And the Moose Nugget Award Goes to…..

5 10 2008

I attended both Presidential candidates’ rallies in Anchorage yesterday.

Obama-Biden rally – Approximately 1200 rally-goers, lots of homemade signs, voter registration, postcard writing, live band, t-shirt/button sales with long lines, lots of families and dogs (some with signs), outside on the Park Strip.  Noticeable racial diversity in the crowd.

Focus of rally:  Hope, change, moving forward, getting out the vote, labor, women’s issues, health care, the economy, veterans, Alaska natives.

McCain-Palin rally – Approximately 250ish rally-goers, hundreds of empty chairs, pre-printed campaign signs, t-shirt/button sales, high school band, very few kids, no dogs, inside in a cavernous convention hall.

Focus of rally:  Terrorism, military, fear of those who “hate us”, Obama rally is angry and filled with hate, think of all that Alaska will get if Sarah is elected, oil, get out the vote, war.  Noticeable lack of racial diversity in the crowd.

The front of the room at the Palin rally.  Slideshow at right.

Yes, I am an Obama supporter.  Yes, I had a rollicking good time at the Obama rally.  Yes, I found the McCain-Palin rally empty (on many levels) and depressing.  But trying really really hard to be “objective”, that was my take of what I observed.

Here’s my beef.  The Anchorage Daily News covered the McCain-Palin rally, as you would expect they would.  But, they did not cover the Obama rally.  The article on the cover of today’s Anchorage Daily News entitled Pro-Palin Rally Gets Surprise Guests had 535 words.  489 of them were about the McCain-Palin rally, the surprise pop-in from Todd and Piper Palin, and included quotes and observations from the rally-goers.  44 of those words were about the Obama-Biden rally….the rally with four times as many attendees; the rally that flew in the face of Sarah-mania on her home turf; the rally that showed the rest of the country that there is significant support for a Democratic candidate in the state of Alaska.  There were no quotes or interviews.  Here are the 44 words:

The Saturday [Palin] rally had plenty of competition downtown as Alaska supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama held a rally and voter registration drive on the chilly Delaney Park Strip nearby.  Hundreds of Obama fans crowded sidewalks and waved signs as cars streamed by.

Two sentences.

The Obama-Biden rally was the largest rally for a presidential candidate in Alaskan history.  There were similar rallies held all across Alaska, with hundreds in attendence  in Fairbanks, on the Kenai Penninsula, and even in Juneau!  In a state where it can be politically risky to “out” yourself as a progressive-sympathizer, a Palin opponent, or…(gulp)…an Obama “operative” as the McCain campaign is fond of calling anyone with a sign, this was incredible.  It was, I would argue, the biggest political news of the day.

Alaskans know Sarah Palin, and they just voted with their feet, and their Saturday afternoon.  Where did they go?  4 to 1 they went to the Obama rally.  Now, don’t get me wrong, McCain and Palin may still win this state.  She’s got the “home team right or wrong” vote, she’s got the “Alaska will get more stuff” vote, she’s got the “underinformed voter” vote, and she’s got the extreme Evangelical vote.  But she does not have the enthusiastic, engaged, willing to turn out, get off the couch, and do something vote.  And those are usually the people that actually make a difference.  So kudos to the Alaska Obama campaign for pulling it off, and doing it with positive energy, hard work, and style.  So, in my world, here’s the headline in the Anchorage Daily News that you deserve.

Obama Rally Dwarfs Palin Rally in Anchorage. Surprising Lack of Support for Governor.

In closing,  my newly invented “Moose Nugget” award goes to the Anchorage Daily News.  Not because they didn’t do their job, but because they only did half of it.

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192 responses

5 10 2008
Irishgirl aka puck mule

Know how frustrated you must feel about that. Don’t let it get you down. The truth will out!

5 10 2008
Lil' Geese Whalebone Palin

……poetry…….

5 10 2008
Annie

That is totally accurate!! ADN got it all WRONG this time! The real story is that 1200 people showed up in 35 degree weather to support change! I’ve never seen any subject bring Alaskans together like this, and I’ve been a resident for 29 years.

5 10 2008
AnneinWA

Oh My Dear AKM,

Please tell me you are forwarding you excellent infiltration story and wonderful pictures to Chris, Keith and Rachel! Our country deserves to know where that proverbial moose nugget should be dropped!

Would it help if we ALL e-mailed the MSM sources and directed them to Mudflats?

BTW – Tell Brian “thanks” for his personalized nugget!

5 10 2008
Anne

“Moose nugget” – ROFL. ADN hasn’t always been backward in criticising La Palin, so why the reluctance now?

Thanks for all you are doing AKM.

5 10 2008
witsendnj

Give us a link to protest this skewed reporting. The MSM must be shamed into telling the truth. Love you and proud to be a mudpuppy!

5 10 2008
Sparky

Right on, AKM, well said and well written. I envision your nostrils flaring while you wrote this, but it came out, as usual, with great panache.

Poopie ADN…Repugs were probably holding their collective breaths expecting an “honest” news story on their sad rally.

They still know the truth.

Thank you AKM (aka Fearless) I always hear the Mission (im)Possible tune every time you venture into these things…go gettum! ;-)

5 10 2008
Irishgirl aka puck mule

I know this is really childish, but YEAH, Dogone it and you Betcha, Ronald Reagan and healthcare, I was the first responding to SNL and wink and all of that, newspapers – Roe and Wade – really joe six pack stuff and ummm, wait for it, wink.

5 10 2008
Ripley AKA Copper Catfish P.

lol @ thanking Brian for his nugget!!!

*imagines a pile of nuggets with names on them* LOL

5 10 2008
Mary

http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=9125832

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/

“Obama organizers said they had about 1,200 supporters at their rally. The Republican Party said about 300 supporters attended Palin’s rally.”

5 10 2008
Blue Lonestar

New development: Seven Alaska state employees have reversed course and agreed to testify in an abuse-of-power investigation against Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

5 10 2008
thomas

If it were not for Mudflats, I would never even have known about the abysmal showing for Palin at her rally, and the great rally turnout for Obama. Too bad the Anchorage Daily News didn’t seem to care, but that is what I have come to expect of much of the news services. Liberal media my ass. And did I read that right about Todd and Piper being the “Surprise Guests?” WTF is that?

5 10 2008
Soldotna Sue

I emailed the Anchorage Daily News the first thing this morning and told them how unfair their coverage of the two rallies was and how disappointed I was in them. Please do the same if you agree with AKM and me. It’s easy to express your thoughts and feelings to the ADN. JUST DO IT!

5 10 2008
Irishgirl aka puck mule

Starting to get interesting!

5 10 2008
NY Dem

I am sure that Chris, Keith and Rachel are regular readers (and sometimes posters) on this site. The news will get to them, and I am sure they will get it out to the public.

And I hope that when all is said and done, that one or all three of them invite AKM on their show(s), for a much deserved round of applause.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Slightly off thread, but a wonderful Obama story you will all love UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps (15:21:58) :

Just read a fantastic story (true and documented) about Obama helping a woman 20 years ago, please read, it is certain proof of what a lovely man he is –

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/5/183340/309/352/621029

5 10 2008
Sparky

And whether Brian runs for Governor or Secretary of State, his campaign can be based on his promising to allot Moose Nuggets (he may even supply them and save voters/taxpayers money…he’s like that) to unethical and hurtful groups and individuals.

5 10 2008
Lil' Geese Whalebone Palin

Which investigation???

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Blue Lonestar (15:49:27) :

Wow! where did you get that?

5 10 2008
kate aka chin duststrap

Thanks for all the pics, AKM. I must say, I almost felt sorry for Meghan Stapelton sitting there all by herself and then I remembered an interview with her where she was particularly obnoxious and I began to enjoy it!

5 10 2008
drew hanson

The way we read it here in Texas is:

“ALASKANS PREFER TRUTH TO MCCAIN/PALIN, VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN”

Keep up the BRAVE work ya’ll !!

It’s refreshing to know that we still have some REAL PATRIOTS !!!

5 10 2008
kathy in juneau

There was an Obama-Biden rally in Juneau yesterday also, and not a word in today’s Juneau Empire. There were over 200 people, which may not sound like much, but as far as I know, there were zero Juneauites at Pro-Sarah rallies yesterday!!

Argh to the Juneau Emopire… 200 is an amazing turnout! That’s almost as many as the Pro-Palin rally in Anchorage! Go Juneau! AKM

5 10 2008
skunkgruntpalin

hi,

I wonder if part of the problem is that the paper is getting press releases from the McCain campaign and not from the more spontaneous demonstrations? It’s always easier for a busy reporter to use paragraphs that are already written. Sending them a professional-looking press release might be worth a try next time.

5 10 2008
West Virginian

Bluelonestar–That’s very interesting and exciting. How do you know that?

5 10 2008
juli

The funniest thing about the ADN story are the pictures — all these tight shots of people so that you can’t tell how empty the room is. If I hadn’t seen Mudflats’ far more newsworthy pics I would have thought it was a well attended event. LOL.

5 10 2008
Proud Community OrganizerWA

Wow busy mudflatters posting like crazy while I was out shopping for my new “Going to Hell” attire! It is impossible to find heat proof underwear.

Long live the Moose Nugget awards! LOL Great Idea!

5 10 2008
drew hanson

ADN should be brought up on charges for “conspireing to be a newspaper”

5 10 2008
Crunk Petrol Palin

Attached is the AP story.

ANCHORAGE – Seven Alaska state employees have reversed course and agreed to testify in an abuse-of-power investigation against Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
ADVERTISEMENT

There is no indication, however, that Palin or her husband will do the same.

Palin, a fist-term Alaska governor, is the focus of a legislative inquiry into whether she abused her office by firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Monegan says he was dismissed because he wouldn’t fire the governor’s former brother-in-law.

Lawmakers subpoenaed seven state employees to testify in the inquiry but they challenged those subpoenas. A judge rejected that challenge last week. Because of that ruling, Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg says the employees have decide to testify.

5 10 2008
drchill

Yes, I noticed ADN’s coverage, and hit refresh a couple of times, to see the rest of their coverage of the Obama rally.
Half a job. Maybe only 20%. 4/5 were at the Obama rally

AND the Obama rally was in the chilly out doors!

grrrrrr

5 10 2008
not your pal Palin

When a ticket like McCain-Palin has nothing of substance to contribute, they resort to guilt-by-association attacks on a man who has a lot more to say about the American Dream than they do. Your description of the fear mongering echoes the tactics of Joseph McCarthy.

Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s talk about those dreams we can share together and what it might mean for the working people of the world. Following in the tradition of Walt Whitman, Woody Guthrie, Pete Singer, and Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen has for years lifted his voice in song to celebrate the people of America. He is not blind to suffering, but he knows our dreams give strength to the world. His words, an endorsement of Obama, are inspiring and strong enough to cleanse us of the mud Palin is slingin': http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-springsteen/from-the-stage-at-the-vot_b_131966.html

Our own Pamyua attended the Obama rally and made beautiful music. I wish Obama would invite them to a national rally! Libby Roderick sang a beautiful song at the rally the week before. I wish Obama would invite her too.

Every time they sling mud, let’s lift our voices in song and dream the American dream. More importantly, let’s live each day aspiring to make that dream a reality, inclusively.

5 10 2008
Blue Lonestar
5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Lil’ Geese Whalebone Palin (15:53:18) :

Which investigation???

Good heavens, you’ve got some catching up to do – best read all the archived threads.

5 10 2008
Lil' Geese Whalebone Palin
5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

The real scoop, however, is that the ADN reporter who was SUPPOSED to cover the Obama campaign, became so overwhelmed by the hope, goodwill and camaraderie at the Obama rally that the reporter was last seen taking off on foot to conduct a PERSONAL pilgrimage to register Alaskans all over that great state to vote for OBAMA!(TeeHee) :)

On a serious note…those of you all over Alaska know that you ROCKED THE VOTE yesterday…and each of you will find your way to the ballot box and cast your vote accordingly. And if the “empty chair convention” ( and the airport hangar rally) is an indication of how Alaska will vote, I’d just say WAAAHOOOO for y’all!

5 10 2008
Lil' Geese Whalebone Palin

UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps (16:08:38) :

Lil’ Geese Whalebone Palin (15:53:18) :

Which investigation???

Good heavens, you’ve got some catching up to do – best read all the archived threads.

Which of the two Troopergate investigations? …..

5 10 2008
Maeve

Bluelonestar said

“New development: Seven Alaska state employees have reversed course and agreed to testify in an abuse-of-power investigation against Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.”

Testifying to the legislative inquiry or to the State Personnel Board?

Todd Palin is agreeing to testify to the (governor appointed, governor fireable) Alaska State Personnel Board – the alternative “investigation” that was started when Sarah Palin filed a complaint against herself. Haven’t heard about the other 7 state employees but I would guess if they are testifying its to the same board – the one whose deliberations are secret and which is not required to make a report before the election (if at all).

http://www.adn.com/troopergate/story/546262.html

5 10 2008
karion

I started reading adn.com regularly right around Labor Day and quickly realized that Lisa Demer is, by far, their best political reporter. She has written most of the in-depth articles about Palin and Troopergate and she reports the good and the ugly. She is in an entirely different league than her fellow political reporters.

Yet she seems to have been muzzled or otherwise pulled from her regular coverage as of late. That is a shame, as she is a terrific journalist, and I was hoping this political season might launch her into something national.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Sorry Lil Geese, thought you meant you didn’t know there was any investigation. My bad.

5 10 2008
DeMo

With no offense intended to our beloved Brian, the fact that ADN only half reported the rally sucks moose c*ck.

5 10 2008
5 10 2008
Blue Lonestar

I am hoping it is talking about the legitimate investigation!

5 10 2008
Granmaj

The ADN website shows 13 pictures from the Obama rally.

5 10 2008
disenchanted tore

drchill (16:07:32) :
*AND the Obama rally was in the chilly out doors!*
————–
The reporter was trying to convince that the Palin get-together was the *better* place to be? Seemed awfully chilly (on all levels) in that huge hall with so few supporters. That chilly outdoor rally was charged with body heat and enthusiasm!

Also, I’m thinking that the reporter was forced to cover the Palin crowd but would rather be among the living down the street.

5 10 2008
Strike Chipper Palin

I just love coming here, it feels like I’m home with family and friends by a nice warm cozy fire talking about how Alaska is soon to be a blue state!

Maybe we can feed a few of those Moose Nuggets to Ms. Perky and shut her up, she’s really showing her teeth and snarl these last couple days. I just finished reading three articles where she’s determined to pursue her new-found role of Obama attacker.

I snicker when I read it though because the end of this week is going to have her hanging her head in shame and running home with her tail between her legs yelping because she was bitten on the ass by the truth! Truth and justice, it’s all going to be here quickly to sink her narcissistic ship!

I can’t wait!!!!!!!!

5 10 2008
KTN aka Wood Corps Palin

you think Todd is there to honor the subpeona??..

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

After reading AP on folks deciding to testify, there is absolutely no indication which investigation they’ll testify to, although it would appear testimony is related to the subpoenas.

More Republican muddying of the water?

5 10 2008
Crazy In Alaska

I am not one who likes to admit the dumb mistakes I make, but this one was very funny! On the last thread there was all those posts about the identity of AKM. I read through them and then I looked at the pictures.

I went to the pics of the Obama rally, not the Palin rally. Picture #4 is of a little puppy! I thought it was perfect and it made me laugh. Now I realize my mistake. But I am just going to go with what I thought in the beginning; the identity of AKM is a cute little dog. That works for me.

5 10 2008
DeMo

KTN aka Wood Corps Palin (16:20:39) said:

you think Todd is there to honor the subpeona??..
*****************************************************
Honor? Sarah and Todd would need a dictionary to find out what honor means.

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

ADN says they will honor the subpoenas—-that means the correct investigation!

5 10 2008
sosad

How much is a full page or two add in the anchorage daily news ??? maybe we could all pitch in and make the news …

5 10 2008
drchill

Blue Lonestar (16:19:41) :

I am hoping it is talking about the legitimate investigation!

Nope wrong one.
And calling it a “reversal” is FALSE.
They refused to respond to subpoenas from the legislature’s investigation, but thats not what they are doing…

5 10 2008
West Virginian

I am wondering what they will say?

5 10 2008
SMR

1st Dud is not here to honor the subpoena. Allegedly he’s here to talk to the state personnel people doing their own skewed investigation. How a board of people all appointed to investigate a person who APPOINTED them is supposed to produce a fair & balanced report is beyond me, but it’s crazy days here in Alaska and the U.S.

I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: BOYCOTT THE ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Their coverage of the Anti-Palin rally sucked, and this is even worse. F%$#k them.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Sosad, why are you sosad?, I hope you can change your name on Nov 5th to Muchappy!

5 10 2008
Sparky

off thread, but worth reposting from UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps (15:52:26)

If you haven’t read this linked Kos post, please take a moment…very much worth it especially with McPoop’s character attacks at Obama.

I choked (a little like Sen. Biden ;-)) a little. Thanks UK lady.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/5/183340/309/352/621029

5 10 2008
Maeve

It looks like the 7 employees are in fact responding to the legislative investigation

http://whatdoino-steve.blogspot.com/2008/10/state-employees-to-testify-in.html

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/546777.html

Says they will honor subpoenas for the legislative investigation.

Could the ADN get it COMPLETELY wrong?

5 10 2008
PJ

THIS IS A NEAT LITTLE TRAP!!!

The seven employees have now “decided” to co-operate with Branchflower’s investigation–this, on the eve of the report being released. So you know what this means?

THE REPORT WILL BE DELAYED, WHICH WAS THE PURPOSE ALL ALONG!!!

Colberg did not file the motion to quash the subpoenas right away; he waited. He knew darn well that Judge would deny his motion, but that wasn’t the point. THE POINT WAS TO DELAY.

And now that the Judge ruled that the subpoenas were legal, these employees all suddenly decide they’ll testify. So now Branchflower has to delay his report to take their testimony. Because if he releases the report without their testimony, Palinbots will cry that the report isn’t “complete”.

Worse, if Brancflower says he doesn’t need their testimony and releases the report anway, Palinbots will say then why were they subpoenaed in the first place?

Very crafty. The McCain lawyers orchestrated this!!! Colberg was just a tool.

5 10 2008
Shaddomagg

“Now, don’t get me wrong, McCain and Palin may still win this state. She’s got the “home team right or wrong” vote, she’s got the “Alaska will get more stuff” vote, she’s got the “underinformed voter” vote, and she’s got the extreme Evangelical vote.”

I live right next door to ya…in Canada. I hope and trust that, God forbid, what you say is true, the rest of the folks you talk about will continue to hold Palin and her “First Dude”‘s feet to the fire:

“But she does not have the enthusiastic, engaged, willing to turn out, get off the couch, and do something vote. And those are usually the people that actually make a difference.”

Good ON YA!!!

5 10 2008
Amused and Bewildered

Oh gee. How disappointing that ADN chose this moment to live down their reputation as…what is it that far right conservatives call the paper? Oh yeah. A liberal rag. ;-)

5 10 2008
sosad

UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps (16:26:51) :

Sosad, why are you sosad?, I hope you can change your name on Nov 5th to Muchappy!
I hope I can do it before then (ha) (wwwwwwwwwwwwoooo) all we need is one of Palins knifes to stick in her own back before then ..

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

Here’s the link for the online photos of the Obama rally from ADN Click on MORE:

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/546366.html

5 10 2008
AlaskaGuy

@karion. I posted on yesterday’s thread about the seven state employees. I might have said told you so. :P

This puts the pressure on Todd and the remaining subpoenaed witnesses.

5 10 2008
Cynamen

Who do we write regarding the blatant partiality of media coverage in AK…for I did notice that CNN picked up some camera footage of the Failin rally? I wrote many of the MSM outlets over the weekend to stoke the news reel of the impending ruling on Troopergate…and today, was surprised to see quite a bit of mention of it on Websites and Sunday talk shows.

So, we have 30 days to insure that our voices are heard…culminating with a resounding “YES WE DID” on Nov. 4th!

Be encouraged to continue ~ and it’s a pleasure sharing the journey to REAL change…

5 10 2008
GiGi

What can we do Muck?
Who can we send this too?

5 10 2008
katiebegood

Apparently the Anchorage Daily News doesn’t want to get on the bad side of Governor Sarah Barracuda.

I think it’s time for us all to deluge the newspaper with letters to the editor about their lack of coverage for the Obama rally. Here’s how to do it.

Go to http://www.adn.com/help/letters/ (scroll down and you’ll see the form) and let them know what you think about their lack of coverage of the Obama rally.

If you are outside Alaska, make up an address and enter Anchorage as the city and 99501 to 99520 as the zip code. That’s just in case they don’t take letters from out-of-state.

5 10 2008
karion

I hate that I have become this skeptical, but here’s my thought.

Yes, they are going to honor the subpoenas in the Legislative Council investigation. This quote killed me:

“Despite my initial concerns about the subpoenas, we respect the court’s decision to defer to the Legislature,” Colberg said. “We are working with Senator Hollis French to arrange for the testimony of the seven state employee plaintiffs.”

Okay, folks? This is good news, but practically speaking, another delay tactic. The “appeal” filed by the Six Pesky Legislators is completely frivolous and is going to be denied. That appeal was filed to delay the release of the investigator’s report. The witnesses cannot all be interviewed by Friday, and, in fact, will probably be staggered out quite a bit. That will delay it by a week, at least, probably two. Seven schedules are hard to coordinate.

My worry is that the initial report was due next Friday, nearly a month before the election, so there was less of an argument that it would be a “November Surprise.” Now, it will be pushed back and the release will be closer to the election, which will give McCain-Palin the easy sound byte of “this is just pure politics,” etc. The release of the report has more credibility the farther it is from the election.

This will be an interesting week in Alaska politics.

Finally, an AG admits to just “initial concerns” about the subpoenas? Holy hell, that is NEVER grounds for ignoring one, let alone a licensed attorney advising a client to ignore it. It also signals that the Six Pesky Legislators know their appeal is weak.

5 10 2008
Whos on First

This surprises you? The Anchorage Daily News used to be a scrappy, independent, opinionated paper that won Pulitzers for investigative reporting. You may not have agreed with it, but you sure read it. Now, it is so scared of being accused of being “biased” (ooohhhhh..) or even “liberal” (I feel faint) that it has turned into an insipid sheet of pet pictures and high school sports scores. It is incredible that the Daily News is getting its clock cleaned in its hometown by Outside reporters from LA, NY and Washington. I, too, was surprised that they missed the Obama rally, but I shouldn’t have been.

5 10 2008
katiebegood

An addendum to my post about writing the ADN. Make sure you use AK for Alaska and you have to make up a phone number to submit the letter. The area code for Anchorage is 901.

5 10 2008
PJ

“Okay, folks? This is good news, but practically speaking, another delay tactic. The “appeal” filed by the Six Pesky Legislators is completely frivolous and is going to be denied. That appeal was filed to delay the release of the investigator’s report. The witnesses cannot all be interviewed by Friday, and, in fact, will probably be staggered out quite a bit. That will delay it by a week, at least, probably two. Seven schedules are hard to coordinate.”

Yep. My fear exactly.

5 10 2008
DeMo

PJ (16:28:51) :
THIS IS A NEAT LITTLE TRAP!!!

The seven employees have now “decided” to co-operate with Branchflower’s investigation–this, on the eve of the report being released. So you know what this means?

THE REPORT WILL BE DELAYED, WHICH WAS THE PURPOSE ALL ALONG!!!
******************************************************************************
That’s what I’m thinking, unless I’m missing something, which is entirely possible.

Isn’t this the same investigation that’s going to the Supreme Court? If it’s going to the court, then I would assume questions will not be asked until the court rules. That dealys Branchflower’s report, if I’ve got it right. (He can’t release the report without the new information that will be obtained as a result of the subpoenas lest it be deemed inconclusive.)

Any wagers that there will be scheduling conflicts. The hockey moms and dads who consented to finally answer the subpoenas will undoubtedly have very full schedules. Delay, delay, delay.

5 10 2008
Crust Scramble - SouthGA

Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout) (16:28:27) :

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/546777.html

Says they will honor subpoenas for the legislative investigation.

Could the ADN get it COMPLETELY wrong?
—————
Perhaps those 7 have seen the writing on the wall and realize that Sarah, et. al is about to ‘hang them out to dry’.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Call me stupid – many do – but why can’t the investigators go to the seven people at home or at work within the next two or three days to take their statements, as time is of the issue?. The report is due on the tenth.

5 10 2008
pamela

I read the ADN report this morning and couldn’t believe how bad the coverage of the Obama-Biden rally was. Didn’t have much time last week to catch up on the news, but this is why I lurk at Mudflats daily – it’s THE place to go for the real story. Thanks, AKM, and everyone who posted those great links.

Even if Alaska stays red (maybe light pink?) this time around, it sure sounds like a sea change in the making. And all that energy has to be good for the senate and house races.

5 10 2008
katiebegood

Finally, an AG admits to just “initial concerns” about the subpoenas? Holy hell, that is NEVER grounds for ignoring one, let alone a licensed attorney advising a client to ignore it. It also signals that the Six Pesky Legislators know their appeal is weak.

Colberg has seen the handwriting on the wall and wants to keep his license to practice law in AK. There has been talk of yanking his license because he literally advised people to break the law.

5 10 2008
Crust Scramble - SouthGA

Sorry, my grammar sucked – I’ve been listening to Sarah too much.

Should read ‘Sarah, et. al are about……………

5 10 2008
cheez

Soldotna Sue (15:51:18) :

Thanks for the motivation. Just sent them an email asking them to keep their bias off the front page and into the op-ed pages where it belongs. Sad and pathetic.

5 10 2008
karion

AlaskaGuy (16:33:58)

Indeed, you were right, but my overall point was that they wouldn’t testify before the planned release of the report.

The initial press reports said Coberg would wait until the Supreme Court ruled before advising his “clients.” Over the weekend, someone with a better legal mind advised him that the appeal was bullshit, would be swiftly denied, and that he had better cover his ass. He is now saying he “respects the decision” of the Superior Court and that the employees will testify. But I seriously doubt any will before the Supreme Court decision on Thursday, which means the report will be delayed.

I was wondering what Plan B was. Now I know. Practical, not legal, delay.

5 10 2008
katiebegood

Even if Alaska stays red (maybe light pink?) this time around, it sure sounds like a sea change in the making. And all that energy has to be good for the senate and house races.

Republican party leaders have admitted that there is now a good chance that the Democrats will end up with a 60 (filibuster proof) majority in the Senate. Several races they though were safe (Norm Coleman, Elizabeth Dole, Gordon Smith and a few others) are now all leaning Democratic.

Can you imagine what would happen if the Republicans steal the election again but end up with 60 Democratic Senators and a solid majority in the House. That would be very interesting. It would also be a big red flag that the election was stolen.

5 10 2008
Let'sGetReal aka Falter Locust Palin

I thought I would add my Palin name!

Registered 6 people today. Hoping there is a chance Texas will go blue. One can only hope!

5 10 2008
SoCal Bob

So, is there any more news on the mystery mud piled on the streets by the gathering? DNA? Anything?

5 10 2008
disenchanted tore

…not only scheduling delays, but if there’s no paper trail connecting them directly (individually), just because they’re going to answer the subpoena doesn’t mean that they’re going to have a sharp (memory) recall.

I smell a rat too.

5 10 2008
AlaskaGuy

@karion – So you don’t think that any/all of the testimonies will be heard this week? I was kinda hoping that Branchflower would be able to set the time and dates and still make his deadline. Hmmmm.

Back to the drawing board. However, at this point I’m not really concerned about it coming out before November 4th. I’ll be happy if it comes out November 6th. When Sarah has to come home.

5 10 2008
drchill

Reversal – state employees will testify in legislative investigation
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/ap_alaska/story/546761.html

Todd agrees to Board’s investigation
http://www.adn.com/front/story/546262.html

-=:o

5 10 2008
California Dreamin'

If it’s getting a bit cool and boring up there waiting for that shoe to drop, you all may want to read this Rolling Stone article on the merits of John McCain:

Make-Believe Maverick
A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty
TIM DICKINSON
Posted Oct 16, 2008 7:00 PM
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/23316912/makebelieve_maverick/print

I’ll bet it will take a while longer for Sarah to catch up with him.

5 10 2008
katiebegood

THE REPORT WILL BE DELAYED, WHICH WAS THE PURPOSE ALL ALONG!!!
******************************************************************************
That’s what I’m thinking, unless I’m missing something, which is entirely possible.

I think it would be great if they released their report on the 10th anyway making a statement that they had all the evidence they needed. Remember, these 7 people have already been deposed, at Sarah Palin’s insistence when she wanted to find out what was out there to threaten her. Branchflower may not need their testimony to come to a conclusion.

5 10 2008
A Nana from Alaska

You can bookmark this page and track the latest polls in all 50 states. Target your letters to the editor, phone calls, postcards, etc. accordingly.

http://www.usaelectionpolls.com/2008/state-polls.html

Of interest is Alaska. Currently: Obama 39% Palin 55%

Palin Popularity Plummeting!

5 10 2008
Laurie

@drchill….Todd is speaking to the board that Palin appointed…not the legislative inquiry

5 10 2008
Laurie

@katie…I agree. I have faith that they will release the report on the 10th. Doing so does not mean they still cant depose those 7 witnesses. lol…do you think some repubs in Alaska are starting to see the writing on the wall? Ms. Sarah isnt going to return to Alaska with the same level of power and sway she had before Aug. 29

I wonder if Meg Stapelton is beginning to get nervous too.

5 10 2008
wired differently

The Troopergate investigation is probably not going to make or break the McCain/Palin campaign. They’re busy digging themselves lots of other holes, and they’re being called on it in the msm and by the Obama/Biden campaign. Every time Sarah opens her big mouth to let some reptilian lie slither out, she’s getting smacked.

The important thing for the Troopergate investigation is that it be completed in a professional manner, with no missteps by the ‘good guys’, so that when Sarah comes home to face the music, all the pieces will be in place for censure– recall, impeachment, jail time…

This will be great material for AKM’s book. The delay tactics, illegal ignoring of subpoenas, the profound and permanent change in Alaska politics–it will make for fascinating reading. And we’ll all enjoy every chapter.

I know you’re keeping backup copies of your posts, AKM, right?

5 10 2008
MinNJMoose Roadster

Many thanks to all the creative and witty Alaskans! You really do have the best signs. It brings me to tears to see your courage and to see your and our hope. You are in our hearts and minds across the country, and thank you AKM for that! I’m very grateful for the hope that you offer.

5 10 2008
JT

So proud of my son…he’s in his late 20’s, never been political….a while back I sent a letter to my adult kids (I have never been political) telling why I felt this election was so important.

Today my son emailed me, told me to check out his MySpace. At his myspace is lots of pro-Obama stuff, not the same stuff I have been seeing, but from the prospective of the youth. Interesting.

He has really thrown his support for Obama, and from what I see on his Myspace, many of his friends feel the same way. There is definately a movement of the youth going on.

5 10 2008
Michigander

Please read this and pass it on.

The following article is coming out in the Nation next week. “This article appeared in the October 6, 2008 edition of The Nation.”

September 17, 2008

McCain and the POW Cover-up
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam
Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. This is an expanded version, with primary documents attached, of a story that appears in the October 6, 2008 issue of The Nation.

By Sydney H. Schanberg
September 18, 2008

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the US prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Mass of Evidence

The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What’s more, the Pentagon’s POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of “debunking” POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible.

The pressure from the families and Vietnam veterans finally forced the creation, in late 1991, of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The chairman was John Kerry. McCain, as a former POW, was its most pivotal member. In the end, the committee became part of the debunking machine.

One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon’s performance was an insider, Air Force Lieut. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon’s position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.

Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general’s briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war’s end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington.

Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. Finally, in a February 2, 1973, formal letter to Hanoi’s premier, Pham Van Dong, Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in “postwar reconstruction” aid “without any political conditions.” But he also attached to the letter a codicil that said the aid would be implemented by each party “in accordance with its own constitutional provisions.” That meant Congress would have to approve the appropriation, and Nixon and Kissinger knew well that Congress was in no mood to do so. The North Vietnamese, whether or not they immediately understood the double-talk in the letter, remained skeptical about the reparations promise being honored – and it never was. Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners—just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.

In a private briefing in 1992, high-level CIA officials told me that as the years passed and the ransom never came, it became more and more difficult for either government to admit that it knew from the start about the unacknowledged prisoners. Those prisoners had not only become useless as bargaining chips but also posed a risk to Hanoi’s desire to be accepted into the international community. The CIA officials said their intelligence indicated strongly that the remaining men—those who had not died from illness or hard labor or torture—were eventually executed.

My own research, detailed below, has convinced me that it is not likely that more than a few—if any—are alive in captivity today. (That CIA briefing at the agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters was conducted “off the record,” but because the evidence from my own reporting since then has brought me to the same conclusion, I felt there was no longer any point in not writing about the meeting.)

For many reasons, including the absence of a political constituency for the missing men other than their families and some veterans’ groups, very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain’s role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.

The Arizona Senator, now the Republican candidate for President, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon’s and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief and national security advisor, not to mention Dick Cheney, who was George H. W. Bush’s defense secretary. Their biggest accomplice has been an indolent press, particularly in Washington.

McCain’s Role

The Truth Bill

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An early and critical McCain secrecy move involved 1990 legislation that started in the House of Representatives. A brief and simple document, it was called “the Truth Bill” and would have compelled complete transparency about prisoners and missing men. Its core sentence reads: “[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict, shall make available to the public all such records held or received by that department or agency.”

The McCain Bill

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DOD cites the McCain Bill in denying a FOIA request

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Bitterly opposed by the Pentagon (and thus McCain), the bill went nowhere. Reintroduced the following year, it again disappeared. But a few months later, a new measure, known as “the McCain Bill,” suddenly appeared. By creating a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emerge—only records that revealed no POW secrets—it turned the Truth Bill on its head. (See one example, at left, when the Pentagon cited McCain’s bill in rejecting a FOIA request.) The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today. So crushing to transparency are its provisions that it actually spells out for the Pentagon and other agencies several rationales, scenarios and justifications for not releasing any information at all—even about prisoners discovered alive in captivity. Later that year, the Senate Select Committee was created, where Kerry and McCain ultimately worked together to bury evidence.

McCain was also instrumental in amending the Missing Service Personnel Act, which had been strengthened in 1995 by POW advocates to include criminal penalties, saying: “Any government official who knowingly and willfully withholds from the file of a missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in Title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year or both.” A year later, in a closed House-Senate conference on an unrelated military bill, McCain, at the behest of the Pentagon, attached a crippling amendment to the act, stripping out its only enforcement teeth, the criminal penalties, and reducing the obligations of commanders in the field to speedily search for missing men and to report the incidents to the Pentagon.

About the relaxation of POW/MIA obligations on commanders in the field, a public McCain memo said: “This transfers the bureaucracy involved out of the [battle] field to Washington.” He wrote that the original legislation, if left intact, “would accomplish nothing but create new jobs for lawyers and turn military commanders into clerks.”

McCain argued that keeping the criminal penalties would have made it impossible for the Pentagon to find staffers willing to work on POW/MIA matters. That’s an odd argument to make. Were staffers only “willing to work” if they were allowed to conceal POW records? By eviscerating the law, McCain gave his stamp of approval to the government policy of debunking the existence of live POWs.

McCain has insisted again and again that all the evidence—documents, witnesses, satellite photos, two Pentagon chiefs’ sworn testimony, aborted rescue missions, ransom offers apparently scorned—has been woven together by unscrupulous deceivers to create an insidious and unpatriotic myth. He calls it the “bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists.” He has regularly vilified those who keep trying to pry out classified documents as “hoaxers,” charlatans,” “conspiracy theorists” and “dime-store Rambos.”

Some of McCain’s fellow captives at Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi didn’t share his views about prisoners left behind. Before he died of leukemia in 1999, retired Col. Ted Guy, a highly admired POW and one of the most dogged resisters in the camps, wrote an angry open letter to the senator in an MIA newsletter—a response to McCain’s stream of insults hurled at MIA activists. Guy wrote: “John, does this [the insults] include Senator Bob Smith [a New Hampshire Republican and activist on POW issues] and other concerned elected officials? Does this include the families of the missing where there is overwhelming evidence that their loved ones were ‘last known alive’? Does this include some of your fellow POWs?”

DOD denies access to McCain’s 1973 debriefing

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It’s not clear whether the taped confession McCain gave to his captors to avoid further torture has played a role in his post-war behavior in the Senate. That confession was played endlessly over the prison loudspeaker system at Hoa Lo—to try to break down other prisoners—and was broadcast over Hanoi’s state radio. Reportedly, he confessed to being a war criminal who had bombed civilian targets. The Pentagon has a copy of the confession but will not release it. Also, no outsider I know of has ever seen a non-redacted copy of the debriefing of McCain when he returned from captivity, which is classified but could be made public by McCain. (See the Pentagon’s rejection of my attempt to obtain records of this debriefing, at left.)

All humans have breaking points. Many men undergoing torture give confessions, often telling huge lies so their fakery will be understood by their comrades and their country. Few will fault them. But it was McCain who apparently felt he had disgraced himself and his military family. His father, John S. McCain II, was a highly regarded rear admiral then serving as commander of all US forces in the Pacific. His grandfather was also a rear admiral.

In his bestselling 1999 autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, McCain says he felt bad throughout his captivity because he knew he was being treated more leniently than his fellow POWs, owing to his high-ranking father and thus his propaganda value. Other prisoners at Hoa Lo say his captors considered him a prize catch and called him the “Crown Prince,” something McCain acknowledges in the book.

Also in this memoir, McCain expresses guilt at having broken under torture and given the confession. “I felt faithless and couldn’t control my despair,” he writes, revealing that he made two “feeble” attempts at suicide. (In later years, he said he tried to hang himself with his shirt and guards intervened.) Tellingly, he says he lived in “dread” that his father would find out about the confession. “I still wince,” he writes, “when I recall wondering if my father had heard of my disgrace.”

He says that when he returned home, he told his father about the confession, but “never discussed it at length”—and the Admiral, who died in 1981, didn’t indicate he had heard anything about it before. But he had. In the 1999 memoir, the senator writes: “I only recently learned that the tape…had been broadcast outside the prison and had come to the attention of my father.”

Is McCain haunted by these memories? Does he suppress POW information because its surfacing would rekindle his feelings of shame? On this subject, all I have are questions.

Many stories have been written about McCain’s explosive temper, so volcanic that colleagues are loathe to speak openly about it. One veteran congressman who has observed him over the years asked for confidentiality and made this brief comment: “This is a man not at peace with himself.”

He was certainly far from calm on the Senate POW committee. He browbeat expert witnesses who came with information about unreturned POWs. Family members who have personally faced McCain and pressed him to end the secrecy also have been treated to his legendary temper. He has screamed at them, insulted them, brought women to tears. Mostly his responses to them have been versions of: How dare you question my patriotism? In 1996, he roughly pushed aside a group of POW family members who had waited outside a hearing room to appeal to him, including a mother in a wheelchair.

But even without answers to what may be hidden in the recesses of McCain’s mind, one thing about the POW story is clear: If American prisoners were dishonored by being written off and left to die, that’s something the American public ought to know about.

10 Key Pieces of Evidence That Men Were Left Behind

New York Times, Feb. 2, 1973

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1. In Paris, where the Vietnam peace treaty was negotiated, the United States asked Hanoi for the list of American prisoners to be returned, fearing that Hanoi would hold some prisoners back. The North Vietnamese refused, saying they would produce the list only after the treaty was signed. Nixon agreed with Kissinger that they had no leverage left, and Kissinger signed the accord on January 27, 1973, without the prisoner list. When Hanoi produced its list of 591 prisoners the next day, US intelligence agencies expressed shock at the low number. Their number was hundreds higher. The New York Times published a long, page-one story on February 2, 1973, about the discrepancy, especially raising questions about the number of prisoners held in Laos, only nine of whom were being returned. The headline read, in part: “Laos POW List Shows 9 from US —Document Disappointing to Washington as 311 Were Believed Missing.” And the story, by John Finney, said that other Washington officials “believe the number of prisoners [in Laos] is probably substantially higher.” The paper never followed up with any serious investigative reporting—nor did any other mainstream news organization.

2. Two defense secretaries who served during the Vietnam War testified to the Senate POW committee in September 1992 that prisoners were not returned. James Schlesinger and Melvin Laird, both speaking at a public session and under oath, said they based their conclusions on strong intelligence data—letters, eyewitness reports, even direct radio contacts. Under questioning, Schlesinger chose his words carefully, understanding clearly the volatility of the issue: “I think that as of now that I can come to no other conclusion…some were left behind.” This ran counter to what President Nixon told the public in a nationally televised speech on March 29, 1973, when the repatriation of the 591 was in motion: “Tonight,” Nixon said, “the day we have all worked and prayed for has finally come. For the first time in twelve years, no American military forces are in Vietnam. All our American POWs are on their way home.” Documents unearthed since then show that aides had already briefed Nixon about the contrary evidence.

Schlesinger was asked by the Senate committee for his explanation of why President Nixon would have made such a statement when he knew Hanoi was still holding prisoners. He replied: “One must assume that we had concluded that the bargaining position of the United States…was quite weak. We were anxious to get our troops out and we were not going to roil the waters…” This testimony struck me as a bombshell. The New York Times appropriately reported it on page one but again there was no sustained follow-up by the Times or any other major paper or national news outlet.

3. Over the years, the DIA received more than 1,600 first-hand sightings of live American prisoners and nearly 14,000 second-hand reports. Many witnesses interrogated by CIA or Pentagon intelligence agents were deemed “credible” in the agents’ reports. Some of the witnesses were given lie-detector tests and passed. Sources provided me with copies of these witness reports, which are impressive in their detail. A lot of the sightings described a secondary tier of prison camps many miles from Hanoi. Yet the DIA, after reviewing all these reports, concluded that they “do not constitute evidence” that men were alive.

4. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, listening stations picked up messages in which Laotian military personnel spoke about moving American prisoners from one labor camp to another. These listening posts were manned by Thai communications officers trained by the National Security Agency (NSA), which monitors signals worldwide. The NSA teams had moved out after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and passed the job to the Thai allies. But when the Thais turned these messages over to Washington, the intelligence community ruled that since the intercepts were made by a “third party”—namely Thailand—they could not be regarded as authentic. That’s some Catch-22: The US trained a third party to take over its role in monitoring signals about POWs, but because that third party did the monitoring, the messages weren’t valid.

Here, from CIA files, is an example that clearly exposes the farce. On December 27, 1980, a Thai military signal team picked up a message saying that prisoners were being moved out of Attopeu (in southern Laos) by aircraft “at 1230 hours.” Three days later a message was sent from the CIA station in Bangkok to the CIA director’s office in Langley. It read, in part: “The prisoners…are now in the valley in permanent location (a prison camp at Nhommarath in Central Laos). They were transferred from Attopeu to work in various places…POWs were formerly kept in caves and are very thin, dark and starving.” Apparently the prisoners were real. But the transmission was declared “invalid” by Washington because the information came from a “third party” and thus could not be deemed credible.

5. A series of what appeared to be distress signals from Vietnam and Laos were captured by the government’s satellite system in the late 1980s and early ’90s. (Before that period, no search for such signals had been put in place.) Not a single one of these markings was ever deemed credible. To the layman’s eye, the satellite photos, some of which I’ve seen, show markings on the ground that are identical to the signals that American pilots had been specifically trained to use in their survival courses—such as certain letters, like X or K, drawn in a special way. Other markings were the secret four-digit authenticator numbers given to individual pilots. But time and again, the Pentagon, backed by the CIA, insisted that humans had not made these markings. What were they, then? “Shadows and vegetation,” the government said, insisting that the markings were merely normal topographical contours like saw-grass or rice-paddy divider walls. It was the automatic response—shadows and vegetation. On one occasion, a Pentagon photo expert refused to go along. It was a missing man’s name gouged into a field, he said, not trampled grass or paddy berms. His bosses responded by bringing in an outside contractor who found instead, yes, shadows and vegetation. This refrain led Bob Taylor, a highly regarded investigator on the Senate committee staff who had examined the photographic evidence, to comment to me: “If grass can spell out people’s names and a secret digit codes, then I have a newfound respect for grass.”

6. On November 11, 1992, Dolores Alfond, the sister of missing airman Capt. Victor Apodaca and chair of the National Alliance of Families, an organization of relatives of POW/MIAs, testified at one of the Senate committee’s public hearings. She asked for information about data the government had gathered from electronic devices used in a classified program known as PAVE SPIKE.

The devices were motion sensors, dropped by air, designed to pick up enemy troop movements. Shaped on one end like a spike with an electronic pod and antenna on top, they were designed to stick in the ground as they fell. Air Force planes would drop them along the Ho Chi Minh trail and other supply routes. The devices, though primarily sensors, also had rescue capabilities. Someone on the ground—a downed airman or a prisoner on a labor gang —could manually enter data into the sensor. All data were regularly collected electronically by US planes flying overhead. Alfond stated, without any challenge or contradiction by the committee, that in 1974, a year after the supposedly complete return of prisoners, the gathered data showed that a person or people had manually entered into the sensors—as US pilots had been trained to do—”no less than 20 authenticator numbers that corresponded exactly to the classified authenticator numbers of 20 US POWs who were lost in Laos.” Alfond added, according to the transcript: “This PAVE SPIKE intelligence is seamless, but the committee has not discussed it or released what it knows about PAVE SPIKE.”

McCain attended that committee hearing specifically to confront Alfond because of her criticism of the panel’s work. He bellowed and berated her for quite a while. His face turning anger-pink, he accused her of “denigrating” his “patriotism.” The bullying had its effect—she began to cry.

After a pause Alfond recovered and tried to respond to his scorching tirade, but McCain simply turned away and stormed out of the room. The PAVE SPIKE file has never been declassified. We still don’t know anything about those twenty POWs.

7. As previously mentioned, in April 1993, in a Moscow archive, a researcher from Harvard, Stephen Morris, unearthed and made public the transcript of a briefing that General Tran Van Quang gave to the Hanoi politburo four months before the signing of the Paris peace accords in 1973.

In the transcript, General Quang told the Hanoi politburo that 1,205 US prisoners were being held. Quang said that many of the prisoners would be held back from Washington after the accords as bargaining chips for war reparations. General Quang’s report added: “This is a big number. Officially, until now, we published a list of only 368 prisoners of war. The rest we have not revealed. The government of the USA knows this well, but it does not know the exact number…and can only make guesses based on its losses. That is why we are keeping the number of prisoners of war secret, in accordance with the politburo’s instructions.” The report then went on to explain in clear and specific language that a large number would be kept back to ensure reparations.

The reaction to the document was immediate. After two decades of denying it had kept any prisoners, Hanoi responded to the revelation by calling the transcript a fabrication.

Similarly, Washington—which had over the same two decades refused to recant Nixon’s declaration that all the prisoners had been returned—also shifted into denial mode. The Pentagon issued a statement saying the document “is replete with errors, omissions and propaganda that seriously damage its credibility,” and that the numbers were “inconsistent with our own accounting.”

Neither American nor Vietnamese officials offered any rationale for who would plant a forged document in the Soviet archives and why they would do so. Certainly neither Washington nor Moscow—closely allied with Hanoi—would have any motive, since the contents were embarrassing to all parties, and since both the United States and Vietnam had consistently denied the existence of unreturned prisoners. The Russian archivists simply said the document was “authentic.”

8. In his 2002 book, Inside Delta Force, Retired Command Sgt. Major Eric Haney described how in 1981 his special forces unit, after rigorous training for a POW rescue mission, had the mission suddenly aborted, revived a year later and again abruptly aborted. Haney writes that this abandonment of captured soldiers ate at him for years and left him disillusioned about his government’s vows to leave no men behind.

“Years later, I spoke at length with a former highly placed member of the North Vietnamese diplomatic corps, and this person asked me point-blank: ‘Why did the Americans never attempt to recover their remaining POWs after the conclusion of the war?'” Haney writes. He continued, saying that he came to believe senior government officials had called off those missions in 1981 and 1982. (His account is on pages 314 to 321 of my paperback copy of the book.)

9. There is also evidence that in the first months of Ronald Reagan’s presidency in 1981, the White House received a ransom proposal for a number of POWs being held by Hanoi in Indochina. The offer, which was passed to Washington from an official of a third country, was apparently discussed at a meeting in the Roosevelt Room attended by Reagan, Vice-President Bush, CIA director William Casey and National Security Advisor Richard Allen. Allen confirmed the offer in sworn testimony to the Senate POW committee on June 23, 1992.

Allen was allowed to testify behind closed doors and no information was released. But a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter, Robert Caldwell, obtained the portion relating to the ransom offer and reported on it. The ransom request was for $4 billion, Allen testified. He said he told Reagan that “it would be worth the president’s going along and let’s have the negotiation.” When his testimony appeared in the Union Tribune, Allen quickly wrote a letter to the panel, this time not under oath, recanting the ransom story and claiming his memory had played tricks on him. His new version was that some POW activists had asked him about such an offer in a meeting that took place in 1986, when he was no longer in government. “It appears,” he said in the letter, “that there never was a 1981 meeting about the return of POW/MIAs for $4 billion.”

But the episode didn’t end there. A Treasury agent on Secret Service duty in the White House, John Syphrit, came forward to say he had overheard part of the ransom conversation in the Roosevelt Room in 1981, when the offer was discussed by Reagan, Bush, Casey, Allen and other cabinet officials.

Syphrit, a veteran of the Vietnam War, told the committee he was willing to testify but they would have to subpoena him. Treasury opposed his appearance, arguing that voluntary testimony would violate the trust between the Secret Service and those it protects. It was clear that coming in on his own could cost Syphrit his career. The committee voted 7 to 4 not to subpoena him.

In the committee’s final report, dated January 13, 1993 (on page 284), the panel not only chastised Syphrit for his failure to testify without a subpoena (“The committee regrets that the Secret Service agent was unwilling…”), but noted that since Allen had recanted his testimony about the Roosevelt Room briefing, Syphrit’s testimony would have been “at best, uncorroborated by the testimony of any other witness.” The committee omitted any mention that it had made a decision not to ask the other two surviving witnesses, Bush and Reagan, to give testimony under oath. (Casey had died.)

10. In 1990, Colonel Millard Peck, a decorated infantry veteran of Vietnam then working at the DIA as chief of the Asia Division for Current Intelligence, asked for the job of chief of the DIA’s Special Office for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action. His reason for seeking the transfer, which was not a promotion, was that he had heard from officials throughout the Pentagon that the POW/MIA office had been turned into a waste-disposal unit for getting rid of unwanted evidence about live prisoners—a “black hole,” these officials called it.

Millard A. Peck’s Feb. 12, 1991, letter of resignation

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Peck explained all this in his telling resignation letter of February 12, 1991, eight months after he had taken the job. He said he viewed it as “sort of a holy crusade” to restore the integrity of the office but was defeated by the Pentagon machine. The four-page, single-spaced letter was scathing, describing the putative search for missing men as “a cover-up.”

Peck charged that, at its top echelons, the Pentagon had embraced a “mind-set to debunk” all evidence of prisoners left behind. “That national leaders continue to address the prisoner of war and missing in action issue as the ‘highest national priority,’ is a travesty,” he wrote. “The entire charade does not appear to be an honest effort, and may never have been….Practically all analysis is directed to finding fault with the source. Rarely has there been any effective, active follow through on any of the sightings, nor is there a responsive ‘action arm’ to routinely and aggressively pursue leads.”

“I became painfully aware,” his letter continued, “that I was not really in charge of my own office, but was merely a figurehead or whipping boy for a larger and totally Machiavellian group of players outside of DIA…I feel strongly that this issue is being manipulated and controlled at a higher level, not with the goal of resolving it, but more to obfuscate the question of live prisoners and give the illusion of progress through hyperactivity.” He named no names but said these players are “unscrupulous people in the Government or associated with the Government” who “have maintained their distance and remained hidden in the shadows, while using the [POW] Office as a ‘toxic waste dump’ to bury the whole ‘mess’ out of sight.” Peck added that “military officers…who in some manner have ‘rocked the boat’ [have] quickly come to grief.”

Peck concluded: “From what I have witnessed, it appears that any soldier left in Vietnam, even inadvertently, was, in fact, abandoned years ago, and that the farce that is being played is no more than political legerdemain done with ‘smoke and mirrors’ to stall the issue until it dies a natural death.”

The disillusioned Colonel not only resigned but asked to be retired immediately from active military service. The press never followed up.

My Pursuit of the Story

I covered the war in Cambodia and Vietnam, but came to the POW information only slowly afterward, when military officers I knew from that conflict began coming to me with maps and POW sightings and depositions by Vietnamese witnesses.

I was then city editor of the New York Times, no longer involved in foreign or national stories, so I took the data to the appropriate desks and suggested it was material worth pursuing. There were no takers. Some years later, in 1991, when I was an op-ed columnist at Newsday, the aforementioned special Senate committee was formed to probe the POW issue. I saw this as an opening and immersed myself in the reporting.

At Newsday, I wrote thirty-five columns over a two-year period, as well as a four-part series on a trip I took to North Vietnam to report on what happened to one missing pilot who was shot down over the Ho Chi Minh trail and captured when he parachuted down. After Newsday, I wrote thousands more words on the subject for other outlets. Some of the pieces were about McCain’s key role.

Though I wrote on many subjects for Life, Vanity Fair and Washington Monthly, my POW articles appeared in Penthouse, the Village Voice and APBnews.com. Mainstream publications just weren’t interested. Their disinterest was part of what motivated me, and I became one of a very short list of journalists who considered the story important.

Serving in the army in Germany during the Cold War and witnessing combat first-hand as a reporter in India and Indochina led me to have great respect for those who fight for their country. To my mind, we dishonored US troops when our government failed to bring them home from Vietnam after the 591 others were released—and then claimed they didn’t exist. And politicians dishonor themselves when they pay lip service to the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers only to leave untold numbers behind, rationalizing to themselves that it’s merely one of the unfortunate costs of war.

John McCain—now campaigning for the White House as a war hero, maverick and straight shooter—owes the voters some explanations. The press were long ago wooed and won by McCain’s seeming openness, Lone Ranger pose and self-deprecating humor, which may partly explain their ignoring his record on POWs. In the numerous, lengthy McCain profiles that have appeared of late in papers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, I may have missed a clause or a sentence along the way, but I have not found a single mention of his role in burying information about POWs. Television and radio news programs have been similarly silent.

Reporters simply never ask him about it. They didn’t when he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 2000. They haven’t now, despite the fact that we’re in the midst of another war—a war he supports and one that has echoes of Vietnam.

The only explanation McCain has ever offered for his leadership on legislation that seals POW files is that he believes the release of such information would only stir up fresh grief for the families of those who were never accounted for in Vietnam. Of the scores of POW families I’ve met over the years, only a few have said they want the books closed without knowing what happened to their men. All the rest say that not knowing is exactly what grieves them.

Isn’t it possible that what really worries those intent on keeping the POW documents buried is the public disgust that the contents of those files would generate?

How the Senate Committee Perpetuated the Debunking

In its early months, the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs gave the appearance of being committed to finding out the truth about the MIAs. As time went on, however, it became clear that they were cooperating in every way with the Pentagon and CIA, who often seemed to be calling the shots, even setting the agendas for certain key hearings. Both agencies held back the most important POW files. Dick Cheney was the Pentagon chief then; Robert Gates, now the Pentagon chief, was the CIA director.

Further, the committee failed to question any living president. Reagan declined to answer questions; the committee didn’t contest his refusal. Nixon was given a pass. George H.W. Bush, the sitting president, whose prints were all over this issue from his days as CIA chief in the 1970s, was never even approached.

Troubled by these signs, several committee staffers began asking why the agencies they should be probing had been turned into committee partners and decision makers. Memos to that effect were circulated. The staff made the following finding, using intelligence reports marked “credible” that covered POW sightings through 1989: “There can be no doubt that POWs were alive…as late as 1989.” That finding was never released. Eventually, much of the staff was in rebellion.

Newsday, Jan. 7, 1993

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This internecine struggle (see coverage, at left) continued right up to the committee’s last official act—the issuance of its final report. The “Executive Summary,” which comprised the first forty-three pages—was essentially a whitewash, saying that only “a small number” of POWs could have been left behind in 1973 and that there was little likelihood that any prisoners could still be alive. The Washington press corps, judging from its coverage, seems to have read only this air-brushed summary, which had been closely controlled.

But the rest of the 1,221-page Report on POW/MIAs was quite different. Sprinkled throughout are pieces of hard evidence that directly contradict the summary’s conclusions. This documentation established that a significant number of prisoners were left behind—and that top government officials knew this from the start. These candid findings were inserted by committee staffers who had unearthed the evidence and were determined not to allow the truth to be sugar-coated.

If the Washington press corps did actually read the body of the report and then failed to report its contents, that would be a scandal of its own. The press would then have knowingly ignored the steady stream of findings in the body of the report that refuted the summary and indicated that the number of abandoned men was not small but considerable. The report gave no figures but estimates from various branches of the intelligence community ranged up to 600. The lowest estimate was 150.

Highlights of the report that undermine the benign conclusions of the Executive Summary:

POW/MIAs Report, pp. 207-209

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* Pages 207-209: These three pages contain revelations of what appear to be either massive intelligence failures, or bad intentions—or both. The report says that until the committee brought up the subject in 1992, no branch of the intelligence community that dealt with analysis of satellite and lower-altitude photos had ever been informed of the specific distress signals US personnel were trained to use in the Vietnam war, nor had they ever been tasked to look for any such signals at all from possible prisoners on the ground.

The committee decided, however, not to seek a review of old photography, saying it “would cause the expenditure of large amounts of manpower and money with no expectation of success.” It might also have turned up lots of distress-signal numbers that nobody in the government was looking for from 1973 to 1991, when the committee opened shop. That would have made it impossible for the committee to write the Executive Summary it seemed determined to write.

The failure gets worse. The committee also discovered that the DIA, which kept the lists of authenticator numbers for pilots and other personnel, could not “locate” the lists of these codes for Army, Navy or Marine pilots. They had lost or destroyed the records. The Air Force list was the only one intact, as it had been preserved by a different intelligence branch.

The report concluded: “In theory, therefore, if a POW still living in captivity [today], were to attempt to communicate by ground signal, smuggling out a note or by whatever means possible, and he used his personal authenticator number to confirm his identity, the US Government would be unable to provide such confirmation, if his number happened to be among those numbers DIA cannot locate.”

It’s worth remembering that throughout the period when this intelligence disaster occurred—from the moment the treaty was signed in 1973 until 1991—the White House told the public that it had given the search for POWs and POW information the “highest national priority.”

POW/MIAs Report, p. 13

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* Page 13: Even in the Executive Summary, the report acknowledges the existence of clear intelligence, made known to government officials early on, that important numbers of captured US POWs were not on Hanoi’s repatriation list. After Hanoi released its list (showing only ten names from Laos—nine military men and one civilian), President Nixon sent a message on February 2, 1973, to Hanoi’s Prime Minister Pham Van Dong. saying: “US records show there are 317 American military men unaccounted for in Laos and it is inconceivable that only ten of these men would be held prisoner in Laos.”

Nixon was right. It was inconceivable. Then why did the president, less than two months later, on March 29, 1973, announce on national television that “all of our American POWs are on their way home”?

On April 13, 1973, just after all 591 men on Hanoi’s official list had returned to American soil, the Pentagon got into step with the president and announced that there was no evidence of any further live prisoners in Indochina (this is on page 248).

POW/MIAs Report, p. 248

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POW/MIAs Report, p. 91

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*Page 91: A lengthy footnote provides more confirmation of the White House’s knowledge of abandoned POWs. The footnote reads:

“In a telephone conversation with Select Committee Vice-Chairman Bob Smith on December 29, 1992, Dr. Kissinger said that he had informed President Nixon during the 60-day period after the peace agreement was signed that US intelligence officials believed that the list of prisoners captured in Laos was incomplete. According to Dr. Kissinger, the President responded by directing that the exchange of prisoners on the lists go forward, but added that a failure to account for the additional prisoners after Operation Homecoming would lead to a resumption of bombing. Dr. Kissinger said that the President was later unwilling to carry through on this threat.”

When Kissinger learned of the footnote while the final editing of the committee report was in progress, he and his lawyers lobbied fiercely through two Republican allies on the panel—one of them was John McCain—to get the footnote expunged. The effort failed. The footnote stayed intact.

Newsday, Jan. 8, 1973

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POW/MIAs Report, pp. 85-86

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* Pages 85-86: The committee report quotes Kissinger from his memoirs, writing solely in reference to prisoners in Laos: “We knew of at least 80 instances in which an American serviceman had been captured alive and subsequently disappeared. The evidence consisted either of voice communications from the ground in advance of capture or photographs and names published by the Communists. Yet none of these men was on the list of POWs handed over after the Agreement.”

Then why did he swear under oath to the committee in 1992 that he never had any information that specific, named soldiers were captured alive and hadn’t been returned by Vietnam?

POW/MIAs Report, p. 89

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* Page 89: In the middle of the prisoner repatriation and US troop-withdrawal process agreed to in the treaty, when it became clear that Hanoi was not releasing everyone it held, a furious chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, issued an order halting the troop withdrawal until Hanoi complied with the agreement. He cited in particular the known prisoners in Laos. The order was retracted by President Nixon the next day. In 1992, Moorer, by then retired, testified under oath to the committee that his order had received the approval of the President, the national security advisor and the secretary of defense. Nixon, however, in a letter to the committee, wrote: “I do not recall directing Admiral Moorer to send this cable.”

The report did not include the following information: Behind closed doors, a senior intelligence officer had testified to the POW committee that when Moorer’s order was rescinded, the angry admiral sent a “back-channel” message to other key military commanders telling them that Washington was abandoning known live prisoners. “Nixon and Kissinger are at it again,” he wrote. “SecDef and SecState have been cut out of the loop.” In 1973, the witness was working in the office that processed this message. His name and his testimony are still classified. A source present for the testimony provided me with this information and also reported that in that same time period, Moorer had stormed into Defense Secretary Schlesinger’s office and, pounding on his desk, yelled: “The bastards have still got our men.” Schlesinger, in his own testimony to the committee a few months later, was asked about—and corroborated—this account.

POW/MIAs Report, pp. 95-98

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*Pages 95-96: In early April 1973, Deputy Defense Secretary William Clements “summoned” Dr. Roger Shields, then head of the Pentagon’s POW/MIA Task Force, to his office to work out “a new public formulation” of the POW issue; now that the White House had declared all prisoners to have been returned, a new spin was needed. Shields, under oath, described the meeting to the committee. He said Clements told him: “All the American POWs are dead.” Shields said he replied: “You can’t say that.” Clements shot back: “You didn’t hear me. They are all dead.” Shields testified that at that moment he thought he was going to be fired, but he escaped from his boss’s office still holding his job.

*Pages 97-98: A couple of days later, on April 11, 1973, a day before Shields was to hold a Pentagon press conference on POWs, he and Gen. Brent Scowcroft, then the deputy national security advisor, went to the Oval Office to discuss the “new public formulation” and its presentation with President Nixon.

The next day, reporters right off asked Shields about missing POWs. Shields fudged his answers. He said: “We have no indications at this time that there are any Americans alive in Indochina.” But he went on to say that there had not been “a complete accounting” of those lost in Laos and that the Pentagon would press on to account for the missing—a seeming acknowledgement that some Americans were still alive and unaccounted for.

The press, however, seized on Shields’ denials. One headline read: “POW Unit Boss: No Living GIs Left in Indochina.”

*Page 97: The POW committee, knowing that Nixon taped all his meetings in the Oval Office, sought the tape of that April 11, 1973, Nixon-Shields-Scowcroft meeting to find out what Nixon had been told and what he had said about the evidence of POWs still in Indochina. The committee also knew there had been other White House meetings that centered on intelligence about live POWs. A footnote on page 97 states that Nixon’s lawyers said they would provide access to the April 11 tape “only if the Committee agreed not to seek any other White House recordings from this time period.” The footnote says that the committee rejected these terms and got nothing. The committee never made public this request for Nixon tapes until the brief footnote in its 1993 report.

McCain’s Catch-22

None of this compelling evidence in the committee’s full report dislodged McCain from his contention that the whole POW issue was a concoction by deluded purveyors of a “conspiracy theory. But an honest review of the full report, combined with the other documentary evidence, tells the story of a frustrated and angry president, and his national security advisor, furious at being thwarted at the peace table by a small, much less powerful country that refused to bow to Washington’s terms. That President seems to have swallowed hard and accepted a treaty that left probably hundreds of American prisoners in Hanoi’s hands, to be used as bargaining chips for reparations.

Maybe Nixon and Kissinger told themselves that they could get the prisoners home after some time had passed. But perhaps it proved too hard to undo a lie as big as this one. Washington said no prisoners were left behind, and Hanoi swore it had returned all of them. How could either side later admit it had lied? Time went by and as neither side budged, telling the truth became even more difficult and remote. The public would realize that Washington knew of the abandoned men all along. The truth, after men had been languishing in foul prison cells, could get people impeached or thrown in jail.

Which brings us to today, when the Republican candidate for President is the contemporaneous politician most responsible for keeping the truth about his matter hidden. Yet he says he’s the right man to be the Commander-in-Chief, and his credibility in making this claim is largely based on his image as a POW hero.

On page 468 of the 1,221-page report, McCain parsed his POW position oddly: “We found no compelling evidence to prove that Americans are alive in captivity today. There is some evidence—though no proof—to suggest only the possibility that a few Americans may have been kept behind after the end of America’s military involvement in Vietnam.”

“Evidence though no proof.” Clearly, no one could meet McCain’s standard of proof as long as he is leading a government crusade to keep the truth buried.

To this reporter, this sounds like a significant story and a long overdue opportunity for the press to finally dig into the archives to set the historical record straight—and even pose some direct questions to the candidate.

###

Sydney H. Schanberg, a journalist for nearly 50 years, has written extensively on foreign affairs–particularly Asia–and on domestic issues such as ethics, racial problems, government secrecy, corporate excesses and the weaknesses of the national media.

Most of his journalism career has been spent on newspapers but his award-winning work has also appeared widely in other publications and media. The 1984 movie, The Killing Fields, which won several Academy Awards, was based on his book The Death and Life of Dith Pran – a memoir of his experiences covering the war in Cambodia for the New York Times and of his relationship with his Cambodian colleague, Dith Pran.

For his accounts of the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975, Schanberg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting “at great risk.” He is also the recipient of many other awards – including two George Polk awards, two Overseas Press Club awards and the Sigma Delta Chi prize for distinguished journalism.

5 10 2008
karion

UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps (16:41:54) :
but why can’t the investigators go to the seven people at home or at work within the next two or three days to take their statements, as time is of the issue?.

Remember that these are legislative subpoenas, calling for testimony under oath. That means a court reporter is there. It isn’t an interview, it is sworn testimony.

AlaskaGuy (16:46:49) :
So you don’t think that any/all of the testimonies will be heard this week?

It would completely surprise me if they did. Maybe one or two, in a best case scenario. Remember that there is a Supreme Court appeal pending, and Branchflower is named as a party in that appeal, so he has obligations on that end, no matter how frivolous the claims. You have to coordinate the time of Branchflower, the witness, and Coberg, assuming he is going to represent them at the deposition.

Also note that Todd Palin’s attorney has only said he will cooperate with the Personnel Board investigation (although he indicated that the Personnel Board may share his statement with Branchflower).

katiebegood (16:48:48) :
I think it would be great if they released their report on the 10th anyway making a statement that they had all the evidence they needed.

I suspect this is PRECISELY what McCain-Palin want – then they could claim it was evidence of a partisan investigation. “See, they didn’t even wait to get all of the information, they just wanted to release an incomplete investigation in an effort to smear Sarah Palin.”

To appear fair, Branchflower has to wait and get all of the information before releasing a report, I think. Although the Legislative Council did authorize him to release it on the 10th, which raises another point – will they Legislative Council vote to extend the deadline? Are the votes still there? This is what I am worried about. The Legislative Council could reconvene and the formerly unanimous, bipartisan group could suddenly find itself at odds and vote to delay the release until after the election.

5 10 2008
BullwinkleCringes

The Rally for Obama made McClatchy

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/143/story/53299.html

5 10 2008
DeMo

“Attorney Thomas Van Flein said he asked the investigator, Anchorage attorney Timothy Petumenos, to reserve the third week of October to interview Todd Palin, but no date has been set because he is waiting to hear back from Petumenos.”

Not suggesting anything fishy, but wondering why Todd flew home now if he’s not being interviewed until the third week of October. Doesn’t he have to be the veep nominee shadow?

Things that make me go hmmmm.

5 10 2008
Lil' Geese Whalebone Palin

Michigander (17:00:31) :

HMMMMM………

5 10 2008
ocliberal

I agree it’s a stalling tactic. But I say Branchflower should schedule 2-3 depos a day next starting tomorrow.

If would seem to me that If you duck your first supoena your bargaining position on arranging it to YOUR schedule should be greatly reduced. Any lawyers here who can explain the logistics of scheduling supoenas?

Branchflower most likely doesn’t need their sworn testimony as I believe they have all already been interviewed and he has their notes. Although as in the case of the Workmen Comp firm’s owner, she changed her testimony under oath so it does behoove him to interview them all under oath.

Does anyone think there is a chance that those supoened employees may have developed a collective backbone and decided perhaps their dear Governor wasn’t worth risking their own skins for?

5 10 2008
A Fan from Chicago

Hard to tell so far if the seven subpoena folks are engaged in prolonging the process or have had some collective Come To Jesus moment. But it’s a very interesting development either way.

One year when I was a kid the theme of our town’s 4th of July Parade was “Welcoming Alaska and Hawaii into the Union.” The park near our house spent a few weeks putting together our float (no need to do the math, I’m in my late 50’s.) I was at one end with a couple of other girls in hula skirts and one of my brothers was at the other end with his friends wearing fake beards, panning for gold.

We won first place for whatever catagory we were entered in.

That was as much fun as I’ve ever had that was Alaska-realted until Sarah Palin and this site.

God Bless the Internets.

5 10 2008
LJP aka Revolver Trooper

Here is a question, one that I can’t answer, yet: When we see this kind of disparity in coverage, what does it tell us about the media? For example, why was Obama pastor, Rev. Wright, not just a story, but a story in heavy cable rotation for weeks, while Palin’s “reverend” isn’t even on the radar screen in the lower 48? Why has Obama’s acquaintance with William Ayres been a story, and McCain’s very close relationship with convicted felon Charles Keating and involvement in his crimes not part of the campaign “story” (MSM alludes to it in hushed tones, with no elaboration? And of course, why is Troopergate essentially not been covered on network or cable TV? The Anchorage rally story is really part of a larger and more puzzling phenomenon.

It is almost too easy to say that the media is biased toward Republicans or conservatives or against Democrats or “liberals.” I recall Tom Brokaw saying at the Republican convention that Troopergate was “going nowhere.” He wasn’t talking about the investigation or its legal outcome; he meant that Troopergate wouldn’t resonate politically. What he seemed (seems) not to understand is that if a story receives NO coverage, it can have no effect. If the mainstream media just echoes McCain’s negative attacks, without putting them in perspective, which is their job, they are as good as weighing in on the other side.

The same thing might be said about the protesters at the Republican Convention, which were universally ignored by the network and cable crews, a far cry, for example, from the coverage of the riots in 1968. That was news, and the three existing networks covered it. It didn’t help the Democrats, for sure, but there was a story and it had to be told. Now we have all of these media outlets, and the ones with the most money and power can just decide not to report the news. Unbelievable.

5 10 2008
Wesson Scalper Palin aka Canuck for Choice

UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps, thanks for posting this story. I have so much admiration for Mr. Obama. Americans are fortunate in their opportunity to vote for such a compassionate man (and Joe Biden seems like such a sweetie too). I will be forwarding your link to American friends (who are already voting Obama/Biden, but they will surely pass it on). I’d like to see this story make HuffPo, or better yet, Oprah and the View. It would be great if Ms. Andersen would and could share her story on national television. Have you sent the link to those programs?

Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout) (16:11:01) wrote:

On a serious note…those of you all over Alaska know that you ROCKED THE VOTE yesterday…and each of you will find your way to the ballot box and cast your vote accordingly. And if the “empty chair convention” ( and the airport hangar rally) is an indication of how Alaska will vote, I’d just say WAAAHOOOO for y’all!

I’d like to second that WAAAHOOOO, Jeep Pike, especially going out to AKM! Thanks so much for doing what you do AKM, and again, please be EXTRA careful. Your blog/forum may well be perceived as a threat to the NWO, and they are ruthless in their pursuit of silencing the truth.

not your pal Palin (16:07:32) wrote:

Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s talk about those dreams we can share together and what it might mean for the working people of the world.

Our own Pamyua attended the Obama rally and made beautiful music. I wish Obama would invite them to a national rally! Libby Roderick sang a beautiful song at the rally the week before. I wish Obama would invite her too.

I enjoyed your post, not your pal palin. I’ll be the first to admit that some of my own Mudflats posts may be perceived as “negative” or too “sharp-edged”. My unable-to-be-subdued curiosity and my desire to “get to the bottom of issues” that got me into Journalism has become even more pronounced in the last year or so. I cannot stand injustice, and the agenda of the NWO is personified in Palinocchio. I’m going to google Pamyua, hopefully you are on MySpace because I’d like to hear your music.

5 10 2008
ocliberal

One more thing regarding the supoenas in Troopergate. Notice how Sarah Palin didn’t get supoened? I believe this is because she agreed up front to cooperate fully with the investigation. So basically she had no qualms about throwing her asssociates and loyal assistants (and her husband too) under the bus. She is really a disgusting piece of work.

I may not be the right-wing zeocon Sarah Palin is, but I do believe very strongly in Karma. And this lady is coming due for a very hefty dose.

5 10 2008
katiebegood

A Fan from Chicago (17:05:39) :

Hard to tell so far if the seven subpoena folks are engaged in prolonging the process or have had some collective Come To Jesus moment. But it’s a very interesting development either way.

I suspect that all the people who were refusing to honor their subpoenas were told that when the full legislature convened, that they would be held in contempt and prosecuted. They are also seeing the handwriting on the wall when it comes to Palin’s prospects and they decided that they were going to cover their own asses and not the ass of Sarah Barracuda. That with Colberg seeing his license to practice law in AK in jeopardy, I guess you could call them all “come to Jesus” moments.

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

Not a lot to back it up, but I’ve got a feeling Hollis French will find a way to get this report out no later than October17.

All of you good Alaskans have pointed out that this is a delaying tactic, but as Katiebegood noted, these folks have already been interviewed. The point of the subpoenas would be to clarify this or that, right?

Mr. French replied to an email from me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back, and I got the distinct impression from his reply that he wants to get this thing done.
;) ;)

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Karion, thank you for clearing those points up so clearly. It stinks.

Also thanks to the long post about the MIA, had read about all that before, that also stinks.

This is an uplifting tale though, please take a minute to click on, you will be glad you did

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/5/183340/309/352/621029

5 10 2008
karion

Any lawyers here who can explain the logistics of scheduling supoenas?

Trying to do my best. Yes, it is difficult, no matter the circumstances. It gets a lot more complicated if the employees get their own counsel, but seeing as how Coberg is still speaking for them, they probably won’t. Still, Coberg is the AG – he has other responsibilities as an AG and he will have plenty of scheduling conflicts – other court cases, administrative stuff, etc. Scheduling depositions is difficult in any circumstance.

Branchflower most likely doesn’t need their sworn testimony as I believe they have all already been interviewed and he has their notes.

No, he most absolutely needs their sworn testimony. People have very different recollections when their testimony is given under penalty of perjury, particularly when there may be contradictory witnesses and testimony. Branchflower should demand nothing less than sworn testimony.

This is. quite clearly, a good thing (YAY for obeying subpoenas) and a bad thing, in that it is going to delay the release of the report by several weeks, at least. Because I am just that cynical, I believe this is another gamble by McCain. They have turned the lipstick-wearing pitbull on the loose on Obama (as seen from her remarks about him “palling around with terrorists”) and they have indicated they are going to go full throttle on Obama in the final weeks of the campaign. They believe they can sling enough mud on Obama in the next few weeks, such that by the time the official report comes out, it might look like sour grapes.

5 10 2008
MinNJMoose Roadster

I think he came in to do the other one (non-subpoena, non-legislative) so that he doesn’t have to do the investigative, subpeonaed one. It sounds like ‘do this one so we can ram the other one’ tactic. Plus the kids might be happier home, now that they know how grueling the schedule is. Just by the seat…

5 10 2008
Kim aka Vice Peeper Palin

I saw that story last night or very early this morning and sent the following email to the writer won’t call him journalist.

You should be ashamed of yourself doing such a one sided story. You say there was a large rally for Obama but do you talk to any of them, do you say how many were there? No you go on about how great it was that Todd came home for an “impromptu” meeting that was planned and booked in advance. Why don’t you give equal coverage? That one line and some pictures is all I can find about the Obama rally. That is not journalism that is one sided pep rally for Palin by you.

Kim Elston

5 10 2008
Ripley AKA Copper Catfish P.

I think Branchflower should submit a preliminary report, with an addendum stating that further information is pending.

And re-Todd’s interview isn’t official. He’s still ignoring his subpoena. I hope he lands his butt in Jail.

As far as the press, how can anyone claim that the press is Liberal? Look at the lack of coverage. Luckily, the NYT and other reputable papers aren’t afraid of the big bad wolf-killer. Too bad the people that need to read them, don’t.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Tom Brokaw is a paid monkey for the McCain camp, expect no favours Tuesday.

5 10 2008
ocliberal

LJP aka Revolver Trooper: I think the answer is that the repugs have their very own TV station – Fox News. The news about Rev. Wright was played ad naseum 24/7 until Obama had to respond to it. (And respond to it he did in what I still believe was one of his finest speeches.) MSNBC did play the Rev Mutha tape but McCain is hardly going to respond to it because what is he possibly going to say?

But here is what I also believe. Your average right wing zeonut aka Palin lover isn’t going to change their minds based on silly little things like facts and the truth.

However I am really naive enough to believe that a real undecided voter is going to investigate smears or assertions to determine the truth.

For example, just because Palin goes around saying Obama cavorted with terrorists, I don’t think the undecided voter is going to take her at her word. A little bit of investigation will explain the association. At least I hope that is the way it is. Palin is preaching to the choir right now. Just look at favorability rating, which is still at a -10 and hasn’t moved much since 9/27. She isn’t really changing anyone’s mind about anything. The only person she is deluding is herself. She is deluded into believing she matters at all.

5 10 2008
Sue

I just wrote to ADN to let them know I was not happy that they focused their article on the Palin rally instead of the Obama rally, which had 4 times as many participants. I also sent the KOS story about Obama helping the lady in the airport to all my friends and neighbors. This act of kindness shows Obama’s true heart for people. May God favor him with the Presidency!

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps (17:13:29) :
***********************************

Thank you for the link–individual acts of kindness always come back to you. I firmly believe that. It’s the philosophy that has allowed me to BEAR sending four children into this big scary world! I think all of us have benefited from an individual act of kindness, and if we have been able, we have paid it forward.

That’s why we’re so comfortable here!

5 10 2008
Laurie

@UK Lady….I was hoping that Brokaw sees the writing on the wall…and that he MUST be unbiased or he risks a great deal. Surely he must know..the chances of his pal becoming pres are very slim.

5 10 2008
MinNJMoose Roadster

UK Lady
Looked at UK properties a while ago. Very expensive and with the dollar down, unfortunate, literally. But I love you…and I wish often. I have a chronic illness which may disqualify my from being in your country, but help may be in the way. Love.

5 10 2008
dee

DeMo,
I was looking on here for some to realise that. Pushing back the time til the end of October so that just maybe neither investigation would be finished and filed and then brought to public awareness until after the election. (although I think it was a given that the one the repubs wanted wouldn’t be)

Nice timing for them. Also nice timing, slipping it in while people are looking at Supreme court, palin’s tax returns and the rallies. It seemed to get overlooked.

also their is a person who responds on the political blogs called (sorry don’t know if I can put the title in here so I won’t). Pay close attention to her/him. There was a little responded to blog that “it” stated that a few quiet well chosen words to owners could make them see the light that what they were doing was wrong. In other words, do it my way or I will see you lose business.

That is one dangerous person who knows how to play dirty. The master of subtle mindcontrol.

It’s good to know your enemies but the ones who should scare you are the ones who don’t appear to be your enemies but seem neutral yet somehow always get the worst jab in for your guy.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Nope – they still just don’t get it.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

MinNJMoose Roadster (17:29:01) :

Don’t worry, our houses are getting cheaper by the hour! Plus, we have a national health service that, although we complain about it, I wouldn’t swap for anything, so come any time you want.

5 10 2008
karion

I think Branchflower should submit a preliminary report, with an addendum stating that further information is pending.

I thought that too, for a few minutes, but here’s the thing. If he does, he is essentially revealing the investigation’s preliminary conclusions and the evidence relied upon for those conclusions. In such a scenario, the witnesses can tailor their testimony accordingly – the hand has been tipped, so to speak. Now, this is a non-partisan investigation and such things shouldn’t matter, except these seven state employees defied a legislative subpoena in solidarity with Palin and her AG. They are, to use legal jargon, almost hostile witnesses, and ones who have demonstrated that they would defy a subpoena on the advice of their governor’s attorney.

Taken in that light, Branchflower, who is an attorney and presumably skilled at depositions, has to really prepare for their depositions. Believe it or not, taking depositions is a very labor and intellectually intensive exercise. The adverse witness is heavily prepared, meaning that they don’t volunteer information whatsoever, and are coached not to give any answer beyond “yes” or “no.” I generally spend two days preparing for any deposition I take, and for the more important ones, sometimes more.

As underhanded as this strategy is, I have to admit it is pretty ingenious. Release the report without the testimony and you look biased and incomplete. Delay it until you can coordinate all of the depositions and hope that Palin has slung enough mud and it will lost in the chatter? Pure politics, which is funny, since the McCain camp claims this whole investigation is partisan politics.

5 10 2008
Enjay aka Turbine Yukon

Another of my hmmm moments ~

What are the chances of McC leaving the senate before Obama takes office? Considering the “tone” and attitude of McC – believe he may have a problem with Dem’s in charge. We’ll get more views of his “temperment”

5 10 2008
Meat Notgay Palin

Good news, mudflatters, from the battleground state of N.C. Obama drew (my guess) 12,000 people to my old high school stadium. People started lining up at 6 AM for the 2:30 PM rally. The McSame folks held a counter rally and drew maybe 200 ill informed folks. Y’all can check out the local news coverage at
http://www.wlos.com/ Sorry you’ll have to cut and paste the URL.

Asheville is my old home town, I am amazed and greatly encouraged by todays events there.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

I believe that when McCain loses he will go off in a monumental huff, and his wife will have to divorce him shortly afterwards out of self preservation.

5 10 2008
Meat Notgay Palin

Wow, my link is live, no need to cut and paste.

5 10 2008
drchill

And then there are the emails…
http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/546167.html

5 10 2008
MinNJMoose Roadster

UK lady
I saw some really good stuff, but being disabled, it’s a long shot. I was looking, however, and it was great fun. I loved it when someone said that you might have boats of immigrants on your shores soon! What a hoot and so very true. I should have bought then.

Thank you. You just never know.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Meat Notgay Palin (17:39:32) :

Just watched that, so funny, the McCain straggle of people looked so pathetic.

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

Meat Notgay Palin (17:39:32) :

Wow, my link is live, no need to cut and paste.
**********
We aim to please!

5 10 2008
JT

Michigander,

When I read stuff like this, it makes me sick to my stomach.

What scares me is the right “love it or leave it mentality”, that continually harps on what a perfect and moral country we are.

Michelle Obama was correct in admitting she was not always proud of this country. Her honesty is what this country needs.

Unless we can look honestly at ourselves, and admit the atrocities we’ve committed, how can we ever move positively into the future?

What sickens me is to imagine if there is truth in the article, did each one of the presidents know? Did Jimmy Carter, a man I admire, know of this crime?

5 10 2008
karion

Also, I should add that, as I understand it, the Legislative Council voted to release the report on October 10th. I am just guessing that, to delay it, would require another vote. I am also guessing that some of the voting dynamic of the Legislative Council has changed since their last vote, and that the McCain camp is well aware of that.

They could well vote that, in light of the witnesses agreeing to testify, together with the concerns about the (now) claimed ‘partisan’ nature of the investigation , that they will not release the report until after the election. The Legislative Council is – again, doing this from memory – like seven Republicans to four Democrats. I can completely conceive of the arguments for that – this is an Alaskan issue, not a national one, an investigation is just that – an investigation, not a judicial or other final determination, etc.

Shit, and I was feeling so good after reading the appeal, knowing it would be denied. This is an entirely different kind of delay tactic.

5 10 2008
Valhalla

See in update to ADN at 04:31 PM that seven state employees to honor subpoenas and testify in the legislative investigation. The article quoted Colberg “We are working with Senator Hollis French to arrange for the testimony of the seven state employee plaintiffs.”
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/546777.html

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

MinNJMoose Roadster (17:43:56) :

The people waiting on our shores are probably all waiting for boats to get them the hell out!

5 10 2008
MinNJMoose Roadster

I don’t think that Ciny will ever divorce him, and I fear that we will have ‘wazilla’ forever in our national politics. She’s tasted blood, and she likes it (plus the crowds urging her on.) It’s a frightening future.

5 10 2008
Sharon/California

Anybody know the possibility of a preliminary report coming out on the 10th?

5 10 2008
eajphd Molten Contra Palin

In commemoration of the new “approach” being taken by the McCain Palin campaign, I have decided to launch a new promotional character – McBluff the Slime Dog, feel free to download the jpg at:
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/31142893@N02/2916505689/]

The character is a modified composite of the Palin Pit Bull and McGruff/

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Karion – it’s just so bloody machiavellian! Exhausting.

5 10 2008
sauerkraut aka Road Apple Palin

Interesting…

It made McClatchey but not ADN?? Isn’t ADN a McClatchey newspaper?? Can someone take out their copy of ADN and look it up (pg 2 or editorial pages)? If ADN is a McClatchey, perhaps a flurry of emails to the higher-ups will correct the … ummm… cough… oversight.

Great news, Meat.

Enjay – McCain will stay in the Senate. He’ll try to get even by being a royal pain in his own maverick arse.

karion – it has been suggested that Branchflower has signed affidavits which probably carry more significance than the testimony of the 7, save Palin. Plus, isn’t he required to present his report just to the legislative committee for review and approval? It might take the committe members the 3 weeks until Palin finally makes himself available to the investigator.

Laurie – don’t ask me why but everytime I see your name I think of Lauria Anderson. must just be the music I’m listening to lately. As for Brokaw, if he doesn’t cut out his anti-Russellesque bias, I am going to ship Greatest Generation back to him. FOB.

Katiebgood – I love you dearly but is Colberg’s license to practice really in jeopardy? Have any valid complaints been filed? What’s the status if so? It’s extremely difficult for an attorney to lose his license to practice and although I totally agree that he’s been a total piece of road apple, I’ve not really seen anything to warrant pulling his license.

5 10 2008
oddnotunusual

I find it very difficult to believe there would be so few people in attendance for a Palin rally. I am want to believe these pictures were taken during the prep hours.

I notice that no shots show Palin actually speaking to the audience.

I am from Southern California, and Palin was here just yesterday doing a rally. It was a very large outdoor stadium setting and the place was literally packed- it was a zoo just to get inside. With an over eighty percent approval rating in Alaska I find your post to be questionable.

http://www.jdstock.com Jeremy

Palin was not present. She phoned in. The photos were taken when the rally was in full swing. The Alaska Republican Party estimated the turnout at 300. I’d be willing to give them that, although I think it was a little high. I would have said 250 but I won’t quibble. You can click the link to the Anchorage Daily News article in the post and they will verify the numbers.
AKMuckraker

5 10 2008
Valhalla

What is First Dud doing back in AK? Maybe to honor the subpoena sooner than we think? If the other seven talk fast and first, when do the Palin’s get time to put heir spin on the story? They can either deny, deny, deny…. or they can try to get their side of the story in Branchflower’s report.

5 10 2008
Lil' Geese Whalebone Palin

new post!!!!!!

5 10 2008
Sharon/California

The AP has an expanded report out which includes this gem:

Defense attorney Peter Maassen said the Legislature is free to conduct an investigation as it sees fit and the judge’s ruling confirmed the separation of power principles. By the time the Supreme Court makes a ruling, the investigation will have already been completed — all that will remain will be to make its findings public.
“There’s been no time in history that a court has suppressed the outcome of a legislative investigation,” Maassen said.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jOTk11gvqDAgD0cY3i4WjI_2YOxwD93JJ9I80

5 10 2008
MinNJMoose Roadster

UK lady
Very expensive country you have. Very, really.

5 10 2008
Meat Notgay Palin

Hey Odd, wouldn’t you love to see some more recent polling from Alaska regarding Mrs. Palin’s popularity? I know i would.

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

Karion – just found this, does it change anything?
Defense attorney Peter Maassen said the Legislature is free to conduct an investigation as it sees fit and the judge’s ruling confirmed the separation of power principles. By the time the Supreme Court makes a ruling, the investigation will have already been completed — all that will remain will be to make its findings public.

“There’s been no time in history that a court has suppressed the outcome of a legislative investigation,” Maassen said.

5 10 2008
sauerkraut aka Road Apple Palin

Strike Chipper Palin – instead of nuggets, how about serving her up a nice warm road apple pie?

5 10 2008
nunya

Thank you AKMuckraker :)

5 10 2008
wired differently

oddnotunusual– you are wont (or you will want) to visit the venerable Anchorage Daily News website, wherein it is stated with certainty that the rally was visited by smaller numbers than might have been expected.

Quote from the article: “Todd told the crowd of roughly 300, who didn’t nearly fill the cavernous meeting hall, that he’d just flown in from Denver.” He went on to say that Sarah had done ‘awesome’ in the debate.

You may not be aware that The Divine Miss Sarah is experiencing some problems in her home state right now. It’s not widely reported in the msm. But it’s true. Sad, but true.

5 10 2008
PJ

Now, also, keep in mind that Colberg WAITED to file the motion to quash…waited as close as he could dare to the Oct. 10th release date. In theory, since the legislature doesn’t re-convene until January ( and only the full legislature can vote to hold those accountable in defying the subpoena), Colberg didn’t have to file the motion. He could have just let it sit until January and then file the motion to quash.

Oh, this is pretty slick of Callaghan, all right.

5 10 2008
Cassie Jeep Pike Palin (Wish I were Trout)

oddnotunusual (17:57:43) : With an over eighty percent approval rating in Alaska I find your post to be questionable.
****************************************************************************************

I assure you, oddnotunusual, that the post and the pictures are true and accurate. You will find this to be a site of truthspeakers and thoughtful persons.

The Palin rally was hastily thrown together–see previous threads–and it showed. It seems to have been scheduled once the realization was made that an Obama one was planned. In any case, the governor was not in attendance, only her husband and one daughter.

Stay awhile, do some reading of the various issues, look forward to hearing your views.

5 10 2008
ocliberal

oddnotunusual: Here’s the difference. The population of LA and Orange County combined (which is what the Palin rally drew from) is close to 13 million people. The population of Anchorage 260,000 people. I would say percentage-wise Anchorage rally did better drawing 350 people.

5 10 2008
akmuckraker

New thread up on Troopergate subpoenas.

5 10 2008
PJ

UK Lady, I believe Maassen made those comments before Colberg announced that his “clients” would now testify.

5 10 2008
Lil' Geese Whalebone Palin

News reports put the size at 300…. Obama rally 1200 ; )

5 10 2008
wired differently

Sound of chairs tipping over and the muffled thundering of yellow-booted feet as we all rush over to the new post…

5 10 2008
UK lady AKA turning turtle Palinps

PJ (18:14:23) :

Thanks, heh! heh!

5 10 2008
Pistol Tanker Palin

Sounds like a case of unbalanced and blind

5 10 2008
Spoon Archer Palin

I wish Obama would just make a very quick stop in AK to visit with his supporters. Can you imagine the images…Obama speaking with the huge Alaska wilderness behind him, saying he is indeed ready to lead the people of all 50 states, which he has visited. Palin and McCain would come running back to the state with their hair on fire, sonic booms coming off the planes, they’d fly so fast.

She’d have to respond to any investigation then, no? You know, while you are here, guvna, and the whole world is watching.

BTW, I did phone bank work at an Obama office in Northern California today and told them about the AK event. Their jaws dropped and then they all got these huge grins. We all smiled about it while we called New Mexico residents. Some very enthusiastic O supporters there. McCain supporters, not to happy sounding, as if they were going through the motions.

5 10 2008
Pupster

Brooklyn NY here. Just want you to know that the rest of the country supports Alaska progressives!

Read your blog regularly, and it’s great to know that even in red state Alaska, there are like minds who are fighting for change. Shout outs to all of you. Truly, the grassroots support of our candidate Obama and the progressive message he represents is amazing.

Keep up the great work. We shall overcome.

5 10 2008
angrygrrl

Saw that dis by ADN. It’s so clear from the pix that there are tons of people. So, since it was a 4 to 1 attendance, I’d say they did 1/4 their job. At least they have a Troopergate link as a permanent fixture on their front page. Would we be so lucky to have “McPalin’s lies” as a permanent link on the front page of the NYT.

5 10 2008
Sunsync

Thank you. Great blog, wonderful writing, reassuringly reality based! Tight shots in MSM news videos of the McPalin rally tried not to show the extent of empty seats-except for one or two brief slips-if you were watching closely, which bears out your story completely. Thanks for the great work.

5 10 2008
mudslide pike
5 10 2008
Femalady

Loved the long article about McCain’s long history of POW information suppression. CNN just announced that Obama is going to release a 14 minute ad tomorrow outlining McCain’s participation in the Keating Five. I am so glad he is going to strike back at Palin for her Ayer’s comments.

5 10 2008
NSWFM

THANK YOU AK MUCKRAKER!
I think you are the Upton Sinclair of this election–thank you for going into the Palin rally like going into the slaughterhouse a hundred years ago. Great investigating and writing. You are an inspiration to all of us around the world! Look at the map of interested people. I am very proud of your hard work.

5 10 2008
Blue_in_AK

The ADN may not have covered it, but the word is out. As near as I can figure, somewhere around 1,000 people have already viewed the photographs that I posted at my website just this afternoon. And I’m just one person. I’m sure other people’s pictures are being shared with friends and relatives all around the world tonight.

The Internet is a glorious thing.

5 10 2008
Jackie Lee

You are simply an inspiration.
Please pass our support on to the “troops” up there!

5 10 2008
Vlad the I'm Palin

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-oped0504chapmanmay04,0,6238795.column

Here’s a Chicago Tribune article from this past spring about the G. Gordon Liddy and John McCain friendship

5 10 2008
mimi

Well, maybe the ADN needs a little note from mudflatters as a reminder that it is the job of their journalists to report on the news and not just do a little aside. Pocketbook always works – threaten to cancel your subscriptions or to not buy their paper unless they start doing some reporting on the huge number of people who are opposed to palin as VP.

Maybe you can post a link to their letters to the editor email. I would write one!

5 10 2008
NSWFM

Michigander, thanks for posting the article and AKMuckraker, thanks for informing us and having a place for us.

5 10 2008
Bernice

HOPE YOU DON’T MIND I PASSED THIS ON TO A FRIEND THAT CAN GET IT IN OUR LOCAL PAPERS THAT OFTEN GETS PICKED UP NATIONALLY! I HAVE BEEN POSTING ON NATIONAL BLOGS DIRECTING PEOPLE TO SITE ALREADY!

Terry may contact you, let him know if you have other news you want to get out nationally, he is not hindered from posting news articles as needed! If needed you can email me!

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

5 10 2008
LaNon

I just took another look at the photos (the 18-shot squence) at adn.com

it looks like the same person made all the *handmade* signs (except maybe one that says “we Love You Sarah,” but even that one is suspicious)–they are colorful and TRY to appear to be crafted from love talent and dedication but someone thought to have some of these with the non-manufactured *look and feel* on hand for the crowd.

obama’s signs in contrast far outnumber sp’s and are smarter–
just sayin’

LAnon

5 10 2008
Bernice

If it is possible for you guys to sort through Palin’s Alaskan stories more thoroughly that would be helpful, we on the outside are not able to do so because we don’t know what’s true or not unless we are informed through media which often is lacking or too slow in reporting, plus it helps to have a more personal sense of the facts which those of you living in Alaska have in comparison to the rest of us, even if it’s no more than how these issues have affected your community.

For instance why are there so many Obama supporters in Alaska? Is it because you guys are angry about Troopergate or some other reasons we on the outside don’t understand? I must say this is most confusing because Palin is such an unknown nationally we know little to NOTHING about her other than what we can learn within a matter of weeks, And besides the basic news about Troopergate we are not getting very much of anything else on a wide scale.

I am convinced Palin is an actress, a D rated one, but nevertheless an actress who’s always in character, BUT there’s still others that love her dispite herself and everything they are learning about her. This is possibly dangerous to our nation and the world!

5 10 2008
Duct Idaho Palin

“With an over eighty percent approval rating in Alaska I find your post to be questionable.”

oddnotunusual, I’m not in Alaska so I don’t know you. What do you do in Alaska, that you have an 80% approval rating there?

5 10 2008
mwlfqotn

Someone was recommending an incorrect area code for phone #s. All of
Alaska is (907) and some prefixes are 258, 279, 561 Write on…..

5 10 2008
Deuce2 aka: AXE DIESEL

2008
Michigander (17:00:31) :

Please read this and pass it on
_________________________________________________________
Does anyone mind if I print all 16 pages of this report and take
it to the local paper her where I live. It is the very red state of
Alabama.

5 10 2008
Deuce2 aka: AXE DIESEL

Just received an email from David Plouffe from the Obama
campaign letting me know about the Keating ad appearing
tomorrow at NOON EST. You can view it at Keating
Economics.com.

5 10 2008
Janet

That would have been a wonderful headline: [b] Obama Rally Dwarfs Palin Rally in Anchorage. Surprising Lack of Support for Governor. [/b]

Too bad the Anchorage Daily News wasn’t impartial enough to think of it on their own — or print the real news that day.

5 10 2008
Susan

Not sure if this has already been posted re McCain’s participation in the POW “coverup” but it’s worth watching for several reasons, not the least is his astonishing contempt and foul language (in a Senate hearing?!) towards the POW families organization. Watch and cringe. Don’t know how to hyperlink the URL – sorry!

5 10 2008
Toon Moene

Hmmmm,

I just realized that the McCain campaign, after disparaging “community organizers” now succeeded in blackening another perfectly neutral term “operative”.

6 10 2008
NY Dem

OK< I’m all for writing Letters to the Editor of the Alaska Daily News, and complaining about their lack of coverage of the Obama rally – but PLEASE – let’s not stoop to the level of Republicans and be telling people to provide fake addresses and fake phone numbers. That is just WRONG !

Just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

6 10 2008
NY Dem

Over the weekend, John McCain’s top adviser announced their plan to stop engaging in a debate over the economy and “turn the page” to more direct, personal attacks on Barack Obama.

In the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to change the subject from the central question of this election. Perhaps because the policies McCain supported these past eight years and wants to continue are pretty hard to defend.

But it’s not just McCain’s role in the current crisis that they’re avoiding. The backward economic philosophy and culture of corruption that helped create the current crisis are looking more and more like the other major financial crisis of our time.

During the savings and loan crisis of the late ’80s and early ’90s, McCain’s political favors and aggressive support for deregulation put him at the center of the fall of Lincoln Savings and Loan, one of the largest in the country. More than 23,000 investors lost their savings. Overall, the savings and loan crisis required the federal government to bail out the savings of hundreds of thousands of families and ultimately cost American taxpayers $124 billion.

Sound familiar?

In that crisis, John McCain and his political patron, Charles Keating, played central roles that ultimately landed Keating in jail for fraud and McCain in front of the Senate Ethics Committee. The McCain campaign has tried to avoid talking about the scandal, but with so many parallels to the current crisis, McCain’s Keating history is relevant and voters deserve to know the facts — and see for themselves the pattern of poor judgment by John McCain.

So at noon Eastern on Monday, October 6th, we’re releasing a 13-minute documentary about the scandal called “Keating Economics: John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis” — it will be available at KeatingEconomics.com, along with background information that every voter should know.

Watch a preview right now and share it with your friends.

The point of the film and the web site is that John McCain still hasn’t learned his lesson.

And this time, McCain’s bankrupt economic philosophy has put our economy at the brink of collapse and put millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes.

Watch the video to see why John McCain’s failed philosophy and poor judgment is a recipe for deepening the crisis:

http://my.barackobama.com/keatingvideo

It’s no wonder John McCain would rather spend the last month of this election smearing Barack’s character instead of talking about the top priority issue for voters.

But if we work together, we can make sure the focus stays on the economy — and how to fix it.

Thanks,

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

P.S. — The documentary will be live at noon Eastern on Monday, October 6th at http://www.KeatingEconomics.com.

6 10 2008
paolo

Ugh. At least you know what really went down — and you shared it here.

6 10 2008
karen marie

when i read the first post about this rally, not finding a link to an ADN story, i went over to their site myself to see what they had up and was shocked at the outrageous lack of coverage of the real story. so i sent ADN a “letter to the editor,” the text of which i posted in the comment thread of the earlier post.

i got my fire stick up ADN’s butt early.

6 10 2008
leap2three

Amazing comparison of rallies! Whodathunk? Really inspiring to see so many Obama supporters going against the grain! Huzzah! I’m spreading the good word! Godspeed, guys and gals!

6 10 2008
S.A.

Even Juneau? We’re certifiably the most liberal city in Alaska- which unfortunately doesn’t say much. The rally was great fun, though.

Juneau Anti-Palin Rally coming up!
Saturday, October 11 – 10:00 a.m. in front of the Capital Building
State, national, local press has all been invited!

6 10 2008
OmegaMom

[...] So in the midst of relishing a child-free evening and morning (YES!!! She spent the night away from home!), I totally forgot that there was a big Obama rally in Big City on Saturday, which I had been thinking of attending.  Reports are that 1200 people showed up, while 300 people showed up at a McCain/Palin rally.  Some pics are here, here, here, and here, with a grump from Mudflats about the comparative coverage in Big City’s newspaper. [...]

6 10 2008
3 Places To Hide Out In If McCain/Palin Win | EltenTwelve

[...] Regarding the recent rallies: [...]

6 10 2008
mlaiuppa

From what I read it *is* dangerous to “out” yourself in Alaska. But in the privacy of the voting booth, I wonder how many closet progressives will say NO to Palin/McCain and vote for Obama when no one is looking.

6 10 2008
UDbmas

Great article. I tipped to TPM & Newsvine. Hope you get picked up. Kudos & Thanks again!

6 10 2008
Robert M Blevins

I live in Seattle and write a popular column for MSNBC/Newsvine.

Sometimes a picture can say a thousand words. Or a cartoon. I published a series of cartoons about Palin called ‘The Sarah Show’ that have been picked up by womens’ groups all over the place. I’ve heard of Mudflats through that great talkradio station you guys have in Anchorage – KUDO 1080, and I worked with Kathy Phillips, the news director there on a recent investigation of Track Palin and the supposed trashing of school buses in Wasilla. (Conclusion – He didn’t do it.)

Anyway…if you want a good laugh, check out the cartoons. The links are below.

‘The Sarah Show’ – Part One

‘The Sarah Show’ – Part Two

‘The Sarah Show’ – Part Three

7 10 2008
Janine From Cali

You all rock!! Thank you for this awesome site. It is a part of my morning Coffee. I feel I have gotten to know some very cool people from Alaska. We appreciate all your efforts to tell the truth, and know you are doing your best to turn Alaska and the rest of the country blue!
Janine

7 10 2008
Janine From Cali

Oh, by the way, my B-day is tomorrow, and all my friends asked what I want, my answer, a cold martini and an Obama landside! Yes We Can!

25 10 2008
Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama! « Mudflats

[...] rally right there on the front page online, with a nice write-up and a picture.  I had given the first ever “Moose Nugget Award” to the paper after their heavy coverage of the meager pro-Palin rally, and hardly a mention of the [...]

26 10 2008
Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama! « Nuclear and Indigenous Items of Interest

[...] rally right there on the front page online, with a nice write-up and a picture.  I had given the first ever “Moose Nugget Award” to the paper after their heavy coverage of the meager pro-Palin rally, and hardly a mention of the [...]




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