SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
Some right-wingers are fond of enumerating the many ways terrorists will win. For example, if Americans stop shopping, the terrorists win. If we don't drill in the Arctic for oil, the terrorists win. If we don't keep our troops in Iraq, the terrorists win.
We wonder how the terrorists feel about our government's anti-terror efforts leeching away about 2,500 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from duties such as dealing with hate crimes, identity theft and, brace yourselves Seattle home buyers -- mortgage fraud.
The Mortgage Bankers Association figures that $6.25 million is needed to add enough FBI agents and federal prosecutors to investigate and prosecute the booming mortgage fraud racket. As it stands, this type of white-collar crime has run amok, with last year's losses exceeding $4 billion. And since 2005, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., has been pushing to add 1,000 agents to the FBI, saying that we ought to be able to fight terrorism and domestic crime (which he compares with walking and chewing gum at the same time).
The Seattle FBI office is ridiculously short-staffed, requiring 53 additional special agents before it meets the national average for a city of this size. And while mortgage fraud cases here aren't as bad as they are elsewhere, our growing market leaves the door open for that disaster. Mortgage con artists can ply their trade knowing that the FBI's financial investigators who pursued them have moved on and not been replaced.
Hey, Senate: Give us the budget to add more agents. We need 'em, badly.
This story contains details that some readers may find objectionable.
And FBI employee is on the other side of the law, facing charges of inappropriate conduct in a woman's bathroom on the University of Arizona Campus.
According to a University Police report, a woman was cleaning the bathroom on May 3, when she saw a stall door open. Inside stood a man with his pants down, masturbating.
"That's actually shocking," says student Meghan Carey. "It makes me question who's walking around U of A."
"I think that masturbation can be a very natural form of sexual expression," says student Stephanie Castle, "but there needs to be a time and a place for that."
The police report states, the witness went to get help. When she returned with an officer she spotted the man, later identified as Ryan Seese, outside the same bathroom.
Seese took off down a hallway and ran out the door. Police chased him into a parking garage where he was arrested.
Seese now faces charges of public sexual indecency, sexual indecency and trespassing.
He also told police he's an FBI agent.
The Bureau verifies his employment but will not reveal his position or status.
Meanwhile, students say this incident is a good reminder not to let their guard down, even in a comfortable place like the student union.
"I'll definitely watch out a little more," says Carey. "I have to be more aware."
Some students say they would like to see UAPD set up more patrols around campus to make them feel safer.
Prosecutors move to dismiss charges against former Scout leaderJanuary 3, 2007NEW HAVEN, Conn. --Federal prosecutors have moved to dismiss charges against a retired FBI agent who was indicted on child sex charges dating back more than a decade when he was a Boy Scout leader, in response to the death of his accuser.William Hutton, 63, of Killingworth, was arrested in February on charges he enticed a member of his Scout troop to Maine for the purpose of sexual activity in 1994 and 1995.Prosecutor John A. Danaher III moved to dismiss the indictment on Dec. 19, and Judge Mark R. Kravitz granted the motion three days later, federal court records show.On Dec. 26, the prosecutor moved to dismiss a revised indictment that had been returned by a federal grand jury in late March. There was no indication in court records that Kravitz has issued a ruling on that indictment.Both indictments alleged crimes against the same person, who has never been publicly identified. The newer indictment added allegations that an August 1995 trip also included a stop in New Hampshire for illegal sexual activity.Both of Danaher's motions cited "the sudden and unexpected death" of the accuser.Hutton's lawyer, Hugh F. Keefe of New Haven, stressed Hutton had pleaded not guilty."Mr. Hutton was very upset by the news of the passing of the gentleman," Keefe said.Hutton had been released on a $200,000 bond. He may not own any firearms or have any unsupervised contact with children. He was also ordered to stay away from playgrounds, schools, arcades or anywhere children congregate.The case had been scheduled to go to trial this month in U.S. District Court in New Haven.second readFormer Scout leader-FBI agent indicted on child sex chargesFebruary 3, 2006, 5:59 PM ESTNEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A retired FBI agent was indicted Friday on federal child sex charges dating back more than a decade when he was a Boy Scout leader.William Hutton, 63, of Killingworth, was arrested Friday. The federal grand jury indictment offers few details about the case but accuses Hutton of enticing a member of his Scout troop to Maine for the purpose of sexual activity in 1994 and 1995."It's obviously devastating. He was an FBI agent in this district and was reputed in this district," defense attorney Hugh Keefe said. "The people who worked with him in the U.S. attorney's office and FBI respected him."Keefe said the investigation has been going on for years. He would not discuss the details of the case or how the allegations surfaced.Investigators asked anyone who knows anything about the case to call the FBI. U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said that's standard practice whenever there might be more victims."In any case that's a concern," O'Connor said. "Whether that's the situation here I can't say."If convicted on all four charges, Hutton faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.Hutton was released on a $200,00 bond. He may not own any firearms or have any unsupervised contact with children. He was also ordered to stay away from playgrounds, schools, arcades or anywhere children congregate.FBI agent in charge of FBI Child Abuse program sued by his daughters for incestTHE DENVER POST - Voice of the Rocky Mountain EmpireMay 17, 1990Sisters win sex lawsuit vs. dad $2.3 million given for years of abuseBy Howard PrankratzDenver Post Legal Affairs WriterTwo daughters of former state and federal law enforcement official Edward Rodgers were awarded $2.319,400 yesterday, after a Denver judge and jury found that the women suffered years of abuse at the hands of their father.The award to Sharon Simone, 45, and Susan Hammond, 44, followed testimony of Rodgers’ four daughters in person or through depositions, describing repeated physical abuse and sexual assaults by their father from 1944 through 1965.Rodgers, 72, who became a child abuse expert after retiring from the FBI and joining the colorado Springs DA’s office, failed to appear for the trial. But in a deposition taken in March, Rodgers denied ever hitting or sexually abusing his children.He admitted that he thought of himself as a "domineering s.o.b. who demanded strict responses from my children, strict obedience." But it never approached child abuse, Rodgers said. "Did I make mistakes? Damn right I did, just like any other father or mother..."Thomas Gresham, Rodger’s former attorney, withdrew from the case recently after being unable to locate his client. Rodgers recently contacted one of his sons from a Texas town along the Mexican border. Gresham said his last contact with Rodgers was on April 24.The sisters reacted quietly to the verdict, and with relief that their stories of abuse had finally been told."I feel really good that I’ve gone public with this,"Hammond said. "I am a victim, the shame isn’t mine, the horror happened to me. I’m not bad."My father did shameful and horrible things to me and my brothers and sisters. I don’t believe he is a shameful and horrible man, but he has to be held accountable," Hammond added.The lawsuit deeply divided the Rodgers family, with Rodgers’ three sons questioning their sister’s motives.Immediately after the verdict, son Steve Rodgers, 37, reacted angrily, yelling at his sisters in the courtroom.Later, Rodgers said he loves his father and stands by him. He said his sisters had told him their father had to be exposed the way Nazi war criminals have been exposed."In a way I’m angry with my father for not being here. But I’m sympathetic because he would have walked into a gross crucifixion," Rodgers said.Steve Rodgers never denied that he and his siblings were physically abused, but disputed that his father molested his sisters.Before the jury’s award, Denver District Judge William Meyer found that Rodger’s conduct toward Simone and Hammond was negligent and "outrageous."Despite the length of time since the abuse, the jury determined the sisters could legally bring the suit. The statute of limitations for a civil suit is two years, but jurors determined that the sisters became aware of he nature and extent of their injury only within the last two years, during therapy.The jury then determined the damages, finding $1,240,000 for Simone and 1,079,000 for Hammond.The sisters had alleged in their suit filed last July that Rodgers subjected his seven children to a "pattern of emotional, physical, sexual and incestual abuse."As a result of the abuse, the women claimed their emotional lives had been left in a shambles, requiring extensive therapy for both and repeated hospitalizations of Hammond, who was acutely suicidal. Simone developed obsessive behavior and became so unable to function she resigned a position with a Boston-based college.Despite the judgment yesterday, Rodgers cannot be criminally charged. the statue of limitations in Colorado for sexual assault on children is 10 years.Rodgers, who worked for the FBI for 27 years, much of it in Denver, became chief investigator for the district attorney’s office in Colorado Sp;rings. during his employment at the DA’s office from 1967 until 1983, he became a well-known figure in Colorado Springs, and lectured and wrote about child abuse both locally and nationwide.He wrote a manual called " A Compendium -- Child Abuse by the National College of District Attorney’s," and helped put together manuals on child abuse for the New York state police and a national child abuse center.FBI agent in charge of investigating other FBI agents for crimes sentenced to 12 years in prison for pedophiliaEx-FBI official pleads guilty to child molestationWASHINGTON (AP) -- The former chief internal watchdog at the FBI has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl and has admitted he had a history of molesting other children before he joined the bureau for a two-decade career.John H. Conditt Jr., 53, who retired in 2001, was sentenced last Friday to 12 years in prison in Tarrant County court in Fort Worth, Texas, after he admitted he molested the daughter of two FBI agents after he retired. He acknowledged molesting at least two other girls before his law enforcement career, his lawyer said.Conditt sought treatment for sex offenders after his arrest last year, said his attorney, Toby Goldsmith."The problem these people have is they don't really feel like it is their fault," Goldsmith said. "The treatment doesn't work unless you admit you are the one who instigated it, and he did that."Conditt headed the internal affairs unit that investigates agent wrongdoing for the Office of Professional Responsibility at FBI headquarters in Washington from 1999 until his retirement in June 2001, the FBI said. He wrote articles in law enforcement journals on how police agencies could effectively investigate their own conduct.FBI officials said Tuesday they had no information to suggest that Conditt had any problems during his career and he was never the subject of an investigation.Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Mitch Poe, who prosecuted the case, said he wanted a longer prison sentence and was skeptical of Conditt's claim that his molestation of children subsided during his FBI career."Both myself and the judge in open court, we were kind of skeptical but we don't have any evidence," Poe said.A recently retired FBI whistleblower who brought allegations to Conditt's office that agents had not aggressively pursued evidence of sexual abuse in Indian country said Tuesday she now questions whether his personal history affected that decision."Before, it never made any sense," retired agent Jane Turner said of the FBI's decision to decline to further investigate her allegations. "Now I can understand. Why in the world wouldn't you want to investigate that?"Goldsmith said he was concerned about the safety of his client in prison given that he is a former FBI agent and an admitted child molester. "He's not going to be comfortable in the penitentiary," the lawyer said.Goldsmith said his client had admitted that he had molested at least two other girls before he became an FBI agent more than 30 years ago, but that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing while he served in the bureau."It seems that he never did because he had stricter control at that time," the lawyer said.Conditt could have faced life in prison, and prosecutors requested he get 50 years. The judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison, in part citing Conditt's decision to spare the victim the trauma of a trial, Goldsmith said.Conditt's conviction is the latest controversy to strike the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility.Last year, FBI Director Robert Mueller transferred the head of the office to another supervisory assignment outside Washington, three months after rebuking him for his conduct toward a whistleblower.That whistleblower, John Roberts, alleged the FBI disciplinary office had a double standard that let supervisors off easier than line agents.Those allegations prompted investigations by Congress and the Justice Department inspector general. The latter concluded there was no systematic favoritism of senior managers over rank-and-file employees but there was a double standard in some cases involving crude sexual jokes and remarks.Monday August 8, 2005 Longtime FBI agent sentenced to prison on child porn countBy JOHN MILLERAssociated Press WriterBOISE, Idaho (AP) � A longtime FBI agent who helped arrest mountain-man Claude Dallas and was involved in a deadly 1984 siege involving white supremacists in Washington state is going to prison for 12 months after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.William Buie, 64, of Boise, most recently worked as an investigator for the Idaho attorney general's office.He was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to a year in prison on one count of possession of sexually exploitative materials involving minors. He had pleaded guilty in March.Buie told agents with the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that he learned to access child pornography Web sites while attending a seminar on preventing child exploitation as part of his law enforcement training in 2000 or 2001.He acknowledged using his bank debit card to gain access to child erotica and child pornography Web sites, including using the card to buy a month of access to a child pornography Internet site entitled ''Eternal Nymphets.''Buie, a former FBI sniper who worked for about 30 years for the agency in Seattle, Butte, Mont., and Salt Lake City, participated in the arrest of Dallas in 1982 in Paradise Valley, Nev., after the self-proclaimed mountain man had spent a year on the run after killing two Idaho Fish and Game agents. Dallas served 22 years in prison for manslaughter.Buie also took part in the 1984 siege on Whidbey Island, Wash. in which Robert Mathews, leader of the violent racist cell called ``The Order,'' was killed following an 18-month wave of armed robberies and assassinations.U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge gave Buie a reduced sentence of just a year behind bars, down from the standard sentencing range of 27 months to 33 months. That's after his lawyer, Mark Manweiler, argued that Buie's efforts to find sex-addiction treatment and his exemplary work record � as well as concern that as a longtime FBI agent he would be in danger behind bars � entitled him to a sentencing break."He would be unusually susceptible to abuse in a federal correctional institution,'' Manweiler wrote in his motion.In a statement, the Justice Department said that as many as 150 sexually explicit images depicting children were found on Buie's home computers. It said no images were found on Buie's work computer.After leaving the FBI, he worked as a criminal investigator for the Idaho attorney general's office for about six years, according to court documents.According to terms of his sentencing, Buie must turn himself in on July 20 to begin serving his federal prison term.Phone messages left by the Associated Press late Monday at Buie's Boise residence and on his cell phone weren't immediately returned. SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. A former F-B-I analyst has been sentenced to seven years in prison for having sex with a young girl in Spotsylvania County.Forty-four-year-old Anthony John Lesko entered an Alford plea yesterday in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to nine counts of felony indecent liberties upon a child. An Alford plea means Lesko doesn't admit guilt but believes there is enough evidence for a conviction.Under a plea agreement, he was sentenced to seven years in prison with another 15 years suspended. He also was ordered to pay ten-thousand dollars in restitution to cover the cost of the girl's mental-health counseling.Authorities say Lesko engaged in a sex act with her nine times, beginning when she was nine years old.Lesko's attorney says he worked as an intelligence analyst at the F-B-I for 17 years before moving to Jacksonville, Florida.According to the plea, Lesko said he was a victim in the case. He said the girl initiated the contact.
