Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Wake Up; Face The Facts; Decide If You Really Want To Take Back America or Just Complain About Losing It!
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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wake Up; Face The Facts; Decide If You Really Want To Take Back America or Just Complain About Losing It!











THOMAS JEFFERSON SAID: “EVERY GENERATION NEEDS A NEW REVOLUTION.” WE ARE LONG OVERDUE.

An asylum for the sane would be empty in America. --George Bernard Shaw

BROKEN LIKE WILD STALLIONS“We are puppets, one and all, our attached strings easily maneuvered, our brainwashed minds easily controlled. Too many years of accumulated televised propaganda, too many years of control and manipulation by our schools and corporate media have made us immune to the spirit of rage and the power of the People present in other regions of the world but sorely extinct here.

We have been inoculated with acquiescence and passivity, becoming humans living in a vegetative state incapable of rising up, conditioned to believe in the greatness of government and its lawmakers, trained well to obey laws and rules even when they favor those in power and when they fail to seek justice and equality, even as corporations and the government rape and pillage our ways of life, even as the future of our children is put in grave danger more and more each day we fail to act.

The System has worked its magic, and comatose drones living mechanical lives have we been bred to become, from the cradle to the grave, swimming in a cocktail of complacency, indifference, passivity and conformism.

The evidence of this is enveloping, it is all around us. Our failure to rise up as one giant energy, millions strong, seeking accountability and justice, searching for a government no longer serving the needs of the People, demanding the end to corporate rule, forcing change in policy and direction and putting an end to the criminal nature of our politicians is proof that our human spirit has been extinguished, our will to fight extinct.

Today, in spite of massive, overwhelming and accumulating evidence of election fraud, in spite of being lied and led into illegal war and criminal mass murder, in spite of the miserable failure of our leaders, in spite of the likely road to totalitarianism we seem headed towards and in spite of the profound danger Bush has and continues to place us in we continue to live life not caring, not knowing and not interested.

We have been tamed, like a wild stallion, broken, saddled and corralled, robbed of the freedom to roam America’s plains, now faithful and obedient to our wicked masters, unwilling to take action, unwilling to resist and revolt, much like the Declaration of Independence asks us to do in times of tyranny, instead complacent in life, entertained by bread and circus, uncaring for our future, ignorant to our present, blind to the destruction of America being perpetrated by those in power. We are like zoo animals, encaged, depressed, controlled, conditioned, defeated.

The flame inside us has disappeared, replaced by a cold and dark void, even as we witness firsthand the arrival of fascism and the death of democracy, even as we are witness to the end of freedom and rights and the extinction of the land once known as America. “

I think the members of the Virginian Group, of which I am a member, are in agreement that we have an Executive Branch of our government that has risen to the level of an Imperial Presidency; that the Legislative Branch has been rendered impotent to the point where it is effectively meaningless; that the Supreme Court can render no decision that the President must obey.

The Constitution has been swept aside as obsolete and has no relevance in the conduct of our government. There is no law that Executive Branch will either honor or obey if it is an impediment to its agenda.

We are faced with the most serious perversion of government in this nation’s history; a government prepared to do whatever it wills confident that there is no one, no law, no instrumentality of the American System that can stop them. They will do whatever they please until some one stops them.

We are in agreement that the very mechanisms of redress, correction and restoration inherent of The Constitution, and extant in our minds, products of our education, life experiences and expectations as Americans are no longer available to “We The People”; our system of government is a pretense serving only those people and powers that benefit from its existence and its ability to dole out power, privilege and our IRS Tribute.

We who find our government to have failed ask just what are Americans willing to do take back control of government; what are we willing to do ensure a future of liberty and freedom in this land?

In a most unusual move on this blog; I am going to introduce you to a Conservative voice you be unaware of, and present his view, in full and uninterrupted as regards the topic:

AMERICA: THE DEATH OF AMERICAN EMPIRE

FROM TAKI’S TOP DRAWER: About Taki

On February 5, 2007, journalist and socialite Taki Theodoracopulos launched Taki’s Top Drawer, (www.takimag.com), a conservative online magazine. Taki writes a column, the “High Life,” which has appeared in London’s The Spectator for the past twenty-five years.

He writes also for National Review, the Sunday Times (London), Esquire, Vanity Fair, and Quest, among others. In 2002, Taki founded The American Conservative magazine with Pat Buchanan and Scott McConnell. Taki is a descendant of a titled family from the Ionian island of Zante.

His father was a self-made shipping magnate who served in both the Greek armed forces during the World War II Balkan campaign of 1940-1941 and the anti-German resistance movement. Taki was educated at the Lawrenceville School and the University of Virginia, and is married to Princess Alexandra Schoenburg.

Why start this new online magazine? According to the just-turned-70 writer—who’s fit as a fiddle, and active in competitive martial arts—“I want to shake up the stodgy world of so-called ‘conservative’ opinion.

For the past ten years at least, the conservative movement has been dominated by a bunch of pudgy, pasty-faced kids in bow-ties and blue blazers who spent their youths playing Risk in gothic dormitories, while sipping port and smoking their father’s stolen cigars.

Thanks to the tragedy of September 11—and a compliant and dim-witted president—these kids got the chance to play Risk with real soldiers, with American soldiers. Patriotic men and women are dying over in Iraq for a war that was never in America’s interests.

And now these spitball gunners, these chicken hawks, want to attack Iran—which is no threat to the U.S. at all. One thing I can tell you for sure, there may well be some atheists in foxholes—but you’ll never find a neocon.

They prefer to send blue-collar kids out to die on their behalf, so they get to feel macho—and make up for all the times they got wedgies in prep school. It shall be our considered task to take on the chicken-hawks of this world, and give them wedgies again.”

Writers for this site will include conservative and libertarian luminaries like Paul Gottfried, R.J. Stove, Justin Raimondo, Steven Sailer, John Zmirak, Scott Richert and many others.

“We want to reflect a traditional conservatism that prefers peace with honor to proxy wars, Western civilization to multicultural barbarism, Christendom to the European Union, and Russell Kirk to Leon Trotsky.

This will undoubtedly infuriate many in the mainstream ‘conservative’ movement, who have transferred their loyalties elsewhere.

It’s time to raise their blood pressure a few points—and help them burn off some of those five-course meals they’ve been eating down on K Street,” Taki said.

The Death Of American Empire Posted by Patrick Foy on June 12, 2007

Step back and look at the big picture. The farther you step back, the bigger the picture gets. Step back too far, and the world becomes a reduction ad absurdum, resulting in a kind of Buddhism.

My departed friend Charles Bukowski wrote in one of his many poems, “We cannot acquire too much...there are laws we know nothing of.”

What prompts this avenue of thought is a gloomy editorial not too long ago in Capitol Hill Blue by its founder, Doug Thompson, out of Washington, D.C. Every once in a while, like some of us, Thompson seems to nosedive into a depression.

The title of his article ( March 9th, 2007) indicates as much: “Turn off the life support: America is dead”. Here’s a sample:

Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to pull the plug on this failed democratic republic called The United States of America. Turn off the life support. Disconnect the IVs. The US of A is brain dead with no chance for revival....

It doesn’t matter who controls Congress. Congress is a dead institution, ruled by timid legislators who no longer exercise any real role in the governing of this nation. It doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court may or may not do. The President of the United States has declared himself a “war time President” and granted himself dictatorial rights that no one in Congress or the Court appears able to successfully challenge him....

We need to rethink this experiment called America. Maybe we need to start with a clean sheet of paper.... Maybe it’s time for a new American Revolution. After all, the last one started because another guy named George tried to destroy our way of life.

All of this may be accurate, but it is too idealistic. [In fact, in the interim, Thompson has toned down the article, removing some of what has just been quoted.] We do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world of the possible, the tolerable, and/or the just barely manageable. We cannot go back to the dream of the Founding Fathers of the American Republic or to its original Constitution. To attempt to halt the present day free-for-all in America and begin anew would likely make matters worse, opening the door to greater demagoguery and perhaps complete chaos.

The truth is, the U.S. Constitution no longer exists. It is long gone, and nobody is particularly concerned. That optimistic framework of self-governance and independence was rendered irrelevant by the Civil War (a.k.a. The War of Northern Aggression) which lasted from 1861 to 1865. The legitimate issue of slavery aside, when half the country invades, pillages, ransacks and subjugates the other half, that event can in no way be indicative of the rule of law, and was certainly not authorized by the Constitution.

The Civil War marked the end of the American Republic of 1789.

We live in the aftermath, a postscript; we are making it up as we go along. Many wonderful and fantastic achievements have occurred during this aftermath--in the realm of inventions, science, entertainment, industry, space exploration, the arts, business, etcetera--for which Americans can justly be proud.

But many terrible things have happened as well, mostly in the governmental sector, for which Washington must take the blame, along with the citizenry who tolerated or ignored what Washington was doing.

On the foreign policy horizon, let’s keep everything in perspective and on the table. G.W. Bush, who is a modern day, real-life Charlie McCarthy, and his mentor, Richard Cheney, who corresponds to Edgar Bergen, are only symptoms of a larger problem, a mystery bigger than the aberration misnamed “neoconservatism”. Bush and Cheney are the end-products of an historical development a century in the making.

America’s current predicament on the world’s stage can be accurately diagnosed, but not so easily reversed. May I suggest that it is the result of two overly ambitious concepts in the realm of foreign affairs, which concepts have evolved over many decades, commencing around the start of the 20th Century, at the time of the Spanish-American war of 1898.

First, there was the brainstorm borrowed from the British Empire experience, innocently conceived by President William McKinley and by his idealistic Secretary of State, John Hay, that to get America directly involved in overseeing the internal affairs of other nations was a brilliant, beneficent idea for all parties concerned. Hay and McKinley did not recognized it as inherently dishonest, at odds with the tradition of a republic born in revolt against an empire.

They did not comprehend that it was meddling and officious. Soon their idea was taken for granted in the hallways of the White House, starting with Teddy Roosevelt.

By the time of Woodrow Wilson and that of his mysterious éminence grise, “Colonel” Edward House, American triumphalism was firmly entrenched. It was an article of faith that led to wars. Some were small, like the guerilla insurrection which broke out in the Philippines after the Spanish-American war. Others were titanic, like the Second World War and its precursor, the Great War of 1914-18.

Second, the entire body politic of America--not just “the elites” in Washington, but “the man in the street”--came to believe that the United States had somehow acquired the right, indeed the duty, to intervene in matters that were legitimately none of America’s business.

It was a presumption which amounted to hubris across the board. There is no such right, duty or obligation. Ezra Pound stated in 1927: “The principle of good is enunciated by Confucius; it consists in establishing order within oneself. This order or harmony spreads by a sort of contagion without specific effort. The principle of evil consists in messing into other peoples’ affairs.” Pound was correct, and so was Confucius. But hubris is still with us, big time. Indeed, it remains the sine qua non of American foreign policy.

No matter how unwise, deluded and suborned the politicians in Washington might be, no matter how powerful its various war lobbies and special interest groups might become, America could not have arrived at the point of being where it is today--an overextended and perhaps near bankrupt empire--unless the above two premises were in place and in play.

On February 15th, 2007 an important article appeared in The New York Review of Books by foreign policy scholar William Pfaff. It was entitled “America’s Manifest Destiny” and explicates some of the above ideas in great detail. Pfaff argues for a more reasonable and a less grandiose approach to American foreign policy; he argues against the interventionist and triumphalist mode which has proven to be so counter-productive, if not actually self-destructive. Such heresy has routinely been denounced as “isolationism” for the past 70+ years, but it is nothing more than common sense.

The most thought-provoking sentence in Pfaff’s long article could be his rhetorical question: “What is the threat that America keeps at bay?” The short answer is that most of the presumed threats are illusory. More to the point, they were created by Washington to advance a private agenda, often quite brazenly. This is becoming clear as mud today, but it has been the case since 1917. The train wreck in the Middle East, which accelerated out of control after 9/11, should force at least some literate Americans to reevaluate their history and ask themselves the simple question, “How did we get here?” How, indeed?

For starters, take the Cold War. It was a response to the actual threat posed by the Soviet Union, its surrogates and satellites. But the Soviet Union as a “Superpower” entity was itself the creation of American interventionism. The cause of Soviet communism was hugely advanced when Washington, in the person of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, intervened in the internal affairs of Europe in the late 1930’s. This meddling by Washington culminated in a fratricidal war on the continent of Europe, which ended with Stalin and the Red Army in full control of half of it.

Please note that the Second World War began as a European war in September 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland, the upshot from a long-standing, unresolved border dispute between Germany and Poland. This dispute was due to the bizarre circumstance of the German port city of Danzig on the Baltic Sea having been detached from Germany by the Versailles “peace” treaty of 1919. Danzig was left surrounded by Polish territory of the newly-resurrected Polish state.

The new Polish republic was itself a creation of English, French, and American diplomats at Versailles. Without a doubt, the disagreement with respect to the northeastern border of Germany could have been resolved peacefully by the two parties concerned through negotiations, had it not been for the outside interference of London and Washington.

That interference directly led to the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of August 1939, signed in Moscow, in which Germany and Russia sought to regain territory they both had lost to the Poles in the Great War. The conflict continued on Polish territory, which served as a battle ground in a gruesome struggle between Germany and Russia, and resulted in the German military occupation of all of Poland. It ended in 1945 with the outright annexation of eastern Poland by the Soviet Union, and with the submergence of the rest of Poland behind the Iron Curtain for more than forty years.

To a remarkable degree, still unappreciated to this day, the war in Europe which commenced in 1939 was promoted behind the scenes by the Roosevelt Administration, using London as its cat’s-paw. The first and perhaps greatest victim was Poland. The sequence of events is as follows. At Washington’s instigation, London and Paris declared war against Germany, but not Russia.

Then, after declaring war, London and Paris did absolutely nothing to assist Poland as she found herself invaded on two sides--from the west by Germany and from the east by Russia. These realities set in motion a chain reaction that the White House realized it could not control from the sidelines. It obliged Roosevelt, a few years later, to railroad an “isolationist” America into the war in Europe, using the ruse of the “surprise” Japanese attack in December, 1941 on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Roosevelt’s treachery at Pearl Harbor was followed by his military crusade on the European continent, which resulted in, among other things, the carpet bombing of Germany into rubble, the immiserization of Italy and, in general, the wholesale wrecking of Europe as an independent entity. Then came the crowning achievement, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, authorized by Harry Truman, which events killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in a flash, a war crime for the ages.

True, Roosevelt’s intervention in Europe and Asia did, as intended, provide a winning formula to terminate the Great Depression and to divert attention away from the failure of Roosevelt’s domestic agenda. However, in the aftermath it left all of Europe starving, in ruins, and occupied by extra-territorial forces. Moreover, England was broke and reduced to a nullity, the once great British Empire was kaput, the Empire of Japan was smashed, the Red Chinese were in power, the Korean communists in the ascendency, and Stalin had conquered half of Europe, with his agents actively subverting the other half.

Such were some of the more obvious benefits of Washington’s triumphalism up to that time for the people on the ground and on the receiving-end.

Bear in mind, as well, that the Second World War was preordained by the defeat of the Central Powers in the Great War of 1914-18. The collapse of Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1918 was the direct result of Washington, in the person of Woodrow Wilson, arriving at the eleventh hour to rescue the leaders of the British Empire who had miscalculated and gotten in over their heads, and who had already lost their war against the Kaiser on the Western Front in France.

John Bull had finally met his match. The Great War and the vindictive Versailles peace treaty of 1919 not only made the Second World War inevitable, but also created the Soviet Union and launched the career of Adolf Hitler.

Twenty years later, the secret diplomacy of another U.S. President, FDR, would propel Moscow into the very heart of Europe and lay the groundwork for the Cold War.

This latter enterprise was a belated attempt by Washington to prevent Moscow and the Red Army from ingesting the rest of Europe. It succeeded when the Soviet Union and the fraud known as “communism” finally imploded in 1989 due to the weight of internal contradictions, thereby leaving Washington on stage as the world’s “lone surviving Superpower.”

In brief, the bloodstained track record of U.S. foreign policy since 1898 has been an amazing saga of buttinskyism degenerating into bullying on a grand scale, all masquerading as altruism. The record has been remarkably consistent. [Perhaps the only notable exception was when the U.S. Senate, led by Harvard historian Henry Cabot Lodge, defied Wilson and refused to ratify the Versailles treaty and declined U.S. membership in the League of Nations.]

Like the present impossible fiasco in Iraq, presided over by Cheney and Bush, both world wars of the 20th Century were “of choice”, entered into by determined hypocrites and prevaricators operating out of the White House. Sad to say, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is not unique or unprecedented.

It is part of a pattern. Except for Soviet ICBM’s during Cold War, America was not a target and has not been in actual danger from any of the countries which Washington has chosen to invade, overrun, or bomb to smithereens. Prior to September 11th, 2001, continental America had not come under attack since British redcoats occupied Washington in 1814, and burned its public buildings to the ground.

The average American, on whose behalf (presumably) and in whose name all this aggressive adventurism was undertaken, has been bamboozled and utilized as cannon fodder by the powers-that-be. Today, a moderate form of mass hysteria reigns.

We have been advised or propagandized that America must now confront an Islamic terrorist threat, and we should be prepared to engage in a protracted “clash of civilizations” otherwise known as the “fight against terrorism”.

This conflict with Islam magically appeared on the radar screen very soon after the collapse of Communism, which brought the curtain down on the Cold War. Gore Vidal’s wry, off-the-cuff comment--”It’s not a conspiracy; it’s a coincidence”--is most appropriate, if not spot on.

The new threat has been wildly exaggerated and, to a certain extent, fabricated. The jihadist danger was entirely avoidable, including the atrocities of 9/11. That is what makes it all so maddening. Indeed, whatever threat does exist was brought into being by Washington’s own counter-productive activities. To cite the most obvious example, in our post 9/11 world, al-Qaeda and terrorism in Iraq did not exist until Cheney and Bush invaded and occupied Iraq.

Do you recall the Christian foreign minister of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, explaining in the run-up to “Operation Iraqi Freedom” that Baghdad did not even have diplomatic relations with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which was sheltering Osama bin Laden?

But now, with a straight face, Bush proclaims that the terrorism, which his own invasion of Iraq created, must be defeated at any price, no matter how long it takes—or America will be placed in mortal danger.

This is insufferable, ridiculous and embarrassing. By far, the actual danger to America and Europe is from “blowback”—the unforeseen, unintended but inevitable consequences of bizarre foreign policy initiatives executed by Washington’s crackbrained politicians of both parties. Due to laziness and misinformation, such policies have remained unknown to the vast majority of the American people, who at this point are understandably bewildered and confused. Is it any wonder?

Have you thought about what motivated the Arab terrorists who attacked New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11th, 2001?

It must have been something. It may well have been, as Middle East expert Robert Fisk pointed out the following day, a set of circumstances impacting the Middle East which profoundly affected and disturbed them, and which ultimately drove them insane.

We were informed by the White House in the immediate aftermath of the attacks that it had something to do with the terrorists’ hatred of our freedom and democracy.

But that glib explanation was designed to divert attention away from the true significance of what had happened. It showed no appreciation for the destructive forces unleashed thanks to decades of U.S. foreign policy arrogance, neglect and malfeasance in the Middle East.

There is a common thread woven through the Great War, the Second World War, and now the multiple battlegrounds in the Middle East. The European bloodbath of the Great War, known as World War I, ended with the defeat of the Central Powers. This unlikely outcome destroyed the Ottoman Empire and gifted the world with Communism for Russia, Zionism for Palestine, and a land grab by the British Empire throughout the Middle East and beyond. How is that for a dose of freedom and democracy?

The entry of Woodrow Wilson, late into the conflict on the side of England in 1917, was an impressive accomplishment. It marked a decisive turning point, for which the honorable gentlemen in Whitehall—Lloyd George, Sir Arthur Balfour and Winston Churchill—felt compelled to reward, as a quid pro quo, a kind of gratuity, Palestine to the Zionists, notwithstanding that this transfer would represent a blatant betrayal of the Arabs who had fought alongside the British and against the Turks, and notwithstanding that it violated the most basic human and political rights of the indigenes, the people already there, to wit, the Palestinians, both Muslims and Christians, in the Holy Land.

Albion perfidy; I am referring here to the long forgotten Balfour Declaration, the final draft of which was composed in Washington during the summer of 1917, before being passed back to London for a signature by British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour in November of that year. This cryptic document consisting of three short paragraphs, and its subsequent implementation by London starting in 1920 under the leadership of Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill, provided the legal framework for a massive confidence trick on the back porch of Europe, which continues to this day. It is the root of our present difficulties.

The rest, to coin a phrase, is history. There is an unbroken connection between the Great War, America’s unnecessary participation in it, and everything which has transpired since then all over the Middle East. It is a continuum. In Iraq, Lebanon and in Palestine, we are witnessing today the third chapter, in effect, of the European war begun in 1914—a war which destroyed Old Europe and which may, in the end, destroy America.

International power politics at a critical juncture in the annals of the British Empire have combined with an incendiary U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, based on American domestic politics, to turn the world upside down.

We live in that world. America was sidetracked in 1898, and soon thereafter hijacked by its own unscrupulous, vainglorious politicians, just like England before it. At present, the capitol city of the new empire is carrying out a policy of disruption, war and manipulation in the Middle East to advance the same hidden agenda, just as London did after the Great War.

This is the central reality of our time, a reality which is increasingly difficult to deny or ignore, because it has become so apparent and brazen.

One fact should also be clear: this project did not start the day before yesterday with Dick Cheney, G.W. Bush and with their accomplices, those agents provocateurs known as “the neocons”.

These latter have only perfected a pre-existing scheme and taken it to a new level, employing the diversionary cover story they invented, to wit, “the clash of civilizations.” From one empire to the next. We cannot go back to the dream.

Patrick Foy is author of The Unauthorized World Situation Report.

An excellent piece; after reading it I ask myself, is there any hope for our republic to be awakened from this nightmare? Unfortunately Americans do not give a flipping damn in the majority.
Posted by samuel burke on Jun 12, 2007.

"The truth is, the U.S. Constitution no longer exists. It is long gone, and nobody is particularly concerned.”

If that is a factually accurate statement, then the only legal stance to take is that the original governing structure of these United States springs back into legality. The Articles of Confederation, established in 1781, was shoved aside in 1789 when a sufficient number of states ratified the new Constitution. Ten different presidents served under the Articles of Confederation.

Far from being a badly designed scheme of government, the Articles served as the structure to give order and coherence to the Revolutionary War even before ratification of sufficient states to bring the articles into legal existence in 1781. Its crowning glories were the defeat of monarchical governance in the person of George III and the enactment of the Northwest Ordinance.

Apparently the Congress of the Confederation met for what turned out to be a final meeting on October 10, 1788, but never adjourned sine die as it would have were it to have intended to disappear into history.

In any case, a fallback structure exists that could provide a federal structure if a need arose.

[For the know-nothings, the Articles of Confederation was not the government of the Confederate States of America.]
Posted by Donald on Jun 12, 2007.

I’d like to add to or say something profound about Patrick Foy on The Death of the American Empire but I can only say thanks for the history lesson.
Posted by TFG on Jun 12, 2007.

The amusing part is that most Americans don’t realise the American Empire is dying. They are to busy with tv sports, porn, working at Wal Mart, and other diversions to take notice. They behave as if the US were still top dog. All the while, ther US is being invaded at home and being humiliated abroad. If and when Ameicans finally wake up, I sincerely hope they will take action against those responsible: the traitors and subversives in Washington DC, corporate headquarters, and the media outlets.
Posted by Trevor on Jun 12, 2007.

How many men in 100 understand this vs. the History Channel version of the last 100 years? How many are willing to endure the psychic scarring that occurs when you realize you were raised on lies? How many are willing to try and wrestle the steering wheel back from THEM?

The answer is not enough. This train must wreck and until then, worse is better, worse is better.
Posted by neeechee on Jun 12, 2007.

"The new threat has been wildly exaggerated and, to a certain extent, fabricated. The jihadist danger was entirely avoidable, including the atrocities of 9/11.”
Just how avoidable, and more importantly, just how fabricated, is becoming all too clear:
http://www.st911.org/
Posted by B.R. Merrick on Jun 12, 2007.

American involvement in the affairs of Europe at the beginning of the 20th century was inevitable. The decline of the power of the British Empire and the rise of Germany meant America would be faced with a hostile Europe under German rule in the twentieth century. America could not rely on the British Navy to protect Western interests and had to assume Britain’s responsiblities in the world.
Posted by Joe on Jun 12, 2007.

The Constitution has been severely wounded, but the fascination with Rep. Dr. Ron Paul shows that there’s still hope & that the effort to force the Federal Government back to within its Constitutional Bounds is worthwhile.
Posted by Rich Beecher on Jun 12, 2007.

Perhaps Mr. Foy is right that WWII resulted from an arrogant, misguided foreign policy on the part of the United States. Alternately, it could have occurred because a genocidal, nihilistic, megalomanic happened to get control of the greatest military force in the world.
I think I’ll go ask a few of the many WWII combat vets. I know which interpretation they favor. Oh, that’s right, they’re all misguided dupes like the rest of us.
Posted by B Henry on Jun 12, 2007.

Mr. Foy wrote: “Then came the crowning achievement, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, authorized by Harry Truman, which events killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in a flash, a war crime for the ages.” Would Mr. Foy and friends have had American soldiers, marines and sailors die so that he could sleep soundly? The purpose of war is to terrorize the enemy into submission.

Being shot at is not the most pleasant of sensibilities. Japan, not Germany, killed the most during World War II. Just ask any Chinese. I have never met one who had great sympathy for Japanese. Americans have contrived to forget we were the great suppliers of the Japanese war machine before Pearl Harbor.

In 1995 when Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama visited Peking he was met by an accusation in the People’s Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese government, that 35 million Chinese died due to brutality of the Japanese. Within days the New York Times had an article written by their Tokyo correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner which credited only 10 million Chinese dying due to Japanese depredations. Who would want to quibble over 25 million dead Chinese?

It must be noted this number was over four times the number of Jews killed by the Nazis and occurred in the period remembered by Jews as the Holocaust to the exclusion of other people dying and by most of the rest of the world as World War II. The Chinese have never forgotten this, and one must assume one day they will make sure the rest of the world, most particularly the United States, does not either.

Forgotten by most Americans has been the Russian entry into the war against Japan. When counting the dead Mr. Foy should make allowances that the Japanese attribute more dead from Russian captivity than both atomic bombs.

Americans should only apologize and cringe so much.
Posted by Richard Earley on Jun 12, 2007.

Great piece of historical analysis. Thanks.
Posted by Jerry C. Meng on Jun 12, 2007.

Wow, it’s really embarassing to hear so many grown free men admitting defeat. Not me brothers, not me. I’m as free as a bird and the Federal government can kiss my lilly white butt. Yes, I’m caged, but it’s my SWORN duty to escape.
Ron Paul for President!
Will Blalock Brazoria, Texas Ron Paul’s Fighting 14th District
Posted by Will Blalock on Jun 12, 2007.

And here I thought the purpose of war was to defend youself against unjust aggressors. silly me.
Posted by c matt on Jun 12, 2007.

Mr. Foy is on target, but not on the bullseye. The Spanish-American War was blueprinted in “American Interest in Seapower” by A. T. Mahan in 1897, except that Mahan was tactful enough not to suggest taking the Philippines from Spain. William Jennings Bryan’s finest hour came when he resigned as Wilson’s Secretary of State because Wilson’s brand of neutralism between the Allies and Central Powers was guaranteed to bring us into the war on the British side, and Bryan, a Christian pacifist, wanted no part of it.

There is some speculation that Wilson truly believed that God intended the Anglo-Saxon race to rule the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Whether Germany would have won had the US sat it out is an interesting question. Had the two sides negotiated a mutually tolerable peace, Adolf Hitler might have had a successful career doing watercolors of ancient buildings.

The US having interfered and helped dictate the Treaty of Versailles, WWII was inevitable. Hitler and Stalin’s divvying up of Poland was essentially restoring that part of the map to what it had been before the Paris Peace Conference. Roosevelt II certainly wanted America’s strength to facilitate an Anglo-Soviet victory, but he was far too much of a ship-lover to have sat back and let the Pacific Fleet get skunked the way it did.

All we needed to be at war with Japan was to be attacked, not skunked.

Also there was no guarantee that war with Japan necessarily meant war with Germany and Italy. Pearl Harbor, December 7. Declaration of war with Japan, December 8. There was no war with Germany until Hitler declared war on the US on December 11 and the US responded on December 12.

If Hitler had had the canny forbearance to sit back while the America Firsters ended lend-least to Churchill and Stalin so that the US could concentrate on Japan, he just might have won. Had Roosevelt known what Admiral Yamamoto was up to, he was astute enough to imagine this and act accordingly. Sorry, try again.

As for Truman’s failure to accept Churchill’s advice about how to deal with Stalin and his allowing a serious cold war to get started unnecessarily, rather than keeping things down to a brass-knuckles game of chess, the less said the better.

What’s really dismaying is that the US, having become the world’s only (military) superpower, has taken up all the ghastly practices the “Readers’ Digest” used to excoriate the USSR and Red China for when I was a kid. And it’s all a self-destructive mistake. Karl Rove is a big fan of McKinley and his administration.

The neoconservative (neoimperialist) mistake is to think that they can do it all over again. Their fatal fallacy is in failing to acknowledge that, in 1898, the US was on the way up. We’ve been on the way down since VJ Day, but nobody wants to admit it and rethink things accordingly.
Posted by Reg Stocking on Jun 12, 2007.

This is an excellent overview. Rather than America and the Anglosphere being the ‘good guys’ they have been led by Elites who use their peoples as cannon fodder and tax slaves to wage wars, physical and cultural, first and foremost to weaken and humiliate, if not necessarily destroy, all nations that could, might could we would emphasize in the hill South, revive its part of historic, pre-Modern Christendom.

America, taking over for the British Empire, is serving the role as imperial giant to replace the vestiges of Western Christian Civilization with centralized, multicultural secularism held together by military force and bread and circuses.
Posted by James Cantrell on Jun 12, 2007.

It fascinates me how nearly everyone has his own inviolable interpretation of history. Everyone is a sort of revisionist, yet no one wants his interpretation revised. Maybe Henry Ford was right when he said that history is mostly bunk. Change a critical fact or two in any construction of history and the whole edifice comes tumbling down.

For my own money, George Washington gave the best advice when he counseled us to eschew entangling alliances (mind our own business). That was our Founding Father’s parsimonious political model for foreign affairs. But that’s no fun, is it?
Posted by Mr. FoSquare on Jun 12, 2007.

Mr. Fo Square’s citation of the functionally illiterate Henry Ford does hit the edge of the target. History is too much fun to be mostly bunk, though many interpretations do have a high buncombe content. Reading various accounts, including ones with which one instinctively disagrees, and deciding for oneself is the best way to go about it.

Washington’s rejection of entangling alliances was commonsense enlightenment when the United States was [not were] materially self- sufficient, militarily weak, and enjoyed thousands of miles’ worth of saltwater insulation with no Atlantic cables to disturb our domestic tranquillity. Sad to say, things have changed since then. What the answer is I don’t know, but it’s easy to identify things which aren’t. Such as so-called neoconservatism.
Posted by Reg Stocking on Jun 12, 2007.

Our entangled relationship with Israel by itself has constituted a catastrophic foreign policy. This relationship isn’t driven by economic inter-dependency, the “shrinking globe,” military needs, or by any other reasonable explanation. It’s driven by the pervasive influence of Jewish Power throughout our vital institutions.

The so-called neo-conservatives (Zionist penetration of the Republican Party) are just a more recent manifestation of that insidious virus, and only one dimension of it. Yes, the world is a more complicated place today. But Washington’s cautionary advice applies as well today as a starting point for foreign policy as it did in his time.
Posted by Mr. FoSquare on Jun 13, 2007.

It is true, as Mr. FoSquare says, that America’s entanglement with Israel has constituted a catastrophic foreign policy. But as that did not occur until 1948 and the catastrophies began much earlier, focusing on Israel is to highlight a symptom rather than the cause.

The great cause is that once the Yankees won The War and made Anglo-Saxopn Puritan culture America’s mandarin culture, the reconstituted singular USA was bound to become a self-righteous empire that would promote Jewish interest because ideas have consequences, they move toward inherent and sometimes unavoidable ends. As A-S Puritanism was the quintessential late Reformatiion era hardcore Judaizing heresy, it is a given that any culture it rules, it directs, will become very much like the USA of the past century and more.

Oliver Cromwell and Benjamin Disraeli and Abe Lincoln and British Empire worshiping Woodrow Wilson lead almost ineluctably to today’s Neocons and the final transformation of America into a centralized ‘democratic’ empire mandating worldwide abortion, homosexual promotion, religious syncretism and indifferentism, and philosophical relativism ruled by Anglophonic Elite might makes right judgment.
Posted by James Cantrell on Jun 14, 2007.

Mr. Foy,

I linked here from Antiwar. What an excellent overview. Personally, I found Stennett’s “Day of Deceit’ and various reports on how America was seduced/dragged into WW I real eye-openers in understanding the degree to which US foreign policy - along with that of many other nations - has been so nakedly driven by interests far removed from those of the citizenry involved.

Most of the stories we grew up on in which most Germans were monsters, and now most Islamists are fascists, were and are hogwash. It takes quite a bit of hard work, not to mention a certain amount of courage, to be able to penetrate the fog of mass deception in which we all blunder along. Again, this is an excellent overview.

PS. One link I have on WW I is this, for those who are interested. The paragraph which includes ‘March 5’ (to search for) is particularly interesting in revealing how the creation of the Zionist state was central to getting the US involved in WWI, something which to this day is largely unknown, and certainly not ‘kosher’ cocktail party fare! http://www.hypocrisy.biz/Balfour.html
I don’t know anything about the website as a whole; this link came about from a search for connections between Zionists and the Balfour agreement and US involvement in WW I about which I had read earlier and elsewhere but not saved.
Posted by Ashley Howes on Jun 14, 2007.

Very Interesting! Glad to hear someone talk sense. Islam does not condone violence but it does talk about fighting back and dignity. Islam is misunderstood on two fronts firstly by the idiots who purport to be representatives of Islam and the secondly by the Western governments who fear Islam (and rightly so). Jihad is the usual point of discussion, of which, sadly I have seen very few people talk sense.

I see a change in America, a land itself occupied, whose inhabitants were killed to make way for people yelling ‘new world’ when the world was not new at all. A history tainted and written in the blood of others, cannot bring peace to others. Islam will and is rising in America. Peace will prevail then. For those who are upset with the brief description of a few aspects of Islam, I suggest you read the Quran before you comment.
Posted by Faheem Sardar on Jun 14, 2007.

The “Death of the American Empire” is simply the best, concise, short history of America and of our horrific impact on the world stage and on what we have lost as a nation since Lincoln’s War, that I have ever read in my 57 years.

Nothing can compare to this article in terms on enlightenment, or sadness at the well hidden history and failure of the greatest experiment in self-government and liberty in world history.

For those of us who seek truth, love history and who bear the burden of living in a nation where false history, propaganda and unrighteous self-delusion surround everything we read and observe involving politics, the news and current events, Patrick Foy provides us a brief moment of sanity and sincere honesty about what we really have become.

The first step on the road to recovery from a tragedy whether a serious addiction, the loss of a loved one or the sobering realization that we have made a tragic mistake with terrible consequences is to see ourselves and our actions as they really are. I can’t quarrel with a single point in the article or the conclusions.

It is time that we as Americans, take stock of our true situation, spread the word about where we are and how we got here hopefully in time to preserve our wealth and begin to restore our liberties so we can survive as a people as the empire crashes down around us.

I’ve found that when you realize that you’ve taken the wrong road, the best action is often to backtrack to the last sure landmark that you can remember. It is the same for our nation and I believe we should go back to our original limited government, the Articles of Confederation as established by our Patriot Founding Fathers.

I will today, forward this article and URL to the thousands of people on the e-mail lists from my websites and I urge you to do the same to all of your friends who love liberty and seek to understand our real history and restore the failed legacy of our Founding Fathers. In addition, I’ll add a link to it in my new online book, “The Swiss Preserve Solution” a new politically incorrect guide to defending your wealth & liberty from attack during the latter-days of the American Empire. More info on the free book can be found at http://www.swissconfederationinstitute.org
Ron Holland President of The Swiss Confederation Institute and marketing coordinator for FreedomFest.
Posted by Ron Holland on Jun 14, 2007.

Brilliant writing. Yes, there’s a common thread. Zionism. Zionists bludgeoned Wilson into restarting WWI to: 1. acquire Palestine, and; 2. smash the Kaiser. Sadly, all the rest follows from that Jewish pressure applied to Woodrow Wilson. Balfour, Versailles, WWII, the postwar breakdown of traditional White border controls, the non-White invasions in all White lands, Neocon control of Washington, and now Iraq. A war devised and
run by Likudniks.
Yes, it’s time for a revolution. Ron Paul can be part of that revolution.
Posted by Jamie Kelso on Jun 14, 2007.

No Arabs did 911 on America. If the author could not see this,then I question any of his history remarks. Hitler’s Germany was also funded by USA and not one word why Germany attacked Russia-Twice. And who are we grooming today to attack Russia? EU !Sad part is the Zionist hating the Russians and we die for them .
Posted by JoJo on Jun 14, 2007.

This article is very objective and near to truth from a westener. This world history and if you go through Koran then the fate history fate of most of the rulers when they were arrogant and were not stoped the world had to suffer the same the same case is with America. They have lost the credibility to lead the world. We Muslim are direct sufferer of American Hegamony. History repeats as the American destroyed Pearl harbor and attacked Japan, the same idea happened with Muslims
Posted by Ghouri on Jun 14, 2007.

Arab terrprist attacked on 911??? Evidence please. Sheesh, what nonsense! At least seven of the accused are still alive. There are no airport videos. Names do not appear on passenger lists. What garbage.
Posted by Ralph on Jun 14, 2007.

Mr. Foy does not give nearly enough credit to the Zionists for our involvement in the destruction of the Mid East. Zionists pushed for the destruction of Iraq, are aiding a civil war in what is left of Palestine, trying for another in Lebanon and are howling for nuclear destruction of Iran. All of this destructive evil just to to “legitimatize” the theft of land. America’s insane participation in this crime will someday be so clear to anyone shifting through the ashes of a ruined empire.
Posted by richard vajs on Jun 14, 2007.

I find it amazing that an arrogant mental runt like George Bush, could so easily and quickly destroy, what was once the greatest nation on earth. Certainly, Dick Cheney gets much credit. We have nothing left to go with, credibility, gold or silver, constitution, congressional oversight, justice, nothing; except nuclear weapons and delivery systems. I suppose we use those weapons and then the end. Ron Pollan
Posted by Ron Pollan on Jun 14, 2007.

The article does show America drifting into destruction by violating its own Constitution by greedy, power hungary politicians, and now by Corporate Greed, displacing USA workers for foreigners. The displacing of American workers is treason by Corporate America.
Posted by John Calvin on Jun 14, 2007.

People of faith believe in their inherent power to change their surroundings. When enough people within the United States begin to believe that we can and must remove the current leadership and restructure our government it will happen. Until then, we will not be swayed by intelligent “ringers” planted for the specific purpose to destroy the hope and efforts of the faithful. The sheep are awakening!
Posted by Charlotte Smith on Jun 14, 2007.

The American Empire is dead. Chimpy and Cheney killed it.
Posted by Tom3 on Jun 14, 2007.

Excellent material, all. Reminds one never to believe deeply in anything, since when confronted with conflicting facts the mind goes into cognitive dissonance which is an impossible state of mind.

For my part, I look to Quigley’s “Tragedy and Hope” for a fairly accurate expose of modern history. The villans are ll lined up and their intent soundly defined. Carroll, though, saw no problem in a world run by the few, as did Plato before him. Me and mine, however, are preparing the Walters Compound for meaner times ahead, and are as anxious as children on Christmas eve.

“Good luck and good hunting” might be an appropriate quote these days.
Posted by Tom Walters on Jun 14, 2007.

Nothing new here, just some history lessons and spin and italicized foreign words (including some that don’t need to be italicized; they have already been assimilated).

No abstract thoughts in this this article.
For a more thoughtful approach, I would suggest referring to the work of Morris Berman ("The Twilight of American Culture” or Stewart Ewen.)

This is not our century. We are 5 percent of the world’s population, and that will be reflected in world economics and politics. We have, as the author noted, lost our way, but we had a pretty decent life as late as the Fifties or Sixties.

Capitalism was refuted by experience in the Thirties. We never would have escaped from the Great Depression had it not been for World War II, no matter who started it.

Thompson is right. Look for a new way, just as the Declaration of Independence says you should. Happy Independence Day.
Posted by Clayton Hallmark on Jun 14, 2007.

Big gap in your knowledge of history, sir. The Jacobin revolution of 1861 saw our States invaded, cities burned to the ground, and civilians starved and murdered on a scale much larger than in 1814. That was the end of the Republic and the shredding of the Constitution. You can look the other way if you want, but that won’t make it go away.
Posted by Elizabeth Del Greco on Jun 14, 2007.

A wonderfully, well-written analysis of history and the state of affairs we have today. Sadly, far too few Americans have the intellectual honesty or curiousity to consider this story. May that start to change.
Posted by JR Bowman on Jun 14, 2007.

I’ve some minor quibbles with Mr. Foy’s argument about American responsibility for both world wars (there’s no denying that Austro-Hungarian imperialism ignited the first, nor that Hitler sought to achieve his goals through war as well), but the main point of the article is factually accurate: the United State has been an empire for over a century, thanks to the messianic Yankee Puritanism that triumphed in 1865 (see Acton’s letter to Lee about the cause lost at Appomatox to understand this fully). The question now is whether it can recover from it (assuming there’s any will to do so) and how. When it comes to that, I’m a pessimist.
Posted by Nebojsa Malic on Jun 14, 2007.

Wow! Every now and then one comes across a corner of the internet where clarity reigns. Both the article and the excellent comments about it give me hope in this time of deep, deep darkness. It is heartening to see that not everyone thinks that history started in 1945. Kudos to all!
Posted by Empire of Idiots on Jun 14, 2007.

This was a brilliant piece. But James Cantrell should be writing his own pieces! He is a genius.

For example he wrote ...

America, taking over for the British Empire, is serving the role as imperial giant to replace the vestiges of Western Christian Civilization with centralized, multicultural secularism held together by military force and bread and circuses.

Oliver Cromwell and Benjamin Disraeli and Abe Lincoln and British Empire worshiping Woodrow Wilson lead almost ineluctably to today’s Neocons and the final transformation of America into a centralized ‘democratic’ empire mandating worldwide abortion, homosexual promotion, religious syncretism and indifferentism, and philosophical relativism ruled by Anglophonic Elite might makes right judgment.
Posted by Anthony C. LoBaido on Jun 14, 2007.

Rather, Manifest Insanity. “The World Turned Upside Down”, indeed!
Posted by Vic Anderson on Jun 14, 2007.

Great piece, Mr. Foy, and accurate. To those above who complain that it’s only Mr. Foy’s version of history, I draw your attention to these three disparate pieces.

If you have access to the LA Times Archives or Lexis-Nexis: “Commentary; A Serious Case of Mistaken Identity; The U.S. is not the ‘indispensable nation,’ as a growing WWII mythology would suggest”; BENJAMIN SCHWARZ. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Jun 22, 2000. pg. 11. Schwarz was the Literary Editor for the Atlantic Monthly at the time.

The second is “Equality, not Zionism, Will Save Israel” by Anthony Loewenstein on Tony Karon’s excellent blog. Karon is the Senior Editor for Time Magazine, a South African, Jewish, and lived on a kibbutz in his youth: http://tonykaron.com/2007/06/11/loewenstein-equality-not-zionism-will-save-israel/
The third is far more controversial for its content: Benjamin H. Freedman’s 1961 speech at the Willard Hotel in D.C. Freedman was a successful NYC Jewish businessman who broke with Judaism in 1945, and changed his last name to represent how he felt.

One of the last interviewers to talk to him before his death discovered that Freedman’s father was a co-founder of the American Jewish Committee in 1906. Freedman was present at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 with Bernard Baruch when they were carving up Germany. His speech describes what led up to it and what happened afterward, The link: http://www.themodernreligion.com/jihad/freedman.html. If you search online for Benjamin H. Freedman, you can find a recording of it.
Posted by John Silver on Jun 14, 2007.

Brilliant article. The real culprit in all this is your Constitution. It can be interpreted to mean ANYTHING by an unprincipled, crafty lawyer and you have a wealth (no pun intended) of those in America.
Posted by peter on Jun 14, 2007.

The USSR was never a threat to the United States. On the contrary, WE were a threat to THEM. Their nuclear weapons were acquired to deter any US nuclear attacks on Soviet soil. (Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki--there was a precedent.) Horrible as the Soviet experiment was, their foreign policy was essentially defensive and highly cautious.

And their invasion of Europe was a result of the bloodletting that cost them 20 million lives. Incidentally, Hungary and Rumania were Axis countries that participated in the German invasion of Russia.

This, of course, goes against all US orthodoxies, whether liberal, conservative, or libertarian.
Posted by Gene H. Bell-Villada on Jun 14, 2007.

How did we get from there and then to now? First off, the south could not have been allowed to survive as a slave state. Secondly, to suggest that Hitler would have been satiffied with Poland is ridiculous. Thirdly to suggest that the present insanity can be laid at the feet of the fact that government of, by and for the people is somehow obsolete is to deny the last great hope for humanity. I will leave you with a line from my son’s first play “Wine To Blood” in which Sean O’Leary says, ‘I don’t konow if there is a Utopia, but I am certain that we must act as though there can be”.
Posted by Hal O'Leary on Jun 14, 2007.

Fascinating summary which I mostly agree with, except – WWII. You don’t seem to attribute any homicidal malice or danger from Adolf Hitler, and I don’t think the world would benefit from his having conquered western Europe and England. I don’t think that would have been nice or beneficial at all. And the loss of even more Jews would have seriously deprived us culturally, intellectually, scientifically, etc., not to mention the poor example set by the death camps. That really had to be interfered with.

Otherwise, I agree that we absolutely should let the rest of the world, especially the Middle East, take care of its own business, while maintaining human intellligence to monitor events that could affect the U.S. Bring home all soldiers, weapons, equipment from South America, Europe, Korea, Middle East. We can be sure the oil will always find its way to the market.
Posted by Mary Garber on Jun 15, 2007.

’Death of American Empire’ by Patrick Foy is an outstanding article eloquently but neatly summarising reality.

The only element I personally would like him to have included would be a reference to ‘Ozymandias’ - Percy Bysshe Shelley’s inestimable comment on the inevitability of nemesis following hubris:

‘My Name is Ozymandias King of kings look on my works ye mighty and despair’

The ‘traveller in an Antique Land’ may well have been traversing Mesopotamia [The land between between two rivers]- or modern day Iraq - while the concluding desolation of the last few lines.

‘Nothing beside remains. Around the base of that colossal wreck the lone and level sands stretch far away’ well pressages the outcome and the end game for the insane delusions of US foreign policy.

It is further noteworthy that throughout history the end of empire tends always to be immediately preceeded by severe economic pressure brought about by grandiose overstretch - combined in the last throes with the feverish sabre rattling of terminal decline and ultimate collapse.
Posted by RJ on Jun 15, 2007.

Now we know why Southerners fought so valiantly in the War to Prevent Southern Independence. Lincoln was admired by Karl Marx and openly said so. Mr. Foy would enhance his position more by including more on the War of northern Agression and the similarities that exist today between W the Emperor and Abe I.

Also lost on all of this is the massacre and genocide of Native Americans after the end of the CSA.

Much of the terrorist tactics against Indians were lead by Sherman, who had perfected them against innocent civilians in the South.We can now see the nation’s propoganda machine in rewriting the true history of our country in today’s vilification of anything southern including her culture and symbols mainly ,the battle flag which is the only true American flag.. The other S$S one represents empire.

How can we make Mr. Foy’s work more widespread to wake the rest of us up? I see this as a daunting task in the face of what Jimmy Carter called a malaisse. Godspeed Mr. Foy!
Posted by Ronnie Abrams on Jun 16, 2007.

Brilliant insights,I would suggest Patrick Foy might have stepped back further in US history that would reveal an impulse of the Judeo-christian project ( in-group loyalty, out-group contempt) that started with the domination and subsequent genocide of the native americans. Today most of those people have disappeared without leaving a trace as to who they were and how they lived and what they thought felt or believed.

This puts the “democratic” forms of the project into context. No matter what the constitution says and who gets elected the project continues. After all the land belonged to someone else.

Once north america had been overrun the original impulse drove what Patrick Foy has described, and the quest for global domination continues.

In Palestine or Iraq, this impulse finds its current expression as enslavement is followed by ethnic cleansing. This impulse will continue until the US empire implodes much as the soviet project imploded. Lets hope this happens before the peoples of the middle east disappear like the native americans. In both cases there is only fear and loathing expressed towards the victims’ way of life and culture.

The takeover of the US by the military Industrial Zionist Allaince, combined with the complete ignorance of the general public makes any other outcome highly unlikely.

The huge danger is that the dozen or so sociopaths in AIPAC that run this country are now hell bent on instigating nuclear war and the outcome may be armaggedon.
Posted by Ali on Jun 23, 2007.

"There is an unbroken connection between the Great War, America’s unnecessary participation in it, and everything which has transpired since then all over the Middle East. It is a continuum. In Iraq, Lebanon and in Palestine, we are witnessing today the third chapter, in effect, of the European war begun in 1914”

Yeah, that’s exactly it. After the decline of the oppressive Soviet empire, much of Europe has finally returned to smaller, free states similar to those in place before 1914. I guess that marked the end of “chapter two” of the Great War.

Right about that time (1990), we then began to see more substantive shifts in the Middle East. I’m still waiting for the press to even begin to discuss what’s happening in geopolitical terms.

Beyond that, there’s been so many good books come out in recent years about Iraq and the Mid East that have been given very little attention by the U.S. press.

While we surely must blame both Republicans and Democrats in the Congress for giving Bush and the neocons a free ride on Iraq, the press continues to give them just as much of a free ride, never asking the obvious hard questions about either our goals or the historical/political context.
Posted by Gordon R. Vaughan on Jul 05, 2007.

Also by Author
Bush & Cheney: It's Time to Resign

George Tenet: Revenge of the Nerd

Investigate the Neocons

Iraq: The Web of Lies

Pulling the Trigger on Iran

Regime Change Redux

Ron Paul's Patriotic Crimethink

The Kissinger Connection

The Kissinger Pardon

Wake Me At Armageddon

IS THE CONSTITUTION OBSOLETE?
http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1996/5/1996_5_12.shtml
A recent book argues that to preserve the Republic, we must stop worshiping an outmoded document

BY BERNARD A. WEISBERGER

If you write a column called “In the News” long enough, some of your subjects eventually begin to catch up with one another. This space recently (November 1995) was occupied with the past history of the struggle for the item veto, and behold, in April 1996 it ended in victory for the veto’s advocates. If the law giving Presidents the right to selectively kill individual appropriations is sustained against any Court challenge, it will mark an important constitutional change that shifts an allotment of budgetary power from Congress to the Executive. Yet it will not demand the complex process of formal amendment.

Presumably that should please Daniel Lazare, whose recent book The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy argues that the venerated eighteenth-century charter needs to be overhauled or even scrapped because it blocks the way to any modernization of American government that will give “the people” power to cope with twenty-first-century problems. Lazare sees us as complacent in the face of gridlock because of our blind faith in the Constitution.

Well! Only about a year ago [May/June 1995] another of these columns dealt with a volume by Richard B. Bernstein and Jerome Agel, Amending America, whose subtitle suggested that the adoration was only skin-deep. It was: If We Love the Constitution So Much, Why Do We Keep Trying to Change It? Plainly the two books have a very different take on how Americans really feel about the 1787 compact. Who is in the right?

If I come down on the side of Bernstein-Agel, it is not because—confession of interest—I was once a colleague of Bernstein, nor is it from a lack of sympathy with Lazare’s social-democratic orientation. But in making his case that Constitution worship embeds the feet of democracy in cement just when it needs to take giant steps, I think he has seriously misread the facts.

To begin with, he holds that the original sin was in the Constitutional Convention itself. He believes (without citing much of the record in support) that the members were bewitched by the puritanical views of an English “Country” party that automatically distrusted central government, worshiped traditional Elizabethan institutions dominated by local interests, and “feared modernization [and] progress.” So they put together a system looking back to a golden day when power was divided and traditional law was in the saddle rather than fallible majorities—a system that “rather than focusing energy ... would disperse, muffle and absorb it.”

Oh? If that was all the framers wanted, they could have left ineffectual Articles of Confederation in place. In fact their main purpose was to “focus” power in a national government strong enough to survive the jealousies of the wrangling states.

Lazare soon gets to his real indictment. The framers, who “represented the American economic and social elite,” disliked democracy but were caught in a bind: How could they maintain order and authority while giving the people power to pursue the general interest of the United States?

Their answer was to compromise. In the Preamble they gave an implied but sweeping mandate to “the People of the United States” to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, [and] promote the general Welfare”—and then they made it very hard to do those things quickly or without long arguments and more compromises.

But compromise is exactly what Lazare dislikes. He deplores the way in which the Constitution has defused disputes, “forced politicians to smooth them over, to seek common ground, to wheel and deal so that differences might be bridged.” Especially does he scorn the so-called great compromises—the waffling on slavery embodied in the rule that allowed a slave to be counted as three-fifths of a person in determining representation in the House and the creation of the Senate with equal votes for each state.

These, he says, virtually guaranteed that only a breakdown in the constitutional system could permit the eradication of slavery. But granting the anachronistic unreasonableness of the Senate—there still is no reason for Delaware to have the same two votes as Pennsylvania, not to mention California—it was that or a small-state (and slave-state) walkout and no new government at all.

By ignoring the mundane realities that shackled the convention, Lazare loads the dice and then plays with them in contrasting the peaceable abolition of slavery in Great Britain with what happened here. British abolitionists got slavery outlawed in 1833, he says, thanks to the Reform Bill of 1832, which made it “impossible to say no to a movement . . . both massive and middle class.” This ignores the political weight of the American South under any system of representation, as against that of a handful of British colonial planters with no strong parliamentary base.

It also overlooks the cultural strength of American racism; there was no “massive” or “middle class” movement to end slavery that was frustrated by the Constitution. Immediate abolitionism remained a minority view right up to 1861.

What was gaining ground was the idea of “free soil”—namely, of restricting the institution’s future expansion. The South rejected even that distant prospect, seceding when it still had thirty sure votes in the Senate (from fifteen slaveholding states out of thirty-four) to block any abolition amendment and could have maintained the barrier until there were forty-five states.

Slaveholders jumped the gun long before the genuine danger point was reached—which makes it even more certain that they would have broken up the Union even earlier in the face of an immediate threat of abolition. The Constitution simply embodied a sad political reality: Only naked power could abolish slavery while keeping the South on board.

But Lazare ignores reality when it doesn’t fit his case. Let me take another pair of examples. He holds that the 1830s were a period of “biting constitutional dictatorship ... in which Americans were prevented from acting nationally to institute internal improvements [or] create a pro-industrial economic policy.” It seems strange, therefore, that between 1830 and 1860 the nation expanded its rail network from 23 miles to 30,626 miles, increased the value of its exports from $72 million to $334 million, dredged rivers and harbors, mapped and surveyed the West, and produced enough manufactured goods to lay the foundation for what economic history rightly calls an industrial “takeoff.”

Lazare denounces the “long and tortuous” amending process, which “severely constrained” efforts to change the Constitution. But what are the facts? Once an amendment is submitted to the states, how long does it take to get the required three-fourths of them to ratify? Leave out the curious twenty-seventh (no pay raise for Congress to take effect until an election intervenes) that took from 1789 to 1992, and consider the Bill of Rights (two years and three months in an age of slow communications) as a single unit. The median time for the remaining sixteen is—can you guess?—one year.

Almost half the book is devoted to the post-1945 period, during which, Lazare insists, other democratic nations deftly modernized their political systems while we limped and tottered into our present decrepitude (apparently the flourishing fifties don’t count), dragging the anchor of the Constitution behind us. Wherein did we fail?

Well, we got a Congress increasingly ineffective because of a fragmented committee structure (not prescribed by the Constitution) and Presidents who are not so much leaders as personalities created by image makers (and what has the Constitution to do with that?). Lazare blames the Iran-contra scandal and the easy escape of the principals in it on the Constitution’s vagueness about responsibilities and punishments. That’s like blaming the banking laws for embezzlement.

Our “unraveling social fabric”? It’s partly due to “an insane jumble of conflicting [local] jurisdictions” that trip up coordinated planning to tackle interlocking problems of race, crime, poverty, deindustrialization and deurbanization. But many, if not all, of those mini-satrapies—counties, townships, school or sewage or water districts, and the like—could be combined or eliminated by the states if they so chose.

Eager to blame our failure to grapple effectively with our agonies on a presumed naive faith in our unimprovable Constitution, Lazare leaves unmentioned a few such small matters as the rise and fall of the party system (like judicial review, an interpolation not in the original Constitution); the influence of money and television in politics; the antiurban tradition generated in an agrarian past; the diverse nature of an immigrant-enriched populace; frontier individualism; the success record of free enterprise in a new and booming country.

These and many others, rather than simple-minded worship of constitutional principles, are important roots of our “paralysis.” Lazare has it backward. Culture drives politics, not the reverse. He cites Newt Gingrich to the effect that America is a “deeply conservative country” and laments that it is true “because the Ancient Constitution is a deeply conservative concept.”

On the contrary, we are a peculiar people, loving the new and the young but idealizing the past, which we constantly flee. It’s how we are, not how the Founding Fathers made us. And what the record shows is that when the will is really there, we will change the system while swearing that we are really preserving it, as we have long done.

Only by misreading that record can Lazare’s argument be sustained. I am not a constitutional fundamentalist. There are many provisions that I would willingly change. But neither do I subscribe to Lazare’s unrestrained majoritarianism, his dire warning that unless we dump present limits on the freedom of the majority to secure instant political gratification, “politics will atrophy, society will die, and civil liberties will go with it.” There are good cases for a new kind of politics, but good cases are not served by bad history.

The Constitutional Convention
http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/convention

http://www.bordc.org/resources/hess-constitution.php
The Living Constitution: Does it Work in Modern Times?
By Richard A. Hesse, Professor of Law EmeritusRemarks for the Worcester County Chapter of ACLUMOctober 29, 2005

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

So begins the document signed and proclaimed on September 17th 1788. The Constitution was a blueprint for a nation that did not yet exist. Some regarded it as a radical experiment doomed to failure. Support for it was thin at best; key states adopted it by close vote margins gained by political manipulation rather than solid agreement on concepts.

The story of the making of a nation from that blueprint is fascinating and modern historians are very good at telling it. But beyond the fascination of a good story well told is a fundamental truth. The nation has grown and prospered as no other nation has in the recorded history of the world. Among the unique features of our success is a legal and political system that imposes the rule of law on everything the government does.

Our nation, like any family that has lasted for generations, has skeletons in its closet. When one examines those embarrassing moments from our history, they frequently have a common element. The government has either ignored the rule of law or been unfaithful to the principles and values expressed in our constitution. Thus it is understandable that when the government seeks to depart from those established values and rules of law, some among us will rise up to resist and to insist that the constitutional limits on government power be enforced.

We gather tonight to honor those who have risen to speak out and to persuade fellow citizens that they must join their voice in opposition to government actions which are not faithful to the values and principles of our constitution.

Our government tells us that our country faces unparalleled threats to our national security and consequently, the constitutional safeguards to our individual liberties must be set aside. Historically, war time has generated actions by the government that would be deemed unacceptable to peace time. And we are now engaged in a “war on terror,” at least that is the claim of the national government. This combination of unparalleled threat and “war on terror” has produced a climate for permanent changes to the constitutional relationship between the government and those whom it governs.

Laws are now proposed and passed which challenge the traditional notions of constitutional protection against invasion of privacy and unreasonable search and seizure. Further, the notions of constitutional due process guaranteeing a speedy and fair trial are being sharply modified to facilitate government convenience at the expense of individual rights.

All of this might be tolerable if the changes were temporary in nature; after all, war time conditions have, in the past, produced sharp limitations on individual rights. But this “war on terror,” unlike other wars in our history has no clearly defined enemy, no clearly defined goals, and most importantly, no clearly defined end point. As the present administration has said repeatedly, this is a war that may never end. Thus those who are held without charges and without trial “for the duration of the war” are effectively given a life sentence. . James Madison in 1795, then a Congressman from Virginia, observed:

"Of all enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it compromises and develops the germ of every other. ….[T]he discretionary power of the executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors and emoluments is multiplied; and all means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people.

The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced to inequalities of fortunes and opportunities for fraud growing out of a state of war … and the degeneracy of manners and morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

The Bush Administration is not the first to take the unspoken position that the constitution is obsolete or at least, not applicable to current conditions.

But it is the first to seek more or less permanent institutional changes that will, if they survive, last indefinitely. Further the changes sought are unprecedented in their scope.

We are not without experience in this approach by our government. In recent times, the national government has been engaged in another war that will never end. The “war on drugs” has produced a never ending plea from government authorities for greater police power to invade privacy, to conduct broad searches, to gain additional advantages in prosecuting those charged with drug crimes and to lengthen the prison terms of those convicted.

Regrettably, Congress and our courts have been all too willing to set aside the wisdom and experience of the framers of our constitution and give the government the additional powers it seeks.

The results of these efforts were predictable; the experience of the constitutional framers could have told us that repression of rights is ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. But alas, our elected officials paid no attention to that experience.

It is fair to ask whether our constitution is obsolete. After all, a constitutional scheme created more than 218 years ago could not have contemplated the national and international difficulties we face today. And the framers of that scheme were wise enough to include provisions for change.

And we have made some substantial changes in that scheme through that amendatory process. Consider: we have assured the right to freedom of conscience and expression; we have specified individual legal rights in civil and criminal trials while imposing limitations on government power to investigate and prosecute the accused; we have rearranged the manner in which the President and the Senate are elected to better reflect the will of the people; we have extended the right to human dignity to a whole class of persons previously regarded as property of as economic servants; we have extended and guaranteed the right to vote to women, racial minorities and young adults (who by the way, made up a majority of the population when the nation was formed); we have guaranteed basic federal rights, privileges and immunities to individuals previously at the mercy of the state political systems.

These examples offer a guide to the pattern of our society. Over the more than 200 hundred years since the framing of the constitution our “corrections” to the system have almost universally been extensions of freedom rather than retractions of freedoms granted by the founding fathers and mothers.

From this record one might conclude that if the constitutional scheme is obsolete, it is more likely to need stronger restrictions on government rather than greater government power over the individual.

But we are told our present situation presents threats not previously experienced and certainly not experienced by those who framed the constitutional rights we have come to expect. Let us briefly look at the life and times of founders to test the claim that modern threats are unique.

Were the framers abstract thinkers who idealized the relationship between the government and individuals? Did they structure a government that was not practical in times of crisis? For those who know our history these questions are almost laughable. The framers of the constitution included dedicated patriots who put their lives on the line by declaring independence from Great Britain and by taking up arms in defense of personal freedom and the right to have a voice in government.

These were men –George Washington,, Thomas Mifflin, Charles Pinckney and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Nathaniel Gorham and Rufus King – who endured the worst of the Revolutionary War era at the lost of personal fortunes and countless friends. They experienced and witnessed the measures taken by the English government to suppress what it regarded as treason, insurrection and terrorism.

And following the end of hostilities, these men saw the effect of public insecurity – sometimes producing armed resistance to government and to the rule of law. These were not academic theoreticians. These were men of action, men of practical experience with crisis; I dare say that the threats we face today pale in comparison to the threats which were a way of life for these men everyday, in every way for more than eight years.

Nor were the framers without experience in government. We must recall that the Constitutional convention was called to reform a failing system – The Article of Confederation installed in 1781. They were confronted with a failing system of government at a time when we were threatened militarily and diplomatically by the two great powers in the world- France and Britain; the states were competing with each other for land, for commercial advantage both in foreign and domestic trade; and there was some chance that either the New England states or the Southern states would cut a separate deal with Britain.

For more than five years the framers struggled without success, to make that system work. In the end, they decided to scrap their system of government and build a new one. Abstract exercises in political science did not drive them to that conclusion; rather it was practical experience.

The chief obstacle they faced was the reluctance to create a strong central government. They came by that reluctance honestly. They saw how power was exercised by the King, by the British Administration of the Colonies and for some like Benjamin Franklin, by the foreign governments in France and Holland. On the other hand, absolute state sovereignty made national government impossible.

At bottom, the task was to create a government which could unite the nation without creating a government which could oppress its people. They knew that power without limitations was tyranny yet a government without sufficient power was not worthy of support.

It is true that the framers expected protection of individual rights to be the job of the states. Thus the record of debates at the convention reveals that the overwhelming attention was paid to the relationship between the branches of government and between the federal and state governments.

This view, subsequently rejected by the ratifying conventions, was based on the belief that the national government could be held in check so that enumerating rights was unnecessary and, in fact, dangerous to the extent that broad limitations on powers not granted opened the door to the claim that the power must exist if limitations to it are set out.

Several state ratified the constitutional while urging amendments providing for the additional protection of individual rights. Congress made that a priority when it convened in 1789; it proposed 12 amendments which the states considered, adopting 10 of them as our “Bill of Rights” in 1791. Now, it must be observed that the state ratifying conventions for the Constitution and the state legislatures approving the “Bill of Rights” were not academic theoreticians either. These were practical men with constituencies to be served. Many shared the experience of the framers in war and government.

In another era of our history, government – and the constitution – faced a truly unparalleled threat. State sponsored armed insurrection in 1861 lead to the attempt of 11 states to secede from the United States.

The President and the Congress found the government figuratively and literally, located on the edge of the battlefield. The dead and wounded were brought by the thousands to hospitals in the nation’s capital. Desperate times called for desperate action. President Lincoln and the Congress responded. In the aftermath of the war, repressive government actions were rescinded and sometimes criticized as unnecessarily harsh and extreme.

And significantly, the Constitution was amended in what some have called the “Second American Revolution” to guarantee the vote, due process and equal protection of the law to all persons subject to the laws of the states. The men who fashioned those amendments were not fuzzy-headed intellectuals who were seeking some idealized form of government. They were practical politicians doing the best they could to address what they experienced as obstacles to achieving an acceptable level of justice in society.

Accountability

Of course, the Constitution is merely a piece of paper. Its worth rests in the extent to which it is made to work as a system of rights. The philosophers who studied government in the 16th and 17th Century observed that absolute power is a corrupting force. The American thinkers who struggled with a form of government for our states and nation concluded that not only must power be dispersed but some system of accountability must be built into that system.

In our constitutional system, the Courts provide the means to hold the Congress, the President and the state governments accountable to the constitutional limits.

Throughout our history the Courts have been the guardians of our liberties.

As is true with any institution, the judiciary is no better than the people who operate it.

Over history the course of judicial protection of liberty has been anything but consistent. Part of the explanation for the inconsistency is the changing attitudes toward the power of the national government to limit state invasions of individual liberty.

For the first 40 years of federal court history, national power was dominant in the view of the Court; politicians including Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Jackson did not share that view. For the next 30 years, states asserted their “sovereignty” to the extreme, culminating in a direct challenge to federal power and the Civil War.

The Civil War Amendments settled the general legal questions surrounding federal powers but the Courts construed the Amendments narrowly permitting the states considerable powers in restricting personal and civil liberties. In the post World War I era the Courts began to recognize the values expressed and implied in the Bill of Rights and for the next 50 years the federal courts were at their apex as the guardian of liberties.

Since the 1970’s the Supreme Court and hence the federal courts, have taken a much more reserved position, deferring to the legislative and executive branches to fashion individual protections. Congress, and many state legislatures, has indeed enacted categorical protections for speech and religion and protections for special classes such as disabled persons and the aged.

But in the past 20 years, a much more conservative court has ruled that Congress lacks the power to impose broad protections on the states.

With that brief excursus into history, we return to our current situation. Our liberties are held hostage to claims of national security by a government that is hostile to personal freedoms.

We are in a “war on terror” that has no end. In the name of fighting that never-ending war, Congress has enacted sweeping provisions for increased law enforcement power and restricted protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Until the politics of the Congress and of the Executive branch changes, our only protection will be the Constitution and the courts.

Will the courts allow the government to conduct secret searches? Will the government be permitted to conduct investigatory searches without a particularized warrant and without judicial authorization? Will the government be able to arrest a citizen and hold them indefinitely without charges and without a trial?

In passing let me observe that the questions I just posed have a familiar ring to them; they almost mirror the grievances against the King recited by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. But our question is whether the Constitution is suited to deal with modern problems.

As noted, our history reveals that we have faced crises before. I have cited the larger crises to demonstrate that our current crisis is hardly unique even if you compare it to war time. In fact it might be instructive to review “war time” actions by the government in dealing with national security issues. In the interest of time and focus, permit to review just one such action with which I believe you are all familiar.

In World War II, the President acting as Commander in Chief, authorized exclusion and incarceration orders for the West Coast to remove and imprison tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans, 80,000 of which were citizens of the United States. Two years after the “detainees” had been locked up, their case reached the US Supreme Court. The government won that case in a 5-4 decision over strong dissenting opinions.

Put aside the fact that we subsequently learned that the government lied and misrepresented the facts in the judicial process and the fact that the government action and the court decision came to be a national disgrace. The point is that the constitutional processes were available and functioned. I suppose it is worth noting further that due process of law does not guarantee the correct result. But Dred Scott could have told you that 150 years ago.

How does the Constitution respond to crisis like the national security threats we face?

If the claim is that the Constitution isn’t up to the task, we should at least note what the Constitution does provide. To begin, we need to understand that the Constitution is the text and the gloss put on that text by over two hundred years of judicial interpretation.

To boils things down to a manageable discussion, generally, the Constitution does not recognize “emergency” as a justification for suspending the requirements of the Constitution.

Presidents have frequently made that claim in one form or another, and in one context or another and the Court has universally rejected it. The meaning is clear; the constitutional processes are deemed adequate to deal with emergency situations.

And what are those processes? Again cutting to the chase so to speak, since almost no constitutional rights are absolute, the government can infringe those rights if and only if it can show that it has a compelling governmental interest and that its action is necessary to serve that interest.

It is not easy for the government to meet this exactly standard and that is as it should be. Infringement of constitutionally protected rights should not be easy.

The long history of government claims of national security as a justification for deprivation of rights is instructive.

From 1798 when the Alien and Sedition Acts suppressed criticism of the government policy and officials to 2001 and the US Patriot Act, the government agenda is driven, as much by partisan interests as it is by security needs.

Just like Madison Avenue selling the latest fad of over the counter medicine, politicians drum up the need in order to sell the product. As Lincoln is reported to have advised, you can fool some of the people some of the time. But sooner or later enough people cannot be fooled.

And at this point we should be reminded that the Constitution places the ultimate power in the people.

In our history, the political solution has removed restrictions on civil liberties that were enacted in times of crises; that is the solution which the Bill of Rights Defense Committee has so effectively advanced.

Over the long haul, that may be a satisfactory solution. But people sitting in prison without charges and without trial understandably, do not want to wait- nor should they have to.

And when you apply for a job ten years from now and are denied because of information in your government file which information was gathered in a secret search 10 years earlier, long haul solutions don’t help much.

Our Constitution is a piece of paper, a contract between the people and the government as some like to say. But like any other contract, it isn’t worth much if it can’t be enforced.

The terms of the contract are not obsolete nor do crisis conditions require setting the contract aside.

Its terms provide for dealing with crisis and its processes are adaptable enough to deal with contemporary problems. But your government has not asked for expedited processes to deal with the world as it exists today.

Instead it has asked to be excused from meeting constitutional standards in a broad array of situations.

The framers of our constitution created a government based on their hopes for a better, more just society. They had every reason to respond to their fears but they chose a more promising path.

We have legitimate fears today just as our founders had legitimate fears. Are we not able to deal with those fears without sacrificing our hopes for a better, more just society?

Are we less able or courageous than our forefathers?

We are better educated, more experienced and have more resources than our American ancestors.

Surely we can find the strength, courage and wisdom to establish a proper balance between liberty and security.

1955 marked the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Chief Justice John Marshall, the great lawyer, statesman and jurist who defined our constitution and establish the rule of law for our nation. In that celebration, Chief Justice Earl Warren noted Marshall’s many accomplishments then turned to the balance between stability and freedom.

For all his accomplishments, Marshall “could not perpetuate either stability or freedom. Every generation must earn those things for itself.

Our problems … are as pressing as [the problems] in the days of John Marshall and call for the same devotion to constitutional principles.” This year marks the 250th Anniversary of John Marshall’s birth and the message remains the same. Each generation must earn its freedom. Are we up to the task?

JSTOR: Our Obsolete Constitution
The essential ques- tion is the need of the third--is the Constitution obsolete? Mr. Wallace's argument under this, his main head, is by no means convincing ...Similar pages - Note this

JSTOR: Our Obsolete Constitution
University of Chicago WILLIAM W. SWEET Our Obsolete Constitution. By William Kay Wallace (New York: The John Day Company, 1932. 226 pp. Appendix. $2.00. ...Similar pages - Note this [ More results from links.jstor.org ]
Guns and the Constitution
If we have a "living Constitution" onto which courts may graft new rights, why can't they prune away obsolete ones? These are genuinely tough questions, ...www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/gunconst.htm - 9k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

And Here Is A Question That Has Become An American Obsession
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1566715.stm

Guns are deeply rooted within Swiss culture - but the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.

The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols.

This is in a very large part due to Switzerland's unique system of national defence, developed over the centuries.

Instead of a standing, full-time army, the country requires every man to undergo some form of military training for a few days or weeks a year throughout most of their lives.

Between the ages of 21 and 32 men serve as frontline troops. They are given an M-57 assault rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition which they are required to keep at home.

Once discharged, men serve in the Swiss equivalent of the US National Guard, but still have to train occasionally and are given bolt rifles. Women do not have to own firearms, but are encouraged to.

Few restrictions

In addition to the government-provided arms, there are few restrictions on buying weapons. Some cantons restrict the carrying of firearms - others do not.

The government even sells off surplus weaponry to the general public when new equipment is introduced.

Guns and shooting are popular national pastimes. More than 200,000 Swiss attend national annual marksmanship competitions.

But despite the wide ownership and availability of guns, violent crime is extremely rare. There are only minimal controls at public buildings and politicians rarely have police protection.

Mark Eisenecker, a sociologist from the University of Zurich told BBC News Online that guns are "anchored" in Swiss society and that gun control is simply not an issue.

Some pro-gun groups argue that Switzerland proves their contention that there is not necessarily a link between the availability of guns and violent crime in society.

Low crime

But other commentators suggest that the reality is more complicated.

Switzerland is one of the world's richest countries, but has remained relatively isolated.

It has none of the social problems associated with gun crime seen in other industrialised countries like drugs or urban deprivation.

Despite the lack of rigid gun laws, firearms are strictly connected to a sense of collective responsibility.

From an early age Swiss men and women associate weaponry with being called to defend their country.

