I'm Right Again Dot ComA new commentary every Wednesday — April 6, 2016
THE PANAMANIAN PAPERS POP QUIZ
Let's have a show of hands. Prior to this week, who among you has known anything about an outfit named "The Center For Public Integrity," (TCfPI) or it's offshoot, a supposed worldwide organization of hundreds of investigative reporters who constitute the International Consortium of Investigative Reporters (ICoIR)? How about Charles Lewis, a "noted journalist" who purportedly founded the The Center for Public Integrity in 1989?
When this story broke, I was certain that it was an April's Fool Day hoax.
On its website, The International Consortium of Investigative Reporters claims that it has 190 reporters worldwide and "works with" more than 100 news organization, such as the New York Times (USA), La Monde (France), The South China Morning Post, (Hongkong) and Nova Gazeta (Russia).
If I sound skeptical, how could you and I have avoided knowing about this outfit? I'm suffering from a severe case of Rip Van Winklism; as if I have was sucked through a wormhole into a parallel universe for a day or two, and then returned. First, there were some pop-ups on my internet portal's home page about a Panamanian law firm that specializes in setting up veiled shell companies with secret offshore bank accounts that are linked to a score or more of well known world leaders, their family members or close associates. The ICoIR names a big bunch of really big-shots. The extensive and professionally designed ICoIR website claims that 140 politicians from more than 50 countries (Including Iceland, of all places) are involved in hiding treasure in order to avoid paying taxes. Well, that part makes sense.
This is either the biggest news break since it was discovered that bread could be sliced or there was once a giant primordial mole who formed the 10,000-foot mountains surrounding the valley in which I live. Yet, yet, yet, when billions, perhaps trillions of dollars, pounds and rubles, drachmas, yen...whatever, can be hidden from the tax collector, who would not suspect wrongdoing, if not monumental fraud and corruption? If this is found to be true, where did all of that dough come from?
Why should we care? Answer: To begin with...I'm jealous.
-Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself." - Joseph L. Menchen
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