Bradley Birkenfeld is the most significant financial whistleblower of all time, so you might think he’d be cheering on the disclosures in the new Panama Papers leaks. But today, Birkenfeld is raising questions about the source of the information that is shaking political regimes around the world.
“The CIA I’m sure is behind this, in my opinion,” Birkenfeld said.
– From the CNBC article: Swiss Banker Whistleblower: CIA Behind Panama Papers
Last Friday, I published a post titled, Was the Panama Papers “Leak” a Russian Intelligence Operation? Here’s some of what I wrote:
Initially, this seemed to be a theory worth exploring, but in the following days I’ve come to a far different conclusion. The primary divergence between what I currently believe and what Mr. Murray proposed is that I do not think the leaker was a genuine whistleblower motived by the public interest. I think the leaker was working on behalf of a sophisticated intelligence agency.
The fact that we seem to know nothing about “John Doe” concerns me. Say what you will about Edward Snowden, but he came out publicly shortly after his whistleblowing and offered himself up for the world to judge. His life, career and personality have been put on full display, and each and every one of us has had the opportunity to decide for ourselves whether his motivations were noble and pure or not.
With the Panama Papers’ “John Doe” we are given no such opportunity, and in fact, the whole thing reads very much like a script concocted by some big budget intelligence agency. Once I started coming around to this conclusion, the obvious choice was U.S. intelligence; given the lack of implications to powerful Americans, the clownishly desperate attempts to smear Putin, and the appearance of Soros, USAID, Ford Foundation, etc, linked organizations to the reporting.
So for someone who already thinks the whole Panama Papers story stinks to high heaven, a CIA link to the release seems obvious; but is it too obvious? Perhaps.
At this point, I want to make something perfectly clear. I do not profess to know the “real story” behind the Panama Papers. The truth is, nobody knows, except for John Doe and the people he was working for (or with). The only thing I feel fairly confident about is that the story we are being fed is not the real story. The more I read and reflect upon the very minor consequences of the leak thus far, the more I become convinced this was a geopolitical play by a powerful intelligence agency. At first, I assumed it was U.S. intelligence, but Mr. Gaddy puts forth a compelling theory. If this was the work of the CIA, it was an extremely sloppy and obvious hit job. On the other hand, if this was the work of Putin for the purposes of blackmail, it’s one of the most ingenious chess moves I’ve ever seen played on the global stage.
The main point I was trying to hammer home with that post was the fact that I did not believe the Panama Papers was an altruistic act of heroic whistleblowing, but that it was an intelligence operation. I went on to say that I thought the notion it was a Russian job was plausible merely because if it was indeed a CIA operation (as I initially suspected), we would have to accept that the agency is mind-bogglingly sloppy and clownish. Nevertheless, according to notorious Swiss bank whistleblower, Bradley Birkenfeld, this is the work of the CIA.