Sen. Feinstein More Worried About Reaction To The Leak About Stuxnet, Rather Than Reaction To Stuxnet Itself

from the missing-the-point dept

Last week, we wrote about the NYTimes investigative report that revealed that the US government was behind Stuxnet, and that President Obama was very, very involved in the process. It was widely assumed that the US was involved, but this revealed a bunch of details. We were surprised that the White House appeared not to pressure the NYTs to kill the story (as it has with other leaks of classified info), but wondered if the fact that this made the White House look “tough” and showed a “success story” for the administration, caused them to let it go forward. Since then, however, reports have come out that the FBI is investigating the leak, and Senator Feinstein is similarly calling for hearings on the leak (though, the cynical might argue that this just keeps the “success story” in the news).

But, the most bizarre response to this also comes from Senator Feinstein, who publicly worried that the leak would lead to copycat attacks against the US. The leak. Not the actual attack:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said the leak about the attack on Iran’s nuclear program could “to some extent” provide justification for copycat attacks against the United States.

“This is like an avalanche. It is very detrimental and, candidly, I found it very concerning,” Feinstein said. “There’s no question that this kind of thing hurts our country.”

This is, to put it mildly, crazy. The argument appears to be that it’s okay to do technological attacks… just as long as it’s all done in secret and no one ever talks about it. Without the leak, the attack still happened, and that information became public quite some time ago. If anything was going to inspire copycat attacks it would have been that. Though, even then, the claim is questionable. Those who wish to do this country harm haven’t been sitting around saying “gee, we can’t do anything technological” until they saw Stuxnet come along.

What’s really ridiculous about Feinstein’s statement is the basic chilling effects that it puts forth. It suggests that the US government can do whatever it wants in attacking other countries, just so long as no one ever talks about it. The talking about factual information isn’t the issue here. And Feinstein should know that, rather than suggesting that basic investigative reporting is the problem.

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Comments on “Sen. Feinstein More Worried About Reaction To The Leak About Stuxnet, Rather Than Reaction To Stuxnet Itself”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s a fucking canard. Any information of actual importance will never be released. The idea that any classified information is a threat to this country is BS and only used to keep the population in fear and bickering amongst eachother.

There is no justification to keep anything secret what so ever. All secrecy does is give power to those with access to the knowledge being kept from others.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hey, according to Sen. Feinstein that means you can break whatever laws you want, just as long as you do the following.

-Never talk about it.
-Don’t leave evidence lying around that show you did it.
-Don’t get caught running away from the scene of the crime, or even being in a few hundred miles in the area when the crime occurred.
-Don’t leave any witnesses to your crime.
-Don’t report your illegal gains from the crime in your taxes.
-Don’t leave any electronic records of the crime, or research you did before committing the crime, or cell phone records of your location during the crime.

Actually, I misspoke earlier, as long as you do all the above steps, you didn’t commit a crime, because no one will ever know who did it!

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Sometimes they hate us for good reasons

We keep wondering, “Why do they hate us?” Well, maybe some people are mad because we are doing things that we would regard as unjustified and heinous acts of war if anyone dared do them to us.

“?There?s no question that this kind of thing hurts our country.?” Indeed Mrs. Feinstein, but not the way YOU think.

gorehound (profile) says:

I have no faith in this Government one bit.Back in the 70’s i wondered what it would be like to live in a World where the Gov & The Rich had crashed to the ground.I fought what we called “The Establishment” by Protesting Peacefully and in Non-Violent Ways.
Rate things are going I may just live long enough to see it as a Reality.I wonder what it will be like to live in a World that is similar to all those bad 1980’s Made Mad Max Type Films.

Greymatters (profile) says:

She's right.

I believe ya’ll are acting way too cynical… The Senator is perfectly correct. It is indeed the leak was damaging not the actual cyberattack. Think about it- if there is no direct line leading back to the United States, people arn’t going to retaliate because they arn’t certain who did it- there’s so much propaganda and shadowgames going on as it is that it’s practically impossible to believe anything. But, when America’s most respected newspaper fingers its own government, and circumstancial evidence points to our governments complicitness in the leak itself, I believe that is going to spark far more serious repercussions than the virus iteself.
And no i don’t think its OK for it to be happening at all, but the senator’s point of view is very understandable if not condonable.

Anonymous Coward says:

She's right.

I doubt that. I think enough of the US government in its various forms is compromised that the information is out there in the hands of those willing to sell it and available for those who would make a point of paying to acquire it, and you cannot reasonably think Iran cannot or would not pay to know who pulled this particular swifty on them.

For all we know Iran not only knew all the leaked information, but also contracted its leaking.

geral (user link) says:


Feinstein is the most dangerous and corrupt Senator in the USA. She allows the fbi/cia to repeat criminal & inhumane elements (ie torture, murder, etc) of the Holocaust right here in usa, even against our own vets. For more criminal acts condoned or approved by Feinstein see:
The fbi & cia to torture, maim or kill some dissidents. See:
Then See:

The fbi/cia/dod global crime and mass murder spree spawns more carnage everywhere.


A nation and its people who deliberately engage in the systematic conquest, subjugation, torture, imprisonment and killing of others must by the laws of physics and divine nature have the same calamities delivered upon themselves.

Human beings have “no difficulty in exterminating one another to the last man.”Sigmund Freud
(Civilization and Its Discontents, 1930)


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