That's how long it took the Bush administration between the time they learned of a secret "security breach" by a private U.S. company allowing for the monitoring of some al Qaeda internet communications, and the time the administration leaked it to Fox News, thereby alerting al Qaeda to the breach and closing down "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."
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. [...]
Around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, Katz sent both Leiter and Fielding an e-mail with a link to a private SITE Web page containing the video and an English transcript. "Please understand the necessity for secrecy," Katz wrote in her e-mail. "We ask you not to distribute . . . [as] it could harm our investigations."
By midafternoon, several television news networks reported obtaining copies of the transcript. A copy posted around 3 p.m. on Fox News's Web site referred to SITE and included page markers identical to those used by the group. "This confirms that the U.S. government was responsible for the leak of this document," Katz wrote in an e-mail to Leiter at 5 p.m.
What can you say? When your entire foreign policy expertise is based on leaking information to Fox News in order to keep the population in a constant state of low-level fear, sometimes you have to blow actual intelligence information in order to do it. Them's the breaks.
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