Washington Update books

Paul Kangor CoverPaul Kengor, Ph.D. speaks Oct. 4 on his latest book, The Communist.  It describes Frank Marshall Davis as a Communist friendly with the Obama family in Hawaii, and an important influence on the future president. Kangor is a bestselling author whose works include Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century; God and Ronald Reagan; God and George W. Bush; God and Hillary Clinton; and The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. His articles have appeared in USA TODAY, the New York Times, and many academic journals. A professor at Grove City College, Kengor is a frequent commentator on television and radio. Kengor earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his master’s from American University. Further details are available from Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/The-Communist-Paul-Kengor/dp/1451698097Growing Up Frank), and in an Oct. 3 column in The Blaze, a conservative web publication that has reported extensively on Kengor's allegations. Themost recent edition of The Blaze reports that an audio version of the president's memoir, Dreams from My Father, deletes references to Davis. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/why-would-obamas-audio-book-version-of-dreams-from-my-father-have-been-purged-of-all-references-to-communist-mentor/

 

Paul Kangor

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Communist-Paul-Kengor/dp/1451698097Growing Up Frank

FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS was born on December 31, 1905. He grew up in Arkansas City, Kansas, which he described as a “yawn town fifty miles south of Wichita, five miles north of Oklahoma, and east and west of nowhere worth remembering.”1 That was a charitable description, given the racism he endured in that little town.

In his memoirs, Frank began by taking readers back to his high-school graduation on a “soft night in late spring, 1923.” He was six feet one and 190 pounds at age seventeen, but “I feel more like one foot six; for I am black, and inferiority has been hammered into me at school and in my daily life from home.” He and three other black boys “conspicuously float in this sea of white kids,” the four of them the most blacks ever in one graduating class. “There are no black girls,” wrote Frank. “Who needs a diploma to wash clothes and cook in white kitchens?”2

Frank was rightly indignant at this “hellhole of inferiority.” He said that he and his fellow “Negroes reared in Dixie” were considered “the scum of the nation,” whose high-school education “has prepared us only to exist at a low level within the degrading status quo.” And even the education they acquired was often belittling. “My white classmates and I learned from our textbooks that my ancestors were naked savages,” said Frank, “exposed for the first time to uplifting civilization when slave traders brought them from the jungles of Africa to America. Had not their kindly white masters granted these primitive heathens the chance to save their souls by becoming Christians?”3

Frank would one day rise above the degrading status quo. For now, he lamented that he himself had fallen victim to this “brainwashing,” and “ran spiritually with the racist white herd, a pitiful black tag-a-long.”4

As Frank surveyed the sea of white classmates that soft spring evening, he was glad to know it would be the last time he would be with them. He could think of only three or four white boys who had treated him as an equal and a friend, and whom he cared to remember.5

One moment that was unforgettably seared into his soul was an incident when he was five years old. An innocent boy, Frank was walking home across a vacant lot when two third-grade thugs jumped him, tossed him to the ground, and slipped a noose over his neck. He kicked and screamed as the two devils prepared, in Frank’s words, “their own junior necktie party.” They were trying to lynch little Frank Marshall Davis.6

As the noose tightened, a white man heroically appeared, chasing away the two savages, freeing Frank, brushing the dirt from his clothes. He walked little Frank nearly a mile home, then simply turned around and went about his business. Frank never learned the man’s identity.7

Imagine if that kindly man could have known that that “Negro” boy he shepherded home would one day help mentor the first black president of the United States. It is a moving thought, one that cannot help but elicit the most heartfelt sympathy for Frank, even in the face of his later political transgressions.

Frank’s parents apparently informed the school of the attempted lynching, but school officials did not bother. “I was still alive and unharmed, wasn’t I?” scoffed Frank. “Besides, I was black.”

Frank rose above the jackboot of this repression, assuring the world that this was one young black man who would not be tied down. He enrolled in college, first attending Friends University in Wichita, before transferring to Kansas State University in Manhattan.8 At Kansas State from 1924 to 1926, Frank majored in journalism and practiced writing poetry, impressing students and faculty alike.

These colleagues were almost universally white. To their credit, some of them saw in Frank a writing talent and were eager to help.

RACISM

Of course, that upturn did not end the racism in Frank’s life. Another ugly incident occurred in a return home during college break.9

A promising young man, Frank was working at a pool hall, trying to save money to put himself through school. It was midnight, and he was walking home alone. A black sedan slowly approached him. Out of the lowered window came a redneck voice: “Where’n hell you goin’ this time of night?”

Frank warily glanced over and saw two white men in the front seat and another in the back. Worried, he asked why it was their business.

“Don’t get smart, boy. We’re police,” snapped one of them, flashing a badge slightly above his holstered pistol. “I’m police chief here. Now, what th’ hell you doing in this neighborhood this time of night?”

A frightened Frank explained that this was his neighborhood. He had lived there for years, was home on college break, and was simply walking home from work.

“Yeah?” barked the chief. “Well, you git your black ass in the car with us. A white lady on th’ next street over phoned there was somebody prowling around her yard.”

Frank asked, “Am I supposed to fit the description?”

The chief found Frank’s question haughty: “Shut up an’ git in the car!”

They delivered Frank to the woman’s doorstep. “Ain’t this him?” said the hopeful chief.

The woman quickly said it was not. Frank looked nothing at all like the man she had spotted.

“Are you sure?” pushed the chief. “Maybe you made a mistake.”

The lady insisted that Frank was not the suspect, to the lawman’s great disappointment.

Frank suspected that the chief was keenly disappointed not to have the opportunity to work him over. “It wasn’t everyday they had a chance to whip a big black nigger,” said Frank, “and a college nigger at that.”

The chief told Frank to get back in the car, where he began interrogating him again, even though Frank was fully exonerated. The chief was not relenting. He was looking for blood.

“Where do you live?” the chief continued. Frank stated his address. The chief turned to his buddies: “I didn’t know any damn niggers lived in this part of town, did you?” One of the officers replied: “There’s a darky family livin’ down here somewhere.”

Frank was utterly helpless, at the mercy of men with badges and guns and “the law” behind them. He boiled inside, but could do nothing. He later wrote: “At that moment I would have given twenty years off my life had I been able to bind all three together, throw them motionless on the ground in front of me, and for a whole hour piss in their faces.”

RESENTMENT

Frank escaped this incident physically unharmed, released to his home by the police. But he was hardly unscathed. Such injustice understandably fueled a lifelong resentment.

Frank’s upbringing, as told through his memoirs, is gripping. His writing is witty, engaging, sarcastic, at times delightful, leaving it hard not to like Frank, or at least be entertained by him. But the wonderful passages are tempered by Frank’s numerous ethnic slurs, mostly aimed in a self-deprecating manner at himself and his people, but also directed at others, such as “the Spanish Jew” (never named) whose restaurant he frequented in Atlanta, and, worst of all, by the many sexually explicit passages. One can see in Frank’s memoirs the author of Sex Rebel, and one can see a lot of sexism, with Frank making constant graphic references to women’s private parts (with vulgar slang terms) and referring to women as everything from “white chicks” to “a jane” to a “luscious ripened plum,” just for starters.10 In his memoirs, Frank devoted an inordinate amount of space to his sexual encounters. Sex Rebel must have been his chance to more fully indulge his lurid obsessions.

• • •

Of course, Frank also invested his writing talent in noble purposes: advancing civil rights by chronicling the persecutions of a black man. Interestingly, to that end, Frank’s memoirs are remarkably similar to Barack Obama’s memoirs; the running thread being the racial struggles of a young black man in America.

Frank’s memoirs reveal an often bitter man, one who had suffered the spear of racial persecution. His contempt for his culture and society also led to a low view of America. When America is acknowledged in his memoirs, it is not a pretty portrait: “The United States was the only slaveholding nation in the New World that completely dehumanized Africans by considering them as chattel, placing them in the same category as horses, cattle, and furniture.” That attitude, wrote Frank, was still held by too many American whites.11 Thus, his hometown of Arkansas City was “no better or worse than a thousand other places under the Stars and Stripes.”12

Again, that bitterness is understandable, a toxic by-product of the evil doings of Frank’s tormentors. Yet what is unfortunate about Frank’s narrative is the lack of concession, smothered (as it was) by resentment, that this same America, no matter the sins of its children, still pr...

Why Was Obama‘s Audio Book Version of ’Dreams From My Father’ Purged of All References to Communist Mentor?

