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Bill to Outlaw ‘Voter Caging’ Introduced in U.S. Senate

Greg Palast 

In 2004 for BBC TV the Palast team broke the story of voter caging by the Republican Party now in 2007 a Democratic congress is getting to doing something about it, led by caging victim Senator John Kerry. Read about it here ripped from our friends over at BradBlog.

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Measure, Co-Sponsored by 13 Dems, Would Prohibit ‘Voter Supression’ Tactic as Used in Florida in 2004 by Former Rove Associate, Interim US Attorney Tim Griffin…
Brad Friedman- BradBlog

Thirteen Democratic Senators have introduced a bill that would outlaw “voter caging,” the practice of sending mail marked “Do Not Forward” to a targeted list of voters in hopes of using the returned mailings as a basis to challenge the right of the voters to vote. …more

Purging the Purgers

Greg Palast 

By Barbara Bellows-TerraNova
http://oneperson-knowmore.blogspot.com/
The U.S. Attorney Firings Scandal is not just about the Politicization of Government agencies.

It is about Election Theft – both Past and Future.
It is about Rewarding…
And Protecting…
The Thieves.
It is also about our letting it – or not letting it – happen.
It is about the Press – Investigating and Reporting.
It is about Paying Attention – or not.

Then it is about being Responsible for what we’ve Learned – and doing something.

After all, what if the actual recipient of the most votes in either of the last two …more

Conyers Grills Deputy Attorney General McNulty
Transcript

Greg Palast 

June 21, 2007

Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law
Hearing on: The Continuing Investigation into the U.S. Attorneys Controversy and Related Matters

Transcript:

McNulty: … and the second has to do with the caging issue. And there it’s a rather simple issue of where she’s challenging my testimony. Senator Schumer asked me about an allegation involving Tim Griffin and a practice known as caging. And I said that I was aware of an article on that subject. But I didn’t and here is my quote ‘I didn’t know anything about it personally’, and that’s perfectly true. I didn’t know anything about it personally. The night before my hearing I was given an article and a short explanation and I did not have an opportunity to read those things, I knew about the existence of the issue, and I therefore did not wanna testify about a matter that I did not know about personally. And I just said that at the time.

Rep. Conyers: Thank you Madam Chair. Now you never, did you just say you didn’t know anything about caging?

McNulty: What I said was that when I was asked that question at the Senate hearing, all I knew about the subject was that there was an article

Rep. Conyers: Was that article by Greg Palast about African American soldiers scrubbed by secret GOP hit lists? Dated June 16, 2006? Was that it as you recall?

McNulty: That’s the article I’m referring to. …more

US Attorney Resigns
Following Conyers’ Request for BBC Documents

Greg Palast 

June 1, 2007

Tim Griffin, formerly right hand man to Karl Rove, resigned Thursday as US Attorney for Arkansas hours after BBC Television ‘Newsnight’ reported that Congressman John Conyers requested the network’s evidence on Griffin’s involvement conyersand-gregfinger.jpgin ‘caging voters.’ Greg Palast, reporting for BBC Newsnight, obtained a series of confidential emails from the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign. In these emails, Griffin, then the GOP Deputy Communications Director, transmitted so-called ‘caging lists’ of voters to state party leaders.

Experts have concluded the caging lists were designed for a mass challenge of voters’ right to cast ballots. The caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.

Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of US Attorneys, met Thursday evening in New York with Palast. After reviewing key …more

Raging Caging
What the heck is vote caging, and why should we care?

Greg Palast 

By Dahlia Lithwick | Slate
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2007, at 6:24 PM ET

Last week, in her testimony before the House judiciary committee, Monica Goodling referred several times to “vote caging” possibly done by Arkansas’ soon to be ex-interim, never-confirmed U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin. Yet Goodling was questioned about this almost not at all, nor did the media do much more than report the words of the former liaison between the White House and Alberto Gonzales (why a “liaison” is required between two institutions with no boundaries between them is incomprehensible, but perhaps another story). Meanwhile, liberal talk radio, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and the blogosphere went nuts. So, which is it: Is vote caging the most under reported part of this U.S. attorneys scandal or the most over-hyped?

One of the reasons the mainstream news reports (including mine) barley touched the vote-caging story was that nobody had any idea what Goodling was talking about. “Vote caging, what’s that?” we e-mailed each other at Slate. The confusion seemed to extend to Goodling herself. The subject came up in her testimony about former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. In saying he had not been forthright with the House judiciary committee in his testimony on the firing of the U.S. attorneys, she cited three areas, one of which was McNulty’s failure “to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in ‘vote caging’ in the president’s 2004 campaign,” when he spoke to Congress.

Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., asked Goodling to “explain what caging is,” clarifying that she was unfamiliar with the term. Goodling fumbled around, muttered something about, “it’s a direct-mail term, that people who do direct mail, when, when they separate addresses that may be good versus addresses that may be bad,” then made sure to end with, “I don’t … I believe that Mr. Griffin doesn’t believe that he, that he did anything wrong there and there, there actually is a very good reason for it, for a very good explanation.” Which explanation Goodling did not then provide.

To recap, Goodling told the judiciary committee that: 1) Griffin was possibly involved in caging; 2) he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong (she is less certain, it seems); and 3) McNulty lied under oath when he downplayed his knowledge of these allegations to the committee.

That would suggest that vote caging is a big deal. Is it?

Vote caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters (who tend to vote Democrat) by getting them knocked off the voter rolls if they fail to answer registered mail sent to homes they aren’t living at (because they are, say, at college or at war). The Republican National Committee reportedly stopped the practice following a consent decree in a 1986 case. Google the term and you’ll quickly arrive at the Wizard of Oz of caging, Greg Palast, investigative reporter and author of the wickedly funny Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans—Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild. Palast started reporting allegations of Republican vote caging for the BBC’s Newsnight in 2004. He’s been almost alone on the story since then. Palast contends, both in Armed Madhouse and widely through the liberal blogosphere, that vote caging, an illegal voter-suppression scheme, happened in Florida in 2004 this way:

The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked “Do not forward” to voters’ homes. Letters returned (“caged”) were used as evidence to block these voters’ right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and—you got to love this—American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

Why weren’t these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation—and the soldiers were overseas.

Palast supplies evidence linking Tim Griffin, then-research director for the RNC, to this caging plot; specifically, a series of confidential e-mails to Republican Party muckety-mucks with the suggestive heading “RE: caging.” The e-mails were accidentally sent to a George Bush parody site. They also contained suggestively named spreadsheets, headed “caging” as well. The names on the lists are what Palast’s researchers deemed to be homeless men and soldiers deployed in Iraq. Here are the e-mails.

As Palast points out—and Griffin himself has observed—the American media barely touched this story, and Griffin has yet to explain the e-mails or the lists. He did tell The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer last March that “caging is not a derogatory term. … [I]t’s a direct-mail term. It derives from caging categories of mail in steel shelves and files.” Still, that hardly explains why he was allegedly caging only transient African-American voters in those shelves or files, which would likely violate the Voting Rights Act.

Palast is surely not above overstatement. He is one of many who have repeated the claim that, “In an Aug. 24 e-mail, the Justice Department’s Monica Goodling wrote to Sampson, that Griffin’s nomination would face opposition in Congress because he was involved ‘in massive Republican projects in Florida and elsewhere by which Republicans challenged tens of thousand of absentee votes. Coincidentally, many of those challenged votes were in black precincts.’ ” Goodling wrote no such thing. That quote is from an article circulated by Goodling on Aug. 24. It’s an unfair smear of both Griffin and Goodling (both of whom have proven amply capable of smearing themselves).

Still, Palast’s vote-caging claims are hardly unbelievable. Republicans have been systematically trying to suppress minority votes for decades, most recently calling it pushback for rampant liberal voter fraud. Our own former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was alleged to have mastered the art. And while bouncing voters from the rolls on the basis of their race violates federal law, it’s not beyond imagining that eager young “loyal Bushies” aren’t all that bothered by federal laws, especially if there’s a way to bend rather than overtly break them.

From the point of view of the ongoing DoJ scandal, perhaps what’s most urgent about the vote-caging claims is that they go a long, long way toward explaining why Karl Rove and Harriet Miers were so determined to get Griffin seated in the Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s office, and to do so without a confirmation hearing. If, as the Justice Department has continued to insist, Griffin was eminently qualified for the position, why did he need to be spared the hearing at all costs? And once it became clear that he would undergo a hearing, why did Griffin sideline himself with the colorful observation that undergoing Senate confirmation would be “like volunteering to stand in front of a firing squad in the middle of a three-ring circus?” Griffin—who is now in job talks with the Fred Thompson campaign—sure looks like a guy hiding something, and if vote caging is that something, it becomes even more interesting that the White House was pushing him forward.

