{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Monday, October 31, 2005

World Can't Wait -- Drive Out the Bush Regime

World Can't Wait | Drive Out the Bush Regime

NOV. 2 . . .


quote of the day . . .

"I've got a job to do, and so do the people who work in the White House." -- George W. Bush

(Apparently Bush works at Taco Bell.)



Joseph Wilson - from the horse's mouth

Rather than address all the right-wing spin about Joe Wilson, I'm just going to say: please listen to this interview with Wilson on the Ed Schultz show (it's not new, it's from July 18). I think it addresses and debunks pretty much all the idiotic talking points (Joe Wilson is a liar, he was not sent by the Bush administration, his wife wasn't even a covert agent, everybody already knew Plame was a CIA op, his report was wrong, he wasn't qualified, etc. etc. etc.) -- which of course people keep repeating nevertheless. Actually, that is what really struck me when listening to it today; I cannot believe these lying swine are STILL spewing this garbage months later. (It reminds me a great deal of the "Swift Boat Vets For Truth" lying smear campaign.) The adage again proves true: you just keep repeating lies long and loud enough, and eventually they become the truth . . .

Joe Wilson interview - part 1 (9 min., 3.3 MB)

Joe Wilson interview - part 2 (6 min., 2 MB)

Joe Wilson interview - part 3 (4 min., 1.4 MB)

Joe Wilson interview - part 4 (12 min., 4.3 MB)

Joe Wilson interview - part 5 (6 min., 2 MB)



Friday, October 28, 2005

Nixon's special counsel debunks Plame case

This amuses me. "Let's debunk this whole so-called 'scandal' by relying on Nixon's special counsel." The argument is basically, "So what? I did that. Everybody does that." You hear this a lot from the right, and can learn a great deal by listening to what they ADMIT -- usually in the context of, "So what? Clinton did that, too."

This is much like their relying on Oliver North, a convicted liar/perjurer and "terrorist" by any meaningful definition, to comment on the "war on terror." Are they just having fun? Laughing at their viewers, while knowing full well that they are but a self-parody? . . .

(2.3 MB)

{ from "Media Matters" }

Well, I just read that Scooter was indicted -- on the "minor" charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. I can't wait to hear all the Republicans and right-wingers, who made impeaching Clinton for lying about sex their personal mission, start yapping about how perjury is no big deal. (They've already been doing it . . .)



Vice President for Torture

Vice President for Torture

This has not really been headline news of late, but I want to re-visit it in spite of -- or perhaps because of -- that fact.

The depravity of this administration seems to know no depths. In virtually the same breath as they say "we don't torture people," Cheney is actively campaigning Congress for the right to do just that; and Bush even threatened to veto the defense spending bill (you know, the money that "supports our troops") because it also said we couldn't torture people any more.

A judge has ruled that the remaining photos and video tapes from Abu Ghraib must be released, which might re-open the scandal. But my question is, why isn't there an ongoing investigation right now, to this day? Didn't Bush say we were going to destroy Abu Ghraib prison? So why is it not only still standing, but fully operational?

Does anyone honestly believe that Lyndie England and Charles Graner were simply a couple of "bad apples" who acted completely on their own with no one else knowing about it? (This has always been absurd on its face; all you have to do is look at this picture to realize it was commonplace and out in the open.) Sanchez is cleared, along with all the officers and higher-ups. I guess it's easy to find no guilt when you're investigating yourself.

But we know about Gonzales's memos. We know about "Copper Green". Jani Karpinski, former head of Abu Ghraib, has said that the blame "goes all the way to the top." { Click here for audio of the interview } And we have the testimony now of Capt. Ian Fishback -- again, If there's no systemic abuse, and no cover-up ("just a few bad apples"), then why was Fishback ignored, silenced, and threatened by his superior officers?

More links here


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stolen election 2004 (it's not just about Ohio) . . .

Audio clip from an interview with Project Censored diretor/editor Peter Phillips:

(Click here to listen to the entire interview -- .mp3, 52 min., 18 MB)

{ from the "Diebold Variations," (c)2004 Rand Careaga/salamander.eps }

When I heard this interview, I was so unbelievably enraged I had to simply stop working and go have a cigarette, so as not to smash something.

I remember watching the news after the election, and hearing everyone trying to explain away the discrepancies between the exit polls and the vote results. (My favorite was Ron Silver, on FOX, saying basically that people were so ashamed to admit that they'd voted for Bush, that they must have lied to the pollsters/journalists/interviewers. Hmmm . . .)

As someone succinctly noted, "While exit polls usually serve as a test of the validity of election results, in last November's US presidential election, the media assured us that when four swing states swung outside the margin of error of the exit polls, and all in the direction of Bush, this just meant that the exit polls were wrong."

And of course we all wondered about Diebold . . .

But I had no idea the depths of this scandal. I knew there were widespread shenanigans and dirty tricks (well documented), and that it was entirely likely that Bush did not win Ohio. But after hearing that Bush won the overall popular vote in the nation by 3 million votes, as one who is less than fond of the Electoral College system, I said, "well, he got the most votes, he should be president. Sad as it may be."

Now, I think these criminal elitist crooked evil Stalinist bastards need to be thrown out of office IMMEDIATELY, and BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

No Paper Trail Left Behind:
The Theft of the 2004 Presidential Election

By Dennis Loo, Ph.D.
Cal Poly Pomona

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." (Through the Looking Glass)

In order to believe that George Bush won the November 2, 2004 presidential election, you must also believe all of the following extremely improbable or outright impossible things.(1)

1) A big turnout and a highly energized and motivated electorate favored the GOP instead of the Democrats for the first time in history.(2)

2) Even though first-time voters, lapsed voters (those who didn’t vote in 2000), and undecideds went for John Kerry by big margins, and Bush lost people who voted for him in the cliffhanger 2000 election, Bush still received a 3.5 million vote surplus nationally.(3)

3) The fact that Bush far exceeded the 85% of registered Florida Republicans’ votes that he got in 2000, receiving in 2004 more than 100% of the registered Republican votes in 47 out of 67 Florida counties, 200% of registered Republicans in 15 counties, and over 300% of registered Republicans in 4 counties, merely shows Floridians’ enthusiasm for Bush. He managed to do this despite the fact that his share of the crossover votes by registered Democrats in Florida did not increase over 2000 and he lost ground among registered Independents, dropping 15 points.(4)

4) The fact that Bush got more votes than registered voters, and the fact that by stark contrast participation rates in many Democratic strongholds in Ohio and Florida fell to as low as 8%, do not indicate a rigged election.(5)

5) Bush won re-election despite approval ratings below 50% - the first time in history this has happened. Truman has been cited as having also done this, but Truman’s polling numbers were trailing so much behind his challenger, Thomas Dewey, pollsters stopped surveying two months before the 1948 elections, thus missing the late surge of support for Truman. Unlike Truman, Bush’s support was clearly eroding on the eve of the election.(6)

6) Harris' last-minute polling indicating a Kerry victory was wrong (even though Harris was exactly on the mark in their 2000 election final poll).(7)

7) The “challenger rule” - an incumbent’s final results won’t be better than his final polling - was wrong;(8)

8) On election day the early-day voters picked up by early exit polls (showing Kerry with a wide lead) were heavily Democratic instead of the traditional pattern of early voters being mainly Republican.

9) The fact that Bush “won” Ohio by 51-48%, but this was not matched by the court-supervised hand count of the 147,400 absentee and provisional ballots in which Kerry received 54.46% of the vote doesn’t cast any suspicion upon the official tally.(9)

10) Florida computer programmer Clinton Curtis (a life-long registered Republican) must be lying when he said in a sworn affidavit that his employers at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) and Tom Feeney (general counsel and lobbyist for YEI, GOP state legislator and Jeb Bush’s 1994 running mate for Florida Lt. Governor) asked him in 2000 to create a computer program to undetectably alter vote totals. Curtis, under the initial impression that he was creating this software in order to forestall possible fraud, handed over the program to his employer Mrs. Li Woan Yang, and was told: “You don’t understand, in order to get the contract we have to hide the manipulation in the source code. This program is needed to control the vote in south Florida.” (Boldface in original).(10)

11) Diebold CEO Walden O’Dell’s declaration in a August 14, 2003 letter to GOP fundraisers that he was "committed to helping Ohio to deliver its electoral votes to the president next year" and the fact that Diebold is one of the three major suppliers of the electronic voting machines in Ohio and nationally, didn’t result in any fraud by Diebold.

12) There was no fraud in Cuyahoga County Ohio where they admitted counting the votes in secret before bringing them out in public to count..

13) CNN reported at 9 p.m. EST on election evening that Kerry was leading by 3 points in the national exit polls based on well over 13,000 respondents. Several hours later at 1:36 a.m. CNN reported that the exit polls, now based on a few hundred more - 13,531 respondents - were showing Bush leading by 2 points, a 5-point swing. In other words, a swing of 5 percentage points from a tiny increase in the number of respondents somehow occurred despite it being mathematically impossible.(11)

14) Exit polls in the November 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections, paid for in part by the Bush administration, were right, but exit polls in the U.S., where exit polling was invented, were very wrong.(12)

15) The National Election Pool’s exit polls (13) were so far off that since their inception twenty years ago, they have never been this wrong, more wrong than statistical probability indicates is possible.

16) In every single instance where exit polls were wrong the discrepancy favored Bush, even though statistical probability tells us that any survey errors should show up in both directions. Half a century of polling and centuries of mathematics must be wrong.

The Emperor (and the Electoral Process) Have No Clothes

The preceding list recounts only some of the irregularities in the 2004 election since it ignores the scores of instances of voter disenfranchisement that assumed many different forms (e.g., banning black voters in Florida who had either been convicted of a felony previously or who were “inadvertently” placed on the felons list by mistake, while not banning convicted Latino felons (14); providing extraordinarily few voting machines in predominately Democratic precincts in Ohio; disallowing Ohio voters, for the first time, from voting in any precinct when they were unable to find their assigned precincts to vote in; and so on). A plethora of reasons clearly exists to conclude that widespread and historic levels of fraud were committed in this election.

Indeed, any one of the above highly improbables and utterly impossibles should have led to a thorough investigation into the results. Taken as a whole, this list points overwhelmingly to fraud. The jarring strangeness of the results and the ubiquity of complaints from voters (e.g., those who voted for Kerry and then saw to their shock the machine record their votes as being for Bush), require some kind of explanation, or the legitimacy of elections and of the presidency would be imperiled.

The explanations from public officials and major media came in three forms. First, exit polls, not the official tallies, were labeled spectacularly wrong. Second, the so-called “moral values” voters expressed in the now ubiquitous “red state/blue state” formula, were offered as the underlying reason for Bush’s triumph. And third, people who brought forth any of the evidence of fraud were dismissed as “spreadsheet-wielding conspiracy theorists” while mainstream media censored the vast majority of the evidence of fraud so that most Americans to this day have never heard a fraction of what was amiss. I will discuss each of these three responses, followed by a discussion of the role of electronic voting machines in the 2002 elections that presaged the 2004 election irregularities, and then wrap up with a discussion of these events’ significance taken as a whole.

Killing the Messenger: the Exit Polls

Exit polls are the gold standard of vote count validity internationally. Since exit polls ask people as they emerge from the polling station whom they just voted for, they are not projections as are polls taken in the months, weeks or days before an election. They are not subject to faulty memory, voter capriciousness (voters voting differently than they indicated to a pollster previously), or erroneous projections about who will actually turn up to vote. Pollsters know who turned up to vote because the voters are standing there in front of the exit pollsters. Because of these characteristics, exit polls are exceptionally accurate. They are so accurate that in Germany, for example, they are used to decide elections, with the paper ballots being counted in the days afterwards as a backup check against the exit polls(15). Exit polls are used, for this reason, as markers of fraud.(16)

Significant, inexplicable discrepancies between exit polls and official tallies only started showing up in the U.S. in 2000 and only in Florida (and notably, nowhere else). The discrepancy was not the exit polls’ fault, however, but in the official tallies themselves. Although the mainstream media fell on their swords about their election’s evening projections calling Florida for Gore in 2000, their projections were right. In analyses conducted by the National Opinion Research Center in Florida after the U.S. Supreme Court aborted the vote recount, Gore emerged the winner over Bush, no matter what criteria for counting votes was applied(17). The fact that this is not widely known constitutes itself a major untold story.

Exit polling’s validity is further affirmed by GOP pollster Dick Morris. Immediately after the 2004 election he wrote:

Exit polls are almost never wrong. They eliminate the two major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly separating actual voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots but never do and by substituting actual observation for guesswork in judging the relative turnout of different parts of the state…

To screw up one exit poll is unheard of. To miss six of them is incredible. It boggles the imagination how pollsters could be that incompetent and invites speculation that more than honest error was at play here.(18)

Confounded and suspicious of the results, Morris resorted to advancing the bizarre theory that there must have been a conspiracy among the networks to suppress the Bush vote in the west by issuing exit poll results that were so far off from the final tallies.

A number of different statisticians have examined the 2004 election results. University of Pennsylvania statistician Steve Freeman, Ph.D., most notably, analyzed the exit polls of the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida and concluded that the odds of the exit polls being as far off as they were are 250 million to one(19). Exit polls in Florida had Kerry leading by 1.7 points and by 2.4 points in Ohio. These exit poll figures were altered at 1:30 a.m. November 3, 2004 on CNN to conform to the “official” tally. In the end, Kerry lost Florida by 5% and Ohio by 2.5%. This is a net shift of 6.7 points in Florida and 4.9 points in Ohio in Bush’s favor, well beyond the margin of error. By exit poll standards, this net shift was unbelievable.

A team at the University of California at Berkeley, headed by sociology professor Michael Hout, found a highly suspicious pattern in which Bush received 260,000 more votes in those Florida precincts that used electronic voting machines than past voting patterns would indicate compared to those precincts that used optical scan read votes where past voting patterns held.(20)

The Edison-Mitofsky polling group that conducted the National Exit Poll (NEP) issued a 77-page report on January 19, 2005 to account for why their exit polls were so unexpectedly far off.(21) Edison-Mitofsky rule out sampling error as the problem and indicate that systemic bias was responsible. They concluded that their exit polls were wrong because Kerry voters must have been more willing to talk to their poll workers than Bush voters and because their poll workers were too young and inexperienced. Edison-Mitofsky offer no evidence indicating that their conclusion about more chatty Kerry voters actually occurred, merely that such a scenario would explain the discrepancy. In fact, as nine statisticians(22) who conducted an evaluation of the Edison-Mitofsky data and analysis point out, Bush voters appeared to be slightly more willing to talk to exit pollsters than Kerry voters. This would make the exit polls’ discrepancy with the official tallies even more pronounced. In addition, the Edison-Mitofsky explanation fails to explain why exit polls were only exceptionally wrong in the swing states.

Red State, Red Herring: the “Moral Values” Voters

A plausible explanation still needs to be offered for the startling 2004 election outcome – how did Bush, caught in a lie about why we went to war with Iraq, racked by prison abuse and torture scandals at Abu Graib and Guantanamo, bogged down in Iraq, failing to catch Osama Bin Laden, badly embarrassed during the debates, caught sleeping prior to 9/11, and so on, manage to win a resounding victory? Enter here the “moral values” rationale. As Katharine Q. Seelye of the New York Times wrote in a November 4, 2004 article entitled “Moral Values Cited as a Defining Issue of the Election:”

Even in a time of war and economic hardship, Americans said they were motivated to vote for President Bush on Tuesday by moral values as much as anything else, according to a survey of voters as they left their polling places. In the survey, a striking portrait of one influential group emerged - that of a traditional, church-going electorate that leans conservative on social issues and strongly backed Mr. Bush….
In the same issue, another article by Todd S. Purdum entitled “Electoral Affirmation of Shared Values Provides Bush a Majority” cited 1/5 (more precisely, 22%) of the voters as mentioning “moral values” as their chief concern. This was echoed throughout major media.(23) The only person in the mainstream media to challenge this was New York Times columnist Frank Rich, on November 28, 2004 in an opinion piece entitled “The Great Indecency Hoax:”

The mainstream press, itself in love with the "moral values" story line and traumatized by the visual exaggerations of the red-blue map, is too cowed to challenge the likes of the American Family Association. So are politicians of both parties. It took a British publication, The Economist, to point out that the percentage of American voters citing moral and ethical values as their prime concern is actually down from 2000 (35 percent) and 1996 (40 percent).(24)
As Rich correctly points out, no American media outlet repeated this statistic. Instead, the widely mentioned and oft-repeated “moral values” vote took on the status of an urban – or in this instance, suburban/rural - legend.

