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On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.


Released on 2012-03-15 04:00 GMT

Email-ID 5368282
Date 2004-12-19 00:34:17

Note the report below.

Does this check out?

If so, please pay this guy well and immediately for this, and let's get
him on board.

He will follow up with a report on the recent Damascus bombing. He wants
to be paid for that also.

----- Original Message -----
From: bILAl reda
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 6:18 PM
Subject: Hello Tony Sullivan
Syria must jettison 'hide-all' strategy
By Ziad Haydar
Special to The Daily Star
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Hello Tony,
To proceed our previous conversation for stratfor request, I knew from
very confident sources
in Syria inside the Ba'th party that the party leadership is planning to
Islamize the party
to give the regime some Islamic and popular legitimacy on one hand, and
to absorb the
ascendence of the fundamentalist Islamism in Syria on the other hand, the
Abdul-halim Khadam is leading this process which is very new and in its
first step of
planning. This info is very new and secret and this process is similar of
what Saddam
Hussein has done after the Gulf war when he brought the Wahabbi Salafi
groups to Iraq
to islamize the society in front of the Shi'ism in Iraq and later brought
Abu Mus'ab
al-Zarqawi and the Islamist fighters to fight the coalition forces.
Please let's our
correspondence be at this email and using my nickname on the bottom.
All the best,
Now you can pursue the article :)
Several months ago, while on a trip to several European countries, I had
the opportunity of meeting a good number of Syrians and Arabs living
Among the amazing questions I was asked, both as a Syrian and journalist
living in Damascus, was whether the Mazzeh incidents were staged or real -
in reference to the event that took place in that neighborhood of Damascus
last April. An outbreak of gunfire resulted in the death of several
people, and the detention of the alleged perpetrators. According to
official reports, the incident was not the work of any political
organization. The important point here, however, was not the incident
itself, but rather the way Syrians living abroad perceived it. No one
seemed to believe what official sources had said about what had happened.
Here is another example: When the Israeli Air Force bombed the area of Ain
al-Saheb in October 2003, targeting a Palestinian refugee camp abandoned a
year earlier, Israel television showed footage of fighters training in a
facility to indicate that these were actual Palestinian fighters in the
Ain al-Saheb camp. For those who saw the footage, its shortcomings were
obvious as the pictures probably dated from the early 1980's. What was
important though was that the Syrian authorities from the outset prevented
anyone from getting close to the site and only offered an official
explanation about the attack after a considerable delay. The Syrian
ambassador in Spain, however, did speak about the incident, promising
there would be an appropriate Syrian response. The Syrian Foreign Ministry
hastened to deny that any official Syrian response had been given, only to
issue words similar to the ambassador's eight days later.
Meanwhile, not a single camera was allowed at the Ain al-Saheb location to
record the aftermath of the attack, although it had taken place near a
residential area. The official response was that "Syria has credibility"
and, therefore, Western journalists on its territory should rely on that
to answer their networks' questions about the camp and the results of the
bombardment. Within this context, we can ask: Why doesn't the Syrian state
ever test its credibility in the eyes of others?
When the former Hamas official, Izzeddin Sheikh Khalil, was assassinated
in Damascus approximately three months ago, a colleague from the BBC got
in touch with me to say that rumors were circulating in Lebanon to the
effect that Syria was behind the incident. The gist of the matter here is
that the finger of accusation still pointed to Syria, even when it was the
victim. And painful as it may be to say so, the Syrians themselves are
often to blame for this.
Why is this so? Why are the Syrians authorities rarely believed? The
answer to such questions is easy, though we at the same time reject its
implications. The reason is that in the past four years, successive Syrian
information ministers have asked it without seeing the wisdom of analyzing
the situation on the ground and gaining in-depth knowledge of journalistic
ethics and of how journalists work.
When the Mazzeh incident took place, journalists complained of not being
able to use their mobile telephones to report on what had taken place,
since the mobile network virtually broke down. In addition, the
neighborhood was entirely surrounded by police, there was a total
information blackout, and for the first few hours after the incident, no
official source could be reached. After the incident was over, when
journalists finally were allowed to enter the area, the director of one
news organization was attacked by a group of students (were they really
students?) who accused him of being a spy and demanded that he be put on
trial for wanting to damage Syria's image. The man's car was willfully
damaged, until he managed to calm the crowd down and take their picture as
they hailed the president.
These were the first pictures of the incident out of Syria and, later on,
Syrian television aired pictures of a weapons cache found in the area, but
not before several hours had already elapsed. By that time, Israeli media
had already reached the ears of the world and presented their own version
of events. The confusion among the ranks of Syrian officials meant that
they had lost a golden opportunity to tell their side of the story. When,
a month later, the official results of the investigation were announced,
they were unimpressive and redundant. Tardiness, bad timing and poor
crisis mismanagement harm Syria's image internationally. The methods
displayed by officials are liable on their own, even if unwittingly, to
profoundly affect the image of any country.
Syria still deals with many issues in an unjustifiably and
incomprehensibly secretive manner. Syria's border police still look
suspiciously at those entering or leaving the country and the word
"forbidden" is the term most often on the mind of civil servants, whether
civilian or military. Journalists are repeatedly told that it is
"forbidden" to take pictures, "forbidden" to ask questions and sometimes
even "forbidden" to be where the action is. And, if by chance
representatives of the state are patient enough to hear people's
complaints against what is "forbidden," their fallback answer to this is
"we received no instructions to take action."
As a further example of the difficulties faced by media, Syrian television
monopolizes all unlicensed satellite transmissions, except in very rare
cases. Added to that are the difficulties foreign reporters face when
asking for a Syrian visa and when trying to extend their stay in the
country. That's aside from the fact that their electronic equipment is
impounded at Damascus airport and that they are constantly shadowed by an
Information Ministry employee (allegedly there to assist them). The Syrian
authorities behave as if they have more to hide than to share.
It is incumbent upon every Arab and foreign journalist, at least those who
want to describe the reality in Syria to the outside world, to inform
Syrian government officials that if they behave as if they have something
to hide, this will only allow journalists to imagine the worst about what
it is they are hiding. Even if an official is only trying to hide a tear
in his suit, a journalist will imagine that he is concealing a bomb under
his desk. Perhaps a bomb that might go off if that official ever speaks
the truth.
Ziad Haydar is a Damascus-based Syrian journalist. He wrote this
commentary for THE DAILY STAR


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