This was pure sloppiness on their part. Unacceptable…
During President Obama‘s surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday, the White House mistakenly exposed the identity of the Central Intelligence Agency’s top official in Kabul.
According to the Washington Post, the officer’s name (which has been redacted by the press to protect the individual’s safety) was inadvertently included among a list distributed to the press showing the names senior U.S. officials participating in the president’s trip.
The mistaken list reportedly identified the individual as “Chief of Station,” the CIA’s term for the highest-ranking spy official in a given country. After the White House recognized the error, they quickly issued a revised list.
The oversight was brought to light by Washington Post White House bureau chief Scott Wilson, who noticed the name on a pool report sent to the press and asked the White House press team if the name’s inclusion was intentional.
WaPo‘s report continues:
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.
It is unclear whether the disclosure will force the CIA to pull the officer out of Afghanistan. As the top officer in one of the agency’s largest overseas posts, with hundreds of officers, analysts and other subordinates, the station chief in Kabul probably has been identified to senior Afghan government officials and would not ordinarily take part in clandestine missions beyond the U.S. Embassy compound.
Read the rest of the report here.