Last month, the New York Times incredibly posted the name of the Central Intelligence Agency’s, (CIA) top operative overseeing the agency’s efforts in Iran. The Times justified its outing of this undercover and career CIA agent and his role within the agency by saying it was necessary since the agent is “leading an important new administration initiative against Iran.”

Does this sound remotely correct, even in today’s skewed view of journalistic integrity? And yet very little is being said about what is a clear-cut case of endangering this man’s life as well as his family’s.

The CIA goes to great lengths to protect their people’s identities from unauthorized disclosure. And for a very good reason. Outing the undercover agent as the New York Times did immediately puts his or her life in danger and blows the lid on whatever cover operation he was operating under.

The Times stated that despite the CIA’s request not to publish the name, editors decided to publish because the individual is “a senior official who runs operations from Langley, not out in the field. He is the architect of the drone program, one of the government’s most significant paramilitary programs. The American public has a right to know who is making life-or-death decisions in its name.”