INFILTRATION. SABOTAGE. MAYHEM. FOR YEARS FOUR-STAR GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER HAS BEEN BUILDING A SECRET ARMY CAPABLE OF LAUNCHING DEVASTATING CYBERATTACKS. NOW IT’S READY TO UNLEASH HELL.
Wired, 12 June 2013
Alexander runs the nation’s cyberwar efforts, an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the US’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe. In his telling, the threat is so mind-bogglingly huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and emails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger. “What we see is an increasing level of activity on the networks,” he said at a recent security conference in Canada. “I am concerned that this is going to break a threshold where the private sector can no longer handle it and the government is going to have to step in.”
ROBERT STEELE: Alexander is America’s most dangerous clerk. Most of what he administers (he is not a “manager”) is very expensive crap — most of his “cyber-warriors” are a mix of corporate vaporware butts in seats and reservists with no clue. The raw fact is that NSA does very little of value for the public, and is simply the most secretive pork pie in the US inventory, lacking in any semblance of accountability. We have the problems we do today in private sector vulnerability because Al Gore and Marty Harris and Alexander’s predecessors at NSA refused to take seriously the warnings of Winn Schwartau, Jim Anderson (himself NSA’s most senior cyber-security expert at the time) and others between 1990 and 1994. In our view Alexander should be professionally investigated going back to his willful collaboration with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and George Tenet in the shutting down of ABLE DANGER; he should be retired at a substantially reduced grade once his persistent dereliction of duty has been documented and made public. Intelligence with integrity is not his forte — malicious complacency comes closer. Keith Alexander is the poster child for a generation of flag officers with zero ethics who pretend to be educated and strategic while lacking the most elementary appreciation for whole systems analytics and devotion to the Constitution, the Republic, and the public interest. In my personal view, all retiring flag officers (I continue to believe in Truth & Reconciliation) should lose their clearances and be prohibited from working for any defense contractor. We are long overdue for cleaning house — internal counterintelligence and external ethics should be the highest priorities for any Secretary of Defense that actually wants to serve the public interest instead of special interests.