The Obama administration “mistakenly” revealed the identity of its CIA Chief of Station (COS) in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the Memorial Day weekend, by including his name on a list of senior U.S. officials who were taking part in President Obama’s unannounced visit there with American troops. The “pool report” listing the COS’ name was ultimately passed on by the White House to 6,000 people working for various news organizations. According to The Washington Post, the names on the list were “provided by U.S. military officials.”
The “pool report” had been filed by the Post’s Scott Wilson, who failed to notice this problem until after he sent the list back to the White House. “There were several misunderstanding and mistakes that happened, including my own failure to review the list before including it in my pool report and sending it back to White House press officials for distribution. I wish I had, and I regret not doing so,” wrote Wilson in an email.
It was not Wilson’s responsibility to protect the identity of America’s top intelligence officer in Afghanistan; it was the White House’s responsibility to protect the identities of its people in the clandestine services before sending information onto the press. But informing the press apparently took precedent that day over attention to detail and national security.
Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) member Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer herself, questioned whether an inappropriate mentality exists at the White House and whether this has trickled down to other offices. “Our national security leadership simply doesn’t view the enemy as the enemy….it’s all ‘potential partners,’” she said. “There is no understanding that there are implacable, remorseless enemies in this world who never rest, never sleep, and constantly plot ways to harm and destroy us.”
“Without that defensive mentality, even absent deliberate ill will, these kinds of things will happen over and over again,” continued Lopez.
In their coverage of this alleged “mistake,” both The Washington Post and the UK Telegraph, as well as other news organizations, pointed to the outing of Valerie Plame, blaming Bush officials. “In 2003, aides to George W. Bush leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of her husband, a former U.S. diplomat who criticized the Iraq war,” states the Telegraph. According to the Post, “The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.”
Once again, the assertion is made that Plame was exposed by Bush officials who sought to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson. The Telegraph picked up that line almost verbatim. The truth, however, is that the person who leaked that information was Richard Armitage of the State Department—someone who was opposed to going into Iraq. And in 2007, following the unjust prosecution of Scooter Libby, The Washington Post was the one discrediting Wilson, calling him a “blowhard,” and said that all of the major claims in his famous 2003 op-ed “were false.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom