Mazzetti's correspondence with CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, on Aug. 5, 2011, pertained to the Kathryn Bigelow-Mark Boal film "Zero Dark Thirty," about the killing of Osama bin Laden, and a Times op-ed column by Dowd set to be published two days later that criticized the White House for having "outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood." According to Judicial Watch, Mazzetti sent Harf an advance copy of Dowd's column, and wrote: “this didn’t come from me… and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about!”The bolded is part of the actual email thread. It seems likely the CIA was concerned with Dowd's portrayal of top-level access given to Boal by several arms of the government, including the CIA. "...and showed up recently--to the surprise of some military officers--at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero Seals (sic)". The emails also state he got similar treatment from the DoD and White House. And who is this Ms Harf, the spokeswoman for the CIA? Well....
According to other released documents, Marie Harf from the CIA Office of Public Affairs facilitated most of these meetings. As you know, Ms. Harf has since departed the CIA to take a position at President Obama's reelection campaign headquarters in Chicago.Forgetting for a minute that Obama was giving a Hollywood filmmaker top drawer access to intelligence about a military operation for political reasons (admitted by Dowd)--lending credence to the 2012 version of the Swift Boaters--this was the same mother-loving outfit who refused to accede to Bush administration requests not to expose several top secret terror counter-measures. They had a hard time finding a coherent reply:
"I know the circumstances, and if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing," Baquet said. "I can't go into in detail. But I'm confident after talking to Mark that it's much ado about nothing."Retranslated--Hey, it's top level stuff and we never divulge about our own operations. Besides, if I tell you I've got to kill you, peon. So trust us!
But no doubt after extensive huddles in the boardroom another spokesperson returned later and threw reporter Mazzetti under the bus, in the process saying Dowd only wanted a fact checked. See, that's why they contacted the Obama campaign lady, to get a fact checked. It was Mazzetti's fault for sending the whole damn thing. That never happens! Now, move on.
Well, it must have been
The natural reaction to reading this should be to wonder how often the Times clears stories with Langley, er, fact checks. Didn't that supposedly happen in the old days during the Cold War? Maybe it never stopped. Or maybe VIPs man McGovern was right and they were only saying 'yes' to the man, who knows. Whatever, it sure sounds like something for our two intrepid US Attorneys to track down, you know, the ones investigating whether the White House leaked classified/sensitive info or not.
So the mysterious kill-and-tell SEAL is out now with a feature appearance coming on 60 Minutes. His basic story seems to be that UBL either killed himself or had one of his wives do it for him before they got into the room, which if true makes the false narrative easy to understand--if he was dying we wanted to be the ones to kill him. UBL probably had standing orders to prevent his death at our infidel hands.
Aside from the ethical problems with this guy coming forward the story will not cause much political disruption. Yes, if it's true somebody lied about the events to make it seem more noble, but the SEALS did a noble and risky thing, and the preezy made a gutsy call to take out Pakistan's Ace in the hole right out from under their stinking noses. The idea that UBL's wife had to kill him only takes a little of the luster off.
But are there problems? Some of the stories say that UBL had two guns in the room and that neither had bullets in them when searched. Were they fired? Where did the shots come from, if not from the SEALS? If this guy is himself fudging a little, let's say the lead SEAL shot him in the hallway after he popped his head out the door and he fell dead back into the room, that means there was no "halt, police" type of call to give him a chance to surrender. That would go against almost all the narratives saying it wasn't an assassination mission.
Still though, it's not liable to change many minds. It's not a smoking gun. If anything it might serve to remind the public of the raid without the administration even having to bring it up. Meanwhile, they are moving the book's release date up to Sept 4, right before the Democratic convention.
The Politico has more today on the SEAL story, including indications from DoJ spokesman Jeh Johnny Johnson that a lawsuit might be in the offing. Maguire asks, would they?
That's because any buzz about the UBL raid, positive or negative, means people are talking about the UBL raid. Few will care if the administration distorted the facts a little, ie, they killed binny as soon as he stuck his bearded head out the door instead of in his room. At least few in America--Obama is no longer running as president of the world since those polls don't make news anymore. So any UBL talk is OK so long as the leak isn't a complete smoking gun, bin Laden has actually been dead for years that was a fake type story. But even then they could just call the leaker a birther and carry on.