Begging a Question Until It Bleeds: On “The Plot to Overturn the Election” (PBS, B-Grade)

One must give credit where credit is due, and the PBS team behind this week’s documentary, “The Plot to Overturn the Election” deserve some credit. I will explain why, then will touch upon some slips of intellectual integrity displayed therein, then debunk the philosophical legerdemain which follows.

CREDIT is due the PBS team behind “The Plot to Overturn the Election” for two reasons:

  • Courage – We live in a nation whose confidence in the integrity of elections is crumbling. A recent CNN poll shows that 56% of Americans have little or no confidence that American elections reflect the will of the people, up from 52% who felt that way in September and 40% in January 2021. According to the same poll, 59% now say that they doubt “elections are representative”. In such an environment, PBS has released a documentary saying that my allegations questioning election integrity of 2020 election fraud are a “myth” and framing me and those who question it as delusional. That takes courage. I don’t think it is going to work, in the end, but one has to admire how they put their backs into the effort.  Youngsters reading this will scarcely believe it, but there was a time that news outlets like PBS performed a public service by questioning authority rather than engaging in apologetics for it.
  • Incremental Gain in Intellectual Honesty – Freudians and Marxists make a habit of not answering what their opponents say, but dwelling on what their hidden motives are for saying it. PBS did not do that. They did not question my motives. I think they make clear that they know I believe what I am saying. In general, they paint me as sincere, I think, though there were cheap shots taken in cuts to make those in the crowd look bad. I am not mistaken, near the end they may have implied that I stirred things up in early January 2021 deliberately in order to create a political movement, but if they made that point it was in a rather feeble and inconclusive way.

SLIPS OF INTELLECTUAL INTEGRITY were purveyed as well. The ones that follow matter most.

When the PBS interviewer told me of Professor Halderman’s criticisms of the Antrim report, I made a two part response, but PBS included only (the lesser) one. I told them that the central claim of the ASOG Antrim report has never received rebuttal: the Security Logs were deleted on November 4 at 11:03 PM (which means that the history of the machine became unreliable, casting doubt on anything then found on it).  I acknowledged also that the report had indeed been rushed (it was an around-the-clock affair for a group of cybersecurity professionals for about 6 days), so there were indeed mistakes (such as in in one spot confusing the abbreviation for Minnesota with that of Michigan)…. but that central claim had never been challenged, let alone refuted. Rather than include this point about the logs being deleted the night after the election (though it was a point about which I jumped up and down with them), they included merely the latter concession. This is one key spot their work lacks integrity.

Wrapped into that is the riddle of adjudication in Antrim in 2020. There was a 63% ballot error rate (NB this does not mean that 63% of ballots had to be adjudicated, but merely that 63% of ballots had irregularities, but some irregularities do not require adjudication [e.g., paper failure]). Still, it is a high error rate, and indicative of there having to be a lot of adjudication going on.

Yet there were no Adjudication Files on the machine for 2020. To that Halderman scoffs, But there was not even an Adjudication Module on the machine. It was done by hand! But his answer raises some questions: there were adjudication files on the machine for 2016 and 2018, but not 2020. Why? Were they in fact hand-adjudicated, or were they on that second machine in the Antrim County offices from which my cyber-colleagues were shielded (though their subpoena covered it)? Or, even if we accept Antrim at their word that (unlike 2016 and 2018) in 2020 they hand-adjudicated, one must ask about their hand-adjudication: while one acknowledges that the 63% ballot error rate does not directly translate into 63% of ballots having to have been adjudicate, it would be nice to know, to what percent did it translate?

In other words: the contention is that ASOG found a 63% ballot error rate, compared it to the national average of ballot adjudication rate of ≈1.0%, and erroneously compared the two numbers though their definitions are not the same. OK, fair enough. Then I ask: of the 63% of ballots with errors, who many did have to be adjudicated? No one will say, no one can see the records of the hand adjudication, no one will show proof that the adjudication was done by hand (and if so, why was 2020 different than 2016 or 2018?) and this is the first election of my lifetime where asking a question like that is considered seditious. Yet in its baseless apologetics for the Establishment, PBS lets all such issues slide.

The deeper failure of intellectual integrity, however, is to pretend that our case hinges simply upon the ASOG Antrim Report. There were dozens if not hundreds of leads pursued, and numerous ones passed upon or quickly redirected (e.g., South-Korean-Jet and Italygate). With the passage of time, the picture painted by those leads we developed in November-December 2020 has been confirmed in all the states in discussion, as I recently pointed out in my (warning: neologism alert) “prebuttal” (i.e., preview-rebuttal) to Pro Publica, “Doug Bock Clark Goes Full Baghdad Bob!” I am going to crib that recent work so that you will understand all the developments that were brought o the attention of PBS as well:

  • In Georgia:
    • A whistleblower has come forward describing his participation in a Georgia ballot stuffing scheme where he was paid $45,000 to stuff 4,500 ballots and claims he was average size out of 242 people doing the same in Georgia (“Georgia Ballot Trafficking Whistleblower Admits to Making $45,000 for Stuffing Ballot Boxes — Just One of 242 Traffickers”).
    • His story has been confirmed by an organization called True the Vote, which acquired 10 trillion cell phone pings from 5 states over the weeks before the election, and found the cell phone trails among voter drop boxes of a couple hundred people in Georgia (as well as four other states, incidentally) doing just what the whistleblower claimed.
    • The story has then also been reconfirmed by Dinesh D’Souza, who has obtained the videos from cameras guarding the drop-boxes, and found thousands of films of hundreds of people doing just what the whistleblower alleged (and snapping selfies at each drop-box so they can get paid), as is shown in his upcoming movie 2000 Mules (early May release).
    • All of which may tie into the fact that 2021, VoterGA reports that 74 counties in Georgia cannot produce ballot drop-box transfer forms and two counties have over 300,000 missing ballot images each.
    • A more recent report puts an end to any remaining questions of the severity of corruption within the Georgia Governor’s and Secretary of State’s offices.
    • Which may give some color to the fact that on December 17, 2020, Georgia State Senator William Ligon (Chairman of Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Election Law) issued a detailed report discussing a myriad of voting irregularities and fraud in the Georgia 2020 general election (from the Executive Summary: “[t]he November 3, 2020 General Election was chaotic and any reported results must be viewed as untrustworthy”).
  • In Michigan
    • A Michigan Court of Claims decision of March 9 2021 “invalidates absentee/mail-in ballot rule as improperly established” (a ballot rule that five months earlier, in November 2020, had affected 3.2 million votes). They found also that “actions of the Secretary of State Benson’s guidance regarding mail-in ballots and signatures were also “unlawful”. From the Court’s decision:
      • Benson’s guidance, issued on October 6, 2020, directed local clerks to treat signatures as valid if there are “any redeeming qualities in the application or return envelope signature as compared to the signature on file.” “Redeeming qualities” are described as including, but not being limited to, “similar distinctive flourishes” and “more matching features than non-matching features.” Allegan County Clerk Robert Genetski and the Republican Party of Michigan filed suit against Benson, alleging that her guidance violated the state’s election laws and the Administrative Procedures Act. The plaintiffs asked that the court strike down the guidance as unlawful and enjoin its enforcement in future elections.
      • Murray sided with the plaintiffs, finding that Benson’s guidance was in fact a rule “that should have been promulgated in accordance with the APA. And absent compliance with the APA, the ‘rule’ is invalid.”
    • The original Antrim County Michigan Report from ASOG, the official response to it by Michigan, and the flaws in that official response including:
      • It never addressed the central finding of the ASOG report: that Antrim deleted their Security Logs at 11:03 PM, November 4, 2020 (thus in the end nothing can be known with certainty, because they could have done anything to the machine and then just deleted the Security Log);
      • Explanation for the lack of any Adjudication Files (though the files for 2016 and 2018 were present on the machine).
  • In Wisconsin
    • A Wisconsin Supreme Court decision of December 2020 that the actions of the Wisconsin Election Commission regarding “indefinitely confined” voters were unlawful.
    • Retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice and now Senate Office of Special Counsel Judge Michael Gableman published a report in December 2021 claiming that Wisconsin election officials were engaged in a coverup, and a more recent report that gives eight solid accounts of serious criminal conduct, bribery, shocking revelations of private actors/activists trusted with official roles, a conclusion that the Wisconsin election should never have been certified, and a suggestion that decertification should be considered (naturally the MSM focused on dismissing the decertification suggestion and ignoring everything else in the report).
    • However, coverage of this shocking development is seeping into the edge of MSM, with “Wisconsin Special Counsel Finds ‘Widespread Election Fraud’ In Nursing Homes During 2020 Election” appearing in Federalist Papers and Tucker Carlson playing a four minute interview with Judge Gableman:
  • In Arizona:
    • the Maricopa Audit, found that of Maricopa’s 2.1 million ballots, there are serious discrepancies (i.e., missing ballots and/or images) for 367,584 ballots (in a race won by 10k votes). A full 740k do not have a proper chain of title. But only if you count them all does Biden win by 10,000 (which our dutiful “independent” press reported as “Maricopa Audit shows Biden still won by 10,000!”).
    • A Pima County, Arizona canvass that shows so many laughable irregularities (e.g., 35% of households have “discrepancies” such as a fraternity generating 27 votes from men of average age 45 whose names are not recognized by those who live there) that it has been mathematically proven that Pima County (Tucson) Arizona is a stellar example of election fraud.
  • In Colorado, a Mesa County, Colorado forensic analysis of its election  equipment reveals that the November 2020 election has been 100% wiped out so that there is no way to audit it, as well as proof that before it was wiped, the hard drive showed that the November 2020 election had been compromised, with multiple election databases and an injection of 29,000 ballots.

PBS simply assumes away all such evidence. For them, it does not exist. It is rather a clever trick, that: not subtle, but one has to admire the brazenness (and the advantage of Information Dominance, again). I know that the medium of television has its limitations, but assuming away this mountain of evidence in favor of pettifoggery over a report compiled in an emergency situation weeks after the election (and doing so with chicanery, as I have catalogued above) is intellectually dishonest. It is Baghdad Bob-ism.

So while I give PBS credit for some aspects of the documentary, as I mentioned initially, for the reasons I have walked through I believe they committed intellectual chicaneries. I do not think it was random, either: I think it is done precisely at the base of what should have been their argument. Because they have assumed away all the contrary evidence, they reveal what is really their core assumption, that the election integrity movement is based on “a myth”. I call it an assumption because if it were a conclusion they would have provide argument for it against the mountain of evidence and events just cited. Because they neither mention such evidence nor argue against it, one can only see their claim as an assumption.

THE PHILOSOPHICAL LEGERDEMAIN of PBS simply assuming what PBS should instead be trying to prove brings opportunity to disabuse my readers of an infelicity of language frequently encountered, and that is misuse of the phrase, “begging the question”. To “beg a question” does not mean, “to raise a question” (as people generally use the expression). Instead it means, “to take the conclusion of one’s argument, the thing one is trying to prove, and making it one’s assumption.” That is truly what the expression means, and the PBS documentary provides beautiful illustration of this. They came to the election integrity issue with the assumption that “election integrity issues are a myth” then they then spent 53 minutes “proving” that there is no election integrity issue through the simple artifice of screening out the massive amount of evidence developed that contradicts their viewpoint (as well as selectivity and pettifoggery in their discussion of Antrim). Please note that it is easy to “prove” something when one gets to start off by assuming it is true then excluding all contrary evidence.

However, I have a fondness for the PBS team.  Perhaps it is their courage and their small improvement in intellectual honesty, described above. For that reason I would be willing to continue interacting with PBS, but only in a live setting, which PBS will never do because deep down they are locker room heroes, afraid to test themselves in live play.

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  1. Boy, that is a lot of words! You are too generous. I give them a “D” because they showed your offer to apologize if the machines are opened and nothing is found but then completely ignored any means to make that happen.

  2. One thing is for certain, this should be a debate topic in every election until it is addressed. Whether you believe there was mischief or whether you are naive, the simple fact is we have a system that is overly complicated. I mean how can anyone argue against that? It is ludicrous in a time where we have the technology that we currently possess that we can’t vote in an EXTREMELY simplified manner. I walked into the place where I voted in 2020 with a mask on, didn’t need to show an I.D. Just gave them a name and address and was told where to go. There was ZERO verification. I could have given them any name with a coinciding address and would have been able to vote as someone else. At the very least this should be an opportunity to open people’s minds about ushering in the 21st century and having a remote voting system that is more professional than what we have now. If this next election was run like the one in 2020, I for one would not vote, and I think more people would feel that way too.

  3. Interesting take on their insidious reporting.
    You’re fairly certain that they were courageous
    and not just continuing their coverup of the massive
    Election fraud to protect the criminals?

  4. Your original premise was that the machines flipped votes systematically and on a huge scale. That’s absent here. Is it because you’re being sued $1.3B for saying that?

    This feels like the “packet captures”.

  5. I see this as a big feather in your cap Mr Byrne.. YES they did some slander and got some things wrong but the message of love and kindness/facts came thru clear as a bell. Bravo!. Now the intelligent ones that don’t know about your work are hopefully learning truth from fiction.
    Godspeed Sir!

  6. Mr Byrne, if you were to grade this report so conveniently cobbled together by the PBS team I believe you would award some credit for their producing the work. That is analogous to getting a trophy for making an appearance at the game after the end whistle. The PBS team failed to validate or dispute your main points in any logical manner. I completely understand your desire to leave an escape route for those in media and government a path to recompense. At this point after all that has occurred since November 2016, the offer to repent has been well and truely taken off the table. Treason, sedition within the SES, DOJ, FBI and intelligence community at the highest levels, is now blatantly obvious. A simple one. Low hanging fruit. How is Robert Storch the IG of the DoD ? why is he not in jail ? he oversaw the data over collection of the Trump White House to third party contractors. The access to the WH servers by a service provider that was only the wee tip of the iceberg. The rat lines are down, let them all drown.

  7. It was quite obvious that PBS is biased! They didn’t have the same in depth interviews for those who think the election to be fraudulent as they did for those who thot it was a safe and fair election. They also did not address the ballots coming out from under tables or the ballots arriving in the middle of the night in vans! They also didn’t address Wisconsin senior home residents voting this last election when in reality those same residents have been unable to vote due to declining health of mental faculties. They also used the word “myth” many times!
    I’ve never been fond of PBS because they’ve always leaned to the more liberal side and you only hear what they want you to hear.
    Thank you Patrick! You did good!

  8. One only has to ask the question of why there are more votes than registered voters in each of the critical areas, and why there is such a fight to keep an audit from actually occurring.

    What is there to hide?

    Doesn’t PBS desire truth? Or did that end up on the cutting room floor?

    The PBS piece focused on personalities, mistakes made in a single report, and the premise of a myth to establish a confirmation bias that SOUNDS plausible, but even the selection of shots of slack-jawed people at a Trump rally in AZ were chosen to portray a dumb, blindly obedient and sadly misled populace, while they (the media elite) cluck their tongues and point their crooked fingers of scorn at people, while denigrating any who DARE challenge the results of an election that billions of people around the world can see was rigged.

    After all, a huge spike for Biden, with nary a vote for Trump after counting was stopped in several swing states in the middle of the night STILL eludes a mathematical or logical explanation, once one sees the infinitely small (asymptotically zero) odds necessary to have that happen

  9. Fitting today is April 1 , Your analysis of The PBS sham was gracious , you are a gentleman in a game of Go…
    Never underestimate your opponent, stategy …what exactly was their motive ? Was it to discredit you? Was it to accuse you of stirring trouble? What audience was thisbPBS piece really made for ? The funders of this piece are the ones trying to see how they can suppress and destroy the true facts , we know who is in control. We must support every effort to safe guard Our Fundamental Voting Rights as stated in The Constitution….JUST OPEN THOSE BOXES!!!!

  10. Dear Mr. Byrne. I saw the PBS program twice. It is outstanding, first rate. Did you read the man who secured our election see the tweet from the Homeland Security Chris Krebs wrote extensively about this and this of many tweets on Twitter about it from 1.19.20 Do not conflate voting system security and SolarWinds. The proof is in the paper. You can audit or recount again to confirm the outcome. Like they did in Georgia. And Michigan. And Wisconsin. And Arizona. Can’t hack paper.
    1:10 PM · Dec 19, 2020·Twitter Web App https://twitter.com/c_c_krebs/status/1340358772540100609

  11. One just has to step back and look at what PBS Frontline has done since the election of 2020, if not further back. The entirety of their work has STRONG liberal, anti-Trump bias. So how can we take anything they report as legitimate? I wrote them off years back as ZERO integrity. Too many liberals take FRONTLINE as gospel so this episode has probably done more damage than good in getting any closer to transparency around the elections.

  12. Regarding election integrity,I don’t see any better way than a system where every voter gets a receipt for their votes that have a unique serial number immediately after voting.

    Hope that more people will start to demand fair,accurate and transparent elections in which EVERY CITIZEN CAN VERIFY THEIR VOTES WERE COUNTED ACCURATELY.

    You get a receipt for buying a pack of gum,but not for your votes?
    Does this make sense to you??

    It seems to me the solution would be a voting system that perhaps had both an electronic,blockchain vote AND a paper vote cast simultaneously in which the electronic ballots and paper ballots were counted separately to expose any discrepancies / fraud.

    Voatz system seems to be a good solution which accomplishes this which I first heard about years ago when Patrick Byrne mentioned it when he was CEO of Overstock.

    Does anyone really believe that people involved in politics and elections (or people in general) are fair,honest and unbiased and they should just be trusted “counting” votes using the current election systems ?

    Who in the world,other than corrupt,dishonest people, would be against an election system where every voter could verify their vote was counted accurately??

    Here is excerpt from Voatz website:

    “HOW VOATZ WORKS How do voters confirm that their votes are counted? Once a voter submits a ballot, three distinct records are created that allow a voter to verify their vote is recorded and counted as they intended.
    Ballot Receipt: Soon after voting, a voter receives an encrypted, anonymized receipt to verify their selections. This receipt is password protected and signed with an anonymous ID (only the voter knows this password and anonymous ID).
    Paper Ballot: A paper ballot is generated and printed at the jurisdiction for tabulation. This paper ballot is signed with the same anonymous ID, and this paper ballot constitutes the record being counted.
    Blockchain Record: All ballot selections pass through multiple, distributed nodes on a public-permissioned blockchain network. If the votes pass all checks, they are stored as a tamper-resistant record alongside all other votes.”

    “There is an additional step a voter can take to verify their vote(s). Once the election closes, the voter has the opportunity to participate in a public citizens’ audit, where all ballot receipts, paper ballots and blockchain data are compared to ensure voter intent is reflected in the overall election count. For more information about the Voatz post-election audit process, view the video on the Security & Technology page of our website.”

    https://voatz.com/how-it-works/

    https://new.voatz.com/2019/10/03/when-you-vote-how-do-you-know-it-counts/

    1. In addition to getting a receipt for your votes,achieving election integrity may even require that voters in each state and city have a system where they record their vote receipts on an independent ledger that is made public as a back up.

      It may sound like overkill,but at this point I don’t see how anyone can trust anything about our current election systems and extreme measures may need to be taken to ensure election integrity.

  13. I don’t see any better way than a voting system where every voter gets a receipt for their votes that have a unique serial number.

    Hope that more people will start to demand fair,accurate and transparent elections in which EVERY CITIZEN CAN VERIFY THEIR VOTES WERE COUNTED ACCURATELY.

    You get a receipt for buying a pack of gum,but not for your votes?
    Does this make sense to you??

    It seems to me the solution would be a voting system that perhaps had both an electronic,blockchain vote AND a paper vote cast simultaneously in which the electronic ballots and paper ballots were counted separately to expose any discrepancies / fraud.

    Voatz system seems to be a good solution which accomplishes this which I first heard about years ago when Patrick Byrne mentioned it when he was CEO of Overstock.

    Does anyone really believe that people involved in politics and elections (or people in general) are fair,honest and unbiased and they should just be trusted “counting” votes using the current election systems ?

    Who in the world,other than corrupt,dishonest people, would be against an election system where every voter could verify their vote was counted accurately??

    Here is excerpt from Voatz website:

    “HOW VOATZ WORKS How do voters confirm that their votes are counted? Once a voter submits a ballot, three distinct records are created that allow a voter to verify their vote is recorded and counted as they intended.
    Ballot Receipt: Soon after voting, a voter receives an encrypted, anonymized receipt to verify their selections. This receipt is password protected and signed with an anonymous ID (only the voter knows this password and anonymous ID).
    Paper Ballot: A paper ballot is generated and printed at the jurisdiction for tabulation. This paper ballot is signed with the same anonymous ID, and this paper ballot constitutes the record being counted.
    Blockchain Record: All ballot selections pass through multiple, distributed nodes on a public-permissioned blockchain network. If the votes pass all checks, they are stored as a tamper-resistant record alongside all other votes.”

    “There is an additional step a voter can take to verify their vote(s). Once the election closes, the voter has the opportunity to participate in a public citizens’ audit, where all ballot receipts, paper ballots and blockchain data are compared to ensure voter intent is reflected in the overall election count. For more information about the Voatz post-election audit process, view the video on the Security & Technology page of our website.”

  14. Thanks for a good proper perspective on PBS ignoring the “nitty gritty” evidence.

    I also thought I knew & could trust a lead reporter from our specific local PBS. Back in the early 2000s when I was at our capitol bldg as a “non-paid” private citizen presenting against the glamorization of gross tax extension regardless of the service … there were major signs of no longer being able to trust that individual.

    Then starting in about 2010 … when I saw the maneuver by the Biden-Obama-RINO’s combined crews to misinform about properly adjusting for inflation (higher denomination coins) … destroying the availability of dollar coins through a long list of … albeit sometimes subtle … impediments. PBS & again my local formerly trusted by me … lead reporter … showed his true colors.

  15. “NB this does not mean that 63% of ballots had to be adjudicated, but merely that 63% of ballots had irregularities, but some irregularities do not require adjudication [e.g., paper failure]”

    NO IT DOESN’T. That ridiculous percentage calculated in that “report” is not a percentage of ballots, adjudicated or otherwise. After all this time, and after all the time you’ve had with this information, that you’re still unable to understand this basic fact points to a major issue with Patrick Byrne and his analysis – he’s just not that bright.

  16. @Anonymous

    “NO IT DOESN’T. That ridiculous percentage calculated in that “report” is not a percentage of ballots, adjudicated or otherwise.”

    Well what DOES the 63% represent? Enlighten us. You’re doing the same thing as the rest of the shills. Making a statement with nothing to back it up. Saying something without even an explanation doesn’t debunk anything. In fact, you’re statement that Patrick is “not that bright” pretty much relieved you of any credibility you thought you might have had. The man holds a PhD in Philosophy, and built a company that he sold for 10s of millions of dollars. Just like every other “not that bright” person does right? I’m pretty sure that statement was proof of who the intellectual lightweight is. Your whole statement is all gas, and no flame…

    1. You know you could spend about 2 minutes and look this up. You can read all about in on page 41: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Antrim_720623_7.pdf

      If you still don’t understand, let me know, and I can answer questions. I also have a Ph.D., and I’ve met enough Ph.D.s in philosophy that anybody who thinks that means you’re smart is a moron.

      In any event, the “error rate” calculation is explained, in detail, on page 41 of the linked report. If you can understand that explanation, you’ll be one step ahead of Patrick Byrne, who’s not very bright.

    2. You know, you could just Google this. It’s described on page 41. Let me know if you have any questions – https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Antrim_720623_7.pdf

      I’ve also got a PhD, and I’ve known enough to know it’s not that impressive. If you think having a humanities PhD makes you bright, then you’re not. I’ve concluded Patrick is not that bright based upon the frequency of concepts he doesn’t understand.

      1. Weird. The site wasn’t posting my previous comment, so I replied again, and now it’s posting both. Not sure why.

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