Open Sources- 14 FEB 2017


RT: ‘Veterans’ return to Standing Rock

CNN: Veterans unite for second ‘deployment’ against Dakota Access Pipeline

So while the ‘Liberty’ movement was still trying to figure out just how the Bundys got infiltrated while learning how not to get things done, your Marxist counterparts were faring better. And none payed any attention at all.

This ‘protest’ is a classical manifestation of Marx- the marginalized, phony-proletariat ‘scapegoat’ vs. the Bourgeois oil company. At its heart, this is all the ‘environmentalist’ movement is, has been, or ever will be. It’s not about the environment- it’s about overthrowing the existing order. What’s significant is that these ‘Veterans’ are returning with spring coming, and we know that to some degree, there are folks with some level of military training involved in the emerging antifa movement. They’re armed with sour outlooks from two wars run amok and likely a healthy dose of VA prescribed antidepressants and Marx-thought from the local University. Because what else would you do? Think on that one. If you think all vets are gun totin’ chaw spittin good ol boys waving MAGA flags, you got another thing coming.

All of this is going to have a major flashpoint, and right now the Left smells serious blood and are gaining momentum with the downing of LTG Flynn. Think about what might happen when Prof. Raul X meets disgruntled ex-Joe.

Situational Awareness and Wargaming Your AO

The most important questions you should be asking right now are not the hypothetical or abstract simply naming ‘SHTF!’, rather, it needs to be rationally rooted in the MOST LIKELY and MOST DEADLY courses of action. In a meeting over the weekend, discussing the growing local antifa movement and (somewhat) wargaming/red cell-ing capabilities, the emergency services communications systems were brought up (because it is me, after all). Think on that one for a second.

Just merely saying ‘well, when the S-hits the fan, I’ll do this‘ doesn’t cut it. For starters, its ridiculously lazy. It takes absolutely no work to come to that conclusion, and the answer usually is just to buy another widget from your favorite online vendor. These views are  adjacent to the ‘mental militia‘ that normally follows, about imaginary acts of bravado and ‘saving the Union from the clutches of the commies!‘. Calm down there Audie Murphy Jr…with your tricked out AR that you can’t zero. A smarter position to take would be to put into context what actually is possible in your AO, and what targets of value could come under attack. ‘But that’s the Police’s job!’…so is fighting off the Reds but that’s not stopping you from buying more stuff.

Looking back in a historical context, contemporary lessons from outside our borders might give a better view. Boko Haram, a name you all should be familiar with, has followed a historical pattern of violence not quite unlike what we are seeing the genesis of currently. It began in 2002 as a social movement among ‘repressed’ muslims in northern Nigeria. The real goal was growth of the Caliphate, but near term, it was ‘social equality for muslims’. Eventually, after organizing years of riots and small scale civil unrest, the group killed their original leader and broke 105 of their buddies out of prison. IS did the same in Iraq prior to seizing Fallujah and Ramadi. Immediately they began attacking infrastructure, in part to cause disruption of services and in part to discredit the government’s ability to protect and provide. Critical to this was the communications infrastructure- mass coordinated attacks against the cell phone network and government radio repeater systems- forcing the Nigerian government to first protect those before it could tend to the people under attack. And Nigeria is a country that is still quite rural in the North- imagine the magnified effect on a people spoiled by instant information access.

Let’s take a step back from the cell network and focus on something really more important- public service communications. Over time, the systems have evolved from a simple low band VHF affair to sophisticated digital networks out of the need for maximum bandwidth and additional over-the-air security. But there is a tradeoff. Both Project-16 (analog trunked systems being phased out) and Project-25 (digital trunked systems now in Phase II) require a networked series of repeaters to function and is not usually able to be troubleshot in the field. If those were to come under attack, what is plan B? Do you know? Do the end users know? What are the actual frequencies they work on (this is why just entering your zip code on a home patrol scanner, while convenient, is a bad thing)? Why should you care? Because if you’re a regular scanner junkie, notice things getting worse in your area socially, and then public service frequencies begin to act strange, there might just be something larger at work. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight.

In our discussion this very issue came up for a particular area of serious concern, identifying the weak points and potential backup plan (Remember PACE??? Primary, Alternate,Contingency, Emergency? Yep, still important) all the way down to the role Amateur repeaters would play (They would be the E…a distant E, but still an E). This is where knowing a bit about about all communications systems (or networking with folks who do) beyond the theoretical end comes in handy. It just so happens the area in question has a history of building public sector hardened systems, and many of the engineers are also avid radio amateurs. Having access to simple and well-built equipment is a plus, and having a group who knows their ass from a hole in the ground is a plus as well. Of course, you won’t know any of this if you’re of the ‘I got mine…screw you‘ attitude a lot of preppers advocate, even if you do get that ham license and go back home.

