”What we are seeing is the empowerment of the individual to conduct war,” says John Robb, a counterterrorism expert and author of the book Brave New War (John Wiley & Sons), which came out in April. While the concept of asymmetric warfare dates back at least 2000 years, to the Chinese military strategist Sun-tzu, the conflict in Iraq has redefined the nature of such struggles [see photo, ”Road to Perdition”]. As events are making painfully clear, Robb says, warfare is being transformed from a closed, state-sponsored affair to one where the means and the know-how to do battle are readily found on the Internet and at your local RadioShack. This open global access to increasingly powerful technological tools, he says, is in effect allowing ”small groups to…declare war on nations.”
While I’d hesitate to describe the conflict between WikiLeaks and the United States as a war, it is the latest example of America’s inability to cope with these threats. Our nation is based on the assumption that supreme military power can quell any conflict. Unfortunately, that’s no longer true. The ability to innovate is now hindered by the massive standing army and infrastructure used to support it. That’s not a criticism of our armed forces. But the fact is: they’re not capable of winning many of the asymmetric battles and wars that we face in the future.
The idea of sending our army to fight WikiLeaks is obviously ludicrous. But it’s almost as ludicrous to suggest that paramilitary operations (like a CIA assassination of Assange) would change anything. Assange would be replaced by some subordinate with the same goals. Even if that’s not the case, the ideology is just as threatening as the man himself. WikiLeaks, just like al Qaeda, is a decentralized organization that relies on the ability to exploit large-scale vulnerability at low cost. Their battles are focused on disruption and achieving minor victories. The secondary goal of these organizations is to create (political) fatigue associated with the larger entity’s reaction to the attacks. Literally EVERYTHING they attempt is a victory.
Consider this: America’s official response to WikiLeaks has been… complaining about WikiLeaks. The only reason the site is having trouble is due to INDEPENDENT “crusaders” (read: hackers) fighting for America by attacking WikiLeaks’ servers. The site quickly moved to Amazon and then was booted by Amazon. American politicians, such as Joe Lieberman, considered this a victory when it was really a choreographed move by WikiLeaks to drag the first amendment into the discussion. They also had their American domain eliminated by EveryDNS.net due to the hackers’ attacks. But both of those issues were remedied by simply registering a Swiss domain name and the hosting to a Swedish company called Bahnhof. Aside from that, the most powerful country in the world is simply pouting about how it’s been embarrassed with no ability to fight back.
Gawker Media paid $12,000 for those pictures Brett Favre allegedly took of his naked crotch and sent to Jets employee Jenn Sterger, Gawker boss Nick Denton just told the audience here at our Ignition conference in New York.
Deadspin editor AJ Daulario told us the story was the most expensive in the sports blog’s history.
The post currently has 4,919,867 pageviews.
"I love paying for information," Denton said. For a few thousand dollars, Denton says he increased the value of Deadspin by millions.
I still haven’t seen the Brett Favre cell phone pictures — and I never really plan on seeking them out. But congratulations to Deadspin (and parent company Gawker Media) for capitalizing on the delicate practice of penis arbitrage. It doesn’t always work out this well. I can tell you that from experience.
Last night, Conan talked to Tim Gunn about jeggings. The late night host professed his love for the jeans and leggings combination before expressiong surprise when Gunn told him that men wore them too. Apparently, that inspired Conan. The freakishly tall redhead decided to tear away his suit pants during his monologue tonight to reveal acid-washed jeggings underneath.
Dear “Terriers” watchers,
On the eve of our season finale — and, as far as we know, it is a season finale — we wanted to thank you for tuning in and supporting the show and, most of all, for embracing Hank and Britt with such enthusiasm and devotion. We’re very proud of “Terriers” and are grateful/gratified it found an audience as intelligent, discerning and handsome as you. So, on behalf of all the actors and writers and directors and crew members and everyone who worked on the show, thanks. And we hope to do it again next year.
Ted Griffin & Shawn Ryan & Tim Minear
P.S. If you think of it, you might watch tomorrow’s episode LIVE if you can; it’s called (for no particular reason) “Hail Mary” and we hope you enjoy it. Also, if you happen to know a Nielsen family, this could be a great opportunity to reconnect by inviting yourself over to watch it at their place. Super too would be if when you got home after, you Hulu’d the show. Then gifted it via iTunes to everyone you love/can barely stand. Just a thought. It’s what our mothers are doing.
You should probably start watching the best new show on television. It’s probably the show that I most look forward to watching each week. And that’s coming from a bitter, bitter human. WATCH TERRIERS TOMORROW NIGHT AT 9PM CENTRAL/10PM EASTERN.
RT @MovemberNY: Jets QB Mark Sanchez may be growing a mustache… it certainly looks that way. http://bit.ly/3YyedA
I love Carl Weathers… but Brothers sucks. I hope he’s on another good show some day.
ALERT: The fact that you like Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia does not make you funny by association.
People watching on the bus in NYC is awesome. Too bad they aren’t good for transportation. I think I can walk faster.
I’m pretty sure that Alia Shawkat is going to be a star some day. Although, Whip It will probably suck.
I find the “you like to work out but you also like to drink beer” Michelob Light commercials hilarious.
Sharon Stone in Alpha Dog has one of the worst fat suits of all time. I can’t take this scene seriously. http://bit.ly/IIzNj
I love the way ESPN is “analyzing” Plaxico Burress potentially returning to football. The guy is old & in prison. He’s done.
RT @MovemberNY: Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Inter Milan gives American footballers a run for their money with his stache: http://bit.ly/2WcR1F
Amazing how Deadspin will shamelessly lift entire posts — like the Baylor Beer Thief from SbB. Is it even re-written? http://bit.ly/29zj6O
Ramiro Pena loves skin-tight vinyl RT @BigLeagueScrew: YANKEES RAUNCHY ROOKIE HAZING SHOCKS GOTHAM http://bit.ly/akGxx