Words, UnLtd. September 2001
THE AGE OF THE NEW PATRIOTS AND THE GOOD WAR:
When Ethics Go, What Really Have We Left?
(note: This article was first published August 3, 2001, at the web site http://www.votermarch.org/Bugliosi%20Article.pdf;
some minor changes and corrections have been added since
t is a bizarre experience to watch or hear or read the news and follow the activities of this person who calls himself our leader. It is bizarre because not only was he not elected by a majority or even a plurality; he is not representing our interests. So I feel a curious detachment and disorientation. What exactly is this man doing with our government and our lives? We did not entrust him with them, but he is nonetheless controlling them - a low moment in history I hope will pass quickly, back into the light of democracy.
I persist in behaving as a citizen as I rarely have before. I persist in speaking out, though I do encounter hostility and opposition. I know if the symptoms of totalitarianism progress, I may be one of the first whisked off the street, out of the sunlight and fresh air I love, but if I allow myself to be frightened into silence, I am aiding and abetting the progression rather than fighting back while I still can.
Tuesday evening, July 31, two heroes of the U.S. résistance to the stolen election spoke in the East Side penthouse of a generous Democrat activist, Owen-Pahl Greene. Vincent Bugliosi, former Los Angeles District Attorney, prosecutor at Manson's trial, and author of Helter Skelter as well as The New York Times-designated bestseller The Betrayal of America, is the only prominent public figure to express vehement opposition to the Supreme Court's aggressively partisan role in whisking Bush past the inconclusive polls into the White House. Bugliosi said this is the first time in 25 years that he has had trouble receiving publicity for issues he is espousing. Reporter Gregory Palast, a U.S. citizen who works in London for BBC-TV, the Guardian, and its subsidiary the Observer, became famous late last year for publicizing the erroneous, racist database lists that illegally subtracted tens of thousands of Democratic votes in Florida. In this process he exposed Katherine Harris's double role as secretary of state appointed by Jeb Bush and co-manager of his brother's presidential campaign.
Palast also uncovered illicit activities associated with George Bush Sr. after his one term of office as president, involving millions of dollars he earned from his association with Barrick Goldstrike of Canada, which had been bankrolled by Adnan Khashoggi, one of the Iran-Contra participants whom Bush Sr. had pardoned before the end of his administration. An additional scandal involved 50 independent mine workers killed by a Barrick subsidiary in Tanzania to clear a mining concession. Now Barrick is suing the Guardian for libel, and Palast informed us on Tuesday that as a result he is no longer reporting on this chain of events.
Forget for now Grandfather Preston Bush's Nazi collaboration during World War II, reported earlier this year by The Los Angeles Times. Mr. Bugliosi opined that since we allowed the Nuremberg trials to punish the guilty, we must also work to disbar and impeach the Supreme Court Felonious Five, responsible for what he calls one of the gravest crimes in history. People have died for less serious offenses than their corrupt and blatantly political distortion of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, an application they will not allow to be extended beyond this instance, in that it would nullify the validity of the entire election 2000. He also cited conflict of interest in violation of Title 28 (U.S.C. §453), which would have obliged three of the five, Scalia, O'Connor, and Thomas, to recuse themselves on the basis of their partisan affiliations. Scalia, whose two sons worked on Bush's campaign, was heard to say on December 8, the day the Florida recount was halted by the
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Court, "We have to stop this recount because it can do irreparable hard to Bush." Thomas's wife
worked for the conservative Heritage Foundation to aid the transition between Clinton and Bush. O'Connor, when informed on election night that Gore had won Florida, sighed that she could not now resign for at least four more years, in that the wrong party would be in control of the government. Bugliosi added that there is no punishment for violating Title 28, but it may be used as grounds for a First Article of Impeachment
(under consideration by the National Lawyers Guild and approved by the Oregon state legislature). Louis Posner, founder and chair of
VoterMarch, announced that he is sending back his plaque to the Supreme Court, resigning in protest his membership on the prestigious Supreme Court Bar.
