Given my background as an undercover agent, I often warn about the insider threat when talking about cyber security. I believe that we are currently witnessing the biggest insider threat this country has seen in a long time – and this threat is us.
Ever since the story of the Russian hacking made it to the top of the news stack, I have joined the ranks of the talking heads on the various news shows on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX to help satisfy the ravenous appetite of news junkies for something NEW. Well, there is not that much NEW in the news. Remember when President Obama reported that he had wagged his finger at Vlad Putin and told him “to cut it out”? The Russians were hacking then, they have been hacking since the technology made it feasible, and they will continue to hack. Period! Regardless of the motive behind it, I thought that the focus on these hacks, was a good thing, and I had hoped that it would trigger a serious public discussion on the danger of cyber warfare – no such luck.
The 24X7 news cycle never let this promising seed germinate and instead replaced it with a weed called “the bad FBI Director”. Without regurgitating the multitude of arguments in this matter, it became obvious that Comey had to be removed, whether guilty or not. He had become a political football who got kicked left and right. Of course, the Trump team did not cover itself with glory in the execution of this perfectly legitimate and legal action. My head started shaking when I listened to the President’s interview on NBC, and it has not stopped shaking since.
But, relative to what is really at stake here, none of that matters. What does matter is that we are busy eroding the very foundation of our country. In today’s climate, politics trumps policy and ultimately sanity. When these events are discussed, the focus invariably switches to politics and how the other side are evil, conniving, power hungry liars.
News Flash! I am just as partisan as anybody in this mix. My party is called USA. And as a proud card carrying member of that party I am distraught at the internal bickering that has grown to a cacophonous ear-splitting crescendo loud enough to echo around the world. Not only is US credibility and leadership damaged by this, it also takes our focus away from extremely important issues of national security. This feels like watching a cartoon, except this cartoon is not funny. Are there any responsible adults around?
I believe that Rachel Maddow and Shawn Hannity, to name two individuals who are considered extremists by the other side, have more in common than either could possibly have in common with our real enemies. Guys, if you don’t learn how to focus on the real threat, your ability to call the other party names will eventually be choked off. Check out the fate of Russian and Chinese dissident journalists. Is that what you want? This selfish political theater must stop – it endangers our very foundation.
One last thought: All of this nonsense is only possible because Americans are woefully ignorant when it comes to history and world affairs. Because there has not been any significant military engagement with a hostile force on the territory of the continental US for over 200 years, our national conscience does not have a strong imprint reflecting the horrors of war.
So many of us have never stared raw evil in the face. Instead we are combating “microaggression” by creating “safe zones”. Deriding those hyper sensitive young people as “snowflakes” is not a constructive solution either. Way back when, my high school class took a mandatory trip to visit Buchenwald, the largest Nazi concentration camp. The horrors of that visit will forever remain etched in my brain. Would it that the “snowflakes” and the brave warriors behind the talk radio microphone visit such a place together to witness the face of REAL EVIL. Perhaps that would serve as a wake-up call. God help us if we do not wake up soon!