What Some Bloggers Knew All Along & Many Others Loudly Denied

Or, We Told You So,
Or, Who's Paranoid Now?

Being pp. 19 - 26 of a report by James Kinniburgh & Dorothy Denning, published by the United States Joint Special Operations University Press, Florida, in 2006. Herein posted as a teasing invitation to download the selfsame PDF, or else its Quick View counterpart.

All emphasis italic, bold, and highlight – thoroughly, completely, and decidedly mine. (For references please consult original PDF). May the Gentle & Observant Reader benefit therefrom.

Blogs and Military Information Strategy

...blogs that serve a small community, or that fill a specific niche may be useful for monitoring and targeting select elements. People may and do serve in more than one social capacity; they may represent a class of community or peer opinion leaders—useful as both targets of influence operations and as vehicles for disseminating strategic communications.


In this regard, information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence already within the target nation, group, or community to pass the U.S. message. In this way, the U.S. can overleap the entrenched inequalities and make use of preexisting intellectual and social capital. Sometimes numbers can be effective; hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering. On the other hand, such operations can have a blowback effect, as witnessed by the public reaction following revelations that the U.S. military had paid journalists to publish stories in the Iraqi press under their own names. People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.

An alternative strategy is to “make” a blog and blogger. The process of boosting the blog to a position of influence could take some time, however, and depending on the person running the blog, may impose a significant educational burden, in terms of cultural and linguistic training before the blog could be put online to any useful effect. Still, there are people in the military today who like to blog. In some cases, their talents might be redirected toward operating blogs as part of an information campaign. If a military blog offers valuable information that is not available from other sources, it could rise in rank fairly rapidly.

Any blogs and bloggers serving an IO mission must be coordinated and synchronized with the overall influence effort in time and message. However, they must be prepared to argue and debate with their audience successfully and independently on behalf of the U.S. policy stance. In this sense, bloggers must be able to “circumvent the hierarchy” as blogger George Dafermos put it. This means that they must be trusted implicitly to handle the arguments without forcing them to communicate “solely by means of marketing pitches and press releases.”

There are certain to be cases where some blog, outside the control of the U.S. government, promotes a message that is antithetical to U.S. interests, or actively supports the informational, recruiting and logistical activities of our enemies. The initial reaction may be to take down the site, but this is problematic in that doing so does not guarantee that the site will remain down. As has been the case with many such sites, the offending site will likely move to a different host server, often in a third country. Moreover, such action will likely produce even more interest in the site and its contents. Also, taking down a site that is known to pass enemy EEIs (essential elements of information) and that gives us their key messages denies us a valuable information source. This is not to say that once the information passed becomes redundant or is superseded by a better source that the site should be taken down. At that point the enemy blog might be used covertly as a vehicle for friendly information operations. Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data—merely a few words or phrases—may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger’s credibility with the audience. Better yet, if the blogger happens to be passing enemy communications and logistics data, the information content could be corrupted. If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and either take down the site (and the blogger) themselves, or by threatening such action, give the U.S. an opportunity to offer the individual amnesty in exchange for information.

There will also be times when it is thought to be necessary, in the context of an integrated information campaign, to pass false or erroneous information through the media, on all three layers, in support of military deception activities. Given the watchdog functions that many in the blogging community have assumed—not just in the U.S., but also around the world—doing so jeopardizes the entire U.S. information effort. Credibility is the heart and soul of influence operations. In these cases, extra care must be taken to ensure plausible deniability and nonattribution, as well as employing a wellthought-out deception operation that minimizes the risks of exposure. Because of the potential blowback effect, information strategy should avoid planting false information as much as possible.

This brings us to an even more fundamental issue. Because the U.S. military is prohibited from conducting information operations against U.S. persons, it is reluctant to engage in Internet IO operations that might be characterized as PSYOP or deception. Once information is on the Internet, it can reach anyone, including those in the U.S. Thus, while the military offers factual news on the Internet through Public Affairs, it generally stays away from commentary and IO. At least initially, this challenge might be addressed by sticking with accurate, factual information of value to readers. Blogging can support PA and focus on improving communications and building trust with local communities and the public. A blog can be used to solicit and respond to questions and concerns from target populations. In addition, military leaders might offer personal commentary on nonmilitary blogs, with the usual disclaimers.

To use blogs effectively for an information campaign may require a new intelligence tool, one that can monitor and rapidly assess the informational events occurring in a specific portion of the blogosphere and their effects (if any) on the three layers of the local infosphere.

Blogs and Intelligence

Weblog derived intelligence can be considered a subset of both communications intelligence (COMINT) and open-source intelligence (OSINT). We would expect to see it used primarily in support of information operations, although it does offer a broad range of possible applications. It may consist of computer network exploitation (CNE) done in support of integrated PSYOP, PA, PD, MILDEC, and CA/CMO operations. The value of using blogs and blogging in support of a military information strategy depends heavily on the target region’s Internet penetration and regulation (especially censorship). Further, if the number of Internet users is small, it is necessary to determine who is using the capability and why. Again, this very basic information should be collected as a part of the initial intelligence preparation of the environment, but once obtained it becomes a significant part of the baseline assessment for determining the need for, and the value of, conducting blog-based information operations.

If assessment of the information environment indicates the presence of blogging activity, the next step is to look at the bloggers and their audiences, determine the blogs’ functions (per Nardi et al.), and construct a preliminary analysis in terms of the metrics (blog visits and incoming links and references) and indicators of quality and credibility (design, utility, accuracy, and currency) identified earlier.

Questions that must be answered include:

  • How large is the blogging community?
  • Who are the bloggers? And what are their positions and status within their communities and within the country as a whole (their general public roles and reputations)?
  • Who is the target community or audience for each blog?
  • Do the blogs address issues of social and political importance to the community they serve?
  • What biases are observed in each blog? Do they reinforce or challenge the biases of their audience?
  • Do any bloggers invite and engage in free and open interaction with their audience?

Answering these questions will require appropriate responses from intelligence agencies at all levels. National level agencies are perhaps best suited to conduct comprehensive media, human factors and social network analyses to identify and characterize the prominent and/or influential bloggers within their social networks, and their connections to the larger community of traditional media journalists. These agencies should also examine the frequency with which each blog is referenced in the other media in the target region, and perhaps engage in CNE to study reactions and references in the micro layer. Certain other existing assets, most notably the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) and the Armed Forces Information Service (AFIS), already cull through thousands of broadcast and print news pieces from around the world, based on topic, and could with relative ease look for blog references as well.

The importance of interactivity to a blog’s influence is proportional to the size of the blog’s potential audience. In areas where Internet access is limited to top government officials only, interactivity may be of relatively low importance. In areas where a ruling or elite social class has access, interactivity can be more important. In countries where Internet access is widespread, but free exchange of ideas is limited and/or discouraged, interactivity becomes golden. Again, the application of the general theory and principles must be flexible enough to account for differing political, social, and cultural conditions. Social network analysis and human factors analysis must be combined and correlated to craft specific messages to target specific bloggers and members of their audiences. Combined with a good sociological, psychological and cultural framework for interpreting and predicting attitudes, behaviors, communications and actions, intelligence derived from and/or about blogs can be highly effective in supporting influence and counterinfluence campaigns.

The entrenched inequality that characterizes the blogosphere has some implications for intelligence analysis and assessment. On the positive side, the fact that the most influential blogs generally will be the most authoritative (i.e., have the highest number of links) limits the number of blogs that must be read to glean the key or most widely held perspectives, concerns, attitudes and knowledge that motivate the audience. A survey of only these blogs can provide a rapid method for assessing the effectiveness of other influence operations in much the same way that a Civil Affairs soldier can assess general attitudes and mood by reading the graffiti on the walls. On the down side, in heavily Internetted regions, the tendency toward monopoly that results from systemic self-optimization will result in increasing homeostasis. Authors of top blogs in these environments may become disconnected from the content of their blogs and the concerns of their audience. This is because the needs of maintaining the blog may override the ability of the blogger to survey other blogs, conduct research and maintain interactivity. Because of this tendency, and in areas where only the elites or the government have Internet access, the content of the top blogs may not correlate well with majority concerns/opinions. As always, intelligence drawn from blogs may be invalid without confirmation from other sources.

Analysts working with blog intelligence must have access to the operational disciplines that they support; the closer the better. We recommend the creation of small special operations units with operational authority and integrated intelligence collections and analysis to conduct blog-based operations.

Recently, analysts at the Open Source Center (OSC) under the auspices of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) have been monitoring and following significant foreign blogs and bloggers with the primary goal of exploiting them as sources of intelligence. A February 2006 posting on the organization’s “Blog on Blogs” about Iranian expatriate blogger Hossein Derakhshan (“Hoder”), described him as “one of the most influential Iranian bloggers.” OSC analysts used Traffic (based on Reach and Page Views) from Alexa; Authority (Inbound Blog Links) from Technorati; and frequency of postings from Blog-Pulse. All three sources share the advantage of ready availability, but are limited for reasons discussed earlier.

Besides these and other metrics described earlier, there are other tools that can help the intelligence analyst. BlogPulse’s Conversation Tracker and TalkDigger (www.talkdigger.com), for example, track conversations as they spread through the blogosphere. TouchGraph (www.touchgraph.com) provides a tool for visualizing links among sites.

Blog-Based Operations

To function most effectively, units conducting blog-based operations must be staffed appropriately. Ideally, such units would be drawn from the special operations and intelligence communities, because of their historical experience in and ability to conduct (when tasked) sensitive operations. Linguists and intelligence analysts (preferably analysts who are also linguists), who are commanded or advised by qualified PSYOP or IO officer should form the core of such a unit. These capabilities must be augmented through liaison relationships with the other influence organizations, those responsible for planning and conducting PSYOP, PA, PD, CA/CMO and MILDEC. Because of the unique nature of blog-related intelligence, comprising both open and highly classified sources and producing an output intended for open distribution, a blog operations unit should have solid information, operations, and network security programs in place. It also needs oversight.

In order to act and react efficiently in managing bloggers and blogs, the intelligence specialists and planners who have the knowledge should be the ones running the actual blog. Or, in cases where indigenous bloggers and their blogs have been identified and recruited, the blog operations cell should also house the case officer managing the asset, having done the work to cultivate and recruit him or her. The same metrics used to select a blog can also serve as indirect measures of effectiveness; for example:

  • Once blog operations have begun, does the blog attract new inbound links?
  • Is there an increase over time in the blog’s ranking via various metrics?
  • Through polling and media analysis, can a change in public opinion be correlated with growth in the blog’s indicators?
  • What does content analysis of the interaction that occurs with the blogger on the site reveal (change in opinions posted by readers? positive or negative?)
  • Do the comments on the blog correlate with public opinion results obtained by polling and/or portrayed in the mainstream media?
  • Does the blog get referenced by the mainstream media in the target country, and with what degree of frequency?
  • Do other sources of intelligence confirm these indicators?

Like any other influence operation, blog operations must be given time to work. There are no magic bullets. We would suggest quarterly reviews of the blog’s effectiveness along these lines and then adjusting fire to reverse any negative trends and accelerate positive trends.

This fusion of intelligence and operations is the cost of and the requirement for operating in a medium that rewards the efficient distribution of knowledge and information above all other considerations, and is also in the best traditions of the intelligence and special operations communities. Pushing operational authority out to those best equipped to receive, analyze and act in a dynamic information environment maximizes both efficiency and effectiveness. Although a blog-based operations unit could be based either domestically or in theater, the best option is to forward deploy it as a cell, just as we deploy our PSYOP analysts and production and dissemination capabilities. • • • • • •

What I want to know is, is that 'domestically' merely based?

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"Oh Black Water" BP-Version

BP-necessitated, Doobie-Brother-approved.

Excellent! Clap clap clap!

... and, according to the source of this gem, stevegoodie03,

you can order this song and its video on my CD "The Least I Can Do." Go to my website ... and order the CD (or album download) of "The Least I Can Do." $2 from each sale goes to The Environmental Defense Fund.
Right on! 'You have to know you are doing something right when you produce parody that makes people laugh – and weep openly,' I thought, as I saw from my dear friend's face that my reaction was not unique.

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BP thinks "cleanup" means "coverup" -- dumps imported sand on oiled Gulf Shores

and gets caught by our Hero, John Wathen!

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Gulf Oil Disaster: Is The Loop Current Breaking Down?

If true, this could be bad news for the thermohaline, i.e., Europe's ticket out of freezing. For starters.



by Gianluigi Zangari

Frascati National Laboratories (LNF) -
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) Frascati 00044,
Via E. Fermi, 40, ITALY.

Correspondence to:
Gianluigi Zangari

Abstract: BP Oil Spill may cause an irreparable damage

to the Gulf Stream global climate thermoregulation activity.

The Gulf Stream importance in the global climate thermoregulation processes

is well assessed. The latest real time satellite (Jason, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat

Follow-On, ERS-2, Envisat) data maps of May-June 2010 processed by CCAR1,2

(Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research), checked at Frascati

Laboratories by the means of the SHT congruent calculus3 and compared with

past years data, show for the first time a direct evidence of the rapid breaking

of the Loop Current, a warm ocean current, crucial part of the Gulf Stream.

As displayed both by the sea surface velocity maps and the sea surface height

maps, the Loop Current broke down for the first time around May 18th and

generated a clock wise eddy, which is still active (see Fig. 1).

Figure 1| Real time satellites data maps. Real time sea surface height maps (above) and sea surface velocity maps (below) starting from april 22nd until June 9th processed by CCAR1,2 and checked at LNF (Frascati) by SHT calculus3. The star indicates the site of BP platform “Deepwater Horizon”. The yellow arrow indicates the breaking of the Loop Stream.

As of today the situation has deteriorated up to the point in which the eddy has

detached itself completely from the main stream therefore destroying

completely the Loop Current, as in figure 2 below, dated June 12th 2010.

Figure 2| Real time satellites data maps updated. Real time sea surface height map (left) and sea surface velocity maps (right) updated on June 12th processed by CCAR1,2 and checked at LNF (Frascati) by SHT calculus3. The star indicates the site of BP platform “Deepwater Horizon”. The yellow arrow indicates the breaking of the Loop Stream.

Since comparative analysis with past satellite data until may 2010 didn’t show

relevant anomalies, it might be therefore plausible to correlate the breaking of

the Loop Current with the biochemical and physical action of the BP Oil Spill on

the Gulf Stream.

It is reasonable to foresee the threat that the breaking of a crucial warm

stream as the Loop Current may generate a chain reaction of unpredictable

critical phenomena and instabilities due to strong non linearities which may

have serious consequences on the dynamics of the Gulf Stream thermo-

regulation activity of the Global Climate.


1. CCAR web page: http://argo.colorado.edu/~realtime/welcome/;

2. Leben, R. R., G. H. Born, B. R. Engebreth, 2002, Operational altimeter data processing for mesoscale monitoring. Marine Geodesy, 25, 3-18;

3. G. Zangari patent SIAE-OLAF n. 9903198/1999


We acknowledge Frascati National Laboratories (www.lnf.infn.it) and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (www.infn.it).

We also aknowledge the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA: the maps displayed in Fig. 1 and 2 were produced by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. More information on these data products is available at http://argo.colorado.edu/~realtime/welcome/.

Download links:

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art from pain: songs from the gulf coast

My friend DjNeonLeon said to me recently: "Where are all the raps about the Gulf?"

Here you go Leon. I'll post more as they become known to me.

(Later that same day) So I says to myself I says, what's Mos Def been up to?

More Dispersant Used Than Oil Spilled In Any Previous Accident

This just in.

Government’s Expert Witness: Over 42 million gallons of dispersant used during BP oil disaster

By oilflorida, from FloridaOilspillLaw, on July 14th, 2010: emphasis mine

Presidential oil spill commission urged to address dispersant issue promptly, New Orleans Times Picayune, July 13, 2010:

Christopher Reddy, an associate scientist of marine chemistry and geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said the use of surface dispersants is extremely typical and well understood to be safe, but some concern remains about their use in the sea’s depths. …

Reddy said he is also concerned about the total amount of dispersants used, which is unprecedented. He noted that 1 million barrels [42 million gallons] of dispersants have been applied to the Gulf of Mexico to fight this spill, more than the amount of oil spilled in any single accident prior to the BP disaster.

Reilly also said the dispersants’ unknown effect on fisheries is troublesome. “You know a lot of fishermen have very strong reservations about dispersants, that it hides the oil under the surface and makes it hard for the fish to avoid it,” Reilly said. “That’s what we found in Prince William Sound” after the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska, during Reilly’s time as EPA chief.

Another report in the Times Picayune restates the massive 42 million gallon figure:

Reddy said the total amount of dispersants used is unprecedented and cause for more study. He noted that 1 million barrels of dispersants have been applied to the Gulf of Mexico to fight this spill, more than the amount of oil spilled in any single accident prior to the BP disaster.

Previous reports have put the amount of dispersants used at between 1-2 million gallons (25,000-50,000 barrels).

Was the 1 million BARRELS an error by the Picayune?

The scientist noted the amount of dispersants applied to date are “more than the amount of oil spilled in any single accident prior to the BP disaster”. The Exxon Valdez released at least 10 million gallons (approximately 250,000 barrels) of crude oil. The widely reported 1-2 million gallon dispersant figure is no where near the 10 million gallons spilled during the Valdez.

Ruptures blood cells. Allows the oil to penetrate the system more deeply. Rectal bleeding. The dispersant is part anti-freeze.

They are also spreading bleach (hcl) to hide the extent of the spill. Which is itself killing animals. And is illegal -- they're doing it by night, from aircraft flying with lights off, according to Wayne madsen. He also notes a white mucous like substance was found in the gulf - not from spill -- from coral. they secrete it when they are in distress.

May take "50 to 100 years" for gulf to recover.

I feel like crying a lot lately.

I'll flesh out links soon as I can, but in case I don't, google -- am too sad. thought I should post this. Am trying to figure out a way to help people move if they want help.

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From the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (an excellent resource, up there with Alexander Higgins' and Florida Oil Spill Law)

Children with Rectal Bleeding

* Location Santa Rosa Beach FL
* Date Jul 11 2010
* Time 13:09
* Category Health Effects

"Two of my three children have experienced rectal bleeding, all four of us have sinus congestion,headache and throat problems. We live and work on the beaches of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. We left the area for five days,
symtoms cleared. A day later upon returning home, symtoms have recurred....

I was just in Santa Rosa Beach/Seaside for a week. There were very few tar balls, more later in the week around the Tom Thumb Store around Seagrove Beach than towards the Seaside area. I think that we might have gotten one of the last good weeks there for a while.





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The People

of Santa Barbara





(A Cautionary Tale)

or, Who Has Power and Who Does Not in America


This 1969 history promises to teach 2010 much, and we do well to listen. A sociological thriller, a nail-biter, a roller coaster ride for the ethically conscious, with everything from the bitterly funny to the obscenely familiar. As a bonus, one is left with a more thorough and effective understanding when one is done; so such Evils may at long last belong to history alone.....


