A few days back the OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) unleashed yet another massive barrage of righteous journalism… towards the wrong target. This type of so-called journalism is yet another example of how most people have been so thoroughly brainwashed that they are no longer able to think straight and through issues.
Who and what is the OCCRP? This organization is a loose alliance of journalists, investigative centers (more journalists) and news agencies or papers. Although the OCCRP claims to be "non-profit", it also contains "for profit independent media". A partial list of OCCRP members can be found in their website under "About Us" but who else is a member, we don't know.
The stated goal of the OCCRP is to "help the people of the region better understand how organized crime and corruption affect their lives". This is quite funny since the biggest "organized crime" organizations in the world are governments… although the OCCRP does not look into them. Apparently and according to the OCCRP governments can do no harm if they are part of what they call the "civil society". As such, their job is to differentiate "uncivil" from "civil" society as stated in their 2013 Annual Report.
This Report is actually quite short on specifics as to who exactly is providing money to fund the OCCRP operation besides USAID, UNDEF and the Open Society Foundations. Apparently a full and detailed financial report is not available (so much for transparency) but there are three intriguing items in the 2013 Annual Report:
Grants and contributions
Consulting and other revenue
Net assets released from donor restrictions
If you want to understand the true goals of an organization, you must look closely at its funding. None of these items are clear as to where did they come from and what kind of conditions came with. One and half million dollars is a considerable amount of money for any average person.
What we do know are the stated goals of the three identified donors:
USAID: "We partner to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity" By "our" they mean the USA's "security and prosperity". This is their current goal. Their previous stated goal was "The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) an independent agency that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States". But this was changed. We guess it was too explicit…
Open Society Foundations: "The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check".
UNDEF: "The overall purpose of UNDEF [The United Nations Democracy Fund] is to support democratization around the world by funding projects that strengthen the voice of civil societies, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all in democratic processes."
This means that the first one is simply advancing USA's goals; the second one is a group of deluded people who believe they can change the nature of people (politicians) and the third one is providing reinforcements to ensure jobs for politicians. It would seem that these three groups are the main funding sources for OCCRP (two of them being government-based… what a surprise). OK. Now we know. Now you know. The angle from which these would-be independent journalists view the world is quite clear now. They cannot fathom anything that is not within the domain of their idealized and romantic view of socialism that they call "democracy".
If you travel to OCCRP website you will find a list of projects. These are the summaries and our comments.
A Murderer's Trail
This is the story of a hit man, assassinations and his relation with dubious enterprises and a suspicious bank. The core of this story is actually valid since it deals with murders, which is something we do not condone under any circumstance.
This is a story of tax money stolen and laundered from the Russian government and the death of the lawyer who denounced the process. The story emphasized the lack of punishment (or even serious investigation) and the laundering process. However, it miserably fails to point out that the stolen money was actually a Tax Refund. Now, tax refunds are only possible if taxes exist. Consequently this crime was enabled and only possible by the existence of the Russian state. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
First Bank First Family
This is the story of the First Bank of Montenegro and its dubious dealings, alleged law breaking, corruption, bailouts, loans and other transactions which this bank was supposed to have been able to perform since it was controlled by the Prime Minister's family. The story focuses on the misdeeds of the bank instead of the source of its apparent invulnerability: closeness to government. All the misdeeds were only possible due to the existence of the Montenegran government to begin with. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
Drug Cartel's Mystery Man
Drug smuggling / money laundering operation. As you may know, as Libertarians we advocate freedom above all. It is simply idiotic to persecute providers of mind-altering substances not to say a blatant curtailment of personal freedom. Furthermore, should drugs providers not be persecuted, drug prices would be so cheap that none of currently illegal drug operations would be financially viable. In other words, these drug operations are only viable because of the governmental prohibition. It is the government that creates these problems in the first place. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
The Proxy Platform
Money laundering. Some of this money went to corrupt politicians… which would not have had a reason to cash-in should governments would not exist. But, since this article is centered on money laundering, we will refer you to our stated our opinion in this regard in the article The Smell Of Freshly Laundered Money. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
Big Trouble at Big Tobacco
Cigarette smuggling operation. As cigarettes are a type of drug, our previous point of view dealing with drugs applies. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
Man in the Middle
Corrupt privatizations. Tale of state-owned companies which were sold to people who allegedly dismantled them and used them to launder money. The tiny problem is that if the communist government would not have existed, there would not have been state-owned companies to begin with. Everything begins with the governments. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
The Miskovic Millions
Serbia's billionaire. The business practices of this person are being questioned. Apparently he "has combined political connections and aggressive business practices to get richer". He is suspect of being suspect. His business practices are not "transparent". So what? All this person is accused of is breaking regulations. But the problem is that regulations negate what you may or may not do with your money. Why is that a government, any government has the right to dispose of your money as they see fit? Well, they don't. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
Offshore Crime, Inc.
Money laundering. Again, see the article The Smell Of Freshly Laundered Money. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
People of Interest
List of people that OCCRP believe that they are doing something that they are not supposed to be doing but the OCCRP can't prove it (unless otherwise noted). More suspects of being suspects. And what are these suspects being suspected of? Mostly drugs, money laundering and tax evasion… which, as we have noted before, are simply by products of government curtailing of your freedoms. The source of their economic powers are simply artificial prohibitions and organized theft by governments. Yet, somehow, the OCCRP missed this critical point.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.