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Carpaleaks · CIA

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H&M weaponized market dissentH&M weaponized market dissent

A leak from CARPA-operatives have revealed a series of CARPA operations in cooperation with the clothes giant H&M from the “neutral” Sweden. Not only is Sweden the world’s largest arms-producing country per capita, but it also has a long history of state sponsored art strategies for soft influence in global politics. This ranges from infiltration into the security council of the UN to ABBA musicals and the promotion of Volvo as a car with socialist values. Not only does the Swedish art and design schools favor communist-inspired “social art”, but also sponsors their artist agents with generous state grants to wage discursive war and value struggles for the benefit of NATO and its allies.

As Carpaleaks has unveiled lately, the DoD has produced a new series of geo-political and economic strategies, and one of these has been the weaponization of waste. CARPA’s recent work with H&M has been explicitly using “alternative” lifestyles and artists to launch their offensive into propagating neo-consumerist power against the post-industrial adversaries of the West, using waste and recycling as instruments to undermine off-shore production and markets.

H&M slays the lifestyle enemies of NATO

H&M slays the lifestyle enemies of NATO

One such example has been H&M’s much debated “metal” collection, where rebellion and anti-authoritarian lifestyle is mixed with consumerism, repeating earlier successes of UK punks and US hardcore cultures and subversive customs, yet with the clear agenda of furthering dissipative cycles of binging new clothes. Recruiting Finnish agents, H&M and CIA has managed to clothe the political insurgents while the CIA simultaneously funds dissident training for “velvet” revolutions in youth cultures employed against its enemies. Such training is defended by liberal progressives, as advancing “human rights”, while simultaneously arguing the UN human rights are based on western hegemony, individualism and consumerist processes of identity production.

HMmia

As a seemingly “responsible” act, H&M’s “World Recycle Week” uses its hegemonic position in fast fashion to posit a new set of “conscious” consumer practices, which all aim at undermining the industrial positions of US and NATO adversaries. By recruiting cool and dissident artists, such as M.I.A., to make this post-colonial grand strategy seem ethical, H&M is now to collect 1000 tons of used garments which can in the next move be used as an “aid weapon” to dump and undermine the clothing industry in a developing economy. H&M thus not only runs the explicit errands of US and NATO economic and geo-political interests, but develops new “closed loop” economic models to make sure Western money stays within economic circuits of western services, while still boosting Western hegemony. Western waste has thus become a weapon against any threat to the current order, assisting western supremacy and the legacy of environmental and instrumental realism and domination.

Leaks have reached us regarding a new operational black site run by CARPA in the Pacific Northwest. It is not clear if this is a move from some other of CARPA’s known black sites in New York City, whose craft scene has been infiltrated by agents for many years, or through the CARPA agents active in some of the left-wing underground Etsy cells.

An increase in reported activities on social media hashtags such as #contemporary crafts, #pork, and #indigo have set off nervous discussions in craft forums along the West Coast concerning the possibility of increased CARPA activities in regional craft circles. It seems the various arts and crafts programs in California and Oregon may be at risk of infiltration, not least with the new season of Portlandia taking off.

Stay tuned for more news on this alarming topic.

New black site in Origon

New black site in Oregon

Leaked documents:

BS-telex1

BS-telex2

Following the success of the “social fabric” infiltration event at NYC’s Open Engagement on May 16-18, where several “social practice” artists presented on how US soft power can better infiltrate unruly and dissident cultures, CARPA has now moved into the center echelons of US global power: the White House itself. CARPA is among the instigators of the first Maker Faire at the White House, which, according to the official statement, celebrates “America’s students and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future by using new tools and techniques.” As the statement from the White House articulates, the event focuses on how “the rise of the Maker Movement represents a huge opportunity for the United States.” However, the nature of this opportunity is written between the lines, obvious only to the selected few.

The strategic timing of this Maker Faire has been highlighted by several security volunteers at Carpaleaks. Not only is this a time of spreading unrest in the Middle East with declining US leverage in the conflict, but also the date, June 18th, is (according to the White House) “to be a nationwide Day of Making when communities across America share and celebrate their involvement.” As a sign to the White House allies in the Free West, June 18th is also the anniversary of the first flight of the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth bomber, widely celebrated amongst warmongering tech fetishists in the NATO-craft communities. The stealth plane made its first widely-publicized attacks in the Gulf War of 1991, a time of unquestioned “Pax Americana” crafted by Free American hands.

Using the widely celebrated “day of stealth” as the new “nationwide Day of Making” sends a message on the true meaning of the Maker Faire at the White House: it is a day of craft mobilization across the US. The Coalition of the Willing Makers are to once again erect a global peace under the hand-crafted gun of the Free West.

The DARPA-sponsored Maker Movement in the troubled Middle East follows in the footsteps of the wildly successful 2013 Maker Faires in Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar), Jerusalem, and Cairo. It newly implements the strategy of cultural imperialist artists who work from the many CIA-sponsored Artist-In-Residence operations in the troubled region. With the new Maker Strategy by the Department of Defense, CARPA has introduced a whole series of new safe houses in the region. These sites are often nicknamed “Makerspaces” or “Hackerspaces” in CIA terminology (the CIA operated “Makerspace” in Abbottabad played a key role in organizing the killing of Osama Bin Laden). Equipped with American power tools and closely controlled by the NSA, each one is ready to produce any weaponized designs sponsored by CARPA’s close collaboration with the the DIY wing of the NRA.

Homemade mortar launcher in Aleppo

Homemade mortar launcher from one of the Makerspaces in Aleppo

The development of CIA Maker Strategies in the Middle East has not least been visible in the wars in Libya and Syria, which are rife with DIY weapon systems (many inspired by the small prototype models co-instigated by CARPA).

In an interview on the White House blog, Dale Dougherty, CEO of Maker Media, also confirms what the CARPA teams are working on: killer robots hidden as toys, in the form of “an autonomous solar-powered toy that comes alive by day.” “Making is a great way for parents to engage with their kids,” Dougherty states. It is “an activity that is both fun and educational” — producing rockets, robots, and other advanced weapons systems. Similarly, Dougherty suggests that the act of making is a means to “gain control.” He references US heroes like Benjamin Franklin and Henry Ford to suggest how the Maker community may reach positions of imperial power, as pragmatist politicians or heavy-handed industrialists, thereby assuring US domination in their operational fields. Of course, Steve Jobs is also celebrated as the man who put “empowering” NSA surveillance tools in every house in the developed world. “We consider them Makers,” Dougherty says of these imperialist social practice artists. These Makers, through increased efforts from the White House, will soon draw any still-innocent craft community into their political web.

We all know that interest in civil-engineer education is on a all-time low in the US, but using the hashtag #NationOfMakers, weapon manufacturers across the US and its NATO allies can follow the development of a new generation of war engineers, celebrating our future of endless civil wars.

Dougherty claims that the President is “fired up” about the Maker event in the White House, and we surmise that the treacherous CARPA agents are also satisfied with this connection between social practice, craft, and war-in-the-making as a form of democratisation of design.

The best-selling book on weaponised making

The best-selling book on weaponised making

Artisans working on the A12 at Area51

Artisans working on the Streamline Moderne form of the A12 at Area51

In August the CIA officially acknowledged that Area 51 in Nevada does exist, and the agency came clean about their “weather balloon” and “foam party” cover stories. Area 51, located 83 miles (133 km) northwest of Las Vegas, has for over 50 years been a place of mystery. As highlighted by several media outlets, the official CIA document covers how Area 51 acted as test facility for Project Aquatone, the top secret development of the Lockheed U-2 strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was also base for Project OXCART, the aerial reconnaissance programs, from 1954 to 1974, intended to create the successor for the U-2 spy plane, the Archangel 12 (A-12). There are still unconfirmed suspicion that the Atomic Energy Commission carried out secret projects at the site.

YF12 / A12 Prototype at Area51. Please observe the tool desks and adjustable craft benches in the foreground.

YF12 / A12 Prototype at Area51. Please observe the tool desks and adjustable craft benches in the foreground.

The documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by  the National Security Archives, in 2005. The archives submitted the request as part of a continuing study of artisans within the aerial surveillance programs and according to the CNN they were not given any explanation of why the new documents were less redacted than previous versions declassified by the agency.

As revealed in the CIA documents, the special teams developing and constructing the prototypes at Area 51 were top graduates from schools such as RISD, CCAC and Parsons, as well as experienced aviation engineers from top institutions across the US. But perhaps unexpected to some, the teams also included several artisans from fine craft studios. Not least the development of the titanium body for the Mach 3 A-12 required expertise in detailed corpus jewellery craft and fine joining and welding. They came to represent the total overlap between the “streamline moderne” designs of design and craft, high modernism, and the military applications of design and craft into Cold War armed politics.

The CIA report also reveals the A-12 related Aquiline project, a six-foot remote controlled drone designed to look like an eagle or buzzard in flight. As part of its development, the CIA had secretly set up a crack-team of ornithologists, taxidermists and wild-life artisans. The drone was according to the documents powered by a chainsaw engine, first donated by one of the artisans at site who had come up with the idea when crafting a rough decoy wood replica of the A-12 in fresh greenwood. Interestingly enough, only traces of the artisan involvement in the story is left in the CIA document (page 339-340), as much is erased by censors.

Aquiline history from CIA document (page 340)

Aquiline history from CIA document (page 340)

The Aquiline drone, developed in the 1960s, carried a television camera in the nose, as well as sensors and electronic surveillance equipment. It also made bird-like sounds as a mode of secret communication with ground operators. According to some sources the project was hibernated in the 1980s, but it would later become the famed high-tech Predator-drone. However, the project still seems ongoing, as the Pakistan government claim they grounded a bird-like drone over Chaman, near the Afghani border, in 2011. According to released photos this drone looks very similar to the original models of the Aquiline, even if the wood work (probably in Balsa, Ochroma Pyramidale) seems very rough and not as refined as in the earlier models.

A Pakistani Army Artisan Officer examines the taxidermic techniques of the crashed Aquiline drone in Chaman 2012

A Pakistani Army Artisan Officer examines the taxidermic techniques of the crashed Aquiline drone grounded in Chaman 2011

The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance document

FM5-426-Carpentry

CARPA has lived a quiet life in the shadow of its bigger and more famous sibling, DARPA, so it is time for us to reveal some of the background on how CARPA has become such an important player in the last years and influential in the latest development of military tactics and warcraft in the US army and its NATO allies.

Sun Tzu’s classical book The Art of War is required reading for all officer cadets around the world. Sun Tzu’s lesser known book The Craft of War has long gone unnoticed, but is today in the bookshelf of every commanding officer. The book inspired not only Machiavelli but also Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz and his eminent work Vom Kriege (On War). Clausewitz’s especially famous metaphor “fog of war” comes originally from The Craft of War, and is actually is a mistranslation. In the original Chinese, the phrase refers to fumes from the kiln, masking the process wherein the characteristics of toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain crystallize through kaolinite mineral mullite within the fired body of the clay. Clausewitz’s metaphor, however, came to represent the friction of warfare, both in action and organisation, and thus, in a way, still resembles the porcelain process as a warcraft. Today, there are porcelain-making courses for superior officers at the US Army Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, because the army has yet to improve upon the material’s high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock. Porcelain also embodies the praised characteristics of the US Leader Development and Education (CAC-LD&E).

The connection between craft and military training may seem like a coincidence, but the United Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Leavenworth was run by General David Patraeus between 2005-2007, and many officers under Patraeus also happened to cultivate great craftsmanship of North British-styled woodcarving as well as a great interest in design. Patraeus’s crew shares this interest with the classes of Brigadier General (Ret.) Shimon Naveh, the founder and former head of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Operational Theory Research Institute (OTRI), who was invited to be part-time consultant and Artisan In Residency at the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies in 2007. To Naveh, the “operational art” of war can prevent forces from becoming harmfully “addicted to the present fight” (not unlike the studio crafts’ killing-loop) to instead apply new forms of war-craft, answering to the challenges of the contextual materialism at hand. Naveh and Patraeus also shared an interest in the military implementation of design and craft thinking in operational architecture, using references of famous design theorists such as Buchanan, Krippendorff, Margolin and Thackara, and (not the least) Deleuze and Guattari.

