Dead Drop: September 27

UNIMPEACHABLE SOURCES:  Current and former intelligence officials tell us they have been getting lots of phone calls from members of the media in recent days trying to figure out who the mystery whistleblower is whose complaint about the president’s phone call with the Ukrainian leader launched an impeachment inquiry. Journalists have two things going against them in the search according to one CIA veteran we talked with, who said he and his friends are getting inundated with calls. “First, we are pretty good – and pretty serious about protecting sources,” he said.  “And second – no one I know has a clue about who the whistleblower is.”  Unfortunately, the media likely knows enough about them that it’s only a matter of time before the name comes out (perhaps by the time you read this).  When it does – look for the person behind the complaint to be raised to sainthood by one sector of society – and demonized by the other.  And more importantly, look to the media for their reasoning behind exposing the person’s identity (other than enhancing their own bottom lines with headline clicks).  It will surely make the ‘anonymous’ whistleblower protection a non-starter in the future.  And since we’re asking questions, the next one should be: ‘how will this damage future national security?’

NON-CAREER ENHANCING OPPORTUNITIES: For government officials, expert in things like foreign policy, defense and intelligence – service on the National Security Council staff has long been considered a golden ticket leading to career success. But perhaps no more. NPR says that recently “some of the government’s brightest minds are turning down high-powered NSC assignments” for fear such service will taint them.

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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