I have to wonder now….
The offshore bank account details of 2,000 “high net worth individuals” and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.
British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer tells the Observer, “approximately 40 politicians”.
Ok, so now we have a massive international scandal – tax evasion and similar things, and it involves politicians, not just “rich and famous people.”
Clients include “business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates – from both sides of the Atlantic”. Elmer says: “Well-known pillars of society will hold investment portfolios and may include houses, trading companies, artwork, yachts, jewellery, horses, and so on.”
This is something that actually makes some sense. If Wikileaks is actually a journalist, and is actually interested in stopping corruption and fraud (which is what we’ve all been told), then this is good, right?
Or is it?
The names on the CDs will not be made public, just as a much shorter list of 15 clients that Elmer handed to WikiLeaks in 2008 has remained hitherto undisclosed by the organisation headed by Julian Assange, currently on bail over alleged sex offences in Sweden, and under investigation in the US for the dissemination of thousands of state department documents.
Oh, I see.
So now we have a supposed “whistle-blower” organization that is not going to blow the whistle?
Exactly what purpose, other than extortion, does a “whistle blower” have if they sit on something and refuse to blow the whistle that they have placed in their lips?
You know, I wanted to give Assange the benefit of the doubt. Really. Even after Wikileaks falsely promoted a video as showing “brutality” by our troops in blasting a group of people for allegedly carrying a “camera” – when it turned out that the video clearly showed an RPG (that’s a weapon folks, and one that can take out a chopper) and the after-action reports were released showing that in fact it was an RPG, and there were more of them in the group too.
Sometimes people get it wrong, and although one could argue that Assange and his group are ideologically-motivated and thus hardly who you want to trust on that basis alone, the information looked like it was something we should, in a free society, have.
But now we’re being told we’re not going to get the information – despite it being given to Assange.
The bank, for its part, says:
Julius Baer has denied all wrongdoing, and rejects Elmer’s allegations. It has said that Elmer “altered” documents in order to “create a distorted fact pattern”.
The bank issued a statement on Friday saying: “The aim of [Elmer's] activities was, and is, to discredit Julius Baer as well as clients in the eyes of the public. With this goal in mind, Mr Elmer spread baseless accusations and passed on unlawfully acquired, respectively retained, documents to the media, and later also to WikiLeaks. To back up his campaign, he also used falsified documents.”
The bank also accuses Elmer of threatening colleagues.
Who’s telling the truth?
Without releasing the documents, including the names of the people involved, we have no way to know, and no way to investigate ourselves.
Assange, your credibility is evaporating fast, just as it is on the alleged other “bank leak” you promised to stick out there in the New Year.
Maybe – just maybe – he doesn’t really have that either.