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Silver Lining

Jeff Stein provides a little more detail on this tragic, potentially dangerous case.

The CIA officer arrested for credit card fraud worked in the spy agency's most sensitive seventh floor executive suite and had previously been a CIA station chief in an American embassy, reliable sources tell me.

The new details paint a portrait of Steven J. Levan as a far more important official at the agency than previously reported.

As recently as last summer, "he was sitting on the 7th floor as a key aide," said a former CIA official. "Before that he was a chief of station," or top CIA representative, in an unidentified foreign country.

The way agencies pick rising stars notwithstanding, we should be thankful that the mechanisms used to detect his fraud worked (at least to a certain extent). A damage assessment is necessary of course, but we should be considering ourselves lucky that - as far as we know now - he didn't get a chance to sell out his country.

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