by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 14, 2020) — A December 6, 2020 article at The American Report claims that in 2013, Fox News Channel and one of its then-reporters, Carl Cameron, were provided evidence by former NSA and CIA contractor Dennis Montgomery that a government computer Montgomery allegedly built and software he allegedly designed were in use by the U.S. intelligence community to “steal U.S. elections.”
Without presenting any evidence itself, The American Report claims that Rupert Murdoch, the current chairman of Fox Corporation and Executive Chairman of News Corp, “hid from the American people information the cable news network possessed about cyberwarfare weapons THE HAMMER and SCORECARD.”
However, crucial documentation speaking to both Cameron’s and Montgomery’s credibility was left out of the report.
The “Hammer and SCORECARD” narrative began on the internet in earnest with The American Report’s October 31 article reporting, with Montgomery as its only source, that “In February 2009, the Obama administration commandeered a powerful supercomputer system known as THE HAMMER. THE HAMMER includes an exploit application known as SCORECARD that is capable of hacking into elections and stealing the vote, according to CIA contractor-turned-whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, who designed and built THE HAMMER.”
The second paragraph claims, without corroboration, that “SCORECARD was deployed by the Obama team against Florida election computers to steal the 2012 presidential election on behalf of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.”
“SCORECARD is now being activated to steal the vote on behalf of Joe Biden once again,” the article continues. “Biden utilized THE HAMMER and SCORECARD while running for Vice President in 2012. Votes are again being stolen on Joe Biden’s behalf as he runs for President of the United States in 2020.”
In keeping with previous releases, the article targeting Fox News and Cameron omits the fact that emails exchanged between Cameron and Montgomery turned over to a federal court in 2015 reveal Cameron’s berating of Montgomery for having failed to produce the evidence to support his claims of illegal government surveillance upon which any broadcast was predicated. “FOX never froze your story Dennis, YOU DID,” [sic], Cameron wrote on July 17, 2014. “The day we met I told you any story hinged on the data. On tape you described the data and said you would produce it and said you were prepared to face the music for having kept the drives…In January you admitted you never intended to produce what you’d promise because of the potential criminal charges. Face it, you have been lying about lots of things.”
For readers unacquainted with the background, 2013 was the year Montgomery approached not only Cameron, but also the Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) alleging to possess evidence of illegal government surveillance. Montgomery’s claims came approximately four months after Edward Snowden revealed the vast collection of Americans’ communications by programs such as the NSA’s PRISM. In October that year, Montgomery told then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio that he possessed evidence that more than 150,000 county residents had unknowingly become victims of bank-account breaches conducted by a government entity as well as widespread government surveillance generally.
Cameron’s email to Montgomery was sent at just past the midpoint of Montgomery’s engagement with the MCSO.
Determining at the time that Montgomery’s allegations merited investigation, Arpaio hired Montgomery as a confidential informant, an engagement which concluded approximately a year later after two former high-level NSA program developers, Kirk Wiebe and Thomas Drake, determined, upon an independent analysis Arpaio requested, that the “evidence” Montgomery provided Arpaio on 47 hard drives was of no value and further, represented an “outright and fraudulent con perpetrated on the government for personal gain and cover.”
In their ongoing promotion of Montgomery’s evolving claims regarding “The Hammer” and, more recently, SCORECARD, Fanning and Jones completely omit Montgomery’s work for the MCSO, including the aforementioned report, one of whose co-authors, Wiebe, is now inexplicably one of Montgomery’s strongest proponents.
Also excised from their narrative is Montgomery’s pattern, repeated many times over with different parties, of claiming to have invented software with particular capabilities but failing to produce it or the source code when requested.
Perhaps unknown to Fanning and Jones or otherwise ignored, in their official capacity for the MCSO of providing oversight of Montgomery, Zullo and Mackiewicz had dinner with Cameron and were made aware that Cameron, too, was left empty-handed following Montgomery’s pledge to provide evidence of his claims.
The July 17, 2014 email Cameron sent to Montgomery vindicating Fox’s decision not to run the story was authenticated by Zullo, “as he had received a copy of it in 2014 during the investigation and turned it over to a federal court under subpoena,” The Post & Email reported on September 12, 2019.
“The email we turned over to the U.S. District Court speaks to a very different set of facts than what was reported by Fanning and Jones and would later be the exact assessment Mackiewicz and I arrived at after dealing with Montgomery for a year,” Zullo said. “Nothing Montgomery says can be taken as fact until it has been verified. It’s one story after another with promises of evidence that just never materialize.”
“We had dinner with Cameron at the Capital Grille in Washington, DC,” Zullo recounted. “Montgomery was the topic. I can tell you that Fox News wanted to and was fully prepared to run the Montgomery story. They were waiting for Montgomery to deliver the proof of his claims as he promised Cameron he would. Montgomery never did. As we came to learn, this is a repetitive pattern of Montgomery; he never can produce the evidence he says he can, but omits the factual evidence to the contrary.”
In the article, Fanning and Jones accuse Fox News of knowing The Hammer and SCORECARD would steal U.S. elections. However, Zullo told us that in his lengthy discussion with Cameron in 2014, SCORECARD and The Hammer were not a topic Montgomery raised to either Fox News or the MCSO.
“Once Fox News stepped away, they were waiting for us, because if we got what we needed from Montgomery, Fox was going to go with the story due to a law enforcement validation. We were going to validate it and give it to Fox, but everybody was waiting on Dennis,” Zullo said.
“It always comes back to waiting on Dennis, but Dennis never produces. Montgomery has a long history of not producing things that he says he can; just look at his court records. He also blames everyone else for his failure to produce. He will always attribute his failures to others and make himself the victim in the process.
“In the article Fanning accuses Fox News of suppressing the story, yet omits the factual evidence that squarely places that problem on Montgomery’s shoulders. Then, in typical Montgomery fashion, he alleges that Murdoch confiscated his interview tape, that he wanted a copy of it but Murdoch had it and refused to provide it to him. This is a bunch of bunk. The fact is Fox spent a week with Montgomery, he failed to produce, and the taped interview belongs to Fox, not Montgomery. Really think about it: why would anybody give a week’s worth of work over to the guy that just lied to you and wasted your time and money?
“That is why I am very suspicious of his latest SCORECARD claim. It was never mentioned in any meeting he had with MCSO, FOX News, or Federal Judge Lamberth when we took Montgomery to Lamberth to present the evidence he said he had of government surveillance.
“Also very interesting is the fact that Montgomery approached the MCSO a few weeks after Fox News videotaped him. We did a four-hour interview of Montgomery on videotape in his garage, and there was not one mention of SCORECARD.
“I don’t believe Dennis will ever produce this SCORECARD software. He is going to tell you he gave it to the FBI and does not have it any longer. That is always the story with him: he never can prove what he says because of someone else.
“Instead of acting as Montgomery’s PR firm, Fanning and Jones really need to do some investigative work before reporting on this entire issue. There is so much contrary evidence to the stories they write if they would just do a little legwork. They are so personally invested in the Montgomery/Hammer story that facts don’t matter to them. They want to keep Montgomery happy such that they are afraid to bite the hand that feeds them the stories they so willingly print. Instead of reporting all the facts, they doctor every story or intentionally fail to report all the facts to keep up the Montgomery narrative. That is not reporting; that is propaganda.”