Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stolen elections. Who knew?

There are already reports surfacing that electronic voting machines in Texas and Florida are “flipping” votes from Democrat to Republican candidates. It’s Déjà vu all over again. Every national election in America between 2000 and today has been mired in controversy, often related to voting machines, and the current experience indicates this election will be no different. The internet is thick with conspiracy theories, and now I will take this opportunity to add one more.

Here is an excerpt from Bob Woodward’s latest book “State of Denial.” The conversation took place in 1999.

“But there was also bad news about Bush. "For some reason, he thinks he's going to be president," Armitage told Powell. It was like there was some feeling of destiny. Bush talked as if it was a certainty, saying, "When I'm president..." Though not unusual for candidates to talk this way in speeches, Bush spoke that way privately with his advisers. It was as if Bush were trying to talk himself into it.”

Now a lot of people would dismiss Bush’s certainty about being president as a character trait (or flaw). Once he’s made up his mind about something, it then becomes reality in his head. His stubbornness has been displayed in many ways during his presidency from the Iraq war to global warming to tax cuts.

But could there be another explanation? This conversation happened about a year away from the November election of 2000. I won’t go down the list of problems with the touch-screen voting machines during that chaotic November day, but as more and more evidence accumulates related to how easy it is to breach the security of electronic voting machines and manipulate data, one has to wonder whether Bush’s certainty wasn’t based on more than positive thinking.

If, in fact, the electronic voting machines were tampered with prior to the 2000 election, it’s safe to say that a nationwide conspiracy of this magnitude wasn’t conceived and carried out on November 7. There had to be months of planning and coordination among the conspirators well before the machines were put to use. Could there have been communication, perhaps even collusion, between the machine hackers and Bush’s election team? As we know, several owners of companies that manufacture the touch-screen machines are big Republican supporters. The guy from Diebold bragged he would deliver Ohio for Bush.

Was Bush innocently willing himself to be president? Was he responding to the prophetic voice of God he claims to hear from time to time? Or did he know that preparations were underway to assure his presidency? If the Republicans manage to steal this upcoming election, and indications are they are actively trying to do just that, we will never know.

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