F. William Engdahl
May 1, 2016
It stinks worse than a surfeit of skunks crashing a Texas Fourth of July picnic. Look at even the superficial facts of the so-called “Panama Papers.”
A Munich Germany mainstream pro-NATO newspaper editor we are told gets an anonymous gift of alleged files of thousands of high net worth tax dodgers from around the world. To read the front pages of major mainstream western newspapers or BBC and CNN these past days one would be convinced that some hacker had uncovered smoking gun proof that Russia’s Vladimir Putin along with China President Xi Jinping and other “enemies” of the Washington Agenda had stashed billions in secret accounts managed by a Panama law firm called Mossack Fonseca.
With no explanation how or from whom, the Süddeutsche Zeitung says it came into possession of 11.5 million confidential documents sent them by someone they never met who went by the anonymous name “John Doe,” a typical American moniker. The “Panama Papers” handover was done a year ago, with, we are told, detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panama law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The file cache contained the identities of shareholders and directors of the offshore companies.
Immediately Süddeutsche Zeitung’s editors say they contacted a highly select cabal or group of journalists and a year later, with precise timing, western mainstream corporate-owned media have now begun coordinated, orchestrated selective leaks of alleged contents.
Now it gets quite interesting.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung was perhaps unwittingly helpful for genuine investigative journalists in detailing the methodology the mainstream media journalists holding the huge file cache used to find certain offshore tax dodgers. They simply did a data search for any names associated with sanction-breaking dealings of UN sanctioned regimes. That naturally targeted regimes pursuing policies inimical to the USA which pushes almost all economic sanctions these days. So, abracadabra, names from North Korea, Russia, Syria and Zimbabwe feature in the “exposes.” The Panama Papers is being promoted as “the largest leak journalists have ever worked with.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung editors also stated proudly on their website that they immediately decided to go to an organization called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) to help them decide how to deal with the huge store of stolen data files they had come into.
We might ask what exactly is this International Consortium of Investigative Journalists or ICIJ? If we do a little investigating of the consortium for “investigative journalists” or ICIJ, it turns out ICIJ is a “global network of more than 190 investigative journalists in more than 65 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories.” Founded in 1997, “ICIJ was launched as a project of the Center for Public Integrity to extend the Center’s style of watchdog journalism, focusing on issues that do not stop at national frontiers: cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power.”
Gosh, this really sounds like a noble, selfless organization of heroic journalists seeking “truth, justice and the American way of life,” as Clark Kent used to say in the Superman TV series. Only thing is, it isn’t.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”