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By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2008 4:06pm PT  

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG comic sherpa, Pokey Anderson)

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!



FBI: 'There was no information given to Warren County of an imminent terrorist threat to that county or to Southern Ohio'
Kerry Campaign Stands by Decision to Not Challenge Election...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2008 12:56pm PT  

By Brad Friedman from Phoenix, AZ...

With more than 3,000 counties in the United States of America, only heavily Republican Warren County, Ohio --- one of the last to report election results in the Buckeye State that night --- took action on Election Night 2004 to lock out members of the public and the media from their tabulation room.

The president of the county's Board of Commissioners claimed at the time that during a "face-to-face meeting between the FBI and our director of emergency services we were informed that on a scale from one to 10...Warren County in particular was rated at 10, 10 being the top highest risk."

Nobody, however, in Warren County has ever named the supposed FBI official who gave the warning, and to this day, the director of the county's Department of Emergency Services, Frank R. Young, will not reveal the name of the official with whom he claims he spoke, even as the FBI maintains "there was no information given to Warren County of an imminent terrorist threat to that county or to Southern Ohio," and that "None of our agents...advised of any type of any terrorist threat or anything like that."

Additionally, no one has ever been held accountable for what happened.

During The BRAD BLOG's exclusive interview last December with Ohio's new Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, she was asked about the infamous Warren County Lockdown and encouraged to investigate the matter to ensure something similar would not be allowed to occur during the 2008 election. She noted that she was still "troubled" by the '04 incident and "[couldn't] find any justification for it."

"We'll look again at that situation and see what the best course of action is to prevent it from happening in the future," she promised at the time.

The Cincinnati Enquirer picked up on that section of our interview at the time, and now, going on four years since the Lockdown occurred --- first reported by The BRAD BLOG on November 8, 2004 --- a mainstream corporate media outlet has finally taken the issue seriously enough to devote some resources to a legitimate investigation.

Jon Craig's investigative report in Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer notes: "Among those locked out were an Enquirer reporter, a TV reporter, and a stringer from the Associated Press." He goes on to report that "(t)he AP had stringers at all 88 boards of elections, and only in Warren County were they not allowed in."

Despite a misleading summary early in Craig's article, asserting the paper has "learned...A casual conversation about terrorism between the county emergency services director and a friendly FBI agent in a parking lot may have been the final trigger for the lockdown," what's clear is that to this day, no one from the FBI has ever come forward to substantiate Young's claims. Even today, while Young is taking responsibility for recommending the lockdown, he's sticking to his story that it was his conversation with an FBI official --- whom he still refuses to name --- that led him to his decision.

Both the FBI and the Warren County Sheriff tell Craig that Young's claims, essentially, are complete bullshit...

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




Blog Supporters Upgrade Concerns of Appropriate Clinton Caucus Oversight into Full Blown Charges of 'Vote Suppression,' Attempts to 'Steal' Tomorrow's Race in Texas...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2008 6:19pm PT  

Perhaps we're missing something here?

Our friends at BuzzFlash have their top screaming headline set currently as...

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Clinton campaign training materials regarding Tuesday night's caucuses ominously advise supporters to take control of caucus sign-in sheets and vote tallies especially "if our supporters are outnumbered."

...which links over to a quick report over at the Texas blog Burnt Orange Report (also good folks, as much as we know about them.)

"Ominously"?

The quick BOR article by Glenn Smith is headlined "Clinton Caucus Disruption/Vote Suppression" and appears to be at the end of a chain of increasingly panicked blog items which began with a report from Dallas Morning News, quoted as follows by Smith...

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




Paper Says 'Handful' of Zero Vote Totals Also Recorded for Clinton on City's Old Lever Machine, Before Offering Readers an Advertisement for New Electronic Voting Systems...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2008 2:31pm PT  

The conspiracy theorists at the New York Times today tell us something is amiss, but proceed to ultimately tell us nothing about why it happened, suggesting that all is just fine...and that it'd be even better if the city "upgraded" to new electronic voting machines...

Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.

That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.

City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city.

In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116.

