This one caught my eye when Mr. S.D. shared it with me, and in a week when all eyes and articles seem to be focused on Las Vegas, it takes a lot to catch my (or presumably, anyone else's) eye. The title of this blog, however, may not be familiar to some readers here, although I have talked about Operation Bernard, and referred to it at length in my book Covert Wars and Breakaway Cicilizations. To give it the "Cliff Notes" version, Operation Bernard was an industrial scale top secret Nazi operation that occurred in World War Two to counterfeit British pound sterling bank notes. By stating that it was "industrial scale," I mean to indicate that this was not a small operation, but one so large that by the war's end it had counterfeited over one hundred million pounds' worth of note (and according to some sources, much more than that). In addition, the Nazis had also instituted a "quality control" program to distinguish between four classes of their "product" with the first and highest class being so good that the notes were all but indistinguishable from the genuine articles issued by the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, i.e., the Bank of England. To test this product, they sent an envoy to Switzerland to exchange the notes for other currency. Swiss banks, after all, would be very adept at spotting counterfeits of the currencies of a multitude of nations.
Additionally, during the operation, one German agent involved in the program, one Friedrich von Schwend, came up with the idea that the operation would also be a perfect vehicle by which to fund the Nazis' covert operations and black research projects, on top of weakening the British currency and economy. Bear that point in mind, for when Mr. S.D. shared this article, as I say, it grabbed my attention:
The article, by Terie Maloy, begins by referencing a New York Times article from 1992:
Why is it that countries are in the US cross hairs so often experience hyperinflation? In times of economic difficulties, such as war, it is normal to experience significant inflation. But in the countries mentioned as examples below, inflation was off the chart, where money became worth less than the paper it was printed on.
From time to time the New York Times publishes articles that contain extraordinary revelations, that show the real working methods of the CIA. These revelations are normally once-off news, never to be followed up. In 1992, the newspaper published an article with the headline “Fake-Money Flood Is Aimed At Crippling Iraq’s Economy“, which had some extraordinary revelations:
Iraq’s economy is the target of an American-led destabilization campaign to pour vast amounts of counterfeit currency into the country, Arab and Western officials here say.
The fake dinar notes are being smuggled across the Jordanian, Saudi, Turkish and Iranian borders in an effort to undermine the Iraqi economy, said the officials here who closely monitor the situation inside Iraq. Those officials said counterfeit dollars are being smuggled into Iraq in smaller quantities to further confound the banking system. The officials, who insisted on not being identified, said the countries behind the separate counterfeiting operations included Western nations, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel.
The fake currency has contributed to Iraq’s severe inflation problem, which is aggravated by the fact that the Iraqi Government is printing money at uncontrolled speed to pay inflated salaries and cover the costs of reconstruction.
A Saudi official, who insisted on not being identified, concurred with the reports, saying that “all borders are being used.”
The tactic was also apparently used in Afghanistan:
To see that these tactics are common in the US irregular warfare toolbox, it is worth remembering the CIA supplied the Mujahedin with at least 2 billion dollars in counterfeit Afghan money for transport and bribery during Operation Cyclone, the CIA support program for the religious guerrilla forces against Soviet and Afghan government troops in the 1980s. As a bonus, they got to fund these group on the cheap, where the target country suffer the inflationary consequences.
The scale, in the billions of dollars, might make one suspect this might just the top of a counterfeiting iceberg as a dirty tactic in the cold war.
Other great powers have used the same method. France used counterfeiting with great success to bring her recently independent colony Guinea to heel. In 1958, the country wanted to print its own money, but France flooded it with high quality counterfeit bills, making the local currency collapse. As a result, Guinea was forced to join the French-controlled CFA franc-zone.
As the article also points out, several other countries appear to have been the target of the scheme: Zimbabwe, Venezuela, North Korea, Yugoslavia, Iran, Nicaragua, and on and on the list probably goes.
But my point in raising Herr von Schwend's modification (oh, did I mention that he was one of the Nazis who ended up in South America? Hmmmm....) is to point out that such enterprises could have other objectives than simply ruining a target country's economy. After all, that scheme is as old as, well, Venice, which suspiciously minted counterfeit Byzantine coins before it set off on the Fourth Crusade which was supposedly directed at the Islamic world but which, surprise surprise, ended up sacking Constantinople. Thank you Enrico Dandolo, the so-called "Blind Doge" of Venice, who redirected the crusade to the Byzantine Empire and who, in spite of his alleged blindness, suspiciously ended up taking part in the actual fighting. (The playbook doesn't change very much, does it?)
In this case, Herr von Schwend's modification to the scheme was to add another layer to it and use it as a funding mechanism for covert ops and black projects research. It became, in short, part of a hidden system of finance to finance the Nazi juggernaut. The same, I suggest, could be and probably is the case here: counterfeit currency, if good enough, can be used not only to crash economies, but to manipulate markets and to exchange fake currency for hard assets, whatever those may be. And this scheme, on an industrial scale, becomes yet another part of my hypothesized "hidden system of finance." (While you're pondering the implications of all that, then consider it in the context of all the hype about bitcoin and crypto-currencies. In an era when people want "secure finances" these schemes are being touted by their promoters as being safe and secure. Really? I mean, c'mon, really!?!? Systems that can be taken out by electronic warfare? Or that could have(and probably do have) backdoors? And that seem to be the quiet darling of the central banks? How easy would it be to flood that system with "counterfeit" 1's and o's? With currencies one at least has to have a rather substantial investment of time, money, and talent to produce them. Or are crypto-currencies themselves just another financing mechanism for covert ops? I strongly suspect they are, and that this is a mechanism behind Antifa and other Weimar Republic-like "private armies" we see elements in the USSA and elsewhere using.)
The bottom line here is that in addition to fake gold-backed bearer bonds, one has industrial scale currency counterfeiting. And of course, if they're willing to counterfeit currencies on that scale, then they're willing to counterfeit fake bearer bonds denominated in astronomical sums of money as well.
In short, we've just been given another glimpse into another significant component of that hidden system of finance. And note, there is nothing to prohibit rogue intelligence elements from counterfeiting the currency of its host country as well.
See you on the flip side...