Addict (drugaddict) wrote,
Addict
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Hamas

Subject:        Hamas
Date:   Sat, 22 Apr 2006 08:19:37 -0400
From:   Robert Keeley
To:     Tim Burger <tim_burger@timemagazine.com>



  Thanks for sending me the reporting on Negroponte. I can comment on
one point, based on my visit to the region in January-February to
observe the Palestinian  elections as a member of a delegation from the
Council for the National Interest. The intelligence failure (failing to
predict the Hamas victory) came from having to rely on public opinion
polls, which of course could have been flawed owing to poor sampling.
But none of our diplomats talk to Hamas. They are forbidden because it
is listed as a terrorist organization. We talked to the head of the
outfit (in Damascus), the new foreign minister (in Gaza) and a leader in
Hebron, and we learned a lot. Our diplomats (I don't know about spies)
don't visit Gaza, ever since three security contractors were killed
there. And--a little known fact that I haven't seen reported
anywhere--our Consulate General in Jerusalem, which is supposed to cover
the Palestinians, now is required to send its reports to Washington
through our embassy in Tel Aviv. Prior to that change it reported
directly to Washington as an independent post, which I can assure you
guaranteed that its reporting would be unvarnished, whereas the embassy
in Tel Aviv can now provide any varnish it wishes. I don't know that the
embassy does that, but it sure is a risk. Is it any wonder that we don't
know what the hell is going on in the Palestinian territories?

--
--
Robert V. Keeley
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