Thursday, October 26, 2006

Know Bush Facts 41 - 50

In the belief that the truth shall set you free...

Know Bush Fact #41

The Most Urgent and Significant Know Bush Fact January 1, 2005

The fact is: George W. Bush did not receive the majority of the votes cast on November 2, 2004.

On Thursday, January 6, at 1:00 pm, one Senator is all it takes to stop the certification and request an investigation.

If you believe in Democracy, regardless of who you voted for, you will want to know the truth. Sadly, it is not being properly reported, except for on the internet. There is a great deal of activity regarding the immense and otherwise inexplicable irregularities in the voting results. In light of the urgency of this information, I am simply enclosing below my letter, with sites that verify the information (instead of just my usual Google path suggestion), to the Ombudsman at National Public Radio.

I also simply recommend , then go to the Elections 2004 Department. Or you can always Google: conyers +Ohio, or Conyers +Curtis, for starters.

OnePerson Still MakingADifference

----- Original Message -----

Cc: totn ; ; Diane Rehm show ; ; ; ;
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 2:15 PM
Subject: Is NPR now under pressure from the Bush administration or its corporate donors?

Shame on NPR. And I am so sad to say it. I listen to NPR a minimum of 40 hours a week, on headphones at work, plus weekends when I can. I have learned so very much, but now I am in shock over NPR's rolling over and not telling the people they serve the truth!

On Talk of the Nation on Thursday, December 30, Neal Conan seemed to be ready to address emails about voting irregularities. Then he brought on big business writer for The Economist, Thomas Micklethwait, who pooh-poohed the problem. Why would Neal bring on a man who writes for corporate America, the only winner under George W. Bush?

Why didn't we hear about Michigan Representative John Conyers and the hearings he's been holding in Ohio?

About Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell refusing to appear before Conyers's hearings?

About Clint Curtis, the software designer who bravely appeared before Conyers on December 13, following up on his Affidavit of December 8, to state that he had been told to create a program in Florida in 2000 by then Florida Speaker of the House Feeney (now in the U.S. Congress) to switch votes on touch-screen voting machines leaving no trail, which he then provided? for affidavit and video.

About David Cobb testifying before the Conyers hearings that a man from Triad changed the software on the counting machines on the evening of December 10, just prior to the recount?

About the law suit in the Ohio Supreme Court that was re-filed on Friday December 17, 2004, showing evidence of deliberate voter manipulation and intimidation in many counties, showing exit poll data and probability?

About the deposing of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Blackwell?

About John Conyers writing to various Senators requesting that they stand up for an investigation this coming Thursday, January 6, when the Congress is scheduled to certify the election? (Remember the scene in Fahrenheit 911?)

About the big networks refusing to comply with Conyer's subpeona of their raw exit poll data?

About Kerry stepping up to demand that the voting evidence remain intact for further investigation?

This information is not gossip, nor trivial, nor the rantings of a foolish conspiracist. Please, do not let NPR succumb to hiding the truth. Millions of people turn to NPR for real news. If they don't hear it there, where can they? If it's only heard on Pacifica, there are many who will write it off. But this is real - and of utmost importance. And this is what you exist to report on. Please do not let the world down. We have until Thursday, January 6, 2005 to contest the election. It is time for an epiphany. PLEASE TELL THE STORY.

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Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:
Know Bush Fact #42 January 9, 2005
"Mr. Vice President, I seek to object to the electoral votes of the State of Ohio on the ground that they were not, under all of the known circumstances, regularly given. I have a signed objection, and I do have a Senator." – Congresswoman Stephanie
Tubbs Jones, January 6, 2005

That Senator the Congresswoman mentioned, whose signature was required for the complaint to be acknowledged, was not John Kerry. It was Barbara Boxer.

The night before, on Wednesday, January 5, Kerry sent an email to his list of supporters: "Tomorrow, members of Congress will meet to certify the results of the 2004 presidential election. I will not be taking part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors. . ."

Since his concession on November 3, I had been arguing that Kerry was just holding his cards close to his chest until the right moment when all the evidence was in, but in receiving that email, I had to finally let go – because Kerry had. I went to bed without the surety that a Senator would rise to the occasion.

The morning brought the great news of Senator Boxer’s courage and the day became gloriously historical. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, in partnership with Senator Barbara Boxer, turned on the light and aimed it at the 2004 Presidential election in the state of Ohio, and the actions of Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.

Elections in this country will never be the same. Thank God. We now have hope for creating a real democracy right here at home. We can define what is ruinous, and what is required, and we can demand laws and funding that create and enforce our right to vote and to have our votes counted.

Then came my epiphany. Had it been Kerry that stood up on January 6, it would have been a truly nasty battle that looked like Bush versus Kerry all over again, but even more brutal. Without Kerry to beat up and lie about, we can see more clearly what Bush’s ultimate opponent really is – instead of Bush versus Kerry, it is Bush (and his profiteering friends) versus Democracy!!!!

So, while Bush may appear to have won the election of 2004, in that glorious moment on Thursday, January 6th, when Congresswoman Tubbs Jones stood up with the complaint also endorsed by Senator Boxer, Bush’s Presidency began its inevitable collapse upon itself.

Since Thursday, the Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff, entitled "Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio," is officially and undeniably in the Congressional Record, and the facts presented in it will have to be addressed.

The ensuing "debates" that followed on January 6 were, as Congressman Conyers later stated, "absolutely insulting" – there was no actual response to what the complaint presented. If you watched them, or read about them later, you could be lead astray again by the rude accusations coming from those who had something to lose. But the expectation was never that this great moment in history would change the outcome of the election. It was to shine a light, and my, is it bright! The whole world took notice.

To know the truth about what happened in Ohio, and what so many were trying to hide, you can go to and download your very own copy of the 102-page report. After reading it for yourself, I encourage you to print extra copies for book clubs, history teachers, universities, waiting rooms, and coffee shops. The best thing any of us can do is understand what has happened, and make sure others get the chance to understand as well.

Meanwhile, here is the Executive Summary [bold, italics, underlines, etc. are not mine; they are from the document]:

Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio
Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff
Executive Summary
Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the Democratic staff to conduct an investigation into irregularities reported in the Ohio presidential election and to prepare a Status Report concerning the same prior to the Joint Meeting of Congress scheduled for January 6, 2005, to receive and consider the votes of the electoral college for president. The following Report includes a brief chronology of the events; summarizes the relevant background law; provides detailed findings (including factual findings and legal analysis); and describes various recommendations for acting on this Report going forward.

We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousands of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.

This report, therefore, makes three recommendations: (1) consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution concerning the counting of electoral votes by Congress and Federal law implementing these requirements, there are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the State of Ohio; (2) Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and (3) Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our people's trust in our democracy. These changes should include putting in place more specific federal protections for federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit capability for electronic voting machines and casting and counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed changes to federal and state election laws.

With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.

First, in the run up to election day, the following actions by Mr. Blackwell, the Republican Party and election officials disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens, predominantly minority and Democratic voters:

The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters. This was illustrated by the fact that the Washington Post reported that in Franklin County, ``27 of the 30 wards with the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush. At the other end of the spectrum, six of the seven wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry.'' Among other things, the conscious failure to provide sufficient voting machinery violates the Ohio Revised Code which requires the Boards of Elections to ``provide adequate facilities at each polling place for conducting the election.''

Mr. Blackwell's decision to restrict provisional ballots resulted in the disenfranchisement of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of voters, again predominantly minority and Democratic voters. Mr. Blackwell's decision departed from past Ohio law on provisional ballots, and there is no evidence that a broader construction would have led to any significant disruption at the polling places, and did not do so in other states.

Mr. Blackwell's widely reviled decision to reject voter registration applications based on paper weight may have resulted in thousands of new voters not being registered in time for the 2004 election.

The Ohio Republican Party's decision to engage in preelection ``caging'' tactics, selectively targeting 35,000 predominantly minority voters for intimidation had a negative impact on voter turnout. The Third Circuit found these activities to be illegal and in direct violation of consent decrees barring the Republican Party from targeting minority voters for poll challenges.

The Ohio Republican Party's decision to utilize thousands of partisan challengers concentrated in minority and Democratic areas likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of legal voters, who were not only intimidated, but became discouraged the long lines. Shockingly, these disruptions were publicly predicted and acknowledged by Republican officials: Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, admitted the challenges ``can't help but create chaos, longer lines and frustration.''

Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent voters who requested absentee ballots but did not receive them on a timely basis from being able to receive provisional ballots likely disenfranchised thousands, if not tens of thousands, of voters, particularly seniors. A federal court found Mr. Blackwell's order to be illegal and in violation of HAVA.

Second, on election day, there were numerous unexplained anomalies and irregularities involving hundreds of thousands of votes that have yet to be accounted for:

There were widespread instances of intimidation and misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and the Ohio right to vote. Mr. Blackwell's apparent failure to institute a single investigation into these many serious allegations represents a violation of his statutory duty under Ohio law to investigate election irregularities.

We learned of improper purging and other registration errors by election officials that likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters statewide. The Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition projects that in Cuyahoga County alone over 10,000 Ohio citizens lost their right to vote as a result of official registration errors.

There were 93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast for president, the vast majority of which have yet to be inspected. The problem was particularly acute in two precincts in Montgomery County which had an undervote rate of over 25% each--accounting for nearly 6,000 voters who stood in line to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for president.

There were numerous, significant unexplained irregularities in other counties throughout the state: (i) In Mahoning county at least 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of Kerry votes to the Bush column; (ii) Warren County locked out public observers from vote counting citing an FBI warning about a potential terrorist threat, yet the FBI states that it issued no such warning; (iii) the voting records of Perry county show significantly more votes than voters in some precincts, significantly less ballots than voters in other precincts, and voters casting more than one ballot; (iv) in Butler county a down ballot and underfunded Democratic State Supreme Court candidate implausibly received more votes than the best funded Democratic Presidential candidate in history; (v) in Cuyahoga county, poll worker error may have led to little known third party candidates receiving twenty times more votes than such candidates had ever received in otherwise reliably Democratic leaning areas; (vi) in Miami county, voter turnout was an improbable and highly suspect 98.55 percent, and after 100 percent of the precincts were reported, an additional 19,000 extra votes were recorded for President Bush.

Third, in the post-election period we learned of numerous irregularities in tallying provisional ballots and conducting and completing the recount that disenfranchised thousands of voters and call the entire recount procedure into question (as of this date the recount is still not complete):

Mr. Blackwell's failure to articulate clear and consistent standards for the counting of provisional ballots resulted in the loss of thousands of predominantly minority votes. In Cuyahoga County alone, the lack of guidance and the ultimate narrow and arbitrary review standards significantly contributed to the fact that 8,099 out of 24,472 provisional ballots were ruled invalid, the highest proportion in the state.

Mr. Blackwell's failure to issue specific standards for the recount contributed to a lack of uniformity in violation of both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses. We found innumerable irregularities in the recount in violation of Ohio law, including (i) counties which did not randomly select the precinct samples; (ii) counties which did not conduct a full hand court after the 3% hand and machine counts did not match; (iii) counties which allowed for irregular marking of ballots and failed to secure and store ballots and machinery; and (iv) counties which prevented witnesses for candidates from observing the various aspects of the recount.

The voting computer company Triad has essentially admitted that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in numerous counties to provide ``cheat sheets'' to those counting the ballots. The cheat sheets informed election officials how many votes they should find for each candidate, and how many over and under votes they should calculate to match the machine count. In that way, they could avoid doing a full county-wide hand recount mandated by state law.

To verify/research, Google "Tubbs Jones +Boxer +voting."

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In the belief that the truth shall set you free...
Know Bush Fact #43
"The inauguration is a great festival of democracy. People are going to come from all over the country who are celebrating democracy and celebrating my victory, and I'm glad to celebrate with them." – G. W. Bush

That is, if they brought money.

The Presidential Inauguration is the rare occasion when large corporate and individual donations are visible, because they are allowed.
Thus, the public has a unique opportunity to see which industries come up with the big bucks to get into the VIP gatherings throughout the week.

A $250,000 gift – the contribution cap established by this year’s Inaugural Committee – made the giver an “Underwriter” and was rewarded with tickets to all the official inaugural events, inaugural balls, and – perhaps most important – the exclusive post-swearing-in Congressional Luncheon at Statuary Hall, where no cameras were allowed.

Imagine that room – Bush, Cheney, the Republican powerhouses from Congress, and the CEOs, Corporate VIPs, and lobbyists who have the most to gain from governmental policy decisions.

As of January 18, the record showed that 55 contributors had paid that $250,000 investment to maintain access to the inner circle of power. Another 97 companies and trade associations came up with at least $100,000 each, making them “Sponsors,” to make sure their interests were also in mind when legislature was written, and another 48 dropped a mere $25,000 to $50,000.

So, it’s worth looking at who coughed up the biggest bucks. (See chart at the end of this Know Bush Fact for specifics.)

With the privatization of Social Security being Bush’s new false crisis, the Finance / Investment industry totaled the greatest amount. A portion of this industry is also there to keep free rein on lending to the unqualified, also known as “predatory lending” – a booming business in the real world of lay offs, outsourcing, rising health care costs, and reduced domestic programs.

Next came the Energy industry, eager for subsidies, contracts, and chunks of the planet to deforest, blast, cement over, deplete, and poison. Oh, yes, and tort reform. Lawyers for the life on those chunks of planet could bite back.

With that same interest in tort reform comes the Pharmaceutical, Insurance, and Tobacco industries.

Corporations with contracts in Iraq – Defense, Intelligence, Construction, Services, etc. – showed up to remind the administration how profitable war here, there and everywhere can be (and surely they must have loved his speech).

Bush’s plan to legalize cheap immigrant labor brought in money from hotels and casinos.

Of course, Big Media was there, too.

Researching the list beyond the obvious, I found other points of interest. In truth, a Google search of these donors gave me enough material for multitudes of Know Bush facts. For example, briefly:

At least four entities went over the contribution cap.
• Ameriquest, known for lending to and foreclosing on people with bad credit, totaled in at $1,000,000 by giving through subsidiaries Town and Country Credit, Long Beach Acceptance Corp, and Argent Mortgage.
• Marriott gave $750,000 by also giving through its subsidiaries, Marriott Vacation Club and the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. Marriott is lobbying for an extension of the Terrorist Risk Insurance Act and various tax issues.
• Carl H. Lindner gave $750,000 by giving as an individual and through his two companies, American Financial Group and New Energy Corp. This amount was only $50,000 more than he gave to the “Swift Boat Veterans For Truth” during the campaign.
• Sheldon G. Adelson and his wife, Dr. Miriam Ochshorn Adelson, Chairman and Co-Owner, respectively, of the Las Vegas Sands, gave $250,000 each.

Additional info on those who gave $250,000 include:
• Rich Kinder (what a name!), giving with his wife as a private couple, is the CEO of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, but his greater significance is that he is the former President of Enron.
• Home Depot wants in again on the next energy bill. In the failed bill from Bush’s first term, a two-paragraph measure was inserted on page 710 during a closed-door committee conference that would lift a tariff on Chinese-made ceiling fans specifically sold at the company’s stores. Karen Knutson, the wife of Home Depot’s in-house lobbyist, Kent Knutson, was once a top aide to Vice President Cheney, and served as Deputy Director of the National Energy Policy Development Group, the secret energy task force whose records Cheney refused to release. She now works as a lobbyist for the energy industry.
• Boone Pickens, a Texas oil man, gave $250,000 individually, which was half the $500,000 he gave to the “Swift Boat Veterans For Truth.”
• Time Warner has settled with the Department of Justice just last month over fraud allegations regarding the financing reporting of its AOL subsidiary. According to the agreement, Time Warner will pay fines totalling $510,000,000, and if they keep their noses clean for two years, no criminal charges will be made.
• Strongbow Technologies Corp is owned by Therese Shaheen, the U.S. envoy to Taiwan who retired last April. Unfortunately, the company has merely a P.O. Box here in the U.S., but that Underwriter gift allows Ms. Shaheen to introduce her new Asian clients into the secret U.S. Government/Corporate world.

Finally, while it is understandable that over the decades, the funds raised by Presidential Inaugural Committees would naturally increase, there was one significant jump which morely than tripled the previous inauguration’s corporate donations, from $9 million to $29 million. That occurred in 1989, when George H. W. Bush was inaugurated. This year the big jump was in how much an entity could give, increasing it by 250%. The highest previous gift was capped at $100,000.

To verify/research, Google: Bush +Inauguration +donors.
From information at :

Altria Corporate Services, Inc. AKA Philip Morris Agriculture Tobacco
UST Inc. Agriculture Tobacco
Marriott International, Inc. Bus. Entertainment
Marriott Ritz Carlton Hotel Company Bus. Entertainment
Marriott Vacation Club International Bus. Entertainment
ACS State & Local Solutions, Inc. Business Support Services
AT&T Communications & Electronics
Strongbow Technologies, Corp. Communications & Electronics
Susan and Michael Dell - Dell Inc. Communications & Electronics - Computers
Golden Eagle Industries, Inc. Construction - Building Materials & Equipment
The Home Depot Construction - Building Materials & Equipment
The Timken Company Construction - Building Materials & Equipment
Rooney Holdings, Inc. - Manhattan Construction Construction - Heavy Construction
National Association of Home Builders Construction - Home Builders
Carl H. Lindner's company - New Energy Corp. Energy & Natural Resources - Chem. Manufacturing
Southern Company Energy & Natural Resources - Electric Utilities
BP Capital - Boone Pickens CEO Energy & Natural Resources - Oil & Gas
Chevron Texaco Energy & Natural Resources - Oil & Gas
Cinergy Corporation Energy & Natural Resources - Oil & Gas
Exxon Mobil Corporation Energy & Natural Resources - Oil & Gas
Hunt Consolidated, Inc. Energy & Natural Resources - Oil & Gas
Nancy and Rich Kinder - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Energy & Natural Resources - Oil & Gas
Occidental Petroleum Corporation Energy & Natural Resources - Oil & Gas
A.G. Spanos Finance Insurance Real Estate
Alagem Capital Group, LLC Finance Insurance Real Estate
Ameriquest Capital Corporation Finance Insurance Real Estate
Ameriquest Subsidiary - Long Beach Acceptance Corp. Finance Insurance Real Estate
Ameriquest Subsidiary - Town and Country Credit Finance Insurance Real Estate
Ameriquest Subsidiary -Argent Mortgage Company Finance Insurance Real Estate
Bank of America Corporation Finance Insurance Real Estate
Carl H. Lindner - CEO, American Financial Group Finance Insurance Real Estate
Carl H. Lindner's company - American Financial Group Finance Insurance Real Estate
Corporate Capital, LLC Finance Insurance Real Estate
Elliott Broidy - Elliott Capital Management Finance Insurance Real Estate
First Data Corporation Finance Insurance Real Estate
Kojaian Ventures, LLC Finance Insurance Real Estate
S. Davis Phillips - Phillips Industries Inc Finance Insurance Real Estate Investment
Sallie Mae, Inc. Finance Insurance Real Estate Investment
Stephens Group, Inc. Finance Insurance Real Estate Investment
Thomas F. Stephenson Finance Insurance Real Estate Investment
Wachovia Corporation Finance Insurance Real Estate Investment
Nelson Peltz - Triarc Companies: Arby's & Deerfield Cap. Food & Beverage / Finance Insurance Real Estate
Bristol-Myers Squibb Health Pharmaceuticals Health Products
Pfizer, Inc. Health Pharmaceuticals Health Products
Adelson, Dr. Miriam Ochshorn - LVegas Sands/Venetian Hotel Casino
Adelson, Sheldon G. - Las Vegas Sands Hotel Casino
Blank Rome, LLP - Lobbyist for Homeland Sec Contractors
Washington Television Center - Rev. Sun Media
Time Warner Media & Media Entertainment
United Technologies Military Contractor
H. Edward Baher, Retired Retired - Digital Scientist?
Ford Motor Company Transportation Automotive
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Corp. Transportation Railroad
FedEx Corporation Transportation Trucking
United Parcel Service Transportation Trucking

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In the belief that the truth shall set you free...

Know Bush Fact #44 April 28, 2005

While Bush and the Republican-led Congress misused the Shiavo family’s painful tragedy, there was a two-week distraction while other news passed by, ignored by broadcast media. Looking back at little-noticed headlines, this is when the Bush administration released legally-required documents and announcements that reveal its greatest hypocrisies regarding the Saudis, condoning torture, war-profiteering from the sale of arms to both sides of a long-time volatile conflict, and working against Homeland Security. For example:

• Documents obtained from the Department of Justice through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Judicial Watch show the F.B.I. actively escorted prominent Saudi families immediately after 911 to airports where they could flee the United States without meaningful questioning. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) demanded further investigation (March 27, 2005).
• A U.S. Army report from January 2004 released to reporters and the ACLU (another FIOA lawsuit) revealed widespread direct physical torture of detainees at a holding facility near Mosul in Iraq at the hands of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in December 2003 (March 26, 2005).
• The U.S. Army announced that 27 detainees were killed by U.S. soldiers between August 2002 and November 2004. Though The Army Criminal Investigation Command recommended murder, negligent homicide and assault charges against 21 soldiers, the next day it was reported that commanders decided to ignore the evidence and recommendations and not prosecute 17 of the 21 (March 25 & 26, 2005).
• Bush announced his authorization of the sale of an unlimited number of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, reversing 15 years of policy and ignoring warnings from India about destabilizing this volatile area. Bush resolved the imbalance by then granting permission for U.S. firms to sell India combat aircraft, upgraded F-16s and F-18s, training and missile defense systems (March 26, 2005).
• On the same day as the above announcement, The Los Angeles Times reported that unnamed federal investigators from the Commerce and Homeland Security Departments were thwarted by the State Department, which refused clearance for a crucial trip to track down an agent of the government of Pakistan who has been purchasing U.S. high-technology components for use in the Pakistani nuclear weapons program (March 26, 2005).

Tidbits about U.S. responsibility in the oil-for-food scandal, Halliburton indictments, and more slipped by during those two weeks as well, including one that is almost ready for your perusal in Know Bush Fact #45, soon to follow.

Whoops! I almost missed this! – Another “quick-while-they’re-distracted”, “major-story-released-when-it-won’t-get-read” example has been discovered:

In the wee hours between late Friday and early Saturday, April 22-23, 2005, ("Always in the middle of the night, always after the press had passed their deadlines, always after the American people had turned off the news and gone to bed...”*), the following headlines were posted by The Washington Post & The New York Times, respectively: Senior Army Officers Are Cleared in Abuse Cases. & Four Top Officers Cleared by Army in Prison Abuses, regarding Abu Ghraib and the blatant discarding of command accountability in Bush’s Army.

