Our founders knew very well the dangers of restricting a free press, which is one of the reasons they specifically protected the right to a free press in the very first article of the Bill of Rights. Perhaps it would be a good idea to review that article carefully at this point in history, since virtually every provision of the Bill of Rights has been compromised in the last seven years:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The phrase “Congress shall make no law” is very interesting, because Congress really hasn’t passed any law abridging the freedom of the press (although a law recently passed surely does restrict your right to petition the government for redress!). What has happened to our press is that the Executive Branch routinely threatens to withhold access to the White House and its various press conferences for those who will not play ball. This threat, which is economic in its implication, combined with knowledge of an administration that clearly does not hesitate to ruin or kill those who dare to oppose it, has completely cowed the major media into submission.
Lest anyone take issue with my last sentence, allow me to point out that no one really knows how many of Valerie Plame’s assets have been killed since her “outing” by the government, but certainly her career was destroyed, and there are nameless stars on the wall at Langley suggesting that some, at least, of her people were killed. Soon after 9/11, Tom Daschle dared to object to the provisions of the Patriot Act, and promptly received a letter containing Ames-strain anthrax developed at USAMRIID – all while the White House staff quietly and secretly took their antibiotics. We will never know for certain how Senator Paul Wellstone died, but certainly many of us guess that his “accident” was no accident at all. The list is endless. Do your own research.
Of course, we tend to expect our journalists to have the courage to stand up to this kind of pressure, because they have had it historically. Unfortunately, that appears to be too much to ask of the vast majority of today’s journalists.
Something very interesting has just happened that illustrates my point.
There have been numerous reports since 2002 concerning the vulnerability of electronic voting machines to hacking and vote fraud. For those of you unfamiliar with the subject, let me refer you to Black Box Voting for some serious reading.
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the neoconservatives for a moment. Whatever you may think of them, or of the conspicuous lack of brain power possessed by their Figurehead in Chief, most of the neoconservative cabal currently running our government are not stupid men. They like playing with a rigged deck, so they want “their” candidate to be running on both sides of the 2008 presidential election. Those annointed candidates appear to be Hillary Clinton and John McCain. In this way, the neoconservatives can point to a free and fair final election and have no concerns about accusations of vote fraud in the actual election. They know that, historically speaking, most Americans don’t pay a lot of attention to primaries. They’ve learned that important lesson from the last two presidential elections.
If you were paying attention to the news, you also know that Barack Obama was leading Hillary Clinton by double digits in the days leading up to the New Hampshire primary. Mike Huckabee appeared to be leading the GOP candidates, but not surprisingly given the libertarian makeup of the New Hampshire population, Ron Paul was doing very well also. Paul appeared to be a pretty good bet for third place.
Surprise! Hillary Clinton and John McCain won the primary, casting doubt upon the polls cited before the election.
Those pollsters are not stupid men, either, and they clearly publish their margin for error. My bet was already on the polls having been – within said margin of error – more or less correct. It appears I was right!
Marcello Foa, who is a highly competent and respected journalist throughout Europe, recently reported in the Milan publication Il Giornale that an analysis of the New Hampshire hand counted ballots does not tally with the electronic results. When ballots were counted by hand in the Democratic race, every candidate except for Hillary Clinton made substantial gains. The hand counted results in the Republican race showed that Ron Paul should, indeed, have finished in third place.
I’d like to make three points here:
1. A competent and respected journalist such as Marcello Foa does not make that sort of claim without proof to back it up.
2. This means that smoking gun evidence of blatant vote fraud in the largest nation in the free world exists.
3. The mainstream U.S. media has not even covered this story!
A lot of things have happened since George W. Bush took office. We’ve experienced the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history (whomever you consider those terrorists to be). Our leaders have lied and cooked intelligence to take us into a war without end. Our Bill of Rights has all but completely disappeared. All of these things are frightening, I admit.
To me, however, the most frightening thing of all is the absolutely deafening silence I hear from the U.S. media.
I would like to take a moment to thank Doug Thompson and the staff of CHB for opening the CHB site up to public blogs. The Internet has always been about the free exchange of unfettered information, and this will make participation in that exchange available to everyone, including those folks who do not have or cannot afford the time or technical expertise to own and manage their own blog site(s). Everyone now has the same opportunity to express their opinion(s) rapidly and easily, and whether you agree with what everyone posts or not, that very exchange is what a free and fair society is all about. I believe it will provide an enormous added value for CHB readers, and I am avidly looking forward to reading what my fellow CHB members have to say about current events.