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NO MATTER how many deputies are armed and trained to handle violent assaults within school systems, mistakes will still be made. And there doesn’t seem to be a place in all our neat equations for the one inescapable and inevitable factor in this latest rash of school shootings: human error. There is no sure guarantee that fallible human beings will not once again prove fallible. Which is also the moral of this sad story: Mistakes will be made.

Readers of Arkansas’ Newspaper should need no reminder about the horrific nature of school shootings after this state’s experience with violent young gunmen at Jonesboro. And now comes this dispatch out of Fort Lauderdale in Florida to remind us that this plague of school shootings is scarcely confined to just one state or region. It’s a nationwide problem.

The one public official who was prepared to do his job and did it was the judge in the Sunshine State who agreed with newspapers, and other sources of news and opinion, including the Associated Press, that that all-too-revealing video should be released to the public at large. And then let anyone so moved comment on it. Or not. Or as the sheriff’s office in Fort Lauderdale put it, “The video speaks for itself.” And indeed it does.

Even the professionals in our national security apparatus can’t be trusted to do a flawless job every time. Now both the FBI and this country’s Department of Homeland Security agree that at least since March of 2016, Russian government cyber actors have taken aim at government entities and multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors. There’s no doubt that (a) this country is a target of cyber warfare, and (b) yes, mistakes will be made.

According to our secretary of energy, Rick Perry, cyber attacks are “literally happening hundreds of thousands of times a day. The warfare that goes on in the cyberspace is real, it’s serious, and we must lead the world” in foiling it. In a separate but just about simultaneous development, this country has taken action against a “troll farm” and a couple of Russian intelligence services. Plus other Russian subjects—and businesses—who have been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on charges of meddling in the American presidential election of 2016.

The administration concludes a joint analysis by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security saying our visitors are quite sophisticated, on occasion subverting suppliers and independent dealers in information before going on to their final target. It’s still not clear how successful these cyber assaults will prove.

A warning from the Department of Homeland Security warns that Russian hackers have “targeted small commercial facilities’ networks, where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks.” To translate from the technospeak, these Russians were up to no good and just how successful they’ve been remains a matter of speculation. But this much can be safely assumed: Mistakes will be made.

Print Headline: The best-laid plans

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