Other than this:
…what did it take to make the leadership at the NSA think that the United States efforts in Iraq had been successful?
Thanks to the liberating efforts of Edward Snowden, we now have a glimpse into the mindset of the NSA in February 2005 from this writeup, composed by Major General Richard Quirk, Signals Intelligence Director, which appeared on the SIDtoday internal website:
“While democratic media norms were not always fully respected, some coverage of opposition parties and candidates on both state and private media was visible or audible. Government events were excessively covered on the pretext of “government business,” but the opposition was not totally excluded. There were a number of appearances by opposition candidates. While none of the people contacted to write this report totally condemned Iraqi media election coverage, in future events this coverage needs to be monitored more closely, and equity in access to media must be enforced.
If the use of indelible ink remains a check against duplicate voting for forthcoming electoral events, it may be useful to have the voters cast their ballot before dipping their finger to avoid stained ballots. It was also reported that the ink could be rubbed off with hand lotion or certain types of detergent. While a stain would remain, inexperienced observers and election officials may not have noticed this.
Problems and irregularities that were noted during the polling process resulted typically from a combination of the security conditions, inadequate training of IECI staff, human error and the novelty of, and the resulting unfamiliarity with, complex polling processes. Reported irregularities regarding voter eligibility, and illegal activities or deliberate manipulations by electoral staff and/or political actors, should not be discounted. However, to the extent that such problems occurred randomly through the polling process, they are unlikely to have undermined its integrity or diminished the legitimacy of the election results.
There were some local problems with the tamper evidence bags being used improperly (placed in with the ballots rather than in a separate box to be sent to IECI headquarters) or not being used at all. Also, some ballot boxes were not properly locked.
That said, the complaint process also experienced a number of problems. Despite the laudable decisions of the Board to accept complaints by e-mail, and to extend the submission deadlines, a number of remaining obstacles made it difficult for individuals, political entities and organizations to submit complaints. Among the most important were fears for personal safety, travel and communication difficulties, and lack of information about the complaint process. These obstacles might explain in part why so few complaints were filed.” (my bold)
Actually, now that I think about it, some of these issues sound like they could have stemmed from the 2016 American presidential election!
It is interesting to see how quickly the NSA leadership was willing to pat itself on the back for a job well done in Iraq. I guess they were blind to the possibility that their current actions would have a detrimental impact on the future of Iraq.
Click HERE to read more.