Cross Your Fingers

(FP’ed 4 AM EDT, Wednesday October 10, 2007

– promoted by exmearden

…These Guys Are Getting WORSE.

Have a look at this:

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.

To quote the wise one: ‘I have a bad feeling about this…’

This company, SITE, is something I had no idea existed:

SITE — an acronym for the Search for International Terrorist Entities — was established in 2002 with the stated goal of tracking and exposing terrorist groups, according to the company’s Web site. (Rita) Katz, an Iraqi-born Israeli citizen whose father was executed by Saddam Hussein in the 1960s, has made the investigation of terrorist groups a passionate quest.

“We were able to establish sources that provided us with unique and important information into al-Qaeda’s hidden world,” Katz said. Her company’s income is drawn from subscriber fees and contracts.

Katz said she decided to offer an advance copy of the bin Laden video to the White House without charge so officials there could prepare for its eventual release.

But our guys blew their cover. After providing this information for free, our ‘intelligence’ agencies downloaded dozens of copies of the video. And then…

…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.

This is not a good sign. The current administration’s insistence on filling government positions with Loyal Bushies in every nook and cranny means we have idiots running the show everywhere you look.

If they can’t manage keeping a simple secret like this, how are we supposed to trust them to manage anything we may be able to force them to do thanks to our congressional majority? Imaging these clowns trying to manage the orderly exit of Iraq, for example.

Alternatively, if this was done for political reasons, the same question applies.

The only possible silver lining of our inept and craven congress is that by doing nothing, they inadvertently prevent Bush and Co. from fucking things up even more spectacularly. Small condolences, I know, but these people are getting even worse at their jobs as time goes by. Perhaps they all are spending time brushing up their resumes rather that doing their damn jobs.

We need a new government today. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen between now and January 2009, but I worry about these fools. More and more each day, I worry.


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  1. Sigh.

    • Alma on October 9, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Can we now officially call FOX News, Al-Qaeda terrorist sympathizers?  And rant about how unpatriotic they are too, of course.  Look what happens when they do tell the truth.

  2. A paid producer for Terror Inc., she uses questionable sourcing to overhype threats, which she then promotes to get juicy government contracts.

    From the New Yorker profile:

    Katz has many critics, who believe that she is giving terrorists a bigger platform than they would otherwise have, and that the certainty and obsession that make her a dedicated archivist also make her too eager to find plots where they don’t exist; she publicized a manual for using botulinum in terror attacks, for example, which experts later concluded was not linked to any serious threat. It’s possible that her immersion in the world of terrorism has removed whatever skepticism or doubts she may have had. “Much as Al Jazeera underplays terrorist threats, the SITE Institute at times overhypes them,” Michael Scheuer, the former head of the C.I.A.’s bin Laden unit, said.

    No offense stranger, but the whole MSNBC article reeks of disinformation.  This is more likely a cover story for why so many Federal agencies just happened to have pre-knowledge of this alleged terror tape, a tape whose authenticity remains in serious doubt.

    Rita claims her business has been hurt by this episode.  Just watch her show up as a paid analyst on MSNBC sometime soon.

  3. warning. That tape was dubious from the start. Not just it’s source but it’s content and authenticity. Bin Laudin really is Goldstein.

    • nocatz on October 9, 2007 at 9:37 pm
  4. Since I can’t update the essay, I’ll say it here…


    I just figured out how everyone may be right here.

    Following the information that Katz may be a little off her rocker, and sticking with my contention the release of this story has absolutely no upside for the administration (and putting on my latest tin foil hat most firmly), maybe:

    – The video is a fake, created by Katz and Co in order to promote her company’s effectiveness.
    – She distributed the video to the government ‘for free’ in an effort to build the company’s resume.
    – Someone in the government leaked it to Faux News as the WaPo story states. Non-authorized leak.
    – The government is forced to vouch for the video’s authenticity or risk being exposed as the leaker of a fake video, greatly diminishing future credibility with the base.
    – Katz waits a month before accusing the government of leaking her ‘legitimate’ video.

    This would be fricken hilarious if true. I doubt it, but it would be hilarious.

    I still say, regardless of which story in this whole mess is true, this reckless administration scares the ever-loving crap outta me for the remaining days they are in charge.

    No matter the truth, the story shows very poorly on the quality of the individuals running our government.

  5. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    • snud on October 10, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    about this. Rita “Cool” Katz was supposedly born in Iraq, is now an Israeli citizen who claims her father was executed by Saddam in the ’60’s and now makes hunting “terrists” her number-one obsession.

    You’d think she’d be more than a little pissed about this. I would.

    In addition, she apparently knows who leaked the information!

    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.

    Again, if all this is true, shouldn’t at least one of those three morons have some ‘splainin’ to do – if not their balls on a chopping block? We are, after all, talking about a video alledgedly made by the mastermind of 9/11.

    And just look where it first showed up in the MSM:

    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.

    Golly! Imagine that! Those Fox Noise folks sure do get the scoop through their hard work and perseverance!

    Not that I take any of this as true, but let’s for a second pretend it is. Again, shouldn’t someone in the Gubment get their balls cut off for such a leak?

    Wouldn’t you think Katz would be totally pissed? I saw no references to either in the MSNBC article. I didn’t even see any feigned outrage.

    This is the only part that didn’t entirely  smell of rotten sewage to me:

    A small number of private intelligence companies compete with SITE in scouring terrorists’ networks for information and messages, and some have questioned the company’s motives and methods, including the claim that its access to al-Qaeda’s network was unique. One competitor, Ben Venzke, founder of IntelCenter, said he questions SITE’s decision — as described by Katz — to offer the video to White House policymakers rather than quietly share it with intelligence analysts.

    “It is not just about getting the video first,” Venzke said. “It is about having the proper methods and procedures in place to make sure that the appropriate intelligence gets to where it needs to go in the intelligence community and elsewhere in order to support ongoing counterterrorism operations.”

    I think ol’ “Uncle” Ben Venzke has a point and there’s much more to this story than meets the eye. I also (sadly) think we’ll never hear what that story is.

  6. I watched the first segment of Countdown last night where Keith dealt with this issue.

    He had on another of these security consultants and he seemed as flabergasted as anyone over the administration’s lack of ability to keep a secret here.

    The general consensus was whether it was deliberate or not, we have a bunch of buffoons running the show.

    PS – Just curious as to the status of fixing the ‘update essay’ functionality. I wasn’t able to do so. Thx.

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