Dead Drop: October 29

CHECK YOUR SOURCES/DIVERSITY OF OPINIONS: On Wednesday October 27, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) held an open hearing with the Director of National Intelligence, CIA Director, and other IC leaders on “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in the Intelligence Community.”  We were pleased to hear Congressman Mike Quigley read a lengthy excerpt from an opinion piece in The Cipher Brief (though he failed to mention his source) titled, “How Immigration Makes the CIA Better at its Job.” The piece was penned by TCB expert and former Agency station chief Daniel Hoffman. You can catch that portion of the hearing here – along with CIA Director Bill Burns’ agreement with and praise of Hoffman. Taking a noticeably different approach, Rep. Devin Nunes said in his remarks that the IC’s focus on diversity was all wrong. “Unfortunately, we can’t counter a hypersonic missile launch [by China] with better pronoun usage,” he said. “And a deeper understanding of White rage won’t rescue Americans stranded in Afghanistan. As we learned in Afghanistan, America is not unbeatable.”

SECRETS OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS:  Back in July, we heard that former CIA Director Gina Haspel had gotten a post-government gig with the law firm King & Spalding. But the details were kind of obscure.  Now the firm has put out word on what Haspel will be doing for them.  According to, Haspel will be advising the world’s ultra-wealthy on how to avoid risk. The firm’s risk-advisory service will work with banks and institutions “to help clients assess risk to family wealth from such issues as countries of origin, regulations and cryptocurrencies.”  And just like at CIA, Haspel will be surrounded by a team of experts. King & Spalding partners Zack Harmon and Sally Yates, the former U.S. deputy attorney general, will also be on the team. Former Credit Suisse Group AG Chairman Urs Rohner, Peter Charrington, ex-global head of Citigroup Inc.’s private bank, and former Merrill Lynch banker Allen Vine will serve as advisers, according to a spokesman. “Global family offices, entrepreneurs, and business leaders face unprecedented challenges stemming from an expanding range of risks,” King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays said in a statement. Somehow, we figure these billionaires will find a way to soldier on.

“The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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