Philip Mudd Makes the Case for Signature Strikes against Banksters

Last Friday, former Deputy Director of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and FBI Philip Mudd defended the use of signature strikes when used against multinational networked organizations that hide in safe havens.

Signature strikes have pulled out these lower-level threads of al Qaeda’s apparatus — and that of its global affiliates — rapidly enough that the deaths of top leaders are now more than matched by the destruction of the complex support structure below them. Western conceptions of how organizations work, with hierarchal structures driven by top-level managers, do not apply to al Qaeda and its affiliates. These groups are instead conglomerations of militants, operating independently, with rough lines of communication and fuzzy networks that cross continents and groups. They are hard to map cleanly, in other words.


Part of the reason signature strikes have become so prominent in this global counterterror war is, simply put, geography. Local terrorist groups only become international threats if they have leadership that can execute a broad, globalist vision, and if that leadership has the time and space to plot without daily distractions from armies and security services — as in safe havens like Yemen, Somalia, the Sahel, and the tribal areas of Pakistan. These are exactly the places where the United States cannot apply conventional force and where local governments lack the capability or will to counter the threat. Exactly the places where drones offer an option to eviscerate a growing terror threat that has a dispersed, diffuse hierarchy. [my emphasis]

Of course, Mudd is crazy to suggest that the networked organization of terrorism is not found in the West. Indeed, corporations in the West pioneered the concept, with cell structures that provided them legal opacity. Though the safe havens they hid in were named Jersey and Cayman Islands rather than Yemen or Somalia.

So it seems this defense of signature strikes should be read as one of two things. Either, a case that the best defense against the damage banksters have caused is the fairly indiscriminate killing of their mid-level managers. Or, if that solution seems barbarous at its core, then perhaps this is a good case study in how extreme the idea of signature strikes would seem if it weren’t couched in a sloppy kind of Orientalism advocating it for others but not for our own.

7 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    What a target rich environment, and no danger of hitting innocents. Just go where the Citi, BofA, Goldman… signs are.

    What about following finance and control fraud consent decrees back to their sources? That might yield another group of targets.

    An additional signature might be revolving doors.

    AUMFs, NDAA and the gloves come off directive, bugs or features?

    Thanks EW, you’re inspired. You’ve made my morning:)

  2. john francis lee says:

    It’s not only the banksters who are open to droning, Obama and Brennan are now close associates of ak-Qaeda in Syria … arming them! Will the White House itself burn in Hellfire ? The Saudis might target it ‘independently’, if their drones can fly that far, They know John Brennan’s home address for sure, too.

  3. rg says:

    Nice concept EW. I especially had to laugh about the notion of “the places where the US cannot apply conventional force and where local governments lack the capability or will to counter the threat”.

  4. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    You don’t have go use that fancy drone tech to deal with the Cayman Islands.

    They entire place is well within the blast radius of a 1Mt warhead, and the damn things are just gathering dust anyway.

    Just make sure to mutter, while the cameras are rolling, “pour encourager les autres”.

  5. P J Evans says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:
    That might be a bit hard on the non-banksters who are there on vacation or on a cruise. Or who just live there. Although you might be able to consider them as ‘collateral damage’.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thanks. Multinational networked organizations that commit crimes would include states, their military and intelligence services, and multinational corporations. It doesn’t include just the MSM’s usual suspects of Italian and Russian mobs and “terrorists”.

    The willingness and ability to commit violent crimes while avoiding publicity or accountability for them seems to be the least common denominator. Captured by that description would be tax-avoiding corporations that make products in shoddy buildings in India; intel operatives overthrowing political or union leaders in allied countries; banksters laundering billions in New York, London, Costa Rica and the Channel Islands; and mobsters and their political patrons who run garbage, women, drugs and arms to wherever the buyers are, then bank their profits wherever they find the best boats, booze and babes.

  7. lefty665 says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki: A few addresses are home to tens of thousands of corporations. Use those to program the Drones. Lots cheaper than nukes and fewer collaterals. Somebody’s got to have some standards:)

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