Computers Threw the Vote to Bush
   by G Mustain

Dear Bart,

In my original e-mail I asked a favor to which you graciously assented. The favor I asked was that you “allow me the
opportunity to make a written argument to you that: 1. Kerry won this election and it was stolen from the American people;
and 2. that computerized vote recording and counting is the single most important issue in the survival of American democracy.”
The argument is below. It has been reduced from an original draft that ran 32 pages. Before proceeding to the argument,
however, there are two preliminary matters to be dealt with.

The first of these is to answer the question: Why am I making this argument to you? You are an opinion leader of growing
influence on the web, and an important part of the new “alternative” media which is our last best hope of preserving this nation
as a functioning democracy. You have a growing audience of readers and listeners who tend towards activism and who are,
like most on the left now, groping for a handle on what to do next, and how to explain the election results. You are one of the
“leaders” to whom they are looking to tell them what to do next. It is my hope that, after reading my argument, you will lead
them to focus on the right target. It is no longer about getting rid of Bush. It is about defending against an all-out assault on our
right as a people to chart our own destiny and our ability to oust those leaders who fail us.

Second, I’ve learned over the years that an argument without a frame is an inherently unstable structure vulnerable to all sorts
of rhetorical undermining. So I would like to preface the argument with the frame.

I am NOT attempting to PROVE my dual premise in a court of law. It will take the resources of a state attorney general or
more to uncover much of the actual physical evidence which I am convinced exists. My preference would be that you read my
argument from the viewpoint of a member of a Grand Jury being presented with a summary set of facts. You are being asked
to decide whether or not they indicate enough of a possibility of wrong doing to warrant issuing an indictment and conducting
a full and thorough official and public investigation. It seems to me that if you find my argument for the first premise convincing
enough to vote for an indictment, the truth of the second premise follows automatically.

THE ARGUMENT: what follows are a series of statements of fact. (A Google search on any of these facts will yield multiple
links to supporting data, authentication and verification. In the interests of simplicity I am not including all those links here, but if
they would make a difference to you, let me know, and I will put a list of them together.) At the end I will have one closing paragraph in summary.

FACT: The two largest companies that make the machines and write the software to count votes in the U.S. (ES&S, and Diebold
who between them count 40% of the vote) were originally financed by hard right wing Christian Reconstructionist money channeled
through the Ahmanson family. This is a group whose avowed aim is to take over the U.S. government and convert it into a theocracy
based on biblical law. The group is closely tied to the Republican Party through surrogate Christian front groups. As with any group
who believes they have an exclusive on “the truth”, their guiding ethical principle is: “The ends justify the means.”

FACT: (Quoted from Air America Radio’s Mike Malloy in his November 3, 2004 program): "The American vote count is controlled
by three major corporate players, Diebold, ESS, Sequoia, and a fourth, SAIC, Science Applications International. All four are
hard-wired into the Bush power structure, the Bush crime family...The four companies are interconnected; they are not four "competitors."
Ahmanson has large stakes in ES&S, whose former CEO was Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. When Hagel ran for office,
his own company counted the votes, and his victory was considered "an amazing upset." Hagel still has a million dollar stake in ES&S.
Sequoia is the corporate parent of a private equity firm, Madison Dearborn, which is partner in the Carlyle Group. SAIC is referred
to a "shadowy defense contractor." They have gotten into the vote count game both directly and through spinoffs by its top brass,
including Admiral Bill Owens, former military aide to Dick Cheney, and Carlyle Group honcho Frank Carlucci and ex-CIA chief
Robert Gates.” (Note: it is pertinent that Gates is quoted as saying that a major focus of CIA activities in the past twenty years has
been developing the techniques and technology to influence foreign elections in furtherance of U.S. foreign policy.)

Malloy continued: “Diebold's Walden O'Dell, a top Bush fundraiser, publicly committed himself to delivering his home state Ohio's
votes to Bush. At Diebold, the election division is run by Bob Urosevich. Bob's brother, Todd, is a top executive at "rival" ES&S.”

Finally, on this point, it is important to note that the source code for the vote counting software for Diebold and ES&S is the same
source code. It was developed by the Urosevich brothers when they started their original company. They later split up into two
companies, and Diebold bought up one of them while the other became ES&S. But the source code for the software remained the same.

FACT: The organization which supposedly tests and authenticates the vote counting software for these companies is a front organization
which consists of a single individual, Shaun Southworth, who refuses to disclose his qualifications for doing the testing, and refuses to
disclose his testing procedures and protocols, and who is being paid by the companies writing the software; and who has been shown
to have repeatedly certified software versions for Diebold which did not fix previously disclosed flaws, security problems, and bugs.

Secretaries of State and local election officials certify vote counting software based solely on Southworth’s say so. They do no
independent examination or testing of the code themselves beyond simple logic and accuracy tests which security experts have
called completely inadequate to the task of ensuring the software to be safe, secure and accurate. In essence this means that
outside of the programmers who actually write the code, there is only one person in the entire US who has had access to the code
and he is at best a shadowy figure who is dependent for his livelihood on the companies whose products he tests and certifies.