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:19am by Tiffany Gabbay    Tiffany Gabbay
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Obamas Dreams From My Father Purged of All References to Communist Frank Marshall Davis

You might recall TheBlaze’s series of reports on Dr. Paul Kengor’s powerful book, “The Communist,” which offered a detailed account of the Communist Party ties of President Obama’s longtime mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. “Frank,” as he is referred to in Obama’s memoir “Dreams From My Father,” is mentioned multiple times in the print edition of the president’s book, however, Kengor now reveals that all references to “Frank” were purged from the volume’s abridged audio version.

It’s an observation that was first broached, albeit very briefly, by Jack Cashill in a July article. And since then, the scrubbing has gone unnoticed. Until now.

“Frank” — whose influence Kengor asserts was key to the fledgling politician and that the eccentric activist appears in “each mile-marker” of Obama’s path from Hawaii to the halls of Washington, D.C. — is mentioned no less than 22 times by name in “Dreams From My Father” and is referenced via pronouns numerous other times throughout the book.

But while listening to the audio version recently, Kengor noticed “Frank” had disappeared. He re-listened to the entire audio book on Tuesday afternoon and compared it to the unabridged memoir.

“Every reference to ‘Frank’ everywhere in the book, from every section—and there are many of them—are gone,” Kengor told TheBlaze in an email.

The omissions are important because a review of the Random House website reveals that all audio versions of “Dreams,” along with Obama’s subsequent book, “The Audacity of Hope,” are only available in the abridged format.

While the Obama campaign could certainly argue that during the editing process many excerpts, not just the ones referencing Frank, were eliminated from the audio version for brevity, some might find it odd that such an important figure in the president’s life would have been relegated to the cutting room floor.

It is also important to note that the audio version of “Dreams” was released in 2005, shortly after Obama’s now-infamous 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention — a speech which made it fairly clear that the aspiring politician would indeed rise to prominence on the national stage one day. Back in 1994, when the original text version of “Dreams” was released, Obama was a relative “nobody,” hence his memoir, complete with references to a seemingly obscure character named “Frank” would hardly have been on the public’s radar.

Given that the president himself narrated the audio version of “Dreams,” approved the final edits and even won a Grammy award for his efforts leaves little room for doubt that Obama is aware, if not directly responsible, for the omissions. In turn, the fact that the audio book appears to have been sanitized of the myriad references to Obama’s controversial mentor strikes Kengor as being in no way coincidental.

“It’s amazing to read along the text as you listen to the audio, and see and hear everything word for word, paragraph after paragraph, line after line, page after page, and then suddenly—wham, boom!—it skips a paragraph or line or page that just happened to mention “Frank” in the original,” Kengor added. It’s almost creepy, chilling to see.”
Obamas Dreams From My Father Purged of All References to Communist Frank Marshall Davis

Kengor's book, "The Communist"

To refresh, Kengor’s book posits that Frank Marshall Davis served as a young Barack Obama’s most influential role model throughout the 1970s. Davis, an actual card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, was unabashed in his political leanings, writing and eventually editing key Communist newspapers across various U.S. cities, particularly in Honolulu and Chicago (sound familiar).

In an op-ed to be published on TheBlaze, Kengor writes:

It’s hard to imagine that anyone could see Davis as a mentor. And yet, in the autumn of 1970, Davis was introduced to Obama by Obama’s grandfather, who was seeking a role model/father figure to mentor his grandson. Davis and Obama would meet throughout the 1970s, right up until Obama left Hawaii for Occidental College in 1979. In fact, in Dreams from My Father, Obama notes the parting advice he got from Davis before leaving for Occidental; it was a classic Davis diatribe trashing “the American way.”

Kengor posits that the audio version of “Dreams” was scrubbed in an effort to distance the president even further from the controversial Davis.

“As noted on the back cover, the audio version was personally ‘approved’ by Obama himself,” Kengor wrote in his exclusive forthcoming op-ed for TheBlaze.

“The audio version is abridged, but the abridgment somehow excludes every single mention of ‘Frank’ that appeared throughout all parts of the original print edition. That’s right, all of them; they’re all gone. The old communist is purged, blacklisted.”

To illustrate the type of effort that was clearly involved in the editing process, Kengor mapped out one difference in content between the original 1995 text version of the book and the 2005 audio version:

Original text version (1995): “It was the same dilemma that old Frank had posed to me the year I left Hawaii.”

Audio version (2005): “It was the same dilemma posed to me the year I left Hawaii.”

“This is blatant, flagrant—clearly a concealment,” Kengor concludes. “And it’s in Obama’s voice. There’s no question that Obama knew of this. No question.”

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/why-would-obamas-audio-book-version-of-dreams-from-my-father-have-been-purged-of-all-references-to-communist-mentor/

 

 

Huffington Post, Why Is the U.S. Government Bullying an American Hero? Valerie Plame Wilson, Sept. 14, 2012. Every day thousands of Americans working for the U.S. government spend all their waking hours keeping their fellow citizens safe. The vast majority of them work quietly -- and anonymously -- as they track our enemies, aid our allies, and seek out any and all threats to our country. And most of the men and women don't give a damn about the absurd posturing and contrived drama generated by America's political process. As I learned first-hand in 2003, there are times when the politicians bring the posturing and drama to you. I served my country, loyally and well, as a covert CIA operations officer focused on stopping nuclear weapon proliferation until the Bush administration decided to betray my secret identity as payback for my husband questioning the White House's justification for the Iraq War. The lesson was simple: If you offer the public a true story that is at odds with what the government wants you to know, they will stop at nothing to destroy you, your reputation, and the reputations of the people around you.
 

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Craig Unger

Craig Unger CoverCraig Unger will discuss his new book, Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power, published Sept. 4 with tthis announcement: The epic 2012 presidential contest between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney represents the stunning comeback of GOP boss Karl Rove, the brilliant political operator whose scorched-earth partisanship infamously earned him the moniker “Bush’s Brain” and provoked some observers to label him as dangerous to American democracy. How, after leaving the Bush administration in disgrace, did Rove rise again, and what does it mean that he is back in power?

As background, Harper's contributing editor Scott Horton published this Q&A: Boss Rove: Six Questions for Craig Unger, Unger is the author of the New York Times bestselling House of Bush, House of Saud. He appears frequently as an analyst on CNN, the ABC Radio Network, and other broadcast outlets. The former deputy editor of The New York Observer and editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine, he has written about George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush for The New Yorker, Esquire, and Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City.

