HACKED STRATFOR EMAILS: The US Government Sent Blackwater Veteran To Fight With Rebels In Libya And Syria
BY MICHAEL KELLEY
Blackwater’s primary public contract is with the U.S. State Department for protective services in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Israel
The former director of the security firm Blackwater aided the Libyan opposition and was subsequently sent to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey at the request of a U.S. Government committee, according to published Stratfor emails and reported by Al-Akhbar English. Jamie F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the chief executive of the security firm SCG International.
In an email sent to Stratfor on February 11, 2011, Smith praised the company’s intelligence gathering and said his “background is CIA and our company is comprised of former DOD [i.e. Department of defence], CIA and former law enforcement personnel. We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection.”
Smith became a major source for Stratfor by September as he and Stratfor vice president Fred Burton built a rapport. Smith provided intelligence (under the code-name LY700) to Burton on developments in Libya— where SCG International was contracted to protect Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) members and train Libyan rebel fighters after the implementation of the no-fly zone in March 2011.
Smith provided information on missing surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and allegedly “took part” in the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the town of Sirte.
Burton was impressed by Smith’s intel and reciprocated praise by writing, “Good skinny. This is what is defined as a credible source. Not some windbag Paki academic belching and passing gas.”
The last emails about Smith came on December 13, days before the Stratfor mail servers were reportedly hacked. In one Burton says:
“**Source and Dr. Walid Phares are getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.
** The true mission is how they can help in regime change.
** Source intends to offer his services to help protect the opposition members, like he had underway in Libya.”
Walid Phares is a Lebanese-American citizen who is currently co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.
In another email from December 13— in which Stratfor is organising intelligence on the Syrian opposition that Smith had requested— Burton reports that Smith “is meeting w/specific people described as key leaders.”
Burton is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s counter-terrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The DSS assists the Department of defence in following leads and doing forensic analysis of hard drives seized by the U.S. government in ongoing criminal investigations.
Stratfor provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. defence Intelligence Agency.
WikiLeaks has published 925 out of what they say is a cache of 5 million internal Stratfor emails (dated between July 2004 and December 2011) obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous around Christmas.