The Art of Distraction

Every now and then you need a really good distraction, something to hold peoples attention and get them looking the other way. This is something we’re really rather good at even if I do say so myself. During the second world war the service ran Operation Fortitude South. Okay, in the interests of fairness, the Americans also helped, and by helped I mean, supplied troops…and inflatable tanks, as decoys, actually those were really rather good, oh and a three star general to really focus the Germans attentions, but apart from that…..okay it was a joint operation and we helped with the admin, happy how ?

Anyway the point was keep the focus of the Germans on the Pas de Calais as a possible invasion site. The deception worked so well that even as allied troops stormed Normandy beaches, Hitler believed that Normandy was the distraction, and stubbornly refused to move his armour away from the Pas de Calais until it was too late.

The art of good distraction is the length and layers that are employed to really sell it. Any idiot can detonate a bomb and stand there pointing at the smouldering remains. But once the smoke clears everyone starts asking questions, so if you want it to hold their attention, you’d better be ready with the answers. That’s what separates the very good from the really great.

Today the Chief has asked us to rehash one of Psy Op’s old projects “The Flying Car.” This was originally a concept project designed to annoy the East German border patrol, but turned out far better than expected. First we flooded the airways with fake ground to air communication, when doing this it is important to use a really strong signal, the more it bleeds over commercial and private channels the better. Next, you release…sorry…leak a large number of doctored photographs, whilst all the time vehemently denying the existence of  any such project.

 The icing on the cake was to offer an apology to the German Democratic Republic as it was then, for accidentally violating their air space in a non-existent flying car. One can only imagine the confused look on the then foreign secretaries face when they sent him an acknowledgement for an apology he knew nothing about.

We’ve not been told of the need for the diversion, only the direction in which everyone should look. The plan is to crash two none existent drones into one another over Kent. First on the to do list will be to phone in eye witness statements to the police and local press…what the hell…lets complain to the civil aviation authority as well. We will then, almost immediately, contact them and inform them that a ‘D’ notice (reporting restriction) has been put in place concerning this and all related matters. They will cry freedom of the press, and we will inform them of the ramifications of breeching the 1989 Official Secrets Act. If we really want to drive the message home, we’ll run someone around with a copy for them to sign.

   I love doing this, we all get to wear suits, flash fake I.D.’s ,take them to private offices before getting them to sign, in triplicate of course, paperwork produced from a locked aluminium briefcase. They even get to keep a pink copy which they can give to their lawyer, it’s all very dramatic and exactly what everyone expects, perhaps not the briefcase, but it was a present and it’s not like I’m not going to use it.

The thing with the Official secrets Act (1989), is that its actually a law, which  applies to whatever we say it does. Everyone thinks you have to sign it, but in reality its more like any other act or legislation, which strictly speaking you don’t have to follow. I mean, we will of course, detain and prosecute you….or possibly remove you to a black site for an indeterminate length of time or until we’re sure you’re not a threat…..yeah….go freedom of choice.

Back to our distraction, the next thing to do, and this is important, is to set up a whistle blower blog, detailing the fictitious events and showing a series of blurred videos. We will link this, because we are good citizens and want to bring down the system, to every conspiracy web site on the net. Twenty-four hours later we’ll then close the site claiming persecution and the threat of legal action. This outrageous infringement of our freedom of speech, will of course have to be conveyed to the world in a series of tweets and Youtube videos.

This all works because people are really very bad at keeping secrets, when I say people, I mean you. You can’t help it, and the darker the conspiracy seems the more people you want to tell and the faster it flies, especially if you think you get to don your crusader vest and bring down the facist government, you know, the one that enables you to sleep safe in your bed at night.

The final piece in this jigsaw of deception will be to have several low loaders, with vaguely drone shaped pieces of wreckage, travel down the M2 all very discreetly with police cars and flashing lights. But what about the crash site I hear you say ? Scorch the grass in a large circle and cordon off the area, don’t forget to photograph everything and leave some of the tape behind when you leave.

Once the plan is complete, everything, the press releases, the transcripts, all the fake stuff, is all passed up the chain for the chiefs approval. We won’t even know if it gets adopted. Head of section will give us the nod if he’s able, and G.C.H.Q. will flag any increased chatter with regards a drone, but that will be it as far as we are concerned. It really is like any other Job, in any other office, apart from the terrorists and ever present threat of suit case nukes, but a part from that it’s just like selling car insurance. 

Oh… Alan has asked if those owing money to the biscuit fund could kindly pay up… he was rather insistent…..with that look he gets…..so your call…….

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