The Progressive Populist: Panama Papers and Middle East Leader’s Secret Bank Accounts

The following is an excellent article written by Juan Cole on April 4, 2016 on his blog site which was published in the May 1, 2016 issue of The Progressive Populist on page 17 titled “Panama Papers and Middle East Leader’s Secret Bank Accounts” and I quote:

“The Panama Papers and Middle East Leaders’ Secret Bank Accounts”

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

An anonymous source has handed over to a German newspaper massive amounts of data from the Panama-based, German-run law firm Mossack Fonseca. The firm specialized in providing clients with offshore accounts, which are typically used to avoid taxes or hide ill-gotten gains.

Given the enormous problem of corruption plaguing the Middle East, it will come as no surprise that the region features prominently in the new revelations. It remains to be seen whether they provoke unrest or are just quietly accepted as a fact of political life.

Initial reporting on the trove identified among the major political figures from the Middle East to possess such accounts were Alaa Mubarak (son of the deposed dictator), Ayad Allawi (former interim Iraqi prime minister under American occupation), Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, and Saudi King Salman.

As I explained in my recent book,
The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East

the alleged corruption of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, sons of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, was a frequent complaint of bloggers and critics in Egypt in the years leading up to the 2011 revolution. In its aftermath, investigators complained that although they suspected the Mubaraks of having squirreled away billions in ill-gotten gains, they were unable to track most of it down. Now we know why.

The Mubarak sons have been acquitted of most charges filed against them after the revolution, but still face trials over their alleged insider trading regarding state banks.

Given the lack of distinction in Saudi Arabia between state wealth and the personal fortune of the absolute monarch, it is no surprise if King Salman has a lot of money in secret bank accounts. You wonder if the revelation will have any repercussions inside the kingdom (certainly it is unlikely to be openly reported).

Likewise, hundreds of Israeli firms and stockholders were linked to these secret accounts. Again, it is not illegal to have an offshore account if one pays taxes on the money, but it is at least suspicious and worth looking into. Among Israelis who showed up with such an account was Dov Weisglass, former advisor to prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert (the latter convicted of corruption). Of Weisglass I wrote in 2007,

“Of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, already growing last winter, Israeli adviser to the prime minister’s office Dov Weisglass joked, “It’s like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.” Of course they will. Anything that makes the healthy thinner has the potential of killing the sick and the very young.”

Weisglass was involved in blockading Gaza, in which the Israeli military, in the creepiest way imaginable, actually figured how many calories Palestinians there would be allowed so as to keep them on the edge of starvation but not actually have them die.

It is incredible that Israeli officials are waging such a vicious campaign against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at punishing Israel for its flouting of international law in the Occupied Territories, when Israel practices a deadly form of BDS against the Palestinians.

That Weisglass, a central figure in the blockade of children (half of Gaza’s residents are children), lives it up with a secret offshore Carribean account is why it is necessary to believe in hell. It is not like there is justice up here.

Posted in Authoritarianism,Corruption,Crime,Featured | 12 Responses | Print |”

(IT’S GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME TO FIND OUT HOW MANY COUNTRIES ARE INVOLVED IN THIS FORM OF CORRUPTION CONCERNING THE ELITIST CLASS.  TO GET THE JOB DONE, IT’S GOING TO TAKE COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON ONE ANOTHER.  NOW LOOK FOR THE COUNTRIES TO UNIFY AND COVER IT UP BUT SINCE THE 99 PERCENT ARE FEELING THE PAIN INFLICTED BY THE 1 PERCENT, I KNOW THIS SCHEME WILL NOT WORK.  THE 99 PERCENT ARE JUST FEELING MORE PAIN AND KNOW THAT THE FEDERAL AND STATE INCOME TAX MUST BE BASED ON ABILITY TO PAY LIKE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT DID AFTER HE WAS IN OFFICE ON A FEDERAL LEVEL, WHERE THE TOP RATE WAS OVER 90 PERCENT AND THERE WERE TEN DIFFERENT BRACKETS.  NOW, FOR  EXAMPLE, THE STATE WHICH I LIVE IN, WISCONSIN, ST. NORBERT COLLEGE HERE IN WISCONSIN RAN A POLL, AS REPORTED BY TAMARENE CORNELIUS ON APRIL 27, 2016 ON THE WISCONSIN BUDGET PROJECT BLOG TITLED “WIS RESIDENTS FAVOR INCREASING TAXES ON WEALTHY, POLL SHOWS, BUT LAWMAKERS DO THE OPPOSITE” WHICH STATED THAT 66 PERCENT FAVOR THE TAX INCREASE AND 28 PERCENT OPPOSE IT.  THE BIG DIFFERENCE IN HAVING LARGE INCOMES EVEY YEAR, ACCORDING TO PANAMA PAPERS, IS THAT IT IS LEGAL TO HAVE AN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT, IF THEY PAY THE TAX.  THAT’S WHY IT’S A MUST FOR EVERYONE RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE, ESPECIALLY OFFICE OF PRESIDENT, MUST RELEASE AT LEAST 10 YEARS OF TAX RETURNS AND BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON RELEASED 30 YEARS.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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About tim074

I'm a retired dairy farmer that was a member of the National Farmer's Organization (NFO). Before going farming, I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force where I saved up enough money to get my down payment to go farming. I also enjoy writing and reading biographies and I write about myself as well as articles and excerpts I find interesting. I'm specifically interested in finances, particularly in the banking industry because if it wasn't for help from my local Community Bank, I never could have started farming which I was successful at. So, I'm real interested in the Small Business Administration and I know they are the ones creating jobs. I have been a member of Common Cause and am now a member of Public Citizen as well as AARP. I have, in the past, written over 150 articles on the Obama Blog (my.barackobama.com) and I'd like to tie these two sites together. I'm also on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and find these outlets terrifically interesting particularly what many of these people did concerning the uprising in the Arab world. I believe this is a smaller world than we think it is and my goal is to try to bring people together to live in peace because management needs labor like labor needs management. Up to now, that hasn't been so easy to find.
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