We Do Not Concede

Go here to sign a petition to your National representatives to stop the secret election machinery (STOP Holt Bill HR811) and read reasoning behind it. Please forward, it is your democracy at stake.


Important Message From Paul Lehto:

Brad Friedmann, myself, Nancy Tobi and Bev Harris and Mark Crispin Miller have all dialed 811 for a debate on democracy, and all we get is a busy signal, or nobody at home. All key supporters of Holt’s bill have so far refused to debate.

Mariann Gould has properly written this up as a remarkable situation. There was even the possibility of a television deal being worked on by a person in California if David Dill would agree, but he emphatically and repeatedly refuses to debate.

Privileges come matched with duties and responsibilities. If we wish to exercise the privilege of being a key actor in changing the mechanisms of democracy, the minimal accountability of a public debate is necessary, at the very least.

Now I understand that politicians sometimes think that if they are ahead they should not give their opponents a platform such as a debate to score points with. But this situation is entirely different, because

(1) HR 811 proponents are purporting to design something FAIR to all voters, and transparent to all, not aiming to win at all costs like a political campaign, yet this is their response to the call to debate

(2) Common Cause, for example, said they would appear on Mariann Gould’s show after the markup of the bill and then after the markup they said it was too late…. What?

(3) Changing voting systems has more impact than just about any political race, yet there’s not even so much disclosure as the League of Women Voters or the state would provide for a dogcatcher’s race — with balanced views in opposition — and there won’t even be an *attempt* to do so even in a small way

(4) David Dill stated in writing to me that he’s already “won” this, and I can only wonder who voted in that election, how the votes were counted, was the computerized voting done on Dill’s personal computer and who “audited” that election victory, and how in a democracy anyone can claim to have “won” any public question at all without submitting it to the public on an informed basis so they can then inform their representatives how to vote?

(5) All of the facts regarding secret vote counting software being in the possession or control of the government are undisputed — creating a situation where we do not have guaranteed to We the People the right to throw crooked politicians out of office who are willing to cheat on e-voting, knowing that the evidence of the cheating is trade secret. There are many ways for this cheating to survive a 3% audit.

Democracy surely deserves a debate. Will any supporter of Holt agree to face me, Brad, Nancy, Bev and Mark in a debate? If not, what transparency, disclosure or arguments are they afraid will help the anti-811 position win?

Paul Lehto

PS. Just for Fun: It’s said that we’ve really got to “rush” because 2008 is coming up, in order to put a “Holt” to election fraud. But if you “rush” dialing 911 for democracy, don’t be surprised if you screw it up and get 811, instead of 911.

Paul R Lehto, Juris Doctor


tank in la.bmpHello!
Please come to this event and send this out to your lists:
Come see the documentary video “Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers”

The very first monthly FIRST FRIDAY FLICKS!
Friday, June 1
Doors open at 6:30pm, movie starts at 7pm
Limited snacks
Free Press office, 1000 E. Main St., parking in rear
253-2571, truth@freepress.org

The story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war.
Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed, and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so.

Goreby Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
May 18, 2007

Al Gore has just made his second major contribution to our national political dialog. 

His first, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has helped make the perils of global warming real to the American mainstream.

Now his “Assault on Reason” is excerpted in Time Magazine.  With it he paints a compelling portrait of a democracy being obliterated by money and television. 

The content is very much on point.  But the former Vice-President must finally face the huge personal responsibility he bears for much of the problem.

First, he was an important party to the complex but catastrophic Telecommunications Act of 1996.  This Clinton-era corporate goodie bag enabled a huge spike in the monopolization of the electronic media Gore now decries. 

To fight the problem, Gore should now become an active agent in reversing that horrific  pro-monopoly give-away.  He could fight to re-establish meaningful pluralistic media ownership and public access, and for reviving both the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Provision, which once guaranteed balance in media content.

Second, Gore was victim of the theft of the election of 2000, but he also enabled it.  In the entire history of the United States, few events have more deeply damaged our democracy than the stolen Florida vote count and warped Electoral College outcome that followed.

The Electoral College was ostensibly designed at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to protect the rights of small states.  But it also facilitated the ability of slaveowners to cast 3/5ths of a vote for each of their chattel.  There are few more destructive monuments to electoral cynicism.   Gore would be a welcome ally in finally ridding ourselves of this historic obscenity. After all, he won by half a million popular votes and “lost” the election. 

That Gore was victimized in 2000 was largely his own fault.  Amidst the carefully choreographed chaos of the Florida 2000 vote count, the Gore campaign inexplicably asked for a recount only in four counties, rather than statewide.  This was a miscalculation of epic proportions.  In recent years it’s been proven that Gore did win the legitimate Florida statewide vote count, and would have prevailed with a full and honest recount.

The Florida 2000 recount was sabotaged by Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris, as J. Kenneth Blackwell did again in Ohio 2004.  In both cases, a very sophisticated GOP apparatus aided by key technicians from partisan voting machine companies, has been bound and determined to steal the presidency at any cost.

Gore’s actions on the 2000 recount might be discounted as a stategic failure.

But they were followed by something much much worse.  In January, 2001, the Black Caucus of the US House demanded a Congressional dialogue on the seating of the Florida delegation to the Electoral College.  This procedure had been established in 1887, in response to the stolen election of 1876.  It required the signature of one Representative and one Senator. 

Tragically, Gore prevented this from happening.  As the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress gathered to ratify the election, Gore repeatedly gaveled down those Representatives demanding a discussion of the theft of Florida’s decisive electoral votes.  This very ugly, politically catastrophic moment is forever memorialized in Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11. 

Staff from the office of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone have said Gore told those Senators inclined to join in that he would not recognize them if they tried.  Senator Hillary Clinton told the Free Press Editor that Gore “begged” her not to sign on to such a challenge.  

The result:  there was no Congressional challenge on the theft of the election of 2000.  Ironically, with Dick Cheney presiding over Congress, there was indeed such a session on the stolen election of 2004, facilitated by Sen. Harry Reid.  But following the cave-in of 2000, it again lacked the full weight of the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate. 

In short, Al Gore and the Democratic Party were complicit in the most demoralizing and anti-democratic events in the recent history of our nation.  It is fine for the brilliant and lucid former Vice President to decry the power of money and television in the destruction of our democracy.

But what can tangibly and irrevocably destroy a democracy more thoroughly than the outright theft of elections, especially when it happens without challenge from the opposition?

We welcome the heartfelt insights of Al Gore on the broader issues of modern democracy. But when will he finally come clean on what he and John Kerry did—and didn’t do—in allowing the theft of our last two presidential elections? 

When will Gore muster the courage of former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker in denouncing the role of voting machine proprietors and techno “insiders” in corrupting the voting process?

Most of all, we need to hear how Al Gore and the Democratic Party plan to guarantee it never happens again. And then we need to see them actually act on it.  

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman’s three books on the theft of the 2004 election are available at www.freepress.org. Harvey’s  SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org.

Original article here:


In the Land of the Free, and the
Home of the Brave

Paul R Lehto
Congressional Intent to Eliminate We the People
 from Our Own Elections   —  Congressional Failure to Secure and Guarantee Basic Rights to All Americans
Americans Must Act Within Two Weeks to Restore
Their Inalienable Right to Kick the Bums Out of Office
“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the
transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them . . .” —Patrick Henry
“Give me Liberty, or Give me Death.”   —Patrick Henry
WARNING: a bipartisan Congress will, in the next few days, attempt to violate your #1 Inalienable Right.  Having talked to many folks, I’ve not yet found an American who says this warning is not well taken.  Although each person I’ve talked to understands   they’re being cheated by this;  they just tend to think that other Americans won’t listen, or think Americans too busy to preserve their own most basic rights.   
Are Americans, in fact, too lazy or stupid to defend their own freedoms anymore?   Some say that a few words about their own history will bore them to giving up their republic without so much as a fight, especially with an election law attorney writing like this as if he’s Paul Revere.    Will cynicism mean that Americans give up the fight for their rights on their own soil?  
Nowadays, some say American attention spans are so short that they won’t be able to finish an essay like this of just a few pages, even when told that Abe Lincoln’s “government of the People, by the People and for the People”  depends on it.   I’m told regularly to use extremely few words, give a quick action request at the end, so that Americans can go back to their slumbers.
But I don’t believe the pessimists.  I choose to address all of those who read this as concerned citizens, instead of addled consumers.    I believe that Americans respond when they know what’s at stake.   The USA did not become the world’s richest country and sole military superpower for no reason.    They will read a few more paragraphs of context that help explain why this is so important, before it’s time to prove why your #1 Inalienable Right must be defended.
Americans by and large remember the sacrifices of citizens and soldiers over the generations — millions of them who worked, fought, and died for the dream of American democracy – and they will not allow democracy to slip away during our generation — on our watch — if they understand clearly what’s at stake.
So, to be clear, please let me explain.    As an offer of my own seriousness about this, let me simply say I don’t particularly need this fight:   I’ve been in the hospital several times in the last year for as long as a week, and though medical bills and devotion to this cause have emptied the savings, and although fatigue follows me daily, and with two young children to worry about, I am nevertheless convinced of the need to give this my all.    After having sought the counsel of some fellow citizens and lovers of democracy, and short of funds and energy for renewing my license anyway, I’ve let my attorney license expire as a form of resignation as a lawyer, I will not have clients any more – other than American Democracy.   I feel that what I’ve learned about elections I can not ration and sell at $200 an hour, when as many as possible need to know some things, and soon.
In reaching this decision, I realized that the principles of our representative democracy are actually more important than life itself.   Otherwise, if this were not the case, how would you convince a man or woman to sacrifice their life for this principle of democratic self-government?   By what other persuasion would we send our young to the front lines of war other than with some version of Patrick Henry’s famous patriotic challenge:  “Give me Liberty, or Give Me Death?”     Americans believe that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
But on our watch, there haven’t been quite enough sentinels of democracy, there have been too few watchdogs of our Constitutional and Inalienable Rights: those Rights we’re endowed with by our Creator under the Declaration of Independence.   That Declaration of Independence, and those American men and women took on a King and the world’s mightiest military – they dared greatly.   The wanted  to remake the history of the world in favor of the principles of self-government.  A revolution of perspective would, they believed, restore this continent to a state of Nature, with free and equal citizens joining in communities to protect their individual rights and the commonwealth.  
Today, historians write that we were the first nation founded on ideals – like “no taxation without representation,” like “legitimate political power comes only from the people” via free and fair elections establishing the consent of the governed, and that laws in derogation of the natural rights of the People are Void and without effect.  
On the purpose of government, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “governments are instituted to secure [our] rights.”   Thus from that day in 1776 forward, we would have “Government Servants” or “public servants,” with the People as the Master of the government, and not the other way around.    With the right to vote for representatives and others, the People would never again be slaves to Tyranny or governmental abuse of power.    
Consequently, under the Declaration of Independence, the People have the Inalienable right to “alter or abolish” their Government servants if they no longer serve them well.   Today, we sometimes refer to this as the right to “kick the bums out.”   The very recognition of inalienable rights present at birth were an example and precedent for the whole world because, for the first time in European historical memory, the individual human being was an independent source of power and rights, just by virtue of being born.  In these notions, the Founders learned from both John Locke, and perhaps even more from the advanced civilization of the Iroquois, with its three branch form of government.    We all remember that humans are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these rights are life, liberty, and … though the last word was originally “property,” the Founders changed the word “property” in that phrase to the more familiar “pursuit of happiness.” 
The emergence of the “pursuit of happiness’ in place of property emphasizes that Liberty is ultimately more important than Property.   The real core of the American Revolution, the new idea with which the Founders wanted to “begin the world anew” was specifically that a government does not Grant rights (nor does it possess any rights); rather, as a servant of the people, the purpose of government is to Guarantee the rights of the people. 
Pledged irrevocably to these ideals, the signers of the Declaration pledged and lost their Lives or their Fortunes, but they still retain their Honor today.   By intentionally enslaving the Government as servant of the public’s rights and happiness, the energies of a whole nation of individuals of diverse races, colors and creeds were unleashed to maximize their potential.    As a result, Freedom, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, arises when a government of limited powers, working in trust, guarantees the individual rights of all citizens, thus unleashing the maximum potential of each person.   
At the Seneca Falls Declaration of Rights in 1848 that launched women’s suffrage movement, and again in Washington DC in Martin Luther King’s civil rights speech “I Have a Dream” speech, the history of American can largely be told as a process of women and minorities and their families and supporters insisting that our country live up to its ideals, that it make good on the promises of the Declaration for everyone.    Though heroes like Susan B. Anthony worked their whole lives without seeing a ballot in their hands, their vision and their engines of progress forced the American Dream to grow.    They insisted that the country make real its ideals, and they made it so.  As many state constitutions and the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights state, frequently recurring to fundamental principles is necessary to the preservation of Liberty and free government. 
Today, we are faced with a choice of recurring to our own principles of Freedom and Democracy, or letting democracy die.    Whenever we do not regularly bring to the fore these principles, they are eroded, chipped away, violated and harmed – just by the very process of not being considered because they are not at the negotiation table.  
Though popular, Freedom is always at risk of intentional harm from people who think they have a better idea about how to live our lives or run our country than ordinary Americans do.   Some of them are so convinced they will happily force you to go along for your own good.  But freedom is only free if you are safe being unpopular.  
Our representative democracy is always at risk of harm or manipulation because the passions of the day or the business interests at issue don’t wish to leave their fates to a majority vote sometimes any more than you or I would like to have a spouse chosen for us by majority vote.   Power is endlessly addictive to humans, once some government officials taste it, they don’t want to stop and may try to stay in office by crooked means.   Those of us on the internet often inform just our like-minded friends about internet polls in order to get them to help vote up our side of the issue.  But this one-sided get-out-the-vote effort on our part makes the internet poll even less scientific or accurate than it was in the beginning, and because of this distortion it’s the moral equivalent of stuffing the ballot box.      Now, given that we all try to stuff the ballot box for fun in these internet polls, imagine a real election where the stakes are just a little higher:   like for example  control of the world’s richest country and sole military superpower up for grabs in a presidential election.   Ever heard of the name President RutherFraud B. Hayes?   That name was quite popular back in the late 1800s.  Around that time, there was so much violence, intimidation, bribery and pressuring at and around the polls that the secret ballot came along as an innovation to reduce the intimidation and fraud.
But the secret ballot did not make all the pressure on elections go completely away.   It just moved location and changed tactics. 
So now at last, we are left at the point of seeing where we are losing our most sacred democratic rights.   Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.   There is one channel of political legitimacy and that’s the elections.  Everyone who votes takes a side and is biased.   Many political issues have both sides believing that great injustice will occur if they lose an election.   Most especially, because the government relies on elections for 100% of its power, money and legitimacy, it has a huge conflict of interest and can not administer elections without a check and balance from the public.  
But We the People have been eliminated from a meaningful role in elections, because nobody counts and nobody can watch the counting of the vote on the new electronic machines.     After well over a century of successfully hand counting paper ballots under the supervision of the public and the parties, and although the number of workers it takes per thousand hand counted  ballots has essentially not changed, we’ve grown fond of the wonders of computer and grown tired of Election Night labors for democracy.   Various types of computers have come in to take up the slack, both optical scanners using paper ballots originally, and touch screen computers, counting well over 80% of our ballots in complete invisibility and secrecy.   
We the People are no longer able to keep our eyes on, or supervise, our own elections.   We’ve been eliminated from elections by “modernization.”  The “modern” computers are amoral slaves that do whatever they are told to do without regard to law or democratic ethics.    Their electronic hard drives operate invisibly.  They might offer some convenience, but they also make us stand in line to wait for machines, and richer counties have shorter lines than poorer counties.   As might be expected given the nature of computers, numerous studies establish that one person with access to one results disk for about one minute can place a virus that can alter an entire county’s election results, or   alter an entire state’s election results.  Though elections have always been under pressure because of their stakes, this increases enormously the amount of cheating one person can do, how quickly they can do it, and how easily they can erase the evidence of what they did.  
It gets even worse.   The software that counts is the only thing that knows the true count, even the officials have no idea if the scanner or touch screen numbers are correct, barring the rare, expensive and (in Bush v. Gore 2000) terminable hand recount.   We’ve been taught to be frustrated with the hanging chad to embrace the computer, claiming the chad is paper, but in fact it is a punch card, and every punch card ever made was for a computerized process of counting.  
WARNING:  With computerized voting, your inalienable right to kick the bums out, or your inalienable right to alter or abolish your government through elections,   doesn’t exist.  It is not secured for you by your government.  They are not guaranteeing this right for you.    In fact any corrupt election insider could, for money, partisanship, pressure, threat or in the belief of doing a great justice to the whole Nation, alter the election results undetectably, erasing the steps along the way.    As long as the total number of votes match up roughly, and one doesn’t cheat more than say 20 percentage points, a whole industry of political pundits will chalk up the surprise victory to the last minute attack ad, or great get out the vote campaign, or a problem with the “loser’s” platform, the weather, or any of dozens of other colorable excuses.  
In short, with computerized voting by optical scanner or touch screen, your vote is simply whatever the invisible computer instructions say it is, computers can be programmed many months in advance, and instructing the computer to wait til election night poll closing before changing votes will defeat every test that ever happens, which are all with small amounts of votes anyway.    With a computer, it is really irrelevant what it does in a testing period the day before or the day after, it matters only what the computers in the real election (and we all know which ones they are) are actually instructed to do, on Election Day and election conditions.  
This means that you do still have the right to kick out an honest politician, you just don’t have the right to kick out a crooked politician.    But of course, that’s precisely when the inalienable right to kick the bums out is most needed:  with a no good cheating bum.  
Some folks in our government are accidentally or purposefully not checking in with or recurring to our fundamental principles frequently, as needed to preserve liberty and free government.    If they did, they would recall that our Founders taught us that power corrupts, they would not ask us for trust.  They would recall the America is about checks and balances, a form of distrust, and not about trust.  If they checked in with the Declaration of Independence, they would in the second paragraph realize that governments are instituted to secure us our rights.    In order to SECURE the right to kick the crooked bums out as needed, our elections must be secured FROM the government.  Our elections must be beyond the possible or ready manipulation of the government.   If you are not serious about your rights or your freedoms, you don’t need to take this seriously.  But if you are serious about preserving American rights and American freedoms, most especially the freedom to get rid of any crooks, you had best cast a suspicious and jealous eye on the Public Liberty of elections.   Be a sentinel of democracy, don’t let democracy wither on your watch.  
President McKinley said that Americans agree on principles, they disagree on politics or the application of principles.    The principles outlined here for the protection of freedom and democracy are our Nation’s most sacred.   They are revered by Americans.   An August 2006 Zogby poll I paid for with help from Nancy Tobi of New Hampshire and Michael Collins of electionfraudnews.com established that an incredible 92% of Americans supported a vote counting system where vote counting is observable by the public and the public can obtain information about vote counting.   http://www.zogby.com/News/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1163   This is one of the highest political values ever measured in polls, yet the 90% secret vote counting that is taking place in America shows how incredibly out of touch our government, of both parties, is with every demographic group in America. 
The only kind of voting system that is compatible with your inalienable rights and mine is one the public can watch like a hawk, and one that the public controls, and that it can observe.   Given it is the duty of government to secure and guarantee our rights, specifically including the right to kick them out, elections have no choice but to be publicly controlled.  
Those are the principles.  Now for the politics that get a little debatable with some people.    Essentially in the only system that provides for public control and observable elections is known as precinct counted hand counted paper ballots.   Simply put, this system is running unopposed in the democracy race.  We do not have a choice of much completely different systems.  The ability to peacefully preserve freedom and democracy through elections is far too valuable for any objection to it to have weight.  
But the Congress won’t listen.  Neither party listens to the needs of democracy, so they must hear from YOU the citizens.    On May 6, 2007 the House Administration Committee reported out a modified bill called HR 811, also known as the Holt bill.  In that bill’s markup in committee, it got better and it got worse in various particulars, if you follow the debate.   One way in which it got much worse is that instead of source code for the computer that would be given away for any citizen’s inspection, they committee put in language that made the source code a government-recognized trade secret, available only to “qualified” experts, and then only if a strict nondisclosure agreement is signed that incorporates trade secrecy laws of the states, which almost always contain harsh punitive damages and attorneys fees clauses for violating the secrecy.  
This language is particularly ominous.   I know of no time before that an American legislative body has ever tried to pass law to reinforce secret vote counting.   Of course, having a copy of the source code does not tell us if that code is the same as what’s used on election day, nor does it tell us what the actual voting computers are asked to do on election day.   It would be, of course, illegal for the software to differ, but it is readily possible to conceal a double Trojan Horse, for example, such that it is highly resistant to being found.   It is not possible to verify that a piece of software remains unchanged, if it were, the problem of viruses would be solved since each program could self-verify whether or not it had been changed.     As stated in the classic computer paper “Reflections on Trusting Trust” the only code you can trust is the code you wrote yourself and know nobody else has accessed.  
As a consequence of all of the above, while computers have many wonderful uses, they are not compatible with democracy.   
On the same infamous day of May 6, 2007, the House Administration committee did more than just insert language that would give a specific statutory “anchor” or claimed basis in law for secret vote counting.   On that day they also dismissed, without allowing discovery via the Congress or hearing any evidence in the Congress, 4 Congressional election contests.   Three were in Florida and one in Louisiana.  A remaining fifth contest in Florida’s 13th Congressional District was not dismissed but already has a state court ruling holding that “trade secrecy” overcame the need to investigate the truth in that Congressional election. In another, Florida’s 24th, candidate Clint Curtis collected many hundreds of affidavits showing his official results were underreported by 12% to 24%.  The House Administration Committee ignored and refused to hear this evidence, dismissing this and 3 other contests without any discovery of facts or any evidentiary consideration.    
Pursuant to a self-serving law called the Federal Election Contest Act, the Congress claims to be the judge of its own elections!    Thus, in one case that I personally litigated near San Diego California, in a June 6, 2006 special election for Congress, one of the candidates, Brian Bilbray, was sworn in only 7 days later, on June 13, 2006.   The June 13 Congressional Record recites that there were 68,500 uncounted votes on the very first count!  This was considered a bellwether for the November 2006 congressional races, and Francine Busby led in all of the pre-election polls except one controversial one right before the election, where it’s claimed she made a gaffe.   But regardless, the Congressional Record admits the results were unofficial, there were 68,500 uncounted votes in a race with a margin of less than 5000 votes, and it was weeks prior to the earliest date anyone can file an election contest or a recount request.    But the Congressional Record states there are no “known” disputes or contests.   Mr. Bilbray, a former Congressman known to many of the members, was sworn in.  
Subsequently, when two lady citizens sued to contest the election, Mr. Bilbray   claimed that no state or federal court had any jurisdiction since only the Congress had an exclusive jurisdiction thanks to his premature swearing in. He cited Art. I, sec. 5 of the Constitution for the idea that the House could not be second guessed after an unconditional swearing.    This insult to democracy and the people of the 50th District was made worse.   For having the audacity to question Mr. Bilbray’s election termination maneuver, Bilbray countersued with a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) counterclaim for damages and attorney fees, a suit usually brought by the little guy against the big corporation.   Plaintiffs Jacobson and Ritt never asked for money, they simply wanted their rights and their votes counted.   But even for that privilege, the election officials jacked the recount price up about 7 times higher than similar races, for an estimated cost of $150,000.    That’s one expensive personal right to vote. 
Our government “servants” while often noble in motivation, are also too frequently lazy or corrupt.    Few  know, since it was only reported in local Ohio news, that convictions have been obtained for rigging the 2004 presidential recount for Bush and Kerry, requested by the Libertarian and Green parties.    As shown by two felony convictions for rigging the Presidential recount in 2004 in Cuyahoga county Ohio show, partisanship is by no means the only motive that distorts elections.   In cases like the inflated recount price tag above, government officials are very uninterested in having their first “official” counts made to look bad (they’re human), and they are also very uninterested in working through Thanksgiving (one of the motives in Ohio’s presidential recount rigging convictions).   In a nutshell, recounts and audits are so hazardous because they have many legal hurdles and take place after the election, when lots of pressure is put on the “sore loser” to concede.   This means that only the first count really matters, and certainly the first count controls headlines, and swearing-ins.  
The presidential election, in particular, has a special time limit of December 13 that came into play with Bush v. Gore that makes post-election “remedies” very unreliable.    But, it is very gravely concerning that the first counts are secret.  Literally only the hacker or rigger knows what the true count is.   The greatly enhanced ability to cheat means we have reached more than just a dangerous time for democracy.  With no basis for confidence in election results because indeed we have no evidence at all of the counts, we are forced to take the elections purely on trust instead of evaluating the evidence and the checks and balances.  
Publicly controlled elections must be restored immediately, based on considerations of the values of democracy.   If we only consider non-democratic values like convenience, we’ll end up with a non-democratic system.  Harry Truman laid it out straight:  If you want just efficiency, you’ll get a dictatorship.  The most likely route to a loss of freedom comes when realizing that a successful election criminal gets to be an election official or set election policy.    What if a bank robber got to be bank president and set bank vault policy?   Thus, when protective of liberty and looking for suspect election criminals, look in office.
 In contrast, the longtime values of democracy are openness, inclusion, equality of one person one vote, consent of the governed, and the rights of the people to alter or abolish their government.    These and related values are the ones we should frequently refer to, use as compass guides to keep us pointing in the right direction.  Even if we don’t achieve our ideal destination, we are lost indeed if we can not orient ourselves in the direction of progress.   
The congressional election contests unfairly dismissed, the California election contest prematurely terminated by swearing in, and the problem of secret vote counting on electronics share a common theme:   It is not possible to run democratic elections without a major role by We the People, and the government has too many conflicts and partisanships to do the job of auditing itself, investigating itself, or potentially undermining a fellow Member in Congress The necessity of a role for We the People in controlling elections should not surprise us, we are after all the master, the government the servant.   In the Judiciary branch, for example,  We the People still walk in to the jury box and judge innocence and guilt, life and death, liability and non-liability.   
But our elimination from our proper role controlling elections? This is a crime against democracy.   We need to remember who we are as Americans, and act soon to tell the House and the Senate in DC and in our state houses, that we will not stand for secret vote counting, that they most definitely will not pass laws purporting to authorize or legalize that even indirectly, that it is a shame of immense proportions for them to vote for secret counting of votes in their own re-election races, by simply amending the Help America Vote Act with HR 811 without abolishing secret vote counting.   That this huge conflict of interest, voting on their own re-elections, ought to sensitize Congress to a great need to act against its own perceived interests, and that politicians who love representative democracy and their own constituents surely ought to be competing with each other to see who can restore more power to the people in elections than the other guy.  
Because if they don’t, if they keep the secret counting easily manipulated by insiders and their cavalier attitudes toward election contests, our #1 inalienable right to kick the crooked bums out will remain violated and denied by our own government.    Denying We the People the steering wheel of elections keeps our government “stuck on stupid” and out of touch with the public, unable to obey the public will.    Without elections, featuring voting as the right that controls all other rights, it is we who are the slaves, and not the government.  
This, if it remains, is a revolution against democracy.   It is un-American.   It must change by all means necessary. 
The Star Spangled Banner always ends with a question:
O Say Does that Star Spangled Banner Yet Wave,
O’er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave?  
A land of free and brave people will not fight amongst themselves on partisan elections results, they will first secure their most important inalienable rights.   A land of free and brave patriots will never again let their elections get out of their sight, or out of control.  
So if you feel as I feel, if you wish as I wish, that America will never become a banana republic with an out of control government, then talk to your fellow rulers, your fellow citizens, spread the word far and wide, and make the US House, the US Senate, and your state legislatures here Freedom’s bell, so they know what it sounds like.   We are not the Slaves, we are in charge.  We are watching.   We demand control of our elections.   We will not give up.  Democracy and Freedom both depend on that.
Paul R Lehto
Juris Doctor
Starting Friday, May 18, 2007 at 8pm EST, you can go to www.HR811.com for more detailed information on the Holt Bill, HR 811.  


Saturday, May 19, Ralph Nader Live Webcast at the Drexel Gateway

Meet and talk with Ralph Nader during a live webcast after the showing of his movie, “An Unreasonable Man,” at 7pm at the Drexel Gateway. The movie is two hours long, webcast will begin around 9pm.

$8.50 admission, SPECIAL DISCOUNT: $2 off for Free Press subscribers! Just tell them at the door!

Truth@freepress.org, 253-2571.
Drexel Gateway: 614-545-2255, 1550 N. High St.


globanim.gifby Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
May 11, 2007

From Ohio and California to Scotland and France, the disputes surrounding electronic voting machines have gone truly global.

E-voting machines have already been extensively studied and condemned by a wide range of expert committees, commissions and colleges, including the General Accountability Office, the Carter-Baker Commission, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, Stanford University and others. Rigging of a recount in Cleveland has resulted in two felony convictions. The failures of e-voting machines have been the subject of numerous documentary films, including the aptly titled HBO special “Hacking Democracy.”

Now the secretaries of state in Ohio and California are subjecting e-voting to still more official review. Ohio’s Jennifer Brunner has announced she’ll seek bids to conduct independent studies of both touch-screen machines, which record votes electronically, and optical scanners, which tabulate paper ballots electronically.

Brunner has already removed the entire board of elections of Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) in part because of a major fiasco caused by new electronic machines in the state’s 2006 primary election. Voting rights activists vehemently opposed the $20 million purchase, but it was rammed through by Board Chair Robert Bennett and Executive Director Michael Vu.

The machines then caused long reporting delays. Vu resigned under pressure from the board. Bennett then resigned—along with the rest of the board—under pressure from Brunner. Bennett chairs the Ohio Republican Party, works closely with White House advisor Karl Rove, and was instrumental in delivering Ohio’s decisive votes to George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election. Two felony convictions have so far arisen from what prosecutors call a “rigged” recount that occurred that year in Cleveland, under Bennett’s supervision.

The specifics of Brunner’s investigation, which she wants done by September, are not yet public. But the newly elected Democrat says she intends to “fill in the gaps” on studies of Diebold, ES&S and Hart InterCivic machines whose vote tallies were key to giving Bush a second term. The conservative Columbus Dispatch has already predicted that the results of the investigation “likely will disappoint conspiracy theorists.”

California’s new Secretary of State Deborah Bowen will begin her study May 14, and wants it done by late July. An interagency agreement with the University of California will use three “top-to-bottom review teams” with about seven people each to inspect documents, previous studies, computer source code and a penetration attack to test system security. Cost is estimated at $1.8 million to be covered by system vendors and the Help America Vote Act. Systems from Diebold, ES&S, HartIntercivic, Sequoia and InkaVote of Los Angeles will be examined.

