"Add to this the fact that Turkish Chamber of Commerce ... asked us to preside over their 40th anniversary celebration, and that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Energy Minister will speak at the event, and you can see both our global recognition and our commitment to speak the same words to every country. We can serve the world from the same platform."
Serving the world from the same platform? Speaking the same words to every country? That, I think (or at least hope), is where private intelligence companies and government agencies would differ.
A CIA officer who "serves the world" from his platform is typically put on trial for being a mole. But in the world of private intelligence, national allegiance isn't as important as the almighty dollar. This means that if a report is commissioned by an American client, whether a company or state entity, the same report could also be peddled to a Russian oligarch or Chinese businessman to benefit either those governments or their state-owned companies.
The only safeguards in this entire system are the personal ethics of the individuals involved -- which, it would appear, are tested regularly. According to WikiLeaks, another email from the Stratfor CEO to an analyst looking for information from an Israeli informant about the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez instructs: "[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control. ... This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase."
What do you think the odds are that this analyst told her boss to shove it and go sex up the target himself? And therein lies the biggest problem with this whole industry. Most would rather pimp for a paycheck than stand on ethics, and often lack the sophisticated knowledge, wisdom and foresight to realize the implications of their actions and decisions.
Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and former Fox News host who writes regularly for major publications in the U.S. and abroad. Her new book, "American Bombshell: A Tale of Domestic and International Invasion," is available through Amazon.com. Her website can be found at .
(c) 2012 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.