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Stratfor Is a Joke and So Is Wikileaks for Taking It Seriously

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posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:30 PM
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Stratfor Is a Joke and So Is Wikileaks for Taking It Seriously


www.theatlantic.c om

The group's reputation among foreign policy writers, analysts, and practitioners is poor; they are considered a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight. As a former recipient of their "INTEL REPORTS" (I assume someone at Stratfor signed me up for a trial subscription, which appeared in my inbox unsolicited), what I found was typically some combination of publicly available information and bland "analysis" that had already appeared in the previous day's New York Times. A friend who works in intelligence once joked that Stratfor is just The Economist a week la
(visit the link for the full news article)



Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
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posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:30 PM
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The Atlantic and CSM come out with matching hit pieces claiming that Stratfor is not the big deal Wikileaks are making them out to be. As one of the commenters on the Atlantic article points out - the similarity and timing of the two articles is a bit suspicious.

I'm not too sure where I stand on the subject - what I've read of the emails does seem to indicate that they have some real intel, but at the same time it doesn't seem like anything too juicy has been released yet, so it's hard to be sure.

I will say this, from the wording in the Atlantic article it certainly seems like the author doth protest too much.

www.theatlantic.c om
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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The best way to hide the truth is right out in the open.

When a rumor or evidence is presented, create more rumors and create similar conflicting documents, so basically spread more rumors.

In the end, people will be so confused and the truth will be so distorted they will give up.

From this post here



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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The most important tools we have in all of this is ultimately our own minds. We can think for ourselves (despite what some may believe), so think of it this way: "If Stratfor is a joke, then why are high profile companies etc. buying/using their services?".



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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I think I'll take the age old advice that rarely goes wrong when it comes to Stratfor. Follow the money. Some of the first things out are member and client lists with dollar figures.

if Stratfor was fit for major companies and Governments to pay the sums of money the material indicates, then I'll take what they have seriously. Money DOES talk. Now we've seen a couple hundred out of a claimed 5 million documents. We haven't even had a sneak peek yet. I'm holding off judgement of quality until I at least see a fair sample...if I really get to looking at much more at all. There is still something about all this that leaves me feeling downright dirty after looking at the Stratfor material. It isn't what it says...but how it came to be on my screen.

We'll see....but I sure wouldn't make snap judgements after seeing a tiny fraction of a % of the material they claim to have. This could be just a calm before the hurricane.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:40 PM
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If it was such a joke, why the resignation and the statements saying 'erm some of those emails might have been doctored, but even if they have they're not true, none of them - we deny everything'

The stage of reflection and denial begins.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:47 PM
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I have read STRATFOR. Its pretty much just people making educated guesses out of open source information. Its a cheap service and sames some companies from having to have a staff to do it themselves. That being said they are wrong as often as they are right and I have never seen them ever break anything of interest. Think of them as a group that reads all the paper and web based publications and then has some people who are suppose to have a background and knowledge of a certain region read between the lines and guess what is happening. Why anyone would bother with them is beyond me unless a real intelligence organization is just to hard.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by mr-lizard
If it was such a joke, why the resignation and the statements saying 'erm some of those emails might have been doctored, but even if they have they're not true, none of them - we deny everything'


The resignation letter is fake. I received the email because I am a Stratfor subscriber and my email was "outted" by the leak (along with my credit card, great fun!) Here's a copy of it:



Dear loyal Stratfor partners and clients,

It is with great personal disappointment I have to inform you that I will resign from my position as CEO for Stratfor to immediate effect.

Please rest assured that this decision was not an easy. But in the light of the recent events, especially the release of our company emails by WikiLeaks, I have decided that stepping down is in the best interest of Stratfor and its customer base.

I want to emphasize that this will have no effect on Stratfor's business or its members and we will continue to provide state-of-the-art intelligence services.

Regarding the latest breach, Stratfor is fully in control of the situation However, while I cannot take any personal responsibility for this incident, I still have to admit that mistakes have been made on our side. To be clear: We certainly do not condone any criminal activities by groups like Anonymous or other hackers. This is theft and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice. But we must acknowledge that this incident would not have been possible if Stratfor had implemented stronger data protection mechanisms - which will be the case from now on. Indeed we will immediately move to implement the latest, and most comprehensive, data security measures.

While I played no role in our technical operations, as the company's CEO I do accept full responsibility thus will resign from my position effective immediately.

Again, my sincerest apologies for this whole unfortunate incident.

Sincerely,
George Friedman


You can see that the email is neither grammatical nor coherent in its message. It's completely fake.

However, to some extent I agree with the articles. Stratfor puts out a wide variety of material, but it certainly cannot all be called comprehensive. I have to consider some of its stuff fluff of the Captain Obvious persuasion, though once in awhile they offer extremely in-depth and interesting analyses.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 06:08 PM
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maybe their intelligence is mostly #e but ill bet there an op or 2 comprimised because of them. Read the one about ground 0 mosque, the only reason they would ever have allowed anyone to build a mosque there is to see who's stupid enough to try and fund it. By playing silly little private Jame Bond games they are putting national security at risk as lets face it even if they are in the process of blowing an op, they dont posses the relevant clearance to be told about it!!!

EDIT. I wonder what agency they are pretending to be in order to run foreign assets? I presume they not saying "hi im from Stratfor" as Im sure the defecting general is going to trust a private company with his life lol

edit on 27-2-2012 by Maponos because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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This PDF on Wikileaks is purported to be from Stratfor. If nothing else, it shows they don't lack a sense of humor. It's a bit lengthy, but I found it a worthwhile read.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 07:15 PM
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One day of looking at Stratfor emails, I picked up on the following:

1. Israel having killcodes to Iranian SAMs, Russia having kill codes to Georgia's UAVs (Both compromised not knowing about it of course)
2. Very likely that Friedman and Karl Rove like hanging out with women on the side. (Unless their buddy was making a joke about their wives)
3. Stratfor, as much of a "joke" as they were, was still being contracted by defense agencies, and was planning to do an insider trading scheme off the intel they were getting.
4. A prominent judge thinks he was set up for sexual assault charges because he ruled against Halliburton.
5. Democrats in some areas may have committed voter fraud to get Obama into office, also, there was likely a payoff to Jesse Jackson to stop his diatribe aimed at Jews.

I think there was a few other interesting tidbits that I read as well, just can't think of them offhand.


The bottom line, is I'd rather get the info from internal documents, it's so much easier to read than the spin-mixed crap that comes out of any newspaper.




posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 07:24 PM
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Funny that the media outlets reporting this with tongue in cheek are the ones named as being in league. There are some very serious implications (some Boncho pointed out) mixed in this batch and I don't know how anyone can downplay it especially with 4,999,800 some odd emails left to go through. This has definitely rattled cages, I don't believe for a second that resignation was faked, I think STRATFOR reeled him back with a "dumbass now we look guilty". Better they look like fools and jokes in the industry than true demons they are eh?



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 08:10 PM
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It seems like Forbes are also reporting that the CEO has not resigned:

www.forbes.com...

I have to agree that the fact that we already have some juicy info out of just a few emails shows that Stratfor did have some serious intel sources. I mean the Sam Kent story came out because the Director of Analysis had lunch with him.

You'd think you'd have to be a fairly serious player to be having lunch with (even former) supreme court justices.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by TheStev
 


What about the emails between Friedman and Karl Rove. I assume the man is well connected.

On that note however, I didn't buy into the resignation. Friedman is the founder of Stratfor, he built the company and even reminisces about its early creation. Essentially the company is more an extension of himself and his professional career, so I doubt that he would jump ship at the first sign of disaster.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 09:11 PM
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I wish I could make as much money from being a joke as Stratfor does!!




posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by Aloysius the Gaul
I wish I could make as much money from being a joke as Stratfor does!!



You could always try being a "source" for them, codename ME1 gets 6000/month.




posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by TheStev
 


I agree. Stratfor is a subscription news letter. Nothing more imo. What they do amounts to what I do on ATS ..... say common sense BS about geo political / economic situations around the World and try to predict what will happen.

The only difference is I can't charge people money for it (here...)


Of the E-mails I've seen thus far appears to be nothing more than intraoffice bantering.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by MrSpad
I have read STRATFOR. Its pretty much just people making educated guesses out of open source information. Its a cheap service and sames some companies from having to have a staff to do it themselves. That being said they are wrong as often as they are right and I have never seen them ever break anything of interest. Think of them as a group that reads all the paper and web based publications and then has some people who are suppose to have a background and knowledge of a certain region read between the lines and guess what is happening. Why anyone would bother with them is beyond me unless a real intelligence organization is just to hard.


Know what I've heard about the CIA?

That the CIA is nothing more than a front for assassinations and other black ops, while their actual "intelligence" role is comparable to a middle-ranking university's political think-tank. The fact that Stratfor may not be some first-rate intel network, doesn't mean that it doesn't serve its place within American intelligence agencies.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 10:27 PM
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Just to be clear, I'm not saying I think Stratfor is a joke. As per the BAN rules I've copied the headline from the source. I'm just posting this for discussion purposes.

I'm not completely convinced, but tend to think that Stratfor do have at least some legitimate sources. I tend to think that these articles are an attempt to minimise the impact of the leaked emails, but either way I'm just posting it for your consideration - I don't have enough info to take a position regarding Stratfor.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by TheStev
 


I wouldn't doubt their sources, but their end product is imo no more legitimate than say ... CNN .. who also has "sources".

I would say the most significant aspect of Stratfor is their corporate security. I have not personally seen any emails about that branch of the company though, mostly just people making comments about global politicians and events.



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