A  new recruitment advertising campaign for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) featuring a gay agency librarian has received brickbats from all sides of the political spectrum. While conservatives were upset that the ad would make the country’s enemies less cared of the premier intelligence agency, liberals termed the ad as “woke washing”.

The ad was part of the Humans of CIA campaign, intended to showcase the agency as a diverse and inclusive workplace.

“Growing up gay in a small Southern town, I was lucky to have a wonderful and accepting family,” says the man in the video. 

” I always struggled with the idea that I may not be able to discuss my personal life at work…Imagine my surprise when I was taking my oath at the CIA and I noticed a rainbow on then-Director [John] Brennan’s lanyard,” he says. 

“Officers from the top down work hard to ensure that every single person, whatever their gender, gender identity, race, disability, or sexual orientation, can bring their entire self to work every day,” the man adds.


Backlash Against ‘Woke’ CIA Ad

Donald Trump Jr and Senator Ted Cruz were among the Conservative Republicans who targeted the Humans of CIA ad campaign. 

“Another woke and insane CIA ad guys,” railed Trump Jr. 

Senator Ted Cruz, claimed the US had come a long way from Jason Bourne – a fictional character. 

“If you’re a Chinese communist, or an Iranian Mullah, or Kim Jong Un…would this scare you? We’ve come a long way from Jason Bourne,” said Cruz. 

When people pointed out that Bourne was a fictional character, Cruz doubled down saying, “My point is that CIA agents should be bad-asses—not woke, fragile flowers needing safe spaces.”


Former US Secretary of state and ex CIA Director Mike Pompeo, took potshots at the ad as well. 

“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,” claimed Pompeo. 


“We can’t afford to risk our national security to appease some liberal, woke agenda,” added Pompeo.

The ad campaign however did not win any plaudits from liberals as well, who accused the agency of “woke washing”. 



CIA attempting to recruit LGBT candidates is not something new – it first started doing so openly in 2012. The CIA’s employee resource group, ANGLE (Agency Network for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Officers and Allies)  has hundreds of members.

Openly LGBTQI persons not only serve in President Joe Biden’s cabinet (state transport secretary Pete Buttigieg and assistant health secretary Dr Rachel Levine), but have also been appointed to top posts in the military and law enforcement.

President Biden picked openly gay Iraq war veteran Gina Ortiz Jones as undersecretary of the US Air Force. Biden also nominated Chris Magnus, openly gay and married Police Chief, as commissioner of Customs and Border Protection




© Star Observer 2021 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.