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» Yale: Student's work 'creative fiction'
» Americans can find terrorism in their own backyards
These students say they are tired of being referred to as the bad students of Dubuque.
"Central (Alternative High School) opens doors instead of shutting them," said student Ronnie Sanders.
Sanders, along with his classmates at Central, will open the doors to the world of global terrorism when they welcome three guest speakers to Dubuque for a seminar.
The students' project will culminate in the seminar that will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Best Western Midway Hotel in Dubuque.
Randall Laughead, an FBI intelligence analyst; Werner Hellmer, an attorney; and Todd Sharkey, a recruiter for the 133rd Iowa Army National Guard, will discuss global terrorism during the seminar.
The students in teacher John Adelmann's history class have worked together and researched specific issues on the sometimes-controversial topic of global terrorism.
"In a sense, they become experts in the area," Adelmann said. "This has almost become part of who they are."
The students have spent countless hours of research and have conducted numerous
"They're using their text, and we're writing them," said student Jacob Ginter about the difference between other history classes and Central's class.
Throughout the process, Adelmann has teamed up with teacher Tim Ebeling and paraprofessional Carol Cross.
"I waited my whole life for a school like Central," said student Tonya Davis-Goesse. "The staff here at Central think the way they wish they could be."
Davis-Goesse partnered with Sanders to give presentations about their global terrorism topic at local clubs and organizations. The speeches helped Davis-Goesse prepare for Wednesday night, when she will be the master of ceremonies.
The process of researching, interviewing, drafting and compiling a book about global terrorism for one of their classes has instilled a sense of pride in these students.
"It proves that Central is not a school for bad students," said student Shanethra Stephenson. "It gives students a chance."
Our Portland film this month is 9/11: Press For Truth.
In this documentary, six members of the Family Steering Committee tell the powerful story of how they took on the greatest powers in Washington, compelling lawmakers to launch an investigation that ultimately failed to answer most of their questions. The documentary is based in part on the Complete 9/11 Timeline that was compiled by citizen investigator Paul Thompson.
The film is considered to be a good introduction to 9/11 skepticism.
Date, time and place:
Friday, April 25th, 7:00 pm Meg Perry Center 644 Congress St., Portland
Hope you can make it!
Stephen Shaw for Maine 9/11 Truth
60 years of enormous military spending is taking a dramatic toll on the rest of the economy.
The military adventurers in the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups thought that they were the "smartest guys in the room" -- the title of Alex Gibney's prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron. The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.
As a result, going into 2008, the United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment. Its government no longer even attempts to reduce the ruinous expenses of maintaining huge standing armies, replacing the equipment that seven years of wars have destroyed or worn out, or preparing for a war in outer space against unknown adversaries. Instead, the Bush administration puts off these costs for future generations to pay or repudiate. This fiscal irresponsibility has been disguised through many manipulative financial schemes (causing poorer countries to lend us unprecedented sums of money), but the time of reckoning is fast approaching.
There are three broad aspects to the U.S. debt crisis. First, in the current fiscal year (2008) we are spending insane amounts of money on "defense" projects that bear no relation to the national security of the U.S. We are also keeping the income tax burdens on the richest segment of the population at strikingly low levels.
Second, we continue to believe that we can compensate for the accelerating erosion of our base and our loss of jobs to foreign countries through massive military expenditures -- "military Keynesianism" (which I discuss in detail in my book Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic). By that, I mean the mistaken belief that public policies focused on frequent wars, huge expenditures on weapons and munitions, and large standing armies can indefinitely sustain a wealthy capitalist economy. The opposite is actually true.
Third, in our devotion to militarism (despite our limited resources), we are failing to invest in our social infrastructure and other requirements for the long-term health of the U.S. These are what economists call opportunity costs, things not done because we spent our money on something else. Our public education system has deteriorated alarmingly. We have failed to provide health care to all our citizens and neglected our responsibilities as the world's number one polluter. Most important, we have lost our competitiveness as a manufacturer for civilian needs, an infinitely more efficient use of scarce resources than arms manufacturing.
It is virtually impossible to overstate the profligacy of what our government spends on the military. The Department of Defense's planned expenditures for the fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations' military budgets combined. The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China. Defense-related spending for fiscal 2008 will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in history. The U.S. has become the largest single seller of arms and munitions to other nations on Earth. Leaving out President Bush's two on-going wars, defense spending has doubled since the mid-1990s. The defense budget for fiscal 2008 is the largest since the second world war.
Before we try to break down and analyze this gargantuan sum, there is one important caveat. Figures on defense spending are notoriously unreliable. The numbers released by the Congressional Reference Service and the Congressional Budget Office do not agree with each other. Robert Higgs, senior fellow for political economy at the Independent Institute, says: "A well-founded rule of thumb is to take the Pentagon's (always well publicized) basic budget total and double it." Even a cursory reading of newspaper articles about the Department of Defense will turn up major differences in statistics about its expenses. Some 30-40% of the defense budget is 'black,'" meaning that these sections contain hidden expenditures for classified projects. There is no possible way to know what they include or whether their total amounts are accurate.
There are many reasons for this budgetary sleight-of-hand -- including a desire for secrecy on the part of the president, the secretary of defense, and the military-industrial complex -- but the chief one is that members of Congress, who profit enormously from defense jobs and pork-barrel projects in their districts, have a political interest in supporting the Department of Defense. In 1996, in an attempt to bring accounting standards within the executive branch closer to those of the civilian economy, Congress passed the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act. It required all federal agencies to hire outside auditors to review their books and release the results to the public. Neither the Department of Defense, nor the Department of Homeland Security, has ever complied. Congress has complained, but not penalized either department for ignoring the law. All numbers released by the Pentagon should be regarded as suspect.
In discussing the fiscal 2008 defense budget, as released on 7 February 2007, I have been guided by two experienced and reliable analysts: William D Hartung of the New America Foundation's Arms and Security Initiative and Fred Kaplan, defense correspondent for Slate.org. They agree that the Department of Defense requested $481.4bn for salaries, operations (except in Iraq and Afghanistan), and equipment. They also agree on a figure of $141.7bn for the "supplemental" budget to fight the global war on terrorism -- that is, the two on-going wars that the general public may think are actually covered by the basic Pentagon budget. The Department of Defense also asked for an extra $93.4bn to pay for hitherto unmentioned war costs in the remainder of 2007 and, most creatively, an additional "allowance" (a new term in defense budget documents) of $50bn to be charged to fiscal year 2009. This makes a total spending request by the Department of Defense of $766.5bn.
But there is much more. In an attempt to disguise the true size of the U.S. military empire, the government has long hidden major military-related expenditures in departments other than Defense. For example, $23.4bn for the Department of Energy goes towards developing and maintaining nuclear warheads; and $25.3bn in the Department of State budget is spent on foreign military assistance (primarily for Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Republic, Egypt and Pakistan). Another $1.03bn outside the official Department of Defense budget is now needed for recruitment and re-enlistment incentives for the overstretched U.S. military, up from a mere $174m in 2003, when the war in Iraq began. The Department of Veterans Affairs currently gets at least $75.7bn, 50% of it for the long-term care of the most seriously injured among the 28,870 soldiers so far wounded in Iraq and 1,708 in Afghanistan. The amount is universally derided as inadequate. Another $46.4bn goes to the Department of Homeland Security.
Missing from this compilation is $1.9bn to the Department of Justice for the paramilitary activities of the FBI; $38.5bn to the Department of the Treasury for the Military Retirement Fund; $7.6bn for the military-related activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and well over $200bn in interest for past debt-financed defense outlays. This brings U.S. spending for its military establishment during the current fiscal year, conservatively calculated, to at least $1.1 trillion.
Such expenditures are not only morally obscene, they are fiscally unsustainable. Many neo-conservatives and poorly informed patriotic Americans believe that, even though our defense budget is huge, we can afford it because we are the richest country on Earth. That statement is no longer true. The world's richest political entity, according to the CIA's World Factbook, is the European Union. The E.U.'s 2006 GDP was estimated to be slightly larger than that of the U.S. Moreover, China's 2006 GDP was only slightly smaller than that of the U.S., and Japan was the world's fourth richest nation.