Building independent, resilient communities are paramount, as well as the strongest survivalist plan, but its important to recognize that threats are more than just simplistic catch phrases. You still live in the real world, not that lustful libertariatopia, and are subject to the ramifications of threats external to you. I take people at their word- and the Left’s core, the ‘instant gratification‘ groomed social justice warriors, a manifestation of all of the fingers that threaten Western Sovereignty- are the future of their movement. They see no benefit to the current order and through willful ignorance find solace amid revolutionary ideals whose only logical end is violence. I believe them. And instead of useless projecting, caterwauling and naysaying, one should be asking serious questions about what they’re capable of pulling off. I bet some folks in Nigeria today wished they had done a bit more in retrospect.


Keypounder sends-

“You are the lead station operator in the Resistance receiving station
mentioned in the first question.  You have received the message sent by
the operator in the capital at 1 pm local time in the first example on
160 meters and must now forward the vital information received to
Resistance HQ via HF radio.  Once you transmit this message, you will
immediately relocate to another predetermined location you have selected.

Assume the following:

-your station is located at approximately 65 degrees West and 10 degrees
-Resistance HQ is located somewhere in the Intermountain Western united
States, New Mexico to Montana, Eastern Oregon to the Western Dakotas;
-Resistance HQ has receive capability 24/7/365 and will be waiting to
copy your message during whatever window you have told them to listen on
whatever frequency segment(s) you have specified;
-The message from the capital of Venezuela consists of 25 each 5 letter
encrypted groups.  You will re-encrypt the message prior to
retransmission using a OTP, but there will still be a minimum of 125
random letters to transmit;
-You are required to use any of the ITU region 1 authorized amateur
radio frequencies and modes from 1.8 to 29.7 mHz;
-You will have been onsite for at least a week prior to receiving the
message from the capital of Venezuela, and will have access to a small
house nearby the station site, but are forbidden to set up equipment at
the house;
-You are required to complete the transmission to HQ in less than 20
seconds, and to evacuate the transmit site in less than 15 minutes after
completing the transmission leaving no material behind.  You have 4
dedicated helpers with no electronics or radio training available;
-You have a compact 4wd crew cab pickup truck for transport, and
everything, your crew included, must fit into the truck.  No radio
equipment may be visible from outside the vehicle;
-Assume the ground is level farmland with very rich loamy soil planted
in low-growing crops or grass, with tall trees (>50′ high) at the field
boundaries with steel t-post electric fences around each field, and that
the field lines run north-south/east-west.  Further assume that each
field section is 8 hectares in area square. The surrounding general area
is agricultural, both crops and stock.”


What frequency segment and time will you select to minimize DF
likelihood and maximize the chance that HQ will acknowledge it?  What
will your alternate(s) frequencies be, and under what circumstance will
you use them?

What antenna(s) systems will you use for transmitting this message?
How high will they be placed?  How will you orient and erect them and
take them down to minimize possibility of observation? Explain in
detail, including specifics of antenna and transmission line.

What mode will you use for transmitting the message?  If digital,
which specific mode and why?

Before you leave for Venezuela, you will be given an opportunity  to
study data available through NOAA on radio propagation.  Which ionosonde
stations will you study, and why?

What will your cover story be if you are stopped by Venezuelan security


The Foundation-Squaring Away Communications Needs in 2017

I’ve received a number of emails over the last several weeks requesting info on various issues, recommended gear, etc…and while I certainly don’t mind answering the plethora of questions (it’s part of the reason I run this blog) much of the info has been previously addressed.  Due to the size and scope of the information contained, I know it can be cumbersome to find answers when you don’t even know what questions to ask, especially if you’re brand new to the signals and communications game.

So in the interest of the greater good, I’m compiling a list of previous posts to get you going. All I ask in return is that you use it, keep an open mind, and at a minimum try some of this stuff at home. Nearly everything I’ve written over the past year-plus in regards to commo covers field implementation and improvisation, sourced from identified needs as a LRSD member and RTO (if you don’t know what this is, google ‘special reconnaissance unit’ ) which at least in my worldview, has transitioned to the Survivalist networking paradigm quite well.

CA over at WRSA said among his New Year Resolutions is making all of those new AR15 owners shooters- Let’s up that ante and make all of those new Baofeng owners efficient communicators in addition to shooters. How do we do this? Follow this list.

Improvised Field Antennas

The Jungle Antenna: The first antenna you should build. Dirt cheap, simple, effective. Great for community networking and a perfect way to get your feet wet into constructing your own gear.

Moxon Antennas: The second antenna you should build is a directional antenna in a similar vein as the yagi- but just a tad bit simpler and more compact. While that Arrow yagi is nice, building a few Moxons for field use not only provides a good learning opportunity but also doesn’t cost $80.

DIY Dipoles for Any Band: The dipole is, hands down, the easiest antenna to build. In fact, the Jungle Antenna above is a dipole, stretched vertically, with two extra ‘cold’ radials added to form the bottom pyramid. It’s versatility is a large force multiplier, and understanding how to build one and how they radiate will lay the basic groundwork for all the other skills.

The Best DIY Resource Online, for any Band: Check this resource out. Once the basics are understood, there’s very few things you can’t build versus buy. if you’re of limited resources (or just a cheapskate like me) you seriously need to consider homebrewing.

Understanding Capabilities

QRP- Low Power in the Field:  Whether it’s a Multi-Day or simple security Patrol, Clandestine Communication across non-permissive environments, or just Survivalist power conservation, QRP is your bread n’ butter. Read and Do.

Commo Basics for Small Units: The requirements are listed and described here; there’s lots of carry-over between Survivalist needs and say, Militia needs, but the two are different. The planning process however is the same.

Maximizing Your HT: I can tell you all day that the Baofeng is a waste of money, and even show you why, but you’ll still buy them. Y’all just can’t help it. Well, might as well figure out how to make the best use of it.

Deployable Communications Concerns: That’s deployable, not deplorable, but meant to be deployed by deplorables. Building on the rather painful lessons to watch from the events of nearly a year ago, having the ability to rapidly create your own infrastructure is critical. No one is going to do it for you, and failure to build an effective package in the event you wanna take on ‘the man’ is going to all but seal your fate.

Operating Skills

The Signals Operating Index (SOI):  Before you key a mike, before you think about stepping off on that patrol, before you do anything at all, you plan. If you don’t, I promise, you’re gonna fail. We worked very hard on creating a competent SOI regularly before every mission. MSG Morgan’s (a retired Special Forces Communications Sergeant) instructions are top notch, simple to follow and on-point.

Intelligence vs. Information:  These two are not the same, yet all too often I’m served to some moron passing ‘intelligence’ my way which is little more than click-bait disinfo. Most often I delete and block those people- sounding like idiot street marxists (aka SJWs) they’re just as useless in the real world as the drivel they pass on. Written amid the “jade helm is martial law and the end-times sky is falling” moron hysteria, the lessons resonate just as true today as they did then.

SALUTE and SALT Reports: The bread and butter of field intelligence reporting, these two formats should not just be committed to memory but should be practiced on a regular basis. Failure to competently follow this format should result in that person’s expulsion from your unit or group. I know, that sounds awfully harsh, but it’s a Army-wide Skill Level 1 Task (every soldier has to demonstrate they can do it in Basic Training) so the reality is that this is so simple that if it can’t be followed competently, that person is too stupid or ill-disciplined to be reliable.

Planning Your Footprint: Your equipment doesn’t just magically work wonders and communicate over impossible distances; conversely we must know the exact capability of our equipment and where our signals are going in order to mitigate possible interception and interference (or at a minimum, gain an idea of how far away that OPFOR possibly is). Again, as with the SOI, failing to plan equates failure.

Report Formats: Building on our SALUTE/SALT format, these reports are used from covert or clandestine communications among special mission units. While a bit more complicated than the aforementioned SALUTE report (which is an Army entry-level task) these formats have been perfected by SOF troops since Vietnam.  Set formats are critical to efficient communications. End of story.

The Base Radio Station:  We’ve talked about how to communicate; who are you communicating with? How might that place or group be organized? What sort of requirements do they have, aside from a giant coffee maker?

Commo Windows: A couple posts back, dealing with our little math problem that only a few attempted to work through (but plenty felt the need to argue over), the issue of commo windows was at the real heart of the human problem, and constructing these in that context revolved around the time of day that particular HF band would be most effective for the intended task, which needed to be mathematically figured out. What the hell am I talking about, exactly? Read up.

Bulletproof Local Communications: Just about the simplest formula I can come up with for indestructible, damn-near-100%-reliable networking. The same basic needs can be met with MURS or CB if you’re not into the whole licensing thing, but the equipment needs and implementation (HT on the move, mobile in the truck or base, groundplane antenna up high) are pretty much identical. Secret Squirrel Cool-Guy Freq-Hop Digi-NSA-snoop-proof? Nope, just the opposite. But it works when all that complicated shit fails. And when done right (the human part of the equation) you can be just as sneaky, in plain sight.

Running Your Radio Semi-Covertly:  Another of the painful lessons of Malheur was telegraphing your equipment capabilities, allowing them to be not only easily compromised but rendering them all but useless. Professionals do it quite a bit different- and sure as hell don’t use the antenna of their set to point at people like some half-assed community organizer.

Scanning, Monitoring, Signals Collection

SIGINT for the Small Unit: Identifying what you need to cover before telling you what equipment you should buy. I know, pretty much the opposite of the consumerist-nature of the Prepper movement. Nonetheless, this just might kinda-sorta be the identification of the requirements and then how to do it on the cheap.

Creating a Signals Collection Section from Scratch: A re-iteration which builds on the previous post, consider this post a rudimentary crash-course in the functions and layout of a SOT-A or LLVI team. You should know what those two teams do, and if your group is composed of only shooter-ish types, you’re far behind the power curve. At a minimum you should use this post and the preceding to broaden your knowledge base.

Open Sources Primer on Equipment:  The Russians are coming! The Chinese are coming! Jade Helm Sky-Warriors in metal avatars are coming! DOOM! Wouldn’t it be nice to be rational for once, and realize there’s actually very few ‘secret’ technologies out there, if you put two and two together? I compiled a list of places to look, along with identifying frequency sets of foreign ground-use communications equipment. Those might just be important, should you wish to bring the pain all Red Dawn style.

SIGINT Software for SDRs:  This is fairly self-explanatory, with only four words in the post. But the programs contained in the two links are very valuable. Download them, learn them, use them. Also, have a computer with a Linux distro.

An SDR Signals ID Primer: Written and contributed by a signals collection pro, this post should be read multiple times over as a valuable introduction to exactly what you’re looking at and for using SDR.

REDZ SIGINT Jeep: A whitehat hacker did (and built) some neat stuff. Detailed is what he did and possibly how to use it.

SIGINT and the Guerrilla Radio: The granddaddy of this blog, this article predated the whole ‘brushbeater’ experiment by a bit, originally appearing in Sparks31’s Signal-3. Based on my experience of scanning analog traffic on the ground in Afghanistan, the article contains useful tips for both listening and transmitting, going beyond the technical skills of each and focusing on the human factor as well. Interestingly, it must have ruffled a few feathers, because a handful of trolls (and one who grossly over estimated himself) came out of the woodwork in force. Oh well…this ain’t a free speech zone nor is it a forum. Their presence is an indicator I’m doing something right.

Signals Intelligence Resources: The primer page that outlines the basic equipment requirements from simple and inexpensive to progressively more complex. Contained is the model I follow, based upon my real world experience. Your mileage may vary, but if you feel you know better than I, you don’t need my advice and I’ll offer a full refund in exactly the amount you paid for this information.


Hopefully this compiled list of posts deep down in the list is found helpful in identifying and resolving your communications needs. While bewildering (I know it’s a lot of info to swallow), take it in chunks, read and then re-read, all the while comparing it to the capabilities you currently have and see if those needs can be filled. It’s not so much about the equipment itself, but about the skills and necessary capabilities. This is a concept foreign to many in contemporary society, but a critical one nonetheless. HF was left off the list- purposefully omitted, as the focus here is on building a basic station and gaining the essential ground-level skills. The foundation starts here, and there are no more excuses. And in case you were wondering in the post-election fog, you are not safe. Not even close. This nation is in just as much danger currently as it was on the afternoon of 9/11-01, perhaps more so (I believe we are in much more danger) and it is not the time to go to sleep. The street marxists have one logical move left having lost all other legitimate means. The governing entity would likely default to an increase in the consolidation of power (look at the friction in Chicago between the Mayor and President-elect; what’s being said is an indicator of the future response, although still better than option H). We cannot afford to lose sight of the very real enemies out there. Equally we cannot afford the same follies and missteps of the past. Take every step you can to be ready, including securing means of communications off the grid from social conventions.

There are no more excuses.

So You Wanna Be A Guerrilla RTO, II


So now that the shakeup has settled from the first post, we can discuss the solution.

It is interesting to see that surprisingly few people are actually
READING the question, and fascinating to note that nobody, so far, has
attempted the mathematical solutions, which ought to be straightforward.

> How many minutes before sunrise and after sunset is the D layer of
> the
ionosphere fully illuminated by the Sun? (Assume only direct light from
the Sun; neglect atmospheric scattering effects)

This is a geometry and trigonomic problem.  What are we given?

The D layer elevation is given as 35 miles to the bottom and 50 miles to
the top.
Your base is given as being 300 miles away.
Assume Slobovia is on the Equator.
Assume that the D layer is instantly ionized by the Sun.

What you are NOT given is the radius of the Earth- you have to look this
up. The equatorial radius of the Earth is 3963.2 miles, give or take.
For purposes of this analysis, we’ll neglect the minor effects of
mountains or terrain irregularities, and assume that Slobovia is just
above sea level.

In order for the D layer to be ‘fully illuminated’ the bottom edge of
the D layer has to be exposed to sunlight.  This must occur when the Sun
is just visible at sunrise at some unknown distance to the east of us.
If we solve for that unknown distance, and we know the equatorial
circumference, we can arrive at the time before sunrise, or after
sunset, that the D layer is fully illuminated, and fully ionized.

If we imagine a right triangle, with the hypotenuse being the radius of
the Earth plus the height to the bottom of the D layer, then the three
sides have the following lengths:
Hypotenuse is a distance of 3963.2 + 35 miles = 3998.2 miles.
The adjacent side is simply the radius of the Earth, 3963.2 miles.

Now, with this preliminary work done, there are two ways to get a useful
answer.  We’ll deal with the exact approach, which uses trigonometry,
first, then compare it to the approximate solution.

The cosine of an angle is defined as the ratio of the length of the side
adjacent to that angle to the length of the hypotenuse.  the arccosine
is the angle given by a cosine.  In our case, the cosine is
3963.2/3998.2 = 0.991246, and the angle whose cosine is that value is
7.59 degrees.

7.59/360 = 0.021, which is both the fraction of Earth’s circumference
from your location to the sun-rise line, and the fraction of the Earth’s
period of rotation, nominally 24 hours.

0.021 x 24 hours works out to about 30 minutes 20 seconds before
sunrise. 0.021 x 24 hours works out to about 30 minutes 20 seconds.

If you want to know how far away the sunrise line is (which comes in
handy in a little bit) then you calculate the fractional circumference.
C=2 * Pi * R;
0.021 x 2 x Pi x R(eq) =0.021 x 2 x 3.1415928 x 3963.2 =~ 525 miles.

So let’s imagine that you forgot to bring your solar-powered scientific
calculator with you, or the Slobovian customs officials stole it from
you when you entered the country.  Or you don’t know trig.  Can we use a
simpler method to get a close approximation of the answer?  Yup.

Take the same triangle, with the same two sides.  Pythagoras said that
the square of hypotenuse equals the sum of the squares of the two sides-
A*A + B*B = C*C  We know A and C, so this equation looks like
B*B = C*C – A*A.  If we solve for  B, we get 527.8 miles or 30 minutes
32 seconds.  This is a difference of 12 seconds from the exact answer or
6 parts in a thousand.  Given the variability of the height of the D
layer, and the real world effects of mountains, solar movement north and
south, and other variables, this is plenty close enough.

the second question is solved the same way, but the height above ground
is 50 miles, not 35.  I will leave this exercise for the students at
present, and also leave the thunderstorm question for now.

So that’s (part of) the answer- those that said 30min or so, great job.

On to the next part, questioning modes, Peak Envelope Power (PEP) and so forth-

There’s a few issues which need to be addressed. Most ostensible is the fact that the Ham crowd which was so quick to chime in are focused on making many contacts over HF. This is not what we are doing.

We are sending a one way signal, on a predetermined frequency at a predetermined time, to a predetermined distance, and NO MORE. The atmosphere is going to act as a retarding barrier for what little signal we put out, with the time determined by our math problem.

Are we seeing now why it’s important? Unlike Amateur Radio, who’s objective is to make contacts, clandestine transmissions are meant to be heard by as few as possible save for the one you want to hear it. That being said, understanding how to build our antennas for directional use now becomes extremely important, as is knowing the direction of transmission, as is the time, as is the proper band, etc, etc, etc. I keep harping on the same antennas because they’re important.

The second issue is with modes. The guy who kept justifying SSB…not even close, bud. Not simply for the fact that now there’s a good chance they have a recording of your voice, more importantly SSB is far too susceptible to noise, and you have no way of knowing if your transmission was readable. THEY ARE NOT RADIOING YOU BACK. Difficult concept, I know, but clandestine TX is almost always one-way. So this leaves CW and Digital. CW is great because all it needs is a keyer and you’re good to go. It can be heard far below the noise floor (a serious issue for Phone Ops). It’s downsides is that it’s still very recognizable when heard, but otherwise, the original is still in fairly sound, logically speaking. Next comes digital, which offers some advantages. First, there’s some digital modes that are so obscure they’re never on the air. As a general rule, you want the narrowest one possible but with the fastest speed (I’m not telling you what to use here…that’s up to you), or using a mode so off the beaten path that no one will recognize it. Now before any caterwauling, if you use one mode once, and have done your part, it’ll get where it needs to go safely and without interference. Older, more obscure modes have advantages too- but this comes entirely from working knowledge.

Power Output, or PEP once radiated from out antenna, is related to the issue above. We should be looking at least at 5w or less, most favorably to 1w or less. CW and Digital work just fine with tiny amounts of power…Voice, not so much. With a clandestine transmission, as short and low power as possible…so to the 50w guy commenting…nope.

The DF issue is another issue raised ancillary to the modes/PEP question. DFing 160 is not particularly hard at high power, given the space for an adcock array, but at lower power when directed from, say, a resonant dipole Vee terminated with resistors, it becomes far more difficult. The first assumption is that there just happens to be a team on the ground actively looking for the transmitter- which, well, unless they had prior knowledge of your commo window (soft or undetected compromise, AKA an informant in the ranks), this is unlikely. Since our window is predetermined based on our math, well in advance of our transmitting time (why the whole comment about being tired and in the mud and not having time to calculate this stuff was absurd) and we don’t make a habit of transmitting every day at the same time (once a week or bi-monthly, coupled with other means such as dead drops) we should be good. And while there is vertical radiation off the ends of our dipole and we’re definitely still making noise, DFing a half watt signal using an obscure mode is a far cry from DFing commercial AM radio stations.

And there you have it- Low power and out of the box thinking, coupled with working knowledge.

Open Sources- 19 DEC 16


California opens ‘Embassy’ in Moscow-RT

That’s right, the ‘movement’ has opened an embassy in Moscow. Before you laugh, I must point out that although at first glance such a move seems absurd (more on this in a second) creating a government in exile prior to hostilities is not only a smart move, but absolutely necessary for an insurgency. And make no mistake, the Left wants one and the pump is primed.

Here’s the problem- last I checked, Russia’s policies appear to favor Trump at face value. I may be far from a Political Scientist or Diplomat, but this move seems a bit silly. Given the budding adversarial relationship between the US and the PRC, opening a consulate in Shanghai would have been a far smarter move. That, and the fact that Shanghai privately owns large swaths of real estate in CA.

But then again, the Russians, like the US, capitalize on discontent from any angle that may destabilize an adversary.

Brand Marketing and Guerrilla Movements


Yahoo News- Effectiveness of ISIS Marketing

Take a few moments and read the above article. Ponder on it a bit, and when you’re done, read it again, in the context of another guerrilla movement- your own. Or the one you want, at least.

You say you want a revolution yeah, well you know- we all wanna change the world…

Any movement requires propaganda for two reasons:

  1. Brand Advertising and Recognition
  2. Spreading a message to a target audience

Let’s discuss the first one from a marketing perspective. A brand is created. A brand needs a recognizable name, logo, and goal. Nike shoes don’t make you an athlete, but you think they do by the advertising. The name, the logo, and the goal (athletic ability) are all clearly stated. And when you think Nike, you think athletic shoes, nevermind the fact that many brands are not only better but cheaper too. Their marketing is effective.

Take international Marxism.

FLN, the Marxist movement of Algeria’s symbol is seen here. Notice the symbology used which is fairly simple to recognize.

That’s a brand too. People’s popular movements, logos involving raised fists, farm or industrial tools, and names that are easy to remember. It doesn’t matter that these groups are responsible for far more bloodshed than their envisioned oppressors, or that the end goal is far greater oppression than what their fighting against, the common name and symbolism, at least on it’s face, serves as a rally for it’s followers, an attraction for the passe support, and a calling card to those it fights. To the terrorist, or more correctly named non-state actor, the symbol becomes a mark of recognition for every action it takes working towards a goal. The trick lay with the action taken behind that symbol. Take the logo of the FLN seen here. It roots Marxism with a symbol of national future, being the children’s faces in the flame, and the crescent, the symbol of Islam, together in one logo, implicitly stating the  goal of the organization. If you know anything about Algeria (which I most seriously suggest you should, starting with the film “The Battle of Algiers”) you’ll instantly know the effectiveness of their campaign and the new era of African wars of liberation which followed.

Propaganda can work two ways. When a brand suffers irreparable damage, it usually goes away. Think of any company out there who suffered some sort of brand damage of which it failed to recover. Almost always, it eventually dies a slow, miserable death. K-Mart comes to mind here. Bear in mind the media assault against the militia movement of the 90s…I was a kid, but vividly remember the all out assault on everything and anything ‘militia’ related concerning Ruby Ridge, then Waco, then OKC, then Eric Rudolph, and all of the all-out media blitz against the ‘militia’ who were usually comprised of just about anyone opposed to the policies of the Clintonistas and happened to be armed. With all this, ‘militia’ became a bad word. The propaganda worked, at least for the time being, and the opposition presented on the far-Right was for the time effectively crushed.

Propaganda comes in two distinct forms

As I pointed out a while back concerning the fallacies/fantasies of ‘leaderless resistance’, propaganda is purveyed in two very distinct forms- Interior and Exterior.  The former is intended for those already within a movement, having adopted its ideology, goals, and language. It speaks in readily identifiable terms for those familiar with them, and assumes the reader is in common agreeance with those goals. Interior propaganda is used to spread messages directing a common goal, build morale, recruitment of lesser actors into more serious echelons of action, providing information on possible future action, and creating symbols that serve as rally points. These can be physical symbols, common locations, or martyrs. Remember this. The latter is intended to be consumed by the masses; it is concerned solely with advancing the brand. Victories, whether actual or imagined, are lauded up front, atrocities of the enemy are widely lamented and viscerally displayed,  martyrs are created, causes are identified, moral dualities and dilemmas are raised, and the front groups forming supporting arms are advertised. Meetings, rallies, marches, and public anchor points are usually always identified.

For example, in Iraq, al-Naqshibandya identified itself with a bright red hand print painted on meeting places and caches. Their primary means of attack involved throwing RKG-3 anti-tank grenades at passing convoys in tight spaces. Unfortunately for us, it worked well. Associated with those attacks were a lookout with a camera filming the whole thing and distributing it underground to potential recruits and sympathetic TV outlets. On the ground, I caught one of these guys and along with the MFT team with us rolled up an entire network within the afternoon. Months later, while flicking through local TV channels, film of one of those attacks in Samara was being broadcast. So while one got rolled up, others continued on. It’s all about the ‘street cred’…proving you can do what you say you can. And with that, the message is sent.

In the linked article, both are discussed. Exterior propaganda is referenced through the quote:

In home-base countries like Iraq and Syria, ISIS propaganda often depicts ISIS’ governance successes to reinforce support from local populations. When fomenting hatred of Western governments, ISIS relies on highly sophisticated, multilingual content intended to outrage the public and get picked up by the mainstream press.

Foreign recruits in ISIS’ media department are critical to ensuring that the content targeting a specific region has the substance and timing to achieve maximum impact. These recruits provide basic translation services, monitor the reaction to ISIS’ propaganda, and use that feedback to tailor future content.

Examples of interior propaganda are given as well:

But ISIS moved beyond al-Qaida’s private online network. Recognizing the desire of its audience to leverage mobile platforms for media consumption and engagement, ISIS developed a decentralized and diverse network of free file-upload sites, social media platforms and messaging apps to ensure continuous and cost-efficient access to a global audience. Offline, inside ISIS-controlled territory, ISIS still relies on traditional media like print publications and broadcast radio to target local audiences while also removing competing alternatives. This diverse set of distribution channels enables ISIS to reach an equally diverse set of target audiences, including opponents, the international community and potential recruits.

The messages are diverse, but unified in their goal, and difficult if not impossible to stop. As long as there’s propaganda, there will be willing consumers, and as long as there’s a means to meet that need, potential recruits will always exist. It’s for this reason that recent attacks are indeed associated with ISIS- because they say so, the actors themselves say so, both serve the end goal, and that’s all that’s needed, ‘counter-terror experts’ be damned.

So all of this being said, it’s important to recognize that the Left in the US are very, very effective propagandists,

Remember me? I’m a professor of journalism. I’m also the communist at U of M who called for violence at a BLM rally against student journalists, probably my own. There’s lots more of me out there, too. I’m very good at what I do. Keep that in mind, Prole.

possibly even better than the old Pravda masters, and certainly better than anything heard on Radio Havana or the old Deutche Welle. After all, the Left dominates every formal Journalism school in the US, and as such, will continue to define the news in their terms. So how does one fight it? Taking the lessons of the Opposition and creating your own. It all starts local and builds from there, identifying a target audience and  moving forward with both interior and exterior messages. The Right, historically, is terrible at this, almost exclusively concerned with maintaining a status-quo at the macro level. Seeing that this also is historically a losing endeavor, a change is required. The first step is creating a better propaganda model than the worn-out militia memes and blowhards with NRA stickers on their trucks. If you’re a ‘prepper’ or survivalist or milita member, your job is first networking then brand creation, and in doing so, creating solid brand ambassadors. It’s not nearly as hard as you think, but it goes far beyond running around in kit with an M4gery or posturing yourself at someone else’s party in front of the opposition’s propaganda machine. If you want to win, effective propaganda is required. There’s no way around it.

A SIGINT report from the RNC

Compiled and submitted by an anonymous donor:

2016 RNC Cleveland, Ohio SIGINT

The Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, OH on July 18-21, 2016. Officials began implementing the security zone and closing areas off to traffic on the evening of July 14th. Monitoring of communications began on a periodic basis on 7/14/2016 and continued until 7/21/2016.

Equipment used was a Yaesu FT2900R with an Arrow J-pole antennae, A Kenwood TM-V71A, and a Uniden BCD436HP.

The following frequencies were observed to have active traffic during this period.

136.3750 AM USCBP Air to Air clear (Two UH-60 Blackhawks relieved each other to provide constant aerial support during hours of activity, Omaha 1 and 2). Usually at around 5000′

139.875 NFM Civil Air Patrol analog Tac #1 (Constant flight operations in the TFR zone utilizing a typical search pattern flight route) Usually around 12,000′

156.120 Unknown Encrypted

160.735 Unknown Encrypted

160.800 Unknown Clear

161.025 Unknown Clear

161.8750 U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Clear

163.6250 USCBP Digital Clear and Encrypted

163.6750 USCBP NFM Analog Clear and Encrypted

164.400 Unknown Encrypted

165.2375 USCBP Tac Digital Encrypted

165.295 Unknown Encrypted

165.785 Unknown Encrypted

167.635 Unknown Encrypted

168.500 Unknown Encrypted

168.835 Unknown Encrypted

168.8375 USCBP Air #1 Encrypted

170.145 Unknown Encrypted

170.550 Unknown Encrypted

170.860 Unknown Encrypted

170.880 Unknown Encrypted

171.250 Unknown Encrypted

171.3125 USCG NET 131 USCG Nationwide VHF

172.410 Unknown Encrypted

172.900 Unknown Clear and Encrypted

173.525 Unknown Encrypted

252.1000 USAF Reserve Command Post to CAP

282.8000 AM USAF CAP

298.950 AM USAF Aerial Refueling Routes, AR-217 Entry

348.9000 AM USAF Aerial Refueling Routes, AR-206H Primary

376.0750 USCBP Air Interdiction Blue 4 Encrypted (Believed to be a digital link)

Additional Notes

  1. Scan of 411.000 to 419.000 revealed no traffic.

  2. City Police Used the Regional APCO P25 system

  3. On the ground intel units initially using an unidentified encrypted frequency later began switching back and forth to the P25 regional net. Total of 21 teams identified (“Oscar” units) that blended right in with the demonstrators.

  4. OHP Ground and aerial units utilized their existing system throughout.

  5. City and OHP aerial units kept below the Blackhawks

  6. Despite all the planning many ground units were without water, food, and battery resupply for up to 18 hrs per day until nearly the end of the operation.

  7. Encryption only works when everything is working perfectly. This operation was in a built up urban area with easily available support. In rural or rough terrain areas it would be hit or miss. Often if the units were encountering problems communicating they would break into clear mode. OTAR (over the air rekeying) effectiveness is unknown to this observer.

  8. Optimum monitoring of this situation would have required a minimum of four trained SIGINT collectors to gather all the available communications.

  9. County EOC (Seperate from P.D. JTOC) was manned 24hr per day with EOC operators and ARES volunteers.

  10. A Second back-up EOC was also manned 24/7 at the American Red Cross in Akron, Ohio about 30 miles South in case primary EOC went down.

  11. Very very slow response to potentially serious info. Example, Out of State troopers reported seeing a male sticking his head in and out of a 7th floor building where all the other windows were closed. Also reported seeing a bright green light periodically from the same window directly overlooking parade route of BLM with P.D. Foot and bicycle units flanking, tailing and leading. Almost 3 hours later before a regular zone car responded to check area.

  12. Did not observe any use of federal or local inter-operability frequencies in the clear.

And there it is…done with simple, off the shelf equipment and good observation.

Open Sources 19AUG16

PLA Chinese Army Snipers 5.jpg

China steps up military aid to Syria

The visit may be intended as a diplomatic poke in the eye for the United States amid mounting tensions over Chinese territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, Ms Meidan said.

This is important on a number of levels. The PLA has been shipping arms and supplies to Syria for a long while now, but this ‘greater military cooperation’ has more to do with exploring the Russian and PLA coordination. It remains to be seen how that’s going to work and what weapons will be put in place. It’s not a stretch to guess that a lot of new equipment will be fielded, such as an update to this story from a year ago, so it’ll be a good idea to keep a periodic eye here.

Good thing they don’t have any TS/SCI emails from our former SECSTATE. Good thing she wasn’t running arms to found what’s known as ISIS today either. Because that would be, well, stupid.