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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, September 30, 2016
Trump's Law, Order, Denial: 'BradCast' 9/29/16
Several new and long overdue reports on the GOP nominee's unlawful business practices and a fact-check on his global warming denialism. Oh, and a song!...
'Green News Report' 9/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton promotes clean energy, Trump denies his own denial in the first Presidential debate; PLUS: Big Coal tries to kill Obama's landmark emissions standards in federal court...
Previous GNRs: 9/22/16 - 9/20/16 - Archives...
Fallout from the 'Trumpwreck' Debate: 'BradCast' 9/28/16
The public reaction to the first Trump/Clinton Presidential debate --- from polls, betting markets, newspapers and listener callers (lots of them!)...
Trumpwreck: The First Presidential Debate: 'BradCast' 9/27/16
Smart and, at times, hilarious coverage of the Trump/Clinton Hofstra debate, with journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
'The Most Audacious Political Heist of Our Time':
'BradCast' 9/26/16
David Daley on 'RatF**ked' and how the GOP 'stole' the U.S. House for a decade as Dems 'fell asleep at the wheel'...
Sunday Toons of the First Debate Moment
The final stretch for the general election begins and so do the Presidential Debates, as documented in PDiddie's collection of the best political toons of the week...
Eyewitness to Shooting at Protest Questions Official Account: 'BradCast' 9/22/16
Guest: Linda Flynn of Charlotte Spirituality Center was 'feet away', believes police activity sparked violence at peaceful demonstration...
'Green News Report' 9/22/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
U.N. climate pact reaches crucial threshold; White House orders NatSec planning for climate change; Good/bad news in the Arctic; PLUS: Obama to world: Time to step up...
Previous GNRs: 9/20/16 - 9/15/16 - Archives...
Caller Debate Questions
for Trump and Clinton:
'BradCast' 9/21/16
Plus: Police shootings and protests in NC, OK; Earth smashes more heat records; Trump leads Clinton in new national poll...
Trump Charity Scam; Warren v. Wells CEO; TX Defies Court: 'BradCast' 9/20/16
A whole lotta liars, cheats and scam artists on today's show! (So what else is new?)...
'Green News Report' 9/20/16
AL pipeline spill; Court reprieve for Dakota Access; U.N. trying to 'Trump proof' climate pact; PLUS: Leonardo DiCaprio wants you to watch over the oceans...
Terror Attacks in NY, NJ, MN; Massive Pipeline Spill in AL: 'BradCast' 9/19/16
What we know (and don't) in both cases. Guest: Alabama Media Group's natural resources reporter Dennis Pillion...
Sunday Toons of the Slightly Queasy Moment
'Slightly'?! ... 'PDiddie' may need a moment to see if it passes...
Trump's (Latest) Trap; Voting Rights Rulings in KS and OH: 'BradCast' 9/16/16
Also: Nat'l polls tied; Trump leads in OH; Sanders warns against 3rd-party voting; Colbert cheers us up...
'Green News Report' 9/15/16
Dakota Access pipeline fails climate test; House Comm probes state AGs on Exxon; Lead paint maker bought WI immunity; PLUS: LA floods U.S. 3rd costliest disaster...
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...

Dirty, Dirty, Little Ohio Begins to Come Apart at the Seams...
Along with the rest of the disgraced Republican Party...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2005 1:10pm PT  

Just in from the Toledo-Blade. One of the top GOP moneymen for Bush/Cheney in Ohio, and for Republicans nationwide, Thomas Noe joins the ignominious ranks in the ever-swelling Republican "Culture of Corruption".

Apparently, Republicans are seemingly unable to "win" elections without cheating... Go figure. [emphasis added]

Noe indicted in Bush money-laundering case

A federal grand jury has indicted Tom Noe, the former Maumee coin dealer suspected of laundering money into President Bush's reelection campaign, Mr. Noe's attorney told The Blade today.

Gregory A. White, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, will hold a news conference in Toledo to announce “a major public corruption indictment.”

