Marco Rubio: Sony cyberattack result of projected American “weakness”

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio weighed in today on the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, calling it what happens when American leadership projects “weakness.”

The unprecedented attack, which the FBI says originated from North Korea, exposed a wealth of sensitive emails, private documents for other information.

This week, the exchange heightened to threats of terrorism, forcing Sony to cancel the Dec. 25 release of the North Korean satire film “The Interview.” White House officials said the administration was considering a “proportional response” against the hackers, a move that could force the United States into direct conflict with North Korea.

Rubio, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, issued a statement Friday on the cyberattack:

“The fact that North Korea was willing to conduct a flagrant cyberattack against a major corporation and even threaten violence against Americans attending movie theaters across the country is another example of the devastating consequences that result when America projects weakness.

“I call on the President to respond swiftly to undo the damage to freedom of speech and expression caused by Sony’s decision to not release ‘The Interview.’

“I also look forward to hearing from administration officials what the United States’ response to this blatant violation of America’s sovereignty and security will be.”

Rubio had opposed the Bush administration’s decision to remove North Korea from the list of state sponsor of terrorism, and is urging the Obama administration to relist North Korea immediately.

“North Korea continues to threaten its neighbors, develop its nuclear weapons program, and imprison thousands of its civilians in modern day gulags,” he said.

Rubio points out that only last year, Panama intercepted a North Korean ship involved in transferring weapons to Cuba, adding that Cuba continues to be a staunch defender of Pyongyang at the United Nations.

“When rogue regimes attack and threaten America and pay no consequences, it only makes us less safe,” Rubio warns. “The events of the past week should serve as a reminder that, from East Asia to our own hemisphere, this President’s foreign policy is a disaster.

“We need an immediate course correction before more damage is done to America’s credibility as well as our security.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.