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“Because it’s not just [that] they shut down our telecommunication system, or they shut down our health care system, and it’s not just a nation state like China or Russia or some of these other countries that are a bit more sophisticated. It’s also these non-nation-state actors out there that actually do form as groups at times — Anonymous — that see that one of these groups,” Gen. Flynn said.

“So we have to understand this, and this is a really a big problem.”

The three-star general, who announced in April that he would retire this fall, said his “gripe” is that the country needs to decide what it wants to do in the cybersecurity realm and how to go about it “before we have the next 9/11 kind of event.”

“But it may be time to sit down and — particularly on cyber — and really look at are we properly organized to deal with this threat because it’s coming. It’s here,” he said.

The Obama administration has taken a passive approach by rejecting policies that call for conducting offensive operations aimed at thwarting foreign cyberspies and cyberattackers.

Asked whether the U.S. should scale up its cyberoffensive capabilities, Gen. Flynn gave a one-word reply: “Yes.”

‘SEMPER INFIDELIS’ BY CORPS?

A New York lawyer representing the family of a slain Marine recently sent 10-page letter to the commandant protesting how the Corps has characterized the murder and rebutting the claim that it provided survivors with critical information on the case.

The dispute is related to the 2012 premeditated murders of three Marines by an Afghan civilian who had a close relationship with Sarwar Jan, a reputedly corrupt police chief who abused children and collaborated with the Taliban.

The Corps issued a press statement Friday disclosing that the assailant, Ainuddin Khudairaham, received a seven-year prison sentence from an Afghan court. It also addressed complaints from the family of one of the war dead, Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley Jr., that the Corps failed to provide information, such as why Jan and his followers were allowed to operate on the forward operating base Delhi in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

The Marine statement said attorneys and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have talked with the families continually and expressed an “unwavering commitment to loyalty” to survivors.

Attorney Michael J. Bowe of the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman called this version a “callous lie.”

“The sole message touted by this publicity stunt was how well the Marine Corps had treated these Gold Star families,” Mr. Bowe, who represents the Buckleys, wrote July 29 to Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos. “While the press statement trumpets how often the Marine Corps has communicated with the Buckley family, and how many different people have communicated with the Buckleys, it nowhere describes what facts were provided in all these communications. This is because none were provided.

“Instead, for two years, the Buckley family has chased the information to which it is legally and morally entitled and been stonewalled throughout by sympathetic sounding words followed by inaction. The Buckley family is not now, and never has been, ‘informed’ of any substantive information concerning these murders. And they have been repeatedly misled. No amount of lip service, platitudes and rhetorical flourish can overcome these facts.”

Mr. Bowe said Jan had been evicted from his previous Marine forward operating base “because he, and those under his control, were extorting Now Zad residents, keeping Afghan boys as sex slaves, trafficking narcotics, providing arms, munitions and Afghan police uniforms to the Taliban, and otherwise facilitating insider attacks.”

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