TBR News June 6, 2016

Jun 06 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. June 6, 2016:” Some kind soul just gave me an interesting list of organizations either created by the CIA or “very friendly” to their needs.

Here it is:

CIA friendly firms


AALC, see Afro-American Labor Center

Acrus Technology

ADEP, see Popular Democratic Action

Advertising Center, Inc.

Aero Service Corp. of Philadelphia

Aero Systems, Inc.

Aero Systems Pvt. Ltd

AFME, see American Friends of the Middle East

“African Report”

African-American Institute

Afro-American Labor Center (AALC) of

Agencia Orbe Latinoamericano

Agency for International Development (AID)

Agribusiness Development, Inc.

AIFLD, see American Institute for Free Labor Development

Air America

Air Asia Co., Ltd.

Air Proprietary Company

All Ceylon Youth Council Movement

Alliance for Anti-totalitarian Education

America Fore Insurance Group

American Association of the Middle East

American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, Inc.

American Committee for the Liberation of the People of Russia

American Committee for the International Commission of Jurists

American Economic Foundation

American Federation for Fundemental Research

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

American Foundation for the Middle East

American Friends of the Middle East

American Friends of the Russian Freedom

American Friends Service Committee

American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees

American Fund For Free Jurists

American Historical Society

American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD)

American Machine & Foundry

American Mutual Insurance Company

American Newspaper Guild

Association American Oriental Society

American Political Science Association

American Research Center in Egypt, Inc.

American Society of African Culture

American Institute of Cairo

American University – Special Operations Research Office

Ames Research Center

M.D. Anderson Foundation

ANSA (Italian Wire Service)

Antell, Wright & Nagel

Anti-Communist Christian Front

Anti-Communist Liberation Movement

Anti-Totalitarian Board of Solidarity with the People of Vietnam

Anti-Totalitarian Youth movement

Appalachian Fund

Arabian-American Oil Company

Area Tourist Association

Arrow Air

Ashland Oil and Refining Company

Asia Foundation

Association of American Geographers

Association of Computing Machinery

Association of Friends of Venezuela

Association of Preparatory Students

Assoziation ungarischer Studenten in Nordamerika

Atomics, Physics & Science Fund, Inc.


Atwater Research Program in North Africa


Bank of Lisle

Bankers Trust Company

Basic Resources

Beacon Fund

Berliner Verein

Berliner Verein zur Forderung der Bildungshilfe in Entwicklungslandern

Berliner Verein zur Forderung der Publizistik in Entwicklungslandern

Berico Technologies.


Blythe & Company, Inc.

Boni, Watkins, Jason & Company

Brazilian Institute for Democratic Action (IBAD)

Broad and High Foundation

  1. Frederick Brown Foundation

Burgerkomitee fur AuBenpolitik

Bulgarisches Nationales Zentrum

Burndy Corporation

Butte Pipe Line Company


Cahill, Gordon, Reindel & Ohl

Cahill & Wilinski


California Shipbuilding Corporation

Caribean Marine Area Corporation

(Caramar) James Carlisle Trust

Caspian Pipeline Consortium

Catherwood Foundation

CBS Television Network

(CRESS) Center for Strategic Studies

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Center of Studies and Social Action

(CEAS) CEOSL, see Ecuadorean Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations

Chesapeake Foundation

Cipher Exchange Corporation

Civil Air Transport (CAT)

Clothing and Textiles Workers Union COG, see Guayana Workers Confederation


Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Company

Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)

Columbian Financial Development Company


“EL Commercio” Com. Suisse d’Aide aux Patrgrols

Committee for Free Albania

Committee for Liberty of Peoples

Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Confederation for an Independent Poland

Conference of the Atlantic

Community Congress for Cultural Freedom

Continental Press

Continental Shelf Explorations, Inc.,

Cooperative League of America

Coordinating Committee of Free Trade Unionists of Ecuador

Coordinating Secretariat of National Unions of Students (cosec), see International Student Conference (ISC)

Cosden Petroleum Corporation

Combat Military Ordinances Ltd.

Council on Economic and Cultural Affairs, Inc.

Cox, Langford, Stoddard & Cutler

CRC, see Cuban Revolutionary Council

CROCLE, see Regional Confederation of Ecuadorian

Coastal Trade Unions Cross, Murphy and Smith

Crossroads of Africa

Crusade for Freedom

CSU, see Uruguayan Labor Conference

CTM, see Mexican Worker Confederation

Cuban Portland Cement Company

Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC, Cuban Exile)

Cummings and Seller

Curtis Publishing Company

CUT, see Uruguayan Confederation of Workers


Daddario & Burns

Dane Aviation Supply


Debevoise, Plimpton, Lyons & Gates (West)

Deutscher Kunstlerbund

Dominion Rubber Company

Double Chek Corporation

DRE, see Revolutionary Student Directorate in Exile


Eagleton Institute of Politics – Princeton University East Asian Institute

Eagan, McAllister Associates, Inc

EAI Corporation

East-West Center

Ecuadorean Anti-Communist Action

Ecuadorean Anti-Communist Front

Ecuadorean Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations (CEOSL)

Ecuadorean Federation of Telecommunications Workers (FENETEL)

Editors Press Service

Edsel Fund

Electric Storage Battery Company

El Gheden Mining Corporation

End Kadhmir Dispute Committee


ERC International, Inc.

Enstnischer Nationalrat

Enstnischer Weltzentralrat

Estrella Company

Europe Assembly of Captive Nations

Exeter Banking Company


Farfield Foundation, Inc.

Federal League for Ruralist Action (Ruralistas)

Federation for a Democratic Germany in Free Europe

Fed. Inte. des Journalistes de Tourisme

FENETEL, see Ecuadorean Federation of Telecommunications Workers

First Florida Resource Corporation

Food, Drink and Plantation Workers Union

Ford Foundation

Foreign News Service

Foreign Press Association B.C.

Forest Products, Ltd.


“Forum” (Wein)

Foundation for International and Social Behavior

Foundation for Student Affairs

Franklin Broadcasting Company

Free Africa Organization of Colored People

Free Europe Committee, Inc.

Free Europe Exile Relations

Free Europe Press Division

Freie Universitat (FU)

Frente Departmental de Compensinos de Puno

FSS International

Fund for International, Social and Economic Development


Gambia National Youth Council

Geological Society of America

Georgia Council on Human Relations

Gibraltar Steamship Corporation

Global International Airways

Glore, Forgan & Company

Goldstein, Judd & Gurfein

Gotham Foundation

Government Affairs Institute

W.R. Grace and Company

Granary Fund

Grey Advertising Agency

Guyana Workers Confederation (COG)

Gulf Oil Corporation


Andrew Hamilton Fund


Heights Fund

Joshua Hendy Iron Works

Hicks & Associates


Hill and Knowlton

Himalayan Convention

Histadrut – The Federation of Labor in Israel


Hoblitzelle Foundation

Hodson Corporation

Hogan & Hartson Holmes Foundation, Inc.

Hoover Institute on War, Revolution and Peace

Hutchins Advertising Company of Canada

Huyck Corporation


IBAD, see Brazilian Institute for Democratic Action

Independence Foundation

Independent Research Service

Industrial Research Service

Information Security International Inc.,.,

Institut zur Erforschung der USSR e.V.

Institute Battelle Memorial

Institute of Historical Review

Institute of International Education

Institute of International Labor Research Education

Institute of Political Education

Institute of Public Administration

International-American Center of Economic and Social Studies

International-American Federation of Journalists

International-American Federation of Working Newspapermen (IFWN)

International-American Labor College

International-American Police Academy, see International Police Academy

International-American Regional Labor Organization (ORIT)

Intercontinental Finance Corporation

Intercontinental Research Corporation

Intermountain Aviation

International Armament Corporation (INTERARMCO) International Air Tours of       Nigeria

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (IFCTU)

International Cooperation Administration (ICA)

International Development Foundation, Inc.

International Fact Finding Institute

International Federation of Christian Trade Unions IFCTU, see World Confederation of Labor

International Federation of Journalists

International Federation of Petroleum and Chemical Workers (IFPCW)

International Federation of Plantation, Agriculture and Allied Workers (IFPAAW)

International Federation of Women Lawyers (IFWL)

International Geographical Union

International Journalists Conference

International Labor Research Institute

International Police Services School

International Press Institute

International Rescue Committee

International Secretatiate of the Pax Romana

International Student Conference (ISC)

International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT)

International Trade Services

International Trade Secretariats

International Trading and Investment Guaranty Corp., Ltd.,

International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)

International Union Officials Trade Organizations

International Union of Young Christian Democrats

International Youth Center

Internationale Federation der Mittel- und Osteuropas

Internationale Organization zur Erforschung kommunistischer Nethoden

Internationaler Bund freier Journalisten

Internationales Hilfskomitee


Japan Cultural Forum



Kentfield Fund J.M.

Kaplan Fund, Inc.

Kennedy & Sinclaire, Inc.

Kenya Federation of Labour

Khmer Airlines

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Komittee fur internationale Beziehungen

Komittee fur Selbstbestimmung

Komittee fur die Unabhangigkeit des Kaukasus

Korean C.I.A.

Korean Freedom and Cultural Foundation, Inc.


Labor Committee for Democratic Action

Lawyer’s Constitutional Defense Committee

League for Industrial Democracy

League for International Social and Cooperative Development

Ligue de la Liberte

Litton Industrial Company

London American


Manhattan Coffee Company

Marconi Telegraph-Cable Company

Maritime Support Unit

Martin Marietta Company

Marshall Foundation Center for International Studies (MIT-CIS)

Mathieson Chemical Corporation

McCann-Erikson, Inc.

Megadyne Electronics

Charles E. Merrill Trust


Mexican Workers Confederation (CTM)

Miner & Associates

Mineral Carriers, Ltd.

Mobil Oil Company


Monroe Fund

Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc.

Moral Majority

Moral Rearmament


Mount Pleasant Trust

Movement for Integrated University Action

Robert Mullen Company


Narodno Trudouoj Sojus (NTS)

National Academy of Sciences

National Research Council

National Board for Defense of Sovereignty and Continental Solidarity

National Council of Churches

National Defense Front

National Educational Films, Inc.

National Education Association

National Federation of Petroleum and Chemical Workers of Ecuador

National Feminist Movement for the Defense of Uruguay

National Student Press Council of India

National Students Association (NSA)

National Union of Journalists of Ecuador


New York Times

Norman Fund

North American Rockwell Corporation

North American Uranium, Inc.

Norwich Pharmaceutical Company


Oceanic Cargo

Oil Workers International Union

Operations and Policy Research, Inc.

Organix. Ukrainischer Nationalisten (OUN)

ORIT, see International-American Regional Labor Organization

Overseas New Agency


Pacifica Foundation

Pacific Life Insurance

Paderewski Foundation

Pan-American Foundation

Pan Aviation

Pappas Charitable Trust


Jere Patterson & Associates

Pax Romana

Peace and Freedom

Penobscot Land & Investment Company

Plant Protection, Inc.

Plenary of Democratic Civil Organizations of Uruguay

Pope & Ballard

Popular Democratic Action (ADEP)

Press Institute of India

Price Fund

Public Service International (PSI)

Publisher’s Council


Rabb Charitable Foundation

Radio Free Asia Radio

Free Europe

Radio Liberation

Radio Liberty Committee, Inc.

Radio Swan

Rand Corporation

Regional Confederation of Ecuadorean Coastal Trade Unions (CROCLE)

Research Foundation for Foreign Affairs

Retail Clerk’s International Association


Revolutionary Democratic Front (RFD, Cuban exile)

Reynolds Metal Company

Rubicon Foundation

Rumanisches Nationalkomitee

Russian and East European Institute

Russian Institute

Russian Research Center



Science Applications International Corporation

St. Lucia Airways


San Jacinto Foundation

San Miguel Fund


Sentinels of Liberty

Sith & Company

Social Christian Movement of Ecuador

Sociedade Anomima de Radio Retransmissao (RARETSA)

Society for Defense of Freedom in Asia

SODECO (Sakhalin Oil Development Cooperation Co)

SODIMAC Southern Air Transport

Standard Electronics, Inc.

Standish Ayer & McKay, Inc.

Sterling Chemical Co.

Strauss Fund

Student Movement for Democratic Action

Sur International

Sylvania Electric Products, Inc.

Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside of Russia

Systems Development Corporation


Tarantel Press

Tetra Tech International

Thai-Pacific Services Company

Tibet Convention

Tower Fund


Twentieth Century Fund


Unabhangiger Forschugsdienst

Ungarischer Nationalrat

U.S. News and World Report

United States Youth Council

U.S.-Russian Commercial Energy Working Group

United Ukrainian American Relief Committee

Universal Service Corporation

Untersuchungsausschub freiheitlicher Juristen (UfJ)

Uruguayan Committee for Free Detention of Peoples

Uruguayan Confederation of Workers (CUT)

Uruguayan Labor Confederation (CSU)


Vangard Service Company


Varicon, Inc


Wainwright and Matthews Joseph Walter & Sons

Warden Trust

Erwim Wasey, Ruthrauff & Ryan, Inc.

Wexton Advertising Agency

Whitten Trust

Williford-Telford Corporation

World Assembly of Youth (WAY)

World Confederation of Labor

Wynnewood Fund


York Research Corporation


Zenith Technical Enterprises, Ltd

Zenith Technical Enterprises University

Zen Nihon Gakusei Jichikai Sorengo (Zangakuren)

Zentrale for Studien und Dokumentation

Zweites deutschen Fernsehen (ZDF)

The Müller Washington Journals   1948-1951

At the beginning of December, 1948, a German national arrived in Washington, D.C. to take up an important position with the newly-formed CIA. He was a specialist on almost every aspect of Soviet intelligence and had actively fought them, both in his native Bavaria where he was head of the political police in Munich and later in Berlin as head of Amt IV of the State Security Office, also known as the Gestapo.

His name was Heinrich Müller.

Even as a young man, Heini Müller had kept daily journals of his activities, journals that covered his military service as a pilot in the Imperial German air arm and an apprentice policeman in Munich. He continued these journals throughout the war and while employed by the top CIA leadership in Washington, continued his daily notations.

This work is a translation of his complete journals from December of 1948 through September of 1951.

When Heinrich Müller was hired by the CIA¹s station chief in Bern, Switzerland, James Kronthal in 1948, he had misgivings about working for his former enemies but pragmatism and the lure of large amounts of money won him over to what he considered to be merely an extension of his life-work against the agents of the Comintern. What he discovered after living and working in official Washington for four years was that the nation¹s capital was, in truth, what he once humorously claimed sounded like a cross between a zoo and a lunatic asylum. His journals, in addition to personal letters, various reports and other personal material, give a very clear, but not particularly flattering, view of the inmates of both the zoo and the asylum.

Müller moved, albeit very carefully, in the rarefied atmosphere of senior policy personnel, military leaders, heads of various intelligence agencies and the White House itself. He was a very observant, quick-witted person who took copious notes of what he saw. This was not a departure from his earlier habits because Heinrich Müller had always kept a journal, even when he was a lowly Bavarian police officer, and his comments about personalities and events in the Third Reich are just as pungent and entertaining as the ones he made while in America.

The reason for publishing this phase of his eventful life is that so many agencies in the United States and their supporters do not want to believe that a man of Müller¹s position could ever have been employed by their country in general or their agency in specific.

Sunday, 16 July 1950

Reinforcements are going to Japan where they will be thrown into the battle against the communists in Korea.

Bunny’s cousin is a stockbroker and I spoke with him yesterday evening at dinner and the final outcome is that I am now going to invest in so-called defense industry stocks. The word from the White House is that we are in this battle to the bitter end and if the Chinese get into the war there (officially a “police action”) then we will be tied up in Asia for some time. They have little in the way of sophisticated military equipment but an enormous pool of manpower. A war there could go on for years. Remember what happened in China when Japan got into it? I don’t think the idiots here even remember that protracted morass. They are too busy trying to become important in areas they will never understand, than to read history that could benefit them.

I will start out with petroleum stocks, move into some of the weapons companies and also aircraft. I have a list here of potential military contractors which I obtained three days ago (these wars are certainly well-planned in advance. This list was drawn up two months before the communist attack! Obviously someone knew it was coming but certainly not the President or his closest aides) and I will use that as a menu.

Harry has gone through several bottles of my bourbon present and says each bottle gets better. I think it’s his imagination. He is certainly very upset about the war but also a very stubborn man. This is not a man to get angry, as I have noted.

A very long talk with Bunny last night about one thing and another, mostly my past and our present…. and future. I finally told her who I was, and amazingly, she did not care. There is a risk in saying too much to a woman but this one is quite different from the others. She has a very quick mind, knows where she is going and apparently has strong feelings for me.

We discussed the intelligence game for some time and she indicated to me that she would very much like to get involved in it. I do not like this but she is determined.

She certainly has enough social connections to get in and considering her intelligence, would probably be the Deputy Director in a year but women do not play an important role in Washington at this time.

We went over a number of matters concerning the CIA and I told her several times that they were a gang of elitist cutthroats with no social redemption. She laughed because she knows a number of them and has been around such assholes most of her life. Getting paid for it, she says, would be rewarding.

The next thing we discussed was the future for us.

She knows about Sophie and that while I am legally dead; I am still legally married to her and have a family. Bunny doesn’t care about that, said that if I am officially dead, I can remarry under my new personality. She also referred to us as latter day Mormons and we could practice polygamy!

The word marriage has not yet quite surfaced but it came very, very close and I assume I am expected to make the move. I will have to think about it, discuss this with a lawyer friend and then go from there. In a week, perhaps, or two. I told her I would make a decision on the future by then and she trusts me to keep my word. After all, we have been remarkably honest with each other.

And I did tell her about my little affairs with the CIA wives. I thought she might get angry but she only laughed. That sort of thing is the rule in Washington, not the exception and both of us are adults in the end.

She did mention to me that she wanted to talk to me about some property that was in her family down in Virginia. It belonged to an uncle who could not keep it up during the war (the servants all ran away and worked in defense plants) and then had a stroke and could not live there. It is a large Herrenhaus (manor, ed.) with hundreds of acres surrounding it. The uncle raised blooded horses. The place is going up for sale and she said that she would really like to keep it in the family, but her aunt liked Washington and her town house so that was not possible.

I am getting tired of this place because it is now too small for my collection, it is rented for me and my idiot colleagues from the CIA and the army come by and bother me. I told her we could drive down next weekend, look at the place and make a day of it. Of course Heini would have to drive and she has no problem with that.

The place is located at a town named Warrenton, about sixty miles southwest of Washington.

We shall see.

Sunday, 23 July 1950.

Small items:

The Senate has been yelling about McCarthy and the press is talking about some problem he has with drawing his official pay as a judge while attending to other matters. They don’t have anything on him or he would be gone by now but they just keep on shrieking every time he goes after some socially prominent Roosevelt appointee.

I understand that MacArthur is getting enough troops and equipment on hand to make a counterattack fairly soon. I have now a nice portfolio of stocks and am considering expanding.

We have had a very pleasant trip down into Virginia to look at the family property. It is a very beautiful house, what is called here as “Georgian” after the British kings. A very large, impressive house in a pinkish brick, copper roof with a fine patina, three stories, shuttered windows and a tall portico in front.

The total number of rooms is just over thirty with eight bedrooms, ten bathrooms or partial bathrooms, a huge kitchen, library, dining room, assembly room, gallery, entrance hall, huge staircase which ascends to the third floor, solid oak and rosewood doors, and marble floors. Much of the paneling is old pine and there are fireplaces in almost every room in the house. There are four bedrooms on the second floor, all with sitting rooms and bathrooms and on the third, four bedrooms with baths. Fireplaces in all but one of the bedrooms.

House has an elevator and a large swimming pool that is set up to be used as a reservoir in case of fires. Bath houses and dressing rooms also in brick. A beautiful formal garden and a tennis court! That’s a sport I could take up when my knee is in service.

The section set aside for horses is immense! There is room for fifty horses, grooms, and veterinarians. An indoor track, maternity stable for mares, a nursery for young horses.

Also, a barn for cows, various outbuildings for servants, pumps for the water, kennels for dogs, boiler rooms and so on endlessly.

And not to be forgotten is an old church made out of stone on one edge of the property.

The property sits on over three hundred acres of rolling, wooded land and the weather there is much milder than in the District. I am told that this is the most beautiful part of the state of Virginia and I can easily believe it!

The town of Warrenton has less than 2,000 people and is very quiet and sedate. There are, of course, many black people in this state but they are rural in composition and unlike the urban ones in Washington, not given to crime.

The place will need additional security fencing, gates which can be controlled from the inside, alarm systems and I will bring over at least ten more of my people to help out with the house and the security.

No one has lived in the mansion for a number of years and the sunlight has faded some of the curtains, all of which are old and must be replaced. I will wish to have the bathrooms modernized somewhat and I have ideas about some statuary for the gardens which I would certainly wish to make over more in the European style.

It is a very well built house in its own grounds and it even has a nice stream on the property. There is a very good stream running through the place in Colorado and I might take up fly-fishing as a sport.

We went there with a real estate agent and I left Bunny to talk with him while Heini and I made a tour of the place. It took us over four hours to see everything and I must say I dozed off in the car on the way back.

It is absolutely magnificent, without question, and certainly not that expensive considering my assets. This would be a tremendous place for my collection of paintings and for the furniture I would like to buy. Bunny has suggested American colonial but I like Louis XV and XVI. We can compromise, of course.

She knows in the way that women have, that I am probably going to buy it and was absolutely charming on the way home.

We told the agent that there needed to be work done on the property and I had filled my notebook with all kinds of minor repairs. He, of course, believing that we wanted the place (he knows about Bunny’s uncle and knows the family by name) and began to suggest a price “adjustment” for us.

I do not want to raise horses, but Bunny does, so she can have what she wants in that area.

I will go to the bank tomorrow and begin the transaction but we both know that the property cannot be in my name. We have worked out a suitable plan whereby a very poor cousin will hold the actual title but will give us back a signed deed to it so that we can execute it at any time we wish.

And, of course, I proposed to her after dinner tonight and she, of course, accepted. Bunny is certainly strong enough to do that herself but propriety demands that the male make the first move. I did. I don’t think Sophie would be too happy but life is cruel, isn’t it?

We will give up the house in Washington and I will either take the train into town or be driven. I will get a new car; in fact the garage holds seven so we will see how many more we need.

If Bunny wants to come into town by herself, she can stay with aunt and I can stay at the club so the unpleasantness of living in a hot, humid and nasty town will be a thing of the past.

I now own the place in Colorado, which is nowhere as large as the new estate but I want it for the winter sports and Bunny is in complete agreement. That place has 640 acres and this over three hundred so I will be an American landowner with a thousand acres to my holdings. I should design a coat of arms and have it painted on all my cars and put onto the notepaper but that is simply too much vanity and is risking the attention of fate.

How interesting life can be!

One year a hunted war criminal and the next, a Virginia gentleman, soon slated to be a colonel in the American General Staff, an advanced collector of very valuable, often significant art (almost all of which was stolen but we don’t talk about that, do we?). A beautiful, well-bred and very intelligent wife and companion, an excellent domestic staff and perhaps seven cars!

I can sit here and remember my very humble beginnings with great (and often unpleasant) clarity and marvel about the ways of God and man!


German MPs of Turkish origin face death threats as Erdogan says their blood is ‘tainted’

June 6, 2016


German MPs of Turkish origin who voted to recognize Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire are facing death threats, after the Turkish president said their blood is tainted and should be tested in a lab for ‘Turkishness.’

Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his vocal criticism of last week’s German resolution in a speech at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, which was televised in Turkey on Sunday.

“Turkish?” he exclaimed as he was speaking about the German MPs. “Their blood should be tested in a lab!”

“Their blood is impure and we know whose spokespeople they are,” Erdogan told a cheering audience. “They are the long arm of the separatist terrorists placed in Germany.”

Eleven MPs of Turkish origin voted for the resolution last week, sparking a barrage of accusations from Ankara. German Green Party leader Ozcan Mutlu is at the forefront of the verbal assault and was granted police protection due to the large number of death threats he has received from Turkish nationalists.

I am seriously worried,” he told public broadcaster ARD on Sunday. “I’ve never experienced this amount [of abuse]. Some manic, crazy person might hear that and think ‘the leader has given his orders.’”

Mutlu is a long-time critic of Erdogan and campaigned for the Armenian genocide resolution. Turkish officials and media branded him “a German idiot,” “a traitor” and “a so-called Turk” for his role in the vote.

The German MPs are not the first targets of the kind of racist rhetoric used by Erdogan on Sunday. The Turkish president used the same kind of language when describing members of the Turkish parliament from the opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party.

During 1915, between 800,000 and 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed by Ottoman forces. Turkey disputes the scale of the tragedy. It also insists that the deaths were not the result of an intentional government policy, saying that the Armenians sided with Russia against their own government during World War I.

French president holds talks with unions to avert strike action during Euro 2016

The French government is holding talks with unions as a strike by SNCF state-rail staff enters a sixth consecutive day. Energy sector employees have called for fresh industrial action.

June 6, 2016


As a strike by French state-rail staff entered a sixth consecutive day on Monday, a new round of talks on a reorganization of working time was to be held at the SNCF state railway.

Energy sector employees have called for fresh industrial action just four days before the opening of the Euro 2016 football tournament.

Air France pilots have announced plans to strike from Saturday, the second day of the Euros, in a separate dispute over pay cuts.

President Hollande said on French radio on Sunday that “no one would understand it if trains and planes -I’m thinking of the Air France pilots’ dispute – were to prevent fans travelling around easily, even if the competition itself has nothing to fear.”

Hollande’s comments came as a survey carried out at the end of last week showed that 54 percent of French people interviewed were against the protests. That is a turnaround from the previous poll in May which showed 54 percent in favor.

“Days before the start of the Euro football tournament, while no solution to the social crisis is in sight, support for the protest movement against the labor reform is dwindling,” Agnes Balle of BVA Opinion commented.

The labor strikes in France are being carried out against the background of legislation for labor reform currently going through parliament.

Torrential rain and record flooding have also caused substantial disruption. The River Seine in Paris, which rose more than six meters above its normal level on Friday night, had fallen back to 5.47 meters (17 feet 9 inches) above normal by Monday morning. Thousands of homes are still without power as the cleanup across northern France continues.

Israel escalates forced transfer of Palestinians

Palestinians are routinely collectively punished by expulsion from their homes in Jerusalem into the occupied West Bank.

June 4, 2016

by Nigel Wilson


Occupied East Jerusalem – With a weary slump, Maisa Tamimi squeezed onto the living room sofa between her mother and husband.

“It has been an extremely hard time,” she said anxiously. “I could never have imagined I would lose my son and then my home.”

In recent months, Maisa’s life has changed dramatically. In early March, her eldest son, Foaud, was shot dead in occupied East Jerusalem after shooting and wounding two Israeli police officers.

In the hours and days that followed, her husband was arrested and detained by Israeli police, while Maisa and her eldest children were interrogated. After six hours of questioning, they were driven by Israeli police to the Qalandia checkpoint and steered into the occupied West Bank at gunpoint, she said.

After 11 days, Maisa’s husband, Kasef, was released without charge.

No one in the family has been accused of any crime – but they can no longer return home, and are living in temporary accommodations, with some of Maisa’s family members at her mother’s apartment in Kufr Aqab and others at a relative’s house nearby. Kufr Aqab is located in the so-called seam zone, technically within the boundaries of East Jerusalem, but on the West Bank side of Israel’s separation wall.

“The kids come to visit us here a lot, but it is more than difficult to be split up like this from two of my children. But it’s the only choice we have right now,” Maisa told Al Jazeera.

Before Fouad’s death, the Tamimi family lived in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya. Maisa holds the blue ID card that Israel gives to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, while her husband, who was born in the West Bank, does not.

Maisa and Kasef were years into a family unification process, which would have secured full residency status for the whole family. In the meantime, Kasef and the children were on temporary permits.

In the aftermath of Fouad’s death, when Israeli authorities saw that the family’s application for unification was pending, the process was immediately frozen, and the family was forcibly transferred to the West Bank.

“We are looking for another place to live [in Kufr Aqab], but right now we can’t find a landlord who will rent to us. They know that we are the family of a martyr and they are afraid to rent to us, due to the possibility that Israel may come and demolish the house,” Maisa said.

The speed of the family’s transfer, just two days after Fouad attacked the police officers in East Jerusalem, was unprecedented, according to the family’s lawyer, Mohammed Mahmoud.

“I have never seen a case like this. Usually a family is given at least 24 to 48 hours to appeal a decision like this. But in this case, the family was thrown out immediately and were not given any time to appeal,” he told Al Jazeera, noting that this type of punishment is reserved exclusively for Palestinians and has never been used against Israelis, even when they have been found guilty of serious crimes.

Israeli authorities did not immediately respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment on the matter.

In March, Yisrael Katz, an Israeli member of the Knesset, submitted a bill to allow the state to deport family members of Palestinian attackers to Gaza. The bill has not been voted on yet. Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, has previously suggested that such a policy would contravene international law.

At the same time, human rights groups say that forced transfers of Palestinians from Jerusalem have been ongoing for almost 50 years.

“We have three groups of people who are forced out: those who have their ID cards withdrawn, those whose family unification applications were rejected, and those who settled in Jerusalem before 1987, when it was easy to enter the city, but who were never given ID or residency cards,” said Ziyad Hammouri, director of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights.

“There is no other state that acts in the same way,” Mahmoud said. “Israeli law is tailored to undermine Palestinians’ rights and existence. The family cannot do anything to change the reality now that they have been thrown out of Jerusalem.”

Hammouri’s organisation has traced more than 14,900 cases where Israeli identity cards were revoked from Palestinians since the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem began.

The current policy of forced transfer amounts to a “demographic war” against Palestinians in Jerusalem, Hammouri added, referring to the Zionist policy of maintaining a Jewish population majority within Israel since 1947.

For the family of Khaled Abu Arafeh, adjusting to their new life in the occupied West Bank has been a long and painful process.

In 2006, after being appointed minister of Jerusalem affairs in the new Palestinian government, he was told by Israeli authorities to quit his new role or give up his Jerusalem residency.

Abu Arafeh refused and four years later, having spent part of that time in prison and challenging the decision in the Israeli court system, Abu Arafeh was deported to the West Bank. In court, the Israeli prosecutor argued that Abu Arafeh and the lawmakers’ alleged association with the Hamas movement meant that they were not loyal to the state of Israel. He now lives with his family in a suburb of al-Bireh, close to Ramallah.

“I experienced true pain when I was deported from Jerusalem,” said the father of five. “Although they still study in Jerusalem, our children have been uprooted and go through hardship living their lives. Every morning they have to cross the Qalandia checkpoint going to school and it is exhausting for them. They are not living the lives that children their age should be.”

Despite having lived away from Jerusalem for six years, Abu Arafeh still hopes that he will be able to return to his home city in the future.

“I dream about going back to Jerusalem and I cannot imagine being forced to live away from it forever. I cannot imagine not being granted a residency permit again and I tell myself to never lose the hope of returning to Jerusalem.”

Vanishing Palestine: The making of Israel’s occupation

Historic Palestine continues to be wiped off the map as Israel maintains policies implemented in 1948 and 1967.

June 5, 2016

Al Jazeera

On June 5, 1967, an unprovoked Israel invaded Palestinian, Egyptian, and Syrian territories at once.

Six days and over 300,000 Palestinian refugees later, it had occupied the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights.

It has been 49 years since that day, and the West Bank and Golan Heights remain illegally occupied, while the Gaza Strip has been crippled under a nine-year blockade that has denied 1.8 million Palestinians their rights to access medical equipment, clean water, food and materials necessary to rebuild homes, schools and hospitals destroyed in repeated Israeli bombardments.

While the 1967 invasion and subsequent occupation marked what Arabs called the “Naksa”, or a severe setback in their ambitions for Palestinian liberation, the policy implemented by Israel on those fateful days to illegally seize that land was merely the continuation of what occured during the founding of Israel, which is known as the “Nakba”, or catastrophe.

Will Japan Nuke Pearl Harbor?

Why it’s okay for our allies to start defending themselves

June 6, 2016

by Justin Raimondo


I was struck by something Donald Trump said on CNN this [Sunday] morning:

“Until I got involved in this most people didn’t know we were defending Japan and Germany.”

Of course they didn’t, and don’t – they’re too busy paying their mortgages, raising their children, and living their lives. They don’t have the time or inclination to educate themselves in the many ways their government is ripping them off, meddling in concerns that are none of America’s business, and otherwise projecting the monumental conceit of the political class overseas.

Direct payments to NATO in fiscal year 2010 were $711.8 million, but this underestimates the real costs by several orders of magnitude. The US deployment of troops to Europe, the continuing expense of basing them in Germany, Spain, Italy, and elsewhere, easily equals that amount – and if we add up all the years we’ve been NATO’s mainstay, the total represents an enormous drain on the American economy. Of course, not everybody pays: some profit from this, notably the big military contractors, who rake in billions. So when Trump says our allies are “ripping us off,” he’s only half right: the real thieves are the American war profiteers and their political Praetorian Guard in Congress, who make this grand larceny possible.

And the costs aren’t just calculated in terms of dollars and cents. The NATO alliance, and the web of treaties that has us entangled in Asia, has created a mesh of tripwires that could put us on a war footing the moment some disputed border somewhere in Outer Slobbovia is crossed.

Do Americans want their young people to die so that the boundary between Moldova and Romania remains forever sacrosanct? Of course they don’t. But our political class disagrees, and they are ready, willing, and able to sacrifice any number of American lives, not to mention what’s left of our financial heft, to ensure it.

Aside from the entertainment value of Trump’s candidacy – and even his worst enemies have to admit it is considerable – the educational value of his rise is something I can appreciate. For the past twenty years, I’ve been writing about the costs of our interventionist foreign policy, the dangers of entangling alliances, and the utter cluelessness of our bipartisan foreign policy Establishment, which has led us from disaster to catastrophe. And now, suddenly, everybody is talking about these issues – because Trump is raising them.

For once foreign policy is an issue in a presidential election. I can’t remember the last time that was the case. And it’s a wonderful opportunity to expose the utter bankruptcy of the “conventional wisdom.”

For example, here’s Clinton shill Jake Tapper interviewing Trump on his idea that we have to make the Japanese, the Koreans and the Saudis start paying for their own defense: Trump insists that they have to pay 100 percent of the costs. When Tapper comes back at him by saying “We have bases there” – as if this is some benefit to us – Trump points out that we’re actually paying rent on those bases. We’re paying them so they don’t have to defend themselves against threats real and imagined. So we have to be ready to “walk away,” says Trump, if our “allies” won’t fork up the cash. Tapper then borrows from the Clinton arsenal and plays the nuclear card: “That’s where the nukes come out. If they don’t pay –“

This is the same line handed out by Mrs. Clinton in her “foreign policy” speech, which wasn’t about foreign policy at all but merely a string of epithets aimed at Trump. Yet what do Trump’s critics on this issue think the Japanese will do with their nukes, if they decide to acquire them –bomb Pearl Harbor again? Will the Koreans take out Washington, D.C.?

We hear much about how our allies are horrified by the prospect of Trump in the White House, and this isn’t hard to understand: after all, he’s saying their free ride will come to an end if he has anything to say about it. But in going after Trump, Mrs. Clinton and her journalistic camarilla are sending a rather odd message to Tokyo, Seoul, and Riyadh: they’re telling them that they are irresponsible children and aren’t to be trusted with nuclear weapons, and that only the adults in Washington can possess such fearsome weaponry.

And of course saying this to the Japanese is not only insulting, it is brazenly hypocritical: it was the evil Harry Truman who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, murdering hundreds of thousands of innocents against the advice of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Truman advisor Paul Nitze, and a whole platoon of military heavyweights.

And Trump raises the issue I raised above: this isn’t just about the monetary costs of defending the “free world.” When Tapper asserts that Japan pays half of the costs of their defense, but “you want 100 percent,” Trump replies:

“Of course they should pay 100 percent. You’re talking about billions and billions of dollars, and you’re talking about worse than that. You’re talking about World War III. Somebody attacks Japan and we end up in World War III?”

All in favor of World War III, raise your hands!

While I’m not supporting Trump, and didn’t vote for him, he is making my job – educating the American people about the costs, both monetary and moral, of our interventionist foreign policy – much easier. And for that I am grateful indeed.

Gary Johnson, too, is waking Americans up to the folly of our foreign policy: recently nominated as the Libertarian candidate for President, he’s registered as high as 10 percent in the polls, and in spite of his support for some “humanitarian” interventions – something Trump would disagree with him on – his is another skeptical voice raised against the overweening conceit of our rulers, who think they can “lead” the world.

The political turmoil we are witnessing this election year is in large part due to the “blowback” from decades of meddling in the affairs of other nations: our economy is faltering because we have “led” the world without attending to America first. And the American people are beginning to realize that an empire is a burden, not a benefit: all the vaunting about America’s duty to take on the task of “global leadership” is meant to flatter our preening elites, who think they have the wisdom and foresight to rule the world.

Panama Papers Show How Rich United States Clients Hid Millions Abroad

June 5, 2016

by Eric Lipton and Julie Creswell

New York Times

Over the years, William R. Ponsoldt had earned tens of millions of dollars building a string of successful companies. He had renovated apartment buildings in the New York City area. Bred Arabian horses. Run a yacht club in the Bahamas, a rock quarry in Michigan, an auto-parts company in Canada, even a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.

Now, as he neared retirement, Mr. Ponsoldt, of Jensen Beach, Fla., had a special request for Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm well placed in the world of offshore finance: How could he confidentially shift his money into overseas bank accounts and use them to buy real estate and move funds to his children?

“He is the manager of one of the richest hedge funds in the world,” a lawyer at Mossack Fonseca wrote when the firm was introduced to Mr. Ponsoldt in 2004. “Primary objective is to maintain the utmost confidentiality and ideally to open bank accounts without disclosing his name as a private person.”

In summary, the firm explained: “He needs asset protection schemes, which we are trying to sell him.”

Thus began a relationship that would last at least through 2015 as Mossack Fonseca managed eight shell companies and a foundation on the family’s behalf, moving at least $134 million through seven banks in six countries — little of which could be traced directly to Mr. Ponsoldt or his children.

These transactions and others like them for a stable of wealthy clients from the United States are outlined in extraordinary detail in the trove of internal Mossack Fonseca documents known as the Panama Papers. The materials were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and have now been shared with The New York Times.

In recent weeks, the papers’ revelations about Mossack Fonseca’s international clientele have shaken the financial world. The Times’s examination of the files found that Mossack Fonseca also had at least 2,400 United States-based clients over the past decade, and set up at least 2,800 companies on their behalf in the British Virgin Islands, Panama, the Seychelles and other jurisdictions that specialize in helping hide wealth.

Many of these transactions were legal; there are legitimate reasons to create offshore accounts, particularly when setting up a business overseas or buying real estate in a foreign country.

But the documents — confidential emails, copies of passports, ledgers of bank transactions and even the various code names used to refer to clients — show that the firm did much more than simply create offshore shell companies and accounts. For many of its American clients, Mossack Fonseca offered a how-to guide of sorts on skirting or evading United States tax and financial disclosure laws.

These included locating an individual from a “tax-convenient” jurisdiction to be the straw man owner of an offshore account, concealing the true American owner, or encouraging one client it knew was a United States resident to use his foreign passports to open accounts offshore, again to avoid scrutiny from regulators, the documents show.

If the compliance department at one foreign bank contacted by Mossack Fonseca on behalf of its clients started to ask too many questions about who owned the account, the firm simply turned to other, less inquisitive banks.

And even though the law firm said publicly that it would not work with clients convicted of crimes or whose financial activities raised “red flags,” several individuals in the United States with criminal records were able to turn to Mossack Fonseca to open new companies offshore, the documents show.

Federal law allows United States citizens to transfer money overseas, but these foreign holdings must be declared to the Treasury Department, and any taxes on capital gains, interest or dividends must be paid — just as if the money had been invested domestically. Federal officials estimate that the government loses between $40 billion and $70 billion a year in unpaid taxes on offshore holdings.

