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The Empire’s Fake War on Terror

Tales of the American Empire | January 2, 2020

The end of the Cold War in 1990 presented a serious problem for the American empire. The threat of communism could no longer justify massive wartime military budgets and a worldwide system of military bases. It could no longer justify American military intervention to protect corporate interests whenever a nation’s political establishment threatened change. The easy profits from military contracts decreased as peace spread throughout the world. The solution was an extensive propaganda campaign to replace the threat of communism with the threat of terrorism.

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The accused mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, was arrested in 2012 and is still awaiting trial; https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/31/trial-…

The Dark Side of the 1991 Gulf War; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2KpG…

“General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries in Five Years; Democracy Now; March 2007; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1M…

“Return of al-Qaida”; Unz; Eric Maroglis; Jan. 11, 2014; http://www.unz.com/emargolis/return-o…

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Roosevelt’s Fraud at Yalta and the Mirage of the “Good War”

By James Bovard | FFF | August 25, 2020

This year is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. One of the biggest frauds of the final stage of that war was the meeting at Yalta of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President Franklin Roosevelt. Yalta has become a synonym for the abandonment of oppressed people and helped inspire the 1952 Republican campaign theme, “20 years of treason.”

The American media uncorked a barrage of tributes to Roosevelt on the 75th anniversary of his death in April. CNN, for instance, trumpeted Roosevelt as “the wartime president who Trump should learn from.” But there was scant coverage of one of his greatest betrayals.

Roosevelt painted World War II as a crusade for democracy — hailing Stalin as a partner in liberation. From 1942 through 1945, the U.S. government consistently deceived the American people about the character of the Soviet Union. Roosevelt praised Soviet Russia as one of the “freedom-loving nations” and stressed that Stalin is “thoroughly conversant with the provisions of our Constitution.” But as Rexford Tugwell, one of Roosevelt’s Brain Trusters and an open admirer of the Soviet system, groused, “The Constitution was a negative document, meant mostly to protect citizens from their government.” And when government is the personification of benevolence, no protection is needed.

Harold Ickes, one of Roosevelt’s top aides, proclaimed that communism was “the antithesis of Nazism” because it was based on a “belief in the control of the government, including the economic system, by the people themselves.” The fact that the Soviet regime had been the most oppressive government in the world in the 1930s was irrelevant, as far as Roosevelt was concerned. As Georgetown University professor Derek Leebaert, author of Magic and Mayhem, observed, “FDR remarked that most of what he knew about the world came from his stamp collection.”

Giving Stalin everything

The Roosevelt administration engineered a movie tribute to Stalin — Mission to Moscow — that was so slavish that Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich observed that “no Soviet propaganda agency would dare to present such outrageous lies.” In his 1944 State of the Union address, Roosevelt denounced those Americans with “such suspicious souls — who feared that I have made ‘commitments’ for the future which might pledge this Nation to secret treaties” with Stalin at the summit of Allied leaders in Tehran the previous month. Roosevelt helped set the two-tier attack that permeated much of postwar American foreign policy — denouncing cynics, while betraying foreigners whom the U.S. government claimed to champion. (Someone should ask the Kurds if anything has changed on that score.)

Prior to the Yalta conference, Roosevelt confided to the U.S. ambassador to Russia that he believed that if he gave Stalin “everything I possibly can and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.” Stalin wanted assurances from Roosevelt and Churchill that millions of Soviet citizens who had been captured during the war by the Germans or who had abandoned the Soviet Union would be forcibly returned. After the war ended, Operation Keelhaul forcibly sent two million Soviets to certain death or long-term imprisonment in Siberia or elsewhere. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called Operation Keelhaul “the last secret” of World War II and it was covered up or ignored by Western media until the 1970s. The fact is that those mass deaths that were facilitated by the U.S. and British governments rarely rated even an asterisk by the media-beloved historians who tout the “Good War.”

In the final communiqué from Yalta, Roosevelt, along with Churchill and Stalin, declared that “a new situation has been created in Poland as a result of her complete liberation by the Red Army.” Liberation? Tell that to the Marines. A few weeks later, on March 1, 1945, he gave a speech to Congress touting his triumph at Yalta. In it he declared, “The decision with respect to the boundaries of Poland was, frankly, a compromise…. It will include, in the new, strong Poland, quite a large slice of what now is called Germany.” He agreed with Stalin at Yalta on moving the border of the Soviet Union far to the west — thereby effectively conscripting 11 million Poles as new Soviet Union citizens.

Poland was “compensated” with a huge swath of Germany, a simple cartographic revision that spurred vast human carnage. As author R.M. Douglas noted in his 2012 book Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War (Yale University Press), the result was “the largest episode of forced migration, and perhaps the single greatest movement of population, in human history. Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians — the overwhelming majority of whom were women, old people, and children under 16 — were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and what are today the western districts of Poland.” At least half a million died as a result. George Orwell denounced the relocation as an “enormous crime” that was “equivalent to transplanting the entire population of Australia.” Philosopher Bertrand Russell protested, “Are mass deportations crimes when committed by our enemies during war and justifiable measures of social adjustment when carried out by our allies in time of peace?” Roosevelt signed those death warrants at Yalta. Freda Utley, the mother of the late publisher and author Jon Utley, did some of the first and best reporting on the vast suffering ensuing from the German expulsions. Chapters from her book The High Cost of Vengeance are available at fredautley.com. (The U.S. government approved similar brutal mass forcible transfers in former Yugoslavia during the Clinton administration.) But the German civilians killed after the war were simply another asterisk that could safely be ignored by Good War chroniclers.

Roosevelt boasted to Congress, “As the Allied armies have marched to military victory, they have liberated people whose liberties had been crushed by the Nazis for four long years.” At that point, he and the State Department knew that this was a total lie for areas that had fallen under the control of the Red Army, which was busy killing or deporting to Siberia any potential political opponents. Roosevelt claimed that the deal at Yalta was “the most hopeful agreement possible for a free, independent, and prosperous Polish people.” But he betrayed the exiled Polish government in London and signed off on Soviet-style elections with no international observers — effectively giving Stalin unlimited sway on choosing Poland’s rulers. Any illusions about Soviet benevolence towards Poland should have been banished when the Red Army massacred the Polish officer corps at Katyn Forest — an atrocity that the U.S. government assiduously covered up (and blamed on the Nazis) during the war.

The façade of benevolence

In a private conversation at Yalta, Roosevelt assured Stalin that he was feeling “more bloodthirsty” than when they previously met. Immediately after the Yalta conference concluded, the British and American air forces turned Dresden into an inferno, killing up to 50,000 civilians. The Associated Press reported that “Allied air bosses” had adopted “deliberate terror bombing of great German population centers as a ruthless expedient to hasten Hitler’s doom.” Ravaging Dresden was intended to “‘add immeasurably’ to Roosevelt’s strength in negotiating with the Russians at the postwar peace table,” as Thomas Fleming noted in The New Dealers’ War. Vast numbers of dead women and children became simply one more poker chip. Shortly after the residents of Dresden were obliterated, Roosevelt pompously announced, “I know that there is not room enough on Earth for both German militarism and Christian decency.” Government censorship and intimidation helped minimize critical coverage of the civilian carnage resulting from U.S. carpet-bombing of cities in both Germany and Japan.

Roosevelt told Congress that the Yalta Agreement “spells the end of the system of unilateral action and exclusive alliance and spheres of influence.” By the time he died the following month, he knew that democracy was doomed in any turf conquered by the Red Army. But the sham had been immensely politically profitable for Roosevelt, and his successors kept up much of the charade.

