By Jerry Alatalo
“Government was intended to suppress injustice, but its effect has been to embody and perpetuate it.”
– WILLIAM GODWIN (1756-1836) English minister, reformer, philosopher
wiss bank whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld praised the work of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange recently at an event in Malta. Like Julian Assange, Mr. Birkenfeld was targeted for persecution after revealing inconvenient truth concerning corruption and imprisoned.
Brad Birkenfeld wrote an extremely revealing book about his extraordinary experiences in the highest levels of global banking, government protection of the white-collar criminal rich and powerful, and all things corrupt in the arena of top-floor finance titled “Lucifer’s Banker”. Men and women interested in reading his book and learning more about the dark side of international banking can visit Mr. Birkenfeld’s website: https://LucifersBanker.com/
The following short presentation in Malta by Brad Birkenfeld in May 2018 is particularly relevant as it relates to the current uncertain situation of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Being a major whistleblower himself, Mr. Birkenfeld has focused his efforts on supporting and protecting fellow truth tellers – including Julian Assange, who he’s worked with personally – through advocacy for strong legislation around the entire world.
Reports suggest Mr. Assange faces an imminent eviction from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has been held a virtual prisoner for more than 6 years. In the eyes of people familiar with the highly controversial situation with huge ramifications for journalism and free speech ideals, the most objectionable, bewildering aspect of Julian Assange’s years-long legal nightmare is the fact he has not been convicted of any crime – whatsoever.
Brad Birkenfeld calls attention to his association with and appreciation of Julian Assange toward the end of his presentation:
“But I’ll just end in one note … Is that when I met with Julian Assange in London – and I think this poor guy is going to be extradited out of the Ecuadorian Embassy soon – he told me a situation with respect to why this was going on with WikiLeaks, and how it paralleled with my whistleblowing – historic whistleblowing – at UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland). And he said ‘Look, some people have a gut instinct to do the right thing. Do you have the gut instinct to do the right thing if you see something wrong – to report something?’ ”
“I was fortunate enough to meet Daphne (investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia) here in Malta before her demise, her murder, and this was a very unfortunate thing for Malta. And we talked for a little bit about this situation, about transparency, and about offshore banking and so forth. And it brought it home to light that I had moved here from the United States and I live here in Malta.”
“And I got to know her very little, but we had this chat before she was murdered. And I think it’s important to understand her demise is so important for all of us, because she was a crusader; she was a fighter. Just as I was a fighter; just as Julian Assange is a fighter; Mr. Snowden’s a fighter.”
“You may not like some of these people; you may have an opinion, and that’s fine. But what their end result was … was better for all of society. And I think that’s the message here: you’re either part of the problem, or you’re part of the solution. Which one is it? (Responds to member of audience) ‘Yeah … there you go. Exactly. Precisely.’ And that’s where whistleblowing is paramount.”
“And I’ll sort of end on the whistleblowing note, because they think it’s … It’s important. I go around and lecture throughout Europe and Asia and America, and what I try to tell people is just think about it logically – if you’re not breaking the law you don’t need whistleblowers. Don’t break the law.”
“So, law enforcement should embrace whistleblowers, not attack them. They’re an extension of law enforcement. They do their job better, whether they’re understaffed, under budget, maybe even part of the problem. There are corrupt police out there in law enforcement. A whistleblower will come in and give you everything. Harry Markopolos – great friend of mine –, he exposed the (Bernie) Madoff fraud. He didn’t get paid anything, but he did the right thing. He yelled and screamed for a decade, until he did something about it.”
“So, the point I’m trying to make here is that whistleblowing … To protect whistleblowers – number one, and to compensate them – number two. And that’s a controversial part here in Europe, but it works. I’m a prime example of why it works. I even started whistleblowing before the program came in play, so it wasn’t about the money. Everyone says ‘Ah, you did it for the money’. Absolutely not. So my point is … Is that Europe needs to pass, and Asia needs to pass, positive whistleblowing laws to protect and compensate whistle blowers.”
“Because they make your life better; your children’s lives better; your grandchildren’s lives better. Or … we’ll just go and we’ll steal and cheat and lie, and we’ll just keep that going. So you have a choice. What society do you want to live in? So that’s why whistleblowing is so paramount.”
“And that’s why I go around lecturing and send the message out. Not just about what I did at UBS and in Switzerland, which was cataclysmic as I said before – but also because it might send a message to each and every one of you, and your children if you have children, that this is so important to go ahead and praise whistleblowing.”
“We’ve seen it time and time again. And as I said: if you’re not breaking the law you won’t need whistleblowers. So, let’s promote the whistleblowing angle, and let’s move forward to help everyone in that regard.”
“Thank you very much.”
(Thank you to d10e at YouTube)