Dead Drop: October 21

YOUTUBE’S BONEHEADED MOVE:  Faithful readers of The Dead Drop know how highly we regard the work of Julia Davis, who watches Russian TV and posts brief clips with translations that expose the lunacy and evil spouted by the Kremlin’s favorite talking heads.  She is a columnist for The Daily Beast and her gems have been featured in The Dead Drop more than a dozen times. So, we were shocked to see her tweet this week that YouTube took down 60 of her videos for “violating community guidelines.”  No explanation of what that means – but stopping a journalist from exposing Russian propaganda – and providing insight into what Putin’s publicists are promulgating makes no sense. YouTube’s actions are exactly the opposite of what it should be doing.  Don’t just take that from us. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former president of Estonia (and current TCB expert) reacted to the news by calling YouTube’s move in a tweet “utterly shameful.”  Another TCB expert, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral Jim Stavridis, expressed astonishment as well saying: “This is awful. Did Elon Musk buy YouTube too?” On Wednesday afternoon Davis tweeted her thanks for all who supported her and said she had recently heard back from YouTube and “things should be worked out soon.

VET YOUR CANDIDATE:  Well, the uniformed services may be having trouble recruiting and retaining personnel, but you know where are lot of experienced servicemen and women are going? Into politics.  Military Times reports that there are more veterans running for Congress this cycle than in any election since 2012.  Considering how few members of Congress in recent years had military experience – this seems like a notable trend.  There were only 91 members of Congress in January 2020 with military service. Almost 200 veterans won major party primaries and are contesting elections for Congress in the 2022 midterms, according to the report. Of course, competing and winning are two different things. Of the vets running this time around 126 are running as Republicans and 66 as Democrats.  Among the Vets vying for office, 17 are women, 58 joined up after January 1, 2000, 90 were in the Army (the most of any service) and in 16 races two veterans are facing each other. We haven’t seen an accounting of the number of (non-military) intelligence community veterans running in 2022 but recent figures suggest that may be a growing cohort as well.

“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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