[Now updated with audio archives at bottom of article.]
I'll be guest hosting the The Mike Malloy Show LIVE from Los Angeles tonight as Mike is doing a personal appearance in San Francisco.
Once again, I'll be 'Bradcasting' from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 from 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) and hope you'll tune in! We'll have our swell new, handy-dandy chat room up and operating during the show, so jump into the conversation there as well! (It'll be open just before show time, see down below.)
LORRAINE MINNITE, Barnard College asst. professor and author the landmark report, "The Politics of Voter Fraud," soon to be expanded into a book from Cornell University Press early next year, on the latest GOP/media ACORN smears, lies and madness. (See Brad at the UK Guardian and/or Rachel Maddow's recent smashing reports here, here and here, for an idea.)
EMILY LEVY of VelvetRevolution.us' on their new "DIEBOLD: RETURN OUR MONEY!" campaign, demanding the return of some $100 million dollars from the company that knowingly sold e-voting systems to the state of CA (and many other states) even though they failed to comply with federal voting system standards.
POST-SHOW UPDATE AND AUDIO ARCHIVES: Three "hours" (actually, about 38 minutes without commercials) that flew by. Give the archives below a listen, and see if you don't agree. My thanks to Ben Burch from WhiteRose Society! The archive of tonight's Chat Room discussion from during the show, is also posted below. Enjoy 'em all and then do someting about it!...
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow continued her series last night, on the "purely political smear campaign" which ACORN has faced since registering nearly 2 million legal voters over the last decade. In the third installment of her continuing series, she focused on the ACORN smears over non-existent "voter fraud," which were at the heart of the U.S. Attorney scandal.
Before being joined by former Republican U.S. Attorney from New Mexico David Iglesias --- fired by the Bush White House because he refused to bring fraudulent voter fraud cases against Democrats, as we covered in exclusive detail in March of 2007 --- Maddow notes accurately: "No accusation has ever been substantiated that anyone ever registered by ACORN ever voted fraudulently."
She added astutely: "The Bush White House viewed voter fraud as the mother of all wedge issues. It's paying its dividends today, and remarkably, Democrats are playing right along with it."...
Maddow's excellent previous reports in this series are here:
Thursday: The truth about the extraordinary GOP lies and media failure concerning ACORN. Friday: The hypocrisy (and unconstitutionality) of defunding ACORN while groups like Halliburton and Blackwater, which committed actual crimes, like murder and real fraud, still receive more federal funding in a day than ACORN has in its lifetime.
This is all much like watching a broadcast news version replay of the last 5 years here at The BRAD BLOG. And we're lovin' it. Thank you again, Rachel! Please keep it up! As "Annie" said in It's a Wonderful Life: "'Bout time one of you lunkheads said it!"
Giraldi, a long-time counterterrorism specialist with the CIA, commented on the confirmation by 18-year FBI counterintelligence vet John Cole, who, in a published claim yesterday, acknowledged the existence of a "decade-long investigation" targeting the former third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department, Marc Grossman, as Edmonds has long maintained. Citing Cole's first-hand experience with the espionage investigations in question, Giraldi told Collins during the interview:
This is something that, presumably, if the mainstream media were interested in it, would be a line of inquiry that would lead to a major investigation. ... I'm a former intelligence officer, I find her very credible. And of course, as a former intelligence officer, I'm normally suspicious of these kinds of stories. In this case, John Cole, who obviously had direct access to the investigations going on, is confirming her story.
NOTE: I'll be sitting in to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show again tomorrow night (Wednesday), and have also scheduled Giraldi as a guest. We'll have him on for a full hour at the beginning of the show (live at 6p PT, 9p ET) and will invite your calls and questions for him at 877-520-1150.
UPDATE 10/1/09: Here's my interview with Giraldi on the Malloy Show last Wednesday (9/30/09). With commercials removed, the "hour" is appx. 38 minutes.
