For all those who, like me, feel that November 6, 2002 is much like December 13, 2000 (Gore’s concession speech) and September 11, 2001, it’s time to stop the hand wringing and get to serious work to save this nation from certain disaster. But first, some background on families and conspiracies to commit crimes.
More than any other entity, families are in the best position to engage in conspiracies. They have blood-bound loyalty to one another, they can keep secrets, and they unhesitatingly share their resources. When family conspiracies engage in criminal enterprises, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies rely on criminal conspiracy statutes to prosecute the offenders. When the family name is Gambino, Columbo, or other names that end in vowels, the news media does not ridicule the government for using the word conspiracy. But when political families that trace their ancestries back to the Mayflower are accused of criminal conspiracy, the accusers are painted as “conspiracy nuts” and “Grassy Knoll adherents.”
Be that as it may. However, it is clear that the Bush family and their moneyed supporters have staged a coup d’etat in the United States. They did not use tanks or armored personnel carriers as we’ve seen in many other countries. The Bushes honed years of deception operations practiced by the CIA and military to create a perception that only they could save the country and then proceeded to manage that perception through a series of dramatic events – planned and unplanned.
Let’s examine how this creeping coup has progressed since 2000. When Dubya was defeated in the New Hampshire GOP primary, the Bush deceivers began to pile on his opponent John McCain and his family. McCain’s prisoner-of-war record was questioned, his wife was accused of being a drug addict, and his adopted daughter was accused of being fathered by McCain out of wedlock. I have previously written about how such vicious attacks are the hallmark of Karl Rove – the star pupil of tricky Dick Nixon’s chief trickster Donald Segretti. After the disinformation campaign by Dubya and company, McCain was trounced in South Carolina and his campaign died as a result.
Next target: Al Gore. This operation began well before the hanging chad ballots were counted in Florida’s questionable vote counting nightmare. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a Jeb Bush prot?g? and sometime main squeeze, contracted out to DBT, a subsidiary of ChoicePoint, to scrub Florida’s electoral rolls of all ex-convicts. In total, over 57,000 names were excised from the rolls and, of these, 8000 people who were mostly black and who either never committed a crime or were only guilty of past misdemeanors, were thrown off the voters’ lists. Some Floridians with common names were accused of committing crimes in Dallas only because DBT owned the database for Dallas, Texas criminal histories. Only problem for the disenfranchised voters, many had never been to Texas, let alone Dallas! Since most of the barred black voters would have opted for Gore, the margin of victory for Dubya was guaranteed. And then there were the curious butterfly ballots in south Florida. The placement of names in Palm Beach Country was designed by an election official who quickly left her job after the dirty deed was done. But she supposedly was a Democrat said the media. But no one ever checked. As you will read on – in perception management campaigns, no one every checks anything. There is no need, just believe what someone who looks and acts official says. It is all so very convenient and easy.
So it was with Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan. He evened up the race to replace the far-out extremist Senator John Ashcroft. But days before the election, his plane crashed. Carnahan and his son were killed. Rather than fighting the fact that Carnahan was elected anyway, Ashcroft became Attorney General under Bush. Carnahan’s wife Jean took her husband’s place in the Senate. She voted against Ashcroft’s nomination for Attorney General. She became an enemy of the Bushes. She would be dealt with at the proper time.
On May 6, 1984, a presidential election was conducted in a country across the Caribbean from Florida. A man named Nicolas Ardito Barletta was declared the winner after receiving only 1, 713 more votes than his opponent. This razor-thin margin was out of a total of 600,000 votes cast. The opposition cried foul. They said Panama’s military strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega had rigged the election in favor of Barletta by simply tampering with the vote tabulation computers. The United States expressed concern at the time but did not do anything to sanction Panama. The reason was that Vice President George H. W. Bush was using Noriega and Panama to funnel arms to Nicragua’s contras in exchange for looking the other way on drug shipments. Later, when he became President, H. W. Bush invaded Panama, arrested Noriega. He knew too much about Bush who was running for reelection. He had to be dealt with and he was. But that computerized vote counting tampering would come in handy for another Bush in the future. But more on that later.