Harper's No Comment, Boss Rove: Six Questions for Craig Unger, Scott Horton, Sept. 3, 2012. After four years in the political penalty box, Karl Rove has returned as the undeniable mastermind of the G.O.P.’s electoral effort. Vanity Fair contributing editor Craig Unger has just published a new book, Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power, that focuses on Rove’s fall from grace during the Bush years and his remarkable political resurrection. It shows how Rove’s tactics are remaking the nation’s political landscape and explains why, win or lose in 2012, he is likely to be a dominant force in Republican politics for some time. I put six questions to Unger about his new book:
1. A large part of your book focuses on a computer-services company, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, called SmarTech. You note that after SmarTech began serving Ohio’s electoral returns at 11:14 p.m. on election night in 2004, inexplicable anomalies began to flood the vote totals—all of which favored George W. Bush. The company also appears repeatedly in your book as the inner sanctum of G.O.P. voting-technology strategies, and as the host of servers on which Karl Rove’s mysteriously vanishing emails were stored. Yet when you asked Rove about SmarTech, he insisted he “had no idea who it was.” What do you think of Rove’s denial, and why do you devote so much of your book to the company?
When I repeated the question to Rove, his response morphed into a classic Watergate-like non-denial denial in which he claimed to be “so many layers removed” from such operations that he didn’t “recall” the company. Whatever the state of his memory, Rove’s relationship to SmarTech is emblematic of how he operates: with no fingerprints, via entities that serve his interests in extraordinary ways even though he has no visible ties to them.
This company went through a bankruptcy, changes in ownership, and several different names before emerging as SmarTech. But much of its initial funding came through Mercer Reynolds and Bill DeWitt, who were important to George W. Bush’s personal and political finances. They bailed him out of financial trouble in the oil industry. DeWitt provided the entrée for Bush to invest in the Texas Rangers baseball team—the most lucrative deal of his life. And Reynolds raised well over $200 million for the party in 2004. After its birth as a start-up typical of the late Nineties dotcom boom, the company was transformed, thanks to Reynolds and DeWitt, into a political operation serving the Republican Party, the Bushes, and dozens of conservative groups.
In other words, Rove says he’s never heard of a company that was started by key backers and that hosted websites for George W. Bush, the Bush–Cheney transition team, dozens of prominent Republican politicians and political action committees, the Republican National Committee—and even Rove’s own emails.
As to its importance, there’s no reason why conservative groups should not have sophisticated technology. But SmarTech has done much more than that. Through one of its clients, GovTech, SmarTech hosted sites for the House Judiciary Committee, the House Intelligence Committee, and other nonpartisan governmental agencies. An important firewall had been breached—a highly partisan Republican company had gained sensitive information regarding the electoral process and national security.
This conflict of interest was most evident when SmarTech became the “failover”site for Ohio’s returns in 2004. The anomalous returns that came in after SmarTech’s servers kicked in have never been explained, and have fueled suspicions that the election was stolen. Americans deserve a full explanation, but key information has repeatedly vanished. Ultimately, a key potential witness, Mike Connell, died in a solo plane crash.
Finally, there are the missing emails. When White House staffers write emails as part of their work for the president, those emails are subject to the Presidential Records Act. Legally, they belong to the public at large, not to the president or his staffers. But Rove and more than eighty other White House staffers had their emails hosted on a Republican National Committee account that resided on SmarTech servers. Those emails triggered interest among investigators probing both the Valerie Plame affair and the U.S. attorneys scandal, but it later emerged that more than 5 million related emails had mysteriously gone missing. Later, in 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails had been deleted. I wouldn’t be surprised if they contained some of the greatest secrets of the Bush-Cheney-Rove years, but I fear we will never find them.
2. In studying Rove’s manipulation of the Justice Department during the Bush years, you look in depth at the case of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Why would Rove have targeted Siegelman, and why do you believe the allegations that the case was a politically motivated prosecution have merit?
As a popular Democratic governor in Alabama, Siegelman represented a potential threat to the G.O.P. on a national level. It is difficult to overstate the importance of the Solid South to the Republican Party. In the past fifty years, the only Democrats to win the White House other than Barack Obama—Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton—have come from the South.
There are three reasons to believe the case was politically motivated. One is that Bill Canary, a Rove colleague, had run or was linked to campaigns of leading G.O.P. candidates in Alabama, and Leura Canary, his wife, just happened to have been appointed a U.S. attorney in Alabama by the Bush Administration. This meant that while Bill Canary was boosting the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Riley, come election time his wife Leura could indict Riley’s opponent Don Siegelman—which is exactly what happened.
Secondly, there is the testimony before the House Judiciary Committee of Alabama attorney Dana Jill Simpson, who said while under oath that she’d had a conversation with Rob Riley, son of Bob Riley, the G.O.P. candidate, and that Riley said that his father and Bill Canary “had had a conversation with Karl Rove again and that they had this time gone over and seen whoever was the head of” the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department. Simpson further testified that Rob Riley said that Karl Rove had spoken to “the head guy there,” a New Jersey lawyer active in G.O.P. politics named Noel Hillman, who agreed “that he’d allocate all resources necessary” to prosecute Siegelman. Soon thereafter, the White House nominated Hillman to the federal judgeship he had been seeking.
Finally, the data supports allegations of widespread selective prosecution of Democrats. During the period between Bush’s inauguration and Ashcroft’s recusal at the end of 2003, federal prosecutors in the Bush Administration initiated investigations of no fewer 200 public officials on charges including bribery, bid rigging, influence peddling, mail fraud, tax evasion, extortion, and more.
The targets of these investigations included mayors of at least twelve major cities, governors and lieutenant governors from five states, several congressional candidates, senators and senatorial candidates, and key figures in state legislatures. The targets were overwhelmingly Democrats. Astoundingly, according to a study of the Bush Justice Department by professors Donald C. Shields and John F. Cragan, out of 200 officials under investigation at that time, only thirty were Republicans—15 percent—a disparity the authors compared to racial profiling of African-Americans.
3. The scandal surrounding the Siegelman case erupted in earnest when Jill Simpson gave the testimony to which you just alluded. Rove responded to these accusations by refusing to testify under oath and then issuing statements in which he aggressively denied things that were never alleged and failed to respond to the key allegations. He has also repeatedly and sharply attacked Simpson, often totally out of the blue. Who do you consider to be more credible on the story—Rove or Simpson? And why does Simpson’s testimony have Rove so rattled?
Drawing in the cantankerous Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, Rove had even consolidated the money under his power. He has co-opted the Tea Party, defanging the uncontrollable elements in it, marginalizing their leaders and seizing their resources. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry had been consigned to the dustbin of history. Mitt Romney was forever indebted to Rove. He had built his new machine into a ruthlessly efficient political operation outside, above, and, finally subsuming the party structure, beholden to no one but himself. . . .
Since he was a young man battling for office within the College Republicans, “ratfucking” for Nixon, smearing Democrat after Democrat, and after laying eyes on the cowboy figure of George W. Bush, promising to build him a permanent Republican majority, Rove had long envisioned playing a historic role in the Republican Party. But only now, at last, had Karl Rove become the party boss.
—From Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, © 2012 Craig Unger
Simpson is more credible. First, there’s no question that Rove has lied about Simpson’s testimony. In an interview he gave in 2008 to GQ Magazine, Rove, referring to Simpson, said, “She’s a complete lunatic. . . . No one has read the 143-page deposition that she gave congressional investigators—143 pages. When she shows up to give her explanation of all this, do you know how many times my name appears? Zero times. Nobody checked!”
This is a brazen lie. Simpson’s testimony is readily available online and in fact it cites Karl Rove at least fifty times. Rove is renowned as a highly disciplined operative, so it is all the more striking that he has repeatedly lost his cool about Simpson. When Greta Van Susteren interviewed him on Fox News earlier this summer, he erupted into a tirade against Simpson. Likewise, during the week of the RNC convention in Tampa, I asked Rove a question about his working relationship with Fox News boss Roger Ailes—a subject that has zero to do with Simpson—and he blasted her again.
As for Simpson, she did tell her story under oath, at considerable risk and for no apparent gain. Documents, including emails and phone records, show she was clearly working with Rob Riley. Some aspects of her testimony have proven difficult to corroborate, but, unlike with Rove, I have no reason to think that she lied.
Ultimately, I don’t know why Rove is so rattled, but I’d be surprised if there were not much more to the story.
4. If you’re right about the origins of the Siegelman case, why do you think the Justice Department under Eric Holder has failed to investigate it and take corrective action, as it did in the similar case of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens?
One of the most disappointing things about the Obama Administration has been its failure to roll back Rove’s Justice Department. Giving political appointments to campaign contributors is not the prettiest part of our electoral system, but it’s standard operating procedure. George W. Bush did it with more than 100 of his donors. But when Siegelman did it with a campaign contributor named Richard Scrushy, it was characterized as bribery—even though Siegelman did not personally take a dime.
On September 11, Siegelman is scheduled to go to prison for more than six years—a travesty of justice. Obama should pardon him. I can only speculate that he has not done so because he fears the political consequences.
5. Five years ago, Karl Rove left the Bush White House in disgrace, narrowly escaping criminal charges over his role in outing a covert CIA agent. But at the Republican Convention in Tampa, he could be seen in the box of casino-gambling kingpin and G.O.P. megadonor Sheldon Adelson watching Mitt Romney, Rove’s chosen candidate, accept the G.O.P.’s presidential nomination. How do you assess Rove’s position within the G.O.P. today?

