Move along, folks, nothing to see here

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday March 1, 2012 09:57 PM

The Atlantic, in the person of bright young spark Max Fisher, assures us that there's no there there in the Stratfor/Wikileaks/Anonymous story:

The corporate research firm has branded itself as a CIA-like "global intelligence" firm, but only Julian Assange and some over-paying clients are fooled.
Roma locuta! The policing of bien-pensant thought is a familiar role for that stolid and tedious publication. They're like the New Yorker that way, except about a mile and a half behind; and of course the New Yorker's stuff is noticeably better written.

To be sure, Stratfor are buffoons; I bet 99% of the CIA's work product is equally risible. Most of those diplomatic cables Wikileaks got the other year were unsurprising, too.

But the point is that they got them. For some reason, our masters want to keep even unsurprising stuff secret, and they blow a gasket when it gets out. I conclude that getting it out is a Good Thing.

I can see why Max Fisher is pissed. He's a typical Beltway thumbsucker, very pleased with his 'access'. If every Tom Dick and Harry can snatch up the same crumbs that drop into his panting mouth from the odd Undersecretary's table -- why then where's his importance?

One notes that Fisher never bothered to make fun of Stratfor -- though there's plenty of fun to be made -- before Wikileaks and Anonymous made dogfood of them. I bet he liked getting all that stuff in his inbox, and being on some kind of list, even though the material was... unsurprising.

But then most of Max's stuff is pretty unsurprising too. Caliban seeing his own face in a mirror?

The truly lovely bit is Fisher talking as if Assange were the gullible one. You got your Fisher, who believes what he's told; and then you got your Assange, who goes and does some digging. Who's the gullible party here?

Credit where it's due: Fisher notes that

As of 2001, a Stratfor subscription could cost up to $40,000 per year.
2001? The guy doesn't have any more recent data, and him on the Atlantic payroll? Tsk.

Good point, nevertheless. A fine testimonial to the numskullery of the executive class.

Comments (6)


Leaks creep out exactly the right people


A friend sends me Strafor emails. The stuff is in equal measure laughably self important and utterly banal. And, yes, it's the same stuff you'll read in the Economist --- that other glorifier of the obvious and conventional "wisdom," but with a British accent, of course --- if you can wait a few days.

The leaking, though, is wonderful.

Perhaps the unwritten paragraph of this story is that a damaged Wikileaks can still drive opinion and upset the cart.

Always thought Wikileaks was better served by not having so dominant a front persona, but understood why Assange made himself a face.

Even hurt badly, Wiki and Assange have still managed to do good works.


Julian is great, and in our media culture, a compelling front man is essential, especially one who evokes a "Bourne Identity"/international-man-of-mystery-with-questionable/vaguely-threatening-sexual-past persona. It helps when you've walked out of central casting, and are just relentlessly ballsy.

I praise Julian and all of his works. Much of what he releases is mind-numbing, self-important minutiae, but the diamonds in the rough are priceless, and play their part, however small, in undermining the war machine and morale.


What CZ said. I would only add that no matter how inconsequential the hidden material turns out to be, it's great to un-hide it, just because the bad guys want it hidden.


I really don't like this kind of cynicism. It's the same "Well whadya expect?" you get when you complain that politicians break their promises or when you complain that the police tear gassed a peaceful protest.

As though being so damn jaded you don't care about anything is some kind of virtue.

I guess it's some kind of defense mechanism against the cognitive dissonance of seeing people you really hate have legitimate complaints. Really fucking irritates me, though.

Also, anonymous is doing god's work.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Thursday March 1, 2012 09:57 PM.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31