Guardians of the Warfare State

05/10/2019      T. Hunt Tooley

[Editor’s Note: Trump is reportedly set to nominate Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, as Secretary of Defense. Given his background, Shanahan looks to fit the typical bill for the job. In this 2013 article, historian Hunt Tooley discusses where secretaries of state come from, and why they are all so similar in background.]

An analysis of the U.S. secretaries of war and defense (the name was changed from secretary of war to secretary of defense in 1947) gives us some insight into the nature of the relationships within the “military-industrial complex.” Though these secretaries are not the only gatekeepers of the warfare-welfare state (and perhaps not even the most important ones), they do perform a crucial function in coordinating the collectivist, rent-seeking corporate entities with the political parties and their largely social-democratic agendas.

Of 41 secretaryships since 1900, we are looking at 39 individuals, two having served twice under two separate presidents. These 39 secretaries came from 19 states only. The overwhelming majority were from the Atlantic seaboard. Strikingly, 41 percent of these secretaries of defense and war came from just three states: New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Casting our net a bit wider geographically catches two-thirds of the secretaries. These three states were populous ones, to be sure, but for the whole period, their average percentage of U.S. population would be something under 20 percent. Furthermore, very few came from the great cities. The secretaries from New York were far more likely to come from Clinton (Elihu Root) or Glen Falls (Robert Patterson) than New York City. These were mostly small-town kids from western Pennsylvania, upstate New York, and adjoining districts.

Perhaps less surprisingly, 52 percent attended Ivy League institutions (some of them only the professional schools at the Ivies). Of the Ivy Leaguers, 11 were Republican secretaries, ten Democrat. Yet in spite of the elite educational connections, most of the secretaries came from middle-class, and in several cases, distinctly lower middle-class backgrounds.

Not all, of course. Robert Lovett (under Truman) was a scion of Union Pacific money (hence related to a couple of banking empires). Elliott Richardson (under Nixon) was from a blue-blooded family of Boston Brahmins. William Howard Taft (under Theodore Roosevelt) was from the powerful Ohio Taft family of Cincinnati.

Their bios show that, at least in broad summary, even the most atypical of the 39 do not stray too far from the following portrait, a kind of ideal-type of war secretary.

Our model secretary of war or defense is an individual from western Pennsylvania. He comes from a sturdy middle class background which enables this bright, hard-working kid to get an Ivy League education, most likely at Yale. He writes or edits one of the college publications. Since our man is at Yale, he is sought out by a secret society, and he gets into, say, Skull and Bones (the most frequently occurring, though some others are represented), rubbing shoulders there with the elite families and fortunes.

If there is a war on after college, our man will serve a short stint in the military. He will then study law at Harvard, working afterward for a law firm or an investment bank. Making his way into state or national politics, he will serve in a number of legislative or executive positions.

Our ideal man — and they are all males — would definitely be in the Council on Foreign Relations (after 1922). After having served for three or four years as secretary of war or defense, our man will go back to “business,” almost certainly investment banking. (This is true in nearly every case, even for those who were not bankers before.) He would also maintain extensive board memberships, consultative positions, and other connections to the arms industry. And he would be connected with the worlds of both government task forces and the great tax-free foundations (Ford Foundation, Rand, etc.) and maintain close connections to Lehman Brothers, Morgan, Jacob Schiff, and Goldman Sachs.

Now, let me say that there are plenty of incidental variations in the pool. Interesting ones at that. One secretary of war had two descendants (grandson and great grand-daughter) who would be nominated for academy awards (George Dern, one of FDR’s war secretaries). One secretary of defense served twice and in between joined big pharma and successfully gained the FDA approval of Aspartame (Rumsfeld). One secretary of war established the Davis Cup in tennis (Davis). Two secretaries had previously been college roommates (Rumsfeld and Carlucci). And one of Roosevelt’s war secretaries was a strict non-interventionist (Woodring)!

As mentioned, only a few of the secretaries came from old money and privilege: in general, these men are not the shadowy banker puppet masters nor the vicious capitalists of imagination, but rather the sons of farmers, small-town attorneys, and school teachers whose ambition took them to positions of influence. Indeed, some exercised enormous influence on policy: think Stimson, McNamara, and Rumsfeld, for example. Some much less. There were no real Metternichs or Richelieus among them, no “coachmen of Europe” so to speak. Rather, they were high functionaries of the warfare-welfare state. And, it must be said, hard-working, intelligent, and capable individuals.

All this hard work was applied to procuring materials for war, getting them from the preferred sources, shaping American defense organizations so as to carry out the military plans of the president and his advisors. Maybe even ensuring that the destruction inflicted would be such that the reconstruction would yield profit to favored sectors and companies later on. These secretaries certainly provide one of the secured connections between politics and the upper-level decision-making levels of “wise men.”

I am suggesting that this specific profile may be crucial to the political process of brokering deals between the parties, the administration, high finance, the military, and arms manufacturing — in essence the military industrial complex. The modern imperium, no less than the state of the Sun King, needs highly skilled managers of even temperament and total loyalty. The “democracy” of today — part theater, part therapy, part oligarchy— might serve up oddballs and originals as Secretaries of state, senators, and presidents. But the defense secretaries, crucial machinery of the perpetual warfare state, are finely-honed parts of a specific make.

Parenthetically, and without attributing special significance, I observe a tendency to partisan difference in style among our defense ministers. The Democrat party has tended to choose a few more out-of-sync secretaries than the Republican party. Also, a few more Democrat secretaries came from outside the Bermuda Triangle (of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio) of war secretaries.

On the other hand, it is likewise true that Defense is the cabinet position that probably most frequently crosses party lines, as in the case of Secretary Hagel. Clearly, at times, these guardians are simply interchangeable.

Both political parties have of course acted as fronts for the state elite, for the system of the warfare-welfare state. The appearance of tension between the two parties in matters of war-making has been theater in many ways, though many participants are, no doubt, true believers. Yet these ideas have to be conveyed against the backdrop of actual aggressive warlike activity by both parties when in power.

The indispensable interface between parties, business, and elites is guarded by a special class of loyalists, usually extremely bright individuals of modest family and social status, chosen by the state elite to do this work, and later rewarded accordingly. When we look at these men and these functions, it is hard to imagine how it could be otherwise.

Yet another reason to slash your taxes to zero

I’ve long been vocal about my belief that if you have a problem with your government, you should vote.

But not vote in the traditional sense, i.e. stand in line at a polling station and be forced to choose between the lesser of two evils… or perhaps more appropriately, the evil of two lessers.

Traditional voting is a demeaning and pointless activity.

In most cases your vote doesn’t really matter; national elections are typically decided by a handful of voters who fit an extremely specific demographic in swing states.

Not to mention, your fellow voters can be so easily manipulated. Sometimes it seems that clear, independent thinking is the rarest substance in the world.

So instead of wasting your time with traditional voting, I’ve long argued that voting with your MONEY is a far more powerful option.

In other words, if you disagree with your government and think they’re all a bunch of crooks and buffoons, you should consider taking every legal means at your disposal to reduce the amount of money you pay them in taxes.

Restrict their resources and starve the beast.

And no matter where you are in the world, there are almost always completely legitimate ways to do that.

There’s absolutely zero downside to doing this. Slashing your taxes is free money, with ZERO risk. There’s literally no other investment you can make with that sort of risk-free return.

In the Land of the Free, there is one -very- unique way to cut your taxes that we’ve discussed a number of times. It’s called Opportunity Zones.

And at the risk of repeating myself, I think that EVERYONE ought to consider this. Because this benefit won’t be around forever if the Bolsheviks have anything to say about it.

[And EVEN if you’re not from the US… or you don’t have capital gains to invest, you can STILL benefit from this. Keep reading.]

As I’ve explained previously, Opportunity Zones are areas within the United States (including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) that meet certain qualifications as being economically underdeveloped.

And recent changes to the tax code now allow investors to roll their gains into various opportunity zone investments with some really extraordinary benefits.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’ve been investing in something simple like Apple stock. You bought 10,000 shares of Apple in late 2012 at around $80, for a total purchase price of $800,000.

The stock price is now around $200, so your shares are worth $2 million… meaning you made a $1.2 million capital gain. Congrats.

The new tax rules allow you to take that $1.2 million worth of gains and make qualifying investments in Opportunity Zones.

You won’t have to pay capital gains tax on that $1.2 million for another SEVEN years. And when you do, you’ll pay a reduced rate.

More importantly, any ADDITIONAL gains you make on that $1.2 million through your Opportunity Zone investments will be tax free FOREVER.

Plus, the types of investments that quality are far reaching: you could start a business, develop real estate… all sorts of options.

And that’s the new part I wanted to tell you about: real estate in Opportunity Zones is already doing extremely well.

A recent report by Zillow showed that real estate prices in Opportunity Zones have increased by more than 20% since the legislation was passed in late 2017.

In fairness, that 20% increase is up from a very low level– real estate prices in Opportunity Zones were already depressed and far below more economically developed areas.

But there’s a LOT more room to grow.

The Economic Innovation Group estimates that there are TRILLIONS of dollars in capital gains that could be invested in Opportunity Zones. If even a fraction of that actually gets invested, it will have a substantial effect on real estate prices in those areas.

And ANYONE can buy property in an Opportunity Zone, regardless of whether or not you’re a US citizen.

So this is definitely something to think about.

I do think there is a strong chance that the Bolsheviks shut this program down once they come to power… which could potentially be during next year’s US Presidential election.

And if they do, it will close down the flow of money into these underdeveloped neighborhoods and possibly slow the growth of real estate prices. So you should factor that risk into your decision-making.

But it’s also a great reason to get started as soon as possible.

If you do have capital gains, taking some money off the table and rolling those gains into an Opportunity Zone investment (through a fund that you set up) is a no-brainer. It’s free money.

You could start a business in an Opportunity Zone with your investment gains, sell that business for a fortune down the road, and legally never pay a dime of tax on the sale.

We’ve already detailed Opportunity Zones for our premium Sovereign Man: Confidential members.

If You Have A Heart & Soul, Watch This! The IMMORTAL REGIMENT – Heavenly Army’s Amazing Personal Stories!

Heartwarming immortal regiment. ❤

Futurist Trendcast

The whole world descended on Moscow on May 9, 2019. The heart-wrenching, tear-stained, hopeful and memorable personal stories of what millions of people went through during WWII, or the Great Patriotic War! Generals and foot soldiers… children, wives and mothers… People from Russia, all of USSR, and all over the world. Those who still remember, those who haven’t and don’t intend to forget!

Eng subs – Read… Hear… See:

**

LISTEN TO NEW EARTH SHIFT PODCAST:

REUNIFICATION NEXT? Russian Passports for People of Donbass & Ukraine (ESP11) 

Coming next – last in this series of Earth Shift Podcasts – don’t miss!

ESP12: Russian Oil/Coal Sanctions & the End of Ukraine’s Pipeline Dream

Listen to previous episode:

WHO REALLY WON UKRAINE ELECTIONS: Zelensky, Poroshenko or Putin? (ESP10) 

SUBSCRIBE TO LADA RAY Channel on YouTube so not to miss future offerings! 

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U.S. Charges 9 ‘SIM Swapping’ Attackers For Stealing $2.5 Million

sim swapping hacking

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced charges against nine individuals, 6 of which are members of a hacking group called “The Community” and other 3 are former employees of mobile phone providers who allegedly helped them steal roughly $2.5 million worth of the cryptocurrency using a method known as “SIM Swapping.”

According to the 15-count indictment unsealed today, five Americans and an Irishman related to The Community hacking group are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, as well as wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Another three Americans, who reportedly are the former employees of mobile phone providers, are charged in a criminal complaint with the wire fraud.

SIM Swapping, or SIM Hijacking, is a type of identity theft that typically involves fraudulently porting of the same number to a new SIM card belonging to the attacker.

In SIM swapping, attackers social engineer a victim’s mobile phone provider by convincing it that they are the actual owner of the phone number they want to swap by providing required personal information on the target, eventually tricking the telecoms to port the target’s phone number over to a SIM card belonging to the attackers.

The defendants executed the attacks successfully—thanks to the three charged former mobile phone service provider employees who reportedly helped “The Community” to “steal the identities of subscribers to their employers’ services in exchange for bribes.”

Here’s the list of defendants charged in the indictment:

  • Conor Freeman, 20, of Dublin, Ireland
  • Ricky Handschumacher, 25 of Pasco County, Florida
  • Colton Jurisic, 20 of, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Reyad Gafar Abbas, 19, of Rochester, New York
  • Garrett Endicott, 21, of Warrensburg, Missouri
  • Ryan Stevenson, 26, of West Haven, Connecticut
  • Jarratt White, 22 of Tucson, Arizona (former mobile phone provider employee)
  • Robert Jack, 22 of Tucson, Arizona (former mobile phone provider employee)
  • Fendley Joseph, 28, of Murrietta, California (former mobile phone provider employee)

On successful SIM swapping, ‘The Community’ attackers used their victims’ phone numbers to reset passwords and gain access to their online accounts—including email, cloud storage, and cryptocurrency exchange accounts and wallets—using verification codes and two-factor authentication codes received on those numbers.

In total, the defendants executed seven SIM swapping attacks to steal victims’ funds from their cryptocurrency exchange wallets, transferring approximately $2.5 million worth of cryptocurrency to wallets controlled by the hacking group.

“Mobile phones today are not only a means of communication but also a means of identification,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said. “This case should serve as a reminder to all of us to protect our personal and financial information from those who seek to steal it.”

If convicted on the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Meanwhile, an aggravated identity theft charge carries a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison.

Earlier this year, a 20-year-old college student in New York was sentenced to 10 years in prison in what constituted the jurisdiction’s first SIM-swapping prosecution. He stole over $5 million in cryptocurrency from around 40 victims by hijacking their phone numbers.

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