Friday, July 28, 2006

Voter fraud: An Expert's Thoughts on Post-Democracy America

Once again I have been sucked into voting machine fraud issues.

Spent all day yesterday unpacking more information. Here is the summary.
In 2000 I knew THAT it would be done.
Then in 2002 it first became clear WHERE it was being used.
Then in 2004 uncovered several ways HOW it can be done.
Now, finally, in 2006 we have some idea of WHO is doing it. And if you have seen the editorial in the NY Times, or the lengthy cover story from Rolling Stone by RFK Jr., there are finally more powerful voices than mine getting involved who are equally stunned and frightened by what this means.
Diebold has built - at the very least - three back doors into the system to allow votes to be changed. A man named [name deleted] who works for Diebold in the Vancouver BC programming center is a
specialist in tunnels and alternate access systems. He put the
systems in place allowing the election to be stolen.
In the newer models of TSX there is even an IR port installed that allows "confirmation of status" to be beamed to and from the machines while in use. I love it. Diebold is selling as a feature the fact that you can check the votes, test the system, and update the machine in place and on the fly.
None of the poll workers I have interviewed even know what an IR port is, how to use it, or how to determine if it's turned on, or off.
(The default setting is ON.)
I was able to reset a machine to zero from the passenger seat of a car and I was able to crash a voting machine by confusing the IR port with odd instructions sent from my Treo handheld.
Ken Blackwell, then Sec. of State of Ohio, and Chairman of Bush's Ohio Election committee mandated that Diebold Machines be exclusively used in Ohio voting.
Now, the question is, who used the access systems to do the stealing?
And even more amusing, Ken Blackwell is now running for Governor of Ohio. He is trailing in the polls by over 20%. On election day, I bet he trails by a huge number in the exit polls, and the voters will elect Ted Strickland. However when the Diebold machines announce the winner, Ken Blackwell will get 51.8% of the vote from the Diebold Machines. How do I know that?
George W. Bush's backers stole Ohio in 2004. The Exit Polling: Kerry 53, Bush 48 was correct. That is how people voted. But the Diebold machines manufactured a Bush win with 51.6%
Saxby Chambliss backers stole GA in 2002. Exit Polling: Max Cleland 54, Chamblis 44. That is how people voted. But the Diebold machines manufactures a Chamblis win with 52.1%
Unfortunately, Congress refuses (except John Conyers and few others) to listen to the very real information brought to them that the election was stolen, and certified it, so we get a President who SUCCEEDED in stealing an election. And a Senate that probably has 3 stolen seats today (all GOP) and I predict will have another 5 stolen seats after the 2006.
It is even drilling down into House races now. The Bilbray-Busby special election to replace Cunningham was a highly unpredictable, off-cycle, off-season race, but still...the Diebold machines produced a 51.9% GOP win.
In Ukraine, when the people realized the exit polls were 8 points different from the announced results, they took to the streets, stormed Parliament and brought the actual vote winner Yushenko and the Orange Revolution to power.
I am utterly convinced no matter how many people I prove this too, that until people take the streets and demand the restoration of democracy in the country, the machine behind the GOP will keep stealing every election it wants to.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Shout the names of wrongly executed

First published: Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Late last month, the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty in
Kansas by a vote of 5 to 4 in the case of Kansas vs. Marsh. In
concurring with the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the
decision was justified because, in recent American history, there
has not been "a single case -- not one -- in which it is clear that
a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an
event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for
it; the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops."

Unfortunately, Scalia is wrong. Public concern about wrongful
convictions has been growing since DNA evidence started exonerating
death row inmates in recent years -- a fact most exemplified by the
decision of then-Illinois Gov. George Ryan to declare a moratorium
on executions in 2000. Over the past few years, major media outlets
and the Legal Defense Fund, which I lead, have investigated several
questionable executions, re-examining forensic evidence and
reinterviewing witnesses. In at least four of the cases, it is now
clear that the individuals executed almost certainly did not commit
the crimes for which they were convicted.

Although none has been officially exonerated, the evidence that has
come to light since they were put to death points overwhelmingly to
their innocence, and two of these cases are being reinvestigated.
The names of the executed may not have been "shouted from the
rooftops," but the turn in their cases has been reported by major
newspapers and television networks.

Cameron Willingham, a 36-year-old white father of three from
Corsicana, Texas, was executed in February 2004 for murder by arson.
In December 2004, the Chicago Tribune reported that new scientific
knowledge proves that the testimony by arson experts at Willingham's
trial was worthless, and that there is no evidence that the fire was
caused by arson. A panel of the nation's leading arson experts
confirmed that conclusion in March. In a strikingly similar case,
Ernest Willis, a white oil-field worker from New Mexico, was
convicted on the same sort of evidence and sentenced to death for
murder by arson in Pecos County, Texas, in 1987. Willis was
exonerated and freed in October 2004, eight months after Willingham
was put to death.

