Stratfor Documents Published To Wikileaks
Wikileaks, the whistelblowing website responsible for leaking hundreds of thousands of top secret government cables and documents over the past few years, is now publishing more than 5 million confidential emails from a US-based intelligence agency known as the “Shadow CIA.”
The messages, from intelligence firm Stratfor, date from between July 2004 and December 2011, and reveal Stratfor’s “web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods,” claimed Wikileaks in a press release today.
“The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients,” added the press release.
Wikileaks claims to have proof of Stratfor’s confidential links to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co. and Lockheed Martin, as well as US government agencies, including Homeland Security, the Marines, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The emails have been reportedly stolen by the Anonymous hacking collective, which claims the release of the sensitive material will expose the dark secrets about the intelligence firm.
Wikileaks has promised that the latest leak will emphasize Stratfor’s attempts to undermine the website and expose the US’s attempts to “attack” Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange, who has been fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in a rape case, is also sought by the US government for his role in the leaking of top secret US military files.
Stratfor said in a statement it had worked intensely to build “good sources” in many countries, “’as any publisher of global geopolitical analysis would do.” The release of its stolen emails, which Stratfor said is an attempt to silence and intimidate it, said it would not be cowed under the leadership of George Friedman, the agency’s founder and CEO. Stratfor also dismissed false rumors circulating the Internet that Friedman had resigned.
Stratfor also went on to say in a statement that the emails being published “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic.” It added it would not validate them 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,” it said.
“Unlike traditional news outlets, Stratfor uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via rigorous open-source monitoring and a global network of human sources,” according to the Texas-based firm’s website.
Wikileaks predicts the significance of the emails will become clear over the next few weeks as its 25 media partners — including The Hindu newspaper, Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper, Rolling Stone magazine, and US newspaper publisher McClatchy Co. — and the public sift through the masses of emails.
“We have begun reviewing the emails and will publish as warranted,” McClatchy’s Washington bureau chief, James Asher, told Reuters.
Wikileaks claims to have found evidence that Stratfor gave a complimentary membership to Pakistan general Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack against international forces in Afghanistan in 2006.
It also alleges it has proof that the intelligence firm monitored and analyzed the online activities of activists seeking redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India.
While Wikileaks declined to comment on how it acquired the emails, hackers linked to Anonymous said at the beginning of the year they had stolen email correspondence of around 100 of Stratfor’s employees.
“Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the U.S. government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations and journalists,” Assange told Reuters. “What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause.”
Friedman said on January 11 the hackers would be hard pressed to find anything significant in the stolen messages. “God knows what a hundred employees writing endless emails might say that is embarrassing, stupid or subject to misinterpretation. … As they search our emails for signs of a vast conspiracy, they will be disappointed,” he said.
On the Net: