20 May

How Bush paved the way for Obama to get Bin Laden and why NY Times reporters should already be imprisoned

                                       

obama leaks

There is talk about Fox News reporter James Rosen being named as a co-conspirator for the crime of being a journalist.

A Fox News correspondent was accused in a Justice Department affidavit of being a possible criminal “co-conspirator” for his alleged role in publishing sensitive security information — in a leak case that takes the highly unusual step of claiming a journalist broke the law.

According to court documents, the Justice Department obtained a portfolio of information about Fox News’ James Rosen’s conversations and visits to the State Department. This included a search warrant for his personal emails.

The effort follows that by the department to secretly obtain two months of phone records from Associated Press journalists as part of a separate leak probe. The department in this case, though, went a step further — as an FBI agent claimed there’s evidence the Fox News correspondent broke the law, “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”

Obama’s Department of Injustice has suggested that Rosen had solicited classified information:

In an application for a search warrant, FBI agent Reginald Reyes wrote that there was probable cause Rosen had violated the Espionage Act by soliciting classified information from Stephen J. Kim, a former State Department official. Reyes wrote that Rosen was an “aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator” in leaking the information.

According to the search warrant, which was posted by the Federation of American Scientists, Reyes wrote that Rosen may have committed a “conspiracy to violate” section of a law against leaking classified info, which he wrote was “punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.”

Reyes also wrote that the FBI had exhausted all other alternatives in the leak investigation when applying for a search warrant, short of asking Rosen to voluntarily provide his email communications.

It’s clear that this is a political vendetta against Obama’s enemies and it represents an abuse of the justice system as well as a suppression of journalistic investigation but let’s harken back a ways. If Rosen’s actions are a violation of the Espionage Act, several New York Times reporters should already have been imprisoned, if not executed.

If one searches for “NY Times reveals classified information” it will yield nearly 3 million hits.

Among them, two stand as the most egregious.

The first was the outing of the FISA program.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 – Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible “dirty numbers” linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval was a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.

“This is really a sea change,” said a former senior official who specializes in national security law. “It’s almost a mainstay of this country that the N.S.A. only does foreign searches.”

Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation’s legality and oversight.

According to those officials and others, reservations about aspects of the program have also been expressed by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a judge presiding over a secret court that oversees intelligence matters. Some of the questions about the agency’s new powers led the administration to temporarily suspend the operation last year and impose more restrictions, the officials said.

The Bush administration views the operation as necessary so that the agency can move quickly to monitor communications that may disclose threats to the United States, the officials said. Defenders of the program say it has been a critical tool in helping disrupt terrorist plots and prevent attacks inside the United States.

Administration officials are confident that existing safeguards are sufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, the officials say. In some cases, they said, the Justice Department eventually seeks warrants if it wants to expand the eavesdropping to include communications confined within the United States. The officials said the administration had briefed Congressional leaders about the program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret Washington court that deals with national security issues.

Obama has not ended the program- he has expanded and extended it.

The second, and worse leak was of the Bush program known as Operation Cannonball:

WASHINGTON — Late last year, top Bush administration officials decided to take a step they had long resisted. They drafted a secret plan to make it easier for the Pentagon’s Special Operations forces to launch missions into the snow-capped mountains of Pakistan to capture or kill top leaders of Al Qaeda.

Intelligence reports for more than a year had been streaming in about Osama bin Laden’s terrorism network rebuilding in the Pakistani tribal areas, a problem that had been exacerbated by years of missteps in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, sharp policy disagreements, and turf battles between American counterterrorism agencies.

The program was highly classified:

The new plan, outlined in a highly classified Pentagon order, was intended to eliminate some of those battles. And it was meant to pave a smoother path into the tribal areas for American commandos, who for years have bristled at what they see as Washington’s risk-averse attitude toward Special Operations missions inside Pakistan. They also argue that catching Mr. bin Laden will come only by capturing some of his senior lieutenants alive.

