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The False-Fake Debate over RFK Jr's RS Article

The False-Fake Debate over RFK Jr's Rolling Stone Article Started by Salon Ignores Democracy and What's Important

by Paul R Lehto, Attorney at Law
originally posted to Democratic Underground Forum

Robert F. Kennedy Jr's Rolling Stone investigation into stolen election 2004, and
Salon.Com – Farhad Manjoo - (criticizing Kennedy's Rolling Stone investigation)

The fight started in the Salon response linked above over the sufficiency of the evidence to prove a stolen election in 2004 that was amassed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a great disservice to democracy, because it fails to take the risks to democracy seriously. It's net effect is to say it's "ok go back to sleep, no need to be alarmed" while also suggesting we get together and deal with issues like voter suppression.

Though it seems that it's uncool to take something extremely seriously in this modern day, I believe We should all be earnest about defending democratic elections, like Salon's Farhad Manjoo used to be when he wrote election protection articles prior to Election 2004. That recited fact tells us especially strongly that it's ok to slumber away, RFK=no credibility here.

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But there's a better way to understand this debate over the sufficiency of evidence, one that shows why 2004 is so important. Elections fundamentally shifted in the late 90s by the advent of electronic voting and that shift was increased greatly in 2002 with the passage of the Help America Vote Act and its $3.8 billion in funding for electronic voting machines to be installed around the country, with the HAVA addition of legal requirements that generally favor electronic voting.

Articles like Manjoo's, though probably well intended, are doing what Jon Stewart said CrossFire was doing when he went on CrossFire and said:


You're h-u-r-t-i-n-g democracy. Please stop.

Stewart was both comical but deeply serious. Many agreed that the muckraking debate on crossfire was fake debate.

I'm no comedian so all I can do is be serious. To go with fake debate still alive on non-canceled shows, we've got fake elections designed to give out little or no evidence. Thus, we can always have a debate over the sufficiency of the evidence no matter whether the election was actually stolen, or not.

The very debatability of 2004 (when I assume Manjoo is totally right for the sake of argument) means that democracy is dying or dead. Mock me if you like at, but it's time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country. Seriously.

My name real name is below, and my cell phone number. You can have them -- the government certainly already does, along with all of my phone numbers dialed, and yours. At least if you call or write there's a thread of reasonable purpose to have my number.

THere's a late 1970s Supreme Court case that says just having the numbers but not listening doesn't require a warrant. Devotion to the "rule of law" won't save us by itself because legal rules are tiny rules with gaps and loopholes between them, so ultimately we must be able to, in a binding/serious way, ask ourselves:

Is collecting all phone numbers dialed for all Americans consistent with a decent vision of a free society?

Is funding electronic voting where votes are necessarily counted in invisibly using secret software consistent with a decent vision of a free society?

Is America's status as having the highest percentage of its population in prison in the entire world, consistent with a decent vision of a free society?

We the People are frozen in false debates because, for whatever reasons, there are 90% of criminal defendants getting hammered beyond the requirements of justice, but others would be likely correct in citing examples of lenient injustice. Weighing the two and realizing that one is far larger than the other has been rendered impossible, perhaps by the effects of equal time in the media for craziness by the powers-that-be.

Why we can't do a proper balancing is not as important as understanding that the Public is stymied by these kinds of debates where both sides have at least a tiny point, so long as the tiny point is heavily funded, it get's repeated one million times for one million dollars, compared to the citizen's one dollar (or "two cents")

THis confusion and inability to balance is re-created by the Salon article on elections, which attempts to go mostly point by point and provide a plausible explanation for each irregularity, ignoring that any hacker who thinks for a second will choose a cover that has a plausible explanation.

Elections are incredibly unique. For example, while normally we must obey government laws, in elections the government seeks the consent of the governed, essentially coming to beg for authority and approval. This reverses the usual role of citizen-as-virtual-subject. The secret ballot means the ballots can't be audited back to their owners to verify them, making analogies to "reliable" ATMs hazardous and inapplicable.

Salon's Manjoo fundamentally doubts stolen elections in 2004 or apparently in general because they require "widespread conspiracy," and that it's "hard to keep everyone quiet." (paraphrase) Phrased that way, he must think elections can only be stolen by large conspiracies when we know it can be done with one person.

