I was educated and trained as a Theoretical Nuclear Physicist, a field that can NOT condone things like wild speculations, if a Physicist hopes to accomplish creating good science and maintaining an intellectual reputation! I presented this subject, not well enough, I guess, to my friend Peter Jennings of ABC News, in November of 2004. I had actually only wanted him (ABC News) to arrange to obtain one or more of the new complex election machines, for some follow-up examination. Even though Peter had long known that I am very thoughtful and extremely logical about all subjects, he just laughed and said I was being silly about this. I truly hope he was right, but I really wonder. I will try to present it all here, hopefully even more clearly than I had done for Peter, and you can decide whether I was "being silly"!
As a Research Physicist, I tend to often "disappear" into very complex research and mathematics for long periods of time. When I got my first computer that included MicroSoft Solitaire in 1992, I quickly discovered that it was a nice diversion when my brain was starting to melt! So, since then, I have played many, many games of that Solitaire. Millions of others have also played that game a lot! I have ALWAYS played it with the same options, keeping score, untimed, three cards at a time, and Vegas rules. For people unaware with that, at the beginning of a game, it deducts $52 credit from your score, to match Las Vegas where people are charged $1 for each of the 52 cards. Then you get credit of $5 for each ace and following card recovered. If the game is completely won, it is therefore possible to wind up with a score that is $208 higher than you started ( - 52 + 260 = + 208). That is relatively hard to accomplish. But the fact that there is a lure in every game of being able to quickly win $208 is the powerful incentive for the gamblers in Las Vegas, even though everyone eventually gradually loses money in that game, the whole point of what gambling casinos offer it in the first place.
As a Physicist, I tend to be very observant, and I tend to try to document a lot of irrelevant things. Nerds do this, too! Like knowing the number of grains of salt in a salt shaker or the number of grains of sand on a beach. Stuff that is totally meaningless, but just sort of interesting in an odd sort of way.
By the late 1990s, I had documented that I could "completely win" around one game in every 8.7 games I would play of MicroSoft Solitaire. I didn't know whether that meant anything, but I had noticed that if I didn't really concentrate, that would really drop off, to maybe one win in 15 games. So, whether or not it was actually any big deal or not, I felt pleased that I could completely win an average of slightly better than once every nine games.
However, there were some times when I would only play a single game, not wanting to take the time to play lots of games. I soon noticed that it seemed surprisingly often that I ended that single game with a score of $+208. In other words, I totally won the game. I gradually noticed that it seemed to happen A LOT! So, I then started documenting (keeping records) regarding specifically those games where I only played one game and quit. I was astounded to find that I was able to completely win an average of around one game in every 4.6 games.
I would nearly always do essentially TWICE AS WELL for the first game as I could for any other games! As a Physicist, much of my life involves statistics, and I did specific analysis on the data for thousands of games of Solitaire (over several years). I discovered that it is statistically absolutely impossible that I could have done that much better on the first games than on other games.
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I eventually came up with a theory, which is the only one that I can see that could explain this effect. It is clear that MicroSoft quickly recognized that people really enjoyed playing their Solitaire game (which was the only decent game then included in Windows 3). And Psychologists and many others have long known that people who gamble as in playing the Lottery tend to have a lot more enthusiasm if they happen to win some amount early on, and they are then wanting to play again. I happened to be with a College student once who was visiting Atlantic City and the very first quarter that he had ever gambled was dropped into a Poker Machine in a casino there. He won 100 quarters, $25, and he and the other students with him immediately thought this was all really fun and easy! I have little doubt that they have all gambled a lot ever since!
So, my theory regarding MicroSoft Solitaire was simple! I suspected that it was INTENTIONALLY BIASED, written such that any player would have an extremely good chance of "winning" the very first game, to then have a positive balance in their score. After that first game, the distorting bias must no longer exist. It has to be hard for anyone to then simply walk away from such "easy money"! So, by around 2001, I had truly concluded that MicroSoft Solitaire had some ADDED (very simple software, just a line or two of code) special provision where the very first game played would be especially easy to win!
