Dead Drop: July 2

CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?  The Dead Drop is old enough to remember when conservative politicians and media were the biggest defenders of the national defense establishment.  But those days are gone (for the moment at least.) Last week, Tucker Carlson, whose show on Fox News consistently scores enormous ratings, is worked up about perceived “wokeness” so he called the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, “a pig” and “stupid.” Milley’s offense, apparently, was not condemning the curricula for an elective course at the U.S. Military Academy.  This did not go down well with a lot of people.  For example, Cipher Brief Expert, retired Navy Admiral Jim Stavridis tweeted that he would bet on his friend Milley (a Princeton grad and former varsity hockey player) in a bar fight or IQ test with any of his recent critics. A number of veterans, including Cipher Brief Expert General Michael Hayden expressed unhappiness on learning that the insurance company favored by a vast majority of military personnel, USAA, is a regular advertiser on Carlson’s show. USAA is faced with a dilemma – pull their ads and please Carlson’s critics – or keep them because there are undoubtedly a large number of vets who are Carlson fans.  The company reportedly has been telling those who question them that they reach their members by advertising on “a variety of channels.” Anti “stupid pig” and pro, we guess. For our money – USAA has some explaining to do.  By which we mean their ubiquitous advertising slogan: “What you’re made of, we’re made for.” What does that mean, exactly? It’s one of those things that seems to make sense – until you think about it.

TUCKER: NSA IS WATCHING ME:  Taking on General Milley apparently wasn’t enough, so Tucker Carlson earlier this week, accused the National Security Agency of spying on him.  He said on Monday that a ‘whistleblower’ within the US government told him that the NSA was monitoring his “…electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.” Carlson said he has filed a FOIA request with the government – so we feel confident that – that should get to the bottom of it (in ten or fifteen years.) NSA took the highly unusual step though, of responding to the charge saying “This allegation is untrue. Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the Agency and the NSA has never had any plans to try to take his program off the air.” They added that NSA has a foreign intelligence mission and cannot legally target a U.S. citizen without a court order that explicitly authorized the targeting. Carlson isn’t buying it, however, calling NSA’s statement “infuriatingly dishonest.”  Is it TV ratings season?  Asking for a friend.

\”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 No.

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