Threats to National Security in an Age of United States National Discord | August 11, 2017

History

U.S. PAPERS TELL OF IKE’S ’53 POLICY TO USE A-BOMB IN KOREA

|| New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 7— Documents released today give details on a decision by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Administration in 1953 to use atomic bombs in North Korea and Communist China, if necessary, to end the Korean War.

Once the armistice was achieved, on July 27, 1953, the Eisenhower Administration continued to define plans to use nuclear weapons if the Communists renewed the war, which the North Koreans started in 1950.

President Eisenhower took office in January 1953 after talks for a cease-fire had dragged on for two years and the war had settled into a standoff, with casualties being incurred but with no change in the front line, which today still separates North and South Korea.

The fact that the Eisenhower Administration was ready to use nuclear weapons is not new. President Eisenhower, in his memoirs, said he came into office prepared to use them, if necessary, to break the deadlock. What is new in the 2,000 pages of documents now made public is the high level of planning and the detail of discussion on possible use of these weapons, and Mr. Eisenhower’s interest in overcoming reluctance to use them.”

….Continue reading more @ New York Times

 

North Korean Nuclear Conflict Has Deep Roots

|| Washington Post | Nov 2006

 

“Democrats and Republicans have been quick to use North Korea’s apparent nuclear test to benefit their own party in these final weeks of the congressional campaign, but a review of history shows that both sides have contributed to the current situation.

There is more than 50 years of history to Pyongyang’s attempt to gain a nuclear weapon, triggered in part by threats from Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower to end the Korean War.

In 1950, when a reporter asked Truman whether he would use atomic bombs at a time when the war was going badly, the president said, “That includes every weapon we have.”

Three years later, Eisenhower made a veiled threat, saying he would “remove all restraints in our use of weapons” if the North Korean government did not negotiate in good faith an ending to that bloody war.

In 1957, the United States placed nuclear-tipped Matador missiles in South Korea, to be followed in later years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, by nuclear artillery, most of which was placed within miles of the demilitarized zone.

It was not until President Jimmy Carter’s administration, in the late 1970s, that the first steps were taken to remove some of the hundreds of nuclear weapons that the United States maintained in South Korea, a process that was not completed until 1991, under the first Bush administration.

It is against that background that the North Korean nuclear program developed.

North Korea has its own uranium mines and in 1965 obtained a small research reactor from the Soviet Union, which it located at Yongbyon. By the mid-1970s, North Korean technicians had increased the capability of that reactor and constructed a second one. Pyongyang agreed in 1977 to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the first reactor.

It was in the 1980s that the North Korean weapons program began its clandestine growth with the building of a facility for reprocessing fuel into weapons-grade material and the testing of chemical high explosives. In 1985, around the time U.S. intelligence discovered a third, once-secret reactor, North Korea agreed to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Five years later, U.S. intelligence discovered through satellite photos that a structure had been built that appeared to be capable of separating plutonium from nuclear fuel rods. Under pressure, North Korea signed a safeguards agreement with the IAEA in 1992, and inspections of facilities began. But in January 1993, IAEA inspectors were prevented from going to two previously unreported facilities. In the resulting crisis, North Korea attempted to withdraw from the NPT.

The Clinton administration responded in 1994 that if North Korea reprocessed plutonium from fuel rods, it would be crossing a “red line” that could trigger military action. The North Koreans “suspended” their withdrawal from the NPT, and bilateral talks with the Clinton administration got underway. When negotiations deadlocked, North Korea removed fuel rods from one of its reactors, a step that brought Carter back into the picture as a negotiator.

The resulting talks led to the 1994 Agreed Framework, under which North Korea would freeze and eventually dismantle its nuclear weapons program. In return, it would be supplied with conventional fuel and ultimately with two light-water reactors that could not produce potential weapons-grade fuel.

However, a subsequent IAEA inspection determined that North Korea had clandestinely extracted about 24 kilograms of plutonium from its fuel rods, and U.S. intelligence reported that was enough material for two or three 20-kiloton plutonium bombs.”

….Continue reading more @ The Washington Post | Nov 2006

 

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a threat to national security

|| New York Post

Clinton because they thought she couldn’t be trusted with national secrets after her reckless handling of sensitive State Department emails. Florida voters ought to dispatch Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for the same reason.

When it comes to security matters, the incumbent Democrat and former DNC chair makes Hillary look like a diligent TSA agent. And the news about her staffer trying to flee to Pakistan to avoid data-fraud charges is only the latest proof.

Computer security at the DNC was so lax on Wasserman Schultz’s watch that hackers burrowed deep into the network, leading to a massive data breach. They were thwarted, in contrast, when they tried to infiltrate Schultz’s Republican counterparts.

When the FBI tried to investigate the cyber-crime, Wasserman Schultz refused to fully cooperate. She wouldn’t let forensic experts at the FBI’s lab in Quantico examine the targeted server and collect the digital fingerprints needed to nail the intruders.

Now we discover that Wasserman Schultz couldn’t really give a rip about cyber-security in Congress, either.

After the Capitol Police this year began investigating her trusted staffer, Imran Awan, for theft of congressional data and procurement fraud, Politico reported, every Democrat who had contracted with him eventually fired him. Everyone, that is, except Wasserman Schultz.

It wasn’t until last month, when the FBI arrested Awan for bank fraud, that the Democratic leader finally sacked him. The FBI says Awan bilked the Congressional Federal Credit Union out of $165,000, which he immediately wrapped into a $283,000 wire transfer to Pakistan. Agents collared him as he was boarding a flight for Pakistan.

In an interview with her local paper, Wasserman Schultz revealed she kept Awan around to do other IT work even after authorities suspended his access to the Capitol computer network. Worse, she said she continued to employ him to work on printers, websites and software despite learning he transferred sensitive congressional data outside the secure network to an unauthorized offsite storage location.

Police told her Awan was “transferring data outside the secure network, which I think amounted to use of apps that the House didn’t find compliant with our security requirements,” Wasserman Schultz shrugged, insisting she “did the right thing” keeping him on payroll. “I would do it again.”

She claims he didn’t have access to classified information, though investigators still probing Awan haven’t confirmed that. And even if true, he had access to emails to and from members of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the calendars, travel schedules and notes of other members — sensitive information that, as one Republican legislator pointed out, “our enemies that would like to bring down the US would love to have.”

Awan is reported to have smashed hard drives before agents raided his home. If he copied valuable data to off-site servers, it would set off bigger alarms. Such information could be used to blackmail members of Congress — namely Wasserman Schultz, who has gone to unusual lengths to protect her rogue IT guy.

She admitted she knew Awan was planning to travel to Pakistan, but that he had discussed return dates with her chief of staff. And when investigators seized a laptop from her office, one she says belonged to Awan, she went into high dudgeon, chewing out the Capitol Police chief in May when he refused to return it and even threatening him with “consequences.”

As it turns out, Awan had access to Wasserman Schultz’s emails at both Congress and the DNC. He had been given the password to her iPad, which might also explain why she refused to turn over the server to the FBI.

Wasserman Schultz claims she defended Awan to the bitter end, because he’s Muslim and she didn’t want to see him demonized in an Islamophobic witch hunt. But that excuse doesn’t cut ice. Awan exhibited a pattern of shady behavior over the course of his employment. Yet instead of questioning him, she covered for him — and endangered the security of Congress’ computer networks in the process.

Such negligence should not be rewarded with another term in office.”

….Continue reading more @ NY Post

 

True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht keeps the cameras rolling for an impromptu DIY interview

|| True the Vote

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