Douglas MacKinnon
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Can we really win the war on terror? I am honestly starting to doubt we can.

My main rationale for that doubt being; how can we defeat the unimagined evil of these barbaric terrorist organizations as long as some of our fellow Americans feel they have the right to break the law and continually leak classified information that aids and abets the very vermin that seeks to exterminate us?

While not a complicated question, the only logical answer is unambiguous, frightening, and disheartening: We can’t defeat the terrorists if traitors among us eagerly supply them with intelligence that puts our nation and our troops in harms way. Period.

The latest in a long line of leaks that embolden Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, is the very selective and politically motivated disclosure of information from the highly classified “National Intelligence Estimate.” The NIE being the coordinated judgments of up to sixteen US intelligence agencies that is used to brief the President and other high ranking officials.

This particular, out of context leak, seeks to prove that the war with Iraq has created more terrorists and is putting the United States at greater risk of attack than before we entered the country. In response to the flawed logic of this partisan leak, President George W. Bush said, “We weren’t in Iraq when we got attacked on September 11. We weren’t in Iraq when thousands of fighters were trained in terror camps. We weren’t in Iraq when they first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. We weren’t in Iraq when they bombed the Cole. We weren’t in Iraq when the blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.”

While the President’s rebuttal makes great sense, I am not here to defend him nor his policies in Iraq. Rather, as one who once worked in a joint command at the Pentagon and dealt with classified information on a daily basis, I am here to beg those in our own government and our own media, to stop this suicidal disclosure of top secret information. If not for reasons of obeying the law and patriotism, then at the very least, for the safety of you and your family. For when the terrorists do visit our shores again – basically at your invitation -- your betrayal of state secrets will not shield you, nor your family, from their fanatical wrath. Deaths of the innocent being an obscene price to be paid for scoring cheap and fleeting, partisan points.

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Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is former White House and Pentagon official who spent three years working in a Joint Command.

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