However, when I tried to get MicroSoft to discuss this matter, you probably know that they ignored me! In fact, they had always insisted that their software, including Solitaire, was proprietary, and therefore they had the right to keep it all entirely secret. During the 2000s, they have kept saying that they were going to release the actual decompiled program for Solitaire, but they kept putting off actually doing that. I am not aware if they even have yet in 2007.
I even tracked down the actual guy who originally wrote the Solitaire program for MS, a guy named Cherry. He had been a kid then, and when he wrote it, as an employee of MicroSoft, all rights to that Solitaire program were transferred to MicroSoft. He assured me that HE did not add in any distortion to enable winning the first game more easily, but he agreed that such a feature would have been very easy to add in. I am very convinced that someone in MicroSoft later added such a bias, because of the abovementioned enthusiasm which appears in a player after starting out with an impressive win.
What is the point of this? It IS important! If I am correct about this, and I absolutely believe that the statistical evidence is that I am, regarding many thousands of Solitaire games that I documented, then that says something interesting! We tend to TRUST large companies that supply things to us as being honest and reputable, which would imply that MicroSoft would NEVVVVERR have added in an intentional bias regarding a first game of Solitaire. But a game that we have all played many many times, statistically appears to been "rigged". Obviously, no money was involved, and the distortion appears to have been FOR us rather than against the players! The advantage that appears to exist is not so blatant where people would see it as obvious that you could ALWAYS win the first game! It is subtle enough where all those many of millions of people who have played it have never even noticed what I am describing here. In other words, as long as the software code is secret and proprietary, and it was never mentioned to anyone that winning the first game was much easier, as far as I can tell, no one has ever noticed this effect I am describing here.
The basic program might have been as fair and proper as could be. Just a few lines of added coding could have enabled that first game to be "preferred" to any level that the programmer would have wanted to have happen. My theory is that this subtle advantage in the first game played gives great incentive for players to want to play more games, and a sort of addictive behavior develops. That situation could only happen IF the advantage is relatively subtle (so a player does not know that it it a fake advantage) and if that advantage/distortion is never mentioned (for the same reason).
However, the news reports indicated that the new voting machines would produce NO paper receipt or even a "paper trail" as an official record of all the votes cast on that machine. That seemed incredibly bizarre! Can you imagine going to the grocery store and buying groceries and then not receiving a paper receipt? Or knowing whether the store also printed out their own listing of purchases and customers as well? Could you imagine buying ANYTHING and not being given a paper receipt? How about using an ATM and not getting a paper receipt of your transaction? Or knowing that the Bank didn't bother to also make a record of any sort of your transaction? How could you ever challenge them if you saw that their ATM had subtracted an amount you had Deposited instead of adding it? (You couldn't) Even when you buy with a credit card, you still receive a receipt! It seemed incredibly strange that the most important of all such machines, voting machines, would be designed and built with absolutely no way of confirming what votes were actually cast, and not even any way for a voter to know if a vote got recorded as the voter had desired!
Consider some excerpts of articles published during 2003 and 2004 in various Ohio newspapers.
Diebold's Political Machine
Political insiders suggest Ohio could become as decisive this year as Florida was four years ago. Which is why the state's plan to use paperless touch-screen voting machines has so many up in arms.
By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
One such Republican pocket is Upper Arlington, the Columbus suburb that is home to Walden "Wally" O'Dell, the chairman of the board and chief executive of Diebold. For years, O'Dell has given generously to Republican candidates. Last September, he held a packed $1,000-per-head GOP fundraiser at his 10,800-square-foot mansion. He has been feted as a guest at President Bush's Texas ranch, joining a cadre of "Pioneers and Rangers" who have pledged to raise more than $100,000 for the Bush reelection campaign. Most memorably, O'Dell last fall penned a letter pledging his commitment "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President."
If the Republican ties at Diebold and ES&S aren't enough to cause concern, argues election reform activist Bev Harris, the companies' past performances and current practices should be. Harris is author of Black Box Voting, and the woman behind the BlackBoxVoting.com web site.
The rush to embrace computerized voting, of course, began with Florida. But, in fact, one of the Sunshine State's election-day disasters was the direct result of a malfunctioning computerized voting system; a system built by Diebold. The massive screwup in Volusia County was all but lost in all the furor over hanging chads and butterfly ballots in South Florida. In part that's because county election officials avoided a total disaster by quickly conducting a hand recount of the more than 184,000 paper ballots used to feed the computerized system. But the huge computer miscount led several networks to incorrectly call the race for Bush.
The first signs that the Diebold-made system in Volusia County was malfunctioning came early on election night, when the central ballot-counting computer showed a Socialist Party candidate receiving more than 9,000 votes and Vice President Al Gore getting minus 19,000. Another 4,000 votes poured into the plus column for Bush that didn't belong there. Taken together, the massive swing seemed to indicate that Bush, not Gore, had won Florida and thus the White House. Election officials restarted the machine, and expressed confidence in the eventual results, which showed Gore beating Bush by 97,063 votes to 82,214. After the recount, Gore picked up 250 votes, while Bush picked up 154. But the erroneous numbers had already been sent to the media.
Harris has posted a series of internal Diebold memos relating to the Volusia County miscount on her website, blackboxvoting.com. One memo from Lana Hires of Global Election Systems, now part of Diebold, complains, "I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16,022 [votes] when it was uploaded." Another, from Talbot Ireland, Senior VP of Research and Development for Diebold, refers to key "replacement" votes in Volusia County as "unauthorized."
Harris has also posted a post-mortem by CBS detailing how the network managed to call Volusia County for Bush early in the morning. The report states: "Had it not been for these [computer] errors, the CBS News call for Bush at 2:17:52 AM would not have been made." As Harris notes, the 20,000-vote error shifted the momentum of the news reporting and nearly led Gore to concede.
What's particularly troubling, Harris says, is that the errors were caught only because an alert poll monitor noticed Gore's vote count going down through the evening, which of course is impossible. Diebold blamed the bizarre swing on a "faulty memory chip," which Harris claims is simply not credible. The whole episode, she contends, could easily have been consciously programmed by someone with a partisan agenda. Such claims might seem far-fetched, were it not for the fact that a cadre of computer scientists showed a year ago that the software running Diebold's new machines can be hacked with relative ease.
The hackers posted some 13,000 pages of internal documents on various web sites, documents that were pounced on by Harris and others. A desperate Diebold went to court to stop this "wholesale reproduction" of company material. By November of last year, the Associated Press reported that Diebold had sent cease-and-desist letters to programmers and students at two dozen universities, including the University of California at Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The letters were ignored by at least one group of students at Swarthmore College, who vowed an "electronic civil disobedience" campaign.
Equally troubling, of course, is the fact that the touch-screen systems Diebold, ES&S, and the other companies have on the market now aren't designed to generate a polling place paper trail. While ES&S says it is open to providing voter receipts, and has even designed a prototype machine that does so, the company isn't going to roll that prototype into production until state and federal elections officials make it mandatory.
Lawmakers in Congress and the Ohio legislature are scrambling to do just that. In Ohio, State Sen. Teresa Fedor of Toledo has proposed a bill requiring a "voter verified paper audit trail" for all elections in the state. Congressman Rush Holt of New Jersey is pushing a similar measure in Washington. But the efforts are being fought by Republicans in both places. In Ohio, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has already signed $100 million in agreements to purchase voting machines. The bulk of the purchases would go to Diebold and ES&S, and Blackwell insists there is no need for paper receipts. Considering the political opposition and the companies' wait-and-see approach, it's almost certain that voters using touch-screen machines in November will walk away from their polling places without ever seeing a printed record of their choices.
At a trade fair held recently here in Columbus, a wide range of companies seeking to fill that void demonstrated technologies that could easily and cheaply provide paper receipts for ballots. One such product, called TruVote, provides two separate voting receipts. The first is shown under plexiglass, and displays the choices made by a vote on the touch screen. This copy falls into a lockbox after the voter approves it. The second is provided to the voter. TruVote is already attracting fans, among them Brooks Thomas, Tennessee's Coordinator of Elections. "I've not seen anything that compares to [the] TruVote validation system." Georgia's Assistant Secretary of State, Terrell L. Slayton, Jr., calls the device is the "perfect solution." But Blackwell argues the campaign for a paper ballot trail for Ohio is an attempt to "derail" reform. He says he'll comply with the demand only if Congress mandates it.
The Governor of Ohio, Bob Taft, and other prominent state officials, commute to their downtown Columbus offices on Broad Street. This is the so-called "Golden Finger," the safe route through the majority black inner-city near east side. The Broad Street BP station, just east of downtown, is the place where affluent suburbanites from Bexley can stop, gas up, get their coffee and New York Times. Those in need of cash visit BP's Diebold manufactured CashSource+ ATM machine which provides a paper receipt of the transaction to all customers upon request.
Many of Taft's and President George W. Bush's major donors, like Diebold's current CEO Walden "Wally" O'Dell, reside in Columbus' northwest suburb Upper Arlington. O'Dell is on record stating that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President" this year. On September 26, 2003, he hosted an Ohio Republican Party fundraiser for Bush's re-election at his Cotswold Manor mansion. Tickets to the fundraiser cost $1000 per couple, but O'Dell's fundraising letter urged those attending to "Donate or raise $10,000 for the Ohio Republican Party."
If Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has his way, Diebold will receive a contract to supply touch screen electronic voting machines for much of the state. None of these Diebold machines will provide a paper receipt of the vote.
Diebold, located in North Canton, Ohio, does its primary business in ATM and ticket-vending machines. Critics of Diebold point out that virtually every other machine the company makes provides a paper trail to verify the machine's calculations. Oddly, only the voting machines lack this essential function.
State Senator Teresa Fedor of Toledo introduced Senate Bill 167 late last year mandating that every voting machine in Ohio generate a "voter verified paper audit trail." Secretary of State Blackwell has denounced any attempt to require a paper trail as an effort to "derail" election reform. Blackwell's political career is an interesting one: he emerged as a black activist in Cincinnati supporting municipal charter reform, became an elected Democrat, then an Independent, and now is a prominent Republican with his eyes on the Governor's mansion.
A joint study by the California and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology following the 2000 election determined that between 1.5 and 2 million votes were not counted due to confusing paper ballots or faulty equipment. The federal government's solution to the problem was to pass the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.
One of the law's stated goals was "Replacement of punch card and lever voting machines." The new voting machines would be high-tech touch screen computers, but if there's no paper trail, how do you know if there's been a computer glitch? How can the results be trusted? And how do you recount to see if the actual votes match the computer's tally?
Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century, argues that without a paper trail, these machines are open to massive voter fraud. Diebold has already placed some 50,000 machines in 37 states and their track record is causing Harris, Johns Hopkins University professors and others great concern.
Johns Hopkins researchers at the Information Security Institute issued a report declaring that Diebold's electronic voting software contained "stunning flaws." The researchers concluded that vote totals could be altered at the voting machines and by remote access. Diebold vigorously refuted the Johns Hopkins report, claiming the researchers came to "a multitude of false conclusions."
Perhaps to settle the issue, someone illegally hacked into the Diebold Election Systems website in March 2003 and stole internal documents from the company and posted them online. Diebold went to court to stop, according to court records, the “wholesale reproduction” of some 13,000 pages of company material.
The Associated Press reported in November 2003 that: "Computer programmers, ISPs and students at [at] least 20 universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology received cease and desist letters" from Diebold. A group of Swarthmore College students launched an "electronic civil disobedience" campaign to keep the hacked documents permanently posted on the Internet.
Harris writes that the hacked documents expose how the mainstream media reversed their call projecting Al Gore as winner of Florida after someone "subtracted 16,022 votes from Al Gore, and in still some undefined way, added 4000 erroneous votes to George W. Bush." Hours later, the votes were returned. One memo from Lana Hires of Global Election Systems, now Diebold, reads: "I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16,022 [votes] when it was uploaded." Another hacked internal memo, written by Talbot Iredale, Senior VP of Research and Development for Diebold Election Systems, documents "unauthorized” replacement votes in Volusia County."
Wherever Diebold and ES&S go, irregularities and historic Republican upsets follow. Alastair Thompson, writing for scoop.co of New Zealand, explored whether or not the 2002 U.S. mid-term elections were "fixed by electronic voting machines supplied by Republican-affiliated companies." The scoop investigation concluded that: "The state where the biggest upset occurred, Georgia, is also the state that ran its election with the most electronic voting machines." Those machines were supplied by Diebold.
