by Thierry Meyssan
Contrary what may appear to be the case, the «Panama Papers» campaign will not lead to restraining embezzlements of funds, nor to expanding liberties, but the exact opposite. The system is going to consolidate a bit more around the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States and Israel, so that these and only these will control it. By violating the principle of equality before the Law and their professional ethics, the members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have put themselves at the service of the enemies of liberty and the defenders of Big Capital. The fact that they had pinned down in the process some crooks will not change anything. Explanations.
The Economic Strategy of the United States
At the beginning of his mandate, President Obama appointed the historian Christina Romer to chair his Committee of Economic Advisers. This Professor at Berkeley University is an expert on the 1929 crisis. According to her, it was neither Roosevelt’s New Deal nor the Second World War that permitted the US to come out of this recession; rather, an influx of European capital from 1936, escaping the «rise of dangers ».
This is the basis on which Barack Obama drove his economic policy. First, he took action to close all tax havens that were not under the control of Washington and London. Then, he organized the destabilization of Greece and Cyprus, so that European capital takes refuge in Anglo-Saxon tax havens.
It all began in Greece, in December 2008, with demonstrations after a policeman murdered a teenager. The CIA transported busloads of trouble-makers from Kosovo in order to disrupt a demonstration and to set up the beginning of chaos . The Treasury Department could then confirm that Greek capital was leaving the country. The experience being conclusive, the White House decided to immerse this fragile State into a financial and economic crisis that challenged the very existence of the Euro Zone. As predicted, every time we wonder if Greece will be ultimately kicked out of the Eurozone or if the EuroZone will be wound up, some European Capital makes a [mad] dash for an available tax haven, invariably British, American and Dutch. In 2012, another operation was mounted against a Cypriot tax haven. All bank accounts above 100,000 euros were confiscated. It was the first and only occasion, in a capitalist economy, that one witnessed this type of nationalization .
During the last eight years, we have been present at a number of G8 and G20 meetings which have established all sorts of international rules, supposedly to avert tax evasion . However, once everyone had adopted these rules, the United States – and to a lesser extent Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom—dispensed with them.
Each tax haven has its own legal regime – in general, absurd.
Currently, the major tax havens are the Independent State of the City of London (member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), the State of Delaware (member of the United States) and Israel. However for sure, other tax havens exist, notably British ones. For a start, there are the islands of Jersey and Guernsey (member of the Duchy of Normandy and as such placed under the authority of the Queen of England without being either a member of the United Kingdom or the European Union), Gibraltar (a Spanish territory whose landed property is English and which the United Kingdom occupies illegally); even Anguilla, the Bermudas, the Cayman Islands, Turks, the Virgin Islands or Montserrat. Some of them are also tied to Holland: Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten.
A tax haven is a «free zone» rolled out to cover the entire country. However, in the collective imagination, a free zone is indispensable to the economy, whereas a «tax haven» is a calamity. However, the two are co-terminous. Of course, some businesses abuse free zones to avoid paying taxes and others abuse tax havens. However this is no reason to challenge the existence of these provisions that are vital to international trade.
In their war against non Anglo-Saxon tax havens, the United States has notably struck blows against Switzerland . This country had developed tight banking secrecy allowing the small fry to conduct transactions unbeknown to the big players. By forcing Switzerland to abandon its banking secrecy, the United States has expanded its mass surveillance of economic transactions. In this way, they can easily deceive the competition and sabotage the action of the small fry.
The «Panama Papers»
It is in this context that Washington has provided Süddeutsche Zeitung 11 500 000 computer files hacked from the fourth law firm in the world instructed to establish offshore companies. As this intelligence gathering is a crime, the alleged «whistle-blowers» who carried it out, have remained anonymous. Although Washington has first carefully sifted out the files and excluded first, all those relating to US nationals or businesses and then probably those related to its close allies. The fact that some of its alleged allies that are in a tricky position with the Obama Administration feature in these documents, — a case being President Petro Porochenko – confirms to us that they have just been dropped by their powerful protector.
