Former Central Intelligence Agency analyst John Gentry has written a scathing indictment of “unprecedented” attacks on President Trump.
Gentry published his evaluation in the quarterly International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. His criticisms were both institutional and individual; people called out included CIA Director John Brenan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former deputy CIA director Michael Morell.
“A considerable body of evidence, much of it fragmentary, indicates that many CIA people have left-leaning political preferences,” Gentry said, while hedging, “less evidence shows that political bias influences CIA analyses.” Gentry observed:
In 2016 observers of U.S. intelligence began to wonder if the CIA’s once-firm prohibition on partisan politics had changed, and to ponder whether a new kind of politicization had arisen: namely, institutionally embedded, partisan bias.
“The attacks on Trump were unprecedented for intelligence officers in their substance, tone, and volume,” he wrote. “Critics went far beyond trying to correct Trump’s misstatements about U.S. intelligence; they attacked him as a human being.”
Gentry also criticized former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell for claiming in 2016 that his career qualified him to make judgments on the presidency. “Morell’s claim that his CIA career qualifies him to make political judgments about domestic issues is incorrect,” Gentry said.
“He was trained and authorized to ‘make the call’ about foreign intelligence issues within the classified, internal world of the U.S. government … He did not recommend policies, including voting choices.”
Neither did Gentry spare the Pentagon from his criticism. He noted that during the Obama administration, intelligence report editors were instructed to “avoid specifically identified terms that might trigger criticism of administration policy.”
“That clearly stated policy of politicization provoked no apparent reaction of any sort from analysts,” Gentry said. “DIA analysts seemed comfortable with politicization by omission.” Gentry believes that the seeds of this liberal bias were planted by former President Barack Obama under the guise of affirmative action.
“The U.S. government has traditionally and wisely declined to ask its job applicants and civil service employees about their political affiliations,” he explained, “but [Obama] got around the policy by mandating hiring from demographic groups known to be generally pro-Democratic.”
In the United States and elsewhere, liberals during the Cold War years often worried that unaccountable intelligence and security agencies were running amok. Now, ‘progressives’ welcome an ideologically center-left ‘deep state,’ built in part upon policies like Obama’s as a check on Trump and conservatives are complaining.
Former CIA operations officer Charles Faddis is among the former intelligence officers who explicitly agree with Gentry’s troubling conclusions. “Do I think CIA officers as a whole are guilty of taking sides or slanting analysis? No,” he said. “Do I think we have seen senior CIA officers guilty of using their positions to favor the Democratic Party? Beyond a doubt, and I’m not sure they’re all former officers.”
“A secret service that involves itself in partisan politics is a threat to the republic,” he said.