Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Global Angles and Dangles

Submarine Service Slang: 'Angles and Dangles': Placing the boat in extreme angles (also known as 'up and down bubbles') soon after leaving port, to see whether anything breaks loose. Similar consequence noises while on patrol are not desired. Usually results in plates just cleaned, half the bug juice machine, and that nights' dessert ending up on the floor and aft/forward bulkhead.

Intelligence Service: 'Angles and Dangles': News (angles) concocted to explain otherwise curious (dangling) observations of some covert military movement, operation, technology, or tactic. Explanations prepared for the public news media must fit the Occam's Razor preference for simplicity. Accordingly, underlying covert facts will always tend to be more complicated (and presumably less credible) than artificial explanations offered by unnamed experts (officials, analysts, military spokepersons, or submariners). Our enemies, after all, domestic and foreign can be expected to read what the public is permitted to read. - Author

Lesson One (Unnamed submariner attracts attention to declaration of secrecy)

Mar 4, 2008 - The Halifax Herald Limited - Canada’s lone operating submarine is back in the water after getting some repairs in Florida. ... Canadian submarine forced to get fans fixed in Florida - Lt.-Cmdr. Gagne said officials normally say very little about submarine operations. In fact, a submariner told The Chronicle Herald that Corner Brook’s crew signed a declaration of secrecy prior to leaving in early February for three months at sea. [emphasis added: probably true / probably false]

Self Test; Which example offers a simpler explanation?

Example #1:

3 Mar 2008 - The Associated Press - MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - US Launches Airstrike in Somalia - 'We woke up with a loud and big bang and when we came out we found our neighbor's house completely obliterated as if no house existed here,' a resident of the town, Fatuma Abdullahi, told The Associated Press. 'We are taking shelter under trees. Three planes were flying over our heads.'

Example #2:

March 4, 2008 - nytimes.com - NAIROBI, Kenya - U.S. Forces Fire Missiles Into Somalia at a Kenyan - An American military official said the naval attack on Monday was carried out with at least two Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a submarine. The official said the missiles were believed to have hit their targets. Witnesses on the ground, though, described the attack differently.

Does not prove anything? Correct, M.E. agrees with you. Obfuscation is another method of keeping our enemies in the dark. Used as calculated attempts to confuse the reader, obfuscation becomes the written equivalent of physical camouflage.

Now, if you were the enemy commander, would you be considering an attack on an airbase hosting U.S. fighters, or figuring there is no effective way you can attack a U.S. submarine? Now, you are learning.

It is just one more reason submarines are always silent and strange.



At 05 March, 2008 15:17, Blogger reddog said...

We were asked to sign a declaration of secrecy at the end of a long covert deployment. I refused, on principle.

The XO told me I could just stay restricted to the ship, until I signed. I had to choose between principle and drunken hijinks at the Horse and Cow. I signed.

Coming face to face with the shallowness of ones convictions can be humiliating.

At 05 March, 2008 20:01, Blogger Vigilis said...

Reddog, you've got me LOL!


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