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Ear to the Ground

WikiLeaks Banker Fined by Swiss Court

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Posted on Jan 19, 2011
Truthdig / Peter Scheer

A judge in picturesque Zurich, a city better known for its secretive banks than glacial lake, fined Rudolf Elmer for spilling the beans.

A Swiss judge fined the former banker who gave confidential files to WikiLeaks roughly $6,250, but spared the whistle-blower a prison sentence. Rudolf Elmer was found guilty of violating Switzerland’s confidential banking laws, which have protected such people as tax-dodging Americans and the Nazis.

BBC:

Judge Sebastian Aeppli fined Rudolf Elmer, 55, more than 6,000 Swiss francs ($6,250; £4,000).

But he rejected prosecution demands to give Elmer an eight-month prison sentence.

Elmer also said that he had handed confidential Julius Baer banking files to tax authorities, and later the Wikileaks website run by Julian Assange, because he had wanted to expose tax evasion by businessmen and politicians.

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By diamond, January 31, 2011 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment

Chapeau, fearnotruth? You’ve lost what was left of the plot.

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By fearnotruth, January 26, 2011 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

O Bishi-san, poor thing… still confused; ‘pushing’ nothing,  but seems we must be
‘shoving’ off - the endless stream of painfully faux-rhetorical devises, for which
any old-school debating coach would swiftly award the ‘cone’ chapeau, and up
with which, through the course of this torture, we’ve had to put, would, in and of
itself, be bad enough…  start tossing off groaner puns and I’m outta here tout
de suite!
Again, condolences to you, and as well to those around who must
endure.

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By diamond, January 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

“O Bishi-san, regrettably the depth of reason required to approach the conundrum
of the ‘koan’ alludes… thus the habitual retreat to name-calling; how pathetically
shallow, that agreement on every last point taken be required to avert such savage
vitriol… condolences.”

Instead of meditating and talking about ‘koans’ - cones would be more your speed - you should face reality: Wikileaks is not a CIA front but it’s more than likely the site you’re pushing so assiduously, is.

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By fearnotruth, January 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

O Bishi-san, regrettably the depth of reason required to approach the conundrum
of the ‘koan’ alludes… thus the habitual retreat to name-calling; how pathetically
shallow, that agreement on every last point taken be required to avert such savage
vitriol… condolences

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By diamond, January 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

“rather, I am poised at
cliff’s edge; not convinced to take the ‘Wikilemming Leap’ - essentially asking
questions, looking for online analysis and pointing to what looks pertinent.”

Bullshit Fearnotruth, you are running a fear and smear campaign based on the say so of a man who says ‘I lie all the time, I’m lying to you now.’ You’re either a fool or a tool and appear to have the same contempt for the truth and fact and the same addiction to spin that your guru demonstrates.

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By fearnotruth, January 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

RE: ...fearno also relies on the iconoclastic founder of Cryptome, john
young, to buttress his case against assange…

as for a ‘case’ per se and to be clear, I am making no ‘case against assange…”
(in particular, as in accusations of trying to ‘damage’ WL - accusations leveled in
these blog threads through outlandish ‘straw man’ diatribes in which virtually
all ‘statements’ attributed to me I have never made) - rather, I am poised at
cliff’s edge; not convinced to take the ‘Wikilemming Leap’ - essentially asking
questions, looking for online analysis and pointing to what looks pertinent: e.g.
http://tarpley.net/ - a keen analyst, but I don’t agree with his every point, nor
anyone else’s for that matter - always willing to ‘agree to disagree’ - but, with
civility and courtesy, for which you are thanked, Drool-san

as for the NY Observer interview, a bit more context is helpful:

http://www.observer.com/2010/media/original-wikileaker

In late 2006, Mr. Young was invited to join WikiLeaks before its launch—he
was on the same Cypherpunks mailing list as Julian Assange in the mid-1990s.
He grew irritated, especially after WikiLeaks announced a $5 million fund-
raising goal. On Jan. 7, 2007, Mr. Young emailed the restricted internal
WikiLeaks mailing list: “Fuck your cute hustle and disinformation campaign
against legitimate dissent. Same old shit, working for the enemy.” Of course,
the entire chain of emails was published on Cryptome.

