robert’s conspiracy corner: michael connell edition

A few days ago, I mentioned the mysterious death of a former Bush administration IT person recently subpoenaed to testify about vote rigging in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election. I challenged readers of to come forward with a more comprehensive post on the subject, and our resident conspiracy scholar, Robert X, accepted the challenge. Following are his thoughts.

I guess I was probably the elf Mark was expecting would visit his little cobbler-shop-of-a-blog in the wee hours of the night to post something substantive on this.

It is sort of a topic made in heaven for me, because I am something of an aviation enthusiast and it is also one of my hobbies to follow the tactics and methods employed by criminal and otherwise clandestine organizations.

So in regard to Michael Connell’s plane crash last Friday here’s what I can tell you:

First off, there were a couple pieces of information that were reported initially which turned out to be false. For the most part these appear to be most likely just the result of miscommunication and false assumptions on the part of the local police and others following the story as it broke. Initially it was reported that the aircraft involved was a Piper SuperCub. It wasn’t. It was in fact a Piper Saratoga, which is a six seat (generally) light aircraft. It happens to be the same type of aircraft JFK, Jr. was piloting when he crashed on approach, and under very similar conditions, to the airport at Martha’s Vineyard. I can’t see any advantage to misreporting the make of the aircraft in the Connell crash so I highly doubt any deliberate deception on that point, though I’ve seen a few bloggers who have seemed to want to imply there might be.

Another piece of information which was reported incorrectly initially was the identity of the departure airport. It appears to me that local police and reporters in Ohio were under the impression, at least for a short time after the crash, that Connell had been flying in from somewhere in Pennsylvania. This looks like it was just the result of miscommunication and somewhat understandable (but false) assumptions made by an Akron-Canton Airport official or local police. Again, some bloggers are trying to suggest there is something more to it, but it seems very likely that folks around Akron wouldn’t have heard of College Park, Maryland or the airport there. When they heard “College Park” they probably assumed the much more familiar “University Park” which is where Penn State University is located. Some may have even been actually thinking of College Park, Pennsylvania, which is where Bucknell University is located. Far fewer folks, especially in eastern Ohio, are familiar with! College Park, Maryland, the home of the University of Maryland. So I highly doubt there was any deliberate deception there.

Some early information which does, and should, rouse suspicion is the apparently anxious speculation by some in positions of authority to prematurely explain away the crash as an accident. That conduct is quite contrary to protocol. First, it was suggested Connell may have run out of fuel – a suggestion which is extremely unlikely for a very experienced pilot who had flown this route frequently. Then when witnesses described and even recorded video of the burning heap in the yard/driveway where the plane crashed, the ran-out-of-fuel explanation was clearly debunked.

Next, it was suggested that low visibility and/or bad weather was the likely cause of the crash. However, weather reports from Akron-Canton Airport show that visibility never got lower than 5 miles, and was usually up closer to 8 or so for most of the time around the incident. Armature video recordings made just a couple minutes after the crash show decent visibility in night conditions. There also doesn’t appear to be any precipitation.

I think the accident will be investigated very rapidly by the current (Bush Administration) NTSB, and I think they’ll conclude that Connell failed to maintain sufficient airspeed on approach and stalled, just as they concluded with their “investigation” of the crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002. It’s not likely of course that experienced pilots, as Connell was also, would make that kind of mistake, but it will be a good enough explanation for most folks.

The truth is, anyone who thinks it is more likely than not that Connell died in an accident, doesn’t have the slightest comprehension of statistical probabilities. If you find yourself wanting desperately to disagree, you should ask yourself these simple questions; First off, what is the probability of any pilot dying in a plane crash? Next ask yourself how much do those probabilities change when the pilot is experienced, and flying a very familiar approach? Most importantly, ask yourself now what the odds are on top of all this that the victim had been for months before the crash seeking protection for himself and his family? Just based on odds alone the incident should be assumed to be a murder, and investigated as such.

I feel like I have to frequently remind people that investigations are not court cases and do not proceed based on any similar assumptions. They are by their very nature a process which involves the opposite assumptions and goals. Whereas in court, the goal of a prosecutor is to prove that something DID happen beyond a reasonable doubt, the goal of an investigator is to prove that all but one scenario COULD NOT have happened.

Investigations are ideally guided by likelihoods and probabilities. If an incident, such as this one, is in statistical terms remotely likely to be the result of foul play, the investigation should proceed as such until sufficient evidence gathered ELIMINATES that possibility, or at least reduces the probability to nearly that.

I’ll say a lot more if any of you folks out there actually give a shit.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I give a shit, and I’d like for you to keep following this story for us, Robert… Personally, I think it sounds as fishy as hell, especially if it turns out to be true that, days prior to the crash, he mentioned to friends that he suspected the plane had been sabotaged by agents of Karl Rove. I acknowledge, however, that it’s probably more likely a suicide.

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  1. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 27, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    So what do you do when you give a shit but don’t have a shit’s ball idea of what to do about it except feel like an impotent shit?

  2. Posted December 27, 2008 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Call someone and make them feel like shit too if they don’t look into it?

    Senator Debbie Stabenow
    Phone: 202-224-4822

    Senator Carl Levin
    Phone: 202-224-6221

    Representative John Dingell
    Phone: 202-225-4071

  3. Posted December 27, 2008 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    other interesting reads on this subject:

    Or a more traditional source that apparently found this noteworthy: article along with embedded evening 19 Action News Coverage:

  4. Robert
    Posted December 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I am assuming you are suggesting Connell likely committed suicide under duress, because, among other things, it just wouldn’t make any sense that a guy would wait until the end of a two and a half hour flight to kill himself. Suicidal people simply don’t do such things.

    If this actually WAS a suicide, Connell very intelligently staged it to look otherwise. People have been known to do that in certain situations…usually involving as the motivator the payout of sizable life insurance policies to their surviving loved ones.

    However, in the vast majority of cases, suicides are desperate acts of irrational and impulsive minds, where the circumstances surrounding them bare that out. There is nothing in the circumstances surrounding Connell’s death to suggest he was at any point in such a state of mind, and in fact there is a great deal to suggest he was in a very clear state of mind.

    Individuals who are clear headed enough to commit suicide in such a way so as to give the appearance of an accident or murder, almost always do so as a result of being faced with some sort of ultimatum. This ultimatum could come in the form of an arrangement of simply unfortunate circumstances, or it can come in the form of a threat by another person or persons. (“Arrangements of simply unfortunate circumstances” would include diagnosis of a fatal disease for example.)

    If I were to place a statistical probability on Connell’s death being the result of suicidal impulses, I’d put that at close to 0%…definitely less than 1%.

    Judging by the circumstances I’ve seen so far, a more deliberate calculated suicide is a far more likely scenario in this case, but very difficult to place in terms of probability at this point due to the overlap in appearance an accident “staged” by the victim shares with an accident “staged” by others. However, what we can say with a good amount of certainty is that either way, this was most likely the result of ‘external forces’ which I guess might have been kinda your point, Mark. (Of course, I am still acknowledging the fact that this incident being a genuine accident can not be ruled out at this point either.)

  5. mark
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he gets a call mid-flight telling him that he has to crash… Who the fuck knows…

  6. Posted December 30, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Mark, when you say “Who the fuck knows” it comes across as if you don’t think there is any real hope of understanding these things and how they work. That just isn’t the case. True, there may be very little anyone outside of high levels of power can do to solve conclusively such a crime (if one even occurred), and that may be where that sense of hopelessness comes from. However, crimes of this nature DO tend to follow pretty specific patterns. There are many reasons for that. Studying these patterns and the thinking behind them helps develop likelihoods of what did or didn’t happen behind the scenes.

    But this is a good conversation to have, I think. Because I believe people generally have pretty murky ideas about how organized criminal jobs are carried out.

    Something I think would benefit everyone when thinking about these sorts of things is to understand that professional crime is in most ways not very different than any other business service. In that sense there isn’t all that much creativity involved.

    First off, successful professional criminals use time tested methods. Doing anything different or new involves risk of unforeseen consequences. New methods only evolve when they prove to offer better stealth, efficiency, or cost savings. There’s no reason to go extravagant when simple solutions suffice.

    The cell phone idea would leave too many ‘if’s. I know I’ve never been able to get cell phone reception any higher than a couple thousand feet up. When I have, it’s been very spotty and fleeting.

    So I think your suggestion that Connell got a call in flight is a possibility, but a slim one, and not very consistent with standard methods used by professional killers…too many variables involved and would also leave phone record evidence.

    It would be far easier and more predictable to simply weaken the horizontal control linkage so that it can be broken when the pilot puts the aircraft into landing configuration. A weak spring might also be installed so that once the linkage is broken to the horizontal stabilizer; it automatically goes to a full nose-down position and stays there. It would be a difficult thing to recover from with only a few hundred feet of room to do it, as is the situation on final approach. This is what I think is the most likely scenario if this was not an accident.

