The unwarranted targeting of President Putin by the western mainstream media, using Panama-leaks as an excuse this time, is backfiring in a big way. A year of research by what they call an entire consortium of investigative journalists and all they found against their prime target in those terabytes of data, were files involving two of his friends and the wife of the Kremlin spokesman from a time when she was not the wife of the Kremlin spokesman. Should that be enough to label the Russian President corrupt?

As in similar tales of Putin’s crimes and corruption spread, with a relish in recent years by the bibles of western propaganda, and lapped up by our national media without scrutiny, nothing other than ill-informed and malicious conjecture links him to the transactions of his rich friends. The stories implicating him don’t tell us anything about how he benefited from the financial dealings of those named. Yet these transactions are bandied about as proof of his corruption.

Read beyond the headlines screaming of Putin’s hidden billions, and the stories tell us nothing about them. Scratch the surface of these mountainous accusations of corruption against him, and you won’t find a fact that could pass off as a molehill. Once you take into account the individuals and organizations spearheading the campaign to discredit President Putin, their past records and money-trails, you’d find it hard not to smell a big dead rat.

For the record, Kremlin had warned about a disinformation campaign to be unleashed against President Putin before the Panama-leaks surfaced. After all, that’s what the empire resorts to in case of problematic leaders that it cannot corrupt, dislodge or kill. After all, the popularly elected Hugo Chavez who was loved by the people of Venezuela for his anti-imperialist and pro-people policies was referred to as a freedom-hating dictator by the lot that is now maligning President Putin.

The western propaganda machine would like us to judge President Putin by what his friends and acquaintances do with their money. What about everything else, regarding President Putin? Does he have the lifestyle of a billionaire? Even third world leaders like ours have more to show for their corruption. More importantly, can a corrupt leader even dream about having the qualities of leadership that President Putin has?

Who could deny what Putin’s leadership has done for Russia and the Russian people? He has a lot to show for his sixteen years in power, as president and prime minister. When he took over, Russia was crumbling under the weight of IMF in every way imaginable. Brick by brick, he’s built every facet of the Russian state in the interest of its people. How else do we explain the resurgence of Russia as a mighty world power? How else does one explain the exceptionally high popularity of President Putin among Russian citizens?

In the eyes of those who run the empire, this is a crime. They bay for the blood of any leader who dares to work in the interest of his nation. In Putin’s case, he has gone a step further and established Russia’s writ in world affairs, much to the chagrin of the unilateralist empire used to having its way since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Together with China, his leadership is pushing the globe to a multi-polar order.

In Ukraine and Syria, he has defeated the empire on the battlefield and in diplomacy. He has challenged the entire paradigm of imperialism; from illegal military interventions to covert regime change operations, from illegal economic sanctions to the fraudulent dollar-based economy, from the fascism of liberal values to the pseudo-science behind GMOs. These are hardly the kind of things one expects from corrupt leaders. Clearly, President Putin is a mighty sharp thorn in the gullet of the empire; a thorn it can neither swallow nor dislodge.

Imprisoned in their Putin-phobic cocoons, the leading lights of western media would like to ignore basic questions that naturally arise from their propagandistic assertions about Putin’s corruption. For instance, if Putin is really corrupt, what was he given the corruption money for?

What did those who bribed him want in return? They would like us to believe that Putin has found the magical recipe that allows a leader to be corrupt without compromising the public interest?

Isn’t that the biggest problem with corruption? The fact that in return for bribes, those in power compromise the public interest and serve the interests of the very same entities. Corruption is not just the billions stashed away in hidden accounts. It has real and horrible consequences for citizens and society. No nation has prospered and grown stronger under a corrupt leader.

Obviously, President Putin is not the corrupt billionaire thug that the mainstream western media have been trying their level best for some time to convince us that he is, consorting with mystery mistresses one moment and ordering the murder of opponents the next. How can a corrupt leader be sincere to his nation? How can he be strong in its favor?

If you really think about it, corruption is not an issue for those who run the empire. In fact, it is one of their favorite tools to control the world. The empire is the mother and father of corruption and the custodian of the financial system that facilitates it, making it easy and invisible. Targeting Putin with a smear campaign through its propaganda machine has nothing to do with corruption. In fact, had Putin been corrupt, such relentless character assassination would have been unnecessary. Why demonize a leader when you can bribe him to do your bidding?

Take the case of Brazilian President Dilma Roussef. Hype is being created in the western media about her corruption as well, but clearly corruption is just an excuse to dislodge her. According to Telesur, a Brazilian congressional committee voted 38-27 in favor of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff this Monday. Of the 38 in favor, 35 are under investigation for corruption. Of the 27 who voted against it, only two are being investigated for corruption.