Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Silvia Stagg Wikileaks News Archives February 28-2012


DOJ refuses to confirm Assange indictment revealed by Stratfor leak

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:51 EST
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Photo: AFP.
Topics:  ♦  ♦ 
AUSTIN, TEXAS — The U.S. Department of Justice is refusing to comment on whether it has prepared espionage charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, even after emails allegedly stolen from the Austin, Texas firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) and published Tuesday revealed that the company claims to have a sealed indictment against him.
In an email published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday morning, Stratfor vice president Fred Burton writes that his firm has “a sealed indictment on Assange,” and asks subordinates to “Pls protect” the document, which was labeled “Not for Pub[lication].” In another email, Burton suggests that authorities could “lock him up” by having Assange detained as a material witness.
Burton’s email was sent in response to a discussion about reports that U.S. prosecutors have not been able to hang the case against Pvt. Bradley Manning on any direct contact with Assange.
Speaking to Raw Story Tuesday morning, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd said that they cannot comment “on whether anyone has been charged in a sealed indictment.”
Stratfor was hacked in January by unknown individuals claiming to be part of the “Anonymous” movement, who allegedly gave more than 5 million of Stratfor’s emails to WikiLeaks. The site began publishing the stolen documents on Monday, claiming they revealed a private spy agency used by corporations and top government officials. Hackers at the time revealed a list of the firm’s clients, which includes companies like Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Dow, the U.S. Defense Department, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marines and others.
While the U.S. Department of Justice has not confirmed the Assange indictment, it did convene a grand jury over a year ago to investigate charges related to the release of hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables allegedly given to WikiLeaks by Pvt. Manning.
It is not clear if Stratfor really has an indictment against Assange. The firm has refused to answer any questions raised by their stolen emails, and questions have arisen as to the validity of some of their intelligence. They have also suggested that some of the emails obtained by WikiLeaks could be fake.
Even Assange mocked their sometimes ineffectual analysis of world affairs, calling out the open source intelligence often used to beef up reports when that information wasn’t relevant or useful to Stratfor’s clients. The firm has been roundly ridiculed since their emails leaked, with some evenchiding WikiLeaks for taking them so seriously, saying the company is “a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight.”
Other Stratfor emails that discuss WikiLeaks hint that sexual assault allegations against Assange might not be entirely legitimate. One message shows Stratfor President George Friedman joking that Assange’s citizenship in Australia cannot be revoked because he’s “a total dickhead.” He was replying to analyst Chris Farnham, who openly questioned the veracity of the charges and alleged that a “close family friend in Sweden who knows the girl that is pressing charges” against the WikiLeaks founder allegedly said “there is absolutely nothing behind it” aside from a pair of eager prosecutors.
Analyst Marko Papic responds that Assange “hates America more than OBL (Osama bin Laden),” then jokes that “nobody in the U.S. is mad about the cables” before suggesting that Stratfor could potentially benefit from the popularity of Internet leaks. “[S]hould we change our Stratfor motto now?” analyst Reva Bhalla asks. “Predictive, insightful intelligence…in a post-Cablegate world.”
Assange has been under house arrest in the U.K. pending an appeal of an extradition request by Swedish authorities. His attorney insists that he had consensual sex with two women and that one later claimed he did not use a condom despite her wishes, which is grounds for sexual assault charges in Sweden. Assange said Monday that sexual manipulation is a tool used by private spies around the world, implying that he too became the target of such advances, but leveling no direct charges at his accusers.
The WikiLeaks founder has been appealing a lower court’s ruling granting the extradition request, and the British Supreme Court heard his case earlier this month. If his appeal is denied, Assange may still bring the extradition to the European Court of Human rights.
He claims that the extradition request is politically motivated, and fears that if he’s in Swedish custody and espionage charges against him emerge in America, he could face a lengthy prison sentence. Assange is also planning to host a new talk show on the Russia Today news channel, to debut sometime later this year.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
Share this story >>
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.

Add New Comment

  • Image

Showing 1-40 of 58 comments

  • hegesias, Often censored. Never silenced.
    What a farce.  Occupy the DOJ! 
    Instead of going after the war criminals, the DOJ goes after the people exposing the war criminals.    Yet another reason I will not be voting for either of the Corporate Party candidates come November.  
  • Orwellrollsinhisgrave
    I read that the CEO of Stratfor has resigned - is this true?  This whole line of disclosure
    is major - it is a missing piece - and explains this or that uncooperative politician being outed
    about this or that sexual transgression.  It ties into the industry of misinformation.
    It explains - at least to a degree - how and why some stories never seem to gain a foothold.
    We have trouble right herein River City children of the corn.  Me thinks there will have to be
    a diversion soon, and I'm not speaking about dum dum Santorum and the baseball season..uh
    ... I mean presidential primary cycle.

  • theoracle
    The way I figure it, Wikileaks and Julian Assange have even more, ahem, "leverage" regarding these Stratfor e-mails (5 million) than the previous "leverage" involving the leaked cables.
    Assange has only released information concerning just over 4,000 of these 5 million e-mails, juicy tidbits revealing the secretive inner workings of the global multi-national corporation community that often operates outside the law and across all borders, a criminal cartel intent upon colonizing and monopolizing the entire world for their profit and only their profit.
    Therefore, Assange has no doubt safeguarded these leaked Stratfor e-mails as he did the leaked cables, and if proceedings continue against him (and Wikileaks) then there is a high likelihood that there will be a major 5 million e-mail document dump someday, and "taking out" Julian Assange in one way or another will not stop this.
  • kidkeenan
    How quickly the so-called forces that are supposed to be defending us reach for the Nazi methods of preventative detention, material witness and indefininate detention without ANY charges. Such is the behavior of Henchmen.
  • michaelj72
    viva Anonymous! viva Julian!! viva Bradley Manning!!!
    (what a neo-con bore the world and news would be the last two years if it wasn't for them and the great Arab Spring......)
  • H.P. Loathecraft
     Stratfor VP on Assange: “Move him from country to country to face various charges for the next 25 years…. Bankrupt the arsehole first, ruin his life. Give him 7-12 yrs for conspiracy.” 
  • A truly fascist resoponse.   Stalin would be proud.
  • ignatzfattis
    ...and I wonder if -"...next 25 years. But, seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki."- would include those of us insubordinate enough to actually go to the Wikileaks site?

    Should we consider this a declaration of hostilities towards us too?
  • michaelj72
    stratfor is just part of Minitrue - the Ministry of Truth (of the US gov't )
    and has no legitimacy any more as an independent source of info or analysis. everything they do and say now is suspect in my eyes
  • The fascists will never give-up until they get him...
  • photoshock
    This story is sourced here as true
    this story explains the whole of the story and is in my mind accurate. We shouldn't trust our government to tell us the truth any longer neither should we be so secure in our beliefs that America isn't a totalitarian government soon to spring the trap of authoritarian regimes the world over. Much like either China, North Korea or Iran, America will be an overtly authoritarian regime within the next 2 election cycles. 
    Don't be surprised that this has been the plan all along and that we the people, the true government have been hoodwinked and bamboozled into believing lies perpetrated by a corporately owned mass media. Hopefully we all become aware that this is happening as we speak and we are not free in the "land of the free" anymore.
    Also we cannot help but wonder why all of a sudden this story is coming out, is it because the CMI is planning on going to war with Iran? It certainly seems that Israel and the US are calling louder for the drumbeats of war against a nation that has not tried to start a war with either Israel or the US. American corporations are neck deep in the filth and degradation of covering up the crimes of their own making. Now we know that the story that Julian Assange told us is true and without doubt. 
    Come on people, wake up and smell the bullshit! We're being fed lies and more than this, we are being deceived openly by the corporate media to the point where we are now somnolent in our homes and jobs. Walking around but never truly awake, we are gliding through life without a care because someone told us, it's o.k. go back to sleep, watch your Downton Abbey, watch your Antiques Roadshow or any other program you watch and we'll take care of the bad guys, we'll take care of the problems just as long as you don't rock the boat and tell us stories.
  • irrumabo, resident
    Did this security firm defend themselves publicly by saying that they are a joke firm and that nobody takes them seriously?
    It is fascinating to see the veil lifted and the dual narrative exposed - between what actually goes on in this world (DOD) and what the media reports.
  • That level of honesty just doesn't happen in the good Ol' US of A.
  • "The firm has been roundly ridiculed since their emails leaked, with some even chiding WikiLeaks for taking them so seriously, saying the company is 'a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight.' "
    So, how much is the Obama military paying for this "punchline"? Does he think we have a strategic punchline gap against Russia the way John Kennedy thought we had a "missile gap" against the Soviet Union during the 1960 campaign?
  • cwnidog
     Oh My God! They've found out about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • There may be no way to effect change in this country other than blood, sweat, and tears..but either way I hope more Sites pop up like WikiLeaks and give the curious a peek at the bastards who are currently exploiting us as citizens, and have as many fingers in the pie as Chris Elliot from "Scary Movie"
  • H.P. Loathecraft
    Anonymous seems to be growing up a little lately. I hope they continue in their new-found capacity as hackers for social justice above all.
  • DocChaos
    As I was cruising the net I ran across a post from somebody who said, "obey no laws except these," and he or she listed the ten commandments and a copy of the Bill of Rights. 
    As it happened I'd just seen a FOX news (I know, don't say it) video called "Illegal Everything" that started out with a story about little girls being put out of the lemon-aid stand business by armed police. 
    Between the two I was reminded of all the power we give away every day to legislators controlled by the rich and influential who create more and more restrictive laws that guarantee we cannot breath air in our own home without breaking some obscure law the "authorities" can use to prosecute us.  They have absolute control thanks to a system designed to utterly suppress the people by the people who control the power. 
    For instance, if you want to own a taxi in New York City you have to buy a million dollar medallion (license). That's why only corporations control the taxis. Or why a petty politician in a rural town can abuse authority and ruin your life by digging up a BS law you can't avoid breaking.
    Laws don't have to make sense or be just. They only have to exist and they do exist to give more power to those who abuse them in order to abuse us. Politicians and public officials are not required to be just or possess one lick of common sense. I don't think it's necessary for me to elaborate on that. 
    Then I thought the poster might be right.  What do we need legislators for? How much of what they do is actually conducive to our rights as laid down in our Constitution and Bill of Rights?  And how often is it they and their bureaucrats violate both the Constitution in spirit, word, and deed?
    I concluded the guy had a point. 
    Then I went back to the idea that money in politics steals our Democracy and our freedom.
    The tax deduction for political contributions is democracy's greatest nemesis. If we end the tax deduction corporations can't play politics because stock holders wouldn't stand for it and we'd have more money in our Treasury. Big business out of the election process because they can no longer divert taxes they owe to us from us to buy their influence? What a concept.
    Then I was certain the guy was right.
    (Edited by author 2 hours ago)
  • Look up the Poison Control Act sometime. Got any bug spray in your house? Oven cleaner? Bleach? We are all felons. No joke.
  • EuroSkeptic
    These emails clearly elucidate the merger of corporate America with US policy and classified intelligence information. It is the 1% being given access to some of the most sensitive domestic and international intelligence which, in a democratic and law abiding society, would be the sole providence of the policy makers and intelligence, justice, and defense departments, and under the protections and firewalls which are in place to prevent disclosure. This is corruption at its worst, corruption of the rights of the people and their rightful expectation of equality and justice. Furthermore, it is blatant financial and economic corruption of a massive magnitude. If there exists even a semblance of justice and integrity in Washington the jails will be filled with the perpetrators of this travesty. 
