Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
July 25, 2016
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

American Amnesia
Neither Snow Nor Rain

Truthdig Bazaar more items

Arts and Culture
Print this item

‘Recount’ Gets It Right, Even if America Didn’t

Posted on May 28, 2008

By Brad Friedman

(Page 3)

Moewe further informs us, chillingly…

To figure out what happened [back in Volusia in 2000], the “second” memory card must be found, according to an e-mail dated Jan. 18, 2001, addressed from Talbot Iredale, who is still with Diebold. “I do know that there were two uploads from two different memory cards,” according to the e-mail. “The second one is the one I believe caused the problem. They were uploaded on the same port aprox. 1 hour apart.”

Moewe’s husband, Rogers Cadenhead, a computer programmer who blogged quickly about his wife’s article this weekend, states the obvious: “As a programmer, I’ve never understood how Diebold’s voting software accepted negative votes and lowered a candidate’s total. You’d think the logical impossibility would’ve caused the input to be rejected before it altered the course of American history.”

“Logic” had little to do with anything in Florida 2000, of course. And that failure in Florida would, apparently, recommend those voting machines made by Global Election Systems (GES) to Diebold, Inc., who is similarly less than concerned about “logic” or security, it seems.

Hacking Democracy goes on to explain that Diebold, shortly after the 2000 election, would acquire GES, the company whose voting system “failed” that night in Volusia.  Neither film is able to definitively explain exactly what happened to cause the miscount, which became the basis for Bush’s cousin at Fox “News” calling the state for Dubya late on Election Night, followed quickly by Gore’s “concession”, and later, the argument made to the Supreme Court that Bush would be “irreparably harmed” if votes were allowed to be counted since the media had already declared him the “winner”.

The documentary film proceeds to reveal that our system is just as vulnerable to hacking and/or error today—- and this coming November—- as it was back then. It also offers some rather startling evidence for what may have caused that 2000 “anomaly” which has, as Moewe detailed, never been explained by the state of Florida, Diebold, or anybody else.

So what will horrify you about the election system as seen in Recount, is only multiplied when Hacking Democracy informs you that little has changed…other than things becoming arguably much worse now than they were back then.

Machines similar or identical to the ones that failed on Election Night in Florida, and the ones that Tom Feeney (who is now a U.S. Congressman) allegedly attempted to arrange vote-stealing software for, would be deployed across the entire country thanks to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, legislation created by felonious Republican Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio and other jailed cronies, in purported reaction to the 2000 debacle.

Hacking Democracy’s Cohen pointed out to me that when they first went to HBO with their documentary, they were told the cable behemoth stayed away from political films. But that was, perhaps, 20 or 30 Bush approval points ago.

While we’re tens of thousands of dead bodies later, there will never be the apologies due from the Republicans (including those on the U.S. Supreme Court) who tragically put party and power over country in Florida in 2000, and the Democrats who allowed it to happen.

As Kevin Spacey’s character Ron Klain, who headed the recount for Gore’s team, says tearily into the phone near the end of Recount—- the actor, clearly informed by the 7 years of carnage that have occurred since then—- he “just couldn’t get ‘em counted, Mr. Vice President.”

HBO could not have picked a more tragically appropriate day, Memorial Day, to premiere their new film. It will be airing constantly over the next several days and via OnDemand. Please try to see it, and share it with as many folks, Right, Left and Center, that you possibly can. You owe it to both history and the future. We all do.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Brad Friedman, June 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Conspiracy? Dozens of newspapers and universities joined together to count every ballot in the state, finding Gore won by ever conceivable counting standard and that’s a “conspiracy theory”?

Yes, grow up, indeed. And while you’re there, stand up for your Constitution and American Values. Unless you hate them and would rather ignore such things and the democracy that is supposed to come along with them.

Report this

By John Smith, June 2, 2008 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sounds like some people really enjoy some good, beefed up, cracked out conspiracy. Gore lost. Get over it. I watched recount and found myself laughing at the idea of people being turned away from polling boothes and chad being not counted because they were dimples. Im sure that there were plenty of Bush votes not counted because of the same reason. People just love the idea of some one trying to screw them. Thats what it comes down to. No one on either side was evil or trying to steal an election at the expense of the American people. Grow up. There was too much at stake, to many careers at stake.

Report this

By pete lor, June 2, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

James Baker loved it so much he organized a private screening for he and his pals.  I heard about it on NPR.  I haven’t seen the film but its lost a bit of its credibility after hearing of this revelation.

Report this

By Bill Blackolive, June 1, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We can have the 3rd in a row stolen election because this voting (half the population do not vote) population are intimidated, too fucked to muster any energy.  What next.  So go to Patriotsquestion9/11 to dodge schizoprenia.

