Hard Rain Journal 7-22-06 Weekend Edition: Updates on US Election Fraud and the Dan Rather Watch
By Richard Power
Is this not an attack on Democracy? If 357,000 Americans were killed by al Qaeda, we would call that an attack on democracy and freedom. The press would headline such an event and it would shape our policies for decades to come. In a democracy, when 357,000 votes are effectively killed at the voting booth, what do you call it?…The national character of this scandal is unprecedented and threatens to turn us into little more than a banana republic, where candidates appear on the ballot in nameonly because the election has already been determined. If we are willing to send our troops around the world to secure freedom at the ballot box for others, shouldn't we fight for that right here at home? Partisanship has no place in this battle. For the sake of democracy…for the sake of America…it is time all citizens demand the sanctity of our election process. With the November elections almost upon us, we haven't a moment to lose.
Catherine Crier, Court TV
Will the Abramhoff-related investigations of political corruption in Beltwayistan and the prosecution of Republican political operatives involved in the 2002 New Hampshire US Senate race connect the dots and expose the national rig-the-vote-machinery put in place over the last six years? They certainly should. And if the US Justice Department's career prosecutors and FBI investigators were allowed to pursue the truth, without pressure from on high, they certainly would. But even if they could, and did, what would the US mainstream news media do with this story? In a healthy democratic society, such a story would bring down the administration. (But, of course, we have already had several such stories die of neglect.)
Consider this excerpt from Brad Blog's recent interview Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.:
RFK JR.: Well, you see this was just another corporate boondoggle that gave the most venal mendacious corporations charge of our most sacred public trust, which is the right to vote. These corporations were making hundreds of millions of dollars. The machines, as it turns out, were manufactured by wireless companies and were just a cheap piece of junk that cost less than $100 to manufacture, and they were selling them for $2400 apiece. And they were using Jack Abramoff and other corrupt lobbyists to persuade federal officials to pass the federal act to appropriate the money and then to persuade state and local officials to purchase the defective machines.
BB: Jack Abramoff was involved in this?
RFK JR.: Oh yes. Jack Abramoff, and Bob Ney (R-Oh), the principle figure in the Abramoff scandal and he's the author of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). And Diebold contributed millions of dollars to these guys, including hundreds of thousands of dollars to Abramoff to lobby on behalf of HAVA, and to lobby states like New York and the other states, to adopt the Diebold machines.
BB: So HAVA was "created specifically to disenfranchise voters and verfication"?
RFK JR.: HAVA was written specifically to require the states to buy Diebold machines. I mean one company basically had control of the whole legislative process. That's why HAVA has a provision in it that discourages vote verification by paper ballots. Both Republicans and Democrats tried to reform the HAVA, saying of course we should have paper verification of the vote....But Bob Ney fought tooth and nail against that provision because Diebold made a machine that does not provide a paper ballot. And he went so far, because Diebold contributed a million dollars to an organization that purportedly protects the rights of blind people. And in exchange for that, that organization got one of its officers to testify on Capitol Hill at the HAVA hearings, that blind people in America did not want paper ballots - voter verified ballots - because it would deprive someone of the right to vote secretly. Now the other organizations that support handicapped rights and rights of the blind, do not take that position. This was a position that that organization adopted after accepting a million dollars from Diebold. The whole operation was corrupt and now Bob Ney is going to jail for it. Democracy in Crisis - An Exclusive BRAD BLOG Interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Brad Blog, 7-18-06
Now consider this insight from Raw Story coverage of the New Hampshire 2002 phone-jamming scheme:
The fourth man indicted in a New Hampshire phone-jamming scheme -- in which Republican operatives jammed the phone lines of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in a 2002 Senate race -- will argue at trial that the Bush Administration and the national Republican Party gave their approval to the plan, according to a motion filed by his attorney Thursday. Shaun Hansen, the former owner of the company that placed hang-up calls to jam Democratic phone lines, was indicted in March for conspiring to commit and aiding and abetting the commission of interstate telephone harassment relating to a scheme to thwart get out the vote efforts on Election Day, 2002. His lawyer's motion signals that Hansen intends to argue that he was entrapped because the Administration allegedly told his superiors the calls were legal. The filing indicates, however, that Hansen does not have firsthand knowledge of Administration intervention....According to AP, "The phone records show that most calls to the White House were from Tobin, who became President Bush's presidential campaign chairman for the New England region in 2004. Other calls from New Hampshire senatorial campaign offices to the White House could have been made by a number of people."
John Byrne, Man indicted in phone jamming case will argue Administration approved election scheme, Raw Story, 7-7-06
But, as Mark Crispin Miller warns, even if electoral subversion is thwarted this year, you should be prepared to fight:
If the GOP should lose the House and/or the Senate on Election Day, they will pick out a handful of the "closest" races--as many as they need to hang on to majority control--and start to scream like hell about ELECTION FRAUD. That's right: the major perpetrators of such fraud will cast themselves as victims of the very crime that put them where they are, and charge the Democrats with having used the very tactics that the Bush Republicans have now perfected: legal/bureaucratic disenfranchisement, e-voting manipulation, hostile challenges to would-be voters, covert efforts at disinformation, countless ballots thrown away, and so on....This, of course, is how the Busheviks routinely operate; and yet I'm basing this prediction not just on their history as war-propagandists, but on the blunt admission of a certain high-placed GOP insider, who recently told Thom Hartmann that this is the party's plan, if they should lose control of either side of Congress....The only way to foil that plan is to define the conflict truthfully and clearly, and to begin to do it now. However low the Bush regime may sink in the opinion polls, the Democrats, and all the rest of us, are simply cooked, if they do not stand up like vertebrates, and speak as patriots, and tell the nation the unpleasant truth: that these Bush Republicans are where they are today because they have committed vast election fraud, in 2000, and in 2002, and in 2004 Mark Crispin Miller, How To Pre-empt a "November Surprise", Huffington Post, 7-17-06
Meanwhile, on the issue of US news media complicity, the "Dan Rather Watch" which I instituted with "Dan Rather Not -- Will Former CBS Anchor Join Moyers & Cronkite in Wilderness, & Speak Truth to Abuse of Media Power?" continues:
The other night Dan Rather was back in center ring. In an hour long interview with CNN's Larry King. Rather spoke with quiet fury about the suits at CBS who treated him, a 44-year employee, so disgracefully. It turns out that at the end, it was the lawyers--not actor-turned corporate honcho Leslie Moonves--who told Rather "we just don't have a place for you." But, as Rather understood--as has anyone watching the networks these last years--CBS News is a cog in an entertainment company.
"There came a time," he told King (who also works for an entertainment company with a news division) " when I realized...that we were working for not CBS and not CBS News. We were working for Viacom News...a larger entertainment company....but I want to do news that matters. And so much of the news these days...it's so driven by ratings, so driven by demographics, so driven by, we used to be told stockholder value. It's driven by things other than the public interest. I want to do news that's fair and accurate, do it with integrity and I want to do it in the public interest."
In one of the more interesting exchanges, Rather talked about 60 Minutes's controversial broadcast about Bush's National Guard record.
King: "You're saying that was a fair report, I mean that was--you believe that report to this day?" Rather: Do I believe the truth of the story? Absolutely.
Rather added, "...We had a lot, a lot of corroboration..it wasn't just the documents. But it's a very old technique used when those who don't like what you're reporting, believe it can be hurtful, then they look for the weakest spot and attack it, which is fair enough." But, he added, " It's a diversionary technique." ...
Here's a modest editorial idea for Rather. Now that you're back with a weekly news program on Mark Cuban's HDNet TV-- and with the editorial freedom and mandate to do tough investigative reports, how about documenting the full story about the White House coverup of George W. Bush's military service?Katrina vanden Heuvel, Dan Rather Stands By Controversial 60 Minutes Broadcast, The Nation, 7-14-06
Hard Rain Journal 7-15-06: Updates on US Election Fraud, Treason as a Tort Case, & "Once-Boastful President...Reduced to Pathetic Bleats"
SPECIAL EDITION: “The More Nefarious Form of Corruption is That Which is Legal” -- Words of Power Interviews David Sirota
Hard Rain Journal 6-28-06: NYU Law School's Brennan Center Reports E-Voting Software Attacks are a Real Danger
SPECIAL EDITION: “Until this issue is burning on the mind of every citizen” -- Words of Power Interviews Mark Crispin Miller
Words of Power #22: Election Fraud As Information Warfare, and a National Security Issue
Hard Rain Journal 7-13-06: Dan Rather Not -- Will Former CBS Anchor Join Moyers & Cronkite in Wilderness, & Speak Truth to Abuse of Media Power?
Hard Rain Journal 7-5-06: Al Qaeda Endorsed Bush-Cheney in 2004, But US Mainstream News Media Chose to Ignore It
Hard Rain Journal 6-29-06: What are the Global Implications of Neo-Totalitarianism in both US and China? Will The New York Times Fight for Freedom?
Hard Rain Journal 6-19-06: Coulter, Beck and The Death of The News
Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and http://www.wordsofpower.net. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: email@example.com. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Information Warfare, Cyber Security, Voting, Elections, Election, Vote, Vote Fraud, fraud, cybercrime, cyber crime, News Media, Dan Rather, Alternate Media, The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, HDNet News, Mark Cuban, Jack Abramhoff