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Editor, The Konformist
Volume 17, Issue 2
The GOP journalist gunning for Bush in New Hampshire.
Although the facts of the Bush family/Nazi Germany connection have
been whirling around in cyberspace for years, veteran journalist John
Buchanan was among the first to confirm the story in print. Now he's
running against George W. in the New Hampshire Republican primary.
In January 2003, Buchanan got involved in the antiwar movement and
began researching war profiteering in the Bush administration by way
of such companies as the Carlyle Group, Engineered Support Systems,
BioPort, Halliburton, Bechtel and Wackenhut. His investigation
ultimately led to a screenplay called Project Clear-Vision, taken
from the name of an actual CIA anthrax-biowarfare project that may
have violated the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
"The plot of the script," he told me, "is that the German principals
of Bayer AG, which came out of I.G. Farben after WW II, blackmailed
Daddy Bush with the `Nazi past' of the family into allowing the
anthrax letters to happen so Cipro sales could save Bayer US from
bankruptcy. I got a really hotshot young turk agent in Hollywood who
told me on September 2 that he could [sell] the script if I
could `prove' the Nazi past and publish the documentation. So,
technically speaking, motivated more by sheer greed than patriotism,
I set out to sell a movie script for millions of dollars by landing a
He spent a few days at the National Archives and the Library of
Congress, where he found "smoking gun" information in the personal
papers of former New York governor Averell Harriman, only to learn
that the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News, CNN - even
his hometown paper, the Miami Herald - all refused to acknowledge the
documentation of his discovery. He ended up in the fortnightly New
Hampshire Gazette, which claims to be the oldest paper in America,
founded in 1756. After his first article appeared in the Gazette on
Friday, October 10, more than 60 web sites around the globe picked up
the story. (Analysis of the Bush/Nazi connection is also found in
Kevin Phillips' new American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the
Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, Viking, 2004.)
The Internet postings generated hundreds of e-mails and phone calls,
including one from the Associated Press. AP Washington reporter
Jonathan Salant went to the archives under Buchanan's direction and
studied the documents, but then, in Buchanan's words, "misreported
them in a watered down, inexplicably erroneous story that ran all
over the world the weekend of October 17-19" - in the Moscow Times,
the (London) Guardian, Hindustan Times, Sydney Morning Herald, the
Jerusalem Post and, in the US, Newsday, the Washington Times, the
Chicago Sun-Times, the Kansas City Star, the Fort Worth Star-
Telegram, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the San Francisco
Chronicle and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, among others.
"Meanwhile," says Buchanan, "the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC
and CNN, not to mention the Miami Herald (whose official response to
the AP story was to send the police to my apartment as a `suspected
terrorist sympathizer') stonewalled and refused to look at the
documents. After that, Joe Conason - to everyone's shock - wrote a
column in the New York Observer in which he dismissed my story as
a `smear' against George W. Bush. That set off a backlash that
culminated in a Sunday Doonesbury `Bush-Nazi?' cartoon that turned
the scoop into pop culture. Finally, presidential historian and Daddy
Bush official biographer Herbert Parmet came to my rescue in November
2003 with a major essay at the History News Network at George Mason
I asked Buchanan how his decision to run for president came about.
"It wasn't my decision. My own friends and peers would have laughed -
as they did. Nevertheless, I was literally drafted by a living
legend - John McConnell, the 86-year-old cofounder of Earth Day,
whose friends included 33 Nobel laureates and former UN Secretary
General U. Thant. McConnell called me on October 13 after he read my
first Gazette article online, and told me he thought I was `the kind
of person who can change the world.' I didn't even know who he was in
that first call, which lasted over an hour. Then, after I found out
who he was, we talked some more and agreed to form a new political
party based on a policy of peace, justice and care of the planet.
"A week later, as I was writing a platform, a group that included a
Republican, a Democrat, an independent and a Muslim author agreed
that I should run - but as a Republican, head-on against Bush, as the
truth candidate. I agreed, on the condition that I would not be a
politician, but a working journalist whose ideas and claims have
grown out of a long career of writing about government, politics,
business, the arts - you name it. So, I have a unique perspective, in
that I have nothing to lose and only have one responsibility, which
is to tell the truth in response to every question I get."
His platform is quixotically idealistic: (1) end the corporate reign
in this country by getting corporations out of politics and
government entirely; (2) end war profiteering by former government
officials and Washington insiders, which leads to billions of dollars
in secret profits that are banked offshore, without scrutiny; (3)
reform the media. His campaign manager is David Kubiak, a Democrat
who ran in the New Hampshire primary for vice president in 2000.
"Even though you'll be running as a Republican," I said, "and it's a
given that you won't win, do you expect, ironically enough, to help
the Democrats defeat Bush by exposing his lies?"
"I submit that, based on the unreported facts, he is guilty of
treason because of the sinister and longstanding relationship he and
his family have with the Saudis and the bin Laden family, both via
the Carlyle Group and prior to that via Bush's Texas oil ventures in
the 70s. I am running for president as a grand experiment to see
whether the truth matters anymore in this country - and whether we
can deal with it if it can be gotten out for open debate in a
presidential election cycle.
"I am going to focus on 9/11 and how Bush & Co. have exploited it
purely for financial gain - and name the businesses and what they've
made to date.
"We are talking in the billions of dollars being skimmed off by
insiders like Halliburton. I will show that. I will raise the serious
issue of unanswered questions about 9/11 and the ongoing cover-up. I
am now supported by Ellen Mariani, the 9/11 widow who is suing Bush
under the RICO statute.
"My question now is, can a common citizen, armed with the truth and
good ideas, get any attention at all in a presidential primary
without the traditional political advantages of money and
organization? To put it mildly, it is a journey into unknown
territory. I intend to fight like a son-of-a-bitch to win. That means
getting 10 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, which earns me one
delegate. Then I'll go to the Republican Convention and try to shut
it down, aided by some surprising and well-organized institutional
"The real reason I'm running is to raise the question, `Who owns the
government, them (the corporate elite) or us (we the people)?' If it
is us, then we face a big challenge in terms of demonstrating that
peacefully and legally under the Constitution. If it's `them,' then
we should face up to that and accept the consequences. The real
question, of course, is do people even really care at this point,
having been lulled into silence (and a failure to even vote) by their
Buchanan is getting on ballots in other states, including
Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Texas. At the College Convention in New
Hampshire on January 7, he received a major ovation and is now
considered the front-runner of the fringe candidates.
Paul Krassner can be reached at paulkrassner.com.
137 FL Electronic Votes Disappear In Close Race
By Anthony Man and Kathy Bushouse
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Voting without a paper trail to me is a recipe for a potential
disaster in the presidential election, which is going to be close."
Bogdanoff Certified As 12-Vote Winner
A heated recount for a state House seat finally ended Monday night,
but the six-day wait for a winner has reignited demands for
assurances that electronic voting machines are accurate.
Ellyn Bogdanoff's 12-vote victory margin over Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
Mayor Oliver Parker ultimately held up in the House District 91 race,
but controversy swirled after 137 voters in parts of Boca Raton and
coastal Broward County went to the polls but didn't cast a vote for
State Rep. Joe Negron doesn't think that many people would go to the
polls without voting.
The result raises suspicions about the accuracy of the electronic
equipment. But the absence of a paper trail means there's nothing
that can be done to verify the results shown by the electronic
Negron, a member of the state House Subcommittee on Ethics and
Elections and chairman of the Palm Beach County Legislative
Delegation, said he would favor a printed record for the voting
machines. He said he would raise the issue to the subcommittee next
"It's a bad situation. I think it needs to be corrected," Negron, R-
Stuart, said Monday. "You can't have an election floating in
Just three of the so-called "undervotes" were in Palm Beach County.
The remainder were in Broward County, which has most of District 91's
voters and uses different voting equipment.
"If I lost the election by 12 votes and I found out 134 people [in
Broward County] came to vote and somehow didn't vote, I'd be
apoplectic," Negron said. "I'm not buying for one minute that 134
people went in to vote and showed their ID and got into the booth,
and did everything they needed to do, and then didn't [vote]."
Negron said he has always been uneasy about electronic voting with no
paper backup. "Voting without a paper trail to me is a recipe for a
potential disaster in the presidential election, which is going to be
close," he added.
Negron's sentiment was echoed by state Rep. Anne Gannon, D-Delray
Beach, Palm Beach County's other member of the House elections
Gannon said she is about to introduce legislation that would require
a paper record of votes cast on the electronic machines.
Her proposal would require outfitting each machine with a printer
that produces a paper record of the voter's intentions that could be
used if equipment failed or a close race required a recount. She said
the printers might also be configured to allow voters to take a
second copy with them when they leave the polls.
County Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore said the machines already
are equipped to provide printed records of ballots cast in case of a
The records show a candidate's ballot position and what candidate's
number was selected by each voter who used each machine, she said.
But there's no way to determine the intent of those who don't choose
a candidate in one or more races, LePore added.
The Sequoia voting machines issue three warnings to those who haven't
voted in all races on a ballot, in case the voter may have
accidentally skipped a race on the list, LePore said. Voters aren't
required to make a decision on every race.
Printers available from Sequoia Voting Systems, the manufacturer of
Palm Beach County's voting machines, cost about $500 each, said Alfie
Charles, vice president of business development for Sequoia. That
means it would cost the county at least $2.5 million to outfit all
5,000 voting machines.
County Commissioner Burt Aaronson hopes the federal government would
come up with some money for printers but said it's a good investment
even if local taxpayers have to foot the bill. "The only way that
it's not a worthwhile expenditure is if you don't care whether you
get an honest count," he said.
State Senate Minority Leader Ron Klein -- who supports legislation to
require a paper trail -- said he doesn't think the District 91 race
will persuade legislators to impose it. "I don't think the
Legislature wants to do anything about it," said Klein, D-Boca Raton.
Because of the slim margin, state law required a recount in both
Bogdanoff's closest competitor, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Oliver
Parker, had said the voting machines in South Florida are illegal
because voters' actual ballots can't be counted by hand. Broward
County Attorney Ed Dion dismissed that claim.
- Staff Writer Jeremy Milarsky contributed to this report.
- Anthony Man can be reached at aman@...
The Awful Truth
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
Tuesday 13 January 2004
People are saying terrible things about George Bush. They say
that his officials weren't sincere about pledges to balance the
budget. They say that the planning for an invasion of Iraq began
seven months before 9/11, that there was never any good evidence that
Iraq was a threat and that the war actually undermined the fight
But these irrational Bush haters are body-piercing, Hollywood-
loving, left-wing freaks who should go back where they came from: the
executive offices of Alcoa, and the halls of the Army War College.
I was one of the few commentators who didn't celebrate Paul
O'Neill's appointment as Treasury secretary. And I couldn't
understand why, if Mr. O'Neill was the principled man his friends
described, he didn't resign early from an administration that was
clearly anything but honest.
But now he's showing the courage I missed back then, by giving
us an invaluable, scathing insider's picture of the Bush
Ron Suskind's new book "The Price of Loyalty" is based largely
on interviews with and materials supplied by Mr. O'Neill. It portrays
an administration in which political considerations - satisfying "the
base" - trump policy analysis on every issue, from tax cuts to
international trade policy and global warming. The money quote may be
Dick Cheney's blithe declaration that "Reagan proved deficits don't
matter." But there are many other revelations.
One is that Mr. O'Neill and Alan Greenspan knew that it was a
mistake to lock in huge tax cuts based on questionable projections of
future surpluses. In May 2001 Mr. Greenspan gloomily told Mr. O'Neill
that because the first Bush tax cut didn't include triggers - it went
forward regardless of how the budget turned out - it
was "irresponsible fiscal policy." This was a time when critics of
the tax cut were ridiculed for saying exactly the same thing.
Another is that Mr. Bush, who declared in the 2000 campaign
that "the vast majority of my tax cuts go to the bottom end of the
spectrum," knew that this wasn't true. He worried that eliminating
taxes on dividends would benefit only "top-rate people," asking his
advisers, "Didn't we already give them a break at the top?"
Most startling of all, Donald Rumsfeld pushed the idea of regime
change in Iraq as a way to transform the Middle East at a National
Security Council meeting in February 2001.
There's much more in Mr. Suskind's book. All of it will dismay
those who still want to believe that our leaders are wise and good.
The question is whether this book will open the eyes of those
who think that anyone who criticizes the tax cuts is a wild-eyed
leftist, and that anyone who says the administration hyped the threat
from Iraq is a conspiracy theorist.
The point is that the credentials of the critics just keep
getting better. How can Howard Dean's assertion that the capture of
Saddam hasn't made us safer be dismissed as bizarre, when a report
published by the Army War College says that the war in Iraq was
a "detour" that undermined the fight against terror? How can charges
by Wesley Clark and others that the administration was looking for an
excuse to invade Iraq be dismissed as paranoid in the light of Mr.
So far administration officials have attacked Mr. O'Neill's
character but haven't refuted any of his facts. They have, however,
already opened an investigation into how a picture of a possibly
classified document appeared during Mr. O'Neill's TV interview. This
alacrity stands in sharp contrast with their evident lack of concern
when a senior administration official, still unknown, blew the cover
of a C.I.A. operative because her husband had revealed some
politically inconvenient facts.
Some will say that none of this matters because Saddam is in
custody, and the economy is growing. Even in the short run, however,
these successes may not be all they're cracked up to be. More
Americans were killed and wounded in the four weeks after Saddam's
capture than in the four weeks before. The drop in the unemployment
rate since its peak last summer doesn't reflect a greater
availability of jobs, but rather a decline in the share of the
population that is even looking for work.
More important, having a few months of good news doesn't excuse
a consistent pattern of dishonest, irresponsible leadership. And that
pattern keeps getting harder to deny.
Johnny Rotten to appear in reality show
'I'm gobsmacked,' says one commentator
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
LONDON, England (AP) -- As Johnny Rotten once snarled, "Ever get the
feeling you've been cheated?"
To the dismay of aging punk fans, a British television company
announced Monday that the former Sex Pistols singer and angry punk
icon -- now known by his real name, John Lydon -- has agreed to
appear in the reality show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"
"I'm gobsmacked," said Tony Wilson, a British journalist and music
entrepreneur who knows Lydon. "I'm shocked, but I have faith ... I'm
sure he's doing it for the right reasons."
Other punk fans were appalled.
"The announcement made me feel instantly old. ... If it has come to
this for the prince of punk, then mediocrity really does get us all
in the end," wrote Lee Randall in The Scotsman newspaper.
In The Guardian, rock critic Charles Shaar Murray said "minds
boggled" when rumors of Lydon's participation surfaced. "Whatever
happened to punk rock, maaaaan?"
Britain's near-insatiable appetite for celebrity gossip -- no matter
how minuscule the celebrity -- and love of reality TV has spawned a
clutch of celeb-reality hybrids, including "Celebrity Big Brother"
and "Drop the Celebrity," in which the moderately famous face
ejection (with parachute) from a plane.
"I'm a Celebrity," which begins its third latest run January 26 on
the commercial ITV network, strands C-list celebs in the Australian
jungle, subjects them to a series of icky trials involving spiders
and snakes and allows the public to vote them off the show one by
The show has proved a hit in Britain, drawing up to 14 million
viewers -- nearly a quarter of the population. A U.S. version on ABC
last year fared less well.
There's no prize money for the winner, but previous British victors --
a DJ and a cricketer -- experienced big boosts to flagging careers.
Alongside Lydon, the lineup includes a topless model named Jordan,
former Olympic 400-meter runner Diane Modahl, '80s pop pinup Peter
Andre, and Lord Brocket, an aristocrat jailed in 1996 for insurance
They're joined by a member of a girl group, a former soccer player, a
former soccer player's wife, a former BBC royal correspondent and a
former radio DJ.
The show's executive producer, Natalka Znak, said the lineup was "the
most unpredictable cast yet."
"Unpredictable" certainly sums up Lydon. As lead singer of The Sex
Pistols, Lydon, now 47, helped revolutionize music with raucous
antiestablishment tracks such as "Anarchy in the U.K." and the
bitterly sarcastic "God Save the Queen."
The group's outlandish dress sense and incendiary lyrics -- "God save
the queen, the fascist regime" -- shook up British society, but the
Pistols' career was short-lived. The band broke up during a tour of
the United States in 1978. At their final show, Lydon goaded the
audience with the words, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"
Lydon went on to form the '80s band Public Image Limited and now
lives in Los Angeles. The Sex Pistols reunited in 1996 -- with
original bassist Glen Matlock replacing the late Sid Vicious -- for
the Filthy Lucre Tour: "We have found a common cause, and it's your
money," remarked Lydon. They reformed again in 2002 to coincide with
Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee.