Dead Drop: October 26

OH, SO SOCIAL SEASON:  The annual OSS Society dinner was held in Washington on October 21, and by all accounts, a smashing time was had.  According to the Washington Times “Each guest received a complimentary crystal martini glass, and the official libation of the night was the “Fighting 69th Regimental Cocktail” consisting of “one-part Irish whiskey and three-parts chilled champagne.” The dinner menu of seared scallops, beef tenderloin and passion fruit savarin all came from recipes created by OSS Veteran Julia Child. The Times says: “the evening ended with the presentation of the William J. Donovan Award to CIA Director Gina Haspel, whose acceptance speech was punctuated by several standing ovations — and moments of hushed, close attention.”

CROWDED ISLAND: A forthcoming study by the Henry Jackson Society think tank, reported in The Times newspaper of London, says that Russia now has “up to 200 intelligence officers in Britain, more than five times as many as during the Cold War.”  And that is just the trained intelligence officers.  According to the study, there are “at least 500 agents who provide information” to the Russians. Looks like the 23 suspected intelligence officers the Brits threw out of the country after the botched attack on Sergei Skripal only put a small dent in Team Putin. The Times quotes Oleg Gordievsky, the MI6 double agent who ran the KGB station in London in 1985, as saying there were only 39 Soviet intelligence officers in the UK at the time, made up of both KGB and GRU (Russian Military intelligence) assets.

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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