National Security has dominated the news for me in recent months, because there is so much going on . . . and so much at stake. I have been collecting news items from a number of my favorite good reliable sources. I am posting these links and synopsis quotes today as a service to my readers. You will see important items you may have missed or to which you would like to return for more study.Cybersecurity for the military -- The civilian cybersecurity initiative* was rolled out recently and the military moded is not far behind. "Pentagon plans new arm to wage cyberspace wars," comes from the New York Times (5/28/09). To quote:
The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, administration officials said Thursday, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare. The military command would complement a civilian effort to be announced by President Obama . . . that would overhaul the way the United States safeguards its computer networks. . . White House officials say Mr. Obama has not yet been formally presented with the Pentagon plan. . .*Civilian cybersecurity initiative -- "Obama aides debate role of proposed Cyber Czar," came from the Washington Post (5/13/09). To quote:
But he is expected to sign a classified order in coming weeks that will create the military cybercommand, officials said. It is a recognition that the United States already has a growing number of computer weapons in its arsenal and must prepare strategies for their use — as a deterrent or alongside conventional weapons — in a wide variety of possible future conflicts.
The nation's top military, intelligence and homeland security officials are recommending that President Obama establish a new White House cyber czar under the National Security Council with broad policy-setting authority for protecting both public- and private-sector computer networks, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
State laws regain standing -- Rebalancing this equation was imperative due to the Bush administration's tendency to run roughshod over entities with less power. "Obama curtails Bush's policy of 'preemption'," came from the Washington Post (5/22/09). To quote:
It lets federal rules override state laws. President Obama continued to reverse his predecessor's policies this week by undoing a controversial Bush administration rule known as "preemption" that used federal regulations to override state laws on the environment, health, public safety and other issues.
Regarding President Obama's National Security adviser, former Marine General James Jones, he is one of my favorites. "In frenetic White House, a low-key 'outsider'," is a feature from the Washington Post (5/7/09). To quote:
In recent weeks, Jones has been portrayed in foreign policy articles and blogs as too measured and low-key to keep pace with the hard chargers working late hours in the West Wing. Some senior White House officials questioned early on whether Jones, 65, a retired four-star Marine general who barely knew Obama before the election, would succeed among younger staffers whose relationships with the president were forged during the long and arduous campaign.
. . . White House officials who cited early misgivings, more stylistic than substantive, insisted they have now disappeared. But Jones acknowledges that the road has not always been smooth, and he appears more comfortable than some of his administration colleagues in saying they still have some distance to travel.
It is "absolutely" fair to say that it has taken some time for him and his colleagues to get used to each other, Jones said in an interview Tuesday. "From this West Wing, in particular, because this is Obama Nation, right? True? This is where the Obama election campaign came,
landed, en masse."
Watch lists full of errors -- Why is it so hard to get babies, dead people and duplicates off these lists? FBI's lapses on terrorist watchlist put nation at risk, report warns," is from the Washington Post (5/7/09). To quote:
The FBI has retained almost 24,000 names on the nation's terrorist watch list without current or proper justification, while failing to include people who are subjects of terrorist investigations, according to a Justice Department report issued yesterday.
The FBI's lapses "create a risk to national security," Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said in the report. In addition, he said, keeping people on the list improperly can lead to unnecessary delays for travelers at airports, along highways and elsewhere.
Is it any wonder the warrantless wiretapping program was an accident looking for a place to happen?
"Israeli in NSA spying program comfortably on the run in Africa," was written by Jeff Stein, of CQ's Spy Talk on (3/24/09). To quote:
A light-hearted piece in Sunday's New York Times, "Tips for the Sophisticated Fugitive," reminded me that Jacob "Kobi" Alexander, an Israeli businessman at the center of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, is still on the lam.
Many people would be shocked to learn that the two biggest contractors in the ultra-sophisticated NSA eavesdropping program are owned and run by Israelis, many of whom came from their country's own electronic spying services.
In effect, writes James Bamford in his latest book on the NSA, "Virtually the entire American telecommunications system is bugged by [Israeli-formed] companies with possible ties to Israel's eavesdropping agency."
And the head of one of them is a crook, according to federal indictments.
Wrapping up with a few last items:
- "CRS Views the Cybersecurity Initiative," is by Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News (3/12/09). The report from the Congressional Research Service.
- "E-Verify Has Problems, and the Government Agrees With Us," comes from the ACLU Blog of Rights (3/11/09). The database is riddled with errors.
- "Focus on Fusion Centers" is from Secrecy News by Steven Aftergood (2/27/09). Regional national security centers facilitated by the FBI. National and local "big brothers" team up to watch what we are doing.
More on national security another day.
See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.
Blogs: My general purpose/southwest focus blog is at Southwest Progressive. My creative website is at Making Good Mondays. And Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.