Who lit the Flame? 10

The White House has been “leaking” state secrets to make Obama look good.

To augment its boast, it has “leaked” that the US  is responsible for the tremendously clever malware, Stuxnet and Flame, that have hampered and stumped and spied on Iran. (In collaboration with Israel, the White House mumbles, hoping you didn’t catch what it was saying just then.)

This is from the Washington Post:

The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort. …

But though the White House boasters want you to know how cunningly the US under Obama has been crippling Iran’s efforts to make a nuclear bomb, it doesn’t want you to think that they themselves are guilty of the leak.

Last week, researchers with Kaspersky Lab, the Russian security firm, reported their conclusion that Flame — a name they came up with — was created by the same group or groups that built Stuxnet. Kaspersky declined to comment on whether it was approached [employed] by Iran. “We are now 100 percent sure that the Stuxnet and Flame groups worked together,” said … a senior researcher with Kaspersky Lab.

So we are to understand that the Kaspersky Lab leaked the info to “Western officials”, who leaked it to the Obama-supporting Washington Post – who blames Israel for the info having come out at all:

Despite their collaboration on developing the malicious code, the United States and Israel have not always coordinated their attacks. Israel’s April assaults on Iran’s Oil Ministry and oil-export facilities caused only minor disruptions. The episode led Iran to investigate and ultimately discover Flame. Some U.S. intelligence officials were dismayed that Israel’s unilateral incursion led to the discovery of the virus, prompting counter¬measures.

Rich with innuendo, that passage. It implies:

  • Don’t think for a moment that just because the US and Israel worked together on the malware, the US supports Israel’s position on Iran.
  • The malware they produced together, though stunningly brilliant, is not really very nice. (“The malicious code.”)
  • Those assaults on Iran’s oil industry in April – carried out by Israel, you know? Oh, you didn’t know? …
  • Well, actually, they weren’t anything much. As Israel did it alone, it wasn’t too successful, causing only “minor disruptions”.
  • What’s more, it’s a pity they were carried out at all, since it was because of them that Iran discovered Flame.
  • In fact, they were worse than ineffective; they were positively a bad idea. “Some US intelligence officials” were “dismayed” (annoyed) because Israel’s action provoked Iran (which otherwise has only peaceful intentions towards the US?) into taking counter-measures (not specified).

But wait a mo …!

Flame was developed at least five years ago as part of a classified effort code-named Olympic Games, according to officials familiar with U.S. cyber-operations and experts who have scrutinized its code.

It  was started “at least five years ago”? When G.W. Bush was president?

Well, yes (the White house might answer), but the decision to use it had to be made – or at least upheld – by “gutsy” President Obama. Not that they’re saying he is in any way responsible for it if you think it’s a bad thing. If it’s a bad thing, blame Bush, and Israel. If you think it’s marvelous, credit Obama.

Victor Davis Hanson calls this leaking of state secrets by the White House, “Securitygate”. He thinks it is more serious than Watergate or the Iran-Contra scandal.

He writes at PJ Media:

In the Watergate scandal, no one died, at least that we know of. Richard Nixon tried systematically to subvert institutions. Yet most of his unconstitutional efforts were domestic in nature — and an adversarial press soon went to war against his abuses and won, as Congress held impeachment hearings. …

Iran-Contra was as serious because there was a veritable war inside the Reagan administration over helping insurgents with covert cash that had in part been obtained by, despite denials, selling arms to enemy Iran to free hostages — all against U.S. laws …  [But] the media soon covered the story in detail, and their disclosures led to several resignations and full congressional hearings.

What I call “Securitygate” — the release of the most intricate details about the cyber war against Iran, the revelations about a Yemeni double-agent, disclosures about covert operations in and against Pakistan, intimate details about the Osama bin Laden raid and the trove of information taken from his compound, and the Predator drone assassination list and the president’s methodology in selecting targets — is far more serious than either prior scandal. …

Here is the crux of the scandal: Obama is formulating a new policy of avoiding overt unpopular engagements, while waging an unprecedented covert war across the world. He’s afraid that the American people do not fully appreciate these once-secret efforts and might in 2012 look only at his mishaps in Afghanistan or his public confusion over Islamic terror. Ergo, feed information to [selected journalists/book writers] so that they can skillfully inform us, albeit with a bit of dramatic “shock” and “surprise,” just how tough, brutal, and deadly Barack Obama really is.

Yet these disclosures will endanger our national security, especially in the case of a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. They will probably get people killed or tortured, and they will weaken America’s ability for years to work covertly with allies. Our state-to-state relations will be altered, and perhaps even the techniques and technology of our cyber and special operations wars dispersed into the wrong hands. …

We all know how the deplorable practice of “leaking” works. But in truth, these were not quite leaks: information was not “leaked” by rogue insiders or hostile outsiders, but rather given freely to the press by administration officials.

That fact alone makes Securitygate different from any other past scandal over publicized classified documents or insider accounts of covert operations.

*

Following on from this post, see the video immediately above: the singing of an Israeli satirical song, Tell on me.

ACORN protected by a corrupt regime 2

America is now being ruled by ‘a one-party gangster government‘, wrote Matthew Vadum recently in the American Spectator. He illustrates his contention with reference to ACORN whose criminal activity has precipitated ‘the largest corruption crisis’ in American history.

We think he is right.

For the first time in the history of the United States, there is a government that should more accurately be called a regime, or corruptocracy.

ACORN critic Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is mystified that both the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Obama administration aren’t doing much about the tax-subsidized organized crime syndicate ACORN even as evidence of its wrongdoing continues to pile up.

In an exclusive interview, the House Judiciary Committee member describes the ACORN saga as “the largest corruption crisis in the history of America.”

“It’s thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys,” said King. “By the time we pull ACORN out by its roots America’s going to understand just how big this is.”

Unlike the Nixon-era Watergate scandal, the ACORN scandal reaches not only to the highest levels of government, but also to states and localities across America. The president himself and his political advisor Patrick Gaspard used to work for ACORN and the radical advocacy group has allies throughout congressional leadership who are bending over backwards to protect it. President Obama has also hired as White House counsel Bob Bauer, whom King described as “the number one defender of ACORN in the country.”

ACORN has ties to unions such as SEIU and has business relationships with Wall Street. It has offices across the globe in places like Canada, Kenya, and India. Quite apart from the hidden camera videos that emerged in September showing ACORN employees providing advice on establishing a brothel and financing it with government grants, in the U.S. it stands accused of political corruption, election fraud, racketeering, money laundering, and countless other violations of the law. It is involved in major campaigns pushing for socialized medicine, green energy and cap-and-trade, enhanced welfare benefits, higher minimum wages, greater federal regulation of the financial services industry, and for a major expansion of the Community Reinvestment Act.

“The legislative branch will not investigate. [House Judiciary Committee chairman John] Conyers will not. [House Judiciary subcommittee chairman Jerrold] Nadler will not. It’s not going to come out of [House Ways & Means Committee chairman Charles] Rangel’s committee. It’s not going to come out of [House Financial Services Committee chairman] Barney Frank’s committee or from anybody in the Senate. They’re going to protect ACORN.” …

In Congress Democrats “got out their arsenal and now they’re using everything to protect ACORN because that’s the machine that keeps them in office.”

King was particularly incensed by U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon’s ruling in favor of ACORN on Dec. 11. The Department of Justice has reluctantly filed an appeal of the judge’s ruling.

“Now the Democrats have the district court decision that Jerry Nadler solicited and now they will hide behind it if pressed. They will ignore it if they’re not pressed. They’re never going to move legislatively. They never wanted to unfund ACORN.”

Gershon, a Bill Clinton appointee, issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for ACORN. She determined that the funding ban was an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” that singled out ACORN for punishment without trial.

Only in the through-the-looking-glass world of a leftist activist judge could cutting off taxpayer funding to an advocacy group be deemed punishment. This injunction itself is unconstitutional and an affront to the separation of powers. It appears to rely on a novel, insidious legal doctrine known as “legislative due process.” Simply put, groups have rights in the appropriations process and have a right not to be deprived of government funding without some kind of cause being shown. In other words, Congress no longer has the power of the purse regardless of what the Constitution says. …

Congress, [King] noted, has voted overwhelmingly to defund ACORN, yet federal funds continue to flow to ACORN. “We haven’t proved that we have a non-punitive motive,” as Gershon’s ruling requires, he said.

Attorney General Eric Holder has made it abundantly clear he has no interest in investigating his radical friends at ACORN. Holder’s Justice Department released a legal opinion late last month that allows the Obama administration to ignore the will of Congress. He’s also ignored the 88-page report on ACORN’s systemic corruption and flagrant racketeering activities that was issued this summer by Republican investigators on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. …

“This is one-party gangster government and they know what they’re doing,” [King] said.