Sunday, June 16, 2019

Trumpocon Insanity: U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid

UPDATE BELOW: Trump Reacts


By Robert Wenzel

The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid and is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials say, reports The New York Times.

NYT adds, advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States. Though such charges should be viewed with deep scepticism.

Trump's madman national security adviser John Bolton is no doubt playing a key role in this escalation.

In a public appearance on Tuesday, Bolton said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort “to say to Russia, or anybody else that’s engaged in cyberoperations against us, ‘You will pay a price,’” reports The Times.

More from The Times on the madman strategy (my bold)
Since at least 2012, current and former officials say, the United States has put reconnaissance probes into the control systems of the Russian electric grid.

But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow.
It should be noted that this comes at the same time Trump has stated he may move about 2,000 U.S. troops from other parts of Europe to the Russian border country of  Poland, and that he’s considering using U.S. sanctions to stop construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany (See: Has Trump Gone Batshit Crazy?).

It is difficult to put into words how mad these actions are against a major nuclear power when moving in the direction of free trade would do a lot to ease tensions.

It is also noteworthy to point out the leaks about these cyber incursions are appearing just before Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin at the G20 meeting later this month in Osaka, Japan.

Just what kind of talk can they possibly have when the Trump administration is attacking the Russian power grids, attempting to block the Russia to Germany pipeline and Trump talks about putting US troops in Poland.

This may go down in history as the most aggressive peace time belligerence ever conducted by a US president. Though how much the president himself is aware of the cyber infiltration is unknown. The buffoon president may be signing off on things he doesn't understand.

The Times reports:
The incursion into the Russian electric power grid seems to have been conducted under new legal authorities in the military authorization bill passed by Congress last year, the Times reports. Under the law, the defense secretary can authorize, without special presidential approval, routine "clandestine military activity" in cyberspace, according to the Times.
Trump issued new authorities last summer to the United States Cyber Command, which is part of the Pentagon and runs the US military's defensive and offensive online operations, the Times reports. The classified document gives the commander of Cyber Command, Gen. Paul Nakasone, the power to conduct offensive online operations without needing presidential approval.
But there is also this:
Two administration officials told the Times they believed President Donald Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the US computer code being implanted inside the Russian grid.
Pentagon and intelligence officials describe to the Times "broad hesitation" to tell Trump about the details of the operations against Russia. They tell the Times there was concern over how Trump would react, and the possibility that Trump might reverse the operations or discuss it with foreign officials.
Yes, they are so concerned about telling Trump about the penetration because he might leak it to foreign officials that those concerned go and leak it to The New York Times!

This is nothing but a Deep State effort to weaken Trump before his meeting with Putin. Tump is in way over his head and operating around very bad actors, some of whom he has put into place himself.

In the end, though, the blame must be put at the feet of Trump and his lack of intellectual depth or curiosity and his inclination to rule by bullying.

We now have near global turmoil from the Middle East to China to Mexico to Russia. There is one common element, Trump policy, most directly instituted by Trump and other under the "watchful" eye of the self-proclaimed stable genius.



So why would have they been "concerned" if Trump had the info?

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank and most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.


  1. Well, if you believe what New York Truth is reporting... personally, I'd believe a squint-eyed bridge salesman before I believe a word of anything a journalist says.

  2. I know that his supporters believe that he's playing n-dimensional chess, but it seems to me that he's intellectually tapped out at tic-tac-toe.

    1. And he keeps letting them make the first move.