Saturday, April 19, 2008

Once upon a time there was a great nation......

....but no more, unless her people come to her aid NOW!

Top Bush aides pushed for Guantánamo torture

Senior officials bypassed army chief to introduce interrogation methods

This article appeared in the Guardian on Saturday April 19 2008 on p1 of the Top stories section. It was last updated at 00:13 on April 19 2008.

US military chief General Richard Myers

US military chief General Richard Myers. Photographer: Khalil Mazraawi/AFP

America's most senior general was "hoodwinked" by top Bush administration officials determined to push through aggressive interrogation techniques of terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, leading to the US military abandoning its age-old ban on the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners, the Guardian reveals today.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff from 2001 to 2005, wrongly believed that inmates at Guantánamo and other prisons were protected by the Geneva conventions and from abuse tantamount to torture.

The way he was duped by senior officials in Washington, who believed the Geneva conventions and other traditional safeguards were out of date, is disclosed in a devastating account of their role, extracts of which appear in today's Guardian.

In his new book, Torture Team, Philippe Sands QC, professor of law at University College London, reveals that:

· Senior Bush administration figures pushed through previously outlawed measures with the aid of inexperienced military officials at Guantánamo.

· Myers believes he was a victim of "intrigue" by top lawyers at the department of justice, the office of vice-president Dick Cheney, and at Donald Rumsfeld's defence department.

· The Guantánamo lawyers charged with devising interrogation techniques were inspired by the exploits of Jack Bauer in the American TV series 24.

· Myers wrongly believed interrogation techniques had been taken from the army's field manual.

The lawyers, all political appointees, who pushed through the interrogation techniques were Alberto Gonzales, David Addington and William Haynes. Also involved were Doug Feith, Rumsfeld's under-secretary for policy, and Jay Bybee and John Yoo, two assistant attorney generals.

Mark these names carefully, compatriots! There time is coming.

The revelations have sparked a fierce response in the US from those familiar with the contents of the book, and who are determined to establish accountability for the way the Bush administration violated international and domestic law by sanctioning prisoner abuse and torture.

The Bush administration has tried to explain away the ill-treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq by blaming junior officials. Sands' book establishes that pressure for aggressive and cruel treatment of detainees came from the top and was sanctioned by the most senior lawyers.

Myers was one top official who did not understand the implications of what was being done. Sands, who spent three hours with the former general, says he was "confused" about the decisions that were taken.

Myers mistakenly believed that new techniques recommended by Haynes and authorised by Rumsfeld in December 2002 for use by the military at Guantánamo had been taken from the US army field manual. They included hooding, sensory deprivation, and physical and mental abuse.

Does anyone wonder what kind of physical and mental abuse we are talking about here? Given that we have all heard or read about some detainees who were completely out of their minds by the time they were interviewed by a defense lawyer, I would like to know what is being done to human minds in our names.

"As we worked through the list of techniques, Myers became increasingly hesitant and troubled," writes Sands. "Haynes and Rumsfeld had been able to run rings around him."

Myers and his closest advisers were cut out of the decision-making process. He did not know that Bush administration officials were changing the rules allowing interrogation techniques, including the use of dogs, amounting to torture.

"We never authorised torture, we just didn't, not what we would do," Myers said. Sands comments: "He really had taken his eye off the ball ... he didn't ask too many questions ... and kept his distance from the decision-making process."

Larry Wilkerson, a former army officer and chief of staff to Colin Powell, US secretary of state at the time, told the Guardian: "I do know that Rumsfeld had neutralised the chairman [Myers] in many significant ways.

"The secretary did this by cutting [Myers] out of important communications, meetings, deliberations and plans.

"At the end of the day, however, Dick Myers was not a very powerful chairman in the first place, one reason Rumsfeld recommended him for the job".

He added: "Haynes, Feith, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzalez and - at the apex - Addington, should never travel outside the US, except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code. In future, some government may build the case necessary to prosecute them in a foreign court, or in an international court."

Out of the country? What? Making our country a safe place for international criminals.? Giving torturers safe haven? Making every American complicit in giving shelter to terrorists, essentially? Are you serious?

(Someone should warn Saudi Arabia and Israel that there are those who would not take kindly to them giving safe haven to terrorists either.)

It is our country these men have harmed greatly, in ways it will take years to fully comprehend, with their unconscionable behavior. They have tortured and murdered other human beings in our name, while making use of our money to pull it off.

Did we not learn a damn thing from what happened in Germany, a very young Democracy compared to ours, when they followed a deranged madman and his cabal of evil-doers off a cliff?

If "We, the people" care about human decency, human rights, meaning ours as well as those of our planetary family, the golden rule, the Nuremberg accords, the Geneva conventions, the U.N. Charter, our own constitution and/or our own souls, we had better be prepared to do what our government will not. The Hague is still there. It is up to us to see that our war criminals get the same treatment as others who have gone before them.

For those who don't give a damn about any of the above, allow me to assure you that karma will take care of you in ways your fellow citizens, nor the prosecutors and judges at Hague, could ever imagine. Count on it.

This war crimes/torture issue is the single biggest one for our nation's well-being (which is already in peril) and for our own souls' sake. We are not only losing an ill-conceived, criminal war in Iraq, which is only right and proper, given the way in which it was conceived, we are losing our identity as a nation. (Perhaps that is not an altogether bad thing, since our self-identity was a bit overblown anyway. Nevertheless, we are losing it in such a way that it is dangerous for all of us and our progeny, in ways we cannot yet imagine.)

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Hillary Slams Dem Party "Activists"

If she had not already lost the nomination, she has now.

She is misreading what's happening in a major way. Why is it that people, whom we usually think of as fairly smart people, seem to be missing something as big and diverse as the Obama movement?

It isn't just Hillary. The pundits and other gas bags of the airwaves don't see it either.

At a small closed-door fundraiser after Super Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton blamed what she called the "activist base" of the Democratic Party -- and in particular -- for many of her electoral defeats, saying activists had "flooded" state caucuses and "intimidated" her supporters, according to an audio recording of the event obtained by The Huffington Post.

" endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] -- which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down," Clinton said to a meeting of donors. "We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me."

Listen to the audio below:

Clinton's remarks depart radically from the traditional position of presidential candidates, who in the past have celebrated high levels of turnout by party activists and partisans as a harbinger for their own party's success -- regardless of who is the eventual nominee -- in the general election showdown.

The comments also contradict Clinton's previous statements praising this year's elevated Democratic turnout in primaries and caucuses, and appear to blame her caucus defeats on newly energized grassroots voter groups that she has lauded in the past as "lively participants" in American democracy.

"You've been asking the tough questions," Clinton said in April of last year at a MoveOn-sponsored town hall event. "You've been refusing to back down when any of us who are in political leadership are not living up to the standards that we should set for ourselves... I think you have helped to change the face of American politics for the better... both online, and in the corridors of power."

Clinton's criticism followed MoveOn's endorsement of Obama in early February. The group was initially established in 1999 to oppose the Republican-led effort to impeach President Bill Clinton, and now claims 3.2 million members.

In a statement to The Huffington Post, MoveOn's Executive Director Eli Pariser reacted strongly to Clinton's remarks: "Senator Clinton has her facts wrong again. MoveOn never opposed the war in Afghanistan, and we set the record straight years ago when Karl Rove made the same claim. Senator Clinton's attack on our members is divisive at a time when Democrats will soon need to unify to beat Senator McCain. MoveOn is 3.2 million reliable voters and volunteers who are an important part of any winning Democratic coalition in November. They deserve better than to be dismissed using Republican talking points."

Howard Wolfson, communications director for the Clinton campaign, verified the authenticity of the audio, and elaborated on Clinton's charge that these same party activists were engaged in acts of intimidation against her supporters: "There have been well documented instances of intimidation in the Nevada and the Texas caucuses, and it is a fact that while we have won 4 of the 5 largest primaries, where participation is greatest, Senator Obama has done better in caucuses than we have." About Clinton's remarks suggesting dismay over high Democratic activist turnout, Wolfson said, "I'll let my statement stand as is."

In fact, the Nevada caucuses occurred prior to MoveOn's endorsement of Obama, and when Clinton made her remarks, the Texas caucuses had yet to take place.

The disclosure of Clinton's statement disparaging the prominence of party activists in the caucus process comes after she repeatedly suggested that Obama's electability had been compromised because he had allegedly offended other key Democratic constituencies.

This story was developed in cooperation with OffTheBus to which reporter Celeste Fremon is a regular contributor.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

The Framing Of Iran

Coming to a nightmare near you.......

Iran Should Be "Set Up For An Attack"

The Agenda Behind The Anti-Sadr Agenda

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach

17/04/08 "Global Research" -- When Gen. David Petraeus along with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker gave their testimony to the Senate on April 9, they did nothing more than to confirm in spades what had been mooted and duly leaked by the Washington-based press: that the Bush-Cheney Administration had officially endorsed the line that Iran should be set up for attack, on grounds that it--and not any indigenous resistance--were responsible for the mounting death toll among American troops in Iraq.

While claiming security had improved, Petraeus said the violence involving the Mahdi Army of Moqtadar al Sadr "highlighted the destructive role Iran has played in funding, training, arming and directing the so-called 'special groups'" which, he added, "pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq." (See Washington Post, April 9, 2008). Petraeus even granted that Syria had cut the alleged flow of fighters into Iraq, only to stress by contrast, that "Iran has fuelled the violence in a particularly damaging way, through its lethal support to the special groups." Finally, Petraeus specified that the "special groups" were run by Iran's Qods force, the Revolutionary Guards recently placed in the category of terrorists..

There was nothing new about the line: Dick Cheney had dispatched Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner last year to Iraq, with the task of finding a smoking gun, or, better, a couple of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with "made in Iran" stamped on them. What was new in the testimony of the top U.S. military and diplomatic officials in the war zone, were the categorical statements, uttered with an air of certainty usually backed up by courtroom evidence, that Iran was the culprit, and the implicit conclusion that Iran must be the target of U.S. aggression. In order to make sure that (as Nixon would have said), the point be perfectly clear, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley was trotted out to tell an enthusiastic Fox News reporter on April 13, that indeed Iran was the casus belli; Iran is "training Iraqis in Iran who come into Iraq and attack our forces, Iraqi forces, Iraqi civilians." And, therefore, Hadley went on, "We will go after their surrogate operations in Iraq that are killing our forces, killing Iraqi forces." ( Although Defense Secretary Robert Gates was saying almost simultaneously that he thought "the chances of us stumbling into a confrontation with Iran are very low," he, too, repeated the mantra that the Iranians were sending weapons into the south of Iraq, etc. etc. President George W. Bush could not be left out of the dramatic build-up, and blessed Petraeus's testimony with an order for a halt in the troop reductions.

Pat Buchanon performed an important service in immediately blowing the whistle on this fraud, and his piece, "General Petraeus Points to War with Iran," has fortunately received wide coverage. (, 11.04.2008,, 12.04.2008) One would hope that Seymous Hersh would come forth with further ammunition in the fight to prevent an all-too-likely attack against Iran. They are at it again, they are serious, and must be stopped.

The Anti-Shi'ite Surge

But, if war is indeed on the agenda, as Global Research has documented over months, one question to be raised, is: how does the recent "surge" in military actions against the Moqtadar al-Sadr forces, in Basra, Baghdad and numerous other Iraqi cities, fold into the current military-political gameplan? The massive joint U.S.-Iraqi operations at the end of March, against the Mahdi Army, were, militarily speaking, a fiasco. The news reported by AFP on April 14 that the Iraqi government has sacked 1,300 Iraqi troops for not having performed as expected (i.e., for having deserted or joined the enemy) is a not-so-eloquent acknowledgement of this embarrassing fact. And, as has been generally acknowledged by now, it was only due to the diplomatic intervention of Iranian authorities, that the conflict was ended, leading to the decision of al-Sadr to cease hostilities.

Now, however, that ill-conceived offensive has been relaunched in the wake of the performances by the Petraeus-Crocker-Hadley trio, and with a vengeance. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told CNN on April 7, that the offensive against al-Mahdi would continue "until a decisive victory is achieved .. a victory that will not allow these people to attack the Green Zone or other areas." To signal the renewed thrust, Riyad al-Nuri, the director of al Sadr's Najaf office, and his brother-in-law, was brutally murdered in the holy city on April 11. Joint U.S.-Iraqi military incursions have continued in Sadr City. Where will this lead? To victory? If so, how does one define victory? If the joint U.S.-Iraqi military operations physically eliminate al-Sadr's forces, it will only be as a result of the deployment of massive brute force as has not yet been used. In this tragic case, the political effect would likely not be the decimation of that political force, but its enhancement. It should not be forgotten that Moqtadar al-Sadr himself comes from a family of martyrs.

