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Cindy Otis @CindyOtis_
, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Two weeks ago, I tweeted about writing the hardest & most important thing I've ever written. Here it is. It might not have been the topic you expected. But this is a national security story & it has flown under the radar for too long. A few things:…
I didn’t want to write this article. But then, I didn’t want to be a position of having to always fight for the rights of officers with disabilities at the CIA either. To be clear, the CIA put me in that position of having to speak out, even after I left. (2)
I simply wanted to be able to do my job and have equal access to opportunities, and for others to have the same. And I was damn good at my job. I loved doing it. I believed in what I was doing there & my work made our country a little bit safer. (3)
I made the CIA my entire life & my single focus from my first day there. I gave everything I had & then I gave more. I was one of just a few female military analysts at the CIA & by the end, I had worked every single major military conflict that has happened this century. (4)
I served as an intel briefer to the White House during one of the most politically turbulent times (which is saying something). Being a briefer is an exciting but ruthless job. I worked round the clock to brief our most senior leaders of government, starting my day at 1 am. (5)
I gave everything I had to the CIA, and they made it as difficult as possible for me every step of the way. This article covers a fraction of the daily discrimination I and others there experience(d). (6)
If it hadn't been for some fantastic colleagues & mentors who tried to help, I would have left the CIA long ago. Most of them didn't know about the discrimination until they met me or others. They assumed it was 20XX and we were the badass CIA, so we wouldn't have these problems.
One time, a manager came w/ me to a meeting w/ our EEO after an obvious case of discrimination. EEO came w/ a lawyer & said, "We might have a moral obligation to fix this, but we don't have a legal one." The manager left shocked, but I didn't. It was par for the course. (8)
As you can read in the article, before @JohnBrennan left, I created a proposal to make CIA IT more accessible to blind officers. In a meeting w/ seniors, "One of the CIA’s most senior leaders said perhaps it was time to admit the agency just couldn’t have blind employees."(9)
My colleagues who are still there are desperate for the public to know what is happening and they want Congress to hold the CIA accountable. But they are not permitted to speak about it themselves. I wrote this for them. (10)…
There's a lot more I could say, but the most important thing is: The CIA is choosing not to accommodate & empower its own officers who are among the "best and brightest" our country has to offer. And in this way, CIA isn't fulfilling its mission to protect our country. (11/11)
One final tweet to say thank you to @NoahShachtman and @williamoconnor5 who understood right away the gravity of this subject and the implications for our national security. I was more at ease speaking out knowing I had such excellent stewards of my story @thedailybeast.
I thought I was done, but one more tweet to clarify something for the record that I'm seeing people tweeting: DDCIA Haspel is NOT the senior leader who suggested we don't hire blind people. Please don't make assumptions.
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