Archive for National Security

Govt: China could take down U.S. power grid – CNN.com

powergrid

Washington (CNN) — China and “probably one or two other” countries have the capacity to shut down the nation’s power grid and other critical infrastructure through a cyber attack, the head of the National Security Agency told a Congressional panel Thursday.

Admiral Michael Rogers, who also serves the dual role as head of U.S. Cyber Command, said the United States has detected malware from China and elsewhere on U.S. computers systems that affect the daily lives of every American.

“It enables you to shut down very segmented, very tailored parts of our infrastructure that forestall the ability to provide that service to us as citizens,” Rogers said in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

Rogers said such attacks are part of the “coming trends” he sees based on “reconnaissance” currently taking place that nation-states, or other actors may use to exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. cyber systems.

A recent report by Mandiant, a cyber-security firm, found that hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government were able to penetrate American public utility systems that service everything from power generation, to the movement of water and fuel across the country.

Read complete article via Govt: China could take down U.S. power grid – CNN.com.

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Working for ICE ‘is Hell right now,’ as Obama plans amnesty for illegals | WashingtonExaminer.com

illegalimmigrants_taunt

Morale among officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, already low, has reached a new bottom as illegal immigrants expecting amnesty from President Obama taunt and ridicule the overworked officers, according to a new report.

“Yes,” said one, “working for this agency is Hell right now.”

That was the latest message to immigration policy critic Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies. She has charted the woes of the officers who carry out the president’s orders.

In a new paper, she wrote:

“The president’s gradual, calculated dismantling of our immigration system has caused morale to plummet in the agencies of the Department of Homeland Security. Career immigration officials have courageously objected in public, and sometimes resorted to lawsuits to draw attention to the administration’s subversion of the law. In denial about their principled objections to his scheme, now the president is hoping to stifle their voices by offering them a pay increase as part of this outrageous plan. His assumption that they are motivated by money shows just how little respect he has for the men and women who have devoted their careers to public service in immigration.”

Vaughan told Secrets that she has been concerned about morale in ICE and raised the issue with Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson.

RELATED: Obama immigration plan keeps up to 5 million from deportation

She said that officers are concerned that illegals with criminal records are being released under Obama’s policies, and that some immigrants taunt the officers, believing that the policies protect them.

“Some have told me that illegal alien criminals they have arrested have even taunted them, saying they know the ICE officers can’t do anything to them because of Obama administration policies,” Vaughan told Secrets.

The officers have raised the issues at “town hall” meetings with their superiors.

Read complete article via Working for ICE ‘is Hell right now,’ as Obama plans amnesty for illegals | WashingtonExaminer.com.

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‘Trojan Horse’ Bug Lurking in Vital US Computers Since 2011 – ABC News

russianhacker

National Security sources told ABC News there is evidence that the malware was inserted by hackers believed to be sponsored by the Russian government, and is a very serious threat.

The hacked software is used to control complex industrial operations like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution and filtration systems, wind turbines and even some nuclear plants. Shutting down or damaging any of these vital public utilities could severely impact hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Hackers Breach White House’s Unclassified Computer Network

DHS said in a bulletin that the hacking campaign has been ongoing since 2011, but no attempt has been made to activate the malware to “damage, modify, or otherwise disrupt” the industrial control process. So while U.S. officials recently became aware the penetration, they don’t know where or when it may be unleashed.

DHS sources told ABC News they think this is no random attack and they fear that the Russians have torn a page from the old, Cold War playbook, and have placed the malware in key U.S. systems as a threat, and/or as a deterrent to a U.S. cyber-attack on Russian systems – mutually assured destruction.

Read complete article via ‘Trojan Horse’ Bug Lurking in Vital US Computers Since 2011 – ABC News.

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Putting the ‘O’ in EbOla | National Review Online

o_ebola

Dear Reader (especially self-monitoring readers overjoyed that Ronald Klain has been named Supreme Allied Commander in the War on Ebola. What could go wrong?),

This will be the single greatest “news”letter of all time. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. Pathos, logos, and ethos will leap into the San Diego Zoo bear pit of your mind and shout “Bear Fight!” When it is over, you will feel like you kissed your long-lost love both goodbye and hello at a Paris train station. You’ll be rested, as if you just woke from a nap by a waterfall using a panda bear’s belly as a pillow. While it’s not true we only use 10 percent of our brains, you will feel like that had been the case up until now. You’ll be able to cook twelve-minute brownies in seven minutes. You will never have to eat kale again. This will make total sense to you. Suddenly, whether asked to train cats to use a human toilet or use a semicolon correctly, you’ll say, “Of course, a child could do it.”

