02.01.14

From the UnThink Tanks

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:35 pm by George Smith

Why people should pay no attention at all when someone from a famous American think tank is offering wisdom:

Instead of focusing on what we need to learn, we’ve instead fed on hype that fuels fears but doesn’t solve problems. For instance, Americans have repeatedly been told by government leaders and media pundits that cyber attacks are like weapons of mass destruction and that we are in a sort of Cold War of cyberspace …

But the fiction of a “cyber Pearl Harbor” gets far more attention than the real, and arguably far greater, impact of the massive campaign of intellectual property theft emanating from China.

“P.W. Singer is director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution,” reads the LA Times opinion page. It mentions his book on cyberwar.

Cyber Pearl Harbor, electronic Pearl Harbor, digital Pearl Harbor. The meme is now 20 years old. P. W. Singer was 20 when it started cranking up.

I was there at the beginning, covered it for two decades. And have the archive on newspaper clippings on the matter when it was still hot and fresh nonsense.

Anyway, from the same newspaper, in 2012:

Speaking to a group of U.S. business leaders last week, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta issued a dire warning that foreign hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that their online attacks on transportation systems, banks and other vital facilities are escalating. The worst-case scenario, he said, is a “cyber Pearl Harbor” perpetrated by state-sponsored hackers or terrorists that “would cause physical destruction and loss of life, paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability.”

Vice magazine, doing some publicity for a paper on how the future American military might will overwhelm the usual paupers and piss ants with a sky full of 3D-printed drones:

Ben FitzGerald, [a Senior Fellow at the D.C. defense think-tank Center for a New American Security], who grew up in the Australian city of Orange, cuts an unorthodox image for a man who spends his days advising some of the highest ranking officers in the U.S. military. When he and his beard arenít leading Pentagon war games, in which he trains officers to disable future enemy naval fleets by using hypothetical weapons such as giant microwave pulse emitters, he says he likes to visit contemporary art galleries in D.C. with his wife.

The electromagnetic pulse gun, the microwave pulse emitter. Another over 20-year old gem of which I used to like to say, the weapons that are always coming but never quite arriving. Between Wired and Aviation Week magazine, they used to be here about once a month back at the beginning.

And Ben FitzGerald looks like he was a little over ten when it all started.

His paper on 3D-printed drones, for potentially terrifying the usual list of enemies vastly poorer than the US Department of Defense, is co-authored by someone from the giant arms-manufacturer, Northrop Grumman.

This alone would be hilarious enough to reduce a rational person to tetany.

Anyway, now the microwave pulse emitters are in movies, tv and books every week, which brings us back to DD’s Law:

The probability that any predicted national security catastrophe, or doomsday scenario, will occur is inversely proportional to its appearance in entertainments, movies, television dramas and series, novels, non-fiction books, magazines and news.

Or, put another way, the probability that something bad will happen, as described or predicted by experts or any government, intelligence or quasi-corporate/government assessment agency, asymptotically approaches zero as it attains widespread use in popular entertainments. (And thatís usually very early in the development cycle.)

Therefore, you can bet your sweet bippy thereís never going to be an electronic Pearl Harbor, or an electromagnetic pulse attack, or a national blackout caused by Chinese hackers, or people dieing from a ricin mailing even though itís so easy to make. And al Qaeda does not come back from being hided for more than a decade. No one gets a second chance.

Summed up: Too many bad movies, too much bad television, too much fear-making as edutainment, passed off as serious news, advised by bad people slumming from the national security industry, their purpose primarily maximization of employment. Everything touched by it, tainted by an intrinsic badness. And it is definitely not supported by the real world but must be maintained by a uniquely American machinery of manipulations, lies and purposeful technology-mediated confusion.


The Brookings Institution is now most famous for being the think tank that produced the scholars who made their fame on a book and public rationalizations for the Iraq War. Now notorious quacks, once passed off as the finest of intellectuals.


Publishing this kind of material is a career track. It is servanting for
the national security megaplex and arms manufacturing.

Trivia:

Australian military budget: 24 billion dollars.
US defense budget: 500 – 650 billion dollars.


The Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse — from the archives.

1 Comment

  1. Ted Jr said,

    February 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    “weíve instead fed on hype that fuels fears but doesnít solve problems. For instance, Americans have repeatedly been told by government leaders and media pundits that cyber attacks are like weapons of mass destruction and that we are in a sort of Cold War of cyberspace Ö”

    There is an inherent fear of retribution which runs through US politics.
    It is a pervasive odor of fear.

    “Leon E. Panetta issued a dire warning that foreign hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that their online attacks on transportation systems, banks and other vital facilities are escalating.”

    The central tenet of LIHOP or MIHOP is to tease out what you plan to pull off at some future time.

    “The electromagnetic pulse gun, the microwave pulse emitter. Another over 20-year old gem of which I used to like to say, the weapons that are always coming but never quite arriving.”

    Wait until they start leaking the “fact” that UFO’s are really Russian or Chinese in origin.

    “Publishing this kind of material is a career track. It is servanting for
    the national security megaplex and arms manufacturing. ”

    And isn’t the first act a budding Mafioso is expected to perform always to be an act of crime? Just so the candidate can be blackmailed forever.