Dead Drop: March 20

OPEN FOR BUSINESS (SORTA): If you are like us, you are being bombarded by every restaurant, store, and hotel chain that ever captured your email address with notes assuring you that they are taking every precaution in regards to COVID-19, are wiping down every surface hourly, telling their friendly staff to high-five from six feet away and are proceeding with “an abundance of caution.”  Unlike many other parts of government, the Intelligence Community is not well-equipped to authorize “work from home.” We heard a rumor that in order to spread things out, the CIA is telling many of their headquarters staff to work one week and then spend the next week home.  Interesting times.

STAY CALM, WE ARE CARRYING ON: Along those same lines of “don’t worry, we’ve got this” – we hear from CIA retirees that they received an email this week from their old employer reassuring them that the Agency “continues to execute on our critical mission while prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our employees.”  The message was nice — but largely unnecessary according to one Agency alum with whom we spoke.  However, some folks found it odd that the email opened with: “Under the leadership of D/CIA Haspel, DD/CIA Bishop and COO Makridis the Agency continues…”   One person told us “I haven’t heard that level of self-praise since the last televised cabinet meeting.”

“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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