What About Security for the Arabs ...
from the Palestinian Authority — and the CIA?

Summary ... Although the United States, through the use of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been training a terrorist army (which it prefers to call a "security force") whose stated goal is to protect the Arab people inside Palestinian Authority (PA/PLO)-occupied territories from outside terrorist groups (e.g., Hamas), it seems in actuality that it has produced a well-trained, well-equipped terrorist army which is reaping and sowing the very terrorism (beatings, torture, death) it was designed to put an end to. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, being that, one, it is seeded with known terrorists and, two, many Israeli-related news outlets, e.g., JINSA, Israel Resource Review, and ENS to name a few, have reported on this from its inception. And now it has come to fruition, and, it would seem, with the blessing of the CIA.

Normally, JINSA concerns itself primarily with security for Israel, and we have spent some time worrying about the future of the Palestinian National Security Force (NSF) armed and trained by a series of American generals. Today, however, we are concerned with the right of Palestinians [sic] to be secure from Palestinians — specifically from Palestinian security agencies funded by the United States and working in cooperation with the CIA .

A Palestinian source cited by Middle East Newsline (MENL) said U.S. intelligence has maintained its close ties with [Palestinian Authority (PA/PLO)] General Intelligence Service (GIS) and the [PA/PLO] Preventive Security Apparatus (PSA) despite reports of torture from international agencies and reports that several detainees have died in custody. And despite the Obama administration's ban on "abusive interrogation" methods by American personnel. Up to 1,000 Palestinians have been jailed during 2010. Western diplomats confirmed CIA support of the two security services and the CIA does not deny it, although in 2009 a CIA spokesman did deny a supervisory role. "The notion that this agency somehow runs other intelligence services ... is simply wrong," he said in the Guardian (UK) article. "The CIA ... only supports, and is interested in, lawful methods that produce sound intelligence."

We would hope so.

But in October, Human Rights Watch (normally more interested in alleged Israeli violations) announced its concern for two specific cases of possible torture by the PSA and said those were among more than 100 allegations of torture registered this year with the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), the official Palestinian human rights ombudsman, against security services in the West Bank [sic]. "The reports of torture by Palestinian security services keep rolling in," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch in an article on its website. "President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad are well aware of the situation."

And yet, the United States maintains its funding and support for the GIS and PSA.

As U.S. Security Coordinator for the NSF, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton kept an arms length from the other security services, preferring to think of his forces as an army fighting "terrorism" in cooperation with the IDF. And indeed, the Palestinian Authority (PA) force is more than willing to hunt and kill people they say are Hamas. But sometimes they arrest people and send them off to ... well, to whom, and for what? To the intelligence services for interrogation? And who says they are all Hamas?

There is no neat distinction between the PA army and the PA intelligence services. And there is no way for the United States to keep its hands clean on this. What was that we wrote about Henry Kissinger? His policy is policy. "The United States remains loath to judge the internal affairs of others lest they be uncooperative on what we consider 'bigger' and 'more important' policy matters."

Matters like the establishment of Palestine in the time frame desired by Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama.

American administrations used to be clear that any independent or semi-independent Palestine had to be democratic and tolerant, and could not pose a threat to our friend and ally Israel. Now it appears that the Obama administration favors one that not only threatens Israel, but threatens its own people as well. [Over the years, a majority of Israeli Arabs have stated they would rather live under Israeli rule than under that of the PA/PLO—ed]

[Editor's note: At a May 2009 lecture in Washington, Dayton indicated that if Israel does not surrender Judea and Samaria to the PA/PLO within two years, the Fatah forces (which are led by Western-supported PA/PLO President Mahmoud Abbas) he and his fellow US officers are currently training could easily turn their guns on the Israelis. Following these remarks, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates extended Dayton's tour of duty for an additional two years and gave him the added responsibility of serving as deputy to Obama's Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell. Source: "IDF Warns It Could Be Facing US-Trained PA/PLO Army," ENS, May 29, 2010.]

[ The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) | Published: December 15, 2010 ]

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