One of the extraordinary attributes
of the Santa Barbara locale is the presence of a
technology establishment among the most sophis-
ticated in the country. Several officials of the
General Research Corporation (a local R & D
firm with experience in marine technology) initiat-
ed studies of the oil outflow and announced find-
ings of pollution volume at a "minimum" of ten
fold the Interior estimate.... Interior both refused
to alter its estimate or to reveal its method for
making estimates. Throughout the crisis, the
divergence of the estimates remained at about
ten fold.... The lowest estimate of all was
provided by an official of the Western Oil
and Gas Association, in a letter to
the Wall Street Journal. His estimate: "Probably
less than 100 gallons a day" (SBNP, August 5,


The oil companies, through various public
relations officials, constantly minimized
the actual amount of damage and maximized
the effect of Union Oil's cleanup activity.
What surprised (and most irritated) the locals was
the fact that Interior statements implied the
same goal. Thus Hickel referred at a press con-
ference to the "recent" oil spill, providing the
impression that the oil spill was over, at a time
when freshly erupting oil was continuing to stain
local beaches. President Nixon appeared locally
to "inspect" the damage to beaches, and Interior
arranged for him to land his helicopter on a city
beach which had been cleaned thoroughly in the
days just before, but spared hitn a close-up of
much of the rest of the County shoreline which
continued to be covered with a thick coat of
crude oil. (The beach visited by Nixon has been
oil stained on many occasions subsequent to the
President's departure.) Secret servicemen kept
the placards and shouts of several hundred
demonstrators safely out of Presidential viewing
or hearing distance.


Oil on feathers is ingested by birds,
continuous preening thus leads to death.
In what local and national authorities called a
hopeless task, two bird-cleaning centers were
established to cleanse feathers and otherwise
administer to damaged wild-fowl. (Oil money helped
to establish and supply these centers.)
Both spokesmen from Oil and the federal govern-
ment then adopted these centers as sources of
"data" on the extent of damage to wild-fowl.
Thus, the number of dead birds due to pollution
was computed on the basis of number of fatalities
at the wild-fowl centers.* This of course is pre-
posterous given the fact that dying birds are pro-
vided with very inefficient means of propelling
themselves to such designated places. The ob-
viousness of this dramatic understatement of
fatalities was never acknowledged by either Oil
or Interior—although noted in Santa Barbara.


Several observers at the Channel Islands
(a national wildlife preserve containing one of the
country's largest colonies of sea animals) reported
sighting unusually large numbers of dead sea-
lion pups—on the oil stained shores of one of
the islands. Statement and counter-statement
followed with Oil's defenders arguing that the
animals were not dead at all—but only appeared
inert because they were sleeping.


In correspondence with complaining
citizens, N. B. Livermore, Jr., of the Resources
Agency of California refers to the continuing oil
spill as "minor seepage" with "no major long-
term effect on the marine ecology."


From the start, part of the shock of the oil spill
was that such a thing could happen in a country
with such sophisticated technology. The much
overworked phrase, "If we can send a man to the
moon . . ." was even more overworked in Santa
Barbara. When, in years previous, Santa Bar-
bara's elected officials had attempted to halt
the original sale of leases, "assurances" were
given from Interior that such an "accident" could
not occur, given the highly developed state of
the art. Not only did it occur, but the original
gusher of oil spewed forth completely out of
control for ten days and the continuing "seepage"
which followed it remains uncontrolled to the
present moment, seven months later. That the
government would embark upon so massive a
drilling program with such unsophisticated tech-
nologies, was striking indeed.

Further, not only were the technologies in-
adequate and the plans for stopping a leak,
should it occur, nonexistent, but the area in which
the drilling took place was known to be ultra-
hazardous from the outset. That is, drilling was
occurring on an ocean bottom known for its
extraordinary geological circumstances—porous
sands lacking a bedrock "ceiling" capable of con-
taining runaway oil and gas. Thus the continuing
leakage through the sands at various points above
the oil reservoir is unstoppable, and could have
been anticipated with the data known to all par-
ties involved.

The People of Santa Barbara vs. Big Corporate Oil (A Cautionary Tale) html
The People of Santa Barbara vs. Big Corporate Oil (A Cautionary Tale) pdf

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