From my Moscow Times column, April 8, 2005
Let's face facts: the game is over and we – the "reality-based community," the believers in genuine democracy and law, the heirs of Jefferson and Madison, Emerson and Thoreau, the toilers and dreamers, all those who seek to rise above the beast within and shape the brutal chaos of existence into something higher, richer, imbued with meaning – have lost. The better world we thought had been won out of the blood and horror of history – a realm of enlightenment that often found its best embodiment in the ideals and aspirations of the American Republic – is gone. It's been swallowed by darkness, by ravening greed, by bestial spirits and willful primitives who now possess overwhelming instruments of power and dominion.
A gang of such spirits seized control of the United States government by illicit means in 2000 – and maintained that control through rampant electoral corruption in 2004. The election of George W. Bush last November was a deliberately shambolic process that saw massive lockouts of opposition voters; unverifiable returns compiled by easily-hackable machines operated by avowed corporate partisans of the ruling party; and vast discrepancies between exit polls and final results, gaps much larger than those that condemned elections in Ukraine and Georgia as manipulated frauds. Indeed, a panel of statisticians said last week that the odds of such a discrepancy occurring naturally were 959,000-1, the Akron Beacon-Journal reports.
The copious documentation for the Bush fraud keeps growing. Last month, experts using actual machines and returns from the 2004 election showed Congress how a lone hacker could skew a precinct's results by 100,000 votes without leaving a trace. More than 40 million votes in 30 states were cast on such computer systems, BlackBoxVoting notes.
Late last year, Congress heard sworn testimony from Florida programmer Clint Curtis, who created vote-rigging software in 2000 at the request of Tom Feeny, a Bush Family factotum. Feeny wanted Curtis (a fellow Republican) and his employer, Yang Enterprises, to produce untraceable programs that could "control the vote" as needed, investigator Brad Friedman reports. Feeny also told Curtis of Bush plans to "suppress the black vote" with "exclusion lists." This is exactly what happened. BBC investigator Greg Palast has shown that tens of thousands of legitimate African-American voters were deliberately "purged" from the rolls by a Republican-controlled private corporation hired by Jeb Bush. Afterwards, Feeny – who had been Jeb's running mate in his first gubernatorial campaign – was rewarded for his dutiful service with a plum Congressional seat.
In 2002, Raymond Lemme, a Florida state government inspector, took up Curtis' charges, which included other corruption allegations involving Feeny, Yang Enterprises, and a Yang employee charged with peddling military technology to the Chinese. In June 2003, Lemme told Curtis he had "tracked the corruption all the way to the top" and that "the story would break in a few weeks." On July 1, 2003, Lemme was found dead in a Georgia hotel room, just across the Florida border.
Local police ruled that Lemme, a happily married man eagerly planning his daughter's wedding, had suddenly decided to slash his wrists. At first, they said there were no photos of the death scene; but then the pictures turned up on the Internet, and were confirmed as authentic by the embarrassed police. The photos clearly contradicted the original suicide report at several points – including evidence that Lemme had been beaten before his death. The investigation was re-opened after Curtis' Congressional testimony – then abruptly shut down after local police spoke to a never-identified "someone" in the Florida state government.
Needless to say, nothing has been done to clarify the murk surrounding Lemme's convenient death. Nor has there been any action toward rectifying the highly profitable degradation of the American electoral process – beyond the appointment of yet another "blue-ribbon panel" of Establishment worthies to oversee "election reform." The seriousness of this endeavor can be seen in the man appointed to co-chair the effort: James Baker, the notorious Bush Family fixer (and Saudi bagman) who spearheaded the sabotage of the 2000 vote in Florida. Baker's presence on the panel ensures that nothing will be done to lessen the ruling clique's chokehold on power.
So let's have no illusions about where we are. Gangsters are in charge, and nothing and no one will be allowed to challenge their dominion. They are waging aggressive war to cement their position and that of their allies – the energy barons, the arms merchants, the construction and services cartels, the investment bankers. These power blocs now command monstrous resources, unfathomable profits; they can buy out, buy off or bury any force that opposes them. Meanwhile, they use the loot of the stolen Republic – it blood and treasure – as fuel for their ever-expanding war machine: Bush now has a "secret watch-list" of 25 more countries ripe for military intervention, the Financial Times reports.
With more war crimes afoot, last month Bush issued an official "National Defense Strategy" that openly declares "judicial processes" as one of the enemies confronting the United States, actually equating it with terrorism, AP reports. Law is "a strategy of the weak," says the Bush Doctrine, in a chilling echo of Hitlerian machtpolitik: might makes right. The judicial process must not be allowed to "constrain or shape" American behavior in any way, the gangsters declared.
Think of it: law is now the enemy. Democracy, as we've seen above, is the enemy. This – the demented code of criminals and tyrants – has become the ruling doctrine of the United States. Where is justice, where is enlightenment – where is America – in this perverted system, this freakshow of death and avarice?