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.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.
In the nascent war on terrorism, Frances and her team were essential and had racked up successes.
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.
Audrey F. Tomason ProfileOkay, that's her until someone tells me it isn't.
Director for Counterterrorism, Executive Office of the President
... 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.