Thursday, January 25, 2007

NRO Covets New Toy

The All Seeing Eye in the Sky

by Flemming Funch

An oddball retired aerospace engineer named Bill Grisham seems to maybe have invented something rather revolutionary, which the U.S. military complex would very much like to get their hands on. The site that explains it is here. And if we believe what it says, the idea is to provide globally accessible real-time 3D imaging of every point on the planet, and that it will be available to anybody. It says stuff like this:

According to Grisham, “MIRIAH is everybody´s Spy in the Sky. It´s like a Google Globe but in 3D and in real time. It´s like Internet, but with universal wireless remote wifi access without webservers. Anyone anywhere, will be able to virtually walk around anything or anyone, anywhere. Users will swoop down and walk around objects on the other side of the world. In the future when the Pentagon says there are WMDs somewhere anyone will be able to personally confirm whether or not that is true. There will always be spies on Earth and all that we can ever do about that is for all of us to spy on the spies. In the near future, the biggest secret governments will have to keep will be, How to hide from MIRIAH users? It’s Espionage4Everyone and Everyone2Everybody”.

In the official proposal MIRIAH is described as: an Interferometer satellite sensor which uses convergent illumination for a 2nd Power-Aperture to lower costs for the best characteristics of SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and Optical Satellites. It provides day or night, all weather, penetrating imaging with extremely fine spatial resolution (half a wavelength), and extremely fine spectral resolution in its 1st Power-Aperture, for automatic GIS capable hyper-spectral imaging. It offers 10 samples/day, with 10 channels, to form square matrix Eigenvector “signatures” to instantly isolate critical tactical targets. SAR captures digitized “virtual” images needing extensive, time consuming processing, while MIRIAH captures “real” images, needing only digitization for delivered images, allowing for faster delivery of finished intelligence. This throughput time also varies with the satellite population: from 12 hours for 3 satellites down to 30 minutes for 12 satellites. Its architecture is 3-D symmetric, so piggybacked launching cuts expensive boosters in half, while balanced moments reduce precession to enable simpler cost effective satellites, adding powerful and secure communication and navigation capabilities.

Which, uhm, I didn't quite catch. But they claim that NRO (the National Reconnaissance Office) has examined the patents and found no flaw in the scheme, and that they're very interested. And that it is thousands of times cheaper and more efficient that any competing proposals. And that Grisham refuses to sell out, and will only grant non-exclusive uses for his patents, because he wants everybody to have access to it. You can read another article about all this here. Of course you should take all of that with a big grain of salt. These might of course be crazy religious fantatics and conspiracy theorists with a lively imagination. Or it might just be right, which would be cool.

Also see Radar love: the tortured history of American space radar programs

Friday, January 19, 2007

Nez Perce Resumes Buffalo Hunt

Just as the Makah were chided for killing one whale, drawing scads of attention from the true criminals (commercial whaling), the Nez Perce have received lots of negative attention for hunting wild buffalo near Yellowstone National Park. Apparently, it is ok for Montana and the park service to kill thousands but the Nez Perce are to be hated for taking a fraction of that (three so far). From that, you'd think THEY were the visitors on this continent.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The 9/11 Psyop

Saturday, January 06, 2007

New Spy Chief's "Total Information" Ties

Here is a piece from Defense Tech:

"John Michael McConnell, the retired vice admiral slated to become America's new top spy, [has some] longtime associations [which] may cause him headaches during Senate confirmation hearings," notes."One such tie is with another former Navy admiral, John Poindexter, the Iran-contra figure who started the controversial 'Total Information Awareness' program at the Pentagon in 2002."

The international consultancy that McConnell has worked at for a decade as a senior vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton, won contracts worth $63 million on the TIA "data-mining" program, which was later cancelled [kinda sorta -- ed.] after congressional Democrats raised questions about invasion of privacy... While his role in the TIA program is unlikely to derail McConnell's nomination, spokespeople for some leading Democratic senators such as Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Ron Wyden of Oregon say it will be examined carefully.

McConnell was a key figure in making Booz Allen, along with Science Applications International Corp., the prime contractor on the project, according to officials in the intelligence community and at Booz Allen who would discuss contracts for data mining only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. "I think Poindexter probably respected Mike and probably entrusted the TIA program to him as a result," said a longtime associate of McConnell's who worked at NSA with him...

Intel experts agree that McConnell will need all the good will he can get from the intelligence and defense communities. "It's a good appointment for a bad office," says John Arquilla, who teaches intelligence at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. "The directorate of national intelligence should not exist. It's very redundant." Insiders say Negroponte was frustrated by his lack of budgeting control over Pentagon intelligence, and the resistance of the CIA to his direction since his office was created in 2004 as part of the Bush administration's post-9/11 reforms.

And by the way, Rutty asks in the comments (I'm paraphrasing heavily here): What was McConnell's role in Echelon -- the NSA's massive information sweeper, which got some much attention during the Clinton years? (The project had been around for decades, remember.)

For more information on the intelligence nexus that comes further and further out of the closet, almost daily, check this piece out, where you will find mention of some of the very outfits spoken of above, like SAIC and Booz, Allen, & Hamilton.

The following is snipped from John Negroponte Demoted: Good News? (posted by a blogger who states clearly that he likes the idea of the intelligence community being run entirely by military personnel - hyperlinks added by yours truly):

If McConnell is tapped, and if the Senate confirms him, it would mean the final takeover of all civilian foreign-policy intelligence agencies by military personnel:

Director of National Intelligence: Vice Admiral Mike McConnell;

Director of Central Intelligence: Air Force General Michael Vincent Hayden;

Director of the National Intelligence Agency: Army Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander (also Commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare);

And, of course, the Department of Defense intelligence agencies are all headed by military personnel: Air Intelligence Agency, Army Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Also see:

Nominee Played Big Role in Outsourcing Intelligence

Mike McConnell Next Director of National Intelligence

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Greatest Hacker Of All Time?

The question comes up from time to time, who's the greatest hacker ever? Well, there's a lot of different opinions on this. Some say Steve Wozniak of Apple II fame. Maybe Andy Hertzfeld of the Mac operating system...Richard Stallman, say others, of MIT. Yet at such times when I mention who I think the greatest hacker is, everyone agrees (provided they know of him), and there's no further argument. So, let me introduce you to him, and his greatest hack. I'll warn you right up front that it's mind numbing. By the way, everything I'm going to tell you is true and verifiable down at your local library. Don't worry; we're not heading off into a Shirley MacLaine UFO-land story. Just some classy electrical engineering...

The Scene: Colorado Springs, CO.

Colorado Springs is in southern Colorado, about 70 mile south of Denver. These days it is known as the home of several optical disk research corporations and of NORAD, the missile defense command under Cheyenne Mountain. These events took place some time ago in Colorado Springs. A scientist had moved into town and set up a laboratory on Hill Street, on the southern outskirts. The lab had a two hundred foot copper antenna sticking up out of it, looking something like a HAM radio enthusiast's antenna. He moved in and started work. Strange electrical things began to happen near that lab.

People would walk near the lab, and sparks would jump up from the ground to their feet, through the soles of their shoes. One boy took a screwdriver, held it near a fire hydrant, and drew a four inch electrical spark from the hydrant. Sometimes the grass around his lab would glow with an eerie blue corona, St. Elmo's Fire. What they didn't know was this was small stuff. The man in the lab was merely tuning up his apparatus. He was getting ready to run it wide open in an experiment that ranks as among the greatest, and most spectacular, of all time. One side effect of his experiment was the setting of the record for man-made lightning: some 42 meters in length (130 feet).

The Man: Dr. Nikola Tesla

His name was Nikola Tesla. He was an immigrant from what is now Yugoslavia; there's a museum of his works in Belgrade. He's virtual unknown in the United States, despite his accomplishments. I'm not sure why. Some people feel it's a government plot, the same people who are into conspiracy theories. I feel it's more that Tesla, while a brilliant inventor, was also an awful businessman; he ended up dying penniless and broke. Businessmen who go broke fade out of the public eye; we see this in the computer industry all the time. Edison, who wasn't near the inventor Tesla was, but who was a better businessman, is well remembered, as is his General Electric. Still, let me list a few of Tesla's works just so you'll understand how bright he was. He invented the AC motor and transformer. (Think of every motor in your house.) He invented 3-phase electricity and popularized alternating current, the electrical distribution system used all over the world. He invented the Tesla Coil, which makes the high voltage that drives the picture tube in your computer's CRT, and in most cases, the spark that ignites the fuel in your automobile. He is now credited with inventing modern radio as well; the Supreme Court overturned Marconi's patent in 1943 in favor of Tesla.

Tesla, in short, invented much of the equipment that gets power to your home every day from miles away, and many that use that power inside your home. His inventions made George Westinghouse (Westinghouse Corp.) a wealthy man. Finally, the unit of magnetic flux in the metric system is the "tesla". Other units include the "faraday" and the "henry", so you'll understand his is an honor given to few. So we're not talking about an unknown here, but rather a solid electrical engineer. Tesla whipped through a number of inventions early in his life. He found himself increasingly interested in resonance, and in particular, electrical resonance. Tesla found out something fascinating. If you set an electrical circuit to resonating, it does strange things indeed. Take for instance his Tesla Coil. This high frequency step-up transformer would kick out a few hundred thousand volts at radio frequencies. The voltage would come off the top of his coil as a "corona", or brush discharge. The little ones put out a six-inch spark; the big ones throw sparks many feet long. Yet Tesla could draw the sparks to his fingers without being hurt -- the high frequency of the electricity keeps it on the surface of the skin, and prevents the current from doing any harm. Tesla got to thinking about resonance on a large scale. He'd already pioneered the electrical distribution system we use today, and that's not small thinking; when you think of Tesla, think big. He thought, let's say I send an electrical charge into the ground. What happens to it? Well, the ground is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Let me spend a moment on this so you understand, because topsoil doesn't seem very conductive to most. The ground makes a wonderful sinkhole for electricity. This is why you "ground" power tools; the third (round) pin in every AC outlet in your house is wired straight to, literally, the ground. Typically, the handle of your power tool is hooked to ground this way, if something shorts out in the tool and the handle gets electrified, the current rushes to the ground instead of into you. The ground has long been used in this manner, as a conductor. Tesla generates a powerful pulse of electricity, and drains it into the ground. Because the ground is conductive, it doesn't stop. Rather, it spreads out like a radio wave, traveling at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second. And it keeps going, because it's a powerful wave; it doesn't peter out after a few miles. It passes through the iron core of the earth with little trouble. After all, molten iron is very conductive. When the wave reaches the far side of the planet, it bounces back, like a wave in water bounces when it reaches an obstruction. Since it bounces, it makes a return trip; eventually, it returns to the point of origin. Now, this idea might seem wild.

But it isn't science fiction. We bounced radar beams off the moon in the 1950's, and we mapped Venus by radar in the 1970's. Those planets are millions of miles away. The earth is a mere 8000 miles in diameter; sending an electromagnetic wave through it is a piece of cake. We can sense earthquakes all the way across the planet by the vibrations they set up that travel all that distance. So, while at first thought it seems amazing, it's really pretty straight forward. But, as I said, it's a typical example of how Tesla thought. And then he had one of his typically-Tesla ideas. He thought, when the wave returns to me (about 1/30th of a second after he sends it in), it's going to be considerably weakened by the trip. Why not send in another charge at this point, to strengthen the wave? The two will combine, go out, and bounce again. And then he'll reinforce it again, and again. The wave will build up in power. It's like pushing a swing set. You give a series of small pushes each time the swing goes out. And you build up a lot of power with a series of small pushes; ever tried to stop a swing when it's going full tilt? He wanted to find out the upper limit of resonance. And he was in for quite a surprise.

The Hack: The Tesla Coil

So Tesla moved into Colorado Springs, where one of his generators and electrical systems had been installed, and set up his lab. Why Colorado Springs? Well, his lab in New York had burned down, and he was depressed about that. And as fate would have it, a friend in Colorado Springs who directed the power company, Leonard Curtis, offered him free electricity. Who could resist that? After setting up his lab, he tuned his gigantic Tesla coil through that year, trying to get it to resonate perfectly with the earth below. And the townspeople noticed those weird effects; Tesla was electrifying the ground beneath their feet on the return bounce of the wave.

Eventually, he got it tuned, keeping things at low power. But in the spirit of a true hacker, just once he decided to run it wide open, just to see what would happen. Just what was the upper limit of the wave he would build up, bouncing back and forth in the planet below? He had his Coil hooked to the ground below it, the 200 foot antenna above it, and getting as much electricity as he wanted right off the city power supply mains. Tesla went outside to watch (wearing three inch rubber soles for insulation) and had his assistant, Kolman Czito, turn the Coil on. There was a buzz from rows of oil capacitors, and a roar from the spark gap as wrist-thick arcs jumped across it. Inside the lab the noise was deafening. But Tesla was outside, watching the antenna. Any surge that returned to the area would run up the antenna and jump off as lightning. Off the top of the antenna shot a six foot lightning bolt. The bolt kept going in a steady arc, though, unlike a single lightning flash. And here Tesla watched carefully, for he wanted to see if the power would build up, if his wave theory would work. Soon the lightning was twenty feet long, then fifty. The surges were growing more powerful. Eighty feet -- now thunder was following each lightning bolt. A hundred feet, a hundred twenty feet; the lightning shot upwards off the antenna.

Thunder was heard booming around Tesla now (it was heard 22 miles away, in the town of Cripple Creek). The meadow Tesla was standing in was lit up ,with an electrical discharge very much like St. Elmo's Fire, casting a blue glow. His theory had worked! There didn't seem to be an upper limit to the surges; he was creating the most powerful electrical surges ever created by man. That moment he set the record, which he still holds, for manmade lightning. Then everything halted. The lightning discharges stopped, the thunder quit. He ran in, found the power company had turned off his power feed. He called them, shouted at them -- they were interrupting his experiment! The foreman replied that Tesla had just overloaded the generator and set it on fire, his lads were busy putting out the fire in the windings, and it would be a cold day in hell before Tesla got any more free power from the Colorado Springs power company!

All the lights in Colorado Springs had gone out. And that, readers, is to me the greatest hack in history. I've seen some amazing hacks. The 8-bit Atari OS. The Mac OS. The phone company computers -- well, lots of computers. But I've never seen anyone set the world's lightning record and shut off the power to an entire town, "just to see what would happen". For a few moments, there in Colorado Springs, he achieved something never done before, nor since. He had used the entire planet as a conductor, and sent a pulse through it. In that one moment in the summer of 1899, he made electrical history. That's right, in 1899 - over one hundred years ago. Well, you may say to yourself, that's a nice story, and I'm sure George Lucas could make a hell of a movie about it, special effects and all. But it's not relevant today. Or is it? Hang on to your hat.

The SDI And The Tesla Coil

We just talked about an amazing hack that Nikola Tesla did - bouncing an electrical wave through the planet, in 1899, and setting the world's record for manmade lightning. Now, let me lay a little political groundwork. October, 1998, was the Hackercon 2.0, another gathering of computer hackers from all over the world. It was an informal weekend at a camp in the hills west of Santa Clara. One of the more interesting memories of Hackers 2.0 were the numerous diatribes against the Strategic Defense Initiative. Most speakers claimed it was impossible, citing technical problems. So many people felt obligated to complain about SDI that the conference was jokingly called "SDIcon 2.0". Probably the high point of the conference was Jerry Pournelle and Timothy Leary up on stage debating SDI. I'll leave the description to your imagination - it was everything you can think of and more. Personally, it was disturbing to see how many gifted hackers adopted the attitude of "let's not even try". That's not how Microsoft got started. A mention was made by a Time magazine journalist, that if anyone could make SDI work, it was the hackers gathered there. I also believe that the greatest hacker of them all, Nikola Tesla, solved the SDI technical problem back in 1899. The event was so long ago, and so amazing, that it's pretty much been forgotten; Let me present the case for the Tesla Coil and SDI.

Soviet Use Of The Tesla Coil

You will recall that Tesla was born in Yugoslavia (although back then, it was "Serbo-Croatia"). He is not unknown there; he is regarded as a national hero. Witness the Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, for instance. There's been interferences picked up, on this side of the planet, which is causing problems in the ham radio bands. Direction-finding equipment has traced this interference in the SW band to two sources in the (former) Soviet Union, which are apparently two high powered Tesla Coils. Why on earth are the Russians playing with Tesla Coils? There's one odd theory that they're subjecting Canada to low level electrical interference to cause attitude change. Sigh. Moving right along, there's another theory, more credible, that they are conducting research in "over the horizon" radar using Tesla's ideas. (The Russians are certainly not saying what they're doing.) When I read about this testing (now over a decade ago), it worried me. I don't think they're playing with attitude control nor radar. I think they're doing exactly what Tesla did in Colorado Springs. Just a guess? I think not.

Computers And Grounding

Time for another discussion of grounding. Consider your computer equipment. You've doubtlessly been warned about static electricity, always been told to ground yourself (thus discharging the static into the ground, an electrical sinkhole) before touching your computer. Companies make anti-static spray for your rugs. Static is in the 20,000 to 50,000 volt range. Computer chips run on five to twelve volts. The internal insulation is built for that much voltage.

When they get a shot of static in the multiple thousand volt range, the insulation is punctured, and the chip ruined. Countless computers have been damaged this way. Read any manual on inserting memory chips to a PC, and you'll see warnings about static; it's a big problem. Tesla was working in the millions of volts range. And his special idea - that the ground itself could be the conductor - now comes into relevance, over one hundred years after his dramatic demonstration in Colorado Springs. For, you see, in our wisdom, we've grounded our many computers, to protect them from static. We've always assumed the ground is an electrical sinkhole. So, with our three-pin plugs we ground everything; the two flat pins in your wall go to electricity (hot and neutral); the third, round pin, goes straight to ground. That third pin is usually hooked with a thick wire to a cold water pipe, which grounds it effectively.

Tesla proved that you can give that ground a terrific charge, millions of volts of high frequency electricity. (Tesla ran his large coil at 33 Khz). Remember, the lightning surging off his Coil was coming from the wave bouncing back and forth in the planet below. In short, he was modifying the ground's electrical potential, changing it from an electrical sinkhole to an electrical source. Tesla did his experiment in 1899. There weren't any home computers with delicate chips hooked up to grounds then. If there had been, he'd have fried everything in Colorado Springs. There was, however, one piece of electrical equipment grounded at the time of the experiment, which was the city of Colorado Springs' power generator. It caught fire and ended Tesla's experiment. The cause of its failure is interesting as well. It died from "high frequency kickback", something most electrical engineers know about. Tesla forgot that as the generator fed him power, he was feeding it high frequency from his Coil. High frequency quickly heats insulation; a microwave oven works on the same principle. In a few minutes, the insulation inside that generator grew so hot that the generator caught fire. When the lights went out all over Colorado Springs, there was the first proof that Tesla's idea has strategic possibilities. It gets scarier. Imagine Tesla's Coil, busily pumping an electrical wave in the Earth.

On his side of the planet, he was getting 130 foot sparks, which is a hell of a lot of voltage and current. And simple wave theory will show you that those sort of potentials exist on the far side of the planet as well. Remember, the wave was bouncing back and forth, being reinforced on every trip, in tuned resonant frequency propagation - the more reinforcement, the stronger the wave becomes. The big question is, how focused the opposite electrical pole will be. No one knows. But it seems probable that the far side of the planet's ground target area could be subjected to considerable electrical interference. And if computer equipment is plugged into that ground, faithfully assuming the ground will never be a source of electricity, it's just too bad for that equipment. This sort of electrical interference makes static look tiny by comparison. It doesn't take much difference in ground potential to kill a computer connected across it. Lightning strikes cause a temporary flare in ground voltage. Imagine the effect on relatively delicate electronics if someone fires up a Tesla Coil on the far side of the planet, and subjects the grounds to steep electrical swings.

The military applications are pretty obvious - those ICBM's in North Dakota, for instance. It's possible they could be damaged in their silos, and from thousands of miles away. Running two or more Coils, you don't have to be exactly on the far side of the planet, either. Interference effects can give you high points where you need with varied tunings. Maybe, just maybe, the Russians aren't doing "over the horizon" radar. Maybe they just bothered to read Tesla's notes. And maybe they are tuning up a real big surprise with their twin Coils.

"Star Wars" And The Tesla Coil

You've heard of the Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars" from the Ronald Reagan era. We're searching for a way to stop a nuclear attack. Right now, we've got all sorts of high powered research projects, with the emphasis on "new technology". Exciter laser, kinetic kill techniques, and even more exotic ideas. Research oriented people will want to read as much as they can about a secret government project, called PROJECT HAARP. I'll let you read about HAARP in the comfort of your easy-chair at home...suffice to say, you will be quite taken back. The book is listed, below, from

As any of you know that have written computer programs, it's darned hard to get something "new" to work. Maybe it's an error to focus on "new" exclusively. Wouldn't it be something if the solution to SDI lies a hundred years ago, in the forgotten brilliance of Nikola Tesla? For right now we can immobilize the electronics of installations half a planet away. The technology to do it was achieved in 1899, and promptly forgotten. Remember, we're not talking vague, unproven theories here. We're talking the world's record for lightning, and the inventor whose power system lights up your house at night and the electrical power that runs the entire world.

The Tesla Coil Works!

All we'd have to do is build it. You might not believe the story about Tesla in Colorado Springs, and what he did. It's pretty amazing. It has a way of being forgotten because of that. And I'm not sure you want to hear about the SDI connection. Still, as you work on a computer, remember Tesla. His Tesla Coil supplies the high voltage for the picture tube you use. The electricity for your computer comes from a Tesla design AC generator, is sent through a Tesla transformer, and gets to your house through 3-phase Tesla power. Tesla's inventions... they have a way of working.

If you've come this far with your reading, you will definitely want to pick up some books - Nikola Tesla; Journey To Mars - Are We Already There? --- "The Lost Journals Of Nikola Tesla" by Tim Swartz, and, for fascinating info on Project HAARP, "Secrets Of Cold War Technology" By Gary about some great reading! Below, from - click here for the complete history of Tesla's Magnifying Transmitter

SOURCE: Frank Germano

Humans must colonize other planets: Hawking

LONDON (Reuters) - Humans must colonize planets in other solar systems traveling there using "Star Trek"-style propulsion or face extinction, renowned British cosmologist Stephen Hawking said on Thursday.

Referring to complex theories and the speed of light, Hawking, the wheel-chair bound Cambridge University physicist, told BBC radio that theoretical advances could revolutionize the velocity of space travel and make such colonies possible.

"Sooner or later disasters such as an asteroid collision or a nuclear war could wipe us all out," said Professor Hawking, who was crippled by a muscle disease at the age of 21 and who speaks through a computerized voice synthesizer.

"But once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe," said Hawking, who was due to receive the world's oldest award for scientific achievement, the Copley medal, from Britain's Royal Society on Thursday.

Previous winners include Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.

In order to survive, humanity would have to venture off to other hospitable planets orbiting another star, but conventional chemical fuel rockets that took man to the moon on the Apollo mission would take 50,000 years to travel there, he said.

Hawking, a 64-year-old father of three who rarely gives interviews and who wrote the best-selling "A Brief History of Time", suggested propulsion like that used by the fictional starship Enterprise "to boldly go where no man has gone before" could help solve the problem.

"Science fiction has developed the idea of warp drive, which takes you instantly to your destination," said.

"Unfortunately, this would violate the scientific law which says that nothing can travel faster than light."

However, by using "matter/antimatter annihilation", velocities just below the speed of light could be reached, making it possible to reach the next star in about six years.

"It wouldn't seem so long for those on board," he said.

The scientist revealed he also wanted to try out space travel himself, albeit by more conventional means.

"I am not afraid of death but I'm in no hurry to die. My next goal is to go into space," said Hawking.

And referring to the British entrepreneur and Virgin tycoon who has set up a travel agency to take private individuals on space flights from 2008, Hawking said: "Maybe Richard Branson will help me."

SOURCE: Enlightenment Engine

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Blog of Mine

Thanks to Juan for the invitation..

Check it out...

Here, there is no division of thought nor of bodies of knowledge. What is known about mathematics can enlighten areas of art and vice versa. Here, we will juxtapose matters of what are normally deemed separate topics that new light may be shed. Yeah, we're making it up as we go along....


Monday, January 01, 2007

An Epitaph from King Crimson (1969)

A Little Adbusting

Saddam's Hanging: Psyops as Usual

You only have to look back a few years (we won't mention JFK) to find a huge event aimed at viewers with media complicity intended to induce trauma. Recently, in Iraq, we have a two pronged psychological attack, the first being aimed at placating the bloodthirst of a vicious and warmongering American mind (by and large) and the other intended, I reckon, to create War on Terror security, i.e. induce martyrdom, insurgence, and further justification for the Bush global military thrust.

Saddam and the Cellphones
By Michael Roston

By now, millions of people have viewed the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Not just Al Iraqiya's pornographic tease of America's old pit bull just prior to his necktie party. No, I mean millions have watched Saddam actually hang. Take a look at the video up at this website Live Leak, a YouTube clone (Hat tip to No Quarter; you probably don't *really* want to follow this link). How many views? When I clicked it was 134,205 times it had been watched. Meanwhile, the people at Boing Boing found 4 more of these clips at Google Video, guaranteeing that millions more casual internet users will watch Iraq's dead president swing. And I'm sure it will be no time at all before these videos are pressed to a million VCD's sitting on the floor of marketplaces across the Middle East to be viewed as short films prior to one's at home screening of a pirated copy of Dreamgirls.

Clearly, the location of Saddam Hussein's execution was one of the most secure settings for an execution ever constructed. So, why are we finding on the move about this planet a bunch of viral, unrestricted and uncensored videos of what is probably the most controversial execution ever carried out?

Newsweek provided an interesting interview with Ali Al Massedy, the "official videographer" tasked with producing the official record of the execution. He usually does this job for Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Presumably, they brought him in to shoot the film so that there would only be one version of the execution, and the government would then be able to tightly control its distribution. Ali says as much:

Ali said the videotape lasts about 15 minutes. When NEWSWEEK asked to see a copy, Ali said he had already handed the tape over to Maliki's chief of staff. "It is top secret," he said. He would not give the names of officials in attendance, though he estimates there were around 20 observers....He also said that government officials had not decided whether or not to release the videotape.

Well, I guess they decided. It was so top secret that they let multiple men out of that limited group of 20 bring in cellphones with video functions, and then allowed them to record the execution. I bet you couldn't smuggle a gun into that execution chamber. But apparently you could smuggle a cell phone with a video camera into those gallows, and stand out in plain sight 15 feet from the platform and shoot that video of this "top secret event" to your heart's desire.

And just as our fair president raced to wake up Saturday morning and issue a statement about what had been done in Iraq, several of those 20 attendees raced home or to their offices to upload videos of a hanged Saddam Hussein so everyone in the world could see this secretive execution carried out.

What a sham it has been. Pretending at the time of Saddam's capture that now was the time for a trial, and pretending at the time of his sentence that now was the time to order his execution, and pretending at the time of his execution that now was the moment he had to hang, and then pretending that it was a secret act carried out with discretion to avoid antagonizing any of Iraq's population.

Here we are seeing 21st century psychological operations. It's hard to know who is directing this internet traffic, but it can be concluded there were elements within America's government and/or military, working in concert with Iraq's current scarecrow power-holders, who wanted as many people as possible in the world to see Saddam hang. And from that rope hanged not just that bearded old man, but whatever was left of our culture that hasn't been degraded by the 7 years of 'leadership" we've been dragging around with us.


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