In a blunt admission designed to prod action, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Thursday night told business executives there has been a sudden escalation of cyber terrorism and that attackers have managed to gain access to control systems for critical infrastructure.
In a speech in New York City, Panetta said the recent activities have raised concerns inside the U.S. intelligence community that cyber terrorism might be combined with other attacks to create massive panic and destruction on par with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“These attacks mark a significant escalation of the cyber threat. And they have renewed concerns about still more destructive scenarios that could unfold,” he said. “For example, we know that foreign cyber actors are probing America’s critical infrastructure networks.
“They are targeting the computer control systems that operate chemical, electricity and water plants, and those that guide transportation throughout the country,” he added. “We know of specific instances where intruders have successfully gained access to these control systems. We also know they are seeking to create advanced tools to attack these systems and cause panic, destruction, and even the loss of life.”
Current and former U.S. officials tell the Washington Guardian that U.S. investigators have growing evidence that Iran was behind a recent wave of cyber attacks, particularly those that temporarily paralyzed energy interests in two Middle East countries that are key U.S. allies.
Panetta stopped short in his speech of formally accusing Iran but left no doubt America has strong suspicions about Tehran. “Iran has also undertaken a concerted effort to use cyberspace to its advantage,” he declared. […]
U.S. authorities believe that Iranian-based hackers were responsible for cyberattacks that devastated Persian Gulf oil and gas companies, a former U.S. government official said. Just hours later, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the cyberthreat from Iran has grown, and he declared that the Pentagon is prepared to take action if American is threatened by a computer-based assault.
The former official, who is familiar with the investigation, said U.S. authorities believe the cyberattacks were likely supported by the Tehran government and came in retaliation for the latest round of American sanctions against Iran.
Before Panetta’s remarks on Thursday, U.S. officials had said nothing publicly about the Gulf attacks or the investigation. But Panetta described them in a speech to business leaders in New York City, saying they were probably the most destructive cyber assault the private sector has seen to date.
Panetta did not directly link Iran to the Gulf attacks, but he said Tehran has “undertaken a concerted effort to use cyberspace to its advantage.” And, he said the Pentagon has poured billions into beefing up its ability to identify the origin of a cyberattacks, block them and respond when needed.
“Potential aggressors should be aware that the United States has the capacity to locate them and hold them accountable for actions that harm America or its interests,” said Panetta in a speech to the Business Executives for National Security.
A current U.S. official acknowledged Thursday that the Obama administration knows who launched the cyberattacks against the Gulf companies and that it was a state actor.
U.S. agencies have been assisting in the Gulf investigation and concluded that the level of resources needed to conduct the attack showed there was some degree of involvement by a nation state, said the former official. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is classified as secret.
While Panetta chose his words carefully, one cybersecurity expert said the Pentagon chief’s message to Iran in the speech was evident. […]
Makes you wish the act of war they committed in 1979 had been acted upon, doesn’t it?
What is even more telling is that a telephone conference was held early yesterday evening by the State Department with the MSM … and FOX News was completely left out in the dark and cold. Why? Because they appeared to be the only news agency pressing forward and digging into the lead-up to the attacks? Oh yeah, and the obligatory and shallow faux follow-up apology after the fact from the State Department for the ommission of FNC … Uh huh.
The U.S. mission in Libya recorded 230 “security incidents” over a one-year period between 2011 and 2012, according to a State Department document that provides the most expansive view yet of the concerns on the ground in the run-up to the deadly Sept. 11 consulate attack.
The document was obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is preparing to hold a high-profile hearing on Wednesday featuring security officers who served in Libya.
One of them, Eric Nordstrom, claimed in an Oct. 1 email — obtained by Fox News — that he had argued for additional security, citing the “number of incidents that targeted diplomatic missions.”
However, Nordstrom suggested the U.S. government was eager to give the impression that Libya was safer than it was and declined.
“These incidents paint a clear picture that the environment in Libya was fragile at best and could degrade quickly,” he wrote. “Certainly, not an environment where post should be directed to ‘normalize’ operations and reduce security resources in accordance with an artificial time table.”
The account is similar to that of Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the former head of a Special Forces security team who has also agreed to testify. He has given similar accounts in the media of being rebuffed in calling for more security.
The testimony is sure to fuel the firestorm on Capitol Hill over the administration’s handling of the attack — both in terms of security before the attack and the public explanation afterward of what happened.
You have to wonder if Rep. Issa will have a TV wheeled into the hearing room so that he can play the full video…
Meanwhile the man the Obama administration worked so hard to lay the false blame on is quite possibly be in danger for his very life as he heads to court.
I also wanted to include Gov. Mitt Romney’s story about having accidently met one of the former Navy SEALs that was killed during the Benghazi attack last month. Go to the link and watch the heartfelt video.
CBS “60 Minutes” war correspondent Lara Logan gave an ominous speech to a large gathering in Chicago the other day. Her words greatly contradict the Obama administration’s narrative on the Afghan war and the threat from al-Qaida. The administration just figured al-Qaida would disappear without their leader, and the Taliban would simply settle down and start farming … or something.
Lara Logan, a correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes,” delivered a provocative speech to about 1,100 influentials from government, politics, media, and the legal and corporate arenas. Such downtown gatherings are a regular on Chicago’s networking circuit. (I am a member of the BGA’s Civic Leadership Committee, and the Chicago Sun-Times was a sponsor).
Her ominous and frightening message was gleaned from years of covering our wars in the Middle East. She arrived in Chicago on the heels of her Sept. 30 report, “The Longest War.” It examined the Afghanistan conflict and exposed the perils that still confront America, 11 years after 9/11.
Eleven years later, “they” still hate us, now more than ever, Logan told the crowd. The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished, she added. They’re coming back.
“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . .” Logan declared in her native South African accent.
The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.
“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!”
Logan stepped way out of the “objective,” journalistic role. The audience was riveted as she told of plowing through reams of documents, and interviewing John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a Taliban commander trained by al-Qaida. The Taliban and al-Qaida are teaming up and recruiting new terrorists to do us deadly harm, she reports.
She made a passionate case that our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.”
Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.
As a journalist, I was queasy. Reporters should tell the story, not be the story. As an American, I was frightened.
Logan even called for retribution for the recent terrorist killings of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other officials. The event is a harbinger of our vulnerability, she said. Logan hopes that America will “exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
In the “good old days,” reporters did not advocate, crusade or call for revenge.
Who said the following: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
Iran’s Ahmadinejad? Egypt’s Morsi? Some little-known, fatwa-flinging cleric increasing the bounty on Salman Rushdie’s head?
None of the above. The words are President Obama’s, and he spoke them this week to the U.N. General Assembly.
No Big Media outlet reported this stunning pronouncement. It’s as if Ronald Reagan addressed the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983 and the media failed to report that he used the phrase “evil empire.” To make the comparison more direct, imagine if a Republican president declared that “the future must not belong to those who slander the messiah of Christianity” – or, for that matter, the prophet of Latter-day Saints. We would have heard all about it, and for the rest of our lives.
Of course, the Islam-Christianity comparison isn’t a perfect match, given the peculiar definition of “slander” under Islamic law (Shariah). According to such authoritative sources as “Reliance of the Traveller,” a standard Sunni law book approved by Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, “slander” in Islam includes anything Muslims perceive to reflect badly on Islam and its prophet, including the truth. In other words, any negative fact about Islam and Muhammad is, under Islamic law, deemed “slander.”
Does the president, son of a Muslim father and raised for four years as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia, understand this? Shouldn’t someone in the White House press corps bother to ask?
Whether the president is ignorant or knowing, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Islamic bloc of 56 nations and the Palestinian Authority, certainly understood the Islamic meaning as its representatives sat in the General Assembly. They heard the U.S. president declare that the future “must not belong” to those who analytically or critically approach Muhammad and, by natural extension, Muhammad’s totalitarian religious/legal system of governance. According to this understanding, We the People who prize the First Amendment are out. Those who enforce and follow Shariah are in. I can’t think of another instance in which an American president has publicly uttered such a rank betrayal of American principles. And the media censored it! […]
Let’s look at it in Obama context, shall we? And as we have seen again and again, Obama context is always much worse than the ‘out-of-context’…
“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
First, notice the trademark Obama passive voice. What does it mean, “the future must not belong to” a particular group?
Does it mean these people won’t be around in the future?
That in the future, their viewpoint will be marginalized? Out of style? Unpopular? Suppressed? That sometime between now and “the future,” they will have changed their mind? That at some point in the future, no one will feel like slandering the prophet of Islam? Is the First Amendment still in effect in this envisioned future, or has it been rewritten or modified on this topic?
How does “the future” belong to one group instead of another? Maybe I have too much of a background in musical theater by non-Mark-Steyn-pundit standards, but anytime I hear somebody declaring, with great emphasis, that tomorrow belongs to them, I start muttering, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
It’s often observed that Islam is an iconoclastic religion: they don’t like images of many things, especially of the prophet-in-chief, Ab? al-Q?sim Mu?ammad ibn ?Abd All?h ibn ?Abd al-Mu??alib ibn H?shim, i.e., Muhammad. We know this from, Oh, many sources, most recently because when some Danish cartoonists portrayed Muhammad satirically, partisans of the religion of peace embarked on one of their periodic orgies of destruction, mayhem, and murder. That little vacation from reality left about 200 people dead, but, hey, fun is fun. Those cartoons have had a long shelf life. Just a few days ago, France closed its schools and embassies in 20 countries after a French magazine published some cartoons of Muhammad. Weird, eh? A French magazine published a satirical cartoon of a medieval desert nomad and his 21st century followers rampage. Even more noteworthy, France closes French institutions in 20 countries. Had it been up to me, I would have closed the 20 countries, or withdrawn from them entirely. Want civilization? Then get civilized. Otherwise, back to your camels, tents, and sand.
But I digress. The real purpose of this advisory was to express the hope that Barack Obama will make time for Pat Condell’s latest contribution to political sanity and the virtue of free speech, “A Word to Rioting Muslims,” which my friend Andrew Bostom just sent me. I don’t think we can expect Obama to sit through 2016, Dinesh D’Souza’s revelatory look at what the president has in store for you and me should he get reelected, or even The Hope and the Change, Stephen K. Bannon’s riveting group portrait of 40 Democrats and Independents who, having been suckered into voting for the messiah in 2008, have seen the scales fall from their eyes and are plumping for the opposition this time around. It’s only 5 minutes long, Barack: give peace a chance.
I watched “2016” over the weekend [edited*]. It was quite striking to really understand the simplicity of Obama’s real agenda. As a side note, I was not only stunned to see Obama’s brother George was so much wiser than I had anticipated, and is a total opposite of Barry. Makes me wonder if George would make a far better American than Barry, if given the chance.
Here’s a audio recording of Brian Cosgrove dying on the 105th floor of 2 World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 as he spoke to 911 emergency services in New York.
I post this so that all of us know who we are fighting. There is nothing new here. In one way or another, Islam, with its many flavors and incarnations, has been at war with the West for thirteen centuries. Roughly, since about the year 800 A.D., when Islam began its conquests of the Arabian peninsula, Persia, the Indian subcontinent, and North Africa.
No one should be surprised at the action of the terrorists that killed our ambassador and four others in Libya last week then. Shame on you if you are. If you think a movie caused this, you are a fool. And, if you think they can be reasoned with, you are an even bigger fool.
This is, as Mark Steyn brilliantly described in his book, America Alone, nothing less than a clash of civilizations.
So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser.
No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.
The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation.
No, no, a filmmaker would say; too crass, too blunt. Make them sober, middle-aged Midwesterners, shocked at first, but then quiet and respectful.
The president is too lazy and cocksure to have learned any prepared remarks or mastered the appropriate tone, notwithstanding that a government that spends more money than any government in the history of the planet has ever spent can surely provide him with both a speechwriting team and a quiet corner on his private wide-bodied jet to consider what might be fitting for the occasion.
So instead he sloughs off the words, bloodless and unfelt: “And obviously our hearts are broken …” Yeah, it’s totally obvious.
And he’s even more drunk on his celebrity than the fanbois, so in his slapdashery he winds up comparing the sacrifice of a diplomat lynched by a pack of savages with the enthusiasm of his own campaign bobbysoxers. […]
In the wake of the deadly U.S. consulate attack in Libya’s second-largest city, disturbing images have emerged of the embassy, which is now little more than bloodied rubble that has been looted, torched, and trampled upon.
