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 worldwide.
I think it bears repeating at this moment that Fielding’s boss, one George W. Bush, last year accused reporters of compromising national security because they discussed a bogus roadside bomb countermeasure. Will the President come down as hard on his own staff, if it turns out they leaked something much more serious?