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: The long, long, LONG road to Copenhagen; An end to government support for fossil fuels?... PLUS: YOUR national parks, 'America's Best Idea' ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail, huge tracts of land for future generations? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Belatedly, Egypt Spots Flaws in Wiping Out Pigs; Solar power stocks set to take off; Nation's largest electric utility ditches U.S. Chamber Of Commerce over climate denial; California's 'green' ink-cartridge recycling fails to cut pollution, or costs; India to launch energy-efficiency trading ... PLUS: Brad Pitt Receives Award From US Green Building Council For Making It Right!
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
[UPDATE 10/5/09: Cole has now greatly expanded on his confirmation of Edmonds' credibility and is calling for a 'Special Counsel' investigation, prosecution. Full story here...]
George W. Bush's third-highest ranking State Department official, Marc Grossman, who became the Under Secretary of State after previously serving as Ambassador to Turkey, was targeted as part of a "decade-long investigation" by the FBI, according to an 18-year veteran manager of the bureau's Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments.
For still-unknown reasons, the investigation, which also involved a multitude of cases involving Israeli espionage, was ultimately "buried and covered up," according to the official.
The comment from the former FBI official John M. Cole, in response to recent, stunning disclosures made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, helps to shore up a key aspect of her allegations. Cole is now calling for an investigation to help "bring about accountability" in the matter.
Edmonds' allegations of bribery, blackmail, and infiltration by foreign agents at the highest levels of the U.S. government were recently detailed in a remarkable cover story interview, as published last week by the American Conservative magazine.
"I read the recent cover story by The American Conservative magazine. I applaud their courage in publishing this significant interview," Cole says in his public response, as posted today at the AmCon website by interviewer and former CIA agent Philip Giraldi.
Cole then went on to verify his knowledge of the espionage investigation which, he says, included Grossman. Edmonds has long alleged he had been a key target in the agency's counterintelligence probe of the Turkish lobby and their relationship to current and former members of Congress and high-ranking officials in the Bush State and Defense Departments.
Cole also charges, in his brief comment, that the investigation was ultimately quashed by still-unnamed officials.
"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of the High-level State Department Official named in this article, Marc Grossman, which ultimately was buried and covered up," Cole notes, adding his call to re-open the matter. "It is long past time to investigate this case and bring about accountability."...
Following on Rachel Maddow's tremendous coverage last Thursday of the GOP's years-long witch-hunt of ACORN, and the media's abysmal job at telling the truth about the lies used to smear the community organization, the MSNBC journalist calls it an "outrage" and kept her promise of following up with another episode on Friday. The video is below.
Maddow continued her long-overdue exposé, by examining the "Defund ACORN Act of 2009," which recently passed both houses of Congress by large margins, after sting videos showing low-level ACORN employees behaving stupidly (but breaking no laws) were created and posted by rightwing operatives. As she notes, the Congressional bill appears to be both unconstitutional, and incredibly hypocritical, given that other, still-federally funded organizations --- such as Halliburton, Blackwater, and many, many more --- often receive far more federal funding in a single day than ACORN has received during the organization's entire lifetime.
Furthermore, those other organizations, which still receive billions from the U.S. government, were actually found to have committed actual crimes, such as millions of dollars worth of fraud, have been charged with murder and the deaths of U.S. troops, and even involve child prostitution and sex slavery!
It's odd that Fox "News," Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, et al. (including the bulk of the non-wingnut media!) have yet to point these matters out, isn't it? So thanks to Maddow, again, for doing so, along with credit to both Joe Conason, who pointed out some of this hypocrisy recently at Salon and, yes, ourselves, who similarly opined at the UK's Guardian.
Be sure to see her must-watch Thursday report back here. Her Friday report follows below, along with our repeated "thank you" to Rachel, and offer to help on any number of still-unreported points in the continuing GOP witch-hunt that both the media and Democrats have embarrassingly fallen for, and about which we have been reporting for years...
In the brief video, Schakowsky is asked directly about the affair, and denies the allegations as "total fantasy" and "totally made up."
As reported exclusively by The BRAD BLOG last Tuesday, Schakowsky's Communications Director Trevor Kincaid issued a formal statement on her behalf, following the AmCon cover story interview with Edmonds, using similar language. "A simple review of the facts would lead any responsible person to conclude that there is not a shred of truth to any aspect of this story," Kincaid wrote, adding "not one of the events in this fantastic tale ever took place."
