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New safeguards after chief outed

JIM KUHNHENNAssociated Press Published: June 12, 2014 4:00 AM

WESTON, Mass. -- The Obama administration is adopting three new safeguards to prevent the accidental identification of key national security personnel, but won't fire anyone over last month's outing of the CIA station chief in Afghanistan, the White House said Wednesday.

The safeguards grew out of a review the White House asked its top lawyer, Neil Eggleston, to conduct after the CIA chief's name was released to thousands of reporters during President Barack Obama's surprise trip to Bagram Air Field.

Eggleston presented his findings Tuesday to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who accepted them, the White House said, adding that Obama had also been informed.

The new safeguards include:

-- Requiring White House schedulers and staffers who travel to foreign sites ahead of a presidential visit to meet with participants of upcoming presidential meetings, so those participants have an opportunity to object to their names being released to the media.

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-- Clearing the names of participants with the White House's National Security Council prior to release.

-- Providing further training to White House travel staff about proper handling of sensitive information.

No officials will be fired or disciplined as a result of the incident in Afghanistan, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. He added that the review was "not focused on trying to isolate specific wrongdoing because the disclosure was inadvertent."

The officer's name was mistakenly included by U.S. Embassy staff on a list of American officials who met with Obama during his brief visit to Afghanistan. After the incident, the White House said Eggleston was looking into it and would make recommendations for averting such disclosures going forward.

The Associated Press is withholding the officer's name at the request of the Obama administration, which said its publication could endanger the officer's life and that of his family.


Associated Press writer Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this report.

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