I hate to admit it, but the implication of this story is just now sinking in:
ISLAMABAD/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. officials providing justification for anti-terrorism alerts revealed details about a Pakistani secret agent, and confirmed his name while he was working under cover in a sting operation, Pakistani sources said on Friday.
A Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, who was arrested in Lahore secretly last month, had been actively cooperating with intelligence agents to help catch al Qaeda operatives when his name appeared in U.S. newspapers.
Why in the world would our government “out” the guy described by some as a one-man communications center for al Qaeda? The information on his laptop was very detailed, but if he was cooperating, why not let him lead us to Osama before telling the world his name?
CJ from The Unmentionables rightly points out that it was the New York Times that made Khan’s name public, not the United States government, although the slant of the Reuters article–Reuters, I should have known to cross-check the story–doesn’t make that clear. The government only confirmed Khan’s identity after the Times exposed him.
So the question, then, is why the Times felt justified in exposing a mole working for us inside al Qaeda?