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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

More on the "Panama Papers"

Most intelligent people understand that the great "Panama Papers" leak is a controlled affair. The scandal is real; the way the scandal has been reported is something of a sham.

The media's hamfisted attempt to indict Vladimir Putin (despite his non-involvement) was pure propaganda. By way of comparison, the scandal does directly involve the family of UK Prime Minister David Cameron -- yet the American media refuses to mention this aspect of the case. (The British media seems to have woken up.)

The graphic to your left comes from RT, which adds the following:
The Kremlin said it knows the "consortium of journalists" that published the leaked documents.

"We know this so-called journalistic community perfectly well, it is clear to us that a number of journalists who are part of it have hardly majored in journalism; there are many former representatives of the [US] State Department and the CIA, along with other intelligence agencies,” Peskov said, adding that Moscow knows "who funds this organization."
Is this claim empty propaganda? The Craig Murray piece (republished in my previous post on this topic) would suggest otherwise.

The media sometimes expresses its bias in subtle ways, by offering insufficient background. Consider this:
During the bloodiest days of Russia’s 2014 invasion of the Ukraine’s Donbas region, the documents show, representatives of Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko scrambled to find a copy of a home utility bill for him to complete the paperwork to create a holding company in the British Virgin Islands.

A spokesperson for Poroshenko said the creation of the company had nothing to do with “any political and military events in Ukraine.”
Technically, there is nothing wrong with this passage. The problem: Most ill-informed people reading these words will come away with the impression that Pororshenko (the chocolate-maker turned politician) has some connection with Putin. In fact, Poroshenko is our plaything, not Putin's.

Remember when Fox News would "accidentally" pin the (D) label to Mark Foley and other fallen Republicans? What's happening here is a bit like that.

I'm gratified to note that much of the public understands this blatant attempt to manipulate perceptions.
A Facebook user accused the BBC of “anti-Russian propaganda” and complained that “Joseph Goebbels had less biased news articles,” in regards to the fact that the BBC published an article about Putin, despite the Russian leader not being named.
One user asked why the Independent was using a photograph of Syrian President Bashar Assad alongside President Putin, when neither man was mentioned in the trove of documents.

In response, another Twitter user stated: “Because they don’t want to blame ‘friends’ like King Salman or Poroshenko…”
In the west, we have perfect freedom of the press. Our journalists are free to offer any criticism they please of Validmir Putin, Bashar Assad, the Iranian government and anyone named Clinton.

Nevertheless, if you look past the superficial mainstream coverage, you'll find that the tale of the Panama Papers contains some highly intriguing aspects. This is not a non-story.

A Fusion investigation notes that the law firm at the heart of all this, Mossack Fonseca, has bizarre connections to both Nazis and American intelligence. One founder of that Panamanian firm is of German extraction...
Jurgen Mossack’s family landed here in the 1960s. During World War II, his father had served in the Nazi Party’s Waffen-SS, according to U.S. Army intelligence files obtained by the ICIJ. Once in Panama, the elder Mossack offered to spy on communists in Cuba for the CIA. (Mossack Fonseca said the firm “will not answer any questions related to private information regarding our company founding partners.”)
More here.
German media have reported that Erhard served as a Rottenfuehrer - roughly corresponding to a senior corporal - in the Waffen, or fighting arm, of the dreaded S.S.
In 1952, Erhard wrote a book titled Die letzten Tage von Nürnberg, which interested parties can find in the library at the University of Wisconsin. He's also mentioned in this 2002 list of Nazi war criminals. This Spanish-language site offers an odd tidbit that I've seen nowhere else (and please forgive the Google translation):
After the World War came to an end, the father of Mossack US offered his services as an informant.

He claimed to be "for joining a clandestine organization, previously formed by Nazis, who became communists", but an agent said his offer as a spy could actually be an "attempt to get out of a difficult situation."
Fascinating. This reference almost certainly goes to the Sozialistische Reichspartie, founded in 1949. This was Germany's first attempt at a post-war "semi-Nazi" party, set up (in large part) by former Luftwaffe officer Hans-Ulrich Rudel. It is said that the party secretly received Soviet funding; it certainly favored the Russian side of the Cold War, on the grounds that the West was too Jewish.