Edmonds replied in kind, offering direct questions to the Congresswoman, and a challenge to take a polygraph test in regard to the matter, if she would do the same. Today, while speaking to The BRAD BLOG, Edmonds upped the ante by challenging her to sue her for libel, if she denies the charges, but refuses to hold Congressional hearings as Edmonds also invited her to do last week...
I was delighted (an understatement) to see Rachel Maddow on Thursday night jump into coverage of ACORN --- finally --- by highlighting so much of what we've been reporting here, sometimes completely alone, for years!
She details the facts about the GOP's long-waged phony war against the right's "most reliable trumped-up boogeyman" (using language akin to that in my recent article in the UK's Guardian on the recent rightwing hit job on ACORN and the Democrats' pathetic capitulation to it). Maddow goes on to note the corporate mainstream media's gullibility in "reporting" the wingnuts' out-and-out lies about the group while failing, miserably, for years, to note the truth.
The truth, of course, is that ACORN is responsible for registering millions of legal low and middle-income citizens (read: Democratic-leaning, as the GOP sees them) to vote. The truth is that when they find potentially fraudulent voter registration forms submitted by a handful of their 13,000 employees, it is they who alert authorities about the fraud, and turn both the forms (as required by law), and the workers who defrauded them in to officials so they can be investigated. The truth is that there is not a single recorded instance of voter fraud committed by any illegally registered voters via ACORN. Not one.
"The more that I look into the misleading nature of the charges against ACORN," Maddow notes, "not just from people from whom I expect misleading charges, but from reporters and people in the mainstream media who ought to know better, the angrier I get. ... And I think we're going to cover the lies about ACORN over a number of shows in the upcoming days." THANK YOU RACHEL!!!
I can't recommend this video enough. And, as Maddow promises to continue her coverage on this story, let's hope she'll take a serious look at snake-oil salesman Thor Hearne, his direct connections to Karl Rove and the Bush White House, and the unconscionable astroturf group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), which The BRAD BLOG outed years ago and has been covering ever since. ACVR, of course, was the phony tax-exempt "non-partisan" organization set up after the 2004 election to lead the disinformation campaign against ACORN and disenfranchise legal voters by issuing propaganda meant to fool Americans into instituting unconstitutional photo ID requirements at the polling place, despite the fact that some 20-30 million legal U.S. voters --- largely Democratic-leaning voters --- are likely to be disenfranchised in the process!
Yes, Rachel, "this story gets [us] mad" too! Has for years! Please give me a shout if I can help. Got some swell stuff I've never reported on this that I'd be happy to share with you! Would be delighted to!
CORRECTION: Thanks to alert reader "TM," we had originally noted that ACVR was formed after the 2000 election. We should have said after the 2004 election, when Hearne first appeared to give testimony to then-Rep. Bob Ney's House Administrative committee, as the only supposed "voting rights" group called to testify in the only Congressional hearing convened following the election, to supposedly discuss its many problems. Hearne represented himself only as a "long-time voting rights advocate" at the hearing, failing to note to the committee, or for the record, that he had been the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The "non-partisan" ACVR was formed by Hearne and former RNC communications director Jim Dyke, who would later go on to work in Dick Cheney's office, and now represents various Republican candidates. Other than that, they were completely non-partisan. Oh, and they never disclosed whom they received nearly $1 million dollars from when they initially started up. See BradBlog.com/ACVR for much more in our years-long coverage of these anti-democracy bamboozlers.
Though I won't be there in person, the travelling Burning Fuse Film Festival hits Burlington, VT's Roxy Theater beginning today through October 1, and continues to feature Patty Sharaf's award-winning documentary, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story in which I'm featured quite prominently. Remaining screenings are: Fri 9/25 @ 1:15p, Sat 9/26 @ 1:00p, Sun 9/27 @ 5:00p, Mon, 9/28 @ 7:00p and Thu 10/1 @ 3:30p. If you've yet to see it, we'll strongly recommend you check out this entertaining and enlightening (if horrifying at times) documentary, based on our own years-long investigation of the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney vote-rigging scandal. More details on screenings and passes available here...
