Media Blog

Chilling Effect from the Plame Investigation?

That’s what MB reader John B. spots in a story today by Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus:

Today, The Washington Post’s veteran spy journalist Walter Pincus declines to identify the new head of HUMINT espionage, opting only to call him “Jose”.
However, Jose, or rather, a “Jose”, was identified by The Nation last year as the new CIA deputy director for operations: Jose Rodriguez.
So if it is the same Jose, which presumably a well informed journalist like Pincus would know, and if his name and role are already in the public domain, why so cagey? I can only conclude it is blow-back from Plame. No one wants to be the next person identified for blowing a covert officer’s identity.

It is almost certainly the same Jose, identified in both the Post and Nation stories as the deputy director of operations.
Pincus, you might recall, was one of the many reporters Patrick Fitzgerald called to testify in the Plame investigation. Could this be the first sign of a Plame-related chilling effect on reporting about even widely-known intelligence officers?

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