Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Is Homeland Security Preparing for the Next Wall
By Ellen Brown
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 7, 2013
Reports are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is
engaged in a massive, covert military buildup.
An article in the Associated Press in February confirmed an open
purchase order by DHS for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.
According to an op-ed in Forbes, that’s enough to sustain an Iraq-sized
war for over twenty years. DHS has also acquired heavily armored tanks,
which have been seen roaming the streets. Evidently somebody in government
is expecting some serious civil unrest. The question is, why?
Recently revealed statements by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at
the height of the banking crisis in October 2008 could give some insights
into that question. An
article on BBC News
on September 21, 2013, drew from an explosive autobiography called Power
Trip by Brown's spin doctor Damian McBride, who said the prime minister was
worried that law and order could collapse during the financial crisis.
McBride quoted Brown as saying:
If the banks are shutting their
doors, and the cash points aren't working, and people go to Tesco [a grocery
chain] and their cards aren't being accepted, the whole thing will just
If you can't buy food or petrol or medicine for your kids,
people will just start breaking the windows and helping themselves.
And as soon as people see that on TV, that's the end, because everyone will
think that's OK now, that's just what we all have to do. It'll be anarchy.
That's what could happen tomorrow.
How to deal with that threat?
Brown said, “We'd have to think: do we have curfews, do we put the Army on
the streets, how do we get order back?”
McBride wrote in his book
Power Trip, "It was extraordinary to see Gordon so totally gripped by the
danger of what he was about to do, but equally convinced that decisive
action had to be taken immediately." He compared the threat to the Cuban
Fear of this threat was echoed in September 2008 by
US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who
reportedly warned that the US government might have to resort to martial
law if Wall Street were not bailed out from the credit collapse.
In both countries, martial law was avoided when their legislatures succumbed
to pressure and bailed out the banks. But many pundits are saying that
another collapse is imminent; and this time, governments may not be so
willing to step up to the plate.
The Next Time WILL Be Different
What triggered the
2008 crisis was a run, not in the conventional banking system, but in
the “shadow” banking system, a collection of non-bank financial
intermediaries that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks
but are unregulated.
hedge funds, money market funds, credit investment funds, exchange-traded
funds, private equity funds, securities broker dealers, securitization and
finance companies. Investment banks and commercial banks may also conduct
much of their business in the shadows of this unregulated system.
The shadow financial casino has only grown larger since 2008; and in the
next Lehman-style collapse, government bailouts may not be available.
According to President Obama in his
remarks on the Dodd-Frank Act on July 15, 2010, “Because of this reform,
. . . there will be no more taxpayer funded bailouts – period.”
Governments in Europe are also shying away from further bailouts. The
Financial Stability Board (FSB) in Switzerland has therefore required the
systemically risky banks to devise “living wills” setting forth what they
will do in the event of insolvency. The template established by the FSB
requires them to “bail in” their creditors; and depositors, it turns out,
are the largest class of bank creditor. (For fuller discussion, see my
When depositors cannot access their bank accounts to get
money for food for the kids, they could well start breaking store windows
and helping themselves. Worse, they might plot to overthrow the
financier-controlled government. Witness Greece, where increasing
disillusionment with the ability of the government to rescue the citizens
from the worst depression since 1929 has precipitated
riots and threats of violent overthrow.
Fear of that
result could explain the massive, government-authorized spying on American
citizens, the domestic use of drones, and the elimination of due process and
of “posse comitatus” (the federal law prohibiting the military from
enforcing “law and order” on non-federal property). Constitutional
protections are being thrown out the window in favor of protecting the elite
class in power.
The Looming Debt Ceiling Crisis
The next crisis
on the agenda appears to be the October 17th deadline for agreeing on a
federal budget or
risking default on the government’s loans. It may only be a coincidence,
but two large-scale drills are scheduled to take place the same day, the “Great
ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” and the “Quantum
Dawn 2 Cyber Attack Bank Drill.” According to a Bloomberg news clip on
the bank drill, the attacks being prepared for are from hackers,
state-sponsored espionage, and organized crime (financial fraud). One
interviewee stated, “You might experience that your online banking is down .
. . . You might experience that you can’t log in.” It sounds like a dress
rehearsal for the Great American Bail-in.
Ominous as all this is, it
has a bright side. Bail-ins and martial law can be seen as the last
desperate thrashings of a dinosaur. The exploitative financial scheme
responsible for turning millions out of their jobs and their homes has
reached the end of the line. Crisis in the current scheme means opportunity
for those more sustainable solutions waiting in the wings.
countries faced with a collapse in their debt-based borrowed currencies have
survived and thrived by issuing their own. When the dollar-pegged currency
collapsed in Argentina in 2001, the national government returned to issuing
its own pesos; municipal governments paid with “debt-canceling bonds” that
circulated as currency; and neighborhoods traded with community currencies.
After the German currency collapsed in the 1920s, the government turned the
economy around in the 1930s by issuing “MEFO” bills that circulated as
currency. When England ran out of gold in 1914,
the government issued “Bradbury pounds” similar to the Greenbacks issued
by Abraham Lincoln during the US Civil War.
Today our government
could avoid the debt ceiling crisis by doing something similar: it could
simply mint some trillion dollar coins and
deposit them in an account. That alternative could be pursued by the
Administration immediately, without going to Congress or changing the law,
as discussed in my earlier article
here. It need not be inflationary, since Congress could still spend only
what it passed in its budget. And if Congress did expand its budget for
infrastructure and job creation, that would actually be good for the
hoarding cash and paying down loans have significantly shrunk the
circulating money supply.
Peer-to-peer Trading and Public Banks
At the local level, we need to set up an alternative system that provides
safety for depositors, funds small and medium-sized businesses, and serves
the needs of the community.
Much progress has already been made on
that front in the peer-to-peer economy. In a September 27th article
Economy Thrives as Activists Vacate the System,” Eric Blair reports that
the Occupy Movement is engaged in a peaceful revolution in which people are
abandoning the established system in favor of a “sharing economy.” Trading
occurs between individuals, without taxes, regulations or licenses, and in
some cases without government-issued currency.
happens largely on the Internet, where customer reviews rather than
regulation keep sellers honest. It started with eBay and Craigslist and has
grown exponentially since. Bitcoin is a private currency outside the prying
eyes of regulators. Software is being devised that
circumvents NSA spying. Bank loans are being shunned in favor of
crowdfunding. Local food co-ops are also a form of opting out of the
Peer-to-peer trading works for local
exchange, but we also need a way to protect our dollars, both public and
private. We need dollars to pay at least some of our bills, and businesses
need them to acquire raw materials. We also need a way to protect our public
revenues, which are currently deposited and invested in Wall Street banks
that have heavy derivatives exposure.
To meet those needs, we can
set up publicly-owned banks on the model of
the Bank of North Dakota, currently our only state-owned depository bank.
The BND is mandated by law to receive all the state’s deposits and to serve
the public interest. Ideally, every state would have one of these
“mini-Feds.” Counties and cities could have them as well. For more
information, see http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.
Preparations for martial law have been reported for decades,
and it hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully, we can sidestep that danger by moving
into a saner, more sustainable system that makes military action against
American citizens unnecessary.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the
Public Banking Institute,
and author of twelve books, including the best-selling
Web of Debt. In
The Public Bank Solution, her
latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and
globally. Her 200-plus blog articles are at