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Friday, November 22, 2002
Countermeasure against the mystery attack
I think I may have invented a countermeasure against the mystery attack alluded to in the redacted postings below. I'll have to discuss it with the persion who thought it up tomorrow.
Now, who do we pass a report on the vulnerability and the countermeasure?
Hey! Over the radio as I write comes the news that Abd Al-Nasiri, the guy who built the explosive device that blew up U.S.S. Cole and planned the attack on the French tanker, is in U.S. custody and singing like a bird. I hope they squeeze him dry and then stake him out for the fire ants.
posted by Eric at 3:20 AM
Thursday, November 21, 2002
It's called "Armed and Dangerous" for a reason..."
[Portions of this item have been redacted to protect another blogger]
A correspondent is concerned that by revealing that I know a diabolically effective attack plan, I have made myself a potential target of kidnap and torture by terrorists who would very much like to know what [CENSORED] cooked up, so they can do it.
My civilization is at war. I am not a coward. I'm not going to hand our enemies vital information gratis merely to secure my personal safety.
I'm not going to discuss my security precautions in detail, for obvious reasons. But my readers may be reassured that I am not a soft target. Nor is my wife.
Osama, dude? If you're listening? I would just love a shot at a few of the vicious goatfuckers on your string. Send them over; I'll give them a very painful and very short education in what the wrath of Allah is really like. Then I'll bury them in pigskin.
posted by Eric at 10:34 PM
Security by obscurity:
[This post has been redacted to protect two other bloggers. I regret the necessity, but lives could be at stake.]
My name and work have been [CENSORED] are some possible modes of terror attack that should not be discussed in public.
With all respect to [CENSORED], I think it is wrongheaded of him to imply that my arguments against software security by obscurity necessarily apply to all other kinds of defense against vandalism and terror. Software is a special case; the low cost of distributing software patches is what makes shaming software vendors with public disclosure an effective tactic. When defense is very difficult or impossible, [CENSORED] is probably right that security through obscurity is a correct response. At least, he's not obviously wrong.
[CENSORED] has described to me in detail the attack he is concerned about. He is right that it would be trivially easy to execute. He is right that it would be enormously, horribly disruptive. I am not certain that it is as impossible to defend against as he supposes; we are discussing potential countermeasures now.
One of the most important possible countermeasures involves lots and civilians keeping an eye out for the attack — and both a firearm and a cellphone handy to stop it. If [CENSORED] and I decide that's an appropriate counterstrategy, it may be necessary to go public in order to stimulate action. But I'm not going to say anything until we've thought the scenarios through further.
[CENSORED] has thought up a way that fifty people in two-to-five-man cells operating independently and could — using ordinary tools available everywhere, with very little effort and almost no risk to themselves — cause hundreds of casualties, cripple large sections of the economy and maybe [CENSORED].
Yes, folks, it's that serious.
posted by Eric at 8:21 PM
What a responsible American Left would look like:
The congressional Democrats have made Nancy Pelosi their leader. Whether or not this is conscious strategy, it means they're going to run to the left. And very likely get slaughtered in 2004.
It's truly odd how self-destructive the American Left has become. They're like that famous line about the Palestinians, never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And there are so many opportunities! So many good things Republican conservatives can never do because they're captive to their voter base.
Herewith, then, my humble offering of a program for the American Left. This is not sarcasm and I'm not trying to score points here, these are issues where the Left could take a stand and gain back some of the moral capital it has squandered so recklessly since the days of the civil rights movement.
posted by Eric at 2:48 PM