Via Ace, consider this post an apology to our readership. A few days ago I led you to believe that it was somehow important for the White House press corps to ask the press secretary about one of the biggest foreign policy scoops in weeks. That was obviously in error, as I suspected at the time. It wasn’t important; this guy wouldn’t give you a straight answer on what his favorite color is (“I would refer you to my kindergarten finger-paintings on that”), never mind accusations about top-secret CIA activity linked to a major terror attack. Like I said in the earlier post, the press briefing now operates not as the White House’s conduit to the public but rather as an opportunity for the media to show the public that it’s asking worthwhile questions of the president even though there’s not a whisper of a chance that they’ll get useful information from them. The Brits have question time with the prime minister in parliament, we have this travesty. Second look at monarchy?
Speaking of which, a sneak preview for you of what Carney will be delivering non-answers about tomorrow. Off with their heads:
Three U.S. drone strikes killed a total of 12 suspected al-Qaida militants Thursday, a Yemeni military official said, raising to eight the number of attacks in less than two weeks as the Arab nation is on high alert against terrorism…
Since July 27, drone attacks have killed 34 suspected militants, according to an Associated Press count provided by Yemeni security officials.
The Yemeni military official said the first drone attack killed six alleged militants in central Marib province, while the second killed three more in the al-Ayoon area of Hadramawt province in the south. The third killed three others in the al-Qutn area of Hadramawt, he said.
Nearly three dozen alleged jihadis liquidated in less than two weeks, more than a third of them in three separate strikes today alone. I don’t track this stuff day to day but I can’t remember a flurry of activity like that. If AQ does end up pulling something off somewhere, the feds will have plenty of evidence to point to as proof that they did their best to thwart it.
Actually, since it’s a lead-pipe cinch Carney won’t have anything interesting to say about that, here’s a different question for him for tomorrow’s briefing: Does the DOJ plan to open an investigation into the source of the leaks about Al Qaeda’s big “conference call”? (Which wasn’t technically a conference call.) Marc Ambinder, who specializes in intel and counterterror reporting, wrote last night that only a tiny number of people in U.S. intelligence would be privy to information about how Al Qaeda leaders are liaising. That info’s incredibly sensitive, for obvious reasons — once the cat’s out of the bag that we know how they’re doing it, they’ll stop doing it that way. Either that’s a gigantic intelligence breach or it was leaked deliberately for strategic reasons, either to spook Al Qaeda into abandoning their plot and going to ground by showing them we know more than they think or to give them a reason to move to a different type of communication which might be even easier to penetrate. No way to know which it is, though, until we’ve ruled out the most obvious possibility. How about it, Eric Holder? Are we going after an intel bigwig for leaking this or not?