• Independent journalists, WikiLeaks whistle-blowers, release treasure trove of secrets
By Ralph Forbes
Two Earth-shattering events occurred in early April—even if ignored or under-reported by the United States mainstream media. In the first incident, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) disclosed that it has been covertly following the money of the real rulers of the world by accessing files showing the flow of a staggering $32T in private assets held by the moneyed elites. Equally important was news that whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks had struck again, this time uploading 1.7M official U.S. documents—many of which were secret and had been kept hidden away from public scrutiny.
ICIJ’s trove of 2.5M files and more than 2M emails is like a pirate’s treasure map, charting global fiscal disasters: America, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Cyprus. Eighty-six journalists from 46 countries pored over leaked documents from secret tax havens for some of the wealthiest people in the world. These records identify world leaders, Russian oligarchs, wealthy Israeli families and homegrown “celebrities,” such as Clinton pal Denise Rich, the former wife of the disgraced trader Marc Rich, and swindler Bernard Madoff—all hiding behind secret offshore corporate accounts in a maze of banks in more than 170 countries.
In a related story, WikiLeaks published its largest ever document dump on April 8, totaling over 1.7 million records from 1973 to 1976. Among these documents are the so-called “Kissinger Cables,” some 205,901 separate letters and transcripts of meetings that are connected to controversial former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Key revelations in the data upload include new details about a top Australian official and the king of Spain providing critical inside information about their governments to American diplomats. It also gives insight into U.S. relations with Israel during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973.
The Kissinger cables provide a wealth of new information about former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, including his involvement in the 1974 invasion of Cyprus. Among other things, they lay out through Kissinger’s first-hand accounts how he facilitated weapons transfers to Ankara to help the conflagration. Americans won’t find it humorous to learn Kissinger wasn’t joking when he bragged to his Turkish counterpart: “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little bit longer.”
Ralph Forbes is a freelance writer based in Arkansas. He is also a member of AFP’s Southern Bureau. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.