Quantcast

WikiLeaks Is Back! With Millions of Global Intelligence E-mails | The Nation

  •  
Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

WikiLeaks Is Back! With Millions of Global Intelligence E-mails

NOTE: see 8:30 pm Sunday entry below for main story. Greg Mitchell is the author of The Age of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning.

--GO HERE FOR TUESDAY's WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS AND UPDATE ON THE "GLOBAL INTEL" FILES

5:25 Good Mother Jones backgrounder on Stratfor and what the emails reveal about it (and its ambitions) so far. And David Corn now with piece raising question of whether Statfor got access to some materials seized in raid that killed bin Laden.  Quotes from emails.  Asks: "Has Stratfor, which maintains various contracts with the Defense Department and other federal agencies, penetrated the US intelligence establishment for its own benefit?:

5:15  Cole Stryker at Salon:   WikiLeaks enters its "new phase" by partnering with Anonymous ushering in new era for "hacktivism."  Excerpt:  "This is huge; it’s the first time Anonymous has ever cooperated with an aboveground entity, lending an unprecedented amount of political legitimacy to the often inscrutable group. But why? What do these strange bedfellows have to gain from collaboration? With this new collaboration, Anonymous has obtained new credibility, and WikiLeaks has obtained a hugely valuable new source. This potentially powerful alliance could point to the future of the leak economy, and this awkward symbiosis provides each party with exactly what they need to move forward. A new age of transparency activism may have just begun."

4:10  Federal Judge: Halliburton may have set me up in double sex case.

3:15 InfoWorld headline: "Extremely Hacked and Incredibly Dense."

3:10 The Telegraph:  Email finds Stratfor guy claiming Osama bin Laden was very much in steady contact wtih Pakistan spy agency.

3:00 Talking Points Memo piece not impressed by news coming out of the emails so far.  And Wired's @DangerRoom feed joked: "Wow, these emails are really hot stuff. Next up: George Friedman's coveted tapioca pudding recipe." That's Friedman, at left.

1:40 Late last night several people of Twitter posted “news“ that the CEO of Stratfor had resigned, and linked to his email announcing such posted at Pastebin. Unlike many others I did not link to it or mention it here, as it looked suspect. Now Andy Greenberg at Forbes (he has followed WikiLeaks closely since 2010) writes that it is almost indeed a hoax. But who knows.

1:20 Words of warning from reliable Trevor Timm @WLLegal: “These emails read like STRATFOR is full of serial exaggerators & bullshit artists. Should we really trust any rumors in them w/o 2nd source?” He also points out: “SCOTUS cases saying publishing stolen info is OK under 1st Amd: Bartnicki v. Hopper, Landmark Communications v. VA, Florida Star v. BJF.”

12:45 Fleeting mentions suggest Israelis on the ground helped wreck Iran’s nuclear infrastructure some time ago. Who knows if credible.

12:10 E-mail on the Mossad in Israel allegedly “contracting” or sub-contracting “hits” on Iranian physicists. etc…. WL Central with key links on the overall Stratfor release.

11:40 @OccupyWallStNYC asking folks to search the emails for OWS references—they’ve found only one not important one so far… The Atlantic Wire notes media partners this time much smaller than in past—but still wide group of twenty-five. Key is, what are they actually planning to do with the files? McClatchy, for example, quiet so far.

11:25 Dow, implicated re Bhopal activists, just released response: “Major companies, including Dow, are often required to take appropriate action to protect their people and safeguard their facilities around the world from those who would threaten, disrupt and misrepresent the company and its employees. Dow takes the obligations to ensure the safety of its people and facilities seriously and will continue to do so within the bounds of the law. We are strong proponents of free speech and encourage public debate on important issues. However, while we have not yet seen the specific documents in question, the theft of any private documents cannot be condoned.”

10:40 Report on the Anonymous hack from this past December.

 

10:25 Fun stuff here: In email, Stratfor analyst quotes lengthy Forbes article by Andy Greenberg on companies post-WikiLeaks looking to pay to upgrade security, and comments: “I was wondering if it was possible for us to get some of that leak-focused’ gravy train.” Now Stratfor itself victim of “leak,” or more likely, “hack.”

9:35 One summary of the WikiLeaks press conf today. I missed Assange comparing Stratfor to Enron. Refuses to name source.

9:30 TV report from India and web story on Dow hiring Stratfor to spy on Bhopal activists, which emerged in e-mails last night…

8:55 Glenn Greenwald tweets: “Why should WikiLeaks be responsible for how its source got materials? Are the NYT and other papers responsible for their source’s actions?” …As I noted last night: We now mark one-week anniversary of longtime Assange antagonist, Bill Keller of NYT, declaring WikiLeaks dead.

8:50 WikiLeaks presser at Frontline Club, which just ended, being replayed below (see 7:30 entry)… McClatchy listed as media “partner” on Stratfor release but nothing major from them yet in coverage.

8:35 The Guardian, former WikiLeaks partner, covers new release… Notes that afterAnonymous did hack in December, the paper analyzed e-mail accounts at Stratfor and found there over 200 UK military named and 242 NATO officials.

8:30 Stratfor exec Fred Burton (Fred’s Rule #2): “Admit nothing, deny everything and make counter-accusations”… Assanage points out that giant problem for Stratfor is—it’s a “security” firm that allowed itself to get massively hacked… Claims Friedman, Stratfor’s CEO, talks about “sexual, psychological, and financial control” in one of his e-mails.

8:15 Assange at press conference (see live feed below): a former Goldman director joined Stratfor and worked with Stratfor to make an investment fund while still at Goldman. Says does not know if any Goldman involvement at all.

7:55 Assange: Coca-Cola hired Stratfor to gather info on PETA activists… Assange says Stratfor newsletter goes to 300,000… Claims Reuters in a partner… Says found 4000 emails on WikiLeaks, embargoed now, will soon release.

7:30 Assange press conference at Frontline Club in London. Watch live:

7:25 Stratfor e-mails look at GOP candidates for president—and a certain “biilionaire” who funded Obama big who quickly grew disenchanted (Soros?).

12:55 Anonymous (@AnonOps) tweets: “Goldman Sachs will be exposed in just a few hours. Stay tuned.”

12:45 This Stratfor “Glossary” is must reading. Samples: “ATF Alcohol Tobacco and Fire Arms. Rednecks with a license to kill. Never, ever, ever ask for their help on anything…. Brief the Times When the Briefer has obtained zero valuable intelligence from analysis, he finds something in the inside of the morning paper, powers up a view graph, and ‘Briefs the Times.’ Customers are frequently impressed. It’s a hoot…. Duplicitous little bastards Israeli Intelligence.”

12:30 Here’s Stratfor’s full statement on “illegal” released of the hacked e-mails. Claims some could be forged, some real, will comment on neither.

12:20 Andy Greenberg of Forbes, longtime WikIleaks watcher, takes look here, and explores Anonymous link.

12:10 Another revealing e-mail about discussion with Israeli Defense Force source (among other things, guy is upset Obama “abandoned” Mubarak)… Jason Leopold tweeting out some good nuggets, here on Israelis and Hugo Chávez.

12:05 am Wired covers the big release, and looks at the “odd” coupling with Anonymous.

SUNDAY

11:55 PM Interesting e-mails on Israel and iran and nuclear threat and Gaza and more.

11:35 The YesMen weigh in with their take. “The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs, also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)”

11:00 WikiLeaks posts long list of media orgs around world that gave Stratfor info.

10:45 And now e-mails written by Karl Rove.

9:50 Fascinating e-mails on McCain deciding to not press fraud claims on election night 2008. And this: “Curiously, there are whispers of McCain being set up by the Cheney/Bush crowd, because McCain was never liked by either. Some are shocked he did so well. Coupled with serious errors in tactics. Some made no sense. For example, the Hispanics in Florida loved Palin but his camp would never send her there when easy money was to be had. My guy said Rove and company want to bring in someone they can control next go around. McCain was not controllable. Jeb Bush’s name is being discussed. Source advised Rick Davis was an arsehole and McCain’s econ team had no clue, trusting in academics vice business-people. “

9:30 It was just six days ago that NYT’s Bill Keller declared WikiLeaks dead… Follow @wikileaks feed for updates.

9:00 Claim of Wachovia laundering $70 billion in Mexican drug cartel money… Also, WikiLeaks has released names of media partners. No New York Times or Guardian this time (and no wonder), but McClatchy, Rolling Stone, The Yes Men, many abroad. WikiLeaks official feed tweets: “Over 25 media organizations working in silence for months ahead of tomorrow. How´s that for self discipline? Good work everyone”… Early e-mails re: Sweden draw claims of Assange getting back at government there.

8:30 We learned some time ago that the Stratfor emails were hacked, likely by folks associated with Anonymous, but no one knew that they would emerge tonight via long-dormant WikiLeaks. Now millions ready to be released. Here is the announcement on their site.

Now we have this report from Reuters, more to come, so stay tuned.

Reuters: “The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said it would begin publishing more than five million emails on Monday from a US-based global security think tank, apparently obtained by hackers. In its latest high-profile disclosure, WikiLeaks said in a statement it had acquired access to a vast haul of internal and external correspondence of Strategic Forecasting Inc (Stratfor), based in Austin Texas.

“Stratfor describes itself as a subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis with an intelligence-based approach to gathering information.

“WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange told Reuters: ‘Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations, and journalists. What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organisations fighting for a just cause.’

“Stratfor’s chief executive officer and founder, George Friedman warned on Jan. 11 that emails had been stolen but said the thieves would be hard pressed to find anything significant.”

From the WikiLeaks site: “The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.

“The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients. For example, Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the ‘Yes Men’, for the US chemical giant Dow Chemical. The activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. The disaster led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.”

And more from WikiLeaks: “Like WikiLeaks’ diplomatic cables, much of the significance of the emails will be revealed over the coming weeks, as our coalition and the public search through them and discover connections. Readers will find that whereas large numbers of Stratfor’s subscribers and clients work in the US military and intelligence agencies, Stratfor gave a complimentary membership to the controversial Pakistan general Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack on international forces in Afghanistan in 2006. Readers will discover Stratfor’s internal email classification system that codes correspondence according to categories such as ’alpha’, ’tactical’ and ’secure’. The correspondence also contains code names for people of particular interest such as ’Izzies’ (members of Hezbollah), or ’Adogg’ (Mahmoud Ahmedinejad).

“Stratfor did secret deals with dozens of media organisations and journalists—from Reuters to the Kiev Post. The list of Stratfor’s ‘Confederation Partners’, whom Stratfor internally referred to as its ‘Confed Fuck House’ are included in the release. While it is acceptable for journalists to swap information or be paid by other media organisations, because Stratfor is a private intelligence organisation that services governments and private clients these relationships are corrupt or corrupting.”

WikiLeaks has also obtained Stratfor’s list of informants and, in many cases, records of its payoffs, including $1,200 a month paid to the informant “Geronimo,” handled by Stratfor’s Former State Department agent Fred Burton.

Greg Mitchell is the author of The Age of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, and nearly a dozen other books, including the latest, Journeys With Beethoven.

 

 

 

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.