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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Another step for war without end?

Remember how the U.S. government "proved" that Osama bin Laden (and, by extension, apparently, the entire nation of Afghanistan) was responsible for 9/11? No, you don't, since at least before the invasion of Afghanistan happened, there was little if any actual proof. But at least it was, in some way at least, a provable event.

Then there was the invasion of Iraq. Here, the proof was a combination of faked and imaginary, but again, the alleged reason for the invasion was, at least, in some way provable.

But now we have the latest declaration: the Pentagon says that cyber attacks on the U.S. will be met with physical counterattacks. Aside from the minor Constitutional issue ("If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," an unnamed military official told the Journal, which kind of skips the "Congress authorizes wars and the President orders them" step), we are now really in the realm of the unprovable, not to mention the spoofable. How can we not imagine the possibility that hackers in country A could "shut down our power grid" and make it look to all the world as if the attack came from country B? Or how can we not imagine, to be even more paranoid but not that much less realistic, that the U.S., wanting to attack Iran, could have one part of its cyber-war apparatus shut down the power grid and make it look to another part of the apparatus that the attack came from Iran? Or perhaps the evidence, which none but the tiniest handful of people would ever see anyway, will be inconclusive (just like the evidence of the Lockerbie bombing, to name but one of many examples), but the U.S. will announce (and who will be able to disprove them?) that it was conclusive and go ahead and attack whoever they want to?

It's a scary development.

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