November Updates 2012

Nov. 30

Guardian, Bradley Manning: a tale of liberty lost in America, Glenn Greenwald, Nov. 30, 2012. The US does nothing to punish those guilty of war crimes or Wall Street fraud, yet demonizes the whistleblower. Over the past two and a half years, all of which he has spent in a military prison, much has been said about Bradley Manning, but nothing has been heard from him. That changed on Thursday, when the 23-year-old US army private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks testified at his court martial proceeding about the conditions of his detention.

Guardian, JK Rowling: I feel duped and angry at David Cameron's reaction to Leveson, JK Rowling, Nov. 30, 2012. If the prime minister didn't want to implement the report, why were people like me asked to relive our painful experiences in public? I am alarmed and dismayed that the prime minister appears to be backing away from assurances he made at the outset of the Leveson inquiry. My understanding is that Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations would give everybody, whatever their degree of celebrity or their bank balance, a quick, cheap and effective way of holding the press to account. They would also protect the press against frivolous complaints and reduce costly lawsuits. At the moment, only those of us who can afford the immensely expensive, time-consuming and stressful services of the legal system are able to take a stand against serious invasions of privacy, and even this offers little or no protection against the unjustified, insidious and often covert practices highlighted by the Leveson inquiry. Without statutory underpinning Leveson's recommendations will not work: we will be left with yet another voluntary system from which the press can walk away. If the prime minister did not wish to change the regulatory system, even to the moderate, balanced and proportionate extent proposed by Lord Justice Leveson, I am at a loss to understand why so much public money has been spent and why so many people have been asked to relive extremely painful episodes on the stand in front of millions. Having taken David Cameron's assurances in good faith at the outset of the inquiry he set up, I am merely one among many who feel duped and angry in its wake.

Guardian, David Cameron has shown himself to be weak, not appreciating that the media's power only exists if they are told they have it. Alastair Campbell, Nov. 30, 2012.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/30/leveson-david-cameron-weak

Nov. 29

Rupert MurdochHuffington Post, Leveson Report Published: New Body Regulating British Press And Backed By Law Recommended, Jack Mirkinson, Nov. 29, 2012. The long-awaited report from the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics and practices of the scandal-scarred British media was published on Thursday. In the report, Lord Justice Leveson called for a new government law to back an independent regulatory body overseeing the press, which he said had acted in ways that "at times, can only be described as outrageous." The Guardian said that it would be the first press law in Britain since 1695. Leveson's recommendations for legislation were immediately thrown into doubt after Prime Minister David Cameron said he had "serious concerns and misgivings" about "any legislation that has the potential to impinge free speech and a free press." Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Leveson called the report the "most concentrated" look at the British press that the country had ever seen. He said the press had "caused real hardship and wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people." News Corp. leader Rupert Murdoch, whose company was the leading target of the report, is shown at left in a photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Legal Schnauzer, Dana Siegelman Makes A Profound Statement About The Perils We All Face From Corrupt Judges, Roger Shuler, Nov. 30, 2012. Making a joint radio appearance with GOP former Congressman Parker Griffith, Dana Siegelman cut to the core of her father's case -- and shed light on the issue of judicial corruption, which plagues our justice system at both the state and federal levels. Griffith called her father's trial judge "a weak individual," but Dana Siegelman went much farther -- and she illustrated the problem that corrupt judges can pose for all Americans. The issue came up when the radio host asked about possible recourse, considering that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, and noted that "a raft of lawyers" must be working on a case that involves such a clear injustice. Dana Siegelman's reply?

Huffington Post, WikiLeaks Hearing: Judge Accepts Terms Of Bradley Manning's Proposed Plea, David Dishneu, Nov. 29, 2012.  An Army private charged in the biggest security breach in U.S. history testified Thursday that he felt like a doomed, caged animal after he was arrested in Baghdad for allegedly sending classified information to the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks. Pfc. Bradley Manning testified on the third day of a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade, outside Baltimore. His lawyers are seeking dismissal of all charges, contending his pretrial confinement in a Quantico, Va., Marine Corps brig was needlessly harsh. Before he was sent to Quantico in July 2010, Manning spent some time in a cell in a segregation tent at Camp Arifjan, an Army installation in Kuwait.

Update: WWL-TV, Letten: 'We are strong. We will not be distracted,'  Nov. 29, 2012. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten went on the record Thursday about the online commenting scandal in his office. Letten addressed the issue at a luncheon in downtown New Orleans. "Your United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana is strong," Letten told members of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. "We are focused. We are fully engaged and moving forward, only forward without missing a step." A bold statement from a man whose office is under fire. Earlier this month, Letten's then-First Assistant Jan Mann admitted to posting comments about ongoing investigations and newsmakers on a local news website. This spring, another former top prosecutor Sal Perricone resigned amid similar revelations. Letten first public statements since Mann's activities were outed in a defamation lawsuit, focused on restoring confidence in the work of his office. "Know this, neither I, nor this U.S. Attorney's Office will be distracted or deterred from fairly, aggressively, relentlessly investigating, pursuing and prosecuting those who violate our laws," said Letten. Despite the misconduct on his watch, Letten still had plenty of supporters in the room full of local law enforcers and business leaders.

Nov. 28

Veterans Today, PAC, decapitators inside US government: Intelligence analyst, Gordon Duff, Nov. 28, 2012. “Behind the plotters are drug cartels that have penetrated the US government, former lobbyists who were moved into government during the Bush administration and now are suspected of being involved in a coup attempt.” Seventy hours ago, at this writing, while on Air Force One, President Barack Obama issued a press release that has been utterly ignored by the Western Press. The president has openly announced a move against violent plotters inside the US government and espionage agents. I was privately briefed on some of the reasons behind this document. On what is known, not “surmised,” I will explain: There is, currently, within the US military, the Executive branch of government and among extremist “power brokers” in America an active plot to “alter” America’s form of government through “decapitation.” Let me be clear. Where the memo, printed in full below, refers to “violent”, it means “assassination” of many top leaders in America including but not limited to the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and others. The plot makes use of the resources of major private defense contractors and their intelligence and special operations personnel. There has been active recruiting that has been noted and is why the memo was released and why many members of the military have been subjected to investigation. The Benghazi attack was planned and financed by this group. Many writers in the alternative media have noted much of what is going on but not all. Some have shown access to very knowledgeable sources. Behind the plotters are drug cartels that have penetrated the US government, former lobbyists who were moved into government during the Bush (43) administration and now are suspected of being involved in a coup attempt.

The President’s text below, unedited:
 
The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release, November 21, 2012, Presidential Memorandum — National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs.

Scott Dodd, Secretary of State Candidate Has a Major Financial Stake in Canadian Tar Sands, On Earth, Nov. 28, 2012. Susan Rice, the candidate believed to be favored by President Obama to become the next Secretary of State, holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline. If confirmed by the Senate, one of Rice’s first duties likely would be consideration, and potentially approval, of the controversial mega-project. Rice's financial holdings could raise questions about her status as a neutral decision maker. The current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Rice owns stock valued between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada,

Nov. 27

WWL, Crisis of confidence in the U.S. Attorney? David Blake, Nov. 27, 2012. New questions are being raised about on-line postings made by two top prosecutors in U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office.  Many of those questions come from a federal judge overseeing the cases of several former NOPD officers convicted in the Danziger Bridge shootings, who is considering whether anonymous online blogging by prosecutors could have impacted the case.  That federal judge has called for an independent investigation of former prosecutor Sal Perricone and current U.S. Assistant Attorney Jan Mann. The judge's request for a more thorough investigation is backed up by a watchdog group, the Justice Integrity Project, a group that says it monitors for problems and abuse of power in federal prosecutors' offices. Justice Integrity Project Executive Director Andrew Kreig tells WWL Morning show host Tommy Tucker he is worried any time the Justice Department is investigating itself. ''You've got a real crisis of confidence here in New Orleans, where people should take the extra step to help resolve the public's concerns,'' said Kreig. Kreig said he is puzzled that First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann has not been suspended or fired after her recent admission to anonymously posting online comments.  Earlier this year, federal prosecutor Sal Perricone resigned after admitting to anonymously posting online, often about about active federal cases and investigations.

Nov. 26

OpEd News, Anonymous had no impact on the presidential election, Gerry Bello, Nov. 26, 2012.  On November 12th, the website VelvetRevolution.us, posted a letter, which they claimed to "accept at face value" from "The Protectors." This letter claimed that a  shadowy hacker group had clandestinely defeated Karl Rove's latest vote rigging machinations. A few weeks earlier, some subset of the hacker group Anonymous posted a video to youtube promising intervention in any Rove directed electronic election fraud.  Coupling these claims with Rove's Fox news election night meltdown, and you have just enough speculation to go to print. Somehow "The Protectors" became conflated with Anonymous and thus a myth was born: Anonymous saved American democracy.  I was asked to examine this myth by my editor at the Columbus Free Press, Bob Fitrakis, and render an opinion.  My opinion as a trained computer security person and as a journalist is that these claims have a number of huge cultural and technical flaws in them.  These flaws and improbabilities cast grave doubt over the truthfulness of the claims.  So much doubt in fact that I am willing to bet my mouse finger against them.

WhoWhatWhy / OpEd News, Dallas Diminishes JFK, His Legacy, And Those Who Care About Democracy, Russ Baker, Nov. 26, 2012. Welcome to the JFK Assassination Cover-up, Chapter 20. The Dallas Morning News, notoriously uninterested in real journalism about the most infamous event ever to take place in its city, recently ran a JFK-related piece in its entertainment section. One of a flood of stories purporting to provide insight into the event as we head toward the 50th anniversary, it was headlined: "Looking for fiction about the JFK assassination? Choose carefully." Now, why would we need fiction about the JFK assassination, when most of the purported "fact" put out by the establishment is, as any serious researcher will tell you, straight from someone's imagination? Nevertheless, here is this article on what to look for among offerings that openly proclaim themselves fanciful accounts. Many might find these opening paragraphs deeply offensive, with their snide, even vicious references to hallucinating losers seeing "Guatemalan midget shooters"; gullible fools feeding a "growth industry;" and Jackie, all alone, "concocting" a "whole-cloth fantasy" that John F. Kennedy was actually doing important things when he was cut down. Now, why would a "respectable" newspaper publish this kind of thing? And who would write it?

Legal Schnauzer, Financial Review of Mike Hubbard's Tenure As Party Chairman Stirs Up Discord In The Alabama GOP, Roger Shuler, Nov. 26, 2012.  The Republican Party takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010 might have come with the aid of financial chicanery. A review of the party's finances during that time period has uncovered questionable transactions and led to discord in the state GOP hierarchy. Current chairman Bill Armistead ordered the review--he calls it an audit--focusing heavily on the actions of his predecessor, Mike Hubbard, now speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives. The review unearthed at least one instance where Hubbard appears to have used GOP dollars for his personal gain, according to a report last week at al.com.

WWL-TV, Judge leaves door open to new trial for Danziger officers, Mike Perlstein, Nov. 26, 2012. The federal judge who presided over the Danziger Bridge trial during which five officers were convicted of civil rights violations, has left the door open for a new trial based on blog comments - and possible prosecutorial misconduct – by high ranking members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Following their convictions in the summer of 2011, Judge Kurt Engelhardt sentenced Sgt. Kenneth Bowen to 40 years in prison, Sgt. Robert Gisevius to 40 years, Officer Robert Faulcon to 65 years, and Officer Anthony Villavaso to 38 years. The fifth officer, Sgt. Archie Kaufman, was convicted of masterminding a cover-up. The judge sentenced him to six years in prison. The defendants' motion is here.

OpEdNews, Sam Pizzigati and Too Much, the Online Weekly on Excess and Inequality, Joan Brunwasser, Nov. 26, 2016. Back then, even some economic justice organizers dismissed our concentration on the wealth of our wealthiest: By talking about the rich we were distracting attention from the struggle to help the poor. But today we have a much greater understanding that the two go hand in hand. Those nations that have done the most to "level up" the poor have been the same nations that have worked hard to "level down" the rich.

Nov. 25

Wall Street Journal, The U.N.'s Internet Sneak Attack; Letting the Internet be rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla, L Gordon Crovitz, Nov. 25, 2012. Who runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web's success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations. Many of the U.N.'s 193 member states oppose the open, uncontrolled nature of the Internet. Its interconnected global networks ignore national boundaries, making it hard for governments to censor or tax. And so, to send the freewheeling digital world back to the state control of the analog era, China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack a U.N. agency that has nothing to do with the Internet.

Atlantic, Mohammed Morsi: Abe Lincoln in Disguise or Another Mubarak? Steve Clemons, Nov. 25, 2012. At this point, we don't really know if Morsi is on a path to installing himself as a "new pharaoh" or whether he is genuinely trying to build a more inclusive Egypt. The fact is that while Morsi has declared himself, at least for the moment, the maker of law, the implementer of law, and the overseer of himself who makes the law, his rhetoric is highly inclusive. He has frustrated many in the Muslim Brotherhood by not moving to establish more of a theocratic state and not moving against other of the newly established political parties and movements in the country. At a public level, Morsi says he is acting on behalf of all Egyptians -- not just those who are tied to the Brothers.

New York Times, Using War as Cover to Target Journalists, David Carr, Nov. 25, 2012. Journalists who dig into murky and dangerous corners of the world have become accustomed to being threatened and sometimes hunted by drug lords and gangsters, but now some governments have decided shooting the messenger is a viable option. The violence against journalists in Gaza points to a larger, deadly trend. On Wednesday, the International Press Institute issued a report saying that 119 journalists had been killed this year, the highest total since it started keeping track in 1997. The total included all journalists who died while doing their jobs, not just journalists who might have been targeted for their affiliation or reporting.

New York Times, Courts Divided Over Searches of Cellphones, Somini Sengupta, Nov. 25, 2012. Judges and lawmakers across the country are wrangling over whether and when law enforcement authorities can peer into suspects’ cellphones, and the cornucopia of evidence they provide. The issue will attract attention on Thursday when a Senate committee considers limited changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a 1986 law that regulates how the government can monitor digital communications. Courts have used it to permit warrantless surveillance of certain kinds of cellphone data. A proposed amendment would require the police to obtain a warrant to search e-mail, no matter how old it was, updating a provision that currently allows warrantless searches of e-mails more than 180 days old. As technology races ahead of the law, courts and lawmakers are still trying to figure out how to think about the often intimate data that cellphones contain, said Peter P. Swire, a law professor at Ohio State University. Neither the 1986 statute nor the Constitution, he said, could have anticipated how much information cellphones may contain, including detailed records of people’s travels and diagrams of their friends.

Redeye: Keeping an Eye on Alabama, the Reddest State in the Union, Eddgra Fallin, FreeDON Siegleman Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. Following up the call on MSNBC this weekend for more Presidential clemency, it's time for President Obama to pardon former Governor Don Siegleman (1999-2003), whose only crime was being being too liberal for Alabama. I urge all to click on this hyperlink below and listen to former Siegleman's 1999 inaugural speech, which was posted to Pam Miles list serve by Esther Davis. He discussed the importance of education in the future of Alabama. He proposed a program to provide four-year-olds with a pre-kindergarten education. He also announced the organization of an education lottery that would allow all high school graduates to go to college tuition free. 

Governor Siegelman's friend and proud supporter Al McCullough writes the following;

What a reminder of why we participate and work in this arena! Don is one of the great men of Alabama who dared to lead this state toward greatness. He shared so intimately in our hopes, dreams and disappointments and never took his eye off the prize -- a better life for every single one of us as a shared benefit of the bounty of our state and our society. And this better life was not something to be given us by some other or sold to us by some other, but earned by each of us by equipping us with the necessary education and training to reach out and grasp that life, to participate as fully as we are each able, as we each add to our state's bounty. Don Siegelman's goal was to start this state on an upward trajectory with all sharing in a better life.

Don Siegelman is truly a man of the people. His heart was always with all of us and remains with all of us even in his persecution by little men with little minds who conspire endlessly to pervert our governments and our society with their lies and deceit. We must not allow this persecution to continue! We must stand for and demand Justice!  Yes, that Justice with a capitol letter. That is the justice Don's persecutors fear most deeply in their gut. They know that only by perverting Justice can they succeed in their corrupt lives. Lives that demand outrageous levels and amounts of secrecy. Lives that require that anyone who knows the secret practices of their deceitful actions be defamed and more than marginalized. We must pursue and demand Justice and, as a people, a society, a state and a nation, require that Justice be practiced by all in our representative government and all its agencies so that the Justice Department earns and lives up to that title. At present, after over thirty years of internal perversion that misnamed branch needs to have its title changed to the Legal Department. For legal has nothing to do with Justice in the present time. Our best lawyers and legal scholars are reduced to being legal technicians. We deserve more. We must require more. We must pursue and demand Justice and freedom for Don Siegelman!

                -- Peace,  Al

Atlantic, Mohammed Morsi: Abe Lincoln in Disguise or Another Mubarak? Steve Clemons, Nov. 25, 2012. At this point, we don't really know if Morsi is on a path to installing himself as a "new pharaoh" or whether he is genuinely trying to build a more inclusive Egypt. The fact is that while Morsi has declared himself, at least for the moment, the maker of law, the implementer of law, and the overseer of himself who makes the law, his rhetoric is highly inclusive. He has frustrated many in the Muslim Brotherhood by not moving to establish more of a theocratic state and not moving against other of the newly established political parties and movements in the country. At a public level, Morsi says he is acting on behalf of all Egyptians -- not just those who are tied to the Brothers.

Huffington Post, With Geithner's Replacement, the Treasury May Get A Woman's Touch, Dan Froomkin, Nov. 25, 2012. The best way to make sure that the next secretary of the Treasury is not overly beholden to Wall Street might be to hire a woman. There are several female candidates in the running to take over the job expected to be vacated fairly soon by Tim Geithner. The selection of any one of them would break up one of the last remaining all-boys clubs in the top echelons of the federal government. It could also break the financial services industry's extraordinary hold on fiscal policy. Among the leading women candidates: Christina Romer, who served as chairwoman of Council of Economic Advisers during the first two years of the Obama administration; Laura D'Andrea Tyson, a top economic adviser in the Clinton administration; and Janet Yellen, the vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Nov. 24

New York Times, Election Spurred a Move to Codify U.S. Drone Policy, Scott Shane, Nov. 24, 2012.  Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials. The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6. But with more than 300 drone strikes and some 2,500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since Mr. Obama first took office, the administration is still pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified. 

Nov. 23

COPAHuffington Post, JFK at 49: What We Know for Sure, Jefferson Morley, Nov. 22, 2012.  November 22 marks the 49th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The memory of the tragedy in Dallas seems to be fading in America's collective consciousness. Few people younger than myself (I'm 54) have any memory of the day it actually happened. 9/11 has certainly replaced 11/22 as the time stamp of American catastrophic angst. Yet the JFK story still acts as a gravitational vortex in America's pop culture galaxy. In this media spectacle, the Internet is a mixed blessing. The Web keeps the JFK story alive by providing a platform and audience for ever more fantastical theories about the death of the 35th president. More constructively, the Web has made the government's troubling records about JFK's death available for the first time to millions people outside of Washington and the federal government. I believe this diffusion of knowledge is slowly clarifying the JFK story for everybody.

Coalition on Political Assassinations, Notes on Lunch with Arlen Specter on January 4, 2012, Vincent Salandria, Nov. 8, 2012. On January 4, 2012 at 11:25 a.m. I arrived at the Oyster House restaurant in Philadelphia for a meeting with former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. He had called me a week or so earlier and suggested we have lunch. We met, shook hands, and seated ourselves at a table. I thanked him for suggesting having lunch with me.....Coalition Editor's Note: This thoughtful and provocative piece comes from an early and brilliant Warren Commission critic and lawyer Vincent Salandria, author of False Mystery. He has taken the position for years that the visible facts in the case were transparent from the start, without ever being officially confirmed. In his view, we already know who killed President Kennedy and why, but to admit that to ourselves would lead to an imperative for action with unknown consequences. He continues these themes in this recent piece sent to us for public consumption. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania passed away recently after a long battle with cancer and never recanted his conclusions about the single bullet theory he propounded for the Warren Commission to explain multiple wounds in President Kennedy and John Connally on November 22, 1963.

Spiegel Online (Germany), The End of Financial Times Deutschland Germany Hit by Wave of Newspaper Bankruptcies, Nov. 23, 2012. Respected business daily Financial Times Deutschland is on its way out. For years, Germany had seemed largely immune to the print-media woes washing over the US. In recent weeks, though, the country's newspaper industry has been hit by a pair of high-profile bankrupcies. On Friday, the respected Financial Times Deutschland became the latest victim. Germany's newspaper market is among the biggest in the world. With 333 titles to choose from, numerous robust local and regional papers among them, the country has long seemed a bastion of stability amid a struggling global print news market. Those times, however, would seem to be over. On Friday, German publisher Gruner + Jahr announced that it was ceasing publication of the Financial Times Deutschland, the German offshoot of the influential British financial daily. The final issue of the salmon-colored broadsheet is to appear on December 7, after which some 320 employees will lose their jobs.
Nov. 23

OpEdNews, Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control, Glenn Greenwald, Nov. 23, 2012. The US and allied governments exploit both law and cyber-attacks as a weapon to punish groups that challenge it. Whatever one thinks of WikiLeaks, it is an indisputable fact that the group has never been charged by any government with any crime, let alone convicted of one. Despite that crucial fact, WikiLeaks has been crippled by a staggering array of extra-judicial punishment imposed either directly by the US and allied governments or with their clear acquiescence.

Washington Post, Campaigns’ use of supporters’ data worries privacy advocates, Craig Timberg, Nov. 23, 2012. Obama’s sophisticated use of Big Data gave him a crucial edge in what, based on popular support alone, should have been a close election. Republicans are desperate to catch up. But it’s not clear who is positioned to protect voters’ rights at a time when politicians from both parties increasingly build their campaigns on the insight that commercial data brokers provide.

Politics USA, Meet the Man Who Has Been Battling Romney and Bain’s Bankruptcy Fraud for 12 Years, Rmuse, Nov. 23, 2012. For the past eleven-and-a-half years, one American with unwavering faith in the judicial system has taken on a modern day giant without respite based on a belief that justice is due diligence and that in America, right overcomes might. However, in this circumstance, the system that exists to ensure justice prevails has conflated power with right and gave an already powerful giant a wall of separation from the law, and yet one small individual continues battling for justice against a behemoth. The giant in this case is Willard Romney’s Bain Capital and their surrogate bankruptcy fraudsters, and the individual battling them for nearly twelve years is Stephen (Laser) Haas, the man hired to liquidate assets in the eToys bankruptcy case.

Sibel Edmonds

The American Conservative, Sibel Edmonds’s Secrets, Philip Giraldi, Nov. 23, 2012. Sibel Edmonds has recently written a book entitled Classified Woman detailing her journey from FBI translator to whistleblower, finally emerging as an outspoken advocate of free speech and transparency in government through her founding of the National Security Whistleblowers’ Coalition and her always informative Boiling Frogs Post website.  As Edmonds ruefully notes, her tale of high level mendacity has always found a better reception in the European and Asian media than in the United States, though her odyssey has included an appearance on “60 Minutes” in October 2002 and a feature article in Vanity Fair called “An Inconvenient Patriot” in September 2005. Two senators, Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy, became interested in her case early on and found her a credible witness, as did a U.S. Department of Justice IG’s report. She speculates that that her ostracism by the Fourth Estate, and also by congressmen who were ostensibly engaged in elevating government ethics, is due to the fact that both Republicans and Democrats were parties to the criminal behavior that she describes. In one particularly delicious account of high level shenanigans she recounts how an interview with Congressman Henry Waxman’s House Oversight and Government Reform staff was stopped abruptly when a staffer asked her if any Democrats were involved. “We have to stop here and not go any further. We don’t want to know,” he intoned after she confirmed that the malfeasance was not strictly GOP.  I will not even try to reconstruct all the twists and turns that Edmonds describes in her 341 pages, but rest assured that she has the ability to surprise one with new revelations, even for readers like myself who have been following her case. Edmonds’s tale is basically about high level incompetence at the FBI both before and after 9/11, including hiring translators who could not speak the language they were translating or who were former employees of the organizations being investigated, leading to deliberately falsified translations. 

Perhaps more disturbing, Edmonds describes a number of failures to appreciate significant intelligence that might have enabled the government to foil 9/11, all part and parcel of a pervasive underlying narrative of espionage and corruption by high level government officials, both appointed and elected. She names names at the bureau, in Congress, and also at the State Department and Pentagon. Editor's note: Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest. 

Washington Post, Campaigns’ use of supporters’ data worries privacy advocates, Craig Timberg, Nov. 23, 2012. Obama’s sophisticated use of Big Data gave him a crucial edge in what, based on popular support alone, should have been a close election. Republicans are desperate to catch up. But it’s not clear who is positioned to protect voters’ rights at a

Nov. 22

OpEd News, DHS to Double US Drone Fleet, Trevor Timm, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 22, 2012.Despite renewed criticism from both parties in Congress that domestic drones pose a privacy danger to US citizens - and a report from its own Inspector General recommending to stop buying them - the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has indicated it wants to more than double its fleet of Predator drones used to fly surveillance missions inside the United States. Yesterday, California Watch reported that DHS signed a contract that could be worth as much as $443 million with General Atomics for the purchase up to fourteen additional Predator drones to fly near the border of Mexico and Canada. Congress would still need to appropriate the funds, but if they did, DHS' drone fleet woud increase to twenty-four. While many people may think the US only flies Predator drones overseas, DHS has already spent $250 million over the last six years on ten surveillance Predators of its own. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - a division of DHS - uses the unmanned drones inside the U.S. to patrol the borders with surveillance equipment like video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar.Nov. 21

Nov. 21

Litchfield County Register Citizen (Connecticut), Anna Gristina prosecution exposes tawdry truth about justice, Norm Pattis, Nov. 21, 2012. I was reminded of the limits of the Miranda decision, and the public confusion about its scope and meaning, this week in Manhattan. A client of mine, Anna Gristina, was sentenced to time served for promoting prostitution. Her case made the news worldwide. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office stood in open court and accused her of being madam to the leisure class — asserting she’d made millions of dollars over a 20 or so years in the skin trade, arranging assignations for the city’s rich and powerful. She was locked up and held at Riker’s Island, a dismal sort of penal colony, for over four months on a million dollar bail. It took the New York Appellate Court to lower her bond. The tawdry truth in this case is that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office never produced a shred of proof in court or in discovery that she had arranged a pay-for-play session with anyone other than an undercover cop who went hunting for a good time with taxpayers’ money. The prosecution, engineered by Cyrus Vance’s office, was an elaborate ruse to try to get Ms. Gristina to turn over information about other “persons of interest” to prosecutors. Ms. Gristina was prosecuted by the public corruption unit of the District Attorney’s Office, a small group located outside of Vance’s office in a semi-secret location in lower Manhattan.

FireDogLake, Why the Florida and Missouri Guilty Pleas from Docx Founder May Change the Mortgage Crisis,  Cynthia Kouril, Nov.  21, 2012. Now any bank offering these as evidence is committing a fraud on the court and homeowner.  Yesterday I dashed off a post about the guilty plea taken by Lorraine Brown, the founder of DocX/LPS in which she admits that it was the custom and practice of her company to employee people to forge the signatures of others and to falsely notarize those signatures creating assignments, allonges and affidavits that were both forgeries and perjuries. In short, fraud. At the end, I said that this could be a game changer. In the comments, folks thought that was a reference to the fact that for once we have a criminal case which involves a top tier executive. That is a big deal no doubt, but not the reason this could possibly change everything.

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release, Nov. 21, 2012, Presidential Memorandum — National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs.

Nov. 20

Washington Post, Petraeus‘s behavior is no scandal, Dana Milbank, Nov. 20, 2012. Petraeus resigned as CIA director because an FBI probe uncovered an extramarital affair with his biographer. Lawmakers are demanding to know why the FBI didn’t tell them sooner. Yet the investigation has found no smoking gun — just a few steamy e-mails. President Obama said he sees “no evidence” that national security was compromised, and there’s no serious allegation that the affair harmed Petraeus’s spy work, so it’s baffling that the director of national intelligence suggested, and the president accepted, Petraeus’s resignation. In truth, Petraeus’s behavior doesn’t even merit the label “scandal.” L’affaire Petraeus lacks every element of the definition.

AlterNet via Truthout, Petraeus, Supporter of Military's "Spiritual Fitness" Program, Should Have Been Fired Years Ago, Mikey Weinstein, Nov. 20, 2012. "How the mighty have fallen," the headlines blared in a mournful tone. Far from falling in a blaze of glory on the battlefield, this time the storied General fell on his own sword. The proverbial "sword" in this pathetic spectacle was the hypocrisy of retired General and CIA Director David Petraeus, the "warrior scholar" and avatar of asymmetric warfare himself, and an intoxicated ambition dangerously fed (and ultimately, doomed) by the personality cult built up around him. This arrogant arc of ego-inflation culminated in a disastrous and humiliating extramarital affair between Petraeus and his adoring, hubristic hagiographer. Had not even the Director of the CIA clearly internalized the maxim, "loose lips sink ships"? "What went wrong?" So ask the yellow "journalists" and "embedded" hacks swarming about the Potomac. The press had grown so used to singing hosannas about the man (the legend) that their own songs hypnotized them into a frenetic palsy of unrestricted ardor, regardless of the dubious consequences of his strategies overseas. As far back as 2007, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( MRFF), the civil rights foundation that I head, was shining the floodlight on matters of infidelity far graver than the General’s prurient peccadilloes.

Washington Post, Why Paula Broadwell left Harvard, Video Interview by Brook Silva-Grava with Anne Gearan and Greg Jaffe, Nov. 15, 2012. Among the new information uncovered by the Post’s Greg Jaffe and Anne Gearan, the Petraeus biographer was asked to leave her doctoral program at Harvard and apparently mistated her accomplishments at West Point.

New York Daily News, Paula Broadwell poses with submachine gun in tight jeans and leather boots on firing range, Joseph Straw, Jennifer H. Cunningham and Bill Hutchinson, Nov. 20, 2012.  The mistress who brought down disgraced CIA Director David Petraeus was snapped shooting up a storm with the futuristic firearm in December 2011.

CNET, Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill, Declan McCullagh, Nov. 20, 2012. After public criticism of proposal that lets government agencies warrantlessly access Americans' e-mail, Sen. Patrick Leahy says he will "not support" such an idea at next week's vote.  Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power -- including warrantless access to Americans' e-mail accounts -- than they possess under current law.  The Vermont Democrat said today on Twitter that he would "not support such an exception" for warrantless access. The remarks came a few hours after a CNET article was published this morning that disclosed the existence of the measure. A vote on the proposal in the Senate Judiciary committee, which Leahy chairs, is scheduled for next Thursday. The amendments were due to be glued onto a substitute (PDF) to H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved. Leahy's about-face comes in response to a deluge of criticism today, including the American Civil Liberties Union saying that warrants should be required, and the conservative group FreedomWorks launching a petition to Congress -- with more than 2,300 messages sent so far -- titled: "Tell Congress: Stay Out of My Email!"
 
FireDogLake, FCC Plan to Gut Media Ownership Rules Would Benefit Rupert Murdoch, Kevin Gosztola, Nov. 20, 2012. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski would like the FCC to vote on a plan to gut media ownership rules. If approved, News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch, who has been considering buying more media, would benefit. The proposal would also allow for more media consolidation. Using innocuous language to describe a proposal that should raise alarm, Genachowski stated yesterday that he wanted the FCC to “streamline and modernize media ownership rules.” This would include “eliminating outdated prohibitions on newspaper-radio and TV-radio cross-ownership.”

Huffington Post, Lisa Biron, Anti-Gay Christian Lawyer, Arrested On Child Pornography Charges (VIDEO), Nov. 20, 2012. A New Hampshire lawyer associated with an anti-gay Christian defense group was arrested on federal child pornography charges after allegedly taking a teenager to Canada where she reportedly convinced the girl to engage in sexual activity and let it be filmed. Lisa Biron, a Manchester, N.H., lawyer associated with the Christian litigation group, Alliance Defending Freedom, was arrested by FBI agents on Friday morning on charges of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, possession of child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation of children, according to the Concord Monitor. Federal prosecutors said Biron transported a teen girl from Manchester to Ontario, Canada, on May 25 and coerced her into engaging in sexual acts with another person that were then recorded, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Legal Schnauzer, Did A Progressive Firewall Keep Karl Rove And Co. From Stealing The 2012 Presidential Election? Roger Shuler, Nov. 20, 2012. The failure of a Republican get-out-the-vote Web application called ORCA has been well chronicled in the post-election press. But the progressive hacktivist group Anonymous claims ORCA actually was designed to steal the election, and Anonymous says it erected a digital firewall that prevented the theft in three key swing states. Does President Barack Obama owe his re-election to the electronic handiwork of a group that is known for its shadowy videos featuring the face of a character from the film V for Vendetta? It probably is too early to know for sure what happened on election night. But Anonymous issued a pre-election video stating that it would be monitoring any actions by GOP strategist Karl Rove to steal the election, and the group now has issued a press statement claiming it did, in fact, block an effort to change vote totals in three different states--presumably Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.

Salon, Did Anonymous stop Rove from stealing the election? It would explain his Fox News outburst, but the Hacker claim lacks evidence, VIDEO, Natasha Lennard, Nov. 20, 2012. On Election Night, viewers watched in shock as Karl Rove refused to accept the call, confirmed by Fox News analysts, that Ohio had gone to Obama. A release claiming to be from hacker collective Anonymous alleges there was more behind Rove’s freak-out than first met the eye. The group says that it foiled Rove’s attempt to steal the election in Florida, Virginia and Ohio by using the GOP’s ORCA system. Two weeks prior to Election Night, a typical Anonymous video was released warning Rove against rigging the election. “We want you to know that we are watching you, waiting for you to make this mistake of thinking you can rig this election to your favor,” Anonymous’ ubiquitous Guy Fawkes character warned. Then, following Obama’s win and Rove’s very public outburst, a group calling themselves “The Protectors,” believed to be comprised of Anonymous hackers, sent a letter to election transparency non-profit, Velvet Revolution, claiming to have thwarted attempts by GOP strategists to flip votes and rig the election in three swing states.

FireDogLake, FTC Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch: FTC Commissioners Never Intended for Google to Retain Hacked Safari Data, Jane Hamsher, Nov. 20, 2012. On Friday, Judge Susan Illston approved the settlement between Google and the FTC regarding Google’s hack of the Safari browser.   In doing so she gave Google the right to retain and use the data it secretly obtained by tricking the Safari browser into thinking users had given permission to track them, contrary to what users were told in Google’s privacy agreement.  Many news reports recount that in court, Illston had concerns about Google’s ability to retain the illegally obtained data of up to 190 million Safari users as part of the settlement. 

TomDispatch.com / Huffington Post, The Fall of the American Empire (Writ Small), Tom Engelhardt, Nov. 20, 2012. History, it is said, arrives first as tragedy, then as farce. First as Karl Marx, then as the Marx Brothers.  In the case of twenty-first century America, history arrived first as George W. Bush (and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and the Project for a New America -- a shadow government masquerading as a think tank -- and an assorted crew of ambitious neocons and neo-pundits); only later did David Petraeus make it onto the scene.

Nov. 18

Washington Post, A scandal we can't love, Fred Hiatt, Nov. 18, 2012.  The two generals on the front pages now have served their country beyond most of our experiences. I think many Americans understand that and take no pleasure in their travails.

Reuters/Huffington Post, Robert Barnett, David Petraeus Lawyer, Known For Working With Political Elite, Jessica Dye, Nov. 18, 2012. Former CIA Director General David Petraeus has hired a top Washington lawyer to help him navigate the fallout from a career-ending affair, Reuters has confirmed.

Nov. 17

OpEdNews, How BP's historic Deepwater Horizon fine will be paid by the US military, Richard Schiffman, Nov. 17, 2012. An explosion Friday on a rig in the Gulf owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy has reportedly injured several workers, with four missing, two possibly killed. This latest incident -- just a day after the US department of justice's historic settlement with BP over the Deepwater Horizon disaster -- highlights the risks of offshore oil-drilling, and the need for tougher regulations on one of America's most hazardous industries. British Petroleum has agreed to pay $4.5bn in damages to the US government, the largest criminal fine in US history. BP agreed that its corporate negligence had been a factor in causing the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is the largest fuel supplier for the US department of defense, with contracts worth $2.2bn a year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Slocum points out that a convicted felon in the US is disqualified from receiving government contracts, yet BP, which he calls a convicted corporate felon, continues to receive more from the US military in yearly profits than it will be required to pay out in fine instalments over the next five year.

Washington Post, Broadwell case highlights e-mail as investigative tool, Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, Nov. 17, 2012.  A criminal inquiry into e-mail harassment morphed into a national security probe of whether CIA Director David H. Petraeus and the secrets he guarded were at risk. After uncovering an extramarital affair, investigators shifted to the question of whether Petraeus was guilty of a security breach. When none of those paths bore results, investigators settled on the single target they are scrutinizing now: Paula Broadwell, the retired general’s biographer and mistress, and what she was doing with a cache of classified but apparently inconsequential files. On Capitol Hill, the case has drawn references to the era of J. Edgar Hoover, the founding director of the FBI, who was notorious for digging up dirt on Washington’s elite long before the invention of e-mail and the Internet.

Washington Post, A modern witch hunt, David Ignatius, Nov. 17, 2012. Amazingly, many members of Congress talk as if the real outrage here was that they weren’t informed earlier about the investigations of Petraeus and Allen. “We should have been told,” said Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, last Sunday. To which an observer might respond vernacularly: Give me a break. The idea seems to have developed that the CIA and the military work equally for Congress and for the executive branch. They don’t. They work for the president, who is commander in chief. Congress appropriates the money and has a legitimate role in overseeing how it’s spent. But the idea that these scandals demonstrate the need for greater congressional involvement in sensitive investigations is preposterous.

David PetraeusWashington Post, He slept with her. Who Cares? John Prados, Nov. 17, 2012. Because of an affair that had already ended, the nation this month lost the services of a highly skilled public servant. The hysterical reaction to the news of then-CIA Director David Petraeus’s liaison with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, has done more to harm national security than the affair itself. Since early summer, the FBI had been, appropriately, investigating the harassing e-mails that Broadwell sent to another woman about Petraeus. Though the bureau eventually uncovered the affair, it found no reason to believe that the general had compromised anything related to security. Yet after the FBI informed the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper — mistakenly, in my opinion, because no evident crime had been committed — Petraeus resigned ahead of the inevitable wave of public controversy. Petraeus’s downfall should prompt the intelligence community to make its own judgment call — to end the arbitrary and outdated rules that govern U.S. intelligence employees. These rules have damaged U.S. interests in the guise of protecting our security. On many occasions, they have resulted in the loss of the services, and even the loyalty, of experienced, highly trained people. [Editor's note: John Prados is a senior research fellow at the National Security Archive.]

Atlantic, General Failure, Thomas E. Ricks, November 2012. Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. A culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army’s leadership rank—if it is not uprooted, the country’s next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two.... Since 9/11, the armed forces have played a central role in our national affairs, waging two long wars—each considerably longer than America’s involvement in World War II. Yet a major change in how our military operates has gone almost unnoticed. Relief of generals has become so rare that, as Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling noted during the Iraq War, a private who loses his rifle is now punished more than a general who loses his part of a war. In the wars of the past decade, hundreds of Army generals were deployed to the field, and the available evidence indicates that not one was relieved by the military brass for combat ineffectiveness. This change is arguably one of the most significant developments in our recent military history—and an important factor in the failure of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Relief of generals has become so rare that a private who loses his rifle is now punished more than a general who loses his part of the war. To a shocking degree, the Army’s leadership ranks have become populated by mediocre officers, placed in positions where they are likely to fail. Success goes unrewarded, and everything but the most extreme failure goes unpunished, creating a perverse incentive system that drives leaders toward a risk-averse middle where they are more likely to find stalemate than victory. A few high-profile successes, such as those of General David Petraeus in Iraq, may temporarily mask this systemic problem, but they do not solve it.

Chicago Tribune, TV executive Peter Liguori to be new CEO of Tribune Co., sources say; Tribune Co. gets FCC waivers on media ownership; emergence from bankruptcy advances, Robert Channick, November 17, 2012. The Federal Communications Commission on Friday signed off on waivers needed to transfer Tribune Co.'s broadcast properties to the new ownership, the final significant hurdle before the company can emerge from its long-running stay in Chapter 11. While a date for emergence is not set, the new ownership group controlled by senior creditors Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will likely take the reins by the end of the year. An initial step for the owners will be to appoint a board of directors. It will have final say on who becomes CEO, but sources say the owners have chosen Liguori. A former advertising executive who transitioned into television more than two decades ago, Liguori, 52, is credited with turning cable channel FX into a programming powerhouse during his ascent to entertainment chief at News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting. Liguori has been working since July as a New York-based media consultant for private equity firm Carlyle Group. Tribune Co. has been operating under bankruptcy court protection for nearly four years, having buckled under the $13 billion in total debt it took on after its 2007 buyout. The case was prolonged by a drawn-out battle for control among creditors. The FCC issued the waivers of its so-called cross-ownership rules for Tribune Co. in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, South Florida and Hartford, Conn., where it owns TV stations and newspapers. In Chicago, the company's properties include WGN-Ch. 9.

Nov. 16

Online Publishing, Illegal Voter Sentenced to Federal Prison, Barry Sussman, Nov. 16, 2012.  From Florida comes another installment in the “no crime is too small to prosecute” department. The American criminal justice system currently enjoys a world-wide reputation for turning molehills into mountains and the upward trend in prosecuting minutia shows no sign of abating. Proponents of criminalizing legal trivialities often claim to subscribe to the “broken windows” theory of policing under which it is asserted that failure to prosecute minor crimes is an invitation for offenders to commit more serious violations. Regardless of what legal justification is employed, the idea that only “serious” offenses warrant federal prosecution has been turned on its head by prosecutors who are alternatively looking to pad resumes with meaningless convictions, move up the judicial-corporate ladder or simply do God’s work by punishing all perceived evil-doers. Josef Sever, 52, an Austrian national and Canadian citizen who has lived in Florida since 1992 but never obtained U.S. citizenship, admitted to having voted in two presidential elections despite his status as a non-citizen. Sever was indicted by a federal grand jury in August of 2012 for falsely impersonating a U.S. citizen in order to vote. Federal investigators began looking at Sever earlier this year when he was identified as a possible illegal voter by state officials in Florida.

Progressive Radio Network/Green Power, 2012 Election Roundtable, with Harvey Wasserman, Bob Fitrakis, Brad Friedman and Andrew Kreig, Nov. 12, 2012.

UK Progressive, NSA Analyst Proves GOP Is Stealing Elections, Denis G. Campbell and Charley James, Oct. 25, 2012.  Why is Mitt Romney so confident? In states where the winner will be decided by less than 10%, of the vote he already knows he will win. This is no tinfoil hat conspiracy. It’s a maths problem. And mathematics showed changes in actual raw voting data that had no statistical correlation other than programmable computer fraud. This computer fraud resulted in votes being flipped from Democrat to Republican in every federal, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial election since 2008 (thus far) and in the 2012 primary contests from other Republicans to Mitt Romney. See also follow-ups

Huffington Post, Why Did the Republicans Win the House? Geoffrey Stone, Nov. 12, 2012. Although the Republicans won 55 percent of the House seats, they received less than half of the votes for members of the House of Representatives. Indeed, more than half-a-million more Americans voted for Democratic House candidates than for Republicans House candidates. There was no split-decision. The Democrats won both the presidential election and the House election. But the Republicans won 55 percent of the seats in the House. This seems crazy. How could this be? This answer lies in the 2010 election, in which Republicans won control of a substantial majority of state governments. They then used that power to re-draw congressional district lines in such a way as to maximize the Republican outcome in the 2012 House election.

Huffington Post, Voter ID: The More You Know, The Less You Like It, Huffington Post, Nov. 12, 2012.  The pitch by advocates of voter ID laws and other measures to restrict voting is that they are necessary to prevent voter fraud, which they insist is rampant and poses a serious danger to the electoral process. The factual record, however, shows that voter fraud is extremely rare -- and the kind that voter ID could actually prevent is virtually nonexistent. So how do you scare people about voter fraud if there isn't any? One way is to tap into other fears -- fear of being displaced, fear of being robbed, fear of people who aren't like you. These days, most political appeals to racial anxiety are subtle. The official spokesmen of the national voter ID movement speak smoothly and euphemistically about the "illegal alien" and "urban" voters who are purportedly committing fraud, even as they forcefully deny any racist intent.

New York Times, A Phony Hero for a Phony War, Lucian K. Truscott IV, Nov. 16, 2012. His greatest accomplishment was merely personal: he transformed himself from an intellectual nerd into a rock star military man. The problem was that he got so lost among his hangers-on and handlers and roadies and groupies that he finally had his head turned by a West Point babe in a sleeveless top.

Washington Post, Broadwell case highlights e-mail as investigative tool, Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, Nov. 17, 2012.  A criminal inquiry into e-mail harassment morphed into a national security probe of whether CIA Director David H. Petraeus and the secrets he guarded were at risk. After uncovering an extramarital affair, investigators shifted to the question of whether Petraeus was guilty of a security breach. When none of those paths bore results, investigators settled on the single target they are scrutinizing now: Paula Broadwell, the retired general’s biographer and mistress, and what she was doing with a cache of classified but apparently inconsequential files. On Capitol Hill, the case has drawn references to the era of J. Edgar Hoover, the founding director of the FBI, who was notorious for digging up dirt on Washington’s elite long before the invention of e-mail and the Internet.

Politico, Paula Broadwell mentioned Senate run, Kevin Cirilli, Nov. 16, 2012. Time Magazine reports that David Petraeus’ mistress considered running for as a Republican candidate for senate in North Carolina — but the then-CIA director was against the idea. In July, Broadwell was in Aspen, CO, for the Aspen Security Forum, TIME said on Thursday, and told a handful of people that GOP financiers had approached her about a possible campaign. She told the acquaintances that when she informed Petraeus, he questioned her positions on issues ranging from abortion to gun control to taxes. She said that Petraeus believed her positions wouldn’t fit into the GOP or Democratic parties, Time reported. Note: Broadwell poses with GOP strategist Karl Rove at a legislators' meeting in June 2012 at right.

Justice Integrity Project, Petraeus Scandal Widens, Andrew Kreig, Nov. 16, 2012. The sex scandal that caused CIA Director David Petraeus to resign Nov. 9 has continued to widen in the time since -- despite best efforts by his allies to limit the damage to him and the military causes they support. Petraeus testified Nov.16 before a closed session of the House and Senate intelligence committees on the massacre of four Americans Sept. 11 in Libya.

Daily Item, We're doomed, Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Nov. 16, 2012. The New York Times ran an article last week about passwords, making the situation seem pretty hopeless. Wired has a long article in the new issue saying that it is worse than that. In this blog post, its author criticizes the Times for offering impractical solutions, and then offers only slightly less impractical suggestions.

Salon, Paula Broadwell’s big mistake, Andrew Leonard, Nov. 16, 2012. She thought she was covering her tracks. But in the age of frictionless surveillance, Big Brother can't be stopped.

Associated Press / Huffington Post, David Petraeus Testifying About Benghazi Attacks On Capitol Hill, Larry Margasack, Nov. 16, 2012. Former CIA Director David Petraeus arrived early Friday for closed hearings on Capitol Hill as lawmakers seek details from the retired general about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Petraeus was not expected to testify about his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell or the harassing emails she sent a Florida woman that led to the FBI investigation that uncovered the affair. The House Intelligence Committee, which was hearing from Petraeus first, was meeting in a secure room several floors below the main area of the Capitol Visitors Center where tourists gather when they are visiting Congress. Petraeus, in his first congressional testimony since his resignation last Friday, was to appear later Friday before the Senate committee. Republicans and some Democrats have demanded an explanation of why the Obama administration initially described the attack at Benghazi as a protest gone awry, leading to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others, including two Navy SEALS.

Nov. 15

Huffington Post, BP Oil Spill Settlement Announced, Robert Kaluza And Donald Vidrine Charged With Manslaughter, Nov. 15, 2012.  BP, the British oil giant, pleaded guilty on Thursday to 14 felony counts related to the 2010 explosion and subsequent oil spill at the site of its Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The plea agreement with federal prosecutors includes 11 charges of manslaughter for the deaths of workers on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and one felony count for obstruction of justice for false statements made to Congress about the amount of oil leaking from the out-of-control well. The company will pay $4.5 billion to settle the charges, the largest corporate criminal penalty in U.S. history.

Legal Schnauzer, Alabama Woman Is Unlawfully Imprisoned Because Of An Alleged Debt From Her Divorce Case, Roger Shuler, Nov. 15, 2012.  A central Alabama woman remains in the Chilton County Jail over an alleged debt connected to her divorce settlement, even though her incarceration clearly is contrary to state law. Bonnie Cahalane (Knox) Wyatt has been in jail since July 26, closing in on four months, and apparently will remain behind bars for the Thanksgiving holiday. That's under orders from Chilton County Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds, who presided over the Wyatt v. Wyatt divorce case that was settled in May 2011. Reynolds' order, however, presents a problem: It is against the law. That is perhaps most evident in a case styled Dolberry v. Dolberry, 920 So. 2d 573 (Ala. Civ. App., 2005). The finding in Dolberry confirms what we have suspected for some time about the Bonnie Wyatt case: (1) She is being incarcerated as punishment for a political or social reason that has nothing to do with her divorce from Harold Jay Wyatt.

Wired, The New York Times Is Wrong: Strong Passwords Can't Save Us, Mat Honan, Nov. 15, 2012. On Nov. 7, The New York Times ran a story called "How to Devise Passwords That Drive Hackers Away." Written by Silicon Valley correspondent Nicole Perlroth, the piece reigned over the paper's Most Emailed List for a full week, and for a good reason: It's properly freaked out about just how vulnerable we all are to hackers. But by focusing on the password, it tries to prop up the unsustainable heart of our moldering security system — and it implicitly blames the victim for problems that big corporations let fester for selfish reasons. As I argue in my new cover story for Wired, the only solution is to kill the password entirely. Much of the advice the Times offers up is quite good. No, you should not re-use passwords or use dictionary words as passwords. And, yes, your passwords should be long and complicated. Pass phrases are great! And security questions? You should never answer them honestly. (Just ask David Pogue.) But the Times goes much further, advocating methods that no consumer should reasonably be expected to follow.

Huffington Post, Natalie Khawam Got Hefty Loan From Defense Department Lobbyist, Christina Wilkie and Jason Cherkis, Nov. 15, 2012. Jill Kelley, a central figure in the sex scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus, tried to parlay her friendship with the general into a huge commission for helping facilitate a coal project in South Korea, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. Negotiations with Kelley ended after she demanded an $80 million fee for leveraging her connections, the paper said. That deal may have gone bust. But Kelley's identical twin sister, Natalie Khawam, profited from her own lobbying connection. Bankruptcy records show that Gerald "Jerry" Harrington, a Rhode Island lobbyist and Democratic fundraiser, loaned Khawam $300,000 that she was unable to pay back.

Washington Post, Paula Broadwell’s drive and resilience hit obstacles, Greg Jaffe and Anne Gearan, Nov. 15, 2012. Paula Broadwell was a rising star who seemed destined for a sparkling career in foreign policy. A West Point graduate who excelled in triathlons, she was pursuing a doctorate at Harvard University and had found a mentor in Gen. David H. Petraeus, an iconic U.S. military leader. But in 2007, Broadwell was asked to leave the doctoral program at Harvard, where she had met Petraeus a year earlier, because her coursework did not meet the university’s demanding standards, according to people familiar with what happened there. What Broadwell did next was a signature feature of her resilience and drive — and what detractors say is her tendency to overstate her credentials.

David and Holly PetraeusWashington Post, Pentagon reviewing legal, ethical conduct of senior officers, Craig Whitlock and Ernesto Londoño, Nov 15, 2012. The Pentagon has launched a sweeping review into misconduct by senior officers, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced Thursday, a rare undertaking at the nation’s largest bureaucracy, beset by recent high-profile scandals involving the brass. Defense officials said the probe was conceived before two of the nation’s most-respected generals were ensnared in a bizarre FBI investigation that exposed the extramarital affair of former CIA chief David H. Petraeus, a retired four-star Army general, and triggered an investigation into the propriety of e-mail exchanges between a Tampa socialite and Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

BBC, Petraeus scandal: Broadwell and Kelley's access revoked, Staff report, Nov. 15, 2012. The US military has revoked access for two women at the heart of the scandal that led to Friday's resignation of Gen David Petraeus as CIA director. Security clearance has been suspended for his ex-mistress, Paula Broadwell. And Jill Kelley's pass at the Florida air force base where she organized social events has been frozen. An FBI inquiry into Mrs Kelley's complaints of email harassment revealed that Mrs Broadwell and Gen Petraeus had been having an affair. Mrs Broadwell, a 40-year-old married mother of two, had apparently sent the anonymous emails to Mrs Kelley warning her to stay away from Gen Petraeus.

IPS News, Broadwell Defended Petraeus’ Village Destruction Policy, Gareth Porter, Nov. 15, 2012. Paula Broadwell, whose affair with Gen. David Petraeus brought his career to a sudden end last week, had sought to help defend his decision in 2010 to allow village destruction in Afghanistan that not only violated his own previous guidance but the international laws of war.

OpEdNews, What Did Petraeus Know and When Did He Know It? Michael Collins, Nov. 15, 2012. The bitterness of the neocons knows no limit. They're still having tantrums after being denied the unchallenged ability to pillage and plunder at will (and at our expense).  Never mind that the public doesn't want to hear it.  The Congressional Republicans are jumping up and down over their big question:  When did President Obama know about the affair between General Petraeus and Mrs. Broadwell? Talk about a misguided salvage operation.  Their inquiries will spark some questions that they won't want asked.

Associated Press, Petraeus Investigation: CIA Looking Into Conduct Of Ex-Chief After Affair, Kimberly Dozier, Nov. 15, 2012. The CIA is opening an "exploratory" investigation into the general conduct of ex-CIA director David Petraeus, who resigned last week after acknowledging an affair. CIA spokesman Preston Golson says the investigation by the CIA's inspector general "doesn't presuppose any particular outcome." Lawmakers questioned top CIA and FBI officials about the affair Thursday, during hearings originally scheduled to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Petraeus biographer and girlfriend Paula Broadwell was found to have classified information in her possession, apparently from her time researching Petraeus' career.

Nov. 14

Daily Beast, Betraeus! Jill Kelley’s Campaign to Befriend Petraeus, Allen, and Other Top Brass, Michael Daly, Nov. 14, 2012. The second woman in the Petraeus scandal is a canny socialite who doggedly cultivated the CIA director and Gen. John Allen, got them to write letters backing her sister in a custody case—and even talked her way into jumping with an elite parachute unit. There is still no telling how many fates were about to turn when an FBI agent handed 37-year-old Jill Kelley his card after speaking at one of the “civilian academies” the bureau runs as part of its public-relations effort. Kelley later dialed the number on the card to tell the agent she had been receiving a series of unnerving emails. The chain of events that followed would see the agent shamed for supposedly sending Kelley a shirtless picture of himself, although according to one knowledgeable law-enforcement source, it actually was a photo of himself with what appears to be a prominent politician and some other guys at a casual outing where they had their shirts undone.

Wisconsin State Journal, In the Spirit: Group crows over Gen. Petraeus's 'spiritual' downfall, Doug Erickson, Nov. 14, 2012. Some readers may remember the book-signing appearance earlier this year in Madison by Michael Weinstein, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation. I wrote about it here. His organization is making news again with its somewhat gleeful, kick-him-while-he’s-down treatment of CIA head David Petraeus, he of the snowballing adultery scandal.In this guest column on Huffington Post, Chris Rodda, the foundation’s senior research director, finds a wee bit of hypocrisy in Petraeus’s personal actions given his enthusiastic support of the military’s “spiritual fitness” campaign. As Rodda writes: “What’s one of the big goals of all this ‘spiritual fitness’ stuff? Strong marriages, of course! And who was a big proponent of this ‘spiritual fitness’ stuff? Yeah, you got it — Gen. David Petraeus.” Rodda said the foundation was alarmed by Petraeus in 2008 when he endorsed a book by an Army chaplain that asserted that non-religious service members had no defense against sin and could therefore cause the failure of their units.

Huffington Post, Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal Report Cites 'Abuse Of Power' Amid Petraeus, Allen Probe, Molly O'Toole, Nov. 14, 2012. A U.S. military shaken by the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus and the investigation of its top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, announced Wednesday that one of the largest sex scandals in its history has widened, enveloping at least eight commanders and nearly 50 possible victims. The Air Force released its report on the scandal at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where members of the Air Force go through basic training. Investigations of at least 25 military training instructors have led to charges against 11, and have resulted in five convictions, from rape to inappropriate relationships with recruits. Two commanding officers have been removed, and Air Force Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, said at a press conference Wednesday that six more have received "disciplinary action."

Press TV, A history of incompetent CIA directors, Wayne Madsen, Press TV, Nov. 14, 2012.  George Tenet, a congressional staffer without any prior intelligence experience, succeeded Deutch. It was Tenet who concocted intelligence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, telling President Bush on December 12, 2002, that the CIA had a “slam dunk” case against Iraq.”

Nov. 13

Washington Post, FBI probe widens to second general, Craig Whitlock, Nov. 13, 2012. Scandal probe ensnares commander of U.S., NATO troops in Afghanistan. The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday. The FBI probe into the sex scandal that prompted CIA Director David Petraeus to resign has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday. According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 documents — most of them e-mails — of “potentially inappropriate” communications between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa woman whose close relationship with Petraeus ultimately led to his downfall.

Wayne Madsen, A history of incompetent CIA directors, Press TV, Nov. 14, 2012. George Tenet, a congressional staffer without any prior intelligence experience, succeeded Deutch. It was Tenet who concocted intelligence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, telling President Bush on December 12, 2002, that the CIA had a “slam dunk” case against Iraq.” The scandal that saw CIA director and former top US general in Iraq and Afghanistan, David Petraeus, resign in disgrace over an extramarital affair is another in a string of scandals that have resulted in America’s top spies leaving the CIA in disgrace.

Nov. 12

Wayne Madsen Report, Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes -- The right-wing plot against Obama, Wayne Madsen, Nov. 12, 2012 (Subscription required). As we now know, a perhaps somewhat unwitting Petraeus; several Republicans, including failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Republican Party Svengali Karl Rove, Romney adviser Dan Senor; and the Binyamin Netanyahu government in Israel were involved behind the scenes to discredit and ensure the electoral downfall of President Barack Obama.

Sari Horwitz, Kimberly Kindy and Scott Wilson, Petraeus didn’t plan to resign from CIA, Washington Post, Nov. 12, 2012. FBI agents searched the home of the woman at the center of the scandal involving former CIA director David H. Petraeus on Monday evening, carrying away boxes and bags of material and taking photographs inside her home in Charlotte. A senior law enforcement official said the agents were searching for any classified or sensitive documents that may have been in the possession of Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and Petraeus biographer whose extramarital affair with him led to his resignation Friday.

David Petraeus and Paul BroadwellWashington Post, Petraeus, snagged by online data trail, lived much of his life on e-mail, Max Fisher, Nov. 12, 2012. One evening in late 2011, about a year before CIA Director David Petraeus would resign over an affair that came to light after an FBI investigation into his paramour’s e-mail traced back to him, Petraeus held an off-the-record gathering for reporters at the agency’s offices. He had just recently assumed the directorship and the meeting was an opportunity for journalists to get to know him in his new role. After a dinner, Petraeus walked everyone to his secure office on the seventh floor. There, according to a reporter who was present, the almost-60-year-old retired four-star general proudly announced that he was the first CIA director to install an open Internet connection in his office.

Washington Post, Here’s the e-mail trick Petraeus and Broadwell used to communicate, Max Fisher, Nov.12, 2012. CIA Director David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, a former military intelligence officer and his biographer, adopted a well-worn online trick, in an apparent attempt to keep their communications secret. They wrote their “intimate messages” as draft e-mails in a shared Gmail account, according to the AP, allowing them to see one anothers’ messages while leaving a much fainter data trail. When messages are sent and received, both accounts record the transmission as well as such metadata as the IP addresses on either end, something the two seemed to be seeking to avoid.    

Wired, Mistress Revealed CIA Ops as Petraeus’ Mouthpiece, Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman, Nov. 12, 2012. The mistress of former CIA Director David Petraeus publicly discussed sensitive and previously unknown details about the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. In an Oct. 26 alumni symposium at the University of Denver, Paula Broadwell said that the CIA annex at the Benghazi consulate came under assault on Sept. 11 because it had earlier “taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.” (That information was not part of the CIA’s timeline of the Benghazi assault, and Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reports that the CIA has denied any such detention.) “I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this,” Broadwell prefaced her remarks by saying.

Nov. 10

OpEd News, Good Riddance Petraeus, Ray McGovern, Nov. 10, 2012. As commander in Afghanistan, Petraeus was able to elbow the substantive intelligence analysts in Washington off to the sidelines. As for winning hearts and minds, it was Petraeus who shocked Afghan President Hamid Karzai's aides by claiming that Afghan parents might have burned their own children in order to blame the casualties on U.S. military operations. And the same Petraeus eagerly increased the incredibly myopic drone strikes in Pakistan, killing thousands of civilian "militants" and creating thousands more to contend with in the "long war" now alienating a nuclear-armed country of 185 million people. If, by now, you get the idea that I think David Petraeus is a charlatan (and I am not referring to sexual escapades), you would be correct.

Consortium News, Behind Petraeus’s Resignation, Robert Parry, Nov. 10, 2012. Exclusive: The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair marks a stunning reversal for the longtime media darling. But some in President Obama’s inner circle are not displeased the neocon-friendly ex-general is gone, reports Robert Parry.  The messy departure of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair removes the last high-ranking neoconservative holdover from George W. Bush’s administration and gives the reelected President Barack Obama more maneuvering room to negotiate a settlement over Iran’s nuclear program.

Robert Fitrakis

Free Press, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, An Election Protection Agenda for 2016, Bob Fitrakis, left, & Harvey Wasserman, Free Press, Nov. 10, 2012.  A mass grassroots election protection movement has been born. It's finally forced the issues of mass disenfranchisement and hackable electronic voting machines into the mainstream. And it's emerged from this election with a must-do list of things that need to be accomplished---soon---if we are to retain any shreds of American democracy.  Meanwhile the flaws in our system allowed the theft of the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, and threatened to do it again this year. They've allowed the theft of countless other races for Congress, governorships, state offices, judgeships, referenda and more. This cuts to the core of our democracy process. But as we've seen so many times before, we can change all this.

Nov. 9

Harvey Wasserman, Romney would have won if it had all come down to Ohio, Harvey Wasserman, Nov. 9, 2012. The simple truth of Barack Obama's victory is that if it had just come down to Ohio, Mitt Romney might have won. The gears of the election theft machine were well-oiled and running at top speed….until an "October Surprise" named Hurricane Sandy intervened. Those now rejoicing over the Obama triumph should know that there is absolutely no excuse for leaving this sinister apparatus of electronic election theft in place. Election reform should be at the top of the progressive movement's list, led by the non-negotiable demands for universal hand-counted paper ballots and universal automatic voter registration. As Obama said in his victory speech in reference to the long lines in Florida: "We need to do something about that." This year, as in 2004, the Rovian blueprint was simple if not clean: keep the election close enough that Ohio and Florida would be the deciders…and then do the deciding.

NBC-TV News / South Florida 6 / OpEdNews, CIA Director Petraeus Resigns, Cites Extramarital Affair, Daniel Macht and Emily Feldman, Nov. 9, 2012. Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus has resigned, citing "extremely poor judgment" for having an extramarital affair, NBC News reported. "Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position," Petraeus said in a letter to CIA colleagues. "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours." Petraeus continued in his letter, "This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation." Mike Morrell, the deputy CIA director and a long time CIA officer, will likely be offered the job as acting director, multiple sources told NBC News.

Fox News, Ron Kessler on Petraeus Resignation: There Are Several Cover-ups Going On (Video), Nov. 9, 2012. Ronald Kessler, Chief Washington Correspondent for Newsmax, spoke with FOX News tonight about the Petraeus resignation. Kessler said,“There are several cover-ups going on here. One is the claim that the President Obama was not aware of what was going on with the FBI investigation… Simply look at the facts. Is there any way the FBI would launch an investigation on the CIA Director without telling the president? The second cover-up was the fact that the FBI was told to hold off on this until after the election. I was told in early October that the FBI was outraged about this… It started in a very strange way. The FBI came across emails on his military email account in which he referred to doing something under the desk. And there was a misinterpretation that that meant corruption, something under the table. It actually meant sex under the desk.“

Newsmax, Kessler: FBI Investigation Led to Petraeus Resignation, Ronald Kessler, Nov. 9, 2012. The resignation of David H. Petraeus as CIA director followed an FBI investigation of many months, raising the question of why he was not forced out until after the election. The investigation began last spring, but the FBI then pored over his emails when he was stationed in Afghanistan. At some point after Petraeus was sworn in as CIA director on Sept. 6, 2011, the woman broke up with him. However, Petraeus continued to pursue her, sending her thousands of emails over the last several months, raising even more questions about his judgment.

Dallas Morning News, Couple who witnessed JFK assassination recall infamous day the shots rang out, James Ragland, Nov. 9, 2012. On Nov. 22, 1963, they were just a struggling young couple eager to let their two children steal a glimpse of President John F. Kennedy. But history reserved a special seat for Bill and Gayle Newman: They were the closest civilian eyewitnesses to the assassination of JFK in downtown Dallas.

About 15 minutes after the president was shot, the Newmans were interviewed live on TV. Their 15 minutes of fame, however, has endured for 49 years, permanently etched in the annals of history. Both 71 now, the Sachse couple still vividly recall excruciating details of that fateful day, especially the gunshots that rang around the world. They shared their recollections again Friday at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, where they’ve interacted with many audiences in recent years.

Nov. 8

Main Justice, No. 2 a New Orfleans U.S. Attorney's Office Demoted, Elizabeth Murphy, Nov. 8, 2012.

Eric HolderLegal Times, In Law School Talk, Eric Holder Assesses His Future Plans, Mike Scarcella, Nov. 8, 2012. Two days after President Barack Obama won re-election, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in remarks today in Baltimore he will assess whether he wants to continue his service at the helm of the U.S. Justice Department. Holder spoke about his plans for a few minutes in a wide-ranging discussion today at the University of Baltimore School of Law. The dean, Ronald Weich,a former top DOJ official in Holder's administration, bluntly asked Holder during a question-and-answer session this afternoon: "What's your plan?" "That's something that I'm in the process now of trying to determine," Holder said. "I will have to think about—can I contribute in a second term?" He said he would talk with his family and the president. He did not outright say he wants to remain on board. Holder said he would "really ask myself the question about, 'Do I think that there are things that I still want to do. Do I have gas left in the tank?' It's been an interesting and tough four years. I just really don't know. I don’t know at this point." (A link to video of Holder's remarks is here.) Holder said he's proud of the work he's done at Main Justice, calling the revitalization of the Civil Rights Division one of the hallmarks of his administration. "I think in many ways the Civil Rights Division is the conscience of the Justice Department," he said. "You can really assess how good a Justice Department is by how effective its Civil Rights Division is."

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Kansas Supreme Court allows live streaming, tweeting from state courtrooms, Lilly Chapa, Nov. 8, 2012. An amendment to Kansas court rules now lets journalists use laptops and cell phones to report from the courtroom. Reporters still need permission from the presiding judge, but the recent amendment to Rule 1001 clarifies that such devices may be used by journalists. Before the amendment was added, there was no mention of laptops or smartphones in the rule, and judges assumed such devices were not permitted.

OpEdNews, Study: Which Pollsters Most Accurately Predicted Election? Rob Kall, Nov. 8, 2012,  In an exclusive interview, Costas Panagopoulos, Director, of Fordham's Center for  Electoral Politics and Democracy discussed the result of a study that assessed the accuracy of 28 pollsters who predicted the outcome of the Presidential election. Pollsters not only predicted winners and losers. The pollsters themselves WERE winners and losers. A study by Fordham U. political scientist Costas Panagopoulos ranked 28 pollsters based on how well they predicted the actual outcome of the popular vote.  Fordham's study found that the top pollsters, in terms of accuracy, were Ipsos/Reuters, YouGov, PPP,  Daily Kos/SEIU/PPP and Angus-Reid. Panagopoulos's study reports that none of the polls showed partisan biases, stating, "Most (22) polls overestimated Romney support, while six (6) overestimated Obama strength (indicated with a * below), but  none of the 28 national pre-election polls I examined had a significant partisan bias.

Washington Post, China’s Communist leadership set for change, William Wan, Nov. 8, 2012. China’s once-a-decade leadership transition began Thursday with all the pageantry, security and behind-the-scenes political intrigue befitting the secretive Communist Party’s most sensitive event. The usually crowded Tiananmen Square had been cleared, giving it an eerie, post-apocalyptic feel. Activists had been chased out of the capital, and buildings across the city were draped in flags, flowers and signs, all colored communist red.

The Stone Zone, Why Does Anyone Listen To Dick Morris? Roger Stone, Nov. 8, 2012. Why does anyone listen to Dick Morris? Why do news organizations like Fox and Newsmax continue to promote this ridiculous blow-hard? Morris arrogantly predicted that Romney would win "in a landslide" and predicted Romney wins in Florida, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado and incredibly, Pennsylvania -- wrong on every one. Appearing with Greta Van Susteran on Fox the night before the election, Morris predicted Romney would win with 325 Electoral College votes and carry the popular vote by at least 5%. Wrong.

The Guardian (United Kingdom), Bradley Manning has indicated that he accepts responsibility for handing some information to WikiLeaks, Ed Pilkington, Nov. 8, 2012.  Bradley Manning, the US soldier who is facing life in prison for allegedly having leaked hundreds of thousands of state secrets to WikiLeaks, has indicated publicly for the first time that he accepts responsibility for handing some information to the whistleblower website. Manning's defence lawyer, David Coombs, told a pre-trial hearing ahead of his court martial that the soldier wanted to offer a guilty plea for some offences contained within the US government's case against him. This is the first time the intelligence analyst has given any public indication that he accepts that he played a part in the breach of confidential US material. The statement is technically known as "pleading by exceptions and substitutions". By taking this legal route, Manning is not pleading guilty to any of the 22 charges brought against him, and nor is he making a plea bargain. He is asking the court to rule on whether his plea accepting limited responsibility is admissible in the case. Coombs set out the details in a statement that was posted on his website after the hearing. Should the judge presiding over Manning's court martial allow the soldier to plead guilty by "exceptions and substitutions", army prosecutors could still press on with all 22 counts. In this instance, a full trial would go ahead next year. Manning would continue to face the most serious charge of "aiding the enemy", which carries a maximum sentence of life in military custody with no chance of parole.

Coalition on Political Assassinations, Notes on Lunch with Arlen Specter on January 4, 2012, Vincent Salandria, Nov. 8, 2012. On January 4, 2012 at 11:25 a.m. I arrived at the Oyster House restaurant in Philadelphia for a meeting with former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. He had called me a week or so earlier and suggested we have lunch. We met, shook hands, and seated ourselves at a table. I thanked him for suggesting having lunch with me.....Coalition Editor's Note: This thoughtful and provocative piece comes from an early and brilliant Warren Commission critic and lawyer Vincent Salandria, author of False Mystery. He has taken the position for years that the visible facts in the case were transparent from the start, without ever being officially confirmed. In his view, we already know who killed President Kennedy and why, but to admit that to ourselves would lead to an imperative for action with unknown consequences. He continues these themes in this recent piece sent to us for public consumption. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania passed away recently after a long battle with cancer and never recanted his conclusions about the single bullet theory he propounded for the Warren Commission to explain multiple wounds in President Kennedy and John Connally on November 22, 1963.

Nov. 7

New York Times, How to Devise Passwords That Drive Hackers Away, Nichole Perlroth, Nov. 7, 2012. Not long after I began writing about cybersecurity, I became a paranoid caricature of my former self. It's hard to maintain peace of mind when hackers remind me every day, all day, just how easy it is to steal my personal data. Within weeks, I set up unique, complex passwords for every Web site, enabled two-step authentication for my e-mail accounts, and even covered up my computer's Web camera with a piece of masking tape — a precaution that invited ridicule from friends and co-workers who suggested it was time to get my head checked.

Washington Post, Obama’s Changing Cabinet, Al Kamen, Nov. 7, 2012. Look for a relatively slow, rolling transition of President Obama’s Cabinet over the next year or so. There are lots of movable chairs. Here’s what we’ve been hearing.

Washington Post, Faulty predictions for Election 2012, Paul Farhi, Nov. 7, 2012. Elections make fools of pundits and prognosticators (although some might have been that way before the vote). In any case, no, thank you, experts and geniuses.

Politico, Romneyworld reckoning begins, James Hohmann and Anna Palmer, November 7, 2012. Advisers to Mitt Romney insisted Wednesday that they were surprised by the scale of their loss to President Barack Obama, while big-time GOP donors griped about the campaign’s unflinching confidence in the final stretch. As results began to stream in Tuesday night, prominent Romney supporters in Boston tried to stay positive, reassuring themselves that there was still a path to the White House. But dejection quickly turned to anger a day after an Electoral College rout that shocked many who had heard self-assured projections about voter enthusiasm and turnout in private conference calls and meetings in the campaign’s final stretch.

Political Wire, Romney's Transition Site, Taegan Goddard, November 7, 2012. It appears Mitt Romney's campaign prepared a transition site in the event that he won.

Wall Street Journal, The Long-Term Economic To-Do List, David Wessel, Nov. 7, 2012.  The items marked "urgent" on the president's economic to-do list are overwhelming. The temptation must be to start at the top and work down: Avert the fiscal cliff, fill pending cabinet vacancies, reach out to China's new leaders, cajole Europe into avoiding economic suicide.  Last August, President Obama and Congress put the U.S. economy on course to go over a "fiscal cliff." With the 2012 presidential election decided, WSJ's David Wessel tells you everything you need to know about the "cliff" but were afraid to ask. But after savoring his re-election, President Barack Obama would be wise to consider a few things that will matter to American prosperity over the next decade. With the global financial system melting down in 2009, he didn't have that luxury at the start of his first term. Now he does. Here are four items on the long-term to-do list.

Salon/AlterNet, Karl Rove: The Biggest Loser, Craig Unger, Nov. 7, 2012. Tea Party billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers may well regret joining forces with Rove at all. The unthinkable had just happened. Fox had called the election for Obama, but Karl Rove, its Svengali like analyst, had just disputed his own network’s call. There was an uncomfortable moment of dead air. Then, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly addressed the situation with understatement. “Well, that’s awkward,” she said.

AlterNet, 5 Unhinged Right-Wing Reactions to Romney’s Defeat, Laura Gottesdiener, Nov. 7, 2012.  As the nation celebrates Obama's election, some far right wingers are lashing out,

Guardian (United Kingdom), The Right Is Crippled -- Now Let's Make Sure Dems Don't Sell Out Social Security and Medicare, Glenn Greenwald, Nov. 7, 2012.  The delirium of liberals this morning is understandable. By all rights, they should expect to be a more powerful force in Washington. But what are they going to get from it?

FireDogLake, After Obama Wins, Republicans Need Reality Check for Believing Biased Polling, John Wright, Nov. 7, 2012. The victory of President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney should prompt some intense soul searching by Republicans. What the Republicans need most of all is a reality check. The pundits will all say the right wing should reconsider its hostility toward women, minorities, unions, and lower-income people. That’s all true, but it sidesteps the larger issue: the party’s complete divorce from reality.  Nowhere was the disconnect from reality more tangible than the disconnect over public opinion polling. In the final days before the election, the battle over polling data nearly eclipsed the presidential race itself. One set of polls showed Obama winning the election, while other polls showed his challenger ahead. Even veteran political pros were confused by the data.
Obama maintained a slight lead in nearly all the polls until the first debate on October 3. As long as Obama was conclusively ahead, Fox News insisted that the polling was skewed. Once Romney pulled in front by a narrow range, Fox began to give credence to polling data. After that initial bump faded, the different surveys began to splinter. At one point, Rasmussen and Gallup showed Romney leading the president by up to 5 percentage points. From then on, Fox News showed only the polls that favored Romney.

Huffington Post, Gender Gap In 2012 Election Aided Obama Win, Laura Bassett, Nov. 7, 2012. The Obama campaign's heavy focus on women's issues for the past year paid off in a big way on Tuesday night, resulting in an 18-point gender gap that largely contributed to the president's reelection. According to CNN's exit polls, 55 percent of women voted for Obama, while only 44 percent voted for Mitt Romney. Men preferred Romney by a margin of

Daily Howler, Slowest Children of the Press Corps: George Will!  Bob Somerby, Nov. 7, 2012, Interlude—Slowest children emeritus: Prediction is one of the silliest things our children of the corn do. That said, TV producers love predictions—the more specific the better! So it was that a child emeritus invented his own private Minnesota on Sunday’s This Week program: STEPHANOPOULOS (11/4/12): And we are back now with election predictions. I have to take a pass, because I'm anchoring on Tuesday night...George Will, you go first. WILL: I forgot my exact number. I guess you have a graphic here. I guess the wild card in what I've projected is I'm projecting Minnesota to go for Romney...It's the only state that's voted Democratic in nine consecutive elections, but this year, there's a marriage amendment on the ballot that will bring out the evangelicals and I think could make the difference. The graphic showed that Will was predicting 321 electoral votes for Romney. That included a highly unlikely win in Minnesota.

Huffington Post, What Obama Promises To Do Next, Dan Froomkin, Nov. 7, 2012.  Now President Barack Obama has some promises to keep. His 2012 campaign wasn't nearly as full of measurable commitments as his first one in 2008, but there were still plenty.

The Atlantic, How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File, Conor Friedersdorf, Nov. 7, 2012. Nate Silver was right. His ideological antagonists were wrong. And that's just the beginning of the right's self-created information disadvantage. Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, "What went wrong?", they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: "Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?"

Huffington Post, Dick Morris Falls On His Sword For Wrong Predictions, Misses Sword, Jason Linkins, Nov. 7, 2012. So, if you recall, ol' Dick Morris, he predicted something of a landslide for Mitt Romney. Something of a crazy landslide, actually, in which it was an absolute given that Obama had already lost Florida, Virginia and Colorado; in which Ohio, New Hampshire and Iowa had "eroded"; in which the "battleground" was Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota; and "Romney momentum" was going to "wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon."

Huffington Post, Longer Voting Lines For Minorities, Dan Froomkin, Nov. 7, 2012. Hours after President Barack Obama declared that the nation needs to fix the problem of long lines at the voting booth, a survey by Hart Research, commissioned by the AFL-CIO, found that minorities and Democrats were more likely to experience long wait times than others. Nearly a quarter of blacks -- 24 percent -- and Hispanics -- 22 percent -- reported waiting in line more than 30 minutes, compared to 9 percent of whites. Obama voters were nearly twice as likely as Romney voters to face long lines, at 16 percent to 9 percent.

Nov. 6

Karl Rove

Buzzfeed, Karl Rove Freaks Out About Fox News Calling The Election For Obama, Dorsey Shaw. Nov. 6, 2012. “We've got to be careful about calling things when we have like 991 vote separating the two candidates and a quarter of the vote left to count.”

Associated Press / Houston Chronicle, Judge rejects lawsuit's Ohio voting software claim, Andrew Welch-Huggins, Nov. 6, 2012. A Green Party congressional candidate and elections activist provided "zero" evidence to support his claims that new voting machine software could cause ballots to be altered, a judge ruled Tuesday. Bob Fitrakis presented only theories and opinions that the software might cause voting night irregularities, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost said in a 10-page decision issued a few hours after a hearing. Fitrakis and his attorney had wanted the judge to order Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to stop using the software and break the state's contract with Omaha, Nebraska-based Elections Systems & Software.

Richard CharninRichard Charnin True Vote Model, Final 2012 Polls and Analysis, Richard Charnin (right), Nov. 6, 2012. In 2008, Obama won the recorded vote by 52.9%-45.6%. He won the unadjusted state exit poll weighted aggregate by 58-40.5%. The True Vote Model indicated that he won by 58.0-40.3%. The analysis indicates that Obama should do quite well in these battleground states – unless, of course, the elections are stolen.

OpEdNews, Interview Transcript: Greg Palast: The War Between the Billionaires, And Election Theft, Rob Kall, Nov. 6, 2012. Part one of a transcript of my interview with  one of the best investigative reporters in the world, Greg Palast, about his newest book, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits. And we got into something very interesting-- that there's a war between two kinds of billionaires-- The vampire squids and the Vultures. And yes, this affects the elections and the nine ways they are going to be stolen and corrupted.

Free Press, The e-voting lawsuit that could decide the election, Harvey Wasserman, The e-voting lawsuit that could decide the election, Nov. 5, 2012.  In Columbus, Ohio, 9:00am Election Day marks the opening of a federal adjudication that could decide who next occupies the White House. Heard by Judge Gregory Frost, the case is Robert Fitrakis vs. John Husted and Election Systems & Software. It revolves around an "experimental" software patch newly attached to the electronic voting systems in 39 Ohio counties. The patch is ostensibly meant to facilitate the transmission and analysis of the Ohio vote count as conducted on machines supplied by the E.S. & S. company.

Katie Glueke, Radio host defends Mormon video, Politico, November 6, 2012.The radio host who grilled Mitt Romney about his Mormon faith in a 2007 interview is expressing dismay that a clip of that conversation has gone viral as Election Day arrives and says whoever put it out was trying to make the GOP nominee “look weird.” “I’d say, number one, it wasn’t a gotcha interview,” commented Jan Mickelson, the host of a conservative-leaning show.
See also, Jan Mickelson, WHO-TV (Des Moines, Iowa),

.be">Mitt Romney speaking about Mormon faith, YouTube, August 2007. “Mitt Romney: I’m not running to talk about Mormonism.” Alos, Dominique Mosbergen, Mitt Romney Talks Mormonism, YouTube Clip From 2007 Interview Goes Viral (VIDEO), November 5, 2012. A video showing Mitt Romney discussing his Mormon faith has become a viral sensation in the days leading up to the election.

Nov. 5

ElectionProtectionAction.org, The Next Frontier In Election Fraud: A Beginner's Guide To MOVE Act Election Hacking, Jill Simpson and Jim March, Nov. 5, 2012. The federal MOVE Act of 2009 (Military Overseas Voting Empowerment) was supposed to improve ballot access for every sort of overseas and/or military-away-from-home voter. It had the unfortunate side-effect of opening up the single worst security hole in the US election process ever seen.

This is not hyperbole – the nature of the security deficit created allows a very small “attack team” (group of knowing election criminals) to alter election results across multiple jurisdictions (and even states) while acting from overseas, reducing the risk of being punished even if caught. For background, see a video presentation

."

Jim Letten

New Orleans Times-Picayune, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten refuses specifics, begs patience in latest online scandal, John Simerman, Nov. 5, 2012. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, left, broke a three-day blackout on Monday over allegations that his second-in-command posted caustic, anonymous online barbs against federal targets and others -- but only to say he wasn't ready to discuss it. "Do not construe my delay in making a public statement about this matter to be silence," Letten said. "As in all important matters like this, I am being deliberate and I am acting consistent with our internal protocols before making any statements to the public. As soon as the appropriate time arrives, I will make a statement on this."

Greg Palast Billionairres BookConsortium News, Democracy on the Ballot, Joe Lauria, Nov. 5, 2012. What’s left of American democracy is on the Nov. 6 ballot, with the Republicans hoping that a combination of voter suppression and attack ads bought by billionaires will secure the White House and Congress. Investigative reporter Greg Palast describes the strategy in a new book reviewed by Joe Lauria. With opinion polls heading into Tuesday’s election a dead heat, the decision could come down to a controversial counting of ballots in a replay of Florida 2000. That would put the focus on how Americans vote, a story that has so far been a subtext to this presidential race. The news media tend to concentrate on the horserace rather than the complicated issues surrounding how the winner will be determined. But the public is evidently interested. It has catapulted to bestseller status a humorous new book that probes the questionable techniques developed over the past 20 years to influence the outcome of national elections. The humor to be sure is black. Having taught statistics at Indiana University, author Greg Palast is well aware that a dry political science study of the subject would not have sold nearly 20,000 copies in its first four weeks. Illustrated with a 48-page centerfold of Ted Rall comics, and with an Introduction and a chapter by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories Press, 284 pps.) reached the top 10 on the New York Times list. Clearly outraged, Palast’s flippancy, however, risks taking the edge off the issue’s deadly seriousness.

Legal Schnauzer, Article On Dana Siegelman Does Not Go Far Enough In Describing The Injustice Against Her Father, Roger Shuler, Nov. 5, 2012, One of the best written pieces on the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman appears in the current issue of B Metro, which bills itself as "The Magazine of Metro Birmingham Living." Reporter Jesse Chambers focuses on Dana Siegelman and her efforts to free her father from federal prison via a presidential pardon. The article is titled "Crusade: Dana Siegelman Was Once Alabama's First Daughter, But She Will Always Be Don's First Daughter."  Chambers does a splendid job of describing the emotional and financial toll the prosecution has taken on Don Siegelman's loved ones--Dana, brother Joseph, and wife/mother Lori. Even friends and extended family members, Chambers reports, failed to grasp the evil nature of the injustice committed against Don Siegelman and his family. As the driving force behind the Free Don Siegelman Web site and petition campaign, Dana Siegelman has become the public face of her father's fight for justice.

ElectionProtectionAction.org, The Next Frontier In Election Fraud: A Beginner's Guide To MOVE Act Election Hacking, Jill Simpson and Jim March, Nov. 5, 2012. The federal MOVE Act of 2009[3] (Military Overseas Voting Empowerment) was supposed to improve ballot access for every sort of overseas and/or military-away-from-home voter. It had the unfortunate side-effect of opening up the single worst security hole in the US election process ever seen.  This is not hyperbole – the nature of the security deficit created allows a very small “attack team” (group of knowing election criminals) to alter election results across multiple jurisdictions (and even states) while acting from overseas, reducing the risk of being punished even if caught.

Jon HustedAtlantic, Ohio's Provisional Ballot Order: The Biggest Legal Story of the Weekend, Andrew Cohen, Nov. 4, 2012. A late voting directive from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, at left, begets an "emergency motion" about how to count provisional ballots.

New Orleans Times-Picayune, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten refuses specifics, begs patience in latest online scandal, John Simerman, Nov. 5, 2012. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten broke a three-day blackout on Monday over allegations that his second-in-command posted caustic, anonymous online barbs against federal targets and others -- but only to say he wasn't ready to discuss it. "Do not construe my delay in making a public statement about this matter to be silence," Letten said. "As in all important matters like this, I am being deliberate and I am acting consistent with our internal protocols before making any statements to the public. As soon as the appropriate time arrives, I will make a statement on this."

Nov. 4

Huffington Post, Florida Early Voting Fiasco: Voters Wait For Hours At Polls As Rick Scott Refuses To Budge, Amanda Terkel, Nov. 4, 2012. Once again, Florida and its problems at the polls are at the center of an election. Early voting is supposed to make it easier for people to carry out their constitutional right. Tuesdays are notoriously inconvenient to take off work, so many states have given voters the option of turning out on weekends or other weekdays in the run-up to Election Day. But in Florida this year, it has been a nightmare for voters, who have faced record wait times, long lines in the sun and a Republican governor, Rick Scott, who has refused to budge and extend early voting hours.

Michael Collins

OpEd News, Election Fraud Nov. 6, Michael Collins (left), Nov. 4, 2012. It is now acceptable to talk about election fraud in "polite company." Those who run for office to serve or care about the process of elections, despite their disappointment in the system, will have their day on November 6. Why wouldn't the immensely greedy try to steal elections?  They've stolen everything else.

Atlantic, Ohio's Provisional Ballot Order: The Biggest Legal Story of the Weekend, Andrew Cohen, Nov. 4, 2012. A late voting directive from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted begets an "emergency motion" about how to count provisional ballots.

BradBlog, NJ Gets Paper Ballots After Sandy; FL Purges Military Voters; DOJ Deploys; GOP Voter Fraud in NV, Brad Friedman, Nov. 3, 2012. NJ Orders Paper Ballots for Powerless E-Voting Sites, (Insanely) Allows for Voting by Email, Fax; ALSO: NY, CT, PA, VA and OH polling sites struggle to get back on line after Superstorm Sandy and in time for Election Day.

538 Blog/ New York Times, Romney’s Reason to Play for Pennsylvania, Nate Silver, Nov. 4, 2012. Our model puts President Obama’s chances of winning Pennsylvania at more than 95 percent, but Mitt Romney’s alternate paths to an Electoral College victory aren’t looking a lot stronger, especially given the Democrats’ early voting advantage.
Nov. 3

Robert Reich, Romneyism, Huffington Post, Nov. 3, 2012. By now, in these last remaining days before the election of 2012, we have learned enough about the beliefs of the Republican presidential candidate to see them as a worldview all its own -- a kind of creed that explains Mitt Romney. Those who say he has no principles are selling him short.

Institute for Political Economy / OpEdNews, U.S. Elections: Will the Dead Vote and Voting Machines be Hacked? Paul Craig Roberts, Nov. 3, 2012. The old ballot-box fraud was localized and limited in its reach. Electronic voting allows elections to be rigged on a statewide and national scale. Moreover, with electronic voting there are no missing ballot boxes to recover from the Louisiana bayous. Using proprietary corporate software, the vote count is what the software specifies. A country without a transparent vote is a country without democracy.

OpEdNews, Calling Out the Left-Wing Election Rigging Denialists, Victoria Collier, Nov. 3, 2012, This article responds to the damaging attempts by left-wing journalists to deny the possibility of right-wing electronic vote tampering -- or any e-vote tampering -- particularly in the 2012 election. In the past week, Chuck Todd at MSNBC News has Tweeted that concerns about electronic voting machines are "conspiracy theory that belong in the same category as the Trump birther garbage." ThinkProgress, the left-wing advocacy and news site, posted an article with the same blanket "conspiracy theory" dismissal. And finally, Steven Rosenfeld wrote a similar opinion piece - posted by Alternet (as "news" no less) and then picked up by Salon and Snopes - to further "debunk" concerns about stolen elections. What are these journalists railing against? A flood of recent stories warning of the potential for massive computerized election fraud in the 2012 elections. In particular, the breaking news of the Romney family's financial ties to voting machine company Hart Intercivic, exposed by the FreePress.org, is so alarming that it's been picked up by many online news sources, and even Forbes Magazine.

OpEd News, Will America's 2012 Election Be Stolen? Harvey Wasserman, Nov. 3, 2012. Media Advisory: Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein will speak at a noon press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC with voting integrity sleuths to warn against  danger to the public in the ownership and management of America's eletronic vote count Nov. 6.

Huffington Post, Early Voting Experience In North Carolina Bodes Ill For Civility On Election Day, Dan Froomkin, Nov. 3, 2012. If Election Day goes anything like the past 17 days of early voting in North Carolina, here's what you can expect at your local precincts on Tuesday: Belligerent citizens demanding the right to personally inspect the voting process and yelling "shut up" at the top of their lungs when election officials tell them that only official poll observers can do that. Official poll observers who have been improperly trained by the groups they represent and think it's their job to interrogate voters rather than just watch. Long lines, which means that a lot of people end up waiting outside the designated no-electioneering zones, getting harangued by campaign workers. Shouting matches between Republican and Democratic campaign workers -- and sometimes voters standing in line -- that can involve name-calling, threatening gestures, and the summoning of law enforcement. A guy driving a tractor-trailer bed filled with effigies of Democratic officials, including President Barack Obama, with nooses around their neck. The fact that all these incidents have occurred at a few, tightly supervised early voting centers is giving state officials reason to worry that things could be much worse when regular polling stations open for business.

Nov. 2

Huffington Post, As Ohio Faces Vote-Rigging Lawsuit, Are Dems, Liberals, Election Officials Ready to Safeguard Votes? Art Levine, Nov. 2, 2012. There's mounting fall-out from reports, first broken by The Free Press, that a Mitt Romney-linked company owns the Hart Intercivic voting machines used in key counties in Colorado, Ohio and other states. The stories have stoked new fears about a "stolen" election. UPDATE: Those worries about a rigged election were given new urgency today as The Ohio-based Free Press editor-in-chief Robert Fitrakis, also a Green Party candidate for Congress, announced plans to file a lawsuit later today seeking an immediate injunction against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and the ES&S manufacturer to halt the use of secretly installed, unauthorized "experimental" software in 39 counties' tabulators in an alleged violation of state election law. His attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, has also referred the case to the Cincinnati FBI for a criminal investigation. Arnebeck says, "It's a flagrant violation of the law. Before you add new software, you need approval of a state board. They are installing an uncertified, suspect software patch that interfaces between the a county's vote tabulation equipment and state tabulators." He adds, "This is criminal conduct. If they're not doing something wrong, why are they covering it up?"

WWL-TV and Radio (New Orleans), Heebe claims another top prosecutor was blogging about cases, Dave Cohen, Nov. 2, 2012. A man under investigation by the federal government claims another top prosecutor in U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office was blogging about cases under an assumed name. Fred Heebe has filed a lawsuit alleging that evidence points "unmistakably in the direction" of the First Assistant United States Attorney Jan Maselli Mann. The suit claims that Mann, the Chief of the Criminal Division, used the name "eweman" to post comments on nola.com. The same allegations led to veteran prosecutor Sal Perricone resigning from the office.

New Orleans Times-Picayune/NOLA.com, In second pre-emptive strike, Fred Heebe, River Birch landfill owner, again targets U.S. attorney's office, Richard Rainey, Nov. 2, 2012. Unsatisfied with knocking one federal prosecutor from office for making anonymous, disparaging comments online, River Birch landfill owner and federal target Fred Heebe has set his sights on another. But this time he's aiming a little closer to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office door.

FreePress, FreePress.org confirms installation of 'experimental' patches to ES&S voting systems, end-run of Ohio standard, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Nov. 2, 2012. Investigation of the suspect procedures being used to effectively end-run Ohio's official protocols required to  certify changes to electronic voting machines continues apace, at FreePress.org. The new report updates earlier reporting that the secret installations had been carried out under supposedly exceptional allowances for experimental upgrades.

Free Press, Free Press confirms installation, secret justification of uncertified last minute election tabulation reporting software in Ohio, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Nov. 2, 2012. The Free Press has obtained internal memos from the senior staff of the Ohio Secretary of State's office confirming the installation of untested and uncertified election tabulation software. Yesterday, the Free Press reported that "experimental" software patches were installed on ES&S voting machines in 39 Ohio counties. (see Will "experimental" software patches affect the Ohio vote?).

Nov. 1

Birmingham Metro Magazine, Crusade: Dana Siegelman was once Alabama’s first daughter, but she will always be Don’s first daughter, Jesse Chambers, Nov. 1, 2012. The media routinely shines klieg lights on the central players in legal and political scandals, people like former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and Birmingham health-care magnate Richard Scrushy, who were convicted of bribery and other charges in 2006 and sentenced in 2007.  The media routinely shines klieg lights on the central players in legal and political scandals, people like former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and Birmingham health-care magnate Richard Scrushy, who were convicted of bribery and other charges in 2006 and sentenced in 2007. Less attention is paid to the friends and family members of those central players and the collateral damage they face. Siegelman’s wife Lori, daughter Dana and son Joseph have certainly paid a heavy price for the former Democratic governor’s legal travails — facing financial problems, depression and even strained relationships with friends and family members. “Joseph and I went through depression when dad was sentenced the first time [in 2007] and dragged away to prison,” Dana told Joan Brunwasser at opednews.com in August. “We lost our faith in government, particularly the Justice Department.  We worried about our mom, and we felt ashamed to really show our faces in Alabama.  It helped that I lived overseas and out of state for most of it.”

Pima County (Arizona),

, You Tube uploaded by John R. Brakey, Nov. 1, 2012 (Video 45:06 min). Mickey Duniho, a local election official and a former NSA scientist, testified in election integrity hearing held in Tucson, Arizona. Duniho is one of thirteen plaintiffs suing Pima County to get them to comply with existing election laws. He provides an excellent overview.