Thursday, October 11, 2007

Five Hours

Bush's Betray al-Qaeda Network to Fox Within FIVE HOURS

Remember when the Bush Administration were the "Grown-up Party", the party of National Defense?

Yeah, me neither. Although I remember a lot of bullshit about it during the campaign.

You can't trust the Bush Administration with ANYTHING. Not even secret National Security information in their own intelligent best interest to keep secret. If they're breathing, they're lying... count on it.

Last month, just before the Osama Bin Laden video was released, a small security company specializing in monitoring terrorist groups, got a copy of the video ahead of everyone. They provided a copy to two senior officials at the White House on the condition they not release it ahead of the official al-Qaeda release -- because to do otherwise would blow up the security companies' spy network, a network years in the making.

The White House promised to keep the source secret.


Back doors into al-Qadea simply don't come along every day, and here a private company is handing a back door to the enemy, over to the White House. You'd think the White House and the National Security organizations would be enormously careful to protect such a gift.

You'd think.

And then you remember Valarie Plame.

Of course, that was the Vice President's office (and the Vice President) actively trying to destroy an active CIA undercover agent and her entire CIA undercover organization against WMDs in the middle-east, over ten years in the making, in retribution for her husband's political actions against the Administration.

Here... well, we don't know, do we?

Perhaps this is on purpose, more than mere political showing off. Perhaps someone has a grudge against the private company, maybe those three-letter agencies don't like looking incompetent next to private enterprise (although I thought that was the point of the Republican Party. Maybe this private enterprise wasn't on the list?) or maybe the Administration is simply incompetent. ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.")

Regardless, it took all of five hours from promise till Fox News and others had the video and transcript.

Five hours.

Washington Post

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Rita Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.

She spoke first with White House counsel Fred F. Fielding, whom she had previously met, and then with Joel Bagnal, deputy assistant to the president for homeland security. Both expressed interest in obtaining a copy, and Bagnal suggested that she send a copy to Michael Leiter, who holds the No. 2 job at the National Counterterrorism Center.

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.

Around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, Katz sent both Leiter and Fielding an e-mail with a link to a private SITE Web page containing the video and an English transcript. "Please understand the necessity for secrecy," Katz wrote in her e-mail. "We ask you not to distribute . . . [as] it could harm our investigations."

Fielding replied with an e-mail expressing gratitude to Katz. "It is you who deserves the thanks," he wrote, according to a copy of the message. There was no record of a response from Leiter or the national intelligence director's office.

Exactly what happened next is unclear. But within minutes of Katz's e-mail to the White House, government-registered computers began downloading the video from SITE's server, according to a log of file transfers. The records show dozens of downloads over the next three hours from computers with addresses registered to defense and intelligence agencies.

By midafternoon, several television news networks reported obtaining copies of the transcript. A copy posted around 3 p.m. on Fox News's Web site referred to SITE and included page markers identical to those used by the group. "This confirms that the U.S. government was responsible for the leak of this document," Katz wrote in an e-mail to Leiter at 5 p.m.

Al-Qaeda supporters, now alerted to the intrusion into their secret network, put up new obstacles that prevented SITE from gaining the kind of access it had obtained in the past, according to Katz.
Got to hand it to the Bush Administration. It took them over a week to betray Valarie Plame.

They're getting faster.