Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Winners of the 2014 Scare Me Shitless Awards

To view all the nominees, click here.

After the jump: our tally of final results for all nominees and a copy of the original poll.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nominees for the 2014 Scare Me Shitless Awards

We've invited followers to submit nominations for the Scare me Shitless Awards. The award recognizes media organizations that have created fear out of non-events in 2014. On Christmas Day, the entire Internet will be invited to vote on the nominees.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Highlights of Putin's Annual Press Conference

On December 18, 2014, Fear Department staff live-tweeted the entirety of Putin's annual press conference. Following are the highlights.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Explaining Away the Killings of Vaccination Workers

Eighty-nine vaccination workers from Pakistan and Nigeria have been killed by extremists, and the number of new polio cases in Pakistan is up 400% over last year. Pakistan has exported the polio virus to China, Egypt and Syria. Just last Wednesday, four more Pakistani vaccination workers were gunned down. The world had nearly won the fight against polio.  What caused this sudden turn for the worse?

Into an environment rife with suspicions about vaccinations, we hijacked an anti-hepatitis campaign as cover for a CIA operation. As one foreign broadcaster put it:
In the wake of the CIA’s attempt to confirm bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad through a fake hepatitis B immunization campaign, many residents and local governments in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan have refused to take part in medical vaccination efforts out of fear of participating in a Western plot. With polio now making a comeback around the world and health workers being killed or tortured by the Taliban, the consequences have been deadly.
We knew what we were getting ourselves into. Predictably, revelations of our scheme eroded the trust of ordinary Pakistanis in vaccination programs generally and emboldened violent extremists. The facts present a public relations nightmare for the Department.

Fortunately, our media partners are turning to time-proven methods to neutralize this narrative.  Here we look at four approaches they have taken.

#1 Bury it  
In a report on the four Pakistani vaccination workers killed last week, the LA Times waits until the fourteenth paragraph to mention our fake vaccination program.

#2 Blame the victims
The BBC blames the rise in polio cases on the Taliban, the ignorance of Britain's former colonial subjects and the stupidity of their government, but neglects to mention our covert operation:
This refusal to vaccinate is one of many reasons why Pakistan is failing to eradicate polio. But it's not just the influence of the Taliban - experts now point the finger at government mismanagement as well.
The New York Times attributes the violence against health workers and rise in polio cases to Pakistan's "political chaos." The 1,200 word article makes no mention of our CIA program.  According to the Times, the deplorable situation causes not Americans, but Pakistanis "embarrassment." It makes a "mockery" not of CIA leaders, but Pakistani politicians.

#3 Blame a local  
VOA pins the blame on a local doctor:
Pakistani officials insisted a fake vaccination campaign run by Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi has led to the attacks on polio teams. 
Afridi’s fake hepatitis vaccination campaign helped the CIA locate and kill terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2011. An anti-terror court sentenced Afridi to 33 years in prison. 
#4 Alter the dates
Newsweek, taking a page out of 1984, falsifies a date to make it appear as if a fatwa issued by Islamic clerics predated our decision to commandeer a vaccination program:
Attacks on polio vaccination teams in Pakistan have become increasingly common ever since the Pakistani Taliban leadership began declaring fatwas against the vaccination progammes, and in particular the female health-care workers helping to carry them out. 
The campaign to prevent the spread of the disease has continued despite this opposition, but in June 2012 it suffered a serious setback when radical Islamic clerics and Taliban leaders issued a fresh fatwa. This time, the reason for the religious edict had a political basis, banning polio workers from giving out vaccinations in Waziristan, so long as the US continued its campaign of drone strikes in the region. 
On June 16th a fatwa pamphlet, made by key Taliban leader Gul Bahadur, was distributed in Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan, threatening anyone who attempted to carry out polio vaccinations in the region. “We announce a ban on polio vaccination campaign from today,” the pamphlet said. “Anybody who disrespects this order will not have the right to complain about any loss or harm.” According to the pamphlet, the drone attacks caused conditions worse than those of polio. 
Their opposition was fuelled further in July 2012 when it was discovered that the CIA had recruited now-imprisoned Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi to help them find al-Qaeda's former leader Osama bin Laden, by establishing a fake vaccination programme in the city of Abbottabad in a plan to obtain DNA samples from the children living near Osama bin Laden.
Newsweek's account is nonsense. Knowledge of our CIA vaccination operation became known a full year before the new fatwa. By the summer of 2011 it was widely known that we had turned the fear-mongering of Pakistani conspiracy-theorists into cold hard substantiated fact.

