Dead Drop: February 11

STATECRAFT LEAKERS?  Politico carried a recent story with the headline: “Spy world wary as Biden team keeps leaking Russia intel” which quoted an unnamed “former CIA officer with expertise on Russia” kvetching that the administration is showing too much leg in warning about Putin’s plans for Ukraine. General Michael Hayden, former CIA and NSA Director (with a ton of expertise on Russia) disagrees. Hayden noted that sharing with the public more information derived from intelligence is something he has advocated for years. A current (unnamed) senior intelligence official is also quoted in the piece stressing that the information coming out is not ‘leaks’ saying, “The cost-benefit analysis has so far weighed in favor of sharing as much as feasible given what’s at stake.” Among those who don’t think that too much intelligence is being put out – is Associated Press State Department correspondent Matt Lee who engaged in a very testy exchange with Foggy Bottom spokesman Ned Price last week. Lee demanded proof of the administration’s allegations that the Russians may be planning a false flag operation in Ukraine and was definitely not satisfied with a “we can’t say due to sources and methods” response. You can’t please everyone. (Or these days – almost anyone.)

STARSHIP TROOPERS:  Last week’s Dead Drop mentioned that some airline ticket clerks had not heard of the U.S. Space Force.  It seems to us like it’s not too big of an ask to not only hear the occasional “thank for your service” – but to also have fellow citizens know that your service exists.  But some Space Force Guardians might be setting their expectations too high. says that Bill Woolf, the head of the “Space Force Association,” (which admittedly we didn’t know existed) is complaining that states that host Space Force bases do not yet offer special vehicle license plates commemorating the fledgling service. These special plates can be useful to show your pride in your service – and, with luck, help you get out of a speeding ticket if the cop who stops you likes vets. But be patient Guardians.  We are pretty sure the Army, Navy and Marine Corps were around for a couple hundred years before they got specialty plates.

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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