Ex-CIA Analyst: White House CIA Leak 'Sets Everything Back'

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 01:54 PM

By Courtney Coren and Sean Piccoli

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The accidental exposure of the top CIA agent in Afghanistan by the White House is "very damaging" and "sets everything back," says Lisa Ruth, former agency analyst and current LIGNET analyst.

The White House accidentally disclosed the name of the station chief in Kabul in an email sent to reporters who traveled with President Barack Obama to Afghanistan. Scott Wilson, The Washington Post White House bureau chief, then included the name in a pool report he wrote, which was sent out to more than 6,000 news organizations before he caught the mistake. 

"You have to pull him out, and that sets everything back," Ruth told Ed Berliner and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "You're going to have changes in operations, you're going to have very abrupt stops. That means we're going to be starting again."

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The former CIA analyst said it's will be too difficult to keep the station chief safe, making a pullout necessary. 

"You're talking about an area which is very insecure anyway and to try to keep these people secure — incredibly difficult," she said. "Once the name is out, it's such a target. And the Taliban doesn't play nicely . . . I hope he's out of the country."

However, even if the CIA agent is pulled, there are still others who are in danger, Ruth said.

"What the Taliban is probably going to do now is look back [at] . . . who he has met with," she said. "Then you're talking about not only Americans who are agents, but their sources and methods. If you've seen this person out with someone, they know they may be a source. Even if they're not a source, they could be targeted."

Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden told Newsmax that the leak "looks like a rookie mistake, but it's in year six of the administration."

Hayden also said that the leak could make the whole CIA unit in Afghanistan a target by the Taliban.

Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told Newsmax that the Afghanistan's station chief's outing is "a huge blunder," and part and parcel of what has turned out to be a "disastrous" Afghanistan trip for Obama.

"I have a hard time believing that this was not an accident. But it was sheer incompetence by the U.S. government," the Michigan Republican said on Newsmax TV. "Heads should roll on this."

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