(NOTE: If you're not near Burlington, or even if you are, but would like to support our work, we are still offering DVD's of the film, as signed by both myself and Sharaf, as premiums to supporters of The BRAD BLOG. We enjoy no corporate or foundational funding, so we appreciate whatever you are able to offer to help us continue our work. See this item for details...)
Formerly-gagged FBI translator/whistleblower invites Congresswoman to 'pursue facts' of the case, use her position as member of House Intel Committee to find the truth about allegations of bribery, blackmail, nuclear espionage
UPDATED: Schakowsky's office replies to Edmonds letter/invitation...
As she had promised on Tuesday night, former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has responded to a parting shot taken at her by Rep. Jan Schakowsky's office, concerning Edmonds' allegations that she overheard details of a blackmail scheme directly involving the 9th-district Illinois' 9th-District U.S. Congresswoman, while working on the FBI counterintelligence division's investigation into the Turkish lobby following the 9/11 attacks.
She has now issued a formal letter to the Congresswoman, asking her to join in her "Pursuit of the Facts," in her role as a member of the U.S. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The letter is posted in full below.
Edmonds, twice-gagged by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," was recently able to begin disclosing information about a massive bribery, blackmail, and espionage scandal involving current and former government officials and the sale of nuclear weapons technology to the black market, when she was deposed in an Ohio Elections Commission case on August 8, 2009. The Obama Adminstration's Dept. of Justice chose not to reinvoke the "State Secrets Privilege," finally paving the way for Edmonds' sworn deposition. The transcript and video of the complete, remarkable deposition can be seen here.
As part of that deposition, Edmonds detailed treasonous crimes she says were carried out by a number of current and former members of Congress, as discovered via the wiretaps of the Turkish targets. Those named by Edmonds included Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased).
Another married, but allegedly bisexual, Democratic member of Congress was unnamed at the time, but described as having participated in a lesbian sexual affair with a woman who was, unbeknownst to the Congresswoman, a Turkish agent. The tryst, according to Edmonds, was video-taped by the Turks for possible use in a blackmail scheme, though Edmonds left the FBI before learning whether or not the Congresswoman was ever blackmailed.
Following the publication of the story, The BRAD BLOG received a formal response to the allegations from Schakowsky's office. The Congresswoman's spokesperson vehemently denied them all on her behalf, pointed to seemingly contradictory facts in Edmonds' claims in order to undermine them, and disparaged her as a fantasist and conspiracy theorist. The charges, her spokeswoman Trevor Kincaid wrote, were "cut from the same cloth as the stories by 'birthers' that President Obama is not an American citizen."
Edmonds quickly rebutted the response in kind, presenting additional details, noting that she has been "reporting intercepted communication of targeted operatives; more or less verbatim," asking a number of pointed direct questions to the Congresswoman, and challenging her to a joint polygraph exam.
Rather than responding to those questions, Schakowsky's office issued another short formal statement, describing Edmonds' allegations as "fairytales," "the stuff of science-fiction and absurd conspiracy theory; absent of any factual basis. Period."
Instead of responding immediately in return late on Tuesday night, Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG that she would issue a formal response later.
Edmonds' new, formal response to Schakowsky --- who currently serves as Chair of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's Subcommittee on Investigation and Oversight --- follows in full below, and includes an invitation from the former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblower Coalition (NWSBC) to the Congresswoman to join her in investigating the matter...
We spent a fair amount of time earlier this year reporting on the election fraud conspiracy scandal in Clay County, KY, where seven election officials were indicted on charges of conspiracy for rigging elections, changing votes on voting machines without voters' knowledge, and more during elections from 2002 through 2006. The officials included the district court judge, the county clerk, the school superintendent, and other election officials and judges.
As you've likely read by now, Bill Sparkman, a part-time census worker, substitute teacher, and local Boy Scout director was found hanged on 9/12 in Clay County's Daniel Boone National Forest (though the story wasn't made public until last night) with the word "fed" written across his chest.
According to AP, "The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation," and the incident has drawn many to believe it may be related to recent distrust of the Census Bureau by elements of the Teabaggers, as sparked by comments made earlier this year by folks like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Glenn Beck, and many of the other personalities who advanced paranoia about the possibility of 2010 Census workers being hired from places such as favorite wingnut whipping-boy ACORN, via outlets like Fox "News."
