Your Virtual Front Page, Friday, June 1, 2012

Here’s a quick one, before your weekend:

  1. Struggling U.S. Economy Drags Down The World (NPR) — Gee whiz, NPR! Do you think you could freak us out any more than that?
  2. U.N. to investigate Syrian massacre (CNN) — And, perhaps more to the point, a senior U.S. diplomat has hinted at U.S. military action if things keep deteriorating, with or without international participation. (Which is to say, no matter what the Russians say.)
  3. Cyberattack against Iran was the work of U.S. and Israeli experts, officials say (WashPost) — Obama not only got bin Laden, he also apparently gave the thumbs-up for Stuxnet. He’s quite a wartime president, it seems. Assad should worry.
  4. US nuns reject Vatican criticism (BBC) — Mostly out of the spotlight (except for the way it has borne on the Obamacare debate), there’s been a growing tension between the nuns and the bishops, between the nuns and the Vatican. Just taking note of it here…
  5. Zimmerman’s bond revoked (The Guardian) — Judge says he wasn’t straight with the court about his assets. He has 48 hours to surrender.
  6. House ethics panel faces scrutiny (The State) — This is old, but it wasn’t a breaking story anyway. It’s a nice setup on what to watch for as the renewed Haley probe progresses. We’re seeing transparency play out in dramatic new ways in our General Assembly, and in a backhanded way, we have our governor to thank for it.

13 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Friday, June 1, 2012

  1. Kathy

    Wouldn’t it bode much better for our future safety if the world didn’t know for sure that we were behind Stuxnet? I don’t think we should know so many details about the Bin Laden assassination either. Whatever happened to “Loose lips sink ships”? I would hate to think that CIA and Special Ops missions are being used to promote the political career of anyone.

  2. bud

    The Nuns seem to be far more in tune with modern society than the Bishop and Cardinals.

  3. Brad

    Which, of course, is nothing to write home about.

    The nuns may be right, but the measure of whether they are right is an eternal one. If you’re a church, being “in tune with modern society” is definitely not something that you strive for.

    If the nuns are right, they would be right at any time — past, present or future. Modernity has zero to do with it.

  4. David

    Re: No. 3

    Isn’t it at least a little bit troubling that we have sought to deter cyberattacks against the U.S. and yet here we are using such attacks?

  5. Brad


    But then, all arms races are troubling. As much as we may abhor biological weapons, we did have our own bio-war facility at Ft. Detrick until 1969. (Now, I believe, the facility concentrates on defense, not offense.)

    Cyberwar of the kind being developed by the Chinese (and the Russians, too, I believe) could bring the world to its knees, utterly shattering our economy. It’s a thing to be abhorred.

    But… if you’re faced with a situation in which you could create a worm that would set back a rogue nation’s program to develop nuclear weapons… it seems justifiable.

    Note the difference — we aren’t trying to crash the world’s economy (which is what you would do if you did that to the U.S. or for that matter the Chinese economy). You’re messing up one relatively small nation’s nuclear research program. Big difference of scale. And scale matters in Just War theory — the proportionality factor.

  6. David

    Right. We’re just trying to mess up one relatively small nation’s nuclear research program. But we’re also potentially establishing or contributing to some norm of use of cyberattacks — attacks which could be used to bring down a world economy.

  7. Tim

    The assumption is that this was the first ever cyber attack by any nation on any other nation. Really think that? China has teams of hackers doing mischief all the time. Russia probably likewise. We probably do to. In a global economy it doesn’t behoove any nation wreaking havoc on someplace where it has enormous investments. Who owns our debt again?

  8. David

    Tim, who believes that this was the very first cyberattack by one nation on another? As far as I can tell no one in this discussion.

    Perhaps you are confused.

  9. Tim

    “But we’re also potentially establishing”

    Was I confused when you wrote this? “Establishing” sorta kinda means being the first. Or are you confused.

  10. David


    If you are going to parse my words at least be fair. I said, “But we’re also potentially establishing or contributing to some norm of use of cyberattacks.”

    That’s “potentially” — as in possibly but not necessarily — establishing, just as previous cyberattacks could have potentially, established norms as well.

    That there are not clear international norms on the use of cyberattacks doesn’t mean there have never been any (by one nation on another) — obviously.


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