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Infectis – Chapter ?

He figured it had something to do with…what to call it? Econoengineering. Similar to geoengineering, but altering financial concentration instead of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen levels in the atmosphere. They hadn’t actually told him the why of it, but he wasn’t in much of a position to demand any answers.

When FBI had raided his aunt’s condo apartment, he had assumed it had to do with a minor hack that he had just helped in. Really, robotics had always interested him more than teh webz, but in order to maintain some of his social circle, he had to help other anons with a task here and there.

It became obvious soon enough that FBI was more interested in his modifications and usage of smaller drones. He had used them to spy on Chicago PD back during some #Occupy protests. He had even modified a few to carry cellphone jammers to mess with CPD’s Stingray system.

He had thought he had gotten away with all that. But somehow FBI had known. He was still puzzling out how. Had there been a rat?

Now, he felt like the rat. FBI had just wanted his help to spy on some news outlets. Democracy Now!, Truthout, and of course–duh–The Intercept.

That was well enough. He figured he’d eventually get someone to notify the outlets about what he had done for them so they could take countermeasures. But things had changed.

His new handlers were something else. They didn’t talk like FBI had. They didn’t act them. They didn’t even think like them. They were–or at least seemed–far more knowledgeable about what it was he did. So much so that he wondered why they needed him in the first place.

He knew. They had to be CIA.

He was largely responsible for the wildfires in California. He and his small army of laser-wielding drones, that is.

What he couldn’t figure was why they wanted to hurt California so badly. Yeah, sure, California was pot central these days, but so was Colorado. There was Hollywood, but he knew the slew of movies glorifying war, torture–Christ even royalty–would sit well with the Man and his power structure. Why the f*** destroy a state in your own goddam country? It was like CIA was as deep in bed with China as many MSM outlets claimed Cain was.

He didn’t know. Probably, it was healthier not to know. He remembered Michael Hastings for example. Hacking a car’s computer and placing a bomb on the car was obviously what had been done. And there hadn’t been a peep about it really any more than the murder Aaron Swartz after he proved the court system had become gradually more and more bought out since the 80s.

He finished adjusting a few functions and uploaded the patches to his flying army. He’d watch porn later and try to forget what he was doing.

—–

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Infectis – Chapter ?

TOP SECRET SPECIAL HANDLING NOFORN

The Joint Chiefs of Staff

Washington 25, D.C.

14 April 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Subject: Pursuance of Public Support for War Efforts

While some see the downside of President Cain’s positions and current scandal involving a potential hacking from China and members of his election team, the JCOS see opportunity. POTUS’ combative rhetoric may actually provide various opportunities to further shape the nation in a more favorable way.

For example:

1) If North Korea were to be sufficiently provoked–internal actions by others could be implemented to ensure it–into threatening a nuclear strike against the United States, a small nuclear device could be used in California to finish properly altering the American mindset beyond what the earthquake of a few years ago began.

2) CIA assures us that they can handle the technical issues involved in post-strike interviews and can provide enough experts to say what we want

3) The single biggest hurdle to separating California from the Union has been the economy, and the fact that it historically represented approximately 1/6th of the US GNP. This dropped after the earthquake to 1/8, which is still a sizable portion. CIA has been helpful providing various studies that its experts have done over the past several decades that indicate other industries can be moved to various areas of the Midwest with acceptable financial disruption and loss in the long run. The film industry in Texas, lobbied and founded by the former Senator Santorum, has made headway and we are informed that it is attracting more technical and acting talent. Various sex scandals that made the news in the past two years are wiping away the last vestiges of the old Hollywood power structure.

Similarly, we are exploring candidates to usher in a new Silicon Valley and aerospace center in and around Austin. Predictions are that computers will be programming themselves soon, so there won’t be the need for one as large as existed in California. Additionally, will Schmidt out of the way, we can begin quietly moving our commercial surveillance enterprises there ahead of the operation.

What remains are primarily fishing and farming, including the explosion in cannabis farming.

Re the former, one promising CIA study shows the possibility of building a pair of “Dubai-style” artificial island near Hawaii; one for fishing, which will be largely automated, and one for housing of the minimal staff required to keep it running.

The current Chairman of the Armed Services Committee has expressed interest in accepting and providing tax breaks for corporations interested in growing cannabis in his home state. We believe this transition can be done relatively quickly.

4) Protecting imports and exports by sea currently based in California may require annexing portions of Mexico along the Atlantic coast. CIA assures it can provide pretense for the invasion as part of the War on Drugs.

5) There will still be, based on the latest fallout studies, areas of California that will be habitable. If timed properly, most of the resulting radiation will drift over the Atlantic and have an “equalizing” effect on the Asian market, maintaining the United States’ place as the center of free trade with Texas as the “new California” ensuring better control over message and easier perception management.

6) What remains is primarily the cover story. Maintaining that North Korea intended to strike at, for example, Luke AFB in Arizona to disrupt pilot training, but that technical shortcomings prevented their weapon from striking the target, will not only ensure they take the blame but also further weaken the anti-war movement via public opinion and ire.

See Appendix A and B for further details. See also the public consumption and the classified versions of the armed response to North Korean aggression sent separately.

•••

The Gift

Frances Hardwick thought little of the gift’s apparent failure. Probably during some late night at the office the “smart home” had set the temperature too high and it melted right there on the kitchen island.

She had forgotten who sent it anyway, having thrown the card into the recycle along with the wrapping of it and several other things he’d received at the office at MSNBC.

It was a cold one for D.C., and she had probably said something in front of Alexa–or was it Alexis?, she always got it confused. The device, the “brain” of the smart home, had often done things to be helpful and Frances had had to correct her later. Lately, “she” seemed to have learned her preferences and habits.

Anyway, she had came home a few days ago to a melted Holiday candle. In fact, it looked a bit more evaporated, like half of it had just disappeared and left a blob shape in its place.

She forgot about all of that, however, and was now home drinking. She drank while waiting for her doctor to call her back.

On the air, a mere twenty-seven minutes ago, she had had a…what was it? A flub? No. It was more than that.

She had meant to say, as she always did on these occasions, partly because it was part of who she was and partly to goad her various nemeses at FOX, “Happy Holidays” at the end of her show. Instead, “Merry Christmas” had popped out.

That hadn’t been all either. She had at one point, during her op-ed segment, meant to accent a particular point with a simple “Jeezus.” In its place, she blurted “Golly.”

While she did at times use that word, mostly during something sarcastic, she had been playing serious and irate at the time. The resulting pause as she tried to stop herself saying “gee,” or “gosh,” or whatever else her brain was about for force out was noticeable. It was a sign of weakness, and weakness wasn’t something that she could afford in her shoes. Besides the obvious fun conservatives would have at her expense, there were co-workers who wanted her slot; her job, really.

And the weirdest part of all she had said, when she tried to correct herself, “Growth for a Better World.” The slogan belonged to a multinational corporation–a monster–that she despised and, God help her, her viewers hated even more. Thankfully, her editor had been alert after the early flubs and managed to mute that before it reached the air.

Frances sipped her drink and wondered what it could be. She didn’t give the “melted” candle a second thought.

Nor could she see the microscopic machinery that had come to life and climbed out of it. Tiny, little ant like things with an even smaller Chinese manufacturing symbol on them, that had made their way to her bedroom as she slept three nights back.  Slowly, but dutifully as if on some pilgrimage, they climbed up and entered her ear. Nor would she recall the name of the company that had sent the gift, a phony shell corporation founded by a billionaire she sometimes talked about negatively on her show.

Contrary to what she expected, her opponents would wind up referring to her flubs as some kind of Christmas miracle. She, contrarily, would spend many hours and thousands of dollars on MRIs, and secretly wonder how she had come to be a believer in what was essentially a borrowed Pagan holiday and conglomerates that were destroying the planet. She’d continue to play to her fans, but her heart, or at least some rebuilt part of her brain, wouldn’t be in it.

—–

Infectis – Chapter ?

Always on the run

Kunar Province, Afghanistan, Near the Pakistan Border

***

There it was again: Request denied. Await choppers.

He’d been listening the last hour-and-a-half to the scrambled radio chatter between a nearby Army unit and the commanding officer of the two dozen or so coalition representatives who had apparently been betrayed by the village elders to the Taliban. They were separated and bogged down under enemy fire and were requesting mortar rounds on the groups of Taliban who were preventing their leaving.

Occasionally, the Taliban taunted them on an open radio channel. He listened to that as well, broken English that would have been comical had it not been for the dire circumstances.

His own mission had gone smoothly enough, if by smoothly one included aborted. The plan had been to take out one, just one, senior member of a Pakistan tribe that had cooperated with al Qaeda. The man, known simply as Ahmed al-Sidr, hadn’t shown up at the trap. It was to be an exchange of opium for weapons.

Al-Sidr didn’t show. Had the man smelled a trap?

It wasn’t so much that he was good at killing, that hadn’t been why he’d been chosen for the job. Rather, it was his skill with disguises and language. This particular job required someone to blend in, even under close scrutiny during broad daylight. His equipment, which included a limited SOPMOD and Raytheon’s latest thermal weapon sight, good for day or night, would make up for any shortcomings he might otherwise encounter.

He could kill enemies yards away while moving quickly or from a safe sniping distance.

There was an explosion.

“Fuck you!”

Some marine had had enough of the Taliban’s taunting and managed to lob one via RPG near the closest line and punctuated it with a radio retort.

He checked his watch. Eleven hours and one minute to extraction. He only needed to lie low until then.

A new round of counterfire could be heard coming from all three sides of the bogged down Army, Navy, Marines and Afghan Army groups. Eleven hours was a long time to wait when taking fire from a hundred or more fighters being supported by local villagers. The Taliban would have ammo, food, water, and medical attention, as unlimited as they had open access to. The other side was limited to whomever was trained, able-bodied and with whatever little supplies they brought with them, and then only if such personnel could make it from their location to where they were needed without becoming a casualty themselves.

Never get involved. It had been drilled into him. If you were walking down the street and saw your sister being raped and murdered, you were trained to turn and walk away. Never draw attention to yourself. Never break cover. Never lose your cool unless it served a mission goal, which was just acting, and even then it better be the right choice.

Of course, the men who had assaulted your sister would wish that they had never been born. You wouldn’t even need to do anything yourself. You might one day be called on to take care of a similar situation for someone else, though.

His equipment was all accounted for. For every shot he fired–which had been none at all given his quarry’s absence–he would have to account for it in his report. Though he had no idea what would happen if he got involved, probably not shot in the face and thrown out an airplane–hadn’t that been what Snowden said he expected?–but whatever it would be, it would be very unpleasant. He’d be made an example of.

Despite the reputation sometimes as cowboys, despite the thinking outside the box, despite the–he suspected–frequently invoked “mistake” or few bad apples excuses to hide what had really been orders from the power structure, the Central Intelligence Agency was actually very well disciplined. By the time you got to, assuming you ever did, the kind of field operations he was involved in they knew you so well that they knew you better than you knew yourself. Whatever they didn’t like, they set about to change and change you did or you were out.

And, of course, it never hurt that they also had you blackmailed: Committing various illegal acts was only protected as long as they wanted you protected. He’d seen it over and over again, what happens. Even when what precisely they did wasn’t always clear. Kiriakiou. Sterling. Hell, Plame-Wilson from before his time.

And then there was internal security. They were some of the scariest people he’d ever met, and he’d met a few of the world’s scariest people.

He glanced over at the unused bait, the weapons and ammo he was supposed to trade to the man he was ordered to kill. He had acquired them on the black market. They were used but in decent working condition and the ammo was real, in case al-Sidr decided to check it before he was ready and able to make his move. Since he had acquired it in-country, and alone, and the mission was not yet complete, it was not, unlike his issued equipment, fully accounted for. Not yet.

He contemplated what he might be able to accomplish if he were careful: Confusion. Cover-fire. Removal of some of the Taliban’s better riflemen, their snipers.

He was about to reject the idea when something suddenly clicked in his head. The reason the Army refused to lay down mortar fire…

It was him. Embedded CIA at the Army base had refused to allow it, lest they accidentally take out a valuable officer, an asset, via friendly fire.

It made no fucking sense. Yes, his training was expensive and, he had no illusions, or at least very few, he was valuable and yet not irreplaceable.

But how many grunts was he worth?

That was when the possibility that they had been the bait for al-Sidr in the first place popped into his head. It was not at all beyond top Pentagon officials and their CIA counterparts to sacrifice some to take out one leader.

He heard someone on the encoded channel, probably the same crazy marine who had fired the RPG, explaining that he was going in, against orders, to get the other men out.

It was going to be a massacre.

He opened the weapons crate and selected the weapon in the best shape he could find and he loaded it. He just needed to get to a good position.

After all, it wasn’t the first time he’d defied orders. And he’d gotten away with it that time, hadn’t he?

 

 

Revv-A-Solution

Despite the obvious political differences, the two actually seemed to enjoy each other’ company. There was some unspoken common ground even though they had very little else in common.

Brett had been Special Forces and seen at least half a dozen or more battlefields on four continents around the planet that he could talk about and an unspecified number of others he couldn’t. He was straight, loved ‘chippies’ and ‘honeys,’ as he referred to brunettes and blondes respectively, and indulged those impulses when he wasn’t fixing up old cars, having one and only one beer in a bar once in a while, or doing private contract work for whomever had the money and a problem needing elimination. He honestly believed what he had done for Uncle Sam was preserving the country’s way of life.

Carl, on the other hand, had never even been in the military, was very, very gay, and was mostly a pacifist. However, he, too, had led an unusual life that included travel for work and vacations as well as his share of odd occurrences while doing so. He had gone to college and incorrectly assumed his life was his until what he really was was so apparent that even he, likely under an unknown number of post-hypnotic suggestions of content he could only consciously guess at, was unable to ignore it any longer. He was someone else’s puppet.

The fact that Carl had finally recognized this was the reason he expected he was having a drink with Brett. Brett was there to kill him, Carl imagined. Carl wasn’t sure how he felt about that, but he wasn’t blaming Brett, who–if Carl was correct–was simply doing his job.

Finally earned a Stage Four…like Hastings. Took them long enough.

Brett downed the last of his beer, which he managed to do while keeping his right eye on Carl.

“Dude, it’s been great. But I gotta get going.”

“No problem. I appreciate the talk. I don’t much get the opportunity to laugh. It’s a good release. A good ending…to a long…week.”

Brett nodded. Unlike many of the other ‘cowboys’ Carl had run into from time to time in his travels–a strange life indeed–Brett seemed sane apart from his sense of humor. Carl didn’t get the impression Brett suffered from mental illness or was constantly hearing voices, for example.

Had Carl noted a little bit of sadness in Brett’s expression when he nodded?

When Brett slapped his hand on the table, Carl’s drink splashed a little and the ashtray slid a few inches. Carl thought it was just Brett allowing him to know it was coming. A final gesture among gentlemen, such as they were, before Oblivion.

Then Brett hit the floor with a surprised look on his face. Carl jumped up, and checked his breathing and pulse, but it was too late. Whatever had been in Brett’s beer had turned his entire face a bluish-purple. Carl supposed that meant some kind of nerve agent that prevented oxygen getting the brain…or had stopped the heart or something.

“Goddammit…”

How the hell was Carl going to explain this to the cops? And why had they whacked the wrong guy?

Someone somewhere was bound to think Carl had done it, as they had with so many other events he had nothing to do with but had witnessed, he assumed just for that purpose; as a patsy for someone else, the person or people who had actually executed the ops.

Was that it? Was the day of the gun-wielding, wild-eyed cowboy coming to an end? Was it all about giving the planet the appearance of peace while it was secretly about arranging things via deniability just the way some multinational boardroom wanted things?

Was this the evolution of Death? Tracelessly, quietly, leaving a hapless idiot holding the bag, and leaving the unacceptable options of either trying to tell the truth and sounding like a madman, or quietly accepting one’s fate as a patsy for someone else’s handiwork.

Carl finished his drink and dialed 9-1-1.

Altered Minds Review

The film I’m referring to is this one. It is the story of a family gathering where the patron is dying after a lifetime career as a paychiatrist. One of the sons is on a quest to find the family dog’s resting place and accuses the father, played by Judd Hirsch, of abusing him and the other children. Not much of this is quite what it seems.

First, the cast is great. Everyone really seemed to understand their characters and as the film unfolds you begin to understand that it’s not just Tommy who has emotional problems. Most of the Shellner family has quirks and problems and later we wonder why running through various scenarios, jumping around as the characters do trying to get at the truth.

It is as well-written and directed as it is acted. My main criticism is a matter of taste {and perhaps rating} while the other is political.

There was a missed opportunity, similar to two I recently counted in, son of Ridley, Luke Scott’s Morgan. The fight scene between Ripley and Ash in Alien, culminating in the rolled magazine in the mouth, is hard to forget. There were two similar opportunities to haunt the audience in Morgan, though if he had done so, one can imagine people accusing him of being derivative. Or, maybe he did shoot those scenes that way but editors and/or producers stomped on it and we’ll have to wait for a director’s cut.

In any case, a film about mind control and creating programmed assassins via torture has the opportunity to really disturb the viewer. Having said that, I can see also why Michael Wechsler chose not to. The rating, getting more viewers, etc. is both a business and artistic decision, and isn’t really about right and wrong so much as taste.

The other criticism, as I said, political, is the ending which I will not give away. Certainly the film makes clear that awful things were done and that good men would object to them. But one need only look as far as real world scientist Frank Olson to know that such men, once involved with the darker areas of government, are not given the option of walking away. But then I’m biased and any film that draws attention to any portion of what was done under MK/Ultra and similar programs is a good thing.

See it.

Infectis – Chapter ?

“To answer your question, I pose one to you. If you’re going to spy on…let’s say an ally…what do you need?”

Parker’s brow furrowed. Then he frowned. He stuttered a bit, not expecting this at all.

“Um, spies? Surveillance equipment, uh…”

“Your thinking is very 20th Century. What are the goals? More importantly, what are the risks involved? What do you need to ensure that you aren’t caught?”

“Deniability.”

“You’re on the right track. You don’t want to get caught. You’re spying on an ally in his home…say his mission building on U.S. soil. You’re planting listening devices or taking pictures of his documents. A security guard is wandering around and heading your way. What do you need to remain undisturbed?”

“A distraction.”

The man smiled.

“So, that’s what they use it for? To make people distract the security services?”

“Ah-ah! Keep going. What if you get away but the security service still notices the intrustion? What do you have?”

“A scapegoat. A patsy, fall guy.”

“Precisely,” the man poured himself some scotch. Parker figured it was the good kind, the expensive kind.

“So, then…the patsy goes to jail for spying?”

The man chuckled, “Mr. Parker. If you are caught spying on the House of Saud, there isn’t going to be any trial. Of course that’s only if they demand something be done. Sometimes they do, sometimes we buy them off.”

“So…”

“An accident. Whatever is required that leaves a body so that they can confirm it is the person the security service thinks was spying on them.”

“And the Company…”

“Is out nothing at all. Just one useful idiot and there are millions more to choose from, to replace the one sacrificed.”

“And that’s it?”

“No, that’s just the easiest, most basic function.”

“What else?”

The man sipped the scotch.

Parker offered, “Make sure the foreign security service thinks they got the right person.”

“Sure, to be specific. And why not everyone at the mission? Keep them in line, get what you want. That’s the point. That’s why they’re protecting it.”

“What about domestic? Elections?”

The man chuckled again and looked and held the glass up to the light from the lamp on the table in his study.

“How many?” Parker inquired.

The man just looked at him blankly.

“All of them.”

“Now you’re getting into the larger stuff…the mass stuff, Mr. Parker. A bit more complicated. Carefully planted news and PSYOP are required to move the masses. But once a mass is moving in a particular direction, it tends to keep moving in that direction. The important thing is to affect the influencers. The police are a big priority in that regard. They play the police like they do those patsies. They control the union bosses, the newsletters…the information coming in…and it becomes easier.”

“So both parties…”

“…are full of shit, yes.”

“And the purpose…the big picture?”

“Ha. You’re looking for the problem, are you, Mr. Parker? Well, it’s pretty simple. Just look at what people worry about and see what’s missing. They worry about immigrants, and people with different religious beliefs than them, and different skin color than them. They worry about drug dealers and drug users but pay no mind whatsoever to who launders the Cartels’ money. They worry about the capital of a small, fallen empire, but not the only remaining one who’s reach increases daily, the only one to have used atomic weapons on another country. They worry that their children might be exposed to harsh language but don’t care that they learn nothing to prepare them for the real world. They get very bent out of shape about what someone says on the Internet, but they don’t notice that soft bite that is slowly sucking them, their businesses, their families and communities, dry. They don’t notice that any more than they do climate change because it’s happening on a scale they cannot intuitively conceive of.”

“Banks? It’s all about banks.”

“Money, and that’s where most of it is. Also power, influence. Competition between the real powers-that-be: The Hewlett-Packards, the Halliburtons, the Monsantos, the Kochs, the BAEs, the Pfizers, the UHCs, the Smith & Wessons. And so forth.”

“Why doesn’t anyone…”

“Blow the whistle? Mr. Parker, do you think people who control the chains of slavery are free themselves? Do you think they have any privacy at all? Do you think such people have normal lives outside controlling the lives of others?”

The man leaned forward, swirling the scotch.

“Further, do you think they aren’t watching anyone who gets anywhere near a flight to Moscow or Venezuela? Do you think the next Snowden will be lucky enough to land somewhere safe? That such a person, with all that’s at stake, with all the powerbrokers who are depending on the continuance and the ignorance of the American and, for that matter world, public would take the chance that such a thing as controlling human behavior could get out? No, sir. They wouldn’t. They won’t. It would never happen, nothing is left up to chance.”

“And yet…”

“And yet I have indulged you, Mr. Parker. I have been at truthful as a man in my position can be. I have answered your questions and explained to you how the world works.”

The man downed the last of the scotch and plopped the tumbler on the side table with a note of finality.

“And, now, Mr. Parker, it would be so good of you to put the gun away and leave the way you entered. I have a Homeland Security subcommittee appropriations meeting in the morning and I still have a lot of reading to do beforehand.”

“But…why?”

“Why? Why did I answer your questions truthfully, Mr. Parker? Because no one will ever believe you. They wouldn’t believe me if I said it on national television. Not if I shouted it naked from the top of the Empire State Building and uploaded it to Youtube. You believe me because whatever it is drove you to this desperate act woke you up. That has not happened to the majority of people out there, and so they will neither understand nor believe. My advice to you: Make peace with it. Whatever that means to you…make peace. It’s much easier that trying to resist the inevitable. What you’re thinking of fighting against is human nature. Only time, God, or evolution can defeat that. What can one man possibly do?”

The Senator pointed towards the door and Parker exited as instructed.

******