A Chink of Aussie Light 162


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation shamed the BBC by putting out a Four Corners documentary on the Panama leak that had real balls.

In stark contrast to the BBC, the Australians named and shamed Australia’s biggest company and Australia’s biggest foreign investor. BBC Panorama by contrast found a guy who sold one house in Islington. The Australians also, unlike the BBC who deliberately and knowing hid it, pointed out that the corruption centred on the British Virgin Islands, and even went there. All in all an excellent job.

Four Corners of course has a history of this. Their absolutely excellent documentary Sex, Lies and Julian Assange told vital truths about the concoction of the allegations against Julian Assange, which to this day have been hidden by the BBC and entire British corporate media. I implore anybody who has not yet seen it, to watch it now.

In this dreadful situation where the corporate media have monopoly access to the Mossack Fonseca database, there is going to be a little chink of light here and there, where old fashioned notions of journalistic integrity still cling to life in isolated pockets. But those chinks of light only serve to highlight the abject servitude of outlets like the BBC and Guardian to the official neo-con narrative.

It is absolutely imperative that the entire database is made available to the people, rather than the people being drip-fed by journalistic Gods who make decisions in the interests of their employers, not of the public.


162 thoughts on “A Chink of Aussie Light

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  • fwl

    Which heads of state worry when they see that of Iceland brought down. Not Putin. Putin will understand kill the monkey to scare the chickens, and the head of Iceland was not a monkey and Putin’s no chicken. Still scary days to be a politician with secrets.

    BTW odd how many interesting stories don’t seem to have captured posters interest. I suppose Brinks Mat might be mundane, but it was worth £1.80 to read about the police getting the bearer shares and the ensuing shenanigans to appoint new directors and dilute the police. Film in there. Then Nigel Cowie, Jupiter Equities and Heritage Oil. All fascinating.

    Also no one seems to credit the Guardian for running the Petro Poroshenko story, which is hardly an anti Russian story. Maybe he has been jettisoned – I’m not up on that.

    On Panama and suggestion its wrong to focus on Panama rather than our colonies and our role in all this. I had once thought that Panama was the final citadel and that the off shore investigator would find his web ended there, but I may be wrong.

    • fwl

      Telegraph reports Blairmore relocated from Panama to Ireland in 2010 when DC became PM. 2010 also year of the US Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, which Zerohedge reports effectively closed the door to Panama for US elites.

      Zerohedge v busy today also suggests that maybe Panama is a play to pull the offshore game out of British hands to America. Hhhhm who knows, but America needs money and if we BREXIT then perhaps. Anything is possible. Still I suspect BREXIT ref to end with an enhanced offEU role for the UK. Like China, one Europe two systems with UK as the Hk to the China/Euro….enough foolish waffling for one evening.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        None of what Cameron has said excludes the possibility that he relinquished his interest in Blairmore to someone else who is holding it until he leaves office. His denial only covers the present: not the past or the future. Ok, I’ve got a nasty suspicious mind.

        What happened was this:

        http://www.sandwfunds.com/smith-williamson-blairmore-global-equity-fund

        Now it gets weird. Heard of the Carroll Trust? I hadn’t. Best I could do for now:

        https://thecolemanexperience.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/the-curious-case-of-the-carroll-foundation-charitable-trust-2/

        And, regrettably citing unattributable ‘sources’, this overspeculative piece (duplicates some of the above link)

        ttps://www.oximity.com/article/PM-David-Cameron-Alexander-Cameron-Cri-1

        Further sources have said that Smith & Williamson was “appointed” by the Carroll Foundation Trust board of trustees immediately prior to the commencement of the systematic embezzlement and fraudulent liquidation of major operating divisions of the Carroll Global Corporation industrial empire spanning a staggering sixteen years.

        Further sources have revealed that the files contain a forensic evidential paper trail concerning David Cameron’s family “estate links” with Smith & Williamson through the Cameron family offshore tax haven based investment vehicles Blairmore Holdings Trust Blairmore Asset Management Ltd a clutch of Church of England charities and family trusts whose funds are also managed by Smith & Williamson.

        In a stunning twist it has emerged that Sir Tony Baldry a criminal barrister and a senior figure in the Church of England is implicated in the Gerald Carroll debacle…

        Smoke? Fire? Sir Tony Baldry (Westminster Oil, BVI; Westminster Caspian, BVI, operating in Kazakhstan) also figures in the Mossack leak.

        Big hmmmm.

        • fred

          It’s normal for politicians to place their assets in a blind trust. They have no control over them and no knowledge of how they are invested so they can’t be accused of conflict of interests. I doubt a blind trust would do anything illegal and what would be considered immoral for a politician if he had known about or been instrumental in it are just good practice for a trustee who’s only obligation is to give the maximum return.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Cameron has apparently now stated that neither he nor his spawn will benefit in the future from Blairmore. So it probably isn’t a blind trust. The question about Blairmore is (if this politician is telling anything identifiable as the truth) who is the beneficial owner? And that’s why it’s offshore. So no-one knows.

            I hasten to add that I don’t give a flying one if Cameron’s ‘education’ was paid for by the profits of an offshore. Some people think that’s the issue: I don’t. We might ask how much inheritance tax he paid, vs. how much was due. I would however like to see an unequivocal statement from Cameron (rofpmsl) that he retains no connection whatever with his pa’s old cash cow.

            I would prefer to see him doing a damn sight more about transparency as regards the beneficial ownership of all companies registered to UK (non)-taxpayers. He may claim to have done more than X,Y or Z to sort this out (that’s a pretty low bar, since Tony X and his chancellor Gordon Y actually facilitated the fetishisation of funny money begun by Mrs Z) – but he’s still evading the hard work. And for why? Because the City of London is 100% complicit in the money-laundering, property-inflating, tax-avoiding industry on whose paper profits Camborne relies for the illusion of UK solvency.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Oh, and in any case, if Cameron plans to resume a currently suspended income from Blairmore when he buggers off, it is very good odds that the source will be heavily obscured by shell companies and LP’s to look plausibly as if Cameron is making the money all by himself. I can almost guarantee he won’t be rewriting the Companies Act.

  • lysias (DON'T FEED THE TROLLS)

    By the way, there was apparently no evidence that the Prime Minister of Iceland broke any law. Very likely he did not break any law.

    Does that excuse him?

  • Paul Barbara

    Law firm at heart of ‘Panama Papers’ leak owned by Nazi’s son
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/law-firm-at-heart-of-panama-papers-leak-owned-by-nazis-son/

    Erhard Mossack, father of one of Mossack Fonseca founders, served as combat soldier in Waffen SS during World War II
    BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF AND AFP April 4, 2016, 5:59 pm

    The Nazis set up hundreds of corporations post-WWII with stolen assets, and of course many of the worst offenders ended up in the US and in Latin America.

    • jake

      I read much the same from the US source ( McClatchy, the only US newspaper with access to the trove). They reported that Erhart Mossack was not only Waffen SS, but that after the war he offered to work for the CIA.

  • Julian

    I think that if it is correct that the database was distributed widely among the media, at some point someone will leak it to wikileaks (or whoever) and we will be able to do some “citizen investigative journalism”. I’m sure that will prove interesting.

  • John Goss

    This is almost on topic. I would like to know where the Clinton billions, the Bush Billions, the Blair billions are stashed away – just out of curiosity. Because when the collapse comes these billions will be confetti. I think it is coming soon – partly because of this Panama leak (they are going to try and pin the collapse on a few to protect the many). This is much bigger than it seems. However, the few they are going to try and pin it on were bred in the same kind of dog-fighting kennels as one another. They are going to bite back. Marx really was an astute economist.

    There is however another side to their greed – the human side. As well as the countless workers used in the establishment of the Establishment, who all have their stories of loss to tell, there are none so likely to have been afected as those who fought their dirty wars for them. Here is an ex-American soldier on the subject of Hillary Clinton’s credentials.

    http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/navy-seal-annihilates-hillary-clinton-ignorant-liar/

    • John Goss

      I might not share this former SEAL’s opinions about those who serve on the battlefields of the world, that is Horace’s “old lie” as Wilfred Owen called it. He does seem honest in his opinion and I have respect for that. He calls a Clinton a Clinton.

  • Flying Gabriel

    I agree. The public focus needs to be on insisting this information be available to unbiased scrutiny.

    • bevin

      “The public focus needs to be on insisting this information be available to unbiased scrutiny.”
      Until it is so available it cannot properly be called ‘information.’ With each passing day it becomes clearer that the ‘cover story’ proffered with these leaks is not very credible.
      The latest indication of the ‘bent’ character of the “Investigative Journalists” involved is am attack on both Assange and Manning. The terms of the charges against both was precisely the same as the unfounded charges made against therm by the US state.
      ” ICIJ director Gerald Ryle was quoted in Wired (4/4/16):

      Ryle says that the media organizations have no plans to release the full dataset, WikiLeaks-style, which he argues would expose the sensitive information of innocent private individuals along with the public figures on which the group’s reporting has focused. “We’re not WikiLeaks. We’re trying to show that journalism can be done responsibly,” Ryle says. He says he advised the reporters from all the participating media outlets to “go crazy, but tell us what’s in the public interest for your country.”
      http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/04/05/panama-papers-publishers-dont-need-sell-out-wikileaks

      • Itsy

        “The latest indication of the ‘bent’ character of the “Investigative Journalists” involved is am attack on both Assange and Manning.”

        Yes, I saw that. But oddly enough, there was a tweet from Wikileaks today as follows:

        “Should we release all 11 million #PanamaPapers so everyone can search through them like our other publications?”

        Results so far say

        95% Yes, make them searchable
        05% No, let media cherry pick

        https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/716772373408718849

        and they definitely said “should WE release”
        I’m confused.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Now, I have the time, I just love reading old books Koestler was a stormer – but even reading the personal history of Eric Blair (George Orwell) … was exceedingly interesting…(dead at 46)

    This is my next..I never read it..but there is a connection – re one of my recent posts – about the origins of oil

    The Origins of Oil – falsely defined in 1892

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdSjyvIHVLw

    Is this guy telling the truth???

    The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World Paperback –by L Fletcher Prouty (Author)

    It hasn’t arrived yet…

    I love reading books.

    Tony

  • Tony_0pmoc

    It would just completely p1ss off everyone, but it is red and it is cheap….and it is Heavy Metal.

    http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/sAsAAOSwsFpWTb7o/$_57.JPG

    They are all skint Up North

    1988-ROLLS-ROYCE-SILVER-SPIRIT-BREAKING-FOR-SPARES

    Classified Ad price:
    £0.07
    .

    |
    Seller information
    margsmithy (2493 Feedback score: 2493) About margsmithy
    99.5% Positive Feedback

    This one goes and has an MOT

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rolls-Royce-silver-spur-/311582824853?hash=item488bc89995:g:iYgAAOSwJblXAThN

    No one wants them.

    Tony

  • Hieroglyph

    Rich people are odd. They’d still be rich, presumably, if they didn’t have elaborate tax-dodging scams, so I wonder why they bother. Even greed doesn’t wholly account for it, because surely greed has to be balanced with risk, and dodging tax is time consuming, and risky. Were I rich, I’d be miles too lazy to set up shell companies, and would consider the risk just a waste of energy. I guess this is why I’m not rich. Perhaps an obsession with wealth is, fundamentally, linked to criminal behavior, and the desire to break or circumvent the law is all part of this criminal mindset. Have their been studies? Or were they all nixed by rich people?

  • David Milligan

    Craig, it seems that news has been released of an inquiry in to the handling of the Chilcot Report. I believe that this is a diversionary tactic because it’s so obtuse.
    What do you think?

  • SVP Ricochet POC

    All this leaking could help address the question on everyone’s mind: who’s up to the task of publishing the Order of Saint Hubertus child-trafficking files? They’re safe, distributed by rock-solid technical means. But a dump is not the ideal way to make a splash. The story behind them beggars belief, and must be convincingly told.

  • fwl

    The emergence of US legislation in Alaska, Delaware and Nevada apparently permitting asset protection trusts is certainly interesting. Apparently there are also a further 12 US states which may permit them. This had escaped my attention though I had seen an article this year about flight from Switzerland to the US.

    Have to read up on this. In the UK you are not supposed to be able to set up a trust and retain control as that would basically be a sham. That has been the position since the Tudors, but of course (as football supporters and gap year youths know when abroad sometimes standards slide). So we have funny position where our former colonies legitimately create such trusts, but our own High Court may cast a sceptical eye over such jurisdictions and seize the jurisdiction from the asset protection offshore jurisdiction. That is a funny dynamic. The wealthy liked the stability associated with British offshore trust jurisdictions, navy, political stability, English law and yet the Mother country dislikes them. Reminds me of the Opium wars and the gap between our behaviour on the ground in the FE and views back home and in Parliament.

    Anyway, if Asset Protection Trusts should basically fail under many countries’ laws (inc ours) if he who puts in the money keeps control) why should they work in the US?

    Maybe world’s wealthy are simply reassured by fact it’s the US, which makes some sense as it’s the same of reason, which attracted them to British offshore, but has the US been tested in appeal courts? How will (has) the US Supreme Court treated US asset protection trusts? If it backs them then they would appear to make sense to world’s rich especially given America’s known ability to tell other jurisdictions to get knotted. Of course world’s elites will have to ask themselves if they are happy with the US jniwung their secrets (maybe they know already); price to pay?

    So is something happening, which although please many appeal to left wing posters and all those who oppose tax dodges and secret accounts, namely potential demise of British
    Offshore empire, but at what cost?

    What if the only loser is the UK? Some may say we should not be in this game and it would be an opportunity. Others may say loss of off shore would interact and effect the City and maybe some other areas in which we still have clout. Again those other areas are perhaps not ideal, but are what we do and who we are. Lose too much and we become a little rock.

    So I will shut up talking about Cameron and his family, and give him the benefit of my doubt. Everyone should think deeply about things.

    Sorry, for foolish rant so early in the day and hopefully its all nonsense.

    • fwl

      Perhaps world’s elites will be interested to see who will be next US president? Have any of the main 4 candidates spoken about US asset protection trusts?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      There’s an emerging opinion that offshore tax havens are, like, so 1990’s. Investment in UK property makes more sense, indeed. Though investors may still need the services of a kndly, though opaque, expert in investment taxation, like Mossack Fonseca, to help minimise their tax burden anonymously.

      One such, the Grauniad coyly reveals today, is Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan. He’s the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and quite a lot of its government. He also heads the UAE’s Mubadala sovereign investment fund* He, apparently personally, owns £1.5 billion – worth of London properties, through entities set up by Mossack Fonseca. A very good-tie-in with Private Eye’s commendable researches into UK property ownership by offshores.

      * which has backed or even inspired several of Tony Blair’s advisory/investment projects. Sorry, but like a fly on a turd, there’s Blair again…

      • fwl (which way is the wind blowing)

        Interesting also that according to City AMs front page story the LSE boss is complaining that US ICE, who have raised £10billion for a hostile T/O of the LSE have had their Euronext subsidiary go round the French Government and some regulators saying side with ICE and we can break up the London Stock Exchange.

        I’m reviewing my BREXIT views.

        • fwl (which way is the wind blowing)

          After all their hard work on offshore property ownership and the Guardian have their thunder.

    • lysias (DON'T FEED THE TROLLS)

      How do the IRS and other U.S. tax authorities treat such trusts?

      • fwl

        Good question but I don’t know. You don’t usually think of the US as an off shore jurisdiction save for Delaware, but there is something clearly afoot in several other states so as to grab off shore money including Nevada and Alaska (and apparently 12 others).

        The wiki page on asset protection trusts only mentions South Dakota in respect of the US and has some surprising comments about tax and perpetuity.

        This all needs a little investigating to see what these trust amount to, how much serious money they are said to be attracting, who is supporting them, what the 4 main potential presidential candidates each have to say on the subject, and what any US and overseas courts have ruled on these trusts.

        • fwl

          You would have to take extensive advice from experts in all relevant jurisdictions and then work what they have said and how to put that altogether (for this reason i.e. confusion people may just go on what their friends suggest). Much may depend on whether the person concerned is US or not and the extent to which the settlor / grantor retains aspects of control or if he relinquishes that control to a protector the relationship to the protector and the protectors powers. You can have scenario where the US grantor has basically set up an asset protection trust and he runs the show and should be paying tax on it as part of his gross estate, and you can have situations where the trust itself should be paying tax. There is also an exit tax. Ouch.

  • fred

    Does nobody here believe in the UN Declaration on Human Rights? Or have they decided some sections of society aren’t human?

    “Article 12.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

    I’ve supported the right to use encryption, the right to use alternative currencies like bitcoin, fought against governments data mining the internet because I consider privacy a basic human right and I thought this blog was about protecting human rights.

    Seems I was wrong.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      A good and serious point, Fred. Perhaps the answer is ‘ the greater good’, or at worst ‘the lesser evil’. If we are to be equal before the law, then a law structured in such a way that rich men do not pay their legal dues, while poor men have to, is not a good law. Without evidence that such rich men are not, in fact paying their dues, there is no case in law for remedying this. Also, what you do with your property is no concern of mine unless and until your rights run counter to mine. At that point I think I’m justified in digging a little deeper into what it is that you are actually doing, and I don’t imagine the UN will object to this.

      No, I don’t want an argument. This is just a point of view.

      • fred

        It’s not an uncommon point of view. Sounds a lot like what Theresa May was saying about the Investigatory Powers Bill.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Superficially, perhaps. It’s all a matter of balance. Is mass surveillance of all aspects of everyone’s life justifiable in terms of preventing atrocities? Just maybe. Is mass surveillance of all aspects of everyone’s life justifiable in terms of keeping the government in power? No. Conclusion: tailor the solution to the atrocity problem, and constrain its undemocratic consequences as tightly as possible. We can deplore May’s take on this, but if her intention were to keep the current mob in power, I think the UK would be looking a lot more like Kazakhstan, so she has the (reluctant) benefit of my doubt.

          OTOH, simply legislating to require full disclosure of the ownership and balance sheet of any company resident or trading in the UK is no more than the requirement imposed with some rigour by HMRC on the majority of ordinary punters. As you will be aware if you are self-employed.

          Pursue your original argument re. May to its limit, and you will be asking her to turn a polite blind eye to bearded guys wandering round Thurso with loaded AK-47’s. 😉

  • Silvio

    A recent post at HangTheBankers concludes the scandal is a manufactured affair to do-in Putin (and presumably any other of the USA’s, evil-doing, arch enemies that up till now refuse to surrender the fight – or at least have the good grace to slink away from the field of battle and ride off into the sunset):

    Panama Papers are propaganda backed by Soros, Rockefeller and CIA

    SNIP

    ICIJ and CPI are attempting to hijack investigative journalism and trade on the notoriety of Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks to take down Putin and Bashar al-Assad, the embattled leader of Syria.

    The Panama Papers expose offshore tax havens in Switzerland, the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, and Panama, but says nothing about a new arrangement legalized under FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

    The law “makes the parking of dirty US money abroad practically impossible. So where does that money go instead—it stays in the US,” writes Zero Hedge. “And, to top it off, there is one specific firm which is spearheading the conversion of the U.S. into Panama: Rothschild.”

    The international bankster institution opened a trust company in Reno, Nevada. “It is now moving the fortunes of wealthy foreign clients out of offshore havens such as Bermuda, subject to the new international disclosure requirements, and into Rothschild-run trusts in Nevada, which are exempt,” Bloomberg reports. The United States “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world,” boasted Andrew Penny of Rothschild. One of the world’s largest providers of offshore accounts, Trident Trust, opened an office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

    The financial elite will gladly sacrifice Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, the prime minister of Iceland, and even the family of David Cameron, to get at Vladimir Putin.

    http://www.hangthebankers.com/panama-papers-propaganda-soros-rockefeller-cia/

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      Silvio, you are insane if you really believe that sort of swivel-eyed ConspiraLoon rubbish.

      Aren’t you just teasing us, you young rogue?

  • harrylaw

    Lay off the Cameron’s, Samantha’s father was only a humble farmer ..”She, too, has made an art of underplaying it. In her twenties, she would tell people that her father Reggie was a ‘farmer’. In fact, Sir Reginald Sheffield is the eighth holder of a baronetcy that dates back to 1755, and has a property portfolio worth upwards of £20million. It includes 3,000 acres of arable land; a £5million stately home near York; a place in London; and the family seat in Lincolnshire, a Regency mansion called Normanby Hall”.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3525511/ISABEL-OAKESHOTT-Truth-Cameron-s-family-s-wealth-despite-fight-against-tax-avoidance-weak-spot.html

  • Julian

    I have now looked at the tweet that Itsy noticed:

    Wikileaks: “Should we release all 11 million #PanamaPapers so everyone can search through them like our other publications?”

    It is very clear. Wikileaks has the papers too, and may release the whole bunch especially as the online vote has gone so far in the direction of releasing them.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Tony_0pmoc April 6, 2016 at 03:33
    As you like books, here are some real eye-openers:

    I have read ‘The Secret Team’ and it ties with everything I already knew, and much more..
    Cathy O’Brien recommended it, along with the Al Martin book (see Cathy O’Brien at end of comment).

    ‘The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World’:
    by L. Fletcher Prouty

    ‘The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider’: by Al Martin

    ‘Operation Gladio – Full 1992 documentary BBC’ (in 3 parts):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGHXjO8wHsA
    There are several books on the subject, including:
    ‘NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO & Terrorism in Western Europe’ by Daniele Ganser
    Operation Gladio by Paul L. Williams

    ‘The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II’s Vatican’: by David Yallop

    ‘Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA’ by Terry Reed & John Cummings

    ‘ Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion’ Gary Webb

    ‘Access Denied: For Reasons Of National Security’ Cathy O’Brien and Mark Phillips
    They also wrote ‘TranceFormation of America’, but ‘Access’ has all the info and more, and is more readable. ‘Trance’ was written in a rush, to present thye info to Congressmen before a promised Enquiry, which was quashed by Congressional ‘perps’. ‘Access’ is much more readable. Cathy’s story is really heroic, and distressful. She really shows up the US system and Presidents as they are (including Ford, Reagan, the Clintons and the Bushes) – here is a video:
    Cathy O’Brien: Ex-Illuminati Mind Control Victim’:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvEBmEo4IA0
    but obviously it is better to read the book. I have a few brand-new signed copies for £15 + postage (£2.80 I believe) if you are interested, lot cheaper than Amazon.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Silvio April 6, 2016 at 12:27
    Thanks for finding that important article; makes perfect sense.
    The huge corruption in the US particularly spreads across many Presidents, the CIA, the major banks and corporations; it includes shell corporations, bought up and created ‘special interest’ banks by the CIA, huge drug deals and money laundering and illegal arms trading. BCCI was one of the bigger ones to be hung out to dry; but the Vatican Bank, and all the Big Boys were (and I’m sure still are) ‘at it’. Real estate and insurance companies massive frauds abounded.
    The Prouty, Martin and Yallop books I mentioned in my reply to Tony_Opmoc above cover a lot of it.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      No mention of the Rothschilds and Bilderbergers, Paul? Yoy disappoint!

  • lysias (DON'T FEED THE TROLLS)

    Excellent piece on the Panama Papers by Black Agenda Report editor Margaret Kimberley: Freedom Rider: The Panama Papers Problem😛

    The Panama Papers show that the heads of state of Ukraine, Iceland, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all held shell holding company accounts in different tax haven locations. Vladimir Putin’s name appears nowhere but the corporate media used his image repeatedly to drum up interest in what is an otherwise newsworthy story. There are Russians who have used Mossack Fonseca services and three of them have close ties to Putin. Guilt by association and innuendo follow instead of disinterested reporting of pertinent facts.

    While the corporate media happily do the work of imperialism, Russia is making good on its promise to kick ISIS out of Syria. The liberation of the ancient Syrian city Palmyra should have garnered Putin as much press attention as the Panama story. But the United States and NATO have still not abandoned their goal of regime change in Syria. They were ready to let ISIS fight Assad and do the job for them. While they pretend to drive ISIS out of Syria the Russians are actually getting the job done. If the corporate media want to cover Putin, that development provides an excellent opportunity for them to do so.

    While news outlets ranging from the Guardian to the New York Times do their best to connect Putin to the Mossack Fonseca scandal without evidence, the prime minister of the United Kingdom and the president of Ukraine are directly involved. David Cameron’s late father is among those mentioned in the Mossack Fonseca trove. Simply put, he established an offshore account to hide the family fortune. The goal of the scheme was as simple as it is devious: keep Cameron family money and the prime minister’s inheritance from being taxed.

  • Tom

    I disagree completely. I think the scandal is that leaked private details are being published at all, never mind the clear political agenda involved. Unless or until the law changes, no one has any right to know other people’s legal financial arrangements.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Suppose I am publicly lecturing other people that paying their fair share of tax is the right thing to do, and that tax avoidance is immoral even if it is not illegal.

      Is there a public interest in a disclosure that I am myself using every possible legal loophole to avoid paying tax?

      • fred

        Half the hand rolling tobacco smoked in Britain is imported without paying duty.

        This is no more about paying taxes being the right thing to do than the fox hunting laws are about animal welfare.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Well, there is a free-market solution. Make the benefits of offshoring your stash available to all, not just those able to afford a bent accountant. Simple. And truly democratic. Question is, would the big financial operators like the idea of the peasants opting-out of paying for a government which is largely under financier control? And which facilitates the financiers’ ability to print money? I think not.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          The point I am trying to make is that sometimes people’s private circumstances are relevant to their public life, and it is not an absolute rule that someone’s private life is sacrosanct – sometimes there is a legitimate public interest in the contradiction. If a politician is presenting himself or herself as wholly against extramarital sexual relationships and garnering votes in the process then it may be in the public interest to know that he or she is promiscuous in private life even if promiscuity is not illegal. if an MP is voting in favour of workfare it may be in the public interest to know that he or she invests heavily in Maximus or connected companies even if that is not illegal.

  • Peter

    A great presentation by “Four Corners” highlighting the integration and use of off-shore tax havens by individuals and corporations in Australia. No doubt this is only a sample of companies involved in tax avoidance that must get cleaned up. Interesting days ahead in taxation law in this country.

  • davy mitchell

    How does an enthusiastic amateur, able in english and german, access the data ?

  • Paul Barbara

    Rabble Canada’s take on the Panama Papers:

    rabble.ca – News for the rest of us
    http://go2.rabble.ca/dm?id=0A312459DF718C2A7276D284F37B9DE7
    07 Apr 2016

    “Courage is contagious.” That’s what Edward Snowden had to say on the Panama Papers leak that gave us a glimpse into the hidden world of offshore tax shelters — that cost the world’s public coffers an estimated $32 trillion globally — and about $200 billion in Canada.

    How the global 1% stash their cash remains elusive, and so far only one Canadian has been named, though 450 or so are known to at least the CBC. But what can we learn from the largest data deluge to date? Two things.

    First, Justin Trudeau hasn’t exactly been courageous when it comes to shutting down tax havens. The previous government audited charities but at the same time de-clawed the Canada Revenue Agency’s investigative powers, creating the conditions for the tax agency to bully the little guy. And so far Trudeau hasn’t done enough to undo that dynamic and in many cases the audits of charities initiated by Harper are still ongoing.

    The other, larger lesson is that independent media is becoming the focal point of 21st-century investigative journalism. The network that released the Panama Papers, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and its non-profit parent Center for Public Integrity, are part of the independent, progressive media scene founded by the very same anti-establishment sentiment and desire for reform that resulted in the creation of sites like rabble.ca all around the globe — all of which are reader-supported through donations. So if you haven’t already visited our donate page, be sure to do that. You’ll be helping us keep our hard-hitting editorial content coming, including our own analyses of the Panama Papers next week.

    The NDP convention begins tomorrow, and in the lead-up to it, analysts, activists and NDP members have spoken out about the party’s future, especially when it comes to leadership. Catch up on all the commentary on rabble, weigh in with your opinion, then follow all of our post-convention analysis here!

    Toronto will host the weekend-long 2016 Marxism conference April 22-23 at the University of Toronto Multifaith Centre. This year’s annual conference is all about ideas for real change! Though the Liberals have given many hope after almost a decade of brutal Conservative rule, pipelines are still being built, soldiers are still marching to war, and the 1% are getting richer. In so many ways, things are still the same. Find all the details here…’

    I don’t know if their article means they have the dump too.

  • Paul Barbara

    Once again the BBC trots out it’s c*ap propaganda as ‘factual analysis’:
    ‘..Analysis: Frank Gardner, BBC Security Correspondent

    Syria was supposed to be rid of all chemical weapons, following a Russian-brokered UN deal two years ago. But it is clear this is not the case.

    So where are these stocks coming from?

    Chlorine, as a chemical, is not banned – it is readily available.

    And according to chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, IS could have obtained mustard gas from three possible sources: from a large Iraqi facility they overran last year, from stocks the Syrian government failed to declare to the UN, and, most worryingly, from their own production line.

    He said all the necessary precursor chemicals were present in Syria and that Islamic State had the expertise to turn it into a weapon…’

    WTF is Gardner talking about? This ‘..But it is clear this is not the case…’ is an ‘analysis’, already?
    ‘Syria civilians still under chemical attack’:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34212324

    Here IS news:
    ‘EXCLUSIVE: Report on the “Moderate Rebel” Chemical Attacks Yesterday in Aleppo: http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/04/08/exclusive-report-on-the-moderate -rebel-chemical-attacks-yesterday-in-aleppo/

    ‘Vanessa Beeley
    21st Century Wire

    Yesterday US and NATO backed “moderate rebels” aka terrorists from various factions shelled Kurdish areas of Aleppo with chemical weapons.

    The silence from western and gulf media has been deafening, only RT and Press TV immediately broke news of the attack on Kurdish sectors of the terrorist occupied Aleppo that is being retaken piece by piece by the Syrian Arab Army and allies.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkkSdGgmM_o

    The following is an unedited report from a citizen of Aleppo whose name we withhold to ensure their security in a volatile situation:

    “The Sheikh Maqsoud sector of Aleppo city, which is under the Kurds control had been hit and attacked several times after the beginning of the ceasefire, since I was there.

    The new news though that I started reading since yesterday, that the terrorists started using chemical weapons against civilians over there.

    Did Mr. Staffan de Mistura know about that? Did Mr. Ban Ki-moon hear of it? I doubt it. All they are concerned and obsessed about is toppling Assad and the transitional phase after Assad.

    The ceasefire is over in Aleppo, after the great violations took place few days ago on southern Aleppo province areas, when several terrorist groups [whom signed on and approved the ceasefire] broke their words and the transitional phase after Assad.

    The SAA and its allies didn’t want that ceasefire from the beginning. The UN always impose ceasefires when the SAA starts to win on ground. Its a way to give another chance for terrorists to arm and prepare themselves for the next violation.

    Now, there is no ceasefire. Aleppo battle seems to be starting soon, as Russians, SAA, Hezbollah and others are continuing what they were doing before the ceasefire.

    Liberating Aleppo city.

    A week ago, Deir ez-Zowr city was attacked by Da’esh, using chemical weapons as well. Syrian army doesn’t have that weapon any more, so they can’t blame Assad of using it.

    However, it seems that no one really care any more in that corrupted, two faced UN.

    Three years ago, such news would have been seen 24/7 on all global media claiming:

    “The “Dictator” is killing his people with chemical weapons”.

    But now, days and weeks have passed and I hardly ever could find any mention of such news, especially at the UN. They are suffering from deafness and blindness now.

    Or, they are happy to use this attack against Assad, SAA, and Syrian people?”

    Watch this second part of the report…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PbH4lyDPCw

    Once again, without a shred of evidence, the BBC tries to put Assad in the frame, just as was done in previous ‘False Flag’ CW attacks carried out by the West/Israeli/Gulf ‘Axis’ proxies.

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