NY Times, Obama Admin. Expose Secret Cyberwarfare Program Against Iran

Surely, everyone could guess that the United States was involved in the cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Just like we can all guess that Iran is looking to create a nuclear weapons program, not use those reactors for peaceful energy production. Fortunately, the NY Times and the Obama administration are there to make sure that the guy running for re-election continued and expanded the program President Bush started

Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran

See? He’s awesome!!!!!!!1!!!!!

From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

There’s that pesky “secret” word. You know, a program that should not be confirmed.

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks – begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games – even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

Yeah, it was a real tough call to continue a program put in place by his predecessor. Oh, and when a secret program is given a code name, it’s kinda supposed to be kept secret.

Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.

Brave, Brave Sir Obama! Look at how awesome he is!!!!!!!! Gutsy!

This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

“Highly classified.” But, there’s an election to win.

Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons – even under the most careful and limited circumstances – could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.

Even The Politico can make the connection to what is a very long article (5 webpages, more like a Sunday front page article) which features the tag line at the bottom “This article is adapted from “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” to be published by Crown on Tuesday.”

One of the staples of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy critique of the president has been that Obama has stood by passively and allowed Iran’s nuclear program to advance. Along with the Times’s story on the Obama administration’s “kill list,” this is the second report this week that would tend to reinforce the president’s politically valuable image as an aggressive war-on-terror leader. Of course, the trouble for Obama is, this probably isn’t the kind of thing you get to talk about at the next campaign stop, and it’s hard to say if this information will end up getting amplified to the point that it matters in electoral terms.

Fortunately, the Obama administration is there to expose highly secret code-named programs to the world for political purposes.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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