The White House is making a dangerous "strategic mistake" by not publicly blaming China for the massive hack of data on 22 million government workers – and for "amassing one of the largest spying databases in history," Sen. Ben Sasse charges.
In a commentary in USA Today, the Nebraska Republican argues by "declining to tell the truth about China, we abandon a core tenant of cyber deterrence theory: public attribution."
"The administration’s first — and flimsiest — justification for staying silent is that attributing the attacks to China could force us to reveal our own intelligence sources and methods," Sasse writes. "This is wrong. Telling the truth about China doesn’t disclose our own capabilities. We’re not taking China to court. We don’t have to publicly file the intelligence and analysis that informs our judgments."
Instead, he argues, the nation could do as it did with the North Korean hack of Sony Entertainment Pictures.
"We simply said we had our reasons for concluding Pyongyang was the culprit and that it wasn't ambiguous."