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November, 2006

Connecting The Dots
By Larry Kelley

"Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
--William Wordsworth, from Ode"

Sadly, sort of, we note the passing last month of Nellie Connally, the last survivor of the Lincoln Continental convertible in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
She and her husband, Texas Governor John Connally, maintained to the end, that the bullet which wounded the governor was a different bullet than the one which wounded Kennedy, contradicting the Magic Bullet Theory, the cornerstone of the Warren Commission's laughable one-gunman conclusion.

And in the tradition of strange deaths connected to the JFK assassination, a spokesman for Mrs. Connally called her death, "a total surprise" and a "shock." Julian Reed, who served as the governor's press secretary in the 60's, said, "She has been extremely active and vital these past few days and weeks... it's a shock to all of us."

Mrs. Connally is best known for having uttered the famous last words, "You can't say that Dallas doesn't love you, Mr. President," before JFK was shot on November 22, 1963.

In the limo with John and Jacqueline Kennedy were John and Nellie Connally in the middle seat and in the front seat, two Secret Service agents, including driver William (I slow for assassination attempts) Greer.

In 1976, the House Select Committee on Assassinations contradicted the Warren Commission, concluding from Dallas police audio tapes that there had been more than three shots and that JFK "probable was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy."

* * *
In several days, the Congressional elections will remind us of why there is no need for assassinations anymore. We now have Death by Voting Machine, where candidates like Al Gore and John Kerry for example are "eliminated" electronically on voting day, or sooner by " purges" of voter registration rolls.

A few weeks before the November elections, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post finally got around to coverage of the myriad "problems" surrounding the election, while Internet bloggers handled criminal behavior, for the most part

After California and Pennsylvania warned that their Diebold touch-screen machines were "hopelessly compromised," Michael Shamos a professor of computer science at Pittsburg's Carnegie-Mellon University called it "the most serious security flaw ever discovered in a voting system."

Douglas W. Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa, said, "This is a barn door being wide open, while people were arguing over the lock on the front door."

The story was ignored for over a year, after the bipartisan commission on federal election reform, co-chaired by President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker noted in no uncertain terms, according to The Free Press, "Software can be modified maliciously before being installed into individual voting machines. There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other industries."

Diebold's ludicrous letter response claimed that "the probability of exploiting this vulnerability… is considered low."

Diebold spokesman David Bear was even more ridiculous. "For there to be a problem here, you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software. I don't believe these evil elections people exist."

We believe they exist. They just don't have to sneak.

"Talk about panic," said Freddy Oakley, the top election official in Yolo County, Ca., "I've got grey-haired ladies as poll workers, standing around looking stunned."

In Georgia, tens of thousands of voters received letters telling them they needed a photo I.D. to vote on Nov. 7, even though a judge recently struck down the requirement.

In Ohio, Sec. of State Ken Blackwell, who handed Bush the "04 election, is accused of recently purging the voter files, possibly eliminating hundreds of thousands of democrats, even as he runs for governor.

For the hopeful, a hand-count paper ballot bill (HR6200) was introduced in the House of Representatives on Oct. 15 as the Paper Ballot Act of 2006. After congressional Republicans, with a 16 percent approval rating, sweep to victory, we're going to need it.

The only Republicans who dare to be seen with our populace president (30 percent approval rating) are Pennsylvania Rep. Don Sherwood, accused of trying to choke his mistress, and Virginia Sen. George Allen, accused of racism after being caught on film name-calling, and of trying to hide his Jewish heritage. Without many friends, the president will go where he's invited (by a republican).

* * *
The New York Times reports that the Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $385 million contract to Kellogg, Brown and Root, the subsidiary of our old friends at Haliburton, to build detention centers on American soil "in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the US" or a "natural disaster" or (brace yourself) "new programs that require additional detention space" (gulp).

Federal auditors have rebuked KBR and Haliburton for "unsubstantiated billing" in its Iraq reconstruction contracts. But this is probably not the most serious of the problems.

"It's pretty obvious that the intent of government is to detain more and more people and to expedite their removal," said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center in Miami.

* * *
In his new book "State of Denial," Bob Woodward informs us of why the US seems stuck in park in Iraq: one of the president's chief advisors is Henry ("Peace is at hand) Kissinger, who took four extra years and 22,000 extra American lives to deliver a "peace with honor" while "serving" Nixon (who now seems like JFK compared to W.).

And things are going so swimmingly in Iraq, that the Bush Boys plan a repeat performance in Iran after the November election, according to author and former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who early-on warned the White House that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.

Ritter recently told Democracy Now's Amy Goodman "The path that the US is currently embarked on regarding Iran is a path that will inevitably lead to war. Such a course of action will make even the historical mistake made in Iraq pale by comparison."

He noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has had "full access to the sites in Iran" has said, "there is no data whatsoever to sustain the Bush Administration's claims that there is a nuclear weapons program."

"Like Iraq, Iran is being asked to prove a negative… to create the conditions to support (Bush's) ultimate objective of military intervention." It's not about non-proliferation or disarmament, Ritter said. "It's about regime change."

Like the one in Iraq with the staged toppling of Saddam's statue and the fake "Mission Accomplished" lie. According to our own military leaders and diplomats, the mission is a disaster, at least for everyone other than the Carlyle and Haliburton types.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera television, Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the State Department, said, "We tried to do our best but I think there is much room for criticism because undoubtedly there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq." Ring-ring. The carpet is calling.

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