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1-msvl_logoSeptember 29, 2008

By Rady Ananda

WARNING: Graphic images included. Released on DVD and now airing on Link TV, “Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story” is the most explosive documentary produced in recent memory, involving murder, espionage, cover-up, electoral cyber fraud and a United States Member of Congress with ties to the Bush Administration.

Presented by EARTHWORKS FILM, INC.
Producers JOHN SHARAF, PATTY SHARAF, MARIA FLORIO
Director PATTY SHARAF
Director of Photography JOHN SHARAF
Associate Producer DANA PLUMMER
Editors TIM BALDINI, JULIE COHEN, SHARON FRANKLIN, GABE REED
Music VINNIE CAGGIANO Sound: PATTY SHARAF
Featuring: BRAD FRIEDMAN, CLINT CURTIS
Website at http://www.VotingLies.com
68 minutes HD 16×9

Released on DVD and now airing on Link TV, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story is the most explosive documentary produced in recent memory, involving murder, espionage, cover-up, electoral cyber fraud and a United States Member of Congress with ties to the Bush Administration. Filmed in a style described as 60-minutes-noir, journalist/blogger Brad Friedman (Bradblog.com) investigates the assertions of Curtis. Attorney Bob Fitrakis, computer security expert Harri Hursti, Gore Vidal, Mavis Georgalis, Cynthia McKinney, and Richard Hayes Phillips make memorable appearances.

Hosted on Link TV by Danny Schechter, editor of Mediachannel.org, MSVL is shown in segments, with interludes of Schecter interviewing Bob Fitrakis, Ohio attorney and editor of the Columbus Free Press. MSVL airs five more times: on Tuesday the 30th, and then on October 5th, 6th and 10th. This is the two-minute trailer, and there’s also a five-minute trailer.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNHhP4JCDhA&hl=en&fs=1&%5D

MSVL is Patty Sharaf’s second feature, the first being Citizen Stan about activist Stanley Sheinbaum. When Sharaf caught Friedman interviewing Curtis in early 2005 at the Sundance Film Festival, she recognized the import of his story. She also saw it get buried. I reached her at the New Jersey Film Festival where MSVL premiered at Rutgers University last weekend.

2-patty-sharaf“Working the news business as a techie has taught me first hand: some of the most important stories never make air. I thought I could put Curtis in touch with news people who would want to hear his story. While they wanted to know about it initially, nobody would report on it. Seeing that this was one of those stories falling through the cracks, I felt obligated to film the next meeting between Brad and Clint, which took place in Nashville.”

That would be the April 2005 National Election Reform Conference, organized by Bernie Ellis, which drew people from thirty states and nine different political parties. Ellis writes:

“I know of no better model for what a citizen-patriot looks like than Clint Curtis. He is a quiet, nation-loving, clear-eyed citizen who recognized wrong when he saw it, who spoke up, and who has refused to stop sounding the alarm ever since. If we are ever able to rescue our country from the un-American election thieves who have brought us to this cliffside edge of rack and ruin, it will be because Clint Curtis showed up, stood up and refused to shut up.”

Much of the footage in MSVL covers this conference and intersperses Friedman’s interview of Curtis with its own interview of Friedman, who recently wrote:

“While the Curtis story has been told, often beautifully, in a number of other documentaries, such as Uncounted and Stealing America, this is the first to go all the way into all of the frightening details underscoring this case, including the mysterious death of Florida’s Inspector General Raymond Lemme while investigating the allegations, and the bizarre case of the convicted Chinese spy, Hai Lin ‘Henry’ Nee, who worked at the firm with Curtis.”

Curtis alleges that he was asked to write vote switching software for touchscreen voting machines to throw the 2000 election in South Florida. He also asserts that a co-worker at Yang Enterprises in Oviedo, Florida inserted spyware into sensitive programs that Yang had built for NASA. He also claims that Yang overbilled the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) by over $800,000. Unable to get the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement to fully investigate these matters, Curtis took the story to blogger Brad Friedman, who broke it in late 2004, and who continued to investigate and cover it the past four years.

When asked what prompted him to go to a blogger with his story, Curtis told OpEdNews, “I read that these machines were being used, and Velvet Revolution offered a quarter million dollars to anyone who could prove election theft. Of course, I didn’t want the money, because then the story would be tainted.” With that serious of a reward, perhaps Velvet Revolution was serious about exposing cyber fraud. Friedman became involved once Curtis contacted VR.

Murder of Man and Dog

In a telephone interview Friedman advised, “Until you see the film, if you think you know the Clint Curtis story, you probably don’t. The full story is creepy as shit. This is not just an election integrity documentary. We’ve got Chinese spies and dead guys!” And a dead dog. The day Curtis appeared in Washington, D.C. to testify, December 13, 2004, his two-year-old German shepherd, Champ, was shot dead. When talking about this in the film, Curtis’ grief is palpable.

MSVL exposes widespread censorship of this frightening story and suggests that authorities wrongly shut down the investigation into Lemme’s death and into electoral cyber fraud. Sharaf carefully explores the intersections between the alleged espionage, election fraud, and the many mysteries surrounding the death of Raymond Lemme. Although FDOT had officially terminated the investigation into Curtis’ charges, Lemme continued to pursue it in 2003. On their last visit, Lemme told Curtis he had traced the matter “all the way to the top” and planned to finalize the matter in the next few weeks. He assured Curtis he would “be pleased with the outcome.”

A close look at the details surrounding Lemme’s death certainly raises questions, suggesting a high-level cover-up. Details in the police report conflict with other information.

On Monday, June 30, 2003, Lemme left his home for work at about 5:15 AM, according to his wife’s sworn affidavit. At 6:20 AM, he left a message for his boss, Robert Clift, advising he’d be late coming in and would call back later. Lemme missed a 1:30 PM appointment with the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) General Counsel. When his wife arrived home from work about 6:45 pm, she found a 4 PM message from Clift seeking his whereabouts. She became very concerned, given that Lemme had cardiac issues, and reported him missing to the police.

Hotel records don’t match Lemme’s movements. The Valdosta, Georgia Knights Inn is a two-hour drive from Tallahassee, Florida where Lemme lived and worked. The check-in receipt shows Lemme arriving on Sunday, June 29 at 6:44 PM. The check-out receipt shows him leaving on Monday at 6:54 AM. Investigators dismiss these discrepancies as a computer error. Friedman’s request for copies of the credit card receipts from the police was denied. This evidence would corroborate or refute police assertions.

Lemme’s body was reportedly discovered on Tuesday, July 1st in a bathtub at the Knights Inn Valdosta. His arm was sliced open by a razor blade, also left at the scene. His unsigned suicide note failed to mention his only child, who was due to be married shortly. Friedman advises that the police report fails to mention what may be a large perimortem bruise on the right side of his neck. Nor does it mention what appears to be an abrasion on Lemme’s right cheek. Friedman acquired the crime scene photos and contrast-enhanced the second picture below, which makes the contusion more obvious:

3-lemme headRay Lemme. Valdosta GA Police photo headshot

4-lemme-head w contrastRay Lemme. Valdosta GA Police photo headshot with high contrast

In MSVL, Friedman reports that after exposing some of this information on his blog, the Valdosta Police Department reopened the case. They quickly closed it after speaking with someone from FDOT. The reason for this remains unexplained.

Espionage

Curtis’ allegations, which Lemme investigated, also fingered Henry Nee as an illegal alien who passed radar guidance system chips for the Hellfire antitank missile to the Chinese. Curtis and Nee worked for Yang Enterprises, based in Oviedo, Florida. For over a decade, the US has sold such weaponry to Taiwan, which no doubt explains China’s interest in the technology. The US increased its arms deals with Taiwan in 2002 under the Bush II Administration. Nee admitted his guilt, was fined $100 and given three years probation.

