Man who set up alternate email for White House dies in plane crash

From at-Largely (Larisa Alexandrovna):
200812201504Mike Connell set-up the alternate email and communications system for the White House. He was responsible for creating the system that hosted the infamous accounts that Karl Rove and others used. When asked by Congress to provide these emails, the White House said that they were destroyed. But in reality, what Connell is alleged to have done is move these files to other servers after having allegedly scrubbed the files from all “known” Karl Rove accounts.

In addition, I have reason to believe that the alternate accounts were used to communicate with US Attorneys involved in political prosecutions, like that of Don Siegelman. This is what I have been working on to prove for over a year. In fact, it was through following the Siegelman-Rove trail that I found evidence leading to Connell. That is how I became aware of him. Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened.”

Graham writes: "Unfortunately, he won’t get to talk. He died in a plane crash yesterday."

UPDATE: A curious press release: "Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation" (Thanks, Adam!)

(Via Why, That's Delightful)


  1. at least he didn’t die in highly suspicious circumstances that appear to undermine some kind of fictional ‘democracy’. Phew eh!

  2. Cancer Man: You haven’t got any tape. You haven’t got any deal. You can’t play poker if you don’t have any cards, Mister Skinner. You ever wonder what it would be like to, uh… die in a plane crash? Of botulism? Even a heart attack’s not uncommon for a man your age. You think I’m bluffing?

  3. how could someone with enough ability to do this work also not have made it clear from the onset there would be back-ups to be opened in event of his death?

  4. Tak: Maybe it was just an accident–Rove and the Cheney administration were leaving him alone due to that threat. I like the thought that they did everything to leave him be, and he died accidentally, and now Rove et al are fucked.

    Scratch that, I love the idea. Who else is dreaming of a white Christmas now?

  5. yep, just an accident… just like Mel Carnahan and Paul Wellstone.

    Note to Al Franken: take the train.

  6. the amount of corruption created and spread by eight years of President Cheney means that there are whole hosts of people who’s lives and careers will be utterly destroyed if what they permitted and closed their eyes to comes to light. This is the sole talent of things like Rove: they get EVERYONE dirty. Institutionalized corruption, just like an African kleptocracy, creates generational momentum. There are many breathing sighs of relief that Obama will not be ordering them to keep doing unspeakable, unjustifiable crimes, that perhaps if they are silent and lucky, it wil all recede in the past and be quietly buried and forgotten. Even if they didn’t directly have a hand in murdering a possible leak,do you think they would lift a finger to stop it?

  7. ThreeFJeff – yeah, I think you may have a point. This actually brings unwanted attention to the case. I don’t look to TV science fiction for how to think about the world. I prefer facts to fantasy.

  8. Let me just preface this by saying: I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, and I know.

    That having been said: Rove et al have nothing–absolutely nothing–to fear from the federal government investigating anything. That’s what their blanket pardons are for, and they will get them. Nor, I suspect, will they really care if the mechanisms by which they did their dirtywork get exposed. That’s easy to spin: “Hey, we did what had to be done, because we’re heroes. Sorry for breaking a few laws in the name of awesomeness.”

    I’m not saying that the nearest cop with jurisdiction shouldn’t give them the stink-eye; cui bono and all that. But since I’m pretty sure Rove couldn’t really benefit (the pardon will also strip him of rights against self-incrimination and set up a sweet little perjury trap) we don’t absolutely have to rush into full-blown paranoid conspiracy mode here. What Rove is flat-out known to have done is more than bad enough.

  9. kids! i think u all are getting paranoid! c’mon, it was just an accident. a plane crash, for goodness sake. happens alla time. nothing to see here, folks. please just move along.

  10. Yes, we should reserve judgement. Still, Alexandrovna first reported that the crash was because he “ran out gas” (which would make the man an incredibly incompetent aviator) and then it becomes “ice buildup”. The way she describes the switch in the story sounds pretty suspicious:

    The initial call I got described him running out of gas. That is no longer what is said to have happened.

    Also, Velvet Revolution, the nonprofit in the update calling for an investigation that Connell was working with (and who are also calling for a number of other key figures in the case to be placed into protective custody), says they had gotten tips over the last few months that he should not fly and that his plane might be sabotaged, and that

    Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane.

    So, okay, let’s not rush to conclusions, but there’s this smell… kind of…. fishy…

  11. This is stupid. The popularity of conspiracy theories is the calling card of a decayed and stultified culture. Paranoid gnosticism is an insult to intelligent discourse.

  12. I want a calling card that reads:

    | Paranoid Gnostic |
    | |
    | Insulter to intelligent discourse in a |
    | decayed and stultified culture. |
    | |

  13. or a shirt: boingboing, home of the paranoid gnostic. or boingboing pwns ur decayed and stultified culture! so cool!

  14. Given who this guy is, I think there is ample reason to suspect foul play. The Brad Blog has been documenting his story for a while, and he certainly knew where the skeletons were in the Bushco closet.

    Let’s hope that he was smart enough to leave a ‘to be opened in the event of my death’ package somewheres…

  15. To those who wonder why Rove and Co would worry about a person leaking the “private” white house emails when they are eligible for a blanket pardon in just a few short weeks:

    I think you need not be a conspiracy theorist to realize that even if Bush pardons his entire staff there are probably hundreds of individuals, states and companies who would rather not have their names and doings on the front page of the Washington Post. Not to mention that if any emails implicate Bush in serious wrong doings he cannot pardon himself. The graft surrounding the first couple of years of the Iraq invasion alone is enough to land many in very hot water.

  16. Given the total cockup the Bush administration has been, if there is even tangential involvement in this on their part, it’s bound to be uncovered sooner rather than later.

  17. 90% of me is recalling an old KGB joke:

    “Do you know how to prove that the CIA didn’t kill Kennedy?”


    “Well, he’s dead, isn’t he?”

    The other 10% if me is in OMFG They Wouldn’t Be That Obvious Mode.

    All told … it’s just too frakking suspicious. What the frak. Over?

  18. Why so much suspicion? Almost 600 people died in air associated accidents (not just crashes) in 2005. It’s a highly common cause of death, right after…Fall on same level from slipping, tripping, and stumbling,…Falls involving bed, chair, other furniture…, and it’s right up there with…Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Could happen to anybody.

  19. I see that the latest reports also indicate he carelessly managed to shoot himself in the back of the head at some point during the flight. While playing with piano wire in such a way as to tie his own hands behind his back.

    It’s no wonder he crashed.

  20. I had a bad feeling about this guy before I even knew his name. I run an email system and I just couldn’t see any upside for him doing this. I didn’t consider death as one of the outcomes though.

    This is very suspicious. Good thing I work for honest people who want to retain everything.

  21. Today Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who last week filed papers seeking discovery and depositions from Karl Rove and others for election manipulation, wrote to Attorney General Mukasey asking for protection for GOP IT guru Michael
    Connell and his wife Heather. Mr. Arnebeck stated that he had received credible
    confidential information from various sources indicating that Rove and his henchmen
    threatened Mr. and Mrs. Connell.
    In short, Rove et al, either directly or
    indirectly, demanded that Connell take the fall for the election manipulation
    or the Justice Department would target Mrs. Connell for some lobby related
    money laundering.

  22. In the aviation community, small planes are known as “doctor-killers”. These planes crash all the time so I’m reserving judgement.

  23. Rove & Cheney also caused the accident that killed John-John!

    And, and, and, they caused the creash of the alien saucer in Roswell NM in 1947!

    And, and, and, they were the ones who shot JR!!!

    Ya gotta know that anyone telling you different is in on the conspiracy so just avoid them from now on, ok?

  24. not to be flippant about somebody’s death, but if the conspiracy theories are true, i wouldn’t be that surprised since it would be the same guys who railroaded an entire country to war. what’s a little plane crash at that point?

  25. This is stupid. The popularity of conspiracy theories is the calling card of a decayed and stultified culture. Paranoid gnosticism is an insult to intelligent discourse.

    A statement heavily saturated with overly fancy words is the calling card of someone without anything meaningful to say.

  26. I immediately thought, “Good god, we’re going to have to deal with with yet another “mysterious” plane crash.”

    As with the 9/11 Truthers, I have only one thing to point out:

    Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, George W Bush, and hell let’s throw in Don Rumsesfeld did this? The gang that brought us Iraq, Katrina, let Bin Laden get away twice(!), ran the economy into the ground? That gang?

    Not a chance. This worked.

  27. I live in near the crash. All they mentioned on the local weekend news was that he was RNC’s leader for internet fundraising. Not a peep about about him and Rove.

  28. @coaxial

    I’ve said the same thing to Truthers. But it’s also the same gang that got themselves installed in 2000, got Siegelman tossed in prison and are accomplished Mighty Wurlitzer players.

    Blind squirrels, nuts.

  29. Yep. A plane crash that just happens to work to the *timely* advantage of those in power. The timely part. That’s the difference.

    That said, I’m sure it was just an accident.

  30. Frohike: Now, I’m sorry, you’re telling me that the U.S. government, the same government that gave us Amtrak…
    Langly: Not to mention the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
    Frohike: …is behind some of the darkest, most far-reaching conspiracies on the planet?! That’s just crazy!

  31. Thinking that the key figure in Republican IT cheating would be killed is called paranoid madness, yet eight. Aching. Years. Of CNN/MS-NBC/ABC/Headline News/All the newspapers covering every idiot fantasy about President Clinton and his wife was called news. And now we have Obama-is-he-a-citizen, involved in a Senate seat selloff, Is He Guily? What is he hiding? on and on and on and on…

  32. Having the FAA investigate this means about as much as having the SEC investigate *anything* on Wall Street from 2000-2008.

  33. As and IT guy myself, I know first hand that there is probably a long list of people who wanted to kill Connell. It was just a matter of who got to him first.

  34. I find it rather amazing, really.

    Clearly, JFK was assassinated by someone other than Oswald. The Warren commission was a joke, what with the magic bullet that caused 9 or so injuries, JFK’s head snapping backwards in the video even though the book depository was behind him, the eyewitness reports of gunshots from the grassy knowl, etc. etc. The whole thing stinks. Anyone who examines it without any knowledge of what was “supposed” to happen can only conlude there was more than one gunman.

    more than 2/3 of the American public thinks the official story is a sham.

    And yet, if you dare to question it, you are labelled a “conspiracy theorist”, a kook, etc. etc.

    Then, JFK Jr. – charismatic, handsome, responsible. Didn’t follow in the Kennedy family antics, and could have certainly been a presidential contendor one day. And then, oops, his plane just suddenly pinwheeled out of the sky one day. Maybe it was suicide, to also murder his pregnant wife.

    The official story of his death makes no sense. He had enough time in the cockpit to qualify for a commercial pilot’s license. He was flying a route he had flown many times before. On the radio, he was calm, clear, and collected. And then he just suddenly falls out of the sky and dies, like this:


    The only explanation would be murder-suicide. The whole thing was really fishy, but no one really questioned it. There’s an interested youtube video about gets kooky later on, but starts off pretty convincingly.


    What I found really astonishing are the views of people like @43 Coaxial. No, for the most part, Bushco have been an amazingly effective and competent crew. Let’s list some successes of the Bush regime:

    1) Threw Iraq into chaos, removing a chief rival of Israel and drawing the world attention away from what else was going on in the world.

    2) Managed to effectively steal between billions and trillions of dollars.

    3) Left much of New Orleans uninhabatable, thus making the Black residents move to other places and opening the city up to real estate developers.

    4) Successfully building a national surveillance state.

    5) Succeeded in screwing up the economy enough that people will accept anything in the name of fixing it.

    6) Succeeded in getting the average American to abandon their faith in the Constitution.

    These are the same guys who have very successfully been causing dirty tricks and hijinks around the world for many decades. Guatemala, Chile, Iran, Indonesia..would you chalk all of that up to incompetence? No, they are determined, competent, intelligent, and successful. If they seem like they don’t know what they’re doing, it’s a ruse.

    So, I don’t know this guy. I don’t know the facts of the case. It might have been an accident.

    But I would certainly look into those who had the A) motive B) means and C) past history to kill him.

  35. Seeing that corruption corrupts absolutely, even if this is true, what difference does it make? Other than the lone-crazy-with-a-gun, what justice does any of these corrupt fuckers ever face?

  36. Zyodei –

    you stole my thunder. I was getting ready to list how successful the Cheney regime has been at achieving their goals. You missed a few, though:

    1. Built a permanent military base in Iraq
    2. Secured pipeline routes through Iraq and Afghanistan
    3. Revitalized lagging opium production in the Middle East by restoring friendly warlords to power in Afghanistan
    4. Insured thirty more years (at least!) of evil from the Supreme Court

    I’ve always thought it very strange that people accept at face value what they’re told the goals of the illegal war were: democracy! find the bin boogeyman and get him good! um… USA! but then, plenty of people apparently accepted obviously false justifications for the war, why wouldn’t they accept false goals, too?

  37. What’s with all the emotional resistance to conspiracy theory?
    Of course people conspire- that is, they get together, hatch plans, and try to carry them out.
    Just ask yourself, has anyone in the history of the world ever planned a crime and then carried that plan out? Taken more specifically, has anyone ever murdered anyone in a pre-meditated manner, for any reason?
    If you think the answer to this question is yes, I have one more question for you. Do you think anyone has ever used politics or some combination of politics and racketeering as a motivation to commit a crime? A crime such as murder? Anywhere or at any time in human history? If you think the answer might be yes than just stop with the “I don’t believe in conspiracy theory so there must be a simple, innocent answer to any sudden death that occurs in America”.
    If someone dies suddenly in the midst of a political crisis, you would have to be psychologically deranged to not ask if enemies of that person may have planned that death and possibly succeeded with their plans. Of course everything occurs on a case by case basis. But to refuse to ask? Come on!

  38. You know what’s really funny? Republicans also come up with a list of people who suspiciously died after being connected with Democrat Presidents. I doubt that an administration that was unable to fabricate a single WMD would be able to secretly kill off people that are “no longer sticking to the plan.”

    If Rove and Cheney are guilty of ordering dudes death – hopefully they’ll be caught. However, I won’t believe they’re guilty of such a crime until its announced on the national news.

  39. Tom –
    They’re capable of murdering around a million Iraqis, but not one white person? Come on.

    Also, I doubt you’ll find many apologists around here for the dirtier side of the Clinton administration.

  40. Woops. I realize I don’t actually know if the guy is white or not. Probably a safe assumption, but, you know, ass, you, me…

  41. your local cops kill mouthy poor people on whim and you can’t believe the entire power of the presidential machine won’t be turned on a critical whistle-blower? The principle of least hypothesis here points to murder before accident.

  42. Wow, this is oddly reminiscent of the late 80s. In fact, many of the same players are involved, but the hot subject of the day was a smaller matter called Iran-Contra. There were several deaths just two weeks before their scheduled testimonies that occurred under suspicious conditions:

    1. William Casey, who had to be pushed in his wheelchair due to his invalidity, somehow fell down the stairs and died before his final appearance before Congress, where he was going to tell all.

    2. A couple of NCOs who were part of ground intelligence operations in Honduras died on the same day on opposite coasts in the US. Each had checked out an M-16 rifle and had gone to a base shooting range on Thanksgiving Day. Each one died of multiple inflicted gunshot wounds from their own M-16s, having each somehow been able to hold down the trigger on their own weapons and riddle their own torsos with bullets. The deaths were ruled suicides by the Army.

    All of these deaths happened, you guessed it, two weeks prior to testifying.

    So, for all of you who think that these people “in charge” (and they are pretty much the same crowd) are too incompetent to kill someone to cover up their misdeeds, think again.

  43. Seriously. I’m a nobody and I’ve got a “To be opened in the event of my death” packet. I sent it to a Canadian friend.

  44. Inconvenient people have a way of dying when it suits the Bush administration. Not just the Bush administration, of course. Assassination is as American as apple pie.


    America was built on conspiracy.

    And one more thing… this Connell had to be *BREATHTAKINGLY* naive to fly alone in a small plane knowing he was being hunted. That’s what you get for being a tech savant who has no time to devote to the wider world, i.e. the track record of his paymasters when it comes to disposing of employees who are no longer in favor.

  45. >> However, I won’t believe they’re guilty of such a crime until its announced on the national news.


    That’s why America is effed up.

  46. After having GWB run the USA at least by proxy once, then have the American people come back for more again, why would you need to cover up ANYTHING?

    That neocon manifesto online right from the start…completely transparent…

    It’s quite obvious that you can fuck up things in a big way and do so rather openly, no stress about consequence.

    This is certainly not exclusive to the US, it’s just the most obvious case.

  47. “What’s with all the emotional resistance to conspiracy theory?”

    The resistance is intellectual, not emotional. There is a very real difference between the kind of thinking that a conspiracy nut does and what a detective or reporter does. Conspiracy theory is to reasoning what JunkScience dot com is to Climatology.

    Of course criminals conspire together but Biasedmark @ 16 is right. “Paranoid gnosticism is an insult to intelligent discourse.” That’s exactly what CT is, a belief in a gnostic universe where every little event is taken to have far grander significance than it appears to have. “It’s all part of the plan.”

    And it’s bullshit. You might as well read fortunes in goat entrails. That is the intellectual level that CT is at.

  48. From the press release:

    >> VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane.

    So he got in the plane anyway.

    Seriously, though.

    How stupid was this guy?

  49. >> The resistance is intellectual, not emotional.

    Your comment indicates otherwise.

    Instead of discussing the topic at hand, you chose to pepper a rambling ad hominem with such intellectualisms as “nuts,” “bullshit”, and “goat entrails.”

    Many people have a tidy ghetto in their heads called “Conspiracy Theory” where they segregate information they are too lazy to parse.

  50. Decrying beleivers of certain theories as kooks is a conspiracy in itself. The term “troofer” is now up there with other popular insults such as “liberal” and “socialist”. How is this? Does failing to beleive the official fantasy about 9/11 and wanting more information make you an idiot?

    Anyways, I’m with Occam on this one. If someone better off dead than alive to a government wakes up dead one morning its not exactly rocket surgery to make the jump that they did it.

  51. As someone who lives in Alabama, I find the idea that Don Siegelman was an innocent man wrongfully prosecuted is utterly laughable. His corrupt dealings damaged our state nearly as bad as our inept part-time legislature. Our current Governor has done a considerable better at handling our state’s affairs and keeping his own corruption better hidden. And that’s how we like our stealing to be performed in the great state of Alabama: under wraps!

  52. Gnostic?

    I thought I understood English rather well, but I don’t understand the Gnostic remarks at all.

    I know what Gnosticism is (at least in a philosophical/teosophical context). I know that BoingBoing and BB readers express admiration to known Gnostic believers with regularity, so it’s unlikely that it’s used as an insult.

    Was Mike Connell Gnostic?
    Is there some analogy I don’t know of?
    Please explain.

  53. This story somehow makes me proud of my fellow people in East Germany who took to the streets and overthrew their corrupt government, when I was too young to do it or know about it.

  54. I’m impressed that three up-and-coming dems have been taken out with wiretaps, four if you count bill Clinton (remember linda tripp?)
    Spitzer in NY…Kwame in Mich…Blagovich in Ind..
    Are all Democrats in office subject to wiretaps now?
    The comment above questioning JFK Jr.’s/ Paul Wellstone’s deaths got me thinking about how the Dem leadership has been “shaped” by recent events….
    As to the case at hand if they can destroy a entire Nation (Iraq) , why would they care about killing just one man?
    You guys should take a much much closer look at where those “Iraqi” kidnap/torture squads came from….60 corpses dumped every night all over town, in prominent places, horribly mutilated by torture, for months on end, several years after the American occupation began, in the city of Bagdad.
    hey but the US press don’t care.

  55. In the video of the news story below, pay attention to the subtext between the field reporter and the anchor at the end, and especially note the field reporter stressing the phrase “white house” to describe his situation before reiterating it in proper context, telegraphing. I think this exchange is a wonder of restraint and subtext. I’d be interested if anyone else picks up on this from an otherwise innocuous local report.

  56. Noen, Tom Hale, Coaxial, et al.:

    Do you believe that nineteen deeply religious nutjobs hijacked planes with boxcutters and used them as meat-filled bombs?

    I’m assuming you do.

    If nineteen people (not even counting the ones that weren’t actually on one of the planes) planned and executed that crime, that would most definitely qualify as a conspiracy.

    So now that we’ve established that all of us “believe in” conspiracy theories, we’re left with the slightly less contentious question of which ones are more likely to be true.

  57. catbeller @68

    First, please try to be nicer. We’re having an intelligent, respectful conversation here, and we try hard to keep it that way. “Get a life” ain’t advancing your arguments none. I have a life, and you hurt my feelings.

    Secondly, no. The darker side of the Clinton administration had nothing to do with blowjobs. Or, really, shady real estate (although it points to a lot of the relativism that guy and his administration allowed themselves). It had a lot to do with bombing campaigns, neoliberalism, and, yes some mysterious deaths.

  58. So, now the Bush administration has its own Vince Foster. The difference is that this one actually does sound suspicious on its face, rather than requiring the likes of Rush Limbaugh to drum up controversy where there is none.

    As Mojave (#35) said: this guy was Wellstone’d.

  59. @76 RevRaven: “And that’s how we like our stealing to be performed in the great state of Alabama: under wraps!”

    You made me LOL. I swear half the problem with Blagojevich is that Illinoisians don’t trust someone with the levers of power who’s too stupid to keep from getting caught moving the secret off-limits levers. (I swear this was Palin’s problem too — it’s not getting the ex-brother-in-law fired, it’s that it was so ham-handed and obvious.)

    @79 Ugly Canuck: “Blagovich in Ind..”

    Illinois. And he wasn’t up-and-coming anymore, not for a while. He only got elected to a second term because there was no one else reasonable on the ballot. People don’t get that there are two Democratic parties in Illinois, and Blagojevich’s has become the minority party. (The GOP actually serves as peacemakers and go-betweens between the two factions of the Dems in IL.) There was no way his ambitions were going to play on a national stage without the majority state party backing him.

    @thread, I feel a little Ben Franklin-y about conspiracy theories: Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. Most of the time. So I’m always skeptical. Obviously there are successful conspiracies, but obviously people also assign meaning to the meaningless.

    I’d be interested to see someone study the incentives that make for successful vs. unsuccessful conspiracies. I would suspect the incentives to keep the secret have to be VERY strong, because the incentives to spill the beans in today’s society are also strong and frequently financially lucrative (when it’s a government secret; not so much when you’re a corporate whistleblower). Such a study would probably also help us provide better incentives (and protections) to whistleblowers.

  60. Thanx Eyebrows, all politics is local, it has been said, so I appreciate your finer grain elucidation re: Illinois .
    As to conspiracies, after-the-fact opportunism by players, in the circumstances created by whatever the occurrence was (be it 9/11, JFK’s death, wiretap, vehicle crash etc.), can in retrospect cause it to appear to some observers as if the cause and effect were reversed.
    There have been political conspiracies indeed, but the seizing of opportunity after an unexpected or accidental occurrence, can lead to observers mistaking the cause, for the effect. ie the descriptive “this (for example, JFK dies) happened, and thus they could do that (continuing the example, escalate in Vietnam)”: becomes: the ascriptive “they did this (killed JFK) so that they could then do that (escalate Vietnam)”.
    Human evolution favors pattern recognition by the mind, and it would appear, to excess, in some minds.

  61. Cheney is indeed strong in the Dark Side.

    I have a longstanding theory that Cheney is one of the few focal points of pure interdimensional evil in our particular plane of existence. I also believe that Rupert Murdoch shares Cheney’s illich state.

    Thus, I find it clear that there must be an entire Secret Service detail dedicated to keeping Cheney and Murdoch at least 1/4 mile separate at all times, lest the very fabric of reality be torn asunder.

    Prove me wrong.

  62. It is possible that there are elements that work to protect whatever government is in place regardless of party administration. After all, it’s two ultra rich and ultra powerful blocs that both use the tactics of ultra rich and ultra powerful who want to keep and expand their power bases. The right are just more obvious in their vulgar display of power because it serves their purpose.

    Top play the devil’s advocate though; is there a list of right-wing power elite who have died in mysterious plane crashes? Besides the ones who may have been offed because they knew too much and where going to turn on their friends.

  63. Years ago I worked in a bar anmed “Molly’s at the Market” 1107 Decatur st. in New Orleans. Great place to work and hang out. The owner was this querulous old bastard named Jim Monahan. The crazy thing about this bar was that Jim had more pull than anyone I have ever met/will meet again. On Christmas Eve every year back then Harry Connick would play piano and sing for the customers. On year I asked Jim if I could maybe drop a question about the J.F.K. papers (Harry was the D.A. in New Orleans at the time and well “lost” a little paperwork concerning the assassination), Jim replied “sure go ahead,but I don’t think you will wake up tomorrow”. That was that, these people are nice up close but for dog’s sake don’t ask any silly questions.

  64. Seriously, a PRNEWSWIRE press release from a fringe “non-profit” organization is now factual news?

    This is a little better than a random blog post, sprinkled with just enough facts to make it believable. There may or may not be a story here, but seriously, look at the writing and try and follow the tin-foil ramblings. Personally, I got lost in the quotes and statements between VR, associates and friends of Mr. Connel, and the line between accused/alleged and convicted/proven is murky at best.

    PR Newswire pumped out to various media outlets whatever the paying customer, in this case the “non-profit” cared to put on paper…

  65. #72 Your intellectual refutation of conspiracy theory seems rather emotional actually. In comment #57 I asserted that of course people can and do conspire, then you agreed:
    “Of course people conspire together” but then you got all emotional about how bullshit it would be if we then thought that they might.
    Your intellectual resistance, if I discern it correctly, is that “everything” might be ascribed to a master narrative that is possessed by entrail reading freaks.
    Well that’s just not the case here and really unnecessary. My logical model of conspiracy does not include an all knowing onlooker, not even inside the conspiracy. I am merely talking about efforts. Efforts at actions, whether they be criminal, or investigatory.
    For you to say that conspiracies are unworthy speculations implies that they don’t exist. How can you know that? Are you the all seeing one?
    The fabled conspiracy kook, who claims to have figured it all out is in the same boat as the decrier of conspiracy speculation. Neither one’s knowledge even approaches a remarkable level so let’s just ignore their emotionality.
    The only “truths” that can be revealed are possible through criminal investigation and investigative journalism and other legitimate forms of investigation.
    Alas people strive to shape official narratives so in “real” criminal cases, in the history of the world, jurors, witnesses, judges, reporters, et al have been murdered, suppressed, unduly swayed, etc. Makes it hard to officially know anything. It’s more like agnosticism than gnosticism.
    As others have noted in this thread, run figures like Osama bin Laden or Dawood Ibrahim through your intellectual model. Do they exist? Do they exist outside of official sanction, as stateless actors? Remember the neocons refused to believe that about OBL so they were forced to promote “conspiracy theories” about meetings in Prague and so forth, also, as satirized well on SNL, buddy buddy with Saddam. OBL will really blow your head off as he is either a conspiracy (stateless Dr. Evil calling shots) or a conspiracy (run by CIA/in league with Saddam/ ISI/ still in good with family thus Carlyle group connections) or a conspiracy (semi-fictional narrative controlled by?).
    Basically it’s all about trying to construct a rational world out of a soup of information.
    btw it doesn’t seem reasonable to me to speculate that Bush is any master of puppets. Of course his strings are either pulled, or he flails, and we have seen both happen.

  66. When it comes to conspiracies–You’re not a kook to ask questions, you’re a kook not to believe perfectly rational explanations.

    There are some things for which we will never have an answer, you’re a kook to fill a void with a certainty that seems to only satisfy your prejudices.

    I can see that there are some in this thread who have already made up their minds that any conclusion short of murder charges against someone in the Bush Whitehouse will be treated with disbelief and scorn. That’s jumping to conclusions. That makes you a kook.

  67. Touched on in other posts, but here’s my 2 and a half pennies. While there has been more blatant and obvious corruption with Bush and Cheney than is ususal in American politics, this has been mostly connected people taking advantage of political blunders (often their own), rather than a carefully planned conspiracy. As to “murder” of the pilot, even if this was no accident, there are so many people and corporations that could be affected by the pilot’s testimony/evidence that Rove & pals might not even be involved.

  68. Guilt. It simply “is” Innocent is not a reasonable presumption when the weight of indicators for guilt exist. Still and all, we “for the moment” have a presumption of innocent until proven guilty. Sadly, the proving part needs a bit of fine tuning. Presumptive innocence seems an endangered relic of a better,perhaps vanished time. As the presumed guilt or innocence of a person currently hinges on their press image rather than their actions.

    Thus the honest person who exposes Very Bad Things can expect nothing but the same. The reason that’s so? Exposing Very Bad Things causes a bad press image. Which can and does get you *dead* Either dead in the media’s spotlight or dead and cremated quickly with no autopsy. Oh? such things don’t happen in America? Yeah -next you will say birds swim and fish fly? But back to the concept of electronic evidence. John Brunner’s book The Shockwave Rider could be dusted off for some Precog of recent events. Katrina was BushCo’s “Disasterville” And it’s whispered that some malware of mail destroying payloads was/is connected to hiding traces of “where the money went” for many Very Bad Things. And “tapeworms” in both party’s internal nets? Sigh- We thought SF was cautionary tales not “How-To’s”

  69. Zieroh @42 A statement heavily saturated with overly fancy words is the calling card of someone without anything meaningful to say.

    true that.

  70. and if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass whilst hoppin! man, if you aren’t at least a lil bit paranoid about bushco, YOU HAVEN’T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION! here, have a cookie. i guarantee that by the time you finish it, you will feel better.

  71. have a cookie. i guarantee that by the time you finish it, you will feel better.

    we can feel better?

    Yes, We Can.

  72. A Press Release is nothing more than one side of a story, it has no pretense of presenting the other side, as many reported like to do in their reports.

    On the Internet, every day is a slow news day, the real story here is how a fellow with a catchy name (Velvet Revolution) got so many people to believe their story… I guess it had all the right elements:

    – Karl Rove
    – George Bush
    – Conspiracy
    – Death
    – System Admin/IT

    Once upon a time, people used to say “It must be right, it says so right here on the computer printout – computers don’t make mistakes”. Nowadays, the line appears to be “It must be true, I saw it on the Internet.”

    Again, this is a press release, not a news story that was fact-checked, second-sourced, and confirmed by an editor before publication. There may be a story here, but this is not news.

  73. Thanx for the nom.

    If, all things being equal, you favour cockup over conspiracy as explanations for things that go bump in the night (or kerrrrrunchb-BBOOOoooom! in this case), then it doesn’t mean your worldview denies the possibility of conspiracy, merely that more often than not the conspiracy itself will be cocked up. Regardless of the FAA accident report findings, other info that leaks, court cases, the content of whatever Dubya regime darknet email that /does/ end up in the public record, et cetera, it’s obvious that this event is never going to go away. People who, uh, have an interest in speculation will be banging on about it for years to come, and probably a significant chunk of public opinion will never believe it was an accident. Those capable of doing primary research, filing FOIA requests and so on are also obviously going to put a lot more attention into investigating the crash, and what else Connell may have been about to spill, than would be the case for the next doctor to end up in controlled flight into terrain in a Cessna. Therefore, if this WAS a conspiracy, it was a pretty desperate one – or, a cockup.

    Arguably, a conspiracy that ends up having to bump off key actors days before they spill the beans in court IS a cockup.

    It’s not listed yet, but here’s the FAA accident investigation reports for Dec 2008 to date. The most recent incident was on the 17th, so hopefully the preliminary info should be up shortly.

  74. All I have to say is between the “official story” and the “conspiracy theory” lies a little region called “truth”. Unfortunately, most people seemed to have lost their maps…so it’s a hard place to reach…

  75. we are ALL going to feel silly when we realize it WAS a conspiracy… kill someone in the neighborhood the plane crashed in

  76. I’m not a conspiracy guy, but I don’t deny that conspiracies can and do exist. I had a professor for a course on presidential assassinations who constantly used to repeat emphatically “There are no conspiracies.” And then the class learned about the conspiracy behind Lincoln’s assassination. True, it was a crappy, incompetent conspiracy . . . but a conspiracy nonetheless.

    (Then again, some of us consider every instance of a monopoly on legal violence to be conspiracy by definition, and theoretically capable of anything it’s possible to get away with.)

  77. I think the word conspiracy is badly misunderstood, plenty of people conspire for good or ill. Most of them aren’t against you.

    The applicable word here is probably cabal.

  78. acx99
    “Decrying beleivers of certain theories as kooks is a conspiracy in itself.”

    No it isn’t. Some people engage in delusional thinking. Pointing that fact out doesn’t make me deluded.

    The Life Of Bryan
    “Do you believe that nineteen deeply religious nutjobs hijacked planes with boxcutters and used them as meat-filled bombs?”

    Who are you talking to? I don’t know how I could have been more clear. I’ve stated several times I believe that criminals do conspire together.

    RevRaven — Don Siegelman did nothing wrong, he committed no crimes.

    “Your intellectual resistance, if I discern it correctly, is that “everything” might be ascribed to a master narrative that is possessed by entrail reading freaks.”

    You don’t discern it correctly. The typical CT narrative is very much like Gnosticism. “There are no coincedences.” “Behind everything is a malign entity pulling everyone’s strings.” That is a particular model of the universe that I reject.

    “For you to say that conspiracies are unworthy speculations implies that they don’t exist.”

    No, I think it’s possible that this man was murdered because he posed a threat to someone. There is just zero evidence to support that theory. All we have is hearsay, innuendo and coincidence. CT style thinking leaps in to fill those gaps. CT thinking is not even reasoning. It is more akin to religious faith.

    “Basically it’s all about trying to construct a rational world out of a soup of information.”

    That’s your problem, the world isn’t rational, not in the sense that CTers typically mean. There is a good deal of randomness. Coincidences really do happen. The belief that there are no coincidences is an article of religious faith. It bears no relation to the real world.

  79. I like to think that things like this are just an accident. The odds favor it, after all. But then there’s also a rule from the Evil Overlord’s List:

    “In addition to my plan for taking control of the world, I will concoct several additional workable plans. I will make sure these are published through such sterling examples of investigative journalism as the Weekly World News and the Star. That way, when The Hero discovers my true plans and tries to alert the world to my machinations, nobody will believe him.”

  80. Note to those who wish to discuss blanket pardons:
    They have to be accused of a crime prior to the end of the regime .. erm .. administration, in order to receive a pardon.

  81. “odds”. Would someone care to locate and quote the odds of an experienced pilot in that plane in good weather actually crashing?

  82. Noen: I think to examine coincidences for patterns and use speculation to try to connect things is an intelligent exercise. Speculation is useful and necessary to try to make one’s way.
    Maybe there is a world of CT -orists who make habitual fallacies ascribing everything to the wrong thing or whatever. I get your point.
    I’m just saying that it is not an egregious fallacy to speculate that the sudden death of a person who was receiving death threats may have been foul play. I think we agree on this.
    I don’t have any facts on the case but if someone investigating this case finds a jimmied gizmo or a cut wire, I’m not going to call them crazy. Of course the investigation may be ineffectual or incompetent or yes, even criminally or professionally compromised. These are all reasonable possibilities worthy of speculation. So my expectation of ever knowing whether this was an accident or not is rather slim.
    Yes accidents happen. I have lost friends and family to accidents. When there is slim chance of political involvement and circumstances are truly private and personal, the speculative mind reaches for “maybe I should have said that”, or “done that” or “maybe I shouldn’t have said this”, or “done this”
    Ah what’s the point- maybe I am a speculative stoic- but I’m not a cynic…

  83. Would someone care to locate and quote the odds of an experienced pilot in that plane in good weather actually crashing?

    In an ideal world that’s the FAA’s job. If the evidence is signifcantly mishandled before Obama takes office then we can narrow it to two possibilities – it was rigged to crash -or- someone wants to keep the CTheorists busy.

  84. ghostpoint
    “I think to examine coincidences for patterns and use speculation to try to connect things is an intelligent exercise.”

    I’m sure you would like to think that. You’d be wrong though.

    “it is not an egregious fallacy to speculate that the sudden death of a person who was receiving death threats may have been foul play.”

    There is no evidence for this. All you have is hearsay. You are willing to inflate circumstantial evidence, hearsay, into “Oh my God they killed him!!” because it satisfies your preconceptions.

    “I don’t have any facts on the case…”

    Kinda makes my point for me.

    “maybe I am a speculative stoic- but I’m not a cynic…”

    Spoken like a True Believer. As a non-believer I hear this all the time. “You’re just a cynic.” Blah blah blah. Face it, conspiracy theories are a religion. You are engaged in hermeneutics not science.

  85. Does anyone here remember Dorothy Hunt, the wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt?

    She died in a commercial plane crash under what were then considered to be very suspicious circumstances.

    The popularity of conspiracy theories is the calling card of a decayed and stultified culture.

    So what do you think our culture has become?

    People resort to paranoid conspiracy theories when their society has become so corrupt that it will no longer respond to their will or their best interests.

  86. @Takuan, 108: Odds? Hmmm good question.

    Note – I’m posting this not because I’ve any confidence I’m closer than a few orders of magnitude to the right answer, at best, but hopefully someone with real statistical clue will grind their teeth and post corrections :)

    There were just over 300 fatal aviation accidents last year in the US, according to the FAA.

    There are 236,000 active private pilots in the USA.

    So the odds of a particular pilot dying in an accident, per year, are 867/1 . (Hmmm, that seems pretty low!) We’re only interested in pre-deposition material that might turn out to be of ground-shaking national significance – I’m sure there are lots of cases where that could be said – so let’s say 100 such legal deposition events happen per year.

    Guesstimate ~100,000 political staffers of sufficient seniority that, were their bosses up to evilitude, they might know where the bodies are buried. So it’s 1000/1 odds against a given staffer being involved in such a case in any given year.

    Let’s say that 10% of staffers have a PPL; thus, 10,000/1 against an arbitrary staffer who has a PPL being deposed in a significant case, per year.

    So, it’s 8m/1 that a staffer who’ll be called to give a deposition in a significant case dies in an air accident, *per year*. Or, you’d expect to wait 115 years for this to happen once by chance.

    Any real statistician’s heads will have exploded long ago, but informed corrections received with thanks…

  87. Feh. My life once involved rubbing elbows with members of the People’s Temple, the Weather Underground, the SLA, the FALN and the list goes on. Because of that, I’ve also rubbed elbows with the Secret Service, FBI, etc. I wouldn’t describe myself as a conspiracy theorist and I mostly think that conspiracy theories are silly, but I acknowledge that the Men in Black are real because I’ve met them.

  88. odds will depend on how many flights too.. ie: longer yet.

    Next purely hypothetical mental exercise: how to murder by plane.

    1. drain fuel at last moment and hope pilot misses it.
    2. drug pilot (timing?)
    3. advise pilot if he doesn’t “crash”, his family will “die” one by one.
    4. threaten pilot with exposure (career death, social death etc., adjust scandal accordingly)
    5. sabotage plane (fuel supply,engine electrical/electronics, instruments/avionics, control linkages..)
    5. force down with other aircraft
    6. multiple laser dazzlers

  89. For clarification: The National Transportation Safety Board is the independent federal agency that investigates aviation accidents. They are investigating this one, just as they do with the 2000 accidents (on average) in general aviation each year. Many are not fatal accidents. All their accident reports are available to the public at The NTSB is not part of the FAA or the Department of Transportation. If they uncover evidence that the accident is criminal in nature, they are required to turn the investigation over to the FBI or local law enforcement.

    The entire set of investigative files on the JFK Jr. accident is posted at: (look for the accident number NYC99MA178, Vineyard Haven, Mass.)
    Probable cause statement: “The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during a descent over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation. Factors in the accident were haze, and the dark night.”
    The narrative is at: (click on full narrative).

    The Wellstone accident (NTSB #DCA03MA008) report is at:
    Probable cause statement: “The flight crew’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which they did not recover.” Report is at:

  90. “Sources close to the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim sent us a copy of the following letter that asks Attorney General Mukasey for protection for Michael Connell and his family who have been allegedly threatened by Karl Rove. Rove is believed to be the strategic mastermind behind the Bush 2004 re-election campaign and the possible Ohio election improprieties. The alleged threats appear to be the result of the re-opening, through the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim, of the stalled investigation into the 2004 Ohio Elections.
    Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 13:50:55 EDT Subject: Report of Rove threats against witness Michael Connell Dear Attorney General Mukasey: We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to “take the fall” for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations. This appears to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform. See: and I have informed court chambers and am in the process of informing the Ohio Attorney General’s and US Attorney’s offices in Columbus for the purpose, among other things, of seeking protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported attempt to intimidate a witness. Concurrently herewith, I am informing Mr. Conyers and Mr. Kucinich in connection with their Congressional oversight responsibilities related to these matters. Because of the serious engagement in this matter that began in 2000 of the Ohio Statehouse Press Corps, 60 Minutes, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, C-Span and Jim VandeHei, and the public’s right to know of gross attempts to subvert the rule of law, I am forwarding this information to them, as well. Cliff Arnebeck, Attorney 614-224-8771 Cell 614-361-9434 cc: Robert Fitrakis, Esq. Henry Eckhart, Esq”

  91. Just to throw another carcass in the bin, consider the case of Philip Merrill. A strange and unexpected suicide, perhaps.

  92. If I told you a UAV killed a “bad guy” by shooting down a plane in Afghanistan, you’d nod your head sagely and say “yes, of course.” That’s rational.


    If I tell you the same is done over US soil, you’d call me a “kook,” “nut,” “wacko” or whatever pejorative nugget rattled out of your deeply rational head.

    Mention assassination as national policy in Russia, China, or whichever nation is currently in fashion as American Public Enemy Number One, and all of the reasonable people will, with their best serious demeanor and cultivated mannerisms, indicate this is so.

    A conspiracy involves two or more people.

    It’s really quite simple.


    Shit, yes. Every day.

    Only a person who possesses a psyche of anti-intellectualism and aversion to doing some fact checking would so cavalierly toss “conspiracy” (or “CT” if one is lazier still) as rebuttal.

    When a person hollers “conspiracy theory,” what they’re really doing is indicating their own personal choice to short circuit any process of examination. And their ad hominem is intended to shame others into doing the same.

    It’s like a morbidly obese person mocking runners track side for their silly choice in footwear.

    Let the runners run.

    Let the thinkers think.

    And let the haters hate.

  93. Is this death suspicious: yes. Should this death be investigated: yes.

    All that being said, my gut tells me that this was just a plane accident.

  94. It seems we need a new version of Godwin’s Law – I propose that the first person who alleges that people are conspiracy theorists loses the argument.

    As #FRED RATED said

    When a person hollers “conspiracy theory,” what they’re really doing is indicating their own personal choice to short circuit any process of examination. And their ad hominem is intended to shame others into doing the same.

  95. @ Fred @ 131 “When a person hollers “conspiracy theory,” what they’re really doing is indicating their own personal choice to short circuit any process of examination. And their ad hominem is intended to shame others into doing the same.”

    …Thank you. I agree wholeheartedly. You just made me feel a bit less like an outcast. Most people don’t want to examine anything, let alone anything out of the ordinary.

    -and yeah, I think this was a gvm’t job.

  96. …Oh great. More CT Nutter conspiracy theory bullshit. vry lft-wng trhggng hpp rdcl ntwr prvrtd Dby-htr s gng t b screaming “CONSPIRACY” and “COVER-UP” for years now.

    Kids, face facts. Mother Nature and the God of Statistical Probabilities conspired to do him in. Let’s see you bring them to trial…

  97. I just had a thought pop into my head.
    As soon as something in a ‘conspiracy theory’ is proven as happening, that part become FACT. Not the whole thing obviously, but PART of it. That part in turn becomes part of the official story.

    My question is, in the course of ‘conspiracy theories’ how many FACTS have been proven true out of them?

    Noen, I think you mentioned something earlier about not speculating. Is not EVERYTHING that is done during an investigation speculation until it is proven either fact or not? I mean, if a plane ‘runs out of fuel’, investigators speculate that it could be caused by A,B,C,D and E. They then rule out all causes that DON’T fit the profile of what happened. IE – if there’s no fuel in the tank, you likely don’t have a blocked fuel line…
    On the other hand, I DO get what your saying, I think it just may be a matter of the language used. Or maybe its just me :)

  98. @impack, #121: For your calculations to be useful, you have to include any kind of death that conspiracy theorists would see as suspicious, which is basically all of them.

  99. Anybody know who “Velvet Revolution” actually is? I’m suspicious of organizations that don’t have real people obviously behind them.

  100. i can’t believe everybody actually believes that he’s dead. isn’t it painfully clear that the body is of someone else? i mean come on…


    @impack, #121: For your calculations to be useful, you have to include any kind of death that conspiracy theorists would see as suspicious, which is basically all of them.

    William, are you an asshole attempting to insult everyone here who would like to see an investigation of the crash or just simply those people out there you deem “conspiracy theorists”?

  102. I don’t know, maybe the Ohio Attorney General and the United States Justice Department. Maybe, God forbid… the media.

  103. william, i think ‘velvet revolution’ is what formed from the wreckage of ‘guns and roses’, and ‘stone termple pilots’. with the lead singer from ‘culture club’. i think.

  104. @ Tom Hale:

    “If Rove and Cheney are guilty of ordering dudes death – hopefully they’ll be caught. However, I won’t believe they’re guilty of such a crime until its announced on the national news.”

    Wow. So, the only way you’ll believe that it’s true is if a pack of confirmed liars tells you that it’s true? So much for skepticism, I guess.

    This guy was Wellstoned. Very sad.

  105. who goes to the wreckage, picks up the pieces, has custody of the pieces, interprets the pieces and writes the report on why the plane crashed. Who does the post mortem?

    1. Given that the CIA plotted to kill Fidel Castro with an exploding cigar, how could anything seem far-fetched?

  106. Professional Skeptics are Believers. They are always “right” and anyone who gathers information or entertains non-official possibilities are their enemies because they go against their Believers’ Belief System. People who use their minds and their ability to research and are uglified and desecrated with the phrase, “Conspiracy Theorist.”

    “Conspiracies” are part and parcel of our legal edifice, and many people have been sent to prison without “hard evidence” because a great amount of evidence have led a judge or jury to believe in the guilt of the defendant. Are these judges and juries “conspiracy theorists”? Some posters here seem to believe so.

  107. well… if you want to limit the number of extra potential tell-tales, drugging the pilot could maybe be limited to one pathologist, but perhaps you could drain most of the fuel and jam the fuel-guage needle at ‘full’ with a chunk of ice, or partially fill the fuel tanks with dry ice – or would that interfere with combustion?
    judt doodling…

  108. Democracy Now on Cotober 22
    Sorry I took so long to get around to reposting this link I posted on the 25th of October in another thread.

    AMY GOODMAN: Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media, culture and communication at New York University is our guest. His most recent book, Loser Take All. Who is Stephen Spoonamore?

    MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Stephen Spoonamore is a conservative Republican, a former McCain supporter and, most importantly, a renowned and highly successful expert at the detection of computer fraud. That’s his profession. He works for major banks. He works for foreign governments. He works for the Secret Service. Those are his clients.

    He knows personally the principal players in Bush-Cheney’s conspiracy to subvert our elections through electronic means since 2000, and he has named these principal players. Specifically, he has named a man named Mike Connell. Mike Connell, according to Spoonamore, is Karl Rove’s computer guru. This is the guy who has helped Bush-Cheney fix election results through computers since Florida 2000, in Ohio in 2004, also in the stolen re-election of Governor Don Siegelman in Alabama in 2002, also in the stolen re-election of Senator Max Cleland in Georgia in 2002.


    MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, basically, they use a kind of architecture that’s called Man in the Middle, and it involves shunting election returns data through a separate computer somewhere else. This is something that computer criminals do all the time with banks. Spoonamore explains that the Man in the Middle setup is extremely effective and basically undetectable as a way to change election results.

    Now, the scariest thing is that Connell told Spoonamore that the reason why he has helped Bush-Cheney steal these elections for the last eight years has been to save the babies. See? We have to understand that there’s a very powerful component of religious fanaticism at work in the election fraud conspiracy. We saw a little bit of that in Greenswald’s film, where Paul Weyrich was talking about how we don’t want people voting.