If this "conspiracy" was so difficult to keep quiet based on numbers of those who must have been involved, then the D-Day invasion was no secret to the British public, there's no such thing as secret societies, and we don't have a secretive CIA, Delta Forces or Mafias because you just can't keep those large numbers of people quiet.

Manjoo, and all of us, should be more serious about elections. We're talking about control of the world's richest country and sole superpower, available without the millions on payroll needed to field and support armies. With computerized elections, it's now possible to get the bargain of the millenium: superpower control with the bonus of public confidence in the stolen election, based in large part on the newfangled inscrutability of our e-elections, with the bonus of unwitting support via the "sore loser" attacks on any stolen election advocates raising their voices.

This high reward for faked elections is not met by anything akin to defense forces. So-called election officials will amost universally tell the public to go back to sleep rather than be concerned because the officials don't want the negative attention and feel under-funded. I'm hoping to see a few hundred thousand "sentinels of democracy" or election watchdogs. But, watchdogs suck if they're not "suspicious" so to speak, and Manjoo basically mocks the whole idea of suspicion, even though RFK Jr is a credible attorney with a reputation and something to lose, who had a researcher assisting and spent lots of time on it. Doesn't this get a ticket to the ballgame, instead of Manjoo's disqualification? Well you can get DQ'd for defending democracy, because to be suspicious as a sentinel must, you're a "conspiracy theorist."

Yup, "conspiracy theory" attacks are functionally protecting secrecy, whether intended to or not, because the only reason anyone needs to "speculate" or make a "theory" about anything, is because of secrecy making information unavailable but at the same time creating the very justifiable inference that secrecy hides the embarrassing, illegal or wrong. After all, if it weren't for secrecy, conspiracy theory could be entirely avoided by directing folks to the correct book or info source. Conspiracy theory is a new and expanded LAW OF THINKING, where regular citizens get to be thought police for the sheer fun of shutting down debate. Totally unwilling accomplices in idea suppression, but suppressing nonetheless.

Regarding the "quiet" we hear, the MEDIA rarely reports election issues, like the easy and evidence-free alteration of elections. That non-coverage makes even noisy "conspirators" appear silent even when yelling. Google "Clint Curtis". Legit or not, he's not much in the mainstream media. Heck, if a perpetrator confessed to an NBC network anchor complete WITH DOCUMENTS, they'd fear sharing Dan Rather's terminal "voluntary" fate for running a debated Guard story backed up with expert witnesses regarding documents.

Remember who, what, when, why, and where and How? In light of the "universal bias" created by everyone taking sides, AMERICANS ALL HAD BIAS AND WE ALL KNEW:

1. WHO we wished to favor: Kerry or Bush.

2. WHAT we wished to favor them with: Votes.

3. WHEN we wished to favor them. November 2, 2004

4. WHY we wished to favor them: Electoral College and life/death issues.

5. WHERE we wished to favor them: Swingstates!

6. ...and the only thing we may or may not have known was:

7. HOW we wished to favor them: MYRIADS OF WAYS, with even more if you're an official or have access.

Thus, despite the "widespread conspiracy needed" allegation, in fact with elections NONE of us need "marching orders" from the DNC/RNC to know how to act simultaneously, YET it still looks like acting "in concert" from the outside.

Again, the real sea change started in the late 90s with electronic voting, because it makes the vote counting both invisible and secret through trade secret software. It's a revolution in slow motion because it takes years to retrofit all voting machines into computers.

Strengths become liabilities in e-voting: (1) computers do what they are told without question, and (2) there's no such thing as total security, just raising the cost-to-penetrate much higher.

Gee, with more "election security" regarding computer voting, the price of beat or rig the system will really high to rig an election, so then only governments, huge corporations and KGB types could do it! Wunderbar! On top of that, the security passwords are placed, in the usual corporate fashion, in the hands of the top election official -- the very person who is a #1 suspect to have stolen an election to get that office in the first place. Instead of paying out millions to vendors for computerized voting, let's at least force elections officials to auction off the right to count votes in secret to maximize the public treasury for a time. Many would indeed pay for this honor, it being very cool indeed to have politicians treat you incredibly politely even if you NEVER ever do any creative accounting with the vote. But who's gonna know, eh?

Government can't possibly give us a real SOLUTION with elections, Elections must instead be immune from any substantial or unsupervised government tinkering, because government can't check and balance itself, when elections determine the government's own power and money.

This "widespread conspiracy" canard would be especially amusing if it weren't for the fact democracy was at stake. The Goebbelian final solution is the (misleading) charge that there's "no evidence" of election fraud on electronic machines. Because computer scientists have warned democracy for almost ten years of the problem of "no {direct} evidence" with these new machines, there's a special hair-pulling hell on earth for election activists who've been silenced with "There IS no evidence, you fool!"

Just Google "Harri Hursti" for links to computer scientist demonstrations of how a hacked machine can disobey certified software, pass all tests, and evade detection for years before kicking in and there's nothing anyone can really do about it in terms of a good "Fix."

The Real Issue with E-voting:

The fundamental problem: People of good faith must necessarily disagree about the quality of the stolen election "evidence", because the main evidence is secret or never created, the available evidence is all indirect, and also in short supply from butt-covering officials. E-voting is thus like having a body that can't experience the warning of pain: Extremely likely that mutilation and death from untreated infection will occur in time.

We will see the death of democracy as we bicker about the quality of conflicting "evidence" and miss the real issue:

We Want to feel the Pain of election controversy because it tells us something. But articles like Manjoo's want to dull the pain on account that it's probably nuthin'

It's only a matter of time before someone succeeds with e-election fraud if they haven't already, and then once installed, pulls up the "ladder" of elections from behind them and insures that elections are thereafter fakes, but still superficially identical to real ones.

Government "protections" don't matter, they boil down to trust of the government when our system's based on checks and balances. With invisible secret vote counting, there’s no basis for confidence in the results of such counting, Elections are political Rohrschack tests. Our Founders settled that Rohrschack question, favoring distrust, and placing checks and balances in lieu of "trust" and the "plausible explanations" that are actually the favored habitat of election cheaters for the cover they provide.

It's wise in times of good administration to be prepared for bad administration. So distrust is no offense if you think the present administration loves liberty and serves the public's will.

Whether we break down along "partisan" lines or along "strict proof" "rational suspicion" or "faith-based-elections-OK" lines, the dreams of both Right and Left are all at risk by quibbling over the winnner and loser of one election, when democracy is in peril.

We won't know democracy died from suspended elections -- fake elections are dictator-approved worldwide.

When elections aren't real they are (1) like casinos: you win enough to stay addicted, (2) politicians don't listen, (3) incumbents have 97% or higher re-election rates, (4) the public isn't informed, (5) the government is surprisingly bold sometimes, (6) more exceptions to red tape of asking for warrants (7) the public accepts the rationale of totalitarians "nothing to fear if nothing to hide", and (8) unpopular wars continue, to save face. Only "Face" limits power at all.

The evil genius here is in making elections inscrutable via electonic technology so that people end up quibbling about important details with their partisan foes (but details nonetheless on a relative level), enough academics naturally are quite available to honestly opine the evidence ambiguous in their opinion (showing themselves smarter than all of us for seeing the other side and not getting in any way excited), and peaceful Americans detest the "partisanship" that is an inevitable part of post-election disputes because all election losers are partisans of one stripe or another, seeking to dislodge another different partisan. This confounding of elections happened through the government's "solution" advertised as the response to the problem of the ambiguous evidence in few but very frustrating Floridian chads. That "solution" was to totally *eliminate* that evidence with e-voting funded by feds. Is moving from ambiguous evidence to zero evidence an improvement in election protection?
I suppose we can just say those silly guv'mint Wabbits stole our democracy, so that we'll never know if we have one for sure again.

I don't always idealize our Founders, but I'm convinced that it's important to realize that the Founders would never have treated a government action like this as a mild provocation, or a subject only of internet blog debate.

At the end of the day, the big picture here is that some Machiavelli is laughing at the stupid Americans fighting each other instead of him, proud of his genius using necessarily ambiguous evidence to confuse, getting professionals to unwittingly protect him because there's "no proof" but they don't even know what proof would be, so they won't find it. If Machiavelli isn't real today, how long is it said to be before political power vacuums get filled up?

Power corrupts.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Secret power is absolute power used against defenseless Americans who can't see what hit them.

You know it, I know it. But if we, for example, get stuck on the actual identity of "Machiavelli", it may be too late for democracy, though we may all be fine. Tyrants need docile subjects, and lots of them, capable of tolerating those 8 conditions of societies with fake elections, six paragraphs above.


Paul R. Lehto
lehtolawyer @

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