Why did Goodling choose to shine a beacon on the vote-caging allegations in her perfectly rehearsed, highly coached testimony last week? Having slaved to secure Griffin’s U.S. attorney post, why raise the allegations against him and then subtly distance herself from him, if there is nothing to see here? Professor Rick Hasen of Loyola Law School, who wrote earlier this month about voter fraud, is my personal voting-law guru. (Everyone needs one.) When I asked him whether the mainstream media were making a mistake in blowing off the vote-caging story, he said Goodling’s mention of it “makes me suspect that there’s something there worth investigating by the MSM, even if you don’t buy into the grand conspiracy theories.”

If the media have fallen down on this story, how much more so has Congress? Nobody tried to press Goodling about what McNulty allegedly knew and withheld from Congress in regard to Griffin’s alleged vote-caging schemes. I’d be interested in the answer. I’d also like to hear what Griffin himself has to say about those lists the BBC has. If the RNC was paying good money to send registered mail to homeless black men in Florida, there must have been a reason for it. Griffin, after all, has left his Arkansas post and is looking for work. (Tim, if Sen. Thompson is a no-go, I need a babysitter next Saturday!) I bet he’d like nothing better than to clear his name and remove the taint of voter suppression from his résumé.

I’d also like to hear from Karl and Harriet about why Griffin’s elevation to the Arkansas job was so important, yet his confirmation so fraught. If Palast is right, Griffin and vote caging open the door to explaining the White House involvement in the U.S. attorneys purge. And the White House—not the Justice Department—has always been the least-understood part of this story. So, let’s bake up some of those warm, crusty subpoenas. Last week was the first time most of us heard about vote caging. It shouldn’t be the last.

Dahlia Lithwick is a Slate senior editor.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2167284/

Copyright 2007 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

The Goods on Goodling and the Keys to the Kingdom

Greg Palast 

Special to the BRADBLOG
May 24, 2007

This Monica revealed something hotter — much hotter — than a stained blue dress. In her opening testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling, the blonde-ling underling to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Department of Justice Liaison to the White House, dropped The Big One….And the Committee members didn’t even know it.

Goodling testified that Gonzales’ Deputy AG, Paul McNulty, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: McNulty denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin’s “involvement in ‘caging’ voters” in 2004.
Huh?? Tim Griffin? “Caging”???

The perplexed committee members hadn’t a clue — and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling. If the members had gotten the clue, and asked the right questions, they would have found “the keys to the kingdom,” they thought they were looking for. They dangled right in front of their perplexed faces.

The keys: the missing emails — and missing link — that could send Griffin and his boss, Rove, to the slammer for a long, long time.

Kingdom enough for ya?

But what’s ‘caging’ and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer McNulty put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin’s involvement in it? Because it’s a felony. And a big one.

Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet – except the USA – only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

Here’s how caging worked, and along with Griffin’s thoughtful emails themselves you’ll understand it all in no time.

The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked “Do not forward” to voters’ homes. Letters returned (“caged”) were used as evidence to block these voters’ right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and — you got to love this — American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

Why weren’t these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation — and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.

How do I know? I have the caging lists…

I have them because they are attached to the emails Rove insists can’t be found. I have the emails. 500 of them — sent to our team at BBC after the Rove-bots accidentally sent them to a web domain owned by our friend John Wooden.

Here’s what you need to know — and the Committee would have discovered, if only they’d asked:

1. ‘Caging’ voters is a crime, a go-to-jail felony.
2. Griffin wasn’t “involved” in the caging, Ms. Goodling. Griffin, Rove’s right-hand man (right-hand claw), was directing the illegal purge and challenge campaign. How do I know? It’s in the email I got. Thanks. And it’s posted below.
3. On December 7, 2006, the ragin’, cagin’ Griffin was named, on Rove’s personal demand, US Attorney for Arkansas. Perpetrator became prosecutor.

The committee was perplexed about Monica’s panicked admission and accusations about the caging list because the US press never covered it. That’s because, as Griffin wrote to Goodling in yet another email (dated February 6 of this year, and also posted below), their caging operation only made the news on BBC London: busted open, Griffin bitched, by that “British reporter,” Greg Palast.

There’s no pride in this. Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet — except the USA — only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

And now, not bothering to understand the astonishing revelation in Goodling’s confessional, they are missing the real story behind the firing of the US attorneys. It’s not about removing prosecutors disloyal to Bush, it’s about replacing those who refused to aid the theft of the vote in 2004 with those prepared to burgle it again in 2008.

