Think for a moment about what would happen if a foreign power launched a military attack calculated to destroy billions of dollars' worth of U.S. property - but without causing any injuries or deaths.
It would be an attack and retaliation would be swift and devastating, right?
Such attacks occur with regularity in cyberspace. U.S. officials say the latest involved Chinese hackers stealing sensitive data from dozens of Pentagon computers used to store weapons secrets.
Experts have warned for some time that the Chinese had developed a sophisticated cyber-espionage system. During the past few years they have used it successfully and repeatedly.
Yet - at least to judge by U.S. government statements - there has been no retaliation in kind.
Why? Members of Congress ought to be asking that question. If the reason is that U.S. officials fear a cyberspace exchange that could leave our computer networks in shambles, then shame on us for not being as prepared to deal with online warfare as we are to handle a missile strike.
Again, Congress needs to get an answer to the question.
How ironic: Attorney General Eric Holder thinks the Justice Department ought to have full access to how journalists report the news, and even to some reporters' personal communications. But he does not believe the American public has a right to know what is said during meetings planned between government officials and news media representatives.
Holder's snoops have unconstitutionally looked at journalists' phone records and e-mail messages, it has been revealed. The attorney general apparently hopes a feel-good meetings among journalists and DOJ staff, held Thursday, will smooth all that over.
But Holder wanted the meeting to be off the record. Some news organizations, including The Associated Press, balked at that. A few others did not, and sent representatives to the meeting. As it turned out, they talked about what was said.
Journalists who rejected Holder's attempt to keep a lid on the meeting were right to do so. The public has a right to know everything he and his staff have to say about unconstitutional harassment of journalists.