'Panama Papers' and government corruption

A world map of the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, which measures “the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians”. High numbers (blue) indicate less perception of corruption, whereas lower numbers (red) indicate higher perception of corruption. But perceptions are not always correct as there is more corruption in Western nations than most believe.

A world map of the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, which measures “the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians”. High numbers (blue) indicate less perception of corruption, whereas lower numbers (red) indicate higher perception of corruption. But perceptions are not always correct as there is more corruption in Western nations than most believe.

 

Many international leaders have been named as allegedly being involved in financial corruption because of leaks of documents from a Panamanian law firm:

April 4, 2016MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman on Monday dismissed a report that alleges close friends of the president hid some $2 billion dollars in offshore accounts.

 

The report, dubbed the “Panama Papers,” links hundreds of political leaders and celebrities to offshore companies set up through a Panama-based law firm called Mossack Fonseca.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that the report does not have any relation to Putin. He said Putin appeared to be targeted because of Russia’s coming elections and what he deemed ‘Putinophobia.’

Peskov denied also that his own wife, former figure skating champion Tatiana Navka, had ever owned an offshore company as alleged in the report. He went on to allege that former employees of the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other special services were behind the report and want to destabilize Russia.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ, the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, and hundreds of other news organizations scoured through countless leaked documents to produce the report.

It also names Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, among other current leaders, as having set up or been connected to offshore accounts through Mossack Fonseca. The ICIJ says the apparent aim was to hide wealth and avoid paying taxes. The law firm denies wrongdoing.

A week ago, Peskov said the Kremlin was preparing for what he called an ‘information attack’ that would target Putin and people close to him. http://www.voanews.com/content/kremlin-slams-putinophobia-of-panama-papers/3268177.html

April 4, 2016

‘A crime, a felony’

Ramon Fonseca, one of the founders of the Panamanian firm, told the French news agency AFP the leaking of the information to the journalists is “a crime, a felony.”

“Privacy is a fundamental human right that is being eroded more and more in the modern world. Each person has a right to privacy, whether they are a king or a beggar,” Fonseca said.

Parking money in offshore accounts is not necessarily illegal, and can be used to establish legal tax shelters or ease international business deals. But the report said “the documents show that banks, law firms and other offshore players have often failed to follow legal requirements that they make sure their clients are not involved in criminal enterprises, tax dodging or political corruption.” …

ICIJ says these documents:

  • Reveal the offshore holdings of 140 politicians and public officials around the world, including 12 current and former world leaders. Among them are the prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the presidents of Ukraine and Argentina, and the king of Saudi Arabia.
  • Include the names of at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government because of evidence that they’d been involved in wrongdoing, such as doing business with Mexican drug lords, terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, or rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran.
  • Show how major banks have driven the creation of hard-to-trace companies in offshore havens. More than 500 banks, their subsidiaries and their branches have created more than 15,000 offshore companies for their customers through Mossack Fonseca. http://www.voanews.com/content/international-journalists-say-putin-associates-ran-2billion-dollars-through/3267475.html

The Bible warns against corruption and it is often connected to covetousness:

16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)

4…corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7)

The Bible also teaches against those who take bribes:

3…they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice (1 Samuel 8:3).

9 Do not gather my soul with sinners,
Nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes. (Psalms 26:9-10)

23…Everyone loves bribes,
And follows after rewards.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the cause of the widow come before them. (Isaiah 1:23)

12 For I know your manifold transgressions
And your mighty sins:
Afflicting the just and taking bribes;
Diverting the poor from justice at the gate. (Amos 5:12)

While many think that the West does not have much of a problem with corruption, this view is wrong.

For example, to be a USA Democratic politician in the 21st century, one almost MUST endorse abortion and the LGBT agenda, hence pretty much all of them have to be corrupted from the start.  It is also not much different for Republican politicians.

But notice also the following:

April 4, 2016

Political fundraising has been a big topic of the 2016 presidential campaign. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, to name two, have attacked their rivals over taking big donations from wealthy fundraisers. However, on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver set out to prove that congressional funding is somehow even more ridiculous than the more famous presidential equivalent. To prove this, Oliver pointed to testimony from present and former congressmen saying that sometimes they spend as much as two-thirds of their time fundraising.

“If two-thirds of the work you do is strictly about the money, you’re not a legislator; you’re Robert De Niro at that point,” Oliver quipped.

Oliver then looked at what political fundraisers actually entail. Hilariously, he found that many such events occurred at the same Washington, D.C., seafood restaurant, Johnny’s Half Shell. Johnny’s has hosted at least 948 political fundraisers over the last decade, meaning that every congressional representative has inevitably spent some time there. Other strange fundraisers included representatives’ wedding anniversary parties and even Taylor Swift concerts. …

“If you want to get money out of a bunch of jerks you’ve never heard of before, you shouldn’t have to call them on the phone when you could simply open a vape shop,” Oliver said.

More disturbing is the confession Oliver found from Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), saying that he only calls constituents who could conceivably donate “at least $1,000.” This inevitably ends up narrowing politicians’ priorities, as both Murphy and Oliver pointed out.

“It cannot help but affect how you see the world, if you’re only calling donors rich enough that their main concerns are estate taxes or which Belgian kimono their cat will wear that day,” Oliver said.

To get even more answers about fundraising, Oliver sat down with retiring Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY). Israel cited fundraising fatigue in his retirement announcement, so Oliver asked about his experience with it. Obviously, he immediately wanted to know about Johnny’s Half Shell.

“I know it well,” Israel said. “It’s like any restaurant in America. The difference is you have candidates and members of Congress and supporters who are contributing $1,000 for the privilege of eating some shellfish.” http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/04/john-oliver-congressional-fundraising

Many political ‘donations’ are basically bribes.

Consider that it is known that those in the Congress of the USA spend a lot of their time getting ‘donations.’ When a third-world police officer does this, it is labeled as corruption.  When US Congress people do this it is considered politics.  But it is basically the same thing, accept that the politicians can cause more societal damage because of how they allow themselves to be influenced.

Corruption among government officials exists in the West.  It will take God’s government and His kingdom to eliminate it.

http://www.cogwriter.com/news/doctrine/panama-papers-and-government-corruption/

News presenter:  John Hickey

 

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