well, this is war then, isn’t it?

Russia says it thwarts Pindo cyber-attacks on its infrastructure
Reuters, Jun 17 2019

MOSCOW – Russia has uncovered and thwarted attempts by Pindostan to carry out cyber-attacks on the control systems of Russian infrastructure, news agencies cited a security source as saying on Monday. The disclosure was made on Russia’s RIA and TASS news agencies days after the NYT claimed that Pindostan had inserted potentially disruptive computer code into Russia’s power grid as part of a more aggressive deployment of its cyber-tools. The newspaper suggested Trump had not been informed of the intrusions. Trump said on Twitter that the article was not true. The Kremlin had said earlier on Monday that the report was worrying and showed that a cyber-war was indeed possible. The Russian security source told TASS and RIA:

Foreign intelligence services have stepped up cyber-attacks against Russia in recent years, usually targeting transport, banking and energy infrastructure. We see and note such attempts, but we manage to neutralize them.

When asked about the NYT report earlier on Monday, Dmitri Peskov said:

Undoubtedly this information confirms all our indications of cyber-war and military cyber-action against the Russian Federation. Strategic parts of the Russian economy have endured foreign cyber-attacks many times in the past. We are constantly working to try to keep sensitive parts of the economy safe.

NYT reports secret Pindo cyber-attacks on Russia
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Jun 18 2019

An article published on the front page of the Sunday edition of the NYT reveals that Pindo intelligence agencies have carried out extensive cyber-attacks against targets in Russia, including the country’s electrical grid. Trump denounced the article as “treason,” but there were no credible denials of its factual content. It appears to originate from sections of the intelligence apparatus concerned that attacks on Russia’s infrastructure are in danger of escalating to full-fledged cyber-warfare, provoking a Russian response. The NYT article was co-authored by Nicole Perlroth, who specializes in reporting on cyber-warfare, and David Sanger,s senior natsec correspondent and long-standing conduit for material that the military intelligence apparatus wants to see in print. In a sense, the report is not so much an exposé as a kind of boasting by the military-intelligence apparatus of a campaign of sabotage that is illegal under international law and incredibly reckless, given that it is directed against a nuclear-armed power. The article is based on interviews with current and former boxtops who “described the previously unreported deployment of Pindo computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets.” Some Pindo “reconnaissance probes” have been inside the Russian electrical power system since 2012, the NYT claimed, indicating that the penetration of Russian targets was initiated under the Obama administration if not earlier, and predated the flare-up of Pindo-Russian tensions in 2014 over Ukraine. The article then states:

As opposed to passive monitoring, more recently the Pindo strategy has shifted more toward offense, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyber-strikes if a major conflict broke out between Faschingstein and Moscow.

The article suggests that Pindo and Russian intelligence agencies have already carried out a series of trial cyber-attacks on each other’s infrastructure, mainly in the form of power outages inflicted on the population of the two countries. The article presents a chilling scenario:

The critical question, impossible to know without access to the classified details of the operation, is how deep into the Russian grid the United States has bored. Only then will it be clear whether it would be possible to plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military, a question that may not be answerable until the code is activated.

In other words, Pindo military commanders right up to the commander-in-chief in the White House could well assume that cyber-attacks could actually prevent the Russian military from being able to respond to a preemptive Pindo nuclear strike, allowing the Pentagon to incinerate its long-time enemy, killing tens of millions of people without the danger of Russian retaliation. This is the type of nuclear Pearl Harbor that Pindo strategists dreamed of carrying out in the late 1940s, before the Soviet Union developed its own atomic bomb and established the balance of “mutually assured destruction.” One can only imagine the reaction in the Russian military command to the publication of this article, which confirms their worst nightmares about the intentions and capabilities of Faschingstein. Imagine the reaction in the Pindo media if a similar Russian (or Chinese, or Iranian) capability to interfere with or even shut down the Pindo electrical grid were suddenly made public. The response of the Trump administration to the publication of this report was revealing. No top Pindo natsec boxtop disputed the validity of the report, and both Bolton and NSA Director Adm Nakasone indirectly confirmed it. This demonstrates that the report was not a journalistic “scoop” but a semi-official warning to Russia by the Pentagon, using the NYT as its press agent. The media reaction to this seemingly blockbuster revelation was also instructive. There was virtually no follow-up in the press and little discussion on the Sunday television interview programs. It seems that the corporate media as a whole understood that the publication of the article on the front page of the NYT had as its intended purpose getting the attention of the Kremlin, not the Pindo creeple, and that any further attention to the story risked causing popular alarm. Trump responded to the publication of the article by declaring its publication a “virtual act of treason,” declaring the NYT “must be held fully accountable!” He called the newspaper “the Enemy of the People,” and implied that he might remain in office beyond the term limit specified by the Pindo constitution, tweeting:

Do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT!

Trump’s denunciation of the article was in sharp contrast to the statements of his aides, but it seems to have been sparked, not by the cyber-warfare revelations, but by two brief paragraphs in the article which claim that the president was deliberately given a less than full account of the cyber-attacks, for fear that he would either order the program halted or leak the details to the Russians. This particular claim, whether true or not, is another instance of the long-running campaign spearheaded by the NYT and a section of the military intelligence apparatus to portray Trump as either a dupe or an outright agent of Putin who cannot be trusted with the most important secrets of Pindo imperialist skullduggery against Russia. The NYT article claims:

Approval for the latest escalation of the program was slipped into the NDAA passed by Congress last summer. Under the law, those actions can now be authorized by the Sec Def without special presidential approval.

The implication of both claims is that Trump, with his well known inattention to details, was not aware of the full implications of the program, and that it was being carried out to some extent behind his back. There is one further aspect of the NYT report worth noting. From a formal standpoint, the newspaper is carrying out exactly the journalistic activity for which Julian Assange now faces Pindo demands for extradition and trial under the Espionage Act with a potential penalty of 175 years in prison: publishing information about closely held Pindo natsec secrets. The difference is that Assange is an actual journalist, seeking information that the Pindo government did not want to see made public, exposing Pindo war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and diplomatic conspiracies around the world. The NYT, Sanger & Co serve as glorified stenographers, publishing what the military intelligence apparatus wants to make public, not what it wishes to conceal.

One Comment

  1. 38° 56' 47" N / 77° 9' 32" W
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    ‘Cyber-attacks’ is a clever bit of neurolinguistic programming. The US actions are straightforward sabotage, a form of illegal warfare under Geneva Convention IV Article 5. Sabotage justifies certain rights derogations for otherwise protected persons. So yes, this is war, undeclared war in breach of the Convention Relative to the Opening of Hostilities. Interestingly, Japan’s breach of that Convention by sneak attack was the US government’s legal justification of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So legal precedent justifies Russia nuking the USA. And who would mind if they turned the beltway into a sinkhole of molten basalt? Do us all a favor.

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