In a recent interview with Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Special Operations Commander General Tony Thomas detailed the fight against ISIS, specifically in Iraq and Syria, with regard to progress that has been made against the terrorist organization. General Thomas detailed a specific operation which resulted in the death of ISIS oil minister Abu Sayyaf, the ISIS leader’s wife, as well as a treasure trove of valuable information. However, a story from the New York Times made mention of a lead that sparked the operation which may very well have allowed the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, enough time to slip away.
General Tony Thomas spoke of the incident at the Aspen Security Forum, “That was a very good lead. Unfortunately, it was leaked in a prominent newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead.” Thomas continued, “The challenge we have in terms of where and how our tactics and procedures are discussed. There’s a great need to inform the American public about what we’re up to. There is also great need to recognize things that will absolutely undercut out ability to do our job.”
This latest revelation comes on the heels on numerous leaks from within the intelligence community that are clearly aimed at causing political damage and are used by many in the main stream to undercut the White House and its message. The leak detailed by General Tony Thomas is especially troubling however, since it appears this leak undercut the military and their main goal to destroy ISIS.
At the same security forum CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, scolded the New York Times for outing covert agents with regard to an Iran initiative. The New York Times cited their reasoning for outing the covert agents by declaring the operatives in question were “leading an important new administration initiative against Iran.”