http-equiv='refresh'/> Consfearacynewz: AF Colonel says PRECISION STRIKE FALSE FLAGS is 100% legal & "self defense"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

AF Colonel says PRECISION STRIKE FALSE FLAGS is 100% legal & "self defense"

"The Stuxnet computer worm that damaged Iranian nuclear facilities – widely suspected to be an Israeli or even U.S. covert action – was a model of a responsibly conducted cyber-attack, said the top lawyer for the U.S. military's Cyber Command, Air Force Col. Gary Brown. By contrast, the Chinese stance, which holds that the international law of armed conflict does not apply in cyberspace, opens the door for indiscriminate online actions launched with less concern for collateral damage than was evident in Stuxnet, he warned, while a joint Russo-Chinese proposal for international collaboration on cyber-security could potentially threaten free speech. Brown emphasized that his remarks represented his own opinion and that he was not speaking for the U.S. government, but they still open a window into the thinking of an influential official on the cutting edge of policymaking on cyber war.

At a small gathering of students and faculty at Georgetown University, hosted by former CIA lawyer Catherine Lotrionte, Col. Brown hastened to Stuxnet's defense when this reporter raised the possibility of the worm having damaged systems outside Iran. The way Stuxnet was designed, "it looked like lawyers had been involved, because it was set to do no damage until it saw a very precise set of circumstances that doesn't exist anywhere except in Iran," said Brown, who has written on the legal ramifications of Stuxnet. "Also," he added, "it was set to expire," erasing itself from every infected machine this coming June 24th. Both those attributes suggest a conscientious effort to limit the online equivalent of "collateral damage," a particularly crucial concern when releasing a worm or virus to replicate itself across the internet, whose omnipresent connectivity means an attack aimed at a legitimate military target in one country can easily spread out of control to innocent civilian systems around the world. "Your normal terrorist or criminal doesn't care about what collateral damage happens," Brown said.

None of this means Stuxnet didn't constitute a "cyber attack," Col. Brown said, although he noted as a lawyer that that's a notoriously ill-defined term. The worm "destroyed maybe a thousand pieces of pretty sophisticated equipment being used by the Iranian government," he noted. "That physical damage is something that most people who study international law would say rises to a 'use of force,'" he said. From a common-sense perspective, he added, "it's really hard for me to get my head around the idea that something that breaks things isn't 'an attack.'"

But, Brown hastened to add, "it might be justified," for example as an act of self-defense under international law. (Another government official at the event went even further, suggesting taking such action against the Iranian nuclear program is positively required under international law, since the United Nations has identified the program as a potential threat to peace).
What is critical is to apply the same tests of just cause, proportional response, and so on to a cyber-attack as to a conventional military strike, emphasized Brown, who in 2008-2009 served as the chief lawyer for the Combined Air Operations Center that runs air operations over Afghanistan and Iraq. "Before we would take action in cyberspace we would look at everything that's connected to that system," he said, "I think the activities we contemplate taking on the internet are very thought out and very precise."

By contrast, when China and other countries argue that the "law of armed conflict" does not apply to cyberspace, they implicitly set aside the legal obligation to do due diligence on collateral damage – among many other restrictions. "They could be looking to insure that actions that are currently considered to be 'espionage' aren't pushed under the law of armed conflict," Brown speculated. "Espionage has no rules, so it's a lawless regime....That's not true under the law of armed conflict, although the enforcement mechanism is somewhat lacking."

Meanwhile, the rules that China and Russia have jointly proposed for cyberspace raise serious concerns for the United States, Brown said, echoing comments by other U.S. officials. The proposed "International Code of Conduct for Information Security," also sponsored by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, was put before the United Nations last fall. "Mostly, when you read through it, you'll think it sounds pretty good," said Brown. "The thing that makes me uncomfortable with the proposal [is that] essentially they treat 'information' as a separate category, as an area of national sovereignty.... [For example,] if Google wanted to go to China and make ways for Chinese folks to get around the firewall, the 'Great Firewall,' so they could communicate freely with the rest of the world, they would consider this an aggressive action [under the proposed pact] because 'information' is part of national sovereignty."

That's not where the United States wants to go, Brown said. As much as America wants to build defenses against online threats, its priority has to be "first, do no harm" to freedom of speech."
^ Riiiight--as if he really believes that or if he does, how laughably ignorant he is to what his Club of Rome/Bilderberg masters are doing anyways.

But they're not "evil" like those fake 9/11 terrorists, because the New World Order terrorists use "precision strike terrorism" which is "perfectly fine and 100% legal", AND is "self defense", AND is "required" under International law.

This is their rationale with the 2012 NDAA, because it entails "precision strike assassination of American citizens at will, while "minimizing collateral damage" to other American citizens."
DARPA switches to cyber offense

Friday - 3/16/2012, 4:31pm  ET
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is switching to offense on the cyber field. DARPA Director Regina Dugan said new research will address military-specific ways to actually create cyber threats, not just develop ways to defend against them.

An Infosecurity magazine report said DARPA considers a good offense one of the best ways to handle an evolving cybersecurity challenge. The cutting-edge agency has seen is cyber budget increasing of late — from $120 million in fiscal-year 2011 to $208 million in FY 2012.

Best defense is a good offense: DARPA expands offensive cyber research

13 March 2012

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expanding its research into offensive cyber capabilities, DARPA Director Regina Dugan told a conference this week.  DARPA is expanding its cyber research budget by $88 million, from $120 million in FY 2011 to $208 million in FY 2012. Over the next five years, DARPA plans to increase its cyber research investment from 8% to 12% of its topline budget.

Much of that expansion will focus on developing offensive cyber capabilities. “Malicious cyber attacks are not merely an existential threat to our bits and bytes. They are a real threat to our physical systems, including our military systems. To this end, in the coming years we will focus an increasing portion of our cyber research on the investigation of offensive capabilities to address military-specific needs”, Dugan told the DARPA Cyber Colloquium.

Dugan explained that her agency has developed a cyber analytical framework intended to quantify the cyber threat and to explain why the US appears to be losing ground in the cybersecurity arena.

“This analysis, completed over months through original research and detailed investigation, concluded that the US approach to cyber security is dominated by a strategy that layers security on to a uniform architecture. We do this to create tactical breathing space, but it is not convergent with an evolving threat. We discovered that we are losing ground because we are inherently divergent with the threat. Importantly, such divergences are the seeds of strategic surprise”, she said.

“Our assessment argues that we are capability limited, both offensively and defensively. We need to fix that”, she concluded.
Killing civilians as legal

by Daya Gamage

Washington, D.C. 24 April (

U.S. targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV or drones), comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war is the authoritative opinion of the Obama administration’s Chief Legal Counsel attached to Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

The domestic and international outcry in opposition to the Drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - started during the previous Bush administration in 2002 and increasingly used by the current Obama administration – is for the collateral damage – the vast civilian deaths – that results.

During the first year of the Obama administration, there were 51 drone attacks, compared to 45 drone attacks during the full two terms (8 years) of President George W. Bush's presidency, according to "The Year of the Drone," a report by the Washington-based New America Foundation released last month. The report also cites a 32 percent civilian fatality rate in drone attacks since 2004.

"Drones are currently killing people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It should be noted that the United States is not at war with any of those countries, which should mean that in a sane world the killing is illegal under both international law and the U.S. Constitution," states Philip Girald, a former CIA officer and fellow of the American Conservative Defense Alliance.

Girald's observation is seconded by Mary Ellen O'Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School. In a research paper titled "Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones," professor O'Connell writes: "The CIA's intention in using drones is to target and kill individual leaders of al-Qaida or Taliban militant groups. Drones have rarely, if ever, killed just the intended target. By October 2009, the ratio has been about 20 leaders killed for 750 to 1,000 unintended victims – meaning innocent civilians.

But Obama administration’s Chief Legal Counsel Harold Hongju Koh doesn’t touch the issue of civilian deaths: he is justifying the drone attacks and, in a major policy address on behalf of the administration and U.S. State Department on March 25 before the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, DC, he declared that "U.S. targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war."

In his own words Mr. Koh "serves as a conscience for the U.S. Government with regard to international law. The Legal Adviser, along with many others in policy as well as legal positions, offers opinions on both the wisdom and morality of proposed international actions."

He further says that "the role Legal Adviser plays is defender of the United States interests in the many international fora."

The Asian Tribune thought that the interpretation the Obama administration’s Chief Legal Counselor gives about the legality of using UAV or Drones discriminately killing innocent civilians in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region does not match with the continuous rhetoric the State Department discharges accusing Sri Lanka, which was engaged in a serious one-on-one battle with the secessionist/terrorist Tamil Tigers, of killing innocent ethnic Tamil civilians who were taken by the Tigers as human shield to find an escape route for the top leaders of the terror outfit.

There is a difference between the US Special Forces using Drones in Afghan/Pak region devoid of face to face battle and the manner in which the Sri Lankan armed forces were driven to face the Tamil Tiger (LTTE) fighting cadre.

The Sri Lankan administration could cite the interpretation the Obama administration’s Chief Legal Counselor who directly functions under Secretary of State Clinton gave to question the basis of the accusation the U.S. is making against the Sri Lankan administration projecting it as a regime that has committed war crimes and genocide.

Here is the section of Harold Hongju Koh Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State declared at the March 25 address which is the official position of the Obama administration:

Use of Force

(Begin Quote) "In the same way, in all of our operations involving the use of force, including those in the armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces, the Obama Administration is committed by word and deed to conducting ourselves in accordance with all applicable law. With respect to the subject of targeting, which has been much commented upon in the media and international legal circles, there are obviously limits to what I can say publicly.

What I can say is that it is the considered view of this Administration—and it has certainly been my experience during my time as Legal Adviser—that U.S. targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war.

"The United States agrees that it must conform its actions to all applicable law. As I have explained, as a matter of international law, the United States is in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, as well as the Taliban and associated forces, in response to the horrific 9/11 attacks, and may use force consistent with its inherent right to self-defense under international law. As a matter of domestic law, Congress authorized the use of all necessary and appropriate force through the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). These domestic and international legal authorities continue to this day.

"As recent events have shown, al-Qaeda has not abandoned its intent to attack the United States, and indeed continues to attack us. Thus, in this ongoing armed conflict, the United States has the authority under international law, and the responsibility to its citizens, to use force, including lethal force, to defend itself, including by targeting persons such as high-level al-Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks. As you know, this is a conflict with an organized terrorist enemy that does not have conventional forces, but that plans and executes its attacks against us and our allies while hiding among civilian populations. That behavior simultaneously makes the application of international law more difficult and more critical for the protection of innocent civilians. Of course, whether a particular individual will be targeted in a particular location will depend upon considerations specific to each case, including those related to the imminence of the threat, the sovereignty of the other states involved, and the willingness and ability of those states to suppress the threat the target poses.

In particular, this Administration has carefully reviewed the rules governing targeting operations to ensure that these operations are conducted consistently with law of war principles, including:

• "First, the principle of distinction, which requires that attacks be limited to military objectives and that civilians or civilian objects shall not be the object of the attack; and

• Second, the principle of proportionality, which prohibits attacks that may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, that would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

"In U.S. operations against al-Qaeda and its associated forces-- including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles-- great care is taken to adhere to these principles in both planning and execution, to ensure that only legitimate objectives are targeted and that collateral damage is kept to a minimum.

Recently, a number of legal objections have been raised against U.S. targeting practices. While today is obviously not the occasion for a detailed legal opinion responding to each of these objections, let me briefly address four:

"First, some have suggested that the very act of targeting a particular leader of an enemy force in an armed conflict must violate the laws of war. But individuals who are part of such an armed group are belligerents and, therefore, lawful targets under international law. During World War II, for example, American aviators tracked and shot down the airplane carrying the architect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, who was also the leader of enemy forces in the Battle of Midway. This was a lawful operation then, and would be if conducted today. Indeed, targeting particular individuals serves to narrow the focus when force is employed and to avoid broader harm to civilians and civilian objects.

"Second, some have challenged the very use of advanced weapons systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, for lethal operations. But the rules that govern targeting do not turn on the type of weapon system used, and there is no prohibition under the laws of war on the use of technologically advanced weapons systems in armed conflict-- such as pilotless aircraft or so-called smart bombs-- so long as they are employed in conformity with applicable laws of war. Indeed, using such advanced technologies can ensure both that the best intelligence is available for planning operations and that civilian casualties are minimized in carrying out such operations.

"Third, some have argued that the use of lethal force against specific individuals fails to provide adequate process and thus constitutes unlawful extrajudicial killing. But a state that is engaged in an armed conflict or in legitimate self-defense is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force. Our procedures and practices for identifying lawful targets are extremely robust, and advanced technologies have helped to make our targeting even more precise. In my experience, the principles of distinction and proportionality that the United States applies are not just recited at meetings.

They are implemented rigorously throughout the planning and execution of lethal operations to ensure that such operations are conducted in accordance with all applicable law.

"Fourth and finally, some have argued that our targeting practices violate domestic law, in particular, the long-standing domestic ban on assassinations. But under domestic law, the use of lawful weapons systems—consistent with the applicable laws of war—for precision targeting of specific high-level belligerent leaders when acting in self-defense or during an armed conflict is not unlawful, and hence does not constitute "assassination."

"In sum, let me repeat: as in the area of detention operations, this Administration is committed to ensuring that the targeting practices that I have described are lawful." (End Quote)

The Asian Tribune will continue to bring broad details of the use of UAVs or Drones in the Afghan/Pak region by the U.S. Special Operation Forces and the legality of the operation.

- Asian Tribune -

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