‘Counterterrorism Czar’ Says Every U.S. Company Has Been Infiltrated by China
|Richard Clarke claims every U.S. company has been penetrated by the Chinese. (Photo: Khue Bui via Smithsonian)|
“I’m about to say something that people think is an exaggeration, but I think the evidence is pretty strong,” he tells me. “Every major company in the United States has already been penetrated by China."
Clarke now wants to warn us, urgently, that we are being failed again, being left defenseless against a cyberattack that could bring down our nation’s entire electronic infrastructure, including the power grid, banking and telecommunications, and even our military command system.
“Are we as a nation living in denial about the danger we’re in?” I asked Clarke as we sat across a conference table in his office suite.
“I think we’re living in the world of non-response. Where you know that there’s a problem, but you don’t do anything about it. If that’s denial, then that’s denial.”
“I’m about to say something that people think is an exaggeration, but I think the evidence is pretty strong,” he tells me. “Every major company in the United States has already been penetrated by China.”
“[...] rather than having a cyber-Pearl Harbor event, we will instead have this death of a thousand cuts. Where we lose our competitiveness by having all of our research and development stolen by the Chinese. And we never really see the single event that makes us do something about it. That it’s always just below our pain threshold. That company after company in the United States spends millions, hundreds of millions, in some cases billions of dollars on R&D and that information goes free to China….After a while you can’t compete.”
One reason to believe the Stuxnet attack was made in the USA, Clarke says, “was that it very much had the feel to it of having been written by or governed by a team of Washington lawyers.”
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“Well, first of all, I’ve sat through a lot of meetings with Washington [government/Pentagon/CIA/NSA-type] lawyers going over covert action proposals. And I know what lawyers do.
“The lawyers want to make sure that they very much limit the effects of the action. So that there’s no collateral damage.” He is referring to legal concerns about the Law of Armed Conflict, an international code designed to minimize civilian casualties that U.S. government lawyers seek to follow in most cases.