During this afternoon's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney gave way to John Brennan, deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism. Brennan became the point man for all things bin Laden. For the most part, he was a breath of fresh air from the usually smug Carney. But despite his refreshing demeanor, he revealed a shocking detail regarding the Arab news network, Al Jazeera.
After being asked if the Pakistani government had secured bin Laden's compound since the raid that led to his death, Brennan responded by saying we could assume so because he had just seen some images on Al Jazeera:
Here's why that's shocking:
1. The White House is watching Al Jazeera and is obviously a big fan. Although we knew that before, it still is surprising every time you hear that the administration is legitimizing the network.
2. Why are we getting operation, or dare I say intelligence, information by watching a news network, let alone Al Jazeera?
3. Do we not have any other sources on such a pivotal question than Al Jazeera? Are we even talking with the Pakistani government?
Maybe, however, number two above shouldn't be surprising based on what happened earlier this year. In February, remember, CIA director Leon Panetta (who's now been tapped as our next secretary of defense) came under fire for basing his premature prediction that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would step down on media reports.