A more telling comparison that reveals just how much worse we're doing can be found among the current accounts of various nations. The current account measures the net trade surplus or deficit of a country plus cross-border payments of interest, royalties, dividends, capital gains, foreign aid, and other income. In order for Japan to manufacture anything, it must import all required raw materials. Even after this incredible expense is met, it still has an $88bn per year trade surplus with the U.S. and enjoys the world's second highest current account balance (China is number one). The U.S. is number 163 -- last on the list, worse than countries such as Australia and the U.K. that also have large trade deficits. Its 2006 current account deficit was $811.5bn; second worst was Spain at $106.4bn. This is unsustainable.
It's not just that our tastes for foreign goods, including imported oil, vastly exceed our ability to pay for them. We are financing them through massive borrowing. On 7 November 2007, the U.S. Treasury announced that the national debt had breached $9 trillion for the first time. This was just five weeks after Congress raised the "debt ceiling" to $9.815 trillion. If you begin in 1789, at the moment the constitution became the supreme law of the land, the debt accumulated by the federal government did not top $1 trillion until 1981. When George Bush became president in January 2001, it stood at approximately $5.7 trillion. Since then, it has increased by 45%. This huge debt can be largely explained by our defense expenditures.
The top spenders
The world's top 10 military spenders and the approximate amounts each currently budgets for its military establishment are:
Our excessive military expenditures did not occur over just a few short years or simply because of the Bush administration's policies. They have been going on for a very long time in accordance with a superficially plausible ideology, and have now become so entrenched in our democratic political system that they are starting to wreak havoc. This is military Keynesianism -- the determination to maintain a permanent war economy and to treat military output as an ordinary economic product, even though it makes no contribution to either production or consumption.
This ideology goes back to the first years of the cold war. During the late 1940s, the U.S. was haunted by economic anxieties. The great depression of the 1930s had been overcome only by the war production boom of the second world war. With peace and demobilization, there was a pervasive fear that the depression would return. During 1949, alarmed by the Soviet Union's detonation of an atomic bomb, the looming Communist victory in the Chinese civil war, a domestic recession, and the lowering of the Iron Curtain around the USSR's European satellites, the U.S. sought to draft basic strategy for the emerging cold war. The result was the militaristic National Security Council Report 68 (NSC-68) drafted under the supervision of Paul Nitze, then head of the Policy Planning Staff in the State Department. Dated 14 April 1950 and signed by President Harry S. Truman on 30 September 1950, it laid out the basic public economic policies that the U.S. pursues to the present day.
In its conclusions, NSC-68 asserted: "One of the most significant lessons of our World War II experience was that the American economy, when it operates at a level approaching full efficiency, can provide enormous resources for purposes other than civilian consumption while simultaneously providing a high standard of living."
With this understanding, U.S. strategists began to build up a massive munitions industry, both to counter the military might of the Soviet Union (which they consistently overstated) and also to maintain full employment, as well as ward off a possible return of the depression. The result was that, under Pentagon leadership, entire new industries were created to manufacture large aircraft, nuclear-powered submarines, nuclear warheads, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and surveillance and communications satellites. This led to what President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address of 6 February 1961: "The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience" -- the military-industrial complex.
By 1990 the value of the weapons, equipment and factories devoted to the Department of Defense was 83% of the value of all plants and equipment in U.S. manufacturing. From 1947 to 1990, the combined U.S. military budgets amounted to $8.7 trillion. Even though the Soviet Union no longer exists, U.S. reliance on military Keynesianism has, if anything, ratcheted up, thanks to the massive vested interests that have become entrenched around the military establishment. Over time, a commitment to both guns and butter has proven an unstable configuration. Military industries crowd out the civilian economy and lead to severe economic weaknesses. Devotion to military Keynesianism is a form of slow economic suicide.
Higher spending, fewer jobs
On 1 May 2007, the Center for Economic and Policy Research of Washington, DC, released a study prepared by the economic and political forecasting company Global Insight on the long-term economic impact of increased military spending. Guided by economist Dean Baker, this research showed that, after an initial demand stimulus, by about the sixth year the effect of increased military spending turns negative. The U.S. economy has had to cope with growing defense spending for more than 60 years. Baker found that, after 10 years of higher defense spending, there would be 464,000 fewer jobs than in a scenario that involved lower defense spending.
Baker concluded: "It is often believed that wars and military spending increases are good for the economy. In fact, most economic models show that military spending diverts resources from productive uses, such as consumption and investment, and ultimately slows economic growth and reduces employment."
These are only some of the many deleterious effects of military Keynesianism.
It was believed that the U.S. could afford both a massive military establishment and a high standard of living, and that it needed both to maintain full employment. But it did not work out that way. By the 1960s it was becoming apparent that turning over the nation's largest manufacturing enterprises to the Department of Defense and producing goods without any investment or consumption value was starting to crowd out civilian economic activities. The historian Thomas E Woods Jr. observes that, during the 1950s and 1960s, between one-third and two-thirds of all U.S. research talent was siphoned off into the military sector. It is, of course, impossible to know what innovations never appeared as a result of this diversion of resources and brainpower into the service of the military, but it was during the 1960s that we first began to notice Japan was outpacing us in the design and quality of a range of consumer goods, including household electronics and automobiles.
Can we reverse the trend?
Nuclear weapons furnish a striking illustration of these anomalies. Between the 1940s and 1996, the U.S. spent at least $5.8 trillion on the development, testing and construction of nuclear bombs. By 1967, the peak year of its nuclear stockpile, the U.S. possessed some 32,500 deliverable atomic and hydrogen bombs, none of which, thankfully, was ever used. They perfectly illustrate the Keynesian principle that the government can provide make-work jobs to keep people employed. Nuclear weapons were not just America's secret weapon, but also its secret economic weapon. As of 2006, we still had 9,960 of them. There is today no sane use for them, while the trillions spent on them could have been used to solve the problems of social security and health care, quality education and access to higher education for all, not to speak of the retention of highly-skilled jobs within the economy.
The pioneer in analyzing what has been lost as a result of military Keynesianism was the late Seymour Melman (1917-2004), a professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia University. His 1970 book, Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War, was a prescient analysis of the unintended consequences of the U.S. preoccupation with its armed forces and their weaponry since the onset of the cold war. Melman wrote: "From 1946 to 1969, the United States government spent over $1,000bn on the military, more than half of this under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations -- the period during which the [Pentagon-dominated] state management was established as a formal institution. This sum of staggering size (try to visualize a billion of something) does not express the cost of the military establishment to the nation as a whole. The true cost is measured by what has been foregone, by the accumulated deterioration in many facets of life, by the inability to alleviate human wretchedness of long duration."
In an important exegesis on Melman's relevance to the current American economic situation, Thomas Woods writes: "According to the U.S. Department of Defense, during the four decades from 1947 through 1987 it used (in 1982 dollars) $7.62 trillion in capital resources. In 1985, the Department of Commerce estimated the value of the nation's plant and equipment, and infrastructure, at just over $7.29 trillion ... The amount spent over that period could have doubled the American capital stock or modernized and replaced its existing stock."
The fact that we did not modernize or replace our capital assets is one of the main reasons why, by the turn of the 21st century, our manufacturing base had all but evaporated. Machine tools, an industry on which Melman was an authority, are a particularly important symptom. In November 1968, a five-year inventory disclosed "that 64% of the metalworking machine tools used in U.S. industry were 10 years old or older. The age of this industrial equipment (drills, lathes, etc.) marks the United States' machine tool stock as the oldest among all major industrial nations, and it marks the continuation of a deterioration process that began with the end of the second world war. This deterioration at the base of the industrial system certifies to the continuous debilitating and depleting effect that the military use of capital and research and development talent has had on American industry."
Nothing has been done since 1968 to reverse these trends and it shows today in our massive imports of equipment -- from medical machines like proton accelerators for radiological therapy (made primarily in Belgium, Germany, and Japan) to cars and trucks.
Our short tenure as the world's lone superpower has come to an end. As Harvard economics professor Benjamin Friedman has written: "Again and again it has always been the world's leading lending country that has been the premier country in terms of political influence, diplomatic influence and cultural influence. It's no accident that we took over the role from the British at the same time that we took over the job of being the world's leading lending country. Today we are no longer the world's leading lending country. In fact we are now the world's biggest debtor country, and we are continuing to wield influence on the basis of military prowess alone."
Some of the damage can never be rectified. There are, however, some steps that the U.S. urgently needs to take. These include reversing Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy, beginning to liquidate our global empire of over 800 military bases, cutting from the defense budget all projects that bear no relationship to national security and ceasing to use the defense budget as a Keynesian jobs program.
If we do these things we have a chance of squeaking by. If we don't, we face probable national insolvency and a long depression.
Other Devvy Articles:
Vote Fraud: What They Aren't Telling You
Forced Mental Health Screening for Your Children
More Devvy Articles:
By: Devvy April 28, 2008
On April 24, 2008, The Arizona-Republic, published a hit piece on Sen. Karen Johnson, who currently serves in the Arizona State Legislature. This piece of drivel is titled, 'Drinking the 9/11 Kool-Aid.' As you can see by reading it, the author believes that no elected official should question any aspect of the Bush Administration's fairy tale of the events of September 11, 2001. This has been the prevailing attitude of the so-called mainstream media, including cable "news" networks since that day. Anyone questioning the hoax perpetrated on the American people is a Kool-Aid drinker or worse.
I've written many columns on OKC, WACO, TWA Flight 800 and 9/11, so I'm not going to rehash them here. I am proud to call Sen. Karen Johnson my friend. She is an extraordinary woman who has consistently and steadfastly stood up for the U.S. Constitution and we the people. Unlike these news editors all across this country, Sen. Johnson is not afraid to look at facts, evidence and use common sense when looking at an event such as 9/11 and concluding there are legitimate questions that need answers.
However, according to smarmy sycophants like Bill O'Reilly, Dan Abrams, Shallow Sean Hannity and hundreds of newspaper editors around this country, there is no way rogue elements within the Bush Administration would ever allow 3,000 Americans to be slaughtered. Why, it's simply preposterous! End of story. Shut up and go shopping. That might have worked for past events, but millions of Americans, with good reason, do not trust this government and do not believe their bald faced lies about 911.
As for prior knowledge, there is no question the FBI, under the Clinton Administration, knew and did NOT stop the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The FBI was running the operation and allowed it to happen. There can be NO misunderstanding on that one:
"The New York Times later reports on Emad Salem, an undercover agent who will be the key government witness in the trial against Yousef. Salem testifies that the FBI knew about the attack beforehand and told him they would thwart it by substituting a harmless powder for the explosives. However, an FBI supervisor called off this plan, and the bombing was not stopped. [New York Times, 10/28/1993]
"Other suspects were ineptly investigated before the bombing as early as 1990. Several of the bombers were trained by the CIA to fight in the Afghan war, and the CIA later concludes, in internal documents, that it was “partly culpable” for this bombing (see January 24, 1994). [Independent, 11/1/1998] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is an uncle of Yousef and also has a role in the WTC bombing (see March 20, 1993). [Independent, 6/6/2002; Los Angeles Times, 9/1/2002] One of the attackers even leaves a message which will later be found by investigators, stating, “Next time, it will be very precise.” [Associated Press, 9/30/2001]"
This factual accounting of Salem and the sting operation came out during trial and cannot be disputed. What shocked me is that for once, the truth actually appeared in the NY Times, which, unfortunately, has become nothing more than a propaganda rag over the years. At the time, millions of Americans should have demanded not only criminal indictments against the FBI personnel involved, but the removal of the Director of the FBI and the Attorney General for allowing this act of terrorism to happen. It didn't happen, either because Americans didn't know or didn't care.
