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GOP IT consultant who planned to spill beans is killed in shady plane crash 

From the Current's "National Affairs" desk comes the sickening type of news we can probably expect to see more of as the Bush/Cheney regime exits the White House and attempts to cover the tracks of their many criminal misdeeds.

A GOP consultant who was apparently Karl Rove's right-hand IT guy was killed in a suspicious plane crash in Ohio this weekend. Circumstantial evidence seems to indicate that Mike Connell was the guy who could have revealed just how the GOP rigged the 2004 vote in Ohio to swing that election to Mr. Bush. Several stories about this are now making waves across the indie media news wires:

GOP consultant killed in plane crash was warned of sabotage: report
John Byrne, David Edwards and Stephen Webster
Published: Monday December 22, 2008

Raw Story had previously reported in September on how Connell was a "high-level Republican consultant" who had been subpoenaed in a case alleging tampering with the 2004 election, see:

Further reporting comes from the ever vigilant watchdogs at and Velvet Revolution:

Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash, Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. 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. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

On October 31, Mr. Connell appeared before a federal judge in Ohio after being subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit investigating the rigging of the 2004 election under the direction of Karl Rove. The judge ordered Mr. Connell to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election. Velvet Revolution received confidential information that the White House was extremely concerned about Mr. Connell talking about his illegal work for the White House and two Bush/Cheney 04 attorneys were dispatched to represent him...

VR demands that the Justice Department conduct a complete investigation into the activities of Mr. Connell and determine whether there was any foul play in his death. VR demands that federal law enforcement officials place the following people under protective custody pending this investigation. Heather Connell who is the owner of GovTech Solutions, Randy Cole, the former President of GovTech Solutions, and Jeff Averbeck, the CEO of SmartTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Both GovTech and SmartTech have been implicated in the rigging of the 2000 and 2004 elections and the White House email scandal. Our prior request to have Mr. Connell protected went unheeded and now he is dead.

Meanwhile, the silence of the mainstream media is deafening. Connell's crash is being reported by local outlets, but the the suspicious circumstances and implications are being skirted, as is to be expected. Connell's death doesn't even warrant mention on Google News's "Top Stories" front page. There's lots of reporting about the Denver plane crash in which no one was killed though - Google News returns 3,247 stories there. unbelievably appears to have a near total blackout on the story - they've got nothing reported on it, which speaks volumes about who controls CNN - Operation Mockingbird anyone? ( If you use their web search you will at least find stories on it from other sites. ) Likewise, the Washington Post has NOTHING on this story. Two strikes for the national media. New York Times steps in to bat and... a search reveals a link to the PRNewswire story from Velvet Revolution, but NY Times apparently doesn't deem this story significant enough to report their own story. Let's call that a foul-tip snared by the catcher for strike three.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the crash and of Connell being an influential GOP consultant. But there's no mention of his connection with Karl Rove, nor the fact that he had been subpoeaned in the lawsuit about the 2004 election. The independent Columbus Free Press comes through though with some real reporting thanks to longtime electoral watchdogs Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman:

The suspicious, disturbing death of election rigger Michael Connell
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
December 20, 2008
Michael Connell, the crucial techno- lynch pin in the theft of the 2004 election, and much more, is dead at the age of 45. His unnatural, suspicious death raises serious questions about the corruption of the American electoral process that now may never be answered...

Ohio Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell hired Connell in 2004 to create a real-time computer data compilation for counting Ohio's votes. Under Connell's supervision, Ohio's presidential vote count was transmitted to private, partisan computer servers owned by SmartTech housed in the basement of the Old Pioneer Bank building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Connell's company, New Media Communications worked closely with SmartTech in building Republican and right-wing websites that were hosted on SmartTech servers. Among Connell's clients were the Republican National Committee, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and The SmartTech servers at one point housed Karl Rove's emails. Some of Rove's email files have since mysteriously disappeared despite repeated court-sanctioned attempts to review them...

Connell's death comes at a moment where election protection attorneys and others appeared to be closing in on critical irregularities and illegalities. In his pre-election deposition, Connell was generally evasive, but did disclose key pieces of information that could prove damaging to Karl Rove and the GOP. Examining attorneys in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville civil rights lawsuit, stemming from the 2004 election theft, were confident Connell had far more to tell.

There is widespread concern that this may be the reason he is now dead.

Here's more from investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrova, who had apparently been working with Connell as a source:
December 20, 2008
One of my sources died in a plane crash last night...

Anyone care to propose an over/under number on how many days until the national media acknowledges this story? I'll guess that we'll see a short story similar to the Plain Dealer's appear on national sites on Christmas Eve when no one's looking...

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