The arsenal of Wikileaks grows quickly; today a disgruntled employee of a major Swiss bank handed off two thousand confidential bank portfolios and account details to Julian Assange, the leader of the controversial whistleblower organization Wikileaks. These files concern politicians, corporate leaders, successful stock traders, and possibly terrorist organizations.
What Information Has Been Released?
Rudolf Elmer, Chief Operating Officer of the Cayman Islands of an unnamed bank, was fired in 2002 because he was outraged by very information he gave Wikileaks. At Elmer’s site swisswhistleblower.com he announced that he had information connecting the Swiss bank to illegal offshore accounts of “high net worth individuals”. These two thousands documents may pave the way for dozens of tax evasion charges across the world of important figures; there are at least forty noteworthy politicians in these files. He has since remained silent on the subject, determined to given the information to Wikileaks so the world could judge the unnamed Swiss bank.
These vague claims have countless potential implications. Most likely these claims concern tax evasion; wealthy internationals may have broken laws of their countries by hoarding their wealth in Switzerland. Some theorists have darker worries; they believe some of these files might concern the bank accounts of drug or terrorist organizations.
One potential organization that might bank in Switzerland is FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. It is known they have massive income from selling drugs like cocaine and heroin illegally to American and European clients. Some of this wealth is used to outfit the guerrilla organization, which is better armed than it’s Columbian counterparts. However, international security organizations have always feared that excess money was banked in Switzerland and is being used to finance their prolonged revolution. There are other terrorist organizations that might also have done the exact same thing. These files might just verify these claims.
How Much Damage will this Information Do?
It will completely shatter the security of the Swiss Banks and cause irrevocable financial damage to Switzerland. Before this event Swiss banking was considered the safest in the world. The country is fiercely neutral, defending the confidentiality of banks in order to remain above international politics. The banks are the greatest resource of Switzerland, they house much of the world’s wealth and valuable objects. Valuables are collected here because Switzerland is considered to be the safest place on Earth, nobody will know the money is there and nobody except the clients are suppose to be able to access any information about it.
The implicit costs of this disaster are immense. Economists are already declaring that these actions have cost the entire Swiss banking system hundreds of millions, if not billions. If the people who work at the banks are actively giving away private information then these wealthy accounts will flee Switzerland, looking for safer locations. If this unnamed bank is supporting drug or terrorist organizations it will be dismantled and Swiss laws will be completely rewritten to deal with future scandales. Not that it will matter; if this unfortunate possibility arises nobody will bank in Switzerland and a way of life will be cut short.
The upside of this disaster is other financial centers will be bolstered by this disaster; the money has to go somewhere. In the mind of Switzerland this disaster verges on the category of war crime, to the rest of the world it is simply some very profitable schadenfreude.
What Does This Mean for Wikileaks?
Wikileaks is gaining a scary amount of power these days, it has emerged as perhaps the strongest shadow organization in the world. They have broken into the heart of the American government and are in the process of posting hundreds of thousands of embassy cables. When the United States government attempt to track down some of the Wikileaks twitter posters, they got a hold of the sealed court order. Now they have gained intelligence of billions of dollars and made fools of some of the toughest banks in the world. They are much more powerful than many countries and continue to thrive on the internet, evading many government attempts to bring the organization down.
I am all for free speech, but not at the expense of international security. So far Julian Assange has not done that, although he has heated international politics and infuriated every powerful government on Earth. Nobody has died because of Wikileaks action, no wars have started because of anything that has been posted on Wikileaks nor have any politicians been ousted. Until an unjust war is declared because of Wikileaks actions I will continue to support the rouge, shadow organization.