Thursday, January 12, 2017


I am shocked, shocked, that the Russians would try to influence our elections and opinions.

Somebody named Dov Levin wrote his thesis on the post war interventions by the major powers in foreign elections This is from his introduction:

Since World War II electoral interventions have become quite common: a dataset I constructed of U.S. and Soviet/Russian electoral interventions between 1946 and 2000 finds that there were such interventions in approximately one of every nine competitive national level executive elections during this period. In today’s world, in which competitive national level elections are a significant feature of domestic politics in more than half of the states in the international system, partisan electoral interventions will likely become an even more prominent tool in the great powers’ arsenal.  Nevertheless, there has been little scholarly research on this topic. In my dissertation I examined these two questions through a combination of statistical and qualitative methods. Among other things, I did a statistical analysis of the above noted  electoral intervention dataset  as well as of  election surveys done prior to particular cases of electoral  intervention (with relevant questions). I also did archival research on four cases in which electoral interventions were seriously considered by great power interveners. I find, for example, that electoral interventions are usually a quite effective tool for influencing elections, increasing the vote share of the preferred candidate/party by 3% on average- enough in many cases to determine the result. 

Some of his allegations:
Together Russia and the U.S. interfered in 117 elections in the second half the 20th century. Even worse is what happened when the CIA’s chosen candidates lost.

In Iran, when elected leader Mohammad Mossadegh tried to nationalize the country’s BP-held oil reserves, CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt led an operation to oust Mossadegh in favor of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The shah’s secret police tortured dissidents by the thousands, leading directly to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

In Guatemala, when the democratically elected Jacobo Arbez tried to loosen the U.S.-based United Fruit company’s grip on Guatemalan land, the CIA backed a coup against him. In the decades of civil war that followed, U.S.-backed security forces were accused of carrying out a genocide against indigenous Guatemalans.

In Chile, after voters elected the socialist Salvador Allende, the CIA spearheaded a bloody coup to install the right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet, who went on to torture and murder tens of thousands of Chileans. "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.," U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said about the coup he helped orchestrate there. (Meeting of the "40 Committee" on covert action in Chile (27 June 1970) quoted in The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1974); the quotation was censored prior to publication due to legal action by the government--Wiki)

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