Podcast Show #117- “A Deep Throat’s whistleblowing can start the unraveling, but it’s not enough!”

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Coleen Rowley

Coleen Rowley joins us in a bold discussion on the recent developments involving NSA, congressional impotence, government whistleblowers, and what is really needed to bring about real and meaningful change. She talks about Obama feigning ignorance on his awareness of the extent of the illegal NSA surveillance, and how only moving chairs on the deck of the Titanic would probably suit everyone who was and is a part of the massive and highly profitable Top Secret America spy machine. We discuss Dianne Feinstein’s bill which is designed to codify the existing restrictions the FISA Court has imposed on the NSA, Edward Snowden, US Mainstream Media, how a Deep Throat style whistleblowing can start the unraveling, but not enough on its own, and much more.

Coleen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She came to national attention in June 2002, when she testified before Congress about serious lapses before 9/11 that helped account for the failure to prevent the attacks. She now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and on balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

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Dear Department of Justice: Please Investigate Your Old Boss for Material Support of Terrorism!

Former AG Mukasey on Terrorist Organization MEK Payroll

By Coleen Rowley

MEK1Dear Department of Justice and Department of Treasury Officials:

We might have just helped you bag another material supporter of terrorism this week! And you'll never believe who the culprit is! We were even able to tape record some of his own damning admissions! (That's the reason for my calls last week to your duty attorneys and media offices.)

MEK2As you know, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has an ongoing investigation into several high profile former political figures, trying to discover their financial transactions with the terrorists in the Mujaheddin e Khalq aka "MEK". One of the former political officials apparently being investigated for his financial transactions and paid advocacy on behalf of MEK is former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Well Mukasey happened to get tapped on March 15 to give an "ethical leadership" speech at the University of St. Thomas Law School and some of us went to hear what he had to say. As an aside, the overall thrust of his speech was anything but ethical. Instead he mostly defended the Bush Administration and its lawyers for having used their talents "to push the legal limits" of what the Executive Branch could do in its "war on terror." (Of course there are many legal scholars who think those Bush attorneys pushed over the legal limits.) He especially defended John Yoo and Robert Delahunty (now a St. Thomas law professor) who working in Bush's Office of Legal Counsel, co-wrote memos in early 2002 claiming the U.S. did not have to follow the Geneva Conventions. Researchers have since gained evidence through multiple interviews of returned soldiers that the major factor in U.S. troops' having committed atrocities and abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as terrible torture of detainees was their being told they no longer had to follow the Geneva Conventions. But Mukasey didn't seem to care much about any abuses or torture. In fact, although he refused to answer during his Senate Confirmation hearing whether waterboarding was torture, he explicitly declared that waterboarding is not torture and therefore was/is not illegal as practiced by CIA contractors. [Read more...]

Secretary of the Nobel Committee Geir Lundestad: “The Committee always stands by its laureates and never denounces them”- No matter ‘what’ they do!

Coleen Rowley Interviews and Challenges the Nobel Committee Secretary on Obama’s Laughable Peace Prize

ObamaNobelOn March 3, 2012, Coleen Rowley attended the 3rd and final day of the Nobel Peace Forum in Minneapolis, and was able to interview Oslo-based long-time Secretary of the Nobel Committee Geir Lundestad after he spoke at a Forum event at Augsburg College. Coleen had helped draft this “Petition (to) Investigate Betrayal of the Nobel Peace Prize" a few days earlier, which has now gathered the endorsements of over 40 peace organizations. Yesterday she sent me her very sobering article and video clip from that interview. Here are a few important excerpts and the video:

Secretary Lundestad began the interview by denying he has been dodging Heffermehl’s questions and advising that “a very long response” has been prepared to respond to the allegations lodged against his Committee. Lundestad said Heffermehl’s problem is he is a “purist” and an “originalist” who thinks the prize should only go to peace activists as narrowly defined; that Heffermehl’s understanding of Alfred Nobel as a “one dimensional person” is wrong. (Note: Lundestad had begun his earlier talk by describing Alfred Nobel as profoundly unhappy, romantically frustrated and someone who would have been diagnosed with mental problems or institutionalized if he had lived now.) [Read more...]

Action Alert: Urge Nobel Foundation to Rescind Obama’s award

Petition to Investigate Betrayal of the Nobel Peace Prize

ObamaAwardIn June 2011 Coleen Rowley and I co-wrote a petition to rescind Obama’s Transparency Award, given to him during a secret ceremony by a handful of agenda-driven organizations led by Project on Government Oversight (POGO). Here is what our petition called for:

Awarding the worst president in US history when it comes to government whistleblowers with a Transparency Award is a huge insult. Presenting a president who has dramatically increased government secrecy with an Anti-Secrecy Award is ridiculous. Rewarding one of the worst US presidents when it comes to invocation of unconstitutional state secrets privilege is ludicrous. This award is a major insult to all liberty-loving Americans. This award is a slap to all freedom-liberty seeking activists. This award is dumb, highly damaging, and extremely dangerous by what it says it represents. Please stand up and say ‘NO’ to this award by signing this petition. I urge you to demand that this award be taken back immediately. I implore you to not let them get away with this in your name. I am asking you to sign this petition and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Don’t let them mock our nation, our people and our values: Take Obama’s Transparency Award Back Now.

At the time we were drafting this petition Coleen and I were also discussing another hypocritical and ludicrous award that was granted to this same president-The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. We were debating whether to tackle both awards in one petition, or take on each separately. We decided on the latter.

A few weeks ago we began our discussions and plans to launch the petition addressed to the members of Stockholm’s County Administrative Board which has formally asked the Nobel Foundation to respond to allegations that the peace prize no longer reflects Nobel's will that the purpose of the prize was to diminish the role of military power in international relations. As always, David Swanson volunteered to help with drafting and launching the petition, and taking care of all the technical and complex organizational and logistical requirements (Thank you David!). Here is the petition launched at Warisacrime.Org: [Read more...]

Podcast Show #74

The Boiling Frogs Presents Coleen Rowley

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This is Part II of our interview series on the Makings of a Police State. You can listen to Part I here.

Coleen Rowley joins us to share her views and thoughts on the state of the misleadingly named ‘criminal justice system’ in the United States today, and the extent to which the apparatus has been transformed into a police state. She discusses the recently signed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the implications of this law for American citizens, and the troubling fact that many Americans are not aware of the serious threats to their liberties and rights posed by this police state enabling new law. Ms. Rowley talks about the Obama Administration’s increasing control of all information outlets together with the constant use of fear-hate-greed-false pride and blind loyalty propaganda to manufacture consent for the war machine as well as a panoply of other government-corporatocracy crimes, the escalating retaliation against government whistleblowers and government secrecy, FBI abuses and Director Mueller’s quietly extended term, and more!

rowleyColeen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She came to national attention in June 2002, when she testified before Congress about serious lapses before 9/11 that helped account for the failure to prevent the attacks. She now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and on balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

 

Listen to the preview Here

 

Here is our guest Coleen Rowley unplugged!

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Whistleblowing Ain’t No ‘Fair Game’

Pinpointing “Fairytale Whistleblowers”


fairytaleFor the last ten years, in over a hundred interviews, I’ve been asked to talk about whistleblowing and whistleblowers. On more than one occasion I’ve been asked to define the term whistleblower. I have recounted dozens of government whistleblower cases and stories during many interviews and speeches. What I have not done, at least until now, is to provide people with ways to tell real government whistleblowers from phony ones, or warn them about the existence of those who use the ‘whistleblower’ title for nefarious purposes. I haven’t talked about heavily promoted ‘fairytale whistleblowers’, set as a trap by the exact same establishment the supposed fairytale whistleblowers supposedly blew the whistle on - the government

And why haven’t I done this before? As the saying goes ‘choose your enemies carefully’. How about ‘there’s so little time and so much to fight against’? Well, I’m sure you have heard various versions of those sayings and others, and you get my meaning, thus the reason I chose to remain fairly quiet on this important aspect of whistleblowing and whistleblowers.

It will take far more than one brief article/commentary to discuss and analyze the cases of ‘fairytale whistleblowers’ and the purpose of popping up and propping up those select whistleblowers with tremendous help and participation from the media-publishers-Hollywood, corporate-owned and government-managed NGOs. That’s right: it takes the entire village of establishment participants to create these fairytale whistleblowers, promote and market them, and succeed in selling them to the public as genuine. Thus, for the purpose of this warm-up, introduction, I am going to limit myself to a few macro points and examples.

The real whistleblower armed with information really dangerous to the establishment-government ends up with one or more of the following outcomes and consequences: mysterious death, prison, prosecution, persecution, gag order-blackmail- threats (including their family members), financial destruction, scandalization, censure, marginalization by the media-publishers… 

The fairytale whistleblower trap meets the exact opposite end: no ‘real’ threat of prosecution or imprisonment, no ‘real’ censorship-gag order, fame, enormous financial gain-reward, wide media coverage, hero-status granted by the media, mega dollars book and movie deal, position with big-name corporate-foundation owned and government-ruled NGOs, future high-dollar government contracts and positions, clear and present partisan status…

Okay, now I am going to move from the above general ground rules to a bit more specific distinction between real whistleblowers versus fairytale whistleblower traps. [Read more...]

Zacarias Moussaoui: What We Don’t Know Might Hurt Us

A Significant Stimulus for the Reform that Never Came

By Kevin Fenton

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 Zacarias Moussaoui, one of the numerous “20th hijackers,” was arrested ten years ago next Tuesday, outside the Residence Inn in Eagan, Minnesota. The arrest was one of the first events in a case that gave the FBI a chance to blow open the 9/11 plot, but resulted in abject humiliation for the bureau when its headquarters’ string of errors was exposed in the press.

The Moussaoui case is a poster boy for the state of our knowledge about the attacks: we have some of the details, but know some are missing. Also, two key questions remain unanswered. This despite the wealth of information that came out at the trial and the fact that Moussaoui, although largely ignored by the 9/11 Commission’s final report—partly due to the forthcoming trial—was a major topic of the Justice Department inspector general’s report into the FBI’s pre-attack failings.

mouThese are the bare bones of the case: Moussaoui had been a known extremist for years prior to his arrest. Before the bureau first heard his name on August 15, he had been under surveillance by French and British intelligence and the CIA, although the agency would claim it only knew him under an alias. He was sent to the US for flight training by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, possibly to participate in 9/11, possibly to participate in a follow-up operation. However, he was a poor student and dropped out of basic flight school before obtaining a licence and went to learn about flying a Boeing 747, which aroused suspicion.

When the FBI was brought in, the Minneapolis agents realized he was dangerous and arrested him on an immigration violation—despite being told not to do so by headquarters. This was the first of many times the Minneapolis field office and FBI headquarters clashed over the case. Essentially, even though they did not know he was linked to al-Qaeda, the local agents understood the risk Moussaoui posed—one even speculated he would fly a large airliner into the World Trade Center—and they wanted a warrant to search his belongings to get information that would lead to his accomplices. On the other hand, headquarters seemed to think they were alarmist and there was nothing to the case. They kept throwing up roadblocks. [Read more...]

Rise Up To The Occasion… It Could Very Well Have Been You!

Every Single Person, Every Voice & Every Signature Counts

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Have you ever pulled over your car on a highway shoulder to be a Good Samaritan and help a driver of a broken car desperately in need of assistance? Have you done it despite the heavy traffic, and a remaining long commute to get home after an exhausting long shift at work? Do you remember thinking ‘hope someone, some day, will do the same for me or my loved one’?

Have you ever found a wallet or a cell phone, and then taken the time and effort to locate and contact the owner? Have you done it despite a hectic schedule, having a long to-do list, and in the midst of daily crisis and demands? Do you recall thinking ‘hope someday, someone, will do the same for me?’

Have you ever been before a federal court judge, with your rights being taken away one by one, your entire biographical existence being classified one after another, and during all this, your entire legal team and advisors being removed from the court room in order to make the screwing of your Constitutional rights completely secret and unobserved? I have:

A federal court in Washington yesterday took the rare step of closing an entire oral argument to the public in the case of a former FBI translator who says she was fired for complaining about security breaches. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that today's 30-minute argument in the case of Sibel Edmonds, a Middle Eastern language specialist fired in 2002, will be conducted behind closed doors. The court gave no reason for its decision.

The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The U.S. Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator's First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing. 

I am not going to recount that incredibly awful experience as far as the butchering of our Constitution and liberties goes. Instead I want to briefly recount a minor detail with a major effect on me. [Read more...]

POGO : Obama Deserves Transparency Award &“ has achieved more openness than any other recent president!”

Project on Government Oversight Refuses to Take Back Obama Transparency Award

takeback In a very wordy, hollow words that is, public response, Danielle Brian of Project on Government Oversight (POGO) not only adamantly declines to rescind Obama’s Transparency Award given to him in secrecy, but she actually praises the President as one who has achieved more openness than any other US president, thus deserving of an award given to him in a secret ceremony. Further, Ms. Brian considers this petition and signatories’ efforts a waste of time and a distraction. Here are a few excerpts from POGO’s public response to the petition and all signatories:

It's undeniable that the Obama administration has achieved more openness than any other recent president.

Of course, the fact that this rescheduled meeting wasn’t on the President’s calendar made it an easy joke. When we discovered this, we described it as “crazy stupid.” But the fact that the meeting wasn’t open to the press didn’t strike me as unusual—I have meetings all the time with policymakers that are not open to the press.

So no, I do not regret taking the opportunity to meet with the President and get him to discuss the prosecutions of national security whistleblowers, and I am not going to withdraw our support for the award.

Public debate and discourse is often healthy. But there is so much to be done to safeguard our rights and expand openness—our community just doesn’t have the luxury to waste time on distractions.

It appears as if the people at POGO didn’t even bother to read the petition and the cited facts. But I believe they know the facts. They know them too well. Yet, despite all these cited facts, despite all the cited actions taken by this President and his administration (yes, last time I checked presidents were held liable for their appointees’ practices!) against transparency and whistleblowers, despite all the measures taken by this President and his administration towards unprecedented levels of secrecy, POGO deemed, and still deems,  this president worthy of a Transparency Award; in a closed secret meeting not even logged in White House Schedule-Records.

Further, maybe even worse, despite repeated appeals, despite more than 25 whistleblowers’ implorations, despite more than 20 pro-transparency and pro-liberties organizations’ requests, despite the outcry from the public and journalist communities, POGO insists on the non-existent merits of this award, and it refuses to acknowledge it as a very dumb mistake; and adamantly refuses to take it back. And finally, POGO considers you, me, and everyone else on this petition a group that has the ‘luxury to waste time,’ and calls this petition a ‘distraction.’

Let me address a few ludicrous claims and positions presented by POGO:

Obama Should Not Be Held Responsible for His Administration’s Practices

POGO shields and defends Obama by asking people to blame and go after the agencies, not the President. They put forth a ludicrous and warped defense by claiming that presidents should not be held liable for the practices of the agencies headed by the president’s handpicked appointees.

First, this is akin to saying Hitler didn’t personally participate in annihilation, internment, torturing and killing; those were practiced by his military and police force, thus, he should not be blamed. This is similar to arguing that Abu-Ghraib practices and scandals were limited to a handful of lower-rank military personnel, and those above them with the authority and responsibility should have been absolved from any accountability. POGO says the awful anti-transparency and anti-whistleblower practices are implemented by the agencies and the bureaucracy, and the President does not have any power over them, so leave the President alone, give him awards, and go chase after his employees.

Secondly, POGO’s ludicrous position in absolving the President from his administration and agencies’ anti-transparency and anti-liberties practices reeks with hypocrisy and double talk. This is the same NGO that consistently (and justifiably) blamed the Bush-Cheney office for atrocious practices implemented by the agencies under them.

And finally, based on POGO’s argument we should not bother electing presidents, since presidents and presidential powers have nothing to do with the executive branch and its practices. POGO has declared presidential authority and responsibility moot.

Words Speak Much Louder than Actions & The Award Was Given Based on Obama’s Words

POGO, with a straight face, is telling the public to disregard Obama’s record and pay attention only to his words. This is like letting a serial rapist pedophile who happens to be an author of books on ‘protecting children against pedophiles’ go free despite damning evidence proving him guilty of raping and molesting children. This is similar to absolving the Catholic priests that were found guilty of child molestation because they spoke the right words on Sunday.

POGO even goes further and engages in double-talk and actions similar to the President himself. It is disingenuous for Danielle Brian to claim on one hand that it's not Obama's fault that the whistleblowers are being prosecuted, when she, Brian, in her own blog said that when she brought up anti-whistleblowers practices and  the Drake prosecution during the "Transparency Award" meeting, Obama said straight up that he disagreed with her position.

On one hand POGO asserts that ‘there are many things to bemoan in the Obama administration’s implementation of its open government goals,’ yet, on the other hand, they claim that Obama deserves and had actually earned the transparency award. POGO does not refute the facts and cases cited in our petition on Obama’s record as the worst president on whistleblowers and transparency, yet, they find this completely irrelevant to their decision to present this President with an undeserved mockery transparency award.

Do As We Say But Don’t Do As We Do!

Interestingly, as an organization funded by millions of dollars from special interest corporations-foundations that engages in issuing hundreds of in words-only cosmetic petition campaigns, POGO considers the petition signed and backed by numerous noted government whistleblowers, organizations, and activists, ‘A Waste of Time,’ and a major (and inconvenient) ‘Distraction.’ Danielle Brian actually stresses that petitions are useless, and tells people not to waste time going after Obama’s transparency award by campaigning with this petition. If POGO truly believes that then why do they spend millions of dollars, and high six-figure salaries for petitions to Congress and agencies, rather than actually supporting government whistleblowers with badly needed legal advice and help? [Read more...]

Peter B Collins Interviews Coleen Rowley: Take Back Obama Transparency Award!

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Listen to the show here.

Please Sign the Petition Here:Take Award Back.Com

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Rescind Obama’s “Transparency Award” Now!

Tell POGO, OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, Open the Government.Org, and the Reporters Committee to publicly take back their Transparency Award to President Obama

takebackaward

The following petition was co-written by Coleen Rowley and me, and has been backed by more than 25 government whistleblowers and over 20 organizations. Awarding the worst president in US history when it comes to government whistleblowers with a Transparency Award is a huge insult. Presenting a president who has dramatically increased government secrecy with an Anti-Secrecy Award is ridiculous. Rewarding one of the worst US presidents when it comes to invocation of unconstitutional state secrets privilege is ludicrous. This award is a major insult to all liberty-loving Americans. This award is a slap to all freedom-liberty seeking activists. This award is dumb, highly damaging, and extremely dangerous by what it says it represents. Please stand up and say ‘NO’ to this award by signing this petition. I urge you to demand that this award be taken back immediately. I implore you to not let them get away with this in your name. I am asking you to sign this petition and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Don’t let them mock our nation, our people and our values: Take Obama’s Transparency Award Back Now.

Please Sign the Petition Here:Take Award Back.Com

Thank You,

Sibel Edmonds

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The EyeOpener: Whistleblowers & Activists Line Up to Take Back Obama Transparency Award

Exclusive Boiling Frogs Video with James Corbett

Here is an exclusive video by James Corbett with the inaugural edition of the EyeOpener, a new weekly video series produced in conjunction with Boiling Frogs Post, on Obama’s Secret Transparency Award. This news clip is a prelude to our petition, ‘Rescind Obama’s “Transparency Award” Now!,’ co-written by Coleen Rowley and me, and signed by more than 25 high-profile government whistleblowers and over 20 organizations, which will be launched tomorrow morning. We are going to need every single one of you, your signatures, your support, and your voices to get these organizations to take back the undeserved and hypocritical award. Please watch this video. Maybe watch it again. Think about it. Get angry. Share this with everyone you know. Help up disseminate this and encourage others to watch think, get angry, and take action. We are counting on you; on us.

 

For further information and more background on this action campaign you can read this and this.

Please stay tuned for our upcoming petition tomorrow morning, and thank you all.

Sibel Edmonds

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Boiling Frogs Exclusive: Intelligence & Law Enforcement Experts on Ever-Changing Bin Laden Death Script

Not All Sources and Experts Are Equal- Here Are some Real Ones!

directorThere are ‘experts’ views,’ and then there are experts’ views. There are ‘government sources,’ and then there are government sources. Not all experts are equal. And, not all sources are reliable. Am I talking in riddles? Of course not; give me a chance and I’ll explain.

We have members of the popular media (mainstream and quasi alternatives alike) ever anxious to market and disseminate government conspiracy and propaganda. They, members of the popular media, have their own rolodex of ‘experts’ and analysts, some on their payroll, to help them propagate the delivery and execution of government-given propaganda-conspiracy. The same principle applies to ‘sources.’ The popular media relies on their government sources who act as middle-men-government messengers who’ve been given a government written and approved script to be delivered; almost always anonymously. Well, this is exactly what we have been getting from our media, around the clock, since the announcement of the Bin Laden Death Operation: ever-changing government scripts, delivered mainly by anonymous government sources to the US media, and further embellished and expanded upon by government-connected experts and analysts on the payroll.

On the other hand, there are many independent real experts whose analyses and views you won’t, or rarely, get to hear or read about; at least not in the mainstream media or at quasi-alternative sites. And there are current and former government sources not tasked with messenger duties; many of whom don’t see the ‘calculated’ necessity to remain ‘anonymous.’ I can assure you, you do not, and will not, read or hear these experts’ and sources’ statements, analyses or views when it comes to government-written stories and their media buddies.

Last weekend Boiling Frogs Post contacted several independent sources and experts, and asked them for their straight-forward take on the absurdity-filled and ever-changing Bin Laden Death story. I say independent, because they are. As you’ll see these veterans and sources come from all different walks of Intelligence-Law Enforcement-Military, and as far as political orientation goes, they fall into every single category-liberal, conservative, libertarian and none. I want to thank them all for honoring the request given to them on extremely short notice, and for being honest, direct, commonsensical, and in some cases realistically humorous. Here is what they had to say, and say it briefly per my request, starting with my favorite investigative reporter and bestselling author, whom I respect tremendously and consider ‘truly independent,’ James Bamford: [Read more...]

Podcast Show #22

The Boiling Frogs Presents Coleen Rowley

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Coleen Rowley shares with us her views on the latest spectacle surrounding the Christmas Day foiled terrorist attempt, and how it reflects on policies that were implemented after 9/11. She provides us with insight into the pretend investigations carried out by the 9/11 Commission, and how they conducted many of their interviews of FBI witnesses and experts inside the FBI HQ and offices. Ms. Rowley talks about the absence of real investigations and accountability in almost any government related wrong doing and issues, our shameful treatment of inmates in Guantanamo detention center, the alarming desensitization of our people bolstered by the culprit mainstream media, and much more.

RowleyRowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She came to national attention in June 2002, when she testified before Congress about serious lapses before 9/11 that helped account for the failure to prevent the attacks. She now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and on balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

Here is our guest Coleen Rowley unplugged!

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.