Bugliosi's closest publicly prominent ally, Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz, agrees about the mishandling of the election but in his new book Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000 opines that the Rehnquist Five were patriotically motivated. This Bugliosi finds absurd.
On the indifference of the U.S. press to the stolen election, to which they are only recently
paying reluctant and sluggishly minimal attention, Mr. Palast remarked that they have the First
Amendment but rarely use it and they also "dislike" stories about racial discrimination. He would like to return to his country to report the news from within, having received front-page coverage for his breaking news in England. He said that in Europe last November people in the street would come up to him and ask why Bush hadn't resigned yet.
Palast revealed that the parent company of Database Technologies, ChoicePoint, was owned by the manager of New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani's ill-fated campaign for U.S. Senate. He said that in Florida after the November election press repression was so pervasive that Clayton Roberts, director of the Florida Department of Elections, ended an interview after one question (we saw this on video) and had him escorted out of his building by a state police officer. He said that Florida officials were aware of the inaccuracy of the Database name lists, up to 95 percent ultimately, but that the company was told not to bother revising, correcting, or updating their "findings." Palast said also that Jebb Bush approved the disenfranchisement and denial of voting rights to ex-felons who had come to live in Florida after their prison terms, which is against Florida law.
Mr. Palast showed a news clip in which Jebb Bush refused questions from the press on this issue, instead winking and saying, "We love you," as if racism is merely etiquette and anyone who questions it is indiscreet and not worth further consideration.
Mr. Palast announced that the results of his persistent and courageous reporting had been approved by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. But beyond that, and the crowded presence of 110
loyal holdouts at the gathering July 31, encouraging signs were minimal. The Republicans have twice as much funding as the Democrats at this point. Mr. Bugliosi said if we look to Congress as our remaining hope among the governmental branches, we will be disappointed. Not only have they voted to drain the monetary resources of this country the Clinton administration worked so hard to balance after the vast abuses of the Reagan and Bush administrations, but no one objected to the presidential tallies made official by the Electoral College in early January, though this would have been constitutionally permissible. Impeachment of the Supreme Court Five would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate, where now the Democrats have a tenuous plurality of one over the opposition (Senator Jeffords's defection, though, is a major triumph).
Opposition by the public in this country was more vigorous earlier, said Bugliosi, but now even most Democrats are shifting their efforts toward the 2004 elections, encouraged by partisans like Lieberman, one of the presidential aspirants. We cannot allow this to happen. New data are still coming to light, new research findings published, and even if all of the recounting by newspapers consortia still find Bush the victor (inaccurately!), so much illegality has been proved in association with the Florida election that it cannot be ignored and "gotten over."
A slippery slope is involved. If we allow this to pass, what can follow, or what might not follow? We must continue to fight the indifferent press,
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continue to air the issues and findings before the public, continue to remind them of burgeoning
corruption they can either oppose in what is left of our democratic society or else allow to permeate our lives and curtail our freedoms more completely.
I am a child of the Holocaust and other forms of religious discrimination. Not only have I heard firsthand stories of the horrors of totalitarian oppression, I have visited the monuments (including the museum at Auschwitz) and lived behind the Iron Curtain for two months in 1960. Mr. Bush joked to the press recently that life would be a lot easier for him if he were awarded dictatorial powers. It may be that not enough of the public understands the extent of the difference between totalitarianism and democracy. But to allow this ignorance to prevail without fighting back is something Thomas Jefferson warned against in one of the opening statements of the Declaration of Independence:
…and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the
forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under
absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
In Jefferson's time occurred the only impeachment in history of a Supreme Court Justice (Samuel Chase), Mr. Bugliosi informed us. Chase was acquitted. Prospects for disbarment are less remote than impeachment. More retribution is
needed. We can either follow the founding fathers, who chose to fight off their oppressors, or pursue the opposite course. The signs are blatant, the choices clear. Never has democracy seemed dearer than now.
Marta N. Steele
8 / 1 / 2001