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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump

Before Mike Pompeo served as secretary of state in the Trump Administration, he was director of the Central Intelligence Agency — a position he held from January 2017 to April 2018. According to Daily Beast reporters Jeff Stein and Howard Altman, it was during Trump’s first year in office and Pompeo’s months as CIA director that spy agency chat rooms first saw a major increase in hate speech. And it only got worse after that.

The Beast journalists report, “Dan Gilmore, who worked in an administrative group overseeing internal chat rooms for the classified Intelink system for over a decade from 2011, says that by late in the third year of the Trump Administration, the system was afire with incendiary hate-filled commentary, especially on ‘eChirp,’ the intelligence community’s clone of Twitter.”

Gilmore, who was e-Chirp’s administrator, said that the application “became a dumpster fire” of hate speech targeting non-whites, gays, women, transsexuals and Muslims. “Professionalism was thrown out the window, and flame wars became routine.”

Gilmore told the Beast, “There were many employees at CIA, DIA, NSA, and other IC agencies that openly stated that the January 6th terrorist attack on our Capitol was justified.”

According to Gilmore, “Hate speech was running rampant on our applications. I’m not being hyperbolic. Racist, homophobic, transphobic, (Islamophobic) and misogynistic speech was being posted in many of our applications.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, according to Stein and Altman, are looking into allegations of hate speech on intel agency platforms. But the Pentagon declined to be interviewed about the allegations.

“The Pentagon’s silence runs counter to its very public stance on battling extremism in the ranks,” Stein and Altman noted. “No less than Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has expressed concern about right-wing extremist sentiment in the military services. In the aftermath of the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, he ordered a so-called one-day stand down across the military for leadership to address the issue of extremism with troops.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet