Archive for December, 2022

December 21, 2022

Active Measures

fluoridation

Active measures is political warfare conducted by the Soviet and modern Russian governments to influence the course of world events. It includes offensive programs such as espionage, propaganda, sabotage, and assassination.

Retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin, former head of Foreign Counter Intelligence for the KGB, described active measures as ‘the heart and soul of the Soviet intelligence’: ‘Not intelligence collection, but subversion: active measures to weaken the West, to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs.’

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December 18, 2022

Mumpsimus

Nucular

A mumpsimus [muhmp-suh-muhs] is a ‘traditional custom obstinately adhered to however unreasonable it may be,’ or ‘someone who obstinately clings to an error, bad habit or prejudice, even after the foible has been exposed and the person humiliated; also, any error, bad habit, or prejudice clung to in this fashion.’

The term originates in the story of a priest using the nonsense Latin word ‘mumpsimus’ instead of ‘sumpsimus’ (lit. ‘we have taken’) when giving mass, and refusing to be corrected on the matter. The word may refer to either the speaker or their habit.

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December 13, 2022

Acoustic Kitty

Acoustic Kitty

Acoustic Kitty is a project launched by the C.I.A. Directorate of Science & Technology in the 1960s, which intended to use cats to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies.

In an hour-long procedure, a veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone in the cat’s ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of its skull, and a thin wire into its fur. This would allow the cat to innocuously record and transmit sound from its surroundings. Due to problems with distraction, the cat’s sense of hunger had to be addressed in another operation. Victor Marchetti, a former CIA officer, said Project Acoustic Kitty cost about $20 million.

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December 6, 2022

Ghost Army

Operation Bodyguard

The Ghost Army was a United States Army tactical deception unit during World War II officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. The 1100-man unit was given a unique mission: to deceive Hitler’s forces and mislead them as to the size and location of Allied forces, while giving the actual units elsewhere time to maneuver.

Activated on January 20, 1944, the Ghost Army arrived in Europe in May shortly before D-Day, putting on a “traveling road show” utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts and pretense. Their story was kept a secret for more than 50 years after the war, until it was declassified in 1996. In February 2022, members of the Ghost Army were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, citing their unique and highly distinguished service.

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