Dead Drop: December 31

FAMILY AFFAIR:  On December 22, the Turkish news site “Daily Sabah” (which is said to be closely aligned with the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) reported that a U.S. diplomat had been arrested in Istanbul for allegedly giving a fake passport to a Syrian national in exchange for $10,000. The incident supposedly happened five weeks prior. Then on December 23, Daily Sabah updated their story with a statement from the U.S. State Department saying: “We are aware of the detention of a U.S. citizen in Turkey. The individual is not a U.S. diplomat. We are providing appropriate consular services.” The State Department official reportedly gave no further details. Then the Hurriyet Daily News one-upped Daily Sabah by publishing a picture of the passport of the U.S. citizen. The passport holder’s name is blurred – but not the part that says: “The Bearer is a Member of the Family of” (we’re leaving the name out) “abroad on a Diplomatic Assignment for the United States Government.” The recipient of the alleged fake passport was reportedly also arrested, but unlike the American, that person has been released awaiting trial.

NOT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Lawyers for Dianna Toebbe, the woman charged along with her husband, of attempting to sell U.S. nuclear submarine secrets to some unidentified foreign nation, filed a motion last week for her to be released from jail while awaiting trial. Her lawyers claim she is not a flight risk because she has two school-aged children at home. No doubt, Ms.Toebbe wants to get out to be able to make the kids their favorite peanut butter sandwiches. At last report, prosecutors had not responded to the motion.

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