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Leak: State Dept. sought info on Palestinian leaders

November 30, 2010 00:42

WikiLeaks document: In 2008 cable, Rice told US diplomats to pass on credit card, frequent flier numbers, and other personal info.

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice 311 AP. (photo credit:AP)

The US State Department under Condoleezza Rice instructed its employees stationed at embassies in the Middle East to collect personal information about Palestinian leaders and closely monitor Israeli military and telecommunications capabilities, according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

In a 2008 cable, Rice told US diplomats to pass on credit card numbers, frequent flier numbers, work schedules and other personal information of Palestinians similar to the directives Rice and current US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave to American diplomats posted at the UN.

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The cable also asked for extensive tracking of Israelis and Palestinian views on the peace process, contacts with Hamas, settlements and attitudes towards the American administration, among other issues.

While the cable did not request the same personal information for Israeli officials, it made clear America’s interest in sensitive military and technological endeavors.

It called on US diplomats to report on “IDF tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting conventional and unconventional counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations.”

A lengthy portion of the document also asked for details on Israel’s telecommunications industry, including “current specifications, vulnerabilities, capabilities, and planned upgrades to national telecommunications infrastructure.”

When it came to Israel’s involvement with the international community, US diplomats were to take note of Israel’s “plans to influence views and positions of academics, journalists, and business, religious and professional organizations towards the US and the US-Israeli relationship.”

The requests for information in a section on “Government of Israel Plans, Policies, and Actions” encompassed everything from public attitudes towards settlements to treatment of Israeli Arabs to military assessments of Syria.

Even more extensive requests for information on the Palestinians included assessments of their security capabilities, Islamic and terrorist activities and human rights issues.

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