Shocked by the election results, many people took out their anger at the perceived mendacity of Bush voters, especially those in the so-called “red states.” This fury, while understandable given Bush’s record, badly misses the point. Voters did not heist this election. As others have pointed out eloquently, many of the people who really did vote for Bush did so primarily because they were misled through systematic disinformation campaigns.(25)

“Spreadsheet wielding conspiracy theorists”

In November 2004 major U.S. media gave headline news treatment to the Ukrainian Presidential election fraud, explicitly citing the exit polls as definitive evidence of fraud. At the very same time major U.S. media dismissed anyone who pointed out this same evidence of likely fraud in the U.S. elections as “conspiracy theory” crazies. A November 11, 2004 Washington Post article, for example, described people raising the question of fraud as “mortally wounded party loyalists and … spreadsheet-wielding conspiracy theorists.”(26) Tom Zeller, Jr. handled it similarly, writing in the November 12, 2004 issue of the New York Times (“Vote Fraud Theories, Spread by Blogs, Are Quickly Buried”): “[T]he email messages and Web postings had all the twitchy cloak-and-dagger thrust of a Hollywood blockbuster. ‘Evidence mounts that the vote may have been hacked,’ trumpeted a headline on the Web site CommonDreams.org. ‘Fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines,’ declared BlackBoxVoting.org.”(27)

Neither of these articles bothered to address even a fraction of the evidence of irregularities. They did, however, both dismiss the 93,000 excess votes in Cuyahoga County, Ohio as merely an error in how the votes were reported, the Washington Post article offering the strange explanation that in “even-numbered years” the county posts vote totals from other districts outside the county in the Cuyahoga totals. The Washington Post passed off the exit polls discrepancy as “not being based on statistics” since the exit polls “are not publicly distributed.” Both of these statements were untrue. The New York Times article for its part failed to even mention exit polls. Both articles explained away the glaring and unbelievable totals for Bush in hugely Democratic districts as due to the “Dixiecrat” vote. This would be plausible except for two things: first, Bush did not win over any more crossover votes in 2004 than he did in 2000, and second, these votes far in excess of Republican registered voters numbers occurred primarily in non-rural areas. In just one example of this, Baker County, Florida, out of 12,887 registered voters, of whom 69.3% were Democrats and 24.3% Republicans, Bush received 7,738 votes while Kerry only received 2,180.(28) As Robert Parry of Consortiumnews.org points out:

Rather than a rural surge of support, Bush actually earned more than seven out of 10 new votes in the 20 largest counties in Florida. Many of these counties are either Democratic strongholds – such as Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach – or they are swing counties, such as Orange, Hillsborough, and Duval.

Many of these large counties saw substantially more newly registered Democrats than Republicans. For example, in Orange County, a swing county home to Orlando, Democrats registered twice as many new voters than Republicans in the years since 2000. In Palm Beach and Broward combined, Democrats registered 111,000 new voters compared with fewer than 20,000 new Republicans.(29)

The only person in major media to treat these complaints seriously and at any length was Keith Olbermann at MSNBC who ran two stories on it, citing Cuyahoga County’s surplus 93,000 votes over the registered voter count, and the peculiar victories for Bush in Florida counties that were overwhelmingly Democratic scattered across the state.(30) For his trouble, media conservatives attacked him for being a “voice of paranoia” and spreading “idiotic conspiracy theories.”(31)

The Oh-So Loyal Opposition: the Democratic Party

An obvious question here is: why haven’t the Democrats been more vigorous in their objections to this fraud? The fact that they haven’t objected more (with a few notable individual exceptions) has been taken by some as definitive evidence that no fraud must have happened because the Democrats have the most to gain from objecting. In part the answer to this puzzle is that the Democrats don’t fully understand what has hit them. The Kerry campaign’s reaction to the Swift Boat Veterans attack ads that damaged them so much are a good illustration of this. The right-wing media hammered away at Kerry through their by now very heavy presence over talk radio, the Internet, Fox News, and other outlets. The mainstream media such as ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and major newspapers and magazines, still adhering to the standards of “objective” journalism, which the right-wing media consider “quaint,”(32) legitimated these false allegations about Kerry by presenting “the two sides” as if one side made up entirely of lies and half-truths could be considered a legitimate “side.” The Kerry campaign concluded that these ads were all lies and wouldn’t have any effect, thus they took too long to respond to them. By the time they did, the damage had been done. In a CBS/NY Times poll taken September 12-16, 2004, 33% said they thought that the Swift Boast Veterans’ charges against Kerry were “mostly true.”(33) A remarkable feat given that Kerry volunteered and was multi-decorated for heroism while Bush used his father’s connections to dodge real service.

The Democrats’ meek acceptance of other races’ extremely peculiar outcomes prior to the 2004 elections illustrates this point further. As a result of the 2000 Florida debacle, Congress passed the “Help America Vote” Act in October 2002. While this act introduced a number of reasonable reforms, it also resulted in the widespread introduction of paperless electronic voting machines. This meant that there was no way to determine if the votes recorded by these computers were accurate and tamper-free. Efforts subsequently by a few Democratic Congresspeople, led by Michigan Rep. John Conyers, to rectify this and ensure a paper ballot, have been blocked by the GOP majority.

The following is a partial list of 2002 discrepancies that can be understood as dress rehearsals for the stolen presidential election of 2004:

On Nov. 3, 2002, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed Democratic Sen. Max Cleland with a 49-to-44 point lead over Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss. The next day, Chambliss, despite trailing by 5 points, ended up winning by a margin of 53 to 46 percent. This was, in other words, an unbelievable 12-point turn around over the course of one day!

In the Georgia governor's race Republican Sonny Perdue upset incumbent Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes by a margin of 52 to 45 percent. This was especially strange given that the October 16-17, 2002 Mason Dixon Poll (Mason Dixon Polling and Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C.) had shown Democratic Governor Barnes ahead 48 to 39 percent, with a margin of error of ± 4 points. The final tally was, in other words, a jaw dropping 16-point turn-around! What the Cleland “defeat” by Saxby and the Barnes “defeat” by Perdue both have in common is that nearly all the Georgia votes were recorded on computerized voting machines, which produce no paper trail.

In Minnesota, after Democrat Sen. Paul Wellstone's plane crash death,(34) ex-vice-president Walter Mondale took Wellstone’s place and was leading Republican Norm Coleman in the days before the election by 47 to 39 percent. Despite the fact that he was trailing just days before the race by 8 points, Coleman beat Mondale by 50 to 47 percent. This was an 11-point turn around! The Minnesota race was also conducted on electronic voting machines with no paper trail.(35)

Welcome to a world where statistical probability and normal arithmetic no longer apply!(36) The Democrats, rather than vigorously pursuing these patently obvious signs of election fraud in 2004, have nearly all decided that being gracious losers is better than being winners,(37) probably because – and this may be the most important reason for the Democrat’s relative silence - a full-scale uncovering of the fraud runs the risk of mobilizing and unleashing popular forces that the Democrats find just as threatening as the GOP does.

The delicious irony for the GOP is that the Help America Vote Act, precipitated by their theft of the Florida 2000 presidential vote, made GOP theft of elections as in the preceding examples easy and unverifiable except through recourse to indirect analysis such as pre-election polls and exit polls.(38) This is the political equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Or, more precisely: stealing elections, running the country, and aggressively, arrogantly and falsely claiming that “the people” support it.

Flavor Flav of the rap group Public Enemy used to wear a big clock around his neck in order to remind us all that we’d better understand what time it is. Or, as Bob Dylan once said: “Let us not speak falsely now, the hour’s getting late.” To all of those who said before the 2004 elections that this was the most important election in our lifetimes; to all of those who plunged into that election hoping and believing that we could throw the villains out via the electoral booth; to all of those who held their noses and voted for Democrats thinking that at least they were slightly better than the theocratic fascists running this country now, this must be said: VOTING REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. If we weren’t convinced of that before these last elections, then now is the time to wake up to that fact. Even beyond the fraudulent elections of 2000 and 2004, public policies are not now, nor have they ever been, settled through elections.

The Role of Mass Movements and Alternative Media

What can be done? The Eugene McCarthy campaign of 1968 and the George McGovern campaign in 1972 didn’t end the war in Vietnam. The Vietnamese people and the anti-war movement ended the war. Civil rights weren’t secured because JFK and LBJ suddenly woke up to racial discrimination. The Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement galvanized public opinion and rocked this country to its foundations. Men didn’t suddenly wake up and realize that they were male chauvinist pigs - women formed the Women’s Movement, organized, marched, rallied, and demanded nothing less than equality, shaking this country to the core. The Bush administration is bogged down and sinking deeper in Iraq not mainly because the top figures of the Bush administration consist of liars, blind (and incompetent) ideologues, international outlaws and propagators of torture as an official policy, but because the Iraqi people have risen up against imperialist invasion. Prior to the war, the international anti-Iraq war movement brought out millions of people into the streets, the largest demonstrations in history, denying the U.S. imperialists the UN’s sanction and leading to Turkey denying US requests to use their land as a staging area. These are major, world-historic feats.

The 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections fraud underscores the critical importance of building a mass movement, a movement of resistance that doesn’t tie itself to the electoral road and electoral parties. In addition, as Robert Parry has eloquently argued, a counterforce to the right-wing media empire must be built by the left and by progressive-minded people. As it stands today, the right can get away with nearly anything because they have talking heads on TV, radio, the Internet and other outlets who set the tone and the political agenda, with mainstream media focusing on sex and sensationalism and taking their political cues to a large extent from the right.(39)

Like a bridge broken by an earthquake, the electoral road can only lead to plunging us into the sea – which is precisely what happened in the 2004 election.


* This article has been revised slightly from the original version posted here and printed in Censored 2006.

(1) Several of the items in this list feature Ohio and Florida because going into the election it was universally understood that the outcome hinged on these swing states.

'TruthIsAll' on the DemocraticUnderground.com offered a list that is similar in format to my highly improbables and utterly impossibles list of the 2004 election results and I have drawn directly from their list for items #6 and 7. (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all &address=203x22581), retrieved June 4, 2005.

(2) High turnout favors Democrats and more liberal-left candidates because the groups who participate the least and most sporadically in voting are from lower socio-economic groups who generally eschew more conservative candidates.

(3) Seventeen percent of election 2004 voters did not vote in 2000. This includes both first-time and lapsed voters. Kerry defeated Bush in this group 54 percent to 45 percent. (Katharine Q. Seelye, "Moral Values Cited as a Defining Issue of the Election," The New York Times, November 4, 2004). This data contradicts the widely held belief that Bush owes his victory to mobilizing conservative evangelicals and getting out the Republican base.

(4) Gore carried the 2000 Florida Independent vote by only 47 to 46 percent whereas Kerry carried them by a 57 percent to 41 percent margin. In 2000 Bush received 13% of the registered Democratic voters votes and in 2004 he got the virtually statistically identical 14% of their votes. Sam Parry, "Bush's 'Incredible' Vote Tallies," Consortiumnews.com, November 9, 2004.

See also Colin Shea's analysis: "In one county, where 88% of voters are registered Democrats, Bush got nearly two-thirds of the vote--three times more than predicted by my model. In 21 counties, more than 50% of Democrats would have to have defected to Bush to account for the county result; in four counties at least 70% would have been required. These results are absurdly unlikely." http://www.freezerbox.com/archive/article.asp?id=321

(5) "[C]ertified reports from pro-Kerry Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, [showed] Š precincts with turnouts of as few as 22.31 percent (precinct 6B), 21.43 percent (13O), 20.07 percent (13F), 14.59 percent (13D), and 7.85 percent (6C) of the registered voters. Thousands of people in these precincts lined up for many hours in the rain in order, it would appear, not to vote.

"Meanwhile, in pro-Bush Perry County, the voting records certified by Secretary of State Blackwell included two precincts with reported turnouts of 124.4 and 124.0 percent of the registered voters, while in pro-Bush Miami County, there were precincts whose certified turnouts, if not physically impossible, were only slightly less improbable. These and other instances of implausibly high turnouts in precincts won by Bush, and implausibly low turnouts in precincts won by Kerry, are strongly suggestive of widespread tampering with the vote-tabulation processes." Michael Keefe, "The Strange Death of American Democracy: Endgame in Ohio," http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE501A.html , retrieved May 31, 2005.

(6) "Bush's job approval has slipped to 48% among national adults and is thus below the symbolically important 50% point." "Questions and Answers With the Editor in Chief, Frank Newport, Editor in Chief, The Gallup Poll, November 2, 2004, http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/?ci=13948&pg=1, retrieved on May 27, 2005. { poll mirrored here: http://cadaverpolitik.com/Election2004_gallup_QandA.htm }

As Newport further notes, referring to the final Oct. 29-31, 2004 CNN/USA Today /Gallup poll, "Among all national adults, 49% now choose Kerry as the candidate best able to handle Iraq, while 47% choose Bush. This marks a significant pickup on this measure for Kerry, who was down nine points to Bush last week. In fact, Kerry has lost out to Bush on this measure in every poll conducted since the Democratic convention."

"Bush's margin over Kerry as the candidate best able to handle terrorism is now seven points. 51% of Americans choose Bush and 44% choose Kerry. This again marks a significant change. Last week, Bush had an 18-point margin over Kerry, and the 7-point advantage is the lowest yet for Bush." In other words, momentum was on Kerry's side, with Bush losing 9 points of support on Iraq and 11 points on handling terrorism over the course of one week! This was hardly a sign of someone about to win by 3.5 million votes.

(7) http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=515 , dated November 2, 2004, retrieved on June 1, 2005: " Both surveys suggest that Kerry has been making some gains over the course of the past few days (see Harris Polls #83 http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=512 , and #78 http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=507 ). If this trend is real, then Kerry may actually do better than these numbers suggest. In the past, presidential challengers tend to do better against an incumbent President among the undecided voters during the last three days of the elections, and that appears to be the case here. The reason: undecided voters are more often voters who dislike the President but do not know the challenger well enough to make a decision. When they decide, they frequently split 2:1 to 4:1 for the challenger." For Harris' last minute poll results before the 2000 election, see http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=130 , dated November 6, 2000 in which they call the election between Bush and Gore too close to call and predict that the result will depend upon the turnout.

(8) As Gallup explains, challengers tend to get the votes of those saying they are undecided on the eve of an election: "[B]ased on an analysis of previous presidential and other elections there is a high probability that the challenger (in an incumbent race) will receive a higher percentage of the popular vote than he did in the last pre-election poll, while there is a high probability that the incumbent will maintain his share of the vote without any increase. This has been dubbed the 'challenger rule.' There are various explanations for why this may occur, including the theory that any voter who maintains that he or she is undecided about voting for a well-known incumbent this late in the game is probably leaning toward voting for the challenger." "Questions and Answers With the Editor in Chief, Frank Newport, Editor in Chief, The Gallup Poll, November 2, 2004, http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/?ci=13948&pg=1, { poll mirrored here: http://cadaverpolitik.com/Election2004_gallup_QandA.htm } retrieved on May 27, 2005. See also footnote 7 herein.

(9) Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, "Ohio's Official Non-Recount Ends amidst New Evidence of Fraud, Theft and Judicial Contempt Mirrored in New Mexico, The Columbus Free Press
31 December 31, 2004, at http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1057 , retrieved June 6, 2005.

(10) Curtis states in his affidavit that he met in the fall of 2000 with the principals of Yang Enterprises, Inc., - Li Woan Yang., Mike Cohen, and Tom Feeney (chief counsel and lobbyist for YEI). Feeney became Florida's House Speaker a month after meeting with Curtis. Curtis says that he initially thought he was being asked to make such a program in order to prevent voter fraud. Upon creating the program and presenting it to Yang, he discovered that they were interested in committing fraud, not preventing it. Curtis goes on to say: "She stated that she would hand in what I had produced to Feeney and left the room with the software." As the police would say, what we have here is motive and opportunity - and an abundance of evidence of criminal fraud in the Florida vote, together with Feeney's intimate connection to Jeb Bush. Curtis, on the other hand, as a life-long registered Republican - as of these events at least - has no discernible motive to come forward with these allegations, and only shows courage for the risk to himself by doing so. For his full affidavit, see http://fairnessbybeckerman.blogspot.com/2004/12/affidavit-of-vote-fraud-software.html#110243131597922449 , retrieved June 1, 2005.

(11) Michael Keefer, "Footprints of Electoral Fraud: The November 2 Exit Poll Scam," http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE411A.html, retrieved May 31, 2005.

(12) In the Ukraine, as a result of the exit polls' variance from the official tally, they had a revote. In the U.S., despite the exit polls varying widely from the official tally, we had an inauguration!

(13) The NEP was a consortium of news organizations that contracted Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International to conduct the national and state exit polls. Warren Mitofsky created exit polling.

(14) While blacks went to Kerry by 90 to 10, Latino voters were much more likely to vote for Bush.

(15) I owe this example to Steven Freeman, "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," November 10, 2004, election04.ssrc.org/research/ 11_10, unexplained_ exit- poll.pdf. http://election04.ssrc.org/research/

(16) "So reliable are the surveys that actually tap voters as they leave the polling places that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries. When I worked on Vicente Fox's campaign in Mexico, for example, I was so fearful that the governing PRI would steal the election that I had the campaign commission two U.S. firms to conduct exit polls to be released immediately after the polls closed to foreclose the possibility of finagling with the returns. When the [exit] polls announced a seven-point Fox victory, mobs thronged the streets in a joyous celebration within minutes that made fraud in the actual counting impossible." GOP consultant and pollster Dick Morris, "Those Exit Polls Were Sabotage," http://www.thehill.com/morris/110404.aspx , dated November 4, 2004, retrieved June 4, 2005.

(17) "Gore Won Florida," http://archive.democrats.com/display.cfm?id=181, retrieved May 28, 2005.

(18) Dick Morris, "Those Exit Polls Were Sabotage," http://www.thehill.com/morris/110404.aspx , dated November 4, 2004, retrieved June 4, 2005.

(19) Steven Freeman, "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," November 10, 2004, election04.ssrc.org/research/ 11_10, unexplained_ exit- poll.pdf. { http://election04.ssrc.org/research/ }

(20) Ian Hoffman, "Berkeley: President Comes Up Short," The Tri-Valley Herald , November 19, 2004. The Berkeley report itself is at http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ , retrieved June 7, 2005.

(21) Evaluation of the Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 prepared by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool (MEP), January 19, 2005, http://www.exit-poll.net/faq.html, retrieved April 2, 2005.

MSNBC publicized this report (inaccurately) under the headline "Exit Polls Prove That Bush Won." (Steve Freeman and Josh Mitteldorf, "A Corrupted Election: Despite what you may have heard, the exit polls were right," February 15, 2005, In These Times , www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/1970/ , retrieved April 4, 2005.

(22) Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D., Temple University Statistics Department; Kathy Dopp, MS in mathematics, USCountVotes President; Steven Freeman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Brian Joiner, Ph.D. Professor of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting (ret.), University of Pennsylvania; Frank Stenger, Ph.D., Professor of Numerical Analysis, University of Utah; Richard Sheehan, Ph.D. Professor of Finance, University of Notre Dame; Paul Velleman, Ph.D. Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University; Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D., Lecturer, Dept. of Mathematics, Case Western University; Campbell B. Read, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University. http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf.

(23) An alternative theory which was advanced by a few was that fears about terrorism and the ongoing war in Iraq made many reluctant to kick out a sitting president. This theory has the benefit, at least, of having some evidence. However, while it explained why so many ignored the fact that WMD was never found in Iraq, the given rationale for launching war on a country that had not attacked us, and a host of other scandals such as torture and murder at Abu Graib, and why Bush did manage to receive a lot of votes, it didn't explain why he won by a 3.5 million margin

(24) The Economist, The triumph of the religious right, November 11, 2004 http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=3375543, retrieved April 5, 2005.

(25) See, for example, ex-conservative David Brock's The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., "How Washington Poisoned the News, Vanity Fair , May 2005.

(26) Manuel Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating, "Latest Conspiracy Theory -- Kerry Won -- Hits the Ether, " Washington Post, November 11, 2004, A-02, reprinted at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41106-2004Nov10.html, retrieved June 7, 2005

(27) Available in its entirety at http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/VoteFraudTheoriesNixed.html , retrieved June 6, 2005.

(28) Greg Guma, "Election 2004: Lingering Suspicions," United Press International, November 15, 2004, http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20041112-010916-6128r, retrieved June 7, 2005.

(29) Robert Parry, "Washington Post's Sloppy Analysis," consortiumnews.com, November 12, 2004 at http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/111204.html , retrieved June 7, 2005.

(30) "Liberty County - Bristol, Florida and environs - where it's 88 percent Democrats, 8 percent Republicans) but produced landslides for President Bush. On Countdown, we cited the five biggest surprises (Liberty ended Bush: 1,927; Kerry: 1,070), but did not mention the other 24." at http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/111004B.shtml#1, retrieved June 7, 2005. See also David Swanson , "Media Whites Out Vote Fraud," January 3, 2005: http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/010405Y.shtml for a good summary of this media white out.

(31) Media Matters for America, "Conservatives rail against MSNBC's Olbermann for reporting election irregularities," http://mediamatters.org/items/200411160006 , retrieved June 7, 2005.

(32) The Fairness Doctrine governed broadcasters from 1949 to 1987. It required broadcasters, as a condition for having their FCC license, to provide balanced views on controversial questions. The elimination of the Fairness Doctrine was successfully lobbied for by well-heeled conservative groups during the Reagan administration and paved the way for the creation of a right wing media empire that operates free of any need to provide opposing viewpoints to their own.

(33) LexisNexis Academic database, Accession No. 1605983, Question No. 276, number of respondents 1,287, national telephone poll of adults.

(34) Wellstone voted against the authorization to go to war on Iraq requested by the second Bush administration.

(35) I owe this summary to "The Theft of Your Vote Is Just a Chip Away," Thom Hartmann, AlterNet. Posted July 30, 2003, retrieved February 8, 2005: http://www.alternet.org/story/16474 .

Chuck Hagel's story is worth mentioning here as well. As former conservative radio talk show host and current Senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel (who is seriously considering a run for the White House) demonstrated back in 1996, being the head of the company that supplies the voting machines used by about 80% of the voters in Nebraska does not hurt you when you want to be the first Republican in 24 years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska. The fact that Hagel pulled off the biggest upset in the country in the 1996 elections by defeating an incumbent Democratic governor, that he did so through winning every demographic group, including mainly black areas that had never voted Republican before, might have nothing to do with the paperless trail generated by the electronic voting machines his company provides, installs, programs and largely runs. But then again, maybe it does have something to do with his stunning and totally unexpected victories (Thom Hartmann, "If You Want to Win An Election, Just Control the Voting Machines," January 31, 2003, http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0131-01.htm , retrieved April 10, 2005).

(36) This is in keeping with Lewis Carroll's Red Queen's logic. The Bush White House sees itself as part of the "faith-based community," consciously rejecting empirical reality and inconvenient facts, considering these to be the province of what it calls the "reality-based community." As New York Times journalist Ron Suskind chillingly recounts: "In the summer of 2002 I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''' (Ron Suskind, "Without a Doubt," the New York Times Magazine , October 17, 2004.)

(37) By contrast, the GOP has decided that being "sore winners," as John Powers so aptly puts it in his book Sore Winners (and the Rest of Us) in George Bush's America , beats the hell out of being gracious losers.

(38) Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie, in remarks to the National Press Club on November 4, 2004, took the next logical step, calling for the elimination of exit polls on the grounds that the 2000, 2002 and 2004 exit polls showed the Republican candidates losing. See http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/04/11/ana04027.html , retrieved June 11, 2005.

(39) Robert Parry, "Solving the Media Puzzle," May 15, 2005, http://www.consortiumnews.com/2005/051305.html , retrieved June 7, 2005.

For a listing of current censored news stories see www.projectcensored.org

{ A fairly thorough analysis of the questions/concerns/allegations regarding the 2004 Election can be found here }



Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tennessee Guerilla Women: Friedman: Leading By (Bad) Example

I usually think Thomas Friedman is a schmuck. But every so often he says something worth listening to . . .

Leading by (Bad) Example

Published: October 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (Iraq News Agency) - A delegation of Iraqi judges and journalists abruptly left the U.S. today, cutting short its visit to study the workings of American democracy. A delegation spokesman said the Iraqis were "bewildered" by some of the behavior of the Bush administration and felt it was best to limit their exposure to the U.S. system at this time, when Iraq is taking its first baby steps toward democracy.

The lead Iraqi delegate, Muhammad Mithaqi, a noted secular Sunni judge who had recently survived an assassination attempt by Islamist radicals, said that he was stunned when he heard President Bush telling Republicans that one reason they should support Harriet Miers for the U.S. Supreme Court was because of "her religion." She is described as a devout evangelical Christian.

Mithaqi said that after two years of being lectured to by U.S. diplomats in Baghdad about the need to separate "mosque from state" in the new Iraq, he was also floored to read that the former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr, now a law school dean, said on the radio show of the conservative James Dobson that Miers deserved support because she was "a very, very strong Christian [who] should be a source of great comfort and assistance to people in the households of faith around the country."

"Now let me get this straight," Judge Mithaqi said. "You are lecturing us about keeping religion out of politics, and then your own president and conservative legal scholars go and tell your public to endorse Miers as a Supreme Court justice because she is an evangelical Christian.

"How would you feel if you picked up your newspapers next week and read that the president of Iraq justified the appointment of an Iraqi Supreme Court justice by telling Iraqis: 'Don't pay attention to his lack of legal expertise. Pay attention to the fact that he is a Muslim fundamentalist and prays at a Saudi-funded Wahhabi mosque.' Is that the Iraq you sent your sons to build and to die for? I don't think so. We can't have our people exposed to such talk."

A fellow delegation member, Abdul Wahab al-Unfi, a Shiite lawyer who walks with a limp today as a result of torture in a Saddam prison, said he did not want to spend another day in Washington after listening to the Bush team defend its right to use torture in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfi said he was heartened by the fact that the Senate voted 90 to 9 to ban U.S. torture of military prisoners. But he said he was depressed by reports that the White House might veto the bill because of that amendment, which would ban "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of P.O.W.'s.

"I survived eight years of torture under Saddam," Unfi said. "Virtually every extended family in Iraq has someone who was tortured or killed in a Baathist prison. Yet, already, more than 100 prisoners of war have died in U.S. custody. How is that possible from the greatest democracy in the world? There must be no place for torture in the future Iraq. We are going home now because I don't want our delegation corrupted by all this American right-to-torture talk."

Finally, the delegation member Sahaf al-Sahafi, editor of one of Iraq's new newspapers, said he wanted to go home after watching a televised videoconference last Thursday between soldiers in Iraq and President Bush. The soldiers, 10 Americans and an Iraqi, were coached by a Pentagon aide on how to respond to Mr. Bush.
"I had nightmares watching this," Sahafi said. "It was right from the Saddam playbook. I was particularly upset to hear the Iraqi sergeant major, Akeel Shakir Nasser, tell Mr. Bush: 'Thank you very much for everything. I like you.' It was exactly the kind of staged encounter that Saddam used to have with his troops."

Sahafi said he was also floored to see the U.S. Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, declare that a Bush administration contract that paid Armstrong Williams, a supposedly independent commentator, to promote Mr. Bush's No Child Left Behind policy constituted illegal propaganda - an attempt by the government to buy good press.

"Saddam bought and paid journalists all over the Arab world," Sahafi said. "It makes me sick to see even a drop of that in America."

By coincidence, the Iraqi delegates departed Washington just as the Bush aide Karen Hughes returned from the Middle East. Her trip was aimed at improving America's image among Muslims by giving them a more accurate view of America and President Bush. She said, "The more they know about us, the more they will like us."

(Yes, all of this is a fake news story. I just wish that it weren't so true.)


You Can't Be All You Can Be If You're Dead

Set on a backdrop of neat rows of tombstones, a full-page ad in October's The Survey, Warwick Valley High School's monthly student-run newspaper, reads:

"You can't be all that you can be if you're dead. There are other ways to serve your country. There are other ways to get money for college. There are other ways to be all you can be.

THINK ABOUT IT. Before you sign your life away."

The ad was created and paid for by a Warwick student who is a member of the Bruderhof community, a Christian-based communal order in Sugar Loaf that preaches pacifism. And since appearing last week, the ad has sparked controversy in the school district and the community and provoked lively First Amendment debates among students and teachers in the classroom.
. . . . . . . .


Friday, October 21, 2005

Iraq Dispatches: Open Letter to Amnesty International on the Iraqi Constitution

Iraq Dispatches: Open Letter to Amnesty International on the Iraqi Constitution

Under the circumstances, should the drafting of this divisive contitution even be the priority? And will it be worth the paper it's written on? Some in Iraq say No.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Niger Uranium Forgery Mystery Solved?

People (thankfully) no longer see Judith Miller as a "whistleblower," "protector of whistleblowers," or a "martyr for the First Amendment." She is not. She is a government schill and a propagandist, who is actively protecting those in power who smeared and defamed the whistleblower, Joseph Wilson. There is a difference.

Two things, though, have been lost in all this talk about "Plame-Gate," "Rove-Gate," or "Treason-Gate," if you like:

1.) we should keep in mind that the Niger documents were known to be forged

2.) Bush lied about this in his State Of The Union Address, despite warnings from various people (including Tenet) that the now infamous 16 words should not be included. Bush deliberately changed the wording of the speech from "Niger" to "Africa."

It's not clear why he believed this change would make any difference in the substance of the [false] claim. But, regardless of Bush's logic or lack thereof, the important thing is that he knew he was lying.

Anyway, apparently Patrick Fitzgerald is not limiting his investigation to merely the issue of who leaked Plame's name, but why this was done; which of course leads to the question, who forged the documents, and why?; and this could be perilous for the Bush Administration (not just Turd Blossom and Scooter). Forging documents is one thing. But forging documents about a matter as significant as whether or not a country has a nuclear weapons program, which is the basis on which we invade that country, and then lying about the fake intelligence and covering up the fact that it was forged . . . It's Treason, there's no other word for it.

So, who forged them? It appears it may have former CIA agents (surprise, surprise), along with Italy's version of the CIA:

Whoever leaked Plame's name and CIA affiliation was trying to scare off any further inquiries into the whole Niger uranium funny business, underscoring the key question in all this: who was behind the Niger uranium forgeries?

. . . . . . . .

"Previous versions of the report were redacted and had all the names removed, though it was possible to guess who was involved. This version names Michael Ledeen as the conduit for the report and indicates that former CIA officers Duane Clarridge and Alan Wolf were the principal forgers. All three had business interests with Chalabi."

. . . . . . . .

Fitzgerald seems to have broadened his probe to include not only the outing of Plame, but also the origin of the Niger uranium forgeries and other instances of classified information leakage via the vice president's office.

. . . . . . . .

This much is certain, either SISME [Italian intelligence] or someone with ties to SISME, helped forge and circulate those documents which some tried to use to bolster the case to go to war with Iraq."

"Reporters" at FOX, and elsewhere, are of course still trying to downplay the significance of Wilson's report, claiming that the Niger claim "was never one of the major arguments" for war, and that Wilson's report "was never accepted by anybody."

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production" (Bush, State Of The Union address -- the aluminum tubes claim was another lie). "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud" (Condi). ""We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons." . . . "We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." (Cheney). "Saddam is a grave and gathering threat" (Bush). "Saddam has the capability of launching a WMD attack within 45 minutes" (Blair, repeated by everyone).


"The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack. With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known." . . .

Ring a bell? Nukes were a very crucial part of the argument for war. And all this stuff was repeated in such a way as to clearly imply (without quite saying so) that either Saddam would nuke the U.S. or he would give nukes to terrorists to attack us. (And people whined because Michael Moore is "disingenuous"? Give me a fucking break.)


Pat Robertson again attacking Chavez

TV evangelist renews Chavez attacks

PROMINENT US TV evangelist Pat Robertson has accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of giving Osama bin Laden $US1.2 million after the September 11 attacks and of trying to obtain nuclear material from Iran.

Mr Robertson caused uproar in August when he called during his televised religious program for the US Government to assassinate Chavez. He later was forced to apologise to the leftist leader.
But the conservative preacher issued a new denunciation of Chavez yesterday, local time, in an interview with CNN.

"The truth is, this man is setting up a Marxist-type dictatorship in Venezuela, he's trying to spread Marxism throughout South America, he's negotiating with the Iranians to get nuclear material and he also sent $US1.2 million in cash to Osama bin Laden right after 9/11," Mr Robertson said.

"I apologised and I said I will be praying for him, but one day we will be staring nuclear weapons and it won't be (Hurricane) Katrina facing New Orleans, it's going to be a Venezuelan nuke," Mr Robertson said.

"So my suggestion was, isn't it a lot cheaper sometimes to deal with these problems before you have to have a big war," he added.

Asked how he had obtained information on Chavez giving money to bin Laden, Robertson said: "Sources that came to me. That's what I was told."

"And I know he sent a warm congratulatory letter to Carlos the Jackal, he's a friend of Muammar Gaddafi," he said. "He's made common cause with these people that are considered terrorists."


Orwellian quotes of the month; the Anti-Empire report from William Blum

“Some of you are concerned about the attack helicopters and mortar fire from the base. I will tell you this: those are the sounds of peace.” -- Lt. Col. Mark Davis, addressing an angry crowd of Iraqis in Rawa

"To preserve the peace, sometimes my country believes war is necessary." -- Karen Hughes

The Anti-Empire Report
Some things you need to know before the world ends
October 17, 2005
by William Blum

Katrina and the good Americans

All the kindness, all the concern and generosity, the utmost empathy, taking strangers into their homes, donating so much money and goods and time, helping them find a roof over their heads, find a job, locate their loved ones ... But it must be asked: Why is it that so many of these same people can show so little concern for the many, many victims of US foreign policy -- the bombed and the tortured, the maimed and the impoverished, the widows and the orphans, the overthrown and the suppressed? How can these kind and generous Americans take delight and pride in the “shock and awe” of the Pentagon military machine? How can they exult in the machine’s unstoppable power to smash through brick and flesh?

Unquestionably, many of them display more regard for their dog than for any Iraqi or Afghan.

I think the main reason is that Americans are convinced, or at least tell themselves, that the devastation and suffering of these foreigners is the price that has to be paid for a higher cause. Residing comfortably in Americans is a deeply-held belief that no matter what the United States does abroad, no matter what horror may result, no matter how bad it may look, the government of the United States means well. American leaders may make mistakes, they may blunder, they may lie, they may even on the odd occasion cause more harm than good, but they do mean well. Their intentions are always honorable. Of that Americans are certain. They genuinely wonder why the rest of the world can't see how benevolent and self-sacrificing America has been. Even many people who take part in the anti-war movement have a hard time shaking off some of this mindset; they march to spur America -- the America they love and worship and trust -- back onto the right track.

Another comparison worth pondering: Look at the US government’s preparation for the invasion of Iraq. For almost a full year the bases were set up, the airfields laid out, the tanks moved into place, the army hospitals readied for the wounded in Germany, the body bags inventoried, hundreds of thousands of military and civilian personnel assigned their spots and their duties, money being printed round the clock upon request, every “t” crossed, every “i” dotted, little left to chance ... and look at the preparation for a hurricane hitting New Orleans, which was beyond the “if” stage, waiting only for the “when”. The empire has its priorities.

War is Peace, Occupation is Sovereignty

The town of Rawa in Northern Iraq is occupied. The United States has built an Army outpost there to cut off the supply of foreign fighters purportedly entering Iraq from Syria. The Americans engage in house searches, knocking in doors, summary detentions, road blocks, air strikes, and other tactics highly upsetting to the people of Rawa. Recently, the commander of the outpost, Lt. Col. Mark Davis, addressed a crowd of 300 angry people. “We're not going anywhere,” he told the murmuring citizens. “Some of you are concerned about the attack helicopters and mortar fire from the base,” he said. “I will tell you this: those are the sounds of peace.”{1}

He could as well have said they were the sounds of sovereignty. Iraq is a sovereign nation, Washington assures us, particularly in these days of the constitutional referendum, although the vote will do nothing to empower the Iraqis to relieve their daily misery, serving only a public relations function for the United States; the votes, it should be noted, were counted on an American military base; on the day of the referendum, American warplanes and helicopters were busy killing some 70 people around the city of Ramadi.{2}

London also insists that Iraq is a sovereign nation. Recently, hundreds of residents filled the streets in the southern city of Basra, shouting and pumping their fists in the air to condemn British forces for raiding a jail and freeing two British soldiers. Iraqi police had arrested the Britons, who were dressed as civilians, for allegedly firing their guns (at whom or what is not clear), and either trying to plant explosives or having explosives in their vehicle. British troops then assembled several armored vehicles, rammed them through the jailhouse wall, and freed the men, as helicopter gunships hovered above.{3}
An intriguing side question: We have here British soldiers dressed as civilians (at least one report said dressed as Arabs), driving around in a car with explosives, firing guns ... Does this not feed into the frequent speculation that coalition forces have been to some extent part of the “insurgency”? The same insurgency that’s used as an excuse by the coalition to remain in Iraq?

Afghanistan is also sovereign we are told. In July a statement by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- made up of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan and its Central Asian neighbors -- asked the United States to specify a date of its troop withdrawal from Central Asian bases on the ground that operations in Afghanistan were winding down. But in September we could read in a Washington Post report from Afghanistan: “The Soviets built a runway here more than 20 years ago to land fighter jets. The Americans, having pretty much worn that one out with their jumbo cargo planes, are building a new, longer strip meant to withstand the U.S. military's heaviest loads. The construction, at the four-year mark in America's military presence in Afghanistan, isn't stopping there. Plans call for expanded ramps for fighter jets and helicopters, multiple ammunition storage bunkers and a six-story control tower, for a total bill exceeding $96 million. An even more expensive airfield renovation is underway in Iraq at the Balad air base, a hub for U.S. military logistics, where for $124 million the Air Force is building additional ramp space for cargo planes and helicopters. And farther south, in Qatar, a state-of-the-art, 104,000-square-foot air operations center for monitoring U.S. aircraft in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa is taking shape in the form of a giant concrete bunker. The $500 million price tag includes a set of support facilities that would be the envy of any air force.

“All in all, the U.S. military has more than $1.2 billion in projects either underway or planned in the Central Command region -- an expansion plan that U.S. commanders say is necessary both to sustain operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and to provide for a long-term presence in the area.”{4}

There are of course areas other than the military which illustrate Washington’s continuing exercise of sovereignty over Iraq, areas such as those concerning multinational corporations. Sales of Iraqi assets and laws and decrees concerning deregulation, privatization, corporate taxes, etc. were promulgated early on by Washington’s Coalition Provisional Authority to make life easy for Halliburton and its partners in crime. These laws and decrees still remain in force and were set up to be rather difficult to amend. From all accounts, the new Iraqi constitution makes no mention of them.

And let us not forget: All Americans in Iraq, and all their allies, military or civilian, have complete immunity from any Iraqi law enforcement or judicial body, no matter what they do.

Clueless in Gaza

For some time now, the Pentagon has been fighting against the American Civil Liberties Union, members of Congress, and others who are pushing for the release of new photos and videos of prisoner “abuse” (otherwise known as “torture”) in the American gulag. The Pentagon has been trying to block release of these materials because, they claim, it will inflame anti-American feelings and inspire terrorist acts abroad. This clearly implies that so-called anti-Americans come to their views as a result of American actions or behavior. Yet, the official position of the Bush administration, repeated numerous times and never rescinded, is that the motivation behind anti-American terrorism is envy and/or hatred of American democracy, freedom, wealth, and secular government, nothing to do with anything the United States does abroad, nothing to do with US foreign policy.{5}

In a similar vein, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes recently toured the Middle East for the stated purpose of correcting the “mistaken” impressions people have of the United States, which, she would have the world believe, are the root cause of anti-American hatred and terrorism; it’s all a matter of misunderstanding, image, and public relations. At her confirmation hearing in July, Hughes said “The mission of public diplomacy is to engage, inform, and help others understand our policies, actions and values.”{6} But what if the problem is that the Muslim world, like the rest of the world, understands America only too well? Predictably, this confidante of President Bush (this being her only qualification for the position, just like Harriet Miers’s only qualification for the Supreme Court) uttered one inanity after another on her tour. Here she is in Turkey: "to preserve the peace, sometimes my country believes war is necessary," and declaring that women are faring much better in Iraq than they did under Saddam Hussein.{7} When her remarks were angrily challenged by Turkish women in the audience, Hughes replied: “Obviously we have a public relations challenge here ... as we do in different places throughout the world."{8} Right, Karen, it’s all just p.r., nothing of any substance to worry your banality-filled little head about.

The Arab News (“The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily”) summed up Hughes’s performance thusly: "Painfully clueless”.{9} The same could of course be said about Hughes’s boss (whom Harriet Miers has called the most brilliant man she has ever met).{10}

The Washington Post reported that: Hughes’s “audiences, especially in Egypt, often consisted of elites with long ties to the United States, but many people she spoke with said the core reason for the poor U.S. image remained U.S. policies, not how those policies were marketed or presented.”{11} Might she and her boss learn anything from this? Nah.

American foundations and dissent

Political science professor Joan Roelofs has a new book out on this long-neglected subject, “Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism”. Here’s a sample:

“Although Ford and other foundations had undertaken ameliorative measures, ‘malcontents’ started to spring up everywhere in the US during the 1960s. Foundation ideology attributed the radical protests to defects in pluralism. The pluralist ideology holds that any interest is free to organize and to obtain benefits from the system, through peaceful processes of compromise.

“Disadvantaged groups, such as blacks, Chicanos, women, children, and the poor, needed help in obtaining their rights. Grant money would enable them to participate in the interest group process on an equal basis with the more advantaged groups, and then they would no longer waste their energies in futile disruptive actions. Note that according to foundation ideology, the poor are just another minority group. Poverty, militarism, racism, and environmental degradation are not byproducts of the economic system or related to each other. They are merely defects to be corrected through the pluralist political process.”

More about the book can be found at: http://www.sunypress.edu/details.asp?id=60705

A very interesting flowchart showing the flow of money from foundations to progressive media and other organizations of the left can be found at: http://www.leftgatekeepers.com/ For the latest information in this area send an email to Bob Feldman at bob_jan@xensei.com


In the last issue of this report I attributed a statement about "loving" the American troops in Iraq to an ANSWER Coalition spokesperson. The statement was actually made by Mahdi Bray, the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, which was an important member of the September 24 National Coalition and was made at an ANSWER press conference, but it should be pointed out that neither Mahdi nor his organization is a member of the ANSWER Steering Committee.

{1} New York Times, October 3, 2005, p.6
{2} Reuters news agency, October 17, 2005
{3} Washington Post, September 20, 21; al-Jazeera TV, September 19, 2005
{4} Washington Post, September 17, 2005, p.18
{5} See my discussion of this question at: http://members.aol.com/essays6/myth.htm
{6} States News Service, July 22, 2005
{7} Washington Post, September 29, 2005, p.16
{8} Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2005, p.4
{9} Washington Post, October 7, 2005, p.21
{10} Copley News Service, October 10, 2005
{11} Washington Post, September 30, 2005, p.12

William Blum is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire




Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Terrorist" voted to head fantasy World Government

Nelson Mandela was recently voted to head a fantasy "world government." Also interesting is that Noam Chomsky -- who was also voted "world's top public intellectual" yesterday -- came in 4th.

In this Age Of Terror (hide your children!), it might be worthwhile to remember that for over 25 years (and, by some, to this day) Nelson Mandela was considered a "terrorist" by the U.S. and British governments, which supported South African apartheid.

Just an observation.



Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rush Limabaugh: paid for by your tax dollars

Last year, with your help, Media Matters for America drew attention to right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh's presence as the sole political commentator on American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), a taxpayer-funded service that provides radio programming to American armed forces around the world. In the wake of Limbaugh's reckless and harmful endorsement of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, Media Matters called for AFRTS to remove Limbaugh from its broadcast schedule.

As a result of the attention Media Matters drew to AFRTS' broadcast of Limbaugh, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed an amendment calling on AFRTS to provide political balance in its public affairs programming, as mandated by Defense Department guidelines.

Now we need your help again.

There is no way to truly provide "balance" to Limbaugh's hateful rhetoric, which ranges from calling people "feminazis" to saying "A Chavez is a Chavez. These people have always been a problem" to claiming that women "actually wish" to be sexually harassed. But AFRTS was set to take a step in the right direction by adding progressive radio host Ed Schultz to its broadcast schedule, beginning yesterday.

However, AFRTS put those plans on hold at the last minute -- and now claims it never decided to add Schultz in the first place. Defense Department official Allison Barber personally announced the cancellation just three days after Schultz drew attention to Barber's role in a controversial scripted event President Bush held last week. The Defense Department's apparent decision to cancel Schultz means that Rush Limbaugh will continue as the only political commentator on American Forces Radio and Television Service.

More info here



Monday, October 17, 2005

And now, an important message from the Ministry Of Truth

Bush's staged and scripted meeting with the troops (.mp3, 3 min., 672k)

The real story here is that the media actually reported this.

Sam Ceder on the Majority Report observed that this is just one tiny episode in a long pattern of Pravda-like propaganda from the Bush White House. From putting out fake news releases promoting No Child Left Behind and the Medicare prescription drug bill and actually paying off Armstrong Williams to promote it (now OFFICIALLY ruled "illegal covert propaganda" by The Government Accountability Office) . . . Add to that, bombarding the press with WMD and terror hype and "Osama = Saddam" lies pre-Iraq invasion, the phony and completely stage-managed media theater of the pulling down of Saddam's statue, to the infamous "Mission Accomplished" fiasco with the toy soldiers of the U.S. military used as mere props for a meaningless photo op, to the fake stage-managed photo ops after Hurricane Katrina (and even THOSE belatedly) . . .

The list goes on.

Now the RNC has actually come up with its own official Government Propaganda news network! Called "In The Know." Check it out, and be enlightened.

But is it possible that the media is starting to wake up a little bit, and to remember what the role of a journalist is in a free society?

I'd like to think so. But it also seems to me that the only reason they've stopped being so spineless and supine is that now Bush's approval ratings are in the tank and most Americans oppose the Iraq war. Well, MSM, if you'd done your fucking job in the first place, Bush's approval ratings would have been in the tank and most Americans would have opposed the Iraq war consistently for the last 3 years or so.

A very good interview on Media Matters with Larry Beinhart (author of "Wag The Dog"), in which he discusses the media and his book about selective reporting, "Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin":

Larry Beinhart - "Fog Facts" (.mp3, 52 min., 18.2 MB)

A very good interview, covering a vast array of topics. Very highly recommended.

He makes one of the best observations/analogies that I've heard about the media: it's like McDonald's. The movie "Super-Size Me" revealed in no uncertain terms that eating McDonald's food makes you fat, unhealthy, and eventually will kill you; but, people keep eating it anyway. The parallel with the media is the market-driven forces at work: rather than deliver "healthy" news (i.e., the truth), the media delivers "junk food news" (i.e., trivial entertainment, and news that they think their audience WANTS TO HEAR).

That's the crucial danger of what has been called "The FOX Effect." We need ratings -- everyone's watching FOX now. We need to be more like them. We need to have more flags waving. We need to label our war coverage "Operation Iraqi Freedom," like FOX does. People are feeling patriotic -- we don't want to be questioning the war or its motives or consequences, or any other actions of our Beloved Leader right now.

And the truth is, they were probably right, from a "Free Market Utopian" point of view. It's possible that advertisers would even have pulled their ads if the major networks had took a certain stand or reported accurately and honestly.

But truthfully, there was more at work than simply market forces. Otherwise, explain why Phil Donahue's show was canceled?



Corporate Bankrupcy and Government Bailouts

United, Northwest, Delta, Delphi, . . .

The CEOs of these companies are nothing but little Kenny-Boy Lays. And they should not be bailed out with our tax dollars. They should be thrown in jail.

As far as I'm concerned -- hell with that, as far as THE LAW is concerned -- the companies signed a contract with their workers. The workers agreed to get paid less than they should; in exchange, the companies promised to put aside that money into a pension fund, so the workers would get that money when they retired.

These bastards violated that agreement by drastically under-funding the pension benefit funds, and now they're filing for bankruptcy and saying, "Sorry we don't have that pension money we promised you. But, well, fuck you. We need large severage packages."

It's not rocket science. It's the same old greedy capitalist excess we've seen over and over, from the Savings and Loan scandal of the 80s all the way to Enron.

Mike Malloy had the guts to seriously pose the question: when people get treated like this, how long before they take to the streets?

I think if this were any country in the Southern Hemisphere (or even this country in an earlier age), we would. But now in the good old U.S. of A., we just shrug and sigh and gnash our teeth . . .

PBS NOW - Broken Promises (.mp3, 15 min., 5.2 MB)



Another impeachable offence?

PBS NOW -- Bunny Greenhouse, Halliburton whistleblower (.mp3, 7 min., 2.6 MB)

David Brancaccio interviews U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Bunny Greenhouse, who was demoted after blowing the whistle on alleged contractor fraud and abuse involving exclusive, non-compete contracts worth billions of dollars to Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR, which have since been awarded new government work in the rebuilding of the gulf coast.

I just learned something that might be common knowledge. If it is, it makes me ask once again: why hasn't anyone pushed for articles of impeachment? If it's not widely known, it needs to be.

What I learned is this: remember that first scandalous multi-billion-dollar no-bid contract given to Halliburton (K.B.R.) when the Iraq war was launched? Well, it was not a one-year contract. It was a FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT.

This might seem minor. But it does mean (or at least strongly suggest) that the Bush administration had PLANNED on being in Iraq for at least 5 years. Does it not?

Greenhouse was demoted for complaining about this.

If a five-year occupation of Iraq was foreseen, then clearly Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all lied about their plans/intent regarding the Iraq war -- that much is clear. As far as I know, just because they weren't technically "under oath" doesn't exonerate them. In any case, Congress needs to get off their collective asses and lead some investigations. If you can force a president to testify under oath about his personal private sex life, surely you can force a president to testify under oath about his foreign policy misdeeds. No?

Add to this the fact that several high-ups in the administration apparently commited a felony AND probably perjury (Rove) in outing covert CIA operative Valerie Plame in order to smear Joe Wilson and intimidate any other potential whistle-blowers -- the real scandal here being NOT merely blowing Plame's cover, but the fact that this was part of a larger white-wash/coverup. The administration was trying to cover its ass, because people were actually coming out and observing that they had deliberately lied about WMDs in order to justify their pre-conceived invasion.

Give me one reason why Bush and Cheney should not be subject to several investigations here?

Subpoena all the documents. Make the bastards testify. Put them under oath.

And then, lock them up and throw away the key.



Saturday, October 15, 2005

"we should save the rich people first"

Boortz: Faced with an impending national disaster, "we should save the rich people first" [Media Matters]

Would it be fair to call this S.O.B. a "class warrior"?

I think all the evacuees from New Orleans should hunt this guy down, take all his money, and then say "hey, you're poor now. Guess that means you're worthless." Then start his house on fire, and tell him "well, we'd save you, but, sorry, you're poor."


He doesn't mention race at all, but I think there's a pretty obvious subtext of racism here, as well.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Who Would Jesus Torture?



Cheney's Halliburton stock options rose 3,281% last year, senator finds

An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity.
“Halliburton has already raked in more than $10 billion from the Bush-Cheney Administration for work in Iraq, and they were awarded some of the first Katrina contracts," Lautenberg said in a statement. "It is unseemly for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his Administration funnels billions of dollars to it. The Vice President should sever his financial ties to Halliburton once and for all.”

Cheney continues to hold 433,333 Halliburton stock options. The company has been criticized by auditors for its handling of a no-bid contact in Iraq. Auditors found the firm marked up meal prices for troops and inflated gas prices in a deal with a Kuwaiti supplier. The company built the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The Vice President has sought to stem criticism by signing an agreement to donate the after-tax profits from these stock options to charities of his choice, and his lawyer has said he will not take any tax deduction for the donations.

However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in Sept. 2003 that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a “financial interest” regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities. CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest.

Cheney told "Meet the Press" in 2003 that he didn't have any financial ties to the firm.

“Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest," the Vice President said. "I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years.”

Cheney continues to received a deferred salary from the company. According to financial disclosure forms, he was paid $205,298 in 2001; $162,392 in 2002; $178,437 in 2003; and $194,852 in 2004.


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