WikiLeaks has announced the release of more than 5 million emails, called “The Global Intelligence Files,” and includes communications from the American-based intelligence analyst group Stratfor and its “web of informers.”
WikiLeaks, partnering with 25 media organizations in publishing the documents, said in a statement, “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.”
Already damning in their details, the latest release of embarrassing documents includes privileged information on the U.S. government’s ongoing attack against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks . The Global Intelligence Files also includes information on Stratfor’s attempts at subverting WikiLeaks.
Other information in The Global Intelligence Files calls a money-making scheme by Stratfor one of “questionable legality.” Wikileaks notes an August 2011 email by Stratfor CEO George Friedman, “We are retaining a law firm to create a policy for Stratfor on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. I don’t plan to do the perp walk and I don’t want anyone here doing it either.”
In a confidential document marked DO NOT SHARE OR DISCUSS, Wikileaks reveals Friedman explaining to then-Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz how he would utilize intelligence from Stratfor’s insider network in creating a captive investment fund. “What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor’s intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like.”
The emails reveal that in 2011 Morenz invested “substantially” more than $4 million, joining Stratfor’s board of directors. During the year, efforts were made to have StratCap appear as a legally independent offshore entity, a structure extending as far as South Africa.
Wikileaks notes in a confidential communication with Stratfor staff, Friedman said, “Do not think of StratCap as an outside organisation. It will be integral... It will be useful to you if, for the sake of convenience, you think of it as another aspect of Stratfor and Shea as another executive in Stratfor... we are already working on mock portfolios and trades.”
The new Wikileaks release also includes a correspondence between Friedman and Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla, as recently as December 6, 2011, and pertains to an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the health of Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela. “[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.”
According to Wikileaks, the new material provides an insight into the operations of an intelligence agency and how individuals are targeted for corporate and government clients. More than 4,000 emails mention Assange or WikiLeaks.
The new release shows how Stratfor’s advance knowledge of global politics and world events is obtained from government and diplomatic sources in a money exchange agreement. Stratfor’s global network of informants are paid via Swiss bank accounts as well as pre-paid credit cards. Its informants, both covert and overt, include government employees, embassy staff and journalists across the globe.
In a statement on Monday, Stratfor said some of the emails “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” according to the New York Times. “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.”
Stratfor, based in Austin, Texas, had been hacked in December, and again in early January, as reported by Digital Journal. At the time, Friedman noted, “The consequence of this will not be a glorious anarchy in the spirit of Guy Fawkes, but rather a massive repression.”
Among the partners in publishing the emails are McClatchy, Dawn Media, Sunday Star-Times, Russia Reporter and Rolling Stone.