Sunday, June 22, 2008

NY Times Identifies CIA Interrogator Against CIA Wishes

Too bad, because an otherwise fascinating story about the scramble to build a counterterror apparatus after 9/11, the merits of coercive vs. non-coercive interrogation, and the stings that nailed Abu Zubaydah and KSM is going to be submerged in a debate over their decision to publish the lead interrogator’s name against his wishes and those of CIA chief Michael Hayden. Here’s the obligatory editor’s note justifying the decision. Quote:

After discussion with agency officials and a lawyer for [the interrogrator], the newspaper declined the request, noting that [the interrogator] had never worked under cover and that others involved in the campaign against Al Qaeda have been named in news stories and books. The editors judged that the name was necessary for the credibility and completeness of the article.

The Times’ policy is to withhold the name of a news subject only very rarely, most often in the case of victims of sexual assault or intelligence officers operating under cover.

Read the piece and you’ll see that credibility and completeness have nothing to do with it. It’s not a story about him; he’s just the springboard to explore the themes I mentioned earlier.
Hot Air -- NYT reveals name of KSM’s chief interrogator — against CIA’s wishes

Hey, didn't Valarie Plame work for the CIA? This case, like the Plame case did not involve a covert agent -- but unlike the Plame case this agent was overseas within the last 5 years, which I think was of concern when determining Plame's status.

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