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by
Rick Moran

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June 8, 2013 - 8:42 am

I’m almost starting to feel a little sorry for Obama. He’s starting to look like the Dutch boy who sticks his finger in the dyke — except in this case, he doesn’t have enough fingers to plug all the holes.

The leaks involving national security are coming one after another, exposing the soft underbelly of U.S. intelligence and informing our enemies — and potential enemies — of our plans.

The latest leak comes to us via the Guardian newspaper — the same outfit that broke the NSA phone records story. As with the NSA story, the author is Glenn Greenwald — a guy who appears to have a direct conduit into the deepest, most secretive recessses of the American government.

The potential damage caused by this leak is considerable. It involves the president’s order for our intelligence agencies to come up with targets in a potential cyberwar.

Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.

The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) “can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging”.

It says the government will “identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power”.

The directive also contemplates the possible use of cyber actions inside the US, though it specifies that no such domestic operations can be conducted without the prior order of the president, except in cases of emergency.

The aim of the document was “to put in place tools and a framework to enable government to make decisions” on cyber actions, a senior administration official told the Guardian.

The administration published some declassified talking points from the directive in January 2013, but those did not mention the stepping up of America’s offensive capability and the drawing up of a target list.

Obama’s move to establish a potentially aggressive cyber warfare doctrine will heighten fears over the increasing militarization of the internet.

The directive’s publication comes as the president plans to confront his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at a summit in California on Friday over alleged Chinese attacks on western targets.

It may be prudent and wise to be proactive about fighting a cyberwar by choosing targets ahead of time. But whom is Obama going to go to war with in the U.S.? I suppose the cybergeeks could come up with a scenario where the federal government would target domestic enemies, but at the moment, the only thing that comes to mind is attacking the computer of a terrorist whose operation is imminent. How plausible is that?

Plausible or not, what safeguards are in place so that the administration can’t go after their political enemies? As with the other programs that have been leaked, it appears that safeguarding our privacy is inadequate.

We’re already involved in a limited cyberwar; Russian and other international mobsters, China, Russia — U.S. systems have been under attack from those groups as well as others.

But a cyberwar between nation states could quickly escalate as each side tries to take out the defenses of the other. Hopefully, Obama’s secret order will allow us to stay a step ahead in any conflict and protect our vital system from disruption or destruction.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Yep another day and another scandal....after years of suppressing anything negative about this administration, now we get some real news, huh? Hey, look over here, just watch this....keep your eyes on the target - Benghazi. Benghazi is the one scandal that has the dems terrified. They know that they (including Her Thighness) would not survive the truth of abandoning brave Americans in harm's way.

There is a special corner of hell reserved for neo-Benedict Arnold's. Remember Benghazi!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our government and national security apparatus with todays generations in the boiler rooms has no shortage of politicized extremists willing to damage and defeat the U.S. strategic national security policies in anyways they can for personal revenge -- also, some with dual citizenships probably for other cause(s). Of course, they know they have allies in the press to willingly and waiting too help them carry out their revenge and hurt the national security of the U.S. All we can do in the meantime is hope todays generations go aways fast and new generations have a genuine allegiance to America and not some radicalized political ideology and or movement.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, and this comment is obviously most applicable to those in the White House, especially the man who currently occupies the Oval Office.

I certainly hope he, and his filthy kind, go away soon, and that his replacement has a genuine regard for this country and it's people.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The significant issue here is Obama's character or the lack thereof. This President is exceedingly timorous about military engagement save--as in the case of Libya--where a slam dunk victory is assured. Drone strikes and secretive cyber warfare, on the other hand, are catnip to this sleazy Chicago alley cat.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
After all these "leaks", you have to wonder who is doing the leaking, and why?

Maybe Obama has really pissed off someone in the intelligence community because this all seems to be intelligence-related? Now How could he have done that? Ben Ghazi, perhaps?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Close, Gridley...remember this: the Obama administration leaked the IRS news themselves. Why would they do that? Methinks someone was getting a little to close to Benghazi...as in Greg Hicks. But, our esteemed speaker of the house, Old Yellowstain, has put the brakes on any further Benghazi investigation despite Rep. Wolf's 114 co-sponsored bill to do just that. Why is Boehner blocking it just like he did with Fast and Furious? The great patriots of Ohio should be ashamed. Boehner is an enemy, not a patriot.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
that's "too close"....in a hurry this morning.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"As with the NSA story, the author is Glenn Greenwald — a guy who appears to have a direct conduit into the deepest, most secretive recessses of the American government. "

Ummm, Glenn Greenwald? You mean Sock Puppet Glenn Greenwald? Google this guy before you start placing laurel wreaths upon his brow.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is no big deal. He is supposed to be doing this, as CinC. Good on him. I expect this is an approved leak.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you start waging war to draw attention away from your domestic failure, it's bad. I mean, Clinton did it, sure, but it was against Serbia. No big whoop unless you're a Serb and bought the farm because of Monica. But China? Not good. It does go to show you, though, that progs are killers. Stone cold killers. And if you're a prog, there's always one sure way out of a problem: kill your way out.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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