The Needs Of The Many...

Last week, I asked, “Was this smart?” of the revalations that Pakistan had captured Al-Queda computer nerd Muhammad Naeem Noor KHAAAN! Based on an AP report today, the answer appears to be no:

Two senior Pakistani officials said the reports in “Western media” enabled other al-Qaida suspects to get away.

“Let me say that this intelligence leak jeopardized our plan and some al-Qaida suspects ran away,” one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Sunday that Khan’s name had been disclosed to reporters in Washington “on background,” meaning that it could be published, but the information could not be attributed by name to the official who had revealed it.

The Pakistani officials said that after Khan’s arrest, other al-Qaida suspects abruptly changed their hide-outs and moved to unknown places.


Without naming any country, he said it was the responsibility of “coalition partners” to examine how a foreign journalist was able to have an access to the “classified information” about Khan’s arrest.

Now, I’m open to the idea that we’re seeing some buck-passing on the part of the Pakistanis here. It’s within the realm of possibility that people in the ISI may well have their own reasons for seeing Jihadis evade capture, and could well have tipped them off independently of the KHAAAN! newspaper leaks.

But this was still not a smart thing to do. It was entirely out of bounds for Dr. Demento Dean to accuse the Administration of cooking up a threat alert for political reasons, but that didn’t make it okay to give the New York Times detailed intel information.

Memo to the Bushies: Yes, you need to win your election to go on and win the war. Don’t let that make you think you have license to be goaded into making mistakes that hurt the war effort. If the moonbats want to rant, let ’em rant. They look like fools to the rest of the country anyway. Let the wordsmiths handle the domestic yahoos. Keep your powder dry for the enemies with guns and bombs.

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus and John Marzan offer up detailed and pretty compelling evidence that KHAAAN! was outed by the Pakistanis, not the US. My thanks to both, and bad on me for not doing what they did–checking the actual verbage in the original Times story before taking Reuters’ word for it.