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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 7/24/2005 1:32pm PT  

Via AMERICAblog...

On ABC's This Week, Stephanopoulos just read the text of the Classified Information NonDisclosure Agreement that White House employees are required to sign:

"I have been advised that any breach of this Agreement may result in the termination of any security clearance I hold; removal from any position of special confidence and trust requiring such clearances; or the termination of my employment..."

Stephanopoulos: Do you believe that this agreement should be abided by?

McCain: I do, but that also implies that someone knowingly revealed...

Stephanopoulos: This covers negligent disclosures

McCain: Again I don't know what the definition of "negligent" is.

That's our boy.

Crooks and Liars has the video.

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It's DSM day in America --- will the MSM notice?
We're Being The Media --- because somebody's got to! Blog Along With Us if you please
By Winter Patriot on 7/23/2005 3:43pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

This week's Brad Show is almost ready to hit the airwaves.
Once again we have a fine lineup and the prospect of a thoroughly rockin' show.

Listen LIVE via the Web! Saturday from 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT)!
Repeating Sunday 12noon-4p ET (9a-1p PT)
Quick and easy access to LIVE listening links, archives, upcoming guests,
donation links and ad info (it's not to late to advertise!)
and more via!

Direct streaming links via RAW STORY!
It's free speech at its best, but it's not free!
Brad pays for the studio rental --- out of his own pocket --- at $500 per week!
So please donate here to help defray costs!
Every little bit helps, friends.

This week's guests:

  • Rep. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA) on her 7/23 'Downing Street' Day Town Forum in L.A.
  • TONY TRUPIANO on John Conyers' 7/23 'Downing Street' Day Town Forum in Detroit
  • JIM MARCINKOWSKI Former CIA Case Officer fresh from Congressional Hearings the outing of Valerie Plame and damage to our National Security
  • PAUL RIECKHOFF Iraq War vet, Founder of on Bush Administration troop support (or lack thereof)
  • DAVID DIXON of Handicapped Adults of Volusia County, FL fighting back at National Federation of the Blind's suit against paper ballots in Volusia!
  • Plus RAW STORY's LARISA ALEXANDROVNA if we can get her in one way or another dammit! And much more!
  • Join us Saturday Night 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT)! Listen up via, call in with your questions and comments for our guests at 323-650-1286, and play along right here at BRAD BLOG in our LIVE Open Thread during the show!

    URGENT REMINDER: The BRAD SHOW is still supported primarily by listener donations ... and we still need more listeners and more contributors! So please pick up the phone, or send some e-mail, and tell a few friends about The BRAD SHOW. You (and they) will be glad you did.

    LIVE OPEN THREAD BLOGGING below: click on the "comments" link at the bottom-right corner of this item to join in!

    ReddIt this story!

    7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT) at
    By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2005 2:49pm PT  

    Huge show this week! Please tune in and call in Saturday Night!


  • Rep. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA) on her 7/23 'Downing Street' Day Town Forum in L.A.
  • TONY TRUPIANO on John Conyers' 7/23 'Downing Street' Day Town Forum in Detroit
  • JIM MARCINKOWSKI Former CIA Case Officer fresh from Congressional Hearings the outing of Valerie Plame and damage to our National Security
  • PAUL RIECKHOFF Iraq War vet, Founder of on Bush Administration troop support (or lack thereof)
  • DAVID DIXON of Handicapped Adults of Volusia County, FL fighting back at National Federation of the Blind's suit against paper ballots in Volusia!
  • Plus RAW STORY's LARISA ALEXANDROVNA if we can get her in one way or another dammit! And much more!
  • And as always, your support to help keep us on the air --- yes, it's still very expensive --- is greatly appreciated! As well as donating, you can help by buying some kewl gear from The BRAD STORE --- like the shirt I'm wearing in the photo above right (okay, not that one, but one of your own!)

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    Blasts 'Partisan Obfuscation', 'Ruthless Attacks' on Joe Wilson at Joint House/Senate Hearings!
    Says 'Politics in This Country Trumps National Security'
    By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2005 1:21pm PT  

    FLASH UPDATE: Jim Marcinkowski just added to guest list for tomorrow night's BRAD SHOW!

    Jim Marcinkowski, former CIA case officer, gave some remarkable testimony at today's Joint Democratic House/Senate Hearings on Karl Rove's TreasonGate. He described the leak about Valerie Plame's identity and its subsequent coverup by the White House as "a disservice to our country," resulting in an "increase in the risk to the people of the United States."

    Blasting those attempting to protect themselves with attacks on Ambassador Joe Wilson and others trying to sound the alarm bell about what this Administration has done, Marcinkowski said those who would "shine up your American Flag lapel pin and fix your patriotism to your sleeve, [should] think about what impact your actions are gonna have on the security of the American people."

    The resulting message he says is sent around the world: "Politics in this country does indeed trump National Security."

    Crooks and Liars has the video of his testimony.

    ConyersBlog has more details on today's proceedings.

    Here are a few of the stunning key passages from Marcinkowski's testimony:

    Each time the leader of a political party opens his mouth in public to deflect responsibility, the word overseas is loud and clear: Politics in this country does indeed trump National Security.

    Each time a distinguished ambassador is ruthlessly attacked for the information he provides, a foreign asset will contemplate why he should risk his life when his information will not be taken seriously.

    Each time there is perceived a "political success" in deflecting responsibility by debating or re-debating some minutiae involved in this case, such actions are equally effective in undermining the ability of this country to protect itself against its enemies because the two are indeed related.

    Each time the political machine, made up of primetime patriots and partisan ninnies display their ignorance by deriding Valerie Plame as a mere "paper pusher" or belittling the varying degrees of cover used to protect our officers or continuing to play partisan politics with our national security, it's a disservice to this country.
    So may fool the American public by distracting minutiae, but your not doing it for people overseas. They know better.

    Those who would advocate the "I'm okay, you're okay" politics of non-responsibility should think about the impact of those actions on our foreign agents.

    Non-responsibility means: "We don't care." Not caring means a loss of security. A loss of security means the loss of an agent. The loss of an agent, means the loss of information. The loss of information means an increase in the risk to the people of the United States.

    There's a very simple message here: Before you shine up your American Flag lapel pin and fix your patriotism to your sleeve, think about what impact your actions are gonna have on the security of the American people.

    Think about whether your partisan obfuscation is creating confidence in the United States in general and in the CIA in particular. If not, a true patriot would just simply shut up.

    Those who take pride in their political ability to divert the issue from the fundamental truth, ought to be prepared to take their share of responsibility for the continuing damage done to our national security.

    When this unprecedented act first occurred, the President could have immediately demanded the resignation of all persons even tangentially involved. Or at a minimum he could have suspended the security clearances of those persons and placed them on administrative leave. Such methods are routine across the country in every police department in every American citizen understands that.

    That would have at least sent the right message around the globe that we take the security of those risking their lives on behalf of the United States seriously.

    Instead, we have flooded the foreign airwaves with two years of inaction, political rhetoric, ignorance and partisan bickering.

    That's the wrong message.

    In doing so, we have not lessened, but increased the threat to the security and safety of the people of the United States. And we've done since the time of this first breach of trust.

    I thank you.

    UPDATE: Looks like David Corn also has both the transcript and additional info and thoughts on today's hearings.

    RAW STORY has the testimony from Valerie Plame's CIA colleague Larry C. Johnson who sets out to "correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson."

    ReddIt this story!

    By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2005 12:16pm PT  

    Another BRAD BLOGGER in the news! (Add him to the list.)

    Yes, in a front page story now up at RAW STORY, our own Winter Patriot --- Official BRAD BLOG Concierge, frequent Guest Blogger, and all around good guy --- gets some ink of his own for his smart Whispering Campaign website.

    Devastatingly simple, the brilliant campaign offers readers single-page, large font versions of important, under-reported stories which can be easily printed out and distributed about town where they may be seen by folks who might not otherwise patronize those websites and blogs which are reporting the real news seen as unfit for our failed modern Mainstream Corporate Media.

    The RAW headline terms Winter a "Modern-day samizdat bring[ing] news to public places." We admit we had to look up the term "samizdat" to find out that it's defined as follows:

    Etymology: Russian, from sam- self- + izdatel'stvo publishing house
    : a system in the U.S.S.R. and countries within its orbit by which government-suppressed literature was clandestinely printed and distributed;

    Given the remarkably Kremlin-like state of our current White House, coupled naturally with an intimidated and repressed American Press Pool that has failed for four-plus years now to report on the unprecedented dangers wrought by this damagingly un-American Administration, a "modern-day samizdat" sounds like a good description to us!

    For being the media...cuz someone's got to...we say: Waytago, WP! Keep up the good work! America --- and The BRAD BLOG --- thanks you! For all that you do, this blog's for you!

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    Rep. Barbara Lee Joined by 26 Co-Sponsors
    As Some 300 Third Anniversary DSM/TreasonGate Events are Planned for this Saturday
    By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2005 8:02pm PT  

    The 'Downing Street Documents' continue to cause trouble for the Bush White House, as a formal "Resolution of Inquiry" into the matter was finally introduced in the U.S. House today according to

    Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Dem., Calif.) today introduced - along with 26 co-sponsors - a Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives which, if passed, will require the White House and the State Department to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq."

    Lee's resolution, asking the White House for information concerning the Downing Street Documents comes just two days prior to more than 300 nationwide events scheduled for this Saturday, July 23, which are set to mark the third anniversary of the original Downing Street Memo.

    The documents are official high-level British minutes and memos documenting the Bush Administration's plan to "fix" the intelligence and facts around their pre-determined policy to topple Saddam Hussein by military force. That policy, the documents conclude, was based on "thin" evidence concerning Saddam's WMD, included plans to goad Saddam into a war through U.N. sanctions and early bombing of targets in Iraq, and explain that the Bushies had little or no planning for post-war Iraq. They were all written while the Bush Administration was telling the American People and Congress that no plans had yet been made for attacking Iraq.

    Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) will be a guest on this weekend's BRAD SHOW to discuss the DSM/TreasonGate town hall being held in Los Angeles. We will also have reports from John Conyers' Detroit event as well. More details on all the events are here.

    More information on the Resolution of Inquiry, and how you can help by contacting legislators, is here [PDF].

    ReddIt this story!

    Florida County at Center of Battle Between Several Disabled Rights Groups
    Emergency Appeal Filed by Group Who Received $1 Million Donation from Diebold
    By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2005 7:27pm PT  

    Within the past few hours, The BRAD BLOG has learned, a Federal District Court has ruled against the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) who had filed suit against Volusia County, Florida earlier this month to force the county to use paperless Electronic Voting Machines in the upcoming fall elections there.

    The court order denying NFB's motion has been obtained by The BRAD BLOG and is available here [PDF].

    The BRAD BLOG has also learned that the NFB has decided late in the day to file an emergency appeal to that Federal District Court decision.

    This debate, and the decision by the District Court in Orlando, could have far-reaching implications in the national debate concerning touchscreen voting machines for which the NFB has been an advocate nationwide.

    The objectivity in regard to the NFB's national campaign for paperless touchscreen voting machines, or DRE's, has been questioned by several groups due to the NFB's receipt of a $1 Million contribution from America's largest voting machine company, Diebold, Inc.

    On the ground in Volusia, another disability advocacy group, the Handicapped Adults of Volusia County (HAVC), says they are "opposed to spending money on machines that do not provide a paper record of a person's vote," according to a report by The New Standard.

    HAVC joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a court brief which opposed the now-rejected motion brought by the NFB. The decision of the suit will be stayed pending the NFB's emergency appeal.

    Earlier today, NFB member and vice-president of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), Jim Dickson --- who has been very outspoken nationally in support of the paperless touchscreen voting machines made by Diebold --- told The BRAD BLOG that U.S. District Judge John Antoon II was wrong in his verdict siding against the NFB and in favor of Volusia County's decision to not purchase voting machines made by Diebold.

    Dickson, who has also been alleged to have accepted money from Diebold, which he has denied, said the decision was "crap"...

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

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    Cites Several Hundred Instances in Floor Debate Today over Act's Renewal
    Supports Most Provisions, But Concerned about 'Protecting Civil Liberties While Fighting Terrorism'
    By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2005 1:53pm PT  

    Earlier today, Larisa Alexandrovna of RAW STORY reported on the 70-page position paper released by House Judiciary Democrats outlining their disenting view on the renewal of the PATRIOT Act as now being debated on the House floor.

    In a statement obtained by The BRAD BLOG for today's debate, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, called several of the PATRIOT Act provisions --- 16 of which are now up for renewal --- into question, cited hundreds of instances of "abuse" and outlined those provisions which he viewed as the most significant threat to our civil liberties.

    Citing evidence of "a few provisions that are subject to abuse, and need greater checks and balances," Conyers outlined three of the provisions specifically of concern during debate today of "HR 3199 USA Patriot and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005"

    Amongst those which Conyers' expressed concerned about is Section 215 which allows for the FBI to obtain any record "relevant" to an investigation, including library books and medical records. Conyers said that targets are not allowed to tell anyone --- even their own attorneys --- about such records requests. The provision has been "abused," said Conyers', citing reports from the American Library Association alone of some 200 such requests since September 11.

    Another concern is Section 505 which allows the FBI "to obtain financial, telephone, internet and other consumer records" without requiring prior judicial approval. Though this provision has been found unconstitional by Federal Courts, the Bush Administration continues to use it, according to Conyers.

    Conyers also cites the provision which allows so-called "sneak and peek" searches in homes, cars and business, even when there is no emergency. The provision --- which Conyers' says was not in the version of the PATRIOT Act that came out of Judiciary Committee conference but was added by the Administration "in the middle of the night" --- has been "subject to wide spread abuse." The provision, the statement says, has been used more than 240 times...Moreover, only 10% of these uses have had anything to do with terrorism, the purported justification of the PATRIOT Act."

    Conyers also calls for renewed "sunsets" to the current PATRIOT provisions, rather than making them permanent as the Bush Administration has called for.

    The BRAD BLOG has obtained Conyers' statement which follows in full [emphasis from the original document as obtained via Conyers' office]...

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

    ReddIt this story!

    By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2005 11:50am PT  

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    4th Country to Legalize Gay Unions...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2005 9:05pm PT  

    Oh, Canada! Way to go!

    Thank you for setting the standards for how elections should be counted (by hand), wars should be fought (only when necessary) and how human beings who wish to wed should be treated by the state.

    As reported by AP, the bill which became law today "gives homosexual couples the same rights as those in traditional unions between a man and a woman."

    Imagine that.

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    30 Days Pay 'Wrist Slap' for Matt Damschroder who Retains $97k/year Job
    Not 'Illegal' in Ohio (Apparently) for Elections Officials to Take Pay-Offs from Voting Machine Companies
    By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2005 8:03pm PT  

    Just back in town after a day off, and man do I have a lot to catch up with...While I'm doing that, if you haven't noticed already, the Franklin County, Ohio Elections Director, Matt Damschroder, who last week acknowledged accepting a $10,000 check from a lobbyist for Diebold, was given a slap on the wrist yesterday and docked 30 days pay from his yearly $97,240 salary.

    He has also claimed that the Diebold lobbyist, Pasquale "Pat" Gallina, told him that he'd made $50,000 in donations to groups that support Ohio's Secretary of State (and, coincidentally, the Co-Chair of the Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) J. Kenneth Blackwell.

    All of this has come about amidst a lawsuit filed by voting machine company, ES&S in Ohio against Blackwell for giving the entire state to Diebold. This should be very interesting to watch. Depositions are upcoming.

    In the meantime, while Franklin County's head of election, who seems to have accepted a $10,000 bribe gets off virtually scot-free, Sherole Eaton --- the courageous whistleblower from Hocking County, OH, who gave testimony in an affidavit of employees from voting machine company, Triad gaming the Ohio recount --- has been accused of absolutely nothing. Nonetheless, she is still fired from the Hocking County Board of Elections.

    Ohio. Retaining its slim edge over Florida for the filthiest fucking state in the union.

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    So Much Unprecedented Corruption, So Little Accountability...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2005 4:12pm PT  

    Never one to put all of our democracy lovin' eggs into a single basket, no matter how much treason is in that basket's "gate", the breadth of scandals finally coming home to roost right now on this administration (has there ever been a dirtier one?) is simply remarkable.

    While any one of the scandals and investigations listed below would have likely taken down "lesser" administrations long ago --- though those administrations, unlike this one, would likely have had some help in that direction from an actual fourth estate --- it's remarkable to see how many of these scandals are currently rolling.

    To date, we don't believe anyone has actually been held accountable yet for any of the following (with the exception of a few poor sap soldier/scapegoats from Abu Ghraib --- of course, when the rubber meets the road, the Bush Administration blames the troops rather than supports them!).

    This list is rather extraordinary when taken in total. So... We leave it to you... Tell us which scandal and/or investigation will be the straw that finally breaks this Administration's back and why? (The various options presented here are in no particular order)

    1) Plame/Rove "TreasonGate" investigation
    2) Jack Abramoff/Tom Delay investigation
    3) Thomas Noe/Ohio "Coingate"/RNC investigation
    4) "Duke" Cunningham/MZM investigation
    5) Sproul & Assoc./RNC investigation
    6) Halliburton/Dick Cheney investigation
    7) Downing Street Documents/Iraq War investigation
    8) Abu Ghraib/Gitmo/Torture accusations/investigation
    9) Election Fraud allegations/investigation
    10) Jeff Gannon investigation
    11) 9/11 investigation
    12) Combination of all of the above
    13) Scandal/investigation we failed to list above
    14) An as of yet unknown/unpublicized scandal/investigation
    15) None of the above and none in the future

    Place your bets in comments and consider it an open thread as I attempt to get the hell outta Dodge for 24 hours or so to celebrate (my birthday, not Bush's woes). We'll see if I make it out of town or not. Trying to...If I do, hopefully Winter Patriot will feel free to cover the slack here --- as needed --- while I'm gone. Peace.

    ReddIt this story!

    First Major Print Ad by Such a Group, Critical of Admin's Vet Health Care Budget
    Ad Text: 'Mr. President, You're Either With Us or Against Us'
    By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2005 3:23pm PT  

    As if Dubya didn't have enough (self-inflicted), a coalition of U.S. veterans of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars whose slogan is "Really Support the Troops - Listen to Them!", is taking out an ad in tomorrow's Washington Post critical of the Bush Administration and calling on Bush to "provide leadership" by meeting the needs of healthcare for returning vets.

    In their ad, the group generously attributes the $1 Billion shortfall in Bush's 2005 budget for "Veterans of the War on Terror" to a "miscalculation".

    In 2006, the ad claims, the budget shortfall will be a full $3 billion short of what our returning veterans need to cover health care costs at Veterans Administration hospitals. OpTruth covers this issue in more detail on their website. founder Paul Reickhoff --- who we've previously covered here and more recently here, quit his Wall Street job after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan and has been critical of Bush's level of support for troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Reickhoff tells The BRAD BLOG that this ad represents the "first time an Iraq vets group has taken out a major print ad."

    The text from the OpTruth ad is as follows...

    THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION recently admitted that they miscalculated the health care costs for Veterans of the War on Terror this year by at least $1 billion. In 2006, the shortfall will be $3 billion.

    WITHOUT IMMEDIATE CHANGES, four out of five returning Veterans could be turned away from care at VA hospitals. That's a raw deal the American people will not tolerate.

    A UNANIMOUS, BIPARTISAN SENATE has moved quickly to cover this year's outrageous budget gap with a $1.5 billion emergency supplemental. Congress should adopt the Senate's plan, and should make up the 2006 budget gap as well.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY, President Bush needs to act immediately and provide the leadership that will prevent Veterans from being shortchanged now and in the future.

    A graphic version is below (click to see full PDF version):

    ReddIt this story!

    Or, George W. Bush Unites America...
    (For all except the Bush Dead-Enders)
    By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2005 2:21pm PT  

    (Hat tip Jesse at Stakeholder!)

    ReddIt this story!

    By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2005 2:57pm PT  

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