A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Obama Authorized Cyber Attack on Iran; Why?

Timothy Birdnow

The Economic Times Online, a branch of the India Times Online, is reporting that, yes, the cyber attacks on Iran are indeed coming from the U.S., and in fact are on the orders of the President.

"This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

These officials gave differing assessments of how successful the sabotage program was in slowing Iran's progress toward developing the ability to build nuclear weapons. Internal Obama administration estimates say the effort was set back by 18 months to two years, but some experts inside and outside the government are more skeptical, noting that Iran's enrichment levels have steadily recovered, giving the country enough fuel today for five or more weapons, with additional enrichment."


"Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons - even under the most careful and limited circumstances - could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.

"We discussed the irony, more than once," one of his aides said. Another said that the administration was resistant to developing a "grand theory for a weapon whose possibilities they were still discovering." Yet Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice."

End excerpts.

I didn't know he had it in him, and I still don't. Mr. Obama needs to slow the Iranians down, not actually stop them. I believe he wants an October Surprise with Iran, and it will likely involve some bombing or whatnot. But Iran has powerful friends - principally the Russians but the Chinese also - and Obama is corseted in how he can act against them. A cyber attack is damaging but not fatal to the Iranian nuclear program. The core of any nuclear program is the enrichment process, after all, and the hardware to do it is still there. The computer hacking only hurts the amount of finesse the Iranians can apply to the program. They aren't just seeking a bomb, but a bomb that can be delivered by one of their Ambassador of Death rockets. They want to be on a par with the U.S. in capabilities. As a result, they need computer savvy - which the U.S. has now denied them. It doesn't mean they can't develop a bomb.

At any rate, if Obama did this he deserves Kudos, although one must ask why he did not support the uprising in Iran a while back. He is quick to support the "Arab Spring" in countries where the Islamists aren't in power, yet he denied support in Iran when it would have counted. Why do that and now sabotage their nuclear program?

I suspect it's all about timing.

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