CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

1999 - 2001

Follow-on Reportage on CIA Monitoring of the Israeli-Palestinian Security Agreement

Materials arranged chronologically.

Sands, David R. "Barak Wants CIA Out of West Bank, Gaza." Washington Times, 6 Aug. 1999. [http://www.washtimes.com]

"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak ... is pressing to end the CIA's controversial role as security watchdog on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mr. Barak ... urged U.S. officials during a visit last month to consider scaling back the CIA's security-monitoring role, established under the U.S.-brokered Wye River agreement.... A reduced CIA role fits into Mr. Barak's larger strategy of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, with the United States acting less as an mediator and more as a 'facilitator.'"

Rees, Matt. "Barak to CIA: Butt Out." Newsweek International, 23 Aug. 1999. [http:// newsweek.com]

"CIA training and intelligence [has] helped the Palestinian Authority wage a more effective counterterror campaign.... Still, [Israeli Prime Minister] Barak's advisers think the agency's involvement is not helping the peace process. Israeli analysts argue that winning the CIA's approval has only made Arafat more confident and less open to compromise.... The Clinton administration is lobbying Barak to let the CIA monitors stay, but it's a tough sell."

Loeb, Vernon. "IntelligenCIA: Inside Information." Washington Post, 4 Oct. 1999. [http:// www.washingtonpost.com]

Frank Anderson, former chief of the CIA's Near East Division, "told the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine in a September speech" that "the agency's role in the Middle East peace process has likely diminished since the election of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak but is 'certainly not going to go away' as Israel and the Palestinian Authority try to complete a land-for-peace accord."

Sipress, Alan, and Vernon Loeb. "Bush Ends CIA's Role as Middle East Broker." Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2001, A25. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to a senior administration official on 21 March 2001, President George W. Bush has ended "the CIA's high-profile role as a broker between Israeli and Palestinian security services." The CIA's "exceptional role ... has included passing intelligence information and complaints, pressing for closer coordination and arbitrating disputes over how to address specific threats.... But the agency's involvement had been waning even before the Bush administration decided to end it." Intelligence officials "say they are pleased to be relieved of the task."

Barber, Ben. "CIA Rejoins Mideast Peace Bid." Washington Times, 6 Jun. 2001. [http://www.washtimes.com]

On 5 June 2001, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher announced that DCI George J. Tenet will leave for the Middle East on 6 June 2001 "to meet with Israeli and Palestinian security officials.... Tenet's new mission is to report on the security situation and to encourage the two sides to cooperate on ending violence." See also, Jane Perlez, "C.I.A. Director Is Going to Israel in Effort to Maintain Calm," New York Times, 6 Jun. 2001.

Schneider, Howard, and Lee Hockstader. "Mideast Truce Begins on Tentative Footing." Washington Post, 14 Jun. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"After five days of talks and some tense midnight brinkmanship, CIA Director George J. Tenet left for Washington [on 13 June 2001] with Israeli and Palestinian authorities each promising to end the clashes that have gone on for more than eight months.... Hailed by President Bush, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and other international figures as a potential breakthrough, the cease-fire worked out by Tenet remains a work in progress, not a formal signed agreement."

Hockstader, Lee. "U.S. Role as Mideast Mediator Fades to a Whisper." Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"As referee and mediator of the weekly meetings of Israeli and Palestinian security czars, the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv is a careful planner and a gracious host.... But ... he ... has lately been unable to coax the two sides toward a cordial entente. Some of the sessions have degenerated into shouting matches..., according to interviews with participants and Israeli media reports.... The rapid souring of the security meetings ... reflects the shrinking role of American diplomacy in the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

 

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