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Ohio, Did U.S. Intelligence Assets Kill Antioch College?

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

By Bob Fitrakis

At the time of its announced closure, Antioch College, perhaps America’s most progressive and well-known peace college, had a few visible capitalist hawks on its Board of Trustees.

Bruce P. Bedford, one of only three Trustees not a former alum, had been appointed to the board of Arlington, Virginia company GlobeSecNine in 2005. The company is described by a representative of investment corporation Bear Sterns as having “a unique set of experiences in special forces, classified operations, transportation security and military operations.” One can only speculate why the nation’s longest-standing anti-imperialist education institution would appoint a trustee with extensive ties to the military and security industrial complexes.

Business Wire on May 4, 2005 described GlobeSecNine as follows: “GlobeSecNine invests in companies providing U.S. defense, security, global trade management and supply chain solutions to the public and private sectors, and has a strategic alliance with The Scowcroft Group, a business advisory firm headed by former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft.”

Bedford served on the GlobeSecNine board of advisors with Scowcroft and co-founder of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center Fred Turco. Others affiliated with the company are tied directly to the prison industrial complex and the anti-liberal “war on drugs,” for example Jack Lawn, former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who serves on the board of directors.

On July 3, 2007, Michael Alexander’s name was removed from the list of Antioch trustees. Two days earlier, he had been sworn in as president of Lasell College in Newton Massachusetts. There has been speculation that Antioch’s campus would make a great retirement community, much like the one at Lasell, known as Lasell Village, “a state-of-the-art eldercare community with the first-of-its-kind built in educational component.”

In 1998 Alexander founded AverStar, where he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and did business primarily with NASA and the Defense Department. In 2000, Alexander’s AverStar defense company merged with the Titan corporation.

In March 2005, Titan pled guilty and paid the largest penalty under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in history for bribery and filing false tax returns.

L-3 Communications acquired the Titan Corporation on July 29, 2005. As their corporate website described the company, it “is a leading provider of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, secure communications systems, aircraft modernization, training and government services. The company is a leading merchant supplier of a broad array of high technology products, including guidance and navigation, sensors, scanners, fuzes, data links, propulsion systems, simulators, avionics, electro optics, satellite communications, electrical power equipment, encryption, signal intelligence, antennas and microwave components. L-3 also supports a variety of Homeland Security initiatives with products and services. Its customers include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, selected U.S. Government intelligence agencies and aerospace prime contractors.”

The L-3 Communications Titan Group brags that 8000 of its 10,000 employees have “security clearances” and that they are a leading provider of C4ISR, Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance – “developing and supporting the systems of today and tomorrow for the United States and Allied Militaries and defense-related agencies in order for them to carry out their assigned missions,” according to their website.

While Antioch board members Bedford and Alexander cozied up with U.S. intelligence and Homeland Security, students at the university sponsored a national teach-in to expose the atrocities of Guantanamo Bay on October 5, 2006.

How a college targeted by the FBI and its notorious COINTELPRO operation during the Cold War as a “vanguard of the New Left” managed to place two “spook”-connected trustees on their board is a mystery worth exploring.

Antioch resides in the shadow of the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and its legendary Foreign Technologies Division that reverse engineers weapons systems from other nations. Its larger neighbor to the west, Ohio State University, has long been tied up with the CIA’s favorite nonprofit institution, Battelle, and was one of the 30 or so universities involved in the MK Ultra mind control LSD experiments in the 1960s.

The Dayton Daily News is reporting that a $5 million accounting error caused the radical college to close. Others have pointed to the long-standing rumors of intelligence ties to the Antioch Europe in Transition study program.

If the CIA or U.S. intelligence services were involved in the subversion of America’s most anti-imperialist and pro-peace college, it wouldn’t be the first time that the progressive college campuses have been infiltrated. The CIA subverted the National Student Association in the late 50s and early 60s. The agency also has been accused of subverting everything from fraternities to Fullbright scholars to Peace Corps workers.

The role of these trustees must be heavily scrutinized. Antioch alumni should be ashamed to allow their college to die until they get to the bottom of this spooky mystery.

Bob Fitrakis is the author of The Fitrakis Files: Spooks, Nukes, and Nazis, on the role of the CIA in Ohio politics.

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See: When the Levees Broke Part One – An American Tragedy

When the levee broke 

Monday, August 13, 7pm 
See: When the Levees Broke Part One – An American Tragedy, A Spike Lee Film
As the world watched in horror, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Like many who watched the unfolding drama on television news, director Spike Lee was shocked not only by the scale of the disaster, but by the slow, inept and disorganized response of the emergency and recovery effort. Lee was moved to document this modern American tragedy, a morality play witnessed by people all around the world. The result is WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS. The film is structured in four acts, each dealing with a different aspect of the events that preceded and followed Katrina’s catastrophic passage through New Orleans.
Every second Monday of the month, the Central Ohio Greens show an environmental film with discussion following. 
Location:  Northside Library, 1423 N High St, Columbus, near King and High Streets. dgibson6@columbus.rr.com.

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Kent Officer Tickets Man For ‘Impeach Bush’ Sign

Thursday, August 09, 2007

James Ewinger, Plain Dealer Reporter (Cleveland, OH)

Kent – A soft-spoken teacher posted the words “Impeach Bush” in a public garden, and Kent police cast him as an outlaw.

Today Kevin Egler is fighting that in Kent Municipal Court, and the case is emerging as a free-speech issue of interest well beyond the boundaries of placid Portage County.

Police ticketed Egler for unlawfully advertising in a public place because he put up a free-standing sign near the intersection of Haymarket Parkway and Willow and Main streets.

Egler said the officer who cited him July 25 asked: “Why don’t you put the signs in your own yard?” Egler said his response was that he’s a taxpayer and views the public space very much as his yard.

At 45, Egler is too young to have experienced the heyday of anti-war activity in Kent. He was only 8 when Ohio National Guardsmen shot and killed four Kent State University students during a campus protest on May 4, 1970. He went to the university a decade later, putting out an underground newspaper and acquiring an accounting degree.

Egler and about a dozen friends and associates have placed hundreds of anti-war messages around Ohio and neighboring states over the past 10 months. He said the effort is fueled by the notion that President Bush’s military response after the 9/11 terrorist attacks was both illegal and immoral.

The ticket in Kent represents the first serious legal challenge to the campaign, Egler said. (He said he was ticketed for littering in Columbus after a sign he placed on a bridge blew over.)

Egler said that when he was stopped in Kent, he asked the police officer how his sign differed from Realtors posting signs on public property saying “This way to the house for sale.” He said the officer asked, “You don’t know the difference?” but never explained what it might be.

Columbus attorney Bob Fitrakis, Egler’s lawyer, said there is a difference: The real estate sign is commercial speech, and Egler’s sign is political. Commercial messages do not have anywhere near the legal protections that political speech does, he said.

Fitrakis does extensive legal work on First Amendment issues and is the publisher of the nationally recognized online publication freepress.org. He said this is the first Ohio case of its kind that he has heard of, because most prosecutions for political signs occur when someone defaces a building with paint or graffiti, but not a free-standing, easily removable sign. Until now.

But Ohio politicians – including judges running for re-election – get a great deal of latitude when it comes to posting their campaign signs, and Fitrakis said he is not aware of any instance in which a mainstream politician has been hunted down and prosecuted for the act.

Kent Safety Director William Lillich said similar tickets have been issued there, but he is not sure whether they involved commercial or political messages. He said candidates have been contacted and told to move inappropriately placed campaign signs.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

jewinger@plaind.com, 216-999-3905

 

Original At:

http://tinyurl.com/2nkjoe
 

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Will Bush cancel the 2008 election?

by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis
July 30, 2007

It is time to think about the “unthinkable.”

The Bush Administration has both the inclination and the power to cancel the 2008 election.

The GOP strategy for another electoral theft in 2008 has taken clear shape, though we must assume there is much more we don’t know.

But we must also assume that if it appears to Team Bush/Cheney/Rove that the GOP will lose the 2008 election anyway (as it lost in Ohio 2006) we cannot ignore the possibility that they would simply cancel the election. Those who think this crew will quietly walk away from power are simply not paying attention.