I have covered every major tragedy in this country since Ruby Ridge, where a man and his family were terrorized by "our government." A son killed from being shot in the back, a mother shot through the head by a very large caliber bullet while holding her eight-month old baby - over a wrong court date. All accomplished under one of the most evil females walking this earth, Janet Reno. This incompetent lesbian also ran the murder of almost 100 Americans at WACO; 17 children were gassed and burned to death while America watched. The Ron Brown murder, TWA Flight 800, WACO and 911, you name it, I've watched them and the cover ups unfold in living color on the boob tube because I work at home.
Don't tell me the feds didn't know the Murrah Building was a target and when it was going to happen. This is an official FBI teletype; Patrick Briley exposed it in a recent column. Note the important words: "RE OKLAHOMA CITY TELETYPE TO DIRECTOR AND ALL FIELD OFFICES DATED APRIL 11, 1995." The process is underway to get the April 11, 1995, document. The feds knew. They knew this was a terrorist operation and have protected the guilty for 13 long years. Many of the players in Ruby Ridge, WACO and OKC were given promotions or went on to bigger and better jobs outside the FBI or ATF. They are accessories to murder and they draw pensions from the sweat of your labor. It is no different with 911 and only continued, massive pressure by we the people is going to force a real investigation and grand jury indictments.
Patrick Briley and other courageous journalists have been unraveling the pieces and there is NO doubt the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the OKC bombing and 911 are connected. The players are the same. The terrorists organizations are the same and other than the Internet, every major newspaper in this country - despite being given the hard facts, times, dates and places, continue to remain silent while known terrorists are operating in this country, protected by the Bush Administration.
Patrick has spent the last 13 years of his life on this and was finally able to secure a meeting with California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher scheduled about a month ago. Patrick lined up four of the top experts on the OKC bombing, one of them my dear friend, Brigadier General Ben Partin, U.S.A.F. (Ret.). (See videos 4 & 5 in the links section.) The meeting was canceled because Rohrabacher had more important things to do. BULL. I know the circumstances of this meeting, how it was canceled and the refusal by Rohrabacher to reschedule is because he is engaged in a cover up as well as others:
"An analysis of conduct by some of Oklahoma's US Senators, Congressmen and a former governor from OK, reveal that these men too were and continue to be accessories after the fact to the murder of the 169 people killed in the OKC bombing. They include Senator James Inhofe, Senator Tom Coburn, former Senator Don Nickles, Congressman Ernest Istook and former governor Frank Keating. They are accessories to murder “after the fact” because they learned about the criminality of the FBI and DOJ officials and their operation in the OKC bombing soon afterwards (before in the case of Istook and Keating) and intentionally have protected FBI and DOJ officials they knew were accessories to murder in OKC."
Since 911, every major newspaper in this country has poo-poo'd any questioning of the events of 911 and the attack on Sen. Johnson is just another example of so-called journalists and reporters who have been shaming their profession for years by not investigating the legitimate questions raised about 911. Instead, like lackeys who kiss the boot straps of their masters, they, as well as every single cable anchor on CNN. FAUX (FOX) and MSNBC, have ridiculed and mocked even the families of 911 who have legitimate questions.
Every major newspaper in this country, including cable networks have done nothing to substantiate any of the Bush Administration's claims about 911. They have swallowed it hook, line and sinker. They lie without hesitation or shame; the courts have said it's perfectly okay for the media to lie to you.:
"On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast." (Full story in link at bottom.)"
Americans in huge numbers have been pounding on the media ("mainstream") and cable networks for years to ask the legitimate questions about TWA, OKC, WACO and 911. Impeccable researchers like Patrick Briley have brought forth 100% verifiable FACTS about the known terrorists operating in this country and the refusal by members of Congress to demand the FBI round these killers up before they execute another attack on unsuspecting Americans. People say where is the media? They are sitting on their backsides playing political games and partying with those they're supposed to be watching, while a clear threat to this country grows unchecked. Rags like the Arizona-Republic would rather attack a great American like Sen. Johnson than endanger their paychecks by actually looking into the facts about 911. Gutless cowards whose paychecks are earned by lies, deception and omission.
These newspapers and news networks are complicit in covering up the truth about these horrific events and they do NOT deserve your financial support. If you keep funding the enemy, they will continue lying and obfuscating the truth until more Americans die. I wouldn't vote for Dana Rohrabacher, Sen. Inhofe or Sen. Coburn for all the tea in China because I know that they KNOW the truth about OKC and have covered it up because they are cowards. They have lost their man hood because they treasure the power of their office over the truth and saving American lives. If this sounds harsh, walk in my shoes for the past 18 years of research and investigating. I don't spend my time fishing on the weekends, although I love fishing and used to go 40-50 times a year; it is now seven years since I used my fishing gear. I don't spend my time at the mall, ball games or in front of the stupid tube getting my head filled with trash. I read, I investigate, I do radio and all of this takes time. A lot of time. Investigative journalists do all this research, not just for people to read, but to act on to hold elected public servants accountable and to stop the complete annihilation of this country.
It's about time the American people started taking the issue of known terrorists in this country being protected by the Bush Administration very seriously. This is no game, no hyperbole and no conspiracy theory. NWVs, at great expense, has made printer friendly available for their columnists. Print out some of Patrick's columns and send them to your member of Congress and tell him/her that you WILL make these cover ups a major issue anywhere they speak between now and November. Congress as a body has passed major pieces of legislation since 911 gutting the Bill of Rights, nullifying posse comitatus and habeas corpus while allowing KNOWN terrorists to run free in this country and murder Americans. Get out there to these town hall meetings and political events and let your fellow Americans know the truth.
Get copies of some of some of Patrick's detailed columns to your sheriff with a polite note that you want to know why the feds are covering up the facts about known terrorist cells in this country? If they get enough of them, something will start asking questions. Will you or your loved one be the next victim of a terrorist attack? Think it can't happen in your city or town? The Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush Administrations have allowed our borders to remain open, providing an easy entry for terrorists to enter this country and they aim to kill us.
Cancel your subscription to major newspapers in this country and state newspapers like the Daily Oklahoman and the Arizona-Republic and tell them why you will no longer give them your money. They are deliberately withholding the truth from the American people and attack anyone, including elected public officials like former State Rep. Charles Key [R-OK] and Sen. Karen Johnson [R-AZ], who have the duty and obligation to investigate murders in their state or actions by the federal government. These big city newspapers have the power to expose the lies and warn the American people, yet they remain silent. Why continue to reward them?
A handful of conglomerates now own all the media in America, electronic and print. The so-called "investigative" journalism coming out of these publications and "news" networks are politically driven, not truth driven. They are censoring the truth. I realize small town newspapers don't have the resources to hire investigative journalists, but they can pick up columns from the Internet which contain factual, credible research. Why don't they? I attribute it to laziness or if they're owned by one of the big conglomerates, they don't dare. Fine. They don't get my money and they shouldn't get yours. Is the sports page that important?
If the "right to know" media who crow so much about the First Amendment refuse to tell the American people the truth and report the HARD facts presented by researchers like Patrick Briley, they will be complicit in the next terrorist attacks. I monitor FAUX (FOX), CNN and MSNBC, but I do not purchase any products from their advertisers except the ASPCA; I'm an angel. Flesh peddler and porn channel king, Rupert Murdoch, is an enemy of this country. A globalist who cares nothing for our sovereign republic and look at how much control of information his conglomerate has; see here. Murdoch supported Bush's unconstitutional, illegal invasion of Iraq and had this to say: "Said Murdoch of the war, "The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country" (Guardian, February 11, 2003)." Now he has thrown his support to the most accomplished liar running for president, Marxist Hillary Clinton.
Let me repeat myself: If you keep funding your enemy, you continue to give them the power to destroy you. I'm sorry about my fellow Americans who work for propaganda rags like the Denver Post, the Sacramento Bee, the NY Times, etc., but we cannot falter or waver in our quest for the truth because lives of Americans depend on forcing these mass mediums to either tell the truth or close their doors. It's as simple as that. If you cut your enemy slack, they will kill you.
1 - Patrick Briley's Archives 2 - My 911 Archives 3 - OKC/TWA/WACO Archives 4 - Gen. Partin video: OKC 5 - Cover Up in OKC - video 6 - The lying conglomerate U.S. Media - short video
• In one month in 2000, a regional drug task force arrested more than two dozen black people in the small Central Texas town of Hearne based on the word of a confidential informant. Charges against many of them were dropped after it was revealed that the informant had taken some of the drugs and money.
• More than two dozen people, mostly Hispanic immigrants, were falsely arrested when paid Dallas police informants planted what turned out to be fake drugs on them. The 2001 scandal forced the city to pay millions of dollars in settlements, generated enormous bad publicity and factored into the firing of Police Chief Terrell Bolton. Two former narcotics detectives have been convicted on charges arising from the fake-drug scandal. Two others have been indicted and are awaiting trials.
• Boston's FBI office was deeply embarrassed by a scandal that exposed the long-term, too-cozy relationships between its agents and mob informants. In 2002, one former agent was convicted of tipping off two mobster informants about criminal investigations and warning them about an impending indictment in the mid-'90s. The agent's former supervisor, who had received immunity, testified that he had pocketed $7,000 in bribes from the informants. Earlier this year, a federal judge found the government was liable because the now-convicted FBI agent had given a tip to one of the gangster informants that led to the killing of two men. The scandal prompted the Justice Department to issue new guidelines on the handling of informants.
• In 2006, a 92-year-old Atlanta woman was fatally shot during a botched drug raid. According to the news accounts, narcotics officers obtained a "no knock warrant" to raid the home by claiming that a confidential informant had bought drugs there, which was not true. Police busted through the burglar bars of the woman's front door, prompting the terrified woman to fire an old revolver at them. The officers fired dozens of rounds, killing her. Afterward, they realized their mistake, planted marijuana in the basement and tried to persuade another informant to say he told them they would find cocaine in the home. Two former officers have since pleaded guilty to a state charge of voluntary manslaughter and a federal charge of violating the dead woman's constitutional rights. A third officer is on trial for offenses related to the incident.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Office of Special Counsel last year shut down a previously undisclosed investigation into the federal prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, according to an internal memo made public Wednesday.
The investigation was being conducted by a task force formed at the independent agency a year ago to pursue high-profile political investigations in Washington, most notably whether the White House played politics in firing U.S. attorneys. It began gathering information on the Siegelman case in September and was planning to request documents from the Justice Department in October before Special Counsel Scott Bloch ordered the case closed, according to the Jan. 18 draft memo, made public by the Project on Government Oversight.
The investigation was one of many that the task force had taken up, and the memo shows that Bloch frequently differed with investigators about which cases to pursue.
The Siegelman case was not the only one he sought to close, but Siegelman said Wednesday the memo suggests further political interference in his case.
"The question is who told them to shut it down," Siegelman said Wednesday when told of the memo. "Why would you start an investigation and let it proceed and then shut it down? The logical conclusion is that somebody intervened and told them to shut down the investigation ... we need to get to the bottom of this."
Siegelman, a Democrat, has long claimed that Republicans engineered his prosecution on bribery and other corruption charges to kill his chances for re-election, a claim repeatedly denied by federal prosecutors. His attorneys requested earlier this year that the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether White House appointees in Washington, including former Bush adviser Karl Rove, influenced the case.
The Special Counsel's office is an independent agency charged with investigating political activity by government employees and ensuring that government whistle-blowers are not subjected to reprisals.
FBI agents raided the office and Bloch's home this week in an investigation into whether he destroyed evidence potentially showing he retaliated against staffers who opposed his policies.
About 20 people crossed the yellow crime-scene tape to survey the scene.
Welcome to "CSI: Atlantic City," as the Police Department has resurrected its Citizens Academy to teach residents how law enforcement works so that they can help officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel do their jobs better.
Tuesday night's topic was forensics.
The show "CSI is not completely fictional," forensics Officer Doug Brown told the class. "It is what happens. It's just not the job of six people" like you see on television.
In real life, his unit dusts for fingerprints, collects DNA samples and photographs the crime scene, Brown said. He touched a compact disc, dusted it for his fingerprint and passed it around the class to show just how clear it was.
The actual analysis is done by other agencies, Brown said. The state and the FBI keep databases of fingerprints and DNA, and other labs process the DNA evidence and weapon information.
The role of the public at a crime scene is crucial, as residents often witness an event and scope out the area before police arrive, Brown said. Residents should be aware not to disturb anything in the area.
Outside at the made-up crime scene, class co-coordinator Officer Robert Berg pointed out the shell casings, weapons and the "body," and warned the group that they don't want to pick up the gun or casings or move a person who is already dead. It may look disrespectful to leave a body lying on the ground for a long time, but that is necessary for police to investigate how the person died.
Forensics officers examine the position of the body, the location of any weapons and shell casings and look for trails of blood to see if the victim was attacked at a different location, Brown said. In the case of a homicide, local officers have to wait for a team from the Prosecutor's Office to conduct the investigation.
Brown showed the class the forensics van, which he called "my lab on wheels." The van is equipped with material to pick up footprints and DNA, metal detectors to find shell casings and a refrigerator to keep samples cool. It is brought to scenes of serious crimes, he said.
The class had plenty of questions, including: How long blood and DNA samples can be held to solve cold cases? (Years, even decades); are the fingerprint and DNA matches instant like you see on television crime shows? (No, though a fingerprint match can usually be obtained within an hour); and why didn't the police dust for prints when my car was burglarized? (Too hard to snag the thief, as a lot of people touch the outside of cars).
Class co-coordinator Officer David Hadley said the department ran seven or eight sessions of the Citizens Academy in the past, but the last one was held several years ago. When Chief John Mooney, a former instructor, took over the department, he wanted to revive it because it is a good tool to promote community and public safety.
The idea is to have civilians be "our eyes and ears out there" and to tell their family and friends what they learned, Berg said. That way, residents can help the police solve crimes.
Residents who signed up said they were impressed with what they are learning so far.
Thelma Witherspoon works for the Police Department on the administrative side, and said friends and relatives ask her for advice because they think she can help. She said she signed up for the class so she can give out the right information.
"This gives me a broader perspective on what the Police Department actually does," Witherspoon said.
Farrar Blakeney said she enrolled after she went to exercise at the Police Athletic League and saw the signup sheets.
"I'm just learning so much about everything that goes on. It gives me a better understanding of what the police go through on a daily basis," Blakeney said. "I'll look at a police stop much differently now" and be more aware of things happening in the community.
Herman Zatt and Russelle Patterson of the Chelsea Neighborhood Association said they were in the pilot program about a dozen years ago. They started a Neighborhood Watch program as a result, and it is still active.
"We learned everything the officers do and why," Patterson said. "We hope it changes perceptions" in the community.
To e-mail Elaine Rose at The Press:
Several local police officers received some much deserved recognition at the Annual Mahoning Valley Chiefs of Police Association luncheon and awards ceremony.
Austintown Township Officer Joseph Wojciak received the award of valor for his bravery under fire after pursuing a suspect on foot even after being shot in the chest.
Other officers from departments including Warren Police Dept., BCI, Canfield, the State Patrol, Springfield Township, Howland and Youngstown were honored for their investigative excellence and their service.
Receiving special recognition was the Senior Agent in Charge of the Youngstown FBI. John Kane is retiring after 22-years of service. Supervisory Agent Kane also worked in Cleveland as part of the Organized Crime division.
Media shock on Hill's assassination talkPosted: May 29, 2008
"We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California," Hillary Clinton told the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader last week in explaining her reason for staying in the presidential race.
This comment evoked predictable outrage from the Obama-happy media. "The politics of this nation is steeped enough in blood, Senator Clinton," wailed MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in higher dudgeon than usual. "You cannot and must not invoke that imagery! Anywhere! At any time!"
Unfortunately for an earlier black rival of the Clintons with presidential aspirations of his own, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, the then Clinton-happy media refused to even inquire into his suspicious death.
Indeed, to protect Bill and Hillary from themselves for the troubled eight years of the Clinton presidency, the Keith Olbermann crowd attacked those who did inquire. This I know as well as almost anyone.
In the spring of 2001, I produced with James Sanders a documentary on the downing of TWA Flight 800 called "Silenced." Sanders had done the hard-core reporting on the case soon after it happened in July 1996.
(Column continues below)
Had Sanders done comparable reporting during the Bush years, the media would have hailed him as a whistleblower. But the media either ignored him or actually applauded when the FBI arrested Sanders and his wife, Elizabeth, a TWA trainer, on trumped-up conspiracy charges.
"The FBI handcuffed Liz with her hands behind her back and dragged her through throngs of reporters," says Sanders ruefully. "Never once did any reporter think of writing a story in defense of a wife of a journalist."
"That was a low moment," Sanders adds. "We had no support from major media. We were not going to get our story out."
It was in meeting the sweet and blameless Elizabeth that I got interested in the TWA Flight 800 story. Until that moment, I had been the opposite of a conspiracy theorist if there is such a thing.
My insistence that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK – and I have not changed on this – led one serious researcher to volunteer to fly me to Dallas to prove me wrong.
In April 1996, I was hosting a talk-radio show in Kansas City when Ron Brown's Air Force plane crashed in Croatia. I dismissed out of hand all of the ample talk that the Clintons had the plane shot down. "Even they would not do such a thing," I insisted.
The video "Silenced" led to a book on TWA 800, "First Strike," which I co-authored with Sanders. No matter how tight our facts were, I quickly discovered what Sanders already knew: To investigate the Clintons seriously is to render yourself a pariah, even among the more "respectable" conservative media.
I do not exaggerate. The editors of The Weekly Standard, for which I had been writing occasionally and successfully, not only stopped running my articles, they stopped returning my e-mails. I had transformed myself from Jack Cashill, Ph.D. to Jack Cashill, conspiracy theorist.
In 2003, with one plane crash under my belt, I received a commission to do a book on Ron Brown, the aptly named "Ron Brown's Body." Before accepting, I asked the publishers if they would accept the possibility that the plane crash was just an accident. They would, and so I proceeded.
My unstated goal was to write an anti-conspiracy book and in the process, so I reasoned, regain my humble reputation. As the son of a cop, however, I was determined to follow the facts where they led.
The facts led to two truth tellers, Brown confidante Nolanda Butler Hill and Kathleen Janoski, the forensic photographer who discovered an apparent bullet hole in Brown's head.
As I learned anew from these exceptional women, Democrats both, the media did not want to hear the truth during the Clinton years. Janoski and three of her physician colleagues sacrificed their military careers to tell it.
When Janoski and her colleagues went public in December 1997 with their concerns, the major media used their resources to undermine those concerns, or at least try to.
Hill sacrificed her freedom, spending three years in hiding and six months in custody in a Texas halfway house. With only a few exceptions, no one wanted to hear from her either.
"It's time to knock this stuff off," snapped Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry to one reporter who dared to venture a question about Brown's death. "I'm not going to talk about this further or take any further questions on the subject."
So incurious were the media that none among them even bothered to request the Air Force's 22-volume report on the Brown plane crash, not even the New York Times, which lost a reporter in the crash.
In reading the report, I first learned that Brown had flown to Croatia to broker a sweetheart deal between the neo-fascists who ran that country and a certain American corporation then much in the news, "Enron" by name.
In having a pair of TWA captains analyze the report's flight data did I finally accept the conclusion that the military pathologists had long ago pointed to: The crash was not an accident.
I did not hog this information. As with TWA Flight 800, I tried to share it with the major media, the same people who are professing shock at Hillary's assassination talk. At the time, they did not even want to know about any of it, not even the Enron connection.
The left, however, is now beginning to see what the right has long known. When cornered, as they were in the 1996 campaign, the Clintons can be a wee bit less than scrupulous.
If the media choose to probe beneath the talk, they might begin by asking why Hillary flew into Tuzla in Bosnia nine days before Brown left Tuzla on his fatal flight.
I hope they do. I know a few people who would like their reputations back.
The Democratic Primaries 2008:
“As long as I am counting the Votes, what are you going to do about it?” Boss Tweed (by Thomas Nast)
When the 700,000 plus absentee count was announced when in-person voting began, Obama had “436,034 to 303,276 for Clinton, or 59% to 41%, an 18% margin. But by the time the counting was done the next morning, Clinton had a 51% to 48% victory.”
Jonathan Simon and Bruce O’DellElection Defense Alliance
We present evidence supporting the hypothesis that systematic attempts are being made to manipulate the results of the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest, through overt means such as crossover voting by non-Democrats, and through covert means targeted at the electronic vote tabulation process itself. The net effect has been to prolong the nomination battle and sharpen its negativity, thereby boosting the prospects of the Republican nominee and making more plausible his “victory” in November-either by an honest count or through continued exploitation of the proven security vulnerabilities in American voting systems.
Perhaps John McCain is, as Humphrey Bogart says of the young Bulgarian who wins the money for his family’s exit visa at the roulette table in Casablanca, “just a lucky guy.” Lucky that the Democrats find themselves locked into a protracted primary season inexorable in its dynamics and increasingly destructive in its impact. Lucky that Hillary Clinton has been magically revived each time she has found herself on electoral life support, to assume a position just far enough behind Barack Obama to be induced to resort to desperate measures and increasingly-negative ads, yet not so far behind as to be forced to bow out. Lucky that dynamics ostensibly out of McCain’s control have combined to give him such material assistance.
Perhaps. But there is compelling evidence that something other than luck is at work. With 82% of Americans polled convinced the nation is on the wrong track, self-destruction by the Democratic Party is the only remaining credible means by which, come 2008, the GOP could sustain the perpetual rule envisioned by Karl Rove. (Rove, of course, has hardly retired and is now working from home, beyond the reach of the mandatory email backup system installed at the White House just before he left to “spend time with his family.”) The goal of Democratic Party self-destruction in 2008 could most reliably be brought to pass by one progression of events, one choreography: if a candidate, Hilary Clinton, known for her sense of entitlement, lifelong ambition, tenacity-and willingness to go negative-could be placed and kept in a desperate but not quite hopeless position; the result would follow, quite predictably.
What the mainstream media have now set up and trumpeted as an epic “blood feud” in the Democratic Party, whether or not it actually undermines the party’s prospects in November, will certainly pre-establish a plausible “explanation” for the defeat of whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be. The same is true for US Senate and House races, where Democrats are heavily favored to expand their majorities, given the large number of open seats this November that were formerly held by Republican incumbents and a string of recent special election victories. But Democratic congressional candidates in both houses are arguably now facing the prospect of negative coattails. By setting the stage for post-election “spin” for the Presidential and congressional races in November, any outcome-determinative electoral manipulations would become much less “shocking”, and that much less likely to trigger investigation and ultimate detection.
This jaundiced overview of the Democratic primary season is unfortunately supported by a body of evidence that goes well beyond the odd anomaly or two. When we examine-as the media has steadfastly refused to do-the numbers and disparities discovered in a parade of key states that determined the path the Democratic contest has taken to date, we find a telling pattern. This pattern is consistent with a tactical manipulation of the primary election vote counts in the service of the strategic choreography alluded to above: keeping Clinton in the race and desperate.
There are sound reasons why the Clinton campaign itself is not among the suspects: if Clinton’s campaign or supporters had the capacity and the will to alter election outcomes, it is reasonable to conclude that she would have won, or at least be ahead in, the race; and the ownership and operation of electronic voting equipment remains almost exclusively in the secretive hands of vendors (Diebold/Premier, ES&S, Hart, and Sequoia) with avowedly right-wing Republican political sympathies.
Our examination includes the Democratic primaries in the following key states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, each of which had surprising and unexpected results. In each of these critical elections there was a significant pro-Clinton disparity when comparing pre-election surveys and Election Day exit polls against the official vote counts.
1/8/08: New Hampshire
This was the first of the “must-wins” for Clinton. She went into New Hampshire on the heels of an embarrassing third-place finish in Iowa and a 20%+ defeat in Wyoming, had lost momentum, and was trailing by substantial margins in every pre-election poll in the Granite state (the range was from 5% to 13%, with Obama’s and Clinton’s internal polling both also showing a double-digit Obama margin). Observers consistently reported Obama rallies that were far larger and more enthusiastic. There was no sign of a Clinton groundswell. Yet on Election Night the voters apparently changed their minds, and gave her a 3% victory.
The media pundits scratched their collective heads and scrambled to explain this stunning reversal, which would have been remarkable enough if it had been a double-digit shift from a single reputable tracking poll, but was truly staggering when viewed against the backdrop of the entire phalanx of tracking polls. There was palpable grasping at straws-but never even a hint that perhaps the polls had it right and something was wrong with the vote counts.
Nor was there a mention that the first posted National Election Pool (NEP) exit poll had Obama ahead 39.4% to 38.1%, while earlier unposted NEP exit polls put Obama further ahead. The first posted exit poll was already weighted to a carefully calibrated demographic profile of the electorate, and therefore as reliable an indicator of voter intent as is available. Indeed, that first-posted exit poll may already have been partially adjusted toward conformity with the incoming vote counts, thereby understating the apparent exit poll-vote count disparity. That exit poll was largely spot-on for the other candidates; only Clinton and Obama’s exit poll numbers shifted significantly as votes were tabulated.
The mainstream media also did not mention the extraordinary disparity between votes that were counted by hand (Obama + 6.5% head-to-head with Clinton) and those tabulated by computerized optical scan devices (Clinton + 5.5% head-to-head with Obama). Although the counting method (machine vs. hand) was not strictly homogeneously distributed throughout the state, neither was it clustered in such a way that would readily explain the huge statistical disparity in results.
When considering benign reasons for such surprising and unexpected outcomes, conventional explanations all begin and end with the unquestioned belief that the computerized vote counts are valid. Quite an assumption in light of the parade of anomalies, disparities, and machine failures witnessed nationwide since the advent and proliferation of computerized vote counting. Official election results are assumed valid, even though the votes are tabulated by secret software concealed on memory cards immune to inspection and under the strict proprietary control of an outsourced corporate vendor; in New Hampshire, the vendor is LHS, about which unanswered questions abound.
In an on-going epilogue, the New Hampshire primary remains under scrutiny. Investigators are amassing detailed evidence of pervasive mistabulation, focused in certain counties. On the Democratic side, there were an alarming number of polling sites reporting more votes than voters. Recounting was rendered effectively useless by a nonexistent chain of custody, which permitted more than ample opportunity for ballot substitution and revision. Memory cards were reported as having been erased and were never made available to investigators. Even something as basic as a reconciliation of the number of ballots delivered to number of ballots voted, spoiled, and uncast was lacking. Nor was there reconciliation of number of voters checked in at the polls to number of ballots cast.
At this first critical turning point in the Democratic contest an Obama victory would have, in the view of most analysts, effectively ended Clinton’s campaign. That victory-augured in pre-election polling, exit polls, and hand-counted ballots-vanished into the black box scanners provided by Diebold and programmed by LHS. Instead, Clinton was credited with a stunning comeback, given new life, and the nomination battle continued.
2/5/2008: Super Tuesday
Super Tuesday was essentially a standoff, each candidate doing what was necessary to remain viable. There were, however, several exit poll-vote count disparities far beyond the expected margin of error, each involving a shift toward Clinton.
In Massachusetts, another LHS state like New Hampshire, the shift was a whopping 15.5%, turning a projected narrow Obama victory into a 15% Clinton rout. In Arizona, site of some of the most dubious counting antics over the past several election cycles, the pro-Clinton shift was 11%, again reversing the outcome. And in New Jersey, where machines are currently under high scrutiny supported by a court order, the shift was 8.6%. Each of these shifts was well beyond the margin of error of the respective polls. Each resulted in shifts in delegate count to Obama’s detriment, as well as the loss of two victories that would have put a very different complexion on the outcome of Super Tuesday as a whole. The overall effect was, again, to maintain Clinton’s viability.
3/4/2008: Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas
In the weeks following Super Tuesday, Obama racked up a succession of impressive wins-including every caucus state, where vote counting is often face-to-face, and subject to greater scrutiny. As a result he pulled well ahead in the delegate count, and began to take on the mantle of inevitability.
Once more, pundits were calling the race all but over, and Texas and Ohio were often described as Clinton’s last stand. She needed wins in both states, it was flatly stated, to continue in the race. Even Clinton’s own campaign conceded as much. In the weeks before the election, Obama had closed an initial gap in both states and was running even or ahead in pre-election polling.
In Ohio once again we are confronted with a discrepancy between exit polls and official tallies. The initial published exit poll, posted shortly after poll closing, showed a 3% Clinton margin (51.1% to 47.9%), while the final official vote count showed a 10% Clinton margin (54.3% to 44.0%). This disparity was well outside the exit poll’s margin of error. The official vote count was also a significant departure from a compendium of pre-election polls, which showed Obama gaining ground and approaching equality. Viewed in isolation, Ohio could be explained as a “late Clinton surge” that caught the pre-election pollsters by surprise. Primaries are indeed fluid and volatile, as elections go, and there were reports of organized attempts to encourage Republican crossover voting for Clinton, though the Republican crossover vote may have been less robust than initially reported. It can also plausibly be viewed as another in a succession of “cover stories” (for example, the massive but phantom after-dinner Evangelical turnout offered up by Rove as a factor in reversing the outcome in 2004) that could well provide a relatively benign explanation for more nefarious operations. But instead there was a parade of contests in important states in the 2008 nomination battle in which a substantial exit poll-vote count disparity worked in Clinton’s favor-including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Arkansas, Arizona, California, and now Ohio and, as we will see, Texas and Rhode Island.
In contrast, we have observed to date no battleground state primary with a significant exit poll-vote count disparity in Obama’s favor. Some have invoked the so-called “Bradley effect” to account for this string of disparities. According to this theory, some white voters who would not vote for a black candidate in the privacy of the voting booth are “shamed” into indicating to pollsters (i.e., in public) that they chose that candidate. But research into the Bradley effect has established that it is, at best, an inconsistent and relatively rare phenomenon, very unlikely to account for such a pervasive pattern as identified above. It is only if one is unwilling to consider any possibility of computerized vote mistabulation that such superficially plausible theories as the Bradley effect take their place in the front of the line of explanations.
The exit poll-vote count disparity in Rhode Island was 14.1%; the exit poll posted after poll closing had Clinton up 4.1% (51.6% to 47.5%) over Obama, yet the official vote count had Clinton up 18.2% (58.8% to 40.6%). This is far outside the exit poll’s margin of error, and on a par with the similarly perplexing and bizarre 15.5% disparity favoring Clinton in Massachusetts on Super Tuesday. It is reasonable to ask, if exit polls are this far off, why bother exit polling? (Or perhaps just as reasonable to ask, if vote counts are this far off, why bother voting?)
In Texas there was a relatively modest 4% discrepancy between the first posted exit polls and official tallies-in the usual direction and larger than the margin of error, and also in this case, withheld from the public until more than an hour after poll closing. While most primary exit polls are posted a few minutes after the polls close, an hour’s delay enables ample opportunity for adjustment of exit polls toward conformity with the incoming vote count, and so the posted exit polls may understate the magnitude of the discrepancy. But the disparity in Texas between early voting results vs. Election Day in-precinct voting was of staggering proportions that seemed to defy explanation. The earliest returns posted on network websites showed a total of approximately 740,000 votes cast in the Democratic primary with 0% of precincts reporting. This was the early/absentee vote tally, which in some states is tabulated and available for release immediately upon poll closing. Obama’s vote at that point was 436,034 to 303,276 for Clinton, or 59% to 41%, an 18% margin. But by the time the counting was done the next morning, Clinton had a 51% to 48% victory . . . a whopping 21% margin reversal.
What was even more stunning, however, was that Clinton had caught up to Obama before even a quarter of the election day vote had been tallied: with 23% of election day precincts reporting and almost exactly as many at-precinct votes as early votes counted, the overall count stood at Obama 711,759, Clinton 711,183 (49%-49%), a dead heat. To catch up so quickly and produce those numbers, Clinton had to win the at-precinct vote in that quarter of Texas precincts by 59% to 41%... an exact reversal of the early voting Obama landslide.
What we saw in Texas were essentially equal and opposite landslides, as if we were observing two not only separate but radically divergent electorates, one that chose to vote early and one that chose to go to the polls. The early voting period in Texas extends from 17 days to four days prior to the election. Ordinarily explanations for a divergence of such magnitude, particularly in intra-party contests, would be due to time-critical phenomena such as late-breaking gaffes, scandals, debate blowouts and the like. But there was no such occurrence. During the early voting period the average of 13 pre-election polls showed Clinton 45.6%, Obama 46.7%. In the three days before the election, after the early voting period had ended, the average of eight polls was Clinton 46.8%, Obama 46.1%, a very modest change and certainly not the 21% mega-reversal displayed by the early voting and at-precinct vote counts.
While there is no obvious explanation for the pattern observed, one hypothesis worthy of investigation is that one set of counting equipment (either early-voting or at-precinct voting) was accessed by malicious insiders and manipulated. If the pattern of pro-Clinton shifts were to hold, the place to investigate first would of course be the at-precinct voting equipment and county central tabulators.
Having won Ohio and Texas, Clinton remained viable but still in dire straits, leading directly to the most polarizing and divisive phase of the nomination battle.
In the ‘quiet’ interval during the six weeks prior to the Pennsylvania primary, the effects of Clinton’s revived (but precarious) position had ample opportunity to play out. The Clinton campaign went on the offensive, with the type of personal, negative attacks that both campaigns had previously eschewed. Obama was relentlessly portrayed as elitist and out-of-touch by the Clinton campaign (and by Clinton herself), a depiction the mainstream media began to echo almost as relentlessly. And, sure enough, incidents emerged that played into this depiction-most notably Reverend Wright’s sermons and Obama’s own quote that seemed to both pigeonhole and patronize the working-class voters of Pennsylvania. These were replayed by the mainstream media in an endless barrage of coverage, all keyed to the theme that Obama might be too out-of-touch, and too close to the radical black fringe, to be president.
Obama appeared to successfully counter that round of negative attacks, and it appeared to have little or no impact in his polling support nationwide – nor, indeed, in Pennsylvania. Obama went into the April 23 primary trailing Clinton by 5% or less in pre-election polls, with no late movement to Clinton detected. It was viewed as essential by mainstream media pundits that Clinton win “by double digits” to maintain her viability and pick up the momentum required to win decisive super delegate support.
First-posted exit polls for Pennsylvania reflected pre-election expectations, with Clinton leading 51.6% to 47.8%, a 3.8% margin. By late in the evening, however, with the count mostly in, it was Clinton by 9.4%--close enough for the morning papers, networks, and websites to lead with Clinton’s “double-digit” win.
As with New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas, there was a wide range of irregularities, glitches, and vote suppression incidents reported. Again, an exit poll disparity beyond the margin of error. Again, a departure, in the familiar direction, from the range of pre-election polling. And once again the final result was that Clinton received just enough to sustain her campaign, her “double-digit” victory, courtesy of a generous round-off.
Just as with a spaceship’s carefully-calibrated mid-course corrections that make an ultimate difference of millions of miles, it does not take much to radically change the course of a multi-election political contest. A few quick bursts from the retrorockets at the right moment(s) will do the trick.
Of course the dynamics of a campaign can change legitimately, as a result of the thrust and parry process, exposure of weaknesses, refutation of apparent inevitability, etc. But the shift in dynamics of the 2008 Democratic nomination contest strongly correlated with a string of election results that raised serious red flags independent of their impact on the race. Glaring discrepancies far beyond the margin of error of exit polls and pre-election polls, and the confounding of the expected electoral dynamics, produced results that had the precise impact of prolonging and intensifying the nomination battle. Had the primary election results jibed with those independent measures and expectations, it would long since have been wrapped up.
Anyone actually in a position to take advantage of the vast array of security vulnerabilities in the computers that run our elections would have an obvious interest in remaining undetected. The safest path would be to take only what you need to achieve your bottom-line goal, and not one vote more. Anything beyond adds risk without reward. Thus, in keeping with our hypothesis that the fundamental goal of primary contest electoral manipulation was to create “plausible defeatability” for the Democratic ticket in November, we would expect little additional manipulation in the last stages of the Democratic contest. It is apparent that an Obama defeat in November (and more extensive Democratic losses in down-ballot races) can be spun as a plausible consequence of the intra-party strife that has already been depicted as weakening the party and its nominee, and of apparent Obama weaknesses exposed in the course of the grueling nomination battle. With such a cover story safely in place, even an against-the-odds Republican “victory” in November could be successfully spun and sold to the candidates, their parties, the media, and the voters.
The “mystery adjustment” factor in polling
One final observation concerning the pre-election polling that sets expectations for candidates, the mainstream media, and the voters themselves. We are deeply concerned that these polls too paint a false backdrop against which the signs of computerized electoral manipulation by insiders will appear diminished in magnitude over time, or even disappear. The reason for this concern is obviously not that the fraternity of pollsters is knowingly acting to support or conceal systematic computerized electoral manipulation, but rather that pollsters simply cannot expect to stay in business if they consistently fail to predict the “actual” electoral results. The worst problem for a pollster is to be consistently “off” in the same direction. Put another way, pollsters are not paid for achieving some abstract statistical purity but rather for accurate predictions-however achieved.
If one places oneself in the position of a pollster who, time and again, is faced with results that are, say 6 – 8% more Republican than their predictions, or shifted in the direction the right wing would desire, it becomes clear that one would begin making a “mystery adjustment” to whatever data emerges from a clean survey methodology. Such an adjustment can be easily generated by changes in demographic weighting that can at least in part be justified by reliance on data emerging from previous elections, themselves manipulated. Call it a fudge factor if you will, but it keeps the pollster in business while failing to make such a correction would be professional suicide.
By way of corroboration of this phenomenon, in public dialogue with a major-party polling consultant the following shocking admission was made: if the Democratic candidate is not leading by 10% going into the election in their internal polling, they expect the race to be a toss-up. This internal candidate polling is-unlike polls published for public consumption-intended to paint a ruthlessly accurate picture of contest dynamics to help the party prioritize expensive get-out-the-vote drives and last-minute media blitzes. The fact that even major-party pollsters must adjust their own results to account for the “mystery swing” to the right is a strong indication that much the same distorting protocol is already being employed in public pre-election polling.
When manipulated elections serve as the calibration tool for pre-election polling, we lose yet another independent check mechanism on the official computerized vote tabulation process. This only deepens the crisis.
Election theft is certainly hard to prove, with virtually all hard evidence withheld as proprietary; and even well-supported allegations by credible journalists, computer scientists, security professionals and election integrity activists are given a wide berth by both the mainstream media and the established political powers of both major parties.
Yet, even with the limited tools at our disposal, we keep discovering evidence-in pre-election polls, exit polls, and published election results –that is consistent with a pattern of widespread covert manipulation of vote counts.
We will continue to investigate and report these anomalies until a thorough and unblinking investigation of suspicious results is undertaken by those in position to collect the additional evidence needed to establish incontrovertible proof. But since many of those in the best position to investigate election anomalies are themselves elected officials, our best hope may be to follow the recent example of Ireland and the Netherlands-dispense with voting computers, and simply count our own paper ballots by hand.
 There were significant oddities on the Republican side as well, beyond the scope of our analysis here. Remarkably enough, we know with certainty that the precise model of optical scan voting equipment in use in NH, Diebold Accuvote OS Model 1.94W, is vulnerable to outcome-altering manipulation by insiders. A live demonstration on that very Diebold model was captured in the HBO documentary “Hacking Democracy”.  See  In this case significant means “larger than the exit poll margin of error”. Weighted, 1421 respondents, approximate margin of error 3%
Originally Published at Election Defense Alliance OpEdNews.Compdf - Managing Electoral Dynamics Via Covert Vote-Count Manipulation
Information on Jonathan Simon and Bruce O’Dell
John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars. The credo of this group is “the end justifies the means,” and the end of establishing the United States as the world’s sole superpower justifies, in its estimation, anything from military control over the information on the Internet to the use of genocidal biological weapons. Over its two terms, the George W. Bush administration has planted the seeds for this geopolitical master plan, and now appears to be counting on the McCain administration, if one comes to power, to nurture it.
The Road Map to War
The blueprint for this “new order” was drafted in February 1992, at the end of the George H.W. Bush administration when Defense Department staffers Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby and Zalmay Khalilzad, acting under then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, drafted the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG). This document, also known as the “Wolfowitz Doctrine,” was an unofficial, internal document that advocated massive increases in defense spending for purposes of strategic proliferation and buildup of the military in order to establish the pre-eminence of the United States as the world’s sole superpower. Advocating pre-emptive attacks with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, it proclaimed that “the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.” The document was also quite clear about what should be the United States’ main objective in the Middle East, especially with regard to Iraq and Iran, which was to “remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region’s oil.” The Wolfowitz Doctrine was leaked to The New York Times and The Washington Post, which published excerpts from it. Amid a public outcry, President George H.W. Bush retracted the document, and it was substantially revised.
The original mission of the Wolfowitz Doctrine was not lost, however. In 1997, William Kristol and Robert Kagan founded The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a nongovernment political action organization that sought to develop and advocate for the militant, geopolitical tenets contained in the Wolfowitz Doctrine. PNAC’s original members included Wolfowitz, Cheney, Khalilzad, Libby, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Bennett, and other soon-to-be high officers in the Bush administration.
McCain’s Ties to PNAC
John McCain’s connection to PNAC can be traced back to before its formation in 1997. In fact, he was president of the New Citizenship Project, founded by Kristol in 1994. This organization was parent to PNAC, and served as its chief fundraising organ.
McCain also worked cooperatively with PNAC and Wolfowitz in attempting to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. In 1998, he co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act—drafted by PNAC—which decreed “regime change” in Iraq to be U.S. policy, and which appropriated $97 million in U.S. military aid to the Iraqi National Congress (INC). The INC was a group of anti-Hussein Iraqi militants whose purpose was to instigate a national uprising against Hussein. It was led by Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi informant whose subsequent faulty intelligence—claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaida—was used to sell the Iraq war to the American public. In 2004, in response to accusations that he deliberately misled U.S. intelligence agencies, Chalabi glibly stated, “We are heroes in error.”
McCain also was co-chair (with Sen. Joseph Lieberman) of The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI). Established by PNAC in late 2002, this committee continued to finance Chalabi’s INC with millions of taxpayer dollars, until shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, when it was discontinued. In 2004, McCain became a signatory of PNAC, ironically signing on to a PNAC letter condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy for its return to the “rhetoric of militarism and empire.”
McCain has accordingly been a foot soldier for PNAC from its inception, and, although this organization is no longer in existence, its ideology and its signatories (many of whom now serve as advisers to the McCain presidential campaign) are still very much active.
The Master Plan
In September 2000, prior to the presidential election that year, PNAC carefully formulated its chief tenets in a document called Rebuilding America’s Defenses (RAD). This document, which was intended to guide the incoming administration, had a substantial influence on the policies set by the Bush administration and is likely to do the same for a McCain administration if McCain becomes president. Here are some of the recommendations of the RAD report:
Fighting and winning multiple, simultaneous major wars
Among its core missions was the rebuilding of America’s defenses sufficient to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars.” And it explicitly advocated sending troops into Iraq regardless of whether Saddam Hussein was in power. According to RAD, “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
The RAD report also admonished, “Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region.” Therefore, it had both Iraq and Iran in its sight as zones of multiple, simultaneous major wars for purposes of advancing “longstanding American interests in the region”—in particular, its oil.
McCain’s recent chanting of “bomb, bomb, bomb; bomb, bomb Iran” to the beat of an old Beach Boys tune, his suggestion that the war with Iraq might last 100 years and his recent statement that the war in Afghanistan might also last 100 years—all of these pronouncements are clearly in concert with the PNAC mission to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars.”
