Friday, while most of us were charging into the weekend, the New York Times ran a story indicating America, as authorized by the supreme ruler, has initiated a series of cyberattacks against Iran and their nuclear facilities. But this is no rah-rah, go-America story. Unfortunately, there are deeply troubling ramifications to this situation. It may not be time to panic. But it’s time to be very concerned.
Iran has been a thorn in the side of America for some time now. And the Bush years were no exception. By 2006, because of excessive blustering in the media, Washington had grown very concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Secret sabotage efforts by the CIA including faulty parts and flawed designs had not slowed Iran down as anticipated. And by this time, Bush had already lost face regarding Iraq and its’ possible weapons of mass destruction. This placed Washington in a tight spot. Iran was pushing full steam ahead, diplomacy was a dead-end and bombing inside a region already at war, coming off of the Iraq intelligence debacle, just wasn’t an option. What’s a president with egg on his face to do?
Enter General James E. Cartwright.
The Times reported General Cartwright, by this time had “established a small cyberoperation inside the United States Strategic Command, which is responsible for many of America’s nuclear forces.” Well, he and some intelligence pals approached team-Bush with a different option, a cyberattack. The idea had some selling points. Done properly it would be a highly targeted attack, aimed specifically at Iranian plants. It would also be quiet, drawing a lot less attention than highly public bombing runs — headlines being something team-Bush was looking to avoid. And it would provide a means of attack that would avoid collateral damage to Iranian civilians and other infrastructure. The drawback was it would require, without bogging down in technical detail, hitting a new plateau for cyberweaponry. The worm would need to reach a level of sophistication that America’s cyberwarriors hadn’t yet designed. That news deflated team-Bush and expectations for the operation’s success dropped accordingly. But, hey, if you need a ‘can do’ country, America is it, so Bush green-lit the operation and folks went to work.
Realizing help was needed, a call was made to another ‘can do’ country — Israel. Turns out, there’s a hush-hush Israeli unit with world-class cyberskills. Also, being a local resident, Israel had intelligence regarding Iran and it’s facilities that would prove to be very valuable. And as gravy, Washington figured having Israel directly involved with the operation would stop them from lighting up Iran with air attacks. Well, when presented with an opportunity to stick it good to their nasty neighbor, Israel answered the bell. And so it was that America and Israel, with no one the wiser, began developing a cutting-edge computer code to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Well, as the world turned and the days ticked by and the left moaned about team-Bush, operation Olympic Games got to the point where the malicious computer code was ready for testing. But how do you test cutting-edge code designed to grind the gears of a nuclear facility? After all, you’re not going to let the code — or the ‘bug” as it was now called — ruin your own facilities. As luck would have it, a madman, hooked on plastic surgery and aviator sun-glasses was able to help.
Enter Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
You may recall the Colonel, prior to his public mauling by some frustrated citizens, had nuclear ambitions of his own. Luckily, being the coward he was, when Washington called his bluff, Muammar tucked his tail and coughed up the technology. And so, since 2003, hidden away in a storage facility in Tennessee, courtesy of the cowardly Colonel, sat Libya’s nuclear technology — including P-1 centrifuges — exactly what the cyberwizards needed for testing the bug. Life’s good.
And so were the tests. Although exceedingly complex, the tests proved to be a pleasant surprise and our cyberwarriors ultimately gave the battle bug two-thumbs up.
The first attacks were small and created more confusion than destruction. Scratching their heads, Iranian engineers assumed the bizarre behavior of the centrifuges were the result of bad parts, faulty plans or their co-worker’s incompetence. It’s understandable because the bug, while inflicting damage, simultaneously sends signals to the rest of the facility that all is well. The weeks passed and the frustrations mounted.
Back home, sometime after the 2008 elections, with team-Bush packing and team-Obama unpacking, Bush requested a sit-down with the new guy. During that meeting, Bush recommended that Obama keep active the unmanned drone program and operation Olympic Games. Now the details are sketchy, but there are also reports that during this meeting, Bush went on to advise Obama to skip national healthcare, reject the Solyndra loan, and not attack oil, the wealthy or the church. These reports remain unconfirmed. What we do know is Obama kept the drones and Olympic Games and issued orders to escalate the sophistication of the attacks. (Continued)