CIA behind Research to Spy on Chat Rooms

Fri Nov 26th, 2004 at 17:34:39 EDT
With the conditioning behind us sufficient to make permanent installation of Cheney's favorite fear-reflex, we are properly prepared to receive and accept CNET's report that The CIA is quietly funding federal research into surveillance of Internet chat rooms as part of an effort to identify possible terrorists, newly released documents reveal.

Americans consider that terrorism is a real threat although some may question whether we are addressing that threat appropriately, for example, in evoking the insurgent-occupation reflex. Some even think it's possible we've given him just The War Bin Laden Wanted. But, that digital communications were part of the 9/11 plot created an impetus that our spies should monitor the internet and its related channels for terror operations.

Ok, maybe our spies should do more than twiddle thumbs in order to possibly forestall another 911 as Patriot Act I supposes, notwithstanding (?!?) legitimate concerns of civil libertarians.
How does an open society such as our own foster the goal of anticipating secret terrorist plans?
Through research, first, as to how to accomplish that goal technically. The Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at NSF solicited research in this area via proposals for (PDF:) Approaches to Combat Terrorism (ACT).

Yes, that makes sense and it apparently produced efforts considered worthy of funding. In fact, one successful effort at RPI had earlier established (PDF file) automated techniques for eavesdropping and profiling Internet chatrooms indeed showed statistical differences among the profiled users of the Undernet system such that distinct groups could be discovered and monitored. That work seems to be the basis of their subsequent NSF award for Surveillance, Analysis and Modeling of Chatroom Communities set to begin Jan. 1, 2005.
So, these researchers are on their way to modelling systems for automated spying techniques. But how does that research get handed off to those who'd use it?

Well, oddly enough perhaps, by an obscured collaboration with the CIA to fund the effort from the start. The Electronic Privacy Information Center recently received results of an FOIA request in the form of a CIA-NSF (PDF:) Memorandum of Understanding detailing the Intelligence Community/NSF cooperative funding of such research through FY 2004. It included the intent to continue the agreement beyond that period. The CIA's input was not itemized although NSF involvement was presented at 70%.

You might think that some would be troubled with the requirement for an FOIA request to bring to light this type of collaboration between our premier foreign intelligence agency and our top scientific organization. But it should be remembered that the agency's mission under the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 is to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense. So supporting spy work seems a natural in context of that priority. But you'd also still be right that such efforts are unsettling to, eg., top Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, 16 of whom recently publicized their concerns in an open letter:

October 16, 2004

We write as former recipients of the CPSR Norbert Wiener Award to express our concern about the significant redirection in science funding toward the development of systems of mass surveillance. It is our view that this research priority could pose a fundamental risk to political freedom, privacy, and Constitutional liberty.


Unlike techniques that identify dangerous substances, techniques of surveillance enable identification of virtually any subject. The result is invariably that research that is pursued for the narrow purpose of fighting terrorism, over time, takes on any other objectives. This is already apparent in such areas as passenger profiling, video surveillance, and network analysis.

Left unchecked, the consequence of this development could be the adoption of systems of mass surveillance unrelated to any terrorist threats. This will give the government sweeping new capability to monitor private life and thus diminish the freedom and liberty of Americans.


We call on the National Science Foundation, DARPA, the Department of Homeland Security and other relevant agencies to determine whether adequate safeguards are being developed to protect the civil rights of the populations who will ultimately become the human subjects for the deployment of these systems.

We call on the Congress to set aside funds to allow for a candid and independent assessment of the ethical, legal, and social implications of this technology.

The American public has repeatedly made clear that it does not support the establishment of vast systems of public surveillance. Yet our science agencies and many of our top researches are now pursuing precisely this mission.

We believe this must change.


Ok, so we note the need to revise our approach to national security issues. We also note the potential impact on social and civil liberties. And we also observe that there may be business opportunties presented in addressing the threat of terrorism: what's good for America's gotta be good for busines, right?

Personally, I think that such research is long-overdue. We need technologies to monitor as many open channels as possible...Of course, I'm speaking as the former CTO of a company that developed similar spy-technology.

-- Simson Garfinkel

...wait, did I get that phrasing correct!?

Certainly it's understandable that the US might take new approaches to securing the safety of our nation: 911 did happen! At another level, however, the breadth of Patriot Acts I and II, the intense secrecy of the Bush Administration, a willingness of the majority of our emboldened GOP leadership to overturn their own ethical and legal constraints, recent politically-inspired changes at the CIA, and a large variety of other issues on the record are among factors that undermine the confidence I once might have had in the CIA's more recent memo assuring
As far as what we do with the technology -- we have thorough oversight by the US Congress and we strictly follow all applicable laws.
As we continue to exercise the product of Uncle Dick's sustained fear-response conditioning program, I'm sure we'll look back wisely should we embrace EPIC director, Marc Rosenberg's, caution that
the CIA's clandestine involvement was worrisome. "The intelligence community is changing the priorities of scientific research in the U.S.," Rotenberg said. "You have to be careful that the National Science Foundation doesn't become the National Spy Foundation."
While you're considering this issue, I'd recommend a look at what the geeks are saying about CIA Researching Automated IRC Spying. And EPIC's analysis of the USA Patriot Act is worth considering here also.


Imagine all the people

Remember when we were young? Or the stories of the Sixties? Can a country rejuvenate itself or must the old die before new can be born?

Should we ever return to our primordial essence, Americans might see something like this, as reported of Ukraine:

Before today, there were only two channels worth watching - Channel 5 and Era (the latter broadcasts late at night, only several hours daily). The rest were following orders from Medvedchuk, chief of Kuchma's Administration, and other Yanukovych people. Until today. Today, Oleksandr Rodnyansky gathered all 1+1 Channel journalists (except one, who's not a journalist anymore but a slut, Vyacheslav Pikhovshek) and announced that they are with the people and are not going to lie to us. On Channel 1 (UT-1), the main state channel, 237 journalists are on strike now. Today, during the 11 am newscast with live translation into the Sign Language, the translator, Natalya Dmytruk, did not translate what the host was saying about the election results, but said (in Sign Language) the following (quote via Ukrainska Pravda):

The results from the Central Election Commission have been falsified. Do not believe them. Our President is Yushchenko. I am very disgusted that I was forced to translate the lies until now. I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm not sure if I'll see you again.

Can you imagine Paula Zahn speaking these words!?

Thanksgiving's the day for appreciating what we may usually take for granted. I no longer take for granted guys like Bloggerman, Keith Olbermann, somehow still able to use power to speak truth! And Chuck Herrin, a conservative, willing to speak truth to Republicans:

...and thanks for clarifying my party membership for me - you would certainly know better than I do about what party I'm registered with. I'm not kidding anybody - I'm just disgusted with the current administration. I'm glad I ruffled a few feathers - nothing gets people madder than the truth, especially when they know they're wrong...

See his
How to Hack the Vote: the Short Version

11/10/2004 rev. 11/22/2004

Chuck Herrin, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, CEH

Enron was a conspiracy theory, too. Were their whistleblowers "Crackpots"?
Were the people who lost their retirements to those corporate criminals just "sore losers"?
I've never been part of the "Tin Foil Hat" conspiracy theory crowd. I'm just a voter who happens to be a Professional IT Auditor.


how can we laugh at red-staters' faith in miracles, anyhow?!

'Virgin Mary grilled cheese' sells for $28,000

A woman who said her 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the Virgin Mary will be getting a lot more bread after the item sold for $28,000 on eBay.

