Thursday, July 21, 2005

Caught! WH confirms Iraqi Election manipulation by denying it

Whatever else may come of the steaming pile of week old sewage that is the Rove Affair, it has already had one extremely beneficial effect. What L'Affaire De Rove has taught us is to take nothing, particularly a denial, from the WH at face value. Instead, if you want the real meaning of a statement you must carefully analyze  its word choice, timing, and most importantly what it did NOT say as opposed to what it really did


For example, responding to   Seymour Hersh's Story on the WH's efforts to rig the Iraqi elections   The NSC spokesman apparently Denies the story


"in the final analysis, the president determined and the United States government adopted a policy that we would not try - and did not try - to influence the outcome of the Iraqi election by covertly helping individual candidates for office." {emph mine}


Now that appears to be a denial doesn't it?  But it ain't  so:

Look at the words again carefully grasshopper.  Yes they appear to say that they did not mess with the election, and that is certainly what the NSC wants you to take away from this.


But with some minor dissection, you can see what they really said.


First, remember How the Iraqi elections worked:


111 political entities (political parties, coalitions or individuals) will field lists of candidates. Eligible voters can caste their vote for a single electoral list, and seats will be distributed to political entities based on the proportion of total votes that they receive. For example, a party receiving 20 percent of the vote would receive 55 seats in the 275-member assembly.


In other words,  the parties did not run single candidates but entire slates of candidates for the assembly


now look at the NSC spokesman's words again:



..we would not try - and did not try - to influence the outcome of the Iraqi election  by covertly helping individual candidates for office.


Which really wouldn't have worked too well anyway because there were no "individual candidates for Office" Only large slates sponsored by various parties!


In other words the Spokesman gave a precise, concise and clear answer, to a question that wasn't asked, Scotty McWeasel would be so proud!


It was a clear effort to get the American people (who have the memory and attention span of goldfish) to take their eye off the ball.  But you shouldn't do that. Remember the question that was asked was "did the US covertly manipulate the outcome of the supposedly "free and Fair" Iraqi elections?"


And the answer to that question, is clearly yes, if you properly parse the answer. (get your blue pencils out and try to follow along)


The Spokesman, could very easily have merely said: "in the final analysis, the president determined and the United States government adopted a policy that we would not try - and did not try - to influence the outcome of the Iraqi election."


Period. Full stop.   that would have been a denial.


  But instead of a bit of proper punctuation, Our friend the talking ferret snuck in a dependant subordinate clause instead;


 "by covertly helping individual candidates for office."


And this clause (neither Santa nor Cat) completely modifies the statement going before.


Now, the spokesman is carefully Not denying the US manipulated election results; merely that they didn't do it by one particular method.  All the other ways to Screw with the election (intimidation, funneling money to Parties rather than individuals, harassing voters, messing with voting machines,  etc)  well they simply were neither denied nor ruled out.


And frankly boys and Girls a non-denial that careful is as good as a confirmation for me.

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