THE POPCORN REEL QUESTION OF THE
Has The 2008 Presidential Election Between McCain And Obama Already Been Stolen?
In Part One of a Special Popcorn Reel Report, Investigative Journalist Greg Palast and "Free For
All!" filmmaker John Ennis say "Aye"
Investigative journalist Greg Palast (left)
and "Free For All!" filmmaker John Wellington Ennis in a scene from Mr. Ennis'
documentary "Free For All!", which arrives on DVD today in the
U.S. and Canada. This summer
the Popcorn Reel spoke to both. Mr. Palast said that based upon his
extensive investigation that the election had
already been put in Senator John McCain's hands. (Photo: Shoot First,
Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
October 7, 2008 (Part One) (Part Two
Just four Tuesdays from today, Americans will vote en masse in the presidential
election between John McCain and Barack Obama. In Canada, Canadians vote
for their prime minister in parliamentary elections next Tuesday (Oct. 14).
The process of elections around the world have never ever been perfect.
Every country's voting process is fraught with imperfection at best and at worse,
manipulation and fraud.
In the U.S. for example in the 1800's there was Rutherford B. Hayes, who lost
the presidential election even though he had won the popular vote. Moving
forward a century, in the 1960 U.S. presidential election there was chicanery by
the powerful political machinery of Democratic Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in
the victory of Democrat John F. Kennedy, who defeated Republican Richard M.
Nixon by just 100,000 votes.
And in the last two presidential elections the questionable results continued.
In 2004, with Republican President George W. Bush winning by less than three
percentage points with voter manipulation in Ohio over Democratic Senator John
F. Kerry, who promptly conceded while his running mate John Edwards wanted to
fight it out. In 2000, election machine manipulation and voter
intimidation by Republican operatives and Florida's Secretary of State Katherine
Harris, along with the U.S. Supreme Court's unprecedented decision in Bush v.
Gore to prevent Florida from counting the votes that its own State Supreme Court
ruled that it could, meant that Mr. Bush claimed the presidency in at best
controversial and at worst coup-like circumstances over then-Vice President Al
Gore, who had won the overall popular vote by more than half a million votes and
lost the state of Florida by 537 votes.
Will history repeat itself on November 4?
Greg Palast, an investigative journalist for the BBC and author of such books as
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse, has predicted that it will.
And will one candidate (based on the latest polls in Florida, Ohio and
Pennsylvania it's likely to be Barack Obama) end up being declared the loser
even though exit polls and raw numbers from the vote may well reflect that he won?
Again, Mr. Palast says "aye".
In a conversation with The Popcorn Reel in July Mr. Palast said that
based on an investigation conducted by himself and environmentalist Robert F.
Kennedy, Jr. (who wrote an extensive Rolling Stone story on the theft of Ohio in
2004), the likelihood is that the United States of America will wake up on
November 5 to the news that Senator Barack Obama will contest the election
results in several states.
For those ardent supporters of Mr. Obama that possibility is hardly inviting and
would similarly be unwelcome to McCain supporters if their candidate finds himself
in the predicament that Mr. Palast has projected will befall Senator Obama on
the evening of November 4.
Even if Senator Obama contests the results, there is a strong
chance that Senator McCain's camp will also challenge the results in several
states through the courts asserting voter fraud (i.e., ineligible voters because
of incorrect addresses or insufficient identification.)
The seeds for this type of chaotic post-election day fight have been sewn this summer
and into the fall with reports in local newspapers in many states -- typically
those termed "battleground states" -- that the McCain campaign has mailed out
fake and misleading absentee ballot applications to over a million people
registered as Democrats, Independents and even some Republicans, in Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin; that e-mails reportedly being sent
out by the
McCain camp to black voters in Philadelphia and other urban areas of
Pennsylvania are threatening to arrest blacks who happen to have outstanding
parking tickets or other traffic offenses if they show up at the polls.
(This was also reported in Florida back in 2000.) Moreover, students at
the University of West Virginia have been threatened with the withholding of their
financial aid if they register students to vote on campus.
And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg.
There are accounts of people being told that
the election is being held on November 5, twenty-four hours after its actual
date, which in November 4. In fact there is also widespread accounts of
people, predominantly Jewish people, being push-polled -- an occurrence where
people are being asked false, inflammatory questions about Senator Obama and his
social-political associations and positions on political issues, positions
either exaggerated or patently untrue -- in order to persuade them to change
their likely vote from Mr. Obama to Mr. McCain.
With 29 days to go until the November 4 election, and the polls in numerous
competitive states looking favorably upon the Illinois senator and pundits like
Chuck Todd of NBC News projecting that Senator Obama has just one more state to
win to be assured of winning the election next month, it may well be too
premature (and suspicious even) to declare a winner one way or the other.
