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MissingExplosives * TaxBill * VotingFraudProtection


28 October 2004

1) Kerry Slams Bush Over Missing Iraq Explosives
2) Adventure Capitalism - The Hidden 2001 Plan to Carve-up Iraq
3) Bush Signs $136B Corporate Tax Bill

- - Administration Misleads on Cost of War
4) The Voting Trip Threat Against Democracy
- - Greg Palast in Harper's Magazine November Voting Issue
- - Storm Clouds Gathering Over the Legitimacy of This Election
- - What to do if having troubles at the polls

Editor's Notes:

Hope is alive. Within days US citizens will have the opportunity to remove George W. Bush from the office of the US President by January 20th 2005. This won't stop George from doing more damage until then, but a light is at the end of the tunnel, if we unite and demand our right for a fair election. Item 1 begins with another Bush administration blunder in Iraq. It was bad enough to have seven nuclear sites looted after the US-coalition forces entered Iraq, but now, it was discovered that "nearly 350 tons of lethal explosives - which could be used to trigger nuclear weapons - have vanished from a military facility in Iraq supposed to have been guarded by US troops."

Last Tuesday about 30 people came to see Greg Palast's new movie at the Keene NH public library. Those who came were concerned about voter fraud, and was already planning to vote against Bush, but the event, sponsored by Flyby News, was not just for those who attended that night. This was a campaign strategy, with a listing in the Keene newspaper, and flyers posted throughout the town. The film's title, "Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" and that dark picture of G.W., was effective to help get out the vote and for a return to some sanity in US foreign and domestic affairs. The second item reveals what I believe is the most poignant statement in the Palast's film, revealing the real intentions and focus of the Bush war in Iraq, diving up the country for the privatization of Iraq's oil resources.

Item 3 is more on the glut, passed by Congress and signed into Law by President Bush, $136 Billion "massive giveaway that will add to the complexity of the tax system and end up rewarding multinational companies that move jobs overseas."

Item 4 is more on the concerns of this coming Tuesday's Election, and what you can do to assure your vote is counted. But the key to a successful election is to unite with an overwhelming majority for a regime change in the US. Please check out this following alert, and take actions for this final week for US Election 2004 Campaign!

"Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
Those who count the votes decide everything."


– Josef Stalin


Action Alert! – HELP GET THE VOTE OUT!

From MoveOn - - [Excerpt]

Every day, the tragedy in Iraq deepens. On Sunday, newspapers reported the execution of 49 members of the Iraqi National Guard, who were lined up and executed at the hands of insurgents. And yesterday, the New York Times reported that hundreds of thousands of pounds of deadly explosives in Iraq have gone missing, looted from a facility that was left unprotected by the U.S. Army. Yet George Bush says everything's going fine.

We can't afford to have a President who's so out of touch with reality. It's time to hold Bush accountable for the deception and catastrophic mistakes that got us into this mess. We have a chance to do just that on November 2nd -- to signal to the world that Bush's policies don't represent the American people. But we have to build that accountability one vote at a time.

We're working as hard as we can to get every last swing state voter out for Kerry, but to win this thing we need your help. Do you have a couple hours this week to call Kerry voters who often don't vote and make sure they get to the polls? It's rewarding work, and it's one of the best ways to help ensure that the tragedy in Iraq never happens again.

Making these calls is easy -- our online phone bank tool will lead you through it step by step. Click here to try out the tool, then start making calls whenever you like:

www.moveonpac.org/lnvb/pp/index2.html

This year, every vote counts. And this weekend, we have the opportunity to show people their power.

The situation in Iraq isn't hopeless. You can make these phone calls on your own schedule, anytime between 9 AM and 9 PM in your time zone, anytime this week. But don't put it off: next week at this time, we'll be voting.

You'll need the capability to be on the Internet and the phone at the same time -- either at your house or a friend's. Get familiar with our easy online phone bank tool at the link below. You can start making calls immediately or later today.

www.moveonpac.org/lnvb/pp/index2.html

Thank you, for all you do.

Sincerely,

--Adam, Eli, Hannah, James, Laura, and the whole MoveOn PAC Team



1) Kerry Slams Bush Over Missing Iraq Explosives

Published on Monday, October 25, 2004 by the Agence France Presse
Kerry Slams Bush Over Missing Iraq Explosives

DOVER, New Hampshire - Democratic hopeful John Kerry Monday branded President George W. Bush's administration arrogant, blind, incompetent and guilty of "great blunders" after the disappearance of 380 tonnes of high explosives in Iraq.

"The incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and our country at greater risk than we ought to be."

Kerry pounced on reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency that the explosives that could be used in conventional or nuclear bombs had disappeared, as proof Bush had failed as US commander in chief.

"George W. Bush, who talks tough, talks tough, and brags about making America safer has once again failed to deliver," Kerry said.

"After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq this president failed to guard those stockpiles.

"Terrorists could use this material to kill our troops, our people, blow up airplanes and level buildings," Kerry said.

"Now we know our country and our troops are less safe because this president failed to do the basics, this is one of the great blunders of Iraq one of the great blunders of this administration.

"The incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and our country at greater risk than we ought to be."

"The unbelievable blindness, stubbornness, arrogance of this administration to do the basics has now allowed this President to once again fail the test of being Commander in Chief.

Nearly 400 tons of powerful explosives that could be used in conventional or nuclear missiles disappeared from an unguarded military installation in Iraq, the IAEA said Monday.

The Iraqi ministry of science and technology informed the IAEA of the disappearance of nearly 380 tons of mainly HMX and RDX explosive materiel on October 10, agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told AFP, confirming a report in The New York Times.

"It can be used in a nuclear explosion device, for the explosion," she said, adding: "That's why it was under IAEA verification and monitoring" before the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

The New York Times said the materiel "could produce bombs strong enough to shatter airplanes or tear apart buildings."

Copyright 2004 AFP
www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1025-08.htm

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- - Bombshell for Bush: 350 tons of explosives go missing in Iraq
news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=576048



2) Adventure Capitalism - The Hidden 2001 Plan to Carve-up Iraq
TomPaine.com
by Greg Palast
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Why were Iraqi elections delayed? Why was Jay Garner fired? Why are our troops still there? Investigative reporter Greg Palast uncovers new documents that answer these questions and more about the Bush administration's grand designs on Iraq. Like everything else issued during this administration, the plan to overhaul the Iraqi economy has corporate lobbyist fingerprints all over it.

---

In February 2003, a month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a 101-page document came my way from somewhere within the U.S. State Department. Titled pleasantly, "Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Growth," it was part of a larger under-wraps program called "The Iraq Strategy."

The Economy Plan goes boldly where no invasion plan has gone before: the complete rewrite, it says, of a conquered state's "policies, laws and regulations." Here's what you'll find in the Plan: A highly detailed program, begun years before the tanks rolled, for imposing a new regime of low taxes on big business, and quick sales of Iraq's banks and bridges—in fact, "ALL state enterprises"—to foreign operators. There's more in the Plan, part of which became public when the State Department hired consulting firm to track the progress of the Iraq makeover. Example: This is likely history's first military assault plan appended to a program for toughening the target nation's copyright laws.

And when it comes to oil, the Plan leaves nothing to chance—or to the Iraqis. Beginning on page 73, the secret drafters emphasized that Iraq would have to "privatize" (i.e., sell off) its "oil and supporting industries." The Plan makes it clear that—even if we didn't go in for the oil—we certainly won't leave without it.

If the Economy Plan reads like a Christmas wishlist drafted by U.S. corporate lobbyists, that's because it was.

>From slashing taxes to wiping away Iraq's tariffs (taxes on imports of U.S. and other foreign goods), the package carries the unmistakable fingerprints of the small, soft hands of Grover Norquist.

Norquist is the capo di capi of the lobbyist army of the right. In Washington every Wednesday, he hosts a pow-wow of big business political operatives and right-wing muscle groups—including the Christian Coalition and National Rifle Association—where Norquist quarterbacks their media and legislative offensive for the week.

Once registered as a lobbyist for Microsoft and American Express, Norquist today directs Americans for Tax Reform, a kind of trade union for billionaires unnamed, pushing a regressive "flat tax" scheme.

Acting on a tip, I dropped by the super-lobbyist's L-Street office. Below a huge framed poster of his idol ("NIXON— NOW MORE THAN EVER"), Norquist could not wait to boast of moving freely at the Treasury, Defense and State Departments, and, in the White House, shaping the post-conquest economic plans—from taxes to tariffs to the "intellectual property rights" that I pointed to in the Plan.

Norquist wasn't the only corporate front man getting a piece of the Iraq cash cow. Norquist suggested the change in copyright laws after seeking the guidance of the Recording Industry Association of America.

