Friday, December 23, 2016

Election Interference

"Don't ever risk you life for an asset. If it comes down to you or them...send flowers."
--Nathan Muir (Spy Game)

LA Times article cites research of Carnegie Mellon poly sci prof Dov Levin who estimates that the US government has interfered with presidential elections in foreign countries at least 80 times since the end of WWII.

Levin defines electoral intervention as "a costly act which is designed to determine the election results in favor of one of two sides. He estimates that these actions have been carried out in secret about two thirds of the time and included campaign funding of particular political parties, disseminating misinformation and propaganda, training of one side in campaigning techniques, helping one side design campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats against opposing candidates, and providing/withdrawing foreign aid.

Levin's database excludes coups or regime change efforts following the election of candidates that the US didn't like.

Separately, Ron Paul observes that that the US is interfering with elections around the world all time. Looking at our history of interference in the political affairs of other countries, he suggests that "we don't have much room for condemning anybody else."

Of course, condemning others for behavior similar to one's own is a favorite is why hypocrisy and politics go hand in hand.

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