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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/4/09

Connell's Sister Now Doubts Plane Crash Was Accident

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The sister of the Rove IT guru whose small plane crashed shortly after he became "exhibit A" in a 2004 Ohio vote-rigging lawsuit has now voiced doubts that the crash was an accident.  She told a Wisconsin newspaper:

"At first, it was really hard for me to believe Mike was dead because somebody wanted him dead.  But as time goes on, it's hard for me not to believe there was something deliberate about it."

Mike Connell was to be a star witness in an Ohio 2004 election lawsuit which alleges that the election was stolen from John Kerry.  Audio here of an interview on Air America with Steven Spoonamore, the Republican IT expert who blew the whistle on Rove, Connell, and others.   Connell was hired as one of Rove's IT wizards after the Republicans took power in 2000.

Just before his death, Connell had stonewalled at the behest of attorneys sent to him by the GOP in the Ohio vote-tampering suit King Lincoln v. Blackwell.  Plaintiff's attorney Cliff Arnebeck said afterward: "Connell has just ensured that he is Exhibit A of the soon-to-be-filed RICO lawsuit against Karl Rove et al."

Spoonamore, who to this day supports the invasion of Iraq and calls the first Iraq election a "glorious day," says unequivocally in the Hartmann interview that he believes Ohio's critical 20 electoral votes in 2004 were "stolen."
Harriet Crosby of Velvet Revolution writes:

in the late hours of election night in 2004--at 11:13 p.m.,
to be precise--when Blackwell shunted the vote tally from Ohio to GOP servers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they were changed just enough to give the election to Bush. We have evidence, from the Ohio Secretary of State's Office, of the election architecture that shows exactly when the vote tally was sent to SMARTech at GOP headquarters in Tennessee, and when it came back. This is how Bush got a second term--and Karl Rove was behind it. Rove will be the next (after Connell) to be subpoenaed in our Ohio lawsuit.

Connell was also responsible for building and maintaining the White House's email servers, and was in line to be interviewed in a number of investigations of mysteriously disappearing White House emails, including those relating to the investigation of the vice president's office in the case of Valerie Plame.   Spoonamore says that in an October 2006 meeting with Connell, Connell asked questions about how to "permanently destroy hard drives."   Spoonamore told Connell, "If this is what I think you're talking about, this meeting is over."

Arnebeck wrote a letter to Attorney General Mukasey asking for some form of protection for Connell and his family when it emerged that Connell's wife's professional career had been threatened, and that he was warned by Rove through intermediaries to "take the fall."  A copy of the letter was forwarded to Congressmen John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich, as well as to 60 Minutes, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and C-Span.  The letter stated:

Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 13:50:55 EDT
Subject: Report of Rove threats against witness Michael Connell

Dear Attorney General Mukasey: We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to "take the fall" for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations. This appears to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform.Concurrently herewith, I am informing Mr. Conyers and Mr. Kucinich in connection with their Congressional oversight responsibilities related to these matters.....

    Because of the serious engagement in this matter that began in 2000 of the Ohio Statehouse Press Corps, 60 Minutes, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, C-Span and Jim VandeHei, and the public's right to know of gross attempts to subvert the rule of law, I am forwarding this information to them, as well.

The attorney for the disenfranchised voters in Ohio, Arnebeck, told the Wisconsin paper:

"The problem that Mike Connell represented is [he was] a guy of conscience.  If it came right down to it, he would not commit perjury."

Arnebeck "absolutely" would have called Connell as a witness in his lawsuit, Arnebeck said.

With the investigation and prosecution of Bush officials for torture unexpectedly and dramatically being pushed onto the front pages by Americans outraged at revelations of innocent victims, counter-productiveness in the war on terror, and methods reaching into pure sadism, it remains to be seen if the previous invincibility of the Bush administration has been sufficiently weakened to allow congress to step forward in the matter of Mike Connell.

Complete audio sequence of Air America interview of Spoonamore:

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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on (more...)

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