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Oh, Good

Glad we blew this guy's cover. Is anyone in Pakistan ever going to work with us again? I was writing about leak problems before, and it's not any better when it's less a "leak" than an "intentional release of information for political gain." This shit gets people killed.

August 7, 2004 | Permalink

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NY Times buries this deep inside a follow-up story, without so much as hinting that this appears to be a major fuck-up.

Posted by: SqueakyRat | Aug 7, 2004 11:27:03 AM

You're discounting the distinct possibility that Khan had already been outed by Islamist sympathizers in the ISI (of which there are many) and so may have outlived his usefulness anyway.

Posted by: Alex Knapp | Aug 7, 2004 12:27:39 PM

Alex Knapp:

The undercover agent that the Bush administration outed certainly hadn't outlived his usefulness as a pawn in the Bush re-election campaign.

More seriously:

1. If Islamic fundamentalist sympathizers in Pakistan's ISI outed this man already, then we will never by able to effectively wage war on al Qaeda's inner councils with Pakistan as a partner and we should seriously rethink our relationship with the dictatorship that runs Pakistan.

2. Even if the man had been outed by the ISI, while that fact may have been known to some in al Qaeda, with its (necessarily) fragmented management style, it is not likely that this was universally known in as Qaeda; confirming it still would have a chilling effect on recruitment of other potential al Qaeda turncoats.

Posted by: epistemology | Aug 7, 2004 2:41:07 PM

" If Islamic fundamentalist sympathizers in Pakistan's ISI outed this man already, then we will never by able to effectively wage war on al Qaeda's inner councils with Pakistan as a partner and we should seriously rethink our relationship with the dictatorship that runs Pakistan."

I keep seeing this argument, yet I have yet to see someone come up with a better approach. Musharraf is our in. Yes, we have enemies within the ISI, but he's trying to purge them. It's a mess, but it's far superior to just whining from the outside.

Posted by: praktike | Aug 7, 2004 2:46:07 PM

I'm not saying that the ISI outing Khan is what happened--just that there's as much evidence for that theory as for the two anti-Bush ones.

Posted by: Alex Knapp | Aug 7, 2004 5:10:00 PM

A prominent lawyer's son dreamed of following in his father's footsteps. After graduating from college and law school with honors, he returned home to join his father's firm, intent on proving himself to be a skilled and worthy attorney.

At the end of his first day at work he rushed into his father's office, and said, "Father, father! The Smith case, that you always said would go on forever -- the one you have been toiling on for ten years -- in one single day, I settled that case and saved the client a fortune!"

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------------------

well, ISI and CIA have been hunting for al qaeda for 3 yrs now. everytime he has sneaked away at the last minute.

Posted by: captainblak | Aug 7, 2004 5:31:43 PM

praktike:

Musharraf is trying to purge the anti-Americans from the ISI? Is that like the Shah Pahlevi purging the radical Islamists from Iran, or is it more like Arafat purging Jew haters from Fatah?

And do you believe that Musharraf was ignorant of AQ Khan dealing nukes to some of the worst actors in the world? Pakistan and Saudi Arabia ARE the problem in the Islamic world. Bush is being taken in.

Having said that, I am a believer in Realpolitik. I WOULD deal with Musharraf. But I would also never have gone to war with the national police force that was the Taliban. Which was another creation of the ISI. Don't go getting all squishy and naive on me now. Have the courage of your Machiavellian convictions.

Posted by: epistemology | Aug 7, 2004 9:17:32 PM

I don't understand how this wasn't bigger news.

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 8, 2004 7:33:35 AM

GWB: objectively pro-al-Qaeda

Posted by: JP | Aug 8, 2004 9:32:29 PM

Um...is it just me but it seems that if Bush et. al. didn't make clear that their terror alert was based on something all the leftists in the audience (say "hi," Matt) would go on one of their lunatic attack sprees wherein they accuse the President of everything under the sun. (cf. Fahrenheit 9/11)

In this case, Bush would take the rap for heightening the terror alert just to deflate John Kerry's convention bounce.

Is it wrong to burn sensitive intelligence sources? Fuck yes. So why don't the lefty pit bulls stand down--just a little--so that the fucking President can do his job. He's not a smart man; cut the guy some slack.

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