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Cover of Afghan CIA chief is blown by Obama administration

By AP Reporters

The Obama administration has accidentally revealed the name of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president's surprise weekend trip to Bagram airfield.

The officer's name – identified as "chief of station" in Kabul – was included by US embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met President Barack Obama during the visit on Saturday.

The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House "press pool" list, which contains as many as 6,000 recipients.

The officer's name is being withheld at the request of the Obama administration, who said its publication could put his life and those of his family members in danger. A Google search appears to reveal the name of the officer's wife and other personal details.

White House officials realised the error after the Post reporter notified them, and sent out a new list without the station chief's name. Other major news organisations, including the Post, also agreed not to publish the officer's name.

The intentional disclosure of the name of a "covered" operative is a crime under the US Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

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