WikiLeaks Emails: Coca Cola Probe Reveals Secret FBI Investigation of PETA

Coke Feared PETA, 'Anarchists' Would Disrupt 2010 Olympics

Among the new revelations in WikiLeaks’ “Global Intelligence Files” release today was a revelation that, according to Stratfor Vice President Fred Burton, the FBI has an ongoing “classified investigation” against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The revelation came to the emails in response to a request from Van C. Wilberding, a senior manager at Coca Cola and former US State Department official. The request, from June 2009, revealed Coca Cola had concerns regarding the possibility of PETA protests at the 2010 Winter Olympics, which took place in Vancouver. Wilberding expressed concern about PETA organizing such protests as well as the prospect of “anarchists” joining in.

PETA did some protesting related to the Olympics, centering around host nation Canada’s annual seal hunt, a long-time complaint of the organization. There doesn’t appear to have been any anti-Cola slant to the protests, and indeed PETA was praising Coca Cola in recent years for defunding animal testing operations.

That the FBI was investigating PETA wasn’t entirely a new revelation, as it was revealed the bureau was targeting the group as a “terrorist threat” in the wake of 9/11, with approval of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. The emails suggested that as of June 2009 the investigation was still ongoing, however, and may well still be.

That such a revelation came out by way of a casual inquiry from Coca Cola points to exactly how many more revelations could come out in subsequent releases. So far WikiLeaks has released only 221 emails, out of an estimated five million.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of