Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Iraq: Forged ballot claim -- Problems with the details

We judge the story about the forged ballots to be a fabrication, likely linked to the DoD's Joint Staff and possibly Rendon/Lincoln.


Update 14 Dec 05 Iraqis disavow.

Claims of finding ballots have problems:

  • If the ballots were "bonafide efforts to commit forgery" -- why were they incomplete?

  • Who was going to "fill out the rest" in a manner that was "correct" and "would pass the review"?

  • How convenient that the ballots were found just after US officials made baseless accusations about Iranian meddling. Foreign fighters aren't to be found in large numbers . . .

  • How did the "people moving the ballots" propose to [a] move the ballots without detection; [b] get them to the people; and [c] enter them into the ballots boxes/counting system without detection? Too many other checks required; what about the finger stamps . . .

  • What tipped off the guards that these fuel trucks warranted review? Too convenient, given the timing of the announcement . . .

  • If this were a credible problem, they would have people -- by name -- announcing for the world -- "The problem with the Iranians." Yet it's anonymous . . .

  • Even if true, the numbers appear too small to amount to anything . . .a bonafide effort to "influence the election would be millions of ballots . . . they just said "thousands" . . . Yawn.

    * * *

    Now, let's start looking at the details.

    The City mentioned is relatively non-existent. Why do they have fuel trucks moving through an isolated region like this . . . and what is the prospect they have a border control in an area that is essentially a no-man's land?

    A place where "hardly anyone goes" is an ideal place to make up a story.

    The other thing to consider is that this town is essentially a "made up" town -- in that it's run by US contractors. How many planted stories did we get from Lincoln in re operations in Iraq?

    * * *

    Also notice the city is listed -- "13 Implementation of A typical Healthy center in Al-Munthirya" -- as a healthy center.

    Wow -- all this time, the Americans have had PR-problems. You'd think that a "good news story" like this about "healthy centers" would stay posted.

    But they yanked down the material.

    * * *

    Contract efforts:

    AL-Fadhaa Co.Ltd.
    General Contracts
    Basrah,Jubailah,Opp.Al-Shams internet center

    Fax: 5559311

    Contact: Munthir Hasan Mahmood

    * * *

    Right on the Iranian border, but only one press release --- if there was a "huge problem" as there "is with Syria" we should see an "operation steel curtain" like coverage, but nothing but a courtesy call in Jan 2004, two years ago:

    Capt. Sean Moser of the N.C. National Guard had gathered a few facts about the early morning attack, but the images on the screen provided the first details of the assault that killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded seven others.
    The news was a worry for Moser and his platoon from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 252nd Armored Regiment out of Sanford as they prepared to meet with members of the Iraqi border police in Munthirya, an Iraqi town on the border with Iran. Their mission was to meet with Iraqi officials in the Diyala Province to ensure that their efforts to help establish representative governments were progressing.Ref

    * * *

    In a region of Iraq that has essentially no coverage, marginally trained-troops [you're not saying they have the most experienced there, despite the insurgents elsewhere], why should we believe:

  • The detection was bonafide -- did they really find something new -- or were they told in advance

    * * *

    In the middle of nowhere, conveniently after a speech, marginal evidence of foreign fighters, no credible basis to believe the "trained troops" had information to warrant belief they could detect . . . why would we believe there were any guards looking at the fuel truck . . .

  • What would possibly have signaled, "We have a fuel truck," [liquid, wet], but inside we have these paper things -- that have to be dry . . .

  • What's the track record of troops stopping fuel trucks along the border

  • What is the basis to believe they were trained to look for this . . .

    It doesn't add up.

    * * *

    Bada is a place where they dump bodies -- meaning: Why are they bothering with "border protection training" when the bigger issue -- continuing torture, murders -- isn't getting attention?

    * * *

    This is a calculated "win" for the Iraqis, designed to annoy the locals, and make them resilient in voting.

    * * *

    Let's presume, for the sake of argument, the Iranians did have the ballots:

  • How did they get them

  • How did they physically acquire the ballots from an Iraqi; move them to Iran; fill them out in advance of the election?

    * * *

    Self-evidently, there's a problem with fuel in the region -- there's fuel flowing to places that don't have it.

    What's the "big story" on why the US invaded -- oil! So if Iraq "doesn't have enough fuel" that it has to import fuel from Iran -- apparently "occurring so often that the border guards were trained on it -- where are they getting the electricity to power the "guard stop location" where the fuel truck was apparently stopped, reviewed, determined to be a problem, . . .

    * * *

    We see no evidence, in an isolated region, that the Iraqis would have enough "weigh assessment tools" to weigh the fuel truck; compare the mass-density to standards; and determine that a specific truck did or did not have sufficient/excess mass relative to the size.

    * * *

    Consider the number of ballots alleged to have been found: Let's say when they say, "Thousands" that they want us to believe, that there are less than 10,000 -- if there were more than 10,000 they would say, tens-of thousands.

    But they didn't say that, they said "thousands."

