16.04.2016 Author: Steven MacMillan

Washington’s Spin on the Panama Papers is Laughable

4354444Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you will be familiar with the Panama Papers story, which has dominated the media landscape. The main focus of the story has been centred on a man who has become somewhat of an obsession for the mainstream media; Vladimir Putin. His image has been on the front page of all the Western propaganda outlets, as their campaign against the Russian leader only seems to intensify with time. The only problem for the West is that the Panama Papers have uncovered absolutely no evidence that directly connects Putin with the numerous allegations in the Western press.

Newspapers that are the antithesis of independent and objective media have been running stories around the clock on Putin’s so-called crimes. On the 13th of April, one such paper – the Guardian – was still writing hit-pieces against the Russian President and the Russian nation. The article titled: ‘So what if Putin is corrupt?’: Russia remains unmoved by offshore revelations, is an affront to objective journalism and human intelligence, and is merely another article demonising the Russian people.

From the very beginning, there were serious questions regarding the authenticity of the Panama Papers. It is clear that the Panama Papers scandal is being carefully managed by the Western establishment, and they are selectively releasing stories without allowing the public to see the entire trove of documents and data. The first thing that all the real journalists did when the news broke was to spend a few minutes looking at the funders of one of the main organisations handling the leak: the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). As listed on their own website, recent funders include George Soros’ Open Society Foundations in addition to the Ford Foundation.

Their site also states that the “ICIJ was launched as a project of the Center for Public Integrity.” A look at the financial supporters of the Center for Public Integrity reveals that they include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Rockefeller Family Fund; and the Open Society Foundations once again. We should remember that at the end of last year, Russia (correctly) banned the Open Society Foundations and other groups owned by Soros as they were a threat to national security.

So we know that this so-called leak is clearly a Western operation to further this concerted propaganda campaign against Russia and the enemies of the West. Even though the Panama Papers have caused a little trouble for a few token puppets of the Anglo-American establishment – David Cameron for instance – the main focus of the leaks has been to target the forces that have stood up to the West – Putin, Assad etc.

Despite this being obvious to anyone who has done even a little research, one of the most influential think tanks in Washington comically tried to spin this story on its head. The Brookings Institution published a bizarre and childish article written by Clifford G. Gaddy on April 7th titled: Are the Russians actually behind the Panama Papers?

The author even admits that there is “no evidence of Putin’s direct involvement” in any criminal activity and the media has concentrated on Putin disproportionately considering the lack of evidence. The initial few paragraphs of his article actually support the thesis that it was the CIA who was behind the leak, but then Gaddy loses any rational person with his argument.

He posits that the operation was conducted by “Putin’s personal financial intelligence unit:” the Russian Financial Monitoring Service (RFM). According to Gaddy, Russia is trying to blackmail US officials who are implicated in the leak but Moscow is withholding that information so they can apply pressure on these US officials behind the scenes. This is Gaddy’s pitiful attempt to spin the fact that no major US figures were exposed in the leak, which of course raises suspicions as to who was behind it.

If the Russians really were behind it, the US criminal class would be the main target for the operation. This information would not be kept secret by Moscow, but spread around the world by Russian media in a bid to foment chaos in the US and the wider West. Forget the pig-lover Cameron; there are far bigger whales that Russia would target. Gaddy’s argument is an inversion of logic, and is a laughable attempt at spinning the truth.

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.