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Stratfor Internal Emails Exposed In Latest WikiLeaks Release

Benjamin Gottlieb |
February 26, 2012 | 10:44 p.m. PST

Executive Editor

WikiLeaks is an anti-privacy organization responsible for the release of thousands of U.S. government documents.
WikiLeaks is an anti-privacy organization responsible for the release of thousands of U.S. government documents.
WikiLeaks began releasing more than five million emails from the Texas-based global intelligence company Stratfor on Monday, unearthing its latest batch of highly sensitive information regarding the U.S government and its internal networks.

The previously unpublished emails reveal the inner workings of Statfor, an organization that WikiLeaks asserts "fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations" and government agencies. WikiLeaks listed Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon among those that have benefited from Statfor's opaque intelligence practices, as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

"Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations, and journalists," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Reuters. "What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause."

The first set of emails published by WikiLeaks -- dubbed "The Stratfor Glossary of Useful, Baffling and Strange Intelligence Terms" -- features blunt and often unflattering descriptions of U.S. government agencies, CNN reported.

George Friedman, the CEO of Strafor, admitted that emails were stolen on January 11 of this year, but that the thieves would have a hard time pinpointing significant information.

"God knows what a hundred employees writing endless emails might say that is embarrassing, stupid or subject to misinterpretation," Friedman told Reuters. "As they search our emails for signs of a vast conspiracy, they will be disappointed."

But in their press release early Monday morning, WikiLeaks snubbed Friedman's dismissal of their ability to find relevant information in the company's emails. On December 6, 2011, the WikiLeaks letter said, Friedman sent an email to Statfor analyst Reva Bhalla on how to exploit an "Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez."

"[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," Friedman wrote.

WikiLeaks said the documents will be released through a network of activist groups and news organizations over the next few weeks.

For a complete list of the released "Global Intelligence Files," click here.

View Stratfor's CEO George Friedman's response to the WikiLeaks breach below:

To reach Benjamin Gottlieb, click here.

Follow him on Twitter @benjamin_max.



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