Attempts to Sway Elections Are Nothing New

FBI wanted Poster on John D Cody

Mueller’s investigation into whether the President or members of his team colluded with Russians during the 2016 election is unprecedented on many levels.

However, attempts to sway American elections, is unfortunately, not.

There is a little-known case of where the American public was defrauded for more than a decade so elections could be influenced. In 2013, a man known as Lt. Cmdr. Bobby Thompson was convicted in Cleveland, Ohio, on list of money laundering, stolen identity, and theft charges.

Thompson was his cover – a stolen identity he used to conceal his real name and background as a former American spy; “Thompson” was born John Donald Cody, who became a former U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer and Harvard Law School graduate. His military record, though, omits much about his career – including which federal agency he worked for and the units he worked with.

For more than 10 years, Cody used the Thompson ID and to scam through a charity called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. It was as fake as he was. This group claimed to care for American’s veterans and military; meanwhile Americans donated more than $100 million, mostly from $10 – $25 donations at a time.

The money never made it to veterans.

Instead, the money was funneled to Republican politicians and “Thompson” reaped the benefits. He was pictured with a parade of national Republican leaders and was even welcomed into the White House for a private gathering in the Oval Office with 43 – President George W. Bush.

It wasn’t until months after his arrest in 2012 when federal officials realized that “Thompson” who was wanted for questioning by the FBI on espionage and other crimes had been allowed to buddy up next to the President.

Thompson/Cody’s conviction gained brief national attention on TV shows like “American Greed” and in the national press before fading into history. But a book being considered by publishers about Cody/Thompson’s life and crimes provides a reminder on why history shouldn’t be ignored.

The book, Master of Deceit, examines Cody’s claims that he was a former CIA officer. Prosecutors with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office brushed aside the claims but Master of Deceit, raises new reasons why Cody’s claims may be believed.

The book doesn’t defend Cody’s crimes. Rather it lays out facts discovered about Cody’s military history, his crimes and questions why the investigation never extended beyond John Donald Cody.

National lawyer Mark Zaid whose work has focused on free speech and government corruption is assisting in efforts to force the release of additional federal records which may shine light on Cody’s past. Thus far, the FBI and CIA have refused to comment on Cody or release records.

Zaid’s work has garnered national attention in the past including a successful lawsuit against Libya for the 1988 bombing of flight Pam Am 103 and in gaining a court-ordered injunction which shut down the Department of
Defense’s mandatory anthrax vaccination program for two years.

Master of Deceit raises many of the same questions about Cody/Thompson that are being raised in Mueller’s investigation now. Did Bobby Thompson’s efforts influence the election? Who was working with him? How can the nation prevent breaches like this from happening again?

The nation never learned from Cody.

States went on regulating charities much the same way they always had before learning that more than 40 states approved of the completely fake U.S. Navy Veterans. National security didn’t change even though Cody – a spy wanted for questioning in espionage and other crimes had been given access to the President on multiple occasions.

In fact, more national scrutiny was given to when a couple – the Tareq and Michaele Salahi – crashed a White House state dinner than when a wanted spy was allowed into the Oval Office.

Winston Churchill famously said, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Isn’t time we learned?

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