Read this: "In two separate incidents, however, colleagues told me that a senior State official opposed candidates for leadership positions—myself and an African-American female officer—on the basis that we would not pass the “Breitbart test.”"
"In 2017, as the media ran out of synonyms for “implosion” in describing Rex Tillerson’s tenure as secretary of state, a quieter trend unfolded in parallel: the exclusion of minorities from top leadership positions in the State Department and embassies abroad."
Republicans talk about this part of the US like PR is some kind of disappearing island that's only visible during a blood moon every century, only after you've found three mysterious amulets. Sure doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in their ability to effectively govern.
"It's no one's fault, really. The amulets were extremely well-hidden and we just couldn't find the third one in time to make the ritual sacrifice needed to see this mysterious island and deliver the aid we totally had ready otherwise."
"I mean, we made it to the cave of the third amulet. I assembled my very best team to get it--Lara Croft, Indiana Jones, Veronica Mars. But there was this Hillary Clinton-shaped demigod at the entrance. In other words, 3k people didn't die, but if they did, Clinton is to blame."
"Based on a recent draft of the order reviewed by the U.S. official, it will require any federal agency aware of election interference by foreigners to take the information to the office of Director of National Intelligence."
"Election interference will be defined in the order as hacking attempts against “election infrastructure,” and efforts to sway public opinion through coordinated digital propaganda or systematic leaks of private political information."
"The order represents the latest in a series of Trump administration efforts to look tough on election security before voting in November that will decide whether Trump’s Republican Party can keep its majorities in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate."
Like the rest of you, I've been thinking a lot about the op-ed & this Trump tweet encapsulates my biggest concern about it. The op-ed fans the flames of "the war" Trump believes he's waging against our institutions. Anyone who tries to hold him back now will be labeled a traitor.
I'm speculating just like everyone else when I say this, but I don't think the op-ed was written by anyone in the inner circle. More likely a Assistant/Director of some such at the NSC. But this piece has made it infinitely more difficult for that inner circle to rein Trump in.
Yes, the message of the op-ed is a big deal (though it mostly confirms what has already been reported during the last year)--everyone around Trump knows he is unfit and dangerous, but they're keeping him around to pursue their policy agenda. It's appalling on every level.
"The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works w/ him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making. Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity" for conservative ideals.
"It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.
Time to gush. As a kid, I never found a single book with a main character in a wheelchair like me. As an adult, I've found far more books w/ harmful disability rep than accurate/positive rep. Unbroken is made up of stories about disabled MCs & all are written by disabled authors.
I wanted to work for the CIA after seeing my first James Bond movie, but I thought it was impossible. I'm certain I wouldn't have if I had read books/seen movies that showed otherwise. It's so important to show disabled people as heroes, spies, and every day people bc WE ARE.
Conversely, imagine what it does to a young adult when every character that is like them commits suicide bc they determine their life isn't worth living. Unbroken is going to change lives. Please pre-order Unbroken now!
Kavanaugh's hearing started. As a political scientist/former intel officer, it's hard to believe we're here after all the evidence of corruption under this amin. Cue the replies telling me this is how it is now in the US. And that's actually what I want tweet about this AM. (1/)
There's a serious danger to simply accepting what's happening as the new normal. I can't overstate it. To be honest, I think it gives some a feeling of intellectual superiority. THEY see what we've really turned into whereas the rest of us are naive for being outraged. (2/)
Not even two years in, and I'd wager a significant portion of the Left and Center are at this point mentally. And, as someone who covered authoritarian regimes for a time, that is terrifying. Authoritarian regimes don't come to power on their own. (3/)
My home Congressional race has been targeted by trolls/bots & hackers. Dozens of fake FB accounts popped up impersonating known volunteers for the Dem. candidate. Thousands of Twitter bots & alt-right accounts have tweeted the same tweets word-for-word in seconds of each other.
They've made fake news articles against the Dem candidate go viral in a matter of seconds. It has been a stunning thing to watch. Our adversaries are hard at work.
I should add this is in a district considered safely R, yet the trolls are not taking any chances. No one should assume they're only targeting close races. The incumbent is a staunch advocate of ending the Mueller investigation.
I'm the least fun person to watch spy movies with. I giggle & point out all the things they get wrong. So, while the world is celebrating the Veronica Mars reboot, I'm already rolling my eyes (though I do love KB!). But I get that the world is terrible, so keep celebrating!
Whenever there's no analyst, I'm like, "Where's the analyst?" But whenever there IS an analyst, they're usually jumping from helicopters or blowing things up and I'm like, "No analyst, no. Please stop."
I suppose I should confess at this point that I am in fact writing a novel about espionage. But, to my credit, there will be no guns made out of a flute or the scaling on skyscrapers in Dubai.
Twitter tip for fighting fake news on the left. Watch out for people (non-journalists) who tweet BREAKING and then follow it with something that looks like a "news" headlines but don't actually link news articles. Here are three big reasons why: (1/4)
1. Often, these people are trying to make themselves look like the news to get more followers. They are NOT the news and they are not the source of that "breaking" update. What they offer is hot takes/commentary/ analysis. (I include myself in this - I too am not the news.) (2/4)
2. These people will often sensationalize the news item from which they are drawing, cherry-picking the juiciest bits to get RTs/ follows & losing any accuracy their tweet might have had in the process. With no link to the source, you can't verify the content for yourself. (3/4)
Before Trump came onto the scene, domestic politics was an off-limits topic for us at CIA. We might have discussed Congressional budget decisions that affected our spending or hiring, but that was really it. But I don’t recall having a single partisan discussion otherwise.(1/)
When he became the nominee and through the election, people couldn’t stop talking about it. They were all whispered conversations, but they were happening and there was a reason for it. (2/)
Many of us spent careers watching personalities like his come into power in other countries and absolutely run their countries into the ground. People were terrified it could happen here. (3/)
The public outcry over the "Space Force" is a good example of why context matters & the importance of more than a headline. Space security is already an issue & the USAF has long worked to defend US space assets. The real issue from this former military analyst is this: (1/)
Much like authoritarian leaders overseas who purchase shiny new military toys bc it looks impressive rather than to fill an actual capability gap, Trump is pushing to augment existing space capabilities bc it looks exciting, not bc he understands our threats or capabilities. (2/)
This may seem like a small nuance and certainly speaking out against bad policies to your elected representatives is very important. But the nuance matters here in how credibly they will take your complaint. Make sure you're shouting about the right thing. (3/3)
1. "Assad has vowed to retake the province, and pro-government media promise the “mother of all battles. If it comes to an all-out assault, it could bring a humanitarian crisis." apnews.com/d6995f7b273e4e…
2. Emmerson Mnangagwa...appealed for peace and promised an independent investigation into the military after six people were killed in post-election violence."
