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Ex-Fox News, CIA Officer to Lead US State Dept’s Counter-Propaganda Team

© Photo : EPACIA headquarters.
CIA headquarters. - Sputnik International
The US State Department announced this week that former Fox News reporter and ex-CIA operations officer Lea Gabrielle would be serving as the head of its Global Engagement Center, which is charged with countering foreign propaganda and disinformation.

Robert Palladino, the department's deputy spokesperson, told reporters on Thursday during a press briefing that Gabrielle would be providing the agency with the "permanent leadership we have needed to bolster the global engagement center's operations."

The newly hired former reporter adds to the list of former Fox News personalities to link up with the Trump administration. She follows the likes of Heather Nauert, who was recently appointed as the next US ambassador to the United Nations, and Bill Shine, who is presently serving as the White House deputy chief of staff for communications.

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Brett Bruen, the former director of the Global Engagement Center during the Obama administration, bashed the decision, telling CNN that Gabrielle is inexperienced and, put simply, not right for the task.

"Lea may be a great reporter and pilot, [but] she has evidenced absolutely no knowledge of or experience with information warfare," Bruen told outlet. "Our nation, indeed the world, faces a serious and sophisticated threat. We need leadership that can take on this danger from day one."

"Her appointment endangers our elections, our public discourse and potentially our economy," he added.

But then again, maybe her time at Fox News might actually help — seeing as Gabrielle's former employer has been known to spread a bit of propaganda here and there in order to fit a favorable political narrative for its base.

The irony wasn't lost on netizens, either.

And then, of course, there's Gabrielle's background as a former CIA-trained human intelligence operations officer, which is sure to aid her in the center's efforts.

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The spy agency isn't exactly a stranger to propaganda itself. During a series of congressional investigations from 1975 to 1976 it was revealed in the Church Committee report that the CIA would "at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda" through its network of "several hundred" journalists. Project Mockingbird also saw two Washington-area newsmen have their telephone calls intercepted by the CIA in the early 1960s.

Time will only tell just how Gabrielle will lead the center. She is expected to start at the new post on February 11.

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