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 The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.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?


Hundreds of thousands of people have read this post in the 11 hours since it was published – despite it being overnight here in the UK. There are 235,918 “impressions” on twitter (as twitter calls them) and over 3,700 people have “shared” so far on Facebook, bringing scores of new readers each.

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

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

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  • John Monro

    Hello Craig, thanks for your fiercely independent contribution to the discussion on the Panama Papers. However, I would point out that you were quite selective in choosing some of the funders of the the Centre for Public Integrity. Their internet site lists many contributors as you acknowledge – but generally this organisation does seem to have genuine progressive principles. The motives of any particular funder would be difficult to assess. But you’re right in that we really don’t know who is controlling all this information or their motives or what political agendas they may be subject to, and the Guardian’s record in regard to Snowden’s leaks doesn’t imbue much confidence. But it’s early days, we’ll just have to see.

  • Ciaran Tierney

    Craig, I only came across your blog for the first time today. Well done for exposing the truth, as there has been so much “spin” in relation to this story already.

  • Edwin G Martell

    Damned good article mate!
    Here’s a thought.
    Will the Internet group calling themselves “Anonymous”, with all of their vaunted expertise in hacking anyone, anywhere, anytime, endeavor to hack the complete list from the leaked Mossack Fonseca file dump (as well as the many other such lists from other fronts for tax-dodgers) and publish it/them online?
    If these guys, or anyone else with the skills, are genuinely concerned about the fate of our global, political/financial/social civilization, then, I look forward to reading the results of that hack with gusto!

    By the way, your article was linked, by a viewing member, on the ‘Nation of Change’ website.

  • Asghar Mehdi

    I am grateful for the honest explanation for this apparent “false flag” that seems designed to justify an attack on selected targets and an expansion of the power to facilitate such attacks. I do however,respectfully, wish to express my concern at the somewhat arbitrary labeling of China and Russia as being corrupt.By whose Laws or Morals?

    My concern arises from the applicable definition of the word Corrupt.

    In the legal context of corruption within each legally bound society(Nation), it requires the existence of a mature enforceable legal system that clearly elaborates what is considered to be corrupt behavior within the society.

    Post Soviet Russia has existed for about 25 years, prior to which a structure of laws regarding ownership,valuation, and transferability of private property were non existent.The absence of laws regarding commerce was exploited by both Domestic and Foreign investors and contractors. More than 1000 private banks were setup with little or no knowledge of the subject, this took a few years to get under control. Currency values were devalued to pennies against the Dollar. Many profited and got very rich before before the government stabilized.

    The fact is that laws did not exist so laws were not broken.

    If the “moral code” is applied then the question arises is whose moral code applies?. The morals of the Financial Community who play monopoly with billions of other peoples money, using variance in valuations,derivatives, hedges, insurances,and ratings to huge profits and losses both going up and going down. changing values of basic commodities in seconds ruining lives of the innocents.Or do we go by the morals of those who are enriched by the business of war, Fabricating stories to justify huge expenses and”investments” for devastation of cities and civilization. Cultivating hatred among peoples by contrived propaganda. Destabilizing nations at will, depriving people of basic survival needs through the abuse of power and applying sanctions. Can this not be called corruption? But where are the “Civilized” laws to call this Corrupt?
    We all live in the house of our Creator. Before we throw stones at others let us open our eyes and hearts to take a good look around the house

  • Jenny Stirling

    Western civilisation will not fall if the crooks are exposed. We might actually get more decent people to run for office if the duds were chucked out and or sent to jail as the case may be.

  • Jenny Stirling

    Western civilisation will not fall if the crooks are exposed. We might actually get more decent people to run for office if the duds were chucked out and or sent to jail as the case may be.

  • Daniel

    Nonsens, here in Holland dutch people and companies are mentioned by name. Same for european names. Funny thing is… Haven’t seen any American names… But maybe that’s because i live in europe and they focus on that. But no secracy here.

    • lysias (DON'T FEED THE TROLLS)

      No American names mentioned here in the U.S. media either.

  • Nick Brajkovich

    Soros paid for this to continue is vendetta against Putin……’s so obvious, even a blind man can see it

  • John Spencer-Davis

    The trouble with assuming that this leak is motivated by some kind of vendetta against Putin, Assad, et al is that it necessarily completely trashes the reputation of Mossack Fonseca for client confidentiality, so it is vanishingly unlikely to have been done with their collusion. And they presumably know where a lot of bodies are buried. So it’s very high risk.

