My Turn: ’’Terrorism and Iraq’’ brought to you by the Project for The New American Century

Mik Muller, Greenfield Recorder, Sept 20, 2003

chart showing Ohio’s missing votes
Ohio’s Missing Votes graphic by Rolling Stone Magazine

Election Day 2004 will be pivotal

After reading the excellent editorial "Terrorism and Iraq" in Saturday's paper I have to say I am frustrated that no one is talking about the Project for The New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think tank started in 1997 by 25 noted conservatives, among them Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Since their forming they have been systematically drumming that a "Reaganite policy of military strength" is what is required to "shape [global] circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire." These words come from their statement of purposes (see link).

A central theme, since 1997, has been the removal of Saddam Hussein and the take-over of Iraq under the reasons that he was a threat to the US because he gassed his own people (with weapons provided by the US, Britain, France and Russia) and that the oil reserves in that country should be taken under US control before someone else takes it. They lobbied then-president Clinton and the conservative leadership in the house and senate. They simply were not being heard, so they worked to get George Bush in the Whitehouse.

One step that was taken, in 2000, before the election, was Florida Governor Jeb Bush instructing Secretary of State Kathleen Harris to remove "ineligible voters" from the rolls. She the removed 94,000 people, of whom 91,000 were innocent and most of whom were democrats. For some of these people her office used a computer program that denied legitimate voters because they were said to have committed crimes in 2007. You will note that 2007 was seven years away. Bush subsequently "won" Florida by 537 votes.

By the way, these same 91,000 people were still not allowed to vote in the 2002 election. Surprise! Jeb Bush wins. Even today these people are ineligible. Will they be able to vote in 2004? Probably not.

Anyway, George Bush became president in 2000, bringing PNAC founding members Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz with him. In April 2001 they began laying plans to invade Iraq, and then came September 11. Immediately calls were being made all around the administration to take every opportunity to tie the attacks to Iraq as justification for invasion.

It is clear, from information in their own words and articles printed in various media, that this invasion and occupation was systematically engineered back since 1997. The PNAC coordinated to get George Bush in the Whitehouse so they could effect their ideologies as national policy, and have been prosecuting them with diligence, such as Cheney's Energy Taskforce who began drawing up oil pipeline maps of Iraq in March of 2001, just before they started planning the invasion.

The next step was to insure that they dominated the political landscape in the next election. So 2002 came, and against all odds and history itself, Republicans swept into both houses on election day in 2002, ensuring more control by the Bush administration. What was most different about election day 2002 was not the results, but the technology that was used: more electronic voting machines than ever before.

Electronic voting machines have consistently been proven to be flawed, inaccurate and susceptible to untraceable tampering. There is no paper trail or any auditing, and thus leaves no opportunity for a recount should the results be called into question. If the machine misreads your screen touch selection, there is no indication of who you chose, and no receipt.

Suspiciously, but not surprisingly, electronic voting machine irregularities appeared to overwhelmingly favor Republican candidates. This was alarmingly apparent in 2002, when 74% of the upset elections went to Republican candidates. Many of the Republican upset victories were well outside of the margin of error of the pre-election polling, which showed democratic candidates as the certain winner only days before.

In Nebraska, for example, Charles Hagel was reelected as Senator in a landslide victory (83%, a record for Nebraska) over a triple-amputee Vietnam Vet in a predominantly democratic state. Hagel happens to be ex-president of the company who manufactures more than half of the voting machines in this country, including the machines used in Nebraska. He refuses to open up his machines for inspection or provide a list of the company's investors.

Even though there are many questions brewing regarding electronic voting machines, and the companies who make them, the U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded a coalition of corporations, led by Accenture, the contract to provide the Internet service that will count the votes of the U.S. military and other civilians in the 2004 presidential election. As many as 6 million voters could use their system. Accenture was formally known as Andersen Consulting, a subsidiary of Arthur Andersen, a company convicted of destroying evidence in the Enron scandal. A major business partner of Accenture's is Halliburton, Vice president Dick Cheney's former employer. There are ethical issues present here.

You'll note that Halliburton is also a major defence contractor, recently awarded a multi-billion dollar contract for rebuilding Iraq. Even stronger issues of ethics present here.

I am fearful of raising conspiracy theories in regards to the technology that takes and tallies our votes, but the same people and ties continue to surface the more you look into it, and a lot of these people have ties to or are in the current administration, some of whom have ties back to the PNAC, which has one goal: American global leadership.

It is then no surprise, then, that this administration recently passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), allocating $3.8 billion to encourage states to buy the latest voting technologies: touch-screen machines and Internet voting.

This is all happening now. It comes down to election day, again. Don't let it happen, again. Get involved in our democracy before it's too late. The only way to stop the Project for The New American Century global campaign, and more unnecessary wars, is to do some research on "voter fraud 2002" and write or call your representatives and local papers asking for accountability in the next election.

-Michael Muller



After reading that page click on "Iraq and the Middle East" for an archive of all articles going back to 1997.

US policies in the Middle East: and

Cheney Energy Task Force with maps and charts of Iraqi oilfields:

2000 Florida elections issues: and

Electronic voting machines in 2002: and