Elections & Voting
Killing hope: Cover-up of the stolen 2004 election
By Pete Johnson
Online Journal Guest Writer

Jan 5, 2009, 00:26

Any hope of prosecuting the perpetrators of the stolen 2004 presidential election ended when Mike Connell died Dec 19 in a plane crash.

As reported in Raw Story �Connell is a long-time GOP operative, whose New Media Communications provided web services for the Bush-Cheney �04 campaign, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Republican National Committee and many Republican candidates.�

One day before the 2008 presidential election, attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis, working on the King-Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell lawsuit, deposed Connell regarding the role of Connell�s company, New Media Communications, in collaboration with SMARTtech and Triad in Ohio�s 2004 election. After the 2004 presidential election, a movement of election rights activists concluded that the election had been stolen. Exit polls, designed to be accurate within 1 percent, were off 8.8 percent in Ohio, which was a consistent pattern in swing states. Steve Freeman�s book �Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen� explains in great detail the anomalies in the election results, and why the exit polls were accurate. The exit poll discrepancy was the red flag indicating a fraudulent election, but the mainstream media looked the other way and sought to discredit the exit polls.

The numerical evidence in combination with a serious distrust of electronic voting fueled a vigorous election reform movement. But the method used to steal the election remained a mystery. Although citizen activists immersed in the subject were and are very much opposed to electronic touch screen voting, many of the problematic counties voted on punch card systems. How did the results change between 11 PM and 1 AM on the night of the election?

On a cold and wet election day 2004, thousands of voters were disenfranchised by lines four to 10 hours long. Prior to election day, low income and black voters were selectively purged from the rolls. Voting machines switched votes from Kerry to Bush in Mahoning County. Impossible voter turnouts were recorded in several precincts. Entire inner city precincts in Cleveland voted for third party candidates due to ballot design or intentional malfeasance. However, none of this was enough to swing the vote. Electronic theft at the tabulation level was required to secure the presidency for George W. Bush.

Many American�s are only vaguely aware that John Kerry would have won a fair election in Ohio. Officially, George Bush won the election by 118,601 votes in Ohio. Ohio was the key swing state that determined the results of the national election.

Few Americans know Mike Connell or Stephen Spoonamore. Spoonamore is a recognized expert in the field of data security and digital network architecture. Early this summer, Republican cyber-expert Spoonamore submitted an affidavit in the King- Lincoln federal court case. Spoonamore designed or consulted for MasterCard, American Express, Chubb Insurance, Bloomberg, Boeing, NBC-GE, NewsCorp, the US Department of Energy, the US Navy, the US Department of State and other government agencies, according to the affidavit filed in federal court.

Mr. Spoonamore testified that the �vote tabulation system. . . . allowed the introduction of a single computer� between computer A and computer B. This is called a �man in the middle� attack. According to Spoonamore, �This centralized collection of all incoming statewide tabulations would make it easy for a single operator, or a preprogrammed �force balancing computer� to change the results in any way desired by the team controlling computer C.� Spoonamore�s complete testimony describes his relationship with and knowledge of Connell, the computer expert who built system servers which served the Republican National Committee, and Karl Rove.

Now recall that on election day 2004, when candidates normally pace nervously while awaiting a long night watching election returns, George W Bush and Karl Rove boarded Air Force One for an unscheduled visit to Columbus Ohio. Kerry supporters working in downtown Columbus recognized that this was a scary development. What to make of it? The Dispatch reported that the president and Rove came to Columbus to encourage the folks working the call center, and indeed Bush did tour the call center. Rove and Bush met with Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Blackwell controlled Computer B in the scenario described by Spoonamore, in addition to serving as the co-chair of the Bush/Cheney campaign while also serving as the chief election officer as secretary of state. Also, the Free Press has learned that Connell reportedly sent the Ohio Secretary of State�s chief IT officer, Bob Magnan, home at 9 p.m. on election night, leaving partisan private contractors in charge of the state�s official election count.

But why did Bush/Rove really make an unscheduled visit to Columbus? We may never know, but consider this scenario. Bush/Rove realized that Bush would lose Ohio, but by a small margin. The infrastructure was set up to steal the election. So Rove called Ken Blackwell to inform him that his people were prepared to pull the trigger at the tabulation level. Ken Blackwell, concerned about a long prison sentence, balked. Possibly Blackwell asked for the visit to Columbus, more likely Rove insisted upon it in order to pressure or reassure Blackwell. In either case, the unscheduled visit put Rove and Bush at the scene of the crime. Via tape recorded conversations or simply by making notes of the meeting, Blackwell had ensured that he would have cover at the highest levels.

It appears that Connell�s IT apparatus, using the methods described in Spoonamore�s affidavit, focused on the three southwestern counties of Warren, Belmont, and Clermont. Bush�s total margin of victory was achieved through these three counties. As first reported in the Free Press, additional analysis by Richard Hayes Phillips documented that votes were switched in these three counties as well as Auglaize, Brown, Darke, Highland, Mercer, Miami, Putnam, Shelby, Van Wert, and Delaware counties.

One of the favorite methods of explaining away a conspiracy is to offer that, if it were a conspiracy, someone would talk. Students of the JFK assassination know well the trail of 20 or more dead bodies of people with knowledge of that history-changing event.

One day before the 2008 presidential election, attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis deposed Mr. Mike Connell. For all practical purposes, Connell refused to answer. However, reporter Larisa Alexandrovna reports that Mr. Connell was a source; that he may have been willing to talk. It is certain that he was threatened, as witness protection was requested from the US Attorney General and Ohio Attorney General via the attorneys. Connell was concerned that the White House would throw him under the bus, according to a credible source. Both Connell and Spoonamore approached the House Judiciary Committee about testifying regarding the 2004 election.

The alternative media group ePluribus Media discovered in November 2006 that election.sos.state.oh.us was hosted on the servers of a company in Chattanooga, Tenn., called SmarTech, which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican Internet domains. Also Connell�s IT work in Ohio during the 2004 election involved bringing in SMARTtech and Triad to run the state�s vote count. Connell�s involvement in creating Ohio�s official state election website, in combination with his other partisan activities, raises questions in and of itself. Connell was involved in Karl Rove�s missing emails which would clarify Rove�s involvement in the Justice Department firing of eight US attorneys. In addition, Connell was involved in the political prosecution of Alabama Governor Don Siegleman, as well as hosting the website for �Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.�

Possibly Connell was not a conspiracy realist. Maybe he had not studied the recent plane crash deaths of Senator Paul Wellstone, Senator Mel Carnahan and John F. Kennedy, Jr. He may have not have been aware of other political assassinations by plane crashes in Mexico, Rawanda, Ecuador and Panama. But he did cancel two flights in the past two months due to �suspicious problems� with his plane.

Initial crash reports speculated on poor weather. Another claimed wrongly that he ran out of gas, despite the explosion on impact. Further investigation revealed that Connell had declared an emergency as he approached the airport for a second time, evidently being unable to make a course correction when notified by the tower that he was �left of course.� An eyewitness stated that Connell was flying down towards the ground. Records from the air traffic controllers document that they instructed him to climb up to 3,000 feet.

If a conspiracy existed to steal the 2004 presidential election by intercepting the votes as they were transmitted from the county Boards of Election to the Ohio Secretary of State, someone would have talked. Unless of course, that someone was dead. Chances are good that Connell saved electronic data to protect himself. The question is, does Connell have friends who are courageous enough to see that justice is done on his behalf?

In all likelihood, Connell�s death moved the 2004 stolen election from being a solvable case, proved beyond a reasonable doubt to the general public, into a different category. Now it will become another of history�s mysteries, along with the political assassinations of the 1960s, the October Surprise, the Iran Contra scandal, and so many other events.

To paraphrase author Martin Schotz, the public will be allowed to believe that the 2004 presidential election was stolen, but we will not be allowed to know it. Because knowing it would mean that we have the responsibility to do something about it.

This article originally appeared in The Free Press.

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