Are Voting Machine Conspiracies A Ruse? (Hush, Hush) – Part 2: Antrim County

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In Part 1 of this series, we took a high-level look at the evidence for and against allegations that Dominion voting machines were one of the methods used to steal the 2020 election on behalf of Joe Biden.

Conservative-populist media is split on the issue simply due to the shear amount of circumstantial evidence for it while others have done analysis and claim there is nothing to the story.

With all the smoke out there, we asked the question,

Are the Dominion and other voting machine controversies simply a ruse or a decoy to help ‘fortify’ the 2020 U.S. Election and getaway with the steal?

(Rumble Link) Well that’s a very entertaining story, but unfortunately real detectives have to worry about that little thing called “evidence”

In order to answer the question, we first need to go back to Ground Zero for the voting machine controversies and ask,

What is going on in Antrim County?

The news of Matt DePerno’s lawsuit was not the first time Antrim County made national headlines in the context of the 2020 elections. Immediately after the November 3rd election, news broke that a “software glitch” had caused 3000 votes to be mistakenly “flipped” from Donald Trump to Joe Biden for a 6000 vote net swing in Antrim County. It was also revealed 47 other counties in Michigan used the same Dominion tabulation software blamed for the glitch. The news immediately focused the eyes of the nation on Antrim County as the possible smoking gun proving election fraud took place and has remained a focal point ever since.

(Rumble Link) Michigan Republican Party chairwoman Laura Cox Nov 6th press conference about election irregularities including those in Antrim County

The next month in December, a man named Russell Ramsland Jr. and his company Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG) sent shockwaves throughout the press and social media with a blockbuster audit report stating,

We observed an error rate of 68.05%. This demonstrated a significant and fatal error in security and election integrity. [B]ulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail.

We Conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.

Allied Security Operations Group, Dec. 2020 Antrim County Forensics Report
Reaction of the release of the Allied Security Operations Group, Dec. 2020 Antrim County Forensics Report from podcaster Tim Pool on his official Twitter account

The Washington Post Article ‘The Making of a Myth’

On May 9th, The Washington Post ran a 8200 word, 16 page exposé about Russell Ramsland Jr. and Allied Security Operations Group. This article looks and reads just like a piece of statecraft propaganda … because it is.

The article starts off in a small airport hanger outside of Dallas, Texas telling the tale of how a bunch of rubes and conspiracy theorists out in the heartland formed an “election security” company to peddle myths about election fraud.

At meetings beginning late in 2018, as Republicans were smarting from midterm losses in Texas and across the country, Russell Ramsland and his associates delivered alarming presentations on electronic voting to a procession of conservative lawmakers, activists and donors.

Briefings in the hangar had a clandestine air. Guests were asked to leave their cellphones outside before assembling in a windowless room. A member of Ramsland’s team purporting to be a “white-hat hacker” identified himself only by a code name.

From The Washington Post article ‘The Making of a Myth’

It ends on Jan. 6th 2021 with President Trump using Ramsland’s myths to whip up his uneducated rabble of deplorables into a frenzy and unleashing them to go storm the Capitol in an “armed insurrection”.

The final image in The Washington Post propaganda article ‘The Making of a Myth’ meant as an allusion of a mob, incited by President Trump’s speech, marching over to storm the Capitol

At his “Save America” rally in Washington on Jan. 6, Trump made reference to Antrim County and “the troubling matter of Dominion Voting Systems” as an example of how he had been wronged …

He called the Nov. 3 vote “the most corrupt election in the history, maybe, of the world,” then urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. By the thousands, they complied.

From The Washington Post article ‘The Making of a Myth’

The article even uses some sophisticated visual devices to help drive the message home of the fictional narrative they are trying to create for the reader. It is a very well crafted piece of propaganda.

(Rumble Link) Example of the visual effects used in The Washington Post propaganda article ‘The Making of a Myth’

The purpose of the article is pretty clear. Any claims of election fraud or demands for investigations or audits by President Trump and his supporters is dangerous conspiracy-mongering. It undermines faith in our elections and will result in additional violence*.

The fraud claims have undermined faith in the electoral process, have been cited as a motivation for legislation to curtail access to polls in dozens of states and have spurred the companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic to file billion-dollar lawsuits. Ultimately, the conspiracy-mongering helped inspire the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

From The Washington Post article ‘The Making of a Myth’

*(TWP Editor’s Note: Keep in mind, this is the type of article the prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges participating in the trials in the DC Circuit of those accused of offenses in Jan 6th Capitol Hill Riot read while they drink their coffee every morning, and helps explain the mindset that leads to such egregious abuses of constitutional rights in those cases.)

The timing of The Washington Post story was interesting, May 9th. That was right when the full forensic audit in Arizona was getting underway, and calls for full forensic audits in other states were just picking up steam as a result. The Washington Post just happened to have this lengthy, detailed, and highly produced exposé about how dangerous calls for election audits could be, all prepped and ready to drop? Highly doubtful. They had this piece scripted and in production well in advance because they knew calls for election audits were coming. This was part of the plan to counteract it and pushback.

(Rumble Link) Segment from Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic about Rachel Maddow’s epic Apr 23rd meltdown on air about the Arizona audit of the Maricopa County election

Russell Ramsland Jr. And Allied Security Operations Group

The audit report by Russell Ramsland Jr. and ASOG made public on Dec 14th created a furor and has heaped attention on the irregularities in Antrim County ever since. But the accuracy and conclusions of the ASOG report was soon being challenged by even conservative media outlets. The credibly of the report was further called into question by an affidavit signed by Ramsland and submitted as part of another legal filing in a Georgia election lawsuit, although it entirely related to his review of Michigan election results as a whole (presented as evidence of reliability or lack thereof of Dominion voting machines). The results of those findings were quickly demolished when it was discovered Ramsland had included almost two dozen or more Minnesota jurisdictions. It was an error that should have easily been caught and corrected, and made the value of the analysis worthless.

Ramsland and ASOG repeatedly injected easily discredited misinformation into Trump’s and other election legal challenges. In the now famous November hearing held in front of Pennsylvania state legislature Republicans (and then again later in front of Arizona and Georgia state legislature Republicans), Trump’s legal team presented an expert witness and supposed cybersecurity expert named Col. Phil Waldren (Ret.).

(Rumble Link) Segments of Col. Phil Waldren testifying before both Pennsylvania and Arizona state legislature Republicans in Nov 2020
Screenshot of a LinkedIn page purported to be that of Col. Phil Waldren (Ret.)

Col. Waldren appears to have been referred to Trump’s legal team by ASOG. To date, no evidence has come to light that Col. Waldren has ever been used as an cybersecurity expert in any other context before the 2020 election contests. Outside of his military experience, he does not seem to have any specific credentials that would qualify him to be cybersecurity expert. Assuming his LinkedIn page is genuine, he appears to have been working as a “Forklift Driver & Floor Sweeper” at a brewery he helped found. The job title on the page in and of itself is odd; almost as if it is intended to be self-discrediting. Why would a retired U.S. Army colonel and cybersecurity expert choose to highlight such menial aspects of his resume unless it was meant to be found and used to mock his work cited in the legal challenges.

(Rumble Link) Robert Barnes talking about some of the supposed “experts” that were used as witnesses by Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood

Another highly questionable “cybersecurity expert” that managed to get inserted into the election contest challenges was ASOG employee Joshua Merritt, identified as a former military intelligence “white hat hacker” using the codename “Spider” or “Spyder” depending on the different legal filings. It was quickly revealed Merritt had been an auto mechanic in the Army, after flaming out of an entry-level military intelligence training course. He only seems to have some technical college training after his discharge from the Army; nothing that would qualify him to be used as a cybersecurity expert in a legal case.

ASOG is based in the Addison, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas close to where Sidney Powell’s legal offices are located. We do not take everything written in The Washington Post May 9th article as fact on face value for obvious reasons. But if the article is correct, ASOG seems to be the group that infiltrated the Sidney Powell / Lin Wood camp and fed information about German computer servers, votes being counted in Spain, and Venezuelan generals that formed a lot of the basis of the “Kracken cases“.

Sidney Powell gave several stunning interviews in mid-November beginning on Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo with claims the election had been stolen using computer algorithms and security backdoors in Dominion voting machines and Smartmatic software. Powell was initially brought onto the Trump campaign’s election contes t legal team that culminated in a dramatic press conference ahead of the first major court challenge brought in Pennsylvania federal court. The U.S. district judge wrote a scathing 37 page decision dismissing the lawsuit. The judge was able to cast all the claims brought by the Trump campaign as nothing but wild speculation, and used a lot of the voting machine allegations as cover to toss the entire case without even bothering to address signature match issue even though it was included in the complaint.

(Rumble Link) Richard “People’s Pundit” Baris and Robert Barnes discussing their personal experiences with the election contests in Georgia while working on behalf of the Trump campaign legal team

The Trump campaign quickly separated with Sidney Powell after the Pennsylvania decision. She along with Lin Wood would then set out to file a series of lawsuits separate from the campaign that would become known as the Kracken cases. Unfortunately the pattern seen in Pennsylvania would continue to be repeated throughout the election contest period. Despite no longer being officially associated to Trump’s legal team, the allegations made by Powell and Wood in media appearances and in court filings would hog the limelight with details of grandiose international conspiracies and all the intrigue of a spy novel. Judges, corporate media, and corrupt election officials then used the allegations as cover to ridicule and dismiss legitimate questions about election irregularities. Frankly speaking, the Kracken cases were crippling for Trump’s election contests.

So what does this tell us about Antrim County?

(Rumble Link) Promo for a April 2021 OAN special report about forensic audits in Antrim County
Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy seen on a Zoom call during a court hearing

We can only speculate about the exact nature of what happened on election day and since in Antrim County. Clearly something is amiss. Beyond the voting machine errors, there have been reports of fraudulent ballots and cover-ups by elected officials including Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy using her authority over the county’s court docket to dismiss a lawsuit she was a party to herself.

Antrim County was the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” when it came to Dominion voting machines. An election day 3000 “vote flip” from President Trump to Joe Biden due to a “software glitch” with Dominion software caught red-handed in near real-time. If you could get to the bottom of what happened in Antrim, then you had the template of how Dominion machines were used to steal the election across the country. A great deal of national attention fixated on Antrim County, and the attention has hardly let up ever since.

(Rumble Link) Attorney Robert Gruler’s analyzing the breaking news out of Antrim County about votes being “flipped” by Dominion tabulation software

Let us take a step back and reexamine the story in its entirety given the fact pattern and what we know now with the benefit of hindsight. The morning after election day, when the nation is waking up shocked to find Biden has pulled ahead in nearly all the key swing states thanks to massive ballot dumps overnight when it appeared President Trump was cruising to an easy reelection victory the night before. Immediately there is shocking news about a mysterious 3000 “vote flip” incident due to a software glitch in a county in Michigan. The story goes viral and remains in the headlines as the epicenter of election fraud for months on end.

The details of the Antrim County “software glitch” seem to line up perfectly to the allegations Sidney Powell began making about Dominion voting machines across the country in television interviews with Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and others just about a week later. Most of the allegations it now appears were either sourced from ASOG or from those referred to Sidney Powell by ASOG. This is sort of starting to sound like a diversionary tactic.

(Rumble Link) Sidney Powell’s first major television interview after election day 2020 on Lou Dobbs where she famously promised, “I’m going to release the Kraken”

ASOG goes rushing in to conduct a forensic audit of the Dominion machines in Antrim County as part of the lawsuit brought by Matt DePerno. And as described earlier, when the judge in the case ordered ASOG’s very dubious and flawed forensic audit report released on Dec 14th, the news dropped like a bombshell. The story again went viral and grabbed most of the headlines of the news cycle right in the heart of the election legal challenges time period, and again focused the attention of the country on Antrim County. Ramsland and ASOG would then go on to contaminate many of the other aspects of Trump’s legal challenges all the way up to Jan 6th and beyond.