Mazzetti and Rhode informed us that it was going nowhere:

But more than six months later, the Special Operations forces are still waiting for the green light. The plan has been held up in Washington by the very disagreements it was meant to eliminate. A senior Defense Department official said there was “mounting frustration” in the Pentagon at the continued delay.

And then they proceed to make the argument that the delay was Bush’s fault, despite the political reality Musharraf was presenting.

Under pressure from Pakistan, the Bush administration decided in 2003 to end the American military presence on the ground. In a recent interview, Mr. Armitage said he had supported the pullback in recognition of the political risks that Mr. Musharraf had already taken. “We were pushing them almost to the breaking point,” Mr. Armitage said.

The American invasion of Iraq in 2003 added another complicating factor, by cementing a view among Pakistanis that American forces in the tribal areas would be a prelude to an eventual American occupation.

To have insisted that American forces be allowed to cross from Afghanistan into Pakistan, Mr. Armitage added, “might have been a bridge too far.”

And they ended the article with an ominous warning:

“The United States faces a threat from Al Qaeda today that is comparable to what it faced on Sept. 11, 2001,” said Seth Jones, a Pentagon consultant and a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation.

“The base of operations has moved only a short distance, roughly the difference from New York to Philadelphia.”

democrats did everything they could to hamper all of Bush’s efforts in the war on terrorism.

They said Bush didn’t care about catching Bin Laden. They said he took his eye off the ball.

Bush did predict that Bin Laden would be gotten by a US President:

Bush says in the interview he’s confident bin Laden ultimately will be found.

“He’ll be gotten by a president,” Bush says.

And to critics who say he hasn’t done enough to find bin Laden, Bush is blunt:

“They don’t know what they’re talking about,” he says.

The irony is that Bush and Obama largely shared the same attitude toward Bin Laden.

Think Progress then scowled:

In what is likely to become a chorus on the right, the conservative Heritage Foundation’s president wrote this morning that “Bin Laden’s elimination vindicates U.S. strategy in the region, started under President George W. Bush.”

But that is absolutely the truth. The man who found Bin Laden says so.

That program that Mazzetti and Rhode were telling you didn’t happen? It did happen.

While he was shepherding the hunt for bin Laden, John also was pushing to expand the Predator program, the agency’s use of unmanned airplanes to launch missiles at terrorists. The CIA largely confined those strikes to targets along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. But in late 2007 and early 2008, John said the CIA needed to carry out those attacks deeper inside Pakistan.

It was a risky move. Pakistan was an important but shaky ally. John’s analysts saw an increase in the number of Westerners training in Pakistani terrorist camps. John worried that those men would soon start showing up on U.S. soil.

“We’ve got to act,” John said, a former senior intelligence official recalls. “There’s no explaining inaction.”

John took the analysis to then CIA Director Michael Hayden, who agreed and took the recommendation to President George W. Bush. In the last months of the Bush administration, the CIA began striking deeper inside Pakistan.

And in January of 2009, Obama inherited it.

It was in 2007 the courier was identified:

All the while, John’s team was working the list of bin Laden leads. In 2007, a female colleague whom the AP has also agreed not to identify decided to zero in on a man known as Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, a nom de guerre. Other terrorists had identified al-Kuwaiti as an important courier for al-Qaeda’s upper echelon, and she believed that finding him might help lead to bin Laden.

“They had their teeth clenched on this and they weren’t going to let go,” McLaughlin said of John and his team. “This was an obsession.”

It took three years to confirm:

It took three years, but in August 2010, al-Kuwaiti turned up on a National Security Agency wiretap. The female analyst, who had studied journalism at a select U.S. university, tapped out a memo for John, “Closing in on Bin Laden Courier,” saying her team believed al-Kuwaiti was somewhere on the outskirts of Islamabad.

Neither Bush nor Obama got Bin Laden.

“John” found Bin Laden.

Seal Team 6 “got” Bin Laden. We’ll be returning to that.

Now back to the leaks.

After the Bin Laden raid, the Obama regime leaked details of the raid like a sieve.

After two weeks of dribbled-out, sometimes-conflicting details about the bold U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound, “anonymous government sources have just handed the AP the entire story,” says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. “Every single detail.” Among other things, AP reporter Kimberly Dozier’s new account reveals that the mission went very wrong, very quickly.

When leaks of classified material suit Obama’s needs they are acceptable. When they don’t, there’s hell to pay.

It is now well known that the Obama justice department has prosecuted more government leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined – in fact, double the number of all such prior prosecutions. But as last week’s controversy over the DOJ’s pursuit of the phone records of AP reporters illustrated, this obsessive fixation in defense of secrecy also targets, and severely damages, journalists specifically and the newsgathering process in general.

New revelations emerged yesterday in the Washington Post that are perhaps the most extreme yet when it comes to the DOJ’s attacks on press freedoms. It involves the prosecution of State Department adviser Stephen Kim, a naturalized citizen from South Korea who was indicted in 2009 for allegedly telling Fox News’ chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, that US intelligence believed North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions with more nuclear tests – something Rosen then reported. Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist – something done every day in Washington – and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for “espionage”.

Mother Jones, last year:

The high-level leaks on Stuxnet and the kill list, which have finally created such a fuss, actually follow no less self-serving leaked details from last year’s bin Laden raid in Pakistan. A flurry of White House officials vied with each other then to expose ever more examples of Obama’s commander-in-chief role in the operation, to the point where Seal Team 6 seemed almost irrelevant in the face of the president’s personal actions. There were also “high five” congratulatory leaks over the latest failed underwear bomber from Yemen.

Another one of those Obama regime leaks may have had a painful side effect.

We know that Seal Team 6 got Bin Laden since Joe Biden told us they did.

At a Pentagon briefing on May 2, a defense official was asked if it was a Navy SEAL team that found and killed the world’s most wanted man. The terse response was: “Not going to comment on units or numbers.”

The next day, Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel at a dinner event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Council. “Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees,” he said. “Adm. James Stavridis is the real deal. He can tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.”

Three months later, 30 Americans were dead, 22 of which were from SEAL Team 6.

I believed it was a trap, and now so do others:

The families of three fallen Navy SEAL Team Six members say President Obama and Vice President Biden are culpable for the deaths of their sons for publicly identifying the unit that killed Osama bin Laden and pursuing policies that coddle Muslims and put our own troops at a tactical disadvantage.

SEAL Team Six carried out the daring raid in Pakistan in early May 2011. Three months later, three members of the unit were among 38 killed in a Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Twenty-five of the dead were special operations forces. Larry Klayman is founder of Freedom Watch, a WND columnist and the attorney representing three of the families who lost their sons. He said the Obama administration carelessly and illegally revealed the role of SEAL Team Six shortly after announcing the successful mission to kill bin Laden.

“Shortly after that successful raid on bin Laden, the president – through the vice president for political purposes – released the name of SEAL Team Six. That’s classified information, and even (then) Defense Secretary Robert Gates was critical of that. So that was like putting a target on the backs of the sons of my clients,” said Klayman, who revealed the helicopter may have been infiltrated by the Taliban before the crash because the Afghans on board were last-minute changes from the names on the original flight manifest.

Klayman said Vice President Joe Biden deserves special blame for these deaths.

Eric Holder ordered US Attorneys to hunt down leaks:

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday assigned two United States attorneys to lead separate criminal investigations into recent disclosures to the news media of national security secrets, saying they were authorized to “follow all appropriate investigative leads within the executive and legislative branches of government.”

They can start with Risen, Lichtblau, Mazzetti, Rhode, Joe Biden and Barack Obama. If Rosen is guilty of violating the Espionage Act, they are all equally guilty.

About DrJohn

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.
This entry was posted in American Intelligence, Barack Obama, CIA Leak, Culture of Corruption, Deception and Lies, Media, NSA Wiretap's, Politics, propaganda bureau, Uncategorized, WtF? and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 8:14 pm
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21 Responses to How Bush paved the way for Obama to get Bin Laden and why NY Times reporters should already be imprisoned

  1. James Raider says: 1

    Now that the dam is cracking, we can expect more effective and relevant leaks on such fiascos as Fast ‘n Furious gun running.

