Google Idea’s executive Jared Cohen, pictured left, is the subject of several Stratfor email exposed by Wikileaks. (Photo: Fast Company)
Following Wikileaks’ first dump of emails from the global security firm Stratfor last month, another round was released Friday, showing that Google passed on information to Stratfor about an executive’s travels in Egypt– including his meetings with Wael Ghonim, the Google marketing head and Egyptian revolutionary. Google suspected Jared Cohen, an executive with Google Ideas who had worked in the State Department under Bush and Obama, of coordinating with the Obama administration to astroturf “regime change” in the Middle East.
Also mentioned in the same group of published emails is Israel’s Mossad, which is implicated in using “business spies” to steal trade secrets from a U.S. private intelligence company.
The documents do not provide credible specifics on the Mossad’s infiltration of the intelligence company, or of any wrongdoing on Cohen’s part with respect to an Obama agenda. Rather, they shed light on the extent of Stratfor’s intelligence networks.
Mossad suspected of spying on U.S. intelligence community
In a series of March 2010 emails comprised of quick sentences and incomplete phrases nostalgically looking back on the U.S.’s former Cold War era spies, Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president of counter terrorism, writes to an intelligence officer with the company , Sean Noonan:
There is a MOSSAD operative under business cover stealing other companies secrets from this group.
The organization that Mossad was thought to have infiltrated is the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, an intelligence networking business. Burton does not detail in the emails how he ascertained this information other than writing in a separate email, also to Noonan, that same day:
According to the FBI (not for attribution) the MOSSAD has infiltrated this organization.
The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) is a global nonprofit membership organization for everyone involved in creating and managing business knowledge. Our mission is to enhance the success of our members through leadership, education, advocacy, and networking.
Google’s ‘in-house’ spies?
In a different set of emails from Burton to a Stratfor analyst, the two discuss Google’s Jared Cohen, and share information passed on from Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt and security director Marty Lev. In the emails, Burton traces Cohen’s whereabouts on business trips to the Middle East, including a January 2011 dinner with Wael Ghonim:
Cohen had dinner in Cairo the night before the Google Exec was picked up by GOE State Security…..one-hour after the dinner, [Ghonim] the Gypo exec was grabbed off the streets heading into a friends apt.
More to follow…..
In a later email from February 2011 titled “Google Shitstorm Moving to Gaza (internal use only)”, Stratfor notes Cohen was planning a trip to several Middle Eastern locations, including Gaza. In the email, Burton asks, “why hasn’t Google cut ties to Cohen yet?”:
Jared Cohen, the Google policy official who met w/ [Ghonim] the Google Gypo Exec, ONE HOUR before the poor chap was nabbed, is off to Gaza next week….per a very good Google source.
Cohen, a Jew, is bound to get himself whacked….
Google is not clear if Cohen is operating w/a State Dept/WH license, or a hippie activist.
Google may be more important than Obama. Their lefty billionaire owners think they can change the world. I would prefer Google run the world vice the WH.
Burton then followed up the email to Stratfor’s Korena Zucha with a text:
Cohen’s rabbi is [Google chairman] Eric Schmidt and Obama lackey.
My source is trying to find out if the billionaire owners [of Google] are backing Cohen’s efforts for regime change.
I’m thinking about having the Palestinians pick him up.
In the end, Cohen did not travel to Gaza as planned. After receiving the above information, the executive’s bosses at Google recommended he cancel the trip. Burton forwarded an email from Schmidt to a Stratfor researcher, Matt Powers, that said:
By the way – Jared (COHEN) heeded the advice not to go to Turkey or UAE for those meetings. Other Googlers are hosting those meetings. You should see some stories about us hosting a “formers” event in June in Dublin. This is a meeting of 100 former terrorists, gang members, and other basic troublemakers [aimed at deradicalization].
It would seem from the emails that Google executives were consulting Stratfor about Cohen’s travels. Stratfor started spying on Cohen after concerns were raised regarding the executive’s previous employment with the U.S. government under both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. The intelligence reports do not indicate coordination between Cohen and the Obama administration, as suspected.