The Scandalous Scandals And The Not So Revelations

CorruptionNew2

Ah, look at all the corrupted people…
Rephrasing The Beatles, we can express one of the most real…realities of our world. Corruption.

Revelations and Outlaws

It is WikiLeaks, the founder of which (Julian Assange) is in the asylum of Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden and from there to US because he published secret documents which are secret because they involve worldwide “sins” i.e. crimes and corruption and vicious policies and wars and invasions and murders and….
It is Edward Snowden who is in (kind of) asylum in Russia to avoid arrest because he leaked information concerning global surveillance programs of NSA and other non “public benefit organisations” of many “civilized” countries, against all the people of the earth. 
There are also many whistle-blowers who served society and the people and now they are in prison. (Here I don’t put a link to Wikipedia as the article for the term is at least despicable and apparently written by “mandated” writers who aim to misinform naïve people. In any case, “its neutrality is disputed” according to included notice).
These whistle-blowers are in prison because they revealed classified documents which concern all of us but none (of us) is allowed to see them.

Semi-Legitimate Disclosures

On 2nd of April, WikiLeaks published a teleconference between two IMF officials talking about Greek debt.
Any elementary informed person knows the economic condition of Greek people during the last six years and any elementary thinking person should know that in every country where IMF is involved (i.e. lends) also imposes austerity, impoverishes people and destroys the economies. They are institutionalized economic assassins (see video). 
Christine Lagarde never denied the leaked conversation which is revealing plans about default and financial asphyxiation of Greece, as they did last summer.
She only complained about “unsafe” communications, said that these are “nonsense” and more or less accused Greek agencies for the tapping.
In the meantime, Greeks suffer and the country is in danger, in many respects.

The next day, on 3rd April, another leak exposed scandals, but this time through legitimate investigative journalism.
As a newsletter member of ICIJ, I received an email which announced the journalistic success of #PanamaPapers.
Oh, how I admired those fearless journalists with the series of successful revelations!
– LuxLeaks, another tax evasion scandal involving Luxembourg and its then PM, guess who, Jean-Claude Juncker.
(Have you ever heard anything about the scandal since then? Probably not). 
– Evicted and Abandoned – World Bank, is about the promises for development of poor countries and communities who are forced by World Bank to abandon their lands.
(Have you ever heard anything about the inhuman, typically neoliberal, practices of the “respectable” organisation? Sure you haven’t!).

Swiss Leaks, Australian Mining in Africa and many other interesting and informative revelations.
(Have you ever read anything about them? I doubt and it’s not your fault.)

Targeted Leaks

The biggest part of the email about Panama Papers writes:
A new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other news organizations around the globe, reveals the offshore links of some of the planet’s most prominent people.

Read this investigation

In terms of size, it is likely the biggest leak of inside information in history – more than 11.5 million documents – and it is equally likely to be one of the most explosive in the nature of its revelations.

The leak exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies.

The files also provide details of the hidden financial dealings of 128 other politicians and public officials around the world and show how a global industry of law firms and big banks sells financial secrecy to fraudsters and drug traffickers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

Is the email a bit peculiar? Yes it is! Of all the 11.5 million documents, the most important is that of Putin while the other information appear is a neutral and anonymous way.

And the very next day (Monday), the whole world is writing and talking about it.
Scandal! Corruption! Our taxes! Their taxes! Tax heavens! Rich and famous!
Seriously?!
I am still asking myself what’s the difference between this specific revelation of ICIJ and all the above of other publishers and whistle blowers.
And yes, I find one or two.
All these “bad” persons and organizations, Mossack Fonseca’s customers, are targeted for more or less obvious reasons.
– Well, Putin is the easy part, OK?
– Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, is equally easy. Export of natural gas to Europe, conflicts with Armenia for Nagorno-Karabakh, support from Turkey’s Erdogan.
– Bashar Assad (who the “impartial and objective” journalists call dictator in their article, such as US and their allies do).
No news here. If there weren’t anyone else in the lists, there would be Assad!
(No, Erdogan in not, because he spent all the money to build his palace which by the way, is invisible to Media, contrary to those of Muamar Gadhafi, Nicolae Ceausescu, Viktor Yanukovych etc).
– Xi Jinping. Words are very unnecessary… (to remember another song)
– Lionel Messi (top football player). Why? Why this good guy?
Because all the people have to pay their taxes, no matter how popular they are. So, don’t feel underprivileged you little man. They all pay at some point. (Lie).
– Michel Platini. Some news! Why didn’t anyone searched his assets after the FIFA scandal revelations and persecutions?
– David Cameron or his dad (?). The usually obedient (bell)-boy became a little naughty recently and is going to allow a referendum which of course he already has and will even more use in favour of big corporations and banks.
– Yes, banks.  What’s your problem? They are European, not American. Don’t worry.
Want more?
– Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland.
Did you know that a year ago Iceland dropped EU membership bid?
Which means that the government and the country rejected the idea to become member of the so-called Union (the organisation which allows no sovereignty, encourages fascism, racism and xenophobia and which is Germany’s protectorate).
The consequent measures would be against country’s interests and in the meantime, “crisis” had already made several countries suffer from austerity.
So, “thanks but no thanks” from Iceland.

Not a bad idea from the part of Iceland, although it proved costly and -let me guess- not only for the PM. Who will replace him? Will he/she be more favorable towards membership?

Need more? 11.5 million financial and legal records are available according to publishers.
All the above though and the timing of the disclosures have a strong “smell” of extermination of demonization of specific persons, or at least and no matter their noble intentions, they are going to be used in this way.
And not to  disregard that they form both a decoy and an excellent bargaining chip.
For which purpose? We’ll see in the near future I believe.

It is necessary to underline here that I don’t imply that the scandals and revelations are not existing or that they are not real.
What I say is that in the same way that terrorists are “untraceable” (while all of ordinary users of internet are monitored), the “sins” of all those entities were well known.
Timing, range, Media and targeting make all the difference.

Selective Monitoring and Exposing

While x terabytes of data are exposed and global surveillance is a common practice,
while Erdogan punishes tweeter, youtube and journalism itself,
while all internet activity is monitored, (yes, ours)
and all fancy phones are tracked,
there is ONLY ONE who/which cannot be located and identified: Terrorists and terrorism. Specifically before they kill, destroy, blow up, bomb, suicide.
Occasionally they are found and arrested after the job is done.
 
But again and after all I wonder:
What makes revelations either illegal and criminal or legitimate and democratic?

Freedom of information activists (we could say), like Chelsea (former Bradley) Manning and others are in prison or in exile.
Governments and organisations supposedly “care and protect” people’s interests.
No, they don’t.
Journalism is allegedly the first and the last advocate of freedom of speech, expression and information and its  functionaries, journalists, are defenders of the truth. (Am I romantic?)

However, systemic press and corporate media are the strongest propaganda weapons.

Where, which, who, when and why (the 5 W’s of journalists) meet and ask the power and the authority as much as those playing and spreading games.
What happens when behind each news, information and revelation may be hiding an ultimate goal which ordinary people cannot always interpret or decipher -and why should they?

So, every information may be genuine and at the same time serve deceptive goals.
No need to be afraid but also must not be naive. Just be suspicious and open-minded.

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