UPDATE – 8:37 PM EST No more new emails released yet. Kind of a slow day, which may indicate WikiLeaks is having problems with its media partners. I don’t know. Anyways…
I wrote a response to a blogger for The Atlantic who didn’t find the fuss about the Homeland Security report on the Occupy movement to be justified.
UPDATE – 5:55 PM EST Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on Democracy Now! discusses the possibility that the US government has drawn up a “sealed indictment” against Julian Assange.
Ratner expertly unpacks the key issues surrounding the US’s targeting of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Here is one key point he makes:
I think there’s a serious question whether someone like Julian Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen, can be indicted under the Espionage Act. What duty does Julian Assange owe the United States vis-à-vis the Espionage Act? If I, tomorrow, surface documents that had to do with the Soviet Union, or Russia, rather, and what it’s doing in Chechnya, that were classified, could Russia actually get my extradition from the United States because I put out classified documents belonging to Russia? I don’t think so. But that would be—if they actually have an indictment and if they go after Julian Assange in the way that so far they’ve indicated they want to, that will certainly be an important issue. What duty did Julian Assange owe to the United States?
He also offers a nice comparison between WikiLeaks and Stratfor. One of the two is probably doing something illegal worth investigating. You probably know which one the US government is more interested in stopping.
UPDATE – 3:23 PM EST Hamid Gul, former Pakistani spy chief, was a “complimentary member” of Stratfor, according to a report from the Times of India:
Interestingly, whereas seemingly large numbers of Stratfor’s subscribers and clients work in the US military and intelligence agencies, Stratfor gave complimentary membership to General Hamid Gul, the controversial former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack on international forces inAfghanistan in 2006.
UPDATE – 3:16 PM EST Despite the fact that only around 400 of the 5 million emails have been released, only a little over 100 more emails have been released today.
This doesn’t exactly deal with the new emails, but here is a short report on Dow Chemical’s monitoring of Occupy. They were worried that activists wanting them to compensate victims of the Union Carbide disaster would use the protests to grow support for holding them accountable.
UPDATE – 9:35 AM EST
The Young Turks on Current TV cover the Stratfor release. Cenk Uygur goes off on the Obama Administration for going after whistleblowers under the Espionage Act. He adds, “When it comes to people who are actually violating the CIA and FBI for private corporations, you never hear a word about it.” He says you would not have heard about it if it wasn’t for Anonymous and WikiLeaks.
“These guys know more than our press does,” Uygur concludes. The government has not bothered to investigate them and they appear to have “secret intelligence” that people are typically not supposed to have.
UPDATE – 9:34 AM EST Twenty-five individuals believed by authorities to be Anonymous or have links to Anonymous have been arrested as part of an Interpol investigation.
UPDATE – 9:24 AM EST Stratfor analysts and officers took an interest in the WikiLeaks insurance file in August 2010. Marc Lanthermann, a watch officer for Stratfor, who seems to be the more tech savvy of the bunch, wrote:
FYI, talked to some of my CS/hacker-savvy friends. The file is encrypted using a 256 bit AES encryption, which is what the US government uses for classified documentation. There are no known weaknesses to this encryption and it would take longer than the lifetime of the sun to brute-force the code using all the supercomputers currently in existence. You’d need a super secret quantum computer or the biggest breakthrough in cryptoanalysis ever.
Bottom line we’ll only get access to the files when Wikileaks feels like releasing the password. This has been making lots of waves in the hacker/nerd community, and I spent some time browsing hacker forums for ideas. Serious people (as serious as webforum hackers can be) are talking about a sort of dead man trigger, password must be entered by Assange every X hours/days or the password is released.
In any case, NSA is going to get a headache over this. It might even be a bluff and turn out to be Assange’s randomly encrypted copy of Bambi. [emphasis added]
UPDATE – 9:16 AM EST The Sydney Morning Herald has coverage of Bill O’Chee, a former National Party senator and businessman in Australia. He was apparently the private intelligence company’s “most prolific” informant in Australia. His name appears in more than 2000 emails.
