you wouldn't just give the cc's away and publish what you did if your main point was to acquire cc numbers for fraud.
Yes I would. I would do it for two reasons:
First, it would let me claim that I committed the crime for altruistic reasons, which would feed my ego and let me pretend to be a hero instead of a crook. Anonymous's fans don't seem to need or want a serious moral or ethical justification for the crime; they're happy with a paper-thin pretext. It helps if you keep referring to the company you hit as "the shadow CIA!!!!!!!", and don't say anything at all about the thousands of individual customers you victimized.
Second, by releasing the numbers publicly, it would result in a widely distributed bloom of fraudulent transactions that would make my own thieving harder to trace. I would have assumed, at least, that a global rush of hits on the stolen CC numbers would give the original hackers a lot of cover for their own fraudulent use of Stratfor's customers' cards.
why is fbi releasing this data now? to make hacktivism seem like stealing...
It's not "like" stealing, it is stealing. They stole CC numbers from innocent strangers, and used them to victimize charities and for-profit businesses. Releasing a mountain of innocuous emails doesn't make it "hacktivism."
in any case.. stratfor is actually responsible for the fraud committed, they kept a data cache they didn't have authority to keep...
No. The people who broke into the Stratfor system, stole that data, and used it to make fraudulent transactions are "responsible for the fraud committed." Because they committed the fraud. If Stratfor was violating the processors' TOS, then it's responsible for violating the TOS. It is not responsible for malicious thefts committed by anonymous strangers.