CBS News reports that the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan has been forced to leave the country after the White House published his name and title in a press release.
CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports that the CIA’s top officer in Kabul will have to leave the country to avoid retribution from the Taliban. Intelligence sources have also told CBS News that it’s possible the officer has already fled the country.
In an unforced own-goal, the White House blew the cover for the CIA’s station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan Saturday. The spy’s name was provided to news organizations on a list of U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s press availability with troops.
Reports claiming that the White House “recognized the error” in outing the covert operator are misleading. The White House only recognized the error after it was brought to their intention by the press. Saying “the White House recognized the mistake” or a similar phrasing implies that the White House discovered the problem, when in fact they were scrambling and spinning to avoid owning up to their mistakes.
The “military official” was asked for a list of those briefing the President, not asked to type up a release. The White House was supposed to use the list to make sure the President knew all of the names, but clean up any embarrassing references to foreign dignitaries or CIA station chiefs.