So if you haven’t read David “Judy In Drag” Sanger’s mindblowing piece on Iran and Stuxnet entitled “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran” yet, you really should. Here are the first two grafs:
From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.
Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks ”” begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games ”” even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.
So, yet another Bush war of aggresion perpetuated by Obama, and yet another Nuremberg infringement.
“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace: (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances
You will search in vain through Sanger’s piece for the authority Bush and Obama cite for this aggressive warfare. If it’s the AUMF, then Congress should raise a riot (yeah, I know…), if it’s purely Presidential authoritay then both Congress and the People should demand a reining in of this criminal notion of the office (again, yeah, I know).
Over at FPIF, Russ Wellen wonders “Just How Many Cyberattacks Will Iran Take Sitting Down?“.
Let’s be clear about something, though – if the Iranians retaliate by any means up to and including full-scale attacks on U.S. and Israeli assets around the world, then by the lights of the Nuremberg Principles which America itself formulated and strongly backed in the immediate post-WW2 period, the Iranians will be the good guys.
Marcy Wheeler concentrates on the “Bomb Power” paradigm of Executive power that says “If the President has the sole authority to launch nation-destroying weapons, he has license to use every other power at his disposal that might safeguard that supreme necessity” and thus justifies any executive encroachment or abuse it might be needed for.
Tom Barnett writes:
If anybody else does to America what we’re doing to Iran right now, our national security types would describe it as open warfare.
Heck, we have a recent U.S. government national cyber security strategy document that says what we’re now doing to Iran ”” if done to us ”” would constitute an act of war worthy of a commensurate kinetic response on our part (the brilliant quote: ”œ”˜If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,’ unnamed official says”).
What always amazes me is how clueless we are about our own hypocrisy. We maintain that we ”” and we alone ”” have the right to do certain things, but that, if those things are done to us, they constitute something unbelievably provocative.
According to all our stated descriptions of what we consider offensive cyber warfare to be, we are already at war with Iran ”” plain and simple. Remember that when Tehran engages in some ”œunprovoked aggression.”
Update 2: Greenwald tackles the Tough Guy Leaking aspect of Sanger’s piece – “the administration that is pathologically fixated on secrecy and harshly punishing whistleblowers routinely leaks national security secrets when doing so can politically benefit the President.”