- 1 Biography
- 2 Occupations
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Political connections
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- Database Technologies (DBT)
- Technology Investors
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): Director (2003-2013)
Asher played a minor but suspicious role in the John Couey case, in which 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford of Homosassa FL was abducted, raped, and buried alive. Though serial pedophile John Couey was portrayed as the lone perpetrator, the evidence pointed to a much larger and well-connected pedophile underground. One of the people implicated in that network was Jessica's father Mark Lunsford. Certain aspects of the abduction pointed to an inside job, and Mark was found with child pornography on his computer (a crime he was inexplicably never prosecuted for). Despite official denials, rumors circulated, with some supporting evidence, that Lunsford knew Couey and that Jessica had been raped before Couey did so. Following Jessica's murder, Lunsford set up a foundation in her name, which was plagued by accusations of misappropriation of funds to Lunsford's own personal benefit. At the same time, he attempted to sue the police for mishandling the investigation into Jessica's disappearance. Public sentiment turned against him, and they suspected that Lunsford was simply trying to profit from his daughter's death. Asher then stepped into Lunsford's life and offered him a $100,000/year salary to close his foundation, drop the lawsuit, and help Asher fight for child advocacy instead. Asher's motives can only be speculated on, but his intervention in Lunsford's life prevented an ugly reexamination of the Couey case in court and in the public eye.
Main article: Iran-Contra
Asher's company Seisint received the contract to develop MATRIX, a privatized version of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program with the intent of identifying suspected terrorists living in the US. Michael Green claims that MATRIX was based on PROMIS software.
Dana Jill Simpson, a whistleblower who formerly worked with Karl Rove's organization, places Asher's company TLO in Rove's election rigging enterprise. TLO is said to have offered data mining services to SmarTech, a Chattanooga TN company involved in providing the technological muscle behind stealing elections for the GOP in 2004 Ohio and elsewhere. This data mining service from Asher's company would have been useful in identifying voting patterns, and determining which precincts to rig or which voters to purge from the rolls. On her Facebook page, Simpson says that Asher was a programmer for the CIA (their "best hacker", and someone who wrote AI-based data mining software), and that he developed the "Clicker system" to steal the 2012 election for Mitt Romney.
- Michael Green, "How They Get Away With It", 2006/06/28: "PROMIS and its successors also serves as the software foundation for the data integration of the growing police state, Poindexter’s TIA, and its privatized versions in Florida using the Matrix software provided by Seisint, a company founded after 911 by Hank Asher and since sold to Lexis-Nexis for $750,000,000."
- Vanity Fair, "The Net's Master Data-miner" by Michael Shnayerson, 2004/12
- Rigorous Intuition thread on Hank Asher suspicious connections
Drugs and CIA
- Palm Beach Post, "Terror expert flew cocaine shipments, FDLE reports", 2003/09/23 - Asher was a DEA asset and allegedly plotted an assassination of leftist Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega during Iran-Contra
- Sun Sentinel, "From Drugs To Databases", 2004/01/11
- More specific details on Asher's drug smuggling career (from No Place to Hide by Robert O'Harrow)
- The attorney who defended Asher and got him into the DEA as an informant, F. Lee Bailey, seems to be a CIA-connected legal fixer. According to the Shnayerson article, Asher and Bailey were actually neighbors on the island of Great Harbor Cay in the Bahamas. Bailey himself would later be implicated in a plot to take over another Bahamas island, Rum Cay, for a group of drug traffickers linked to Wally Hilliard and Adnan Khashoggi.
- Project for The Old American Century, "John Poindexter and Hank Asher: Former business partners or just so much in common?" - points out that John Poindexter supervised Iran-Contra including its cocaine trafficking, Hank Asher was flying planeloads of cocaine in the midst of Iran-Contra, and both ended up working on versions of Total Information Awareness (TIA) in 2003
- Mother Jones, "Mining the Matrix" by Jim Defede, 2004/09: "Although a number of states have withdrawn from the program, citing administrative costs, Florida governor Jeb Bush, a strong backer of MATRIX, is working to recruit more. [...] After producing the list at his own expense, Asher, a 53-year-old who was already a mega-millionaire from his AutoTrack system, was eager to gain national support for his new project. Although he is a Democrat, he wrote two checks in late 2002 to the Republican Party—$5,000 to the Florida party, $50,000 to the national party. In January 2003, he was invited to the White House to give a presentation to Vice President Dick Cheney, FBI director Robert Mueller, and Homeland Security director Tom Ridge. Jeb Bush was also present."
- According to No Place to Hide by Robert O'Harrow, Asher donated to both the Republican Party and Democratic Party, and supported a variety of politicians such as Bob Graham, Katherine Harris... The fact that he would support Katherine Harris is rather interesting given his criticism and disavowal of responsibility for the 2000 Florida voter purge which she was behind as Florida Secretary of State.
- Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona
- Orange County Weekly, "'DIRTY, STUPID OR BOTH'" by R. Scott Moxley, 2006/04/27
- Several articles on a 2007 bribery case involving Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona receiving gifts from Hank Asher - points out Carona's relationship with Rudy Giuliani and his recognition as a rising star in the Republican Party; says that Asher and Carona would later serve together on the NCMEC board
- Orange County Weekly, "Mike Carona: No More Excuses" by R. Scott Moxley, 2011/01/13 (pages 1, 2): "Simple translation: The man who led California’s second-largest police agency is finally going to the slammer."
- Orange County Weekly, "Mike Carona's Curse: Two of the Dirty Ex-OC Sheriff's Tainted Benefactors Die Within Weeks At The Age Of 61" by R. Scott Moxley, 2013/01/12 (copy on the Once Fallen blog): "While Carona sat atop California's second largest sheriff's department, Asher--who'd earlier in his life flown cocaine loaded planes from Central America to Florida--secretly bought dinner for him and Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo and gave their wives diamond-studded gold Cartier watches worth more than $30,000. During Carona's corruption trial inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, two sources told me that Asher also paid for the dirty sheriff's massive legal defense team. Confronted with the allegation, one the lawyers smiled, paused and said he couldn't speak on the record about the topic. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford allowed Carona--who, as the OC Weekly proved with photographic evidence, liked to party with Las Vegas organized crime associates--to fly to Florida to visit Asher after his conviction but before he was ordered to surrender to U.S. marshals and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons."
- PBSOTalk.org thread about Hank Asher's death (pages 1, 2) - claims that Asher was a friend of Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw; many users assert that he continued to be involved in drug trafficking and money laundering; claim that F. Lee Bailey made a backroom deal involving Asher; brings up the strange detail that Florida eye doctor Dr. Salomon Melgen (later part of the Bob Menendez scandal) was a co-founder of Seisint; questions raised over whether his death was suspicious; one user suggests Asher was really a drug addict with money used by those around him
- Dr. Salomon Melgen
- Almomento.net, "Former partner Melgen Solomon was drug dealer", 2013/02/05
- Palm Beach Post, "North Palm Beach eye doctor Salomon Melgen lost $68 million in investments", 2013/02/10: "Melgen’s resume says he was a co-founder of Seisint, a data company that was purchased by LexisNexis for $775 million in 2004. Seisint created a data-mining tool that it said could help law enforcement track down terrorists. [...] Melgen also has an ownership stake in ICSSI, a company that had a long-dormant contract with the Dominican Republic to provide port security at an estimated value of $500 million."
- Prison Planet thread on the NCMEC, JARI Research, and Hank Asher
Data mining companies
- No Place to Hide radio documentary
- Affidavit claiming that Seisint was not independent of Asher and had a cozy relationship with Rudy Giuliani
- DBT, the 2000 Florida election, and ChoicePoint
- In the Shnayerson article, Asher attributed the problem with DBT's voter purge to mere incompetence: "Asher has his own take on that. “I know exactly what happened ’cause I talked to some programmers—they’re friends of mine,” he says. “They wrote the program wrong. They forgot to only link people with felonies. They had misdemeanors too, so if some poor guy 20 years ago shoplifted or whatever, drove away from a gas station without paying for the gas or whatever, they tagged him as an illegal voter.” Voters who never even had a misdemeanor were caught up in the purge, too, says Asher, because DBT wrote bad code, with algorithms that let matches be too loose. “They fucking blew it! This comes from people who do not know how to architect data matching. There is enough data on the criminal record between a Social Security number, a date of birth, and a name to never make a mistake. It’s idiotic.” (“DBT executed on the parameters established by Florida officials,” says a company spokesman. “Mr. Asher has a long history of actions deriving out of his bitterness with DBT.”)"
- Alex Constantine, "Hail to the Thieves: The Secret Origin of ChoicePoint & the Stealing of the 2000 Presidential Election", 2012/10/30
- The map of Karl Rove's election rigging enterprise says that Asher's company TLO provided data mining services to SmarTech
- Facebook posts of Dana Jill Simpson claim that Asher was a highly-skilled computer programmer for the CIA, and that he developed the "Clicker system" to steal the 2012 election for Mitt Romney