Dennis Montgomery, the man peddling the story about a super computer–i.e. HAMMER–that allegedly was used by dozens of foreign countries to steal the election from Donald Trump is a man with a checkered past and his claim filled with major inconsistencies. Those who have embraced the Dennis Montgomery fable may take umbrage that I dare challenge this narrative. But if you closely examine the documented claims you will see that there are significant discrepancies in this narrative:
- Montgomery and his supporters give three different dates for the “creation” of HAMMER—2003, 2004 or 2009.
- Montgomery is on tape admitting he did not create HAMMER but later is credited as the actual creator of the supercomputer.
- The control of HAMMER is attributed to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and foreign governments.
- The purpose of HAMMER is described at various times as spying, blackmail or election interference.
These contradictions are significant and consequential. The way the story of HAMMER changes over time appears to be linked to issues that are prominent in the news cycle at the particular time.
I believe the HAMMER and SCORECARD claims have been introduced as a meme to discredit anyone who embraces them as true in order to challenge the fraudulent activity in the 2020 presidential election. The goal is to get people fixated on a mythical CIA computer controlled by foreigners and ignore the paper ballets.
This election was stolen via good old-fashioned ballot-stuffing. Machines, such as the infamous Dominion vote counters, may have been used to monitor how many votes were needed in key counties in order to push Joe Biden over the top, but the actual fraud and “flipping” of votes was done via paper ballots. The old Tammany Hall crowd of past centuries would be proud of this new crew… They got the job done!
Dennis Montgomery’s disinformation regarding HAMMER has succeeded in convincing legions of Trump supporters to chase conspiracies about foreign computers tunneling into voting machines and ballots printed in China rather than conduct a forensic examination of the paper ballots. Just as the Russia hoax was used to handcuff the Trump presidency, I believe the HAMMER hoax is part of a broader information operation designed to misdirect public attention from the real source of the election fraud—i.e., the ballots—and prevent any serious action to counter the fraud from being pursued.
The tale of HAMMER and SCORECARD is brought to you courtesy of Dennis Montgomery, a failed U.S. government contractor with a sordid history as a gambler (having lost millions in Nevada).
Let me explain how I came to know him: Dennis Montgomery entered my world in December 2019 when he showed up on the electronic doorstep of Ed Butowsky, claiming to have critical intelligence about the Seth Rich case. At the time, Mr. Butowsky was a defendant in lawsuits brought by Aaron Rich and the parents of Seth Rich. At the behest of Mr. Butowsky’s attorney, I tried to verify Montgomery’s claims about his relationship with the CIA and found some very significant issues that challenge his account.
I know some readers assume incorrectly that I am attacking Dennis Montgomery because I am still part of the “team.” Yes, I worked at the CIA as an analyst from 1985 to 1989, but I have been a strong critic of the CIA, especially John Brennan, since leaving in 1989. The following article is representative of my perspective.
Dennis Montgomery and the CIA
As I wrote in an earlier article, Montgomery is telling the truth about his time as an employee of eTreppid, a company that had a contract with the CIA. But Dennis Montgomery exaggerated and misrepresented the value of his work. Let me be very clear about what is true. Dennis Montgomery did hold a Top Secret Department of Defense (DOD) clearance and did work on a Special Access Program known by its unclassified code word as BIG SAFARI. What Dennis did not count on is that in the course of running down his big claims about his big work with the CIA I discovered that an old CIA friend was involved directly in that project and helped manage the contract with eTreppid. I asked my friend about a specific claim Dennis cited to establish his bona fides—i.e., that his classified work included providing facial recognition software that was used successfully in CIA and U.S. Air Force drones. My friend laughed out loud. Not true.
Former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed in public testimony during his confirmation hearing to become Director of the CIA that Dennis Montgomery did work as a contractor for the CIA but Brennan said nothing about Hammer or a supercomputer.
In his response to “QUESTIONS FOR THE RECORD,” following his Senate confirmation hearing (to head the CIA), Mr. John Brennan responded to questions apparently regarding Montgomery’s work while employed at eTreppid as follows:
Media reports indicate that when you led the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), you championed a program involving IT contractors in Nevada who claimed to intercept al-Qaida targeting information encrypted in the broadcasts of TV news network Al Jazeera. The media says, and documents we have reviewed show, that CIA officials derided the contractor’s information, but nonetheless, you passed it to the White House and alert levels ended up being raised unnecessarily.
[Question] Did you have confidence in the information you provided? If not, why did you provide it?
[Brennan Response] I never “championed” such a program. The Terrorism Threat Integration Center (TTIC) was the recipient of such information and data provided by the CIA and included it in analytic products as appropriate.
[Question] Why did you keep the program alive?
[Brennan Response] I did not keep the program alive. I would refer you to the CIA, as it collected the data from the contractors and passed it along to TTIC, for the answer to your question.
[Question] What was the eventual outcome of the program?
[Brennan Response] I do not know the outcome of the program, other than it was determined not to be a source of accurate information.”
—“QUESTIONS FOR THE RECORD: MR. JOHN BRENNAN” (Doc properties show last modified Feb. 14, 2013.)
Dennis Montgomery’s work for the CIA was done under a contract with eTreppid, which was managed by the Directorate of Science and Technology. Brennan, during his time as the Chief of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and subsequently as Chief of the Counter Terrorism Center, was a consumer of the bogus intelligence produced by eTreppid. In this case, John Brennan was telling the truth (a rare event in my view).
But court records cast doubts about Montgomery’s reliability and veracity. Dennis Montgomery was involved in a lengthy lawsuit against eTreppid, his former employer. In that case, Magistrate Judge Cooke issued a 54-page opinion and order granting sanctions against Montgomery for committing perjury and against his counsel.
“[T]he court concludes that Mr. Montgomery’s September 2007 declaration contained untrue statements, which he knew were untrue, and that this declaration was filed in bad faith and for the improper purposes of attempting to manipulate these proceedings, to gain a tactical advantage, to harass Mr. Flynn, his former counsel, and to subvert orders of this court.”
ECF 985 at 1-2.
“The court finds there is clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Montgomery committed perjury when he signed the September 10, 2007 declaration, and that he signed the declaration in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly, and for oppressive reasons.”
Dennis Montgomery’s claim to be a skilled computer programmer was disputed by his boss at eTreppid, Warren Trepp, who told the FBI:
Trepp advised that Montgomery has software programming skills; however, recently Trepp has found out that Montgomery’s skills may not be what he has purported them to be. Trepp cited a recent Air Force Office of Special Investigation Inquiry, which determined that Montgomery’s programming skills were not what he alleged. Montgomery has hired other employees to do programming and claimed that he did the work. (FBI 302, January 31, 2006).
Dennis Montgomery separated from eTreppid on January 10, 2006. According to Air Force Special Agent Haraldsen (Search Case, ECF 70-7 at 28-40 and ECF 70-8 at 1-11) his investigation reached the following conclusions (note—“SUBJECT” is Dennis Montgomery):
SUMMARY OF INVESTIGATION Regarding claims that Montgomery “stole and deleted eTreppids intellectual property” between Dec. 21, 2005 and Jan. 10, 2006:
SUBJECT was observed removing Source Code from eTreppid’s servers and individual workstations;
SUBJECT told an employee he took a workstation containing the backup Source Code to his residence;
SUBJECT on numerous occasions told this same employee he was going to return the workstation, but never did;
SUBJECT told the Facility Security Officer (FSO) “he (referencing the CEO) needs to give me’ big money if he wants it (a reference to the Source Code)”;
Only two employees – SUBJECT and FSO, had the appropriate passwords to delete the Source Code from the servers, and the FSO was in Europe on vacation when the deletion occurred.
Dennis Montgomery did no further “classified” work for the U.S. Government until early 2009. The contract was with the U.S. military and coincides with the timeframe that Montgomery claims he saw HAMMER at Fort Washington under the control of the CIA. Yet the 2009 contract had nothing to do with computer surveillance:
Blxware enters into a 90-day contract with a U.S. Government agency. This contract “does not exceed” $3 million and “provides in part for limited consulting services from Dennis Montgomery … employee [of Blixware]. Montgomery v. eTreppid, ECF 1011 at 2 (Montgomery Stipulation). The contract will terminate on April 15, 2009, “unless otherwise extended 45 (forty-five) days to May 30, 2009, to permit certain performance by [Montgomery and Blxware].” Id.
According to a later court filing by the United States, this contract was “for purposes of evaluating “video compression and anomaly detection and tracking software”, developed by Mr. Montgomery, that reportedly “would enable the advanced processing and exploitation of multi-media files.” Exh. 4 § 1.0. Blxware’s work under the contract terminated in mid-2009.” See Klayman v. Obama, ECF 132 at 2, n.1.
Pay close attention. The contract was limited to “evaluating video compression and anomaly detection and tracking software.” Not one word about designing or building a supercomputer to spy on or blackmail Americans. Not one word about a computer capable of flipping votes.
Eric Lichtblau and James Risen reported on Montgomery’s 2009 fiasco with the Air Force:
The day after Mr. Obama’s inauguration, Mr. Liberatore wrote that government officials were thanking Mr. Montgomery’s company for its support. The Air Force appears to have used his technology to try to identify the Somalis it believed were plotting to disrupt the inauguration, but within days, intelligence officials publicly stated that the threat had never existed. In May 2009, the Air Force canceled the company’s contract because it had failed to meet its expectations.
When was HAMMER built and who built it?
Dennis Montgomery has told several inconsistent and contradictory stories about origins and purpose of “HAMMER.”
The very first time Dennis Montgomery spoke on the record about HAMMER—the summer of 2014 during an interview with Maricopa County detectives–he described HAMMER as a supercomputer “purchased” by the U.S. government in 2009:
In early 2009, BLXWARE entered a contract with the DNI and the Air Force at a secret facility in Fort Washington, Maryland. This time the US Government purchased a $5 million supercomputer that was made up of high-end Tesla supercomputers. They named this computer the HAMMER. The Hammer could process thousands of times faster than the blade servers at eTreppid. This was a processing monster. The HAMMER held over a thousand terabyte disks in a storage array. The HAMMER could hold over 100 billion records. I was very apparent to me the MEDUSA software would be controlling a harvesting monster. We brought the HAMMER live on February 5, 2009 and harvested more data on that day than we collected in a week at eTreppid.
Maricopa County police detectives recorded Dennis in August 2014 and asked him specifically about the HAMMER. According to Dennis, when he started working at Fort Washington, Maryland he did not know anything about HAMMER:
“So, basically, I did not see The Hammer yet; I didn’t know anything about it…”
Dennis told the detectives that CIA purchased the computer:
Montgomery: “They had already purchased it…”
Mackiewicz: “Did they consult you?”
Montgomery: “No, because they knew…”
Montgomery was such a brilliant computer guy, he figured out, it started in 2004, they built this supercomputer in Reno, Nevada, long, far away from CIA headquarters but they were a contractor. (sic)
Seven years later (i.e., November 2020) Dennis is credited by Mary Fanning and Alan Jones as being both the creator and builder of HAMMER, but pushes the date to 2003 in contradiction to Montgomery’s interview in 2014. Mary Fanning repeats this claim in an interview with Alexandra Bruce:
The Hammer was created by CIA/NSA/FBI contractor-turned-whistleblower, Dennis Montgomery in 2003. It was commandeered by the Obama administration 2 weeks after he was sworn into office in 2009 and it was put on FBI servers under Director Robert Mueller.
Not only are we left with three different dates for the alleged origin of HAMMER—2003, 2004 and 2009—but the controlling agency is in doubt. Montgomery initially claimed it was the CIA in 2009 while Mary Fanning (ostensibly quoting Montgomery) says that the FBI’s Robert Mueller took control in 2009. In my experience, the CIA does not hand over a proprietary supercomputer to the FBI.
What are the capabilities of HAMMER?
A review of testimony and documentary evidence reveals there is similar confusion and contradictions surrounding the purpose and capabilities of HAMMER.
In 2014, Dennis Montgomery told the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office that the purposes of the CIA-created HAMMER were blackmail and harvesting voter registration information. According to Montgomery, HAMMER went live on February 5, 2009 and was under the direct control of General James Clapper, who was Under Secretary for Defense for Intelligence at the time. Clapper was not yet the DNI, and John Brennan was not yet the head of the CIA.
Note: This is a direct contradiction of what Mary Fanning told Alexandra Bruce in the November 2020 interview.
The HAMMER [supercomputer] was directly connected to the NSA computers in Fort Meade, Maryland. This was General Clapper’s new weapon to collect and harvest data. General Clapper was now in the control of a weapon of immense horsepower in his own secret protected facility. General Clapper was there the day the HAMMER went live. He visited the facility weekly. I was assured by the Fort Washington personnel that the CIA was not involved. After three days working at the facility, I saw many of the CIA agents in the building that were also at the eTreppid facility. I now know that this was just another CIA project disguised as an Air Force /DNI project. During 2009-2010, I removed over four hundred drives, which represented billions of collected records from the Fort Washington facility. In late 2009 John Salvatori asked me to harvest the Florida State voter registry located in the Florida Secretary of State’s computers. I was asked to burn the harvested information on DVDs. John Salvatori told me he was taking them to General Clapper. Sometime later, I was provided a new set of data to upload to the Florida Secretary of State’s computers replace their existing data with this new data. Many of the programs using the HAMMER were called TARPON, COURIER, DRAGNET, THOR, etc. [Bold added for emphasis.]
Montgomery identified five programs that ran on HAMMER—MEDUSA, TARPON, COURIER, DRAGNET, THOR—but made no mention of SCORECARD. The controlling software, according to Montgomery, was MEDUSA. The objective? To collect private information on American citizens for the purpose of blackmail.
Montgomery’s revelation in 2014 that the U.S. government was spying illegally on its citizens was old news. The American public already knew, thanks to revelations from former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, that the NSA was engaged in a massive illegal collection of US citizens’ private data. This secret “warrantless” surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA code name Stellar Wind, was launched in the end of 2001, to handover the data to the United States government:
The only documentary evidence showing a connection between the CIA and a hacking tool with the name, HAMR, comes from Wikileaks, from when it published a document on March 7, 2017 describing a browser exploitation tool in the CIA hacking arsenal:
(HAMR) is a browser exploit throwing framework that infects targeted devices and systems. “HAMR (pronounced hammer) = throwing framework for browser exploits,” a CIA Vault 7 document reveals.
According to the leaked CIA documents, HAMR is a plug-in not a supercomputer, it is a software for infecting browsers and targeted devices so that a hacker can intrude.
The meme of HAMMER as a tool for illegal spying was reinforced by Mary Fanning and Alan Jones in an article published on March 17, 2017:
Clapper and Brennan were using the supercomputer system to conduct illegal and unconstitutional government data harvesting and wiretapping. THE HAMMER was installed on federal property in Fort Washington, Maryland at a complex which some speculate is a secret CIA and NSA operation operating at a US Naval facility. . . .
Computer expert Dennis Montgomery developed software programs that could breach secure computer systems and collect massive amounts of data. That system, THE HAMMER, according to the audio tapes, accessed the phone calls, emails and bank accounts of millions of ordinary Americans. [Bold added for emphasis.]
As noted earlier, Clapper was only an Under Secretary at the Department of Defense. He was not in a position to install or control the kind of supercomputer reportedly described by Montgomery. Brennan, too, was not in a command position in the intelligence community. He was in charge of Homeland Security at the National Security Council when, per Montgomery, HAMMER “went live” in February 2009.
Ten years later (2019), Dennis Montgomery’s status with respect to HAMMER is elevated by Mary Fanning and Alan Jones from a mere user of the super-secret spy computer to the actual creator of HAMMER. That article, published on June 5, 2019, identifies HAMMER’s principal users as the CIA’s John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper still focused on blackmail.
According to Montgomery, Brennan and Clapper were collecting domestic surveillance data for “blackmail” and “leverage.” Government was being weaponized against the American people.
But the story told by Mary Fanning and Alan Jones changes dramatically in a November 5, 2020 article—HAMMER is no longer a tool for illegal spying–it is now described as the means to hack and steal elections:
In February 2009, the Obama administration commandeered a powerful supercomputer system known as THE HAMMER. THE HAMMER includes an exploit application known as SCORECARD that is capable of hacking into elections and stealing the vote, according to CIA contractor-turned whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, who designed and built THE HAMMER.
Enter attorney Lin Wood’s whistle blower—Ryan Dark White, a man with no special computer skills. White’s story of massive criminal activities by former U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, which included a super-computer, HAMMER, was a “too good to be true” moment that ensnared Lin Wood, who was searching for evidence to prove the 2020 Presidential election was stolen. When Ryan Dark White sat down to confess to Lin Wood’s team in January 2021, his account about HAMMER appeared to be an independent source that confirmed Montgomery’s claims. But White’s testimony adds confusion rather than clarity to telling a coherent story about “HAMMER.” White initially testifies that HAMMER is software. (See page 51 of the deposition.)
INTERVIEWER: Can you give me some more details on the—on the Hammer, Sunrise, Sunset and how the leak—that spy ring was working at that time?
INTERVIEWEE [Ryan Dark White]: Like I said—and these are software—they’re software. You can tailor it to what you want. Hammer’s the big one. There’s Sunrise, and one that’s also military but narrowly focused. Sunset is one—same thing but focused more on the surveillance side that they would use to exploit—I don’t know—phone records, computers, things like this. It was more of a civilian version of it.
INTERVIEWER: Is this Hammer the supercomputer as mentioned lately in the Hammer Scorecard with the recent election?
Note: It is the person conducting the interview who introduces HAMMER as a “supercomputer.” Montgomery refers to it only as “software.”
Ryan Dark White repeats the claim initially published by Fanning in November 2020, that HAMMER is no longer under CIA control, but a DOJ “supercomputer.” As White states on page 52 of the transcript:
But as far as Hammer, it was running out of Fort Washington, but the satellite service was in Baltimore. And it was a CISSP computer. It was computer crimes, internet, things like that. So, it’s the DOJ supercomputer. It’s hooked into everything, and it was run through there… [inaudible] individual pieces, you could drive out and find an open port and go through the post office or porn sites or FedEx or whatever you wanted, and the VA [Veterans’ Administration] was wide open in many spots, so that was one of the favorite ones that Shaun and other people used to go through and infiltrate and get access and then come back and do what they needed to do.
Since there is no evidence that Ryan Dark White ever held a U.S. government clearance, how would he know any details about a classified system ostensibly built/purchased by the CIA in 2009—the same year he was arrested for receiving an illegal shipment of Schedule II drugs?
Ryan Dark White description of HAMMER as a “CISSP computer” also impeaches his credibility because there is no such thing as a “CISSP computer.” CISSP is the acronym for CERTIFIED INFORMATION SYSTEMS SECURITY PROFESSIONAL.
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an information security certification for security analysts. It was created by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC). The certification was created to ensure professionals in computer security have standardized knowledge of the field. Earning a Certified Information Systems Security Professional certificate can help you have a successful career as a computer security professional.
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam is a six-hour exam consisting of 250 questions that certifies security professionals in ten different areas, of access control systems and methodology, business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning, physical security, operations, security, management practices, telecommunications and networking security. Other areas important to the CISSP certification are cryptography, security architecture application and systems development, law, investigation, and ethics.
Ryan Dark White insists throughout his testimony for Lin Wood that HAMMER was used to spy on Americans, but fails to provide any explanation why he, as a convicted felon, had access to a classified government computer (see pages 9-10 of the deposition) that, if we are to believe Dennis Montgomery, only came into existence the same time that RDW was arrested the first time:
It became known as the “Dirty Trick Squad” in Baltimore. This is where they were using Hammer, Sunrise, Sunset, things like that to illegally spy on people, corrupt—well, attempted to corrupt judges, compromise them—Hillary Clinton, others. I mean, it was just ongoing.· They concentrated on judges, but they wanted to concentrate on (inaudible). This was done under the guise of a CISSP operation. It’s a DOJC SIMS computer operation. It was run out of Fort Washington but had a satellite location in Baltimore.