    AMY GOODMAN: The conservative activist.

    MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, because the majority is a majority of unbelievers. They’re pro-choice. They’re corrupt. They’re evil. They don’t get it. It’s therefore necessary to fix election results in order to prevent the unjust and the unrighteous from taking over.

    AMY GOODMAN: Professor Mark Crispin Miller, you keep saying the election was clearly stolen in 2004. This is not a widely held belief. Why do you think more information is not known about this?

    MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Because the press and the Democratic Party have steadfastly refused simply to mention, much less discuss, the evidence.

  109. TAKUAN:
    The National Transportation Safety Board does the accident investigation- analyzing the wreckage, custody of pertinent evidence, writing the report. The local coroner or medical examiner does the postmortem.

  110. You all know Steve Fosset was killed because he insulted Nixon’s dog, right?

    Zombie Nixon is a vengeful beast.


  111. if religious fanatics kill doctors with sniper rifles and plant bombs in health clinics, why wouldn’t they tamper with voting machines?

  112. I’ve been directly involved in CT thinking and behavior, off and on, for many years. In fact, every five years or so I get involved again; against my will, I must add, and with considerable irritation and some distress.

    I was once named as a peripheral witness to a famous murder. Not an eye witness, mind you, but a member of that ill-defined class of coincidentally networked people surrounding the event. Whenever a particularly telling new book or new “theory” crops up about who really did it, who was behind it, why it was done, etc. I usually get contacted by a few “investigators” of various stripe and persuasion, from retired cops and lawyers to academics and ordinary lunatics. What they all have in common is that they are obsessed with the crime. The real reporters and investigators dropped out long ago.

    Some hold the notion that they can solve it (although a verdict was delivered decades ago), some that they can add to the evidence that vindicates the theory they hold, and some are looking for a new angle that can be turned into a book of their own. The lunatics of course are looking for the unified field theory, the one that explains the world and its workings and how everything ties together and finally falls into place and makes sense of their lives.

    And so I spend a few weeks fending them off. I have nothing new to add, I say, from what I said thirty years ago. If I stick to the iterations and do not let them nudge me off the path, they usually, politely, go away. Except for the lunatics. Oh, they go away, all right, but not politely; they go away bearing the news that I am obviously part of the conspiracy! They cannot be satisfied. And they will never give up; they will simply prowl elsewhere.

    Even the best of them are obsessed. I’m sure they are good at whatever jobs they do. They are persevering, thorough, and — good gods! — they are imaginative. But are they a community? There is no conspiracy theory community. They are rivals, they are competing hunters. Alas, for them it’s the hunt, and not the prey, that finally matters.

  113. William @ 140 – You asked who Velvet Revolution is?

    I looked on their website. They seem to be a coalition that’s been around since ’05 focused mainly on election reform. They don’t claim nonprofit status on their site, but they do mention a Board of Directors and “grant making ability”. They claim affiliation with a hundred or so other projects, including well-known groups like Democracy Now!, CodePink, Truthout, the Green Party, and the American Council of the Blind of Maryland.

    It looks to me like it’s the pet project of 2-3 well-connected and decently funded old radicals and a fairly absentee webmaster, with a bunch of other people who’ve signed on but don’t do much.

    It’s a little strange there are no bios or names, but a lot of the hardcore radicals I know tend to be a little secretive and paranoid (especially on the internets,) so it’s not necessarily a red flag. Actually, what are you worried about? They’re a KGB front?

  114. They should’ve opted for a good old-fashioned defenestration…

    Self-referential irony is always tres chic…

  115. The entirety of the Associated Press’s reporting on this:

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio pilot who died in a small plane crash was a Republican media consultant who helped operate campaign Web sites for President Bush and former presidential nominee John McCain.
    Forty-five-year-old Michael Connell of Akron was killed Friday when his plane crashed near a vacant house in a rural area of Uniontown, about 10 miles southeast of Akron. He was attempting to land the aircraft at the nearby Akron-Canton Airport.
    Connell was the CEO and founder of Cleveland-based New Media Communications, which built campaign Web sites for Bush and McCain, according to the company’s Web site. The site says the company also worked with the Ohio Republican Party, the Republican National Committee and other political groups.
    No one on the ground was injured. The plane did not have any passengers.

  116. Adding to Jeremiah’s List (post #164):

    Rep. Hale Boggs, the House Majority Leader, AKA Cokie Roberts’ father, Warren Commission member who didn’t buy the Single Bullet Theory.

  117. about 800,000 dead;
    “The assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on the evening of April 6, 1994 was the catalyst for the Rwandan Genocide. The airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali, Rwanda. Responsibility for the attack is disputed, with most theories proposing as suspects either the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) or government-aligned Hutu extremists opposed to negotiation with the RPF. Regardless of who carried out the attack, the assassination set in motion some of the bloodiest events of the late 20th century.”

  118. here’s a few:
    Assassination by Aircraft Accident
    From dKosopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    Deaths by accidents (or what appear to be accidents) happen, especially to political leaders on aircraft.

    * Polish Prime Minister in exile, General Wladyslaw Sikorski July 1943
    * President Barthélémy Boganda March 29, 1950
    * President Abdul Salam Arif April 13, 1966
    * Former Presidential candidate, Mexican reformist politician Carlos A. Madrazo and his wife Graciela Pintado 1969
    * Chinese Heir Apparent to Mao Zedong Lin Biao September 13, 1971
    * Prime Minister Džemal Bijedić January 18, 1977
    * President Jaime Roldós Aguilera May 24, 1981
    * Panamanian dictator, General Omar Torrijos August 1, 1981
    * Peace Activist Samantha Smith August 25, 1985
    * Mozambique President Samora Machel October 20, 1986
    * Pakistani dictator, General Zia ul-Haq August 17, 1988
    * U.S. Senator John Heinz April 4, 1991
    * U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown April 3, 1996
    * John F. Kennedy, Jr July 16, 1999 Read The JFK Jr. Assassination Conspiracy: “Accident Or Murder?”
    * Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan October 16, 2000
    * Deputy Defense Minister Ibrahim Shamsul-Din April 4, 2001
    * U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone October 25, 2002
    * Southern Sudanese Rebel Leader John Garang July 2005

  119. got drunk once. He was pissed too. Told me about the feds pulling them off the surveillance. So they could take over. 329 died.

  120. Do I think there are active conspiracies in the government of the United States run by not-so-nice people? Of course. It’s a big bloated corpse of a government that is long past it’s freshness date.

    The problem with conspiracies and conspiracy theories is it’s an endless cycle that leads you down a path of no return. Being paranoid about the men in black coming to get you 24/7 will get you nowhere in life except medicated. You accept that it’s a part of what the United States has become. Please don’t use the tired bullshit of ‘the last 8 years’ though. It’s nothing new under the sun. Bush is just the latest in a long line of corrupt puppets who happen to hold the title of President of the United States. Under Clinton we had the same paranoid b.s. but coming from the Right. Clinton had a long trail of baggage from his governor days on through the years at the White House.

    8 years of Clintons, 8 years of Bush, now let’s see what new conspiracies we can come up with in the next 4 years – yahoo isn’t this fun.

    Looking at Obama’s line-up for his cabinet so far, he’ll be just another puppet with a fresh new smile.

    Yes We Can is turning into ‘Yes massa, I does what you tells me. I put alls the peoples you told me to intos the cabinet.’

    Change…what a crock of elephant poop.

    Enjoy your conspiracies.

  121. I remember a conspiracy theory that many people in this country believed: That a tin-horn dictator had a bunch of aluminum tubes and low-grade yellow-cake uranium that he was going to make into a bomb and take down the US.

    Knee-jerk skeptics are closet authoritarians, the kind who, for example, closed the book on the Anthrax investigations because the FBI said it was solved.

  122. Dhalgren, you have to work with what is and what is possible. You can’t make all the powerful nice and and you can’t make all the people smart. One way or another, whoever is on top is going to be a son of bitch (or bitch). You CAN make them feel watched.

  123. The deflection/defusing mechanism used here is simple:

    This principal in the election stealing IT organization that I and so many others have examined is killed before he can testify, which would have implicated Karl Rove and God knows how many others in the greatest crime in the later half of the American 20the Century.

    Reaction: bring up every kooky theory from moon landing hoaxes to quite real known but never proven conspiracies. Conflate and mock. Repeat until meme is established. Quite quickly any sane reaction to the convenient death of a witness and actor is deemed a CT.

    Do recall what G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North did for a living, and for whom they worked. They were professional conspirators and in Liddy’s case, an actual murderer for conspirators.

    > You all know Steve Fosset was killed because he insulted Nixon’s
    > dog, right? Zombie Nixon is a vengeful beast. PROVE ME WRONG!

    I can do one better and prove you are a putz. All the evidence we need is in this thread. I rest my case.


    Do I think there are active conspiracies in the government of the United States run by not-so-nice people? Of course. It’s a big bloated corpse of a government that is long past it’s freshness date. — The problem with conspiracies and conspiracy theories is it’s an endless cycle that leads you down a path of no return. Being paranoid about the men in black coming to get you 24/7 will get you nowhere in life except medicated. You accept that it’s a part of what the United States has become. — Enjoy your conspiracies.

    Ok… suggesting that we ignore suspicious circumstances because that’s “just how things are” and caring about any of this only leads to insanity worthy of being medicated… sounds kinda fucking inane to me.

    Are there paranoid schizophrenics out there? Yes. Does wanting an investigation of suspicious events make us all paranoid schizophrenics who “enjoy” conspiracies? No, you infant. It’s more complex than that. Some of us seek justice even in the face of adversity. That doesn’t make us fucking insane, you child.

    Ah, yes… No use investigating anything that isn’t a simple, cut and dry scenario. If I hire someone to kill you… so what? We should just go after whomever killed you directly (the trigger man) and let’s not bother with all this messy conspiracy business because it hurts the brain. I should just get off scott free, correct?

