Reliable Security Information


Computer Security for the 1 Percent

Memo to American cyberwarriors: You can't rehab your lousy reputation by planting stories on how you saved banksters in big newspapers. Illustrating that global cybersecurity policy and action in the US is purely for the benefit of the 1 percent, Ellen Nakashima of the Washington...

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Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar & the propaganda machine of the national security megaplex

Readers of this blog know the topic of cyberwar reasonably well. The national mythology on it has been deadening and invariant for virtually two decades. Festung America has always been threatened with devastation from cyberspace. Clever hackers, then terrorists, then armies of cybersoldiers based in...

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Putin's Pardons

There's an old Soviet-era joke about Vladimir Lenin, a play on all the stories of the kind, grandfatherly figure schoolchildren in the USSR heard endlessly. It goes like this: Lenin is shaving, when a small child approaches him. "Grandfather Lenin," the child begins eagerly. "Buzz...

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Surviving ricin

Contrary to American war on terror mythology, castor seeds don't make a good weapon. They contain ricin and it's easy to grind them to powder but, In fact, it is harder than one might think to achieve simple poisoning....

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It's the NSA's world, we only live in it

And so it is announced the NSA is into the data stream flowing into Yahoo and Google in the cloud....

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The Best & the Brightest: Hacking to save corporate America

Young hackers are to rescue corporate America from cybersabotage!...

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The Next Hurricane Katrina: Energy Executives and Cyber Security

Richard B. Andres Matthew Thomas  At a time when electric companies are witnessing an unprecedented rise in cyber-attacks against their industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and acquisition systems (SCADA) that monitor and regulate power grids, the response of industry executives has ranged from paralysis...

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Smart Grid and the Threat of Malicious Cyber Actors

Richard B. Andres Karl S. Pabst As the energy industry rushes to become "smart," it has paid scant attention to the security implications of this move, particularly in the cyber realm. Touted as the next big thing by policymakers and industry executives alike, smart grid technology is...

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We got the war on terror pensioner! Go team!

The mighty US war on terror machine grinds on. Big news, big news, an allegedly important al Qaeda man, nabbed by US special forces in the failed state formerly known as Libya. Hate to rain on the parade....

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Exploding clothes: The latest whoopie cushion from our anonymous security experts

Our anonymous perps in the national security megaplex just won't go away. They keep trying to convince everyone al Qaeda withstood the hiding it took from the US over the last decade. So this weekend we got the old and tired buzzword, "chatter," again. Plus,...

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Poverty and the Annual National Security Ogres & Wealth Festival

You're not one of those disingenuous types who still think threats to the security of Americans are external, right?...

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Ricin, the super-duper defense lab and out-sourcing

The trial of accused ricin mailer Matthew Buquet has been pushed off until next year. The reason? Because there is only one lab in the country, a super-duper one, that does the forensic ricin determinations needed in the case, according to the judge. But is...

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North Korea and McAfee: Threat or Menace?

Last week GlobalSecurity.Org was consulted by a reporter from the Associated Press over the Dark Seoul/Operation Troy report on recent cyberattacks in South Korea, issued by McAfee. I looked it over and talked with the journalist awhile on the subject....

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Did the NSA foil the Zazi peroxide bomb plot?

THe NSA's Keith Alexander has pointed to the case of Najibullah Zazi, a foiled improvised bomber (peroxide explosives, specifically) who was seized by the FBI in 2009, as evidence its PRISM surveillance program is critical for the safety of Americans. In the case, Zazi quickly...

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The Edward Snowden affair demolishes US cyberwar hype

The Edward Snowden affair has done many things. One of the most signal is its complete destruction of the US government/national security megaplex's campaign of cyberwar hype, disinformation and outright lying....

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Ricin Pinup Girl Arrested

The national micro-fad of summer ricin mailing has produced a lot of firsts, not the least of which is the debut involvement and arrest of a beauty queen/actress/serial wife, Shannon Rogers Richardson, apparently intent on framing her husband. And showing a disagreeable side to the...

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Ricin Bean Pounding: Welcome to the new weird

Welcome to the new weird. The fresh batch of ricin letters has uncovered a bean-pounder, or bean-pounders, even stranger than Tupelo, Mississippi's accused ricin guru, guitarist and karate instructor J. Everett Dutschke. If you thought ricin mail was already bizarre, it just got a whole...

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Bean Pounding: Unknown violent gun nut implicated in ricin mail

Three incidents with ricin-tainted mail between April and May constitute new and uncharted territory in the US. And in two of the instances ricin mail targeting the President has been intercepted. The first, from alleged castor bean pounder J. Everett Dutschke in Tupelo, Mississippi. And...

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Cyberwar, cyberespionage and media manipulation

If you've been following along it's no secret the US government and the national security industry have been waging an increasingly concerted campaign to boost cyber-defense spending. The lynchpin of the strategy is the relentless argument that Chinese hackers, under the guidance of its government...

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Bean Pounding: J. Everett Dutschke & the strange saga of outsider music and bioterrorism

It takes a very strange person to undertake bioterrorism in America. Logic says there can't be many such people. But the recent case of accused ricin mailer, J. Everett Dutschke, Tupelo's now most famous other son adds another entry in an obscure catalog of dimly-lit...

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Pentagon declares Chinese cyberespionage the cause of all woe

Well, not exactly. But if you were reading the news Monday, specifically the New York Times, you might have thought this was the case....

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My Plastic Gun Kills Fascists

The now infamous Cody Wilson successfully fired a 3D printed plastic pistol one time by hand, without maiming himself. The tech press went wild....

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Ricin case FUBAR

In case you needed any more proof the war on terror has screwed up beyond all recognition, this just in from the AP: "Marshals Service: Suspect in ricin letters case has been released from jail in Miss."...

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Fraud Anniversary

Raise a toast to the Fraud Anniversary. For 99 percent of America it's been all downhill ever since, including me. The GWB administration and the mainstream media broke everything with the Iraq war....

