Skip to main content

View Diary: Liberal libertarians and the Associated Press (52 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I think that there's more to this story (8+ / 0-)

    than any of us really know.  There are several strange aspects to it including the fact that the AP cooperated with the White House in delaying the story and the fact that the White House was going to announce their success the day after the story ran.  It is strange that the White House would be upset that the AP ran a big story effectively touting the White House's success.  It is not strange that they scooped all of the other news agencies - that's normal - so publishing on the evening before an announcement isn't a big betrayal.

    The fast forward to now and the AP comes out and announces to the world that they were informed that they were under investigation.  Andrea Mitchell crystalized why that seemed like a strange thing to do when she said, "If I were an AP reporter, I'd be worried that none of my sources would call me now and perhaps ever again."  The AP had to know that by announcing to the world that they were under investigation would have a chilling effect on their ability to gather news in DC.  So what gives?  They've taken that fairly big risk for some reason - but I don't know that we know what that reason is - and I'm not inclined to simply write it off as being because the AP is a conservative-leaning news agency.

    If this was about one, two or three specific reporters, it would be a different deal, but 100 reporters and editors is a wide scope in an agency that certainly does not have 100 reporters and editors assigned to the federal government and national security beat.

    Anyway, Holder isn't going to get fired.  He's too tight with Obama.  But I think that this DoJ story still deserves to be watched.

    •  The missing piece (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, FG

      The White House would not have been announcing it at all, until the cat was out of the bag and the damage was done. The US and the Brits intended to keep the agent in Yemen active, so would not be wanting to publicize the story themselves. Once AP had it, it was too late and the delay was requested to provide time for the agent and his family to be moved for safety.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:45:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that anyone who is serious (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic

        in their engagement in this discussion discounts the fact that this was a national security story.  The government may have an extremely fair point, but I do not think that we really know that yet.  Honestly, it seems to me that in a way the government is sort of their own worst enemy here.  What's done is done - that operative is done - that operation is over.  If they really wanted to keep this quiet and protect whatever else they have in the works, one would have thought they would have moved on and kept people from wanting to go back and review that mission.  Now everyone is going to be looking at it again and they've got a major news agency really pissed at them.

        •  As I noted in my other comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart, Onomastic

          I can see the point of pursuing the leaker - whoever spilled the beans did some serious damage. But I haven't seen a satisfactory case that they needed to secretly pull the phone records. I'm not at all convinced the ends justified the means. And you raise an interesting point that doing so has been the cause of an uproar that has brought even more attention to operations searching for this bomb maker, who is apparently one smart and talented dude; and who is no doubt increasing his own security measures now.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:03:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  How does one keep an agent active (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic

        after he fails to carry out the suicide bombing he has been assigned by AQAP?  Wouldn't his AQAP handlers be asking how come he didn't do the job and what happened to the bomb?  Wouldn't all that have made them pretty suspicious of the agent regardless of whether the AP article ever appeared?

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:11:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From the bits I've gathered (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic

          There wasn't a failed mission - the agent provided either a sample of, or plans for, the bomb.

          And while he did hand this new underwear bomb technology to Western intelligence agents so they could study it, officials told us that that single bomb wasn't the reason for this operation. They had hoped that the agent could do more, so one consequence of the story is that this agent's identity was blown.  BLOCK: And when you say they hope this agent could do more, what were they hoping that he could do?
          TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, the bomb was of such interest to officials because of who made it: Ibrahim al-Asiri, the bomb-making genius of al-Qaida's arm in Yemen. Asiri has always - is also thought to be behind the printer cartridge bomb that was supposed to target cargo jets over the U.S. a couple of years ago and also that underwear bomb of Christmas 2009. And his bomb-craft is considered really good, like top-notch.
          http://www.npr.org/...

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:18:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That conflicts with a ton of reporting. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe

            The story all over the press was that this guy's value to AQAP was his British passport (which would allow him to travel to the US without a visa) and his English fluency which would help him pass though security without attracting notice.  As I understand it, he was tasked with blowing up a US-bound airplane - which would necessarily preclude his continued operation in Yemen.

            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

            by jrooth on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:31:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  One version of the plan (0+ / 0-)
              Even after the informant left Yemen with the explosive device and turned it over to his handlers, U.S. intelligence officials believed they could use him to help disrupt and destroy the terrorist network operating from Yemen, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to three congressional aides briefed on intelligence matters.

              They said spy services could make it appear that the underwear bomb had failed and could send their agent back to Yemen to help identify and track Al Qaeda’s top bomb makers and planners.

              http://articles.latimes.com/...

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:42:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Color me skeptical ... (0+ / 0-)

                That would be really hanging your asset out there.  Maybe they really didn't give a crap if he got killed, but I have to think he would have raised objections to this idea.

                “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                by jrooth on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:47:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site