Don DeBar: The Qatari invasion of Tripoli for NATO

U.S. Out of Libya

Image by Jacob Anikulapo via Flickr

on Aug 27, 2011

Fight Back Radio host Bob Fitrakis of the Free Press interviews news director Don DeBar about the situation in Libya. Recorded 24 Aug 2011.

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Fighting the 5 fascisms in Wisconsin and Ohio by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Crossposted with permission from The Free Press.

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
The Free Press
February 21, 2011

The escalating confrontations in Wisconsin and Ohio are ultimately about preventing the United States from becoming a full-on fascist state.

The stakes could not be higher—or more clear.

As defined by its inventor, Benito Mussolini, fascism is “corporate control of the state.” There are ways to beat around the Bush—Paul Krugman has recently written about “oligarchy”—but it’s time to end all illusions and call what we now confront by its true name.

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Why Wright State is wrong: the controversial appointment of Dr. Larry James by Bob Fitrakis

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis
Crossposted with permission from The Free Press
October 14, 2009

Who is Dr. Larry James? A man who in his biography claims responsibility for “Fixing Hell.” Whose hell did he fix? Or did he look the other way while the Devil’s work was done?

Between 2003 and 2007, Army Colonel Larry James served as Chief Psychologist of the Joint Intelligence Group and a senior member of the Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT). James’ job was advising on interrogation and “behavior management” for the men and kids at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. In 2004, he functioned as the director of the Behavioral Science Unit at the Abu Ghraib prison.

That’s right. His past includes both the notorious Gitmo and Abu Ghriab, the infamous torture site in Iraq.

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Cindy Sheehan takes on the Robber Class by Bob Fitrakis

Crossposted with permission from The Free Press.

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by Bob Fitrakis
The Free Press
July 11, 2009

Review of Cindy Sheehan’s Book, Myth America
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox

The United States has produced several mythic historical figures – Paul Bunyan, John Henry and the like – but our actual prophetic peace activists are actually far more interesting. People like Eugene Victor Debs, Emma Goldman, and in our present day, Cindy Sheehan.

Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution places Sheehan firmly in the pantheon of progressive heroes. Myth America is an online book by Sheehan geared towards destroying the military industrial and security industrial complex that killed her son Casey in the corrupt war in Iraq.

Sheehan is calling for re-localization and the uncoupling of the “robbed class” from the war profiteers and new high-tech robber barons that are flourishing under globalization. The beauty of Sheehan’s work, directly echoing the speeches and writings of Debs, is its sheer bluntness.

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Facing the Bushes’ Iranian whirlwind by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman + Shots fired on an angry crowd

Crossposted with permission from The Free Press.

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
The Free Press
June 15, 2009

The parallels between the stolen Iranian election of 2009 and the American of 2000 and 2004 are tempting. The histories—and futures—of the two nations are inseparable. Bound up in their tortured half-century of crime and manipulation are the few glimmers of hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.

In both countries, a right-wing fundamentalist authoritarian with open contempt for human rights and the Geneva Convention has come up a winner, with catastrophic consequences. In both countries, the blowback of two George Bushes loom large. Continue reading

Obama’s marijuana prohibition acid test by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
The Free Press
January 14, 2009

The parallels between the 1933 coming of Franklin Roosevelt and the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama must include the issue of Prohibition: alcohol in 1933, and marijuana today. As FDR did back then, Obama must now help end an utterly failed, socially destructive, reactionary crusade.

Marijuana prohibition is a core cause of many of the nation’s economic problems. It now costs the U.S. tens of billions per year to track, arrest, try, defend and imprison marijuana consumers who pose little, if any, harm to society. The social toll soars even higher when we account for social violence, lost work, ruined careers and damaged families. In 2007, 775,137 people were arrested in the U.S. for mere possession of this ancient crop, according to the FBI’s uniform crime report.

Like the Prohibition on alcohol that plagued the nation from 1920 to 1933, marijuana prohibition (which essentially began in 1937) feeds organized crime and a socially useless prison-industrial complex that includes judges, lawyers, police, guards, prison contractors, and more.


via The Free Press — Independent News Media – Hemp Legalization.



Stephanie Tubbs-Jones Interview 2005

Dandelion Salad

My condolences and sympathies to the Congresswoman’s family and friends.  ~ Lo


Investigative reporter Bob Fitrakis and the EON team interview Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones in 2005 on her historic challenge with Senator Barbara Boxer of the 2004 Ohio presidential vote and on the new voters’ rights movement in America.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Voter Suppression Voting Rights

Obama must learn from Kucinich’s election theft impeachment

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
June 11, 2008

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. Two of the articles deal with the fact that Bush was never elected, and in fact stole the election of 2004 in Ohio. They should serve as a cautionary notice to the Obama campaign that this year’s election could also be stolen.

Kucinich’s courage in introducing these articles is underscored by the fact that the Congress should have removed Bush from office years ago. From lying to the world to perpetrate the war in Iraq, to violating the Constitution on scores of basic civil rights and liberties issues, to fostering a regime based on unprecedented corruption and robbery, George W. Bush would be known as the worst president in the history of the United States if in fact he had been elected president.

But these articles of impeachment contain charges that come directly from the independent reportage on the stolen 2004 election that appeared first at and in other non-corporate and internet-based media throughout the United States. Ironically, though these facts have finally penetrated to a proposed Congressional indictment of the nation’s chief executive, they have yet to be reported in the “mainstream” corporate-owned media.

Kucinich’s Article 28 charges Bush with “tampering with free and fair elections,” along with “corruption of the administration of justice.” Article 29 charges him and his staff and political cronies and underlings with “conspiracy to violate the Civil Rights Act of 1965” (co-author Bob Fitrakis, attorney-at-law, helped draft these Articles 28 and 29 based in part on information that was first posted at


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution + videos + transcript (including Art. 28-29)

Dennis Kucinich Documents Grounds for Impeachment of Bush & Cheney (4 hours)

Countdown: Articles of Impeachment + Off the Table + Economic Reality

Kucinich Reads Impeachment Articles 33, 18 + 20

Ralph Nader: Impeach Bush & Cheney!

Kucinich introduces articles of Impeachment (continued; videos; transcript)

Ohio’s voting machines are now an official crime scene

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
March 17, 2008

At least 15 touch-screen voting machines that produced improbable numbers in Ohio’s 2006 statewide election are now under double-lock in an official crime scene. And the phony “Homeland Security Alert” used by Republicans to build up George W. Bush’s 2004 vote count in a key southwestern Ohio county has come under new scrutiny.

The touch-screen machines were locked up after Ohio’s new Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, tried to vote last fall. On November 6, she spotted a gray bar with the words “candidate withdrawn” in a slot where the name of Democrat Jay Perez should have appeared. Her husband, voting nearby, told her Perez’s name did appear, as it was supposed to, on his machine.

Perez had been a candidate in the race for Franklin County Municipal Judge. He withdrew his name after the county had finalized its ballots. But it now appears the ES&S machines left his name on some machines but not on others. Perez, a Democrat, wanted to avoid playing a spoiler in the race. But the appearance of his name on some machines may have helped Republican David Tyack win.

Brunner now worries that the state will never find out what happened. County election officials ordered the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation to seize the machines. Ohio Attorney General Mark Dann is conducting an investigation that may cost the state $48,000. Brunner recently told WVKO 1580AM radio: “When you’re talking about democracy, it’s priceless.” In another interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Brunner noted “This is a huge problem. There is great concern that not every voter has the same ballot.”

Ironically, Brunner requested a paper ballot in the March 4, 2008, primary, but a poorly trained poll worker gave her a provisional ballot instead. Two other staffers from her office were also given the wrong ballots. Brunner has since pledged to upgrade the training for Buckeye State poll workers.

Brunner further announced that she’s banning the practice of so-called “sleepovers” where poll workers take the programmable and easily hackable voting machines home with them overnight prior to an election day.

Brunner succeeded Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell as Ohio’s Secretary of State. She has vowed to make sure the Buckeye State does not repeat the experience of 2004, when Blackwell choreographed the theft of Ohio’s 20 electoral votes for George W. Bush, giving him a second term in the White House. Since taking office Brunner has vowed to shift the entire state to voting on paper ballots, a move being fiercely resisted by numerous Republican-controlled Boards of Elections throughout the state. Thus far Brunner has forced the resignations of BOE chairs in two of Ohio’s most populous cities, Cleveland and Columbus.

Matt Damschroder was removed as Franklin County Board of Elections Director on the Sunday prior to Ohio’s 2008 primary election. Damschroder was previously suspended for a month without pay for accepting a $10,000 check from a voting machine salesman at the BOE building. The check, made out to the Republican Party, was delivered on the day the state’s contracts for electronic voting machines were open for bidding. Damschroder was former chair of the Franklin County Republican Party and the state’s leading foe of paper ballots. “Damschroder was very opposed to paper ballots and was stoking the fire against them,” Brunner told WVKO.

Dennis White, the new director of the Franklin County BOE was skeptical of the masking problem, but says if it happened, “it’s huge. We have a federal election coming up this November,” according to the Dispatch. White, who admits to having little knowledge of computers, is the former Ohio Democratic Party Chair.

That election may once again hinge on Ohio’s vote count. In 2006, Franklin County officials failed to conduct mandated tests on each machine, instead testing only one machine per precinct on a random bases. A report by SysTest Labs, a Colorado consulting firm, confirmed that what Brunner saw on her machine was “exactly what you’d see if someone masked a name,” the Dispatch reported.

Investigators also found that the “audit logs” on the voting machines were turned off by a board programmer in April, 2007, which has hindered investigators from reconstructing software changes. White says the vendor told a board employee how to disable the auditing system, allegedly to speed programming. Brunner said other vendors told her that “You’re never supposed to tell a (client) how to do that.”

In the primary this past March, the BOE allegedly did test all Franklin County’s machines. But some counties ran out of Democratic paper ballots as an influx of apparently Republican and Republican-leaning independents flooded the polls, apparently to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Enquirer has reported that a “casual conversation” between a “friendly” FBI agent and the county emergency services director in a parking lot may have contributed to the phony Homeland Security alert that prompted the Warren County BOE to lockdown the vote count in the 2004 election. The BOE declared the emergency and then moved the ballots from the publicly designated vote center to a nearby unauthorized warehouse. They also barred the public and media from witnessing the counting. Warren County, which is outside Cincinnati, then gave Bush 72% of the official vote count, far exceeding expectations. With neighboring Butler and Clermont Counties, Warren gave Bush a margin of 140,000 votes, which exceeded the 119,000 margin by which he allegedly won the election.

The Enquirer reports that “hundreds” of e-mailed complaints poured into the county BOE after the election, including one from an angry voter in the United Kingdom. “Stop destroying our democracy,” said one voter from South Carolina.

The Free Press has previously reported that Warren County BOE employees were told on the Thursday prior to the 2004 election day, that there would be a Homeland Security threat on election day. An examination of the ballots by a Free Press investigation team uncovered numerous irregularities in the Warren County vote that helped give Bush the presidency again.

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman co-authored HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA’S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008 ( and, with Steve Rosenfeld, WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO from New Press.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Ohio’s primary and election reform – the good, the bad and the ugly

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis
The Free Press
Co-written with Ron Baiman

March 6, 2008

The good news is that visible strides were made in re-enfranchising Ohio’s Franklin County (Columbus) inner city urban voters in the March 4, 2008 primary. Voting machines and paper ballots were plentiful and equally distributed.But,the bad news is that the discrepancy between the preliminary exit poll data and the unofficial vote tallies was reminiscent of the improbable results of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio between John Kerry and George W. Bush.

While the Clinton-Obama results are more probable than the Kerry-Bush results of 2004, they are still highly suspect and suggest statistically significant flaws in the exit polling or in the recording of Ohio votes.

In their “day after” analysis, the Washington Post reported (on page A9) that the Ohio Democratic presidential primary “preliminary exit poll results show the makeup of the electorate and how it voted.”

The preliminary exit poll information showed Clinton beating Obama by 3.26% — Clinton with 51.13% and Obama with 47.87%.

The unofficial results posted on the website of the Ohio Secretary of State are: Clinton 54.29%, Obama 44.00% and Edwards 1.72%, which gives a Clinton to Obama gap of 10.29%. This gives us a difference of 7.03% from the exit poll results.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


VT, OH, TX & RI 03.04.08 Primary Results

Ohio Secretary of State confirms 2004 election could have been stolen by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
The Free Press
December 14, 2007

Ohio’s Secretary of State announced this morning that a $1.9 million official study shows that “critical security failures” are embedded throughout the voting systems in the state that decided the 2004 election. Those failures, she says, “could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State.” They have rendered Ohio’s vote counts “vulnerable” to manipulation and theft by “fairly simple techniques.”

Indeed, she says, “the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant.”

In other words, Ohio’s top election official has finally confirmed that the 2004 election could have been easily stolen.

Brunner’s stunning findings apply to electronic voting machines used in 58 of Ohio’s 88 counties, in addition to scanning devices and central tabulators used on paper ballots in much of the rest of the state.

Brunner is calling for widespread changes to the way Ohio casts and counts its ballots. Her announcement follows moves by California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen to disqualify electronic voting machines in the nation’s biggest state.

In tandem, these two reports add a critical state-based dimension to the growing mountain of evidence that the US electoral system is rife with insecurities. Reports from the Brennan Center, the Carter-Baker Commission, the Government Accountability Office, the Conyers Committee Task Force Report, Princeton University and others have offered differing perspectives that add up to the same conclusion.

Coming in the state that decided the 2004 election for George W. Bush, Brunner’s confirmation of the electoral system’s vulnerabilities adds huge new weight to the charge that the Buckeye State’s vote count was stolen.

In a series of investigative reports dating to well before the 2004 election, the Columbus Free Press and have documented several dozen different means used by the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign to steal the official 2004 vote count.

The final official tally for Bush—less than 119,000 votes out of 5.4 million cast—varied by 6.7% from exit poll results, which showed a Kerry victory. Exit polls in 2004 were designed to have a margin of error of about 1%.

In various polling stations in Democrat-rich inner city precincts in Youngstown and Columbus, voters who pushed touch screens for Kerry saw Bush’s name light up. A wide range of discrepancies on both electronic and paper balloting systems leaned almost uniformly toward the Bush camp. Voting procedures regularly broke down in inner city and campus areas known to be heavily Democratic.

In direct violation of standing federal election law, 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties have since destroyed all or part of their 2004 election data. The materials were additionally protected by a federal court injunction in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal civil rights lawsuit (in which we are attorney and plaintiff). To date, no state or federal prosecutions have resulted from this wholesale destruction of presidential election records, including 1.6 million ballots, cast and uncast, needed for definitive auditing procedures. However, two Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) election officials have been convicted of felony manipulation of an official recount. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the state’s largest newspaper, recently editorialized that there is “no evidence” the 2004 election was stolen, but omitted mention of the destruction of the electoral records by more than half the counties in the state. The Plain-Dealer and other mainstream media have consistently ignored findings by the Free Press and others indicating widespread manipulation and theft of the kind Brunner has now confirmed was eminently do-able within the Ohio system.

Brunner says “the results underscore the need for a fundamental change in the structure of Ohio’s election system to ensure ballot and voting system security while still making voting convenient and accessible to all Ohio voters.” Among other things, she advocates replacing touch-screen machines with optical-scan units that include a paper balloting system.

The study was managed by the Battelle Corporation, and conducted by Columbus-based MicroSolved Inc., SysTest Labs of Denver along with a consortium of academic subcontractors. It was reviewed by a dozen county officials, and included scrutiny of voting systems produced by Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Hart Intercivic and Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold).

Brunner is the Democratic successor to Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell, who administered the 2004 election as Secretary of State while also serving as state co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign. The report comes as part of her pledge to guarantee a fair and reliable vote count in the upcoming 2008 presidential election.

Under Blackwell, Ohio spent some $100 million installing electronic voting machines as part of the Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress in the wake of the scandals surrounding the 2000 election. Former Ohio Congressman Bob Ney, HAVA’s principle author, now resides in a federal prison, in part for illegalities surrounding his dealings with voting machine companies.

Blackwell, who was defeated in a 2006 race for the Ohio governorship, outsourced web hosting responsibilities for the 2004 vote count to a programming firm that also programmed the web site for the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. Blackwell’s chosen host site for the state’s vote count was in the basement of the Old Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the servers for the Republican National Committee, and the Bush White House, were also located.

Brunner has now recommended that all Ohio’s voting be done on optical scan ballots, with reliance on central tabulation. Voters with disabilities could use AutoMark machines with bar coding devices that allow the marking of ballots with little or no additional assistance.

“It’s a testament to our state’s boards of elections officials that elections on the new (federally) mandated voting systems have gone as smoothly as they have in light of these findings,” Brunner said.

Conversely, it is also a testament to the ease with which the 2004 election was stolen by election officials who had clear conflicts of interest aimed at keeping George W. Bush in the White House.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA’S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008 ( and of WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO? (The New Press) with Steve Rosenfeld. THE FITRAKIS FILES are available at, where this article first appeared. Wasserman’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030, is at

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The criminal cover-up of Ohio’s stolen 2004 election sinks to the fraudulent, the absurd, the pathetic by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Dandelion Salad

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
The Free Press
August 2, 2007

The illegal destruction of federally protected 2004 election materials by 56 of 88 Ohio counties has become a fraudulent “dog ate my homework” farce of absurd justifications and criminal coverups.

The mass elimination of the critical evidence that could definitively prove or disprove the presumption that the 2004 election was stolen has all the markings of a Rovian crime perpetrated to hide another one. Indeed, under Ohio law, that’s precisely what must be presumed here.

But what makes the situation downright pathetic is that Ohio’s new Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, has publicly stated she sees “no evidence” of intentional destruction in the disappearance in more than 60% of the state’s counties of the ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

So once again, as did Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, the Democrats seem poised to cave to the on-going GOP coup that has redefined America, and that now involves the criminal destruction of contested evidence in one of the most controversial vote counts in US history.

Ironically, in Florida, under Jeb Bush, the ballot records from the 2000 election in all but one of the state’s counties were successfully preserved. They are now stored in a state repository in Tallahassee. An unofficial recount conducted by the national media concluded that Al Gore rightfully carried Florida, and thus the presidency, in 2000.

A parallel preservation was ordained by federal and state law for the election records from Ohio 2004, where a similar examination has been viewed as inevitable.

But a series of excuses that range from the lame to the pathetic to the obviously criminal have left us shocked—shocked!—to learn that despite the protection of established federal law, a federal court order, long-standing Ohio laws, two directives from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, and legal notification letters from plaintiff’s attorneys to hold the evidence, a precise recount of Ohio’s stolen 2004 election may no longer be possible.