His current view on WikiLeaks is complicated. “I’m a member of WikiLeaks. I’m
an insider of WikiLeaks. I’m a devotee of WikiLeaks. I’m a critic of WikiLeaks,” he
said. “My current shtick is to pretend that I am an opponent of WikiLeaks. It’s
called friendly opposition. Praising each other is so insipid. Your parents praise
you. Your friends never do. They know it’s a con job, so praise is manipulation.
Criticism is more candid. [Assange] hasn’t returned the favor.”

What’s striking about John Young, is his brutal honesty, e.g. from the same
interview: “Human activity is built on tricking and being tricked,”
[...] “Those who don’t hoodwink are evil people up to no good. I
certainly expect to be hoodwinked. I’ll do it, too. I’ll do it in this
conversation.”

The real clencher…reads like a Zen koan: I lie all the time. I’m lying to you
right now.

As for Cryptome’s full disclosure - http://cryptome.org/other-stuff.htm

A asks: What is Cryptome’s privacy policy, is user data collected?
Answer: No user data is collected by Cryptome. Logs are deleted several times a
day. But read on.

This is not to promise there is nobody else doing the collecting. We periodically
warn that covert snooping by ISPs, by network system operators, by spies public
and private, by the host of predators of the vast Web, is rampant.

Log retention is endemic, on grounds it needed for system administration. Hah,
just like the feds and the corps claim that is why they need to watch citizens
and employees.

As you know there are many, many ways to snoop on traffic, so much that
Cryptome asserts there is no trustworthy privacy policy, not for Cryptome, not
for anybody else.

To be sure, if privacy policy means just enough privacy to keep users coming
into the spider’s web, then okay, that is the policy used by government’s to
assure the citizenry it acts in the public interest. As employers act in the
interest of their employees, as corporations act in the interest of their
stockholders, as religious and educational institutions and professionals act in
the interest of their dutiful fee-payers.

Those who promise the most protection are out to skin you alive, those who
promise the most privacy are selling your most private possessions.

Cryptome is not trustworthy, and lies. It’s a free site, what else could it be but
up to no good?

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By Amon Drool, January 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

there’s a whole bunch of people who would normally be sympathetic to assange’s enterprise, but who are now attacking him due to his dismissal of the 9/11 truthers last july.  tarpley and fearnotruth seem to be in this category.  i haven’t taken a hard look at 9/11, but i can understand how the truthers would be offended by assange’s too easy dismissal.  they in turn are now dismissing assange as a cia patsy.  to me, this effot on their part seems like a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

fearno also relies on the iconoclastic founder of Cryptome, john young, to buttress his case against assange.  here’s a Young quote from 12/7/10: “I’m a member of WikiLeaks. I’m an insider of WikiLeaks. I’m a devotee of WikiLeaks. My current shtick is to pretend that I am an opponent of WikiLeaks. It’s called friendly opposition.” (for an amusing read, google ‘The Original WikiLeaker’  New York Observer)

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By fearnotruth, January 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

thanks again to any who engage with courtesy and civility

RE: ...give the information more credibility…(!?!?!)
___________________________________________

“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the
major media.” - William Colby - Director of the CIA (1973-76)

as for Cryptome.org
decide for yourself if John Young is a phony, kook, asset, wack-o conspiracy
theorist - whatever, he’s heard it all and mentions it, as has Noam Chomsky

RT interview: http://tinyurl.com/4mxvy9dwp

AJ 3-part interview:

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU5lDiZRBnM
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zs-49UfJbQ&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0OlaR_JiK8&feature=related

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By gerard, January 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Diamond.

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By diamond, January 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, don’t try to reason with FNT: he is either incapable of seeing what’s staring him in the face, namely that the CIA would never countenance the release of information it wants protected from the public gaze and the Pentagon would never want the public to see how they’ve conducted their invasion and occupation of Iraq, as in the ‘collateral murder’ video, OR he has a hidden agenda. I think he’s running a disinformation campaign for the CIA, himself.

And, of course, he knows perfectly well why Assange partnered with the New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde and Der Spiegel: so that he could give the information more credibility and spread it more widely and also because when he asked the State Department for assistance in redacting names and information which could lead to people in Afghanistan, for example, being killed, the State Department refused to have anything to do with it. The task of redacting such a mountain of sensitive information was better able to be handled by the newspapers who are used to dealing with such things. Daniel Ellsberg also went to the New York Times when he wanted to put the information in the Pentagon Papers out there. There is undoubtedly an element of protection in being associated with established news organizations too because it takes away the idea (heavily promoted by the military/intelligence club) of Wikileaks being an illegal organization involved in irresponsible activities.

