by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have become bastions of political liberals and the pro-Democratic Party views of intelligence personnel have increased under President Donald Trump, according to a journal article by a former CIA analyst.
John Gentry, who spent 12 years as a CIA analyst, criticized former senior intelligence leaders, including CIA Director John Brenan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former deputy CIA director Michael Morell, along with former analyst Paul Pillar, for breaking decades-long prohibitions of publicly airing their liberal political views in attacking Trump.
The institutional bias outlined in a lengthy article in the quarterly International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence risks undermining the role of intelligence in support of government leaders charged with making policy decisions.
Gentry stopped short of saying the widespread liberal bias of intelligence officials has influenced intelligence reports and products. However, he concludes that “bias may have crept into CIA analyses.”
“A considerable body of evidence, much of it fragmentary, indicates that many CIA people have left-leaning political preferences, but less evidence shows that political bias influences CIA analyses,” Gentry concludes.
In the past, intelligence politicization was defined as either skewing intelligence to fit biases or manipulating intelligence by those outside the intelligence community.
“But 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,” Gentry wrote.