Saturday’s front-page New York Occasions story on US cyberpenetration of Russia’s energy grid strikes us as nice information — although it’s important to get previous the Occasions’ painful obsession with dinging President Trump over reporting precise information.
The report cited “officers” describing the US deployment of doubtless crippling software program into “Russia’s grid.” That might be an escalation of US cyberactivity in opposition to Russia — which, the Occasions says, has till now concerned solely “reconnaissance probes.”
Escalation is lengthy overdue. Moscow has been cyber-infiltrating energy crops, oil and fuel infrastructure and different US targets for years; it must know Washington can and can combat again.
We get why Trump denied the story: That’s what everybody expects presidents to do in relation to covert exercise. And he had each proper to be outraged at a report that appeared completely happy to disclose US national-security secrets and techniques so long as it might additionally slap him.
The Occasions claims none of its sources expressed any national-security issues, maybe as a result of Washington desires Moscow to note the brand new strategy. It additionally factors out that Nationwide Safety Adviser John Bolton final week stated america was increasing its checklist of cyber targets as a message to Russia that it’ll “pay a worth” for its personal cyberattacks.
But Saturday’s story went past Bolton’s remarks. And it was sourced to “present and former authorities officers,” who absolutely have their very own agendas that readers can’t choose as a result of the Occasions retains them nameless.
And it took a typical dig at Trump, claiming underlings hesitated to element the operation to him for concern he would possibly resist it or talk about it with overseas officers. (Someway, having Trump discuss it could be far worse than having the Occasions put it on Web page One.)
In actual fact, the story counters the fevered claims of the “collusion crowd,” who nonetheless insist the president is a Putin puppet, because it notes that Trump gave US Cyber Command the go-ahead to combat again final summer season.
For all of the discuss of Trump being delicate on Russia, this administration has been far harder than the final one. That will hold shocking the Occasions, nevertheless it’s not actual information.