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WikiLeaks publishes Global Intelligence Files

By Dylan Byers, Politico.com Feb .26, 2012

WikiLeaks, Julian Assange's whistle-blowing organization, has announced that it is publishing a series of documents it is calling "The Global Intelligence Files," which includes over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor, according to a statement the organization made Sunday night.

The organization has partnered with 25 media organizations to publish the documents, two of which are based in the United States: McClatchy and Rolling Stone [....]

Read the full article at http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/02/wikileaks-to-publish-global-intelligence-files-115618.html

Anonymous, WikiLeaks team up
Agence France Presse, Feb. 28, 2012

HACKING group Anonymous defended WikiLeaks when it was facing a funding cutoff, but the release of the Stratfor emails appears to be the first direct collaboration between the hackers and the anti-secrecy site.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was coy about the source of the more than five million emails from the Texas-based private intelligence firm which his secret-spilling site began to publish on Monday.

"As a matter of policy we don't discuss sourcing or speculate on sources," Assange said at a press conference in London [....]

But Anonymous, a loose-knit international movement of online activists, or "hacktivists," has repeatedly taken credit for hacking into Stratfor's computer servers and acknowledged on Monday giving the emails to WikiLeaks [....]

Stratfor Is a Joke and So Is Wikileaks for Taking It Seriously
By Max Fisher, Atlantic.com, Feb 27 2012

The corporate research firm has branded itself as a CIA-like "global intelligence" firm, but only Julian Assange and some over-paying clients are fooled.

[....] The group's reputation among foreign policy writers, analysts, and practitioners is poor; they are considered a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight. As a former recipient of their "INTEL REPORTS" (I assume someone at Stratfor signed me up for a trial subscription, which appeared in my inbox unsolicited), what I found was typically some combination of publicly available information and bland "analysis" that had already appeared in the previous day's New York Times. A friend who works in intelligence once joked that Stratfor is just The Economist a week later and several hundred times more expensive. As of 2001, a Stratfor subscription could cost up to $40,000 per year.

It's true that Stratfor employs on-the-ground researchers. They are not spies. On today's Wikileaks release, one Middle East-based NGO worker noted on Twitter that when she met Stratfor's man in Cairo, he spoke no Arabic, had never been to Egypt before, and had to ask her for directions to Tahrir Square. Stratfor also sometimes pays "sources" for information. Wikileaks calls this "secret cash bribes," hints that this might violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and demands "political oversight."

For comparison's sake, The Atlantic often sends our agents into such dangerous locales as Iran or Syria. We call these men and women "reporters." Much like Statfor's agents, they collect intelligence, some of it secret, and then relay it back to us so that we may pass it on to our clients, whom we call "subscribers." Also like Stratfor, The Atlantic sometimes issues "secret cash bribes" to on-the-ground sources, whom we call "freelance writers." We also prefer to keep their cash bribes ("writer's fees") secret, and sometimes these sources are even anonymous.

So why do Wikileaks and their hacker source Anonymous seem to consider Stratfor, which appears to do little more than combine banal corporate research with media-style freelance researcher arrangements, to be a cross between CIA and Illuminati? The answer is probably a combination of naivete and desperation [....]

Glad someone was willing to say it so boldly.

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