Grilled Cheese in Paradise


Hostettler says 'no' to I69, Hoosiers say 'yes' to whoring

There's clearly at least one person in Indiana with a sense of humour. I followed a link to the article describing Hostettler's intent to reduce the obscenity of Indiana's interstate system by changing the designation of Federal Route I-69 to I-63. An entertaining idea in it's own right, but made moreso by the article's companion poll presumably placed by 'smart' ad software.

OK, well perhaps they should have considered possible poll-results (at bottom) and had human oversight of that ad-poll!

Hostettler mounting campaign to change the name of Interstate 69
By August Wayne, THG News

John Hostettler, the Congressman representing the 8th district of Indiana, has been convinced by local religious groups to introduce legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more moral sounding number.

There are plans to extend the interstate from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana all the way through Texas into Mexico in the coming years. While most believe Image Hosted by ImageShack.us this highway will be good for the state’s economy, religious conservatives believe “I-69” sounds too risqué and want to change the interstate’s number.

Hostettler, a proponent of the interstate extension, agrees. “Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.”

As a matter of fact, naming the highway’s extension I-69 is a violation of the Interstate Highway System’s rules for numbering roads. Interstates numbers are to increase from west to east. If the extension through southern Indiana is named I-69, then 69 will be west of I-65, a direct violation.

“Naming the road I-63 not only follows numbering guidelines, it doesn’t have the sexual undertones that I-69 has,” says Hostettler, “It is a win-win situation.”

The change will more than likely be introduced in committee when Congress convenes after the first of the year.

-- or just maybe a live person HAD a hand in this! :-)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


Hersh: Bush's Iraq disaster strategic

Seymour Hersh at Hampshire College, blasts Bush

...In one of the most powerful moments in the talk, Hersh distinguished between the disaster of the Vietnam war and the disaster of the war in Iraq. Defeat in Vietnam, he argued, had tactical consequences. Within a few years of the end of the war the U.S. and Vietnam began economic cooperation. The war in Iraq will have strategic consequences. Abu Ghraib has turned the Muslim world against the U.S., and in the Middle East the U.S. has lost all claim to being a source of moral authority...

see the rest of the report at rentogen's diary ::

Position Available:Indestructible BugsTo Eat Nuclear Waste

Scientists Envision New RoleFor Sturdy Bacteria Breed;Creating 'Super Conan'

By JOHN J. FIALKA Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNALNovember 16, 2004; Page A1

SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, S.C. -- Eight years ago, scientists using a metal rod here to probe the radioactive depths of a nuclear-waste tank saw something that shocked them: a slimy, transparent substance growing on the end of the rod.
They took the specimen into a concrete-lined vault where technicians peered through a 3-foot-thick window and, using robot arms, smeared a bit of the specimen into a petri dish. Inside the dish they later found a colony of strange orange bacteria swimming around. The bacteria had adapted to 15 times the dose of radiation that it takes to kill a human being. They lived in what one scientific paper calls a "witches' brew" of toxic chemicals.
It was a step forward for the U.S. Department of Energy, which has been looking for a few good bugs -- in particular, members of an emerging family of microbes that scientists call "extremophiles." These microbes can survive in some of Earth's most inhospitable environments, withstanding enormous doses of radiation, thriving at temperatures above boiling, and mingling with toxic chemicals that would kill almost anything else.
That makes them a potentially valuable tool in the Energy Department's effort to clean up vast amounts of nuclear waste, including the Savannah River Site near Augusta, Ga., and the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash. The department says it could cost as much as $260 billion to clean up its messes with conventional methods, which rely heavily on chemical treatment and robots. Using extremophiles could slash that bill.
Extremophiles eliminate toxins by ingesting them and breaking them down into relatively harmless components. The microbes also can reduce the hazard of radioactive wastes by changing them into insoluble forms that are much less likely to leak into aquifers and streams.
K. radiotolerans, seen through an electron microscope. At left, a colony of the bugs; at right, a single bacterium.
Outgoing Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham predicted this year that "in the not-too-distant future," extremophiles will be cleaning up nuclear waste and munching the pollutants of coal-fired power plants, including carbon dioxide, one of the causes of global warming. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration thinks if it can understand the mechanism that the bugs use to survive radiation, it might be able to use it to protect space crews against radiation on long voyages. The National Institutes of Health hopes the microbes' peculiar powers might help cancer patients survive more-intensive radiation therapy.
So far, scientists say that the extremophiles they have found in nature aren't harmful to humans. Laboratory-engineered modifications of these bugs, however, are likely to cause some controversy because no one knows what their long-term effects might be.
The berry-shaped bug discovered at the Savannah River Site was christened Kineococcus radiotolerans. Scientists have probed 95% of its genetic structure. They know what it does and what it eats -- it loves malt sugar -- but after 50 years of studying these sorts of bugs, they have no idea how they survive. Radiation shatters the genetic structures of living things, but extremophiles snap themselves back together in a matter of hours.
Christopher Bagwell, a microbiologist here, says Kineococcus has shown the ability to break down herbicides, industrial solvents, chlorinated compounds and other toxics, all while growing in a radioactive environment that shrivels other living things and turns glass brown.
Scientists know of at least a dozen extremophiles. The first was discovered in 1956 in Corvallis, Ore. Scientists were zapping cans of horse meat with high radiation, trying to establish the preservative value of food irradiation. One can developed an ominous bulge. Inside, the scientists isolated pink bacteria they had never seen before.
They gave it the scientific name Deinococcus radiodurans. But researchers were so amazed by the bug's resilience that some years later, they nicknamed it "Conan the Bacterium," spawning a folklore and debate among scientists that continues today. Because the microbes endure radiation at levels higher than any natural source, some scientists have argued that they must have ridden in on comets. Others speculate that they were the Earth's first residents after the planet was born in a radioactive explosion.
"Because of the amazing abilities of these organisms, they sort of bring out the poet in people," says John R. Battista, a microbiologist at Louisiana State University. He says speculation about outer space origins is like engaging in "mythology."
Extremophiles have recently been found on barren mountain tops and in the frozen plains of Antarctica, Dr. Battista says. He believes they are simply harmless, opportunistic creatures that have found a way to survive in conditions of severe drought, which, he says, damages cells in much the way radiation does. "It just waits until it gets dried out and then it gets blown somewhere else."
The original Conan proved to be a wimp among extremophiles. It could handle radiation, but not the solvent toluene and other chemicals normally found in bomb makers' wastes. So, in 1997, the Energy Department started work on a genetically manipulated bug that researchers called Super Conan.
Super Conan now lives in a petri dish at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a U.S. military research facility in Bethesda, Md. It can handle nasty chemicals as well as radiation, but the researcher who developed it, Michael J. Daly, says the government is afraid to let it out.
"We're at a point where we could do some field trials," he says, adding that his sponsors at the Energy Department doubt the public is ready for the release of this laboratory-engineered bug into the environment. It might eat nuclear wastes, but they worry about what else might it do, he says.
Rather than confront such touchy matters, the department is confident it can find Super Conan's equivalent in nature, says Ari Patrinos, the department's director of biological and environmental research. He estimates that fewer than 1% of the Earth's bacteria forms have been identified: "There are plenty out there for our needs. We just have to pick and choose."
That's where Kineococcus comes in. The Savannah River Site, slapped together in the early 1950s to keep the U.S. ahead of the Soviet Union in the race to produce hydrogen bombs, has 49 underground storage tanks containing 35 million gallons of radioactive waste. The Energy Department has a much bigger mess at the Hanford site, a World War II weapons plant where leaking tanks have contaminated 80 square miles of groundwater with radiation and toxic chemicals.
Because the new orange bug made its home in nuclear wastes, no one can argue that putting it back there would be unnatural, say the scientists here. They believe they can grow kineococcus in petri dishes and then inject it into tanks and underground plumes of leaking wastes.
But Dr. Bagwell thinks it will take five more years of peering into the bug's genes before attempting such experiments. Twenty percent of the microbe's genetic structure, he says, involves "unknown functions."


GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect DeLay's Post

With a Will There's a Way: Moral values 'mandate' to keep a good conman at the top

GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect DeLay's Post

By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 17, 2004; Page A01

House Republicans proposed changing their rules last night to allow members indicted by state grand juries to remain in a leadership post, a move that would benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in case he is charged by a Texas grand jury that has indicted three of his political associates, according to GOP leaders.
The proposed rule change, which several leaders predicted would win approval at a closed meeting today, comes as House Republicans return to Washington feeling indebted to DeLay for the slightly enhanced majority they won in this month's elections. DeLay led an aggressive redistricting effort in Texas last year that resulted in five Democratic House members retiring or losing reelection. It also triggered a grand jury inquiry into fundraising efforts related to the state legislature's redistricting actions.
House GOP leaders and aides said many rank-and-file Republicans are eager to change the rule to help DeLay, and will do so if given a chance at today's closed meeting. A handful of them have proposed language for changing the rule, and they will be free to offer amendments, officials said. Some aides said it was conceivable that DeLay and Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) ultimately could decide the move would be politically damaging and ask their caucus not to do it. But Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.), another member of the GOP leadership, said he did not think Hastert and DeLay would intervene.
House Republicans adopted the indictment rule in 1993, when they were trying to end four decades of Democratic control of the House, in part by highlighting Democrats' ethical lapses. They said at the time that they held themselves to higher standards than prominent Democrats such as then-Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (Ill.), who eventually pleaded guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to prison.
The GOP rule drew little notice until this fall, when DeLay's associates were indicted and Republican lawmakers began to worry that their majority leader might be forced to step aside if the grand jury targeted him next. Democrats and watchdog groups blasted the Republicans' proposal last night.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said last night: "If they make this rules change, Republicans will confirm yet again that they simply do not care if their leaders are ethical. If Republicans believe that an indicted member should be allowed to hold a top leadership position in the House of Representatives, their arrogance is astonishing."
House Republicans recognize that DeLay fought fiercely to widen their majority, and they are eager to protect him from an Austin-based investigation they view as baseless and partisan, said Rep. Eric I. Cantor (Va.), the GOP's chief deputy whip.
"That's why this [proposed rule change] is going to pass, assuming it's submitted, because there is a tremendous recognition that Tom DeLay led on the issue to produce five more seats" for the Republicans, Cantor said after emerging from a meeting in which the Republican Conference welcomed new members and reelected Hastert and DeLay as its top leaders.
Other Republicans agreed the conference is likely to change the rule if given the chance. An indictment is simply an unproven allegation that should not require a party leader to step aside, said Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.). Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.), a former trial judge, said it makes sense to differentiate between federal and state indictments in shaping party rules because state grand juries often are led by partisan, elected prosecutors who may carry political grudges against lawmakers.
Republicans last night were tweaking the language of several proposals for changing the rule. The one drawing the most comment, by Rep. Henry Bonilla (Tex.), would allow leaders indicted by a state grand jury to stay on. However, a leader indicted by a federal court would have to step down at least temporarily.
"Congressman Bonilla's rule change is designed to prevent political manipulation of the process while preserving the original ethical principles of the rule," Bonilla spokeswoman Taryn Fritz Walpole said.
Hastert and DeLay, meanwhile, are publicly taking a hands-off posture. Hastert told reporters the decision was up to the conference, adding, "we'll see what happens." DeLay spokesman Stuart Roy said his boss "believes we should allow members of the conference to come to their own conclusions and let the conference work its will without him exerting undue influence one way or the other."
A Texas grand jury in September indicted three of DeLay's political associates on charges of using a political action committee to illegally collect corporate donations and funnel them to Texas legislative races. The group, Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, is closely associated with DeLay. DeLay says he has not acted improperly and has no reason to believe he is a target of the grand jury, which continues to look into the TRMPAC matter.
The House ethics committee on Oct. 6 admonished DeLay for asking federal aviation officials to track an airplane involved in the highly contentious 2003 redistricting battle, and for conduct that suggested political donations might influence legislative action. The ethics panel deferred action on a complaint related to TRMPAC, noting that the grand jury has not finished its work.
The Texas investigation is headed by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, an elected Democrat who has been bitterly criticized by DeLay supporters. Yesterday, Cantor called Earle's efforts "a witch hunt."
"It's a totally a partisan exercise," Cantor said. "It's coincidental with what's going on up here [in the Capitol], where they are trying every avenue to go after Tom DeLay because they can't beat him" on the House floor or in congressional elections. Changing the rule is not a sign that lawmakers think DeLay will be indicted, Cantor said, but rather a public rebuke of an investigation they feel is wholly unwarranted.


Daily Kos :: There will be a recount of the presidential vote in Ohio!!

Dancing in the streets of Ohio!!!

Daily Kos :: There will be a recount of the presidential vote in Ohio!!

NOVEMBER 15, 2004
12:46 PM
CONTACT: Green Party of the United States
Blair Bobier, Media Director, 541-929-5755

Recount in Ohio A Sure Thing; Green Party Campaign Raises $150,000 in 4 Days, Shifts Gears to Phase II

WASHINGTON -- November 15 -- There will be a recount of the presidential vote in Ohio.

On Thursday, David Cobb, the Green Party's 2004 presidential candidate, announced his intention to seek a recount of the vote in Ohio. Since the required fee for a statewide recount is $113,600, the only question was whether that money could be raised in time to meet the filing deadline. That question has been answered.

Diaries :: pf99's diary ::

"Thanks to the thousands of people who have contributed to this effort, we can say with certainty that there will be a recount in Ohio," said Blair Bobier, Media Director for the Cobb-LaMarche campaign.

"The grassroots support for the recount has been astounding. The donations have come in fast and furiously, with the vast majority in the $10-$50 range, allowing us to meet our goal for the first phase of the recount effort in only four days," said Bobier.

Bobier said the campaign is still raising money for the next phase of the recount effort which will be recruiting, training and mobilizing volunteers to monitor the actual recount.

The Ohio presidential election was marred by numerous press and independent reports of mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines and the targeted disenfranchisement of African American voters. A number of citizens' groups and voting rights organizations are holding the second of two hearings today in Columbus, Ohio, to take testimony from voters, poll watchers and election experts about problems with the Ohio vote.

Surprising Florida Presidential Election Results

Look at the Percent Change columns.
Notice how the percents vary much more widely in the Op-Scan counties versus the Touchscreen counties.
Explanation, Sources, and Graphical Plots are Below the Chart
Voting Machine Type by County 2004
New! Response to New York Times 11/12 article
New! Cross-party voting in Florida seems to depend on the local voting technology

neoCON 'Warrior's' Creed: ..and on the 7th Day, there shall be no casualties

...With God driving in the New American Mesopotamia, everyday is the Sabbath.

The Independent

By Harvey McGavin 15 November 2004

US military officials were last night counting the cost of their week long assault on Fallujah in which they claim to have killed some 1,200 insurgents and some 44 servicemen lost their lives.

But in the city which was once home to 300,000 people there were few reports of the number of civilians killed.

Many are thought to have fled the fighting, but reports from the city say it is impossible to tell how many of the bodies that litter its rubble-strewn streets are those of ordinary citizens.

Last week a report collated by the UN said 20 doctors had died during a US air strike on a clinic and there have been numerous reports of the US dropping huge bombs.

The US Defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed last week that Iraqi civilians had been warned how to avoid injury. "Innocent civilians in that city have all the guidance they need as to how they can avoid getting into trouble. There aren't going to be large numbers of civilians killed and certainly not by US forces," he said.

In addition to the 38 Americans and six Iraqis killed in the assault, more than 200 US soldiers were injured. About 400 suspected insurgents have been arrested in Fallujah including "some" foreigners, interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said.

The Iraq Coalition Casualties website reported that, as of Saturday, 1,181 US troops had been killed in Iraq. One Iraq-based report estimates civilian casualties to be 37,000. A report in the British medical journal The Lancet put the figure as high as 100,000.

Prime minister Iyad Allawi said there had been no civilian casualties during the battle for Fallujah, contradicting accounts from residents inside the city.

Greens and Libs Need Help TODAY!


Your Help Needed for Ohio Recount!

David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the 2004 presidential candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties, have announced their intentions to file a formal demand for a recount of the presidential ballots cast in Ohio.
The Cobb and Badnarik campaigns are in the process of raising the required fee, estimated at $113,600, for a complete recount in all 11,306 precincts in Ohio. We also need to raise money for other expenses involved with this effort; for example, our candidates and staff and communications systems and travel expenses also need to be paid.
Considering the grassroots support we have received from over 1500 donors in the first 48 hours hours, we are confident that we will raise enough for the recount filing fee plus other related expenses over the course of the next week. Funds donated to the Ohio recount are not subject to the contribution cap. Please be sure to include the words 'Ohio Recount' in the Notes section of our donate form.
The integrity of the democratic process is at stake; thank you for your support.


The New Censorians

Right-wing moralists launch censor war

America’s freedom of speech is under attack. Mickey Mouse and Private Ryan had better watch out, says Ros Davidson in Los Angeles

WHAT do Tom Hanks, sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, U2’s Bono, Janet Jackson’s boobs and Mickey Mouse have in common? They’re all targets in an attack on American popular culture, which is accelerating following George Bush’s re-election.

E-mail complaints from angry right-wing viewers are flooding federal regulators this weekend following the unedited broadcast on Remembrance Day of the film Saving Private Ryan.

In fact, one third of the local TV stations affiliated with national network ABC, owned by Disney, refused to air the critically acclaimed second world war blockbuster because it contains swear words. The Oscar-winning film about D-Day, directed by Steven Spielberg, also includes graphic, realistic violence.

The 66 stations, from Boston to Detroit and Honolulu, said they feared sanctions from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for airing “profanity” during prime evening hours. That was despite the fact that ABC had promised to cover any fine by the commission, whose members are appointed by its president.

“ABC crossed the line by airing at least 20 ‘f’ words and 12 ‘s’ words during prime-time viewing hours!,” says the evangelical group American Family Association, which claims it has 2.3 million members and is one of the groups leading the revamped charge against “immorality”. “We believe ABC should have aired their salute to heroes without violating broadcast decency laws,” it said.

Each TV station could face a fine of £18,000 if found to have aired “indecent” material. Under long-standing guide lines, profanity is banned from 6am to 10pm on America’s publicly owned broadcast channels, but not on cable channels.

“It would clearly have been our preference to run the movie,” says Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications, which owns three of the stations. “We think it is a patriotic, artistic tribute to our fighting forces.”

Senator John McCain, a one-time POW in Vietnam, introduced Saving Private Ryan on Thursday. A maverick Republican and a former presidential candidate, he spent much of Thursday trying to stem the desertions. The film is nowhere near indecent, he says angrily.

Initially, only 20 stations were expected to opt out. The 1998 movie has been shown twice before on ABC, to come complaints from viewers but without TV stations baling.

Previously, regulators have permitted some programmes with swearing to be aired when the language is justified artistically by the context. According to an agreement between Spielberg and the television network ABC, the film could not be edited for artistic reasons.

Thursday’s widespread reaction worries cultural observers because of America’s constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and because ownership of TV and radio outlets has become dramatically consolidated in recent years.

“It’s self-censorship,” says BJ Bullert, a communications scholar at the University of Washington. “There’s a climate of intimidation, especially in response to the election. It’s a new kind of cold war, and it comes from the top, from George Bush and Karl Rove.”

The national mood is different now, and not just because of the election results. “Moral values” were cited by 22% of Americans as the top issue in the November 2 vote, according to pollsters.

In September, regulators fined CBS £299,000 for the live broadcast in January in which singer Janet Jackson’s breast was bared briefly during half-time at the Super Bowl . Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” prompted accusations of immorality from conservative activists, some viewers, members of Congress and commentators.

Rove, Bush’s top political adviser, says: “I think people are concerned about the coarseness of our culture, about what they see on TV and in movies.”

Former Richard Nixon speechwriter William Safire, a columnist with The New York Times, describes it as the “social political event of the past year”.

Conservative Christian groups, including the American Family Association, are also rallying against the new film Kinsey, released this weekend to critical acclaim, and starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.

The ideas in the film, directed by Oscar-winner Bill Condon who also made Gods And Monsters, promote pre-marital sex, which leads to abortion and Aids, claims the group Catholic Exchange.

Kinsey is a gripping and “brutally honest, uncompromising and non-judgemental” look at the controversial university researcher who revolutionised cultural attitudes towards sex in the 1940s and 1950s, said a CNN reviewer.

Robert Knight, of the curiously named Concerned Women for America, told Associated Press recently that Kinsey was akin to the notorious Nazi pseudo-scientist Dr Josef Mengele.

Knight backtracked on the comparison on Friday, but his reaction indicates the seriousness of America’s culture wars.

The American Family Association also calls for a general boycott of Disney, because the company has encouraged gays to visit its theme parks, and of food giant Procter & Gamble for hiring gays.

Two months after the Janet Jackson incident, which also involved singer Justin Timberlake, NBC ran up gainst the FCC. Rock star Bono, from the band U2, said “f***” during the live broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards.

Recalled less often, say critics of the culture wars, is the record fine of £652,000 for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network for the heterosexual reality programme, Married By America. At issue were prime-time scenes in which “party-goers lick whipped cream from strippers’ bodies” and two female strippers spanked a man on all fours wearing only his underwear, said the commission complaint.

The silence over Fox’s fine, from those who tout “moral values”, is hypocritical, says a column by Frank Rich in today’s New York Times. Fox News has become controversial for its right-wing commentary and popularity in “red” or pro-Bush America.

Another indication of the red culture scare is the action of one of the US’s newly elected politicians, Tom Coburn, a senator from Oklahoma, says Rich.

As a state-elected politician, he attacked NBC in 1997 for encouraging “irresponsible sexual behaviour” and for taking “network TV to an all-time low with full-frontal nudity, violence and profanity”. His anger was prompted by the prime-time airing of another Spielberg film, Schindler’s List, about the Holocaust.

...you will be left to just study what we create


OHIO Recount: Make It Happen; Florida NEXT?!

OHIO Recount: Make It Happen, Florida NEXT?!

Google Search 'vote recount'
News Now Headlines 'recount'
Technorati Blogs Search 'vote recount'
Donate to Greens Ohio Recount Effort
The Alliance For Democracy Recount Effort

Help America Recount! - WEDNESDAY NOV 10, Washington D.C. -- Consumer groups rallying citizens for recounts in Ohio, Florida; voters can fund audits of Ohio and court challenges in Florida by donating to HelpAmericaRecount.org, a 527 tax exempt organization set up exclusively for recount funding...

Listening to Air America Radio this evening, I thought I heard Bev Harris mention that BBV would be recounting Florida but wasn't sure. Apparently as per AAR's message board, it seems my hearing was correct!

Donate! Your Help Needed for Ohio Recount!

David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the 2004 presidential cndidates for the Green and Libertarian parties, have announced their intentions to file a formal demand for a recount of the presidential ballots cast in Ohio. The Cobb and Badnarik campaigns are in the process of raising the required fee, estimated at $110,000, for a complete recount in all 11,000 precincts in Ohio.

Funds donated to the.....catch the rest and related articles on the election at Counting Coup 2004

Before doing so, first consider that the last two years have executed a SlowMo coup upon this country.

If Americans were ever made fully cognizant of the amount of obstruction of 911/Iraq investigations by this Administration....if it had EVER been made clear that 'whitewash' was the goal of forcing five Dems and five Repubs to write a unanimous Final Report and blame noone....had we EVER known there are THREE MORE REPORTS on 911 and Iraq whose release is specifically delayed until after (re-)election...we might have realized Dibold CEO's promise to deliver Ohio to Bush was not empty, we'd have thrown them in jail rather than back to the Oval Office!

AIPAC Spy Case Update

AIPAC Spy Case Update

by Juan Colepublished by Informed Comment
AIPAC Spy Case Update
Knight Ridder's Warren Strobel, who reported a week ago that the FBI investigation of Lawrence Franklin was part of a much larger probe of the pro-Likud Neocon clique in Washington (he didn't put it exactly like that) is increasingly being vindicated as the papers of record pick up the story. The Washington Post reported that the leak of intelligence information to Ahmad Chalabi is part of the investigation. Chalabi somehow found out that the US had cracked Iranian communications codes, and passed the information on to Iran, profoundly damaging the ability of the US to monitor Iran's (largely peaced) nuclear program. The Washington Post also reveals that the investigation extends to David Wurmser, who wants to overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran, and now works for Dick "Kindly Grandpa" Cheney. The Post also reveals that Michigan Congressman John Conyers is very concerned that the investigation has been taken over by a Republican political appointee and may get buried as a result.
It turns out that Condi Rice and Stephen Hadley were informed of the investigation already in 2001, which raises real questions about what action AIPAC officials took to spark it in the first place (most of the details so far leaked concern issues that arose in 2002 and 2003). Stephen Hadley is very tight with the Neocons, and if he knew about the investigation, you wonder whether he could have kept it to himself. On the other hand, maybe the FBI deliberately told some people, to see if they then showed up in the electronic surveillance.
Jason Vest and Laura Rozen reveal that Vermont politician Stephen Green, who has written two books critical of the US-Israeli relationship that covered past spying cases involving AIPAC that were somehow dropped, was interviewed by the FBI, which was clearly looking into whether those investigations should have been dropped.
So far the press has not much looked into the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK or MKO) angle, which I think might be quite important to the whole case.
The politics of the investigation of AIPAC within the FBI would be fascinating to know more about. There have been suspicions that post-9/11, the FBI has been worried about being penetrated by the Israeli intelligence and military, because it now needs the expertise of Arabists, and one recruiting pool for Arabists is Sephardic Jews from, or who are close to, Israel.
As it is, pro-Israeli figures like the Phalangist-related Walid Phares have played a sinister behind-the-scenes role in trying to railroad Arab-Americans like the four defendants in the Detroit case, which has now had to be dropped because of overwhelming evidence of their innocence and of prosecutorial malfeasance. The FBI should investigate how Pharis, an undistinguished academic with links to far rightwing Lebanese groups and the Likud clique, became the "terrorism analyst" at MSNBC.
FBI director Robert Mueller, whose resume is extremely professional, may just think like a prosecutor and mind his country being made a patsy.



Ashcroft probably didn't vote electronically

Office of the Attorney General
Washington DC 20530
November 2, 2004

Dear Mr. President:

Nothing in my life compares to the high honor of serving America as Attorney General in your administration.

The cause of justice is indeed a serious calling. Americans have been spared the violence and savaging of terrorist attack on our soil since September 11, 2001.

During the last four years our violent crime rate has plunged to a 30-year low.

Under your “Project Safe Neighborhoods” the number of gun crimes has fallen to its lowest level in modern history. Drug use among America’s young people has fall and continues to fall significantly.

Corporate integrity has been restored with the work of your corporate Fraud Task Force. As a result United States Markets have reinforced their position as the trusted allocators of the world’s capital resources.

Thank you for your leadership which has made these and many other justice-related achievements possible.

The demands of justice are both rewarding and depleting. I take great personal satisfaction in the record which has been developed. The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved. The rule of law has been strengthened and upheld in the courts. Yet, I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served by new leadership and fresh inspiration. I believe that my energies and talents should be directed toward other challenging horizons.

Therefore, I humbly state my desire to resign from the office of United States Attorney General.
It would by my pleasure to structure the announcement of this resignation and the ensuing transition in conjunction with you so that your administration and the course of justice are served optimally.

I have handwritten this letter so its confidentiality can be maintained until the appropriate arrangements mentioned above can be made. I am grateful to you for the profound honor of serving under your clear, principled leadership.

May God continue to bless, guide, and direct you and your family as you lead American forward in freedom.

Most Sincerely,

John Ashcroft

Reconsidering the Electoral College & Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction

I've always been a rather staunch small-'c' conservative when it comes to the federal constitution. The fact that we now have a 27th amendment covering the weighty and statecraft-worthy issue of how congress can raise its salary strikes me as close to a secular sacrilege. But I'm starting to warm to the idea of abolishing the electoral college.

My problem with it isn't that it's undemocratic, at least not in the sense that the winner of the popular vote can lose the election. That's a very big problem, certainly; but I think it will continue to be a relatively rare occurrence. The problem is that it makes the votes of too many Americans into an irrelevancy or a mere exercise in symbolism.

Folks in DC experience this reality more than anyone. But if you're living in Texas or New York or California or Alabama, national elections are really just a spectator sport. It's all about a half dozen or so swing-states and recently it all comes down to Florida and Ohio. If you really want to get involved you travel to a swing state to knock on the doors of those privileged few whose votes actually matter.

That's a bad state of affairs for all sorts of reasons. So maybe it's time to change it.

I know arguments for the electoral college. And though I'm constitutionally averse to mucking around with the pillars and cross-beams of the state, they don't seem to amount to much in comparison to its shortcomings.

The antique rationale of giving added weight to the votes of Americans who live in tiny states seems wholly unjustifiable today -- especially since the ratio of population difference between the largest and the smallest states is vastly greater than it was when the system was created. Besides, isn't it enough that they're already so overrpresented in the Senate?

The best contemporary argument for maintaining the EC is that it forces a lot of retail politicking and compels candidates to mount campaigns that do justice to the country's state and regional particularism. Without the EC, there'd never be any reason to go to the smaller states or even get out and do any barnstorming at all. National elections could become a vaster version of elections in California (my home state) where campaigns are waged entirely by 30 second ad.

The small state argument is obviously defunct since most of the small states aren't swing states and no candidates ever go to them. Did you see the candidates a lot in Wyoming? Idaho? Were you at that big rally in Alaska? I didn't think so.

New Hampshire is the exception. But no one goes there because it's small. They go there because it's teetering on the edge of Blue-state-dom. And as it continues to trend Blue, as I believe it will, candidates won't show up there anymore either.

The other argument -- that it forces candidates to focus in on individual political communities like South Florida or Wisconsin or Western Pennsylvania -- doesn't really hold up either, I don't think. Why do they get all the attention? What about California and Chicago or Upstate New York? Why do they get cut out of the action?
Had this last election been a truly national election, both candidates would have spent a good deal of their time trying to churn up enthusiasm and turnout in their core regions, not just begging and pleading in regions where their support is marginal.

Why is it, for instance, that Bush supporters in Upstate New York or Southern Illinois can't make their voices heard? Or Kerry supporters in New Orleans or South Texas?

I'm not doctrinaire on this issue. In fact, I'd say I've only recently come to this position. So I'd be eager to hear what others think and perhaps I'll change my mind. I'm sure there would be various unimagined consequences to the change, for good or ill, that are difficult to foresee. So I'm putting this out less in the mode of advocacy than to generate a discussion.

But for the moment why should there not be a movement to place the electoral college on the ballot in states that allow referenda? This couldn't be done directly, of course. But in most states that allow initiatives and referenda there could at least be ballot measures instructing their state legislatures to go on the record endorsing the abolition of the electoral college.

It would have no direct effect. An amendment to the constitution must first be approved by two-thirds majorities in the both the House and the Senate before states can ratify the amendment and write it into the constitution. But it would put states on record, informally at least, as supporting the change. And doing so would inject the question into the national political debate.

-- Josh Marshall (November 09, 2004 -- 09:41 PM EDT // link // print)

inkwell.vue 229: Glenn Smith, _Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction_#72 of 82: David Kline (dkline) Tue 09 Nov 2004 (02:52 PM) Glenn Smith's book, "The Politics of Deceit," discusses modern campaign strategies and tactics, the use of media for ideological manipulation and psychological control, and the resulting threat to any possibility of freedom and democracy. If this election year and Tuesday's results left you feeling queasy, you'll want to join this discussion. Join the conversation with Glenn Smith from the beginning or catch up on the most recent posts.

Any constituency can be divided into a small hard core and a much broader middle-of-the-road majority. We can and should try to separate the majority of Americans legitimately concerned with declining family stability, for example, from the much smaller hard core who think women shouldn't work outside the home and that the Bible instructs men to take absolute charge of their households.

It's not a question of pandering to the right. It's a question of winning over the vast majority of people who are, in the end, quite capable of being separated from reactionary politics given the right conditions.

The right is correvt in saying there's a cultural war in this country. We've got to win it the same way we've got to win the war on terror -- by politically separating the "silent majority" (of conservatives in this case, or in the war on terror, of Muslims) from the die-hard extremists...discussion continues at the Well

Bits and pieces of a great Hullabaloo

Hullabaloo: ...So what else is new? We are dealing with an absolutist culture that demands total capitulation or nothing. Compromise will not work and it certainly will not work on these "values" issues. (Indeed, I think it's part of what makes us look weak to some other factions who might be willing to vote for us.) This is the same old shit over and over and over again. We backed off on the death penalty, gun control, welfare, affirmative action and here we are with a new slate of issues about gays. Tomorrow it will be creationism. Until we realize that their condition is that we FULLY EMBRACE their cultural dominance in both word and deed, they will not be satisfied.

It is not enough that they be left alone to do what they choose. We must join them and do it thoroughly and with fervor. No amount of tweaking will work. Their real beef is psychological and tribal. Issues are fungible.

...we prove our bona fides to the red states:

A suburban American school board found itself in court Monday after it tried to placate Christian fundamentalist parents by placing a sticker on its science textbooks saying evolution was "a theory, not a fact."

...In dozens of interviews since the election, grass-roots activists in Ohio, Michigan and Florida credited President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, with setting a clear goal that became a mantra among conservatives: To win, Bush had to draw 4 million more evangelicals to the polls than he did in 2000. But they also described a mobilization of evangelical Protestants and conservative Roman Catholics that took off under its own power.

This is interesting because it's exactly what the Democrats have been criticized for all these years --- being a coalition of single issue consituencies developing their own agendas, not working well with others and creating havoc on the ability to govern when the party is in power.

...Meanwhile, for the first time in memory, the Democrats put away their differences and worked together. And much to my surprise and delight, I'm not seeing the circular firing squad nearly as vicious as it usually is after a loss. Perhaps we can hang tough long enough for the Republicans to get a taste of governing with single issue constituencies for a while.

How Bush Almost Let It Slip Away :By Taegan Goddard on 2004 Campaign
Charles Krauthammer gets it exactly right:
"Bush wagered it all on Iraq and nearly lost his presidency. The 2004 election hinged on Iraq, in three political incarnations: Iraq, the war; Iraq, the first presidential debate; Iraq, the media magnet for countless bad news stories. Together they very nearly overthrew Bush.

"It certainly was not John Kerry doing the overthrowing. The only reason it was tight is that the Democrats picked a candidate singularly weak on Iraq... He could never articulate a consistent and coherent alternative policy. The entire Democratic Convention was an exercise in avoiding the issue. Kerry spent four days talking not about Iraq but about Vietnam. This glaring non sequitur gave Kerry the distinction of having a convention with no bounce."

Ashcroft Resigns -Atrios 5:57 PM in the Eschaton.
Sadly, it's not a moment for jubilation. They'll likely find someone who's actually much more competent about throwing away civil liberties and who is more popular.

Juan Cole: The Iraqi Islamic Party lead by Muhsin Abdul Hamid, has been among the few Sunni Muslim groups willing to cooperate (even if rather lukewarmly) with the Americans. It is now threatening to pull out of the Allawi caretaker government. The IIP had also been the main force urging Sunni Arabs to participate in the elections scheduled for January, and had been opposed in this stance by the Association of Muslim Scholars. That the Iraqi Islamic Party is now contemplating leaving the Allawi government raises the question of whether a mass Sunni Arab boycott of the elections is in the offing, thus fatally weakening the legitimacy of any new government.

Liberal hawk Pollack's threatening a storm in Iran via NYT: This IS why we re-elected Bush ISN'T IT?!
...So how do we come up with a coherent plan for Iran? A good place to start would be by analyzing the smart moves and the many mistakes America made over the last 14 years with another member of the so-called Axis of evil: Iraq. There are some obvious similarities between the goals and methods of these two countries, and Iran learned a great deal from Iraq's efforts to deceive the international community about its weapons programs. If we are to meet the challenge from Iran, there are four main lessons to be learned:

Beware the siren song of easy regime change. Throughout the 1990's, many Americans claimed that Saddam Hussein's regime was so hated by the Iraqi people that merely committing our foreign policy to regime change, arming a small band of insurgents and perhaps providing them with air support would be enough to topple the government. In the end, of course, it required a full-scale ground invasion to do so, and even the size of that effort has proved inadequate.

Similarly, there is good evidence that most Iranians want a different form of government, but there is little evidence that they are ready to take up arms against their rulers. Most Iranians simply don't want to go through another revolution. While Iranians on the whole are probably the most pro-American Muslims in the region, they are also fiercely nationalistic. Given our experience in Iraq, we should assume they would resist any effort by America to interfere in their domestic affairs.

A diplomatic solution is far preferable to a military one. Though the problems America faces in Iraq today would likely be argument enough against invading another Middle Eastern state, there's another reason to hold off on attacking Iran: we do not have a realistic military option there. Our troops are spread thin, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards could mount a far more potent military insurgency than the rebels in Iraq. Nor do strategic air strikes on nuclear targets seem like a viable alternative. One lesson Iran learned from Iraq was to widely disperse its nuclear facilities, duplicate them, hide them and harden them. Today we do not know enough about Iran's nuclear network to know if a widespread air campaign could even set it back significantly, while we doubtless would face retaliation from Iran in the form of terrorist attacks and an all-out clandestine war by Iranian agents in Iraq.

A multilateral approach can produce results where a unilateral course may fail. The key element in Saddam Hussein's decision to give up his nonconventional weapons programs - or at least put them on ice - was the willingness of the French, Russians and Chinese to agree, in the wake of the Persian Gulf war, to a system of inspections and economic penalties built around the idea that sanctions would remain as long as the inspectors kept finding elements of the regime's illegal weapons programs.

