tagged w/ michael connell
Shortly before six o’clock on the evening of December 19, 2008, a man standing outside his home in Lake Township, Ohio heard the whine of an engine in the sky above him.
Moments later two red lights broke through the low clouds, heading almost directly toward the ground. It was a light aircraft, and for a second, as it descended below the tree line, the man thought it would climb back up. Instead, there was a terrible thud, and the sky turned orange. When the fire crews arrived, they found the burning wreckage of a Piper Saratoga strewn across a vacant lot. The plane had narrowly missed a house, but the explosion was so intense that the home’s plastic siding was on fire. So was the grass. The pilot had been thrown from the plane and died instantly. Body parts and pieces of twisted metal were scattered everywhere. A prayer book lay open on the ground, its pages on fire.
The crash would have remained a private tragedy confined to the pages of the local press and the hearts of the pilot’s widow and four children, but within days the blogosphere was abuzz with rumors and conspiracy theories: The plane, it was said, had been sabotaged and the pilot murdered to cover up the GOP’s alleged theft of the Ohio vote in the 2004 presidential election. At the center of this plot was the Saratoga’s pilot, a prodigiously gifted IT expert named Michael Connell, whose altar boy charm and technical brilliance had made him the computer whiz of choice for the Republican Party. Left-wing Web sites openly referred to Connell as “Bush’s vote rigger” and claimed that his fingerprints were on all the most controversial elections in recent history. There were dark whispers of electronic pulses or sniper fire being used to bring down the plane—a black ops attack designed to keep him from testifying against his former cronies. Right-wing bloggers and talk show hosts derided such claims as the twisted delusions of liberal nut jobs and tinfoil hatters. The mainstream press sat on its hands.
But while the rumors, innuendos, and allegations continue to swirl through the ether, evidence has recently emerged that suggests the Ohio vote may have been hacked, and that Connell was involved.
More...Shortly before six o’clock on the evening of December 19, 2008, a man standing... more
By Rebecca Abrahams on 11/9/2009 11:08AM
Exclusive: Mike Connell's Family Copes With His Mysterious Death, Tipsters, Legal Options
Guest Blogged by Rebecca M. Abrahams
On December 18, 2008, Bush IT expert Mike Connell, a highly skilled pilot, was killed in a sudden crash while flying his small aircraft from Washington DC to his Akron/Canton home airport. The cause of the crash is still unknown and under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
For more than ten months, Connell's family has been coping with feelings of disbelief, anger and confusion and has many unanswered questions about the man they knew and loved.
For Connell's widow Heather, holding her husband's New Media consulting firm together is a daily struggle.
"The more I learn about the crash the more sick it makes me - the destruction of the plane. I found a pack of the I-pod ear buds in a tree. I'm obsessed with the Blackberry. I don't have the Blackberry. I have his backpack. I have his paperwork, his schedule. None of his paperwork is burned up. One of his prayer books burned on the outside. I think there was a lot thrown from the plane."
Although mainly un-reported, there's a great deal of controversy surrounding Connell's death - largely in part because he was the architect of many Republican websites including GeorgeWBush.com and GWB43.com, the site Karl Rove used for 95% of his email correspondence. Connell was also considered a key witness in the election fraud lawsuit King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell. The suit implicates Former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell, Karl Rove and others of 2004 election night vote rigging.
Attorneys in the case believe that Connell, who had not been accused of any wrongdoing, had firsthand knowledge about the missing White House emails and Rove's alleged wrongdoing with respect to the 2004 Presidential election.
His wife, and those attorneys, are not the only ones still focused on questions about what actually happened to Mike Connell nearly one year ago, and in the years prior...
'Way too convenient'
Connell, 45, was the oldest of six children. His sister Shannon Connell describes her family as very close, despite differing political opinions.
"Even though we had different political beliefs, there's always been a close tie among siblings. In fact, my parents were Kennedy Democrats. But then after Kennedy, they started voting more for Republicans and I would say that in our family we range from progressive to conservative and Mike and one of my other siblings are staunch Republicans."
Although her brother never spoke of his work, Shannon believes that Mike's ties to the Bush Administration and the GOP are somehow related to his death.
"It just seems way too convenient, the timing since he had been deposed. He didn't get to testify. But I don't think he would've perjured himself. When it comes down to it, he was basically an honest person. If push came to shove and he was under oath testifying, I believe that he would've told the truth. I think that there were other people who believed that as well."
Connell's wife Heather acknowledges he received threats in the months leading up to his death. But says she was unaware Connell was told not to fly.
"I have spent days and days and days trying to figure it all out. I don't think he would lie to me. Number one, I don't think he took the threats seriously. I never heard 'Don't fly.' I never knew my husband as Bush's IT guru. He built lots of Republican websites… He built Jeb's site, George's site, George's 2nd site --- his campaign sites. I don't know what involvement he had with SmartTech. That I don't know. I just knew what sites he built. SmartTech was the big hosting center. Everything was hosted at SmartTech. That's where the access would be --- not at New Media. I was signing lots of checks for hosting fees, huge payments to SmartTech forBy Rebecca Abrahams on 11/9/2009 11:08AM
Exclusive: Mike Connell's Family... more