Gonzales says the Constitution doesn't guarantee habeas corpus ...
"The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas,'' Gonzales told Sen. - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Ed Cognoski: UT law professor says US Constitution obsolete

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7779.shtml
BUSH ON THE CONSTITUTION: ‘IT’S JUST A GODDAMNED PIECE OF PAPER’ By DOUG THOMPSONDec 5, 2005, 07:53

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “

There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that “goddamned piece of paper” used to guarantee.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, while still White House counsel, wrote that the “Constitution is an outdated document.”Put aside, for a moment, political affiliation or personal beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent. It doesn’t matter if you support the invasion or Iraq or not.

Despite our differences, the Constitution has stood for two centuries as the defining document of our government, the final source to determine “in the end ” if something is legal or right.

Every federal official - including the President - who takes an oath of office swears to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he cringes when someone calls the Constitution a “living document.”“Oh, how I hate the phrase we have “a ‘living document,” Scalia says. “We now have a Constitution that means whatever we want it to mean. The Constitution is not a living organism, for Pete’s sake.”As a judge, Scalia says, “I don’t have to prove that the Constitution is perfect; I just have to prove that it’s better than anything else.”

President Bush has proposed seven amendments to the Constitution over the last five years, including a controversial amendment to define marriage as a “union between a man and woman.” Members of Congress have proposed some 11,000 amendments over the last decade, ranging from repeal of the right to bear arms to a Constitutional ban on abortion.

Scalia says the danger of tinkering with the Constitution comes from a loss of rights.“We can take away rights just as we can grant new ones,” Scalia warns. “Don’t think that it’s a one-way street.”And don’t buy the White House hype that the USA Patriot Act is a necessary tool to fight terrorism.

It is a dangerous law that infringes on the rights of every American citizen and, as one brave aide told President Bush, something that undermines the Constitution of the United States.

But why should Bush care? After all, the Constitution is just “a goddamned piece of paper.”

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0117-29.htm
Hey Mainstream Media! Why Doesn’t Presidential Dismantling of the Constitution Warrant the Same Intense Scrutiny as Presidential Adultery?
by Andrew Bard Schmookler

Eight years ago, a president entering his sixth year in office came under suspicion: had he conducted an adulterous affair with a young intern? For months thereafter, the media could talk of little else. It was the national topic of conversation for most of that year. The House eventually impeached the president, and the Senate tried him.

Now again, a president entering his sixth year in office has come under suspicion: has he deliberately and unjustifiably violated both the Constitution and federal statutes by conducting searches without a warrant? But this suspicion is not getting anything like the kind of media attention of the Monica Lewinsky story.

Why is that?

The presidential oath of office states: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Thus the core of his job is expressed in terms of defending, not our standard of living, nor even the general welfare, but our Constitution itself.

So why was Monica more deserving of attention? None of the possible “explanations” can stand as justifications.

1) The grounds for suspecting President Bush of violating both the letter and the spirit of his oath of office are not weaker than were the grounds for suspecting President Clinton of hanky-panky with an intern.

2) The possible wrong-doing by the current president would in no way be less important for Americans to confront than the wrong-doing of his predecessor; indeed, the present suspicion against the president is precisely the kind of thing that most worried our Founding Fathers.

3) The media may assume that the American people are less interested in protecting the Constitution than in sex scandals, but they haven’t bothered to test that proposition. And even if it were true, that would not justify the failure of the press to fulfill its duty as watchdog and protector of our democracy.

Grounds for Suspicion

The president has admitted to ordering wiretaps to be conducted without getting the court warrants required by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. To justify his actions, he and his people have made two claims: first, that they had the legal authority to do so; and second, that their actions were required for the sake of national security in a time of war.

It is hardly reassuring about the moral and intellectual integrity of this administration that the legal justifications offered thus far are regarded as almost laughably flimsy by the independent legal authorities who have commented on them.

First, they’ve claimed that the congressional authorization to fight the terrorists abroad, passed in the aftermath of 9/11, also authorized domestic surveillance. But the language of the enabling legislation supports no such claim, and the record of the debate at the time suggests that the Bush administration fully understood that such authorization would require additional provisions that Congress expressly declined to enact. In addition, why would President Bush have given his subsequent (false) public reassurance that his administration abides by the requirement to get warrants before conducting searches if he felt he’d been authorized by Congress to do otherwise?

Second, the Bush administration claims that the powers constitutionally given to the president as commander-in-chief permits him to do whatever he pleases in waging war, regardless of the law or of the prerogatives of the other branches of the government. Such a claim has been widely regarded by legal scholars as baseless as a reading of the Constitution, and as antithetical to the whole spirit of our constitutional system.

Still, there could be important national security reasons for a president to violate the law. And it’s possible that the American people –whether wisely or not—would be willing to allow the president to take illegal measures if they were required to defend the nation. But here, too, there are also reasons to doubt the presidential claims that his apparently illegal actions have been required by the demands of national security.

FISA created a court especially for the purpose of issuing such warrants, and it has issued many thousands of such warrants, while refusing only four. The law even makes provision for those situations in which urgency makes it impractical to go first to court: the executive has three whole days after emergency surveillance to come to the court for its actions to be scrutinized and validated.

So what legitimate national security reason might there be that would have prevented the president from both protecting the nation and obeying the law and the Constitution?

There remain strong grounds for suspicion that the president was serving no national good, but only hijacking power that the Framers of the Constitution expressly sought to deny him. And it does not help allay our concerns that this conducting of warrantless searches fits into a "pattern of disregard” for legal restraints, both domestic and international. But if the president has a good justification, let us hear it.

In any event, why isn’t President Bush being pressed to provide justification, and why isn’t the evidence being explored publicly with the same intensity that was devoted to the Lewinsky affair?

The Most Vital of National Interests

The moral character of the president in his private life does matter. As the most prominent personal embodiment of the nation, the president inevitably is a kind of role model. So President Clinton’s dalliance was not altogether irrelevant to his fulfillment of his job as president.

But the suspicions about President Bush’s abandonment of his core oath to protect the Constitution relate to the very core of his presidential responsibilities.

As the oath makes clear, the Constitution is the heart and soul of America. It is the inner sanctum that our public servants swear to protect; the great gift that our soldiers have fought and died for, the very foundation of our national identity. Even while we Americans divide on many issues, the sanctity of the Constitution is what unites us. It is our core assertion to the world that “we are a nation of laws, not of men.”

In this context, what could matter more than whether the President of the United States is honoring his oath of office, or whether he is treating the Constitution as an obstacle to be casually, needlessly swept aside?

Our Founding Fathers certainly would have known that this is an absolutely major story. The system of checks and balances was not a casual thing. It was a profound vision they had on meeting the challenge of how to avoid tyranny. And, as human history shows, the avoidance of tyranny is no small accomplishment. Free and decent societies have been few.

The fourth amendment protection against “unreasonable search and seizure” represented the Founding Fathers’ understanding, based on the millennia of human history in which they were schooled, of the tools of tyranny. If the King does not need the approval of the Judge to invade the privacy of the citizen, freedom is imperiled. So “We the People” determined that the court would serve as a check and a balance against the potentially tyrannical power of the executive.

If there was no imperative need for President Bush to conduct searches without first getting a warrant, then why did he do it? Would he grab a tyrant’s powers if he didn’t have a tyrant’s intentions?

We urgently need an independent investigation to discover just what purposes were being served by these warrantless wiretaps. Was this monitoring confined to those people who might reasonably be suspected of being a terrorist threat to America? Or were people perhaps chosen as targets for surveillance simply because they were political opponents of this president and his policies?

What could be more important than to know whether the great achievement of our Founding Fathers is being dismantled? But one would hardly know anything of such vital importance was at stake from watching how our mainstream media are dealing with this possible constitutional crisis.

What Master Is the Media Serving?

Is the reason for the media’s casualness in treating this administration’s possible running roughshod over the Constitution that the media don’t think this story will grab an audience the way, say, stains on a blue dress did?

But how would they know?

Watergate certainly transfixed the nation thirty-some years ago.

If Linda Tripp’s disclosures had been given no more play than those of the NSA’s warrantless spying on Americans, would people have gotten so swept up in the that affair? And if the present suspicions of presidential usurpation of powers were getting the kind of wall-to-wall coverage that Clinton’s extramarital dalliance received, might the American people be just as engaged in this story?

Recall that the upshot of the Lewinsky affair was that the American people, while repelled by Clinton’s conduct, mostly rallied to his defense. Though the House impeached him, and the Senate tried him, the president’s approval ratings climbed to levels exceeding those preceding the scandal—presumably because the American people decided that the assault on Clinton was an even bigger scandal than the president’s inability to control his sexual impulses. This was not, a majority of the American people decided, a matter that warranted bringing to bear the heaviest of constitutional machinery to bear to remove a president.

When the Congress investigated Watergate, however, President Nixon benefited from no such rallying of popular support. The public recognized that the abuse of presidential power was a vital national concern. There is simply no evidence from the Watergate story that the defense of our political system has no “sex appeal” to the American public.

So why then do the mainstream media not treat this with the urgency that they gave to Monicagate? Is the difference perhaps not in the nature of the possible offense, but in the nature of the media’s relationship to the respective presidents? Just what master is themedia serving?

Even if the American people did prove to be slow to care, is it not the job of the media not just to pander to public interests but also to direct public attention to the important public business of the times? Is it not the ultimate job of the press not just to get ratings and make a profit but also to serve the public interest?

The danger of a tyrant arising in the executive and abusing his power was far more compelling to our Founding Fathers than the danger of our being unable to defend ourselves against foreign threats. Would our Founders have accepted, without stringent proof, that America has had to adopt the police-state tactics of this commander-in-chief to protect ourselves against outside enemies?

James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, in promoting our Constitution: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

And then there is the line widely attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

If Jefferson and Madison were alive now to see the lack of vigilance of the mainstream America media in the face of these suspected threats to our constitutional protections against tyranny, they’d turn over in their graves.

If tyranny is not stopped in its earliest stages, it only grows stronger and becomes still more difficult and dangerous to stop.

Andrew Bard Schmookler has recently launched his website devoted to understanding the roots of America’s present moral crisis and the means by which the urgent challenge of this dangerous moment can be met. Dr. Schmookler is also the author of such books as The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution (SUNY Press) and Debating the Good Society: A Quest to Bridge America’s Moral Divide (M.I.T. Press). He also conducts regular talk-radio conversations in both red and blue states. Email to: andythebard@comcast.net

Cornell University Source Library

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Constitutional_law

Common Dreams NewsCenter www.commondreams.org

THE STRANGE DEATH OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: END GAME IN OHIO by Michael Keefer
www.globalresearch.ca 24 January 2005
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE501A.html

So who ever thought the 2004 U.S. presidential election had the remotest chance of being honest and democratic?

Not, one might guess, the electronic voting security experts like Ken Thompson, Roy Saltman, Rebecca Mercuri, Bruce Schneier, Doug Jones, Victoria Collier, Aviel Rubin, Lynn Landes, and Bev Harris, who have for years been warning that the new voting technology coming into use in the United States offers unprecedented opportunities for electoral fraud.[1]

Probably not Osama bin Laden, who made his much-anticipated Jack-in-the-Box video appearance three days before polling day: wearing a gold-lamé hospital gown in front of a blank shower curtain, and with a nose that looked to have been quite recently punched flat, he landed some anti-Bush shots that Rush Limbaugh and the other ring-tailed roarers of the American right were happy to interpret as a last-minute endorsement of John Kerry.[2]

And certainly not Republican Congressional Representative Peter King, who made an equally notable video statement on the afternoon of November 2nd, long before the polls closed, in the course of a White House function that seemed to have put him into a celebratory mood. "It's already over," he told the interviewer. "The election's over. We won." Asked how he knew at that early hour, King replied: "It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting."[3]

One of the people who took care of the counting--and who was responsible as well for some of the most decisive crookedness of the election, and the most flagrant illegalities of the post-election cover-up--is J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's Republican Secretary of State.

To give the man his due, Blackwell is at once more discreet and more grotesquely Orwellian than the tipsy Congressman King. Rather than flaunting his election-stealing prowess, he has preferred to boast in a Washington Times op-ed that while the election in Ohio was not in all respects perfect ("a seven-hour wait" outside polling stations, he acknowledges, "is clearly unacceptable"), it was nonetheless "perfectly inspiring--a testament to the strength and power of our democratic system, the commitment of American voters to have their voices heard and the integrity of the process that encouraged participation and demanded fairness."[4]

Prior to the election, this versatile ironist was reported to be "coming out strong" in support of the proposal to ban same-sex marriage: in late October, Blackwell made an appearance with Pastor Rod Parsley, president of "The Center for Moral Clarity," in the course of which he edified "an energized crowd" in the "Cathedral of Praise" by telling them that the notion of same-sex couples "even defies barnyard logic [...] the barnyard knows better."[5]

But Blackwell's talent--and his affliction--goes beyond irony or hypocrisy into a more permanent state of inversion that one might think of as resembling the punishment reported by the poet Dante for religiously inflected fraud.[6] In another speech in the same week of October--the context this time being his refusal to obey a federal court order requiring him to comply with the Help America Vote Act--Blackwell compared himself, in his willingness to endure the unlikely punishment of imprisonment, to Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and the Apostle Paul. A spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party's Voter Protection Program offered the appropriate rejoinder: "Many civil rights leaders went to jail to defend the right to vote. If this official wants to go to jail to thwart it, that would be unfortunate."[7]

The talented Mr. Blackwell has garnered praise for having launched "The Ohio Center for Civic Character: A Citizen Education Initiative of the Ohio Secretary of State." The Center's goal, "a revolution of character-building in our great state," is to be achieved by providing "today's generation of leaders" with "a shared vocabulary of character-building ethics" which Blackwell calls "Uncommon Sense."[8] It may come as no surprise that one of his most recent public appearances prior to the Bush inauguration was a lecture, delivered on January 12th, 2005 to an exclusive audience at the Scioto Country Club in rural southern Ohio, on the subject of "Ethics in Leadership."[9]

Like the unsavoury Katherine Harris, who was Florida Secretary of State in 2000 and simultaneously state Chair of the Florida Bush-Cheney campaign, Kenneth Blackwell occupied a strategic double position as Co-Chair of the Ohio Bush-Cheney campaign and Secretary of State in what analysts correctly anticipated would be the key swing state of the 2004 election. From this position, a growing body of evidence shows, he was able to oversee a partisan and racist pre-election purging of the electoral rolls,[10] a clearly partisan reduction of the number of voting precincts in counties won by Gore in 2000 (a move that helped suppress the 2004 Democratic turnout),[11] a partisan and racist misallocation of voting machines (which effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of African-American voters),[12] a partisan and racist system of polling-place challenges (which together with electoral roll purges obliged many scores of thousands of African-Americans to vote with 'second-class-citizen' provisional ballots),[13] and a fraudulent pre-programming of touch-screen voting machines that produced a systematic 'flipping' of Democratic votes into Bush's tally or the trash can.[14]

In a nation that enforced its own laws, the misallocation of voting machines--a clear violation of the equal protection provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution--would alone have sufficed to invalidate the Ohio election.

Having overseen one of the more flagrantly corrupt elections in recent American history, Blackwell and his Republican machine proceeded to "take care of the counting"--which involved a partisan and racist dismissal of scores of thousands of African-American ballots as "spoiled,"[15] a flagrantly illegal "lock-down" of the vote-tallying process in Warren County on the transparently false grounds of a supposed terrorist threat,[16] massive electronic vote-tabulation fraud in this and other south-western Ohio counties,[17] and marginally less flagrant but evidently systematic forms of 'ghost-voting' and vote theft elsewhere in the state.[18]

Blackwell then saw to it (with the active assistance of partisan Republican judges, and the passive assistance of a strangely supine Democratic Party) that no even partial recount--let alone anything resembling a voting-machine or vote-tabulator audit--could get under way prior to the selection of Ohio's Republican electors to the Electoral College.[19]

He also did his utmost to block public access to election data, ordering the Boards of Election in all eighty-eight Ohio counties to prevent public inspection of poll books until after certification of the vote, which he delayed until December 6th.[20] On December 10th, his Election Administrator, Pat Wolfe, intervened to prevent analysis of poll-book data by ordering, on Blackwell's authority, a renewed "lock-down" of voting records in Greene County and the entire state. (According to Ohio Revised Code Title XXXV Elections, Sec. 3503.26, such records are to be open to the public; Ohio Revised Code Sec. 3599.42 explicitly declares that any violation of Title XXXV "constitutes a prima facie case of election fraud....")[21]

Bizarrely enough, on the night following the statement to election observers in Greene County that all voter records in the State of Ohio were "locked down" and "not considered public records," the Greene County offices were left unlocked: when the same election observers returned at 10:15 on the morning of Saturday, December 11th, they found the building open, a light on in the office (which had not been on when it was closed on the evening of the 10th), and all of the poll books and voting machines unsecured.[22]

When at last the Green and Libertarian parties' lawyers were able to obtain a recount, Blackwell presided over one that was fully as corrupt as the election had been. Sample hand recounts were to be carried out in each county, involving randomly-selected precincts constituting at least three percent of the vote; any disagreements between the sample recount and the official tally were supposed to prompt a full county-wide hand recount. According to Green Party observers, however, a substantial proportion of Ohio's eighty-eight counties broke the law by not selecting their hand-recount precincts randomly.[23]

There is evidence, most crucially, that Triad Governmental Systems, the private corporation responsible for servicing the vote-tabulation machines in about half of the state, tampered with selected machines in counties across Ohio immediately before the recount in order to ensure that the sample recount tallies would conform with the official vote tallies.[24] (Triad's technicians knew which machines to tamper with because, it would appear, Board of Election officials, in open violation of the law, told them which precincts had been pre-selected.)

Despite this widespread tampering, there were discrepancies in at least six counties between the sample hand recounts and the official tallies--and yet the Board of Elections refused to conduct full county-wide hand recounts.[25] As David Swanson writes,

"Only one county conducted a full hand recount, which resulted in 6 percent more votes than in the original vote. Those extra votes were evenly split between Kerry and Bush, but--even assuming that one county's votes have now been properly counted--how do we know where votes in the other 87 counties would fall? Should an extra several percent of them show up, and should they be weighted toward Kerry, the election would not have yet been what the media keeps telling us it is: over.[26]

Although required by law as Secretary of State to investigate electoral irregularities, Blackwell consistently refused to do so. He refused to respond to a formal letter from John Conyers and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus itemizing a host of alleged improprieties and asking what he had done to correct or investigate them. He also refused to testify in lawsuits against him arising from the election and its aftermath--in the expectation, no doubt, that any cases not declared moot once George W. Bush was safely reconfirmed as president by the votes of the Electoral College and of Congress would be dealt with by higher courts dominated by Republican judges.

Katherine Harris's reward for her work in throwing the 2000 Florida election to Bush was a safe seat in Congress. Kenneth Blackwell has named his prize: he wants to be Governor of Ohio. In a post-election fundraising letter soliciting funds for his governorship campaign, he takes credit for delivering Ohio to George W. Bush--and thus, since Ohio decided the national outcome, for ensuring his second term as president:

"I have no doubt the strong campaign we helped the President run in Ohio--coupled with a similar effort I helped deliver for State Issue One (the Marriage Protection Amendment)--can easily be credited with turning out record numbers of conservatives and evangelicals on Election Day. [....] And, I draw great satisfaction in hearing liberal members of the media credit the Marriage Protection Amendment as [the] single most important factor that drove President Bush over the top in Ohio."

In the same letter, true to the general inversion of his world view, Blackwell takes credit for his success in preventing electoral fraud:

"I have never shied away from the giving the liberals fits. And I'm sure that with all the potential voter-fraud we prevented during this last election, they will be looking to get even with me in my next political campaign. [....] As Secretary of State, I have been sued almost 30 times since this summer because I stood up for the rights of voters like you and against liberal trial lawyers and activist judges who wanted to give this election to Senator Kerry. [....] When the ACLU and the other members of the radical left worked to stop me from cracking down and prohibiting outrageous ways to commit voter fraud, I fought back and won."[27]

But what precisely does it mean to say that lawyers and judges who sought to protect the rights of minority voters from Blackwell's manifold vote-suppression tactics would have 'given' the election to Kerry? This sounds rather like a coded acknowledgment of a Republican truth that was, notoriously, voiced openly in July 2004 by a Republican state representative in nearby Michigan: "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote"--for Ohio, substitute the Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, or Toledo vote--"we're going to have a tough time in this election cycle."[28]

The Ohio recount of the presidential vote was declared officially terminated on December 28th, a day that in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints commemorates the Slaughter of the Innocents. With a derisory alteration of the official count (Kerry received an additional 734 votes, and Bush 449), George W. Bush retained a certified victory margin in Ohio of 118,755 votes--still large enough to look decisive, though well down from the lead of over 136,000 he was credited with in the first official tallies. As Bob Fitrakis, Steven Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman have remarked, the end came

"amidst bitter dispute over official certification of impossible voter turnout numbers, over the refusal of Ohio's Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice to recuse himself from crucial court challenges involving his own re-election campaign, over the Republican Secretary of State's refusal to testify under subpoena, over apparent tampering with tabulation machines, over more than 100,000 provisional and machine-rejected ballots left uncounted, over major discrepancies in certified vote counts and turnout ratios, and over a wide range of unresolved disputes that continue to leave the true outcome of Ohio's presidential vote in serious doubt."[29]

The end to the post-election process as a whole came on January 6th, 2005, when the United States House of Representatives and Senate, the assembled Congress of the American republic, voted to ratify the votes cast by the Electoral College--an act which formally made George W. Bush President for the next four years.

What is normally a purely ceremonial state occasion was interrupted, this year, by the brief irruption of a more authentic form of human dignity. Ohio Democratic Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, supported by California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, rose to challenge the Ohio results, thereby forcing the Senate and House of Representatives to separate in order to conduct, in Tubbs-Jones' words, "a formal and legitimate debate about election irregularities," and to engage, if only for the two hours prescribed for such a debate, with the arguments of those Democratic representatives and senators whose sense of ethics and of duty had led them to join what Boxer called "the fight for electoral justice."[30]

As Mark Weisbrot wrote in an article published by the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, Republican lawmakers responded to Senator Boxer, and to Representative Tubbs-Jones and her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, "with howls of derision."[31] Some engaged in ad hominem tactics, labeling the objections "base" and "outrageous" (David Hobson, R-Ohio), and calling the objectors "aspiring fantasy authors" of "wild conspiracy theories," whose behaviour exemplified "their party's primary strategy to obstruct, to divide, to destroy" (Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio).

Others denounced the debate itself as "a travesty" (Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania), a "squandering [of the Senate's] time" by people "who persist in beating a dead horse" (Senator George Voinovich, R-Ohio); or, more gravely, as an exercise that "in the midst of a global war on terrorism [...] clearly emboldens those who would in fact undermine the prospect of democracy" (David Dreier (R-California), and "an assault against the institutions of our representative democracy" by the "X-Files wing" of the Democratic Party (Tom DeLay, R-Texas).

Out of this sound and fury there emerged the dim outline of a theory of Democracy-as-Confidence-Trick--according to which criticism must be silenced because, as House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) put it,

"Every time we attack the process, we cast that doubt on that fabric of democracy that is so important. People do have to have confidence that the process works in a proper way. They don't need to believe that it is absolutely perfect because after all it's the greatest democracy in the history of the world. And it's run by people who step forward and make a system work in ways that nobody would believe until they see it [...]."

Take away the pseudo-democratic pieties, and what's left as sub-text is a simpler message. In the laconic formulation of Ric Keller (R-Florida): "Get over it."[32]

An overwhelming majority in Congress was anxious to do just that. Ohio's Electoral College votes, together with those from all the other states, were ratified by votes of 267 to 31 in the House of Representatives, and 74 to 1 in the Senate.

What, exactly, were these large majorities agreeing to "get over"? Residual stirrings of anger--or possibly, on the Republican side, of conscience--over the fact that for the second time in a row a presidential election has been marked by appalling levels of corruption and fraud?

Ah, but while Al Gore won the popular vote nationwide in the 2000 election by some 540,000 votes--and would, it seems, have won Florida too, had the Supreme Court not intervened to stop the vote count, by as many as 23,000 votes[33]--aren't things different this time? Ohio this time may have been a mess--no one's "absolutely perfect," even in "the greatest democracy in the history of the world"--but didn't George W. Bush win the nationwide popular vote in November 2004 by several million votes?

Do you really think so? How interesting. How--let me borrow a term from the lexicon of George W. Bush's newly confirmed Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales--how "quaint."

Ohio was the swing state of swing states on November 2nd, 2004, the one whose twenty Electoral College votes decided the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. It is therefore a matter of some significance that the testimonial evidence of corruption in the Ohio election is corroborated by statistical evidence which shows the election in this state--and nationwide--to have been not just corrupt, but stolen.

The evidence in both categories is massively complex. But thanks to the no less massive analytical labours over the past two months of citizen pro-democracy activists, of social scientists, of mathematicians and statisticians, of computer programmers, and of alternative-media investigative journalists, it can nonetheless be conveniently summarized.

You want smoking guns? Here they are, starting with the evidence that John F. Kerry, and not George W. Bush, won the state of Ohio.

1. Uncounted punch-card and provisional ballots.

Well over 13,000 Ohio provisional ballots were never counted, and 92,672 regular punch-card ballots were set aside by vote-counting machines as indicating no choice for president. Thus, even after Ohio's supposed recount, a total of over 106,000 ballots remained uncounted--though there was "no legal reason for not inspecting and counting each of these ballots."[34] But there seems to have been a very good political reason for not doing so: the uncounted ballots came disproportionately from places like the cities of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Akron, all of which voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats.

2. Fraud through default settings on touch-screen voting machines.

Some 15 percent of Ohio's votes were cast using the new touch-screen voting machines. In the city of Youngstown, in Mahoning County, there were repeated complaints about what election observers referred to as "vote flipping" by the ES&S Ivotronic touch-screen machines used there. This "flipping" phenomenon, also widely observed in other states, typically appeared to poll watchers "like a mere computer glitch, no different than a super market checkout machine that records an incorrect price for lettuce."[35]

But what was happening, in the vast majority of cases, was no "glitch." As Dom Stasi notes, "The laws of probability demand that multiple random errors trend toward even distribution, but only if they are truly errors."[36] Yet in all of the published accounts of vote flipping, the "errors" consistently favoured Bush: voters who were trying to vote for Kerry found their votes being given to Bush, transferred to third-party candidates, or simply erased.[37]

The Chairman of the Mahoning County Board of Elections is reported to have stated that "20 to 30 machines [...] needed to be recalibrated during the voting process."[38] He is not quoted as saying that any action was taken, or could be taken, to compensate for the machines' one-way errors--and there is evidence that many other machines were left uncorrected.

It is clearly not the case, as one Youngstown poll worker claimed, that the repeated anomalies were due to the machines being "temperamental." A supermarket checkout machine doesn't charge ten dollars for a tin of sardines because it's having a bad hair day: it does so because that's what it has been (perhaps mistakenly) programmed to charge.

Similarly, ES&S machines flipped votes from Kerry to Bush because, as Richard Hayes Phillips proposes, they had been given "preselected default settings" that made them do so. And if they flipped votes in an apparently "temperamental" manner, 'acting up' only for every fourth or fifth or tenth voter, that would be a sign, not of electronic hissy fits, but of their having been programmed to move at preset intervals to the default setting.

One of the six machines in Youngstown's precinct 5G appears to have had a default setting for no vote at all. It may have been single-handedly responsible for the fact that nearly 14 percent of the ballots cast in this precinct (where the votes were running in Kerry's favour in a ratio of 12 to 1) were "undervotes," that is, votes cast with no preference for president.[39]

Elsewhere, the subtler effect of many machines moving at intervals to their default settings would have been a gently tidal lifting of the Republican vote tallies by thousands of stolen votes.[40]

3. 'Ghost' absentee voters in Trumbull County.

What appears to be a similar effect of widely diffused fraud came to light in Trumbull County when Dr. Werner Lange undertook the labour of inspecting 106 of the county's precinct poll books. Among the absentee votes listed in these books he found a total of 580 apparent 'ghost' votes--that is, "absentee votes for which there were no absentee voters identified." In other words, there were on average 5.5 faked absentee votes in each of the precinct books he checked. The number may not seem significant, but this level of faked absentee votes, if it turned out to have been reproduced across the state of Ohio, would have resulted in a total of over 62,000 faked votes.[41]

Just how widespread this particular form of cheating was we may never know, since it appears that in many counties the electoral data is now being destroyed.

Lange's evidence has been challenged by Russ Baker, who in a study financed by "the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute" describes himself as "an old-style investigative reporter." The 'investigation' in this instance didn't go beyond accepting the explanation of a Trumbull County official "that the poll books Lange looked at had been printed before absentee voting ended--including those who voted in the final days before the election at the Board's offices. The books would--according to practice--be updated to include everyone."[42]

But the investigator, bless his gum shoes, seems not to have understood what is at issue. Lange writes that his study "would have been completed weeks earlier if Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell [...] had not unlawfully ordered all 88 boards of elections to prevent public inspection of poll books until after the certification of the vote." In other words, much if not all of his inspection of poll books was carried out after the official certification of the Ohio vote on December 6th--and thus more than a month after election day. When, if not at the time their votes were recorded, does Baker imagine that the identities of absentee voters would be recorded in the poll books?

4. Implausible voter turnout figures.

In Franklin County, which includes the city of Columbus, voter turnout figures in the 125 precincts won by Bush were on average nearly 10 percent higher than in the 346 precincts won by Kerry: the median turnout in Bush precincts was 60.56 percent; in Kerry precincts it was 50.78 percent.[43] Though the wide turnout differences here and in Ohio's other largely urban counties may be ascribed in large part to Kenneth Blackwell's vote-suppression tactics, including the partisan misallocation of voting machines, they have also raised suspicions that large numbers of Kerry votes went unrecorded.

These suspicions are strengthened by the certified reports from pro-Kerry Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, of precincts with turnouts of as few as 22.31 percent (precinct 6B), 21.43 percent (13O), 20.07 percent (13F), 14.59 percent (13D), and 7.85 percent (6C) of the registered voters.[44] Thousands of people in these precincts lined up for many hours in the rain in order, it would appear, not to vote.

Meanwhile, in pro-Bush Perry County, the voting records certified by Secretary of State Blackwell included two precincts with reported turnouts of 124.4 and 124.0 percent of the registered voters, while in pro-Bush Miami County, there were precincts whose certified turnouts, if not physically impossible, were only slightly less improbable.[45] These and other instances of implausibly high turnouts in precincts won by Bush, and implausibly low turnouts in precincts won by Kerry, are strongly suggestive of widespread tampering with the vote-tabulation processes.

Similarly anomalous patterns of differences in voter turnout have been detected by Richard Hayes Phillips in Lucas County, which includes the city of Toledo. In this case, the story has a piquant twist: thieves broke into Lucas County Democratic Headquarters on the night of October 12th, and stole computers containing all of the party's local organizing and get-out-the-vote plans. It comes as no surprise that vote-tabulation manipulations in Toledo--and election-day vote-suppression efforts as well--appear to have been particularly well-focused.[46]

5. Vote-tabulation fraud in Miami County.

The fact that Miami County reported two successive sets of returns on election night attracted suspicion from the start. The county's initial figures, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, seemed improbably low, with 31,620 votes cast--only about three-quarters as many as in the 2000 election. But the second total, when it came in late on election night, seemed improbably high--50,235 votes cast altogether--as well as being peculiarly tidy in two respects: John Kerry's share of the vote remained, to one-hundredth of one percent, exactly what it had been in the first set of returns (33.92 percent); and George W. Bush was shown to have won the county by exactly 16,000 votes.

The final certified figures (which include 1,542 provisional ballots added to the total) provided further surprises. In a county whose population had increased by only 1.38 percent since 2000, the number of votes cast rose by a whopping 20.86 percent. Bush's margin of victory over Kerry in the county was larger by 7.3 percent than his margin of victory over Gore had been in 2000, meaning either that the county swung strongly in Bush's favour, or else that he succeeded in capturing an overwhelming proportion--well over 90 percent--of the nearly 9,000 additional voters.

A third possibility also presents itself: namely, that a substantial number of the people who voted for George Bush in Miami County in 2004 do not in fact exist.

Richard Hayes Phillips proposes that the Miami County returns are riddled with fraud--sometimes rather sloppy fraud, as when the precincts of Concord South and Concord South West reported voter turnouts of 94.27 and 98.55 percent respectively, while in adjoining Concord South East the turnout amounted to only 56.55 percent of registered voters.[47] (The Concord South West turnout figure means, by the way, that only ten registered voters failed to vote--though more than that number of voters in the precinct have signed affidavits testifying that they did not vote.)[48]

6. Vote-tabulation fraud in Warren, Butler, Clermont (and other) Counties.
There is strong evidence of large-scale vote-tabulation fraud in these three contiguous and traditionally Republican counties in southwestern Ohio. The comparisons between the 2000 and 2004 figures that Richard Hayes Phillips provides are instructive.

In Warren County, the population increased by 14.75%, the number of registered voters increased by 29.66%, voter turnout increased by 33.55%, Bush's point spread increased from 42.24% to 44.58%, and Bush's victory margin increased from 29,176 votes to 41,124 votes.

In Clermont County[...], the population increased by 4.39%, the number of registered voters increased by 10.20%, voter turnout increased by 24.86%, Bush's point spread increased from 37.50% to 41.69%, and Bush's victory margin increased from 26,202 votes to 36,376 votes.

In Butler County[...], the population increased by 3.12%, the number of registered voters increased by 10.06%, voter turnout increased by 18.18%, Bush's point spread increased from 29.40% to 32.52%, and Bush's victory margin increased from 40,197 votes to 52,550 votes.[49]

These figures are vehemently to be suspected, not least because of the election-night "lock-down" of the Warren County administrative building--an event which may suggest that the team responsible for ensuring that Bush's Ohio vote tallies added up to a convincing victory was at work behind those locked doors, and didn't want their earnest meditations to be disturbed by election observers, journalists, or 'terrorists' of any kind.

At the precinct level, dubious figures throughout these three counties cry out for detailed investigation.

For example, in Butler County's St. Clair Township, where voter turnout rose by 8.27 percent, Kerry received exactly 10.00 percent fewer votes than Gore had in 2000; while in two precincts of Liberty Township (which accounted for a quarter of the purported increase in Bush's margin of victory in Butler County, the numbers of registered voters are said to have risen since 2000 from 660 to 1,834 (an increase of 177.9 percent) and from 596 to 1,451 (an increase of 143.5 percent).

A more distinct marker of fraud is the fact that in all three counties C. Ellen Connally, a comparatively little-known African-American municipal judge from Cleveland who was running as a Democrat for the position of Chief Justice against a well-funded Republican incumbent, Thomas Moyer, received significantly more votes than did the Kerry-Edwards ticket--in Butler County, 5,347 more, and in Clermont County, 4,146 more votes. As Congressman John Conyers and his colleagues emphasized in their letter of December 2nd to Secretary of State Blackwell, this is a bizarre anomaly:

"Have you examined how an underfunded Democratic State Supreme Court candidate could receive so many more votes in Butler County than the Kerry-Edwards ticket? If so, could you provide us with the results of your examination? Is there any precedent in Ohio for a downballot candidate receiving on a percentage or absolute basis so many more votes than the presidential candidate of the same party in this or any other presidential election? Please let us know if any other County in Ohio registered such a disparity on a percentage or absolute basis."[50]

Blackwell, needless to say, did not respond to these questions. But as Conyers and his researchers went on to discover for themselves, the obscure Judge Connally did in fact out-poll the Democratic presidential candidate in seven other Ohio counties: Auglaize, Brown, Darke, Highland, Mercer, Miami, and Putnam Counties.[51]

If this "disparity" of Connally out-polling Kerry is a sign that Kerry votes were being discarded or switched to Bush through vote-tabulation fraud in Butler, Clermont and Warren Counties, then it is also a marker of electoral fraud in these other counties as well.

7. Doing the sums: one analyst's estimate.

After conducting precinct-by-precinct analyses of statistical anomalies in the election results "in fifteen Ohio counties accounting for 62% of the registered voters in the state," Richard Hayes Phillips determined that, on a conservative estimate, "the reported margin of victory for George W. Bush in the State of Ohio is inflated by 101,020 votes." This estimate, in addition to being conservative, is also incomplete.

Phillips remarks that "These studies were conducted under time constraints and with such evidence as Ohio officials were willing to provide.

Even in the counties that I have analyzed, I have examined only certain aspects of a well-orchestrated and multi-faceted plan to undermine democracy in Ohio." Emphasizing, in conclusion, that he has yet to analyze the data from seventy-three of Ohio's eighty-eight counties, Phillips implies that the manifold forms of electoral fraud and vote suppression identified were sufficient to divert to Bush what would have been, in a clean election, a clear Kerry victory.[52]

8. Cuyahoga County: other kinds of fraud.

In moving on to evidence beyond that which Richard Hayes Phillips took into account, I need first to explain one very large-scale false alarm. The election results published by Cuyahoga County (which includes the city of Cleveland) led a number of commentators in November 2004--myself among them--to believe that there had been massive 'ghost-voting' fraud in the suburbs of Cleveland.[53]

But the official lists showing twenty-nine communities with voter turnout figures of more than 100 percent (and hence some 93,000 'ghost votes' in the county) turned out to result from a bizarrely structured software program that grouped communities in the same congressional, house and state senate districts, and added the total number of absentee ballots within the combined districts to the voter turnout figures for each community in these districts-though not to the vote totals for candidates or issues.[54]

This programming oddity worked, the County's website idiotically declared, in "even-numbered years." What its intended function might have been is hard to say. It could have been a piece of innocent stupidity, or the residue of an abandoned ghost-voting scheme--or even a Karl Rovian fool-catcher, designed to set the blogosphere alight with easily extinguished flames.