To verify/research, Google “Bush +Pakistan +F-16" or “Bush +Pakistan +Homeland Security” or “FBI +Saudi +Schumer” or “torture +Mosul +101st” or “Army +murder +27 detainees +not prosecute”– oh, yes, and “Army +cleared +officers +Ghraib”.

*Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown, in 2004, discussing strategic Republican preference for late Friday/early Saturday hours, especially in the Republican-lead House. The record shows that was when they voted to cut veteran’s benefits, education and health care, and Head Start, and when they voted to pass the huge tax-cut for the rich, the privatization of Medicare, and that $87 billion for Bush’s war on Iraq.

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Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

Know Bush Fact #45 May 5, 2005

Today is Election Day in Britain. Perhaps you heard. Or read. Maybe you weren’t overly interested. You may have picked up the idea that the Brits aren’t happy about Iraq. He made a bad decision, but they don’t want a Conservative. Blah blah blah. Bland British bother. Ho-hum. . . Right? Not interested unless it’s Monty Python, right? (That got your attention, eh?)

That’s because you don’t know what happened four days ago in Great Britain.

Sunday, May 1st, 2005, the United Kingdom woke up to this on the front page of their Sunday Times:

"A SECRET document from the heart of government reveals today that Tony Blair privately committed Britain to war with Iraq and then set out to lure Saddam Hussein into providing the legal justification."

And right there on the page was the leaked Minutes of the July 23, 2002 meeting at Downing Street:

"This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents."

In the second paragraph of the Minutes...
"C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

An inch or so down...
"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force."

Ending with...
"The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush."

Hmm. So, that’s what the Brits learned in their newspapers last Sunday about the 2002 Bush/Blair meeting in Crawford Texas where they strategized how they could create justification for invading oil-rich Iraq.

And what did we Americans learn from the U.S. press?

Not quite the same story.

The New York Times reported on May 2, way down in paragraphs 12-14 in an article entitled FOR BLAIR, IRAQ ISSUE JUST WON'T GO AWAY, that a document from July 2002 disclosed a meeting in which Blair “seemed to swing behind American arguments for regime change.” Bush is barely mentioned.

The Washington Post at least had a more revealing title: COULD LEAKS SINK TONY BLAIR? However, it was an online only article -- with links to the British press, but if you didn’t follow the links, you couldn't grasp what happened, not from "Blair privately told President Bush in April 2002 that Britain would support 'regime change' by force in Iraq."

NPR’s Talk of the Nation yesterday, May 4, did a half hour on British politics, but somehow managed to avoid any mention of the leaked Minutes of July 2002. I even forwarded links to the above articles yesterday morning to Neal Conan, host of TOTN, in hopes the opportunity for American public discourse would not be missed. But, sadly, with Bush’s friends, Ken Tomlinson & W. Kenneth Ferree, now at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting reining in notorious liberalism with the real threat of the end of federal funding, NPR & PBS are stepping gingerly.
So how did I learn about these Minutes -- another verification of Bush lying to invoke Patriotism & Righteousness all the while hiding long-held ulterior motives?

The Village Voice. The “Bush Beat” blog, written by Ward Harkavy. I had just last weekend noticed the column and signed up for email updates, and this was the first one I got. I don’t actually even know if the column is in the printed copy. Harkavy's title?

With links.

Another writer you can always count on to find the meat of the matter -- the wonderfully irrepressible Greg Palast. The title of his email column, also picked up by TRUTHOUT. was...

Significantly, as an undaunted American investigative journalist, Palast has to work for the Brits (BBC, The Guardian) to find real freedom of the press.

In conclusion, perhaps some perspective can be gained by better knowing our history in the Middle East:

After WWII, Iran's first democratically-elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, ordered British Petroleum out and then nationalized the production of Iranian oil.

The Brits came to the U.S. for help, and in August 1953, the CIA removed Mohammed Mossadegh, replacing him with the tyrannical Shah of Iran.

The UK and US got the oil, but lost their claim to democratic values. The price has been the rise of radical Islamic clerics, the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the politically-misused American hostages, and the growth of distrust and vengeful hatred in the Middle East for the United States.

The reason we are at war is not because "They hate Democracy!" -- as Bush constantly repeats. It is because they see hypocrisy in Bush self-righteously pretending to uphold Democracy while bullying the world to get what he and his corporate friends want.

All for the sake of oil. . . Black Gold. . . Texas Tea.

To verify/research, Google “Bush +Blair +July 2002"

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[Note: This Know Bush Fact #46 is in 3 parts: July 9, 2005
Good News & Bad News on June 23 (The Basic Premise, approx. 1 Page)
Work Experience (What they've been up to before now, approx. 4 Pages)
Tomlinson/CPB Timeline (Lots of details that reveal the full story, approx. 6 Pages)
Epilogue [Author's Commentary, Clearly Labeled] (1/2 Page) ]

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:
Know Bush Fact #46
Tomlinson, Harrison, & Andrews
at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Good News & Bad News on June 23

Democracy depends on an informed, involved citizenry. On Thursday, June 23, 2005, there was good news for Democracy. . . and there was bad news for Democracy.

That day, in an wonderfully bipartisan moment, the House of Representatives voted 284-140 to restore the slashed $100 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

That slash initally would have cut the CPB operating budget by 25%, effectively immediately. In addition, there is also a cut of $39 million for converting stations to digital programming (as required by the FCC), $50 million for PBS satellite technology, and $23 million for the “Ready to Learn” PBS children’s programming (supposedly in partnership with the Bush Department of Education to help with “No Child Left Behind”). The most damage would be to local stations, especially in more rural areas, where public broadcasting is treasured but donations are smaller. And if local stations can’t buy NPR and PBS programming, then it can all crumble away.

The vote on the 23rd restored the $100 million for the operating budget! YEAH! But not the rest.

Still, there was a breath of relief before it hits the Senate. It appears that the internet petitions, the noticeable appearance of Clarence the Big Red Dog on Capitol Hill, and the memory of watching Republicans not get re-elected after the mid-90's threat to CPB – all had their effect in the House that day.

On the dark side, the vote may also have been affected by the announcement that Patricia Harrison, the former Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee, had just been elected President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that very morning! – taking pressure off the Republican Representatives.

It was, indeed, a sign. The mission to discredit and control the trusted (and therefore dangerous) press at PBS and NPR had been secured – from within. The allotted federal money would no longer be such an issue anymore.

For, you see, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, created in 1967 to be the firewall protecting public broadcasters from political pressure, was at last in the hands of seasoned propagandists.

It turns out that Patricia Harrison is so much more than a former Co-Chair for the RNC. Her ascension at CPB is “a Rove dream come true” according to Frank Rich of The New York Times.

Mary Catherine Andrews, her new Senior Advisor to the President, already conveniently in place since March 25, 2005, is also so much more than a former “White House staffer,” as she has been dubbed.

And Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the newly notorious Chairman of the Board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, sits in another Chair that defines his weightier purpose.

Records show that Harrison, Andrews and Tomlinson have already spent the last few years working for the White House, with unlimited resources available to them, coordinating their separate offices toward the same mission:
• to counter growing anti-Americanism worldwide,
• by strategically flooding international communications on all levels,
• with intensely shaped and coordinated images and words,
• to persuade others into believing that the policies and actions of the United States of America under George W. Bush are based on its positive values of freedom and democracy.

To put it more bluntly, their lives have been dedicated to propagandizing for the Bush administration.

This purpose has inhabited their every moment. They are the ultimate salespeople whose language has become one with the company pitch.

If they see, hear, read anything that doesn’t glorify Bush’s America on high, they automatically, instinctively seek to zap it – and replace it with Holy Hosannas for Bush’s “true intent” through “good stories.”

Uh-oh. Did you hear that sound? It was Democracy collapsing, suddenly blinded – not by the Light. In the Dark.


PATRICIA HARRISON, on October 2, 2001, became Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
It sounds benign enough, but excerpts from her August 19, 2004 statement before the House International Relations Committee, reviewing the Recommendations of the 911 Commission Report, indicate a pattern of information manipulation:

Following September 11, 2001, in discussions with this committee, and in conjunction with our embassies, the Broadcasting Board of Governors* and others, we began to move forward with a strategy for America’s public diplomacy.

The foundation of our public diplomacy strategy is to engage, inform, and influence foreign publics in order to increase understanding for American values, policies and initiatives

Our investment in training for journalists and cooperative television provides influential professionals with an entree to American society, where they can see for themselves how media in a free society works and observe for themselves that America is a free country. . .

Television and video products continue to be powerful strategic tools. . .

In the wake of 9/11, we began to produce a stream of print and electronic materials describing for foreign audiences, in their own languages, the events of 9/11 and the need to fight against those who have committed or wish to commit terrorist acts, as well as the achievements made in that struggle, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. . .

More than 3,000 articles on terrorism have been published in the daily Washington File since 9/11. .

We continue to produce "good news" stories on reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. . . [* Remember this.]

Those “balanced reports and documentaries” got some naughty notoriety when word got out that the pseudo-newscasts, called Video News Releases (VNRs), were also distributed to television stations within the United States, not just internationally.

When the General Accountability Office investigated these “prepackaged news stories,” it found that they were covert propaganda and therefore illegal.,

The White House Office of Legal Council put the word out: “Because GAO is part of the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch agencies are not bound by GAO’s legal advice.”

So, it seems that Patricia Harrison and her “good news stories” answer to a ‘Higher Law’ – above ‘Accountability’ – the White House. And that is ever so much more significant than merely being a former Co-Chair of the RNC.

MARY CATHERINE ANDREWS, Ms. Harrison’s Senior Advisor, was one of the Bush Oval Office “in crowd” right from the start– the Director for Democracy for the National Security Council, working with the infamously loyal-to-Bush Condoleeza Rice.
From that lofty position, Ms. Andrews was handed the reins of the White House Office of Global Communications in January 2004, just when Bush’s Iraqi invasion was looking a lot less like a liberation and a lot more like a very costly occupation, AND Bush was officially embarking on his campaign for re-election.

Though the White House Office of Global Communications wasn’t officially established until January 21, 2003, it was first announced eleven months earlier, on February 20, 2002. The New York Times reported:

“President Bush has decided to transform the administration's temporary wartime communications effort” [the Coalition Information Center, led by another Bush Mama Tiger, Karen Hughes] “into a permanent office of global diplomacy to spread a positive image of the United States around the world and combat anti-Americanism.”

The office, which has “no name, no director, and no budget” – but “Mr. Bush has said money will be no obstacle” – would “coordinate the public statements of State, Defense and the other departments, including Voice of America*, to ensure that foreign correspondents in Washington, as well as foreign leaders and opinion-makers overseas, understand Mr. Bush's policies.”
[*Remember this.]

This hasty announcement about an unbudgeted and unnamed Office was in print one day after The New York Times also reported on another administration Office, the newly-discovered Office of Strategic Influence at the Pentagon, launched immediately after 911 to plant “news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers . . through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon.”

The news of this dangerous misuse of legitimate international media meant the Bush administration needed to immediately diffuse and distract. So, the no-time-to-name Office that would spread the good news on Bush’s U.S.A. was born later that day (and was in the paper the next), while the nasty, lying, cheating Pentagon Office (of “SI”) was shut down within a week.

