Did Joe Biden out CIA agents in Qatar? Trolls say 'incompetence abounds' after WH photo

White House appears to have accidentally revealed faces of CIA agents in Doha in photo of Biden after the fall of Kabul, internet isn't surprised


                            Did Joe Biden out CIA agents in Qatar? Trolls say 'incompetence abounds' after WH photo
President Joe Biden meets with security officials on August 15, 2021, from Camp David after the fall of Kabul (@WhiteHouse/Twitter)

The fall of Kabul has left the Joe Biden administration scrambling to respond, months after it said the nation would be safe from the Taliban. As the capital city was quickly surrendered, the nation, and indeed the world has been quick to slam Biden as the reason for the fall of Afghanistan. In a bid to respond, the White House put out a photo of the President interacting with advisors, but it may have accidentally revealed a lot more.

Frustrated veterans were the first to slam Biden, wondering if their sacrifices were in vain. The Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, shortly after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation for safety in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, leaving the city defenseless and leaderless. While that happened, the President was holidaying at Camp David, leading to further fury in the press and public. 

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The criticism has been so widespread, there are now calls for Biden to step down as POTUS, led by Donald Trump. The former President wasted no time in blasting his successor, saying, "what is going on now is not acceptable." He later said, "It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen." Led by Trump, several other Republicans have also slammed the President for choosing to go on holiday at this critical time.

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to speak about voting rights at the National Constitution Center on July 13, 2021, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

 

Did POTUS out CIA?

In a bid to stem the criticism, the White House put out a tweet late on August 15. It was clearly meant to be a show of strength, and that Biden was taken the issue seriously. "This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul," the said.

However, it wasn't the tweet that is causing debate, but the photo attached. The image shows Biden sitting alone, in front of a large screen that had several other people on a video call. Visible in the call was Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as other members of the President's administration. They were all identified by the labels at the bottom. The labels indicated the State Department, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff all present. Unfortunately for Biden, also clearly visible was the CIA and 'Doha Station'.



 

 

The clear labeling, as well as their visible faces quickly led to a storm of controversy led by one user Joe Colangelo. He tweeted, "Did you seriously just out CIA and Doha Station? Beadwindow, Mr President." That led to a storm of controversy, with social media debating if Biden actually put the CIA at risk, but publicly identifying its agents. The controversy has only gained steam since, with multiple users piling on the criticism of Biden, at a tough time for the President. 



 

 

'Wouldn't be the first time'

"Incompetence abounds at every point of the compass, or so it would appear," one person commented. Another replied, "You’d think they would have taken this down the first time someone pointed all of the flaws in this pic. Not this administration though!" ANother noted, "Wouldn’t be the first time. Look what he did to Seal Team 6."



 



 



 

 

Other users though, quickly rushed to the defense of Biden. "Does it look like he’s outing CIA agents, you moron? These people wouldn’t be on a zoom call & photographed by the official WH photographer if they were undercover," one user tweeted. Another said, "No, they didn't. The people on the call are top admin officials who are publicly known. The people in the CIA shot are the Director of the CIA and the Deputy Directory of the CIA. The Doha people are the Chief negotiator for the US and staff."



 



 

 

While the criticism may seem valid at first, it is likely not the case. The people in the photos are likely high-level staff members, who are most likely to be administrative staff, rather than on-ground operatives. We can't identify exactly who they are, but it is certain they aren't covert operatives. If they were, they wouldn't appear on a video call, much less in a public photo shot by a White House staffer. There are usually a lot of protocols in place for a photo like this, so it is highly unlikely that the White House would have "outed" the CIA, without their approval first. 

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