The Border Invasion Trump Didn’t Mention

As most people have noted, Trump spent a lot of time bashing immigrants last night. Trump mentioned immigrants 11 times. He also mentioned borders five times, in this context.

We’ve defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross — and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate.

[snip]

At the same time, my Administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security. By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. We want all Americans to succeed –- but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders.

For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.

As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.

To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders? [my emphasis]

But there was one kind of border invasion Trump didn’t mention: that of Russia (and other state hackers) across our borders. In spite of lots of bombast about cybersecurity (and an early focus on a new cybersecurity EO that has apparently been indefinitely delayed), Trump made no mention of cybersecurity.

To be fair, it’s not like the President always mentions cybersecurity. According to my quick review, Obama only did in half his SOTUs.

2015:

Third, we’re looking beyond the issues that have consumed us in the past to shape the coming century.  No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids.  (Applause.)  So we’re making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism.

And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.  That should be a bipartisan effort.

2014:

Here at home, we’ll keep strengthening our defenses, and combat new threats like cyberattacks.

2013:

America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks.  (Applause.)  Now, we know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private emails.  We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets.  Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems.  We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

And that’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.  (Applause.)

But now Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.  This is something we should be able to get done on a bipartisan basis.  (Applause.)

2012:

To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I’ve already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing dangers of cyber-threats.

Like Trump, Obama didn’t mention cybersecurity the year after disclosure of a massive state-based attack, that of China’s theft of the OPM files.

Still, given how Trump raised the alarm about all sorts of evil infiltrators threatening America, you might think he would have mentioned the Russians (and other state actors) secretly invading and stealing our stuff. “What would you say to the American that loses their credit card number, their identity, their passwords,” Trump might be asked, “because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?”

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

7 replies
  1. SpaceLifeForm says:

    immigrants. borders.

     

    When one uses those words, you have already been divided.

     

    The people of Earth, you are all globally connected.   You are all here on a planet that most call Earth.  You live on a planet that revolves around a star that most call Sun.  You are Space Life Forms.

    You all need to cooperate to survive.   None of you is an immigrant, and the only border that exists is called gravity.  There is no way to scale that border wall and survive.

     

     

  2. bloopie2 says:

    One problem with defending in cyberland is that, if you are successful, no one will know.  Nothing changes.  How does a cyber defender prove to her boss that she has done a good job, when there is nothing visible that can’t be (otherwise) attributed to “they didn’t try to hack us”?  It’s a thankless task.  Anyone want to commit billions of dollars for that?  Or run for political office on that as a platform?

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Your last question exposes the distinction between security theater – much loved by politicians and the intel-defense-congressional-academic complex – and real security.  Taking off belts and shoes at the airport instills abject compliance in the traveling public.  Inspecting the vast majority of shipping containers and protecting under-and over-passes near large urban areas (such as in, say, Washington, DC) would require work and expense the public wouldn’t see.  Attempting to better secure those vulnerabilities would highlight how expensive and fabulous is the search for “total security.”

  4. Ref lawyer says:

    Umm, Americans are invading up north. Trudeau had an unscheduled call about it last week with agent orange.

  5. greengiant says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/us/politics/obama-trump-russia-election-hacking.html Not in the article, the RU hacking and agitprop continues to this day comingled with a number of false flag operations by Trump supporters. Some in the IC know who these false flag ops are. some in the IC know how corrupt Clinton, Trump and the rest of the actors are. Some in the IC know who the hackers and criminals are who daily steal in the US. Nothing is done indicates either or both the IC and the judicial system are corrupted.

  6. mitchell says:

    What’s the point? That Donald’s full of shit?

    Has only been an endemic, serial liar since maybe the 70s. Maybe Roy Cohn’s influence.

    He’s an irredeemably awful person. Not going to change.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Avowed racist Jeff Sessions has again put his credibility into question.  During his confirmation hearing, Sessions attempted to turn aside a hypothetical question about Trump campaign contacts with the Russians by claiming that he had no recollection about Russian contacts, then offered that he himself had no contacts with Russians, then that he could not comment.  A performance worthy of Joe McCarthy.

    Sessions made a categorical “no contacts” answer to a hypothetical question, a rookie mistake, let alone coming from a former federal prosecutor and long-time Senator.  Sessions then apparently confirmed his answer in writing without qualification.

    Whether Sessions responses constitute perjury or whether he should resign are not the immediate questions.  Whether the inconsistency and apparent deceit merit formal investigation is the question.  I think the answer to that is a robust yes.  Imagine the GOP response had a Clinton made such obvious missteps.

     

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