“… Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process…
“This is sobering information about those who wish to do us harm… But every day we strengthen the security of our nation.” (DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, 8 July 2004)
Does this last announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge entail a code red emergency scenario of “closing down the country” (prior to the November elections) as conveyed by Secretary Ridge in a previous statement:
“If we go to [code] Red … it basically shuts down the country,” (22 December 2003, emphasis added)
Homeland Security and the White House no doubt have several “scenarios” in mind to “win” the presidential elections in November. (See Steven Moore, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOO407A.html ). Recent developments suggest that Homeland Security is indeed contemplating a code red alert. (See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402A.html ).
At the same time, the Bush Administration is also maneuvering cautiously behind the scenes, with a view to embedding formal “guidelines” into federal election procedures, which would allow for the cancellation or postponement of an election in the event of a terror attack.
To reach their objective, the Bush Administration is using the jurisdiction of one of its bogus federal agencies, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) , established in 2003 under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) .
Concurrent with Homeland Security’s statement regarding the possibility of a large scale “9/11 type attack”, EAC director DeForest B. Soaries , a Bush appointee, has hinted to the need for:
“establishing guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again”.
“Look at the possibilities. If the federal government were to cancel an election or suspend an election, it has tremendous political implications. If the federal government chose not to suspend an election it has political implications… Who makes the call, under what circumstances is the call made, what are the constitutional implications?… I think we have to err on the side of transparency to protect the voting rights of the country… I’m hopeful that there are some proposals already being floated. If there are,! we’re not aware of them. If there are not, we will probably try to put one on the table … The states control elections, but on the national scale where every state has its own election laws and its own election chief, who’s in charge?”. (quoted in AP, 8 July 2004, emphasis added)
What is important in this new initiative, is that if these so-called guidelines were to be adopted, the Administration would technically be able to postpone or cancel an election, “with the stroke of a pen”, and without resorting to far-reaching emergency procedures and/or martial law.
A temporary postponement might be considered by Republican strategists as a (desperate) propaganda ploy, for swinging votes away from the Kerry-Edwards ticket. Whether these guidelines will be accepted prior to November by the Democrats is, at this stage doubtful.
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is described as a “clearinghouse of voting information and procedures”. The statements and news coverage seem to suggest that if guidelines on the postponement or cancellation of elections are to be formulated, they should emanate from the EAC, which has a (bipartisan) mandate under the US Congress to oversee federal voting systems, rather than the DHS.
But the EAC is an “informal arm” of the Department of Homeland Security. Both the DHS and the White House are indelibly behind the proposed “guidelines” initiative, calling the shots from behind the scenes.
EAC Director Reverand DeForest “Buster” Soaries, a former Baptist minister, is a handpicked appointee. He was New Jersey Secretary of State under Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who is a political crony of Sec. Tom Ridge, going back to their days as GOP governors of the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Todd Whitman was appointed by the Bush Admistration to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has since then worked very closely with Tom Ridge in the domestic war on terror.
The press reports suggest that DeForest “Buster” Soaries took the initiative on his own accord, acting on behalf of a federal governmental body. He has even complained: “that he was rebuffed when he wrote to Ridge seeking to discuss election security, including how to handle rescheduling the election if it were to be disrupted by an attack.” (Associated Press, 9 July 2004).
Secretary Tom Ridge has said that he is “against the guidelines.” What he does not say is that various procedures have already been carefully worked out by Homeland Security analysts, who have simulated precise red code alert scenarios including situations, implying the cancellation or postponement of elections. (See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402A.html ).
Ridge says that “he doesn’t agree with all of the conclusions in Soaries’ letter, but the department is working on constitutional and security questions, and Soaries will be involved in the process.” (AP, 9 July 2004 )
Homeland Security is intent on establishing entrenched procedures under the EAC. The “guidelines” to postpone or suspend the elections could then be presented as a means to “protecting democracy” in the case of a terror attack.
The setting of so-called “guidelines” at the level of an official body, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), would establish a “trigger mechanism” under the jurisdiction of a federal commission.
A code red alert would contribute to activating the guidelines, although the latter could indeed be activated without resort to “the highest” terror alert level.
E-Democracy or Electoral Fraud?
The same Bush sponsored body, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which has hinted to the need for “guidelines” in the case of a terror attack, has also been pushing for the establishment in several states of the Diebold electronic voting system .
Diebold is a black box system which very conveniently does not leave a paper trail. In other words, it does not leave a paper record of the vote. In fact: “all three black box computer manufacturers are Republican-led corporations actively involved in Bush’s re-election campaign.” (Steve Moore, July 2004, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOO407A.html ).
In June 2004, Diebold Inc, which is backing the Bush campaign, congratulated EAC Chairman DeForest Soaries for assisting Diebold in marketing is E-election system:
We welcome the opportunity to provide input on these important issues and pledge our strong support to the EAC,” said Mark G. Radke, director of marketing for Diebold Election Systems, Inc. ‘This initiative by Chairman Soaries and the EAC will further increase voter confidence in the election process as election practices and procedures transition to more efficient, accurate technology,” said Walden W. O’Dell, chairman and CEO of Diebold, Incorporated, the parent company of Diebold Election Systems.” (Diebold News Release, http://www.diebold.com/news/newsdisp.asp?id=3083 ).
Diebold’s CEO Walden O’Dell confirmed in a subsequent interview that:
“he has been a top fund-raiser for the Republican president, but said he intends to lower his political profile and “try to be more sensitive” in light of the national criticism he has faced. … Because the fund-raising revelations fell closely on the heels of security questions raised about Diebold’s machines in a later-questioned Johns Hopkins University study, O’Dell’s critics began to suggest that Diebold should not be allowed to be involved in elections. (The Plain Dealer, 16 September 2003),
Michel Chossudovsky is the author of War and Globalization, the Truth behind September 11, Global Outlook, 2004
E-Democracy, Stealing the Election in 2004, by Steve Moore, Global Outlook, no. 8, Summer 2004 http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOO407A.html
Will the 2004 Election Be Called Off? Why Three Out of Four Experts Predict a Terrorist Attack by November, by Maureen Farrell, April 2004, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/FAR404A.html
The Criminalization of the State, by Michel Chossudovsky, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402A.html February 2004
Orange Code Terror Alert based on Fabricated Intelligence, by Michel Chossudovsky 3 January 2004. http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO401A.html
Bush’s Christmas Terror Alert, by Michel Chossudovsky, 24 December 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO312D.html
Manufacturing Hysteria: Bogus Terror Threats and Bush’s Police State, by Kurt Nimmo, 31 December 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/NIM312A.html
FBI points finger at the CIA: Terror Alert based on Fabricated Information, 14 February 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG302A.html
“Homeland Defense” and the Militarisation of America, by Frank Morales, 15 September 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOR309A.html