The CIA unveiled new steps to crack down on assault cases after lawmakers began to investigate allegations of misconduct, according to NBC News. Director William Burns stated that the agency has appointed Taleeta Jackson to oversee the complaints. Jackson served a similar role in the Navy and plans to implement an internal task force that will receive advice from outside experts.
After Democratic Senator Mark Warner and Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who sit on the Intelligence Committee, requested the agency to supply them with information about how they respond to these complaints, the Office of the Inspector General commenced a “special review.” The senators wrote a letter to Inspector General Robin Ashton and called the revelations “concerning.”
That sentiment was reiterated by Reps. Mike Turner and Jim Himes in a statement last week. They said that people serving the country must be protected and assaulters should be punished. They added thanks to the CIA for working with them to impose “meaningful changes” to improve the culture of the agency.
Burns said that he heard the complaints “loud and clear.”
Three female CIA employees went to the Intelligence Committee in January to inform them that they were being discouraged from complaints, according to Politico. Attorney Kevin Carroll, who represents one of the females, said that the agency is also making it harder for victims of assault to speak to law enforcement.
Carroll said that at least 54 women over the last 10 years have been victims of assault and an improperly handled case. He described the situation as the “CIA’s Me Too moment.”
The committee’s investigation began when one female spoke about her experience. She alleged that she was physically assaulted by a male employee who tried to kiss her several times, but when she reported it, she was retaliated against and threatened with losing her job if she went to law enforcement.