Now, even grading on my own curve, this was a remarkably stupid paragraph to write. The first rule of writing is “Sacrifice a bull to Crom before you start typing” (“Is that what we’re calling it now?” — The Couch). No, the first rule of writing is that there is no first rule, save perhaps “Always write in the language of your intended reader.”

(I mean, if I wrote this in Esperanto or Iroquois I’d lose a lot of you pretty quickly. But I believe good writing — like good jokes and good food — is whatever works. But some kinds of writing are riskier than others, which is why my Epic Poem (So epic I needlessly capitalized both “Epic” and “Poem”!) about the cancellation of Firefly molders in my desk drawer).

In fact, the reason that first paragraph was so dumb is that it violated a rule that transcends even the obscure-rightwing-free-“news”letter industry. No, really.

That rule is: Never overpromise. The common phrasing is “never overpromise and under-deliver,” but under-delivering is almost inherent in the word “overpromise.” It’s not an overpromise if you fulfill expectations. In other words, managing expectations is really important.

Read complete article via Putting the ‘O’ in EbOla | National Review Online.

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The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist | National Review Online

This guy has no shame.

This guy has no shame.

We’re being had. Again.

For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.

Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.

Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.

The who?

There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.

You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the –Iranian–?Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.

The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s U.S.-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call “core al-Qaeda.”

“Core al-Qaeda,” you are to understand, is different from “Jabhat al-Nusra,” which in turn is distinct from “al-Qaeda in Iraq” (formerly “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” now the “Islamic State” al-Qaeda spin-off that is, itself, formerly “al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Sham” or “al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant”). That al-Qaeda, don’t you know, is a different outfit from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula . . . which, of course, should never be mistaken for “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” “Boko Haram,” “Ansar al-Sharia,” or the latest entry, “al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent.”

Read complete article via The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist | National Review Online.

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Benghazi anniversary: Two years later America still waiting to learn real story | Fox News

benghazi

It was a searing moment in American history that showed us at our very best — and, sadly, our worst.

It was an event that will be remembered for the courageous heroism of some, and the feckless self-centeredness of others.

September 11, 2014 marks the second anniversary of the deadly attacks on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith and two of their would-be rescuers, Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.

Two years later, like the rest of us in the nation, Patricia Smith is still waiting to learn the real story of what happened that night in the North African desert.

Two years later, I still cannot get the words of Smith’s mother out of my mind.

“Every time I see this on TV,” she told the House Oversight Committee, “I see these bloody fingerprints crawling down a wall of that Benghazi place and I ask everybody, ‘do those belong to my son?‘ and nobody has told me anything.”

“It’s been pure hell living through all this and not getting any answers.”

“I was told a few things,” she corrected herself, holding back tears. “They were all lies.”

“Obama and Hillary and Panetta and Biden and [United Nations Ambassador] Susan [Rice] all came up to me at the casket ceremony and gave me a big hug, and every one of them said it was ‘the video,’ but even then, they knew it wasn’t,” she said. “They lied to me.”

“I don’t count, the people of America don’t count,” she bemoaned, the frustration visible on her face.   “The only thing that counts is themselves and their jobs.  I want to know what happened to my son!  Why can’t these people tell us this?”

Two years later, like the rest of us in the nation, Patricia Smith is still waiting to learn the real story of what happened that night in the North African desert.

A decorated Navy SEAL, Woods served multiple tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Central America.  A certified paramedic and registered nurse, he retired from the military in 2010 to care for his former comrades at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego before returning overseas — this time protecting American diplomats in Central America and, fatefully, the Middle East.

From details Congressional investigators pieced together, we know that Woods along with Doherty who rushed in from Tripoli with American reinforcements hours after the initial assault fought to protect those remaining at the compound.

Immediately encountering heavy fire from extraordinarily well-equipped attackers, Doherty and Woods took up defensive positions on the roof of the compound, each only to be killed by separate mortar attacks. Flying shrapnel from the mortars also injured a 31-year old diplomatic special agent, David Ubben.

The courage and selfless patriotism that was shown that night in Libya will forever stand in stark contrast to the 24 months of cowering, cover-ups and political posterior-covering half a world away in Washington.

What is blazingly apparent in its aftermath is that the president and his team feared the truth: a resurgent Al Qaeda had waged a protracted and well-equipped assault on a poorly defended diplomatic outpost that had killed four Americans, including the first U.S. ambassador to die in the course of duty in more than 30 years.

