Clinton Emails Show State Department’s Close Relationship With Google

CBS | 21 March 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The latest release of emails sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server reveals a close relationship between Google and the State Department.

A 2012 email recently uploaded onto Wikileaks’ searchable archive came from Google Ideas director Jared Cohen, who formerly worked as an advisor to Secretary Clinton, indicates that Google wanted to help bolster support for those who defected from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military.

It also showed that before launching a “defection tracker” Cohen wanted the State Department to weigh in on the idea and potentially provide feedback.

In the July 25, 2012 email that was sent by Cohen to State Department officials William Burns, Jacob Sullivan and Alec Ross, before being forwarded from Sullivan to Clinton later that day, stated:

“…my team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from. Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition… I’ve attached a few visuals that show what the tool will look like. Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything else you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact. Thanks, Jared”

The full email can be read here.

Cohen, who is not only the director and founder of Google Ideas but an advisor to the executive chairman at Alphabet Inc., and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, previously served as a member of the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, now a U.S. presidential candidate, has a page on her website, hillaryclinton.com addressing questions regarding the released emails, here.

The Wikileaks site states that it has made searchable “30,322 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State… from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014,” and states that the emails were made available to Wikileaks by the U.S. State Department as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.

A message from CBS requesting comment from Cohen regarding the email and defection tracker was not immediately returned.

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