Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday, Leon Panetta, the Defense Secretary, speaking at the Air and Space Museum in New York warned we're possibly facing a "cyber-Pearl Harbor" where "foreign computer hackers" could disrupt "the nations power grid, transportation system and financial networks" particularly from "technical advances by the nation's adversaries which officials identified as China, Russia, Iran and militant groups."
Apparently Panetta intended to "alert" (scare?) the American people with visions of another Pearl Harbor (otherwise why use the analogy). But what's most interesting about the defense secretaries comments was what he didn't say; that the U.S. and Israel are the two countries who initiated cyberwarfare, particularly against Iran's nuclear facilities (Stuxnet) specifically a computer worm that intentionally damaged Iran's computers controlling the centrifuges enriching uranium.
So now the Obama administration is concerned we may be vulnerable to "others" ability to initiate cyberwarfare against us.
Needless to say, if you are the aggressor country initiating "warfare" of any kind against another country isn't it logical that country would defend itself in a similar fashion?
The fact is, it's the same with initiating drone warfare. The U.S. and Israel are the two countries aggressively using drones in an offensive manner, Israel in attacking Hamas in Gaza and the U.S. using drones to attack in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
These facts are not lost on other countries that naturally are developing their own drone technology as well as cyberwarfare capabilities as a counter measure to defend themselves.
So when Panetta talks of "action to defend the nation" it's a bit hypocritical considering the U.S. has been the aggressor.
It makes one think of the name change that occurred across the Potomac after W.W. II. The Pentagon was formerly named the "War Department." After the war it was changed to the "Defense Department" presumably intended to suggest the U.S. only engages in "defense of the country", rather than initiating pre-emptive "war" on others.