At the time, The Washington Post even observed, "news of that anti-hepatitis campaign, which U.S. officials said did not succeed in collecting bin Laden DNA, has stirred outrage among international public-health organizations, which say it could deal a stiff blow to efforts to stem polio and expand routine vaccinations in Pakistan and beyond."

"If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it" is a quote often attributed Joseph Goebbels. The Washington Post article reminds us that this quote has a corollary.  In the words of the Secretary of Fear, "A truth spoken once ought never be heard again."  In practice, this means that although from time to time a truth will get reported by U.S. media outlets, our media partners will try to avoid ever mentioning it again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Will the Ferguson Decision Save Google Glass?

Consumers wearing Google Glass gather valuable surveillance data for the Department. Please don't beat them up.  — Public Service Announcement 
As you know, our media partners are there to make people stupid. Google, realizing people might also want to look stupid, came up with the idea of Google Glass.  Google Glass is essentially a camera affixed to a pair of nerdy-looking glasses. Early adopters are referred to as “glassholes.”  Despite the promise of this technology, it has been slow to catch on and there have even been calls for Google to kill it.

A technology so dorky, only the hottest of supermodels were suitable for ads.

The “big idea” behind Google Glass was to help you to see what our corporate partners want you to see.  We came up with some compelling carrots and sticks to get people wearing Google Glass. For example, we thought those who spy for us in the Google Glass Program might receive instant dossiers on the people they meet. As for sticks, we figured that in the near future, not wearing Google Glass would be like not having a Facebook account. It would make you conspicuous. If you weren't actively engaged in sharing what you see, people would assume you're a creep with something to hide.  

There has been some good news. Google Glass captured the imagination of our ally Dubai, an absolute monarchy in the Persian Gulf built on slave labor. The kingdom's detectives plan to use Google Glass facial recognition technology to ID criminals.

Our shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson brought calls to equip all police officers with video recording devices. While such proposals encroach too far on the freedom of police, Google Glass could point the way to a compromise with civil liberties groups. While providing for recording in the background, Google Glass facial recognition could call up files on anyone in an officer's line of vision. This way, police violence could be targeted at persons on Department lists.  Nobody with a consistent record of ratting-out their fellow citizens need ever be subjected to physical abuse or random arrest.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Our Relationship to Our Corporate Partners Explained

We have been asked to explain our relationship to our corporate partners.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Who is Khorasan? What does Khorasan even mean?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

All We Need Is Our Bare Hands

Taking away our tanks won't change our attitude.
In the wake of Ferguson, NBC News reported, Obama Orders Review of Police Use of Military Equipment:
President Barack Obama has ordered a review of federal programs and funding that allow state and local law enforcement to acquire military equipment — a concern following the use of such gear during the recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama has directed that the review consider whether dissemination of the military guns and armor to local law enforcement agencies is appropriate, according to a senior White House official. The review will also analyze whether local officials are properly trained to use the weapons and whether the federal government properly audits the use of the supplies, the official said.
Who should decide what constitutes appropriate policing in our democracy?  Obviously, the police themselves. Practically speaking, it's a decision for various organizations under the umbrella of Fear Department:
The review will be led by White House staff and relevant U.S. agencies — including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury — and will be carried out in coordination with Congress, the official said.
If you thought this review panel might have us concerned, you would be mistaken.  A CNN story about a protest march in New York that coincided with the President's announcement of the review commission shows why we are not worried.

