Stanely McChrystal

Is David Petraeus Leaking to Undercut the President? Or Is Someone Framing Him?

The WaPo has the latest in seemingly yearly series of leaks of Top Secret cables designed to undercut the President’s plan to withdraw from Afghanistan.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan sent a top-secret cable to Washington last month warning that the persistence of enemy havens in Pakistan was placing the success of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan in jeopardy, U.S. officials said.

The cable, written by Ryan C. Crocker, amounted to an admission that years of U.S. efforts to curtail insurgent activity in Pakistan by the lethal Haqqani network, a key Taliban ally, were failing.

The hints and feints the article offers about who leaked the memo provide ample entertainment for a Saturday afternoon.

Note the way the WaPo describes its sources inconsistently. It offers this quote from a senior defense official.

“The sanctuaries are a deal-killer for the [Afghan war] strategy,” said a senior defense official who is familiar with the ongoing debate and who, like several officials in this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations. [my emphasis]

But then the WaPo suggests military leaders have motive to leak the cable, distinguishing between “defense” and “military” officials.

The cable, which was described by several officials familiar with its contents, could be used as ammunition by senior military officials who favor more aggressive action by the United States against the Haqqani havens in Pakistan. It also could buttress calls from senior military officials for a more gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan as the 2014 deadline for ending combat operations approaches.

These military officials have maintained for months that the strategy of targeting raids against Taliban leadership and building local Afghan governance is showing impressive results. [my emphasis]

Mind you, none of these military officials seem to be directly quoted here–at least not defined as military officials. The comment might just reflect the knowledge of Greg Jaffe, WaPo’s military writer. Though it would be consistent if a General or two leaked such a cable–after all, Stanley McChrystal is assumed to have leaked a similar cable during Obama’s Afghanistan review in 2009, for similar reason.

Yet I’m most interested in this quote, of someone whose affiliation was rather pointedly (given the description of defense and military sources) not identified.

“There’s no debate about the importance of going after Haqqani . . . and Taliban militants who launch attacks into Afghanistan,” one U.S. official said. “Support for this is universal.” [my emphasis]

The article also defaults to “US officials” elsewhere, though that could be because the sources came from multiple agencies. Note, “US official” can be used to refer to members of Congress, as well as agency officials.

In any case should we assume these unmarked sources are intelligence ones–the beat of Greg Miller, the WaPo’s intelligence writer and the other byline on the story?

Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @charlie_savage Point being that 302s have a well-documented history of being ... incomplete. @joshgerstein @Krhawkins5
6mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV It's been Halloween every day for four years with Scottdemort as governor of Florida. http://t.co/WsNNtsDkuv
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage & frankly, CIA claiming FBI records inaccurate might make me sympathetic to CIA. @joshgerstein @Krhawkins5
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage I only half joke, bc I could imagine getting 302s that contradicted cables that SSCI has. @joshgerstein @Krhawkins5
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage You know of FBI that tapes intevws for 302s? Cause THAT FBI, that would amount to oral history @joshgerstein @Krhawkins5
10mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Adam Weinstein: Stop saying Crist and Scott are both awful: Scott wins that contest by a mile http://t.co/9nDLtNFxxH
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ddayen Postal colleges?
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Don't know why @charlie_savage has to be such a snoop, demanding to know what FBI found in Durham "investigations." http://t.co/8PALZa5cwh
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 East Michigan beer hater.
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 How did you let WSJ cover a MI beer story before you had? Getting slow in your old age.
31mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Landrieu finally says something true, gets attacked by Repubs. http://t.co/cCvYyTwqx6
31mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Civil Liberties Groups Tell Court that Government Should Not Be Allowed to Wipe Out Lawsuit on Vague Claims Secrecy https://t.co/LMKrmQzVzg
36mreplyretweetfavorite
October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031