Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Former Sr. Pentagon Official Labels Sony as a Cyberwar Conflict

"Obama Needs A Cyberwar Cabinet" by Todd Rosenblum is one of the worst opinion pieces that I've read in a long time. Rosenblum has a long history in government service (DoD, DHS, Senate Staffer) and just left three months ago to start his own consulting company.

The point of the OpEd was that President Obama needed to form a cyberwar cabinet which pulls equally from the Federal government and the private sector. In order to make his point, he inflated the Sony attack almost beyond recognition:
The president quickly assembled his war cabinet: the intelligence community to tell him the what, why, and how; departments of State, Defense, and Treasury to review response options; and the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to assess whether the attack to be part of a larger threat that could put the nation’s critical infrastructure in danger.
My understanding is that a "war cabinet" is a committee formed during a time of war. What actually happened according to Lisa Monaco who called the meeting was that the President wanted to know the details of what happened. There was no "war cabinet".
After all, a nuclear-armed state committed an act of cyberwarfare against a private company that owned and managed its own networks. While many debate the exact definition of cyberwar, there is no debate that North Korea used a virtual weapon to cause damage on American soil, and did so with political intent. This was not an act of vandalism, theft, espionage, or crime.
In fact, Merriam-Webster defines vandalism as "willful or malicious destruction of private or public property." President Obama called it vandalism. It clearly did not rise to meet the right of self defense bar as established by Article 51 of the U.N. Charter or the Law of Armed Conflict.
But something was different with the Sony hack than any previous conflict.
Really? The Sony hack is a "conflict" now?

I have no idea what motivated Todd Rosenblum to write such an enormous pile of horse shit but I hope that it isn't representative of what "un-named senior Administration officials" tell journalists because Rosenblum considered himself one of them:
As a former senior administration official at both the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security ...

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