Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Speaking of Leaks and Qatar

The latest email leak comes after US media reported on Saturday that emails, released by a group called "GlobalLeaks" - not affiliated with the software developer, GlobaLeaks - showed clear collaboration between [UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef al] Otaiba and a pro-Israel think-tank in an attempt to discredit Qatar.


The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf's Arab countries escalated after a recent hack of Qatar's state-run news agency. It has spiralled since.

Following the hack, comments falsely attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, were published.


David Hearst, the Editor in Chief of Middle East Eye, told Al Jazeera the emails laid bare the "mechanism" behind "a very high stakes campaign that is being launched against Qatar".

Otaiba is a well-known figure in US national security circles - he has been called "the most charming man in Washington" - and has participated in Pentagon strategy meetings at the invitation of defence officials.


Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi said those behind the leak told Huffington post that "their intention is to reveal the 'two-faced nature' of Emirati foreign policy".

He added that "from these emails it would appear that the ambassador to Washington doesn't have a very high opinion of Trump".


The Huffington Post said one of the emails showed Otaiba corresponding with Rob Malley, Obama's chief adviser on the Middle East, on election night.

"You got room for me in Abu Dhabi?" Malley wrote to Otaiba.

"This isn't funny," the UAE ambassador responded. "How/why is this happen. On what planet can Trump be a president."

In another exchange from 2016 with Judith Miller, a right-wing US commentator who reportedly sent Otaiba a series of tweets from a Saudi whistle-blower that criticised Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE diplomat said "the 7 minutes I spent reading this was the equivalent of watching 7 minutes of Donald Trump. A waste of my time."


[Editor in Chief, David] Hearst, of the Middle East Eye, told Al Jazeera he believed the leaked emails showed a clear "agenda" by ruling figures in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

They have "seized" on Donald Trump's presidency in the US, "and now they're using him as a way of getting the job done, which includes getting rid of Al Jazeera... and also muffling Qatar".

Wait until he hears what the UAE ambassador said about him.  There'll be a new ambassador shortly.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.


Trump has gone Rogue on Qatar, according to the Pentagon.

UPDATE 8/30:

Scathing article on Otaiba.

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