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June 09, 2006

ABC News Publishes Name, Picture Of Informant Who Ratted Out Zarqawi

What news value was there in this? Even conceding there is slight news value in the man's name and face, isn't that far outweighed by the tendency of this report to discourage future informants?

If ABC News can keep secret the name and face of the Duke rape accuser (which I'm told isn't so secret; it's all over the internet), why can't they afford this man the same anonymity? Don't similar questions of "news value" vs. "general public good" apply here?

Why all the indignation at "outing" Valerie Plame if they're going to out this guy themselves?

ABCNews

The de facto intelligence service and secret police of America's Islamofascist enemies.

Thanks to Jim, who encourages you to read the comments, most of which take ABC to task for this.

Nuance/Caveat Update: Okay. Thinking about this, past the initial anger:

ABC News does not have the primary responsibility for protecting this information. The military and intelligence guys who had it have the primary responsibility for protecting it. They are the first, and worst, offenders.

And it's possible this is disinformation fed to ABC News. Who knows-- maybe the tip came from an entirely different source, but the military/intelligence guys are claiming it came from this terrorist-connected jagoff, in order to either get him 1) killed by his own people or 2) talking to our boys in exchange for spiriting him out of the country and putting him in witness protection.

It's also possible that this information is so widely known already ABC News didn't help anyone at all by publicizing it. Sometimes a secret is an open secret.

But it doesn't seem that way. Although ABC does not claim an exclusive, they attribute it to "Jordanian intelligence officials." Just because Jordanian intelligence officials don't seem eager to guard American secrets shouldn't mean that ABC News is disburdened from having some care about protecting them.


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posted by Ace at 02:07 PM

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