November 28, 2007

Republican Operatives: Serial Election Fraudsters

We're well aware of Bush's Republican operatives tampering with US elections. This has been documented by Robert Kennedy Jr. in Rolling Stone, the BBC's Greg Palast in 2000 and 2004, and Congressman John Conyers. (More on 2004 election manipulation).

And there are more dots to connect. First, this activity is far more insidious than the sealing of elections in Florid and Ohio. It's clear that a the US Attorney firing scandal has a deeper plot that is connected to voter suppression on a massive scale.

Second, there are foreign dots to connect. The Bush administration is implicated in two recent cases. We hear reports like the following:
U.S. tensions with Russia are on the rise over accusations of vote-meddling. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Bush administration of trying to taint parliamentary elections set for next week. Putin says the U.S. influenced European monitors to cancel plans to observe the vote.

Why? Because, months after everyone has forgotten this news blip, Bush's "set up" will allow his operatives to say, "there were no monitors in the Russian election," thereby casting doubt on the election's legitimacy. The violation is so egregious that Vladimir Putin himself spoke out in response (translated):

We have information that, once again, this was done on the recommendation of the U.S. State Department. We, of course, will take this into account in our inter-state dealings; this is for sure. Actions such as these cannot wreck the elections in Russia. Their aim is to deprive the elections of legitimacy, that is absolutely clear. But they are not going to achieve that [1].

Clip of Putin Statement

Then, on November 28, 2007, we heard Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro reveal that he had a document that appeared to be from an American at the embassy in Caracas referring to a plan to impede a referendum on Sunday to consider giving new powers to the Venezuelan executive branch.

If it's true, we are going to declare this official from the U.S. Embassy persona non grata and eject him from the country because he would have been interfering in the internal matters of Venezuela. [2]

It seems to be true, based on a detailed account by Professor James Petras, which exposes a CIA operation pincer (Tenaza in spanish).

But it doesn’t stop there. The Republicans have institutionalized their elections interference through the US taxpayer funded “National Endowment for Democracy.” This nice sounding institution funded the International Republican Institute of Washington, an arm of the GOP, to run training sessions for the youth wing of the right wing Mexican PAN political party and fund a US corporation to collect data that was likely used to suppress votes.

The illegal operations all involve pre-election suppression tactics. The US company ChoicePoint, which helped purge Florida voter rolls prior to 2000 election, is implicated widely. According to BBC investigative journalist Greg Palast. Referring to ChoicePoint, which received a no-bid contract from the Bush administration to collect data supposedly for use in "fighting terrorism," it appears the information was used to scrub voter rolls or to cage voters and create challenge lists:

Foreign — that is, American — interference in political campaigns is a crime. That didn’t stop Team Bush. However, when the theft of its citizen files was discovered, Argentina threatened to arrest ChoicePoint contractors until the company returned the tapes — and Mexico’s attorney general did in fact arrest the ChoicePoint data thieves to avoid his party from looking too much the stooge of its Washington patron.

Similar operations were conducted in Venezuela using ChoicePoint.

More suppression occurs during the voting process, such as challenging voters via caging lists developed prior to the election, allocating too few voting machines in targeted districts to create long lines, changing polling places to sow confusion or force the use of provisional ballots, which are less likely to be counted, etc, which leads to...

... operations after the voting is completed. In Mexico, 17 polling sites documented the votes cast for Bush-supported Caldaron vastly exceeded the number of registered voters at a site. These numbers only represent what was proven soon after the election. There was also documentation of several ballot boxes found in dumps in México City, where support for the more liberal candidate Obrador was very strong.

One can go on and on about what can no longer be denied. The Bush Republicans have been conducting illegal voter suppression campaigns, inside and outside the United States, on a sophisticated level, and continue to do so. If this makes your blood boil, check out Black Box Voting, citizens who are taking action.


1. DemocracyNow!, Headlines, November 27, 2007.

2. Reuters, Venezuela may expel U.S. envoy over vote suspicions, Patricia Rondon, November 28, 2007.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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