Tagged: points

0

Trump's military parade would turn US troops into toy soldiers


Troops march over the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., as they head towards the Pentagon during the National Victory Day Parade on Saturday, June 8, 1991. The celebration to honor Gulf War troops drew an estimated 800,000 spectators. The Lincoln Memorial is visible in background. (Doug Mills/AP)

When I was graduating from Army basic training, our unit was assigned to put on a program for the families of arriving recruits. It was a carefully choreographed spectacle to show them what their family members would learn in the coming weeks.

In one part of the performance, three newly minted soldiers proclaim why they decided to join the military. Some said they came from a family with a long military tradition. Others said they wanted to defend their country from those who would harm it. Others still said they just had a general love of their country and freedom. It was carefully rehearsed, with the three soldiers who spoke chosen by the drill sergeants.

But there was one condition: The speakers could not say that they enlisted for college money.

This strikes at the heart of a problem that President Trump’s parade[1] is a mere symptom of: We are not honest with ourselves about our military, and our blind worship of the institution is troubling.

This year the United States will spend $824.6 billion on defense. Meanwhile, social safety nets get gutted, schools go without heat, tens of thousands die from opioid overdoses, and infrastructure crumbles.

The military is rarely open to criticism. Any negative remark by a public figure must be prefaced with “but we are thankful for our brave soldiers, who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.” The sentiment has become a mindless tic, a meaningless platitude that is nonetheless repeated.

No other institution earns such veneration. Sanitation workers, who have a dangerous job and play a larger role in the day-to-day comfort of U.S. citizens, are not thanked for their service. No one points them out to their child and says, “That is what a hero looks like.”

Worse, it seems that the people who are the most vocal in their support of the troops are the first ones to march along when the war drums get beaten. By the twisted logic of U.S. military worship, questioning a war is tantamount to betraying the troops. Antiwar protesters are shouted down, proven right and forgotten. Then the cycle repeats.

We are a nation that uses the threat of crippling university debt to persuade kids to risk their lives in pointless wars. This is difficult to accept. It is far easier to thank them for their service and say that the pain is for a worthy cause.

American rituals include buying a new yellow ribbon magnet for the SUV after the old one gets faded by years in the sun, standing for the national anthem, saying that we shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees while there are still homeless veterans, and then forgetting about the homeless veterans as soon as the refugees get turned away. These rituals help distract us not only from how callously we treat our own citizens, but how callously we treat the world as a whole.

In 1993, as the United States was considering whether to send troops to intervene in Bosnia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell[2], then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to his memoir.

“What’s the point of this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” she pointedly said.

Powell was so disgusted that he had to leave the room, he recalled. He later said, “American GIs are not toy soldiers.”

That is what this parade will be. A shining display of America’s toy soldiers for the country and the world to see. They can all witness the United States proudly displaying its No. 1 priority: A killing machine more powerful than the world has ever known, and that keeps growing because it is never satisfied. A machine that is always looking for the next target.

Military parades are popular in tin-pot dictatorships for a reason. They hide a suffering populace behind rows of military vehicles and fighter jets screaming overheard — fighter jets whose hourly operating costs are enough to to feed, clothe and shelter a family of four for a year.

If the parade lasts an hour, at least two people will have died from opioid overdoses before it finishes.

Jason Berger served the Army in Iraq and was honorably discharged as an enlisted specialist. Twitter: @JasonBerger1 [3]

References

  1. ^ President Trump’s parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell (content.time.com)
  3. ^ @JasonBerger1  (twitter.com)
0

Trump's military parade would turn US troops into toy soldiers


Troops march over the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., as they head toward the Pentagon during the National Victory Day Parade on June 8, 1991. The celebration to honor Gulf War troops drew an estimated 800,000 spectators. (Doug Mills/AP)

When I was graduating from Army basic training, our unit was assigned to put on a program for the families of arriving recruits. It was a carefully choreographed spectacle to show them what their family members would learn in the coming weeks.

In one part of the performance, three newly minted soldiers proclaim why they decided to join the military. Some said they came from a family with a long military tradition. Others said they wanted to defend their country from those who would harm it. Others still said they just had a general love of their country and freedom. It was carefully rehearsed, with the three soldiers who spoke chosen by the drill sergeants.

But there was one condition: The speakers could not say that they enlisted for college money.

This strikes at the heart of a problem that President Trump’s parade[1] is a mere symptom of: We are not honest with ourselves about our military, and our blind worship of the institution is troubling.

This year the United States will spend $824.6 billion on defense. Meanwhile, social safety nets get gutted, schools go without heat, tens of thousands die from opioid overdoses and infrastructure crumbles.

The military is rarely open to criticism. Any negative remark by a public figure must be prefaced with “but we are thankful for our brave soldiers, who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.” The sentiment has become a mindless tic, a meaningless platitude that is nonetheless repeated.

No other institution earns such veneration. Sanitation workers, who have a dangerous job and play a larger role in the day-to-day comfort of U.S. citizens, are not thanked for their service. No one points them out to their child and says, “That is what a hero looks like.”

Worse, it seems that the people who are the most vocal in their support of the troops are the first ones to march along when the war drums get beaten. By the twisted logic of U.S. military worship, questioning a war is tantamount to betraying the troops. Antiwar protesters are shouted down, proven right and forgotten.

Then the cycle repeats.

We are a nation that uses the threat of crippling university debt to persuade kids to risk their lives in pointless wars. This is difficult to accept. It is far easier to thank them for their service and say that the pain is for a worthy cause.

American rituals include buying a new yellow ribbon magnet for the SUV after the old one gets faded by years in the sun, standing for the national anthem, saying that we shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees while there are still homeless veterans, and then forgetting about the homeless veterans as soon as the refugees get turned away. These rituals help distract us not only from how callously we treat our own citizens, but also how callously we treat the world as a whole.

In 1993, as the United States was considering whether to send troops to intervene in Bosnia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell[2], then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to his memoir.

“What’s the point of this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” she pointedly said.

Powell was so disgusted that he had to leave the room, he recalled. He later said, “American GIs are not toy soldiers.”

That is what this parade will be. A shining display of America’s toy soldiers for the country and the world to see. They can all witness the United States proudly displaying its No. 1 priority: a killing machine more powerful than the world has ever known and that keeps growing because it is never satisfied. A machine that is always looking for the next target.

Military parades are popular in tin-pot dictatorships for a reason. They hide a suffering populace behind rows of military vehicles and fighter jets screaming overheard — fighter jets whose hourly operating costs are enough to feed, clothe and shelter a family of four for a year.

If the parade lasts an hour, at least two people will have died of opioid overdoses before it finishes.

Jason Berger served the Army in Iraq and was honorably discharged as an enlisted specialist. Twitter: @JasonBerger1 [3]

References

  1. ^ President Trump’s parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell (content.time.com)
  3. ^ @JasonBerger1  (twitter.com)
0

Trump's military parade would turn US troops into toy soldiers


Troops march over the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., as they head toward the Pentagon during the National Victory Day Parade on June 8, 1991. The celebration to honor Gulf War troops drew an estimated 800,000 spectators. (Doug Mills/AP)

When I was graduating from Army basic training, our unit was assigned to put on a program for the families of arriving recruits. It was a carefully choreographed spectacle to show them what their family members would learn in the coming weeks.

In one part of the performance, three newly minted soldiers proclaim why they decided to join the military. Some said they came from a family with a long military tradition. Others said they wanted to defend their country from those who would harm it. Others still said they just had a general love of their country and freedom. It was carefully rehearsed, with the three soldiers who spoke chosen by the drill sergeants.

But there was one condition: The speakers could not say that they enlisted for college money.

This strikes at the heart of a problem that President Trump’s parade[1] is a mere symptom of: We are not honest with ourselves about our military, and our blind worship of the institution is troubling.

This year the United States will spend $824.6 billion on defense. Meanwhile, social safety nets get gutted, schools go without heat, tens of thousands die from opioid overdoses and infrastructure crumbles.

The military is rarely open to criticism. Any negative remark by a public figure must be prefaced with “but we are thankful for our brave soldiers, who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.” The sentiment has become a mindless tic, a meaningless platitude that is nonetheless repeated.

No other institution earns such veneration. Sanitation workers, who have a dangerous job and play a larger role in the day-to-day comfort of U.S. citizens, are not thanked for their service. No one points them out to their child and says, “That is what a hero looks like.”

Worse, it seems that the people who are the most vocal in their support of the troops are the first ones to march along when the war drums get beaten. By the twisted logic of U.S. military worship, questioning a war is tantamount to betraying the troops. Antiwar protesters are shouted down, proven right and forgotten.

Then the cycle repeats.

We are a nation that uses the threat of crippling university debt to persuade kids to risk their lives in pointless wars. This is difficult to accept. It is far easier to thank them for their service and say that the pain is for a worthy cause.

American rituals include buying a new yellow ribbon magnet for the SUV after the old one gets faded by years in the sun, standing for the national anthem, saying that we shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees while there are still homeless veterans, and then forgetting about the homeless veterans as soon as the refugees get turned away. These rituals help distract us not only from how callously we treat our own citizens, but also how callously we treat the world as a whole.

In 1993, as the United States was considering whether to send troops to intervene in Bosnia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell[2], then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to his memoir.

“What’s the point of this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” she pointedly said.

Powell was so disgusted that he had to leave the room, he recalled. He later said, “American GIs are not toy soldiers.”

That is what this parade will be. A shining display of America’s toy soldiers for the country and the world to see. They can all witness the United States proudly displaying its No. 1 priority: a killing machine more powerful than the world has ever known and that keeps growing because it is never satisfied. A machine that is always looking for the next target.

Military parades are popular in tin-pot dictatorships for a reason. They hide a suffering populace behind rows of military vehicles and fighter jets screaming overheard — fighter jets whose hourly operating costs are enough to feed, clothe and shelter a family of four for a year.

If the parade lasts an hour, at least two people will have died of opioid overdoses before it finishes.

Jason Berger served the Army in Iraq and was honorably discharged as an enlisted specialist. Twitter: @JasonBerger1 [3]

References

  1. ^ President Trump’s parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell (content.time.com)
  3. ^ @JasonBerger1  (twitter.com)
0

Trump's military parade would turn US troops into toy soldiers


Troops march over the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., as they head toward the Pentagon during the National Victory Day Parade on June 8, 1991. The celebration to honor Gulf War troops drew an estimated 800,000 spectators. (Doug Mills/AP)

When I was graduating from Army basic training, our unit was assigned to put on a program for the families of arriving recruits. It was a carefully choreographed spectacle to show them what their family members would learn in the coming weeks.

In one part of the performance, three newly minted soldiers proclaim why they decided to join the military. Some said they came from a family with a long military tradition. Others said they wanted to defend their country from those who would harm it. Others still said they just had a general love of their country and freedom. It was carefully rehearsed, with the three soldiers who spoke chosen by the drill sergeants.

But there was one condition: The speakers could not say that they enlisted for college money.

This strikes at the heart of a problem that President Trump’s parade[1] is a mere symptom of: We are not honest with ourselves about our military, and our blind worship of the institution is troubling.

This year the United States will spend $824.6 billion on defense. Meanwhile, social safety nets get gutted, schools go without heat, tens of thousands die from opioid overdoses and infrastructure crumbles.

The military is rarely open to criticism. Any negative remark by a public figure must be prefaced with “but we are thankful for our brave soldiers, who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.” The sentiment has become a mindless tic, a meaningless platitude that is nonetheless repeated.

No other institution earns such veneration. Sanitation workers, who have a dangerous job and play a larger role in the day-to-day comfort of U.S. citizens, are not thanked for their service. No one points them out to their child and says, “That is what a hero looks like.”

Worse, it seems that the people who are the most vocal in their support of the troops are the first ones to march along when the war drums get beaten. By the twisted logic of U.S. military worship, questioning a war is tantamount to betraying the troops. Antiwar protesters are shouted down, proven right and forgotten.

