Why we need to see the complete Panama Papers — and then, to be disgusted.

Only a total, free access to the leaked documents will help us to struggle against the 1% (and to save journalism)

Homo homini lupus, especially on papers coming from Panama

Until a few days ago, the word Panama was, for me, the keyword to the fancy kind of hat I will wear when my moustache will turn white. I always felt the Panama as the hat of my elderhood (1). 
Now the word has lost its magic, of course. Panama Papers exploded, the biggest insight to the wallets of bad guys, offered for us by the brave International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (2). It is, of course, an amazing moment. As analogy, we should feel like the peasants rushing into Versailles holding torches of the revolution, or like the Petrograd crowd invading the Winter Palace. We should feel the outrage of discovering the booty, all the wealth the rulers has stolen from the people. But guess what? This is not happening. Something is going wrong.

1. The consortium
Soon after the publication of the first articles by Süddeutsche Zeitung, then followed by the Guardian and others, someone started having some doubts on the art of journalism involved. The first doubt was, obviously, who the hell is the ICIJ? A Washington-based consortium of journalists and connected media, relying on the help, between others, of smelly american funds, like Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Family and the super smelly Open Society Foundation of the known “philantropist” and financial gambler George Soros: people that fart coins, just to say (3). This may not directly imply bad journalism, but it’s like having a kindergarten founded by the neighboring catholic church: better to pay double attention. The first critics arrived from Craig Murray, and were relaunched by Wikileaks, in an article saying “Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak” (4). Basically Murray attacks the way the news are given: the methodology used for enlighten the stories followed the western political agenda, and the first names to come out were mostly Russian and Chinese with a few scapegoats for the West (who really gives a damn about Iceland?). The article faced a wave of counter-critics, especially people working with the ICIJ — like the guys of OCCRP here in the region where I live (the Balkans)— but if I agree too that the wave of conspiracy theorists (CIA made it!) is just ridiculous (5), yet ignoring the conflict of interest of corporate media does sounds not smart at all. Power relations are not based anymore on direct orders, especially from government offices: that would be too simple (I guess that a reading of the classic by Negri and Hardt, “Empire”, may be of a good help here). 
In fact, the list of the participants to ICIJ is full of media companies that cannot have my full trust (6), sure not their ownership. Take for instance the Italian partner, l’Espresso: I did not read it before, why should I trust it now? The (obviously super rich) owner, Carlo de Benedetti, has not a brilliant curriculum, having admitted he gave millions of euro in bribes in the 90s (when he was leader of Olivetti company) to political parties and state officers (7). But — and this is tragically funny — last year he moved his fiscal residency to Switzerland, to pay less taxes than in Italy (8). Isn’t it fucking brilliant, for the owner of the newspaper that should tell us how the richest are mocking the taxpayers?

2. The focus
This is connected with the facts and the management of it. Because journalism is not based on quantity, you can’t go to the newsstand and ask a kilo and half of fresh news: once you have the data, you have to interpret them. And of course in the interpretation there’s the key. If you read on the New York Times that Panama Papers “expose the questionable riches that public officials have concealed, whether in Iceland, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia or Malaysia. President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir Putin of Russia have already clamped down on the media for shining an unwelcome light on the shady financial dealings of their cronies and family members” (9) and that’s it, you may wonder — what about the fucking rest of the world? The same approach the Guardian used, with its attack on Putin way before the attack on Cameron’s legacies, is not really bright, isn’t it? Especially because the role of UK companies and territories is slowly becoming more and more clear — but the Brit media on the first day of the scandal was keen in stressing not only that “using offshore structures is entirely legal” but also that “In a speech last year in Singapore, David Cameron said “the corrupt, criminals and money launderers” take advantage of anonymous company structures. The government is trying to do something about this” (10). Oh yes, it does indeed! Now, what about the interpretation of Panama Papers by the Italian partner? TV stars, sport champions, generally famous people and a couple of entrepreneurs on the front page. Probably the most has been written by Italian media about Barbara D’Urso, a plastic-face pathetic selfie-paresis-expression TV presenter asshole (11). What the atomic dimension of fuck should I give to the fact that a known television star is criminally richer than what millions of idiots are already allowing her to be? The same goes for this actor, that formula one driver or Valentino. Maybe just the ex football player Daniel Fonseca is understandable (12), because poor boy, you’d trust your name, don’t you? The fact that those people were extremely rich was already a crime in my perspective, but they are mere consequences of the rotten system. I want the causes. For instance, the alleged information about the involvement of two major Italian banks, Unicredit and Ubi Banca (and maybe other European banks). Now that’s way more interesting, because the banking system, more than football players I may assume, has a decisive role in the violent neo-liberal capitalist structure we’re floating in. We had a hint few days ago that they may be involved, but still there is no data: or better, it’s been kept from us. Well, ahem, we’re still waiting.

3. The rhythm of publication
Because priority has been given to easy targets and bullshits (you remember Messi in first pages of your national media? Oh, damn, we will sell less Messi t-shirts from now on. What a lethal wound for global capitalism!). On Putin, China’s leadership and Poroshenko, we shouldn’t really wait a financial scandal to know they’re terrible, don’t we? Maybe just the Ukrainian president may surprise someone — wait, but he was “our” guy, right? (13)
I believe sooner o later all the info will come out, but what is happening meanwhile? It’s easy to imagine that the slow release of information about Western capitals involved is just helping people who knows where their dirty money is to reduce his/her loss and secure wealth. I’m sure you all watched at least Di Caprio’s movie (thanks, pop culture), you’re able to understand that two things are essential in financial market: information and time. So my dear journalist consortium, how smart is to say: stay with us, in next episodes we’ll give you juicy details about your banking system (wink, wink!)?. We’ve to wait the slow drops of info, always starting from the peripheral side of the beast (14). I partially agree with who says there’s the risk this all affair is undermining the essence of journalism itself; especially, its ability to communicate the cause-consequence relations of the facts under scrutiny. “Journalists fail to explain that Mossack Fonseca is not a bad element of the system but an element of a bad system” (15).

4. The lack of structural analysis
It is candidly reported by the media in all the world that Mossack Fonseca is the fourth biggest provider of offshore services (16) — so I guess everybody now is looking at the other three, or not? No? What, sorry, no? Why aren’t there researches, reports, articles and hysterically screaming teenagers about the other three?! It’s like someone comes to your farm and says: be glad my dear, we caught one of the wolves that was attacking your herd of sheep, but there are still three even bigger than this, freely farting around — oh, thank god! now i just have to take care of this wolf and it will be okay — yes, but I told you this is only the fourth.. — oh i’m so lucky you give me this wolf! new life now! — yes but the other th… — oh come in mate! Let’s drink and not worry anymore!
I guess the haste to state that offshore banking is legal is part of it. If it’s legal, it’s okay, says the media that I am now suspiciously reading. So the critical point is back on the intermediaries between the leak and the news. We need a critical analysis in political terms. We need the disgust that will come from visually understand how much the system we are living in is stealing wealth from us. Remember the story of the 1%? Well that’s a story built on what the world bourgeoisie DECLARE to have. Imagine to add all these terabytes of theft coming from only the fourth biggest provider of offshore services! It should make us mad. Then, once you use the information in a proper perspective, you can act politically in many fields. What about this simple infographic for Europeans, saying that the same people telling you there is no money to host refugees are transferring away from your pockets a hundred times the amount of money that is turning you in a stupid racist? (17). 
To have analyses from a perspective which is different from the one on air now, the data should be available to everyone: there is the urgent need for an immediate, total leak of all the panama papers. We need it all, and we need it now.

1. A possible explanation, http://1.bp.blogspot.com/…/s…/photo-jurassic-park-1993-4.jpg
2. https://panamapapers.icij.org/
3. a frightening list of coin-farting peoplehttps://www.publicintegrity.org/about/our-work/supporters
4. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/…/corporate-media-gatekeepe…/
5. http://www.vice.com/…/a-conspiracy-theorists-guide-to-the-p…
6. https://www.icij.org/about
7. http://ricerca.repubblica.it/…/…/21/pptt-poste-tangenti.html
8. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_De_Benedetti…
9. i mean, seriously?http://www.nytimes.com/…/the-panama-papers-sprawling-web-of…
10. http://www.theguardian.com/…/what-you-need-to-know-about-th…
11. http://espresso.repubblica.it/…/panama-papers-c-e-anche-bar…
12. http://espresso.repubblica.it/…/panama-papers-daniel-fonsec…
13. https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/remarks-vice-president-joe-bid…
14. http://www.reuters.com/a…/us-panama-tax-nordea-idUSKCN0X10VT
15. http://www.thepressproject.gr/…/Will-The-PanamaPapers-Kill-…
16. Ježíš Maria, the fourth! http://www.theguardian.com/…/mossack-fonseca-law-firm-hide-…
17. https://scontent.fbeg1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/…/12963727_167978363…

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