Experts in federal tax law, money laundering and offshore accounts — asked by The Times to examine certain documents or at least to identify legal issues raised by the money management techniques that Mossack Fonseca advocated — said the law firm at times had come up with creative, but apparently legal, strategies to save clients money. A common tactic: selling real estate as a shift of corporate assets, instead of as a piece of property subject to transfer taxes.

While the experts were reluctant to declare that the law firm or its clients had broken any laws given that no charges have been filed, they said they were surprised at how explicitly Mossack Fonseca had offered advice that appeared carefully crafted to help its clients evade United States tax laws.“The more correspondence that you have between a U.S. person and a bank or law firm discussing tax issues and efforts at concealment, the stronger the government will see it as a potential case worth prosecuting,” said Kevin M. Downing, the lead Justice Department prosecutor in the UBS offshore banking and tax evasion cases, now at the Washington law firm Miller & Chevalier.

Mossack Fonseca has said repeatedly in recent weeks that its lawyers and staff members have honored international tax and banking laws, and that it is the victim in this case of an illegal hacking attack.

But presented with summaries of several cases by The Times, Mossack Fonseca did not try to explain its actions. It simply said that its standards had improved in recent years, as rules internationally had tightened.

“Our significantly expanded compliance office today not only evaluates new client candidates, but also existing accounts, and especially those that were established prior to the new international regulatory regime coming into effect,” a spokeswoman said in a written statement, referring to a 2010 law passed by Congress. “It wasn’t always this way.”

The firm’s American client list does not appear to include the sort of high-profile political figures who have emerged from reporting on the Panama Papers in many other countries around the world.

But the services offered by Mossack Fonseca, with 500 employees in more than 30 offices worldwide, were in high demand by the rich and famous in the United States.

In 2001, Sanford I. Weill, then the chief of Citigroup, set up an offshore account called April Fool for his yacht. Alfonso Soriano, a former Major League Baseball All-Star player with the Yankees and other teams, had a Panamanian corporation created for him. John E. Akridge III, a leading real estate developer in Washington, flew to Panama to meet with Mossack Fonseca lawyers, who in 2011 created the Cyclops Family Foundation in Panama, along with a related bank account.

A spokesman for Mr. Weill said the accounts were used for legitimate purposes, and “appropriate disclosures were filed.” Mr. Akridge and Mr. Soriano did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

For its best customers, like the Ponsoldts, who declined repeated requests to discuss their work with Mossack Fonseca, the firm’s ministrations went far beyond legal services and banking. It acted as a concierge for “all details regarding your properties and worldwide business affairs,” for example, helping the family confidentially purchase (and dispose of) luxury condominiums at resort destinations and even arranging repairs for a car stored at a vacation home and hiring a contractor to fix broken poolside tiles, the documents show.

“You deserve the best Mr. Ponsoldt, and we will try to help you the most we can,” the firm explained in an email.

The firm’s American clients often expressed disbelief at how much they could lighten their tax burden by using the techniques advocated by Mossack Fonseca.

“At hearing that he can make nearly $8 million per year just on tax savings,” a client from Pennsylvania “was now wide awaken,” a Mossack Fonseca staff member wrote. “I could even detect sweats coming down from his forehead and his cheeks were beginning to blush with crimson excitement. Noticing his interest, I went in for the kill.”

Black Hole for Assets

In 2006, using a secret email account set up by Mossack Fonseca so his correspondence would not be traced by the authorities, a businessman from Washington State asked a common question among the firm’s potential American clients:

“How does a US citizen legally get funds to Panama without the knowledge of the US government and how can those funds be profitably invested without the US government knowing about them?”

The reply came from Ramsés Owens, then a partner who helped run the firm’s trust division, offering clients “effective solutions to enhance your privacy, protect your wealth.” Mr. Owens laid out a basic menu of services: a package deal setting up an offshore company in what he promised would be a relatively cheap and quick transaction.

“We have right now a special offer by which we create a Private Foundation/company combination for a flat fee of US$4,500.00,” Mr. Owens said. “It includes Charter Documents, Regulations, nominee officers and directors, bank account and management of funds, provision of authorized signatories, neutral phone and fax numbers and mail forwarding services for both the private foundation and its underlying company.”

With this legal structure in place, Mr. Owens went on to explain, any money placed in these accounts would essentially go into a black hole.

“If we create a Private Foundation and the underlying company for you, the funds become completely private (US cannot know) as soon as the funds are deposited under a bank account or investment account in the name of the underlying company or the private foundation,” he wrote.

The benefits of such an arrangement were numerous, he added, detailing how the client could effectively evade United States tax laws while protecting himself — and the firm.

“You can take the money in cash, you can do a bad investment; you can purchase something and not receive anything (an expensive piano, an expensive software),” Mr. Owens wrote. “You can receive an invoice from Panama or any other location and that would justify some of the outgoing moneys. You can also declare everything to the tax administration.

“Any decision you make, please be aware that you will have to sign a ‘disclaimer’ to us. We can only ‘suggest,’ but the final decision to take the money out of the country is fully yours, and under the professional opinion of someone in USA.”

This was the sort of menu sold to the Ponsoldt family — in a very big way.

William Ponsoldt, now 74, had come to Mossack Fonseca with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, the firm’s staff estimated in “due diligence” memos that also laid out how he had become so wealthy.

“He has started off in the 70ties purchasing run-down apartment buildings in New York, in order to refurbish and sell them off,” noted one memo from 2007, shortly after the firm had started to handle the family’s investment accounts. “Having done this for a while he spread out to various businesses and his CV is the typical profile of a serial entrepreneur.” The memo went on to list nine businesses he had created, taken over or helped run, including Glas Aire Industries Group, an automotive parts supplier; Zeus Energy Resources, a Texas oil-drilling company; Regency Affiliates, which owned a Michigan rock mine; and Pegasus Ranch, one of the country’s largest Arabian-horse-breeding operations.

Few American clients, the records show, demanded and received as much attention as Mr. Ponsoldt and two of his children, Tracey and Christopher, each of whom was assigned a secret email account and a code name — “father,” “daughter” and “son.” Mossack Fonseca’s “V.I.P. service” consisted of everything from securing lunch reservations at a popular French bistro in Panama City to pressing the government to make an exception and grant Mr. Ponsoldt and his wife Panamanian passports.

Over the years, tens of millions of dollars flowed into a series of shell companies — Escutcheon Investment, with its money at the Banca Privada in the Pyrenees principality of Andorra; Probity Investments, with deposits at Andbanc Grup Agricol, also in Andorra; Royal Pacific Investments, with deposits at Balboa Securities in Panama; and Valdano Investments Group, with deposits at Berenberg Bank in Switzerland, among others, the bank records and other documents show.

Mossack Fonseca employees were named as the companies’ officers, avoiding whenever possible any link to the Ponsoldt family. The firm even asked a Hong Kong branch of Barclays, the international bank, to override its rules for proof of the so-called beneficial owners of the accounts.

“This is a very special client of ours,” a Mossack Fonseca lawyer wrote, conceding that the firm had intentionally created such a maze of companies so it “leaves us in the position to legally argue that our client is NOT the owner of the structure.” It was not clear if the bank complied.

The most important part of this elaborate structure was an entity called the Edenstone Foundation.

Panama has long specialized in creating unusual foundations like Edenstone that are neither subject to Panamanian taxes nor required to support charitable causes. They do, however, allow the investors who “contribute” their financing to shield themselves from legal claims in the United States.

In secret meetings documented in the Panama Papers, Mossack Fonseca named the Ponsoldt family as the beneficiary, through the foundation, of the money placed in bank accounts around the world.

Among the early requests: confidentially transfer $800,000 from “father” to “son,” meaning moving the money to yet another offshore account — called LBFH of Panama — which Mossack Fonseca had set up on Christopher Ponsoldt’s behalf with bank accounts in Andorra and Panama.

One motivation for Christopher Ponsoldt to stash money overseas in accounts not traceable to him: He owned a dirt racetrack in Florida, and he was concerned racers “may get hurt and might then try to sue him for damages,” the law firm notes on his case file said.

“Please notify me when the money is deposited in American dollars,” Christopher Ponsoldt wrote to the law firm a few months after his father’s accounts had been set up and $800,000 was in the process of being transferred to another offshore account Christopher Ponsoldt controlled via the firm. “I want to have U.S. dollars, Australian Dollars, Indian Real’s and some kind of China index, to be determined.”

