Former CIA Worker Says Agency Retaliated Against Whistleblowers

( – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) faced allegations from dozens of women about abusive treatment within the spy agency. The women were prompted to come forward after one woman recalled a harrowing encounter with a fellow officer trainee. According to the woman’s attorney, the agency has now fired her.

Last year, a Fairfax, Virginia, court found 39-year-old Ashkan Bayatpour, an Alabama native, guilty of assault and battery. He attacked an unnamed female CIA employee in a secluded stairwell in 2022. He walked up behind the woman and wrapped a scarf around her neck. As he tried to kiss her on the mouth, he told her that the scarf had “many uses” and told her, “This is what I want to do to you,” The Associated Press reported.

The woman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the CIA, alleging the agency retaliated against her for reporting the assault and later testifying about it to Congress in a closed hearing. She accused the agency of “slut shaming” her and giving her bad performance reviews. She also alleged her attacker stayed on the job for more than a year after she reported it to the agency and over nine months after she went to the police and FBI.

Less than six months after filing the lawsuit, the 36-year-old was fired from her job. The CIA acknowledged the woman lost her job but said allegations that it was the result of whistleblowing were “factually inaccurate.”

After the woman came forward and sued the agency, at least 24 other women told stories about the mistreatment they’d suffered in the federal agency. They told Congress that they were facing unwanted touching, sexual assault, and coercion. The women also stated they’d received warnings from within the agency about their careers being destroyed if they spoke out and lies about them endangering national security.

Kristin Alden, an attorney representing some of the women, said, “There are harassers everywhere and bosses that try to cover them up.”

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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