Bill Gertz Talks Cyberwar, S. China Sea, IS Intel Scandal on Secure Freedom Radio

Washington Free Beacon Senior Editor Bill Gertz appeared on Secure Freedom Radio on Friday to discuss President Obama's tepid response to Chinese expansion in the South China Sea, Russian cyberattacks against the United States, and an emerging scandal over the alleged politicization of intelligence about the Islamic State.

Gertz told host Michael Ledeen that President Obama has instructed the U.S. Navy not to challenge Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.

"There was a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee where the commander of U.S. Pacific Command admitted under questioning that the Obama administration has blocked his command from conducting freedom of movement exercises around these disputed islands in the South China Sea," Gertz said.

"This is a very strategic waterway. They are trying to control it, and the Obama administration in its appeasement-oriented policy toward China did not want to upset the Chinese by carrying out these exercises," Gertz said.

Gertz said that revelations about Russia's hacking of U.S. industrial systems highlighted "a key vulnerability" in U.S. cybersecurity.

"As relates to Russia, [Director of National Intelligence James Clapper] disclosed what I reported back in 2014: that Russian hackers—assumed to be government and military—had penetrated our industrial control systems for key infrastructure. They were using these penetrations to conduct reconnaissance for future cyberattacks during a crisis or armed conflict."

Gertz also spoke about allegations that senior administration officials had altered intelligence reports about the Islamic State (IS) to more closely reflect the White House's talking points on the subject.

"A number of intelligence analysts have come forward and said their reports on the alleged progress or lack of it against Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria have been skewed to conform to the rosy picture the Obama administration has tried to make that we’re succeeded in this feckless bombing campaign," Gertz said.

Gertz appears regularly on Secure Freedom Radio, which is a production of the Center for Security Policy.