The U.S. Attorney's office announced in April that it was investigating Mr. Noe for possible violations of federal campaign finance laws. Sources have told The Blade that authorities believe Mr. Noe gave money to several people who then contributed to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Keep your eyes on this one, since Noe had connections to all the major Republican players, from the indicted Ohio Governor Taft, to Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell, to Schwarzenegger in California to Bush/Cheney etc. Let's see if they all start singing soon...This is gonna get ugly.

We'd also suggest you keep your eyes on Noe's wife, Bernadette, who --- as BRAD BLOG reported previously --- appears to be tied into this scheme vis a vis her her dual role as chairman of the Lucas County, OH Republican Party and the Lucas County Board of Elections. It appears that Ms. Noe was one of the key players in the Ohio Republican Party's proven gaming and/or theft of the 2004 Presidential Election in the state via her Board of Election's "gross failures" to secure ballots, voting machines and the manipulation of the Green/Liberatarian-requested recount which followed the election.

UPDATE: The Blade updates its own story after the Press Conference...A three-count indictment for Noe...

The three-count indictment says that beginning in October 2003, Mr. Noe contributed to President Bush's election campaign “over and above the limits established by the Federal Election Campaign Act."

“He did so, according to the indictment, in order to fulfill his pledge to raise $50,000 for a Bush-Cheney fund-raiser held in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 30, 2003,” Gregory White, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced at an afternoon news conference

The two other counts were for conspiracy and filing false statements.
...
The indictment alleges Mr. Noe's actions caused false statements to the Federal Elections Commission and defrauded the United States and that he directed his conduit donors to fill out the false statements.

Mr. Noe faces the maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count. The conspiracy and false statement counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 and the campaign finance violation carries a mandatory fine of between $136,200 and $454,000.
...
Local law-enforcement sources said investigators are looking at contributions made by people from the Toledo area to the Bush campaign at the fund-raiser, at which the campaign raised $1.4 million.

FURTHER UPDATE: AP picks up the story (headline: "Major Republican Donor Indicted in Ohio"), and adds some background...

Noe is also under investigation over an ill-fated $50 million investment in rare coins he managed for the state workers' compensation fund. Noe has acknowledged that up to $13 million is missing, and Ohio's attorney general has accused him of stealing as much as $6 million.

The coin dealer contributed more than $105,000 to Republicans, including Bush and Gov. Bob Taft, during the last campaign.
...
An investigation into Noe's coin investments led to the governor's conviction in August on charges he failed to report golf outings and other gifts.

FURTHER FURTHER UPDATE: The DNC posts a helpful little rap-sheet on Noe and his dirty dealing with Bush and the RNC. Released along with this statement from Communications Director, Karen Finney:

"Tom Noe is a prime example of the culture of corruption that President Bush and his special interest cronies have fostered in Washington and state capitals across the country. Having apparently mismanaged $13 million from Ohio's state pension fund, Noe funneled at least $50,000 in taxpayer money to President Bush's re-election campaign to buy access to White House strategy sessions."




By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2005 12:47pm PT  

Apparently the situation isn't dire enough. At least not enough to merit the coverage deserved by the media in the wake of Wilma's devastation in Florida. Either that, or there's not enough whipping wind and rain to rate full Multi-Colored-Slicker Team Coverage (read: pointlessly stupid photo ops) for the cable "news" nets to cover the story. Or maybe it's just that it's brother Jeb's state, and the Administration doesn't have a governor to conveniently blame for their own failure to do anything right.

Whatever...Our friend Larisa Alexandrovna of RAW STORY is caught in the mess. She lives in South Florida. She filed this report on the situation from a pay phone near her home...

WEST PALM BEACH --- Many residents of Broward County, Florida remain without food, water or medical supplies days after being pummeled by a stronger-than-expected Hurricane Wilma.

RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna, who lives in the county, said the situation is far worse than the mainstream press is reporting. She believes part of this is due to the fact that residents are without phone service and largely unable to reach the outside world.
...
Calling into RAW STORY from a payphone at the West Palm Beach airport, since home and cell phone service have been adversely affected, Larisa explained, “We can't call out. No one's covering this because they think if there were problems people would call, but we can't.”




VR Asks: 'Should George W. Bush Be Impeached?', OpTruth Asks: 'How Many More Will Die?'
PLUS: Robert Koehler Writes About the 'Impeachable Offense'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2005 10:38pm PT  

The print ad that we (VelvetRevolution.us) are running in this week's Washington D.C. City Paper. [Click it to read full ad]...

The video ad that OpTruth.org (an organization of Iraq and Afghanistan War vets) is now running on Fox "News", CNN and elsewhere. Notable if only because I believe this is the first time this non-partisan group of vets has finally called for an Exit Strategy. [Click it to watch full ad]...

Our friend, Robert Koehler of Tribune Media Services latest column, "Impeachable Offense" begins thusly...

In 1970, Gerald Ford defined an impeachable offense in unarguably practical terms, as: "whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."

Ford's defintion is the only thing saving George Bush's hide right now, as Plamegate hemorrhages and the high-level machinations that drove the country into an unnecessary war publicly unravel. Beyond special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's possible perjury indictments of Scooter Libby and Karl Rove lie 100,000 or so deaths, a ruined country, worldwide enmity and a bill to U.S. taxpayers of $200 billion and counting. Admittedly, this is no semen-stained dress, but it's a colossal screw-up nonetheless.

...and ends thusly...

The abuses of the Bush administration may be the most extreme in U.S. history, but they came wrapped in the cloak of patriotism and fear-based necessity, and most of us, including the media, barely questioned them, or we accepted them with a shrug as the unchallengeable prerogatives of the powerful.

What kind of democracy can such an enervated, powerless people hope to spread to the rest of the world? How did we wind up with a system of government that practices the ideals it trumpets only by mocking them? How do let future leaders know that waging an unnecessary war is an impeachable offense?

Koehler's columns are run on an optional basis by TMS' media clients around the country who chose to do so. The latest column in full, quoted above, should be available at this link within the next 24 hours or so. Few TMS client papers picked up his terrific pieces questioning the validity of Election '04 and calling for an accountable and inclusive Electoral System/Democracy. It'll be interesting to see how many papers pick up the above column...And how many don't...




Vast Majority Are 'Strongly Opposed' to the Presence of 'Coalition' Troops
Secret Poll Reveals What Iraqis Think of Their Ongoing 'Liberation'
By Winter Patriot on 10/25/2005 10:16pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

45% of Iraqis believe that attacks on U.S. and British troops are justified, and 82% are "strongly opposed" to the continued presence of "coalition" troops, according to a "secret poll" conducted in August by an Iraqi university research team. Results of the poll have been leaked to Britain's Sunday Telegraph.

Astute readers may recognize some of these conclusions after seeing articles on the weekend from Reuters or Yahoo. But Saturday's report from Reuters barely scratched the surface, and Yahoo did only a bit better on Sunday.

For the full report, you have to go to the source: Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops.

Among the survey's other conclusions:

• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;

• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;

• 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;

• 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.

But aside from all this "security" nonsense, things are going pretty well, right?

Um ... no!

The opinion poll, carried out in August, also debunks claims by both the US and British governments that the general well-being of the average Iraqi is improving in post-Saddam Iraq.

The findings differ markedly from a survey carried out by the BBC in March 2004 in which the overwhelming consensus among the 2,500 Iraqis questioned was that life was good. More of those questioned supported the war than opposed it.
...
Immediately after the war the coalition embarked on a campaign of reconstruction in which it hoped to improve the electricity supply and the quality of drinking water.

That appears to have failed, with the poll showing that 71 per cent of people rarely get safe clean water, 47 per cent never have enough electricity, 70 per cent say their sewerage system rarely works and 40 per cent of southern Iraqis are unemployed.

Any wingnut will tell you that these very inconvenient facts don't matter much, because they are only temporary, and the situation will surely change because we have brought "democracy" to Iraq, complete with a historic new "constitution".

However ...

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




By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2005 7:16pm PT  

Blogged an item over at HuffPo over the weekend and they just got to posting it today.

It's called, "Pssst....Mainstream Media...The Government May Collapse at any Moment...Don't Tell Anybody!"

Enjoy!




2K Why?...
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2005 12:02pm PT  

Click the photo for more info, but as an aside, as we pass this horrible milestone, we were honored recently to witness the work of the brilliant and prolific Freeway Blogger firsthand along the 101 Freeway as we made our way back to Los Angeles from Portland, OR. We caught several of the above signs as well as "The War is a Lie".

Be an American Hero in your home town and join the good FB in his campaign to inform millions of citizens on the highways and byways of America! And have fun doing it!




In Radio Interview, Demonstrates New Sequoia Touch-Screens, Secret Software, Asks Voters to 'Trust Him' on Accuracy and Reliability!
Brad Joins Him and Peter B. Collins for Remarkable Hour on KXRA 540-am...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2005 9:22pm PT  

I just finished a radio appearance a couple of hours ago with our friend Peter B. Collins on KXRA 540AM up in Monterey, CA. Peter was joined, in studio, by Tony Anchundo, the Registrar of Voters in Monterey County, CA for a demonstration of a brand-spankin' new Sequoia DRE (touch-screen) voting machine that Achundo was very proud to announce would be in use for the first time in the special State Election coming up out here on November 8th.

Achundo walked Peter through the use of the machine, which prints out a "paper record" (as Achundo referred to it) that voters are to "verify" before leaving the voting booth. That "paper record" is printed on a small thermal-ink roll of paper, akin to what you get with a credit card purchase, and stays behind plexiglass, never to be touched by the voter.

The votes, however, are counted on a "memory cartridge" in the machine, not on the "paper record." This raises the question (which I attempted to ask many times, in many different ways) as to what good that "paper record" actually is in the first place...beyond giving the voter a completely false sense of security and confidence.

I was able to get Anchundo to confirm that the entire technology used to count votes in Monterey County, California will have to be "faith-based". We'll just have to "trust" him, and his 30 years of experience as Registrar, that everything is fine and that votes will be counted accurately.

Peter has asked me to to join him by phone for the hour to help ask questions of Anchundo. I was happy and honored to do so. The results of the hour, I believe, are astounding.

The audio of the full hour is here in MP3 format. I think BRAD BLOG readers will find it as enlightening --- and troubling --- as I did.

[UPDATE] Here is a full transcript of the hour! It should be very useful to have a "paper record" of the conversation for the future. Perhaps for November 9th.

As the front page of Monterey County's website says, "The most serious threat to our democracy is the notion that it has already been achieved. The quality of our leaders and the direction of our Country depends on the participation of our people." I've therefore include Contact info for the Registrar's office at the end of this post, so you folks can participate as you see fit.

Amongst the many highlights (based on my short-term memory) of the hour just spent with Peter trying to get direct answers from Anchundo on a variety of related issues (and you'll likely come across many more yourself)...

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




One Person Makes a Difference...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2005 8:11pm PT  


Rosa Parks, 1913 - 2005

"I am leaving this legacy to all of you ... to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die --- the dream of freedom and peace."



Growing Popularity, Increasing Work Load, But Not Enough Financial Support...
If you are able to donate, please do...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2005 1:23pm PT  

Last Thursday was a record day here at BRAD BLOG, exceeded only by the following day, Friday, when we had nearly 70,000 unique readers. Saturday, which is usually way off because it's the weekend, beat Thursday's total.

In all, we saw well over 200,000 unique readers stop by here since Thursday.

And, in all those days, we received one single donation for $10.

The BRAD BLOG is, and always will be free to all readers. But we sure could use some help in the form of DONATIONS to allow me, and those Guest Bloggers and helpers who give so generously of their time and hard work (and in the case of David Edwards, his bandwidth for videos!) to keep up the tireless work and investigative reporting that more than 200,000 of you have come to enjoy over the last few days alone.

If you can DONATE ONLINE with Credit Card or PayPal we'd certainly appreciate the support!

If you'd prefer a snail-mail donation, those can be sent to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

I hate asking at all, but I have no choice. The support would also make it just a bit easier to keep doing what we're doing, while being able to eat and have a place to sleep at the same time :-) --- Thanks for whatever you can do, at least until those evil billionaire funders we hear so much about show up with an enormous grant to save the day!




By David Edwards on 10/21/2005 8:54pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards


Streaming video in Real Media format...
Video in Windows Media format...




