!

Voting ends next Friday we're told, so we'll try to leave this item on top until then.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2005 10:28pm PT  

Not enough posting time by Brad, means more open thread time for you. Everyone wins!

Have at it!

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'Real' White House 'Journalists' Once Again Asleep at the Switch.
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2005 3:59pm PT  

A quiet day in Bradville. Not really. But we're sure it appears that way to readers. Working on quite a bit behind the scenes as you may expect.

In the meantime, we'll take the lazy bloggers way out for the moment, and point you to a story you may already know something about. Or may not.

John Aravosis of AmericaBLOG deserves the credit for cracking open the J.D. Guckert (a/k/a Jeff Gannon/Talon "News") scandal and has been following all of its developments hard since then.

But if you're just coming aboard this one, we'll point you to Ennis again over at Toolz for the New School who's put together a good primer on the fascinating matter including a stunning video round-up of Jeff Gannon's greatest fake hits.

If you're not by now interested in this story, we'll offer the most general of background to say that "Gannon" has been exposed as a fake journalist, "still sexy" AOL gay swinger, and apparent gay military escort business facilitator...and oh yes, a favored White House briefing room "reporter" who received a daily permission slip to join gaggle even with his fake credentials!

One would think he would have been exposed as a fraud by the 40 or 50 White House "reporters" who sat next to him everyday in the briefing room while he was routinely chosen to ask questions (unlike, say 57-year White House veteran reporter Helen Thomas who has been demoted by the Bush White House to the back of the bus) but no, it took one of those crazy "Bloggers" to expose the White House's latest fraud on the American people.

Be sure to check Ennis' video to see why Scottie Mclellan and Bush himself may have preferred Gannon's fake questions over Thomas' real ones.

Is there anything this bunch of liars won't do?

It's gonna be a fun few years, folks. Except for that whole destroying democracy and shredding the constitution business. But everything has a price we guess.

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Wows Larger-Than-Expected Crowd at Invitation-Only Capital Hill Event!
By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2005 5:26pm PT  

Just in minutes ago from a source attending an invitation-only event at the Capital City Brewery next to Union Station in D.C.

With the last of the challengers for DNC chair now having dropped out of the race, an invitation went out just last night for "A Grassroots Celebration with Governor Howard Dean" organized by Democracy for America.

The crowd was so much larger than expected (the source estimates 2000 were there), that Dean moved outside to make his speech.

Below are some of the excerpts we were able to transcribe via the live cell phone connection from our source who was standing just next to the good doctor during his impromptu speech:

We're gonna change almost everything...We had the best grassroots organizations I've ever seen during our campaign, but it wasn't enough...We're gonna change that.

We have to NEVER be afraid to say what we believe! [HUGE CHEERS]

The people of this country are extraordinary exceptional people. 95% percent of the people want the same thing...Whatever category you think you fit into...We want to be respected in the world, not just have the strongest military in the world...We want jobs and job opportunities and to keep them in America. We want economic security...The largest number of personal bankruptcies are because of people who have medical emergencies, even those with insurance...We want to improve our public school system so we have the same chances our parents and grandparents had.

We're gonna do a lot of things together, because I can't do anything without all of you...This is your party, not mine.

But above all, we need not just to organize, not just to raise money, we need to stand up and speak up for what is right!

I will never use rhetoric that is used to divide America merely to win elections...We will never divide one American from another in order to win. If we do that, we will not be able to make an improvement once we get here.

...Take a look behind me (pointing to U.S. Capital Building)...In 2006 we're gonna make major strides in taking that building back and in 2008 it'll be a Democrat walking up Pennsylvania to take the oath of office! [CROWD WENT WILD]

We're not big Democrats around here these days. But we're big supporters of Dean, and couldn't give a crap what the detractors say (and boy, will we be hearing a lot from them now! We suggest you ignore them and smile in their general direction!), he's the man to change the party into something that's worth fighting for. Let's see if he can do it.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2005 5:01pm PT  

I've posted important updates to two different stories from yesterday.

One is on the story of Yang offering Curtis $1 Million to come back and "work" for them in a No-Show job. The update now includes actual evidence of Curtis having told this story to the now-deceased FDOT Inspector General Raymond Lemme back in April of 2002. A piece of that recently uncovered evidentiary report is now included to partly corroborate Curtis' story on the matter. The updated story is here.

And the New Times Broward-Palm Beach story on Clint Curtis has now published. A link to the very good story online, and a quick comment or two from yours truly (what did you expect?) are available via the original item from yesterday.

No comments link on this thread so you can post any you may have at the appropriate story.

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The Bush-Supporting Journalist goes on Record in 'Vanity Fair'
And Congressional Republicans Begin to Question Blackwell!
By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2005 1:05pm PT  

The Nashua Advocate --- which has been doing some excellent reporting on Election Irregularity stories for some months --- breaks the news of Christopher Hitchens' story in the March 2005 Vanity Fair finally joining the chorus of folks questioning the Ohio results.

The subscription-only magazine lists the article in their contents as such:

OHIO'S ODD NUMBERS Are the stories of voter suppression and rigged machines in Ohio to be believed? Christopher Hitchens presents "non-wacko" evidence that something went seriously awry on Election Day.

The Advocate offers some quotes from the VF piece, as well as a few quotes from Hitchens in the past regarding George W. Bush.

Since we are otherwise busy working on some other stories, we associate ourselves with their reporting on this matter for the moment.

A quick quote from the Hitchens story via The Advocate:

Whichever way you shake it, or hold it up to the light, there is something wrong about the Ohio election that refuses to add up. The sheer number of irregularities compelled a formal recount, which was completed in late December and which came out much the same as the original one, with 176 fewer votes for George Bush. But this was a meaningless exercise in reassurance, since there is simply no means of checking, for example, how many "vote hops" the computerized machines might have performed unnoticed....there is one soothing explanation that I don't trust anymore.

Hitchens was one of the many nay-sayers about Election Irregularities in the past. Here he is in a previous post-election story in Slate:

Many are the cheap and easy laughs in which one could indulge at the extraordinary, pitiful hysteria of the defeated Democrats.

...And finally then, here's Hitch on John Kerry:

"I did not think that John Kerry should have been President of any country at any time."

The Advocate piece offers more and includes some of the Republicans in Congress who are now beginning to question Ohio's Sec. of State and Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Co-Chair, J. Kenneth Blackwelll, on his motives and behavior. Please check it, and the rest of their fine reporting, out.

UPDATE 2/21/05: The entire Hitchens article has just been posted online here.

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