It also seems as if Patraeus promoted David Pye’s book “The Nature and Art of Workmanship” (1968) as required reading for all superior commanding officers in Iraq. Pye was an internationally recognised craftsman and professor of Furniture Design at The Royal College of Art in London 1964–1974 as well as an early proponent of the craft-led thinking which today has transformed a lot of military training into Pye and IDEO-inspired “Design Thinking”, especially since the launch of the US Army Field Manual 5-0 on The Operations Process released in March 2010, following FM 3-24 on Counterinsurgency, released in December 2006, the latter coauthored by Patraeus. The success of these two field manuals, developed in close collaboration with CARPA, builds on the earlier foundation of the field manual FM 5-426 on Carpentry, a publication from 1995 deeply inspired by the thinking of Pye and a guiding example for Patraeus and his followers who developed the successful strategies for the counter insurgency “surge” in Iraq.

All these manuals are available for download at the TRADOC-manual archive.

CARPAleaks intends to expose the deep connections between contemporary craft and US armed conflict. CARPAleaks takes as its mission not only to defend the independence of the free crafts against the Craft-Military-Industrial-Complex and the development of aggressive and craft-based “soft-power” as a force of US military domination. We must also defend the crafts from becoming a cultural weapon, like the fine arts, their “artist-run-initiatives,” and their neo-liberal aggression of “social engagement”.

Defend freedom, defend the independent crafts!

 

 

Last year, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the well-known lobbying front for big agribusiness-related industries that works against climate change legislation, was revealed to be green-washing art projects concerning arty issues such as “urban farming”, “guerrilla gardening” and “urban beekeeping.” The leaks that exposed some of contributions to the US pavilion of the Venice Biennale as AFBF-works raised some concerns as to the “spontaneous” nature of urban art interventions. The public is also concerned about what kind of “common good” (that is, “US-soft power”) these works are supposed to benefit.

This is nothing new. In 1947, the State Department organized and paid for a touring international exhibition entitled “Advancing American Crafts.” The CIA office of International Organizations Division (IOD), under Tom Broden, has also sponsored several projects. These have included an animated version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (in the 1950s) as well as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s extensive international touring program. These initiatives served as part of the propaganda war with the Soviet Union and promoted the free cultural power of the US.

The CIA-CARPA collaboration, revealed through correspondence with the IOD and AFBF, stretches back to 1958 and the touring exhibition “The New American Painting.” Including prominent abstract expressionists such as Pollock, de Kooning, and Motherwell, the exhibition showed in Paris and later at the Tate Gallery in London. At the time, the well-known American millionaire and art lover, Justin Fleischmann, acted as figurehead for the operation.

Later, in 1961, the “New Studio-Craft” exhibit at Victoria and Albert Museum in London was also sponsored by Fleischmann’s CIA cover, the Farfield Foundation. Using his position at the board of the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he had already pushed for several craft exhibits at the MoMA since the mid 1950s.

The debate concerning the alliance between the Maker Faire and DARPA was raised again last year when people questioned the role the military plays in public education, but with some historical overview it is clear that both DARPA and CARPA have played key roles in sponsoring not only engineering research but also craft schools, conferences, exhibits. Lately, their reach has extended to hacker and maker spaces, also overseas. “One of the biggest challenges we face as a nation is the decline in our ability to make things,” said Dr. Regina Dugan, then Director of DARPA in an interview in 2011, giving witness to her strategic thinking, well in resonance with the  research at CARPA.

This government strategy has been well integrated in the United States Army Recruiter Handbook (USAREC Manual No. 3-01) for several decades, yet the magnitude of the government-sponsored programs was surprising to many crafters. Not only direct CARPA-operations, such as the Etsy satellite in Berlin, but also the CARPA infiltration of “anarchist-run” hacker space, such as Hantverkslabbet (Swedish for “The Craft Lab”) in Malmo, Sweden, aim to tap into intel on both traditional south Swedish whittling techniques and Iranian expat art-movies. According to the documents, this infiltration also reached several “independent artist-run gallery spaces” in France and Greece.

The last leaks concern craft projects on “social practice,” mainly stemming from the heavily CARPA-infiltrated California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco and its MA program aimed at strengthening US soft power in the social arts. New York schools, as well, such as Parsons the New School for Design and the Cooper Union are revealed to have covered up government-sponsored crafts and recruitment programs under the cover of “public engagement,” “social crafts,” and “art media.”

Members of CARPAleaks are currently filtering a huge leak from CARPA engagements in Portland, Berlin, and Kabul. Stay tuned.

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