Wikileaks: Dow Paid Strategic Intelligence Firm to Spy on Yes Men, Other Activists
Wikileaks has begun publishing over five million emails obtained by Anonymous from Stratfor, a "strategic intelligence" firm, which reveal corporate paranoia over past misdeeds and a hefty insider trading scheme within Goldman Sachs. Dow feared that Bhopal activists, who seek compensation for the company's Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India, would use the 25th anniversary to bring to light broader corruption across the spectrum of corporations—and from the sound of it, Dow was terrified. From a press release:
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.
"[Bhopal activists] have made a slight nod toward expanded activity, but never followed through on it—the idea of 'other Bhopals' that were the fault of Dow or others," mused Joseph de Feo, who is listed in one online source as a "Briefer" for Stratfor.
"Maybe the Yes Men were the pinnacle. They made an argument in their way on their terms—that this is a corporate problem and a part of the a [sic] larger whole," wrote Kathleen Morson, Stratfor's Director of Policy Analysis.
"With less than a month to go [until the 25th anniversary], you'd think that the major players—especially Amnesty—would have branched out from Bhopal to make a broader set of issues. I don't see any evidence of it," wrote Bart Mongoven, Stratfor's Vice President, in November 2004. "If they can't manage to use the 25th anniversary to broaden the issue, they probably won't be able to."
Julian Assange, the Yes Men and the Bhopal Medical Appeal will speak today in London. To read more Stratfor revelations, go here.