MinM's Journal - Archives
Why Bradleegate Matters: Woodward and Bernstein's Deception
By James Rosen
May 22, 2012
The media focused on Ben Bradlee's doubts about Deep Throat, but the real story is the discrepancies between their original reporting and the established history of Watergate
"Please don't use the presently existing literature as established fact," warned H.R. Haldeman, the former White House chief of staff to Richard Nixon, at a symposium on the Nixon presidency convened at Hofstra University in November 1987. "There's an enormous amount of gross inaccuracies in most of the present views regarding the totality and the specific segments of the Nixon presidency."
A brilliantly efficient chief of staff -- his communications operations marked a quantum leap over his predecessors' and helped shape the modern presidency -- Haldeman wound up disgraced, serving 18 months at Lompoc Federal Prison in his native California for his role in the Watergate cover-up. Few in the saga were more thoroughly vilified. At Lompoc, this devout Christian Scientist and former J. Walter Thompson executive, a man described by historian Richard Reeves as "a pre-computer organizational genius," toiled as a sewage chemist. Haldeman recalled at Hofstra how he used "the unenviable luxury of substantial time on my hands" to devour, in his cell, the established literature on Nixon and Watergate.
Armed with three highlighter pens of different colors, he underlined in red every statement of fact he knew, "of my own personal and absolutely certain knowledge," to be false. The color blue Haldeman used to highlight sentences he knew, with equal certitude, to be true. And yellow was reserved for those claims that even Haldeman, the White House aide who spent the most time in Nixon's Oval Office, could neither verify nor refute. "It was a fascinating exercise," he said -- and with discernible glee, he would tell you the book with the highest percentage of red lines, the lowest truth quotient: 1974's The Palace Guard by Dan Rather and Gary Paul Gates.
What about Watergate?
Now that Patrick Fitzgerald has retired... The conviction of Scooter Libby and protection of Cheney becomes clearer.
Rod Blagojevich Hints That Feds Were After Barack Obama
Source: Talking Points Memo
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick J. Fitzgerald, one of the most high profile federal prosecutors in the country, is stepping down from his position after over a decade in the position. His resignation takes effect on June 30.
Fitzgerald, 51, has no future employment plans and will take the summer off before considering career options, his office said in a statement. He has been at the Justice Department for over 24 years and led the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame’s status as a CIA agent and the prosecution of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
When I was selected for this position in 2001, I said that it was one of the greatest opportunities that one could ever hope for, and I believe that even more now after having the privilege of working alongside hundreds of dedicated prosecutors and agents,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “I have tried not to get in their way. I extend my deepest appreciation to the attorneys and staff for their determined commitment to public service. This was a great office when I arrived, and I have no doubt that it will continue to be a great office.”
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that Fitzgerald had served with the “utmost integrity and a steadfast commitment to the cause of justice.”
Read more: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141...
Now that Patrick Fitzgerald has retired... The conviction of Scooter Libby and protection of Cheney becomes clearer.
Richard Helms and Robert Redford on the set of Three Days of the Condor
Watergate Reporting, the Second Draft
Robert Redford to Produce a Documentary About Watergate
By BRIAN STELTER
Published: April 2, 2012
Rarely does reality intersect with role playing the way it did two Sundays ago in Bob Woodward’s living room.
Meeting him there were Carl Bernstein, his writing partner at The Washington Post during the Watergate scandal in the 1970s; Ben Bradlee, their top editor at the time; and Robert Redford, the actor who played Mr. Woodward in “All the President’s Men,” the 1976 film that dramatized The Post’s presidential detective work.
Jokes were cracked about the four decades that had passed since Watergate — “You guys, we’re really lucky we recognize each other,” Mr. Redford said — but the men were together for a serious reason. Mr. Redford was starting work on another project on Watergate, this time as a documentarian.
