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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wikileaks (Stratfor): Israel Defense Intelligence like Stratfor?

A Stratfor email released by Wikileaks gives the impression that Stratfor operates a lot like Israel's Defense Intelligence agency.
On 12/15/11 10:30 AM, Marc Lanthemann wrote:

Source is an old friend from college who is now a major in IDF intelligence. Had not seen one another in years. Very secretive of what they do; seemed pretty suspicious about what exactly I was doing in Israel. Nothing too groundbreaking, just some interesting observations.

...


- Opsec at IDI (Israel Defense Intelligence) seems pretty extreme. If you try to email this person, you don't hear back for a month, minimum - usually even longer. Reason is because no websites that have passwords are allowed at work. Emails for internal comms only.

- Source is in D.C. frequently for meetings with DIA. When I asked if they are often trained by the Americans, the response was a smirk and, "We like to think we don't need the Americans to train us." IDI, source said, is "more creative" than American counterparts. The way they work sounded similar in philosophy to STRATFOR, actually. For example, there is a specific officer who is referred to as the "Devil's advocate" at the IDI offices. This person is allowed to challenge any random paper on any topic, produced by someone of any rank. If a paper is written that says, hypothetically, that Bashar will fall in three weeks, the Devil's advocate can then say, "Okay, I'm challenging this assertion. Now, I want you to write the exact opposite argument and play out the logic." Source did not deny that they, too, can fall prey to groupthink like any other intelligence body, but was a firm believe that this was a good way to avoid it.

- "Where are the moderates in the Muslim world?" That was the theme of the conversation on source's end. If you listen to this person, you come away with the notion that the Israelis seem extremely unnerved about the future of the region, with the primary focus being on the Iranian threat. (Again, this is not groundbreaking insight.)

- Source openly said that none of this shit would be happening right now had Obama not abandoned Mubarak like he did. When I later criticized Bush for shattering the balance of power in the PG, source shot back, "Well what about Obama?" I said that Obama had maintained the same FP as Bush, a claim with which the source agreed. And yet the source loves Bush's policies and hates Obama's. Israelis are not a fan
of Barack.

- Because Obama abandoned Mubarak, source lamented the fact that Egypt was no longer the leader of the Arab world. This does not mean source believes the MB is on the verge of completely taking power in Egypt - (I specifically asked if that was the belief the IDI holds) - but it does mean that there is a steep drop in faith that the SCAF has ability to maintain the status quo. Overall I found the message on Egypt a bit confusing.
Since they don't allow access to websites with passwords, at least the IDI will (hopefully) avoid being hacked by Wikileaks like Stratfor was. I suspect that the IDI would be a lot more interesting.

Elder has an amusing piece on a Maan reporter whom the source calls 'batsh*t insane.'
Here's the inside scoop on Nasser and the key to understanding how Maan remains the only truly independent news source in Palestine: He's a decades long supporter of the Popular Front, was president of the PFLP at Bethlehem Univ. and went to jail six years for it.

As a PFLP supporter, he detests organized religion and its mixing in politics (Hamas) just as much as he hates materialism/capitalism/corruption (Fatah). (On that second point, he's probably the most beloved media personality in the country and has huge influence, yet he never thought to move out of the refugee camp where he was born. Badass.)

The other important thing to know about Nasser, more important than anything else I just mentioned, is that he is batshit insane. Really do love the guy but something is off up there, trust me. He will spout out the craziest theories every once in a while.
Heh.

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