Wow, that was fast. We’ve already reached the investigation phase of the latest scandal to plague the Obama White House (that few in the media are talking about. See Obama’s 5 Step Scandal Manuel, here.)
It was only Sunday that the name of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan was disclosed to the media. I must have missed the “Obama read about this first in the news”, is “outraged”, and “gonna hunt down and hold accountable the culprits” phases over the busy holiday weekend. At this rate, we’ll have reached the “phony scandal drummed up by racist Republicans” phase by next week.
But for now – for appearances sake – White House Chief of Staff, Denis (Scarface) McDonough is pretending this is actually a priority….
Via The Guardian:
The White House has launched an investigation into the disclosure Sunday of the name of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan.
Chief of staff Denis McDonough has asked the newly installed White House counsel, Neil Eggleston, to trace how the name came out, and to make recommendations “on how the administration can improve processes and make sure something like this does not happen again,” national security council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said on Tuesday.
The identity of the official was revealed when the person’s name was included on a list given to reporters during a visit to Afghanistan by President 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 official 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.
How much of an “investigation” do they need to find out who in the White House press office shot out the emails without examining the contents? I’m guessing it will take them at least six months to get to the bottom of this. At which point, what difference will it make? Except for the CIA Station Chief, of course – who may no longer be with us.
He might want to think about coming home for awhile for some R&R, even though reportedly, he lives in a heavily guarded compound, and he may be able to continue in his job.
Washington Post correspondent Scott Wilson, (who first discovered the leak) 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.
In other words – Amateur Hour at the White House – the story of this administration.