Stratfor: Imam of “Ground Zero Mosque” is an FBI Asset

One of the first juicy bits to trickle out of the Wikileaks release of 5 million Stratfor emails is the comment from Fred Burton, Stratfor's Vice President of Intelligence, that the Imam of the controversial so-called Ground Zero mosque is an "FBI operational asset." Burton, who was formerly a special agent with the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and the Deputy Chief of their counterterrorism division, made the comment on an email chain regarding a New York Observer article, Untangling the Bizarre CIA Links to the Ground Zero Mosque. The controversy surrounding the "Ground Zero mosque" overwhelmingly dominated the news and discussion surrounding the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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I posted this an hour after the GI Files had been announced

It's relatively small potatoes compared to some of the other things coming out, but still quite interesting and perhaps important. Now, 12 hours later, it's apparent that the scope of issues involved in the GI Files release will be immense.

Spying on activists, insider trading, money laundering and mind-boggling arrogance and incompetence seem to be just the tip of the iceberg. I recommend everyone watch the full press conference, which took place just a few hours ago:

Our friend Cass Sunstein even gets a mention, in connection to the Bhopal tragedy and cover up, of all things.

Heads up on a new FBI sponsored "attack" in NYC???

The most likely purpose and intent:

Ground Zero Mosque + FBI informant Imam = young, naive Muslim kid, lured by $ and coached by FBI agents posing as militants, entrapped into taking part in another "terrorist attack" with a "bomb" that could "never explode". The kid might also be softened up by being slipped hypnotic drugs during the process.

Outcome: FBI arrests kid, proudly claiming that they foiled a new "al Qaeda" attack in New York. The US Corporate "weasel media" have a field day. Obama goes on TV to announce a "major coup" in the war on terrorism, and the justification to increase security. The doe-eyed US public swallows the whole fabricated bullshît without a single solitary question, as always, regardless of the lack of plausibility of the story, or ignoring any aspect of the picture that fails to conform to what they promote in the coverage.

The US population continue to be terrorized, not by actual Muslim extremists, but by the FBI, government and corporate media colluding in promoting and manufacturing fake terrorism. This works perfectly for the powers-that-be, in that nobody is killed, there is no property damage, but the perception of terrorism is effectively maintained in the public psyche.


Message to all Muslims in the USA, especially young males:

"If you are approached by strangers posing as "Jihadists" or "Mujahideen", offering you money, drugs and coaching for playing a part in a violent crime, REFUSE on all counts, regardless of reason. The overwhelming odds is that you are being SET UP by the authorities, in order to maintain the public (mis)perception that Muslims are all terrorists. Your participation in such schemes is what your enemy wants, and what maintains the public support for their war against you and your people.


""If you are approached by strangers posing as "Jihadists" or "Mujahideen", offering you money, drugs and coaching for playing a part in a violent crime, REFUSE on all counts, regardless of reason."....ask to speak to their supervisors.

I still think Wikileaks is suspect.

Don't y'all remember Assange flippantly discounting the possibility of a 911 conspiracy?

What good has Wikileaks really done?

If the story that Israeli commandos have already disabled the Iranian nuclear program turns out to be true, then Wikileaks will have helped avert an unnecessary invasion and conflict. I am all for that, but I still don't trust that Wikileaks is on the up and up.


I agree.

"The greatest way to revise history is to claim someone stole the truth from you and leaked the truth to the public, but in fact you changed all the documents in advance. That is what wikileaks is, "history laundering".

Limited Hangout.

I concur here.

What has Wikileaks done that has exposed a scandal, big enough that the corporate media can't ignore? Which major criminals within the powers-that-be have been outed on account of Wikileaks' evidence? Nothing. Nobody. Zilch. Not a soul. In Monty Python parlance, "Bugger All".

The corruption and crime that is endemic within the US power structure has become, without a doubt , even more widespread than it was during the Vietnam war. We *know* that $2.3 Trillion has disappeared from the Pentagon without explanation, or investigation. We *know* that some $15 trillion was extorted to rescue a bunch of corrupt banks and corporations and, supposedly, criminal investigations are still ongoing, but nobody has yet been brought to trial. We *know* about the lies and corruption that led to Iraq. We *know* about the missing 10s of $billions in Iraq and Afghanistan. We *know* about the huge corporate crime wave of the first decade of the 21st century (Enron, WorldCom et al)... and were are aware of thousand and one other outrages in recent years... it is the insider details that have remained concealed. It is not exactly as if Wikileaks is starved of potential material (!!!!!!!!) And... then there is 9/11. Where's the New Pentagon Papers story? Where's the new Watergate?

