Why. What. Do we have. Here? Someone from the con-blog echo chamber complaining about the reporting on Zarqawi's demise? What. A shock.
Posting at The Corner, Andy McCarthy frets that a New York Times account of the U.S. raid spills the beans that the U.S. got intel from a source close to Zarqawi. McCarthy also has harsh words for "people inside our intelligence community who don't know how to keep their mouths shut."
You see, in Andy's world, absent a NYT story, what's left of Zarqawi's group would not have a clue that someone very close gave them up. Without the story, these ruthless terrs would go on thinking that an F-16 just happened to plink two 500-pounders right on target. They would chalk it up to bad luck and move on.
No, in fact, U.S. forces likely burned that intel source the minute they went operational. That was the right call as the source was being developed precisely for this kind of purpose. McCarthy evidently represents the daft view, which can be found in some sectors of the national security state, that intel should be forever "developed" and that secrecy for secrecy's sake is always the best policy.
Further, it is very good that the terr network now knows someone inside gave them up. A paranoid and jumpy outfit is less effective. And presumably the U.S. immediately got the informer to safety and on the shelf once the decision to go was made—that is just common sense.
As for me, the stories that I find frustrating are the ones with references only to "laser-guided" bombs taking out the safe house. That is true in that a laser-guided GBU-12 was the first weapon the target, but the second to hit was a GPS-guided JDAM weapon. In effect, the first weapon punched a hole for the second.
But we shouldn't talk about that. The terrs might be listening.