Report this

By Conservative Yankee, May 31, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” It’s a sickness…Hyper partisan nonsense”

Well, no, it is well documented and on the money, the Republican’s stole the 2000 election, at a time when I was a registered Republican. But don’t be upset, far from being “Hyper partisan nonsense” it is one of a series of NON-partisan election thefts over the Nation’s history. Some from names long forgotten like Samual Tildon, (who won over Rutherford B. Hayes in an election where Florida again played a part) and some from the more recent past, the 1960 election when Mayor Daley in Chicago and LBJ in Texas stole the election for JFK.

There’s more, in actuality the thefts began with the election stolen by John Quincy Adams!

It’s as American as apple pie!

want to read about it?

Report this
CJ's avatar

By CJ, May 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

StephenL’s got one thing right: “Tell a lie often enough, it becomes ‘truth.’” Rove-led Bushies (big media all too ready to go along) would know all about how that works—from “Recount” that was never allowed to go forward (thanks to a majority of Justices willing to go to length of disgracing their high office, if not so much themselves since we knew about them already. One of the most pernicious lies is the claim Justices aren’t really political appointees, even if accidents sometimes happen) to WMD (which must yet be there somewhere) to how “Brownie” did a fine job (Wards yet to recover). Not to mention “truth” that claims tax cuts are means to economic expansion. (War and occupation really do—in truth—benefit those least in need.)

“Recount” turned out an occasion for a bit of earthly truth-telling, which must be how come big media across the board hasn’t said much since airing. (Anyone who pays attention to anything printed in the “New York Times” should reconsider priorities. I’d sooner read the “Post”—good for a couple laughs anyway. “Times” would be too were it not for nagging fact that people actually take that paper seriously. Has Judith Miller been forgotten already?)

Now and then a few facts are disseminated, despite best efforts on the part of those whose sole occupation is preventing telling of any truth. Occupation is to make truth appear lie at the same time lie is made to appear truth.

Kudos to all involved in making, “Recount,” as mass audience was—for a refreshing change—presented with truth that wasn’t constructed of lies intended to appear as truth. Facts matter, for the simple reason we’ve not much more to work with, but for facts as humans understand facts to be means to knowledge. Claims that “scientism” is just one more dogma notwithstanding.

Elections are a relatively simple (in places like Venezuela and Palestine, to cite two examples) matter of counting votes to see who got more. Not, as they say, “rocket science.” Closer to first-grade arithmetic: One plus one plus one plus one…until all ballots have been counted. Emphasis on word, “all,” since the entire point of voting exercise is to count “all.” If that’s not the point, then why bother: first, to vote; second to count votes? Never mind cost of arranging so any (not exactly “any”) and all are able to vote.

Gore got more, as any number of independent journalists, who actually did hard work of finding out, reported years and years and years ago. Journalists of integrity are not as a general rule granted access to power. They’re not to be found among stenographers who daily attend press briefings held by various government departments.

The thing I most appreciated about “Recount” is that Gore doesn’t comes off looking good. Appropriately not. When anyone has too much respect for abstraction that is every institution, he/she isn’t likely ever to make a whole lot of difference, whether he/she happens to speak occasional truth or not. Finally, talk really is cheap. Talk is two-faced: means by which to convey truth, as well as means by which to disguise truth. (Linguistics is a lot more complicated than “rocket science” ever was or ever will be.)

Our winner-take-all, two-party system is one more case of an institution for which far too many think far too highly. Democrats (whether liberal right or liberal center) have just as often attempted to make lie appear truth, truth appear lie. “Recount” alludes to that fact too. It really is a pretty smart bit of docudrama, beyond being factually accurate.

Report this

By i,Q, May 29, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

If counting the votes would eventually lead to Bush’s victory, why work so hard to suppress a recount?

StepenL is a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black.

Report this

By Eric Barth, May 29, 2008 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah! And the really funny thing is that Joe Lieberman turned out to be a Bush Republican!! How’s that for dramatic irony?

Report this

By hippy pam, May 29, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

“BULLSH*T” leaves OFFICE[if he doesn’t just declare martial law so he can hold on to power]-We can call it “BULLSH*T DAY” and [just like April Fool Day]-YA GOTTA RUN A LINE OF “BULLSH*T” ON EVERY ONE!!!!!

Report this

By Konnie, May 29, 2008 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Democratic party should run educational ads
in all areas where there were voting irregularities.

Tell The Voters to verify their registration.
to Verify their precinct.  Check their ballots.
Make extra sure they did everything correctly
on the ballot.  If there are chads involved,
make sure your intended vote will count.  Do
not “x” boxes, but color them in totally. 
Advise Older voters to ask for help.  Forget
about your pride.  We know you have voted for
60 years unassisted. Isn’t the world worth a momentary
embarrassment?  And remind everyone else to get off
their behinds. This election, at This time is too
important to screw up, or let anyone else steal.