Ruben Cantu, a 26-year-old Hispanic man from San Antonio, was
executed in August 1993 for a robbery-murder committed in 1985 when
he was 17. The Houston Chronicle followed up on our initial
exploration and published the results of its own investigation last
November. The newspaper reported that another defendant, who pleaded
guilty to participating in the crime but did not testify at Cantu's
trial, has signed an affidavit swearing that Cantu was not with him
that night and had no role in the murder. More important, the only
witness who did testify -- a second victim, who was shot nine times
but survived -- now says that police pressured him to identify Cantu
as the shooter, and that he did so even though Cantu was innocent.

Larry Griffin, a 40-year-old black man from St. Louis, was executed
in Missouri in June 1995 for the drive-by shooting of a drug dealer
in 1980. The only evidence against him was a witness who claimed to
have seen Griffin at the crime scene. This witness was a white
career criminal with several felony charges pending against him. In
July 2005, our investigation revealed that the first police officer
on the scene and the victim's sister both agreed that this supposed
witness -- who would have stood out in the all-black neighborhood --
wasn't there when the shooting occurred. In addition, there was a
second victim who was injured in the shooting. He knew Griffin and
says that Griffin was not in the car from which the shots were
fired, but he was not called to testify at Griffin's trial.

Also last month, the Chicago Tribune (following up on initial
inquiries by the Legal Defense Fund) published a detailed re-
examination of yet another case, that of Carlos DeLuna, a young
Hispanic man from Corpus Christi, Texas, who was executed in
December 1989 for stabbing a convenience store clerk to death in
1983. DeLuna, who was convicted on the basis of a quick on-the-scene
witness identification, claimed that the killer was a man named
Carlos Hernandez.

The prosecution argued that Hernandez was a "phantom." The Tribune
found that Hernandez (who died in prison in 1999) was not only no
phantom, but also no stranger to law enforcement. In fact, one of
DeLuna's prosecutors knew Hernandez well from an earlier homicide
investigation. Hernandez and DeLuna were strikingly similar in
appearance but, unlike DeLuna, Hernandez had a long history of knife
attacks similar to the convenience store killing and repeatedly told
friends and relatives that he had committed the murder for which
DeLuna was executed.

The court's review of Kansas' death penalty statute seemed to stir
more emotion than almost any other case the justices considered this
term. In his dissent, Justice David Souter called the Kansas
law "morally absurd," especially in light of DNA exonerations.
Souter's words prompted Scalia's response, but Scalia and those who
joined him in upholding the death penalty would do well to consider
the cases of Cameron Willingham, Ruben Cantu, Larry Griffin or
Carlos DeLuna.

It's too late to save those men -- or the victims of other erroneous
executions that have not yet come to light. But it's time to
recognize that, regardless of our views on the death penalty, any
future debates must proceed with the knowledge that we have put
innocent people to death.

Theodore M. Shaw is president and director-counsel of the Legal
Defense Fund. He wrote this article for The Washington Post

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for onepeople to dissolve the political bands which have connected them withanother and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate andequal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitlethem, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that theyshould declare the causes which impel them to the separation.We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are createdequal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certainunalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and thepursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments areinstituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent ofthe governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomesdestructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter orto abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundationon such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to themshall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long establishedshould not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordinglyall experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer,while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing theforms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abusesand usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a designto reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it istheir duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guardsfor their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance ofthese Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains themto alter their former Systems of Government. The history of thepresent King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries andusurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of anabsolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts besubmitted to a candid world.He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessaryfor the public good.He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressingimportance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assentshould be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglectedto attend to them.He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of largedistricts of people, unless those people would relinquish the rightof Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them andformidable to tyrants only.He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their PublicRecords, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance withhis measures.He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing withmanly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to causeothers to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable ofAnnihilation, have returned to the People at large for theirexercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all thedangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; forthat purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners;refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, andraising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing hisAssent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure oftheir offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms ofOfficers to harass our people and eat out their substance.He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without theConsent of our legislatures.He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior tothe Civil Power.He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreignto our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving hisAssent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murderswhich they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouringProvince, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlargingits Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fitinstrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these ColoniesFor taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws andaltering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselvesinvested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of hisProtection and waging War against us.He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns, anddestroyed the lives of our people.He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenariesto compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, alreadybegun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled inthe most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seasto bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners oftheir friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavouredto bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless IndianSavages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguisheddestruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress inthe most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered onlyby repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by everyact which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. Wehave warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislatureto extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have remindedthem of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. Wehave appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we haveconjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow theseusurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections andcorrespondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice andof consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity,which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest ofmankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America,in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of theworld for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and byAuthority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish anddeclare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to beFree and Independent States, that they are Absolved from allAllegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connectionbetween them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to betotally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they havefull Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establishCommerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which IndependentStates may of right do. --And for the support of this Declaration,with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, wemutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

John HancockNew Hampshire:Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew ThorntonMassachusetts:John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge GerryRhode Island:Stephen Hopkins, William ElleryConnecticut:Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver WolcottNew York:William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis MorrisNew Jersey:Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham ClarkPennsylvania:Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, GeorgeClymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George RossDelaware:Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKeanMaryland:Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of CarrolltonVirginia:George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison,Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter BraxtonNorth Carolina:William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John PennSouth Carolina:Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur MiddletonGeorgia:Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton