Dead Drop: February 5

TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW: When it comes to Intelligence Community officials briefing senior policy makers – some of the toughest times reportedly come when the “briefee” is already well up-to-speed on the subject matter and they can’t be dazzled by B.S.  Perhaps that is why the Director of National Intelligence has selected the highly-experienced Morgan Muir to conduct Presidential Daily Briefs for highly-experienced Joe Biden. President Biden received daily PDBs during the eight years of the Obama administration and was on the receiving end of countless intelligence briefings during his 36 years as a Senator. So, Avril Haines picked Muir who, according to The New York Times, briefed President George W. Bush for three years. Michael Morell, who was the PDB briefer for Bush on 9/11, calls Muir “…the best analyst in the intelligence community” and “…the best briefer in the intelligence community.” No pressure, Morgan.  Don’t screw this up.

STATE OF AFFAIRS: According to Axios, the Biden administration is signaling plans to reward fewer big donors with sweet ambassador seats than was done in the recent past. There will still be some plumbs to donors handed out, of course, and there will be slots given to political allies – who may or may not have deep pockets. But the expectation is that the Biden administration will give 30% of the ambassadorial assignments to non-career diplomats. President Trump gave about 44% of embassy gigs to friends and donors.

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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