Antiwar.com has just published my new piece discussing Leon Panetta’s first major adddress on U.S. cyber-war policy. In it, he warned Iran that we could not only take revenge for Iranian cyber-attacks on our web infrastructure, but that we would detect such attacks before they were mounted and defeat them. I also discuss the hypocrisy of our blaming Iran for undertaking sabotage that we ourselves have perpetrated against the Iranians. Panetta looks increasingly like the boy who cried Wolf once too often in labeling a potential Iranian attack as a “cyber Pearl Harbor.”
The article also notes a new variant of the Flame cyber-virus likely created by Israel (possibly along with the U.S.’ NSA cyber-warriors), which targeted a small but select number of computers in Lebanon, Sudan and other countries associated with Iran.
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As to claims that USA could trace the origin of cyber attacks, you wrote: “Such claims will need to be tested in the real world before we can determine how much is bluster and how much truth.”
Question: How in a world of official secrecy and propaganistic claims could a citizen (in the real world) test any government’s claim that it “knew” the national origin of a particular cyber attack (or even in some cases know that a claimed cyber attack had in fact happened)? We live in a world in which — as Patrick Clawson has reminded us — the USA has repeatedly gone to war on the basis of black-flag (i.e., manufactured, fictitious, or deliberately provoked) attacks against us by those we wish an excuse to attack. (Some people think 9-11 was such.) The whole “theater” of cyber war is more obscure adn opaque, offering far more opportunities for every kind of chicanery.
To say nothing of retaliation and blow-back, as you usefully mention in the article.
The Mighty Cynic says
Astute observation and wholly accurate. The ridiculous nature of our society is this: OJ Simpson is accused of double homicide – it becomes year long televised trial with American families glued to the TV.
The banks take control of the printing presses, a US President is shot in the face in front of the entire country, two airliners take down three skyscrapers (not two – WTC 1,2 and the mysterious 7) to start a phony “War on Terror” killing 3-4x as many Americans as the original event and over a million Iraqis in the Iraqi holocaust, CBS/CNN/Fox News/MSNBC/NY Times/TIME/Newsweek/Disney Networks/etc. are all lying to us non-stop about nearly everything, the SCOTUS has stolen a presidential election (!) and made legal the corruption of money through Citizens United… BUT THESE TOPICS ARE NOT TO BE DISCUSSED NOR INVESTIGATED BY AMERICANS.
Rather, it is more important to know how many children Jerry Sandusky affected, what hairstyle Casey Anthony has, what those private Kardashians are up to, and whether or not there were any good zingers in the last debate. No truth is told about Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, or anywhere else affected by the “War on Terror”. Not because of national security, but because the truth would get a lot of people in power put into jail, hanged, or worse.
Do not analyze the above. The results may be the calamitous realization of the mundane truth: a small group of people are using various methods to control the ENTIRE population of anyone who will be swayed by them. This population includes Israelis, Americans, Egyptians, Iranians, Canadians, Australians – you name it. This group of people intend to not only start World War III, but reface society and the global map.
As George Carlin stated, there is a club, but none of us are in it! Not Richard, not me, not even some members of Netanyahu’s cabinet and popular Israeli figures. Kudos, you are right to call out the fact that this is a corridor to create false-flag scenarios.
It seems Panetta is trying to please the pro-Israel Jewish lobby groups with his stupid statements.
In December 2011 – US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Scott Pelley of CBS that Iran could have a “nuclear bomb within a year or less”. His claim was so ridiculous that even Pentagon spokesperson called Panett’a rant “hypothetical“. David Albright, the Jewish founder and president of Washington-based ‘Institute for Science and International Security‘ called it “definitely misleading“.
On January 8, 2012 – appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation Panetta admitted that despite all the western rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing “a nuclear capability.” Watch the video below.