U.S. government secrecy and propaganda efforts did their best to continue portraying World War Two as the triumph of good over evil. If Americans had been told in early 1945 of the barbarities that Yalta had approved regarding captured Soviet soldiers and the brutal mass transfer of German women and children, much of the nation would have been aghast. War correspondent Ernie Pyle offered a far more honest assessment than did Roosevelt: “The war gets so complicated and confused in my mind; on especially sad days, it’s almost impossible to believe that anything is worth such mass slaughter and misery.”

In the decades after Yalta, presidents continued to invoke lofty goals to justify U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. In each case, massive secrecy and perennial lies were necessary to maintain a façade of benevolence. Americans have still not seen the secret files behind the harebrained, contradictory interventions in Syria from the George W. Bush administration onwards. The only certainty is that, if we ever learn the full truth, plenty of politicians and other government officials will be revealed to be bigger scoundrels than suspected. Some of the orchestrators of mass misery might even be compelled to reduce their speaking fees.

“Presidents have lied so much to us about foreign policy that they’ve established almost a common-law right to do so,” George Washington University history professor Leo Ribuffo observed in 1998. Presidents have perennially used uplifting rhetoric to expunge their atrocities. On the 75th anniversary of Yalta, Americans have no reason to presume that presidents, top government officials, or much of the media are more trustworthy now than they were during the finale of the Good War. Have there been other Operation Keelhaul equivalents in recent years that Americans have not yet learned about? Yalta’s betrayals are another reason to be wary when pundits and talk-show hosts jump on the bandwagon for the next killing spree abroad.

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Open Letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren

CO2 Coalition | August 28, 2020

On August 28, Dr. Caleb Rossiter, Executive Director of the CO2 Coalition, published an open letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the issue of censorship. He states:

“In July you wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and, to my shock and dismay, asked him to censor me and the CO2 Coalition of climate scientists and energy economists, of which I am the executive director. At issue is an op-ed on the arcane mathematics of computerized climate models that I co-authored in 2019 with our senior fellow Patrick Michaels, a former president of the American Association of State Climatologists.

“I’ve been struggling to find some common ground that would interest you in looking carefully at my opinions, both on the “climate disinformation” you allege and on the concept of censoring rather than debating opinions with which one disagrees. […]

“The energy with which you pursue your argument that the CO2 Coalition should be banned from Facebook for promoting “climate denialism” is impressive, but you’ve violated our first rule in analysis: understand the other point of view so you can portray it accurately before questioning it.

“You should have contacted the CO2 Coalition to see if you could learn anything from their view of the facts, let alone of the media characterizations and conclusions about its interaction with Facebook. The Coalition website has a specific statement countering the original news claim that Facebook made an exception for the op-ed in question because it contained “opinion.” […]

“And there is absolutely no evidence as of yet for your claim that, “The devastation caused by the climate crisis will also be disproportionately felt by communities of color…” Even if there were, we have learned here in class to do full analysis of not just the costs, but also the benefits of various policy choices. Wouldn’t banning cheap, reliable energy in favor of costly, intermittent “renewables” under a “carbon neutral” Green New Deal itself badly damage communities of all colors? (Remember, there is nothing renewable about the mining and manufacturing infrastructure needed for wind turbines and solar panels and their storage batteries!)

“Similarly, you worry over media reports that combined climate and economic mathematical models can be tuned to project CO2-driven extreme weather that reduces US GDP by ten percent in 2100 – but then you leave out the tremendous, fossil-fueled increase in GDP by then that would more than pay for such damages.

“You argue that Facebook should censor non-alarmist views because, “the climate crisis and environmental degradation are not matters of opinion. They are existential threats that hurt communities and economies throughout the world – including and especially Black communities and other communities of color.” But of course these claims are the essence of matters of opinion! They involve judgments that can go either positive or negative, depending on reasonable choices in analysis of the claims and counterclaims on science, economics, and health, as well as on the costs and the benefits of changing our energy mix.  […]

“As I follow your argument for Facebook censoring my views, (1) the CO2 Coalition knowingly lies (that’s the definition of disinformation); (2) these lies will reduce public support for “action on climate change” (actually, energy action, since the climatic results of reducing CO2 emissions are precisely what the models have tried, and failed so far, to project); and (3) without such action, “communities and economies… will continue to be ravaged by the climate crisis.” (Actually, “continue” is premature, since as noted, there is no climate crisis yet, only a projected one.)

