AN Security

Beware of deception campaigns

In cold war, conspiracy theory, counterintelligence, national security, political warfare, us defense vulnerability on January 7, 2010 at 6:29 am

“Most consequential choices involve shades of gray, and some fog is often useful in getting things done.” – Timothy Geithner

Ah yes, the fog of war can indeed mask an enemy’s position or intentions if one is not keen to its strategy. Like the Music Man, there must be a need, a threat or crisis for someone to succesfully take control of a situation or peoplel. As Rahm Emanuel has so eloquently posed, you can’t let a good crisis go to waste. In the absence of conflict, the conditions for chaos are ideal, offering a blank canvas from which to work and create. War comes in many forms and the struggle between more than one party is a game of balance and opportunity.

As in any conflict, domestic political upheaval can be just as devastating and deadly and those fought with the gun.  The objective of deception is to find a way to convince the targeted opposition that what is going on isn’t and to make them believe nothing is wrong. The difference is in the delivery of an attack on the victim, but how can it be accomplished without being detected? After all an elite minority holding resources from 300 million people cannot sustain drastic changes without setting off an ugly revolt while reconciling the fact that the majority, once it is awakened can become a greater threat.

So, how’s your health been lately? Would you believe me if I told you that a flu virus  will spread quickly throughout the nation, killing scores of Americans? Okay then, would you then believe me if I told you that the only way to survive is to drink the juice of one lemon mixed with one finely minced garlic clove? No? Well, actually the lemon is great as an expectorant and garlic has antipyretic properties so if you have a nasty fever, this great herb will break it within reason. Just make sure not to double the dose; you may go into convulsions…not that I tried that myself…

What I have trouble believing in is the sudden emergency, followed by the government’s apparent lack of knowledge of the issue or even a hint that something could have gone wrong and their fast and expert mitigation of the problem. If the government was not aware of the avian flu until some chickens started dying or if a Mexican traveler afflicted with some viral malady came across the border already sick then died, then how did it manage to research, develop, manufacture and distribute vaccines? Many theories of federal government taking over entire towns and holding citizens in a quarantine is the stuff of movies. Maybe.  It was amazing that in Cuba the Castro regime had boasted of having nearly full control of not just the H1N1 virus outbreak on the island (something about 48 cases came from outsiders) but of dengue fever and other communicable diseases. That’s not so hard when populations can be isolated and treated. It was also interesting how the military is so engaged in the public’s service by monitoring personal and collective cleanliness of its citizens in practicing preventive measures such as making sure they don’t have standing water around living areas which is legit but back to the military guys…they make sure the fine citizens are compliant with government orders to keep their communities clean.

Talk about a disciplined people…with some supervision. I can see the military and police patrolling residential areas ensuring that people keep their homes in good order as Big Brother assures them that no one will be left behind during the crisis.

Distribution is tricky in an emergency without a plan. Local health departments have to coordinate these vaccination campaigns and a good knowledge of local demographics is useful in determining where the stuff most go. But then if the public isn’t convinced this scenario can go in two different direction.

  1.  Force large groups of people into areas that can be controlled and begin the vaccination process or
  2. Use the media to push quaint ads to appeal to parents (start with kids always) then wait for people to show, giving them the option to take it or leave it

The first option is impractical to an extent because the more you push something the more resistance. If people are given choice then compliance is not total so what to do? This is an emergency. After many weeks of battling it out with government, the media and local jurisdictions suddenly there is no vaccine. Apologies abound; really, production did not match the need. People rush to their local clinics or designated vaccination centers and are vaccinated. They just want to make sure their kids are okay and  become compliant, but it does not look like following an order but rather it is a decision made on their own. You have to get this vaccine, trust us…though for some reason the First Lady and her two daughters did not get it. It had something to do with not being part of the most affected groups/demographics. Maybe the First Lady isn’t but conventional wisdom always takes care of the young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems at the very least. Now everyone, in spite of many reports that people who go to emergency rooms have complained of flu symptoms, diagnosed with the garden-variety type only to see the records show they were afflicted with the swine (H1N1) virus. The flu story yields very few leads today as there are no mass deaths to report anymore. We are all saved. Don’t forget to sneeze or cough into your sleeve, please.

 The Unaffordable Affordable Health Scare

 Other unusual stories have surfaced recently like the fight between the White House and Howard Dean over the health care bill.

After a fast and furious effort to pass health care reform legislation onto an unwilling and angry people, the Congress suddenly experiences opposition from its own pundits. Is it a miracle or are the Democrats becoming a splintered movement? Look at someone like Howard Dean, one of the most vocal pundits of the progressive movement. His very public challenge of the administration and the Congress to shut down bill, accusing them of giving shelter to companies like AIG makes no sense. Other radical groups such as, the union giants SEIU, ACORN and others suddenly chime in that they too are going against health care legislation. Even uber lib media types like Keith Olbermann went on a tirade against it, challenging the premise of supporting a bill which could give aid and comfort to the liberal’s enemy; AIG and ‘big’ insurance. Obviously there is a change of heart for these people. I’d like to propose to you an even more radical idea; liberals, progressives, communists or socialists do not change. Either way, some other event may be masked by all the commotion about one group of people suddenly splitting from the mainstream movement. This may not be the case but then maybe it is. Crazed ninja-mask-wearing protesters apt to burn down public and private property to get their message out just don’t pull out of an operation unless there is another plan. They have two possible outcomes for this sudden change:

  1. The left’s political arm has grown impatient and will split from the party and form their own independent movement because the alliance is no longer profitable or
  2. They are actually running because illicit activity has been attributed to them and wish to avoid legal consequences

Beware of anything that does not fill the usual patterns.

The Example from the Troubles

Here is a prime example that not all ideological or religious philosophies are followed by all people all of the time. If we study the Irish Republican Army and its composition there were more than one offshoot of the main group and each one had its own ideas about how to exact social and political equality for Irish Catholics. At the other end of the spectrum the protestants had their own agenda, one mainstream set of beliefs while other factions developed only to sabotage and undermind the overall effort to attain peace. Just because someone says publicly they are for or against a group they belong to does not mean it is true. Perhaps this type of game, psychological operations or PSYOPS as it is known in the military, is the main culprit. Another term we should consider is political warfare. But I will come back to that later. Membership does not guarantee full loyalty or adherence to a group’s charter. We must remember this in dealing with these groups, whether it is the conservative base Tea Party movement and other partisan groups or the liberal base, there will always be those who wish to de-stabilize the peaceful assembly of many sectors of society. These are groups or people who will sabotage a group on behalf of a more radicalized version of the group’s charter. Don’t believe everything you hear but challenge what makes you feel uncomfortable and treat these groups as one would an insurgency.When they retreat it’s usually to prepare to launch an even bigger attack. Expect to see conservative turn against conservative, liberals getting a clue and turning against progressivism. Seems farfetched but if it is, consider the alternatives. Groups can be traced online in greater numbers as the world wide web is the most unrestricted medium of communication left to man. Spies are everywhere, ready to de-stabilize their targeted groups. Just like virtual combat the web shows a trend known in counterinsurgency; that when you put pressure on your enemy it flees, but only to regroup and return to launch a more aggressive attack. Three veteran Democrats have announced that they will not seek reelection this year or at the end of their terms. Wow. It looks like the counteroffensive has begun. Once these types of people get a taste of unsupervised power it’s hard, even impossible to let it go. Watch them come back in some other form..unfortunately they won’t come back as pet rocks.

Cash for clunkers

This was a failure of a campaign but only if we look at it with a limited perspective. A group of friends and I were discussing the expense involved in coughing up money for cars that were probably running just fine and into a pile of metal. Unfortunately many people turned in vehicles considered outdated or old for something small and economical. They bought something they wouldn’t have driven voluntarily but did so because they got a financial incentive. Too bad those older cars with no GPS or OnStar or chips which can record, just like the black boxes installed on aircraft, recording every mile, every time you crank up speed and when, and can lock or unlock the vehicle remotely. That’s too bad. That old pick-up truck grandpa had on the farm would come in handy right about now. No one would know where you are.

Before you go, learn the following terms; you have to bring your homework with you next time:

  • Psychological operations (PSYOPS)
  • Political warfare
  • Stability operations or nation building

Part Two: Tu Casa es Mi Casa

I’d like to thank Dave Johannes and his blog Uncommon Sense for providing such impactful quotes. There are more and more of us listening and paying careful attention to what is going on in our country. So should you.


White House officials responded forcefully Thursday to former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean’s call to defeat healthcare reform bill.  

 [Google can translate this page for you]

José A. de la Osa,  Podemos entre todos enfrentar y vencer
la situación epidemiológica actual (Together we can all face and defeat the current epidemiological situation)

Donald Borsch’s ‘at Political Integrity Now online, Keith Olbermann against Obamacare ‘rather go to jail than to buy…’


  1. […] Part One: Beware of deception campaigns […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by M E Leclerc, M E Leclerc. M E Leclerc said: New blog: Beware of deception campaigns – […]

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