The Stolen Elections of 2000, 2004 (and almost 2008)
Michael Connell, Whistleblower
In November 2003, Blackwells office had enlisted a company called GovTech Solutions, owned by Mike Connell, to establish a duplicate control center for election day 04. The results would be sent directly to subcontractor SMARTech and its backup server out in Tennessee. The contract specified that there would be a hardware VPN device [that] will allow access to a private network connecting the servers for database replication services as well as remote admin[istration]. Meaning, Im told, that anybody could get into the network and make whatever adjustments they wanted. The election results could be observed and changed, using remote access through high-speed Internet from any location.
The primary control was SMARTech headquarters. We have no idea what was set up in Chattanooga, Spoonamore says. There could have been 20 Republican operatives, and from that point they could have made a direct hop to the White House. They could have been running this from the War Room!
Early on Election Day, George W. Bush and Karl Rove flew into Columbus, Ohio, to meet with Blackwell. Connell managed the setup that enabled Blackwell to study maps of the precincts and voter turnout in order to figure out how many votes they needed. A third company that Connell brought into the scheme was Triad, a major donor to Bushs campaign. They were run by some far-right Christians, the Rapp family. Triad supplied the network computers that stored all the voter registration information, and hosted the county board of elections results on its Web server.
Connell admitted making Govtech, SMARTech, and Triad look like a single unit for the Ohio election returns. Congressman Conyers had written to Triad in December 2004, asking about their ability to access the vote-counting computers remotely. Triad, it seems, had changed the hard drive in the tabulator computer before the recount. The only reason to do that, [Electronic data security expert Stephen] Spoonamore says, would be to erase and destroy evidence of a software manipulation of that tabulator. [Watch Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Venture on truTV]
Out of the blue, Connell called [Stephen] Spoonamore late in 2005. Theyd never met before, but Connell had heard of the systems Spoonamore developed to protect democracy advocates from being hacked in hostile overseas environments. In one such location, Connell was helping out some Christian advocacy groups. Connell had created Web sites for Jeb Bushs run for governor, and for George W. in 2000. Connells company got the first private contract to build and manage congressional e-mail servers and firewalls. This gave him the ability and means to read documents and e-mails, copy data, and set up back doors. Then he did the Web site for Blackwells office in Ohio; another client of Connells was Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that went after Kerry on his service record!
Spoonamore told us, Mike was a front-end guy, who built Web sites and really sophisticated databases to track voters. The way computers actually function and talk to each other, he didnt have the expertise and would have to work with others, like the guys at SMARTech. When he and Connell first met in Washington, Spoonamore didnt reveal his own interest in the electronic voting world. The two hit it off, and started working together on a couple of unrelated overseas projects.