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What's Next for the WikiLeaks 'Global Intel' Files: Feb. 28 Updates | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

What's Next for the WikiLeaks 'Global Intel' Files: Feb. 28 Updates

NOTE: Greg Mitchell live-blogged WikiLeaks daily from November 2010 to May 2011.  He has live-blogged this week starting Sunday night.  He is the author of The Age of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning

----Go HERE for the Wednesday edition of this WikiLeaks blog.

10:30  From my assistant, Elizabeth Whitman:  Stratfor bills itself as a global intelligence company. But its glossary of intelligence terms, published by Wikileaks, suggests that the intelligence its clients receive may at times be no more than well spun "shit," in Stratfor's own words. Below are a couple of excerpts from the glossary that have not gotten as much attention as others. They highlight the company's profit-driven nature at the expense of accurate intelligence, but at the same time, they refer disparagingly to customers' own intelligence.

Circle Jerk: Analyst’s Disease. “A” releases a bit of dubious information.  “B” reads the claim and puts it in his report.  “A” reads the information in B’s report and decides that his information may actually be true. “C” picks up “A’s” and “B’s” reports and expands on it creatively.  “A” and “B” now both believe their original piece of bullshit is absolutely true. Actually, there’s not a word of truth to any of it. IT’S A CIRCLE JERK.

Debriefing the Customer: Customers usually have no idea what they really need... Debriefing the customer is the start of any operation. Debriefing the door keeper is kissing your sister. Deciding not to debrief the customeris called “contract cancellation.” If the customer doesn’t want to be debriefed, get a big up front payment—and make sure the check clears.

7:50 Ynet:  Based on emails, Russia and Israel swapped access codes, with Russia giviing Israle does for weapons sold to Iran.... @WikiLeaks tweets:  "We are so confident about the veracity of our Stratfor release we will give US $50,000 to anyone who can show otherwise."

7:20 Finally, a big news break from one of WikiLeaks' U.S. news partners, Rolling Stone, as Michael Hastings reveals emails show Homeland Security (as long rumored) spied on Occupy Wall St.  Five-page report from last October. "It’s never a good thing to see a government agency talk in secret about the need to “control protestors” – especially when that agency is charged with protecting the homeland against terrorists, not nonviolent demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceable dissent." Here's link to that five-page report.

7:00 From The Telegraph: a top Stratfor exec bragged to ties to "former CIA cronies." 

6:00 Center for Constitutional Rights condemns rumored "sealed indictment" of Assange.

5:55 Joshua Foust at PBS: Stratfor files "much ado about nothing. " And wonders what the hell Assange is up to. "WikiLeaks doesn’t do much to clarify the situation when it uses loaded terms to describe fairly routine tradecraft."

4:50 Good piece at CNN's Security Clearance blog.  "Some of the e-mails raise questions about the extent to which Stratfor analysts go in gathering information. In some of the juicier personal e-mails between colleagues, one seemingly jokingly implies that a female employee was sleeping with her sources in order to get information. But another e-mail that appears to be from Friedman took a much more serious tone when discussing how to get information from an Israeli intelligence informant.".... Rachel Marsden at Chicago Tribune on "frightening view" of U.S. intelligence revealed in emails.

4:20 Daily Beast:  Stratfor release produces....caution. "Some people in the intelligence community say they are trying to beef up their security in the wake of the Stratfor scandal, but nearly everyone agrees that the best way to keep things safe is an old-fashioned one: watch what you write. Then you can 'make sure it doesn’t walk out the door or get hacked,' said the senior law-enforcement official."

4:10 Swedish Foreign MInister goes on TV to attack Assange....

1:35 WikiLeaks has now issued lengthy press release on rumored secret U.S. indictment of Assange, who comments: "Secret Grand Juries with secret indictments are apparently Eric Holder’s preferred method of dealing with publishers who hold his administration to account. Eric Holder has betrayed the legacy of Madison and Jefferson. He should drop the case or resign. Should he continue, the Obama administration may not — Democrats and Republicans alike believe in the right to tell the truth."  Michael Hastings at Rolling Stone just filed this on the Stratfor release and the possible indictment.

1:30  Official @WikiLeaks feed quotes from another email:  "How does Stratfor feel about Assange and Anonymous? 'These assholes should get the death sentence, along with their hero Julian Assange.'”

12:35 This morning's Democracy Now! segment with a WikiLeaks and a Yes Men spokesmen.

11:35  Stratfor VP on Assange: “Move him from country to country to face various charges for the next 25 years…. Bankrupt the arsehole first, ruin his life. Give him 7-12 yrs for conspiracy.”

11:00  US Justice Dept. refuses to confirm or deny report of secret indictment of Assange…. WikiLeaks starts releasing e-mails re Assange, here’s one on the Manning case.

9:30  The official @WikiLeaks feed says that due to “embargo breach” by Fairfax all of the 4000 e-mails that relate to Assange or WikiLeaks may be released today by its twenty-five media partners instead of emerging slowly.

8:55  The Age in Australia claims Stratfor email reveals that US plans to charge Assange and already has a sealed indictment—but like so much else in the files there’s no way to know how credible. Sydney newspaper also covers.

8:40  Russia blasts e-mail claims re: “Madman’s ravings.”

8:00  Still have not seen any special coverage from McClatchy, the most mainstream of WikiLeaks “partners” on the new release, just typical coverage such as this report in Miami Herald on the dispute among doctors about the health of Hugo Chávez, also covered elsewhere.

12:30  Writer for Haaretz latest to call release a “letdown” and question Assange’s “motives.”

12:20  Shea Morenz, now infamous as Goldman Sachs schemer in the e-mails (see a couple items below) was top college QB at Texas in the 1990s and also picked in first round by New York Yankees and made it to AAA. And he’s the great-grandson of hockey great Howie Morenz. Wikipedia entry.

12:15  If you’ve missed today’s news that Bradley Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize—along with over 200 others.

12:05 am  Love this headline from Fortune (via CNN: “WikILeaks 2.0: Time To Be Afraid?” Opens: “It’s becoming clear that this data dump could have a much larger impact than WikiLeaks’ earlier publication of thousands of diplomatic cables. Those cables revealed, for the most part, mere gossip and mundane, low-level chatter. But the Stratfor emails could be explosive for companies, governments and individuals around the world, not least for Stratfor itself. Or they might not. At the very least, this batch of data seems far more interesting.”

From late Monday.

Summary by my former assistant on all matter WikiLeaks, Kevin Gosztola, on first day of Global Intel releases. Includes: “Former Goldman Sachs managing director Shea Morenz to start a hedge fund called StratCap. The idea, which Morenz came up with, was that the company would ‘trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like.’ Morenz invested more than $4 million and joined Stratfor’s board of directors.”

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 e-mails. Asks: “Has Stratfor, which maintains various contracts with the Defense Department and other federal agencies, penetrated the US intelligence establishment for its own benefit?:

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.”

Federal Judge: Halliburton may have set me up in double sex case….. InfoWorld headline: “Extremely Hacked and Incredibly Dense”… The Telegraph: Email finds Stratfor guy claiming Osama bin Laden was very much in steady contact wtih Pakistan spy agency.

Talking Points Memo piece not impressed by news coming out of the e-mails 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.

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.”

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.

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