White House Accidentally Reveals CIA's Top Spy In Afghanistan
from the and-snowden-is-the-problem? dept
For all the exaggerated talk of how much “damage” Ed Snowden has done, he hasn’t actually revealed the names of any spies or put them in any danger. No, that’s the White House’s job. An apparent slip-up meant that the White House distributed a list of people at a press briefing in Afghanistan that clearly identified the CIA’s top spy in the country.
The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.
The White House recognized the mistake and quickly issued a revised list that did not include the individual, who had been identified on the initial release as the “Chief of Station” in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country.
Perhaps even more incredible is that, at first, the White House denied there was a problem with the list, until someone apparently figured out what happened:
In this case, the pool report was filed by Washington Post White House bureau chief Scott Wilson. Wilson said he had copied the list from the e-mail provided by White House press officials. He sent his pool report to the press officials, who then distributed it to a list of more than 6,000 recipients.
Wilson said that after the report was distributed, he noticed the unusual reference to the station chief and asked White House press officials in Afghanistan whether they had intended to include that name.
Initially, the press office raised no objection, apparently because military officials had provided the list to distribute to news organizations. But senior White House officials realized the mistake and scrambled to issue an updated list without the CIA officer’s name. The mistake, however, already was being noted on Twitter, although without the station chief’s name.
Meanwhile, back in the US, the guy who blew the whistle on the CIA’s waterboarding program is sitting in jail for “revealing” a CIA agent’s name, when he actually did much, much less (simply confirming to a reporter the name of someone that reporter might want to talk to about a story). But, as double standards tend to go, I would imagine no one will be going to jail over this much more serious leak. After all, whoever fucked up and put it in the list probably hasn’t blown the whistle on a program like the US torturing people.
Obviously, mistakes happen, but it’s fairly incredible how the same people will brush off “mistakes” like this one, while going absolutely crazy over claims that John Kiriakou or Thomas Drake or Ed Snowden somehow caused a tremendous amount of “harm” despite no evidence to actually support those claims.