Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #468 Through a Glass Darkly‑A Look at the 2004 Elections

Record­ed July 11, 2004
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

Exam­in­ing a num­ber of unsa­vory pos­si­bil­i­ties relat­ing to the upcom­ing elec­tion, the pro­gram begins by tak­ing a look at the untime­ly death of Athan Gibbs, a crit­ic of elec­tron­ic vot­ing who devel­oped a viable alter­na­tive to the unver­i­fi­able tech­nolo­gies being advanced by allies of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. A major top­ic of spec­u­la­tion vis a vis the elec­tion con­cerns the the­o­ry that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion might try to pro­duce Osama bin Laden before the elec­tion. In that regard, the broad­cast sets forth pres­sure by the admin­is­tra­tion on Pak­istan to pro­duce the cap­ture of a major Al Qae­da fig­ure before election—around the time of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­ven­tion if pos­si­ble. Next, the pro­gram sets forth a num­ber of arti­cles indi­cat­ing that Ralph Nad­er may very well be work­ing as a con­scious stalk­ing-horse for the Republicans—his dis­claimers to the con­trary notwith­stand­ing. Next the pro­gram exam­ines the frac­tious Al Sharp­ton, whose abortive can­di­da­cy for pres­i­dent was man­aged by Roger Stone—who led the Flori­da GOP mob that forced the halt of the Mia­mi-Dade vote recount in 2000. The pro­gram con­cludes on an emphat­i­cal­ly spec­u­la­tive note—discussion of the pos­si­bil­i­ty that an earth­quake in Cal­i­for­nia might dras­ti­cal­ly affect the elec­toral process. The pro­gram reviews the fact that man-made earth­quakes are a reality—the US and the for­mer Sovi­et Union had a treaty on such mat­ters on the books by the mid-1970’s. (For more infor­ma­tion on this sub­ject, see FTR#69.)

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Ralph Nader’s pro­fes­sion­al asso­ci­a­tion with Rupert Murdoch—who is pub­lish­ing and flog­ging Nader’s lat­est book; GOP financ­ing of Nader’s cam­paign; Nader’s his­to­ry of treach­ery toward for­mer pro­fes­sion­al asso­ciates; Al Sharp­ton’s his­to­ry of work­ing for the Repub­li­cans and against the Democ­rats; two recent fore­casts of pos­si­ble earth­quakes in Cal­i­for­nia for lat­er this year; Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger’s recent sack­ing of the Demo­c­rat who was in charge of the Cal­i­for­nia Nation­al Guard (who was replaced by a Repub­li­can); review of the influ­ence of Machi­avel­li’s The Prince on the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion; Machi­avel­li’s advice about the need to destroy a pop­u­la­tion that is seek­ing to regain its demo­c­ra­t­ic her­itage.

1. In FTR#466, we exam­ined the sub­ject of com­put­er­ized vot­ing and the poten­tial pit­falls that the tech­nol­o­gy holds for democ­ra­cy. This broad­cast begins by high­light­ing the death of Athan Gibbs, a crit­ic of com­put­er vot­ing machines that do not pro­vide a paper trail. Gibbs, who had devel­oped a tech­nol­o­gy that assured a viable account­ing of votes, was killed in a car/truck col­li­sion in Texas. “The sub­ject line on yes­ter­day’s e‑mail read: ‘Anoth­er mys­te­ri­ous acci­dent solves a Bush prob­lem. Athan Gibbs dead, Diebold lives.’ The attached news sto­ry briefly described the untime­ly Fri­day, March 12th death of per­haps Amer­i­ca’s most influ­en­tial advo­cate of a ver­i­fied vot­ing paper trail in the era of touch screen com­put­er vot­ing. Gibbs, an accoun­tant for more than 30 years and the inven­tor of the Tru Vote sys­tem, died when his vehi­cle col­lid­ed with an 18-wheeled truck which rolled his Chevy Blaz­er sev­er­al times and forced it over the high­way retain­ing wall where it came to rest on its roof. . . .”
(“Mys­te­ri­ous Death Ben­e­fits Bush” by Bob Fitrakis; Coastal Post; 4/2004; p. 1.)

2. ” . . . Gibbs’ death bears height­ened scruti­ny because of the way he lived his life after the 2000 Flori­da elec­tion deba­cle. I inter­viewed Athan Gibbs in Jan­u­ary of this year. ‘I’ve been an accoun­tant, an audi­tor, for more than thir­ty years. Elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines that don’t sup­ply a paper trail go against every prin­ci­ple of account­ing and audit­ing that’s being taught in Amer­i­can busi­ness schools,’ he insist­ed. ‘These machines are set up to pro­vide paper trails. No busi­ness in Amer­i­ca would buy a machine that did­n’t pro­vide a paper trail to audit and ver­i­fy its trans­ac­tion. Now, they want the peo­ple to pur­chase machines that you can’t audit? It’s absurd.’ ” (Idem.)

3. “Gibbs was in Colum­bus, Ohio proud­ly dis­play­ing his Tru­Vote machine that offered a ‘VVPAT, that’s a vot­er ver­i­fied paper audit trail’ he not­ed. Gibbs also sug­gest­ed that I look into the ‘peo­ple behind the oth­er machines.’ He offered that ‘Diebold and ES&S are real inter­est­ing and all Repub­li­cans. If you’re an inves­tiga­tive reporter go ahead and inves­ti­gate. You’ll find some inter­est­ing mate­r­i­al.’ ” (Idem.)

4. “Gibbs’ Tru­Vote machine is a mar­vel. After vot­ers touch the screen, a paper bal­lot prints out under plex­i­glass and once the vot­er com­pares it to his actu­al vote and approves it, the bal­lot drops into a lock­box and is issued a num­bered receipt. The voter’s receipt allows the track­ing of his par­tic­u­lar vote to make sure that it was trans­ferred from the polling place to the elec­tion tab­u­la­tion cen­ter.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

5. “My encounter with Gibbs led to a cov­er sto­ry in the Colum­bus Free Press March-April issue, enti­tled, ‘Diebold, elec­tron­ic vot­ing and the vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy.’ The the­sis I advanced in the Free Press arti­cle is that some of the same right-wing indi­vid­u­als who backed the CIA’s covert actions and over­throw­ing of demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions in the Third World in the 1980’s are now involved in pri­va­tized touch screen vot­ing. Addi­tion­al­ly I co-wrote an arti­cle with Har­vey Wasser­man that was post­ed at MotherJones.com on March 5, 2004. Both arti­cles out­lined ties between far right ele­ments of the Repub­li­can Par­ty and Diebold and ES&S, which count the major­i­ty of the nation’s elec­tron­ic votes.” (Idem.)

6. “As I wrote in the Free Press arti­cle, ‘Pro­po­nents of a paper trail were embold­ened when Athan Gibbs, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Tru­Vote Inter­na­tion­al, demon­strat­ed a vot­ing machine at a ven­dor’s fair in Colum­bus that pro­vides two sep­a­rate vot­ing receipts.’ In an inter­view on WVKO radio, Gibbs calm­ly and method­i­cal­ly explained the dan­gers of ‘block box’ touch screen vot­ing. ‘It absolute­ly makes no sense to buy elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines that can’t pro­duce a paper trail. Inevitably, com­put­ers mess up. How are you going to have a recount, or cor­rect mal­func­tions with­out a paper trail?’ ” (Idem.)

7. “Now, the man ask­ing the obvi­ous ques­tion, and demon­strat­ing an obvi­ous tan­gi­ble solu­tion is dead in anoth­er trag­ic acci­dent, a week after both arti­cles were in cir­cu­la­tion. When I called Tru­Vote Inter­na­tion­al to Ver­i­fy Gibbs’ death, I reached Chief Finan­cial Offi­cer Adrenne [sic] Bran­don who assured me ‘We’re going on in his mem­o­ry. We’re going to make this hap­pen.’ Every Amer­i­can con­cerned with democ­ra­cy should pledge to make this hap­pen. To beat back the rush for state gov­ern­ments to pur­chase pri­va­tized, par­ti­san and unre­li­able elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines with­out ver­i­fied paper trails. Gibbs’ last words to me were ‘How do you explain what hap­pened to Sen­a­tor Max Cle­land in Geor­gia. How do you explain that? The Mary­land study and the Johns Hop­kins sci­en­tists have warned us against ‘blind faith vot­ing.’ These sys­tems can be hacked into. They found patch­es in Geor­gia and the peo­ple ser­vic­ing the machine had entered the machines dur­ing the vot­ing process. How can we the peo­ple accept this? No more blind faith vot­ing.’ ” (Idem.)

8. A major top­ic of spec­u­la­tion vis a vis the elec­tion con­cerns the the­o­ry that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion might try to pro­duce Osama bin Laden before the elec­tion. In that regard, the broad­cast sets forth pres­sure by the admin­is­tra­tion on Pak­istan to pro­duce the cap­ture of a major Al Qae­da fig­ure before election—around the time of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­ven­tion if pos­si­ble. ” . . . This spring, the admin­is­tra­tion sig­nif­i­cant­ly increased its pres­sure on Pak­istan to kill or cap­ture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Tal­iban’s Mul­lah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hid­ing in the law­less trib­al areas of Pak­istan. A suc­ces­sion of high-lev­el Amer­i­can officials—from out­go­ing CIA Direc­tor George Tenet to Sec­re­tary of State Col­in Pow­ell to Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State Christi­na Roc­ca to State Depart­ment coun­tert­er­ror­ism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official—have vis­it­ed Pak­istan in recent months to urge Gen­er­al Per­vez Mushar­raf’s gov­ern­ment to do more in the war on ter­ror­ism. In April, Zal­may Khalilzad, the Amer­i­can ambas­sador to Afghanistan, pub­licly chid­ed the Pak­ista­nis for pro­vid­ing a ‘sanc­tu­ary’ for Al Qae­da and Tal­iban forces cross­ing the Afghan bor­der. ‘The prob­lem has not been solved and needs to be solved, the soon­er the bet­ter,’ he said.”
(“Pak­istan for Bush: July Sur­prise?” by John B. Jud­is, Spencer Ack­er­man & Mas­soud Ansari; The New Repub­lic (Online); 7/19/2004; p. 1.)

9. “This pub­lic pres­sure would be appro­pri­ate, even laud­able, had it not been accom­pa­nied by an unseem­ly pri­vate insis­tence that the Pak­ista­nis deliv­er these high-val­ue tar­gets (HVTs) before Amer­i­cans go to the polls in Novem­ber. The Bush admin­is­tra­tion denies it has geared the war on ter­ror­ism to the elec­toral cal­en­dar. ‘Our atti­tude and actions have been the same since Sep­tem­ber 11 in terms of get­ting high-val­ue tar­gets off the street, and that does­n’t change because of an elec­tion,’ says Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil spokesman Sean McCor­ma­ck. But the New Repub­lic has learned that Pak­istani secu­ri­ty offi­cials have been told they must pro­duce HVTs by the elec­tion. Accord­ing to one source in Pak­istan’s pow­er­ful Inter-Ser­vices Intel­li­gence (ISI), ‘The Pak­istani gov­ern­ment is real­ly des­per­ate and wants to flush out bin Laden and his asso­ciates after the lat­est pres­sures from the U.S. admin­is­tra­tion to deliv­er before the [upcom­ing] U.S. elec­tions.’ Intro­duc­ing tar­get dates for Al Qae­da cap­tures is a new twist in U.S.-Pakistani coun­tert­er­ror­ism relations—according to a recent­ly depart­ed intel­li­gence offi­cial, ‘no timetable[s]’ were dis­cussed in 2002 or 2003—but the Novem­ber elec­tion is appar­ent­ly bring­ing a new dead­line pres­sure to the hunt. Anoth­er offi­cial, this one from the Pak­istani Inte­ri­or Min­istry, which is respon­si­ble for inter­nal secu­ri­ty, explains, ‘The Mushar­raf gov­ern­ment has a his­to­ry of res­cu­ing the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. They now want Mushar­raf to bail them out when they are fac­ing hard times in the com­ing elec­tions.’ (These sources insist­ed on remain­ing anony­mous. Under Pak­istan’s Offi­cial Secrets Act, an offi­cial leak­ing infor­ma­tion to the press can be impris­oned for up to ten years.)” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

10. “A third source, an offi­cial who works under ISI’s direc­tor, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Ehsan ul-Haq, informed TNR that the Pak­ista­nis ‘have been told at every lev­el that appre­hen­sion or killing of HVTs before [the] elec­tion is [an] absolute must.’ What’s more, this source claims that Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s offi­cials have told their Pak­istani coun­ter­parts they have a date in mind for announc­ing this achieve­ment: ‘The last ten days of July dead­line has been giv­en repeat­ed­ly by vis­i­tors to Islam­abad and dur­ing [ul-Haq’s] meet­ings in Wash­ing­ton.’ Says McCor­ma­ck: ‘I’m aware of no such com­ment.’ But accord­ing to this ISI offi­cial, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that ‘it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twen­ty-six, twen­ty-sev­en, or twen­ty-eight July’—the first three days of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Boston. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

11. ” . . . Pak­istani per­cep­tions of U.S. pol­i­tics rein­force these wor­ries. ‘In Pak­istan, there has been a folk belief that, when­ev­er there’s a Repub­li­can admin­is­tra­tion in office, rela­tions with Pak­istan have been very good,’ says Khalid Hasan, a U.S. cor­re­spon­dent for the Lahore-based Dai­ly Times. By con­trast, there’s also a ‘folk belief that the Democ­rats are always pro-India.’ Recent his­to­ry has val­i­dat­ed those beliefs. The Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion inher­it­ed close ties to Pak­istan, forged a decade ear­li­er in col­lab­o­ra­tion against the Sovi­et inva­sion of Afghanistan. But, by the time Clin­ton left office, the Unit­ed States had tilt­ed toward India, and Pak­istan was under U.S. sanc­tions for its nuclear activ­i­ties. All this has giv­en Mushar­raf rea­son not just to respond to pres­sure from Bush, but to feel invest­ed in him—and to wor­ry that Ker­ry, who called the Khan affair a ‘dis­as­ter,’ and who has pro­posed tough new curbs on nuclear pro­lif­er­a­tion, would adopt an ici­er line. Bush’s strat­e­gy could work. In large part because of the increased U.S. pres­sure, Mushar­raf has, over the last sev­er­al months, sig­nif­i­cant­ly increased mil­i­tary activ­i­ty in the trib­al areas—regions that enjoy con­sid­er­able auton­o­my from Islam­abad and where, until Mushar­raf sided with the Unit­ed States in the war on ter­ror­ism, Pak­istani sol­diers had nev­er set foot in the nation’s 50-year his­to­ry. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 3–4)

12. Much of the pro­gram deals with Ralph Nader’s 2004 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, which many see as an attempt at deliv­er­ing the pres­i­den­cy to George Bush. (For infor­ma­tion about Nader’s 2000 cam­paign, see FTR#264.) In his 2004 bid, Nad­er has been claim­ing that his can­di­da­cy will take more votes from Bush than from Ker­ry. A recent Salon.com arti­cle skew­ers that claim: “Inde­pen­dent pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Ralph Nader—still not on the bal­lot in a sin­gle slate—has received a recent wind­fall of con­tri­bu­tions from deep-pock­et­ed Repub­li­cans with a his­to­ry of big con­tri­bu­tions to the par­ty, an analy­sis of fed­er­al records show. Near­ly one in 10 of Nader’s major donors—those writ­ing checks of $1,000 or more—have giv­en in recent months to the Bush-Cheney cam­paign, the lat­est doc­u­ments show. GOP fund-rais­ers also have ‘bun­dled’ contributions—gathering hefty dona­tions for max­i­mum effect to help Nad­er, who has crit­i­cized the prac­tice in the past. The dona­tions from wealthy Republicans—combined with increas­ing­ly vocal Demo­c­ra­t­ic charges that they rep­re­sent a stealth GOP effort to wound Demo­c­rat John Ker­ry-prompt­ed Nader’s vice pres­i­den­tial run­ning mate, Green Par­ty mem­ber Peter Came­jo, to sug­gest the con­sumer advo­cate reject the mon­ey that does­n’t come from loy­al Nad­er vot­ers. . . .”
(“GOP Donors Fund­ing Nad­er” by Car­la Mar­in­uc­ci; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 7/9/2004; p. A1.)

13. Nader’s selec­tion of a promi­nent Green Par­ty per­son­al­i­ty as a run­ning-mate belies Nader’s stat­ed objec­tive of tak­ing votes away from Bush. “Ralph Nader’s lat­est pres­i­den­tial cam­paign does not have an offi­cial slo­gan. It does, how­ev­er, have a kind of offi­cial ratio­nal­iza­tion. ‘I think I’m going to take more votes away from Repub­li­cans than from Democ­rats,’ Nad­er says, almost every time he speaks. Democ­rats doubt this the­o­ry. And Nad­er admits no Repub­li­cans have asked him to leave the race or expressed fear he will siphon votes from Bush. ‘I don’t think they’re in with the trend,’ Nad­er
(“Nader’s Repub­li­can Pipe Dream” by Peter Dizikes; Salon.com; 6/10/2004; p. 1.)

14. “But Nad­er insists his Repub­li­can back­ers are real. To find out more, I spent a good chunk of time over the last few weeks talk­ing to Nad­er sup­port­ers in New Eng­land. I attend­ed Nad­er mee­tups, Nad­er vol­un­teer meet­ings, Nad­er cam­paign events and Nad­er press con­fer­ences. I spoke with Nad­er sup­port­ers who are still in high school, and Nad­er sup­port­ers with gray hair. I talked to peo­ple who have admired Nad­er since the 1960’s, and oth­ers who first heard of him last year. I found Nad­er sup­port­ers who have vot­ed for him mul­ti­ple times, Nad­er sup­port­ers who have nev­er vot­ed, and Nad­er sup­port­ers who vot­ed for Al Gore in 2000.” (Idem.)

15. “What I did not find, how­ev­er, was a sin­gle sup­port­er of Ralph Nad­er who vot­ed for George W. Bush in 2000, or who had been plan­ning to sup­port Bush this year before Nad­er entered the race. After a while, I felt like a stymied nat­u­ral­ist stalk­ing a rare species. Sure, Naderus Repub­li­canus must exist some­where, but it is an unusu­al crea­ture, capa­ble of elud­ing human obser­va­tion for long stretch­es of time. . . .” (Idem.)

16. Yet anoth­er Salon.com arti­cle high­lights Nader’s pro­fes­sion­al rela­tion­ship with Rupert Mur­doch. Mur­doch is both pub­lish­ing and flog­ging Nader’s newest book, rais­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the right-wing Mur­doch, whose media empire is an emphat­ic backer of George Bush, may be delib­er­ate­ly pro­mot­ing Nader’s elec­toral for­tunes. ” . . . Anoth­er good ques­tion [for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tender Howard] Dean might ask Nad­er, crit­ic of cor­po­rate-con­trolled Wash­ing­ton and foe of ram­pant media con­sol­i­da­tion, is why Nader’s new book, which arrived in stores this week and kicks off his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, is being pub­lished by Rupert Mur­doch. Chair­man of the expan­sive con­glom­er­ate News Corp., the con­ser­v­a­tive Mur­doch has been a chief advo­cate for more than two decades of exten­sive media dereg­u­la­tion. And his Harper­Collins is not only pub­lish­ing Nader’s The Good Fight: Declare Your Inde­pen­dence and close the Democ­ra­cy Gap’ but pro­vid­ing the can­di­date with expen­sive pub­lic rela­tions pro­mo­tion and media book­ings. ‘Is this a coin­ci­dence, or a back­hand­ed way of help­ing Nad­er out?’ asks Chel­lie Pin­gree, pres­i­dent of Com­mon Cause. . . .”
(“Strange Alliance” by Eric Boehlert; Salon.com; 7/9/2004; pp. 1–2.)

17. ” . . . But Mur­doch’s pub­li­ca­tion of Nader’s book fits in with an emerg­ing pat­tern of polit­i­cal activ­i­ties. Recent news reports indi­cate Repub­li­can groups nation­wide are active­ly aid­ing Nader’s effort to secure space on elec­tion bal­lots in the hope that he will hurt John Ker­ry’s chances . . . Against that back­drop, Nader’s alliance with the pub­lish­ing arm of Mur­doch, who has been a lav­ish sup­port­er of Repub­li­can can­di­dates and uses his media outlets—including Fox News, the New York Post and the Week­ly Standard—to advance Repub­li­can caus­es and his own busi­ness inter­ests, rais­es ques­tions about the media mogul’s inten­tions. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

18. Next, the pro­gram exam­ines charges by for­mer asso­ciates of Nader’s that he repaid their loy­al­ty and friend­ship with treach­ery. Accord­ing to the fam­i­ly of for­mer Nad­er aide Ted Jacobs, Nad­er pro­vid­ed dis­in­for­ma­tion about Jacobs to the FBI—thereby per­ma­nent­ly dam­ag­ing Jacobs’ career. ” . . . While Nad­er con­tin­ues to cam­paign against cor­po­rate abuse, his own record, accord­ing to many of those who have worked close­ly with him, is char­ac­ter­ized by arro­gance, under­hand­ed attacks on friends and asso­ciates, secre­cy, para­noia and mean-spiritedness—even at the expense of his own caus­es. If he were a cor­po­rate CEO, sub­ject to the laws gov­ern­ing pub­licly held and fed­er­al­ly reg­u­lat­ed firms, there can be lit­tle doubt he would have been removed long ago by his com­pa­ny’s board of direc­tors. . . .”
(“The Dark Side of Ralph Nad­er” by Lisa Cham­ber­lain; Salon.com; 7/1/2004; p. 2.)

19. ” . . . Ted Jacobs met Nad­er when they were both fresh­men at Prince­ton and then attend­ed Har­vard Law School togeth­er. Lat­er, as an attor­ney in pri­vate prac­tice, Ted pro­vid­ed per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al legal assis­tance to his old col­lege friend after he was cat­a­pult­ed to nation­al promi­nence over the issue of auto­mo­bile safe­ty with the pub­li­ca­tion of ‘Unsafe at Any Speed.’ Ted became, in effect, Nader’s chief of staff And from 1970 to 1975, Ted was exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Cen­ter of Respon­sive Law, the first orga­ni­za­tion Nad­er found­ed.” (Idem.)

20. “The two men’s ugly and painful falling out—in which Nad­er trashed Jacobs to the FBI when Jacobs was up for a fed­er­al job and Jacobs retal­i­at­ed with an explo­sive affi­davit alleg­ing finan­cial and legal impro­pri­eties by Nader—was the first of many destruc­tive breach­es between Nad­er and one­time allies. The sto­ry has­n’t been told before, but the Jacobs fam­i­ly recent­ly made pri­vate papers avail­able to Salon that doc­u­ment the sad split. ‘My dad kept every­thing,’ said Jacobs. ‘He had box­es of papers in our base­ment. They pret­ty much sat there until Nad­er announced that he was going to run again, and I decid­ed to go through them.’ Nick was shocked by his dis­cov­ery of this dark chap­ter in his father’s oth­er­wise ene­my-free life.” (Idem.)

21. “In var­i­ous arti­cles from the ear­ly 1970’s, Ted Jacobs was described as ‘Nader’s clos­est friend and advi­sor’ and the per­son who stood ‘between Nad­er and the world, absorb­ing the fury of the attacked, offer­ing solace to the ignored, always speak­ing the absolute truth with­in the lim­its of what he believes Nad­er would wish him to reveal.’ But, accord­ing to the pri­vate papers shared with Salon, he informed Nad­er some­time in 1974 that he planned to leave the Cen­ter for the Study of Respon­sive Law but would first fin­ish sev­er­al projects.” (Idem.)

22. “On March 8, 1975, Jacobs arrived at the office to find the con­tents of two large file cab­i­nets miss­ing (includ­ing his per­son­al diaries and doc­u­ments relat­ing to ‘finan­cial mat­ters’) and his desk draw­ers ran­sacked. Nad­er arrived at the office a short while lat­er to tell him he had ordered the files removed. In a state of near shock, Jacobs ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion and demand­ed to know what was going on. Accord­ing to con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous notes writ­ten by Jacobs, Nad­er said he had con­fis­cat­ed the files because a year ear­li­er, Jacobs had signed checks for mag­a­zine sub­scrip­tions with­out Nader’s per­mis­sion. Nad­er also accused Jacobs of writ­ing a check to him­self for about $75 for expens­es. Dis­mayed and shak­en, Jacobs searched for a new job.” (Idem.)