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Calling Paula Broadwell

From All In: "One of Petraeus' favorite quotes comes from Seneca, a first century Roman philosopher: 'Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.' This has been true for Petraeus at many turns ..." And when the day to day of the war on terror...

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Obama Trip Could be Bellwether for U.S.-Asia Relations

On his first trip abroad since winning reelection - and the first ever by a U.S. leader to Burma - President Obama will confront evident opportunities and risks in pushing ahead with his bold approach to expanding U.S. ties with Southeast Asia. Obama will presumably...

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The yen for authoritarians

As far as foreign policy and the debate went, viewers will have noticed how the GOP, using its media, has made global warming a third rail issue in American politics. It simply went missing in all debates, replaced by both candidates squabbling over who would...

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Digital 9/11 Gall

Red alert! Red alert! Leon Panetta warned of a digital 9/11 a "National Security Dinner" for business executives in NYC! The mainstream news blotter on my PC indicated the alarums had been sent far and wide. The infrastructure was vulnerable and menaced by a potential...

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Cyber-Leaden

Today Yahoo started "Cybergeddon," a very poor woman's "24," underwritten by the giant computer security software and services peddler, Symantec. You know what it's all about: Push software button remote terrorism, with all the scenarios and myths the salesmen and fear-mongers have delivered over the...

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Poverty & immorality, graphed

The Congressional Research Service continues to produce reports laden with information on major issues, analysis unlikely to be popular with one entire side of the political spectrum. For this, it deserves a pat on the back. Sadly, it would seem facts do have a liberal...

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Mitt Romney's Battleships

There are no rays of light for Mitt Romney in the secret video. Everything said at the private Florida toff's club is a liability. On security, Romney also had much to say. Most notably, the following on alleged weakness in the US military:...

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Export surplus: Arms sales to toadies

The balance of trade in non-military domestic manufacturing may have gone to hell upon sale to China but there's one place were the US still rules supreme. We're the biggest sellers of arms, bar none, with special emphasis on sales to countries ruled by our...

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Changing of the Guard in Egypt

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi replaced his top military leaders on Sunday, a move that has dramatically altered the governing dynamics in Egypt. It is now clear that that there was a split within Egypt's military leadership. The new Minister of Defense, Col. Gen. Abdul Fatah...

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4 Years On, Hard Feelings Linger Between Russia and Georgia

Four years ago this week, Russia and Georgia briefly went to war. The conflict has had lasting effects for Tbilisi, Moscow, and beyond. For Georgia, the conflict forced substantial rethinking of security strategy, foreign policy, and necessarily its approach to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It...

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Victims of terrorism-by-mistaken-identity

Jonah Blank considers the implications of Sunday's killings at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin: American Sikhs have often been victims of terrorism-by-mistaken-identity. Because the tenets of the faith require unshorn hair, observant Sikh men generally wear turbans and keep their beards long. Perpetrators...

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No can haz cyberdefense against greatest transfer of wealth in history this year

Those pursuing expanded funding of cyberdefense, more predatory and invasive technical and legislative protocols in the last two weeks were always adding they wanted to have a debate, to expand public discourse on the matter. This is not what they meant at all. What they...

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Our Cyberdefense Shoeshine Boys

Few things are more odious than the claims issued almost daily from various politicians and our cyberwarrior national security experts on the nature of the threat. The politicians stand for the 1 percent. And the cyberwarriors are part of the Shoeshiner Service, errand fulfillment for...

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The President delivers his cyberscare story

The President delivered his digital Pearl Harbor story, not using the phrase because presumably has been told of its exposure to ridicule, in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. It's worth a dissection....

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The greatest transfer of wealth in history ...

"In my opinion, it's the greatest transfer of wealth in history," said general Keith Alexander, he of the National Security Agency, on cyberattacks launched at our great country. Not quite, and no one has to rely on opinion. The greatest transfer of wealth in history...

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The Best and The Brightest -- not anymore

David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest, his 1972 account of the policy-makers in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and the nature of the Vietnam disaster, is a classic on the delusions of American power. Everything Halberstam described then is present today. Only conditions and...

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The shady and the low of US virus war

You can count there being no end to the hypocrisy of the US national security complex, aka "the self-licking ice cream cone." It looks in the mirror, sees its own menacing face, grins and runs screaming that it's seen someone else preparing to attack....

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Expose the US virus war machine

Putting viruses on the computers of others is a criminal act whether or not those who own the infected computers are popular or unpopular. It has always been this way, always will be. The anti-virus business was built on the hard fact that virus writing...

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The cat's out of the bag on US virus war -- watch out for fleas

In the Nineties I set out in my book Virus Creation Labs to tell some of the story of the anti-virus industry. As part of the job Its programmers were always keen to discover the identity of virus-writers and they became good at it. Now...

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Flame virus makes great press release

Discovery of cyberwar superviruses like Flame is good for generating interest and international publicity for anti-virus firms. Therefore they will compete more vigorously in the doing of it. Which is a back-handed benefit to everyone because it will more quickly spoil cyberwar and international harassment...

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Lousy joke of the week: Pentagon apparatchiks do the China Peril thing

While the rest of the country has gone to Hell over the last ten years, the Pentagon has been untouched. While unemployment and outsourcing of jobs to China surged, the US military budget ballooned. When the global economy crashed due to Wall Street malfeasance in...

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White, right wing and paranoid is a terrible way to go through life

Not a week goes by that my news tab doesn't have a few stories on the American survivalist movement, courtesy of the presence of doomsday electromagnetic pulse references in all such pieces. The homespun country paranoids are now firmly in the US entertainment mainstream, notably...

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Republic totters on news of innovative underwear bomb

Al Qaeda's barrel-scrapers continue to be portrayed as capable of posing a huge threat to this country. Now virtually destroyed by US operations, a handful of al Qaeda pismires in a couple of dirt poor countries continue to putter with things that don't work. For...

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Guns, Not Butter -- Because in your heart, you know it's bad to tend to the poor & sick

Associated Press, on the daily recommendation from the mainstreamed extremists, without blinking: "A key House committee has voted to cut food aid, health care and social services like Meals on Wheels to protect the Pentagon from a crippling wave of budget cuts come January." Although...