The brother of Yang’s CEO had already been deported for spying for China, yet the Dept. of Homeland Security apparently believed that was no reason to kill any contracts with the firm. Curtis alleged in his affidavit that Mrs. Yang provided Nee “with many gigabytes of downloaded information from NASA … which he took from the premises” several times.

Curtis also reported to state and federal authorities that he personally witnessed Mrs. Yang sending “a great deal of internal information to her brother in China.”

Cyber Theft of US Elections

Curtis led a high-tech workshop at the 2005 Nashville conference where he showed how a mere twenty-four lines of code could flip votes without anyone’s knowledge.

5-clintworkshop

Clint Curtis leads a workshop on how code can switch votes

In October of 2000, Curtis worked as the technology advisor to Yang Enterprises, Inc. At the time, Yang held top secret contracts with NASA and several other government agencies, including Florida. According to Curtis’ affidavit filed with the House Judiciary Committee, he met with consultant Tom Feeney (now-Congressman, R-FL, 24th District); Yang CEO, Li-Woan Yang; and her executive secretary, Mike Cohen. During that meeting, Feeney asked if Yang could develop vote-switching software. Feeney specified that:

“(a) the program needed to be touch-screen capable, (b) the user should be able to trigger the program without any additional equipment, (c) the programming to accomplish this remain hidden even if the source code was inspected.”

6-feeneybushTom Feeney is closely tied to George W. Bush

Feeney ran with Jeb Bush in an unsuccessful bid for Florida’s top spot in 1994. When he served as a consultant for Yang Enterprises in 2000, Feeney was also a registered lobbyist and later served as Florida’s Speaker of the House.

Curtis wrote the hundred lines of malicious code (only 24 of which actually switch the vote) and provided a copy to Hai Lin Nee, the Quality Control person at YEI who studied and approved it for distribution. Curtis then submitted the malware and his report to Mrs. Yang:

“I stressed that she and Mr. Feeney could view the operation of the program and then see how to detect such fraudulent source code so it could be prevented. Conversely, if they allowed blind (already compiled) code to be used (no source code provided) and there were no paper receipts, the votes could be flipped from one candidate to the other without any possible way for the deception to be detected.”

According to Curtis who passed a lie detector test, Mrs. Yang made her intentions clear. “You don’t understand. In order to get the contract, we have to hide the manipulation in the source code. This program is needed to control the vote in South Florida.” One has to wonder, contract with whom?

Curtis resigned shortly thereafter and took a job at FDOT, where he was able to compile documents proving that Yang was overcharging and defrauding the agency. Another FDOT employee featured in MSVL is Mavis Georgalis, who also reported Yang frauds to FDOT superiors. Their response was to fire both of them, along with six others who were aware of the allegations made by Curtis. Georgalis was able to win her job back in a lawsuit.

Sharaff expressed her hope that “this movie gives people a healthy skepticism about the votes counted by corporations in secret.” Everyone interviewed for this article offered the same advice: “Get involved. Democracy will not save itself.” Overwhelming evidence reveals that software driven voting systems can be hacked without detection; and daily news articles report that widespread machine failures and voter suppression tactics are ongoing. Voters must “Give a Shiftand be ready to hand count the ballots.

The takeaway lesson from this courageous whistleblower, a courageous blogger, and a courageous filmmaker is what Abbey Hoffman stressed:

“Democracy is something you do.”

The DVD of MSVL can be purchased for $15 at VotingLies.com. A donation of $50 or more to BradBlog.com gets you a copy signed by Patty Sharaf and Brad Friedman. A new date has been added to the upcoming screening schedule: Columbus, Ohio at the Drexel East, Tuesday, October 28th.

For further reading, see this short bibliography of books describing the machinations of election fraud.

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