One of the battles between the CIA, White House, and Feinstein’s SSC that held up the release of the completed Report for months was over the use of pseudonyms within the Report. The CIA feared reprisal for anyone mentioned within the Report- even pseudonyms not being enough to safeguard identity. Astute readers can easily piece together and identify some of the players in the Report by playing connect-the-dots and fill-in-the-blank. NBC News’ Matthew Cole has essentially done just that- everything except actually naming her:
The expert was not identified by name in the unclassified 528-page summary of the report, but U.S. officials who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity confirmed that her name was redacted at least three dozen times in an effort to avoid publicly identifying her. In fact, much of the four-month battle between Senate Democrats and the CIA about redactions centered on protecting the identity of the woman, an analyst and later “deputy chief” of the unit devoted to catching or killing Osama bin Laden, according to U.S. officials familiar with the negotiations.
NBC News is withholding her name at the request of the CIA, which cited a climate of fear and retaliation in the wake of the release of the committee’s report in asking that her anonymity be protected.
While the two psychologists who developed the “enhanced interrogation techniques,” Dr. James Mitchell and Dr. Bruce Jessen, quickly became household names as a result of the report – including being the subjects of a “Saturday Night Live” skit” – scathing criticism of the expert’s role in defending the program went nearly unmentioned.
The expert — one of several female CIA employees on whom “Maya,” the lead character in the movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” was based — has previously been identified in the media as a CIA officer involved in the rendition program. But the Senate report offers the first detailed account of the depth of her involvement. It quotes from emails, memos and congressional testimony, to document her unique role in what it says were misrepresentations about the efficacy of the CIA’s program, which President Barack Obama has said included torture. The report does not ascribe any motive for the alleged misrepresentations.
I won’t name her here within this blogpost; but it isn’t too difficult for anyone to ascertain who she is by doing a little research.
Another CIA officer, referred in the Report as CIA Officer 1 and the “junior officer” who was put in charge at the Salt Pit and who is held responsible for the death of detainee Gul Rahman, is already known.