…Mr O’Chee’s reports cover subjects including the Chinese economy, global resources markets, mining developments across Asia, shipping and logistic issues, and political developments in Australia, Papua New Guinea, China and Burma…
…Mr O’Chee is described by his Stratfor ”source handler”, China and international projects director Jennifer Richmond, as ”my Aussie intelligence source” who is ”well connected politically, militarily and economically”. He has a Stratfor ”A” rating for ”source reliability”, and his reports are regarded as highly credible though at times veering into the field of ”intelligent speculation”…
The actual emails with information from Bill O’Chee can be found here.
UPDATE – 8:55 AM EST A Stratfor source allegedly connected to FM Carl Bildt, who is old friends with Karl Rove and has been feuding with WikiLeaks, knew about Croatian PM Ivo Sanader and why he actually resigned. It was because of organized crime (OC) in Croatia.
Source tells us that Ivo Sanader, Croatian PM, resigned because of OC. Basically, he had some deal going on with the Ploce port, that is where Croatia is supposed to build an LNG terminal. He basically got in good with the OC and they told him that he had a choice to either retire from politics, or else they’d start killing off his family.
He followed their orders.
Note that I have been saying (and writing in analyses) that Croatia is absolutely run by OC. The country is stuffed to the brim with OC. The problem is that the Yugoslav Civil Wars had a serious effect on the entire region, allowing war profiteers to essentially continue running OC activities after the war. Serbia also has OC, but it is not as powerful as Croatia’s because the assassination of Djindjic gave then state the impetus to clean most of the really powerful OC elements off.
UPDATE – 8:51 AM EST Watch officer Marc Lanthemann characterized LulzSec like this in a discussion Stratfor had on whether to cover LulzSec hacks:
they took the cia’s website down and it didn’t matter, intranet wasstill up, it’s just the webpage. cyber attacks really only matter in two cases: one: you steal shit. two: you render critical networks useless.
while lulzsec and anon COULD theoretically do number 2, it doesn’t meanthey ever will because it would take someone convincing a horde of nerdsthat ddos-ing a telecom system is a good idea. The most harm they can realistically do is by exposing secure networks’ flaws and stealing information (number 1). For this you don’t need a million people, just a few very good ones with gigantic computers. It’s really not in the m.o. of either of them to do anything so serious. While top hackers are dangerous, they’re not going to be exposing themselves as part of any group but most likely working either for the NSA or the Chinese.
UPDATE – 8:45 AM EST Stratfor VP for Intelligence Fred Burton believed the US government was “setting Manning up for a Treason prosecution (death penalty) and a life plea if he rolls over on others.” One of the employees replied, “He might enjoy prison…” And Burton responded to that, “He’s a dumb ass.”
WikiLeaks and twenty-five or so media partners have begun to release and publish the “Global Intelligence Files,” over five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence company known as Stratfor. The leaks organization describes the emails as documents that show “Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods.”
The organization’s press release further explains the emails show 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.”
Here at The Dissenter the release has been receiving full coverage. And, here are some highlights from Day 2 of the release:
—Stratfor VP of Intelligence Fred Burton claimed to have access to a US government “sealed indictment” against Julian Assange. The email read, “We have a sealed indictment on Assange.” The revelation prompted WikiLeaks to respond strongly with a press statement calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to consider resigning if it is true charges against Assange have already been drawn up.
—Stratfor research director believed WikiLeaks’ IP address was being spoofed by someone to get it blocked. In December 2010, days after WikiLeaks had suffered major cyber attacks following the beginning of the Cablegate release, Kevin Stech, release director noticed that someone with the IP address associated with WikiLeaks was “security scanning” Stratfor and looking for “unauthorized web content.” No one in Stratfor thought it could be WikiLeaks because that would be stupid. Stech believed someone was ”spoofing attacks from Wikileaks in order to get their IP address blocked.”
—Israel helped ground drones or UAVs Georgia was using before the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict. They did this for Russia because, in return, Russia provided codes for Iran’s Tor-M1 air-defense SAMs—missiles. (Full summary of this revelation here.)
—Homeland Security monitored the Occupy movement. Attached in a Stratfor email was a report from Homeland Security on the “risks” and “threats” that the Occupy movement “potentially” posed to “critical infrastructure.” They found there was a “growing threat of violence” because of the large numbers of supporters and the fact that members of Anonymous supported the movement.
Here is a full post addressing the significance of the release. And, this is the live blog for the second day of the release.
Now, The Dissenter at Firedoglake.com resumes its coverage with a live blog post following the third day of the release. Updates will appear at the top. All times are EST.