The four hours of taped interviews I recorded with Cliff Arnebeck not only proved he was no tinfoil hatter or conspiracy theorist but that his claim that the Ohio, 04 election had been stolen by cyber fraud, though not yet proven, was founded on solid, forensic and circumstantial evidence.
The next day I drove to Wooster, Ohio, to meet with one of America’s leading experts on cyber security, Stephen Spoonamore, a.k.a “ Spoon “ to his friends. A former playwright turned Internet wizard, he is one of those American originals you can’t fit into any box. He’s a Republican but drives a French designed “ eco car. “ He’s a geek and a writer; a self-described “ pagan “ as well as an avid student of world religion. He is equally at home at a conference on counter-intelligence or an off-Broadway theatre show. He does IT security for First Boston Bank and MasterCard but recently set up a company that uses waste glass to clean up toxic sites.
He is also famous for building “ onion routers “, most recently for Iranian dissidents, which prevent governments spying on their citizens’ Internet communications. “ I spend my day trying to defend the elite systems of the Pentagon, the NSA or the MasterCard Global Reconciliation System “, he told me. “ When a problem comes up the first person they call is me. I go and look and say what I think it is and who did it. And I am right about 90% of the time. That’s how I make my living. “
For the last ten years, he has devoted thousands of hours of his spare time investigating cyber fraud in American elections. Not out of any partisan desire to discredit one party or another. But because he passionately believes in his democratic birthright.
The story he told me, over several bottles of wine at a brick-oven pizzeria in Wooster, Ohio, and later at his home, when a blizzard prevented me from making it back to Columbus, was so incredible, and yet so grounded in detailed, technological evidence that I came away both convinced that what he had told me was true; and unnerved at what I might have stumbled into …. ( to be continued)