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The news is spreading fast around the globe. The Obama administration is ready to premiere a new cyber-space army. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times report that the goal of this cyber command is to secure military computer networks in the United States, networks now threatened by intrusive hackers linked to countries such as China and Russia.
Public opinion is forced to swallow in a single capsule the pretext for killing the specter of a foreign enemy, as well as the details of the murder weapon (a cyber command that will watch over the planet to eventually launch into action). As Tom Burghardt finds in Global Research , the United States is using the subterfuge of cyber security as a pretext for a cyber war, a project initiated well before September 11th 2001. It began to jell by 2003, with a leaked secret document signed by Donald Rumsfeld, ex Secretary of Defense, ordering the creation of this special command.
Since then, the military arsenal has been preparing to intervene servers, commit network espionage, bribe cybernetic mercenaries, criminalize navigators in the name of war, bend the arms of telecommunication companies and even launch an electronic bomb in March of 2003 in Iraq: a bomb capable of incapacitating all targeted electronic systems at once.
The creation of this cyber-military is not without precedent; what is new is that the functions of this electronic war, which previously were split among ten Pentagon operations and other centers of intelligence, including the Air Force, are now under a single umbrella, thus expanding the area of operations of Bush’s ‘holy war’ – “you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists”. The enemy is not limited to certain countries, but extends to corporations, groups and individuals, that are to be hunted down like rabbits within the tentacles of globalization.
For reasons that have yet to be revealed, the new cyber-command is within the structure of the National Security Agency. However, in 2003 the cyber-command was introduced under the Air Force’s umbrella. It was to be given autonomy in October 2008, with an operational budget of $2,000 million for its first year.
The Air Force’s General Robert Elder , who at the time was in charge of the cyber-command, explained in November of 2006 during a press conference the reason for the expansion into cyberspace: “the cultural change lies in that we will treat the Internet as a war zone, we will concentrate on this area and will prioritize actions in cyber space”.
It is evident that there is nothing new either in the cyber-command, or in the self-advertising by new Pentagon Chief who is simply following the path of his predecessors from the Bush administration. There is also nothing new in its use as offensive-weapons. The United States has employed repression and subversion for decades. It is now simply readjusting its strategy to the new information era, with the Internet as its spinal column.
GET OUT OF WAY. THIS SPACE IS MINE
In March 2007, USA Today reported on one of cyber-war’s favorite strategies: pirate attacks on Internet sites critical of the Bush administration. The Air Force’s Investigation Laboratory had $40 million at its disposal to address this issue. But the key to this offensive was the creation of websites and cyber-dissidents that would echo the rhetoric favored by U.S. troops and reinforce their military interventions.
A year later, that same publication revealed that the Pentagon “is creating a global network of websites in foreign languages, including a website in Arabic for Iraqis; they hire local journalists to write on any daily event that promotes US interests, and to spread a message against insurgents” .
The daily added that “news websites are part of the Pentagon’s initiative to expand ‘information operations’ on the Internet”. USA Today reported that some of the sites created by the Pentagon include the Iraqi site www.mawtani.com, the Balkan site www.setimes.com, and the Maghrebi site www.magharebia.com.
What do all these sites have in common, according to USA Today?
They are written by local journalists who are hired to come up with stories akin to the Pentagon’s objectives Military personnel or their contractors supervise their stories to ensure that the stories published are compatible with their purposes The journalists are paid for their stories
And of course, they are all maintained with the utmost discretion in order to conceal the website hosts and domain registries, as well as the money trail that pays for translators, journalists and technical personnel. USA Today revealed the preparation for the launch of similar sites aimed at Latin America, and in particular a website managed by the Southern Command, whose name and characteristics remain secret.
A simple exercise in comparison of the domains belonging to the websites discovered by USA Today, and which garnered a great deal of publicity during the first few months of 2008 yields the following results: