Dead Drop: February 21

DN-WHY? A lot of people were surprised by President Trump’s announcement Wednesday that he was naming Richard Grenell to be the latest acting Director of National Intelligence. Although Grenell has spent some time reading intelligence, both in his current post as U.S. ambassador to Germany and previous gig as U.S. U.N. mission spokesman, he doesn’t seem to have any experience collecting or analyzing intelligence – unlike most of his predecessors who spent decades doing so. While the DNI assignment is a surprise, The Dead Drop reported in December that we were hearing Grenell’s name as a possible Secretary of State nominee if Mike Pompeo elected to go back to Kansas to run for the Senate, so we knew his name was on POTUS’ radar.

RED DAWN:  Dead Drop readers from a certain generation may remember a 1980s movie called “Red Dawn” about a Soviet takeover of the United States.  Fast forward, and radio listeners in Kansas City could be forgiven if they turn on their radios and think they have woken up in the middle of a sequel to that movie. (Actually, there was a sequel made in 2012 but no one saw it.)  According to The New York Times  this past January, “Radio Sputnik, a propaganda arm of the Russian government” began broadcasting on three local stations during drive time. The Sputnik talk radio chatter is not unlike that which you might hear on U.S.-operated stations – except that is almost always finds a way to put a negative spin on things.  For example, according to the Times, a recent show was introduced as coming “live from Washington, D.C., capital of the divided states of America.” The owner of the Midwest radio stations electing to air the Putin propaganda says he liked what he heard during a trial run last year – and besides, he is getting paid.

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