Where you come from
You’re reading this Welcome Manual because you come from an influential family that belongs to the Powers that Be. And we’ve been asked to take care of you.
So we've got a whole range of exciting and lucrative positions for you in SPECTRAM's Senior Executive Corps. Don't worry about being unfamiliar with the house; this manual will get you up to speed in no time.
If you do not come from an influential family belonging to the Powers that Be,
there may have been some kind of misunderstanding.
Stop reading right now
and immediately destroy your copy of this Manual.
Where we come from
Our history can be traced back to the time of the Industrial-Military Complex, the one which General Eisenhower warned against in 1961.
Such a wonderful time! World War II, Korea, Vietnam... the military business was running rampant.
But the Great Peace Crisis occurred: a terrible drop in world military spending between 1960 and 2000. Over forty painful years, world governments savagely cut their military spending in relation to GDP by more than 60%.
Despite this catastrophe, we have been able to adapt. We've changed faces, sought and found new threats, and carried out mergers and acquisitions with other adjacent businesses such as surveillance, security, and population control. Thanks to this diversification strategy, business is now booming again!
It is important that you are aligned with our Mission and Vision. It is a bit complex but fortunately, for your easy memorization, it is contained in our name.
SPECTRAM is a Business Group that profits off migration. We have a Legal Mission (SPEC)and an Mission (TRAM).
Legal Mission (SPEC)
It's the mission we talk about everywhere. We repeat its four mantras frequently and consistently before all sorts of audiences until we make them real. They are as follows, please memorize them:
- Securitisation: We believe in migration as a security issue, and this is how both governments and citizens should view it. This Security Problem has a Solution: to make our external borders impregnable. Have you heard of "Fortress Europe"? Well, it's one of our hits. The beauty of Fortress Europe is that it is not a place: it is a way of thinking.
- Privatisation: The most effective way to securitize borders is to leave Securitisation activities in private hands and with as little democratic control as possible.
- Externalisation: Migrants must be stopped from afar. We achieve this through our network of Non-EU Neighbours of Renegotiable Loyalty, who are charged with keeping migrants at bay. In this way, if there is no choice but to violate human rights, we make sure that it is done conveniently out of the field of vision of our citizens - out of sight, out of mind!
- Criminalisation: Migrants are guilty until proven otherwise. Guilty of what? Dunno, whatever. This mantra transmits very well because it is so intuitive. You don't have to explain it; all you have to do is draw attention to their strange accents, their strange hats, their funny-colored skins, and their badly shaped noses. Racism always sells.
Illegal Mission (TRAM)
Our Illegal Mission is as vital to the business as the legal one, but it is not public.
- TRAfficking: What our fellow traffickers do with their left hand, while our other three businesses do SPEC with their right hand.
- of Migrants:: Migrants are our victi... ahem... our natural resource. They're renewable, inexhaustible, and totally disposable.
Don't even think about starting to see them as people.
Our entire complex legal and illegal Mission is the result of implementing a beautifully simple Vision:
THE SPECTRAM VISION
"Our playing field is human migration.
On that field we will only play games
where we can set the rules,
SPECTRAM always wins,
and migrants and citizens always lose".
Let us introduce you to the large and well-structured SPECTRAM family. We are all essential. We are like the Liverpool and the Manchester football clubs: in public we can behave like rivals, but in private we know that neither would be where we are if it were not for the other.
The Value-Adders or Corporate Business
Value-Adders help the cause by raising money through public tenders. They are primarily:
- Armament and Defence Companies: Veterans from before the Great Peace Crisis (Airbus, Duro Felguera, Navantia, Mora Salazar, Leonardo...) They manufacture fences, drones, detection systems, patrol boats... all kinds of toys.
- Technology companies: The computer kids (Indra, Atos, Telefónica, Amper...). They are constantly exploring all kinds of hardware and software solutions to inject this militarily minded world with some revitalizing Silicon Valley spirit.
- Services companies: The grunts (Acciona, Babcock Mission Critical, Eulen, ECI ...). They do a little bit of everything, from changing a blown light bulb in a CIE to operating a deportation flight.
- ...and, of course, their Lobbies: business associations that are dedicated to creating a state of opinion favourable to our interests.
The Public Officials or Government Business
Our men in Government. They pass laws, launch bids for projects, and award them to Value-Adders. They play the role of inquisitive and perpetually vigilant clients of the Value-Adders, but through Lobbies and Revolving Doors, we keep them loyal to the cause.
The Otherizers or Political Discourse Business
If this were Game of Thrones, they' d be kind of the Starks. Their grim, heroic vibe is a crowd pleaser. They're in charge of maintaining a perpetual atmosphere of "Winter is Coming" with Steve R. R. Bannon as their scriptwriter. Their mission is to tell people about the public side of the SPECTRAM Mission (Securitisation, Privatisation, Externalisation and Criminalization) with such consistency and conviction that it becomes an intuitive truth. Evergreen summer hits such as “ They’re stealing our jobs", " They don't respect our culture", or “The Handout" are composed, arranged and performed by this popular political pop band.
