Yesterday, I wrote about the damage that leaks can do to sensitive intelligence operations. Now, ABC News has reported: “The long running operation with the deep cover operative was one that intelligence agencies planned to keep running. It was pulled up short in the past week when leaks developed and put the infiltrator in jeopardy. Sources involved in the intelligence operation said the plan was to keep the operation running until a more complete picture of the still developing plots and plans of the Yemen based group and its sinister, creative bombmaker, were learned.”
This provides further evidence of the damage of spilling secrets. The question is who leaked and why? It does not necessarily have to have been an American leak although the fact that the story was broken by Kimberly Dozier of the Associated Press, an American reporter based in Washington working for an American news organization, suggests that it was. Heads should roll–if the administration can figure out who was responsible. Even if this operation were blown by a senator or representative based on classified briefings, the culprit should at least be named and shamed. If it was an executive branch official, he or she should be not only fired but prosecuted as well.
Buried deep in the Washington Post account of the Obama administration’s intelligence failures regarding the Christmas Day terror attack is this nugget:
Abdulmutallab remains in a Detroit area prison and, after initial debriefings by the FBI, has restricted his cooperation since securing a defense attorney, according to federal officials.
And why has he clammed up, sitting uncooperatively while the Obami scramble around trying to put the pieces together surrounding the not-at-all isolated extremist? Because Obama has declared we will treat these incidents as criminal-justice matters. He is arrested, Mirandized, lawyered up, and now mute. This is, of course, madness. Rather than subject Abdulmutallab to serious and, if need be, enhanced interrogation that might uncover the extent of the plot, other plotters, the identities of those assisting him, the extent of the Yemen operation that supplied him with the explosive, and other life-saving information, we have defaulted to the pre-9/11 criminal-justice mode. We are reduced to “hoping” he will co-operate. This is what our anti-terror policies have brought us. And when the next attack or the attack after that occurs and we wonder why we didn’t have better intelligence, someone might recall that intelligence is gathered by more than hope.