Other states are also re-evaluating their electronic voting systems, and fierce controversy is raging nationwide over a federal bill from Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) which institutes certain voting reforms but allows the use of electronic machines to continue.

Now the issue has spread worldwide. Widespread cries of theft and fraud erupted in Ukraine, just before the US 2004 election. A forced re-vote ousted the “official” winner.

In Mexico, leftists contend the recent presidential election there was stolen just as Bush did it in the US, with some of the same personnel pulling it off.

Now similar cries are coming from Scotland and France. May 3 elections in Scotland using new electronic counting systems resulted in as many as 100,000 votes being classed as “spoilt papers.” (About 90,000 such ballots from Ohio 2004 remain uncounted to this day).

Complex methods of tabulating and weighting the Scottish votes yielded “chaos.” Several vote counts were suspended. In some races the tally of rejected ballots was greater than some candidates’ winning margin. “This is a temporary interruption to one small aspect of the overall process,” says a spokeswoman for DRS, the company responsible for the vote counting technology.

The language in France has not been so polite. A watershed presidential election has just been won by Nicolas Sarkozy, a blunt right-wing Reagan-Bush-style extremist over the socialist Segolene Royal. Sarkozy is a hard-edged authoritarian whose intense anti-immigrant rhetoric matches his support for the American war in Iraq and his avowed intent to slash France’s social service system, including a public health program widely considered among the best in the world.

Like the balloting in Ukraine, the US, Scotland and Mexico, Sarkozy’s victory was marred by angry, widespread complaints about dubious vote counts whose discrepancies always seem to favor the rightist candidate. Throughout France, the cry has arisen that the conservatives have done to Segolene Royal what Bush/Rove did to John Kerry.

In the not-so-distant past, other elections were engineered by George H.W. Bush, head of the Central Intelligence Agency and father of the current White House resident. During the Reagan-Bush presidencies, in the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and other key third world nations, expected leftist triumphs somehow morphed into rightist coups. “CIA destabilizations are nothing new,” said former CIA station chief and Medal of Merit winner John Stockwell in 1987. “Guatemala in 1954, Brazil, Ghana, Chile, the Congo, Iran, Panama, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay—the CIA organized the overthrow of constitutional democracy.”

The recent trend to privatizing vote counts, with corporations claiming “proprietary rights” to keep their hardware and software covert, has added a new dimension to an old tradition. The recent “e-victories” in the US and France have significantly tipped to the right the global balance among the major powers. So while Ohio and California conduct their studies of electronic voting, the whole world will be watching.

Bob Fitrakis’s forthcoming book, THE FITRAKIS FILES: COPS, COVERUPS AND CORRUPTION, is at https://freepress.org/, where this article first appeared. Harvey Wasserman’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030, is at http://www.solartopia.org/.
Original link at:


by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
May 6, 2007

The 1970 killings by National Guardsmen of four students during a peaceful anti-war demonstration at Kent State University have now been shown to be cold-blooded, premeditated official murder. But the definitive proof of this monumental historic reality is not, apparently, worthy of significant analysis or comment in today’s mainstream media.

After 37 years of official denial and cover-up, tape-recorded evidence, that has existed for decades and has been in the possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has finally been made public.

It proves what “conspiracy theorists” have argued since 1970—that there was a direct military order leading to the unprovoked assassination of unarmed students. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents show collusion between Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes and the FBI that aimed to terrorize anti-war demonstrators and their protests that were raging throughout the nation.

It is difficult to overstate the political and cultural impact of the killing of the four Kent State students and wounding of nine more on May 4, 1970. The nation’s campuses were on fire over Richard Nixon’s illegal invasion of Cambodia. Scores of universities were ripped apart by mass demonstrations and student strikes. The ROTC building at Kent burned down. The vast majority of American college campuses were closed in the aftermath, either by student strikes or official edicts.

Nixon was elected president in 1968 claiming to have a “secret plan” to end the war in Southeast Asia. But the revelation that he was in fact escalating it with the illegal bombing of what had been a peaceful non-combatant nation was more than Americans could bear.

As the ferocity of the opposition spread deep into the grassroots, Nixon’s Vice President, Spiro Agnew, shot back in a series of speeches. He referred to student demonstrators as Nazi “brownshirts” and suggested that college administrators and law enforcement should “act accordingly.”

On May 3, 1970—the day before National Guardsmen under his purview opened fire at Kent State–Rhodes echoed Agnew’s remarks by referring to student demonstrators as “the strongest, well-trained militant revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America … They’re worse than the brownshirts and the Communist element and the night riders and the vigilantes. They are the worst type of people that we harbor in America….”

Rhodes told a reporter that the Ohio National Guard would remain at Kent State “until we get rid of them” referring to a demographic group that was overwhelmingly white, middle class and in college.

The next day, Rhodes, the administration and the FBI sent those students a lethal message.

Rhodes was the perfect messenger. Bumbling and mediocre, with a long history of underworld involvement, Rhodes was a devoted admirer of Nixon, and of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Public records reveal that Rhodes was a virtual stooge for the FBI because of the agency’s files tying Rhodes directly to organized crime.

When Kent’s ROTC building was torched on May 2 under suspicious circumstances (student protestors couldn’t get it to light until a mysterious “biker” showed up with a canister of gasoline) it provided the perfect cover for Rhodes to dispatch the National Guard.

But contrary to law, they were supplied with live ammunition. On May 4, in the presence of a peaceful, unthreatening rally, the Guard was strung along a ridge 100 yards from the bulk of the protestors. Earlier, rocks and insults had been hurled at the Guard. But not one of the numerous investigations and court proceedings involving what happened next has ever contended any of the students were armed, or that the Guard was under threat of physical harm at the time of the shooting.

For 37 years the official cover story has been that a mysterious shot rang out and the young Guardsmen panicked, firing directly into the “mob” of students.

This week, that cover story was definitively proven to be a lie.

Prior to the shooting, a student named Terry Strubbe put a microphone at the window of his dorm, which overlooked the rally. According to the Associated Press, the 20-second tape is filled with “screaming anti-war protectors followed by the sound of gunfire.”

But in an amplified version of the tape, a Guard officer is also heard shouting “Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!”

The sound of gunshots follow the word “Point.” Four students soon lay dead. Two days later, two more would die at Jackson State University, as police fired without provocation into a dorm.

Strubbe gave a copy of the Kent tape to the FBI soon after the shooting (he has kept the original in a safe deposit box). Eight Guardsmen were later tried for civil rights violations, and acquitted. Neither their officers, nor Nixon, nor Agnew, nor Rhodes, nor the FBI, were ever brought to trial. But massive volumes of research—including an epic study by James A. Michener and William Gordon’s Four Dead in Ohio—strongly imply an explicit conspiracy to intimidate the national anti-war movement.

After 37 years, Strubbe’s tape got its first widespread public perusal last week. Six months ago, Alan Canfora, 58, one of the nine wounded Kent students, learned it had been given to Yale University’s archives. Last week he played it to a group of students and reporters at a small university theater.

The fact that the Guard got direct orders to set, aim and shoot flies directly in the face of the official cover story that they were responding in panic to a random shot fired at them, or that they were defending themselves from some kind of student attack.

In fact, it seems highly likely no shot ever rang out prior to the order to fire. Nor could the Guard, who killed a student as much as 900 feet away from the rally, say they were under any serious attack from the students.

The Kent State killings are now prominently featured in virtually every history book of the United States used in American schools. The accounts often include the famous photo of an anguished Mary Ann Vecchio crying for help next to the dead body of student protestor Jeffrey Miller. (They were 265 feet away from where the shot that killed Miller was fired.) Rendered into song by Neil Young’s classic “Ohio,” there are few more definitive moments in the history of this nation.

But meaningful analysis of the implications of this tape has been mysteriously missing from the American media. The Associated Press did carry a widely-runstory about the surfacing of this evidence, as did National Public Radio. But the Columbus Dispatch, in Ohio’s capital, buried the report on page A-5 under the innocuous headline “Victim shares audio tape of Kent State shootings.” Virtually absent from the major US media has been a concerted examination of the fact that the keystone in this monumental American saga has been re-set.

For we now know that a premeditated, unprovoked order was indeed given to National Guardsmen to fire live ammunition at peaceful, unarmed American students, killing four of them. The illegal order to arm the Guard with live ammunition in the first place could only have come from the governor of Ohio. The very loud, very public nod to shoot some “brown shirt” students somewhere in order to chill the massive student uprising against the Southeast Asian war was spewed all over the national media by the second-highest official in US government.

Now the magnitude of Kent State’s impact on American politics and culture, already immense, has been significantly deepened.

Alan Canfora intends to use this tape to re-open investigations into what happened at Kent State 37 years ago.

But the media’s apparent unconcern about confirmation of the official order to carry out these killings may bear a simple message: that we should be prepared for them to happen again.

Bob Fitrakis’s forthcoming book, THE FITRAKIS FILES: COPS, COVERUPS AND CORRUPTION, containing further background information on James A. Rhodes, is at www.freepress.org, where this article first appeared. HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.solartopia.org

Original article at:


May 4, 2007

Ten days after Governor James A. Rhodes assumed office on January 14, 1963, a Cincinnati FBI agent wrote Director J. Edgar Hoover a memo stating: “At this moment he [Rhodes] is busier than a one-armed paper hanger . . . . Consequently, I do not plan to establish contact with him for a few months. We will have no problem with him whatsoever. He is completely controlled by an SAC [Special Agent in Charge] contact, and we have full assurances that anything we need will be made available promptly. Our experience proves this assertion.”

Why would the FBI assert that the newly-inaugurated governor of Ohio is “completely controlled”? Media sources like Life magazine noted the governor’s alleged ties to organized crime and the Mafia in specific. Gov. Rhodes’ FBI file, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, suggests that it may be because of the FBI’s extensive knowledge of Rhodes’ involvement in the numbers rackets in the late 1930’s that the Bureau could count on his cooperation.

FBI declassified material suggests that the Bureau’s extensive influence over Governor Rhodes, perhaps due to their knowledge of his ties to the numbers rackets, may have played a role in the Governor’s hard line law and order tactics that led to the deaths of four students at Kent State in 1970.

A November 19, 1963 FBI memo, again from a Cincinnati agent to Director Hoover, outlines specific allegations from a Bureau’s confidential informant about Rhodes’ involvement in the numbers racket between 1936-38. The informant, a bagman for local organized crime, gave detailed information about pick ups at a cigar store located between Buttles and Goodale Avenues reportedly owned by Rhodes’ sister. Rhodes purportedly was running the gambling operation. Years ago, a Dispatch reporter told the Free Press that the governor had run a gambling operation in the Short North, called Jimmy’s Place.

As Rhodes assumed public office, first as a Columbus School Board member, and later as the Mayor of the city, he began to make overtures to Director Hoover. In a February 1949 letter, Mayor Rhodes invited Hoover to sit on the advisory board of the All-American Newspaper Boys Sports Scholarships organization. Hoover declined. Rhodes thanked him and then invited him to address a banquet for the National Newspaper Boys Association in August of 1949. Hoover again declined.

Two years later, Rhodes was again attempting to contact Hoover. On July 27, 1951, Rhodes called the FBI director’s office and at first refused to speak to Hoover’s assistant L.B. Nichols. When told that the director was in “travel status,” Rhodes explained the important nature of his call. He wanted “to invite the director to attend a celebrity golf tournament, . . . since its benefits were to go to youth organizations and he knew of the director’s interest in youth work.” Nichols declined on behalf of Hoover.

Finally, Rhodes persistence paid off. Rhodes and his wife were given a special tour of the FBI building in Washington D.C. on January 19, 1953. “During the tour Mr. Rhodes stated he wanted to say with all possible sincerity that during all these years he has had continued and absolute faith in one government agency – the FBI,” reads the 1963 memo.

The “completely controlled” memo showed great sympathy to Rhodes’ youthful gambling enterprise: “It is understandable that Rhodes has previously said that it was necessary during the Depression to do many things to keep body and soul together and to provide food for existence.” Although the FBI fails to point out that Rhodes came from an affluent family who paid his way at Ohio State University during the Depression.

The memo goes on to describe Rhodes in the following manner: “He is a friend of law enforcement and believes in honest, hard-hitting law enforcement. He respects and admires FBI.”

Moreover, the agency recommended taking “no further action” against Governor Rhodes and his alleged ties to the gambling racket since, “persons very close to him, such as SAC contact Robert H. Wolfe, Publisher, the Columbus Dispatch, speak very highly of Rhodes and his personal attributes. Wolfe knows Rhodes well and was an active financier of the campaign of Rhodes . . . .”

The SAC of the Cincinnati office took special interest in Rhodes’ first election as governor. Incumbent Governor Michael V. Disalle had hired a former FBI agent to investigate and dig up dirt on Rhodes: “We have arranged with friendly newspaper contacts to endeavor to avoid any headline or other prominent mention of the former FBI status of [deleted].”

Following Rhodes’ 1962 election, the FBI described the governor-elect in the following terms: “Rhodes is a Bureau friend of long standing. Our first contact of record was in November, 1943.” The memo goes on to record that, “On June 18, 1945, the SAC of Cincinnati transmitted a news clipping from the ‘Columbus Dispatch’ of 6-7-45 indicating that Mayor Rhodes urged the establishment of a Bureau field office at Columbus.” Rhodes is portrayed as very “active and very friendly toward the Bureau.” Later FBI files would not include these early contacts between the FBI and Rhodes.

The Bureau does detail one obvious connection between Rhodes and organized crime in Columbus: “One informant stated that the gambling element in Columbus has made a great effort to influence Mayor Rhodes to permit open gambling in the city but without success. In 1949, however, it was noted that the informants alleged that Rhodes did not interfere with the ‘numbers racket’ as apparently he was still interested in the colored vote.”

In July of 1963, a memo from the Cincinnati office on the subject of “Communist Speakers on College Campuses” noted that “Governor James A. Rhodes has signed into law legislation authorizing the trustees of any state-operated college or university to bar from using campus facility any person that they wish to bar.”

The SAC in charge of the Cincinnati Bureau wrote Hoover on October 9, 1967 to relay a conversation he had with Rhodes three days earlier regarding the civil unrest and riots that had rocked the nation during the summer of 1967. “During the conference, we discussed matters of mutual interest, particularly civil disorders and the high crime rate. The Governor told me that he would extend his full facilities, and he is all for stopping racial discord the moment it starts. He revealed that his plan is to immediately deploy troops and/the state patrol as soon as trouble arises,” the memo states.

The Cincinnati SAC concludes, “Our relationship with the Governor is of the highest order and he assured me that we can expect full cooperation from the State of Ohio on any matter of mutual concern.”

By the mid-1960s, the CIA and the FBI were working together through the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on radical groups and harass peace organizations. The FBI’s operation was known as COINTELPRO. The CIA’s was Operation CHAOS.

In 1967, declassified government documents reveal that CIA Director Richard Helms, Hoover and President Lyndon Johnson believed that the domestic protest movements against the Vietnam War were being orchestrated by the Communist governments in Moscow, Peking, Havana and Hanoi.

Governor Rhodes used former SAC Ed Mason as an intermediary in an attempt to meet with Hoover on March 25, 1968. The FBI memo on the matter reads, “He formerly served as mayor of Columbus, Ohio and is a good friend of [deleted] of the ‘Columbus Dispatch.’”

The FBI memo said, “SAC, Cincinnati advises that Rhodes has been extremely cooperative.” Surprisingly, “there’s no indication that Governor Rhodes has ever met Mr. Hoover and he has not received an autographed photograph.”

Less than year before the tragic shootings at Kent State, the SAC of the Cincinnati Bureau sent Hoover a memo detailing Rhodes’ attitude towards civil unrest: “He personally feels that the Director is the outstanding American and that he is the only person who has consistently opposed those persons who would subvert our government. He feels that the Director’s stated position of dealing firmly with these groups is the only sensible method.”

“He [Rhodes] commented on the riots and unrest which have occurred repeatedly and said that some of this might well have been avoided if the Director’s warnings and advice had been followed. In Ohio, he has not hesitated to use the National Guard to deal with these situations and has instructed the Guard to act quickly and firmly. He feels that this is the only way to maintain law and order, and that the maintenance of law and order is the only way our government can survive,” the memo records.

On May 4, 1970, Sandra Scheuer, Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause and William Schroeder were shot dead by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State. Numerous investigative accounts have alleged that the FBI was involved in the burning of the campus ROTC building, which led to the deaths of the students.

The SAC in Cincinnati paid a “courtesy call” on Governor Rhodes 18 days after the shootings. Governor Rhodes informed the FBI agent that he intended to keep the Ohio State University campus open, despite what some historians regard as one of the largest student riots in U.S. history. “. . . He [Rhodes] intends to mobilize sufficient members of the Ohio National Guard (ONG) to accomplish this, ‘even if he has to put a guard in every classroom,’” the memo reads.

The Governor blamed the unrest on outside agitators and “commented that of the upwards of 100 persons arrested on May 21 and May 22, 1970, only a few were OSU students. . .” the memo notes. The FBI memo cites that of the 78 arrests, 35 were OSU students and two OSU employees, even though the majority of the arrests were made off-campus.

“. . . the Governor also referred to the current investigation at Kent State University (KSU) and commented that he felt this would present an excellent opportunity for the Department of Justice, through some detailed statement to the news media after the investigation is completed, to get to the public the true story of campus agitation and to identify the organizers of the violence. The Governor appeared somewhat concerned at the possibility that members of the Ohio National Guard might finally end up being charged with an offense in connection to the shooting of the students at Kent,” the memo stated, “He commented at one point that if the ONG members were indicted in regards to this matter that he felt a million dollars should be spent to defend them, if necessary.”

The memo also records for history that, “The Governor commented several times on the close relationship he has enjoyed with the Bureau locally and as a whole.”

Critics have long charged that the FBI deliberately covered up information about those responsible for ordering the Kent State shootings. A tape was recently released revealing what appears to be an order to shoot at Kent State. FBI declassified docouments strongly suggest that the FBI’s extensive influence over Governor Rhodes, perhaps due to their knowledge of his ties to organized crime and the numbers rackets, may have played a key role in the Governor’s violent and repressive tactics that led to death of four students at Kent State in 1970.

Bob Fitrakis is the Editor & Publisher of https://freepress.org. Revised May 3, 2007. Originally posted on April 21, 2003.

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