Ramsland and others associated with ASOG have continued to give interviews at every opportunity to keep focus on Antrim County. Ramsland even approached The Washington Pundit and other smaller publications in Dec 2020 and Jan 2021 offering to be interviewed for articles or to appear on almost any podcast that give him airtime. TWP chose to pass due to concerns about the credibility of the allegations at the time.

Screenshot from the ASOG Forensic Audit Report of Antrim County Dominion voting machines

Did something nefarious happen in Antrim County? Most likely, Yes. But let’s consider the amount of time, attention, and resources has been focused on this incident compared to its overall relevance. During the time period between election day and inauguration day, there was only a finite amount of Pro-Trump resources in the form of human capital, grassroots crowdsourcing of information, independent media and private citizen investigations, the Trump campaign’s own resources, etc. to squeeze into a very short window. How much of that collective energy was focused on Antrim County? The 61st of 83 counties in Michigan by population with less than 24,000 residents or less than 0.3% of the entire state.

If the malfeasance could have been uncovered and proven in time, would it have had an impact on any other jurisdiction? Maybe, but highly unlikely. Again as detailed in analysis done by individuals like Richard Baris and Matt Braynard, the was no correlation between Dominion or other voting machines and voting irregularities. The irregularities occurred in precincts with unusually high numbers of absentee mailout ballots.

(Rumble Link) Richard “People’s Pundit” Baris and defense attorney Robert Barnes discussing the damage that was done to Trump’s election contest legal challenges by the Kracken cases

How much of the public attention was diverted by the Antrim County Dominion controversy? How much of the public pressure that could have been brought to bear on state legislatures, governors, secretaries of state, election officials, and even judges in disputed states to conduct meaningful signature match checks and voter canvasing efforts? Instead much of the public attention and outrage was focused on Dominion voting machines and a tiny, fairly insignificant county up in the northwest corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. An effort that to date has produced almost nothing in the way of meaningful results.

Antrim County seems to have all the hallmarks of a staged event; part of a disinformation campaign. Still today, almost nine months to the day from election day 2020, Antrim County still seems to be on the forefront of everybody’s mind as it gets brought up over and over again; seemingly to no avail.

(Rumble Link) Robert Barnes during a Q&A after a speech for Hillsdale College answering a question about Antrim County, MI and talking about the problems with Dominion voting machines

The controversies around Dominion and other voting machines is not limited to Antrim County however. There are many other aspects that need explanation we will cover later in this series like the Democrats own history warning about the dangers posed by voting machines in elections, what explains Dominion’s own suspicious behavior, and the role some notable figures might have played wittingly or unwittingly in a possible disinformation campaign.

To that note, there is an interesting name that pops up in The Washington Post article. An individual with an interesting history, seemingly with Deep State connections, who appears over and over again in all the voting machine controversies well past just Antrim County, Patrick Byrne.

[Ramsland] connected Patrick Byrne, the billionaire former chief executive of the online retailer Overstock, with Powell, and Powell connected Byrne with Giuliani, Byrne told The Post.

Byrne was bankrolling a group of what he described as cyber experts — his “bad news bears” — to investigate election fraud. “They were the ones really getting their fingernails dirty, so to speak, hacking-and-cracking,” Byrne said in an email exchange with The Post. He said Ramsland, who had come to Washington for the effort, “acted as the conduit and synthesizer for a lot of research that was being done by other parties and technologists in our network.”

From The Washington Post article ‘The Making of a Myth’
Patrick Byrne pictured at a cryptocurrency conference in 2019 while still CEO of Ocerstock.com

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series when we delve into Patrick Byrne’s interesting history and examine how he fits into all the different aspects of the voting machine controversies.

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