UPDATE – 7:54 PM EST The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is partly to blame for the Balkan Wars, according to the Stratfor emails.
UPDATE – 5:17 PM EST WikiLeaks statement on what the emails indicate about the possibility that Assange will be extradited to the US eventually.
UPDATE – 5:13 PM EST While we wait for more emails to be released, Jane Hamsher has done some work on more of the emails. Looks like she uncovered the identity of another source.
UPDATE – 4:00 PM EST A slow trickle. Drip, drip, drip. That’s the pace of the release. And, dear US media, a “source” in the FBI was feeding information to Stratfor related to ongoing government investigations. Oh, yawn.
UPDATE – 1:19 PM EST In the context of saber-rattling against Iran, this email on a deal on gas transit involving Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey and Iran is a fascinating piece of insight into how corporate deals can be entangled in foreign policy agendas. The information provided to Stratfor seems credible and was shared in an email sent on October 25, 2011. [Note: SOCAR stands for state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan.]
This is the striking part that jumps out:
…I brought up the Iran factor, which I find the most fascinating inall this. What I heard from the Israeli ambassador a few days ago wasthat there is another big issue cropping up with Shah Deniz II concerning Iran. As part of AZ’s geopolitical balancing act, it made sure Iran had a 10% stake in the Shah Deniz consortium. Now, the US congress and sanctions lobby is ratcheting up the pressure saying that this makes the whole project sanctionable. The Israeli amb said that BP is now saying they may not be able to go through with the project unless AZ resolves this Iran issue. (What is ironic is that the SOCAR guy said they will work very closely with the Israeli lobby in DC to convince the congress that Iran is not a major problem). The guy also said that Iran is not a problem because 1) they don’t have the right of decision-making 2) SD phase II’s revenue will go to a bank in Europe, in which Iran’s money will be frozen. Source claims that Iranians basically agreed to participate in SD2 without getting an immediate interest. The SOCAR source said that BP hasn’t put it in that blunt terms, but he admitted this is becoming a big issue. He described how impossible it’s going to be for AZ to deal with this because the legislation already dictates that AZ can’t simply ‘kick out’ a member of the consortium. The consortium shareholder must also agree to leave. Plus, AZ really does not want to piss off the Iranians right now. The security tensions are seriously increasing between AZ and Iran (will explain in more detail later), and the Israeli cooperation with AZ isn’t really helping alleviate those tensions, either. Instead, AZ is trying to convince NATO (This is why SOCAR source is going to Brussels tomorrow as he later admitted,) and the US that the cost of trying to exclude Iran is not worth it. They are trying to assure US, BP, NATO, etc. that Iran ’can’t profit’ off the Shah Deniz project anyway because all the money they get from it is going to European banks where their assets are frozen (not a very convincing argument, if you ask me.) More importantly, they’re saying that if the US tries to make Shah Deniz II contingent on kicking Iran out, then the whole southeastern corridor project is doomed. In fact, AZ could just send 10 bcm to Iran instead at a very favorable price. He went on to say, ‘better yet, we could give 5 bcm to Russia and 5 bcm to Iran’.” Then let’s see what US says… [emphasis added]
UPDATE – 10:53 AM EST The Government Accountability Project’s Jesselyn Radack applauds Jane Hamsher for uncovering who was in the FBI releasing information to Stratfor and says this is “another example of hypocrisy and disparate treatment associated with the Obama administration’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers.”
UPDATE – 8:30 AM EST A source within a think tank under President Vladimir Putin shared intelligence with Stratfor that the US was helping to train troops in Georgia. Ukraine was likely to resume weapons transfers because of “Western” support.
All week, WikiLeaks and twenty-five or so media partners have been publishing the “Global Intelligence Files,” over five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence company known as Stratfor. The documents show, according to the organization, “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 Firedoglake the release has been receiving full coverage. And, these are some highlights from Day 4 of the release:
—Stratfor’s FBI source was James Casey. Last night, Firedoglake‘s Jane Hamsher put up a post showing how she had harnessed the power of Google and figured out, by plugging in Casey’s email address, that he had just quit the FBI on February 29. His retirement was covered by a Florida newspaper. And, of course, the writer of the article never realized that simultaneously news has been swirling around all week that someone in the FBI told Stratfor there was a “sealed indictment” against Julian Assange.
—WikiLeaks released more emails on the Occupy movement. The emails released were partially known to exist prior to the release because Anonymous released a few of them. They deal with a Texas Public Safety Department agent, who was spying on an environmental activist group, Deep Green Resistance, at Occupy Austin General Assemblies. Additionally, the emails suggest someone might have been spying on Occupy Des Moines and, actually, that person might have been an analyst for Stratfor, who just so happens to be from Iowa.
—Emails released raised doubts about whether Bin Laden’s body was buried at sea. The emails did not make much news at all, but the fact is that Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton was giving updates indicating the body was being moved to Maryland. If Burton was giving accurate information when he said he saw a “sealed indictment” against Assange, then his updates on where Bin Laden’s body was going after he was killed may be credible.
And, here’s my interview for FAIR’s “CounterSpin” radio show – in case you missed it: Kevin Gosztola on WikiLeaks and Stratfor.
Now, Firedoglake’s coverage of WikiLeaks’ release of the Stratfor emails continues with this live blog for Day 5. Updates will appear at the top. All times are EST.