Consensus Reality
Friday, October 31, 2003
Kerry Takes Aim at Dean Positions on Guns

October 31, 2003 03:31 PM EST

COLO, Iowa - John Kerry charged that Democratic rival Howard Dean has a history of pandering to the gun lobby by opposing a ban on assault weapons.

Dean said Kerry was distorting positions he took while running for governor of Vermont.

On Friday Kerry, campaigning in central Iowa, passed around National Rifle Association questionnaires that Dean had filled out in 1992 and 1994 as evidence. Kerry said that Dean used those questionnaires to get the backing of the powerful NRA while Congress was struggling to pass the assault weapons ban.

"During the time that we were struggling and every law enforcement officer in America wanted to pass it, Howard Dean was asking for the NRA's endorsement and he got it," Kerry said.,1282,-3333592,00.html
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Spy leak may violate Patriot Act, Newsday, October 27, 2003

"If, as now seems likely, top White House aides leaked the identity of an American undercover agent, they may have committed an act of domestic terrorism as defined by the dragnet language of the Patriot Act their boss wanted so much to help him catch terrorists. Section 802 of the act defines, in part, domestic terrorism as "acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state" that "appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population." Clearly, disclosing the identity of a CIA undercover agent is an act dangerous to life - the lives of the agent and her contacts abroad whom terrorists groups can now trace - and a violation of the criminal laws of the United States." (10/28),0,7012271.story

Monday, October 27, 2003
Diebold Memos Disclose Florida 2000 E-Voting Fraud
Friday, 24 October 2003, 11:18 am
Article: Alastair Thompson

The Diebold Memos' Smoking Gun
Volusia County Memos Disclose Election 2000 Vote Fraud

By Alastair Thompson

"DELAND, Fla., Nov. 11 - Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official in Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and learned that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000. But when she checked the county's Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000--all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters."
- Washington Post Sunday , November 12, 2000 ; Page A22

Yes. Something very strange happened in Volusia County on election night November 2000, the night that first Gore won Florida, then Bush, and then as everybody can so well remember there was a tie.

Something strange indeed. But what exactly? In the above report ( click for full version), written days after the election, hotshot Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank goes on to attribute the strange 16,022 negative vote tally from Volusia's precinct 216 to an apparently innocent cause.

"…. faulty 'memory cards' in the machines caused the 16,000-vote disappearance on election night. The glitch was soon fixed," he wrote.

But thanks to recent investigations into Black Box Voting by Washington State writer Bev Harris we now know this explanation is not correct. In fact it is not even in the ballpark.

According to recently discovered internal Diebold Election Systems memos, Global Election Systems' (which was later purchased by Diebold) own technical staff were also stumped by the events in Volusia County/

In Chapter 11 of her new book "Black Box Voting In the 21st Century" released early today in .PDF format at and here at Scoop Ms Harris observes.

"If you strip away the partisan rancor over the 2000 election, you are left with the undeniable fact that a presidential candidate conceded the election to his opponent based on [results from] a second card that mysteriously appears, subtracts 16,022 votes, then just as mysteriously disappears."
Working in parallel with Ms Harris Scoop has also been inquiring into the events on election night in Volusia county. Much of the material that follows is similar to that which appears in Chapter 11 of her book.

The starting point in this shocking

9/11 Commission Could Subpoena Oval Office Files

Published: October 26, 2003, N.Y. Times

ADISON, N.J., Oct. 25 — The chairman of the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks says that the White House is continuing to withhold several highly classified intelligence documents from the panel and that he is prepared to subpoena the documents if they are not turned over within weeks.
Friday, October 24, 2003
Ellsberg Sees Iraq, Vietnam Parallels

By Associated Press

October 20, 2003, 12:12 AM EDT

PARK CITY, Utah -- The man who leaked the Pentagon Papers more than 30 years ago said there are striking parallels between Vietnam and Iraq.

"This war could go on forever, no matter how unpopular it gets. That's very like Vietnam: a stale, hopeless occupation," Daniel Ellsberg, 71, said.

That's not the only similarity, he said.

The Bush administration misled the public about the threat of Saddam Hussein, a tactic similar to what he said the Johnson administration took nearly 40 years before.

"It was clear we were being lied into a war again ... being lied into what amounted to another Tonkin Gulf Resolution, with the Congress signing a blank check. To see Congress sleepwalking into another war was disheartening," Ellsberg said.

The one-time Marine and former military analyst is best known for leaking in 1971 the Pentagon Papers, a top secret Defense Department study on the Vietnam War that he considered proof that American officials were lying about chances for victory.

As a result of attacking Iraq, Bush only gave radicals more reason to hate the United States, and terrorists would love to see him stay in office, Ellsberg said.

"Osama bin Laden couldn't dream of a better recruiting drive," he said.,0,3489995.story?coll=sns-ap-nation-headlines

John Dean: More vicious than Tricky Dick, Salon, October 3, 2003

John Dean says the Bush team's leaks are even viler than his former boss's -- and that Plame and Wilson should file a civil suit. He writes: "I thought I had seen political dirty tricks as foul as they could get, but I was wrong. In blowing the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame to take political revenge on her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, for telling the truth, Bush's people have out-Nixoned Nixon's people. And my former colleagues were not amateurs by any means... Neither Colson nor Ehrlichman nor anyone else I knew while working at the Nixon White House had the necessary viciousness, or depravity, to attack the wife of a perceived enemy by employing potentially life-threatening tactics." (10/3)
Friday, October 17, 2003
Clinton Warned Bush of bin Laden Threat


Clinton Says He Warned Bush of bin Laden Threat

Thursday 16 October 2003

NEW YORK - Former President Bill Clinton warned President George W. Bush
before he left office in 2001 that Osama bin Laden was the biggest security
threat the United States faced, Clinton said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the History Channel, Clinton said he
discussed security issues with Bush in his "exit interview," a formal and
often candid meeting between a sitting president and the president-elect.

"In his campaign, Bush had said he thought the biggest security issue was
Iraq and a national missile defense," Clinton said. "I told him that in my
opinion, the biggest security problem was Osama bin Laden."

The U.S. government has blamed bin Laden's Al Qaeda network for the
Sept. 11 attacks.

Time magazine reported last year that a plan for the United States to
launch attacks against the al-Qaeda network languished for eight months
because of the change in presidents and was approved only a week before
the Sept. 11 attacks.

The White House was clearly irritated by the report, which appeared to
suggest that the Bush administration might not have done all it could to
prevent the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

At Wednesday's luncheon, Clinton said his inability to convince Bush of
the danger from al Qaeda was "one of the two or three of the biggest
disappointments that I had."

Clinton said that after bin Laden, the next security priority would have
been the absence of a Middle East peace agreement, followed by the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"I would have started with India and Pakistan, then North Korea,
and then Iraq after that," he said. "I thought Iraq was a lower order problem
than al Qaeda."

Schwarzenegger Asked To Explain Ken Lay Meeting


Schwarzenegger[R] Asked To Explain Ken Lay Meeting
The Associated Press

Tuesday 14 October 2003

WASHINGTON - California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger[R] must explain
the substance of his private May 2001 meeting with Enron chief Ken Lay,
the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights wrote in a letter to
Schwarzenegger Tuesday.

FTCR, which was the state's most vocal critic of Governor Gray Davis'
handling of the energy crisis, said that if the governor-elect did not recount
the meeting by the time of his inauguration, the group would ask state
lawmakers to open an investigation to uncover the substance of the meeting,
including any information that might further the state's efforts to return
billions of dollars that taxpayers and consumers overpaid for electricity
during the energy crisis.

"A meeting with the biggest corporate crook in recent memory, while he
and his firm were in the midst of ripping off the state, should not be taken
lightly," FTCR wrote. "As Governor, you must explain to Californians what
you were doing at that meeting, what information Ken Lay shared with you
and how the meeting has influenced your thinking on energy issues."

In addition to calling on Schwarzenegger to come clean about the meeting
with Lay, the group highlighted key aspects of the governor-elect's energy
program that reflect an Enron perspective on energy policy. In the letter,
FTCR asked Schwarzenegger[R] to rewrite his energy policy and remove his push
for further energy deregulation.

The policy proposals, available online at, call for
the expansion of California's failed experiment with electricity deregulation,
including a dramatic ceding of power from state regulation to federal control.

Schwarzenegger[R] also proposes to dismantle the California Power Authority,
which FTCR identifies as the "state's last line of defense against a real
or manufactured energy shortage."


Wednesday, October 15, 2003
The Chinese copied the Soyuz design, so the entire manned space lift capacity of the world right now was designed in the good ol' CCCP.

Iraq War Swells Al Qaeda's Ranks, Report Says

LONDON (Reuters) - War in Iraq has swollen the ranks of al Qaeda and galvanized the Islamic militant group's will, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said on Wednesday in its annual report.

The 2003-2004 edition of the British-based think-tank's annual bible for defense analysts, The Military Balance, said Washington's assertions after the Iraq conflict that it had turned the corner in the war on terror were "over-confident."

The report, widely considered an authoritative text on the military capabilities of states and militant groups worldwide, could prove fodder for critics of the U.S.-British invasion and of the reconstruction effort that has followed in Iraq.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Wilson adds ammo to hit war credibility gap

US News

Just as former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's story that Bushies blew his CIA wife's cover to get back at his criticism of the war in Iraq was getting old, he has stumbled on new ammo to hit the administration's credibility. Wilson tells us he plans to circulate the text of a briefing by analyst Sam Gardiner that suggests the White House and Pentagon made up or distorted over 50 war stories.
But there's more, says Gardiner, a war gamer who has taught at the National War College. Like how defense officials said the first Iraqi unit marines encountered, the 51st Mechanized Infantry Division, had surrendered four days before it actually did. And he says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers gave bad or deliberately incomplete info on several topics. Sure, propaganda has always been used in war to deceive and demoralize the enemy. But these guys went way overboard, Gardiner says. "Never before have so many stories been created to sell a war," he insists. "And they probably didn't need it."

Thursday, October 09, 2003
War profiteering

Friends and close associates of President Bush are making a lot money from the war in Iraq. reports today on the profits of companies with close administration ties. They include Halliburton (Vice President Cheney's former firm), Bechtel, and New Bridge Strategies, a company formed by Bush's 2000 campaign manager Joe Allbaugh specifically to profit from the Iraq war. ( is a subscription site, but you can get a free "day pass" by viewing an ad.)

The Washington Post also covers Bush cronies' war profiteering today and says that there are more private contractors now in Iraq than there are soldiers from any of our allies:

Avant said that as many as 1 in 10 Americans deployed in Iraq and Kuwait — perhaps 20,000 — are contractors, a group larger than any of the military forces fielded there by Britain or other U.S. allies. Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Vice President Cheney's former firm, Houston-based Halliburton Corp., has an exclusive contract to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure. San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. is the prime contractor for much of the infrastructure reconstruction.

Now when President Bush talks about Iraq as a "coalition" effort, at least we know who the real partners are.
Friday, October 03, 2003
Schwarzenegger Admired Hitler, Book Proposal Says

New York Times : October 3, 2003

Mr. Schwarzenegger said, according to the transcript in the book proposal. "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker."

In addition to the transcript, Mr. Butler wrote in his book proposal that in the 1970's, he considered Mr. Schwarzenegger a "flagrant, outspoken admirer of Hitler." In the proposal, Mr. Butler also said he had seen Mr. Schwarzenegger playing "Nazi marching songs from long-playing records in his collection at home" and said that the actor "frequently clicked his heels and pretended to be an S.S. officer."
Outside Probe of Leaks Is Favored
By Dana Milbank and Mike Allen
The Washington Post

Thursday 02 October 2003

Poll Findings Come As White House Softens Denials

Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate allegations that Bush administration officials illegally leaked the name of an undercover CIA agent, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday.

The poll, taken after the Justice Department announced that it had opened a criminal probe into the matter, pointed to several troubling signs for the White House as Bush aides decide how to contain the damage. The survey found that 81 percent of Americans considered the matter serious, while 72 percent thought it likely that someone in the White House leaked the agent's name.

Confronted with little public support for the White House view that the investigation should be handled by the Justice Department, Bush aides began yesterday to adjust their response to the expanding probe. They reined in earlier, broad portrayals of innocence in favor of more technical arguments that it is possible the disclosure was made without knowledge that a covert operative was being exposed and therefore might not have been a crime.

As the White House hunkered down, it got the first taste of criticism from within Bush's own party.

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