Wired News reported that " a former worker in Diebold's Georgia warehouse says the company installed patches on its machine before the state's 2002 gubernatorial election that were never certified by independent testing authorities or cleared with Georgia election officials." Questions were raised in Texas when three Republican candidates in Comal County each received exactly the same number of votes: 18,181.
Following the 2003 California election, an audit of the company revealed that Diebold Election Systems voting machines installed uncertified software in all 17 counties using its equipment.
Former CIA Station Chief John Stockwell writes that one of the favorite tactics of the CIA during the Reagan-Bush administration in the 1980s was to control countries by manipulating the election process. "CIA apologists leap up and say, 'Well, most of these things are not so bloody.' And that's true. You're giving politicians some money so he'll throw his party in this direction or that one, or make false speeches on your behalf, or something like that. It may be non-violent, but it's still illegal intervention in other country's affairs, raising the question of whether or not we're going to have a world in which laws, rules of behavior are respected," Stockwell wrote. Documents illustrate that the Reagan and Bush administration supported computer manipulation in both Noriega's rise to power in Panama and in Marcos' attempt to retain power in the Philippines. Many of the Reagan administration's staunchest supporters were members of the Council on National Policy.
Copyright 1970-2004 The Columbus Free Press
COLUMBUS - The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.
O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.
It just all seems like an invitation for vote trickery.
On voting day in 2004, exit polls nearly all seemed to indicate that the Democrat Kerry was getting a clear majority of votes. But at the end of the day, the Diebold machines showed that Bush had won. And there was absolutely no way to confirm that any vote cast actually had been counted or that it had been counted correctly. In fact, there were many other news reports that made clear that poll watchers personally saw that when voters voted for Kerry, his total vote in some machines went DOWN instead of up. Other election observers noted that some votes cast for Kerry actually got recorded as votes for Bush.
So, even then, I saw what seemed to be a very logical and possibly even very obvious possibility. Diebold's programmers had created their proprietary software for their voting machines (which has STILL never been examined by anyone!) The final process of such programming is called Compiling, which converts the many thousands of lines of computer code into a single EXE or COM file which contains everything but which cannot be examined regarding its contents.
So, it seemed to me that it would have been quite easy for the President of Diebold to have taken the completed computer code, and then added in just two or three lines of additional coding before compiling it all. That additional coding could then have made a machine "add correctly most of the time" but occasionally subtract instead or occasionally add a vote to the Republican opponent's total instead of where it was supposed to go.
Like in my experiences with Solitaire, as long as the distortion of the software was not too obvious, no one may ever know that such trickery had been done. And therefore, the win could actually be guaranteed for Bush in Ohio, which gave him the Presidency again.
Unfortunately, I had apparently not explained all this sufficiently to Peter, and he laughed and he said I was thinking like a "conspiracy theorist". No, I actually wasn't at all! I was thinking like a Physicist, which I always do.
Had ABC News obtained those dozen voting machines from Ohio, and had they showed that they always showed a vote total increase by exactly 100 for both candidates, it would have done just the reverse, in proving that the machines had likely operated perfectly correctly! The fact that ABC News did not follow up on that suggestion of mine seems to force the fact that this issue can never be resolved now! No one will ever be able to know if Bush actually legally won Ohio, or if that win was entirely due to trickery programmed into the Diebold voting machines by their super-Bush-supporting company President.
It was only in reading those newspaper articles presented above that I learned a lot of that information, only in 2006 and 2007. Sort of after all the cows had gone and I keep trying to see if the gate needs to be shut! (Physicists often are extremely persistent when facts do not seem to add up to matching what science expects to see!)
It really seems especially intriguing that hackers had managed to copy many thousands of pages of Diebold internal files of the time, and that Diebold was so aggressive about shutting all that down that they threatened and pursued even dozens of college students! It really seems sad that those thousands of documents may have then been all destroyed again by Diebold, as the contents of those many thousands of documents might have had some very valuable information in them, regarding trying to preserve whatever it is that America still tries to stand for!
I must actually wonder, though, if O'Dell has had second thoughts! Bush and his dear friends have shown such massive incompetence and corruption that this (re-election) term is already being described as the worst term of any President ever, which is really saying something when you consider several of the Presidencies of the 1840s and 1850s! Bush's dear friend Brown showed massive incompetence regarding FEMA during Hurricane Katrina, and Bush publicly applauded that performance, and Brown was forced out two weeks later. Rumsfeld was assured by Bush of forever being Secretary of Defense for such a fine job, while everyone else saw how horrendously Rumsfeld had done, and HE was gone a week later. Bush's dear friend Gonzales repeated 71 times that he did not remember, regarding firing eight high quality Federal Attorneys, and seems soon destined to be forced out. Bush's dear friend Wolfowitz showed impressive corruption in the job Bush arranged for him as head of the World Bank in arranging for his own girlfriend to be wrongly promoted to a job where she is paid more than the Secretary of State Rice is paid! He seems soon to be booted out, too.
It is really hard to think of ANYTHING that either Bush or his friends have actually accomplished properly! There are Congressmen who are planning to introduce motions to have both Bush and Cheney Impeached over their incompetence regarding the war they decided to start in Iraq, including the growing recognition that they intentionally lied to and deceived the American people in order to be able to even start that war they wanted. And the list goes on and on as to things that have been totally fouled up due to massive incompetence, or regarding many cases of illegal activity. When the personal Secretary of the Vice President is sent off to jail for very serious crimes, this is a problem for the country. When the President announces that no American's e-mails or phone calls were ever monitored, then to soon find that hundreds of millions of our personal calls and e-mails ARE being continuously monitored, how can there be any credibility?
As a result of many hundreds of incidents like this, Bush and his close friends have alienated the American people amazingly effectively! And all Republicans are smeared by all the mud that has gotten thrown around over all these issues. In other words, Bush alone seems to have absolutely guaranteed that few Republicans have any chance at all of winning any elections in 2008. Quite an accomplishment for one person! The point being noted here is that O'Dell must certainly be thinking about the fact that Bush would NOT have been re-elected President except by O'Dell's personal choice! So, even though O'Dell clearly did those dastardly things with the intent of making the Republican Party even stronger, he must now be starting to realize that his choice of making sure that Bush was re-elected is directly guaranteeing a massive destruction of the Republican Party!
I see that as an ironic form of Justice! He achieved his goal, of getting Bush re-elected. Even more, he achieved "the perfect crime" in that he did not and will never be "caught" for doing that. (Unless he chooses to make a deathbed confession one day.) But for that spectacular accomplishment, in totally derailing the American election system, it seems clear that he must now be regretting having done it. He must realize that if he had just allowed Kerry to have (properly) won, the esteem and image of the Republican Party would not have had so many damaging things done to it.
Yet, Bush and his dear friends have done all this in just the first two years of being re-elected. Imagine how much more incompetence and corruption we have yet to witness in his remaining two years! There seems a valid possibility that Bush and his friends may so severely damage the image of the Republican Party that they may NEVER be able to recover. And, indirectly, O'Dell accomplished that! He must be VERY proud of himself!
To indicate that my interest is purely scientific and logical, it seems necessary to include yet another subject here.
The President's Safety
In the First Term of W, he virtually never left the United States and never even went anywhere where he might be in the slightest physical danger. It was a very obvious pattern. I interpret this as meaning that W's existence was centrally critical to the Republicans, and specifically Vice President Cheney, being re-elected in November 2004. It seemed to me that many things totally changed immediately after that. I suppose it would be a Conspiracy Theorist thought, but it really seemed to me that Bush had rather suddenly no longer had the importance that he clearly earlier had! I did not have any actual evidence, except for the incredible change in the travels of W Bush. After four years of rarely ever even being outside of Washington, DC and Texas, he rather suddenly started making trips to places like South America. Rather than the President staying inside of extremely secure buildings that the Secret Service had examined, Bush was seen in newscasts wandering the streets of South American cities, randomly going up to local people! The Secret Service must have been going crazy as they had clearly had no way to vette all those random people. What if one of those local people had had a gun or knife?
The thing that struck me most was that, on the way home from that trip, Air Force One made an unscheduled landing in a Central American city (I no longer remember exactly which one), and shortly afterward, the President of the United States was seen helping local laborers loading and unloading produce from a truck! Again, an UNSCHEDULED stop in a small country which was NOT supposed to be visited (which implies that Secret Service did not and could not have checked all the people living in that village regarding safety of the President), and then we saw the President mingling in a group of local workers on a truck! Even if one of those workers just decided to punch the President, the Secret Service would not have been able to stop it! It sure seemed to me that the life of President W was being put in extreme danger, which had very clearly NOT had happpened prior to the 2004 Election. I am not a Politician, but it seemed to me that W had fully served his purpose for the Ultra-Conservatives, and it it would have happpened that W had 'accidentally' gotten Martyred, the Ultra-Conservatives would have suddenly gotten their favorite, Cheney, as President, even though they had known that Cheney could never have won a National election. It seemed to me that IF such an event had happened to W Bush, the Ultra-Conservatives would have gotten everything they had ever dreamed of! Bush was clearly seen as 'not one of us', so getting rid of him seemed desirable to them, even though that was necessarily kept unspoken.
Regarding these matters, and several other strange foreign trips, I had mentioned to my friend Peter Jennings several times about the fact that MANY foreign trips were now being scheduled for Bush. And some of those trips were amazingly unsafe for him. It seemed to me that IF Bush would have been assassinated somewhere, then Cheney would suddenly have had two wonderful new benefits! One would be that he would become President of the United States! The other is that the American people would certainly support virtually anything that Cheney decided to do, regarding personal revenge, much like they had done with Saddam Hussein a couple years earlier in Iraq.
I sent the above note to Peter Jennings on Mar. 2, 2006, regarding some amazingly unsafe trips that President Bush was just on. A year before, there had been a similar bizarre situation, where after a conversation with my friend Peter Jennings of ABC News, he even made a phone call to the White House to ask about the concern. It was impressive that immediately after Peter's call, the very unsafe foreign trips were ended! I am tempted to think that once Cheney had realized that Peter had realized that Bush was now regularly put into situations of incredible danger, it would have looked too suspicious if Peter might then mention that fact on the Nightly News! But around a year later, such trips had started again, when I sent this note. I have always wondered if the fact that Peter suddenly became very ill with lung cancer and died, might have implied that the only likely public voice that could note the statistical pattern, might have suggested that dangerous trips might again be planned for Bush.
I realize that this is both impossible for me to ever prove, and also saying that the Vice President was not actually trying to murder the President, but apparently intentionally enabling a LOT of situations where it might have happened. So I recognize that the credibility of this idea is extremely weak. The ONLY actual evidence is that Bush went on NO foreign trips that had the slightest chance of being dangerous prior to Nov 2004, but then a LOT of amazingly dangerous trips after being re-Elected.
It has clearly not ended, as in March 2007, President Bush made another very dangerous trip. It seemed beyond comprehension! Bush first made a scheduled trip to South America for some official meeting. Fine. But then on the way home, Air Force One made an UNSCHEDULED LANDING in Central America (where the Presidential Security Staff had no way of checking anyone out or even arranging any safety for him.) This time, Bush even tried to impress working men by helping load produce into trucks, and even getting into a spontaneous soccer game. The Security people had NO POSSIBLE WAY of knowing if any of those people were dangerous to him, or even whether they had guns in their pockets, because it was all totally unscheduled and spontaneous, and in a small country where many very dangerous people lived! Bush would never DARE do either such thing in the United States, because of how dangerous it would be. And THAT would be in his own country where his Security People would have thoroughly checked out every single person who might have been able to get near him. But Bush did such things in Guatemala and Mexico, where millions of people truly hate him, and where the people who were around him were absolutely unknown to his Security Staff???
(My note of March 2, 2006)
Hopefully, this will be the silliest note you will ever receive. However, I fear it might not be. A year ago, I had mention these things to my friend Peter Jennings and we had a brief discussion about it. He also feared that I might be right.
I was educated as a Nuclear Physicist at the University of Chicago, so Peter liked that I always brought a rigidly logical approach to any subject.
I had noted these facts:
(1) After 9/11/01, President Bush rarely was around any people who were not clearly friendly to his views, an extremely noticeable and statistically valid situation. His personal safety was certainly paramount, and he virtually never left the United States, except in massively secured environments.
(2) Almost immediately after his re-election in 2004, there seemed to be a statistically valid drastic change to that situation. I realize that there were political reasons, but the specific incidents seemed amazingly insecure! A trip to South America is what inspired my note to Peter. President Bush was probably reasonably safe at the Conference he attended, even though it was very obvious that there were many people nearby who would not have hesitated to kill him. But on the way back from that Conference, the President made a previously unscheduled side trip, to a rather dangerous place. I suspect the Secret Service was appalled.
(3) During 2005, the President made a statistically surprising number of trips out of the US. Usually, security measures were probably as good as they could be, but occasionally, there were certainly situations where some angry person could have been in a crowd near enough to him to try to kill him. There was even the man with the hand-grenade that did not explode while Bush was on a Podium.
(4) This current trip to India seems to be an even more prominent example. India itself is probably reasonably secure, but traveling to Pakistan seemed to be "challenging" UBL to try to have him killed! And making an unscheduled side trip to Afghanistan, where security issues could not possibly have been fully implemented, seems pure insanity!
(5) I had told Peter (early 2005) that it would be interesting to watch whether President Bush ever again showed up in potentially dangerous places. Well, it seems to happen far too often, I think.
Observation: In the early years of his Presidency, Bush was definitely a strong asset to the Neo-Cons and the Republican Party. But after bad things in Iraq, Katrina, and multiple scandals, his personal popularity has plummeted to where he is now a millstone around the neck of Neo-Cons and Republicans. It seems like every week new examples of utter incompetence and/or outright lying to the American people arise.
Given all this, WHAT future would be "the best" for the Neo-Cons and the Republicans? Well, a truly frightening possibility is that a President, who always talked about terrorism, might be martyred by a terrorist, and who would then have the highest of any possible image to the American public. No one would then ever criticize an assassinated President, and his "legacy" would be as he dreams it would be.
With any OTHER contingency, Bush would be directly blamed for the coming civil war and destruction of Iraq, for bankrupting the US government and economy, for Katrina issues, and for many scandals. The "negatives" are now endless, and will forever be endless. Already, while still in the Presidency, experts (like Reeves) are already comparing W with President Buchanan as being the worst President America has ever had! As Iraq disintegrates, and therefore affects oil production and distribution (from primarily Muslim countries), coming months figure to become even darker, for America and Americans.
It is definitely a very "sick" thought that any "close advisor" in or near the White House might see some bizarre way to justify lax security around Bush, but the above concepts could engender such horrendous thoughts in some individual who might be more concerned about Bush's "legacy" than his "long life".
I just don't want to see even a glimmer of that happen! I don't respect much about W, but I wish him a long and healthy life.
On an obscurely related subject, I note that NO ONE seems to have even mentioned the "pattern of assassinations" (or death while in Office) during the Tenure of W. When Reagan became President, it was a prominent subject of discussion, and then when he was shot, people seemed to think it "fulfilled the pattern" even though he survived. Isn't it odd that no one seems to even broach the subject regarding W? Maybe it's because, after 9/11/01, it was recognized that many people would want to, and the news media have shown restraint? Even that seems rather surprising!
--- Again, I truly hope that these are simply foolish thoughts and that nothing will occur that resembles them. However, I would ask that, since YOU have communications with people in the White House, you simply mention that you received a "flaky" note and asked for any response. I don't really want anyone to respond to you, but I would only want word to pass through those Halls that they should really make sure the President is EXTREMELY secure for the next 3 years! Because otherwise, suspicion might arise. I look forward to being proven totally wrong on this!
Please note that I am NOT suggesting that anyone would do anything overt in these matters. It is more of a "security sloppiness" which might enable an assassination, which would then turn out to be extremely beneficial in many ways. No one would "intentionally" endanger the President.
There is another peculiar subject presentation regarding Bush at:
He Tried to Kill My Daddy. George W Bush
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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago