You are herecontent / Did Michael Connell Deposition Protect the Presidential Election
Did Michael Connell Deposition Protect the Presidential Election
By Harriett Crosby
It's a new day in America, a new era of hope. Obama's election has already transformed the energy of this place. His well organized, disciplined campaign has transcended partisan divides as the transition team searches for excellent people regardless of party.
It is a breath of fresh air.
Friends have asked if I think the Michael Connell deposition on Monday deterred Rove from trying to hack another election. My answer: It was clearly Obama who won--his winning personality, his family, his clarity, his honest campaign. Nonetheless, I do believe that our work to bring Connell into the light of legal scrutiny the day before the election was critical to protect the integrity of this election at a time of consequence for the nation.
We at Velvet Revolution VR were running defense for democracy, tackling those who
were coming at Obama from the shadowy sidelines: people, like Connell, who were using secret computer IT networks to manipulate the vote count at the tabulation level. It was important to expose the invisible and illegal ways of taking advantage of every weak point in the electoral system by designing computer programs to manipulate elections without leaving a trace.
Bobby Kennedy and Greg Palast were publicizing voter disenfranchisement, intimidation, caging, purging voter registration lists and all the visible ways of suppressing the Democratic vote. It was very important this came out in Rolling Stone before the election, so that many people were paying attention. Velvet Revolution was going after
the invisible corruption--the election tabulation fraud--and so it was much more difficult to get this published in the mainstream media. In spite of hiring Fenton Communications to get out the election fraud story (they put out some good press releases), the media never picked it up.
Make no mistake, there is alarming evidence that Bush stayed in the White House for a second term by stealing the 2004 election. After four years of researching this, listening to whistleblowers and putting the invisible jig-saw puzzle together, we know WHO did it: Karl Rove, his computer IT operative, Mike Connell, Jack Abramoff, Susan Ralston and Ken Blackwell. We know HOW they did it: using computer networks like SMARTech.com, GovTechSolutions.com, gwb43.com, New Media Communications and GOP.com. We know WHEN: in the late hours of election night in 2004--at 11:13 p.m.,
to be precise--when Blackwell shunted the vote tally from Ohio to GOP servers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they were changed just enough to give the election to Bush. We have evidence, from the Ohio Secretary of State's Office, of the election architecture that shows exactly when the vote tally was sent to SMARTech at GOP headquarters in Tennessee, and when it came back. This is how Bush got a second term--and Karl Rove was behind it. Rove will be the next (after Connell) to be subpoenaed in our Ohio lawsuit.
It has been frustrating for me to know all this and not be able to get the media to cover the story as it unfolded. I had been counting on the media and court of public opinion to expose this massive fraud and corruption of our election process. But I was wrong to wait for the media to do the story. They never did. It was a violation of the law and belonged in court.
VR found lawyers in Ohio who reviewed the evidence of these shenanigans, and went to federal court in July, 2008 to expose it. The Judge decided to lift the stay on an existing lawsuit, and then all of this information was put before him. We had the quiet support of the Ohio Secretary of State and Attorney General. To get that support, we had to provide loads of evidence. Details of the lawsuit and hearing are spelled out in many articles on http://www.rovecybergate.com. But the long and short of it is that the judge ruled in our
favor four times: lifting the stay on the prior lawsuit; subpoenaing Connell; compelling
Connell's appearance in court on Friday, Oct. 3; and then ordering him to submit to a
deposition on Monday, Nov. 3--the day before Election Day.
Connell's attorneys did everything possible to keep him from testifying. But since he was compelled to appear, he did show up on Friday with three high-powered lawyers from the Bush/Cheney '04 team--and they were ready to fight. It was a contentious three-hour hearing, in which he said he was too busy for a deposition until after the election. The lawyer said this was like the bank robber saying, sorry, he couldn't show up in court because he was too busy making plans to rob the next bank. Attorney Cliff Arnebeck accused Connell in open court of rigging elections for Karl Rove. Connell turned "beet red" when the judge ruled that he would have to come back at noon on Monday to submit to a sworn deposition, exactly 18 hours before the polls were to open.
But Connell was as cool as a cucumber when he showed up in court Monday, Nov. 3 with his lawyers. He was placed under oath and grilled about election fraud, "man in the middle" computer manipulation of the vote count, Trojan horse remote control of the tabulation process, and threats from Rove if he didn't take the heat for all such crimes.
He did his best to stonewall, but did indicate that, to his knowledge, there would be no tabulation manipulation of Tuesday's election.
So what happened over the weekend after being under the eye of an attentive Federal Judge? Two weeks ago, Rove was confidently saying that McCain could win ten battleground states to become President. McCain was confidently telling everyone that he would win with a surge in the wee hours of election night (when the numbers could be manipulated). On Thursday, Oct. 30, Rove had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, telling voters to ignore the polls, and that McCain could win. But something changed over the weekend. By Monday after the deposition, Rove wrote on his blog that Obama would win by "a electoral landslide," even in those states he had previously predicted McCain would win. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/11/04/rove-predicts-obama-land...
As Mark Crispin Miller said: "And there was Karl Rove's abrupt decision not to try to rig the outcome, a reversal he signaled Monday evening when he suddenly foretold an electoral landslide for Obama, just hours after Mike Connell, his longtime IT fixer, had been forced to answer questions, under oath, in an Ohio courtroom."
Personally, I believe that a miracle happened. I had given up hope of anything coming of this lawsuit before the election because I was told that newspapers don't do stories until after a judge rules on a case and that these things take forever. But my colleagues at VR persevered, intent on helping to save this election. I was totally surprised last week (just a week ago) to learn that the Judge had ruled against Connell attempt to quash the subpoena and compelled him to show up in court Friday, Oct.31, just days before the election. And then he ordered Connell to come back on Monday to testify under oath, giving him all weekend to ponder his situation. Connell certainly discussed this with
his lawyers, and probably with Rove and others. Rove knew he was the next to be subpoenaed by this Judge. They knew that we were onto them, and had evidence of what had happened. They may have decided it just wasn't worth the risk to manipulate another election. So I think the lawsuit and deposition on Monday may have deterred them in a small way from attempting to impede Obama's victory.
The history of America's stolen 2004 election is coming to light, as it must. "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice!" Winning big with a transformational leader like Obama means we can go on the offense in addressing the great issues of our time from global warming to election reform. Guided by our values of open, honest government, we can begin the work of reforming America's flawed election system. There is much to be done to protect the voting rights of every citizen and to ensure that all the votes are fairly counted. Our work is not over.