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Bev Harris has come out against Clinton Curtis' story that Florida Rep. Tom Feeney stole the election. Harris believes that this is a plant by Rove in an attempt to discredit the investigations into vote fraud, similar to the discrediting of the TANG scandal in fall.

Harris also addresses Wayne Madsen's forays into the Feeney scandal. She agrees with many here that Madsen is a questionable source whose theories don't fit the facts. She accuses him of bringing nothing new to the story.

While I have been a frequent critic of Harris, and still am, she is still knowledgeable about how the voting machines operate in Florida. She raises a number of valid points about Curtis and Madsen:

  1. As I have mentioned before, Curtis does not detail how the software entered the voting machines. Curtis, according to Raw Story, admits his story is not proof of fraud. Others have pointed out that the program itself was simply a demo version for Curtis to show Feeney.

  2. Harris calls it "unrealistic" to write the same program for both ES&S punch cards and Diebold optical scans. Also, many Florida counties used different machines in 2000 than they did in 2004, so she raises a major compatibility issue.

  3. The techniques that Madsen describes in his article and the techniques that Curtis describes are two different things.

  4. For Harris, it doesn't make sense that Feeney himself would direct the vote-hacking efforts as Curtis describes. It would make more sense for Feeney to use an operative for such a job.

  5. Harris says it is easy to write a trigger to, say, allow someone to hack into the machines on November 2nd and have it escape notice. Curtis says it's hard. Harris is correct; we wouldn't be having these discussions if the machines were hard to hack. Many other experts have written about the security flaws as well.

  6. You don't need an elaborate software package to hack a voting machine such as the one Curtis used; all you need is a VBA script, similar to a computer virus.

  7. Harris accuses Curtis of lying when he says he filed a "QUITAM" (whistleblower) suit. The correct rendition is Qui Tam. But the major flaw she points out is that a Qui Tam suit is supposed to be kept secret to protect the identity of the whistleblower. Since Curtis says a Qui Tam suit is pending, either he is lying or he is in contempt of court for talking about the case. Harris is correct about this; for more information, please visit

Harris concludes with three questions:
  1. She calls on Curtis to explain how he got the software into the machines.;
  2. What systems took the software in question;
  3. What loophole in Florida law would allow him to get around the secrecy requirement.

So, Harris' piece seems to debunk Curtis' story unless he can produce some very strong evidence to support his case.

Originally posted to Stop the Police State! on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:50 PM PST.


You be the judge:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar. (3.40)

    by Eternal Hope on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:44:29 PM PST

    •  Although I don't agree with Ms. Harris (none)
      that is absolutely no fucking reason for anyone to give you 2's in your tip jar!  WTF?

      People here need to fucking understand the damned rating system.

      If you disagree with someone, you don't give them 0's, 1's, or 2's.

      For those who need a review, here is a picture to help you:

      This diary is not "marginal".  You are not a "marginal" troll.

      Anyway, here's a 4 for a good diary.

      And I'm sorry for the rant.

      It's not getting any smarter out there. -- Frank Zappa

      by Page van der Linden on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 02:30:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In full agreement (none)
        I will remain skeptical on all stories until silver bullet is found.
        Need sound evidence and we'll keep searching.
        Diary is a fair view and should be rated as such and supported.

        I've started my diary for the skeptic's opinion:
        Clint Curtis For Dummies only!  POLL added

        Until Tonto meets Ranger with message: "We've got him".

      •  well (none)
        "Bev Harris has come out against Clinton Curtis' story that Florida Rep. Tom Feeney stole the election."

        This sentence alone warrants a 2 in the tip jar.

      •  Only a Scot would give anything less than a 4 (none)
                                     in a Tip Jar!

        Born a Liberal, voting Liberal, dying as a Liberal: á la Vie á la Mort

      •  i gave a 2 because the research (none)
        on this diary was less than complete and not accurate.  if we are going to post diaries, should we not, at the very least, be very careful of the facts of what we post?

        that is why i rated the diary "marginal". it was marginal, imho, because it was inaccurate, or - at least, incomplete in the data presented for consideration.

        War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

        by edrie on Thu Dec 16, 2004 at 08:04:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, also, it seems that ms. harris (none)
          based her comments on the madson report, NOT the bradblog report.  

          seems that ms. harris, also, was not checking her data as thoroughly as she should.

          she, also, should be called on the carpet.  inaccurate reporting only gives fuel to the right-wingnuts who look for any little "slip-up" to bash the entire baby down the drain!

          case in point:  rather and the bush awol documents.

          the 'documents' were trashed, even though the "data" was correct.  the battle AND the war were lost over careless coverage of issues.

          we need to be very very careful to not give ammunition to the opposition!

          otherwise, to the middle of the country, we look like bumbling fools.

          War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

          by edrie on Thu Dec 16, 2004 at 08:08:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Last I heard of Bev (4.00)
    she was dumpster diving somewhere in Florida. Her website is pathetic, she never updates it and I fear she is jealous that others have taken her spotlight and donations. SHE is the one that needs to bring forward some PROOF. I sent her some dough after her Randi Rhodes interview and she has disappointed me. I didn't know I was funding a docudrama. She made it seem like she alone was gonna flip Florida. She didn't. I feel it is the "Pot calling the Kettle black". I still have an open mind..but this bitch fest that she is constantly getting into with everyone she comes in contact with is not looking good for her. First person with credible, solid proof and can be responsible for changing the way we vote next election, I stand behind.

    educate 'em when they're young

    by Chamonix on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:59:08 PM PST

    •  Couple of things (3.33)
      She's busy with more than "dumpster diving".  And it's too bad more people haven't been doing that.  Might have saved some of the raw data being trashed in Ohio.

      And it's been said countless times now, she's not making any movie.  That's  And that's also a good cause to donate too.

      As for web updates:
      Her site's under hack attack most of the time, locking them out at times.  So making changes is a dicy matter at the moment.  A new site is being setup but it not the best time to play with web sites.

      What they're doing now is time critical.

      If it's a choice between "exposing fraud" or "playing web master", which one would you choose they concentrate on?

      As far as I can see, Bev and crew have nothing to be jealous about.  They're an experience group, with solid results under their belts from past investigations.

      The only people who I see are jealous are people who talk big but never going any further than talk.

      Btw, Bev's post about her thoughts on the Curtis thing was IN RESPONSE to people asking what she thought about it.

      So it seems she's damn if she does respond and damn if she doesn't.  

      I hope people make up their minds soon about what they are expecting from her and her group.  I'm getting whiplash reading the complaints.

      •  look, i support bev (none)
        i think she's made a slew of missteps lately, but she's way off base here. She should have given curtis' statement a more thorough read before asking a bunch of irrelevant questions.
        •  I thought they were decent questions (none)
          But if it's not a good enough response, then people need to stop giving her grief about being unresponsive to every "big earth-shattering" story to come along on the internet.

          I certainly wish people would stop, because what BBV is investigativing in Florida isn't something that can be delayed in order to get into interact pissing contests.

          And I mean that in the most respectful way.  :)

    •  I agree wth you that she has flimsy evidence. (none)
      But she is knowledgable about how voting machines work.

      Her strongest point is when she criticises Curtis on the whistleblower law. I think we have to be very skeptical about Curtis until some supporting evidence is found.

      by Eternal Hope on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:11:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Based on what I've read (none)
    I support Harris.

    From Plutonium Page's diary this made sense to me:

    This Smells Like Nonsense--Beware (4.00 / 5)

    I've spent considerable time pouring over this affidavit, and I've concluded that it is very likely fake.  I also have a theory about how it was constructed.

    There are several problems IMHO.