Source: Chalabi responsible for the forged WMD documents
By David Edwards on 10/21/2005 4:34pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...

This report from tonight's episode of MSNBC's Hardball suggests that Fitzgerald has expanded the 'traitorgate' investigation to include the forged documents that the Bush Administration used to mislead Americans into thinking that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon.

The report also says that Judy Miller's source, Ahmad Chalabi, was responsible for the forged documents.




Combined video feeds from CNN, MSNBC and FOX News...
By David Edwards on 10/21/2005 3:37pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Streaming Video in Real Media format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Just as he did for his mugshot yesterday, Rep. Tom DeLay continued to smile throughout his first day of court today.

In a statement to the media, DeLay said, "You may be surprised to hear this from me today but I find this is a very good day." We are pleased that DeLay appreciates spending time in court and sincerely hope that he continues to enjoy much more of the same.

Today's court appearance was little more than an opportunity for DeLay's legal team to spin the charges against him as partisan. What is most striking is the lack of voices in the media to balance DeLay's spin. Even so, it was a day long anticipated and every moment of the process may be worth savoring.

We have put together some video highlights from CNN, MSNBC and FOX News as they were broadcast live this morning. How do you rate the media's coverage of this event?




'Not a big fan of the First Amendment', Says GOP Poster Girl
By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2005 2:04pm PT  

Republican talking head, author and gadfly, Ann Coulter spoke to an audience of supporters in Gainseville, Florida last night at a fundraiser for the Alachua County Republican Party, who paid $30,000 to have Coulter speak.

According to an article in today's Independent Florida Alligator, Coulter --- who makes her living, in no small part, by enjoying her Free Speech rights under the First Amendment --- pleased the rabid attendees by denigrating the U.S. Constitution...

She also criticized the media for being liberal and Democrats for whining about their rights under the First Amendment.

"They're always accusing us of repressing their speech," she said. "I say let's do it. Let's repress them."

She later added, "Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment."

Her statements received applause, and many attendees said they enjoyed her speech, but some added that they think she's somewhat extreme.

And they accuse the Left of hating American Values???

Can we serve you some more hypocrisy with that helping of hatred, Ann?

(In case you missed it, please see BRAD BLOG's exclusive report from yesterday concerning the Conservative group which is denouncing Ann Coulter and creating an Anti-Ann documentary.)

To help support more reporting along these lines, please consider a DONATION TO THE BRAD BLOG. This is how I make my living these days --- or try to --- so your generous support means the world and makes it possible for me to continue. Thanks! - BF



Pentagon engaged in 'smear campaign' against whistleblower
By David Edwards on 10/21/2005 9:27am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...

On Sept. 20 2005, the military revoked the security clearance of Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who was scheduled to testify in Congress the following day. Shaffer was to testify about a cover-up by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He alleged that the DIA withheld information about one or more of the 9/11 hijackers from the FBI and the 9/11 Commission.

Yesterday, Representative Curt Weldon appeared on CNN where he alleged that the DIA was smearing the whistleblower (Lt. Col. Shaffer) and continuing a cover-up of the 'Able Danger' program. Rory O'Connor of Media is Plural seems to have firsthand information about Representative Weldon's grievances:

Weldon also characterized the Defense Department in general and the DIA in particular as "a bureaucracy out of control," and criticized DIA for revoking Shaffer's clearance, gagging him and other Able Danger analysts from speaking publicly about the program, and attempting to destroy Shaffer¹s reputation.

"Lt Col Shaffer has done nothing wrong," he added. "This is a massive DIA effort to cover its ass because agency officials are embarrassed that a special unit of SOCOM came up with crucial information and DIA did not. DIA needs to be taken to task, not Lt. Col Shaffer."

...
I asked Weldon if he was at all concerned about going after high Defense officials from his own party in such a public way.

"Am I concerned about retribution? Absolutely!" he replied. "But this is larger than the party…this is about 3000 dead people, the worst terror attack ever on U.S. soil. And, as (former FBI director Louis Freeh) told Tim Russert on Meet the Press last week, Able Danger is "the kind of tactical intelligence that would make a difference in stopping a hijacking.” So why can't Congress and the American people hear about it? Ultimately, the buck stops with Rumsfeld."

Is Rep. Weldon pursuing the 'Able Danger' cover-up for political reasons or is he simply trying to expose the truth about corruption within the Pentagon and the DIA?




REPORT: 'Loss and Miscount of Votes in Recent Elections'!
House issues BI-PARTISAN Press Release: Report 'A Wake Up Call', 'Foundation of Democracy Rests Upon Security, Integrity of our Voting System'
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2005 7:02pm PT  

"[C]oncerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes."

That's just one of the chilling revelations from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office's (GAO) 107-page report on the security of Election Voting Machines in America as just released moments ago. The report confirms many of the greatest concerns expressed by those who have called for Election Reform since the deeply flawed 2004 Presidential Election.

The report "analyzed over 80 recent and relevant reports related to the security and reliability of electronic voting systems." The results confirm a range of security vulnerabilities and violations in Electronic Voting Machines in recent elections and the accompanying systems used to administer elections in the United States of America. It goes on to say that the issues brought to the attention of the GAO by elected representatives, activists and other concerned citizens, "merit the focused attention of federal state and local authorities responsible for election administration."

The GAO report (download the complete report here [PDF]) was created in response to a request by several members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

A joint bi-partisan press release touting the findings of the report has just been issued by three Republican and three Democratic Congressmen including Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) and Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Judiciary Committee Chair F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and Science Committee Chair Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Ranking Member Bart Gordon (D-TN).

While The BRAD BLOG is still perusing the details of the extensive report, some of the key findings are listed right on the front page:

Examples of Voting System Problems and Vulnerabilities.

  • Cast ballots, ballot definition files, and audit logs could be modified.
  • Supervisor functions were protected with weak or easily-guessed passwords.
  • Systems had easily picked locks and power switches that were exposed and unprotected.
  • Local jurisdictions misconfigured their electronic voting systems, leading to election day problems.
  • Voting systems experienced operational failures during elections.
  • Vendors installed uncertified electronic voting systems.
  • Speaking about the GAO report in the joint press release, one congressman described it as "a wake up call."

    Republican Rep. Boehlert said, "I wholeheartedly endorse the GAO recommendations, which underscore the need for the Election Assistance Commission and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to continue their work to establish standards and testing procedures for voting equipment. This work must move ahead on an ambitious schedule."

    Democratic Rep. Gordon added, "The foundation of democracy rests upon the accuracy, integrity and security of our voting system"

    Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, a tireless champion for election reform and leading force behind the landmark report "Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio 2004", has just blogged about the report.

    He says the report "lends important credibility to the cause of election reform generally, and more specifically to requiring that every machine have a voter verified paper ballot that is used in election days audits and, if discrepancies are found in those audits, becomes the official record for the election."

    "Despite the many official assurances that the problems of the past elections were isolated and few," Conyers writes, "the election system is indeed riddled with problems and flaws."

    The "bottom line," says Conyers, is that until these matters are seriously addressed, and "significant security and controls" are put in place with our voting machines, "American citizens have no reason to have complete confidence in our democracy."

    Conyers further enumerates a list of notable and troubling security shorcomings identified by the GAO:

    1. Some electronic voting systems did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, thus making it possible to alter them without detection.

    2. It is easy to alter a file defining how a ballot appears, making it possible for someone to vote for one candidate and actually be recorded as voting for an entirely different candidate.

    3. Falsifying election results without leaving any evidence of such an action by using altered memory cards.

    4. Access to the voting network was easily compromised because not all digital recording electronic voting systems (DREs) had supervisory functions password-protected, so access to one machine provided access to the whole network.

    5. Supervisory across to the voting network was also compromised by repeated use of the same user IDs combined with easily guessed passwords.

    6. The locks protecting access to the system were easily picked and keys were simple to copy.

    7. One DRE model was shown to have been networked in such a rudimentary fashion that a power failure on one machine would cause the entire network to fail.

    8. GAO identified further problems with the security protocols and background screening practices for vendor personnel.

    The complete joint bi-partisan press release, issued by six U.S. House of Representative members, follows...

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




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