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Hullabaloo


Friday, February 14, 2014

 
With all that revealing of sources and methods, it's a wonder we've survived

by digby

Damn you Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald. When is this traitorous leaking going to stop?
Intelligence officials use cellphone signals to track Al Qaeda operatives, as number of mid-level arrests rises.

Oh wait, never mind:

By Faye Bowers, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / 
June 2, 2004

That's ok. I'm sure the terrorists never figured it out until  nine years later when Snowden revealed that the NSA was tracking everyone in the world and storing the data just in case they might want to use it some day. That was the main governmental concern, right? That terrorists now know the US government is using sophisticated surveillance technology to track their whereabouts?
An ordinary-looking grid map of Riyadh adorns one wall of a command-and-control center deep inside a government building in Saudi Arabia's capital.

The map is higher-tech than it appears at first glance. Tiny embedded lights flash red when certain cellphones - those belonging to suspected terrorists - initiate or receive a call. Teams of officials from Saudi Arabia, the FBI, the CIA, and the US Treasury Department decide instantly whether simply to watch and listen to the suspected terrorist - or to send in screaming police cars to nab him.

So far, officials say, this technology - and others - has enabled them to interrupt several terror plots and nab dozens of suspected terrorists. Certainly it hasn't served as a panacea, as the attacks on foreign workers in Saudi Arabia's oil-worker compounds last weekend show. At least 22 people, including one American, were killed when terrorists stormed a compound where foreign oil workers lived. One terrorist was captured, while three others escaped using hostages as shields.

It doesn't take long for terrorists to figure out how authorities are tracing them and then change methods. Still, the technology has proved helpful in rolling up cells in Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and America. "Today, gumshoe is really a lot more electronics," says Peter Crooks, a retired FBI agent who specialized in counterterrorism. "They have some pretty sophisticated equipment."

Boy those "officials" who told the press all about this sure dodged a bullet, eh? I'd imagine they'd be facing 30 years in prison today for that kind of thing. Of course, they were members of the Bush administration which was big on protecting freedom of the press (thus making us unsafe) so they failed to criminally pursue these leakers.

And I sure hope that reporter didn't get paid for reporting that leak. The last I heard the FBI isn't ruling out the possibility that such a thing amounts to selling stolen goods. Of course the statute of limitations has run out so perhaps she's off the hook. It happened back in 2004, after all. When we were a lot safer.


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