Massive Leak Rveals Criminality, Paranoia Among Corporate Titans

Feb. 27, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MASSIVE LEAK REVEALS CRIMINALITY, PARANOIA AMONG CORPORATE TITANS
Dow pays "strategic intelligence" firm to spy on Yes Men and grassroots activists. Takeaway: movement is on the right track!

WikiLeaks begins to publish today (http://wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.html) over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs (see below), also include several discussions (http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/releasedate/2012-02-27-00-stratford-monitor...) 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.)

Many of the Bhopal-related emails, addressed from Stratfor to Dow and Union Carbide public relations directors, reveal concern that, in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, the Bhopal issue might be expanded into an effective systemic critique of corporate rule, and speculate at length about why this hasn't yet happened—providing a fascinating window onto what at least some corporate types fear most from activists.

"[Bhopal activists] have made a slight nod toward expanded activity, but never followed through on it—the idea of 'other Bhopals' that were the fault of Dow or others," mused Joseph de Feo, who is listed in one online source as a "Briefer" for Stratfor.

"Maybe the Yes Men were the pinnacle. They made an argument in their way on their terms—that this is a corporate problem and a part of the a [sic] larger whole," wrote Kathleen Morson, Stratfor's Director of Policy Analysis.

"With less than a month to go [until the 25th anniversary], you'd think that the major players—especially Amnesty—would have branched out from Bhopal to make a broader set of issues. I don't see any evidence of it," wrote Bart Mongoven, Stratfor's Vice President, in November 2004. "If they can't manage to use the 25th anniversary to broaden the issue, they probably won't be able to."

Mongoven even speculates on coordination between various activist campaigns that had nothing to do with each other. "The Chevron campaign [in Ecuador, http://yeslab.org/project/chevron] is remarkably similar [to the Dow campaign] in its unrealistic demand. Is it a follow up or an admission that the first thrust failed? Am I missing a node of activity or a major campaign that is to come? Has the Dow campaign been more successful than I think?" It's almost as if Mongoven assumes the two campaigns were directed from the same central activist headquarters.

Just as Wall Street has at times let slip their fear (http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/11/21/373143/washington-lobbyists-...) of the Occupy Wall Street movement, these leaks seem to show that corporate power is most afraid of whatever reveals "the larger whole" and "broader issues," i.e. whatever brings systemic criminal behavior to light. "Systemic critique could lead to policy changes that would challenge corporate power and profits in a really major way," noted Joseph Huff-Hannon, recently-promoted Director of Policy Analysis for the Yes Lab (http://www.yeslab.org/).

Among the millions of other leaked Stratfor emails are some that reveal dubious financial practices, including an apparent insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz, who joined Stratfor's board of directors and invested "substantially" more than $4 million in the scheme, called StratCap. "What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor's intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments," wrote Stratfor CEO George Friedman in September 2011. StratCap was designed through a complex offshore share structure to appear legally independent, but Friedman assured Stratfor staff otherwise: "Do not think of StratCap as an outside organisation. It will be integral... It will be useful to you... We are already working on mock portfolios and trades." (StratCap has been due to launch in 2012, though that could now change.)

Other emails show Stratfor techniques of a truly creepy Spy vs. Spy sort: "[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control," wrote CEO Friedman recently to an employee, Reva Bhalla, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on Chavez's cancer. (Stratfor's "confidential intelligence services" clients include, besides Dow and Union Carbide, the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines, the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon.)

Perhaps most entertainingly of all, the email trove reveals that Stratfor's "Confederation Partners"—an unethical alliance between Stratfor and a number of mainstream journalists—are referred to informally within Stratfor as its "Confed Fuck House." (Another discovery: Coca Cola was spying on PETA. More such gems are sure to surface as operatives sift through the 5.5 million emails.)

