The latest is yet another New York Times story. It’s about cyber attacks on Iran. We shouldn’t be reading it.
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.
This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.
I’m happy the administration is doing this, but very unhappy that it’s splashed in headlines all over the world. It’s obvious that, along with the SEAL Team 6 movie and classified info dump that accompanied it, and the drone strike story earlier in the week, this story is part of the administration’s re-election campaign. They’re working with the Times to drive a narrative that they believe helps the president. Obama is spiking the Stuxnet to keep his job.
Part of his job, though, is protecting the nation’s sensitive secrets. He is failing badly in that job and putting many operations at risk in the process.
During the Bush years, the merest hint of a leak would send the likes of Josh Micah Marshall into a whispering fit about the dark, nefarious figures lurking and leaking in the White House. Where are those whisperers now that it’s obvious a Democrat president is abusing our national security for the craven purpose of getting himself re-elected?