23. “He was being seri­ous­ly con­sid­ered for a posi­tion as a staff mem­ber on the Sen­ate Select Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, which required a rou­tine back­ground check con­duct­ed by the FBI (which col­lects raw data on indi­vid­u­als but does not seek to con­firm it). While wait­ing to hear about the job, Jacobs was told that ques­tions had been raised about his char­ac­ter, hon­esty and trust­wor­thi­ness. He sub­se­quent­ly learned that the source of the innu­en­does was Nad­er. Accord­ing to Jacobs’ son Nick, to find out why he was denied a secu­ri­ty clear­ance, Jacobs asked for and received a list of the peo­ple the FBI had inter­viewed and what they had said. He told the agency the accu­sa­tions were untrue.” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

24. “Nick says he has repeat­ed­ly asked the FBI for access to his father’s FBI file, but although the agency has said the file is OK to release, he has so far not received it. On Aug. 7, 1975, Jacobs wrote
his for­mer friend a let­ter express­ing his dis­tress: ‘I thought that we had set­tled after our long talk in April . . . If I mis­un­der­stood you that day, it was sure­ly the most cost­ly mis­un­der­stand­ing in the 24 years I’ve known you. I was pre­pared to let you go your way in the hope that you would let me go mine and I was feel­ing very kind­ly dis­posed to you. That was until I learned of your state­ment to the FBI. The impact of that state­ment was as if I had been kicked in the stom­ach . . . We must have some sort of res­o­lu­tion to undo the dam­age done by your state­ments. As the record now stands, it will be an imped­i­ment for the rest of my life.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

25. ” . . . Accord­ing to a state­ment Jacobs wrote after he was dis­missed, Nad­er told the FBI that Jacobs was fired for skim­ming mon­ey from the Cen­ter for the Study of Respon­sive Law and oth­er irreg­u­lar­i­ties. In the affi­davit that Jacobs draft­ed in the hope of clear­ing his name with the FBI, he wrote: ‘I was the only per­son Mr. Nad­er trust­ed with his exten­sive and com­pli­cat­ed finan­cial deal­ings . . . I reg­u­lar­ly signed his name to leas­es, cor­re­spon­dence, con­tracts, tax returns, reports to gov­ern­ment agen­cies and bank and stock bro­ker­age accounts. Mr. Nad­er was aware of the fact that I reg­u­lar­ly signed his name to these doc­u­ments and would often specif­i­cal­ly request we do so because he did not want his real sig­na­ture wide­ly known. . . . The fact is that I did sign the checks which were in accord with reg­u­lar prac­tice of pay­ment of legit­i­mate office expens­es.’ ” (Idem.)

26. Jacobs respond­ed with an affi­davit alleg­ing high­ly ques­tion­able activ­i­ties on Nader’s part. “In the affi­davit, Jacobs indi­cat­ed that the rea­son he decid­ed to leave Nader’s employ was his grow­ing con­cern about the way Nad­er han­dled his per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al finances. Jacobs out­lined in some detail what he char­ac­ter­ized as ques­tion­able prac­tices regard­ing tax­es, book­keep­ing, invest­ments and stock trans­ac­tions. He wrote, ‘Although Mr. Nad­er was earn­ing approx­i­mate­ly $500,000 per year in per­son­al income, he paid lit­tle or no tax­es since he deduct­ed var­i­ous expens­es of his oper­a­tions as ‘busi­ness expens­es’ or he made con­tri­bu­tions to ‘char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tions’ con­trolled by him.’ Jacobs con­tin­ued, ‘He also engaged in what I viewed to be ques­tion­able end of year tax jug­gling, often pre-dat­ing or post-dat­ing checks to get a deduc­tion in a par­tic­u­lar year. He would often pad trav­el expens­es and dou­ble-bill for trav­el expens­es when he had two engage­ments in a par­tic­u­lar out-of-town city.’ ” (Idem.)

27. “The for­mer asso­ciate also charged that Nader’s non­prof­it enter­pris­es were run with very lit­tle over­sight by their boards: ‘No inde­pen­dent out­side audits were made of any of the Nad­er orga­ni­za­tions until var­i­ous states required Pub­lic Cit­i­zen state­ments.’ Jacobs also wrote in the affi­davit that Nad­er was ‘inor­di­nate­ly harsh in his deal­ings with his employ­ees and oth­ers. Although he had amassed a reserve of over $2 mil­lion in var­i­ous foun­da­tions, orga­ni­za­tions and in his per­son­al bro­ker­age account, he paid extreme­ly low wages and often refused to pay employ­ees and oth­ers for work done.’ ” (Idem.)

28. ” . . . But the dam­age was done. The high­ly qual­i­fied Jacobs did­n’t get the job with the Sen­ate Select Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, or any oth­er posi­tion that required a secu­ri­ty clear­ance. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 4.)

29. Anoth­er for­mer ally to suf­fer seri­ous polit­i­cal dam­age at Nader’s hands is for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress­man Toby Mof­fett [D‑Conn.] ” . . . Like Nad­er, [for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress­man Toby] Mof­fett grew up in Con­necti­cut. Their fathers, both Lebanese immi­grants, were good friends. When Mof­fett fin­ished grad­u­ate school, his father urged him to get in touch with Nad­er, who was already a nation­al icon. To Mof­fet­t’s sur­prise, not only did Nad­er take his call, but he asked him to return to Con­necti­cut and start an orga­ni­za­tion that would lat­er become the mod­el for Cit­i­zen Action groups around the coun­try. ‘I saw a lot Ralph because he would come back to vis­it his par­ents [in Con­necti­cut]. I would and stay and eat with the fam­i­ly. To me, he was a gigan­tic hero.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

30. “After work­ing close­ly with the old fam­i­ly friend, Mof­fett ran for Con­gress from Con­necti­cut in 1974 and won. ‘Three months after I was elect­ed, [Nad­er] attacked me,’ says Mof­fett. ‘So our rela­tion­ship began to sour pret­ty quick­ly.’ Accord­ing to Mof­fett, Nad­er launched the first of numer­ous attacks against him over an air­craft noise reduc­tion bill. While the bill stip­u­lat­ed that noise reduc­tion mea­sures would be fund­ed most­ly by the air­lines, they were also to be sub­si­dized by a tax on air­plane travelers—not the gen­er­al public—which Nad­er dis­missed as a cor­po­rate hand­out. Mof­fett, along with near­ly every envi­ron­men­tal group, sup­port­ed the bill. ‘It was an impor­tant piece of leg­is­la­tion that was sup­port­ed by a coali­tion of pro­gres­sive mem­bers of Con­gress, and it passed. Of course, now the Bush admin­is­tra­tion is tear­ing it apart.’ ” (Idem.)

31. “Nad­er con­tin­ued to crit­i­cize Mof­fett dur­ing his four terms in Con­gress, which was dis­turb­ing enough, but as with Al Gore, Nad­er would even­tu­al­ly play a cru­cial part in end­ing Mof­fet­t’s career in elec­tive office. After a fourth term in the House, Mof­fett ran for the Sen­ate against Low­ell Weick­er, a Repub­li­can, in 1982. ‘My oppo­nent was run­ning these ads attack­ing me; the [Nation­al Rifle Asso­ci­a­tion] was ham­mer­ing me from the right,’ says Mof­fett. ‘And then Ralph Nad­er came up [to Con­necti­cut] and endorsed him. I lost by a very slim mar­gin. My fam­i­ly and I, and my sup­port­ers, we just had this blind rage and fury about it. So what he did in 2000 was no shock to me. And what he’s doing now is no shock. It’s always been about him and his ego.’ ” (Idem.)

32. The pro­gram under­scores Nader’s duplic­i­ty dur­ing the 2000 cam­paign. ” . . . In 2000, again with the Green Par­ty, he ran a full-fledged cam­paign, rais­ing and spend­ing mon­ey to get on the bal­lot in all 50 states. He drew huge crowds at places like Madi­son Square Gar­den in New York and Key Are­na in Seat­tle. While he assured Democ­rats that he would­n’t cam­paign late in the elec­tion sea­son in key bat­tle­ground states, he reneged on that promise, zero­ing in on Flori­da, Ore­gon and New Hamp­shire in the last few weeks before the elec­tion. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 7.)

33. Con­tin­u­ing an exam­i­na­tion of wolves in sheep­’s cloth­ing, the broad­cast exam­ines strange bed­fel­lows Roger Stone and Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial con­tender Al Sharp­ton. “Roger Stone, the long­time Repub­li­can dirty-tricks oper­a­tive who led the mob that shut down the Mia­mi-Dade Coun­ty recount and helped make George W. Bush pres­i­dent in 2000, is financ­ing, staffing, and orches­trat­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Rev­erend Al Sharp­ton.”
(“Sleep­ing with the GOP” by Wayne Bar­rett; The Vil­lage Voice; 2/5/2004; p. 1.)

34. “Though Stone and Sharp­ton have tried to reduce their alliance to a curios­i­ty, sug­gest­ing that all they do is talk occa­sion­al­ly, a Voice inves­ti­ga­tion has doc­u­ment­ed an extra­or­di­nary array of con­nec­tions. Stone played a piv­otal role in putting togeth­er Sharp­ton’s pend­ing appli­ca­tion for fed­er­al match­ing funds, get­ting dol­lars in crit­i­cal states from fam­i­ly mem­bers and polit­i­cal allies at odds with every­thing Sharp­ton rep­re­sents. He’s also helped stack the cam­paign with a half-dozen incon­gru­ous top aides who’ve worked for him in pri­or cam­paigns. He’s even boast­ed about engi­neer­ing six-fig­ure loans to Sharp­ton’s Nation­al Action Net­work (NAN) and allow­ing Sharp­ton to use his cred­it card to cov­er thou­sands in NAN costs—neither of which he could legal­ly do for the cam­paign. In a wide-rang­ing Voice inter­view Sun­day, Stone con­firmed his match­ing-fund and staffing roles, but refused to com­ment on the NAN sub­si­dies. . . .” (Idem.)

35. ” . . . Recruit­ed in 2000 by his friend James Bak­er, the for­mer sec­re­tary of state, to spear­head the GOP street forces in Mia­mi, Stone is appar­ent­ly con­fi­dent that he can use the Demo­c­rat-bash­ing preach­er to dam­age the par­ty’s even­tu­al nom­i­nee, just as Sharp­ton him­self bragged he did in the New York may­oral cam­paign of 2001. In his 2002 book, Al on Amer­i­ca, Sharp­ton wrote that he felt the city’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty ‘had to be taught a les­son’ in 2001—insisting that Mark Green, who defeat­ed the Sharp­ton-backed Fer­nan­do Fer­rer in a bit­ter runoff, had dis­re­spect­ed him and minori­ties. Adding that the par­ty ‘still has to be taught one nation­al­ly,’ he warned: ‘A lot of 2004 will be about what hap­pened in New York in 2001. It’s about dig­ni­ty.’ In 2001, Sharp­ton engaged in a behind-the-scenes dia­logue with cam­paign aides to Repub­li­can Mike Bloomberg while pub­licly dis­parag­ing Green. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

36. ” . . . While Bush forces like the Club for Growth were buy­ing ads in Iowa assail­ing then front-run­ner Howard Dean, Sharp­ton took cen­ter stage at a debate con­fronting Dean about the absence of blacks in his Ver­mont cab­i­net. Stone told the Times that he ‘helped set the tone and direc­tion’ of the Dean attacks, while Charles Hal­lo­ran, the Sharp­ton cam­paign man­ag­er installed by Stone, sup­plied the research. While oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic oppo­nents were also attack­ing Dean, none did it on the advice of a con­sul­tant who’s worked in every GOP pres­i­den­tial cam­paign since his involve­ment in the Water­gate scan­dals of 1972, includ­ing all of the Bush fam­i­ly cam­paigns. Asked if he’d every been involved in a Demo­c­ra­t­ic cam­paign before, Stone cit­ed his 1981 sup­port of Ed Koch, though he was quot­ed at the time as say­ing he only did it because Koch was also giv­en the Repub­li­can bal­lot line.” (Idem.)

37. “Just as Stone has a his­to­ry of polit­i­cal skull­dug­gery, Sharp­ton has a lit­tle-noticed his­to­ry of Repub­li­can machi­na­tions incon­sis­tent with his fiery rhetoric. He endorsed Al D’Am­a­to in 1986, appeared with George Pata­ki two days before his 1994 race against Mario Cuo­mo, invit­ed Ralph Nad­er to his head­quar­ters on the eve of the 2000 vote, befriend­ed Bill Pow­ers when he was the state GOP chair, and debuted as a preach­er in the church of a black min­is­ter who was also a Brook­lyn Repub­li­can dis­trict leader. The cur­rent co-chair of his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign gave as much to Bush-Cheney as he did to Sharp­ton, and many of the black busi­ness­men sup­port­ing this cam­paign or NAN have strong GOP ties. His con­duit in the Bloomberg cam­paign, Harold Doley III, was the son of the first black with a seat on Wall Street. A major NAN backer over the years, Doley Jr. was appoint­ed to posi­tions in five Repub­li­can admin­is­tra­tions, includ­ing Bush’s.” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

38. “Stone, whose Mia­mi mob even jos­tled a vis­it­ing Sharp­ton dur­ing the recount, said recent­ly in The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor that if Sharp­ton were to run ‘as an inde­pen­dent’ in the 2006 Hillary Clin­ton race, she would be ‘sunk,’ implic­it­ly sug­gest­ing that this oper­a­tion may be a pre­cur­sor to anoth­er Stone-Sharp­ton mis­sion. In his book Too Close to Call, New York­er colum­nist Jef­frey Toobin exposed Bak­er’s tap­ping of Stone, as well as Stone and his Cuban wife Nydi­a’s role in fir­ing up Cuban pro­test­ers, with Stone call­ing the shots the day of the shut­down over a walkie-talkie in a build­ing across the street from the can­vass­ing board head­quar­ters. The Stone mob was chant­i­ng Sharp­ton’s slo­gan ‘No Jus­tice, No Peace’ when the board stopped the count, which was uni­ver­sal­ly seen as the turn­ing point in the bat­tle that made Bush pres­i­dent.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

39. “The Wash­ing­ton Post recent­ly report­ed that the Bush cam­paign was plan­ning a spe­cial adver­tis­ing cam­paign tar­get­ing black vot­ers, seek­ing as much as a quar­ter of the vote, and any Sharp­ton-con­nect­ed out­rage against the par­ty could either low­er black turnout in sev­er­al key close states, or move votes to Bush. Both were wide­ly report­ed as the con­se­quences of Sharp­ton’s anti-Green rhetoric in 2001, a result Sharp­ton cel­e­brat­ed both in his book and at a Bronx vic­to­ry par­ty on elec­tion night. . . .” (Idem.)

40. Sharp­ton is alleged to have worked as a con­fi­den­tial infor­mant for the FBI. ” . . . Stone was the reg­is­tered agent in Amer­i­ca for Argenti­na’s intel­li­gence agency, suck­ing up spy nov­els; Sharp­ton was a con­fi­den­tial infor­mant for the FBI, wiring up on black lead­ers for the feds. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 6.)

41. Con­clud­ing with an emphat­i­cal­ly spec­u­la­tive item, the pro­gram exam­ines recent fore­casts of earth­quake activ­i­ty for Cal­i­for­nia lat­er this year. This infor­ma­tion is pre­sent­ed in the con­text of a num­ber of past broad­casts in which it has been estab­lished that tech­nol­o­gy exists for the delib­er­ate trig­ger­ing of earth­quakes, where suf­fi­cient slip­page exists on a fault sys­tem to pro­duce such an event. The pos­si­bil­i­ty that a major quake occur­ring short­ly before the elec­tion might have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on the out­come should be care­ful­ly con­sid­ered. Such a dis­as­ter could lead to the delay or can­cel­la­tion of the elec­tion in Cal­i­for­nia and would have far-reach­ing con­se­quences for the U.S. as well. If the quake were severe, it could lead to an impo­si­tion of mar­tial law in the U.S., due to the far-reach­ing eco­nom­ic and eco­log­i­cal con­se­quences atten­dant upon such an event. A major Cal­i­for­nia quake would also hand polit­i­cal cen­ter stage to the Ter­mi­na­tor and George W. They could be pack­aged as the sav­iors of Cal­i­for­nia. The grate­ful cit­i­zens’ [delayed] votes would go to Bush, even though Schwarzeneg­ger will be the one who gar­ners most of the action. Such an event could well be used to posi­tion Schwarzeneg­ger for a run for nation­al office. “Sci­en­tists have found strik­ing evi­dence of a three-year cycle of earth­quakes on the San Andreas Fault, a devel­op­ment that might lead to the first prac­ti­cal short-term earth­quake fore­cast­ing in cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia. The new research, which one expert called a tour de force of geo­science, sug­gests that the next peak of the cycle is like­ly to come late this year. . . .”
(“San Andreas Quakes Show Cycli­cal Pat­tern: UC-Berke­ley Study Finds Fault Slip­ping in Peri­od­ic Bursts” by Keay David­son: San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 1/9/2004; p. 1.)

42. Yet anoth­er pre­dic­tion of a quake for Cal­i­for­nia for lat­er this year. “A US geo­physi­cist has set the sci­en­tif­ic world ablaze by claim­ing to have cracked a holy grail: accu­rate earth­quake pre­dic­tion, and warn­ing that a big one will soon hit south­ern Cal­i­for­nia. A Russ­ian-born Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Los Ange­les pro­fes­sor Vladimir Keilis-Borok says he can fore­see major quakes by track­ing minor tem­blors and his­tor­i­cal pat­terns in seis­mic hotspots that could indi­cate more vio­lent shak­ing is on the way. And he has made a chill­ing pre­dic­tion that a quake mea­sur­ing at least 6.4 mag­ni­tude on the Richter scale will hit a 31,200-square-kilometer (12,000-square-mile) area of south­ern Cal­i­for­nia by Sep­tem­ber 5. . . .”
(“Expert Warns Cal­i­for­nia to Brace for Big Quake by Sep­tem­ber” (AFP); Yahoo.com; 4/15/2004; pp. 1–2.)

43. The pro­gram notes that Schwarzeneg­ger recent­ly replaced the head of the Cal­i­for­nia Nation­al Guard with a Repub­li­can. This may, or may not be of sig­nif­i­cance. Cer­tain­ly, the Nation­al Guard will be cen­tral­ly involved in any major dis­as­ter response in Cal­i­for­nia. Whether or not this is coin­ci­den­tal or of any sig­nif­i­cance at all remains to be seen. Schwarzeneg­ger also recent­ly replaced the head of the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Patrol—another insti­tu­tion that would be piv­otal­ly involved in a major emer­gency response by the state’s infra­struc­ture. “Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger abrupt­ly removed Maj. Gen. Paul Mon­roe as com­man­der of the Cal­i­for­nia Nation­al Guard on Tues­day and replaced him with Maj. Gen. Thomas Eres, who has served as direc­tor of the guard’s office of home­land secu­ri­ty. . . . His [Mon­roe’s] replace­ment, Eres, 59, takes over imme­di­ate­ly. Eres rose through the ranks dur­ing 35 years of ser­vice in the Nation­al Guard. In civil­ian life, he is senior part­ner in the Sacra­men­to law firm of Nos­saman, Gun­th­n­er, Knox & Elliott. He is a Repub­li­can. Mon­roe is a Demo­c­rat. . . .”
(“Schwarzeneg­ger Removes Nation­al Guard Com­man­der” by Carl Nolte; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 3/4/2004; p. A19.)

44. In his intro­duc­tion to the por­tion of the pro­gram deal­ing with Cal­i­for­nia quake pre­dic­tions, Mr. Emory notes that this infor­ma­tion falls in a gray area that hov­ers between “real­i­ty” and “para­noia.” In that same vein, a [hope­ful­ly] humor­ous com­ment by Flori­da Gov­er­nor Jeb Bush may well be noth­ing more than the taste­less joke it appears to be. Let’s hope so, any­way. ” . . . Gov. Jeb Bush joked dur­ing a Flori­da Cab­i­net meet­ing Wednes­day that the peo­ple of San Fran­cis­co may be endan­gered and, ‘That’s prob­a­bly good news for the coun­try.’ The sub­ject was envi­ron­men­tal land and Bush was look­ing at a map show­ing loca­tions with a lot of dif­fer­ent wildlife. ‘It looks like the peo­ple of San Fran­cis­co are an endan­gered species, which may not be a bad thing. That’s prob­a­bly good news for the coun­try.’ Peo­ple in the room broke into laugh­ter. ‘Did I just say that out loud?’ the gov­er­nor asked.’ ”
(“Jeb Bush Says Peo­ple of San Fran­cis­co Are Endan­gered Species” by Jim Spark­man; Chron­Watch; 11/17/2003; p. 1.)

45. Among the fac­tors man­dat­ing dis­cus­sion of these trou­ble­some and (to some) far-fetched rumi­na­tions con­cern­ing pos­si­ble seis­mic sub­ver­sion of the elec­toral and demo­c­ra­t­ic process­es is the overt­ly Machi­avel­lian nature of this admin­is­tra­tion. One of the strat­a­gems that Machi­avel­li coun­seled in The Prince was the delib­er­ate use of anni­hi­la­tion to inter­dict a pop­u­la­tion’s renascent demo­c­ra­t­ic instincts. “Indeed, there is no sur­er way of keep­ing pos­ses­sion than by dev­as­ta­tion. Who­ev­er becomes the mas­ter of a city accus­tomed to free­dom, and does not destroy it, may expect to be destroyed him­self; because, when there is a rebel­lion, such a city jus­ti­fies itself by call­ing on the name of lib­er­ty and its ancient insti­tu­tions, nev­er for­got­ten despite the pass­ing of time and the ben­e­fits received from the new ruler. What­ev­er the con­queror’s actions or fore­sight, if the inhab­i­tants are not dis­persed and scat­tered, they will for­get nei­ther that name nor those insti­tu­tions; and at first oppor­tu­ni­ty they will at once have recourse to them, as did Pisa after hav­ing been kept in servi­tude for a hun­dred years by the Flo­ren­tines. . . .But in republics there is more life, more hatred, a greater desire for revenge; the mem­o­ry of their ancient lib­er­ty does not and can­not let them rest; in their case the surest way is to wipe them out. . . .”
(The Prince; Nic­co­lo Machi­avel­li; Pen­guin Clas­sics [trans­lat­ed by George Bull]; ISBN 0–14-044107–7; pp. 48–49.)

46. This par­tic­u­lar bit of Machi­avel­lian wis­dom should be viewed against the back­ground of Machi­avel­li’s influ­ence on the think­ing of the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion. This descrip­tion reviews infor­ma­tion from FTR#‘s 445, 466. “The polit­i­cal thinker Nic­co­lo Machi­avel­li (1469–1527), long a believ­er in the famous Flo­ren­tine Repub­lic of the Renais­sance, began to lose faith in his lat­er years as the tides of impe­r­i­al pow­er and ambition—French, Ger­man, and Spanish—swept across the Ital­ian penin­su­la, wash­ing away the old repub­li­can pol­i­tics of city-states like Flo­rence and Siena too small to sur­vive on their own. Unlike Machi­avel­li’s less-well-known books, which embraced repub­li­can pol­i­tics and insti­tu­tions, his most famous vol­ume, The Prince, was ded­i­cat­ed to Loren­zo de’ Medici, the duke of Urbino. It encap­su­lat­ed the tech­niques, from amoral­i­ty and fraud to reli­gion, by which the ascen­dant prince­ly rulers might gov­ern most suc­cess­ful­ly.”
(Amer­i­can Dynasty: Aris­toc­ra­cy, For­tune, and the Pol­i­tics of Deceit in the House of Bush; by Kevin Philips; Viking [HC]; Copy­right 2004 by Kevin Phillips; ISBN 0–670-03264–6; p. 320.)

47. “As the 2004 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion took shape, anoth­er such Machi­avel­lian moment was at hand. U.S. pres­i­dent George W. Bush, while hard­ly a Medici, was a dynast whose fam­i­ly her­itage includ­ed secre­cy and cal­cu­lat­ed decep­tion. Harken­ing to the increas­ing­ly impe­r­i­al self-per­cep­tion of the Unit­ed States, the pres­i­den­t’s the­o­rists and tac­ti­cians boast­ed of tak­ing the advice of Machi­avel­li and the Chi­nese strate­gist Sun Tzu. The late Lee Atwa­ter, chief polit­i­cal advis­er to the elder Bush, and Karl Rove, strate­gist for the younger Bush, friends and col­lab­o­ra­tors, were both devo­tees of Machi­avel­li and The Prince, hard­ly a coin­ci­dence.” (Ibid.; pp. 320–321.)

48. “The pos­si­bil­i­ty that the Unit­ed States could edge toward its own Machi­avel­lian moment in an ear­ly-twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry milieu of ter­ror­ism, neo-impe­ri­al­ism, and dynas­ti­za­tion is not far-fetched. As we have seen, Rove, the Bush dynasty’s own polit­i­cal plot­ter, has been an avid read­er of Machi­avel­li. While the analy­sis in The Dis­cours­es upholds repub­li­can­ism, the advice Machi­avel­li gives in The Prince was ded­i­cat­ed to the Medicis and designed to work in the new prince­ly, aris­to­crat­ic, and neo-impe­r­i­al milieu of six­teenth-cen­tu­ry Italy.” (Ibid.; p. 330.)

49. “Chap­ter 4, in its dis­cus­sion of Bush domes­tic pol­i­cy and ‘com­pas­sion­ate con­ser­v­a­tive’ rhetoric, has already referred to Machi­avel­li’s advice that the Prince should lie but must ‘be able to dis­guise this char­ac­ter well, and to be a great feign­er and dis­sem­bler.’ More­over, ‘to see and hear him, he [the Prince] should seem to be all mer­cy, faith, integri­ty, human­i­ty and reli­gion. And noth­ing is more nec­es­sary than to seem to have this last qual­i­ty . . . Every­body sees what you appear to be, few feel what you are.’ ” (Idem.)

50. “Oth­er advice dwells on the mer­its of fraud, hypocrisy, faith­less­ness, and relat­ed prac­tices, and twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry aca­d­e­mi­cians have not­ed Machi­avel­li’s appeal to lead­ers like Hitler, Stal­in, and Mus­soli­ni. Doubt­less there are also hun­dreds of copies of The Prince at the CIA. Which makes it reveal­ing, and arguably ill advised, that the two polit­i­cal advis­ers to the two Bush pres­i­dents should claim it as a bible of sorts.” (Idem.)

51. “Even in reli­gion, Machi­avel­li’s advice to empha­size it is rel­e­vant to the ear­ly-twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry Unit­ed States. His career in Flo­rence over­lapped that of Fri­ar Giro­lamo Savonaro­la, the Reli­gious despot who ruled the gasp­ing repub­lic from 1494 to 1498 with a pol­i­tics of fight­ing sin and immoral­i­ty. Doubt­less the youth­ful Machi­avel­li absorbed how close Savonaro­la came to achiev­ing a theoc­ra­cy even in repub­li­can Flo­rence. Not a few Amer­i­cans see a lit­tle bit of Savonaro­la in George W. Bush.” (Idem.)

52. “The advent of a Machi­avel­li-inclined dynasty in what may be a Machi­avel­lian moment for the Amer­i­can Repub­lic is not a hap­py coin­ci­dence, but one that demands atten­tion. Luck­i­ly, the arrival of a U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion every fourth year typ­i­cal­ly brings with it an uncom­mon inten­si­ty of nation­al debate, so per­haps atten­tion will be paid.” (Ibid.; pp. 330–331.)

53. “Since the events and upheavals of 2000–2001, the Unit­ed States has had an abun­dance of unfold­ing trans­for­ma­tions to discuss—in eco­nom­ics, nation­al secu­ri­ty, and even reli­gion. Of these, many can be con­sid­ered and man­aged sep­a­rate­ly. But one is per­va­sive enough to make its impact felt almost every­where: the extent to which nation­al gov­er­nance has, at least tem­porar­i­ly, moved away from the proven tra­di­tion of a leader cho­sen demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly, by a major­i­ty of plu­ral­i­ty of the elec­torate, to the suc­ces­sion of a dynas­tic heir whose unfor­tu­nate inher­i­tance is priv­i­leged, covert and glob­al­ly embroil­ing.” (Ibid.; p. 331.)


2 comments for “FTR #468 Through a Glass Darkly‑A Look at the 2004 Elections”

  1. It looks like Flori­da’s Lib­er­tar­i­an par­ty is have a bit of a spri­tiual cri­sis that extends beyond its reg­u­lar­ly sched­uled spir­i­tu­al cri­sis. Either that or the par­ty is engaged in an elab­o­rate ruse to employ the Trump method of con­vert­ing over-the-top media antics into pub­lic sup­port. But even if that’s the case, there’s still a spir­i­tu­al cri­sis going on some­where this mess:

    Politi­co Flori­da Beta
    Lib­er­tar­i­an Par­ty dra­ma: Goat sac­ri­fice, eugen­ics and a chair’s res­ig­na­tion

    By Marc Caputo 8:22 p.m. | Oct. 1, 2015

    Adri­an Wyl­lie, chair­man of Florida’s Lib­er­tar­i­an Par­ty, resigned his post Thurs­day to protest the party’s U.S. Sen­ate can­di­date, accus­ing the rival of sup­port­ing eugen­ics and for being expelled from a cult group for “sadis­ti­cal­ly dis­mem­ber­ing a goat in a rit­u­al­is­tic sac­ri­fice.”

    The Sen­ate can­di­date, who goes by the adopt­ed name Augus­tus Sol Invic­tus, counter-accused Wyl­lie of spread­ing “half-truths and lies” for polit­i­cal gain.

    The dis­pute between the two has brewed for months, but final­ly came to a head after Wyl­lie was unable to per­suade the Lib­er­tar­i­an Par­ty of Florida’s exec­u­tive com­mit­tee to pub­licly dis­avow Invic­tus, an adopt­ed name that means some­thing like “Invin­ci­ble Sun Emper­or.”

    “I’m not mak­ing this up. It’s crazy, I know,” Wyl­lie, a Palm Har­bor busi­ness­man who ran for gov­er­nor in 2014 and received 3.8 per­cent of the vote, told POLITICO after announc­ing his res­ig­na­tion and lev­el­ling his accu­sa­tions against Invic­tus in a Face­book post. “I resigned to draw atten­tion to this, as a protest. I did this as a pre-emp­tive strike. I don’t want any­one to think this guy rep­re­sents Lib­er­tar­i­ans. He doesn’t. Under the law, we can’t keep him from the bal­lot.”

    Invic­tus, an Orlan­do lawyer, said he shares clas­sic Lib­er­tar­i­an beliefs: Oppo­si­tion to the war on drugs, sup­port for slash­ing the fed­er­al bud­get and pro­grams and scal­ing back inter­ven­tion­ist for­eign poli­cies. Invic­tus said he does believe in some envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions, how­ev­er, but has a hard­er polit­i­cal line on immi­gra­tion and believes the gov­ern­ment needs to restrict immi­gra­tion.

    Invic­tus, 32, is an adher­ent of a reli­gion called Thele­ma, estab­lished in the ear­ly 1900s by occultist Aleis­ter Crow­ley. Invic­tus was expelled from the religion’s fra­ter­nal orga­ni­za­tion, Ordo Tem­pli Ori­en­tis, but denies Wyllie’s spe­cif­ic claim about dis­mem­ber­ing a goat.

    “I have nev­er dis­mem­bered a goat in my life. I have per­formed ani­mal sac­ri­fices as part of my reli­gion,” Invic­tus said. “I was expelled from the order for polit­i­cal rea­sons. And ani­mal sac­ri­fice was part of it. But that is a delib­er­ate mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion by Wyl­lie.”

    Wyl­lie said he brought up the issue of Invic­tus’ reli­gion because the can­di­date has cit­ed it as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for sup­port­ing poten­tial­ly vio­lent rev­o­lu­tion. Invic­tus denies that as well.


    Adding to the dra­ma: for­mer Repub­li­can dirty trick­ster Roger Stone, an on-again-off-again advis­er to Don­ald Trump, has been recruit­ed by fel­low Lib­er­tar­i­ans to run against Invic­tus.

    “The guy is a nut, speaks in tongues or what­ev­er. Weird stuff,” Stone said. “They need some­one to run against him to make sure he doesn’t win and make us all look crazy.”

    Wyl­lie said he had no inter­est in run­ning for Sen­ate. But, he said, Invic­tus must be stopped and list­ed a series of rea­sons to oppose his can­di­da­cy. In ear­ly Sep­tem­ber, Invic­tus post­ed a detailed point-by-point refu­ta­tion of Wyllie’s claims on Face­book. Invic­tus specif­i­cal­ly said he does not sup­port eugen­ics and forced abor­tions, con­trary to Wyllie’s claims.

    “Many of his sup­port­ers are known mem­bers of Neo-Nazi and white suprema­cist groups, such as Amer­i­can Front, Vinelanders and Storm­front, and he has been recruit­ing them into the Lib­er­tar­i­an Par­ty,” Wyl­lie said Thurs­day on Face­book.

    Invic­tus said that as a lawyer, he has rep­re­sent­ed some of these groups in a pro­fes­sion­al capac­i­ty. He said, how­ev­er, that he’s no racist. “My four chil­dren are His­pan­ic,” said Invic­tus, who’s divorced.

    Invic­tus acknowl­edged he changed his name and wouldn’t con­firm or deny Wyllie’s claim that his birth name was Austin Gille­spie.

