By Robert C. Keating, Editor
It was painful to watch Vice President Al Gore in Fahrenheit 9/11 presiding over the Senate confirming the 2000 election of George W. Bush, as no one in the chamber (including Gore) would co-sponsor the motions of African American Congressmen who protested Bush's electoral victory on the basis that many of their constituents had been denied the right to vote on Election Day. By accepting the Supreme Court's ruling against him and strictly adhering to the rules of order in the Senate, Gore stoically helped America avoid the constitutional crisis of a contested election. But the constitutional crises America had to endure over the next eight years make Fahrenheit 9/11 one of the saddest tragedies ever filmed.
The news media chose not to show the American people how the new president was really welcomed on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2001. There was no Jimmy Carter-like stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue. Bush stayed inside a fast-moving limousine as it got pelted with eggs by angry protestors. The first view of it most Americans got was in Fahrenheit 9/11.
The Congressmen were absolutely right to protest the outcome of the election. Thousands of Florida voters were denied their right to vote because of some chicanery that cost Gore the election. In his excellent The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, investigative reporter Greg Palast details how, five months before the election, Bush’s brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, had 57,700 people purged from the voter rolls—ostensibly for being convicted felons, who are not allowed by Florida law to vote. As it turns out, over 90% of the voters on the hit list were not felons at all. Some of their supposed felonies were actually dated in the future. It was an overwhelmingly Democratic list of voters—over half blacks and Hispanics. Had these citizens been allowed to vote, Al Gore would have been elected President of the United States.²
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report on Florida voting irregularities can be viewed at http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/main.htm
Of course, the Florida outcome and thus the election were finally decided not by the people but by nine justices of the United States Supreme Court. In The Betrayal of America, famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi takes on the five "criminal" justices who used an "inapplicable constitutional provision" to hand Bush the election. Bugliosi is the former Los Angeles deputy D.A. who successfully prosecuted Charles Manson. His book, Helter Skelter, became a true-crime best seller as was Outrage, his book on the O.J. Simpson trial. He calls the Supreme Court's partisan decision "one of the most frightening and dangerous events ever to have occurred in this country." Unfortunately the gravity of the theft of an election by the highest court in the land was overlooked by the American news media, which at the time joked about how the election's outcome was in the hands of "the Supremes."
Four years later
On Election Day, 2004, an anxious nation watched once again as exit polls forecast a victory by Bush's opponent, and once again the electoral contest came down to one state: this time Ohio. Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. detailed the Ohio manipulations that cost John Kerry the 2004 election in Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10432334/was_the_2004_election_stolen
On September 13, 2006, Princeton University published an independent security study of one of the most widely used touch screen voting machines, the Diebold AccuVote-TS. "Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates. An attacker could also create malicious code that spreads automatically and silently from machine to machine during normal election activities--a voting machine virus. We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab. Mitigating these threats will require changes to the voting machine's hardware and software and the adoption of more rigorous election procedures."
More than 33,000 Diebold AccuVote-TS machines are in use nationwide. The full research paper can be viewed at http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/
Rolling Stone reported that attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was filing whistle-blower lawsuits against two voting machine manufacturers who he contended abetted the Republicans' theft of the 2004 presidential election. He told Rolling Stone that company insiders are prepared to testify that the firms knowingly made false claims when they sold their voting systems to the government--misrepresenting the accuracy, reliability and security of the machines.* No update on the case is on Kennedy's website.
* Rolling Stone, June, 2006
© 2006 Most Corrupt.com
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