Stratfor, Dow, Bhopal and Wikileaks
The backstory from Reuters:
In its latest high-profile disclosure, WikiLeaks said in a statement it had acquired access to a vast haul of internal and external correspondence of Strategic Forecasting Inc (Stratfor), based in Austin Texas.
Stratfor describes itself as a subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis with an intelligence-based approach to gathering information.
WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange told Reuters: “Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations, and journalists.”
“What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organisations fighting for a just cause.”
Wired summarized the explosive bits:
The first batch of leaked e-mails purport to show that Stratfor monitored the political prankster group known as The Yes Men on behalf of Dow Chemical, which has been targeted by The Yes Men over the company’s handling of the Bhopal disaster. The e-mails also purport to show Stratfor’s attempt to set up an investment fund with a Goldman Sachs director to trade on the intelligence Stratfor collects, as well as give insight into how the private intelligence firm acquires, and sometimes pays for, information.
Stratfor, somewhat akin to a privatized CIA, sells its analyses of global politics to major corporations and government agencies.