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Exploiting Osama Bin Laden’s Files

11:02 AM, Apr 12, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, elaborated on Clapper’s praise for CENTCOM’s ongoing effort during the House Intelligence Committee hearing.

“I don't have the number off the top of my head, but I know that there have been hundreds of additional reports that have been subsequently published that has allowed us to understand what we have, you know, been facing for some time,” Flynn explained.

These “hundreds of additional reports” are in addition to the more than 400 that were initially produced, meaning that at least several hundred intelligence reports have been generated from bin Laden’s files.

Flynn said that these intelligence reports are “being shared” outside of CENTCOM with other U.S. “military organizations around the world,” including Africa Command and the European Command.

A “good reason” to declassify

President Obama and John Brennan have tried to define as narrowly as possible the threat posed by the al Qaeda-led jihadist network. Others within the U.S. Intelligence Community disagree with the way they define the threat.

During his Wilson Center speech, Brennan said that Obama has urged his advisers to be as transparent as possible so that the public can judge the “efficacy and ethics” of America’s counterterrorism strategy.

Releasing only 17 documents from the hundreds of thousands of files recovered during the bin Laden raid is hardly the model of transparency.

DNI Clapper told the House Intelligence Committee that there is “a good reason for us to declassify” more of the bin Laden documents “to the extent that we can,” such that “current operations” are not jeopardized. That bin Laden’s documents are still relevant to ongoing counterterrorism operations goes to show just how phony the Brennan spin was all along.

Clapper added that he has recently had meetings to discuss ways “to make [bin Laden’s files] available more widely for academic research.”

To his credit, Clapper is arguing for more transparency – something that has been sorely lacking when it comes to bin Laden’s secret files.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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