Thursday, July 14, 2005

ROVE LEAK NOTHING NEW

These people will jeopardize our national security in a second if they think they can gain some political advantage. Consider the outing of our only mole in Al-Queda last summer:

UPDATE: AMERICAblog has more and so does Sherlock at Daily Kos

Al Qaeda mole row reveals US intelligence disarray
By Jon Boyle, Reuters 08/10/04 11:32 ET
PARIS, Aug 10 (Reuters) - The unmasking of an al Qaeda mole after a U.S. security alert points to disarray within U.S. intelligence and could mean President George W. Bush is accused of playing politics with security, the top U.S. election issue.

Washington raised its security alert to high on August 1 and disclosed a man held in secret by Pakistan was the source of information that justified the alert.

U.S. officials next morning confirmed a media report naming the man as Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, a computer expert arrested secretly in July and used by Pakistan to track down al Qaeda militants in Britain and America.

Pakistani intelligence told Reuters that Khan was still working undercover when the U.S. security status was raised to orange and his name appeared in a U.S. newspaper.

Leak Allowed al-Qaida Suspects to Escape
By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, AP 08/10/04 11:53 EDT
Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a 25-year-old Pakistani, was nabbed in a July 13 raid in the eastern city of Lahore. His capture was a signal victory for Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism. He led authorities to a key al-Qaida figure and sent e-mails to terrorists so investigators could trace their locations.

But on Tuesday, two senior officials expressed dismay that the arrest of Khan made it into the media too soon - reported first in American newspapers on Aug. 2 after it was disclosed to journalists by U.S. officials in Washington.

"Let me say that this intelligence leak jeopardized our plan and some al-Qaida suspects ran away," one of the Pakistani officials said on condition of anonymity.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Sunday that Khan's name had been disclosed to reporters in Washington "on background," meaning that it could be published, but the information could not be attributed by name to the official who had revealed it.

CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER
Interview With Condoleezza Rice; Interview With Rudy Giuliani

BLITZER: Let's talk about some of the people who have been picked up, mostly in Pakistan, over the last few weeks. In mid-July, Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. There is some suggestion that by releasing his identity here in the United States, you compromised a Pakistani intelligence sting operation, because he was effectively being used by the Pakistanis to try to find other al Qaeda operatives. Is that true?

RICE: Well, I don't know what might have been going on in Pakistan. I will say this, that we did not, of course, publicly disclose his name. One of them...

BLITZER: He was disclosed in Washington on background.

RICE: On background.
And the problem is that when you're trying to strike a balance between giving enough information to the public so that they know that you're dealing with a specific, credible, different kind of threat than you've dealt with in the past, you're always weighing that against kind of operational considerations. We've tried to strike a balance. We think for the most part, we've struck a balance, but it's indeed a very difficult balance to strike.

BLITZER: Had he been flipped, in the vernacular, was he cooperating with Pakistani intelligence after he was arrested?

RICE: I don't know the answer to that question, as to whether or not he was cooperating with them.

US apologises for terror news leaks

Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday September 17, 2004
The Guardian

President Bush's chief domestic security official yesterday apologised for the disruption of a big MI5 and police surveillance operation in Britain.
Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, said the leaking of intelligence in the US about alleged terrorist suspects here was "regrettable".
Mr Ridge was speaking to journalists in London before meeting David Blunkett and Sir David Omand, the prime minister's security and intelligence coordinator.
Whitehall was furious early last month when individuals were named and allegations about terrorist attacks were made public in the US.
The claims, about putative attacks on buildings in the US and on British targets, including Heathrow, were based on information found on the computers of an alleged al-Qaida sympathiser in Pakistan.
The disclosures forced the police to quickly arrest 12 suspects in raids across England.

103 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was it Rove, in the Roosevelt Room, Hadley in the basement or Libby in the East Wing with the reporters.


On background indeed!

Anonymous said...

By crying wolf, Ridge had made the terror alerts less credible, so the White House named Khan (on super secret double-bubble you're-in-trouble background) to try to restore the credibility of the Administration's pronouncements on threats to domestic security.

In other words, after manipulating the instruments of national security for petty political advantage, they did even more damage to the instruments of national security to bolster their sagging image.

Yet more proof that, to these people, nothing -- not even the success of anti-terrorism investigations that involve (need I say it?) covert operatives -- comes ahead of winning the next election.

&y said...

Why doesn't Fox News release their transcript of the backgrounder? Remember when they did that to nail Richard Clarke on the day of his testimony to the 911 commission?

Anonymous said...

There was no need to release the actual name of Khan, even on background. Whoever did should have been fired, pronto.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this freaked me the hell out:

U.S. officials next morning confirmed a media report naming the man as Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, a computer expert arrested secretly in July and used by Pakistan to track down al Qaeda militants in Britain and America.

Didn't Britain just confirm that the London bombers were Pakistani (though I think they were British citizens)?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bring this up; the unremitting, nine-month maelstrom of outrages had obliterated it from my overtaxed cranium. I don’t recall the circumstances, but I remember that there was some timely reason for the “news flash” and I remember thinking: these mf’s are disingenuous as well as devious. It counterpoints the Plame matter nicely and should be repeated and elaborated on.

Anonymous said...

Well done. More on this at The Deadly Mix Keep up the good work, SJ

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was "on background", but was it on double super secret background?

Anonymous said...

Didn't Britain just confirm that the London bombers were Pakistani (though I think they were British citizens)?

Yes-
London Bombers Tied to Al Qaeda Plot in Pakistan
(via Eschaton)

They had ties to Pakistan - more specifically, they had ties to this plot

By leaking information about Khan for political purposes last year, they disrupted an operation which
might have prevented the London bombings.

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