My book is titled Boss Rove because he is now the party boss. He has created an unelected position, with no term limit, in which he controls the money. In the Eighties, in Texas, he created political action committees that were responsible to him—not the Texas Republican Party—so he would have control of the party. Now he has done this on a national level. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s
Citizens United decision and a new breed of billionaire donors—Adelson, the Koch brothers—Rove already has about $1 billion in his coffers for the 2012 campaign. The danger, of course, is that that money will buy up all the airtime for the G.O.P. in the battleground states and pervert the electoral process. Talk-radio host John Batchelor, a Republican, put it best. “America is a two-party state,” he said. “There are the Democrats. Then, there’s Karl Rove.”
6. Let me press a bit more into that bizarre exchange you had with Rove last week in Tampa. You said he had used his position on Fox to attack Mitt Romney’s primary opponents and asked if he had discussed this with Roger Ailes. Rove responded by talking about an Ohio G.O.P. consultant named Mike Connell and claiming, absurdly, that your book states that Rove murdered him. The following day, Rove told a group of Florida donors, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!” He subsequently apologized. How do you understand Rove’s comments?
For the record, I don’t accuse Rove of murdering Mike Connell, his computer guru. Connell’s death came at a propitious time for Rove in terms of the investigation into what happened in Ohio in 2004. But the National Traffic Safety Board reports that other planes landing at roughly the same time Connell’s plane attempted to land had experienced icing, which may have been the cause.
These two episodes illustrate astoundingly aberrant behavior by Rove—self-inflicted wounds—by someone disciplined. It is shocking that he would link himself to murder twice in one week.



No Comment
By Scott Horton
September 3, 10:07 AM
Boss Rove: Six Questions for Craig Unger

Craig Unger
After four years in the political penalty box, Karl Rove has returned as the undeniable mastermind of the G.O.P.’s electoral effort. Vanity Fair contributing editor Craig Unger has just published a new book, Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power, that focuses on Rove’s fall from grace during the Bush years and his remarkable political resurrection. It shows how Rove’s tactics are remaking the nation’s political landscape and explains why, win or lose in 2012, he is likely to be a dominant force in Republican politics for some time. I put six questions to Unger about his new book:
1. A large part of your book focuses on a computer-services company, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, called SmarTech. You note that after SmarTech began serving Ohio’s electoral returns at 11:14 p.m. on election night in 2004, inexplicable anomalies began to flood the vote totals—all of which favored George W. Bush. The company also appears repeatedly in your book as the inner sanctum of G.O.P. voting-technology strategies, and as the host of servers on which Karl Rove’s mysteriously vanishing emails were stored. Yet when you asked Rove about SmarTech, he insisted he “had no idea who it was.” What do you think of Rove’s denial, and why do you devote so much of your book to the company?
When I repeated the question to Rove, his response morphed into a classic Watergate-like non-denial denial in which he claimed to be “so many layers removed” from such operations that he didn’t “recall” the company. Whatever the state of his memory, Rove’s relationship to SmarTech is emblematic of how he operates: with no fingerprints, via entities that serve his interests in extraordinary ways even though he has no visible ties to them.
This company went through a bankruptcy, changes in ownership, and several different names before emerging as SmarTech. But much of its initial funding came through Mercer Reynolds and Bill DeWitt, who were important to George W. Bush’s personal and political finances. They bailed him out of financial trouble in the oil industry. DeWitt provided the entrée for Bush to invest in the Texas Rangers baseball team—the most lucrative deal of his life. And Reynolds raised well over $200 million for the party in 2004. After its birth as a start-up typical of the late Nineties dotcom boom, the company was transformed, thanks to Reynolds and DeWitt, into a political operation serving the Republican Party, the Bushes, and dozens of conservative groups.
In other words, Rove says he’s never heard of a company that was started by key backers and that hosted websites for George W. Bush, the Bush–Cheney transition team, dozens of prominent Republican politicians and political action committees, the Republican National Committee—and even Rove’s own emails.
As to its importance, there’s no reason why conservative groups should not have sophisticated technology. But SmarTech has done much more than that. Through one of its clients, GovTech, SmarTech hosted sites for the House Judiciary Committee, the House Intelligence Committee, and other nonpartisan governmental agencies. An important firewall had been breached—a highly partisan Republican company had gained sensitive information regarding the electoral process and national security.
This conflict of interest was most evident when SmarTech became the “failover”site for Ohio’s returns in 2004. The anomalous returns that came in after SmarTech’s servers kicked in have never been explained, and have fueled suspicions that the election was stolen. Americans deserve a full explanation, but key information has repeatedly vanished. Ultimately, a key potential witness, Mike Connell, died in a solo plane crash.
Finally, there are the missing emails. When White House staffers write emails as part of their work for the president, those emails are subject to the Presidential Records Act. Legally, they belong to the public at large, not to the president or his staffers. But Rove and more than eighty other White House staffers had their emails hosted on a Republican National Committee account that resided on SmarTech servers. Those emails triggered interest among investigators probing both the Valerie Plame affair and the U.S. attorneys scandal, but it later emerged that more than 5 million related emails had mysteriously gone missing. Later, in 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails had been deleted. I wouldn’t be surprised if they contained some of the greatest secrets of the Bush-Cheney-Rove years, but I fear we will never find them.
2. In studying Rove’s manipulation of the Justice Department during the Bush years, you look in depth at the case of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Why would Rove have targeted Siegelman, and why do you believe the allegations that the case was a politically motivated prosecution have merit?
As a popular Democratic governor in Alabama, Siegelman represented a potential threat to the G.O.P. on a national level. It is difficult to overstate the importance of the Solid South to the Republican Party. In the past fifty years, the only Democrats to win the White House other than Barack Obama—Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton—have come from the South.
There are three reasons to believe the case was politically motivated. One is that Bill Canary, a Rove colleague, had run or was linked to campaigns of leading G.O.P. candidates in Alabama, and Leura Canary, his wife, just happened to have been appointed a U.S. attorney in Alabama by the Bush Administration. This meant that while Bill Canary was boosting the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Riley, come election time his wife Leura could indict Riley’s opponent Don Siegelman—which is exactly what happened.
Secondly, there is the testimony before the House Judiciary Committee of Alabama attorney Dana Jill Simpson, who said while under oath that she’d had a conversation with Rob Riley, son of Bob Riley, the G.O.P. candidate, and that Riley said that his father and Bill Canary “had had a conversation with Karl Rove again and that they had this time gone over and seen whoever was the head of” the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department. Simpson further testified that Rob Riley said that Karl Rove had spoken to “the head guy there,” a New Jersey lawyer active in G.O.P. politics named Noel Hillman, who agreed “that he’d allocate all resources necessary” to prosecute Siegelman. Soon thereafter, the White House nominated Hillman to the federal judgeship he had been seeking.
Finally, the data supports allegations of widespread selective prosecution of Democrats. During the period between Bush’s inauguration and Ashcroft’s recusal at the end of 2003, federal prosecutors in the Bush Administration initiated investigations of no fewer 200 public officials on charges including bribery, bid rigging, influence peddling, mail fraud, tax evasion, extortion, and more.
The targets of these investigations included mayors of at least twelve major cities, governors and lieutenant governors from five states, several congressional candidates, senators and senatorial candidates, and key figures in state legislatures. The targets were overwhelmingly Democrats. Astoundingly, according to a study of the Bush Justice Department by professors Donald C. Shields and John F. Cragan, out of 200 officials under investigation at that time, only thirty were Republicans—15 percent—a disparity the authors compared to racial profiling of African-Americans.
3. The scandal surrounding the Siegelman case erupted in earnest when Jill Simpson gave the testimony to which you just alluded. Rove responded to these accusations by refusing to testify under oath and then issuing statements in which he aggressively denied things that were never alleged and failed to respond to the key allegations. He has also repeatedly and sharply attacked Simpson, often totally out of the blue. Who do you consider to be more credible on the story—Rove or Simpson? And why does Simpson’s testimony have Rove so rattled?
Drawing in the cantankerous Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, Rove had even consolidated the money under his power. He has co-opted the Tea Party, defanging the uncontrollable elements in it, marginalizing their leaders and seizing their resources. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry had been consigned to the dustbin of history. Mitt Romney was forever indebted to Rove. He had built his new machine into a ruthlessly efficient political operation outside, above, and, finally subsuming the party structure, beholden to no one but himself. . . .
Since he was a young man battling for office within the College Republicans, “ratfucking” for Nixon, smearing Democrat after Democrat, and after laying eyes on the cowboy figure of George W. Bush, promising to build him a permanent Republican majority, Rove had long envisioned playing a historic role in the Republican Party. But only now, at last, had Karl Rove become the party boss.
—From Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, © 2012 Craig Unger
Simpson is more credible. First, there’s no question that Rove has lied about Simpson’s testimony. In an interview he gave in 2008 to GQ Magazine, Rove, referring to Simpson, said, “She’s a complete lunatic. . . . No one has read the 143-page deposition that she gave congressional investigators—143 pages. When she shows up to give her explanation of all this, do you know how many times my name appears? Zero times. Nobody checked!”
This is a brazen lie. Simpson’s testimony is readily available online and in fact it cites Karl Rove at least fifty times. Rove is renowned as a highly disciplined operative, so it is all the more striking that he has repeatedly lost his cool about Simpson. When Greta Van Susteren interviewed him on Fox News earlier this summer, he erupted into a tirade against Simpson. Likewise, during the week of the RNC convention in Tampa, I asked Rove a question about his working relationship with Fox News boss Roger Ailes—a subject that has zero to do with Simpson—and he blasted her again.
As for Simpson, she did tell her story under oath, at considerable risk and for no apparent gain. Documents, including emails and phone records, show she was clearly working with Rob Riley. Some aspects of her testimony have proven difficult to corroborate, but, unlike with Rove, I have no reason to think that she lied.
Ultimately, I don’t know why Rove is so rattled, but I’d be surprised if there were not much more to the story.
4. If you’re right about the origins of the Siegelman case, why do you think the Justice Department under Eric Holder has failed to investigate it and take corrective action, as it did in the similar case of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens?
One of the most disappointing things about the Obama Administration has been its failure to roll back Rove’s Justice Department. Giving political appointments to campaign contributors is not the prettiest part of our electoral system, but it’s standard operating procedure. George W. Bush did it with more than 100 of his donors. But when Siegelman did it with a campaign contributor named Richard Scrushy, it was characterized as bribery—even though Siegelman did not personally take a dime.
On September 11, Siegelman is scheduled to go to prison for more than six years—a travesty of justice. Obama should pardon him. I can only speculate that he has not done so because he fears the political consequences.
5. Five years ago, Karl Rove left the Bush White House in disgrace, narrowly escaping criminal charges over his role in outing a covert CIA agent. But at the Republican Convention in Tampa, he could be seen in the box of casino-gambling kingpin and G.O.P. megadonor Sheldon Adelson watching Mitt Romney, Rove’s chosen candidate, accept the G.O.P.’s presidential nomination. How do you assess Rove’s position within the G.O.P. today?

