EMAIL PAGE FIVE
COLUMN FIFTY-NINE, MAY 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)
FROM THE SONS OF AFRIKA (SOA)
DID CENTRAL IGNORANCE AGENCY
PROTECT A NAZI MURDERER?
[soa] CIA documents may reveal top Nazi recruited as US spy
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 07:57:11 EST
Scotsman-Scotland's best selling quality national newspaper
may reveal that top Nazi was recruited as US spy
Allan Hall in
Berlin and Tim Cornwell
they keep documents secret so many years after, and still play games?’
release this month of CIA "personality" files on top Nazi figures,
including Adolf Hitler, has fuelled new speculation about the mysterious fate of
chief Heinrich Müller was one of the key architects of the Final
death in absentia in a Nuremberg war crimes court, he disappeared from the pages
of the official history books, with the suggestion that he died either in the
last days of the war or shot himself a year later. His last known whereabouts
were in Hitler’s bunker - the day before the war ended.
showing that a Heinrich Müller was held in two post-war internment camps run by
US forces has fuelled new speculation that the Gestapo boss was recruited as a
US agent. Claims that a man who was listed as a top wanted Nazi as late as 1987
cut a deal with US intelligence have prompted demands for a new official
journalists, and Jewish groups in the US are eagerly awaiting the
suggests that Müller, born 101 years ago, could still be alive. But 50
round of speculation over Müller’s fate was fuelled by a documentary screened
days ago in Germany.
It drew on US
army intelligence files, declassified and released with little
one of just 15 people at the infamous Wannsee conference of 1942
A loyalist to
Hitler to the very end, Müller played a leading role in the savage
investigation and executions that followed the abortive July 1944 plot to kill
the Führer. But from early in his career, as he rose through the ranks of the
German police and then the SS, Müller had also specialised in the surveillance
of communists and leftists. It was that knowledge, it is suggested, that may
have made Müller an attractive asset to the Americans - or to their Cold War
enemies, the Soviets, who are also suspected of taking him in.
post-war sightings reported of Müller run from Czechoslovakia to South America.
As late as 1987, he remained on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s top ten wanted
list of Nazi criminals.
Hier, the centre’s founding head, has called for a full investigation of what
involvement, if any, the US had with Heinrich Müller.
He cites the
fact that US intelligence helped convicted Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie escape
to South America. Other leading Nazi figures were also captured and released.
told The Scotsman that the CIA’s 500 pages on Müller, due to be
the world would they keep documents secret so many years after and still
‘redact’ them and play games rather than say, take a look for
yourself?", Rabbi Hier asked.
Nazi files, Rabbi Hier noted, may be of interest for other reasons.
It has long
been claimed, for example, that the Soviets had a high-level agent inside
Hitler’s immediate entourage.
says Müller killed himself and his family in 1946. But a grave in
documentary cited the evidence of Peter Malkin, a Mossad agent who
Under the US
Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998, signed into law by President Bill
Clinton with the intent of laying bare any US involvement with
month would bring some of the first releases from the files of
"was definitely a known war criminal", observes Greg Bradsher, with
the US National Archives, which has overseen the release of documents to date.
that was a member of the SS was detained automatically. He was definitely
detained, and he was definitely released in January 1946; the
surface, from the documents released so far, doesn’t make complete
sense," he said.
intelligence files indicated that Müller was not working for them;
that just left the CIA predecessor, the SSU, he said. "The other possibility,
and you can speculate for ever, is that we turned him over to the British or
the French." ##
* * *
HOW JEB HELPED DD STEAL FLA.
[soa] THE NATION: Bigtime Florida fraud
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 21:33:14 -0700
From: pendragon <Pendragon@fix.net>
How the GOP
Gamed the System in Florida (1)Printed from
| April 30, 2001
How the GOP
Gamed the System in Florida
On July 10,
2000, in the midst of the presidential campaign, GOP candidate George W. Bush
addressed the national NAACP convention in Baltimore and denounced such
"new forms of racism" as racial profiling and redlining. But even as
he spoke, a very old, traditional form of racism was being implemented in
Florida: the disfranchisement of eligible voters, especially blacks, which
helped Bush win that state and the election.
well-reported incident involving a police checkpoint near a polling place,
disfranchisement 2000-style did not depend on intimidation. Cattle prods and
attack dogs, the legacy of former Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety Bull
Connor, were nowhere in evidence. Instead, Florida state elections officials and
hired data crunchers used computers to target thousands of voters, many of whom
were then purged from the voter rolls without reason. And many thousands more
saw their votes thrown out as a result of error-prone voting machines and poorly
designed ballots, the results of an underfunded and chaotic electoral system.
In all, some
200,000 Floridians were either not permitted to vote in the November 7 election
on questionable or possibly illegal grounds, or saw their ballots discarded and
not counted. A large and disproportionate number were black. Florida's black
leaders, already engaged in an emotional, bitter confrontation with Governor Jeb
Bush, George W. Bush's brother, had mounted an unprecedented voter registration
effort to defeat candidates they saw as political enemies. According to exit
polls, 65 percent more black voters went to the polls in Florida in 2000 than in
the 1996 election, and of the votes that were counted, blacks went at least 9 to
1 for Democrat Al Gore.
But the votes
that were tallied were not enough. After the US Supreme Court cut off ballot
recounts, Bush had a margin of 537 votes out of more than 5.8 million cast. The
closeness of the final count made all votes not cast and not counted that much
more crucial. (As one example, the Palm Beach Post recently reported that Gore
lost 6,600 votes in Palm Beach County alone because of the infamous butterfly
ballot, more than ten times Bush's margin of victory.)
officials deny racist intent in their actions, but the US Commission on Civil
Rights conducted two hearings in Florida in January and February to
commission said it found evidence of "prohibited discrimination" in
Florida's polling process. A final report is due this summer. The NAACP and
others filed suit on January 10 against Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who
was a co-chair of the campaign and is responsible for the conduct of fair
elections in Florida, and other Florida officials, charging them with violating
the Fourteenth Amendment and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The suit demands many
reforms of the Florida electoral system.
But no future
remedy can undo what happened in 2000, only a portion of which has been revealed
through the hearing, the suit and media reports. "They done got us,"
said civil rights veteran Elmore Bryant of Marianna, Florida, referring to the
GOP-mandated purge of voter rolls. "They had themselves a game and we had
no game. The old leaders in the '60s wouldn't have let this happen. We woulda
had us a game too, but we didn't. They done got us good."
The stage for
the November 7 election and the effort by black leaders to
later, when he ran again, he avoided such candor. But although he won, he was
backed by only 10 percent of the state's blacks, according to exit polls. In his
first year in office, Bush then eliminated most affirmative action programs
benefiting minorities and women, substituting a plan he called the One Florida
Initiative. That program ended guaranteed minority and female set-asides in
state hiring, in the awarding of state contracts (only 1 percent of state
spending for merchandise and services went to minority-owned firms as it was,
according to the Miami Herald) and in university admissions. Polls had shown
that such a move would be popular with the white majority in the state. Black
and feminist leaders called it a betrayal.
Governor refused to meet with them to discuss his policy, two black state
legislators staged a twenty-hour sit-in at Bush's suite of offices. At one point
Bush was overheard saying, "Kick their asses out of here," although an
aide later claimed he was referring to journalists. Bush apologized to the
public for his language but not his policy. The sit-in attracted statewide
support from blacks, women's groups and other Floridians, forcing Bush to accept
a series of public hearings. Thousands of citizens crowded those sessions and
other demonstrations, verbally bludgeoning both the One Florida Initiative and
Bush. Black student movements, dormant for years, were resurrected. Even members
of his own party called Bush's tactics highhanded. But with an overwhelming GOP
Kendrick Meek, one of the two sit-in heroes, labeled the moment the lowest point
in Florida racial relations in the past thirty-five years. He and other
African-Americans called for a statewide voter registration campaign to defeat
their political enemies at all levels, starting with the Governor's brother.
"We didn't need George W. doing to the whole nation what Jeb was doing to
Florida," said Elmore Bryant.
1999, the NAACP pledged $9 million to a nationwide voter
stage was set for Election Day 2000, when the black vote went from 10 percent of
the state total in 1996 to 16 percent, according to exit polls. Some 300,000
more blacks voted than four years before--and that only includes those who were
actually allowed to vote. But while black Floridians were registering in
unprecedented numbers, state officials were busy removing other blacks from the
voting rolls. After a 1997 Miami mayoral election, the Miami Herald discovered
that 105 people had voted despite having felonies on their records and having
never received clemency, making them ineligible under Florida law. The article,
part of a series that helped overturn that election because of voter fraud, also
revealed that of the total number of felons found on the county voter rolls, 71
percent were registered Democrats.
the GOP-controlled state legislature passed a sweeping voter fraud bill despite
an unprecedented effort by county elections supervisors to block it. The measure
would unfairly thwart citizens from voting instead of encouraging voter turnout,
said the supervisors, who actually conduct elections. Among other provisions,
the bill called for the strict enforcement of an 1868 law that took the vote
away from all former prisoners who had not received clemency, no matter how long
they had been out of prison and out of trouble.
one of only fourteen states that do not automatically restore civil rights to
former prisoners who have completed their sentence and parole. Florida's former
prisoners must petition the Office of Executive Clemency for the restoration of
their civil rights, and the final decision is made by the governor and three
other members of the Cabinet, all of whom are partisan politicians. Before the
voter fraud bill passed, a black Democratic legislator proposed another bill, to
grant automatic restoration of rights after completion of sentence and parole,
but it never made it out of committee.
had good reason to worry. Blacks would bear the brunt of this voter purge. While
the population of Florida is about 15 percent black, the
state claims the process of applying for clemency was simplified somewhat in
2000, only 927 former prisoners regained their civil rights last year, less than
one-half of 1 percent of the former prisoners who had finished their sentences
and parole. State Senator Meek, who has a large number of blacks in his
constituency, says that of 175 former prisoners whom he has helped apply for
clemency in the past decade, only nine have been approved.
the Washington-based Sentencing Project, a nonprofit organization specializing
in corrections issues, and Human Rights Watch, Florida is currently home to more
disfranchised voters than any other state.
Department of Law Enforcement admits that 187,455 former prisoners in Florida
have been disfranchised because of felony convictions on their records. The
state confirms that 17 percent of Florida's black voting-age males have been
disfranchised. In addition, according to the Justice Department, Florida leads
the nation in the rate at which juveniles are charged with felonies, meaning
those youths lose the right to vote before they are ever able to exercise it.
every year the Florida legislature is trying to make more crimes felonies,"
says State Senator Daryl Jones of Miami. "Why? So they can eliminate more
people from the voter rolls." In 2000, according to Jones, a bill was
proposed by a GOP legislator that would have increased from 365 to 366 days the
jail sentence for individuals who take two welfare checks after becoming
employed. The bill was eventually defeated. "What does one more day
accomplish?" asks Jones. "It makes it a felony, and you take one more
person off the voter rolls. That's what. It's been going on in Tallahassee for
By April 1998
the laws and political will were in place to perform a definitive purge of voter
rolls to remove people who had died, had been judged mentally unstable, had
moved and were registered in more than one county or state--and, most
significantly, had ever been convicted of a felony but had not had their rights
restored by Florida's partisan Cabinet members.
list was produced by a Tallahassee firm, Professional Analytical Services and
Systems, using state databases. The results proved to be full of errors. For one
thing, the Florida Office of Executive Clemency had no database, so former
prisoners who had won their rights back were often included on the list of
felons barred from voting. On August 18, 1998, then-director of the Division of
Elections Ethel Baxter, citing confidentiality concerns, ordered county
elections supervisors not to release that list to the press, which almost
certainly would have discovered the gross number of errors long before Election
Day, and especially the impact on the black vote.
of that year, the state contracted with Database Technologies (DBT) of Boca
Raton, which has since merged with ChoicePoint of Atlanta. DBT eventually
produced two lists--one in 1999 and the second in 2000—that included a total
of 174,583 alleged felons. Later, when lists of individuals who had received
clemency were produced, that number was reduced, although only by a small
percentage. The majority of the people on those lists were African-Americans.
