Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Meet Mike Connell, McCain's Computerized Vote Theft Specialist

Halloween might be over, but there's still one in costume, running around scaring the hell out of voters, a MARGE TARTAGLIONE (D), Chairwoman, Philadelphia Voting Commission, who's featured in the video.

If you ever wondered what arrogance and condescension looked like in the flesh, Marge will show you an excellent example.

From a story on Democracy Now:

On Eve of Election Day, Is the Nation's Voting System Ready? Reports of Irregularities Pour in from Across US in Record Early Voting

It involves shunting the data that comes from the website for the Secretary of State—I mean, the election returns—taking those election returns as they come to the website in real-time and shunting them to a computer somewhere else. What happened in 2004 was the election returns from Ken Blackwell’s website were shunted to a computer in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, under the control of a very partisan private company to which Connell was connected. The data was shunted to this strange computer in Chattanooga and then directed back to the Secretary of State’s website. As Connell—I mean, sorry, as Spoonamore has said, the only purpose of doing this Man in the Middle thing is to commit crime.



Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media culture and communication at New York University. He is the author of several books, most recently Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000–2008. His previous book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Thanks for having me back, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s start where I haven’t seen much mention, and that is this man, Mike Connell, in Ohio, testifying. Who is he? What is his relevance to the big day, to Election Day tomorrow?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Yeah, this event in a courtroom in Columbus may be one of the most important things to happen in this whole election and may be one of the most important things to happen in American history. I mean, this sounds hyperbolic, I know, but it is true.

Mike Connell is—has been named as Karl Rove’s computer guru since 2000. The lawyers in the case refer to Connell as a high-IQ Forrest Gump, because he’s been on the scene of every dubious election we’ve had over the last eight years, starting with Florida 2000.

Now, he has been named by a man named Stephen Spoonamore, S-P-O-O-N-A-M-O-R-E, who’s a very unusual and particularly unimpeachable kind of whistleblower. He’s a conservative Republican; he’s a former McCain supporter. But above all, he is a renowned and highly successful expert at the detection of computer fraud. He works for big banks. He works for foreign governments, the Secret Service. His job is to figure out how computers are used to steal money or information or votes. Well, he’s named a lot of people in the Bush-Cheney election subversion conspiracy. He has worked with them. He knows them personally. And months ago, he named Mike Connell and his company GovTech Solutions as having played a crucial role in the—basically the electronic subversion of the vote in Ohio in 2004. And Spoonamore has actually described the computer architecture that was used to do this.

Now, on the strength of this testimony, the lawyers in the case had the judge issue a subpoena to Mike Connell last week. Connell defied the subpoena; he was in contempt. Late last week, the lawyers filed a motion to compel compliance, and to everyone’s surprise and delight, the judge ordered Connell to appear today and to be deposed for two hours about his role in this longstanding electronic plot, basically, to flip votes towards the Republicans.


Some of this deposition will be sealed, and I have to tell you the part that’ll be sealed. Apparently, Rove has threatened Connell. He told him that if Connell did not take the fall for this whole thing, the Department of Justice would start investigating Connell’s wife Heather for improper lobbying practices. Now, that part of the deposition we’re not going to know the answers to. But what’s astonishing to me—

AMY GOODMAN: Who does she lobby for?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Various politicians and so on. Whether she’s guilty or innocent is beside the point, because, as we know, the Department of Justice is a cudgel in the collective hands of the Bush administration. This would be more selective prosecution.

But what’s really astonishing here is that Karl Rove could make that threat with such impunity. This shut Connell up, and he was, you know, earlier inclined to talk about what was going on. Then he got himself three very expensive Republican attorneys who promised that they would make sure he could not be deposed before Election Day. Well, hallelujah, he’s being deposed before Election Day. And the reason why—

AMY GOODMAN: Today.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Today. The reason why this is so important and the strategy behind the early part of this case all along has been that if we can shine a spotlight on the perpetrators of this kind of fraud before Election Day, make them nervous, make them pull in their horns, distract them, there’s a good chance that they might not try to do what they’re clearly ready to do, because, let me just add, Connell is on the McCain payroll. He’s working for McCain right now, and he specializes in a particular kind of computer architecture whose only purpose, Spoonamore says, is to steal votes.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go back to two issues. One, how do you know Karl Rove made these threats? That’s a very strong allegation.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, it is a very strong allegation that comes from the lawyers that the lawyers were evidently told by Connell or someone close to him. But this stuff has been on the website of Velvet Revolution. Raw Story has reported it. The media, however, has remained over-focused, of course, on ACORN, which is a nothing story. But let me make clear that the brouhaha over ACORN, right, this orchestrated propaganda drive about ACORN, has many distracting purposes, and one of them, I promise you, is to distract us from this case. This case is an Ohio RICO case. Well, lately, the Republicans filed an Ohio RICO case against ACORN. And I think the purpose—

AMY GOODMAN: RICO, meaning racketeering?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: It’s a racketeering case. Ohio has the strongest racketeering statute in the country. This is one of the reasons why the lawyers decided to go there and do this.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean he specializes in the computer architecture, the internet architecture, that can steal elections?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, it’s a system—if people go to the website for Velvet Revolution, particularly www.rovecybergate.com, they’ll find the documents that Spoonamore has filed describing the setup that’s known as “Man in the Middle.” This happened in Ohio in 2004.

It involves shunting the data that comes from the website for the Secretary of State—I mean, the election returns—taking those election returns as they come to the website in real-time and shunting them to a computer somewhere else. What happened in 2004 was the election returns from Ken Blackwell’s website were shunted to a computer in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, under the control of a very partisan private company to which Connell was connected. The data was shunted to this strange computer in Chattanooga and then directed back to the Secretary of State’s website. As Connell—I mean, sorry, as Spoonamore has said, the only purpose of doing this Man in the Middle thing is to commit crime.

Bev Harris of Black Box Voting has lately reported that there are similar Man in the Middle setups in Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky. So it’s very important that tomorrow, when we’re out there engaging in election protection and working to make the turnout as large as it possibly can be, because the larger the turnout, the harder the theft, people have to be paying very close attention to the numbers. They have to be watching the traffic at different precincts, and so on.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the issue of voting all over the country. What have—you’re following it very closely. You’re going to be with us Tuesday night for our five-hour broadcast, to be monitoring what’s happening in all the states, especially the key swing battleground states. What have you learned? It’s estimated about a quarter of people have already voted.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Yes, an astonishing number of people have voted. And I take that as very good news, not because that necessarily ensures their votes will be safe; I take it as good news because it indicates to me that an awful lot of Americans understand that the voting apparatus that we have out there is untrustworthy, and they’re taking, you know, special steps to see to it that their votes count.

But what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks is basically a replay, on steroids, if you will, of what we saw in 2004—vote flipping by machines in West Virginia, Texas, Tennessee and Missouri, that we know of. And let me make something clear, Amy. All the flips go in one direction. It’s all from Obama either to McCain or to Cynthia McKinney, as it happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Fair Use Notice

This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance the understanding of humanity's problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. A click on a hyperlink is a request for information. Consistent with this notice you are welcome to make 'fair use' of anything you find on this web site. However, if you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. You can read more about 'fair use' and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School. This notice was modified from a similar notice at Information Clearing House.

Blog Archive