President Barack Obama gestures while speaking to troops at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul, Afghanistan, during an unannounced visit, May 25, 2014.
Evan Vucci—AP
May 26, 2014 8:37 AM EDT

The White House inadvertently revealed the name of the top CIA officer in Afghanistan when it provided reporters with a list of officials participating in President Barack Obama’s surprise Memorial weekend visit to troops.

In a press list of 15 officials circulated to up to 6,000 recipients, including TIME reporters, one name appeared next to the title Chief of Station, the title of the top CIA officer in a country. The White House, which received the list from military officials, soon realized the mistake and issued a revised copy without the name.

TIME is withholding his name after Obama officials cautioned The Washington Post, which first reported on the snafu, that the officer and his family could be at risk if his name were published. Given the officer’s prominent role, his identity is probably known by the top echelons of the Afghan government, so it’s still unclear if he will be pulled out of the country, the Post reports.

The CIA and the White House declined to comment to the Washington Post.


Write to Noah Rayman at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories