[E-voting] Bev Harris comments on the Diebold story developments

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Wed Dec 14 22:10:50 GMT 2005


*
**http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00002156.htm#comments (the article 
incorrectly says the hack was a touch-screen--it was an optical scanner)

This thread has 2 particularly interesting comments from Bev Harris of 
BlackBoxVoting (the 2nd one focuses on the media and on those in the 
academic community who knew but who kept their mouths shut prior to the 
Nov. 2004 election)):

*/*...Bev Harris <http://www.blackboxvoting.org> said on 12/14/2005 @ 
10:09am PT...*/

    Thanks, Brad, for this coverage.

    I don't know if the dominoes are falling, but certainly the knot is
    tightening.

    Combined with the securities fraud lawsuit and the upcoming hack
    test in California, things are getting very prickly indeed.

    Now the real work starts -- it isn't just Diebold, of course, and it
    isn't just the Republicans, and this stuff has been creeping into
    place for decades while none of us were paying attention. It isn't
    just national politics either, the local races -- especially the
    county and city commissioners, councilmen, aldermen and supervisors,
    along with the sheriffs depts. and for elected jurisdictions, the
    election supervisor positions themselves have been a playground for
    tampering.

    The tighter we draw the knot on all concerned, the more rats desert
    the ship, the more people try to maneuver themselves into the free
    pass line, reinventing themselves and making excuses and pointing
    fingers.

    And we're not even close to reaching real resolution of the problem.
    I envision right now that it isn't just Diebold execs who are
    huddled in a room. It is also key people who are "helping" the
    American people -- you know, because we aren't capable of dealing
    with the reality of this -- trying to frame the issue (ie.
    Republicans trying to steal the election -- rather than the truth,
    voting machines built for fraud foisted upon us decades ago), trying
    to control the issue, trying to bandaid the issue, trying to divert
    attention into non-essential corners of the issue.

    We need to keep pressing to reveal the root causes here. In 1965, we
    had the Warren Commission doctoring up reality on the Kennedy
    assassination because "Americans couldn't handle the truth."
    Protecting us, you know.

    Let us refuse to allow such a thing to happen in the voting issue.
    We want full access, we must face this squarely, we must keep at it
    until the roots of the problem are exposed to full sunlight.

    We are resilient. We can handle it. Now, more than ever, we must be
    vigilant about spin and insist on continuing to the very core of
    this issue.

    I can GUARANTEE you that this doesn't stop at George Bush, nor does
    it stop with Republicans. Black Box Voting has dusted this baby off
    to the very foundation.

    Our ETA for the detailed report is March 2005.  [This should
    probably be March 2006 --Catherine]

    Bev Harris
    ---------------------------------------------

    *COMMENT #14* [link <http://www.BradBlog.com/archives/00002156.htm#14>]
    /*...Bev Harris <http://www.blackboxvoting.org> said on 12/14/2005 @
    12:25pm PT...*/

        re: mainstream media --

        Only a tiny percentage of newspapers have all their stuff
        online. Radio has very little online, and TV picks and chooses
        what it puts online.

        We've been averaging about 2 MSM interviews a day for weeks now,
        and I can tell you that for a test that was only completed at 7
        p.m. last night (AFTER all mainstream media deadlines had
        passed) I'm pretty pleased with the pickup. Of course, my
        background is in media so I know what is realistic, regardless
        of the kind of story, and this is a particularly tricky one.

        Last night at 9 p.m. Kathleen had an interview with a Colorado
        radio station for a bigger segment to air on Sunday. I was
        interviewed on Coast to Coast from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. last night.
        I did another fairly large radio interview at 1 p.m. today, and
        have had three newspapers call.

        Reuters wire service picked up the stockholders suit, and it
        doesn't get much bigger than that. Reuters is an international
        wire service.

        The first Hursti attack in Leon County started picking up
        mainstream coverage a few days after it happened, and continued
        to get mainstream coverage in several major papers, for at least
        three months aftewards. This stuff picks up a life of its own
        after a while, and is used for fodder on subsequent articles as
        related stories arise.

        I happen to know that Ion Sancho was mostly not available this
        morning, and that means MSM can't run with it, since they need a
        confirm from him.

        I agree that by and large the mainstream media has not done its
        job on this story, but part of that is because the U.S.
        scientists have not done their job. One requirement for MSM is
        that they get an academic or public official to quote. I know
        for a fact that many of the scientists have not been forthcoming
        with the media, especially before the Nov. 2004 election, when
        all the big ones in this movement knew of the GEMS defect, the
        remote access vulnerabilities, and some of them knew the memory
        cards execute code. They said nothing, so don't just blame the
        media. I get chided all the time for holding these guys feet to
        the fire, but come on -- why is it more important to get a
        government grant and retain access to testify before panels like
        the Carter-Baker Commission than to tell it like it is BEFORE
        the presidential election? One prominent scientist, widely
        considered to be in the "good guy" camp, has known since 1992
        that the problems are very significant. Another has known since
        1996.

        When I needled about this just yesterday, I got this answer: "It
        depends on your definition of 'knew.'"

        What bullshit.

        It doesn't take a genius to see these flaws, and it doesn't take
        a $7 million grant either. I mean damn -- I figured out the GEMS
        password was worthless while practicing cut and paste in my
        basement, and everyone knows I'm no expert. I was so broke I had
        to borrow my mortgage payment, after working this issue nonstop
        for nine months and shutting down my business to do so. If WE
        don't need $7 million to expose a memory card hack, and if two
        old ladies can find a guy with no fancy academic credentials
        from Finland to do this, why did this stuff have to sit there
        for over a decade with no scientists confirming it to the press,
        or ever writing an honest study on it?

        I myself took Dr. Herbert Thompson to meet face to face with key
        members of the California secretary of state's office AND
        California's chief technical consultant in Aug. 2004. Despite
        his courageous work, they said nothing -- NOTHING -- to the
        press to confirm the GEMS defect and said they would work on it
        AFTER the election. And, of course, now even Diebold admits it's
        true.

        Why would we expect the mainstream media to take courage when we
        see so little among the experts the MSM must look to for quotes?

        All things considered, I think we're (most of the time) getting
        reasonable coverage. What I've heard, through the grapevine, is
        that the scientists chose not to say anything because they plan
        to unveil a "solution." My take on this, if true, is that we
        absolutely cannot trust humans who withhold critical evidence
        right before an election from an already aneomic press, just so
        they can fully bake up a solution and ride in on a white horse
        at some unspecified date in the future.

        Most of the experts in this country who are dealing with the
        voting machine issue have had years -- sometimes as much as a
        decade -- to tell it like it is. They have not done so. Is it
        any wonder the press is gun-shy?

        As I say, root causes. Let's not be so anxious to cozy up to
        power that we sacrifice truth for access. The citizenry is the
        ONLY hope we have to tackle these very difficult issues.

        If you think the experts did a great job over the past decade of
        handling this, fall in line behind them as they ride in to save
        the world. I can tell you now, if that happens, it will ONLY be
        because we, the ordinary citizens, set the stage, crafted the
        saddle, provided their weapons and slapped the horses on the
        rump to get them moving.

        I say, the healthiest thing that's happened in 50 years in this
        country is the massive movement of ordinary citizens to insist
        on watching, questioning, and becoming involved personally in
        our own elections. Never again should we think someone else will
        get it right. It's up to us to hold public officials' feet to
        the fire, and the scientists as well. If they won't play ball,
        as we have done before, the two old ladies from Black Box Voting
        will hunt for people with guts in foreign countries. Once they
        tell us what's in the machines, the U.S. scientists tiptoe into
        the waters to confirm.

        There are reasons why the press is so slow to respond. So far,
        the response isn't bad, considering that we're operating with a
        lobotomy on this country's academic brains.

        They will come forward, but only after citizens like you and I
        and Brad make it "safe" for them to do so. You know, wouldn't
        want to lose a nifty grant or a day's pay or get a whif of
        criticism on one's Ph.D. I'm also getting damn tired of the tidy
        refusal to look at incriminating program code due to DMCA
        concerns. I'll put it on the line here: I have stated to these
        scientists and now publicly -- if someone has to go to jail for
        reverse engineering elections code that has put our national
        security at risk, I'll do it.

        In fact, there are many of us who'll do it. We don't have three
        or four elections more to waste while the tidy bowl men tiptoe
        around this thing.

        Sorry for the rant. You can't believe the stuff I see, day after
        day, while out in the field. Watching the hack yesterday --
        which took a grand total of 45 minutes for Harri to create, and
        just minutes to execute, literally made me sick. It made Florida
        Fair Elections Director Susan Pynchon cry. She's been begging --
        BEGGING the U.S. scientific community for help with hundreds of
        pages of Volusia County logs she has, filled with anomalies,
        from the 2004 records that she got and we got (I gave the whole
        stack to her for her lawsuit). From the big cheeses who waltz
        around Washington D.C. she got zip, nada, and mostly not even a
        glance at her documents.

        Too busy to look at evidence, but not too busy to hobnob or
        accept a 7 million dollar NSF grant. I have learned of an all
        hand-counted paper ballot location with 3,500 voters and up to
        30 questions on the ballot that gets its votes counted
        accurately before the voting machines are done on Election
        Night. Asked one of the scientists why they are rejecting paper
        ballot solutions based on one lame-ass study about how the human
        brain works, presented at NIST, instead of fricking studying
        actual locations that do it. Of course we all know the answer:
        Keep the computers involved, keep it complex, and you've got
        lifelong job security. The answer I got, by the way, was that
        "ACCURATE" will look at that. In a year or two. What the hell is
        THAT?

        Well I am not waiting for some "solution" that we don't even
        know is even there to appear in a few years. We've got to roll
        up our sleeves and make this happen, working around our
        country's lobotomized academia to get this into the press any
        way we can.

        All things considered, reporters are struggling just like we are.

        Whew.

        Rant central.

        And as Harri Hursti always says, "It is what it is."

        Bev Harris


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