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.
Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun
downloading it from the company’s Web site. By midafternoon that day,
the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from
within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast
The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this
premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed
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.
"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Rita Katz, the firm’s 44-year-old founder.
In recent years, those of us who
question our leaders, want to preserve our Constitution, and believe
supporting our troops is more than a bumper sticker slogan have been
vilified, attacked, and consistently called "traitors" by this
administration, their supporters, and their allies in government and