Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Audrey Tomason -- the woman who kept al-Masri locked up? UPDATED

A "mystery woman" appears in the published photos of Obama's entourage in the White House situation room during the Obama raid: one Audrey Tomason, "director for counterterrorism," whatever that means.

Could she be the woman who headed the Al-Qaeda Unit and kept that German citizen Khalid al-Masri locked up for weeks because she had "a gut feeling he was bad"? Who was reported this year as someone who "regularly briefs Panetta"?

... If it wasn't sufficiently obvious that this is a wild-assed guess, let me spell that out. Google doesn't show any connection, other than this blog post (man, it's a little scary how fast the Google is).

... The AP article our earlier post was based on provides some details:
At the Counterterrorism Center, some had doubts that el-Masri was a terrorist, current and former U.S. officials said. But Frances, a counterterrorism analyst with no field experience, pushed ahead. She supported el-Masri's rendition — in which the CIA snatches someone and takes him to another country. The AP agreed to the CIA's request to refer to Frances by her middle name because her first is unusual.
Assuming that to be true, then Tomason's middle name would be either dispositive or good as dispositive. (Is "Audrey" unusual?)
Even before the el-Masri case, station chiefs had complained to top CIA officials raising concerns about Frances' operational judgment. But she was one of the few analysts who had a deep knowledge of al-Qaida before 9/11, working in a former unit known as Alec Station created to track down Osama bin Laden.

In the nascent war on terrorism, Frances and her team were essential and had racked up successes.
Which, to be fair, is important. Fucking up on el-Masri could be outweighed by some really good stuff we can't know about. Maybe.
Frances now runs the CIA's Global Jihad unit, the counterterrorism squad dedicated to hunting down al-Qaida worldwide. She regularly briefs Panetta, making her an influential voice in Obama's intelligence circle.
Certainly sounds like someone who'd be in the Situation Room.

... BINGO:
Audrey F. Tomason Profile

Director for Counterterrorism, Executive Office of the President
Okay, that's her until someone tells me it isn't.

... Details on development of story as of 5/5/11 here. Basically, a UK newspaper article and a Wikipedia entry have been spun out of an anonymous, half-assed blog post. Weird.


  1. impressive. very impressive.
    now delete.

  2. Once on the internet, always on the internet, dear Anon.

  3. YourLiesHaveLiesFriday, May 06, 2011

    Your a smart guy Anderson.

  4. As my mother-in-law says, "if you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"

  5. Looks like a man in drag to me.

  6. So, you have some broad, not even 35, as National Director of Counterterrorism? Especially when there are dozens of agents with more years of field experience than she has being alive? It's like it is always said: "It's not what you know, it's who you blow".

  7. Well, I was skeptical, but the AP article said she'd done enough good work that she wasn't punished after the el-Masri fiasco ... and who knows what role she played in finding and nailing OBL?

    Not sure how meaningful her title is; could be translated as "creative vice-president for counterterrorism" for all I know

  8. ... Also, given the number of people talking off-the-record about her, I'd guess 10:15's resentments were shared by some colleagues. Plus I rather doubt that sexism has been scoured from the halls of the intel community.

    So maaaaaybe she got a bum rap on Masri. As with Bob Woodward's books, those who talk to the reporter are brilliant, those who don't are idiots.

  9. Everyone needs to read about Audrey Frances Thomason and her doctorial thesis "The Apocalypse Equation". It will tell you alot about this woman, whom I now call one of the most EVIL and dangerous.
    Go to this site to read it.

  10. See if this is the mystery lady:

  11. Looks like her to me.