So how did the numbers change from 141-0 to 261-136 and from 118-0 to 118-116? No confirmed explanation is given, but some lazy guesswork about how votes are counted on NYC's old lever voting machines is proffered by local Election Officials, and dutifully passed on by the Times who --- before proceeding with a misleading "ad" for new electronic systems --- soothes our concerns by informing us that an unspecified number ("a handful") of districts also reported zero votes for Clinton in the original, unofficial tallies...

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




Says She Has Been Following Recent Blockbuster Series in British Paper Concerning U.S. Nuclear Secrets Espionage, Allegations That Her Cover Company, Brewster Jennings, Was Exposed by a Former High-Ranking State Department Official as Far Back as 2001...
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2008 2:51pm PT  

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson says the recent disclosures in the UK's Sunday Times concerning the sale of U.S. nuclear secrets to the foreign black market, as aided by high-ranking government officials, are "stunning."

The previously covert agent, who had worked in the agency's counter-proliferation division for years monitoring traffic in the nuclear black market under the guise of a cover company named Brewster Jennings until being outed by Bush Administration officials, was asked about the recent series of explosive stories in the British paper during an interview this morning with Florida radio host Henry Raines of American AM.

Those disclosures include allegations that Brewster Jennings' real identity as a CIA front company was outed to Turkish officials by then-Asst. Sec. of State for European Affairs Marc Grossman as early as 2001...

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




17,000 Voters Forced to Vote on Provisional Ballots After Being Dropped from Registration Rolls 'Maintained' by SoS and Voting Machine Company, ES&S
Few Explanations Available Yet for Any of It, Governor Richardson 'Deeply Disturbed' by Reports...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2008 6:31pm PT  

The good news: New Mexico now votes on paper ballots, since their touch-screen debacle in the 2004 Presidential Election left Gov. Bill Richardson with little legal choice but to move to paper.

The bad news: The huge turnout in yesterday's Democratic Primary led to long lines, voters who found they were no longer on the registration rolls for some still-unexplained reason, 17,000 votes had to be cast on provisional ballots which remain uncounted today, and now it's being reported --- incredibly --- that at least three ballot boxes were kept overnight last night, uncounted, at the home of a Democratic County Party Chairwoman.

What makes it all worse, as if all that is not troubling enough, is that the current razor-thin margin between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the caucus stands at just 217 votes out of 136 thousand ballots cast.

The governor's apologizing, the party is prevaricating, the candidates' representatives are negotiating, and, as usual, it's the voters who are left hanging, wondering if their voices will actually be heard...

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




By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2008 9:05am PT  

(Toon by Paul Jamiol. Hat-tip to TheZoo's "nwmuse" who offers, along with the above, a bunch of good details on the Sibel Edmonds case. Our own extensive Edmonds coverage can be read by you, and ignored by the MSM, right here.)




Including Anti-War Rally Footage You Are Unlikely To See On CNN
By Alan Breslauer on 2/1/2008 11:54am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer





Opportunity for Indy Media to Ask Questions, Since U.S. MSM Won't!
By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2008 7:06pm PT  

Just in...Marc Grossman, who has been named in the Sibel Edmonds case as allegedly receiving bribes from Turkish and Israeli agents and warning the Turkish Embassy to stay away from Valerie Plame Wilson's "Brewster Jennings" front company, will be testifying tomorrow morning (Wed.) before a sub-committee of Henry Waxman's House Oversight committee.

Edmonds has just contacted us, and is urging bloggers and other willing media to show up to the hearings, with video cameras and questions for the former #3 man at the State Dept., who, she alleges, was heard on wiretaps as being complicit in a scheme to smuggle nuclear secrets to the worldwide nuclear black market. If the U.S. media won't do their job on this, as the UK's Guardian notes today, then it's up to the alternative media to do it for them. Tomorrow morning might be a great chance.

Here's the details:

On Wednesday, Jaunary 23, the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing entitled, “Fortress America Abroad: Effective Diplomacy and the Future of U.S. Embassies.”

The hearing will start at 10:00 a.m. in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing will also be webcast on this page.

More details/witness on the sub-committee page. Details and explanation for the hearing posted at Foreign Policy.

Legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg posted a scathing guest blog on BRAD BLOG, over the weekend, regarding the Edmonds case and the U.S. mainstream media's failure to cover it. He is currently in D.C. and will hopefully be at the hearing himself tomorrow.

