Oct 09 2007

Who Leaked al Qaeda Secrets To The Media This Time?

Update: Jawa Report notes the ABC tape leaked had a 9/6/07 translation date and that SITE supposedly gave the tape to the White House on 9/7. Sadlly I don’t see the conflict. All it means is the translation happened the day before the tape was sent out to the White House. OK, where’s the inconsistency? I do agree with Jawa Report a lot of people had their hands on the tape before hand and before SITE did. The fact still stands al Qaeda closed down its communications and we lost visibility. While getting the scoop is important – it should never cost us intel on possible attacks. Media and Bloggers need to respect some boundaries here. Maybe people should not be tripping over our intel services while they are trying and protect the country? Food for thought. – end update

We have the news media at the center of destroying our national security capabilities through leaks and tip offs. It is not enough that the SurrenderMedia are willingly carrying the terrorists messages of pending failure, pushing for our defeat in Iraq 24×7, promulgating the images the terrorist want when they bomb areas in Iraq (sometimes with a photographer coincidentally at the right spot at the right moment), basically being a worldwide PR firm for al Qaeda. No, it is not enough to be the communications backbone for al Qaeda’s propaganda.

The SurrenderMedia has also crippled our best intelligence gathering capabilities. Those capabilities which not only allow us to hunt down the terrorists and find them in their little hideouts, but to detect their attacks and stop them before they can kill people. The SurrenderMedia forgets that it is our intelligence efforts which have foiled numerous bomb attacks in Europe and a massive plan to bring down numerous airliners full of travelers (see here, here and here). In fact, the UK airline bomb plot, as the two links I listed show, was detected by a combination of the NSA monitoring communications and the Treasury Department monitoring bank transactions. And these are the two of the more infamous SurrenderMedia efforts to successfully cripple our national defense.

I have written extensively about the leak to the NY Times which exposed the NSA monitoring of terrorist communications, which has been going on in support of this country’s defense for decades. The true essence of the story is the FISA court used to refuse NSA leads as evidence for probable cause in a terrorist investigation. If the NSA picked up a hint of an attack or detected terrorists in country when listening in on our enemies overseas they threw out the details on who and where in the US the contact was made. It was suicidal foolishness. The NY Times erroneously claimed the NSA was bypassing FISA, when in fact, and this has been proven out over the years of reporting, it was actually FISA being forced to consider intel data, which had to be followed up by an FBI investigation of the lead, in determining probable cause for a surveillance action in the US. Now a personal phone call with Bin Laden can be used as evidence – it was not so before 9-11.

The second successful effort to expose our national defenses and blind us to al Qaeda movements and plans was when the SurrenderMedia exposed the Treasury’s SWIFT program – which monitored the flow of cash to detect terrorist agents and plans. Terrorism requires money to pull off the attacks and the SWIFT program was a coordinated effort between US and EU institutions to track money to terrorists (see here, here and here). It became so obvious so quickly that the SurrenderMedia had royally screwed up by exposing the SWIFT program they dropped the story because it reflected so badly on them.

But these are the big stories. There have been smaller ones where the news media is hell bent to tip off al Qaeda operatives as if to help them. I mean what else could be the motive behind writing about a high level spy we have in al Qaeda’s organization? Or how about exposing a surveillance effort on an al Qaeda cell before law enforcement can act?

Today we get news of another SurrenderMedia tip off to the terrorists which has destroyed critical insight into al Qaeda’s operations, key players and movements. Up the 9/11 anniversary we were able to monitor a lot of their communications and actions over the internet. But now, thanks to a ‘scoop’ mad media (or worse) all that intelligence has disappeared:

Al Qaeda’s Internet communications system has suddenly gone dark to American intelligence after the leak of Osama bin Laden’s September 11 speech inadvertently disclosed the fact that we had penetrated the enemy’s system.

The intelligence blunder started with what appeared at the time as an American intelligence victory, namely that the federal government had intercepted, a full four days before it was to be aired, a video of Osama bin Laden’s first appearance in three years in a video address marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. On the morning of September 7, the Web site of ABC News posted excerpts from the speech.

But the disclosure from ABC and later other news organizations tipped off Qaeda’s internal security division that the organization’s Internet communications system, known among American intelligence analysts as Obelisk, was compromised. This network of Web sites serves not only as the distribution system for the videos produced by Al Qaeda’s production company, As-Sahab, but also as the equivalent of a corporate intranet, dealing with such mundane matters as expense reporting and clerical memos to mid- and lower-level Qaeda operatives throughout the world.

More here at the Washington Post on this near treasonous act. It cannot be overstated how much information can be obtained from basic records of finances and reports, etc. Organizations can get very comfortable in their reporting and spill details here and there that can, over time, allow a very detailed picture of the organization’s structure, plans, key people and activities. Now all that insight is gone. One private firm is blaming the government. But the career people who work intel and security would never leak this information and expose what is their life blood – deep intelligence information. The rumors the leak was political are probably more accurate:

A former counterterrorism official, Roger Cressey, said, “If any of this was leaked for any reasons, especially political, that is just unconscionable.” Mr. Cressey added that the work that was lost by burrowing into Qaeda’s Internet system was far more valuable than any benefit that was gained by short-circuiting Osama bin Laden’s video to the public.

Now who would be interested in Bin Laden showing his mug on American TVs on the anniversary of 9-11? Bush or the Dems who keep saying we have failed because we have not found Bin Laden and we should be pulling out of Iraq and putting all our forces into invading Pakistan (as Sen Obama once said he would be willing to do).

The WaPo piece I linked to is another lame CYA attempt to blame the White House. One would think a major newspaper knew the difference between the White House, CIA headquarters in Langley, VA and NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, MD. But no, they report about the leak as if all intel is held and controlled at the White House:

Administration and intelligence officials would not comment on whether they had obtained the video separately. Katz said Fielding and Bagnal made it clear to her that the White House did not possess a copy at the time she offered hers.

Well duh! Of course the White House may not have the video. But that is not the same thing as saying the government was not in possession of a copy. It is sloppy, misleading reporting like this which makes those of us who know how the government works know the SurrenderMedia is deliberately being misleading. No one in their right mind would confuse the White House with the intelligence organizations which ring DC. There is no point in confusing these different organizations (large organizations). So what is really going on with this story? Here is one competitor that notes intel needs to go intel agencies, not policy makers:

A small number of private intelligence companies compete with SITE in scouring terrorists’ networks for information and messages, and some have questioned the company’s motives and methods, including the claim that its access to al-Qaeda’s network was unique. One competitor, Ben Venzke, founder of IntelCenter, said he questions SITE’s decision — as described by Katz — to offer the video to White House policymakers rather than quietly share it with intelligence analysts.

Is the SurrenderMedia being played by political forces again? Or is it playing on a team with political forces? Or was it just a bumbled effort to get some political mileage from the White House by a clumsy company? We need to find out how all these crippling leaks are getting out. They always seem to do nothing but help al Qaeda avoid our defenses and make headlines for the left. Coincidence? How many times before coincidence becomes a pattern? And when does a pattern turn into a case for sabotage?

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Who Leaked al Qaeda Secrets To The Media This Time?”

  1. crosspatch says:

    I asked myself one simple question. If I found I had deep access to a major al Qaida network and obtained a video that was due to be released in a few days *anyway*, what would I do? I would first look at it to see what it says and then, if I decided that the US should have access to it, would I send a copy to politicians at the White House or would I send it to intelligence types? And, would I send them a copy of the video or a link to the video on my server?

    I would select three different people in three different agencies and give each one a copy. At no time would I *ever* give out a URL that is open to *anyone* downloading the video if I wanted to safeguard it.

    Something is fishy in this story.

  2. Soothsayer says:

    According to the Jawa Report, who you linked to :

    it sucks that is was someone at The White House who leaked the video.

    . . . if that answers your question.

  3. crosspatch says:

    They gave the URL to someone at the White House but said they saw dozens of downloads from all over the government. There is no way to tell that it was someone at the White House who leaked it. The only thing they know is that someone at the White House shared the URL and those people in turn shared it with others. That URL was apparently open to anyone who had the address.

    SITE was insanely stupid to A: share the URL with politicians rather than intelligence professionals and B: to have it as a URL wide open to anyone who typed it into a web browser so the link could be shared with anyone. If you send the file itself, anyone the file is shared with can be recorded. If you send a URL, I can send the URL to anyone with an SMS text message and they can download the material.

    SITE is a victim of their own idiocy here, if what they are claiming happened is true. NEVER give anything important to a politician. I guarantee it will be leaked to either help themselves or to hurt a political enemy.

  4. momdear1 says:

    Someone once sent me a link to the genealogy info he had in his computer and I discovered I could access everything in his computer. Fox News says they got their copy of the tape from someone in the govt. but not in the White House. I think this is another stinky deal trying to discredit Bush and make him leary and suspicious of his advisors.

  5. http://www.mudvillegazette.com/milblogs/archives/2007/10/10/#009477

    Read ‘er and weep, Cusian Leftist Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Traitor Nutbag “Bootlicker”; some in the IC (no doubt a Democrat!); leaked this video, NOT the White House.

    Of course, you wouldn’t know that, because you can only regurgitate the Talking Points you get from your fellow Traitor Anti-American Nutbags over at the Daily Cus!


  6. PS “Bootlicker”; since this is the Second time I’ve caught you blatantly lying about this issue on this board, and CRUSHED you once again, I guess we can say, that legitimately makes you:

    Cus-o-main Cus-omac!

    Doesn’t it?

  7. And the FINAL NAIL in the coffin of your Traitorous Lies and Cus-omac-ian Talking Points; Leftist Nutbag Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Bootlicker: http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/189714.php

    What’s that brown stain on the bottom of my boot??

    Why that’s the LIAR “Booticker”, CRUSHED once again, like the Anti-American, Pro-Jihadi, Traitorous Leftist Nutbag LIAR that he is!


    A rational person would think, that as many times as you are Wrong (EVERYTIME!); as many times as I’ve embarrassed you in this forum (EVERYTIME!), as many times as I’ve proven your Lies and Cus-omac talking points as Fallacies (EVERYTIME!), as many times as I’ve CRUSHED you (EVERYTIME!); that a normal, sane person would say, enough is enough, and just skulk away in shame….

    But then again, you are not “normal”, are you?

    You are in fact, as I have exposed: An automaton mouthpiece for the Daily Cus-omac Talking Points; and that is why you are an Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Traitor Leftist Nutbag Liar….EVERYTIME!

    Case closed!

  8. Soothsayer says:

    Dale — my, oh, my you do rant on.

    What a friggin’ moron, however, when it comes to content.

    The White House leaked the info.

  9. Ah, NO, they didn’t; I’ve proved it, time and time again.

    You, on the other hand, have nothing to prove what you say, except our typical Anti-American, Pro-Jihadi, Traitor Leftist Nutbag Cus-omac talking points.

    Game, Set. Match!

    You lie, you lose again!