    Maybe the concentration on Putin et al is therefore just damage limitation.

    • Alex Rediger

      John- He didn’t say the leaker was motivated by an anti-Putin agenda, he said that those reporting on the data are biased.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Thank you. Maybe: I mean, “Soros paid for this to continue is vendetta against Putin” is ambiguous to say the least. Soros paid for what? The leak, or the reporting? That’s not obvious from the comment.

  • PD

    Today: The Danish government refuses to pay (!!) for information in the Panama papers, as ‘ principle’ and becaurce the information will be passed on from German or French authorithys after they have bought (!!) access.
    In Danish:

    Sūddeutche Zeitung writes:
    “The source wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return, apart from a few security measures”

    So who are selling access and to whom ?
    Is this blackmail ?

    To me, that you can buy access is new and discredits the argument for a journalistic ‘vetting’ process.

    Political and financial bias as usual in MSM..

  • Bevan

    The Guardian went overboard by putting Putin’s photo on their lead Panama story, but these leaks are doing much more damage to European politicians then anyone in Russia, or any of the sanction states you mention. How much does Putin actually care about what goes on in the Western media anyway? Very little I’d imagine, since hardly any of his supporting electorate will ever read or watch English language Western media, so it won’t damage his reputation in Russia a jot, and that’s what really matters. Those from sanction busting countries have even less to worry about. As for there being nobody of consequence from the US or Europe – I think you’ve jumped the gun a bit and it’s condescending to call Iceland a “tiny balancing country”. The shit storm that this has produced has already sunk the Icelandic PM and in the UK it has severely damaged David Cameron’s government. Since his father was mentioned by name in the leak, the British press have hounding him and questioning other politicians about their offshore links. George Osbourne, the British chancellor, has not come out of it well. It’s only a matter of time before others are found out for tax avoidance (not necessarily in Panama) and because of the way the Panamanian tax avoiders were initially presented, these UK tax dodgers will be associated with those undesirables from “sanction busting regimes”. As for the US, I don’t live there so don’t know what their domestic news is showing. As far as I’m concerned, this leak, even if the media does try to shield it’s owners, has stirred up the populace and will have a further reach then those named in the Panama documents.

    • lysias

      According to this morning’s Washington Post, Poroshenko’s appearance in the Panama Papers played a role in the defeat of the deal between the EU and Ukraine in yesterday’s Dutch referendum.

    • Jim

      Exactly what I thought. I don’t buy any of this ‘Soros conspiracy’ nonsense. Lots of the stuff my conspiratorial minded friends believe just seems to be obvious Russian state propaganda, lots of it barely disguised anti-Semitic homophobic hate-filled nonsense from the likes of ‘Thesaker’ where every murder of Putins political enemies is dismissed as a western ‘false flag’. Such pernicious drivel.

      • stevieb

        If that’s supposed to encourage us to believe the completely un-free “corporate” media’s clearly deceitful reporting on Vlad Putin…it failed. Big time. When you throw the “antisemitism’ conspiracy out there – your credibility takes a najor nose dive. Just sayin’. ..

        • Jim

          You obviously haven’t read ‘Thesaker’ then, he actually revels in his anti-Semitic bile (Uncle Shmuel for instance in his latest post). This is not meant to in any way tar Craig Murray with this stuff by the way, I think he’s a very honourable and decent guy. And I’m no supporter of the excesses of the Israeli state either, their treatment of the Palestinians is shameful, criminal. Go and read Thesaker though, it’s poison.

  • Maurice Neville

    BBC reported in detail on an individual company in the UK on Panorama and stressed corporate and individual tax evasion in the West

  • Brian

    how about AB Inbev for example? A multinational, (Belgian) beer company that’s the 3rd largest one in it’s kind worldwide (if not largest).
    how about Deutsche Bank?

    Or if you’re saying Western, do you mean USA?

    please respond to this.

    • Wolfgang

      The answer is quite simple: The germans and german enterprises appearing in the german press are coincidently those – and only those – who have recently “welcomed” visits by german law inforcement.
      – Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank had several scandals in the last years, for example helping tax evasionists. The former is regularily in the new because of either paying lots of millions of fine or the break down of the Kirch Group.
      – The only business man who made it in the news on an unknown page somewhere in the middle of a news paper is exactly the same who is known for selling eggs with a special “ingredient” named salmonellas. He has a record for not caring about anything, may be except €, £ or $. After one of his escapades one person was reported dead.
      The are no honourable business persons, they are crooks and they can be presented as a scape goat while others may stay with their image as person of honour.

  • GlueBall

    Self censored, compliant media rules what’s published. Al Jazeera won’t dare to criticize the emirs of Qatar; just as Malaysia’s New Straits Times won’t dare to suggest that the Prime Minister, doubling as Finance Minister, is a thief; just as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo. . .delete posts when ordered by government censors. . . besides having their servers hot-wired into the NSA.

  • Garth Wilson

    As far as I am aware, Tax Avoidance is not illegal; illicitly obtained funds and tax evasion is. From a global perspective, anyone with the means to set up wealth structures and fail to do so is simply ignorant at protecting generational wealth. It is no secret that the middle-class bears the brunt of the tax burden as we plunder along from one generation to the next with blinkers on. The wealthy powers that be ensure this is so by controlling media, education and the like, enforcing a job mentality…who else is going to keep their money making machines rolling?

    It is well within the means of any middle-class family to step out of the quagmire in a single generation and catapult themselves into the wealthy bracket…they just need to remove those darn blinkers and get a mind-shift! Then they too can make it onto the Mossack Fonseca database and why not…as long as it is not illegal and sits well with their own moral standards.

    Note: The author is a middle-class family man in the process of stepping out of the quagmire;

  • Yezdyar Kaoosji

    Thanks for this insight. I was amazed that not a single “western” individual or corporation was mentioned. Iceland seems to have been thrown in to deflect any criticism of the lack of such coverage. It will be interesting to watch the discussion in next week’s debate between Sen. Sanders and Mrs. Clinton. Also, the quick reaction of Pfizer to reverse their announced inversion plans, is further proof that many Western based global corporations and wealthy names must be hidden from these reports.

  • Morgan SE Larsson

    I hope that we one day can found a people trust organisation there issues of all rich people are getting penetrated in each country that will join the goal to nail the thief’s of the hole society. Therefore must someone with good knowledge of cooperation and active groups
    ( maybe through Wikileaks) make a list of all persons with large amount of capital and be mapped by people in every country to seek for tax cover business like this panama deal. This was just a light brief of what really relay inunder the black economy in the world. Eu has with open eyes show us how the politician people wants us to pay a comfort living, they turn small efforts back from that OH cost as be compared with any other global company.

    As representatives have they all missled us the people and why cant the technology of the future secure a global vote program for all major questions? In an world there many people are more educated and have better life understanding than a politic broiler that never had made a finger lift for getting pay, only tell us their ideas how to rule the world, why? ) 9 biljons of people must know better than 500 000 politicians who first secure their own behalf, the real taxpayer are always last in on the red carpet of security of pension and necessary need of hospital and fire workers.

    Today have USA start the war in Syria to struggle Eu with a huge mass movement of none educated people to get the focus on that instead of the idea of a global guvernement. Lets be honest, if you try to talk with your local politician its not that easy, then try the parlament even worse, the get in contact with a parlament member of EU? Why shall we let the local power of what to do be transferred to one place at all? The new world would be better by copy the way the do in Switzerland by voting in each region every month and then theirs questions been raised in the countries parlament. That is real doctrine of the peoples will and therefore must the new technology found a way to get rid of all politic bureaucrats that feed themselves and only keep the leader with a ideology we want to try. Today can the representative politic voted member do the opposite of that they promised in the kampanj without any risk at al.

    Do you still they will support our life better after all these years of struggling of which direction, ho do that and ho decide that and old politic members gets high paid jobbs to try their best to run a office for taxes or migration. In Sweden that have lead to an mess without a clear horizon at any direction, therefore am I asking the world for help because we are in free fall and nobody wants to see that, they get nervous of nude in the TV and why someone said that or not, might be a racist? We really are a people that not struggle anymore since we haven’t any war in the last 200 years and don’t understand what the future have to been after that UN prognoses that in 2030 will Sweden be a poor country with a low education level in general.

    Why go back to the poor Sweden when we still have the tools to develop the future if we do it together in the democratic way by be given all population a electronic vote device, replace the over number of thinking politics and replace them with professionals administrators that make thru of the peoples will.

  • Angel Orechovesky

    This is outrageous! Is there a back up file? Where is Anonymous on this? The People need a Hero.

  • Koby

    Any you are advertising this article freely and without any penny requested?? I bet than you have a bob or two hidden in Panama or something..

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