Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Google and Israeli intelligence enthusiastically cooperated in hopes of overthrowing Syria’s government in efforts that have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees, according to a trove of emails recently organized for release by WikiLeaks.
By Andrew Krieg JusticeIntegrityProject March 22, 2016
One email stated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s fall could lead to a religious war in the region, “which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.”
The email, as well as a separate one describing a secret high-level effort within Google to assist the State Department in regime change for Syria, is one of the Clinton-linked emails organized by WikiLeaks into a searchable database announced last week.
These help paint a picture of the Democratic front-runner as a zealous advocate of covert activities to overthrow foreign leaders opposed by U.S. elites. Clinton is shown in a file photo as she parried GOP attacks during a House hearing in October on the 2012 killing of U.S. personnel at Benghazi, a process that was easier for her than apparent because she secretly shared certain goals with her interrogators, as described below.
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The mainstream media for the most part have ignored the remarkable email revelations from recent days contained in Clinton’s emails from 2009 to 2013 as secretary of state.
Only a handful of alternative and mostly web-based commentary sites have covered the story so far. Yet the emails help connect the dots from her 2003 support of the Iraq invasion as a senator to the vast suffering from regime change in Libya and Syria, including such collateral results as the refugee migration to Europe and blowback by terrorists dispersed there.
The de facto news blackout on the stories by United States media suggests also why WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange are so widely reviled by government officials and their allies in the media.
WikiLeaks enables whistleblowers to bypass many control mechanisms to suppress sensitive matters normally covered only in partial fashion by foreign policy decision-makers and their most friendly news outlets, which now include tech giants like Google (the best known subsidiary of the new parent company Alphabet).
Today’s column — describing the shocking contents of the recent Clinton emails — builds on the first part of our new WikiLeaks series: Noted Swedish Journalist, Assange Critic Exposed As Police Agent, published March 20, 2016.
That segment reported how Martin Fredriksson, a prize-winning Swedish journalist known for his left-wing, pro-NATO and anti-WikiLeaks commentary, was revealed this month to have been a paid agent of Säpo, Sweden’s security service.
Fredriksson, with roots also in the high-tech community, also advocated against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and urged Sweden’s chapter of Amnesty International to avoid supporting Sweden’s relentless pursuit of Assange for questioning regarding sex misconduct complaints arising in 2010.
The third part of our series will examine the dubious legality of Sweden’s crusade against Assange, which has caused a United Nations panel last month to find that Assange’s political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012 as arbitrary detention as a violation of human rights.
Assange has denied any crime in the sexual complaints.
Also, he has accused Sweden (whose flag is shown at left) of mounting a trumped up probe so it can extradite him to the United States to face reprisal for publishing hacked emails embarrassing to United States and other diplomats. U.S. authorities have not commented on whether they have filed secret charges (as Assange claims) against him and his colleagues working for the pro-transparency site WikiLeaks.
Hillary Clinton and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt share a joke at Google headquarters at Mountain View, CA, July 21, 2014
THE CLINTON EMAILS
For years, the conservative transparency group Judicial Watch has pushed for release of Clinton records, particularly after its litigation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) helped show that Clinton had followed the pattern of several Republican predecessors in using a private email system as secretary of state instead of relying exclusively on a government-administered system.
Helped by many favorable court rulings, Judicial Watch has obtained and released tens of thousands of Clinton emails and has pressured for more disclosures, including those that she and her staff deleted because the emails were, according to Clinton and her team, personal and otherwise not relevant to government business.
At a Judicial Watch conference last September, President Tom Fitton (portrayed in our Justice Integrity Project photo) let its conservative panelists in arguing that Clinton deserved criminal prosecution for maintaining the private email system mishandling what should have been classified information.
That critique parallels other harsh attacks alleging that the presumed Democratic 2016 presidential nominee has been hiding corrupt financial/political communications relating to her family’s Clinton Foundation and other misconduct or malfeasance, including the State Department’s actions regarding security in 2012 for its Benghazi consulate, that disqualify her from the presidency, including her .
Clinton and her defenders have denied the allegations. Among the mitigating factors they have noted is that her system did not traffic in messages that had been deemed classified and that most of the disputed messages were communications to her and not by her. Most important, they have disputed innuendos that the ongoing FBI probe of the matter is a criminal investigating, that it targets her or her close aides, or that it is likely to result in charges that would thwart her presidential race.
Our view reported many times here is that the attacks on Clinton by Judicial Watch and most other conservatives have failed to provide a full and accessible account to the public. The reasons? The attacks have been politically motivated to damage Clinton and her Democratic colleagues, including President Obama and former UN Ambassador Susan Rice.
Therefore, they have whitewashed or ignored many major deceits, actions, mistakes and disasters caused by Republican or conservative allies in a largely bipartisan foreign policy whereby the Obama administration secretly sought to overthrow dictators in Libya and Syria in a goal congruent with both the human rights rhetoric of “neo-liberal interventionists” but approved also (and in many instances implemented by) “neo-conservatives” held over by Obama from the Bush administration in positions at the CIA, Pentagon, and State Department.
Our reporting documenting these themes includes this editor’s book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters,” and such Justice Integrity Project columns last year as Clinton’s Benghazi Hearing Creates Fireworks On Partisan Claims and, regarding a Judicial Watch conference focused on Clinton, Watchdogs Decry ‘Corrupt’ DC Actions On Hillary, Immigration, IRS Issues.
THE WIKILEAKS SEARCHABLE SITE
On March 16, WikiLeaks unveiled a website on Clinton’s emails. The site enables the public bypass some of the partisan considerations and search more easily important material.
The site is here, illustrated by a WikiLeaks graphic (also shown above), and with this explanation:
On March 16, 2016 WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for 30,322 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton‘s private email server while she was Secretary of State.
The 50,547 pages of documents span from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014. 7,570 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton. The emails were made available in the form of thousands of PDFs by the U.S. State Department as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. The final PDFs were made available on February 29, 2016.
As a sign of timid and time-pressured state of mainstream media, academic and think tank commentators, the major reporting arising from the WikiLeaks site as of this writing appears to be several alternative media sites. The first was the online and generally conservative Washington Examiner and reported by Rudy Takala March 19 under the headline Clinton email reveals: Google sought overthrow of Syria’s Assad.
Others included the Russian news sites RT and Sputnik, and the Western alternative media sites Liberty Blitzkrieg (republished by Zero Hedge), Sign of the Times, and Antimedia.
The lack of coverage could be because there’s nothing much to report. Or, it could because relatively few want to risk antagonizing others and seeming unpatriotic or otherwise non-conformist during a partisan period of widespread fears regarding terrorism and job security. Among those who might be miffed by overly aggressive and otherwise wrong-headed commentary might be Democrats, Republicans, backers of national security and pro-Israeli policies, as well as Google — with the latter a necessary platform partner of all media, large, small and alternative.
Take a look at the documents and summaries. Decide for yourself.
REPUTED ISRAELIS INTEREST IN OVERTHROWING SYRIA’S GOVERNMENT
On March 19, the Russian news service Sputnik reported (via Global Research), Hillary Clinton’s Emails. A Sunni-Shiite War Would be Good for Israel and the West: Senior Israeli Intelligence Official.
The column began: The intelligence service of Israel considers a potential Sunni-Shiite war in Syria a favorable development for the country and the West, according to an email archive of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (shown in an official photo), released by WikiLeaks.
The column continued:
The author of the email, forwarded by Clinton in July 2012, argued that Israel is convinced Iran would lose “its only ally” in the Middle East if the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad collapses. “The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies,” an email stated.
In addition, the author underscored that a potential Sunni-Shiite war would delay the Iranian nuclear program.”In the opinion of this [Israeli intelligence] individual, such a scenario would distract and might obstruct Iran from its nuclear activities for a good deal of time,” the email said.
The Israeli intelligence also considered the possible Sunni-Shiite war as a factor that could contribute to the collapse of the government in Iran. “In addition, certain senior Israeli intelligence analysts believe that this turn of events may even prove to be a factor in the eventual fall of the current government of Iran,” the email said.
