CIA Director John Brennan discussed the need for the CIA to diversify its racial makeup in a taped interview that aired Monday morning.
The conversation took place during a recruitment trip Brennan took to Miles College, a historically black college outside of Birmingham, Ala.
“While the CIA focuses on external threats, Brennan has also been looking at shortcomings within the Intelligence agency itself,” CBS reporter Jeff Pegues noted. “In 2013, [Brennan] ordered a study on diversity. The results: racial and ethnic minorities make up just under 24 percent of the workforce and about 10 percent of the senior intelligence positions.”
Brennan explained that racial diversity is necessary to fight “group think” within the CIA.
“If everybody at the agency looked like me, and thought like me, and — and had my background and experience, I think we would be subject to tremendous group think,” he stated. “We would not be open to new ideas, or new perspectives.”
“Did U.S. intelligence for some of those reasons miss what was bubbling under the surface of the Arab Spring?” Pegues posed.
Brennan then admitted that “no matter how much insight we had into how governments were thinking, and how they were reacting, we didn’t have the pulse of the street as best as we should have.”