Fred Fielding Is A Sphincter.

1 comment October 10th, 2007at 07:45pm Posted by Eli

Have you ever just… lost track of a treasured possession? You know you must still have it, because you haven’t thrown it out, but it’s hidden in a disorganized jumble somewhere because you when you were moving, you never thought to pull it out and give it special treatment, and now it could be anywhere.

One of my most treasured lost possessions is The Book Of Strange Facts And Useless Information, which I’ve had since I was a kid, and which has probably done more to shape my personality than any other book ever written. And one of its great little tidbits is a poem called “In Praise Of The Sphincter Ani,” which marvels at the sphincter’s many dexterous and clever capabilities, like the ability to selectively pass gas without passing any liquids or solids (I’ve looked for it online, and the only reference I can find is to me lamenting my inability to find it online).

Which brings me to Fred Fielding, the human stonewall who refuses to give House or Senate committees any documents or under-oath-and-on-the-record interviews with various denizens of the White House (or, increasingly, former denizens).

And yet, when it comes to keeping information under wraps to aid intelligence-gathering on al Qaeda (Remember them? Our sworn enemies? The Most Evil Scary Band Of Evil Scary People Ever?), well… not so much:

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.

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, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE’s methodology.


Katz said she decided to offer an advance copy of the bin Laden video to the White House without charge so officials there could prepare for its eventual release.

She spoke first with White House counsel Fred F. Fielding, whom she had previously met, and then with Joel Bagnal, deputy assistant to the president for homeland security. Both expressed interest in obtaining a copy, and Bagnal suggested that she send a copy to Michael Leiter, who holds the No. 2 job at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Administration and intelligence officials would not comment on whether they had obtained the video separately. Katz said Fielding and Bagnal made it clear to her that the White House did not possess a copy at the time she offered hers.

Around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, Katz sent both Leiter and Fielding an e-mail with a link to a private SITE Web page containing the video and an English transcript. “Please understand the necessity for secrecy,” Katz wrote in her e-mail. “We ask you not to distribute . . . [as] it could harm our investigations.”


Exactly what happened next is unclear. But within minutes of Katz’s e-mail to the White House, government-registered computers began downloading the video from SITE’s server, according to a log of file transfers. The records show dozens of downloads over the next three hours from computers with addresses registered to defense and intelligence agencies.

By midafternoon, several television news networks reported obtaining copies of the transcript. A copy posted around 3 p.m. on Fox News’s Web site referred to SITE and included page markers identical to those used by the group. “This confirms that the U.S. government was responsible for the leak of this document,” Katz wrote in an e-mail to Leiter at 5 p.m.

Al-Qaeda supporters, now alerted to the intrusion into their secret network, put up new obstacles that prevented SITE from gaining the kind of access it had obtained in the past, according to Katz.

Smooth move, Ex-Lax. So, either the man who is so adamant about protecting the administration’s criminal behavior doesn’t give a rat’s ass about protecting anti-al Qaeda intelligence sources, or the #2 guy at the National Counterterrorism is yet another Brownie – a Bush crony appointee who is so completely unqualified for his position that he can’t even be discreet with information in his supposed field of expertise.

And for what? What on earth did this buy the Bushies? If anything, it reduced the amount of time that they had to prepare for the video going public. They really are epically stupid.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers

1 Comment

  • 1. Multi Medium » In C&hellip  |  October 24th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    […] anyone read my post comparing White House Counsel Fred Fielding to a sphincter, and was concerned about the whereabouts of my cherished copy of The Book Of Strange Facts And […]

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