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Can America Win the High-Tech Information War?

Can America Win the High-Tech Information War? Read Transcript


REPORTER: Technology, it's made life easier for us,

but there's also a dark side--

[CELL PHONE RINGING]

--as technology is ultimately responsible for today's

modern warfare.

We've seen recent examples across the country.

Cyber hackers trying to break into nuclear power plants--

thankfully, their attempts were not successful.

And one of the biggest stories of the year,

federal investigators are still trying

to determine how the Russians may have

interfered in our election.

This new type of warfare is part of the information age

that has come to dominate our lives.

Now, "New York Times" bestselling author and veteran

columnist Bill Gertz explains how the United States can

beat China, Russia, Iran, and ISIS

on this modern battlefield.

In his new book titled "iWar, War and Peace

in the Information Age," Gertz offers potential solutions

to some extremely grim scenarios of what

could happen in the future.

"iWar" explains the motives and strategies

of the American left, pointing out

that many of President Obama's policies and decisions

may have harmed American national security.

Well, Bill Gertz is joining us now from Washington DC.

He's one of the most respected national security writers

in the country.

His new book is called "iWar."

Bill, it's good to have you back on "The 700 Club."

Thank you so much for being with us.

Tell us, what is an "iWar?"

It's your title.

Sure.

First, it's great to be on the show.

It's been a number of years since I've been on.

This is a very important book.

And the reason it's important is because information,

we live in an information age.

And yet we are under assault from information attacks,

whether it's from China, Russia, Iran, North

Korea, or the Islamic State terrorist group.

And over the years, the United States has literally

lost the capability to conduct information operations,

as I call them-- it's not propaganda,

it's not cyber attacks-- it's a combination of both,

technical cyber issues as well as influence

and informational issues.

And that's really where we need to understand the threat,

and then take steps to counter it.

Cyber sounds extremely high tech.

But what you're saying is good old-fashioned propaganda true.

It's the double speak of the left.

Is that what we're dealing with, or who

are the main actors in this whole drama?

Well, I do have a chapter in the book

on the political Marxist left as information warfare

that are undermining society.

I think it's a very important look at some

of the issues going back to Herbert Marcuse of the New Left

back in the '60s and '70s where he told the radicals then,

don't go into the streets anymore.

Go into the institutions.

Make a long march through the institutions of America.

And I argue in "iWar," that the Obama administration was

more or less the culmination of that long march

where leftist policies were initiated

and have caused extreme damage to our national security.

Who was the protagonist that Obama was copying,

and maybe Hillary Clinton?

Who were the heroes?

Well, I mentioned Marcuse, but also Saul Alinsky,

the radical communist.

He was the one that did "Rules For Radicals," which, kind

of a blueprint for how to transform

the American system into a leftist, Neo-Marxist system.

And that's what we're up against today.

The main manifestation of that has been political correctness,

which is damaging v everything from our campuses,

to our entertainment industry, to our businesses,

and ultimately to the government itself.

I know what it is.

Give us your definition.

Political correctness, we've heard so much about it.

How do you see that?

What would you define that?

Well, it's being used as an ideological club

to beat America.

And basically, that's arguing that America is a racist

and imperialist country.

That's a lie.

And we've got to attack that lie.

That's why I argue that we need new information tools.

We need to have better debate skills.

We need to be able to confront these bogus ideas

and really promote American ideals of freedom, liberty,

free markets.

That's what's really urgently needed.

Bill, I'm going to ask you a question.

It's a thought that comes to me, and it may be off the wall,

but I like your opinion.

The Trump administration is being accused over and over

again of consorting with the Russians, and a group that

came against young Trump Jr. And there

was a bogus, British spy, Christopher Steele

I believe his name was.

And this thing was called Fusion, apparently

a democratic operation.

But the whole thing was engaged in saying

the Trump administration is being manipulated

by the Russians, and therefore, the Democrats

are saying-- what they were trying

to do is keep Hillary Clinton out of office.

But my thought was maybe that's not the case.

Maybe this group wanting to get caught

to prove that they could disrupt America after Trump won.

And they've been pretty good at that.

We are paralyzed right now because of this thing.

How do you see that?

Yeah.

This is part of a liberal, left narrative.

And that narrative begins with the fact

that the left is claiming that the election was

stolen by the Russians and given to Trump.

There's no evidence for that.

This is, again, a false narrative

that's being promoted by the Democrats

in order to de-legitimize and undermine

the duly elected President of the United States.

And because the liberal media has

been aligned with this narrative,

it's been very difficult for the administration

to make its case.

They're trying to do that.

Some on Capitol Hill are trying to do that.

They have a new counter narrative

to that, which is led by Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence

Committee Chairman, who has uncovered compelling evidence

that the Obama administration was conducting

an improper spying operation against the Trump transition

team, and using highly classified communications,

intercepts, and having that information disseminated

to the press in a way that would undermine or damage

the incoming Trump administration.

So there's two competing narratives.

One is the Russian narrative, which

spurred a special prosecutor, a special counsel investigation.

And we're seeing that play out on our TV screens,

in our headlines.

And then there's the other narrative,

that the Democrats are promoting--

we're promoting an improper spying operation

against the Trump camp.

Can we shut that thing down, because what they're doing

is paralyzing our government.

That's what it's all about.

They're paralyzing our effectiveness.

We're not doing anything except talking about this.

Can we stop it?

Well, I think that the White House is still--

right now, the US government is running on autopilot.

There are lots of people that need to be put in place.

I've done some reporting on this for "The Free

Beacon" and "The Washington Times,"

showing that, for example, the Voice of America

is cutting its Chinese language service for reasons that

are not exactly clear, for budget cuts,

this at a time when we should be increasing our information

operations.

So I think once the administration gets

its people in place, we can take the government off autopilot.

We can get some political appointees at the working

levels, get them to put some new policies in place,

and focus the budget resources, get Congress on board

for reforms.

It's going to take some time.

But like I said, right now, we're

seeing a combination of entrenched bureaucrats running

the government, as well as holdovers from the Obama

administration.

You mentioned that Sony thing.

Apparently, there was a movie that

was making fun of Kim Jong-un.

And the North Koreans took umbrage at that.

And they began to go after us.

What have you found-- and your book is very interesting--

how they essentially shut Sony down.

Will you tell us what they did?

Yeah.

I have the most detailed explanation

of what has really become the first shot in information war

for the 21st Century.

And it was carried out by North Korean state-run hackers, who

went after Sony Pictures Entertainment

for their production of a movie called "The Interview," which

was critical of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

And so now we see that they were able to attack

one of the major entertainment companies, Sony Pictures

Entertainment, steal the information,

intimidate Americans into not seeing that movie.

And the problem is very little was done in response

under the Obama administration.

The President Obama was averse to using any kind of reaction.

And, again, that's a problem.

The same thing happened with China.

They hacked the Office of Personnel Management,

and Stole 22 million records on Americans

that they're using for further cyber attacks,

and for human intelligence gathering operations,

and there was no response.

There needs to be a much tougher response.

You pointed out in your book that it

was no question, absolutely no question

the Koreans were responsible for the attack on Sony,

and yet the Obama people knew about it

and absolutely refused to act.

Am I saying it right?

Pretty much.

Yeah.

They imposed some symbolic sanctions

on a couple of North Korean officials.

But in terms of taking action, such as conducting

counter-cyber attacks against those hackers--

and they've identified the hackers.

Those are groups that have been operating in Northeast China.

They've been operating in Southeast Asia with the support

of the Chinese government.

And yet, nothing was done to go after and either

try to damage the infrastructure of that hacking network.

And what that does is it just encourages more cyber attacks.

So now we're locked in a struggle with the North Koreans

over their nuclear and missile programs.

And they can use their hacking skills in the background

unless action is taken to try and minimize or limit

their cyber attack capabilities.

One last question.

We have an NSA, as I understand, the most sophisticated cyber

activity in the whole world.

Can we use that against these countries?

Can we say, OK, we've got an atomic bomb, a cyber bomb.

Can we focus that on China, focus that on North Korea,

and really do damage to them?

Yes, we could.

We unfortunately though, under Obama, the NSA, the National

Security Agency, which is the most sophisticated cyber

espionage and cyber attack organization in the world,

in my view, they can do that.

Right now, they're caught up in all kinds of legal problems.

They can define the authorities.

And it comes down to whether a cyber attack is

a military attack or whether it's an intelligence operation.

And until they get that clarified-- and they've

had several years to do that.

And they're still debating internally

within government over how best to do that.

Once we get that settled, we will

be able to create what they call cyber deterrence.

We'll be able to show cyber power.

And that will deter anyone from trying to steal our records,

or go after our critical infrastructure,

such as the electrical grid.

Will Trump do that, do you think?

I'm very optimistic that the Trump administration,

once it gets the government off its current autopilot,

will be able to make the needed reforms,

not just in the cyber realm, but in the information operations

realm.

I'm very optimistic.

Bill Gertz, thank you so much.

The book, ladies and gentlemen, is called "iWar."

It's available wherever books are sold.

Get it on Amazon, or wherever.

And tremendous read.

You really want to be up to date on what's going on because this

is the warfare of the future.

And this may be your future because it

may be your records that have already been hacked by Target

or even the big banks.

Fascinating.

Isn't it fascinating?

Fascinating.

Fascinating and frustrating all at the same time.

Well, Bill Gertz has got it.

And let's get this job done and stop

talking about Russian interference

with their election.

That's just a lot of smoke.

It's all it is, is a lot of smoke.

And I think it's deliberate to paralyze our government.

That's my thought.

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