Will the next 9/11 happen online? The secretary of defense claims cyber war is imminent. Its real threat may be to our constitut
MONDAY, OCT 22, 2012 09:45 AM EDT
Will the next 9/11 happen online?
The secretary of defense claims cyber war is imminent. Its real threat may be to our constitutional liberties
BY KAREN GREENBERG, TOMDISPATCH.COM
(Credit: AP/Paul J. RIchards)
This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.
First the financial system collapses and it’s impossible to access one’s money. Then the power and water systems stop functioning. Within days, society has begun to break down. In the cities, mothers and fathers roam the streets, foraging for food. The country finds itself fractured and fragmented — hardly recognizable.
It may sound like a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie or the first episode of NBC’s popular new show “Revolution,” but it could be your life — a nationwide cyber-version of Ground Zero.
Think of it as 9/11/2015. It’s Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s vision of the future — and if he’s right (or maybe even if he isn’t), you better wonder what the future holds for erstwhile American civil liberties, privacy, and constitutional protections.
Last week, Panetta addressed the Business Executives for National Security, an organization devoted to creating a robust public-private partnership in matters of national security. Standing inside the Intrepid, New York’s retired aircraft-carrier-cum-military-museum, he offered a hair-raising warning about an imminent and devastating cyber strike at the sinews of American life and wellbeing.
Yes, he did use that old alarm bell of a “cyber Pearl Harbor,” but for anyone interested in American civil liberties and rights, his truly chilling image was far more immediate. “A cyber attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups,” he predicted, “could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.”
Panetta is not the first Obama official to warn that the nation could be facing a cyber catastrophe, but he is the highest-ranking to resort to 9/11 imagery in doing so. Going out on a limb that previous cyber doomsayers had avoided, he mentioned September 11th four times in his speech, referring to our current vulnerabilities in cyber space as “a pre-9/11 moment.”
Under question from Sen. Sessions at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey indicated that "international permission," rather than Congressional approval, provided a 'legal basis' for military action by the United States.
from the article
"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is acknowledging publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor provided key information to the U.S. in advance of the successful Navy SEAL assault on Osama bin Laden's compound last May. Panetta told CBS's "60 Minutes," in a profile to be broadcast on Sunday, that Shakil Afridi helped provide intelligence for the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan".
Monday, July 11th, 2011
Newly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman.
"The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda," Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base.
"We've been fighting as a result of that," he said.
The administration of former US President George W. Bush had hastily linked Saddam Hussein, the ousted Iraqi dictator, to the 9/11 attacks.
That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed.
Real-Time Raid Hoax Exposed As Photo Op
Panetta: Obama did not see bin Laden being killed
May 03, 2011
By Michael Winter
In an interview with the PBS NewsHour, CIA Director Leon Panetta said that although President Obama was watching some "real-time aspects" of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, he did not see the al-Qaeda leader being killed.
Here's part of the exchange with Jim Lehrer:
JIM LEHRER: Did you have access to video of what was actually happening in the compound, etc.?
LEON PANETTA: We had live-time intelligence information that we were dealing with during the operation itself.
JIM LEHRER: Did you actually see - or did you actually see Osama bin Laden get shot?
But Leon, the cover-up of 9/11, and perhaps 9/11 itself is a Bush Scandal. - Jon
BY STEPHEN C. WEBSTER
Published: August 2, 2009
CIA director and Democratic appointee Leon Panetta, in an article published Sunday, said Democrats must recognize the “reality” of 9/11 is what drove the conduct of George W. Bush administration in the months following September 11, 2001, which somehow justifies not looking into suspected crimes.
He added, in an apparent warning to the House Intelligence Committee, that that “focusing on the past” could hurt the CIA’s core mission amid a climate of recriminations over its practices.
“I’ve become increasingly concerned that the focus on the past, especially in Congress, threatens to distract the CIA from its crucial core missions: intelligence collection, analysis and covert action,” Panetta opined in the online edition of The Washington Post.
CIA director Leon Panetta says it’s almost as if Dick Cheney wishes to
see another attack on the United States to prove he is right in
criticizing President Obama for stopping CIA’s “harsh interrogation”
techniques of terrorism suspects.
Whatever the politics du jour, CIA under a new, accountable management is
duty-bound to investigate 9-11 events.