Andrew McCarthy makes some really good points about how some of the leaking and reporting we have seen recently can’t help but make it more difficult to recruit informants inside terrorist cells.
Reading the account of events leading to the raid that killed Zarqawi in this morning’s NYTimes provides a good object lesson in why our intelligence is so sparse.
Thanks yet again to people inside our intelligence community who don’t know how to keep their mouths shut, one (or perhaps more) of the few valuable sources we have inside the jihadist network in Iraq is today no longer a valuable source — either (a) because enough information is now public that the bad guys can pretty easily figure out who among them is an informant and kill him (typically, in a grisly fashion to discourage others), or (b) because we have to extract the informant to avoid that fate.
Read the entire post to see how the NY Times article discloses enough information to make future recruiting even more difficult than it already had to be.
Update: Also be sure to read the discussion at The Corner about the possibility that the inside informant story was even planted to sow paranoia inside the terrorist camps. It is an interesting possibility to consider.