Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Iraq, fixed elections, Operation Rex and martial law.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/jul2005/iele-j26.shtml


Reportedly, the Bush White House was involved in dirty tricks during the Iraq elections.

Seymour Hersh, in the New Yorker magazine, revealed that the USA gave financial and material aid to its favoured politicians, Allawi and company, in the January 30 elections.

There are reports of ballot-stuffing and other means of fixing the vote.

According to Hersh, Thomas Warrick, an official at the US Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, proposed using $40 million in funds set aside by Congress to support the electoral process and give it to Allawi’s party.

According to Hersh: Warrick’s plan for support to Allawi was dropped, but was replaced by a covert program that was kept secret from the State Department.

Hersh writes: "former military and intelligence officials told me, the White House promulgated a highly classified Presidential ‘finding’ authorizing the CIA to provide money and other support covertly to political candidates in certain countries... "

Hersh quotes "current and former military and intelligence officials who spoke to me about the election operation."

Hersh writes that his sources "said they heard reports of voter intimidation, ballot stuffing, bribery, and the falsification of returns."

Polls conducted in the fall of 2004 showed the Allawi group at only 3% .

With US financial support and media coverage, he stood at 9% on the eve of the vote.

The US-backed Allawi group jumped to 14% in final returns, just enough to deny the Shi’ite coalition a clear majority and thus diminish its control of the assembly.

Hersh notes at least one discrepancy in the returns:In the eight provinces where Allawi’s party ran provincial as well as national candidates, his list received only 177,678 provincial votes, compared to 452,629 national votes, even though voters cast ballots for both races at the same time.

According to Hersh the operation was "conducted by retired CIA officers and other non-governmental personnel, and used funds that were not necessarily appropriated by Congress."

Http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/jul2005/iele-j26.shtml

Patrick Martin, at WSWS 26 July 2005, sees connections between Iraq and Iran-Contra.

According to WSWS:

"In order to evade congressional oversight, the Reagan White House and then-CIA Director William Casey organized what they described as an "off the shelf" program of supplying arms to the contras, using retired CIA and military personnel and Cuban fascists—including the convicted terrorist bomber Luis Posada Carriles—and directed by Lt. Col. Oliver North of the National Security Council.

"Financing came from sympathetic foreign governments—US client states such as Saudi Arabia, the sultanate of Brunei and Taiwan."

Iran-Contra was exposed after:

1. the crash of a CIA-chartered airplane flying arms to the Contras from a US base in El Salvador, with the capture of an American crewman, Eugene Hasenfus;

2. the report in a Lebanese newspaper about secret US arms shipments to Iran...

The Iran-Contra affair exposed evidence of secret preparations by the Reagan administration to impose martial law in the United States in the event of an open US military intervention in Nicaragua or El Salvador.

Oliver North helped draft plans for an exercise, Operation Rex ’84, to test the readiness of the Pentagon to round up hundreds of thousands of people expected to oppose a US war in that region, and incarcerate them in US military bases.

The current Bush government contains many people who played important roles in Iran-Contra.

According to WSWS:

"Elliott Abrams, convicted of perjury before Congress in the Iran-Contra affair while serving in the State Department, is now a deputy director at the National Security Council—the position held by Oliver North. Admiral John Poindexter, the former national security adviser, served for two years in the Pentagon running a special program to accumulate data on the American people. Otto Reich, who ran a State Department disinformation program as part of Iran-Contra, was Bush’s top Latin American adviser.

"The latest Iran-Contra recruit to surface is Robert Earl, an Army lieutenant colonel who admitting stealing and shredding secret documents while working for Oliver North at the National Security Council during Iran-Contra. He was appointed earlier this month as chief of staff to Gordon England, Bush’s nominee as deputy secretary of defense, who is to replace Paul Wolfowitz, a principal architect of the Iraq war. After the Iran-Contra conspiracy was exposed, Earl was granted immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony against North and other superiors."

See Also in WSWS: US "democracy" in Iraq: death squads, torture and terror [6 July 2005]

Who is Iraq's new prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari? [18 April 2005]

New puppet government takes shape in Iraq [8 April 2005]

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