Back in the U.S.S.Czar

Obama is apparently going to create a “Cyber Czar.” The new position comes from a compromise after a “turf war” between the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. Who would have thought that two government bureaucracies with such similarly constructed names would both believe themselves to be the sole arbiters of the affairs of the internets?

From the Journal:

The moves come amid growing evidence that sophisticated overseas hackers are waging a widening assault on important U.S. networks. The Defense Department detected 360 million attempts to penetrate its networks last year, up from six million in 2006. The Pentagon alone has spent $100 million in the past six months repairing damage from cyberattacks.

Three hundred and sixty million attacks! That’s 1.2 attacks for every American man, woman, and child! Luckily, the state seems to have been able to scrape together $100,000,000 for “repairing damage” caused by cyberterrorism. For the mathematically disinclined, that’s $3.60 per attack. How many foreclosures could have been averted by bailing out bankrupt debtors were it not for this senseless campaign of cyberviolence?

The natural statist solution to a problem (admittedly caused by online criminals, to be sure) that has stumped the current civil service is to up the servile ante with the hiring of powerful and unaccountable new civil servants. Barack Obama, well-known for his Bolshevik-inflected approach to governance, has adorned his administration with a festive volley of “czars,” autonomous sycophants in charge of the wars on drugs, terror, private healthcare, and the car industry (and with it, creditors’ rights). Even the proverbially straightedged ruler of the party line finds his celebratory resurrection of unapologetically autocratic political lexicography odd:

The appeal of the czar rests on the belief that if we could just figure out the right smart, competent, well-intentioned person to put charge, everything would go more smoothly.

I have often thought of the Beatles’ “Back in the USSR” as anthemically apropos to the Age of Obama. We may have been off by a few years, but if Obama takes a swing at Sweden to secure us a Baltic port, I’ll be very concerned.

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