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WikiLeaks Begins Releasing Stratfor Internal Emails 220

Posted by timothy
from the why-are-they-so-mean? dept.
owenferguson writes "WikiLeaks has begun leaking a cache of over 5 million internal emails from the 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 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. The associated news release can be found on pastebin."
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WikiLeaks Begins Releasing Stratfor Internal Emails

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  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @11:06PM (#39168617)

    How do you go from this...

    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.

    ...to this...

    A company that fronts as an intelligence publisher... but is secretly an intelligence publisher?

    ...instead of something like:
    A company that fronts as an intelligence publisher... but secretly acts as an intelligence agency.

    Even if that introduction wasn't clear enough, the remainder of the press release would have cleared things up quite well.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26, 2012 @11:40PM (#39168849)

    I am seriously baffled that there are people who didn't realize that Stratfor gathers up and analyzes the intelligence they publish.

    Basically, what I think the GP poster is saying is that they're a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher... but secretly generates intelligence. To publish. And, as a private company they save some of it for paying customers.

    I haven't finished reading every document in the leak (and probably won't if I don't find something interesting soon) but so far it's not really revealing anything that anyone who's heard of Stratfor didn't know. Except maybe a level of security incompetence (which is really what Anonymous is best at revealing).

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @11:57PM (#39168961)

    I don't see how as a practical matter you could be one and not the other and be any good at your job. A newspaper publisher either has to do its own journalism, or it has to just aggregate other peoples. An intelligence company needs to either aggregate other peoples information (which is really analysis, rather than data sourcing), and it will need a source of that information. The difference between a publisher that contracts independent sources, and a company with regular employees doing these things is not that big a deal.

    The actual article isn't 'intelligence agency vs intelligence publisher' it's an intelligence company that as one of the things it's doing is trying to bribe people for insider information, and to resell that insider information in violation of corrupt practices and insider trading rules.

    If you want information (call it journalism, intelligence, verification or whatever) on the health of say Hugo Chavez, your options are limited on how to get that which isn't illegal (assuming he isn't telling the truth). If you're being contracted to train intelligence analysts or agents from a government agency you need to have people who have past experience with intelligence gathering and analysis. To accomplish either of those things it's pretty obvious what they're up to. How do journalists get sources or info? Right, either you pay them, or they volunteer for the promise of future payoffs. That's the nature of the business and insofar as journalism is legal, it is legal.

    The only thing particularly more sleazy than the nature of the business itself is the insider trading and related work (either paying off private or government persons for information about information that is not yet public). That's the sort of thing that journalists, parliament/congress etc. have particular legal walls around, because you really really really cannot use information that will be public before it becomes public. It shouldn't even be surprising that these things happen, it's only a matter of if or when they get caught by people who aren't in on the deal.

    Just in general doing business in most of the world requires paying off the right people, in cash, in the right currency, at the right time. Everyone knows it, no one admits to it, no one really does anything about it because that's just how the world works. It used to be tax deductible for businesses in germany to pay bribes overseas for example, it's just the cost of doing business.

  • Re:Non-US leaks (Score:4, Informative)

    by dbIII (701233) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:00AM (#39168981)
    There are a lot - wikileaks won an award about their ones from Kenya for example. It's just that US media is of course interested in the US stuff.
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:12AM (#39169265) Homepage Journal
    You have people in the press that can look at dates, public info and then ask ex workers, historians if the info looks right.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_uranium_forgeries [wikipedia.org]
    If the layout, date, departments and names don't fit, you have problems.
    You can get vey detailed about one message or just look at the massive amount and ask...
    Where is country x,y,x, why does it seem filtered, pre packaged... if a EU members spy agency is really so upset - why no real action?
    You then have cases where a gov goes on raids or just pulls back to let it flow out as not to upset larger PR operations.
  • Re:Union Carbide (Score:4, Informative)

    by Seraphim1982 (813899) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:33AM (#39169353)

    The company acquiring Union Carbide has also acquired all the liabilities along with the assets. Dow has pretty much everything to do with Union Carbide and the Bhopal disaster. If Dow did not want the "baggage" that came along with the Union Carbide purchase, they should have stayed away from it.

    How exactly did Dow have "pretty much everything to do with[...] the Bhopal disaster" when the the closest they come is owning the company that at one point in the past owned the company that owned the plant? The Bhopal plant was run by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), and UCIL was sold to an Indian company back in the early 90's. About 7 years later Dow came along and bought Union Carbide. So not only is there a few layers of ownership in between, there is also a gap of several years. Why doesn't Eveready Industries India Ltd (the company that UCIL turned into) get the "baggage" associated with Bhopal?

  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by chaboud (231590) on Monday February 27, 2012 @02:15AM (#39169557) Homepage Journal

    "[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"

    At the very least, they're looking to coerce or bribe an Israeli intelligence informant. It's certainly well into the grey area. Their great efforts to set up a pseudo-independent StratCap StratFund for StratInsider StratTrading stinks of SEC violations if they leveraged information gained in one space (by its nature, illicit) for gains in another.

  • Re:Meh. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Internetuser1248 (1787630) on Monday February 27, 2012 @03:34AM (#39169889)
    This [youtube.com] was one of the main things i believe Manning is alleged to have leaked. It shows a reuters journalist and some children (and the usual bunch of Iraqi civilians) being gunned down by an attack helicopter for no reason.

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