The Interview: Another Faux Scandal?

Without having researched the backstory to the scandal engulfing Sony, I would like to challenge the current narrative and ask whether Sen. John McCain isn’t attempting to generate public outrage on behalf of defense contractors.

According to the narrative, North Korea retaliated against Sony for creating a culturally insensitive movie (The Interview) that mocked the Dear Leader and depicted his assassination by leaking embarrassing emails written by Sony executives about their leading stars.

With the public sufficiently outraged over the contents of private emails, McCain called for hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee, with the stated aim of launching a retaliatory cyber-attack against North Korea.

Where have we seen this drama play out before?

Throughout his career, McCain has attempted to drum up public reaction, whether outrage, fear, anger, to mobilize opinion on behalf of his fundraisers.

After all, political battles are won first in the public’s imagination.

Going back a few decades, reporters falsely accused Koch Industries of stealing tribal oil, leading McCain to call for hearings in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Through the ensuing investigation, Koch lost the business, which was subsequently claimed by the Senator’s fundraisers.

McCain leaked emails written by his cohorts to deflect blame from himself and onto them during the Keating Five scandal, ensuring his political survival.

McCain’s team also leaked embarrassing emails about Jack Abramoff to drum up public outrage against the superlobbyist as a pretext for hearings in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Even though reporters now acknowledge, as I had maintained all along, that Abramoff’s strategies and tactics were routine among his profession, McCain succeeded at setting Abramoff up for criminal prosecution and shoring up markets for his fundraisers in Indian Country.

Recently in the wake of defense cut backs, Sony has fallen to scandal over leaked embarrassing emails intended to drum up public outrage against North Korea, the assigned culprit. Without missing a beat, McCain announced his intention to call for hearings on cybersecurity within the Senate Armed Services Committee to launch a retaliatory cyber-attack against the rogue regime:

Sony then enlisted race baiter Rev. Al Sharpton for damage control. Coincidentally, Sharpton’s presidential campaign was backed by Roger Stone, a business partner of Scott Reed who coordinated the Abramoff hit:

If McCain and his band of merry men coordinated the cyber-attack against Sony, why would they they wish to assign blame to North Korea?

In the wake of budget shortfalls, defense contracts for cyberwarfare have been curtailed:

The Sony scandal has spurred McCain to jump into action to unleash those funds.

Former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of cooperation among tech firms and the NSA to gain access to the emails of American citizens, ensuring that personally damaging communications can be released into the public domain to achieve political objectives.

Who stands to gain from this latest email leak but the tech companies that would have access to them?

I am merely posing questions. Of course, not having investigated the matter (nor having any plans to do so), I am in no position to offer definitive answers. Already the North Koreans have disavowed their role in the email leaks and have announced plans to investigate the source of the cyberattack.

Truth be told, despite being governed by an inexperienced, erratic dictator, North Korea would likely not have taken actions that would invite a devastating U.S. military attack. It would not be in its interests to do so.

That North Korea would launch a sophisticated PR campaign to invite global outrage in response to Hollywood dross defies belief. McCain is probably projecting onto the North Korean leader his own psychology — as he is wont to retaliate against anyone who challenges his honor. Just ask Abramoff.

Lest we all forget, McCain and his neoconservative allies have long held North Korea in their scopes as part of an “axis of evil” that should be brought to its knees through U.S. military might.

This latest scandal might just be the gift they have all been waiting for.

And the emails keep coming, framing the rogue nation as public enemy number one while McCain, turning red with contrived righteous indignation, plays to the cameras and demands retribution.

Public outrage against North Korea has been fueled by Sony’s willingness to cave to a rogue dictatorship by withdrawing the film from theatres across the nation.

Taking the narrative to its natural conclusion, in order for the United States to restore its prestige on the world stage and shore up its position as a global leader in cyber-warfare, a cyber-strike must be waged against North Korea.

If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, McCain can always be found waving the flag.

(c) 2014 Susan Bradford

UPDATE: United States now mulls putting North Korea on terrorism-sponsor list in wake of Sony cyber-attack. Defense contractors could be heard cheering throughout the Beltway while McCain rubbed his hands together gleefully:–finance.html