The Traffickers or Illegal Business
Human Trafficking Mafias. They are in charge of the TRAfficking part.
IMPORTANT: As it is illegal, the Senior Executives of this Business and the rest of the Businesses are never to be seen together.
It doesn't matter what business you're in,
never forget that you're just a cog in the wheel of SPECTRAM
and your loyalty is due to SPECTRAM.
If you forget this, you' ll pay dearly, heh, heh, just kidding.
Let's get down to business: Show me the money! Where's the dough?
Our Money Streams are multiple. Let's analyze them using a strategic matrix. As a Senior Executive, depending on your personality and the influence of your family, we can place you in one place or another.
- Our Cash Cows: High volume, low growth. Border and migration control missions within the Common Foreign and Security Policy; funds linked to the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Policy; Internal Security funds linked to the Directorate General for Justice and Home Affairs (DG Home) in Europe, Ministry of Home Affairs in Spain. This is where we have the connected people and the veterans. It's the easy business but it can get a little boring.
- Our Problem Kids and Star Products: Low volume, uncertain growth. These are the European Innovation Funds, managed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation in Spain. It is the innovation pipeline for young, disruptive and ambitious entrepreneurs who like to wager on the future: cybersecurity, drones, and other cool stuff.
- Our Dogs: Low volume, low growth. The Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Policy in Europe, which has its equivalent in the integration and reception policies in Spain. This makes very little money, don’t even look at it. Let us say that we do not send our best people there.
- And, last but not least, in charge of the traffickers,Illegal Business:: for the bad guys. While in the previous Money Streams the ones who put the money in are European citizens, this other source of income is fed by migrants. The more desperate, the better.
The Public Officials play the role of clients of the Value Aggregators. But well, they are quite captive clients. Let's just say they're the guard dogs hired by the European public to watch over access to our money streams. However, as we will see later on, SPECTRAM makes sure that these guard dogs are tied up with sausages, as they say in Spain.
One of the most attractive things about SPECTRAM's business is how thinly spread its management is within governments. Migration is the responsibility of many, so it's the responsibility of no one. Our points of influence are therefore multiple and wonderfully difficult to scrutinise. It is well known that the children of many parents are the least watched... And that is the beauty of our business, folks. Isn't it exciting?
Let's see where we are positioned:
They develop the strategy, manage the funds, and control the projects.
- El The European Council: The people who cut the mustard. They provide political guidance. Getting to control them is very rewarding.
- El The European Parliament: The representatives of the citizenry. They are docile but a little unpredictable. Fortunately we have multiple ways to control them.
- The European Commission: The technical experts who draw up the draft laws and then regulate their execution. It hosts the Directorate General for Home Affairs (DG Home), our main cash cow.
- The European Agencies: This is the way forward. They are a bargain and we have to boost them to the limit: more and more autonomous and executive, more and more privatized, with less and less democratic control, more and more opaque. Without doubt, our biggest success story in this respect is FRONTEX the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. Since 2013, this beloved SPECTRAM’s pet has achieved achievements such as exceeding three times its original budget, running its own forced return operations, or recruiting, training and managing its own corps of 10,000 armed border guards.
Our men in the Government of Spain
They develop their own policies at a national level, and manage a large part of the European funds in their implementation on Spanish territory.
- Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Migration: They mainly do the good cop routine, managing our Dogs (no offense): humanitarian care, integration, voluntary return and family reunification...
- Ministry of Home Affairs: They also do a bit of the good cop thing (through institutions such as the Asylum and Refugee Office), and quite a bit of bad cop stuff (Foreign Affairs Surveillance System, deportations, CIEs, CATEs, and other centres of compulsory stay for migrants).
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The ambassadors. They liaise with our Non-EU Neighbours of Renegotiable Loyalty and manage the Paradoxical Deterrent Programmes.
- Others: Treasury, Defence, Science and Innovation, Social Rights and Agenda 2030, Labour and Social Economy, Autonomous Communities. They have various complementary roles to the above.
Value Adders capture the money streams jealously guarded by officials. But it can't be for nothing, of course. Our access to the public coffers is justified by a wide range of products and services, all related to our Mission and Vision.
Our Legal Offer forms a complete SPEC package offered by Value Adders to Officers. Thanks to it, we turn the beautiful dream of Fortress Europe into a technological, bureaucratic and operational reality every day.
- MigraStay: In their own countries of origin, we discourage people from coming to Europe through development aid programmes that are supposed to improve their living conditions. So much so that many of these programmes have been founded for this very purpose. Between us... it is not a product that works very well. That is why the technical name of MigraStay is "Paradoxical Deterrent Programmes".
- MigraGoBack: From afar, in transit countries, out of the visual field of European citizenship, we stop migrants... anyhow. MigraGoBack is our package of migration control externalisation through our Non-EU Neighbours of Renegotiable Loyalty. A good example of one of these neighbours is Morocco. They are quite effective in their task as long as they are happy with us. As soon as one of our politicians says something they don't like or they want more money, more people start sneaking up on them, and that's when we know it's time to renegotiate. Immigration diplomacy is a subtle dance, and the Moroccan Government moves with plenty of grace.
- MigraKeepOut: Up close, before migrants enter, we detect them and bounce them off: we speak of the exciting world of border perimeter detection and surveillance. Within the European Union, Spain acts as the guardian of a crucial part of Europe's southern border, which also has its only land points in Ceuta and Melilla. To reinforce the impregnability of this border, we have developed and operate technological and organisational marvels such as the Guardia Civil's Integrated External Surveillance System (SIVE); the MALE drones (medium altitude, high resistance) with which our teacher’s pet Frontex is replacing those do-gooder sea rescue boats; or the politically incorrect razor wire fences, which we recently ran a few metres south to make them part of MigraGoBack so that we do not have to account for them.
- MigraClean: if in spite of everything migrants manage to enter, we detect them, process them, and drive them out: our detection, detention and deportation operations take care of this stimulating job. In terms of public opinion, our mission to criminalize migrants has an excellent relationship of circular reinforcement with MigraClean operations. This, intellectually speaking, is a simply beautiful thing. It is not just that the more we criminalise migrants, the less the citizens protest that we treat them as dangerous criminals. The delightfully counterintuitive part is that it also works the other way around: the more we treat them as if they were dangerous criminals, the more our citizenship criminalizes them. We call it the “they must have done something wrong” effect, and it's one of our greatest strategic successes.
- MigraAssimil: If it's not legal to kick them out, we help them not to stand out too much. We are talking about the implementation of reception and integration programs. With an abysmal budget allocation, this is the Cinderella of the package. We take care of this because we don't like to leave the last crumbs of money on the table, but those of us who are more enthusiastic about the SPEC mission see it as a bit off-brand, actually.
Our Illegal Offer has a range of TRAM Services offered by the Traffickers to the Migrants. Crossing the Mediterranean on a fragile boat, crossing a border post hidden among the goods in a truck, jumping the fence... An experience you will never forget. If you survive, that is.
Synergies between Legal and Illegal Offering
Why does SPECTRAM cover both legal and illegal services? Because the one reinforces the other by two mechanisms that are the best thing since sliced bread:
- The arms race between SPEC and TRAM raises prices on both sides: The more money European governments spend on deterrence, externalisation, detection and surveillance, the more the demand for migrant trafficking services grows, and the more the price rises. Trafficking methods become more sophisticated in order to circumvent the measures, and this calls for increased investment on the other side. And this is how SPECTRAM gets to capture a higher percentage of GDP, both in origin and destination countries.
- Diversion of funds from MigraStay (Paradoxical Deterrence Programmes) to the traffickers: Part of the funds from Development Aid end up in the pockets of people in the countries of origin, who will use them to improve their living conditions. In this regard, often the most rational use of this money is to finance their migration project, so a large part of these funds will end up in the profit account of the traffickers.
You see, the business of migration is like a pig —every part of it can be put to some use! Whatever you do, our Vision is realized: "Our playing field is human migration. On that field we will only play games where we can set the rules, SPECTRAM always wins, and migrants and citizens always lose. Isn't that wonderful?
And don't we have any offerings for regular migration?
"What about regular migration? It accounts for more than 95% of the migration flow," you are asking yourself.
We’re not very sharp, are we? We don't have a product for that. Every moderately literate person knows that regular migration is good for both migrants and natives.. And the rules of regular migration are set by the market.
And that violates our Vision: "Our playing field is human migration. In that field we will only play games where we can set the rules, SPECTRAM always wins, and migrants and citizens always lose.
Don't make us repeat the Vision again or we will begin to doubt your intelligence, your loyalty, or both.
As we said before, the Public Officials are the custodians of the Money Streams. Within that role, it is their duty to right-size these funds according to the problems they intend to solve, and then to manage and allocate them to equipment and service companies within strict standards of rigour, efficiency, and impartiality.
This obsession with bureaucratic perfectionism poses two serious risks for SPECTRAM:
- On the one hand, there is the risk that Officials will underestimate the magnitude and severity of the Migration Problem, lose hope in the dream of Fortress Europe, divert their precious attention to some of the many other problems and dreams in this complex Europe, and as a result, shrink the budget for our Money Streams. This is something that our veterans in the Military Industrial Complex already experienced in the times of the Great Peace Crisis, and we don't like the idea one bit.
- On the other hand, there is a risk that officials will become overzealous, scrutinize too enthusiastically how Value Adders spend contract money, or, worse, become believers in competition and invite disloyal companies into the circuit that may offer more for less, and drive us all into a destructive price war.
To control these two risks, we have two strategies:
- Revolving Doors: We ensure that key officials from the European Union or its Member States have a seat on the Board of Directors or other prominent positions in our Value-Adders, and vice versa.
- Lobbying: We have a prominent presence in a number of Interest Groups dedicated to influencing policy and law making. To cite just three of them: the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the European Association of Aerospace and Defence Industries (ASD), or the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO). Through a series of meetings, some more public, others more discreet, we help officials from the various branches of the Union's government and from the Member States to draw inspiration and take decisions.
As a Senior Executive, your responsibility is not only to contribute to the smooth running of your part of the business, but also to ensure the sustainability of the activities of the entire Group. Be a good member of SPECTRAM and follow the instructions below:
Help the Otherizers in their work
Our genius Steve R. R. Bannon writes magnificent fantasy scripts that the Otherizers in each country adapt to local markets. To help them, it is essential that you spread and protect a false dichotomy between Security and Human Rights. "If you want security, you gotta look the other way while we violate Human Rights": this thesis is the keystone of Fortress Europe, and we protect it tooth and nail. If people stop believing in it, we' re finished.
To spread the love, here are a few tricks:
- Blurt out something outrageous and let them debunk it. The more idiotic, the better. People will be quick to react by explaining the sixteen or seventeen reasons why your absurd proposal is based on false facts, and is counterproductive, inhumane, reactionary as well as unworkable. Answer by completely denying reality and by placing the burden of proof on the side of your adversaries. Now the agenda of the discussion is yours. For several months, you have monopolized the discussion, you have made your own detractors enthusiastically spread your message, you have exhausted their argumentative capacity, and you have not even let them time or energy to think about any constructive proposals of their own.
- Silence any alternative narratives. There are people who are trying to come up with new ways of talking about migration that do not react against our framework, but simply present the phenomenon in other terms. These people are the devil. Stop them with any means at your disposal and prevent them from spreading their ideas.
- Make yourself a good "straw man". Whenever you talk about people critical to SPECTRAM, do so by caricaturing their proposals to the point of absurdity. For example, refer to them as “these do-gooders who want to abolish borders and let anyone in". Compared to an absurd proposal, yours, whatever it is, will seem like the sensible one.
- Don't let people talk about success stories in alternative policies. Examples such as certain migration policies in countries like New Zealand or Canada give wings to the dangerous idea that flexibility and respect for human rights are not at odds with border control. Keep citizens isolated from these bad influences.
Keep citizens' noses out of the business
The mission of the SPECTRAM Group is too important to be compromised by obsessive-compulsive attention to governmental procurement rules. A splitting of contracts here, a not entirely transparent lobbying action there... To continue to do so with maximum security, apply three practical principles:
- Principle of opacity: Always look for the contracting model that is the furthest away from public scrutiny. For example, working with European Agencies that have a slightly more... flexible way of interpreting the rules of transparency.
- Principle of deterrence: If someone sticks his nose in, make sure they regret it and that it serves as a warning to others. An example to follow: when two researchers from the Corporate European Observatory sued FRONTEX for non-compliance with transparency obligations, the lawsuit was dismissed and they were made to pay exorbitant costs. The FRONTEX people rule!
- Principle of generosity: Generate around any questionable operations a protection perimeter of people with whom to share the profits in a generous but discreet way. This way, it will be in their own interest not to talk when they shouldn't. For example, the Government of the Autonomous City of Melilla was for a time a genuine leisure park for SPECTRAM. Until some nosy people started to investigate. Be discreet and don't let something like this happen again.r.
We hope you found this manual useful. We've tried to bring you up to speed on our operations and strategy. Now, it doesn't matter if you've been appointed as a Value-Adder, a Public Officer, an Otherizer or a Trafficker, remember that you now have a family for life. From now on, if you take care of SPECTRAM, SPECTRAM will take care of you.
And without further ado... let's get to work! Fortress Europe won’t build itself!
SPECTRAM is not a real organization, but rather a satire. An imaginary conglomerate built from the results of our research on the Migration Control Industry. In some points we have given a humorous treatment to proven facts, while in others we have used fantasy to explain certain concepts.
For example, there is no evidence suggesting that migration control service providers and human trafficking mafias have contacts with each other, share objectives, or coordinate with each other in any way. But we fantasize about it in order to illustrate synergies between the two businesses that are real and for whose existence no explicit collusion is required.
If you want to know more about how the Migration Control Industry works, read our reports: Migration Control Industry 1: Who are the paymasters? Migration Control Industry 2: Who takes the money?