Bush and his ‘Defense’ Department win censorship prizes

This 22 June 2010 video says about itself:

Pentagon Revives Spy Database

The Pentagon’s spy unit has begun rebuilding a controversial database that was shut down three years ago after it was found to have been used to monitor US peace activists. The database, named TALON, included scores of reports on nonviolent demonstrations and antiwar rallies. Targets included Quaker and church groups, organizers of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” protests, and student activists mobilizing against the Iraq war.

The Defense Intelligence Agency has filed notice it wants to effectively revive TALON and rename it Foreign Intelligence and Counterintelligence Operation Records, with the purpose of tracking terror threats. The Washington Post reports the new database will likely inherit TALON’s records.

At last, an election won by George W. Bush without fraud in Florida or in Ohio.

From Associated Press:

Bush administration, Defense Department get ‘Muzzle’ awards, cited for free-speech violations

Associated Press Writer

RICHMOND, Va. — The Bush administration and the Defense Department are among the winners of the 2007 Jefferson Muzzle awards, given Tuesday by a free-speech group to those it considers the most egregious First Amendment violators in the past year.

The Bush administration appears on the list, compiled by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, for its efforts to discourage, modify and sometimes censor government scientists’ reports and studies to be more in line with the administration’s political policies, notably on global warming, the center said.

“The number of major scientists who have come forward and indicated they were constrained by the administration viewpoint is quite worrisome,” center director Robert M. O’Neil told The Associated Press.

“There have been similar concerns arising in other areas but we wanted to focus specifically on climate change as the most invaded or intruded area.”

The Defense Department won a Muzzle for its covert investigations of organizations that conducted peaceful anti-war protests, most of which were against military recruitment for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the center said.

Created in 2003, TALON (Threat and Local Observation Notice) also monitored e-mail messages among members of anti-war groups.

Its activities were uncovered last year after the American Civil Liberties Union filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests.


Sounds a bit like “Talon News“, the fake news organization of pro Bush fake journalist and gay bashing gay prostitute James Dale (“Jim”) Guckert (“Jeff Gannon“).

In Afghanistan: no more Al Jazeerah TV in English allowed; see here.

Bush’s Al Jazeera bombing plan: here.

4 thoughts on “Bush and his ‘Defense’ Department win censorship prizes

  1. Who is protecting who with x-Walmart employee gag order?
    Posted by: “Corey” cpmondello@yahoo.com cpmondello
    Mon Apr 9, 2007 7:19 pm (PST)

    Gag Order for Former Wal-Mart Employee

    By MARCUS KABEL (Associated Press Writer)

    From Associated Press

    April 09, 2007 12:55 PM EDT


    BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Wal-Mart won a gag order to stop a fired security operative from talking to reporters and a judge ordered him to provide Wal-Mart attorneys with “the names of all persons to whom he has transmitted, since January 15, 2007, any Wal-Mart information.”

    The court papers made public Monday follow a string of revelations about the retailer’s large surveillance operations and its business plans.

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. filed a lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order directly with a Circuit Court judge after court hours Friday.

    In the lawsuit, Wal-Mart alleges that former security operative Bruce Gabbard violated trade secrets law by revealing to reporters “confidential information about Wal-Mart security systems and operations” and “highly confidential information about Wal-Mart’s strategic planning”. It seeks unspecified damages.

    The judge’s temporary order bars Gabbard from disclosing any further Wal-Mart trade secrets or confidential information.

    The suit and restraining order were filed two days after Wal-Mart apologized to activist shareholders for Gabbard’s revelation that they were considered potential threats and ahead of a story in Monday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal on Gabbard’s claim that Wal-Mart had a super-secret “Project Red” aimed at bolstering its stagnant share price.

    Wal-Mart declined to comment on the “Project Red” report except to say in a statement, “Our senior management, our board and their advisors regularly conduct thorough, strategic reviews of all aspects of our business. That’s just good governance. We look at a full range of alternatives, many of which are considered and rejected, and we will not comment specifically on any of them.”

    The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of faith-based investors that has worked with Wal-Mart since 1990 on a variety of social issues, demanded Monday that Chief Executive Lee Scott apologize formally for a memo that lists the group as a potential threat.

    ICCR members hold more than 2 million shares in the retailer.

    “More importantly, we ask CEO Lee Scott to shift shareowner resources away from these public relations activities and instead focus on the core issues ICCR and other concerned investors have been bringing to Wal-Mart for almost two decades: the human dignity inherent in each supply chain worker, in-store employee, and customer of Wal-Mart,” the group said in a statement.

    Wal-Mart’s union-backed critics said the latest revelations about Wal-Mart’s security operations and the share price project deserved congressional scrutiny.

    “Given the scope of the Wal-Mart spy scandal, the time has come for congressional hearings to find out how deep this rabbit hole goes,” said Chris Kofinis, spokesman for WakeUpWalMart.com.

    The restraining order suggests that Gabbard, 44, might still have Wal-Mart equipment or documents. It orders him to surrender any documents or data and a long list of “all home and work computers, personal digital assistants, hard drives, thumb drives, and all other electronic or digital media and hardcopy information.”

    It also orders Gabbard, at Wal-Mart’s request, to provide lawyers with the names of contacts to whom he has provided information about the company.

    Gabbard, a 19-year Wal-Mart veteran, was fired along with his supervisor last month for allegedly recording phones calls between a reporter and company officials and for intercepting pager messages between other persons. Wal-Mart said Gabbard violated its policies.

    Gabbard was part of a 20-strong security team called the Threat Research and Analysis Group.

    Wal-Mart made the case public last month and denied Gabbard’s claims that his actions were the result of pressure from Kenneth Senser, a former senior CIA and FBI official who has headed Wal-Mart’s office of global security since 2003.

    Gabbard did not work for Senser’s department, although the company and others familiar with the case said Senser has the authority to work with staff from other divisions in carrying out investigations. Gabbard has said he felt pressured by Senser to find information leaks, while Wal-Mart has denied that those conversations alleged by Gabbard took place.

    Gabbard and his former supervisor, Jason Hamilton, who was also fired, have declined repeated requests for interviews with The Associated Press.

    But in a text message to The Associated Press last week, Gabbard confirmed the allegations that he was part of a broader surveillance operation against company workers, critics, vendors and consultants that he alleged were approved by the company.

    Check out –
    Learn About Wal-Mart’s Right-Wing Liars


  2. Bush’s new bill; phone calls, e-mail, immunity to telecom companies
    Posted by: “Corey” cpmondello@yahoo.com cpmondello
    Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:56 am (PST)
    Constitutional Crisis

    Bush’s new bill; phone calls, e-mail, immunity to telecom companies


    Katrina vanden Heuvel


    On the eve of Alberto Gonzales’ testimony before Congress about his deep involvement in US Attorneygate, the Bush Administration has the gall to propose a bill which would greatly expand its ability to intercept telephone calls and e-mail correspondence as well as provide immunity to participating telecom companies. The bill would do far more damage to our right to privacy than many in the mainstream media are reporting.

    According to the New York Times, Democratic leaders “reacted cautiously” to the White House proposal. (Even though “they have become increasingly concerned by disclosures of abuses in other data collection programs.”) But is this a time for caution in dealing with this White House and its cronies? It’s a time for spine, mettle, and moxie. The question that all small-d democrats need to ask themselves is this: are you a defender or a subverter of our Constitution?

    The telecom immunity (with impunity!) provision of this should-be-dead-on-arrival proposal is easy to address. In opposing the measure, even Republican Senator Arlen Specter told The Times, “That provision is a pig in the poke. There has never been a statement from the Administration as to what these companies have done. That’s been an intolerable situation.”

    As for White House claims that it is simply trying to “modernize” the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) € ¦’¶ there is a clear record of FISA providing both the oversight needed to guard against executive abuse and meeting our nation’s national security needs.

    As Elizabeth Holtzman noted in a Nation cover story, “Since 1978, when the law was enacted, more than 10,000 national security warrants have been approved by the FISA court; only four have been turned down.”

    And Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, and Legislative Counsel Timothy Sparapani, wrote in a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: “€ ¦’¥ the Administration has not publicly provided Congress with a single example of how current standards in FISA have either prevented the intelligence community from using new technologies or proven unworkable for the personnel tasked with following them.”

    Frederickson concluded in a statement, “FISA has been constantly violated since President Bush authorized warrantless wiretapping and data mining of Americans by the National Security Agency in 2001. Congress shouldn’t reward a president who continuously disregards the rule of law. FISA has already been amended numerous times. It doesn’t need to be ‘modernized,’ it needs to be followed.” Mike German, Policy Counsel, adds, “This proposal doesn’t ‘modernize’ FISA. It guts it.”

    What is most frightening about the Bush proposal is that although the Administration claims € ¦’¶ and many in the mainstream media are reporting € ¦’¶ that the plans are an effort at modernization and increasing the monitoring of targeted foreign persons (which is troubling enough), it’s really about increasing surveillance of Americans too, according to Mike German.

    By changing the definition of “electronic surveillance”, the Administration would be able to exempt all international phone calls from the warrant requirement. The same holds true for e-mails. The government wouldn’t have to go to the FISA Court long unless it knew that “the sender and all intended recipients are located within” the US. Any e-mail routed through a foreign country could be fair game. So, for example, if AOL routes an email originating in Washington, DC to a recipient in San Francisco € ¦’¶ via Canada € ¦’¶ the government could mine the content of that email. (Of course, cooperating telecom companies would be protected with immunity.) And let’s say the government just happened to grab some of this information in violation of the law€ ¦’¥. currently it is required to destroy it. The new proposal allows the government to “keep material that they improperly took by accident,” German says.

    Just as Gonzales was a key player in creating and defending warrantless wiretaps to spy on Americans; stripping habeas corpus rights and weakening our commitment to the Geneva Convention; politicizing the civil rights division at his Department of (In)Justice€ ¦’¥ no doubt he will offer his unabashed support for the Administration’s latest proposal to expand domestic spying, weaken oversight, and rollback the checks and balances of our system to create an unfettered Executive. The contempt for our Constitution is clear, and the pattern of abuse is consistent with what former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel recently warned happens “when a regime places a higher value on ideological loyalty than it does on honesty or creativity or even efficiency.”

    FISA needs to be strengthened, not weakened. Gonzales needs to resign € ¦’¶ he has no credibility as our top law enforcement official. And investigations need to be held to determine the telecom role during five years of illegal domestic spying.

    There is only one bright side to this latest chapter of madness in the long insanity of the Bush Administration. It raises another opportunity for sane political leaders and pro-democracy patriots to push back and answer this fundamental question: are we a nation of laws or do we bend to the partisan rule of a few men?


  3. The GOP’s Cyber Election Hit Squad
    Posted by: “Jack” miscStonecutter@earthlink.net bongo_fury2004
    Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:09 am (PST)

    The GOP€ ’²s Cyber Election Hit Squad

    by Steven Rosenfeld and Bob Fitrakis
    The Free Press (Columbus, Ohio)
    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Did the most powerful Republicans in America have the computer capacity,
    software skills and electronic infrastructure in place on Election Night
    2004 to tamper with the Ohio results to ensure George W. Bush€ ’²s
    re-election?The answer appears to be yes. There is more than ample
    documentation to show that on Election Night 2004, Ohio€ ’²s € ’³official€ ’´
    Secretary of State website – which gave the world the presidential
    election results – was redirected from an Ohio government server to a
    group of servers that contain scores of Republican web sites, including
    the secret White House e-mail accounts that have emerged in the scandal
    surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales€ ’²s firing of eight federal

    Recent revelations have documented that the Republican National
    Committee (RNC) ran a secret White House e-mail system for Karl Rove and
    dozens of White House staffers. This high-tech system used to count and
    report the 2004 presidential vote- from server-hosting contracts, to
    software-writing services, to remote-access capability, to the actual
    server usage logs themselves – must be added to the growing
    congressional investigations.

