“How can the US stop an insider with an agenda?” was the headline on one of the more insipid articles on WikiLeads today — courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.
The newspaper tasked reporter Ken Dilanian with finding out.
Dilanian went and dug up Pieter Zatko, who is now in charge of something fierce called “Cyber Insider Threat program” at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Zatko, aka Mudge, is a white hat/black hat hacker now working for the US government. The media used to love him, particularly when he told everybody he could shut down the Internet in thirty minutes or something.
The newspaper relates that Zatko’s involved in developing an app to detect the next Bradley Mannings but that it is “years from producing deployable solutions because the technology is in its infancy.”
As everyone knows, Julian Assange deployed the more well known and used app, so to speak, known as WikiLeaks.
“The Cyber Insider Threat program … will award grants to companies that propose ways of detecting improper activity by users … It is aimed at finding, for example, a network of corrupt employees …” adds the newspaper.
Only the people who drive and furnish WikiLeaks do not view themselves as corrupt. And the very nature of there motivation is a phenomenon that is now embedded socially, presenting problems which cannot be handled by devices.
Any technology that serves them is developing and being fielded more quickly than countermeasures can be mounted.
And what one thinks of Bradley Manning or Julian Assange depends on where you stand.
And what does DARPA work on these days? The things it brags about?
Not such innovative or world-shaking stuff.
EXACTO, a smart guided bullet for sniper teams, more funding for research and development in a variety of military robot assassins.
Its bid description for Persistant Close Air Support is catchy: “Key improvements are a positively controlled kill chain, digitally connected equipment for the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) … ”
Here’s another coming innovation: “DARPA\TTO announces Phase I of the ArcLight program to significantly advance enabling technologies for high speed, long range strike weapons. ArcLight is a demonstration program to design, build and flight test a boost/glide vehicle capable of carrying a 100-200 pound payload over a 2,000 nautical miles range in approximately 30 minutes.”
Better, faster guided missiles.
Earlier this year, DARPA’s director — Regina E. Dugan, testified before Congress on innovation at her agency.
Mostly, it was about more and more weapons, sometimes comically so.
DARPA wanted to make the sky black with unmanned aerial vehicles, it was implied at one point.
The country, Dugan noted, had lost much of its manufacturing base and so DARPA believed that to “innovate” want has “to make,” to — in other words, return to manufacturing again.
Manufacture what? More weapons, of course. And better prosthetic limbs for when yours have been blown off by the other guy’s weapons.
Over the years, this has led to a falling out with America’s research universities. And a look at many of DARPA’s contractors confirms it’s top heavy with US arms makers and defense contractors.
Even Dugan’s testimony showed a lack of vision.
She was delighted by an app called Trapster, something that informs users on how to steer clear of speed traps. She also imagined that a Google map app had made North Korea transparent. In an alternate universe, apparently.
That’s some progress. Like thinking that if only everyone could write something like Jerk In a Box or Harmonica, such engine of invention would lead to a new industrial revolution.
DARPA, Dugan said, wanted to also aid science education at the public school level in the country. And to do this, DARPA solicited ideas from defense contractors.
One of them, unnamed, came up with — get ready, it’s great — Box O’ Radar.
Box O’ Radar, Dugan said, was “a kit for teachers to give students hands-on experience with radar systems.”
Yes, you can’t start training students how to man Lockheed Martin aerial and naval defense systems too early.
Box O’ Radar — not a joke, really. Here.
Whatever one thinks of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, he’s sure as hell a better thinker than any platoon from that place.
For the past couple weeks, DD and a couple colleagues who’ve been known to cover the subject of bioterrorism have been mailed notices of a recent meeting in Washington, DC, on the matter of Bruce Ivins.
And because of the way the anthrax investigation was handled, it generated a body of lore perfectly suited as fertilizer for conspiracy thinking and accusations of government cover-up.
So this meeting was hosted exclusively by and for anthrax deniers, the kook fringe that regularly argues Bruce Ivins could not have made the anthrax that killed five. It received a hearing in the Frederick newspaper and was damned by a seemingly reluctant admission coming from one of Ivins’ old colleagues at USAMRIID/Ft. Detrick. (If reported accurately.)
Keep in mind, Ivins is a painful subject for the Ft. Detrick folks. The man’s ‘work’ greatly damaged the institution’s reputation and tainted the careers of those in charge of overseeing him.
Reported the Frederick News Post:
A group of about 25 scientists, professors, writers, terrorism experts and more convened Monday afternoon to discuss the particulars of the investigation and to debate who the real perpetrator may have been.
“James Van de Velde, a consultant on terrorism issues, added that Ivins, as a prominent anthrax researcher, would not have been dumb enough to use anthrax from his own beaker in an attack,” adds the newspaper at one point.
Everyone’s a consultant on terrorism issues.
In any case, the new reporter mentions an appearance by John Ezzell, a retired colleague of Ivins’ at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases( USAMRIID/Ft. Detrick).
The newspaper concludes:
Because of his involvement in the investigation, Ezzell had been under a gag order until he recently retired from USAMRIID. In what he said was his first time speaking out about the issue, Ezzell stood up toward the end of the panel’s presentation to address a question. When those in the room realized a true expert was among them, audience members and panelists tossed question after question his way …
When Van de Velde asked Ezzell if he thought Ivins could have done it, Ezzell responded with a hesitant “possibly yes.”
It was probably real hard to say that.
Astonishingly, today’s e-mail brought a despicable missive from barackobama.com’s honcho, Mitch Stewart. It was a blandishment to astro-turf for the rightness of freezing the pay of middle class federal government workers.
Will you take a few minutes and write a letter to the editor today to set the record straight?
Using our letter-to-the-editor tool is easy, and we’ll provide tips and talking points to get you started.
Yesterday’s announcement is simply the latest in a series of steps taken by this administration to cut costs and stretch federal dollars.
On his first day in office, President Obama froze the salaries of all senior White House officials — a freeze he later extended to other political appointees. And, in his 2011 budget, he put forward more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction, including a three-year freeze in non-security, discretionary spending.
But if we’re going to tackle the deficit and continue to keep the economy moving in the right direction, we’re far from finished.
As the President said, yesterday’s announcement is not a decision he made lightly. He knows firsthand that the people affected by this pay freeze work hard and sacrifice out of love for their country and in the name of serving their fellow Americans. They are doctors and nurses who care for our veterans. They are scientists researching better treatments and cures for disease.
But if we’re serious about cutting costs, it will require a shared sacrifice from all Americans. It is going to require both sides of the aisle working together. And it is going to require an open, honest debate — one in which partisan politics takes a back seat to the task at hand.
So the next time a friend or family member repeats the untruths about “reckless spending and big government,” tell them the truth about the President’s fiscal leadership and his decision to freeze federal pay for two years.
You can start helping get out the facts by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper today …
It’s eye-watering in its pure evil. Write a letter to your editor saying what a swell guy the prez is for freezing pay to average Joe’s while Wall Street and corporate America enjoy the best year, ever.
Krugman publicizes it here, too:
The organization formerly known as Obama for America is asking supporters to write letters in support of a federal pay freeze.
“Obama Runs Play from the GOP Book” read the headline on the frontpage of today’s LA Times.
Could have added as subhed: “Adopts policy of sworn enemies, gets kicked in teeth, anyway. Loses even more supporters.”
If there’s a website that’s asked for a DDoS attack today, it’s barackobama.com
Ted Nugent, before Thanksgiving, from the Detroit News:
Far more belt-tightening is in order. We need to make the belt-tightening painful if we are going to climb out of this deep financial hole and save America …
Fedzilla must be put on a strict diet. With the exception of the Defense Department, all federal departments, agencies and organizations should receive 6 1/2 percent less in their budgets for the next four years …
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.
And it really wasn’t of tantamount importance to consider fine ramifications. So any tonnage of quote from the US government on how security was about to be greatly harmed — true, disingenuous, sincere or evil — was never going to be an impediment to action.
Wikileaks is proof of adherence to the old slogan favored by hackers: Information wants to be free.
And Bradley Manning — because he was vain and kept poor company, the result of which was his being turned over — doesn’t seem much of a Daniel Ellsberg.
There is a perceptible element of wanting to be famous, a not uncommon trait. And so the young man apparently vacuumed up everything at his disposal. This everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink approach has certainly worked, creating a great sensation, even when most of the material is gossip — State Department employees and foreign leaders being just how you might expect.
Because of what we have come to — the US frequently considered a bad actor — the Dept. of Defense and the State Department, the entire foreign face of the US government, has a problem it cannot solve. Its exposure is thought by lots of people to be well deserved, come-uppance because it has been on the wrong side of so many issues in recent history and been proven unaccountable.
Thus, there is now no defense that can be mounted against the swarm of those willing to perpetrate a Wikileaks-type operation.
It stands to reason that going forward there will always be at least one person like Bradley Manning in the service of the US government or military. Or even a couple.
Not someone who will just blow the whistle or leak a couple things of critical interest.
But someone who will mindlessly divulge everything they can get their hands on. Good, bad or indifferent — even material they could not humanly have taken the time to read and understand.
It is not so remarkable that Bradley Manning copied a staggering volume of material.
What’s remarkable is the collision of technology, an idiotically official American process of universally networking everything and labeling it secret — whether antagonistic, stupefying, mundane, understandably human or legitimately so, and someone like Manning, one person of small means who spills the beans. And then that absolutely nothing changes until the next mega-release and the cycle continues.
The act of disclosure has turned into an exercise in a type of extremism, a reaction — often unthinking — to what we are now. That’s the way it is.
And it’s impossible to secure against. Now that Wikileaks is an outlet the problem cannot be remedied from such a standpoint.
Does it merit the play-acting of someone like Hillary Clinton, asserting that it tears at the fabric of responsible government one moment, making a joke referral to what’s said about her behind closed doors, the next? No.
What passes for responsible government now? Who in the glass house is going to throw the first stone?
Chalmers Johnson might have had something interesting to say on the matter and its relationship to the maintenance of a worldwide empire. But we can’t ask him because he died.
At the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy blog, Steve Aftergood — who has regularly been critical of Wikileaks — had this to say, yesterday:
The Wikileaks project seems to be, more than anything else, an assault on secrecy. If Wikileaks were most concerned about whistleblowing, it would focus on revealing corruption. If it were concerned with historical truth, it would emphasize the discovery of verifiably true facts. If it were anti-war, it would safeguard, not disrupt, the conduct of diplomatic communications. But instead, what Wikileaks has done is to publish a vast potpourri of records — dazzling, revelatory, true, questionable, embarrassing, or routine — whose only common feature is that they are classified or otherwise restricted.
This may be understood as a reaction to a real problem, namely the fact that by all accounts, the scope of government secrecy in the U.S. (not to mention other countries) has exceeded rational boundaries. Disabling secrecy in the name of transparency would be a sensible goal — if it were true that all secrecy is wrong. But if there is a legitimate role for secrecy in military operations, in intelligence gathering or in diplomatic negotiations, as seems self-evident, then a different approach is called for.
“It’s impossible to say whether the race to fix the classification system can be won through our kind of advocacy from the outside and by enlightened self-interest within government,” concludes Aftergood. “Before that happens, classification itself could be rendered moot and ineffective by leaks, abuse or internal collapse. Or, in a reflexive response to continuing leaks, officials might seek to expand the scope of secrecy rather than focusing it narrowly, while increasing penalties for unauthorized disclosures.”
To wit, it is not at clear yet that Wikileaks is a universal solvent. And Aftergood, over all, is singularly positioned to know.
“Assault on secrecy,” when you think about it for a moment, sounds suspiciously similar to things like “war on drugs” and “war on terror.”
Anyway, initial reports from the government indicate the opposite of a break in the official barricades.
A more pressing desire to get after the leakers, tighter controls on information, new restrictions on portable data storage — none of which can protect from Bradley Mannings.
Maybe it will sort out in some favorable manner. I doubt it, though. There will just be more releases of information, more frenzied measures to bring a halt to it, bigger punishments demanded and ever louder cries for violent solutions.
In the meantime, we’ll still be stuck in an old science-fiction novel.
As in many things, we succumb to drift into farce.
(Yes, click that link.)
DD has written that al Qaeda has grokked to the fact it doesn’t have to be successful in its bomb plots. Simply having a failed one is enough to instill a paroxysm of security measures which inevitably have little or nothing to offer whatever the next plot — often failed — will try and bring to the table.
In the November issue of al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, the UPS/FEdEx bomb plot is the subject.
There are pictures and some details on the cost and technology involved. The al Qaeda men let on what was already known — that the bombs passed through foreign screening without impediment. In the case of the UPS bomb, the story related tells there was no screening at all.
al Qaeda also takes credit for downing an UPS cargo jet in early September, an event authorities have denied was due to bombing a couple times.
In any case, AQ writes:
In such an environment of security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve less time and less players to launch …
It’s a decent observation but the thread of the argument is spun out to finely.
Thanksgiving went on as advertised. The mass damage to the economy — which al Qaeda envisions as the attack of a thousand cuts, or Operation Hemorrhage — isn’t being done by them.
However, the rules imposed by the previous year’s underwear bomber have become a sensation.
And one awaits the seizure of a dead or alive rectum bomber, preferably someone suitably mentally ill.
Inspire insists 340 grams of PETN were used in the air parcel bombs, rather less that what was commonly reported in the news, if accurate.
Inspire — zipped — here at Cryptome.
From today’s New York Times:
Motorcyclists attached bombs to cars carrying two of the country’s top nuclear scientists early Monday, detonating them from afar. One scientist was killed and the other injured.
Iran immediately accused the United States and Israel of again trying to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved. ” He also publicly acknowledged, apparently for the first time, that the country’s nuclear program had been disrupted recently by a malicious computer software that attacked its centrifuges.
Good advertising, though, for contractors wanting to enlarge their portfolios into cyber-warfare.
It’s bad news for everyone who harbors even a slight hope for reason.
More Stuxnets, faster stronger Iranian advancement toward the bomb, more instability, even less incentive for non-violent outcomes.
In this sense, Stuxnet could be seen as counter-productive, since it did not actually shut down the program but was more of a harassment.
Incidentally, today at Heritage — the policy position that new START should not be ratified because of Iran, which is exactly what proliferating states would admire in policy.
In other words, it’s a kind of argument which gives you the sub rosa idea that the extreme right GOP wants Iran and nuclear proliferation to advance quickly because it enhances recommendations for ballistic missile defense spending. So it’s in their interest to see that things gets gummed up.
The president should dump the New START treaty — its one-sidedness makes the U.S. look like a lousy negotiator in the eyes of the world … and a patsy in the eyes of the Russians. — some Heritage employee who writes about every rotten idea the foundation wants pushed
And, of course: “The President should also make it a publicly top priority to hunt down any American connected with these leaks and prosecute them.”
Julian Assange is Australian. Once upon a time long ago he researched a book on hacking in Australia, a non-fiction story of which he was a part, and this entry was from when he subscribed to the Crypt Newsletter.
And Bradley Manning, an American, is already in the stockade.
The austerity police like to talk about going after social entitlement programs. And President Obama today made a toady of himself by announcing a pay freeze for federal workers — middle class earners across the board and throughout the country.
However, no one ever speaks about the other big slice of entitlements coming out of the American pie.
That’d be defense contractor spending, which now expands into everything under the rubric of the global war on terror.
One would not expect the arms manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, to be involved in anything connected with bioterrorism.
But it is.
Northrop Grumman, like Lockheed Martin, tries to expand into every corner where there is access to taxpayer money. And it does it all under the sales pitch afforded by the war on terror.
It is good to think of it as corporate welfare for the haves, something that gives virtually nothing back to the middle class.
In this case, it’s the market for bioterror detection. Testing of subsidiary-made sensor networks and devices for detection of bioterrorism has a fine record of failure. The things just don’t work reliably — and there’s no realistic expectation that they should given the complexity of the task.
There is, however, a lot of room for fudging and advertising claims that will never be met.
And the Dept. of Homeland Security is dedicated to pursuing them.
Therefore today’s Northrop-Grumman press release:
LINTHICUM, Md. | The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a contract to begin field testing a new generation of autonomous biodetection instruments as part of the BioWatch Gen-3 program.
Northrop Grumman was awarded the $8.4 million task order under the BioWatch Gen-3 System Performance Demonstration Contract. The total potential value of the contract is $37 million over three years.
Northrop Grumman will test 12 of the Next Gen Automated Detection System (NG-ADS) units in outdoor and indoor locations in a major U.S. city for several months to determine the readiness of the systems for future deployment. The company will provide autonomous biodetection equipment and technical support, including the operation and maintenance of the units during the course of the field test.
“The NG-ADS technology has the potential to significantly improve the nation’s ability to quickly detect and respond to a bioterrorism event,” said Dave Tilles, director of Homeland Security and CBRNE defense programs for the Advanced Concepts & Technologies Division at Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector. “This effort builds on the company’s work to support our customers as they enhance the country’s defenses against potentially catastrophic threats such as bioterrorism.”
Eight and a half million dollars doesn’t sound like much here. But once you start adding up all the outlays for projects like this, spread around the corporate national security infrastructure, you start seeing big money. And almost none of it is innovative. And almost a decade in on the war on terror, not particularly good for the well-being of a country that desires a strong middle class.
It’s money that could be more easily and productively spent on things like teacher salaries doled out to the states, educational opportunities, or public health initiatives.
It is a form of parasitic entitlement spending for a part of corporate America that doesn’t give much back.
The real Ted Nugent showed his usual colors just before entering the Thanksgiving weekend.
In the Detroit News, his usual totally-lacking-in-any-semblance-of-human-charity thing, an opinion piece full of irritation over ‘entitlements,’ having to pay taxes, and anything for future old people (not him):
We need to make the belt-tightening painful if we are going to climb out of this deep financial hole and save America.
Roughly 50 percent of all Medicare costs are spent in a person’s last six months of life. When a person is terminally ill or without hope of getting better, forcing taxpayers to keep them alive isn’t fair. If the terminally ill individual or his family wants to keep him alive for as long as possible, then they should pay for it, not taxpayers … Last time I checked, churches have a few billion dollars worth of gold, silver, jewelry, art, real estate and other assets. Maybe they could use some of it for such compassionate causes. Maybe not.
We should put Social Security on a path to extinction. How about this: Anyone over 45 will receive Social Security. Anyone under 45 will not receive it, but they will be forced to continue paying into Social Security to pay for those over 45.
Suggesting churches give up what he implies is loot in gold and silver is an unusually new and surprising low, even for someone like Ted Nugent.
When I started the Ted Nugent tab months ago I wondered what had shriveled him so much.
Here was a guy who had everything in the Seventies (and for a chunk of the Eighties). And as his career declined he folded like cardboard. Unable to reinvent himself gracefully in old age, he turned into a mouthpiece for the extreme right’s most vicious social policies, nothing more than a convenient gasbag for the Washington Times, or someone good for three minutes on Fox News.
Nugent fled Michigan for Crawford, Texas, starting a column for the Waco Tribune, where he was also run off for being uncharitable and rude.
Those who have read the entries on Nugent in this blog have seen the man in his words, ranting on obscure Internet radio programs and television shows. There he is, the strict law-and-order dude and mighty hunter, complaining bitterly and vituperatively over trivial troubles that were entirely his own doing in California. Opining that he’s been victimized by various conspiracies.
What motivates Ted Nugent is vindictiveness. And it is why he so identifies with the Tea Party.
Over the weekend, Paul Krugman pointed to an essay on the failure of US economic policy-making written by economist Brad DeLong. It is here.
Near the end, the author invokes “Nitzschean Ressentiment” to explain a common prevailing attitude.
It translates to ‘because (I or we) have suffered, it is appropriate and good that even more suffer.’
“Nietzsche talked about the losers, or about those who thought they were losers,” DeLong writes. “He discussed their tendencies in various ways to transvalue their values — to say what was thought to be bad was in fact good because it was thought to be bad.”
That’s Ted Nugent in a nutshell. He never recovered from losing his place at the top of the heap, a process all rock stars must inevitably go through. Many handle it with struggle and embarrassment. Others deal with it quietly and gracefully. A few die from it.
However, Ted Nugent decided he’d take it out on the values of the people who put him in the arenas during the high tide of classic rock. And he lost even more, gaining only a reputation as a panderer for people with fortunes which make his place in life look very small.
Krugman appropriately shits on the president for pandering — this morning.
Jason at Armchair Generalist does some of the heavy lifting for me:
Glad to see the FBI continue its trend of entrapping brown-skinned US citizens with crimes of attempted terrorism. They’re almost as good as the police detectives in “Minority Report” when it comes to arresting people for crimes they were thinking of committing.
He also opines:
Mohamud became “radicalized” when he was 15 – in 2006, just when things were getting nice and hot in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not really a shock. I get it, he was a bad guy, but he was also exceptionally stupid. I really have to disagree with the WaPo journalist’s suggestion that there are “extremist cells” and “a wave of homegrown terrorism” in the United States.
Over the same period of time, there have been two arrests in California, of older men with their own home ‘bomb factories.’ But they’re white guys and fucked up in a different way, flavors the newsmedia and reporters interested in radicalism and alleged Islamic homegrown terrorism are not so interested in.
Our own radicals don’t need to wait for the FBI to offer them big fake bombs. They’re self-starters. And they’re always the wrong color and religion, if any. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along now.
From before Thanksgiving:
Explosives experts have pulled out of a northern San Diego County home with a large quantity of bomb-making materials because it’s too dangerous.
The Sheriff’s Department says “proactive operations on site have been suspended” and local, state and federal explosives experts are making plans to re-enter the home and remove hazardous materials.
No further action is expected until Dec. 1, at the earliest. Investigators say there is no immediate danger to the community.
Among other things, bomb technicians found what is believed to Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, which was used in the 2001 airliner shoe-bombing attempt as well as in last month’s airplane cargo bombs.
Fifty-four-year-old George Djura Jakubec is in jail after pleading not guilty on Monday to running a bomb factory at his home.
Jakubec is a naturalized American citizen from Serbia, said to be an unemployed computer programmer who was also into bank robbery. He was apparently found out when a gardener set off an explosive at the residence in question.
A news report local to San Diego further informs:
A San Diego County man accused of robbing banks and having the largest cache of homemade explosive compounds ever found in one spot on U.S. soil was ordered by a judge Monday to remain in custody on $5 million bail.
Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez told Judge Marshall Hockett that after a gardener was injured in an explosion at Jakubec’s unincorporated Escondido home last week, a large amount of hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD, was discovered.
Investigators with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department also came across other explosive compounds known by the acronyms of ETN and PETN, the prosecutor said.
PETN was the highly volative explosive used by the shoe bomber in 2001, the underwear bomber and in last month’s cargo plane plot where computer printers loaded with the explosive were placed on planes bound for the United States.
And from today:
Escondido Police Lt. Craig Carter says officers responding to neighbor reports that 45-year-old Richard Hinkel was screaming obscenities in his backyard Sunday morning found 18 explosive devices, fireworks, 12 rifles and 10 handguns on the property and arrested Hinkel.
A bomb and arson unit from the sheriff’s department confiscated the devices and guns.
Carter says it appears Hinkel was turning fireworks into more powerful explosives.
The home is in the same area as that of George Djura Jakubec, who last week was charged with running what authorities called a bomb factory in his home.
Carter says the explosives found Sunday were far less potent and investigators do not believe the two cases are connected.
And it’s purely malicious to note that both “bomb factories” where in one of the few southern California places to vote GOP in November.
Plus we always must have someone attack the local mosque after the news bombardment.
Given the bum’s rush by one of their own in Congress in October, the collection of nuisances and parasites known as the Cult of EMP Crazy have begun prepping the astro-turf.
This means the releasing of a report, just before Thanksgiving, warning of all the standard horrors due from approaching electromagnetic pulse doom. And what must be done to stop it. Namely, the putting of said “report” into the hands of GOP Congressman who can be persuaded to add something noxious as an appendix to legislation to be done before the end of the year.
This new thing is the work of the Heritage Foundation, the far right group/organization useful for the gathering of various suspect ideas — that healthcare reform must be defeated, that the welfare class is getting too much in entitlements and undeserved stuff, that the rich are being taxed too much, that global warming, while no longer a cruel hoax, if dealt with will result in diminished US business, poorness for the wealthy and a much weakened military — and employs its stable of bought-and-paid-for experts to craft pieces which exhort readers on the excellence of such beliefs.
Today’s Heritage menu, for example, features blandishments to raise the retirement age, a short video on why START should be opposed, an argument that since China isn’t really green — the US shouldn’t need to go green, either, and how food stamp programs need abolition because the people who use them are parasites usurping money that could be used for ballistic missile defense to save us from EMP attacks.
Well, not the last one. I made it up. But Heritage will probably get around to it, sooner rather than later.
The first place to go to get a good GOP/extremist right astro-turf campaign going is World Net Daily.
So today, from there — courtesy of Heritage, in “Report warns Obama about new Dark Ages:
Two national-security experts have issued a report through the Heritage Foundation that warns Obama administration officials to start working now to prevent – and mitigate the damage from – an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States because of the potential for “unimaginable devastation.”
“Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Much of the world’s intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the ‘new’ Dark Ages,” states the report by James J. Carafano, the deputy director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, and Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Politial-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute.
The report, which is described by the Heritage Foundation as a “backgrounder,” is titled “EMP Attacks – What the U.S. Must Do Now” and was released just days ago, says what is needed right now is for the government to “prevent the threat,” by pursuing “an aggressive protect-and-defend strategy, including comprehensive missile defense; modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent; and adopting proactive nonproliferation and counterproliferation measures.”
Next, Clifford May to write an opinion piece saying the same thing for the Ventura Star or a couple other little newspapers in various Bumblefucks scattered across the nation. To be followed by another piece in USA Today, like the piece about four weeks ago.
Maybe they could step up the game a little and enlist Ted Nugent to write about it for the Washington Times. That’s if he could be pried away from recommending the elimination of Social Security, Medicare and all taxation for a minute or two.
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