  • Maybe they got it indirectly through Murdoch. He seems to be good at doing this kind of thing without getting caught, at least until recently. One wonders if an exchange of money was involved.
  • Biffler
    "It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong."  - Voltaire
  • This latest info drop gives us another insight into the minds of the corporate exploiters. That is the greatest value of Wikileaks, revealing that these corporations and their government lackeys are working against us systematically.
  • FlatBaroque
    This is the eye of the fascist hurricane.  This is what you would look at if you wanted to see what a fascist state looks like.  This is where government and private interests merge.  This is the distillation of all the corruption and general evil in our world emanates.  This is the putrid cesspool of corrupt government employees who cash in.  
    NB: The reason companies like this exist is because Coca Cola, as an example, cannot be seen doing the things that Stratfor does because that would be too obvious a crime.  So these are the companies that function as the criminal arms of the multi-national corpse.  That the US government is in bed with the company is a clear indication that this country is run by purely corrupt individuals.  We are a fascist nation.
  • HeavyHebrew
    Anyone find it odd that a private intelligence outfit had a sealed indictment of the Department of Justice?
  • Veri1138
    Public-Private Partnership. Besides, 70-80% of American intelligence support and operations are out-sourced nowadays. You see, American private sector has been wrung dry of profits. There really is no growth there. Western Europe experienced that in the 90s until the suckered the former Communist countries in.
    Expanded markets, cheap labor, and rich Western corporations able to buy, on the cheap, infrastructure and businesses. That leaves only one place to increase profits.
    Government. Specifically, taxpayer money. Every wonder why Bush & The Republicans were so eager to privatize Social Security? Now you know. Trillions of dollars lying around to be tapped by Wall Street in speculation, fees, and more fees. Right now, High Finance is content with buying and privatizing government (meaning, tax money) for profit - increased fees, poor service, etc. Parking meters in Chicago. Water services in some counties. Public utilities being sold off. Roadways become tollways to satisfy the fees of Wall Street and generate Profit for wealthy investors and hedge funds.
    When that is wrung dry, there is only one place left to suck what little wealth remains to be vacuumed out of society - you and people like you.
    That is called 'slavery'.
    You want to make money in this world? Become a government contractor after joining the Democrat or Republican Party, pay the maximum contribution you can to support your 'friend', arrange others to help you funnel money to both candidates if you can. And when your new, best 'friend' is elected, why... $5,000 can turn into a juicy government contract worth millions - only, you have to keep juicing the machine after that.
    And remember, if you say it or write down what you are doing... it may be a crime. If it just so happens that there is no 'appearance' of quid pro quo... nothing to worry about.
  • DocChaos
    You bet I find it odd. In fact, I'd say is was a felony for a private company to be in possession of a sealed indictment. I'd say they are spies. I'd say there was a leak in the DOJ. I'd say that person is committing a felony. It may even be they are guilty of violating their oath of office.
    Unless Stratfor stole that document if indeed they actually possess it, there is a conspiracy to violate the Constitution. If they lied about it, they are obviously too untrustworthy to be a government contractor. If the information leaked has been faked in it's incumbent on them to deny it.
    Stratfor needs to be investigated and their contracts suspended until these allegations are proven or dis-proven because they may be a security risk and worse.  As such, the DOJ is obviously not the agency that should conduct the investigation.
    (Edited by author 2 hours ago)
  • ibmaddad
    Could be Stratfor helped 'develop' the case for indictment by DOJ ??
    "Even Assange mocked their sometimes ineffectual analysis of world affairs, calling out the open source intelligence often used to beef up reports when that information wasn’t relevant or useful to Stratfor’s clients"
    The link provided in this article,
    "Hackers at the time revealed a list of the firm’s clients, which includes companies like..", leads to  this;
    "Hackers provided a link on Twitter to what they said was Stratfor’s private client list, which included the US Defense Department, Army, Air Force, law enforcement agencies, top security contractors and technology firms like Apple and Microsoft."
    I don't Twitter, so, any readers here with a Twitter acct. care to post for us if DOJ is one of Statfor's clients?  Even if they are and Stratfor did help develop DOJ's indictment, there still seems to be something wrong with them having a copy of a sealed indictment.
  • HystErica79
    I'd love to know who they got it from...
  • FlatBaroque
    Perhaps if you thought of the DOJ and Stratfor as different operating units of the same corporation, it would be more clear.
  • I didn't know the Mob was incorporated under U.S. law. I'll have to look into that. ;-)
  • Obi-jonKenobi, compulsive blogger
    My thoughts exactly!
  • Wow, so I guess we do actually still have a DOJ.  I figured it had been dis-banded since there has been zero prosecution of any bankster and/or wall st crook that crashed our economy and then needed tax payer bailouts to continue to receive their ill-gotten gains.
    (Edited by author 4 hours ago)
  • You might want to watch The Keiser Report on RT:
    http://rt.com/programs/keiser-...
    if you really want to have your stomach turned at what the bankers are getting away with.
  • Democratic* war criminals. Fucking neocolonialism.
  • 7up98682
    Anybody know how all this material is sent to Wikileaks? I also find it hard to believe that a PFC would be able to download all that info without some superior not knowing about it. Is Manning being used as a scrapegoat to cover some General's ass?
    So many questions, no answers, and I doubt we will ever learn the real truth.
  • HeavyHebrew
    Never underestimate the institutional incompetency that is the national bureaucracy.
Site Meter