    Numerous tech-savvy bloggers, starting with the online investigative
    consortium epluribusmedia.org and their November 2006 article
    cross-posted by contributor luaptifer to Dailykos, and Joseph Cannon€ ’²s
    blog at Cannonfire.blogspot.com, outed the RNC tech network. That
    web-hosting firm is SMARTech Corp. of Chattanooga, TN, operating out of
    the basement in the old Pioneer Bank building. The firm hosts scores of
    Republican websites, including georgewbush.com, gop.com and rnc.org.

    The software created for the Ohio secretary of state€ ’²s Election Night
    2004 website was created by GovTech Solutions, a firm co-founded by
    longtime GOP computing guru Mike Connell. He also redesigned the Bush
    campaign€ ’²s website in 2000 and told € ’³Inside Business€ ’´ magazine in 1999,
    € ’³I wouldn€ ’²t be where I am today without the Bush campaign and the Bush
    family because the Bushes truly are about family and I€ ’²m loyal to my
    network.€ ’´

    Ohio€ ’²s Cedarville University, a Christian school with 3,100 students,
    issued a press release on January 13, 2005 describing how faculty member
    Dr. Alan Dillman€ ’²s computing company Government Consulting Resources,
    Ltd, worked with these Republican-connected companies to tally the vote
    on Election Night 2004.

    € ’³Dillman personally led the effort from the GCR side, teaming with key
    members of Blackwell€ ’²s staff,€ ’´ the release said. € ’³GCR teamed with
    several other firms – including key players such as GovTech Solutions,
    which performed the software development – to deliver the end result.
    SMARTech provided the backup and additional system capacity, and Mercury
    Interactive performed the stress testing.€ ’´

    On Election Night 2004, the Republican Party not only controlled the
    vote-counting process in Ohio, the final presidential swing state,
    through a secretary of state who was a co-chair of the Bush campaign,
    but it also controlled the technology that allowed the tally of the vote
    in Ohio€ ’²s 88 counties to be reported to the media and voters.

    Privatizing elections and allowing known partisans to run a key
    presidential vote count is troubling enough. But the reason Congress
    must investigate these high-tech ties is there is abundant evidence that
    Republicans could have used this computing network to delay announcing
    the winner of Ohio€ ’²s 2004 election while tinkering with the results.

    Did Ohio Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell or other GOP
    operatives inflate the president€ ’²s vote totals to secure George W.
    Bush€ ’²s margin of victory? On Election Night 2004, many of the totals
    reported by the Secretary of State were based on local precinct results
    that were impossible. In Clyde, Ohio, a Republican haven, Bush won big
    after 131 percent voter turnout. In Republican Perry County, two
    precincts came in at 124 percent and 120 percent respectively. In
    Gahanna Ward 1, precinct B, Bush received 4,258 votes despite the fact
    that only 638 people voted for president. In Concord Southwest in Miami
    County, the certified election results proudly proclaimed at 679 out of
    689 registered voters cast ballots, a 98.55 percent turnout.
    FreePress.org later found that only 547 voters had signed in.

    These strange election results were routed by county election officials
    through Ohio€ ’²s Secretary of State€ ’²s office, through partisan IT
    providers and software, and the final results were hosted out of a
    computer based in Tennessee announcing the winner. The Cedarville
    University releases boasted the system € ’³was running like a champ.€ ’´ It
    said, € ’³The system kept running through the early morning hours as users
    from around the world looked to Ohio for their election results.€ ’´

    All the facts are not in, but enough is known to warrant a serious
    congressional inquiry. Beginning with a timeline on Election Night after
    a national media consortium exit poll predicted Democrat John Kerry
    would win Ohio, the first Ohio returns were from the state€ ’²s Democratic
    urban strongholds, showing Kerry in the lead.