THREAD. Many don't know it, but it's legal to pay people w/ disabilities below minimum wage under the guise of "giving" them employment through sheltered workshops. Obama was pushing for integrated work, but lobbyists/Trump are now trying to roll it back.
Much like how they tried to cloak the horrors of HR 620 (the rolling back of rights granted by the ADA) by naming the bill something positive, so too have they mislabeled this legislation the "Workplace Choice and Flexibility for Individuals with Disabilities Act".
When I was a teen, I went to a new doctor and he suggested working at a sheltered workshop making boxes would provide me with "life purpose," even though he knew nothing about me. I went on to get a BA and MA and work for the CIA. And I never went back to that doctor again.
"Poland did not send a brigade to fight in the ill-conceived war in Iraq out of fear of weapons of mass destruction. We didn't send another brigade to Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks bc we feared that the Taliban will come to Warsaw and enslave our girls."
"I did not sign the agreement for a U.S. missile defense system site on Polish soil because I feared that Iran might attack us. We don't buy F-16s from Lockheed Martin, airliners from Boeing or missiles from Raytheon bc they are necessarily better than European alternatives."
For those saying CIA Director Haspel should have made a comment response to the summit, it is extremely likely that she coordinated on the DNI's statement. Under the organization of the IC, if any statement was going to be made, it was rightly done under the DNI.
Additionally, the IC is meant to be apolitical. That means there are right and wrong ways for them to speak out. Every time intel officials have said clearly that the IC assesses Russia interfered (which has been often), that is them speaking out.
The IC's job is to lay out their analysis, which they have done more publicly about Russia than any topic I've seen before. Don't take public silence as private silence. For the most part, you'll never see their pushback bc it's happening behind closed doors, but it's happening.
Intelligence Community Assessment, 6 January 2017. Key Judgments:
"Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order..." (1/)
"... but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations." (2/)
"We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, & harm her electability and potential presidency."(3/)
Tomorrow, our president is meeting with the man who "ordered an influence campaign…to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.” (IC ICA). Everyone must SCREAM at their electeds tomorrow.
“Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with…the election” like the “primary campaigns, think tanks, and lobbying groups they viewed as likely to shape future US policies.” (IC ICA)
If you are repped by Republicans, CALL. If you are repped by Dems, CALL. Here's the number for the Capitol Switchboard that will connect you to your reps: (202) 224-3121. #icalledmyreps
"The problem... is that the Constitution designed our government to have checks & balances—& they have failed under the Republican Party’s failure to hold President Trump accountable. As a CIA analyst, she would have flagged this." Well said, @nadabakos. rawstory.com/2018/07/cia-an…
This is why I grit my teeth every time ppl says they'll "fight" until Congress flips and/or there's a Dem President. Our institutions weren't made weak yesterday. It took decades of Americans ignoring things as politicians chipped away at things like accountability measures.
People yawn at topics like campaign finance laws, but we essentially have a system now where lobbyists and corporations can buy our elected officials' votes.
Also worth noting that one of the reasons allied military capabilities have been degraded over time is because we used every point of political pressure in our diplomatic "arsenal" to cajole them into conducting expensive combat and/or training ops in Afghanistan for YEARS.
This will cause damage for years to come. We're demonstrating that relations w/ the U.S. can turn on a dime, regardless of decades of partnership. Allies will have little reason to agree to help us when we come asking for it again, even under a new US admin.
Wow. I woke up this morning to find my thread went viral & my inbox was full of messages from ppl. My biggest takeaway from it is that we're all struggling right now. So, I've got a few quick things you can do RIGHT NOW to help survive whatever news dump we'll get today: (1)
1. Read this article by @leeferran that includes tips from me on how to read the news like an intelligence analyst. It gets at my tip from earlier on doing research before panicking and talks about how to actually do that research. Knowledge = POWER. (2/)
2. Schedule the time you're planning to unplug today. Write it down so it is more likely to happen. Will you take a walk? Call a friend to talk about anything but the news? Take a power nap? Bake some cookies? Watch your fave trash TV show? Whatever it is, DO IT. (3/)
Today seems like the right time to do a thread I've been thinking about for a while on how to handle the seemingly never-ending deluge of depressing and disturbing news. My tips are based on my time as a CIA military analyst in which I dealt daily with disturbing content. (1/)
There are several risks to being overloaded with disturbing/negative content.
✔️ Complacency - becoming so used to the deluge that it all starts to seem normal.
✔️ Paralysis - that is, being so overwhelmed, you can't figure out what to do/how to move forward.
✔️ Crisis perspective - you get trapped in the Breaking News cycle where everything seems like a potentially world-ending crisis to you.
✔️ Depression/PTSD - you don't have to be on the frontline of a war have either/both. Disturbing content is absolutely a trigger.