Brett Jones, a former Navy Seal turned CIA contractor wanted to get out of Afghanistan so badly that he faked a family emergency to so. But as it turns out that Jones did not want out of the country because of the militants. He wanted desperately to leave because he was constantly harassed by his fellow co-workers because he is gay.
“I don’t feel that it is very safe for me to be here,” Jones, the first gay Navy Seal revealed in a video he prefaced would be released in the case of an untimely death while serving in Afghanistan. “I don’t feel like I can work with these guys.”
The anxious confessional dated July 2 revealed Jones was more fearful of his colleagues’ harassment and pranks than of the dangers working among local militants.
Among the things that Jones had to endure included his colleagues revising their briefing and dubbing his radio call sign “Gay gay.” And also a contingency plan loaded with sexual innuendos, such as “Reverse Cowboy/Girl” and “Cross Dresser,” that was targeted at him.
Jones who is married to a former policeman and lives in Alabama with their teenage son, wanted nothing more than to come home to his family after the constant barrage of the harassment. He fabricated a family emergency just to go home.
“I had no choice. I couldn’t say ‘Hey, stop.’ I couldn’t say ‘I don’t feel comfortable because you guys are making fun of me.’”
“These things should not affect what career you decide to go into,” Jones added.
CIA officials did not deny Jones accusations and stated that allegations of sexual or racial harassment and discrimination are taken seriously and CIA employees are advised to report such behavior to a supervisor, manager or the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity
For many years, the CIA and other federal agencies routinely denied security clearances to gay men and women and would fire anyone in their employ if they were wound out to be gay. In the ’50s and ’60s during the McCarthy era the federal government would use the excuse that gays were a blackmail risk which in truth turned out to be nothing more than homophobic rhetoric because it was false. There was never one case brought forward that a gay federal agent was blackmailed.
But that all changed when President Clinton signed an executive order ending the practice in 1995.
Now as part of the CIA’s efforts to diversify its workforce, the spy agency is reaching out to a group that once was unable to get security clearance — lesbians and gay men.
“This is the first time we’ve done a networking event of this type with any of the gay and lesbian chamber of commerce in the United States,” says Michael Barber, a self-identified “straight ally” and the spy agency’s LGBT Community Outreach and Liaison program manager.
Over the past year, Barber and others at the agency have worked to get the word out that the CIA has changed. Now, Barber says, the CIA even has a program for gay couples and we actually have LGBT employees serving overseas with their partners,”
Over 200 CIA employees are members of the agency’s LGBT resource group today. The spy agency is one of the founding partners of Outserve, an organization that represents gay active military personnel, including those with the CIA.
“Part of the reason we’re doing outreach is to change our perception within the community,” he says. “That this is no longer an issue for holding security clearance, we want the best and the brightest regardless of your sexual orientation
* The home of Aussie Homophobe Footballer Jason Akermanis is receiving some feedback in the form of eggs: The BIG BUTCH Fottballer who made headlines by telling gay soccer players to STAY IN the closet says “it was terrifying to have missiles thrown in the darkness at his house and car. ‘I’m not happy and I didn’t get a wink of sleep after it happened.” Whaaaaaaaa, whaaaaaa, whaaaaaaa. Someone call this little terrified girl a Whaaaaambulace!
* NYC’s Gay Pride March on June 27 will be nearly a mile shorter this year because the city is facing a budget shortfall and will step off at 36th Street and 5th Avenue rather than its usual starting point at 52nd and 5th. A shorter route means denser, most festive crowds and a quicker finish. Instead of iot’s usual 6 hours. Sounds like a win-win to me!
* During planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group kicked around a number of ideas for discrediting Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his people. One was to create a video purporting to show the Iraqi dictator having sex with a teenage boy. Your country’s great bigoted military minds at work.
* C’mon Liza.. First our ears and now our eyes? We already defended you once this week with the “Put A Ring On It” cover. We can’t afford to do it a second time. PLEASE go get yourself a gay man to dress you.