Subscribe to the Blunt Force Truth podcast

CIA Director Pompeo Blasts NYT For Publishing Name Of Clandestine Officer

At roughly nine o’clock Eastern Time Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry broke in with breaking news from the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. At the forum, CIA Director Mike Pompeo took to the stage slammed The New York Times for putting the life of an officer at risk. “We had a publication, you work for Bret, that published the name of an undercover officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. I find that unconscionable,” he angrily declared to the thunderous applause of the audience. 

“What he was particularly angry about, the President’s CIA Director is the fact that The New York Times back in early June published an account of the new chief of Iran operations at the Central Intelligence Agency,” Henry announced as he began his report.

According to Henry, Fox News was refusing to share the officer’s name because they still worked undercover:

[The Times] noted that officials who commented on the identity of this person who’s running Iran operations at the CIA spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is still working on a clandestine basis and this could, obviously, put his life in jeopardy if the Iranians figured out, if other officials around the world figure it out.

And for the same reason, this blog won’t mention their name or link to the offending article published by The New York Times. Notes of “[redacted]” are edits by this blog’s author.

“The C.I.A. declined to comment on [redacted]’s role, saying it does not discuss the identities or work of clandestine officials,” The Times wrote without a care. “The officials spoke only on the condition of anonymity because [redacted] remains undercover, as do many senior officials based at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va.”

The Times claimed one of the reasons they published the name was because it had appeared in other articles. Their second reason was that Donald Trump was the president. “[Redacted] is leading an important new administration initiative against Iran,” they said.

“It justified to The New York Times publishing, at least in their eyes, the name of this clandestine official because they wanted to tell the public about the Trump administration’s approach to Iran and how it was going to be more aggressive than the Obama administration,” Henry explained.

In The Times report, the authors gave a description of where the officer lived, their spouse, work ethic, regions they operated in, and a detailed overview of their career and a few operations they were a part of.

It’s common practice in reporting to leave out the names of undercover officials to protect their identity and their life. But by their own admission, The New York Times published the name of the official partly due to the fact that Donald Trump was president. That is a disturbing diversion from standard protocol for largely a political reason.

(First reported by MRC News Busters)   (July 23, 2017)

Want more BFT? Leave us a voicemail on our page or follow us on Twitter @BFT_Podcast and Facebook @BluntForceTruthPodcast. We want to hear from you! There’s no better place to get the #BluntForceTruth.