Hindering the "war on terror," cont.

By Geraldine Sealey
Published August 10, 2004 7:27PM (EDT)

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer sent letters to the White House demanding to know why administration officials leaked the name of an al-Qaida double agent who had been providing our allies intelligence information. Schumer noted that British and Pakistani officials were furious at the outing of the mole. "As you know, I believe that openness in government is generally the best policy, but the important exception should be anything that compromises national security. The statements of the British and Pakistani officials indicate that such a compromise may have occurred. In light of this possibility, I respectfully request an explanation to me and any other Member of Congress who might wish one of who leaked this Mr. Khan's name, for what reason it was leaked, and whether the British and Pakistani reports that this leak compromised future intelligence activity are accurate," Schumer wrote.

We don't really need to hear from the administration, though, whether future intelligence activity was compromised. The story out of Pakistan, according to the AP, is that "some al-Qaida fugitives escaped after news reports revealed the arrest of a computer expert for Osama bin Laden's network who was cooperating with investigators  [the] al-Qaida suspects abruptly changed their hide-outs and moved to unknown places." The White House claims to be "winning the war on terror." We're no terrorism experts, but helping al-Qaida suspects get away and drying up critical intelligence streams doesn't seem the way to go.

And by the way, doesn't this story deserve more attention than it's getting in the media?

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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