Now that they have the keys, let’s see if they can put them in the right door. The clock is ticking ladies and gents…

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Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse: from Baghdad to New Orleans – Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone WILD. For more info, or to hear Brad Friedman, Ed Asner and other troublemakers read from Armed Madhouse, go to www.GregPalast.com

GREG PALAST IS DANGEROUS

Greg Palast 

for the Daily Kos
Memorial Day 2007

Saturday morning, when most sensible folks were unfurling flags or taking their setters and children for a Memorial Day frisbee toss on the beach, someone using the nom d’puter of “DRATIONAL” was in his big sister’s bedroom furiously typing, “Greg Palast is Dangerous!” on her iMac.

Drat is quite right: I am dangerous, though not for the reasons in Drat’s screed.

So while the twins are off with the dog, let me respond between bites of this bagel, beginning with this immutable distinction:

There’s two kinds of illiterates in this world: those who can’t read, for whom I’m entirely sympathetic — and those who CAN read but WON’T, for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever.

Drat is of the latter. He (she/them/it?) has mounted a full-scale assault on the seven-year-long effort of my BBC and Guardian team investigating systematic suppression of the minority vote by the Republican Party and our latest revelation: ‘caging voters.’ His “evidence” is 100% limited to snippets of my conversations on talk radio or phone interviews, second-hand reports on websites and some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts, posted to this site.

Nowhere does he suggest he’s bothered reading the one hundred-page description of the attack on voters, including caging, in the new edition of Armed Madhouse. Shame that. Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., using the book as a source, verified by his own corroborative work, found the matter therein convincing enough to call for putting Rove’s right hand man, Tim Griffin, “in prison, not in office.”

Picking up a book won’t hurt you, Mr. Drat, at least until Patriot Act IV goes into effect.

Drat also fails to consult the obvious and original source of the
BBC report: the BBC. On the website is an elucidating exchange between the Republican Party and BBC producer, Meirion Jones — who placed his substantial reputation, and that of the British Broadcasting Corporation, on the line in the defense of our ‘caging’ story based on his complete and close-up knowledge of the facts.

As a former statistician, I’m a bit disconcerted to make this back of the envelope calculation: about ten times as many people will read the posting of Drat written in his jammies one night as have read Armed Madhouse. The book, unlike the blogette, is based on the work of many diligent souls over three years on three continents.

Such is the world. I won’t complain. But the speed of slanders is so fleet, and the work of our investigation so vital, I want to explain our methods in summary, not as a replacement for reading the book, but as a supplementary guide to our team’s work and professional process.

The prime criticism: Drat cannot comprehend how, from the one email and “caging” list shown on my website, we can conclude their was a massive, illegal GOP conspiracy to wipe out the votes of hundreds of thousands of legal, minority voters.

Answer: you can’t. We didn’t. Sorry, Mr. Drat, but an investigation of this type requires more than a desultory evening of noodling on the ‘Net.

When, just after midnight on October 8, 2004, researcher Oliver Shykles sent me the first ‘caging’ memo passed to us from John Wooden, I thought the prankster was pulling our leg, or the emails and lists were just the usual campaign nonsense and blather. Take a look at the confidential Griffin memo, “Subject: caging,” on page 207 of the book. He doesn’t say much, Mr. Griffin, except, “Total as of today is 1834” with the list attached. Names and addresses of voters. Nothing more.

Mr. Drat: that’s not where our investigation ends, but where it BEGINS.

A producer from ’60 Minutes’ had recently come to our office and looked at similar voter lists and said, “My god, it would take you HUNDREDS OF HOURS and you’d have to make HUNDREDS OF CALLS to figure out what this is.” I asked our chief investigator Ms. von Eckardt when she’d last slept. “Sunday.” It was Tuesday.

She began the calling of the ‘caged’ — by now reaching over 50,000 in Florida alone — from the missives we received, while investigators Shykles and Pascarella enlisted the work of volunteers and experts in mapping and analyzing the list against the ‘felon’ purge lists and other data we had, including physical visits to the addresses.

The list was looking very dark indeed, Black precincts, black voters, most with a peculiarity: voters unlikely to live at their home addresses. On a couple of lists (of more than 50), were soldiers including serviceman Randy Prausa. Prausa’s wife, reached by phone, admitted he did not live as his voting registration address: he’d been shipped overseas.

Hmm. We went to the experts, including Ion Sancho, the dean of Florida elections supervisors, and voting rights lawyer Ralph Neas among others. “It could only be a challenge list,” Sancho told us, and by the racial bent of it, “A potential violation of the Voting Rights Act,” said Neas. A felony crime.

As the evidence mounted, BBC authorized us to ask about the emails from the best source: their author, Mr. Griffin, right hand man to Karl Rove. I intended to ask, “Lose something, Mr. Griffin?”

So with our crew from London, we set off to Washington — and were told to scram by the Rove man. We also flew to Tallahassee to confront one of the recipients, the Chairman of the state’s Bush-Cheney campaign. We were blocked at the doorway on our scheduled interview by a duo of PR flaks. They gave us a menu of contradictory answers. The lists were potential donors, one said. Oh, OK. But what about this: the ones registered at the homeless shelter? That failed, we were told the lists were just clerical stuff: “These are newly registered voters we mailed to, where the letter came back — bad addresses.”

Wait. Cleaning up the junk-mail list required confidential missives between Rove’s top man and the chairmen of the state campaigns? I suggested these were, in fact, challenge lists.

The flack-catcher — you have to see her photo holding the lists at page 203 of the book — then said something that combined brilliance and bullshit in two phrases: “This is not a challenge list. That’s not what it’s SET UP to do.”

Her words were crafty. If the lists were USED for challenges (and she admitted they would do that), that’s legal. But if the lists were compiled FOR THE PURPOSE OF targeting these voters, mostly African-American, that’s a crime. A big-time crime.

And she knew it. And most important, Tim Griffin knew it. In fact, the emails show he directed it. And where is Mr. Griffin today? US Attorney for Arkansas, replacement for one of the prosecutors fired six months ago.

Did Rove know that Griffin knew? This was Rove’s right hand man; the campaign was under Rove’s guidance; the caging op cost millions and involved the state chairmen and top planners of the campaign. I think a grand jury should ask; or at least a Congressional Committee. That Griffin knew was grim enough; criminal enough.

And that’s what Monica Goodling dumped before the House Judiciary Committee this past week. She said her superiors lied about their knowledge of Griffin’s knowledge of “caging voters.” She said that only after taking the Fifth and obtaining a grant of immunity.

Goodling didn’t need to take the Fifth to admit she’d looked at someone’s party registration before choosing them for a Justice Department post. But she knew that “caging voters,” and her crew’s knowledge of it and Griffin’s role, required immunity if she hoped to stay out of the pokey.

Because there’s more. Emails that Griffin and Goodling did cough up to the committee tighten the noose around their own necks.

It is both much fun and grandly ironic that one of the self-incriminating emails is Griffin’s complaint to Goodling about that “British reporter … Greg Palast,” including two dated February 5 of this year. One includes a link to an excerpt from Armed Madhouse and a PDF of a blog based on it. (Well, at least someone’s reading the book.)

In this email and others, Griffin pulls the pin out of the grenade — and swallows it. Rather than continue the party line that the ‘caging’ lists were not created to challenge voters, he says, “The real story is this: There were thousands of reported illegal/fake voter registrations around the country, so some of the Republican State Parties mailed letters welcoming new voters to the newly registered voters. … The Republican State Parties ultimately wanted to show that thousands of fraudulent registrations had been completed.”

Uh, oh. Griffin’s now admitted the costly mailings were part of a scheme to hunt down “fraudulent” voters. That conflicts with the official version told us on camera and mailed to BBC TV (posted on the network’s website).

Further, in an August email exchange between Goodling and Gonzales Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson, Goodling strategizes about how to get around a press report that, “…in the Senate confirmation process, [Griffin is] likely to endure some questioning about his role in massive Republican projects in Florida and elsewhere by which Republicans challenged tens of thousands of absentee votes. Coincidentally, many of those challenged votes were concentrated in black precincts.”

“Coincidentally,” my arse. Only 13% of Florida’s registered voters are African-American.

Well, that’s being picky. The key thing is that Griffin’s moaning email of February 5 combined with the others shows that Griffin knew, indeed directed, the ‘caging’ operation; that it was aimed at challenging voters who, disproportionately, are Black.

I have no doubt that when Goodling showed these incredibly ill-considered emails to her lawyer, he said, “Monica, looks like you’re taking the Fifth.”

And note: Griffin’s sending this email to Goodling while he’s a sitting US prosecutor. How dumb can you get? This dumb: He adds, “The Republican State Parties wanted to show that thousands of fraudulent voter registrations had been completed. They ultimately did.”

Oh, no they didn’t. And that brings us full circle: to the prosecutor firings. None of the honest US Attorneys found a single “fraudulent voter” in the hundreds of thousands that were challenged as a result of ‘caging.’ US Attorney for New Mexico David Iglesias went on a wild goose chase through 150 cases until the FBI told him to stop wasting their time. He brought no charges — and got the axe from Goodling, Griffin and Rove. Bud Cummins too: not one “fraudulent voter” charged in Arkansas. He also got the heave-ho — and Griffin stepped in himself to take over the hunt for Black voters.

I am writing this on Memorial Day, looking at a list of soldiers on Griffin’s caging list. ‘Coincidentally’ loaded with African-Americans. Coincidentally. Mission Accomplished, Mr. President.

And now back to ‘Drat.’ Karl Rove’s cousin Denny the Rat? I don’t know. I don’t care. He wants all the emails. Sure. There’s several dozen that say, “Caging list” with over 50,000 names. Then what, Mr. Drat? You’ll have to get out of your PJs and do what we did: challenge the Bush-Cheney campaign directly, make hundreds of calls, do a demographic analysis with the experts, endure vicious attacks by the Rove-bots, dismissal by the US press and ignorance of Democratic politicians.

I went through criticisms like Drats when I had the list of so-called “felons” purged from the voter rolls by Katherine Harris in 2000. The same damn griping came from Republican trogs and Internet poseurs: we want the whole list, all your raw data; how do you know these are innocent voters etc. Yes, I made mistakes. My initial investigation disclosed my team’s report that “15%” of the 56,000 so-called felons were innocent. I was wrong. After People for the American Way filed a suit based on our discovery, the state’s contractor, ChoicePoint, admitted it had no solid evidence on 97% of the accused, 97,000 citizens in total. And the state Attorney General told me that there were, out of the thousands disenfranchised, maybe SIX illegal voters. In the end, he charged none.

But Griffin is now in position to bring charges against the voters that Cummins found innocent.

Will that happen? Indeed, the ‘caging’ game of 2004, unchecked, looks like practice for 2008. The voters challenged, ‘coincidentally’ Black, remain subject to challenge today and for next year’s election.

Why haven’t I turned over the evidence to Congressional committees? Who said they’d accept it? Bobby Kennedy’s tried to get their attention. The Congressional White Caucus is pointedly uninterested. I’m told, “Griffin’s just an interim appointment.”

Yes, “interim” through the 2008 election.

Well, as a journalist, it’s not my job to save the Democratic Party from itself.

It is not true, as Mr./Ms. Drat says, that I’ve accused the Democrats of wanting to use Rove’s caging tactics. Democrats have not run a mass challenge operation since the Jim Crow era. However, the party does act like an abused spouse, a group of enablers who evidence symptoms of “beaten party syndrome.”

Nothing I can do about that.

My conversation with the Drats of this world must end here. If you want to debate me, first read my book. If you want to criticize my methods, make sure your method includes some on-the-ground investigative work.

Otherwise, let me spend my one weekend off this month with my kids before I fly off to Washington, Michigan and London where, for BBC, I’ll be meeting with the Justice Department, Chairman Conyers and others — on an investigation even more important than ‘caging,’ persecuted prosecutors, or anything Mr. Drat can imagine … something, Mr. Drat that makes me very dangerous indeed to this regime.

Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, the newly expanded edition of, “Armed Madhouse: from Baghdad to New Orleans — Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.” Www.GregPalast.com

An Army of Rove-Bots
Captain Iglesias, Obstruction of Justice,

and the Theft of 2008

Greg Palast 

Special to The BRAD BLOG
Wednesday, May 16, 2006

“The wheels have come off, the engine is on fire and no one is driving,” Captain David Iglesias told me yesterday. I’d asked the Naval Reserve officer, heading off to duty in Norfolk, why he didn’t want his old job back, United States Attorney for New Mexico.

The busted, burning, ghost-mobile he described is the Department of Justice, driven by Alberto Gonzales. Or is Karl Rove at the wheel? Or no one? Whomever, he didn’t want to jump back into Bush’s Justice Jalopy.

Today, Iglesias is in Washington to pull the junker off the road, meeting with the Office of Special Counsel where Obstruction of Justice may be swirling around in the old oil pan laying on the garage floor.

The ex-prosecutor and I, long, long ago, had both worked for the Attorney General of New Mexico, a state where the snakes have less venom than the politicians.

First, there’s Senator Pete Domenici, whose hiss is as smooth as his bite is deadly. …more