And then there's the oil. Iraq-born Falah Aljibury was in on the drafting of administration blueprints for the post-Saddam Iraq. According to Aljibury, the administration began coveting its Mideast neighbor's oil within weeks of the Bush-Cheney inauguration, when the White House convened a closed committee under the direction of the State Department's Pam Wainwright. The group included banking and chemical industry men, and the range of topics over what to do with a post-conquest Iraq was wide. In short order, said Aljibury, "It became an oil group."

This was not surprising as the membership list had a strong smell of petroleum. Besides Aljibury, an oil industry consultant, the secret team included executives from Royal-Dutch Shell and ChevronTexaco. These and other oil industry bigs would, in 2003, direct the drafting of a 300-page addendum to the Economy Plan solely about Iraq's oil assets. The oil section of the Plan, obtained after a year of wrestling with the administration over the Freedom of Information Act, calls for Iraqis to sell off to "IOCs" (international oil companies) the nation's "downstream" assets—that is, the refineries, pipelines and ports that, unless under armed occupation, a Mideast nation would be loathe to give up.

---The General Versus Annex D---

One thing stood in the way of rewriting Iraq's laws and selling off Iraq's assets: the Iraqis. An insider working on the plans put it coldly: "They have [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz coming out saying it's going to be a democratic country … but we're going to do something that 99 percent of the people of Iraq wouldn't vote for."

In this looming battle between what Iraqis wanted and what the Bush administration planned for them, the Iraqis had an unexpected ally, Gen. Jay Garner, the man appointed by our president just before the invasion as a kind of temporary Pasha to run the soon-to-be conquered nation.

Garner's an old Iraq hand who performed the benevolent autocratic function in the Kurdish zone after the first Gulf War. But in March 2003, the general made his big career mistake. In Kuwait City, fresh off the plane from the United States, he promised Iraqis they would have free and fair elections as soon as Saddam was toppled, preferably within 90 days.

Garner's 90-days-to-democracy pledge ran into a hard object: The Economy Plan's 'Annex D.' Disposing of a nation's oil industry—let alone redrafting trade and tax laws—can't be done in a weekend, nor in 90 days. Annex D lays out a strict 360-day schedule for the free-market makeover of Iraq. And there's the rub: It was simply inconceivable that any popularly elected government would let America write its laws and auction off the nation's crown jewel, its petroleum industry.

Elections would have to wait. As lobbyist Norquist explained when I asked him about the Annex D timetable, "The right to trade, property rights, these things are not to be determined by some democratic election." Our troops would simply have to stay in Mesopotamia a bit longer.

---New World Orders 12, 37, 81 and 83---

Gen. Garner resisted—which was one of the reasons for his swift sacking by Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld on the very night he arrived in Baghdad last April. Rummy had a perfect replacement ready to wing it in Iraq to replace the recalcitrant general. Paul Bremer may not have had Garner's experience on the ground in Iraq, but no one would question the qualifications of a man who served as managing director of Kissinger Associates.

Pausing only to install himself in Saddam's old palace—and adding an extra ring of barbed wire—"Jerry" Bremer cancelled Garner's scheduled meeting of Iraq's tribal leaders called to plan national elections. Instead, Bremer appointed the entire government himself. National elections, Bremer pronounced, would have to wait until 2005. The extended occupation would require our forces to linger.


The delay would, incidentally, provide time needed to lock in the laws, regulations and irreversible sales of assets in accordance with the Economy Plan.

On that, Bremer wasted no time. Altogether, the leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority issued exactly 100 orders that remade Iraq in the image of the Economy Plan. In May, for example, Bremer—only a month from escaping out Baghdad's back door—took time from fighting the burgeoning insurrection to sign orders 81—"Patents,"and 83, "Copyrights." Here, Grover Norquist's hard work paid off. Fifty years of royalties would now be conferred on music recording. And 20 years on Windows code.

Order number 37, "Tax Strategy for 2003," was Norquist's dream come true: taxes capped at 15 percent on corporate and individual income (as suggested in the Economy Plan, page 8). The U.S. Congress had rejected a similar flat-tax plan for America, but in Iraq, with an electorate of one—Jerry Bremer—the public's will was not an issue.

Not everyone felt the pain of this reckless rush to a free market. Order 12, "Trade Liberalization," permitted the tax- and tariff-free import of foreign products. One big winner was Cargill, the world's largest grain merchant, which flooded Iraq with hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat. For Iraqi farmers, already wounded by sanctions and war, this was devastating. They could not compete with the U.S. and Australian surplusses dumped on them. But the import plan carried out the letter of the Economy Plan.

This trade windfall for the West was enforced by the occupation's agriculture chief, Dan Amstutz, himself an import from the United States. Prior to George Bush taking office, Amstutz chaired a company funded by Cargill.

There's no sense cutting taxes on big business, ordering 20 years of copyright payments for Bill Gates' operating system or killing off protections for Iraqi farmers if some out-of-control Iraqi government is going to take it away after an election. The shadow governors of Iraq back in Washington thought of that, too. Bremer fled, but he's left behind him nearly 200 American "experts," assigned to baby-sit each new Iraqi minister—functionaries also approved by the U.S. State Department.

---The Price---

The free market paradise in Iraq is not free.

After General Garner was deposed, I met with him in Washington. He had little regard for the Economy Plan handed to him three months before the tanks rolled. He especially feared its designs on Iraq's oil assets and the delay in handing Iraq back to Iraqis. "That's one fight you don't want to take on," he told me.

But we have. After a month in Saddam's palace, Bremer cancelled municipal elections, including the crucial vote about to take place in Najaf. Denied the ballot, Najaf's Shi'ites voted with bullets. This April, insurgent leader Moqtada Al Sadr's militia killed 21 U.S. soldiers and, for a month, seized the holy city.

"They shouldn't have to follow our plan," the general said. "It's their country, their oil." Maybe, but not according to the Plan. And until it does become their country, the 82nd Airborne will have to remain to keep it from them.

For the interview with Jay Garner and more details of The Plan, see "Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," out this month on DVD. Watch a segment: gregpalast.com/bff-dvd.htm



3) Bush Signs $136B Corporate Tax Bill

- - Administration Misleads on Cost of War


Bush Inks $136B Corporate Tax Bill
WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2004

With no fanfare, President George W. Bush on Friday signed the most sweeping rewrite of U.S. corporate tax law in nearly two decades, showering $136 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups.

Intended to end a bitter trade war with Europe, the election-year measure was described by supporters as critically necessary to aid beleaguered manufacturers who have suffered 2.7 million lost jobs over the past four years.

But opponents charged that the tax package had grown into a massive giveaway that will add to the complexity of the tax system and end up rewarding multinational companies that move jobs overseas.

There was no ceremony for the bill-signing. White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced the signing on Air Force One as Mr. Bush flew to a campaign appearance in Pennsylvania.

For the complete article, see
cbsnews.com/stories/2004/10/11/politics/main648480.shtml

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- - Administration Misleads on Cost of War

Before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration told the American people that it could be fought on the cheap. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."[1] Budget Director Mitch Daniels said Iraq will be "an affordable endeavor,"[2] "that will not require sustained aid"[3] and cost "in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion."[4] Defense Policy Board Member Richard Perle said, "Iraq is a very wealthy country...They can finance, largely finance, the reconstruction of their own country."[5] They were all wrong.

The Washington Post reports "the Bush administration intends to seek about $70 billion in emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, pushing total war costs close to $225 billion since the invasion of Iraq early last year."[6]

For sources of information and to learn more about Bush Administration distortion, visit: Misleader.org



4) The Voting Trip Threat Against Democracy

- - Greg Palast in Harper's Magazine November Voting Issue
- - Storm Clouds Gathering Over the Legitimacy of This Election
- - What to do if having troubles at the polls

- - Greg Palast in Harper's Magazine November Voting Issue
Excerpted from the current (November) issue of Harper's Magazine
by Greg Palast

Before one vote was cast in early voting this week in Florida, the new touch-screen computer voting machines of Florida started out with a several-thousand vote lead for George W. Bush. That is, the mechanics of the new digital democracy boxes "spoil" votes at a predictably high rate in African-American precincts, effectively voiding enough votes cast for John Kerry to in a tight race, keep the White House safe from the will of the voters.

Florida's computerization had its first mass test in 2002, in Broward County. The ES&S machines appeared to work well in white Ft. Lauderdale precincts, but in black communities, such as Lauderhill and Pompano Beach, there was wholesale disaster. Poll workers were untrained, and many places opened late. Black voters were held up in lines for hours. No one doubts that hundreds of Black votes were lost before they were cast.

Broward county commissioners had purchased the touch-screen machines from ES&S over the objection of Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant; notably, one commissioner's campaign treasurer was an ES&S lobbyist. Governor Bush responded to the Broward fiasco by firing Oliphant, an African-American, for "misfeasance."

Even when computers work, they don't work well for African-Americans. A July 2001 Congressional study found that computers spoiled votes in minority districts at three times the rate of votes lost in white districts.

Based on the measured differential in vote loss between paper and computer systems, the fifteen counties in Florida, can expect to lose at least 29,000 votes to spoilage-some 27,000 more than if the counties had used paper ballots with scanners.

Given the demographics of spoilage, this translates into a net lead of thousands for Bush before a single ballot is cast.

---

For the full story, read "Another Florida" in the November issue of Harper's, out now. Mr. Palast, a contributing editor to the magazine, is author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

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- - Storm Clouds Gathering Over the Legitimacy of This Election
by Ronald Brownstein

[Published October 25, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times]

In a presidential campaign that's grown increasingly bitter, maybe the one thing both sides can wish for is a decisive result.

If the race between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry stays close, the risk is growing that, as in 2000, millions of Americans — and millions of people around the world — will see the result as tainted or even illegitimate.

For the complete article, see:
commondreams.org/headlines04/1025-05.htm

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- - What to do if having troubles at the polls
From MoveOn pac

They're doing it again. In Nevada, a Republican contractor has allegedly ripped up thousands of Democratic registration forms.(1) In Florida, Jeb Bush has purged tens of thousands of legitimate voters -- mostly black, mostly Democratic -- from the rolls because their names are similar to a felon's.(2) In Ohio, the Republican Secretary of State has been so uncooperative that a federal judge said that he "apparently seeks to accomplish the same result in Ohio in 2004 that occurred in Florida in 2000."(3)

But there's one big difference between the election of 2000 and the election of 2004: this time, a number of powerful, well-staffed groups will be aggressively responding to each and every instance of voter intimidation, suppression, and fraud. Messing with our right to vote is a felony, and with your help we'll make sure that anyone who does is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

We've put together a wallet-sized card that has all the numbers and information you need if someone tries to stop you from exercising your right to vote. You can download it now at:

cdn.moveonpac.org/content/pdfs/ep_card.pdf

In a great majority of polling places, of course, voting will be very efficient -- even fun. Poll workers will guide you through the process. They're non-partisan, and they are there to help.

But it's likely that some precincts will be targeted for vote suppression, and that's what we have to be on the look-out for. Since one key suppression tactic is slowing down the voting process, we have to be careful not to fall into that trap. Don't obstruct: just demand that whoever is giving you trouble step aside with you and let the voting continue..

So, what if something does go wrong?

First, document it. If there are specific individuals involved who are challenging your right to vote, intimidating voters, or interfering with the process, try to get their names. Write down exactly what happened, including the time of day, descriptions of the people involved, and any other details you can remember.

Then, report it. There are lots of organizations that will be working to respond quickly to complaints of voter intimidation, suppression, and fraud. Here's who to call:

MoveOn PAC: Go to moveonpac.org/. On election day, our website will host a form where you can post your problem and get help.

Common Cause: Call 1-866-MYVOTE1. Common Cause has set up a hotline that you can call to report any problems you have voting. They'll document where problems are occurring, watch for wide-spread voter suppression, and provide real-time legal help to the hot spots.

1-866-OUR-VOTE. This hotline has been set up by a coalition of nonpartisan groups to deal with the most serious problems on election day. They have hundreds of lawyers standing by to immediately respond to the most egregious problems. 1-866-OUR-VOTE is the "911" of voter suppression hotlines. Please don't call unless your problem is serious enough that you have to talk to a lawyer immediately.

Again, to download a wallet-sized card with all of this information that you can bring with you to the polls, go to:

cdn.moveonpac.org/content/pdfs/ep_card.pdf

As Bill Clinton said at a rally with John Kerry on Monday, "They're trying to scare the voters away from the polls. It worked so well in Florida, they seem to be trying it elsewhere." We're not going to let them get away with it. And with your help, we'll make sure that anyone who tries to stop people from exercising their right to vote ends up behind bars.

Thanks for everything,
--Adam, Eli, Hannah, James, Laura, and the whole MoveOn PAC Team
October 27th, 2004

P.S.: If you have any questions, you can find your Secretary of State's office online at:
www.sec.state.ma.us/ele

Or try reaching their office by phone, at:
617-727-2828

Footnotes:
1. www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2421595&nav=168XRvNe
2. Greg Palast, Harper's Magazine, October 2004.
3. www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/politics/9992999.htm


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