Fearing media exposure, CIA moves to protect key analyst in Bin Laden hunt

Some news organizations have honored CIA requests to not publish the analyst’s name. A lengthy profile of the analyst by the Associated Press, for example, referred to him by his middle name, John, and said that in the hunt for the al-Qaeda chief “there may have been no one more important.”

Other details in the story, including a mention of the analyst’s college athletic career and apparent position at the edge of the frame in one of the situation room photos, have fueled further sleuthing by blog sites including Cryptome.org.

CIA veterans said that a decision to change cover status would offer limited protection to an analyst who has spent years as an “overt” officer, meaning he was free to use his real name and identify himself as a CIA employee.