Saturday, December 27, 2008

Life Goes On

A few things have been on my mind a lot lately.

The first is the somewhat suspicious death of Mike Connell. Connell was the technical guru for Karl Rove, and as such ran Bush's online operations during the 2004 elections. He provided the same service for John McCain this election season.

The day before the election, November 3rd 2008, Connell was removed from his position as the administrator of a Ohio website responsible for providing live election results. This is part of a ongoing court case first brought against Connell in August 2006, which alleges racially based vote tampering, and voter fraud.

The case was brought by Clifford Arnebeck and Robert Fitrakis, two Ohio attourneys who have testified that Connell funnelled electronic voting data through private servers before they were processed. The servers belonged to SmarTech Inc., a Tennessee IT company that has done more than $5 million in business with the republican party, including hosting the 2004 Bush/Cheney website, and is listed as donating between $2,500 and $2 million to the New York City Host Committee, which organized the republican national convention in 2004.

What is very interesting here is that the whistleblower in the case in a man named Steven Spoonamore, a computer security expert who happens to be a very conservative republican. Spoonamore, who has worked with many large banks and credit card companies, says that anytime sensitive data goes through a private computer, it almost certainly means fraud has been perpetrated.

Connell also created the private White House email accounts that were used to discuss that illegal, politically motivated hiring and firing of US District attorneys under former attorney general Alberto Gonzalez.

This is where it gets crazy. In a letter dated July 24th, 2008, Arnebeck sent a letter to US Attonrney General Mike Mukasey, stating that "a source we believe to be credible" informed him that Karl Rove threatened Connell's wife, a washington lobbyist, with prosecution for lobbying violations unless Connell agreed to "take the fall."

The text of that letter is availible here:

On the 19th of December, 8 days ago, Connell died in a plane crash. The Velvet Revolution, a non-profit voter protection group, stated following Connell's death that he had recently said he was afraid George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus."

This is a quote from Mike Crispin Miller, proffessor of media culture and communication at New York University, from his interview on Democracy Now (link below).

[Miller] "Well, I cannot assert with perfect confidence that this was no accident, but I will say that the circumstances are so suspicious and so convenient for Rove and the White House that I think we’re obliged to investigate this thing very, very thoroughly. And that means, first of all, taking a close look at some of the stories that were immediately circulated to account for what happened, that it was bad weather.
That was the line they used when Wellstone’s plane went down. There had been bad weather, but it had passed two hours before. And this comes from a woman at the airport information desk in Akron. We’re told that his plane was running out of gas, which is a little bit odd for a highly experienced pilot like Connell, but apparently, when the plane went down, there was an explosion, a fireball that actually charred and pocked some of the house fronts in the neighborhood. People can go online and see the footage that news crews took. But beyond the, you know, dubiousness of the official story, we have to take a close look at—and a serious look at all the charges that Connell was set to make."

This whole thing stinks.
Read about some other suspicious deaths, like Karen Silkwood, a union activist, and Paul Wellstone, the senator from Minnesota.

Sources and Additional Reading:
The BRAD BLOG : BREAKING: Federal Judge Compels GOP IT Guru Mike Connell To Give Deposition in Ohio '04 Election Case

Democracy Now! | Republican IT Specialist Dies in Plane Crash

Washblog || Michael Connell, Rove's IT Consultant, Dies In Plane Crash

SMARTech Corporation - SourceWatch

This has been my break! So relaxing.

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