Author: Matt Bracken


Brad Johnson is a retired “white hat” CIA station chief who has watched the demise of the agency over the past decades. I was able to discuss the impeachment news and the “deep state coup” against President Trump with him on Wednesday after the first day of the hearings. We plan to have more of these conversations in the future. 

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Retired CIA Chief of Station Brad Johnson on Intel Agency Politicization: Matt Bracken Interview

“I was going to say, I heard you talking about John Brennan still having influence in the CIA, and I’ve got to reiterate that, and there is no question whatsoever about it, I can say as absolute fact that he’s got tremendous pull still in the CIA. Let’s not forget that the current director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, was a close associate of John Brennan. John Brennan’s clearance is still intact, that has not been pulled, that’s an oversight that should be taken care of, so he’s got access to them basically whenever he wants. And the three top lieutenants that are within the CIA operations end of things, running it, not like the HR or personnel sorts of people, those three individuals were also closely working for and associated with John Brennan. So the number one, number two, number three and number four people at the CIA right now, are close friends and associates that have worked closely in the past with John Brennan. So to suggest even for a moment that he isn’t pulling strings whenever he desires to in the CIA is just poorly informed. He absolutely is connected.”

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Stephen Kroszt had arrived near the meeting place first, more than an hour early, but Paige Lissat didn’t know that. It was exactly quarter past nine in the morning, when, as arranged, she first jogged past the isolated picnic table located in a remote corner of Washington DC’s 2,000-acre Rock Creek Park. She jogged hundreds of yards up and down the trail past the designated meeting point several times in both directions before Kroszt emerged from the woods. She nearly broke out laughing when she realized that the elderly man shuffling through the fallen leaves toward the table was indeed her former lover.

Kroszt looked nothing like the dashing head of counterintelligence (and one of the youngest members of the elite Special Executive Service) whom she had fallen in love with. Instead, unkempt tufts of gray hair matching a gray beard protruded from beneath his battered fedora. He was wearing a shabby oatmeal-colored tweed jacket, khaki pants, and scuffed walking shoes. Binoculars hung from a strap around his neck, and an olive-green messenger bag was slung over his shoulder. Wire-rimmed glasses and a puffy fake nose completed his camouflage.

In stark contrast, Paige Lissat was wearing form-fitting blue sportswear, her light zipper jacket matching her jogging pants and running shoes. Wraparound sunglasses concealed her eyes in spite of the deep shade in the woods on the overcast autumn morning.

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The small size of attack drones and their global availability makes them especially attractive to non-state actors, or to nations (Iran in the Saudi case) who wish to arm proxies with effective weapons while maintaining deniability.  In the current Saudi (or a potential United States civil war scenario), with Balkanized ethnic or religious groups mixed across the battle space, it will always be possible for an enemy guerrilla team to get within drone-launching range of their targets. 

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