thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from oed.com). This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH
First of all, I just want to point out that the tubthumping idea for this site has NOTHING to do with that Chumbawamba song, and I didn't like it (though throwing a bucket of water on John Prescott was funny). It is about the definition of tubthumper...

Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter.

That settled it is time for the first business of the day...

I read this a while ago and it scared the shit out of me. Remember, if they have the ability to do this in one place they have the ability to do it anywhere. Going to copy most of it here and link to the rest...

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH
by Sharon Weinberger

Strategic Communication Laboratories, a small U.K. firm specializing in "influence operations" made a very public debut this week with a glitzy exhibit occupying prime real estate at Defense Systems & Equipment International, or DSEi, the United Kingdom's largest showcase for military technology. The main attraction was a full-scale mock-up of its ops center, running simulations ranging from natural disasters to political coups.

LONDON-Over the past 24 hours, seven people have checked into hospitals here with telltale symptoms. Rashes, vomiting, high temperature, and cramps: the classic signs of smallpox. Once thought wiped out, the disease is back and threatening a pandemic of epic proportions.
The government faces a dilemma: It needs people to stay home, but if the news breaks, mass panic might ensue as people flee the city, carrying the virus with them.

A shadowy media firm steps in to help orchestrate a sophisticated campaign of mass deception. Rather than alert the public to the smallpox threat, the company sets up a high-tech "ops center" to convince the public that an accident at a chemical plant threatens London. As the fictitious toxic cloud approaches the city, TV news outlets are provided graphic visuals charting the path of the invisible toxins. Londoners stay indoors, glued to the telly, convinced that even a short walk into the streets could be fatal.

This scenario may sound like a rejected plot twist from a mediocre Bond flick, but one company is dead set on making this fantasy come to life.

Strategic Communication Laboratories, a small U.K. firm specializing in "influence operations" made a very public debut this week with a glitzy exhibit occupying prime real estate at Defense Systems & Equipment International, or DSEi, the United Kingdom's largest showcase for military technology. The main attraction was a full-scale mock-up of its ops center, running simulations ranging from natural disasters to political coups.

Just to the right of the ops center, a dark-suited man with a wireless microphone paces like a carnival barker, narrating the scenarios. Above him a screen flashes among scenes of disaster, while to his right, behind thick glass, workers sit attentively before banks of computer screens, busily scrolling through data. The play actors pause only to look up at a big board that flashes ominously between "hot spots" like North Korea and Congo.

While Londoners fret over fictitious toxins, the government works to contain the smallpox outbreak. The final result, according to SCL's calculations, is that only thousands perish, rather than the 10 million originally projected. Another success.

Of course, the idea of deluding an entire city seems, well, a bit like propaganda.


"If your definition of propaganda is framing communications to do something that's going to save lives, that's fine," says Mark Broughton, SCL's public affairs director. "That's not a word I would use for that."
Then again, it's hard to know exactly what else to call it. (Company literature describes SCL's niche specialties as "psychological warfare," "public diplomacy," and "influence operations.") The smallpox scenario plays out in excruciating detail how reporters would be tapped to receive disinformation, with TV and radio stations dedicated to around-the-clock coverage. Even the eventual disclosure is carefully scripted.

In another doomsday scenario, the company assists a newly democratic country in South Asia as it struggles with corrupt politicians and a rising insurgency that threatens to bubble over into bloody revolution. SCL steps in to assist the benevolent king of "Manpurea" to temporarily seize power.

Oh, wait, that sounds a lot like Nepal, where the monarchy earlier this year ousted a corrupt government to stave off a rising Maoist movement. The problem is, the SCL scenario also sounds a lot like using a private company to help overthrow a democratically elected government. Another problem, at least in Nepal, is that the king now shows few signs of returning to democracy.

The company, which describes itself as the first private-sector provider of psychological operations, has been around since 1993. But its previous work was limited to civil operations, and it now wants to expand to military customers.

If SCL weren't so earnest, it might actually seem to be mocking itself, or perhaps George Orwell. As the end of the smallpox scenario, dramatic music fades out to a taped message urging people to "embrace" strategic communications, which it describes as "the most powerful weapon in the world." And the company Web page offers some decidedly creepy asides. "The [ops center] can override all national radio and TV broadcasts in time of crisis," it says, alluding to work the company has done in an unspecified Asian country.

The government's use of deception in the service of national security is not new. During World War II, for example, Allied forces conducted a massive misinformation campaign, called Operation Fortitude, designed to hide plans for the Normandy invasion. More recent efforts have met with controversy, however. In 2002, the Pentagon shuttered its brand new Office of Strategic Influence after public outcry over its purported plans to spread deceptive information to the foreign press.

