Reblogging Nico

June 17, 2009 at 8:22 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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12:51 AM ET — Was Ahmadinejad’s victory really fraudulent? I meant to mention this yesterday but never got the chance. Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett — two long time analysts and former U.S. government officials — published a piece in Politico titled, rather abrasively, “Ahmadinejad Won. Get Over It.” Go over and read it. As you’ll see, the article includes a lot of snippy references to “Iran experts” (in scare quotes) — but for the life of me, I cannot find an argument in there that could possibly justify that headline.

There are very few people in this world who know for certain whether this election was rigged. I am not one to charge that it was definitively fraud without having facts to prove it.

But what we have is evidence of two key problems: 1) highly improbable outcomes in the alleged vote count, and 2) allegations of fraud from people in the position to know the truth. Let me briefly address both.

1) As a smart Iranian-American reader pointed out, the best evidence of potential fraud is that the alleged results indicate that Mousavi did not even win his hometown. Now, Mousavi comes from a minority background in Iran, and in his hometown, virtually everyone is from the same minority. As the reader noted, “it’s almost like having Obama getting only 20-30% of the African American vote.” It’s not direct evidence of fraud — just highly improbable.

2) As to serious allegations of fraud, I present you with this excerpt from NYT executive editor Bill Keller’s first piece from Iran:

One employee of the Interior Ministry, which carried out the vote count, said the government had been preparing its fraud for weeks, purging anyone of doubtful loyalty and importing pliable staff members from around the country.
“They didn’t rig the vote,” claimed the man, who showed his ministry identification card but pleaded not to be named. “They didn’t even look at the vote. They just wrote the name and put the number in front of it.”

 

Again, not direct evidence of fraud, but a serious allegation from someone in the position to know the truth.

In other words, Iranians are completely justified to be highly suspicious of the results of this election. They shouldn’t “get over it.”

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