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July 18, 2005

Bush Administration Tried to Manipulate Iraqi Elections

This is fascinating information.

The Bush Administration wanted to manipulate the Iraqi elections so that their boy, Iyad Allawi, would get more votes. So they went to Congress and asked for some money with which to engage in such shenanigans. Congress declined the opportunity to fund such chicanery. So guess what the Bush Administration did?

They went ahead and did it anyway and used funds 'off the record'.

A former senior intelligence official told me, “The election clock was
running down, and people were panicking. The polls showed that the
Shiites were going to run off with the store. The Administration had to
do something. How?”

By then, the men in charge of the C.I.A. were “dying to help out, and make
sure the election went the right way,” the recently retired C.I.A.
official recalled. It was known inside the intelligence community, he
added, that the Iranians and others were providing under-the-table
assistance to various factions. The concern, he said, was that “the bad
guys would win.”

Under federal law, a finding must be submitted to the House and
Senate intelligence committees or, in exceptional cases, only to the
intelligence committee chairs and ranking members and the
Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress. At least one
Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, strongly protested
any interference in the Iraqi election. (An account of the dispute was
published in Time last October.) The recently retired C.I.A. official
recounted angrily, “She threatened to blow the whole thing up in the
press by going public. The White House folded to Pelosi.” And, for a
time, “she brought it to a halt.” Pelosi would not confirm or deny
this account, except, in an e-mail from her spokesman, to “vigorously”
deny that she had threatened to go public. She added, “I have never
threatened to make any classified information public. That’s against
the law.” (The White House did not respond to requests for comment.)

The essence of Pelosi’s objection, the recently retired high-level
C.I.A. official said, was: “Did we have eleven hundred Americans die”
—the number of U.S. combat deaths as of last September—“so they could
have a rigged election?”

Sometime after last November’s Presidential election, I was told by
past and present intelligence and military officials, the Bush
Administration decided to override Pelosi’s objections and covertly
intervene in the Iraqi election. A former national-security official
told me that he had learned of the effort from “people who worked the
beat”—those involved in the operation. It was necessary, he added,
“because they couldn’t afford to have a disaster.”

A Pentagon consultant who deals with the senior military leadership
acknowledged that the American authorities in Iraq “did an operation”
to try to influence the results of the election. “They had to,” he
said. “They were trying to make a case that Allawi was popular, and
he had no juice.” A government consultant with close ties to the
Pentagon’s civilian leaders said, “We didn’t want to take a chance.”

I was informed by several former military and intelligence officials
that the activities were kept, in part, “off the books”—they were
conducted by retired C.I.A. officers and other non-government
personnel, and used funds that were not necessarily appropriated by
Congress. Some in the White House and at the Pentagon believed that
keeping an operation off the books eliminated the need to give a
formal briefing to the relevant members of Congress and congressional
intelligence committees, whose jurisdiction islimited, in their view,
to officially sanctioned C.I.A. operations.

So, let's recall the general chain of events here.

The Bush Administration lies to get us into a war. They tell us Saddam Hussein has WMDs and ties to al Qaeda, when in fact he doesn't and poses no threat to us. Then when he is overthrown and Iraq has elections, they wave purple fingers around all willy nilly, touting their successful elections and a nice happy sunny democratic and free Iraq. When, in fact, they manipulated the elections to be more pro-U.S.

And now, we find out that the heavily Shiite government of Iraq is signing agreements and stuff with Iran. Iran, who is one in the axis of evil, has nuclear weapons, and hates us.

Obviously the Bush Administration was afraid something like this would happen, or they wouldn't have attempted to manipulate the elections in the first place. And then when they go and attempt to manipulate the election results, it fails miserably, as you can see. Allawi and the pro-U.S. faction evidently did not get enough votes to do much about gaining closer ties with the U.S., and instead creates an environment where Iraq gets closer to Iran.

What a pack of idiotic, deceptive, incompetent losers! And the kicker here, of course, is that you and I are paying for this three ring circus.