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Jordan: Blogger Exposes a State Secret

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Afghanistan, Jordan, International Relations, War & Conflict

Jordanian blogger Rami Abdelrahman [1] has blogged about a closely guarded secret about his government's involvement in the war on Afghanistan – and is getting unwelcome attention from the intelligence service.

It all started a few days ago, when the global journalist and media researcher who lives in Sweden, posted [2] and commented on an excerpt from the Atlantic [3], which refers to a newly declassified NATO documents which reveals the extent of Jordan's involvement in the “war on terror.”

The document, according to the Atlantic:

…includes Jordan as being among the countries that are part of the international forces in Afghanistan, but it also includes the notice that Jordan doesn't want its name in the public domain, fearing the internal repercussions

The other Arab country named in the document is the United Arab Emirates.

Abdelrahman notes:

The kind of cooperation that has been long considered a national “secret,” by demand of the Jordanian government, but is well known to other partners involved.

On the not so secret “secret,” he wonders:

Wouldn't the NATO and its Middle Eastern allies do better if they were more transparent to their citizens about deals that would eventually be exposed? Why is there such need to hide, providing much space for opposition to fabricate stories and conspiracy theories and sell it cheap to the masses? Why leave us all, global citizens, resort to arbitrary interpretation, just when the need for public support is paramount? Anyone?

The next day, Abdelrahman follows up with another post [4], which includes a link to a PDF file of the declassified document “Jordan does not want to go public about.” The file is hosted on Wikileaks [5], a website that publishes anonymous submissions of sensitive documents [6].


He notes:

I am publishing this just to be on the safe legal side, and to maintain the credibility of this blog and my reputation as a journalist, after publishing two days ago a blog post about Jordan keeping its participation from the international force in Afghanistan a secret to its own citizens. The original blog post can be found here [2].

Abdelrahman also tells us about some unwelcome visitors found lurking around his blog after his initial post:

Interestingly, analyzing readership statistics and domain addresses for those who monitored the blog, I found some interesting readers:

US Army Information Systems Engineering Command, (Headquarters Usaisc), visited 3 times on 24th March 2009, at 13:50:24, 13:50:38 and 13:51:22.

Royal Jordanian Hashemite Court (Rhc) visited once on 24th March 2009, 15:37:29

Jordanian Intelligence Department (gid.gov.jo) visited 12times (So far) on 24th March 2009 between 17:42:27, and 18:37

Jordanian Intelligence Department (gid.gov.jo) visited 12times (So far) on 24th March 2009 between 17:42:27, and 18:37:32

….among many other unique visitors between yesterday and today. I find it perplexing that no one leaves an official comment to explain, why does Jordan want to keep this a secret, when Jordanians understand and accept its alliances