March 25, 2011

Sailing under a "false flag" may get you sunk

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reports that Carlos Lam, a deputy prosecutor in Johnson County (IN), resigned after he could not deny any longer that he had sent an e-mail to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suggesting that Walker "employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you)" so that the pro-union movement in Wisconsin could be discredited (this was after he professed to be "flabbergasted" that such an e-mail could have been sent from his account). Lam's e-mail to Gov. Walker became known after an open-records settlement between the Walker administration and the local media.
Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions. God bless, Carlos. F. Lam.
The expression is derived from the naval concept of flying a flag of a friendly country (rather than one's own) to deceive the enemy.  Wikipedia reports that according to a 1977 addendum to the Geneva Conventions "it is prohibited to make use in an armed conflict of the flags.... of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict."

Lam wasn't very good about sailing under his own flag. Before he resigned, he denied that he had sent the incriminating e-mail and professed to be "flabbergasted"(a word of unknown origin and first used in the late 18th century)  that such an e-mail could have been sent from his account. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

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