EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY – 11 MAR 16
The National PMESII section is a break down of national- and regional-level Political, Military, Economic, Social, Infrastructure, and Information events and trends. Appendix: Collection of acronyms and definitions used.
[wcm_nonmember] In this EXSUM…
- ‘Climate Deniers’ Among Political Dissidents
- Using Heroin Overdose Epidemics As Indicators of Cartel Expansion
- Recession Likely to Begin This Year, Start of the Long March Downward
- How One Community Fought Back Against Neighborhood Criminals
- List of All U.S. Solar Power Plants by Name/Location
- Rise of the American Stasi
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[wcm_restrict plan =”fo-osint”]
Political/Government: ‘Climate Deniers’ Among Political Dissidents
Earlier this week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she “had discussed” whether or not the FBI could bring charges against “climate deniers” — those who disagree with the religious practice of anthropomorphic climate science, e.g., what used to be “global warming”. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) compared climate deniers to those in the tobacco industry, who were charged under the Clinton Administration for lying about the science behind cigarettes.
(AC: Currently, it’s unlikely that any climate deniers are going to face criminal charges over the disputed data and science. But there have been court cases involving climate deniers. Mark Steyn, one of my favorite sociopolitical commentators, is in the fifth year of fighting a defamation lawsuit brought against him by climate scientist Michael E. Mann. The lawsuit was filed after Steyn publicly — and in book form — demolished the infamous “hockey stick” theory of global warming. Even considering criminal charges against climate deniers, or what I call “climate rationalists” is dangerous new territory, and we’re quickly approaching the horizon where criminal charges like those will stick.)
Military/Security/Defense: Using Heroin Overdose Epidemics As Indicators of Cartel Expansion
An ‘indicator’ is an observable or potentially observable clue about an individual or organization’s intent, capability, or activity. Identifying these indicators are useful for intelligence analysis, and especially so for community security. Think of an indicator as the tip of the iceberg. The tip can be identified, but it signifies that something much larger is just beneath the surface.
I’m calling on a few volunteers to help me out with a project that I expect to last one month. (Just use the contact form and express your willingness to volunteer and how much time you can dedicate.) I want to confirm or deny (or find a correlation) that spikes in heroin overdoses are a positive indicator for similar spikes in drug gang activity. You may think that this is a no-brainer of a project, however, after we find the correlation, I’d like to identify the drug gangs involved in the spikes. Heroin trafficking or heroin use by itself is difficult to track, but heroin overdoses are often reported in the news, giving us the indicators we’re looking for.
My concern is that a growing number of regions are reporting on the heroin epidemic, which means that gangs like MS-13 and Latin Kings are making more money, expanding their own operations, and giving Latin American Cartels greater cause to become more involved in these regions. In a slow burn SHTF scenario where drug use is high, crime will be high (no pun intended); and where these gangs and cartels have a foothold in an SHTF world, they also have the opportunity to pursue the warlord-like activities the enjoy in Central and South America. And that’s a very real SHTF concern. (Here are 700 words on what it’s like to be high on heroin, which will give you an idea about why heroin use is so popular.)
Economic/Financial: Recession Likely to Begin This Year, Start of the Long March Downward
Nothing in this section should be construed as investment advice. I’m just passing along some perspectives. Legendary investor Jim Rogers, who appeared in a February EXSUM, says there’s a 100% chance of recession in 2016. In previous reports, we’ve cited high percentages for recession in 2016-2017 from CitiBank and JP Morgan analysts. Rogers says he’s long on the dollar, betting that it strengthens as deflationary pressures strike the market and investors seek safety in cash.
(AC: I expect later this year to be the beginning of the end of the line we’ve anticipated for years. The seven-year bull market has grown faster than the economy, and it’s time to face some reality. Some of the hallmarks of the 2008 recession wasn’t just the downturn of markets, but companies across the country tightened their belts, municipal and law enforcement budgets were cut, and the take home pay of American families began falling. From 2008-2011, median annual income fell from $52,546 to just over $50,000, there were fewer police officers in service, and national chain stores like WalMart, General Dollar, and Dollar Tree expanded as local stores closed. We can probably expect a similar pattern over the next three or more years.
For me, two things are sure: we should begin examining crime rates in our areas as economic opportunity declines because these are conditions for rising criminality, but the economy isn’t going to zero. Now’s the time we should begin focusing on the local economic situation. Let’s put on hold national trends and begin picturing what your town or county looks like through a couple rounds of layoffs. A question to begin considering is ‘What can we do as a community to stabilize the local economy, provide off-grid jobs, and care for needy families?’ The more we do now, the easier it will be down the road.)
Social/Demographic: How One Community Fought Back Against Neighborhood Criminals
This Bradenton, Florida news article tells the story of a Thanksgiving meal, celebrated by strangers inhabiting the same neighborhood filled with drug addicts, prostitutes, and gang members.
“People here aren’t rich; otherwise, they wouldn’t live here,” [a resident] said. “The place I live now once had a drug dealer in it. There was a drug addict next door who got beat up for not paying the drug dealer. Other neighbors would fire their guns at night and were always in trouble.”
Infrastructure/Energy: List of All U.S. Solar Power Plants by Name/Location
This week, the Solar Energy Industries of America released their report of all U.S. solar power plant projets larger than 1 MegaWatt. Subscribers should be recording the information that pertains to their state and region as a part of the Critical Infrastructure section of their Area Studies. (I’ll be recording a series of videos for subscribers that takes them through the steps of building an Area Study for their homes or bug-out/retreat properties. This is highly recommended for concerned citizens and prepared communities, especially if you expect instability in the future.)
(AC: Starting on Page 3 of the report, you’ll find an alphabetical list of solar power plants and their locations. We’re working on obtaining the original Excel sheet that can be sorted by state. More to follow… hopefully.)
Information Systems/Surveillance/Communications: Rise of the American Stasi
One thing the Snowden leaks confirmed was that the NSA had been providing signals intercepts to law enforcement, which in most cases were violations of federal law. The practice of “parallel construction” meant that the NSA provided intelligence information on American citizens to law enforcement, and it was law enforcement’s duty to ‘construct’ a story for how they got the information; which most typically meant a non-existent confidential informant.
A Washington Post opinion piece from Radley Balko states as much. When or if there’s a written history of the Rise of the American Stasi, we can thank the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA as prime enablers. Whichever candidate is elected next will likely be dealing with any combination of economic collapse, domestic terror attacks or world wars. When it’s easier to become a dictator to deal with America’s problems than to solve them through the bureaucracy of government, the next president will have all the police state tools he (or she) needs.
AC: Analyst Comment; an opinion, explanation or clarification
EXSUM: Executive Intelligence Summary
NSA: National Security Agency
OSINT: Open Source Intelligence
SHTF: Shits Hits the Fan