Thursday, May 05, 2011

Tomason again

Well, Wikipedia now has an article on Audrey Tomason, which I didn't write, and which says that she "is suspected" of being the Masri analyst, without however providing any citation for that claim. So let's see what happens with that.

... Ah, the article's creator is a Brit, and this humble blog seems to be quoted in the Daily Mail.
An internet blogger called Thus Blogged Anderson attributes Ms Tomason as the woman who was referred to in a story about a counterterrorism analyst who kept the German citizen Khalid al-Masri locked up for weeks because she had 'a gut feeling he was bad'.

The woman, who they referred to as Frances on request of the CIA because her first name was 'too unusual', was reported on this year as someone who 'regularly briefs Panetta'.

The article by the Associated Press said this about Frances, who Thus Blogged Anderson believes is Ms Tomason: '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.
They also quote someone who knows what he's talking about:
Michael Barrett, a national security expert and principal at strategy firm Diligent Innovations, suggests that the photograph outed a sensitive national security employee.

He said: 'You can make a reasonable deduction that she's a member of the intelligence community. Is that a story [the White House] wants to put out there in public? The fact that we can see her face could potentially jeopardize her career.'
Ah, no. The fact that the White House released her name could, though. What was wrong with "unidentified person"?

... What *other* kind of blogger is there than "internet blogger"?

... Salon picks up on the Tomason Wikipedia article, "based on an unverified blog post published Wednesday that shakily equated Tomason with 'Frances,' the 'counterterrorism analyst' cited in this AP piece about the 2003 kidnapping of Khaled el-Masri." Sounds about right, except for the article's failure to cite that shaky blog post.

... Wikipedia has now scrubbed the article of its assumption that Tomason = Frances, which on the current state of facts seems entirely proper. I'm still guessing it's she, but it remains just that, a guess.

... To clarify a point from the previous Tomason post: "Frances" was in charge of one of the units tasked specifically with tracking down OBL and similar worthies. She personally briefed Panetta. It would be, on first sight at least, odd if she were *not* in the Situation Room during the OBL raid. So, if Tomason isn't "Frances" ... then where was Frances?

... Sullivan posts the front page of a Hasidic newspaper that photoshopped not only Tomason, but Hillary Clinton, out of the photograph. Creepy. "Could be sexually suggestive." Granted, considering the asshole commenters at the Daily Beast's "mystery woman" article, they aren't far wrong, but the fault lies with the men doing the suggesting.


  1. I used to have one -- the standards are almost that low. Mine was deleted after a debate about whether I was famous enough.

  2. Don't worry, when TBApedia is compiled, yours will be a prominent entry.

    ... I think the Wikipedia article on Tomason should be deleted, because one blog post with some educated guesses sounds like pretty thin sourcing to me.

  3. They still have some linked references to me in other articles, though, which, when clicked, lead to a century-older photographer of the same name.

  4. That will confuse the hell out of some freshman writing a term paper one day.

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