Remember how, when Daniel Domscheit-Berg left the WikiLeaks group a little over a year ago, it was allegedly permanently crippled and unable to do any more work once Dumbshit — erm, Domscheit-Berg — defected and took WikiLeaks’ coding platform and data archive with him? (Being that, according to him, he was the real coder in the group and nobody left in WikiLeaks was much more than a script kiddie.)
Remember how DDB was going to set up an “ethical whistleblower” organization called “OpenLeaks”, except that a year later it’s not much than a website and Domscheit-Berg’s hot air? In fact, as was pointed out in August of 2011 by Der Spiegel’s Marcel Rosenbach, Domscheit-Berg actually said in the German weekly Der Freitag “I took no documents from WikiLeaks with me”, which is not what he’d told German hacker club spokesman Andy Müller-Maguhn at the time: “He told me last Thursday evening that he had to look at each document before handing them over. It doesn’t match up.”
With all this in mind, it’s not surprising to see that WikiLeaks is alive and functioning and still getting document submissions, like these recent ones:
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.
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.”
And since it’s now Monday, the e-mail releases have started:
LONDON—Today, Monday 27 February, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from 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 Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example :
“[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.
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.
Go over to WikiLeaks and see for yourself.
Charles butts in: Kevin Gosztola at FDL is on it. Some interesting points: corporate monitoring of Bhopal victims (Dow) and PETA (Coca Cola). Also, according to the correspondent for L’Expresso, Stratfor had sources inside the anti-Osama operation, which goes to show how dangerous to national security loose cannons like Stratfor can be. And the Spanish correspondent (Publico.es, I think) points out that the government is also paying Stratfor to spy on it. Oh, and Stratfor is investing money based on the intelligence it collects!
Joanne Leon at DK has a series of links, including this link from Beirut’s Al-Akhbar newspaper describing Stratfor’s founders and machers.
MSNBC denies the claim that Stratfor’s boss, George Friedman, has resigned.