Wikileaks' efforts in "whistleblowing" have at the most, caused a few red faces. That's about it: IMHO, it has been an ersatz effort considering the quantity of potentially explosive material that could be publicized, *IF* Wikileaks had the reach, or the will. Evidently, they don't have either. In terms of "leaking secrets that the public deserve to know in a supposedly "free society", Wikileaks is an abject failure. Meanwhile, Wikileaks has enjoyed a truckload of corporate media coverage to the point that Julian Assange has become somewhat of a folk hero. However, the three factors, in parallel, that raise suspicion that Wikileaks is different to what they claim, are (a) this free and unexpected corporate media coverage, (b) the blandness and relative innocuousness of the material released, and (c) the fact that the huge majority of Wikileaks' material was not exactly "secret" anyway, being known by hundreds of thousands of government employees prior to publication.

What does this spell? Two words: "Limited Hangout". To quote a published definition here:

"A limited hangout, or partial hangout, is a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details. It takes the form of deception, misdirection, or coverup often associated with intelligence agencies involving a release or "mea culpa" type of confession of only part of a set of previously hidden sensitive information, that establishes credibility for the one releasing the information who by the very act of confession appears to be "coming clean" and acting with integrity; but in actuality, by withholding key facts, is protecting a deeper operation and those who could be exposed if the whole truth came out. In effect, if an array of offenses or misdeeds is suspected, this confession admits to a lesser offense while covering up the greater ones".

I would hazard a guess that Wikileaks is far more a part of the ongoing psychological warfare program against the people, than a genuine attempt by a group of concerned citizens who are committed to :"freedom of information". If Wikileaks was either genuine, and could potentially release material damaging to the security of people in positions of power, or the standing of agencies and organizations within the power structure, then I was also hazard a guess that Julian Assange (and others) would have been promptly removed from the gene pool before the public were even aware of who he (they) were.

Wikileaks is very important for freedom of information.

Why do you think the likes of Hillary Clinton, McCain and Palin have called for his head? Why do you think mainstream hacks indulge in cheap character assassination and smear against Assange? They fear transparency and the free flow of information. They're running scared.

Wikileaks has shown up the media. The journalists are p*ssed off that WL/Assange has shown them up.

Wikileaks has revealed - for all of us to see - that the mainstream, corporate media DOES NOT do its job.

Wikileaks has been hugely helpful to media observers because it has revealed - with indisputible evidence - the US diplomatic double-speak. It has revealed how US supports the dictators it likes to do business with in Saudi Arabia and Yemen and Bahrain - while overthrowing the dictators they no longer have any use for. Many around the world are grateful to Wikileaks...

Has any actually listened to Assange's masterful media analysis interviews with the NYT (available on video). He puts journalists to shame - they're embarrassed because Crocodile Dundee popped up - without doffing his cap in submission - and spoke some raw truth to power.

I am saddened to see 911 bloggers falling for the Wikileaks is fake/limited hangout meme.

Wikileaks deserves the support of all who claim to value whistle-blowers and the role of the Fourth Estate in democracy.

bloggulator writes:
"If Wikileaks was either genuine, and could potentially release material damaging to the security of people in positions of power...then I hazard a guess that Julian Assange (and others) would have been promptly removed from the gene pool before the public were even aware of who he (they) were."

Well, read some of the Stratfor mails below to see what Assange is up against.

And we could say the same about Richard Gage and Jon Gold and others. If they are threatening power, why have they 'not been promptly removed from the gene pool?'

For example, e-mail from Fred Burton, Stratfor's Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security.

"Not for Pub - We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect." (Email-ID: 375123)


Burton: "Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He'll be eating cat food forever, unless George Soros hires him." (Email-ID: 1056988)


Burton: "Take down the money. Go after [Julian Assange's] infrastructure. The tools we are using to nail and de-construct Wiki are the same tools used to dismantle and track aQ [Al Qaeda]. Thank Cheney & 43 [former US President George W. Bush]. Big Brother owns his liberal terrorist arse." (Email-ID: 1067796)

Burton: "...Ferreting out [Julian Assange's] confederates is also key. Find out what other disgruntled rogues inside the tent or outside. Pile on. Move him from country to country to face various charges for the next 25 years. But, seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki."(Email-ID: 1056763)

Burton: "...DOJ [Office of the Attorney General Eric Holder] won't seek prosecution on their own, but look for the GOP (Congress) to press for criminal prosecution. Be easy to indict. I would pursue Conspiracy and Political Terrorism charges and declassify the death of a source someone which I could link to Wiki." (Email-ID: 1074383).