...Looking at the Iraq example, the bottom line for Iran is that we have to act now, while we still have some options left that might persuade the mullahs in Tehran to slow or halt their nuclear program. But we must get our allies on board immediately, and get firm commitments from them should Iran go back on its word in the future. The last thing we want to do three or five or ten years from now is to be bickering at the Security Council while Iran joins the nuclear club.


Votergate 2004: We Don't Need Paper to Prove Fraud, But We Do Need Money and Leadership, NOW.

Votergate 2004; We Don't Need Paper to Prove Fraud, But We Do Need Money and Leadership, NOW.

also see Counting Coup 2004


Since last Tuesday there has been a justifiable uproar about the major differences between the exit polls in Ohio and Florida and the actual results. Democrats and Republicans, who both saw the same exit polls that showed an electoral landslide in favor of Kerry, have confirmed this. Investigative reporter Bob Parry confirmed from his sources that the Bush campaign was convinced they were going to lose. George H. W. Bush also confirmed this in an interview with The Today Show. So why have the exit polls been so wrong in the last two elections? It is clear that there must have been manipulation in the voting machines.

While there's been a lot of talk of problems with not having paper trails, computer fraud is uncovered most of the time without paper trails.

As a former C.P.A and auditor, I have used statistical sampling throughout my career with great confidence. When you're doing an audit of a computerized operation and their books are only electronic, you can create

With electronic record keeping, it's easy to create a program to falsify the books. But there are ways to uncover that. Auditors have developed statistical ways to cut right through corruption in companies. You don't even need a paper trail. These statistical approaches can be used with almost 100% accuracy to uncover fraud.

With the votergate 2004 it's a numbers game just like it is with corporate accounting, even easier. All you're talking about is one number-- total votes for each candidate.

There's a huge difference between polling what WILL happen and polling something that has already happened. The reliability of polling something that has already happened is highly reliable vs. predictive polls, like Gallup or Zogby, which is very risky. The reliability can be, not plus or minus 4 percent as we see with predictive poplls, but rather a much more reliable plus or minus one half or one tenth of one percent with exit polls, because those are based on asking people who already voted. I would even say that if the exit polling were done in the key precincts of Florida and Ohio, which it was, then these results should be practically “bullet proof.”

It is important that people know how accurate random sampling of historical events can be in order for them to understand how unlikely it is that the exit polls were wrong. So if you want to fight the battle correctly, you must get more statisticians and forensic accountants involved as well as the lawyers. These statisticians can show with great credibility the probability of manipulation within the computer programs used for counting the ballots. They do this kind of work all the time to uncover fraud based upon computer manipulation in commercial and corporate activities. And these types of expert analyses are admissible in a court of law.

The problem with all of this is determining who is going to fund such an investigation. Where will the money come from?

Perhaps the Kerry/Edwards campaign fund has some surplus that can be used. It is possible that the DNC has some excess funds. How about the 527s and PACs who spent millions on ineffective political ads, coming up with a few million? In addition, who is going to lead the process of getting this done? This kind of an effort requires solidarity along with an organized coordinated effort. It's easy to come up with the forensic and technical people to get this done, but we need a strong leader and solidarity. Leadership and funding-- these are the two real challenges that must be dealt with in the coming days.

We have a Watergate story here that could give the media a post election explosive news story that could make the 2000 Florida vote debacle look like small potatoes. We need to get the media to see that votergate 2004 is huge news and we need to quickly fund the investigation and get Democratic leaders behind it.

Sheldon Drobny is CPA and Venture Capitalist and co-founder of Air America Radio; email at sdrobny@paradigmventure.com


Black Box Voting: Media is being hushed on election issues

Needed: Additional Hosts of VoterGate

Apparently many people don't care for the existence of easy access to the Black Box Voting film discussed on this page, VoterGate. Copies on BBV's site were destroyed while The Brad Blog's reviewer of the film had great difficulty seeing it at its supposed online locations. It'd seem that if other hosts can pick serve this film up, they'd be doing Americans a great service!

Note from Bev Harris on relative media silence regarding the 2004 Presidential Vote Fraud issues being exposed, link to BBV's Quicktime copy of VoterGate and, at bottom, Brad's review of the film.

Bottomline, it SCARED him!

Btw, The Brad Blog is doing a good job of tracking Vote fraud news, check out his site.

To: luaptifer@....com
From: Bevharrismail@....com Add to Address Book
Subject: Dissent faster harder and louder
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 2004 21:06:25 -0600

Media is being hushed on election issues. We need to head toward bloggers and online publications. Encourage everyone you know or can find to host http://www.votergate.tv/ and keep vote fraud issues alive. Don't let this die. Spread it in chats and forums and especially bloggers!



Our video files were attacked but we are back! RIGHT NOW the one file we have up is a Quicktime File you can download . Watch for WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER AND REAL PLAYER VERSIONS coming soon. If needed download the latest version of Quicktime.

What This Film Achieves

Votergate is the investigative documentary feature film uncovering the truth about new computer voting systems, which allow a few powerful corporations to record our votes in secret. But Votergate is not just a warning. The film strongly concludes that elections are harder to defraud when voters turn out in big numbers. Votergate will continue filming through the Nov. 2nd election and release a 90 minute feature film / DVD. This 30 minute Special Edition is designed specifically to help viewers navigate past the fear and spin being thrown at this critical issue.

A New Revolution For American Democracy

This is a unique non-partisan issue that can wake up and unite The People, whether they're Democrats of Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, or Independents -- who believe Democracy means that every vote counts.

The Brad Blog Review of Votergate

VOTERGATE: Rise of the Machines

Go Watch This Film! NOW!

For many of us, it took the destruction of the World Trade Towers and the deaths of 3,000 Americans before we paid any attention at all to the warning signs we'd been receiving about Terrorism.

And now, I feel the same way in regards to the warnings I'd been hearing about Electronic Voting machines and the Deibold company, etc. prior to the 11/2 Election.

I, frankly, was an idiot for not paying close enough attention to Bev Harris and the warnings she had been issuing about about Black Box Voting for the past year or more.

Guess what? I'm paying attention now.

I just finished watching the 30-minute "Presidential Election" version of VOTERGATE, a full-length documentary film being prepared for release on DVD, and the lump I'm now feeling now in the pit of my stomach is...to say the least...unsettling.

Unforutnately, the 30-minute version of VOTERGATE, previously available at VoterGate.tv was hacked a few days ago, according to their site, and their available versions were destroyed from the server. They claim to be attempting to repair the
server, and upload replacements soon.

I don't doubt their claims, as this Blog also came under attack a couple of weeks ago while we were reporting on the White House Website Scrubbing scandal. And, frankly, that issue was nothing compared to what we may be looking at now.

In the meantime, I was able to watch a version here, but after I'd finished, and hoped to go back and get some screenshots for this article, I'd found that version also unavailable. I don't know if it's been hacked, or is just exceedingly busy at
this point. If I find alternate versions for you to look at, I will update this item. (UPDATE: Found another version right here that seems to still be available! Go watch it! NOW!)

I CAN'T RECOMMEND THIS FILM ENOUGH at this point! It's absolutely horrifying.

In this special edition of the film, we follow Bev Harris as she demonstrates how -- in about 90 seconds -- she was able to change the results of an election on the central vote tabulating computer. It was something that anybody reading this could have done as easily.

We also see Mark Radke, the Marketing Director from Deibold Inc. (one of two private companies that count 80% of the nation's votes) explain how sorry they were that their CEO, Wallace O'Dell, sent out a Fundraising Letter to Republicans in August of 2003, telling them he was "committed to delivering the electoral vote in Ohio to George W. Bush next year".