Despite fomenting by comments like Bachmann's "enough is enough" (as seen in the video at right), Sparkman's death having come on September 12 (the day which Beck had called for his "9/12 Movement" Teabagger protests in D.C.), and the letters scrawled on Sparkman's chest, there is not yet definitive evidence that the hanging was tied to the Bachmann/Beck movement, though the blogosphere is understandably abuzz about it today.
As we spent quite a bit of time speaking to folks in Clay County last March while covering the election fraud scandal, we learned a bit about what's been going on there over the last several years. The hanging could be as much related to those events, and more that preceded them, as to Bachmann/Beck's ill-considered fear-mongering, even as that recent fear-mongering may well have served to inflame the local residents' already-inherent distrust of federal authorities...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Will Obama end fossil fuel subsidies?; Will the Senate block Clean Air & climate protection... PLUS: The World talks climate change ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': California Unveils TV Efficiency Standards; Wind Power Could Supply All of China's Electricity by 2030, Harvard Study Says; Organic Farming Yields Far Better Crop Resistance and Resilience; Oklahoma river heals as lawsuit against Big Poultry looms; Georgia sewage plants swamped by flooding; Fish and Paint Chips (yummy!)... PLUS: A new survey reveals just how far and how fast global warming is altering the Arctic ...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
Anti-War's Scott Horton interviews Giraldi and Joe Lauria, co-author of the January 2008 three-part front page Sunday Times of London bombshell series on Edmonds, which was entirely ignored in the U.S. (Read 'em all here, here and here.). Scott's audio interview with the two gents is now posted here.
[Update: Just happened to hear from Scott as I was posting this, and he's asked me to be on tomorrow's (Thursday's) show. | Later Update: That interview, part 1 anyway, during which we got completely sidetracked from the Edmonds issue to discuss "war, peace and our bogus left-right political spectrum, " as Scott described it, is now posted here. Scott and I plan to sit down again very soon to finish up the Edmonds-related discussion for air.]
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)'s office has vehemently denied serious allegations published by The American Conservative magazine on Tuesday, in which FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds names the Congresswoman as having participated in a lesbian affair with a Turkish agent, and being secretly video-taped for possible blackmail purposes while doing so.
Schakowsky's communications director, Trevor Kincaid, sent us a formal response to the allegations about her, as published as part of the AmCon cover story out today. In the response, Kincaid describes the claims made about the Congresswoman in the interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, as a "hit piece" and a "complete fantasy; cut from the same cloth as the stories by 'birthers' that President Obama is not an American citizen."
The Congresswoman's office also disputed a number of details in Edmonds' account by offering information they believe rebuts the claims made in the article. They further charge that "A simple review of the facts would lead any responsible person to conclude that there is not a shred of truth to any aspect of this story."
Edmonds has responded with specific points in her own rebuttal to the Schakowsky response, and has included a number of direct questions for the Congresswoman in return. She also states that she is "willing to take [a] public polygraph ... on these points if she accepts doing the same." The BRAD BLOG has shared that rebuttal with Kincaid, and the office has responded to that as well, though they failed to directly answer the questions posed by Edmonds, or accept the challenge to a polygraph test.
The interviewer Giraldi has also responded to several shots taken at AmCon in the original Schakowsky response, in which Kincaid writes that the magazine's "goal was not apparently good journalism, but to fabricate one more story line for the right wing smear machine and conspiracy theorists everywhere."
The complete responses, from everyone, all follow below, along with context and additional background...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT:NYPost & Rupert Murdoch get punked!; Global recession --- bad for your wallet, good for the environment; Former Bush Interior Secretary under investigation; Grizzlies get protection --- but Tuna, not so much ... PLUS: The President talks climate at the U.N. ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': A new way to turn plastic into fuel?; Another false conservative attack on clean energy reform; Court: States may sue utilities over climate; Solar power plant on landfill could benefit thousands; No More Sex and Drugs in the Interior Department; Flu Readiness Check Finds Gaps In Care, Coverage ... PLUS: Op-Ed Columnist Says Real Men Tax Gas...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...