US Probes Whether bin Laden Details Breached Security

Friday, 13 May 2011 12:49 PM

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U.S. national security officials are concerned that too many operational secrets were revealed to satisfy public curiosity about the killing of Osama bin Laden, the National Journal reports. The disclosure of details about surveillance tools, stealth helicopters, and a CIA safehouse in Pakistan could harm future operations, said administration officials, intelligence policymakers, and military planners.

The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversaw the raid, has begun a review to determine the impact of the publicity, which resulted from authorized briefings that reporters had with the federal government as well as interviews with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Although the review is standard procedure, “JSOC will likely be forced to adopt new methods to preserve their sensitive kill-and-capture capacity, senior military and administration officials said, an acute problem because the intelligence being analyzed may require them to conduct similar raids in short order,” the Journal reports.

Among the disclosures that make officials uneasy is a Washington Post article mentioning the loss of a $15 million Blackhawk helicopter in the raid. Since Blackhawks normally cost $5 million apiece, the Post unwittingly gave U.S. adversaries “a dollar figure to help them figure out precisely how the Blackhawk was modified for its stealth mission,” the Journal reports.

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