Mossack Fonseca agreed to “prepare a service agreement” between two of the legal entities it managed for the family, to make it look as if there were an actual expenditure of money for a business purpose.

“After receiving the money, we will explain to them the nature of this transaction without giving details of your name,” the firm explained to William Ponsoldt, regarding the Caribbean bank through which the money was moving to his son. “Please let us know if you agree with this and if you will instruct the relevant parties to execute the wire transfer.”

Federal law generally limits such tax-free transfers between family members to $14,000 a year. But for this transfer, described as a “pre-inheritance distribution,” the documents give no indication that any United States gift taxes were paid, as would most likely have been required, said Jack Blum, a lawyer and expert in international tax evasion who served for more than a decade as a consultant to the Internal Revenue Service.

“This is one way in which people with a lot of money step away from being average,” Mr. Blum said after reviewing the documents.

Christopher Ponsoldt declined to comment. “I am sorry, I can’t help you,” he said before hanging up.

Tracey Ponsoldt Powers, William Ponsoldt’s daughter, approached the firm in October 2008 with an urgent request for help in secretly moving some of her family’s money to Panama and then into gold coins. She feared political developments at home.

“I feel VERY unsettled with this election and how the media is censoring information and spinning the American Public to vote Obama,” she wrote to Mr. Owens at Mossack Fonseca. “It is so obvious to me, that they are setting us up with a Socialist — but most people can’t see it happening before their eyes! It’s like propaganda that is brainwashing Americans to forget the Principles of Hard Work, Ingenuity, Risk and Boundless Success!”

Mr. Owens suggested shifting the money into a “charity” account, controlled by the firm on the family’s behalf, in increments of less than $100,000, so it would not be detected.

Separately, that same month, William Ponsoldt moved $100,000 from a company Mossack Fonseca controlled on his behalf into the name of his daughter. This was confirmed in an email from Mossack Fonseca to the code name “daughter.” “The USD 100.000 is deposited as call Money with high liquidity at Berenberg Bank Schweiz, Zürich,” said the email, which added: “Your Father initiated this process as you know. We will treat you with the same esteem and conditions and service as the family is used to.”

The subsequent series of complicated transfers — money from the account would eventually be used by Mossack Fonseca in 2013 at Ms. Powers’s request to buy real estate — would be a challenge for American enforcement authorities, Mr. Blum said.

“Simply by constructing all this in such a complex way, they make it extremely hard for enforcement officials to ever have resources to reconstruct what taxes should have been paid,” he said. “What this is all about is obscuring the trail.”

Ms. Powers did not respond to a series of calls and emails, and then declined to answer questions when reached on a cellphone.

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” she said before hanging up.

‘Live This Potential Risk’

Across the United States, Mossack Fonseca picked up clients who had similarly urgent and delicate demands.

For more than 30 years as the founder of Boston Capital Ventures, Harald Joachim von der Goltz has built a reputation as a savvy investor in emerging companies.

What few know, however, is that over roughly that same span of time and with the help of Mossack Fonseca, Mr. von der Goltz has also come to command a vast offshore empire: interconnected corporations, foundations and bank accounts with about $70 million in assets, according to internal emails.

A lawyer for Mr. von der Goltz said the beneficial owner of all of the trusts and accounts is Mr. von der Goltz’s 100-year-old mother, who resides in Guatemala. One document also suggests that the tens of millions of dollars in the accounts originally came from businesses operated by Mr. von der Goltz’s father.

But numerous other documents prepared by Mossack Fonseca and signed by Mr. von der Goltz list him as the founder, manager and “first beneficiary” of the foundation that controls most of the family’s wealth. Mr. von der Goltz also put assets from companies he helped operate into the accounts, documents show.

Most important, Mossack Fonseca registered Mr. von der Goltz as a resident of Guatemala, which tax experts said could help him protect the family money from certain United States tax obligations.

“MF Trust has registered Harald Joachim von der Goltz as a client of Guatemala. However, we know he lives in Miami; and makes his residence for 5 months of the year in Boston,” Mr. Owens, the Mossack Fonseca partner, wrote in an email in 2009 to top executives at the firm.

The firm recognized that claiming the Guatemala residency represented a risk, but considered it a risk worth taking, given Mr. von der Goltz’s importance to the firm.

“My suggestion: Leave everything as it is with von der Goltz, i.e. stay and live this potential risk, we might prefer to send money orders and cashier’s checks, which have a slightly lower risk than bank transfers. It’s all well done, customer understands well and accepts it as is,” Mr. Owens wrote.

“I agree with your suggestion on my part,” responded Ramón Fonseca, one of the firm’s founders.

Money was frequently transferred from several of the offshore accounts to accounts in the United States to fund investments at Mr. von der Goltz’s firm, the documents show. A foundation paid for his daughter’s education, as well as his granddaughter’s high school tuition.

In a 2008 email, Mr. von der Goltz’s Boston-based accountant asked executives at Mossack Fonseca to wire money from Mr. von der Goltz’s mother, Erika.

“Erika would like to make a gift to Tica of $100,000 for his birthday. She hadn’t given him anything,” the email said, providing an account for Mr. von der Goltz at Espírito Santo Bank in Miami.

“Ohh, yes, I know ERIKA wants it to be done quickly, we will proceed,” Mr. Owens responded before confirming that the money should be moved as requested.

Legal experts consulted by The Times said it was difficult to determine definitively if the arrangements related to Mr. von der Goltz violated United States laws. But they said such moves were commonly used by investors seeking to hide their assets and evade federal taxes.

“There is reason to question if she was really directing that shift of money,” Mr. Blum said, referring to Mr. von der Goltz’s mother.

In a statement, Mr. von der Goltz said the companies were established for legal purposes, and that both he and the companies were compliant with United States tax and reporting requirements.

“There has never been any illegal activity associated with these companies,” the statement said.

Other case files examined by The Times show how Mossack Fonseca may have turned a blind eye in the vetting process while helping Kjell Gunnar Finstad, a Texas resident, set up an oil company offshore in 2013.

Mossack Fonseca has long maintained that it will not work for individuals with criminal records or whose conduct raises “red flags” during its due-diligence process. But the firm somehow either missed or overlooked Mr. Finstad’s past when it conducted a background search of potential directors for the new offshore oil company, OK Terra Energy, which was run out of Houston but registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Three years earlier, Mr. Finstad, the company’s controlling partner and lead investor, had been convicted in Norway for various breaches of securities and accounting laws involving a company called Norex Group. The case was major news in Norway.

The records examined by The Times show that Mossack Fonseca collected a copy of Mr. Finstad’s passport, and conducted a basic internet search and a cursory background check. But there is no mention of the fraud case, and no discussion of whether to proceed with setting up the new company, in light of Mr. Finstad’s involvement.

Reached at his office in Texas and asked about the Panama Papers, Mr. Finstad said only, “I don’t want to talk about that.”

For another client, Mossack Fonseca offered a special service for a premium price.

Marianna Olszewski, the New York City-based author of “Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom,” wanted to shift $1 million held by HSBC in Guernsey to a new overseas account. The catch? She did not want her name to appear anywhere near the transaction.

Mr. Owens, the Mossack Fonseca lawyer, again offered a solution.

Mossack Fonseca would locate what he called a “natural person nominee” in a “tax-convenient” jurisdiction to stand in for Ms. Olszewski as the owner of the account.

“The Natural Person Trustee is a service which is very sensitive,” Mr. Owens wrote. “We need to hire the Natural Person Nominee, pay him, make him sign lots of documents to cover us, make him sign resignations, make him get some proofs evidencing that he has the economic capacity to place such amount of moneys, letters of reference, proof of domicile, etc., etc.” The process, he suggested, would cost her at least $17,500.

Ms. Olszewski approved the maneuver — only to see the firm, at one point, accidentally disclose her name to the banks involved.

“Ramses, Please call me ASAP!! This is important!!!!” she wrote to Mr. Owens. “HSBC said someone said marianna olszewski is the principal / beneficary! Who has done this!! I need you to call me immediately and tell them hsbc that was a mistake!!!!!!!!!! This is not good and I asked you NOT to do this! this is why we have this structure.”

Mr. Owens sought to calm her down, saying that Mossack Fonseca could tell the bank that the natural person nominee actually controlled the account. “This can be solved,” he wrote.

Mr. Owens did not tell his client the identity of the natural person nominee, saying simply, “We would appoint a UK citizen residing in Panama since 50 years ago, engineer, entrepreneur,” as they needed someone who would be expected to have such a large amount of money available to transfer.

Twelve days later, Mr. Owens sent HSBC a copy of a passport for a man named Edmund James Ward.

“Kindly please find hereto attached the due diligence documents of the beneficial owner,” said the email sent to HSBC, noting that “the documents duly correct.”

The $1 million from Ms. Olszewski was then transferred to the new accounts, with an assurance that she need not worry.

“If for any reason something happens, please also bear in mind that Mossfon is covered by insurance policies for US$10 Million (per event),” Mr. Owens wrote. “We have never used our insurance policy to cover a ‘fraud,’ or something like this.”

The use of a stand-in to hide the true ownership of an account is one of the remaining illegal ploys favored by Americans today as international banks, under pressure from the United States, demand proof of account ownership, said Jeffrey Neiman, a former federal prosecutor from Miami who specialized in criminal tax offenses, adding that he could not comment directly on this case. “The fact that a law firm was willing to do this legitimizes the process for their clients,” he said.

A Firm’s Inner Doubts

Many of the client files — like those for Mr. Weill, the banker; Mr. Soriano, the ballplayer; and Mr. Akridge, the developer — contain little information on the purpose of the offshore accounts, or how they were used after they were set up, making it impossible, based on the records available, to assess whether they were used legitimately.

But the experts who reviewed some of the documents related to the Ponsoldts, Mr. von der Goltz and Ms. Olszewski said that the firm itself seemed to realize it was taking risks.

“They were not always sure themselves which side of the line they were on at any given moment,” said Ross S. Delston, a former federal banking regulator who now specializes in combating money-laundering efforts. “It is apparent that members of the firm were aware they were treading very close to the line.”

In fact, the files contain instances, beginning before the Panama Papers came to light, of Mossack Fonseca lawyers second-guessing their actions. (In recent weeks, the firm has shut down many of its operations in Nevada, as well as British locations in Jersey and the Isle of Man, and is closing the asset-management division that served many of its United States clients.)

In 2013, Mossack Fonseca advised Ms. Olszewski to seek outside counsel and consider reporting herself to the I.R.S., warning of possible “severe” repercussions if she did not. The warning came in the wake of a Justice Department investigation of the role that certain Swiss banks had played in helping United States citizens evade federal taxes.

Records show that Mossack Fonseca had been paid at least $102,000 over nine years to help Ms. Olszewski handle various transactions.

Ms. Olszewski took the firm’s advice, and belatedly disclosed her accounts to the I.R.S., the documents show. And by 2014, she asked Mossack Fonseca to shut down her accounts and offshore entities, which collectively held at least $1.7 million.

“I’m in complete compliance with all my U.S. tax and reporting requirements,” Ms. Olszewski said in an emailed statement when The Times asked about the accounts.

In a second statement, she said she had relied on the advice of legal counsel to establish a trust for her family while living abroad. “I am confident that I have acted properly,” she added, “and any insinuation otherwise is false.”

Reached by telephone in late May, Mr. Owens, who is no longer with the law firm, said only, “Regretfully, I cannot speak about individual clients or my time at Mossack Fonseca.”

Mossack Fonseca sent a series of similar and increasingly dire warnings to the Ponsoldts in 2013 and 2014, telling them that they had to provide a Swiss bank with documentation that they had paid all required United States taxes — or face possible investigation.

“Neither your ex Trustees nor us would like to be involved into any measure the US Department of Justice might try to enforce,” the firm wrote. “In this regard, again we strongly urge you to take the necessary steps to avoid any negative consequences for you as well as us.”

The records examined by The Times give no indication whether the Ponsoldts complied, and family members would not say when asked.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Christopher Ponsoldt said in a second brief conversation before he again hung up.

On shrinking U.S. corporate tax base, presidential candidates differ sharply

June 6, 2016

by David Morgan


WASHINGTON-The corporate income tax is a major revenue source for the U.S. government, but it has been shrinking for decades and the three main presidential candidates could not differ more dramatically on what to do about it.

Republican Donald Trump and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have starkly contrasting plans, some more detailed than others, for taxing corporations.

The tax paid by companies on their profits accounted for 30 percent of the U.S. federal tax base in the 1950s; last year, it was only 11 percent, Internal Revenue Service data show.

The decline, experts say, has many causes: loopholes that cut corporations’ taxes; a lower corporate tax rate; rising overseas profits that are lightly taxed; and a shift away from incorporation toward partnerships and other business structures that pay no corporate tax.

Despite the dwindling corporate tax base, Trump, the Republicans’ presumptive nominee for the Nov. 8 election, wants to ease the burden on companies by slashing the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent. In this regard, he shares the same view as most Republicans.

Trump, a real estate developer, has described his proposals as revenue neutral, saying reduced tax rates would be paid for by eliminating some tax breaks and repatriating corporate cash held overseas.

However, the Tax Policy Center, a centrist tax research group in Washington, said that under Trump’s plan, corporate income tax revenues would fall $1.9 trillion from 2016 to 2026.

A cut on that scale would hugely expand the federal budget deficit, unless severe budget cuts or alternative tax hikes were also made, the center said.

Steven Rosenthal, a Tax Policy Center senior fellow, said Trump’s plan is a standard business-focused approach, but “the drafting is incomplete, so we can’t tell exactly what he’s thinking.”

A Trump campaign spokeswoman pointed to the proposals on the campaign website but declined to comment further.

Republicans generally support corporate income tax cuts because, they say that would help corporations compete globally. In addition, some question the validity of the tax, which they say is passed on to consumers and investors.

“Taxing businesses is the Democrats’ version of manna from heaven: someone else supposedly is paying for the government. But all citizens are hurt through lower growth, higher prices, lower wages,” said Grover Norquist, a Republican tax activist.

“Taxes should be transparent. It should be clear who is paying them. The corporate income tax is designed to hide the tax burden,” said Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a small-government group that opposes tax increases.


Democrats tend to view the corporate income tax as a fair levy on businesses that benefit from the security, services and infrastructure provided by government. Corporations have been taxed by Washington since 1909.

Clinton, a former secretary of state and the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, has not promised a corporate tax cut.

Like Trump, she has called for closing loopholes that corporations use to avoid taxes. But unlike Trump, her plan would raise corporate tax revenues by $136 billion over 10 years, the Tax Policy Center said.

Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson said the candidate’s proposals “go further to prevent the erosion of the corporate tax base by ensuring corporations pay their fair share.” But the Clinton campaign has yet to release its full plan.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont challenging Clinton for the Democratic nomination, would make more drastic changes and boost the corporate tax take by $1 trillion in the same decade, mostly by raising taxes on overseas profits, according to the Tax Policy Center.

“Virtually all of the revenue raised by Senator Sanders’ corporate tax plan would come from large, multinational corporations that have shifted their profits offshore to avoid taxes,” said Sanders policy adviser Warren Gunnels.


The question of whether businesses pay their fair share of taxes strikes a chord with Americans on the campaign trail. An April Gallup poll found 67 percent of U.S. adults said corporations do not pay enough tax.

Since the mid-1950s, income tax receipts from individuals have held steady at 40-50 percent of federal revenues, while payroll taxes, deducted from the paychecks of wage-earners, have soared to 34 percent last year from 5-10 percent in the 1950s.

Meanwhile, Congress has steadily reduced the corporate tax rate, now 35 percent. That is down from 46 percent in 1986, and 52 percent in 1956. Over that period, corporations have also carved out various loopholes that let them avoid paying the full rate.

The corporate tax applies only to incorporated businesses, while other business structures have been gaining in popularity. In 2003, the share of U.S. business income generated by incorporated companies fell below the share made by partnerships and other kinds of companies that pay no corporate tax.

Whatever candidates may say on the campaign trail, no changes can occur without agreement by Congress. And despite years of talk about the importance of tax reform, neither President Barack Obama nor lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been able to agree on a reform agenda that many say is needed to boost the economy and bring sanity to a tax code of Byzantine complexity.

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Frances Kerry)



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