But other, more subtle, forms of electoral corruption now appear to have been detected in the Cuyahoga County returns.

As may have been observed, the statistically-informed analyses of Richard Hayes Phillips are open to the objection that some of his judgments are, in the end, no more than subjective.

Many of the anomalies he swings at are, without question, home-run pitches: the voter turnout figures in Concord, Miami County, for example, amount to a fast ball over the plate that Phillips hits over the back fence.

In other instances, as in Warren County and the adjoining counties of southwestern Ohio, his analyses are corroborated by evidence like the Judge Connally disparity. There may be further cases, though, in which a skeptical reader might well ask for firmer evidence of fraud than one analyst's "professional judgment." Two recently published studies of the Cuyahoga County data appear to offer methods of analysis that could be usefully applied to the election returns from other Ohio counties--and, quite possibly, from other states as well.

The first establishes the likelihood that what observers thought to be mere incompetence in the conduct of the election in Cleveland was actually a deliberately designed feature intended to throw large numbers of votes from Kerry to Bush; the second, if its "reverse-engineering" programming analysis can be confirmed, would show that a significant number of the official precinct vote-tallies in this county--and perhaps in many others--were fraudulently generated by a hacker.

James Q. Jacobs' still ongoing work with the Cuyahoga County data reveals a significant connection between two apparently disparate features of the election: the fact that odd and wholly implausible clumps of votes in certain precincts went to third-party candidates in a manner that some observers have thought must point to computer hacking; and the fact, noted with frustration by many voters and election-day observers, that in many instances the same polling place was used for two or more voting precincts, and that because of inadequate or nonexistent precinct labeling, significant numbers of voters found themselves in the wrong line-ups.

Jacobs demonstrates a connection between the two: the anomalous third-party votes arose from the fact that the punch-card ballots given to voters in adjoining precincts listed the presidential candidates in different sequences. What he calls "precinct cross-voting" led to many ballots being counted by machines that were coded to attribute punch-marks in a manner differing from the printed sequence of candidates' names on the ballots.

As Jacobs' detailed and statistically sophisticated analysis shows, the result was a steady diversion of votes from Kerry, the candidate favoured by an overwhelming majority of Cleveland voters, to Bush and to third-party candidates.[55] What at first seems no more than spectacularly incompetent election design appears, on reflection, more likely to have been intended to produce exactly this effect.

But if the clumps of third-party votes seem not to have been the result of hackers moving votes about and leaving some of them parked with third-party candidates, that doesn't mean that hacking was not taking place.

Another analysis that may have wide potential applicability has been published at the Democratic Underground website by a computer programmer who claims to have special expertise in the reverse-engineering of calculations, and who goes by the blogger cognomen of '59sunburst.' (Because this analysis has been anonymously published--and because, moreover, I have been unable to activate the author's link to a field of supporting data--I present it with due reservations, in the hope that those possessing programming expertise may be able to critically assess its validity.)

Finding it curious that in 46 Cuyahoga County precincts George Bush received the same number of votes in 2004 as in 2000, while only in 12 precincts did John Kerry receive the same number of votes that Al Gore did in 2000, '59sunburst' speculated that Bush's 2000 numbers in each precinct might somehow have been used "as a benchmark for altering the results of 2004"--with a putative hacker's goal being to ensure that Bush's 2000 level of support was either maintained or enhanced. '59sunburst' was able to develop a quite simple mathematical formula which made it possible "to calculate Kerry's and Bush's 2004 totals for over 400 precincts using Bush's 2000 numbers and a randomizing factor"; this formula, s/he claims, works both for the preliminary results published on November 8th and the final results published by Cuyahoga County's Board of Elections on November 30th.

After demonstrating, with figures from Cleveland precinct 1M, how the formula generates Bush's and Kerry's 2004 vote tallies for both the November 8th and the November 30th reports out of the Bush 2000 vote count and the number of votes cast in 2004, '59sunburst' anticipates the obvious objection: If you throw the right randomizing factor into such a calculation, "you can make anything come out the way you want it to."

True--but it appears that someone was indeed making things come out the way he wanted to on election night. For, as it happens, Cleveland precinct 1N--the very next one on the list--requires the very same "randomizing factor" as precinct 1M (Factor: 0.0618) for the formula to work. The same phenomenon recurs repeatedly with other pairs (or triplets) of consecutively listed precincts: Cleveland 6G and 6H (Factor: 0.005), Cleveland 10D and 10E (Factor: 0.024), Cleveland Heights 3C and 3D (Factor: 0.0267), East Cleveland 2E and 2F (Factor: 0.0263), East Cleveland 2H and 3A (Factor: 0.0241), East Cleveland 3B, 3C, and 3D (Factor: 0.0158), and so on.[56]

If the "randomizing factor" numbers were different in each precinct, or only randomly coincided, there would be no reason to suspect a hacker's presence. What gives the game away is the reappearance of the same numbers in successive precincts--an obvious economizing of effort on the part of a hacker whose sticky fingerprints on the Cuyahoga County returns are made visible by that very fact. The effects of this hacking appear to have been substantial: in the first pair of precincts discussed by '59sunburst' alone, Bush's tally rose from 2 votes in 2000 to 23 in 2004 (precinct 1M), and from 2 votes in 2000 to 32 in 2004 (precinct 1N).

8. The Ohio exit poll.

The November 2nd exit poll showed with some clarity the scale of the Republican Party's electoral fraud in Ohio. When I gathered the Ohio exit poll data from CNN's website at 7:32 p.m. EST on election day, women voters (53 percent of the total) were reported as favouring Kerry over Bush by 53 percent to 47 percent, while male voters (47 percent of the total) preferred Kerry over Bush by 51 percent to 49 percent. The exit poll thus showed Kerry winning Ohio by a margin of 4.2 percent, with 52.1 percent of the vote to Bush's 47.9 percent.[57]

According to the official vote tally, however, George W. Bush carried Ohio with 51 percent of the vote to John Kerry's 48.5 percent--with a winning margin, that is, of 2.5 percent. (Subsequent adjustments to the tally as absentee and provisional ballots were counted cut the margin of victory from 2.5 to 2 percent.)

But do exit polls mean anything at all? According to the collective wisdom of political pundits in the U.S. corporate media, the Ohio exit poll--like the national exit poll, which showed John Kerry, not George W. Bush, winning the popular vote nationwide by a margin of 2.56 percent[58]--must simply have been wrong. Set aside the fact that professionally conducted exit polls have been repeatedly shown to have a high degree of accuracy (significantly higher than that of any other kind of polling).

Set aside the fact that the 2004 polls were conducted with elaborate professional care by one of the most highly respected pollsters in the business. Set aside as well the very peculiar fact that all of the divergences between exit polls and vote tallies in the swing states in the 2004 election favoured George W. Bush--often by amounts far outside the statistical margins of error--and the further fact that none of the (frankly implausible) explanations put forward to deal with this statistical anomaly have been supported by the smallest shred of evidence.[59]

Perhaps we should also avoid any mention of the high-toned denunciations of electoral fraud delivered by George W. Bush, Colin Powell, and Republican Senators Richard Lugar and John McCain following the second-round presidential election in Ukraine on November 21st, 2004. For what was the key evidence adduced in this chorus of denunciations? And why were these Republican statesmen threatening Ukraine with diplomatic isolation and economic penalties if the election results were allowed to stand? Because there was a wide divergence in Ukraine between the exit polls, which gave Viktor Yushchenko a commanding lead, and the official vote tally, according to which the election was narrowly won by his pro-Russian rival, Viktor Yanukovich.

Those who have not yet wholly averted their eyes from the matter might want to note that the divergence between the second-round vote tally in Ukraine and what seems to be the more trustworthy of the second-round Ukrainian exit polls was 6.2 percent.[60] By an odd coincidence, the divergence between the exit poll result and the final vote tally in Ohio was exactly the same: 6.2 percent.

If George W. Bush didn't win the vote tally in Ohio--and the evidence that he didn't is cumulatively overwhelming--then he didn't properly win the Electoral College vote either.

And the popular vote? For the sake of completeness, and of decency, let's briefly lay to rest the idea that some tattered shreds of democratic legitimacy can be reclaimed for Bush's presidency through the pretense that he must, after all, have won the popular vote on November 2nd.

I am not going to rehearse here any part of the rapidly accumulating body of analyses that shows Republican electoral fraud to have been carried out in many other states from coast to coast with much the same energy and inventiveness as in Ohio.[61] For as the mathematician who posts his analyses of exit poll data at the Democratic Underground site under the name 'TruthIsAll' has intimated, and as Dr. Steven F. Freeman has shown in a major new study which he has kindly shared with me in draft form, there is a simpler way of showing that, in the big picture, the numbers which underlie Bush's supposed victory in the popular vote simply don't add up.[62]

In comparison to the election of 2000, there were two dramatic changes in 2004: an increase of some 14 percent in the total number of votes cast (which rose from 105,405,000 in 2000 to 120,255,000 in 2004), and a significant decline in the proportion of votes cast for third-party candidates (which sank from 3,949,000 in 2000 to 1,170,000 in 2004). According to the national exit poll data made available by CNN on the evening of November 2nd, 83 percent of those who voted in 2004 had also voted in 2000. This means, in slightly different terms, that nearly 100 million people who voted in 2000, or close to 95 percent of the 2000 voters, also cast ballots in 2004.[63] In the 2004 exit poll, 13,047 randomly selected respondents stated that they had voted as follows:

Bush Kerry
Gore 2000 voters: 8% 91%
Bush 2000 voters: 90% 10%
Other 2000 voters: 17% 64%
New voters: 41% 57%


Al Gore, remember, won the popular vote in 2000 by almost 544,000 votes (50,999,897 votes to George Bush's 50,456,002). Assuming that the 8 percent of Gore voters who migrated to Bush's camp in 2004 more or less cancel out the 10 percent of Bush-2000 voters who swung to Kerry, one can take the base number of supporters for Bush and Kerry in 2004 as amounting to 95 percent of the Republican and Democratic presidential vote tallies in 2000--or, in round numbers, 48.4 million votes for Kerry and 47.9 million votes for Bush.

If 95 percent of the 3,949,000 who voted for third-party candidates in 2000 also voted in 2004, then given that 64 percent of these people voted for Kerry and 17 percent for Bush, that, in round numbers, would add 2.3 million votes to Kerry's expected total and 600,000 to Bush's, raising them to 50.7 million for Kerry and 48.5 million for Bush.

Add in the 20.2 million new voters, 57 percent of whose ballots, according to the exit poll, went to Kerry, and 41 percent to Bush. That means 11.5 million additional votes for Kerry, and 8.3 million additional votes for Bush. The final expected total comes out to 62.2 million votes for Kerry, and 56.8 million expected votes for Bush.

Compare these numbers to the official results: 61,194,773 votes (or 51 percent of the total votes cast) for George W. Bush, and 57,890,314 (or 48 percent) for John Kerry. The discrepancies are striking: Bush appears to have received 4.4 million more votes than he should have, and Kerry 4.3 million fewer than he should have.

The magic--as Congressman Peter King, whom I quoted at the outset, evidently understood--is in the counting. As a large and growing body of evidence makes clear, the official tallies of the 2004 presidential election are to an unprecedented degree distorted by fraud, much of it carried out through widespread and systematic tampering with electronic vote-tabulation machines.

There is, of course, another magic as well, whose secrets reside in all the manifold ways of not counting. In December 2000, Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, a leading expert in issues of electronic voting-technology security, together with Curtis Gans, director of the nonpartisan Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, estimated that at least two million of the ballots cast in that year's presidential election never got counted. In the words of the journalists who reported this estimate: "That would disenfranchise a city the size of Houston."[64] How large a city has been disenfranchised this time round, if in Ohio alone 106,000 ballots went uncounted?

And finally, there is the shabbiest magic of all--the magic of the corporate-media hacks and think-tank trolls, whose collective mission it is to conjure away the most glaring evidence, normalize the abnormal, and twist or bludgeon critical thinking into conformity.

What this adds up to, I have suggested in my title, is the death of American democracy. A strange death, because so many Americans, for good reasons and for bad, refuse to acknowledge that it has taken place.

The good reasons--those of the many thousand pro-democracy activists who remain fiercely attached to the rights and freedoms that are theirs by inheritance and struggle, who have uncovered through patient study the details of the theft, and who are seeking through firm public action to reassert the dignity and reclaim the stolen voices of those many hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens deliberately abjected and silenced by fraud--these one must honour. One can honour as well the activists' wit and their defiant good humour--evident, for example, in the placards carried in a demonstration in Denver on November 11th (Remembrance Day, in this country):

"Dude, Where Did My Vote Go?"

"Vote Free or Die Bold"

"Correct Electile Dysfunction"

"Corporations Cannot Run Elections"

"The Computer Ate My Vote!"

"The Fox is Guarding the Voting Coop"

"I Do Not Concede."[65]

But let's be realistic about what it means when, with the willing complicity of all the major outlets of the corporate media, a single corporatist party controls the executive functions of the central government, including all of the security apparatus of a thoroughly militarized state, both houses of the legislature, and the judiciary--and what it means when this same party, having acquired executive power in 2000 through electoral fraud and a judicial coup d'état, and having confirmed its control of the legislature through the corrupt midterm elections of 2002, then provides a convincing demonstration in 2004 of its power to turn what should have been a landslide electoral defeat into a dubious but effectively unassailable victory.

It might be suggested that the leader himself, in his inverted Orwellian manner, gave fair warning of what the public could anticipate in his second presidential election. One of the most rightly celebrated of all 'Bushisms' was delivered in September 2002 to an audience in Nashville, Tennessee: "There's an old saying in Tennessee--I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee--that says, fool me once, shame on--shame on you. Fool me--you can't get fooled again."[66] Really? Why on earth not?

For now at least, the forms of a democratic republic remain in place--as, in a parallel way, the residual forms of the Roman Republic remained in place well after its devolution into a militarized imperial autocracy.

One of the early emperors, Tiberius, got sadistic pleasure out of writing deferential letters to the Roman Senate, humbly requesting the terrorized senators' direction and advice. (It is not recorded, though others of his missives had a similarly noxious effect, that he ever went so far as to have the envelopes dusted--did the Romans use envelopes?--with weaponized anthrax.)[67]

Tiberius's successor, known to history by the fond nickname, Caligula, given him by the Roman legionaries, likewise held the Senate in high esteem: he is said to have planned to have his horse--or was it his donkey?--elected to that august body.[68]

Notes

1 For writings by these and other critics of electronic voting technologies, see Michael Keefer, "Evidence of Fraud in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election: A Reader," Centre for Research on Globalization (5 December 2004), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE412A.html

2 For an incisive analysis of the Bin Laden tape, see Michel Chossudovsky, "'Intelligence Asset' bin Laden supports Bush Re-election," Centre for Research on Globalization (31 October 2004), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO410B.html

3 King's remarks, recorded in Alex Pelosi's new film Diary of a Political Tourist, are quoted by Thom Hartmann in "Restoring Trust in the Vote," Common Dreams News Center (15 November 2004), http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1115-htm

4 J. Kenneth Blackwell, "How Ohio pulled it off," The Washington Times (17 November 2004), http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20041116-085742-1497r.htm

5 "Blackwell Compares Gay Couples, Farm Animals," WTOL11: Toledo's News Leader (20 October 2004), http://www.wtol.com/global/story.asp?s=2457596

6 See Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto XIX.

7 Gregory Korte and Jim Siegel, "Defiant Blackwell Rips Judge," Cincinnati Enquirer (22 October 2004), http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/22/loc_blackwell22.html

8 For further details see Blackwell's website, http://www.sos.oh.us/sos/occc/index.html

9 Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, "Ohio GOP election officials ducking subpoenas as Kerry enters stolen vote fray," The Free Press (28 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1046

10 For evidence of the practice of purging voter rolls, see Greg Palast, "Electoral Fraud, Ethnic Cleansing of Voter Rolls, An Election Spoiled Rotten," TomPaine.com (1 November 2004), available at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/PAL411A.html , and Greg Moses, "The One-Two Punch of Racism: Whitewashing the Voter Fraud Issue," The Free Press (10 December 2004),

http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/977 .

This and other forms of Jim Crow electoral manipulation are analyzed in a report by the Democratic Investigative Staff, House Committee on the Judiciary, How to Make One Million Votes Disappear: Electoral Sleight of Hand in the 2000 Presidential Election. A Fifty-State Report Prepared for Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, House Committee on the Judiciary (Washington, D.C.: U.S. House of Representatives, 20 August 2001, available at http://www.electionreport.pdf ).

Substantial evidence of the Ohio Republican Party's illegal practice of "caging" (sending registered letters to newly registered minority and urban voters, and then challenging those whose letters are returned as undeliverable--often because they refuse to sign for mail from the Republicans) is presented in the Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff, Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio (Washington, D.C.: U.S. House of Representatives, 5 January 2005, available at http://www.house.gov/conyers ), pp. 40-43. I would recommend analysis of the following Cleveland precincts, where the astonishingly low numbers of registered voters in the Cuyahoga County electoral returns creates suspicion of purging: 5U (30 registered voters), 6E (21 voters), 6X (83 voters), 13Y (56 voters), 13Z (53 voters), 14C (13 voters), 14D (7 voters), 16C (51 voters), 18B (58 voters), and 19A (19 voters).

11 David S. Bernstein, "Questioning Ohio: No controversy this time? Think again," The Boston Phoenix (12-18 November 2004), http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/other_stories/multi-page/documents/04256171.asp

12 Free Press Staff, "Franklin County, Ohio voting machine assignments, and other information," The Free Press (20 November 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/900 ; Bob Fitrakis, "How the Ohio election was rigged for Bush," The Free Press (22 November 2004), http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/995 ; Richard Hayes Phillips, "Stealing votes in Columbus," The Free Press (23 November 2004), http://www/freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/914 Phillips, "Another Stolen Election: Favoritism in the Suburbs," Lyric Poetry Website (26 November 2004), http://web.northnet.org/minstrel/suburbs.htm

13 See Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, Detailed Findings A.5: "Targeting Minority and Urban Voters for Legal Challenges," pp. 43-47; and Richard Hayes Phillips, "Provisional ballots in Cuyahoga County," The Free Press (24 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1034

14 Phillips, "Default settings in Mahoning County," The Free Press (23 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1018

15 See Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, Detailed Findings B.3.a: "Spoiled Ballots--Hanging Chads Again?", pp. 70-72; and Richard Hayes Phillips, "Uncounted votes in Montgomery County," The Free Press (10 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/980 ; "Uncounted votes in Hamilton County," The Free Press (24 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1036; and "Uncounted votes in Summit County," The Free Press (24 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1035

16 Erica Solvig, "Warren's vote tally walled off: Alone in Ohio, officials cited homeland security," Cincinnati Enquirer (5 November 2004), http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/11/05/loc_warrenvote05.html ; Solvig, "No changes in final Warren Co. vote count, Emails released Monday show lockdown pre-planned," Cincinnati Enquirer (16 November 2004), http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041116/NEWS01/411160355/1056/news01

17 Richard Hayes Phillips, "Election results in southwestern Ohio," The Free Press (21 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1012 ; Phillips, "Hacking the vote in Miami County," The Free Press (25 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1038

18 Registration and vote tally irregularities in Perry County were noted by Congressional Representative John Conyers in a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell dated 2 December 2004, available at http://www.house.gov/conyers ; many further irregularities are itemized in Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, Detailed Findings B: Election Day.

19 See Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, Detailed Findings C.2: "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied--Recounts were Delayed Because of a Late Declaration of Results," pp. 79-81.

20 See "The Case for Fraud in Ohio Election 2004 (V.B: Restricting Citizen Access to Election Records)," Bloomington Peace Action Coalition, http://www.bpac.info

21 Ray Beckerman, "Blackwell Locks Down Ohio Voting Records," Yurica Report: News Intelligence Analysis (10 December 2004), http://www.yuricareport.com/2004%20Election%20Fraud/BlackwellLocksDownOhioVotingRecords.html

22 Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, Detailed Findings C.4: "Greene County--Long Waits, the Unlocked Lockdown, and Discarded Ballots," pp. 87-91.

23 According to Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, Detailed Findings, C.5.a: "Irregularities in Selecting the Initial 3% Hand Count," pp. 92-93, the samples were not selected randomly in Allen, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Morrow, Hocking, Medina and Vinton Counties; in Summit County the selection was random, but conducted without any recount witnesses present. According to a lawsuit filed on December 30th by the Green and Libertarian parties, the selection of sample precincts was non-random in 17 counties (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._presidential_election_controversy_and_irregularities ). David Swanson claims, in "The Media and the Ohio Recount: Missing in Action," Counterpunch (3 January 2005), http://www.counterpunch.org/swanson01032005.html , that "86 of 88 counties broke the law and did not select RANDOMLY which precincts they would recount."

24 William Rivers Pitt, "Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed," Truthout (15 December 2004), http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/121604Z.shtml ; this item reprints other texts, including a key affidavit and Tom Zeller's article "Lawmaker Seeks Inquiry into Ohio Vote," The New York Times (15 December 2004). Further details of Triad's alleged tampering are available in two letters from Congressional Representative John Conyers to Triad officials, available at http://www.house.gov/conyers , and also in Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, Detailed Findings, C.3: "Triad GSI--Using a 'Cheat Sheet to Cheat the Voters in Hocking and Other Counties," pp. 81-87. The December 30th lawsuit filed by the Green and Libertarian parties lists five counties in which tabulating-machine tampering was carried out by Triad, and one in which the tampering was carried out by a Diebold technician.

25 The December 30th lawsuit filed by the Green and Libertarian parties lists six counties in which, despite sample-recount discrepancies, the Board of Elections refused to conduct full recounts. Two flagrant cases of impropriety in the recount are narrated in Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, C.5.b: "Irregularities in Applying the Full Hand-Count Requirement":

"In Monroe County, the 3% hand-count failed to match the machine count twice. Subsequent runs on that machine matched neither each other nor the hand count. The Monroe County Board of Elections summoned a repairman from Triad to bring a new machine and the recount was suspended and reconvened for the following day. On the following day, a new machine was present at the Board of Elections office and the old machine was gone. The Board conducted a test run followed by the 3% hand-counted ballots. The results matched this time and the Board conducted the remainder of the recount by machine."

"In Fairfield County, the hand recount of the 3% test sample did not match the machine count, even after two attempts. The Board suspended the recount and stated that Secretary Blackwell recommended that the recount should begin again 'from scratch.' The Green recount observers were then told that it was 4:00 PM, the building was closed, and all had to leave. The Republican recount observers, however, were allowed to stay in a conference room for an additional ten minutes or so for a private discussion. When the Board reconvened a few days later, it announced that it would be conducting a machine count of the county's votes. When a Green Party observer objected, she was told by the Board that she was not allowed to speak."

26 Swanson, "The Media and the Ohio Recount."

27 "Text of Fundraising Letter from Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell," available as an appendix to Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, "The 'Crime of November 2': The human side of how Bush stole Ohio, and why Congress must investigate rather than ratify the Electoral College (Part Two of Two)," The Free Press (5 January 2005), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2005/1067

28 Melvin Butch Hollowell and Len Niehoff, "Local Comment: To even consider suppressing the vote shames a democracy," Detroit Free Press (27 July 2004), http://www.freep.com/voices/columnists/eholl27_20040727.htm . For a mainstream account of election-day vote suppression in Ohio, see Michael Powell and Peter Slevin, "Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio," The Washington Post (15 December 2004): A1, available at Yurica Report: News Intelligence Analysis, http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/Factors%20ContributedToLostVotersInOhio.html . For a very useful listing of materials relating to vote suppression and electoral fraud, see Election 2004, http://shadowbox.i8.com/stolen.htm

29 Fitrakis, Rosenfeld, and Wassermann, "Ohio's official recount ends amidst new evidence of fraud, theft and judicial contempt mirrored in New Mexico," The Free Press (31 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1057

30 "Contesting Ohio Electoral Votes: Transcript of Press Conference: Senator Barbara Boxer and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones," Federal News Service (6 January 2005), available from the Centre for Research on Globalization (9 January 2005), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BOX501A.html

31 Mark Weisbrot, "Ohio Election Problems Highlight Urgent Need for Reform," Knight Ridder Newspapers (8 January 2005), available at Common Dreams News Center (9 January 2005), http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0108-26.htm

32 Quotations are from Brian Dominick and Ariella Cohen, "Electoral Vote Challenge Meets Venomous Response in Congress," The New Standard (8 January 2005), available at Znet, http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=90&ItemID=6979 ; Alan Fram, "Congress Formally OKs Bush Election," Yahoo! News (6 January 2005), http://www.story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&c=5&u=/ap/20050106/ap_on_go_co/electoral_vote ; from "History in the Making: Dems Force Debate on Ohio Voting Irregularities," Democracy Now! (7 January 2005), http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/07/1621240 ; and the C-Span broadcast of the House debate, available at rtsp://video.c-span.org/60days/wh010605_house.rm

33 That Gore would have won is clear: see Robert Parry, "So Bush Did Steal the White House," Consortium News (22 November 2001), http://www.consortiumnews.com/2001/112101a.html ; the figure of 23,000 votes is from Daniel Lazare, The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, The Supreme Court, and the Decline of American Democracy (London and New York: Verso, 2001), p. 4.

34 Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, "Ten preliminary reasons why the Bush vote does not compute...," The Free Press (3 January 2005), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2005/1065

35 Robert Lockwood Mills, "The greatest story never told," The Free Press (20 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1006

36 Dom Stasi, "Moral victory: Religious exploitation, and the new American creed," Online Journal (23 December 2004), http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/122304Stasi/122304stasi.html

37 According to staff writers of The Nashua Advocate, over 97 percent of the vote-flipping incidents reported to the non-partisan Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS) favoured Bush: see "News: Election 2004: Who's Reading the Words of 'Internet Muckrakers'? Diebold, For a Start...," The Nashua Advocate (14 January 2005), http://nashuaadvocate.blogspot.com/2005/01/news-election-2004-whos-reading-words.html

38 Richard Hayes Phillips, "Default settings in Mahoning County," The Free Press (23 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1018

39 Phillips, "Default settings."
40 For evidence of the election-swinging potential of this form of fraud, see Anthony di Franco at al., "Small Vote Manipulations Can Swing Elections," Communications of the ACM 47: 10 (October 2004): 43-45, available at http://www.wheresthepaper.org/p43_di_franco.pdf

41 Dr. Werner Lange, "More Votes than Voters in Ohio: Absentee Vote Inflated, Certified Vote in Doubt," Democrats.com/unity (12 December 2004), http://democrats.com/ohio-absentee

42 Russ Baker, "Election 2004: Stolen or Lost," TomPaine.com (7 January 2005), http://www.tompaine.com/articles/election_2004_stolen_or_lost.php

43 Fitrakis, Rosenfeld and Wasserman, "Ten preliminary reasons."

44 These are the certified figures, from Cuyahoga County General Election: Official Results Report, which is no longer available on the web; the data can now be obtained from James Q. Jacobs’ website (see note 55 below). The figures first released after the election, before there had been a partial counting of provisional ballots, were still more shocking: 7.1 percent (Cleveland 6C), 13.05 percent (13D), 19.6 percent (13F), 21.01 percent (13O), and 21.8 percent (6B). Cleveland precinct 10L was initially reported as having a 24.72 percent turnout--a figure which rose in the certified results to a 56.21 percent turnout. Perhaps by some accident all of the provisional and absentee ballots cast in this precinct were counted.

45 Fitrakis, Rosenfeld and Wasserman, "Ten preliminary reasons."


46 Richard Hayes Phillips, "Rigging the vote in Lucas County," The Free Press (10 December, revised 24 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/979 ; and "Another third rate burglary," The Free Press (25 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1037

47 Richard Hayes Phillips, "Hacking the vote in Miami County," The Free Press (25 December 2004), http://www.freepress,org/departments/display/19/2004/1038

48 See Fitrakis, Rosenfeld and Wasserman, "Ten preliminary reasons."


49 Richard Hayes Phillips, "Election results in Southwestern Ohio," The Free Press (21 December 2004), http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1012

50 The letter is quoted in Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, B.1, pp. 54-55 note 240.

51 Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, B.1, p. 54 note 238.

52 Richard Hayes Phillips, "Estimated Vote Count in Ohio," The Free Press (5 January 2005), http://www.freepress.org/departments.display/19/2005/1071

53 See Teed Rockwell, "93,136 EXTRA Votes Found in ONE Ohio County," Rense.com (19 November 2004), http://www.rense.com/general59/one.htm ; and paragraph 20 in the second part of my essay "Election Fraud in America," Centre for Research on Globalization (30 November 2004), http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE411D.html . Katherine Yurica republished Rockwell's essay, with Editor's Notes dated 21 November and 12 December 2004 blaming Cuyahoga County for "obfuscating the election results" and describing the essay as part of the "historical record of what transpired: i.e. Cuyahoga County published false information and then apparently corrected it." See Yurica Report: News Intelligence Analysis, http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04

54 The matter was explained, with ascending degrees of clarity and competence, by Manuel Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating, "Latest Conspiracy Theory--Kerry Won--Hits the Ether," The Washington Post (11 November 2004): A2; David Knox, "Turnout turns out to be glitch," Akron Beacon Journal (10 November 2004), http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/10143328.htm?1c ; and "Cuyahoga County Precincts-Revised!" Americans for America, http://pages.ivillage.com/americans4america/id20.html

55 James Q. Jacobs, "Precinct Cross-Voting and Ballot Order in the Ohio 2004 Presidential Race," 2004 Ohio Election--Analysis, Summary, Charts, and Spreadsheets (14 January 2004), http://www.jqjacobs.net/bush/xls/ohio.html

56 '59sunburst,' "Cuyahoga Cty--2000 Bush Tallies Used to Fake 2000 Tallies?" Democratic Underground (27 December 2004), http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=203&topic_id=197869

57 It is important to distinguish between these exit poll figures and the altered Ohio figures which were posted by CNN at 1:41 a.m. EST on November 3rd; these showed women voters splitting 50-50 in their preferences for Kerry and Bush, and men supporting Bush over Kerry by 52 to 49 percent. One must also distinguish, in the national exit poll, between the figures available at 9:00 p.m. EST on November 2nd, which show Kerry leading by nearly 3 percent, and the revised figures posted at 1:36 a.m. EST on November 3rd, which showed a 5 percent swing to Bush.

Richard Morin's claim that the later national figures were based on "later interviewing" that found Bush in the lead ("New Woes Surface in Use of Estimates," The Washington Post [4 November 2004]: A29) is demonstrably incorrect. As was immediately apparent from comparison of respondent numbers and percentage preferences, and as has since been acknowledged by the pollsters, these later figures were conflated with the vote tally percentages. See Michael Keefer, "Footprints of Electoral Fraud: The November 2 Exit Poll Scam," Centre for Research on Globalization (5 November 2004), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE411A.html ; see also "The Case for Fraud in Ohio Election 2004 (IX.A: Irregular/Impossible Changes in Exit Polls over time on Election Night)," Bloomington Peace Action Coalition, http://www.bpac.info

58 See 'TruthIsAll,' "BEST EVIDENCE: WP/Mitofsky/NEP (13,047 Random; MOE 1%): 547 million to 1," Democratic Underground (7 January 2005), http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=203x261825

59 For authoritative studies of the 2004 exit polls, see Steven F. Freeman, Ph.D., "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," Research Report from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Division, School of Arts & Sciences Center for Organizational Dynamics (29 December 2004), available at http://www.matrixmasters.com/blog/usnewsarchive/2005_01_01_newsarchive.html ; Ron Baiman, "The United States of Ukraine? Exit Polls Leave Little Doubt that in a Free and Fair Election John Kerry Would Have Won Both the Electoral College and the Popular Vote," The Free Press (19 December 2004),
http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/997 and Jonathan D. Simon, J.D., and Ron P. Baiman, Ph.D., "The 2004 Presidential Election: Who Won the Popular Vote? An Examination of the Comparative Validity of Exit Poll and Vote Count Data," The Free Press (28 December 2004),
http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1054 . Other significant articles include Jonathan Simon, "47 State Exit Poll Analysis Confirms Swing Anomaly," Scoop (11 November 2004),
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00142.htm ; Alastair Thompson, "Complete US Exit Poll Data Confirms New Suspicions," Scoop (17 November 2004),
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm#f1note ; John Allen Paulos, "Final Tallies Minus Exit Polls=A Statistical Mystery!" The Philadelphia Inquirer (24 November 2004), available at
http://www.math.temple.edu/%7Epaulos/exit.html ; 'TruthIsAll,' "Breaking: Washington Post Declares Kerry Won," Democratic Underground (4 January 2005),
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss.duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=203&topic_id=229251&mesg_id=229251 ; and Mark Blumenthal, "Exits: Were They Really 'Wrong'?" Mystery Pollster (14 December 2004),
http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2004/12/exits_were_the_.html The most lucid brief analysis of the weighting of exit polls that I have seen is in a sequence of postings by 'Fly by night' to a discussion thread initiated by 'TruthIsAll,' "I learned something about exit polls today," Democratic Underground (17 January 2005),
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=203&topic_id=288785

60 For an initial comparison between the U.S. and Ukrainian elections, see Michael Keefer, "Election Fraud in America," Centre for Research in Globalization (30 November 2004), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE411D.html ; also published as "The Stolen U.S. Presidential Election: A Comparative Analysis," Autonomy & Solidarity, http://www.auto_sol.tao.ca .

61 For a small reminder of the wholesale rottenness of the election in Florida, see Bev Harris, "Vote Fraud--Volusia County On Lockdown," Scoop (18 November 2004), http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00246.htm ; and Thom Hartmann, "'Stinking Evidence' of Possible Fraud in Florida," Scoop (19 November 2004),

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00258.htm . And for a sample of the action on the west coast, see the excellent recent study by Paul R. Lehto, J.D., and Jeffrey Hoffman, Ph.D., "Evidence of Election Irregularities in Snohomish County, Washington General Election, 2004," VotersUnite.Org (6 January 2005),

http://www.votersunite.org/info/SnohomishElectionFraudInvestigation.pdf

62 Dr. Freeman's new article, "Hypotheses for Explaining the Exit Poll-Official Count Discrepancy in the 2004 US Presidential Election," should be published in the near future. The vote-tally figures given here, all of which are available from the Wikipedia site, are presented by Freeman in a somewhat more fully elaborated form.

63 On demographic grounds one would expect that over a four-year period more than five percent of the voters active in 2000 would have moved on to cast their ballots in a better world. A demographically-inflected estimate would increase the number of new voters in 2004--but since this would also increase Kerry's numbers at the expense of Bush's, I will hold to the exit-poll figure.

64 Los Angeles Times Staff Writers, "A 'modern' democracy that can't count votes. Special Report: What happened in Florida is the rule and not the exception. A coast-to-coast study by The Times finds a shoddy system that can only be trusted when the election isn't close," Los Angeles Times (11 December 2000), http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/12/11/latimes.votecount

65 The Denver Voice, http://denvervoice.org/protest_rally_11-20-04.htm

66 Jacob Weisberg, "The Complete Bushisms," Slate, http://slate.msn.com/id/76886

67 What may seem a particularly sour joke is perhaps no joke at all. The identity of the person who carried out terrorist anthrax-letter attacks in the United States in September and October 2001 remains unknown. However, the attacks were clearly intended to intimidate the Democratic opposition and the media: they targeted two leading Democratic members of the U.S. Senate, Senator Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), as well as major media outlets. Moreover, the anthrax was of the Ames strain, and came from a U.S. defence-biowarfare source; and there is strong evidence to indicate that FBI investigation of the anthrax attacks has been blocked as a result of high-level political interference. See Barbara Hatch Rosenberg (Chair, Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological Weapons), "Analysis of the Anthrax Attacks," available at http://www.911review.org/Wget/www.fas.org/bwc/news/anthraxreport.htm ; Patrick Martin, "Who is stonewalling the US anthrax investigation?" World Socialist Web Site (20 July 2002),

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jul2002/anth-j20.shtml ; and Steve Moore, "Why the FBI Cannot Catch the Anthrax Killer," Centre for Research on Globalization (16 April 2003),

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOO304B.html

68 The name Caligula means "Little Boot." The Roman historian Suetonius reports that Caligula had planned to make his horse Incitatus a Consul (the highest position in the government of the Roman Republic); this would have entailed conferring senatorial rank upon the horse. See Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, trans. Robert Graves, revised Michael Grant (London: Penguin, 2000), IV. 55, p. 156.

Global Research Contributing Editor Michael Keefer, an Associate Professor of English at the University of Guelph, Ont. He is a former president of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English; his writings include Lunar Perspectives: Field Notes from the Culture Wars (Anansi).

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QUIET END TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY?

In the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave Congressional Intent to Eliminate We the People from Our Own Elections --- Congressional Failure to Secure and Guarantee Basic Rights to All AmericansAmericans Must Act Within Two Weeks to Restore Their Inalienable Right to Kick the Bums Out of Office"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them . . ." —Patrick Henry

"Give me Liberty, or Give me Death." ---Patrick Henry

WARNING: a bipartisan Congress will, in the next few days, attempt to violate your #1 Inalienable Right.

Having talked to many folks, I've not yet found an American who says this warning is not well taken. Although each person I've talked to understands they're being cheated by this; they just tend to think that other Americans won't listen, or think Americans too busy to preserve their own most basic rights.

Are Americans, in fact, too lazy or stupid to defend their own freedoms anymore? Some say that a few words about their own history will bore them to giving up their republic without so much as a fight, especially with an election law attorney writing like this as if he's Paul Revere.

Will cynicism mean that Americans give up the fight for their rights on their own soil?

Nowadays, some say American attention spans are so short that they won't be able to finish an essay like this of just a few pages, even when told that Abe Lincoln's "government of the People, by the People and for the People" depends on it.

I'm told regularly to use extremely few words, give a quick action request at the end, so that Americans can go back to their slumbers.

But I don't believe the pessimists. I choose to address all of those who read this as concerned citizens, instead of addled consumers.

I believe that Americans respond when they know what's at stake.

The USA did not become the world's richest country and sole military superpower for no reason.

They will read a few more paragraphs of context that help explain why this is so important, before it's time to prove why your #1 Inalienable Right must be defended. Americans by and large remember the sacrifices of citizens and soldiers over the generations -- millions of them who worked, fought, and died for the dream of American democracy – and they will not allow democracy to slip away during our generation -- on our watch -- if they understand clearly what's at stake.

So, to be clear, please let me explain. As an offer of my own seriousness about this, let me simply say I don't particularly need this fight: I've been in the hospital several times in the last year for as long as a week, and though medical bills and devotion to this cause have emptied the savings, and although fatigue follows me daily, and with two young children to worry about, I am nevertheless convinced of the need to give this my all.

After having sought the counsel of some fellow citizens and lovers of democracy, and short of funds and energy for renewing my license anyway, I've let my attorney license expire as a form of resignation as a lawyer, I will not have clients any more – other than American Democracy.

I feel that what I've learned about elections I can not ration and sell at $200 an hour, when as many as possible need to know some things, and soon.In reaching this decision, I realized that the principles of our representative democracy are actually more important than life itself.

Otherwise, if this were not the case, how would you convince a man or woman to sacrifice their life for this principle of democratic self-government? By what other persuasion would we send our young to the front lines of war other than with some version of Patrick Henry's famous patriotic challenge: "Give me Liberty, or Give Me Death?"

Americans believe that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. But on our watch, there haven't been quite enough sentinels of democracy, there have been too few watchdogs of our Constitutional and Inalienable Rights: those Rights we're endowed with by our Creator under the Declaration of Independence.

That Declaration of Independence, and those American men and women took on a King and the world's mightiest military – they dared greatly. The wanted to remake the history of the world in favor of the principles of self-government.

A revolution of perspective would, they believed, restore this continent to a state of Nature, with free and equal citizens joining in communities to protect their individual rights and the commonwealth.

Today, historians write that we were the first nation founded on ideals – like "no taxation without representation," like "legitimate political power comes only from the people" via free and fair elections establishing the consent of the governed, and that laws in derogation of the natural rights of the People are Void and without effect.

On the purpose of government, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "governments are instituted to secure [our] rights." Thus from that day in 1776 forward, we would have "Government Servants" or "public servants," with the People as the Master of the government, and not the other way around.

With the right to vote for representatives and others, the People would never again be slaves to Tyranny or governmental abuse of power. Consequently, under the Declaration of Independence, the People have the Inalienable right to "alter or abolish" their Government servants if they no longer serve them well.

Today, we sometimes refer to this as the right to "kick the bums out." The very recognition of inalienable rights present at birth were an example and precedent for the whole world because, for the first time in European historical memory, the individual human being was an independent source of power and rights, just by virtue of being born.

In these notions, the Founders learned from both John Locke, and perhaps even more from the advanced civilization of the Iroquois, with its three branch form of government. We all remember that humans are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these rights are life, liberty, and … though the last word was originally "property," the Founders changed the word "property" in that phrase to the more familiar "pursuit of happiness."

The emergence of the "pursuit of happiness' in place of property emphasizes that Liberty is ultimately more important than Property. The real core of the American Revolution, the new idea with which the Founders wanted to "begin the world anew" was specifically that a government does not Grant rights (nor does it possess any rights); rather, as a servant of the people, the purpose of government is to Guarantee the rights of the people.

Pledged irrevocably to these ideals, the signers of the Declaration pledged and lost their Lives or their Fortunes, but they still retain their Honor today. By intentionally enslaving the Government as servant of the public's rights and happiness, the energies of a whole nation of individuals of diverse races, colors and creeds were unleashed to maximize their potential. As a result, Freedom, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, arises when a government of limited powers, working in trust, guarantees the individual rights of all citizens, thus unleashing the maximum potential of each person.

At the Seneca Falls Declaration of Rights in 1848 that launched women's suffrage movement, and again in Washington DC in Martin Luther King's civil rights speech "I Have a Dream" speech, the history of American can largely be told as a process of women and minorities and their families and supporters insisting that our country live up to its ideals, that it make good on the promises of the Declaration for everyone.

Though heroes like Susan B. Anthony worked their whole lives without seeing a ballot in their hands, their vision and their engines of progress forced the American Dream to grow. They insisted that the country make real its ideals, and they made it so. As many state constitutions and the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights state, frequently recurring to fundamental principles is necessary to the preservation of Liberty and free government.

Today, we are faced with a choice of recurring to our own principles of Freedom and Democracy, or letting democracy die. Whenever we do not regularly bring to the fore these principles, they are eroded, chipped away, violated and harmed – just by the very process of not being considered because they are not at the negotiation table.

Though popular, Freedom is always at risk of intentional harm from people who think they have a better idea about how to live our lives or run our country than ordinary Americans do. Some of them are so convinced they will happily force you to go along for your own good. But freedom is only free if you are safe being unpopular.

Our representative democracy is always at risk of harm or manipulation because the passions of the day or the business interests at issue don't wish to leave their fates to a majority vote sometimes any more than you or I would like to have a spouse chosen for us by majority vote. Power is endlessly addictive to humans, once some government officials taste it, they don't want to stop and may try to stay in office by crooked means. Those of us on the internet often inform just our like-minded friends about internet polls in order to get them to help vote up our side of the issue. But this one-sided get-out-the-vote effort on our part makes the internet poll even less scientific or accurate than it was in the beginning, and because of this distortion it's the moral equivalent of stuffing the ballot box.

Now, given that we all try to stuff the ballot box for fun in these internet polls, imagine a real election where the stakes are just a little higher: like for example control of the world's richest country and sole military superpower up for grabs in a presidential election. Ever heard of the name President RutherFraud B. Hayes? That name was quite popular back in the late 1800s. Around that time, there was so much violence, intimidation, bribery and pressuring at and around the polls that the secret ballot came along as an innovation to reduce the intimidation and fraud.

But the secret ballot did not make all the pressure on elections go completely away. It just moved location and changed tactics.

So now at last, we are left at the point of seeing where we are losing our most sacred democratic rights. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is one channel of political legitimacy and that's the elections. Everyone who votes takes a side and is biased. Many political issues have both sides believing that great injustice will occur if they lose an election. Most especially, because the government relies on elections for 100% of its power, money and legitimacy, it has a huge conflict of interest and can not administer elections without a check and balance from the public.

But We the People have been eliminated from a meaningful role in elections, because nobody counts and nobody can watch the counting of the vote on the new electronic machines. After well over a century of successfully hand counting paper ballots under the supervision of the public and the parties, and although the number of workers it takes per thousand hand counted ballots has essentially not changed, we've grown fond of the wonders of computer and grown tired of Election Night labors for democracy. Various types of computers have come in to take up the slack, both optical scanners using paper ballots originally, and touch screen computers, counting well over 80% of our ballots in complete invisibility and secrecy.

We the People are no longer able to keep our eyes on, or supervise, our own elections. We've been eliminated from elections by "modernization." The "modern" computers are amoral slaves that do whatever they are told to do without regard to law or democratic ethics. Their electronic hard drives operate invisibly. They might offer some convenience, but they also make us stand in line to wait for machines, and richer counties have shorter lines than poorer counties.

As might be expected given the nature of computers, numerous studies establish that one person with access to one results disk for about one minute can place a virus that can alter an entire county's election results, or alter an entire state's election results. Though elections have always been under pressure because of their stakes, this increases enormously the amount of cheating one person can do, how quickly they can do it, and how easily they can erase the evidence of what they did.

It gets even worse. The software that counts is the only thing that knows the true count, even the officials have no idea if the scanner or touch screen numbers are correct, barring the rare, expensive and (in Bush v. Gore 2000) terminable hand recount. We've been taught to be frustrated with the hanging chad to embrace the computer, claiming the chad is paper, but in fact it is a punch card, and every punch card ever made was for a computerized process of counting.

WARNING: With computerized voting, your inalienable right to kick the bums out, or your inalienable right to alter or abolish your government through elections, doesn't exist.

It is not secured for you by your government. They are not guaranteeing this right for you. In fact any corrupt election insider could, for money, partisanship, pressure, threat or in the belief of doing a great justice to the whole Nation, alter the election results undetectably, erasing the steps along the way.


As long as the total number of votes match up roughly, and one doesn't cheat more than say 20 percentage points, a whole industry of political pundits will chalk up the surprise victory to the last minute attack ad, or great get out the vote campaign, or a problem with the "loser's" platform, the weather, or any of dozens of other colorable excuses.

In short, with computerized voting by optical scanner or touch screen, your vote is simply whatever the invisible computer instructions say it is, computers can be programmed many months in advance, and instructing the computer to wait til election night poll closing before changing votes will defeat every test that ever happens, which are all with small amounts of votes anyway.

With a computer, it is really irrelevant what it does in a testing period the day before or the day after, it matters only what the computers in the real election (and we all know which ones they are) are actually instructed to do, on Election Day and election conditions.

This means that you do still have the right to kick out an honest politician, you just don't have the right to kick out a crooked politician. But of course, that's precisely when the inalienable right to kick the bums out is most needed: with a no good cheating bum.

Some folks in our government are accidentally or purposefully not checking in with or recurring to our fundamental principles frequently, as needed to preserve liberty and free government. If they did, they would recall that our Founders taught us that power corrupts, they would not ask us for trust. They would recall the America is about checks and balances, a form of distrust, and not about trust.

If they checked in with the Declaration of Independence, they would in the second paragraph realize that governments are instituted to secure us our rights. In order to SECURE the right to kick the crooked bums out as needed, our elections must be secured FROM the government.

Our elections must be beyond the possible or ready manipulation of the government. If you are not serious about your rights or your freedoms, you don't need to take this seriously. But if you are serious about preserving American rights and American freedoms, most especially the freedom to get rid of any crooks, you had best cast a suspicious and jealous eye on the Public Liberty of elections. Be a sentinel of democracy, don't let democracy wither on your watch.

President McKinley said that Americans agree on principles, they disagree on politics or the application of principles. The principles outlined here for the protection of freedom and democracy are our Nation's most sacred. They are revered by Americans. An August 2006 Zogby poll I paid for with help from Nancy Tobi of New Hampshire and Michael Collins of electionfraudnews.com established that an incredible 92% of Americans supported a vote counting system where vote counting is observable by the public and the public can obtain information about vote counting. http://www.zogby.com/News/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1163

This is one of the highest political values ever measured in polls, yet the 90% secret vote counting that is taking place in America shows how incredibly out of touch our government, of both parties, is with every demographic group in America.

The only kind of voting system that is compatible with your inalienable rights and mine is one the public can watch like a hawk, and one that the public controls, and that it can observe. Given it is the duty of government to secure and guarantee our rights, specifically including the right to kick them out, elections have no choice but to be publicly controlled.

Those are the principles. Now for the politics that get a little debatable with some people. Essentially in the only system that provides for public control and observable elections is known as precinct counted hand counted paper ballots. Simply put, this system is running unopposed in the democracy race. We do not have a choice of much completely different systems. The ability to peacefully preserve freedom and democracy through elections is far too valuable for any objection to it to have weight.

But the Congress won't listen. Neither party listens to the needs of democracy, so they must hear from YOU the citizens. On May 6, 2007 the House Administration Committee reported out a modified bill called HR 811, also known as the Holt bill. In that bill's markup in committee, it got better and it got worse in various particulars, if you follow the debate.

One way in which it got much worse is that instead of source code for the computer that would be given away for any citizen's inspection, they committee put in language that made the source code a government-recognized trade secret, available only to "qualified" experts, and then only if a strict nondisclosure agreement is signed that incorporates trade secrecy laws of the states, which almost always contain harsh punitive damages and attorneys fees clauses for violating the secrecy.

This language is particularly ominous. I know of no time before that an American legislative body has ever tried to pass law to reinforce secret vote counting. Of course, having a copy of the source code does not tell us if that code is the same as what's used on election day, nor does it tell us what the actual voting computers are asked to do on election day.

It would be, of course, illegal for the software to differ, but it is readily possible to conceal a double Trojan Horse, for example, such that it is highly resistant to being found. It is not possible to verify that a piece of software remains unchanged, if it were, the problem of viruses would be solved since each program could self-verify whether or not it had been changed. As stated in the classic computer paper "Reflections on Trusting Trust" the only code you can trust is the code you wrote yourself and know nobody else has accessed.

As a consequence of all of the above, while computers have many wonderful uses, they are not compatible with democracy.

On the same infamous day of May 6, 2007, the House Administration committee did more than just insert language that would give a specific statutory "anchor" or claimed basis in law for secret vote counting. On that day they also dismissed, without allowing discovery via the Congress or hearing any evidence in the Congress, 4 Congressional election contests. Three were in Florida and one in Louisiana.

A remaining fifth contest in Florida's 13th Congressional District was not dismissed but already has a state court ruling holding that "trade secrecy" overcame the need to investigate the truth in that Congressional election. In another, Florida's 24th, candidate Clint Curtis collected many hundreds of affidavits showing his official results were underreported by 12% to 24%.

The House Administration Committee ignored and refused to hear this evidence, dismissing this and 3 other contests without any discovery of facts or any evidentiary consideration.

Pursuant to a self-serving law called the Federal Election Contest Act, the Congress claims to be the judge of its own elections! Thus, in one case that I personally litigated near San Diego California, in a June 6, 2006 special election for Congress, one of the candidates, Brian Bilbray, was sworn in only 7 days later, on June 13, 2006.

The June 13 Congressional Record recites that there were 68,500 uncounted votes on the very first count! This was considered a bellwether for the November 2006 congressional races, and Francine Busby led in all of the pre-election polls except one controversial one right before the election, where it's claimed she made a gaffe.

But regardless, the Congressional Record admits the results were unofficial, there were 68,500 uncounted votes in a race with a margin of less than 5000 votes, and it was weeks prior to the earliest date anyone can file an election contest or a recount request. But the Congressional Record states there are no "known" disputes or contests. Mr. Bilbray, a former Congressman known to many of the members, was sworn in.

Subsequently, when two lady citizens sued to contest the election, Mr. Bilbray claimed that no state or federal court had any jurisdiction since only the Congress had an exclusive jurisdiction thanks to his premature swearing in. He cited Art. I, sec. 5 of the Constitution for the idea that the House could not be second guessed after an unconditional swearing. This insult to democracy and the people of the 50th District was made worse.

For having the audacity to question Mr. Bilbray's election termination maneuver, Bilbray countersued with a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) counterclaim for damages and attorney fees, a suit usually brought by the little guy against the big corporation. Plaintiffs Jacobson and Ritt never asked for money, they simply wanted their rights and their votes counted. But even for that privilege, the election officials jacked the recount price up about 7 times higher than similar races, for an estimated cost of $150,000. That's one expensive personal right to vote.

Our government "servants" while often noble in motivation, are also too frequently lazy or corrupt. Few know, since it was only reported in local Ohio news, that convictions have been obtained for rigging the 2004 presidential recount for Bush and Kerry, requested by the Libertarian and Green parties.

As shown by two felony convictions for rigging the Presidential recount in 2004 in Cuyahoga county Ohio show, partisanship is by no means the only motive that distorts elections. In cases like the inflated recount price tag above, government officials are very uninterested in having their first "official" counts made to look bad (they're human), and they are also very uninterested in working through Thanksgiving (one of the motives in Ohio's presidential recount rigging convictions).

In a nutshell, recounts and audits are so hazardous because they have many legal hurdles and take place after the election, when lots of pressure is put on the "sore loser" to concede. This means that only the first count really matters, and certainly the first count controls headlines, and swearing-ins.

The presidential election, in particular, has a special time limit of December 13 that came into play with Bush v. Gore that makes post-election "remedies" very unreliable. But, it is very gravely concerning that the first counts are secret. Literally only the hacker or rigger knows what the true count is.

The greatly enhanced ability to cheat means we have reached more than just a dangerous time for democracy. With no basis for confidence in election results because indeed we have no evidence at all of the counts, we are forced to take the elections purely on trust instead of evaluating the evidence and the checks and balances.

Publicly controlled elections must be restored immediately, based on considerations of the values of democracy. If we only consider non-democratic values like convenience, we'll end up with a non-democratic system.

Harry Truman laid it out straight: If you want just efficiency, you'll get a dictatorship.

The most likely route to a loss of freedom comes when realizing that a successful election criminal gets to be an election official or set election policy.

What if a bank robber got to be bank president and set bank vault policy? Thus, when protective of liberty and looking for suspect election criminals, look in office.

In contrast, the longtime values of democracy are openness, inclusion, equality of one person one vote, consent of the governed, and the rights of the people to alter or abolish their government.

These and related values are the ones we should frequently refer to, use as compass guides to keep us pointing in the right direction. Even if we don't achieve our ideal destination, we are lost indeed if we can not orient ourselves in the direction of progress. The congressional election contests unfairly dismissed, the California election contest prematurely terminated by swearing in, and the problem of secret vote counting on electronics share a common theme:

It is not possible to run democratic elections without a major role by We the People, and the government has too many conflicts and partisanships to do the job of auditing itself, investigating itself, or potentially undermining a fellow Member in Congress.

The necessity of a role for We the People in controlling elections should not surprise us, we are after all the master, the government the servant. In the Judiciary branch, for example, We the People still walk in to the jury box and judge innocence and guilt, life and death, liability and non-liability.

But our elimination from our proper role controlling elections? This is a crime against democracy.

We need to remember who we are as Americans, and act soon to tell the House and the Senate in DC and in our state houses, that we will not stand for secret vote counting, that they most definitely will not pass laws purporting to authorize or legalize that even indirectly, that it is a shame of immense proportions for them to vote for secret counting of votes in their own re-election races, by simply amending the Help America Vote Act with HR 811 without abolishing secret vote counting.

That this huge conflict of interest, voting on their own re-elections, ought to sensitize Congress to a great need to act against its own perceived interests, and that politicians who love representative democracy and their own constituents surely ought to be competing with each other to see who can restore more power to the people in elections than the other guy. Because if they don't, if they keep the secret counting easily manipulated by insiders and their cavalier attitudes toward election contests, our #1 inalienable right to kick the crooked bums out will remain violated and denied by our own government.

Denying We the People the steering wheel of elections keeps our government "stuck on stupid" and out of touch with the public, unable to obey the public will. Without elections, featuring voting as the right that controls all other rights, it is we who are the slaves, and not the government.

This, if it remains, is a revolution against democracy. It is un-American. It must change by all means necessary. The Star Spangled Banner always ends with a question:O Say Does that Star Spangled Banner Yet Wave,O'er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave?

A land of free and brave people will not fight amongst themselves on partisan elections results, they will first secure their most important inalienable rights. A land of free and brave patriots will never again let their elections get out of their sight, or out of control.

So if you feel as I feel, if you wish as I wish, that America will never become a banana republic with an out of control government, then talk to your fellow rulers, your fellow citizens, spread the word far and wide, and make the US House, the US Senate, and your state legislatures here Freedom's bell, so they know what it sounds like.

We are not the Slaves, we are in charge. We are watching. We demand control of our elections. We will not give up. Democracy and Freedom both depend on that.

OUTGOING GENERAL CONFIRMS - AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IS DEAD ON ARRIVAL

Retiring military chief declares: AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN'T VOTE TO END IRAQ WAR

"Just as telling as the substance of Pace’s comments was the reaction to them in Washington political and media circles, where his public rejection of democratic decision-making on the war provoked only yawns.

No Democrat condemned his remarks or defended the right of the people to vote for an end to the war. No Bush administration official raised any objection. Press reports of the event were perfunctory."

By Patrick Martin http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/oct2007/pace-o04_prn.shtm
lIn a statement remarkable for its blunt rejection of democracy, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, said Monday that opponents of the war in Iraq could not bring it to an end by voting.

Pace made his comments before an audience that included President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and hundreds of high-ranking Pentagon civilian and military officials, as he swore in his successor as the president’s top military adviser, Admiral Michael Mullen. None of those present made any objection to Pace’s statement.

Outside Ft. Myer, where the ceremony took place, a handful of antiwar demonstrators used a bullhorn to shout their opposition. Reporters inside could hear, “Stop the Killing, George!”, “Arrest the Liar for War Crimes!” and other denunciations of the administration and the Pentagon.

Noting the presence of the demonstrators, Pace said the protest against the war was an exercise of the right of free speech, but that there were limits:

“I just want everyone to understand that this dialogue is not about ‘can we vote our way out of a war.’ We have an enemy who has declared war on us. We are in a war. They want to stop us from living the way we want to live our lives. So the dialogue is not about ‘are we in a war,’ but how and where and when to best fight that war.”

Pace was employing the standard “big lie” technique of the Bush administration, presenting the war in Iraq as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Iraqi people have not “declared war” on the United States—on the contrary, American imperialism carried out an unprovoked and illegal invasion and occupation, in order to secure access to the country’s oil resources and reinforce the dominant US role in the Middle East.

But Pace’s remarks went far beyond the deliberate bait-and-switch of conflating 9/11 and Iraq. The top US military official was declaring that there can and should be no public discussion about an end to the war in Iraq except on the basis of an American military victory: “How and where and when to best fight that war.”

Pace prefaced his attack on opponents of the war with a profession of support for freedom and democracy and the right to dissent. But the implications of his statement are profoundly antidemocratic.

American public opinion is overwhelmingly opposed to the war in Iraq. According to a Washington Post poll published the day after Pace’s remarks, a clear majority of the population rejects the war and wants funding for it cut sharply or eliminated entirely. Approval numbers are at record lows both for Bush, for continuing and escalating the war, and for the Democratic Congress, for doing nothing to stop him.

Pace says that this antiwar majority should not be allowed to use the ballot box to compel a change in policy: the war must go on indefinitely, regardless of the popular will. If there were a national referendum vote to end the war, Pace would presumably demand that the government disregard it and continue the military bloodbath. As he said, concluding his remarks, “We will prevail. There’s no doubt about that.”

The logical conclusion of this argument is the outlawing and forcible suppression of public opposition to the war in Iraq, the suspension of elections and the establishment of a military dictatorship in the United States.

Monday’s is the latest and most reactionary of a series of political comments General Pace has made in the course of his last month in office. He has repeatedly defended the military’s ban on gays and lesbians openly serving in its ranks, justifying it not with doubletalk about “unit cohesion” and military morale, like Colin Powell, but rather with an open avowal of Christian fundamentalism. Homosexuality is immoral, he told a Senate committee last month, and should not be permitted in the military because it violates “God’s law.”

The bitterness expressed by Pace has personal as well as institutional roots. He is leaving after only two years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the shortest time in office since the position was established after World War II.

Secretary of Defense Gates made the decision during the summer not to nominate Pace for a second term—an extension that had become the norm—citing the likelihood of contentious hearings in the Democratic-controlled Senate, which must approve the nomination.

Since winning control of Congress in the November 2006 elections, the Democrats have refused to cut off funding for the war in Iraq, passing a $100 billion funding bill in May. They have failed to win Senate passage of any policy changes on Iraq, and rubber-stamped the nominations of Secretary Gates, the commander of US forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and other top Pentagon officials.

The ouster of Pace is thus the sole concrete “achievement” of the Democrats in the sphere of military policy, and the decision of Bush and Gates to end his military career rather than push through a second term undoubtedly rankles the general.

Pace gave voice to this sentiment in the course of his remarks, although he directed his fire entirely at unnamed opponents of the war, who he claimed were “more interested in letting their personal venom come forward instead of talking about how do we get from where we are to where we need to be.”

Just as telling as the substance of Pace’s comments was the reaction to them in Washington political and media circles, where his public rejection of democratic decision-making on the war provoked only yawns. No Democrat condemned his remarks or defended the right of the people to vote for an end to the war. No Bush administration official raised any objection. Press reports of the event were perfunctory.

In one quarter, Pace’s statement prompted high praise. National Review Online responded with an editorial, “Draft General Pace,” urging Virginia Republicans to choose him as their candidate to replace retiring Senator John Warner, a sentiment echoed by another ultra-right publication, Human Events. The National Review Online editorial said approvingly, “Unlike other senior military leaders, the Catholic General Pace has been outspoken about his conservative beliefs on social issues.”

There is, of course, one sense in which General Pace’s remarks are perfectly true. In the existing political system, dominated by a corporate financial oligarchy that controls both political parties and all the instruments of public policy, “voting our way out of a war” is, in fact, impossible.

Millions of people went to the polls in 2006 and voted for the Democrats in an attempt, now revealed as futile, to compel an end to the war. Every effort is now being made by the corporate-controlled media, the trade union bureaucrats and liberal publications like the Nation to convince the American people that the election of a Democratic president and Congress in 2008 will bring an end to the war.

But only last week, the three leading Democratic presidential candidates refused to commit themselves to remove American troops from Iraq even by the time of their second inaugural, January 20, 2013, nearly 10 years after Bush invaded the country. This confirms what the failure of the Democratic Congress has already shown: the Democratic Party is a party of the American ruling class, unshakably committed to the defense of imperialist interests.

Pace’s open repudiation of the most basic principles of democracy and assertion of military supremacy over civilian control is but the latest in a series of political interventions by high-ranking military officers and their allies in the Bush administration aimed at intimidating popular opposition to the war. Just last month President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other leading Republicans launched a political witch-hunt against the Democratic pressure group MoveOn.org for an ad it published in the New York Times criticizing Gen. Petraeus.

The McCarthyite attack resulted in the passage, with substantial Democratic support, of resolutions in both the Senate and House of Representatives condemning MoveOn.org, followed by the New York Times’ repudiation of the ad.

These instances are indicative of the immense and growing political weight of the military in American society.

As the World Socialist Web Site wrote (See “New York Times public editor repudiates MoveOn.org ad on General Petraeus”):

“What next? Will criticism of the military be outlawed as treasonous and detrimental to national security? Such was the case in the Kaiser’s Germany of the early 20th century, when the socialist leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were both jailed for their incisive writings and fearless agitation against German militarism.

“In the end, the episode exposes the very real danger of a military coup in the US, whether carried out by the military itself or by civilian leaders committed to utilizing the military—both practically and as an ideological justification—to suppress political and social discontent within the American working class.”

The unprecedented attack on democratic rights and growing danger of military dictatorship can be defeated only through a break with the Democratic Party and the building of a new mass political party of working people, opposed to American imperialism and committed to a socialist program.

An Anthology of the Best Political Opinion and CommentaryFrom the Progressive Internet -- www.crisispapers.org

CONSCIENCE OF A CONSERVATIVE
By Ernest PartridgeCo-Editor, "The Crisis Papers."
April 28, 2003

Like a pending execution, the discipline of editing and writing for a political website concentrates and focuses the mind.

And so, after a year and a half of writing and publishing some fifty or so political articles for various progressive websites, I have come to the startling conclusion that I am a Conservative!

Now hold on a moment – don’t touch that mouse! Hear me out!This insight comes into focus as I explore the full implications of Websters’ definition of “Conservatism” -- “preserving what is established” and the “disposition to oppose change in established institutions and methods.”

According to this definition:

A Conservative cherishes and defends the founding documents of the American Republic – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Accordingly, a Conservative defends free expression – in speech, the press, assembly – as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Additionally, a Conservative insists upon due process and protection of the individual from excesses and abuses of law enforcement. In particular, the Conservative opposes “unreasonable searches and seizures” (Fourth Amendment), double jeopardy, and self incrimination (Fifth Amendment), and “cruel and unusual punishment (Eighth Amendment).

In addition, the Conservative affirms “the right to a speedy and public trial” and the right to confront accusers and “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” (Sixth Amendment).While respecting the doctrinal differences amongst religions, the Conservative endorses “traditional values” that are taught by all the great world religions: tolerance, mercy, charity, compassion, moderation, peacemaking.

CONSERVATISM VS. “CONSERVATISM"

I suspect that the reader might sense where all this is leading.

There seems to be a disconnect between the Conservatism here described (in part), and the program of a political faction that chooses to call itself “conservative,” but which I prefer to call “right-wing” and “regressive.”

For example, the Founders might look somewhat askance upon the restriction of free expression evident today in the corporate media, and upon the retaliation upon individuals who exercise this right – individuals such as Phil Donahue, Tim Robbins, Bill Maher, the Dixie Chicks, and other citizens who choose to ignore Ari Fleischer’s warning to “watch what they say.”Nor would the Founders be pleased to learn of the “Justice Department’s” violation of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendment rights of several American citizens – violations upheld by “conservative” appellate judges.

About these clear and explicit violations of the founding principles of our Republic, the (so-called) “conservatives” are generally unperturbed.

Moreover, the aforementioned “traditional values” – tolerance, mercy, charity, compassion, moderation, peacemaking – are not conspicuous in the behavior of many self-described “conservative” individuals, nor in the policies of the allegedly “compassionately conservative” Bush Administration.

But there is more, as we continue our list:A Conservative believes in free markets and free enterprise, and thus upholds anti-trust laws and various government regulations designed to maintain free and open competition.

The right wing (self-described “conservatives”), on the other hand, have no use whatever for “government interference” in big business activity. Do they prefer “free enterprise” over monopolies? Ask the founders of Netscape. Or ask the more than forty broadcast corporations that have either been “absorbed” or forced out of business by the remaining ten media mega-corporations.

(See Robert McChesney, The Global Media Giants, FAIR, also Media Channel).

Unfortunately, as history testifies, “free enterprise,” unregulated and unconstrained, tends naturally toward monopolies -- in other words, "the free market" contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

A Conservative believes in maximum personal liberty, consistent with “like liberty” for all. (John Stuart Mill). The right wing fails to appreciate that “maximum liberty” for the wealthy, privileged and powerful, often infringes upon the liberties of the less fortunate.

Once again, “like liberty” is protected by the rule of law, the right to vote (“consent of the governed”), and by legitimate popular government.

A Conservative is suspicious of “big government,” and thus insists upon a separation of powers, a legislature that represents the interests of the public rather than campaign contributors, and restraint of government assaults upon personal liberties along the lines prescribed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Accordingly, a Conservative insists that it is not the business of government to promote particular religions, or to interfere in the private lives of citizens.

A conservative believes that it is the function of the courts to interpret established law with due regard for legal precedent (stare decisis). Nowhere in the Constitution or in the body of law is the Supreme Court entitled to appoint the President of the United States, nor is it permitted to make law from the bench and then announce arbitrarily that the decision of the Court "limited to the present circumstances," as was the case in Bush v. Gore (December 12, 2000).

A Conservative demands responsibility and accountability – of persons, of corporations, of institutions, and of government. There are no exceptions allowed for “well-placed individuals” (e.g., Ken Lay, Dick Cheney), or firms (Enron and Global Crossing), or governing administrations (regarding, for example, access to information, fiscal responsibility, etc).

A Conservative opposes offensive and "pre-emptive" wars – a sentiment unequivocally endorsed by George Washington, who counseled against “unusual antipathies” toward other nations. This is a sentiment fully endorsed by Jefferson, and Madison, among other founders.A Conservative is time-conscious – of history and its bestowals, and of responsibility to future generations.

Thus a Conservative will not, through budgetary deficits and through unsustainable environmental policies, mortgage and despoil the future for the generations that follow.

A Conservative cherishes the legacy of the past – in science, literature, the arts, and communal institutions -- and seeks to preserve them through education accessible to all, and through public facilities such as museums, concerts, libraries, and media.

Thus a Conservative does not dismiss science and learning when “inconvenient” to special interests, or contrary to uninformed “gut feeling.” Moreover, a Conservative regards the burning of library records and the looting of museum collections, which, for example, took place in Baghdad in 2003, as catastrophic losses to civilization, and not merely "stuff" that "happens."

A Conservative respects language, as a means of encoding knowledge and conveying information, and thus refrains from distorting language in order to employ its as a tool of manipulation, mendacity and evasion.

From this, and much more, it follows that the right wing in general, and the Bush Administrations in particular, accord themselves undeserved merit when they describe themselves as “conservatives.”

In a word, most self-described “conservatives” aren’t..Is the Conservatism described above just another name for libertarianism?

I would suggest that this Conservatism is, so to speak, a “semi-libertarianism.” This Conservative endorses the libertarians’ insistence upon personal autonomy, privacy, liberty and responsibility.

However, when it comes to economic and social applications, this Conservative parts company with the libertarians. While the libertarian may claim endorsement of “the like liberty principle,” he fails to appreciate that his program of radical personal autonomy and an unconstrained “free market” leads to severe restrictions on the liberty of others.

In addition, the libertarian falsely regards a well-ordered society, with shared values, civil peace and with an educated work force, as a free gift to which nothing is owed in return for its health and maintenance. (For a defense and elaboration of these points, see my "The New Alchemy," "With Liberty for Some,” “Perilous Optimism,” and “In Search of Sustainable Values”).As many readers will have noticed, I have borrowed this title “Conscience of a Conservative” from a book by (more accurately, ghost-written for) the late Senator Barry Goldwater.

Shortly before his death, Goldwater commented to his successor, John McCain, that today his views would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican party. In fact, I have many disagreements with the political views that Goldwater held during his active political life, though I much respected his honesty and integrity.

Goldwater’s position could generally be characterized as “libertarian,” and thus my agreements and disagreements with him are generally parallel to those remarked above, concerning libertarianism.

If his views, and even more his character, were reflected in the Republican party today, the political debates would be lively and productive, but much more important, we would once again enjoy the civility and sense of public service and responsibility that are essential to good government.

What then of “Liberalism?” If this account of Conservatism is essentially correct, then the polar opposition of Liberalism-Conservatism is no longer tenable. By and large, both Liberals and Conservatives (properly so-called, as above) are natural allies, as Conservatives defend the historical, institutional and moral basis upon which the Liberals might seek to improve conditions today, and aspire to a better tomorrow.

That being so, authentic Conservatives and liberals can and must join together in common opposition to “the far right” – that malignant political ideology that dishonors the past, despoils the present. and leaves a ruined and bankrupt wasteland for the future.

AMERICA: THE FAILED EXPERIMENT"

Today, it is the most powerful nation on earth in every sense of the word, except moral. The moral authority of the United States comes from the barrel of a gun. It is feared worldwide, even by its friends, and dismayed that others don't unconditionally love it. Yet it is difficult for outsiders to credit that even Americans love it. By Paul Harris

05/05/03: (YellowTimes) If the United States finally fails completely, what do we get next? We've had monarchies, feudal systems, dictatorships of many stripes, fascism, Nazism, communism, oligarchy, corporatism, anarchy, the-guy-with-the-biggest-stick-ism, and just about every other variation of societal order possible. And they've all failed.

The United States was born out of a desire to "form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty." Its Declaration of Independence was based in large measure on the philosophy of the Englishman, John Locke, who had argued that government was a contract between the governed and those governing, the latter deriving their power solely from the consent of the former, and whose purpose was to protect every person's inherent right to property, life, and liberty.

Eleven years later the Constitution of the United States of America was written and although amended twenty-seven times since, it remains the supreme law of the land and the primary document of this great experiment.Technically, the United States is a federal republic. In principle, and in its posturing about itself, it is a democracy. The Oxford Dictionary of Current English says democracy is: "1. government by the whole population, usually through elected representatives; 2. classless and tolerant society." In practice, neither of those definitions fits the United States.

For Athens, where it all began, democracy meant rule by a mob of land-owning citizens. People gathered in the Agora and whoever yelled the loudest won. It didn't catch on outside Athens and it was a long time before we got to the stage where dictators and hereditary monarchs were mostly displaced in favor of elected governments; but we did get there. It was a long time before we got past the requirement to own land as a prerequisite for suffrage; but we did get there. It was a long time before we got to the point where we could let go of the democratic dream without even knowing we had done so; but we have got there.

The United States represents the first and greatest attempt at creating a society where the people truly are supreme, where what is best for the greatest number is the order of the day, where the cream can rise to the top. When the U.S. collapses, it is unlikely to go quietly and the reverberations around the globe as this leviathan enters its death throes may very well bring about the demise of all other democracies. For there are other forms of democracy around the world, with varying degrees of success; but this one was different, this one was being built from the ground up rather than evolving from something that went before. From out of the ragtag group of colonial terrorists who threw off the British yolk, arose some of the most intelligent men ever assembled in one place.

From the outset, though, these great men signaled that they did not have the faith in the people that their words claimed. Before the Declaration was even signed, they deleted phrases that would have called for the abolishment of slavery and guaranteed the rights of all people. Before the Constitution was signed, they created the Electoral College to ensure that the people are not directly entrusted with the task of choosing the President. Even before it got out of the gate, this great experiment in freedom was being constrained.

Still, the United States thrived, with a lot of start-up assistance from the French, and in short order became a major force in the world. It achieved its "manifest destiny" to fill the continent from east to west (even if not from south to north) and opened its doors to the weary and downtrodden of the world, at least to the extent that it needed cheap labor.

Today, it is the most powerful nation on earth in every sense of the word, except moral. The moral authority of the United States comes from the barrel of a gun. It is feared worldwide, even by its friends, and dismayed that others don't unconditionally love it. Yet it is difficult for outsiders to credit that even Americans love it.

Most Americans seem to think that the United States has been a monumental success. Even those who are disaffected would hesitate to say the country is failing. Perhaps it needs the eyes of people outside its borders to see more clearly what it has become and that what it purported to be was rarely achieved. Americans have deluded themselves into a failure to see the disaster they have wrought and the nightmare that is to come. The most common refrain I hear from Americans I have met abroad or who have written to tell me of their experiences outside the United States is that they had no idea what a failure the U.S. has become until they stepped outside their country and considered the other guy's perspective.

The United States is in decline; it is a society in an advanced state of decay. Its great experiment at participatory democracy no longer excites its people, who stay home on election days in vast numbers. Its love of freedom has been used over and again as the excuse for military engagement on the soil of many other countries and countless deaths among those foreign citizens. Its pursuit of personal freedom at all costs has resulted in a violent and morally bankrupt society. In its quest for power, it has blundered across the world like a colossus, always with the self-assurance of the Godly and with complete lack of concern for other people's wishes and needs.

America began with the genocide inflicted on native North Americans; it enslaved its own people and nearly tore itself apart in a cataclysmic war fought, in part, about that slavery. It has since spread its beneficence and its mayhem around the globe with casual disregard for all others. It remains a highly polarized society grouped together only by a collective fear of everyone else; within its own borders, groups of various sizes adhere only out of fear of other Americans.

The United States has relentlessly chased after the ability to annihilate its enemies with firepower beyond belief and convinced itself that it is right and just to do so.

America has degenerated into a puppet state, a puppet for the few special interests and corporate groups who long ago usurped power from the masses. We know from the experience of the 2000 elections that the will of the people is easily subverted but this is not the first time a President has come to office under such clouded circumstances; read about the Electoral College, the courts, and the state of Florida in relation to the disputed election of the nineteenth American President, Rutherford B. Hayes.

We also know that the American government rarely works for a more perfect union, or to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility, or to promote the general welfare. Significant effort, however, goes into securing the blessings of liberty for those in high places. Elected officials have as their only goal, success in the next election and for that, they need to toady up to the special interest and corporate groups who can fill their pockets.

America's Founding Fathers called their dream "the great experiment" and perhaps that is because they understood this was a gamble; it might be the last conceivable untried form of government. Perhaps they knew that the illusion of "people power" was just that, an illusion. Perhaps they also knew that if the great experiment failed, there was nothing left to try; mankind would have proved once and for all that it was incapable of governing itself in a manner that is worthy of being called "civilized."

Well, it is failing. So I come back to my opening question: what do we get next?

CONSERVATISM HAS FAILED

Watching the Republican debate last week really highlighted the fact that conservatism is dead. Not so much in the sense that no one believes in it anymore (those 20 percenters are still hangin’ on), but that it has been discredited to the point that very few are willing to give it another chance.

How can you remain a Republican if you believe in smaller government, little or no foreign engagement (to the point of isolationism) and freedom from government intervention in private affairs? The truth is, you can’t, at least not if you want to retain any kind of intellectual honesty. And as much as I’d love to lay blame at the feet of the Bush administration, this one is not entirely their fault.

Conservative ideology has been given a chance, and it has run its course, to the detriment of the country and possibly to the near permanent hobbling of the Republican Party. Unfortunately, the rest of us were forced to suffer the injuries inflicted by its running its course straight into a brick wall, but the wounds will heal, and so will our nation.

The Right Wing think tanks, the Republican controlled Congress and the Bush administration, together implemented the conservative agenda, virtually unmolested by the Democrats, and here we are.

It’s not quite the Utopia they thought it would be and while incompetence played a supporting role, the real failure belongs to the brains of the operation, and we all know that wasn’t George W. Bush. Iraq would still be a disaster even if it had been handled properly.

The disparity in wealth we are currently experiencing is by design and the infeasibility of a financial structure based on debt is the legacy of conservatism in practice. There’s a reason the neo-cons have left the building, failure is the orphan these conservatives have no compassion for.

Think of the great experiments in liberalism, Social Security, Medicare, the Environmental Protection Agency, the five day work week, child labor laws (the list is a long one), all still going and despite conservative intervention (attempt to destroy them) over the years, all still working relatively well considering.

On the other side you have experiments in conservatism, trickle down economics, perpetual war to feed the military industrial complex, the unitary executive that says the President is above the law and should be above the law in times of crisis (of their own making), all have failed and all are costing the average American time, money, security and peace of mind.

After six unfettered years of conservative rule, we work harder for less, with little or no security or opportunity to claim even a small piece of the American dream. We worry about our health because we have no healthcare, we worry about our food because it’s not properly regulated and we worry about our future because there is no security in working a job anymore.

We worry about our children because a good education is harder and harder to come by and we worry about our parents because they don’t have security in retirement.

This is what conservatism has wrought (rot?) and why an overwhelming majority of Americans say we are on the wrong track. Sure, the current crop of Republicans will attempt to eek out enough votes by pandering to religious fundamentalists and preying upon the fears they’ve instilled in voters of “the others” be they Mexican immigrants, Muslims or gays, but ultimately they will lose because there simply aren’t enough simple minded people that haven’t been clued into the fact that the words Republicans utter are simply words without meaning, and while words may be cheap, the actions, policies and experiments in conservatism that we have seen implemented, speak volumes.

We can hear you now, we just don’t want what your sellin’ anymore.We don’t want to live in a country where obscene wealth is accrued on the backs of hard working people that can’t afford to educate their children. We don’t want to live in a country where government serves only the top 1%, that celebrates war and shuns diplomacy and that cedes its moral authority by condoning and implementing torture. We don’t want to live in a country where leaders tell us we must give up our rights while they flagrantly violate the law. In short, we don’t want to live in a conservative Petri dish.

If Iraq was the clean slate on which to write the conservative dream, I think we’ve seen enough to determine, conclusively, that we are not now, nor are we interested in becoming, a conservative country. We need to get back to our liberal roots, that is what will feed our future.

THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN NAZISINTO THE VORTEX OF INCALCULABLE CONSEQUENCESManuel Valenzuela 12/14/04 "ICH" --

The rise to power of the Amerikan Nazis, and the subsequent dive into the cesspool of fascism the nation is now experiencing, was assured with the ascension to the White House of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in November 2000.

Through the well-conceived, methodical fraud committed against the American people, the Amerikan Nazis were now free to unleash their devastation upon the world. They were now free to release the demons of war on humanity, destroying innocent human life, tearing flesh apart, devastating environments, endangering freedoms and rights, eviscerating democracy and decimating entire peoples and nations.

Stealing the election through the disenfranchisement, intimidation, manipulation and blatant racism against tens of thousands of Florida blacks, the Amerikan Nazis regained the seat of power and immediately began preparations for their ideologically inspired, pre-ordained world agenda of imperial hegemony, pre-emptive offensive wars, natural resource control, geopolitical military allocation, proxy wars in defense of foreign nations, corporate profit and pillage, American treasure plunder and grip on absolute power.

With the inauguration of George W. Bush in January 2001 an amalgam of corrupt, warmongering, greed-addicted, delusional, unscrupulous and ideological criminals, fascists, religious fundamentalists, profit over people capitalists and Zionist neocons fused to create the most damaging cocktail of immoral human malfeasance since similar vermin rose to power in 1930’s Europe.

Thus began the reign of the Amerikan Nazis, indiscriminately escalating the momentum of Earth’s descent into the dark abyss of self-annihilation and helping steer civilization closer towards nuclear midnight.Conceived through fraud and deceit, developed through secrecy and intimidation, secured in lies and delusions, and birthed by the horrors of 9/11, thereafter cementing a national psychosis in the American mind that has yet to dissipate, the Amerikan Nazis have thrust upon the entirety of the planet a parallel universe not seen in 70 years.

Since usurping power, the Amerikan Nazis have created nothing but negative energy, retarding the existing goodness in humankind and exposing the worst in the human condition. Misery, suffering, death, destruction, economic frailty, violence, mass murder, war crimes, fear, hatred, racism, ignorance, xenophobia, homophobia, division, perpetual war, corruption, exploitation, the bankruptcy of the nation, the pillaging of our treasure, greed, indifference and immorality have flourished since the era of the Amerikan Nazi was birthed.

They have made millions of Americans carriers of hatred, fear and racism, infecting in the American psyche a collective ignorance based on the exploitation of fundamentalist theology. They have attached lead chains on our rights, freedoms and on democracy herself. They have succeeded in dividing the nation like never before, making enemies of progressives and conservatives.

They have expanded the power of the corporate world, making us the serfs of yesterday and the automatons of the future. They have turned We the People into We the Sheeple, the land of the free and the home of the brave into the land of greed and the home of the slave. Has anything good occurred since November 2000?

Has anything positive manifested itself since the coup d’etat of late 2000? Of course not. The last four years have been nothing but a steep decline into a toxic canyon, with nothing seemingly able to stop our continued fall. America is degenerating into an entity being pulled apart by its appendages, imploding right in front of our eyes.

The thing to remember is that the sudden collapse has coincided with the rise of the Amerikan Nazis. At no other time since has the security of the planet been so compromised. At no time has so much gone so wrong, from pre-emptive wars to criminal and illegal wars of invasion to the scapegoating of an entire Arab population to conflict between allies to the end of multilateralism to the rise of imperial conquest to the chess match between nations for natural resource and geopolitical possessions to the cancerous unilateralism and arrogance of Empire to the dwindling capacity of exploitative resources to the growing competition between state powers to the malignant and ever-pervasive battle of religions to the rise to power of fundamentalist extremists to the continued dumbing down, ignorance and xenophobia of the people living inside the belly of the Evil Empire to the searing world hatred and anger brewing against the Great Satan to the rise of Amerikan fascism to the ceaseless exploitation and subjugation of peoples and lands spawned by the disease called capitalism and its virus market colonialism.

Into the vortex of incalculable consequences have we entered, paralyzed and made blind to the powers of the Amerikan Nazis, captivated by their hypnotizing propaganda, seeing only individual trees in an enormous forest, ensnarled by the short-term and not wiling to accept or see a most ominous long-term.

The pieces of the malice puzzle are falling into place, yet the world remains mute to the returning sands of history that have reappeared over the horizon. As if captured by fear, unable to sound the trumpets of alarm, unable to gallop our horses through fog to sound warning bells, Americans, it seems, fatefully vegetate in indifference and stupor, fatalistically determined to accept their destiny, seemingly waiting in vain for the worst possible nightmare to become reality.

Before long, with continued complacency and conformism, reality will be even worse than what our subconscious dreams are able to imagine. Like a potent concoction of flammable chemicals, the amalgamation of combustibles the planet is presently witnessing amassing throughout the globe is mixing and fizzing, bubbling and gassing, its energy growing in power, its potency becoming an uncontrollable manifestation of the human condition.

Slowly it is rising, ready to explode in a massive eruption whose tremors will be felt by 6.4 billion humans. The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are patiently being put together, much like in the world of 70 years ago, by human wickedness resurrected, by fascism reincarnated, by the rise of the Amerikan Nazis. A PLAGUE UPON THE WORLDLike the German Nazis of old, who were ignored until they had firmly cemented their campaign of terror, their momentum as ferocious as it was unstoppable, the Amerikan Nazis are likewise being disregarded both in the United States and abroad.

Their assault on the world, and the United States in particular, as good people stand idle, doing nothing, has magnified their power, their addiction to greed and their grandiose sense of self. They validate their mission as blessed by a delusional destiny endeared to all rising empires, believing all their frivolous lies, embarking on a road guided by the Almighty itself, content that its powerful yet invisible hand is assenting to the incredible levels of mass murder, suffering, destruction, violence and human wickedness their actions have spawned.

With each day that the people of the United States and the world ignore the gathering storm, the Amerikan Nazis’ confidence grows, sure of their power, bolder in their actions, steadfast in their belief that what they do is right. Their corruption of power and of self shields them away from the realities and truths of the world, the delusions of their narcissism and the bubble of their perched existence. Arrogance runs through their veins, replacing the cold-blood most were born with, allowing for greater apathy and malice.

They bully dissent and other sovereign nations into submission or silent acquiescence, threatening regimes and politicians with the vast array of financial, international, military and political tools endowed to empires. Callously they run amok, eviscerating global alliances as they please, unilaterally dictating the future course of the planet, triumphantly knowing they have the world by the collective balls. Unchallenged and unrepentant, the Amerikan Nazis now possess, through the hijacking of America, the cockpit of the most powerful nation the world has ever been witness to, holding the seat of power from where all their wickedness derives.

They are using everything at their disposal to push their ideological agenda of delusion and empire building, succeeding, slowly but surely, in the destabilization of the entire world order. They seek to crush nation-state competitors such as China, Europe and Russia, steaming ahead in a race for the ultimate prize in the geopolitical chess match: the lands and resources of central Asia. It is here where resource wars will be fought, it is here where the world’s insatiable thirst for oil will see powerful nation’s collide, for it is the next black reservoir to be exploited and tapped by a species dependent on the devil’s excrement, that black blood whose necessity curses the entire planet.

The Amerikan Nazis are preemptively moving their pieces into geostrategic states, invading lands such as Iraq and Afghanistan, using them as launching pads for further military escalations, garrisons protecting newly conquered natural resources, and as watchtowers surveying rivals.

The Pax Americana now has a foothold on the Middle East, a growing presence in central Asia, and a sniper scope aimed at those nations bordering Russia, such as the Ukraine, as well as those near China. These lands are being molded to suit the Amerikan Nazi construct of Empire.

Supporting emerging dictators, financing puppets, destabilizing nations, controlling pseudo-democracy and establishing crony capitalism assures the Amerikan Nazis of domination and supremacy on the global scale. Rivals are still years away from threatening the Pax Americana, yet to ensure the continued flow of oil and gas from the Eurasian land mass, for now and into the future, the Amerikan Nazis have embarked on a campaign of imperial reincarnation, retrofitting nations and peoples unlucky to live in lands infected by oil with a new breed of colonization.

For the Amerikan Nazis know that he who controls the flow of energy controls the world, and to them, this is all that matters, the ultimate prize in an ever more dangerous game.Hence, Afghanistan was invaded for its geopolitical position and its access to American controlled natural gas pipelines, thereby leading the Pax Americana into the collection of Stans littering the Caspian Sea basin.

Iraq, on the other hand, was invaded for its rich oil wealth, to make extinct a threat to Israel, to control the larger Middle East and to establish offensive military bases in Eurasia, forever planting a presence signaling to rivals the seriousness of American intentions. Already in the crosshairs is Iran, another oil rich nation of vital strategic importance in Eurasia. War against it is already in the works, and the Amerikan Nazis, foaming at the mouth at the thoughts of an invaded and conquered Iran, compliant to America and Israel, see this trophy as the bounty needed for absolute hegemony in the region as well as the world.

Under the rubric of the war on terror the Amerikan Nazis have invaded two nations seen as strategic and of utmost importance in the escalating cold war between one superpower and various emerging powers, all eyeing the vast wealth available in central Asia, as well as the dwindling world supply of the one source of energy needed for continued power and growth. With a third nation already in the Amerikan Nazi crosshairs, the game of geopolitical chess will continue to unfold, making our world a much more dangerous place, our future less assured and the balance among states and peoples more polarized than ever.

Humanity is today crossing the threshold of danger, and the Amerikan Nazis have made sure, through their harvesting of hatreds, divisions, animosities, violence and exploitations, through their invasions, conquests, mass murder and utter destruction of land and man, of a world less secure thanks to the mutating evil residing in the human condition that is getting ready to erupt.

And so, with reality beginning and ending with the Amerikan Nazis, seeing themselves free to alter history, create fictions, orchestrate our future and manipulate a most gullible public, the seeds are being planted for a most ominous future, full of war (what else is new?) and division and competition and violence and death and suffering. Controlling the American sheeple, molding us like easy to manipulate clay, using both the tools of government and the corporate world, they are free to achieve their most sinister policies, seeking Empire, glory and the addiction of power, failing to learn from history, failing to understand the human condition.

Nothing, it seems, besides the valiant resistance movement in Iraq, can stop their drive onwards, not even the will of the American people, whose voice no longer exists, becoming as inconsequential as the annoying buzzing of the occasional fly looking for fecal matter to sit on. It is the passivity of those residing inside the belly of the beast that sustains them, becoming the fresh and invigorating air circulating inside their lungs. It is the silent acquiescence of the masses that energizes them, becoming their lifeblood, that cold plasma flowing through their body that grants them the mandate needed to destroy democracy at home and export human wickedness abroad.

For human evil to succeed all that is needed is for good people to do nothing, and this is exactly what is happening, with America’s voices ominously submissive and silent, with Washington having become the hornet’s nest of Amerikan Nazi enterprise and operation, and with the world passively waiting for the next chess move made by warmonger leaders and delusional policymakers.

9/11, BIRTH OF DESPOTISM

Granted such a fortuitous commencement to their long-sought offensive with the tragic events of 9/11, the Amerikan Nazis have since exploited every single angle and opportunity of that horrific day. The new Pearl Harbor burst open a collection of colorful fireworks inside the minds of the Amerikan Nazis, now free of the populace’s free-thought and reason.

Bolts from the gods of war came crashing down onto two mammoth towers, turning a once-questioning American citizenry into a militarized behemoth marching to the tunes of war, hatred and vengeance. The land of plenty was filled with the red, white and blue, filling every street corner, every business, every car, every single inch the profiteering claws of Wal-Mart reached, transforming the United States into a nation on the path to perpetual war.

To those not mesmerized by raging nationalism, searing jingoism or blinded by the omnipresent envelopment of the flag, America after 9/11 paralleled images of Nazi Germany, with flags draping every building and every street, with rage searing and fear captivating, with an entire population’s psychology devastated, fragile, and ripe for the picking by those exploiters and criminal entities for years seeking the monstrosity that now, rather miraculous, presented itself.

The American Nazis finally had what they wanted, a cataclysmic event that transformed an entire population. They had the catalyst for war, for imperial conquest and corporate despotism. They had a new Pearl Harbor, a rather convenient excuse to begin their journey towards imperial hegemony, corporate domination, Israeli security, an American police state and an emerging fascist Empire.

For if you stop and think about it, who has benefited most from the horrific events of 9/11? Who has profited the most, whose power has increased, whose agenda has and continues to be fulfilled, whose success continues to grow, who has exploited 9/11 to further long sought goals, now able to control an entire population of nearly 300 million people, steering it in the direction of Arab hatred and perpetual war?

Who profits from perpetual war, from feudal control of oil, from a schizophrenic and fear controlled populace and from a militarized, police state devoid of social programs, rights and freedoms?

It certainly isn’t Arab bogeymen, who, though as smart as they might be cannot in common sense accomplish the supermen actions that are attributed to them.The time has arrived to at the very least begin questioning the official story of 9/11, as inconceivable as it now appears, with lie built upon lie, fantasy built upon fantasy.

Why do we know so little, why has so much about that day been covered up, how did 19 so-called hijackers circumvent the greatest technology, infrastructure, aerial defense and military in the history of the world, plowing in two direct strikes into two towers without so much as a hiccup from the government?

Whether involved or not, whether knowing or not, the Bush administration must begin answering questions, especially when it continues to emerge that it was recklessly incompetent and criminally negligent at best and horrifically complicit at worst.

What did it know, what had it been told by a cluster of foreign intelligence services in the days before 9/11, did it purposefully allow the tragedies of that day to come into fruition so that excuses could be made for already planned wars against Afghanistan and Iraq?

In the sacrifice of 3000 souls, whether known or not, the Amerikan Nazis assured themselves of almost 300 million trance-like zombies hypnotized by fear and rage, transformed into an obedient, drone-like army of followers ready to obey the dictates of warmongers and greed addicts.

It only took 3000 deaths and the destruction of two towers to mobilize the world’s most powerful nation towards war, boots marching onward, weapons pointing straight, our thirst for vengeance blinding rational thinking, our quest for Arab blood enslaving our collective brain.

In months, America was ready to unleash the next Corporate Crusade. The assembly lines manufacturing instruments of death were started, the conveyor belts spitting out America’s indigent were warmed up, sending cannon fodder to their premature death and physical and mental maiming. For profit, for greed, for the Almighty Dollar, dropping bombs, dropping napalm, dropping depleted uranium, as usual pitting poor versus poor and young versus young, all for the ever-expanding pockets of the Establishment, all for the gluttonous appetite for destruction of the military-industrial complex and all for the conquest and usurpation of resources, land and labor by the psychopathic corporate Leviathan.

With an entire nation searing and in control, the Amerikan Nazis could do as they wished. They fed us a surplus of patriotism to make us blind. They injected nationalism into our veins to make us rabid. They created and marketed the image of a war president out of putrid fecal matter. They provided dark-skinned enemies so that we could hate and scapegoat, concocting story after story to make our blood boil.

They used the media to brainwash and condition us, using government and journalist vermin to concoct lies and deceits. Somewhere, the German Nazis of the past could not be prouder. In the months and now years after 9/11 they have exploited our fears and insecurities, our emotions and passions, our need to feel safe and protected. The tools at their disposal – corporate media and its prostitute journalists – are used to control us and our emotions, all done to better suit their particular needs, all done to make acquiescent and obedient sheep of us.

If war is needed, fear is re-introduced, Arab bogeyman are said to be living under our beds, ready to terrorize, color-coded alerts are raised to breed mass schizophrenia. If excuses and reasons for war are called for, lies and deceit are used, government agencies and officials are paraded to the world with false information and bogus intelligence.

They have abused our ignorance, our blind trust in government and leaders, our faith in the system. In return, they have declared war on the American people, robbing us of rights and liberties, freedoms and democracy, reputation and morality, our treasure and our loved ones. They continue pilfering America’s treasure, gutting social programs, destroying education and healthcare, devastating the economy, dumbing down our children, leading us down the ominous path to a police state.

Billions of dollars are being stolen by their friends and cronies, their lobbyists and contributors. The military-industrial complex and the corporate Leviathan are profiting from death and destruction, suffering and violence, contributing to the mass murder of 100,000 Iraqis, 10,000 Afghanis, more than 1,200 American soldiers and the maiming in body and mind of countless more.

It has been the horrific events of 9/11, with the subsequent collective paranoia, blind patriotism, raging jingoism, fear-induced ignorance and easily-controlled thought processes of the masses that have allowed the Amerikan Nazis unfettered control over the minds of tens of millions of citizens. It was twin towers collapsing and airliners crashing that assured the Amerikan Nazis of absolute power to do as they please, without accountability and transparency, without interference or dissent, without protest or debate, without an American citizenry enraged at what is being done in its name.

Today, on the road to despotism do we find ourselves in, unable or unwilling to extricate ourselves, surrounded on all sides by malevolent men and women who, with each day that passes, take possession and control of more American minds, transforming the country into a land riddled with a complicit army of mass murdering apologizers, warmongers and torture legitimizers.

Using Arab scapegoats, marketed to be feared by the ignorant, alien in culture and religion, seen as sub-human barbarians, this army of crazed purveyors of violence and suffering is extricating long held inner demons of bigotry, fear and boiling hatred. Moral values are given precedence at home, scapegoating gays and progressives, while rapes of Iraqi women are condoned, destruction is allowed, death of untold women and children is sought and the devastation of an entire culture is welcomed.

Other Nazis of times past used the same techniques on other minorities to unleash hell on Earth. This easily-controlled and manipulated army of ignorance and hypocrisy are the same millions who in a few years will claim ignorance and outrage, much like the German population at the end of World War II, for the human evil they allowed upon the lands of planet Earth. This army of Arab haters loathe simply because their government tells them to, simply because they wish it so, simply because an enemy was concocted from which to wage perpetual war against.

They fear and hate because their false prophets condone such sin, because the red, white and blue demands it. Because they are ignorant they fear; because they are made to fear they hate; because they hate 100,000 innocent human beings lie dead, untold more lie maimed and psychologically destroyed, and an entire nation lies in ruins.

This is the army of the American Nazis, this is the Army of Unenlightenment. This is the danger of a dumbed-down population, of an education system being gutted even as the defense budget surpasses those of all industrialized nations, combined. This is what happens when drones are created, unthinking and unenlightened, devoid of analytical and logical thought, conditioned to believe anything and everything told them by a government for years acting as The Evil Empire. This is what happens to Empires whose people no longer are capable of rational thought, whose brain lacks the precepts to think on their own.

This is what happens when a population fails to question authority, seek accountability or hold leaders responsible. This is what happens without protest, dissent and debate. This is what happens in the absence of bravery and selflessness. If November 2000 is a date that will live in infamy, then 9/11 is the date the gates of human hell opened onto the world, releasing the demons called the Amerikan Nazis to once more wreak havoc over the lands and skies of the ever-tempestuous species called humanity.

SHAKING THE FOUNDATIONS


Is it so hard to imagine our government and our leaders as liars, criminals and terrorists?

Is it so hard to imagine that we are being led into a moral abyss whose black hole is eroding the humanity naturally endowed to us?

Is it so hard to see past the lies, the deceit, the propaganda, the exploitation of our psychology, the obvious criminal elements running the government?

Is it so hard to question authority, to seek accountability, to return power to the People?

Is it so hard to escape the clouds of 9/11 and see, if only for a second, the incredible amount of coincidences and growing evidence pointing to complicit criminality within the Bush Administration and the neocons in the death of 3000 humans?

Our failure to question the official ‘truth’ of 9/11 arises because of our fear of knowing the truth, our uncertainty of what to do if what the government says is false.

We fear knowing that perhaps our government and leaders, our policy makers and corporate elite were involved in the greatest terrorist act to ever devastate American soil, and so we meander in purposeful ignorance, unwilling to open the doors to a storm that would shake our foundations to the ground.

Our ego’s refusal to believe in the criminality of the government, even if only negligent, even if criminally complicit, is the ally of the Amerikan Nazis, for it strengthens their grip on power and their confidence that they can do with us as they please.

Our mind’s defense mechanism of not wanting to stir normalcy, of refusing to ever know the truth, of never wanting to molest our normal life with the devastation of knowing what, if anything, the Bush administration, the corporate Establishment, the military-industrial complex and the neocons had to do with 9/11 and its aftermath is our own worst enemy, for to allow the Amerikan Nazis the freedom to continue their rapacious ideology is to help seal our own fates.

Our refusal to let go of years of government brainwashing, implemented in our educations and through years of ceaseless television watching, that America can do no wrong, that its leaders are the epitome of good, that our government is altruistic and honorable, that our military is only in existence for defensive purposes, that the Almighty always blesses us and no other, that our nation only helps the world, that our history is full of noble intentions, has conditioned in us an inability to ever question the legitimacy of elected leaders or the foundation of government itself.

Like a tree bountiful in fruit we must shake the branches of our existence, thinking beyond the box we have been trained never to deviate away from. We must shake the foundations of what we have been inculcated with, as well as the ego that refuses to open our eyes to a most ignoble truth.

We have to accept the belief that those elected and anointed to take care of us could also be doing us massive harm.

Our constructs must be altered, as well as the perceived reality implanted in our minds through years of brainwashing.

We must question authority, seek accountability and demand truth and justice. The government is responsible to the People, after all, the People are not responsible to government.

The American government is the People’s government, it does not belong exclusively to the small junta of criminality basking in the warmth of power. Perhaps 9/11 was as they tell us, perhaps it was worse, perhaps its truth is too unbearable to pursue.

Yet we must open our eyes to all possibilities, because our future depends on it. Our minds must be made clear, our voices made loud, our ears made to hear, for somewhere out there the truth of it all exists, waiting to be found by an American people ready to exorcise the demons of what was done to us on 9/11.

This the Amerikan Nazis fight to prevent, which is why it is desperately needed. Out there, somewhere, our foundations are waiting to be shaken and rattled, waking us from the nightmare wrought by the rise of the Amerikan Nazis.

Out there the memories of 3000 innocent people wait to be found, finally freed to roam the great expanse of the universe, finally given the burial they have yet to fully receive. Only the truth will set them, as well as millions more living, free. The clouds that have hovered over us since 9/11 are beginning to dissipate.

Our minds are once more seeing the plethora of colors created with the birth of each new sunrise. We can see clearly once again. It is time to shake the foundations of what is known, and what is yet to be found.

DEMOCRACY AT DEATH’S DOORSTEP"

It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything". ---- Joseph Stalin

12/16/04 "ICH" -- In November 2000 democracy, or the mirage that passed for it, was dismembered, never again allowed to grace America with its cherished principles espousing the power of ‘We the People.’ It was four years ago that democracy inhaled its last breath of life through the asphyxiation of the People’s will by the powerful grip of electoral fraud.

Today, after four years of having experienced the subsequent results of what fraud helped birth, and now with yet another clear case of electoral fraud under our belts, democracy has been replaced by a mutated and debauched species of democracy, one consisting of televised manipulation of votes through media conditioning, two-party charades controlled and commanded by corporate interests, representative façades that no longer serve the People, and election day fictions of electorate mandates along with fantasies of voter empowerment.

All this, combined with the methodical and clandestine rigging of elections by the GOP elite, has resulted in the utter destruction of one of the most honored principles in American history.

The beacon of democracy has thus become a bastardized bonfire of duplicity, a sham designed to maintain and control power even as the citizenry is made to believe their voice resonates and steers the country forward. Nothing could be further than the truth. “We the People,” that brilliantly concocted phrase designed for the consumption of the masses, carefully masqueraded yet hardly ever applied, whose fiction has since its creation been unmasked more and more with each passing decade, has now been firmly revealed for the farce that it is through the second coup d’etat in four years to smear the land of greed and the home of the slave.

For those residing inside the entrails of the United Corporations of America, now under the firm grip of the Amerikan Nazis, the term created by the Founding Fathers has ceased to exist.

It is now nothing more than a phrase rotting away in the dustbins of history, forever to gather dust, slowly decomposing its once protected greatness, discarded by the indifference and abandonment of the same people it was meant to inspire. Democracy’s grave today lies in Florida, with its undertaker, Jeb “Jim Crow” Bush, and its mortician, the good old boys’ Grand Old Party, responsible for America’s descent into despotism.

It was the Sunshine State that first carried the election fraud cancer four years ago, riddled with tumors and chicanery, in time helping spread it to other states and other elections by the greed addicts and power mongers comprising the Amerikan Nazis. Like pollen carried by the wind the virus traveled freely, passing from host to host, from Diebold machine to Diebold machine, infecting Amerikan Nazi minions, from Katherine Harris in Florida to Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio, traitors to a now terminally infected nation, catalysts to mass murder and incalculable crimes against humanity.

Growing in malignancy, the cancer proliferated into many other states. It was tested to great success in the mid-year elections of 2002 (think Georgia, Florida), and was perfected in time for the grand prize of 2004, culminating in the Buckeye state of Ohio, systematically delivered to George Bush through an array of clandestine methods that would make a third-world dictator merry with Christmas glee and New Year’s bliss.

If in November 2000 the monster’s heinous face was finally uncovered, revealing to those no longer blinded by the System its true and contemptible nature, then in November 2004 we witnessed its dastardly growth and mutation into a malevolent tumor afflicting the greatest democracy the world has ever known.

The election of 2000 had been too close, a certain defeat for BushCo without Florida’s massive fraud, and never again would the People be allowed to interrupt the master plans of the corporatists (criminals) and zealots (murderers) who were destined to rule the new Amerika. And so, the Amerikan Nazis, patient and sinister, understanding the rapid evolution of technology, owning the mechanisms by which elections were held, counted and tallied, and possessing monopolistic control of the halls of governance, waited as time became their ally and conditioned fear and ignorance of the citizenry became their bedfellows.

The Florida Fraud of 2000, followed by the Supreme Court selection, assured the Amerikan Nazis of four years to perfect their democracy-destroying mechanisms, four years to study their strategy, upgrade their Jim Crow techniques, subvert democracy-protecting legislation, learn from their mistakes, improve their technology, research voting trends and demographics, distribute their election-rigging machines, refine their vote-manipulating code, unleash their army of lackeys and install the infrastructure necessary to once and forever control American elections.

It was only natural, then, that with the advent and evolution of digital technology, advancements in optical scanners, upgrades in computer power and the privatization of elections that those entities unscrupulous in character, absorbed in the corruption birthed by absolute power and enemies to democracy would attempt to erode the basic fabric of the will of the People.

Such has happened with the 2004 Presidential elections, the second coup d’etat in four years to riddle its disease-soaked tumor onto the lands of the nation once known as the greatest democracy to ever exist.

DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN

Over 100 million Americans went to the voting booth on November 4, 2004 to help elect the next President of the United States. Voter turnout was massive as record numbers of citizens headed to the polls intent on having their voice heard. What they did not know, however, was that the presidential election had already been decided in favor of George W. Bush months, if not years, before.

The Amerikan Nazi strategy of rigging elections has been carefully implemented during the last six years, if not longer. Through control of every aspect of American elections, from ownership of electronic voting machines and optical scanning equipment designed to count votes, owned by Diebold, ES & S and Triad, to political control of state officials responsible for the implementation and enforcement of elections – think the Ken Blackwell’s and Jeb “Jim Crow” Bush’s of the world – to the control of state legislatures and Supreme Courts to the one-party ownership of all branches of the federal government and its vast arsenal of power, including the ability to squash democracy protecting legislation, the Amerikan Nazis have assured themselves of perpetual fraud, massive deceit of the American People, and continual domination of governance.Electronic voting machines are the most devious mechanism yet created to assassinate democracy.

Why they have been allowed to infiltrate American elections, even when they function without paper trails, without accountability, without overbearing security of codes and technology, without the ability to trace how a vote is created and by whom, is a travesty.

Yet it is Republican legislatures that have refused to allow paper trails of machines or audits or investigations into the effects of private enterprise possessing the ability to run American elections. This past November, it was these same machines, along with optical scanners counting the voting tallies, that defrauded the American people of their democracy. In district after district, votes were stolen from Kerry while at the same time higher voting numbers were given to Bush.


In fact, in many districts voter turnout favoring Bush statistically outnumbered the total number of voter registrations, and in other areas, Democratic votes dropped dramatically from their 2000 numbers, even in Democrat heavy districts and even with a massive outpouring of progressive voter drives.

The machine codes of Republican controlled election equipment were most likely formulated to erode ten votes here, one hundred there, 1000 over there, amounting to insignificant numbers when seen from individual polling place to polling place, yet in the aggregate, statewide and nationally, these small eroded numbers end up adding up to hundreds of thousands of votes methodically taken away from Kerry and naturally favoring Bush.

Combined with the now obvious tampering and hacking into these companies’ non-secure codes and machines whose fraudulent glitches gave massive and non-existent vote numbers to Bush and the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of minority votes, the fraud that is the election of 2004 becomes apparent. Historically, exit polls have never been wrong, except in Florida 2000 and now in every state rigged in favor of Bush. (If exit polls can convince the Bush administration that the Ukraine suffered electoral fraud, then why is the same not so here?)

This year, exit polls were right on the money in those states not seen as strategic, battleground areas. But in those vitally important for both candidates, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Florida, dependent on electronic voting machines and optical scanners, the exit polls substantially differed from the results.

In these states, substantial Kerry leads in exit polls resulted in Bush victory at the voting booth. Exit polls from districts not using electronic voting machines and optical scanners were also right on target as compared to the results of polling places using them.

The fraud cannot be more obvious. Exit polls were pointing in the direction of a Kerry landslide in key battleground states, yet a few hours later these figures changed dramatically in an impossible shift in numbers. The machines had been hacked, they had suddenly worked their magic, and incredibly, what appeared like a sure victory for Kerry turned into a dramatic win for Bush.

The anomalies and the glitches have been everywhere, and reports from all across the nation report the same thing. Yet in every case, these so-called mistakes and natural errors only seem to favor Bush. Now, anyone with a slight education in statistics will tell you that this is quite impossible.

Surely we would see errors favoring Kerry, right? Well, we do not, every glitch in the election favors Bush, coincidentally with Republican controlled voting machines and optical scanners that count the votes.

And we still debate that the election was stolen?The fraud was massive, systemic, methodical and coldly-calculated to steal the election in favor of Bush and the Amerikan Nazis. Clandestine and ingenious, the infrastructure built by the Republicans, from top to bottom, assured that everything would work to perfection.

The cover up, from elected officials in Ohio and elsewhere to those People’s representatives in Washington to the cowards in the corporate media has been colossal. Yet slowly, but surely, the truth is coming out, as it usually always does. Democracy was dealt a Texas lethal injection, executing the glimmer of hope elections and votes represented.

In its last breaths of agony and suffering it bellowed its excruciating shrieks from the belly of the state of Ohio, its indifferent executioner. A Presidential election has once more been stolen, the second coup against the American people in four years, obvious to anyone not having their head buried in the sand or stuck in the haze of ignorance.

More importantly, the nation of, by and for the People has been usurped, defrauded of the mandate of voters and the will of the People. The rise of the Amerikan Nazis thus continues, coinciding with the death of American democracy, its power eviscerated, never again allowed to jeopardize the interests or power of those most threatened by the voting mandate of the masses.

For democracy in its purest forms is the mortal enemy of the greed addicted, power hungry, unscrupulous-laden, corrupt, criminal and warmongering pestilence that today resides in Washington, their plague-like virus encroaching the halls of Congress, the offices of governance and homes old and white.

The will of the People only gets in their way; it interferes with their plans, interrupts their ideologies and castrates their intentions. Autocrats, like a fly thriving on fecal matter, prosper on despotism; they depend on absolute power and control of the nation to implement the devastation of the masses for the prosperity of the few.

Democracy only hinders their plans, and so becomes an enemy to tyranny, which, once in power, begins slicing off the appendages of democratic principles. There is nothing despots hate more than the voice of the People and the power of the masses. They detest dissent and protest, free-thought and informed intelligence.

And so, like vultures circling a dead carcass, the cabal of miscreants now in power has swarmed down to feast, gutting the Peoples’ will and voice, eroding America’s collective intelligence and manipulating minds through the power of propaganda and brainwashing, courtesy of corporate media and the whores it calls journalists, now nothing more than loudspeakers spewing government/corporate rhetoric into the minds of Americans.

LIKE TAKING CANDY FROM A BABY

The television has become the most useful and powerful manipulator of minds, and hence of votes, ever envisioned by those in power. Its sheer ability to define issues favorable to those who control television makes the television the ultimate weapon of mass deception.

Those who control television and its content control the masses. America has reached a stage where the television has become society’s outlet to the world, acting as entertainer and informer, educator and conveyor of escapism. The power of the monitor, beamed into every home, seen by nearly every pair of eyes, when combined with a population easily controlled, unwise to the world and ignorant beyond repair, becomes the tool assuring despots such as the Amerikan Nazis of mass support and of blind sheep easily herded, both indifferent to the actions of those in power and pacified to the criminal nature of their enterprise.

If Joseph Goebbels succeeded with much less, transforming a defeated nation into a molten cauldron of warmongers soaked in blind patriotism, violent nationalism, animalistic fear and ignorant xenophobia, all done without the use of television, imagine the successes of Karl Rove, Zionists, corporatists and the Amerikan Nazis who like puppet masters skillfully command the thoughts, actions and beliefs of millions of Americans.

When the television has become the new conduit of reality, the new altar of American prayer and experience, acting as parent, teacher, preacher and manipulative religion, it is easy to surmise, then, that a population bred for and addicted to television, with its vast arsenal of programming controlled by the same corporations now in control of government, has for years marched like soldier ants and worker bees to the drumbeat and marching orders of those in power.

Whether willing or not, the American people have become captives to whatever information is or is not aired by the corporate media. We are unable, for example, to hear any information or news on the debacle in Iraq, with its ceaseless war crimes and mass murders, or on the devastation of both land and man of radioactive depleted uranium, or on the dire threat of global warming, or on the balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian issue or on dissident points of debate prevalent in this country and, of course, on the ever-widening scandal that is the fraud-riddled election of 2004.

We remain, unfortunately, at the mercy of the corporate media, itself in bed with the Amerikan Nazis, unable to inform ourselves of anything detrimental to both government and big business. The sphere of reality, for those who have yet to discover the liberating energy of the Internet, is as limited as those in control of television wish it to be.

When only carefully selected news and information is relayed into our homes, when only the one-sided opinions espoused by government and corporations are showcased, with only the voices of pro-government or corporate talking heads available, when only whitewashed, censored stories and reports favorable to those in power get aired, when vitally important information gets suppressed, when the views of third-party candidates never gets covered and when escapist fantasy is shown over important reality democracy becomes a useless instrument devoid of power.

When the citizenry of a nation can no longer make electoral decisions based on free-thought, on educated information gathering and on the objective reporting of media democracy cannot function. Media today has the ability to censor any candidate running for office it does not approve of.

It can help build a candidate up, making him or her the next war president. It can manipulate stories, so-called yells of rage, the popularity of a candidate and inevitably, his or her success.

Just ask Howard Dean how his campaign was destroyed in part by the corporate media.

The Establishment saw a threat and proceeded to eliminated it.

For an objective, balanced and informative media loyal only to the truth is a pillar of a healthy democracy. When it crumbles, however, as we see today, instead becoming the stepping stone of the Amerikan Nazis’ rise to power and nothing more than corporatist controlled media, democracy is destroyed and can no longer be trusted to help move the nation forward.

An unenlightened populace, imputing televised propaganda as its own opinion, ignorant to the true state of the country, conditioned to never question either the monitor or government propagandists, captured by lies, deceits, fears, schizophrenia and obedient to the Amerikan Nazis cannot be said to vote wisely, with neither all available information at their disposal or with a clear understanding of the issues.

This is not democracy, this is controlled debauched democracy, reminiscent of the best media propaganda in the now defunct Soviet Union and Iron Curtain, reminding one of the state owned channels available in dictatorships.

Today in America, the only thing those in power have to do to win votes is control the television, its content and message. In the United States, nothing is easier to do.

What the television guarantees the Amerikan Nazis is the undivided attention of the masses who have no other choice but to see and listen to what the corporate media decides to release.

At the press of a button, the Amerikan Nazis can manipulate public opinion and steer the direction of the nation’s pulse based on the images beamed and the propaganda voiced by sold out talking heads, journalists and anchors.

They can mobilize millions through propaganda and fear, they can make millions vote against their interests through an amalgam of psychologically devastating tools designed to manipulate and condition. More and more, the media, nothing more than the propaganda-laced loudspeaker of government and the corporate interests that owns it, airs only what the Amerikan Nazis want the population to see and hear.

Hence, we see that a complete blackout of the stolen election of 2004 has been implemented by the corporate media. Naturally, this is done so that the vast majority of the sheep can continue grazing tranquilly, not knowing, not caring and not interested.

This is done so that momentum of the resistance does not grow, so that more citizens do not become aware of what is being done to us, so that the movement is discredited, so that truth dies and is forgotten, and so that Amerikan Nazi power and control continues to grow without interruption and without an awakening of the masses.

The complicit nature of the corporate media, in its failure to cover such a treasonous crime upon the American people, is clear proof of its role in the death of democracy, the birth of despotism now invading America and the rise of the Amerikan Nazis. Carefully bombarding the human mind with one-sided, censored, misleading, deceitful, manipulative, jingoistic, patriotic diatribe and propaganda, especially in a country where free-thought is the exception rather than the rule, where the thoughts of pundits become the opinions of the masses, where diversity of opinion has evaporated and dissent has ceased to exist, the media, through the television and radio, creates in the thought processes of the masses the illusion that only the opinion it airs exists and can be accepted.

Thus what it shows and says must be true because no other opinion or view exists out there in the realm of television. With a populace that does not self-educate itself, dependent entirely on the viewpoints of Amerikan Nazi lackeys for their lackluster attempt at knowledge, this is a recipe for the manipulation of a healthy democracy.

In order to maintain power in a so-called ‘free-society’, where liberty and freedom ring loud and clear, autocrats destroy democracy’s last vestiges, a population’s ability to think independently, rationally, analytically and logically, thereby decimating liberating education and necessary dissent, thereby clandestinely cleansing a nation of the will of the People. Yet retaining the illusion and appearance of democracy is purposefully done so that the masses believe that nothing has changed, that they are in control of their own destiny.

Charades of democracy are created, their manipulations ensuring that a dumbed-down populace, in this case nearly 60 million zombies, continue voting against their own interests and for the immoral and criminal power mongers in control. Controlling the masses has never been easier. Manipulating their minds to the dictates of the Amerikan Nazis is like taking candy from a baby, without so much a whimper or a cry.

CONTEMPT FOR DIVERSITY AND ELECTIONS

After November 2000, elections, and the balance of power, would never again be left to the People, for the Amerikan Nazis understood that demographics and the inevitable societal push towards liberalism were evolving against them. America was becoming a melting pot, a heterogeneous cornucopia of world diversity where the status quo was no more and the good old boy network was threatened.

Suddenly, one day the American Nazis woke up from a delirious slumber and found the America they adored no longer existed. A spectrum of opinion, ideas, talents and beliefs now dotted the landscape. A nation of snow-covered whiteness and WASP male dominance had become a land of rainforests and deserts and mountains and valleys and jungles and beaches and sun, full of color, warmth and translucent light, a window upon the world. In diversity and the continued evolution of progressive thought the Amerikan Nazis found fear.

They found themselves losing elections to minorities and women and gays, losing power to people of color, to assertive, intelligent women and to united same sex partners. Together with a plethora of young adults, progressive and open, educated and of liberal mind, this mixture of diversity would in a few years make extinct, by way of majority numbers, the way it had always been, where power was monopolized by the elite, white in color, male in gender, born to privilege and forever destined to rule. Gray and White had, in the course of a few years, mutated into a cocktail of Rainbows and colorful prisms, and in this new America the Amerikan Nazis felt an insurmountable threat surrounding them from all sides.

Black and white television had given way to high-definition digital technology; progress was once more working its wonderful magic, trouncing conservative and traditional thought. The fog had cleared, giving way to a crispness not before seen. The Amerikan Nazi hegemony over us and tight grip on the nation would soon, and inevitably, begin crumbling like a rotten wooden barn. An ever-evolving America, with its ever-evolving society, had taken a great leap forward, a place where female talent now competed with male mediocrity, where African-Americans were slowly entering middle-class mainstream America, where an influx of immigration was transforming the face of the nation for the better. The Amerikan Nazis, Republican and corporatist dinosaurs facing extinction by the asteroid of change, felt threatened, seeing their power perched atop the roofs of governance in peril.

Indeed, it was becoming apparent to them that with each passing year, with each new immigrant wave, female act of empowerment, minority advancement, gay right granted, scientific discovery made, religious dogma abandoned and move toward progressiveness their tenuous grip on power would begin to erode.

The threat therefore had to be quashed, the sooner the better. In rigging elections the Amerikan Nazis saw their salvation, and their way to retain power and control. Corrupt technology would rescue them, and forever would they be allowed to transform their Amerika in an image in contrast to the course the nation was presently embarking on.

To accomplish this, the minority vote would, as has always been the case, have to be disenfranchised through the vast arsenal of tactics available to the GOP. Also, the female vote would have to be manipulated, for too many women were turning against the America of old. This would be accomplished using the psychologically devastating effects of 9/11, with perpetual fear, insecurity and constant threats of terror creating in many women a desire to seek protection in the present leader of the country, a “strong” male figure turned war president, George Bush.

Thus, using fear, the Amerikan Nazis were able to manipulate in their favor millions of female votes.

In strong progressive white communities, too, mechanisms would be implemented to decimate the ever-growing vote, eroding high numbers of votes by the systematic rigging of electronic voting machines and optical scanners designed to count votes. And so, the great death march of American democracy thus began. People of color, those comprising every spectrum of the greatness of human diversity, of all shades and ethnicities, were increasing their numbers, growing exponentially each decade, now constituting nearly 30 percent of the population.

Historically voting progressive, their numbers were now too large to ignore or disenfranchise through more traditional means. Jim Crow 2.0 would have to be resurrected, evolving with the changing years and new technologies, always decimating “minority” vote for the benefit of the Amerikan Nazis.

The good old boy tradition of suppressing and intimidating the minority vote, for decades successful in erasing the election voice of the black community by apartheid-like inequality, discrimination and segregation, thereby disenfranchising hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes each election, would be upgraded and improved.

To the same mechanisms of the past would be added the advanced technology of Republican controlled optical scanners in service to count ballots, as well as electronic voting machines manipulated to tabulate according to the formulas concocted by GOP strategists. For years separated from “traditional” America, placed in urban reservations infiltrated with drugs, guns and firewater, infested with high crime and infected by the corrosive mechanisms of lost talents and non-existent opportunity, perpetually held down at the lowest echelons of the American caste system, millions of undesired “minorities” knew the oldest, most corrupt, least efficient and least sophisticated voting apparatuses in the country were usually sent their way, causing the disenfranchisement of untold numbers of votes that simply became lost by the incompetence of the machinery.

This past election was no exception, once more affecting the minority vote in all fifty states, usually in poor urban areas, “the minority reservations.” It is difficult to quantify the number of votes lost, spoiled, unread or discarded by these antiquated and run down voting mechanisms, but it is safe to say that the voice of hundreds of thousands never gets heard. In a country of so-called equality, at the dawn of the 21st century, to have this apartheid in voting rights is a disgrace, where environment, socioeconomic status and skin color coalesce to disintegrate a person’s right to vote.

While white, more affluent communities not caught in the vicious circle of corrosive segregation – not to mention Republican strongholds – get the most modern voting equipment, guaranteeing their right to vote, destitute neighborhoods, mostly of color and mostly liberal voting, those lacking resources and education, get shafted with the discarded machines of yesterday.

These machines, antiquated and inefficient, are purposefully sent to minority reservations simply because they guarantee that hundreds of thousands of votes will never be counted. This the Amerikan Nazis know too well, which is why they fight to keep it that way. After all, with the elimination of so many votes, the vast majority of which go against their interests, the Amerikan Nazis succeed in retaining the power and control of governance, forever keeping the minority voice silent and suppressed.As an example, in Ohio this past election voting irregularities abounded, particularly in minority districts.

The Amerikan Nazi strategy of eliminating progressive votes while increasing their own numbers was methodically implemented in the crucial state of Ohio, this election’s Florida. In many black neighborhoods, traditionally voting strongly for liberal candidates, the disenfranchisement of votes was everywhere.

Besides the use of antiquated voting equipment mentioned above, in districts where electronic voting machines were used, votes for Kerry were transferred to fringe candidates with no popular support. A few hundred here, a few hundred there, county to county, district to district, electronic voting machine code, controlled by Diebold, a strong Republican-backed corporation, systemically manipulated the vote so that Democrat votes for Kerry ended up elsewhere.

When added together, these votes are significant.Also, too few voting machines were sent to districts, even with many machines available for distribution, resulting in hours upon hours of waiting in line, with voters growing impatient and leaving, most having to return to work or other responsibilities. Thus, untold thousands were unable to cast votes. Meanwhile, in Republican dominated districts, an abundance of voting machines were available, meaning people’s wait was minimal. This happened over and over again in Ohio, as well as other strategically important states.

Still in other districts, there were many reports of votes for Kerry suddenly and without explanation being converted into votes for Bush. This was repeated in small numbers throughout Ohio, the end result being that separately, what appears to be a small number of votes disenfranchised, easily discarded as computer errors, in the aggregate turns out to be a substantial number of votes away from Kerry and for Bush.

BROKEN LIKE WILD STALLIONS

We are puppets, one and all, our attached strings easily maneuvered, our brainwashed minds easily controlled. Too many years of accumulated televised propaganda, too many years of control and manipulation by our schools and corporate media have made us immune to the spirit of rage and the power of the People present in other regions of the world but sorely extinct here.

We have been inoculated with acquiescence and passivity, becoming humans living in a vegetative state incapable of rising up, conditioned to believe in the greatness of government and its lawmakers, trained well to obey laws and rules even when they favor those in power and when they fail to seek justice and equality, even as corporations and the government rape and pillage our ways of life, even as the future of our children is put in grave danger more and more each day we fail to act.

The System has worked its magic, and comatose drones living mechanical lives have we been bred to become, from the cradle to the grave, swimming in a cocktail of complacency, indifference, passivity and conformism.

The evidence of this is enveloping, it is all around us. Our failure to rise up as one giant energy, millions strong, seeking accountability and justice, searching for a government no longer serving the needs of the People, demanding the end to corporate rule, forcing change in policy and direction and putting an end to the criminal nature of our politicians is proof that our human spirit has been extinguished, our will to fight extinct.

Today, in spite of massive, overwhelming and accumulating evidence of election fraud, in spite of being lied and led into illegal war and criminal mass murder, in spite of the miserable failure of our leaders, in spite of the likely road to totalitarianism we seem headed towards and in spite of the profound danger Bush has and continues to place us in we continue to live life not caring, not knowing and not interested.

We have been tamed, like a wild stallion, broken, saddled and corralled, robbed of the freedom to roam America’s plains, now faithful and obedient to our wicked masters, unwilling to take action, unwilling to resist and revolt, much like the Declaration of Independence asks us to do in times of tyranny, instead complacent in life, entertained by bread and circus, uncaring for our future, ignorant to our present, blind to the destruction of America being perpetrated by those in power. We are like zoo animals, encaged, depressed, controlled, conditioned, defeated.

We are unlike the hundreds of thousands of brave people of Ukraine demanding that justice be served and democracy re-instated, marching and protesting, or unlike the millions of Italians who in solidarity against the economic policies of Silvio Berlusconi recently enacted a massive, country-wide strike that grinded that nation to a halt, or unlike millions of Eastern Europeans trapped inside the Iron Curtain in the late 1980’s, creating revolution and mass protest, finally demanding and getting freedom and an end to tyranny and corrupt political systems, or unlike millions of Palestinians, who under Nazi and apartheid-like treatment by Israelis continue struggling for their lands and their culture, becoming a testament to the will of the human spirit, refusing to cower to occupiers and dehumanizers, or unlike the thousands of Chileans and Canadians marching through their streets, protesting the arrival of the greatest criminal against humanity now living, or unlike the millions of Venezuelans marching together in support of their beloved leader Hugo Chavez, democratically elected yet American castigated, slowly making profound changes to help improve the lives of his poor, or unlike the millions upon millions who marched throughout the world in February 2003 against the imminent attack on Iraq, filling streets by the millions, in a show of solidarity never before seen.

The flame inside us has disappeared, replaced by a cold and dark void, even as we witness firsthand the arrival of fascism and the death of democracy, even as we are witness to the end of freedom and rights and the extinction of the land once known as America.

FROM A SMALL RIPPLE TO A MASSIVE WAVE

Yet a small movement grows, made up of brave patriots and seekers of truth, which refuses to die. It is slowly building momentum, gathering steam as its numbers swell with the arrival of still more truths that, it seems, become manifest every day. The cover up of the electoral fraud of 2004 is imploding, seam by seam and code by code, slowly unraveling as the beautiful energy of those fed up with the Amerikan Nazis grows in rage and power. In every state and every city the resistance to the Amerikan Nazis gathers more numbers of dissidents ready to join a small yet momentous army of change.

The movement is exposing more truth as diverse talents expose the crimes and fraud perpetrated against the American People. Collectively saying “No More” to the power mongers and war criminals that have stolen the past two elections, the movement is uncovering what the corporate media refuses to touch.

In spite of the media blackout on the stolen election, which is designed to erase memories of fraud from the short-attention span of the average American, the movement refuses to die. On the contrary, it is gathering steam, becoming a much needed burst of positive energy upon the lands of the United States. In spite of all obstacles and hindrances placed at our feet, in spite of the power of the Amerikan Nazis to erase from history this most malevolent episode in our history, in spite of a well-conceived and planned cover up, the movement is growing.

It is because of people like you, reading this essay, that the fraud lingers in our conscious. It is because of seekers of truth and justice that the Amerikan Nazis are being exposed.

From a small ripple can a massive wave be formed, washing from our lands the criminal elements living among us. From a giant wave of positive energy can the virus that is the Amerikan Nazis forever be vanquished. We must inoculate ourselves against the disease ripping apart democracy by joining together in this movement to uncover the crimes against the American people.

We must not let it die for the truth is emerging. If we let the Amerikan Nazis win, every election from here on will be filled to the brim with fraud and deceit, and the end of America as we know it will be upon us. Only together can we defeat tyranny, exposing it to the least enlightened among us and forever changing the course of America, and the world. The movement must continue, for if not now, when?

Enough is enough, government is today destructive to the principles we espouse as a people. Let us listen, read and absorb those words uttered so long ago by the Founding Fathers. Not since their time have the words engraved in the Declaration of Independence been so in need. For it is our duty and our right to alter or abolish this tyrannical regime that no longer serves the interests of the People.

It is our sacred duty to expose despotism and rising dictatorship, to circumvent the prostitutes of the corporate media and report truths hidden from our eyes, to rise up in protest at what is being done to us and to restore the republic to what it once portended to be, and what it is capable of being. Do not let the movement die, let it grow along with the raging fire burning inside us all, let it prosper and expand, becoming the leviathan feared by the Amerikan Nazis.

May it guide us in strength and courage to help save both our present and future. From a small ripple may a giant wave be created, cleansing and washing away from our America the putrid disease infecting a great, noble and good People.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

THE PATRIOT'S PREAMBLE

"Let it be known far and wide that American Patriots will come together in the year 2007, to unite the citizens and statesmen of the Republic of the United States of America. They will gather with the purpose of maintaining our nation's sovereignty, to reinstate our Constitutional and Natural Rights, and to free the American people from institutional servitude. They will come to pursue this course with Honor, Dignity, and Courage, while acknowledging that unless God keeps our nation and guides her steps, we will have labored in vain."

The United States of America and its citizenry has been assessed, warned, plotted against, and sold out by internationalists in government, business, and the banking industry. Its workforce has been decimated, its standard of living shredded and its working people made financial slaves through unjust taxation, socialist government practices, rules and regulations at all levels in society that would make any communist dictator grin with envy.

Our role as partners in governmental affairs has been reduced to a whisper that is not heard by any elected official anywhere—with very, very few exceptions.

Our representative government has become 535 regional dictators who live a life of luxury, self-importance and as arrogant master over the populace. The congress of the United States has carefully exempted itself from virtually all repressive laws they choose not to adhere to and have given themselves retirement pensions, health care and other perks, the rest of us can only dream of. They have become the Duma (Soviet Parliament) types who exemplify nothing other than crass selfishness at the expense of every American working citizen.

The Bush Administration has been pursuing a blending of Canada, America and Mexico into the “North American Union.” They have done it under the cover of governmental darkness. They have been running a race as to how fast they can manipulate our great nation into a “no going back” strategic position with these other two nations.

The president and his cabal of sell-out White House/Congressional turncoats have intentionally kept the American people in a state of confusion (war on terror, etc.) so that organized resistance to this national sovereignty killing plan can not be formulated. Business and banking interests are salivating at the thought of trillions of dollars in “free trade” being exchanged throughout North America.

The cultures of Canada and Mexico are not that of the United States and its citizens. A disaster of Biblical proportions is on its way WHEN this plan is forced upon our nation. It is only one of several scenarios that are nearing completion and will spell the absolute end of the United States as we know it. Some will argue that the USA needs drastic overhauling and that this is the natural result of “planned obsolescence” in American culture.

There are huge problems that must be addressed… (www.heartlandusaparty.org) now by the American public, or the last opportunity to do so under “open and free” conditions will be lost. There is no more time to talk this sorry state of affairs to death. Decisive and uncompromising action must be taken. Here is what I suggest to my fellow victims:

TAKE THIS BULL BY THE HORNS AND PUT IT ON ITS BACKSIDE

Unless you accept that this country is in its LAST days, you will continue to shake your heads and laugh at all who have written week after week on NewsWithViews.com and others to help you realize just how much will SOON be lost to our nation forever.

You will be counted among those who were as responsible as the complicit socialist Washington government for our national demise precisely because you were intentionally ignorant. The power through information written by authors of brilliant and inciteful backgrounds has given a massive amount of data that could have and should have made a difference in your lives, your interest in government actions, and a marvelous treasure chest of debate justifications when you discuss these issues with others.

There is NO TIME LEFT for you to take the luxury of non-involvement. You will face a time when you will give an account to your family as to why you couldn't or wouldn't take the time to educate yourself about your nation’s sacred history.

You will stand alone as the verdict comes in that you were negligent in NOT preparing to protect and care for your family and friends during military government (Martial Law) because of a “terrorist” attack, financial/stock market collapse or any other number of possibilities real or contrived that gives the government the justification for arrest and indefinite incarceration in detention camps already built for you and your loved ones.

THEY ALREADY EXIST!! These detention/ re-education camps are for those who aren't willing to submit to the new global order that is about to be established.

Precisely because you are uninformed and intentionally ignorant, you will blindly board the truck that takes you to your likely last destination.

You will trust the government to help you one last time.

Some of you will stumble around the camp looking for your welfare check, prescription drugs or how you can contact the nearest legal defense or ACLU attorney so that you can take the camp commander to court for mistreatment.

You, who I have just described, deserve a detention camp. “…..may your chains rest lightly upon your wrists.”

All of us MUST take responsibility for what is coming. Many of us have adamantly fought against the rising tide of a police state government.

We are losing badly. NOT because we don’t care, NOT because we haven’t tried, and certainly NOT because we haven't committed to resisting this complete sell-out of the Founders dream for this nation and its people.

We are failing because YOU have not protested at the school board meetings, the city council chambers, the county commission boards and the state and federal legislatures while you still have freedom of speech.

Because, out of indifference or fear, you have not stood up to this criminal neglect and criminal actions against our constitution, these elected sell-outs have sensed your negligence and have had the boldness to give America away to the highest bidder.

You have allowed the Federal Reserve to “regulate” our currency into a mountain of debt and steer the dollar into oblivion. You have allowed Congress to abandon gold and silver and encouraged the mighty international consortium of bankers to call every political policy in Washington.

You have allowed presidents and representatives to subvert our constitution to the point of irrelevance because many of you who were constitutional experts would not challenge these republic killing “laws” at their source or in the courts. Above all, you have allowed yourself to be compromised when serving on the jury, a good example is how a brainwashed jury convicted 2 innocent border agents for shooting an illegal drug smuggler.

Many of you in the medical field have believed your own myth building lifestyle that suggests you are some type of god that sells pharmaceuticals like snake oil to unsuspecting people who can neither understand nor challenge your control of their lives, let alone afford the drugs that they “needed.” You have refused to endorse less expensive, natural remedies that could have made the critical difference for some or avoided the pain and expense of chemo “cures” for cancer in others that in most cases only prolonged the agony of those buying in to your version of medicine. There is a movement to ban natural vitamins and you are silent there, as well.

You business owners who scammed the public or charged obscene prices for your products, and then squeezed the worker and his family into poverty, take a short second place in shame to America’s bankers. The oldest professions in the world are not prostitution or politicians, but bankers. You alone shoulder the responsibility along with the Federal Reserve for bankrupting America’s families and our nation’s financial system. Jail for individuals mentioned here is kind compared to a hangman’s noose in my view.

Regardless of the cause or the effect, America is on her knees. She is a haggard old woman unable to understand who she used to be. No longer are the strong arms of brave young men and women able to help her to her feet. There is no one left who knows this original America or cares.

I appeal to my friends in the law enforcement community.

Whether you are serving now, retired, or were in short of full retirement, the burden has fallen to you. There is no time left to muddle this about. The nation needs you now and will in the near future. When I left law enforcement, I never had to sign a statement giving up my oath. I did not give up that oath to defend America from all enemies—foreign and domestic—when I left the military.

I have no intention of abandoning America now, in her time of ultimate peril. I have stood in that great gap.

I have been shot at.

I have fought for my life along a lonely stretch of highway against tall odds to bring in two or three wanted fugitives.

I have tracked the killers through dark fields and deserted farmhouses. I have held the dying and comforted them to the end.

I am no hero, just someone dedicated to seeing to it that as many as possible do not have to face a horrible police state America, where those older, traditional police officer—peace officers—big men with big hearts were the ideal of our communities, no longer exist.

All people from all walks of life are invited, encouraged, and desperately needed to attend our two day summit in KC this summer. I believe it to be one of the last best chances to make a real, long lasting difference in our nation. We may fail, but we will surely at least give our very best. I am asking our newly formed “Centurions for America” organization to stand with me and other gallant police officers from all levels of service to come to Kansas City.

I am asking these great men and women to absolutely promise that they will not submit their badge and their oath to a criminal element masquerading as government officials. I ask that all of you help these men and women assume their last great roll call assignment as defenders of their communities against crime and criminal activity from WHATEVER source. If those of you who were trained to serve and protect, fail in this coming confrontation with world-wide forces of evil whose only goal is the destruction of America and her people, then indeed, the fight has been lost.

Winston Churchill said it best when he declared in a speech to the British Parliament in 1943, “you may have to fight knowing that there is absolutely no chance for success and you will surely not survive, but to live on as a slave is a far worse fate.” Where will you stand my law enforcement friends? When the government moves against its people to institute martial law or implement a “North American Union,” or sign on to the United Nations World Government, will you let our communities and beloved homes be sold to international elites? My heart says NOT EVER!

Let’s agree to stand together as necessary and in the manner in which our nation requires us to stand. Not government politics nor embedded traitors dictates, but the needs of our constitution, our Declaration of Independence with its new relevance for our time, and for the dedication of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen, merchant marines and police officers at all levels who have answered the call and given their all so that you and I, our children and grandchildren could be free. It is to them that I humbly say, “yes, sir, I am reporting as needed.”

Fellow Americans, you are needed NOW. Get involved, NOW. Call these arrogant self-serving, liberal bureaucrats and DEMAND change NOW. Show up at the city and county meetings where your community is being fenced in around an Agenda 21 model that will kill private property usage and ownership. Don't be fooled into accepting an unelected, unaccountable county manager who doesn't represent you, but rather serves the good-ol-boy system. Keep your county commissioners, who are elected and accountable to we, the people.

Don't count on your church leadership to expose evil and save America. They have compromised their principles for money and relationship building and can no longer discern evil. Jesus said when salt loses its savor it is to be trodden underfoot. Pastors have lost their savor, and in the process, have lost their backbone and the love for their fellow man. They fear IRS more than God.

Finally, ask Almighty God to bless your efforts, protect you and your family from the evil, and as Churchill also said in England’s darkest hour, “NEVER, NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.” America is worth every effort we make fellow lawmen, even unto death. Let’s stand together now and win the battle by the force of truth, conviction of a righteous cause, and with the help of our friends and fellow citizens, in a powerful and persuasive show of solidarity in defense of a free and honorable America.

THE FINAL BASTION: LEADING AMERICANS ASK U.S. MILITARY TO REFUSE ORDERS TO ATTACK IRANhttp://www.nlgmltf.org/militarylaw.html

Country music legend Willie Nelson, literary icon Gore Vidal, Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author and radio host Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, and dozens of other prominent Americans have signed a letter asking the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. military personnel to refuse orders to launch an aggressive war on Iran.

The letter has been posted as a petition for others to sign athttp://www.dontattackiran.org/The text of the letter follows:ATTENTION: Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. Military Personnel: Do not attack Iran.Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal. Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be criminal.We, the citizens of the United States, respectfully urge you, courageous men and women of our military, to refuse any order to preemptively attack Iran, a nation that represents no serious or immediate threat to the United States.

To attack Iran, a sovereign nation of 70-million people, would be a crime of the highest magnitude. Legal basis for our Request - Do not attack Iran:The Nuremberg Principles, which are part of US law, provide that all military personnel have the obligation not to obey illegal orders. The Army Field Manual 27-10, sec. 609 and UCMJ, art. 92, incorporate this principle. Article 92 says: "A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the law of the United States ..."Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States. The United States is a party and Signatory to the United Nations Charter, of which Article II, Section 4 states, "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state..."

As Iran has not attacked the United States, and as the U.S. is a party and signatory to the Charter, any attack on Iran by the U.S. would be illegal under not only international law but under the U.S. Constitution which recognizes our treaties as the Supreme Law of the Land. When you joined the military, you took an oath to defend our Constitution.

Following the orders of your government or superior does not relieve you from responsibility under international law. Under the Principles of International Law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, complicity in the commission of war crime is a crime under international law.

Background:

The Bush Administration's charges against Iran have not been proven. Neither the development of nuclear weapons, nor providing assistance to Iraq would, if proven, constitute justification for an illegal war. An attack on Iran might prompt the formidable Iranian military to attack U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Thousands of our soldiers might be killed or captured as prisoners of war. A U.S. attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could also mean the deaths, from radiation poisoning, of tens of thousands of innocent Iranian civilians.

The people of Iran have little control over their government, yet would suffer tremendously should the U.S. attack. Bombing raids would amount to collective punishment, a violation of the Geneva Convention, and would surely sow the seeds of hatred for generations to come. Children make up a quarter of Iran's population.

Above all, we ask you to look at the record of our actions in Iraq, which U.S. intelligence admits is "a cause célèbre for jihadists" - a situation that did not exist before we attacked. We must face the fact that our rash use of military solutions has created more enemies, and made American families less safe. Diplomacy, not war, is the answer.

Know the Risks Involved in Refusing an Illegal Order or Signing This Statement:We knowingly and willingly make this plea, aware of the risk that, in violation of our First Amendment rights, we could be charged under remaining sections of the unconstitutional Espionage Act or other unconstitutional statute, and that we could be fined, imprisoned, or barred from government employment.We make this plea, also aware that you have no easy options.

If you obey an illegal order to participate in an aggressive attack on Iran, you could potentially be charged with war crimes.

If you heed our call and disobey an illegal order you could be falsely charged with crimes including treason. You could be falsely court martialed. You could be imprisoned. (To talk to a lawyer or to learn more about possible consequences, contact The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, Courage to Resist, Center on Conscience and War, Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild , or the GI Rights Hotline at .)

** Final request:Our leaders often say that military force should be a last resort. We beg you to make that policy a reality, and refuse illegal orders to attack Iran. We promise to support you for protecting the American public and innocent civilians abroad.

Our future, the future of our children and their children, rests in your hands. You know the horrors of war. You can stop the next one.

Sincerely,Daniel Ellsberg,

Thom Hartmann,Rabbi Michael Lerner,Rabbi Steven Jacobs,Cynthia McKinney,Willie Nelson,Cindy Sheehan,Norman Solomon,Elizabeth de la Vega,Gore Vidal,Ann Wright,

James Abourezk, former U.S. Senator, (D) South Dakota,

Stacy Bannerman, Author, "When the War Came Home",

Military Families Speak Out Charter Board member John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney and author of "Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush."

Amy Branham, Gold Star Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith, US Army Reserves, Nov. 1981-Feb. 2004 ,

Blase Bonpane, Ph.d, Director OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS ,

David Clennon, Actor/activist ,

Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America,

Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers."

David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate,

Jeff Cohen, author/media critic ,

Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor and author of U.S. v. George W. Bush ,

Karen Dolan, Director, Cities for Progress/Cities for Peace ,

Anne Feeney, activist/folksinger or Local 1000, AFM,

Mike Ferner, Navy corpsman; Secretary, Veterans for Peace,

Bob Fertik, President Democrats.com ,

Laura Flanders, Radio Host on Air America ,

Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space ,

Lila Garrett, KPFK Host of "Connect the Dots"

Liberty Godshall, writer, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council ,

Hon. Jackie Goldberg, California Assembly Member (AD 45), retired.

Kevin Alexander Gray, writer, and organizer with the Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project ,

Representative Betty Hall, Hillsborough District 5, New Hampshire General Court ,

David L. Harris, MD ,

Tom Hayden ,

Thom Hartmann, author and Air America radio host,

Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u.,Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice and Peace .

Jenny Heinz , member of CodePink, member of Granny Peace Brigade,

Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Los Angeles,Michael Jay, Steering Committee, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles,

Charles Jenks, co-founder and editor of traprockpeace.org Justice Through Music,

Antonia Juhasz, author, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time,

Jerry Kass, playwright and professor at Columbia University Dr,

Nazir Khaja ,Chairman, Islamic Information Service, Los Angeles, CA.

Mimi Kennedy, National Chair, Progressive Democrats of America ,

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun and Chair, the Network of Spiritual Progressives

Summer Lipford, Gold Star Mother,NC 28677

David Lindorff, Author, The Case for Impeachment

Alice Lynn, Delegate, California Democratic Party (41st AD)

Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree

Ray McGovern, Army infantry/intelligence officer, 1962-64; CIA analyst 1964-90.

Cynthia Mckinney, former Congresswoman

Barbara Mills-Bria, Be The Change-USA

Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign

Willie Nelson, Entertainer, Peace Activist

Annie Nelson, Sustainable Biodiesel/Peace Activist

Honorable Eric Oemig - Washington State Senator

Geov Parrish, Executive Director Peace Action of Washington

Jacob Park, Founder, A28.

Brad Parker, Officer of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party

Bill Perry, Director, Delaware Valley Veterans For America

Gareth Porter, investigative journalist and historian Marcus Raskin, member of National Security Council Staff under President Kennedy

Dorothy Reik, President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent and former Chief Division Counsel of Minneapolis Division of the FBI

Bill Scheurer, Editor, PeaceMajority Report

Randi Scheurer, IL-Dist. 8, Congressional Candidate

Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace

Alice Slater, Abolition 2000 New York

Norman Solomon, Author and syndicated columnist

David Swanson, Afterdowningstreet.org

John Stauber, Co-author, "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq"

Jonathan Tasini, PDA NY Ethel Tobach, Ph. D., member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Tina Richards CEO Grassroots Americaredith, Gold Star Mother, Proud Mom of Lt Ken Ballard- KIA 5.30.04

Gore Vidal, Author

Marcy Winograd, President, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (Retired) and US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war.

Kevin Zeese on behalf of Voters for Peace and Democracy Rising Velvet Revolution

** These resources are publicly available, and our offering them does not indicate that these organizations support this petition.

FROM A POST THAT WILL SURFACE SHORTLY AS I SET THIS STAGE!

We Are Losing The War In Iraq.

We Are Losing The War For Peace.

We Are Losing The War To Impeach.

We Are Losing The War To Save This Nation As It Should Be.

We Are Losing And We Have No One To Blame But Ourselves.

It Is Time To Stop Talking And Playing Like Good Little Boys And Girls Within The System.

The System Has Been Fractured Like Shards Of Glass, Beyond Any Instant Repair.

The Legal And Legislative Remedies, The Mechanisms Of Redress And Correction Have Been Corrupted Beyond Any Usefulness.

And Just What The Hell Are We Doing?I Monitor Peace And Impeachment Sites And Networks Nationwide, And Everywhere The Situation Is The Same, Pitiful And Lame.

It Is Time For A Serious Reality Check That Will Redefine What We Must Do To Stop And Bring Down The Bush Regime, Or Admit That We Are Either Unable Or Unwilling To Do So And Accept The Consequences For Generations To Come Until Such Time As A Generation Rises In This Nation And Takes Back This Country By Force And Builds Anew!

And that will include our military taking a stand in defense of this country at home, a defense of our Constitution.

The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

(Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962)."I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."

(DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army:Enlisted: The first oath, voted on 14 June 1775 as part of the act creating the Continental Army, read: "I _____ have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army."

The original wording was effectively replaced by Section 3, Article 1, of the Articles of War approved by Congress on 20 September 1776, which specified that the oath of enlistment read:

"I _____ swear (or affirm as the case may be) to be trued to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies opposers whatsoever; and to observe and obey the orders of the Continental Congress, and the orders of the Generals and officers set over me by them."Officers: Continental Congress passed two versions of this oath of office, applied to military and civilian national officers.

The first, on 21 October 1776, read: "I _____, do acknowledge the Thirteen United States of America, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, independent, and sovereign states, and declare, that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the said United States against the said king, George the third, and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents; and will serve the said United States in the office of _____, which I now hold, and in any other office which I may hereafter hold by their appointment, or under their authority, with fidelity and honour, and according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God."

The revised version, voted 3 February 1778, read "I, _____ do acknowledge the United States of America to be free, independent and sovereign states, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience, to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him: and I do swear (or affirm) that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States, against the said king George the third and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of _____ which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God."

The first oath under the Constitution was approved by Act of Congress 29 September 1789 (Sec. 3, Ch. 25, 1st Congress). It applied to all commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers and privates in the service of the United States. It came in two parts, the first of which read: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States." The second part read: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and to observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States of America, and the orders of the officers appointed over me."

The next section of that chapter specified that "the said troops shall be governed by the rules and articles of war, which have been established by the United States in Congress assembled, or by such rules and articles of war as may hereafter by law be established."Although the enlisted oath remained unchanged until 1950, the officer oath has undergone substantial minor modification since 1789. A change in about 1830 read: "I, _____, appointed a _____ in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules and articles for the government of the Armies of the United States."

Under an act of 2 July 1862 the oath became: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have never borne arms against the United States since I have been a citizen thereof; that I have voluntarily given no aid, countenance, counsel, or encouragement to persons engaged in armed hostility thereto; that I have neither sought nor accepted nor attempted to exercise the functions of any office whatsoever under any authority or pretended authority in hostility to the United States; that I have not yielded voluntary support to any pretended government, authority, power, or constitution within the United States, hostile or inimical thereto. And I do further swear (or affirm) that, to the best of my knowledge and ability, I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God."

An act of 13 May 1884 reverted to a simpler formulation: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

This version remained in effect until the 1959 adoption of the present wording.The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."

(DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

A DUTY TO DISOBEY ALL UNLAWFUL ORDERSAN ADVISORY TO US TROOPS by LAWRENCE MOSQUEDA

Lawrence Mosqueda, Ph.D. teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He can be reached at mosqueda@evergreen.eduDOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

As the United States government under George Bush gets closer to attacking the people of Iraq, there are several things that the men and women of the U.S. armed forces need to know and bear in mind as they are given orders from the Bush administration. This information is provided for the use of the members of the armed forces, their families, friends and supporters, and all who are concerned about the current direction of U.S. policy toward Iraq.

The military oath taken at the time of induction reads:"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order".

In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ.

The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

During the Iran-Contra hearings of 1987, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a decorated World War II veteran and hero, told Lt. Col. Oliver North that North was breaking his oath when he blindly followed the commands of Ronald Reagan.

As Inouye stated, "The uniform code makes it abundantly clear that it must be the Lawful orders of a superior officer.

In fact it says, 'Members of the military have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders.'

This principle was considered so important that we-we, the government of the United States, proposed that it be internationally applied in the Nuremberg trials." (Bill Moyers, "The Secret Government", Seven Locks Press; also in the PBS 1987 documentary, "The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis")

Senator Inouye was referring to the Nuremberg trials in the post WW II era, when the U.S. tried Nazi war criminals and did not allow them to use the reason or excuse that they were only "following orders" as a defense for their war crimes which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children. "

In 1953, the Department of Defense adopted the principles of the Nuremberg Code as official policy" of the United States. (Hasting Center Report, March-April 1991)Over the past year there have been literally thousands of articles written about the impact of the coming war with Iraq.

Many are based on politics and the wisdom of engaging in an international war against a country that has not attacked the U.S. and the legality of engaging in what Bush and Rumsfield call "preemptive war."

World opinion at the highest levels, and among the general population, is that a U.S. first strike on Iraq would be wrong, both politically and morally.

There is also considerable evidence that Bush's plans are fundamentally illegal, from both an international and domestic perspective. I

f the war is indeed illegal, members of the armed forces have a legal and moral obligation to resist illegal orders, according to their oath of induction.

The evidence from an international perspective is overwhelming.

The United States Constitution makes treaties that are signed by the government equivalent to the "law of the land" itself, Article VI, para. 2. Among the international laws and treaties that a U.S. pre-emptive attack on Iraq may violate are:

The Hague Convention on Land Warfare of 1899, which was reaffirmed by the U.S. at the 1946 Nuremberg International Military Tribunals;

Resolution on the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons and Prevention of Nuclear War, adopted UN General Assembly, Dec 12, 1980;

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; December 9, 1948, Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the UN General Assembly;

Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Adopted on August 12, 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War;

Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 1108 U.N.T.S. 151, Oct. 5, 1978;

The Charter of the United Nations; · The Nuremberg Principles, which define as a crime against peace, "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for accomplishment of any of the forgoing."

(For many of these treaties and others, see the Yale Avalon project at www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/imt.htm. Also see a letter to Canadian soldiers sent by Hamilton Action for Social Change at http://www.hwcn.org/link/hasc/letter_cf.html)As Hamilton Action for Social Change has noted "Under the Nuremberg Principles, you have an obligation NOT to follow the orders of leaders who are preparing crimes against peace and crimes against humanity.

We are all bound by what U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert K. Jackson declared in 1948: [T]he very essence of the [Nuremberg] Charter is that individuals have intentional duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state."

At the Tokyo War Crimes trial, it was further declared "[A]nyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes."The outcry about the coming war with Iraq is also overwhelming from legal experts who have studied this in great detail.

By November of 2002, 315 law professors had signed a statement entitled "A US War Against Iraq Will Violate US and International Law and Set a Dangerous Precedent for Violence That Will Endanger the American People."Other legal organizations such as the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Western States Legal Foundation have written more extensive reports, such as that by Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs on "War is Not the Path to Peace; The United States, Iraq, and the Need for Stronger International Legal Standards to Prevent War."

As the report indicates "Aggressive war is one of the most serious transgressions of international law." In fact, at the Nuremberg trials, the issue was not just individual or collective acts of atrocities or brutal actions but the starting of an aggressive war itself. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Jackson stated,"We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it.

And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy." (August 12, 1945, Department of State Bulletin. )In another report written by the same authors and also by Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, and Jules Lobel, Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh entitled "The United Nations Charter and the Use of Force Against Iraq," the authors note that:"Under the UN Charter, there are only two circumstances in which the use of force is permissible: in collective or individual self-defense against an actual or imminent armed attack: and when the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Neither of those circumstances now exists. Absent one of them, U.S. use of force against Iraq is unlawful."The authors were specifically referring to Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense. Nothing that Iraq has done would call that provision into effect.

The report also states that:"There is no basis in international law for dramatically expanding the concept of self-defense, as advocated in the Bush Administration's September, 2002 "National Security Strategy" to authorize "preemptive"--really preventive--strikes against states based on potential threats arising from possession or development of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and links to terrorism.

Such an expansion would destabilize the present system of UN Charter restraints on the use of force. Further, there is no claim or publicly disclosed evidence that Iraq is supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist.

The Bush administration's reliance on the need for "regime change" in Iraq as a basis for use of force is barred by Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits "the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." Thus the rationales being given to the world, the American public, and the armed forces are illegal on their face.

(For a copy of this report see www.lcnp.org/global/iraqstatement3.htm)It is important to note that none of the authors cited thus far or to be cited have any support for Saddam Hussein or the Government of Iraq whatsoever.

They and others who do not support an illegal war in Iraq believe that government of Saddam Hussein is corrupt, vile, and contemptible. So is the leadership and governments of many of our "allies," such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan-governments that the United States may very well attack within the next decade.

It is important to remember that Saddam Hussein was an important "ally" during the 1980s and that many of the weapons that may be faced by our armed forces will bear a "Made in the USA" label. The issue here is not the "evil' of Saddam Hussein, nor the international community doing nothing, but an illegal march to war by the Bush administration.Even former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a very conservative Republican from Texas, has warned that an "unprovoked attack against Iraq would violate international law and undermine world support for President Bush's goal of ousting Saddam Hussein." Armey explicitly states "If we try to act against Saddam Hussein, as obnoxious as he is, without proper provocation, we will not have the support of other nation states who might do so.

I don't believe that America will justifiably make an unprovoked attack on another nation. It would not be consistent with what we have been as a nation or what we should be as a nation." (Chicago Tribune, August 9, 2002, available at Other articles demonstrating the illegality of this war can be found at here.

In addition to the violations of international laws, which have been incorporated into U.S. law, the impending attack on Iraq is a direct violation of national law as Bush claims that he has the authority to decide whether the U.S. will go to war or not.The U.S. Constitution is very explicit on this point. Only the Congress has the authority to declare war, Article 1, section 8, Par. 11. Congress does not have the right to give that power away, or to delegate that power to the president or anyone else.

The President as the "Commander in Chief" (Article 2, section 2, Par. 1) can command the armed forces in times of peace and war, but he does not have the authority to declare the war or determine if that war is to occur, especially if he is engaged in illegal conduct in violation of the Constitution itself or his oath of office.

The Constitution spells out very clearly the responsibility of the President and his oath, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." (Article 2, section 2, Par. 8).

The President also has the primary duty to make sure "that the laws be faithfully executed," (Article 2, section 3).The vaguely worded resolution passed by the Congress in October was both illegal and an act of cowardice, as noted by Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Byrd's remarks were made on the floor of the Senate on October 3, 2002.

In part he said:"The resolution before us today is not only a product of haste; it is also a product of presidential hubris. This resolution is breathtaking in its scope. It redefines the nature of defense, and reinterprets the Constitution to suit the will of the Executive Branch.

It would give the President blanket authority to launch a unilateral preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that is perceived to be a threat to the United States.

This is an unprecedented and unfounded interpretation of the President's authority under the Constitution, not to mention the fact that it stands the charter of the United Nations on its head."The full texts of his remarks are well worth reading, not only on the illegality of the war but also the illegality of Congress in abandoning its duty under the Constitution

.MORAL CODES AND LAWS

The United States is a secular country with a great variety of religions, which are adhered to by the majority of the people.Political leaders who claim to speak in the name of God are rightfully looked upon with suspicion, whether they are foreign leaders or the president of the United States. This is especially true when the issues are those of war and peace.

Nevertheless, the U.S. often blends the border on issues of Church and State, including in public oaths, such as the oath which is taken at the time of induction.This author will not claim to know the will of God, but it is valuable to examine what the religious leaders of the country are saying about this war. Virtually every major religion in the United States has come out against the Bush plans for war.Again this is not because of any support for Saddam Hussein, but rather the Bush plans do not meet any criteria for the concept of "just war."

One would expect this from the religions that are respected and pacifist, but it also true from those who have supported past U.S. wars, and even have Chaplains in the service. Below is a sample of the analysis of U.S. religious leaders:

Catholic

We respectfully urge you to step back from the brink of war and help lead the world to act together to fashion an effective global response to Iraq's threats that conforms with traditional moral limits on the use of military force. US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Letter to President Bush, Sept. 13, 2002.

Episcopalian

The question for us now must be: what is our role in the community of nations? I believe we have the capacity within us to help lead our world into the way of justness and peace. The freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States oblige us to attend not only to our own welfare, but to the well-being of the world around us. A superpower, especially one that declares itself to be "under God," must exercise the role of super servant.

Our nation has an opportunity to reflect the values and ideals that we espouse by focusing upon issues of poverty, disease and despair, not only within our own nation but throughout the global community of which we are a part. The Presiding Bishop's statement on military action against Iraq, September 6, 2002.

Jewish International cooperation is far, far better than unilateral action, and the U.S. must explore all reasonable means of attaining such support. Non-military action is always preferable to military action, and the U.S. must fully explore all options to resolve the situation through such means. If the effort to obtain international cooperation and support through the United Nations fails, the U.S. must work with other nations to obtain cooperation in any military action.

Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Executive Committee Decision on Unilateral Action by the U.S. Against Iraq.

Lutheran

While we are fully aware of the potential threat posed by the government of Iraq and its leader, I believe it is wrong for the United States to seek to over-throw the regime of Saddam Hussein with military action. Morally, I oppose it because I know a war with Iraq will have great consequences for the people of Iraq, who have already suffered through years of war and economic sanctions. Further, I believe it is detrimental to U.S. interests to take unilateral military action when there is strong international support for weapons inspections, and when most other governments oppose military action.

I also believe that U.S. military action at this time will further destabilize the region. I call upon members of our congregations to be fervent in prayer, engaged in conversation with one another and with our leaders. In the final analysis, we must stand unequivocally for peace.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson's Statement on Iraq Situation, August 30, 2002.

Methodist United

Methodists have a particular duty to speak out against an unprovoked attack. President Bush and Vice-President Cheney are members of our denomination. Our silence now could be interpreted as tacit approval of war. Christ came to break old cycles of revenge and violence. Too often, we have said we worship and follow Jesus but have failed to change our ways. Jesus proved on the cross the failure of state-sponsored revenge.

It is inconceivable that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and the Prince of Peace, would support this proposed attack. Secretary Jim Winkler of The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, August 30, 2002.

Presbyterian

We urge Presbyterians to oppose a precipitate U.S. attack on Iraq and the Bush administration's new doctrine of pre-emptive military action. We call upon President George W. Bush and other leaders to: Refrain from language that seems to label certain individuals and nations as "evil" and others as "good"; Oppose ethnic and religious stereotyping, Guard against a unilateralism, rooted in our unique position of political, economic and military power, that perpetuates the perception that "might makes right"; Allow United Nations weapons inspections in Iraq, without undue pressure or threats of pre-emptive, unilateral action; and End the economic sanctions against Iraq, which have been ineffectual but have done untold damage to the Iraqi people.

The General Assembly Council and the staff leadership team of the Presbyterian Church (USA), September 28, 2002.United Church of Christ With heavy hearts we hear once again the drumbeat of war against Iraq. As leaders committed to God's reign of justice and peace in the world and to the just conduct of our nation, we firmly oppose this advance to war. While Iraq's weapons potential is uncertain, the death that would be inflicted on all sides in a war is certain. Striking against Iraq now will not serve to prevent terrorism or defend our nation's interests. We fear that war would only provoke greater regional instability and lead to the mass destruction it is intended to prevent. UCC leaders, September 13, 2002.

Ecumenical

As Christians, we are concerned by the likely human costs of war with Iraq, particularly for civilians. We are unconvinced that the gain for humanity would be proportionate to the loss. Neither are we convinced that it has been publicly demonstrated that all reasonable alternative means of containing Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction have been exhausted. We call upon our governments to pursue these diplomatic means in active cooperation with the United Nations and to stop the apparent rush to war.

World Council of Churches, August 30, 2002.For a fuller elaboration of these and other comments from religious leaders, such as by the Mennonites, Quakers (Society of Friends), Unitarian Universalist, and other ecumenical groups see www.ecapc.org. Other religious and moral objections to Bush's plans have been articulated. In September of 2002, 100 Christian Ethicists from major seminaries, divinity schools, and traditionally conservative religious schools challenged the claim that preemptive war on Iraq would be morally justified in a simply worded statement, "As Christian ethicists, we share a common moral presumption against a pre-emptive war on Iraq by the United States."

(See the Chronicle of Higher Education, September 23, 2002,)

Religious resistance to Bush's war plans can also be found in the overwhelming vote of 228-14 by the U.S. Catholic Bishops against the war and in the unprecedented show of unity by Chicago's top Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in the first public statement on any national issue of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago in opposing Bush's war.

(Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 1, 2002)It is noteworthy that the Pope John Paul II has come out very strongly against this war in unambiguous terms, "No to war!" The Pope said during his annual address to scores of diplomatic emissaries to the Vatican, an exhortation that referred in part to Iraq, a country he mentioned twice. "War is not always inevitable.

It is always a defeat for humanity." (NY Times, January 14, 2003). The Pope, a seasoned diplomat, was not just making a moral statement about peace; he referred to the legal codes discussed earlier in this article, "War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations. As the Charter of the United Nations organization and international law itself reminds us, war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations."

(See Irish Examiner, 1/13/2003)It is also important to restate that the head of Bush's own church has come out against this war. Jim Winkler, the general secretary of the Board of Church and Society for the United Methodist Church has come out very strongly against this war.

President Bush has refused to meet with Winkler."The Methodist Church, he (Winkler) says, is not pacifist, but 'rejects war as a usual means of national policy'. Methodist scriptural doctrine, he added, specifies 'war as a last resort, primarily a defensive thing.

And so far as I know, Saddam Hussein has not mobilized military forces along the borders of the United States, nor along his own border to invade a neighboring country, nor have any of these countries pleaded for our assistance, nor does he have weapons of mass destruction targeted at the United States'."

(See Observer/UK, October 20, 2002)

Individuals will have to make their own decisions about the "morality" of the war but the consensus decision that has been developing among religious leaders is that this war does not constitute a "just war" by virtually anyone's standards. The concept of "sin" is also a personal decision but again those who study these issues from the Pope to theologians to pastors to other religious leaders do not and cannot give their approval to the illegal actions that the Bush administration are going to impose on the world in general, and people of Iraq and the men and women of the U.S. armed forces in particular.

REASONS FOR THE WAR AND POSSIBLE ACTIONS

The reasons for war are not supposed to be the purview of soldiers in the field. They are just supposed to follow orders. But when a war is so blatantly illegal soldiers need to have some background to make an informed decision about how to conduct themselves. In a short space it is not possible to delineate the full reasons, but it is not about the dangers of Saddam Hussein.

As indicated above, there are no credible anti-war or peace advocates that advocate any positive statements about Saddam Hussein or the Government of Iraq. The world, however, in general, does not believe that the Bush administration has any solution to the situation. In fact many believe that Bush, himself, is a significant part of the problem.

Many people have pointed out that this war is about the oil. It is, but it is much more than that. The United States does not need the oil to survive but the people in the Bush administration want to expand the hegemony that the United States government has had since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is not a critique of U.S. foreign policy, per se, but a recognition of reality.

This is essentially what Bush has been saying in his public speeches at West Point, etc., and is very explicitly saying in his "National Security Strategy (NSS), which he published in September of 2002.The NSS is the political articulation of what the main actors of the Bush administration published in September 2000, before the elections, before they took power, and before the fateful day of September 11, 2001.

That project was called "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century", A Report of The Project For the New American Century. These documents are essentially the blueprints for hegemony and for a word that has come back into vogue- Empire. These documents are publicly available, but not often read. All Americans and all members of the armed forces should read them.

Many of the people quoted in this article have no doubt read them and understand the policies basic illegalities, and thus the conclusion that the war itself is domestically, internationally and morally indefensible.There are many critiques of the impact of these policies-which articulate the reasons not to go to war.

Some of the better ones can be found at Global Policy ; Foreign Policy in Focus or the Education for Peace in Iraq Center. There are also several other valuable research sites.

There are also many U.S. veteran groups that have seen the horrors of war up close and do not want to have another generation of young Americans suffer not only the war, but also the post traumatic stresses that emerge after war, when they discover they have been lied to, have participated in aggression, and then are abandoned by their government after the wars.

This war is particularly amenable to such, since there is so much dissention, based on solid information that this war is not only unnecessary but also illegal, and may be without a foreseeable end.Charles Sheehan Miles, is a Gulf War veteran and former President of the National Gulf War Resource Center (http://www.ngwrc.org/). He also help to found the extraordinarily useful "Veterans for Common Sense"

(http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/) which has a great deal of information about the current situation. On January 16, 2003, he wrote:"This war does nothing to protect American lives, but it will do everything to destroy the lives of many thousands of Iraqis and Americans. This war will not protect us from weapons of mass destruction, but it will make it more likely Iraq will try to use them. This war will not liberate the Iraqi people, but it will do everything to ensure they receive a new master, one ruled by corporate profits and oil to fuel more American consumption. This war isn't worth the life of one American soldier."


The idea that those who oppose the Bush plans for war are against the troops is a fundamental lie.

Support for the troops is not done by sending them off to a war which is fundamentally unnecessary-support is keeping them home.

Support for the troops is not done by lying to them about the purpose and goals of the war and allowing those who will benefit and profit a free ride on the backs of the troops.

Support for the troops is not done by making them complicit in an illegal and immoral war-it is done by exposing the lies and giving the troops an opportunity not to be complicit in war crimes.A group of veterans of many different wars and eras has issued a statement that has been distributed to active duty soldiers making some of the points made in this article.

Signers includes many well-known veterans such as Vietnam veteran and author Ron Kovic (Born on the 4th of July), author and film producer Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine), and American historian Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States) and several hundred other veterans.The statement "Call to Conscience from Veterans to Active Duty Troops and Reservist" reads in part:

"Many of us believed serving in the military was our duty, and our job was to defend this country. Our experiences in the military caused us to question much of what we were taught.

Now we see our REAL duty is to encourage you as members of the U.S. armed forces to find out what you are being sent to fight and die for and what the consequences of your actions will be for humanity.

We call upon you, the active duty and reservists, to follow your conscience and do the right thing.

In the last Gulf War, as troops, we were ordered to murder from a safe distance. We destroyed much of Iraq from the air, killing hundreds of thousands, including civilians. We remember the road to Basra -- the Highway of Death -- where we were ordered to kill fleeing Iraqis.

We bulldozed trenches, burying people alive. The use of depleted uranium weapons left the battlefields radioactive. Massive use of pesticides, experimental drugs, burning chemical weapons depots and oil fires combined to create a toxic cocktail affecting both the Iraqi people and Gulf War veterans today.

One in four Gulf War veterans is disabled.

If you choose to participate in the invasion of Iraq you will be part of an occupying army.

Do you know what it is like to look into the eyes of a people that hate you to your core?

You should think about what your "mission" really is.

You are being sent to invade and occupy a people who, like you and me, are only trying to live their lives and raise their kids.

They pose no threat to the United States even though they have a brutal dictator as their leader.

Who is the U.S. to tell the Iraqi people how to run their country when many in the U.S. don't even believe their own President was legally elected?

There is no honor in murder.

This war is murder by another name.

When, in an unjust war, an errant bomb dropped kills a mother and her child it is not "collateral damage," it is murder.

When, in an unjust war, a child dies of dysentery because a bomb damaged a sewage treatment plant, it is not "destroying enemy infrastructure," it is murder.

When, in an unjust war, a father dies of a heart attack because a bomb disrupted the phone lines so he could not call an ambulance, it is not "neutralizing command and control facilities," it is murder.

When, in an unjust war, a thousand poor farmer conscripts die in a trench defending a town they have lived in their whole lives, it is not victory, it is murder.If the people of the world are ever to be free, there must come a time when being a citizen of the world takes precedence over being the soldier of a nation. Now is that time. When orders come to ship out, your response will profoundly impact the lives of millions of people in the Middle East and here at home.

Your response will help set the course of our future. You will have choices all along the way.

Your commanders want you to obey. We urge you to think. We urge you to make your choices based on your conscience.

If you choose to resist, we will support you and stand with you because we have come to understand that our REAL duty is to the people of the world and to our common future."

(To see the full statement and view all the signatures see http://www.calltoconscience.net/.)

The choices that those in the military and their supporters face are hard ones.

Let us begin with some undisputed options.

Members of the armed forces are sworn to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

They are also sworn to obey all LAWFUL orders and have an affirmative duty to DISOBEY all UNLAWFUL orders.

The unelected president will not tell his troops or his commanders that he is issuing unlawful orders.

Few, if any, of the top commanders will tell their troops that they are issuing unlawful orders.

Those on the front lines, those who fly the planes, those who target Cruise missiles and other weapons of mass destruction need to make decisions.

According to International Law, Domestic Law, the Constitution, and various Moral Codes it is not enough to say or believe that one is just "doing their job" or just "following orders." Decisions have to be made.

One should check out the sources of information presented in this article, to see if International Law still applies to America, to see if the Constitution still applies, to see if the Pope and other national and international members of the clergy are right in their moral objections to this war, to see if the legal arguments are valid against the war or for the war.

One should investigate if they are being lied to by their unelected commander in chief. Members of the armed forces have a sworn and sacred duty to uphold the law and the Constitution. According to the laws, international, domestic, and moral, the interpretation of whether orders are legal are not only the responsibility of "superior officers," but is needed each level of command, and by those who execute those commands.

Please note that the information presented here is not meant to encourage one to break the law, but rather to follow international, domestic, and moral laws. The information here is not intended to encourage one to break one's oath but rather to be true to one's duty and conscience and make an informed decision.

If the decision is made that the orders to begin or continue the war are illegal, then each bomb dropped will be a war crime, each bomb loaded will be a war crime, each support effort will be aiding and abetting a crime.

Each death, especially that of a civilian, will be a war crime (not collateral damage).

If the war itself is a crime than all efforts that aid in that effort are criminal.

Given that over 50% of the people of Iraq are children under the age of 16, this will be a war against children and a crime against humanity.

The decision to obey one's oath and not follow illegal orders is no doubt a difficult one, and one that will probably result in punishment from those who issue the illegal orders.

One should not take this issue lightly, just as one should not take the decision to follow an illegal order lightly.

There will no doubt be consequences for those who follow their conscience. It is the duty of all who recognize the illegality of the war to support all resisters.

For examples on how hundreds of thousands of GIs resisted the illegal war in Vietnam (by the U.S. Governments own admission in the Pentagon Papers) read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," Chapter 18.

For a personal account of a brave officer's resistance in Vietnam and later, see "Witness to War" by Charles Clement.

I am aware that many active duty personnel and reservist already have grave doubts and reservations about the conduct of this war, just as do significant numbers of veterans and the general public and citizenry.

Those who have severe doubts about the legality of what they are "ordered" to do should talk to their comrades in arms, their spiritual advisor (if they have one), and should contact one of the groups listed below and weigh their options.

There may well be some safety in numbers.

Albert Einstein, the genius physicist, once stated that if 2% of the military refused to fight or participate, the wars could not continue.

Time is short.

Or if you are reading this after the hostilities have commenced, it is time to stop the madness and war crimes.

At the end of this article there is contact information for organizations that have historically assisted active duty personnel, reservist, or veterans of conscience who desire specific legal, political, or moral guidance in time of war.

If possible, these would be good organizations to contact. As the veterans "Call to Conscience" statement notes "if you have questions or doubts about your role in the military (for any reason) or in this war, help is available. Contact one of the organizations listed below. They can discuss your situation and concerns, give you information on your legal rights, and help you sort out your possible choices."

These organizations are listed for your information and are not responsible for the contents of this article.

OATH OF OFFICE AND UNLAWFUL ORDERS

The military oath taken at the time of induction or commissioning reads:"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

There is…considerable evidence that Bush's plans are fundamentally illegal, from both an international and domestic perspective. If the war is indeed illegal, members of the armed forces have a legal and moral obligation to resist illegal orders, according to their oath of induction.The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order".

In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ.

The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.Among the international laws and treaties that a U.S. pre-emptive attack on Iraq may violate are:The Hague Convention on Land Warfare of 1899, which was reaffirmed by the U.S. at the 1946 Nuremberg International Military Tribunals.Resolution on the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons and Prevention of Nuclear War, adopted UN General Assembly, Dec 12, 1980.Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;

December 9, 1948, Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the UN General Assembly. Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, adopted on August 12, 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War.Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 1108 U.N.T.S. 151, Oct. 5, 1978.THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

The Nuremberg Principles, which define as a crime against peace, "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for accomplishment of any of the forgoing."

For many of these treaties and others, see the Yale Avalon project at: www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/imt.htmAlso see a letter to Canadian soldiers sent by Hamilton Action for Social Change at: http://www.hwcn.org/link/hasc/letter_cf.html) .

Though the citation is Canadian, all nations as signees to International Agreements and Conventions are bound by them, and obliged as a matter of law to abide by them.As Hamilton Action for Social Change has noted "Under the Nuremberg Principles, you have an obligation NOT to follow the orders of leaders who are preparing crimes against peace and crimes against humanity.

We are all bound by what U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert K. Jackson declared in 1948: [T]he very essence of the [Nuremberg] Charter is that individuals have intentional duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state."

At the Tokyo War Crimes trial, it was further declared "[A]nyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes."In a report written by Andrew Lichterman, John Burroughs, of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Western States Legal Foundation, and Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, and Jules Lobel, Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh entitled "The United Nations Charter and the Use of Force Against Iraq," noted that:

"Under the UN Charter, there are only two circumstances in which the use of force is permissible: in collective or individual self-defense against an actual or imminent armed attack: and when the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Neither of those circumstances now exists.Absent one of them, U.S. use of force against Iraq is unlawful."The authors were specifically referring to Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense. Nothing that Iraq has done would call that provision into effect. The report also states that:"

There is no basis in international law for dramatically expanding the concept of self-defense, as advocated in the Bush Administration's September, 2002 "National Security Strategy" to authorize "preemptive" - really preventive - strikes against states based on potential threats arising from possession or development of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and links to terrorism.

Such an expansion would destabilize the present system of UN Charter restraints on the use of force. Further, there is no claim or publicly disclosed evidence that Iraq is supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist.The Bush administration's reliance on the need for "regime change" in Iraq as a basis for use of force is barred by Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits "the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." Thus the rationales being given to the world, the American public, and the armed forces are illegal on their face.

For a copy of this report see www.lcnp.org/global/iraqstatement3.htm.

Other articles demonstrating the illegality of this war can be found at:http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-ilaw.htm andwww.lcnp.org/global/SCIraqletter.htm.

It is important to remember that Saddam Hussein was an important "ally" during the 1980s and that many of the weapons that may be faced by our armed forces will bear a "Made in the USA" label. The issue here is not the "evil' of Saddam Hussein, nor the international community doing nothing, but an illegal march to war by the Bush administration.

In addition to the violations of international laws, which have been incorporated into U.S. law, the… attack on Iraq is a direct violation of national law as Bush claims that he has the authority to decide whether the U.S. will go to war or not. The U.S. Constitution is very explicit on this point. Only the Congress has the authority to declare war, Congress does not have the right to give that power away, or to delegate that power to the president or anyone else.

The President as the "Commander in Chief" (Article 2, section 2, Par. 1) can command the armed forces in times of peace and war, but he does not have the authority to declare the war or determine if that war is to occur, especially if he is engaged in illegal conduct in violation of the Constitution itself or his oath of office.

The Constitution spells out very clearly the responsibility of the President and his oath, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." (Article 2, section 2, Par. 8). The President also has the primary duty to make sure "that the laws be faithfully executed," (Article 2, section 3).

Above text excerpted and edited from International Law: a duty to disobey all unlawful orders, 9 March 2003, by Lawrence Mosqueda, Ph.D.
http://electroniciraq.net/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/6/265/printer

THE LEGAL AND MORAL DILEMMA:

Given that the actions of this nation in Iraq are without legal or moral merit; the contemplation of any military action against the state of Iran is unconscionable and it is time for the United States, citizenry at large and the military of this nation to put and end to the blind obedience flock mentality that now governs the attitudes and actions of this nation.

JOINT CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION: To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

"The resolution before us today is not only a product of haste; it is also a product of presidential hubris. This resolution is breathtaking in its scope. It redefines the nature of defense, and reinterprets the Constitution to suit the will of the Executive Branch. It would give the President blanket authority to launch a unilateral preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that is perceived to be a threat to the United States.

This is an unprecedented and unfounded interpretation of the President's authority under the Constitution, not to mention the fact that it stands the charter of the United Nations on its head."Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, remarks made on the floor of the U.S. Senate, October 3, 2002).

He was 100% correct! The Failed, Falsification, Fabrication Filled, Corrupt Error Laden Document.IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION107th CONGRESS2d SessionH. J. RES. 114Passed: October 11, 2002JOINT RESOLUTION

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism; Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people; Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994);

Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President `to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677';

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),' that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and`constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,' and that Congress, `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688';

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to `work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge' posed by Iraq and to `work for the necessary resolutions,' while also making clear that `the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable';

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002'.

SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS. The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to—

(1) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and

(2) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that—

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

(c) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

(a) REPORTS- The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).

(b) SINGLE CONSOLIDATED REPORT- To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.

(c) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- To the extent that the information required by section 3 of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of such resolution.

Laws And treaties violated by President George W. Bush, Vice-President Richard Cheney, public officials under their authority, and members of the U.S. military under their command


The U. S. Constitution, Art. VI, para. 2, makes treaties adopted by the U.S. part of the “law of the land.” Thus, a violation of the U. N. Charter, Hague IV, Geneva Conventions, etc. is also a violation of U.S. federal law.U.S. Federal Law 18 U.S.C. § 2441 (War Crimes Act of 1996) makes committing a war crime, defined as: “…a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party…” punishable by fine, imprisonment, or death.


And the following treaties and charters which define: wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity:Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV)Art. 55.

The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator…of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.U.N. Gen. Assembly Res. 3314Defines the crime of aggression as “... the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State…or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations…”Nuremberg Tribunal CharterPrinciple VI: “

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace: Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties;

(b) War crimes: …murder, ill-treatment…of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war,…plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages…

(c) Crimes against humanity: Murder, extermination…and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population…when such acts are done…in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”Geneva ConventionsA) Protocol I, Article 75: “

(1)…persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict…shall be treated humanely in all circumstances…

(2) The following acts are and shall remain prohibited…whether committed by civilian or by military agents: (a) violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons…

(b) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault…and threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.”

B) Protocol I, Art. 51: “

The civilian population…shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.” Art. 57: (parties shall) “do everything feasible to verify that the objectives to be attacked are neither civilians nor civilian objects…an attack shall be cancelled or suspended if it becomes apparent that the objective is not a military one…”

C) Protocol I, Art. 70:

“The Parties to the conflict…shall allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments, equipment and personnel…even if such assistance is destined for the civilian population of the adverse Party.”

D) Protocol I, Art. 35:

“In any armed conflict, the right of the Parties…to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited…It is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the environment.”

E) Convention I, Art. 3:

“Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms… shall in all circumstances be treated humanely...To this end, the following acts (in addition to those listed in Art. 75, above) are and shall remain prohibited:…the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”

F) Convention III, Art. 5:

“Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy (are prisoners of war under this Convention), such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.”

G) Convention IV, Art. 33:

“No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

A DUTY TO DISOBEY ALL UNLAWFUL ORDERS

As the United States government under George Bush gets closer to attacking the people of Iran, there are several things that the men and women of the U.S. armed forces need to know and bear in mind as they are given orders from the Bush administration. This information is provided for the use of the members of the armed forces, their families, friends and supporters, and all who are concerned about the current direction of U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran.

The military oath taken at the time of induction reads:"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ.

The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

The 3 types of orders a Soldier is allowed to disobey are..

1. Illegal

2. Immoral

3. Unethical

There is no question that grounds for our American Servicemen and women and officers in particular to disobey this President clearly exist.

In Iraq they did not save a few isolated cases.

If the order to attack Iran is given it is time for the military to support the Constitution, be faithful to their oaths and this nation.

We will stand behind that decision.

Also listed below are sources of information that may be useful about the current situation, in addition to the sources listed in the article.

SUGGESTED RESOURCES:BOOKS on foreign policyNoam Chomsky, especially Deterring Democracy, 9/11, Rouge StatesPhyllis Bennis, Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis

Gilbert Achcar, The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder

William Blum, Killing Hope

Dilip Hiro, Iraq, In the Eye of the Storm

WEB SITES

Alternative News and analysis,




Alternative Analysis,



Middle East Analysis,



English Reports from Iraq,


ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE HELPED GIs IN THE PAST

(Some are religious, some political, some pacifist)

Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO)

The GI Rights Hotline Fax (510) 465-2459 630 Twentieth Street #302 Oakland, CA 94612 girights@objector.org http://girights.objector.org/whoweare.html

American Friends Service Committee-National 1501 Cherry Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 Phone: Fax: (215) 241-7275 afscinfo@afsc.org


American Friends Service Committee--New England Region 2161 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02140 617-661-6130


Center on Conscience & War (NISBCO) 1830 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009 Tel: Fax: (202) 483-1246 Email: nisbco@nisbco.orgmailto:%2F%2Fwww.nisbco.org%2F

Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild 1168 Union Street, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92101 619-233-1701

National Lawyers Guild, National Office 143 Madison Ave 4th Fl., New York NY 10016 212-679-5100 FAX 212 679-2811


Northcoast WRL / Humboldt Committee for Conscientious Objectors (NCWRL-HCCO) 1040 H Street Arcata, CA 95521 707-826-0165 HCCO-Help@sbcglobal.net

Quaker House of Fayetteville, NC 223 Hillside Ave Fayetteville, NC 28301 910-323-3912 or

Seattle Draft and Military Counseling PO Box 20604 Seattle, WA 98102 206-789-2751 sdmcc@scn.org

War Resisters League 339 Lafayette Street New York, NY 10012 212-228-0450 or wrl@warresisters.org http://www.warresisters.org/

Veterans Call to Conscience 4742 42nd Ave. SW #142 Seattle, WA 98116-4553 CallToConscience@yahoo.com http://www.oz.net/~vvawai/CtC/

Veterans for Common Sense http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/


Citizen Soldier 267 Fifth Ave., Suite 901 New York, NY 10016 Phone Fax (212) 679-2252 www.citizen-soldier.org/

Fellowship of Reconciliation P.O. Box 271,NY, NY 10960 845-358-4601 Fax:(845) 358-4924 E-mail: for@forusa.org http://www.forusa.org/

Catholic Peace Fellowship P.O. Box 41 Notre Dame, Indiana 46556-004 574-631-7666 info@catholicpeacefellowship.org; http://www.catholicpeacefellowship.org/

Peace Education Office of Mennonite Central Committee MCC US 21 S. 12th Street Akron, PA 17501-0500 717-859-3889 tmp@mccus.org http://www.mcc.org/ask-a-vet/index.html

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What do cockroaches and evil in people have in common? When exposed they both run for cover.

Political Correctness is the cloak that protects evil.

Truth is hate to those who hate the Truth.

“When Fascism Comes To America It Will Be Wrapped In The Flag and Carrying A Cross” -Sinclair Lewis-

And When It Does I Will Be Wrapped In The Declaration Of Independence Carrying A Gun!


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