Commissioned by the Discovery Channel, the project, “All the President’s Men Revisited,” will be a two-hour television documentary about the scandal that doomed Richard M. Nixon’s presidency and will explore its effects on politics and the media in the 40 years since. It will have its premiere in 2013 but will be announced by Discovery this week at its annual presentation for advertisers...
Richard Helms and Richard M. Nixon
Watergate Reporting, the Second Draft
Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 08:00 AM EDT
From Watergate to WikiLeaks
A new book demolishes the myth of Deep Throat -- and the romance of heroic journalism
By Jefferson Morley
In the movie “All the President’s Men,” the shadowy high-level source known only as Deep Throat tells Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, “Follow the money.” The fact that this never happened — the words were invented by screenwriter William Goldman — detracted little from the scene’s power or the movie’s influence. It encapsulated a romantic myth of journalism: An intrepid reporter finds a wise whistle-blower who schools him in the abuse of power. In the movie and political memory, the top-level source enabled the crusading reporters to bring down a corrupt president.
That myth died in May 2005 when Vanity Fair revealed that Deep Throat was Mark Felt, a former acting deputy director of the FBI, who, it turns out, was quite comfortable with the abuse of power. After the Watergate saga, he was convicted of authorizing illegal break-ins. Now, Max Holland’s ingenious new book, “Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat,” reconstructs how Felt used Woodward and the Post to advance his true agenda, which Holland argues convincingly was not doing justice but becoming director of the FBI.
At its best, this “dandy” book (critic Jack Shafer’s word) illuminates an underappreciated reality of Washington: journalism’s role in the clash of factions within the U.S. government. Holland sets the Watergate story in the context of what historian Stanley Kutler calls “the war of FBI succession.” This was the power struggle that erupted after the death of longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in May 1972. When the Watergate burglars were arrested six weeks later, Felt started slipping tidbits of information to Woodward, a 30-year-old reporter in the Post Metro section who, by his own admission, had been sucking up to Felt for close to two years...
During the run-up to the Iraq war, the pro-war faction in the White House and Pentagon leaked closely held (and completely unfounded) information to New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Their purpose was not rhetorical but practical. Miller’s scoops were not only intended to influence public opinion; they were also intended to discredit the go-slow faction in the State Department and CIA and justify their case for war in the administration’s war councils. Some say Miller “fell in love” with her sources, though her subsequent move to the conservative think tank suggests that she may have aided the pro-war faction out of conviction...
Watergate's Lessons for the New media Age
Frontline: Breaking the News Corp. Phone Hacking Scandal
March 22, 2012, 4:09 pm ET
We may never have heard about the still-unfolding News Corporation phone hacking and bribery scandal were it not for “a Manchester lawyer, … a reporter for The Guardian and a few members of Parliament,” who somehow managed to bring a feared global media giant to its knees.
FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman recounted how a few chance incidents sparked an international scandal on NPR’s Fresh Air today. FRONTLINE’s film on News Corporation, Murdoch’s Scandal, airs Tuesday, March 27 (check your local listings).
Bergman also discussed what happened to some of those who took on News Corp., including Mark Lewis, the lawyer who would ultimately represent more than 80 victims of phone hacking:
He and a woman who he was going out with and worked with were put under surveillance, as was his ex-wife and child by a private investigator hired by News International. It isn’t that they just go out and hire private investigators. We now know that some of these private investigators worked in the newsroom. Or were told, ‘Become journalists. Join the journalism union.’ They were integrating these investigators into their newsroom operations. These surveillances were ordered. In fact, James Murdoch has now publicly apologized to Mr. Lewis and Tom Watson, a member of Parliament, for putting them under surveillance...
Friday, April 27, 2012
Frontline’s Astonishing Whitewash of the Crisis
Several of my savviest readers wrote expressing disappointment and consternation with the Frontline series on the crisis, “Money, Power, and Wall Street.” The first two parts of the four part series have been released, and it’s probably safe to say that this program is far enough along to be beyond redemption.
It’s a recitation of conventional wisdom, with just enough focus on some of the numerous things the banks and the authorities did wrong so as to make it seem daring for mainstream TV. But anyone who has been on this beat will find the first two segments cringe-making (one advantage I had was that of reading the transcripts, which makes it much easier to parse the construction). Despite the obligatory shots of Occupy Wall Street protestors, displaced homeowners, and stymied officials, much of the story line is remarkably bank-friendly.
The first segment is particularly troubling. It heavily cribs from the Gillian Tett book Fool’s Gold, which to be blunt was not very well received by reviewers. Fool’s Gold discussed the development of the credit default swaps market from the perspective of JP Morgan executives and staffers, with the result that it verged on hagiography. Oh, those great, intrepid, innovative bankers who just wanted to make the world better, and maybe make a buck or two in the process.
The book at least explained that the reason for the creation of the CDS was to solve a rather big problem for JP Morgan, that it was carrying a ton of loan risk and could use a way to lay it off (the broadcast, by contrast, made it sound like this was a market just waiting to happen, as opposed to one JP Morgan, and later its competitors, cultivated).
And no one clearly explains that CDS, as currently used, are certain to produce periodic blowups of undercapitalized guarantors (the monolines and AIG are prototypical). Tett and pretty much everyone in the segment perpetuates the industry PR that CDS are derivatives. A derivative is an instrument whose price “derives” from an actively traded underlying instrument. CDS, by contrast, are the economic equivalent of unregulated insurance contracts. The pernicious feature of CDS is that the CDS protection writers (the guarantors) aren’t regulated for capital adequacy, the way other insurers are. They instead are required to post collateral to reflect the current value of the contract. But that is no guarantee that the CDS protection writer will be able to pay out. When a default or other credit event occurs, the price of the CDS spikes up, and the guarantor may not be able to make good on the new, higher collateral posting. And requiring CDS protection writers to put up enough margin to allow for “jump to default” risk would make the product uneconomical.
But none of this is explained. Tellingly, there are clips of Brooksley Born, but no mention of her failed effort to regulate CDS. It is instead presented as a benign product that JP Morgan understood (did they sponsor this broadcast? Blythe Masters gets a big promo) and no one else did...
Like the late Leo Ryan...
Allard Lowenstein met an untimely and suspicious demise.
This also goes along with the CNN revelation about a second shooter in the RFK case.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 07:45 AM EDT
Jim Jones’ sinister grip on San Francisco
How the Peoples Temple cult leader ensnared Harvey Milk and other progressive icons
By David Talbot
Left: Former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. Right: The Rev. Jim Jones, pastor of Peoples Temple in San Francisco (Credit: AP)
“Season of the Witch,” the new book by Salon founder David Talbot, tells the story of the wild and bloody birth of “San Francisco values.” The following excerpt – Part 1 in a three-part series -- recounts one of the darker dramas before the ultimate triumph of those values.
Jim Jones, the strange and charismatic leader of Peoples Temple, proved a master at politically wiring San Francisco in the mid-1970s. The driven preacher had begun his climb up the political pyramid by planting roots in the Fillmore district, the city’s devastated black neighborhood. Jones moved into the Fillmore at its most vulnerable moment. Urban renewal czar Justin Herman – the Robert Moses of San Francisco — had “literally destroyed the neighborhood,” observed community activist Hannibal Williams, “
Jones’s flock, ignored and scorned by society, was electrified by the preacher’s vision of a new Eden. Everybody was exalted in his services, even the lowliest recovering drunks and addicts. “He made us feel special, like something bigger than ourselves,” said one temple member. “Total equality, no rich or poor, no races,” said another. “We were alive in those services,” testified one more. “They had life, soul power.”
Jones — an oddball and renegade his entire life, someone who never felt at home in his own skin — had found his identity by taking on a black persona. He saw himself following in the footsteps of Malcolm and Martin, leading “his” people out of bondage and into the promised land...