    Anoth­er notable change with Invic­tus: His pub­lic speak­ing per­sona is far dif­fer­ent than his one-on-one inter­ac­tions. On his Face­book page, Invic­tus has a fierce and dra­mat­ic ora­tor­i­cal style and occa­sion­al­ly sounds like a South­ern­er. In casu­al con­ver­sa­tion, though, he has no accent. Invic­tus said the change is a result of nerves.

    “I still get that game-day adren­a­line,” he said.

    The sub­stance of his stump speech is unique in the Sen­ate field. In a black-and-white video of a speech fea­tured on his cam­paign web­site, he warns of gov­ern­ment over­reached and how he has been “hunt­ed” by the FBI. At one point, he looks in the cam­era and address­es the law-enforce­ment author­i­ties he says are watch­ing him. Urg­ing Lib­er­tar­i­ans to resist using the same tac­tics as the two major polit­i­cal par­ties, Invic­tus also asks his audi­ence to think for them­selves.

    “I want you to take LSD and prac­tice sor­cery,” he says at one point. “I’m also Old World Pagan and a white South­ern­er. So I know what it’s like to be treat­ed like a wolf in a hen house.”

    “Adding to the dra­ma: for­mer Repub­li­can dirty trick­ster Roger Stone, an on-again-off-again advis­er to Don­ald Trump, has been recruit­ed by fel­low Lib­er­tar­i­ans to run against Invic­tus.”
    Wait, so in addi­tion to nom­i­nat­ing a Sen­ate can­di­date that’s been alleged­ly recruit­ing “known mem­bers of Neo-Nazi and white suprema­cist groups, such as Amer­i­can Front, Vinelanders and Storm­front” into the par­ty, Roger Stone is get­ting recruit­ed to run against him?! Uh oh for Flori­da’s Lib­er­tar­i­ans! Their fun new spir­i­tu­al cri­sis is just get­ting start­ed...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 2, 2015, 2:52 pm
  2. The 2018 elec­tions can be com­prim­ised with elec­tion hack­ing if the new elec­tion secu­ri­ty offi­cial select­ed by Speak­er of the House Paul Ryan (who, is a favorite of the Koch Broth­ers), is an unsa­vory char­ac­ter. Hope­ful­ly the Sen­ate will prop­er­ly vet this appoint­ment.


    FEBRUARY 22, 2018 / 2:46 PM / UPDATED 12 HOURS AGO

    Exclu­sive: U.S. offi­cial focused on elec­tion secu­ri­ty will be replaced

    Dustin Volz

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The head of a fed­er­al com­mis­sion who has helped U.S. states pro­tect elec­tion sys­tems from pos­si­ble cyber attacks by Rus­sia or oth­ers is being replaced at the behest of Repub­li­can House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Speak­er Paul Ryan and the White House.

    Matthew Mas­ter­son, a mem­ber of the U.S. Elec­tion Assis­tance Com­mis­sion who cur­rent­ly serves as its chair­man, has been passed over for a sec­ond four-year term as one of the agency’s four com­mis­sion­ers.

    “The appoint­ment expired in Decem­ber and we are going in a dif­fer­ent direc­tion for our nom­i­na­tion. We nom­i­nate peo­ple for a vari­ety of posi­tions and gen­er­al­ly speak­ing choose our own folks,” Ash­Lee Strong, a spokes­woman for Ryan, said by email on Thurs­day.

    Strong reject­ed the notion that Mas­ter­son was being removed or shoved aside, char­ac­ter­iz­ing the change as rou­tine.

    The com­mis­sion­er post that Mas­ter­son, a for­mer Ohio state offi­cial, cur­rent­ly holds is picked by the House speak­er and for­mal­ly nom­i­nat­ed by the pres­i­dent. The three oth­er com­mis­sion­ers are rec­om­mend­ed by oth­er con­gres­sion­al lead­ers.

    Mas­ter­son has been a pop­u­lar fig­ure among state elec­tion offi­cials, many of whom have praised his exper­tise and lead­er­ship on cyber secu­ri­ty issues and expressed cha­grin at his pend­ing depar­ture. The agency was cre­at­ed by Con­gress in 2002 to assist states in com­ply­ing with fed­er­al elec­tion stan­dards.

    The action rais­es fresh ques­tions over the degree to which Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his fel­low Repub­li­cans who con­trol Con­gress are tak­ing steps to pro­tect the secu­ri­ty of Amer­i­can elec­tions, and some state offi­cials have accused them of doing too lit­tle to address the threat.

    U.S. vot­ers in Novem­ber will go to the polls in midterm elec­tions, which Amer­i­can intel­li­gence offi­cials have warned could be tar­get­ed by Rus­sia or oth­ers seek­ing to dis­rupt the process.

    There is intense scruti­ny of the secu­ri­ty of U.S. elec­tion sys­tems after a 2016 pres­i­den­tial race in which Rus­sia inter­fered, accord­ing to Amer­i­can intel­li­gence agen­cies, to try to help Trump win with pres­i­den­cy. Trump in the past has been pub­licly skep­ti­cal about Russ­ian elec­tion med­dling.

    Some Repub­li­cans over the years have sought to elim­i­nate or reduce the Elec­tion Assis­tance Com­mis­sion, argu­ing that it rep­re­sents a fed­er­al over­reach into the role of states in run­ning elec­tions.

    Mas­ter­son orig­i­nal­ly was picked by for­mer Speak­er John Boehn­er, a Repub­li­can and fel­low Ohioan, and nom­i­nat­ed by for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, a Demo­c­rat, before being con­firmed unan­i­mous­ly by the U.S. Sen­ate in 2014.

    A White House spokes­woman declined to com­ment. Mas­ter­son also declined to com­ment.

    Mas­ter­son is expect­ed to remain a com­mis­sion­er until his replace­ment is cho­sen by Ryan, for­mal­ly nom­i­nat­ed by Trump and con­firmed by the Sen­ate. He already was due to give up his rotat­ing chair­man­ship this month.


    Mas­ter­son has spent the last year as the commission’s chair­man, focus­ing large­ly on elec­tion cyber secu­ri­ty, state elec­tion offi­cials said. Twen­ty-one states expe­ri­enced prob­ing of their sys­tems by Russ­ian hack­ers dur­ing the 2016 elec­tion, accord­ing to U.S. offi­cials.

    Though a small num­ber of net­works were com­pro­mised, vot­ing machines were not direct­ly affect­ed and there remains no evi­dence any vote was altered, accord­ing to U.S. offi­cials and secu­ri­ty experts.

    “It is pret­ty remark­able that in this envi­ron­ment, giv­en the impor­tance of this issue, that the speak­er would choose this moment to not reap­point the per­son doing the most work in this area,” said Judd Choate, Colorado’s elec­tion direc­tor and the imme­di­ate past pres­i­dent of the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of State Elec­tion Direc­tors.

    The com­mis­sion was formed in the after­math of the 2000 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion won by Repub­li­can George W. Bush that came down to dis­put­ed paper bal­lots cast in Flori­da. Its respon­si­bil­i­ties include main­tain­ing vol­un­tary guide­lines for vot­ing sys­tems, includ­ing cyber secu­ri­ty stan­dards, that most states use when pur­chas­ing new vot­ing equip­ment.

    Since the 2016 elec­tion, almost all 50 states have tak­en steps to pur­chase more secure equip­ment, expand the use of paper bal­lots, improve cyber train­ing or seek fed­er­al assis­tance, accord­ing to groups that track elec­tion secu­ri­ty.

    U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cials have described the tar­get­ing of state elec­tion sys­tems as part of a wide-rang­ing effort by Moscow that also includ­ed pro­pa­gan­da efforts and hack­ing to sow dis­cord dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign, boost Trump and dis­par­age his Demo­c­ra­t­ic rival, Hillary Clin­ton.

    Spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s office last Fri­day indict­ed 13 Rus­sians and three Russ­ian com­pa­nies for their alleged involve­ment in a crim­i­nal and espi­onage con­spir­a­cy to tam­per with the 2016 elec­tion.

    Under law, the Repub­li­can and Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­ers of the Sen­ate and House each rec­om­mend one com­mis­sion­er to be nom­i­nat­ed by the pres­i­dent to fill the agency’s four spots. The Repub­li­can-led House Admin­is­tra­tion Com­mit­tee last year passed a mea­sure that would ter­mi­nate the agency on the grounds that it has out­lived its use­ful­ness.

    Report­ing by Dustin Volz; Edit­ing by Jonathan Weber and Will Dun­ham

    Posted by Mary Benton | February 23, 2018, 3:56 pm

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