Oregon election fraud 2008
In an interview with Greg Palast, Greg mentions a potentia election fraud in the 2008 election of Oregon
In this article Greg Palast is warning of potential election fraud in Oregon 2008:
The News from Overseas
by Geoff Kelly
In November 2000, the BBC sent journalist Greg Palast to Florida to cover that state's haywire election. Palast documented the purging from the voter rolls of more than 90,000 eligible voters, mostly African Americans and minorities—people predisposed to vote for Democrats—based on lists of ex-felons that were at least 97 percent wrong. He discovered that shoddy voting machines guaranteed to render ballots unreadable were sent to voting districts that trended Democratic, while Republican districts received new, more reliable and accurate machines. He uncovered a whole arsenal of vote-gaming techniques employed by the Republican administration of the State of Florida, led by Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katharine Harrison (who now serves in the US House of Representatives). The deceit and neglect were intentional and widespread, as Palast reported for the BBC and London's Guardian newspapers. No US media outlets would run his stories, however, so he wrote a book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (originally published in 2002, reissued by Plume in 2004), which quickly climbed the New York Times best-seller list.
In that book, Palast—who was a renowned economist before turning investigative journalist—reported that the 2004 elections were going to be just as crooked as the 2000 elections. Worse, in fact, because the techniques used in Florida would be deployed in other battleground states. Turns out he was right (as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s article in last week's Rolling Stone attests) and so Palast has a new book, Armed Madhouse (Dutton, 2006), in which he details how Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell threw his state's election to George W. Bush. The African-American vote, predominantly Democratic, was shamelessly suppressed, according to Palast, in ways that range from unethical to illegal.
Palast also writes about the war on terror, manipulation of the oil and energy markets, US meddling in Latin American affairs, surveillance of US citizens and the nature of global trade, among other subjects, all of which, he says, are intertwined. And he says that the fix is in already for 2008, unless something can be done about it now.
Artvoice: Can you describe the vote theft you uncovered in the 2004 election?
Greg Palast: People were so fascinated with the idea that computers might change our votes—that Karl Rove and Lex Luthor, hidden in a cave underneath Washington, would hit a button and change our votes. But that is not what happened.
What did happen was old-fashioned vote-rustling, just computerized a bit, in which we had votes that never got counted. We had stolen votes, and when I say that I mean uncounted votes or a non-vote. We had 3.6 million votes cast and not counted. And that is a big, big hunk of the vote. Hanging chads and crap punch-card machines, paper ballots that get mangled or mismarked, computers where the vote just simply doesn't register—those things account for close to three million lost votes alone.
However, not everyone's vote spoils the same. If you're in a majority African-American precinct, your vote was 900 percent more likely to spoil than if you were a white voter.
AV: Are states like Florida and Ohio sincerely trying to fix their voting problems?
GP: Just like they did after I wrote my book [The Best Democracy Money Can Buy] about the purging of the black vote in 2000? The NAACP sued then, but it was after the election, and Katharine Harris and Jeb Bush said, "Oh, gee, we're so sorry that all these black folks lost their votes." Then they did it again in 2002. In Ohio, the ACLU sued for crap machines in predominantly black areas and Ken Blackwell, the Republican secretary of state, said, "Well, yeah, I know that black minority voters will lose votes because of crap machines, but phht, too bad."
AV: What do you think of proposals by Republican legislators for voter identification cards?
GP: The Republicans are fanatic about voter IDs. You say, "Well, what's wrong with showing your ID?" Well, the answer is, what crime are we preventing? I've looked all over the country and found only one case out of 100 million voters where a person knowingly cast his vote in someone else's name. I'm just looking for, say, about 10 out of 100 million or 100 out of 100 million—wouldn't that be fair if we are going to change our entire voting system? Shouldn't there be at least one in one million cases of this? But we know 300,000 were denied the right to vote in 2004 because they did not have the right ID.