In short, Brunner has informed us that 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties have mostly “inadvertently” destroyed all or some of their records from the 2004 presidential election.

Are we surprised?

Wait ’til you hear how these mostly Republican directors say it happened!

The materials were under legal protection “from birth” on November 4, 2004, shielded by national law, acknowledged by Brunner, by Ohio Revised Coded 3505.31, then by a federal court decision in the now-legendary King-Lincoln-Bronzeville lawsuit (in which we are attorney and plaintiff).

The Ohio Revised Code specifically states that in presidential elections “the board shall carefully preserve all ballots prepared and provided by it for use in that election, whether used or unused, for twenty-two months after the day of the election.” In this case, that would have been through September 2, 2006.

These records were also essential to reconstructing a credible recount that was most pointedly stifled by then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. Brunner blamed the destruction of documents on Blackwell, “…for not giving counties clear instructions and for not notifying them quickly enough about U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley’s September 7, 2006 order,” according to the conservative Columbus Dispatch.

But many of the ballots were destroyed soon after the election in a series of events whose descriptions grow stranger and more implausible by the day.

In October 25, 2004, just prior to the election, Blackwell issued directive 2004-43, reminding all county election officials of the federal 22-month holding period for presidential ballots. That meant all election-related materials would be under federal protection until September 2, 2006.

On August 23, 2006, plaintiff’s attorneys in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville case hand-delivered a letter to the Secretary of State’s office and faxed notices to all 88 county Board of Elections offices that the ballots were to be evidence in the forthcoming civil rights suit against Blackwell.

On August 31, 2006 that suit was filed in Marbley’s federal court in Columbus. The AP reported that same day that Blackwell “has signaled his willingness to keep ballots from the contentious 2004 election beyond their scheduled September 3 destruction date in response to activists who plan to sue him in federal court today.”

Ohio laws also require that noticed—for election-related materials and other public records—be offered to the Ohio Historical Society and other public repositories before they are destroyed. Public record forms must be filed and Ohio law requires a Certificate of Destruction. Nonetheless, Blackwell erroneously told the Dispatch the next day that he was “willing to ask the boards not to destroy ballots, but the decision ultimately is a local one.”

But under applicable law, the decision was definitely not “a local one.” Indeed, Judge Marbley ordered all of Ohio’s 88 counties to “…preserve all ballots from the 2004 presidential election on paper or in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this court.” Thus anyone destroying such records, from Election Day until the time you read this, may have broken various federal or state laws, and be in contempt of a federal court order.

King-Lincoln alleges a wide range of civil rights violations perpetrated by Blackwell and many of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections based on race, economic status, political inclination, wrongful denial of absentee ballots (as in Harvey’s case) and more.

Here are some of the stories the counties are telling about the destruction of their ballots: (View the original state documents in a 19.5MB PDF)

Hancock County says it “received verbal directions” from Secretary of State Blackwell’s office that unused and soiled ballots “did not have to be retained and these items were destroyed.”

But any election audit requires a complete set of used and unused ballots to ensure that the unused ballots weren’t stuffed illegally into the ballot box. The law refers specifically to “all” ballots.

Putnam County apparently understood this all too clearly. That’s why they informed Brunner that “all unused ballots were destroyed for security purposes.”

In Warren County, on Election Day, the board of elections declared a Level 10 Homeland Security alert for which neither the Homeland Security Agency nor the FBI has any documentation or explanation. The alert served as cover for moving the vote count to an isolated warehouse, away from the media. Bush emerged from Warren County with a huge majority, far in excess of what he received in 2000.

Some twenty-two thousand officially unused ballots from Warren County are now mysteriously missing.

Warren County Board of Elections Director Michael E. Moore has written Brunner, stating that, in complete defiance of the law, “They were not accidentally destroyed. They were destroyed pursuant to standard practices that had been used by the Board of Elections for many years in Warren County regarding unused punch card ballots.” Moore notes that “The unused ballots were destroyed 60 days after the 2004 election.”

Warren, along with neighboring Clermont and Butler counties, provided Bush with more than his entire 118,775 winning margin in Ohio 2004. Thus these three counties were singled out for allegations of fraud in the election contest case Moss v. Bush (though only after surviving the first-ever Congressional challenge to a state’s entire Electoral College delegation). The allegations of fraud on a level that could have decided the presidency were thus never tested in court…and now the evidence has been destroyed.

Clermont County “could not locate” the unused ballots, according to Mike Keeley, Board of Elections Director.

Butler County cannot provide the “2004 General Election Ballot Pages.” Director Betty McGary says that “at no time was anyone specifically instructed to discard these items. Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages as requested in Directive 2007-07 due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions.” For complex reasons having to do with Ohio’s precinct ballot rotation law, the ballots from Butler County cannot be recounted with the “Ballot Pages” missing. The pages match the punches to the candidates.

