Stratfor’s Middle East Leaks
In case you haven't heard of the latest buzz in the Wikileaks saga that spawned a whole trend of exposing high-level hacked documents, we bring you Stratfor, the Global Intelligence (GI) files. This email trove of 5 million gathered from the Stratfor database has caused the latest spy drama to leak out of our security conscious world.
Stratfor, is a private intelligence firm based in Austin, Texas with both domestic and foreign ties to intelligence in the military, corporate, and government sectors. It is precisely because of its connection to these groups, that this Stratfor stash makes such a valuable finding. Continue reading below »
In the scope of these indicting email inbox documents that reveal dramatic news-worthy Middle East nuggetes, there is a curious lack of professionality about those behind the emails-- specifically those that conduct this intelligence business. More embarrassment than serious security crisis. A security breach for a professional institution that trades in secure information of a critically sensitive nature, or by definition, intelligence, presents us with quite a tautological state of affairs.
While later published by Wikileaks, it was the hacking arm, Anonymous, who syphoned these emails between July 24 December 2/ 2011. Most disclosures were email discussion restricted to the realm of global gossip and surmising, and touched on matters already suspected or somewhat known. Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan was exposed as suffering from cancer - something that his people unofficially knew. The emails went further and gave him 2 years to live.
“The GI Files” while not revealing anything all that global-shattering reveal more about the human ineptitude of intelligence agents, in a way that the clumsy Dubai Mossad incident did. Or shedding an excrutiating beam of day-light on the very human nature of our banter-filled email inboxes - from the dictator inbox to the average personal or 'professional' account.
Stratfor's peeping staff
Stratfor was founded over a decade ago in Austin, Texas by George Friedman, a former political science professor. Friedman is the company’s chief intelligence officer, financial overseer, and CEO.
Friedman has a trail of security projects under his belt, including working with Defense branch of the US government, as well as other institutions like the notorious RAND Corporation. He is a self-proclaimed disciple of Neo-Conservative icons as Leo Strauss.
Fred Burton, Stratfor's vice-president for counter-terrorism and corporate security, completes the unsavory (as exhibited in a slide) leadership of the think tank. He was a special agent with the US Diplomatic Security Service and was appointed by Washington to investigate the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, and a number of bomb plots by al-Qaeda prior to 9/11.
We have highlighted some of the more salient features from the copious discussions regarding the Middle East, in our Stratfor on the Middle East gallery.
Over to you:
Do you think the world spy-game has changed in this day and 'information' age? Is peeping work less slick and movie-worthy than espionage of a bygone era?