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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The color of transparency...

“And while some people have to be public, what we really encourage is for other people to not be martyrs but to give us material. Keep your job, sit down and relax, let us do the work. We’ll protect you as best we can and we have never lost anyone so far.” ~ Julian Assange ~

Today’s post title is an oxymoron at best but it actually fits like a proverbial glove.

On Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 Rudolph Elmer, former executive-turned- whistle-blower from the Julius Baer Group, a private Swiss banking concern in the Cayman Islands, turned over two discs at a London press conference to WickiLeaks founder/editor Julian Assange, which allegedly contains information on 2,000 multinational banking clients who have been squirreling away funds from 1990 to 2009 in a possible effort to evade taxation in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.

The dishy data, pilfered from private Baer files was provided by other insider whistle-blowers that passed the information to Elmer.

Scheduled to go on trial Wednesday, Jan. 19 in Switzerland, for previously breaching banking secrecy to WickiLeaks, which got him sacked from Baer in 2002, Elmer obviously believed at this juncture he had nothing to loose.

The discs are said to contain sensitive information on corporations, politicians, business people, artists and a few banks – one in particular, Elmer’s former employer. (Talk about ‘don’t get mad, get even.’)

Assange, who himself is out on bail and fighting extradition from Britain to Sweden for questioning over alleged crimes of a sexual nature, was quoted saying, "He (Elmer) is clearly a bona fide whistle-blower... We have some kind of duty to support him in that matter."

Elmer, who was privy to the mysterious world of off-shore banking for eight years, was also quoted by the press saying, "I know how the system works... It's damaging... (I want) to educate our society."

Whether you agree or disagree with the dissemination of private files to WickiLeaks, one thing for certain is the information is vetted before release.

In the meantime, we’ll all have to wait till the bugs hit the fan, but in case you just can’t get enough good gossip and conspiracy, your invited to visit this visual effort at transparency at the Julian Assange (online) Coloring Book; a place where you’ll be able to make your own colorful statement and even print it out.

As Jack Paar, one of the very first hosts of the Tonight Show would say, “I kid you not.” (Click the picture link below to take a look.)

The Julian Assange Coloring Book


TallTchr said...

Do you think Elmer's whistle blowing had any bearing on Switzerland's immediate decision to freeze the assets of Tunisia's ex-dictator, Ben Ali, and forty of his associates? It seems to me Swiss banks usually drag their feet in such matters, but not this time. Hmmm.

Paula Slade said...

TallTchr - Excellent observation and time will tell.

Arlee Bird said...

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this whole scandal. At first I felt a sense of outrage about the Wikileaks thing, but now I'm starting to thing exposing some of this information might be a good thing. There is too much underhandedness and secrecy going on amongst the monied and powerful. Maybe it's good to make them squirm and put the spotlight on their devious affairs.

Tossing It Out

Paula Slade said...

Arlee Bird - Initially I was feeling ambivalence too, but now am looking forward to more transparency provided that proper vetting continues.