October 09, 2007
Uh, About that "Leak" That Burned Our al Qaeda Intel
UPDATES: Scroll to bottom for updates.
I know what the NY Sun and Washington Post are saying about a major source of intel being burned by a leak, but it just isn't so. Rita Katz and the SITE Institute do a great job, but attributing the interception of this video to them is just false. Sure, they intercepted the video--as did Laura Mansfield and other groups that do similar work as SITE, but let's check the claim out.
at 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, [SITE] notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition.And in the Sun article:
Rita Katz, said she personally provided the video on September 7 to the deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter.So, SITE claims they are the source of the video given to the White House. Rita claims she personally gave the video to authorities on September 7th. But let's take a quick look at the very bottom of the translation of the video leaked by ABC's Blotter:
That means that the White House had a translation of the video a full 24 hours before SITE intercepted it. Apparently, our intel guys are better than we thought.
Sure, the fools over at al Ekhlaas have closed down their back room, but that doesn't mean there aren't other back rooms.
So, just because SITE's intel source got burned, doesn't mean that we've lost capability of tracking al Qaeda online. In fact, SITE was not the only one that had the "new" bin Laden 9/11 video before it was supposed to be released, as these two articles suggest.
So, sorry to hear that SITE has lost its edge. And it really sucks that it was someone at The White House who leaked the video.
But why would you give the video to the White House and not to the FBI or CIA? The White House leaks like a sieve. That's just the way the White House works.
I'm also sorry to hear that this scared al Qaeda into being more cautious. In fact, that same day al Ekhlaas and a few other jihadi forums went down. There was a lot of speculation as to why. Some at the time claimed that the online Zionist conspiracy had hacked al Ekhlaas. But now we know why they went down: to upgrade their security measures.
But no matter how hard they try, they will never be as good as we are.
We pwn you al Qaeda and as Sahab. We. Frickin. Pwn. You.
UPDATE: Cass, blogging over at MilBlogs, finds more evidence showing that the timeline presented in the above articles is off. Even suggesting that it was someone at SITE who leaked it, not the White House.
H/T: Mrs. Greyhawk
UPDATE 10/11/07: Now Rita is claiming that the transcripts of the video dated 9/6/07 were hers. Here's an updated version of the original WaPo story:
Katz said both of these transcripts were hers, and they bear the same date — Sept. 6, the day SITE prepared the document — and file numbers as the copy SITE passed to Leiter.So, our apologies to Rita.
But, again, there was no real "leak" here. Not in the sense that these were classified documents in Sandy Berger's pants.
Rita herself admits that SITE was already in the process of selling the "new" bin Laden 9/11 video to several news outlets when the White House leaked them. Her real problem is that SITE wanted to sell the video that they thought they had an exclusive on, but then suddenly the video was all over the internet.
And since she was going to sell the video on the very same day anyway, then Adam Gadahn and the other folks over at as Sahab would have found out their video got leaked with or without the White House's help. They would have only had to wait a few hours longer to realize that the video, which they had planned to physically turn over to al Jazeera and not release it on the internet, was somehow intercepted.
Which, as I said before, sucks for her business, but it's not a national security issue here. And it sucks that her back door got shut down. But there are other back doors. Mwuahahahahaaaaaaa!!!
And why did they wait until the next day to turn this over to our intel people? Unless, of course, our intel guys had the same back door access that SITE had. Which I pray is the case.