Michael Scheuer: Media Hates CIA, 'Think it's Fun to Put People at Risk'

Fox News's Steve Doocy and former CIA officer Michael Scheuer took the gossip site Gawker to task Friday for claiming to out the identity of the CIA officer responsible for orchestrating the Osama bin Laden raid in May. "I think most of the media is anti-Agency, and they think it's fun to put people at risk," said Scheuer.

 


Scheuer also pointed out that the story was not getting nearly as much coverage as the Valerie Plame scandal. "I think it's much worse. Ms. Plame probably didn't have a lot of enemies around the world that remember going to come looking for them. But this fellow responsible for Osama bin Laden's death or in part for it is certainly at risk." He further noted that the mainstream media has a history of bias against American intelligence services. "For example, you know, the Pulitzer Prize for treason, if I remember correctly, went to the woman at the Washington Post who exposed the Agency's black sites during the rendition program. So the media and the media establishment rewards this kind of conduct," said Scheuer.

Doocy also pointed out that there was no evidence that the individual highlighted by Gawker is even the agent in question. "Steve, the average high school yearbook staff has more integrity and common sense than Gawker or AP. They might have put an entirely mistaken personality on someone's bull's eye. It's an extraordinarily reckless unprofessional thing to do," said Scheuer. "The news was bin Laden was killed. The officers in the military and the Agency responsible for that should have been congratulated, end of story. No one needs to know anybody who was involved in that operation."

A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 6:51 a.m. on Friday, follows.


                           
FNC
"Fox & Friends"
07/29/2011

6:51 a.m. Eastern


STEVE DOOCY: CIA Agents do their jobs without the expectation of big paychecks, fame or recognition. They don't want the spotlight. So it's not exactly helpful when your job is all about top secret observations. But the web site called "Gawker" now trying to expose one particular agent, an agent Al-Qaeda would love to find and probably kill, the one who tracked down Osama bin Laden. Michael Scheuer is the former chief of the CIA bin Laden unit and the author of Osama bin Laden joins us from D.C. Good morning to you.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Good morning sir.

DOOCY: The back story is the Associated Press after the bin Laden kill did a story about this particular unit and they identified that, perhaps, the guy who was behind it was in this White House photograph and then Gawker this lousy web site out there did the math, figured out, oh, that's the guy and then outed a CIA agent!

SCHEUER: Well, you know, it's typical of most of the American media, Steve, that they're very anti-Agency. The idea that the Agency was at the center of killing bin Laden probably stuck in a lot of their throats. And now we see people like Gawker and AP who have previously published stories about agency officers who are still serving and/or undercover. It's just an amazing situation in America where people are rewarded for in essence aiding and abetting the enemy.

DOOCY: Well, the problem for this person and we're not going to identify who he is in that picture. We've all seen that picture. We have no idea who most of the people are. But his well being is now in peril, I would imagine. I mean, if there were an al-Qaeda operative who learned where the guy lived, he could be in trouble.

SCHEUER: I think it's very dangerous to expose anybody who was involved with killing Osama bin Laden. Bin laden was a beloved figure in the community of Islamists. And certainly, exacting revenge for bin Laden against the person who was involved in his killing would be a huge feather in someone's cap.

DOOCY: Absolutely. Let's go back a couple of years, Michael, during the George Bush administration when Valerie Plane was inadvertently outed as a CIA. operative. There was an investigation. There was a lot of trouble for people. Why no outrage here? Same thing happened, didn't it?

SCHEUER: I think it's much worse. Ms. Plame probably didn't have a lot of enemies around the world that remember going to come looking for them. But this fellow responsible for Osama bin Laden's death or in part for it is certainly at risk. As secretary Gates said about the identities of the SEALS, sir.

DOOCY: Absolutely. So why would this web site Gawker do this?

SCHEUER: As I said, I think most of the media is anti-Agency. And they think it's fun to put people at risk. They don't like some of the things the Agency does. For example, you know, the Pulitzer Prize for treason, if I remember correctly, went to the woman at the "Washington Post" who exposed the Agency's black sites during the rendition program. So the media and the media establishment rewards this kind of conduct.

DOOCY: And ultimately, from what I understand, Michael, is they published the picture of the guy and identified, yeah, that's the guy right there. It was completely unsubstantiated, they didn't have anybody who said "yeah, that's the guy." They just said "ok, according to what we figured out, that's him."

SCHEUER: Yeah. Steve, the average high school yearbook staff has more integrity and common sense than Gawker or AP. They might have put an entirely mistaken personality on someone's bull's eye. It's an extraordinarily reckless unprofessional thing to do.

DOOCY: It certainly is. And ultimately, is it news in your estimation?

SCHEUER: The news was bin Laden was killed. The officers in the military and the Agency responsible for that should have been congratulated, end of story. No one needs to know anybody who was involved in that operation.

DOOCY: Yeah. Absolutely. It's a crazy thing. Irresponsible thing to do on the part of Gawker. All right, Michael Scheuer joining us from DC. Thank you, sir, have a great weekend.

SCHEUER: You, too, sir, thank you.

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