I wonder how soon this will be a topic in the election?

Wikileaks has published five million emails from Stratfor, an intelligence company based in Texas that, looking at their practices, appears to be America’s very own privately run CIA. According to Wikileaks, their deals would also include the use of privileged information to make money in financial markets.

Stratfor’s clients are the US Government, other countries and military organizations, as well as private companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman or Raytheon. They have a global network of spies in governments and media companies, including “secret deals with dozens of media organizations and journalists, from Reuters to the Kiev Post.” According to the emails, these spies get paid in Swiss bank accounts and pre-paid credit cards.

Wikileaks says that the emails also reveal the creation of a parallel organization called StratCap. Apparently, this organization would use Stratfor network of informants to make money in financial markets. Wikileaks claims that the emails show how then-Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz and Stratfor CEO George Friedman put StratCap in motion in 2009.

  1. deowll says:

    I should be shocked and appalled. Instead I find it is what I expect.

  2. kiwini says:

    “I should be shocked and appalled. Instead I find it is what I expect.”

    Surprise!…it’s just another small part of the promised “hope and change” that the liberal sheeples swallowed in its’ entirety.

    Hook, line, and ze stinker: lies, damn lies, and Obamanation lies.

    The only “change” was to do the same wrong things at a much higher level, at far greater expense to the taxpayers.

    Let’s all hope that WE can change this situation in November….

    • mharry860 says:

      Let’s all hope that WE can change this situation in November…. , do you really think that’s possible? It’s not the men it’s the system. The POTUS is nothing but a figurehead, he has no real power. Our current jackhole in Chief uses Executive powers to do what he wants. We’re still in Afghanistan aren’t we. Why? Why did the POTUS support the Arab Spring which could bring back a Caliphate? Why are we supporting terrorists against the Assad regime in Syria? Every new POTUS gets taken into a room after his election and gets slapped around and is told how it’s going to be.

      • Dr Spearmint Fur says:

        Um yeah, Obama started this company while teaching constitutional law at U of C.

        This President has screwed up a lot but you can’t blame him for leaving your brains in the toilet.

    • Dr_Wally says:

      Ummm… Kiwini, I know it is your knee-jerk reaction to blame everything on Obama, including your latest hemorrhoid flare-up, but perhaps you missed that this is a PRIVATE outfit which existed well before Obama took office?

      That Goldman-Sachs is there “jamming their blood funnel” into it, essentially looking to profit on insider information, is another example of private sector excess. Something you and the rest of the Obama-haters don’t seem to mind, seeing as you keep frothing about repealing Dodd-Frank regulations.

  3. observer says:

    Did the CEO really resign because of the leaks?

    • msbpodcast says:

      What choice did he have?

      His stock was about to tank and it was just enough time for him to sell it off while the biomass was travelling to the rotating impeller.

      • Sister Mary Hand Grenade of Quiet Reflection says:

        In his resignation letter he commented about “criminal organizations” such as Anonymous yet he didn’t mention his criminal organization, StratCap.
        StratCap was a partnership with Goldman-Sachs to take advantage of insider trading. Hopefully this guy will put a bullet in his head today when he realizes what an ass hat he is.

  4. Animby says:

    Geez. I dunno, again! Seems like we’d be using any source we could for info. And it’s not like we don’t use mercenaries for other things. If they are manipulating the markets, then I say shoot them. But, if they’re just using the information they collect and analyze to make shrewd investments… no harm, no foul. As for paying their spies, well, what do you think? They’d direct deposit money into their checking accounts? If the company is giving value for the payments made and it’s not just duplicating what our own forces can provide, then I’m probably okay with it. I’m certainly more happy with that than I am hiring mercenaries and firing enlisted soldiers. Just a few months ago, it was announced we’d be doubling the number of private contractors guarding the Embassy in Iraq. So, we’ll be paying more for services that used to be provided by the Marines while we cut back on the manpower of the Marine Corps.

    Budget? What budget? We don’ need no stinking budget!

    • Animby says:

      Sorry. I thought I should document my anguish. Here’s a story from HuffPo date last September:

    • deowll says:

      Um, as Machiavelli noted people like this sell everybody out. They’re going to need some seriously strong political connections who don’t think they’ve been sold out and off hand those might be hard to identify. I’m fairly confident they broke a few thousand laws in dozens of different countries.

  5. Hmeyers2 says:

    “privileged information to make money in financial markets”

    Joe Average scratches his ass while in line for lottery tickets.

    I’m sure if you tell him this about this tip and article, there is a chance he’ll go straight to Wikipedia if he remembers, but then won’t be sure what article he was supposed to be looking for.

  6. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Errrr – this is a private company collecting information that others find valuable? Absent illegal conduct, whats the issue here and how is Obama responsible for it? The implication is that you think Obama should shut it down?…… How convenient.

    another valuable service brought to us by the clear and transparent revealing service of WIKILEAKS!!!

    Saw a nice news clip yesterday of an actual question in the Daily Briefing at the Whitehouse: how can the US government be advocating for truth telling in Syria when you are agressively jailing more people than ever before for whistleblowing?

    “Thats Different” was the response.

    Looks like the main difference we can hope for is that if called on some illegal activity, Obama might stop?==whereas all the Pukes will claim your criticism is anti-American, repressing their right to practice religion, and start singing God Bless America.

    Not much of a difference, but there it is.

  7. Holdfast says:

    Yet another example of how Wikileaks needs our support.

    The existence of them may have been public knowledge for a while. Now we can have a clearer idea of what they are and what they do.

    Anyone who releases information about questionable corporate or government activity needs rewarded. I am just sure that most leakers would rather not have the rich, powerful and unscrupulous know who they are.

  8. Yaknow says:

    does anyone find it strange there was 5 million emails. That is freakin’ 5 MILLION emails! Who is going to read all that….really. Wikileaks ya think that is a bit of an over-kill!

    • Sister Mary Hand Grenade of Quiet Reflection says:

      Most of them were correspondence with Nigeria regarding the transfer of funds and acquiring a large percentage for helping them out.

  9. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    For those who say “So what’s the problem?” with a private company collecting information, according to Wikileaks.

    Who are their spies?

    “Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.”

    How do they recruit and control their sources?

    From an e-mail “[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” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011…

    So we have a private company subverting government and embassy employees using money, sex and/or psychology. Are any US government employees or embassy staff in their control? Since they are a private company providing a global perspective, how could they ignore such a large segment of possible sources? And once a source has been recruited, would they not be more open to recruitment by others, including enemy states?

    Does the CIA and other US government agencies recruit intelligence sources around the world? Of course, but at least we know that these agencies are supposedly working to the benefit of our nation. But as a private company, STRATFOR has no allegiance to the US or any other country. Would they care that drug cartels might be buying their services? Would they really care, as long as the check clears the bank?

    Which reminds me of an episode of “Miami Vice”. Crockett and Tubbs are trying to bust a drug lord, but having no luck. They may have had a police listening device in their target’s residence, but the target hires a private investigator to sweep the house. When their bug is neutralized, our dynamic duo decide to hire someone “off the books” to install more sophisticated devices. The person they chose happens to be the private eye who found the police bug. You then have this individual installing ever more sophisticated bugs, only to be hired to find and remove self-same bugs. Hilarity ensues.

  10. GregAllen says:

    I heard on the radio that the original anti-insider trading legislation had language that would cover Stratfor, as well, but that the Republicans stripped it out.

    It sounds exactly like what a conservative would do but I can’t find anything about it on Google. Does anyone else know about it?

    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” did a segment on it. I believe what got the ball rolling was a “60 Minutes” segment. Here is link to Huffpost with what looks like clips from Stewart.


    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      Here is a link to a Wall Street Journal article that also offers an explanation of “political intelligence” and how all is not lost, at least until Congress explicitly exempts itself yet again.


      • Sister Mary Hand Grenade of Quiet Reflection says:

        Check out tinyurl.com so your URL isn’t 3 feet wide.

    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      Here is a link to one of the practitioners of “political intelligence” . I felt this paragraph was most informative.

      “Our political intelligence operation differs from standard ‘lobbying’ in that The OSINT Group is not looking to influence legislation on behalf of clients, but rather provide unique ‘monitoring’ of information through our personal relationships between lawmakers, staffers, and lobbyists working the K Street – Pennsylvania Avenue corridor. ”

      I.e. they hire ex-congresscritters and their staff to keep their noses in the committees, back-rooms, and halls of Congress to provide “actionable” information to the investment community. Or, who is to say they don’t have “special” relationships with current members and staff?


