Tag Archives: National security

Playing Politics with National Security

The New York Times

The New York Times (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

How is it that the New York Times is able to write elaborately detailed stories about the cyber-attacks on Iran from Stuxnet and Olympic Games, the code names for the computer viruses allegedly used to infect Iran’s nuclear enrichment program?  The NYT even is able to produce a graphic that shows the detailed business process used to produce these virus attacks.

We’ve also been treated to detailed information about drone strikes on terrorists, on the campaign for targeting specific people, and even the president’s fingerprints on the “kill list”.

The answer to the question seems both obvious and disgusting.

The information is apparently being deliberately fed to favored reporters in order to bolster the President’s ‘war on terror’ credential in national defense.  That seems to be the logical conclusion of analysts and journalists either amazed or drooling over the prospects that they would be leaked information for the next juicy story.  There seems to be very little attempt by “administration officials” to hide what they are doing.

I thought national defense and security intelligence was supposed to be secret.  Why would we tell Iran these things?  Is this some giant ‘head fake’ to persuade Iran to give up their program and cut a deal before the worms start taking aim at other stuff in the Islamic Republic?  Is this a reminder that Iran cannot procrastinate forever, that there are consequences short of air strikes, that there really isn’t that much distance between Israel and the US?

Is this a trial balloon to judge public reaction to war played by alternative means than sending in the Marines?  Because cyber-attacks are, in fact, an act of war, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said so himself recently when discussing the issue of Chinese espionage.

If the president thinks that he is going to get ‘macho man’ credit for spamming Iran with computer viruses to make their centrifuges spin out of control, or deliberating targeting the terrorists of the world to demonstrate that there is no place the hide from American justice and self-defense—he will.

Until we realize that he put at risk the very successful tactics, intel and people in America’s defense forces by leaking it to the press for partisan political purposes without regard to the collateral damage it might do.  And worse, the President risks an even more precipitous loss of public confidence as we realize his actions undermine the nation security he is sworn to uphold.


WikiLeaks Embarrassment is Good News

The Wikileaks release of thousands of purloined US Government emails and communications is certainly an embarrassment for the Government.  But let’s hope that egg on the face of officials will result is better security for its “secrets”.

While the US Government should pursue, prosecute and make examples of those responsible for the leaks, it also should take steps to avoid the situation where a single person can make off with such sensitive information.  Surely that is not too much to ask of bureaucrats charged with our national security.

But reading the tawdry gossip which represents most of these messages leaked reveals something else.  We’ve suspected this unspoken truth for quite a while and now we know, the world’s leaders delight in publicly criticizing the US but secretly they plead for help, will propose the most audacious actions, and would slit the throats of their own grandmothers to stay in power.

The good news of the Wikileaks is that the US still have influence in the world, the question being posed to the Administration as a result of the leaks is whether we still have the ‘testosterone’ to use it to our advantage—-or must we now embark on yet another apology tour for our sin of allowing this leak?