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STRATFOR EMAILS: Stratfor on the Australian Assange

Friday 2nd March 2012, 00:00GMT

On February 27, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the private intelligence organization Stratfor, a US company based in Texas.

In a late 2010 email exchange between George Friedman, Stratfor’s CEO and founder, and the firm’s Sydney-based watch officer, Chris Farnham, Farham discusses revoking Assange’s Australian citizenship and his desire to murder the WikiLeaks Editor in Chief.

Farnham asks Friedman: "Is it possible to revoke someone’s citizenship on the grounds of them being a total dickhead? I don’t care about the other leaks but the ones he has made that potentially damage Australian interests upset me. If I thought I could switch this dickhead off without getting done I don’t think I’d have too much of a problem." (1050427)

CEO George Friedmen responds: "It is possible to revoke citizenship on the grounds of being a dickhead except in Australia, where all of Queensland and a good part of South Australia, along with all of Sydney Uni would lose their passports." (1050427)

In another email, a former Australian Senator from Queensland, William (Bill) O’Chee cheers Assange’s London arrest. O’Chee writes to Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security, and a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s (DoS) counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS): "Hooray!... Sadly [Assange] didn’t have a car accident on the way there." (370352)

The emails were written a week after the Australian Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, announced that he had asked the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to investigate if the Assange had broken any laws. McClelland did not rule out that the Australian Gvernment was considering cancelling Assange’s passport.

The AFP inquiry found soon after that no Australian law had been broken by WikiLeaks’ publication of secret US State Department Cables:

"The AFP examined material relevant to potential Australian offenses whether an official investigation is warranted. The AFP has completed its evaluation of the material availabel and has not established the existence of any criminal offense where Australia would have jurisdiction."

The AFP statement forced Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to backtrack on her earlier public comments that the Wikileaks publication of the embassy cables was "illegal."

Gillard continued refusal to formerly recant her "illegal" statement, as well her later, higly prejudicial remarks that that the WikiLeaks disclosures were "an illegal act that breached the laws of the United States of America" have gravely endangered Assange, especially in light of the recent WikiLeaks disclosure, obtained in another confidential Stratfor email, that the US has had a secret indictment against WikiLeaks for more than 12 months. (375123)

Yesterday, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam called on the Australian Government to reveal what it knows about the sealed US indictement:

"The Australian Government needs to take a very straight line on this with the Obama administration that we will not permit and we will not tolerate his transfer to the United States to face charges that could potentially land him in prison or in a hole like Guantanamo Bay."

In December 2011, Former Australian Prime Minister Malcom Fraser and tens of prominent public figures including Noam Chompsky, Julian Burnside, QC, and the Greens leader, Bob Brown called on former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd to protect Assange from rendition to the US: (

"Given the atmosphere of hostility in relation to Mr.Assange, we hold serious concerns about his saftey once in US custody. We note that Mr. Assange is an Australian citizen, whose journalistic activities were undertaken entirely outside of US territory"

Julian Assange has been under house arrest for 449 days with no charge, since he was released from solitary confinement at Wandsworth prison in the UK on 7 December 2010. He awaits a ruling on his extradition appeal v. the Swedish Judicial Authority which was heard before the UK Supreme Court’s on February 1 and 2.

Following Julian Assange’s release from a London jail, where he had been remanded as a result of a Swedish prosecutor’s arrest warrant, Burton told SkyNews: "extradition [to the US is] more and more likely". (373862).

The bilateral agreement between the United States and Sweden allows Julian Assange to be extradited to the US as soon as he arrives in Sweden, and Sweden has not opposed an extradition to the US since 2000.

Julian Assange is an award winning internatioinal publisher, and the recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize, the Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in Australia, the Martha Gelhorn Prize for Journalism in the US, Liberty Victoria’s Voltair Award for Free Speech, among others.

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