Watching The Drone Watchers

I smell China, or maybe Russia. The fact that the virus keeps resisting efforts to remove it shows that there’s some sophistication involved.

U.S. Military Drones Infected With Mysterious Computer Virus

A fleet of U.S. military drones on a Nevada Air Force base has been infected by a keylogger virus that tracks every key and button their pilots press, Wired.com reported Friday — and top Air Force sources strongly contested.

The virus was first noticed by officials at Creech Air Force Base nearly two weeks ago using the base’s security system. It logged every keystroke of the pilots in the control room on the base as they remotely flew Predator and Reaper drones on missions over Afghanistan and other battle zones.

There has been no confirmation of information being lost or sent to an outside source, but the virus has been resistant to military efforts to clear it from the system.

“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” a source told Wired.

See also:
Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet
Computers Controlling Military Drones Reportedly Infected with Virus
Computer Virus Attacks U.S. Military Drones: Wired
Keylogger virus hits US drone operations
Combat drones’ computer systems reportedly infected with virus
Computer virus hits US’ Predator drone fleet
US war drones keep flying despite computer virus
America’s Drones Have Been Infected by a Virus
Virus infects Pentagon drones’ computers
U.S. Drone Controllers Said To Be Infected By Computer Virus
US drones hit by virus
U.S. Military Facing a Battle Unlike Any Other
Cyberwar: a Whole New Quagmire – When the Drones Come To Roost
Creech Air Force Base

Theses computers didn’t just infect themselves, they were almost surely infected by someone, either deliberately or unwittingly, connecting a malware infected memory stick or other portable media storage device to the network. This has been a known attack vector for a long time now and it’s easily preventable, simply don’t allow portable media storage devices anywhere near classified computer networks!

/search all personnel coming and going if that’s what it takes, it’s a small price to pay for avoiding potentially catastrophic security breaches like this

A Terrorist Trifecta

Mr. Predator and Mr. Hellfire team up to force the two vehicle al Qaeda drive to go three and out.

Most Successful Drone Strike Ever: Were Three Al Qaeda Leaders Killed?

The CIA drone strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki and chief propagandist Samir Khan may also have taken out the terror organization’s top bombmaker.

Reports say that Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is believed to have constructed both the “underwear” bomb used in the attempted bombing of Northwest flight 253 and the bombs in last year’s parcel bomb plot, may have been with Awlaki and Khan when missiles from a U.S. drone struck their vehicle in Yemen Friday.

See also:
U.S. –born ‘Terrorist No. 1’ Anwar al Awlaki killed in Yemen in major blow to Al Qaeda
Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaida cleric and top US target, killed in Yemen
Al-Qaeda terror chief Anwar al-Awlaki killed in Yemen
Al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in CIA Drone Strike
American Jihadi Samir Khan Killed With Awlaki
A ‘proud traitor’: Samir Khan reported dead alongside Aulaqi
25-year-old American is killed with mentor Anwar al-Aulaqi in drone strike
Samir Khan named as second US citizen to die in drone strike
Top al Qaeda bombmaker dead in drone strike
Al-Awlaki drone ‘killed bomb-maker’
AQAP bomb maker Asiri thought killed in Yemen Predator strike
U.S. Drone Strike on al-Awlaki Likely Kills al-Qaeda Bomb-maker in Yemen
Anwar al-Awlaki
Samir Khan
Ibrahim al-Asiri

Unfortunately, al-Awlaki and Khan nave already published and recorded more than enough internet material to posthumously radicalize Muslims from here to eternity. Killing them was a good thing, but the damage is already done and their deaths won’t make the recruitment problem go away.

/on the other hand, al-Asiri, the bombmaker, is going to be hard for al Qaeda to replace, he was good, especially at designing nonmetallic explosive devices

These Are Not The Drones You Seek

Mission creep, what mission creep? Who are you going to believe, Robert Gates and Obama or your own lying eyes? Why, exactly, are we in Libya again?

U.S. will deploy Predators in Libya

President Barack Obama has given U.S. forces the go-ahead to use armed Predator drones in Libya after forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi changed their tactics in the fighting there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday.

“It’s an evolving situation. We saw an opportunity here and recommended it to the president. He took it,” Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.

However, Gates said the use of the drones did not indicate that the U.S. was being sucked back into a military campaign that Obama has promised will be handled chiefly by other NATO countries and allied forces.

“This is a very limited addition on our part, but it does provide some additional capabilities to NATO,” Gates said. “I don’t think there’s mission creep at all….The primary strike role has been turned over to our allies, our friends.”

Now remember boys and girls, providing “additional capabilities to NATO” is not, I repeat, IS NOT mission creep. Um, it’s been at least a couple months now, whatever happened to “days, not weeks”?

See also:
U.S. begins using Predator drones in Libya
U.S. Launches Drone Strikes in Libya
Obama authorizes Predator drone strikes in Libya
US deploys armed drones over Libya
Obama Approves Use of Predator Drones in Libya
U.S. Sends Predators to Strike Qaddafi Troops Fighting Rebels
Libya: US sends armed drones to shield rebels
Pentagon: Robot War Over Libya Begins in 3, 2, 1 …
US begins using armed drones in Libya
U.S. introduces armed Predator drones in Libya

Of course, the U.N. resolution we’re operating under only authorizes humanitarian efforts, so I’m sure these armed Predator drones will only be used to deliver food to civilians and stuff like that.

The Council stressed the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis that responded to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, noting actions being taken on the diplomatic front in that regard. It further demanded that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.

In that connection, the Council specified that the flight ban would not apply to flights that had as their sole purpose humanitarian aid, the evacuation of foreign nationals, enforcing the ban or other purposes “deemed necessary for the benefit of the Libyan people”.

I don’t know, what supposedly started out as a limited “kinetic military action” sure as hell seems to have blossomed over the weeks into the United States and NATO openly taking sides in a Libyan civil war.

/how is that not mission creep?

Back From The Dead

Obama turned him into a newt, but he got better.

Analysis: ‘Slain’ Taliban leader garners attention in Pakistan

For three months, Hakimullah Mehsud was supposedly dead, killed in a U.S. drone attack in the mountains of Pakistan, according to Pakistani officials.

Then word came last week from intelligence sources in Pakistan that he had not after all been killed, that he had been injured but not seriously.

And within days of that news, not one but two messages followed from Mehsud himself, both purportedly recorded in April. They warned of imminent attacks by the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, on unspecified targets in the United States.

U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials remain very skeptical about any TTP involvement in the weekend’s attempted car bombing in New York. One senior official said it would be “an enormous surprise” if they were involved.

The TTP has shown little appetite or capability for operating beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan, though it was linked to a suicide bombing plot that unfolded in Spain and was broken up in 2008.

But Mehsud is back in action, courting publicity again.

Whether he is still the leader of the TTP is an open question.

Last week, while U.S. officials said they still weren’t sure whether he was dead or alive, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said, “I certainly have seen no evidence that [Mehsud] is operational today or is executing or exerting authority over the Pakistan Taliban as he once did. So I don’t know if that reflects him being alive or dead, but he clearly is not running the Pakistani Taliban anymore.”

But in light of the video that surfaced over the weekend, that assessment may have to be revisited.

See also:
Video shows Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud ‘alive’
New videos show Pakistani Taliban chief thought to have been killed in January
Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive, says spy agency
Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive: spy agency
Video shows Pakistan Taliban boss alive
Hakeemullah appears in video, vows painful blow to US
Mehsud claims responsibility for New York bomb plot
Officials doubt Pakistani Taliban behind New York bomb attempt
Hakimullah Mehsud

Hey Obama administration, next time, before you publicly claim credit and pat yourselves on the back for killing one of these lowlife terrorist scumbags, make damn sure they’re really dead.

/now fire up the drones, get out there, and kill Mehsud again!

Gunfight At The D.C. Corral

Check out candidate “Judgment to Lead” Obama, back in the day, talking smack at McCain and getting his Afghanistan hawk on, “taking the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan . . . I will make the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be, this is a war we have to win . . . we cannot lose Afghanistan to a future of narco-terrorism . . . we need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones, in the Afghan border region”

Well, we’re about to find out if Obama really does have a commitment to winning in Afghanistan or if his campaign pronouncements were just so much more bull[expletive deleted] spewing out of his yap. Because, ruh roh, watch out, Obama’s Democrat fellow travelers in Congress are donning there chicken suits and getting ready to run their tidy whities up the flagpole.

Senate Armed Services Chairman: No More U.S. Troops to Afghanistan

The debate whether to send more combat troops to Afghanistan took a twist reminiscent of the Iraq conflict when the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday advised not sending any more U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan beyond those already approved by President Obama until more Afghan security forces are trained.

Speaking on the eighth anniversary of the date the United States was attacked by terrorists trained in Afghanistan, Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., also called for a shift in U.S. efforts toward more trainers, who could, in part, be supplied by NATO allies. He said he would like a plan for Afghanistan that would replicate the “Sons of Iraq” strategy to separate low and mid-level Taliban fighters in Afghanistan from the leadership of that terrorist group.

The Afghan Waver

Sometime soon, Mr. Obama will have to respond to Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal’s likely request to increase the number of American troops in Afghanistan.

This past Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave the most explicit suggestion so far that Democrats may oppose any such request. “I don’t think there is a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan,” Speaker Pelosi said, “in the country or in Congress.”

Feingold wants timetable for moving U.S. troops out of Afghanistan

Sen. Russ Feingold on Monday ratcheted up criticism for President Barack Obama’s plan to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and began calling for a timetable to get the troops out of the country.

“After eight years, I am not convinced that simply pouring more and more troops into Afghanistan is a well-thought-out strategy,” Feingold said during an editorial board meeting with the Appleton Post-Crescent.

See also:
Levin: Let’s train more Afghan forces
Senator Calls for More Afghan Forces, Not US Troops
Levin complicates Obama’s Afghan strategy
Congress wary of more US Afghanistan troops-Pelosi
Pelosi: Afghan surge lacks support
Doubt raised on troop boost in Afghanistan war
Feingold opposes Obama on troops to Afghanistan
Feingold questions Afghanistan military strategy
Democrats in Congress grow uneasy over Afghanistan

And if there wasn’t enough tension between Obama and the Democrats in Congress, now along comes the Afghanistan NATO/U.S. Commander, General Stanley McChrystal, to make the request for more troops. Caution, Democrat fratricide Xing, next several months.

Afghanistan: Gen. Stanley McChrystal Delivers Review of U.S. Operation

President Obama has already called for more than 20,000 additional troops in Afghanistan to more than 68,000 troops by year’s end. McChrystal’s assessment team had recommended as many as six more brigades, which could mean about 30,000 more troops.

McChrystal is expected to request more troops , although it is not known whether he will ask for as many, or even more than his assessment team recommended. Whatever the number, it will be hotly debated throughout Washington and could put the president in an uncomfortable position. Given Obama’s criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of the war, accusing the former president of failing to properly fund the war, it would be difficult for Obama to turn down the requests of a new commander who is tasked with turning things around. . . .

See also:
Officials: McChrystal to Request More Resources to Fight Taliban in Afghanistan
Request for more troops in Afghanistan likely, source says
More Troops Likely Needed in Afghanistan
Obama to Weigh Buildup Option in Afghan War
The Taliban Is Serious About Winning In Afghanistan, Are We?

/so, will Obama stick to his “we have to win” promise to protect the American people by following his military commanders’ advice and send more troops to Afghanistan, or will he “wee wee it up” and cave in to the bed wetting, cut and run Congressional Democrats, tuck his tail between his legs, and wave the white flag of surrender in Afghanistan?

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Can’t Keep State Secrets

Feinstein comment on U.S. drones likely to embarrass Pakistan

A senior U.S. lawmaker said Thursday that unmanned CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown from an air base in that country, a revelation likely to embarrass the Pakistani government and complicate its counter-terrorism collaboration with the United States.

The disclosure by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, marked the first time a U.S. official had publicly commented on where the Predator aircraft patrolling Pakistan take off and land.

At a hearing, Feinstein expressed surprise over Pakistani opposition to the campaign of Predator-launched CIA missile strikes against Islamic extremist targets along Pakistan’s northwestern border.

“As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base,” she said.

The basing of the pilotless aircraft in Pakistan suggests a much deeper relationship with the United States on counter-terrorism matters than has been publicly acknowledged. Such an arrangement would be at odds with protests lodged by officials in Islamabad, the capital, and could inflame anti-American sentiment in the country.

The CIA declined to comment, but former U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, confirmed that Feinstein’s account was accurate.

See also:
United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Central Intelligence Agency
RQ-1 Predator MAE UAV

/pass the duct tape, maybe that’ll keep her mouth shut