What do we make of the President boldly proclaiming that he has “spy powers?”
Does he have X-ray vision too?
When he and his cronies crawl up into Cheney’s bunker with the sign on
the door “He-man Woman-haters Club. No Girls Allowed (except Condi),”
do they synchronize their spy decoder rings and decide what new absurd folly
to unleash on the world?
Illegal invasion of Iraq, suspending writs of habeus corpus, secret CIA torture
dungeons, or election rigging? Most people outgrow such childish games and fantasies
by the time they’re ten years old. And by age twelve, most understand
that the President is not a king. Or a dictator. That U.S. citizens have inalienable
That there are such things as search warrants. If the executive branch of government
is going to conduct surveillance on the American people, they have to get a
warrant from the judicial branch specifying what they’re looking for and
the reasons for the search.
The Bush administration’s utter contempt for the U.S. Constitution
and the specific information we now know about its use of the National Security
Agency (NSA) surveillance network should further call into question Bush’
2004 presidential “election.” In a recent revelation, we have learned
that the NSA shared the fruits of its illegal spying on behalf of Bush with
other government agencies.
What are e-voting machines and central tabulators that pass the voting
results over electronic networks from the internet to phone lines? No more than
data easily spied on and tapped into. The Franklin County Board of Elections,
for example, tells us that it was a “transmission error” in Gahanna
Ward 1B, where 638 people cast votes and Bush, the Wonder Boy, received 4258
votes. It’s not magic, nor is it an accident or an act of God. If the
vote total wasn’t so hugely illogical, no one would have caught it.
Bush and his cabal are notorious for collecting raw intelligence data and using
it for their political gain. While many progressives accept the fact that our
government manufactured an illegal war in Iraq and routinely violate human rights
worldwide, many are reluctant to accept that they would spy on John Kerry and
rig the election – which is very easy to do when the NSA does your bidding.
What part of the headline in the Columbus Dispatch: “Diebold vote machine
can be hacked, test finds” don’t people understand? The electronic
hacking and monitoring of votes by U.S. intelligence agencies has a long history,
from mainframe computers in the 70s and 80s to DREs in the 80s and 90s. In face,
W.’s father appears to be one of the first beneficiary of e-voting fraud
with his victory of Bob Dole in the 1988 New Hampshire primary.
Most voting rights advocates are well aware of Al Gore’s infamous loss
of 16,000 votes in the 2004 Florida presidential election, which allowed Bush’s
cousin at Fox News to call the election for Dubya. How do we explain the bizarre
“rob georgia” Diebold file that Bev Harris of Black Box Voting found
on the internet after the stunning upset of Senator Max Cleland of Georgia.
The recent revelations about hacking of Diebold voting machines and the findings
of the General Accountability Office as to the insecurity of the e-voting networks
cannot be separated from the president’s criminal use of the NSA to spy
on American citizens. As much as we rejoice in the resignation of Diebold CEO
Walden O’Dell and the pending lawsuits by shareholders against Diebold,
it should not obscure the massive continued potential to hack the vote.
Both Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines ran November 2004 cover
stories on how easy it is to hack the e-voting machines and their communication
networks. In one famous cartoon, a teenage hacker was announced as the president.
This is precisely the type of game George W. and his He-man authoritarian boy’s
club would engage in. Recently, Professor Steve Freeman of Penn spoke at a New
York election reform forum and told the audience that a third of the Kerry voters
who showed up in exit polls in rural Republican-dominated areas simply don’t
show up in the actual vote tally. Not just in Ohio, but throughout the nation.
Would a president who believes he has spy powers, the right to torture, the
ability to wage illegal wars based on bogus, manufactured intelligence reports,
simply refuse to spy on Kerry and rig an election electronically? In Ohio, two
burglaries occurred against the Democratic Party in Lucas County and Franklin
County just prior to 2004 election involving computer theft.
Congress must investigate whether Bush used the NSA for partisan political
gain during the 2004 election, and whether any NSA Bush operatives or other
members of the security industrial complex had access to e-voting machines,
central tabulators or the communication lines that delivered the voting results.
Bob Fitrakis is the co-editor of Did George W. Bush Steal
America's 2004 Election? with Harvey Wasserman (www.freepress.org)
and co-counsel with Cliff Arnebeck in the Alliance for Democracy suit against
the Hocking County Board of Elections.