Hooray! Grey Lady Does Front Page Exposing Another Secret Operation

Simple wonderful. The Times has a story ripe with anonymous sources who discussed a secret operation allowing strikes against Al Qaeda in countries around the world without permission by those countries, and includes all sorts of “no comments” by people who are named. Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries

The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

More than a half-dozen officials, including current and former military and intelligence officials as well as senior Bush administration policy makers, described details of the 2004 military order on the condition of anonymity because of its politically delicate nature. Spokesmen for the White House, the Defense Department and the military declined to comment.

Now, like the operation to shut down the flow of terrorist money that the New York Times exposed, this is one of those ops where you say “well, sure, that makes sense, I figured they had to be doing something like this, and I’m sure Al Qaeda was sure, too.” It’s common sense. But, was it really necessary for the Times to do this just for a story? Hell, FDR would have censored the Times, and, probably have tried the reporters for treason if they had done this under his watch. And, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details

Apart from the 2006 raid into Pakistan, the American officials refused to describe in detail what they said had been nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks, except to say they had been carried out in Syria, Pakistan and other countries. They made clear that there had been no raids into Iran using that authority, but they suggested that American forces had carried out reconnaissance missions in Iran using other classified directives.

Super! Now Iran has an idea that American forces have operated in Iran. Before, they certainly knew that agents, spies if you will, worked in Iran. Now they can keep a better eye on their borders and specifically look for American soldiers.

The 2004 order identifies 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Persian Gulf states, where Qaeda militants were believed to be operating or to have sought sanctuary, a senior administration official said.

And now these countries have just been given specific intelligence of the operation, and can keep a stronger eye on potential incursions. The countries can file formal and informal protests with and against the United States. And real people, real Americans, can die from this article. Thanks, Grey Lady! The blood will be on your hands.

One thing to note in the story, and that is that the operations were not just “go get ’em!” The Times does show that folks were careful at all levels, making serious considerations before the go code was given. And, the story shows that the program worked.

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2 Responses to “Hooray! Grey Lady Does Front Page Exposing Another Secret Operation”

  1. John Ryan says:

    Teach who was that being kept “secret from ? certainly al Queda must have known that they were being attacked. I think it was just Americans that were the last to find out about that, in any case Obama IS going to be declassifying MANY things that have been kept hidden from Americans. These attacks were of course already written up in foreign press reports, but denied by the USA.

  2. I agree, I’m sure AQ guessed. But, here it is in print, for everyone to see. And intel agents can glean actionable intelligence from articles such as this.

    Imagine if Fox News exposes a similar project that Obama initiates. Are you going to be pissed off? I bet you will. And, you know what? So would I, because you don’t play games with national security, and peoples lives, no matter who is president.

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