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More Alastair: Scoop's Mission, the 2004 Election, and Online Independents

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser     Permalink
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Interview with Scoop's Alastair Thompson, part three

Welcome back, Alastair and our readers, for the next installment of our conversation. When we left off, you were just discussing the "smoking gun" from the 2000 presidential election. Where to from there?

And then, there was 2004. In 2007, Michael Collins (who has been writing for Scoop ever since the 2004 election) wrote a fantastic piece based on inconsistencies in the official count in 2004. This sparked my writing- Bigger Than Watergate II - a.k.a. Election 2004 vs George On The Block & The White Ghosts Of NYC and the publication of Michael Collins' The Urban Legend.

This article concluded for me the debate around the 2004 election in which George Bush - already hopelessly unpopular managed to receive more votes than any Presidential candidate ever. That he managed to do so in urban neighborhoods just makes the entire story of the 2004 election bullcrap.

In recent years, Michael Collins has been a stalwart on the subject of election fraud but we have published articles by lots of people and often carry the reports of the inimitable Brad Friedman.

[A fairly complete set of Scoop coverage of the issue (including archives back to 2002) can be found here.]

In the lead up to the 2008 elections, we ran an advertising giveaway campaign to support election integrity efforts and launched this archive. We expect it will come back to life in a big way next year.

Unfortunately, this is not a story which is even remotely near finished.

You live thousands of miles from America. Why do you care so much about our compromised elections? (It's a bit ironic since, over here, it's like pulling teeth to get the media to deal with the subject seriously).

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I think the answer to that is the context in which this story arose. In 2002, we were living in a post 9/11 world full of fear. The US was marching toward war - a war which was going to affect everybody on the planet.

Scoop had always had a fairly broad global outlook. And, in the aftermath of 9/11, we had already started helping US dissidents express views about their own country. While now there are loads of websites like RawStory and OpEdNews which are working in this area, back then, there were only a handful and for whatever reason Scoop had found itself involved fairly deeply in the alternative online news space with regards to the US.

So, when the idea emerged that the administration of George Bush - which seemed determined to destroy peace at whatever cost - might not have been legitimately elected, (and perhaps, more importantly, could not be restrained by the electorate because the electoral machinery was being hacked) we jumped on it.

And then there is the simple scoop in it all.

Thanks to Bev Harris, we had the scoop. And while most publishers in the US were too fearful to publish, we wanted the scoop; so we did.

And since then, we have had the great enjoyment of working with loads of fantastic Americans and publishing their work from the likes of Mark Crispin Miller, Paul Lehto to Lynn Landes, Thom Hartmann, Nancy Tobi, Cliff Arnebeck, John Gideon, Ellen Theisen, Ernest Patridge, Greg Palast and, of course, your good self, Joan Brunwasser. (Plus, of course, the previously mentioned Michael Collins and Brad Friedman). It has been a pleasure to assist a bunch of dedicated and true patriots in a mission which is so important to the entire planet.

Finally, there is the perspective that comes with distance. Not only am I far away from harm and the fear that comes with working with such difficult matters. I think, in a significant way, it has been easier for me, as an outsider, to cover this issue as a publisher precisely because it is not my own electoral system which is broken. So, I do not have quite such an emotional block in dealing with the issue that so many US based media appear to have.

I found this gem at your website. It looks to be your mission statement:

"Scoop believes in the power of information to transform lives. It believes in the power of the internet to resolve conflict. And it believes in the power of compelling ideas to propel themselves into political consciousness if they are able to get exposure and be debated. Scoop is, necessarily, a forum that is neither censored through its own prejudices nor controlled by a multinational media conglomerate. Therefore Scoop's mission is: To be an agent of positive change."

Comments?

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Well yes, that's it, in a nutshell. Our mission as it has refined itself over a decade of doing what we do. And we believe it most fervently.

The internet is the best thing - perhaps the only thing - that has the ability to counteract the forces of corporate and elite power which are enveloping the globe and preventing us from reaching our full potential as humanity. Online freedom of expression is growing in power as the internet grows. We can see this most recently in Iran and during the last election cycle in the amazing Obama campaign.

However, it is not all of the internet which is doing this. Rather, it is the online independents who are working on a shoestring. Websites like OpEdNews, Buzzflash, consortiumnews, gregpalast.com and SmirkingChimp and the people who write for them and who blog and post in forums and vote on digg and reddit who are enabling the internet to achieve its potential.

We shall overcome in the end - and it will be the internet which will enable it to happen. To quote DemocraticUnderground member Ungmoose "God bless the internet and Al Gore for inventing it."

Well, it's nice to see you haven't lost your sense of humor. When we resume, Alastair lays out his views on how to accomplish meaningful election reform. I hope you'll join us.

***

Correction to part one (later amended online), as pointed out by Bev Harris: "Each instance of Talion.com in part one should be replaced with Bev Harris - I owned Talion.com, but it was a publicity site that had nothing to do with the voting issue." Thank you, Bev.

***

link to part one of my interview with Alastair

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link to part two of my interview with Alastair

 

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http://www.opednews.com/author/author79.html

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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