The CIA has a long and not-so-stellar history with marginalized communities.
Profiling, discrimination, and tales of atrocious experiments on minority populations come to mind. So the recent revelation of — or rather the exposure of— the deep-rooted bigotry within the intelligence community shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Nor should the fact that the years that Trump was in office only encouraged and amplified that bigotry.
The lack of diversity within the CIA is nothing new. It goes back decades, and to this day, the CIA remains one of the least inclusive governmental agencies.
Former NSA contractor Dan Gilmore, in an interview with Jeff Stein of Spy Talk, gave a bird’s eye view into just how rampant and repugnant the racism was. And brazen.
For over 30 years, Gilmore served this country in various positions that oversaw intelligence communications. And over his career, he has never seen things this bad.
After Trump was elected, and he installed former CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it was a swift and increasingly alarming spiral into all things awful.
Overseeing internal communications on “e-Chirp,” the intelligence community’s imitation of Twitter, Gilmore witnessed an increase in hateful rhetoric and speech among the 18 agencies that make up the intelligence community, unabashedly speaking and sharing their racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and sexist views.
According to Gilmore:
“There were many employees at CIA, DIA, NSA and other IC agencies, that openly stated that the January 6th terrorist attack on our Capitol was justified.”
He also details that racism wasn’t relegated to speech and chats, but spilled over — and was reflected in — the office as well, with the inequitable and discriminatory treatment of minorities and pro-Trump staff.
“We literally had folks get their clearances burned for time card discrepancies, while pro-MAGA types might have multiple DUIs, foreign contacts, and (in one case) vehicular home. They were kept working while others were let go.”
Despite the fact that the Trump Administration rolled back diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across the federal government, the CIA has maintained it is committed to being more inclusive. After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, they stepped up recruitment ads aimed at minority communities.
But, I won’t hold out hope. Pompeo was the Director of the CIA for only three months, but the damage was done. Gilmore has since been let go from his position and asserts that MAGA had taken hold. In the words of The Lincoln Project’s Rick Wilson, “Everything Trump Touches Dies”. Maybe. But everything Trump inspires, poisons…and grows.
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