During this same period, Rudel secretly formed a post-war Nazi organization called the Kameradenwerk, financed by various German industrialists. This clandestine group operated primarily in Spain and South America. Kameradenwerk and the Sozialistische Reichspartie may be considered two sides of the same coin.

The links between Kameradenwerk and the American CIA have long been topics of rumor and speculation. One can easily see why American intelligence would want to use Rudel's associates in various schemes to infiltrate communist organizations. It may be that the post-war fascist underground's tentative outreach to the USSR came at the behest of their partners in the CIA.

If Erhard Mossack worked out of Panama and spied on Cuba, he must have operated under the notorious JMWAVE operation. At the risk of going far afield, perhaps I should note that the notorious School of the Americas operated out of three forts in Panama throughout the 1950s and 60s, primarily Fort Clayton, which functioned as the Gitmo of that era: Kidnapped foreign nationals were taken there to be tortured and drugged. (One victim was a Bulgarian-Greek named Dimitre Dimitrov, whose name comes up in JFK assassination lore.)

It's a little hard to believe that the firm built by Erhard's son -- a firm which Panamanians consider "too big to fail" -- did not arise out of the father's connections to western intelligence services.

Organized crime.
Mossack Fonseca's links to the underworld are quite extraordinary:
Many times Mossack Fonseca has had no clue which nefarious characters were doing what with the companies the firm created – as when Jurgen discovered in 2005, according to internal emails, that he was the registered agent and listed as the director for a company controlled by the Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero. The co-founder of the Guadalajara Cartel was convicted in Mexico in 1985 for the brutal murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. (Today, Quintero is again considered a fugitive by the US after walking out of prison in 2013 on a technicality).

Mossack Fonseca’s senior partners instructed an employee to carry out their resignation from the company upon the discovery. "Pablo Escobar was like a newborn compared to R. Caro Quintero!” Jurgen wrote in reaction to the news. “I wouldn't want to be among those he visits after he leaves prison!"
No clue? I'm not so sure about that. Any number of articles have discussed Qunitero's links to the CIA. See, for example, here:
Thirty years on, Camarena’s death remains a source of great debate on both sides of the border. The controversy was reignited last September when Jesús Esquivel, the Washington correspondent for Mexico’s respected Proceso magazine, released a book suggesting that the CIA was directly involved in his abduction, torture and murder.

Largely based on interviews with former DEA supervisor Hector Berrellez, who oversaw Operation Leyenda, the book posits that during the mid-1980s the CIA helped the Guadalajara Cartel smuggle tons of cocaine into the United States in order to fund a dirty war against Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. In return, the cartel allegedly shipped arms and drug money to the Contras, right-wing rebels who were fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

The CIA has strongly denied any involvement in Camarena’s death but Esquivel believes the DEA agent had uncovered evidence of this unholy alliance shortly before he was murdered.
If Quintero's drug money was being used to further the cause of the contras, it seems likely -- very likely -- that Mossack Fonseca was a witting partner. The Agency would use only a trusted law firm for such an operation.

If I may be permitted a further quotation from that same piece:
The witnesses claim they saw Félix Rodríguez, a Cuban CIA agent, interrogating Camarena at the Guadalajara safe house hours before he was killed.

The mysterious Rodríguez had a long and eventful career with the CIA. He participated in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 and, six years later, helped capture and interrogate Ché Guevara before his execution in Bolivia. He then served in the Vietnam War before allegedly becoming involved with the Contras in the 1980s.

Rodríguez allegedly oversaw the arrival of arms shipments at the Guadalajara airport, while cartel kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero – who served 28 years for masterminding Camarena’s murder before being controversially released, under suspicious circumstances, on a technicality in 2013 – is said to have allowed the CIA to use his ranch in Veracruz as a training camp for the Contras.
We should mention one other noteworthy link to the underworld. Although the firm has issued a denial, a number of sources have reported that Mossack Fonseca laundered the proceeds of the infamous 1983 Brinks-Mat gold heist near London's Heathrow Airport.

It has been said that this heist was cursed, since nearly everyone involved with it has come to a bad end, even if they managed to escape the law. Perhaps the current revelations are a continuation of this curse.

And perhaps the Brinks-Mat heist has a "spooky" side that remains unrevealed.

Bottom line: If you dig deep, the Mossack Fonseco links go to western intelligence -- not to Russia or China.
Fascinating! Thanks for so clearly putting this leaked revelation in proper context. The way the MSM reports all major news stories is entirely suspect anymore. This reads like a script for a spy intrigue movie. Suppose that cocaine came through Mena, AK?
I can't find any source for this claim but one of the comments at WSW was:

"The total Putin tie-in after a year long investigation of the leaked documents by over 300 journalists? His youngest daughter was married in a ski resort owned by a Russian millionaire (most ski resorts are owned by millionaires) who also has some of his money invested out of country, like most wealthy people."

That's it?
Violating the rule of "Thou shall not insult the host", this post would have been clearer and had more punch if broken into three separate, self-referencing posts...just saying.
That's not an insult, S. You should see some of the comments I've had to strike out, lately. There was this weird woman, apparently drunk or nuts, who accused me of being involved in some conspiracy with Larisa Alexandrovna of all people -- even though I haven't thought about her in years. And then there was this other nutty diatribe which included these words: "Yes, we at Rigorous Intution have been onto you FOR YEARS..." And it got crazier from there.

What can I say? It's election season, and all the wackos are at their wackiest.

To address your point, I usually start out intending to write a few short words, and then the post just grows like Topsy. It's how I roll. No, it's not the best way to run a blog, but I am the way I am and it is the way it is.

Just in passing. The Guardian is water carrying new claims from the Atlantic Council that Russia had been bombing indiscriminately in Syria and was not targeting Islamic State. The Council relies on "crowdsourcing" evidence -- shorthand for Eliot Higgins. Sure enough, the authors of the new report Distract, Deceive, Destroy: Putin at War in Syria include all the favorites: Maks Czuperski, Eliot Higgins, Frederic Hof, Ben Nimmo and John E. Herbst.

The regime changers are back and partying hard. And it matches what MoA is saying that the Syrian ceasefire is about to break down now that the jihadists have been resupplied by the West.

Are you still thinking there's an intentional Sanders benefit to the leak? The 'cui bono' of the previous post? I'm sensing you've moved away from that, but am curious to know.

As a side conversation, I personally don't agree with the idea that a socialist could not win the election. (Not a Bernie-bot, by the way... never phone banked, or talked anyone's ear off, or even posted any pro-Bernie anything... or donated...)

8 years ago, I commented on a post of yours regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in which you said, to effect, that this was it, no way Obama could get into the White House now, not with this kind of a connection. "God damn America" and all that (even though the soundbite, taken within context, wasn't that crazy...). Yet, here we are. Not that I'm any prognosticator, but I actually think the republicans are more scared of Bernie than Hillary in many ways, and I think he could outperform her in the general. All they have on the guy is 'socialist=communist,' which I don't honestly think goes that far any more, especially once people hear his (repetitive, but largely righteous) message. I think the 'trust' factor shouldn't be underestimated. Hillary's political skill is pretty alluring at times, but her record is so spotty, and she's turned off so many. Regardless, I'm voting for a blue D this fall.

And on a very different note, are you a Steve Reich fan? I'm listening to 'Music for 18 Musicians' right now, and feel like it could be your kind of thing...

(Sorry to hijack this thread, couldn't think of a better post to post in... Thanks for enduring my rant and obviously, delete this if you like... Your blog and all...)
Being familiar with Rigorous Intuition I couldn't resist doing a search using the name of your humble blog. Did you know you "went off the deep end" in 2008? That your blog then became dedicated to "Obama hate" and "progressive hate". Also, hating on all non-Hopsicker 9/11 skepticism? Well, okay, that one we know about. Basically, it sounds like they read a few of your earlier posts (I'm guessing the famous Bush "bulge" investigation) and when you starting talking about things they didn't like, they decided you "went off the deep end". Good stuff.

