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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, October 22, 2017
Real News from the Land of Reality: 'BradCast' 10/20/17
And a thought or two on the toxic poison injected this week into our body politic by the President of the United States...
Trump's Reckless Disregard for Puerto Rican Lives is an Impeachable Offense
Ernest Canning makes the case for adding the President's woeful, deadly response in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria to the list...
Trump's Schizophrenia, Congress' Fresh 'Health Care Hell': 'BradCast' 10/19/17
Guest: TPM's Alice Ollstein from Capitol Hill; Also: Trump meets with P.R. Guv, gives himself a '10' on Maria response!...
'Green News Report' 10/17/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Alaska's ANWR on chopping block, again; Toxic ash from CA wildfires; US Virgin Islands w/o power, clean water; PLUS: Shell opens e-car charging network at gas stations -- in Britain...
Previous GNRs: 10/12/17 - 10/10/17 - Archives...
DHS Misled on 2016 'Russian Hacks'
(Will They Get It Right in 2018?):
'BradCast' 10/18/17
Guest: Orange Cnty, CA Registrar Neal Kelley on new DHS 'Election Infrastructure' Council...
Impeachable Offenses: Trump's 'ObamaCare' Lie: 'BradCast' 10/17/17
Also, Guest: Pastor Michael McBride on the 'Cost for Peace vs. Death' and programs that stop gun violence...
'Green News Report' 10/17/17
Hurricane slams Ireland; Deadliest fire week in CA history; Puerto Ricans drinking water from toxic Superfund sites; Coal plants closed in TX; PLUS: Oil rig explodes in LA...
Something's Happening Here (Maybe): 'BradCast' 10/16/17
Guest: Heather Digby Parton on Trump rage, GOP 'cowardice'; Also: Deadly hurricane in Ireland(?!), fires in CA, war between US-armed allies in Iraq...
Sunday 'Just Undo It' Toons
'PDiddie' rounds up another week in American politics where words fail, but the political cartoonists do not...
'Chaos': 'BradCast' 10/13/2017
In less than 24 hours, Trump aggressively unleashes fresh havoc on the American health care system and foreign policy with Iran...
'Green News Report' 10/12/17
Historic, deadly firestorms grow in CA; Water-borne diseases in Puerto Rico; PLUS: Trump EPA makes way for controversial mine in world's most valuable fishery...
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...

PLUS: Freeway Blogging in YOUR Hometown!
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2006 9:28pm PT  

Our good friend, the mysterious and legendary Freeway Blogger posted the above yesterday, one prophetic day before Bush's latest nonsense about "hunting down bin Laden." Bush was just kidding, of course. FB wasn't.

On that note, FB is now organizing nationwide. Won't you join him?




Governor's Open Letter: 'One person, one vote is in jeopardy if we do not act boldly and immediately'
But How Long Will the Bill Take To Come Into Effect?
By John Gideon on 3/1/2006 6:40pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

"American citizens once took for granted that every vote mattered, but no longer. It is time that we, the elected state officials, work to restore American's confidence in our electoral systems and undertake reform that moves to eliminate skepticism and uncertainty." --- NM Governor Bill Richardson's 3/1/06 Letter "To the State Officials of the 50 United States of America" (Posted in full below)

Today Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico made a powerful statement to officials in all states (see full letter below) as he announced that tomorrow he would be signing legislation that would require the state of New Mexico to go to a paper ballot based voting system. No longer will the state use Sequoia DRE (touch-screen) voting machines...the machines that reported large numbers of undervotes in previous elections...The same machines that disenfranchised minority voters...The technology Richardson describes as "simply fail[ing] to pass the test of reliability" in his open letter published today.

The Governor has also announced that the bill's signing ceremony will be webcast. The announcement says:

We hope you will join the Governor, concerned citizens and legislators as the Governor's signature moves New Mexico forward by ensuring that our democracy continues to flourish. The live webcast will begin Thursday at 11:00am MST (1:00pm Eastern) and can be viewed at:

www.billrichardson2006.com/reform/paperballots

Please watch the webcast, take a moment to look at the Governor's proposals, and sign the petition to get your state, and the rest of America, to make every vote count

This all sounds wonderful, except???opponents of the legislation managed to get the legislation amended so that voting systems "owned or used" as of 1 May 2006 that do not use paper ballots can continue to be used until, among other things, debt on purchases of those machines are paid by the state. Then, the bill that appropriated funds to pay off the debt died in committee. Now the state needs to find the money to pay off the debt.

