The Computer Intrusions: Up at Night

The following is an excerpt from my New York Times bestseller “Stonewalled,” which recounts the government intrusions of my computers. More excerpts to follow.[hr]

| Big Brother |
My Computer’s Intruders
The noise is coming from my personal Apple desktop computer in
the small office adjacent to my bedroom. It’s starting up. On its own.
“Reeeeeee . . . chik chik chik chik,” says the computer as it shakes itself awake.
The electronic sounds stir me from sleep. I squint my eyes at the clock radio on the table next to the bed. The numbers blink back: “3:14 a.m.”
Only a day earlier, my CBS-issued Toshiba laptop, perched at the foot of my bed, had whirred to life on its own. That too had been untouched by human hands. What time was that? I think it was 4 a.m.
Some nights, both computers spark to life, one after the other. A cacophony of microprocessors interrupting the normal sounds of the night. After thirty seconds, maybe a minute, they go back to sleep. I know this is not normal computer behavior.[hr]

A diverse group of Constitutional free press and privacy advocates is supporting Attkisson v. Dept. of Justice/FBI to fight the government computer intrusions. Click here to support.

[hr]My husband, a sound sleeper, snores through it all. Half asleep, I try to remember how long ago my computers first started going rogue. A year? Two? It no longer startles me. But it’s definitely piquing my curiosity.
It’s October 2012, and I’ve been digging into the September 11
terrorist attacks on Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. It’s the most interesting puzzle I’ve come across since the Fast and Furious gunwalking story, which led to international headlines and questions that remain unanswered.
Solving these kinds of puzzles is probably the challenge that drives me most. There’s nothing like an unsolved mystery to keep me at the computer or on the phone until one or two in the morning. Most mysteries can be solved, you just have to find the information. But too often, the keepers of the information don’t want to give it up . . . even when the information belongs to the public.
Now my computers offer a new mystery to unravel. I already had begun mentioning these unusual happenings to acquaintances who work in secretive corners of government and understand such things. Connections I’d met through friends and contacts in the northwest Virginia enclaves. Here, so many work for—or recently retired from—one of the “alphabet agencies.” CIA. FBI. NSA. DIA. They’re concerned about what I’m experiencing. They think something’s going on. Somebody, they tell me, is making my computers behave that way.[hr]

CBS News confirms Attkisson’s work computer remotely attacked.

[hr]They’re also worried about my home phone. It’s practically unusable now. Often, when I call home, it only rings once on the receiving end. But on my end, it keeps ringing and then connects somewhere else. Nobody’s there. Other times, it disconnects in the middle of calls. There are clicks and buzzes. My friends who call hear the strange noises and ask about them. A CBS lawyer reviewing a story with me asks, half-jokingly, “Is your phone tapped?” My whole family’s tired of it. Verizon has been to the house over and over again but can’t fix whatever’s wrong.
On top of that, my home alarm system has begun chirping a nightly warning that my phone line is having “trouble” of an unidentified nature. It chirps until I get out of bed and reset it. Every night. Different times.
I’m losing sleep.

[hr]Click here to support: Sharyl Attkisson 4th Amendment Litigation Fund[hr]
I’m the one who tries to get information from the keepers and I can
be relentless. That kind of tenacity doesn’t always make friends, not even at CBS News, which has built an impressive record for dogged reporting in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid, and Mike Wallace. But that’s okay. I’m not in journalism to make friends.
My job is to remind politicians and government officials as to who they work for. Some of them have forgotten. They think they person- ally own your tax dollars. They think they own the information their agencies gather on the public’s behalf. They think they’re entitled to keep that information from the rest of us and—make no mistake— they’re bloody incensed that we want it.
The Benghazi mystery is proving especially difficult. The feds are keeping a suspiciously tight clamp on details. They won’t even say how long the attacks went on or when they ended. What they do reveal some- times contradicts information provided by their sister agencies. And some of the most basic, important questions? They won’t address at all.
For months, the Obama administration has dismissed all questions as partisan witch-hunting. And why not? That approach has proven successful, at least among some colleagues in the news media. They’re apparently satisfied with the limited answers. They aren’t curious about the gaping holes. The contradictions. They’re part of the club that’s decided only agenda-driven Republicans would be curious about all of that. These journalists don’t need to ask questions about Benghazi at the White House press briefings, at Attorney General Eric Holder’s public appearances, or during President Obama’s lim- ited media availabilities. It might make the administration mad. It might even prompt them to threaten the “access” of uncooperative journalists. Other journalists simply think it would be rude—maybe even silly—to waste time pursuing a topic of such little consequence.
There are so many more important things going on in the world. But still, I’m curious.
What did the president of the United States do all that night
during the attacks? With Americans under siege and a U.S. ambas- sador missing—later confirmed dead—what actions did the com- mander in chief take? What decisions did he make?
I’m making slow but steady progress in finding answers to some of the mysteries. Some of my sources are in extremely sensitive positions. They say lies are being told. They’re angry. They want to set the re- cord straight. But they can’t reveal themselves on television. It would end their careers and make them pariahs among their peers. Little by little, with their help, I’m piecing together bits of the puzzle.
Those involved in the U.S. response to the attacks tell me that the U.S. government was in sheer chaos that night. Those with knowledge of military assets and Special Forces tell me that resources weren’t fully utilized to try to mount a rescue while the attacks were under way. Those with firsthand knowledge say that the government’s interagency Counterterrorism Security Group wasn’t convened, even though presidential directive requires it. Others whisper of the State Department rejecting security requests and overlooking warning signs in the weeks leading up to the attacks.[hr]

A diverse group of Constitutional free press and privacy advocates is supporting Attkisson v. Dept. of Justice/FBI to fight the government computer intrusions. Click here to support.

[hr]There are those in government who don’t like it that the sources are talking to me. “Why are they speaking to reporters,” they grumble to each other, “revealing our dirty laundry, telling our secrets?” These are powerful people with important connections.
I start to think that may be why my computers are losing so much sleep at night.[hr]

More excerpts to come… [hr]

Order the New York Times bestseller “The Smear” today online or borrow from your library

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