Burton: "...Bankrupt the arsehole [Julian Assange] first, ruin his life. Give him 7-12 yrs for conspiracy." (Email-ID: 1057220)

Burton: "We probably asked the ASIS [Australian Secret Intelligence Service] to monitor Wiki coms and email, after the soldier from Potomac was nabbed. So, it's reasonable to assume we probably already know who has done it. The delay could be figuring out how to declassify and use the Aussie intel on Wiki. Wiki holding on to other docs is to protect their sources. The owner [Julian Assange] is a peacenik. He needs his head dunked in a full toilet bowl at Gitmo." (Email-ID: 402168)

The always-at-war mentality:

Big Brother owns his liberal terrorist arse." (Email-ID: 1067796)

The owner [Julian Assange] is a peacenik. He needs his head dunked in a full toilet bowl at Gitmo." (Email-ID: 402168)

Burton would welcome a martial law scenario to get those "liberal terrorist(s) arese(s)," I imagine.

Simple Truths: a couple of

Simple Truths: a couple of thoughts here...

I totally support the principle of what Wikileaks is doing. But as I said, I have yet to hear of any material that Wikileaks has released which has caused anything significant to happen, for example the downfall (indictment, trail, jailing, firing etc) of someone significant within the "evilarchy" who has abused that power, or committed a major crime. As another example, we have yet to see the release of information that has enraged the public sufficient to effect a major change, or reversal in the current trend towards Big Brother, maximum security and surveillance obsessed, corporate totalitarian plutocratic rule.

Of course the likes of Clinton, McCain et al are pissed at Wikileaks for "cocking a snook" at authority. These people are true authoritarians who don't give a flying hockey-puck about the public they are allegedly representing, merely using the system for the acquisition of more power, and taking it *away* from we the people, that is, what little power we have left. Of course Fred Burton is angry that his real character has been exposed: he's a scum-ball of the worst order. Politicians, corporate execs thrive on wielding power over others, often just for the hell of it, and often arbitrarily, and they also thrive on the public's perception of being "respectable" figures - regardless of ideological/political leaning. Of course they don't like their private indiscretions being splayed all over the internet. Nobody would. I wouldn't either. Calling for Julian Assange's head is a kneejerk reaction of embarrassment and anger.

I haven't given up on Wikileaks. I live in hope! If they suddenly (against the run of play) come up with something that can prove that they are "UNLIMITED hangout" (!), then wonderful. Up until that moment, Wikileaks' efforts are akin to jabbing an elephant's hide with a needle... a short sharp, painful sting, but no weakening, or lasting damage, and I remain suspicious and questioning of Julian Assange's allegiance.

If Julian Assange (and by extension Wikileaks) prefer to name-call those 9/11 Truth movement as "conspiracy theorists" etc, then he is clearly taking the side of those who support the OCT, and those who benefitted from 9/11's aftershocks. And, in the position he takes, either he *knows* the reality of 9/11 and is covering for the perps, or he is displaying a stack of ignorance about the subject.

Wikileaks held a giant mirror up to corporate media

Thanks for the reply bloggulater - I always enjoy reading your well-written comments at this site.

You write: "I have yet to hear of any material that Wikileaks has released which has caused anything significant to happen.. downfall of someone significant within the "evilarchy" who has abused that power"

The corporate media doesn't publicise what WL does, precisely because it reveals their own 'investigative', 'watchdog' journalists to be asleep on the job.

Some achievement from WL:

-- Wikileaks biggest achievement has been to hold up a giant mirror to the corporate media and reveal its bias, profit-oriented loyalties and its failed investigative role. This failure of the media amounts to dereliction of duty for those who believe open media is important for democracy.

- - WikiLeaks changed the result of the Kenyan General Election in 2007 after its release of the Kroll report on official corruption in Kenya brought about the defeat at the polls of all the politicians named in that leaked document. In 2009, Amnesty International gave Assange a media award for WikiLeaks’ publication on corruption in Kenya: “The Cry of Blood: Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances.” Their work was corroborated by Philip Alston, a special United Nations investigator.

-- Wikileaks played a part in the democratic 'Arab Spring', especially in Tunisia.

- Wikileaks (WL) has exposed the merger of state and corporate power in the US for all to see. This is a huge achievement - and this simple fact has never been highlighted by the world's corporate media (owned by a handful of massive media conglomerates) for obvious reasons - because they are part of the system.