    Certainly we will discover further evidence of the hate this Administration has for foes and sycophants alike.

    I notice that the NYT is doing its best to continue NOT covering any of these stories effectively, and NOT asking questions, but protecting O. to embarrassing degrees. Really embarrassing. Even the loons should feel some tinges of embarrassment.

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  2. Smorgasbord says: 2

    Let’s not forget the propaganda media telling us that we were tracking Osama by the cell phone he was using. Immediately after the report, we never heard the phone again. I still ask why nobody was arrested.

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  3. john says: 3

    Yeah that was a long term paving job. Lasted 8 years. ??? Yeah if Bush had not allowed bin Laden to get away from Tora Bora Obama would never have been able to get him, If Bush had not decided to put 90% of the American effort into going after the WMD in Iraq instead of concentrating on the people who did 9/11, Obama would never have been able to get bin Laden. That was all part of the bin Laden paving job. What did Obama actually do to get bin Laden ? he told everybody under him (and he is the top) to make bin Laden their number one task. They did and THEY got him.

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  4. drjohn says: 4

    @john:

    That is factually inaccurate.

    Couric: How important do you think it is, Mr. President-elect, to apprehend Osama bin Laden?

    Mr. Obama: I think that we have to so weaken his infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function. My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him. But if we have so tightened the noose that he’s in a cave somewhere and can’t even communicate with his operatives, then we will meet our goal of protecting America.

    Which is almost exactly what Bush said.

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  5. drjohn says: 5

    @john:

    Obama’s #1 goal?

    And I’m confident that we can keep them on the run, and ensure that they cannot train terrorists to attack our homeland. That’s my number one priority as President of the United States.

    It wasn’t “getting” Bin Laden, as you claim.

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  6. Wordsmith says: 6

    If he’s lost Eugene Robinson, he’s lost blue America (well…not exactly- but it sounded good):

    The Obama administration has no business rummaging through journalists’ phone records, perusing their e-mails and tracking their movements in an attempt to keep them from gathering news. This heavy-handed business isn’t chilling, it’s just plain cold.

    It also may well be unconstitutional. In my reading, the First Amendment prohibition against “abridging the freedom . . . of the press” should rule out secretly obtaining two months’ worth of the personal and professional phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, including calls to and from the main AP phone number at the House press gallery in the Capitol. Yet this is what the Justice Department did.

    The unwarranted snooping, which was revealed last week, would be troubling enough if it were an isolated incident. But it is part of a pattern that threatens to redefine investigative reporting as criminal behavior.

    The Post reported Monday that the Justice Department secretly obtained phone and e-mail records for Fox News reporter James Rosen, and that the FBI even tracked his movements in and out of the main State Department building. Rosen’s only apparent transgression? Doing what reporters are supposed to do, which is to dig out the news.

    In both instances, prosecutors were trying to build criminal cases under the 1917 Espionage Act against federal employees suspected of leaking classified information. Before President Obama took office, the Espionage Act had been used to prosecute leakers a grand total of three times, including the 1971 case of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Obama’s Justice Department has used the act six times. And counting.

    ~~~

    Prosecutors examined Rosen’s phone records, read his e-mails and, using the electronic record left by his security badge, even tracked when he entered and left the State Department building. How did officials justify such snooping? By asserting in an FBI affidavit, according to The Post, that Rosen broke the law “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”

    In other words, since there is no law that makes publishing this classified information illegal, the Justice Department claims that obtaining the information was a violation of the Espionage Act.

    Rosen has not been charged. Every investigative reporter, however, has been put on notice.

    If this had been the view of prior administrations, surely Bob Woodward would be a lifer in some federal prison. The cell next door might be occupied by my Post colleague Dana Priest, who disclosed the CIA’s network of secret prisons. Or by the New York Times’ James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who revealed the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program.

    A federal “shield” law protecting reporters from having to divulge their sources means nothing if it includes an exception for cases involving national security, as Obama favors. The president needs to understand that behavior commonly known as “whistleblowing” and “journalism” must not be construed as espionage.

    @john: Please do tell what resources specifically were diverted away from “concentrating on the people who did 9/11″, due to putting “90% of the American effort into going after the WMD in Iraq”?!

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  7. drjohn says: 7

    And I forgot something. One of the arguments against an operation to rescue the Benghazi victims was the absence of Libyan permission to enter their airspace, but none was sought in the Bin Laden raid.

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  8. Nan G says: 8

    When Obama’s DOJ uses a World War One espionage act (that had only been used three times before he became president) six times, once against Fox’s Rosen, it means he’s trolling history for ways to stifle his critics.
    Rosen’s ”source” Kim, claims to be his friend who talks with Rosen all the time.
    Kim denies to this day that he leaked anything classified to Rosen.
    Rosen denies basing any story on anything from Kim.
    The DOJ has no proof of these men having anything other than a social relationship.
    Loved the use of the term, ”solicited,” in the charge.
    It implies a paid for exchange, like a sexual one for money.
    Ironic then that it was Obama who left his prepared text during a commencement speech to tell guys to be better boyfriends to their partners. LOL!
    Reggie Love must be beside himself!

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  9. another vet says: 9

    @john: I knew people who were in Tora Bora. They said it would have been a meat grinder for our side. Tommy Franks didn’t want to go in there because he learned from the mistakes of the Brits and Russians of what happens going into those mountain passages and there was no guarantee of success. Since you seem so much better at tactical military strategy than those who were there, perhaps you can tell us whether or not YOU volunteered to utilize your war fighting experience to show the ignorant military types how to get OBL since it was so easy.

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  10. retire05 says: 10

    The NYSlimes has long been nothing more than a mouthpiece for the DNC. It was the NYSlimes that revealed that the feds were tracking ObL by the use of his cell phone. Once that was leaked, ObL dumped the cell phone and we lost his location. If anyone belongs in jail, it is the NYSlimes reporter who revealed that information for no other reason than to hurt the Administration, consequently putting every American in harm’s way.

    But the Slimes is hurting. They have had massive layoffs, in spite of being bailed out by Mexico’s Man With The Money, Carlos Slim. Hopefully they will eventually go out of business and New York will get a paper that hires actual journalists, not political hacks.

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  11. Wordsmith says: 11

    @retire05:

    It was the NYSlimes that revealed that the feds were tracking ObL by the use of his cell phone.

    I thought it was a WaPo reporter.

    Once that was leaked, ObL dumped the cell phone and we lost his location.

    I’ve believed the same story for a long time; but while verifying a moment ago which news rag it was that leaked, I came across this by Glenn Kessler dated Dec 2005:

    President Bush asserted this week that the news media published a U.S. government leak in 1998 about Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, alerting the al Qaeda leader to government monitoring and prompting him to abandon the device.

    The story of the vicious leak that destroyed a valuable intelligence operation was first reported by a best-selling book, validated by the Sept. 11 commission and then repeated by the president.

    But it appears to be an urban myth.

    The al Qaeda leader’s communication to aides via satellite phone had already been reported in 1996 — and the source of the information was another government, the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan at the time.

    The second time a news organization reported on the satellite phone, the source was bin Laden himself.

    Hmm…I guess it’s the Washington Times that I was thinking of? I dunno- I probably read WaPo wrongly cited by some reporter as a leak source. Apparently there’s been a lot of mis-reporting and confusion on this:

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday that the president was referring to an article that appeared in the Washington Times on Aug. 21, 1998, the day after the cruise missile attack, which was launched in retaliation for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa two weeks earlier. The Sept. 11 commission also cited the article as “a leak” that prompted bin Laden to stop using his satellite phone, though it noted that he had added more bodyguards and began moving his sleeping place “frequently and unpredictably” after the missile attack.