Fred Plester says
For those tempted to believe the propaganda that Israel is going, one day, to win a Nobel Prize for innovation in the field of Cyber Warfare, here’s a little evidence that their top talent was in fact originally trained by the Bulgarian army and recruited, in the first instance to a Murdoch company based in Israel, by former Chief Superintendent Ray Adams of the Metropolitan Police’s criminal intelligence unit.
Mr Adams is believed by many to have been Kenneth Noye’s man in the MPS.
It’s also jolly useful evidence that Mr Adams was indeed recruiting computer hackers at the time when the late (murdered) Gareth Williams was a student at Manchester University and rather famous in gaming and hacking circles, before going to Cambridge and being recruited to GCHQ.
Someone urgently interested in covering Mr Adams’ tracks on the matter of experts in satellite communication encryption might even be a better suspect for the Al Hilli murders in France than any of those which the French police are currently working with, too.
It is fundamentally wrong to create an analogy between the US and Iran. As in WW2 and in the dealing with the Soviet-Union as well as many other instances of smaller scale the US played the role of savior for the world – the “big brother” in a positive-connotation sense. The “policeman” and the “criminal”, while both may use violence or other aggressive instruments to further their interests, are never at par and judging them on that basis is inherently invalid. Therefore, so is also the hypocrisy charge here against Panetta
Fred Plester says
The notion that in WW2 America was “The Saviour of the World” is entirely mistaken: for nearly the first three years of the war, Roosevelt was actually hedging his bets on who he supported, and it was the explicit wish of Fleet Admiral Ernest King that Nazi Germany should triumph over Britain before the US took any part in confronting Germany. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy was lobbying for America to support Hitler up until the bombing of London in early 1941, when he saw signs that the Nazis were going to fail and changed sides. Henry Ford closed his aircraft factories rather than have them contribute to the war effort against the Nazis.
Indeed, when General Eisenhower was asked to name Hitler’s best general, he immediately replied “Fleet Admiral King”.
During the Falklands Conflict, it was the American public and Caspar Weinberger who supported Britain, the Reagan White House and State Department sided with the Argentine military dictatorship throughout. President Reagan actually phoned Mrs Thatcher on the eve of the Argentine surrender to ask her not to inflict a defeat on the dictatorship. If Reagan and Jean Kirkpatrick had had their way, Argentina would be a brutal military dictatorship to this day.
It has taken Max Hastings a very long time to reach this conclusion, but you have to stand up to bullies even if they are nominally on your side. (Last year, he even realized that the European Union might have done more harm than good. His thought processes are remarkably slow, but fairly sure.)
Fred, opportunism exists everywhere, and especially so in a complex and open society as the US is, but the million American soldiers that died in Europe to save it from itself outweigh by far the cases you cite.
Fred Plester says
America suffered less than half a million deaths in WW2.
In Europe and the Atlantic Ocean the figure was roughly 182,000: NB the DoD statistics make it a bit hard to tell.
I once read, and believe this to be true, that American deaths in both world wars and all other foreign conflicts up to Vietnam, were less than the total military and civilian deaths in the American Civil War, (War of Northern Aggression if you live in Virginia or Kentucky.)
The simpering phrase “save Europe from itself” absolves the United States from any role in creating Hitler and WW2 and there are those who would contest this, very vigorously. In the aftermath of WW1, American diplomats not only supported French demands that Germany be bled white, but also supported French demands for a basically iniquitous arrangement for the Middle East (especially Syria and Lebanon), from which much ill has ensued over very many years. And if it hadn’t been for the Washington Naval Treaties, German and Japanese aggression would have been largely impossible.
Richard Silverstein says
I’ll be sure to let Secretary Panetta know you’re championing his cause. He’ll be pleased to know he has such Israeli admirers. Your support of course has nothing to do with the fact that the NSA & DoD are cooperating with the IDF’s Unit 8200 to sabotage Iran.
Iranians beyond Israeli Hasbara – Five opinions
A comparasion of Gideon Levy and Jason Smith views on the Islamic Republic of Iran with my commentary.