One consideration in the minds of the U.S. strategists of the anti-Sadr war, is that they must wipe his organization off the Iraqi political map well before elections take place next October, elections in which his followers could make significant gains, expanding their current 30-seat presence in parliament to a considerable power. The Al-Sadr phenomenon in Iraq is, in this sense, not so different from the Hamas phenomenon in Palestine; both are militant (and military) formations fighting against foreign occupation, while also providing crucial social services to their people, be it schools, clinics, hospitals or the like. It is in this light that one must read the decision by the Iraqi cabinet on April 14 to exclude militias from that vote, i.e. to exclude any political parties that have armed militias. Clearly, this is aimed at al-Sadr. If one were to ask: What about the Badr Brigade, which is the militia of the Shi'ite party, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim? one might get the answer: that is no longer to be considered a separate militia, but works as part of the Iraqi military forces.

Intra-Shi'ite Conflict Targets Iran

But there is more to the story. The usual assumption made by U.S. military and political leaders, and shared by too many press outlets, is that the conflict inside Iraq should now be reduced to a fight among rival Shi'ite factions: that the ISCI and al-Sadr group are competing for control over Basra, an oil-rich and strategically situated province; that al-Maliki, whose own Shi'ite party Al Dawa, depends on the support of al-Hakim's faction to survive; that, in sum, the name of the game is intra-Shi'ite conflict.(1)

Yes, the political rivalries among the three main Shi'ite factions in Iraq do exist. To be sure, neither al-Maliki nor al-Hakim would welcome the emergence of a majority force in parliament led by the al-Sadr group. But this is not the salient feature of the situation. Rather, as was shown in the recent, short-lived halt to the operations against al-Sadr, it was Iran which was decisive. The most important factor to be considered, in understanding the current crisis, at least from the inside, is this: Iran has excellent relations with {all three} major Shi'ite factions in Iraq, despite their internal differences. The ISCI, it will be remembered, was given hospitality in Iran, during its years-long exile under the Saddam Hussein regime. Moqtadar al-Sadr enjoys support from Iran. And the greatest foreign support that the al-Maliki government has is from Tehran.

So, who can be expected to gain from exacerbating the intra-Shi'ite conflict? Most obviously, the U.S. as the occupying power. As qualified Iranian sources have stressed to this author, Iran's power lies in its ability to promote and mediate cooperation among all these factions, as dramatically demonstrated in its mediating the end to the first anti-Sadr offensive at the end of March. The occupying power is seen as intent on utilizing intra-Shi'ite conflict to damage each of these factions, and to hurt Iran.

One generally ignored, but important factor noted by the same Iranian sources, is the factionalized situation {within} the al-Sadr movement. Moqtadar al-Sadr is seen by these sources as a fervently committed fighter, who, however, views the situation from a somewhat narrowly defined local standpoint: he wants to style himself as the leader of the Shia in Iraq, indeed as the national leader--even more national than al-Maliki. His ambitions, according to some, go beyond this; he sees himself as a future leader of the Muslims overall. At the same time, there is a faction within the al-Sadr movement, considered a "sub-group," which is controlled by outside forces, in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and also the U.S. This sub-group is seen as responsible for provocative actions designed to destabilize Iraq, and therefore welcoming any U.S.-Iraqi joint offensive against al-Sadr. The main reason for this, is that the foreign sponsors of this sub-group, whether Saudi or Emirate or America n, are intent on weakening, discrediting and ultimately replacing al-Maliki as Prime Minister of Iraq, while at the same time undermining the role of al-Hakim. A slaughter against al Sadr's forces could doom the al-Maliki government. To put it simply: these outside influences, who are thinking strategically, are hoping to pit al-Sadr against both al-Hakim and al-Maliki; the al-Sadr forces, who are thinking on a more limited, local level, see themselves as competitors to the other two groupings, for future political leadership in Iraq, and miss the point about the broader strategic picture.

In short, the U.S.'s enthusiastic order to al-Maliki to launch his anti-al-Sadr purge, is actually a ploy to discredit and destroy al-Maliki himself, and prepare for permanent occupation. Vice President Dick Cheney has made no secret of the fact that he would like to replace al-Maliki, whom he has always accused of being too close to the Iranians, with one of his own, like Iyad Allawi, and that might be what is in the offing. Another benefit to discrediting al-Maliki is that the Cheney-Bush crew can further argue that, since al-Maliki and. co. have proven unable to deal with the al-Sadr threat alone, U.S. occupying forces should remain for a longer priod of time, if not for the one-hundred years that John McCain is fantasizing about.

Enter Condi Rice

To complete the picture, a couple of other developments should be mentioned. First, Condi Rice's trip to the region. She follows in the footsteps of Cheney, who toured the region to whip up Arab support for, or at least acquiescence to, a military assault on Iran. This had been Cheney's aim during his late 2006 visit, and now he has returned with the same agenda. Rice, then as now, will be following the same script. She will be meeting with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, plus Egypt and Jordan, the famous "GCC + 2" that she and Cheney have been forging as a Sunni bloc against Iran. Her message will be: prepare for the repercussions of a new assault on Iran. In parallel, the Israelis have been working overtime to heat up tensions in the region, not only against Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, but also Iran. While National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer threatened to "detsroy the Iranian nation," if it attacked Israel, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Arab conference attendees in Qatar that their real enemy was not Israel, but Iran.

At the same time, an ominous event occurred on April 12 in Shiraz, when an explosion rocked a mosque during prayers, killing 12 and wounding more than 200. Although initial Iranian reports ruled out sabotage, the causes of the blast were not immediately identified, and, according to latest press reports, Iranian authorities are still "uncertain" about the affair. If, in the end, it turns out to have been a terror attack, the most likely suspects would be found among the Mujahedeen e Qalk (MKO/MEK) terrorist organization that still enjoys U.S. refuge in Iraq, and the Kurdish terrorists in the PKK-allied Pejak. The PKK also enjoys the protection of the U.S. occupying forces in northern Iraq. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Pejak (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) warned on April 13, that it would "carry out bombings against Iranian forces" inside the country. Perhaps this is what President Bush has in mind, when he makes his periodic appeals to the "Iranian people" to rise up against their government.


