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A Tough Recruiting Job

Andrew McCarthy makes some really good points about how some of the leaking and reporting we have seen recently can't help but make it more difficult to recruit informants inside terrorist cells.

Reading the account of events leading to the raid that killed Zarqawi in this morning's NYTimes provides a good object lesson in why our intelligence is so sparse.


Thanks yet again to people inside our intelligence community who don't know how to keep their mouths shut, one (or perhaps more) of the few valuable sources we have inside the jihadist network in Iraq is today no longer a valuable source -- either (a) because enough information is now public that the bad guys can pretty easily figure out who among them is an informant and kill him (typically, in a grisly fashion to discourage others), or (b) because we have to extract the informant to avoid that fate.

Read the entire post to see how the NY Times article discloses enough information to make future recruiting even more difficult than it already had to be.

Update: Also be sure to read the discussion at The Corner about the possibility that the inside informant story was even planted to sow paranoia inside the terrorist camps. It is an interesting possibility to consider.


Comments (8)

Or the intelligence communi... (Below threshold)
Mark S.:

Or the intelligence community is bluffing about how it got the information in order to cause finger pointing within the Iraq bad guys.

There is a discussion about this issue in the National Review Corner blog.

It's already been reported ... (Below threshold)

It's already been reported that the insider was a captured Zarquawiite who gave up the goods. He won't get the $25 million.

I'd say that's an incentive to turn in your superiors before you ever get captured.

Thanks yet again to peop... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Thanks yet again to people inside our intelligence community who don't know how to keep their mouths shut

This is just old school. The terrorists will think, Holy Prophet shit, there's a traitor in our midst! Is it you Abdul? [Bang!] And so on.

That should be no surprise ... (Below threshold)
ted:

That should be no surprise that the NYT, and other MSM reporters want to handicap our intelligence efforts. Simply put, they want things to go bad for the USA in the Middle East.

I think the Bush administration in conducting the GWOT has already taken into account the fact that the American left and the MSM want things bad for the USA in the Mideast, and assumedly are currently conducting their strategerie in the GWOT with that (sad) fact in mind.

I'm not sure what the impli... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I'm not sure what the implication is and I am not a really big fan of the NYT, but in this case I give the Times a pass. They are just reporting what any other news outlet would have reported given the information made available to them.

My personal opinion, based ... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

My personal opinion, based on nothing more than speculation, is that we are turning the NYT useful idiots into our useful idiots.

The facts 'leaked' probably don't pinpoint one person, but could be used to implicate most of AQI's top people (and some smaller fry). So now we could see the rats tearing open their own stomachs as they try to plug the leak.

Remember, in war, never pass a chance to kick your enemy in the metaphorical balls when he is down.

I have to agree that there ... (Below threshold)

I have to agree that there is really no much point in speculating about the "leak" in this and similar intelligence situations, especially in a time of war. One might argue that even this post and thread helps the enemy to more critically evaluate the situation.

Lets find out what's happening to Cynthia McKinney or find out what nonsense we can irk out of recurrent posters on some other topic...

The big Z is dead. I've fired my virtual AK-47 into the air and danced a little jig. Lets move on.

Update: Also be sure to ... (Below threshold)

Update: Also be sure to read the discussion at The Corner about the possibility that the inside informant story was even planted to sow paranoia inside the terrorist camps. It is an interesting possibility to consider.

That kind of psyops has been done before. Make Osama paranoid enough so that he'll shoot 24 of his top aides. Make the Sunni/Shiite insurgents kill themselves instead of each other or Iraqi civilians.

-Michael McCullough
Stingray: a blog for salty Christians




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