” In the film “Zero Dark Thirty” she was known as “Maya,” the CIA analyst who spent years doggedly tracking down Osama bin Laden, then identifying his body when US Navy Seal Team Six killed him during a raid in Pakistan.
In real life, however, her story is more complicated, with ties to the rendition and torture of terrorist suspects, as well as a missed opportunity to head off the attacks of 9/11. And now she has been forced out of the shadows, with several news outlets revealing her identity.
Most recently, that’s the website The Intercept, whose stated missions are “to provide a platform to report on the documents previously provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden” and “to produce fearless, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues.”
For years, the CIA has argued forcibly against naming the analyst, frequently referred to as a bin Laden expert. Some outlets, including the Associated Press, have agreed to use only her middle name — Frances — because both her first and last names are unusual and easily identifiable.
” We would strongly object to attaching anyone’s name given the current environment,” CIA representative Ryan Trapani told The Intercept in an email. In a follow-up voicemail he added: “There are crazy people in this world and we are trying to mitigate those threats.”
In reply, Glenn Greenwald and Peter Maass wrote Friday: “The Intercept is naming [the analyst] over CIA objections because of her key role in misleading Congress about the agency’s use of torture, and her active participation in the torture program (including playing a direct part in the torture of at least one innocent detainee). Moreover, [the analyst] has already been publicly identified by news organizations as the CIA officer responsible for many of these acts.” “