Then the cycle repeats.

We are a nation that uses the threat of crippling university debt to persuade kids to risk their lives in pointless wars. This is difficult to accept. It is far easier to thank them for their service and say that the pain is for a worthy cause.

American rituals include buying a new yellow ribbon magnet for the SUV after the old one gets faded by years in the sun, standing for the national anthem, saying that we shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees while there are still homeless veterans, and then forgetting about the homeless veterans as soon as the refugees get turned away. These rituals help distract us not only from how callously we treat our own citizens, but also how callously we treat the world as a whole.

In 1993, as the United States was considering whether to send troops to intervene in Bosnia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell[2], then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to his memoir.

“What’s the point of this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” she pointedly said.

Powell was so disgusted that he had to leave the room, he recalled. He later said, “American GIs are not toy soldiers.”

That is what this parade will be. A shining display of America’s toy soldiers for the country and the world to see. They can all witness the United States proudly displaying its No. 1 priority: a killing machine more powerful than the world has ever known and that keeps growing because it is never satisfied. A machine that is always looking for the next target.

Military parades are popular in tin-pot dictatorships for a reason. They hide a suffering populace behind rows of military vehicles and fighter jets screaming overheard — fighter jets whose hourly operating costs are enough to feed, clothe and shelter a family of four for a year.

If the parade lasts an hour, at least two people will have died of opioid overdoses before it finishes.

Jason Berger served the Army in Iraq and was honorably discharged as an enlisted specialist. Twitter: @JasonBerger1 [3]

References

  1. ^ President Trump’s parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell (content.time.com)
  3. ^ @JasonBerger1  (twitter.com)
0

US Homeland Security refutes NBC report that claims Russia hacked elections

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a recent report by NBC News was misleading. The channel claimed Russia “successfully penetrated” the voting systems of several states.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” DHS cybersecurity chief Jeanette Manfra said[1] on Monday.

In the NBC report[2], which aired last week, Manfra claimed that while the exact details are classified, voting systems in 21 states were targeted, and is quoted as saying “2016 was a wake-up call.” However, Manfra also adds that only an “exceptionally small number” of states were targeted successfully. Despite this, NBC’s headline on its website reads “Russians penetrated US voter systems, top US official says,” which Manfra has accused of being misleading.

Read more

US Democrats’ latest top 3 #RussiansDidIt moments

“Let me be clear,” she said. “We have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

The National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a group of chief election officials, have similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting. They have previously gone on record saying just one state was successfully penetrated by hackers.

In a statement, NBC defended its reporting of Manfra’s quotes.

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” said a spokesperson quoted by the Hill.

References

  1. ^ said (www.dhs.gov)
  2. ^ NBC report (www.nbcnews.com)
0

US Homeland Security refutes NBC report that claims Russia hacked elections

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a recent report by NBC News was misleading. The channel claimed Russia “successfully penetrated” the voting systems of several states.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” DHS cybersecurity chief Jeanette Manfra said[1] on Monday.

In the NBC report[2], which aired last week, Manfra claimed that while the exact details are classified, voting systems in 21 states were targeted, and is quoted as saying “2016 was a wake-up call.” However, Manfra also adds that only an “exceptionally small number” of states were targeted successfully. Despite this, NBC’s headline on its website reads “Russians penetrated US voter systems, top US official says,” which Manfra has accused of being misleading.

Read more

US Democrats’ latest top 3 #RussiansDidIt moments

“Let me be clear,” she said. “We have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

The National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a group of chief election officials, have similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting. They have previously gone on record saying just one state was successfully penetrated by hackers.

In a statement, NBC defended its reporting of Manfra’s quotes.

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” said a spokesperson quoted by the Hill.

References

  1. ^ said (www.dhs.gov)
  2. ^ NBC report (www.nbcnews.com)
0

US Homeland Security refutes NBC report that claims Russia hacked elections

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a recent report by NBC News was misleading. The channel claimed Russia “successfully penetrated” the voting systems of several states.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” DHS cybersecurity chief Jeanette Manfra said[1] on Monday.

In the NBC report[2], which aired last week, Manfra claimed that while the exact details are classified, voting systems in 21 states were targeted, and is quoted as saying “2016 was a wake-up call.” However, Manfra also adds that only an “exceptionally small number” of states were targeted successfully. Despite this, NBC’s headline on its website reads “Russians penetrated US voter systems, top US official says,” which Manfra has accused of being misleading.

Read more

US Democrats’ latest top 3 #RussiansDidIt moments

“Let me be clear,” she said. “We have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

The National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a group of chief election officials, have similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting. They have previously gone on record saying just one state was successfully penetrated by hackers.

In a statement, NBC defended its reporting of Manfra’s quotes.

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” said a spokesperson quoted by the Hill.

References

  1. ^ said (www.dhs.gov)
  2. ^ NBC report (www.nbcnews.com)
0

Homeland Security calls NBC report on election hacking 'false …

The Department of Homeland Security on Monday pushed back against a recent NBC News report claiming that Russian hackers “successfully penetrated” U.S. voter roles before the 2016 elections, calling it misleading.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” Jeanette Manfra, the department’s chief cybersecurity official, said in a statement. 

The article published[1] by NBC last week drew on an exclusive interview with Manfra, during which she told the publication that U.S. officials observed “a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Manfra’s comments echoed testimony she delivered before the Senate Intelligence Committee last June, in which she confirmed publicly that election-related systems in 21 states were targeted ahead of the election.

Citing her comments, NBC reported that Russia “successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states” before the election. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for NBC defended the network’s reporting as accurate. 

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” the spokesperson said. 

Manfra said Monday morning, “NBC News continues to falsely report my recent comments on attempted election hacking — which clearly mirror my testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer — as some kind of ‘breaking news,’ incorrectly claiming a shift in the administration’s position on cyber threats.”

“As I said eight months ago, a number of states were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to U.S. election infrastructure,” she said. 

Homeland Security has maintained that most of the pre-2016 targeting efforts involved mere preparations for hacking, like scanning for vulnerabilities, and were not ultimately successful. 

Officials in both Illinois and Arizona have said that hackers tried to break into voter roles in their respective states. Hackers successfully accessed records on 200,000 Illinois voters by penetrating the state voter database. In Arizona, officials say that hackers successfully delivered malware to a county election official’s computer but that malicious actors never actually made it into the system.

Homeland Security notified all 21 states of the targeting efforts last September. Officials in some states have disputed the conclusions, saying that the evidence did not point to targeting of actual election infrastructure. 

“NBC’s irresponsible reporting, which is being roundly criticized elsewhere in the media and by security experts alike, undermines the ability of the Department of Homeland Security, our partners at the Election Assistance Commission, and state and local officials across the nation to do our incredibly important jobs,” Manfra said.

Homeland Security is providing cyber scanning and other services to state officials who request it as part of its new critical infrastructure designation for voting systems and infrastructure. The department is also working to bolster threat intelligence sharing with election officials in states across the country. 

Manfra’s statement on Monday came after the National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a number of chief election officials, similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting.

This post was updated at 12:56 p.m. to reflect a statement from NBC News. 

References

  1. ^ published (www.nbcnews.com)
0

Homeland Security calls NBC report on election hacking 'false …

The Department of Homeland Security on Monday pushed back against a recent NBC News report claiming that Russian hackers “successfully penetrated” U.S. voter roles before the 2016 elections, calling it misleading.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” Jeanette Manfra, the department’s chief cybersecurity official, said in a statement. 

The article published[1] by NBC last week drew on an exclusive interview with Manfra, during which she told the publication that U.S. officials observed “a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Manfra’s comments echoed testimony she delivered before the Senate Intelligence Committee last June, in which she confirmed publicly that election-related systems in 21 states were targeted ahead of the election.

Citing her comments, NBC reported that Russia “successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states” before the election. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for NBC defended the network’s reporting as accurate. 

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” the spokesperson said. 

Manfra said Monday morning, “NBC News continues to falsely report my recent comments on attempted election hacking — which clearly mirror my testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer — as some kind of ‘breaking news,’ incorrectly claiming a shift in the administration’s position on cyber threats.”

“As I said eight months ago, a number of states were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to U.S. election infrastructure,” she said. 

Homeland Security has maintained that most of the pre-2016 targeting efforts involved mere preparations for hacking, like scanning for vulnerabilities, and were not ultimately successful. 

Officials in both Illinois and Arizona have said that hackers tried to break into voter roles in their respective states. Hackers successfully accessed records on 200,000 Illinois voters by penetrating the state voter database. In Arizona, officials say that hackers successfully delivered malware to a county election official’s computer but that malicious actors never actually made it into the system.

Homeland Security notified all 21 states of the targeting efforts last September. Officials in some states have disputed the conclusions, saying that the evidence did not point to targeting of actual election infrastructure. 

“NBC’s irresponsible reporting, which is being roundly criticized elsewhere in the media and by security experts alike, undermines the ability of the Department of Homeland Security, our partners at the Election Assistance Commission, and state and local officials across the nation to do our incredibly important jobs,” Manfra said.

Homeland Security is providing cyber scanning and other services to state officials who request it as part of its new critical infrastructure designation for voting systems and infrastructure. The department is also working to bolster threat intelligence sharing with election officials in states across the country. 

Manfra’s statement on Monday came after the National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a number of chief election officials, similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting.

This post was updated at 12:56 p.m. to reflect a statement from NBC News. 

References

  1. ^ published (www.nbcnews.com)
0

Homeland Security calls NBC report on election hacking 'false …

The Department of Homeland Security on Monday pushed back against a recent NBC News report claiming that Russian hackers “successfully penetrated” U.S. voter roles before the 2016 elections, calling it misleading.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” Jeanette Manfra, the department’s chief cybersecurity official, said in a statement. 

The article published[1] by NBC last week drew on an exclusive interview with Manfra, during which she told the publication that U.S. officials observed “a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Manfra’s comments echoed testimony she delivered before the Senate Intelligence Committee last June, in which she confirmed publicly that election-related systems in 21 states were targeted ahead of the election.

Citing her comments, NBC reported that Russia “successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states” before the election. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for NBC defended the network’s reporting as accurate. 

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” the spokesperson said. 

Manfra said Monday morning, “NBC News continues to falsely report my recent comments on attempted election hacking — which clearly mirror my testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer — as some kind of ‘breaking news,’ incorrectly claiming a shift in the administration’s position on cyber threats.”

“As I said eight months ago, a number of states were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to U.S. election infrastructure,” she said. 

Homeland Security has maintained that most of the pre-2016 targeting efforts involved mere preparations for hacking, like scanning for vulnerabilities, and were not ultimately successful. 

Officials in both Illinois and Arizona have said that hackers tried to break into voter roles in their respective states. Hackers successfully accessed records on 200,000 Illinois voters by penetrating the state voter database. In Arizona, officials say that hackers successfully delivered malware to a county election official’s computer but that malicious actors never actually made it into the system.

Homeland Security notified all 21 states of the targeting efforts last September. Officials in some states have disputed the conclusions, saying that the evidence did not point to targeting of actual election infrastructure. 

“NBC’s irresponsible reporting, which is being roundly criticized elsewhere in the media and by security experts alike, undermines the ability of the Department of Homeland Security, our partners at the Election Assistance Commission, and state and local officials across the nation to do our incredibly important jobs,” Manfra said.

Homeland Security is providing cyber scanning and other services to state officials who request it as part of its new critical infrastructure designation for voting systems and infrastructure. The department is also working to bolster threat intelligence sharing with election officials in states across the country. 

Manfra’s statement on Monday came after the National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a number of chief election officials, similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting.

This post was updated at 12:56 p.m. to reflect a statement from NBC News. 

References

  1. ^ published (www.nbcnews.com)