A number of the remaining Yes Men-related emails take the form of reports on public appearances by the Yes Men, such as one that describes one audience comprised of "art students on class assignments and free entertainment." Another notes that "The Yes Men tweeted about the US Chamber of Commerce 'plotting forged emails, documents to trick (AND smear) opponents,'" a reference to an apparent plot (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/16/anonymous...) to discredit Chamber opponents using forged documents, as revealed when thousands of emails were recently leaked by Anonymous from cyber-security firm HB Gary. Yet another discusses Alessio Rastani, the Wall Street trader widely mistaken (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/29/alessio-rastani-no-p...) for Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum, who proclaimed, live on the BBC, that "governments don't rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world."

"Rastani was right," said the real Andy Bichlbaum five months later. "But it's now very clear that it doesn't have to be that way anymore."

The Yes Men and representatives from the Bhopal Medical Appeal will join Julian Assange of Wikileaks at a press conference at noon today, Feb. 27, at the Frontline Club in London.

WikiLeaks Publishes 5 Million 'Shadow CIA' E-Mails

“Admit nothing, deny everything, make counteraccusations”
by Common Dreams staff, http://www.commondreams.org/

WikiLeaks announced tonight that it is publishing documents it is calling "The Global Intelligence Files" which includes over 5 million e-mails from the US-based "Global Intelligence" company Stratfor, the Global Intelligence Company described by Barons as the Shadow CIA, according to a statement the organization released Sunday night.

WikiLeaks has partnered with 25 media organizations to publish the documents including the McClatchy newspapers and Rolling Stone.

"The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods."

WikiLeaks will hold a noon-time press conference in London on Monday to explain the files. The full press release is available here.

* * *

UPDATE: Monday's WikiLeaks London press conference has ended. The New York Times reports:

“The material contains privileged information about the U.S. government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks,” the group said. “There are more than 4,000 e-mails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.”

At the London news conference, Mr. Assange said the Stratfor statement seemed to confirm the advice offered by a senior figure in the company in one of the exposed e-mails which he quoted a senior Stratfor executive as saying: “admit nothing, deny everything, make counteraccusations.”Mr. Assange appeared Monday at a streamed news conference from the journalists’ Frontline Club in London.

Stratfor said in a statement that some of the e-mails being published “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” the company said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

“We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them,” the statement said.

At the London news conference, Mr. Assange said the Stratfor statement seemed to confirm the advice offered by a senior figure in the company in one of the exposed e-mails which he quoted a senior Stratfor executive as saying: “admit nothing, deny everything, make counteraccusations.”

* * *
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20736311

* * *

Technorati reports:

Wikileaks has begun publishing 5 million e-mails from Stratfor, the Global Intelligence Company described by Barons as the Shadow CIA.

At 00:01 GMT on 27 February 2011, Wikileaks started publishing the confidential e-mail communications between Stratfor and its informants which includes government employees, government agencies and corporations.

In a press release, the inner workings of Stratfor are described, painting a world where the government, corporations and Stratfor are intertwined.

Anti-Sec, part of Anonymous, proclaimed late in December 2011 that they had hacked into Stratfor and had managed to gain access to subscriber data. In a press release, Anti-Sec stated that the main reason they hacked into Stratfor was not for the subscriber data, but the trove of 5 million e-mail data, which would reveal the inner working of Stratfor and government agencies. It seems that it is these e-mails that are now being leaked by Wikileaks.

The latest leak from Wikileaks is bound to raise uncomfortable questions. One needs to ask, why did Anti-Sec decide to give this data to Wikileaks rather than release it themselves as they usually do with other data? Is there – some may question – a connection between Wikileaks and Anti–Sec? On the other hand, some may ask whether Anti-Sec is a covert operation which has decided to leak this information to Wikileaks precisely so that individuals can make these connections and raise these questions, with the ultimate aim of tarnishing the reputation of Wikileaks further.

We do not know. What is certain is that this latest revelation is bound to be extremely revealing.

# # #

Wikileaks vs. Stratfor: Pursue The Truth, Not Its Messenger

by Amy Goodman

WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower website, has again published a massive trove of documents, this time from a private intelligence firm known as Stratfor. The source of the leak was the hacker group “Anonymous,” which took credit for obtaining more than 5 million emails from Stratfor’s servers. Anonymous obtained the material on Dec. 24, 2011, and provided it to WikiLeaks, which in turn partnered with 25 media organizations globally to analyze the emails and publish them.

Among the emails was a short one-liner that suggested the U.S. government has produced, through a secret grand jury, a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In addition to painting a picture of Stratfor as a runaway, rogue private intelligence firm with close ties to government-intelligence agencies serving both corporate and U.S. military clients, the emails support the growing awareness that the Obama administration, far from diverging from the secrecy of the Bush/Cheney era, is obsessed with secrecy, and is aggressively opposed to transparency.

I traveled to London last Independence Day weekend to interview Assange. When I asked him about the grand-jury investigation, he responded: “There is no judge, there is no defense counsel, and there are four prosecutors. So, that is why people that are familiar with grand-jury inquiries in the United States say that a grand jury would not only indict a ham sandwich, it would indict the ham and the sandwich.”

As I left London, The Guardian newspaper exposed more of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. phone-hacking scandal, which prompted the closing of his tabloid newspaper, the largest circulation Sunday newspaper in the U.K., News of the World. The coincidence is relevant, as News of the World reported anything but what its title claimed, focusing instead on salacious details of the private lives of celebrities, sensational crimes, and photos of scantily clad women. For this and his other endeavors, Murdoch amassed a reported personal fortune of $7.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Assange—who, like Murdoch, was born in Australia (Murdoch abandoned his nationality for U.S. citizenship in order to purchase more U.S. broadcast licenses)—had engaged in one of largest and most courageous acts of publishing in history by founding wikileaks.org, which allows people to safely and securely deliver documents using the Internet in ways that make it almost impossible to trace. He and his colleagues at WikiLeaks had published millions of leaked documents, most notably about the U.S. wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, true “news of the world.” The Sydney Peace Foundation awarded Assange a gold medal for “exceptional courage and initiative in pursuit of human rights.” In contrast, the U.S. government targeted him, possibly under the Espionage Act. Murdoch is hailed as a pioneering newsman, while pundits on Murdoch-owned cable-television outlets openly call for Assange’s murder.

The Stratfor emails will be released over time, along with context provided by WikiLeaks’ media partners. Already revealed by the documents are the close, and potentially illegal, connections between Stratfor employees and government-intelligence and law-enforcement officials. Rolling Stone magazine reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was monitoring Occupy Wall Street protests nationally, and the Texas Department of Public Safety has an undercover agent at Occupy Austin who was disclosing information to contacts at Stratfor. Stratfor also is hired by multinational corporations to glean “intelligence” about critics. Among companies using Stratfor were Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Coca-Cola.

Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president of intelligence, and a former head of counterintelligence at the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic corps, wrote in an email, “Not for Pub—We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect.” Burton and others at Stratfor showed intense interest in WikiLeaks starting in 2010, showing intense dislike for Assange personally. Burton wrote: “Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever.” Another Stratfor employee wanted Assange waterboarded.

Michael Ratner, legal adviser to Assange and WikiLeaks, told me, “The Obama administration has gone after six people under the Espionage Act. That’s more cases than happened since the Espionage Act was actually begun in 1917. ... What this is about is the United States wanting to suppress the truth.”

1917 is also the year when U.S. Sen. Hiram Johnson famously said, “The first casualty when war comes is truth.” The White House is holding a gala dinner this week, honoring Iraq War veterans. Bradley Manning is an Iraq War vet who won’t be there. He is being court-martialed, facing life in prison or possibly death, for allegedly releasing thousands of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks revealing the casualties of war. President Barack Obama would better serve the country by also honoring Assange and Manning.

We should pursue the truth, not its messengers.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.
© 2012 Amy Goodman
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/wikileaks_vs_stratfor_pursue_the_tru...

Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!," a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 900 stations in North America. She was awarded the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, dubbed the “Alternative Nobel” prize, and received the award in the Swedish Parliament in December.

Post new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer