08 July 2013

Bin Laden Records "Hidden"?

Are the records of the OBL raid being scrubbed from public scrutiny? Or is this a legit security move?

The nation's top special operations commander ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

The secret move, described briefly in a draft report by the Pentagon's inspector general, set off no alarms within the Obama administration even though it appears to have sidestepped federal rules and perhaps also the Freedom of Information Act.

Hmmm... not a big fan of suppressing records of publicly-known events like this. Unless there's some sort of sources and methods info to be protected, and it seems unlikely given that we're talking about the raid itself, of which there's already a lot of info in the public.

An acknowledgement by Adm. William McRaven of his actions was quietly removed from the final version of an inspector general's report published weeks ago. A spokesman for the admiral declined to comment. The CIA, noting that the bin Laden mission was overseen by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta before he became defense secretary, said that the SEALs were effectively assigned to work temporarily for the CIA, which has presidential authority to conduct covert operations.

"Documents related to the raid were handled in a manner consistent with the fact that the operation was conducted under the direction of the CIA director," agency spokesman Preston Golson said in an emailed statement. "Records of a CIA operation such as the (bin Laden) raid, which were created during the conduct of the operation by persons acting under the authority of the CIA Director, are CIA records."

OK, now it sounds like they're dodging public scrutiny for something

Golson said it is "absolutely false" that records were moved to the CIA to avoid the legal requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

OK, now it definitely sounds like they're dodging public scrutiny for something

The records transfer was part of an effort by McRaven to protect the names of the personnel involved in the raid, according to the inspector general's draft report.

OK. Now that's a reason I could get behind, and I wish they'd led with that. Given the proliferation of Islamonutjobs who think it's their sacred duty to become/protect/glorify mass murderers and their benefactors, I can understand some level of protection for our guys.

By: Brant


S O said...

Everything that needs to be kept secret can be blackened. Complete secrecy only makes sense if there would be black everywhere or if deniability has to be maintained, a treaty/contract guaranteeing secrecy to be observed or if nobody shall even become aware of the thing.

In this case, I suspect details about the helicopter and its crash as well as (non-)involvement of Pakistani authorities may be covered up.

Brant said...

I tend to agree that over-classifying things is silly. The problem, to borrow a phrase from Longblade at Grogheads.com, "is not Big Brother, but Little Administrator" who is so afraid for his job if something sneaks by that *everything* gets classified and *everything* is a threat, so that if he's ever hauled before Congress to testify, he can say "well, sir, we classified those files so that they'd never be made public" regardless of the fact that it's a Chinese take-out menu that was handed around the SCIF one day when everyone was trying to figure out their lunch.

Brant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brant said...

You comment also brings this totally awesome article from The Onion to mind.