Institute for Public Accuracy
980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org
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Monday, February 27, 2012

MIKE BONANNO,
ANDY BICHBAUM,
Bonanno and Bichbaum are with the group The Yes Men, which released a statement this morning: “Massive Leak Reveals Criminality, Paranoia Among Corporate Titans.” http://www.theyesmen.org/stratfor

Bonanno was one of the participants at a news conference in London this morning with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and media partners from around the world as well as other activists. Video of the news conference and further background is available at: “WikiLeaks Publishes 5 Million ‘Shadow CIA’ E-Mails.” http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/02/26-2

The Yes Men news release states today: “WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from ‘global intelligence’ company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme … also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries to more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)

“Many of the Bhopal-related emails, addressed from Stratfor to Dow and Union Carbide public relations directors reveal concern that, in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, the Bhopal issue might be expanded into an effective systemic critique of corporate rule, and speculate at length about why this hasn’t yet happened — providing a fascinating window onto what at least some corporate types fear most from activists.”

At today’s news conference, Assange noted that Stratfor, unlike Murdoch’s News Corp., has refused to discuss the information disclosed.

Carlos Enrique Bayo of El Publico in Spain, one of WikiLeak’s media partners, charged that Stratfor guidelines outlined gathering information using illicit methods, including sexual relations, to in Stratfor CEO George Friedman’s words “take control” of informants (around 36:00). Kristinn Hrafnsson from WikiLeaks (around 1:03:00) charged that Stratfor uses “blatant blackmail.”

See the WikiLeaks news release and access the databases of the emails at “The Global Intelligence Files.” http://wikileaks.org/gifiles and see WikiLeaks Twitter feed for updates: https://twitter.com/#!/wikileaks

WikiLeaks news release states: “Stratfor’s use of insiders for intelligence soon turned into a money-making scheme of questionable legality. The emails show that in 2009 then-Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz and Stratfor CEO George Friedman hatched an idea to ‘utilise the intelligence’ it was pulling in from its insider network to start up a captive strategic investment fund. CEO George Friedman explained [this] in a confidential August 2011 document, marked DO NOT SHARE OR DISCUSS: ‘What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor’s intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like.'”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167