In Signs of the Times (SOTT), blogger Brandon Martinez published an extensive analysis under the headline: Puppet Masters: Wikileaks 2012 Killary email: Secure Israeli hegemony, destroy Syria. He began:
Hilary Clinton candidly outlined US plans to overthrow Assad as a prelude to weakening Iran in a 2012 email released by Wikileaks. Clinton argued that this criminal policy of regime change in Syria was being pursued in large part to help Israel isolate Iran and thereby weaken Tel Aviv’s other regional foes like Hezbollah and Hamas by strategically cutting them off “from [their] Iranian sponsor since Syria would no longer be a transit point for Iranian training, assistance and missiles.”
Clinton noted, Martinez wrote, that the operation in Syria was in part designed to curtail Iran’s nuclear program so that Israel could maintain its “nuclear monopoly” and thereby continue to dominate the region militarily. “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,” Clinton wrote.
Clinton further said:
Iran’s nuclear program and Syria’s civil war may seem unconnected, but they are. For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about — but cannot talk about — is losing their nuclear monopoly.
Later in the email Clinton bluntly opined: “Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.” She then stated that the U.S. would achieve this by arming Syrian rebels:
Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces. The announcement of such a decision would, by itself, likely cause substantial defections from the Syrian military. Then, using territory in Turkey and possibly Jordan, U.S. diplomats and Pentagon officials can start strengthening the opposition. … Arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach.
Years later, our view here in U.S. v. Russia Proxy War In Syria Creates High Stakes For You suggested a serious threat to Americans from developments in Syria last fall.
Fortunately, Obama appears to have found the strength to resist the war escalations many of his advisors had been urging through the years, as reported in a revealing, 20,000-word overview by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic: The Obama Doctrine.
GOOGLE’S JARED COHEN, REGIME CHANGE ENTHUSIAST
Not surprisingly, the Clinton email trove contains many other sensitive items about the Clinton years, including the intersection of State Department policies and major communications companies, that appear to be off the radar screen for most of the nation’s thought leaders, including reporters, academics and think tanks heavily dependent on donation or other good relations with those involved.
Few are more important than the company once known as Google, which is not only a newsmaker, prospective business partner and philanthropist, but also controls almost any entity’s search results based on its secret algorithms. Importantly also: Google executives, much like other social media kingpins, heavily overlap with top government national security officials (such as CIA and NSA) and global financiers in such elite and sometimes secret entitles as the Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, and Council on Foreign Relations.
Jared Cohen, born in 1981, is president of Jigsaw, formerly known as “Google Ideas.” It is now under the Alphabet corporate umbrella after a corporate reorganization last year shown in a graphic courtesy of Wikimedia but is still too small a part of the Alphabet colossus to have a separate box on the chart.
A Jigsaw promotional video introduced by Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmitt describes the company’s services as including help for investigative reporters and those subject to hacking attack.
An adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Cohen previously served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and as an advisor to the Bush administration’s Condoleezza Rice and later Hillary Clinton. He focused heavily on counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, Middle East/South Asia, Internet freedom, and fostering opposition in repressive countries, including a 2006 book on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
[Cohen] left the State Department in September 2010 to lead Google’s “ideas” unit beginning the next month.
Cohen became close to then-Google CEO Schmidt (shown in a file photo at left), with whom he co-authored a book, The New Digital Age: Re-shaping the Future of People, Nations and Business.
Cohen remains a senior advisor to Schmidt, 60, an early leader in network integration, an early backer of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and now the leader of the Pentagon’s high tech advisory counsel. Forbes Magazine this month calculated Schmidt’s net worth as $10.8 billion, ranking him No. 100 in a chart of the world’s richest persons.
The gist of one Clinton email disclosure is that she received via staff a July 2012 email from Cohen in which he informed three of her top staffers that he would use his capabilities at Google to help organize dissidents seeking to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar Assad, shown in a file photo.
“Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool … that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from,” Cohen wrote.
“Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition,” said Cohen, who added that Google planned secretly to give the tool to Middle Eastern media.
“Given how hard it is to get information into Syria right now, we are partnering with Al-Jazeera who will take primary ownership over the tool we have built, track the data, verify it, and broadcast it back into Syria,” Cohen continued, according to an account first reported in detail by the Washington Examiner’s Rudy Takala.
“Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything [else] you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact,” Cohen said. He addressed the message to Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Alec Ross, a senior Clinton advisor shown in a file photo, and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan.
Later, Sullivan forwarded Cohen’s plan to Clinton and described it as “a pretty cool idea.”
“Is this a technology company or the CIA?” wrote commentator Michael Krieger on Liberty Blitzkrieg, republished on Zero Hedge. “This sounds like a pretty huge deal, so you’d think the American media would be all over it. Not quite. In fact, the only story I’ve seen emanating from the U.S. press was published by the Washington Examiner.” He continued:
Julian Assange, who founded the secret-leaking website WikiLeaks, has for years referred to Cohen as Google’s “director of regime change.” I want to once again stress the fact that the U.S. media has completely ignored this story. In fact, the only other detailed article I could find on the topic was published earlier today at RT, from which we learn the following nugget, also courtesy of Wikileaks:
In June 2010, when Syria was a country still at peace, Cohen traveled to the Arab Republic with Alec Ross. “I’m not kidding when I say I just had the greatest frappuccinoever at Kalamoun University north of Damascus,” he tweeted. Ross, in a more serious mood, tweeted: “This trip to #Syria will test Syria’s willingness to engage more responsibly on issues of#netfreedom.”
In an email dated September 24, 2010, entitled ‘1st known case of a successful social media campaign in Syria’, and which was later forwarded to Hillary Clinton, Ross wrote: “When Jared and I went to Syria, it was because we knew that Syrian society was growing increasingly young (population will double in 17 years) and digital and that this was going to create disruptions in society that we could potential harness for our purposes.”
Krieger sadly and aptly concluded:
Six years later and take a look at Syria. These are the breathtakingly disastrous results you achieve when the U.S. government and Google formulate U.S. foreign policy together behind closed doors.
Finally, for those of you who remain unaware of the instrumental role the U.S. government and it’s allies played in the creation of ISIS, I leave you with the following excerpts from last year’s post: “Additional Details Emerge on How U.S. Government Policy Created, Armed, Supported and Funded ISIS.”
The US anti-Assad strategy in Syria, in other words, bolstered the very al-Qaeda factions the U.S. had fought in Iraq, by using the Gulf states and Turkey to finance the same groups in Syria. As a direct consequence, the secular and moderate elements of the Free Syrian Army were increasingly supplanted by virulent Islamist extremists backed by U.S. allies.
AN ASSANGE APPRAISAL
We conclude with an overview by Julian Assange, which he drew from his time as a controversial if not notorious distributor to selected mainstream media partners of government secrets submitted by whistleblowers to his team.
A certain irony exists, to be sure, in the repeated complaints by Clinton critics seeking to thwart her presidential run on the basis that she did not use a State Department system for her emails when so many government sites have been hacked. There is no evidence so far that Clinton’s private system was ever hacked.
But our purpose right now is broader. Google’s Schmidt and Cohen interviewed Assange in 2011 for their book while he was under house arrest for sex misconduct allegations brought in Sweden under murky circumstances. Assange’s impressions follows from the segment of his book When Google Met Wikileaks, entitled, Google Is Not What It Seems.
The WikiLeaks’ publisher described the special relationship between Google, Hillary Clinton and the State Department — and what that means for the future of the internet:
Whether it is being just a company or “more than just a company,” Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower.
As Google’s search and internet service monopoly grows, and as it enlarges its industrial surveillance cone to cover the majority of the world’s population, rapidly dominating the mobile phone market and racing to extend internet access in the global south, Google is steadily becoming the internet for many people.70 Its influence on the choices and behavior of the totality of individual human beings translates to real power to influence the course of history.
More important even than these abstract concepts, hundreds of thousands of Middle East deaths and millions of refugees have occurred because of foreign policies endorsed by nearly all of the score of 2016 presidential candidates from both the Democratic and Republican Party. This suffering was explored this week in “Hillary Clinton never met a war she didn’t like” by Michael Collins.
Bottom line: Despite trillions of dollars in U.S. spending (an estimated $6 trillion for Middle East wars), news coverage of the Clinton email trove focuses primarily on the partisan political dimension.
Yes, partisan. In fact, little difference exists between the parties and candidates on life and death issues.