That was the same month that O'Dell also met Bush, along with a bunch of benefactors, down at the ranch in Crawford! (Click here for some more on Diebold's $411,320 Republican political contributions.)

The Marketing Director, Radke, also assures us in the film that Diebold machines are "safe and reliable". Not long before Bev Harris demonstrates otherwise. Big time.

Among the documented evidence in this version of the film, is a candidate in an election (I believe it was in Georgia) who brought a video camera to the warehouse where the machines were stored after her 2002 election. She documents repeatedly how selecting her name on the touch-screen voting machine continually counted the vote as a vote for her opponent!. The proof is documented and shown on camera.

Furthermore, she interviews a San Diego poll worker who was asked to take home a dozen or so E-Voting Machines the night before the primary election. She was simply a volunteer and was required to pass no security checks to have access to these machines in her house all night long. The only security: An adhesive seal (a sticker actually) on each machine with a black and white graphic that was easily removed and restored without even tearing the seal.

As far as I'm concerned, 11/2 is becoming the 9/11 for democracy in this country, folks. And while I made the mistake of not paying close enough attention before, I will not be repeating that profoundly naïve error.

I'll update this item if I find additional versions of the film for you to watch...Developing...HARD...


Convincing Evidence of 2004 Electoral Irregularity or Malfeasance?

Hard Evidence for Electoral or Vote Fraud and Irregularities Should be Consolidated for Easy Review


11/07/04 2:20 PM EST: added web, news, and blog search links, other resources.


There are many efforts to understand if the 2004 Presidental Election was marred by irregularity or malfeasance. Few mainstream media conduits have acted according to their license from the American public to assess these matters to this date.

The online community, on the other hand, has been prolific in attempting to do so but I've not recognized a single source that might compile these results and generate a conclusive record saying 'yes' we've found reason to push harder or 'no' what's been shown is unconvincing of irregularity or malfeasance.

Time is critical and though I've not had the time to do 'nuts-and-bolts' work, I recognized the need to concert the ongoing efforts. This is my attempt to help, to get folks to consolidate their results in summary form within the communities they frequent. With consolidation of convincing evidence, 'big guns' can be brought to bear upon the question of how to act on that evidence.

Within three separate forums, so far, I've made notice of this effort and established threads wherein I hope to have summary evidence consolidated for review and assessment by the 'big guns'. If you have convincing evidence, would you please summarize it and post it in comments to this article, or in one of the venues linked below. I hope to have it reviewed and the case -- assuming it's clear -- presented to a national organization that can better concert the efforts of our online small 'd' democrats or carry the banner themselves.

Thanks, please gather your evidence, spread the word, and let's hope that we've ammo for big guns to fire in the battle to regain our country!

First, in order to make it easy for analysts to understand whether there is a case (from what I've seen, I think there is!) ideally you can summarize your work so that people making the assessment are able to be convinced as easily as possible in one look. I suggested one form that case might be made and post it below links to the forums. If you've comments or suggestions, please also post those here.

Thanks for your attention and efforts.

Forums for Evidence Consolidation, Existing Collections:

Note: Black Box Voting.org (also, see below) took the 'electronic voting security' issue from the conspiracy theory zone to documenting it's real-world manifestation over the last couple of years. I hope soon to be able to link to a forum under their system where independent analysis can be compiled without interfering with their intense and ongoing efforts. Until such a forum exists there, I'll simply point you to their conference system: Black Box Voting.org Cleanup Crew

I believe that all three of these require registration to allow posting but you should be able to read posts made by myself and others. Alternatively, you can post to comments here without registration.

Comments section of my diary at the Daily Kos:
My Diary Evidence

Democratic Underground:
DU Evidence

Members of the Former Kerry forum have migrated to independence at Common Ground Common Sense:
New CGCS Evidence

Break on Through comments:
Convincing Evidence of 2004 Electoral Irregularity or Malfeasance?

Liberty Forum Crime and Corruption Thread:
Did George W. Bush Steal the 2004 Presidential Election?

What Really Happened:
Vote Fraud Articles

Originally posted @ CGCS forum:

1. For each line of analysis folks have going here, can one person from each analytic thread put together a single post for that thread of analysis. And I am asking this for cases where the analysts on that thread think they actually DO have convincing evidence a large organization would be willing to put resources for exploration.

2. If you guys DO think this evidence exists, could we reserve a single discussion thread in which to post only these summaries so that it doesn't get junked up with lots of commentary irrelevant to a $300/hour lawyer, for example. Perhaps this "SPECIAL REQUEST" thread could serve that purpose. If you would, please post commentary, discussion, suggestions, etc., to the

****SPECIAL REQUEST: Commentary and Discussion

3. If such evidence does exist, could the person reporting make it a succinct message, perhaps something such as follows here?:

Ex. "XYZ County in Ohio: more votes than registered voters"Data taken from (please include linked source, if possible, but not simply a dump of the document into the same post) XYZ County was compared, for the sum total of registered voters in XYZ County vs. the cumulative sums of votes for Bush, Kerry, etc. The sum of votes for individual candidates exceeded the total number of registered voters for the county."


Donate. PayPal, credit card, Wish List, address are at this link. Our mailing address is Black Box Voting, PO Box 25552, Seattle WA 98165.

If you have signed up to volunteer for Help America Audit you will receive instructions by tomorrow morning. E-mail crew@blackboxvoting.org

Media calls: 206-335-7747

If you are concerned about what happened Tuesday, Nov. 2, you have found a home with our organization. Help America Audit.

BREAKING -- SUNDAY Nov. 7 2004: Freedom of Information requests at http://www.blackboxvoting.org have unearthed two Ciber certification reports indicating that security and tamperability was NOT TESTED and that several state elections directors, a secretary of state, and computer consultant Dr. Britain Williams signed off on the report anyway, certifying it.

Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems. What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud. We are working now to compile the proof, based not on soft evidence -- red flags, exit polls -- but core documents obtained by Black Box Voting in the most massive Freedom of Information action in history.

Voting without auditing. (Are we insane?)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON Nov 3 2004 -- Did the voting machines trump exit polls? There’s a way to find out.
Black Box Voting (.ORG) is conducting the largest Freedom of Information action in history. At 8:30 p.m. Election Night, Black Box Voting blanketed the U.S. with the first in a series of public records requests, to obtain internal computer logs and other documents from 3,000 individual counties and townships. Networks called the election before anyone bothered to perform even the most rudimentary audit.

America: We have permission to say No to unaudited voting. It is our right.... (continued @ Freedom of Information requests )

Important Recent Articles:
Thom Hartman, writes in "Exit Polls Right, Tallies Wrong?"

Greg Palast Kerry Won. . .

Vote Fraud 2004 Round Up (LibertyForum) Vote Fraud 2004 Round Up

the personal gravity of electoral fraud: Kills self at Ground Zero...suicide was a political protest against President Bush's reelection...

Outrage in Ohio:Angry residents storm State House in response 2 massive voter suppression & corrupt Friday 5th November

2004 Vote Fraud Links:

Incident Reporting: Black Box Voting , Verified Voting , VotersUnite!

Clickable National-Mapped Election Incident Reporting: @VoteProtect!!!

DU: Report Voting Problems

eRiposte: Election 2004 Results

Well-organized Reference Collection: Vote Watch 2004

dkosopedia's Voter Registration Fraud Clearinghouse

Daily Kos diaries of fraud, etc: Coming Soon. but see

Have Hard Vote Fraud Evidence!? - RESPOND HERE PLZ

Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked

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