    I think it is similar to what was likely done to the Alaska airlines flight 261 that crashed on approach to LA several years back (remember the jackscrew?), as well as a few other suspicious crashes of light aircraft in recent years.

  7. Posted January 2, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    What I was suggesting in that last paragraph was that I think the most likely method of sabotage would have involved the elevator and/or horizontal stabilizer trim control (see link).

    I’m going to go over to Mettetal Airport and talk to a guy I know who owns a Piper Saratoga that he keeps hangered there. Maybe he’ll let me get a good look at its elevator control assembly. I might even be able to take some pictures.

    If anybody has a picture of the crashed Connell plane, please get it to me. I saw one a few days after the accident which showed the rear of the fuselage still very much intact. I haven’t been able to find that picture again since.

  8. Posted January 9, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    In both pictures I’ve seen of the Connell crash, the position of the pitch surface controls is obscured.

    It appears to me from amateur video that rescue workers who arrived on the scene of the crash made no effort to extinguish the fire for quite some time after they arrived.

    The national press has ignored this story completely, and since Christmas Day there has been absolutely no mention of the crash or of the election rigging case to which Connell had been a key witness.

  9. Posted January 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the NTSB’s preliminary report on the crash. (click the link above)

    “NTSB Identification: CEN09FA099
    14 CFR Unknown
    Accident occurred Friday, December 19, 2008 in North Canton, OH
    Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R, registration: N9299N
    Injuries: 1 Fatal.

    This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

    On December 19, 2008, about 1753, a Piper PA-32R-301T, N9299N, received substantial damage on impact with terrain during a precision approach to runway 23. A post crash fire then ensued. The airplane impacted the front lawn of a vacant house about two miles east-northeast from Akron-Canton Regional Airport (CAK), Akron, Ohio. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot was fatally injured and there were no ground injuries. The flight departed from College Park Airport (CGS) College Park, Maryland, about 1531 and was returning to CAK at the time of the accident.

    During the approach to CAK, N9299N asked whether there were any reports of icing to which air traffic control (ATC) responded that there were no reports. ATC then instructed N9299N to provide a report of icing if encountered. No reports were received by N9299N. Preliminary radar data shows that the airplane maintained assigned headings and altitudes while en route to CAK.

    The airplane received radar vectors to the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 23. The airplane was vectored to intercept the approach about two miles from the outer marker. The airplane was inbound from the outer marker when ATC advised N9299N that it was left of course. ATC asked if N9299N would like to be resequenced and N9299N responded by transmitting “correcting.” The airplane altitude was still about 3,200 feet (the intermediate segment altitude for the approach is 3,200 feet). ATC then advised N9299N that it was “well left of the localizer” and if it would like to be resequenced. N9299N responded by transmitting that it would “like to correct.” N9299N was about 2 ½ miles from the airport when it then transmitted if it could execute a 360-degree turn. ATC then instructed N9299N to climb and maintain 3,000 feet and queried N9299N’s present heading. N9299N transmitted, “heading due north and climbing.” N9299N then declared an emergency.

    A witness reported that he was outside of his home when he first heard a “loud” engine sound from a small aircraft. The sound was coming from the north and sounded as though the pilot was trying to accelerate “rapidly.” Suddenly, the witness saw two bright lights coming almost nose first toward the ground with the engine “roaring.” Based upon the witness’ view of the lights, he assumed the airplane was flying west to east. He lost sight of the airplane when it descended below a tree line.

    The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot reported a total flight time of 510 hours at the issuance of his last medical certificate dated October 19, 2007.

    The CAK weather observations for the following times are:

    1735: wind – 280 degrees at 9 knots; visibility – 10 miles; sky condition – broken 700 feet above ground level (agl), overcast 1,400 feet agl; temperature – 1 degree Celsius (C); dew point – -1 degree C; altimeter 29.77 inches of mercury

    1751: wind – 300 degrees at 11 knots; visibility – 9 miles; sky condition – broken 500 feet agl, overcast 1,000 feet agl; temperature – 1 degree C; dew point – -1 degree C; altimeter 29.78 inches of mercury

    1809: wind – 300 degrees at 10 knots; visibility – 2 1/2 miles, mist; sky condition – overcast 400 feet agl, overcast 1,000 feet agl; temperature – 1 degree C; dew point – -1 degree C; altimeter 29.78 inches of mercury

    The wreckage path was about 290 feet in length along an approximate heading of 120 degrees. The wreckage path contained the fuselage, empennage, wings, engine, and propeller. The propeller, which was separated from the engine, exhibited S-shaped bending consistent with engine power. No anomalies were noted with the flight control system that would have precluded normal operation. The landing gear was extended.”

  10. Posted January 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I think I know how Connell’s plane was brought down. The NTSB will have to conclude it was an accident though, because the primary method used leaves absolutely no traceable evidence.

    It’s the same method which I believe was used in late 2004 to crash the plane arriving at Houston to pick up George Bush Sr. for a South American trip.

    It looks possible to me also that the crash in November of a plane carrying the Mexican Interior Minister Juan Mourino may have been caused using the same primary means.

  11. Posted January 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Another point I think should be made here:

    Even if NTSB investigators DO have suspicions of foul play in the Connell crash, they will not share them publically. That’s standard practice for federal and state level investigations into incidents like these. These people are professional investigators. They do not go around spreading information which promotes suspicions they can’t prove conclusively.

    Of course that goes for what is released in “final reports” as well. The conclusions are nothing more than most likely (and legally provable) scenarios and causes as determined by expert examination. Even in the event where every single investigator on a team knows from what they’ve seen that there was criminal involvement, that will NOT be part of the final report unless it is determined that enough hard evidence exists so as to make a succussful criminal case. In that event, they call in the assistance of the appropriate criminal investigators.

    So, as much as it apparently bothers a lot of people, an NTSB report ruling a suspicious crash as being most likely an accident doesn’t mean they’re deliberately covering up foul play. It also doesn’t mean the investigators themselves actually believe the conclusion of the report is the most likely explanation.

    Its simple realities like that which apparently break a lot of hearts out there. People like to hear everything in black and white.

  12. mark
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    One wonders why anyone would go to the trouble of trying to kill someone important with a gun if bringing down a private plane is so easy.

  13. Posted January 26, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, Mark, one wouldn’t have to wonder for long, because here’s the reason:

    There are a total of approximately 600,0000 active certificated pilots in the US. As you can imagine, there are only maybe a couple hundred thousand more who travel by private plane but have no pilot’s license themselves. So the total number of folks who travel with any regularity in private aircraft is well under 1 million nationwide. That would translate to less than 1 per every 300 in the US population (more like 1 in every 200 of the ADULT population).

    In contrast, pretty much everyone could be shot in an apparent robbery attempt or something. So, whereas murder by plane crash has many advantages over murder by shooting, the opportunities are far fewer.

  14. Posted January 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t mean to upset you by answering your question, Mark.

  15. Posted January 28, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Today, I spoke to a guy today about the Connell crash and the Ohio election rigging case (King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell) and he said he thought “Donatelli is next.” I wasn’t sure what he meant, and when I asked him to clarify, he didn’t.

    I looked the name up and see that he was certainly referring to R. Rebecca “Becki” Donatelli. She is President of Campaign Solutions/The Donatelli Group and, as well as Chairman of Connell Donatelli, Inc.

    I don’t know where this guy I spoke to got his information, or even what he meant exactly when he said “Donatelli is next.” I assume he meant she is talking to investigators in the Ohio rigging case. If she is, I hope the new justice department under President Obama will do what they can to keep all potential witnesses safe.

  16. Posted February 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Apparently, Sarah Palin has now hired Mike Connell’s ol’ business partner Becki Donatelli to run Sarahpac. Palin, being another Dubya-esque stooge, suggests to me that the criminals behind them are paying off Becki so that when it comes to Rove’s election rigging she’ll donatelli nobody nothin’.

  17. Robert
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    There is now a little more information in the NTSB’s report on the Connell crash. You can check out the current report here:

    The news media is reporting the fact that Connell was off course on approach but continues to fail to ask the crucial question of whether or not the approach was smooth and steady. That information would go a long way to telling us whether the error was human or instrumental. A smooth and steady approach even while off of course would suggest instrumental and/or guidance failure. There appears to be a deliberate attempt to avoid mention of this detail, which at this point in the investigation is no doubt clear to the investigators.

  18. Robert
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    A “Deep Throat” Emerges in the Mike Connell Plane Crash

  19. Robert
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    At this very moment, a year ago today, Connell was somewhere in the air over Southwest Pennsylvania along his route between the airports in College Park, MD and Akron, OH. Yes, it has been exactly one year to the day since the death of Mike Connell and the NTSB has yet to publish a “probable cause” report on the single engine plane crash which killed him.

    To this day, only general statements have been made publically regarding some of the most important and telling details gathered in the NTSB investigation…specifically, the precise course Connell’s aircraft took in those last few minutes before impact. The audio of the ATC’s last communications with Connell have not yet been released publically either.

    The FBI is looking into an anonymous memo which was sent to a number of individuals including Mike Connell’s widow, Heather. It is said to catalog an order and mission to remotely intercept and rig the instrument panel of Connell’s plane and then “sanitize” the area.

    It is being said that those close to the case believe the author of that memo is a real informant with inside knowledge about the crash. I am doubtful, and consider it likely the creation of an over-zealous activist or a “Killian documents” style distraction meant to discredit those suggesting foul play.

    I’ve done a bit of research myself over the period of the last year. I’ve even surveyed the area along and around the approach to runway 23 at Akron-Canton Airport as well as the crash site at 2017 Charolais Street in Uniontown, Ohio. I was also able to find a pilot here in Michigan who was kind enough to allow me to examine his Piper Saratoga, and ask several questions I had regarding it.

    Still, I would like to see the moment by moment position data for the last several minutes of Connell’s ill-fated flight. I think it will tell a lot about what was likely causing the problems. I’m most interested in knowing if Connells initial off center approach was smooth and steady, and if he at any time actually intercepted the localizer center line.

    We’ll see when and if that detail is ever released publically. Either way, I’ll soon write up my own little report on what happened as it appears to me, and I’ll make sure to annoy Mark by posting it here.

  20. Posted January 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen is reporting some details from the anonymous letter sent to the FBI regarding the Connell crash.

    Wayne Madsen Report:

    January 4, 2010 — Special Report. From National Security Letters to National Security Targets: Green light for domestic assassinations exposed

    WMR has obtained a letter and an after-action report sent by an anonymous source, who used the alias “Mark Felt,” the FBI official who was allegedly the source “Deep Throat” during the Watergate scandal, to the FBI’s supervisory special agent in Cleveland that explicitly states that Mike Connell, the Republican Party’s information technology guru who helped engineer the delivery of Ohio’s 20 electoral votes to the Bush-Cheney column in 2004, was targeted for assassination by a team that was tasked to eliminate an “NST” — intelligence-speak for a “national security target.” The after-action report, which is heavily redacted, states that an order was given by a party [redacted] to “neutralize” Connell as an NST. According to the accompanying letter, the author writes that the after-action report “is not supposed to exist.” In addition to the FBI in Cleveland, the document was sent to five other parties.

    As WMR reported on December 20, 2008, “Connell’s Piper Saratoga single-engine plane crashed during the evening of December 19 in Uniontown, Ohio as it was preparing to land at Akron-Canton airport. There were no other passengers and Connell was killed in the crash. Connell had flown to College Park, Maryland the previous day.” Connell was returning from College Park airport. The after-action report states that at 2:30 am on December 19, 2008, [redacted] was directed to KGCS (College Park airport) to “neutralize” NST (Connell) in DC FRZ (Metropolitan Washington Flight Restricted Zone). Specifically, the after-action report states that targeted was Connell’s Piper Saratoga, tail number N9299N. The DC FRZ includes three Maryland airports at which operations are severely limited by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In the wake of 9/11, all pilots using College Park, Washington Executive/Hyde Field, and Potomac Airfield are required to have background checks and be issued a personal identification number.

    At least three individuals were involved in sabotaging Connell’s aircraft. The report states that [redacted] arrived northeast of the airport at 0426, approached on foot north from Indian Creek Park. The report further states that [redacted] covered the theater from the park side and [redacted] and [redacted] proceeded to target the area across the runway (runway 33). Another individual covered a redacted entity with a report of with “no surveillance detected.” The after-action report stated that the area was “sanitized” and the team exited College Park airport via Indian Creek Park at 0557. The team was reported to be OOA (Out of Area) at 0642.

    The covered target may be the Prince George’s County Special Operations Division Aircraft Section, which maintains a facility at College Park airport, as well as two helicopters. There is also an airport Operations Building that doubles as a museum, since College Park airport is the oldest military airport in the United States. Surveillance cameras operated by the Prince George’s County Police, the airport Operations Building, or the nearby College Park Metro station, may have captured the perpetrators of the early-morning sabotage of Connell’s aircraft.

    According to the after-action report, one of the saboteurs opened the Piper Saratoga’s cowling, unlocked the door, and installed an AMD on the static port system. The author of the accompanying letter, dated August 31, 2009, to the FBI and the five other recipients wrote that “the AMD is designed to mimic existing aircraft components in order to thwart investigations.” The author informs the FBI that “you may be able to find evidence of it (AMD) in the static port system.” The author, in his letter, also specifically states that “Connell was not NST” (national security target). The fake return address on the letter’s envelope, postmarked Washington, DC, also yields a few potential clues as to its source. The phony street address is “4007 Kohtraktop Rd.” The street name may be a cipher for “contract op” with 4007 possibly meaning “for 007,” a reference to a James Bond-style intelligence operation. The return address town is “McClean [sic], Virginia, a reference to the CIA’s headquarters town, McLean, Virginia. The zip code is 20661. which is Mount Victoria in southern Maryland, which is across the Potomac River from the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren, Virginia where one of the tenant activities is the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), which helps develop electronic warfare weapons, including Meaconing, Intrusions, Jamming, Interference (MIJI) systems designed to confuse pilots.

    The date of the letter to the FBI is also potentially significant. On August 20, The Washington Post reported that the CIA hired Blackwater, now Xe Services, to assemble assassins to target “Al Qaeda” leaders. The report followed by a day a similar report in The New York Times. The program was not revealed to Congressional intelligence and military oversight committees on orders from Vice President Dick Cheney. Was the author of the letter convinced that the top secret CIA program using Blackwater assassins would be exposed and reveal details of a program that not only targeted “Al Qaeda” leaders for assassination but also political operatives who could pose a threat as potential witnesses against Cheney, CIA director Michael Hayden, and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on murder one charges? Did the Department of Defense’s Asymmetric Warfare Group involve the use of aircraft tampering technology developed at Dahlgren, Virginia? Did Blackwater’s strong ties to the Republican Party make it a natural fit to take out Connell who posed a threat to the party’s hierarchy, including Rove, over the 2004 Ohio electoral vote theft?

    Did the mysterious “Mark Felt,” who sent the after-action report to the FBI office in Cleveland, know about the former Blackwater employee known as “John Doe #2” who filed an affidavit in federal court in Washington on behalf of Iraqis who filed suit in Washington over the firm’s security guards’ massacre of Iraqi civilians in Baghdad? John Doe #2, a former Blackwater employee, stated in his affidavit: “Based on information provided to me by former colleagues, it appears that Mr. [Erik] Prince [then-Blackwater’s CEO] and his employees murdered, or had murdered, one or more persons who have provided information, or who were planning to provide information, to the federal authorities about the ongoing criminal conduct.” The affidavit was dated July 29, 2009, a month before the Felt letter arrived at the FBI office in Cleveland. Could “Mark Felt” and “John Doe #2” even be the same person?

    WMR’s December 20, 2008 report also revealed: “Connell’s name surfaced as a key player in Rove’s election fraud conspiracy after this year’s July 17 Columbus news conference hosted by Cliff Arnebeck, the Ohio attorney who has been representing plaintiffs in the federal civil suit against former Republican Secretay of State Kenneth Blackwell. On the phone at the conference was John McCain campaign adviser and computer security specialist Stephen Spoonamore who identified Connell as a key player, as well as potential trial witness, in the GOP’s conspiracy to flip Ohio votes in the 2004 election. Spoonamore and Connell had reportedly worked together on foreign elections in programs sponsored by the International Republican Institute (ISI) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Both had traveled abroad together on special election projects to ensure ‘fair voting’ procedures.”

    Our December 20, 2008, report continued: “After Connell was identified as a potential witness in the civil case against Blackwell and a possible criminal Ohio RICO case against Rove, Blackwell, and perhaps others, the plaintiff attorneys received a tip from a high-level source in the McCain presidential campaign that Rove had issued a threat against Connell. Connell had worked for the 2008 McCain presidential campaign on the development of its web pages.

    WMR has learned from our Ohio sources that five threats against Connell were conveyed to the election fraud plaintiff attorneys with the last tip being ‘Connell is in danger.’ One of the threats reportedly made by Rove to Connell was that Connell could forget about a pardon from President George W. Bush if he did not ‘take the fall’ in the event criminal charges were brought and that his wife Heather, who was used as a majority stockholder for one of Connell’s web design companies, GovTech Solutions, would be prosecuted for illegal lobbying. Connell’s other company is New Media Communications, Inc.”

    The story about Connell’s planned testimony and his threat to the Republican machine led by Rove was even murkier as WMR reported on December 20, 2008, “Connell’s firms received contracts to place its servers behind the House of Representatives firewall courtesy of then-House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney (R-OH), later jailed for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying-influence peddling scandal. Connell also designed and ran the web sites for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee. WMR has learned that through effective GOP control of these web sites, the Bush White House was able to monitor all committee e-mails and documents, including planning documents for House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. We have also learned that Connell’s IT firm did classified web site development work for the CIA. Based on the threats against Connell, the federal judge in Cleveland hearing the civil suit King Lincoln v. Blackwell conveyed to Connell that the court would protect him if he came forward. On October 17, 2008, Connell’s attorneys attempted to quash an October 8, 2008, plaintiff subpoena for his court appearance. On October 31, U.S. Judge Solomon Oliver denied the motion to quash the subpoena and ordered Connell’s deposition to proceed on November 3, the day before Election Day.

    WMR has learned that on Friday, October 31, Connell was nervous and ‘beet red’ during the hearing to quash the subpoena. On Monday, November 3, Connell was composed and it is believed that his top shelf law firm had been selected by Rove to represent Connell for the deposition. Rove’s intent was to ensure that there would be no deposition from Connell before the November 4 election. WMR has also learned that Connell was prepared to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the election fraud in Ohio and other states but that the offer of testimony was not acted upon by senior staffers for House Judiciary Committee Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). A source in Columbus told us that some of Conyers’ senior staffers on his committee and in is office are not to be trusted on issues related to election fraud. In addition, Rove and the Bush White House attempted to forestall testimony by election officials in Mahoning County and Youngstown, Ohio on election fraud in 2004 by promising to have former Rep. James Traficant (D-OH), who is currently imprisoned after being convicted of corruption, released early in return for their silence. Traficant is not scheduled for release from federal prison until Sept, 2, 2009.”

    On December 22, 2008, WMR reported on an e-mail letter sent by Arnebeck to Attorney General Michael Mukasey on July 24, 2008 warning of a threat against Connell. The letter stated: “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.”

    On December 22, 2008, WMR also reported: “WMR has learned from knowledegable Republican Party sources that Mike Connell, the GOP’s information technology maestro who was killed in a suspicious plane crash last Friday night while flying from the Washington, DC area back to Akron, Ohio, was involved in a high-tech operation targeting Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in 2000. Although Connell, whose Richfield, Ohio-based GovTech Solutions LLC is accused of helping to steer Ohio’s 20 electoral votes to the George W. Bush column in 2004, is identified with alleged vote fraud in 2000 and was reportedly prepared to testify about it before being threatened by former Bush aide Karl Rove, our sources have claimed Connell’s network goes back to 2000 and is linked to malfeasance directed against Gore.

    GovTech Solutions and Connell’s other firm New Media Communications were closely linked to the Ohio election fraud. GovTech Solutions was hired by then-GOP Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell as a consultant to the Secretary of State for the election. New Media Communications set up hundreds of Republican web sites, including, which was used by Bush White House staffers to send politically-connected emails in violation of government policies on mixing official duties with political work. Blackwell also contracted out backup servers to Smartech of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Stephen Spoonamore, a computer security expert and IT adviser to the Bush 2004 and John McCain 2008 presidential campaigns, revealed that Smartech was able to intercept 2004 Ohio election returns before they were made available on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

    Connell’s colleague Jeff Averbeck was reportedly brought by the GOP to Chattanooga from Texas to head up the efforts targeting Gore in Gore’s home state. SmarTech’ servers were placed in the basement of the old Pioneer Bank Building in downtown Chattanooga. The parent company for SmartTech is Airnet, also headed by Averbeck. Averbeck was, according to our sources, the actual technical brains behind the entire SmartTech-GovTech Solutions-Media Communications operation that resulted in the election tampering in 2004. There are also questionable ties between SmarTech and former Chattanooga Mayor and now U.S. Senator Bob Corker that point to Chattanooga’s city government under Corker providing a cover for a major GOP political dirty tricks operation in the city. Corker successfully ran for Mayor of Chattanooga in 2000. In February 2007, Corker, Rove, and Bush were spotted together at Porker’s BBQ restaurant in Chattanooga. There were reports of a connection between SmarTech’s predecessor firm ST3, another web service provider called Coptix, and Corker. According to our sources, Averbeck’s SmarTech was tasked with high-tech spying on Al Gore’s Nashville presidential campaign headquarters. A three hour drive from Nashville, Chattanooga was considered by Karl Rove to be an excellent and friendly spot to keep a high-tech eye on the Gore campaign from within his home state.

    Two years later, SmarTech had reportedly become involved in Alabama politics and may have, according to our sources, been involved in the computer glitch in Magnolia Springs, Alabama that gave Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Riley and razor-thin win over incumbent Democratic Governor Don Siegelman. SmarTech reportedly received a lucrative Alabama state contract from Governor Riley to support Alabama’s criminal justice information system. There are, according to our sources, close links between Averbeck and former Republican National Committee official Bill Canary, whose wife Leura was one of the U.S. Attorneys used in Alabama to prosecute Siegelman in a politically-manufactured corruption probe. Connell also, according to our sources, received contract work from the Riley administration to perform IT services for Alabama’s criminal justice system. Connell also did IT work for the Alabama Republican Party. In 1998, Averbeck’s IT firm, Executive Consulting Services of Chattanooga, won Microsoft’s ‘Best Solutions for Small Business’ grand prize. Averbeck’s firm developed a software package that tracks bankruptcy and collection cases, enables electronic court filings, schedules and manages dockets, calculates payments with or without interest, and manages attorneys’ billing time. Interestingly, the software mirrors some of the same functions provided by the Prosecutors Management Information System (PROMIS) that remains a controversial subject as a result of charges that the Justice Department purloined the software in the early 1980s from Inslaw and made it available to various intelligence agencies.

    Averbeck is also considered a technical expert on Internet live stream technology. WMR previously reported that Connell had contracts for web site development for the CIA and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. We have now learned that Connell and Averbeck may have been behind the installation of live streaming black boxes in the White House and the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building used to stream live video of torture sessions in Guantanamo, Cuba and Abu Ghraib to the Old Executive Office Building office of Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief Counsel David Addington and into the White House, itself. Media reports of torture sessions being taped may have been planted by the White House to deter investigators away from looking at live streaming capabilities in the offices of Cheney and President Bush.

    The fire that broke out in an ‘electrical closet’ in the Old Executive Office Building on December 19, 2007, near Cheney’s ceremonial office likely contained the live streaming boxes used to stream torture sessions from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, according to our sources who added that SmartTech and Airnet have been in the live streaming video business since 2002. SmarTech also had the contract to provide video streaming services at the GOP conventions in New York in 2004 and St. Paul in 2008. On September 5, 2008, WMR reported: “WMR has learned from a reliable source that the GOP convention organizers in St. Paul installed special microphones and cameras in the Xcel Energy Center in order to monitor who delegates were chatting with and listen in on their conversations. Similar technology, WMR is told, was used by the Republicans at the 2004 national convention in New York at Madison Square Garden. The eavesdropping on state delegations involved the use of powerful pan, zoom, and tilt camera technology and noise-canceling shotgun microphones, similar to those used sporting events by broadcasters. The cover for the eavesdropping equipment was that it was part of Internet coverage for the convention. Yesterday, The Washington Times reported on the presence of ‘Black Hat’ squads on the convention floor in St. Paul that tracked Ron Paul supporters and other potential disruptors. Wearing black ball caps with white stars, the squads were authorized to yank delegates’ credentials and remove them from the convention floor.

    The high-tech Big Brother system kept track of conversations held within state delegations, especially those of non-McCain delegates who originally were pledged to Paul and Mitt Romney. Paul received 15 votes from the floor, although the Oklahoma delegation’s microphone was cut off before Senator Jim Inhofe could announce two votes for Paul. The GOP’s Big Brother surveillance of the Oklahoma delegation likely picked up the conversations about Oklahoma’s vote beforehand, prompting the silencing of the microphone. WMR has been told that the same group of GOP high-tech spies are involved in yet another operation to engineer the 2008 presidential election for the Republican ticket using connections to private companies’ election tallying computers and voting machines around the United States. The operation is primarily based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Enterprise, Alabama, the same locations that served as headquarters for the election engineering carried out in 2004. The group of high-tech experts was responsible for the flipping of votes in Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, Florida and other states in 2004, as well as statewide elections in Alabama and Georgia in 2002. WMR has been told by our sources that the company that ran the video surveillance at the conventions was SmarTech.”

  21. Robert
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Maxim magazine is publishing an investigative feature by author Simon Worrall looking into the GOP rigging of the Ohio 2004 election and the death of Michael Connell.


