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Financial Terrorism? Economic Warfare!

March 2, 2011

According to a paper written by Kevin D. Freeman, a consultant hired by the Pentagon, “financial terrorism” was partly responsible for the economic collapse that has been happening for a few years now. (The report was originally issued in June 2009 but is now getting significant media coverage.)

Yeah, “financial terrorism.” He really said that. He also mentioned that “outside forces” may have brought about the collapse, including foreign nations and/or rogues.

Let’s think about this for a moment. The guy was hired by the Pentagon—not the Treasury or Congress or some other institution that actually has a role in overseeing the economy, but the Pentagon—the institution responsible for managing military conflicts. The military-motivated institution hired an outside contractor to write a paper about amorphous enemies engaged in “financial terrorism.”

That may explain why the author would use the words terrorism and warfare, invoking the trauma of mass murder to introduce this unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. People don’t think as critically when they’re working with terms that are laden with associations, especially that magic word terrorism. This paper, “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses,” seems like little more than a weak attempt to set a fearful pretext for the discussion and to perhaps justify a military action.

If not, why would the Pentagon bother? The military has its hands full with two active occupations and scores of bases to manage. The budget is a wreck. Why hire a consultant to write a 111-page paper about something that’s under the purview of other parts of the government? The Pentagon doesn’t usually get involved unless it’s looking for authority to take some kind of action.

The thing is, we know what caused the financial collapse: unbridled greed. Greed run amok. Investors screwing investors and everyone else at the same time. That’s what happened, the core reason why so many people are mired in poverty right now. And a lot of those people want justice. They want the perpetrators of the fraud to be exposed and punished.

Now the Pentagon wants us to believe that “financial terrorism” is responsible, that we should stand behind some initiative to blame and attack foreigners. Maybe they think it will kill two birds with one stone, satisfying the bloodlust of the citizenry against the financial criminals and simultaneously fortifying the cause of the “war on terror.”

If some new tragedy befalls our country, and this idea of “financial terrorism” is used to explain it, we must not fall for it. We must recognize this for the propaganda that it is.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Howard T. Lewis III permalink
    March 2, 2011 18:44

    Legally nuke who wants our military to nuke. Not only did the S and B’s do that other stuff, they went against the top generals and pushed Truman into nuking Japan. Let us legally take these nukers to be and tie them up in lawn chairs a few feet away from refreshing drinks and as they struggle we nuke them after passing legislation to nuke bad guys. I think this Freeman fellow may qualify for nuking. What a boob.

  2. robertsgt40 permalink
    March 3, 2011 15:01

    “Now the Pentagon wants us to believe that “financial terrorism” is responsible, that we should stand behind some initiative to blame and attack foreigners”—-He is really correct here if he were referring to Israel

    • March 3, 2011 15:06

      In what way do you mean to refer to Israel—as wanting us to believe the “financial terrorism” stuff, or as being the target of the Pentagon report?

  3. March 3, 2011 17:39

    The biggest problem with your argument is that in your view, economic matters are not relevent to military matters. They are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, in an insurgency, economic matters are critically important. Here’s a link to the Combined Arms Center blog at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (CAC is one of the proponent agencies that author and publish Army doctrine)–it gives you just one little snippet of how the military looks at economic matters in terms of strategic and operational-level planning.

    http://usacac.army.mil/BLOG/blogs/coin/archive/2009/04/20/rescinding-ascopes-for-pmesii-pt-at-the-tactical-level-possibly-good-in-theory-but-what-about-in-application.aspx

    I will post more on this later, but suffice it to say that insurgency is graduate-level warfare.

    • March 3, 2011 17:47

      It’s not that economic affairs aren’t relevant to military affairs; they are. But in this case, the Pentagon has hired someone to speculate about a civilian financial matter using military language. Certainly, anyone who would deliberately sabotage a national economy can be called that nation’s enemy, but that doesn’t move the debate to the military arena.

      Needless to say, I am very suspicious of this report and how it might be used.

  4. March 3, 2011 21:58

    I think you should read the entire Washington Times article, you’ll see that the Pentagon immediately distanced itself from the report. They don’t want to touch this with a ten-foot pole.

    Remember, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs were nominated by Obama and confirmed by a Democrat-controlled Senate. The Pentagon is in lock-step with the administration–they are not independently trying to generate military action against anyone. That’s simply not how it works.

    • March 4, 2011 14:48

      You’re really only talking about page 2. One unnamed official is quoted as saying “Nobody wants to go there.” Anonymous officials are attributed with saying that Michael Vickers blocked further involvement and said the Pentagon is not the appropriate forum for that issue; then his spokesperson came out and denied what the anonymous officials claimed.

      I’d hardly call that “immediately distanc[ing]” oneself. It reads like the “B-3 bomber” subterfuge from Wag the Dog.

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