Our Day in Court: Research into Ohio's 2004 Election Misdeed Finally Bearing Fruit
A press conference held yesterday began zeroing in on the dirty trickster, Michael Connell, known to many ePluribus Media readers from the work that Luaptifer, Todd Johnston and many others did last year about the "line" that jumped the firewall. You may remember that Luaptifer uncovered evidence of crossing the line between simple "campaigning" and illegal activities.
The evidence? A graphic of a divider line named OhioGOP_index_nline.jpg that lived on websites inside the Federal Government's internet firewall -- as one example, on the Intelligence.House.gov. In his commentary, Luaptifer wrote:
... we've spent many months investigating the 'virtual real estate' and why the neighbors seem to look so much like each other. The researchers were tipped off, as it were, by a line, or to be more exact, an image of a line: ohgop_index_nline.gif.
As one can pretty much guess from the name, it's an index divider graphic used for the Ohio GOP. That image is one that NewMedia Communications used on a website built for the Ohio GOP. (The CEO of New Media Communications is one Mike Connell; remember that name if you don't already know it.)
This week's news is that now there's legal action afoot to get a hold of documents that may help prevent the alleged practices of vote theft taking place again in the 2008 elections. Spinelli on the Journal and others, including Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane over at Raw Story have reported on the press conference, so I don't need to do that here, but at least some highlights:
Stephen Spoonamore, a respected expert on computer fraud has worked with Mike Connell on high-tech election issues and, according to Stephen Heller's report on Bradblog, has said:
"What happens at the end of the day, all those votes are thrown into a magic box with one troll inside, the troll jumps out and says 'Here are your results! Ta-Da!!' That's it. There's no validation of the code, there's no authentication.
It seems to me that the evidence is starting to mount to prove that Connell has been a tool for high-tech, probably illegal dirty tricks against the citizens and elected officials of this country since the beginning of the Bush Administration. As Luaptifer pointed out in his March 27th, 2007 article, Connell is a self-proclaimed Bush loyalist and probably had administrative level access to important congressional network systems. And indeed, for those paying attention, Connell's name has been whispered in connection with many of the questionable elections since 2000. And of course, Rove's name has been linked to several debated elections including the highly irregular gubernatorial race in Alabama in 2002 where in the middle of the night about 3,000 votes for Siegleman mysteriously disappeared and his opponent, Bob Riley, won. As Wikipedia reports it:
He was defeated for reelection in November 2002 by Representative Bob Riley by the narrowest margin in Alabama history: approximately 3,000 votes. The margin was controversial, as a voting machine malfunction in a single county was claimed to have produced the votes needed to give Siegelman the election. When the malfunction was claimed to have been corrected, Riley emerged the winner.
Stephen Heller, also in his article on Bradblog, writes:
This case has the potential to put some of the most powerful people in the country in jail, according to Arnebeck, as he was joined by a well-respected, life-long Republican computer security expert who charged that the red flags seen during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election would have been cause for "a fraud investigation in a bank, but it doesn't when it comes to our vote."
"This entire system is being programmed in secret by programmers who have no oversight by anybody," the expert charged, as Arnebeck detailed allegations of complicity by a number of powerful GOP operatives and companies who had unique access both to the election results as reported in 2004, as well as to U.S. House and Senate computer networks even today.
One of the more frightening aspects of Connell's work is that he created the firewall for the U.S. Congressional computer system. Of course, it is completely possible that the firewall could have been created with secret security gaps that can be exploited to hack into any congressional computer. If that has happened, every computer in any senate or congressional office is subject to hacking by Bush/Republican operatives.
Attending the press conference was also John Spinelli, who in his ePluribus Media OhioNews Bureau coverage, writes:
Mike Connell: Bush Family, Republican Party IT Handyman
Mike Connell, a long-time information technology handyman for George H.W. Bush and his sons, George and Jeb, was instrumental in presidential politics in 2000 when George W. lost to John McCain in New Hampshire and the Bush campaign decided to “take the gloves off.“ Taking the gloves off, meant building voting systems and a community of various special interest groups, following the lead of Big Tobacco['s tactics] when it was being sued for causing cancer. [These adopted tactics] would tilt elections enough for Bush to win. Once [the election was] won, Connell turned his attention to other systems in other states like Mississippi and Georgia, among others. Connell worked for Jeb in Florida, among other groups, and is now working for Sen. John McCain.
This legal work in Ohio bears watching in the next few weeks. And as some primers to understand the tech minutia, there are these commentaries done by the various folks over on the old scoop site: