Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak 797

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.”

What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

Ford Foundation
Carnegie Endowment
Rockefeller Family Fund
W K Kellogg Foundation
Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland. A superannuated UK peer or two will be sacrificed – someone already with dementia.

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?


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797 thoughts on “Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak

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  • Alasdair Macdonald

    First thoughts: “Great! Now we’ll see who is dodging.” Second thoughts after perusing the BBC report,”Mubarak, Gaddafi, Assad, Zimbabwe, Russia, … This looks like a bit of propaganda.” Third thoughts, “since Mr Murray is well acquainted with such international matters, I am pleased, but, disappointed, my crap detector worked.”

    • Time

      Yeah.. I wish they expose all .. Well, it will come soon.. Don’t worry, all that American foundations and corporations will be expose too.. Time is here! “Time” ..

  • John Goss

    Did you happen to notice the Guardian articles are by British spook and plagiarist, Luke Harding, who also broke the recent Putin murdered Litvinenko just before the Robert Owen Inquiry (farce) reported. That you believe it does not surprise me. I don’t doubt Resident Dissident believes it too. Whether it is true or not is another matter.

    • Max South

      Luke Harding is UK government lapdog, serves as their propaganda tool.

      Years ago UK government said Saddam had WMDs and was tied to 9/11. Now they SWEAR their “facts” on Litvinenko case, including dates, places, radioactive materials traces, are all “true”, and that Litvinenko that has died in Mi6 hands was killed by clueless spies (kind of oxymoron, but they do not bother) solely on that “probable” data that is not and will be not ever contested in open court, and without “evidence” that is not “secret”.

      And, of course, the narrative always includes SO REALIABLE testimony from Litivnenko himself, who has claimed that Putin is paedophile and that he has ordered London metro bombings.

      • John Goss

        Thanks Max. I tried to cover aspects of Harding’s faux journalism in January in an article regarding the Litvinenko Inquiry – an obvious government set-up.

        “According to The eXile, Luke Harding is a journalist with an indelible record for plagiarism.[5] Harding specializes in establishment propaganda, which stretches from the denigration of Julian Assange to all things anti-Russian or anti-Putin. He is the only known journalist to have been expelled from Russia and is still churning out the same tired old establishment pap.[6]”

  • Courtenay Barnett


    I truly like and respect you.

    However, I had communicated with you on this ( check your archives):-

    1. Ghana – I always saw the IMF/World Bank as a disaster prescription ( I believe you came round to agree).

    2. I am too old at my advancing age to totally endorse a Putin, Nelson Mandela or even a Craig Murray. What I can do is acknowledge and appreciate true human ability and/or sacrifice – and I give you good points on both. However with Russia and Putin you have a clear choice:-

    1. A mulitlateral world and plurality;or

    2. The US/NATO as the global hegemon.

    Make your choice. I choose the former – because I accept Lord Acton’s dictum – ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

    You said:-

    ” That would be much more interesting. I know Russia and China are corrupt,…”

    Indeed – now tell me which Western country isn’t?

    • craig Post author


      “Indeed – now tell me which Western country isn’t”.

      Either I have expressed myself extraordinarily badly, or you cannot read. That is supposed to be the point of the article.


      • gagan

        nah man,

        you came across perfectly. i agree with you, there is far too little light being shed on the west & their tax evasion (bermuda, UK virgin islands, anyone?)

    • Keb Brutre

      Can you explain to me where Ghana comes into all this in conjunction with the World Bank/IMF? I have heard about Kofi Annan and J Kuffour but do not see why you mention a whole country and/or World Bank/IMF

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Chin up! I doubt the information will be selectively concealed for ever.

    And with a bit of luck, they’ll all be blackmailed to buggery in the meantime.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        I’m glad, John.

        Thinking about it though, how on earth can a source with the technical ability to leak this data anonymously, and the access to millions of documents hope to remain anonymous for long? There can’t be that many people who are able to do what has been done here.

        I am afraid that that makes me suspicious.

        • gagan

          i agree with you, spencer-davis (you’re both named john, so i had to use last name first, sorry).

          it is curious that the trove of data purportedly leaked by wikileaks is not entirely available, instead it’s allegedly given to select journal outlets.

          hopefully in the next few days we will find out if there really is a “raw trove”. usually these hackers release such things a short duration after the media outlets run a ‘leak’ story (ashley madison comes to mind).

        • John Goss

          I did send another response but the blog crashed. It was just to say that I hope “John Doe” is more than one person. Regardless it was a brave and commendable act of public disclosure and hopefully these mega-thieves of our money will be brought to justice.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    He used the name thought_criminal…and he totally exposed who was funding Alternet – much the same list as above.

    Josh Holland banned him – but I pleaded for his release – he was obviously just a young American writing the truth as close as he could.

    So Josh let him back and he posted under the handle gunboat_diplomat

    I used to be a part of a community based in California (for 5 years) and yet, I have never been to The USA.

    Its all been deleted now…when Tom Dispatches’s mate took over – straight back from the war…He writes books too…and so I asked him live – why have you banned me??

    He says I am Nick Turse…and you are writing personal stuff as if you are not in a warzone.

    I says look here Nick I am just trying to display my humanity – he says yes but you are as boring as hell and no one likes you…you have no friends and no one likes you – so he deleted all my Recommends too…I just checked..It was like a car..

    After 100,000 back to 0

    Comments 22374
    Followers 25
    Following 1


  • John Spencer-Davis

    Oh, hey, and isn’t it curious that the one Western country that seems to be serious about jailing bankers is the one about which damaging information is being disclosed? I find that incredibly suggestive.

  • Hieroglyph

    A quick look at the ever amusing Wikileaks swiftly reveals Poroshenko’s name. Oh, and via his father, one David Cameron. And the Saudi’s obviously. I mean, that’s a given. And where the Saudi’s are, the Bush clan are sure to follow.

    It looks like it’s pretty much everybody ever mentioned on these boards. Haven’t seen Blair’s name yet, to my surprise, but it is early.

  • TheJudge

    And it’s interesting to compare and contrast the complete lack of coverage – especially from the BBC – of the scandal involving the Monaco-based company Unaoil, as revealed by The Age and HuffPo last week:

    Although Gaddafi and Assad are implicated here too, at least in this story the western corporations up to their necks in it are named – Rolls Royce and Haliburton amongst them.

    However, if you put ‘unaoil’ into the BBC News website’s search box, it returns no results.

  • Zlack

    It’s seems the information they got or are releasing is carefully vetted. Maybe it comes from the NSA. It could well be the phase 2 against rusia.

  • Phil the ex frog

    “a genuine expose of western capitalism”

    As opposed to good old Eastern capitalism? Northern capitalism? Southern? Put ya left leg in and shake it all about.

  • MacCruiskeen

    “some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland”

    Iceland had the gall to actually throw crooked bankers in jail. They must be punished.

  • Richard

    The Guardian kept another copy of the files that it had to destroy ‐ and told the MI5 officers that te exercise was pointless because they had back ups in Brazil. However, they had to go through with the charade as a matter of due process.

    Aside from that, thanks for pointing this stuff out!

  • anti-hypocrite

    “I know Russia and China are corrupt, you don’t have to tell me that. ”

    I know Great Britain is even more corrupt, you don’t have to tell me that.

  • John Goss

    This is the kind of shit journalism the foreign office (or Whitehall in general) feeds Harding. So crass even a teenager could see through it.

    “The offshore trail starts in Panama, darts through Russia, Switzerland and Cyprus – and includes a private ski resort where Putin’s younger daughter, Katerina, got married in 2013.”

    If that’s joining the dots it’s no wonder certain artists come to prominence. All you need is dosh. Some are obsessed with it and the degradation of animalkind. Damien Hirst springs to mind with his calf in formaldehyde and diamond-encrusted skull. We have degenerated. I can somewhat understand the messages behind the photographic and video work of Sam Taylor-Wood (Johnson) but this kind of enrichment through the arts is something not touched upon (or not globally read about) but it is a lucrative business.

    Nearly three years back I wrote this about the least-known of Julian Assange’s two accusers, Sofia Wilen. She may be an innocent woman duped by people in power. This blogpost still raises a lot of unanswered questions. It is not the spoon-fed pottage Luke Harding has to write. Despite criticisms about my blog this post has taken nearly as many hits as any of the others, though not in the realms of this blog.

  • Uwe Schmidt

    After all Mossack Fonseca is just one company. There might be others, even bigger ones.
    Maybe MF is just one of a few that compete for laundering and hiding the 1%’s money.

    There might be a different one with high confidence in their own way of handling their information untraceable or with a better encryption.
    It might be they infiltrated the competing MF and released their data purposefully to bring them down once and for all.
    And maybe their clientel are the western kapitalists who are therefore not customers of MF and thus mainly not affected.

    Pure speculation of course.

    • John Goss

      Pure speculation but not without some degree of realism, especially regarding multiple launderers. Whose scrip is clean?

  • BlackCatte

    All very well argued, but I think even you are falling for the headlines in exactly the way intended. “I believe the story about Putin” you say. But if you looked a little further you’d see there actually is NO story about Putin. Only a story about his chums. None of the corruption has thus far been tied directly to him at all.

    Is he corrupt? Maybe. Most politicians are, so it’s a fair bet he’s no exception. But so far – and even with the combined might of the western media hunting for it – no evidence of his corruption has come to light. In pursuit of simple truth, and particularly given the sheer volume of Putin character-assassination that assails us in the West, this is a point that should be acknowledged.

    • James lake

      This is the most insightful comment posted so far. It gets to the heart of the non story and shows it for the smear that it is.
      The fact that all media is reporting this as a Putin scandal in exactly the same way complete with his picture front and centre; reinforces the fact that it is a smear.

      • Bevan

        “The fact that all media is reporting this as a Putin scandal in exactly the same way complete with his picture front and centre” The Guardian and BBC aren’t all media. Try broadening your reading list and cutting down on the hyperbole. Look at the Independent’s Panama Papers section for example – one tiny photo of Putin with accompanying story about how the leak is a Western conspiracy, a bigger one of Obama saying American’s a tax dodgers, 10 of Cameron, three of the Icelandic ex-PM and 2 of Osbourne. Just saying.

    • davidb

      Some politicians are corrupt. You have only anecdotal evidence – derived from media reports – to assert that “most” are. I do, however, understand your cynicism.

  • Josh

    Very interesting. Thank you for the clarification on why this leak seemed so one-sided.

  • giyane

    If people want to sacrifice virgins to Demeter at Palmyra or repeat yong yong at a stature of Buddha, or even worship wealth, it’s hard not to want to stop them doing it. But at the end of the day the deities of art and money have more worshippers than the deity of humanity for the sake of God.

    When we ask for good things in this life and the next it means love, respect, companionship. Corporate minds addicted to corporate opaqueness have to endure daily disfunctionality in their families, friendships and marriages. the chauffeur gets to peep at the ghastly open marriages of global businessmen and top executives.

    Dysfunctionality in this life and eternal fire in the hereafter or blessings and openness in both. Not really a difficult choice to make.

  • Just a concerned citizen

    It is quite obvious whats going on here which led me to this article. Why isn’t everything available to download for anyone to make opinions based on factual evidence? The story is meant to expose corruption however by hiding info they are not helping. Let this be a learning lesson for the next heroic person in the world. Dump everything and dump it on 100’s of servers fast as possible for downloading by the public.

    • fred

      2.6 terabytes, 11.5 million documents.

      Good luck downloading that lot, hope you have a fast connection and a large hard drive..

      • Just a concerned citizen

        The data could be split up into multiple parts to figure out this issue. Downloading that amount of data could take the average person weeks to months depending on where you are located. However if enough people looked at small amounts of data publicly it could be covered quickly and the media wouldn’t be in control which they are now.

        • hackneymartian

          Yes, why not? astronomers use just this method – getting thousands of people to scrutinise photos of a tiny section of the sky for stuff you need a human to spot. You’d need (as they do) a cross-checking protocol (several volunteers looking at the same material) and some kind of sign-off system to prevent hotheads devaluing the project. Interesting thought.

  • Taxpayer

    So we in Western Europe don’t get the information we really need as taxpayers and voters. Our politicians can contunue tuo cheat us without punishment.

  • Geert Mertens

    They’re targetting Iceland for being naught towards the global elite. Iceland put up its middle finger towards the Europe, they were the sole country in the world that let the banks go in bankruptcy and kept the citizens protected. They are the sole country in the whole EU mess that have a flourishing economy & wellfare, and Soros doesn’t like that.

    • /lasse

      Progress Party and PM Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson is anti EU and anti-bank crusaders. Of course people get mad. But did he do something illegal by Icelandic law or just immoral?
      Being anti booth EU and Banksters is risky.
      Could this pave the way for Icelandic social-democrats to shovel Icelanders in to EU treadmill?
      Among those that was really hit by GFC Iceland have recovered the fastest and most. One thing is for sure that wouldn’t have been the case if they had been EU members or even worse been in to the Euro disaster. Then they had been in the situation of Greece or like Finland stuck in a overvalued currency and pro-cyclical budget and debt rules that had and prolonged the recession to depression.
      Of course an EU and mandatory Euro is madness to enroll in but then the political elite will miss out on all that awesome wining and dining in Brussel and overpaid jobs that Brussel bribe the elites with.

  • DomesticExtremist

    My thoughts entirely Mr Murray. If they have this vast trove of data why use it for political ends to throw yet more mud at Putin when it surely must contain reams of incriminating data about Western banks, oligarchs and politicians.
    Good work digging out the men in the shadows, we can safely assume that nobody who matters will get hurt, unless they decide not to submit to the Soros and friends’ demands…
    Whoever did the leak should have turned it over to Wikileaks or thrown the entire database into the public realm where real investigators could have put it to good use.

    • Tom Welsh

      “If they have this vast trove of data why use it for political ends to throw yet more mud at Putin when it surely must contain reams of incriminating data about Western banks, oligarchs and politicians”.

      Because the whole thing was deliberately engineered “for political ends to throw yet more mud at Putin”, as widely predicted for the past few weeks.

      The recapture of Palmyra, and the likely impending capture of Raqqa, from ISIS by the Syrians with massive Russian help has really upset “the West” (aka the neocons). So they are pulling out all the stops simultaneously. Trouble in Turkey, “corruption” scandals in Brazil, tuning up for a war in Nagorno-Karabakh, and now this huge media attack designed to “prove” how “corrupt” all those Russian and other BRICS people are.

      Mind you, the scum are getting desperate. As more and more countries turn away from the dollar and associated Washington-controlled scams, they can see the end getting closer and closer.

  • Chris Darroch

    Imagine the opportunities for political, personal and business leverage, the data owners have.

  • Chris Darroch

    They had the data for a year…….just imagine the bargaining that has went down since then.

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