About George Smith and DD blog
I stepped into cyberspace in the early Nineties.
Originally, I went under the rubric of the old electronic Crypt Newsletter, an e-zine devoted to hacker culture. Specifically, it centered on the worldwide network of young computer virus-writers.
For years, well before the web was what it is today, Crypt Newsletter was hosted on a server administered by the Dept. of Critical Criminology studies at Northern Illinois University. Here it is in the Wayback machine, the last update spanning content from 1996-2004.
Much of the work published through it was aimed at increasing public understanding of issues in cybersecurity and the hype-laden subjects of cyberterrorism and cyberwar. That continues to this day.
In 1994 some of the earliest published content was used in The Virus Creation Labs, a book on the old computer virus underground published by American Eagle.
By 2004 I had moved to a slightly different place at GlobalSecurity.Org, still doing public research on various security topics.
This work moved into the domain of poison recipes, specifically those for ricin and alleged home-made chemical and biological weapons, which had originated in the American survivalist extremist fringe during the Eighties. By the Nineties these tracts had been migrated to the Internet and simultaneously translated into Arabic.
As a result, almost purely by serendipity, I was consulted by the defense for the now famous London ricin trial. That work, which was the first of its kind in this country, is archived here at GlobalSecurity.
In terms of practical things, this was one of the first places you could see at least one of the claims made by the US government, delivered by Colin Powell in his address to the UN Security Council, on reasons for war in Iraq, shot to pieces.
The London ricin ring as a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda had been part of Powell’s presentation and the material published at Globalsecurity destroyed it.
At the time, the US news media largely ignored this but the work could not be erased. History had its way. (Examples of the news on the ricin trial in the US news media are here, at the Washington Post; and from Newsweek.)
I guess you could call this the process of becoming an accidental national security expert. For the last ten years I’ve furnished work completely outside the national security and intelligence apparatus. As a result, my stuff makes sense.
And I’m not influenced or bought like those who have made a scam profession out of steering the country wrong for the sake of keeping a paycheck finding threats and enemies around the world.
Unlike most experts on the stuff you may have read by me, I actually
had access to primary source terror documents on chemical and biological weapons and the ability to interpret them. For example, I’m the person who knows everything that needs to be known about things like the ricin recipe.
Around 2006, the public work was formally moved to Dick Destiny blog.
Material published through here pushed back against mainstream and government claims that al Qaeda had capability in biological and chemical weapons and that documents found on the Internet conferred equal capabilities to any up and coming jihadis interested in them.
While unpublicized that effort has been a success.
With the help of others the official public position was modified. One example was the grudging concession in the 2008 report from the US Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism: “We accept the validity of intelligence estimates about the current rudimentary nature of terrorist capabilities in the area of biological weapons … ” (Page 39.) Those intelligence estimates were not furnished by the US government’s analytical apparatus. They came from the work of outsiders, from me and analysis provided by colleagues.
Other proof is the anecdotal evidence that mainstream news is no longer littered with scare pieces insisting that al Qaeda men in some broken down hideout can make WMDs because of global access to terror capabilities granted by the Internet. Still, occasionally I have to issue burn notices on retired CIA men who resist getting the message. One example of such, from last year, is here.
Not bad for a blog. If you’re still uncomfortable with informality here, feel free to use my official title — Senior Fellow, GlobalSecurity.Org.
As for education: Ph.D, chemistry, Lehigh University. My work was on proteolytic enzymes produced by a type of flesh-eating bacteria.
Since then regular readers know I’ve kept up the fight while expanding into system domestic problems of economy and inequality which threaten the nation’s security in ways foreign threats during the war on terror never could.
And I play rock and roll with the electric guitar. Better than you. And some harmonica. You can generally find me posting songs under the “Rock n’ Roll” tab.
Here’s an album, La Puta, from last year for download.
Have something of subject matter you think the readers of the blog would like to see reviewed? Yep, I infrequently do that. Send an inquiry to e-mail.
Yes, you can donate to help in the public information effort. Every little bit helps. So if you like what you’re reading, by all means let me encourage you to use the button.
Got a question or an offer? E-mail me at webmaster at dickdestiny com or use this form at Globalsecurity.
Example: Foreign, global, on cyberwar, at 1:53. Of many.
The Rock and Roll Life — from the Morning Call newspaper, late Eighties, early Nineties.