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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bait-and-Switch: Intelligence Style

Remember how Bush simply cannot BRING himself to follow the FISA rules, because they are so outdated and Nine Eleven Blah Blah Blah? He needs them to purtect Murka from the evildoing terraists!!!

Well, it looks like the people who are getting him the intelligence he's actually using are these people called SITE.

I'm sorry, what?

That's right, after creating an Office of Special Plans that cherry-picks intelligence prior to handing it over to Dick "Not Executive Branch!" Cheney, issuing millions of fake terror alerts from the new Department of Das Vaterland Security, and eviscerating the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to eavesdrop on Democrats and Quakers, it turns out that we have switched our real intelligence-gathering services to...some 44-year-old woman named Rita Katz.

A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Rita Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.

The precise source of the leak remains unknown. Government officials declined to be interviewed about the circumstances on the record, but they did not challenge Katz's version of events. They also said the incident had no effect on U.S. intelligence-gathering efforts and did not diminish the government's ability to anticipate attacks.

Wow. We get our fake Bin Laden videos from Rita Katz?


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