Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Why would someone create a hoax about Pearl Harbor NOW?

As long-time readers know, I hold to the quaint and paranoid notion that many email hoaxes -- of the sort routinely debunked by Snopes -- are actually propaganda exercises. Our esteemed Australian correspondent, "Nick Possum" (a.k.a. Gavin Gatenby), has uncovered a particularly unnerving example.

According to a powerpoint presentation making the rounds of inboxes everywhere, a brownie camera magically turned up in a locker stored in an unspecified location. The camera was filled with spectacular, high-quality images of the attack on Pearl Harbor -- pictures never seen before.

Spectacular they are. But, in reality, they've been available to one and all for the past 66 years, although some have been cropped to appear unfamiliar. Gatenby tells the story here.

My questions are simple ones: Why would anyone concoct this elaborate lie? Why go to such an effort to place the words "Pearl Harbor" in the forefront of American consciousness this Fourth of July? (The viral distribution of a 600 KB powerpoint file takes some effort to initiate.) In an earlier post, we have noted the ABC News report of a terror "spectacular" planned for this summer.

Have a happy Fourth. We're making barbecue chicken sandwiches, and we're taking the pooch to a local park.

(UPDATE: Gatenby tells me that he is not Nick Possum; he is Nick Possum's amanuensis. And my ladyfriend decided that we had to stay home this Fourth, when she found out that HBO was running all six Star Wars films in sequence. Why does everything on Tatooine cast only one shadow?)


Perry Logan said...

Jeez, Joe--you pose those intriguing questions and then leave us dangling! Have good Fourth, but I hope you'll give us your answers to those questions soon.

Joseph Cannon said...

Picasso once said "Computers are useless. They can only give answers." I am not a computer.

Anonymous said...

“I hold to the quaint and paranoid notion that many email hoaxes ---- are actually propaganda exercises.”

I agree. As a DOD contractor for over twenty years I saw propaganda/Republican talking points emails spread via the dot MIL email system just about every week.
It got so bad I came to suspect a group of paid operatives were originating these emails.

“Why go to such an effort to place the words "Pearl Harbor" in the forefront of American consciousness this Fourth of July?”

Why indeed? Could it be the walls are closing in on the bush administration at the same time the shock of 911 is wearing off so someone wishes to remind people daddy bush is the Protector? Or, maybe it’s to plant the seed of fearful expectations. I just hope we don’t hear the fateful words “the system was blinking red” after the fact ever again.

Anonymous said...

Gatenby sells well w/ this argument:
"This email exercise has the hallmarks of a cheap softening-up operation – aimed at gullible Americans – for a war on Iran, or Syria, or maybe both. It says: 'Remember what happened last time! This time we'd better get in first!'"

Not to mention the fact that these boneheads like to stick it to FDR, as contrived as it would be, every chance they get. This is no joke. Their hatred for him is pathological. I'm sure they're worried that in this political, social and economic climate, the time is ripe for another just like him.

Anonymous said...

Hey, DanInAlabama--stick around. We like folks who can give us Deep Background.

And bono, you are all too correct about the FDR hate that comes from the farthest of the far right. In their eyes, he destroyed virtually everything that was good (read: profitable) in America. This is the heart of the true domestic agenda of the neo-cons: get rid of every FDR-begun policy and social change, and all those which facilitated the progress he made during his presidency. They want to undo not just the '90s or the '60s, but the entire 20th century.

Anonymous said...

