Posted: December 19th, 2011 by Militant Libertarian
I just came across yet another portion of the NDAA that is getting barely any attention, via the Federation of American Scientists‘ Secrecy News.
Why this isn’t getting more press is beyond me, as this represents a significant upgrade of the unnecessary and absurdly costly cyberwarfare apparatus operating mostly in secret in the United States.
We are regularly being inundated with blatant propaganda like the claim that Russian hackers had destroyed a water pump in Illinois, which turned out to be a total and complete fabrication.
Incidents like this — be they contrived or genuine — are then used to push increasedcontrol and monitoring of the internet, along with the growing push for total centralization of the American power grid under the control of a single government agency.
This increased control is something that the government has been promoting for some time with the irrational fear that at any time the entire United States could be brought down by a hacker or hackers, along with the corporate backers that would be granted all of the lucrative contracts to create such a system.
This little gem tucked away in the NDAA, Section 954, allows the Department of Defense, upon the Presidents direction, to “conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our Nation, allies and interests.”
While this authorization is conditional in that it must be compliant with the law of armed conflict and the War Powers Resolution, the President and Congress don’t care too much about these measures as evidenced by Libya.
In the conference, they affirmed, “because of the evolving nature of cyber warfare, there is a lack of historical precedent for what constitutes traditional military activities in relation to cyber operations and that it is necessary to affirm that such operations may be conducted pursuant to the same policy, principles, and legal regimes that pertain to kinetic capabilities.”
This is also remarkable because it explicitly allows for covert operations as shown in the passage which reads, “The conferees also recognize that in certain instances, the most effective way to deal with threats and protect U.S. and coalition forces is to undertake offensive military cyber activities, including where the role of the United States Government is not apparent or to be acknowledged.”
I am constantly amazed by the brazenness of our illegitimate criminal government and our so-called Representatives and the examples only seem to get more absurd by the day.
They claim that the War Powers Resolution “may apply” but as Steven Aftergood points out, “This is an odd formulation which suggests that the War Powers Resolution may also not apply. In any case the Resolution is a weak reed that has rarely been used by Congress to constrain executive action.”
This is precisely what we saw in the case of Libya where Obama flouted the War Powers Resolution and then claimed he had no responsibility to adhere to it because the operation didn’t qualify as hostilities under the Resolution.
Section 954 could easily be used to run around the War Powers Resolution as covert operations need not ever be so much as admitted by the President or the Department of Defense if they so choose.
Plus our castrated Congress has proven themselves to be wholly subordinate to the dictatorial Executive, indicating that even if they were aware of an operation they likely wouldn’t wield their rightful power over it.
Lawfare goes over some of the technicalities, but I think we all know that our government pays very little attention to the meager constraints that they are subjected to. When they want to go to war, they will go to war, even if they have to conduct a false flag operation like the Gulf of Tonkin incident to justify it.
This section is completely unnecessary as Wired points out in writing, “Despite mainstream news accounts, there’s been no documented hacking attacks on U.S. infrastructure designed to cripple it.”
Therefore, whatever justification they attempt to utilize to push this is completely irrelevant and illegitimate. This is just another warmongering effort by our insane government which will keep the money flowing out of the pockets of the people and into the coffers of the war profiteers.