February 11, 2010
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) plans to simulate a cyber attack on America’s infrastructure on February 16, 2010. Dubbed Cyber ShockWave, the simulation “will provide an unprecedented look at how the government would develop a real-time response to a large-scale cyber crisis affecting much of the nation,” according to a BPC press release issued today.
The “cyber attack is going to be war-gamed, in public, for all the country to see. It will be quite realistic, featuring senior intelligence and national security officials, including former directors of intelligence agencies and combatant commands and homeland security advisers,” writes Marc Ambinder for The Atlantic.
The sponsors of the event include companies with financial stakes in the future of cyber defense — General Dynamics is one — but also companies whose transactions are the lifeblood to the American economy, and who want to foster a greater sense of urgency among the public and policymakers.
In other words, a handful of well-placed corporations stand to make a fortune on the prospect of a cyber attack. In addition, a message will be sent to the Senate warning that it should pass “cybersecurity” legislation (a 2009 Senate bill would have given Obama the authority to shut down the internet).
General Dynamics is a leading death merchant at the very heart of the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about a few decades ago during the contrived so-called Cold War. “When it comes to military spending, the tradition of the ‘iron triangle’ — Congress, the Pentagon, and defense industries — joining to push costly weaponry is nothing new,” Brad Knickerbocker wrote for The Christian Science Monitor.
BPC directors hail from Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications (a spook merchant), JPMorgan Securities, and the Rockefeller connected Aspen Institute.
[efoods]The BPC effort to scare the American people and Congress into accepting the unlikely threat of cyber enemies taking down the country is part of an ignoble tradition consisting primarily of frightening taxpayers out of their hard-earned dollars. Instead of Osama bin Laden and the CIA-created al-Qaeda, this time around the culprits are Russia and China.
“Participants include John Negroponte, the first DNI, who will be the fictional Secretary of State. (Intel insiders will enjoy this role change.) Ex-DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff will be the National Security Adviser. Fran Townsend, the former White House Homeland Security Adviser, will be the secretary of DHS. Former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin will be the Director of National Intelligence. Other big-name participants include Jamie Gorelick, Stewart Baker, Joe Lockhart and Bennet Johnson,” writes Ambinder.
The BPC advisory board consists of seasoned establishment insiders, including Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George Mitchell.
In short, a mix of neocons and neolibs at the very epicenter of the establishment.
Last July, the BPC, “[b]uilding on the [sic] highly acclaimed work of the 9/11 Commission,” announced the launch of the National Security Preparedness Group “to further examine the changing threats to the United States.” Under the leadership of “9/11 Commission Chair, Thomas H. Kean, and Vice Chair, Lee H. Hamilton, the NSPG will focus its efforts on national intelligence, terrorism, and security issues, continuing the work of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) and its successor, the 9/11 Public Discourse Project,” according to a BPC press release published by PR Newswire.
The above BPC promotion video insinuates that the cyber threat will likely come from China and Russia.
China’s alleged cyber attack last month was blown out of proportion by Google, the government, and the corporate media. The mischaracterized attack against Google went down a few weeks before the search engine corporation announced plans to merge with the NSA, aka “No Such Agency.”.
“The attack on Google involved attempts to access the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, but only two accounts were accessed and the contents of e-mails were not exposed — only account information like the date the account was created, Google said,” Elinor Mills wrote for CNet News on January 13. “Separately, Google discovered that accounts of dozens of Gmail users in the U.S., China, and Europe who are human rights advocates ‘appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties,’ not through a security breach at Google, but most likely as a result of phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers, the company said.” Google later admitted its products and customer data were not affected by the attack.
In 2008, it appears Russian hackers attacked Georgian computer networks — after Georgia launched a military attack South Ossetia. “The attacks ultimately prompted the Georgian governmental sites to switch to U.S. based hosts, while Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs moved to a blogspot account,” reported Stefanie Hoffman for ChannelWeb. Russia did not attack the servers based in the United States.
The planned BPC simulated attack will be staged less than two weeks after the House overwhelmingly passed The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act (H.R. 4061). “The bill, which passed 422-5, requires the Obama administration to conduct an agency-by-agency assessment of cybersecurity workforce skills and establishes a scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate students who agree to work as cybersecurity specialists for the government after graduation,” The New York Times reported at the time.
The bill is now in the Senate for consideration.
In March of 2009, Infowars.com reported on comments made by senator Jay Rockefeller, the great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, nephew of banker David Rockefeller, and former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman. Rockefeller said the internet represents a serious threat to national security. Rockefeller was not alone in this assessment. His belief that the internet is the “number one national hazard” to national security is shared by the former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Obama’s current director Admiral Dennis C. Blair. “It really almost makes you ask the question would it have been better if we had never invented the internet,” said Rockefeller.
Rockefeller’s bills introduced in the Senate — known as the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 — would create yet another government bureaucracy, the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor. It would report directly to Obama. Rockefeller’s legislation would grant “the Secretary of Commerce access to all privately owned information networks deemed to be critical to the nation’s infrastructure “without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access” (see a working draft of the legislation here).
In fact, these supposed threats are wildly exaggerated. “It is alarming that so many people have accepted the White House’s assertions about cyber-security as a key national security problem without demanding further evidence. Have we learned nothing from the WMD debacle? The administration’s claims could lead to policies with serious, long-term, troubling consequences for network openness and personal privacy,” writes Evgeny Morozov for The Boston Review. “Much of the data are gathered by ultra-secretive government agencies — which need to justify their own existence — and cyber-security companies — which derive commercial benefits from popular anxiety. Journalists do not help. Gloomy scenarios and speculations about cyber-Armageddon draw attention, even if they are relatively short on facts.”
It is business as usual — the government and large corporations setting off fire alarms in order to stampede the American people into the government’s high-tech surveillance and control grid, an operation that will reward the likes of General Dynamics and L-3 Communications handsomely.
The BPC’s Cyber ShockWave will take place on February 16, 2010 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC. The simulation will begin at 10:00AM followed by a question and answer session with the participants, the audience and media.
Concerned citizens may want to attend and ask why the government and an insider think-tank stacked with neocons, neolibs, death merchants, and spook corporations are pushing a largely contrived threat on the American people.