Wikileaks publishing confidential Stratfor emails
As of this morning, Wikileaks has officially started publishing some of the 5 million plus emails lifted from Stratfor during Anonymous’s December 2011 hack against Stratfor the global intelligence and analysis company. In the so called “Global Intelligence Files”, Stratfor is portrayed as an intelligence publisher providing confidential intelligence and analysis services to private companies such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Dow Chemical and even government agencies such as the US Department of Homeland security, the US Defense Intelligence Agency and the US Marines.
The emails are also alleged to contain “privileged information” regarding the US government’s actions against Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange including information proving Stratfor itself was enlisted and involved in attempts to subvert, silence and disrupt Wikileaks. Other emails to be released allege to contain sensitive insider information revealing how Stratfor CEO George Friedman was working for Goldman Sachs to help them create yet another sketchy hedge fund, this fund being one that would apparently somehow exploit Straftor’s intelligence to their economic advantage. Goldman Sachs is a major investor in Stratfor with seats on the board of directors and planned on launching the new hedge fund later this year although they might slightly alter some of those plans and time lines if these leaks prove to revealing.
Strafor of course has responded swiftly stating that “Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. 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 also sought to reiterate that the company still trusted and stood behind the “continued leadership of founder and Chief Executive Officer George Friedman”.
So far in the initial Wikileaks dump, there are emails which show how Strafor was paid by Dow Chemicals and “monitored and analyzed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the ‘Yes Men’”. Dow Chemicals of course being the owners of the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal India which leaked toxic chemicals in 1984 causing tens of thousands of deaths. The Bhopal emails released so far are apparently mostly press clippings and press releases compiled by another company, Allis Information Management.
Through analysis of the emails, Wikileaks also claims that Stratfor was routinely using “secret cash bribes to get information from insiders” and that it has a “global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards”. This insiders network also apparently includes mainstream media outlets and journalists who routinely exchange information with the company in “corrupt and corrupting” situations of bribery.
Anonymous apparently decided to hand the data over to Wikileaks for release after it deemed that it would be a better suited organization to analyze and publish the information. The Stratfor emails are expected to continue to be published and released via Wikileaks over the next week and half.