Eric Garner was accused of selling illegal cigarettes. He had just broken up a fight when we killed him.  According to the CNN report ("Police chokehold Death Sparks New York Protest March"):
During his fatal police encounter, Garner raised both hands in the air and told the officers not to touch him. Seconds later, a video shows an officer behind him grab him in a chokehold and pull him to the sidewalk, rolling him onto his stomach.

"I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" Garner said repeatedly, his cries muffled into the pavement.

An asthmatic and father of six, Garner was later declared dead at a nearby hospital.
 Review of police use of military equipment?  Bring it on! All we need is our bare hands.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Winner of America's Dick Award Announced

The votes have been counted. The people have spoken. America's Dick for 2014 is Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada!

Stephen Harper, pictured at rear, is winner
 of the 2014 America's Dick Awards.
And by a landslide. Stephen Harper received 190 votes, or 45% of the total--just over twice as many votes as runner-up David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Britain. Our poll closed the day before the British leader raised the UK terror alert to "severe" and gave the strongest fear-speech of his career.

Aussie leader Tony Abbott came in third place with 12% of votes. The Australian prime minister performed well considering his short time in office, besting veteran Dick-Award-worthy leaders like Turkey's Recep Erdoğan (8%), Germany's Angela Merkel (6%), Japan's Shinzō Abe (5%), and Sweden's Fredrik Reinfeldt (1%).

America's Dick is the leader who people say would be most likely to screw his own people for us. You can read about the nominees' achievements and our nomination criteria here.

Bruce Heyman, the Goldman Sachs managing director presently serving as U.S. Ambassador to Canada, will personally present the award to Mr. Harper next week in Ottawa.

Thanks to Stephen Harper, Canadians are more fearful than would seem reasonable given their longstanding rejection of statehood and far-north location thousands of miles away from the world's hot spots.

The Secretary of Fear told Fox News, "Stephen Harper is an exemplary ally.  He's created new opportunities for our corporate partners to feed at the Canadian trough. He's toughened sentencing to fill prisons. He's integrated border security. He's militarized Canadian police forces. He's used police to violently crush protests. He's censored government scientists. He's gutted Canada's environmental laws. He's carbon-friendly."

SecFear continued, "Before Harper, Canada had an unfortunate reputation as a peace-loving country. The country was admired internationally for its relatively independent foreign policy in spite of its proximity to us. Today Canada supports our policy of using violence to solve the problems we have created in the Middle East.  Harper is the first to cheer when our Israeli partners build a new settlement or bomb Palestinians.  For the first time in their history, Canadians have reason to fear being disliked."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Spin on How the Mideast Spiraled into War

Cable news networks are not supposed to provide background to current events. Poorly informed audiences are easier to frighten. As a rule, our media partners try not to provide perspective.

However, sometimes a superficial attempt to put events into context is better than none.  Case in point: the present unrest in the Middle East. Having lit the match, like any good arsonist, we want to distance ourselves from the fire. Mideast Spiraling in War and Terror, a recent CNN article, hides our tracks through charred forests.

First stop: Libya.

Gaddafi was overthrown by our NATO partners. Although they now have the run of the country, the jihadists played only a supporting role in toppling Gaddafi.  For the Department, Libya is a fiasco rivalled only by Iraq. Thoughtfully, CNN has completely written us out of Libya's history.

Next stop: Syria.

The armed opposition to Assad is largely comprised of hard-line Islamist groups including al-Nusra, ISIS and al-Qaeda. Moderates represent only a fraction of the firepower arrayed against Assad.  CNN says "rebels want to end the rule of al-Assad." Of course for extremist rebels, the endgame is Islamic rule. 

The video accompanying the article includes a map in which Syria and Iraq have been disappeared:

By showing Islamic State in control of all of Syria and Iraq, CNN makes the situation in the Middle East look bleaker than it really is. This wild distortion isn't fully qualified by correspondent Jim Sciutto in his narration of the video. Although Sciutto says IS/ISIS has "taken over more than a third" of Iraq, concerning ISIS in Syria, Sciutto says, "it was one of several rebel groups that was fighting the regime of Bashar al Assad." Of course, ISIS continues to fight the Syrian government.  The map, paired with Sciutto's narrative, wildly exaggerates IS successes. It overlooks Syria's role as the region's strongest bulwark against Islamic State.  Should we ever decide to attack Syria, CNN's audience won't think we're out of our minds.

CNN knows better than to let facts get in the way of a promising new narrative. In the video Jim Sciutto says, "When you look at these crisis, each one has brought a different policy response: in Syria, no intervention..." No intervention? Of course, in June we publicly admitted that we're aiding jihadists groups fighting the Syrian government.  Our continued support for various jihadist groups in Syria protects ISIS by diverting Assad's forces.  

How does CNN explain what happened in Iraq? 

Since spilling into Iraq from Syria...  No need to explain how that happened. No need to point out that we supported the efforts of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to train and arm thousands of Syria-bound jihadists; that we ourselves supplied jihadists fighting in Syria with aid, training and weapons. No need to explain that these policies wrecked Syria's ability to secure its territory and thereby created sufficient instability in Syria for ISIS to grow roots and now "spill into Iraq."  

Is CNN effective? We think so. Readers reacted as we might have hoped to this rewriting of Mideast history. Instead of blaming the Department for bombing otherwise stable nations like Libya and aiding jihadists from Tripoli to Aleppo, CNN's audience is learning--through reports like this one--to blame the locals. 

Readers of the CNN article said they liked this comment best: 

Mission accomplished.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

American's Dick Awards: Nominees

Update:  The results are in.

Named in honor of Richard Cheney, the America's Dick Award recognizes contributions of foreign leaders to our mission. America's Dick is a foreign leader who has gone the extra mile to advanced the agenda of the U.S. Department of Fear and its corporate partners.  He (or she) embodies our values in the day-to-day conduct of their office. While all of this year's nominees gladly put our agenda before the needs of their own citizens, America's Dick is the leader who people say would be most likely to screw them for us.

This year's nominees are: Shinzō Abe (PM of Japan), Tony Abbott (PM of Australia), David Cameron (PM of UK), Recep Erdoğan (PM of Turkey), Stephen Harper (PM of Canada), Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany) and Fredrik Reinfeldt (PM of Sweden).

Some leaders aren't eligible.  For example, Israeli PM Netanyahu is a dick, but he's not our dick.  Also, since they don't have a choice about tagging along, little pricks from insolvent client states like Ukraine, Ireland or Greece aren't eligible.

After reviewing the nominees, cast your vote at the top of the page ( You can only vote for one leader.  The poll closes on August 21, 2014.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ferguson photo op

Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post shot this photo of a staff member
just before we arrested him. (AP Photo/WaPo/Wesley Lowery).
The golden arches, symbol of our largest fast food industry partner, are believed to have been inspired by the St. Louis landmark. During the recent protests in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, staff could often be found eating at McDonalds.

The other day, two journalists from the Washington Post and Huffington Post came into our McDonalds.

When the reporters pointed their video cameras at us, we had them arrested and roughed up a bit.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Norwegians More Fearful Than Israelis

If fear runs out, how will Gaza's destruction be sustained?
Is Israel suffering a fear deficit relative to other small nations?

Last Wednesday, a terror threat against Norway coincided with Israeli attacks on Gaza that have left hundreds of Palestinian civilians dead. Since few Israeli civilians have been killed by Gaza's rockets, Israel's main justification for pounding Gaza has been that it cannot stand to have its population living in fear.

However, an analysis of English-language Twitter data by our staff reveals that more Norwegians turned to Twitter to share their fears over a four-day period than Israelis since their country's military assault on Gaza began.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Middle East Desk

In honor of Israel's work in Gaza, we're posting a section from the "Foreign Affairs" chapter of Fear for America by the U.S. Department of Fear. Considered the essential guidebook to our activities, Fear for America comprises our most important tweets from the first term of the Obama administration.  It is published by The Fear Press.

Note: In the ebook, clicking the chapter title takes you to the Table of Contents and clicking a link under the chapter title takes you to the respective section.  Here these links don't work.



The United States has diplomatic relations with around 180 of the 190 countries in the world. For over a decade, the U.S. has been working tirelessly to convince every country to embrace the fear of terrorism. The techniques of diplomacy used by the U.S. include threats (you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists), coercion (most favored nation status), and force (responsibility to protect).  

There’s no faction-ridden corner of the Middle East we don’t think it’s our business to stick our noses in. 


We remind our media partners that Gaza isn’t Syria. Under-report Palestinian casualties. Don’t treat Gaza eyewitness accounts as credible.

If Gaza had any interest in getting attention *peacefully* they’d have championed something humanitarian and creative like... a flotilla. 


Syrian War’s Spillover Threatens a Fragile Iraq
BREAKING: The jihadist insurgency we back in Syria now threatens the stability of Iraq.

Iraq Wants Exxon Out, Russia In

The Involvement of Salafism/Wahhabism in the Support and Supply of Arms to Rebel Groups Around the World
Some Qatar-channeled arms and money for Syria rebels may have been diverted to Sunni militants in neighboring Iraq. Sorry about that. 


At departmental meetings, it’s rare that a staff member will speak out against Israeli policy. Nobody here wants to be called an anti-Semite.

Congress plans cuts to our military, social security, Medicare, education, and foreign aid. Aid to Israel, of course, will increase.

Israel Won’t Warn US Before Iran Strike
$3 billion/year sure doesn’t buy us much leverage.

Palestinians Say Freeze in US Aid Taking Effect
We warned Israel that if they continued building settlements we would cut aid to the Palestinians.

If they build them, we will pay. 

Saudi Arabia

Why leave secular regimes in place to fend off al-Qaeda when Saudi-backed replacements are available? #Syria

Licking the boots of a Saudi prince never hurt anyone’s career in this town.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Twitter Account Is More Than a Stage to Showcase Terrorist Groups in the Guise of Trolling Them

We use our new Twitter account to promote Terrorists and
 intimidate analysts who don't abide by our playbook. 
Four years ago we launched @FearDept to promote publicize threats to the Homeland. Based on the success of that venture, in 2013 the Secretary of Fear authorized an expansion of our social media operations. Our new account is called @ThinkAgain_DOS (Dept Of State).

"Think Again" is the moto of our newest public relations and thought-policing initiative. The ostensive, publicly acknowledged purpose of the account is to strike back against Terrorists at a moment's notice whenever they terror-tweet. In other words, to troll them.

Some background. Once the destabilization of Syria was underway, the Secretary of Fear asked staff how some of the smaller terrorist groups could get noticed and attract followers. It had come to his attention that even some important terror groups like Al Nussra only have a few thousand followers. Sec Fear identified the need for a stage, a veritable security theater, where up-and-coming terror groups could make a name for themselves; a cyberspace where they could work on developing their infamy.  It occurred to us that if the Department were to follow some terrorist organizations on Twitter, it could enhance their visibility. Sec Fear's recognition of the need to raise the public profile of Twitter Terrorists was the inspiration behind @ThinkAgain_DOS. Pointing to the big picture, the Secretary explained:
Over time, enhancing the profile of Twitter Terrorists ought to help our corporate partners fund new and profitable counter-twitter-terrorism, cyber-warfare, and surveillance initiatives.  
However, our new Twitter account is more than a stage to showcase terrorist groups in the guise of trolling them.  Observers have noticed it serves another, rather insidious purpose.

Jonathan Krohn (@JihadiStuff) told CNN that we "target journalists and analysts with as much verve as attacking jihadis." Krohn's observation was grounded in his firsthand experience interacting with @ThinkAgain_DOS:

We had publicly insinuated that Krohn, an American writer and journalist, works for the Terrorists:

Aris Roussinos (@arisroussinos), a crisis reporter for Vice Magazine, observed of our new Twitter account:

More than a stage for promoting up-and-coming terrorists, @ThinkAgain_DOS provides a platform from which staff can insult, heckle and harass independent analysts and journalists.  This is important because with respect to our operations in Syria, there are voices we would like to silence.

To help Israel dominate its neighborhood, we have been trying to weaken the Syrian state. It's a policy that has resulted in over 150,000 deaths. So far, we have avoided criticism by blaming Assad on the one hand, and on the other, sending American celebrities to Syrian refugees camps to plead that the world do something. Of course, the revolving door between the Department and various human rights organizations has also helped us dodge criticism.

In Libya we funnelled about $500 million to al-Qaeda aligned groups. Likewise, it's no secret that the backbone of our Syria policy entails supporting armed resistance groups who depend on the muscle of al-Qaeda. The Financial Times describes the Terrorists as the "invaluable allies" of the groups we directly support.

Al Qaeda: The friend of our friend...

Whenever independent analysts draw attention to our tactical alliances with bonafide jihadists, we either ask our media partners to ignore their reporting (the Sy Hersh treatment) or we try to intimidate them into silence (#ThinkAgain strategy).

Saudi Arabia is our ally in the war against Syria's secular regime.
In terms of producing quality anti-Syria propaganda, apart from the fact Syria's Christians overwhelmingly support Assad and the likelihood that Assad would win a fair election [update: he won], the most inconvenient fact about Syria is its secularism. It's awkward for us that many Assad supporters have a Western mindset. It's downright embarrassing that Syria under Assad is a more open society than the absolute monarchies of the Gulf, our allies against the Syrians.

Partisangirl (@Partisangirl) has been one of the sharpest critics of our efforts to destabilize Syria. @Partisangirl is a Sunni Muslim who doesn't want to see her country return to the Middle Ages. Many Syrians share @Partisangirl's assessment that Assad remains Syria's best hope for keeping Syria an outpost of secular values in a region where women are often treated as second-class citizens.

The following screenshot is illustrative of the kind of interactions we have with @Partisangirl. To support her arguments, @Partisangirl will cite a reputable journal like Foreign Affairs. Our social media team at @ThinkAgain_DOS will counter with a link to a story we got printed in one of the tabloids.

PartisanGirl quotes from Foreign Affairs, we link to tabloid stories.

Because @Partisangirl is a strong debater, we have learned to respond to her arguments by insulting her. For example, noticing a typo in one of her tweets, we asked her why she couldn't speak English properly.

You might be tempted to call our interactions with @Partisangirl undiplomatic. Absolutely. The last thing we want is a debate about Syria with someone who knows what she is talking about.

We were engaged in a Twitter conversation with ISIS when @Partisangirl interrupted us, calling attention to our deception.

Partisangirl caught us trying to pass off an old photo of Lebanon for Syria.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

U.S. Senate Hearing on National Security Threats

In addition to providing the illusion of civilian oversight, the Senate Intelligence Committee provides our senior staff with a platform for announcing fears. On Wednesday January 29, 2014 the committee invited us to discuss worldwide security threats.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dept Scrambles to Block Publication of Leaked Report

On or about Jan 14, 2014, a confidential 185-page report covering the entire scope of the Department's domestic and worldwide activities was leaked.  The report, commissioned by the Secretary of Fear for our corporate partners, has since been made available to the public on the website of an electronic bookstore. We are in contact with the company that operates the website and hope to have the report taken offline shortly.

Anyone with information about how our report came to be leaked is asked to contact the Department.  Remember: If you see something, say something.