Posted 4 years ago on June 18, 2014, 6:30 p.m. EST by LeoYoh
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Secret Collaboration Between the Power of Force and the Pursuit of Profit
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 10:12
By Beatrice Edwards, Berrett-Koehler Publishers | Book Excerpt
Truthout is serializing Beatrice Edwards' book, The Rise of the American Corporate Security State To read more excerpts from this book, click here http://truth-out.org/news/item/23802-the-rise-of-the-american-corporate-security-state .
Daniel Ellsberg writes of The American Corporate Security State: "Edwards is an extraordinary writer who brilliantly captures the essence of what whistleblowers such as [Edward] Snowden have sacrificed their careers and jeopardized their personal liberties to convey." Get the book by contributing to Truthout here https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6694/t/17304/shop/item.jsp?storefront_KEY=661&t=&store_item_KEY=2834 .
The Zombie Bill: The Corporate Security Campaign That Will Not Die
Reason to be afraid #4:
The government-corporate surveillance complex is consolidating. What has been a confidential but informal collaboration now seeks to legalize its special status.
July 9, 2012, was a scorcher in Washington, DC, with afternoon temperatures over 100 degrees, when an audience of about fifty think-tankers convened in a third-floor briefing room of the Senate's Russell Office Building on Capitol Hill. Then-Senator John Kyl sponsored the show, although he did not appear in person. He had invited the American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Economic Warfare Institute (EWI) to explore the topic of "Economic Warfare Subversions: Anticipating the Threat."
At the front of the room, under a swag of the heavy red draperies and the American flag, sat the panel. The lineup was peculiar. The speakers, waiting for the audience to settle in, included a number of very big names from the intelligence community, including General Michael Hayden, by this time the former director of both the CIA and the NSA; James Woolsey, former CIA director; and Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General for George W. Bush.
And then there were the others. First among them was the facilitator and director of the Economic Warfare Institute herself. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld was a relative unknown who, throughout the long afternoon, would aggressively use her academic title at every opportunity, an unusual practice in this company. According to the available brochure, one of the other panelists would argue that jihadists were setting the wildfires ravaging Colorado that summer. Another, a former alternate director for the United States at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), would present a memorable anecdote involving complex terror scenarios not even Hollywood had ever produced.
In total, the panel included Doctor Ehrenfeld and eight white American men. At precisely 2:00 p.m., Ehrenfeld approached the podium. She opened her remarks with the announcement that the United States was target-rich for economic jihad, apparently a new concept for only a few of us in the audience. We, the uninitiated, exchanged nervous glances as she went on to explain the "cutting edge threats" that kept her up at night. She pointed out that both September 11, 2001, and September 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, 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 more than one thousand points in a few minutes, only to regain six hundred of them minutes later. Ehrenfeld reminded us:
Still, two years later, the joint report by the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] and the Commodity Futures Trading Committee 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 is of the strong opinion that threats to the US 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 nonstate 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.
Wait! We're at economic war with China? Most of us did not know that. Apparently the Chinese don't know it either because their government holds a large load of US debt. After the European Union, the United States is China's largest trading partner. And after Canada, China is the United States's largest trading partner.
And what about an economic war with Al-Qaeda? Aren't we winning that one? We have Wall Street and the NSA. They have bitcoins and Waziristan.
The afternoon becomes increasingly fantastic. The EWI believes, Ehrenfeld informs us, that the US faces mass terror-induced electronic/ economic calamity. The fact that this has not yet occurred, Dr. Ehrenfeld cautions us, does not mean it isn't going to.
When she finishes, she turns the microphone over to General Michael Hayden, now a principal at the Chertoff Group, a well-connected security consulting firm run by Bush's former secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff. General Hayden stands to speak about "the most dangerous weapons in the most dangerous hands - how much should we fear hacktivists achieving statelike capabilities?" The answer to this rhetorical question is "Quite a lot." Speaking as the former director of the NSA, he tells us that we want the government to go to the cyber-domain to defend us. In that domain, practically every advantage goes to the attacker because the environment is both insecure and indispensible. In other words, he says, he can't defend us without the proper weapons.