    After a long, complicated birth, my investigative feature into the hacking of the Ohio 04 election – and with it the American Presidency – and the possible murder of Republican IT expert, Michael Connell, has just been published in the US in Maxim magazine ( so, you guys finally have an excuse to buy it:) It took nearly a year to unravel this compelling, and complicated story, which, to use an appropriate IT metaphor, often seemed to be hidden behind impenetrable firewalls. The impulse for my journey was, you may be surprised to hear, a human, not a political, one ( I am generally averse to all politicians, of whatever persuasion), when my girlfriend found a piece on the Web about Connell’s widow, Heather. The image of a woman waiting for a plane that crashes; her grief, dismay and anger, reminded me of a character in a Greek tragedy; and I began to look into the story. I would like to stress that I went into it with no political agenda, with extreme scepticism and my eyes wide open. The liberal-left bloggers who were driving this story on the Internet regarded Connell as a Mephistolean character, who they routinely referred to as Bush’s ” vote rigger.” My first rule was to take everything they said with a large pinch of salt. I was interested in the real person behind the story: not the evil, cartoon character portrayed on the web. But the further I delved into the story, the more I became convinced that the Ohio 04 election – and with it the White House – had been stolen by cyberfraud; and that Connell had played a part. I believe, though, that if he did, he was the pawn of more powerful forces. Ultimately, I see him as a basically good man who did bad things for reasons he thought were honourable. And I think we can all recognise ourselves in that description. As to whether Connell was murdered, my opinion is irrelevant. That requires a proper, criminal investigation into the election and the circumstances of Connell’s plane crash; and if some good is to come out of Cybergate, it is that my article will precipitate just such an investigation.

    I will say, however, that right up to the last re-writes, two months ago, new information kept emerging, which suggested that cyberfraud may not have been the only crime committed. Notably, a strange – and unnerving – document, which was sent to the FBI and five other people, including Heather Connell, which purported to be a report by a black ops agent tasked with sabotaging Connell’s plane. It is impossible to know the veracity of the document, though sources I have spoken to from the intell. community have said that the fact it was sent to the FBI suggests it could be genuine – because to try and pull off a hoax on the FBI is to invite the wrath of God. If it IS a hoax, as Stephen Spoonamore suggests, you have to imagine a truly insane person sitting in a laboratory-like space wearing a hair net and plastic gloves, as he or she, creates the envelopes, while ensuring that no speck of DNA or fingerprint will be on them. Who would go to such trouble if it were not someone with genuine information to share ?

    I will be posting more news and information about the article as c0verage in other media takes off – I am in talks with TV and film, both in the UK & USA – but for the moment I would like to sign off by thanking my editor at Maxim, David Swanson, without whose belief in the story and assiduous editing, Cybergate would never have appeared ( several mainstream publications declined to run the story on the basis that it was too much of a ‘conspiracy theory’). I would also like to thank Robert Kennedy Jr. for sparing an hour of his time last summer to talk on the phone from Hyannisport ( sadly, his uncle, Edward Kennedy, died later that day) and his support of the story. My most heartfelt thanks, though, go to members of the Connell family, above all to Heather Connell and her sister-in-law, Shannon, who gave so generously of their time and insights at a very difficult time. If anything I have said in the article compounds their grief, I am truly sorry. Any mistakes or errors I also assume full responsibility for.

    Simon Worrall

    See Worrall’s blog here:

  22. Robert
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    You can read Worrall’s article here:

    That way, you don’t have to go buy that rag Maxim to read it.

    I wasn’t all that impressed with Worrall’s “investigative” piece. It offers no new information, and actually even left out some of the most significant and intriguing details relating to the crash.

    I guess I should be happy that the subject is getting any attention at all.

  23. Jess Bermudez
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Ok peeps.

    I am not one of your normal investigative creatures, but a natural born Mexican-American citizen who grew up with ethics and honesty engraved to his livelyhood.
    I did come across this story in Maxim, but to all your beliefs it was enough to peek my intrest and blog, which I NEVEER do. I will just come right out and say it, yes this was totally a BUSH call, you know one of the same idiot’s who claim that WMD’s were in Iraq. I know this blog is about the late Mr. Connell, but once again another corupt scandal of our time has the finger prints of George W Bush.
    When are the people of this country: Democrats, Republicans, Liberials, and others giong to wake up and see that our goverment of today is so shady, coprupt, dirty, sleezy and most of all arrogant. They continue to get away with the most obvious crimes, because we AMERICAN’s will not stand up and say enough is enough. We bury are heads in the sand and become as silent as a mute. If I had the moneythey have I would challange every move they (bushes) have made the last 16 of 25 years of our democracy.
    Back to Mr. Connell, it does appear that his heading was thrown off on approach and that was the demise of his life. We are to believe that an experinced pilot that is also a computer geek would fuck up, knowing he was the guest of honor at his company party, right!!!
    It is unfortunate that his life was just a tool for the gains of the elite wealth and powerful, which is old white money.
    I guess we must just move on and forget this but I think we have a obligation to the wife and children of Mr. Connell to keep his legacy going and to prove that htis was no accident.

    Yes, goverment with your computer geekys tracking this blog I do not need to tell you were I live, so I guess I may see you soon at my doorsteps.

    Keep it real, true AMERICAN’s

  24. Robert
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Worrall posted the text to his article in Maxim.

    Here’s the link:

    I pasted the full text below as well:

    The Mysterious Death of Bush’s Cyber-Guru

    Posted Wednesday 02/10/2010 1:00 PM by Simon Worrall

    Shortly before six o’clock on the evening of December 19, 2008, a man standing outside his home in Lake Township, Ohio heard the whine of an engine in the sky above him.

    Moments later two red lights broke through the low clouds, heading almost directly toward the ground. It was a light aircraft, and for a second, as it descended below the tree line, the man thought it would climb back up. Instead, there was a terrible thud, and the sky turned orange. When the fire crews arrived, they found the burning wreckage of a Piper Saratoga strewn across a vacant lot. The plane had narrowly missed a house, but the explosion was so intense that the home’s plastic siding was on fire. So was the grass. The pilot had been thrown from the plane and died instantly. Body parts and pieces of twisted metal were scattered everywhere. A prayer book lay open on the ground, its pages on fire.
    The crash would have remained a private tragedy confined to the pages of the local press and the hearts of the pilot’s widow and four children, but within days the blogosphere was abuzz with rumors and conspiracy theories: The plane, it was said, had been sabotaged and the pilot murdered to cover up the GOP’s alleged theft of the Ohio vote in the 2004 presidential election. At the center of this plot was the Saratoga’s pilot, a prodigiously gifted IT expert named Michael Connell, whose altar boy charm and technical brilliance had made him the computer whiz of choice for the Republican Party. Left-wing Web sites openly referred to Connell as “Bush’s vote rigger” and claimed that his fingerprints were on all the most controversial elections in recent history. There were dark whispers of electronic pulses or sniper fire being used to bring down the plane—a black ops attack designed to keep him from testifying against his former cronies. Right-wing bloggers and talk show hosts derided such claims as the twisted delusions of liberal nut jobs and tinfoil hatters. The mainstream press sat on its hands.

    But while the rumors, innuendos, and allegations continue to swirl through the ether, evidence has recently emerged that suggests the Ohio vote may have been hacked, and that Connell was involved.

    Born in 1963 in Peoria, Illinois into a large Irish-American family, Michael Connell was a lifelong Republican and a devout Roman Catholic who went to Mass every day and wore a wristband saying what would jesus do? What Connell did was realize the potential of the Internet to shape politics. While still in his 20s, he worked as finance director for Republican Congressman Jim Leach, and as director of voter programs for Senator Dan Coats of Indiana. In 1988 Connell developed a voter contact database for George H. W. Bush, thus inaugurating a long association with the Bush family: Connell worked on Jeb’s gubernatorial campaign in Florida in 1998; two years later he was the chief architect of George W. Bush’s Web site as Dubya launched his bid for the White House.

    But it was while serving as tech guru to Karl Rove that Connell developed his deepest and perhaps most problematic professional relationship. Recruited in the late ’80s, Connell became Rove’s most trusted cyberlieutenant: a Web wizard who could turn portals into power and who would gain access to the very heights of American politics by the time he reached 30 years old. Connell’s two Ohio-based companies, New Media Communications and GovTech, became virtual research and development labs for the Republican Party, building and managing Web sites and e-mail accounts for both Presidents Bush and a long list of leading Republicans. GovTech also designed and managed numerous Congressional IT systems, including those for the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, putting Connell “behind 
the fire wall” of some of the most sensitive gov–ernment Web sites from the safety of the Bush White House.

    “Mike was known as the GOP’s Mister Fix-It,” says Stephen Spoonamore, an IT security expert and friend of Connell’s. “He built really intelligent tools that allowed people who wanted to win elections do a better job organizing their data.” But aside from his more legitimate business, Connell was no stranger to the darker side of American politics. He was forced to resign from Senator Coats’ campaign for his involvement in ethical violations. Connell’s was also the hand behind the Web site for the notorious Swift Boat Veterans’ for Truth smear campaign against John Kerry and, the secret e-mail account used by Rove and dozens of other White House staffers.

    Just six weeks before his death, Connell had given a deposition in an Ohio lawsuit that accused Rove, Bush, and Co. of something far more serious than merely scrubbing e-mails: the theft of the 2004 Ohio vote. “This is the biggest scandal in our history,” says Mark Crispin Miller, a professor at New York University who has written extensively about electronic voter fraud. “Watergate grew out of a paranoid attempt to disable the opposition. But Ohio was exponentially different. We’re talking about a systematic, centralized attempt to rig the voting system.”

    “We decided to try to bring a racketeering claim against Rove under Ohio law,” says Cliff Arnebeck, the attorney who brought the suit, a broad-shouldered man with a Senatorial air dressed in a blue blazer. “We detected a pattern of criminal activity, and we identified Connell as a key witness, as the implementer for Rove.”

    By any calculation, the Ohio 2004 election was a black day for American democracy. Lou Harris, known as the “father of modern political polling,” and a man not given to hyperbole, called it “as dirty an election as America has ever seen.” All the exit polls suggested Ohio would go to Kerry. But when the vote was counted George Bush had won by 132,685 votes, adding Ohio’s crucial 20 Electoral College votes to his tally. And putting him, not Kerry, into the White House. It has since been alleged that at several points on election night, the Ohio secretary of state’s official Web site, which was responsible for reporting the results, was being hosted by a server in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    Ohio’s secretary of state in 2004 was a fiercely partisan Christian named Ken Blackwell. Blackwell had hired a company called GDC Limited to run the IT systems, which had subcontracted the job to Michael Connell’s company, GovTech. Connell had in turn sub-contracted SMARTech, an IT firm based in Chattanooga, to act, it was claimed, as a backup server.

    “By looking at the URLs on the Web site, we discovered that there were three points on election night when SMARTech’s computers took over from the secretary of state,” says Arnebeck. “It is during that period that we believe votes were manipulated.”

    In computer jargon it is known as a man-in-the-middle attack.

    “At the time I didn’t know who SMARTech were,” says IT expert Stephen Spoonamore, opening a file on his computer showing the Internet architecture map of the 2004 Ohio election. He points to a red box in the bottom right-hand corner showing SMARTech’s server.

    “Then I found out: They host Rove’s e-mails. They host the RNC’s Web site. They host George Bush’s Web site.” His voice rises in disbelief.

    “I go, ‘Holy shit, this is a man-in-the-middle attack! These guys have programmed the state’s computers to talk to a company with ties 
to the Republican Party.’ It’s brilliant.”

    With his wiry hair and designer glasses, Spoonamore looks like a character in a Tim Burton movie. A lifelong Republican, he is also one of the world’s acknowledged experts on cybersecurity, with a résumé that includes work for the U.S. armed forces and the FBI. In his spare time he has devoted thousands of hours to investigating cyberfraud in American elections. “I know I sound crazy when I talk about this stuff. No one wants to believe it. They say, ‘No one would steal an elec–tion.’ And I go, ‘Yeah, they would. And that’s exactly what they did.’ ”

    Spoonamore believes that while Michael Connell may have facilitated electoral fraud, he was really just a tool of more powerful forces. “Mike has been called the Forrest Gump of GOP IT operations,” he says. “And I think there’s a truth to that. I think he was a good guy surrounded by wolves. He was always going to be the fall guy.”

    The two men had gotten to know each other at Spoonamore’s Washington, D.C. offices in late 2005. “The two of us hit it off,” recalls Spoonamore. “We were the same age, the same generation. We had a lot of friends in common.” At the end of the meeting, Connell broached a delicate topic. “Mike asked me, ‘How easy is it to destroy all records of e-mail?’ ” recalls Spoonamore. “He sort of gestured toward the White House and said, ‘Because I have clients down the street who are working on that problem.’ And I stepped back and said, ‘If you are talking about White House e-mail destruction, I want nothing to do with it.’ ”

    A year later, at an IT conference in London, Spoonamore confronted the pro-life Connell about the Ohio election: “He said, ‘I’m afraid that in my zeal to save the babies, the system I built may have been abused.’ ”

    Three days later, in the back of a cab heading toward the airport, Spoonamore asked Connell if he would be willing to talk to a Congressional judiciary committee about what he knew. “I actually took Mike’s hand and said, ‘If I can arrange for a private meeting for you to sit down with the committee and explain what you think may have happened in 2004 and how your systems may have been abused, will you do it?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ ”

    Connell never did talk to the judiciary committee. But in the months leading up to his death he was under intense pressure. In an attempt to extricate himself from the world of politics, he had sold two of his businesses, including GovTech. Throughout the fall his plane was being tracked by Arnebeck and his associates so they could serve him with a subpoena. Connell sought refuge from the maelstrom in his deep Catholic faith. He took to wearing a scapular, two squares of cloth with religious images favored by devout Catholics, under his shirt. He went to Mass twice a day and became more directly involved with the pro-life movement, spending weekends standing outside abortion clinics. He traveled to Burma and Thailand to work with religious dissidents and started a Catholic charity in El Salvador.

    Finally, on October 8, 2008, Connell was served with his subpoena at College Park Airfield outside Washington, D.C. Seven weeks later his Piper Saratoga would fall from the sky.

    On December 18, Connell flew to D.C. to meet with the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization, about starting a new branch and rebuilding their Web site. He stayed the night at a hotel, got up early to attend Mass and then a breakfast meeting. At about 11 a.m., Connell went to College Park Airfield to prepare to fly home to Akron. His firm, New Media Communication, was holding its Christmas party that evening, and he didn’t want to miss it. An experienced pilot with more than 500 hours of flight time under his belt, Connell waited for the weather to clear. Shortly after 3:30 p.m., he called his wife, Heather, in Ohio to say he had his “window.” He took off at 3:51 p.m.

    At first everything went fine. On his approach to Akron-Canton Regional Airport, he asked the tower if there were any reports of icing and was told there were not. It was certainly dark and cold, with cloud cover at 1,000 feet, but the plane had a sophisticated autopilot system that would normally bring it onto the runway, like a homing pigeon. But at 3,200 feet, as Connell began his descent, air traffic control radioed to say he was off course by several miles. Connell radioed that he would correct his position. Something seemed to be wrong with the lateral controls.

    The audiotapes of Connell’s last communications with the tower suggest a rising sense of panic and confusion. Realizing that he is still off course, he asks to do a 360-degree turn “to reestablish ourselves.” It’s an unusual maneuver at this late stage of the approach, and the flight controller denies the request. Instead, he advises Connell to “climb and maintain 3,000 feet.” Seconds later there is a loud rushing sound as the cockpit bursts open and the engine goes haywire. Connell screams, “Nine nine November declaring an emergency!” Out of respect for his religious beliefs—and his children—the tower reported that his last words were, “Oh, God!” In fact, he cries out, “Oh, fuck!” Then the tape goes dead.
    Capt. Lorin Geisner of the Greentown Fire Department was the first person to arrive at the scene. “We received a 911 call, so we contacted the tower and asked what size plane it was and how many souls were on board,” he recalls. “But we were informed that the tower was in lockdown and that no information was available.”

    According to sources, there were other anomalies. Normally, a night crash scene would be roped off and investigated in daylight. In this case representatives of the NTSB and FAA used light towers to photograph and document the scene. Connell’s plane was hastily removed to a secure hangar under cover of darkness. By 6 a.m. the investigators had vanished, leaving behind them a trail of debris, and one very angry widow.

    “How is this OK?” asks Heather Connell, pulling a chunk of metal from a cardboard box she had brought in from the garage. She is kneeling on the floor of her husband’s basement office, a tidy space decorated with sleek black office furniture. A photo of a 25-year-old Connell with George H. W. Bush sits on the bookshelf next to an action figure of Dubya decked out in fighter pilot garb. A cascade of frizzy blonde hair tumbles forward over Heather’s face. Her eyes are red from crying. “They think this is part of the foot pedal.”

    When I ask how she met her husband, she starts to hum the ’80s hit “Don’t You Want Me.” “She was working as waitress in a cocktail bar…” Then her voice falters. “That much is true. We met in Indiana. He was working for Senator Coats, and I was going to college and working at a sports bar. He was with a bunch of interns who came in. I carded every one of them and was in the process of kicking him out of the bar.” She gives a throaty chuckle. “He was used to people fawning over him, and I think he liked me because I was mean.”

    “I didn’t go to the crash site on the night he died,” she says, picking another piece of debris from the box. As her husband began his final descent, Heather and the rest of the staff gathered at a restaurant for the company’s annual Christmas party. “I got a message that his plane had landed,” she recalls, choking back tears. “So I kept calling and calling.” She winces at the memory. “This is making me sick again.” Leaning back in her chair, she takes a drag of a cigarette. “They told me the plane had crashed and that he was dead, but I didn’t 
want to believe it. I thought maybe he was on the way to the hospital, so I didn’t go to the crash site until December 26.” Her left nostril spasms. “I have pieces of my husband’s brain!” she cries. “I picked them up with my hands six days after the crash. Chunks of his skin and internal organs. How is that a proper investigation? How is that acceptable? How dare they leave pieces of my husband lying there!”

    She pulls out another storage box filled with personal items from the crash site: $50 in cash; a charred prayer book with a note inside it reading, “I love you”; a Mickey Mouse dollar bill. Something important is missing, though. “Why do I have his earpiece?” she asks, pulling out the Jawbone headset of a BlackBerry. “This was in his backpack. And the backpack was zipped. So where’s his phone?”

    “He always clips them next to each other,” interjects her 15-year-old daughter, Lauren. It’s an important detail because it suggests that the BlackBerry may have been intentionally removed from the backpack. On it were hundreds, if not thousands, of sensitive files and e-mails relating to Karl Rove and the Bush administration.

    “I want to know where my husband’s phone is,” Connell says angrily. “It’s my responsibility as a mother and a spouse to find out what happened. And I will not accept ‘Cause of crash unknown.’ I will not.”
    Though she is furious at the NTSB, she has no time for the conspiracy theories. While she admits that Connell was disillusioned with politics, she bridles at any suggestion that he could have been involved with vote rigging. “With Mike there was religion, family, and a love for democracy,” she says firmly. “He would never interfere with the democratic process. That’s just ridiculous.”

    Connell’s younger sister isn’t so sure. “I knew he worked for the Bushes,” says Shannon Connell. The two siblings had diametrically opposed views—Shannon Connell is a pro-Obama liberal—but they never allowed this to come between them. “We stayed close despite the political differences. He was my brother.”

    She doesn’t know whether Connell helped steal elections. If he did, she says, it was because of his passionate anti-abortion views. “I think he was convinced he was doing good—to save the babies,” she says. “That’s the only thing my sisters and I can come up with.

    “Mike had been deposed, but he hadn’t been called as a witness yet,” she says of the possibility that her brother was murdered. “He was incredibly loyal to the people he worked for, but he would never have lied under oath. For want of a better expression, I think they played him. His death would have been a really nice Christmas present for Rove and Cheney.

    “I am beyond looking for justice,” she says, resigned. “I just want the truth to be known. But I am not counting on it.” She may be right.

    After more than nine months, the factual report into Connell’s crash had still not been made public. According to an NTSB spokesperson, it was “still being reviewed.” That’s scant comfort 
to Connell’s family, who just want some sense of closure, whatever the outcome.
    Still, “In my mind and my heart,” says Shannon Connell, “I am convinced he was murdered.”

    We may never know the truth about Connell’s last flight, but contracts between Connell’s company, GovTech, and Ken Blackwell’s administration establish a credible scenario for electoral fraud and place Connell at the scene of the alleged crime.

    Among other things, the contracts contradict Connell’s sworn testimony that SMARTech, in Chattanooga, merely acted as a backup site for election data.

    The contracts, signed in March 2004, show that SMARTech was specifically tasked with creating a “mirror site” to manage election night results.“What this means is that Connell’s company was on both sides of the mirror,” explains Stephen Spoonamore. “And that the votes of the people of Ohio were in the control of a fiercely partisan IT company (SMARTech) and operating out of another state.”

    Clouding matters further is the persistent specter of paranoid conspiracy that has enveloped the case from the beginning. In September 2009, an anonymous letter was sent to the FBI in Ohio and five other addressees, including Heather Connell. “Enclosed is a document that is not meant to exist,” begins the anonymous writer. Included is what purports to be an “after action report” by a black ops agent. All names have been redacted, but the report provides a detailed time log of actions taken to install an AMD (microprocessor) in the engine of Connell’s plane at College Park Airfield in D.C. the night before he made his fatal last flight. Connell himself is not mentioned by name. Just the registration number of his plane, NP299N, which the agent confirms he had been sent to “neutralize.” The letter accompanying the report is headed MICHAEL CONNELL, HOMICIDE. It ends with the words: “Connell was not NST (national security threat).”

    While skeptics may be tempted to dismiss these documents as the ingenious work of a hoaxer intent on pouring gasoline on the bonfire of conspiracy theories already surrounding Connell, 
a number of experts from the intelligence community who have seen the document believe it to be genuine.
    In early November, the NTSB finally released its factual report into Connell’s crash. The report concludes that tests carried out on the plane’s engine, flight control, and autopilot systems revealed “no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.”

    A spokeswoman for the NTSB confirmed that the organization had received a copy of the anonymous letter, but would not say whether its claims were being looked into. “We’re investigating the accident,” she says, “not any possible criminal activity.” She adds that the NTSB forwarded the letter to the FBI in Cleveland. When asked to confirm this, Scott Wilson at the FBI’s Cleveland bureau, says, “The only thing I can say is…I can’t say anything.”

    Ultimately, only a full criminal investigation can determine the truth about Ohio ’04 and the death of Michael Connell. Robert Kennedy Jr., who sought Connell’s cooperation during an investigation into the election, believes the current administration should pursue the matter. “I think this is more serious than Watergate,” he says. “Watergate was essentially about winning the battle for public opinion. That’s why the break-in took place—to gather strategic information about Democratic strategy and dirt. But the electoral process remained intact. The Ohio vote undermines the very foundation stone of American democracy. There should be an official investigation. Otherwise this becomes a blueprint for how to steal an election from here to eternity.”

    That may not be enough for Connell’s widow. When I first spoke to her on the phone, Heather Connell was adamant that her husband’s plane crash had been an accident, God’s will. But she is no longer so sure. “This is a messed-up case of whether Karl Rove threatened my husband or not,” she says. I ask her directly if she now believes her husband could have been murdered. She takes a deep drag of her cigarette and, choking back tears, says: “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

  25. Posted September 10, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure I ever posted a link to the NTSB’s probable cause report, so here it is:

  26. Robert
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    CBS, CNN capture video of Ohio attorney subpoena served on Karl Rove

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – A federal subpoena, issued by Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck and sanctioned by the Office of Ohio Secretary of State, was served last Sunday in Washington to Karl Rove on his way to an appearance on the CBS news program Face the Nation.

    CNN, CBS capture video of subpoena servicing to Karl Rove

    The process service for the subpoena reported that CBS and CNN camera men “captured video” of the event.

    In an article written by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman and published at, the federal subpoena orders Rove to testify in deposition about his role in the alleged theft of the 2004 election, and to discuss his orchestration of tens of millions of corporate/billionaire dollars in this year’s General Elections on November 2.

    Contacted Wednesday to comment, Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney with a long history of involvement in election related cases, notably as plaintiff attorney in the on-going King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit that Fitrakis and Wasserman have used to try to question Rove on an election they say the Republican campaign expert stole for George W. Bush in 2004, said of his role in the 2010 election cycle, “Rove has asked for all this money on behalf of the Republican candidates’ campaigns. Under Citizens United that still constitutes a gift to those campaigns and is still subject to limits and prohibitions of campaign finance laws. Camouflaging the gifts by running them through nice sounding non-profit corporations is nothing but the latest form of money-laundering.”

    Responding to a question on the involvement of the Office of Ohio Secretary of State and the Secretary herself, Media Relations Coordinator Kevin Kidder issued CGE this statement: “Because we are a defendant in that lawsuit I can’t really talk about the specifics of the case. Sorry I can’t be of more help.”

    In a telephone conversation, Arenbeck confirmed that top officials in both the offices of Secretary of State and Attorney General who were familiar with the case approved him issuing the subpoena to Rove.

    Arnebeck says Rove will now likely contact his attorney, Bob Luskin, who will file a motion in federal court in Washington, D.C. to quash the subpoena. A hearing date will be assigned at which the parties will make their arguments, Arnebeck said.

    Under Rove’s orchestration, Arnebeck said, the money raised as a result of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, which allowed corporations to funnel unlimited amounts of funds into political races, is being used to “wipe Democrats out of Congress and to take control of the apportionment process at the state level throughout the country.”

    He argues that Rove is the de facto head of a coordinated Republican national campaign in which Tom Donahue of the Chamber of Commerce is a senior partner, while the Republican National Committee, under leader Michael Steele, has been relegated to junior partner status.

    Sudden, mysterious death of Republican computer Guru Connell recalled

    In a hearing conducted shortly before the presidential election in 2008 that garnered little attention from national or local media, Arnebeck deposed Michael Connell, Rove’s former chief computer guru, whose long history working for the Bush family, and subsequently in Ohio as a contractor with Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell during the 2004 election, is well documented.

    Fitrakis and Wasserman write that Rove used Connell to establish the electronic tools and architectural framework through which the vote count manipulations that shifted the election from John Kerry to Bush were accomplished.

    Arnebeck was in the process of deposing Connell a second time when the Ohio-based computer expert and experienced professional pilot died in a fiery plane crash while landing at his home airport in Canton in December, 2008. For conspiracy theorists, the fact that Connell had been deposed the day before the November 2008 election only adds to the mystery of circumstances surrounding his sudden death, and whether Rove can be tied to it in any way.

    Rove affidavit details

    According to an affidavit of the process server, Brad Bokoski, the civil case subpoena (Case Number: 2:06-CV-00745) was served on Rove at 10 a.m. on October 24, 2010 at 2020 M Street, Washington D.C. Bokoski said service took place “on the sidewalk in front of the address and was captured on video by CBS and CNN camera men.”

  27. Larry South
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I stumbled on this (honest) and took the opportunity to read to the end…

    I know nothing of the players here, but I do know a bit about Piper PA-32R Saratoga’s, because I’ve rented and flown quite a few. Single pilot, no passenger, <600 hours experience, with some luggage, especially loaded forward, will make the plane sensitive in pitch. Given a night ILS (precision instrument) approach, and the prevailing weather (overcast cloud at 1000ft and broken cloud at 500ft with a OAT and dewpoint at 1 degree C to generate instant mist) and trending down all the time… Geeze, most pilots would consider these conditions ‘extremely’ challenging. The runway would be barely visible at minimums.

    Also, its been a long day and it sounds like he was pretty stressed. More experienced pilots would probably said the hell with it and hired a rental car or gone the next day – see JFK jnr for another example of a low time pilot getting in over his head.

    I’d guess this was a classic ‘duck-under’ approach – “I’ll just go lower here to see if I can sight the runway lights..” Kills people every year. Very sad.

    As for conspiracy: you’ll have to consider the actual success rate of the Military/Industrial complex here over the last 50 years. Sheeit, Fidel Castro’s a sworn enemy and lives just over the horizon from Florida and he’s gonna die of old age.

    Conspiracy? Don’t make me laugh…

  28. Robert
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Mr. South, I can see by your comments that you didn’t read the NTSB’s Probable Cause Report. Please take a look at it and you’ll see that your “duck-under” explanation doesn’t fit the known details.

    From your comment I assume you really don’t have much interest in discussing the actual details of this incident and were just looking to post something dismissive without having to put much thought into it, but using jargon in an attempt to appear thoughtful and knowledgeable. However, if you are actually the type of person who has a genuine interest in understanding things, please read over the short NTSB report and present a more thoughtful analysis which would be in keeping with the known facts.

    As you’ll see, Connell’s Saratoga (N9299N) was not below the assigned intercept altitude but was well left of the localizer, on a parallel course. This would suggest the possibility of a misgauged course deviation indicator.

    Another possibility is that N9299N was tracking a parallel ghost signal from a modified MMLS – Mobile Microwave Landing System, as is one of the possibilities suspected in other notable recent aircraft crashes.

    There were other problems with your comment as well. I think it is a bit misleading to say “most pilots would consider these conditions ‘extremely’ challenging” in regard to those Connell faced that evening. Most IFR rated pilots would NOT find these specific conditions extremely challenging. In fact, these are the sorts of conditions IFR pilots commonly encounter. A pilot such as Connell would not be unfamiliar with such conditions.

    I am not sure why you make reference to the “Military Industrial Complex.” I can’t find it mentioned in this thread before you did.

    Anyway, if you are up for an intelligent discussion based on facts, I’m up for it.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  29. Edward
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Please, hold your breath.

  30. Robert
    Posted June 16, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Seriously, has an informed, intelligent discussion regarding any topic ever occured in the comment threads of this blog?

  31. Robert
    Posted June 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    It appears to me that RusAir Flight 9605 which crashed on approach three days ago was similarly tracking a ghost ILS signal which guided the pilots into trees almost 4,000 feet short of the runway. A criminal investigation has been launched due to the very suspicious circumstances of the crash.

  32. Robert
    Posted June 24, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    It looks likely that Mossad initiated and oversaw the operation to crash RusAir 9605, with assistance of the domestic Russian syndicate. 45 died and 7 were injured. The targets were a group of Russian nuclear scientists who were on board. They were involved in assisting Iran in it’s nuclear program.

    The approach path of flight 9605 suggests the crew was following a ‘ghost’ or ‘dummy’ instrument landing signal most likely broadcasting from within a truck parked along Highway A133. The signal would have been somewhere around 1,200 meters short of the true runway ILS glide-slope signal and 200 meters off-center of the true localizer signal.

  33. Robert
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m deeply disappointed I can’t get Larry South’s brilliant analysis on the RusAir crash. I’m imagining it would read something like this, “I just happened accross this post and it inspired me to larn every detail about the incident. Planes crash all the time, ergo, this was just another accident. Conspiracy? Don’t make me laugh!”

    June 23, 2011

    Five scientists killed in Monday’s Russian plane crash assisted in the development of Iran’s nuclear plant, Russian security sources told the Daily Mail.

    Scientists Andrei Tropinov, Sergei Rizhov, Gennadi Benyok, Nicolai Tronov and Valery Lyalin worked at the Bushehr nuclear power plant and helped to complete construction of it.

    The five scientists were employed at the Hydropress factory, a member of Russia’s state nuclear corporation, according to

    Russian officials say there was no foul play in the plane crash that killed 45 people despite other similar accidents and plane crashes involving Iranian nuclear scientists.

    “Although Iranian nuclear scientists have in the past been involved in unexplained accidents and plane crashes, there is no official suspicion of foul play,” a Russian source told the Associated Press.

    Russian investigators say that human error and technical malfunction caused the deadly crash.

    Eight passengers survived the crash.

  34. Robert
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Don’t make Larry South laugh with stories like this:


    Halifax— The Canadian Press
    Published Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011 12:18AM EDT
    Last updated Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011 12:19AM EDT

    CBC’s Fifth Estate is reporting that a former RCMP officer involved in the investigation into the crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia believes an incendiary device may have brought down the plane.

    Tom Juby has told The Fifth Estate that he was prevented by senior RCMP and aviation safety officials from pursuing his theory that the crash may have been caused by a criminal device.

    The flight from New York to Zurich crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Peggy’s Cove on Sept. 2, 1998, killing 229 passengers and crew.

    A Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded the plane was brought down by a fire in the cockpit that was caused by sparking electrical wires.

    Mr. Juby, a former arson investigator who worked on the Swissair file, told the CBC that the TSB investigation was done “improperly” and that high levels of magnesium – a key ingredient in an incendiary device – were discovered in the cockpit area.

    The Fifth Estate, which will broadcast the item Friday night, says it spoke to several other investigators and a federal scientist who support Mr. Juby’s suspicions.

    The CBC says the RCMP and the TSB repeatedly refused to comment about Mr. Juby’s allegations.

  35. Edward
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    It would have been cleaner if they had all slipped in their bathtubs and died on the same day.

  36. Robert
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Yeah but then you don’t get to collect the contract cash for the phony terrorist attack. The Canadian government knew it was an attempt to rile folks up about terrorism, so they suppressed the details showing it was a contracted sabotage. Just as what happened with TWA 800 (7-17-1996), EgyptAir 990 (10-31-1999) and American Airlines 587 (11-12-2001), the authorities covered up so as to derail the attempt by a criminal interest to carry out the contract for a false flag terrorist attack. The money to be collected on that contract must have been huge, because the money to be made as a consequence would be astronomical…and was of course. After several attempts throughout the 90’s it became apparent that the administrative branch of the federal government had to be captured first so that the federal response would be cooperative instead of obstructive – hence the contract to rig the 2000 presidential election. A few months after that control is assumed you have your full scale high profile attack, which everybody watches live, and which nobody can deny is a terrorist attack. Now you have your war mobilization and billions of dollars which can be collected, skimmed, diverted and stolen outright. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see how it fits together. You just have to not have your head up your ass.

  37. Robert
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh and by the way, every one of the commercial flights mentioned here originated from JFK, which is well known to be the most mobbed-up major airport in the US. These crashes account for 4 of 5 major commercial crashes which occurred in the US during the time period they collectively span. The probability of this occurring is many millions to one. Also in common among all these flights were their direction of departure taking them over the Atlantic to international destinations.

    I’m trying not to make Larry South laugh with all this. So, as funny as the murder of thousands of innocent civilians may be, please don’t make any more jokes Edward.

  38. dragon
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Hear me now and believe me later. Your problem is that any rational human being can see that you’re right, and that your arguments are logical.

    Why that is a problem is that committed demoralized sophists who see the world in false premises and false dilemmas can/will not see that you’re right, simply because you ARE right. They never can/will because they are psychologically incapable of it, like pavlov’s dogs. And this blog is the dish where many of them go to feed.

    However, they are capable of heaping illogical abuse on you, and of putting words in your mouth. They have no moral problem with doing so whatsoever.

    I just hate seeing perfectly good arguments go to waste, but good on you for trying anyway. It shows that you assume that other people are as reasonable as you are, and as far as good will goes, that’s a nice assumption. The problem is that many people aren’t reasonable, and I would go so far as to say that many people (but not all) who comment on this blog are even anti-reasonable. Unlike you, who derive pleasure out of sound logical arguments supported by facts, they actually take pleasure in drowning reason with irrationality, and truth with untruths (or half-truths). It’s hard to believe that of someone, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence of their low characters, but it’s true.

    Hence why I (and anybody else in their right mind) no longer comment here, and why I won’t respond to the sophist ridiculousness that may or may not follow this comment — a comment which I’ve made for your sake alone, since you seem like a sane, thoughtful person who actually knows his ass from a hole in the ground… or is willing to actually do a little research on the matter if he didn’t.

  39. Edward
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Well played, Mr. Dragon.

    (I’m debating whether or not I should tell Robert what you just did there.)

  40. Robert
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I know dragon doesn’t write that way. That doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes either.

  41. dragon
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I know dragon doesn’t write that way

    Thank you.

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