Instead of all the stories about seizure of the most significant and detailed terrorist intel in history, wouldn't it have been wiser to leak the story that the hard drives and cellphones were pretty much wiped clean, that OBL was scrupulous in protecting his terrorist network? That way all OBL's Al Queda lieutenants and contacts might have been misled for a time, might not have changed all their communication and codes and scattered away immediately from their existing locations.

But I guess this continued bragging for the media and electorate is a lot more important than actually rolling up the OBL's network.

Pitt T. Maner III writes:

The geological clues from the early OBL videos looked promising at the time in the efforts to pinpoint his location. Perhaps more of these type of physical backdrops will be uncovered in recent pictures, videotapes, hard drives, etc. There are probably similar electronic data location clues as well.

Dr. Jack Shroder, a geologist from the University of Nebraska Omaha, was a key player in the field of geomorphological hide and seek:

After September 11, local reporters contacted Shroder and others at the Afghanistan Studies Center. Then, one day, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle called and asked him if he knew where Osama bin Laden was in the September video that aired on CNN. "In an inadvertent moment, I let that San Francisco Chronicle guy know that I knew where it was and all hell broke loose after that." Shroder says he knew the rocks and landforms and could place them in the western Spinghar (White Mountain) region of Tora Bora and nearby. "I was smart enough to know that I ought to mislead the media a little bit before I gave away something that I shouldn't have." So, to protect the sensitivity surrounding bin Laden's whereabouts, Shroder told the reporter a location he knew was probably not exactly right. He didn't want the press to have that precise information before the U.S. government did.


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