What Dwight Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex has been feeding itself on fear campaigns since it was born. A never-ending carousel of Menacing Enemies – Communists, Terrorists, Latin American Tyrants, Saddam’s chemical weapons, Iranian mullahs – has sustained it, and Cyber-Threats are but the latest.
This new massive expansion has little to do with any actual cyber-threat – just as the invasion of Iraq and global assassination program have little to do with actual terrorist threats. It is instead all about strengthening the US’s offensive cyber-war capabilities, consolidating control over the internet, and ensuring further transfers of massive public wealth to private industry continue unabated. In other words, it perfectly follows the template used by the public-private US National Security State over the last six decades to entrench and enrich itself based on pure pretext.
- Glenn Greenwald in his powerful article in today’s Guardian.
Glenn really knocked it out of the park today. What began as a story covering the latest revelation that the Pentagon will be increasing its cyber-security force more than fivefold, turned out to be a comprehensive and scathing critique of the surreptitious rise in the surveillance state gulag throughout these United States ever since 9/11. He rightly makes the point that it is our own government that actually fired the first real opening shot in the “cyberwar,” and as a result already essentially started war with Iran with the mobilization of the Stuxnet virus. So who’s acting like a rogue nation?
From the Guardian:
As usual, though, reality is exactly the opposite. This massive new expenditure of money is not primarily devoted to defending against cyber-aggressors. The US itself is the world’s leading cyber-aggressor. A major purpose of this expansion is to strengthen the US’s ability to destroy other nations with cyber-attacks. Indeed, even the Post report notes that a major component of this new expansion is to “conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries”.
Indeed, exactly as Obama knew would happen, revelations that it was the US which became the first country to use cyber-warfare against a sovereign country – just as it was the first to use the atomic bomb and then drones – would make it impossible for it to claim with any credibility (except among its own media and foreign policy community) that it was in a defensive posture when it came to cyber-warfare. As Professor Glenny wrote: “by introducing such pernicious viruses as Stuxnet and Flame, America has severely undermined its moral and political credibility.” That’s why, as the Post reported yesterday, the DOJ is engaged in such a frantic and invasive effort to root out Sanger’s source: because it reveals the obvious truth that the US is the leading aggressor in the world when it comes to cyber-weapons.