Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns issued a warning to the agency last week after discovering what is believed, but not confirmed, to be a noose outside a secret facility in Virginia.
The object, found near the facility that consists of businesses and other organizations, has not been confirmed to be a noose or racist item, the agency told The New York Times. It is also unknown if whoever placed the object there knew the CIA secretly operated in that location.
Though the motive or symbolism of leaving the object in that location is unknown, Burns told the agency there is no tolerance for racism.
“C.I.A. has zero tolerance for actions or symbols of hatred and treats any such incidents with the utmost seriousness,” Susan Miller said in a statement sent to the Daily Caller. “Our values and our vital national security mission demand that we uphold nothing less than the highest standards of inclusiveness and safety.”
The agency did not comment any further on the matter.
Burns has reportedly recruited black employees to hold prominent roles in the agency. The Times claimed conservative media, such as Fox News, of “attacking the agency” for their recruiting videos on employees’ identities. In response to a 2021 recruiting video, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the agency is risking the nation’s national security by promoting a “liberal, woke agenda.”
The video, titled “Humans of CIA,” showed a CIA employee describing her identity as a “woman of color” and “intersectional.”
“When I was Director of the CIA, we valued individuals based on their talent and skill, not their race or sexuality. I’ll never forget what one female analyst said to me: ‘Thank you for valuing me for my work. I want my abilities and achievements to define me, not my sexuality,’” Pompeo said. (RELATED: ‘I Am A Cisgender Millennial’: CIA Recruitment Video Draws Big Rebukes For Being ‘Woke’)
Washington Examiner columnist T. Becket Adams criticized the release of the memo for not having confirmed any facts regarding this object.
a) didn’t happen at Langley
b) not sure if the “perp” even knows the CIA has a presence in the “targeted” building
c) not sure it’s even a noose
BETTER PUT OUT A MEMO
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) July 19, 2022
Former CIA agent Darrell Blocker, who is black, told the Times that “deep-seated racism” is rooted in all institutions throughout the country. He praised the agent who reported the object, pointing to the importance of calling out any symbols of racial hatred.
“The C.I.A. is a microcosm of the populace from which it draws its work force, so it should not surprise anyone who understands the deep-seated racism that has permeated all institutions throughout our history,” he told the outlet.
Preston Golson, a former CIA analyst, told the Times he had “never experienced” racial biases that were “out of the ordinary” at the agency.