My book is titled Boss Rove because he is now the party boss. He has created an unelected position, with no term limit, in which he controls the money. In the Eighties, in Texas, he created political action committees that were responsible to him—not the Texas Republican Party—so he would have control of the party. Now he has done this on a national level. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s
Citizens United decision and a new breed of billionaire donors—Adelson, the Koch brothers—Rove already has about $1 billion in his coffers for the 2012 campaign. The danger, of course, is that that money will buy up all the airtime for the G.O.P. in the battleground states and pervert the electoral process. Talk-radio host John Batchelor, a Republican, put it best. “America is a two-party state,” he said. “There are the Democrats. Then, there’s Karl Rove.”
6. Let me press a bit more into that bizarre exchange you had with Rove last week in Tampa. You said he had used his position on Fox to attack Mitt Romney’s primary opponents and asked if he had discussed this with Roger Ailes. Rove responded by talking about an Ohio G.O.P. consultant named Mike Connell and claiming, absurdly, that your book states that Rove murdered him. The following day, Rove told a group of Florida donors, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!” He subsequently apologized. How do you understand Rove’s comments?
For the record, I don’t accuse Rove of murdering Mike Connell, his computer guru. Connell’s death came at a propitious time for Rove in terms of the investigation into what happened in Ohio in 2004. But the National Traffic Safety Board reports that other planes landing at roughly the same time Connell’s plane attempted to land had experienced icing, which may have been the cause.
These two episodes illustrate astoundingly aberrant behavior by Rove—self-inflicted wounds—by someone disciplined. It is shocking that he would link himself to murder twice in one week.


http://www.amazon.com/Boss-Rove-Inside-Secret-Kingdom/dp/1451694938/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347109979&sr=8-1&keywords=Craig+Unger+Boss+Rove


The epic 2012 presidential contest between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney represents the stunning comeback of GOP boss Karl Rove, the brilliant political operator whose scorched-earth partisanship infamously earned him the moniker “Bush’s Brain” and provoked some observers to label him as dangerous to American democracy. How, after leaving the Bush administration in disgrace, did Rove rise again, and what does it mean that he is back in power? This timely, meticulous account by New York Times bestselling investigative reporter Craig Unger provides the surprising and disturbing answers.
KARL ROVE, the man who masterminded the rise of George W. Bush from governor of Texas to the presidency, who advised Bush during two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who some claim helped seize the 2004 election for Bush, and who was at the center of the Bush administration’s two biggest scandals—the Valerie Plame Wilson affair and the U.S. attorneys scandal—is back.
Since exiting the Bush administration, Rove has quietly become the greatest Republican power broker in the country. His pulpit is much vaster than his role as a commentator on Fox News and his regular columns for the Wall Street Journal suggest. His real strength is his ability to mobilize immense sums through the SuperPAC American Crossroads and similar organizations, and channel that money on behalf of Republican candidates.
Knowing that Rove remains connected and powerful, Unger investigates Rove’s politically controversial activities of times past, shedding important new light on them, and shows their relevance to his activities today. He scrutinizes Rove’s roles in the Valerie Plame Wilson affair, the U.S. attorneys scandal, the strange events in Ohio on the night of the 2004 presidential election, and much more.
But now that Rove is back in control of GOP political strategy and funding, there are pressing new questions: How did Rove do an end around on the Republican National Committee and build his own more powerful organization? In what ways did he subtly and not so subtly influence the 2012 Republican primary process? What did he say (and do) regarding candidates Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum? How did he placate the Tea Party, which he privately despises, even as he cleverly marginalized its importance? How did he and Mitt Romney draw closer as the GOP convention neared? How will he further benefit from a Romney victory? And if Romney loses, why will Rove remain powerful? Unger has the answers.
As demonstrated in his previous books, Unger is adept at combining incisive reporting with the journalistic record to create a master narrative that sheds new light on a political subject. Detailed, fascinating, and entertaining, Boss Rove will interest not only readers who want to know more about the 2012 election but also those keen to understand the forces endangering American democracy. This up-to-the-minute journalistic report sheds crucial light on Rove’s vital behind-the-scenes role in this fall’s presidential election and in the future of American politics.

 

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Lamar Waldron reveals his research on what's been omitted in one of Washington most dramatic intrigues. Watergate: The Hidden History: Nixon, The Mafia, and The CIA is an 816-page documentation of his theme:

While Richard Nixon's culpability for Watergate has long been established—most recently by PBS in 2003—what's truly remarkable that after almost forty years, conventional accounts of the scandal still don't address Nixon’s motive. Why was President Nixon willing to risk his reelection with so many repeated burglaries at the Watergate—and other Washington offices—in just a few weeks? What motivated Nixon to jeopardize his presidency by ordering the wide range of criminal operations that resulted in Watergate? What was Nixon so desperate to get at the Watergate, and how does it explain the deeper context surrounding his crimes?

Watergate: The Hidden History reexamines the historical record, including new material only available in recent years. This includes thousands of recently declassified CIA and FBI files, newly released Nixon tapes, and exclusive interviews with those involved in the events surrounding Watergate—ranging from former Nixon officials to key aides for John and Robert Kennedy. This book also builds on decades of investigations by noted journalists and historians, as well as long-overlooked investigative articles from publications like Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times.

Lamar Waldron's historical research and nonfiction books have won praise from Publishers Weekly, Vanity Fair, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, and major publications in Europe. His groundbreaking research has been the subject of two prime-time specials on the Discovery Channel, produced by NBC News. He Has been featured on CNN, the History Channel, Geraldo Rivera, Fox News, and television specials in England, Germany, Japan, and Australia. Called "the ultimate JFK historian" by Variety, Waldron's previous book is being produced as a major motion picture for Warner Brothers by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way.

