"Follow the Money"
Michalis Ignatiou, offering a different perspective to the so-called "revelations" printed by O Fileleftheros, alleging that bribes had been paid during the period leading to the 2004 referendum, wrote on 12 August that a certain unscrupulous gentleman "had put his little finger in the USAID-UNOPS honey pot." Despite the fact that Ignatiou wrote of a "small gift" and a "little finger," the conspiracy that O Fileleftheros' reputable correspondent denounces is of awesome dimensions, as he continues to explain in his report. "The said gentleman reportedly received not only a 'small gift' from USAID via UNOPS but also the organisation that was set up for this purpose was paid an additional sum of money directly from Washington. When the dollars ran out, reinforcements arrived from Germany."
Pay attention to the wording: Through "the organisation that was set up" this cunning gentleman skimmed USAID, took additional money from Washington and, after having dried up all US propaganda budgets, Germany was also called in to contribute!
This is an extremely grave case and O Fileleftheros has a national duty to reveal the name of this gentleman. Access should be demanded to his bank accounts, his assets should be made public and the names of his associates revealed. After all, there can be no doubt that such an enormous conspiracy cannot be the work of just a single gentleman, however "unscrupulous" he might be!
For several years now Ignatiou has been trying to prove, in retrospect, what, with absolute certainty and confidence, he was consistently reporting as a fact during the first period of the "Ambient Atmosphere."
He first announced that he had a "gold mine" of documents" with shocking revelations, names, invoices and sums of money and, moreover, that he would soon publish a book about his discoveries. As he wrote in O Fileleftheros on 6 February 2006, "I have to confess that I have been depressed by my findings to date . . ."
Shortly afterwards, on 17 February 2006, he declared his willingness to hand over the documents to the Cypriot parliament "if an all-party committee undertakes the investigation of this issue." EVROKO deputy Nikos Koutsou believed him and it was discussed by the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, but Ignatiou never showed up! The committee began its deliberations in October 2006 but, after having irreparably compromised its credibility, both inside and outside Cyprus, it indefinitely postponed any further discussion.
Ignatiou's next step was yet another announcement, on 25 February 2007, this time through Politis, giving us the latest news about his book in which he said: "Last Tuesday, 20 February, I delivered the manuscript to the publishing house." However, out of the blue, a legal problem arose with regard to the book's first chapter. "Therefore, its publication was postponed until the publishing house's lawyers examine the contents of the first chapter." Over 18 months have gone by and we have heard no further news on the fate of the book. It appears that Ignatiou forgot to ask for its return from the lawyers.
We have now happily reached the present and, right in the middle of the silly season, Ignatiou resolutely declared that he was, at long last, ready to publish the evidence. O Fileleftheros invested all its prestige to give credibility to the "Ambient Atmosphere - Part B", but there was nothing at the end of the rainbow. Even the newspaper's editor, Aristos Michaelides, failed to realise how comical this story was and hastened to announce even more revelations. "Wait for yet more (revelations) tomorrow!" he wrote on 9 August 2008. But the only thing we saw was a telegram sent by the US Ambassador to Cyprus saying that US interests are served by a solution of the Cyprus problem!
After O Fileleftheros completed its series of major "revelations" uncovered from a search in the US national archives (according to American legislation any person can ask for US government documents) Ignatiou wrote that the evidence he discovered was "anaemic." In another report printed by O Fileleftheros on 11 August 2008 he wrote: "The truth is that they (the Americans) took a step forward by giving some ANAEMIC documents with regard to the 'financial assistance' of Cypriot organisations." He went on to congratulate the Americans for their . . . anaemic documents and called on them to provide "the names of those who signed the contracts." In the meantime, however, in all his writings he skilfully suggests that he has all the evidence but is not allowed to publish it because . . . this is not allowed by US legislation! Nonetheless, he repeats that he has the right to invoke them because "any reference to these telegrams does not in any way mean that the provisions of the relevant laws have been violated." (O Fileleftheros 4 August 2008).
Through this alchemy (I have the documents, I am able to invoke them, but not to publish them) he claims that he has a list with the names of all those who were bribed but, as a law-abiding US citizen, he cannot show them to us!
Ignatiou also feels compelled to tell us that, having studied the "new list" (he has it but cannot publish it) "I saw that several organisations do not appear . . ." Moreover, he reveals that for the promotion of the Annan Plan "according to a rough calculation, the amount exceeds 1.7 million (dollars)!"
All the above were printed in O Fileleftheros's edition of 11 August 2008. Just a day later, Ignatiou made public his grand "revelation" about the "gentleman" who received big money from all quarters. His success, however, is not based on the documents in his possession that the Americans do not . . . allow him to make public but on another, more radical, type of research methodology. As he writes in O Fileleftheros of 12 August 2008:
"For some time I was being advised but never paid any attention. They urged me: 'Follow the money' [. . .]. During the past few days I started from the beginning and simply followed the money."
Thus, "during the past few days," after having tried the books, the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, the American legislation for free access to information, after having sworn for years that he had a gold mine of documents, saw lists with names, studied contracts and calculated the amounts spent, he abandoned everything and tried a more conventional method (like Karadzic's medicine) by "following the money." Just like a hound that follows the scent.
And behold the magic result! Within a few days ("the past few days") he achieved what he was unable to do during four years of more conventional methods of research. By following the scent ("follow the money") he ferreted out the "unscrupulous gentleman" that swept clean all the funds and "bankrupted" the