    Two former Clinton administration officials first fingered the Times article in a 2002 book, “The Age of Sacred Terror.” Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon wrote that after the “unabashed right-wing newspaper” published the story, bin Laden “stopped using the satellite phone instantly” and “the United States lost its best chance to find him.”

    The article, a profile of bin Laden, buried the information about his satellite phone in the 21st paragraph. It never said that the United States was listening in on bin Laden, as the president alleged. The writer, Martin Sieff, said yesterday that the information about the phone was “already in the public domain” when he wrote the story.

    A search of media databases shows that Time magazine had first reported on Dec. 16, 1996, that bin Laden “uses satellite phones to contact fellow Islamic militants in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.” Taliban officials provided the information, with one official — security chief Mulla Abdul Mannan Niazi — telling Time, “He’s in high spirits.”

    The day before the Washington Times article was published — and the day of the attacks — CNN producer Peter Bergen appeared on the network to talk about an interview he had with bin Laden in 1997.

    “He communicates by satellite phone, even though Afghanistan in some levels is back in the Middle Ages and a country that barely functions,” Bergen said.

    Bergen noted that as early as 1997, bin Laden’s men were very concerned about electronic surveillance. “They scanned us electronically,” he said, because they were worried that anyone meeting with bin Laden “might have some tracking device from some intelligence agency.” In 1996, the Chechen insurgent leader Dzhokhar Dudayev was killed by a Russian missile that locked in to his satellite phone signal.

    That same day, CBS reported that bin Laden used a satellite phone to give a television interview. USA Today ran a profile of bin Laden on the same day as the Washington Times’s article, quoting a former U.S. official about his “fondness for his cell phone.”

    It was not until Sept. 7, 1998 — after bin Laden apparently stopped using his phone — that a newspaper reported that the United States had intercepted his phone calls and obtained his voiceprint. U.S. authorities “used their communications intercept capacity to pick up calls placed by bin Laden on his Inmarsat satellite phone, despite his apparent use of electronic ‘scramblers,’ ” the Los Angeles Times reported.

    Officials could not explain yesterday why they focused on the Washington Times story when other news organizations at the same time reported on the satellite phone — and that the information was not particularly newsworthy.

    “You got me,” said Benjamin, who was director for counterterrorism on the National Security Council staff at the time. “That was the understanding in the White House and the intelligence community. The story ran and the lights went out.”

    Lee H. Hamilton, vice chairman of the Sept. 11 commission, gave a speech in October in which he said the leak “was terribly damaging.” Yesterday, he said the commission relied on the testimony of three “very responsible, very senior intelligence officers,” who he said “linked the Times story to the cessation of the use of the phone.” He said they described it as a very serious leak.

    But Hamilton said he did not recall any discussion about other news outlets’ reports. “I cannot conceive we would have singled out the Washington Times if we knew about all of the reporting,” he said.

    A White House official said last night the administration was confident that press reports changed bin Laden’s behavior. CIA spokesman Tom Crispell declined to comment, saying the question involves intelligence sources and methods.

    Whether bin Laden was or wasn’t influenced by news media to give up his satellite phone, the enemy does follow news sources, like everybody else.

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  12. Wordsmith says: 12

    A next day follow up by Kessler:

    The allegation that news organizations leaked information about Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone, thus shutting down a valuable source of intelligence that might have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has long been a prime case study cited by government officials seeking to impose greater restrictions on the news media.

    President Bush drew attention to the case Monday when he twice cited it as a dangerous example of the news media “revealing sources, methods and what we use the information for.” Bush was basing his remarks on a conclusion by the Sept. 11 commission, which had labeled it a “leak” that prompted the al Qaeda leader to turn off his phone.

    Upon closer examination, the story turned out to be wrong. Bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone had already been widely reported by August 1998, and he stopped using it within days of a cruise missile attack on his training camps in Afghanistan.

    Yet in recent years, advocates of new laws that would restrict the ability of the news media to report on intelligence matters have repeatedly cited the case of bin Laden’s satellite phone as an especially dangerous example of media malfeasance.

    And I guess I missed another one from Kessler dated earlier than these two articles.

    The implication was clear: American intelligence might have been able to prevent the 9/11 attacks, but news leaks tipped off Bin Laden and made that impossible.

    There was one problem with Bush’s statement: It’s not true.

    Not that you would know that from reading The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times. The former ran a follow-up story supporting the president’s version of the facts, while the latter let it go unchecked. In fact, The Washington Post was the only major newspaper to set the story straight (in addition to Slate’s Jack Shafer). A Nexis search showed that the rest of the media did no follow-up at all.

    ~~~

    Glenn Kessler wrote three articles for the Washington Post directly after the press conference (on Dec. 20, Dec. 22 and Dec. 23). Kessler recounted the true story of Bin Laden and the case of the missing satellite phone: As it turned out, it had been widely reported as early as 1996 that Bin Laden communicated via a satellite phone; Bin Laden himself admitted as much to a CNN correspondent in 1997.

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  13. drjohn says: 13

    @Wordsmith:

    Whether bin Laden was or wasn’t influenced by news media to give up his satellite phone, the enemy does follow news sources, like everybody else.

    Seems as though that’s the only way Obama gets his information as well

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  14. Wordsmith says: 14

    bad da dum chhh….

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  15. Wordsmith says: 15

    A couple articles I found of interest:

    A close reading of the Fox News story at the center of Washington’s latest scandal

    And this apparently from an administration official.

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  16. DrJohn says: 16

    @Wordsmith:

    So it’s intimidation.

    I still wonder why the NY Times reporters do not receive similar harassment.

    Actually, no I don’t.

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  17. Bill says: 17

    @john:

    Apparently, John, you are not familiar with Tora Bora, hundreds of square miles of rugged, mountainous terrain. But, being the fierce and experienced warrior you are, this would not hamper YOUR efforts to find Mr. Laden.

    The intelligence gathered was using Bush administration techniques during the Bush administration; all of which the Obama bleeding hearts claim to oppose (though rendition continues, which is far worse; problem is, Obama is too lazy to capture for interrogation. He likes to shoot and scoot, killing terrorists as well as women and children). Sure, once someone handed Obama Mr. Laden’s address, he jumped right on it (after two days of pondering his political skin should it fail).

    Hooray for Obama. Whatta guy. By the way, why did it take that damned Roosevelt so long to get Hitler? He knew right where he was! What a failure!

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  18. Nan G says: 18

    @Bill:

    I had a co-worker come back after working in the military in the Tora Bora region.
    He made an interesting remark about how hard it would be to find anyone there.
    It was riddled with caves.
    Some so deep even Daisy Cutters couldn’t destroy them.
    People might come out of one of these caves after a massive (expensive) bombing and only note that, ”hey, didn’t that rock used to be over there?”
    People who claim finding bin Laden would have been easy when he was in Tora Bora are idiots.

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  19. another vet says: 19

    @Nan G:

    People who claim finding bin Laden would have been easy when he was in Tora Bora are idiots.

    But they know far more than those who were there. Just ask them. Armchair generals who criticized what happened from the safety of their own homes thousands of miles away from the action. But hey, some of them “studied” the maps on the internet so they have a far better idea of the terrain than those who actually fought in it. One thing they have in common is that none of them offered their “expertise” for the good of the country by going there. Talk is cheap.

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  20. johngalt says: 20

    @another vet:

    Another thing those people know so much more than the rest of us is the history of the region. I mean, the Russians and the Brits couldn’t have lost there either, right, even though when they went they also had the most powerful army in the world.

    As Reagan said, “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

    ‘john’ personifies that which Reagan was talking about.

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  21. another vet says: 21

    @johngalt:

    As Reagan said, “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

    That’s why I try not to debate them anymore. However, when they start sharpshooting military decisions because they act like experts in warfare, I like to call them out once in awhile. Gotta like it when they try to ‘fool’ us by using different screen names. Speaking of screen names, hopefully all is well with ‘Scott in Oklahoma’. That was a nasty tornado.

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