Bush was inaugurated on January 20, 2001 on a Saturday that can only be described as one of the grayest, coldest, and most foreboding days I have ever experienced in Washington, DC. Call it an omen, but I had the feeling something terrible was in store for the country – and it was.
Although I had been writing about Bush administration officials increasing contacts with members of the Taliban and Pakistan’s extreme Islamist leaders in order to gain a safe footing in Afghanistan to build a pipeline across the country from Turkmenistan to Pakistan, I had no idea that the backroom deals involved threats by the United States to attack the country. Of course, a country that treated women the way it did, that destroyed ancient and priceless artifacts, and harbored master terrorist Osama bin Laden should have been attacked for many reasons other than its foot dragging on a pipeline deal. But it now appears that these threats emboldened Bin Laden to carry out his long-planned attack against America. And Bush must have known that from his briefings by CIA Director George Tenet. After all, it was Tenet who helped arrange the Taliban-Bush administration liaisons. And it was Tenet who possessed all the foreign and other intelligence on Bin Laden’s plans.
So when Bush was first told about the planes striking the World Trade Center and we all saw him nod his head as if he already knew and when he seemed more engaged in listening to a seven-year-old girl talk about her freaking pet goat, it all now makes sense. He pushed the Taliban and they pushed back. For this Bush, this war would be worldwide, it would last forever. Unlike his Daddy, his popularity ratings would remain high, he would have political coat tails, and he would be re-elected.
On September 12, 2001, I received a call from a friend from abroad who has close ties to the intelligence community. I will never forget what my colleague said, “Wayne, you must understand what happened in your country yesterday was a coup d’etat.” At first, I thought the comment was strange and that I may have misunderstood its meanings. Today, I do not.
Shortly after 9-11, someone placed lethal aerosolized anthrax in envelopes and tried to murder Senators Tom Daschle, the newly-installed Democratic majority leader, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy. Along with members of the news media, both Democratic leaders received anthrax letters in the mail. The business of the Congress was severely disrupted during a time that Bush and Ashcroft were trying to ramrod the Hitleresque USA PATRIOT Act through the legislative branch. The gambit worked. Only Senator Russ Feingold voted against the bill in the Senate. Incidentally, his office was next door to Daschle’s. Two postal workers, an elderly woman in Connecticut, a tabloid photo journalist who had photos of Dubya’s drunken daughters, and a New York City nurse were killed by the anthrax attack. For those who carried out the attack it was “collateral damage.” The FBI began to drag their feet on the investigation as it closed in on the CIA’s notorious bio-warfare playground, Fort Detrick, Maryland. The involvement of government and government contractors in aerosolized anthrax development was widely reported abroad. But when one in managing perceptions, it is vitally important to have the media ignore the story domestically and shrug off international attention as being within the domain of conspiracy kooks. Plausible deniability.
Dubya must now deal with an opposition-controlled Senate and ensure his hold on the House. But he has some cleaning up to do. The House has some members who question Bush’s role in 9-11 and his commitment to the constitution. Two of them – Georgia Republican Bob Barr – who has an important subcommittee chairmanship in the House Judiciary Committee – and Georgia Democrat Cynthia McKinney, are real trouble for Bush. Barr wants to examine the privacy impact of Bush’s top priority – creating a Department of Homeland Security (a designation uncomfortably Teutonic-sounding). McKinney has brought up Bush’s ties to oil companies, the Taliban pipeline deal, and Daddy Bush’s ties to Bin Laden and the Saudis via his membership on the board of The Carlyle Group. Veteran Georgia State Representative Billy McKinney, the congresswoman’s father, is a powerbroker in Atlanta. To get the daughter, the father must be dealt with. And two senior Democratic politicians – Senator Max Cleland and Governor Roy Barnes, largely owe their jobs to Georgia’s black voters. To clean house in Georgia will involve a political operation to eliminate all these problems for Bush. And what better way than to use the results of the recent census that redrew Georgia’s political districts. Get a relatively unknown Republican-turned-Democrat to challenge McKinney and get former Barr supporters who now live inside McKinney’s district to vote for her challenger. Meanwhile, that siphons off votes for Barr who is in a primary match off with the pro-Bush Representative John Linder. It works. Both Barr and McKinney are defeated. The McKinney father gets knocked out in a primary run-off. And Cleland and Barnes go down to defeat in the general election. Cleland suffered from a Republican attack ad that accused him of coddling Osama bin Laden and Sadaam Hussein because he opposed Bush’s Homeland Security Department, Although he lost two legs and an arm when he threw himself atop a grenade in Vietnam in order to save his buddies, Cleland’s patriotism was questioned. But remember back to the Bush campaign against McCain? It fit a pattern of continual perception management. As for Barnes, he was aware that the entire political operation to cull anti-Bush politicians in Georgia was staged out of the office of Senator Zell Miller, ostensibly a Democrat but one of Bush’s biggest boosters in the Senate. I reported on this Miller operation during the summer before the August primaries in Georgia and knew it did not auger well for the future of the country.
