Lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week heard testimony about the U.S.’s failed efforts to defend democracy against “information warfare” the government alleges is being waged against the nation by countries like Russia.
On Thursday, lawmakers in the Senate hear testimony from cyber-security experts who lamented that the U.S. has failed to keep up with the pace of technology in keeping outside propagandists from leveraging the power of social media to manipulate American opinions.
“Today, cyber and other disinformation-related tools have enabled Russia to achieve operational capabilities unimaginable to its Soviet forbear,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
Rounds serves as the chair of a brand new Senate subcommittee overseeing Pentagon cyber-security efforts.
The lawmaker added: “Ultimately, we will continue to struggle with cyber-enhanced information operation campaigns until we address the policy and strategy deficiencies that undermine our overall cyber posture.”
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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
The American left has a nasty habit of pretending that conservatism is somehow inherently anti-woman, anti-immigrant and anti-youth. And when a candidate like the latest potential GOP entrant into the New York mayoral race comes along, they lose all credibility.
Super liberal New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a middle aged white guy. has endeared himself to the social justice crowd with an anti-corporatism facade and attempts to restructure the city’s government to make the Big Apple a friendlier place to people committing “quality of life” offenses, such as living in the country illegally or taking a dump on the sidewalk.
While not encouraging New York cops to take so-called broken window policing to insane extremes certainly isn’t a bad thing, de Blasio’s New York certainly has its critics.
And rightly so.
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The construction of a massive border wall was one of President Donald Trump’s biggest and most contentious campaign promises. And its materialization, or lack thereof, could make or break the Republican Party’s future, according to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.
Trump, early in his campaign for president, suggested that the construction project would begin on “day one.” The president also famously promised that he would somehow orchestrate a plan to have Mexico pay for the massive project.
The president said during a rally last February: “We are going to have borders nice and strong. We are going to build a wall. You know that. Going to build the wall…. Mexico is going to pay for the wall. Right? It’s going to happen. Going to happen. They know it. I know it. We all know it.”
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A couple recent stories I read, both seemingly unrelated, got me thinking.
Is it possible nowadays that a trade war could turn into something even nastier than it has in the past? Something closer to real war, like cyberwar?
Here’s what I saw.
First, recently New York City was hit with outages at 6 a.m. followed by outages in Los Angeles and San Francisco later in the morning. The San Fran outage was blamed on a “substation fire.” They were widespread outages that affected transit systems.
Second, the Trump administration announced that it is exploring whether steel imports represent a threat to national security. A conclusion of “yes” would mean steel tariffs or even embargoes on foreign steel. Trump’s administration has already said it will impose an anti-subsidy 20 percent tariff on Canadian soft wood lumber.
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After Kansas passed its Second Amendment Protection Act in 2013, entrepreneur Shane Cox began manufacturing and selling homemade firearms and silencers stamped “Made in Kansas.”
The Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act, which passed in 2013, says firearms, accessories and ammunition manufactured and kept within the borders of Kansas are exempt from federal gun control laws. By selling them to Kansans, Cox figured he could get around the National Firearms Act of 1934. He also collected state sales taxes on each sale.
But the federal authoritarians were not amused. And they considered the state law as irrelevant – then-Attorney General Eric Holder told the state as much after the bill passed. So they charged Cox with manufacture, possession and sale of unregistered firearms and silencers. They also charged one of Cox’s customers, Jeremy Kettler, for possession of an unregistered silencer.
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says the federal government’s renewed interest in bringing charges against him for publishing leaked material is the latest development in a growing war on free speech in the U.S.
Earlier this month, CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of acting as a “non state hostile intelligence service,” arguing that Assange should face charges in the U.S.
The WikiLeaks founder said in a recent Washington Post piece that the CIA’s war on WikiLeaks is a threat to all investigative journalism outlets.
“The ‘Pompeo doctrine’ articulated in his speech ensnares all serious news and investigative human rights organizations, from ProPublica to Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch,” he wrote.
The WikiLeaks founder added: “When the director of the CIA, an unelected public servant, publicly demonizes a publisher such as WikiLeaks as a ‘fraud,’ ‘coward’ and ‘enemy,’ it puts all journalists on notice, or should.”
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Wave after wave of Islamic terror continues to crash upon the shores of Western democracies to such a point where it is difficult to go a week without an attack. Last week it was France again, the country has become a proving ground that the migration of Muslims is a conduit to mayhem. Last Friday police officer Xavier Jugelé died at the hands of an ISIS gunman who shot the 37-year-old in the head during the attack and then wounded two other cops in the middle of Paris.
Jugelé was no stranger to Islamic terror. He had spent time working in Greece to improve the vetting of migrants entering Europe. He was one of the first responders to the Bataclan attack in 2015 which left 130 dead and 84 dead in a truck attack last June in Nice.
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