Let’s begin with Hallett’s bizarre and disingenuous title to his July 11 op-ed in Columbus’ daily monopoly and Republican mouthpiece rag, the Dispatch. The last time the Dispatch endorsed a Democrat for President it was Wilson in 1916 and the pro-German Wolfe family liked his slogan: He kept us out of war. Hallett’s headline reads: “Democrats keep leveling charges at Blackwell they can’t back up.” The charges leveled against Blackwell prior to Election Day 2004 were primarily leveled by independent and nonpartisan grassroots voting rights activists, Greens and Libertarians. The Dems have generally been too cowardly to take on J. Kenneth, the good buddy of the Bush crime family.
Hallett says that “…Kerry told the Dispatch just a month ago that he did not lose the election because of fraud.” This is strawman argument 101. Bobby Kennedy, Jr. is on the record saying Kerry agrees with his analysis of the election in Ohio. Kennedy attributes the loss to both voter suppression and fraud. Hallett lost his integrity to fraud. In this article, he’s arguing against Kennedy’s article in Rolling Stone by using a Kerry quote that is only part of the story.
Hallett then sends readers to everyone’s favorite hack political site, salon.com, to read Farhad Manjoo’s so-called rebuttal to the Rolling Stone article. In Hallett’s world of propaganda Manjoo “spent a year exhaustively studying the Ohio election rather than, a la Kennedy, dipping his toe in into it 19 months later.”
I received a fax on February 20 from Kennedy requesting sources and documents from the 20,000 collected during the Moss v. Bush case and from official public records requests. Kennedy assigned a fulltime fact-checker from his staff and Rolling Stone assigned two, as well as a fulltime editor. More…Manjoo spent a day fabricating a response. In Hallett’s worls, Manjoo does “exhaustive research” which usually relies on initially false reports that were never verified and news reports, and ignores the data readily available from the likes of Steve Freeman, Mark Crispin Miller, Christopher Hitchens, John Conyers and the Free Press – that was actually on the ground in Ohio and continues to analyze precinct-by-precinct the unexplainable statistical anomalies in the Republican-controlled counties.
Hallett sticks to the standard spin put forth by the Republican Party that “scores of Democratic election officials and hundreds of lawyers for Kerry in Ohio would have been bought off….” Hallett knows this isn’t true. All you really need is a few technicians from Triad and ESS voting machine companies with access to the central tabulators. Butler County Board of Elections officials acknowledge that an ESS technician showed up to tweak the counting machines linked to the central tabulators on election morning. In Hocking County, a Triad technician showed up unscheduled and removed the hard drive from a central tabulator just prior to the recount. The reality is, most election officials, Democrat or Republican, know little about the software and hardware used to count the votes.
While Hallett prefers you go and read Manjoo, he cleverly steers away from the respected pollster Lou Harris’ assessment that it was a dirty election and the Republicans stole it blind.
Why would anyone of sound mind read Manjoo who writes by making calls and citing outdated sources that are full of errors? Manjoo has purposely distorted Ohio election law and the question is, what exactly are his qualifications? Professor Freeman, who hates Democrats, teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school. Dr. Ron Baiman, another supporter of Kennedy, teaches at the University of Chicago and Loyola. Freeman and I, along with Greg Palast, won a Project Censored Award for our reporting on the election theft. I have a Ph.D. in political science as well as a J.D. Why does Joe Hallett steer you to someone who lives in San Francisco and writes a rebuttal in one day of an article that was fact-checked repeatedly for five months? Maybe it’s because Hallett wants one day to become Editor-in-Chief of the Dispatch. That’s the path taken by their last political editor, Mike Curtin, who moved up to be the Vice Chairman and Associate Publisher of the newspaper. Curtin made a career out of covering up corruption in the Voinovich administration in Ohio. Hallett hopes to reap a similar reward by covering up Ohio’s election theft.
The most telling part of the whole story is when lines were four hours long in ward 55B I went down to the Ohio Statehouse and tried to get reporters to cover people waiting to vote while standing in a cold rain in these inner city precincts. The only newspaper that agreed to come was Rupert Murdoch’s London Times along with some German and Japanese public television camera crews, and a freelancer from Pacifica radio network. Do a google search for Linda Byrket’s “Video the Vote” (Editors note: the link used here is payed by your government, use it. This file is 52meg download only.) if you want to see the story the Dispatch refused to print.