Sunday, June 18, 2006

Systematic Disenfranchisement of African-American Servicemembers

How long can Republicans continue to pretend that they give a damn about America or Americans? Greg Palast has the details of the Republican campaign to disenfranchise African-American service members through a process of selective discrimination designed to insure that they would be unable to vote while serving their country.

The program of destruction aimed at the democratic process was coordinated and driven from the highest levels of the Republican Party.

A confidential campaign directed by GOP party chiefs in October 2004 sought to challenge the ballots of tens of thousands of voters in the last presidential election, virtually all of them cast by residents of Black-majority precincts. Files from the secret vote-blocking campaign were obtained by BBC Television Newsnight, London. They were attached to emails accidentally sent by Republican operatives to a non-party website.[...]

Here’s how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, “Do not forward”, to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as “undeliverable.”

The lists of soldiers of “undeliverable” letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters’ registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballots being counted.

One target list was comprised exclusively of voters registered at the Jacksonville, Florida, Naval Air Station. Jacksonville is third largest naval installation in the US, best known as home of the Blue Angels fighting squandron.

When are Americans going to wake up to the fact that George Bush's Republican Party is following the philosophy and using the tactics of Hitler's National Socialists? Will we still have a country when that happens?