In a yet another instance of life imitating art, Michael Connell, a top Republican internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in 2004 in Ohio, has died in a plane crash, according to a report on the Democracy Now website.
How empty would be the screenwriters idea bag without this old chestnut? The key witness in the RICO trial of Mafia boss or corrupt politician goes missing just before testifying before the grand jury/Congressional hearing, only to turn up later thanks to the efforts of the brilliant detective/attorney/forensic scientist, as a decomposing body in a dumpster/landfill/at the bottom of New York’s East River or, yes, in a crashed private plane.
But it is such a frequent occurance in the so-called “real” world, that perhaps rather than life imitating art, this might be better called “copy-cat murder.” Something surely stinks here. The last time I had this strong a reaction was at the reporting on the death of Senator Paul Wellstone. Well, no, that was not the last time. There were the innumerable white-washes of Bush administration officials in the run-up to the Iraq War, and more recently the unquestioning acceptance of the “necessity” to bail out Wall Street banks with the national treasure. Each instance made me angry, first at those directly responsible, and second, at the refusal by Establishment media to look beyond the official version.
In the Wellstone case, in particular, there are still many unanswered questions. Unless, you believe, like Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post (see my last post, “Death of Logic?”, that the best way to prevent recurrences of “mistakes” like political murders is to let the perpetrators go free “because they meant well,” you will at least want to consider the probability of alternatives like those suggested by Jackson Thoreau in an article originally posted on OpEdNews.
Of course, the notion that the odd set of circumstances surrounding Connell’s death point toward some sinister intent by those who would stand to gain by his demise, will be dismissed by the usual suspects as “another conspiracy theory.” And so, that the wheels of the U.S. Justice System may continue to grind at their usual glacial pace, cooler heads are already calling for an investigation into this case. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media culture and communication at New York University. interviewed in the same report, stated, “that the circumstances are so suspicious and so convenient for Rove and the White House that I think we’re obliged to investigate this thing very, very thoroughly.”