Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sloppiness or Worse

Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets - washingtonpost.com--That's the story of how Rita Katz obtained through her listening post, SITE (Search for International Terrorist Entities), a copy last month of the latest Osama bin Laden videeo--him with his freshly darkened beard--and partly out of her desire to maintain good relations, one assumes, with the Bushies made it available to them in advance of al Qaeda's release of it. She required only that the Bushies not reveal they had the thing until after its release because she didn't want her gateway into al Qaeda discovered and shut down. It's a reasonable request to make of people who have every incentive not to let the Osama know they can hear and see him before he speaks. Within hours of receiving the link the Bushies had provided tape and transcript to cable news and in so doing blown SITE's operation. True, Katz sent the link by e-mail, and she should know that e-mail is a public document in that even the most private message can travel far and wide quickly. But the Bushies once again have shown that they keep things secret or reveal them for political, not security reasons and that the ineptitude that preceded 9/11 and still dictates strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan has not diminished. That explanation is better than the other--that the Bushies wanted to trash Katz's operation because it was competent.

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