Information War: Not Quiet on the Hollywood Front

Whether you love or hate the individuals involved in creating movies, in what is known as the Hollywood Dream Factory, they have been a tremendous global force for good for America.  American-made movies have moved the world in a very positive way. Regardless of the subject, they are the best efforts of the creativity of our society to flourish while taking significant financial risks. Their efforts are totally protected by a vibrant First Amendment.

The fact that a psychopathic leader and unbalanced killer Kim Jong-Un, the Dear Leader of North Korea, has taken offense at a fictional movie called The Interview deserves a USMC “good on-em” for all involved.

Having tried to write one movie review in my life to honor a Naval Academy Classmate and SEAL, I learned something about Hollywood.

I looked at the idea of using a movie to send a message and found this warning from a Hollywood legend: “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.” Samuel Goldwyn said that and he was the famous and respected studio head that created the greatest movie about veterans ever made -- The Best Years of Our Lives.”

So North Korea, a nation in the Axis of Evil (not such a foolish term now), may have reached out to really hurt all involved, from Sony Corporation’s economic viability to the egos and perhaps jobs of some very big buck individuals and is actually a cause for significant alarm.

The fact that some in Hollywood have the maturity of pre-internet high school students writing in Slam Books is not surprising. What is further not surprising is the voyeuristic aspects of all wanting to know the inside scoop, information, being dished by the cool kids. The internet has just taken their petty human foibles into the electronic age where nothing is sacred.

Sony Pictures, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sony Corporation, has hired David Boies, a US super lawyer -- “super” perhaps mostly defined by his fees and not necessarily super success as President Gore can attest, to write a legal letter declaring war on the First Amendment, trying to stop this carnage in a demitasse cup.

Having worked with both civilians and military in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, had a national security book, Red Dragon Rising, translated into Japanese, I totally resect Japanese cultural  affinity for being extremely polite. The e-mails must really hurt, but Lawyer Boies is flat out wrong on advice and execution. To add to the ongoing plot line of this real drama, a key Hollywood writer, Aaron Sorkin, comes to the fight with a grasp for historic justice that is over the top:

As a screenwriter in Hollywood who’s only two generations removed from probably being blacklisted, I’m not crazy about Americans calling other Americans un-American, so let’s just say that every news outlet that did the bidding of the Guardians of Peace is morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable.

The New York Times made quick work of such hollow posturing foolishness and empty threats.

As we’ve made clear, we have used documents surfaced by others. It would be a disservice to our readers to pretend these documents weren’t revealing and public.

As an aside about historical grievances Mr. Sorkin, I am one generation away from my only uncle, whom I am named after, who was killed on Iwo Jima and I want modern Japan and Sony to prosper and survive.

Which brings us to real action with real teeth.

There is an apparent information war against all that is open and decent in the world by a very evil individual, Kim Jung-Un the Dear Leader of North Korea, who is in a psychopathic class by himself.  Make no mistake the Dear Leader has Nuclear Teeth.

However it now it looks like perhaps he is employing softer power  in cyber based information war and he is being  aided and abetted by some of his or allied hackers.

It is yet to be determined if in fact the Dear Leader is responsible, but executives in Hollywood have a huge chit with President Obama they can call on to find out.  I have been extremely critical of Hollywood executives for inappropriately using the First Lady and US Military as props for their own purpose:

“Putting her (First Lady)  up on the stage to award an Oscar is fine. However, putting uniformed military behind her is coming up, maybe perhaps crossing the line where you’re using active duty military in their dress uniform as a prop … for commercial purposes,” Timperlake said.

However against this hack attack, all involved have every right to actually demand real action from our Commander-in-Chief. It is not a First Amendment issue, it is actually Economic Espionage against American interests, and in violation of the 1996 Economic Espionage Act:

(a) In General.— Whoever, intending or knowing that the offense will benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent, knowingly—

(1) steals, or without authorization appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains a trade secret;

(2) without authorization copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys a trade secret;

(3) receives, buys, or possesses a trade secret, knowing the same to have been stolen or appropriated, obtained, or converted without authorization;

(4) attempts to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3); or

(5) conspires with one or more other persons to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3), and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy,

shall, except as provided in subsection (b), be fined not more than $5,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

(b) Organizations.— Any organization that commits any offense described in subsection (a) shall be fined not more than the greater of $10,000,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen trade secret to the organization, including expenses for research and design and other costs of reproducing the trade secret that the organization has thereby avoided.

Rather than flail against the First Amendment get President Obama, the AG and US Government Counterintelligence agents actively engaged in determining if the Dear Leader is in a criminal conspiracy in violation of the Economic Espionage Act.

As a political appointee of President Ronald Reagan, who was a previous President of the Screen Actors Guild I suspect he would strongly defend his fellow actors and all others involved, loyalty was his code.

If a violation of the law is determined, prosecute, and if victorious, attach any North Korean assets for damages, especially ships and cargos on the high seas. It would be a real hoot to see Hollywood Executives and Movie Stars take ownership of the Dear Leader’s commercial ships.

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