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Putin Leaked ‘Panama Papers’ as Part of Ingenious Plan to Smear Himself, Blackmail Western Leaders, Says US Think Tank

The Brookings Institution says that Putin is behind 'Panama Papers' leak. Sure, why not?

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

We have to tip our proverbial shapka-ushanka to the Brookings Institution, the only American think tank brave enough to admit that Vladimir Putin is not connected in any way to the financial shenanigans documented in the "Panama Papers":

Despite the headlines, there is no evidence of Putin’s direct involvement—not in any company involved in the leak, much less in criminal activity, theft, tax evasion, or money laundering. There are documents showing that some of his “friends” have moved “up to two billion dollars” through these Panama-based shell companies.

<figcaption>Is Putin behind the Panama Papers leak? No, but let's say "yes"</figcaption>
Is Putin behind the Panama Papers leak? No, but let's say "yes"

Of course, since it's the Brookings Institution, the fact that there is no evidence of Putin's direct involvement in this scandal likely shows that Putin is directly involved in this scandal:

[M]y thinking is that [the Panama Papers leak] could have been a Russian intelligence operation, which orchestrated a high-profile leak and established total credibility by “implicating” (not really implicating) Russia and keeping the source hidden. Some documents would be used for anti-corruption campaigns in a few countries—topple some minor regimes, destroy a few careers and fortunes. By then blackmailing the real targets in the United States and elsewhere (individuals not in the current leak), the Russian puppet masters get “kontrol” and influence

We have to admit that there is whiff of logic to this: If the Panama Papers don't directly implicate Putin in any shady business, and instead have caused massive protests in the UK against David Cameron (just as an example), perhaps Putin is the secret mastermind behind the leak?

The problem with this brilliant theory is that the organization that received the data dump is a "Washington DC based Ford, Soros funded soft-power tax-dodger" which attempted, in every desperate way imaginable, to drag Putin into the scandal.

Seriously guys, you're giving Putin way too much credit.

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