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(CNN) – It was supposed to be a trip shrouded in secrecy.
Instead, President Barack Obama's brief and unannounced visit to soldiers in Afghanistan - the commander-in-chief spent a little more than four hours in the country Sunday - was bookended by the White House unwittingly leaking the identity of the CIA's top spy in Kabul.
A reporter for the Washington Post distributed a list of 15 top national security officials, including National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.S> Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, who participated in a military briefing with President Obama during his surprise visit.
The list of names inadvertently identified the "Chief of Station" in Afghanistan - intelligence community parlance for the American spy's agency top covert operative in the country.
The list was sent to the official "press pool" list, landing the spy's name in the inbox of as many as 6,000 members of the media.