intelligence leak at
the expense of
national security may
tell us who the Bush
The American Spark
Has Bush Hubris Destroyed Successful Surveillance Of Al-Qaeda?
By Cliff Montgomery - Oct. 10th, 2007
The Bush Administration on Tuesday denied it had engaged in a premature release of an Osama bin Laden
video provided by a private intelligence company, a move that the firm says effectively destroyed its ability to
secretly monitor al-Qaeda messages.
White House spin doctor Dana Perino claimed that "we were not" the deliberate source of the video for the
media, adding that "we were very concerned to learn about" the premature release.
The SITE Intelligence Group told The Washington Post that the early release destroyed the company's covert
access to al-Qaeda's messages and communications. The Bush Administration early last month leaked a bin
Laden video ahead of its official media release--a video which originally had been obtained by the company,
said the Post.
As a result of that early release, "techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless,"
said SITE founder Rita Katz to the Post.
While The American Spark does not condone the employment of private security firms in national security
matters, charges of a politicized intelligence leak at the expense of national security may further tell us just who
the Bush Administration really serves.
The SITE Group monitors forms of public communication--including websites--with apparent ties to violent
Islamist groups, and gives pertinent information to such clients as news media corporations.
SITE obtained the recent bin Laden video and handed it over to the Bush Administration free of charge on
September 7th, on the agreement that the White House withhold the video from the press until the company
had properly spotted an official release which would keep secret its sources and methods.
"Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's website,"
stated the Post.
Hours later, both the video and an accompanying transcript had been rushed to a corporate media news
network which broadcast the video and its essential message worldwide, reported the Post.
This revealed to al-Qaeda that SITE had breached its communications network, said Katz.
Bush Administration spin doctors quickly stated that its Director of National Intelligence would decide on
whether to look into a possible leak, but that White House officials were not planning to hold an internal
"When the White House receives information from an individual or a company, we refer that appropriately to
the intelligence community. That's what happened here," said Perino.
What actually has happened here is a leak which may have come from the White House itself. It's therefore
only natural for any entity which may employ the culprit of such a potentially damaging leak to conduct its own
thorough investigation into the matter--unless that entity isn't too concerned about catching the perpetrator.
And as the Valerie Plame incident has revealed, this administration has no problem with leaking potentially
damaging sensitive or classified information for partisan political gain.
As readers may recall, after Plame's husband--former ambassador Joseph Wilson--in 2003 openly debunked
Bush's pre-Iraq War claim that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase uranium in Niger, administration
officials leaked that Wilson's wife was a CIA official.
As a March Washington Post article made clear, "In the CIA's eyes, the revelation of Plame's name in any
context...gave away a national security secret that could have dangerous repercussions."
The general counsel's office of the CIA "automatically sent a routine report to the Justice Department that
there had been an unauthorized disclosure of classified information," stated the Post.
If an administration allows such politicized leaks once, it will probably allow it again.
In the new video--bin Laden's first since the video of October 2004, which seemed perfectly timed for release
on the eve of the November 2004 presidential election--the al-Qaeda leader predictably mocked America as
"weak," and further stated that his group would increase its terrorist outrages in Iraq.
That a sensitive video with such loaded taunts about Iraq was immediately released, just as General Petraeus
was preparing to speak to congresspeople about pretended gains in that country, may again speak volumes
about this administration and who it really serves.
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