It is as selective as literacy was during the Jim Crow era. Only certain people get selected [and asked for] ID—in our next election it's going to be Hispanic voters. Florida and Ohio are continuing problems. In 2008 look for vote theft in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oregon and certainly New Mexico too.
AV: What do you make of the Bush administration eavesdropping on US citizens inside the country?
GP: I think that you cannot disconnect the spying on Americans from the fix of the elections. And the signal of this is that the same private companies are involved. ChoicePoint [which, in 2000, provided error-ridden lists of ex-felons, mostly African-American, for the State of Florida, so they could be knocked off the voter rolls] is also the company creating databases for the war on terror.
They're not going after the bad guys; the bad guys came from Saudi Arabia, and we haven't touched them. It is as if you were going after the Cosa Nostra and then invaded the Girl Scouts headquarters. We are allowing the bad guys off the hook because [going after them] would cause discomfort to Saudi Arabia. Instead we are going against Americans, and we are building databases that allow the government to challenge your vote and gather information.
Artvoice: It's interesting that ChoicePoint is now building databases for the Department of Homeland Security.
GP: I got a hold of a secret contract [between ChoicePoint and the Department of Homeland Security] that said "foreign intelligence gathering," and I thought "Oh, wow, they're finally going after Saudi Arabia." But where were they gathering information? Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico. The only thing terrorizing about those nations is that they have presidential candidates who are not very fond of George W. Bush.
That gives you an idea about where our war on terror is going. It is a war on democracy, and it is becoming a Bush regime protection operation, all done under the cover of national security.
No one seems to be asking why they're collecting this stuff. There is this fake battle being set up between civil liberties and protection against terrorists. They're not protecting us. We are giving up our freedoms but receiving nothing in return.
Why are they building these lists? There are probably many reasons, but one thing I know for sure is how the lists are used: They are used for manipulating elections abroad.
AV: Apart from alternative media like Democracy Now! and maybe Harper's, your outlets in the US are limited. Do you ever feel like your work is wasted?
GP: I'm providing ammunition and information—a huge amount of hard information. My stuff originates a large amount of writing and action. That is, you'll see my stuff reappear... you'll see it everywhere from Michael Moore's films to Paul Krugman's columns to legislation. Everything I do is carefully reviewed by the Congressional black caucus, and around the world activist groups act on this stuff. It begins changing the terms of discussion.
Will I get a lot of right-wing people reading my book? Is it the type of book that will attract the mainstream media? Nothing attracts the mainstream media that isn't properly proofed.
For example, before becoming an investigative reporter, I was considered one of the world's leading experts on energy regulation. I wrote a very serious academic book about regulation and Enron, and yet—despite my information and knowledge and being one of the first reporters to break the Enron story—I couldn't get any mainstream television, radio or print to allow me to say one word during the Enron trial. Even my big paid publisher, Penguin, was stunned, given my unquestioned expertise. They had never seen anything like it. They couldn't understand why I couldn't be on Meet the Press or be interviewed by the Times—and the answer is I'm persona non grata.
AV: You are, however, part of the mainstream media for the rest of the world.
GP: I have a very big international stage. I have BBC television, the Guardian papers. I am the mainstream in the rest of the world. And in the United States, what is happening is that the alternative press and the Internet continue to grow in power. As these horrible daily Pravdas in the cities begin to die, it's more likely the word will get out one way or another.
AV: Meanwhile, though, the situation seems hopeless, doesn't it?
But does that mean we throw up our hands and give up? No. As Jessie Jackson, who is co-sponsoring our Armed Madhouse tour, said, "We march, we win." If the first 12 lawsuits fail, file 25 more. If they throw away registrations of new black voters, which they literally do, then you better register more. They are stealing about three to four percent of the vote—that's our calculation. You cannot win with 51 percent anymore.
If you have a rat hole in your house and you cover it up, but then there is another one, you don't give up. You hunt down and kill every rat that you find.
Greg Palast's articles and BBC reports can be found at www.gregpalast.com.
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