Stratfor, WikiLeaks and the Obama administration’s war against truth

Amy Goodman writes: WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website, has again published a massive trove of documents, this time from a private intelligence firm known as Stratfor. The source of the leak was the hacker group Anonymous, which took credit for obtaining more than 5m emails from Stratfor’s servers. Anonymous obtained the material on 24 December 2011, and provided it to WikiLeaks, which, in turn, partnered with 25 media organizations globally to analyze the emails and publish them.

Among the emails was a short one-liner that suggested the US government has produced, through a secret grand jury, a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In addition to painting a picture of Stratfor as a runaway, rogue private intelligence firm with close ties to government-intelligence agencies serving both corporate and US military clients, the emails support the growing awareness that the Obama administration, far from diverging from the secrecy of the Bush/Cheney era, is obsessed with secrecy, and is aggressively opposed to transparency.

I travelled to London last Independence Day weekend to interview Assange. When I asked him about the grand jury investigation, he responded:

“There is no judge, there is no defense counsel, and there are four prosecutors. So, that is why people that are familiar with grand-jury inquiries in the United States say that a grand jury would not only indict a ham sandwich, it would indict the ham and the sandwich.”

As I left London, the Guardian newspaper exposed more of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp phone-hacking scandal, which prompted the closing of his tabloid newspaper, the largest circulation Sunday newspaper in the UK, the News of the World. The coincidence is relevant, as the News of the World reported anything but what its title claimed, focusing instead on salacious details of the private lives of celebrities, sensational crimes, and photos of scantily-clad women. Through this and his other endeavours, Murdoch amassed a reported personal fortune of $7.6bn. [Continue reading…]

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