How CIA chief Bill Burns became Joe Biden’s top diplomat, leading crisis talks and blurring the line between spycraft and statecraft

When Russia ratcheted up tensions with hints it could use tactical nuclear weapons to turn the tide in Ukraine, President Joe Biden turned to his most trusted diplomat.

Bill Burns was dispatched first to Turkey last month, for meetings with his Russian counterpart, before arriving to a missile barrage in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv where he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The mission illustrates Burns’ unique role in the administration. Although he now heads the C.I.A., Burns is a career diplomat who has become Biden’s international fixer, dispatched to handle the trickiest geopolitical issues.

Critics say it comes with a cost, blurring lines between spies and the State Department.

‘As a diplomat you always trying to convince people you’re not stealing secrets,  you’re not trying to engage in those sorts of nefarious, 007 activities,’ said Brett Bruen, who was director of global engagement in the Obama White House.

‘Instead, you are genuinely building relationships and trying to establish trust.

‘For Bill Burns, not only to be appointed head of the CIA, but then to be carrying out tasks that are the purview of the State Department does really set off alarms.’ 

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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