The real question is not how or when they might do it. It’s how, realistically, we can stop them.

In Florida 2000, Team Bush had a game plan involving a handful of tactics. With Jeb Bush in the governor’s mansion, the GOP used a combination of disenfranchisement, intimidation, faulty ballots, electronic voting fraud, a rigged vote count and an aborted recount, courtesy of the US Supreme Court.

A compliant Democrat (Al Gore) allowed the coup to be completed.

In Ohio 2004, the arsenal of dirty tricks exploded. Based in Columbus, we have documented more than a hundred different tactics used to steal the 20 electoral votes that gave Bush a second term. More are still surfacing. As a result of the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit (in which we are plaintiff and attorney) we have now been informed that 56 of the 88 counties in Ohio violated federal law by destroying election records, thus preventing a definitive historical recount.

As in 2000, a compliant Democrat (John Kerry) allowed the coup to proceed.

For 2008 we expect the list of vote theft maneuvers to escalate yet again. We are already witnessing a coordinated nationwide drive to destroy voter registration organizations and to disenfranchise millions of minority, poor and young voters.

This carefully choreographed campaign is complemented by the widespread use of electronic voting machines. As reported by the Government Accountability Office, Princeton University, the Brennan Center, the Carter-Baker Commission, US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and others, these machines can be easily used to flip an election. They were integral to stealing both the 2000 and 2004 elections. Efforts to make their source codes transparent, or to require a usable paper trail on a federal level, have thus far failed. A discriminatory Voter ID requirement may also serve as the gateway to a national identification card.

Overall, the GOP will have at its command even more weapons of election theft in 2008 than it did in Ohio 2004, which jumped exponentially from Florida 2000. The Rovian GOP is nothing if not tightly organized to do this with ruthless efficiency. Expect everything that was used these past two presidential elections to surface again in 2008 in far more states, with far more efficiency, and many new dirty tricks added in.

But in Ohio 2006, the GOP learned a hard lesson. Its candidate for governor was J. Kenneth Blackwell. The Secretary of State was the essential on-the-ground operative in the theft of Ohio 2004.

When he announced for governor, many Ohioans joked that “Ken Blackwell will never lose an election where he counts the votes.”

But lose he did….along with the GOP candidates for Secretary of State, Attorney-General and US Senate.

By our calculations, despite massive grassroots scrutiny, the Republicans stole in excess of 6% of the Ohio vote in 2006. But they still lost.

Why? Because they were so massively unpopular that even a 6% bump couldn’t save them. Outgoing Governor Bob Taft, who pled guilty to four misdemeanors while in office, left town with a 7% approval rating (that’s not a typo). Blackwell entered the last week of the campaign down 30% in some polls.

So while the GOP still had control of the electoral machinery here in 2006, the public tide against them was simply too great to hold back, even through the advanced art and science of modern Rovian election theft.

In traditional electoral terms, that may also be the case in 2008. Should things proceed as they are now, it’s hard to imagine any Republican candidate going into the election within striking distance. The potential variations are many, but the graffiti on the wall is clear.

What’s also clear is that this administration has a deep, profound and uncompromised contempt for democracy, for the rule of law, and for the US Constitution. When George W. Bush went on the record (twice) as saying he has nothing against dictatorship, as long as he can be dictator, it was a clear and present policy statement.

Who really believes this crew will walk quietly away from power? They have the motivation, the money and the method for doing away with the electoral process altogether. So why wouldn’t they?

The groundwork for dismissal of both the legislative and judicial branch has been carefully laid. The litany is well-known, but worth a very partial listing:

The continuation of the drug war, and the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act and other dictatorial laws prompted by the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, have decimated the Bill of Rights, and shredded the traditional American right to due process of law, freedom from official surveillance, arbitrary violence, and far more.

The current Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales, has not backed away from his announcement to Congress that the Constitution does not guarantee habeas corpus. The administration continues to act on the assumption that it can arrest anyone at any time and hold them without notification or trial for as long as it wants.

The establishment of the Homeland Security Agency has given it additional hardware to decimate the basic human rights of our citizenry. Under the guise of dealing with the “immigration problem,” large concentration camps are under construction around the US.

The administration has endorsed and is exercising its “right” to employ torture, contrary to the Eighth Amendment and to a wide range of international treaties, which Gonzales has labeled “quaint.”

With more than 200 “signing statements” the administration acts on its belief that the “unitary executive” trumps the power of the legislative branch in any instance it chooses. This belief has been further enforced with the administration’s use of a wide range of precedent-setting arguments to keep its functionaries from testifying before Congress.

There is much more. In all instances, the 109th Congress—and the public—have rolled over without significant resistance.

Most crucial now are Presidential Directive #51, Executive Orders #13303, #13315, #13350, #13364, #13422, #13438, and more, by which Bush has granted himself an immense arsenal of powers for which the term “dictatorial” is a modest understatement.

The Founders established our government with checks and balances. But executive orders have accumulated important precedent. The Emancipation Proclamation by which Lincoln declared an end to slavery in the South, was issued under the “military necessity” of adding blacks to the Union Army, a step without which the North might not have won the Civil War. Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order #8802 established the Fair Employment Practices Commission. Harry Truman’s Executive Order #9981 desegregated the military.

Most to the point, FDR’s Executive Order #9066 ordered the forcible internment of 100,000 people of Japanese descent into the now infamous concentration camps of World War II.

There is also precedent for a president overriding the Supreme Court. In the 1830s Chief Justice John Marshall enshrined the right of the Cherokee Nation to sovereignty over its ancestral land in the Appalachian Mountains. But President Andrew Jackson scorned the decision. Some 14,000 native Americans were moved at gunpoint to Oklahoma. More than 3,000 died along the way.

All this will be relevant should Team Bush envision a defeat in the 2008 election and decide to call it off. It’s well established that Richard Nixon—mentor to Karl Rove and Dick Cheney—commissioned the Huston Plan, which detailed how to cancel the 1972 election.

Today we must ask: who would stop this administration from taking dictatorial power in the instance of a “national emergency” such as a terror attack at a nuclear power plant or something similar?

Nothing in the behavior of this Congress indicates that it is capable of significant resistance. Impeachment seems beyond it. Nor does it seem Congress would actually remove Bush if it did put him on trial.

Short of that, Bush clearly does not view anything Congress might do as a meaningful impediment. After all, how many divisions does the Congress command?

The Supreme Court, as currently constituted, would almost certainly rubber stamp a Bush coup. If not, like Jackson, he could ignore it as easily as he would ignore Congress.

What does that leave? There is much idle speculation now about what the armed forces would do. We also hear loose talk about “90 million gun owners.”

From the public side, the only conceivable counter-force might be a national strike or an effective long-term campaign of general non-cooperation.

But we can certainly assume the mainstream media will give lock-step support to whatever the regime says and does. It’s also a given that those likely to lead the resistance will immediately land in those new prisons being built by Halliburton et. al.

So how do we cope with the harsh realities of such a Bush/Cheney/Rove dictatorial coup?

We may have about a year to prepare. Every possible scenario needs to be discussed in excruciating detail.

For only one thing is certain: denial will do nothing.


HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.solartopia.org, along with SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030. The FITRAKIS FILES are at www.freepress.org (where this article was originally published), along with HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA’S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, which Bob and Harvey co-wrote.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007, Free Press Second Saturday Salon

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Free Press Second Saturday Salon
6pm-midnight. Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a social justice issus. Food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or just socializing time with progressive friends. Music by Marvin the Robot.
Location:Free Press office, 1000 E. Main St., in Columbus Compact building, parking lot in rear, overflow in Salvation Army parking lot next door.
Phone:253-2571, 224-1082
Email:truth@freepress.org

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The Criminal Cover-up Of Ohio’s Stolen 2004 Election Sinks To The Fraudulent, The Absurd, The Pathetic

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
August 2, 2007

The illegal destruction of federally protected 2004 election materials by 56 of 88 Ohio counties has become a fraudulent “dog ate my homework” farce of absurd justifications and criminal coverups.  

The mass elimination of the critical evidence that could definitively prove or disprove the presumption that the 2004 election was stolen has all the markings of a Rovian crime perpetrated to hide another one.  Indeed, under Ohio law, that’s precisely what must be presumed here. 

But what makes the situation downright pathetic is that Ohio’s new Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, has publicly stated she sees “no evidence” of intentional destruction in the disappearance in more than 60% of the state’s counties of the ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

So once again, as did Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, the Democrats seem poised to cave to the on-going GOP coup that has redefined America, and that now involves the criminal destruction of contested evidence in one of the most controversial vote counts in US history.

Ironically, in Florida, under Jeb Bush, the ballot records from the 2000 election in all but one of the state’s counties were successfully preserved.  They are now stored in a state repository in Tallahassee.  An unofficial recount conducted by the national media concluded that Al Gore rightfully carried Florida, and thus the presidency, in 2000. 

A parallel preservation was ordained by federal and state law for the election records from Ohio 2004, where a similar examination has been viewed as inevitable. 

But a series of excuses that range from the lame to the pathetic to the obviously criminal have left us shocked—shocked!—to learn that despite the protection of established federal law, a federal court order, long-standing Ohio laws, two directives from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, and legal notification letters from plaintiff’s attorneys to hold the evidence, a precise recount of Ohio’s stolen 2004 election may no longer be possible.

In short, Brunner has informed us that 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties have mostly “inadvertently” destroyed all or some of their records from the 2004 presidential election.

Are we surprised?

Wait ’til you hear how these mostly Republican directors say it happened!

The materials were under legal protection “from birth” on November 4, 2004, shielded by national law, acknowledged by Brunner, by Ohio Revised Coded 3505.31, then by a federal court decision in the now-legendary King-Lincoln-Bronzeville lawsuit (in which we are attorney and plaintiff).  

The Ohio Revised Code specifically states that in presidential elections  “the board shall carefully preserve all ballots prepared and provided by it for use in that election, whether used or unused, for twenty-two months after the day of the election.”  In this case, that would have been through September 2, 2006. 

These records were also essential to reconstructing a credible recount that was most pointedly stifled by then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. Brunner blamed the destruction of documents on Blackwell, “…for not giving counties clear instructions and for not notifying them quickly enough about U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley’s September 7, 2006 order,” according to the conservative Columbus Dispatch.  

But many of the ballots were destroyed soon after the election in a series of events whose descriptions grow stranger and more implausible by the day.

In October 25, 2004, just prior to the election, Blackwell issued directive 2004-43, reminding all county election officials of the federal 22-month holding period for presidential ballots. That meant all election-related materials would be under federal protection until September 2, 2006.

On August 23, 2006, plaintiff’s attorneys in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville case hand-delivered a letter to the Secretary of State’s office and faxed notices to all 88 county Board of Elections offices that the ballots were to be evidence in the forthcoming civil rights suit against Blackwell.

On August 31, 2006 that suit was filed in Marbley’s federal court in Columbus. The AP reported that same day that Blackwell “has signaled his willingness to keep ballots from the contentious 2004 election beyond their scheduled September 3 destruction date in response to activists who plan to sue him in federal court today.”

Ohio laws also require that noticed—for election-related materials and other public records—be offered to the Ohio Historical Society and other public repositories before they are destroyed.  Public record forms must be filed and Ohio law requires a Certificate of Destruction. Nonetheless, Blackwell erroneously told the Dispatch the next day that he was “willing to ask the boards not to destroy ballots, but the decision ultimately is a local one.”

But under applicable law, the decision was definitely not “a local one.”  Indeed, Judge Marbley ordered all of Ohio’s 88 counties to “…preserve all ballots from the 2004 presidential election on paper or in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this court.”  Thus anyone destroying such records, from Election Day until the time you read this, may have broken various federal or state laws, and be in contempt of a federal court order. 

King-Lincoln alleges a wide range of civil rights violations perpetrated by Blackwell and many of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections based on race, economic status, political inclination, wrongful denial of absentee ballots (as in Harvey’s case) and more.

Here are some of the stories the counties are telling about the destruction of their ballots: (View the original state documents in a 19.5MB PDF)

Hancock County says it “received verbal directions” from Secretary of State Blackwell’s office that unused and soiled ballots “did not have to be retained and these items were destroyed.”

But any election audit requires a complete set of used and unused ballots to ensure that the unused ballots weren’t stuffed illegally into the ballot box. The law refers specifically to “all” ballots.

Putnam County apparently understood this all too clearly. That’s why they informed Brunner that “all unused ballots were destroyed for security purposes.”

In Warren County, on Election Day, the board of elections declared a Level 10 Homeland Security alert for which neither the Homeland Security Agency nor the FBI has any documentation or explanation.  The alert served as cover for moving the vote count to an isolated warehouse, away from the media.  Bush emerged from Warren County with a huge majority, far in excess of what he received in 2000. 

Some twenty-two thousand officially unused ballots from Warren County are now mysteriously missing.

Warren County Board of Elections Director Michael E. Moore has written Brunner, stating that, in complete defiance of the law, “They were not accidentally destroyed. They were destroyed pursuant to standard practices that had been used by the Board of Elections for many years in Warren County regarding unused punch card ballots.” Moore notes that “The unused ballots were destroyed 60 days after the 2004 election.”

Warren, along with neighboring Clermont and Butler counties, provided Bush with more than his entire 118,775 winning margin in Ohio 2004.  Thus these three counties were singled out for allegations of fraud in the election contest case Moss v. Bush (though only after surviving the first-ever Congressional challenge to a state’s entire Electoral College delegation). The allegations of fraud on a level that could have decided the presidency were thus never tested in court…and now the evidence has been destroyed.    

Clermont County “could not locate” the unused ballots, according to Mike Keeley, Board of Elections Director.

Butler County cannot provide the “2004 General Election Ballot Pages.”   Director Betty McGary says that “at no time was anyone specifically instructed to discard these items.  Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages as requested in Directive 2007-07 due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions.” For complex reasons having to do with Ohio’s precinct ballot rotation law, the ballots from Butler County cannot be recounted with the “Ballot Pages” missing. The pages match the punches to the candidates.

Holmes County BOE Director Lisa Welch wrote Brunner that  “a shelving unit collapsed in the Board of Elections storeroom on the morning of Friday, April 7, 2006. That shelving unit held the voted ballots, stubs, soiled and defaced ballot envelopes, and ballot accounting charts from the 2004 General Election. The shelves and stored items collapsed onto a side table holding a working coffee maker. The carafe on the coffee maker was full at the time of the incident. Many of the stored items had to be destroyed due to the broken glass and hot coffee. The ballot pages and unused ballots were stored on a neighboring shelf and were not damaged.” 

Holmes County was rendered infamous by Karl Rove’s legendary spin claiming there was an unprecedented massive turnout of homophobic old order Amish voted for Bush and against gay marriage.  (It is well-known that the Amish as a community rarely vote). 

Allen County “labeled all voted ballots and placed [them] in our vault for the required 22 months of storage,” according to Keith Cunningham, Director. Cunningham distinguished himself as a pro-Bush and Rove mouthpiece when he testified at then-Congressman (now-felon) Bob Ney’s cursory March 2005 hearing into the 2004 Ohio election.

Cunningham told the Secretary of State that in the “…latter part of 2004 and into 2005… [we] began to experience problems with storm water migrating and subsequently penetrating our primary storage areas including our vault.” He told Free Press reporter Paddy Shaffer that the vault had been flooding for “six years,” and he had to put the 2004 presidential ballots on the floor because he needed the shelf space.

Cunningham added that:  “As a result of these events, much of what was stored in our vault, including the 2004 general election ballots, were compromised by water damage and subsequently destroyed on or about August 20, 2006. Pursuant to the recommendations of the Allen County Health Department the boxes displaying mold or mildew were set aside to be discarded. Unfortunately, the contractor hired to remove the damaged boxes also accidentally removed the undamaged boxes as well,” stated Cunningham, who did manage to save 498 write-in ballots.

The Health Department records recommended destruction or isolation as a solution.

Guernsey County’s ballots suffered a similar twisted fate. According to BOE Director Jacqueline Newhart, “The unused ballots as well as the punch card ballot pages were destroyed in error” because “the county maintenance worker, when collecting trash, picked up the boxes” that contained them.

In allegedly mobbed up Mahoning County, the board of elections has blamed environmentalists for inadvertently destroying the ballots. Apparently the “Mahoning County Green Team picked up all recyclables in the storage room for disposal pursuant to the retention schedule,” according to Director Thomas McCabe. As a result, some 115, 936 ballots “were accidentally disposed of on Friday, March 23 of 2007.”

Down in Hamilton County (Cincinnati), home of the Taft family dynasty, the unvoted and soiled ballots were “inadvertently shredded between January 19th and 26th of ’06.”

Perhaps the most egregious case of ballot destruction, and easiest to criminally prosecute, is Director Steve Harsman’s in Montgomery County.  Researcher Richard Hayes Phillips reported in the Free Press that, “…the Board was eager to destroy them [the ballots]. The employees who handled the ballots for me brought up the subject themselves.”

Harsman conceded that the “Ohio Revised Code” required a 22-month “retention schedule.” Yet, he argues that since the “Certificate of Destruction” had already been “prepared” prior to his receiving the order from Judge Marbley that he had the right to destroy the ballots.

“We literally ran out of space to prepare, stage, and retain material for these elections. It was imperative that we process the 2004 materials for destruction under the guidelines of the 22-month retention. Therefore, all materials were properly destroyed in a timely manner and we were unable to comply due to these circumstances. We did not receive formal notice from the courts prior to preparing the certification of destruction,” Harman wrote.

Thus Harman admits to openly defying a federal court order and destroying evidence because he wasn’t notified “prior to preparing the certification of destruction.”

But Judge Marbley pointed out in his opinion and order of September 11, 2006 in support of his order of September 7, that the Ohio Revised Code 3501.16 makes it a fourth degree felony for, among other things, willfully or negligently violating election laws as a director of a board of elections.

The original story of the ballots being saved for litigation and history made the pages of the New York Times. But the blatant and bizarre destruction of Ohio’s 2004 ballots has been relegated to the back page of the Columbus Dispatch Metro & State section. The brief article by Mark Niquette ran below the fold and the weather map, and above an ad for Window World and the Ohio State Medical Center. 

Matt Damschroder, the Franklin County (Columbus) Board of Election Director and former Chair of the Republican Party, assured the Dispatch that the “counties did nothing intentionally wrong.” Damschroder is the President of the Ohio Association of Election Officials and was suspended without pay for a month after he accepted a $10,000 check from a Diebold representative in his office, made out to the GOP on the day the bidding for e-voting machines opened.

His job was in jeopardy until Board of Elections President Bill Anthony, Chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party, intervened to save Damschroder from firing.

King-Lincoln-Bronzeville Attorney Cliff Arnebeck stated that “The nature and scope of the cover-up can tell a lot about the nature and scope of the crime. Destruction of relevant documents can create a presumption that such evidence would have helped the other side in litigation.”

Arnebeck also said White House advisor Karl Rove “has had the keys to the US Justice Department for some time. No wonder FBI investigations requested by US Rep. John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee went nowhere. He also used those keys to scuttle two years of work by the IRS and FBI of financial corruption at the Ohio Statehouse.”

Overall this blatant destruction of evidence only reinforces the widespread belief that the 2004 election was stolen.  The loss of ballot materials in a few isolated counties might be an understandable  random event.  But for more than 60% of the state’s BOEs to have destroyed ballots or ballot materials amidst a series of bizarre, absurd explanations is a joke. 

America has been robbed of its history here.  The public has a right to know the true outcome of the 2004 election, and to have its laws about preservation of critical records honored.  

Under evidence laws, the destruction of material that serves as evidence in a lawsuit is presumed to be fraudulent action by the destroyer. 

But the Bush-Rove-Blackwell regime is about nothing if not contempt for the law.  And its assault on the documents that could show what really happened in Ohio’s contested 2004 election seems yet another obvious confirmation that it was, in fact, stolen. 


Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman’s HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA’S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, available at freepress.org  (where this article first appeared) along with the FITRAKIS FILES.  HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US is at www.solartopia.org
Original post at:

 

https://freepress.org/departments/display/19/2007/2730