Holmes County BOE Director Lisa Welch wrote Brunner that “a shelving unit collapsed in the Board of Elections storeroom on the morning of Friday, April 7, 2006. That shelving unit held the voted ballots, stubs, soiled and defaced ballot envelopes, and ballot accounting charts from the 2004 General Election. The shelves and stored items collapsed onto a side table holding a working coffee maker. The carafe on the coffee maker was full at the time of the incident. Many of the stored items had to be destroyed due to the broken glass and hot coffee. The ballot pages and unused ballots were stored on a neighboring shelf and were not damaged.”

Holmes County was rendered infamous by Karl Rove’s legendary spin claiming there was an unprecedented massive turnout of homophobic old order Amish voted for Bush and against gay marriage. (It is well-known that the Amish as a community rarely vote).

Allen County “labeled all voted ballots and placed [them] in our vault for the required 22 months of storage,” according to Keith Cunningham, Director. Cunningham distinguished himself as a pro-Bush and Rove mouthpiece when he testified at then-Congressman (now-felon) Bob Ney’s cursory March 2005 hearing into the 2004 Ohio election.

Cunningham told the Secretary of State that in the “…latter part of 2004 and into 2005… [we] began to experience problems with storm water migrating and subsequently penetrating our primary storage areas including our vault.” He told Free Press reporter Paddy Shaffer that the vault had been flooding for “six years,” and he had to put the 2004 presidential ballots on the floor because he needed the shelf space.

Cunningham added that: “As a result of these events, much of what was stored in our vault, including the 2004 general election ballots, were compromised by water damage and subsequently destroyed on or about August 20, 2006. Pursuant to the recommendations of the Allen County Health Department the boxes displaying mold or mildew were set aside to be discarded. Unfortunately, the contractor hired to remove the damaged boxes also accidentally removed the undamaged boxes as well,” stated Cunningham, who did manage to save 498 write-in ballots.

The Health Department records recommended destruction or isolation as a solution.

Guernsey County’s ballots suffered a similar twisted fate. According to BOE Director Jacqueline Newhart, “The unused ballots as well as the punch card ballot pages were destroyed in error” because “the county maintenance worker, when collecting trash, picked up the boxes” that contained them.

In allegedly mobbed up Mahoning County, the board of elections has blamed environmentalists for inadvertently destroying the ballots. Apparently the “Mahoning County Green Team picked up all recyclables in the storage room for disposal pursuant to the retention schedule,” according to Director Thomas McCabe. As a result, some 115, 936 ballots “were accidentally disposed of on Friday, March 23 of 2007.”

Down in Hamilton County (Cincinnati), home of the Taft family dynasty, the unvoted and soiled ballots were “inadvertently shredded between January 19th and 26th of ’06.”

Perhaps the most egregious case of ballot destruction, and easiest to criminally prosecute, is Director Steve Harsman’s in Montgomery County. Researcher Richard Hayes Phillips reported in the Free Press that, “…the Board was eager to destroy them [the ballots]. The employees who handled the ballots for me brought up the subject themselves.”

Harsman conceded that the “Ohio Revised Code” required a 22-month “retention schedule.” Yet, he argues that since the “Certificate of Destruction” had already been “prepared” prior to his receiving the order from Judge Marbley that he had the right to destroy the ballots.

“We literally ran out of space to prepare, stage, and retain material for these elections. It was imperative that we process the 2004 materials for destruction under the guidelines of the 22-month retention. Therefore, all materials were properly destroyed in a timely manner and we were unable to comply due to these circumstances. We did not receive formal notice from the courts prior to preparing the certification of destruction,” Harman wrote.

Thus Harman admits to openly defying a federal court order and destroying evidence because he wasn’t notified “prior to preparing the certification of destruction.”

But Judge Marbley pointed out in his opinion and order of September 11, 2006 in support of his order of September 7, that the Ohio Revised Code 3501.16 makes it a fourth degree felony for, among other things, willfully or negligently violating election laws as a director of a board of elections.

The original story of the ballots being saved for litigation and history made the pages of the New York Times. But the blatant and bizarre destruction of Ohio’s 2004 ballots has been relegated to the back page of the Columbus Dispatch Metro & State section. The brief article by Mark Niquette ran below the fold and the weather map, and above an ad for Window World and the Ohio State Medical Center.

Matt Damschroder, the Franklin County (Columbus) Board of Election Director and former Chair of the Republican Party, assured the Dispatch that the “counties did nothing intentionally wrong.” Damschroder is the President of the Ohio Association of Election Officials and was suspended without pay for a month after he accepted a $10,000 check from a Diebold representative in his office, made out to the GOP on the day the bidding for e-voting machines opened.

His job was in jeopardy until Board of Elections President Bill Anthony, Chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party, intervened to save Damschroder from firing.

King-Lincoln-Bronzeville Attorney Cliff Arnebeck stated that “The nature and scope of the cover-up can tell a lot about the nature and scope of the crime. Destruction of relevant documents can create a presumption that such evidence would have helped the other side in litigation.”

Arnebeck also said White House advisor Karl Rove “has had the keys to the US Justice Department for some time. No wonder FBI investigations requested by US Rep. John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee went nowhere. He also used those keys to scuttle two years of work by the IRS and FBI of financial corruption at the Ohio Statehouse.”

Overall this blatant destruction of evidence only reinforces the widespread belief that the 2004 election was stolen. The loss of ballot materials in a few isolated counties might be an understandable random event. But for more than 60% of the state’s BOEs to have destroyed ballots or ballot materials amidst a series of bizarre, absurd explanations is a joke.

America has been robbed of its history here. The public has a right to know the true outcome of the 2004 election, and to have its laws about preservation of critical records honored.

Under evidence laws, the destruction of material that serves as evidence in a lawsuit is presumed to be fraudulent action by the destroyer.

But the Bush-Rove-Blackwell regime is about nothing if not contempt for the law. And its assault on the documents that could show what really happened in Ohio’s contested 2004 election seems yet another obvious confirmation that it was, in fact, stolen.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman’s HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA’S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, available at (where this article first appeared) along with the FITRAKIS FILES. HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US is at

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Will Bush Cancel the 2008 Election? by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis

Dandelion Salad

by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis

Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Speaking Truth to Power
Reprinted from

The authors of this article blatantly use the “D” word–dictatorship.

It is time to think about the “unthinkable.”

The Bush Administration has both the inclination and the power to cancel the 2008 election.

The GOP strategy for another electoral theft in 2008 has taken clear shape, though we must assume there is much more we don’t know.

But we must also assume that if it appears to Team Bush/Cheney/Rove that the GOP will lose the 2008 election anyway (as it lost in Ohio 2006) we cannot ignore the possibility that they would simply cancel the election. Those who think this crew will quietly walk away from power are simply not paying attention.

The real question is not how or when they might do it. It’s how, realistically, we can stop them.

In Florida 2000, Team Bush had a game plan involving a handful of tactics. With Jeb Bush in the governor’s mansion, the GOP used a combination of disenfranchisement, intimidation, faulty ballots, electronic voting fraud, a rigged vote count and an aborted recount, courtesy of the US Supreme Court.

A compliant Democrat (Al Gore) allowed the coup to be completed.

In Ohio 2004, the arsenal of dirty tricks exploded. Based in Columbus, we have documented more than a hundred different tactics used to steal the 20 electoral votes that gave Bush a second term. More are still surfacing. As a result of the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit (in which we are plaintiff and attorney) we have now been informed that 56 of the 88 counties in Ohio violated federal law by destroying election records, thus preventing a definitive historical recount.

As in 2000, a compliant Democrat (John Kerry) allowed the coup to proceed.

For 2008 we expect the list of vote theft maneuvers to escalate yet again. We are already witnessing a coordinated nationwide drive to destroy voter registration organizations and to disenfranchise millions of minority, poor and young voters.

This carefully choreographed campaign is complemented by the widespread use of electronic voting machines. As reported by the Government Accountability Office, Princeton University, the Brennan Center, the Carter-Baker Commission, US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and others, these machines can be easily used to flip an election. They were integral to stealing both the 2000 and 2004 elections. Efforts to make their source codes transparent, or to require a usable paper trail on a federal level, have thus far failed. A discriminatory Voter ID requirement may also serve as the gateway to a national identification card.

Overall, the GOP will have at its command even more weapons of election theft in 2008 than it did in Ohio 2004, which jumped exponentially from Florida 2000. The Rovian GOP is nothing if not tightly organized to do this with ruthless efficiency. Expect everything that was used these past two presidential elections to surface again in 2008 in far more states, with far more efficiency, and many new dirty tricks added in.

But in Ohio 2006, the GOP learned a hard lesson. Its candidate for governor was J. Kenneth Blackwell. The Secretary of State was the essential on-the-ground operative in the theft of Ohio 2004.

When he announced for governor, many Ohioans joked that “Ken Blackwell will never lose an election where he counts the votes.”

But lose he did….along with the GOP candidates for Secretary of State, Attorney-General and US Senate.

By our calculations, despite massive grassroots scrutiny, the Republicans stole in excess of 6% of the Ohio vote in 2006. But they still lost.

Why? Because they were so massively unpopular that even a 6% bump couldn’t save them. Outgoing Governor Bob Taft, who pled guilty to four misdemeanors while in office, left town with a 7% approval rating (that’s not a typo). Blackwell entered the last week of the campaign down 30% in some polls.

