Trump’s Open Door Policy…

Let anyone who wants waltz right into US cyberspace:

The White House eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council on Tuesday, doing away with a post central to developing policy to defend against increasingly sophisticated digital attacks and the use of offensive cyber weapons.

A memorandum circulated by an aide to the new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the post was no longer considered necessary because lower-level officials had already made cybersecurity issues a “core function” of the president’s national security team.

If that seems suspiciously moronic to you too, well…y’all are not alone:

Cybersecurity experts and members of Congress said they were mystified by the move, though some suggested Mr. Bolton did not want any competitive power centers emerging inside the national security apparatus.

Bureaucratic politics and ongoing White House obedience to home office demands from the banks of the Moskva River trump US security once again. To continue:

President Trump began his administration with two respected veterans of cyber policy. He appointed Thomas P. Bossert, a lawyer in the administration of President George W. Bush, as the homeland security adviser.

The cybersecurity coordinator who reported to him, Rob Joyce, had run the Tailored Access Operations unit of the N.S.A. — the unit that, until it was reorganized and renamed, was responsible for breaking into foreign computer systems as part of United States covert operations.

Mr. Bossert was forced out on Mr. Bolton’s second day on the job, and Mr. Joyce returned to the N.S.A. on Friday. [links in the original]

This, from the same New York Times article quoted above, seems to me not MSM cluelessness but elegantly thrown shade:

It is unclear how those issues will now be managed in the White House. Mr. Bolton has virtually no cyber-related experience.

Though I am not a lawyer, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that inexperience — not to say stupidity — is no defense against charges of treason or other malfeasance.

This has been another update in the #WASF chronicles.

(Open thread, also too.)

Image: Potter Paulus, The young thief 1649.


34 replies
  1. 1
    gene108 says:

    It’s almost like people high up in our government want to hand the keys of our country over to the Russians, but that can’t be because Republicans are the most patriotic patriots that ever patrioted.


  2. 2
    Chyron HR says:

    Our Revolution strikes another blow against the Neoliberal Status Quo!

  3. 3
    Immanentize says:

    Bolton strikes me as the kind of guy who has “no need” for a computer (like Comey, I think I heard).

  4. 4
    Immanentize says:

    The last refuge of a scoundrel?

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    The foxes will be so lethargic after gorging on chickens that they’ll be easier to catch.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    /Jon Lovitz

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    We’re only hiring the BEST Bushies. I just can’t wait for the 2018 version of this blast from the past.

    “Bin Laden determined to strike in the US.”

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    One does tire of loading DOS from the floppy drive.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:


    “Bin Laden determined to strike in the US.”

    Dolt 45: Strike? Damn unions, at it again.

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:


    “Bin Laden determined to strike in the US.”

    Russia plans to meddle in the 2016 elections

  10. 10
    laura says:

    John Bolton,dedicated public servant and champion of good governement, said no one anywhere, ever.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:

    said the post was no longer considered necessary because lower-level officials had already made cybersecurity issues a “core function” of the president’s national security team.

    Left unsaid was that they had taken the enemy’s side of the issue.

  12. 12
    Immanentize says:


  13. 13

    They continue to act in a manner indistinguishable from people who are helping a foreign government manipulate the country 🧐🤔

    Mr. Bolton has virtually no cyber-related experience.


  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    Before you defeat your enemies abroad, you must defeat your enemies at home, even if that involves cutting a deal with your enemies abroad. This is strategy as the Republicans understand it.

  15. 15
    randy khan says:

    So it’s a core function with nobody who actually knows anything about it on the staff. Right.

  16. 16
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    When I was in my teens, I devoured Allen Drury’s “Advise and Consent” series all the way to the forked end.

    Drury was a dogged hater of Stalinism, and tended to see a lot of things as commie plots. Unusual for his day, though, he wasn’t a culture warrior – his “good guy” political characters were secularized residents of a normal world, contending against an array of idiots in the media, pols in the thrall of media, Russian thugs and an eerily familiar consortium of extremist activists from the far left and the far right.

    His fiction was frequently bad and geographically nonsensical as to what the internal alignments would be, BUT he could have easily written the plot of what we’re living through now.

    The end of the series was forked-the first was “Come Nineveh, Come Tyre”, in which the centrist order was crushed, with the country becoming a Russian vassal state in all but name, headed quickly toward a dictatorship under a domestic version of Stalin.

    The second ending was “The Promise of Joy”, where the centrist order prevails while Russia and China have a nuclear war and revolutions.

    In the second ending, the leaders of the far left and far right wind up assassinated by their erstwhile and naive black activist ally when he realizes what they are and what they represent.

    The thing about Drury’s media idiots – he had to have a time machine capable of viewing our current media.

  17. 17
    Mike in NC says:

    Reminds me of the time one a summer when I worked at the Naval Staff College — an organization within the Naval War College that trains officers from allied navies — and I volunteered to create a detailed database on alumni. I was told “the admiral doesn’t like computers” and the information would have to be organized on index cards he could keep in a box on top of his desk!

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    “Almost like”?

  19. 19
    jjhare says:

    Currently working an IT security position at a government agency. Not sure how effective this posiltion was for other agencies but when we got a request from the White House that was officially a Big Deal. It’s not like we didn’t do our jobs otherwise but we certainly made sure all the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed.

    Seems like it would be useful to have a trusted and semi-feared person to direct responses to IT security emergencies in government. Guess not.

  20. 20
    tamiasmin says:

    No worries, ”lower-level officials” have got this. They are anonymous for the sake of security, i.e., so no one will know who dropped the ball the next time.

  21. 21
    Geeno says:

    @Mike in NC: When I get a task like that, I make the database, and program in the option to print the cards.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Gin & Tonic says:

    The worst people to deal with on infosec issues are those who think they know something but have no relevant operational experience. Sounds like that’s the NSC now.

  24. 24
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Anyway, happy (Norwegian) Constitution Day to all. Oslo has been hopping.

  25. 25
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I believe Messrs. Dunning and Krueger have a name for that.

  26. 26
    Mart says:

    What is a #WASF chronicle?

  27. 27
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Immanentize: Computer, books, research tools, researchers… He don’t need none of those things.

  28. 28
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mart: WASF= We are so fucked

  29. 29
    peter says:

    @Immanentize: That’s Kaypro — my first computer was a “portable” Kaypro 2x.

  30. 30
    Aleta says:

    fwiw A year ago, the Hill wrote (flavored like a WH press release) >>The administration has put in place some key people who will have a major say on cybersecurity, cyber defense, and IT modernization.<<
    Then listed: Joyce, Kushner, Liddell, Kelly, Mattis.
    (I don't know if Liddel got the appointment to the NEC that was mentioned when Cohn left?)

    Re Kushner, we were told that

    “Cybersecurity experts widely view information technology modernization as a crucial first step in securing the government’s networks. In his leadership role at the White House’s Office of American Innovation, Jared Kushner has been tasked with spearheading the federal government’s IT modernization efforts.”


    “The way they are setting up the office (of American Innovation) has tremendous potential,” said Craig Albright, vice president for legislative strategy at BSA the Software Alliance, a trade group that advocates for the global software industry. “It’s like a national security council for technology issues.” 
    “It’s still early,” Albright added. “What we can judge now is how they’re setting it up, what people they’re putting in place.”


    Of Liddell (part of Kushner’s Office of American Innovation + on the American Technology Council)

    (May 2017) Liddell and other members of the council — including a number of Cabinet members — will make policy recommendations on how to use IT securely and efficiently throughout the federal government. This will involve considering information on cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities shared by the director of national intelligence.

    I guess we’ll always have Kushner.

    I wonder if they are going to try to outsource cybersecurity in another privatization scheme? I’m not thinking straight right now.

  31. 31
    Delia says:

    Relax. Everything will be fine as long as the Russkies don’t break Twitter.

  32. 32
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Aleta: Putting it that way makes me think this could be another public funds grab for DuVois and her Princeling brother. Scr3w the public entity tasked with the business, and then bring in the private sector alternate that can do worse for more money better for less.

  33. 33
    scott alloway says:

    @gene108: IIRC, according to all internet traditions, it’s “FRIST.” This has been throwback humour.

  34. 34
    Tehanu says:

    But it’ll be OK because, when net neutrality goes the way of the dinosaurs, our enemies won’t be able to afford the charges for accessing our websites!

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