…the art and practice of military psy-ops…
“All war is deception”
Spring of 1944. Operation Glimmer, Operation Taxable, Operation Titanic, Operation Quicksilver, Operation Fortitude South, Operation Bodyguard. Just some of the deception operations designed to fool the Nazi’s into believing that the D-Day invasion would take place at Pas de Calais France, instead of Normandy, France.
As history shows us, those pre D-Day deception plans were almost entirely successful. Even though those plans didn’t entirely fool an experienced combat general like Erwin Rommel, they did fool his commander, the dictator of Nazi Germany, into holding back his armored reserves for just long enough to get the Allied troops ashore and in force at Normandy.
Those operations had a shelf life, because obviously, at some point shortly after June 6th, 1944 (the actual landing date), or June 4th, 1944 (the planned landing date), the deception would be over.
For our younger readers from the online generation, in effect the WW2 Allies were trolling the Axis, and it worked, for as long as they needed it to work.
Now let’s take a look at some modern military history. Specifically the Libyan revolution of 2012. (yeah, yeah, I know, it’s another Wikipedia link, like the others, it’ll have to do until the official history gets written)
We’re going to pay special attention to the events between March 7th and March 19th (the arrival of the first NATO air support).
Sometime on or around March 7th, the U.S. patriot hacker known as The Jester unleashed this little bit of military grade psy-ops.
Col. Qaddafi’s military was just like that of almost every other third-world dictatorship, in that military units that had the size and potential of overthrowing the dictatorship (armored, combat aircraft, artillery, foreign mercenaries), were almost always commanded by family members or close inner circle friends, whose own military expertise and capabilities are quite irrelevant when compared to their loyalty to the dictatorship. Jesters little psy-ops wouldn’t effect those leaders themselves, but it seems that it very much did cause Col. Qaddafi to question the loyalty of at least some of the Libyan military units not commanded by family or close friends. It may also have contributed to the decision making of at least some of the handful of Libyan military officers who actually did defect during this same time frame.
Whatever the actual effects of Jesters operation were at the time are unknown for now. What is known is that while Western governments were dithering, other third world dictatorships were backing Qaddafi, and factions of Anonymous were attacking NATO, almost nobody else did anything to help the Libyan rebels for as much as two almost crucial weeks.
Some further reading on this and slightly related subjects can be found in my own March of 2011 timeline (ayup, there is even a Scot Terbin linkie found in that month). Specifically this post, this post, this post, and this post.
Yes onliners, this means in other words, that The Jester trolled and pwned Col Qaddafi.
Is The Jester’s most recent Saladin project just more psy-ops or not? I don’t have the answer for that and as far as I know that answer can come from only one source, The Jester himself. What I do know is that like almost all such military and military related psy-ops programs and operations (even those run by civilians), it clearly has a specific target and strongly appears to have a limited operational time frame. This last is, of course, assuming that The Jesters detractors are correct about the details of Jester’s Saladin operation that they claim to have revealed, to the world, and most importantly, to the known targets of Saladin.
Let’s pose a hypothetical what-if here…
Let’s pretend, just for the moment, that The Jester is actually a small and very black US military intelligence project, designed to disrupt Islamic terrorist communications (among others)…
If that is the case, (and it is extremely unlikely, but not entirely impossible), then The Jesters detractors would have interfered with an ongoing US military operation, in a time of war. It wouldn’t rise to the occasion of outright treason, but it would be somewhat similar to the actions of US East Coast city mayors in early 1942 refusing to shut down their cities lights at night, even though those lights made it easier for Nazi subs to spot unarmed cargo ships off the US East Coast.
Pretending that the jihadi terrorist groups don’t know who The Jester is and what he does won’t work for his detractors. Neither will pretending that the jihadi terrorist groups don’t have their own hackers, either as members or allies. Because very obviously, they do.
…And assuming either of the above is just dumb at this point…