‘It’s an act of war against the United States’: Newt Gingrich calls for Biden to ‘order the KILLINGS’ of those behind the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack
- The former Speaker of the House appeared on Fox News on Monday night
- He lamented the U.S.’ vulnerability to cyberattacks like the Colonial Pipeline
- Gingrich, 77, said presidents should be able to ‘order the killings’ of culprits
- He said that the attackers had declared ‘war’ on the country
Newt Gingrich on Monday night said Joe Biden should be authorized to ‘order the killings of anybody overseas’ who was found to be behind attacks on America’s infrastructure, describing the cyberhack of the Colonial Pipeline as ‘an act of war’.
Gas shortages were beginning to be reported across the East Coast on Monday evening, as the pipeline was slowly brought back on line after a four-day shutdown.
Hackers from DarkSide, a Russia-based network of cybercriminals, were said by the FBI to be behind the ransomware attack. On Monday they said they were mistaken to cause ‘societal consequences’, and only sought money. They said they would not target critical infrastructure again, and wanted no part in any geopolitical battles.
But Gingrich said that the United States needed more power to go after those responsible.
‘On the national security part, we ought to pass a law immediately that makes this kind of hacking subject to a death penalty and the law should include a provision that the president, through a judicial process, should be able to order the killings of anybody overseas who is doing this,’ he told Sean Hannity on Fox News.
Newt Gingrich appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News on Monday night
The 5,500-mile pipeline is the largest in the U.S. and runs from Texas to New Jersey
The Colonial Pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey and carries 100 million gallons of fuel daily
‘It’s an act of war against the United States to do stuff like this.
‘We need to react to it as an act of war, and the American people are going to look at their representatives and their senators and say, if you don’t fix this, your successor will. I won’t put up with it, and I won’t put up with you if you don’t fix it.’
Gingrich, 77, the former Speaker of the House, said it was pitiful that the U.S. was falling prey to such attacks.
‘We have no idea who they are. We have no idea where they are,’ he said.
‘If we did know who they were, we would have no mechanism to do anything about it.
‘A great country can’t allow people to savage it and have no consequences and wait for the next attack.
‘And yet that literally is where we are.’
Gas shortages were being reported from Florida to Atlanta and as far north as Virginia
Shortages were reported in Atlanta on Monday afternoon, and motorists lined up to fill the cars
Drivers in Asheville, North Carolina, posted photos of long lines waiting to fill up their cars
In Greenville, North Carolina, drivers were also rushing to the pumps to fill their cars
The problem is spiraling out of control.
In the last few months in the United States, ransomware gangs have attacked large businesses, schools and universities, local governments, hospitals and the police.
Last week Christopher Krebs, the former top cyber official in the Department of Homeland Security, told Congress that the ransomware emergency in the U.S. was a ‘digital dumpster fire.’
Appearing before the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection & Innovation, Krebs – who was fired by Donald Trump for stating that the November election was free and fair – said that the U.S. had a growing problem.
‘Even if software and services were more secure, the allure of a quick buck and no real repercussions means the forward-looking prospects for ransomware actors are quite good,’ he said.
Gingrich said that Congress needed to act.
‘This ought to be a bipartisan issue. What are we prepared to do to protect America from official governments or private citizens?’ he asked.
‘This is an intolerable situation.’