Talk:Michael Connell

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Karl Rove ties

It's been frequently stated that Michael Connell was Karl Rove's IT specialist. Connell certainly did work closely with the Bush campaign and was connected with Rove's political associates, but whether the relationship went farther than that is vague. Dana Jill Simpson did allege (see Jim March post) that both she and Connell were part of Rove's political operation (partially centered at SmarTech), and that Connell's role was rigging elections. She's a credible source due to her whistleblower role in the Don Siegelman case, but it would be good to get further verification of Connell's connection to Rove.

Congressional espionage?

Connell's company GovTech received the contract to develop IT systems for congressional committees, including the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. His role was specifically described as being able to place systems "behind the firewall". This raised suspicion that Connell inserted backdoors for GOP operatives to access congressional documents and emails. While not based on much more than conjecture and potentially quite hard to prove, this allegation is worth looking into. GovTech morphed into GSL Solutions after Connell's death, and it apparently still provides IT services to Congress.

Ukraine election

The electronic fraud in the 2004 Ukraine election should be looked at more closely, to see if Connell and associates might have been involved. While they may not have, it seems oddly coincidental that the same people and companies involved with rigging the 2004 Ohio election (Connell and SmarTech) would be partners of a lobbying group advising the candidate who benefited from similarly-executed fraud.

One question that needs to be answered is when Paul Manafort started working for Viktor Yanukovych. Some sources say he joined after Yanukovych lost to rehabilitate his image, while others say he was part of the 2004 campaign.

Blackwater assassination?

Wayne Madsen raises the possibility that private mercenary contractor Blackwater was responsible for Connell's assassination. He bases this on the day the letter was sent: August 31, 2009. On August 3, former employees of Blackwater implicated founder Erik Prince in slaughtering Iraqis, arms trafficking, and murdering investigators. On August 20, the Washington Post reported that Blackwater was hired for the CIA's secret assassination program. Madsen suggests that in light of these Blackwater revelations, an employee blew the whistle about their operation to assassinate Connell.

Faking his own death?

Some people researching the death of Mike Connell have hinted at the possibility that Connell did not die in the crash, but actually faked his death. Here are some of the places where that has been suggested:

  • Democracy Now, "Republican IT Specialist Dies in Plane Crash", 2008/12/22
    • "AMY GOODMAN: So why did he fly in — why did he pilot his own plane when he was so afraid?

      MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, that’s a good question. We can’t ask him, unfortunately. I mean, this is kind of a grisly thought, but, I mean, I think we should be asking where the body is? We’re told that a trooper on the scene immediately identified Connell. But then we read elsewhere that there was nothing left but debris and that the fireball was enormous. So maybe he wasn’t on the plane. I mean, who knows, when you’re dealing with people as deep as these?"
  • Brad Friedman, "Where's the MSM Coverage of the Death of Connell, a Top Bush/Rove/GOP Operative?", 2008/12/24
    • From comment #26: "There are a few things however that really bother me - some that I think Larissa also mentioned:

      1. Why was the NTSB so quick to rule out icing?
      Under the circumstances and from all preliminarily available data, icing does seem to be the most reasonable assumption. What do they know?
      2. How could the trooper possibly have identified Connell so quickly? That fire looked pretty hot, and burned for a solid 10 minutes or more before they put the fire out. Surely his identification would have been destroyed along with the body, although they say the body was not badly burned. How can that possibly be, unless his body was ejected from the plane prior to impact/explosion? Plus, the plane was not registered in his name.
      3. I'm not sure what this means, if anything, but there was a curious time frame in which flight positions were not tracked, spanning 20-30 minutes or so which seems a bit odd. Typically flight positions are recorded every 1-4 minutes, but there is a void which began as he was approaching Pittsburgh until nearing his Akron approach. Perhaps a real pilot can explain this anomaly.

      There are certain aspects of this that make me wonder if his death could have been faked, as I am inclined to think Ken Lay's death was."
    • From comment #34: "COMMENT #26, was a comment of suspicion and the story smells of the Federal Witness Protection Program. The quick determination of death by a State Trooper is fishy. A check of the Body/DNA is necessary through a trusted reporter/correspondent would help to settle this niggling thought. Remember, the Bushes have had a long history of connection with the FBI (all the way back to Geo.H.W.'s briefing of J.Edgar Hoover at the JFK hit in 1963). Any FBI response is probably smoke. Got your Greg Palast hat on Brad? Connell worked long and close with the Bushes, so, faking his exit would be likely. Just follow his family and he will surface."

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