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Jared Cohen

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Biographical Details

"Jared Cohen is the founder and director of Google Ideas and an advisor to the executive chairman at Google, Inc. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a bestselling author. Previously he served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and as a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton...He currently serves as a member of the National Counterterrorism Center's (NCTC) Director's Advisory Board. Mr. Cohen also serves on the Board of Directors of SFX Entertainment and the Tribeca Film Institute. " [1]

Jared Cohen is an "Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he focuses on terrorism and counter-radicalization, the impact of connection technologies, and “21st century statecraft.”Previously, he served for four years as a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff under both Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. In this capacity, he advised on the Middle East, South Asia, counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, and the development of the “21st century statecraft” agenda. He is twice a recipient of the Secretary of State’s Meritorious Honor Award.

"Cohen is author of the books Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East and One Hundred Days of Silence: America and the Rwanda Genocide. He has also written several articles, including “Diverting the Radicalization Track” (Policy Review) and “Iran’s Young Opposition” (SAIS Review). He received his BA from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

"Cohen has traveled extensively throughout Africa, where he examined issues related to democracy, governance, and genocide. He has also conducted research in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, looking at opposition groups, the spread of technology, and interviewing militants ranging from Hezbollah to several Al-Qaeda affiliated groups. He is fluent in Swahili. In his spare time, he enjoys painting, collecting presidential campaign memorabilia, and reading about Tudor England. He has twice served as a juror at the Tribeca Film Festival. " [1]

Stratfor emails

Unlike most US publications that studiously ignore the revelations coming out of Wikileaks, some Middle Eastern publications have pored over the Stratfor email dump. From Al Akhbar, a Lebanese publication analyzing Stratfor's emails, a view on Cohen:

Email exchanges, starting February 2011, suggest that Google execs were suspicious that [Jared] Cohen was coordinating his moves with the White House and cut Cohen’s mission short at times for fear he was taking too many risks. Stratfor’s vice-president of counter-terrorism Fred Burton, who seemed opposed to Google’s alleged covert role in “foaming” uprisings, describes Cohen as a “loose Cannon” whose killing or kidnapping “might be the best thing to happen” to expose Google.
The Cohen Conspiracy
Stratfor’s spotlight on Cohen began on 9 February 2012 after Burton forwarded to the secure email list a Foreign Policy article discussing Cohen's move from the State Department to Google Ideas. With this article, Burton noted that Cohen had dinner in Cairo with Wael Ghonim on January 27, 2011 just hours before the Egyptian Google Executive was famously picked up by Egypt’s State Security (doc-id 1122191).

On the same day, Stratfor’s staff make reference to a Huffington Post article which highlighted Cohen's role in “delaying the scheduled maintenance on Twitter so the Iranian revolution could keep going” and a Foreign Policy article that noted that Cohen “was a Rhodes scholar, spent time in Iran, [and] hung out in Iraq during the war…”. These casual discovers further perked Stratfor's curiosity about Cohen (doc-id 1629270).

The following day, Burton forwarded a message to the secure email list from “a very good Google source” who claimed that Cohen “[was] off to Gaza next week”. Burton added, “Cohen, a Jew, is bound to get himself whacked….Google is not clear if Cohen is operating [with a] State Dept [or] WH [White House] license, or [is] a hippie activist.” Korena Zucha, another senior analyst on the list, queried, “Why hasn't Google cut ties to Cohen yet? Or is Cohen's activity being endorsed by those higher up in the [company] than your contact?” In turn, Burton replied, “Cohen's rabbi is Eric Schmidt and Obama lackey. My source is trying to find out if the billionaire owners are backing Cohen's efforts for regime change” (doc-id 1111729).

Later on, Burton forwarded information from the “Google source” of Cohen's links in establishing Movements.org. The source added, “A site created to help online organization of groups and individuals to move democracy in stubborn nations. Funded through public-private partnerships.” Burton pointed out that the US State Department is the organization’s public sponsor” (doc-id 1118344).

Indeed, the State Department, partnering with a number of corporations, was the main sponsor for the 2008 inaugural Alliance of Youth Movements summit in New York City that subsequently established Movements.org. Hillary Clinton endorsed the organization and presented a video message during the second summit held in Mexico City a year later.

On 11 February, Burton wrote to the secure email list that Cohen was still planning to head to Gaza. He added, “The dude is a loose can[n]on. GOOGLE is trying to stop his entry into Gaza now because the dude is like scorched earth. It’s unclear to GOOGLE if he’s driving without a license, but GOOGLE believes he’s on a specific mission of “regime change” on the part of leftist fools inside the WH who are using him for their agendas” (doc-id 1113596).[2]


Affiliations

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch

References

  1. Team, Movements.org, accessed January 29, 2011.
  2. Yazan al-Saadi StratforLeaks: Google Ideas Director Involved in 'Regime Change', Al Akhbar, 14 March 2012.
  3. al-akhbar StratforLeaks: Google Ideas Director Involved in ‘Regime Change’, organizational web page, accessed April 23, 2012.
  4. Steering Committee, Bipartisan Policy Center, accessed February 22, 2011.