Five months later, the nice Office got a name: “The Office of Global Communications,” of course.

Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said the “OGC” would communicate to the world “what America is all about and why America does what it does. . . This is a sign of the importance the President attaches to how other nations see the United States.”

Eventually, the January 2003 Executive Order said the OGC – and its Director – would:
. . ensure consistency in messages that will promote the interests of the United States abroad, prevent misunderstanding, build support for and among coalition partners of the United States, and inform international audiences. . .

. . . coordinate the formulation among appropriate agencies of messages that reflect the strategic communications framework and priorities of the United States. . . [And]

. . .assist media personnel in obtaining access to information, individuals, and events that reinforce strategic communications objectives of the United States and its allies. .

Ah, another spinmeister job.

Now, this little known Mary Catherine (often written “M.C. Andrews” and referred to as a “he” by an unaware press) has gotten some publicity of late for being the “White House staffer” commissioned by Ken Tomlinson to draft the guidelines for his two new Ombudsmen positions at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Both M.C. and Ken have denied that these guidelines were composed while she was still at the White House, but an article in The New York Times on June 18, 2005 reports that leaked email records indicate there was correspondence from CPB to Andrew’s White House office regarding the ombudsmen, and instructions to CPB from “White House officials” regarding Andrew’s new job title.

Busted. Getting caught in a lie is an unusual slip in the spin.

Mary Catherine Andrews’ history of diligent dedication to the George W. Bush Presidency and its shining image is then in alignment with Patricia Harrison’s.

To complete the triumvirate, remember the two coordinating entities asterisked previously:

The Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Voice of America.

The BBG is the “independent, autonomous entity responsible for all U.S. government and government sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting” which supervises the Voice of America, as well as Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, and several others.

KENNETH Y. TOMLINSON is the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. This is his other Chair.

Coincidentally, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is supposed to be a firewall between the U.S. government’s international broadcast services and administrative foreign policy agencies - to protect journalism from political interference.

The Voice of America, its hallmark service, made history and established its gutsy reputation when Edward R. Murrow first turned on the mike on February 25, 1942 - “The news may be good or bad. We shall tell you the truth.” Murrow believed in providing hope by demonstrating freedom and democracy. “To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be truthful.”

Sadly, that hasn’t always been everyone’s priority in international broadcasting.

Ken Tomlinson himself served a previous stint as Director of the Voice of America, appointed by Reagan in 1982, but that ended abruptly with his resignation in 1984, amidst a scandal, when it was discovered that he was one of the six officials authorized by its governing board, the US. Information Agency, to remove “biased” individuals from its speakers list. Walter Cronkite, Ben Bradley, Ralph Nader, Coretta Scott King, and David Brinkley were among the names blacklisted. (Michael Winship, Messenger Post, refers to a February 21, 1984 Associated Press interview with the USIA Assistant Director for Management, Policy & Coordination.)

Tomlinson quickly returned, serving on the U.S. Board for International Broadcasting from 1986 to 1994, alongside Karl Rove, with whom he maintains a handy, close friendship.

And now, since August 1, 2002, he sits over a bigger array of international broadcasting for the United States. Where the White House apparently wants strong oversight.

On September 20, 2001, Voice of America aired 22 seconds of a rare and timely interview with Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of the Taliban and a defender of Osama bin Laden. This promptly resulted in the removal of veteran Acting Director Myrna Whitworth and the valued Director of the Pashtu service. Demanding phone calls were received by the Broadcasting Board of Governors from the State Department and National Security Council.

On September 3, 2002, one month after Tomlinson was confirmed Chair of the BBG, David Jackson, a former writer for Time Magazine who left journalism to work at the Pentagon’s, was named the new VOA Director, replacing the VOA Director who replaced Myrna Whitworth.

Jackson must be doing exactly what the Bush administration wants, because he has not been replaced – but the traditional presentations of U.S. international broadcasting have been.

On February 27, 2003, Tomlinson testified before a “Public Diplomacy and Islam” Hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was there specifically to promote the youth-oriented, pop Arabic and American music stations, featuring bursts of headline news rather than in-depth reporting.

With the corporate business drive of BBG Board member, Norman Pattiz, CEO of the largest U.S. commercial radio operation, Westwood One, and the conservative fortitude of Tomlinson, the BBG has reallocated Voice of America funds and frequencies to Westwood One’s new glitzy pop networks, Radio Sawa and Alhurra Television. This way, the U.S. can broadcast internationally, but circumvent the accountability and standards of the VOA Charter, as well as avoid an annual content analysis. At the same time, VOA Arab language services have been shut down.

VOA newsrooms began to receive memos from David Jackson, directing them to develop more “positive stories” that emphasized the U.S. successes in Iraq, to cut back on reports on car bombings, and to remove photos from Abu Ghraib from the VOA website. They were told to “report more favorably on the actions of the Bush administration” and “deliberately try to enhance the United States’ reputation around the world.”

Hmm. Pushing the pleasant perspective again.

As the pressure increased at the VOA, and was met with resistance, broadcast hours were cut, positions were cut. On July 1, 2004, VOA Director David Jackson proved how serious he was by suddenly removing VOA News Director Andre de Nesnera, a well-respected journalist who had received the “Constructive Dissent Award” from the American Foreign Service Association in 2002 for his determination to preserve the integrity of VOA news broadcasts.

Within days, approximately 460 VOA staffers signed and delivered a petition to Congress, which accused the Broadcasting Board of Governors under the Chairmanship of Kenneth Tomlinson of “dismantling the nation’s radio beacon” and broadcasting “less news, information and analysis to fewer countries for fewer hours in fewer languages. . . at a time when the ability of the U.S. to speak to the world in a clear, effective and credible voice is more crucial than ever.”

Congress did not investigate properly, and the protest failed. And the political punishment continued.

But when Director Jackson announced this spring that the VOA would be moving part of its late night news division to Hong Kong and hiring eight writers there, it got the attention of Democratic Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee.

In June 2005, fourteen Senators signed a letter taking Director Jackson to task for his outsourcing move.
“We find it difficult to believe VOA will be able to satisfy its mission of projecting `significant American thought' through non-American citizens.”

So, it is important to recognize that Bush-appointed Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is also actively blowing out the light of the American free press working abroad – representing real freedom, not staged; real hope, not hype; real information, not dangerous distractions – for people of many languages and cultures.

And why?

[AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY, CLEARLY LABELED:] So George W. Bush, and his family and friends, can continue to gain power over the resources of the world. Or... who knows? Well, we have a right to know.

On June 1, 2005, journalist David Sarasohn wrote, “Along with the always-useful ‘Follow the money,’ Watergate left us another message: When the White House goes on the attack against reporters, it’s probably because there’s something it doesn’t want reported. . .”

And the only way they can get away with it is if we don’t care to know. So, KNOW BUSH.


1967 The CPB was established by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 with a mission to act as a firewall protecting public broadcasting from political pressure – while collecting and dispersing federal funding to develop programs of “high quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, and innovation.... from diverse sources. . . unafraid of “creative risks. . .” with “instructional, educational, and cultural purposes. . ” while still maintaining “objectivity and balance...”
Ask Bill Moyers. He was there.
1968 After an internship with the infamous and powerful Fulton Lewis, Jr., the Rush Limbaugh of the McCarthy era, master of the commie-paranoia smear, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson begins an almost 30 year career (with a break for the VOA fiasco in the 80's) at The Reader’s Digest, in time to counter rising doubts about America’s presence in Vietnam.
Sep 8, 00 Clinton's appointee, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson is confirmed as a CPB Board Member. (Presidential appointments to the Board are required to fulfill bipartisan guidelines of having no more than 5 members of one party on the Board.
Jan 02 After 9/11 PBS President Pat Mitchell recruits Bill Moyers to host a Friday night news show that would be both tough and fresh. Moyers later explains, “I wanted to do something about September 11 that made me feel pertinent and useful.” CPB refuses to fund the show, so PBS does, with help from Mutual of America Life Insurance and other foundations.
Aug 6, 02 Cheryl Halpern is given a recess appointment by Bush to CPB Board. The former Chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, she and her husband have donated more than $324,000 to Republicans since 1989.
Nov 8, 02 Bill Moyers delivers a post-midterm election commentary on the November 8 NOW:
“. . . the entire federal government — the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary — is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives. . .the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. . . giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. . . secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine. Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you liked the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what's coming.”
Nov 19, 02 The CPB Board responds to Bill Moyers’ November 8 post-election commentary with a Resolution reaffirming its commitment to “treat subjects of a controversial nature in a fair and balanced way.”
2002-03 Survey of opinion leaders by Erdos & Morgan, a major market research firm, finds that America’s most influential people held that the NewsHour, Frontline, NOW, and Washington Week were the four most credible public affairs shows on TV.
Opinion surveys by The Tarrance Group with Lake Snell Perry & Associates finds that
“Fewer than 15% of Americans say that PBS and NPR coverage of the war and/or the Bush administration is slanted.” And
“Over 50% of Americans say that the news and information programming on PBS is more trustworthy than the news and programming from other sources.”
Dec 11, 02 Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne, invites PBS President Pat Mitchell over for tea, where Michael Pack, Republican documentary producer and Bush-appointee to National Council on Humanities, surprises her with a pitch for a series of hour-long TV programs for middle-school-age children, hosted by Lynne Cheney and called “Lynne Cheney’s History Book.”
Jan 27, 03 At a follow-up meeting at the PBS offices with Michael Pack and John Wilson, PBS Co-Chief Program Executive, it is explained to Pack that it would be inappropriate for the wife of the 2nd highest ranking government official to have her own show on public television.
Feb 19, 03 Michael Pack is named Senior Vice President, Television Programming at CPB.
March 03 The White House Office of Presidential Personnel interviews Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle’s recommendation for the CPB Board, Chon Noriega, a UCLA professor of TV, Film & Digital Media. He is asked if it was appropriate for the CPB to intervene in programming deemed politically biased. His basic answer is “only in extraordinary circumstances.” His not appointed.
June 9, 03 At PBS Annual Meeting in Miami, a panel is shown a clip of Moyers’ February 28, 2003 commentary, in which he describes how the American flag had been “highjacked and turned into a logo– the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism.” To Bush & Cheney wearing flag pins during the State of the Union address, he asks, “How come? No administration’s patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies.” Afterwards, CPB President writes to PBS President Pat Mitchell telling her they need to discuss Moyers commentary.
June 27, 03 Pat Mitchell writes back that she fully supports Moyers’ 1st Amendment right “to give his opinions on all matters.”
July 14, 03 Current, a public broadcasting newsletter, reports on an email from Moyers, who thinks the 26 commentaries in 18 months aren’t the real problem; it’s the fact that NOW covers stories others won’t touch. “Powerful vested interest, of course, don’t like strong, credible, fact-based truth telling, and they turn to their cohorts in Congress to protest.” Moyers suspects NOW’s reporting on the FCC new ownership rules “really stirred the hornet’s nest and made some very powerful people uncomfortable.”
Sep 24, 03 Tomlinson named Chair of CPB Board. He states, “As the United States is challenged at home and abroad, public broadcasting is a vital tool for sustaining democratic values.”
Nov 4, 03 At confirmation hearing Cheryl Halpern complains to Senate Commerce Committee that the CPB doesn’t have the authority to initiate penalties for biased and imbalanced news reporting. When Trent Lott calls Moyers’s commentary “the most blatantly partisan, irresponsible thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Halpern agrees. "Going back to my BBG days, we were able to remove physically somebody who had engaged in editorialization of the news.”
Dec 3, 03 Tomlinson writes to PBS Pat Mitchell, “Now with Bill Moyers does not contain anything approaching the balance the law requires for public broadcasting.”
Dec 8, 03 PBS Pat Mitchell has diplomatic breakfast with CPB Board; one Board member screams, “You’ve got to get rid of Moyers!”
Dec 10, 03 Cheryl Halpern and Beth Courtney are confirmed by Senate to the Board.
Dec 26, 03 Bush gives recess appointments to Gay Hart Gaines (former Chair of Gingrich’s GOPAC, donated with husband more than $491,000 to Republicans since 1989) and Claudia Puig, both from Florida, both previously nominated but not confirmed.
Jan 4, 04 Public Radio Ethics Guide Updated.
Feb 3, 04 Tomlinson secretly signs contract with consultant to “monitor the political leanings” of the guests on NOW.
Feb 19, 04 Moyers announces he will retire after the November 2004 elections. He feels “compelled” to write a book about Lyndon Johnson, with whom he worked before and during his presidency. PBS President Pat Mitchell vows her commitment to the program continuing with David Brancaccio.
Mar 1, 04 CPB announces “America at a Crossroads,” investing $20 million into programs with post 911 themes even the subject has already been covered extremely well.
Jun 18, 04 In response to call for balance, PBS begins “conservative libertarian” Tucker Carlson Unfiltered. It lasts exactly one year.
July 1, 04 Kathleen Cox becomes new CPB President and CEO (elected Jan 27, 2004).
July 21, 04 While coordinating with Karl Rove to kill a proposal to increase public broadcasters on CPB Board, Tomlinson emails new CPB President Kathleen Cox: “The White House has issued guidance. WH officially opposed to the Burns amendment.”
Aug 5, 04 Huge CPB press release announcing conservative Journal Editorial Report. Michael Pack, Sr. VP of Programming states, “America faces big issues, not only in Iraq but as a superpower. We believe Americans want knowledge as well as straight news; understanding as well as information.” Tomlinson arranged for the $5 million initial funding, then Shell Oil stepped in.
Sep 17, 04 Journal Editorial Report starts.
Sep 21, 04 Tomlinson reelected Chair.
Later that same day, Tomlinson hosts a “Public Forum” for comments on the services and programs on public broadcasting. He opens, followed by 9 speakers, allowed 10 minutes each:
• Three are critical of NPR’s supposed Anti-Israeli bias;
• One is advocating more conservatives on PBS. He is from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a group with Neoconservatives throughout its Board and staff, involved with Project for the New American Century, including Tucker Carlson’s father;
• One is an advocate for new low wattage music stations;
• One is from Common Cause, concerned about protecting “public broadcasting’s ability to speak truth to power regardless of who is in power”;
• Three express their gratitude for Native American and Asian stations.
An odd group, strangely stacked.
Dec 7, 04 Tomlinson writes to CPB President Kathleen Cox pressing her to interview Atty General John Ashcroft’s chief speechwriter, Ed McFadden, for job as Sr. VP for Communications, reminding her that McFadden has “the strong support of the White House.” Ms. Cox is not interested.
Dec 17, 04 Bill Moyers signs off, leaving NOW to David Brancaccio. In his career at PBS, he won more than 30 Emmys, 9 Peabodys, and 3 Polk Awards. NOW will be cut from an hour to a half hour show.
Dec 31, 04 Talk of the Nation’s Neal Conan admits to receiving large amount of emails regarding election hearings in Ohio, but conservative guest pooh-poohs issue and subject is dropped (evidence of either NPR not having a liberal bias OR of a chill on full reporting that reflects badly on the Bush administration).
Jan 5, 05 Deputy General Counsel to PBS writes to the 3 biggest producing stations in NY, Boston and Washington D.C. to beware of the new CPB contract, warning that it could give CPB editorial control, infringe on First Amendment rights and lead to a forced balance in each and every show.
Jan 26, 05 New Education Secretary Margaret Spelling writes to Pat Mitchell at PBS, asking that episode of “Postcards from Buster” about a maple farm be pulled because of 2 lesbian characters.
Feb 2005 At a meeting with NPR President Kevin Klose, Tomlinson explains that CPB will have two ombudsmen, one liberal and one conservative.
Mar 11, 05 Final “Daily Fact” - "El Salvador's Cultural Heritage Protected" - published by Mary Catherine Andrews at Office of Global Communications.
Mar 14, 05 Ken Ferree, Bush-appointed FCC Commissioner who engineered rules allowing greater consolidation of media ownership, named Chief Operating Officer of CPB.
Mar 17, 05 Tomlinson emails CPB President Kathleen Cox and instructs her to send to Mary Catherine Andrews at the White House Office of Global Communications “anything you have on ombudsmen” and the bios of the two candidates. “She’s promised to help me produce something by Tuesday.”
Mar 22, 05 Tomlinson emails Cox complimenting Andrews’ work on ombudsmen press release and talking points.
Mar 23, 05 Tomlinson emails Cox that White House officials insist Andrews job title at CPB be “Senior Advisor to the President.” A follow up email says, “I promise she will be worth her weight in gold to you.”
Mar 25, 05 Mary Catherine Andrews on the payroll at CPB.
Apr 5, 05 CPB establishes Ombudsmen’s Office “to ensure it represents high standards in accuracy, balance & objectivity”, naming William Schulz and Ken Bode as first two CPB Ombudsmen:
William Schulz worked with Ken Tomlinson at Reader’s Digest for almost three decades, and with him before that as a writer for the vicious right wing radio broadcaster, Fulton Lewis, Jr. At Reader's Digest, he is known for loaded, alarmist, partisan reporting, pushing Cold War fears.
Ken Bode is a Fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, which just published The NeoCon Reader. He was host of the PBS show, Washington Week in Review from 1994 to 1999 when he was fired. As Dean of the Medhill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, the “breathtakingly blunt” & “justifiably proud” journalist apparently grew “nasty” & “sarcastic,” announcing the Medhill graduates as “Medildoes,” two years in a row. The 2001 graduation was marked by 9 graduate journalism students refusing shake this Dean's hand because of the loss of good faculty during his leadership.
Unlike what Tomlinson told NPR President Kevin Klose, neither of the ombudsmen is liberal.
Apr 8, 05 Late on a Friday evening, in an unexpected move, Tomlinson announces that CPB President, Kathleen Cox has completed her contract and is stepping down. A man who has admitted to not listening to NPR or watching PBS, the new CPB Chief Operating Officer Ken Ferree, is named Interim President.
Apr 18, 05 PBS’s new Editorial Standards Review Committee meets. Marvin Kalb and Carl Stern report that CPB’s push for ideological balance has compromised PBS’s editorial integrity. In new CPB/PBS contract, CPB requires PBS to use CPB research and analysis to formulate programming. Mitchell refuses to sign until it is modified.
Apr 22, 05 The Washington Post article, in “PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas,” states that there have been “dismissals or departures in recent months of at least three other senior CPB officials, all of whom had Democratic affiliations.”
May 2, 05 The New York Times reports “Republic Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Bias”, a lengthy article revealing Tomlinson’s partisan leadership at CPB, including a secret $10,000 contract with an outside consultant to report on “anti-Bush,” “anti-business,” and “anti-DeLay” content on NOW with Bill Moyers. According to former CPB Board member, Christy Carpenter, Tomlinson has a “vehement dislike,” for Moyers.
May 3, 05 At NPR’s annual Members Meeting, station representatives vote to endorse a resolution calling on CPB to “do nothing to diminish the firewall,”“refrain from interfering in constitutionally protected content decisions,” and to “defer to the reasonable and legitimate choices of broadcast professionals to build services of value within the local communities they serve.”
May 4, 05 Despite receiving emails of the May 1 headlines from all major London papers announcing July 2002 Downing memo scandal, Talk of the Nation’s Neal Conan discusses that day's British elections - with people in the UK - without mentioning the Blair/Bush scandal (more evidence of either no liberal bias OR a chill on full reporting that reflects badly on the Bush administration).
May 6, 05 Tomlinson appears on NPR’s On the Media, interviewed by Bob Garfield, who is pretty direct.
“Ken, aren’t you confusing liberalism with journalism? The two have a lot in common – suspicion of authority, sympathy of the little guy, the instinct to reform, and so on. . . That isn’t ideological bias, Ken. It’s journalism. . . Aren’t you in fact playing politics with something that was not a political matter to begin with?”
“I simply disagree with you, and I think you’re the one playing politics by the way you’re framing the question.”
Tomlinson also claims his only involvement with Rove over the CPB Board membership measure was to ask Rove if he was going to be supporting it. “And he said no. End of involvement.”
May 10, 05 Tomlinson writes his own article in The Washington Times (the quasi-newspaper owned by theocratic conservative Korea-gate star and self-proclaimed Messiah, Reverend Sun Myung Moon). He claims:
“The left-wing bias of NOW . . was unhealthy. . . it jeopardized essential support for public TV. This was brought home to me in November 2003 by a phone call from an old friend complaining about Mr. Moyers' bias and the lack of balance on the Friday evening lineup. He explained the foundation he heads made a six-figure contribution to his local public television station for digital conversion. But he declared there would be no more contributions until something was done about the network's bias. He also explained it was my responsibility as CPB chairman to preserve public support for public broadcasting by doing something about the bias. On reflection, I decided he was right. So, the rest is history.”
May 11, 05 Congressmen David Obey and John Dingell formally request an investigation into Tomlinson’s actions by Kenneth Konz, Inspector General of CPB.
May 12, 05 Tomlinson appears on The O’Reilly Factor. O’Reilly asks, “Now, you said that you have never had any conversations with any Bush administration officials about PBS. Is that true?” “That’s true,” replies Tomlinson.
May 13, 05 Tomlinson appears on Tucker Carlson Unfiltered. In response to CPB commissioned studies reflecting an overwhelming trust in public broadcasting, Tomlinson states, “Mark Twain said figures lie and liars figure.” He also explains that the ombudsmen were brought on in response to Alaska Senator Ted Stephens’ complaints about a PBS show on oil drilling in Alaska, and Senator Brad Sherman’s presentation at the public forum complaining about NPR’s anti-Israeli bias.
Tomlinson says “we need more cultural public broadcasting” (i.e., less journalism).
May 15,05 Bill Moyers gives closing address at National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis, Missouri.
“The quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined.”
“One reason I’m in hot water is because my colleagues and I at NOW didn’t play by the conventional rules of belt way journalism. . . and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.”
“I came to see that ‘news is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity’. that investigative journalism could not be a collaboration between the journalist and the subject.”
“The more compelling our journalism, the angrier the radical right of the Republican party became. That’s because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth.”
May 18, 05 Tomlinson appears on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show. Asked for an example of Moyers’ liberal bias, he can't site one. He patronizingly claims to be a big fan of Diane’s but by the end of the hour, he is advocating a return to classical music, because music is important. In many markets, Diane’s immensely informative and popular show has replaced music programming. Tomlinson sounds threatening.
May 22-5, 05 At its 25th annual convention, in London this year, the Organization of News Ombudsmen refuse membership voting rights to CPB’s Bode and Schulz because CPB does not disseminate news.
May 24, 05 Tomlinson explains in letter to Sen. Byron L. Dorgan that the consulting contract for monitoring political bias was “approved and signed by then CPB President Kathleen Cox.”
May 25, 05 When Doug Fabrizio, of Salt Lake City’s public radio station KUER, discusses Tomlinson on his local public affairs show, “Radio West,” he asks NPR’s Brooke Gladstone, co-host of On the Media, if people are making too much of this notion of a “conservative coup.”
“I wouldn’t say that they’re making too much of it. This strategy actually could be more dangerous to public broadcasting than the big gun efforts to just smash the thing. This is using honeyed tones to essentially influence programming by holding hostage its funding. That could be a very effective strategy. People have a right to be concerned.”
Jun 9, 05 House Appropriations Subcommittee adopts measure to cut $100 million from CPB’s $400 million budget, eliminate another $110 million for digital conversion, updating satellite technology and funding for children’s programming coordinating with “No Child Left Behind” (ending funding for Postcards from Buddy), with an aim to cutting all government funding to CPB within two years.
Jun 05 Donna Gregg, CPB General Counsel, and Nancy Rohrbach, Sr. VP for Corporate & Public Affairs, resign from CPB. Rohrbach noted that Tomlinson repeatedly ignored her advise. Several CPB officials were upset when Tomlinson refused to denounce the House subcommittee vote to slash funding.
Jun 15, 05 Former NPR Morning Edition host, Bob Edwards, urges an audience in Fairbanks, Alaska, to “Get out pen and paper and let (Congress) have it.” Despite being deprived of a 25-year celebration at the show he started, Edwards tells the crowd, “I love NPR, I will always love NPR. I encourage you all to continue to support NPR. It’s a better outfit than the people who are running public radio.”
Jun 16, 05 The measure to slash CPB funds is voted forward out of Committee almost as-is, only returning the two years advance budgeting notification.
The NY Times reports that CPB’s Inspector General is investigating $14,700 in payment to Fred Mann for his report on NOW with Bill Moyers (not the $10,000 previously admitted). In addition, the IG has also found $15,000 in payments to two lobbyists regarding Tomlinson’s campaign in July 2004 against that bill that would have put more public broadcasters on the CPB Board.
At first unknown, journalists researching find that Mr. Mann is an older conservative GOP consultant and commentator, most recently working at the National Journalism Center, a school for conservative journalists that sets graduates up as interns at such newspapers and magazines as Tomlinson’s old Reader’s Digest. The school has received funding from Exxon and Phillip Morris, and is proud of alumni such as Ann Coulter.
Jun 17, 05 Democratic Senators Dorgan, Clinton and Frank R. Lautenberg send Tomlinson a letter urging him to postpone the election of a new CPB President scheduled for June 20 (knowing that he is pushing for Patricia Harrison). “We believe your conduct as Chairman of the Board has been highly inappropriate.”
Jun 18, 05 Stephen Labaton at NY Times reports that raw data from study overseeing NOW’s liberal bias received by Senator Byron L. Dorgan, D-ND from Tomlinson, labels mainstream conservative Sen Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) as “liberal” and a segment about financial waste at the Pentagon as “Anti-Defense.”
Jun 21, 05 Bill Moyers places a two page (!) ad in The Washington Post, filled with an essay entitled “A Moral Transaction.” Some of the fundamental assumptions the public has about public broadcasting are:
That public television is an open classroom for people who believe in lifelong learning.
That the medium can dignify life instead of debase it.
That it can help us to see more clearly, understand more deeply, and laugh more joyously.
House and Senate Democrats present Congress with more than 1 million signatures calling for restoration of full funding for public broadcasting. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), calls on Tomlinson to resign from both Chair of CPB and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Sixteen Democratic Senators (Boxer, Schumer, Lieberman, Corzine, Lautenberg, Nelson, Kennedy, Feinstein, Biden, Cantwell, Durbin, Harkin, Leahy, Mikulski, Stabenow, Wyden) sign a letter to Bush:
“We urge you to immediately replace Mr. Tomlinson with an executive who takes his or her responsibility to the public television system seriously, not one who so seriously undermines the credibility and mission of public television."
Jun 22, 05 The White House rejects call to fire Tomlinson.
Tomlinson rejects call for his resignation.
The NY Times reports that a CPB insider unhappy with Tomlinson’s leadership has supplied a copy of the consulting contract for monitoring liberal bias which shows it is dated February 3, 2004, five months before Kathleen Cox becomes President, and Mr. Tomlinson’s own signature. “This guy has some real credibility problems.” – Senator Dorgan.
Jun 23, 05 Postponing for only 3 days, the Corp.for Public Broadcasting elects Patricia Harrison as President.
Vote on House floor gives back $100 million to CPB budget, but not to technology upgrades and children’s programming.
An amendment to boost the $602 billion bill by $11.8 billion, offset by reducing tax cut for millionaires, was barred from consideration on House floor because it was previously defeated in Committee. This means the $100 million returned to CPB has to be taken from Labor Department’s training and employment services, higher education funds, health programs, Community Services block grants for housing, child care and emergency food assistance, and the enforcement of fair labor practices for the pending Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTRA).
[AUTHOR'S COMMENTARY, CLEARLY LABELED] So, it seems there was even more bad news that day. Watch for this vote being used against Democrats.
Jun 30, 05 Senator Byron Dorgan releases raw data from Tomlinson’s political monitoring. Turns out Tominlinson didn’t just have NOW monitored. He also wanted info on The Diane Rehm Show and The Tavis Smiley Show on NPR (What?– No Terry Gross?), as well as checking in on his conservative buddy on Tucker Carlon Unfiltered on PBS.
Dorgan calls the study “a complete waste of more than $14,000 in taxpayers funds. . . a little nutty. . based on no standard or objective criteria. . . steeped in deep political bias. . .” done by an “armchair analyst” hired to “produce a report to find what Tomlinson wanted to find.”
Sounds uncannily like “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” Downing Street, July 2002.
“Mr Tomlinson is taking the CPB down a very dangerous path that harms public broadcasting rather than strengthens it.” Dorgan.
July 1, 05 Rep. Edward J. Markey and 51 other House Democrats sign a letter to Tomlinson requesting his resignation. Markey tells reporters, Tomlinson's “job is to provide a firewall between PBS and the political world. Instead he has become the prime critic of public broadcasting.”
In Salt Lake City, OnePerson turns on her local PBS station, KUED, at 8:00 to watch NOW. Still meandering, gathering a beverage and eyeglasses, she hears the “paid for by” insert and then the words “Corporation for Public Broadcasting” and knows something is wrong here! Where NOW should be, the Journal Editorial Report, Tomlinson's corporate answer to NOW, comes on! She checks the TV menu – it says it should be NOW. She checks the KUED website – it says it should be NOW. Her heart rate is increasing. She starts calling KUED phone numbers, but the offices are closed. Finally she gets the Technical Services Director – a friendly voice.. She’s semi-distraught. She tells him that she knows all about Tomlinson, but please don’t give in! He calls her back and assures her that NOW was on at 8:00. OH NO!!! She tries to sound sane as she assuredly explains that it really wasn’t. She tells him exactly what was on instead. He calls her back again and asks if she’s been breathing. Good, because she was on to something, that she was right. But it wasn’t Tomlinson pulling a covert or bullying switchout. At least not exactly. It was just that PBS changed its satellite schedule, to include JER, and somehow KUED missed the memo that it would have to pull NOW earlier to save it for an 8:00 viewing in SLC. Phew. Later in the week, OnePerson does call the PBS main office to make sure this hadn't happen all over the country. It hadn't.
Meanwhile, in another part of PBS Land, the long-running, basically conservative, PBS political discussion show, The McLaughlin Report, is taping for a weekend broadcast. As the panel discusses Time Magazine’s decision to turn over their reporter, Matt Cooper’s, documents regarding the leak about Valerie Plame being a CIA operative, Senior MSNBC political analyst, Lawrence O’Donnell, interjects:
"I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source...for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury."
The McLaughlin Group. Conservative. On PBS. The truth about Rove. Balance that.

After extensive reading & highlighting of online and published articles,charters, missions, testimony, recommendations, reports, etc. surrounding the CPB, VOA, PBS, NPR, NOW, Ombudsmen, Inspector Generals, Congress, and the concept of trustworthy communication, I have come to the conclusion that the words “fair and balanced” are dangerous.

Louis Barbash writes in Current, the newsletter for public broadcasting, that NOW is “a platform for Moyers’ critique of policy and politics, incisively argued and buttressed with documentary sequences and interviews.”

Barbash also writes that a Moyers’ commentary expresses his “contention” that “the nexus of corporate power, market fundamentalism, and money in politics is transforming democracy, undermining capitalism and polarizing America.”

The question is – Which came first? Moyers’ “contention” -- Or -- the decades of asking questions and looking more closely? -- “covering not only news and public affairs, but also addiction, death, religion, sports, music, China and the Hudson River”?

Doesn't that extraordinary breadth and depth of learning from those decades of “documentary sequences and interviews” give Bill Moyers the right to share the patterns he’s seen, that make him reach a “contention”?

Speaking to Texas Monthly in October 2004, Moyers said that he believes:
“Objectivity means being true to your own reading of the record and your own analytical processes of reasoning and conclusion and logic. There’s a truth behind the news that is the journalist’s obligation to discover as fairly and responsibly as possible. . For some stories, there aren’t necessarily two sides. Very often it’s the case that the evidence is unarguable.”

Perhaps if all the media had Moyers’ independence and heartwarming bluntness, we, the people, could actually respond to the evidence.

Or as Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times on June 24, 2005,
"Once the media catch up with the public, we'll be able to start talking seriously about how to get out of Iraq."

To verify/research, Google: “Kenneth Tomlinson" or "Kenneth Tomlinson" +[any word you like above, like CPB, VOA, Moyers, Harrison, etc.]


Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

Know Bush Fact #47 (Beware of Candy-Jobs from Strange Politicians)

Heard on NPR’s “On Point” September 8, 2005:

Hugh Kaufman: There’s no comparison between Love Canal and the New Orleans situation. The New Orleans situation is infinitely worse than the Love Canal case. There’s more hazardous material in that area than was in Love Canal. You did not have the kind of flooding that you have–

Tom Ashbrook: You’re saying it’s worse – New Orleans is worse?

Hugh Kaufman: Infinitely worse than Love Canal – infinitely worse than Love Canal. I speak from first hand experience.

Hugh Kaufman should know.

He was the investigator at Love Canal in 1977, where residents of a Niagara Falls, NY neighborhood, built next to a back-filled canal where 20,000 tons of chemical waste were deposited decades earlier, were found to have 300 times the normal rate of miscarriages and urinary tract diseases, and where 56% of recently-born children suffered birth defects.

By 1980, 839 families were permanently relocated out of the toxic area by the federal government, and Love Canal became the first site of the EPA Superfund program, a program Kaufman helped write. This Superfund program recognized that there were dangerous health and environmental consequences to waste materials, and created a trust fund from a tax on the petro-chemical industry for handling such abandoned, uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

Kaufman was also the Chief Investigator for EPA Ombudsman Robert Martin until EPA Director Christine Todd Whitman abruptly shut down the Ombudsman’s office in 2002 when Kaufman and Martin began investigating her post-911 announcement that the air was safe in Manhattan, as well as her husband’s financial partnership with a Superfund polluter.

Robert Martin resigned in disgust, but Kaufman doggedly remains. He’s used to political appointees at the EPA.

In 1983, Kaufman sued for and received “Whistleblower Protection” from the Labor Department because of Reagan-appointed EPA officials’ attempts to harass and discredit him. At the time, his Congressional testimony on regulation-bending, under-reporting, and EPA collusion with polluting corporations led to several sudden resignations at the agency and a prison sentence for the fall gal, EPA Deputy Administrator Rita Lavelle.

Now an EPA Senior Policy Analyst in the Dept of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Kaufman has given several post-Katrina interviews, speaking beyond EPA authorization, as a knowledgeable citizen, trying to get the word out about:

1. How horrifically dangerous the water, debris, sludge, and air in and around New Orlean are; and
2. How the EPA and other govt agencies will downplay the danger, for the benefit of business and political hacks.

While such corruption and moral ambiguity have long been a part of the Mississippi mud and New Orleans politics, with gambling, brothels, and the grindy, brassy, dark and sweet sound of the music named after the leaves the prostitutes used to cover the smell of repeated sex – jasmine – jazz – all of which made the commerce of the great River flow that much smoother...

But now, we can see it all up close on CNN, Fox and all over the internet without its romanticized facade, and we are horrified when we witness the consequences of the country’s actual sinful behavior - deliberately and/or subconsciously ignoring the Golden Rule (until Karma slams us upside the head).

So, despite
• more than 575 Katrina-related reported spills of petroleum or hazardous chemicals
• over 8 million gallons of oil leaked
• over 350,000 vehicles flooded
• at least four Superfund toxic waste sites soaked
• the stirring up of several decades’ worth of river and lake bottom settled waste from 136 loosely-regulated petrochemical plants
• 100 million cubic yards of new toxic-marinated debris
• open-air burning of unexamined, unsorted garbage
• loosened lead-based paint from thousands of buildings
• staggering quantities of untreated human and animal waste and decay from rotting corpses, and
• thousands of tons of putrified raw chicken and pork from damaged shipping containers ....

And despite the fact that even EPA studies have recently shown that mixtures of chemicals (to say nothing of bacteria and metals) can have a surprising synergistic effect, where new combinations are found to multiply the dangers of the individual contaminants, causing entirely new diseases and syndromes that may take years to understand, diagnose and development treatments...

George W. Bush has declared the area the Gulf Opportunity Zone – Come on down!

It is all so easy to tap into the inherent urge for the beloved community, the deep love for the cultural heritage and soul of New Orleans, and the hope and determination of a phoenix born out of the ashes – to encourage good people to rise to the occasion, to not give up – to come on down and rebuild!

Yes, he wants workers and their families to come on down and do the work. There’s going to be lots of jobs at Halliburton and Bechtel, for starters, as well as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Valero, BP Capital, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, Entergy Nuclear, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Huntsman, Harrah’s and MGM Mirage, etc.

But these workers aren’t coming down fully informed. They won’t know they’re walking the plank to painful health chaos for themselves and their families for generations to come. Because the compassionless conservatism in charge is withholding such warnings – under the guise of “National Security.”


The Department of Homeland Security, an entity Bush denounced until he and his cronies could see its value, has been structured to usurp the authority and funding of such community protectors as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Occupational Healthy & Safety Administration (OSHA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

New emergency response guidelines proposed by the Department of Homeland Security, based on recommendations developed by the Radiation Advisory Committee of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, working with the White House Office of Science and Technology, require the use of “optimization” as a deciding factor for clean up actions after an incident.

The crucial word is “Optimization” – “a process by which social values and needs are integrated with science-based risks and benefits to develop action options that can be evaluated for their acceptability to the public. . .”

Translated: If factual information regarding serious risks for human safety would cause a disruption in the flow of profits and campaign donations, than an “optimization" evaluation could consider those "societal values and needs" and might recommend that the flow must have priority, and lives will be sacrificed.

So, if Bush wants his oily friends back in bizness on August 31, 2005, Bush's Homeland Security Department can claim that “societal needs and values” override “science-based risks” and have the EPA and OSHA waive safety regulations across the board for any state affected by the disruption of Katrina.

Bush must have instinctively discovered this “optimization” back in September 2001, when he wanted Wall Street to open the day after September 11, 2001, so he and his National Security Council assumed the right to “clear” the EPA press statements of Christine Todd Whitman. According to the 2003 EPA Inspector General’s Report, "reassuring information was added” and “cautionary information was deleted".

In the course of that “optimization,” the air in Manhattan was declared safe – resulting in at least 75% of first responders getting hit with lung, organ and skin diseases – some fatal – so far. That doesn’t include the thousands of laborers, generally uninsured, untrackable, and certainly untrained for the thorough removal of this cement/asbestos/steel/lead (and more) dust. Particles were left in corners, air ducts, and other difficult to reach areas, to continue to affect tenants, workers and visitors for years to come.

And now, this “optimization” strategy is official. Bush’s administration has made sure there’s greater lying leniency.

So, Bush leads the charge,
“Back to the business of Business!”
• Boldly emphasizing “reassuring information” and overstepping “cautionary information” once again
• Nobly pledges federal support for entrepreneurship in the Gulf Opportunity Zone (formerly known as “Cancer Alley”), where:
• Green cards won’t be checked
• Corporations are not required to pass on their savings from the dropped Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements
• Tax incentives are wasted, and
• International mercenaries like BlackHack, the Israeli Instinctive Shooting International, and Intercon Security are brought in by Homeland Security and the wealthiest private citizens to police and guard.

For their part of “optimization”, EPA now performs intentionally-inadequate testing, posts confusing results on its website, airs simplistic public service announcements, and SITS BACK while Republican Committee Chairs like Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), and Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) use the crisis to waive Clean Air deadlines, drill in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge, keep diesel engines dirty, and enjoy their bonuses from lobbyists.

But perhaps most vile of all, the EPA HAS JUST PROPOSED TO VOLUNTARILY DEMOLISH ITS SUCCESSFUL TOXIC RELEASE INVENTORY - the nation’s top program for notifying the public about toxic pollution - thus washing its hands of its stated mission: “to protect human health and the environment.”

On October 4, 2005, the U.S. Federal Register published the EPA’s “Toxic Release Inventory Burden Reduction Proposed Rule” – which eliminates half the data gathered, gives companies the right to pollute certain toxins ten times the amount before being required to report to the EPA, and permits companies to withhold information on low-level production of such bio-accumulative toxins as lead and mercury. The EPA is required to accept comments for 60 days. Care to get involved?

This is probably why the Sierra Club report, “Pollution and Deception at Ground Zero Revisited: Why It Could Happen Again”, includes such headings as:
“Why Americans Should Assume that the Federal Administration Will Praise, then Abandon, the Patriotic Rescue/Recovery Workers, Area Employees and Residents Who Help to Rebuild an Area Devasted by a Terrorist Attack or Disaster” and
“Why Americans Should Assume that No One Will Be Held Accountable for Failures of Our Government to Protect the Public Against Pollution From an Attack or Disaster”.

While we are each responsible for the choices we make, we can’t choose intelligently if the information is withheld or adapted to fit the needs of others’ pockets. So meanwhile, seek fearless sources and remember the words of Hugh Kaufman: “The New Orleans situation is infinitely worse than the Love Canal case.”

Tell everyone you know. Friends don’t let friends work in poison.

Finally, in the words of another Texan, Molly Ivins,
“This, friends,
is why we need to pay attention
to government policies, not political personalities,
and to know whereon we vote.
It is about our lives.”
To verify research, Google: “Hugh Kaufman” +Katrina

You can also go to:
“On Point’s” Hugh Kaufman interview:
U.S. Federal Register of October 4, 2005:
I also strongly recommend the above-mentioned Sierra Club Report:

* * * * * * *

Based on the belief that the truth is setting us free:

Know Bush Fact #48
Thanksgiving 2005

At this time of Thanksgiving, there is a bountiful harvest to celebrate, now that more and more of what was sown is being reaped. With such plenty, we must give thanks, and share generously.

So on this day, I am so very thankful for. . .

Patrick Fitzgerald

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and Senator Barbara Boxer, for their courageous stance before Dick Cheney on January 6, 2005 - halting the rubber-stamping of Election 2004 - thus putting into the Congressional Record the detailed report, “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio”

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., for his ongoing courageous leadership, namely, the above mentioned report, the After Downing Street Hearings (, and more:

Brad Friedman (The Brad Blog), , especially for his investigation and aggressive reporting on election fraud and the illegitimate “American Center for Voting Rights”: .

Rolling Stone Magazine - for it’s gutsy political articles, such as James Bamford’s “The Man Who Sold the War”

The Right Web, an extremely thorough source for understanding neo-conservatism and its players: Take your time and click on articles or individual names in the section called “People Web.”

Bob Drogin and John Goetz, for their story in The Los Angeles Times, "How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball'" -,1,6788510.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

60 Minutes II, February 4, 2004, “The Man Who Knew” - Interview with Greg Thielmann

Elizabeth de la Vega and The Nation, for the cover article “The White House Criminal Conspiracy” .

Former Senator Bob Graham, for his November 20 article in The Washington Post, "What I Knew Before the Invasion": and for his outspokenness years before, see “Democrat Eyes Potential Grounds for Bush Impeachment” AND “Graham Book: Inquiry into 9/11, Saudi Ties Blocked”

Ray McGovern and others from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity for constistently trying to put the word out that this administration was manipulating information to fit its goals:

Peter Popham at Britain’s The Independent, and for making sure United States citizens had a chance to realize that a new documentary entitled Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre is right now showing the world that the Bush administration used chemical weapons on civilians in Fallujah: Notice how the drop occurred within days of the 2004 election, while Americans were either gloating or grieving. It is important to realize that as this story broke, a Google-News search on “chemical +Fallujah” revealed articles in papers across the world, but nothing in The New York Times or Washington Post.

Senator Harry Reid, for waking the dozers:when he shut down the Senate and demanded accountability:

David Corn ( ), whose 2003 book, The Lies of George W. Bush , is a thorough rebuttal of the Bush propaganda tap-dance – and proof that it should not have taken two additional years to bust this administration.

Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor with over 20 years experience, and The Nation magazine, for her November 14, 2005 cover story entitled "The White House Criminal Conspiracy" examining the legal case for impeachment:

Dana Milbank and Justin Blum at The Washington Post, for their front page article: "Document Says Oil Chiefs Met With Cheney Task Force", November 16, 2005 -

The Chicago Tribune, and journalists Cam Simpson & Aamer Madhani, for the investigative series “Pipeline to Peril”,0,2336629.story , which describes Halliburton’s methods of supplying a cheap work force in Iraq by dragging the uninformed poor from villages in Asia.

Molly Ivins, whose stories are easily available at , for continually pointing out the importance of learning to talk to people who think differently than we do, and among other gems, her prompt and revealing response to Katrina on September 2, , in which she emphasizes, “While Katrina's dead have not yet been counted, it's not too soon to hammer home a point: government policies have real consequences in people's lives.”

Other Katrina-bust moments, such as Chertoff’s August 30 non-urgent memo putting Brown in charge - and; and FEMA’s Leo Bosner whistleblowing on the ignored official email warnings, called National Situation Updates, he sent to Chertoff and Brown on their blackberries beginning on August 26:

The Sierra Club for its extremely important report on the Bush Administration’s officially re-prioritizing human safety

The New York City Bar’s Committee on International Human Rights, for its 2004 report on the illegality of the U.S. military’s torture and abuse of detainees: .

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, for his relentless leadership, calling to task the new publisher of The Los Angeles Times for firing long time columnist Robert Scheer and replacing him with the son of Monicagate's Lucianne Goldberg:

Murray Waas, journalist, for such articles as this recent one regarding an ignored September 21, 2001 Presidential briefing

Did I mention Patrick Fitzgerald?

Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Powell’s Chief of Staff, for coming forward, “The White House Cabal",,0,7455395.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions and,16518,1653937,00.html#article_continue.

Steve Inskeep, of NPR’s Morning Edition, for his investigative series “Oil Money Divides Nigeria”, and naming just another aspect of Halliburton’s worldwide thievery:

Cindy Sheehan, OBVIOUSLY.

Robert F Kennedy, Jr. - In addition to his excellent book, Crimes Against Nature, he co-hosts with Mike Papantonio “Ring of Fire” on AirAmerica Radio, available for listening on line:

The National Resource Defense Council (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is one of the senior lawyers) -

Jon Stewart, who is having the time of his life with the unlimited material and people willing to speak to him – click on a celebrity interview here (I recommend Richard Clarke, John McCain, Barak Obama, Barbara Boxer):

The infamous (according to Kenneth Tomlinson, the fired former Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) PBS news show, NOW, still going strong with David Brancaccio, and its extraordinarily informative website. Take a gander at past shows, transcripts and videos

Diane Rehm, NPR’s Wise Woman, for such interviews as Janis Karpinski (One Woman’s Army), the Brigadier General set up to take the blame for Abu Ghraib ; Senator Barbara Boxer (A Time to Run); Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector (Iraq Confidential) ; Diane Wilson, a Texas shrimper turned environmental activist (An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas) ; the since-ousted CPB Chair Kenneth Tomlinson; – and for Diane’s Friday News Roundups, where even mainstream journalists are increasingly using the word “impeachment.” I am especially thankful, too, for the frequent appearance of David Corn ( to properly cut through the propaganda of guests from The Heritage Foundation and The American Enterprise Institute, for example:

Bill Moyers, for so much, but especially for his keynote speech at the National Conference for Media Reform, (I suggest listening or watching as well as copying the transcript). Also see

Kenneth Konz, The Inspector General at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, for his November 15, 2005 report:

The locked doors in China that would not let Bush escape:

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman at the Free Press for their thorough and ongoing work on Election Fraud:

Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, perhaps the best weekday news hour, on radio, TV and the web:

Arriana Huffington, for her audacity and informative Huffington Post .

The still-fearless BBC, and producer Adam Curtis, for the 3 part documentary - “The Power of Nightmares” , and the Cannes Film Festival, for inviting Curtis to bring the documentary to the 2005 festival for a special screening The downloadable files are here:
Google, my friend.

A turkey at my table that is not plastic, carried in by a giggling, nervous man who stays just long enough to pose for a photo-op ( ).

And the people who have read this far. I am truly thankful for those who are willing to know more.

If you are such a person, and since we are obviously in the midst of the volcano eruption that can no longer hold back this administration’s buried misdeeds, perhaps it is time to also re-examine the catalyst that has provided the excuse Bush and his elite circle of manipulators needed. David Ray Griffin, PhD, an honored professor of Theology, is today’s final recipient of my gratitude, for his conscientious, logical questioning, resulting in the book The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions:

For what I have learned, I am truly thankful -- and moved to tell you.

* * * * * * *
Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

Know Bush Fact #49

It was only a year ago that newly-renamed President George W. Bush emphasized the leadership role of the United States in the promotion of democracy worldwide in his inaugural address. Yet, here in the United States. . .

On December 13, 2005, a test election was held in Leon County, Florida at the request of the Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho. Using an Optical Scan Diebold voting machine, security experts Harri Hursti and Dr. Herbert Thompson demonstrated that the machine’s memory card can easily be preprogrammed to read zero votes before votes are made, while still carrying a “interpreted” code that adds and subtracts votes, changing the results from what was actually intended by voters.

The videotaped test showed how 8 votes that were clearly entered as 2 for Yes and 6 for No resulted in a final printed tally of 7 for Yes and 1 for No.

See for a more detailed explanation of how the “interpreted code” in the Diebold machines alters election results.

Ion Sancho immediately announced he would not allow Diebold machines to be used in Leon County. Volusia County, Florida soon followed in dumping Diebold.

That same day, it was announced that Walden W. O’Dell, Diebold’s long time Chairman and CEO, had abruptly resigned.
O’Dell gained notoriety when, after a re-election strategy meeting in Crawford Texas in August 2003, the Diebold Chair and CEO sent out a fund-raising letter stating that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Coincidentally, O’Dell’s pledge to deliver Bush votes in Ohio came less than a month after The Johns Hopkins University Security Institute released its Technical Report TR-2003-19, titled “Analysis of an Electric Voting System” ( ) on July 23, 2003, which describes “significant security flaws” in Diebold voting machines, and warns in its conclusion: “The model where individual vendors write proprietary code to run our elections appears to be unreliable, and if we do not change the process of designing our voting systems, we will have no confidence that our election results will reflect the will of the electorate.”

One year later, in August 2004, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued a “Cyber Security Alert” ( ) regarding the Diebold voting machine Central Tabulator: "A vulnerability exists due to an undocumented backdoor account, which could [sic: allow] a local or remote authenticated malicious user [sic: to] modify votes."

To date, nothing has been done to correct this problem. After all, the Voting Systems Performance Standards endorsed by the Election Assistance Commission are merely “voluntary.”

VoteTrustUSA has prepared an “Open Letter to the Election Assistance Commission” available for supportive signatures ( to be sent January 3, 2006, requesting that the Federal Independent Testing Authority reinspect the software used in Diebold voting machines, specifically looking for the “interpreted code” that makes the hacking possible, and then de-certifying Diebold until this security issue is resolved.

Meanwhile, back in Diebold’s home state of Ohio, the Republican-dominated state legislature has passed Ohio House Bill 3, which, among other democracy-damaging rules, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or any other federal election result in the state of Ohio. This Bill is not yet law, but is due for final approval this month.

At this rate, the U.S. is a poor role model for democracy.
OnePerson , January 2, 2006

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Based on the belief that the truth is setting us free:

Know Bush Fact #50

The heat around Bush's point man in the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is increasing -- most deservedly.

Obviously, the self-righteous GOP claim to "moral values" is not holding up well in the light. First they allow torture, then they choose to ignore man-boy internet seduction of pages, right there in the halls of Congress, where the boys were sent to learn firsthand about the federal government and public service.

Hastert only managed to reveal his own adolescent behavior when he tried to blame it on the Democrats and ABC News. How downright bratty it was to throw such a tantrum when busted. The American public tires of this kind of immaturity in its leaders.
Yet only four months ago, how clever and powerful the Speaker of the House must have felt. That was when he pulled off the far more outrageous, more consequential, more sinister stunt.

On June 13th of this year, Dennis Hastert managed to replace his party's most gaudily-corrupt Congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, with another Republican ready and willing to play the game. On that day, Hastert swore in Brian Bilbray, the GOP candidate in the Special Election for the empty Congressional seat in California's 50th District in San Diego County, to complete the final 6 months of the term.

It all looked pretty standard, though pundits had been a bit surprised that the California voters hadn't switched to a Democrat. It was a sign that the lobbyist scandals might not take too bad a toll on the Republican stronghold in the House.
Elsewhere, however, California voters had just lost their relevance. For at the moment when Dennis Hastert swore Brian Bilbray in - only 7 days after the election, 17 days before the results would be certified, with more than 10,000 votes still left to count and a margin between the two candidates of less than 5,000 votes - Hastert nullified the California Special Election.

Rather than wait for certified results, Hastert had used a facsimile marked "Unofficial Results" as the 'go-cue' to fly Bilbray to Washington D.C. and get him sworn in. This fax came to the Clerk of the House of Representatives by way of a Republican political appointee with no authority in the 50th Congressional District - Susan Lapsley, Assistant to the California Secretary of State for Elections.

Before there could be a recount. For this was hardly a trusted election.

There were those dang Diebold voting machines - and the release on May 11th of the landmark Harri Hursti / Black Box Voting
"Diebold Tsx Evaluation Security Alert" (based on machines examined here in Emery County, Utah - and punitively ending the 23-year career of County Clerk Bruce Funk). The report was supported vigorously in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, NPR, Computerworld, etc. by the top computer science and security experts across the country.

The Diebold machines were clearly designed with a three level security flaw which makes it easy access and alter the simple memory chip, which holds both the software that runs the election AND the voting data created by the voters. Most important, evidence of the hacking is immediately destroyed and will not be detected. And that "paper trail" available on some machines, the part that is supposed to make us feel our vote is counted right, does not necessarily reflect what the actual data records.

It became well-publicized that even an amateur could change the outcome of an election in less than five minutes. (Though Black Box Voting carefully withheld some details except for the Department of Homeland Security's copy, the Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy put out a "Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuvoteTS Voting Machine" on September 13th, along with a nine-minute video which demonstrates how to do it in one minute.)

On March 22, even before the Hursti/BlackBoxVoting report was released, days after the first posting by Black Box Voting regarding Hursti's examine of the Diebold machines, and in consideration of Hursti's demonstration of altering totals of the Diebold OptiScan machines in Leon County, Florida in December 2005, Sandra J. Steinbach, Chairperson of the National Association of State Elections Directors Voting Systems Board, released a
Memo advising elections officials to "keep a perpetual chain of custody record" for the memory cards and to keep them "stored securely at all times with logged accesses and transfers." In bold print at the end, she wrote, "Failure to comply with this addendum negates the voting system's status as a NASED-qualified voting system."

So, leading up to the June 6th Special Election, it was particularly inappropriate when San Diego County's Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas, blatantly defied these directions and sent the Diebold machines to stay in the homes of the newly trained poll workers, leaving them vulnerable for days, even weeks, before the election.

Following election day, unusually large differences in absentee vote numbers bounced back and forth, and Cathy Glaser, at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office sent out a notice on June 8th stating that they had miscalculated by almost 30,000 votes and would be continuing to update the results over the next several days.

That is why Dennis Hastert didn't have anything more than "Unofficial Results" on June 13th.

Voting rights attorneys Paul Lehto and Kenneth Simpkins went to the California Superior Court on behalf of the voters Barbara Gail Jacobson and Lillian M. Ritt, versus both Brian Bilbray and Mikel Haas, seeking to invalidate the election until there could be a hand recount.

However, on August 29, Judge Yuri Hofmann dismissed the case, based on the Defendant's arguments that Article I, sec. 5 of the US Constitution states that the "House and Senate are the judges of the Qualifications of their Members, one of those qualifications is supposed to be "'election.'"

The results of the election, in favor of the Republican candidate, were thus established by the Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert when he swore Brian Bilbray in.

Judge Hofmann decided the state of California, despite its own election laws, no longer has jurisdiction. The vote appears to be merely a charade.

An appeal has just been filed in the California Fourth Appellate District.

Meanwhile, we are forewarned by this chilling precedent. There are going to be many contested elections soon.

Special thanks to Brad Friedman and his contributors at and Michael Collins at Scoop Independent News for doing the news media's job.


As always, I offer a Google search path to verify or further research: Hastert +Bilbray

On the other hand, If you prefer, I am also offering my own Sources:
Sources:,2933,199310,00.html (North County Times)
October 22, 2006