In this NBC photo taken in 1965, TV actress Nina Roman, today known as Nina Rhodes-Hughes, left, and her "Morning Star" co-star Elizabeth Perry, right, meet Robert F. Kennedy at NBC's Burbank studios. Two and a half years later, Rhodes-Hughes witnessed Kennedy's assassination.
By Michael Martinez and Brad Johnson, CNN
updated 9:40 AM EDT, Mon April 30, 2012
Los Angeles (CNN) -- As a federal court prepares to rule on a challenge to Sirhan Sirhan's conviction in the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, a long overlooked witness to the murder is telling her story: She heard two guns firing during the 1968 shooting and authorities altered her account of the crime.
Nina Rhodes-Hughes wants the world to know that, despite what history says, Sirhan was not the only gunman firing shots when Kennedy was murdered a few feet away from her at a Los Angeles hotel.
"What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right," Rhodes-Hughes said in an exclusive interview with CNN. "The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups."
Her voice at times becoming emotional, Rhodes-Hughes described for CNN various details of the assassination, her long frustration with the official reporting of her account and her reasons for speaking out: "I think to assist me in healing -- although you're never 100% healed from that. But more important to bring justice." ...
by Tim Tate
Copyright © 2005 riceNpeas
The Assassination of Robert Kennedy, a gripping documentary by the acclaimed producer Chris Plumley, exposes how the CIA planted two operatives within the Los Angeles Police Department who manipulated the investigation of Kennedy’s assassination.
Robert Kennedy’s death seemed an open and shut case, yet in spite of the testimonies of seventy-seven witnesses, it remains shrouded in mystery. Many witnesses at the time complained of pressure by the LAPD to change their testimony. For the first time, Plumley exposes how evidence was changed: how an FBI officer saw bullets being removed from the scene of the assassination and how LAPD officers who didn’t tow the line found themselves suspended on ridiculous charges or taken off the case.
This hard-hitting documentary is produced in the gripping style of The Day The Dream Died, the documentary which catapulted Chris Plumley to international prominence and formed the backbone of Oliver Stone’s acclaimed film JFK.
Producer : Tim Tate
Executive Producer : Chris Plumley
Editor : Richard L. Hohman
Duration : 52 minutes
Language : English
Floorgraphics v. News America
updated 7/21/2011 8:04:08 PM ET
Justice Department prosecutors are reviewing allegations that News Corp.’s advertising arm repeatedly hacked into the computers of a competitor in the United States as part of an effort to steal the rival firm’s business, according to a lawyer for the company.
Bill Isaacson, the lawyer for Floorgraphics, a New Jersey-based advertising firm, told NBC News he was contacted this week by two federal prosecutors and an FBI agent based in New York seeking information about claims that the firm’s computers were hacked by News America Marketing, the advertising division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., seven years ago.
The allegations were first reported to the FBI in 2004 and prompted investigations at the time by the bureau, the Secret Service and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, according to documents obtained by NBC News and congressional correspondence.
While never prosecuted, the claims became a key part of a civil lawsuit that Floorgraphics filed against News America. The case was resolved six days into a 2009 trial, when News America agreed to buy Floorgraphics' assets for $29.5 million as part of an out-of-court settlement.
The renewed interested in the incident appears to be part of a broader Justice Department probe into News Corp. ordered last week by Attorney General Eric Holder in the wake of disclosures of rampant phone hacking by reporters at the News of the World, the now-shuttered News Corp. newspaper in London. The claim made by Floorgraphics involves alleged computer crimes, not phone hacking, and is the only such allegation that has surfaced against News Corp. in the United States...
The inquiry into Floorgraphics could pose a problem for another of Murdoch’s top newspaper executives: Paul Carlucci, the publisher of the New York Post. Carlucci also has been the longtime chairman and chief executive of News America and has been accused in three lawsuits of creating a cut-throat competitive culture at the company, including showing his employees a scene from the movie “The Untouchables” in which the mobster Al Capone crushes a rival’s head with a baseball bat.
Carlucci has denied the incident. Asked if Carlucci had any knowledge of the hacking of Floorgraphics’ computers, company spokeswoman Halpin said via email: “Certainly not. No one at News America Marketing had any knowledge of the alleged incident until the claim was made that it had happened.” ...
Floorgraphics was a relatively small start-up firm based in Princeton, N.J., at the time that the computer hacking allegations arose. The firm specialized in creating on-floor advertising displays at grocery store chains such as Safeway — a line of business that put it in direct competition with News America’s own in-store ad business.
Testifying in another civil case two years ago, George Rebh, one of the two brothers who owned Floorgraphics, described a 1999 lunch with Carlucci in which the News America executive allegedly threatened to “destroy” his company.
According to the company’s lawsuit, News America that year launched a “deliberate and malicious” campaign to do that by, among other actions, threatening retailers who did business with Floorgraphics, creating “confusion” in the marketplace by “spreading rumors” that it was about to go out of business and “breaking into” the firm’s password- protected computer system to acquire information about its past and future business contracts.
According to a forensic report that a computer security firm prepared for Floorgraphics as part of its civil case against News America, the security breach was traced to the IP address of a News America computer.
The hacker gained unauthorized access on 13 different occasions between Oct. 6, 2003 and Jan. 13, 2004, viewing floor ads that Floorgraphics had installed in retail customers’ stores as well as “images, instructions and schedules for ads it was preparing to install in the coming months,” according to the report.
FBI agents originally visited Floorgraphics’ offices to examine its computers in early 2004 — and the case was initially assigned to a prosecutor working for Chris Christie, then the U.S. attorney in New Jersey and now the state’s governor. But it’s unclear how far it was pursued; a company source told NBC that the FBI agent assigned to the matter later told the firm that agents were too busy at the time working on security for the 2004 Republican convention in New Jersey...
Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43847056/ns/us... /
NYT reporting on Carlucci and News Corps payments in US
There were at least a couple of factors that Jerry Policoff was aware of:
1) The new producer of Inside Edition came from 20/20, and was determined to do real investigative journalism. As opposed to Rupert Murdoch's tabloid/gossip show, Hard Copy.
2) O'Reilly somehow came into possession of leaked CIA documents.
# Show #537
Original airdate: July 28, 2011
Guests: Jerry Policoff / Jim DiEugenio
Topics: Murdoch / JFK Research
Play Part One - Jerry Policoff
# Early JFK researcher, area of expertise is the role of the media, New York Times, CBS, Time Inc, John McCloy
# Murdoch hacking scandal, Watergate analogy, revelations getting bigger and bigger, broke two years ago
# United States connection, going to take Murdoch and PM Cameron down, Chris Christie, News America, Floor Graphics
# Carlucci, I will destroy you, hacked by News America, settled for 29 million dollars, multiple cases
# 500 million and 125 million dollar settlements, violations of the law, mysterious deaths
# Margaret Thatcher, the Cameron government, head of Scotland Yard resigned, corridors of power
# The Weekly Standard, helped launch the Iraq war, Fox News, Murdoch became a US citizen, still run from Australia
# Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, talking about it now, tip of the iceberg, news is the political arm of the Murdoch empire
# People are afraid of Murdoch, whistle blower, engaged in fraud, FCC waiver, they rolled out the red carpet
# Frank Sturgis, Marita Lorenz, Murdoch, inherited a newspaper from his father, started Hard Copy, tabloid television
# James Murdoch lied, Rupert may throw his son under the bus
# He knew everything going on with his newspapers, he likes thugs, death of a Chief of Police, Metro Media
# Bill O'Reilly, host of Inside Edition, a clone of Hard Copy, received leaked CIA documents about Garrison
# At one point he had a sense of outrage, what a nut-case, money does strange things to people
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