The lie behind the Panama Papers

You may have heard about the Panama Papers ‘scandal’ lately in the news. Generally we tend not to jump on the newsy bandwagon, yet we couldn’t shy away from this story. But not for the reason you may think.


The Panama Papers is a massive leak of documents from an anonymous source. The 11.5 million records include financial and legal information dating back four decades. Allegedly these records are all connected to a Panama law firm, Mossack Fonseca. So far (because sorting through that much information is grossly time consuming) they have found current or former world leaders, other politicians and public officials, and celebrities and sports stars to be involved.


The implied scandal

Media outlets are enraged at the corruption exposed. The information leaked reveals how and where the clients invested their money. The spin being put on the story is that this uncovered a system that “enables crime, corruption, and wrong doing, hidden by secretive offshore companies.” The only thing missing, is an evidence of actual crimes.


Reasons why that is not a news story

The documents do not necessarily indicate any illegal activity. You’ll find that mentioned in the fine print, or in a one sentence aside sprinkled into the news story. But they don’t want to make a big deal about it, because if they did THEY WOULD HAVE NO STORY. This is about created "news" specifically released to create  an emotional reaction, otherwise known as propaganda.


Is there a scandal here? Yes, but it’s not what the media is feeding you

Is there a possibility that some of those named in the leak committed crimes? Sure. But is there also a possibility that most of those involved were simply trying to manage their wealth in a sensible fashion? Absolutely.


Whoever leaked this information has just disclosed criminally obtained material. Why did they do this? What crimes were broken? Even if crimes were broken, why not give the information to law enforcement instead of smearing and endangering the life of thousands of people whose soul crime appears to be having money other people want?


When has having money become a a crime? If someone in the US wins the lottery, don’t they always first hire an attorney and then try to figure out the best way to pay the least amount of taxes? When you fantasize about winning, isn’t your first thought “I’ve heard taking the monthly payout is the way to go, less tax than the lump sum!” So let’s say you were a wealthy individual that had legal and accounting counsel that could assist you in investing your money in the best way…legally. Wouldn’t you take advantage of that?


And what about those that live in countries where if you have a lot of money, you become a target for all sorts of criminals simply because you have money? There exists people in this world who will extort you, or murder your family members if you don't pay a kidnap ransom. The exposure of confidential financial information will put many at risk for all sorts of criminal enterprises. Who will be responsible if someone is murdered because their anonymity (that they have a right to) has been breached?


We need to ask what the intention was behind this leak and why the information is being presented to the general public in the way that it is. The public needs to understand that when a group claims to be a “concerned journalist” or from a “center for public integrity,” yet they disclose criminally obtained material, there is at least a possibility that their actual intentions are the complete opposite of what they claim.


But we see it differently: We've had clients wrongfully imprisoned, kidnapped and ransomed, and had their stuff wrongfully seized,. So you know, these people are kind of sensitive about keeping their affairs private. It absolutely disgusts us that this so-called journalist group is so casual about disclosing sensitive information about people that didn't even break one law. And even if someone broke the law, does that give someone the right to make extra-judicial determination of what their punishment should be? This is vigilantism, at its worst. And a gullible public doesn't see their own part this mob mentality.


No no no. This is not journalism. And this is not a game. Anyone joining in this the witch trial should be ashamed.


Watch the Parental Advisory podcast here, where Anthony and Claudine get a little more passionate about the story.