While the bulk of the mainstream media seems to be sitting on their hands, the Internet-only news organization RAW STORY is actually making calls, confirming info, and advancing the story as the very model of what investigative journalism used to look like in this country.
To that end, RAW STORY followed up today on an article published by The BRAD BLOG last week, in which we issued a point-by-point reply to the "full statement" of Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) in regards to the explosive Clint Curtis charges we broke here two weeks ago.
Those charges concerned, amongst other things, the allegation that Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked Curtis to create "vote-rigging software" back in a 2000 meeting at YEI where Curtis worked at the time. Feeney was then their corporate attorney and registered lobbyist, as well as a Florida state legislator who would shortly thereafter become Speaker of the Florida Legislature.
In RAW STORY's piece this morning, editor John Byrne was able to get a short reply from a YEI Vice-President concerning the evidence we posted refuting the companies claim that Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee) "has never been an employee of YEI." Nee had plead guilty in October of this year to espionage charges concerning the shipment of Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles parts to China, and was named by Curtis in his affidavit [PDF] as being an "illegal-alien" working for YEI and having added "wiretapping routines" to software that YEI was contracted to create for NASA and other companies.
In our reply to that, we published several "Weekly Time Reports" (received via Public Records Requests) submitted by YEI to the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT). The time cards with YEI stationery were signed by Nee and indicated that he worked as a "Consultant" for the company as many as 60 hours a week on the "Electronic Document Management System" contract (EDMS) that YEI had with FDOT.
"He was never an employee," Yang Vice President Lowell Weaver said by telephone Monday. "Henry Nee was not a consultant either."
Weaver added that Yang had never paid Nee for any services. He declined to comment further and did not say that the timecards weren't real, deferring comment to Yang's attorney, who is on vacation until Jan. 2.
We also posted several emails in our article replying to YEI's "full statement" --- including one from Nee himself, and another from the CEO's exective secretary, Mike Cohen --- which indicated that Nee, did in fact work at YEI in apparent contradiction to both the "full statement" on the YEI website, and the comments above from Weaver.
Additionally, RAW STORY was able to contact Tom Yowell, the Special Agent assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orlando Florida, concerning his email to Clint Curtis indicating that YEI was "under investigation by another Division of the FBI."
Yowell confirmed to RAW STORY that he did in fact send that email to Curtis on Nov. 22nd, 2004 as The BRAD BLOG first reported.
But then Yowell seemed to do a bit of interesting backtracking on the matter...
"It turns out that I'm not even sure it's the same company," he said. He stated that he would call another FBI office which might be able to furnish more information.
In their "full statement", YEI had claimed they were "not under investigation by the FBI". Which Yowell's email to Curtis would seem to dispute.
Why a Special Agent for the FBI Joint Terorrism Task Force would tell a concerned citizen one thing via Email after he reported a number of activities concerning YEI and then begin backtracking only after the information became public knowledge is a question that we will continue to look into as this remarkable story continues to develop...