UPDATE 3/3/06: Signing ceremony video and petition calling on all states to join NM now here.

The complete letter from Gov. Richardson of New Mexico follows...

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




White House Spins Scandal With Paper That Was Withheld from Investigation
By David Edwards on 3/1/2006 6:37pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

MSNBC Countdown reports on the tapes of FEMA/Bush teleconferences held the day before Katrina hit New Orleans. Bush was on the call when the experts said they were concerned about the levees and a "disaster within a disaster" at the Superdome.

Just hours after AP released the tapes, the White House responded with a transcript where Brownie says that Bush was "engaged." A very weak rebuttal, indeed. What's more is that the White House had earlier refused to turn over this same document to the Congressional investigation on Katrina.

Crooks and Liars has a high-quality video of AP's report.




By David Edwards on 3/1/2006 1:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com

Local police report that "over 100,000" people protested Bush's arrival in India. American corporate media reports say there were "tens of thousands" of protestors.

More protests are planned for the duration of Bush's visit.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...




[UPDATED]
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2006 11:13am PT  

Received this note yesterday before heading off to Guest Host "The Young Turks". It's from Fred McChesney, co-host of the excellent "M&M Show", where I've appeared several times, on Air America Phoenix:

Hi Brad,

Today is KXXT's (Air America Phoenix) last day. Phoenix is getting its eighth AM Christian Station, starting tomorrow. Air America is off the air in Phoenix.

Fred

The KXXT website now has a thanks and farewell message from the now-former General Manager, who apparently had tried to save the station. It reads, in part:

You helped take an unrated, unprofitable AM radio station and pushed it to a tie for 3rd place out of 25 AM stations in Phoenix. You took that same AM station and made it profitable in less than a year and even after the sale was announced you stood by Air America Phoenix and we kept on making money even when our future was in doubt and we didn't know when our "plug" was going to be pulled. In fact, the last month we were on the air was the 3rd best month we've had financially!

Air America Phoenix has now disappeared into the ether and Phoenix is left with multiple Christian formats, some in English and others in Spanish, several "brokered' time stations (you know the radio stations selling you vitamins, good bowel movements and financial advice) a bagful of right wing "Conservative Talk stations" featuring Rush, Sean, Laura, Bill Bennett, Savage, Medved and all of their local imitators, three "Sports Talk" stations that live off the largess of their sister stations in the big corporate clusters that dominate the dial in Phoenix. Is anyone enjoying Tony Snow on KTARůdid anyone ask for him?

I welcome commenters here who have any suggestions about what --- if anything --- can be done about it.

UPDATE: The links to the KXXT webpages have now been removed. Unfortunately, I failed to cache them when I visited them. If anyone happened to cache those pages, please let me know, and I'll link to them instead. The message from the now-former GM, Bob Christy, can now be read in full right here. (Hat-tip to Zelph at Desert Rat!)

UPDATE 3/7/06: A campaign has now been mounted to get Air America Phoenix back on the air! They could use your help!




Also Includes Mardi Gras Special: 'CNN Anchors Gone Wild'
By David Edwards on 3/1/2006 10:53am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Includes Special Mardi Gras video intro: "CNN Anchors Gone Wild"

Stephen Colbert, in character as always, frowns on Bush's latest approval poll numbers. Highlighting a Scottish investigation into a Bush bicycling accident, Colbert reminds us of the many cuts, bruises and falls the President has sustained in past years.

Colbert offers the obtuse suggestion that Iraqi's problems could simply be solved with "Iraqi-Gras".




By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2006 9:54pm PT  

His Salon piece, entitled "Impeach Bush", starts this way:

The man was lost and then he was found and now he's more lost than ever --- and he's taking us into the darkness with him. It's time to remove him.

...and ends this way:

The U.S. Constitution provides a simple ultimate way to hold him to account for war crimes and the failure to attend to the country's defense. Impeach him and let the Senate hear the evidence.

Sounds about right to me.

Or better yet, Mr. Bush, show some courage for the first time in your life. Step down now and save the country from even one more day of the agony, danger, shame, harm and destruction that you've already inflicted upon us.




By John Gideon on 2/28/2006 5:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

I'm back and today's DVN includes some articles from the past two days added in with today's articles. Early voting for this year's primaries is taking place in TX and IL. It looks like NY will be using their lever machines for another election year. It would be catastrophic for them to change this late in the game. PA is a mess with counties rushing to get anything and not much really certified by the state or federal authorities. ...

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




72% of U.S. Troops Want Out of Iraq Within One Year
By David Edwards on 2/28/2006 10:33am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Rep. John Murtha was interviewed on yesterday's edition of CNN Situation Room.

Transcript:

MURTHA: They have to settle this themselves. They have to settle the underlying problems which have caused the insecurity there.

For instance, water supply, the electricity supply, the oil supply. All those things are prewar level. And there's no way they're going to settle.

Unemployment is 60 percent. There's no way they're going to settle this by talking about it. It's not rhetoric.

And the military has done everything they can do. They have done a marvelous job. Now it's up to the political leaders to take hold of this thing and settle it themselves.

And, you know, I keep getting different reports about the Iraqis being ready to take over, and then the next day they say there's no battalions ready. But the Iraqis themselves have more confidence in their police and in their army than they do in the United States Army.

We have become the enemy, and our troops, unfortunately, have become the targets. So it's time to redeploy our troops.

Related: Zogby poll via ThinkProgress - 72% of U.S. Troops Want Out of Iraq Within One Year. 29% of U.S. troops serving in Iraq favor "immediate" withdrawal.




By David Edwards on 2/28/2006 9:26am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Three reports from three networks based in different countries:

  • MSNBC (U.S.) - Low poll numbers for Bush on approval of Iraq war. Latest tallies of today's violence.
  • BBC (U.K.) - More in-depth reporting on bombings in Baghdad earlier this morning.
  • Al Alam TV (Iran) - While American leaders have mostly blamed the bombing of the "golden dome" mosque on "terrorists", this report looks at suspicions from the "Shi'ite street" that American occupation forces should share some of the blame.

Please note that views expressed in the video are those of the broadcasters. We invite viewers to evaluate the material and make their own conclusions.




Along with Michael Shure!
Tuesday, 6p-9p ET (3p-6p PT) - Listen in via Sirius Satellite Ch. 146 or WATCH the Video Webcast at www.TheYoungTurks.com!
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2006 11:26pm PT  

I was just asked last minute to jump in and Guest Host The Young Turks radio program on Tuesday from 6p-9p ET (3p-6p PT). When an opportunity arises to "Be the Media", you know I'm always happy to answer the call. As best as I can. Even at last minute. Cuz somebody's got to.

I'm happy to say I'll be sitting in along with the good Michael Shure once again.

Please tune in via Sirius Satellite Channel 146 or watch/listen to the LIVE video webcast at www.TheYoungTurks.com. Call in to say hey, if you like, at 866-99SIRIUS!

Amongst Tonight's Special Guests (so far) ...

+ Ion Sancho, Supervisor of Elections, Leon County, FL
(he, of the now-infamous Diebold "hack test"!)

+ Lowell Finley, Attorney, Co-Director of VoterAction.org
(he, of the CA Diebold decertification lawsuit, and Sequoia temp restraining order in NM!)

+ Kay Brown, Comm. Director for DNC in Alaska
(they, of the Alaska/Diebold 2004 Election Data bait and switch!)

More to be announced tonight. Feel free to call in to the show tonight and help us stir up trouble and save democracy at the same time!




Bush Dead-Enders Poised to Hit Endangered Species List
American Minority Fringe Continues to Control Majority of Government
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2006 7:04pm PT  


Who are the Bush dead-enders? Latest poll...

Bush Approval Rating: 34%
Cheney Approval Rating: 18%

Approval of Bush's Handling of War: 30%
Approval of Bush's Handling of Katrina: 32%
Approval of Bush's "War on Terror": 43%




Pima County Election Director Brad Nelson Launches Outburst Towards Election Reform Advocate in Response to Question About New Touch-Screen Voting Machines
Letter Calls for Censure of Official as Onlookers Stunned by Encounter, Feared Violence Would Break Out...
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2006 10:57am PT  

The battle between Election Officials and Election Integrity Advocates has been simmering and intensifying for some time. Last week, in Arizona, one such confrontation boiled over briefly into an outburst at a public meeting which was documented on video tape. In what could be a preview for the Electoral Integrity fight still to come, Pima County, Arizona's Election Director Brad Nelson went into a short tirade last Tuesday as the video camera rolled during a local Democratic precinct council meeting in the state's 26th Legislative District.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the exclusive video of the event which reveals the Republican Nelson flying off the handle and shouting as he confronts Election Integrity Advocate, John Brakey, "nose to nose" during a question about Diebold's DRE (touch-screen) voting machines. Before Brakey was able to get to his main question concerning Nelson's plans for Logic and Accuracy testing on the machines, he was interupted by Nelson's outburst over whether or not he had, in fact, signed a contract for use of the new voting machines in the county.

Diebold's hackable touch-screen machines have been recently approved for first-time use in the state by Arizona's Secretary of State Jan Brewer.

Ironically enough --- especially in light of this new video --- Brewer herself recently referred to election integrity advocates as "anarchists" in an interview with the Arizona Star after demonstrators concerned about Diebold interrupted her re-election campaign announcement just after the first of this year.

While Nelson's confrontational rant was just short of anarchic, it certainly sent a shockwave of concern throughout the room of stunned onlookers.

One of the witnesses present, Rev. Gerry Straatemeier, described the "intimidating behavior" displayed in the incident as "completely out of line for a public official". Straatemeier was so troubled by the display that she sent an open letter to the Pima County Board of Supervisors calling for Nelson to be censured for the behavior. In the letter (posted in full at the end of this item, along with a text transcript of the event) Straatemeier says, "I really thought he was going to land a blow on Mr. Brakey and I was scared to death."

In the video, Nelson charges towards the camera at one point --- which Brakey was standing near --- coming so close that it's impossible to see anything but his chest in full camera's full frame.

Straatemeier, in her letter, suggests the tirade was an attempt to intimidate Brakey --- and other election integrity advocates --- from further inquiry into the controversial Diebold touch-screen voting equipment now coming into Arizona despite a Dept. of Homeland Security warning that their tabulator software is hackable, a non-partisan GAO report confirming the failures and loss of ballots via electronic voting, and a recent independent analysis [PDF] commissioned by the Sec. of State of California which warns about the hackable "interpreted code" used in Diebold voting machines despite a ban on such code by the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) guidelines.

As we reported in May of last year, Brakey has for some time been closely investigating a number of troubling anomalies in recent Arizona elections. His intensive work auditing his own precinct in Pima County, where he says evidence suggest fraud occurred in the 2004 election, was covered in detail last year by The Tuscon Weekly. That work has brought him in contact many times in the past with Nelson --- without incident apparently, until last week.

Last Tuesday, as the following video shows, the simmering frustration and growing anger roiling up between many Election Officials and Election Reformers, has finally begun to make its way to the surface and into the public eye...


Additional versions of the video...
-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media format...

===
UPDATE 3/17/06: Tuscon's local NBC affiliate runs a report including this video, Nelson says he is sorry for the outburts. Full report here...
===

A complete text transcript of the incident, and a copy of Straatemeier's open letter to the Pima County Board of Supervisors calling for censure of Nelson follows...

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




Huffington Post Picks Up the Cause...
Please take action!
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2006 10:36am PT  

Last week we briefly discussed Stephen Heller who, out here in Los Angeles, is now facing three felony charges for exposing the illegal scheme by Diebold to use uncertified software on their voting machines in the state several years ago. The LA Times coverage is here.

Heller blew the whistle on the company's plan to defraud California voters when he exposed documents he saw while working as a temp worker at Diebold's California law firm, Jones Day. The courageous act, from which Heller stood to gain nothing (he, in fact, was fired for it) led to the decertification of Diebold in the state by former Sec. of State Kevin Shelley, and then to the eventual settlement between the company and the state of California for $2.6 million in 2004.

Today, several Huffington Post blogger take up on Heller's behalf, along with issuing some calls to action to contact the LA District Attorney's office to encourage tell them to drop this appalling case of punishing the patriot, Heller at the behest of the the bullies at Diebold.

Peter Soby Jr.'s coverage is the most complete. Here's a snippet:

Let's make this clear, folks. The docs Heller is accused of exposing were important evidence. First, they show that Diebold and their attorneys, Jones Day, conspired to mislead the California secretary of state, and that the lie they told was material, and resulted directly in the disenfranchisement of voters. Second, another document demonstrates that Diebold lied to the secretary of state when it represented that certain problems with its software were "fixed." This document, the release notes for the new software, showed that the problems were not fixed. Third, the documents showed that Diebold had been advised by Jones Day that what it had been doing with its uncertified software was illegal. Fourth, the documents show that Jones Day advised Diebold that it was subject to criminal prosecution. So in a nutshell, Diebold was defrauding the state government and taxpayers of California, and disenfranchising the voters of California. And the documents PROVE it.

And for allegedly exposing Diebold's felonious behavior (which led directly to Diebold being de-certified in California), for allegedly helping protect the taxpayers and voters of California, for allegedly helping to keep elections clean and fair, what happens? Diebold, the true criminal in this case, and their powerful international law firm Jones Day, press the L.A. District Attorney's office to hammer Heller, a whistleblower. Three felonies! Diebold was (and probably still is) screwing California voters, Heller is alleged to have seen the smoking gun evidence of Diebold's crimes, and, like a true patriot and whistleblower, allegedly exposed that smoking gun evidence, and now HE'S the one facing jail time. Only in Bush's America!

Soby goes on to offer some talking points and helpful contact information for the LA District attorney. Please check them out and take action.

As well, Lyn Davis Lear (Norman's wife), speaks up in support as well.

...CONTACT...
District Attorney's Office
County of Los Angeles
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210

Email: lada@co.la.ca.us

Telephone: (213) 974-3512
Fax: (213) 974-1484
TTY: (800) 457-7778 (8:30am - 5:00pm M-F)




By David Edwards on 2/27/2006 7:51am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

Thanks to a heads-up from Larisa at The Raw Story, we were able to captured this broadcast of CNBC's Tim Russert show. Russert interviewed James Risen and Robert O'Harrow, Jr. The video contains about 24 minutes of clips from CNBC's Saturday broadcast.

James Risen broke the NSA warrantless domestic spying story for the New York Times. He also has a new book out, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA And The Bush Administration. Risen is known to have sources within various intelligence agencies and has recieved information from several NSA whistleblowers. One of those whistleblowers, Russell Tice, recently testified before congress that NSA domestic surveillance programs may be much more widespread than the "limited" program that the Bush Administration has admitted. Tice has said that some programs could be monitoring "millions of Americans".

Robert O'Harrow, Jr. is an award-winning reporter for the Washingon Post with an expertise data mining and privacy issues. His recent book, No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society, describes "a surveillance society that's less centralized and more a joint public/private venture".

Together, Risen and O'Harrow paint a picture of an enormous partnership between U.S. intelligence agencies and private data collection firms. Spying agencies like the NSA can leverage its' massive computing power to mine data collected by these private firms. The result is a mind-boggling domestic surveillance capability with access to nearly any information imaginable. Phone calls, email, video as well as financial, criminal and other personal records can all be searched at the same time. The NSA's powerful computers can mine the data to find otherwise imperceptible links for profiling groups and individuals.

Russert calls it a "sobering" discussion. The interview only scratches the surface of how extensive the scope of Big Brother's monitoring of Americans may be. The surveillance programs are a dramatic departure from what the public has come to believe. It's easy to see why the Bush Administration has avoided legislation and oversight.

It's quite possible that the American people would not stand for Bush's spying policies if they had a sense of the true nature of the government's surveillance.

UPDATE 5/8/06: Luke has now posted a text transcript of this Russert/Risen/O'Harrow interview.




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