Special Abu Muqawama Q&A: Counterstrike!

I spent part of my vacation reading the new book by Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt, Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda. Thom and Eric wrote the book while on a writing fellowship here at the Center for a New American Security, so I’m relieved that I a) very much enjoyed reading it and b) can recommend it to the readership. It’s a brisk read — short enough to read while trapped in your houses as a hurricane blows over, for example — and has all the hallmarks of the great reporting you have come to expect from two of the NYT’s finest.
This will come as no surprise to those who have followed your reporting for the New York Times, but this book was carefully and exhaustively reported. You guys face a tough dilemma, though: when reporting on secret programs, the best sources will often not talk. And although you have managed to interview some of the key decision makers, are you worried that your reporting is limited by its sources? How do you wr