An excellent short article on Craig Murray highlights the most important point of the Panama Leaks – its covert political dimension.
The Panama Leaks continues to hide major Western culprits, while revealing culprits that are political enemies of the US. A nice little exhibit A of how corrupt the West is, how the media is not free in the West, and that this may be nothing more than a political hit job by the US military/Wall Street complex.
However, since it does highlight just how corrupt the international tax evasion/fraud system is, even while maintaining the lid on the most important culprits, it may lead to some accountability in the end. And raising awareness about the overall problem is always good – unless this is done, there will be no demand from the public for any accountability.
Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak
Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”
The corporate media – the Guardian and BBC in the UK – have exclusive access to the database which you and I cannot see. They are protecting themselves from even seeing western corporations’ sensitive information by only looking at those documents which are brought up by specific searches such as UN sanctions busters. Never forget the Guardian smashed its copies of the Snowden files on the instruction of MI6.
What if they did Mossack Fonseca database searches on the owners of all the corporate media and their companies, and all the editors and senior corporate media journalists? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on all the most senior people at the BBC? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every donor to the Center for Public Integrity and their companies?
What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every listed company in the western stock exchanges, and on every western millionaire they could trace?
That would be much more interesting. I know Russia and China are corrupt, you don’t have to tell me that. What if you look at things that we might, here in the west, be able to rise up and do something about?
And what if you corporate lapdogs let the people see the actual data?
Well, we all know what would happen: Americans, British, and French, to name a few, would have to admit that their countries are just as corrupt as Uganda, Panama, and Syria. Which would be sweet.
ADDED on April 10, 2016: The EU is now threatening sanctions against Panama. Ah, the irony is rich. Especially since Panama is NOT the biggest or worse tax haven in the world.
Europe also is home to countries with a record of acting like tax havens and providing banking secrecy – Luxembourg, Switzerland, Andorra, among others. The United States has also become a haven, with several states including Wyoming and Delaware now popular places to open anonymous accounts that are cheap to maintain and pay little or no local tax.
Who knows, if enough pressure is put, couldn’t someone sue in the West to make the data public?
We need to take the entire database and put it on wikileaks! 🙂
Now that would be a good leak scandal!