    Let's assume the number of hypothetical ballots is 10,000: That's not that much space.

    Consider the size of 500 sheets of paper -- that is a single ream of computer paper. Multiply that by 10 -- a large box of computer paper. Now multiply that by 2.

    There's your 10,000 ballots: Two boxes of computer paper.

    Now, consider the size a fuel truck.

    Now ask: what could possibly have "signaled" to a guard -- that is more concerned with electricity, that is out at night, cold, in winter, and fearful of being killed -- how he is going to find two boxes of computer paper on a fuel truck.

    Where were the ballots -- sitting there on the passenger side?

    * * *

    Let's suppose that the Iranians are involved in this "massive effort" to import ballots. Surely, if this were the case, the "super Echelon spies" would have already got the evidence, and made a formal protest.

    But -- we have no Echelon intercepts of "massive numbers of Iranians stealing ballots from Iraq; nor are they transshipping them into Iran; nor is anyone in Iran talking about the operation; nor are the fuel drivers talking about "all these thousands of ballots."

    Rather, we're asked to believe that there are "thousands of ballots floating around" back and forth between Iraq and Iran, but nobody is talking about them; and there are no intercepts by the NSA.

    Come on, where are the Colin Powell-transcripts of the crazed people talking about their evil plans -- as we heard in re the fabricated WMD transcripts? Nothing!

    Beyond belief.

    Thank you Rendon!

    I would believe it if they had placed little Iranian flags on the boxes.

    * * *

    The Americans have enough trouble finding their own cars in a crowded parking lot. We've asked to believe that the same people, who are worried about terrorism in Iraq, would go to the trouble of "training them how to find two boxes of paper" . . .despite:

  • No fuel, requiring imports

  • An energy problem, with a curfew

  • Locals pissed off at Americans

  • Bodies showing up in the town that they can't account for . . .

    But they want us to believe they took the time to find two boxes of paper.

    Get real!

    * * *

    American FAA inspectors give heads up to the locals that there are inspections coming.

    These are referred to as "no notice" inspections.

    It appears the same thing occurred:

  • This was a training exercise

  • Locals

    * * *

    Were any members of the media present as "witnesses" to the miraculous find?

    Oh, let us see -- how many interrogations-torture sessions did Judith Miller attend that were "staged"?

    * * *

    The Iraqis have enough trouble getting the ballots delivered to people in hospitals.

    How did someone:

  • Get ballots from Iraq;

  • Move them to Iran:

  • Fill them out -- incompletely

  • Then load them up . . .

    * * *

    If true, the numbers are too small to amount to anything.

    The lack of necessary supporting-evidence is telling:

  • There is no credible basis to believe that similar efforts -- to move ballots across the border three times -- are occurring on Iraq's common border with Saudi Arabian, Jordanian, Syrian, Turkish, or Iranian borders. We should be hearing of other reports, or other efforts elsewhere. We have nothing.

  • The event occurred in a region that cannot credibly believed to have had any priority on finding two boxes of paper. The level of inspection required to credibly “randomly find” two boxes of paper -- appears to be at odds with what is most reasonable. Surely, if the Iranians were serious about doing this, they would have used other avenues; and the able Iraqis would have put a clampdown on all fuel trucks in and out of Iraq. But we have no confirming reports of that necessary action.

  • There are insufficient road inspection, energy, fuel, and night lighting at any given road inspection point to credibly believe that a thorough search, however orchestrated, would find two boxes of paper.

  • There are no massive piles of similar contraband to warrant believe that the efforts have been ferreting out huge stockpiles of problems. If these massive piles of contraband are real, we have no evidence that Satellite imagery has detected or can confirm a massive flow of contraband. Rather, we simply have claims of problems, with continued findings that the number of foreign fighters are small. Surely, if there were massive numbers of foreign fighters the "self-evidently competent" Iraqi inspectors would have found some smelly shoes, or stinky bags of satellite dishes. But we have no evidence that this sort of contraband is high on the US Embassy "action item list" nor that there have been sufficient front end loaders to move the massive piles of contraband from the borders to destruction facilities. We have no evidence that contract support is moving around the contraband; nor any documentation to support the claim that the contraband, when seized, is appropriately showcased as evidence of the "evil Iranian influence." Nothing!

  • There are no reports by the Iranians or others of massive Iraqi border guards burning rubbish or destroying contraband. Rather, they have enough trouble cataloging the pictures of the Iraqis who have been abused, or found dead in the city.

    * * *

    We judge:

  • There are no bonafide efforts by the Iranians to ship ballots across the border, either at this location or at other locations;

  • The scenario was, at best fabricated, and at worst a staged stunt designed to showcase the efforts of someone before the media, arguably paid to write stories and plant them in the Iraqi press;

  • Echelon has no intercepts of the message traffic required to move the ballots from Iraq, to Iran, then back across the boarder for a third time; and

  • There are higher priorities -- fuel, energy, and regional murders -- to credibly believe the border patrol would have stopped, found, and acquired two boxes of paper.