March 4

TRUMP THIS: A group of more than 100 national security experts signed an open letter this week pledging to work “energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office” of president as Donald Trump. There are a lot of familiar names in the group – people who describe themselves as representing a “broad spectrum of opinion” from the Republican party. Late last week, Trump announced that Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL) would be Chairman of his National Security Advisory Committee.  The announcement from his campaign said that Trump “will continue to announce members of his National Security Advisory Committee…over the next few weeks.” At this writing, no additional names have emerged.  The Dead Drop is very interested in who will be on that list.  If you hear some before the announcement…drop us a note. Marco Rubio released his National Security Advisory Council on Monday (with a fair number of names overlapping from the open letter bashing Trump).

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION:  White House Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco announced in a speech earlier this week that soon the administration would release their count of combatant and non-combatant casualties resulting from drone strikes outside of major war zones since 2009.  The Dead Drop applauds this step to bolster “transparency.” But we can’t help but wonder how long the government will continue to pretend that the name of “the Agency” responsible for many of the strikes is still classified. When certain strikes occur, the Pentagon will quickly tell you, “that wasn’t us!”  We guess you are just supposed to assume terrorists (and those standing near them) periodically explode through magic.

STOLEN SECRET VALOR: What is it that makes some people want to (falsely) brag about being former secret agents?  There were a number of recent examples.  The New York Times Magazine had a very long article on the efforts by real former CIA officers to try to prove that ex-Fox News analyst Wayne Simmons was a fraud. While Simmons may be the most prominent recent example, he is by no means alone.  Floating around on Facebook this week is a video of a poor soul wearing a mix of military uniforms with every insignia and warfare device known to man affixed to it. In the video, our “hero” flashes a badge saying he is a special agent in CIA’s “S.A.D. Unit 7.”  Sad, indeed. But not everyone makes up stuff about themselves. Some get help. The Buffalo News this week ran a story about Michael Caputo, a controversial local radio host.  The newspaper says someone is circulating a bogus “Top Secret” CIA document trashing Caputo.   According to the report: “From mid-November to late December, a nameless source presenting himself as an American intelligence officer in Belgium, sent more than 100 private messages through Twitter, culminating in the “leak” of a detailed “top secret” document”… alleging “that Caputo was a 20-year covert CIA agent who was forced into retirement after defying orders.”  Caputo claims he wasn’t a rogue spy.

PORN TO RUN. Esquire Magazine reports this week that the CIA is the target of yet another Freedom of Information lawsuit.  This one, filed by Judicial Watch, demands that the Agency release a large stash of pornography Osama bin Laden had hidden under his mattress or somewhere at Abbottabad.  Many documents taken in the raid that killed bin Laden in 2011 have been declassified and released—but not the photos and videos.  Perhaps the folks working on declassification treat it like Playboy and only read the material for the articles. At a minimum, The Dead Drop thinks the government should release the titles to give the public a better idea of what made OBL tick.  What was he binge-watching?  Inquiring minds want to know.

SERVICE THE DEAD DROP: OK, admit it.  You have been secretly enjoying some of the nuggets stashed in The Dead Drop for the past few months, but what have you contributed? Isn’t it time that you share one of those juicy little tidbits – or ironic observations you’ve been hoarding?  Send us your tips to [email protected]