Monday, December 27, 2004
Election Reform--Lawsuit from Election Protection
Thanks to volunteers and activists like you, the Election Protection Coalition is pressing ahead and making progress. We have two major post-election objectives:
- Ensure that the votes cast in 2004 are properly counted; and,
- Prepare an election reform agenda to push at the federal, state and local levels.
As we get ready for 2005, here's a brief update on where we stand.
Preliminary Review of Election Problems and Reform Agenda Unveiled
We are shattering the myth that the 2004 election ran smoothly, a myth that has become the conventional wisdom for many pundits and politicians. To tell the real story, People For the American Way Foundation and other Election Protection partners released on December 8 a preliminary review of the election problems documented by our efforts. Based on an analysis of the nearly 40,000 written complaints and more than 200,000 phone calls taken by Election Protection volunteers, the report identifies the top five problems voters encountered in 2004 and outlines preliminary recommendations to fix them. Take a moment to read the report and help spread the word to friends: http://www.pfaw.org/go/EP/shattering_myths (.pdf).
GAO Will Investigate 2004 Voting Process
Last month, thousands of Election Protection activists wrote Congress to demand a nationwide investigation of voting problems in this year's elections. Backed by those and other letters from constituents, members of Congress called for the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office to conduct a thorough investigation. The GAO has agreed to do so and will study a range of systemic election issues, including the accuracy of the vote count and the methods used to count the vote. We'll keep you posted as this investigation takes further shape. Election Protection activists will most certainly be needed again on this matter.
PFAW Foundation Files Suit to Protect Ohio Provisional Ballots
People For the American Way Foundation filed a lawsuit on November 24 seeking to overturn arbitrary rules that led election officials in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) not to count one third, or more than 8,000, of the provisional ballots cast on November 2. The percentage of provisional ballots rejected this year is almost twice the percentage thrown out in 2000. Representing several individual voters whose ballots were among those not counted, PFAW Foundation's legal team is asking that election officials check the provisional ballots against voter registration cards, not electronic voting lists that are known to contain errors. The lawsuit also requests remedies for voters affected by poll workers who did not notify them of their correct polling place. You can stay current on this case, which is currently pending at the county appellate district court, and our other election-related legal efforts on our Casewatch page: http://www.pfaw.org/go/EP/casewatch.
Public Hearings Collect Voter Problems, Experiences and Ideas
Election Protection coalition members and allied organizations are conducting a series of public hearings to gather additional information on election inequities, irregularities, and voter suppression efforts, and to help build public support for a reform agenda in the states. Well-attended hearings have already been held in Ohio and Texas, bringing to light voting obstacles from the pervasive confusion among poll workers concerning provisional ballots to reports of authorities towing the vehicles of voters standing in long lines. Additional hearings, scheduled throughout January, will be held in at least six states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico and Colorado). Election Protection activists will be invited to attend hearings and help keep voting problems and the people affected by them before the media.
As you can see from just this short recap, the Election Protection team has been hard at work since November 2, and our efforts will only increase in 2005. Your participation, action and insight will lead our march toward a fair and reliable election system for every American.
Thank you for your incredible support. We hope you enjoy the holiday season.
Ralph G. Neas
People For the American Way Foundation
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Jazz Funeral in New Orleans Jan 20th
Join us, join the J20 boycott, ACT ---Speak UP and Stand UP. Silence is complicity.
In Nashville, one of the speakers talked about how her mother had marched with Dr. King and suffered the dog bites and fire hoses of Birmingham so that her daughter (now a grown woman at this Nashville Capitol meeting) was ensured of her right to vote. Well, we must march again, suffer what we must, and demand each vote count. When 2-3 machines are sent to populations where thousands need and want to vote (Black communities, Hispanic communities, Poor communities), yet 7-10 machines are sent to upper economic and "comfortable" communities, we must ask why people feel disenfranchised. In New Orleans, African American Students at Xavier waited in line til 3 am to vote for their choice for president. I was told by Election Protection Poll Watchers that primarily white districts had at most 15-20 minute waits.....This is not democracy as I know it. This is making it hard to be a citizen, especially for those who have jobs, children, and responsibilities that make them leave 3 hr lines.
Sorry for the rant, but I'll be back.
News from Nashville! Read on.
Good Sunday morning. In case any of you are wavering in your decision to attend our second Gathering To Save Our Democracy rally at the Tennessee State Capital today at 2:00 pm, I thought you should read a report from one of the Ohio volunteers who drove from Green Bay, Wisconsin to western Ohio to participate in the recount. Her letter to me is a chilling documentation of at least two election laws violated with impunity by Ohio election officials. You will fear for our country as you read her letter.
But you may be emboldened by the second letter I received this evening from a North Carolina retiree, who had hoped to join us tomorrow but who may be kept away. When a gentle, elderly woman says that she will stop paying her taxes because she believes that the Bush administration holds power illegally, that should make all of us understand the gravity of what we face.
Please join us today as we fire our own rhetorical opening rounds in the second American Revolution, collectively and with conviction. I hope to see everyone of you there tomorrow, with everyone you know. Dress warm and wear orange. Bernie
A letter from Ohio
I want to thank you for being the one to hook me up with the Greens for the recount....
Nevertheless, it is striking that the volunteers were indeed able to compile evidence of numerous incidents that would lead any rational person to conclude that the Ohio election was riddled with fraud. Let's just begin with the illegal withholding of the poll registries. Ohio state law specifically states that such refusal to permit examination of these documents constitutes prima facie evidence of electoral fraud. Every county board of elections director in Ohio was ordered to commit this illegal act. As far as I know, all complied with this order, thus willingly becoming perpetrators of a crime that counts every American citizen as its victim. It may come as no surprise that every director with whom I had dealings was a Republican.
I helped organize and facilitate the work of 12 Wisconsin volunteers who took time away from work and dug deep in their pockets to travel to Ohio to do the tedious work of turning over the rocks. It was an exhausting trip of some 1000 miles round trip for all of us, but we were happy to do it. We all love our country and want to awaken her from this long darkness that stretches out behind us for four years, and in front of us as far as the eye can see.
We began to arrive in Ohio on Wednesday morning and we dispersed to a number of counties in western Ohio. It is too early for me to share all of their experiences. I've barely gotten home myself, and family duties call along with holiday preparations. But I can share my experience with you.
The most startling conversation I had was with the county prosecutor, who was present "to represent the county" at the recount I attended. Also present was an attorney for the Republican Party - whether at the county or state level was not clear - and a representative from the office of Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. In a sidebar discussion outside the counting room about a technicality concerning Nader's presence on the ballot, despite his removal on legal grounds, I was told by the prosecutor that the company supplying the tabulating equipment and software was Triad Systems. Much has been written about their Republican connections and suspect activities in regard to the Ohio election, so I won't go into the details here. Here's the real shocker: Triad Systems had a technician in this particular county office the morning of the recount, before it started. He had disassembled the tabulator, and replaced "a switch" that had supposedly malfunctioned. He was lurking in the hallway outside the counting room during the entire recount. One of our volunteers engaged him in a conversation and obtained his name and other information which has been conveyed to the Green Party organizers for further action. The prosecutor, in conveying this information, repeated over and over again that the vendor was Triad. He is a Democrat, and I would say more interested in democracy than some of the other attendees.
I phoned this information up to the next level and we are in the process of documenting all that occurred. When I was speaking with our coordinator, I was told that a Triad technician was also busy in Greene County, which has been the scene of several recount melodramas that have been publicized. In this case, it turns out the technician was actually the president of Triad Systems.
Need I tell you that our observers were denied the right to inspect the voter registry from any precinct in the county, including the one used for the 3% sample? I think this may be a good thing, since this violation of law basically means that no valid recount took place.
I can't help but think that these types of scenarios were playing out all over Ohio this week, and that the discovery process in which we were engaged has surely produced enough evidence to establish probable cause in legal terms. I would be very surprised if there were not multiple suits filed at the county level in the coming weeks.
I hope that my theory is correct - that it does no good to simply elect a new president if the rest of the corrupt Hydra is left in place. This monstrosity has to be taken apart, down to the last remnant, and swept out of office, out of the process, and utterly discredited in the eyes of at least the vast majority of Americans. The only way to do this is to methodically expose the breadth and depth of the corruption of our electoral processes in a comprehensive manner. It's like an enormous jigsaw puzzle, and we need all the pieces to show the picture to the populace at large.
Our job is threefold:
-We must continue to dig, dig, dig for every particle of information, every piece of this vast puzzle.
-We must continue to tell every person we meet that our will as a people has been thwarted, that every vote cast was stolen by this fraud, regardless of party or candidate.
-And we must never give up pressuring the media to cover this travesty.
I don't know if John Kerry is as uninvolved in this tedious process as he appears to be. I sincerely hope that the Green Party will meet with Kerry and lay out the evidence we have uncovered of massive election fraud in Ohio. I hope he will fight - not for himself, but for all of us. But if he chooses not to fight, we will all carry on - and this time we'll know that the Democratic Party is not an option for us. I wonder if they really understand what has been unleashed. I wonder if either of our "two" major parties understand that if this fraudulent election is not examined, criminals prosecuted, and results reassessed, that they will have firmly and finally planted the seeds of their own destruction as viable political entities. It will be interesting, and no doubt painful, to witness the events to come as they unfold before us.
It was a great experience. I met some absolutely wonderful people, and I left Ohio feeling that we had taken our place in a small way at the turning point in our nation's history. Which way it will turn is still in question, but I know we all have a part to play. I'm going off politics, other than writing up reports, until after the holidays. By then, I am hoping that my way forward will be more clear. Thanks again for helping me find my part in this effort for now. And good luck tomorrow in Nashville. I'll be there in spirit.
A letter from North Carolina
I can't think of anything you have to do on Sunday at 2:00 pm that is more important than to honor the courage and spirit of these two women. See you there. Bernie
Monday, December 20, 2004
Fraudulent Election ACTION ITEMS! Time is short. Please do NOW
1. We need to make ALL of Congress aware of the numerous 2004 Election problems. Perhaps some of the more honest ones will back us. Maybe you can have a family/friends letter-writing get-together.
Create a letter in your own words, making the polite straight-forward assertion that your Congressman will honor your request since of course he will stand up for your rights. Flatter him/her.
Use your own words, so they will not see a cookie-cutter letter. Use the High-Priority button on email or hand-print High Priority on your envelope. Here is an example:
Honorable Senator xxx,
As you know, there have been numerous- no - thousands of - irregularities in the 2004 Election
and citizens want to know why.
Please join the chorus of voices demanding the answers to these questions so that American
citizens can feel as secure as the Ukrainians that our voices are heard in this country too.
Please read the following formal document that details some of the documented problems.
Here is the link to the document: (or if sending through regular mail, you would enclose the printout).
I look forward to your reply on your immediate actions to get these questions answered.
Sincerely from your constituent,
Here is the way to get contact information for your representatives. Send it to all of your
representatives of all parties, so they all become aware of the dirty details of the 2004 Election.
I would not send it to Bush, since he still seems unaware of our efforts. Just today, he made an endearing statement about the Ukrainian people's right to be heard. The more we can quote him later, the better.
Here is a webpage to get all of their contact information. Just pick the state you want, then click on the name you want. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/CA/
2. Then send a little blurb about this document to the media: For example,
Please read the following formal document that details some of the known problems of the 2004 Election.
Here is the link to the document: http://www.truthout.org/mm_01/5.120404W.pdf
Here is a notice about an upcoming meeting on Dec 13, 2004 you can still send reporters to!
Please distribute to all of your News stations for broadcasting and distribution.
With your help, perhaps the American people can get some answers.
Here are email addresses of some news media:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, MTP@NBC.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, NETAUDR@abc.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Colmes@foxnews.com, Evening@cbsnews.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jack.Cafferty@turner.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe@msnbc.com, LarryKingLive@turner.com, Lateedition@cnn.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, LouDobbs@cnn.com, Nightly@nbc.com, Norville@msnbc.com, PeterJennings@abcnews.com, Public@nytimes.com, email@example.com, Ted.Koppel@abc.com, Today@nbc.com
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
CC to the world news: Find more on the net. Keep sending to as many as you can.
3. If you can locate the names and addresses of your state's Electoral College, (try google, lycos, askjeeves, etc search engines) send them a letter similar to the one you sent your representatives. They need to know how flawed this election was before they cast their votes!
4. You have gotten so good at writing letters, please write one more with a pre-written subject:
Should the US Congress contest the 2004 presidential
election as to the Ohio electors? http://www.thepen.us/contest.html
5. Finally, here's a simple one! The letter is pre-written for you! Please sign this group petition to the Electoral College!
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - 250MB free storage. Do more. Manage less.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Friday, December 03, 2004
FAIR-L: Military's media manipulation..
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism
The Return of PSYOPS
Military's media manipulation demands more investigation
December 3, 2004
The Los Angeles Times revealed this week (12/1/04) that the U.S. military
lied to CNN in the course of executing psychological warfare operations,
or PSYOPS, in advance of the recent attack on Fallujah. This incident
raises serious questions about government disinformation and journalistic
credibility, but recent discussions of the government's propaganda plans
have excluded some valuable context.
In an October 14 on-air interview, Marine Lt. Lyle Gilbert told CNN
Pentagon reporter Jamie McIntyre that a U.S. military assault on Fallujah
had begun. In fact, the offensive would not actually begin for another
three weeks. The goal of the psychological operation, according to the
Times, was to deceive Iraqi insurgents into revealing what they would do
in the event of an actual offensive.
This operation raises obvious questions about the government's use of
media to broadcast disinformation at home and abroad-- not to mention
questions about journalistic gullibility and reluctance to question
official claims. But the CNN story has received little pick-up so far
from other news outlets-- and when it is covered, it's treated like an
isolated episode, even though recent history shows that U.S. government
plans to deceive journalists and the public are widespread and systematic,
Shortly before the launch of the "war on terror," an unnamed Pentagon war
planner seemed to warn journalists everywhere when he told Washington Post
reporter Howard Kurtz: "This is the most information-intensive war you can
imagine.... We're going to lie about things." (9/24/01)
In February 2002, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon's Office
of Strategic Influence (OSI) was "developing plans to provide news items,
possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations" in an effort "to
influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and
The story got widespread attention, and the Pentagon announced that the
office would be eliminated. But considerably less media attention was
paid when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld later said that, while the OSI
had been closed, its mission would be taken up by other agencies.
As Rumsfeld put it, "I went down that next day and said 'Fine, if you want
to savage this thing, fine-- I'll give you the corpse. There's the name.
You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that
needs to be done and I have.'" (FAIR Media Advisory, 11/27/02) So the
revelation that a misinformation campaign bearing a striking resemblance
to the description of the OSI was actually being carried out ought not to
come as a total surprise.
Earlier this year, another Los Angeles Times scoop (6/3/04) revealed that
one of the most enduring images of the war-- the toppling of the statue of
Saddam Hussein in a Baghdad square on April 9, 2003-- was a U.S. Army
psychological warfare operation staged to look like a spontaneous Iraqi
"As the Iraqi regime was collapsing on April 9, 2003, Marines converged on
Firdos Square in central Baghdad, site of an enormous statue of Saddam
Hussein. It was a Marine colonel-- not joyous Iraqi civilians, as was
widely assumed from the TV images -- who decided to topple the statue, the
Army report said. And it was a quick-thinking Army psychological
operations team that made it appear to be a spontaneous Iraqi
CNN's history of voluntary cooperation with PSYOPS troops is also worth
considering. In March 2000, FAIR and international news organizations
revealed that CNN had allowed military propaganda specialists from an Army
PSYOPS unit to work as interns in the news division of its Atlanta
As FAIR reported at the time (3/27/00), some PSYOPS officers were eager to
find ways to use media power to their advantage. One officer explained at
a PSYOPS conference that the military needed to find ways to "gain
control" over commercial news satellites to help bring down an
"informational cone of silence" over regions where special operations were
And a 1996 unofficial strategy paper written by an Army officer and
published by the U.S. Naval War College ("Military Operations in the CNN
World: Using the Media as a Force Multiplier") urged military commanders
to find ways to "leverage the vast resources of the fourth estate" for the
purposes of "communicating the [mission's] objective and endstate,
boosting friendly morale, executing more effective psychological
operations, playing a major role in deception of the enemy, and enhancing
Of course, the full extent of these programs is not yet known. But the
fact that the U.S. government is intentionally lying to journalists, and
by extension to the public, should be big news. Unfortunately, the L.A.
Times report is generating little mainstream media attention. CNN's Aaron
Brown reported the story (12/1/04), admitting that "none of us are
particularly comfortable when we're talking about things, about ourselves
if you will."
Brown also made another, even more revealing comment:
"There is an important and explicit bargain between the press and the
Pentagon in a time of war. We don't do anything to endanger the troops or
operations. They don't lie to us. Each is essential in a free society and
each is made more complicated by the information age, but it seems that
sometimes in an effort to mislead the enemy the military has come close,
very close, to crossing the line and misleading you."
Of course, in this case the military did not come "very close" to
misleading the public; they did mislead the public. And while Brown may
have confidence that such a "bargain" exists between the press and the
military, it would appear that the Pentagon does not agree. If
journalists were more willing to accept the old adage that "all
governments lie," we might all be better served.
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