Take me to the pilot

Last week Richard Miniter wrote to comment on John’s Standard column “Leaking at all costs.” Miniter made the point that reporter Stephen Grey and his New York Times colleagues need not have been the beneficiary of CIA leaks to report the story of the CIA’s secret flight operations (click here for the initial Times story on the flights this past May). Miniter commented in Power Line posts here and here that much of Grey’s information may have come from unclassified sources; John pointed out the story’s reliance on “former CIA officers and pilots.”

Today’s New York Sun carries Josh Gerstein’s follow-up story: “How the CIA blew its prisons cover.” Despite the headline, the story is focused on the uncovering of the CIA’s flight operations. The Sun’s story lends support to Miniter’s comments in the linked posts. In any event, it’s a story of interest.

Before attending the White House reception on Tuesday evening that I wrote about last night, I had a long lunch with Richard Miniter to discuss our mutual interest in the greatest domestic story of the moment — the bureaucratic war to undermine the Iraq war and the Bush administration’s foreign policy. In part because of his past work in Europe for the Wall Street Journal, and in part because he has covered related subjects for the books he has written since he left the Journal, Miniter has developed intelligence sources all over the world. Some enterprising magazine like the Atlantic or should put him on its staff and commission him to follow his interests in its pages.

We talked at some length about Disinformation (his current book) as well as Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failure Unleashed Global Terror. Check out Miniter’s own site here. After talking about how he worked up the information on which the bin Laden book was based — including on the record interviews with resistant subjects such as Madeline Albright — I’m going back to the bin Laden book.

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