His op-ed followed on the heels of the new UK Sunday Times' story in which they reported confirmation of an alleged FBI cover-up, and possible destruction of documents in the case, vis-a-vis an anonymous letter (which we have, but have yet to publish in full) charging Grossman's complicity in outing Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings, when he worked at the State Dept. Plame Wilson's CIA front had reportedly been involved in monitoring the sale of nuclear weapons and secrets to black marketeers in the Middle East.

As well, former spook --- and Edmonds expert in his own right --- Phil Giraldi has just filed a piece on the latest Edmonds information, including much more on Grossman, at The American Conservative.

The latest BRAD BLOG coverage on the Edmonds case can be found here...




And Other Recent News from the Election Contests in New Hampshire...
By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2008 3:01am PT  

Now that we're finally back at The BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters in Los Angeles (for a few days at least) and have shaken off our road buzz (for now), gotten through the latest Sibel Edmonds blockbusters (until the next shoe drops) and have overcome last Friday's maddening 24 hour Internet outage, we've got some catching up to do on New Hampshire's continuing mess of a "recount."

Luckily for us, as we've been traveling for the last few days, and pulling off other related miracles, the hand counters in Concord took a break as of last Friday for a long weekend, which includes today's Martin Luther King Day holiday. As we all know, MLK would have hated the idea of anybody actually counting votes on his holiday, so we're glad the folks from the NH SoS office decided to let the ballots sit around and cool off in the darkness for three long days in a vault somewhere (maybe). The counting, which has so far covered just a small portion of all of the ballots, will resume on Tuesday.

So...From the latest hand count numbers, to the latest media coverage, to the latest reports from Election Integrity experts on the ground --- including one amazing photo essay illustrating New Hampshire's "chain of custody" protocol for its ballots, 80% of which have never been counted or examined by a single human being (that we know of) --- let's get caught up a bit.

Fasten your seatbelts and make sure your Pinto has a full tank of gas...

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




By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2008 4:34pm PT  

Who says Hillary doesn't have what it takes to beat Republicans at their own game next November?

According to Steve Rosenfeld at AlterNet...

Barrack Obama's campaign is calling on the Nevada Democratic Party to investigate whether voters were wrongly turned away at the doors of numerous presidential caucus sites on Saturday. The campaign also is asking its campaign workers to report other unfair electioneering practices from the presidential vote.

In an afternoon press conference, the campaign's State Director David Cohen and Washington-based election attorney Bob Bauer said that an indeterminate number of caucus locations closed their doors at 11:30 AM --- a half hour before the noon starting time --- because manuals provided by Hillary Clinton's campaign incorrectly stated the earlier start time. Once the door to a caucus are closed, no other voters may participate, according to party rules.
...
Earlier in the day, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe sent this statement to volunteers:

“We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites, including doors being closed up to thirty minutes early, registration forms running out so people were turned away, and ID being requested and checked in a non-uniform fashion. This is in addition to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations. These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself."
...
At the Sunday afternoon press conference, the campaign said it had 300 election incident reports.




In an Exclusive BRAD BLOG Op-Ed, the Legendary 'Pentagon Papers' Whistleblower Calls on the Media to Perform Their First Amendment Obligations, on Congressional Leaders to Perform Their Oversight Duty, and for Insider Sources to Come Forward to the American Public...
By Daniel Ellsberg on 1/20/2008 10:52pm PT  

-- Guest BRAD BLOG Op-Ed by Daniel Ellsberg

For the second time in two weeks, the entire U.S. press has let itself be scooped by Rupert Murdoch's London Sunday Times on a dynamite story of criminal activities by corrupt U.S. officials promoting nuclear proliferation. But there is a worse journalistic sin than being scooped, and that is participating in a cover-up of information that demands urgent attention from the public, the U.S. Congress and the courts.

For the last two weeks --- one could say, for years --- the major American media have been guilty of ignoring entirely the allegations of the courageous and highly credible source Sibel Edmonds, quoted in the London Times on January 6, 2008 in a front-page story that was front-page news in much of the rest of the world but was not reported in a single American newspaper or network. It is up to readers to demand that this culpable silent treatment end.

Just as important, there must be pressure by the public on Congressional committee chairpersons, in particular Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Patrick Leahy. Both have been sitting for years on classified, sworn testimony by Edmonds --- as she revealed in the Times' new story on Sunday --- along with documentation, in their possession, confirming parts of her account. Pressure must be brought for them to hold public hearings to investigate her accusations of widespread criminal activities, over several administrations, that endanger national security. They should call for open testimony under oath by Edmonds --- as she has urged for five years --- and by other FBI officials she has named to them, as cited anonymously in the first Times' story.

And this is the time for those who have so far creditably leaked to the Times of London to come forward, accepting personal risks, to offer their testimony --- and new documents --- both to the Congress and to the American press. I would say to them: Don't do what I did and waste months of precious time trying to get Congressional committees to act as they should in the absence of journalistic pressure. Do your best to inform the American public directly, first, through the major American media.

But perhaps today the alternative media and the international press are a necessary precursor even to that. It shouldn't be true, but if it is, it's a measure of how far the New York Times and Washington Post have fallen from their responsibilities to the public, to their profession and to American democracy, since I gave them the Pentagon Papers in 1971. They printed them then. Would they today?

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




Existence of FBI Case Number, Described in Anonymous Letter Obtained by The BRAD BLOG, Corroborated by Paper
Letter Describes Senior State Dept. Official Marc Grossman as Tipping off Turkish Embassy to Valerie Plame Wilson's 'Brewster Jennings' Counter-Proliferation Operation...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2008 9:13pm PT  

By Brad Friedman from on the road...

London's Sunday Times has just published a follow-up to their explosive front-pager from two weeks ago which described allegations by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

Though there has been worldwide coverage of the recent blockbuster in the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper, the U.S. media have remained entirely mum, a point which has drawn great consternation from both Edmonds and the 70's-era "Pentagon Papers" Daniel Ellsberg, whom The BRAD BLOG has spoken to this evening, following the release of tonight's extraordinary new Times piece.

The paper now reports that they are able to corroborate an apparent FBI cover-up of documents detailing an investigation of the theft and sale of nuclear secrets to agents working for Turkey and Israel, who in turn shared the secrets with Pakistan, who in turn may have shared those secrets with Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly even al-Qaeda.

As The BRAD BLOG reported along with the Times two weeks ago, the operation also includes allegations that high-ranking U.S. officials --- such as Marc Grossman, a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who served as the #3 official in the State Department under Colin Powell and Richard Armitage from 2001 to 2005 --- were involved in the sale of those secrets and may have accepted pay-offs from agents in the black market network in the bargain.

The Times article tonight was originally published under the headline "FBI 'covers up' file exposing theft of nuclear secrets," according to Google News.

Though that header has already been changed to "FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft."

The Times' article refers to an FBI case number (203A-WF-210023) referenced in an anonymous letter sent to The Liberty Coalition, a DC-based transpartisan civil and human rights watchdog organization. A subsequent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking for information referring to that case number, resulted in a denial from the FBI that such a case exists.

The letter describes, among other things, allegations that Grossman had warned officials at the Turkish embassy in DC of the existence of a CIA counter-proliferation operation using a "CIA cover company" by the name of "Brewster Jennings." That company was a front used by covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, who was later outed by White House officials in the now-infamous CIA Leak case.

The BRAD BLOG had obtained a copy of the anonymous letter some weeks ago, along with the FBI's denial of the existence of related information via the FOIA request. We've been in touch with the Sunday Times over the past week, as this story has been developing.

We have yet to publish the letter in full, however, as we have been unable to independently corroborate a number of allegations made in the letter.

The Times, however, reports that they've "obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file" referred to in the anonymous letter.

We've also just spoken to Edmonds, who has been under an unprecedented 5-year-long gag order by the U.S. Department of Justice. The DoJ has threatened Edmonds with prosecution under the so-called "State Secrets Privilege." The threat of prison has kept her from speaking publicly about details related to the case, which she claims to have heard while translating wiretaps for the FBI in 2001 and 2002. She has spent many years encouraging members of Congress to hold hearings and a public investigation into the case. Despite public support from senators such as Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and a promise for investigations from members of Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) office, who have been briefed on the details, no such investigation has been carried out to date.

Edmonds denied being the source for the anonymous letter, telling The BRAD BLOG "absolutely not," when we asked her directly if she was its author...

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




Scores of Votes Mistallied for Every Major Democratic Candidate
UPDATE: NH Union Leader Says Disparities Discovered in Hand Count Due to Veep Votes Added to Prez Totals...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2008 6:26pm PT  

As mentioned last night in this disturbing article, the early results of the hand counts of one Diebold precinct in Dennis Kucinich's election contest in New Hampshire are now being posted, as they come in, at this New Hampshire SoS page.

As mentioned earlier today, NH SoS Bill Gardner told WMUR in NH that "We did nine of the 12 wards in Manchester, and a lot of the votes were exactly the same...Some went up by a vote or two." He didn't, of course, note that a lot of the vote counts (most of them) were off by 5 or more.

And now, the rest of the numbers from the rest of the Manchester wards are coming on. And get a load of Ward 5:

Diebold
Result
Hand
Count
CLINTON 683 619
EDWARDS 255 217
OBAMA 404 365

All of the other candidates seem to have lost votes as well. No clue who received them instead, and must run out to tonight's Oakland screening of UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections. But I thought you'd want to know.

WMUR might want to know too. Since their only source seems to be whatever Gardner tells them. They can be contacted here.

There are more fresh numbers there, but we haven't yet had time to review 'em. Other than that, everything is fine with your election system. Or, as WMUR "reported" at 6pm ET today: "The continuing Democratic primary recount in New Hampshire has not found any voting problems."

UPDATE: The New Hampshire Union Leader reports this as the reason for the huge disparities discovered via the hand count:

The widest variations so far were in Manchester's Ward 5. Vote counters there mistakenly transposed write-in votes for vice president as votes for presidential candidate. As a result, all major candidates lost votes. Kucinich lost three in the ward and has a total of 20 votes there. Hillary Clinton lost 64 with a new total of 619; John Edwards lost 38 and has 217 votes; Barack Obama lost 39 and has 365, and Bill Richardson lost seven, leaving him 39.

We've been on the road, and thus, unable to confirm that explanation one way or another, or even add this update from yesterday's paper until now. But we're happy to share it with you nonetheless (even as some dKos fans in comments, have suggested our lack of pointing it out as some sort of "conspiracy theory". Get over yourself, kids. And stand up for democracy while you're at it!)

For related coverage, please see our index of notable New Hampshire-related BRAD BLOG articles, since the '08 Primary.



By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2008 4:55pm PT  

Also meanwhile...Out there in MSM world, where reality creates its own definition, WMUR is reporting that all is fine in New Hampshire:

CONCORD, N.H. --- The continuing Democratic primary recount in New Hampshire has not found any voting problems.

Well, they're sort of correct. "Voting" problems aren't the concern. As we frequently point out, the voters are still doing fine. Leave them alone. The election problems, and the horrible administration thereof, are another matter entirely. And on that front, loads of problems have been "found." But only if you bother to look at them, of course.

Given WMUR's following quote from NH Sec. of State Bill Gardner, which is demonstrably wrong in 3 seconds time if you bother to look at the SoS's very own web page for hand count results, it's not a surprise that WMUR thinks everything is just rosy:

"We did nine of the 12 wards in Manchester, and a lot of the votes were exactly the same," Gardner said. "Some went up by a vote or two."

That is what we in the business of actual reporting would call: a lie. Check the numbers for yourself. Yeah, it's technical true that "a lot of the votes were exactly the same," as Gardner says, in the same way that a lot of the troops who go to Iraq don't get killed.

But many more vote counts were not at all the same, ranging anywhere from 5 to 8 votes off in regular cases, across almost all candidates.

And before you say that's no big deal, we'll remind you that in 2004, had just 6 votes per precinct been registered in Ohio for John Kerry instead of George W. Bush, we'd have a different person sitting in the White House right now.

Other than that, and the fact that Gardner has no idea where the memory cards are for his Diebold machines, and all other matter of horrible election oversight, yeah, everything's just fine in New Hampshire.

...CONTACT...
WMUR Newsroom contact page




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