RAD also stressed the need to have additional forces equipped to handle ongoing “constabulary” duties such as enforcement of no-fly zones and other operations that fell short of full theater wars. It claimed that unless the military was so equipped, its ability to fight and win multiple, simultaneous wars would be impaired. Along these same lines, McCain has recently stated, ‘’It’s time to end the disingenuous practice of stating that we have a two-war strategy when we are paying for only a one-war military. Either we must change our strategy—and accept the risks—or we must properly fund and structure our military.’’
Designing and deploying global missile defense systems
RAD also emphasized, as an additional core value, the need to “transform U.S. forces to exploit the ‘revolution in military affairs.’ ” This included the design and deployment of a global ballistic missile defense system consisting of land-, sea-, air- and space-based components said to be capable of shielding the U.S. and its allies from “limited strikes” in the future by “rogue” nations such as Iraq, North Korea and Iran.
Along these lines, McCain has maintained that a ballistic missile defense system was “indispensable”—even if this meant reneging on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 at the expense of angering the Russians. Unfortunately, while RAD acknowledged the “limited” efficacy of such a weapons system (presumably because it cannot realistically provide a bulletproof shield, especially against large-scale missile attacks), neither it nor McCain addressed the problem that deployment of such a system could be destabilizing: It could encourage escalation, instead of de-escalation, of ballistic missile arsenals by nations that fear becoming sitting ducks, and might even provoke a pre-emptive strike. Further, there is still the question of whether the creation of such costly, national defense shields is even technologically feasible.
The use of genocidal biological warfare for political expediency
Not only did RAD advocate the design and deployment of defensive weaponry, it also stressed the updating of conventional offensive weapons including cruise missiles along with stealthy strike aircraft and longer-range Air Force strike aircraft. But it went further in its offensive posture by envisioning and supporting the use of genotype-specific biological warfare. According to RAD, “… advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” In this chilling statement, a double standard is evident. In the hands of al-Qaida, such genocidal weapons would belong to “the realm of terror,” but in those of the U.S., they would be “politically useful tools.”
Rejection of the United Nations
PNAC’s double standard is also inherent in its rejection of the idea of a cooperative, neutral effort among the nations of the world to address world problems, including the problem of Iraq. “Nor can the United States assume a UN-like stance of neutrality,” states the RAD report. “The preponderance of American power is so great and its global interests so wide that it cannot pretend to be indifferent to the political outcome in the Balkans, the Persian Gulf or even when it deploys forces in Africa. Finally, these missions demand forces basically configured for combat.” Accordingly, a McCain administration founded on a PNAC platform of self-interested exercise of force would oppose giving the United Nations any central role in setting and implementing foreign affairs policy.
Control of space and cyberspace
PNAC’s quest for global domination transcends any literal meaning of the geopolitical, and extends also to the control, rather than the sharing, of outer space. It also has serious implications for cyber freedom. Thus the RAD report states, “Much as control of the high seas—and the protection of international commerce—defined global powers in the past, so will control of the new ‘international commons’ be a key to world power in the future. An America incapable of protecting its interests or that of its allies in space or the ‘infosphere’ will find it difficult to exert global political leadership. ... Access to and use of cyberspace and the Internet are emerging elements in global commerce, politics and power. Any nation wishing to assert itself globally must take account of this other new ‘global commons.’ ”
There is a difference between protecting the Internet from a cyber attack and controlling it. The former is defensive while the latter is offensive. But RAD also advocated going on the offensive. It stated that “an offensive capability could offer America’s military and political leaders an invaluable tool in disabling an adversary in a decisive manner.”
However, state control of cyberspace for political purposes can have serious implications for the Fourth Amendment right to privacy. The Bush administration has already engaged in mass illegal spying on the phone and e-mail messages of millions of Americans through its National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program. As a result of copying these messages and depositing them into an NSA computer database, it began to assemble a massive “Total Information Awareness” computer network. The FBI has also begun to develop and integrate such personal data with a biometric database that includes digital iris prints and facial images. Combine this with other computerized databases including credit card information, banking records and health files, and the result is an incredible ability to exercise power and control over anyone deemed by a political leader to be an “adversary”—including journalists, political opponents and others who might not see eye to eye with the administration.
In concert with the PNAC mission of control over cyberspace, McCain has supported making warrantless spying on American citizens legal. When asked if he believed that Bush’s warrantless surveillance program was legal, McCain responded, “You know, I don’t think so, but why not come to Congress? We can sort this out. ... I think they will get that authority, whatever is reasonable and needed, and increased abilities to monitor communications are clearly in order.”
Consistent with his conviction that such extended powers should be granted to the president, McCain has also recently voted for Senate Bill S.2248, which vacates substantial civil liberties protections included in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In contrast to the 1978 FISA, S.2248 would allow the president, acting through the attorney general, to spy on the phone and e-mail communications of Americans without individual court warrants or the need to judicially show probable cause.
Despite the fact that McCain has said that Bush’s NSA spying program was not legal, he has also supported granting retroactive legal immunity to the telecommunication companies (such as AT&T and Verizon) that helped Bush illegally spy on millions of Americans. This means that he has openly admitted that the Bush administration acted unlawfully in eavesdropping on Americans’ phone and e-mail messages, while at the same time opted for taking away their legal right to redress this violation. And this unequivocally means that McCain is prepared to allow executive authority to trump the rule of law.
Meet the McCain Team
Given John McCain’s firm allegiance to the core missions of PNAC, it should come as no surprise that many of the old PNAC guard have shown up as foreign policy advisers in McCain’s current presidential campaign, and are likely re-emerge as high officials in his administration if he becomes president. Here are snapshots of some of these potential members of a McCain Cabinet, giving their PNAC profiles, their advisory capacities in the McCain 2008 presidential campaign, and their politics.
William KristolEditor and founder of Washington-based political magazine, Weekly Standard.PNAC co-founder.Foreign policy adviser.Has consistently been wrong in his foreign policy analyses regarding Iraq. For example, on March 5, 2003, he stated, “I think we’ll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction and when we liberate the people of Iraq.”
Robert KaganServed in State Department in Reagan administration on Policy Planning Staff.PNAC co-founder.Foreign policy adviser.Has defended global expansionism by claiming it is an American tradition: “Americans’ belief in the possibility of global transformation—the ‘messianic’ impulse—is and always has been the more dominant strain in the nation’s character.”
Randy ScheunemannFormer adviser to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.Co-director and executive director of Committee for Liberation of Iraq.Defense and foreign policy coordinator.With regard to recent National Intelligence Estimate finding that Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program in 2003, stated “a careful reading of the NIE indicates that it is misleading.” And he claimed that the NIE harmed our efforts to achieve a “greater diplomatic consensus” to crack down on Iran.
James WoolseyDirector of CIA, Clinton administration, 1993-1995. (Reported to have met only twice with Clinton during time as CIA chief.)PNAC signatory.Energy and national security adviser.Speaking to a group of college students in 2003 about Iraq, he stated that “… the United States is engaged in World War IV.” Described the Cold War as the third world war. Then said, “This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War.”
John R. BoltonFormer U.S. ambassador to U.N. (Nomination to U.N. rejected by Senate, but George W. Bush put him in place on a recess appointment. Name floated for possible secretary of state for McCain.PNAC director.Ardent supporter of McCain for president in 2009.Publicly derided the United Nations: In 1994, he stated “there is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that’s the United States, when it suits our interest, and when we can get others to go along.” Advocates attacking Iran.
Robert B. ZollickPresident, World Bank.PNAC signatory.Announced in 2006 he would be joining McCain presidential campaign for domestic and foreign policy but instead replaced Wolfowitz as president of World Bank in 2007.Has touted virtues of corporate globalization under the rubric of “comprehensive free trade.” But as Kevin Watkins, head researcher for Oxfan, stated, he pays no heed to the effects of the “blind pursuit of US economic and corporate special interests” on the world’s poor.
Gary SchmittAmerican Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (home to other PNAC members including Wolfowitz and Pearle.)PNAC director.Foreign policy adviser.Defended warrantless eavesdropping on Americans by claiming that Constitution “created a unitary chief executive. That chief executive could, in times of war or emergency, act with the decisiveness, dispatch and, yes, secrecy, needed to protect the country and its citizens.”
Richard L. ArmitageFormer deputy secretary of state in George W. Bush administration.PNAC signatory.Foreign policy adviser.By his own admission, was responsible for leaking CIA agent Valerie Plame’s CIA identity to the press. Allegedly involved in Iran-Contra affair during Reagan administration.
Max BootCouncil on Foreign Relations.PNAC signatory.Foreign policy adviser.Stating that U.S. should “unambiguously ... embrace its imperial role,” has advocated attacking other Middle East countries in addition to Iraq and Iran, including Syria. Said McCain’s “bellicose aura” could “scare the snot out of our enemies,” who “would be more afraid to mess with him” than with other then-potential presidential candidates.
Henry A. KissingerPresident Nixon’s secretary of state.Embraces expansionist power politics.Consultant.Played major role in secret bombings of Cambodia during Nixon administration as well as having had alleged involvement in covert assassination plots and human rights violations in Latin America.
What’s in Store for Us if McCain Becomes President
That McCain has surrounded himself with such like-minded advisers who support the narrow PNAC agenda speaks to his unwillingness to hear and consider alternative perspectives. In fact, six out of 10 civilian foreign advisers to McCain are PNAC veterans. Even the newly appointed deputy communications director of the McCain campaign, Michael Goldfard, has been a research associate for PNAC. A die-hard adherent of the “unitary authority” of the chief executive, he recently stated that the framers of the United States Constitution advocated an “executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war.”
Add to this list other major PNAC figures such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Dick Cheney who would probably play a significant role in a McCain administration and it is clear in what direction this nation would be moving.
A McCain administration would be likely to:
· Invest incredible amounts of money in sustaining multiple, simultaneous wars overseas at the expense of neglecting pressing concerns at home, including the economy, health care, the environment and education.
· Stockpile nuclear weapons, while seeking to prohibit its adversaries from having them.
· Attempt to shield the U.S. with a multilayered missile defense system based on land, at sea, in the air and in space, while demanding that nations that are not its allies become sitting ducks.
· Strive to develop more potent chemical and biological weapons—not to mention the genotype-specific variety, while at the same time claiming to be fighting a “war on terror.”
· Legalize “Total Information Awareness”—going through all Americans’ phone calls, e-mail messages and other personal records without needing probable cause.
· Take control of the Internet, globally using it as an offensive political weapon—while claiming to be spreading democracy throughout the world.
· Dispense with checks and balances in favor of the “unitary executive authority” of the president.
· Alienate nations that refuse to join our war coalitions.
· Deny that there is (or can be) a United Nations.
A McCain administration would rule by fear, perceive right in terms of military might and subscribe to the idea of “do as I say and not as I do.” As a consequence, instead of rebuilding the image of America as a model of justice and civility, it would further sully respect for this nation throughout the world.
Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., is a political analyst and media critic. His most recent book is “The Last Days of Democracy: How Big Media and Power-Hungry Government Are Turning America Into a Dictatorship.” He was first-prize winner of the 2007 Project Censored Award.
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