1. See Robert Dreyfuss, in "The Lessons of Basra,", April 3, and also Ramzy Baroud, in "Basra battles: Barely half the story,", April 13.

Muriel Mirak-Weissbach is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Now, Back To What Is Important: War Crimes

Your Legacy Mr. President - Chapter One: War Crimes

Bush has said continuously that it is not us who should judge him, but history.

"The true history of my administration will be written 50 years from now, and you and I will not be around to see it."

Nuremberg_trials Neither Bush or anyone else has to wait for the judgment of tomorrow. One of the most notorious chapters of the Bush reign, if not THE most notorious, is the order given by Bush and carried out by his loyalists to torment, torture, and nearly kill prisoners of war in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law.

The crimes committed on his order, in our name, have already been judged in the past, when other, morally bankrupt leaders engaged in extreme human rights abuses.

What this president and his cabal have done will haunt this nation until the end of history. Bush need not, however, point to some future historian as deciding the legacy of his administration, because we already know now what his legacy will be and what it already is. We now know without doubt the following:

Sometime soon after September 11, 2001:
1. The President of the United States authorized the top people in his administration to discuss ways to torment, torture, and nearly kill prisoners of war in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law. (See here).

February 7, 2002:
2.The President of the United States signed a memo indicating that Geneva Conventions - in violations of international and domestic law - no longer applied to Gitmo prisoners. (See here).

Spring of 2002:
3. The Vice President of the United States (Dick Cheney), then-National Security Adviser (Condoleezza Rice), then-Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld), then-Secretary of State (Colin Powell), then-Director of the CIA (George Tenet), and then-US Attorney General (John Ashcroft) met with the President's authority to discuss methods torment, torture, and nearly- kill prisoners of war in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law. (See here).

4. Torture, torment and near-killing of prisoners of war begins as official policy at Gitmo (various groups including military Joint Task Force 170 appear to be involved), in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law. (See here).

August 1, 2002:
5. Lawyers Jay Bybee , John Yoo and David Addington issue the infamous memo defining physical pain as "must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." (See here).

Just to note: despite the Bybee memo being addressed entirely to CIA activities and "outside the United States," (so not applicable to military activities on US military bases), the memo was issued in any case AFTER Bush had suspended Geneva conventions at Gitmo and AFTER torture techniques were already employed. So even if this document were any form of cover (I am no attorney, but it everyone I talked with agrees it was not), it was still issued AFTER these activities had begun.

September 25, 2002:

6. Senior lawyers to the President (Gonzales) and Vice President (David Addington) of the United States traveled to Gitmo to observe first hand the torment, torture, and near-killing of prisoners of war in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law, which they had described in a second Yoo-Bybee memo (still secret) to begin with. (See here).

'“They wanted to know what we were doing to get to this guy,” Dunlavey told me, “and Addington was interested in how we were managing it.” I asked what they had to say. “They brought ideas with them which had been given from sources in D.C.,” Dunlavey said. “They came down to observe and talk.” Throughout this whole period, Dunlavey went on, Rumsfeld was “directly and regularly involved.”'

Just to note: the "sources" from DC are likely the principles from the Spring meeting.

November 2002:

7. Major General Geoffrey Miller becomes the torture tzar of Gitmo , from where only a few weeks after his transfer, he writes up recommendations to torment, torture, and nearly-kill prisoners of war in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law. His boss, Donald Rumsfeld, is the recipient of the recommendations. (See Here).

Just to note: what I think likely happened. The principles (Rice, Cheney, etc.,) did not want to get their hands dirty or in any way be associated with the torture program. They laundered the orders seemingly through "military recommendations," so that if it was ever found out, a few "bad apples" and maybe one big-bad-apple tree (Miller) would be held accountable. But we now know that Addington visited Gitmo for a demonstration, so Miller could not have been operating solo and off the reservation. I think his recommendation served the purpose of making it seem like the torture methods came from the field, instead of where they really came from - the White House.

--------March 2003, Iraq War Begins--------

August 2003

8. Miller is sent by Rumsfeld to "GITMO-tize" the notorious prison at Abu Ghraib via torment, torture, and near-killing of prisoners of war in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law (See here).

October 2003 - onward

9. According to the Taguba Report (authored by Major General Antonio Taguba in his investigation of the Abu Ghraib crimes):

That between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force (372nd Military Police Company, 320th Military Police Battalion, 800th MP Brigade), in Tier (section) 1-A of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF).

Just to note: the crimes at Abu Ghraib begin with the arrival of Miller, on orders of Rumsfeld. Gitmo appears to have been a testing facility for what would later emerge all over the world in various prisons. The torture at Gitmo is itself the direct result of Bush suspending Geneva conventions in his February 2002 memo and the subsequent creation of the policy to torment, torture, and near-killing of prisoners of war in violation of Geneva conventions, international law and domestic law by the principles (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.).

Without getting into a very detailed timeline it is already obvious that Bush is directly responsible for the activities at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, which were and are illegal under the Geneva conventions, international law, and domestic law. No amount of "we did it to protect America" crap is going to wipe away the crimes committed by this administration against countless human beings from all over the world.

The irony of course is that shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush said the following:

"These terrorists...we have seen their kind before. They're the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies." (Bush, 9/20/01).

Nuremberg_poster The problem with this is rather obvious. Whereas the 9/11 terrorists were absolutely a group of murderers, they were not remotely Nazi-like in their approach. No, the irony is that by formalizing a system in which human beings are tormented, tortured, and nearly-killed (and likely killed too in the process) in secret prisons (and not so secret facilities) all over the world, Bush and his regime are in fact the very thing he has defined above: "They [are] heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century."

This is in fact obvious by simple math, because nearly one million Iraqis dead, thousands of US soldiers killed, tens of thousands of US soldiers wounded severely, and countless thousands of men woman and children detained, tortured and god-knows how many killed, is a far bigger number of victims than the roughly 3k people who died on September 11.

When Bush describes the makeup of such "murderous ideologies" he is actually describing himself and his administration: "By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism."

A simple review of the US policy of "reshaping the Middle East" in comparison to a group of extremists without the backing of a state military-intelligence-financial machine makes it rather clear who is following in the path of "fascism and Nazism." Namely, the Bush administration is who "abandoned every value except the will to power."

But the latter of course, is much better illustrated in other chapters of the Bush legacy and other crimes of the Bush administration, that I will later explore. Surely the suspension of the Bill of Rights, massive corporate corruption married to the administration's political interests and carried out by a compliant and corrupt mechanism of domestic law enforcement is precisely the type of "totalitarianism" Bush is describing, is it not?

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Clinton Elitism (To The Max!)

This is about all we are going to post about this absurdity.

While the MSM and Cabal news has been trying their dead-level best to turn this silliness into a "political firestorm," admittedly encouraged by the Clinton camp, the president of the United States has, meanwhile, told ABC news that he has committed war crimes... he has in fact, conspired with others to commit war crimes.

Now, we must ask ourselves which is more important. I know what I think.

Theda Skocpol writes into TPM ...

I have been in meetings with the Clintons and their advisors where very clinical things were said in a very-detached tone about unwillingness of working class voters to trust government -- and Bill Clinton -- and about their unfortunate (from a Clinton perspective) proclivity to vote on life-style rather than economic issues. To see Hillary going absolutely over the top to smash Obama for making clearly more humanly sympathetic observations in this vein, is just amazing. Even more so to see her pretending to be a gun-toting non-elite. Give us a break!

I wonder if she realizes that gaining a few days of lurid publicity that might reach a slice of voters is going to cost her a great deal in the regard of many Democrats, whose strong support she will need if she somehow claws her way to the nomination -- and even more so if she does not clinch the nomination. The distribution of "we're not bitter" stickers to her campaign rallies is the height of over-the-top crudity, and the reports are that very few audience members seem to have much enthusiasm for this nonsense. Not surprisingly, people cannot see the reasons for so much fuss.

Yes, she wants a big break, she desperately wants the nomination she and Bill believe is hers by right. We all know that. But where is her authenticity and her dignity and her sense of any proportion?

This has to be one of the few times in U.S. political history when a multi-millionaire has accused a much less wealthy fellow public servant, a person of the same party and views who made much less lucrative career choices, of "elitism"! (I won't say the only time, because U.S. political history is full of absurdities of this sort.) In a way, it is funny -- and it may not be long before the jokes start.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Bill Clinton: "All These Economically Insecure White People Are Scared To Death"

Americans need to learn that voting against other ordinary Americans and their life styles is what keeps the thieves and scoundrels in government when government cannot legislate "morality." That simple truth has been apparent to many of us for years. It certainly has been evident with race relations in this country.

In spite of what some would have us believe, government can regulate runaway corporations (talk about evil on a stick) and pass laws that help keep the huge gap we are now seeing between the "haves and have-nots" from occurring and growing. We should all vote for legislators and presidents who will help with that disaster, as it is a recipe for the total breakdown of society, as more and more people learn they can no longer trust their institutions.

However, Americans can also vote with their money these days, dealing badly behaving corporations a death blow, if they band together.

There are two major obstacles to democracy in America and two solutions which Americans must demand:

Elections: There is little doubt now that election theft has been rampant for the last 8 years. There should be national laws to fix this. There should also be public campaign finance for all national elections, period. Americans should examine very closely, in primaries, who is contributing to whom. If you find a candidates contributors to be of the criminal variety or simply essence stinker in their business affairs, pass the word and vote for someone else.

Corporate Influence: Outlaw lobbyist who work for corporations and foreign governments, period. If a group of citizens care enough about an issue to send a lobbyist to their state government for redress or to the nation's legislators, that should be honored. If a group of citizens care that much about an issue, it must be important.

All lobbying should be transparent. When corporations hire lobbyists, it is usually out of corporate greed and has nothing to do with issues of great importance to the citizens.

The very idea of foreign lobbyist should offend every American for obvious reasons.

Demand that the government break up these huge corporate monsters which have grown out of the Clinton years. Markets will never work as long as they exist because there is no real competition no matter what the Bushites say. Markets won't work as long as Americans are not told the truth about them by corporate watchdogs. As of now, the news media is, for the most part, owned by the very huge corporations I'm talking about and are hardly going to rat out themselves or other corporate monsters. So, for now, we need citizen watchdogs. There are some on the internet. Pay attention and spread the word.

Americans must learn to fight back and not wait for a government of scoundrels with a vested interest in the status quo to take care of them, because that isn't going to happen. It isn't going to happen until our "public servants" are answerable to us and not big money.

As the rumination continues over Barack Obama's comments about economically-depressed small town voters, statements made by Bill Clinton on the same topic -- uttered while he was running for president in 1991 -- have now surfaced.

"The reason (George H. W. Bush's tactic) works so well now is that you have all these economically insecure white people who are scared to death," Clinton was quoted saying by the Los Angeles Times in September 1991.

A couple months later, Joe Klein, writing for the Sunday Times, reported that Clinton made the following remarks:

"You know, he [Bush] wants to divide us over race. I'm from the South. I understand this. This quota deal they're gonna pull in the next election is the same old scam they've been pulling on us for decade after decade after decade. When their economic policies fail, when the country's coming apart rather than coming together, what do they do? They find the most economically insecure white men and scare the living daylights out of them. They know if they can keep us looking at each other across a racial divide, if I can look at Bobby Rush and think, Bobby wants my job, my promotion, then neither of us can look at George Bush and say, 'What happened to everybody's job? What happened to everybody's income? What ... have ... you ... done ... to ... our ... country?'"

For comparison's sake, here is Obama's statement, reported by Mayhill Fowler for Huffington Post's OffTheBus:

Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter). [...]

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

What do you think -- are they similar?

Update: Jason Linkins notes a statement from Harvard political scientist Theda Skocpol to Talking Points Memo, which reads in part:

I have been in meetings with the Clintons and their advisors where very clinical things were said in a very-detached tone about unwillingness of working class voters to trust government -- and Bill Clinton -- and about their unfortunate (from a Clinton perspective) proclivity to vote on life-style rather than economic issues. To see Hillary going absolutely over the top to smash Obama for making clearly more humanly sympathetic observations in this vein, is just amazing.

