WikiLeaks Cable: US Sought Data on Israelis, Palestinians

Rice Sought 'Complete Overview' of Israeli Communication Systems

Adding to the evidence that the State Department has been behaving more as an espionage organization than a diplomatic one, a new WikiLeaks cable from 2008 revealed then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seeking the collection of broad data on Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The cable sought a complete overview on the Israeli government’s communications system, including their encrypted communications. It also sought to collect financial and biometric data on Palestinian leaders.

The later echoes one of the first big scandals of WikiLeaks’ Cablegate, when it was revealed that Hillary Clinton ordered the current State Department to try to steal financial and biometric data from top UN officials, despite clear bans against doing so in both US and international law.

Though it would be unsurprising to learn that the US, with its massive spying apparatus, is trying to obtain all of this information, it is extremely concerning to learn that both the Bush and Obama Administrations have been using the State Department to collect it. This only adds to the concerns surrounding efforts to conduct “mass surveillance” out of embassies in Western Europe. If US embassies are nothing more than a den of spies, it makes it all the more difficult for nations to justify hosting them, and all the more difficult for Americans to use them as they were supposed to be used, for diplomatic representation, without sparking concern about untoward activities.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.