A White House tweet showing President Joe Biden monitoring the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan may also have inadvertently revealed the faces and locations of intelligence agents.
The official White House Twitter account posted a photo on Sunday of Biden meeting by video conference with intelligence officials to hear updates on the drawdown of civilian personnel, “the ongoing security situation in Kabul,” and evacuations of Afghan allies, including interpreters who helped US and NATO forces during the 20-year war. The picture showed other meeting participants on a large screen, including CIA officials and three men at the “Doha Station.”
Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence in the Trump administration, called out the apparent blunder, tweeting, “Who took this picture outing intel officials? Dear God.” One Twitter user added, “Umm, is the public supposed to see the faces of the CIA agents? Are we supposed to know there is a Doha Station?”
“Heck of a job, White House communications shop,” National Review contributor Jim Geraghty said. “I figure you would want to crop out the teleconference screens labeled CIA and Doha Station, you panicking, amateur idiots.”
Some commentators suggested that the photo might not even be recent, pointing to the time difference between London and Moscow on the clocks in the conference room. The current difference is two hours, while the clocks above the conference screen show a three-hour difference. This would have been possible before March 28, when the clocks in the UK were moved forward by one hour.