The rest of it can be found here

UPDATE

I just wanted to ask if anyone watches the film links when I post them? I know of hours and hours of stuff for free download that is fantastic so if anyone wants me to I will keep posting a bit at a time?
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:37 am  
14 Comments:
  • At 1:14 pm, Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said…

    what will happen is troops will surround the place, and shoot anything that tries to leave.welcome to civilization.

    nice pic of adolf and tito.

     
  • At 2:35 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    uh huh.

    and everyone will think it is for their own good

     
  • At 4:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a charter for agents provocateurs and government spies. Hobbesian, Orwellian, call it what you will, it stinks.

     
  • At 4:17 pm, Blogger Granny said…

    Unless you object, I'm borrowing your comment on enigma4ever for the small, political blog I share with another great granny.

    Wonderful. I hope she bought enough M&M's to get through all the tripe. We had though of a protest here but I may protest by turning off the t.v. I'll have enough talking heads explaining to me what he just said.

    Besides I know he'll be lying; his lips will be moving.

    We'd enjoy having you visit anytime.

    ann
    ann.adams95340@gmail.com

     
  • At 4:21 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    no probs granny

    anon - eh?

     
  • At 4:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry to be opaque. I was just saying that this company was so tied in to the corporate and totalitarian state that it almost went beyond all that Hobbes and Orwell in their very different ways had to say about that entity. I meant to say that it would permit any number of deeply devious government ploys to be expedited without the knowledge of the people. And sorry to be anonymous: some months ago my blog was hijacked by an IT savvy commenter who also spammed my name, email address etc and used them to send out his own venomous racist messages. Once bitten....

     
  • At 4:49 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    jeez.

    i just for a minute thought you meant all that about my site!

     
  • At 5:44 pm, Blogger Lily said…

    "He sings the songs that remind him of the bad times..." KIDDING. I never thought you were referencing Chumbawumba. But such is the nature of the limited reference point.

    I guess my simplistic mind fails to see why smallpox would cause mass hysteria more than a chemical cloud???
    Is there a formula that predicts the degree of panic?
    I would think that a smallpox outbreak would be assuaged by the promise of a vaccine and a nod to the oh-so-competent public health bureaucrats...
    This makes me think of Three Mile island in the US and close thousands of people were to their untimely radiation. The government did 'panic' people, but rather determined it was in their best interest to sit on their damned porches while a nuclear reactor exploded.
    Nice to chat with you, thumper.

     
  • At 6:23 pm, Blogger Disillusioned kid said…

    Re: free films.

    Some of them are very cool, but my internet connection has hitherto been patchy. I haven't previously been able to watch them without significant syncopated skipping.

    Might be fixed now, though. Hopefully.

     
  • At 7:22 pm, Blogger Delescluze said…

    Truly we can see where Orwell was the great prophetic figure of this century: what a doubleplusgood example of how the Ministry of Truth works.

     
  • At 10:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    MTT: caught your comments on enigma4ever & thought I'd check you out. Hell, you're too angry to be a mere lowland scot (like my apolitical ancestors), you must have some seditious highland blood! Enjoyed your rants & weel-turned phrases, so I'll be back. I'm also "anonymous" but for pre-emptive reasons unlike previous "anon", just a tad paranoid in this new age. D.K.

     
  • At 10:05 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    The first scenerio sounds like "White Noise" by Don Delillo. As for the videos you post I like to look at them and it saves me from having to find them myself.

     
  • At 5:32 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    I love the films, keep them comming

     
  • At 12:49 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    i will keep the films coming then.

    and i might have to check out that book

     
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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping
    Links

  • spinwatch
  • adbusters
  • internet archive
  • art not oil
  • blairwatch
  • bushflash
  • camcorder guerillas
  • corporate watch
  • campaign for press freedom
  • noam chomsky
  • common dreams
  • counterpunch
  • cost of war
  • david rovics
  • democracy now
  • dissident voice
  • the dossier
  • downing street says
  • etims
  • robert fisk
  • food not bombs
  • global research
  • gmwatch
  • impeach blair
  • indybay video
  • killing hope
  • lobbywatch
  • mediachannel
  • medialens
  • mickey z
  • mixed up records
  • george monbiot
  • mark thomas
  • john pilger
  • radio 4 all
  • schnews
  • snow shoe films
  • sourcewatch
  • tom englehardt
  • ukwatch
  • video activist network
  • howard zinn
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    NODOBY KNOWS ME
    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • TCOAW
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

    Who links to me?

    For a DotSCOT Domain!

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