Economic Jihad?

There are some pushing the idea that the 2008 collapse was planned, that countries can destroy economically. I did not put Glenn Beck’s comments in. Here are some of the thoughts out there. 

 

Dr. Ehrenfeld has spoken that the that the United States was target-rich for economic jihad, apparently a new concept for only a few of us in the audience.

She pointed out that both Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 15, 2008 were potentially devastating to the United States. One attack was the work of al-Qaeda, a foreign enemy, and the other was self-inflicted by the management of our own financial institutions.

However, Dr. Ehrenfeld said, we could not rule out the possibility that economic terrorists were: a) responsible for, or b) learning from the economic collapse that precipitated the Great Recession. She also referenced the “flash crash” of May 6, 2010 when the Dow lost over 1000 points in a few minutes, only to regain 600 of them minutes later:

Still, two years later, the joint report by the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Committee (CFTC) did not rule out “terrorism” as a possible cause for the May 2010 “flash crash,” and the entire financial industry still has no uniform explanation of why or how this event occurred.

EWI [Economic Warfare Institute] is of the strong opinion that threats to the U.S. economy are the next great field of battle. Indeed, we are already at economic war with such state actors as China and Iran and such non-state actors as al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

The future battlefield is vast: it not only includes the realms of cyber and space but also of banking and finance, market and currency manipulation, energy, and drug trafficking. The list could go on and on.

So, EWI believes that the US faces mass terror-induced economic calamity. The fact that this has not yet occurred, she cautioned us, does not mean it isn’t going to.

Shortly thereafter, General Michael Hayden, now a principal at the Chertoff Group, a lucrative security consulting firm run by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff focused on “The Most Dangerous Tools in the Most Dangerous Hands.

How much should we fear hacktivists achieving state-like capabilities?” The answer to this rhetorical question was “a lot.” Speaking as the former director of the NSA, “You want us to go to the cyber domain to defend you. But in that domain, every advantage goes to the attacker because the environment is both insecure and indispensible.” In other words, we can’t defend you without the proper weapons.

But what would those be?

Apparently, we are completely unprotected from flash crashing at the hands of terrorist hacktivists waging economic jihad.

Daniel Heath, the former US Alternate Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and currently a Managing Director at Maxwell Stamp, said to imagine the following scenario:

A foreign country holding about a trillion dollars in US debt demands an arrangement to swap it for the agricultural production of California.

Capital begins to flee the US. It’s Christmas, and a heavy snow storm hits the northeast, knocking out the power grid. An act of sabotage hits the Washington, D.C. metro, and a couple of assassinations occur, both high-value targets and random ones. Finally, a biochem incident or two occurs, like anthrax or something in the water supply.

Shadowy parties might manipulate the price of oil and a real economic crisis would occur – like the one of Sept. 15, 2008. He suggested that episode was actually a jihadist plot.

What if terrorists aim to engineer a renewed financial meltdown? Is it possible? How would the financial system handle a massive attack on New York City? Is enough being done to buttress financial resilience—to limit the contagion of cascading failures throughout the economy? In what ways could different kinds of terrorist attacks succeed in destabilizing our financial sector and impair the real economy?

David Aufhauser, former General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of the Department of the Treasury, spoke on “Transnational Crime – Unholy Allies to Disorder, Terror and Proliferation” – He speculated about an alliance between Iran, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Hugo Chavez. Among them, they’ll create nuclear weapons for Venezuela. Terror, psycho crime and jihad will come together for the politically purposeful annihilation of our banks. We must identify nodes in the corruption network and break the circuitry, Aufhauser claimed. If not, we’ll have WMD at our ATMs.

Mukasey was talking about “legal perspectives” on economic terror. The Law needs to stay out of the way, he said. “The rules won’t work and the law is inadequate. Criminal law, he said, punishes after the act. We need to take action before the bad guys act. And the only way we can do that is to know what the bad guys are up to by “monitoring” them. Unfortunately, since we don’t know exactly who the bad guys are, we’re going to have to monitor everyone, it seems. And we’re going to ask our “Too Big to Fail” banks to help. So, the NSA, the CIA, Bank of America and Citigroup will work together to protect you and your data.

The bullet point from Mukasey was this:

In dealing with new economic threats and circumstances, the law has a strong tendency to get in the way. This is not to disparage the law but, rather, to recognize that new circumstances beg some jettisoning of old principles and the creation of new ones.

Yes, the law does have a tendency to get in the way. Which brings us back to the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.” This smart new law will clear those cumbersome old ones out of the road. It will jettison old principles and create some new ones.

At GAP, where we represent whistleblowers from the NSA, the CIA and the major US banks, we’ve learned that none of these institutions can be allowed to operate with the secrecy, privileged information and latitude they already have. Using their current powers, intelligence agencies are conducting wholesale, illegal surveillance of American citizens while wasting billions in taxpayers’ money on unconstitutional boondoggle projects. For their part, private banks have been leveraging loans to a point where they’re secretly insolvent.

Whistleblowers have shown us, with convincing clarity, that all of these institutions have abused the trust and authority they already have. They’re warning us that we may not want to jettison our constitutional rights in exchange for protection from economic jihad.

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