Al-Qaeda second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi has been killed in Pakistan by a drone attack according to U.S. officials. The charismatic media savvy al-Libi has been highly effective in recruiting homegrown terrorists to the jihad cause. While the official policy of the U.S. is to not publicly discuss details of drone attacks in Pakistan exceptions are always made when the news is good despite damage to Pakistani-American relations. In fact no secret is too secret when it comes to crowing about Obama's achievements in the
war on terror overseas contingency operations.
Probably the worst Obama administration leak in terms of damaging U.S. intelligence was when they wanted everyone to know they had discovered a new underwear bomb. We had a would-be bomber on the inside that the administration burned. Aside from blowing an extremely valuable operative's cover they disclosed methodology that would make putting in new operatives far more difficult. It also sent a message to anyone who might think of helping the U.S., your life is not worth a minute of positive press for Obama. That is a hard lesson that Dr. Shakil Afridi learned after being sentenced to 33 years in prison for helping Obama get Osama bin Laden. Given the treasure trove of intel we got from that raid one wonders why we even admitted we had killed him but rather than reap the fruits of that intel we compromised most of it so Obama could run to the MSM and yell "I got him". However narcissistic there was at least some logic in that but I can not conceive any reason why the administration had to out SEAL Team Six.
Not all leaks are designed to further Obama's re-election. Some are meant to damage our allies like when Obama leaked Israel's strike plan on Iran and confirmed that it was Israel who was helping kill Iranian nuclear scientists. Some times it accomplishes both like when we recently learned that the U.S. did develop Stuxnet with help from Israel. Sometimes info is made to discredit prior administrations like when Obama was going to release more Abu Ghraib photos. Eventually he recanted under a deluge of criticism that opening up old wounds and putting our soldiers lives at risk wasn't worth a cheap shot at Bush. Same thing when Holder published detailed memos describing the interrogation techniques used by the CIA. (Hat tip Lizzy!). Obama promised he wouldn't prosecute CIA agents involved just before going after the former head of the CIA's Clandestine Service Jose Rodriguez, someone who could keep secrets.
I'm glad that al-Libi and Osama are dead. I'm glad that Obama is hypocritical enough to continue Bush's tactics in fighting Islamist terrorists such as renditions, indefinite detention, and keeping Gitmo open, despite his criticisms of those tactics prior to becoming President. In fact, he has gone further, incorporating things that make even me uncomfortable like assassinating American citizens. Nevertheless I don't need to hear details every time these tactics are successful, lets keep the enemy guessing, not let them know they have been compromised, and not confirm what they might think Especially when the only result is a photo op for The One.
Update: The White House has denied any involvement in the leaks calling such allegations "grossly irresponsible." We will see, the FBI has launched an investigation to look into the Stuxnet leaks. This comes on the heals of a joint statement Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committees:
"These disclosures have seriously interfered with ongoing intelligence programs and have put at jeopardy our intelligence capability to act in the future. Each disclosure puts American lives at risk, makes it more difficult to recruit assets, strains the trust of our partners and threatens imminent and irreparable damage to our national security in the face of urgent and rapidly adapting threats worldwide."