- WL leaks revealed how US State Department officials acted as marketing men for one lucky corporation, for example: Hundreds of cables from WikiLeaks show that Boeing had a sales force of US diplomats that went up to the highest levels of government, even going as far as sabotaging sales for Boeing's European rival Airbus.

- WL also exposed that the US state department has been shilling for Monsanto - which aims to copyright world citizens' rights to grain and seed under a US label. An embassy cable from 2009 written by the ambassador to Spain directly cites meetings with Monsanto executives, showing that US diplomats were taking orders directly from GM companies.

- WL exposed how Washington supports abusive mining companies in Peru - released cables reveal how American diplomats are obsessed with securing the profits of multinational mining corporations at the cost of indigenous rights and the environment.

- WL Stratfor cables reveal that South African president Jacob Zuma was wined and dined by Stratfor in Washington. South Africans long suspected this - thanks to WL it is now confirmed that Zuma was non-transparent in his dealings with Stratfor which represents the world's biggest arms dealer (raytheon).

.... etcetera. There are many instances where people around the world found confirmation in WL cables. It is Americo-centric to judge Wikileaks only in terms of its effect on America.

WL confirmed and provided evidence for what a lot of people guessed. That the US - which has elected itself 'world policeman' (though no one got to vote for that assumed office) - is a corrupt and corrupting state. This is a massive achievement for a small group of committed (non-corporate) journalists with a shoe-string budget.

WL/Assange deserve thanks from all who believe in the democratic Fourth Estate, the role of the watchdog media, accountability, transparency and the free flow of information. Quaint ideas - valued by our parents and grandparents - upon which the West was built.

One more thing ...

Bloggulator: "As another example, we have yet to see the release of information that has enraged the public sufficient to effect a major change, or reversal in the current trend towards Big Brother, maximum security and surveillance obsessed, corporate totalitarian plutocratic rule. "

I dont think we can blame Wikileaks for this public apathy.

I don't think we can count one small group - whose leader is under house arrest and whose funds have been frozen by American banking corporations - to 'enrage the public sufficient to effect change'.

I don't think we should assume WL are 'a limited hangout' because they haven't whipped up the public enough.

Is Architects & Engineers 'a limited hangout' because it hasn't whipped up the public enough?

Apathy is a perennial problem. The media - TV, newspapers, glossy magazines - are all far more to blame for it than Wikileaks. Americans are told to shop like there's no tomorrow, focus on Britney Spear's cleavage and mock people with funny haircuts, like that 'terrorist' Julian Assange.

Assange has chosen not to handle the 911 hot potato. Hey, I can totally understand that.

He's seen how people are smeared as heretics for daring to Question the 911 Orthodoxy.

He's already got enough trouble - why should he make more for himself?

He's doing effective work in the area he's good at, in the same way Richard Gage works in his own knowledge area.

Another example to consider

When discussions about Wikileaks first hit this blog, I was open to the possibility that maybe they weren't what they appeared to be. And besides, with leaks, it doesn't hurt to be cautious, to consider whether they might ultimately have been leaked by people with an interest in spreading falsehoods; or, even with authentic information, might have some ulterior purpose in leaking it.

Still, how sound is the basis for the argument that Wikileaks is really a limited hangout? Are people assuming that if they were legit, they would have found and leaked information relating to 9/11, and that absent that, they must not be legit? Do we think that the information relating to 9/11 to which we would love to have access is somehow easily accessible for others (journalists and activists and people of conscience within the military and bureaucracy) to the point that, if they're not providing this information, we can only conclude that--rather than doing what they can under difficult circumstances--they must be part of some psyop?

I think Assange could have dodged the questions relating to 9/11 without resorting to dissing the issue out of hand like he did. But that's still no grounds for assuming that he's somehow in cahoots with the power structure and is faking people out with limited hangouts. And I think Manning took real risks in trying to get out those truths relating to US operations in the region to which he did have access--only to be turned in by a snitch, and held in custody for going on two years now.

Now, about the possible significance thus far played by Wikileaks, one of the more cogent arguments (in my opinion) that I've come across on this question is in this piece from last October by Glenn Greenwald. I think it's worth a read:


As much as I want to believe that Wikileaks is legitimate, I can't get past the fact that Assange didn't even leave room to consider the possibility of a 911 conspiracy. He said it was false and that he was annoyed by those of us who think otherwise.

What happened to that pile of information about Bank Of America?

Why would a leaking entity want to work with established mainstream propaganda vehicles when releasing information?

I still believe Wikileaks is suspect.