Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Google and U.S. State Dept's Role in Egyptian Revolution

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Conservative pundit Glenn Beck has recently made assertions on his Fox News program that Google played a significant role in the Egyptian revolution. Naturally, he was labeled a conspiracy theorist and rumors spread that he advocated boycotting Google, though he has explicitly stated that it was not his intent to provoke a boycott against the company.

In his appearance on Bill OReillys Fox News program the O'Reilly Factor (left), Beck indicted not only Google, but the State Department:

There were two people that are instrumental in the revolution of Egypt. Both of them were vice presidents of Google. When we started to do our homework on this, we found that the State Department has worked with Google and youth groups I think its AYM youth group to organize this revolution. When you heard the president say it was just, you know, it was youth like you and its the new media, it is social networking that brought on the revolution, he was talking about Google.

In his usual skeptical fashion, OReilly questioned Becks statements, but Beck adamantly defended his claims. He also implicated George Soros in the process:

O'REILLY: But you believe [Google] has a relationship with the State Department?

BECK: No, I don't believe it. I've seen it.

O'REILLY: So you -- you know.

BECK: We know that they are working with Google. Google has admitted it.

O'REILLY: And what does the State Department want to accomplish through Google?

BECK: The revolution in Egypt. That's what they were working on, the revolution.

O'REILLY: They wanted Mubarak out of there?

BECK: Yes. And the -- there are, I think, four or five executives that have come and gone from this administration. Now, Schmidt, who is the CEO of Google, he said some rather spooky things over the years, which we have outlined on the program. But one of the things that has happened, he stepped down two weeks ago. And he just went to a board, if you will, that is -- also on the board is Van Jones and Drummond Pike from the Tides Foundation. Google has a very tight relationship with the Tides Foundation.

O'REILLY: That's Soros funded...

BECK: Soros helps fund that. He also has said...

O'REILLY: You think this guy is Schmidt is a far-left guy?

BECK: You can look at Google statements over the past, and you can see that they agree with George Soros in an open society, meaning a challenge not an open society like a transparent one but an actual borderless world.

O'REILLY: Right, OK, so you say that the guy who, up until a couple weeks ago, was running Google...

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...was in bed with Soros and all of this philosophically?

BECK: Philosophically. And also, there are four or five executives that are also in bed literally not literally but in bed or in the office with the president and working with the White House.

O'REILLY: Now, where does it go from here? So they influence what happened in Egypt. I think that's true.

BECK: It is.

O'REILLY: The Internet was absolutely used there.

BECK: Google, in their own words, Google, two vice presidents of Google actually helped foment revolution in Egypt, and they're proud of it.

A number of other media outlets have analyzed the role that Google played in the uprisings in Egypt, including AllVoices.com, Fox Business Network, and even the Huffington Post.

Similarly, in a recent interview, Prime Minister Vladimir Putins deputy Igor Sechin told the Wall Street Journal that he blamed Google for the trouble in Egypt. Look what they have done in Egypt, those highly-placed managers of Google, what manipulations of the energy of the people took place there, he observed.

Reuters later picked up the story from the Wall Street Journal and concluded:

Such strong comment from one of Putins most trusted deputies is a clear signal of growing concern among Russian hardliners about the role of the Internet in the unrest which has swept across the Arab world.

Sechin gave no further details on his concerns. Google executive, Wael Ghonim, became an unlikely hero of the uprising in Egypt which led to Mubaraks deposition.

While a number of sources connected Google to the Egyptian revolution, Beck was one of the first to reveal the role that the U.S. State Department played in the uprisings. Bunkerville at Word Press explains Becks findings, indicating that the State Department was holding meetings with Egyptian dissidents. Likewise, a full interview with Undersecretary James Glassman, which took place in 2008, reveals that the Egyptian uprisings may have been a work in progress as early as two years ago.

To boot, the Obama administration reportedly lifted a ban on Muslim scholar Professor Tariq Ramadan, a leading member of Europes Muslim Brotherhood branch, while Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her senior staff were meeting privately with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Washington, D.C.

Furthermore, the second Alliance for a Youth Movement (AYM) summit held in Mexico in 2009 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apparently targeted young people around the world and encouraged the use of social networking (with a particular emphasis on Twitter and Facebook) to effect change.

At the conference, Clinton said: Young people around the world are poised to lead this kind of innovative citizen empowerment, which is why the United States is supporting a summit here in Mexico of Alliance of Youth Movements, to connect up young people working to end violence throughout Latin America, whether its domestic violence or dating violence or lawlessness in the streets of your community, we must all take a stand against violence. And this is a new tool that will help.

As usual, skeptics will likely explain these connections away as mere coincidence.

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