Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Happened to the Concept of "Covert"?

Clinton: State Department Hacking Into Al-Qaeda Websites In Yemen
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The State Department has launched a different sort of raid against al-Qaeda — hacking into al-Qaeda websites in Yemen. 
In a rare public admission of the covert cyber war against extremists, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says cyber experts based at the State Department hacked Yemeni tribal websites, replacing al-Qaeda propaganda that bragged about killing Americans.
“Within 48 hours, our team plastered the same sites with altered versions of the ads that showed the toll al-Qaeda attacks have taken on the Yemeni people,” Clinton said Wednesday.
Perhaps they would have, eventually, figured this out on their own (indeed, perhaps they already did), but shouting strategy from the rooftops like this seems to serve no purpose.  I can't imagine a case  where an al Qaeda terrorist finds his way to the propaganda website, hoping to fortify himself with some "Great Satan" or "Little Satan" hatred, instead finds pro-American counter-arguments and thinks; "hey, I've been all wrong about these guys, they're really swell fellows!"

Come on people, the government keeping secrets is sometimes a good thing, particularly in cases like this!  Even if this had become common knowledge, what end does it serve to admit it?  A little mystery goes a long way in covert operations.

Honestly, there seems to be more secrets being kept on the domestic policy front by this administration than on the foreign policy front.

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