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Hackers Disable Web Links to Bush Documents
NOVEMBER 5 2000 - On Friday, Nov 3, two hours after an early morning news release distribution to national news editors with links to photocopied Freedom of Information documents about discrepancies in Bush military record, hackers disrupted and shut down Talion.com, the site that provided access to the documents.
The shutdown was traced to Quest, supplier of T-1 lines that supports the host for Talion.com (Bookzone.com). Talion.com and approximately 125 other Internet sites on the Bookzone host were disabled. Immediately after the deadline for TV evening news, access was restored.
Bookzone employees told Talion co-owner Bev Harris that an outage of this duration had never occurred before during four years of operation, and that they had never before been called by their service provider (Quest) to tell them their site would be down. Quest called Bookzone Friday morning to tell them service was interrupted. No explanation was given by Quest as to how the outage occurred. Hit counts provided by two separate programs indicate that the shutdown was not due to a surge in web traffic.
Talion.com, an Internet-based publicity company, disseminated news releases early Friday morning on behalf of two veterans groups, The Viet Nam Vets for the Real Truth and the Alabama Viet Nam Veterans. The news release contained links to photocopies of documents obtained in the Freedom of Information Act.
In a close race with only four days to go, TV pundits predicted that another punch would soon be delivered following news of arrest for driving while intoxicated. Unlike the DUI story, which "surfaced" just a few days before the election, the investigation on Bush military discrepancies began seven months ago, and has unfolded in steadily increasing detail. The Boston Globe reported that there were significant problems with the Bush military record in May, 2000.
A key record was redacted, despite the Freedom of Information Act, information omitted "for administrative reasons." Another document, put forth by the Bush handlers to prove that he completed his military service, was revealed to be incomplete. According to the Washington Post, "the name, except for the "W" has been torn off.."
Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2000:
"The Bush campaign points to a torn piece of paper in his Guard records, a statement of points Bush apparently earned in 1972-73, although most of the dates and Bush's name except for the "W" have been torn off..." The article goes on to say that the torn sheet of paper is shown as evidence by the Bush people that he satisfied his requirements, but that is contradicted by a written report signed by two superiors."
A growing cadre of reporters, citizens groups, veterans and congressmen have called for full release of the records. According to reporters and veterans groups, for four months Governor Bush has declined to answer questions or release his records.
The documents posted Friday at Talion.com were available in previous months, but on an obscure site The press did not know where to find them. Previous emails pointing the press to the documents were distributed by highly partisan groups, and news releases were peppered with rhetoric and invective that caused TV reporters to avoid the story. The validity of the story grew over the past three months, as reputable publications (the Chicago Tribune, George magazine, the AP wire service, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe) investigated and publish their findings, but print media does not generate public awareness like TV. Television networks did not pick up the story until Friday morning, tying it with the DUI story, and only one network (Fox National TV News) got to the military documents before access to the web site was blocked. Fox TV News aired the story Friday morning about 11: a.m. Eastern.
The military story is more serious than the DUI story, since it relates to the recent mobilization of National Guard and reserve units during the Gulf War. Many citizens ordered to report for duty during the Gulf War take issue with George Bush's refusal to report for duty during the Viet Nam War. Unlike Clinton, who dodged the draft, Bush signed up for a six year stint but, four years in, after the government invested $200,00 teaching him to fly, refused to obey an order to take a physical, resulting in suspension from flying. Instead of being arrested for failure to appear when ordered, Bush disappeared from duty until the Viet Nam war ended, apparently using political influence to duck into civilian duties. At that time, documents show that he reappeared and was assigned to punishment duty in Denver. Clinton also seems to have used political pull to avoid military duty, but he ducked out of the draft, whereas Bush ducked out in the middle of his enlistment, even more abhorrent to veterans.
Unrestrained discussion by TV pundits tying military document nondisclosure to DUI nondisclosure would likely have continued through the weekend. However, by the time the web site was reactivated, investigative crews had left for the weekend, leaving only weekend news staff, so the story was successfully stalled until Monday.
Traditionally, news writers do not break national TV stories the day before an election. Blocking the web site from TV reporters on Friday provided a critical delay, preventing TV pundits from tying two "failure to disclose" stories together.
Hacking a web site to shut it down is a felony, but is achievable with plausible deniability absent an aggressive investigation, which would take weeks. Is there proof it was hacked? No. If you like, you can believe that after four years without a hiccup, there was a technical problem and it is a coincidence.
"During my service, if I missed training for two years, at the least, I would have been court-martialed." Senator Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) said Nov. 2, demanding that Bush account for his missing two years of National Guard Service.
We have accepted assignments for both parties. Co-owner Bev Harris is an independent who made final decision to vote for Gore following hacker attack on web site. Co-owner Sonny D (Dudley) will vote for a third party candidate.
For whoever cares, Talion.com political stances: Neither Bush or Gore has an acceptable stance on the death penalty, both are too encumbered to special interests, neither has an acceptable plan to address the 40 million Americans who cannot get health coverage, which include many fine authors and freelance writers, and neither candidate has an adequate record on civil rights. Both have credibility problems. That being said, we believe voters should have the opportunity to review these documents, we believe they are relevant, and, not to be crybabies, but hacking a web site to block free speech is unacceptable. And last, to evaluate the credibility of news editors who prepare your daily news feed, take a look at goofy things news editors are saying.
Document about George W. Bush, redacted for "administrative reasons"
Document: Agreement signed by George W. Bush to accept military flying assignments after training (reneged on after disobeying orders)
Document: Order to suspend George Bush from flying for failing to obey an order
Document: Evidence that George W. Bush was allowed to substitute civilian duties for flying duties (Viet Nam era) following his refusal to take physical and drug test
Document: Statement specifying disciplinary measures, signed by George W. Bush
Document: Assignment of George W. Bush to disciplinary unit in Denver
Press contact on this story: Bev Harris or Sonny Dudley 425-228-7131
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-- Cherri (email@example.com), November 07, 2000
Cherri, give up your search here. Don't act like the nutcase with different handles (sorority girl was one of them). So what?! I noticed another post where you question his clearance. Well, recovering alcoholics can receive clearances; I know one with a TS. Besides we have proof that those who "didn't inhale" can recieve the highest clearance in the land. His DUI was after his committment. If the newspapers didn't find anything on this, there must be a reason. Yeah, it's baloney.
-- Maria (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2000.
Oh Cherri, mon cherri...
If I had EVERY mistake I've ever made still held against me, if I was NOT able to grow and learn for my mistakes....well, I'd be screwed huh? Now I KNOW that you are not perfect, well, I don't KNOW it, but I suspect it. Did you learn from your misdeeds? I have.
(yeah, I learned from my mistakes, I'm much more sneaky now, lol)
-- Uncle Deedah (email@example.com), November 07, 2000.