FACT: Diebold and ES&S optical scan vote counting software source code contain features, routines, and capabilities whose
only purpose could be the hidden manipulation of vote totals. These were discovered when the source code for the Diebold central
vote tabulating software (called GEMS) was found by activists on an unprotected Diebold web site. Independent researchers
analyzing the source code found numerous irregularities whose only purpose could be a hidden manipulation of vote totals.
They include, but are not limited to, the following: a hidden second set of accounting books accessible with a two digit code from
within the vote counting program, or from within the microsoft operating system, or via a cell phone from a remote location; a routine
allowing access to that second set of books, manipulation of the totals, substitution of those totals for the reported vote totals, and with
the ability to erase any evidence of having done so from the audit log. In essence, this means that if one has access to the central
tabulation computer modem phone number, or the address of the cell phone port on the central tabulator, one could sit miles from
the vote counting headquarters, access the central vote tabulating computer, access the second set of books, skew the vote, and
erase any trace of your having done so. These discovered flaws and vulnerabilities have never been removed from the vote counting
software. Diebold’s touchscreen ballotless systems have been found to have similar and worse vulnerabilities according to independent analysis.

FACT: Republican dominated state legislatures over the past ten years have passed numerous state laws making the machine counts
of these companies the “document of record” in certifying election results, and hampering attempts to get a hand recount of the vote.
In Indiana, for example, it is a felony for any election worker to even touch an actual ballot after totals have been run through the
central tabulator. In Arizona, a hand recount now requires an order from the State Supreme Court. In many states (including AZ),
a legal recount consists only of running the ballots back through the same central tabulator.

FACT: Republican leadership is involved in, knows about, and is protecting voting machine company malfeasance and conflict of
interests. Rep. Senator Chuck Hagel has a million dollar plus ownership interest in ES&S which he failed to disclose on his mandatory
senate financial reporting forms. When a complaint was brought to the Senate Ethics Committee, the staff investigated and drew up
a report declaring a conflict of interest and recommending a senate reprimand for Hagel. Within forty-eight hours then-Senate Majority
Leader Trent Lott had the head of the ethics committee staff removed and replaced by someone who within twenty-four hours issued
a whitewash report clearing Hagel of all charges.

FACT: Rep. Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska ran the first “field test” of the vote manipulation software, running for senate while
still CEO of ES&S. His company counted the votes and his victory, in a predominantly black and Democratic district which had not
voted Republican in a hundred years, and involving a multi-point swing from pre-election polls, was considered by the press “an amazing upset.”

FACT: In the 2000 election in Florida, computer manipulation of vote totals in counties using optical scan equipment, coupled with
registration shenanigans and multiple active attempts to suppers minority voter turnout gave the election night victory to George Bush
counter to pre-election polls, though it took a Supreme Court-ordered stop of the recount to preserve the victory. Later, independently
conducted recounts, proved that Gore, had in fact, won the popular vote in the state and thus the election.

FACT: In the 2002 midterm election, there were fourteen House and Senate races across the U.S. where Democratic candidates
were leading in the last pre-election polls by margins of 4 to 10 points. The votes in all those races were counted on either ES&S
or Diebold optical scan or touchscreen systems. In all fourteen races the Republican candidate won by 3-7 percentage points.
Republican control of the House and Senate were decided by these races. In the case of Senator Max Cleland of Georgia who
was defeated by Saxy Chambliss, it took a sixteen point swing.

FACT: In the 2004 election, there has already been a torrent of reports of serious anomalies in the ES&S and Diebold optical scan
and touchscreen voting results. In every county where the results deviated significantly from the exit polls the votes were counted on
ES&S or Diebold optical scan systems or touchscreen systems. In every case nationally where the results deviated from the early
exit polls, the results favored Bush. So far, there have been few if any reports of anomalies favoring Kerry. By way of example of the
evidence rapidly accumulating: one county in Florida recorded and reported ten thousand more votes than there are registered voters,
with all of the overage going to Bush; in several counties in Florida where the registration runs seventy percent plus Democratic, the
vote count shows Bush getting sixty to sixty-five percent of the vote; in one Florida county results showed Bush getting the vote of
every registered Republican in the county plus thirty percent of the Democratic vote and ten thousand votes from “others”. Additional
reports are coming out of North Carolina, Ohio, and New Mexixo, amongst a growing number of reports of attempted voter
suppression and various chicaneries with absentee and provisional ballots. There are several old and new web sites who are
collecting these reports. I would recommend
http://shadowbox.i8.com/stolen.htm as the one of the best place to start. It is a connection of links to all the different reports
as well as relevant news articles and graphics.

FACT: Exit polls have been in use since the 1964 election. Used in elections over the ensuing 35 years they have been proven
to be one of the most accurate and reliable forms of polling, never missing an election by more than two percent.

FACT: Up to and including the 2000 election, one company has conducted all exit polling in presidential elections. That company
is jointly owned and funded by a consortium of major television news media organizations (including, in 2000, NBC, CBS, ABC,
CNN, Fox, and MSNBC).

FACT: Exit polls were first called into question in the 2000 Presidential election when all exit polling was suddenly stopped on
the morning of the election after what polling company officials called “anomalous results” in the early polling numbers. Later company
officials would say that (somehow, mysteriously, after 35 years of accurate polls) their methodology was fatally flawed and needed to
be completely reworked.

FACT: Before that reworking could take place, that company was dismantled and another put in it’s place, still owned and funded
by the same consortium.

FACT: On the morning of the 2002 mid-term elections, all exit polling being done by the new company was halted when,
according to company officials, early exit polling results weren’t matching up with expectations indicating a flaw in their methodology.

FACT: Without exit polling in 2000 or 2002 there existed no standard against which to judge the computerized vote count of Diebold
and ES&S optical scan and touchscreen machines, except for the pre-election polling which turned out to be at such variance to the
reported vote counts.

FACT: Following the 2002 election, the exit polling company owned by the networks was again dismantled. They contracted out all
exit polling for the 2004 election to Associated Press.

FACT: AP’s early exit polls all showed a win for Kerry bordering on a landslide. By evening AP had announced “a flaw in their
methodology” in their exit polls, and went back and changed their figures to match the reported vote counts coming in favoring George Bush.

FACT: All problems with exit poll “accuracy” started happening conjointly with the widespread introduction of ES&S and Diebolod
computerized vote counting systems into the vote counting process in 2000.

FACT: Given the intimate relationship between corporate media and exit polls it is important to note that 96% of the media in cities
of more than 100,000 population are owned by six companies, and the Boards of Directors of those six companies are interlocked
through some Directors sitting on multiple boards.

FACT: The two states with the highest number of reports of skewed vote counts, Ohio and Florida, are both hardwired into the
Bush regime; through brother Jeb and crew and Florida and in Ohio through Republican Secretary of State Blackwell who is also
Bush’s campaign manager for the state.

FACT: The Bush regime has looted the national treasury of trillions of dollars, distributing them to friends and business associates;
lied us into an unjust war which has killed 100,000 plus innocent Iraqi civilians and 1100 plus American service people and produced
28,000 plus American amputees, blindings and other maimings; has stolen tens of billions of dollars worth of oil from the Iraqi people;
has instituted the most far reaching secrecy provisions of any administration since that of Stalin; and has eviscerated the constitutional
civil rights protections which have always defined America; and finally, is intent on building a worldwide empire giving them ultimate
control of all the planet’s energy sources which gives them in turn de facto control of the whole world and its population.

SUMMARY: So there you have it, Bart. As brief and complete a summary of the facts as I can manage. I’ve tried to keep my
opinions out of the argument as much as possible. I’ve tried to let you make your own connections between them. I have not
claimed any conspiracy. If you see the possibility of one in the argument I have presented, that it is not me talking to you but the facts.
Let me close with a quote from an article I ran across yesterday from the web site Online Journal. .
The article was written by Jerry Chin, an associate editor there, and was titled The Stolen Election 2004: Welcome Back to Hell.
The pertinent quote reads as follows:

“The US political and economic system, exemplified by Bush-Cheney, is deeply criminalized. It is designed to profit by killing things.
It thrives on war and oppression. It is sustained by collusion, fraud, lies, and cover-up, and the indoctrination and manipulation of minds.
It does not, and never has, represented its people. Its operatives heed no laws. They "make" law...Criminals do not obey laws.
Criminals do not believe in "democracy." Criminals do not "permit" elections...When you hear people saying, 'take a deep breath,
we will pull through this,' 'we need to work harder,' 'we need to organize'—no. We will not. It's over...Unless electronic vote
tabulation is history, and these companies are driven out of business, it's their country. Not ours...The last thing rational people
in this country need right now is this whistling-past-the-graveyard horse hockey. Nothing is going to happen; it's going to get worse.
There will never again be a legitimate election in this county. Until we get rid of the machines...”

Thanks for taking the time to read and consider this, Bart. I’d be curious to know whether or not you would vote for an indictment.
Either way, I’m grateful for the opportunity to make the argument. Keep swinging that hammer.

G Mustain

p.s. In my opinion, the correct targets include pushing for a full, open and official investigation of this most recent election nationwide
with criminal prosecutions where warranted; laws prohibiting the use of computers in the vote recording and counting process unless
they operate exclusively on open source code software which can be positively vetted before and after each election; and a concerted
push to overturn the single Florida federal court decision which sits at the heart of all this mess -- the one designating the vote counting
software source code a trade secret which election officials and the public may not see.
 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
--Voltaire


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