February 28, 2012

Coca Cola Enlisted Intelligence Firm’s Help To Investigate Animal Rights Group PETA

PETA, which frequently enlists celebrities for its causes, was being monitored by STRATFOR on behalf of Coca Cola.

On Sunday, the Wikileaks revealed a massive trove of e-mails from the intelligence firm STRATFOR. Republic Report covered yesterday how these files showed that Dow Chemical was monitoring Occupy Wall Street rallies out of the concern that activists trying to hold the corporation responsible for the Bhopal chemical disaster were joining the movement.

Interestingly, a batch of e-mails from 2009 also show that STRATFOR’s analysts went to work researching the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on behalf of beverage giant Coca Cola. The correspondence between Coca Cola Senior Manager Van Wilberding — who previously was a Special Agent in the U.S. Army as well as a Foreign Service Officer at the State Department — and STRATFOR’s Anya  Alfano focused on the former’s concern that PETA would be protesting at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Wilderberg wanted to know about how PETA operated and what the chances were that its activists would be taking part in actions in Canada:

Van C. Wilberding wrote:

Hi Anya,

Thanks again for your help with respect to the Korean Peninsula

We are now looking at PETA and the potential for protests at the
Vancouver Olympics and related events. (Please see the following
questions below.) We’d like to schedule a time for a conference call
with you and/or your analyst(s) on this topic.

How many PETA supporters are there in Canada?
— How many of these are inclined toward activism?
To what extent will US-based PETA supporters travel to Canada to
support activism?
— What is PETA’s methodology for planning and executing activism?
(Understanding this better would certainly help us to recognize
indicators should they appear.)
— To what extent is PETA in Canada linked to PETA in the US or
— To what extent are the actions of PETA in one country controlled by
an oversight board/governing body?
— To what extent could non-PETA hangers-on (such as anarchists or ALF
supporters) get involved in any protest activity?

Please let us know what works in terms of timing of the conference call.

Thanks again,

Coca-Cola: LIVE POSITIVELY – Our Company and leaders have supported
education for more than 100 years. Learn about our education programs
around the world.

“The FBI has a classified investigation on PETA operatives. I’ll see what I can uncover,” wrote STRATFOR’s vice president for intelligence Fred Burton in a later e-mail. It’s interesting not only that Coca Cola went to an intelligence firm to learn more about PETA but also that the firm appeared to be positioning itself to seek classified information from the FBI to provide to Coca Cola.

  • Observe


  • allstarpunk

    Yeah, the FBI is just another arm of the US government that can reach out and touch those that the US Government fears can touch them in a way that is not in line with their current interests.

  • Kris

    Honestly, this is not news at all. All this is, is a company doing research on a group that has been known to act inapropriately time and time again. I think PETA is a mockery of an organization from the demonstrations they pull, to throwing paint on peoples property, to humiliating people in public… the list goes on and on. You will get a lot further by handling matters in a mature way, as appose to looking like a bafoon. I am all for the correct treatment of animals, but you wont see me painting myself red and locking myself in a cage naked in public(for instance).

    • Bob

      But this is news sure it’s a company looking for some info, seens ok. Now this seems to be classified from the info I have seen so far. And yes coke probably didn’t know that but do you think any company can use this resource complete with conference calls, I think not. Also I agree PETA booooooo seal hunt yay

    • NFT

      Hi Kris.
      I can see your thought process, they are simply gathering information about possible disruption to their sponsored event. But I think you missed the salient point here, why does Stratfor have access to classified FBI files? And how can they sell them to Coke? You might be OK with their “research”, but are you willing to let classified information be sold to the highest bidder. Aren’t you in the least worried you are not currently protected by our Constitution if this kind of activity is going on? Best, N

    • Tashikarate

      (see my reply to you above – tashikarate)

  • Tashikarate

    First of all, I’d like to point out that you are not alone among virulent PETA critics whose assertions that they support (what you called) “the correct treatment of animals” is not unconvincing only because it is attempted with poor spelling and grammar. PETA speaks for animals that can not defend themselves against cruelty. If PETA is right about what we do to animals, then the rest of us must be wrong… and no-one likes to be told they are wrong. People who are being told they are wrong, when they can’t defend and justify themselves, attack the character and methods of their accusers. It’s just what you are doing. Watch the video at this site, and explain what is wrong with PETA’s core message . My personal attack about your spelling and grammar was unfair and irrelevant… perhaps just like your attack on PETA’s character. Focus on the message.

  • Djrodstar

    you guys are missing the point here…a poor little soft drink company wants to find out who is protesting so they can give them some of there beaverage for free lol

    • EllenHunt

      Excuse me? Beaverage for free? 🙂

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  • Leftyraps-skinit

    Thats why Coca Colas can is red, it represents all the blood they have been willing to spill in the name of profit. The only reason they are still in business is because of the nazi’s. Wanna Fanta!

  • Leftyraps-skinit

    Thats why Coca Colas can is red, it represents all the blood they have been willing to spill in the name of profit. The only reason they are still in business is because of the nazi’s. Wanna Fanta!

  • EllenHunt

    Heavens. I’m not big on PETA, but all he’d have to do is go to PETA’s web site for god’s sake. They make no secrets about it.
    I think this was a bone tossed by a buddy to George Friedman, not a real thing. George needed clients and buddies of his handed him bs contracts.

    I mean really. PETA does stunts, not mass protests, it doesn’t take much to know that. But, it does raise the interesting possibility that Stratfor hacked PETA’s email, at least to the point of getting a list.

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