By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
Source: Reader Supported News
here are two things we all need to know about the upcoming 2016 election:
- Millions of likely Democratic voters have already been stripped from the voter rolls in critical states like Ohio. The key reporting on this has been done by the great Greg Palast, who has shown that a computer program coordinated by the Republican secretary of state of Kansas is being used in some two dozen states to steal from a substantial percentage of the citizenry their right to vote. The raw numbers are high enough that they could have a significant impact on the presidential, US Senate, House and many other elections this fall. The ACLU has now sued Jon Husted, Ohio’s secretary of state, over the stripping of two million citizens from Ohio’s voter rolls.
- There is no way to verify the official tally on the electronic machines on which the majority of Americans will vote this fall. Nearly all the machines are a decade old, most are controlled by a single company (ES&S, owned by Warren Buffett) and the courts have ruled that the software is proprietary, making the vote counts beyond public scrutiny. In fact, they are beyond all independent monitoring altogether. In many key swing states (including Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and Arizona) GOP governors and secretaries of state will have a free hand to flip the vote count to whatever they want it to be without detection or accountability. This could turn control of our government over to the GOP come November, as it did in 2000 and 2004.
These two critical markers of the upcoming national election are at center stage in our compendium The Flip & Strip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows and Electronic Election Theft (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org), which we’ll be publishing at the end of April.
For some reason many on the left have had a hard time accepting these realities. But they’re in fact far more critical than the question of who will make the better Democratic candidate.
In the interim, the usually solid Josh Holland has published a piece at The Nation with which we must take issue. It challenges writings that have put forward the idea that Hillary Clinton might be stealing the primaries from Bernie Sanders.
To avoid the circular firing squad in which the left indulges every election year, we should make it clear that we are both members of the Green Party. We prefer Bernie to Hillary, but like Jill Stein most of all. We hope Bernie at some point will establish a substantial string of grassroots training camps so the thousands of highly active young people who are supporting him will convert those energies to great long-term community organizing.
We are most concerned about the possibility of a GOP president come November. (For what it’s worth, we currently lay the highest odds of that nominee being the absolutely terrifying Paul Ryan. Ryan has said he won’t campaign for the nomination, but he has NOT said he’ll refuse it at a convention where he’ll be holding the gavel. His pockets will be stuffed with Koch cash. Enough said.)
We plead guilty to writing a piece at Reader Supported News pointing out that the exit polls show Bernie doing far better than the official vote count. Josh dismisses the reliability of exit polls, along with our mention of those in Germany. Suffice it to say that exit polling is the most reliable way we have of monitoring the vote count. In Germany they are usually within 1% of the official tally.
Here they are corrupted after the original compilations. They’re generally post-rigged to conform to the final official vote count, which is often pre-rigged. What matters is the original raw data, which we feel after much study is the gold standard for knowing how the public actually voted.
Of course that data can be messed with along the way. But at this point it’s the best we’ve got. And the original data can be hard to get. When statistician Ron Baiman requested original data from big-time pollster Warren Mitofsky (since deceased) Mitofsky told to him to “go fuck yourself.”
For some reason Josh drags “conspiracy theory” into the mix, with a lengthy soliloquy on 9/11. Neither of us writes about 9/11, though we know plenty of people who do. We find much of the official story not credible, but that’s about it at this point.
However, history warns us to be discerning about so-called conspiracy theories. Josh paints them all with a broad brush when he says they “tend to fall apart under the weight of their own internal illogic.”
But at the risk of rolling some eyeballs, here are (briefly) five that have proved indisputably true: Spain did NOT torpedo the battleship Maine in 1898, a false charge the led to a terrible war (the US Navy has confirmed the Maine blew up from the inside); the Lusitania WAS carrying munitions in 1915, as Germany argued; the Gulf of Tonkin incident NEVER happened, as confirmed by former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara; Richard Nixon DID treasonably subvert Vietnam peace talks in 1968; and there were NO WMDs in Iraq.
Maybe we can leave the Mexican War; Pearl Harbor; the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK; and the “October Surprise” timing of the release of hostages from Iran in 1980-1981, etc., for another discussion.
About the elections of 2000 and 2004, we are way beyond conspiracy theory. That the voter rolls were stripped in numbers exceeding 90,000 throughout Florida 2000, and the vote count electronically flipped in Volusia County at the key moment, are simply beyond dispute. So is the reality that had the Supreme Court not stopped the recount, Gore would have won.
In Ohio 2004, it’s also beyond dispute that more than 300,000 voters were stripped from the registration rolls from mostly Democratic urban areas, and that the vote count was flipped by 6.7% from Kerry to Bush between 12:20 and 2 a.m. on machines in a basement in Chattanooga where the servers for Karl Rove and the Republican National Committee also resided. Thousands of Ohioans were deliberately robbed of their vote with the stripping of precincts and denial of voting machines and back-up paper ballots in African-American and student strongholds. In an election with an official victory margin of 118,775, more than 250,000 votes remain uncounted to this day. Thousands of provisional ballots were also pitched in the trash, as they already have been in this primary season, and will be again in November.
Imagine a world in which, instead of George W. Bush, Al Gore had been inaugurated as the rightfully elected president in 2001, or John Kerry in 2005. It’s easy if you open your eyes to what actually happened in those elections, and terrifying if you think about what could happen this year.
For some reason, Josh also takes us into the purported mind of a Hillary operative who would never think of rigging a primary election because she was winning anyway.
This a bit hard to follow. But let’s just say that the exit polls have indicated Bernie doing better than the official vote count, that (according to Richard Charnin) Bernie won all the hand-counted precincts in Massachusetts but lost all the machine-counted ones, and that all the caucuses have been extremely messy and open to all sorts of manipulation by both sides.
Far more important to say is that the voting machines this fall will be significantly more vulnerable to being flipped than ever before, because they are now nearly all at least ten years old. Some are decrepit enough to have been used to play PacMan or the University of Michigan fight song in public displays.
For us, the most significant event of the primary season has been the 5-hour lines in Arizona and the one-hour lines in Wisconsin. We are less concerned about whether Hillary did this to Bernie than we are worried that these will become the defining moments on the rigged path to a GOP victory in November.
Josh, if you’re reading this, we repeat our invitation to come on our radio shows (http://prn.fm/hosts-harvey-wasserman/ and http://www.talktainmentradio.com/shows/fightback.html).
Meantime, how about a piece on the “strip and flip” realities both the Democrats and the Greens will face come November? Whether it’s Hillary, Bernie, or Jill, as things stand now we are certain to see deliberately engineered long lines that will disenfranchise countless young, African-American. and Hispanic voters. We also know that in certain key swing states, the electronic vote count will come out however the hell the governor wants it to.
To you this may be conspiracy theory. But remember the Maine.
Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored six books on election integrity, including the upcoming Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows and Electronic Election Theft (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org). Bob’s Fitrakis Files are at www.freepress.org. Harvey’s America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Organic Spiral of US History will be out soon at www.solartopia.org.