By Andrew Mark Miller
A Georgetown University professor who worked as a CIA intelligence analyst for 12 years warns that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and the overall politicization of the intelligence community have become a “significant” problem, and he is confident that those agencies will attempt to interfere with the 2024 election in the same way they did in 2020.
“My guess is that the the proverbial deep state within the intelligence community will reemerge because presumably a Republican candidate will again be seen as a threat to the internal policies that many intelligence people like,” Dr. John Gentry, author of the new book, “Neutering the CIA: Why US Intelligence Versus Trump Has Long-Term Consequences,” told Fox News Digital.
Within days of the explosive New York Post story revealing the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop in the run-up to the 2020 election, 51 former intelligence officials signed a letter attempting to discredit the laptop, claiming it “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
Gentry said that downplaying the Hunter Biden laptop was “clearly political” and that a highly placed source told him “in no uncertain terms” that it was done “explicitly” with the “intent to help the Biden campaign.”
He said that there have been indications in recent weeks that current or former intelligence agency personnel would be involved in 2024.
“I long have thought we are likely to again see former intelligence officers be politically active against Trump or whomever the Republican presidential candidate is next year, and I expect leaking to resume,” Gentry stated. “The activities of ‘formers’ have resumed already, a bit before I expected.”
Dr. Gentry cited a recent essay by Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired CIA officer who co-led the Hunter Biden laptop “open letter,” and former FBI employee Asha Rangappa that warned of the perils of Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
“Asha Rangappa once worked at the FBI and also was openly anti-Trump, though as a relatively junior former, she attracted less attention than many,” Gentry said. “I think it is worth closely monitoring these people. Many have compromised their credibility by actions such as the ‘Laptop 51’ letter.”
In an extensive talk on “The Politicization of U.S. Intelligence,” Dr. Gentry brought up a particular case that was a harbinger of the CIA’s escalating interference in domestic politics.
In his discussion, he noted the remarks of former CIA Deputy Michael Morrell ahead of the 2016 election contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Morrell remarked before the national election that, “My training as an intelligence officer taught me to call it as I see it. This is what I did for the CIA. This is what I am doing now. Our nation will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president.”
Despite the alarmism from the intelligence community, the future president Donald Trump would notably preside over a period of relative peace abroad, while keeping the United States out of major foreign conflicts.
Dr. Gentry, who did not support Donald Trump in either election and who has no plans to support him in any future election, remarked on this inappropriate election interference.
“In August 2016, just after Donald Trump was anointed nominee, and this is among the things that he wrote,” Dr. Gentry remarked, referring to the above-cited quote.
“This is actually incorrect,” he commented. “Either a purposeful misrepresentation or a misrepresentation anyway in two respects. First, Morrell and all other intelligence officers do, indeed, ‘call it as they see it’ regarding foreign intelligence issues. But he is talking here about domestic issues. That is not a CIA job.”
“And secondly, no CIA officer ever recommends policy to Americans, much less recommending the policy decision of a voter choice,” he added. “This would be the first of a number of cases in which truth became an issue, both on the part of Mr. Trump and on the part of his critics.”
It should be added that the CIA was dramatically politicized under former CIA Director John Brennan, who has since been given an open platform in major news media outlets like the Washington Post and on MSNBC to comment on domestic politics, and in particular, to espouse their negative view of Donald Trump.
Brennan, despise his known communist views, was not only allowed into the CIA but rose to its highest position under former President Barack Obama. An October 2020 piece in the Washington Post written by David Ignatius revealed how Brennan had excoriated Donald Trump in a bid to persuade Americans to shun him in the forthcoming election.
In his book Undaunted, Brennan called Trump’s diplomacy with Putin at the Helsinki summit “nothing short of treasonous” and said Trump was “wholly in the pocket of Putin.” Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance after firing him, spurring further mutual animosity.
The piece notes how Brennan oversaw the subsequently discredited Russia collusion investigation into Donald Trump starting with former President Obama, which turned into a yearslong affair weaponizing raw intelligence to spy on a political campaign and undermine a presidency. The CIA’s unproven aspersions insinuated that the nation’s commander-in-chief was somehow a traitor to the Russians. The conspiracy theory would fuel riots during the official event of a presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017 — a blatant act of election interference.
Gentry also pointed to the implementation of DEI policies at key intelligence organizations, including the CIA, as a signal that the premier foreign intelligence agency was shifting focus away from day-to-day operations toward a more “woke” political agenda.
“It was an effort half a century ago to get more women and minorities into the intelligence community,” Gentry said. “This was done under the rubric of affirmative action. It gradually became more of a policy through the Clinton administration. But it took a significant step forward, or not, depending on your perspective, when President Obama signed an executive order designed to improve diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.“
Gentry told Fox News Digital that talks about personal politics did not occur during his tenure at the CIA, but that under the Obama administration, sources in the intelligence community informed him that standard was essentially “gone” and political participation was “common.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper were two of the key drivers of the more politically involved intelligence institutions, according to Gentry. The current CIA Director is William J. Burns.
Gentry said that both Brennan and Clapper were “… very strongly supportive of Obama’s desire to transform the federal workforce, and so they began to accelerate this process and did a number of things from the standpoint of policy actions, in terms of specific recruitment efforts, for example, and they pushed their employees to be more concerned about diversity and inclusion issues and, even in Brennan’s case, to be politically active.”
Gentry remarked that DEI and politicization inside intelligence organizations have hurt morale among rank-and-file employees.
“There are a lot of people who are unhappy about it because it’s politicizing the workforce, and it’s dividing the workforce among people who believe in DEI policies and those who don’t,” Gentry said.