While Panama is a Spanish-speaking State and Süddeutsche Zeitung a German publication, the Spies have named the stolen files in English: «The Panama Papers ».
Incidentally, the architects of this carabistouille try to persuade us that all men that rebel against Washington would be robbers. For example, we remember the campaigns mounted against Fidel Castro, accusing him of being a drug trafficker and Forbes listing him among the world’s most wealthy . After observing the difficult living conditions of the Castro Family in Cuba, I ask myself how can anyone mount such a lie. It would follow that the new secret magnates would be Vladimir Putin, Bachar el-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad —however their frugality is legendary.
This propaganda against political adversaries, is simply the tip of the iceberg. The important point is the future of the international financial system
Violation of Journalists’ Ethics
Süddeutsche Zeitung is part of an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an association that specializes not in investigative journalism as its name would lead us to think, but in denouncing financial crimes.
In republican societies, Justice must be the same for all. But the ICIJ, that has already published more than 15 million computer files since its establishment, has never harmed the interests of the United States. Therefore it certainly cannot claim that its actions are prompted out of concern for justice.
Furthermore, from the republican principles of our society flow obligations for journalists. These have been formalised in the Munich Charter in 1971 by all the professional trade unions in the Common Market, later extended to the rest of the world by the International Federation of Journalists.
I perfectly understand that this text imposes limits that on occasion are difficult to abide by. Indeed, some years ago I was among those that considered it useful to be able to occasionally violate it. But experience proves that by violating it, we open the door to other violations that boomerang against the citizens.
The journalists of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have not posed the ethical question. They have accepted working on documents that have been stolen and sorted out, without the slightest opportunity to verify their authenticity.
The Munich Charter stipulates that journalists will only publish information whose origin is known; that they will not suppress essential information nor will they alter texts and documents; finally that they will not use dishonest methods to obtain information, photographs and documents. Fully aware of these three requirements, they have violated them and this should bar them from professional bodies and bring about the removal of the directors of the BBC, France-Télévisions, NRK, and why not Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (the radio of the CIA which is also itself a member of the Consortium of Journalists).
This is not the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ first case. It was this body which in 2013 had published 2.5 million computer files stolen from 120 000 offshore companies. Then, it is it that had revealed, in 2014, contracts signed between multinationals and Luxembourg in order to profit from a preferential tax regime. And it was the one that revealed, in 2015, the accounts of the British Bank HSBC in Switzerland.
We suspect that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is financed by a number of organizations linked to the CIA, such as the Ford Foundation and the George Soros Foundations. This latter example is the most interesting: members of the ICIJ do not take the view that Mr Soros’s money comes from the CIA, but from his financial speculations to the detriment of the people. This would render it more acceptable.
No More Resistance without non Anglo-Saxon tax havens
That the Hezbollah holds companies and secret accounts in Panama and elsewhere comes as no surprise. In a recent article, I raised the issue of the Lebanese Résistance auto-financing without having to depend on Iranian subsidies. The complex financial montage to which it has surrendered will have to be completely reconstructed, to avoid Lebanon becoming once again the victim of its Israeli neighbours.
That President Ahmadinejad has established offshore companies to bypass the embargo of which his country was the victim and to sell oil is not only no crime but is completely to his credit.
That the Makhlouf family, cousins of President el-Assad, has used a financial montage to by-pass the illegal embargo by Western powers and to permit Syrians to eat during five years of aggressive war is also completely legitimate.
What will be the outcome of this vast outpouring? First the reputation of Panama is destroyed and it will take many years to resurrect. Then, petty criminals that have systematically abused the system will be prosecuted, while a number of honest traders will have to justify themselves at length before the courts. But contrary to appearances, those who breathe life into this campaign will ensure that nothing has changed. The system will thus remain in place, but from now on will have to function to the sole benefit of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States and Israel. While believing that they are defending their liberties, those who will have participated in this campaign will have in reality reduced.