Leon Panetta, praying for a cyber attack
“A Cyber-Pearl Harbor that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability.”
Panetta, during a speech at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, said his response was to increased aggressiveness and technological advances by America’s adversaries, identified as China, Russia, Iran and militant groups, The New York Times reported.
“An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches,” Panetta said. “They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.”
However, as Michael Tanji, writing for Wired, pointed out over two years ago, the electric grid and the public water supply are not at all vulnerable to a cyber attack, despite what Mr. Panetta may say to incite fear in the ill-informed populous. Instilling fear isn’t enough though, as The Secretary of Defense alluded to Congress’ failure to pass Cybersecurity legislation.
In a classic Hagelian Dialectic situation, the government has provided us with the problem of cybersecurity, will likely stage something that approximates an attack which can be blamed on enemies, and then will offer the solution–a heavily regulated internet, stripped of any freedom or anonymity.
This has all played out before. Prior to 9/11, in that barely recognizable world, a neocon think tank came up with a plan to impose Western hegemony throughout the world, while subjugating Americans under a brand new scripted and imaginary threat. All that was needed, according to the authors, was “some catastrophic and catalyzing event–like a new Pearl Harbor.”
John Pilger, the Australian journalist and longtime critic of imperialism, wrote a piece in 2002 which lays bare the warmonger agenda set forth by the neocon think tank. The reference to “Pearl Harbor” by both Mr. Panetta and the Project for a New American Century is alarming as well as illuminating. Being able to see how events are planned and goals are achieved can liberate us from the reactionary posture these type of “catastrophic events” can cause. In fact, if enough of the public becomes aware of the boogeyman/erosion of liberty paradigm employed throughout history, it may be possible to stop false flags pre-emptively.
The threat posed by US terrorism to the security of nations and individuals was outlined in prophetic detail in a document written more than two years ago and disclosed only recently. What was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the world’s resources, it said, was “some catastrophic and catalysing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. The attacks of 11 September 2001 provided the “new Pearl Harbor”, described as “the opportunity of ages”. The extremists who have since exploited 11 September come from the era of Ronald Reagan, when far-right groups and “think-tanks” were established to avenge the American “defeat” in Vietnam. In the 1990s, there was an added agenda: to justify the denial of a “peace dividend” following the cold war. The Project for the New American Century was formed, along with the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute and others that have since merged the ambitions of the Reagan administration with those of the current Bush regime.
One of George W Bush’s “thinkers” is Richard Perle. I interviewed Perle when he was advising Reagan; and when he spoke about “total war”, I mistakenly dismissed him as mad. He recently used the term again in describing America’s “war on terror”. “No stages,” he said. “This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq… this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war… our children will sing great songs about us years from now.”
Perle is one of the founders of the Project for the New American Century, the PNAC. Other founders include Dick Cheney, now vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, I Lewis Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, William J Bennett, Reagan’s education secretary, and Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush’s ambassador to Afghanistan. These are the modern chartists of American terrorism. The PNAC’s seminal report, Rebuilding America’s Defences: strategy, forces and resources for a new century, was a blueprint of American aims in all but name. Two years ago it recommended an increase in arms-spending by $48bn so that Washington could “fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars”. This has happened. It said the United States should develop “bunker-buster” nuclear weapons and make “star wars” a national priority. This is happening. It said that, in the event of Bush taking power, Iraq should be a target. And so it is.
As for Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction”, these were dismissed, in so many words, as a convenient excuse, which it is. “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification,” it says, “the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.” How has this grand strategy been implemented? A series of articles in the Washington Post, co-authored by Bob Woodward of Watergate fame and based on long interviews with senior members of the Bush administration, reveals how 11 September was manipulated.
On the morning of 12 September 2001, without any evidence of who the hijackers were, Rumsfeld demanded that the US attack Iraq. According to Woodward, Rumsfeld told a cabinet meeting that Iraq should be “a principal target of the first round in the war against terrorism”. Iraq was temporarily spared only because Colin Powell, the secretary of state, persuaded Bush that “public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible”. Afghanistan was chosen as the softer option. If Jonathan Steele’s estimate in the Guardian is correct, some 20,000 people in Afghanistan paid the price of this debate with their lives. Continue reading John Pilger’s “A New Pearl Harbor”
September 11th was described as an opportunity, and it’s likely that behind closed doors the same type of planning and manipulation are taking place regarding the cybersecurity of America. The same people proclaiming our vulnerability, by the way, did unleash the most destructive cyber virus the world has ever seen.
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