This Is Utterly Insane And No One Is Paying Attention
Internet blows CIA cover
By John Crewdson
Chicago Tribune senior correspondent
Published March 12, 2006
WASHINGTON -- She is 52 years old, married, grew up in the Kansas City suburbs and now lives in Virginia, in a new three-bedroom house.
Anyone who can qualify for a subscription to one of the online services that compile public information also can learn that she is a CIA employee who, over the past decade, has been assigned to several American embassies in Europe.
The CIA asked the Tribune not to publish her name because she is a covert operative, and the newspaper agreed. But unbeknown to the CIA, her affiliation and those of hundreds of men and women like her have somehow become a matter of public record, thanks to the Internet.
When the Tribune searched a commercial online data service, the result was a virtual directory of more than 2,600 CIA employees, 50 internal agency telephone numbers and the locations of some two dozen secret CIA facilities around the United States.
It just gets better:
But an undisclosed number of those on the list--the CIA would not say how many--are covert employees, and some are known to hold jobs that could make them terrorist targets.
Other potential targets include at least some of the two dozen CIA facilities uncovered by the Tribune search. Most are in northern Virginia, within a few miles of the agency's headquarters. Several are in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington state. There is one in Chicago.
Some are heavily guarded. Others appear to be unguarded private residences that bear no outward indication of any affiliation with the CIA.
A senior U.S. official, reacting to the computer searches that produced the names and addresses, said, "I don't know whether Al Qaeda could do this, but the Chinese could."
And the Grand Finale:
Asked how so many personal details of CIA employees had found their way into the public domain, the senior U.S. intelligence official replied that "I don't have a great explanation, quite frankly."
What can one do? Nobody in the Blogosphere seems to have picked up on this yet, probably because it is in the Chicago Tribune. This is why I keep such newspapers on my blogroll and scan them regularly.
But it is the most demoralizing news I have ever read about our War On Terror. Bar none.
So if you stop by and happen to read this, pass it on to a few Internet friends.