    We should all just give up. Hurts… brain… too… much… must insult people that can handle complexity in life… arghhh….

  126. @ dhalgren:

    “Being paranoid about the men in black coming to get you 24/7 will get you nowhere in life except medicated.”

    That, or a book deal. I agree with you that certain things are best not worried about, but it’s nice to imagine that some future historians may produce a more accurate version of events than we do.

    You acknowledge that conspiracies exist. Not all conspiracy theorists are the tinfoil-on-the-head kind, as I’m sure you are aware. Some people actually seek genuine understanding, rather than idly acquiesce to the reigning, self-appointed intellectual aristocracy calling itself the evening news. Misinformation is bound to find its way into the world of conspiracies, true, but if the price we pay is having to listen to some crackpot talk about how JFK was an extraterrestrial yeti on Coast to Coast, it seems more than worth it to me.

  127. I think of all of the odd occurrences that have happened that can be considered “fishy”, this can be considered the fishiest. It’s just a creepy coincidence at the least.

  128. Once upon a time, people used to say “It must be right, it says so right here on the computer printout – computers don’t make mistakes”. Nowadays, the line appears to be “It must be true, I saw it on the Internet.”

    Yes, Anonymous, in both scenarios those people are what we refer to as “morons.”

    Critical analysis of any information, whether it comes from a ‘legitimate’ news source or a PR post, is pretty much an essential and basic part of entering a discussion. And while a press release may in fact be heavily slanted, that doesn’t mean it does not also contain facts or useful information, but rather that the reader must examine the information provided, pool it with other known information about the subject, and come to their own rational conclusion. Everyone here seems to be more or less doing just that, so I am curious exactly what your point is.

  129. Both the British and the American governments lied about the reasons for going to war with Iraq, and in the case of the UK government, were caught with fabricated evidence to perpetuate the lie.

    Were this fact alone presented of anyone of us in a court hearing it would be very damaging either any to subsequent testimony and/or our character of the person in the eyes of the jury, not to mention the legal consequences of intentionally obtaining anything through lying, aka fraud.

    David Kelly was the British scientist tasked with finding the elusive Iraqi missiles and missile production facilities. He didn’t find any and went on record stating he doubted they actually existed. He was then hounded by the UK government ending only when he committed suicide.

    Frank Olson died after falling from the 10th floor of a New York hotel in 1953. The official cause of death was registered as suicide. In 1975 the Washington Post carried an article mentioning an unnamed government employee “had jumped to his death from a New York hotel window after he was unwittingly dosed with LSD while attending a meeting on a test project that involved the administration of mind-bending drugs to unsuspecting Americans.”

    In both cases someone died, who, in other circumstances, would probably have lived longer. Legally speaking while these people died by their own hand, a proportionate punishment of the cause for their demise would be given to the vindictive, bullying gang or the friend who supplied the victim with drugs.

    As yet no-one has been punished for their role in either situation. Whether this has happened by accident, intention or both, is immaterial. Situations like these lay the foundations for all government conspiracy theories.

  130. Some had the motive to kill this guy. Did they also have an opportunity?
    Treat it like any other potential murder case…
    As to “conspiracy theories”, what cop worth his salt is not suspicious of people? It is their duty to be suspicious, suspicion being something they share with “conspiracy theorists”, whom I notice have only come into prominence since JFK got creamed…kinda funny cause in the USA that’s when the rightists really started rockin’ and have not looked back…oh BTW love the US’s “self-censorship” model of public political discourse, wouldn’t want to be caught discussing something you oughtn’t, now would you?
    And isn’t the prohibition of marijuana and the mid-east wars we’ve seen since 1945 both just conspiracies to keep the prices of reefer and oil, respectively, higher than they would otherwise have been, for the benefit of cops, the “defense” industries [why no more ‘stimulus’ via increased “defense” spending combined with tax cuts for the rich? Was not that the Repub. Rx, for both good times and bad?] mobsters, the “prison industry” and the high-production-cost US oil companies?
    The real conspiracies in the USA are in the fossil fuel and recreational drug arenas, IMHO.

  131. Looks like the “credit crisis” may have been a put-on (conspiracy) to punk the public treasury, judging from how strenuously the WSJ is “pre-emptively” “debunking” such a claim:
    You have apparently had criminals in charge of the Presidency for eight years. It will be difficult for this generation of Americans to recover from their depredations.
    A President who asserts he can exempt his Administration from Laws duly passed by Congress!

  132. Bah. Not the WSJ, someone else.
    That the financial community responds, “There was too a credit crisis! We refused to lend, did we not?” strikes me as odd.

  133. I think somebody was lucky and got what he wanted for christmas…

    Yes, I’m talking to you little Georgy…

  134. Here is an article written by one of the lawyers who interviewed Mike Connel under deposition and another who is the plaintiff in the case about the 2004 election fraud.

  135. People who use the term “conspiracy theory” as a pejorative ignore the fact that conspiracies do and have in fact happened.

  136. Cowicide @ 191 – wow. That’s all the evidence you need? You have a low burden of proof – let’s hope I’m never to never stand trial in any of your courts.

    Also remind me never to hire you as a lawyer. You rested your case way too early, and I thought your closing speech lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.

    Finally, I resent being called a putz. I consider myself to be more of a prat. Maybe a buffoon.

  137. “If I told you a UAV killed a ‘bad guy’ by shooting down a plane in Afghanistan, you’d nod your head sagely and say “yes, of course.” That’s rational.”

    Um…no. Do you know any UAV with an air-to-air capability? A CIA guy with a Stinger on the final approach path might be more plausible. One somehow modified to attack piston single-engine aircraft.

    Don’t see how losing a high-performance single on final approach could have anything to do with flying through known icing enroute. That would be crazy.

  138. @ Tak 172:

    Wow, it’s as though people who spend a lot of time traveling from country to country as part of their careers (and often in low-capacity private planes, which carry a much higher crash risk than commercial liners) die of plane crashes at a disproportionate rate!

    Too bad we’re now stuck trying to explain why musical performers and professional athletes are _also_ targets of political-assassination-by-plane-crash.

    Well, either that, or we’re imagining patterns where there aren’t any. Either/or. :-P

  139. You people are silly. Everyone knows that there are no conspiracies in politics.

    Those things only happen in history books.

  140. f nybdy vr ndd n xmplr f n ch chmbr (nd th lw-fdlty tpt t prdcs), th blgsphrc spsm ths hs prdcd wld b prfct xmpl.

    t’s lmst s f th Bsh Drngmnt Syndrm sqrrls r strng p nts fr lng wntr…

    I’ve flown out of College Park. A nice little place, historic, too bad what’s become of it post-9/11. Kinda short runway, and the freight trains immediately at the departure end of 33 are kinda scary.

    Akron I’ve not been into, but have flown past enroute. (How often do you get to see a blimp hangar on the East Coast? Only other one I know is Lakehurst.) The Appalachians are not the most impressive mountains on the planet, but they *do* affect weather. Especially in winter.

    Why people are hyped that there “be an investigation” escapes me. Every aircraft crash is investigated.

  141. Randy Rhodes; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Buddy Holly, Richy Valens, and The Big Bopper; Otis Redding; Aaliyah; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Patsy Cline; Jim Croce; Ricky Nelson; John Denver.

    All musicians.

    All died in plane crashes.

    All secretly supported the collectivisation of Dairy Farming.


    You work it out.

  142. I recollect just before a million people got killed saying “The WMDs are a lie!” Certain people didn’t hesitate to say: “Conspiracy nut!”

    Now they are still dead, the WMDs still don’t exist and some here claim it strains credulity the same mass murderers would kill one key witness against them.

  143. #219: You forgot Bill Graham.
    That happened after his Office was firebombed, apparently because he was protesting Reagan’s honoring the Nazi SS dead at a cemetary in germany.

  144. 222, dont worry it is perfectly normal, all of the BB staff and editors suffered multiple gunshot suicide deaths two days ago. Must have been some sort of suicide pact or something. Nothing to worry about.

    Does anyone remember the Clinton 200 or so alleged air crashes and suicides.

  145. hey Maggie we don’t know about UAVs with air-to-air capability… but we did not know about stealth fighters either, before their first use in Gulf War 1 was announced.
    No secret weapons anymore?
    That’s unlikely…

  146. Man did the right-wing ever feed the conspiracy nuts during the Clinton presidency! Whipped them into a frenzy! So now that people have been shown that it is ok to think that way (if yer a rightist) it’s funny to hear them decry suspicions from the left…as if this were a right/left thing, it’s actually all about subverting democracy via technology (hello TV! Hello Goebbels Radio! Hello GWB’s NSA’s internet-as-spying-machine!).
    I notice too that the “victim” here thought that “man’s law” must bend the knee before what he thought was “god’s law”, and was proud of his achievements in that regard.
    What’s sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.

  147. Sensei, once again you place things in perspective. Whether this was luck or murder the effect is the same. Hopefully as you said before Connell left a HD in good hands.

  148. I love the “non-profits demand federal investigation.” That’s quaint. I’m trying to remember a federal investigation that came to the conclusion that something nefarious had occurred. Can’t think of any. Like the late George Carlin said, “Power does what it wants.” Nothing to see here folks…

  149. “In various interviews and a deposition Connell cited his belief that abortion is murder as a primary motivating factor in his work for the Republican Party.

    Connell recently wrote the following in his New Media Communications newsletter, regarding Barack Obama’s election: “In our 230 year history, our democracy has suffered worse fates. It’s just that none come to mind right now.” Connell wrote: “This is just a moment in time and this too shall pass. Enduring is the fact that 2000 years ago, a babe was born in Bethlehem. When our Lord God sent his only Son for our salvation,…In spite of the current economic and political conditions, salvation is eternal.”

  150. I think it takes an astonishing level of credulity to imagine that in 2008, the United States has not perfected a weaponized directed-energy weapon (DEW) capable of downing any and all aircraft.

  151. Hey those advanced weapons violate the Geneva Conventions, but the US populace has already been “psychologically prepared” for accepting their abandonment, if such suits their government’s purposes, have they not?

  152. By Bill Sammon
    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    “Vice President Cheney mocked Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s grasp of the Constitution, defended former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and said President Bush “doesn’t have to check with anybody” before launching a nuclear attack.”

  153. @232 G, tht’s “drbl” n ts wn spcl wy. nd y swtchd s qckly frm ptrnzng, t…

    Y rlly r sggstng ths Ppr ws brght dwn wth *ry gn*? Whl dsmssng th d tht NTSB sn’t gng t nvstgt ths prprly bcs thy’r n th gvrnmnt nd mst b n n th cnsprcy? Tht’s srly “drbl”, vrgng n “prcs”. Swty.

    Use of a directed-energy weapon would probably be detectable during the NTSB investigation due to the remarkable lack of wing ice…along with crisping of airframe and crew (yes, it would look different from a post-crash fuel fire). I’ve been a pilot long enough to have enormous respect for NTSB and their methods.

    I guess it’s marginally more plausible than an air-to-air engagement with a secret-weapon UAV though. Hell, why not simply loft a barrage balloon in the final approach course? We *know* the ebil gummint has aerostats.

    Or a black-bag job on the glidepath transmitter…y’all saw Die Hard 2, right? Of course, having your conspiracy theory in competition with plots from a 1990 Bruce Willis movie isn’t a very attractive position, especially when said movie is more plausible.

  154. You can tell some of the pompous asses mocking everyone here haven’t bothered to look at the overall circumstances surrounding this event and nor do they care to do so.

    I have a conspiracy theory…

    You see, life didn’t quite work out the way they’d have liked it to and they are trying to overcompensate by fooling themselves into thinking that they finally have the upper hand for once in their lives as they are the “voice of reason” amidst all these silly conspiracy nuts running around bumping into each other in a hilarious show of misguided silliness and paranoia.

    They are in calm control while we silly nuts are just flipping out in vapid fear and loathing following our fearful, dimwitted boing boing leader into a hilarious comedy of bozo-journalism and wild goose chases. In their minds, they are above us…. all the way from Mark Frauenfelder down to the lowly, stinky Cowicide. They are above the fray.

    —– beyond theories —–

    The sad truth they won’t face is that the only ones running around bumping into each other squawking mindlessly are people like Cragsavage who refuse to acknowledge the obvious. Which just makes them look like ignorant, pompous asses to any of us who have looked into this matter.

    This is a suspicious event and there should be an investigation and the more you chastise and mock us, the more irrational, shrill and sad you seem. Only someone in denial at this point thinks we should just simply ignore this crash completely without an investigation.

    You know what I think happened, Cragsavage? I don’t fucking know and if you’ll bother to read the thread you’ll see that I haven’t said anything at all about the event except that I think it is suspicious circumstances and it should be investigated. Actually, that’s really the general gist of this entire post & thread. So, why do we all warrant your mocking bullshit you keep throwing at us? It’s really condescending and makes you look like a complete asshole.

    Cragsavage, if you want to feel important in life, head out during the holidays and assist feeding people Christmas dinner at shelters. It’s much more worthwhile and doesn’t degrade yourself in the process. Afterwards, you’ll probably lose the desire to act like a complete ass here.


  155. Hey, don’t have a cow, Cow.

    It’s what we refer to as a joke. Note that I poke about as much fun at myself as at you – the absurdity of’Zombie Nixon’, calling myself a ‘prat’ or a ‘buffoon’, suggesting the deaths of Musicians is to do with their communist views on the production of milk. It’s called self-deprecation. I don’t take myself seriously. I’m sorry if I didn’t make this clear enough for you to not be offended.

    I have read the thread. I also agree this looks dubious and should be investigated. However, there’s also clearly enough ‘Omigod, the Government did it!’ sentiment floating around, either explicit or implicit, for your assertion that everyone is level-headedly in the same place to be pretty spurious. I’m not talking directly to you, so why take it so personally?

    In seriousness, I think that working with coincidence and conjecture is conterproductive. There are enough facts out there about the reprehensible nature of the Bush administration that I don’t need to start making myself look much less credible by getting speculative.

    And, as a footnote, last year I *was* homeless. Fortunately this year I have a house, otherwise I might be pretty sore at that last bit of your diatribe.


    Wish you had said all that in the first place, but I’m sorry for getting nasty with you nonetheless.

    I still think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to feed people Christmas dinners whether you’ve been homeless before or udderwise, though.

  157. “AMY GOODMAN: So, explain what this case is all about and exactly what Mike Connell has been doing over these last years. What does it mean to be Karl Rove’s IT guru?

    MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, the lawyers in the case refer to him as a high-IQ Forrest Gump, by which they mean that he seems to have been present at the scene of every dubious election of the last eight years. We’re talking about Florida in 2000. We’re talking about Ohio in 2004. We’re talking about Alabama in 2002. He seems to have been involved in the theft of Don Siegelman’s re-election for governor. There’s some evidence that links him with the Saxby Chambliss-Max Cleland Senate race in Georgia in 2002. To be Karl Rove’s IT guru seems to have meant basically setting it up so that votes could be electronically shaved to the disadvantage of the Democrats and the advantage of Republicans.

    AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, “electronically shaved”? I mean, you’ve got all these precincts all over Ohio. They’re counting up their votes. What does he have to do with this?

    MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, specifically, there’s a computer architecture setup called “Man in the Middle,” which involves shunting the election returns from, you know, the state in question—in this case, Ohio—shunting them to a separate computer elsewhere. All of the election returns in Ohio in 2004 went from the Secretary of State’s website—this is Ken Blackwell—to a separate computer in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which was under the control of another private company called SMARTech.

    So we have now two private companies: GovTech Solutions, which is Connell’s company, SMARTech, which is run by a guy named [Jeff] Averbeck. And the company—the third private company that managed the voting tabulators in Ohio was called Triad. All three of these companies worked closely together on election night in Ohio in 2004. It turns out that the state’s own IT person was sent home at 9:00 p.m. They said, “Go ahead. Go home. We’ll take care of this.” So that this trio of highly partisan and, let me add, Christianist companies basically took over the whole—

    AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, “Christianist”?

    MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, they’re radical theocratic activists, particularly—particularly Triad and SMARTech. You know, they are fervently anti-choice.”

  158. @takuan

    I listened to that on the drive into work this morning, and brings up a good question: Why does it have to be the gub’mint that is the main suspect, if this was indeed foul play? It’s not as if anti-choice radicals have a problem with killing people if they think it’s God’s will.

  159. >> I also agree this looks dubious and should be investigated.

    I don’t think you’re sincere.

    When some people say “this needs to be investigated,” what they often mean is “bring on the whitewash while I continue to improve my score at Wii bowling.”

    Your “this needs to be investigated” and my “this needs to be investigated” are COMPLETELY different. You think this should be investigated by a sham regulatory agency (who at the very best will apply a cursory glance to the generalities while generating reams of say-nothing text, or at the very worst will bury the relevant details outright in exchange for a payoff), while I think this should be investigated by the individual citizens. Informed, intellectually curious, honest, objective citizens. In my opinion, the latter is truly American.

    You think the FAA is a more efficient and honest arbiter in this or any other controversial situation of similar nature? Twenty years ago… maybe. In 2008? No.

    We’re about three decades into a deliberate effort to dismantle regulatory agencies all across the public spectrum, pillage the Treasury, demolish civil liberties. In the US and abroad.

    Is that a conspiracy?

    You better fucking believe it.

    The people on this thread who have been denounced thus far as “nutters,” “kooks,” “morons,” “idiots” — and that’s not even the half of it — are better equipped, in my opinion, to ferret out the truth than the official “representatives” who in the main have shown they are only efficient at servicing the highest bidder. Which is rarely, if ever, the American people.

    Does that make me an idiot? A moron? Fine. I’ll side with my fellow skeptics and gladly embrace the scorn that rains down from the “sensible” and “sane.”

    The sensible and sane have just ignited the Middle East and brought the United States and much of the rest of world to the brink of global apocalypse.

  160. @ Cowicide – No worries. I aim for lighthearted but I’m also aware that I probably come off as a bit of a prick. It’s no biggie: I probably am.

    @ Fred Rated – Well I’m glad you’re here to define my terms for me. Actually, by ‘investigated’ I meant ‘investigated thoroughly by a completely independent body’. Whether you have an appropriate one lying around in the US I don’t know, what with living in the UK. A good look into the whole affair by a skilled, honest investigative journo would be great – but unfortunately there don’t seem to be any of that breed left these days.

    Until that point – err…without any evidence you just have something that looks very shady. I get on my high horse about the US locking people away in Guantanamo with exactly the same level of evidence. I’m not about to go full hypocrite over here.

    Maybe I’m just more paranoid than you? Maybe I feel that if the US government wanted rid of a thorn in their side then they’d do it much more cloak and dagger. In a less clumsy and obvious fashion.

    Also – I don’t own a Wii. Thanks for reminding me.

  161. “Why does it have to be the gub’mint that is the main suspect, if this was indeed foul play? It’s not as if anti-choice radicals”

    ??? right now, gubmint and anti-choice are the same people.

  162. Tired of being held down and disemvoweled (at the paragraph level, no less) by immoderators with their own viewpoint to push, while others whose views they *like* are left free to patronize me with vowels intact.

    Echo chamber indeed. Sorry to disturb it with actual general aviation knowledge. Laters.

    1. Maggie Leber,

      Your factual contributions remain. Your disdainful statements about your comrade commenters were disemvowelled.

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