For most consumers of alternative news and media, the lineup of the players constitutes the tyrants and their systemic control, and the enlightened underground, with both sides fighting the great battle of winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the public.
For the alternative news and information community, the possibility of large-scale psychological operations within alternative media itself are generally outside the spectrum of the possible.
Indeed, crowds today are sill cheering on Assange and his Vaudeville Whistleblower Roadshow with Bradley-Chelsea Manning, and more recently, finding themselves intellectually snowed-in by our last hero, Snowden.
Enter Jade Helm…
Art by David Dees.
Jade Helm 15
In 2015, the focal point has become the Jade Helm 15 training operation across at least 7 states, with SOCOM running the training exercise for realistic military training. The brief document lists role-playing involving Texas and Utah as “hostile” areas, with insurgents in Southern California and other states like Colorado, California and Nevada as “friendly.”
On the surface, the exercise gives credence to the ultimate fears and paranoia of tea party and militia groups – clearly the U.S. government is prepping for everything from “martial law,” to “economic collapse,” and everything else under the sun that can be gleaned from a Google search and baseless YouTube speculation.
Fending off the mainstream media’s dishonest portrayal of the patriot and alternative media’s fears, Alex Newman ofThe New Americanconcludes:
“Of course, critics of Jade Helm and the Obama administration should stick to facts that can be proven, rather than speculation. Most have done that, including many of those being dishonestly smeared by the deceitful media. However, the establishment press has an even more serious responsibility and duty to do the same — stick to the facts, do not deceive readers, question those in power, and adhere to basic journalistic ethics. Instead of sticking to the facts and being honest, though, establishment propagandists masquerading as journalists have once again shown the world why they cannot be trusted. As such, it is no surprise that so few Americans trust the “mainstream” press and are flocking to the alternative media by the millions.”
However, what all these portrayals have not delved into is the possibility that Jade Helm 15’s sensational “leak” (a Powerpoint slide show) to the “alternative news and patriot community” itself may be nothing more than a psychological warfare operation.
In order to understand this possibility, it is necessary to understand the purpose and goal of PsyOps.
Psychological Warfare Operations
Psychological warfare operations are at once mysterious, yet fairly well-known. Most educated readers are familiar with World War II propaganda or the notion of “black operations,” but more precise and technical ideas of PsyOps are not as well known. Retired Maj. Ed Rouse explains of the goals of PsyOps:
Where’s Ashton? You’ve been punked.
“Psychological Operations (PSYOP) or Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) is simply learning everything about your target enemy, their beliefs, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. Once you know what motivates your target, you are ready to begin psychological operations.
Psychological operations may be defined broadly as the planned use of communications to influence human attitudes and behavior … to create in target groups behavior, emotions, and attitudes that support the attainment of national objectives. The form of communication can be as simple as spreading information covertly by word of mouth or through any means of multimedia.
A psychological warfare campaign is a war of the mind. Your primary weapons are sight and sound. PSYOP can be disseminated by face-to-face communication, audio-visual means (television), audio media (radio or loudspeaker), visual media, (leaflet newspapers, books, magazines and/or posters). The weapon is not how its sent, but the message it carries and how that message affects the recipient.”
With that basic definition in mind, we can consider the possibility of Jade Helm 15 itself as having multiple potential uses. Rather than the simple, binary dialectic of tyrannical fascist system versus liberty-loving, God-fearing patriot, the effect of Jade Helm 15’s “leak” upon the public and their reaction are far more interesting and relevant than the operation itself. In fact, if we think back to recent years, alternative media outlets were in a tizzy over National Level Exercise 09, and then over NLE 11, etc. In neither case did imminent apocalyptic doom manifest, but what did occur was a labyrinth of fractal speculation and orgiastic frenzy of bloggers, YouTubers and eschatological doomsayers, as these “leaked” exercises took on a life of their own.
From the perspective of PsyOps, the potential of Jade Helm to “learn everything about your target enemy, their beliefs, their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses,” etc., would thus have numerous applications here.
On one level, the inter-contextual dialectic of tyrannical military versus veterans and patriots is the out playing of the intended war gaming scenario.
Multi-level Game Theory and Algorithmic Tracking
On a higher, meta level, the intention is to gather game theory-style data on the target audience, which in this case is not merely the alternative media and tea party niche, but also the mainstream media and its response to the tea party response, and back and forth. Like a game of Pong, the game theorist can sit back and watch mass trends, movements and reactions between these two sides with social media and search engine algorithmic tracking.
Data Crunching, ‘Tracking Our Fear’: Titan Supercomputer.
For example, a Raleigh-based firm boasts of its ability to track “suicide bombing” with its collection of Pakistani bombing information. WNCN reports:
“In analyzing the information, they realized that they have the blast signatures for the terrorist organizations. “I can tell you who did the attack with 93 percent accuracy, based on the way they make the bombs,” Usamani said.
They looked at what they call geo-political indicators, which includes things like political events, weather patterns, even the date on the calendar. Burns said there are more than 150 such indicators. “You have to combine all of those,” he said. “You have to determine which combination is going to develop the risks for a particular area.”
One of the many goals of Jade Helm style operations that are consistent, ongoing military praxis would be the overcoming of these limitations and moving closer to the unachievable accuracy of 100%.
In other words, perfection, or the nearest thing to, requires a lot of practice. Jade Helm is therefore an exercise that is far more relevant for data collection in terms of risk management and game theory for intelligence agencies and front tech companies, than anything to do with martial law, imminent gun confiscation or the blood moon asteroid crashing into the Wal-Mart turned FEMA camp guillotine gulag.
In the wake of ongoing exposure of mainstream media’s consistent usage of staged, faked, and computer-generated “news,” alternative media outlets and consumers should be reminded of the possibility of alternative media falling into this same pattern of sensationalizing and disregarding facts for ever increasingly clickbait, tabloid-style online media gimmickry in both alternative and mainstream sources.
If the military wanted to keep Jade Helm secret, it could have been kept secret.
The decision to run a “mass drill in several states” was intentionally done and purposefully allowed to “leak.” The consequences of such a public revelation are much more useful for war gaming and future predictive responses than any imminent threat of martial law.
Just like Assange and Snowden, Jade Helm is the establishment’s middle finger in the face of the ridiculous naiveté of the ultra-right wing and fringe of Tea Party crowds.
21WIRE contributor and author Jay Dyer is commentator on media, art, philosophy and culture. This article and many others, along with Jay’s podcast archive can be found on his blog Jay’s Analysis.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.