CIA chief of station in Afghanistan accidentally named in White House media report
No one was disciplined or fired for the leak, White House spokesman says
New procedures are put in place to avoid a repeat of the accidental outing
An investigation into the outing of the CIA’s top intelligence official in Afghanistan last month determined the leak was inadvertent.
No one was disciplined or fired, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.
When pressed on who was responsible for revealing the name to some 6,000 journalists, Earnest said the White House was focused on changing procedures, rather than one specific misstep.
Those new procedures include:
– Additional training for communications, White House scheduling and advance staff;
– On presidential trips abroad, a staffer will notify participants in a meeting open to the press that their names and titles will be released to reporters, giving them an opportunity to object;
– On such trips, the White House press lead will clear the names and titles of meeting participants with National Security staff prior to release.
The updated procedures are expected to be adopted immediately in the hopes of avoiding another leak.
The official’s name was included on a list of people attending a military briefing for President Barack Obama during his surprise visit to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan last month.
It’s common for such lists to be given to the media, but the names of intelligence officials are rarely provided. In this case, the individual’s name was listed next to the title, “Chief of Station.”
A station chief heads the CIA’s office in a foreign country, establishing a relationship with its host intelligence service and overseeing agency activities.
The identities of station chiefs, like most CIA officers, are rarely disclosed to protect them and their ability to operate secretly.
Given the potentially dangerous nature of the situation, CNN has not broadcast or published online the name of the official.
CNN’s Tom Cohen contributed to this report.