Florida corrupt election supported by Supreme Court.

All ballots go to Bush.

Ballots rejected as illegal.

Supreme Court’s decision to elect Bush was Evil

Photo: Vanity Fair
Florida corrupt election supported by Supreme Court.

All ballots go to Bush.

Ballots rejected as illegal.

Supreme Court’s decision to elect Bush was Evil

Photo: Vanity FairFlorida corrupt election supported by Supreme Court.

Ballots rejected as illegal.

All ballots go to Bush.

Supreme Court’s decision to elect Bush was Evil

Photo: Vanity Fair

Why We Left The United States:
911 White House Graves.

Photo The Peoples Voice
by Bob Alexander, founder of Superbeans.com
September 22nd, 2011
Because on December 12, 2000, the United States Supreme Court nullified the results of a national election and installed George W. Bush as president.
And then I saw millions of my fellow Americans deliriously happy the Rule of Law was broken by the Supreme Court of the Land so “their guy” could … “win.”
That’s when I knew partisanship had ultimately won out over reality. More Americans believe in angels than election fraud.
If millions of Americans could turn a blind eye to a stolen election, simply because their side stole it, and then have that coup legitimized by not only the Supreme Court … but by all of MainStreamMedia … then I knew the country I lived in was not the land of my birth.
I can’t emphasize this enough.
Millions ecstatic
Millions of Americans were ecstatic that George W. Bush won regardless of how he won.
Unquestioning blind partisanship was more important than the law to these people.
But more ominous was MainStreamMedia ratifying the coup.
At that moment Corporate Media proved they were committed to the destruction of our democratic republic.
That was pretty scary to witness.
We’ve all heard of similar ham-fisted tactics used in banana republics south of the border … but this was happening … here.
That’s when I began formulating my Crazy Stupid People Theorem.
Whoever thought the Supreme Court’s decision was part and parcel with a “Normal Transfer of Power” was either Stupid, Crazy, or … Evil.
Americans who didn’t know it was essentially a coup were either Stupid, or Crazy, or a little bit of both.
Florida corrupt election supported by Supreme Court.

All ballots go to Bush.

Supreme Court’s decision to elect Bush was Evil

Photo: Vanity Fair
America something unrecognizable
If anyone knew it was an outright theft of Americans’ votes … and they were perfectly ok with that … well … what else could you call it other than Evil?
The subversion of our right to choose our elected representatives strikes at the heart of our country’s founding principles.
But again, and this is what continues to confound me, millions of Americans thought it was just fine and dandy.
Along with millions of sane Americans … I didn’t “Move On.”
I could not understand why it was so important the institutions Americans trusted most to protect its freedoms and principles had crammed George W. Bush down our throat.
Then 234 days into Bush’s first term as president … the attacks of September 11th 2001.
And from that day on … everything the Bush/Cheney regime did to distort and transform the United States of America into something … unrecognizable … was because of 9/11.
It all came down to 9/11 … period.
The buck stopped there.
And as we were all walking around in a daze, coated with the ash of human beings and pulverized concrete, we were spun into the Ultimate War Crime; wars of aggression. As Chris Hedges wrote, “ … We became what we abhorred.
Ultimate War Crime
The deaths were used to justify pre-emptive war, invasion, Shock and Awe, prolonged occupation, targeted assassinations, torture, offshore penal colonies, gunning down families at checkpoints, massive aerial bombardments, drone attacks, missile strikes and the killing of dozens, and soon hundreds, and then thousands, and later tens of thousands, and finally hundreds of thousands of innocent people.“
Then the dawning realization … the 9/11 trigger mechanism that caused Hell on Earth for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq … was a grotesque lie.
This was the ultimate Horror piled upon horror.
Hundreds upon hundreds of statements from members of the Senior Military and Intelligence Services, Law Enforcement, Government Officials, Engineers, Architects, Pilots and Aviation Professionals, Professors, 9/11 Survivors and Family Members, Artists, Entertainers, and Media Professionals, are on record saying the Official Account of 9/11 is: "False", “Impossible”, “A Bunch of Hogwash”, “Total B.S.”, “Ludicrous”, “A Well-Organized Cover-up”, “A White-Washed Farce”, “Absurd”, "Fatally Flawed", "Not Possible.”
The lies the Bush/Cheney Regime told us that led our country into The Ultimate War Crime were predicated upon the lies the government previously told us about the attacks of 9/11.
As Ralph Lopez wrote:
“The biggest problem with the 9/11 Truth Movement is where it leads: a place dark and evil beyond imagination. … when hundreds of American military officers, pilots, engineers, and CIA veterans stepped forward to say they believed the official story to be a monstrous lie, I was shaken to the core. … The conspiracies led to the deep dark hole that we are ruled by criminal psychopaths.”
This is about as bad as it gets. We knew the government covered up how and why 3,000 people died on 9/11, and then went on to use the attacks as an excuse to do everything we find reprehensible today.
And again … corporate media ran cover for the government.
1974 Presidential election stolen
But while we struggled to map out just exactly what a post-9/11 America looked like … another stolen presidential election knocked us to our knees.
We knew it was stolen in Ohio.
We knew how it was stolen.
And once again the corporate media buried the truth by ignoring it.
And the blind partisan Crazy Stupid People rejoiced in the prospect of “Four More Years” of the Bush/Cheney Regime.
Throughout it all the majority of Sane Americans made the same strategic blunder over and over and over again.
We were used to signing petitions and having protest marches.
We treated these people like they were politicians.
But the Bush/Cheney gang were not politicians.
They were Gangsters and Thugs.
Politicians periodically bend to the will of the people.
Thugs.     Don’t.     Care.
These people wipe their ass with petitions.
So!
When Dick Cheney was told that two-thirds of Americans said the war in Iraq was not worth it, Cheney replied, "So?"
That’s who we were dealing with.
Gangsters who completely ignored the will of the people.
We could write all we want, and call all we want, and demonstrate all we want … but by following their rules … we had the unlimited freedom to be ineffectual.
The Republican Machine, aided and abetted by Corporate Media, stole the presidency of the United States twice.
Together they started two wars and have killed over a million people.
How could we think they would back off and play nice because we all wrote scathing e-mails or marched in protests?
They were Thugs.
We were supposed to arrest Thugs, put them on trial, and if guilty, put them in jail.
But we didn’t do that.
We decided to hope instead.
We hoped the Bush/Cheney Regime wouldn’t completely destroy the country before 2008.
We hoped the same corrupt voting systems that delivered us George W. Bush would magically allow us the autonomy to elect someone to save us from “the Evil-doers.”
We hoped a Constitutional law professor would restore the Constitution.
But most of all we hoped, for the first time in living memory, that a politician would deliver on his campaign promises.
Obama
The policies of the Bush/Cheney Regime are still in place under the Obama administration.
We still have the wars of aggression and occupation.
Innocent people are still killed every day.
We still hold prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who after almost ten years have yet to be charged or tried for any crime.
The Bush/Cheney/Obama Regimes have given away trillions of dollars to people who engineered the largest financial swindle in recorded history.
And they, along with our honest-to-god war criminals, continue to walk free, unindicted, unaccountable, and above the law.
As Michael in NY wrote you in October 2009, “ … my belief is that the American system has lost its capacity for reform.”
I’ll take that to the next step … the American system has lost its capacity to govern.
Corporate interests under the guise of Partisanship über alles.
And as By Paul Craig Roberts wrote the other day:
“Obama regime appointee Cass Sunstein, a Chicago and Harvard Law School professor, thinks the 9/11 movement, for challenging the official “truth”, should be infiltrated by US intelligence agents in order to shut down the fact-based doubters of government propaganda.
When a law professor at our two most prestigious law schools wants to suppress scientific evidence that challenges government veracity, we know that in America respect for truth is dead.
The notion that a country in which truth is dead is a “light unto the world” is an absurdity.”
I find that nothing short of terrifying. And real solutions are nonexistent.
And so … after 10 long years, and finally having enough money … we left.
It may be completely illusory, but it feels like we have a future here.
It feels more substantial than … hope.
It feels like we finally have come home.
thepeoplesvoice.org — click here
©2011 by thepeoplesvoice.org
Complete article including Vanity Fair images can be downloaded as .pdf document
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Slavery or Freedom?
Illuminati World Overlords
UN Security Council — 2009
Bringing New World Tyranny
Why did the court vote to stop the vote counting?
A decision to stop the vote counting?
— to negate the Florida State Court?
— the inauguration not even set until late January, two months away?
Who wanted Bush in power?
Something coming up?
A true backdrop for 9/11?
The peculiar vote by some court members — a message given!
Exact details! — not likely — but information passed through, some message whispered!
Lots take place inside elite 'secret societies' some court members join!
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to appoint a President.
How the fallacy of 'equal-protection' was used to deny the very basis of democracy
— an accurate vote count.
“Moreover, the very jurists who'd normally side with Bush were the ones most solicitous of states' rights, most deferential to state courts, most devoted to the Constitution's "original intent."
And the Founding Fathers had specifically provided that the Congress, not the judiciary, would resolve close elections.”
US attack injures baby
VANITY FAIR      October   2004 — Shortly after the presidential vote in November 2000, two law clerks at the United States Supreme Court were joking about the photo finish in Florida.
Wouldn't it be funny, one mused, if the matter landed before them?
And how, if it did, the Court would split five to four, as it so often did in big cases, with the conservative majority installing George W. Bush in the White House?
The two just laughed.
It all seemed too preposterous.
Sure, friends and relatives predicted that the case would eventually land in their laps, but that was ignorant, naïve talk — typical of people without sophisticated legal backgrounds.
A majority of the justices were conservatives, but they weren't partisan; mindful of the Court's fragile authority, the justices had always steered clear of messy political spats.
Moreover, the very jurists who'd normally side with Bush were the ones most solicitous of states' rights, most deferential to state courts, most devoted to the Constitution's "original intent" — and the Founding Fathers had specifically provided that the Congress, not the judiciary, would resolve close elections.
To top it off, the Court rarely took cases before they were ripe, and the political process in Florida was still unfolding.
"It was just inconceivable to us that the Court would want to lose its credibility in such a patently political way," one of the clerks recalls. "That would be the end of the Court."
The commentators agreed.
The New York Times predicted that the Court would never enter the Florida thicket.
A law professor at the University of Miami pegged Bush s chances before the tribunal at "between slim and none, and a lot closer to none."
US attack injures two young boys
As Thanksgiving 2000 approached, the justices and their clerks planned their vacations and scattered, leaving a skeletal staff — generally only one of the three or four clerks assigned to each chamber — behind in case the impossible happened.
There was just no way, Justice Stephen Breyer remarked over the holiday, that the Court would ever get involved.
It all turned out very differently, of course, and the Court, by the very margin that the incredulous clerk envisaged, put George W. Bush in the White House.
Now out in the working world, the two clerks, along with most of their colleagues who worked for the four liberal justices and the occasional conservative justice, remain angered, haunted, shaken, and disillusioned by what they saw.
After all, they were idealists.
They'd learned in their elite law schools that the law was just and that judges resolved legal disputes by nonpartisan analysis of neutral principles.
But Bush v. Gore, as seen from the inside, convinced them they'd been sold a bill of goods.
They'd left their clerkships disheartened and disgusted.   The 2000 election in Florida shook Americans from all walks of life and of all political persuasions.
Many were left wondering about the viability of America 's democratic system.
Much has changed since the election's frenzied aftermath, in which hordes of reporters jammed the streets of Tallahassee, Palm Beach, and Miami, chasing ballots and lawyers for 36 days before the presidency was called by a margin of 537 votes out of the six million cast in Florida.
But Florida is a state with a history of disenfranchising blacks — a legacy that seemed all too current in 2000.
And the president's brother is still governor.
Could it happen again?
"Butterfly ballots " are gone, so there will be no more accidental votes for fringe candidates such as Pat Buchanan.
Chads — dimpled, hanging, pregnant — are history, for the punch-card machines that used them have been decertified.
US attack kills son
In their place are sleek, new electronic voting machines, known as D.R.E.'s (direct-recording electronic voting machines).
An estimated half of the state's voters will be using them this November — including those in the three largest Democratic counties.
The D.R.E.'s look and work reassuringly like A.T.M.'s. Yet unlike A.T.M.'s, touch-screens provide no paper receipt — no proof at all that a vote has been cast as the voter intended.
Touch-screens have been plagued around the country by serious questions about their security and their accuracy in registering votes.
In Florida, however, the story is more disturbing than in most states.
The company that sewed up most of the key counties with raw political clout has installed machines that have confounded poll workers and voters alike and led to problems that the state, in its embarrassment, has tried to minimize again and again.
The state has been equally disingenuous in its attempt to bar ex-felons from voting.
For the 2000 election, a notorious ex-felon list, composed of more than 50,000 names, was compiled and the appropriate sections were sent by the state to the elections supervisors of Florida 's 67 counties, along with a directive to purge those confirmed as felons from the rolls.
It turned out, though, that the list had been swollen with an estimated 20,000 names of possible innocents, wrongly included.
Roughly 54 percent of those on the list were black, while blacks make up just under 15 percent of the statewide population.
In Florida, some 90 percent of blacks vote Democratic.
Surely, the embarrassment would prevent the state from attempting another high-tech felon hunt in 2004.
But no. In May, the local elections supervisors learned that there was a new list.
Only in July, when flaws were again revealed by journalists — flaws that would once more favor Republicans — did the state throw out the list.
While there will no longer be an electronic list used to keep former felons from voting, the recent events have led to disturbing new questions.
What did the state know about the flaws?
How was mass disenfranchisement almost caused again?
Florida 2000 was so bizarre, so surreal, and, for a large number of Americans, so patently illegitimate that they can't imagine the likes of it ever happening again.
They may be wrong.
Published on Monday, July 4, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
by Sheldon Drobny
Justice O'Connor's decision in Bush v. Gore led to the current Bush administration's execution of war crimes and atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places in the Middle East that are as egregious as those committed by the Third Reich and other evil governments in human history.
US destroyed Fallujah as it tries to destroy the rest of Iraq
The lesson is clear.
Those people who may be honorable and distinguished in their chosen profession should always make decisions based upon good rather than evil no matter where their nominal allegiances may rest.
Justice O'Connor was quoted to have said something to the affect that she abhorred the thought of Bush losing the 2000 election to Gore.
She was known to have wanted to retire after the 2000 election for same reason she is now retiring.
She wanted to spend more time with her sick husband.
Unfortunately, she tarnished her distinguished career with the deciding vote in Bush v. Gore by going along with the partisan majority of the Court to interfere with a democratic election that she and the majority feared would be lost in an honest recount.
She dishonored herself and the Supreme Court by succumbing to party allegiances and not The Constitution to which she swore to uphold.
And the constitutional argument she and the majority used to justify their decision was the Equal Protection Clause.
The Equal Protection Clause was the ultimate basis for the decision, but the majority essentially admitted (what was obvious in any event) that it was not basing its conclusion on any general view of what equal protection requires.
The decision in Bush v Gore was not dictated by the law in any sense—either the law found through research, or the law as reflected in the kind of intuitive sense that comes from immersion in the legal culture.
The Equal Protection clause is generally used in matters concerning civil rights.
The majority ignored their basic conservative views supporting federalism and states' rights in order to justify their decision.
History will haunt these justices down for their utter lack of justice and the hypocrisy associated with this decision.
Sheldon Drobny is Co-founder of Air America Radio.
VANITY FAIR      October   2004 — Should the election come down to another statistical tie — and to date the polls suggest the state is still a toss-up — an all too similar kind of chaos seems likely to shroud Florida, with its 27 electoral votes, this November.
At 2:16 A.M., November 8, 2000, six hours after the networks projected that Florida would go to Gore, based on shoddy reporting done by the Voter News Service (V.N.S.), a young hotshot at Fox News named John Ellis, who happened to be George W. Bush 's cousin, called the state — and the election — for Bush.
Within four minutes, ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN followed suit.
"It was just the three of us guys handing the phone back and forth," Ellis would later say to The New Yorker.
"Me with the numbers, one of them a governor, the other the president-elect. Now, that was cool."
Gore phoned Bush to offer his congratulations, but as he made his way from campaign headquarters at his Nashville hotel to the War Memorial to give his concession speech, Nick Baldick, his chief operative in Florida, saw that something was seriously amiss.
V.N.S. had guessed that 180,000 votes were still outstanding.
In fact, there were 360,000 votes that hadn't been counted — from precincts in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties, which were largely Gore country.
And what was this?
Negative 16,000 votes for Gore in Volusia County?
A computer glitch, it turned out.
Baldick watched the Bush lead wither with each new report.
As the rain poured down on Gore's motorcade, Baldick made a frantic call to Michael Whouley, Gore's field strategist.
Whouley passed the word on to Mike Feldman, Gore's chief of staff.
Feldman called campaign chairman Bill Daley.
This thing was not over yet.
By the time Gore pulled up to the memorial, he was trailing statewide by fewer than 2,000 votes.
But he didn't know that.
Injured in U.S. attack
Speechwriter Eli Attie, who had been with Daley, fought his way through the crowd to get to him.
"I stopped him from going out on stage," recalls Attie," and said, 'With 99 percent of the vote counted, you 're only 600 votes behind.'"
Gore called Bush again, and the conversation went something like this:
"Circumstances have changed dramatically since I first called you," Gore told him.
"The state of Florida is too close to call."
"Are you saying what I think you're saying?" Bush asked. "Let me make sure I understand. You're calling back to retract your concession?"
"You don't have to be snippy about it," said Gore.
Bush responded that the networks had already called the result and that the numbers were correct — his brother Jeb had told him.
"Your little brother," Gore replied," is not the ultimate authority on this."
Americans, some of whom went to bed thinking Gore had won, others that Bush had won, all woke up to find out that no one had won, in spite of Gore's half-million vote edge in the U.S. popular vote.
Since the margin of error in Florida was within 0.5 percent of the votes cast, a machine recount there would be conducted.
While Gore retreated home to Washington, where he would try to remain above the fray, Ron Klain, a Democratic lawyer who had once been his chief of staff, descended with a planeload of volunteers on Florida by six the next morning.
Information came pouring in faster than anyone could digest it — about polling places that had been understaffed, about voters who had been sent on wild-goose chases to find their polling places, about blacks barred from voting, and about police roadblocks to keep people from the polls.
So far, these were rumors.
Then one obvious, indisputable problem was Palm Beach County's butterfly ballot (designed by a Democratic supervisor of elections), in which the names of candidates appeared on facing pages with a set of holes down the center for voters to punch.
Bush 's name appeared first, on the left-hand page, with Gore's name directly below.
The second hole, however, was for Pat Buchanan, whose name was first on the right-hand page.
Buchanan won 3,407 votes in Palm Beach — around 2,600 more than he received in any other county in Florida.
The irony was rich.
Many of those voters were elderly Jews, thrilled to be voting for Joe Lieberman, the first Jew ever on a presidential ticket; instead, the confusing design had led them to cast their vote for a Holocaust trivializer.
While Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer maintained, with trademark certitude in the face of all reason, that Palm Beach was a "Buchanan strong-hold, "Buchanan himself admitted that many of the votes cast for him had been cast in error.
Klain and Baldick soon learned of other irregularities.
In Palm Beach, 10,000 ballots had been set aside because the voting machines had recorded "undervotes" — that is, no vote for president.
According to former Gore lawyer Mitchell Berger, 4 percent of voters in Palm Beach voted for senator, but not president — an odd twist, to say the least.
A similar situation occurred in Miami-Dade.
As for Broward, third of the big three southern counties, in which Fort Lauderdale is located, it was beset by rumors of missing ballot boxes and unexpected totals from certain precincts.
And what about that "computer error " in Volusia that initially cost Gore 16,000 votes?
Was there more to this story?
None of these irregularities would be addressed by the automatic recount, which at best would merely check the totals of successfully cast votes.
Manual recounts would be needed to judge the more questionable votes.
Desperate for legal advice, Klain reached out to prominent firms in the capital of Tallahassee.
He found little help.
"All the establishment firms knew they couldn't cross Governor Bush and do business in Florida," recalls Klain.
And so he improvised, pulling together a team headed by former secretary of state Warren Christopher, now a Los Angeles — based lawyer in private practice.
Christopher, Gore felt, would imbue the team with an image of decorous, law-abiding, above-the-fray respectability.
Instead, Christopher set a different tone, one that would characterize the Democrats' efforts over the next 35 days: hesitancy and trepidation.
By contrast, Christopher's Republican counterpart, James Baker, another ex-secretary of state, dug in like a pit bull.
Unlike Christopher and company, Baker spoke to the press loudly and often, and his message was Bush had won on November 7. Any further inspection would result only in "mischief.
"Privately, however, he knew that at the start he was on shaky political ground.
"We're getting killed on 'count all the votes,'" he told his team. "Who the hell could be against that?"
Baker saw his chance that Thursday, November 9, when the Gore team made a formal request for a manual recount in four counties: Volusia, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade.
Asking for a recount in these large, Democrat-dominated counties left the Gore team fatally vulnerable to the charge that they wanted not all votes counted, as Gore kept claiming in his stentorian tones, but only all Gore votes.
Yet the Bush team knew full well that Gore could not have asked for a statewide recount, because there was no provision for it in Florida law.
A losing candidate had 72 hours to request a manual recount on a county-by-county basis or wait until the election was certified to pursue a statewide recount.
The requests had to be based on perceived errors, not just the candidate's wish to see recounts done.
Certainly, Gore chose counties that seemed likely to yield Gore votes.
But he chose them because that's where the problems were.
Proper as this was by Florida election law, the Democrats ' strategy gave Baker the sound bite he'd bee seeking: Gore was just cherry-picking Democratic strongholds.
It was a charge the Bush team wielded to devastating effect in the media, stunning the Gore team, which thought its strategy would be viewed as modest and fair.
The automatic recount was finished on November 9, and for the Bush team the news was sobering.
Though many of Florida's 67 counties "recounted "merely by looking at their previous tallies, Bush's lead had shrunk from 1,784 votes to 327.
Gore votes, it seemed, were everywhere.
Who knew how many more a manual recount would uncover?
From then on, the Republican strategy was simple: stop the counting.
That Saturday, Baker filed suit in federal court to stop all manual recounts — the first legal shot across the bow, though Republicans would later accuse Gore of taking the election to court.
While all this was going on, Katherine Harris, Florida's elected secretary of state, managed to make herself into a lightning rod for both sides' feelings about the election.
She had worked in her spare time as an ardent partisan for the Bush campaign and had served as a delegate to the Republican convention that summer.
She remained one of George W.'s eight campaign co-chairs for Florida right up until Election Day.
According to Jeffrey Toobin in his 2001 book, Too Close to Call, Harris, having gone to sleep thinking her candidate had won, was awakened at 3:30 A.M. the morning after Election Day by a phone call from George W.'s campaign chairman, Don Evans, who put Jeb o the line.
"Who is Ed Kast," the governor asked icily, "and why is he giving an interview on national television?"
In her sleep-befuddled state, Harris had to ponder that a moment.
Who was Ed Kast?
Chances were she'd barely met the assistant director of elections, whose division reported to her.
Kast at that moment was nattering on about the fine points of Florida election law.
Under that law, manual recounts were called for in very close races, and voter intent was the litmus test for whether disputed votes counted or not.
Recounts and voter intent were almost certainly not subjects the governor wanted aired — already, his general counsel had made a call to get Kast yanked off the air, as brusquely as if with a cane.
In the white-hot media glare that first post-election day, Harris appeared over-whelmed and underinformed.
Girl injured by US attack on hospital
She seemed to have no idea what the county supervisors had been doing, much less that one had drawn up a butterfly ballot, an other a "caterpillar," both sure to cause chaos at the polls.
Sensing trouble, the Bush camp gave her a "minder": Mac Stipanovich, a coolly efficient Republican lobbyist who worked in Tallahassee.
Stipanovich had served as a campaign adviser for Jeb in his first, unsuccessful run for governor, in 1994, and he had remained closely aligned with him ever since.
Stipanovich appealed to Harris's grandiosity. (Her e-mails replying to Bush supporters later revealed that she had begun identifying with Queen Esther, who, in the Old Testament, saved the Jews from genocide.
"My sister and I prayed for full armour this morning," she wrote." Queen Esther has been a wonderful role model.")
He told her that nothing less than the course of history rested on her shoulders.
"You have to bring this election in for a landing," he repeated again and again.
Later, Stipanovich, in an interview with documentary-film maker Fred Silverman, would proudly describe his routine, which began two days after the election and continued throughout the aftermath.
"I would arrive in the morning through the garage and come up on the elevators," he said, "and come in through the cabinet-office door, which is downstairs, and then in the evening when I left, you know, sometimes it'd be late, depending on what was going on, I would go the same way.
I would go down the elevators and out through the garage and be driven — driven to my car from the garage, just because there were a lot of people out front on the main floor, and, at least in this small pond, knowledge of my presence would have been provocative, because I have a political background."
On Friday, November 10, three of Gore's four target counties — Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach — which all used punch-card voting machines, started to weigh whether to conduct manual recounts of, at first, 1 percent of their ballots, and then, if the results were dramatic, the other 99 percent.
At issue were "undervotes," meaning blank or incompletely filled-out ballots.
While totally blank ballots could hardly be counted, what about, in the case of the punch-card machines, ballots where the puncher, or stylus, hadn't quite gone through?
In those counties using optiscan machines, manual recounts also had to consider "overvotes," where voters appeared to have cast more than one vote in a contest.
(In 2000, a majority of Florida's counties — 41 of 67 — had optiscans.
A voter filled in ovals next to his candidates of choice on a paper ballot and then fed it into the optiscan, which looked rather like a street-corner mailbox.
The ballot was the recorded electronically.)
No one would dispute that some overvotes had to be put aside — when, for example, a voter had filled in the ovals next to Bush's name as well as Gore's.
But some voters had filled in the Gore oval and then written "Al Gore" next to it.
Should those ballots be nixed?
For that matter, a stray pencil mark on an otherwise properly filled-in ballot would cause the ballot to be rejected as an overvote by an optiscan voting machine.
Shouldn't these all be examined, since the gold standard of Florida election law was voter intent?
There were, in all, 175,000 overvotes and undervotes.
Harris and Stipanovich couldn't tell the four target counties how to do their l percent recounts — at least, not directly.
But they could, and did, send a young, strawberry-blonde lawyer named Kerey Carpenter to offer help to Palm Beach County's three-person canvassing board.
According to the board's chairman, Judge Charles Burton, Carpenter mentioned she was a lawyer, but not that she was working for Katherine Harris.
At one point, when the recount had produced 50 new Gore votes, Burton, after talking to Carpenter, declared the counting would have to start again with a more stringent standard — the punched-out paper chad had to be hanging by one or two of its four corners.
By this stricter standard, Gore's vote gain dropped to half a dozen.
Carpenter also encouraged Burton to seek a formal opinion from Harris as to what grounds would justify going to a full manual recount.
Burton happily complied.
That Monday, November 13, Harris supplied the opinion.
No manual recount should take place unless the voting machines in question were broken.
Within hours, a judge overruled her, declaring the recounts could proceed as planned.
Harris countered by saying she would stop the clock on recounts the next day, November 14, at 5 P.M.— before Palm Beach and Miami-Dade had even decided whether to recount, and before Broward had finished the recount it had embarked upon.
(Only Volusia, far smaller than the other three counties, was due to finish its recount by November 14, in time to be counted on Harris's schedule.)
New Orleans
Mentally handicapped
Shot seven times
Riptide of the Brownshirts
Lawlessness, the eruption of which was guaranteed by delayed relief, provides cover both for martial law, which suspends constitutional protections, and for the confiscation of legally owned private firearms in violation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
Everyone has by now seen the images of troops and police breaking into New Orleans homes and pointing weapons in the faces of residents.
US military even described survivors as "insurgents."
Many readers see a concocted militarization of civil society.
They insist that these new precedents, together with the recent federal appeals court ruling that the White House has the power to seize American citizens and to hold them indefinitely on mere suspicion or accusation without charges or presentation of evidence against them, mean the overthrow of liberty and accountable government in the United States.
All Americans should be distressed that federal judges increasingly defer to powers, asserted by the executive branch, which nullify constitutional rights in the interest of some "higher" cause, such as the "war on terror."
This is a certain path to tyranny.
Paul Craig Roberts, September 12, 2005, www.counterpunch.org
New York

New York City — 2000 arrests

Democracy — United States of America — 2004
 
Protesting the policies of the U.S. Supreme Court appointed President Bush
U.S. attack on Tal Afar
Vanity Fair       October 2004
By DAVID MARGOLICK, EVGENIA PERETZ and MICHAEL SHNAYERSON
The Path to Florida
Circuit-court judge Terry Lewis, then 48, a widely respected jurist who in his leisure time played pickup basketball and wrote legal thrillers, rendered a fairly gentle ruling on Harris's decision to certify those results.
She could do this, he suggested, but only if she came up with a sensible reason.
So Harris asked the remaining three Gore targeted counties to explain why they wished to continue their recounts.
Palm Beach cited the discrepancies between the results of its limited manual recount and its machine recount.
Broward told of its large voter turnout and accompanying logistical problems.
Miami-Dade argued that the votes it had recounted so far would provide a different total result.
As soon as she received the responses, Harris rejected them all.
On Friday, November 17, with the last of the absentee ballots ostensibly in, Harris announced that she would certify the election by the next morning.
The Florida Supreme Court intervened this time, declaring she could not do that, and deciding, with a weekend to think about it, that the three target counties could take until Sunday, November 26, to finish counting — or, if Harris so deigned, until Monday, November 27.
James Baker, the Bush team's consigliere, issued a public threat after the Florida Supreme Court's maddening decision.
If necessary, he implied, Florida's leading Republican legislator, incoming House Speaker Tom Feeney, would take matters into his own hands.
What Feeney proposed, on Tuesday, November 21, was to vote in a slate of electors pledged to George W. Bush — no matter what.
Since both the state House and Senate were Republican-dominated, he could pass a bill to do that.
In Miami-Dade that week, a manual recount of undervotes began to produce a striking number of new votes for Gore.
There, as in Palm Beach and Broward, fractious Democratic and Republican lawyers were challenging every vote the canvassing board decided.
22 year old killed
In Miami-Dade, Kendall Coffey, tall and gaunt, was the Democrats' eyes and ears.
As the Gore votes accumulated, he recalls, "panic buttons were being pushed."
On Wednesday, November 22, the canvassing board made an ill-fated decision to move the counting up from the 18th floor of the Clark Center, where a large number of partisan observers had been able to view it, to the more cloistered 19th floor.
Angry shouts rang out, and so began the "Brooks Brothers riot."
Several dozen people, ostensibly local citizens, began banging on the doors and windows of the room where the tallying was taking place, shouting, "Stop the count! Stop the fraud!"
They tried to force themselves into the room and accosted the county Democratic Party chairman, accusing him of stealing a ballot.
A subsequent report by The Washington Post would note that most of the rioters were Republican operatives, many of them congressional staffers.
Elections supervisor David Leahy would say that the decision to stop counting undervotes had nothing to do with the protest, only with the realization that the job could not be completed by the Florida Supreme Court's deadline of November 26.
Yet the board had seemed confident, earlier, that it could meet the deadline, and the decision to stop counting occurred within hours of the protest.
For all the tumult in Miami-Dade, both sides had realized that the presidency might well be determined not by hanging chads or overvotes but by absentee ballots.
Republicans seethed with rumors of ballots by the bagful coming in from Israel — all, presumably, from Jewish Democrats.
Democrats envisioned thousands of ballots coming in from military bases abroad — all, presumably, from Bush fans in uniform.
Katherine Harris sowed confusion by issuing her own modification of the Florida law that specified absentee ballots could be accepted up to 10 days after a general election — in this case November 17 — as long as they were sent from abroad and postmarked by Election Day.
"They are not required," Harris declared, "to be postmarked on or prior" to Election Day.
Apparently, Stipanovich had decided there were more Bush votes than Gore votes to be harvested among the absentees, especially in the military.
Mark Herron, a Gore-team lawyer in Tallahassee, inadvertently made matters worse for his own side.
Cries for loved one
On November 15, he sent out a long memo on rules governing absentee ballots to the Democratic lawyers positioned at each of the 67 county canvassing boards.
A copy of the memo somehow found its way to a Republican law firm across the street from Herron's office.
Next thing he knew, the Republicans were quoting his careful recitation of Florida election law to support their claim that Democrats wanted to disenfranchise brave Americans in uniform.
Panicked, the Gore team put Joe Lieberman on the Sunday television talk shows to declare that the Democrats would ever do that, and that he, for one, thought the most liberal standard should be applied to all incoming absentee ballots.
Herron was appalled when he heard that: he knew that the western Panhandle counties were thick with U.S. military bases.
By letting any post-election absentee votes count, including those with late — or no — postmarks, the presidency might well be lost.
For Pat Hollarn, the elections supervisor of Okaloosa County, the next days brought a kind of bedlam she couldn't believe.
A deep-green Panhandle county, Okaloosa has no fewer than six military bases, including Eglin and Hurlburt Air Force bases and an Army Ranger camp.
And so the county's four-story government building, nestled within a highway strip of stores such as Mr. Cheap Butts, became ground zero for the lawyers on both sides assigned to the fight over absentee ballots.
Both parties were pushy, obnoxious, and sometimes almost hysterical.
The Bush lawyers argued passionately that the rules should be eased and all absentee ballots included.
"I told them not only no but hell no," says Hollarn, a centrist Republican, who prides herself on being a nonpartisan supervisor.
(At the same time, in the more Democratic counties, Bush lawyers were arguing just as passionately that rules should be strictly adhered to and any questionable ballots put aside.)
In Santa Rosa County, next to Okaloosa, elections supervisor Doug Wilkes did his best to restrain the vying partisans as they fought over some 20 late absentee ballots.
He held the line on postmarks until a Florida Supreme Court ruling said absentee ballots should not be rejected for minor "hypertechnical "reasons.
Then he gave up.
"I said, Hey! If the Supreme Court tells me I'm supposed to take this if it has a minor technical problem, and I can't read this smudge [of a postmark], and it may have been dated [before the election], then O.K., I feel now that I can say we're going to count Seaman Jones's ballot."
In all, the Republicans gained a net increase of 123 votes from this last-minute push.
The day before Thanksgiving, the Bush campaign turned to the United States Supreme Court.
Claiming that the situation in Florida had degenerated into a "circus," it asked the high court to stop everything, and cited two highly technical federal issues for it to consider.
The first, based on an obscure law from 1887, prohibited states from changing the rules after the date of that election.
The second, a jurisdictional issue, was that by stepping into the case the Florida Supreme Court had usurped the Florida legislature's exclusive powers to set the procedures for selecting electors, as provided for by Article II of the United States Constitution.
The Bush lawyers claimed, too, that the selective recounts violated constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection — meaning the different criteria for recounting the ballots did not give equal rights to all voters.
Bush's petition for certiorari — that is, for the Court to take the case — went initially to Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose task it was to consider all emergency motions from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
For Kennedy, then 64, a man known to relish the pomp and circumstance of the Supreme Court and his own, often crucial role in close cases, weighing such a momentous matter must have been glorious indeed.
Batting aside a Thanksgiving Day plea from the Gore campaign to pass on the case, Kennedy urged his colleagues to take it on, suggesting that the Court was absolutely the essential arbiter of such weighty matters.
He conceded, though, that Bush faced an uphill struggle on the law.
When Kennedy's memo circulated, one flabbergasted clerk had to track down Justice John Paul Stevens on the golf course in Florida and read it to him over the phone.
Under the Court's rules, Kennedy needed only three votes beside his own for the Court to hear the matter.
Quickly, the four others who make up the Court's conservative block signed on: Chief Justice William Rehnquist, along with Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Sandra Day O'Connor.
In an unsigned order the day after Thanksgiving, the Court agreed to consider the two more technical arguments, spurning the equal-protection claim, and set down an extraordinarily expedited calendar.
Normally, arguments are scheduled many months in advance.
Now briefs were due the following Tuesday, with oral arguments set for December 1 — only a week away.
Clerks and justices scotched their vacations and stuck close to the Court; Scalia 's clerks ended up having Thanksgiving dinner together.
The clerks for the liberal justices watched the events unfold with dismay.
To them, the only hopeful sign was Kennedy's skepticism about Bush's chances.
"We changed our minds every five minutes about whether the fix was in," one clerk remembers.
As was customary, the Court did not detail how many justices had voted to hear the case, or who they were, and Gore's lawyers didn't really want to know.
At that point, they felt a certain faith in the institution and in the law: it was inconceivable to them that the Court would intercede, much less decide the presidency by a vote of five to four.
But the liberal clerks were more pessimistic.
Why, they asked, would a majority of the Court agree to consider the Florida ruling unless they wanted it overturned and the recount shut down?*
Certainly, that was what the justices who'd opposed taking the case believed.
Convinced the majority would reverse the Florida court, they began drafting a dissent even before the case was argued in court.
It was long — about 30 pages — and elaborate, written principally by Justice Stevens, then 80, the most senior of the would-be dissenters and, largely by default, the Court's most liberal member, even though a Republican, President Gerald R. Ford, had appointed him.
With the assistance of Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stevens laid out why the Court should never have accepted the case.
Meanwhile, events in Florida took their own course.
Asked for two more hours
On Sunday, November 26,the Palm Beach canvassing board sent an urgent request to Katherine Harris, saying that in order to complete its manual recount it needed two additional hours beyond the five P.M. deadline she had chosen to enforce, rather than the Monday deadline the Florida Supreme Court had offered her as an option.
Harris conferred with Stipanovich and answered no.
                          To rebel is right, to disobey is a duty, to act is necessary !
twenty
twenty
         Bush v Gore — an orphan of history              
August 15th 2006
New York Times

Has Bush v. Gore Become the Case That Must Not Be Named?
By Adam Cohen
At a law school Supreme Court conference that I attended last fall, there was a panel on “The Rehnquist Court.”
No one mentioned Bush v. Gore, the most historic case of William Rehnquist’s time as chief justice, and during the Q. and A. no one asked about it.  
When I asked a prominent law professor about this strange omission, he told me he had been invited to participate in another Rehnquist retrospective, and was told in advance that Bush v. Gore would not be discussed.
New Orleans
The ruling that stopped the Florida recount and handed the presidency to George W. Bush is disappearing down the legal world’s version of the memory hole, the slot where, in George Orwell’s “1984,” government workers disposed of politically inconvenient records.
The Supreme Court has not cited it once since it was decided, and when Justice Antonin Scalia, who loves to hold forth on court precedents, was asked about it at a forum earlier this year, he snapped, “Come on, get over it.”
Dictum
There is a legal argument for pushing Bush v. Gore aside.
The majority opinion announced that the ruling was “limited to the present circumstances” and could not be cited as precedent.
But many legal scholars insisted at the time that this assertion was itself dictum — the part of a legal opinion that is nonbinding — and illegitimate, because under the doctrine of stare decisis, courts cannot make rulings whose reasoning applies only to a single case.
Bush v. Gore’s lasting significance is being fought over right now by the Ohio-based United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, whose judges disagree not only on what it stands for, but on whether it stands for anything at all.
This debate, which has been quietly under way in the courts and academia since 2000, is important both because of what it says about the legitimacy of the courts and because of what Bush v. Gore could represent today.
The majority reached its antidemocratic result by reading the equal protection clause in a very pro-democratic way.
If Bush v. Gore’s equal protection analysis is integrated into constitutional law, it could make future elections considerably more fair.
Value one person’s vote over another
The heart of Bush v. Gore’s analysis was its holding that the recount was unacceptable because the standards for vote counting varied from county to county.
Katrina still here
“Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms,” the court declared, “the state may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of another.”
If this equal protection principle is taken seriously, if it was not just a pretext to put a preferred candidate in the White House, it should mean that states cannot provide some voters better voting machines, shorter lines, or more lenient standards for when their provisional ballots get counted — precisely the system that exists across the country right now.
The first major judicial test of Bush v. Gore’s legacy came in California in 2003.
The N.A.A.C.P., among others, argued that it violated equal protection to make nearly half the state’s voters use old punch-card machines, which, because of problems like dimpled chads, had a significantly higher error rate than more modern machines.
A liberal three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed.
But that decision was quickly reconsidered en banc — that is, reheard by a larger group of judges on the same court — and reversed.
The new panel dispensed with Bush v. Gore in three unilluminating sentences of analysis, clearly finding the whole subject distasteful.
Applying Bush v. Gore to elections
The dispute in the Sixth Circuit is even sharper.
Ohio voters are also challenging a disparity in voting machines, arguing that it violates what the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Daniel Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor, calls Bush v. Gore’s “broad principle of equal dignity for each voter.”
Two of the three judges who heard the case ruled that Ohio’s election system was unconstitutional.
But the dissenting judge protested that “we should heed the Supreme Court’s own warning and limit the reach of Bush v. Gore to the peculiar and extraordinary facts of that case.”
The state of Ohio asked for a rehearing en banc, arguing that Bush v. Gore cannot be used as precedent, and the full Sixth Circuit granted the rehearing.
Hattiesburg
Mississippi
It is likely that the panel decision applying Bush v. Gore to elections will, like the first California decision, soon be undone.
Raw assertion of power
There are several problems with trying to airbrush Bush v. Gore from the law.
It undermines the courts’ legitimacy when they depart sharply from the rules of precedent, and it gives support to those who have said that Bush v. Gore was not a legal decision but a raw assertion of power.
The courts should also stand by Bush v. Gore’s equal protection analysis for the simple reason that it was right (even if the remedy of stopping the recount was not).
Elections that systematically make it less likely that some voters will get to cast a vote that is counted are a denial of equal protection of the law.
The conservative justices may have been able to see this unfairness only when they looked at the problem from Mr. Bush’s perspective, but it is just as true when the N.A.A.C.P. and groups like it raise the objection.
There is a final reason Bush v. Gore should survive.
In deciding cases, courts should be attentive not only to the Constitution and other laws, but to whether they are acting in ways that promote an overall sense of justice.
The Supreme Court’s highly partisan resolution of the 2000 election was a severe blow to American democracy, and to the court’s own standing.
The courts could start to undo the damage by deciding that, rather than disappearing down the memory hole, Bush v. Gore will stand for the principle that elections need to be as fair as we can possibly make them.
How the will of the electorate was negated by the U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. attack on Tal Afar
Vanity Fair       October 2004
By DAVID MARGOLICK, EVGENIA PERETZ and MICHAEL SHNAYERSON
The Path to Florida
As a result the county's entire recount effort was deemed null and void.
Appeared to include Republican favored absentee ballots but not Democrat favored recount tallies.
That afternoon Harris certified the election, claiming that Bush had won by 537 votes, a total that appeared to include Bush's net gain in absentee ballots, but none of the recounted votes from Palm Beach or Miami-Dade.
Gore's lawyers promptly contested the certification.
At the Supreme Court, the liberal clerks handicapped the case pretty much as the Gore camp did.
At issue, as they often were in crucial cases, were Justices Kennedy and O'Connor.
But were both really in play?
At a dinner on November 29, attended by clerks from several chambers, an O'Connor clerk said that O'Connor was determined to overturn the Florida decision and was merely looking for the grounds.
O'Connor was known to decide cases on gut feelings and facts rather than grand theories, then stick doggedly with whatever she decided.
In this instance, one clerk recalls, "she thought the Florida court was trying to steal the election and that they had to stop it."
Blithely ignorant of what view she actually held, the Gore campaign acted as if she were up for grabs. In fact, the case would come down to Kennedy.
At this point, the clerks had been at the Court only two months, but, for many of them, Justice Kennedy, appointed by President Reagan after the Senate had spurned the arch-conservative Robert Bork, was already a figure of ridicule and scorn.
It was not a matter of his generally conservative politics — despite Clarence Thomas's public image of smoldering rage, most of the liberal clerks had found him quite personable.
But Kennedy, they felt, was pompous and grandiloquent.
His inner office was filled with the trappings of power — an elaborate chandelier and a carpet with a giant red star — and his writing, too, was loaded with grandstanding flourishes.
The clerks saw his public persona — the very public way in which he boasted of often agonizing over decisions — as a kind of shtick, a very conspicuous attempt to exude fairness and appear moderate, even when he'd already made up his mind.
Conservatives, however, were not always happy with Kennedy, either.
They had never forgiven him for his votes to uphold abortion and gay rights, and doubted both his intelligence and his commitment to the cause.
Convinced he'd strayed on abortion under the pernicious influence of a liberal law clerk — a former student of the notoriously liberal Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, who was representing Gore in this case — they took steps to prevent any reoccurrences.
Applicants for Kennedy clerk-ships were now screened by a panel of right-wing stalwarts.
"The premise is that he can't think by himself, and that he ca be manipulated by someone in his second year of law school," one liberal clerk explains.
In 2000, as in most years, that system surrounded Kennedy with true believers, all belonging to the Federalist Society, the farm team of the legal right.
"He had four very conservative, Federalist Society white guys, and if you look at the portraits of law clerks on his wall, that's true 9 times out of 10," another liberal law clerk recalls.
"They were by far the least diverse group of clerks."
For all their philosophical differences, the nine justices had learned to live together; they have, after all, served together since 1994.
For their clerks, though, a chasm ran through the Court even before Bush v. Gore.
The conservative clerks read different newspapers, went to different movies, ate different kinds of food.
Their hair was shorter, their suits more solemn and sincere.
Far more of them were white men, screened rigorously for political reliability.
Apart from a few group activities — the basketball games in the Court's top-floor gymnasium, the aerobics and yoga Justice O 'Connor had arranged — the two groups rarely interacted.
Rather than sit with the conservatives in the same lunch-room, the liberals dined outside, in the area reserved for staff.
It was unusual, then, for a conservative to visit the chambers of a justice on the other side.
But that is what Kevin Martin, a clerk for Scalia, did on November 30 when he stopped by Stevens 's chambers.
Martin had gone to Columbia Law School with a Stevens clerk named Anne Voigts; he thought that connection could help him to bridge the political divide and to explain that the conservative justices had legitimate constitutional concerns about the recount.
But to two of Voigts's co-clerks, Eduardo Penalver and Andrew Siegel, Martin was on a reconnaissance mission, trying to learn which grounds for reversing the Florida court Stevens would consider the most palatable.
They felt they were being manipulated, and things quickly turned nasty.
"Fuck off!" Martin finally told them before storming out of the room.
(O'Connor clerks paid similar exploratory visits to various chambers, but those ended more amicably.)
December 1, lawyers for the two sides argued their cases before the Court.
Laurence Tribe, an experienced and highly respected Supreme Court advocate, seemed flat that day and off his game; the justices appeared to chafe under what they considered his co descending professorial style.
Bush's lawyer, Theodore Olson, who later became solicitor general in John Ashcroft's Justice Department, was more impressive, but then again, he was playing to a friendlier audience.
Rehnquist and Scalia hinted that they favored the claim that the Florida Supreme Court had encroached upon the Florida legislature's exclusive turf.
Both O'Connor and Kennedy also voiced irritation with the Florida court.
It did not augur well for Gore.
Once the arguments were over, the justices met for their usual conference.
At the poles were Stevens and Scalia — the one wanting to butt out of the case altogether and let the political process unfold, the other wanting to overturn the Florida Supreme Court and, effectively, to call the election for Bush.
But neither had the votes.
Eager to step back from a constitutional abyss, convinced the matter could be resolved in Florida, the Court punted.
Rehnquist began drafting a ruling simply asking the Florida Supreme Court to clarify its decision: whether it had based its ruling on the state constitution, which the Bush team had said was improper, or had acted under state statute, which was arguably permissible.
By December 4,all nine justices had signed on to the chief justice 's opinion.
Son attacked by US forces
The unanimity was, in fact, a charade; four of the justices had no beef at all with the Florida Supreme Court, while at least four others were determined to overturn it.
But this way each side could claim victory: the liberal-to-moderate justices had spared the Court a divisive and embarrassing vote on the merits, one they'd probably have lost anyway.
As for the conservatives, by eating up Gore's clock — Gore's lawyers had conceded that everything had to be resolved by December 12 — they had all but killed his chances to prevail, and without looking needlessly partisan in the process.
With the chastened Florida court unlikely to intervene again, the election could now stagger to a close, with the Court's reputation intact, and with Bush all but certain to win.
On Friday, December 8, however, the Florida Supreme Court confounded everyone by jumping back into the fray.
By a vote of four to three, it ordered a statewide recount of all undervotes: the more than 61,000 ballots that the voting machines, for one reason or another, had missed.
The court was silent on what standard would be used — hanging vs. pregnant chads — and so each county, by inference, would set its own.
As they watched televised images of bug-eyed Florida officials inspecting punch-card ballots for hanging, dimpled, or pregnant chads, the Supreme Court clerks knew the case was certain to head back their way.
Sure enough, the Bush campaign asked the Court to stay the decision and halt the recount.
In a highly unusual move, Scalia urged his colleagues to grant the stay immediately, even before receiving Gore's response.
Gore had been narrowing Bush's lead, and his campaign expected that by Monday he would pull ahead.
But Scalia was convinced that all the manual recounts were illegitimate.
He told his colleagues such recounts would cast "a needless and unjustified cloud" over Bush's legitimacy.
It was essential, he said, to shut down the process immediately.
The clerks were amazed at how baldly Scalia was pushing what they considered his own partisan agenda.
Scalia's wish was not granted.
Boy injured when US forces attacked his home
But at his urging, Rehnquist moved up the conference he'd scheduled for the next day from 1 in the afternoon to 10 that morning.
In the meantime, the conservative justices began sending around memos to their colleagues, each of them offering a different rationale for ruling in Bush's favor; to the liberal clerks, it was apparent that the conservatives had already decided the case and were merely auditioning arguments.
This time, there would be no papering over the divisions.
Arrayed against the five conservative justices wishing to stop the recount were their four colleagues, who'd voted initially not to hear the case.
Justice Stevens would write for them; so eager was the majority to stop the recount, one clerk recalls, that Stevens had to plead for more time to complete his dissent.
What he wrote — that "counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm" — so provoked Scalia that, as eager as he was to halt the recount, he delayed things by dashing off an angry rejoinder, largely reiterating what he'd told the justices the previous night.
"Count first, and rule upon legality afterwards, is not a recipe for producing election results that have the public acceptance democratic stability requires," he argued, forecasting that a majority of the Court would ultimately rule in Bush's favor on the merits.
Even some of the justices voting with Scalia squirmed at how publicly he'd acknowledged the divisions within the Court.
To the liberal clerks, what he had written was at least refreshing in its candor.
"The Court had worked hard to claim a moral high ground, but at that moment he pissed it away," one recalls.
"And there was a certain amount of glee. He'd made our case for us to the public about how crassly partisan the whole thing was."
Scalia's opinion held up release of the order for an hour.
Finally, shortly before three o'clock, the Court granted the stay.
No more votes would be counted.
Oral arguments were set for the following Monday, December 11.
Gore and his team were crushed, but either he or his lawyers had given up.
Even at this late date, Gore naïvely defended the good faith of the justices.
"Please be sure that no one trashes the Court," he instructed his minions.
U.S. air strike fired on home
Five people killed
His lawyers still hoped that Kennedy or O'Connor or both could be won over; perhaps they could be peeled away from the conservative bloc as they had been several years earlier to preserve Roe v. Wade.
At a meeting that Saturday, Gore decreed that David Boies, and not Tribe, would argue the case on Monday, partly for fear that the more publicly liberal Tribe might antagonize those two swing justices, partly because Boies, the famed New York litigator who was the government's chief lawyer during the Microsoft anti-trust case, had been representing Gore in Florida and was, therefore, better able to assure O'Connor of the fundamental fairness of what was happening there.
But to the liberal clerks it was all over.
They placed their dwindling hopes not on anything that would happen in the Court on Monday, but on the press.
O'Connor expressing dismay over Gore's victory
The brother of a Ginsburg clerk, who covered legal affairs for The Wall Street Journal, had learned that the paper would soon report how, at a party on Election Night, O'Connor was overheard expressing her dismay over Gore's apparent victory.
Once that information became public, the liberal clerks felt, O'Connor would have to step aside.
When, on the night before the Court convened, she sent out a sealed memo to each of her colleagues, those clerks hoped this had actually come to pass.
In fact, she was merely stating that she, too, felt the Florida Supreme Court had improperly usurped the state legislature's power.
Gore's lawyers, who also knew about O'Connor's election — night outburst, toyed briefly with asking her to step aside.
But they demurred, hoping instead that she would now lean toward them to prove her fairness.
Things were that bleak.
When Gore's lawyers came to the Supreme Court for oral arguments on the morning of December 11, they felt that the Bush team's jurisdictional argument, that the Florida Supreme Court had overstepped its bounds, was a loser because it emasculated one appellate court more than any other appellate court would ever want to condone.
And, though they didn't know it, Justice Kennedy agreed with them.
Violated equal-protection clause
In a memo circulated shortly before he took the bench, he endorsed what O'Connor had written the night before, but declared that it would not be enough: to carry the day, he argued, the conservative justices needed to assert that evaluating ballots under different standards in the various counties violated the equal-protection clause.
The U.S. Supreme Court appointed President
U.S. President George W. Bush.

Picture: REUTERS/Jim Young

U.S. President George W. Bush.
Picture: REUTERS/Jim Young
ANGER, DEATH, ANGER, DEATH, ANGER, DEATH
Supply Convoy, Hit, 110 km west of Baghdad
Iraq resistance stand near military supply convoy trucks destroyed by them at Hit, 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of Baghdad, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004. 

Four trucks could be seen smoldering on the highway after the attack and four Iraqi drivers working for foreign contractors were kidnapped.

Picture: AP/Ali Ahmed

Iraq resistance stand near military supply convoy trucks destroyed by them at Hit, 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of Baghdad, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004.
Four trucks could be seen smoldering on the highway after the attack and four Iraqi drivers working for foreign contractors were kidnapped.
Picture: AP/Ali Ahmed
U.S. military intelligence soldier
Abu Ghraib
No officers convicted
Vanity Fair       October 2004
By DAVID MARGOLICK, EVGENIA PERETZ and MICHAEL SHNAYERSON
The Path to Florida
"Where is the federal question here?" he asked, sounding almost baffled, as if still genuinely wondering why the Court was hearing the case at all.
In the corner of the courtroom where the liberal clerks sat, there were snickers, rolled eyeballs, nudges in the ribs.
"What a joke," one said to another. Kennedy went on to denigrate the argument about the Florida court's jurisdiction, then cued Olson to what really mattered.
"I thought your point was that the process is being conducted in violation of the equal-protection clause, and it is standardless," he told Olson.
Olson, a keen student of the Court and canny reader of its moods, naturally agreed.
O'Connor railed against what she suggested was the stupidity of Florida's voters, who were too dumb or too clumsy to puncture their ballots properly.
"Well, why isn't the standard the one that voters are instructed to follow, for goodness' sake?" she asked. "I mean, it couldn't be clearer."
Boies tried to explain that for more than 80 years Florida's courts had in fact focused on the intent of the voter rather than the condition of his ballot, but this was one instance for the Rehnquist Court in which deference to the states, and precedent, didn't matter.
Breyer and Souter saw Kennedy's new focus on equal protection as an opportunity, suggesting during oral argument that if there were problems with the fairness of the recount the solution was simple: send the case back once more to the Florida Supreme Court and ask it to set a uniform standard.
Breyer, whose chambers were next door to Kennedy's, went to work on him personally.
An affable and engaging man, Breyer has long been the moderates 'most effective emissary to the Court 's right wing.
But the politicking went both ways; at one point, Kennedy stopped by Breyer's chambers and said he hoped Breyer would join his opinion.
"We just kind of looked at him like he was crazy — 'We don't know what you're smoking, but leave us alone' — and he went away," a clerk recalls.
The encounters between the two men must have been extraordinary: with the presidency of the United States hanging in the balance, two ambitious jurists — each surely fancying himself a future chief justice — working on each other.
And for a brief moment Breyer appeared to have succeeded.
At the conference following the oral argument, Kennedy joined the dissenters and, at least temporarily, turned them into the majority.
Charged with murder
of Iraq man
The case would be se t back to the Florida court for fixing; the recount would continue.
But the liberal clerks never believed that Kennedy had really switched, and predicted that, having created the desired image of agonizing, he would quickly switch back.
"He probably wanted to think of himself as having wavered," one clerk speculates.
And, sure enough, within a half-hour or so, he did switch back.
Who or what sent him back isn't clear, but during that time, Kennedy conferred both with Scalia and with his own clerks.
"We assumed that his clerks were coordinating with Scalia's clerks and trying to push him to stay with the majority," one liberal clerk says. "I think his clerks were horrified, and the idea that he would even blink for a moment here scared them," says another.
"They knew the presidency would be decided in their chambers," a third clerk — working for one of the majority justices —recalls.
"They would have fought tooth and nail — they would have put chains across the door — to keep him from changing his vote."
Another clerk for another conservative justice puts it a bit differently.
"Kennedy would not have voted the other way," this clerk says, "but had he been tempted, the clerks could have dissuaded him."
Breyer lamented that he had Kennedy convinced, only to have his clerks work him over and pull him back in the other direction.
Given the approaching deadline, Rehnquist decreed after oral arguments that any decision to send the case back to Florida had to be handed down immediately; were the Court to reverse, time would cease to matter, and the decision could wait a day.
Stevens banged out a one-paragraph opinion, remanding the case to Florida, and sent it around.
"It seemed like a Hail Mary to me," recalls a clerk in one of the conservative chambers.
There were no takers.
The Court was going to reverse, and throughout Monday evening and into Tuesday morning the two sides drafted and circulated their proposed opinions.
Rehnquist was writing what he thought would be the majority opinion, reversing the Florida court on both the jurisdiction al and equal-protection grounds.
Stevens was drafting the principal dissent; it would reiterate what he'd written in the un-used dissent from the first round, but short of all legalese, in order to be easily under-stood by ordinary people.
It chastised the Court for holding the justices of the Florida Supreme Court up to ridicule.
"Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear," it stated.
"It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."
The other dissenters would join Stevens, but had their own points to make.
Because they, too, believed the case would hinge primarily on the autonomy of the Florida legislature, they dealt only secondarily, and peripherally, with the equal-protection argument.
Stevens and Ginsburg denied that it applied at all.
For better or worse, Ginsburg wrote, disparities were a part of all elections; if there were any equal-protection concerns at all, she wrote, they surely applied more to black voters, noting a New York Times report that a disproportionate number of blacks had encountered problems voting.
Though racial questions already hung over the Florida vote, hers was to be the only reference to race in any of the opinions, and it was relegated to a footnote.
But to the liberal clerks, these issues needed to be acknowledged, and a footnote was better than nothing at all.
Neither Breyer nor Souter had suggested initially that the recount had triggered any equal-protection questions.
But each of their draft opinions voiced such concerns; whether they'd come to believe that judging ballots under different criteria was really unconstitutional, or were still chasing after Kennedy, was never clear.
Ultimately, Breyer conceded that the lack of a uniform standard "implicate [d] principles of fundamental fairness," while Souter wrote something a bit stronger that they raised "a meritorious argument for relief."
But for both the remedy was clear: send the case back to Florida.
It was not to stop the recount altogether.
Late Tuesday morning, it became apparent that Kennedy and O'Connor would not join Rehnquist's opinion on jurisdiction, and would decide the case strictly on equal-protection grounds.
Nowhere did O'Connor explain why she had abandoned what she had written on the jurisdictional matter in her memo the night before.
To clerks on both sides of the case, what appealed both to her and to Kennedy about invoking equal protection was that it looked fair.
"It was kind of a 'Keep it simple, stupid 'kind of thing," one liberal clerk theorizes.
Or, as a conservative clerk puts it, "they thought it looked better to invoke these grand principles rather than Article II, perhaps because it makes them look better in the press and makes them look like heroes."
Their opinion, written by Kennedy, was joined by the other three conservative justices.
And it would go largely uncontradicted: with time running out and the dissents early complete, the losers had no chance to explain, in any coherent way, why equal — protection concerns should not be allowed to stop the recount.
As the drafts began circulating, tempers began to fray.
In an unusual sealed memo — an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the clerks' prying eyes — Scalia complained about the tone of some of the dissents.
He was, he confessed, the last person to criticize hard-hitting language, but never had he, as the dissenters were now doing, urged the majority to change its decision based on its impact on the Supreme Court's credibility.
He charged that his opponents in the case were inflicting the very wounds to the Court that they had supposedly decried.
As Jeffrey Toobin first reported, he objected in particular to what he called the "Al Sharpton footnote " in Ginsburg's dissent: her comment on Florida's disenfranchised black voters.
Whether out of timidity, collegiality, or affection — Scalia was her closest friend on the Court — Ginsburg promptly took it out.
"It was the most classic example of what kind of bully Scalia is," says one clerk, who called Scalia's complaint "an attempt to stifle legitimate discourse worthy of Joe McCarthy."
As for Ginsburg, this clerk says her response "showed a lack of courage."
Kennedy, too, sent around a memo, accusing the dissenters of "trashing the Court."
Eager to suggest to the outside world that the Court was less divided than it appeared, he charged that the dissenters agreed with the equal-protection argument more than they were willing to admit.
 
Vanity Fair       October 2004
By DAVID MARGOLICK, EVGENIA PERETZ and MICHAEL SHNAYERSON
The Path to Florida
Inserted new line
Shortly before his opinion went to the printers, he inserted a new line making substantially the same point.
"Eight Justices of the Court agree that there are constitutional problems with the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court that demand a remedy," he wrote.
Souter and Breyer had said so explicitly, he reasoned, while Stevens had done so implicitly by signing on to Breyer's opinion.
Stevens's clerks, who stumbled over the new phrase, reacted apoplectically.
Shouting over the telephone, they told Kennedy's clerks that they had deliberately misrepresented Stevens's position and demanded that they change the language.
When the Kennedy clerks refused, Stevens promptly uncoupled himself from that portion of Breyer's opinion, and Kennedy no longer had a choice: "eight Justices " became "seven."
Later, as they handed in their respective decisions, Eduardo Penalver, the Stevens clerk, ran into a Kennedy clerk named Grant Dixton and told him that what the Kennedy chambers had done was disgusting and unprofessional.
In the Breyer chambers, too, there was unhappiness over Kennedy's addendum.
But it was too late to take issue with it.
Picked up in next day's press
Thus, Kennedy's point stood uncontradicted and would be picked up in the next day's press, including The New York Times, which printed a graphic illustrating how the justices had voted.
On the equal-protection claim, it had seven voting for, and only two against.
Breyer, a member of the Gore team later lamented, had been "naïve"; in his efforts to win over Kennedy, he'd "been take to the cleaners."
By appearing to buttress the majority
Despite their loyalty to their justices — a striking, filial-like phenomenon among most clerks — several concede that the dissenters in Bush v. Gore were simply outmaneuvered.
Never did the four of them have the votes to prevail.
But first by endorsing a decision suggesting that the Florida Supreme Court had overstepped its bounds, then by appearing to buttress the majority's equal-protection claims, the dissenters had aided and abetted the enemy.
Just enough cover… to not rile up the American people
"They gave just enough cover to the five justices and their defenders in the press and academia so that it was impossible to rile up the American people about these five conservative ideologues stealing the election," one clerk complains.
The tone and multiplicity of the dissents didn't help.
While Stevens's rhetoric was impassioned, even enraged, the other dissents were pallid.
Ruling meant ballots of 60,000 would not be examined
The Court's opinions were issued at roughly 10 o'clock that night.
The only one that mattered, the short majority opinion, was unsigned, but it bore Kennedy's distinctive stamp.
There was the usual ringing rhetoric, like the "equal dignity owed to each voter," even though, as a practical matter, the ruling meant that the ballots of 60,000 of them would not even be examined.
The varying standards of the recount, Kennedy wrote, did not satisfy even the rudimentary requirements of equal protection.
Although six more days would pass before the electors met in their states, he insisted there was too little time for the Florida courts to fix things.
There were two more extraordinary passages: first, that the ruling applied to Bush and Bush alone, lest anyone think the Court was expanding the reach of the equal-protection clause; and, second, that the Court had taken the case only very reluctantly and out of necessity.
"That infuriated us," one liberal clerk recalls.
"It was typical Kennedy bullshit, aggrandizing the power of the Court while ostensibly wringing his hands about it."
Rehnquist, along with Scalia and Thomas, joined in the decision, but Scalia, for one, was unimpressed.
Whether or not one agrees with him, Scalia is a rigorous thinker; while the claim that the Florida Supreme Court over-stepped its bounds had some superficial heft to it, the opinion on equal-protection was mediocre and flaccid.
"Like we used to say in Brooklyn," he is said to have told a colleague," it's a piece of shit."(Scalia denies disparaging the majority opinion; the other justices would not comment for this article.)
Sharing little but a common sense of exhaustion and Thai takeout, the clerks came together briefly to watch the News.
As reporters fumbled with the opinions — the final line of Kennedy 's opinion, sending the case back to Florida even though there was really nothing more the Florida court could do, confused many of them — the clerks shouted imprecations at the screen.
The liberal ones slumped in their chairs; some left the room, overcome by their own irrelevance.
"We had a desire to get out already and see if journalists and politicians could stop what we couldn't stop," says one.
They contemplated a variety of options — holding a press conference, perhaps, or leaking incriminating documents.
There was just one problem: there were none.
"If there'd been a memo saying, 'I know this is total garbage but I want Bush to be president,' I think it would have found its way into the public domain," one clerk recalls.
Gore's lawyers read him the ruling.
At last he concluded that the Court had never really given him a shot, and he congratulated his legal team for making it so hard for the Court to justify its decision.
Kevin Martin, the Scalia clerk who'd tangled earlier with Stevens's clerks, informed his colleagues by e-mail that Gore was about to concede.
To some, it seemed like gloating; Eduardo Penalver asked him to stop.
"Life sucks," Martin replied. "Life may suck now," Penalver responded, "but life is long."
There were reports that for some time afterward Souter was depressed over the decision.
According to David Kaplan of Newsweek, Breyer told a group of Russian judges that the decision was "the most outrageous, indefensible thing " the Court had ever done, while Souter complained to some prep-school students that had he had "one more day — one more day," he could have won over Kennedy.
But such comments were quickly disavowed, were out of character for each man, and appeared inconsistent with the facts.
The clerks, for instance, believed Souter had spent most of the last few crucial days in his chambers brooding over the case rather than working any back channels.
Boys later shot dead by U.S. helicopter
Fearful, perhaps, of the appearance of a quid pro quo, either of the two justices most frequently rumored to be leaving, Rehnquist and O'Connor, has in fact left during Bush's presidency — perhaps, some theorize, because of how it would look to let the man they appointed select their replacements.
"The justices who ruled for President Bush gave themselves, in effect, a four-year sentence," said Ron Klain.
O'Connor confessed surprise at the anger that greeted the decision, but that seemed to reflect naïveté more than any sober second thoughts.
On her 71st birthday, in March 2001,she was sitting in the Kennedy Center when Arthur Miller, the playwright, denounced what the Court had done.
Around Washington, a few people stopped shaking her hand, and Justice Scalia's too; the consensus has since grown that because of Bush v. Gore, he can never be named chief justice.
The experience left scars on those who lived through it.
"I went through a lawyer's existential crisis," one of the clerks recalls.
"People afterwards said, 'It must have been very exciting,'" says another. "It was not that exciting. What I felt was beyond anger. It was really a profound sense of loss."
But a conservative clerk insists that when the records are opened and the histories written, the architects of Bush v. Gore will be vindicated.
"When everybody's dead and they read it all, it won't be embarrassing," he predicts.
Ultimately, only the five justices in the majority know how and why they decided the case as they did and whether they did it in good or bad faith.
Perhaps even they don't know the answer.
An insider was asked if the five would pass a lie-detector test on the subject.
"I honestly don't know," this insider replies. "People are amazing self- kidders."
While the Supreme Court was pondering the case, a calm settled over the canvassing boards around Florida, as the manual recount continued.
Judge Terry Lewis, assigned by the Florida Supreme Court to put its order into action, had called on the counties not to announce any results until the work was done.
In the meantime, Bush's lead had diminished to 154 votes.
In midafternoon on Saturday, December 9, one of the few still-partisan observers in Pat Hollarn's Okaloosa warehouse of vote counters got a call on his cell phone.
Shot dead by U.S. helicopter overhead
"He slams it down and says, 'Stop! Stop!'" Hollarn recalls.
"And I said,' Excuse me, what 's your problem?'
He said, 'I just found out that the United States Supreme Court says you 're supposed to stop.'
I said, 'We'll have to have something more definitive than your phone call.'"
After several hard hours of sorting, Hollarn's staffers had early finished separating the undervotes from the rest of the ballots and were about to start counting them.
Now Hollarn's own phone rang.
On the line was Clay Roberts, Katherine Harris's director of elections.
"He says, 'I 'm calling to tell you that you have to stop your process right now.'"
Minutes later, a fax from Roberts's office confirmed the news.
So much time had been put into counting by what seemed a fair method at last.
And now, with stunning suddeness, it was stopped.
"Everybody was hugging each other and taking each other's phone numbers and addresses," Hollarn recalls.
"They helped me clean up all the stuff. We put everything away and everybody went home and that was the end of it."
A year after the election, a consortium of newspapers examined the ballots and reported that had the Supreme Court not intervened in the recount, Bush still would have won the election by the slimmest of margins, a headline that gave comfort to Democrats and Republicans alike.
There was only one problem.
The newspapers had looked at only the undervotes, which the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to be examined for the recount.
But there were also more than 113,000 overvotes.
Later examination by the same papers of the overvotes — which Judge Lewis says he would have been inclined to consider — determined that Gore would have edged out Bush had they been considered.
Slavery or Freedom?
Illuminati World Overlords
UN Security Council — 2009
Bringing New World Tyranny
Why did the court vote to stop the vote counting?
A decision to stop the vote counting?
— to negate the Florida State Court?
— the inauguration not even set until late January, two months away?
Who wanted Bush in power?
Something coming up?
A true backdrop for 9/11?
The peculiar vote by some court members — a message given!
Exact details! — not likely — but information passed through, some message whispered!
Lots take place inside elite 'secret societies' some court members join!
Kewe — TheWE.cc
“Generally in wars, total casualties, which include wounded, crippled, and lost, are many times the number killed, often as high as ten times.
So while Americans, thirty years later, still weep at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington — a monument representing about sixty thousand deaths over ten years of war — they have inflicted on Iraq, in just three weeks, that same proportionate loss — all of them civilians.
With Iraq‘s population being less than ten percent that of the United States, such losses must be multiplied by ten to get some feel for their impact on the society.
Is this how a great power behaves in the early part of the 21st century? Especially a power that enjoys reminding us at every opportunity — I suppose because it is so easy for the rest of the world, just watching its actions, to forget — that America stands for human rights and democratic principles?”
John Chuckman
U.S. attack on Fallujah
Vanity Fair       October 2004
By DAVID MARGOLICK, EVGENIA PERETZ and MICHAEL SHNAYERSON
The Path to Florida
Final Note:
*The Court's proceedings are shrouded in secrecy, and the law clerks, who research precedents, review petitions, and draft opinions, are normally notoriously, maddeningly discreet.
In addition, Rehnquist makes them all sign confidentiality agreements, then reiterates the point to them in person.
A surprising number of clerks talked to Vanity Fair for this article, however.
They all drew clear limits on what they would say.
They would not discuss conversations with their respective justices, or disclose any documents they might have retained.
"In this administration, the F.B.I. is likely to come after us," one explains.
To the inevitable charges that they broke their vows of confidentiality, the clerks have a ready response: by taking on Bush v. Gore and deciding the case as it did, the Court broke its promise to them.
"We feel that something illegitimate was done with the Court's power, and such an extraordinary situation justifies breaking an obligation we'd otherwise honor," one clerk says. "Our secrecy was helping to shield some of those actions."
Furthermore, the clerks' story is admittedly skewed.
Even under normal circumstances, they see only a fraction of what goes on at the Court.
U.S. attack on Fallujah
The justices always discuss and decide cases behind closed doors, without anyone else around; their clerks learn only what their bosses care to tell them.
That was particularly true in Bush v. Gore, whose momentousness and haste ensured shorter paper and gossip trails than usual.
The clerks' attention was not distributed evenly.
Unfairly perhaps, their accounts, and their vitriol, focus more on the "swing "justices purportedly in play — Kennedy and O'Connor — than on those who were seemingly more partisan, but managed to be unobtrusive: Rehnquist and Thomas.
But if this account may at times be lopsided, partisan, speculative, and incomplete, it's by far the best and most informative we have.
Journalists and academics who follow the Court rarely venture beyond its written opinions, as if there is almost something impertinent about doing so.
Eventually — one scholar put it at around 2019 — historians will dip into the papers of the justices, but until then it's unclear how much of what they did they committed to print.
 
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to appoint a President.
U.S. President George W. Bush.

Picture: REUTERS/Jim Young

U.S. President George W. Bush.
Picture: REUTERS/Jim Young
Just to remind you what they constantly get up to
FBI infiltrating Latin America.

Secret FBI memo, ChoicePoint Corp – under a no-bid contract – had shoplifted Venezuela’s voter rolls, as well as the voter rolls of Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico and Honduras, all of whom were on the verge of electing presidents from the political left.

Photo: Greg Palast
Secret FBI memo, ChoicePoint Corp — under a no-bid contract — had shoplifted Venezuela’s voter rolls, as well as the voter rolls of Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico and Honduras, all of whom were on the verge of electing presidents from the political left.
     More of the Vanity Fair article:     Election stolen for Bush         
     More of the Vanity Fair article:     Vote count that will never be believed    
Complete article including Vanity Fair images can be downloaded as .pdf document
— click here for part 1 document     (3 Mg file due to images)
— click here for part 2 document
miamiherald.com - The miamiherald home page

Posted on Wed, 27 July 2005
Roberts Had Larger 2000 Recount Role
The role of US Supreme Court nominee John Roberts in the 2000 election aftermath in Florida was larger than has been reported.
Roberts helped prepare the Supreme Court case.
By Marc Caputo
Tallahassee — US Supreme Court nominee John Roberts played a broader behind-the-scenes role for the Republican camp in the aftermath of the 2000 election than previously reported — as legal consultant, lawsuit editor and prep coach for arguments before the nation's highest court, according to the man who drafted him for the job.
Ted Cruz, a domestic policy advisor for President Bush and who is now Texas' solicitor general, said Roberts was one of the first names he thought of while he and another attorney drafted the Republican legal dream team of litigation "lions" and "800-pound gorillas," which ultimately consisted of 400 attorneys in Florida.
Until now, Gov. Jeb Bush and others involved in the election dispute could recall almost nothing of Roberts' role, except for a half-hour meeting the governor had with Roberts.
Cruz said Roberts was in Tallahassee helping the Bush camp for "a week to 10 days," and that his help was important, though Cruz said it is difficult to remember specifics five years after the sleep-depriving frenetic pace of the 2000 recount.
But one thing was certain, Cruz told The Herald: "There was no one better for the job."
"He's one of the best brief writers in the country.   Just like a good journalist or a novelist, he can write with clarity, concisely and can paint a picture with words," said Cruz.
Roberts, a constitutional-law expert in a top Washington law firm at the time, is now a federal appeals court judge in D.C. Roberts was a no-brainer for the recount effort: His win-loss record at the US Supreme Court was one of the most impressive.
And, like Cruz, he was a member of a tight-knit circle of former clerks for the court's chief justice, William Rehnquist — a group jokingly referred to as "the cabal."
Dress Rehearsal
Soon after getting the call from Cruz, Roberts traveled from his Washington office at Hogan & Hartson to Tallahassee to lend advice and help polish legal briefs.
Later, Roberts participated in a dress rehearsal to prepare the Bush legal team for the US Supreme Court.
Cruz's account is the first to place Roberts firmly within the Bush vs. Gore battle, filling in substantial blanks in the memories of everyone from Bush's campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, to the governor.
Even before Roberts' more extensive role in the 2000 elections was known, Democrats wanted the issue brought up in his confirmation hearings, during which he appears likely to be confirmed.
U.S. attack on Fallujah
Sen. Edward Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who sits on the judiciary committee, has said through a spokeswoman that Roberts is a partisan Republican who needs to show he can hear cases fairly.
The chair of Florida's Democratic Party, former US Rep Karen Thurman, said Roberts should be questioned about anything relating to the Constitution — including the most important constitutional case regarding presidential elections.
Republicans such as Jeb Bush, though, say they've "moved on."
In Tallahassee
When it comes to his meeting with Roberts, the governor said Roberts flew down to Tallahassee, on his own dime, to meet for 30 minutes sometime in November or December to discuss the governor's role in certifying the election.
Cruz, who had also met with the governor, said he believed that Roberts was already in Tallahassee and simply walked up the hill from the GOP headquarters to meet the governor.
Ted Olson, the lawyer who successfully argued George W. Bush's case before the US Supreme Court, said Roberts helped, but couldn't recall what legal briefs, if any, Roberts reviewed.
Olson said he was certain that Roberts participated in a "moot court" hearing to prep him for arguments before the high court in the first of two hearings.
"It was a conference room full of people and John was there.   I had known him for 20 years by that point, and I highly respected his opinions," Olson said.
Cruz said there are few candidates as qualified as Roberts for the Supreme Court.
Roberts won 25 out of 39 cases he argued before the US Supreme Court.   His secret, according to Cruz: "He does his homework for hundreds of hours."
Other Case
Cruz remembered a case Roberts argued Nov. 29, 2000.
U.S. attack on Fallujah
The day before, Cruz saw Roberts unexpectedly preparing to depart Tallahassee.
When asked why, Roberts said he had to argue before the high court the next day.
He won a 9-0 decision on behalf of a small, road-sign company in a trademark case.
In a case Roberts lost, against a prisoner who complained of secondhand-smoke exposure, Cruz said Roberts got a laugh out of the justices in response to a question about whether avoiding smoke exposure was the same as asbestos exposure.
'When we go to a restaurant they don't ask: 'Do you want the asbestos section or the non-asbestos section?' They do ask: 'Do you want smoking or nonsmoking?' Smoking is a matter of personal preference," Roberts responded.
'Horrified'
While working on the recount, neither Roberts nor any of the other attorneys squabbled.
They were too focused, Cruz said — and too worried about what they say were the Democrats' efforts to subvert the voting process through recounts divining voters' wishes on pregnant, hanging and dimpled chads.
"To a person, the Republican lawyers were horrified at what was going on . . . the effort [by Democrats] to, in effect, steal the elections," Cruz said.
About 30 of the 400 Republican lawyers in the election fight were based in Tallahassee, though Washington lawyers such as Olson and Roberts left for home by the end of November and remained in contact with Tallahassee lawyers by e-mail, phone and fax.
Ginsberg, who met with Cruz just after the election to hire the dream team of lawyers, didn't clearly remember Roberts, noting that the number of attorneys made it tough to keep track of everyone.
The Republicans assigned lawyers to one of five teams: the US Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, local county litigation, trial attorneys and military affairs.
Though apparently on the federal team, Roberts' name appears on no legal briefs, a fact that Cruz attributes to Roberts' modesty.
"He already had a name.   He didn't need the recognition," Cruz said.
Plus, Cruz said, the lawsuit-a-day atmosphere was like "a building on fire.   Everyone just grabbed a bucket."
Copyright
US NATO Afghanistan massacres
continue
Non-combatant civilian villager killed by US NATO November 5, 2009.

The dead body of a local civilian lies in a civilian vehicle after he was killed by a US NATO attack by rocket in the southern Helmand, Afghanistan.

Residents of Baba Ji area, who brought the body to Lashkargah, capital city, say nine people were killed in the US-NATO attack.