“There is much here, of course, that I think is unproven and that I think you didn’t prove or even try to prove in your letter. But even if it were all true, wouldn’t it be better to tolerate our disagreement, and then defeat my nefarious efforts in debate than to simply silence them? Surely, Facebook users are smart enough to assess evidence and make up their own minds, just like my students were. I still subscribe to the dictum often attributed to Voltaire: I may disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
The full letter can be downloaded at the link below.

Open Letter to Senator Elizabeth WarrenDownload

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Gardasil Lawsuit – Deaths and Serious Injuries Linked to HPV Vaccine

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman Trial Lawyers

The Gardasil vaccine, manufactured by Merck & Co., was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 for use in preventing infection from only a few of the hundreds of types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Since hitting the market, however, thousands of adolescents and adults have reported serious and disabling Gardasil side effects after receiving the HPV vaccine, including death.

Gardasil was fast-tracked to the market, achieving FDA approval in six months, which usually takes three years. Even one of the principal investigators of the Gardasil clinical trials (the human testing that precedes FDA approval) said the process “went too fast.”

The clinical trials for the Gardasil HPV vaccine reveal several disturbing side effects that were not disclosed on the package insert:

  • The miscarriage rate for subjects who were injected with Gardasil was 25%. The miscarriage rate for women under 30 in the U.S. is 12.5%.
  • In the Gardasil group, 5 babies were born with congenital abnormalities. There were none in the control group (the group that does not receive treatment).
  • 10.9% of women who took Gardasil reported reproductive and breast disorders within 7 months. In the Protocol 18 placebo group, that figure was 1.2% (through 12 months).
  • The rate of Gardasil deaths in the clinical trials was 8.5 per 10,000, nearly double the background U.S. death rate for young women ages 15 to 24.

There are more than 64,000 case reports of HPV vaccine adverse reactions in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System database.

It is estimated that only 1% of serious adverse events are actually reported to VAERS.

Researcher Peter C. Gøtzsche in his book Vaccines: Truth, Lies, and Controversy noted some of the research inadequacies in the HPV vaccine clinical trials

“It is a requirement for registration of drugs that randomized trials have been carried out where one group received the drug and the control group received placebo or nothing. This allows assessment of both the benefits and harms of drugs. I have done research on non-vaccine drugs for decades and was shocked when I learned through my work with vaccines against human papilloma virus (HPV) that the regulatory requirements are much less for vaccines. Almost all the HPV vaccine trials have a control group receiving a hepatitis vaccine or a strongly immunogenic adjuvant, which makes it impossible to find out what the harms of the HPV vaccines are.”

Today, the Gardasil shot has left many young women and men suffering (FDA also approved Gardasil for boys), and it has been a living nightmare for parents whose children have experienced severe adverse reactions to the vaccine. They all trusted Gardasil, never suspecting the grave illnesses and disabilities that could follow. […]

What is the Gardasil Controversy?

Underlying the entire Gardasil controversy are clinical trials (human testing) that victims allege were fraudulently conducted and reported. Preliminary evidence compiled by a team of Gardasil attorneys and investigators suggests that the clinical trials Merck conducted for the Gardasil HPV vaccine were flagrantly deceptive and unscientific.

According to Mary Holland and Kim Mack Rosenberg, and Eileen Iorio, co-authors of the book, The HPV Vaccine On Trial: Seeking Justice For a Generation Betrayed, “none of the participants in the [Gardasil] clinical trials received a true saline placebo,” which means the clinical trials failed to measure the effects of Gardasil against a true control. Instead of receiving a placebo, some clinical trial subjects received aluminum-containing adjuvants, chemical mixtures, and other vaccines, which masked adverse events and made Gardasil seem safer than it would have otherwise.

According to Holland, Mack Rosenberg, and Iorio, “HPV vaccines have never been proven to prevent against cervical or other cancer.” … Full article

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Modi uses Israel’s ‘settler’ tactics to change Kashmir

Press TV – August 29, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is changing Indian Kashmir’s residency laws for the first time since 1947, in a bid to snuff out any challenge to the disputed territory belonging to India.

Drawing comparisons with Israel’s “settler” tactics in the Palestinian Territories, Modi’s Hindu nationalist government aims to change the demographic makeup and identity of the Muslim-majority region, critics say.

AFP looks at the background, what the new rules are and their implications for the area’s 14 million population.

What has Modi done in Kashmir so far?

The Himalayan former princely state has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947.

In the Indian-administered part a conflict between separatist rebels and government forces has killed tens of thousands since 1989, mostly civilians.

More than 65 percent of the population is Muslim. In the Kashmir Valley, the main center of the rebellion, it is close to 100 percent.

On August 5, 2019 Modi’s government revoked articles in the Indian constitution that guaranteed Kashmir’s partial autonomy and other rights including its own flag and constitution.

A huge accompanying security operation saw tens of thousands of extra troops — adding to 500,000 already there — enforce a siege-like curfew. Thousands were arrested and telecommunications were cut for months.

Jammu & Kashmir state was demoted to a union territory governed directly from New Delhi, while the Ladakh region was carved out into a separate administrative area.

Creating such new “facts on the ground” in Kashmir has long been advocated by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the hardline Hindu parent organisation to Modi’s BJP party.

The move sent a further shudder through India’s 200-million Muslim minority and defenders of its secular traditions, who fear Modi wants to create a Hindu nation — something he denies.

“What I see unfolding is a Hindu settler colonial project in the making,” Mona Bhan, associate professor of anthropology at Syracuse University who has long researched Kashmir, told AFP.

What happened to Kashmir’s special rules?

Modi’s government tore up Kashmir’s special residence rules dating back to 1927 which had ensured only permanent residents could own land and property, secure government jobs and university places and vote in local elections.

Now a raft of different categories of people from anywhere in India can apply for domicile certificates, giving them access to all the above.

These include those living in Kashmir for 15 years, who include around 28,000 refugees who fled Pakistan and as many as 1.75 million migrant laborers — most of whom are Hindus.

In addition, civil servants who have worked in Kashmir for seven years and their children, or students who have taken certain exams, also qualify for domicile status.

The changes are “the most drastic imposed since 1947,” Siddiq Wahid, a historian and political analyst, told AFP. “It was done with the intent to open the gates to demographic flooding.”

What do locals have to do?

Locals too now have to apply for the new “domicile certificates” in order to qualify for permanent resident rights.

To get this, they have to produce their Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC), cherished documents valid since 1927, which then become worthless.

Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, an engineering graduate said young Kashmiris were in effect being forced to give their political loyalty to India in exchange for a livelihood.

“They say, you want a job, OK, get the domicile document first,” he said.

Is anybody happy?

A few people. Bahadur Lal Prajapati, born in Indian Kashmir to Hindu refugees who fled Pakistan during its first war with India over Kashmir seven decades ago, is finally an official resident and has “never been so happy”.

“We got the right to live in this part of India as citizens after 72 years of struggle,” Prajapati, 55, told AFP from his home in Jammu, the Hindu-dominated district of the region.

One of the first people to receive the new domicile certificate was Navin Kumar Choudhary, a top bureaucrat from the Indian state of Bihar who worked in Kashmir for many years.

Photos on social media of Choudhary proudly holding the certificate sparked huge anger among Kashmiris but delight among Modi’s supporters.

What happens if people complain?

Some 430,000 new domicile certificates have been issued — despite the coronavirus pandemic. It is unclear how many of them are to people from outside and how many to locals.

Many locals are refusing to swap their old documents, even though this makes life harder. Some do it in secret for fear of censure from their neighbors.

Wary of being labelled “anti-national” by the authorities many Kashmiris are also scared to speak out openly. Some are deleting their Twitter accounts.

“It’s a travesty that I have to compete with outsiders for citizenship rights in my own homeland,” said a student — who also wished also to remain anonymous out of fear of problems with the authorities.

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment

US charges three over collecting monetary aid for war-torn Yemen

Press TV – August 29, 2020

The US Justice Department has charged three people in connection with a campaign to collect monetary assistance for the oppressed Yemenis, who are suffering under the years-long Saudi war and blockade.

It claimed that Muzzamil Zaidi and Asim Naqvi, US citizens living in Iran’s holy city of Qom and the American city of Houston, respectively, and Ali Chawla, a Pakistani national residing in Qom, had violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Justice Department officials alleged that the defendants “have considerable operational links” to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and moved US currency from the United States to Iran.

They claimed that Zaidi, Chawla and other members of an organization, called Islamic Pulse, received permission from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to collect a religious tax on his behalf and send half the money to Yemen.

“Zaidi, Naqvi, and Chawla allegedly raised money in the United States on behalf of Iran’s Supreme Leader, and illegally channeled these dollars to the government of Iran. As a result of today’s charges, their unlawful scheme has been exposed and brought to an end. The US Department of Justice and its National Security Division are committed to holding accountable individuals who operate covert networks within the United States in order to provide support and funds to hostile foreign governments like Iran in violation of US law,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.

The Justice Department also said Zaidi, 36, was charged with acting in the US as an agent of the Iranian government without first notifying the Attorney General.

The charges come at a time when the US has been continuing to supply weapons and military equipment to Saudi Arabia despite war crimes committed by the regime in Yemen.

The Yemeni army says Washington arms Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, defines goals for them and is involved in a political cover-up for their acts of aggression.

Saudi Arabia waged the devastating military aggression against its southern neighbor in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allied states.

The purported aim was to return to power a Riyadh-backed former regime and defeat the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement that took control of state matters after the resignation of the then president and his government.

The UN refers to the situation in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than half of hospitals and clinics destroyed or closed.

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 2 Comments

Vote-by-Mail Issue Could Lead to Violence

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | August 29, 2020

The debate over voting by mail in America in November generally is defined by the interests of the two major political parties. Democrats insist that such voting enfranchises large numbers of citizens who would not otherwise be able to vote and is also secure. The Republicans argue that a large volume of voting by mail will guarantee that the election results will not be known for some time after the election and also that casting a ballot without being physically present increases the possibility of fraud.

Beyond that, the recent use of large scale mail-in voting in New York State suggest that there can be considerable delays in the mechanics of actually counting the ballots, while many ballots were also completely invalidated for various reasons, but some states like Oregon and Utah have been successfully using mail-in for years. So essentially the argument is a political one. The Democrats are expecting that most voters who postal vote will vote for them while the Republicans would like to repress that type of voting precisely for the same reason, i.e. that it would likely benefit Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates. There will certainly be both detected and undetected fraud in the voting, but the questions are “How much?” and “Will it affect any results?” If the fraud is not significant many would argue that it is a price that should be paid to improve voter turnout.

Elections are run at the state and county level in the United States, not nationally. A recent review of procedures to register and vote in my home state of Virginia determined that one can both register and vote without any human contact at all. The registration process can be accomplished by filling out an online form, which is linked here. Note particularly the following: the form requires one to check the box indicating U.S. citizenship. It then asks for name and address as well as social security number, date of birth and whether one has a criminal record or is otherwise disqualified to vote. You then have to sign and date the document and mail it off. Within ten days, you should receive a voter’s registration card for Virginia which you can present if you vote in person, though even that is not required.

It is important to consider no documents have to be presented to support the application, which means that all the information can be false. You can even opt out of providing a social security number by indicating that you have never been issued one, even though the form indicates that you must have one to be registered, and you can also submit a temporary address by claiming you are “homeless.” Even date of birth information is useless as the form does not ask where you were born, which is how birth records are filed by state and local governments. Ultimately, it is only the social security number that validates the document and that is what also appears on the Voter’s ID Card, but even that can be false or completely fabricated, as many illegal immigrant workers in the U.S. have discovered.

In a state like Virginia, the actual mail-in ballot requires your signature and that of a witness, who can be anyone. That is also true in six other states. Thirty-one states require your own signature while only three states require that the document be notarized, a good safeguard since it requires the voter to actually produce some documentation. Seven states require your additional signature on the ballot envelope and two states require that a photocopy of the voter ID accompany the ballot. In other words, the safeguards in the system vary from state to state but in most cases, fraud would be relatively easy.

Possible fraud in the voting not to mention delays in post office delivery of the mail-in ballots, have, not surprisingly, political consequences that are beginning to surface in discussions of what might actually happen the night of the election. If the civil disturbances that have been occurring over the past three months continue and the Republicans are successful in hammering on the law-and-order theme, it is likely that the results of the presidential vote will be much tighter than some current polls seem to suggest.

So, what happens on the day after? Well, the elections in 2000 and 2016 suggest that there might be problems. In 2000, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore even though the latter had more votes nationally. There was considerable fear that violence might result, but the issue was resolved by a recount in Florida followed by a Supreme Court ruling and Bush’s legitimacy, though questioned, was conceded. In 2016, of course, Hillary Clinton had 3 million more votes than Donald Trump but his large majority in the Electoral College meant that the result was largely unchallenged, though it was soon to be attributed to “Russian help.”

This year might be different due to the simmering anger over coronavirus measures as well as the racial turmoil. That might not matter much but for the fact that President Donald Trump has opened the door to discussion of possible fraud in the election and has also suggested that the result might not be legitimate. He has particularly focused on mail-in voting and it has been conjectured that he might be deliberately taking steps to hinder post office ability to deliver the ballots on time. The viral badinage appears to be working for the GOP as a recent opinion poll suggests that only 45% of prospective voters are confident of the integrity of election results.

What might be coming, from one perspective, is suggested by a Trump tweet from the November 2018 election in Florida, in which he declared “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”

More recently, on July 30th, Trump tweeted “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The president has also claimed repeatedly that the Democrats are trying to “steal the election.”

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has predictably made matters worse by asserting that “… sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States… They’re doing everything they can [to] suppress the vote with [their] actions: scare people, intimidate by saying law enforcement will be there, diminish the role of the postal system in all of this. It’s really, actually shameful.” She called them “Enemies of the state,” a version of Hillary Clinton’s famous faux pas in declaring that Trump supporters in 2016 were “deplorables.”

Pelosi also has called for cancellation of the planned presidential debates between Trump and Biden, saying she does not want to legitimize any conversation with the president. She has also added fuel to the fire by claiming that Trump is “… welcom[ing], in fact, Russian intervention, letting Putin decide who will be President instead of the American people.” So, the stage is set for some very significant grievances to play out from either side. It is being suggested that Donald Trump might try to delay the election, which he does not have the power to do, or let it take place in expectation that he will have the lead in conventionally cast votes when the polls close and will be able to declare both victory and that the election is over without any further counting because of fraud on the mail-in ballots. If, on the other hand, Trump loses, the argument could be broadened, with the president calling the all of the voting invalid because of widespread mail-in fraud.

As more Americans than ever are frustrated and angry over the political system while also being ideologically divided into various camps characterized by hard core support of positions that are impossible to reconcile, the situation could explode. And, one must point out, more Americans are armed than ever before while they continue to buy weapons at a record rate. Throw into the mix a police force that is demoralized and evidently increasingly incapable of dealing with civil unrest and November 3rd’s election could well unleash forces that could make the rioting and violence that is sweeping across America currently look insignificant.

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 1 Comment