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Cyberattacks Increasing but Biden Executive Order Doesn’t Go Far Enough

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Cyber attack

The United States has been painfully reminded this week of its vulnerability to cyberattacks. “They cut off a pipeline to the Eastern Seaboard for days, tried to poison a Florida water-treatment plant, held hospital IT systems hostage and stole an undetermined trove of information in the SolarWinds hack” reports Fox News. All the while, “the Biden administration searches for a way to respond.”

Biden didn’t particularly look very strong to the world when he consistently said China wasn’t a threat and that he was prepared to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal on the campaign trail. The world has taken notice and terror groups of all kinds are testing how far they can push the administration.

On Wednesday, Biden signed an executive order to strengthen U.S cyberdefenses and bolster the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA” reports Fox News. Experts say the technology to prevent many of these attacks already exists, but attacks are on the rise.

Targets include major infrastructure installations such as transportation hubs, energy facilities and utility companies and to most, attacks are seen as acts of war. In a statement, the White House said, “U.S. public and private sector entities increasingly face sophisticated malicious cyber activity from both nation-state actors and cybercriminals.”

“These incidents share commonalities, including insufficient cybersecurity defenses that leave public and private sector entities more vulnerable to incidents” the statement continued. Fox News states the Biden administration “also called on private companies to increase spending on their own cybersecurity, but it stopped short of bolstering offensive capabilities.”

Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA) who has 20 years of experience in intelligence for the military, the National Security Agency and in private industry says Biden’s executive actions do not go nearly far enough.

Riggleman suggests increasing spending for offensive cyber capabilities, and use them to respond to future attacks, particularly those from Russia, China, Iran or North Korea. “We need to pick the first country that f— with us in a cyber way and bring them to their knees,” he told Fox News.

“We choose a target that we have access to, and once we identify that target, we take out that target – and then we [should] take it another step…if you want to come in and hit the Colonial Pipeline, which only serves several states, we’re going to hit your major hub and want to take down half your country for a week” he added.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. WILLIAM FLYNN

    May 17, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Dementia Joe is the Biggest Threat to National Security in the history of this country !

  2. marcia

    May 17, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    This country needs to be proactive not reactive. We’re so good at reacting but always think everyone is going to be a nice guy- WRONG. We need to get our hackle up and take them out at the knees in being prepared.

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International

Afghan Journalists Release Photos After Being Severely Beaten by Taliban for Covering Women’s Protest

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Journalists

Two Afghan journalists, photographer Nematullah Naqdi and reporter Taqi Daryabi were severely beaten by the Taliban for reporting on a women’s protest in Kabul. The two were battered after being beaten with batons, electric cables and whips. The beating occurred after being detained for several hours by Taliban fighters a day earlier.

The two men, who work for Afghan’s media outlet Etilaat Roz, released photos of their bruised bodies once back in their Kabul office, after being released from Taliban custody. Naqdi told Agence France-Presse “One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against the concrete. They kicked me in the head…I thought they were going to kill me.”

Daryabi added “we were in so much pain that we couldn’t move.” Naqdi said he was told “you are lucky you weren’t beheaded” when asked why they were being beaten. When covering a protest on Wednesday outside a Kabul police station calling for an end to Taliban violations of women and girls, Naqdi said a Taliban fighter immediately tried to grab his camera when he began taking photos.

Journalists

The Taliban were also rounding up anyone filming or taking photos of the demonstration, added Naqdi. The two say they were taken to a nearby police station where the beatings took place, only to be released after several hours.

Journalists

The New York Post reports dozens of Afghan reporters have been beaten or accosted in recent weeks since the Taliban has recovered control of Afghanistan. The Taliban, however, claims that they will uphold press freedoms under their new regime. As has been proven time and time again, not much faith, if any, can be placed into anything the Taliban says or promises.

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International

Raw Footage from Marine’s Helmet GoPro Shows ‘Two Straight Weeks of Worsening Conditions’ in Kabul

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Kabul

The Blaze got ahold of raw video taken from a Marine’s GoPro which shows the true chaos endured by those in Kabul as U.S. evacuations took place at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Marine Cpl. Mike Markland strung together the video clips from his helmet’s GoPro camera. The footage “captured the grittiness and desperation of the hurried evacuation” and reveals “two straight weeks of worsening conditions” on the ground, as seen from the viewpoint of the Marine from 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.

The  7-minute video has been saved on a YouTube page and shows U.S. service members disabling American military equipment and vehicles. It also shows stacks of AK-47s, PK machine guns, M-16s, and other weapons likely abandoned by the Afghan military after the country collapsed. The end of the video pays tribute to the 13 U.S. service members who died in the suicide bombing in Kabul.

Markland originally posted the video to his Instagram account, but it has since been deleted. The Blaze reports Task & Purpose published the video, as well as Markland’s comments on social media before the video, had been removed.

“I hope this answers questions but also provokes you to ask more,” Markland captioned the since-deleted Instagram video. “To my brothers and sisters who were there I made this for you and your family. When you have the lack of ability to explain all that happened in those two weeks, show them this. Stand tall and wear the last two weeks on your chest.”

“I haven’t found a way to explain it with any words I know,” the Marine admitted.

“Many of us joined because we liked fighting and were good with adversity and conflict,” Markland reportedly wrote. “Two weeks in Kabul at HKIA put all of that to the test. I can’t say enough how proud I am of the Marines I serve with.”

“Odds were stacked against us. Circumstances undeniably out of our control, but we never let it deter our tenacious approach towards our mission at hand. Adversity and challenges happened 24/7,” Markland said.

The Marine noted that “almost all had no predesignated plan.”

“We did our absolute best and remained stoic through the sleepless nights and round-the-clock work with minimal food and water,” he continued. “Staying up for two or more days straight at a time grinding but remaining intensely vigilant.”

The Blaze writes of the footage, “Markland’s video paints a far more shambolic Kabul exit than the sanitized photos and videos provided by the Department of Defense.”

The Blaze continues and details the footage:

The Afghans are densely packed into small areas with barbed wire fences at the borders of the holding area outside the Kabul airport. Marines shoot crowd munitions to attempt to calm the frantic masses. When crowd munitions aren’t effective, Marines are seen firing off warning shots from their firearms in an attempt to control the large crowds.

Babies are seen being handed to the Marines for safety. Lacking medical equipment, wounded people are taken to get treatment on a ladder. Men and women are seen bursting into tears. In one clip, a man in civilian clothes bashes another person with the stock of his AK-47.

Despite the sheer inhumanity of the bedlam, there are moments of hopeful humanity as Marines give fist bumps to smiling Afghans.

Marines bond in a circle as the song “Halftime” by Nas blares in the background. They pass around the camera, make silly faces, throw a pineapple at each other, and enjoy friendly bicycle races.

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