The Obama administration defends the ridiculous “Cuban Twitter” scheme:

The Obama administration defended its creation of a Twitter-like Cuban communications network to undermine the communist government, declaring the secret program was “invested and debated” by Congress and wasn’t a covert operation that required White House approval.

But two senior Democrats on congressional intelligence and judiciary committees said Thursday they had known nothing about the effort, which one of them described as “dumb, dumb, dumb.” [bold mine-DL]

It strains credulity to say that the program was “discreet” rather than covert in nature. The agency reportedly went to great lengths to make it extremely difficult to track the funding for the operation back to the U.S. government, and it did this deliberately because it understood that association with the U.S. would interfere with the goal of stirring up unrest. A covert operation is one that “is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor,” which is a reasonably good description of what USAID did. So it’s possible that in addition to being potentially harmful to the agency’s other work, the “Cuban Twitter” scheme was also illegal. Illegal or not, it was certainly very dumb.