    This was the case until shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 5,
    when for roughly 90 minutes the Ohio election results reported on the
    Secretary of State€ ’²s website were frozen. Shortly before 2am EST
    election returns came in from a handful of the state€ ’²s rural Republican
    enclaves, bumping Bush€ ’²s numbers over the top.

    It was known Bush would carry rural Ohio. But the vote totals from these
    last-to-report counties, where Karl Rove said there was an unprecedented
    late-hour evangelical vote giving the White House a moral mandate, were
    highly improbable and suggested vote count fraud to pad Bush€ ’²s numbers.
    Just how flimsy the reported GOP totals were was not known on Election
    Night and has not been examined by the national media. But an
    investigation by the House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff begun
    after Election Day 2004 and completed before the Electoral College met
    on Jan. 6, 2005, was first to publicly point to vote count fraud in
    rural Ohio.

    That report, € ’³Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio,€ ’´ cited
    near-impossible vote totals, including 19,000 votes that were
    mysteriously added at the close of tallying the vote in Miami County.
    The report cited more than 3,000 apparently fraudulent voter
    registrations – all dating back to the same day in 1977 in Perry County.
    The report noted a homeland security emergency was declared in Warren
    County, prompting its ballots to be taken to a police-guarded
    unauthorized warehouse and counted away from public scrutiny, despite
    local media protests.

    In our book, € ’³What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and
    Fraud in the 2004 Election€ ’´ (The New Press, 2006), we go beyond the
    House Judiciary Democratic report to analyze precinct-by-precinct
    returns and we print copies of the documents upon which we base our
    findings. We found many vote-count irregularities based on examining the
    certified results, precinct-level records and the actual ballots.

    The most eyebrow-raising example to emerge from parsing precinct results
    was finding 10,500 people in three Ohio€ ’²s € ’±Bible Belt€ ’² counties who
    voted to re-elect Bush and voted in favor of gay marriage, if the
    official results are true. That was in Warren, Butler and Clermont
    Counties. The most plausible explanation for this anomaly, which defies
    logic and was not seen anywhere else in the country, was Kerry votes
    were flipped to Bush while the rest of the ballot was left alone. While
    we have some theories about how that might have been done by hand in a
    police-guarded warehouse, could full Republican control of the
    vote-counting software and servers also have played a role?

    The early returns on the Secretary of State€ ’²s website suggest
    Blackwell€ ’²s vote-tallying and reporting system could manipulate large
    blocks of votes. Screenshots taken during the early returns in Hamilton
    County, where Cincinnati is located, gave Green Party presidential
    candidate David Cobb 39,541 votes, which was clearly incorrect.
    Similarly, early return screenshots in Lucas County, where Toledo is
    located, gave Cobb 4,685 votes, another clear error. (The screenshots
    are in our book). Were these innocent computer glitches or was a GOP
    vote-counting and reporting system moving and dumping Kerry votes?

    There€ ’²s more evidence the late returns from Ohio€ ’²s Republican-majority
    countryside were not accurate. During the spring and summer of 2006,
    several teams of investigators associated with Freepress.org, notably
    one team led by Ron Baiman, a Ph.D. statistician and researcher at
    Chicago€ ’²s Loyola University, examined the actual election records from
    precincts in Miami and Clermont Counties. These records – from poll
    books where voters sign in, to examining the actual ballots themselves –
    were not publicly accessible until last year, under orders from Ohio€ ’²s
    former Republican Secretary of State. Baiman compared the number of
    voters who signed in with the total number of votes attributed to
    precincts. He found hundreds of € ’³phantom€ ’´ votes, where the number of
    voter signatures was less than the reported vote total. That discrepancy
    also suggests vote count fraud.

    There was other evidence in the observable paper trail of padding the
    vote, including instances in Delaware County where in one precinct, 359
    of the final punch-card ballots cast on Election Day contained no Kerry
    votes, which means the day€ ’²s last voters all were Bush supporters, which
    also is improbable. In another Delaware County precinct, Bush allegedly
    received the last 210 votes of the day. Were partisan local election
    workers trying to mask what was happening electronically to tilt the
    vote count?

    Ohio€ ’²s 2004 ballots were to be destroyed last September. However that
    fate was blocked by a federal judge, who ruled in the early phase of
    trying a Voting Rights Act lawsuit that accused Ohio officials of
    suppressing the minority vote in Ohio€ ’²s cities. The state€ ’²s new
    Secretary of State and Attorney General, both Democrats, are now holding
    settlement talks for that suit, suggesting its claims have merit.
    However, unlike Florida after the 2000 election, there still has yet to
    be a full accounting of Ohio€ ’²s presidential vote.

    What€ ’²s clear, however, is the highest ranks of the Republican Party€ ’²s
    political wing, including White House counselor Karl Rove, a handful of
    the party€ ’²s most tech-savvy computer gurus and the former Republican
    Ohio Secretary of State, created, owned and operated the vote-counting
    system that reported George W. Bush€ ’²s re-election to the presidency.
    Moreover, it appears the votes that gave Bush his 118,775-vote margin of
    victory – the boost from Ohio€ ’²s countryside – have yet to be confirmed
    as accurate. Instead, the reporting to date suggests that what happened
    on the ground and across Ohio€ ’²s rural precincts is at odds with the vote
    tally released on Election Night.

    As numerous congressional committees attempt to retrieve and examine the
    secret White House e-mails surrounding Attorney General Alberto
    Gonzales€ ’² firing of eight federal prosecutors, those panels must also
    probe the privatization and partisan manipulation of the 2004
    presidential vote count in Ohio. The lessons from 2004 have yet to be
    fully understood or learned.

    Similarly, the House Administration Committee, which is expected to soon
    mark up H.R. 811, a bill by Rep. Rush Holt, D-NJ, to regulate electronic
    voting technology, also must take heed. The vote count and outcome of
    American elections cannot be left in the hands of known partisans, who
    can control and manipulate how the votes are counted and what is
    reported to the media and American people.

    Public vote counts on private, partisan servers and secret proprietary
    software have no place in a democracy.

    Bob Fitrakis is a political science professor and attorney in the King
    Lincoln Bronzeville civil rights lawsuit against Ken Blackwell.
    Fitrakis, Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman are authors of € ’³What Happened
    in Ohio? A documentary record of theft and fraud in the 2004 election,€ ’´
    (New Press, 2006).

    KEY LINKS: To trace the site-hosting history of
    election.sos.state.oh.us, go to:
    (You will note on Nov. 3, 2004, the Ohio Secretary of State€ ’²s website
    was moved from a Columbus-based company, OARnet, to SMARTECH CORPORATION.)

    Ken Blackwell Outsources Ohio Election Results to GOP Internet
    Operatives, Again

    Who is Michael L. Connell? Part II: Behind the firewall

    The White House, vote theft, and the email trail

    Cedarville University A Major Player in Ohio€ ’²s Election Tallying Efforts
    marketing/publicrelations/newsarticle.cfm? ID=2132271177

    € ’³What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the
    2004 Election,€ ’´ by Robert Fitrakis, Steven Rosenfeld, Harvey Wasserman.

    Rove-ing emails: what else could go missing? by Todd Johnston
    http://scoop.epluribusmedia.org/story/2007/4/22/ 33926/1773

    This shows a screen capture of the TN server which in 2004
    was where election.sos.state.oh.us was hosted from, and in 2006 it was
    still getting live data from Ohio, even though election.sos.state.oh.us
    was hosted on OARnet servers in Ohio.


    The Free Press (Columbus, Ohio)


  4. Pingback: US conservation group files lawsuit against Bush to protect Mississippi gopher frog | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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