2003-The Year Democracy Ended
By Bob Fitrakis
As the year ends, 2003 will be remembered by future historians as the year the pretense of democracy in the United States ended.
Since the 1940s, conservatives have accepted the assumption of economist Joseph Schumpeter that democracy in a mass society existed of little more than the following: the adult population could vote; the votes were fairly counted; and the masses could choose between elites from one of two parties.
With the most recent revelations about the 2000 Bush coup in Florida disclosed in the shocking stolen Diebold memos, the Bush family has signaled that an authoritarian right-wing dynasty is the future course for American politics.
The Sunday, November 12, 2000 Washington Post, buried on page A22, the smoking gun of the Bush family's CIA-style rigged "demonstration" election in Florida: "Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official of Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and found that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000 votes. But when she checked the county's Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000 ... all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters."
So it should come as no surprise when the New York Times headline on July 24 of this year read "Computer voting is open to easy fraud." The work by
Alastair Thompson at scoop.co.nz and Bev Harris in her essential new book Black Box Voting reveal not only that computer voting is open to fraud but that massive and widespread fraud occurred in the 2000 election.
Moreover, the emboldened Bush administration appears to have continued its fraud in the 2002 and subsequent elections. Why not? The investigation by Senator Frank Church in the 1970s revealed that the US CIA routinely rigged elections throughout the world and was involved in overthrowing democracies and installing dictatorships as needed during the Cold War. The list is familiar to human rights advocates: Iran and Guatemala in the 50s; Chile and Greece in the 70s.
Four computer scientists at Rice University and a separate study by the Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University document how easy it is to hack into the Diebold voting machines. Diebold's CEO Wally O'Dell is an ardent Bush supporter who recently hosted a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser for the President in his manor in the affluent Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington. He is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year" while, at the same time, attempting to contract with the state of Ohio for his fabulously flawed voting machines.
And it's not just Diebold. The largest seller of computerized voting systems in the US is ES&S, whose former top exec is now Nebraska's Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who won after ES&S machines reported an unusual and stunning black vote for him.
The Dallas News reported that early voting in the 2002 election created ". . . several dozen complaints . . . from people who said that they selected a Democratic candidate but that their vote appeared beside the name of a Republican on the screen."
Recall the six major upsets of Democrats by Republicans in Georgia in the 2002 election. The state's votes were counted on the unreliable and easily hackable 22,000 Diebold machines. Also during the 2002 election, where over 1000 votes were cast in other races, no votes were registered for governor as Clinton administration Attorney General went down to a surprisingly 5000 vote loss.
As a result of these obvious voting irregularities, hackers went into the Diebold system and stole thousands of documents and internal memos which expose the 2000 Florida coup. In Harris' book based on these documents and interviews with Diebold officials, she outlines how Gore originally conceded the election after somebody used a "second [computer] card (card #3) that mysteriously appeared, subtracted 16,022 from Al Gore and still in some undefined way, added 4000 erroneous votes to George W. Bush . . ."
A summary of the 2002 election by scoop.co.nz found that in 14 races, there was a 3-16 point swing to the Republican Party after the final poll was taken providing several stunning upsets. By contrast, in only two races was there a swing toward the Democratic Party, between 2-4 points. In three other races, the pollsters were within the margin of error.
The American people have been socialized into denial. First about the ruthless and imperialist nature of their 26 intelligence-gathering agencies including the CIA and NSA that have been involved in rigging elections worldwide and the ongoing involvement by these agencies in American politics. What is obviously evolved is a praetorian guard, loyal only to the Bush family, that some call the "shadow government."
Most Americans are intent to stick their heads in the sand on Bush's vote-rigging and our troops in the sands of Iraq. Future historians will record that while the facts and documentation of the end of American republic mounted, many believed the babbling of a low-IQ'ed well-scripted son of the new aristocracy.
Bob Fitrakis is a Political Science Professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department at Columbus State Community College, and author of The Idea of Democratic Socialism in America and the Decline of the Socialist Party (Garland Publishers 1993). He is the editor of The Free Press, where this article first appeared (www.freepress.org).