    First, the idea that Mr. Feeney would ask YEI to develop a prototype that could alter vote tabulation doesn't pass the straight face test.  It would be a mind-bogglingly dangerous move because it could be easily discovered and I don't believe Feeney could be that naive.  For one, there is no reason to assume that YEI would have the necessary technical expertise.  Making a software patch to accomplish this goal could require deep, hands-on technical awareness of the specific platform and software architecture of the target voting system (ES&S, Diebold, Sequoia).  Since that code is proprietary, it is unlikely that anyone other than an insider from the development team could be successful.  Moreover, it would be of no benefit to make a stand-alone "prototype" program that would alter voting tabulation if that prototype had no means of integration with the target platform.

    Then, the statement "You don't understand, in order to get the contract we have to hide the manipulation in the source code."  It would be astonishing to me if any real person said this.  This sounds like a James Bond movie.  There are just so many things wrong with this it's hard to know where to start.  As mentioned above, you cannot hide code in a platform to which you have no access.  This purported statement by Mrs. Yang pinned my bullshit meter deep into the red.

    Finally, there is a problem with the overall flow of the Affidavit.  It begins by focusing on voter fraud, and ends with a completely unrelated subject, apparently related to corporate espionage.  It is the juxtaposition of these two unrelated topics in a single affidavit that leads to my hypothesis.

    I believe that last page (4) with the signature and the notary seal is real, while pages 1 through 3 are pure fiction, but written in a manner to allow them to flow "seamlessly" into the last page.  If you read the transition from page 3 to 4 carefully, you can begin to sense that this is forced.  

    Further supporting this theory, there is a reference in the final paragraph " a co-defendant as well because it was the sole owner of the software that Ms. Georgalis and I were falsely accused of having appropriated."  This is the first time in the affidavit that "software appropriated" by Clint and Ms. Georgalis is ever mentioned, and the structure of the sentence strongly suggests that this topic was discussed earlier in the document.  I believe that it was mentioned (in the real affidavit), but naturally missing here since pages 1-3 have been rewritten.

    Finally, there are minor technical problems, such as the use of the reference to July 1st (superscript eerily reminding us of the Dan Rather documents) where in the final page, all dates are spelled out in their entirety as generally required in contracts (e.g., March 17, 2004).

    I would be absolutely giddy if any of this were real.  I would love to see George Bush get his just rewards.  Unfortunately, if this document gets out, it will likely have the same effect as the Dan Rather documents, discrediting real findings and turning the MSM away once again.

  •  what makes dailykos attractive is (4.00)
    that most people do their homework.

    perhaps before blasting the curtis affidavit, people should read it.

    including beverly harris.

    the complete affidavit is posted here on bradblogtoo
    where brad answers beverly harris and her comments.

    to start you off...curtis does not state that he loaded the software onto any machine!  He developed a prototype program at the bequest of Feeney.  he states that he thought he was developing the program to show how fraud could be committed in an attempt to prevent it from occurring.  his credibility is impeccable - he is responsible for uncovering an employee/relative for yang who was sending confidential information to china.  the information is on bradblogtoo.  the blogger was researching and verifying this story prior to madson releasing it - he has done extensive research into this story and presents the case and its substantiation.  

    for anyone to comment intelligently on any issue requires doing some deeper research than just one source.  i highly recomment reading the above link.

    btw, feeney has claimed that curtis is a "former disgruntled employee" but does not dispute the allegations.

    please, all, do your homework on this issue.  not researching information and jumping to quick conclusions is how this country got into the fix that it is currently in right now - people form opinions without finding out the facts.

    do the work people!  we have a huge task ahead of us for 2006 - and this is good practice for getting it right!

    change always begins with one person, one action...

    by edrie on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:27:34 AM PST

    •  brad also points out that (none)
      he and madson were independently researching the story and that many of the conclusions by madson appear to be without substantiation.

      read the site and then comment - would be interested in what yall think.

      i'm still way open on this one.  not enough info yet.

      change always begins with one person, one action...

      by edrie on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:31:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  my apologies - correction here... (none)
      the illegal alien reported by curtis was not a relative.  here is the info from bradblogtoo

      Mr. Hai Lin Nee, "the ilegal alien" who had worked at YEI and was reported by Curtis, was arrested in March of 2004 on espionage charges which included "shipping radar guidance system chips for Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles to a company in Communist China."Curtis discussed in detail, during our interviews, Mr. Nee having placed "wiretapping modules" into software code created by the company. The secret "wiretapping modules", Curtis claims, were to download information from programs built by YEI for contractors, and then either copy or send that information via Email back to YEI. Such software, Curtis claims, was created for companies such as NASA with whom YEI held substantial contracts.

      change always begins with one person, one action...

      by edrie on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:40:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for pointing that out to me. (none)
      I'll look at his response and do another diary. Right off the top of my head, though, two things still don't make sense to me. Why would Feeney want full-blown software when all that was needed was a VBI program? Also, Curtis is risking major jail time if this is indeed a Qui Tam suit unless this is an outright lie.

      by Eternal Hope on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:29:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  please also direct your attention (none)
    to this item. Curtis apparently has a history of feuding with Feeney.
    •  seems there was a longstanding friction between (none)
      feeney and curtis.  how does one decide who has more credibility?  

      feeney was a lobbyist and defense lawyer for fei (yang) and much more.  

      looking at florida politicians such as katherine harris, i tend to be somewhat skeptical about their integrity and honesty on face value.  

      i would not give credence to feeney just because he "says so".  actually, i wouldn't give any politician face value credit without checking out the facts for myself.  that goes for curtis as well.

      i think this one is just beginning to boil.  will be interesting to see what happens.

      change always begins with one person, one action...

      by edrie on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:44:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bev didn't debunk a damn thing (none)
    Curtis never claimed Feeney stole the election. All he says in the affadavit is that Feeney commissioned his company several years ago to write a prototype vote rigging program. You should change the title or delete this diary.

    As for Rove, sheesh, he really had people worked up. There is no harm in investigating Curtis's claims.

  •  Harris hasn't debunked sh*t (none)
    She's been too busy infighting with real journalists (Olbermann and Brad Friedman) she hasn't had time to actually publish her own proof.  Remember Volusia?  I do.  Where's her damn video evidence she said she had?  Maybe they'll put it in the special features on the Votergate DVD.

    Check out Brad's response to Harris here here.  And while you're there, read all of his posts.  Brad is basically responsible for blowing this whole story open; and it appears as though major media outlets are looking into Curtis' claims.  Unlike Harris, Friedman get results.

  •  Unfortunately... (none)
    with this "critique", Bev Harris has finally lost her credibility with me.  I supported her initially, and was loathe to criticize her until this point.  But, as Bradblog notes, she obviously didn't bother to read Curtis's affidavit, shows absolutely no understanding of what Curtis had to say, and does not differentiate between Masden's rather difficult to believe story that involves Saudi financing or some such, and Curtis's limited account of Feeney's involvement in finding ways to rig the election.

    Perhaps most disturbing is Harris' obsession with the Qui tam suit that Curtis claims to have filed.  Curtis is not a lawyer, and the fact that he doesn't know the ins and outs of Qui tam lawsuits or the proper spelling of "Qui tam" is really not a relevant consideration.  

    The Curtis affidavit is actually the kind of evidence that Harris needs to prove her assertions---but because it apparently does not fit perfectly with her personal conspiracy theory, she labels the whole thing "disinformation".   This is disappointing, to say the least....

  •  Vote of No Confidence (none)
    I thought Bev Harris had our national best interests in mind about the voter fraud thing... until she started getting nasty with Keith Olbermann's staff and now this half-a$$ed snarkfest about Clint Curtis. And this whole thing about not wanting to scoop the Votergate DVD. I'm disappointed.
  •  We could have them duel it out... (4.00)
    Zell Miller style!

    Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

    by Timoteo on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 04:52:56 AM PST

  •  Harris missed the boat here completely (none)
    Curtis is acting as a witness here, not a reporter. His claims are about witnessing conspiracy to commit fraud. He was asked to write demo code for proof of concept. After he demostrated the potential, he then learned the intent was to commit fraud in upcoming elections, not to prevent the democrats from commiting fraud. Those are his allegations, and if they prove to be true, they would not prove that these elections were hacked, only that there was a plan to commit fraud.

    Also it should be noted that Madsen's report was based on testimony from Curtis. That's the reason they are similar.

    The most damnimg criticism she gives is about the QUITAM/ Qui Tam suit. That part really doesn't look good for him, and it looks like he could really use a lawyer.

    •  damaging? (none)
      The most damnimg criticism she gives is about the QUITAM/ Qui Tam suit. That part really doesn't look good for him, and it looks like he could really use a lawyer.

      seriously, do you consider a spelling error, and a lack of precise legal knowledge of the ins and outs of Qui tam lawsuits, to be damaging?  I don't....

      Curtis is a programmer, not a lawyer, and getting details wrong on "lawyer" stuff is not terribly relevant to his credibility.  

      •  Oh damn! (none)
        That's the situation Curtis will be in if he gets in trouble for disclosing the Qui Tam suit. I don't think the spelling boo boo means jack shit. I also don't think it affects the credibility of the claims. It's just not good for Clint.
  •  HEADS UP! READ THIS! (none)
    Curtis does not have to be wrong for Harris to be right.

    Folks, there are so many holes in these voting systems they can both be right.  And we can add 10 more whistleblowers/investigators and they'll all find another way to manipulate an election.

    They used them all in 2004 to subvert democracy.  If you support Bev, just do it.  If you support Curtis, just do it.  There doesn't have to be sides.

    •  I wish (none)
      you were right....

      the problem is that Harris is basically telling people that the Curtis affidavit is likely to be disinformation BASED ON her failure to read (or understand) the contents of the Curtis document itself.

      Virtually everyone (with the likely exception of Masden) who has done serious reporting on this story has used a great deal of caution with it in case it IS disinformation.   Harris, on the other hand, sets out to discredit Curtis from the gitgo....

      •  I am right, but that matters not (none)
        As someone who has repeatedly called Bev Harris a con artist (get it right, Bev) and a self aggrandizing publicity hound here on dKos, I see what is happening.

        It's a tried and true method of Harris.  She thinks she own Black Box Voting and every investigation tied to it.  

        Anyone who DARES to offer a differing scenario than Bev Harris is immediately attacked by her and her organization.  Ask David Dill.  Or Rebecca Mercuri.  Or Avi Rubin.  Or Cindy Cohn of EFF.

        Anyone who asks her for rational and logical discussion into her allegations is shredded publicly by her organization.

        Anyone who dares to suggest there are holes in her methods is accused publicly of trying to cash in on BBV by her organization.

        It's standard fare for Bev Harris - a 2 year old pattern.

        However, as activists, we should have one goal - to prove or disprove every possibility.  Support the investigation into these machines and election manipulation.  The hell with the personalities.  Get to the FACTS.

  •  rather misleading (none)
    I'm not going to comment on either Bev Harris' or Clinton Curtis' credibility. I just want to point out that Harris' opener looks very much like a classical rhetorical sucker punch:

    1. As I have mentioned before, Curtis does not detail how the software entered the voting machines. Curtis, according to Raw Story, admits his story is not proof of fraud.

    As far as I know - correct me if I'm wrong - Curtis has never claimed that he or indeed anybody else actually entered the software he designed into actual voting machines used in actual elections. Further, by saying Curtis "admits his story is not proof of fraud", Harris implies that Curtis previously either claimed or at least implied that "his story" was proof of fraud. But has he? It's rather obvious to me that he has not.

    So who's the misleader so far? You be the judge!

    If you cannot convince them, confuse them. Harry S. Truman

    by brainwave on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:12:17 AM PST

  •  I support BradBlog's version (none)
    of the story.

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