Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,
Last week the New York Times ran an article adapted from David E. Sanger’s new book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power” which detailed President Obama’s efforts at waging a secretive cyber war with Iran. This report coincided with the revealing of the heinous and dictatorial decision process Obama and his close advisers go through when ordering the assassination of “militants” who they conveniently provide no evidence of legit criminal activity for. The cyber war program, code-named Olympic Games, began under George W. Bush but like most of the illegal and morally corrupt foreign policy initiatives carried out by the former President, they have been pursued ever more vigorously by Obama. From the continual drone assaults that take the lives of civilians and children to this new episode of covert but blatant cyber warfare, the so-called peace candidate of “hope and change” has revealed himself to be nothing more than another puppet of the affluent military industrial complex.
The success of the cyber attack, which Israel helped develop, has met mixed reviews. While Obama administration officials claim it put back Iran’s nuclear enrichment by over a year, some experts say the Iranian regime recovered “quickly.” Whether or not what is known as the Stuxnet virus was successful is really not the matter at hand however. It’s yet another small instance of the encroaching authoritarianism and lack of restraint that defines the modern day office of the President. Before the September 11th attacks, it was inconceivable that a sitting U.S. President could order the assassination of an American citizen without the luxury of charging him with a crime. Now it’s met with a saddening indifference in the news media.
The real issue is what the Stuxnet worm stands for and that is an unapologetic act of war carried out by a government that continually portrays itself as the worldwide keeper of peace.
Last year the Pentagon concluded “that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war” according to the Wall Street Journal. Back in 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared “countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation.”
So what makes the U.S. government’s cyber warfare efforts different from those which are denounced as acts of aggression? The answer is nothing. Besides murder, state enforcers specialize in hyperbolic statements to shroud their true agenda. The President goes on television to berate foreign dictators for murdering their own people while happily ordering his own death sentences unilaterally. Members of Congress tell the American people their tireless efforts and deliberations are keeping them safe while accepting kickbacks from military contractors. Intelligence agencies such as the F.B.I. and C.I.A. pretend to foil terrorist plots when in reality they find highly susceptible dopes to fill with propaganda, arm, and arrest. Even your local police department claims to protect and serve while routinely harassing your neighbors with arbitrary fines and refusing to let you videotape them. And that’s when they aren’t tazing pregnant women or homeless men to death.
The “do as I say not as I do” practice is one of the defining features of the state. As influential libertarian writer Albert Jack Nock accurately noted:
the State claims and exercises the monopoly of crime. . . . It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants, whether the property of citizen or of alien.
One look at the pathetic state of Constitution in the U.S. shows just how futile the concept of limited government really is. The document has been torn to shreds by politicians who preached short term necessity and privilege over constrained power. There is no way one “ Goddamned piece of paper,” as President Bush is alleged to have called it, was going to act as a credible inhibitor to the sociopathic and power lusting aspirations of all public officials. Mankind has proven capable of developing private systems of justice and arbitration. Constitutional government is merely a fabrication, like Santa Clause, for gullible adults.
Leviathan’s growth and command over private life is both explicit through outright theft (taxation) and hidden by verbal chicanery. Those who buy into the naïve notion that “we” are the government have been fooled into unquestioned obedience. As Murray Rothbard writes:
The useful collective term “we” has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the reality of political life. If “we are the government,” then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also “voluntary” on the part of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that “we owe it to ourselves”; if the government conscripts a man, or throws him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is “doing it to himself” and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred. Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have “committed suicide,” since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part.
The state purports to represent the people when all it does is leech off their labor in order to commit crimes at home and abroad. Under the auspices of keeping democracy safe around the world, the foreign policy of the U.S. government has been one of bombing, killing, and overall domination. Meanwhile, anti-American sentiment continues to spread by instances such as the C.I.A. targeting civilian responders to drone strikes who attempt to aid those who were attacked. In some cases, the C.I.A. even launches drone attacks at the mourners in funerals held for those in earlier strikes.
These are the measures under which the American people are told they are being kept safe. What would be constituted as war by any other nation is not so when carried out by the U.S. government. But it’s all just another facade through which Washington pretends to serve the people when in reality it puts them in even more danger.