President Bush asserted this week that the news media published a U.S. government leak in 1998 about Osama bin Laden's use of a satellite phone, alerting the al Qaeda leader to government monitoring and prompting him to abandon the device.(via Rawstory)
The story of the vicious leak that destroyed a valuable intelligence operation was first reported by a best-selling book, validated by the Sept. 11 commission and then repeated by the president.
But it appears to be an urban myth.
The al Qaeda leader's communication to aides via satellite phone had already been reported in 1996 -- and the source of the information was another government, the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan at the time.
The second time a news organization reported on the satellite phone, the source was bin Laden himself.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Bush's bin Laden satellite phone leak story is a myth
I'm supposed to be packing (or sleeping) right now, but I can't help but post a link to this Washington Post story: