Sunday, July 08, 2007

Intelligence and military officiers reveal aborted raid against Al Qaeda

In a front page story in today's New York Times "a dozen current and former military and intelligence officials" leak classified details of an aborted raid.
A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.

But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.
About a dozen current and former military and intelligence officials were interviewed for this article, all of whom requested anonymity because the planned 2005 mission remained classified.

At first glance this leak appears to be intelligence and military officials, no longer in fear of their civilian bosses, exacting revenge for thwarted opportunities. But as I read the story more closely it appears that perhaps the Bush Administration may have orchestrated this leak in order to put pressure on Pakistan. Among the clues pointing in that direction is how all the blame is given to "Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary," with Bush and Cheney portrayed as totally in the dark about the whole affair. How likely does that seem to you? One thing we have learned about this Administration is how likely they are to throw former colleagues under the bus and that it is difficult to overestimate their ability to be duplicitous and deceitful.


QC Examiner said...

I agree with Kevin Drum that there is not enough information here to make an informed judgment, that the agenda of the "unnamed sources" is questionable and unknowable and that Clinton was always running into this problem when he was POTUS. So it appears to me (and Drum) that this a problem with the military.

As for the "throw under the bus" thing; that's a new one on me. Most people (including me) think GWB is TOO loyal and doesn't throw ENOUGH people under the bus soon enough (i.e. Tenant, Rumsfeld, etc, etc.). So do tell, who do you think Bush has "thrown under the bus"?

Concerning "dupliticous and deceitful"; we should be so lucky that only George Bush does this. I guess you have forgotten that the last POTUS was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice, although I'm sure you're ready, willing and able to rationalize his behavior and give him a pass. Because when Dems lie, it's always "different" than when the GOP lies.

Whatever. My opinion is that being "duplicitous and deceitful" is probably a job requirement for any politician of either political party.

Dave Barrett said...

qc examiner,
To answer your points I would just be repeating what I said in the post, so I just refer you back to that.

QC Examiner said...

So you're saying that Rumsfeld was "thrown under the bus" rather than being legitimately fired?

Amazing---even for you Barrett.

Dave Barrett said...

qc examiner,
I have given some thought to whether what I said in the original post could possibly be honestly misunderstood by someone of reasonable intelligence to come to the interpretations you have posited in your comments. I can't see how that could be. You are either being dishonest in trying to twist what I said or you will never understand no matter how much effort I put into explaining so I will not even bother.