WikiLeaks' steady drip of internal documents from the global intelligence outfit Stratfor hasn't unearthed any bombshells yet, but it has roped in a tantalizing roster of vaunted corporations and international actors that did business with the firm. From Coca-Cola to Goldman Sachs to the Knights of Columbus, Julian Assange's anti-secrecy site threw everything at the wall. Unfortunately, not much of it has stuck.
As The Atlantic's Max Fisher yawned, much of Stratfor's business model as an intelligence firm consists of giving clients a brief of day-old New York Times articles and week-old Economist stories under the guise of valuable "intelligence." Reuters columnist Jack Shafer couldn't find a single scooplet yesterday but did say it revealed something about WikiLeaks and Stratfor: "Both organizations are capable of doing 'good' work. But little of that is on display here." What's all the complaining about? Here's what the leaks have revealed so far:
The sealed indictment against Assange One potential scoop from today is a story in The Sydney Morning Herald about "secret charges" drawn up by U.S. prosecutors against Julian Assange. According to The Herald, an internal Stratfor e-mail from vice president Fred Burton says the U.S. has a "sealed indictment on Assange." The newspaper emphasizes Burton's credentials saying he is "an expert on security and counterterrorism with close ties to the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies." Since Assange hasn't been charged for anything in the U.S., a secret indictment would certainly be newsworthy, especially since many have speculated that Assange's extradition to Sweden on sex charges could lead to an extradition to the U.S. Still, we're just left with Burton's word here with nothing else to back up the secret indictment. Is there nowhere in the 5 million obtained e-mails where Burton explains where he heard about the indictment?