The presidential election of 2004 left much to be desired. Millions of votes were suppressed, and the evidence is overwhelming that votes were flipped by interested parties. Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman summarize:
“The widespread use of electronic voting machines from ES&S, and of Diebold software maintained by Triad, allowed [Ohio Secretary of State Ken] Blackwell to electronically flip a 4% Kerry lead to a 2% Bush victory in the dead of election night. ES&S, Diebold and Triad were all owned or operated by Republican partisans. The shift of more than 300,000 votes after 12:20 a.m. election night was a virtual statistical impossibility. It was engineered by Michael Connell, an IT specialist long affiliated with the Bush Family. Blackwell gave Connell’s Ohio-based GovTech the contract to count Ohio’s votes, which was done on servers housed in the Old Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thus the Ohio vote tally was done on servers that also carried the e-mail for Karl Rove and the national Republican Party. Connell died in a mysterious plane crash in December, 2008, after being subpoenaed in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit focused on how the 2004 election was decided (disclosure: we were attorney and plaintiff in that suit). Diebold’s founder, Walden O’Dell, had vowed to deliver Ohio’s electoral votes—and thus the presidency—to his friend George W. Bush. That it was done in part on electronic voting machines and software O’Dell happened to own (Diebold has since changed hands twice) remains a cautionary red flag for those who believe merely winning the popular vote will give Barack Obama a second term.”
There are no doubt honest people who have looked at the evidence and disagree that the election was stolen in 2004. There might even be — although I can’t imagine how — people who have looked at Ohio 2004 and concluded that what went down was a respectable electoral process up to all international standards and beyond all possibility of doubt. I’m even willing to concede that someone somewhere honestly thinks allowing private companies to count our votes on computers in a manner that can never be verified is a reasonable approach to democratic self-governance, given the complete absence from all recent history of any private company ever engaging in any questionable practice that might radically increase its profits.
But, according to a credible report from 2005, one key person who eventually came to understand that Ohio was stolen was the candidate from whom it was stolen: John Kerry. Kerry reportedly said that he did not want to speak out about this because he would be accused of being a sore loser. His running mate John Edwards, who — by various accounts — opposed conceding the election in 2004, has since been disgraced as an adulterer. Let’s set aside for the moment the question of whether adultery is worse than election theft. What I want to know is this: would allowing the 2012 election to be stolen be a price worth paying to avoid the unpleasantness of John Kerry being called a sore loser on tee-vee?
Why would the 2012 election be stolen? Well, there is the matter of the 2012 primaries. And then there are the basic facts as laid out by the least likely media outlet in the world to twist them in favor of my argument: Fox News. Again, let Fitrakis-Wasserman, or Wassrakis for short, summarize:
“Despite an almost total blackout from the corporate media, the Romney family has a personal ownership (through the investment firms Solamere and H.I.G. Capital) in Hart Intercivic, which owns, maintains, programs and will tabulate alleged votes on machines in the critical swing states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado. Despite various official disclaimers, the election could be decided on Hart machines producing ‘vote counts’ with little connection to how 18 million people actually voted. It is inconceivable that the Romney chain of ownership in Hart Intercivic will not influence how that goes. … [T]here is no legally binding way by which a professionally rigged electronic vote count can be overturned or even definitively discovered except through the use of unabridged but legally inconsequential exit polling. Scytl, a Barcelona-based e-voting company, has been contracted to count votes in 26 states through the easily rigged Federal Overseas Voting Program. FVAP is ostensibly geared to let military and other overseas Americans vote absentee by electronic means. But Scytl is positioned to intercept and redistribute such overseas electronic votes as needed through its spyware sister company, CarrierIQ. In a close race, these ‘votes’ can be distributed at will to make the difference in critical swing states. Other key voting machine companies, such as ES&S, Dominion, Command Central and more, are controlled by major corporations, some of whose owners are outspoken in their support for the Republican Party. … Republicans hold the governorships in the nine critical swing states of Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico and Arizona. They also hold the secretaries of state offices in all of those states but Wisconsin. Electronically flipping the vote count in any or all of them, with Hart Intercivic, Scytl, Dominion or other technologies, can be done quickly, simply and invisibly, with no public recourse.”
Perhaps you’re thinking that just because a crime can be undetectably committed is no reason to create the slanderous idea that it would be. However, we are dealing here with people already, beyond any question, disenfranchising millions by throwing away registration forms, stripping registration rolls, instructing voters to vote on the wrong day, warning voters they may be arrested for voting, and flooding the media with dishonest advertisements for candidates.
If anything disgusts me more than the false charade of democracy distracting most of my fellow citizens from the struggle to develop actual democracy, it is death bed confessions. I don’t want to ever hear one from John Kerry. I hope that he may live many more years. But when he dies, I don’t want to hear any Robert McNamara-like truth telling spilling out of his horselike face. I want to hear it now, this week, prior to the 2012 election. I want it out there preemptively. I want people prepared to look for election fraud. And I want candidates prepared to point to it if it appears, big as life, staring us all in the face as it did eight years ago.
Or perhaps you’re counting on Barack Obama, whose supreme value is “bipartisanship,” to speak up for himself unprompted, in the complete absence of a swift kick to his pusillanimous posterior.
Speak now, Senator Kerry. Show courage unlike the perverse daredevilism required to participate in war. Show courage when we need it. We need it now. Speak.
David Swanson’s books include “War Is A Lie.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.