32 V. Musings on Mr. Global’s Need for Control By Jason Worth W e’ve all seen spy movies, especially those set behind the Iron Curtain. A star, Clint Eastwood or Matt Damon, perhaps, has the mission to infiltrate a country or organization, befriend someone with important information, find a weakness in that person, and then exploit that weakness with the goal of getting that foreigner to do something he wants him to do. In the context of fictional novels or real-life patri- otic situations, that mission is romanticized and respected. We’re “fighting the bad guys” and we need to “turn” people to “win the war.” When the ends justify the means in this dog-eat-dog world, there’s nothing too wrong with using prostitution, homosexual tendencies, pedophilia, threats to fam- ily, threats to self, drugs, alcohol, money, religion, guilt, shame, or a myriad of other things to “turn that asset.” However, do you think this covert coercion starts at our border’s edge, only to be employed in for- eign lands, for patriotic and nationalistic purposes? We live in the most prosperous country on the planet, and there are plenty of reasons anyone who can exert that kind of pressure abroad might do it within our own borders. Who are we talking about? Who are they target- ing? What is their goal? “Who” are the people with money and power that are shrewd enough and greedy enough to use their wealth and power to gain more of the same. We, the public, don’t often know their names or faces, because they are typically more successful when they work from the position of darkness and anonymity. For sake of simplicity, let’s called these people “Mr. Global” and Mr. Global must employ people to do his bidding. It is these actors, Mr. Global’s hired hands, whom we might more readi- ly identify because they must frequently operate in the public arena to accomplish their missions. The hired hands that Mr. Global employs (or otherwise controls) are bodyguards, private inves- tigators, attorneys, intelligence agencies, organized crime, government agencies, and military branches. For the low-level things, such as roughing up a potential whistle-blower or deterring a competitor, they’ll have a private investigator follow you and take compromising photos of something you’d find embarrassing (such as an affair), or they may have a lawyer send a cease-and-desist threat or claim patent infringement. The first round is usu- ally a warning shot. Play ball, or else…. or else the wife learns about the affair, the photos leak to the press, your shareholders are told you are a fraud, etc. If you don’t play ball after the warning shot, things might escalate. This is where the bodyguards, organized crime, and intelligence agencies come in. If the “target” is an individual (as opposed to a state or organization), this will subsequently take the form of physical harm. You’re beaten up in the alleyway behind the bar and left with cracked ribs and a bloody shirt. Maybe the brakes go out in your car, and you’re lucky you came away from the accident with only a gash on the forehead. Maybe strangers approach you in the street and randomly refer to your wife and children by their first names, with a malicious grin on their face. Play ball or someone gets hurt. If the target is an organization or state, this can take the form of threats to individuals, or it might be more complicated. A president or prime min- ister might be asked to privatize a certain business or industry so that it can be acquired on the cheap, grant military basing rights to a foreign military, or contribute in some way to covert activities to be undertaken in his or her neighboring country. If they don’t immediately acquiesce, the threat can be personal, toward them. They or their family might come into harm, as in the prior example. Perhaps financial and operational support might be provided to a political opponent who will be more empowered to steal his or her position in the next election cycle, possibly even through via a violent or non-violent coup. Sometimes it might require much more than one leader or ruling family’s commitment or action, in which case the threats can take on a much larger dimension. Here we get into false flags, terrorism, political machinations, and the like. A rebel army or insurgent group might be funded to usurp a political power’s authority, through a proxy army “cutout,” that distances the action from the true instigator. Or a terrorist organization stages a car bombing or similar domestic terror event to sway the public’s opinion to support a military incursion into the neighboring country. Perhaps a country is alleged to have weapons of mass destruction, in