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An Astonishing And Sickening Breach Of Trust

Tuesday, October 9, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Washington Post story this morning on a leak that alerted al Qaeda to the penetration of its cyber-network is shocking and disgusting.  When the next Americans die at the hands of these terrorists, their families will be right to wonder if that attack might have been prevented if all of the leakers of the past few years had simply put the national interest ahead of their own profit in selling papers or pride at tipping a reporter that they knew a secret or two. From the article:

A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company’s Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

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.

Powerline has more.

What will it take for people to realize that it is a war, not a game or a campaign?

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