Fearnotruth can’t have it both ways: either he wants people protected and information that could get them killed redacted or he doesn’t. This other site he’s pushing is highly dubious and I wouldn’t trust anything on it. It’s much more likely to be an intelligence front than Wikileaks is, given FNT’s fanatical attachment to it and his strange, tin earred determination to trash Wikileaks’ reputation.

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By Roger Lafontaine, January 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every year we get an official list of the most corrupt nations. I always wonder how come Switzerland is never on it. Every dictator, swindler, tax dodger, gangster in the world has a secret Swiss bank account. It’s as if Switzerland drives the getaway car for every bank robber in the world and yet nobody ever demands that it be brought to Justice.

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By fearnotruth, January 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Oh, please! - thanks again for being polite, too many on TD are not -

of course, hope springs eternal within the ‘progressives’ community - and why
shouldn’t it? - but unfortunately, almost every new ‘savior’ to come along is ‘too
good to be true’...

there’s too much not quite right with this whole Wikileaks thing, especially the
deep involvement with the MSM - one simple question: why allow the MSM to
edit the releases (e.g. New York Times, major shill for the ME wars)? As
previously noted, Cryptome.org has been doing this for 14 years without once
going to the MSM.

Moreover, when Cryptome gets a takedown notice they publish it. In fact they
publish virtually every effort to coerce them, simply to put it all in the
public record - John Young even published emails from within the WL
organization, after he became disaffected with its proposed course of
development

e.g. http://cryptome.org/wikileaks/wikileaks-leak.htm

7 January 2007

A writes:
Just read the majority of the mailing list conversation and did not understand
your, what I thought, sudden shift in direction. I imagine something that did not
make its way onto the mailing list conversation prompted you to pull your
support and then publish the emails? If so, can you fill us in?

Cryptome:
All the messages received were published. My objections had been building,
shown in later messages, after initial support. The finally fed-up turnaround
occurred with the publication today of the $5 million dollar by July fund-raising
goal—see messages at the tail-end. I called that—along with a delay in
offering a public discussion and critique forum and failure to provide a credible
batch of leaked documents for public scrutiny—a surefire indication of a scam.
This is the exact technique used by snake oilers, pols and spies. Requests to
Cryptome to keep stuff quiet are regular fare and they always get published.
Next up, the names and affiliations of the perps if they don’t reveal themselves
in an open forum.

________________________

finally, most ‘progressives’ don’t like Webster G. Tarpley, simply because of his
relentless pressure to look beyond rosy naivete - e.g. since 2008, their duping by
the ‘Obama Salvation’ - and more recently, Wikileaks: http://tarpley.net/

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By gerard, January 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

fearnotruth:  Speaking of “deflective disinformarion”—Oh, please!

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By fearnotruth, January 21, 2011 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

...waiting for the next LeCarre thriller…

of course you know what ‘deflective source disinformation’ is http://tinyurl.com/6h3voa5 - it is real and very conspiratorial

as for the Chinese Dissidents - look on WL’s so-call ‘board of directors’ - many claim their names were simply ‘used’ - http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?aid=22437&context=va

that page also includes an interesting citation of an exchange with an NASA programer - about the time Assange was busted for hacking the Canadian telecommunications company Northern Telecom and NASA, resulting in only a $2k fine & no jail time says something

as for John le Carré, actually his novels don’t fit the ‘thriller’ genre (e.g. Bourne series;  Bond series, which the author hated), and you know, David John Moore Cornwell was really an agent for both MI5 & MI6 - to be sure, the novels are full of conspiracies - check this interview with John Young - stay ‘till the end - about 12 min. - hear what he has to say about ‘conspiracies’ and ‘leaks’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMRUiB_8tTc

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By gerard, January 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

fearnotruth: Sorry, I just can’t go for it.  Checked out the Dissident Voice article.  Too many “tidbits.”
Allegations.  Alleged “Anarchists”.  Tibet - “pretext for encroachment on Chinese sovereignty”. “Geoge Soros” (the grand bugaboo.)  “Most likely a ...”. accusations of CIA connections.” “founded by a group of activists”
“might well be ...”  “Probably…” “It’s impossible to say for sure” ...guilt by association ... “US Intelligence and Homeland Security” “may have seen the hand of Israeli Intelligence and security” ... “Chinese dissidents” ... ‘I have guessed that ...”

