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.

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  • icon
    silverscarcat (profile), 27 May 2014 @ 5:30am

    Well, gee...

    Thanks, Obama!

    From: Your former top spy in Afghanistan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Fushta (profile), 27 May 2014 @ 8:57am

      Re: Well, gee...

      Plot Twist: They wanted the spy out of commission, so they "leaked" his name, then backtracked by re-issuing the new list. Too late. Did the spy make it out alive?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 27 May 2014 @ 7:40am

    Traitor! Obama revealed classified information! Get him!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 8:12am

      Re:

      Technically it's not a crime when the president reveals classified information.

      The way the law is written the president can declassify anything they want, without asking anyone. A president could declassify everything the government knows and it wouldn't be illegal.

      But that doesn't mean that congress and defense hawks wouldn't be frothing mad about it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John William Nelson (profile), 27 May 2014 @ 7:41am

    At least transparency is improving!

    Although I'm not sure this is how they intended to be the most transparent White House.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevor, 27 May 2014 @ 7:47am

    ...

    I bet they'll just say whoever released it didn't intend to harm the U.S., so it wasn't bad.

    Wait.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 27 May 2014 @ 7:51am

    Brace for it

    Finally, an actual offense that "might be used" to impeach Obama. Brace for the calls from the right, to do exactly that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      tomczerniawski, 27 May 2014 @ 7:53am

      Re: Brace for it

      The right is still firmly entrenched in BENGHAZIIII!!!!111oneone mode.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re: Brace for it

        4 Americans died in Benghazi, mostly thru indifference, ineptitude, and inaction by those in power. I'm glad SOMEONE is still looking into what happened, asking questions of this most transparent Administration.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 27 May 2014 @ 8:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

          Is 4 > 4000+?

          Is a ineptness > a lie?

          Is zero profit for 4 dead > profit from the 4000+ dead?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 9:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

            A better way to phrase it.

            Regardless of whether if be

            4 more or less than 4000....

            Does it matter if they died under questionable circumstances, regardless of numbers?

            More people have died in car accidents per year than we have lost per year in any wars we have fought since Desert Storm. But I bet you will say that the 100 dying in a war are > then the 100,000 dead in auto accidents.

            Perspective is a bitch, mind yours.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Baron von Robber, 27 May 2014 @ 9:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

              So why didn't you address the 2nd question?

              Is ineptness > a lie?

              or the 3rd

              zero profit from 4 dead > profit from 4000 dead?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 10:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

                I think I cleared the entire gamut with what I already said.

                But to be more concise.

                You are drinking the same kool-aid the people you hate were drinking when Bush was in.

                That is your perspective... "mine can do no wrong but yours are evil incarnate" Get it now?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Baron von Robber, 27 May 2014 @ 10:40am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

                  Yea, you're a twit.

                  I'm saying that I can't get excited about 4 dead thru ineptness over 4000+ dead over a lie that profited the VP at the time.

                  What kind of idiot would I be if I was upset more about 4 over 4000?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Baron von Robber, 27 May 2014 @ 10:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

                  PS Who's mine?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Mason Wheeler (profile), 27 May 2014 @ 10:39am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

                Is ineptness > a lie?

                Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            get2djnow, 27 May 2014 @ 3:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

            You can't explain how the US profited from the wars that Ovomit continued to wage. And you use your puerile argument to distract from the fact that you elected a war-mongering, prepubescent retard for President.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Baron von Robber, 28 May 2014 @ 6:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

              Get your kool-aid tested. I didn't vote for him 2nd time around. I abstained, you twit.

              I'm just not getting excited over 4 dead over a lie about who attacked them when there are 4000+ dead, over a lie(s) that profited the VP at the time.

              The first is shameful. We should protect our ambassadors better than that especially in hostile territories.

              But to do nothing about the latter and go batshit over the former is a sign of too much kool-aid.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 6:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

            I wouldn't say covering up what happened wasn't for profit... it kept an inept politician in the White House. There was only one reason to downplay what transpired in Benghazi... Saving the Presidents political ass.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Baron von Robber, 29 May 2014 @ 6:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

              Inept in appointing but not running the State Dept. That was Hillary's ball and she dropped it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 9:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

          Not only that, the President and his administration concocted a lie as a cover up, told that to the American people and the international community (the UN). Then lied about the lie. But it seems his supporters don't care about people being killed or about being lied to.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 27 May 2014 @ 1:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

            Lying over what about what is what is important.

            Lying about who did the attacking over 4 dead with zero profit. That's shameful.

            Lying about going to war, resulting in 4000+ dead (just our own) and making a profit off it. No words to describe that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        get2djnow, 27 May 2014 @ 3:09pm

        Re: Re: Brace for it

        Yes, because really 4 people weren't murdered while the President and Hilliary slept comfortably in their beds.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 28 May 2014 @ 8:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

          I'm glad to see your more upset at the President and Hillary than the people who did the murdering.

          Perhaps the 140+ local militia, terrorist group members should be impeached too.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 8:14am

      Re: Brace for it

      Except

      1) It wasn't actually Obama who did it, but a staffer.

      2) If Obama did do it, while it wasn't wise, it wouldn't be illegal. The president can legally declassify anything they want, even if it would be really stupid to declassify it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 9:05am

        Re: Re: Brace for it

        If president Obama "himself" declassifies an operative cover while they are in the field then no he cannot do it.

        It would still technically be illegal as nothing other than "Treason".

        But the real question, do you even thing the Democratic Party would even think of doing this to one of their own? Obama could lead a foreign Army across our border and they would just call everyone that disagreed with it/him a racist.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 27 May 2014 @ 1:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

          GWB outed an agent (wife to one of our ambassadors whom he wasn't happy with) and not by accident.

          What was done about that?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            get2djnow, 27 May 2014 @ 3:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

            You're a moron. GWB outed no one. Richard Armitage, a Libtard who weaseled his way into the Bush Administration, outed her. Scooter Libby was convicted of lying to an FBI agent and obstruction of justice during the witch hunt that you Leftards sanctioned. Never, did anyone suspect GWB of outing Wilson's wife.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Baron von Robber, 28 May 2014 @ 7:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

              Libby was pardoned by GWB and Armitage worked for GWB.

              I'm glad you tagged me as a Leftard. I used to be a Republican but haven't joined another party since. Which party should I join?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 27 May 2014 @ 8:23am

      Re: Brace for it

      Won't happen. GW outed a CIA agent on purpose out of spite towards an ambassador of ours.

      Won't happen cause it was an accident.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        get2djnow, 27 May 2014 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re: Brace for it

        Um, moron, Richard Armitage outed Valerie Plame, who was not a field agent at the time and hadn't been for over a year. You Leftards keep telling the same lies as though no one is watching.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baro, 27 May 2014 @ 9:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Brace for it

          The Plame affair (also known as the CIA leak scandal and Plamegate) was a political scandal that revolved around journalist Robert Novak's public identification of Valerie Plame as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003. [1][2][3]

          In 2002, Plame recommended her husband, former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson, to the CIA for a mission to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq had arranged to purchase and import uranium from the country. Wilson initially bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts, but after President George W. Bush made the same claim during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Wilson denied his initial pre-war assessment. [4]

          In response, Wilson published a July 2003 op-ed in The New York Times detailing the negative results of his investigation. A week later, Novak published a column which mentioned claims from "two senior administration officials" that Plame had been the one to suggest sending her husband. Novak had learned of Plame's employment, which was classified information, from State Department official Richard Armitage. [2] Many [who?] alleged that Armitage and other officials had leaked the information as political retribution for Wilson's article.

          The scandal led to a criminal investigation; although no one was charged for the leak itself, Scooter Libby was convicted of lying to investigators. His prison sentence was ultimately commuted by President Bush

          From Wikipedia.

          You have issues with reality.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 1 Jun 2014 @ 11:31am

      Re: Brace for it

      He has only to jerk his thumb at McCain for outing Valerie Plame.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 27 May 2014 @ 7:53am

    Dear Mr. Scott Wilson,

    While I believe this was an honest mistake - and not even your mistake, I would strongly recommend you hastily move to a non-extradition country.

    - Concerned citizen

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 8:02am

    For all the exaggerated talk of how much "damage" Ed Snowden has done, he hasn't actually revealed the names of any spies
    He has, but only to journalists who've been redacting these names (at his instruction).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 27 May 2014 @ 8:28am

    This is just another reason Snowden couldn't have gone through the 'proper' channels. Had he done so, and gotten the White House to actually notify the public about the NSA abuse, all of the agents' names in the documents would have been revealed through White House blunders and hundreds - or possibly thousands of lives would be in jeopardy.

    +1 Snowden

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 27 May 2014 @ 8:38am

    Funny how the most powerful nation in the world needs to capture all communication around the globe, employ hundreds of cryptographers, hack software, force companies to give them access to systems and data, and undermine it's own principals to get information about it's enemies - but it's enemies just need to watch Twitter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      beltorak (profile), 27 May 2014 @ 1:12pm

      Re:

      Which is why (hold on, let me get my tin foil hat straight) we force our enemy countries, like Russia, Turkey, and China, to block facebook and twitter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 1 Jun 2014 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re:

        No, they're playing copycat on the understanding that restricting information allows them to consolidate their power.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 8:48am

    Our leaders are as crooked as they come. It is getting to the point where the only way for change to take place will be at the end of a barrel.

    Citizens of other countries didnt have to muck thru a bunch of bogus democracy before they figured it out. We on the other hand have had 11 years of BS and are finally seeing thru the crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 1 Jun 2014 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      I wish that were true. Today I spoke to a man who said, "Our president is crap."

      "Why do you hate him?" I asked.

      "..."

      That's your problem. When people think too simplistically to base their opinions on anything solid, something is wrong. Had he said, "Because he persecutes whistleblowers," I'd have agreed, but his unwillingness or inability to properly articulate his reasoning (if any) indicates unwillingness to think for himself.

      It's why we get people advocating violence as the solution. Why? Because taking responsibility is hard.

      Not enough of us are seeing thru the crap, my friend. We're too busy blaming Blue Team or Red team for it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Annonimus, 27 May 2014 @ 9:26am

    Has anybody released the spy's name to the public?

    If not that proves that the press is still capable of judging for themselves what kind of classified data should be kept out of the news.

    If someone did release the name than that is the fault of both the government and the news outlet that did do that. The government failed to be secretive with a valuable asset while encouraging negligence and corruption in the intelligence community. And the news outlet failed because they just put a name out there without thinking about consequences because they are either compliant drones or idiots that don't know the difference between relevant and irrelevant info.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    seedeevee (profile), 27 May 2014 @ 10:47am

    "He sent his pool report to the press officials, who then distributed it to a list of more than 6,000 recipients."

    Almost hard-to-believe that of 6000 recipients of this information - none have revealed it.

    Talk about an industry contained and controlled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan, 27 May 2014 @ 4:33pm

    What was the chief of station's name? Surely one of the 6,000 journalists who received the original list can clue us in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    edpo, 27 May 2014 @ 5:26pm

    Classic Obama.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2014 @ 8:39pm

    If only

    Two good things would have resulted if the top spy was actually endangered by this leak. First it would serve as a highlighting of their hypocrisy, second dead spook.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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