Lawfare and Covert Action: An Interim Hypothesis

Economic history has its overt and covert sides. Now the State has been almost completely privatized, i.e., conveyed to the so-called hedge funds. It may be safe to say that the West has been converted into one huge financial derivative system.

To understand this without drowning in jargon it is easiest to describe the structure as global extortion or blackmail. As Whitney Webb has shown the murder of Jeffrey Epstein was probably a blunt attempt to eliminate one of the visible faces of the extortion hub for managing public officials. There is another level of extortion that is applied to the public purse. In foreign parts this is the manipulation of the money market through public debt. However there is also an area which has yet to be adequately mapped. For simplicity we can call this “lawfare.”

Lawfare is the application of civil and criminal judicial process to bankrupt targeted opposition by initiating litigation against regime opponents before captured venues where punitive civil damages deplete or eliminate the personal assets of individuals using ideologically constructed complaints which while not criminal are capable of mustering mass moral condemnation even without substantiation. Here the old Inquisition procedures apply where a presumption of guilt and the reversal of the burden of proof are imposed.

A second more insidious strategy is pursued which is less obvious. Analogous to classical foreign debt extortion, the State uses the threat of physical or economic penalties to conceal the use of extorted funds intended for covert action. Traditionally drug and gun dealing have been used to generate funds whose political origins have to be concealed. One reason the CIA and SIS have a vested interested in these illegal markets is that they provide money off the books for operations that — were they funded through official appropriations — would create less deniable paper trails. The deniability of an operation at arm’s length relies on hiding cash flow. This is one of the conclusions from Douglas Valentine’s work on the Bureau of Narcotics and DEA where he explained why and how these agencies became subordinated to covert action arms of the State. Thomas Röper in recent preliminary investigations found another tool by which lawfare can benefit the secret services.

Röper started by asking who and what Doctors Without Borders are and why the Russian government was accusing the group of espionage? He reported how difficult it was to find any published reports explaining where this group’s millions originate. However a crowd query produced something remarkable. At least in Germany he received multiple reports from people summoned before German courts who were told that they would receive consideration (such as in plea bargaining) if they donated money to its German franchise Ärzte ohne Grenzen. The frequency with which this was reported more than suggested a pattern or even a policy.

An extrapolation of the number of civil or criminal settlements of this sort easily pointed to double-digit millions. Now if one considers — as I have argued in the past- that the Antifa and BLM groups in the US are actually armed propaganda groups analogous to those formed in Vietnam in the CIA Phoenix Program, then the enormous million-dollar settlements in US civil actions awarded to these groups or rioters and arsonists make more sense. Namely the city governments sued have been compelled to deplete their budgets with transfers of tax money (actually public debt) to covert operatives. Thus these political warfare actions are funded openly by court judgements. The NGO, whether duly constituted or merely implied, receives public money, tax exempt and with no personal attribution or paper trail linking the flow of funds to the sponsoring entity.

How do the hedge funds benefit? Aside from arbitrage these funds have direct influence over insurance rates and other financial levers that can be applied selectively or collectively to the targeted jurisdiction or entity. Failure to empty the coffers means that the risk ratings that establish the cost of any entity’s future financing must deteriorate. In other words a punitive extortion cycle is anchored in the model.

The result is the perpetual hostage status of the target and full deniability that any planned operation underlies the action. That adds more depth to the term Webb used to title her book: One Nation Under Blackmail.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..