I’m waiting for the next LeCarre thriller to come out.

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By fearnotruth, January 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

RE: One by one

your measured consideration is appreciated - for more depth, do read the article - many
of your positions are well-countered therein

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/12/front-for-intelligence-the-case-against-wikileaks-part-iii/

a quick point:

Assange took the first steps to put access into action and released the material -
actually, not at all the ‘first steps’ - John Young has been doing this for over 14 years -
http://cryptome.org/ - his strongest position toward his former collaborators is found here

http://cryptome.org/0003/wikileaks-coward.htm

3 December 2010
Wikileaks Redactions Are Cowardly
Wikileaks should stop the redactions of names in the diplomatic cables and war files and
release untampered documents.

MSM collusion is very risky territory

2 things to never forget:

1. “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.” - James Jesus Angelton -
Director of CIA Counter Intelligence (1954-74)

2. “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major
media.” - William Colby - Director of the CIA (1973-76)

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By gerard, January 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

P.S. Forgot to mention one thing you forgot to mention:

The corporate-dominated government (US and others) and media (US and others) brought this document release on themselves because increasingly through the last decade they have both routinely kept key important information from broad public knowledge, and functioned largely in secret without input from the public.  In fact, they don’t even care to have input from the public. Result:  It has become next to impossible for ordinary people to have any meaningful say in their government whatsoever, unless what is said agrees with policies government/media pre-approves.
  If they had been open to democratic input and listened to public opinion, there would have been no urgent need for the Leaks. They had their chance and they missed it.  Now they have a second chance: Instead of going ballistic and plotting to “punish” Assange and Manning (and whomever else they can implicate, and control the Internet by destroying freedom of speech) they should smarten up, recognize this as a great opportunity, and use the Internet to distribute accurate and timely, unbiased public information as a matter of duty and opportunity.
Otherwise democracy is a dead duck. Are they smart enough to recognize the opportunity?

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By gerard, January 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

FearNoTruth: One by one, then:
  1.” the fact that its leaks seem to leave larger Zionist imperial goals untouched..” (A credible case can be made that Zionist imperial goals are promoted pretty much in secrecy the same as all other imperial goals, thus including them in by inference, sos to speak.
  2. ” its antagonistic stance to 9-11 truth; (
a credible case can be made that as yet there is no such thing as “9/11 truth”. Besides, Assange spoke only briefly to this issue, so far as I know. It was a matter considered subsidiary to other matters, apparently.” My impression is that Assange is anti-conspiracy, no matter where it comes from, and knows that only accurate information can quell conspiracies. This is key.
  3. ” its frantic validation and promotion by major media” Obviously these media outlets not only whe chosen to share but willingly agreed to share, because the information exposed is crucial to democratic governance, and because they have handled this kind of leaked information whenever they could get it previously.(“Informed sources,say…” and “..asked not to be identified” etc.)
  4. “the falsity of many of its claims of confidentiality for leakers”.  Apparently the vast majority of leakers with which Wikileaks is “overwhelmed” are not complaining about the releases.
  5. “the implausibility of its achievements absent intelligence or government connections” Actually, the leaking was not “implausible” at all.  Thousands of people with investigative computer skills have access to all such material. That’s precisely the point.  Assange took the first steps to put access into action and released the material because he thinks it is a way for democracies to continue as governments.  He never says that nothing should be kept secret; but that everything—day in day out, year in year out, in spite of damage to millions of ignorant people—should not be kept from them to the point where they are virtually helpless. With broadly open information, maybe.  Without broadly open information, probably not.
  6. ” the contradictions between its public advocacy of transparency and its own secrecy” Apparently the standards were to reveal matters that, if allowed to remain beyond public knowledge would causee the wars to go on forever because people did not have enough knowledge to stop them. The ball is now in the people’s court.
  7. ” the authoritarian tendencies in the
writing and personality of its co-founder, Julian Assange” This is purely your personal opinion. Release of the cables was done in order to give millions of people knowledge they need to overcome the authoritarian tendencies of their highly militarized government, as Assange has stated again and again.
  8. tendencies that contradict the anarchist persona presented for public consumption” “Anarchist persona” is purely your term.  “Non-conformist” might be more accurate, actually. “Anarchist” scares ignorant people more, though God knows they are afraid of “non-conformists” also—and most of them can’t define either type accurately, so their opinions are worth little except for propaganda purposes.

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By fearnotruth, January 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Anyone see a pattern here? Lila Rajiva does
note: complaints about this article can be posted at
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/12/front-for-intelligence-the-case-against-wikileaks-part-iii/

Front for Intelligence: The Case Against Wikileaks (PART III)
by Lila Rajiva / December 27th, 2010

In my previous articles I pointed out the most obvious problems I have with
WikiLeaks — the fact that its leaks seem to leave larger Zionist imperial goals
untouched; its antagonistic stance to 9-11 truth; it frantic validation and
promotion by major media; the falsity of many of its claims of confidentiality for
leakers; the implausibility of its achievements absent intelligence or
government connections; the contradictions between its public advocacy of
transparency and its own secrecy; and the authoritarian tendencies in the
writing and personality of its co-founder, Julian Assange, tendencies that
contradict the anarchist persona presented for public consumption.

In brief, to the question what is WikiLeaks? [...]

full article here
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/12/front-for-intelligence-the-case-against-wikileaks-part-iii/

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By Maani, January 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Elmer has now been arrested.  So…

Assange is accused, then exonerated, then accused again when new cables appear.  And the U.S. is seeking to prosecute him.  Manning is in a brig, possibly being tortured.  And now Elmer in jail.

Anyone see a pattern here?

Yikes.

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By gerard, January 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Sorry I seem to have started a trend here, criticizing Truthdig for the “Wikileaks
Banker” headline.  All I was trying to do was to correct a careless non-factual headline.  The bank was, in fact, Swiss.  The materials given Assange, as I understand it, are regarding Cayman Island accounts.
PS— I have no criticism of the phrase “tax-dodging Americans and the Nazis.” For all I know there may still be some “tax-dodging Nazis lying around on the beaches. Nazis seem to live forever.
PS—The important thing to notice is that nobody in Switzerland has called for Elmer’s assassinationg.
PS—Forget I ever raised the issue!

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By fearnotruth, January 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

RE: ...Switzerland’s confidential banking laws, which have protected such
people as tax-dodging Americans and the Nazis.

I too, often take exception with Truthdig articles. If the statement above is seen
as intentionally distracting because of the inclusion of Nazis next to ‘tax-
dodging Americans’, perhaps replacing the later with simply ‘tax dodgers’
would be more accurate and better serve. As for Nazis, collaborating with them
is certainly pertinent to the controversy around ‘Switzerland’s confidential
banking laws’ - the word is hot-linked to this story:
http://tinyurl.com/4khobe6

would be encouraging to see this ‘leak’ published online without going through
the MSM heavies (NYT, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, et al - widely understood to
be disinformation organs) - that process is serving to severely impugn WL’s
integrity

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By dbtodd, January 20, 2011 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

I will add a criticism of “protected such people as tax-dodging Americans and the Nazis.” A very distasteful juxtaposition by Truthdig.

I hope the editors of TruthDig note the first comments on this story are about the blurb introducing it and not the story. There is way too much heavily slanted, naked commentary in the writing that it distracts from the goal - selecting articles to uncover truth (i.e. separate the wheat from the chaff).

“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.” Friedrich Nietzsche

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By MarthaA, January 20, 2011 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

gerard, January 20 at 1:46 am,

“A former Swiss banker who said he gave Wikileaks details of rich tax evaders has been found guilty of breaching Switzerland’s strict bank secrecy laws.”

“Wikileaks given data on Swiss bank accounts”

“A former Swiss banker has passed on data containing account details of 2,000 prominent people to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.”

True, a correction is needed, as there is no information in the linked BBC articles saying the Swiss bank is/was a Wikileaks bank.

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By pratap balani, January 20, 2011 at 1:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

all honour to mr assange for exposures of a/c holders
of swiss bank who have deceived their own country and
people.they should be rigerously treated by the
respective govt. and their bank amount should be
confiscated.

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By gerard, January 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Truthdig, what’s with that headline “Wikileaks Banker .....”?  How or since when is Mr. Elmer a “WikiLeaks banker?”  Correction requested.

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