Anyway, it was amusing to read the ways they have been "on to you for years", LOL!
quasi, I think you are being silly. "All they have on the guy is 'socialist=communist,' which I don't honestly think goes that far any more..."

OH YES IT DOES. The fact that you haven't seen them use that particular cudgel is the only clue you need to know that the fix is in for Bernie, right up until he gets the nomination.

You really think that the Republicans are scared of Sanders? What nonsense! I know what the media landscape looks like when they want someone to die politically, and that's happening to Bernie is not that. He's getting nothing but media fellatio right now. You have to look at the headlines, at the coverage across the board, and at the comments (especially when you see the same comment running under various bylines in various venues).

The fix is in FOR Sanders and definitely AGAINST Hillary. I've seen just TWO pro-HIllary pieces in recent weeks, and they were slapped down pretty hard by the readers (many of whom were probably bots). I've seen scads of Sanders puff-pieces.

Here's how you'll know when the media has turned against Sanders: A magazine like Time or The Atlantic will run a major piece that does not mention Sanders at all, but the title will be "THE VICTIMS OF SOCIALISM." All of the facts and figures contained therein will come from The Black Book of Communism.

Suddenly, we'll hear a lot about the famine in Ukraine. We'll have modern day Ukrainians get on teevee and say "God forbid we return to those days." And you'll hear about the victims of Mao. The Gulags, of course. Pol Pot. "Experts" everywhere, every time you turn on the television.

And then -- THEN we will have a resurrection of the canard that the Hitler was a socialist: "It's right in the name -- National SOCIALIST!" That theme will be sounded all across the board, just as it was a few years back.

And then the interviews of Bernie will suddenly become merciless. I know just what will happen. It'll mirror what happened to Norman Finkelstein when he wrote "The Holocaust Industry". You can still see those old interviews online. The interviewer would ask "Now, so you're saying that Holocaust didn't exist?"

And Finkelstein would answer that this is not true, that he lost much of his family in the Holocaust.

Interviewer (suspiciously): " are NOT saying that the Holocaust is a myth?"

Finkelstein would repeat the answer, trying not to become testy.

Interviewer (even more suspiciously): "So despite the title of your book, NOW you are saying that you DON'T think that the Holocaust is a myth?"

Finkelstein would repeat the answer, trying not to become testy.

Interviewer (even MORE suspiciously): "But you've been repeatedly accused of being a Holocaust denier. So now you want us to believe..."

The interview would go on and on like that. Result: Finkelstein has claimed in lectures that he could not get work because people thought he was a Holocaust denier.

You can see how something similar will happen to Sanders, once they decide to turn the guns on him.

"So, Senator Sanders, you're saying that you do NOT believe in re-education camps...?"

I almost WANT to see him get the nomination, just to watch it happen. The electoral college blowout will be even worse than 1972.

By the way: If Obama had not thrown Wright under the bus rather rudely and harshly, McCain would have won. I should think that this point would be not very controversial.
By the way, Quasi, that particular Reich piece is on my MP3 player. It's nice to have it going while reading a book in a fast food restaurant.

I saw Reich and his crew perform Tehillim back in the '80s -- at CalArts, IIRC. And I saw them do "Drumming" at the Dorothy Chandler. Those were the days...
"Clinton Needs Sanders"

Worth a read. This guy (John Judis, quoted by Josh Marshall) makes some excellent points.​

Kudos, Mr. Cannon. I once again stand in awe of your research.
You're a bettter conspiracy researcher than, but certainly not as astute a left-progressive strategist re Sanders/Clinton
and related issues, now, or in 2008, as Ian Welsh.
Anon: You're saying I was NOT right in 2008?

Fuck you. The Obots all had to eat crow. If ever there was a case in which my views were vindicated by subsequent events, THAT was the instance.
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