1164190_GOOGLE Loose Canon Bound for Turkey & UAE (SENSITIVE - DO NOT FORWARD)

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Al-Akhbar Management

Date 2011-03-10 16:52:45
From [email protected]
To [email protected]
Others MessageId: <[email protected]>
InReplyTo: [email protected]
Text
** A note from a senior GOOGLE Exec. Pls protect the origin. The msg
pertains to Jared Cohen's plans to travel to Turkey and UAE, on the
heals of his antics in Egypt and Tunisia. As you can see, there are
folks @ GOOGLE not happy w/his actions.....

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I'm committed to helping Jared do his job and making Google an active participant in the four priority areas for Google Ideas. We do have concerns regarding his travel there. Right now Jared is a lightning rod (said lovingly). His "baggage" as a U.S. State Dept policymaker, his research and publications on Muslim extremists and youth movements and his presence in Egypt just as the uprising started presents a unique convergence.

I'd put them in several buckets:

1. Following Egypt and the "baggage" Jared carries his engagement with people in the youth movements focused on Iran may be viewed as an instigator. There is potential risk to Google's brand and each situation further perpetuates the image of Jared as a spy or agent of the U.S (or Israeli) Gov't. He will be receiving a lot of attention around the "Formers" event just as he will make this trip so his profile will be very high.
2. There is a possibility, although we believe small right now, that Jared could get detained by one of the governments who sees him as a threat to their power and stability.
3. There is potential for harm to the people who meet with Jared. While the location of the meeting is outside Iran we should not discount the extent of surveillance and data gathering efforts by those regimes. The identification of Jared's associates may result in detainment of them or their families.

Our recommendation is that Jared take a lower profile on this specific trip and let time pass before being visible and associated with people known by their states to be active in challenging repressive societies. We can talk Friday by phone if that's convenient.

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