These images are only part of the story, as it has been revealed today that a major security breach could have been the reason that American Ambassador Christopher Stevens, along with three other Americans, were killed in Tuesday’s attack.
Reports have also circulated that the attack in Benghazi was an inside job and that the U.S. Department of State knew of the attack up to 48 hours ahead of time, yet chose to do nothing.
Adding to the chaos, sensitive documents have apparently gone missing from the embassy following the attack, potentially putting many in danger. […]
The FBI is reporting it was too concerned about political correctness and did not investigate Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who would later carry out a murderous terror attack on Ft. Hood military installation in Texas. The FBI failed the American people.
I think it’s time for members of Congress, serious about the threat to this nation, to stand up on the floor of Congress and start blasting the dangerous way this government and its agencies that are supposed to be protecting the American citizens from enemies foreign and domestic are doing nothing but appeasing their every whim, and should this country again be attacked the blood will be on all of their hands.
Information is coming out about yesterday’s suicide bomber in Bulgaria on a bus filled with Israeli vacationers, mostly teenagers…
He was a Swedish citizen with a history of Muslim extremist activities that had been turned over to the Swedish authorities in 2004 after being released from US custody in Gitmo.
Ghezali has a Wikipedia page, which describes him as a Swedish citizen, with Algerian and Finnish origins. He had been held at the US’s Guantanamo Bay detainment camp on Cuba from 2002 to 2004, having previously studied at a Muslim religious school and mosque in Britain, and traveled to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, it says.
Frankly, the alliance of the communist left and radical Islam gives me nightmares. I first became aware of this frightening trend years ago when my husband and I noticed a definite anti-Israel bias in LA Times articles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Always, always, these biased articles were penned by liberals, supposedly the tolerant, peace loving defenders of human rights. What do jihadists and the left have in common? Hatred of Judeo-Christian civilization, and an agenda for power, their prime targets being the United States and Israel, who stand as twin pillars of freedom and democracy, entrusted as protectors of mankind’s inalienable rights, granted only by God.
Remember, just months before the terrorist attacks of 9-11, in May 2001, Fidel Castro told a cheering crowd of Muslim students at the University of Tehran, “Together we will bring America to its knees,” he wasn’t joking. The war following the attacks provided a perfect opportunity for this enemy to go on the offense. With ally Obama in the White House, their operations became overt, the so-called Arab Spring, and the rise of Muslim Brotherhood their first victory. Who carries the saber for these destructive radicals bent on war and destruction? The left dominated and Soros funded MSM, thats who. CNN, long dubbed the Castro News Network, can now also be called the Crescent News Network.
The media scandal that you are about to read was revealed to us by a totally reliable source.
It is likely to provoke a wave of shock and indignation within the North American media industry, and it certainly will not calm down the controversy over the pro-palestinian CNN treatment of the conflict.
We learned today that the Israeli branch of CNN, located in Jerusalem, is downsizing to cope with reduced income from less advertising.
What goes beyond good management is that CNN has fired four Israeli Jewish journalists (out of a crew of 8), and has retained only Arab journalists. Where, until now, CNN always sent a Jewish and an Arab journalist to cover information, now there will be only an Arab journalist. The local chief editor of the News Chanel is now Arabic.
This is a conflict where information is central to public opinion, and it weighs a lot on diplomatic decisions. Furthermore, it is no secret that Arab journalists cannot freely publish what they want without risking for their own lives when traveling to Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Judea Samaria. Thus, CNN decision to fire all Jewish journalists from its Jerusalem office is of particular concern, because the general public is unaware that they will be receiving biased information.
Update at 8:30 PST: we just received the names of the four journalists that were fired:
Moshe Cohen, editor, fired on january 30, 10 years with CNN.
Izi Landberg, Producer, about 25 years with CNN, fired on January 30.
Avi Kaner cameraman fired on january 30, 10 years with CNN.
Michal Zippori desk producer, situation still unclear.
“Democracy” … Somebody can serve you rattle snake and tell you “it tastes just like chicken”, but it’s still rattle snake.
Egypt held their first elections since the Obama administration helped influence the ousting of ally Hosni Mubarak from the country’s leadership. As expected the country’s secular government is now about to convert to an Islamic theocracy as Egypt’s Islamist parties won 75% of parliament:
CAIRO – Final results on Saturday showed that Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament in Egypt’s first elections since the ouster of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak, according to election officials and political groups.
The Islamist domination of Egypt’s parliament has worried liberals and even some conservatives about the religious tone of the new legislature, which will be tasked with forming a committee to write a new constitution. It remains unclear whether the constitution will be written while the generals who took power after Mubarak’s fall are still in charge, or rather after presidential elections this summer.
In the vote for the lower house of parliament, a coalition led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 seats in the 498-seat parliament. The ultraconservative Al-Nour Party was second with 25 percent, or 125 seats.
Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker Mohammed el-Beltagi said the new parliament represents “the wish of the Egyptian people.”
Egypt’s elections commission acknowledged that there were voting irregularities, but the vote has been hailed as the country’s freest and fairest in living memory.
The liberals who spearheaded the revolt that toppled Mubarak struggled to organize and connect with a broader public in the vote, and did not fair as well as the Islamists. […]
So, the Egyptian people, in what is being presented as their first “democratic” election, may have just used their first exercise of democracy to vote themselves out of a democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming it does not seek to force its views about “an appropriate Islamic lifestyle” (Shariah Law) on Egyptians, but I would gather the Al-Nour Party may just have something to say about that. And never discount the outside influence of those not holding seats in the government. It is also important to note that while the MB claims the country will not force Islam on others living within Egypt, some citizens, Coptic Christians in particular, are not so convinced as the violence and oppression against them increases.
I have no doubt this is being done in exchange for the Mexican drug cartels’ assistance in crossing the border into the United States. When I started blogging a couple years after September 11, 2001, I was aware of American border ranchers/farmers reporting to Border Patrol they were hearing illegals crossing onto their properties, and passing very uncomfortably close to their houses in the dead of night. The accents and language they were hearing was NOT Mexican or South American… but Middle Eastern.
On or about the early morning hours of June 13, 2004 Border patrol agents from the Willcox station encountered a large group of suspected illegal border crossers, estimated to be around 158, just east of the Sanders Ranch near the foothills of the Chiricauha Mountains. 71 suspected illegal aliens were apprehended; among them were 53 males of middle-eastern descent. According to a Border Patrol field agent, the men were suspected to be Iranian or possibly Syrian nationals. “One thing’s for sure: these guys didn’t speak Spanish and after we questioned them harder we discovered they spoke poor English with a middle-eastern accent; then we caught them speaking to each other in Arabic…this is ridiculous that we don’t take this more seriously, and we’re told not to say a thing to the media…
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told senators it is a national security concern that people from countries with ties to terrorism could ‘potentially’ gain entry into the United States by crossing the country’s southern border.
But according to the Department of Homeland Security’s own reports, thousands of people from 14 “special interest” countries already have come into the United States illegally, including some across the U.S.-Mexico border. (The State Department designates some nations as “special interest” counties because of their links to terrorism.)
“On the human trafficking side, it’s not solely illegal immigrants coming to work, but the ability of people from countries of special interest to immigrate into Central America and be ferried up to the border and over into the United States is also a concern.”
McCain responded: “Countries of special interest – people could come up through our southern border?”
“Potentially, yes,” Napolitano said.
The State Department lists four special interest countries as sponsors of terror – Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. The other 10 countries of interest are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
A new documentary by the Spanish Univision television channel titled “La Amenaza Irani” (The Iranian Threat) uses undercover, never-before-seen footage to illustrate how the Iranian regime’s growing ties to Latin America that threaten U.S. national security.
The ongoingconnections are undeniable. Perhaps, however, we should deploy all the TSA agents on the U.S./Mexico border. Maybe then they might find somebody more closely resembling a terrorist there than they have in the last couple years of groping people in the airports. Not to worry … I am certain this administration has its head screwed-on straight in this particular matter. Well, somebody’s screwed.
As a footnote … Did you hear about a lone gunman that opened fire at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood yesterday? Witnesses said the man was yelling something as he was shooting randomly at motorists and pedestrians. Know what it was? Maybe he just couldn’t think of anything else to scream in his moment of insanity…