May 27, 2014
Kabul Chief Of Station, Gregory Vogel, Was Outed Long Ago
The White House outed the CIA Station Chief in Kabul, Gregory Vogel:
The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.
The White House recognized the mistake and quickly issued a revised list that did not include the individual, who had been identified on the initial release as the “Chief of Station” in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country.
The name and the position of the person was widely distributed.
[T]he pool report was filed by Washington Post White House bureau chief Scott Wilson. Wilson said he had copied the list from the e-mail provided by White House press officials. He sent his pool report to the press officials, who then distributed it to a list of more than 6,000 recipients.
Wilson said that after the report was distributed, he noticed the unusual reference to the station chief and asked White House press officials in Afghanistan whether they had intended to include that name.
Initially, the press office raised no objection, apparently because military officials had provided the list to distribute to news organizations. But senior White House officials realized the mistake and scrambled to issue an updated list without the CIA officer’s name. The mistake, however, already was being noted on Twitter, although without the station chief’s name.
Despite the name being distributed on a list to 6,000 news people a Google news search for Gregory Vogel brings up no results for the name.
This shows the enormous power the CIA holds over news entities.
Those who published the name were immediately informed to pull and redact their news pieces. This is, for example, a screenshot from an earlier web search for Gregory Vogel:
The search result from a recent Wall Street Journal blog entry clearly says "His name is Gregory Vogel." That piece though was soon scrubbed from the WSJ website and in its current version has no station chief named in it.
This whole story is weird in several aspect:
1. The station chief name is widely known in Kabul and elsewhere and has been public for four years. Why is there still a need to hide it? Why are the media going along with the government in this?
2. The CIA station chief was installed by the U.S. military under then General McChrystal and Petreaus, a very unusual procedure. The generals wanted him because he was a former special operations soldier and cooperated with their death squadrons killing missions. The results were predictable:
The problem with this shift, the officials say, is that both the military and the CIA are focusing on short-term, tactical intelligence, and ignoring the long view.
That the military was allowed to select a CIA station chief also led to problems with the State Department:
The CIA’s prominent role in Afghanistan is fraught, the spy agency having clashed at times with the official diplomatic mission. That has complicated the civilian component of the U.S. military surge.
In particular, the station chief’s role has led to tensions with the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry. Officials said the ambassador objected last fall to the return to Kabul of the station chief, who had held the same post earlier in the war. Mr. Eikenberry declined to comment, as did the State Department.
It is no wonder that the State Department protested. Under Gregory Vogel the CIA hired over 3,000 locals as "Counterterrorist Pursuit Teams". These local thugs under CIA control are responsible for a lot of bad mood against the United States in Afghanistan and have led to many diplomatic problems.
3. That the name of the stations chief was put on the to-be-published list by the White House is unlikely to have been a "mistake". Someone wanted to out the guy to get rid of him. For what reason is hard to know but many parties could have their own interests in such a change. Gregory Vogel will now have to leave the country and that may lead to policy changes where the local CIA gangs may get folded into the Afghan army and come under a more regular line of command. The CIA could then go be back to thinking strategically about Afghanistan. Something which has thoroughly lacked for over a decade.
In the comments people point to Cryptocomb.org which claims to have a copy the original media pool report. In that version one "Mike Raiole" is named as Chief of Station Kabul, not Gregory Vogel. That contradicts the WSJ report pictured above. Gregory Vogel was station chief in Kabul for years. Has that changed? There is no way for me to decide which of these reports is correct.
Posted by b on May 27, 2014 at 08:36 AM | Permalink
Frankly, with the ongoing slaughter in Ukraine while our European media are redoubling their constant propaganda barrage and the financial system resembles a house of cards ready to tumble down, I cannot bring myself to care even the slightest bit about the CIA station chief in Afghanistan. Let him and all his fellows world-wide be outed, sooner rather than later.
As for US sloppiness and incompetence, what else is new?
I suggest we all have much bigger worries right now.
Posted by: Austrian | May 27, 2014 8:52:23 AM | 1
The most telling story concerning Afghanistan, The West and Russia is that, considering the hyperbolic rhetoric surrounding this faux Cold War Redux, Russia still allows the West's Afghan supply line.
Actions versus words. Often, they don't match. This is yet another example.
Chocolate in — Heroin out.
Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | May 27, 2014 8:53:57 AM | 2
Let's hope they don't move Kabul CoS to Ukraine.
Posted by: gemini333 | May 27, 2014 10:22:13 AM | 3
More sad evidence of the perhaps involuntary militarization of the State Department. And the clandestine power to erase public thought on the net is a big, big deal, and in my mind, as important as the surveillance controversy.
Posted by: sanbook | May 27, 2014 11:36:57 AM | 4
Huh? Vogel was not the name recently outed.
Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2014 11:53:06 AM | 6
according to Cryptocomb, the CIA Chief is:
Mike Raiole, Chief of Station
Who knows eh?
Posted by: Kim Sky | May 27, 2014 12:16:40 PM | 8
So did B just mess up with the name? Or get two people confused?
Posted by: Massinissa | May 27, 2014 12:51:24 PM | 9
Ditto Kim Sky @ #8.
Posted by: James | May 27, 2014 2:16:56 PM | 11
1. The articles referred to mention that "Gregory Vogel" had served as COS in Kabul a few years back, then left, and recently returned. Presumably, the reason he now has to flee is that is that he had returned to Afghanistan under another name. As an organizer of extra-judicial killing and torture, Vogel would be eagerly sought for revenge, not only by the Taliban, but by the extended families of all the men, women and children he killed or mutilated.
2. How much you want to bet, that the high government official who released this "top secret" information will never be apprehended, much less convicted? All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Posted by: rackstraw | May 27, 2014 3:11:31 PM | 13
More likely, the Republicans who claimed it was no big deal for Scooter Libby to out Valerie Plame, a career CIA officer, will become livid that someone outed the Afghan station chief, a former special operations soldier, and try to get Obama impeached after they buy back the Senate.
Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 27, 2014 3:30:38 PM | 14
The difference between these cases is instructive. Plame's name was leaked as part of a malicious if crude political operation, to discredit Joe Wilson's report.
What just happened in Kabul was sheer incompetence by juvenile narcissists working for a President who hero worships thugs.
I never thought I'd say it but at least Cheney had a proper contempt for the death squadristas he employed.
Posted by: bevin | May 27, 2014 6:33:28 PM | 15
Germany’s spy agency ‘in bed’ with US – Snowden on Berlin’s inhospitality
"The former NSA contractor – wanted by the US for disclosing its surveillance program – told the German magazine that he had been "personally involved with information stemming from Germany" and that the "constitutional rights of every citizen in Germany were infringed" during the process.
Snowden said he had used systems able to intercept large amounts of data, adding: "I'd be surprised if German lawmakers learnt nothing new if I laid out all the information."
The rights activist suggested that the only reason Merkel’s government does not want him to testify is because Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, used the same methods of mass surveillance.
"The BND is with the Americans in bed," he told Stern."
Posted by: scalawag | May 27, 2014 8:12:28 PM | 16
US sends assault ship with 1,000 Marines near Libya, asks Americans to 'depart immediately'
"The US is sending 1,000 Marines in an amphibious assault ship to Libya's coast as a “precautionary” move should the US embassy require evacuation, a US official said. Security concerns also led the US to suggest Americans in Libya "depart immediately."
In reaction to the heightened strife in Libya, the USS Bataan, stocked with several helicopters in addition to the Marines, is to be in the nation’s coastal area “in a matter of days,” an anonymous US defense official said, according to AFP."
Posted by: scalawag | May 27, 2014 8:18:15 PM | 17
China getting serious about addressing the widespread American spying.
China urges banks to remove IBM servers over espionage concerns – report
"The People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance have been asking banks to suspend operation of the International Business Machines (IBM) servers as part of a trial program, while the Chinese government analyzes security risks concerning the use of the servers. Bloomberg cited four sources familiar with the matter.
The complete analysis is to be transferred to a working group on internet security headed by President Xi Jinping.
The news follows an announcement that state-owned Chinese companies will cease to work with US consulting companies like McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group over fears they are spying on behalf of the US government.
Beijing has said Washington's methods involve broad-scale attacks against the Chinese government. It also accused the US of being a “robber playing cop,” and more recently said the US is a “mincing rascal” involved in “high-level hooliganism.”
China announced last week that it would be investigating providers of important IT products and services following the row.
The country’s foreign ministry announced that it is suspending activities of the Sino-US internet working group. Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system was banned from government computers last week."
Posted by: scalawag | May 27, 2014 10:27:20 PM | 18
Afghanistan is the longest MIC racket in all US history. Hillary Clinton made $85M off Kabul grift, can you imagine what $1,000,000,000,000 'missing-in-action' on Panetta's watch was able to buy in the wild free-for-all? Just in my town, they pulled over and arrested a girlfriend of an Afghan vet with a half-pallet of shrinkwrapped $100s in her car boot!
So when Obama said the party is over, (OK, well, cut by 2/3rds) and best get to steppin', he unleashed the Night of the Long Knives at MIC Central. You will see a lot of weird shyte in the coming months leading up to November, and I'm willing to bet never ONCE will the MSM ask to read the status-of-forces agreement the Pentagon is trying to shove up Kabul's ass.
I was lucky enough to read the SOFA that Cheney forced on Pakistan through his $B BFF Musharraf. It's basically a Get Out of Jail Free card. No inspections, no tariffs, no investigations, no arrests, no legal culpability. American CIA can visit Pakistan, bring anything in or out, dead or alive, with no trace.
Imagine what the Queen Hillary Show will be like in Kabul with a compliant SOFA? She'll be flying to Kabul every three months to fill her shopping bags with shrink-wrapped $100s.
Posted by: chip nikh | May 28, 2014 7:08:32 AM | 19