  11. Buzz Mega says:

    “America’s own privately run CIA.”

    Complete with missions, bullets and moments of tor… er, persuasion?”

  12. Dr_Wally says:

    I think the discussion here has revealed a very important point — the righties here don’t seem to have any problem with making money off information obtained by coercion, blackmail or subversion. If somebody can get their hands on secret, private, non-public information and make a buck off it, they are all for it.

    That is the essence of corruption, and you guys support it. Look in the mirror…

    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      I just finished reading an article saying that Rupert Murdoch’s “The News of the World”paid enormous sums of money over time to police, defense, and other government officials in order to obtain salacious gossip.

      It looks to be an equivalent operation but directed at a slightly different end.

  13. NewfornatSux says:

    I’m wondering how much of this release is genuine, and how many are made up? One of the e-mails says Iran’s nuke infrastructure has been destroyed by Israel.

    Perhaps WikiLeaks is including fake stuff like Peter Gleick.

    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      And it includes a Stratfor analyst attempting to debunk the e-mail you mentioned as being without substance.

      “One company analyst responded dismissively to the possibility of an Israeli attack having already taken place, asking: “How and when did the Israelis destroy the infra on the ground?”

      “Would anyone actually accept that this could let the Europeans forget about the Euro crisis, something they have been experiencing every day for over a year?!” the analyst added, asking: “Do we attribute any credibility to this item at all? I don’t even see what possible disinfo purposes this could serve.”

      Some one went to the trouble not only of creating bogus e-mails, but a whole thread of e-mails on this one topic? I don’t see it.

      But it is a great response by the company to say there may be false e-mails inserted into the mix, but they will not comment as to the truth or falsehood of any e-mail. They get to imply the worst were made up, while not allowing themselves to be caught denying any actual e-mail.

      • NewfornatSux says:

        Has the company actually said this? I was just thinking of how Peter Gleick has made the news by making up a fake memo Dan Rather style to go along with some documents he phished from Heartland Institute.

  14. Sister Mary Hand Grenade of Quiet Reflection says:

    You’d think these “security” companies could learn to protect their shit. After HBGary got their ass handed to them, it should give the others a wake up call. You really can’t blame it on the CEO, they are oblivious. “Protected networks” are an oxymoron.

    Speaking of morons, I’m surprised Julio, er, Pedro hasn’t said something stupid yet.

  15. getintouch says:

    just another bunch of jews trying to make a buck…

  16. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Here’s another review of the situation with links to reference work on wikileaks and Manning. Amusing quotes regarding Stratfor being upset about their property being stolen. No sense of irony at all.


  17. Glenn E. says:

    So this is just another fine mess that federal regulators (SEC or FTC?) haven’t bothered to police. Is Insider Trading acceptable and lawful, when private spies make it possible, for their clients? Seems like all one has to do is employ a middle man organization to handle the research, and advice, to skirt the law. Then, apparently, it’s plausible denial time, by whoever is making a killing with this information. I wonder how much intel that Stratfor gets, comes from the CIA, NSA, and FBI?

  18. Brother Pointy Stick of Reasoned Debate says:

    Sign up with Stratfor for their reports (especially, sign up to purchase anything) and you can safely presume your financial and other data will become available to them, assisting them to amass marketable information. They can sell information derived from your connection over and over in various compilations of data, thereby turning your investment of some money into a different kind of investment entirely, where Stratfor has you in its pocket, too.

  19. MartinJJ says:

    Stratfor is probably not the only private organisation doing these kind of things.

    Can I have one of those prepaid creditcards also please? 😉

    There are many companies out there harvesting all your internet and real life information 24/7 also. They determine your credit rating with that. All the banks and creditcard organizations use that. The CIA has a hotline with them also.

  20. NewfornatSux says:

    That applies to pretty much any purchase. Contribute to a political campaign, and you can expect to receive 100 pieces of mail from other campaigns in the future.

  21. TThor says:

    Sorry to say but this will not even reach main stream media if you as me…. the Chills stand to loose and can have nothing of that.

    What a sorry state of mind.

  22. Glenn E. says:

    This article reminds me a little of what I’ve heard of “E-Systems” many years ago. It still exists as a division of Raytheon.



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