Dead Drop: March 12

CRUZ TO NOWHERE: Last week’s Dead Drop noted that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously approved Ambassador Bill Burns’ nomination to be the next Director of the CIA. At the time, it appeared the full Senate would endorse that soon.  “Not so fast” says Senator Ted Cruz (R) Cancun, who took advantage of the power that Senators have allowing them to block nominations going to the floor. Cruz took to Twitter to explain that he would “…release my hold when the Biden admin meets its legal obligation to report and sanction the ships and companies building Putin’s pipeline.” What does the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have to do with Burns?  Beats us.

GETTING INTO THE GAME:  The Defense Department has been earning some negative ink lately about some of their former (and perhaps current) personnel having been involved in the January 6th unpleasantness on Capitol Hill and related matters. Apparently, the State Department didn’t want to be left out and have essentially said: “Hold my beer” (or perhaps “Hold my martini” would be more appropriate.) Diplopundit counted three Foggybottom denizens who have run afoul of the law lately.  A Trump administration political appointee to State (with a TS security clearance) was recently arrested for taking part in the January 6th insurrection. In a court appearance, he complained to the Judge about the cockroaches in his detention cell but remains incarcerated. A career State official was reportedly removed from his role as a diplomatic security official in Afghanistan after declaring on Facebook that the November 2020 election meant “death to America” and making racist comments about then Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. And then there was a foreign service officer who reportedly may be under investigation for posting on social media sites that white people face “elimination,” and complaining about the Black Lives Matter movement and kvetching that “Jews killed Christ.”

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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