More here.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

CNN's Anticonstitutional Abomination

No matter what else happens between now and November I'll give John McCain credit for at least one act of wisdom: He refused to attend that anticonstitutional abomination -- the misnomered "Compassion Forum" -- on CNN last night. It was the closest thing yet to a religious test, which the U.S. Constitution does not specifically ban, but does frown on pointedly: none "shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

We are treading on perilous ground. We have, for the first time to my knowledge, now lined up major candidates for the U.S. presidency and grilled them on personal, religious faith. The founders would have been appalled, and for good reason. It is precisely the kind of church-state entanglement that severed and factionalized Europe for centuries -- something the founders hoped to avoid by establishing the world's "first wholly secular state," as one scholar of the early American republic has put it.

But you wouldn't have been reminded of our secular founding from watching the "Compassion Forum," sponsored last night by Pennsylvania's Messiah College and characterized this morning by the NY Times as "an exercise in earnestness on pressing moral and social issues, a 90-minute break from the political thrust and parry of the presidential campaign trail" in which "candidates ... address[ed] religious beliefs in at times starkly personal terms."

And Brother, did they ever. They had to. That was the whole point. They had to wear their Christian religion on their sleeves (an act I could swear Christianity's founder admonished) so as to gather up as many Christians-cum-Democrats as possible.

It was more than an embarrassment; it was an insult to the Constitution. It was also -- and this is just one more reason the founders declined that whole religious-test business -- an embarrassment and insult to religion itself, since it dragged the theologically fanciful down into the mud of earthly infighting.

For instance right before Mrs. Clinton took the opportunity to assure us, "You know, I have, ever since I’ve been a little girl, felt the presence of God in my life," she took the opportunity, you know, to slam Mr. Obama as an "elitist, out of touch and, frankly, patronizing." She was nevertheless quite hesitant to call him an elitist, as she assured us, saying the elitist would have to speak for his elitist self. Far be it from her to speak for the ... elitist. That would be unGodly. So ask the elitist. Her lips were sealed.

When asked about the possibility of God's personal role in her political career, Clinton jokingly replied: "Well, I could be glib and say we’ll find out, but I — I don’t presume anything about God." Which was an excellent answer, which leads one to the more excellent question of why, then, they were sitting there seedily trying to answer these unanswerable metaphysical questions to begin with.

To the same question Obama replied: "It takes a certain self-righteousness where we think we have a direct line to God. The public square is not the place for us to empower ourselves in that way." Precisely. That's what the founders thought, too.

It's also apparently what John McCain thinks, as once did his ideological predecessor, Barry Goldwater, who nevertheless was responsible for getting this religious kickball rolling.

Keeping questions of "social morality" out of political campaigns had always been Goldwater's creed -- until he ran into the impenetrable 1964 juggernaut of Lyndon Johnson. Suddenly, raising questions about America's "moral decline" seemed to be catching on with large segments of the electorate, so, just as suddenly, Goldwater decided that further pressing these questions wasn't such a bad political idea after all.

Before long the New & Religious Right -- which grew out of the Goldwater movement and which he despised -- was holding his party hostage. He ultimately lamented his '64 comingling of religious morality and politics, since politics, as he later wrote, is nothing more than the necessary art of compromise, while religionists are all about "absolute moral right and wrong." That inherent conflict presented a "challenge to democratic society [that] is too great. It's simply unworkable."

McCain's refusal to take last night's religious test on cable-network television is at least an indication that he, too, understands this. But now, and largely because of McCain's reluctance, Democrats are chasing the religionists with fervor anew. As the Politico reports: "Many Democrats believe that with McCain as the GOP nominee, the ambitious prospect of narrowing the religion gap is within their grasp."

Hence two Democrats' willingness last night to take a religious test, which -- will these marvels never cease? -- they both passed with flying colors.

In the short term, that undoubtedly is a good bargain. In the long term, however, as presidential candidate Goldwater and many others discovered too late, it's a foul one. And it's why Article VI, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution says what it says.

For personal questions or comments you can contact P.M. at


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Carter Won't Back Down On Meeting with Hamas

Carter is an American citizen who has the right to go anywhere he damn well pleases and talk to any one he pleases. Everyone knows he has no power to negotiate for the U.S. any more than I do, so what's the big deal?

Carter Feels ‘Quite at Ease’ With Hamas Meeting

Jimmy Carter

The State Department says it has twice asked Jimmy Carter not to meet with Hamas leaders, but the former president says he feels “quite at ease” in going ahead with a scheduled meeting because “Hamas will have to be included” if there is to be peace in the region.

(I doubt that Carter will offer to bribe them as the Bush administration has the Anbar Sunni Sheiks, with our money.)

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Little Alberto Has Trouble With Job Search

WASHINGTONAlberto R. Gonzales, like many others recently unemployed, has discovered how difficult it can be to find a new job. Mr. Gonzales, the former attorney general, who was forced to resign last year, has been unable to interest law firms in adding his name to their roster, Washington lawyers and his associates said in recent interviews.

He has, through friends, put out inquiries, they said, and has not found any takers. What makes Mr. Gonzales’s case extraordinary is that former attorneys general, the government’s chief lawyer, are typically highly sought.

A longtime loyalist to George W. Bush dating to their years together in Texas, Mr. Gonzales was once widely viewed as a strong candidate to be the first Hispanic-American nominated one day to the Supreme Court. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he carried an impressive personal story as the child of poor Mexican immigrants.

Despite those credentials, he left office last August with a frayed reputation over his role in the dismissal of several federal prosecutors and the truthfulness of his testimony about a secret eavesdropping program. He has had no full-time job since his resignation, and his principal income has come from giving a handful of talks at colleges and before private business groups.

“Maybe the passage of time will provide some opportunity for him,” said one Washington lawyer who was aware of an inquiry to his firm from a Gonzales associate. “I wouldn’t say ‘rebuffed,’ ” said the lawyer, who asked his name not be used because the situation being described was uncomfortable for Mr. Gonzales. “I would say ‘not taken up.’ ”

The greatest impediment to Mr. Gonzales’s being offered the kind of high-salary job being snagged these days by lesser Justice Department officials, many lawyers agree, is his performance during his last few months in office. In that period, he was openly criticized by lawmakers for being untruthful in his sworn testimony. His conduct is being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the Justice Department, which could recommend actions from exonerating him to recommending criminal charges. Friends set up a fund to help pay his legal bills.

Asked about reports that law firms have not taken up feelers from Mr. Gonzales, Robert H. Bork Jr., a corporate communications specialist and his spokesman, said Mr. Gonzales was talking to many people about the next steps in his career. “He is considering his opportunities in law and business,” Mr. Bork said, “but after many years in public service he is considering his options carefully.”

He said Mr. Gonzales “looks forward to the conclusion of the department’s inquiries and getting on with his life.”

While he has not taken any full-time job, friends said he was probably receiving as much income from speaking engagements as he did as attorney general with its annual salary of more than $191,000. Places like Washington University in St. Louis, Ohio State University and the University of Florida have paid him about $30,000 plus expenses for appearances, and the business groups pay a bit more, said sources at the schools and elsewhere who are familiar with the arrangements. Pomona College debated inviting him and decided he was not worth the money, the college newspaper reported.

His first speech at the University of Florida last November was interrupted by protesters dressed as detainees.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Americans Beware! Election fraud

Time for Change's Journal

Posted by Time for change in General Discussion

Fri Apr 11th 2008, 09:00 PM

A close look at the 2002 Alabama Governor’s race suggests that the fraud perpetrated in that election was more obvious than even the 2000 or 2004 U.S. Presidential elections. The final official results were Riley 672,225, Siegelman 669,105 – a difference of 3,120 votes, representing a margin of 0.2% of the total.

It would behoove us to have a good understanding of how this happened, because I have a slight suspicion that we’ll see more of this sort of thing this November, and it should be much easier to prevent if we know what to look for.

Election night, November 5, 2002, Bay Minette, Alabama

Republican controlled Bay Minette is the county seat for Baldwin County, Alabama. In 2002, Baldwin County used optical scan machines to tabulate vote counts from paper ballots filled out by voters and fed into the machines. The paper ballots themselves are saved, which means that they are available for recounting in case of close or contested elections.

The machine tabulated results from each precinct in the county are recorded on individual “data packs”, which are picked up by sheriff deputies after the polls close and delivered to the Bay Minette Board of Elections, which then use a central tabulator to tabulate the county-wide vote count.

The initial vote count for Governor for Baldwin County, reported from the Bay Minette tabulator at 10:45 p.m., was quite surprising to say the least. It reported: Riley (R) 30,142, Siegelman (D) 11,820, and the Libertarian candidate, John Sophocleus, 13,190. Although it was expected that Siegelman would lose Baldwin County, the margin of the loss not believable, as he had lost Baldwin County in the Governor’s race in 1998 by only a little over four thousand votes. Furthermore, the idea of his losing to the Libertarian candidate was not plausible.

So, “someone” from the sheriff’s office went into the tabulation room to look into the matter and returned a few minutes later, announcing that the problem had been fixed. The new totals, which were reported at 11:04 p.m. and picked up and distributed by the AP, were: Riley 31,052, Siegelman 19,070, and Sophocleus a much more reasonable 937. The pickup of 7,250 votes by Siegelman was enough to give him a slim state-wide victory.

But two minutes later, at 11:06 p.m., the results were changed again, reducing Siegelman’s total back down to 12,736, a decrease of 6,334 votes, which gave the election back to Riley. William Pfeifer, the Baldwin County Chairman of the Democratic Party, was just outside the tabulating room at 11:04 when the second report, giving Siegelman the victory, was announced. But he didn’t find out about the reversal until he returned home and turned on the news.

Next morning, November 6, 2002, Bay Minette

The next morning, Pfeifer arrived at the probate court building in an attempt to speak with probate officials to find out what had happened. Pfeifer relates his experience:

No one could get back there to talk to the members of the panel for most of that time, and we didn't get to actually speak to them until just a few minutes before they went out and did the certification. (When I finally got to speak with them, just before the certification) I tried to persuade them to wait until Friday at noon (for the final certification). They were very insistent that the results were correct and that they were going to certify them that morning.

The board certified the election results a little after 10:30 a.m., and Riley gave his victory speech around 11:00 a.m.

Failed request for recount

Two days later, Pfeifer petitioned for a hand recount of the Baldwin County ballots. But Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor ruled later that day that the seals on the boxes containing the ballots could not be broken without a court order to do so. He claimed that his ruling was based on the Alabama Constitution. Don Siegelman contested the ruling and continued to seek a recount, which may have been the reason that he was framed for bribery and sent to prison, as testified to by Dana Jill Simpson:

The Simpson affidavit says the conference call focused on how the Riley campaign could get Siegelman to withdraw his challenge. According to Simpson's statement, William Canary, a senior G.O.P. political operative and Riley adviser who was on the conference call, said "not to worry about Don Siegelman" because "'his girls' would take care of" the governor. Canary then made clear that "his girls" was a reference to his wife, Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Alice Martin, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Canary reassured others on the conference call that he had the help of a powerful pal in Washington. Canary said "not to worry that he had already gotten it worked out with Karl and Karl had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department of Justice was already pursuing Don Siegelman…

In an apparently unrelated incident, Bill Pryor was appointed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by George W. Bush during a Congressional recess in 2004.

Statistical anomalies

It is worth noting that when the original computer error was identified, which resulted in adjusting Siegelman’s vote upwards from 11,820 to 19,070 and reducing the Libertarian candidate’s vote downward from an implausible 13,190 to 937, there were also five other races that had to be re-adjusted at the same time. But when the third and final report was issued, the totals in those five other races remained as what they had been adjusted to, while Siegelman’s vote total was the only one that was re-adjusted.

I’ve already noted that Siegelman’s vote total in 2002 in Baldwin County was totally out of line with what would be expected from his performance in 2004.

In addition, James H. Gundlach, a professor of sociology at Auburn University, performed an analysis of the data and concluded that someone with a wireless connection must have changed the tallies. He presented his analysis at the 2003 annual meeting of the Alabama Political Science Association in a paper titled " A Statistical Analysis of Possible Electronic Ballot Box Stuffing”. In that paper Gundlach emphasized the reduction in Siegelman’s vote count from 19,070 to 12,736, saying that such a dramatic decrease is

commonly found in data that is intentionally changed but rarely the result of random errors… The circumstances surrounding it are really hard to believe… The notion that the software is designed to count votes (but that it) comes up with different results means somebody is messing with the software…. Computers do not accidentally produce different totals… Someone is controlling the computer to produce the different results.

A discussion of central tabulator mediated election fraud

County central tabulators receive vote counts from all precincts throughout the county. They generally receive the counts electronically by modem, and they receive a whole bunch of physical evidence (tapes from individual voting machines, memory cards, provisional ballots, etc.) as well. The central tabulators tabulate and report the vote counts for the whole county and by precinct, using processes that vary from state to state. These processes can be quite complicated, as indicated by this article from Verified Voting, which explains how people can monitor the tabulation process.

The “pre-tabulator” vote counts for individual precincts are the vote counts that are posted by the individual precincts shortly after poll closing on Election Day. The “post-tabulator” vote counts are the vote counts that are reported out by the county central tabulator, and those are the official counts. For obvious reasons, the pre-tabulator and post-tabulator vote counts should match in a fair election.

There are reasons, I believe, to think that central tabulator mediated fraud is a more practical way to influence a national or state-wide election than is programming vote switching for individual voting machines. Individual voting machines register perhaps one hundred votes per machine. So consider how many individual voting machines would have to be rigged to change the results of a presidential election.

County central tabulators, on the other hand, tabulate the results for a whole county, which in large counties may account for a million or more votes. So you’d have to rig the results of ten thousand individual voting machines to achieve the impact of rigging the results of a single large county central tabulator.

Let’s now consider some examples of likely central tabulator election fraud:

November 2000, Election Day, Volusia County, Florida
The TV networks initially called Florida for George W. Bush based on a “computer glitch” in the central county tabulation of votes in Volusia County, which mysteriously subtracted 16,022 votes from Al Gore’s total. Gore subsequently conceded the election to Bush, but then retracted his concession when the problem was discovered and the votes were given back to Gore, at which time the election was then declared a virtual tie – pending a vote recount that was never completed. So probably the glitch in Volusia County had nothing to do with the final election results. But still, one has to wonder about the reasons for such an error.

November 2004, Election Day, Cleveland, Ohio
The combination of exceptionally long voting lines throughout Cleveland on Election Day 2004 on the one hand, and yet surprisingly low official voter turnout in Cleveland, is very perplexing, especially since Cleveland used punch card voting, which is not subject to the delays that electronic voting tends to cause. That finding alone suggests foul play, since long voting lines should be associated with high voter turnout, not low voter turnout. And since Cleveland is a very heavily democratic city with over three hundred thousand registered voters, the potential for fraud is obvious.

Because I was very suspicious of this I tried to ascertain whether or not the pre-tabulator and post-tabulator vote counts for Cuyahoga County matched. The post-tabulator vote counts were published on the Cuyahoga county web-site, so that part was easy. I then requested the pre-tabulator vote counts from the Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Michael Vu. Though Vu repeatedly promised to obtain those for me, he never followed through. So I collaborated with Ray Beckerman’s Ohio Project to conduct an audit to obtain the pre-calculator vote counts. The initial audit of 15 precincts (out of 1458 in Cuyahoga County) showed a net loss to the Kerry/Edwards ticket of 140 votes. However, the audit was never able to be completed.

The other way that the vote count in Cuyahoga County could have been confirmed would have been to conduct a county-wide hand recount of the votes. The rules of the Ohio recount specified that a 3% recount of each county would be conducted, and if any discrepancies were found in the recount (between the pre-tabulator and the official post-tabulator precinct counts), then a county-wide hand recount would be conducted. No vote discrepancies were found in the Cuyahoga County 3% recount. However, many anomalies were observed at the recount, and two election workers were convicted of rigging the vote count.

November 2004, Election Night, Warren County, Ohio
When election officials in Warren County, Ohio, performed the final tabulation of votes for their county, they decided to do so in private, locking out all reporters from observation of the process. Their initial excuse for this was that they didn’t want reporters to interfere with the counting process. Later, they changed that excuse to say that the FBI warned them of a terrorism alert of grade 10 on a 1 to 10 scale. That claim was later denied by the FBI, and county officials refused to name the FBI agent whom they claimed gave them the warning. Several months later I called Erica Solvig, the reporter who broke the story, in an attempt to find out more about what happened. She told me that she wasn’t at liberty to discuss it.

Lessons that Democrats should learn from all this

(Democrats? How about all democracy loving Americans?)

1) In any close election against a Republican, consider very carefully the possibility of election fraud before conceding.

2) Democrats should push hard to make sure that paper trails are required for all elections, so that the citizens of our country don’t have to be at the mercy of privately owned electronic voting machines that essentially count our votes in secret. And when paper trails are available, there is no reason in the world why, in a democracy, hand recounts shouldn’t be done whenever the results of an election appear suspicious or questionable. Election officials should never be allowed to pick what precincts are counted.

3) Prevention of central tabulator-mediated election fraud : If county central tabulator fraud is perpetrated, the official post-tabulator precinct counts will not match the pre-tabulator counts, which are calculated at each precinct in the county shortly after poll closing. The post-tabulator counts are easy to identify, since they are the official counts and will be posted on the county Board of Elections web site as soon as the results become official.

The pre-tabulator counts are more difficult to obtain. In my attempt to help confirm fraud in the 2004 presidential election, I tried to obtain pre-tabulator counts in order to compare them with post-tabulator counts. Because of the difficulties I had obtaining those counts I talked with voting rights organizations to ascertain how I could obtain them. I was astounded to hear from them that they had also tried but had rarely been able to obtain the pre-tabulator counts.

Thus, it appears that within weeks or days following the 2004 election, the pre-tabulator vote counts either tended to disappear, or else county boards of elections were generally unhelpful in making them available to inquiring citizens.

But they must be available at the time of poll closing, since each precinct must report them to the county central tabulator. In many jurisdictions, they are required to be publicly posted at each precinct at the time of poll closing. But even if they aren’t posted, there should be no reason why poll watchers couldn’t obtain them. In fact, that is one of the most important tasks of today’s poll watchers.

Identifying substantial mismatches between pre-tabulator and post-tabulator vote counts should signal a high likelihood of election fraud. In any county where that occurs in a close race, automatic hand recounts should be required.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.