Patterico's Pontifications

5/15/2012

Stories About Underwear Bomber Blew Usefulness of Al Qaeda Mole

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:10 pm

If Obama is responsible for this leak, it’s one of the worst things he has ever done:

[T]he emergence of this story, with a blow-by-blow account of operational detail, is the result of reckless, impetuous leaking that could cost lives and compromise operations in the future.

For a start, the story appears to have trickled out far too soon.

One US official has noted that “this operation could have gone on for some time … when it was cut off by a leak”. Even once the agent turned up in Saudi Arabia, it was clear that his intelligence was helping to target a spate of crucial drone strikes within Yemen – including one that killed AQAP’s head of external operations, a man responsible for the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
If the group learnt of their member’s defection from the media, who knows what countermeasures they took? How did that stymie further arrests or airstrikes? AQAP’s chief bomb-maker, Ibrahim Al-Asiri, might even have escaped as a result.

After all, the agent was reportedly evacuated from Yemen two weeks before the appointed date for his attack. He might have remained quietly operational for that entire period, contacting his colleagues and passing on their location. This leak appears to have frustrated a painstaking and risky operation, of the sort that cannot come around very often.

Second, it’s possible that the story shouldn’t have been leaked at all, at least not in such detail. Agents work with intelligence services because their anonymity – and therefore safety – is guaranteed. AQAP now knows the name and location of their traitor.

More here and here.

Cui bono? The Obama administration gets a big publicity boost in an election year. So, one guess who is responsible.

34 Responses to “Stories About Underwear Bomber Blew Usefulness of Al Qaeda Mole”

  1. Anybody remember soopersekrit spy Valerie Plame?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  2. This is a disaster, a Yemeni penetration agent, run by the Saudis, comes up probably once a generation,

    narciso (1c125b)

  3. I sure hope this isn’t true. Makes me sick to my stomach.

    Dustin (330eed)

  4. Obama can keep his birth certificate and college transcripts and college applications and college senior thesis and videotape of party for Rashid Khalidi all under wraps as if they’re gold shipments at Fort Knox…..but he can’t keep a lid on the identity of our Al Qaeda double agent.

    That reveals so much—both about his commitment to undermining Al Qaeda in the long term, as well as how badly he wants to keep his records out of the public domain.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  5. They had to ‘spike the football’ yet again, Quso, is a fairly low level figure, even Asiri isn’t worth this,

    narciso (1c125b)

  6. he’s like the annoying, ingratiating kid in high school who can’t stop talking about his accomplishments for even a second. “I aced the test, I came in first in the science fair, I got a good part in the play…I, I, I, me, me, me”…Read Michael Mukasey’s op-ed in the Wall St Journal a couple of weeks ago about Obama’s incessant crowing about the Bin Laden raid. You’d think he was the point-man on the ground in Abbottabad….

    sam (d57f37)

  7. Patterico,

    Just a little aside, but how about the “Chris Matthews disaster on Jeopardy” as a potential theme for Sockpuppet Friday !?
    Seriously, on several occasions in 2008, Matthews made disparaging remarks about Sarah Palin and his percerption about her ability to potentially succeed on Jeopardy, if she were to ever appear on the show. And then he totally bombs when he goes on the program. It doesn’t get any more elitist than that.

    We might be able to collectively accumulate 500 comments in the appropriate form of a question. It would even allow for some Johnny Carson cross-over with his old “Carnac the Magnificent” routine.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  8. Yes, he seems to be doing a decent version of the Sean Connery impression, from SNL.

    narciso (1c125b)

  9. This non-story shows the bias of the media. All the energy spent on a non-spy Valerie Plane and here we have a real spy’s cover blown by the whore Obama.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  10. What’s patrick fitzgerald up to these days? He was determined to get someone charged, even if the deed was not a crime and he knew who was responsible early on (and didn’t charge him for the non-crime). Here is a real case, and if he doesn’t get results maybe he should be put under investigation…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  11. They set him on the case of the CIA photos that ended up in the hands of Gitmo lawyer, and picked up a scalp in Kirikaou, the spy who spoke out of turn, apparently to Shane of the Times, and at least
    another reporter,

    narciso (1c125b)

  12. ABC news covered it… so it must be true (sarc)… but I wonder if no one put 2 and 2 together and figured out that this makes the one look bad. I guess it was the knee-jerk reflex established under Bush that if it was secret it’s good to reveal it.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  13. The best sources have been with the followups in the Telegraph, and one in the Guardian, CNN and
    the Daily Beast, are still insisting this is some
    great victory, kind of like Charlie Sheen,

    narciso (1c125b)

  14. this happened just right after President Fruitless came under a withering barrage of criticism for his undignified spiking of the bin laden football

    I think they were trying to prop up his tarnished bona fides

    Fail.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  15. The best move, would have been let him be nabbed either at the airport, or other location, sort of like what would happen to ‘Donnie Brasco’

    narciso (1c125b)

  16. Paging Richard Armitage !

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  17. Oh, by the way, the review doesn’t cover either the White House or the NSC,

    narciso (1c125b)

  18. I blame Scooter Libby.

    AD-RtR/OS! (fd8226)

  19. Comment by Elephant Stone — 5/15/2012 @ 7:38 pm

    He wasn’t “our” double agent.
    He belonged to the Brits – who are more than a little pissed!

    AD-RtR/OS! (fd8226)

  20. Powerline had a nice summary of this too, with a reminder that everyone who thought that Valerie Plame was the next best thing to Deep Throat (Hey! The Watergate one, not the porno one!) now glosses over the outing of a double agent who wasn’t even one of our own. God, these guys bring incompetence to a new level.

    JVW (14d774)

  21. He wasn’t “our” double agent.
    He belonged to the Brits – who are more than a little pissed!

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 5/15/2012 @ 9:55 pm
    —————

    Ok, but he was doing work for “our side of the equation.”
    In espionage, often there’s a lot of red herrings and head fakes regarding who the handlers actually are…just. in. case.

    I wonder how this episode has affected David Cameron’s tingly feeling in his leg that he was experiencing when he had that very public bromance with Obama a couple months ago.

    If only we could find a double-agent at Columbia University so we can see all those sealed records belonging to the student with the most secret academic career of all time.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  22. If only we could find a double-agent at Columbia University so we can see all those sealed records belonging to the student with the most secret academic career of all time.

    Dear Leader’s academic record is unsealed the day after Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis at Wellesley is unsealed, which is actually a year or so (give or take, depending on political aspirations) before Michelle Robinson Obama’s senior thesis at Princeton is unsealed. In other words, this will all happen in 2025 when Andrew Sullivan begins work on “The Age of Progressive Bliss: Volume 1, Clinton to Obama to Clinton (with a rude interruption during the Bush/Ashcroft years).”

    JVW (14d774)

  23. Dollars to donuts, VP Biden was responsible for the leak.

    Icy (57e038)

  24. The Churchill bust will be staying in England for the election.

    mg (44de53)

  25. JVW, I have news for you. Michelle’s Princeton thesis is not sealed.

    But it sure as hell should’ve been.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8642.html

    creeper (f1f686)

  26. “Obama can keep his birth certificate and college transcripts and college applications and college senior thesis and videotape of party for Rashid Khalidi all under wraps as if they’re gold shipments at Fort Knox”

    Birth certificate?

    FortunateSon (77ac66)

  27. This isn’t about spiking the ball, it wasn’t a leak, and it bears only tangential connections to Obama’s reelection campaign. It was the deliberate sabotage of a Brit/Saudi Aqap penetration for the purpose of protecting bomb-maker, Ibrahim Al-Asiri.

    Indeed, Al-Asiri heeded Obama’s timely warning and escaped to continue building bombs. Barack Obama is the most successful warrior Islam has ever produced.

    ropelight (174cf4)

  28. this is just one America hating muslim helping out some others…

    nothing to see here, please move along.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  29. Comment by narciso — 5/15/2012 @ 7:29 pm

    This is a disaster, a Yemeni penetration agent, run by the Saudis, comes up probably once a generation,

    The Saudis probably have an even more important mole in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. If they didn’t have the mole theur agent (selected with British help) probably would not have been chosen as the bomber.

    That is the reason this leak is supposedly so bad. AQAP might realize someone else is a mole.

    Except that maybe there isn’t any AQAP left any more that Saudi Arabia does not control at this point.

    In the meantime they may be getting U.S. drones to kill any decdent opositiopn

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  30. Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 5/15/2012 @ 9:55 pm

    He wasn’t “our” double agent.
    He belonged to the Brits – who are more than a little pissed!

    Not the Brits. The Saudis. And the whole bomb was probably invented by the Saudis, And it’s only one version of a more general bomb.

    There is a story in Newsweek (the Obama rainbow halo issue) claiming that some doctors including one particular doctor was working on a body bomb.
    There’s even a technical manual that shows how it is supposed to work.

    A big technical problem is the trigger which has to be outside the body. Why? Couldn’t it be radio activated? Or use a timer?

    Such a bomb may have been used to attempt to kill the head of Saudi intelligence. The story the Saudis tell is that it exploded but the bomber – who was the brother of the chief bomb builder – just killed himself, i.e., his body absorbed most of the bomb’s blast.

    So they wanted the U.S to kill this doctor.

    People in the U.S. government were either skeptical or wondered if they should really kill a doctor who might be saving lives.

    While they were still debating on whether he should be put on the capture or kill list (which in the Obama Administration is effectively only a kill list)

    He got killed in a drone strike on somebody else two months into the argument.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  31. NYT confirms leak came from white house.

    Rorschach (d62b54)

  32. We are in the best of hands.

    JD (429c83)

  33. That’s possibly true, Sammy, but frankly you let the plot move to another level, MI-6 was involved
    because the subject had a British passport,

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/18/us-usa-security-plot-spin-idUSBRE84H0OZ20120518

    narciso (1c125b)


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