by Sharon Rondeau

(Jul. 27, 2021) – A woman identifying herself in articles, audio interviews and tweets as “Mary Fanning” over the last decade may be a former CIA operative, The Post & Email has learned.

The mysterious “Fanning” has no internet footprint, displays no photographs or history, and is only a voice over the telephone in numerous radio broadcasts and video productions over the last several years.  A co-author of articles at The American Report, Fanning claims the credential of “national security” investigative journalist but has no track record in the field, let alone “journalism,” prior to the launch of the website in 2015. 

A similar observation was made by Dominion Voting Systems in a lawsuit filed in February of this year against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who implicated the company and its affiliates in alleged vote-switching from Donald Trump to Joe Biden through a machine “algorithm.”

As reported by Brannon Howse, host of WVW-TV, where Fanning and co-writer Alan Jones frequently appear, in early January Fanning was seeking someone who could approach President Trump with the evidence she claimed to have of cyber interference in the election; Howse reportedly obliged by introducing her to Lindell.  From there, Lindell brought the uncorroborated “evidence” to the White House, then featured it in his “Absolute…” video series purportedly explaining how the election was “stolen” from Donald Trump without identifying its source.

Fanning’s sole source of the alleged “evidence” is former government contractor Dennis Montgomery, who has failed to substantiate numerous claims he has made over several decades and was billed in 2010 by Playboy Magazine as “The Man Who Conned the Pentagon.”

Fanning first made herself known to this writer in 2010 or 2011, purporting to be concerned about the Obama presidency and its effects on the nation.  During her occasional unsolicited phone calls over the next several years, Fanning would ask questions which we knew at the time, despite her apparent show of sincerity, could have sought information for a purpose other than mere personal interest.

In March 2017, Fanning launched what became a lengthy series of articles at The American Report promoting the claims of former government subcontractor Dennis Montgomery of the existence of a government super-computer, “The Hammer,” which purportedly since 2009 was used by US intelligence agencies to spy on American citizens and collect their personal information without a warrant.

The information Fanning provided Lindell also originated with Montgomery, who has a long history of litigation, both as a defendant and plaintiff; of failing to produce evidence in court and accusations of perjury for which he was criminally referred; falsifying documents; and making spectacular claims to the Department of Defense about software he allegedly designed which ultimately did not perform as promised.

Although Fanning and Jones claim, without corroboration, that Montgomery “built” The Hammer, Montgomery told investigators from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in 2013 that he played no role in its construction or setup, an inconsistency Fanning and Jones have ignored.

Critics of Fanning’s work who point to Montgomery’s lack of evidence, faulty evidence and contradictory statements over the years as well as his history of mendacity to judges, law enforcement and federal agencies saw Fanning turn her ire on them in an attempt to paint them as CIA, “Russian” or “deep state” operatives.  Ironically, however, according to former CIA officer Kevin Shipp, she herself may have a connection to the CIA dating back many years.

Those she has defensively attempted to defame include former CIA officer Larry C. Johnson; XRVision founder Yaacov Apelbaum; The Gateway Pundit founder and publisher Joe Hoft; former MCSO investigator Michael Zullo; and this writer, despite her initial overt friendliness in the latter’s case.  In a February 14, 2021 article and without linking to the specific column at TGP, Fanning and Jones wrote:

Larry Johnson, writing at the Gateway Pundit, attacked “Absolute Proof” and former CIA contractor Dennis Montgomery. Joe Hoft, referring to Montgomery in another recent Gateway Pundit article, wrote “We don’t know who’s paying him.”  Conversely, the question should be asked, who is paying Larry Johnson and The Gateway Pundit to put out this information about CIA whistleblower Dennis Montgomery and to bury the story about Barack Obama’s intelligence chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper who illegally commandeered THE HAMMER to spy on Donald Trump and millions of other innocent Americans.”

In some instances, Zullo, who supervised Montgomery in his role as a confidential informant for a year, has termed Fanning’s work “completely fabricated” and expressed extreme skepticism as to her source. “He has lied to his business partner; he has lied to three federal judges; he lied in the Risen case and in the eTreppid case; he lied in the meeting with Royce Lamberth; he lied to the DOD, to the CIA and to the president; he’s lied to Arpaio,” Zull said.  “What makes anybody think he’s not lying now?  This is a leopard that doesn’t change its spots, and he has the background to prove it.”

Despite its obvious lack of corroboration and misinformation, Fanning and Jones have forged ahead, attracting the attention of then-CISA.gov director Chris Krebs, who called the “Hammer/Scorecard” narrative “nonsense.”

Krebs and his agency also claimed the 2020 election was “the most secure election in American history.”  Later in November, President Trump fired him amid an onslaught of lawsuits Trump’s legal team attempted to mount to show massive fraud in a half-dozen “swing” states leading to Biden’s declared victory.

In August 2020, Fanning and Jones published a book titled, “The Hammer is the Key to the Coup” expounding on their claims that The Hammer was responsible for advancing the Russia “collusion” narrative which marred Trump’s presidency as well as collecting information on American citizens in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.  As might be expected, they touted Montgomery as a heroic whistleblower attempting to alert Americans to the overzealous U.S. intelligence community for which he once worked and from which the company he co-owned with Warren Trepp between 1998 and 2006 profited handsomely.

Fanning and Jones have never credited Zullo with creating “The Whistleblower Tapes,” a foundation of American Report articles since March 17, 2017 portraying Montgomery as a “whistleblower” on government-sponsored illegal surveillance. Rather, Fanning and Jones take credit for “transcribing” the contents of the recordings, which Zullo made with his I-phone in a law-enforcement capacity under then-Sheriff Joseph Arpaio and which Zullo turned over to a federal court under subpoena.

Had the recordings of Montgomery and an associate at the time, Tim Blixseth, not been leaked in late 2015 during the case against Arpaio, Fanning and Jones would not have been able to invoke them as evidence of “The Hammer” and its alleged purpose.  Moreover, several days before publishing their first article on the narrative, Zullo had informed Fanning that he would be releasing some information on Alex Jones’s show, Infowars, and requested that she defer publication until after the broadcast.  Instead, Fanning and Jones precipitately published their story without crediting Zullo as their source for both the recordings and information on “The Hammer,” then built their years-long tale upon it. 

Fanning and Jones’s articles immediately attracted the attention – and endorsement – of retired military personnel, media personalities, and later, as the narrative incorporated the 2020 presidential election, those seeking to know if fraud changed the outcome.

In addition to the election, Fanning and Jones’s list of alleged uses of The Hammer has grown to include such current news events as the trial of Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret); the Hunter Biden laptop containing what appeared to be incriminating information about Joe Biden’s profiting from China, Ukraine and other countries while he served as the nation’s vice president; the January 6 incursion of the U.S. Capitol; and the SolarWinds and Colonial Pipeline “hacks.”

After the first of this year, the Fanning/Jones narrative shifted to one of election interference in the form of foreign “cyber attacks” promoted on Howse’s WVW-TV without an explanation as to why they abandoned the Hammer/Scorecard narrative.  China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran and other countries were involved, the writers claimed, citing their now-unnamed “source” which later morphed into “cybersecurity analysts.”

Apparently for their contributions to his quest for the truth regarding the 2020 election, Lindell is now financially supporting The American Report and WVW-TV, while Howse, Fanning and Jones served as “executive producers” and other production staff for Lindell’s election-related videos which Lindell began releasing February 5.

Since becoming acquainted with Fanning, Lindell has met with Montgomery and speaks with him on a regular basis, a source told The Post & Email recently. 

Late last month, Lindell announced he will be hosting a “cyber symposium” to reveal the evidence he claims to have of “packet data captures” from the alleged foreign interference in the election. 

Lindell has been advised of the unreliability of Montgomery’s “evidence” based on Montgomery’s history but has refused to reconsider, JR Nyquist wrote on his website on July 22.

On the same day, Lindell announced a “$5,000,000 challenge” to anyone who attends the conference and can prove Lindell’s election data “wrong.”

In another strange twist, on July 23, Fanning resorted to promoting the “Hammer/Scorecard” narrative once again on Twitter:

On July 25, former CIA officer Kevin Shipp tweeted a surprising revelation: “A source close to me alleges that while in the CIA, I offended Fanning by exposing a serious vulnerability she refuse to correct. She was drummed out of the CIA and became rogue, holding a vendetta against me. The facts of my case seem to fit. Checking.”

At approximately the same time, Shipp wrote, “Mike Lindell is falling into a trap. Mary Fanning is a rogue intelligence operative pushing a dangerous hoax, dividing the Republican Party. (maybe that’s the goal.) “Absolute Sabotage: The Rise and Coming Fall of a False Narrative – J.R. Nyquist Blog.”

Later that day, Shipp added, “One final trick Fanning uses: Claiming the CIA invoked the state secrets privilege (SSP) because Montgomery’s claims were true. I am an expert in the SSP. The SSP was used to prevent the CIA’s digital spying program on al Qaeda from being discussed in court.”

Shipp then tweeted the following entreaty:

On Monday, Shipp further tweeted:

What is Fanning trying to accomplish?  Why has she promoted the work of a known fabricator to Mike Lindell?  What is the end game?

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  1. Hi Sharon,

    Whew… what a convoluted web of just the truth and pertinent lies.

    As I told a friend recently, those who say with a straight face that O’biden won more votes than Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald John Trump know the truth, that is why they (CNN and MSNBC and FOX) can lie about the audits and the cyber attack with a straight face so persuasively but NOT convincingly.

    When just the truth is being exposed, it seems that the fan is spreading not just the truth but a whole lotta, uh, poison.

    But, hey, I’m not a black hat or white hat hacker, so, what do I know. Right?