CIA Blamed by House Committee for Assaults

( – The House Intelligence Committee recently released its final report from a lengthy investigation into how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) handled reports of wanton assault within the agency.

The bipartisan report revealed a pattern of “little to no accountability or punishment for confirmed perpetrators,” and that the reporting process was disorganized. The committee began investigating the matter in January last year after a female employee claimed that she was physically attacked and wantonly assaulted by a coworker at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. She claimed that the male employee received no punishment after she reported him for repeatedly and forcibly trying to kiss her.

The committee interviewed 20 whistleblowers during the investigation who revealed their experiences of harassment and assault while working for the CIA. Lawmakers combed through over 4,000 pages of documents from the agency and held two hearings to gather more information.

Last June, the agency hired psychologist Taleeta Jackson to lead its relatively new advocacy office for employee victims. She had previously led a sexual assault prevention program for over 70 Navy installations. The agency also said that it had strengthened its disciplinary processes and created an easier way for employees to report incidents and access resources specific to their unique circumstances.

The agency fired the initial whistleblower in February after she failed to make it through training at “the Farm,” prompting the woman’s attorney to claim her firing was in retaliation. The CIA pushed back on the claim but would not elaborate on the specific reason for her termination. Just six months earlier, the woman filed a civil rights lawsuit against the CIA for allegedly retaliating against her after she reported the assault and testified to Congress behind closed doors. The committee reported that the CIA was cooperative with its investigation and seemed determined to correct course. Lawmakers also spoke highly of CIA Director Bill Burns and other members of the agency’s senior leadership.

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