Former CIA Worker Alleges Retaliation Against Whistleblowers

( – The CIA is facing complaints of whistleblower retaliation after the organization fired a female employee who reported sexual assault occurring at the workplace, according to a report from NBC News. The unidentified woman accused the agency of attempting to coerce her to avoid filing criminal charges.

The attorney for the woman, Kevin Carroll, claims that the woman’s firing was retaliation for making that report, and after her complaint, over two dozen additional victims have come forward to report similar allegations of sexual misconduct, suggesting the problem is endemic at the most powerful national security agency in the country.

The CIA Office of Inspector General is investigating the allegations but doesn’t expect any internal review to suggest wrongdoing by the spymasters. The organization has repeatedly suffered allegations of wrongdoing.

Carroll called the firing of his client “unlawful retaliation” and highlighted that she was a whistleblower who made a report to Congress. He further suggested that the only reason for her termination was to show other women with complaints what would happen to them if they came forward.

The agency disagreed with Carroll’s characterization and suggested that it was “factually inaccurate.” Agency representative Tammy Thorp said the agency has zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment, or retaliation against whistleblowers. Carroll explained that his client failed to pass the rigorous clandestine training program required for agents to become spies in the field and traditionally other people who failed the program were offered positions in another capacity with the agency. Carroll’s client, however, was fired.

The agency suggested his client lacked writing skills, which Carroll suggested was a mischaracterization after having communicated with her via email for months. Thorp said that the agency applies the same standards to everyone.

Former CIA officers said that while the agency can offer another position to candidates who fail the clandestine training program, they aren’t required to. They also suggested the program had strict requirements and was incredibly difficult.

The perpetrator who assaulted her was convicted last year of misdemeanor assault charges, and his name is Ashkan Bayatpour. Bayatpour wrapped a scarf around her neck while making threats during the assault.

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