Nonetheless, even Karl Rove, the Fox News contributor and Republican political
operative who masterminded both of George W. Bush's presidential campaigns (and has protege Steve Schmidt currently at the helm of Senator McCain's
campaign), has his own election map suggesting that Obama has already won the
Back in July Mr. Palast expressed strong doubt however, that the November 4
presidential election would be one conducted without major incident or
controversy. Extraordinarily high turnout would seem to be the best
antidote to combating the likelihood of a skewed election. There has even
been a controversial October 1 deployment of U.S. military troops who have spent
very recent tours of duty in Iraq into cities across the United States --
something that violates the centuries-old law of Posse Commitatus, which in
essence forbids American military from patrolling on American soil. The
recent deployment of soldiers is expected to last for one full year.
Mr. Palast, who did an extensive report for the BBC program NewsNight on the
DataBase Technologies/ChoicePoint mass purge of almost 100,000 black voters in
Florida with the help of then Secretary of State Ms. Harris in 2000 which had a
sizable impact on the result of the presidential election, forecasted a harbinger
of things to come on the night of November 4.
"What's happening is that a
lot of the evil, shitty little tricks run by gangsters like Ken Blackwell and
Katherine Harris are now actually part of the law. Under the
(2006) Help America
Vote Act (HAVA) -- and God help us when Bush wants to help us count votes . . .
things like sending out letters to voters at registered addresses and if they
come back bad they get knocked off the registration -- that was an evil trick of
Karl Rove's office. And against the law. Now it's actually part of
As Mr. Palast continued what he said didn't get any sunnier.
"In Colorado -- did you know this -- an important swing state, the Republican
Secretary of State -- you'll love this -- voided, eliminated every single
registration in the entire goddamned state! And then sent out letters
telling everyone they had to re-register. Now guess what? Who
doesn't get those letters? Twenty percent of the people in [Colorado]
lost their right to vote. Twenty percent. And who are they?
Right? Guys like, with the name Fernandez. The suburban population
doesn't move. You have to understand that mobility in America is in
inverse proportion to your income, okay? Jetsetters go on vacation but
they don't move their houses. Poor folk cleaning out the stables at the
dude ranches in Colorado are itinerate -- they move around."
This is news that may come as a shock to those who haven't read Mr. Palast's
book Armed Madhouse. And the BBC investigative reporter, who was born in
New York City and dons a trademark fedora-like hat, believes it will get worse
before it gets better. So why hasn't this news and blanketed liberal
new shows like MSNBC cable TV's Countdown With Keith Olbermann or The Rachel
So far, neither show has even mentioned anything about the widespread election
fraud that is going on right now, just weeks before the election.
Greg Palast began the conversation by saying that "you can fool adults and The
New York Times but you can't fool nine-year-olds."
In other words, something fishy this way smells.
And nine-year-olds can tell when something stinks. Unfortunately though,
they are nine years too young to be able to vote in the United States.
Mr. Palast is something of a political comedian, although he's hardly trying to
be funny. He shouts "fire" in the faces of those who find what he has to
say politically inconvenient. His books are laden with meticulously
researched information and data and written with biting satirical humor to
cushion the blunt force impact of the distressing facts and other news that he
shares with his readers.
"By the way, in fact if you go back historically, the whole concept of voter
registration was started to eliminate new immigrant citizens voting in places
like Massachusetts. The deliberate idea was to get rid of the itinerate
population -- those who aren't stable in one place. There's a tremendous
Hispanic influx into these states -- they're citizen Hispanics, okay? You
have to understand, half of all citizen Hispanics are not registered.
And it's not increasing, it's declining! You have to understand
that in some states like Colorado, it's declining. They're hooking these
people down, eliminating them from the voter registry. The number of poor
people registered -- those with $50,000 incomes or less -- has gone from 72% to
65%. In other words, you've had a drop in the number of registered.
All the shit that's going down -- it's really nasty."
Enough perhaps to make you shout out to your local or national media to get them
to report on this information. And according to Mr. Palast, the problem of
voter elimination and purging the voting rolls of felons isn't a one-state
"Felon purging? Now it's national! You have states like Colorado --
you know what? -- New Mexico and Colorado don't have laws against felons voting.
But they're removing them anyway! Most people that get out of jail and
have served their time, they don't even know they have the right to vote.
The Republican Party of Colorado engineered that mass purge," Mr. Palast said.
And Mr. Palast has some more troubling information about voting, the Democratic
Party and voter suppression to share with Popcorn Reel readers and what can be
done to combat it. That's to come tomorrow.
Thursday: More from
Greg Palast. And
filmmaker John Wellington Ennis opines about the elections of 2000 and 2004 and
talks about his film
"Free For All!"
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