DBT employees didn't always appreciate the seriousness of their task. One e-mail
between two such employees referred to the former prisoners they were
enumerating as the "dirtbags of the nation." When DBT started to
receive complaints, sometimes directly from voters who unjustly had had their
right to vote challenged, product manager Marlene Thorogood seemed surprised.
"There are just some people that feel when you mess with their 'right to
vote' your [sic] messing with their life," she said in an e-mail.
complaints did come in. More than a year before Election Day 2000, it was clear
the lists contained thousands of names of Florida citizens who had never been
convicted of felonies--or of any crime, for that matter. In some instances, the
concentration of errors was absurd: Only seven people work in the Monroe County
elections supervisors' office in Key West. One of those employees, along with
the husband of another employee and the father of Supervisor Harry Sawyer, were
all erroneously listed as having felony convictions. "And my father is a
retired Sheriff's Department captain," said Sawyer. The lists were also
absurdly sloppy: Some conviction dates were in the future. Angry voters by the
thousands eventually complained to county supervisors of elections, who in turn
complained to Tallahassee.
The point man
for the state in compiling those lists was Emmett "Bucky" Mitchell IV,
an assistant general counsel to the Florida Division of Elections, who within a
week of the November 2000 election was given a senior attorney's job in the
state Department of Education. In an interview with The Nation, Mitchell claimed
he had exercised restraint in producing the purge lists. "The division
always had the policy to err on the side of caution," he insisted. But
reports from county supervisors, correspondence between state officials and DBT
employees, and testimony before the Civil Rights Commission tell a completely
1999, four months after contracts had been signed, DBT officials already had
doubts about the state's ground rules. According to testimony by
In March of
1999, Thorogood expressed her doubts about those guidelines in an e-mail to
Mitchell: "Unfortunately, programming in this fashion may supply you with
false positives," she said, referring to names of people who did not belong
on the felons list. "This seems to be the approach you would prefer to
choose, rather than miss any positive true matches." Mitchell made the
state's position clear in his answer to Thorogood on March 23:
we want to capture more names that possibly aren't matches and let the
supervisors [of elections] make a final determination rather than exclude
certain matches altogether," Mitchell wrote. In other words, the lists were
designed to include people who were not felons, some of whom eventually fell
through the cracks and were unfairly purged.
supervisors began to complain about errors, Bruder said his company told the
Divison of Elections that they were caused by the loose parameters set by the
search, but Mitchell ordered no substantial change in the parameters despite
recommendations by DBT. "After submitting them they were not acted on by
the state," said James Lee, a spokesman for ChoicePoint/DBT.
In fact, the
next year, as the presidential election approached, the state asked that the
parameters be loosened, according to Lee. Instead of 90 percent of the letters
in the name of a person on the purge list having to match with those of someone
on the voting rolls, the standard was loosened to 80 percent. Although such
matches were often eliminated when Social Security numbers or other data were
also checked, such information was not always available, and more innocent
individuals were included on the felons list.
officials were not content to include only former Florida prisoners. They also
asked DBT to use its national databases to provide the names of felons from
other states who might have moved to Florida and registered. But some of those
came from the thirty-six states that have automatic restoration of civil rights,
including the right to vote. More than 2,000 such individuals were included on
the state's purge lists.
press and public attention to the situation after the election, the state
quietly changed its policy [see Gregory Palast, "Florida's 'Disappeared
Voters,'" February 5].
In May 2000
the process went totally awry. Some 8,000 names, mostly those of former Texas
prisoners who were included on a DBT list, turned out never to have been
convicted of more than a misdemeanor. The new elections director, Clay Roberts,
later claimed the error had been caught in time and that none of those
individuals lost their rights. But Mitchell admitted that other lists of alleged
felons supplied to DBT by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement also
contained errors, among them the inclusion of many people convicted only of
In time, an
appeals process was instituted, but in some cases it required ordinary citizens
to be fingerprinted in order to prove they weren't the felons they were accused
of being. In the end, out of 4,847 people who appealed, 2,430 were judged not to
be convicted felons. As Civil Rights Commission attorney Bernard Quarterman put
it during testimony in Miami on February 16, "They were guilty until proven
supervisors in the counties, who had never been consulted about how to assemble
the purge lists, battled with the mandate from Tallahassee. "Our experience
with the lists is that they are frequently erroneous," Leon County
Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho testified before the Civil Rights Commission in
Tallahassee. Sancho said he was sent one list with 690 names on it but after
detailed checking by his office only thirty-three people were sent letters
asking them to prove their eligibility to vote.
assurances to the state before contracts were signed, DBT promised, on August
14, 1998, that the lists would be checked, including "telephonic
verification of random records." But this procedure was later omitted from
interview with The Nation, Mitchell offered this rationale for the loose
standards used in assembling the purge lists: "Just as some people might
have been removed from the list who shouldn't have been, some voted who
shouldn't have." In other words, because an ineligible person may have
voted somewhere else, it was acceptable to deny a legitimate voter the right to
vote. Mitchell said the loose parameters employed to create the purge list were
approved by former head of the Division of Elections Ethel Baxter, after
consultation with Katherine Harris. Neither Baxter nor Harris returned phone
calls requesting comment.
targeted black voters in extremely disproportionate numbers. In
In one Leon
County case, the Rev. Willie David Whiting, a black pastor from Tallahassee,
arrived at his polling place to find himself listed as a convicted felon; he was
refused the right to vote despite never having spent a day in jail. He says he
had never received notification of his disfranchisement. It turned out that he
had been confused with a Willie J. Whiting, whose birthdate was two days away
from his own, and was considered a match due to a "derived" or
approximate name and birthdate. "I felt like I was slingshotted back into
slavery," Whiting testified to the civil rights panel. He said he was
forced to consider possible motives. "Does someone have a formula for
stealing this election?" he says he asked himself.
of Elections and DBT were also sharing their information, some of it false, with
law enforcement agencies. Whiting said he was relieved he had not been stopped
"by the wrong policeman" during the time he was incorrectly listed as
a convicted felon. "Who knows what would have happened?" A
Jacksonville resident, Richard Haywood, whose one felony marijuana conviction in
1972 had been expunged from his record, suddenly found himself not only on a
purge list but also with the record of his conviction released by the state to a
school to which he had applied for student aid. "I complied with the law
and my record was expunged," said Haywood. "What they did was violate
the law by releasing that information, and they messed with my life."
Madison County Supervisor Howell agreed.
were not taking their job seriously," she said, referring to state
impossible to know how many voters were unfairly kept away from the voting booth
because of the purge. Votes not cast are not tallied. Some former prisoners who
were notified they were on the purge lists expressed interest in applying for
clemency and voting, but they were often faced with daunting amounts of
paperwork. For example, if they had been convicted in a different county, they
had to write away for certified copies of court records, some of them decades
old, and then apply to Tallahassee. "Some of them had convictions in the
1940s and 1950s and had been voting for years," said Larry Roxby, deputy
elections supervisor in Bay County.
according to Roxby, the Office of Executive Clemency in Tallahassee had a
backlog of six months to a year. "I'd say I had about sixty such people
come to me over the past three years, and only about three of them ever got
their clemency," said Roxby. "Seven or eight out of ten were
blacks." Other supervisors reported similar instances of former prisoners
who had been active voters for years but who were discouraged by the suddenly
enforced clemency process. State law enforcement officials later said that based
on past voting records, only about 10 percent of former prisoners might be
expected to vote. In a highly contested election such as the one in 2000, that
could be expected to increase. But even if one uses the state's own figures, out
of 187,000 former prisoners who had completed parole but had not received
clemency, close to 20,000 might have voted if they'd been permitted. State
statisticians say, based on race and economic factors, that group could be
expected to vote Democratic 75 percent of the time.
purging was the most egregious form of disfranchisement--and possibly the one
deliberate attempt to reduce the Democratic vote--it wasn't the only cause of
the reduced vote total. An underfunded elections system resulted in poor
equipment being used in many counties, and ill-trained and sometimes
ill-informed poll workers also kept voters from casting their ballots.
leading up to November 7, county supervisors had been sending lists of newly
registered voters to Tallahassee, and it was clear that a large turnout could be
expected, especially in the black community. But Secretary of State Harris and
Division of Elections chief Clay Roberts testified that they never discussed
that fact and the problems that might arise. The result was chaos at many
polling places. Many eligible voters were turned away. Testimony by poll workers
before the Civil Rights Commission, before an NAACP hearing in Miami on November
11 and interviews by The Nation make it clear that such incidents occurred in
every corner of the state.
workers said dozens of people were not allowed to vote at their polling places,
while others remembered only a few. But with some 6,000 polling places in the
state, the numbers are significant. The NAACP suit cites voters who registered
in plenty of time for the November 7 election, but whose names were never placed
on the rolls and who were not allowed to vote. Some names of residents who took
advantage of motor-voter legislation and registered at the same time that they
obtained licenses from the Department of Motor Vehicles were not on voter rolls.
Attempts to reach the offices of supervisors to clarify voters' eligibility were
foiled by clogged phone lines in many of Florida's sixty-seven counties.
Supervisors in some counties, obviously suspecting that such problems might
occur, provided laptop computers with which poll workers could check central
But only a
small percentage of precincts received the laptops, and almost none were used in
precincts that were majority black. In Miami-Dade, for example, out of eighteen
laptops, only one was used in a black precinct.
workers, faced with an unprecedented tide of complaints, did their best to help.
Others acted arbitrarily. The NAACP received complaints of voters who were in
line at polling places by the 7 pm closing time but were turned away without
being allowed to vote, which violates state guidelines.
Miami-Dade voter, Margarita Green, 75, testified before the Civil Rights
who in decades past had shared the same Social Security numbers
for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund testified to twenty-six
specific incidents in the Orlando area where Latino voters were either denied
the right to vote or were forced to argue with poll workers before they cast
their ballots. PRLDEF cited polling places that could not provide bilingual
ballots and had no bilingual poll workers to offer assistance, as required by
the Voting Rights Act in precincts with large minority populations. The PRLDEF
report said the problem may have disfranchised up to several thousand Latino
voters around the state. Marlene Bastien, a Haitian leader from Miami, testified
to similar problems in Haitian neighborhoods, which she said may have left
hundreds of voters unable to cast ballots.
residents of southern Leon County complained of a Florida Highway Patrol
checkpoint on a road leading to a polling place and said it amounted to
harassment of black voters. Police authorities later testified that the stops
involved routine vehicle inspections and pledged that no such checkpoints would
be used on election days in the future.
179,855 votes that were cast but later discarded--either because they
In four of
the counties in the state with the largest black populations--Miami-Dade,
Broward, Palm Beach and Duval--punch-card systems are used. Some 100,000 votes
were discarded in those counties, more than half the discards in the state.
According to a study by the Miami Herald, eighteen out of the nineteen precincts
in the state with the highest rate of discards were majority-black precincts,
all of which used punch-card systems. Seventy percent of Florida blacks were
forced to use the punch-card system, a percentage higher than other ethnic
groups. Subsequently the NAACP sued state officials to end the use of the
punch-card system, which they say is used disproportionately in black
communities and amounts to disfranchisement of tens of thousands of black
testimony before the Civil Rights Commission on January 11, Jeb Bush
Florida Democrats didn't do much better at overseeing the electoral process. Bob
Crawford, state agriculture secretary and a member of the state Elections
Canvassing Committee, testified on January 12 that he had heard nothing about
disfranchisement of minorities on Election Day—this despite the fact that the
NAACP had made headlines with a daylong hearing in Miami on November 11 about
Elections Commission, a state body charged with investigating voting
irregularities, reported to the Civil Rights Commission in January that it had
done no investigating because no formal complaint had been received, despite the
public clamor by blacks.
16, in the midst of the outcry over the butterfly ballot, the Palm Beach Post
quoted Florida House Speaker Tom Feeney, a Republican, as saying, "Voter
confusion is not a reason for whining or crying or having a revote. It may be a
reason to require literacy tests." Literacy tests for the purpose of
screening voters are, of course, unconstitutional.
deny they did anything wrong themselves, these Florida leaders
* * *
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