So while the GOP still had control of the electoral machinery here in 2006, the public tide against them was simply too great to hold back, even through the advanced art and science of modern Rovian election theft.

In traditional electoral terms, that may also be the case in 2008. Should things proceed as they are now, it’s hard to imagine any Republican candidate going into the election within striking distance. The potential variations are many, but the graffiti on the wall is clear.

What’s also clear is that this administration has a deep, profound and uncompromised contempt for democracy, for the rule of law, and for the US Constitution. When George W. Bush went on the record (twice) as saying he has nothing against dictatorship, as long as he can be dictator, it was a clear and present policy statement.

Who really believes this crew will walk quietly away from power? They have the motivation, the money and the method for doing away with the electoral process altogether. So why wouldn’t they?

The groundwork for dismissal of both the legislative and judicial branch has been carefully laid. The litany is well-known, but worth a very partial listing:

The continuation of the drug war, and the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act and other dictatorial laws prompted by the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, have decimated the Bill of Rights, and shredded the traditional American right to due process of law, freedom from official surveillance, arbitrary violence, and far more.

The current Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales, has not backed away from his announcement to Congress that the Constitution does not guarantee habeas corpus. The administration continues to act on the assumption that it can arrest anyone at any time and hold them without notification or trial for as long as it wants.

The establishment of the Homeland Security Agency has given it additional hardware to decimate the basic human rights of our citizenry. Under the guise of dealing with the “immigration problem,” large concentration camps are under construction around the US.

The administration has endorsed and is exercising its “right” to employ torture, contrary to the Eighth Amendment and to a wide range of international treaties, which Gonzales has labeled “quaint.”

With more than 200 “signing statements” the administration acts on its belief that the “unitary executive” trumps the power of the legislative branch in any instance it chooses. This belief has been further enforced with the administration’s use of a wide range of precedent-setting arguments to keep its functionaries from testifying before Congress.

There is much more. In all instances, the 109th Congress—and the public—have rolled over without significant resistance.

Most crucial now are Presidential Directive #51, Executive Orders #13303, #13315, #13350, #13364, #13422, #13438, and more, by which Bush has granted himself an immense arsenal of powers for which the term “dictatorial” is a modest understatement.

The Founders established our government with checks and balances. But executive orders have accumulated important precedent. The Emancipation Proclamation by which Lincoln declared an end to slavery in the South, was issued under the “military necessity” of adding blacks to the Union Army, a step without which the North might not have won the Civil War. Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order #8802 established the Fair Employment Practices Commission. Harry Truman’s Executive Order #9981 desegregated the military.

Most to the point, FDR’s Executive Order #9066 ordered the forcible internment of 100,000 people of Japanese descent into the now infamous concentration camps of World War II.

There is also precedent for a president overriding the Supreme Court. In the 1830s Chief Justice John Marshall enshrined the right of the Cherokee Nation to sovereignty over its ancestral land in the Appalachian Mountains. But President Andrew Jackson scorned the decision. Some 14,000 native Americans were moved at gunpoint to Oklahoma. More than 3,000 died along the way.

All this will be relevant should Team Bush envision a defeat in the 2008 election and decide to call it off. It’s well established that Richard Nixon—mentor to Karl Rove and Dick Cheney—commissioned the Huston Plan, which detailed how to cancel the 1972 election.

Today we must ask: who would stop this administration from taking dictatorial power in the instance of a “national emergency” such as a terror attack at a nuclear power plant or something similar?

Nothing in the behavior of this Congress indicates that it is capable of significant resistance. Impeachment seems beyond it. Nor does it seem Congress would actually remove Bush if it did put him on trial.

Short of that, Bush clearly does not view anything Congress might do as a meaningful impediment. After all, how many divisions does the Congress command?

The Supreme Court, as currently constituted, would almost certainly rubber stamp a Bush coup. If not, like Jackson, he could ignore it as easily as he would ignore Congress.

What does that leave? There is much idle speculation now about what the armed forces would do. We also hear loose talk about “90 million gun owners.”

From the public side, the only conceivable counter-force might be a national strike or an effective long-term campaign of general non-cooperation.

But we can certainly assume the mainstream media will give lock-step support to whatever the regime says and does. It’s also a given that those likely to lead the resistance will immediately land in those new prisons being built by Halliburton et. al.

So how do we cope with the harsh realities of such a Bush/Cheney/Rove dictatorial coup?

We may have about a year to prepare. Every possible scenario needs to be discussed in excruciating detail.

For only one thing is certain: denial will do nothing.

HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at, along with SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030. The FITRAKIS FILES are at (where this article was originally published), along with HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA’S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, which Bob and Harvey co-wrote.


National Security & Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51 (2007)

Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.