Means, Motive, Opportunity
April 12, 2005
By Ernest Partridge, The
The 2006 mid-term election - a scenario:
By late summer, 2006, the United States is in a desperate condition.
Following the collapse of the dollar in international currency markets,
there has been a cascade of business failures and mortgage foreclosures,
and a precipitous rise in unemployment, as the US economy slides
inexorably into a depression. Meanwhile, the June 2005 American
attack on Iran and the continuing war in Iraq has made the United
States an international pariah state; thus the community of nations
shows no inclination whatever to rescue the United States from its
In the run-up to the 2006 election, the mainstream media has once
again fallen in line behind the Republicans, blaming the depression
on the Clinton Administration, al Qaeda, and/or betrayal by "Old
Europe." The crimes and outrages of the Bush/GOP syndicate
have been unreported by the media, as Democratic war veterans running
for office against GOP draft-dodgers have once again been castigated
For their part, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and the religious
right have proclaimed that these economic and diplomatic catastrophes
manifest God's judgment on the American people for their toleration
of gays, abortion, the ACLU, the teaching of evolution, and independent
This time, the public is unconvinced by the GOP propaganda, as
massive protest demonstrations erupt throughout the country. Finally
fed up with the lies and greed of the GOP, and finally aware of
just how much their livelihood and their future has been plundered
by Bushenomics, more than two-thirds of the voters are about to
go to the polls determined to throw out the Republican Congress.
While a few honest polls forecast a landslide victory for the
Democrats, most of these polls have not been published.
The Republican-owned and Republican-coded "black-box" voting machines
once again perform as intended, and the Republicans retain control
The astonished and disappointed public is once again told to "get
Beyond that, my crystal ball becomes cloudy.
The implied question in this scenario is clear: if GOP partisans
own the voting machines, count the votes, refuse to allow independent
validation of the tallies, and if the Republicans choose to take
advantage of this opportunity for fraud, is there any way – any
way at all – that the Democrats could win the 2006 election and
regain control of Congress?
If not, then why do the Democrats persist in looking hopefully
to 2006 - "the next time?" After all, 2002 and 2004 were
"the next time," and there is abundant evidence that in
both cases, the peoples' will was reversed by the Diebold and ES&S
Clearly, the Democratic Party and its allies look forward to victory
in 2006 because they are in denial: they simply cannot bring themselves
to face the compelling evidence that in the United States today,
the electoral process is rigged, thus the will of the people is
irrelevant to the governance of the nation, and thus the United
States has ceased to be a democracy.
Neither the 2004 Democratic Party candidate, John Kerry, nor the
Party's Chairman, Howard Dean, will publicly entertain the notion
that the fix is in. The issue of electoral fraud is simply not on
the agenda of the Democratic National Committee. Prominent progressives
such as Vermont's Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, Paul Begala, and Arianna
Huffington insist that Bush won the election, "fair and square,"
and that the "anomalies" in Florida and Ohio were not
sufficient to have determined the outcome.
As for the media, actor and activist Peter
Coyote reports that there is a lock-down order throughout the
mainstream media that the issue of electoral integrity is simply
not to be mentioned. Violation of the order can be a career-ender.
And in fact, with the exception of Keith Olbermann, one is hard-pressed
to identify anyone in the MSM who has mentioned the issue.
And so today, political discourse is captivated by the assumption
that in 2004 George Bush won a majority of both the popular and
the electoral votes, and thus, unlike 2000, is now the undisputably
legitimate President of the United States. In addition, it is assumed
without debate that the Republicans have legitimate control of the
Congress. The "success" of the Republicans and the "failure"
of the Democrats is now the frame within which all political discussion
Suppose instead that in 2002 and 2004 every intended vote had
been correctly counted, and as a result John Kerry was now the President,
and the Democrats controlled the Senate and quite possibly the House
as well. The pundits would now be writing about the resurgence of
liberalism and the Democratic Party, and, at the same time, speculating
as to the causes of the "failure" of The Right, and the public's
rejection of George Bush.
The evidence of massive election fraud in 2004 is compelling,
and continues to accumulate, despite the media lock-down. Just last
week, a group of university statisticians released
a report which calculates at a million to one the probability
that the discrepancy between the exit polls (indicating a Kerry
victory) and the final results was due to random error.
Because I have discussed
at length the evidence for fraud in the 2004 election, I will
not repeat it here. But for those who wish to have yet another look
at the evidence, see The Crisis Papers page, "Was
Election 2004 a Fraud?" Suffice to say that as the evidence
accumulates, the media remains mute and the public remains unconcerned.
Clear, contrary evidence that the election returns were accurate
and the outcome legitimate is simply non-existent. This is because
the election procedure was designed to not provide validation. The
software source-codes were secret, there was no paper record, and
there was no parallel validation procedure for the centralized compilation
of voting totals. To the repeated plea for validation, all that
the voting-machine technicians could say is "trust us"
– "us" being partisan Republicans who built, coded, and
operated the voting machines.
Aside from the now-familiar GOP retorts of "get over it!" and
"don't be paranoid," the crux of the case of electoral legitimacy
is "they wouldn't dare rig the election," or alternatively, "the
Republicans have too much respect for our democracy to do such a
With much less provocation than this, the citizens of Ukraine
and the Republic of Georgia demanded, and got, new elections, which
reversed the outcomes of the corrupted elections.
As most CSI and Law and Order viewers are well aware,
in their search for suspects, detectives look first of all for "means,
motive and opportunity."
The means for election fraud are so obvious and indisputable that
even the Republicans will not dispute them. The means, of course,
are the machines and secret software of the Diebold and ES&S corporations
that recorded more than 30% of the votes cast, and 80% of the votes
centrally compiled, in the 2004 Presidential election.
The lack of an independent paper record or any other mode of verification,
the minuscule chance of discovery, and the accommodating silence
of the media provides the opportunity.
There remains the question of motive.
Remember, first of all, that 2004 was not an ordinary Presidential
re-election contest whereby, should the incumbent lose, he graciously
concedes to the winner and then retires to play golf, give speeches
at one-hundred grand a pop, or even do sufficient good deeds to
eventually win a Nobel Peace Prize.
In this election, the stakes were much higher. The Republicans
gathered and invested a half billion dollars in order to win, and
they did so for good reason. In Bush's first term, billions of dollars
were transferred from the poor, the middle class, the federal treasury,
and future generations, to the super-wealthy, with many billions
more to come in a second Bush term. Many of Bush's friends and benefactors,
possibly including his Vice President, have engaged in massive graft
and bribery – for example, hundreds of millions of dollars of Iraq
reconstruction funds "lost" by Halliburton, and billions
of dollars of California utility bills swindled by Enron. Still
more crimes: Condi Rice's perjury before the 9/11 commission, the
"outing" of CIA agent Valerie Plame, Tom DeLay's attempted
bribery of Congressman Nick Smith. God only knows what else a Democratic
Attorney General and Democratic Congressional investigations might
The Bush syndicate did not simply wish to stay in office. They
plausibly had an even greater motive to stay out of the Federal
So it comes down to this: in the 2004 election, the Bush team
and the Republican party had a treasure trove of means and opportunity
dropped in their laps. They could, if they chose, key in any election
result they wanted; for example, they could swing a Senate race
by nine points or a Governor's race by fifteen points (as it appears
they did in Georgia, 2002). And, if the 2004 early exit polls were
in fact accurate, in the Presidential race it now appears that they
could drop the Democrat's percentage by five points, and boost the
Republican's total by the same amount. Thanks to the secret codes
and back-door access to the voting machines, and thanks in addition
to the cooperation of the corporate media, they could do all this
without fear of detection.
Mindful of the record of this Administration during the past four
years, the enormous personal and financial consequences, as noted
above, of an election defeat, and the likelihood of that defeat
as indicated by the polls, can we really expect them to have said,
in effect, "yes, we could steal this election without consequence,
but it wouldn't be right, so we choose to be honest?"
If you believe this, then I have a stack of Enron stock that I'd
like to sell you.
Clearly, the Bush syndicate had abundant means, motive and opportunity
to commit a crime against the state, in a word treason, and there
is compelling evidence that they have done just that. Neither the
enforced silence of the media nor the cowardly inaction of the Democrats
mitigate this evidence by one iota.
The over-arching question, then, is "when will the public
wake up to this silent coup d'etat?"
For the issue before us is no longer the protection of American
democracy. It's too late for that. The issue instead is the restoration
of American democracy. And at the moment, that issue is very much
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in
the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He publishes
the website The
Online Gadfly and co-edits the progressive website The
Crisis Papers Archive