Well. Jen, undo most of the progressive works, but certainly not the conflict and fear aspects. Oh, yeah, the main reason America resided in the Great Depression for so long was that wealthy clowns like the Bush family and many others were scared to death of investing in businesses that might be taken over by the workers. They hadn't yet tricked the American taxpayers into spending most of the nation's wealth on military crap. Just give our nation one week's spending in Iraq so we can set up a health program to take care of the old folks and kids.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jen.
Yep, their main agenda has been to undo the "damage" The New Deal did to the Oligarchs way of life.
This is the first site I visit everyday. (I don't usually comment, as I am one of those people that Joseph refers to as Trannies, so I just tend to read and learn, and never poke the Bear.:-))
I don't know about deep back ground since everything in that world is compartmentalized and on a need to know basis.
I started out as a computer operator, the moved on to IT and Information Security, so I always knew and associated with just about everyone on any given program and yet another member of a project, or even an entire section of the Command, could have been working on plan to take over the world and I would have never known.
I worked in the area of anti-missile defense from 1975 to 2004. You know, Star Wars stuff: DOT, HOE, KDEC, Brilliant Pebbles, THAAD, NMD-GBR, etc... While THAAD and GBR have had some success of late nobody can say how it would perform in the real world as those tests shots are highly controlled which is one reason we are moving on to "Securing the High Ground".
After a few years of working on anti-ballistic missile defense programs it became apparent to me that even if the billion dollar technology ever did become capable of actually reaching a 100% Kill rate, which is what you have to strive for when it comes to defending against nuclear tipped missiles, it could easily be thwarted by relatively cheap low tech means, and was therefore useless and pretty much a white collar welfare system. Well, actually a way for Big Contractors to suck billions of dollars out of the working man's wallet.
Majors and Colonels were a dime a dozen in the Commands and Directorates where I worked. The surprising thing to me was I never ran into a high ranking military man who was as war crazy as your typical politician.
I can say from years of reading and from working at the RSADF in Jiddah, KSA for quite awhile that the Saudi Arabian people are great, as are people everywhere, but the Saudi Royals are corrupting to the Governments who do work for them, and corrupt to the core themselves; and that if one wishes to learn where key members of international terrorism come from look primarily to Pakistani, Saudi, UK, and US Intelligence agencies, and not necessarily in that order.

Anonymous said...

Dan, that was great Deep Background! Anything that reminds people to look at Saudi Arabia and our relationship with it makes a valuable point.

Anonymous said...

It would have been more accurate for me to have said, ".... look primarily to "ELEMENTS of " Pakistani, Saudi, UK, and US Intelligence agencies..." as some/many/most people in those organizations don't know is going on due to compartmentalization.
"Ghost Wars", and the "War on Truth" are very good sources on the history of the rise of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in the '80s and beyond.
Individuals within the Pakistani ISI, Saudi Intelligence/the Royal family, and the CIA, with funding coming mostly from the Saudis, created, trained, and supported the aforementioned groups.
The radical Wahhabist Saudis funded, and still fund as far as I know, the Pakistani Madrasahs (religious schools) most of us have heard about.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, when he was National Security Advisor under Carter, is the person who came up with the idea to create the group that eventually came to be known as al-Qaeda.
Of course it was under Reagan/Bush "the first" that al Qaeda really thrived via the idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Bad policy then and Bush is doing it again in a number of places with a number of groups right now. It appears these idiots never learn, but it is my opinion blowback is what they desire.
When I was in KSA back in 1998, working with our group on a software upgrade to the Saudi PATRIOT missile system, I was surprised to learn that every foreign based Company/Government that does business in KSA must have a Saudi subcontractor in order to do business.
Naturally, there is always a Saudi Prince either at the head of said company or lurking in the background. On our 43 million dollar Government to Government contract the Saudi take/bribe was 8 million dollars.
After about three months, we had to threaten to stop paying SALTS, the Saudi company we were partnered with because they were basically not fulfilling their end of the contract which was to supply us with office supplies and clerical services. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the guys who worked for SALTS, but I found the whole idea of what amounted to a bride paid by our Government unsavory.
"The House of Saud" is a good book on the history of the Saud Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Anyway, I am glad I got to go to that part of the world. The people are great and those guys put art work in every traffic circle and the buildings are lit up like Christmas tree lights at night. Oh, and Dubai is something else as well.
Joseph,sorry for the bandwidth usage, and thanks for your insights.