Sunday, September 26, 2004

Florida Wasn't Enough of a Challenge? 

Exporting democracy, Big Dubya Style:
But U.S. officials tell TIME that the Bush team ran into trouble with another plan involving those [upcoming Iraqi] elections — a secret "finding" written several months ago proposing a covert CIA operation to aid candidates favored by Washington. A source says the idea was to help such candidates — whose opponents might be receiving covert backing from other countries, like Iran — but not necessarily
Not necessarily. Oh, stop it, we're dyin'!!
— but not necessarily to go so far as to rig the elections. But lawmakers from both parties raised questions about the idea when it was sent to Capitol Hill. In particular, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi "came unglued" when she learned about what a source described as a plan for "the CIA to put an operation in place to affect the outcome of the elections" . . . .

A senior U.S. official hinted that, under pressure from the Hill, the Administration scaled back its original plans. "This was a tough call. We went back and forth on it in the U.S. government. We consulted the Hill on this question ... Our embassy in Baghdad will run a number of overt programs to support the democratic electoral process," as the U.S. does elsewhere in the world.
The example of Venezuela pops to mind.

Rest assured that, while the master strategists of the Bush administration would gladly jigger a foreign election to advance U.S. interests abroad, they would never manipulate our own democratic process in such a fashion. Their famously profound moral scruples would prevent it.

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