Report this
Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, May 29, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Michigan Prim Was Rigged. Date change -intentional cluster F*ck, scambled (only Dem) Ballots fed in to Preprogrammed (alphabetcial order) SCAMtrons, Media mantra ‘Clinton the ONLY dem on the Ballot)and of course the silver platter was handed to Clinton by none other then our Good Ol’ Sen Levin (Armed Services Cohort).
Then lest look at the timing of the ‘Photo ID” ruling by SCOTUS- ONE WEEK before the Prim, so convienently IN CONVENIENT for the voters, The Denial to vote by Even Clergy? and of course the old stand by , machine malfunctions in minority areas and far too few available causing Long Waits….
It is happening Again- the PROOF of the ‘00 Theft is laying right ontop of the ‘08 ‘pudding’.
Have no doubt either theri latest Trick is to Put 2 Horses in the Race- divide & conquer, a Win/Win, Hillary or Mac is a win for the Corp Sponsored Neo Cons (DLC is a Neo CON group camoflagued in Blue- LIEberman is still a memeber, tells you alot about the rest AH?)Hillary’s RED Slip has been Showing since she Took the Senate Seat. Seh has proven to be nothing more than a covert Operative, a Protege for the Cheney Doctrine….“Obliterate Iran” with NUKES? Buddying w/ Scaife, parroting Rove,Changing th eGoal lines to suit HER,Needs a Constant Interpretor because she is so arrogant she thinks we are all Idiots, ‘assasination ’ Innuendo- ACTS (and Inacts) like a traitor , sounds like a traitor, she’s a traitor! She NEVER gave Up her Repug Corp Whore Allegience!Shit they Crowned her Queen at that ‘Lucheon’ With W, that’s why she’s CRAZY pissed, we aren’t buying the BS anymore! Look down Dear your Red slip is showing and Your mask has Fallen OFF- YOU ARE ANOTHER P.O.S. IN HISTORY!

Report this

By JimM, May 28, 2008 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

These right wing pro bush judges on the Supreme Court should be sued for negligence and interference in a presidential election. Remember the Saturday that Al was leading in the recount and at the behest of the veniable James Baker, the Supremes abruptly aborted the recount.
What a horrible memory to carry and the more horrible results that followed

Report this

By jltnol, May 28, 2008 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again.

Why didn’t they wait ‘til in the FALL to release this film?  By the time the election comes around, this will be forgotten by everyone.

Same thing with Mr. Moore’s film.. Great to make money during the summer, but had F9/11 been released on or after Labor Day, he may not be as rich, but Bush would have not been re-elected.

While I applaud the filmmakers vision, releasing this closer to the election would have had much MUCH more impact.

Report this

By Brad Friedman, May 28, 2008 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The key line in your comment is:

“Tell a lie often enough, it becomes ‘truth’.”

Fair enough. So if you bother to watch the film (or just check the historic, well-documented record), you’ll learn that the ballots were never actually recounted. No matter how “often” the Republicans tried to make that claim.

18 counties did nothing more than push the button to get the same results from the memory cards again (same results, not a surprise).

And of the counties that did bother to re-run their ballots, they were re-run through the machine, not counted by hand as they were supposed to have been.

Of course, once such a hand-count began, it was immediately stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A full hand-count that actually took place thereafter (by a news and academic consortium) found that by whatever standards one used to count ALL of the ballots in the state (hanging, dangling chads, whatever), Gore beat Bush every single time.

As you appear to be more interesting in repeating the nonsense “often enough” in hopes that “it becomes truth”, and thus didn’t bother to read the actual evidence offered in the article above, I’ll be kind enough to deliver it to you again.

Read, learn:
...and then I’ll happily accept your apology for otherwise arguing in favor of undermining American values such as democracy. I’m sure you don’t hate them *that* much, right?

Report this

By David Ulrich, May 28, 2008 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr StepenL, Your comment above makes it clear that you are woefully uninformed. My suggestion would be for you do a little research on this subject before you throw out statements like you did above. I am sorry but it just makes you look like a deluded dito head.

Report this

By StepenL, May 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

was that however they counted it, Bush kept winning.  And their third suggestion which ultimately the supreme court killed also would have made Bush the winner.

No one believes it’s true that the “election was stolen” but some filled with hate keep pushing it in an effort to gain believers among the ignorant.

Tell a lie often enough, it becomes “truth”.  Whenever democrats lose a major election these days…it’s “stolen”.  When they win one, “the will of the people has prevailed”.

It’s a sickness…Hyper partisan nonsense.

Report this
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network