Dead Drop: July 1

FOOD FIGHT AT THE AGENCY? The Dead Drop’s sources tell us that the contractor running the CIA cafeteria was recently changed.  The old vendor was SODEXO, an outfit that provides similar services for lots of government and non-government agencies around DC and beyond.  While SODEXO was rarely confused with the other CIA – the Culinary Institute of America – the new provider, according to our sources, is much worse. Some Agency eaters joke that the switch is a Russian plot to destroy the morale and health of CIA employees.  The Cipher Brief asked Agency spokesmen to explain the switch, but they declined.  Apparently, like the recipe for Colonel Sanders chicken– and the formula for Coke, who is cooking up what at the CIA must remain a secret. We haven’t even been able to come up with the name of the new vendor.  We’ll keep trying and will let you know when we are invited in for a taste test.

LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE: The Dead Drop hears that the semi-famous “28 pages” that were withheld from the 2002 Congressional Joint Inquiry looking into 9/11 are likely to be declassified and released – in the next few days. Dumping them out on the fringe of the 4th of July holiday might seem like an effort to minimize the impact of the pages – which reportedly address possible Saudi officials’ involvement in 9/11.  We hear the release will likely be accompanied by a written statement from the Director of National Intelligence.  But according to Dead Drop sources – the pages will be disappointing to many who think they contain a smoking gun.  While they may hint at some open questions for the FBI on pre-9/11 terror investigations – most of the issues are things subsequently investigated by the 9/11 Commission. Like the recently released House Benghazi report – expectations about the content may exceed reality.

HOLLYWOOD ON THE POTOMAC: Good to know that the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSCI) has fixed all the other problems with the Intelligence Community.  That must be the case, because The Dead Drop learned from VICE that the SSCI have turned their attention to stopping excessive IC cooperation with Hollywood. The Intelligence Authorization Act for 2017 demands that the Director of National Intelligence submit an annual report on how the CIA and other agencies interact with the entertainment industry. But the SSCI aren’t the only ones who suspect evil-doing in helping Hollywood. The Kremlin agrees, claiming that NETFLIX is part of a U.S. government plot to undermine Russian culture. No, really.  According to The Week, Vladimir Medinsky, Putin’s Culture Minister, speaking to a Russian news service, said the White House had realized “how to enter every home, creep into every television, and through that television, into the head of every person on earth, with the help of Netflix”.   Medinsky suggested this was all part of a CIA plot.

THE CLONE ARRANGERS: According to some, those folks at the CIA have been busy.  When not creeping into the heads of every person on earth, they have been accused of cloning a rapper from Atlanta, GA who goes by the name of “Gucci Mane.”  Seems Mr. Mane (whose true name: “Radric Delantic Davis,”) was recently released from prison where he was serving a year on weapons charges.  According to Buzz Feed, the internet has been active (in some circles) speculating that the man released is a fake Gucci – and that he had been cloned by the CIA.  No one has explained WHY the CIA would want to clone the Mane man – but perhaps it has something to do with creeping into the minds of folks.  Buzzfeed reports that a CIA spokesman provided something of a buzz kill by telling them that: “Internet rumors are not news and the Office of Public Affairs will not waste time on them.” Hey wait, did you notice that was a non-denial denial?  

WHAT A MEMORY: The Daily Beast recently reported that paroled Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, now living in New York, wants the feds to loosen up on him – specifically to stop monitoring his computer activity and unshackle him from a GPS monitor that keeps an eye on his movements.  According to The Daily Beast, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence objects – saying that Pollard could still do damage to U.S. national security if he leaked information he stole in the early 1980s.  The Dead Drop is a bit skeptical – since we can’t remember secrets people told us last week – but ya never know.

DEAD DROP PREDICTION: There is a very good chance that at least one — and perhaps both of the major parties nominate a surprise VP candidate — i.e. someone who is not among the usual suspects currently being bandied about. Why? What better way to jolt public perception and try to overcome the huge negatives that the presumptive standard bearers are saddled with.  Another reason to expect the unexpected?  Has ANYTHING about this election cycle gone according to plan, so far? The Dead Drop has no idea who Trump and Clinton will pick — but we have a sneaking suspicion that we will all end up surprised.  You heard it here first.

And if you hear any tidbits, just pass them along to us at: [email protected].  And don’t worry, who you are will remain a tightly held secret.