Tag Archives: election meddling

Pennsylvania State Senate Passes Bills Banning Ballot Drop Boxes, Zuckerbucks

Natalia Mittelstadt
April 14, 2022

The Pennsylvania state Senate on Wednesday passed two election integrity bills banning ballot drop boxes and private funds to administer elections.

The legislative chamber passed Senate Bill 1200 along party lines, which requires absentee ballots to be returned either by mail or delivered to the county board of elections office.

Republicans who oppose drop boxes said that they were not expressly authorized by a 2019 law expanding mail-in voting. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled they were legal.

GOP state Sen. Cris Dush, who wrote the bill, said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overstepped its bounds.

“We’ve got a problem with a lack of confidence on the part of the people got a problem with something that can definitely be utilized to do ballot stuffing. This is a legitimate issue,” he said, according to WHTM, a local ABC affiliate.

Senate Bill 982 was also passed on Wednesday, with eight Democrats joining Republicans to ban so-called “Zuckerbucks,” or private money to fund elections.

“Senate Bill 982 simply states what all of us understood to be fact – government should pay for elections. Voters, taxpayers and citizens alike deserve the most fair and equitable election system. It should be uniform from one county to the next regardless of size, demographics, or wealth,” Republican state Sen. Lisa Baker said, reported PoliticsPA.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life gave nearly $350 million in grants to municipalities for running the 2020 election.

CTCL has claimed its 2020 election grants were to be used to make voting safer amid the pandemic, without any political preference. However, a House Republican investigation found that less than 1% of the funds were spent on personal protective equipment. Most of the funds were focused on get-out-the-vote efforts and registrations.

While CTCL claims that more grants were awarded to counties won by former President Donald Trump than President Joe Biden, the nonprofit gave larger grants and more money per capita to Democratic counties than to Republican ones. Trump won more than five times as many counties as Biden in 2020.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) opposes both Senate bills, but his office did not indicate whether he would veto them, according to Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station. He previously vetoed a bill that allowed only the secretary of the commonwealth to receive the funds and distribute them equally across counties.

Wolf tweeted on Thursday, “Election enhancements Pennsylvanians need:

“Allow counties to process ballots sooner

“Increase poll worker pay

“Upgrade to secure electronic poll books

“Help fill poll worker vacancies

“What Republicans are taking action on:

“Eliminate secure drop boxes”

Speaker Robin Vos ADMITS Widespread Fraud Occurred In Wisconsin But Says Legislature Cannot Decertify [VIDEO]

Patty McMurray 
March 16th, 2022

On March 3, only two days after former WI Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and Thomas More Lawyer Erick Kaardal testified before the WI Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, they appeared on a podcast with 100 Percent Fed Up’s Patty McMurray and the Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft where they discussed the findings of Justice Gableman’s final report on potential voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The 100 Percent Fed Up – Gateway Pundit podcast with Justice Gableman and Erick Kaardal can be seen here:

Justice Gableman was hired by WI State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) to investigate the November 2020 election. Biden got nearly 21,000 more votes in Wisconsin, a state that Donald Trump won in 2016.

As part of his testimony, Special Counsel Michael Gableman dropped a bombshell when he explained how, in Chapter 1 of their report, the CTCL’s (Center for Tech and Civic Life) “$8.8 million Zuckerberg planned grant” to Wisconsin’s top five Democratic stronghold cities (Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay) used in the November 2020 election “facially violates the Wisconsin law prohibiting election bribery.”

Thomas More Lawyer Erick Kaardal interviewed nursing home patients and members of their families who voted in the November 2020 election to show how the election was stolen in several ways in Wisconsin.

Here is a sampling of Mr. Kaardal’s interviews:

Now, almost two weeks after Justice Gableman and Erick Kaardal testified in front of the WI Election Assembly, Republican (RINO) Speaker Robin Vos admits that widespread voter fraud took place in Wisconsin. Vos made the statement to the press after attending a closed-door meeting with a group of concerned WI residents advocating for decertification of the November election, including a GOP candidate for governor and State Rep. Timothy Ramthun (R) this afternoon.

Even though Justice Gableman explained during his testimony that the WI legislature HAS the power to decertify the November 2020 election, Speaker Vos claims the legislature does NOT have the power to take this action.

Phil Kline of Thomas More’s Amistad Project interviewed Wisconsin clerk Linda Sinkula on September 27, 2021, where she describes learning from an election worker that Democrat operatives were registering voters in nursing homes, including those who don’t normally vote. Under Wisconsin law, bipartisan teams of Special Voting Deputies are required to register and assist nursing home residents with absentee ballots.

This article originally appeared on 100% Fed Up

Lawsuit Claims Michigan Election Chief Illegally Accepted Zuckerberg Money to Swing 2020 Election

A lawsuit filed against Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asserts she illegally accepted private money for the 2020 presidential election to swing the election for President Joe Biden.

The Chicago-based Thomas More Society filed the lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims, alleging Benson violated election law by spending private election funding on partisan purposes that denied Michigan voters’ constitutional equal access voting rights.

The Center Square previously reported Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan contributed $400 million nationwide into the 2020 election through their Chicago-based nonprofit, the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL).

The 166-page filing claims that nearly half of CTCL’s funds flowed to Democrat-dominated areas where Biden won. For example, the lawsuit says CTCL made 19 payments exceeding $100,000 all to jurisdictions that Biden carried in 2020.

The lawsuit cites an America Public Media report finding some cities spent little of the money on personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Michigan Legislature aimed to ban private funding of public elections via Senate Bill 303, which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed in 2021.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Thor Hearne said that Benson spent CTCL money to boost Democrat-dominated areas in the 2020 election via increased mail-in voting and ballot harvesting.

“The Michigan Constitution guarantees every eligible citizen the right of equal protection when it comes to voting, and that means state officials may not put in place an election scheme that enhances the weight of votes cast by one class of voters or increases one favored class of voters’ access to the ballot,” Hearne said in a statement. “That’s just what happened here. Analysis of data that the Center for Tech and Civic Life provided to the Internal Revenue Service and other public records demonstrates that this scheme was designed to favor urban areas in Michigan and to disadvantage Michigan voters in rural and suburban more politically conservative areas.”

Hearne said the lawsuit aims to set the rules for future elections, not past elections.

“This case is not about relitigating the 2020 election,” Hearne said. “It is about making sure that these unfair and illegal activities cannot happen in any future election in Michigan. As Michigan’s chief election official, Secretary Benson is responsible for ensuring that every eligible Michigan voter has an equal right and opportunity to cast a ballot.”

A CNN report says 11 Republican-led states have prohibited private money from funding public elections.

Thomas More Society attorneys are representing Wisconsin voters in a similar lawsuit.

“The only way Michigan residents can stop a high-tech billionaire from California from directing the conduct of Michigan’s 2022 election is for the Michigan voters and citizens to prevail in this case against Secretary of State Benson,” Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel Tom Brejcha said in a statement.

Despite Efforts to Downplay Severity, Voter Fraud is Alive and Well in 2020

Ryan DeLarme
September 28th, 2020

There is an obvious propaganda war being waged for control over the public mind, and it seems that the once understood reality of voter fraud is the latest casualty. Even the subtlest use of neuro-linguistic programming will likely have those who’ve yet to develop their discernment skills assuming that Voter Fraud is just another “Orange-man Conspiracy Theory”.

In the last year alone there have been an unprecedented number of instances involving election meddling and Voter Fraud, so why try and downplay it in the corporate media echo-chamber? Here’s a few examples:

  • In May of this year, hundreds of people in Oregon reported that their voter registration was switched from Republican to non affiliated without their knowledge or permission, essentially denying them the right to participate in the Primary.
  • West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell and Secretary of State Mac Warner announced a criminal charge against a rural mail carrier in a voter fraud case related to absentee ballot requests in May.
  • Republicans in New Jersey received ballots with only democrat options. The New Jersey Democrats were also caught harvesting ballots and mailing them in bundled packs. Voter harvesting is illegal in New Jersey and most states.
  • State Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela ruled in August that a new election must be held in November for a Paterson City Council seat in New Jersey after the winner of the race and an elected official were charged with voter fraud.
  • A judge in Iowa ordered 50,000 absentee ballot requests to be voided after President Donald Trump’s campaign argued a county elections commissioner acted improperly when he sent the requests out with voter’s personal information already filled out.
  • North Carolina Joined Michigan and Pennsylvania – Will Accept Late Ballots For 9 Days After Election and Ballot Harvesting, which is absurd.
  • At least 847 dead people tried to vote in Michigan’s August Primary, prompting Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to demand the legislature pass a bill requiring city and township clerks to call voters who have obvious flaws with their ballot, such as a missing signature.
  • Most recently, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced last Thursday that law enforcement officials had arrested four individuals for their alleged involvement in an illegal ballot harvesting scheme in the state’s 2018 Democrat primary election. One of the people who was arrested was the Democrat who won the primary race.

Those are just some of the more “On paper” instances of election meddling and not including things like Voter Intimidation, which seems to be more real this election cycle than ever before. A writer at the Atlantic recently said:

 “Republicans need to vote for Joe Biden because Democrats will riot, burn And loot If Donald Trump wins again.” -Shadi Hamid


One of the primary incentives for the mail-in-ballot gambit is the potential for the spread of COVID-19, particularly concerning elderly voters. Unfortunately Biden himself, 77, undid that narrative when he showed up with his wife to vote in person in Delaware.


Attorney General William Barr dismantled CNN host Wolf Blitzer during an interview earlier this month over the issue of universal mail-in voting. 


Foreshadowing what’s likely to come, a Democrat data and analytics firm funded by Michael Bloomberg claimed it is highly likely President Trump will win by a landslide on election night, but will ultimately lose in the following days after mail-in ballots continue to be counted. Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn called the Democrat mail-in voting fraud operation deployed to steal the election post election day a “red mirage” in his interview with “Axios on HBO.”

“We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump,” he said.

“When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after Election Day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage,” Mendelsohn said. “It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.”

Axios reported:

By the numbers: Under one of the group’s modeling scenarios, Trump could hold a projected lead of 408-130 electoral votes on election night, if only 15% of the vote by mail (VBM) ballots had been counted.

  • Once 75% of mail ballots were counted, perhaps four days later, the lead could flip to Biden’s favor.
  • This particular modeling scenario portrays Biden as ultimately winning a massive victory, 334-204.
  • The methodology, described in detail below, was based in part on polling from FiveThirtyEight in August.
  • The ultimate results may well sit somewhere between these low-end and high-end scenarios and will also be impacted by who actually votes, and how voters’ views about their options change over the coming weeks

WATCH:

A Democrat operative who worked covertly in a massive voter fraud operation blew the whistle to New York Post reporter Jon Levine and revealed how Democrats will try to steal the 2020 election with their mail-in vote scheme.

The insider revealed how Democrats rig elections by paying homeless voters, taking advantage of elderly in nursing homes, fraudulently posing as registered voters, printing up phony ballots and actually removing real ballots from envelopes and replacing them with counterfeit ballots.

The Democrat-media complex is keeping Covid in the news cycle so they can push for mail-in ballots instead of voting in person for the 2020 election.

Hillary Clinton said Joe Biden “should not concede under any circumstances.”

It is obvious that the Democrats are going to file lawsuits after the election if Trump wins in an effort to stall for weeks and possibly until Inauguration Day in an effort to prevent President Trump from remaining in office.


Beyond your typical ballot harvesting and voter intimidation, this election cycle has spawned many truly strange and creative occurrences, like leftist activists in Washington State to mail hand written letters to voters in Florida, urging them to use the Mail in Ballots.

It’s truly a shame that in 2020 we as a society will eat whatever is fed to us without question. With just a handful of dismissive or slanted articles from a corporate news rag, you can rest easily with being told what to think and what to not even consider. The cult-of-personality that Big-Tech, the Council on Foreign Relations, and their thoroughly controlled Media/Hollywood have created for you over the last decade or so DEMANDS that you look no further, or face the wrath of the mob. 

Foreshadowing? New Zealand Postpones Election Over Virus Fears

TOM OZIMEK
August 17, 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday said that the country’s general election would be postponed by a month after a COVID-19 outbreak in the capital prompted a lockdown and constrained political campaigning.

Around a third of New Zealand’s 5 million voters were put under lockdown in Auckland last week after a surge of infections put an end to a 102-day stretch without any known community transmission of the disease caused by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, also known as novel coronavirus.

The Prime Minister, who has sole authority to set the date of the election, said Monday that she had consulted leaders from rival political parties before determining to move the vote from Sept. 19 to Oct. 17.

“I absolutely have confidence we can and will deliver a safe election,” said Ardern, who insisted this would be New Zealand’s one and only delay.

“COVID is continuing to disrupt life around the world,” Ardern said, noting that other countries like South Korea and Singapore have managed to hold elections despite the lingering threat of the virus.

Epoch Times Photo
A client has her hair styled at Duke Hair Salon in Auckland, New Zealand, on the first day salons were permitted to reopen in the country, on May 14, 2020. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The move comes after some of New Zealand’s political parties complained of an inability to campaign with so many voters under lockdown.

David Seymour, the leader of an opposition party, welcomed the delay, saying the new outbreak had forced him to cancel a dozen events, including debates and community meetings.

“In order to have a free and fair election, candidates need to be out in the community listening to voters, and that’s not possible while Aucklanders are housebound,” he said in a statement.

“Ultimately I want to ensure we have a well-run election that gives all voters the best chance to receive all the information they need about parties and candidates, and delivers certainty for the future,” Ardern said.

The recent outbreak brings the number of infections in Auckland to 58, which health officials believe are all connected. During the 102 days prior to the resurgence, the only known COVID-19 cases were confined to returning travelers who were quarantined upon arrival.

Auckland’s COVID-19 cluster was initially traced back to members of one family, with a health official who knows them telling the New Zealand Herald that the family were “shell-shocked” and “a little embarrassed that it had happened to them.”

Prior to the identification of the new COVID-19 cluster, New Zealand’s government had lifted almost all of its lockdown restrictions, with restaurants and schools open and sports fans back in stadiums.

New Zealand has reported more than 1,600 infections and 22 deaths since the pandemic began, according to a running tally from John Hopkins University.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

New York, New Jersey Mail-in Voting Problems May Foreshadow Difficulties in Upcoming Presidential Vote

MATTHEW VADUM
July 14, 2020

The unique problems posed by voting-by-mail are being blamed for election fraud in New Jersey and for a now-three-week delay in counting ballots for New York City’s primary elections, with many races yet to be decided.

These difficulties may foreshadow larger problems to come in the November presidential elections.

The processing backlog in the Big Apple wouldn’t necessarily be a big concern normally, but with voters worried about contracting the CCP virus from casting ballots in-person, voting-by-mail was reportedly unusually heavy in the city’s electoral contests.

Officials can’t keep up.

“In Manhattan in 2016, there were approximately 7,000 presidential primary absentee voters,” ABC News quoted Sarah Steiner, who used to chair the New York City Bar’s Election Law Committee. “And you had Hillary [Clinton] and Bernie [Sanders]. That was a competitive [Democratic Party] primary.”

But in 2020, absentee primary votes in Manhattan increased to more than 121,000.

And in New Jersey, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, a Democrat, charged four men with voter fraud in connection with a municipal election in Paterson, the state’s third-largest city, RealClearPolitics reported. Citing concerns about the ongoing pandemic, the election was conducted entirely by mail-in balloting.

In the election for city council, 16,747 vote-by-mail ballots were received by officials, although only 13,557 votes were counted. Upwards of 3,190 votes, or 19 percent of all ballots cast, were disqualified. The local NAACP chapter wants the entire election redone.

Problems

Experts say voting-by-mail is fraught with problems. That method of voting gives wrongdoers greater opportunities for fraud, compared to in-person balloting, they say.

Christian Adams, president of the Indianapolis-based Public Interest Legal Foundation and a former U.S. Department of Justice civil rights attorney, is wary of mass voting-by-mail.

“Mail ballots are uniquely subject to fraud and undue influence,” Adams previously told The Epoch Times. “Elections should occur in public with election observers from each side watching the process.

“Elections should not be conducted behind closed doors.”

The bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, found in 2005 that “absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud” and that “vote-buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail.”

In fact, it was concern about vote-buying, a practice that “had been pervasive,” that “helped drive the move to the secret ballot, which U.S. states adopted between 1888 and 1950,” John R. Lott Jr. wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

“Secret ballots made it harder for vote buyers to monitor which candidates sellers actually voted for.”

Unreliable

University of South Alabama Dean Dr. Alec Yasinsac authored a 2012 research paper, “Did Your Mailed Ballot Count: The Unrecognized Unreliability of Voting by Mail.”

“While voting fraud is the most commonly cited problem with vote-by-mail, it is only one aspect of the issues plaguing the integrity of elections nationwide,” Alabama Today reported.

“Yasinsac’s research breaks down some of the most frequent problems. Among them, common procedural errors such as those that contributed to an estimated 4.2% percent of invalid ballots in the Minnesota 2008 elections. Yasinsac describes these as, ‘Common errors include failure to sign, signing in the wrong place, and improper packaging (e.g., husband and wife bundling two absentee ballots in the same envelope).’”

Mail-in voting programs also consistently experience ballots arriving late to elections offices because of postal processing delays, as well as election fraud, lost ballots, and under- or over-counted ballots because of mishandling by election officials, according to the paper.

Yasinsac, a computer science professor, writes in his paper that voting-by-mail, or VBM, “is inherently unreliable.”

“Worse yet, it disenfranchises discernable constituencies that can influence electoral results, causing other than the voter’s choice to determine winners.”

He states it is “fundamentally more difficult to ensure the validity of VBM ballots (one person-one vote) than for those cast in person, both because it is more difficult to strongly authenticate the voter (Voter Authentication) and to bind a ballot to the identified voter (Ballot Attribution).”

Voter privacy can also suffer during the VBM process.

“Well beyond the commonly heard practice of voting for an ill spouse or parent, VBM is inherently susceptible to violations of even this minimal privacy interpretation, since each VBM ballot must be bound to the identity of the voter in order to ensure one person-one vote,” Yasinsac writes.

“Elections officials institute procedures to protect voter privacy, but the inherent vulnerability still exists for every VBM ballot.”

Advocating for Voting by Mail

But politicians, especially Democrats, are now pushing hard to make universal voting by mail the norm throughout the country. They claim it’s needed to prevent exposing voters to the COVID-19 virus, as could happen when casting ballots in person.

Democrats determined to make mail-in balloting the sole means of voting for all Americans in November’s election are attacking electoral integrity laws across the United States in the courts, in an attempt to overturn restrictions on voting-by-mail.

Democrats and other voting-by-mail advocates claim that in the era of the CCP virus, voters shouldn’t have to risk their physical well-being to vote and argue that mail-in voting preserves the health of both the electoral process and the electorate. Democrats are suing in at least 13 states to overturn restrictions on mail-in voting—and more lawsuits are promised.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC on May 20 that voting-by-mail will now be called “voting at home.” Voting in person is “a health issue” in the era of the pandemic, she said.

Republicans say widespread mail-in voting is a terrible idea.

President Donald Trump tweeted on the subject April 8:

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”

States Adopting Mail-in Ballots

Elections systems across the country offer vote-by-mail as an option or mandate it.

Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington carry out their elections wholly by mail. Officials send ballots by post to all eligible voters. In California, some counties are allowed to run all-mail elections. As of 2020, more than 50 percent of the state’s voting population live in counties that do it this way. On May 8, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed an executive order, which has come under legal challenge, to require each county’s election officials to send vote-by-mail ballots for the November election to all registered voters.

Certain states allow some elections to be carried out by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). They are Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

At least 17 states allow specific kinds of elections to be done wholly by mail. In these cases, all registered voters are mailed ballots. In such cases, the voter marks the ballot, inserts it into a “secrecy envelope,” signs an affidavit on the outside portion of the mailing envelope, and sends off the package through the mail or drops it off in person.

Five states—Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico—allow jurisdictions or units within a jurisdiction to be designated as all-mail based on population figures.

California, Nebraska, and North Dakota allow counties to decide if an election should be carried out entirely by mail.

Those in favor of voting-by-mail say voters like the convenience because it allows them to review their ballots at home, rather than under pressure with many people waiting in line behind them, according to an NCSL fact sheet. The process also saves money because the governments administering the election don’t need the same level of staffing that in-person balloting requires. They add that some studies say it increases voter turnout.

Critics counter that voting-by-mail imposes costly burdens on those administering it. It increases postage expenses if the jurisdiction pays for return postage. It increases voter errors that are less likely to happen with in-person voting and drags out the reporting of election results. It also increases opportunities for voters to be coerced, deprives citizens of the shared civic experience of voting with neighbors, and disenfranchises voters who lack street addresses and have difficulty receiving mail.

SOURCE: https://www.theepochtimes.com/mail-in-voting-problems-in-new-york-new-jersey-may-foreshadow-difficulties-in-upcoming-presidential-vote_3424517.html

Deep State Exposed: CIA Election-Meddling History from 1945-2019

Originally posted at TomDispatch

In this country, reactions to the Mueller report have been all-American beyond belief. Let’s face it, when it comes to election meddling, it’s been me, me, me, 24/7 here. Yes, in some fashion some set of Russians meddled in the last election campaign, whether it was, as Jared Kushner improbably claimed, “a couple of Facebook ads” or, as the Mueller report described it, “the Russian government interfer[ing]… in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

But let me mention just a few of the things that we didn’t learn from the Mueller report. We didn’t learn that Russian agents appeared at Republican Party headquarters in 2016 with millions of dollars in donations to influence the coming election. (Oops, my mistake!  That was CIA agents in the Italian election of 1948!) We didn’t learn that a Russian intelligence agency in combination with Chinese intelligence, aided by a major Chinese oil company, overthrew an elected U.S. president and installed Donald Trump in the White House as their autocrat of choice. (Oops, my mistake again! That was the CIA, dispatched by an American president, and British intelligence, with the help of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later BP. In 1953, they overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the elected prime minister of Iran, and installed the young Shah as an autocratic ruler, the very first – but hardly the last – time the CIA successfully ousted a foreign government.) We didn’t learn that key advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin were in close touch with rogue elements of the U.S. military preparing to stage a coup d’état in Washington, kill President Barack Obama in a direct assault on the White House, and put the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in office. (Sorry, again my slip-up and full apologies! That was President Richard Nixon’s adviser Henry Kissinger in contact with Chilean military officers who, on September 11, 1973 – the first 9/11 – staged an armed uprising during which Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of that country, died and army commander-in-chief Augusto Pinochet took power.) We didn’t learn that, at the behest of Vladimir Putin, Russian secret service agents engaged in a series of plots to poison or in some other fashion assassinate Barack Obama during his presidency and, in the end, had at least a modest hand in encouraging those who did kill him after he left office. (Oh, wait, I was confused on that one, too. I was actually thinking about the plots, as the 1960s began, to do in Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.) Nor, for that matter, did we learn that the Russian military launched a regime-change-style invasion of this country to unseat an American president and get rid of our weapons of mass destruction and then occupied the country for years after installing Donald Trump in power. (Sorry one more time! What I actually had in mind before I got so muddled up was the decision of the top officials of President George W. Bush’s administration, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, to launch a “regime-change” invasion of Iraq in 2003, based on fraudulent claims that Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, and install a government of their choice in Baghdad.)

No, none of that happened here. Still, even though most Americans might find it hard to believe, we weren’t exactly the first country to have an election meddled with by an intrusive foreign power with an agenda all its own! And really, my examples above just begin an endless list of events the Mueller report didn’t mention, ones that most Americans no longer know anything about or we wouldn’t have acted as if the Russian election intervention of 2016 stood essentially alone in history.

I don’t, however, want that to sound like blame. After all, if you lived in the United States in these years and didn’t already know the secret history of American intervention and regime change across the globe from the end of World War II to the collapse of the Soviet Union, you could be forgiven for thinking that never had anyone done anything quite so dastardly as did the Putin regime in attempting to hack and alter the results of an American election. In the media, that Russian intervention has (with the rarest of exceptions) been covered as if it were an event unique in history. Admittedly, whatever the Russians did do in 2016 to lend a hand to Donald Trump, they didn’t plan a coup d’état; it wasn’t an assassination attempt; and it wasn’t, in the normal sense, what has come to be known as “regime change.”

A World of Chaos Without End

Let’s start with one thing that should have been (but wasn’t) obvious since the first reports on Russian meddling in the election campaign of 2016 began to appear. Historically speaking, such a plan fits well with a classic Russian tradition. As scholar Dov Levin discovered in studying “partisan election interventions” from 1946 to 2000, the Russians – the Soviet Union until 1991 – engaged in a staggering 36 of them globally.

If, however, you jumped to the conclusion that such an impressive cumulative figure gave the Russians the world’s record for election meddling, think again. In fact, it left them languishing in a distant second place when it came to interfering in other countries’ elections over more than four decades. The United States took the crown with, by Levin’s count, a distinctly imperial 81 interventions! (USA! USA!)

Put another way, the two Cold War superpowers together meddled in approximately “one of every nine competitive elections” in that era in at least 60 countries covering every part of the planet but Oceania. Moreover, only seven of them were in the same election in the same country at the same time.

And elections are but one part of a story of meddling on a scale that has been historically remarkable. In her book Covert Regime Change, Lindsey O’Rourke notes that between 1947 and 1989, a span of nine Cold War-era American administrations, the least number of “U.S.-backed regime-change attempts” per president was three (Gerald Ford’s administration), the most 30 (Dwight D. Eisenhower’s). Harry Truman’s administration came in second with 21, Lyndon Johnson’s third with 19, Ronald Reagan’s fourth with 16, John F. Kennedy’s fifth with 15, and Richard Nixon’s sixth with 10.

And keep in mind that, while such numbers remain unprecedented, despite a number of short-term successes from Iran to Guatemala, this was not generally a notable record of success in remaking the world in the image Washington desired. Many of those regime-change attempts, especially against countries in the Soviet bloc, failed dismally. Others created chaos or regimes that not only did their citizens little good but didn’t end up doing much for Washington either. Still, that didn’t stop one administration after another from trying, which is why the numbers remain mind-boggling.

And then the Soviet Union imploded and there was but a “sole” superpowerleft on Planet Earth. Its leaders had no doubt that its ultimate moment had come and it was to be no less than “the end of history”! The planet was obviously Washington’s for the taking. No more need for subterfuge, subtle election meddling, secret support for dissidents, or even covert regime change, not when the only opposition to an American planet was a few weak “rogue states” (think: the “axis of evil,” also known as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea), a desperately weakened and impoverished but still nuclear-armed Russia, and a modestly rising future power in Asia.

And then, of course, came 9/11, that staggering act of blowback – in part from one of the great “successes” of CIA covert action in the Cold War, the decisive defeat of the Red Army in Afghanistan thanks to the funding and arming of a set of extremist Islamist militants, a war in which a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden gained a certain modest reputation. On that day in 2001, the last superpower, the one exceptional nation, became the planet’s greatest victim and all hell was let loose (just as bin Laden hoped it would be).

In response, in a world without other superpowers, the country with, as one president proudly put it, “the finest fighting force that the world has ever known” no longer needed to meddle secretly (or at least in a fashion that allowed for “plausible deniability”). With the invasion of Afghanistan that October, open regime change became the order of the day. Iraq would come in 2003, Libya in 2011. The U.S. Air Force and the CIA’s drones would bomb and missile at least seven countries across the Greater Middle East and North Africa repeatedly in the years to come, helping reduce great cities to rubble, uprooting and displacing massive numbers of people, creating failed statesgalore, and setting in motion forces that, from Pakistan to Syria, Yemen to Niger, would in turn unsettle a significant part of the planet.

And, of course, it would all prove to be a militarized failure of the first order. And yet, with a potential new conflict ramping up in Iran and the U.S. still fighting in Afghanistan almost 18 years later, America’s wars show little sign of winding down. Only recently, for instance, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assured a group of senators that the American military would “need to maintain a counterterrorism presence as long as an insurgency continues in Afghanistan,” which should be considered the very definition of a forever war. Think of it as a world of chaos without end and now consider again that Russian meddling in an American election.

Exceptional Meddling

By the way, whatever the Russians did in 2016 (or may do in the future to American or other elections) is deplorable and should be denounced, no matter how slapdash it might have been. After all, as Dov Levin discovered, it doesn’t necessarily take much to affect the result of an election in another country. Here’s his conclusion for election meddling in the Cold War era:

“I find that an electoral intervention in favor of one of the sides contesting [an] election has a statistically significant effect, increasing its vote share by about 3%. Such an effect can have major ‘real life’ implications. For example, such a swing in the vote share from the winner to the loser in the 14 U.S. presidential elections occurring since 1960 would have been sufficient to change the identity of the winner in seven of these elections.”

As we all know, a 3% shift in the 2016 election in several states would have made a staggering difference. After all, as the Washington Post reported, in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by “0.2, 0.7, and 0.8 percentage points, respectively – and by 10,704, 46,765, and 22,177 votes. Those three wins gave him 46 electoral votes; if Clinton had done one point better in each state, she’d have won the electoral vote, too.”

So the issue isn’t faintly whether Russian electoral meddling was despicable or not. The issue is that it’s been covered here, like so much else has in this century, as yet another case of American exceptionalism (but never narcissism). As on 9/11 – forget that first 9/11 in Chile – we eternally stand alone in our experiences because, by definition, we are the special ones, the ones who matter.

In the case of election meddling, however, this country just joined a moiling crowd of the interfered with – and largely by us. It was a classic case of getting a taste of one’s own medicine and not liking it one bit. It should have taught us a lesson about our own global behavior since World War II. Instead, it’s simply continued us on a path of exceptional meddling that will prove someday to have been one of the great follies in history.

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He runs TomDispatch.comand is a fellow of the Type Media Center. His sixth and latest book is A Nation Unmade by War (Dispatch Books).

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, John Feffer’s new dystopian novel (the second in the Splinterlandsseries) Frostlands, Beverly Gologorsky’s novel Every Body Has a Story, and Tom Engelhardt’s A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power and John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II.

Copyright 2019 Tom Engelhardt