Photo RAWA
Non-combatant civilian villager massacred by US NATO November 5, 2009
The dead body of a local civilian lies in a civilian vehicle after he was killed by a US NATO attack by rocket in the southern Helmand
Residents of Baba Ji area, who brought the body to Lashkargah, capital city, say nine people were killed in the US-NATO attack

NATO strike kills nine civilians in Helmand, Afghanistan
Written by Zainullah Stanikzai & Hashmi
Tuesday, 5 November 2009
"I lost four members of my family.    They included my three sons and a son-in-law working in the fields" said another elder Syed Gul.
LASHKARGAH:  Artillery and mortar shelling by the NATO-led international troops killed nine civilians in southern Afghanistan, locals said.
However, Afghan and NATO officials claimed only militants were killed in the mortar shelling on the outskirts of Lashkargah, capital of the southern Helmand province, on Wednesday evening.
Two people killed by US NATO
Non-combatant civilian villagers killed by US NATO November 5, 2009.

The dead bodies of two local non-combatant civilians lie in a civilian vehicle after they were killed by a US NATO attack by rocket in the southern Helmand, Afghanistan.

Loved ones of the victims brought the dead to the provincial capital as a protest.

Residents and relatives of those killed by US NATO in Baba Ji area, who brought the bodies to Lashkargah, capital city, as a protest, say nine people were killed in the US-NATO attack.

Photo RAWA/PAN/Zainullah Astanakzai
Non-combatant civilian villagers killed by US NATO November 5, 2009
The dead bodies of two local non-combatant civilians lie in a civilian vehicle after they were killed by a US NATO attack by rocket in the southern Helmand, Afghanistan.
Loved ones of the victims brought the dead to the provincial capital as a protest.
People, who brought bodies of their slain relatives to Lashkargah, said the dead included three children and six men.    They died as a mortar shell landed in the fields covered with maize crop, said the locals.
Haji Shah Muhammad, a tribal elder from Babaji area on the outskirts of the provincial capital, told Pajhwok Afghan News the victims were busy collecting the harvest.
"I lost four members of my family. They included my three sons and a son-in-law working in the fields" said another elder Syed Gul.   The foreigners were intentionally targeting civilians, said Nisar Ahmad, a third resident of the area.
Nisar said Taliban were patrolling on motorbikes in the area in broad daylight but the foreign troops did not take any action against them.
Relatives of the victims also staged a protest demonstration against the foreign troops.   They chanted slogans against the NATO troops and demanded their withdrawal from the country. They also asked for probe into the civilian casualties.
Press office of the NATO-led ISAF in Lashkargah confirmed the attack, but said only militants, planting bombs to target the local and Afghan troops, were killed.
Officials at the press office rejected locals' claim regarding civilian casualties. At the same time, they said investigations would be conducted into the incident.
Daud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor, also said only militants were killed in the overnight attack.
The civilian casualties in Helmand reported just a day after the killing of five British soldiers by an Afghan policeman in the province.   The policeman managed to flee the scene.
In the eastern Nuristan province, three minor girls and two boys died in blast caused by an unexploded mortar shell.
Provincial Governor Jamaluddin Badar said the explosion took place in Bargimatal district.   He said two more boys suffered injuries.   They were rushed to hospital where their condition is stated to be stable.
Child villager massacred by US NATO
Afghanistan
Child villager massacred by US NATO November 5, 2009.

The body of a teenager killed by a rocket attack of the NATO-led soldiers lies in a vehicle after the residents of Babaji brought the body to the provincial capital, Lashkargah, as a protest against the massacre of nine civilians.

Residents of Baba Ji area, who brought the body to Lashkargah, capital city, say nine people were killed in the US-NATO attack.

Photo RAWA/PAN/Zainullah Astanakzai
Child villager massacred by US NATO November 5, 2009.
The body of a teenager killed by a rocket attack of the NATO-led soldiers lies in a vehicle after the residents of Babaji brought the body to the provincial capital, Lashkargah, as a protest against the massacre of nine non-combatant civilians.
Residents of Baba Ji area, who brought the body to Lashkargah, capital city, say nine people were killed in the US-NATO attack
Demonstrate against US NATO killing
November 5, 2009.

The New York Times        Editorial        Thursday 30 September 2004     
Playing with the Election Rules
One of the lessons of the election mess in Florida in 2000 was that a secretary of state can deprive a large number of people of the right to vote by small manipulations of the rules.
This year in Ohio and Colorado, two key battlegrounds, the secretaries of state have been interpreting the rules in ways that could prevent thousands of eligible Americans from voting.
In both states, the courts should step in.
Just weeks before the deadline to register, Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's secretary of state, instructed the state's county boards of election to reject registrations on paper of less than 80-pound stock — the sort used for paperback-book covers and postcards, compared with the 20-to-24-pound stock in everyday use.
He said he was concerned about forms' being mailed without envelopes and mangled by postal equipment.
But the directive applied to all registration forms, even those sent in an envelope or delivered by hand.
Mr. Blackwell, a Republican, acted in the midst of an unprecedented state voter registration drive, which is signing up far more Democrats than Republicans.
Demonstrate against US NATO massacres
Baramkhil village, eastern Khost province, Afghanistan
November 5, 2009.
Under intense criticism, Mr. Blackwell has backed off.
Earlier this week, his office said it would not be the "paper police," but said it was not withdrawing the directive.
Yesterday, it said he had advised county boards to accept registrations on any paper.
But the advisory is worded so inartfully that it could create confusion.
And it is unclear how many registrations may have already been rejected.
The burden is now on Mr. Blackwell to ensure that counties have not rejected valid registrations.
Mr. Blackwell's second directive tells local elections officials to follow a bad policy Ohio adopted on provisional ballots.
This is the first presidential election in which every voter whose eligibility is in doubt has the right to cast a ballot and to have the vote's validity verified later.
But Ohio and some other states have tried to gut this guarantee by not counting provisional ballots cast in the wrong polling places.
There is no reason to do that.
This rule could void many votes.
There will be a flood of first-time voters this year, who may not know where to vote.
And some polling places have been changed by redistricting.
Mr. Blackwell says poll workers should help voters call an elections hot line to find out where to go.
But these hot lines are often busy on Election Day.
Poor people and members of minorities, who move more often than most voters, are likely to be most affected.
Ohio Democrats, who expect to do well among these groups, are fighting the rule in court.
In Colorado, Secretary of State Donetta Davidson, also a Republican, has issued a bizarre ruling of her own on this issue.
She will allow provisional ballots cast at the wrong polling places to count for only the presidential race.
The Senate race in Colorado, among the closest in the nation, could determine control of the Senate, and there is no reason all valid provisional ballots should not count in this race or for statewide ballot propositions.
Colorado Common Cause is challenging Ms. Davidson's rule, but she should not need a court to tell her to count the votes.
Democrats say these rulings are all attempts to disqualify thousands of Democratic votes.
Whatever the motivation, they threaten to disenfranchise voters.
They have no place in our democracy.
“Inside Downing Street Tony Blair had gathered some of his senior ministers and advisers for a pivotal meeting in the build-up to the Iraq war.
It was 9am on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion began and long before the public was told war was inevitable.”
            Britain's Queen Elizabeth walks with U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the ceremonial welcome on the first day of Bush's state visit to the UK at London's Buckingham Palace, November 19, 2003.

Photo: REUTERS/POOL/Kirsty Wigglesworth, 11/20/03
United States voting procedures — how U.S. votes are stolen (continuing) — click here
Pelosi
The United States will stand with Israel now and forever.
Now and forever.
29 July 2007
Israel hails US military aid rise
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has confirmed that the United States is planning a significant increase in military and government aid to Israel.
The package would amount to more than US $30bn increase.
Afghanistan Most Recent
U.S. Bombing of Fallujah
— the Third World War continued: Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia
More atrocities - Ahmed and Asma, story of two children dying
al-Sadr City
Iraq's real WMD crime - the effects of depleted uranium
World War Two soldiers did not kill Kill ratio Korea, Vietnam. Iraq.
Afghanistan - Terror?
Photos over past three months.
Aid agencies compromised by US actions
US soldiers committing suicide Afghanistan Iraq — Most Recent
Psychologist Pete Linnerooth was one of three who were part of a mental health crew in charge of the US 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in the Baghdad area of Iraq.   Pete Linnerooth committed suicide by turning a gun upon himself in January of 2013
Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes.   More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.
Mary Coghill Kirkland said she asked her son, 21-year-old Army Spc. Derrick Kirkland, what was wrong as soon as he came back from his first deployment to Iraq in 2008.   He had a ready answer: "Mom, I'm a murderer."
A military base on the brink
As police agents watched he shot himself in the head
Murders, fights, robberies, domestic violence, drunk driving, drug overdoses
US soldiers committing suicide Afghanistan Iraq II
U.S. Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting to Interrogation Techniques
Private Gary Boswell, 20, from Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, was found hanging in a playground in July
She is Jeanne "Linda" Michel, a Navy medic.   She came home last month to her husband and three kids ages 11, 5, and 4, delighted to be back in her suburban home of Clifton Park in upstate New York.   Two weeks after she got home, she shot and killed herself.
Peterson refused to participate in the torture after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage
     United States Numb to Iraq Troop Deaths       
     All papers relating to the interrogations have been destroyed     
      We stripped them and were supposed to mock them and degrade their manhood     
US soldiers committing suicide Iraq Vietnam
The Iraq War - complete listing of articles, includes images
The House of Saud and Bush
       All with U.S. Money:       
       US and Israel War Crimes       
All with U.S. Money:
Israel agents stole identity of New Zealand cerebral palsy victim.
(IsraelNN.com July 15, 2004) The Foreign Ministry will take steps towards restoring relations with New Zealand. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced she was implementing diplomatic sanctions after two Israelis were sentenced on charges of attempting to obtain illegal passports. Despite Israeli refusal to respond to the accusations, the two are labeled in the New Zealand media as Mossad agents acting on behalf of the Israeli intelligence community.

Foreign Ministry officials stated they will do everything possible to renew diplomatic ties, expressing sorrow over the "unfortunate incident".
Projected mortality rate of Sudan refugee starvation deaths — Darfur pictures
Suicide now top killer of Israeli soldiers
Atrocities files - graphic images
'Suicide bombings,' the angel said, 'and beheadings.'
'And the others that have all the power - they fly missiles in the sky.
They don't even look at the people they kill.'
       The real Ronald Reagan       
       — Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, South Africa        
Follow the torture trail...
       Cowardly attacks by air killing men women and children in their homes, often never seeing those they kill as the drones or aircraft fly back to the cowardly bases       
       If they kill only the husband, see how they care for the family they have destroyed       
       Afghanistan — Western Terror States: Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy       
       Photos of Afghanistan people being killed and injured by NATO     
        When you talk with God        
         were you also spending your time, money and energy, killing people?         
       Are they now alive or dead?       
Photos July 2004
US Debt
Photos June 2004
Lest we forget - Ahmed and Asma, story of two children dying
Photos May 2004
American military: Abu Gharib (Ghraib) prison photos, humiliation and torture
- London Daily Mirror article: non-sexually explicit pictures
Photos April 2004
The celebration of Jerusalem day, the US missiles that rained onto children in Gaza,
and, a gathering of top articles over the past nine months
Photos March 2004
The Iraq War - complete listing of articles, includes images
Photos February 2004
US missiles - US money - and Palestine
Photos January 2004
Ethnic cleansing in the Beduin desert
Photos December 2003
Shirin Ebadi Nobel Peace Prize winner 2003
Photos November 2003
Atrocities - graphic images...
Photos October 2003
Aljazeerah.info
Photos September 2003
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