Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden

Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden

In November 2013, a federal court sentenced Hammond to 10 years in prison for his part in the hack of Strategic Forecasting, an Austin, Texas-based corporate intelligence agency, also known as Stratfor. Working on behalf of Lulzsec, an infamous subgroup of Anonymous, Hammond leaked 5 million private emails taken from Stratfor to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, a release that came to be known as the Global Intelligence Files, or GI Files.

The emails revealed that Stratfor gathers intelligence on behalf of private corporations while also sharing sensitive information with local and federal law enforcement. For example, the company spied on The Yes Men for Dow Chemical, after the activists publicly humiliated Dow on behalf of survivors of the 1984 Bhopal, India, disaster that killed thousands. At the same time, Stratfor collaborated with the Texas State Troopers to infiltrate Occupy Austin during the first months after the group’s formation in October 2011.

Lucas stressed that the GI Files exposed a portion of the American surveillance state that’s normally both invisible and entirely immune to accountability. When the media quotes Stratfor employees, such as Fred Burton, vice president for Intelligence, reporters rarely question the accuracy of their words.

Lucas gave examples of key details often revealed by the emails: “To whom did Stratfor sell their intelligence? What else was Fred Burton doing on the day he talked to the media?”

The leak allows him to weigh Stratfor and government claims against facts learned in hindsight.

In comparing Snowden to Hammond, Lucas pointed out that the mainstream media may be more reluctant to report on a corporation like Stratfor when Stratfor’s clients might be advertising sponsors:

“Journalists play a large role in controlling what information the public receives. It is safer, for business and editorial approval, to write about a whistleblower who leaked information from the federal government, the traditional opponent of influential investigative journalists, than about a whistleblower who hacked out information about local cops collaborating with corporate spies.”

via mintpressnews Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden