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November 8, 2006

RUMSFELD: VIRGIN FOR THE VOLCANO

By Greg Palast

Why doesn't George Bush just throw a virgin into a volcano? Or Dick Cheney? Or Lynn Cheney? Well, someone's head had to roll -- not for our bloody defeat in Iraq, but for the GOP's defeat in the mid-terms.

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by Greg Palast Why doesn't George Bush just throw a virgin into a volcano? Or Dick Cheney? Or Lynn Cheney? Well, someone's head had to roll -- not for our bloody defeat in Iraq, but for the GOP's defeat in the mid-terms. Well, I'm not celebrating. I know that most of my readers will be tickled pink that Donald Rumsfeld has been given the kiss-off. But let's get this straight: It wasn't Rumsfeld who stood up in front of the UN and identified two mobile latrines as biological weapons labs, was it, General Powell? It wasn't Rumsfeld who told us our next warning from Saddam could be a mushroom cloud, was it Ms. Rice? It wasn't Rumsfeld who declared that al-Qaida and Saddam were going steady, was it, Mr Cheney? Yes, Rumfeld is a swaggering bag of mendacious arrogance, a duplicitous chickenhawk, yellow-bellied bully-boy and tinker-toy Napoleon - but he didn't appoint himself Secretary of Defense. Rummy's the puppet -- but the problem is the puppeteer. President Bush is one lucky fella. I can imagine him today on the intercom with Cheney: "Well, pardner, looks like the game's up." And Cheney replies, "Hey, just hang Rummy out the window until he's taken all their ammo." And the timing of this smells: The Rumsfeld sideshow premiers while the sulfurous fumes of a questionable vote count in Virginia suggests the President's party is pulling a fast one to keep control of the Senate. Rather than gossip about the dunking of The Don, I'd rather focus on suspicious electoral arithmetic. In Virginia, only 7,000 votes separates the Democratic Senatorial candidate Jim Webb from incumbent Republican George Allen. Leading up to the election, the State of Virginia rejected more than 91,000 names submitted from voter drives, blocking their registrations. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School says that Virginia's methods of rejecting voters had a notably racial bias. Golly. Put the two numbers together -- the 91,000 citizens questionably barred from voting and the teeny-weeny Senate vote margin, and Virginia begins to look a lot like Florida on the Potomac. The blockade of voters at the Virginia polling station doors followed on last year's promise of Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman to mount a, "challenge to voter eligibility" in Virginia. Mehlman vowed, through an attack on the voter rolls, to "do whatever we can" to keep control of Virginia. And he did. Voters blocked (and other purged from voter rolls) received "provisional ballots." The state only counts about 15% of these. You do the math and tell me who really won Virginia and the Senate. And let's not talk about the Montana vote -- and we won't now that Rumsfeld's useless carcass has been thrown in front of the TV cameras. I'm not buying it. Americans didn't end up in a Vietnam on the Tigris because of Rumsfeld's failure of command. The problem was, and is, the failure of Rumsfeld's Commander-in-Chief. **** Greg Palast is the author of the recently released New York Times bestseller, "ARMED MADHOUSE." Go to www.GregPalast.com. Bonnie Raitt, Larry David and friends invite you to join Jackson Browne, Ed Asner, Ben Vereen and other stars on November 16, 6-8pm, at an intimate gathering in the home of Jodie Evans in Beverly Hills, California, to support the Palast Investigative Fund, a 501c3 educational foundation. For details and to request one or two of the limited number of invitations, go to http://www.palastinvestigativefund.org/november-16th-fundraiser

Submitters Website: http://www.gregpalast.com

Submitters Bio:
Greg Palast’s investigative reports appear in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and on BBC Television. His latest film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election, is available on Amazon. Palast is Patron of the Trinity College Philosophical Society, an honor previously held by Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde.
Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud and racketeering. Palast's reports appear on BBC's Newsnight and in Britain's Guardian, Rolling Stone and Harper's.

Palast is best known as the investigative reported who uncovered how Katherine Harris purged thousands of African-Americans from Florida's voter rolls in the 2000 Presidential Election.

Palast directed the US government's largest racketeering case in history--winning a $4.3 billion jury award. He also conducted the investigation of the Exxon Valdez on behalf of the Alaskan Natives.

Palast is recipient of the George Orwell Courage in Journalism Prize for his BBC television documentary, Bush Family Fortunes.

Greg Palast's newest book, Vultures' Picnic will be released by Penguin Books in November of 2011. Find out more info at VulturesPicnic.org

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