Praise for Legacy of Secrecy:

“Explosive new material, based mainly on government documents from the National Archives.” —Vanity Fair

“Waldron and Hartmann offer convincing evidence . . . A riveting take on the assassination itself and the devastating results of government secrets, this account proves the continuing relevancy and importance of seeking the truth behind one of the US’s most personal tragedies.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“I believe Waldron's heavy-to-lift book is actually all but the last word on these troubling assassinations which have been so wildly speculated about since 1963 . . . Lamar Waldron, indefatigable public servant and author deserves his own Pulitzer Prize for his great work.” —Liz Smith, New York Post

“They’ve done a service by digging up the deepest, darkest, most disturbing archival evidence to support their Mob hit theory.” —Ron Rosenbaum

“Staggering!” —Mark Crispin Miller

“Exhaustively researched” —The New York Observer

“[Legacy of Secrecy contains] over 800 pages of intricately documented data. Their findings add pieces to one of our most perplexing puzzles, and suggest where the key missing pieces may be found.” —Ronald Goldfarb, The Daily Beast
About the Author
Lamar Waldron's historical research and nonfiction books have won praise from Publishers Weekly, Vanity Fair, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, and major publications in Europe. His groundbreaking research has been the subject of two prime-time specials on the Discovery Channel, produced by NBC News. He Has been featured on CNN, the History Channel, Geraldo Rivera, Fox News, and television specials in England, Germany, Japan, and Australia. Called "the ultimate JFK historian" by Variety, Waldron's previous book is being produced as a major motion picture for Warner Brothers by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way.

 

Contact the author Andrew Kreig or comment

 

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Harper's No Comment, Boss Rove: Six Questions for Craig Unger, Scott Horton, Sept. 3, 2012. After four years in the political penalty box, Karl Rove has returned as the undeniable mastermind of the G.O.P.’s electoral effort. Vanity Fair contributing editor Craig Unger has just published a new book, Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power, that focuses on Rove’s fall from grace during the Bush years and his remarkable political resurrection. It shows how Rove’s tactics are remaking the nation’s political landscape and explains why, win or lose in 2012, he is likely to be a dominant force in Republican politics for some time.

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

Max Blumenthal, Meet The Right-Wing Extremist Behind Anti-Muslim Film That Sparked Deadly Riots, Sept. 12, 2012.  http://maxblumenthal.com/2012/09/meet-the-right-wing-extremist-behind-anti-muslim-film-that-sparked-deadly-riots/

The US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three US diplomats were killed in attacks and rioting provoked by an obscure, low-budget anti-Muslim film called “The Innocence of Muslims.” The producer of the film is a real estate developer supposedly named “Sam Bacile” who claims to be an Israeli Jew. Bacile told the AP the film was made with $5 million raised from “100 Jewish donors.” He said he was motivated to help his native country, Israel, by exposing the evils of Islam.

While Bacile claims to be in hiding, and his identity remains murky, another character who has been publicly listed as a consultant on the film is a known anti-Muslim activist with ties to the extreme Christian right and the militia movement. He is Steve Klein, a Hemet, California based insurance salesman who claims to have led a “hunter-killer team” in Vietnam.”

Klein is a right-wing extremist who emerged from the same axis of Islamophobia that produced Anders Behring Breivik and which takes inspiration from the writings of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Daniel Pipes.

It appears Klein (or someone who shares his name and views) is an enthusiastic commenter on Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged, where he recently complained about Mitt Romney’s “support for a Muslim state in Israel’s Heartland.” In July 2011, Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, promoted a rally Klein organized alongside the anti-Muslim Coptic extremist Joseph Nasrallah to demand the firing of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, whom they painted as a dupe for Hamas.

Klein is also closely affiliated with the Christian right in California, organizing resentment against all the usual targets — Muslims, homosexuals, feminists, and even Mormons. He is a board member and founder of a group called Courageous Christians United, which promotes anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim literature (including the work of Robert Spencer) on its website. In 2002, Klein ran for the California Insurance Commissioner under the American Independent Party, an extremist fringe party linked to the militia movement, garnering a piddling 2 percent of the vote.

Klein has been closely affiliated with the Church at Kaweah, an extreme evangelical church located 70 miles southeast of Fresno that serves as a nexus of neo-Confederate, Christian Reconstructionist, and militia movement elements. The Southern Poverty Law Center produced a report on Kaweah this spring that noted Klein’s long record of activist against Muslims:

Over the past year, Johnson and the church militia have developed a relationship with Steve Klein, a longtime religious-right activist who brags about having led a “hunter killer” team as a Marine in Vietnam. Klein, who calls Islam a “penis-driven religion” and thinks Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca is a Muslim Brotherhood patsy, is allied with Christian activist groups across California. In 2011, as head of the Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, he worked with the Vista, Calif.-based Christian Anti-Defamation Commission on a campaign to “arm” students with the “truth about Islam and Muhammad” — mainly by leafleting high schools with literature depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a sex-crazed pedophile.

Klein, based in Hemet, Calif., has been active in extremist movements for decades. In 1977, he founded Courageous Christians United, which now conducts “respectful confrontations” outside of abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques. Klein also has ties to the Minuteman movement. In 2007, he sued the city of San Clemente for ordering him to stop leafleting cars with pamphlets opposing illegal immigration.

Like many other activists who fashion themselves as “counter-Jihadists,” Klein has organized against the construction of mosques in his area. While leafleting against a planned mosque in Temecula, California, which he claimed would herald the introduction of Shariah law to the quiet suburb, Klein remarked, “It all comes down to the first amendment. I don’t care if you disagree with me. Just don’t cut off my head.”

Klein appears to be allied with the National American Coptic Assembly, a radical Islamophobic group headed by Morris Sadik. Sadik claims to have discovered the film and began promoting it online. Once it went viral, the trailer was translated into Arabic, sparking outrage in the Middle East, and ultimately, to the deadly attacks carried out by Muslim extremists today.

Klein claims credit for inspiring “Sam Bacile” to produce “The Innocence of Muslims,” promising him he would be “the next Theo Van Gogh,” referring to the Dutch columnist who was murdered by a Muslim extremist. Of the attacks in Libya, Klein said, “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.”.

From: Scott Horton [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]



Boss Rove’s Justice
By Scott Horton
“There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember the second.” That quip was offered by Mark Hanna during the first modern professional presidential campaign, that of William McKinley in 1896. But it could just as easily have been voiced by Hanna’s modern understudy, Karl Rove, the man who emerged as the undeniable mastermind of the G.O.P. following their recent convention in Tampa. As Rove understands it, electoral politics has little to do with policy and everything to do with money—in particular with ensuring that his side has a massive advantage over its adversary.
From early in his career, Rove’s game plan was to tap the tills of corporate America by pushing “tort reform,” which is to say, stacking the deck against tort lawyers by electing Republican judges in state court elections. In Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and other states around the nation, this tactic served to fill the coffers of a flagging Republican Party and to bolster its electoral efforts across the board. Rove’s agenda focused on the rapid appointment of a particular species of judge and prosecutor characterized less by their experience in the courts than their history in Republican Party politics. The last decade witnessed the gradual emergence of a Rovian judiciary—overwhelmingly Republican, usually appointed by the Bush White House under Rove’s strategic guidance. For a Rovian judge, it’s an article of faith that corporations and the truly wealthy who control them have the right to contribute without limit to the Republican Party candidates of their choice. This, apparently, is the true meaning of the First Amendment. Citizens United marked the triumph of this program, and that ruling benefited no single individual more than Boss Rove. Indeed it has already transformed American politics from a bid for votes to a scramble for billionaires.
But Rove’s focus on money has been twofold: the object is not simply to raise it but also to thwart the fundraising capacity of the opponent. And that brings us to the plight of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who this week returned to the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, to serve a seven-year sentence. What precisely was Siegelman’s crime? A foundation associated with Siegelman that supported his effort to secure a state lottery for education in Alabama received a $500,000 donation from Richard Scrushy, the CEO of insurance giant HealthSouth. Siegelman reappointed Scrushy to the same non-compensated state board to which three prior governors had appointed him. Federal prosecutors argued, and ultimately convinced a jury, that Siegelman should go to prison for this donation, even though he received no personal benefit from it.
Though it may be distasteful, the appointment of campaign donors to high offices belongs to the rough-and-tumble of American electoral politics. Karl Rove is the undisputed master of this practice; under his Pioneer and Ranger programs, donors who could raise or bundle $100,000 or $200,000 for the campaign were entitled to special benefits. According to Texans for Public Justice, 146 of the 548 Bush Pioneers and Rangers received political appointments within the administration. The Democrats are also familiar with such arrangements; in fact, as I have noted, Barack Obama topped Bush in rewarding campaign contributions with ambassadorial appointments. Yet the Justice Department never lifted the covers to examine any of these appointments. There was a reason for that: the upper echelons of the Justice Department itself are populated with political players who raise campaign cash for the party of their choice. Incidentally, the same could be said of Mark E. Fuller, a former member of the Alabama G.O.P. Executive Committee who presided over Siegelman’s trial, ruling for prosecutors at every turn and pressing an ostensibly hung jury to deliver a verdict that would send Siegelman to jail. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, Fuller made generous contributions to the G.O.P. and, in particular, to the campaign of Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican senator who pushed forward his nomination to the federal bench.
So what was different about Don Siegelman? The answer to that question is chilling. The prosecutor who brought the case to its conclusion, Leura Canary, is the wife of one of Karl Rove’s closest protégés, Bill Canary. As Leura investigated Siegelman, her husband played a prominent role in raising contributions for G.O.P. campaigns and advising the campaigns of Republicans, including Siegelman’s Republican adversary, Bob Riley. As Jack Abramoff recently disclosed, casino gambling interests opposed to Siegelman’s lottery initiative played a key role in funding the G.O.P. effort, and hindering Siegelman was a priority for them. The Republican campaign was bolstered by a steady leak of damaging materials from Siegelman’s investigation to two Alabama newspapers tightly linked to the state’s G.O.P. Of course, the substantial donations that Scrushy had made to Republican governors who appointed him to the same board were ignored, as was the appointment by Siegelman’s Republican successor of one of his key donors to the same board. The message that this prosecution sent was unequivocal: donations to the G.O.P. were fine, but write a fat check to the Democrats and you risked a criminal investigation. Moreover, this campaign was not limited to Alabama. Next door in Mississippi, one after the other, leading donors to the state’s Democratic Party found themselves the targets of federal criminal probes. The result was direct and swift: Democratic funds dried up as Republican coffers began to bulge. The Justice Department had been converted into a campaign fundraising tool.
In a rapid series of exposés that appeared in CBS News 60 Minutes, Time Magazine, the New York Times, and other publications, the prosecution of Siegelman was exposed as a sham. His conviction hinged on the testimony of a witness who gave false evidence, whom CBS learned had been badgered and cajoled in over seventy sessions by prosecutors who attempted to script his evidence. Even a member of the prosecution team stepped forward to denounce the gross misconduct she had witnessed. Media around the nation including even Rove’s employer Fox News and conservative columnist George Will decried the injustice and called for Siegelman’s freedom. More than a hundred former attorneys general from around the country, many of them Republicans, called for a reversal of the case. The House Judiciary Committee, though stonewalled by the Justice Department, issued a report finding strong evidence of prosecutorial wrongdoing. Yet in the end, Siegelman’s conviction was allowed to stand and he was sent back to prison. How is this possible?
This case bears grim witness to the American justice system’s tendency to close their eyes to the truth. In the end, the courts and the Justice Department, obsessed with their own prestige, were vehement in their refusal to recognize the facts about the political tampering behind the case that had been exposed by the media and Congress. As former New York State Attorney General Bob Abrams observed, they have left a “deep stain on the justice system.” This cannot be purged until Siegelman is set free.


No Comment
By Scott Horton

September 6, 11:00 AM

CIA Waterboarding, Qaddafi Collaboration Revealed

Jason riley, Opinion Journali  Live, Peggy  Noonan, http://live.wsj.com/?category=opinion#!B8B3D9D4-3880-4382-8FEB-917038CCC7EA September 12, 2012.


9/12/2012 3:27:31 PM5:55

Just days after Attorney General Holder announced a formal decision of impunity resulting from a probe into 101 documented cases in which CIA agents engaged in acts of torture and abuse in apparent violation of CIA guidelines—including those approving torture—further explosive allegations have emerged that lay bare the scope of CIA cooperation with abusive regimes in the era before the Arab Spring. Drawing on interviews with Libyan prisoners previously held by the CIA in black-site facilities, as well as a large cache of secret documents that turned up when rebels seized Qaddafi’s state security offices last year, Human Rights Watch has issued a 156-page report (PDF) that meticulously documents a George W. Bush–era CIA program of torture, including waterboarding, in careful collaboration with former Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi. Among the report’s key findings:

http://www.harpers.org/subjects/NoComment#hbc-90008846

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLB15kBvn_c
No one should attempt to exploitit for gain.

No What is your thinking? as It is astonishing to me that the Republican Presidential candidate is not meeting it.

Associated Press,  The public face for the anti-Muslim film inflaming the Middle East is not the filmmaker, but an insurance agent and Vietnam War veteran whose unabashed and outspoken hatred of radical Muslims has drawn the attention of civil libertarians, who say he's a hate monger.  With the Coptic Christian filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in hiding, film promoter Steve Klein has taken center stage in the unfolding international drama. He's given a stream of interviews about the film and the man he says he knew only as Sam Bacile, and is using the attention to talk about his own political views.  Nakoula, who used Bacile spelled multiple ways as a pseudonym, contacted Klein months ago for advice about the limits of American free speech and asked for help vetting the movie's script, Klein said in an interview with The Associated Press. The filmmaker asked the 61-year-old grandfather if he would act as a spokesman if the film "caught on," and he agreed. The role dovetailed with Klein's relentless pursuit of radical Muslims in America, an activity he says he began after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It took on more meaning in 2007, when his son, then a 27-year-old Army staff sergeant, was seriously injured in Iraq. Matthew Klein, a medic, was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Heart for injuries he suffered in the attack by a suicide bomber, according to the Army Human Resources Command.

"What do I get out of this? I get to die one of these days hoping my granddaughters and my grandsons will be safe from these monsters," Klein said while sipping a beer on the front porch of his home.

He claimed to have visited "every mosque in California" and identified "500 to 750 of these people who are future suicide bombers and murderers."

"Those are the guys I'm looking for. I'm not interested in mom and pop running a pizza store or running a smoky shop, a hookah shop," he said.

Klein works with his wife as an insurance agent out of a small office on the second floor of a downtrodden business complex in Hemet, a small city in the shadows of the San Jacinto Mountains about 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles. He describes himself as a failed real estate investor who lost 20 properties in the recession. In 2002, he was the American Independent Party's candidate for state insurance commissioner, receiving 2 percent of the vote.

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Associated Press Writers Rachel Zoll and Randy Herschaft and Associated Press Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York; Tracie Cone in Three Rivers, Calif., and Amy Taxin in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
Max Blumenthal, Meet The Right-Wing Extremist Behind Anti-Muslim Film That Sparked Deadly Riots, Sept. 12, 2012.  http://maxblumenthal.com/2012/09/meet-the-right-wing-extremist-behind-anti-muslim-film-that-sparked-deadly-riots/

The US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three US diplomats were killed in attacks and rioting provoked by an obscure, low-budget anti-Muslim film called “The Innocence of Muslims.” The producer of the film is a real estate developer supposedly named “Sam Bacile” who claims to be an Israeli Jew. Bacile told the AP the film was made with $5 million raised from “100 Jewish donors.” He said he was motivated to help his native country, Israel, by exposing the evils of Islam.

While Bacile claims to be in hiding, and his identity remains murky, another character who has been publicly listed as a consultant on the film is a known anti-Muslim activist with ties to the extreme Christian right and the militia movement. He is Steve Klein, a Hemet, California based insurance salesman who claims to have led a “hunter-killer team” in Vietnam.”

Klein is a right-wing extremist who emerged from the same axis of Islamophobia that produced Anders Behring Breivik and which takes inspiration from the writings of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Daniel Pipes.

It appears Klein (or someone who shares his name and views) is an enthusiastic commenter on Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged, where he recently complained about Mitt Romney’s “support for a Muslim state in Israel’s Heartland.” In July 2011, Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, promoted a rally Klein organized alongside the anti-Muslim Coptic extremist Joseph Nasrallah to demand the firing of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, whom they painted as a dupe for Hamas.

Klein is also closely affiliated with the Christian right in California, organizing resentment against all the usual targets — Muslims, homosexuals, feminists, and even Mormons. He is a board member and founder of a group called Courageous Christians United, which promotes anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim literature (including the work of Robert Spencer) on its website. In 2002, Klein ran for the California Insurance Commissioner under the American Independent Party, an extremist fringe party linked to the militia movement, garnering a piddling 2 percent of the vote.

Klein has been closely affiliated with the Church at Kaweah, an extreme evangelical church located 70 miles southeast of Fresno that serves as a nexus of neo-Confederate, Christian Reconstructionist, and militia movement elements. The Southern Poverty Law Center produced a report on Kaweah this spring that noted Klein’s long record of activist against Muslims:

Over the past year, Johnson and the church militia have developed a relationship with Steve Klein, a longtime religious-right activist who brags about having led a “hunter killer” team as a Marine in Vietnam. Klein, who calls Islam a “penis-driven religion” and thinks Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca is a Muslim Brotherhood patsy, is allied with Christian activist groups across California. In 2011, as head of the Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, he worked with the Vista, Calif.-based Christian Anti-Defamation Commission on a campaign to “arm” students with the “truth about Islam and Muhammad” — mainly by leafleting high schools with literature depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a sex-crazed pedophile.

Klein, based in Hemet, Calif., has been active in extremist movements for decades. In 1977, he founded Courageous Christians United, which now conducts “respectful confrontations” outside of abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques. Klein also has ties to the Minuteman movement. In 2007, he sued the city of San Clemente for ordering him to stop leafleting cars with pamphlets opposing illegal immigration.

Like many other activists who fashion themselves as “counter-Jihadists,” Klein has organized against the construction of mosques in his area. While leafleting against a planned mosque in Temecula, California, which he claimed would herald the introduction of Shariah law to the quiet suburb, Klein remarked, “It all comes down to the first amendment. I don’t care if you disagree with me. Just don’t cut off my head.”

Klein appears to be allied with the National American Coptic Assembly, a radical Islamophobic group headed by Morris Sadik. Sadik claims to have discovered the film and began promoting it online. Once it went viral, the trailer was translated into Arabic, sparking outrage in the Middle East, and ultimately, to the deadly attacks carried out by Muslim extremists today.

Klein claims credit for inspiring “Sam Bacile” to produce “The Innocence of Muslims,” promising him he would be “the next Theo Van Gogh,” referring to the Dutch columnist who was murdered by a Muslim extremist. Of the attacks in Libya, Klein said, “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.”.

From: Scott Horton [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]



Boss Rove’s Justice
By Scott Horton
“There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember the second.” That quip was offered by Mark Hanna during the first modern professional presidential campaign, that of William McKinley in 1896. But it could just as easily have been voiced by Hanna’s modern understudy, Karl Rove, the man who emerged as the undeniable mastermind of the G.O.P. following their recent convention in Tampa. As Rove understands it, electoral politics has little to do with policy and everything to do with money—in particular with ensuring that his side has a massive advantage over its adversary.
From early in his career, Rove’s game plan was to tap the tills of corporate America by pushing “tort reform,” which is to say, stacking the deck against tort lawyers by electing Republican judges in state court elections. In Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and other states around the nation, this tactic served to fill the coffers of a flagging Republican Party and to bolster its electoral efforts across the board. Rove’s agenda focused on the rapid appointment of a particular species of judge and prosecutor characterized less by their experience in the courts than their history in Republican Party politics. The last decade witnessed the gradual emergence of a Rovian judiciary—overwhelmingly Republican, usually appointed by the Bush White House under Rove’s strategic guidance. For a Rovian judge, it’s an article of faith that corporations and the truly wealthy who control them have the right to contribute without limit to the Republican Party candidates of their choice. This, apparently, is the true meaning of the First Amendment. Citizens United marked the triumph of this program, and that ruling benefited no single individual more than Boss Rove. Indeed it has already transformed American politics from a bid for votes to a scramble for billionaires.
But Rove’s focus on money has been twofold: the object is not simply to raise it but also to thwart the fundraising capacity of the opponent. And that brings us to the plight of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who this week returned to the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, to serve a seven-year sentence. What precisely was Siegelman’s crime? A foundation associated with Siegelman that supported his effort to secure a state lottery for education in Alabama received a $500,000 donation from Richard Scrushy, the CEO of insurance giant HealthSouth. Siegelman reappointed Scrushy to the same non-compensated state board to which three prior governors had appointed him. Federal prosecutors argued, and ultimately convinced a jury, that Siegelman should go to prison for this donation, even though he received no personal benefit from it.
Though it may be distasteful, the appointment of campaign donors to high offices belongs to the rough-and-tumble of American electoral politics. Karl Rove is the undisputed master of this practice; under his Pioneer and Ranger programs, donors who could raise or bundle $100,000 or $200,000 for the campaign were entitled to special benefits. According to Texans for Public Justice, 146 of the 548 Bush Pioneers and Rangers received political appointments within the administration. The Democrats are also familiar with such arrangements; in fact, as I have noted, Barack Obama topped Bush in rewarding campaign contributions with ambassadorial appointments. Yet the Justice Department never lifted the covers to examine any of these appointments. There was a reason for that: the upper echelons of the Justice Department itself are populated with political players who raise campaign cash for the party of their choice. Incidentally, the same could be said of Mark E. Fuller, a former member of the Alabama G.O.P. Executive Committee who presided over Siegelman’s trial, ruling for prosecutors at every turn and pressing an ostensibly hung jury to deliver a verdict that would send Siegelman to jail. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, Fuller made generous contributions to the G.O.P. and, in particular, to the campaign of Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican senator who pushed forward his nomination to the federal bench.
So what was different about Don Siegelman? The answer to that question is chilling. The prosecutor who brought the case to its conclusion, Leura Canary, is the wife of one of Karl Rove’s closest protégés, Bill Canary. As Leura investigated Siegelman, her husband played a prominent role in raising contributions for G.O.P. campaigns and advising the campaigns of Republicans, including Siegelman’s Republican adversary, Bob Riley. As Jack Abramoff recently disclosed, casino gambling interests opposed to Siegelman’s lottery initiative played a key role in funding the G.O.P. effort, and hindering Siegelman was a priority for them. The Republican campaign was bolstered by a steady leak of damaging materials from Siegelman’s investigation to two Alabama newspapers tightly linked to the state’s G.O.P. Of course, the substantial donations that Scrushy had made to Republican governors who appointed him to the same board were ignored, as was the appointment by Siegelman’s Republican successor of one of his key donors to the same board. The message that this prosecution sent was unequivocal: donations to the G.O.P. were fine, but write a fat check to the Democrats and you risked a criminal investigation. Moreover, this campaign was not limited to Alabama. Next door in Mississippi, one after the other, leading donors to the state’s Democratic Party found themselves the targets of federal criminal probes. The result was direct and swift: Democratic funds dried up as Republican coffers began to bulge. The Justice Department had been converted into a campaign fundraising tool.
In a rapid series of exposés that appeared in CBS News 60 Minutes, Time Magazine, the New York Times, and other publications, the prosecution of Siegelman was exposed as a sham. His conviction hinged on the testimony of a witness who gave false evidence, whom CBS learned had been badgered and cajoled in over seventy sessions by prosecutors who attempted to script his evidence. Even a member of the prosecution team stepped forward to denounce the gross misconduct she had witnessed. Media around the nation including even Rove’s employer Fox News and conservative columnist George Will decried the injustice and called for Siegelman’s freedom. More than a hundred former attorneys general from around the country, many of them Republicans, called for a reversal of the case. The House Judiciary Committee, though stonewalled by the Justice Department, issued a report finding strong evidence of prosecutorial wrongdoing. Yet in the end, Siegelman’s conviction was allowed to stand and he was sent back to prison. How is this possible?
This case bears grim witness to the American justice system’s tendency to close their eyes to the truth. In the end, the courts and the Justice Department, obsessed with their own prestige, were vehement in their refusal to recognize the facts about the political tampering behind the case that had been exposed by the media and Congress. As former New York State Attorney General Bob Abrams observed, they have left a “deep stain on the justice system.” This cannot be purged until Siegelman is set free.


Harper's, CIA Waterboarding, Qaddafi Collaboration Revealed, Scott Horton, September 6, 2012.Just days after Attorney General Holder announced a formal decision of impunity resulting from a probe into 101 documented cases in which CIA agents engaged in acts of torture and abuse in apparent violation of CIA guidelines—including those approving torture—further explosive allegations have emerged that lay bare the scope of CIA cooperation with abusive regimes in the era before the Arab Spring. Drawing on interviews with Libyan prisoners previously held by the CIA in black-site facilities, as well as a large cache of secret documents that turned up when rebels seized Qaddafi’s state security offices last year, Human Rights Watch has issued a 156-page report (PDF) that meticulously documents a George W. Bush–era CIA program of torture, including waterboarding, in careful collaboration with former Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi. Among the report’s key findings:


Wall Street Journal, Opinion Journal  Live: Peggy  Noonan, Interview by Jason Riley, Sept.12, 2012.

 Steele, Marta. Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, 2000-2008, CIJC Books, 2012.