Saturday, July 22, 2017


Yesterday, in a Fox News story, a U.S. general accused The New York Times of publishing a leak in 2015 that recently allowed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to escape:
In a wide-ranging interview moderated by Fox News' Catherine Herridge, [General Tony] Thomas, who leads the Special Operations Command, said his team was “particularly close” to Baghdadi after the 2015 raid that killed ISIS oil minister Abu Sayyaf. That raid also netted his wife, who provided a wealth of actionable information.

“That was a very good lead. Unfortunately, it was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead,” Thomas said....

Thomas appeared to be referring to a New York Times report in June 2015 that detailed how American intelligence agencies had “extracted valuable information.”

”New insights yielded by the seized trove – four to seven terabytes of data, according to one official – include how the organization’s shadowy leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, operates and tries to avoid being tracked by coalition forces," the Times reported.
This morning, a retired colonel followed up on this story on Fox & Friends -- a program to which the president of the United States devotes more undivided attention than he does to his intelligence briefings. A tweet, unsurprisingly, followed:
President Trump on Saturday morning alleged The New York Times “foiled” a U.S. attack on an Islamic State leader, suggesting the paper has a “sick agenda” that hurts national security.

... Trump's early Saturday allegation may have been prompted by his TV viewing habits.

Frequent Fox News guest Tony Shaffer, a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, discussed [the] allegation on “Fox and Friends Saturday,” saying the New York Times leaked information they should not have released publicly.

... CBS News editor Stefan Becket first made the connection on Twitter between the Fox News segment and Trump’s tweet.

The 2015 New York Times story that Fox is harrumphing about is "A Raid on ISIS Yields a Trove of Intelligence" by Eric Schmitt. At that time of its publication, Fox News was so incensed by the leak that ... it published its own summary of the story, with a link to the original Times story.
A raid last month by American commandos on the home of an ISIS leader in Syria turned up a trove of valuable information, reportedly including the role played by the leaders’ wives, who sometimes acted as couriers in delivering information....

The trove also yielded important information on ISIS financing, contact networks and tactics.

According to the New York Times, information collected during the raid also shows how ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stealthily conducts his business.

Among other tactics, the paper said, al-Baghdadi’s wife and other spouses of key ISIS leaders played an important role in passing on information to each other to give their husbands.
How appalled was the rest of the right-wing media by the publication of the leak? Breitbart was so appalled that it also published a version of the story, with a link to the Times original:
In a recent Delta Force-led raid against an Islamic State cell in Syria, American troops were able to extract a treasure trove of information related to the terror group’s leadership and financing structure, officials told the New York Times Monday.
As did the Daily Caller:
The U.S. has new information on how ISIS operates and how its leadership avoids being tracked by U.S. intelligence thanks to a May Delta Force commando raid....

“In the recent raid on Abu Sayyaf, we collected substantial information on Daesh financial operations,” John R. Allen, coordinator of the coalition against ISIS, reported to the New York Times. “And we’re gaining a much clearer understanding of Daesh’s organization and business enterprise.”

Umm Sayyaf, the late terrorist leader’s widow, has also been providing U.S. investigators with information about the militant group’s operations.
Oh, and:

But in 2015 and 2016 it was the Obama Pentagon, which presumably doesn't count, according to the right, because they were all traitors.

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