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The bin Laden No-Prize

The US military, through a West Point terrorism training school, released documents seized during the Osama bin Laden raid, a year ago this week. Readers know that despite the formidable achievement, for which the President deserves great credit, there has been no bin Laden dividend....

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Dirty tricks unleashed on Occupy Wall Street?

US history is filled with powerful companies and agencies breaking the law to discredit and destroy popular movements that threaten their interests. And so today comes news of powder hoax mail sent throughout NYC, timed to coincide with legitimate May 1 protest....

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Old pink meat product

The meat industry produces veritable mountains of manure. It contaminates cows, not only on the outside when they stand in it, but also on the inside, when they are fed from grains cultivated in fields fertilized or tainted by runoff from it. This has created...

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Yellow Fever

This week's news cycle has been especially full of natsec experts and government men speaking of the threat of Chinese attacks in cyberspace. Such intelligence wars are unsurprising. It is equally unsurprising that foreign powers have always engaged in extensive operations to obtain military and...

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The Bogometer is blinking red

History means a lot on the cybersecurity/cyberwar beat. Particularly not knowing it. If you're reporter on the cyber-disaster line you probably don't remember what went on five years ago. And, under no circumstances, do you recall or even care what transpired before that. Short attention/retention...

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How not to be 'sick'

If you read or sound like an old duffer or military stodge, your message may not convey quite what one thinks to a younger generation in a different country. This is one of the unintentionally humorous lessons furnished in the latest issue of the Army's...

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Atom drone ideas ruefully canceled

Sometimes the boffins of bad ideas at our weapons labs are occasionally compelled to admit the atrocious quality of the things they come up with preclude them ever being implemented. And news of this was brought to us this week courtesy of Steve Aftergood at...

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An old cyberwar April Fool's joke proves durable, finds new rubes

In the mainstream public discussion about cyberwar, bull---- walks, particularly here. And so it is not greatly surprising when an infamous old April Fool's joke about a computer virus alleged to have been used in Desert Storm shows up almost right on time for the...

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Still flogging the pain ray

Over the last decade, the US military's pain ray -- a clumsy weapon called the Active Denial System that uses millimeter waves to burn the outer skin layer of targets by making the water molecules twitch -- has been a public relations disaster. No one...

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Bombing Paupers: The strategy of the Forever War explained

At Secrecy blog Steve Aftergood has posted the testimony of William McRaven, overall commander of global US Special Operations. Appearing before the Senate Armed Services committee recently, McRaven emitted statements that, with only a little translation, frankly and perfectly encapsulate the American strategy to globally...

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The 'lights out' meme and the joy of believing rubbish

The idea that hackers -- now to mean Anonymous, the Chinese, or any other alleged enemy of the US anywhere, can turn out the lights from the Internet is pervasive. There isn't a week that passes without some media outlet publishing a story or running...

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Oil company funny bizness 'splained

A new report from the Congressional Research Service does not furnish material useful in blaming the president for precipitously rising prices at the pump. It gives no obvious opening to those who might think of appealing to oil companies for help in the matter, either,...

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WikiLeaks reveals Stratfor nose gold

When trivial e-mails show your analysts are looking at PETA for Coca-Cola, you look bad. When you look bad, your schedule clears out. When your schedule clears out, you grow a scraggly beard. When you grow a scraggly beard, people think you're a beggar. Don't...

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US officials try to fit up Anonymous

Creating bogeymen is a specialty of the US national security complex. It's business, pure and simple. And what better place to gin up fear-based economy business than in the newspaper of America's business, the Wall Street Journal....

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Bombing Paupers Inc comes home: It's all about the money

Bombing Paupers Incorporated, drone business, is already deployed in the US. But there's a new vigorous push on, and it's all about the money. With the taxpayer already shelling out about the same for unmanned bombing and spying as it does for the FDA, defense...

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Okie loons fight the lowly castor plant

Oklahoma is a place of idiotic whims. This week a Republican legislator moved to outlaw castor seed production. In talking to the local newspaper a bunch of rationalizations bearing no relationship to truth were employed to explain legislation that would ban lowly castor plant agriculture....

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Monetizing the kooks

Reality television is the perfect place for monetizing kooks. In this case it's National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers series on what I've called End Timers. I caught a commercial and won't be tuning in. (It begins airing tonight.) Topics common to the blog have already shown...

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So many Doomsdays

Inundated with weekly national security news on a variety of approaching Doomsdays I've occasionally asked, "Which is it to be?" All of them? One? Some? None? How can you tell from reading the usual public testimony of our experts? The answers: (1) You can't tell;...

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Uncle Sam versus castor oil

Ever since 9/11 the United States has been in a war with castor plants. It has done this by making people believe castor seeds are a deadly horror and putting in jail everyone stupid enough to pound them. The rest of the world has shrugged....

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The Militarization of South Pasadena

Deserving of a big "Whaaaa?" -- today's proof that even the smallest local shires of the land, places with no significant history of violent crime or threat try to get into the act. The Los Angeles Times informed yesterday that South Pasadena, generally known for...

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Defense cuts to cause boom in bombing paupers

No one will say it in formal circles: Use of drones outside the US is all about bombing paupers or -- ahem -- the impoverished places of the world, if something less blunt sounding is needed. That's the US strategic plant coupled to the story...

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Blinding lasers, pepper spray and electric rays

The recently released Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Reference Book shows the current listing of mostly useless gadgets, some of which can kill or maim people, currently fielded for the US military. Some have bled into US police forces as a result of the weapons...

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Secrets from a country that doesn't exist about stuff that no longer matters

Back when I still had hope, twenty years ago, I once wrote about a very secretive government agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, for a daily newspaper in the heartland. The NRO operated our spy satellites and I'd discovered (I was not the first) that its...

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Drones over paupers: An Empire Merry Christmas

Competing for top ranking in this year's long list of fatuous end-of-year news pieces notable only for their talent at bleak unintentional hilarity: Overstretched U.S. drone pilots face stress risk. In this holiday season of mass unemployment and homeless protesters being shoveled out of the...

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The Year of the Arab Spring

It has been a year since Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest his treatment by a corrupt and abusive policewoman in Cite Bousaid in Tunisia. In that year, the Middle East and North Africa has seen revolution, rebellion, repression, and reform. What has...

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Newt, chieftain of the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy

Yesterday William Broad of the New York Times put Newt Gingrich's role as one of the chieftains of the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy onto the front page of that high button newspaper. The piece was mildly critical but such things always give the story...

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Killer robots and bombs trump the meat

Wasn't yesterday's feast great? Have General Atomics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics Land Systems been good to you this year? They didn't let you go hungry. Nope, no lining up at the welfare center to present the monthly budget in applying for...

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The rotten cost of non-lethal weaponry comes home

Yesterday, the Rachel Maddow Show devoted a short segment to non-lethal weapons and the Occupy Wall Street protests. It started with a showing of graphics and citations on the more exotic and menacing non-lethal gadgets developed for the US military, justified by and during the...

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The Empire's Dog Feces: Non-lethal use against OWS protest

The long-term nature of the non-lethal weapons industry in the US needs to be understood now that one of its newer pieces of kit, the LRAD, has been fielded in New York City for the OWS protests. The purpose of the industry has always been...

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The Poison Chats of the Ricin Beans Gang

Contained within one FBI affidavit, the Georgia Ricin Beans Gang -- Frederick Thomas, Samuel Jerry Crump, Dan Roberts and Ray Adams -- are a number of chats conducted between themselves and an FBI informant. Here is a transcript, with some notes, of the more interesting...

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Old Weird America, ricin kooks and extremism

The geriatric Georgia ricin beans gang affords us a look at Old Weird America. It's that dark place that has always been obsessed with self-protection and armaments and driven by paranoia and animosities toward government agency of any kind....

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Ricin kooks hit the big time

One of America's weirdest subcultures, the white male ricin kook, is big news today, folks! It's the geriatric Atlanta ricin beans gang, caught by the FBI with one making the absurd claim that he'd just get up on the highway and throw it out of...

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Scary Story: Book teaser reveals leaders as lousy as their press

Today's top news item, a whoopie cushion expose -- a memoir book teaser from Condoleeza Rich -- in which the lousiest national leadership in national history, the GWB administration, believed it was exposed to botulinum toxin. In its own words they looked an unselfconscious and...

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Corporate welfare/entitlement spending in homeland security

A steady stream of press releases from the private sector homeland security industry demonstrates corporate welfare on a daily basis. As example, take one recent announcement on a Department of Homeland Security contract for ricin detection. Like many it shows a company that pretty much...

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Duqu virus: Following the patterns of malware proliferation

Here's the basic truth on computer virus proliferation: Once out, there is no controlling what others might do to your -- or anyone else's -- creation. So, at this point it cannot be known with absolute certainty if Duqu's creators were Stuxnet's....

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Pitchforks media

Could social unrest break out if the US government doesn't pay attention to Occupy Wall Street and visibly start doing something about mass unemployment? Hard to know. OWS is non-violent. But what will the environment be like a year from now if nothing has changed?...

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Drone virus story craps out

Computer viruses/malware on US military networks are not remarkable. Ever since I wrote a book on computer viruses in 1994, so it has been. Some of them rise to newsworthiness. Most don't. But because Wired pushed the news of a virus on a computer network...

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Fun Cult of Anthrax Deniers Deploys Word Processors for Ivins

The New York Times again did no one any favors earlier this week in pushing another story on the regular campaign, by a few from the fringe, to revise the anthrax case. It was high button publicity for the anthrax Ivins-denial-and-conspiracy crew, keeping up the...

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Failed State: As defined by food stamp use

The US national security machine and its army of private sector warning robots disguised as human beings whirs and buzzes, scanning the world for menaces as the country rots from the inside out. Triumphant that it's greased some fleabags in Yemen or added another one...

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Secure Grid '11 - Electrical Grid Crisis Tabletop Exercise

Secure Grid '11 Overview Secure Grid '11 is the third in an ongoing series of exercises that National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) has conducted in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command on the vulnerability of the...

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The bad guys won

Here's my conclusion from ten years of war on terror, one drawn from expert perspective. It's simple: The bad guys won. I don't mean bin Laden or al Qaeda. My view deals with the US mechanism, the security and threat assessment machine that was part...

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Ricin bomb rubbish

The weekend's most odious news came from the New York Times and concerned an alleged plot by al Qaeda in Yemen. And the plot (or ongoing plan) involved -- ricin bombs....

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Crawling back for the limelight of 9/11 anniversary

The fan of 80 buck a bottle Kistler white wine, celebrity natsec expert Richard Clarke, officially joins the world of 9/11 conspiracy theory today....

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The Empire's Dog Feces: Electromagnetic pulse weapon mania

The mania over non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons is now close to two decades old. And none that are even remotely interesting have ever been produced. However, this has not seriously impeded widespread belief in them, demonstrated by the fact that now not a week goes...

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First we fire all the lawyers

An idle mind is the devil's playground. That's a flip way to describe the recent intersection of stupid Dept. of Justice lawyers and the continuing mainstream media interest in anthrax mailer Bruce Ivins. Throw in the mythology surrounding the dead man's case. It will never...

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A plutocrat firm gets its stuff taken by the cyber-paupers

Smiling Michael McConnell and his firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, have been struck by the Anonymous hacking group. It's one illustration of a "they had it coming" rule of the cyber-jungle in action....

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The plutocrats worry about the cyber-paupers coming for their stuff

I get one or two interview requests a week on cybersecurity lately. The conversations always hinge on matters of absolutely no interest to the American middle class. Most popular now: "What would a cyberwar look like?"...

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The Joker Bomb

From the Dept. of It Had to Happen, comes a homeland security warning on terrorists boarding airplanes with surgically implanted bombs. Mount the photo taken from a Batman movie, the one where the Joker has implanted an explosive cell phone in one of his henchmen....

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What's Next for Nuclear Modernization?

A wild fire that threatens Los Alamos National Laboratory is not the only "hot" topic regarding nuclear weapons. A fight is brewing between the president and the Congress over nuclear modernization. When pushing for the New START nuclear agreement, "Obama promised to modernize U.S. nuclear...

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Documents to get you jailed, courtesy of the US survivalist fringe

Downloading the wrong papers from the Internet is a cheap ticket to the big house or Her Majesty's hospitality, thanks to the decade-long war on terror. In the Eighties the US survivalist fringe minted the mayhem papers of high stupid that traveled 'round the world....

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Review -- Wikiwars: The Mission of Julian Assange

Wikiwars: The Mission of Julian Assange aired on CNN this weekend. Narrated by an ex-Navy SEAL named Kaj Larsen who doesn't look the part, it contains no revelations being entirely a rehash of old news. Watch it only if you want to see Nick Davies...

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Picking through Osama bin Laden's nose gold

The government and the media, will squeeze everything it can from the leftover detritus of Osama bin Laden. It will twist and twirl it out like the most distasteful piece of nose toffee simply for sales value and because it cements the directive that we're...

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How Osama bin Laden screwed up my driver's license

Months before his death, Osama bin Laden -- with the help of corporate America's national security infrastructure, screwed up my driver's license. If you live outside California you probably haven't heard this tale of fail. It's unfolded in slow motion over months, resulting in massive...

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Economic Treason: Evisceration of US economy, graphed

In one picture a simple proof that all news stories having to do with Chinese military spending and its alleged menace are laughable. In the last decade, our graph shows the ballooning trade deficit with China, mirroring national off-shoring of labor and the shipping out...

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The admiral's servant does his shopping

Today's LOL item stems from the continuing tale on the danger of China's military build-up. It's now so tiresome we're going to take this space to imagine what a war with China would entail for both countries. You'll won't see it anywhere else and I...

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Bruce Ivins, first bioterrorist/country recording artist ever?

Bruce Ivins, the best bioterrorist US taxpayer money could buy, was by all descriptions a resourceful man of many talents. Newspaper articles on him told of his fondness for playing keyboards at church and composing little humorous songs for departing colleagues at Fort Detrick/USAMRIID. But...

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How Much is Enough?

A number of long-term defense spending proposals have been circulating in Washington, such as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. None, however, are based on proven methods of defense planning. In realistic defense planning, national security challenges drive force structure requirements: how many...

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Economic Treason: Loss of manufacturing could be security problem -- Ya think?

In perhaps another indication the intelligence apparatus is still busticated in the US, Steven Aftergood of Secrecy blog informs that a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been ordered to address what the loss of the country's manufacturing base means. It's looking bad for us, says...

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Bombing Moe: Rebel rabble routed plus General Electric funnies

The word's officially in. Guys waving V signs in pickup trucks as they speed toward Tripoli speed back just as quickly. The inability to handle weapons, or even fight, can't easily be overcome. They're not the Desert Rats. Even a Bernard Law Montgomery could be...

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Bombing Moe: Heavy arty versus rabble

Watch tv and you know the 'rebel' force Odyssey Dawn is supporting is just a lightly armed rabble. The pictures of the favorite weapon of the impoverished, a light pick-up truck with an old surplus Eastern bloc machine gun mounted in the back, are inescapable....

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Creepy Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer -- psychiatrists say

News broke Tuesday of a psychiatric report commissioned to evaluate the mental records and health of Bruce Ivins,' the US scientist named by the Department of Justice as the anthrax mailer. The report confirms Ivins was a creepy, mentally unbalanced man fond of harassing a...

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Bombing Moe: Gilt furniture and calculating a war dividend

The classic arguments on Odyssey Dawn, made by the celebrity pundits and serious people arranged in Washington like gilt furniture never mix in what's going to continue to happen to the the middle class because of more big war adventure. Since the middle class had...

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Bombing Moe: The 4 percent Brits, never bombing banksters and more

Figure of the day, token British missile strikes: 130 US Tomahawk launches and 6 UK Tomahawk launches. Total equals 136 launches. Brit explosive contribution to 'the Coalition,' 4.4 percent by weight in Tomahawks....

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Bombing Moe: "The Tomahawk is neat,' 'fascinating,' and other Sunday morning funnies

It took fifteen minutes over the weekend to demonstrate one of the most important reasons for Bombing Moe. The photos of Tomahawk missile launches and the pics of Libyan tracked artillery pieces with their turrets upside down blew everything else off the news. One can...

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Bombing Moe: Five more breaking reasons the Prez said go

Reason Number One, update Saturday: Republicans will be tied in knots. They're always for bombing Muslims in a foreign country but hate the President. They love war to defend oil but are against everything the President commands....

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Economic Treason: When you sell arms to skunks it's not surprising when the stench sticks to you

It will have occurred to many that the constant peddling of US-made weapons to the Middle East oil producers willing to be American toadies in the pursuit of the war on terror has been just like tossing bags of crap at many fans. In Egypt,...

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Fuel rods and catastrophes

Like most I've been watching US television for news on the reactor disasters at Fukushima. The one source, outstanding above all, has been Frank von Hippel, director of the Program for Science and Global Security at Princeton....

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Battle: Los Angeles -- don't think, sit back and watch the explosions & dirt

The USMC gets its money's worth from Aaron Eckhart in Battle: Los Angeles. His Sgt. Rock/Nick Fury chin displays like a wall in virtually every scene, even when his gyrenes are getting ground up by the alien troops. Which is for most of this thing....

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Economic Treason: A look at Wisconsin and arms manufacturing

"We're broke!" is the GOP blandishment used to justify imposing hardship on the middle class as Republicans go about the work of transferring more and more wealth to the already very well off. A few days ago, in the case of Wisconsin I highlighted Scott...

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Cult of EMP Crazy in the Koreas plus a few notes on weapons and China

The western press always inflates stories of electromagnetic pulse rays and bombs. They are the fabulous weapons that are always coming -- almost twenty years now -- but never quite arriving. This is in accordance with the rule of law....

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The best bio of Julian Assange you won't read in the US media

Today I point you toward the best history of Julian Assange yet. And it is published outside the routes of celebrity big media where the kings spit and urinate upon the subject, tell him it's raining, and then proceed to pick the body and skeleton...

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Friday's Mixed Nuts: Stuxnet and an amusing WikiLeaks web review

The mythology of Stuxnet is indefatigable. Too many businesses are directly interested in the lasting perception that cyberwar can accomplish anything....

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Economic Treason: Middle class whacked, arms manufacturing flourishes (a series)

The Great Recession caused by Wall Street whacked almost all of the middle class in the United States. Newspaper articles and the opinions of economists continue to discuss its impact in terms of mass unemployment and extreme hardship.However, there are a few large industries which...

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A vision of strategic nuclear war from 1958

I am tipped to "The Power of Decision," a 1958 in-house USAF movie on how it might wage all-out strategic nuclear war against the Soviet Union. Released to the web by the National Security Archive, it is described thusly:...

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Eat Feces & Die: US uses jihad docs on poisons as vector for malware

The e-mail dump from HBGary Federal, carried out by the Anonymous hacking group, has most famously exposed corporate plots to attack and discredit WikiLeaks, Glenn Greenwald and ThinkProgress. Perhaps less publicized was Ars Technica's story on the corporate development of malware for the US government....

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The Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy: A caucus and a movie

The GOP-controlled House now officially has a Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy caucus. Started by Trent Franks, the official announcement is here....

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The Battle for Marjah -- a short review

HBO's Battle for Marjah documentary is not worth your time. That is, most already know the war in Afghanistan can't be won. But there is no political will to end it. However, as a working metaphor for that dilemma, the documentary is fine....

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The Continuing Amusement of Chinese Threat Inflation

One of the biggest jokes on my blog is the US media's fascination with the Chinese military. The US spends more than the top ten or thirteen countries in the world -- combined -- on its military. And it has been in active combat for...

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Rigor and prudence shown in NRC report on Amerithrax science

The National Research Council's report today on the science of the FBI's Amerithrax investigation upheld the value of rigorous work. It stopped well short of condemning any of the FBI's work on the case and did not particularly lend itself to cries for the exoneration...

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Economic Treason: Abandonment of manufacturing except for weapons

The United States has spent a lot of time digging its own hole. Handy charts on the total abandonment of domestic manufacturing for non-military goods while arms manufacturing has surged are astonishing....

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Odious corporate spying firms enjoy epic bad publicity day

Earlier this week, three odious private sector spying firms -- Palantir, HBGary Federal and Berico Technologies -- stepped into a sh--storm when their plan to attack WikiLeaks and Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald was exposed on the web by the Anonymous hacking group....

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WikiLeaks and distortions for the sake of sensation

One problem WikiLeaks has run afoul of in dealing with dribbling cables out through the media is distortion. Some of its partners have things other then pure enlightenment in mind when they write stories on newly released cables. Like fame and fortune....

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Senile al Qaeda Men Threaten Wall St. - No One Cares

Again proving they're not really up on current things in the wastelands of Yemen, news that al Qaeda was threatening Wall Street recently gained no traction. It's next to impossible to frighten the native population when you're alleged targets are already despised throughout the land....

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The Exciting Story of Stuxnet and Received Wisdom

By now you have heard of or read the exciting story of Stuxnet as a joint Israeli-US cyberweapon. The first of its kind, setting back Iran's nuclear program for years, Stuxnet ushers in a new and glorious age of cyberwar, the world is forever changed....

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WikiLeaks -- more and more, you betcha

Because Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, comes from the hacker underground, its actions often look taken from the POV of a desire to expose stuff just for the sake of exposing it. This was always part of the mindset of the hacker fraternity....

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Defending the Indefensible

It's impossible to defend a process in which a 61-year old man with a urostomy is poked and felt for PETN-underwear explosive until his urine bag comes loose and soaks him. No amount of explanation about how al Qaeda likes to use PETN, or apologies...

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Screwing Over the Public For Fun & Profit in the War on Terror

Loathing of the TSA couldn't be higher and this is a very good thing. But it didn't just happen. Total disgust with security screening has been here for awhile. It just took Tyner's "don't touch my junk" video to light the already short fuse attached...

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Big Win for Terrorists and US National Security Business

The "don't touch my junk" story furnishes a catalyst to focus public loathing for big parts of the national security apparatus. And, of course, its buzzing devices and technicians, people often afflicted with normal human bad judgment. Rude treatments and callousness embedded as professional good...

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Eggs Freshly Poisoned, Bombs Freshly Packed

Predatory behavior in US agribusiness now seems so commonplace one can but laugh when the latest notice of tainted egg recall comes through the pipe. And we can titter even more over body X-rays, pat downs and shoe inspections ad nauseam but failed states inhabited...

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Myth of American Declinism

It's been popular to discuss the decline of the United States. Yale Ferguson wrote in 2008, "United States capabilities appear to be gravely waning today and its exercise of both hard and soft power has recently been so inept as to limit its current influence...

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When a UPS Pack Means a New Failed Attack, That's Logistics

Explosives the size of toner cartridges that don't go boom don't comprise an existential threat to the country. Another day, another tortured and failed al Qaeda plot. However, it gives us a moment to reflect on the actual social and humanitarian worth of UPS business...

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Defense Budgets Have Been Growing Since 9/11. So, Why is Money Still Tight?

As Washington is pressured to identify ways to cut federal spending and avert a looming crisis, the defense budget is becoming the prime target for many. It is being singled out as a billpayer despite the fact that defense is a smaller portion of the...

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Exporting Security: The Balanced Approach

The debates over the future direction (and budgeting) of the U.S. national security and defense establishments are intensifying. For the last several years, we have had the ongoing arguments as to whether U.S. security is more imperiled by the challenges of weak and failing states--necessitating...

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America's Doctor Germ Dead at 84

William C. Patrick, the father of the original US germ warfare program, has died. As this country's chief biowar scientist during the Cold War, Patrick perfected the applied misuse of rabbit fever and weaponized anthrax. Patrick was 84, as noted by an obituary today in...

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Stuxnet: Great cyberweapon or cyberfizzle?

Chalk the excitement over Stuxnet up to the enjoyment some network security experts get from imagining themselves to be experts in everything, which in this case, is Iran's race to the bomb. It's a human thing. One gets attention on a hot story of audacious...

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What's Wrong with New START and How to Fix It

By James Jay Carafano "The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has just approved the new U.S.-Russian nuclear arms treaty (New START) and sent it to the Senate floor," Brent Scowcroft and Jake Garn recently wrote in The Washington Times. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/22/ratify-new-start-now) The veteran national security experts went...

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Mission Creep: How not to reclassify civilian activities as potentials for terrorism

What to do if you're in the business of counter-terrorism in, say, a place like Pennsylvania? And there just aren't enough jihadists around to fill a decent report for the state government client. Answer: Reclassify democratic activity as trouble. Problem solved! While perhaps effective for...

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Made in China: Shoddy goods or superweapons?

What's to believe? That China has quantum teleportation and fields an aircraft-carrier-killing supermissile? Or that it makes shoddy consumer goods for American businesses which have de-instrustrialized? It's not a trick question....

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Ricin Kooks

Ricin is a poison found in castor seeds. Since 9/11, the now turned parasitic US bioterror defense industry, always sucking on taxpayer dollars, has worked hard to convince that it's a horrible threat in the hands of terrorists. It's not. And while nuts from the...

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Obama's Doctrine?

Does the President of the United States have a doctrine for guiding foreign policy and national security? Yes, according to a recent report released by The Heritage Foundation. "Defining the Obama Doctrine, Its Pitfalls, and How to Avoid Them" distills the results of scanning the...

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The Dickensian Character from US Business: A Biosecurity Threat

The daily newspaper is now always loaded with Dickensian characters. You know, the class of people who hated the last two thirds of A Christmas Carol. Often they have truly negative security implications for the general welfare, a development many don't like to hear about....

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Welcome to the Future: The Prison System Pain Ray

Raytheon's Active Denial System is a certified excrement magnet. Always has been, always will be. Its slated arrival for Labor Day in a southern California jail has generated quite a bit of bad publicity along with the usual brief corporate news pieces in which a...

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Small Reactors and the Military's Role in Securing America's Nuclear Industry

Richard B. Andres Micah J. Loudermilk Faced with the dual-obstacles of growing worldwide energy demand and a renewed push for clean energy, the stage is set for a vibrant revival of the nuclear power industry in the United States. During his 2008 campaign, President Barack...

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The Graham-Talent lobbying group wants its pie saved

Bob Graham and Jim Talent, a bioterror defense lobbying duo, are the very definition of nuisance astro-turfers. For the last two years, they have regularly bashed the Obama administration with the same story: Bioterror catastrophe of biblical proportion is coming. So heed our advice and...

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The Rogue Company

Americans are used to helplessness when a corporation goes rogue. But what if you were actually helpless -- inert flesh tied to a table in a business plan run amok? Toay's post takes us to a small firm, one from the heart of the bioterror...

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Will Obama Lose Turkey?

Turkey is a key political, economic, and military power standing at the bridge between the West and rest. There troubling reports about the country including claims that the government is thinking about developing nuclear weapons. So far, the White House has done little to address...

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So-called Wonder Weapon given the sack

At Armchair Generalist, Jason Sigger notes the US military has withdrawn the Active Denial System, formerly known as the Sheriff, aka the Hummer mounted millimeter wave pain ray -- from Afghanistan. Sigger writes: [The] US military is pulling its "less-than-lethal" Active Denial System out of...

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Behind the Flotilla Headlines: Turkish Strategic Competition and U.S. Policy in the Middle East

By Ghassan Schbley and Scott Weiner In the wake of the Israel Defense Force raid on the Mavi Marmara ship bound for Gaza, the United States must maintain a delicate regional balance between four influential actors in the Middle East. The first is Israel, an...

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Cult of Cyberwar: The Chieftain flogs his book

Richard Clarke's book publicity campaign for "Cyberwar" bulldozes the media. Note Google ads for Raytheon and Northrop Grumman cybersecurity business operations tied to it. It is not the first time this has happened. Clarke has always had a special talent for saying things the...

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Deterring Chinese Cyber Militias with Freedom Militias

Richard B. Andres Paul McNiel On February 2nd, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair made cyber security the first item in his Annual Threat Assessment report to the US Senate. Coming on the heels of Chinese cyber attacks on Google, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's...

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Global Good Governance - Indicators

Promoting Global Good Governance is a key strategic requirement of the XXI Century. There is broad global agreement that governments should promote the growth of their citizens, the functioning of a harmonious, productive and prosperous society. In the words of a National Research Council study...

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Anthrax: From 'Science' to conspiracy

Last week, Science magazine published a news article entitled: "Silicon Mystery Endures in Solved Anthrax Case." It's here. "What about the silicon?" it muses, bringing up once again a curious element in the case, one which from the very start triggered wild claims about the...

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A Month After the Earthquake: Opportunities Slipping Away

By Agnes Gereben Schaefer and Anita Chandra Previous efforts by the international community to stabilize Haiti have met with little or only short-term success. This time, following the earthquake, the U.S. response could actually leverage the response and recovery opportunities into a broader international plan...

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Where Will the Jobs Come From?

In traditional societies everyone works - they have to, just to provide essentials for survival. As society becomes more complex, fewer people are needed to produce essentials, so the society can support luxury items and services, including cultural services that enrich everyone's lives. But this...

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The Busted Watch of US WMD Threat Assessment

Readers of this blog and my various articles on bioterrorism, chemical terrorism and the London ricin trial over the last few years know the strong scent of intellectual bankruptcy which accompanies statements on the same from the US government. Today we have a slim report...

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Idealism Is the New Realism

How can it be that the United States emerged from the Cold War as an unrivaled superpower, but finds its moral authority withering? For two centuries it promoted ideals of equality, freedom, democracy and the rule of law as universal strivings of mankind and the...

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Fix the World

The world is broken and the United States needs to fix it. Well, it's actually not quite broken yet, and there are a lot of other nations involved. But avoiding global turmoil is the major strategic challenge of the XXI Century and the United...

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Cult of Cyberattack

The Cult of Cyberattack made a big appearance last Sunday night. Credit 60 Minutes, the show devoting its opening segment to the standard style of be-very-afraid-whoopie-cushion news on gathering black menace. Although it was delivered as something new and serious, I will quote from a...

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Steady State State

The core driver of US prosperity has disappeared and no one has noticed. Growth has been the central driver of the American economy ever since early settlers built up the East Coast and moved into the Appalachians; by the middle of the nineteenth century, the...

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Trends in Terror Prep Net Surfing

If you run a domain or a blog and keep track of your statistics, you know that there are always a couple of files or posts which pick up global currency in Google. They accumulate views, perhaps giving you a picture of the world collected...

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South Korean Leadership in the G-20 and the U.S.-ROK Alliance

As global leaders convene in Pittsburgh to address the global economic crisis for the third time in less than a year, there is cause for both optimism and a heavy sense of responsibility to sustain early signs of a global recovery. Follow-up measures from Pittsburgh...

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New Op-Ed in Washington Jewish Week: The 'West-Bankization' of Israel?

8/12/2009 The 'West-Bankization' of Israel? by Ori Nir Special to WJW Israelis were recently appalled by reports of sadistic hazing in the Israel Defense Forces' tank corps. Israeli newspapers uncovered routine patterns of beating, lashing, severe humiliation and other forms of brutal behavior toward...

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McKinnon at Bay: Brit hacker finds Uncle Sam a hard man

Gary McKinnon, a British hacker accused of breaking into US mil computers right after 9/11 will find out tomorrow if he's about to be thrown into the thresher of mean American justice. The US media has had virtually no interest in him. But this is...

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Addressing Global Warming: Water

Over the past decade it has become obvious that the world is warming - Arctic and Antarctic ice is shrinking steadily and glaciers are retreating worldwide. Climate models predict a significant increase in global temperature this century, raising concerns that global climate will reach "tipping...

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The Pathetic War: South Korean and US websites suffer cyberattack

Imagined sigint from the front lines: North Korea: We'll make a handful of your websites load slow! South Korea: Just wait! Once we get our electromagnetic pulse bomb to work at a range of greater than ten yards ... North Korea: Your EMP-bomb building scientists...

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United States Global Leadership

Since its inception, the United States has been a special nation, founded on the premise that "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Following...

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Euna Lee and Laura Ling: Guilty as Charged!

"Guilty as charged!" So said the highest court in the land in the case of Current TV journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling vs. North Korea. The two journalists, who allegedly (and very foolishly or recklessly) wandered across the China-North Korea border on March 17...

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Immigration, Globalization and Sustainability

Immigration remains a significant problem. With some ten million illegal immigrants in the country, it has a major economic impact and troubling security implications. It is difficult to address because there are two basic principles in conflict, well encapsulated by Ruben Navarette's comment of two...

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Ricin Kooks Are Always Jailhouse Bound

It's part of the mythology of the war on terror that jihadists and al Qaeda men are always waiting to strike with ricin. The reality is more dull. The guys who are most interested in ricin have traditionally been American kooks, most frequently from the...

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South Korea's Roh Moo-hyun: An Impossible Idealist

The death of Roh Moo-hyun, the 16th president of the Republic of Korea (2003-2008), is a huge shock to South Korea's political world. A human rights lawyer with no college degree, Roh campaigned to revolutionize Korean politics and society by promoting clean politics, fighting corruption,...

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Burma: Focus on the Long Term by Ralph A. Cossa

Burma and Aung Sang Suu Kyi are once again in the headlines, for all the wrong reasons. We may never really know why some foolish American, identified as John Yettaw from Missouri, put himself and Daw Suu Kyi in jeopardy by intruding uninvited into the...

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European Union at Cross Purposes in Kosovo By Christopher Chivvis

PRISTINA, KOSOVO Standing on the Mitrovica bridge looking at the Serbian flags flying on the northern side of the Iber River, it is clear that something is gravely amiss in Europe's youngest democracy, Kosovo. Serbs in the three municipalities across the river refuse to allow...

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NATO AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in terms of conventional military capability, is by far the best resourced and most sophisticated regional or multilateral organization in the world. Its 26 countries - which will become 28 following the Strasbourg-Kehl NATO summit later this week - together...

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Potential Costs of Obama Administration

Contrary to the prevailing wisdom which holds that there's little downside to diplomatic engagement with Washington's adversaries in the Middle East, there could be a significant cost associated with the Obama Administration's talks with Syria. While the potential gains of the Administration's initiative may justify...

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Surge At Home

The nation faces a wide variety of external threats. Many of them have the potential to cause some serious damage; some of them even have the potential to destroy the nation. Thankfully, such latter threats as asteroid impacts and comprehensive nuclear strikes have very low...

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And the loser is.... Israel. Again. By Ori Nir

Ori Nir, a former Israeli journalist, is the spokesman for Americans for Peace Now. The people of Israel have spoken... with many voices. Israeli voters did not hand down a verdict yesterday. They have not given a clear mandate to any one politician or political...

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Immigration's Elephant

There is an elephant in the middle of the immigration discussions -- a huge presence that is ignored by all. An inconvenient truth that is carefully not addressed: America needs an underclass. Since its earliest days, the American economy has depended on cheap labor. Initially...

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Strategic Myopia

STRATEGY: Planning the optimal application of resources to achieve major objectives [NOTE: comments are welcomed and may be incorporated with reference in future revisions.] The core objective of national strategy is to insure the survival and prosperity of the nation -- "life, liberty and the...

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Challenges Ahead for the EU's Security and Defense Policy

By Christopher S. Chivvis On its 10th anniversary, the European Union can look back on its Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) with some sense of accomplishment. But the next 10 years may prove more difficult. The EU has made real contributions to global efforts to...

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