A good sign that your investigation has hit the mark is when law enforcement agencies start demanding to see your data. That's the position the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists finds itself in as officials from Germany, Greece, South Korea, Canada, and the US have requested access to its massive exposé of the off-shore tax haven business. The project has to be a landmark of some sort. The numbers alone are eye-catching: 86 journalists from 37 news organizations, including The Washington Post, Le Monde, the Guardian, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, in 46 countries analyzing 2.5 million records relating to 120,000 companies in ten offshore jurisdictions. Got all that? – Columbia Journalism Review
Dominant Social Theme: We are out to get the bad guys.
Free-Market Analysis: On the heels of the Cyprus offshore banking bustup comes this vast "investigation" of offshore individuals and corporations. It surely constitutes a questionable episode in Western reporting in the 21st century.
The classical purpose of Western reporting is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. But with so many stories crying out to be written – from the devastating and irradiating wars in Africa and Afghanistan to the over-arching corruption of the United Nations, IMF and World Bank, to the expanding and voracious poverty inflicted by central banking generally – this "International Consortium of Investigative Journalists" (ICIJ) has discovered that the biggest story of the decade is … potential tax evasion.
We are not surprised, of course. The ICIJ is an arm of the Huffington Post these days, which is in turn owned by AOL.com that has a close relationship with American Intel (CIA operatives staff some of AOL's most sensitive "security" posts). Wikipedia tells us the following:
Founded in 1997, the philanthropically funded ICIJ was launched as a project of the Center for Public Integrity to extend the Center's style of watchdog journalism, focusing on cross-border issues and emphasizing collaboration among news organizations. CPI reports receiving foundation support from a number of foundations, including the Sunlight Foundation, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Barbra Streisand Foundation reports that it has funded CPI.
The Open Society Foundation (Soros), the Ford Foundation, the Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation – all the convenient leftwing suspects are here. The ICIJ itself has been described as "progressive" and thus is the perfect vehicle for statists to turn loose on those who are trying (often legally) to avoid the worst ravages of ever-increasing Western taxation. Here's more from the article excerpted above:
The records come from two unlucky offshore-servicing firms that happened to lose control of a trove of data: Commonwealth Trust Ltd. (CTL) in the British Virgin Islands and Portcullis TrustNet, which operates mostly in Asia and the Cook Islands. The records were obtained by Gerard Ryle, ICIJ's director, as a result of an investigation he was conducting in Australia.
In a blog post, Ryle, quite naturally enough, says the group isn't turning over documents to any law enforcement agency: "The ICIJ is not an arm of law enforcement and is not an agent of the government. We are an independent reporting organization, served by and serving our members, the global investigative journalism community and the public."
Well … Ryle sounds a tad defensive here and well he should be. His organization is being used as a kind of beard to justify all sorts of quasi-legal and perhaps illegal investigations into offshore finance. Journalists can use sources and find out information without generating the kind of criticism that government might be subject to. It is certainly a cynical exercise.
It is also based on a larger dominant social theme that has to do with "transparency" in government. The idea is that as bad as regulatory democracy has been in the past century, the modern era of 'Net investigations coupled with aggressive journalism can "keep 'em honest."
The globalists at the very top know full well the amount of anger that people are feeling these days and are desperate to keep the balls in the air. They are throwing even top names into the hopper, including such notables as the IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde – who is accused of some sort of Gallic government impropriety – to top people in the new French socialist administration and elsewhere in Europe. The 20,000-plus names promise to yield a good deal more of the rich and powerful.
It is important to point out as we already have that in crushing the off-shore banking industry – both legally and illegally – the wealthiest families controlling central banking will emerge virtually unscathed. It is the demi-rich that will suffer and provide evidence that Western regulatory democracy is fair and transparent after all.
And central banking and a "more transparent" form of regulatory democracy will go on. Ironically, as we have predicted, a wide swath of fairly wealthy individuals who have supported the current corrupt and dysfunctional system did not understand that they were about to be sacrificed for the good of the larger game.
Those on Wall Street do not, either; but the culling time is fast approaching and soon a new Pecora Committee may be set up in Washington DC to send droves of securities professionals off to jail.
The public blood lust will not be sated but perhaps it may be diminished by these strategic sacrifices. Again, the point of the exercise is to increase the control of the many over the few, impress upon people that the arm of the Imperial State cannot be avoided in this Modern Era and, finally, to illustrate emphatically that the Era of Government Transparency is upon us.
This last point is perhaps the most important. The argument is going to be made that because Leviathan is now "transparent" it reflects the will of the people and ought to be supported not vilified.
The realization that their fates have supported such a promotion shall surely be no more than cold comfort to those caught in the great, grinding maw of the current regulatory apparatus and the "reporters" currently supporting it.
They are acting to some degree as apparatchiks not journalists.