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 10 years old. And by age 12,
most understand that the president is not a king. Or a dictator. That U.S.
citizens have inalienable rights.
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's 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 4,258 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 violates 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 fact, W.'s father appears to be one of the first
beneficiaries of e-voting fraud with his victory over Bob Dole in the 1988 New
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
the University of Pennsylvania 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 the 2004 election, involving
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.
Fitrakis is the co-editor of Did George W.
Bush Steal America's 2004 Election? with Harvey Wasserman and co-counsel
with Cliff Arnebeck in the Alliance for Democracy suit against the Hocking
County Board of Elections.