Dead Drop: December 6

FOGGY BOTTOM JOBS REPORT: All administrations like to brag that they are creating new jobs.  But a story this week in GQ details how lots of job openings are being created in the foreign service. And that is not a good thing. According to the story “What had started as a trickle of people leaving [the State Department] at the highest levels—often, people who were close to retirement—has turned into a flood of mid-career and junior officers heading for the door.” Julia Ioffe writes “In the first two years of Trump’s presidency, nearly half of the State Department’s Career Ministers retired or were pushed out. Another 20 percent of its Minister Counselors, one rank level down, also left.” Recruitment is also off. In 2009, about 21,000 people took the test to join the foreign service. Today the number is less than half of that.

PROBABLY THE BEST MUSEUM YOU WILL NEVER SEE: Washington’s WJLA-TV was recently invited to CIA headquarters to tour the Agency’s museum – an attraction that tourists cannot get into.  The segment focused on things like bin Laden’s assault rifle and a brick from the al Qaeda leader’s Abbottabad compound. We enjoyed the virtual tour but The Dead Drop is trying to not take offense at a comment from Janelle Neises, the museum’s deputy directory who said: “When you make a dead drop, you want to make sure that it’s either something that no one would notice — that it would just blend in with its surroundings — or it’s so disgusting that no one would ever pick it up.”

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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