Sunday, December 21, 2008

You may recall...

...that in his book "Freedomnomics" which we analyzed chapter by chapter here in a similar manner as we are disucssing Decline of the West, John Lott had a slight advantage over Oswald Spengler - he's alive, so he could read and post replies to the comments I posted about his book, and he did.

One of the items of discussion was whether or not Electronic Voting machines could be tampered with in any way and the results skewed. I gave an example of my own experience as a poll worker, at how when they set, reset, or fixed bugs or malfunctions in the machines, the tech guys did so by means of laptop computers which they transported from polling place to polling place as necessary to fix problems and were or could be connected by WiFi to the internet all day during the election. John's position was that somehow, on this issue, the Market was "wrong" because the widespread belief that electronic voting could be rigged was simply paranoia.

Enter Mike Connell. His story should scare anyone who thinks we don't have a moneyed elite in this country that is above the law. As Drew put it:

Rove's IT Guru dies after his plane runs out of gas. It's not like he was about to testify or anything, though... oh, he was? Well, he certainly didn't cross Rove, right? What's that, he did?

For purposes of this post, however, we're more interested in just what made Mr. Connell such a dangerous person to testify in federal court.

'Karl Rove's IT guru' Mike Connell dies in plane crash
Published: Saturday December 20, 2008

...The interest in Mike Connell stems from his association with a firm called GovTech, which he had spun off from his own New Media Communications under his wife Heather Connell’s name. GovTech was hired by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to set up an official election website at to presented the 2004 presidential returns as they came in.

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. This in itself might have raised questions about his involvement in creating Ohio’s official state election website.

However, the alternative media group ePlubibus Media further discovered in November 2006 that was hosted on the servers of a company in Chattanooga, TN called SmarTech, which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican Internet domains.

“Since early this decade, top Internet ‘gurus’ in Ohio have been coordinating web services with their GOP counterparts in Chattanooga, wiring up a major hub that in 2004, first served as a conduit for Ohio's live election night results,” researchers at ePluribus Media wrote.

A few months after this revelation, when a scandal erupted surrounding the firing of US Attorneys for reasons of White House policy, other researchers found that the gwb43 domain used by members of the White House staff to evade freedom of information laws by sending emails outside of official White House channels was hosted on those same SmarTech servers.

Given that the Bush White House used SmarTech servers to send and receive email, the use of one of those servers in tabulating Ohio’s election returns has raised eyebrows. Ohio gave Bush the decisive margin in the Electoral College to secure his reelection in 2004.

IT expert Stephen Spoonamore says the SmartTech server could have functioned as a routing point for malicious activity and remains a weakness in electronic voting tabulation...

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. And it's not like Drew is wrong, either, in suspecting foul play in his death:

IT guru turned whistleblower Michael Connell had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane, had demanded federal protection but was turned down.

Yahoo News
Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation
SOURCE Velvet Revolution
Sat Dec 20, 11:24 am ET

...A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell's not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

...VR demands that federal law enforcement officials place the following people under protective custody pending this investigation... Heather Connell who is the owner of GovTech Solutions, Randy Cole, the former President of GovTech Solutions, and Jeff Averbeck, the CEO of SmartTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Both GovTech and SmartTech have been implicated in the rigging of the 2000 and 2004 elections and the White House email scandal.

Our prior request to have Mr. Connell protected went unheeded and now he is dead.

The Market, by definition, is always right.

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