Had the real facts of the Benghazi assault become known at the time, it would have given lie to the administration’s false narrative of a decapitated al Qaeda and a pacified Libya. With eyes sharply focused on the Presidential election just weeks away, Obama, Hillary Clinton and their team began a campaign to dissemble.

Those who died that night on our behalf deserved better from the government they served. Two years later, so do we.

via Benghazi anniversary: Two years later America still waiting to learn real story | Fox News.

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News Reports in Central America: ‘Go to America With Your Child, You Won’t Be Turned Away’ – Leah Barkoukis

Yet another Obama self-made crisis.

Yet another Obama self-made crisis.

Obama’s calling the mass influx of children illegally entering the U.S. an “urgent humanitarian situation” and that’s exactly what it is—Breitbart has the photos to prove it. The tens of thousands of children that are coming across the U.S.-Mexico border, many of whom from Central America, are unaccompanied. Officials are overwhelmed and sources tell filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch that the Border Patrol in Texas is on the brink of collapse.

Officials are trying to transport children to their illegal-immigrant family members already in the U.S., and parts of at least two military facilities are being used to house the children. But the photos Breitbart obtained show just exactly what that looks like.

“The results of this mismanagement [by DHS] are thousands of individuals living in inhumane conditions for an indeterminate period of time, as well as exhausted and overwhelmed Border Patrol agents and CBP detention facilities,” border expert Sylvia Longmire tells Breitbart. “This is an awful way to showcase what cartel and gang violence is doing to children and their families in Central America, and it’s a humiliating example of what our government’s inability to develop solid immigration and border security policies can cause.”

Republicans argue that the problem has undoubtedly gotten worse as the word has gotten out about the administration’s lax immigration enforcement policies. And they’re right.

McALLEN – Central Americans say news reports in their countries are encouraging them to make the journey north to the United States.

A mother and child told CHANNEL 5 NEWS that the message being disseminated in their country is, “go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.”

The woman, Nora Griselda Bercian Diaz, from Guatemala, said she endured threats from the Zetas and extortion from corrupt Mexican police. She eventually crossed the Rio Grande with her 6-year-old Delmi Griselda Paul Bercian by her side.

The woman said she wants a U.S. education for her daughter.

[…]

Bercian Diaz said she has no family in the United States. Her hope of staying here relies on her little girl. She said the message in her country is that America’s borders are open to all families.

News reports in Guatemala say mothers and small children are getting bus tickets, Bercian Diaz said.

“I said, ‘I need to act right now, because this will end and my girl won’t have a future,’” Bercian Diaz said.

And to make matters worse, the administration announced on Thursday that it will renew its non-deportation program for young adult illegal immigrants.

“Despite the acrimony and partisanship that now exists in Washington, almost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws, and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

via News Reports in Central America: ‘Go to America With Your Child, You Won’t Be Turned Away’ – Leah Barkoukis.

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Video: Hillary Allies Huddle to Plot Benghazi Strategy – Guy Benson

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

According to a report in Politico, an array of left-leaning organizations and strategists are meeting today with top Clinton allies to fashion a defensive scheme regarding the Benghazi scandal, in which the former Secretary of State is a central player. With the Congressional Select Committee revving just up as Clinton’s new book is released, Democrats sense a pressing need to help shape the Benghazi narrative, as the issue is one of her (relatively few at this stage, frankly) strong negatives ahead of the 2016 campaign:

An array of Democrats — including Hillary Clinton’s allies — are meeting this week to hammer out a united front on national security issues, including a clear response to Republicans over the Benghazi controversy…A major milestone in the effort will take place this Friday, when a coalition of Democratic-leaning groups and influentials converges at the headquarters of the centrist think tank Third Way for a briefing that includes top Clinton adviser Philippe Reines. The meeting is one in a series that Third Way has convened with Democrats since the George W. Bush era to discuss and shape national security policy. But at least some Democrats involved in the upcoming session are hoping it results in a coordinated and strengthened response to the new congressional probe into the deadly Benghazi attack. Several people involved in the meeting say Reines was invited to speak at Third Way on Friday to discuss the chapter of Clinton’s upcoming book “Hard Choices” that covers the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead — including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

I discussed this confab on Fox News yesterday afternoon, noting the irony that a Bizarro World “Left-wing conspiracy” of sorts is rushing to Hillary’s aid:

Read complete article via Video: Hillary Allies Huddle to Plot Benghazi Strategy – Guy Benson.

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