Saturday, April 08, 2006

When is releasing a fact a "leak"?

In their continuing efforts to discredit the administration, the mediacrats are hounding the administration over the declassification of a prewar intelligence document in 2003. The DC branch of the Associated Press (or, as I like to call them, the Washington Bureau of Al Jazeera) asserts that the "White House Faces Barrage of Leak Queries."

   Question: when is releasing a declassified memo a "leak"?
   Answer: when it portrays the Bush administration in a negative light.

GayPatriot describes it perfectly: "the Orwellian worldview of Bush-haters where releasing facts means having something to hide."

Contrast this coverage with that of Sandy Berger's illegal destruction of real classified information. Berger admitted to confiscating and destroying Top Secret documents that related directly to Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts, Al Qaeda, and/or the Taliban.

Ah, Sandy Berger. May I be permitted to quote from the 9/11 Commission Report regarding the Clinton administration's bumbled handling of Bin Laden (p. 190 and 191)?

On the first flight, a Predator saw a security detail around a tall man in a white robe at Bin Ladin's Tarnak Farms compound outside Kandahar. After a second sighting of the "man in white" at the compound on September 28, intelligence community analysts determined that he was probably Bin Ladin... Berger worried that a Predator might be shot down, and warned Clarke that a shootdown would be a "bonanza" for Bin Ladin and the Taliban...

...Bin Ladin anticipated U.S. military retaliation (to the series of attacks culminating with the USS Cole). He ordered the evacuation of al Qaeda's Kandahar airport compound and fled -- first to the desert area near Kabul, then to Khowst and Jalalabad, and eventually back to Kandahar. In Kandahar, he rotated between five to six residences, spending one night at each residence. In addition, he sent his senior advisor, Mohammed Atef, to a different part of Kandahar and his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, to Kabul so that all three could not be killed in one attack.

There was no American strike... a source reported that an individual whom he identified as the big instructor (probably a reference to Bin Ladin) complained frequently that the United States had not yet attacked. According to the source, Bin Ladin wanted the United States to attack, and if it did not he would launch something bigger.

Now, that's an administration worth pillorying. Pity you won't see any of this "leak" kerfuffle depicted in the context of Clinton's disastrous approach to Bin Laden and Berger's subsequent destruction of related classified documents. That would require two things -- intellectual honesty and a historical perspective -- both of which are sorely lacking in today's mainstream media.

Whatever the national security question may be, the answer is never a Mediacrat.

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