Robert Ford, the current U.S. ambassador to Syria and former ambassador to Algeria (2006-8), had an interesting exchange with Algerian journalist Mohamed Tamalt after an article he wrote on the use of an ill child for PR purposes. The Arab Digest has published it below:
By Mohamed Tamalt
Mr Ford, there is no need to introduce myself as you know me well. A decade and a half ago when you were a first secretary, a journalist called Khaled Guerdjouma was arrested by the Algerian security services at the end of one of his regular briefings with you. You also helped Khaled Guerdjouma, who had and may still have strong links and contacts with the Algerian terrorist groups, to obtain two US visas: one to visit the USA in a program sponsored by the state department and another to live there as a refugee for several years.
You have been accused by prominent Iraqi public figures of having regular contacts with members of Sunni and Shia militias and armed groups (some are resistance, others are terrorists). You were also warned by the Algerian ministry of foreign affairs when you came back as an ambassador to stop your regular talks with the opposition which focused on other issues then what diplomats should deal with.
My question is: are you a diplomat or a CIA agent?
Robert Ford's First response:
Your articles lack objectivity. For example, in the article about the unfortunate Mounib child, you didn’t mention that the Algerian family came to us and asked the U.S. Embassy for help with the transport to the United States – it was their original request to us for help with an airplane. I had to justify to the United States government why it should pay for an airplane. Strange that you left that part out.
And your articles that suggest that I am some kind of CIA agent are not only completely wrong but they are insulting. My biographic information is abundantly available even on the internet if you took the time to do such basic research.
I would appreciate your removing my email address from your email distribution list.