Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ignore them at your own peril

There's a frequent commenter here at LITD who takes us to task for posting pretty much daily about the threat to the West from jihad.  I pointed out that his core foreign policy orientation seems to be along the lines of war-is-icky-the-Dalai-Llama-said-so-end-of-story. His response took it a step further.  He forthrightly said that he actually has no core foreign  policy orientation.

I fear that his stance is shared by a great many post Americans.  How often, during the course of your day, do you have conversations about jihadist threats - or Chinese cyberattacks, or Russian buzzing of US planes in international airspace, or Iran's insistence that post-America will remain its enemy even if a nuke deal is reached?

Somebody better be thinking about such things.  Senator Jim Risch and FBI director James Comey, among others, would welcome someone stepping up with some ideas for addressing the plethora of ISIS threats within the homeland:

“That’s going to happen here,” Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN today in reference to the Tunisia beach attack just before the ISIS anniversary in June, in which a gunman killed 38 people, mostly Brits. “I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
Of recent attack plots uncovered in the United States, the senator said, “some were quite imminent …within days, one within hours or minutes.”
The Defense Department has had all facilities on increased alert — Force Protection Bravo — since May.
But Risch noted that we’re at a “point in history where encryption taken a very sophisticated turn” — as ISIS steers online adherents to encrypted browsers and chat messaging systems that render them anonymous. (See: ‘War Is Deceit’: Tipsheet Tells Jihadists How to Shake Off Intel Agencies During Online Ops)
That was the focus of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today, at which FBI Director James Comey called Twitter “almost a devil on their shoulder all day long” of would-be jihadists, “saying: Kill, kill, kill, kill.”
“Al-Qaeda would never vet an operative by tasking them. ISIL says, ‘go kill, go kill; here’s a list of military members you can go kill, go do it,’” Comey said. “We are stopping these things so far through tremendous hard work, the use of sources, the use of online undercovers. But it is incredibly difficult. I cannot see me stopping these indefinitely.”
“So I’m not trying to scare folks. I just want people to know this is a change in my world, in the top responsibility of the FBI, that implicates this ‘going dark’ problem.”
The dark area means even if they were armed with a court order to access the communications, the feds still lack the technical ability to access them.

Comey later told the Senate Intelligence Committee, “We have disrupted just in the last few weeks very serious efforts to kill people in the United States.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said the high threat lingers because Ramadan lasts “a few more weeks”; the Islamic holy month ends July 17.
“ISIL currently communicate on Twitter, sending communications to thousands of would-be followers right here in our country,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told the Judiciary Committee. “When someone responds and the conversations begin, they are then directed to encrypted platforms for further communication, and even with a court order, we can’t see those communications. This is a serious threat, and our inability to access these communications with valid court orders is a real national security problem.”
“This is not your grandfather’s al-Qaeda; this is a group of people using social media to reach thousands and thousands of followers, find the ones who might be interested in committing acts of violence and then moving them to an encrypted — end-to-end encrypted messaging app,” Comey added. “Our job is to look at a haystack the size of this country for needles that are increasingly invisible to us because of end-to-end encryption. This is something we have to talk about as a people."

This is not something that can be solved by navel-gazing or distraction.

It is very late in the day.


  1. Yes I said Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men. And I have several friends who are interested in discussing jihadist threats - or Chinese cyberattacks, or Russian buzzing of US planes in international airspace, or Iran's insistence that post-America will remain its enemy even if a nuke deal is reached? I even talk about these matters with my wife. Hey, did you hear the one about forgiving 70 times 7? Or how about that dude back when who wouldn't even respond to the charges against him? He claimed to have 12 legions of angels his daddy would send him? Why didn't he?

  2. And don't call me a post-American or I'll sock you in your goddam face and you'll stay plastered.

  3. And join the cause to hopefully, peacefully change the name of Cracker Barrel! It's demeaning!

  4. Here's another haha for ya: Maybe we ought to consider a Golden Rule in foreign policy: Don't do to other nations what we don't want happening to us. We endlessly bomb these countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us?

    Ron Paul

  5. Thanks for the meaningful contributions.

  6. The man from Galilee reportedly "naval gazed" for 40 days and 40 nights on at least one occasion. Give it a try for 40 minutes Of course it might behoove you to try a mantra other than kill kill kill. And of course, there is not much debate about who created ISIS, just who did, Bush or Obama. You'll likely get your Lusitania soon, if all your ilk's chatter comes true. Same as it ever was.....

  7. Syria is the 14th country in the Muslim world to be invaded, occupied or bombed by U.S. forces.

  8. A secretive cyberattack unit within the United States National Security Agency (NSA) has been engaged in protracted offensive cyberespionage operations against China for nearly 15 years. The revelation, made this week by veteran NSA watcher Matthew M. Aid, appears to confirm recent allegations made by Chinese government officials that Beijing’s secrets come under regular attack by US government-sponsored hackers. It also agrees with claims made by several intelligence observers, including this blog, that America’s cyber-security posture is not purely defensive.


  9. Of course we want to know China's secrets. They're not exactly a loyal ally. And don't give me any moral equivalency crud. We're the good guys.

    And who cares how many Muslim-world countries US forces have bombed? Whatever it takes to defeat jihadist forces - both Sunni and Shiite.


    OK, same old, same old. We're still early in the fight. Let it all hang out then, if you can. Short of that, call all the rest of us post-Americans.