The past couple of weeks have seen some interesting statements made regarding Bitcoin and terrorism. And no, it wasn't another hilarious attempt by Haaretz News to paint Bitcoin as a terrorist's favorite Internet app (though if it were, is that really a problem? Must orange juice be damned if a terrorist drinks it, too?).
No, the most recent mentions of “terrorism” and “Bitcoin” in the same bylines were even stranger than Haaretz's past assertions.
The first came from none other than cryptocurrency-hater himself, Ben Lawsky. He told an audience at Columbia Law School that they should expect a “cyber 9/11” on U.S. banks – that the attack would be of “Armageddon-type” proportions.
And the second came from Foreign Policy Magazine, who suggested that the U.S. federal government ought to hire the hacker group Anonymous to “fight ISIS,” and pay them for it in bitcoin.
And though you'd be right to suspect it, no – neither of these stories was found on The Onion.
Mommy, Where Does Terrorism Come From?
Before we deconstruct the underlying assumptions of either Lawsky or Foreign Policy Magazine, we first have to define that slippery, watery, misused, and mistaken term: terrorism.
Dictionary defines the word “terrorism” as:
“[T]he use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”
Let that sink in for a moment. Roll it around in your mind.
Would Ben Lawsky's pet project, the “BitLicense,” perhaps result in terrorism? Well, let's see. According to Lawsky, if you'd like to run a Bitcoin-related business anywhere within the geography called “New York,” you first must pay him and his political friends US$5,000.
But perhaps you decide that such a large amount of money would be put to better use on quality capital goods for your business. So you choose to spend your US$5,000 (if you even have that much) on quality computers and an alarm system, instead. Then you open for business.
What is likely to happen? First, Lawsky and his friends will send you letters. They'll probably tell you to pay up or “cease and desist” your operations (the threat). If you continue to serve your customers instead of New York's politicians, the letters will probably turn into actual armed men. Your shop will have its doors kicked in, your inventory stolen, and you and your employees will be put into cages (the violence). And it will all be for “political purposes.”
Who's the terrorist now?
And Foreign Policy Mag's suggestion that the feds round up bitcoin to pay Anonymous to “fight” terrorists? Where would that bitcoin come from, exactly? Just ask Wesley Snipes or Irwin Schiff or Willie Nelson or thousands of others how threats and violence are used for the “political purpose” of taxation.
Again – who are the terrorists?
Threat Level Zero
A talking head says “terrorist,” and you know the image they intend to evoke in your mind: a Middle Easterner, i.e. the type wearing a hijab, carrying a rifle, traipsing about in the sand. The marketing around “ISIS” (yes, I said marketing) has been a bureaucrat's wet dream. But "ISIS" is just the bogeyman flavor-of-the-decade – it's a more-honed term for the now-waning prior bogeyman of “terrorism,” which was preceded by “communism,” which was preceded by the "Secessionist South," which was preceded by “them uppity niggers.” The ever-rotating enemy Wheel of Fortune.
But this is not the place to assert that ISIS is a CIA-backed piece of blowback that regularly stages fake beheadings meant for Internet circulation. No. Those arguments are well made here, here, and here. And here and here and here. And other places, too.
Hell, there's even a rap video about it:
No, this is the place to remind you that your chances of being killed by a hijab-wearing terrorist are about the same as your chance of getting struck by lightning. Your chances of being killed by an American cop, however? Eight times higher, especially if your skin is dark.
For nearly everyone in the world, the threat of being killed by a hijab-wearing terrorist is approximately zero.
The chances of getting your life completely destroyed by a terrorist in a suit or jackboots, however? Now that's a real threat. And it's one that Bitcoin can help with. No one says it better than Roger Ver, so I won't try to. Ver says in the following video:
“Governments control this thing called fiat currency, and they can print as much of it as they want at any time, and then they use that money to build all sorts of tanks and bombs and airplanes, and they use that money to murder people all over the world. […] With Bitcoin – because there's a limited supply – that sort of thing can't happen in the world.”
Amen, Bitcoin Jesus.
If Foreign Policy magazine were actually interested in “peace in the Middle East” (which I doubt they are, because peace doesn't offer salacious, scandalous headlines), they'd advocate that Bitcoin play an entirely different role -- that of replacing state-controlled fiat. And if Ben Lawsky wants to demonize his banker friends' worst fear (Bitcoin) even further, a "cyber/911" is probably exactly what he's hoping for.
But like its false flag predecessor, a "cyber/911" will probably reek of cover-up, as well. And Bitcoin will still come out on top -- against true terrorism, and for freedom.
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