Tuesday, June 12, 2012

If Obama Can Take Credit For Stuxnet, What About Germany, Russia And The UK?

When it comes to Israel, Obama has tried to claim credit for what was actually done by Bush. So while it is nice to hear Obama say that "his support for Israel's qualitative military edge has been unwavering," let's keep in mind that Obama's support for Israel is unwavering because the aid package signed by President Bush makes it so:
US military aid to Israel is set to be delivered as part of a $30 billion 10-year military-aid package signed by President George W. Bush administration in 2007.

From 2009 till 2018 the US is expected to grant Israel some $3 billion per year. Israel may spend 26 percent on locally-manufactured systems while the remaining 74 percent must be spent on US-manufactured systems.
Likewise, we have been told that we all have Obama to thank for the accomplishments of the cyberattacks on Iran.

Firstly, from the blog of Vincent Jauvert, it appears that it was the Bush administration that first put a high value on the use of covert operations to stop Iran's nuclear program [translated from the French by Google Translate]
Beyond assumptions Stuxnet, a certainty for all services Western lead a secret war against the very active Iranian nuclear program. Since the discovery of Natanz in 2002, is for them a priority mission. In his latest book, journalist Bob Woodward reveals the list of covert operations sponsored by the Bush administration and ongoing. They are ranked in order of importance. The actions of the CIA to "stop or impede" the nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic came second, just behind the operations against Al Qaeda. Same thing in British MI6. October 28, his boss, Sir John Sawers, left his legendary reserve just to talk about Iran. The spymaster caused a stir by publicly declaring that it was necessary "to conduct joint operations of intelligence services to make it more difficult [in Tehran] the development of nuclear weapons." [emphasis added]
This is corroborated by a report by Reuters that the Flame virus was first spotted in 2007, during the Bush administration:
Privately held Webroot said its automatic virus-scanning engines detected Flame in December 2007, but that it did not pay much attention because the code was not particularly menacing.

That is partly because it was easy to discover and remove, said Webroot Vice President Joe Jaroch. "There are many more dangerous threats out there today," he said.
If we are talking about the Stuxnet virus in particular, there is another issue mitigating against Obama taking the credit.

The Jerusalem Post reported back in 2010 that the CIA and M16 were helping the Mossad to sabotage Iran's nuclear program:
US and UK intelligence services are cooperating with the Mossad to sabotage Teheran’s nuclear program in exchange for Israel agreeing not to launch a military strike on Iran, the French weekly Le Canard enchaîné reported on Thursday, quoting French intelligence sources.

Acts of sabotage carried out in the past year in Iran were conducted by Israel with the help of the CIA and MI6, the sources said.

The sabotage included, according to the report, the introduction of the Stuxnet computer virus into 30,000 computers in Iran’s nuclear reactors and explosions in October in which 18 Iranian technicians were killed at a factory in the Zagros mountains that manufactured Shihab missiles.
According to FoxNews, the corroboration necessary to produce Stuxnet goes even farther, because of the wide range of knowledge necessary to allow the Stuxnet worm to bring the Iranian nuclear program to a grinding halt:
[Computer expert Ralph] Langer argues that no single Western intelligence agency had the skills to pull this off alone. The most likely answer, he says, is that a consortium of intelligence agencies worked together to build the cyber bomb. And he says the most likely confederates are the United States, because it has the technical skills to make the virus, Germany, because reverse-engineering Siemen’s product would have taken years without it, and Russia, because of its familiarity with both the Iranian nuclear plant and Siemen’s systems. [emphasis]
No matter how you slice it, there just is no justification for Obama to be taking credit.


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