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Wayne Madsen's
Vote Fraud Tale Spin, 7th Dec, 2004 14:00ET
by Fintan Dunne, Editor EXCLUSIVE

When ex-NSA employee, Wayne Madsen hit the Internet with his tale of a massive electronic vote-stealing operation costing tens of millions of dollars, the story was greeted with skepticism by vote fraud activists. With good cause.

Despite their hunger for any report that would shed light on the exact method by which Bush had subverted the will of the people, Madsen's story --featuring a Cayman island bank, an offshore trust and a payoff check to conspirators for over $29 million --was just a bit too tinfoil-hat for most.

Madsen reassured the doubters with promises to put more flesh on the bones of the story. After failing in two subsequent missives to add substantial details, he's finally laid it all out. Unfortunately, even fully-fleshed, Madsen's story is a corpse with no detectable pulse and a missing heart.

The heart of the story was his seminal account of a $29 million payoff check to an alleged Bush-linked offshore trust. Now he admits the check in question was a fake so inept that Nigerian scammers would blush at such incompetence. No such blushes from Madsen, who now says the check was just a follow-the-money pointer from his mysterious tipsters.

MSNBC's Keith Olberman, the thinking TV-watcher's no-tinfoil blogger, was aghast at such chutzpah, writing:

"..To turn on a dime and write that a document is real, and hard evidence of a crime, and then come back and admit that itís fake, but still hard evidence of a crime, is an intellectual leap of faith worthy of Evel Knievel."
But Olberman, reinforcing his status as one who can tell wood from trees, declined to toss out the bathwater with the fake-check baby:
"There could very well be facts ó even important facts ó hiding in there somewhere."
Yes, but where!


The confusion arises because Madsen's account is a half-dozen different stories melded into one, using much imagination and a few spots of circumstantial glue. Some parts are undeniable fact. Many are unverifiable or disputed. One aspect is pure tragicomic farce.

The most concrete story element was revealed in fullest detail by --who released an affidavit from software engineer, Clint Curtis alleging that Florida Republican, Tom Feeney and executives at Yang Enterprises, a software firm under contract to Florida's Department of Transportation(DOT) --had commissioned him to develop a prototype of software to "fix" touch-screen voting machines in south Florida.

But that angle is not new. In January 2004, Curtis registered a website to make these exact claims, albeit with the alleged perpetrator's names lightly disguised. He's even written a book (available on which covers this and other topics --such as "Communist spies" stealing U.S. secrets. He's been openly promoting his story, and the book --on the Internet.

And Curtis has other vested interests in all this. In 2001, his main allegation had been that his former employer Yang Enterprises had overbilled the Florida DOT on contracted software. By then he was working for the DOT, and these allegations --in which he was joined by his new boss at the DOT-- got both of them fired and led to court cases seeking their reinstatement.

Without dismissing the merits of the overbilling allegation, Clint Curtis has clearly got old axes to grind. Yang Enterprises have rubbished the overbilling claim. And Feeney has rather unconvincingly denied over-enthusiastic lobbying on their behalf.

But you can tell something is up. Within hours of Madsen and RAW STORY releasing their congruent versions of the software-vote-fix saga, a German Shepherd dog owned by Clint Curtis was found... dead. It's the second dog of his to meet such a fate, BradBlog breathlessly informed readers.

Clearly Karl Rove had the poor mutts iced. Ruthless, eh? What do you mean tinfoil? Case proven.


Even as BradBlog's credibility was dying with Curtis' dog, back in Madsen's more expansive version of events there's dirty work afoot, it seems.

He zeros in on the unfortunate fate of a Florida DOT corruption investigator, whose inquires into the DOT overbilling issue ended when he turned up dead in Valdosta, Georgia in June 2003 --an apparent suicide.

The investigator, Ray Lemme had told his wife he was working on a "big case." Clint Curtis says Lemme informed him a cover up of Yang's alleged malfeasance was coming from "as high up as I could imagine."

If Madsen had focused solely on this aspect, his article would have been a well-aimed exposé. There's plenty of flesh on these particular bones -- including signs that Jeb Bush's administration was interfering in the DOT's handling of the overbilling issue.

But we only have Curtis' word that his claims of a vote stealing scheme were being factored into Lemme's investigation. As a DOT fraud investigator, Lemme would have been concerned only about the question of overbilling. Vote fraud would have been well outside the scope of his inquiries.

Had it been Clint Curtis -not Lemme who ended up a suicide case, that would have been a real red flag. But the closest Curtis gets... is a suspiciously dead dog.


So what have we got? Much of this story revolves around Yang's claimed overbilling of the DOT --not Feeney's alleged plan to steal the election for the Bush boys. It's time to distill all this down to the vote fraud essence.

Despite the hoopla, it's clear the Florida election was NOT stolen with software Clint Curtis wrote for Feeney. The software Curtis touts on his website is merely a prototype of what such software might look like were someone to take the time to program it in full and stealthy detail.

But as it stands, Curtis' program is a mere skeletal outline --as lacking in electronic flesh as Madsen's early articles. It was written by Curtis, and has been promoted by Curtis.

We have only his word that the malicious intent was Feeney's.

And no amount of dead dogs can change those hard facts.

Despite Madsen's grand elaborations and whispers from shadowy tipsters, nothing links Curtis' sparse software with any greater plot to steal votes across America. Not even a real check.

And besides these questions about Madsen's "November Surprise" article, we have the issue of his pre-election article about an "October Surprise" --which never in the end materialized.

Back then, Madsen's publicity-shy informants had assured him that George Bush was ready to launch a strike against Iran to create an emergency backdrop to his reelection bid. It never happened, of course.

But it would be unfair to single out Madsen for this error. If you recall, the months before the election were rife with speculation about the type of "surprise" that Bush was going to engineer in October, 2004.

Everybody knew Bush was in a fix, pardon the pun. Conventional wisdom had come to believe that he needed to pull some stunt to avert defeat. But, absent all those "October Surprise" speculations, people might have realized something totally unsurprising was about to happen.

Bush would steal 2004 --just like he stole 2000. By means of vote fraud.

Big surprise, eh?

Madsen's mistaken "October Surprise" article was just one more element in a vast misdirection of Rovian proportions. That's why I would not like to put people off reading his material. Reading Madsen has it's advantages.

It's an excellent way of figuring out what Karl Rove wants you to think!

Or it was up until now anyway.

Fintan Dunne,
7 Dec, 2004

(An earlier version said that RawStory was the site hyping up the death
of Clint Curtis' dog - but it was Bin fact BradBlog. This is now corected)

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