Which brings us to the November 5 election. By all indications, a heavy voter turnout was to benefit the Democrats. And during the day, the reports came in that voter turnout was heavy in the key states that could determine who would control the Senate. But this election had already raised questions ten days before when Minnesota’s Senator Paul Wellstone, who had recently voted against Bush’s Iraq War Resolution and received a boost in the polls, died along with his wife, daughter, staff, and pilots in a plane crash while en route to a campaign stop. Perception management fell into high gear when a Minneapolis memorial service for Wellstone and his family was billed as a pep rally. It wasn’t Lutheran, Catholic, or otherwise staid enough for the Republicans in attendance. The African American choruses must have grated on the nerves of Trent Lott and company. So the GOP trashed the service as a campaign rally and demanded equal time on Minnesota television. When former Vice President Walter Mondale was chosen to replace Wellstone, the attacks came fast and furious. During a last minute debate on a woman’s right to choose an abortion, Mondale was caught off guard when his smarmy opponent Norm Coleman sought sympathy because he and his wife had lost two children. Everyone broke out the violins. But Coleman’s official biography on his web site said nothing about such a tragedy. The media though Mondale should have known anyway. But how do any of us know? It should be mentioned that Coleman has a cousin who regularly appears on the Imus in the Morning radio and cable television show. Although we all know the Imus show as nothing more than a slimy vat of mostly pro-Bush politicians and commentators, Coleman’s cousin is often accused by his radio colleagues of making up stories and in one case stealing mis-delivered shirts from a laundry. Could such a propensity for telling untruths run in the family? In any case, there was never any proof that Coleman’s emotive plea for sympathy had any grounds.
But something else occurred just before the election. Two snipers, later said to be homeless, shot at least 13 people in and around Washington, DC. Ten of them died. Meanwhile, as the capital city of the United States went into a traumatized state, Bush was busy hopping around the country campaigning for GOP candidates. Not once did he make an announcement that the investigation would be federalized. Not once did he attend a funeral of a victim. But when Maryland police finally captured John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo, the feds immediately moved in to take over. At the same time we learned that Muhammad was a former US Army Sergeant who served in the Gulf War and that he may have once been stationed with another US Army Special Forces Sergeant named Ali Mohammed who later became the chief training officer for Al Qaeda. It also was clear that Muhammad was far from homeless – he spent a large amount of time in the Caribbean (where Ali Mohammed had recruited Al Qaeda members) and had been involved in a plot to kidnap Antigua’s Prime Minister. Muhammad was apparently involved in a document forgery scheme on the island to get people illegally into the United States. The two possessed a Global Positioning System device and lap top computer. Not the normal paraphernalia for homeless people. While Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Washington State prosecutors were eager to get their hands on the two snipers, the Federal government began taking a keen interest in the two. For the local prosecutors, Muhammad and Malvo became a virtual “X File.”
Had the snipers not been caught, the close Maryland elections would have driven people away from the polls in Montgomery and Prince George’s County. That was the perception and it started to be managed by the local media until the snipers were arrested.
The heavy turnout on November 5 excited the Democrats, especially in states where a heavy black turnout would help them. There had been problems reported in Baltimore with black voter intimidation. One leaflet distributed in African American precincts exhorted people to vote on November 6 but only if they had paid their rent and taxes. In Tennessee, the GOP sent out a letter to poll workers telling them to turn away anyone who had registered via the motor-voter process. But after the thrown 2000 election, this was small potatoes. What was not is what occurred just before the polls closed. The Voter News Service – a consortium of media outlets that tally voter responses from sample precincts to project winners – announced that its computer systems had crashed and therefore the vote tallies would have to come from the Secretaries of State. Secretaries of State and computer glitches. All so familiar. Remember Katherine Harris in 2000 and what H. W. Bush’s buddy Noriega did in Panama in 1984?
As the venerable Senator Robert Byrd has warned on many occasions. This country is on the precipice of the same fate that befell the Roman Republic. He said we might as well hand a sign on the Statue of Liberty saying “Closed for Business.” Byrd is right. But he is just one man now in a Senate that will be dominated by the far right that is intent on destroying the United States.
I am proposing that we create a mass political movement modeled on that of Solidarity in Poland, of the Maquis in Vichy France, of the African National Congress in South Africa, and of Falun Gong in China. I propose this movement merely be called “Resistance.” It cannot be based on the model used by the anti-globalists — a coalition of small and large groups with varying agendas. Coalitions are historically weak and ultimately fail. Mass movements, however, have often met with success.
We must organize and resist an obvious attempt to continue the Bush coup d’etat. I am a journalist and not the most tech-savvy person in the world. But before this administration carries out its plans to place curbs on the Internet, we must take the little time we have left to use this resource to organize our resistance movement. Many of us feel like crawling into a cocoon and just wait out Bush. This option is impossible. Because with Jeb Bush’s re-election in Florida look for four more years of Dubya and eight years of Jeb. This country can’t afford an oligarchy like that.
So with an impending never-ending war for Middle East oil (which will begin with Iraq but will not end there), the re-emergence of a draft, further curtailment of civil liberties, more and more Americans being placed in prisons and detention camps, more corporatization of a Bush-beholden news media, more political and character assassinations, and more influence over our government by extreme religious fundamentalists – Resistance must stand in the way.
This Resistance movement must be grass roots, it must remain non-partisan and open to all who feel this administration is a menace, it must not be totally reliant on the Internet for the sake of those who are not trained in computer use, especially our senior citizens and lower wage scale communities, and first and foremost it must take its lessons from the non-violence exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be passive either. Using the web we can inform people about what is occurring in various parts of the country, blow the whistle on government officials carrying out the Bush agenda and pressure radio stations and advertisers to get rid of the right-wing gabfest hosts that plague the government-licensed radio waves. We can at the local level dig up anything from the past of the Bushites that will damage their credibility and force them from office. We must organize and stay that way. Our Founding Fathers and Mothers showed us the way. If they did not stand together, surely they would have all hung separately. So said Benjamin Franklin.
We must invite help from our friends in other countries, particularly Canada. When Bush restores the draft, we must set up routes of safe passage and refuge for our young people. We ask our Canadian friends to help in this effort.
If people are rounded up because of their religion, ethnicity, or political beliefs, we must restore the Underground Railroad of the pre-Civil War days. We would ask our Canadian and Mexican friends for help.
We must help those political leaders still in office who share our fears and goals to stay in office and not be picked off as the Bushites have done with so many others.
Everyone can make a contribution. Homemakers can take a bit of time to check out local libraries and government records offices for adverse information on politicians who promote the Bush agenda or just merely “ask around.” Graphic designers can help with Resistance movement logos (symbols for a movement are vitally important). Web designers and network specialists can help with web site development and maintenance. The clergy can help with outreach as they have done so many times in the past. Social and religious groups can help with providing meeting facilities. Or anyone can help with just plain ideas.
On the other hand, we can all sit back and complain and watch the situation worsen. It is the easier way. But too many have sacrificed for this country to take that path. I am raising my hand to volunteer to stop what is happening to the United States. Is there anyone else willing to join me?
WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.
Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com