Tag Archives: Sony

Sanctions seek to punish North Korea

It turns out President Obama is going to be up front and visible as he responds to North Korea’s alleged cyber attack on a major American company.

He took time from his vacation in Hawaii to sign an executive order slapping economic sanctions on North Korea.


I’m still thinking the president had a hand in North Korea’s Internet crash shortly after dictator Kim Jong-Un bullied Sony Pictures into holding back release of “The Interview,” a fictional story about a plot to assassinate the North Korean dictator. The bullying included the alleged hacking into Sony’s emails and other communications.

Obama threatened a “proportional” response.

Now we have the sanctions. They’re sweeping and designed to bring serious economic pain to a government known for bringing plenty of pain of its own to its people.

According to ABC News: “The order authorizes the Treasury Department to shutdown access to the U.S. financial system, prohibiting transactions and freezing assets, for specific officials  and entities of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and anyone who supports them.”

Further, according to ABC: “‘The order is not targeted at the people of North Korea, but rather is aimed at the Government of North Korea and its activities that threaten the United States and others,’ Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell notifying them of the action.”

Will the sanctions work? Well, Kim Jong-Un ought to ask Soviet strongman/president Vladimir Putin about the effectiveness of these sanctions.

Yes, they’ll work.


Is this our cyber response?

Gosh. Let me think about this.

Sony Pictures gets ready to debut a movie depicting the attempted assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un; the North Koreans reportedly hack into Sony’s computer system, causing it to crash; the United States blames the North Koreans for the cyber attack; President Obama then says there will be a “proportional” response to the North Korean effort to bully Sony.

Then, today, North Korea’s Internet system goes down virtually throughout the nation.

Coincidence? Or is this the retaliation that President Obama said would come?


Hmm. I’m guessing it’s more than mere coincidence.

These things just don’t happen with such amazing timing, do they?

Kim Jong-Un may have picked a fight with the wrong adversary.

Don’t expect the CIA, the Pentagon, the White House, the Homeland Security Department — anyone — to own up to it. As I’ve noted already, Americans do not need to know everything that happens behind closed doors.


Sony's bigger mistake was in making film

President Obama said today Sony Pictures made a mistake when it pulled a film depicting an attempted assassination of North Korean dictator/goofball Kim Jong-Un.

Well, Mr. President, from my vantage point, Sony’s bigger mistake was making the film in the first place.


The film and the reaction from North Korea has been the talk of, well, the world. “The Interview” was supposed to be released. It stars Seth Rogen and James Franco and it’s about a plot to kill Kim Jong-Un.

Sony pulled the picture, cancelling its release after North Korea launched a cyber attack in response to the film. Yes, the crazy Stalinists in North Korea were angry.

Why in the world would anyone be surprised? And why would anyone doubt North Korea would respond with a cyber attack that has done considerable damage around the world?

Why, also, wouldn’t Sony have anticipated this kind of unpredictability from the leader of a reclusive state known to do just about anything to make a point?

Obama said American filmmakers shouldn’t be pushed around by nations angry over their work.

That’ a fair point.

But don’t filmmakers have a responsibility to exercise some judgment in choosing the topics — and individuals — they seek to portray?

They made a “comedy” about an attempt to kill a living, breathing leader of a nation that has acted rather dangerously before.

Therein lies Sony’s mistake.


What was Sony thinking?

Time allows one to think things through and to cogitate a bit on the consequences of one’s action.

Perhaps the makers of the film “The Interview” could have thought just a little bit longer about the product that was supposed to be shown to American theater crowds.

I’ve been pondering the blowback from the film, the threats of Internet hackers striking back at the producers of the film — and at the public at large. My conclusion? I believe Sony Pictures should have known with whom it was dealing when it made a “comedy” about an attempt to assassinate the leader of North Korea.

My sympathy for Sony, the actors involved and those who thought they would make a lot of money from the film is waning — rapidly.

The film stars Seth Rogen and James Franco. It’s supposedly a comedy. The main characters are plotting to kill Kim Jong Un.

Let’s be real. The entire world knows about Kim Jong Un’s weirdness. The world knows he runs a country that gives hyper-secrecy a bad name. I mean, this place is reclusive beyond description. Kim’s antics — just as those of his late father, Kim Jong Il — are, to say the least, highly unpredictable.

Why couldn’t the makers of the film fictionalized the story? Why single out the leader of a nation — and a dangerous one at that — for this kind of “comic parody”? What would the reaction be in any country on Earth if someone made a film purporting to assassinate its leader?

My conclusion is that Sony should have expected a highly negative reaction from a country that hardly anyone knows with any certainty.

Terror threats in response to the film? Well, duh! Do you think?


Terrorism goes online

Twenty-first century terrorism has entered a new phase.

It’s highly offensive and utterly mind-blowing. It comes in the form of threats to hack into people’s emails if they dare attend a movie — a movie, for crying out loud! — that portrays the North Korean goofball/dictator in a decidedly unflattering light.

This is what terrorism looks like in the Digital Age.


The film in question is “The Interview.” It stars Seth Rogan and James Franco. Sony today cancelled the release of the film after major movie chains declined to show the film because of terrorist threats by computer hackers.

The film is about an attempted assassination of Kim Jong Un, the bizarre North Korean dictator who succeeded his equally bizarre father, Kim Jong Il. It’s a comedy. It’s meant to make people laugh. It’s meant to poke fun at the reclusive Marxist government that operates in the shadows on the Korean Peninsula.

So now some mysterious Internet terrorists are telling American movie-goers that they cannot watch the film. What do they fear? That someone is going to see the film and then become motivated to try to do what is portrayed on the screen? That the movie is going to produce an assassin bent on killing Kim Jong Un?

Sony already has been hit by hackers reportedly angry over the film.

All of this has me absolutely bumfuzzled.