Montgomery’s personal problems
Dennis Montgomery’s veracity must be questioned because he also had a big gambling problem (a real counter-intelligence red flag for someone who held a clearance): Montgomery was arrested in California, based on charges stemming from the Sept. 27, 2008 credit instruments he provided to Ceasar’s Palace to obtain a $1,000,000 gambling credit.
Montgomery obtains $1 million in gambling credit from Caesar’s Palace in Nevada, which he “secures” with nine credit instruments totaling $1 million. See Desert Palace v. Montgomery, Sept. 26, 2009 Complaint, ECF 1, ECF 1-1; see also ECF 4 ¶ 6 (Montgomery’s answer, in which he admits that he obtained this credit for gambling purposes); Montgomery Bankruptcy Proceedings ECF 9 at 22 (bankruptcy schedule indicating $990,000 in debt to Caesars, incurred Sept. 27, 2008).
In its complaint, Caesar’s Palace alleges, among other things, that at the time Montgomery signs the instruments, he knows that (a) the instruments are drawn against a bank account that did not and would not have available funds; (b) that he does not and will not have available funds from any other source to cover the debt: (c) that he will (and he in fact does) stop payment on the instruments; and (d) that the instruments will be dishonored when Caesar’s Palace presents them for payment. —Desert Palace v. Montgomery, ECF 1 at 2-4.
On Nov. 10, 2010, a Nevada grand jury indicted Montgomery with six felony counts apparently based on these allegations.
Dennis Montgomery reportedly also obtained a line of credit of at least $802,000 at Pallazo in Las Vegas, according to the schedules he signed in his bankruptcy proceedings. (See Montgomery Bankruptcy Proceedings ECF 9 at 26 indicating $802,000 in debt incurred on Sept. 27, 2008).
Montgomery’s story about HAMMER is alluring and, for some, quite compelling, but the story about the creation and use of has changed significantly over time. In 2014 Montgomery stated that HAMMER was purchased by the U.S. Government in 2009 and that he had no role in its creation nor construction. It was controlled by the CIA.
Later recountings of the story pushed the creation back to 2003. Dennis initially claimed it was a creation of the CIA in 2009 and that it was operated from a secure facility who at Fort Washington. Mary Fanning and Ryan Dark White tell a different tale—HAMMER was taken over by the FBI in 2009. The most recent and bizarre twist on the chain of custody of HAMMER comes from to retired Air Force General Tom McInerny. According to McInerny, James Comey, the former FBI Director, “sold HAMMER and SCORECARD to Iran and China.” If this were a Monty Python skit, it would be hilarious. But the people writing and saying these things are sincere. I believe they are seriously wrong.
Let us humor General McInerny for a moment and accept as valid his wild claim that James Comey sold HAMMER and SCORECCARD to Iran and China.
Okay… Did the Chinese or the Iranians go to Fort Washington, Maryland and pick up the supercomputer (along with the Tesla components)? Did they divide the supercomputer between themselves or did just one country get to own it and control it? Did Iran and China flip a coin? And how did they pay Comey for this devilish technology? With bags of cash or a secret Swiss bank account? If General McInerny or anyone else is going to make such a seemingly bizarre claim, he or she must be prepared to explain in detail how the supercomputer housed at a top-secret CIA facility was sold and transferred to a foreign power.
In my experience, all powerful lies are rooted in a kernel of truth. The claims being advanced regarding HAMMER and SCORECARD fit with my definition of a “big lie.” The only genuine intelligence document that mentions something that can be interpreted as HAMMER is contained in the Vault 7 documents published by Wikileaks. HAMMER is described as a software tool designed to exploit browsers. HAMMER is not identified as a “super-computer”. In light of the discrepancies and inconsistencies I have highlighted in this article, I would encourage those who have embraced Dennis Montgomery and Ryan Dark White as whistleblowers to pause, think twice, and ask some very tough questions to determine ground truth. The Montgomery/White stories may be nothing more than fool’s gold intended to distract treasure hunters from finding the real gold—i.e. fraudulent ballots.