Author Topic: White House staff tried to 'un-ring the bell' after revealing CIA chief's identity  (Read 321 times)

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Online mystery-ak

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/26/identification-cia-station-chief-afghanistan-reporter


White House staff tried to 'un-ring the bell' after revealing CIA chief's identity

• White House press office unaware it had circulated name
• Washington Post journalist sounded alert after filing report

   

    Tom McCarthy in New York and agencies
    The Guardian, Monday 26 May 2014 13.24 EDT

The White House blew the cover of the top CIA agent in Afghanistan on Sunday, when the person’s name was included on a list given to reporters during a visit to the country by President Barack Obama.

The name was then emailed by the White House press office to a distribution list of more than 6,000 recipients, mostly members of the US media.

The agent in question, listed as chief of station, would be a top manager of CIA activity in Afghanistan, including intelligence collection and a drone-warfare programme under which unmanned aerial vehicles mount cross-border attacks into Pakistan.

The name appeared on a list of attendees requested by White House officials for the president’s visit to Bagram air base to mark Memorial Day, the national day of tribute to fallen service members. The list of 15 people was drawn up by the military, written into a routine press report and sent to Washington. The Obama press office then sent the list, unredacted, to the larger group.

The mistake did not come to light until the reporter who had filed from Afghanistan, the veteran Washington Post correspondent Scott Wilson, looked more closely at what he had sent and noticed the name and title.

“I drew it to their attention before they had noticed what had happened,” Wilson said on Monday, hours after returning from the 33-hour trip overseas.

“I asked the press official that was with us on the trip if they knew that the station chief had been identified in the list. That person said that they did not know that, but that because the list was provided by military, they assumed it was OK. By this time the list was out.

“Soon after, I think that they talked to their bosses, and realised that it was not OK. And they tried to figure out what to do about this, if there was a way to kind of un-ring the bell.”

The name was left off of a subsequent report filed from Bagram.

The White House declined to comment on Monday on the disclosure. It was unclear whether or how the disclosure would affect US intelligence operations in Afghanistan. An internet search for the name turned up no results.

It is extremely rare for a US intelligence operative to be outed by the US government. In 2003, someone inside the George W Bush administration exposed the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, a month after her husband, the diplomat Joe Wilson, had publicly questioned the administration’s case for the Iraq war. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to then-vice-president Dick Cheney, was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury in connection with the case.

Members of the CIA's operations arm, called the National Clandestine Service, are typically given cover identities to protect both them and sources they have recruited abroad. A station chief, who manages all CIA operations in a country, is often a senior officer whose true name is known to the host nation and other intelligence agencies. The term "station chief" is sensitive enough, however, that former officers usually are not allowed to use it in their resumés in connection with specific countries, even after their covers have been lifted.

Because the Afghanistan station chief is known to Afghan officials and lives in a heavily guarded compound, he may be able to continue in his job. In 2010 the CIA station chief in Pakistan, Jonathan Bank, was evacuated after local newspapers published his name in connection with a lawsuit, and he was threatened.

Wilson said time pressure, a high level of activity tied to the president’s visit and the relative inexperience of the military officers involved could have contributed to the mistake.

“My impression is these were very junior people trying to follow an order, that they don't fully understand or get the ramifications of,” he said.

“There were a number of misunderstandings and mistakes, including my own failure to review the list before including it in my email, in my pool report.

“I wish I had, I regret it.”   

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Offline Oceander

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Oh
My
God


Forget about the out-ed chief of station - he's out-of-country already or under heavy guard - every one of his friends and personal associates is now under suspicion and in danger of being harassed or even killed because of his or her relationship with this chief of station.  And if he was in-country for any appreciable length of time (very likely), there's a long list of people who were seen in his company who are now about to have their lives disrupted or destroyed.  All because of the Obama administration's ongoing incompetence.


Offline sinkspur

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Scooter Libby's life was ruined, and he wasn't even the squealer.

Think anybody will face repercussions over this? 

Nah. For this trash, it's "inadvertent."  Even if the guy gets killed, gotta protect Valerie's boys.
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Offline Oceander

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Scooter Libby's life was ruined, and he wasn't even the squealer.

Think anybody will face repercussions over this? 

Nah. For this trash, it's "inadvertent."  Even if the guy gets killed, gotta protect Valerie's boys.

The only people who will face repercussions are the Afghans who were (in hindsight) foolish enough to work with him.  The "junior" (mal)administration jerks will probably get promotions and raises to make themselves feel better about themselves (God forbid we should put a scratch on their self-esteem).

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Mediocrity, incompetence and unforced errors seem to be the signature, of this administration. And on virtually every front.


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Valerie Plame and Obama’s Double Standard on Outing CIA Personnel
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 04:36:51 AM »
Valerie Plame and Obama’s Double Standard on Outing CIA Personnel

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 26, 2014 @ 10:43 am In The Point | 14 Comments




Hoping to distract Americans from his death panels for veterans, Obama made a Bush style visit to Afghanistan and managed to cause even more harm to national security by outing the CIA Station Chief there.

The Democrats did their best to turn Valerie Plame into a martyr even though the only danger that the leftist faced was fewer invitations to cocktail parties. That didn’t stop Hollywood liberals from churning out a movie about her complete with action scenes.

Will the same standard hold for whoever outdated the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan? Unlikely. The official narrative is that it was an accident. But if you believe that it’s an accident, then you also have to believe in the complete and total incompetence of Obama Inc. when it comes to security issues.

There’s a case to be made for that, but considering the deep-seated resentment of the country in the upper echelons of this administration, it was more likely deliberate.

Unlike Valerie Plame making her cocktail party tour, the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan is at actual risk.


The newspaper said the official, identified as “Chief of Station” in Kabul, was named as being among those at a briefing with Obama during the president’s trip to Bagram Air Base near the Afghan capital.

The list of names was sent by email to reporters traveling with Obama on his surprise Afghanistan visit and included in a “pool report” shared with correspondents and others not on the trip.

The Post said the White House issued a revised list deleting the CIA official’s name after it recognized the mistake.

The newspaper said its White House bureau chief, Scott Wilson, who was on the trip, copied the original list from the email provided by White House press officials and included it in a report sent to a distribution list with over 6,000 recipients.

Is anyone going to be fired for it? Forget about it. There’s no accountability built into the system. They’ll just blame the military and hand over a scapegoat if the heat gets too hot.


A year prior, Obama was also part of a call for congressional investigations into the Bush administration’s biggest leak — the revealing of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity.

Obama joined a 2005 letter with 24 Democrats led by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who had just been defeated in the 2004 presidential election, urging the Republican-led Congress to undertake its own investigation into the Plame scandal.

President Bush had appointed a special counsel in the Plame case in 2003, which ultimately resulted in the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff Scooter Libby.

Obama obviously doesn’t do independent investigations. Too many of his people would end up in jail beginning with his own Atty General.

In the letter signed by Obama, it asked for, “The public revelation of Ms. Plame’s identity, whether it amounts to a crime or an irresponsible breach of security protocol that doesn’t meet the standard of criminal conduct, almost certainly compromised her intelligence networks and may have compromised the safety and welfare of anyone who had worked with her overseas.  As a group of respected former intelligence officials wrote in 2004: “Any breach of the code of confidentiality and cover weakens the overall fabric of intelligence, and, directly or indirectly, jeopardizes the work and safety of intelligence workers and their sources.”

Valerie Plame, more of a socialite than an agent, was never in danger, despite Obama’s posturing. But his visit, itself a pathetic attempt at distracting the country from his administration’s death panels for veterans, did out a major CIA figure who is in danger.

Is Obama going to accept an investigation? He never does.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/valerie-plame-and-obamas-double-standard-on-outing-cia-personnel/

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Offline mountaineer

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The AP actually is reporting it, but is anyone actually embarrassed?
Quote
White House Accidentally Blows CIA Official's Cover
AP    | by  KEN DILANIAN 
 Posted:  05/26/2014 11:55 am EDT    Updated:  05/26/2014 5:59 pm EDT   
Huffington Post

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an embarrassing flub, the Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president's surprise Memorial Day weekend trip to Bagram Air Field.

The officer's name — identified as "chief of station" in Kabul — was included by U.S. embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Obama during the Saturday visit. The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House "press pool" list, which contains as many as 6,000 recipients.

The Associated Press is withholding the officer's name at the request of the Obama administration, who said its publication could put his life and those of his family members in danger. A Google search appears to reveal the name of the officer's wife and other personal details.

White House officials realized the error after the Post reporter notified them, and sent out a new list without the station chief's name. Other major news organizations, including the Post, also agreed not to publish the officer's name.

The reporter who distributes the pool report sends it to the White House to be checked for factual accuracy and then forwarded to the thousands of journalists on the email distribution list, so in this case the White House failed on at least two occasions to recognize that the CIA official's name was being revealed and circulated so broadly.

The intentional disclosure of the name of a "covered" operative is a crime under the U.S. Intelligence Identities Protection Act. A former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in January after pleading guilty to disclosing to a reporter the name of an undercover agency officer.

"I doubt anyone from the White House is going to be prosecuted over this," said Jesselyn Radack, who represented Kiriakou. "It shows the continuing double standard over leaks."

In 2003, Valerie Plame was exposed as a CIA operative by officials of the George W. Bush administration in an effort to discredit her husband, a former ambassador who had criticized the decision to invade Iraq. A top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the case, and sentenced to 30 months in prison, though Bush commuted the prison sentence.

Members of the CIA's operations arm, called the National Clandestine Service, are typically given cover identities to protect both them and the sources they have recruited abroad. The station chief, who manages all CIA operations in the country, is often a senior officer whose true name is known to the host nation and other intelligence agencies. The term "station chief" is sensitive enough, however, that former officers usually are not allowed to use it in their resumes in connection with specific countries, even after their covers have been lifted.

Because the Afghanistan station chief is known to Afghan officials and lives in a heavily guarded compound, he may be able to continue in his job. In 2010, the CIA station chief in Pakistan, Jonathan Bank, was evacuated after local newspapers published his name in connection with a lawsuit, and he was threatened.

The disclosure didn't prevent Bank from landing another sensitive job: He became chief of the Iran operations division at CIA headquarters at Langley. He was removed from that post in March after CIA officials concluded he created a hostile work environment in the division. He has since been detailed to the Pentagon's intelligence arm.
Valerie Plame outed herself, but let's not let the truth stand in anyone's way.
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