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NEUTERING THE CIA Spotlights Threats to US Democracy Posed by Politicization of Intelligence Agencies

Insider Account Tells Well-Documented Story of CIA Becoming a Pawn of Politics

July 24, 2023 – Washington, DC –The July 26, 2023 release of John A. Gentry’s Neutering the CIA is the most controversial of Armin Lear Press’ titles focused on threats to democracy worldwide. Jonathan Schanzer’s highly acclaimed Gaza Conflict 2021, published in conjunction with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, set the pace, with two others coming out during this calendar year.

Neutering the CIA describes and explains a remarkable change in the organizational culture of the CIA, which previously had emphasized apolitical public service. Policies of Obama Administration officials were the most important causes of the change, which led current and former intelligence officers to publicly oppose what they perceived to be potential threats to those policies when Donald J. Trump became a serious presidential candidate in 2016, and then president. Hence, the CIA’s effectiveness during the Trump years was undermined by political agendas.

The book is a vivid, yet scholarly, attempt to understand the causes and implications of a startling new political phenomenon. It does not assess or defend the Trump presidency, yet the evidence points to a harsh reality: The CIA President Trump inherited was set up to function with a conflicting agenda.

“The Biden administration has made no effort to address the politicization because it has benefitted from it,” according to Dr. Gentry. Although they have been quiet since 2021, Gentry expects overt political activism by intelligence officers to re-emerge in 2024.

Dr. Gentry’s work has earned bi-partisan accolades and respect for its scholarly integrity. Neutering the CIA has been nominated for a National Book Award.

Neutering the CIA is an important examination of linguistics, ideology, and purpose of intelligence operations. It holds the ability to reach a wide audience with its insights on how modern America really works, both up front and behind the scenes, and is very highly recommended for its special in-depth examination.

D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

About the Author

John A. Gentry is an adjunct professor with the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He was for twelve years an intelligence analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and was for four years on the faculty of National Intelligence University. He is a retired U.S. Army Reserve officer. He is co-author of Strategic Warning Intelligence: History, Challenges, and Prospects (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2019) and about thirty articles on intelligence topics. He received a Ph.D. in political science from The George Washington University.

As an intelligence analyst at the CIA, Dr. Gentry worked mainly on economic issues concerning the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He also was senior analyst at the National Intelligence Officer for Warning in 1987-1989. In 1986 he experienced politicization from the political Right—efforts by CIA managers to make the Soviet Union and its allies look even worse than they clearly were. He approached the Senate intelligence committee about his concerns in 1991 during the confirmation hearings of Robert Gates to be director of central intelligence, recommending that Gates not be confirmed. Gates was head of CIA’s analysis directorate in 1982-1986 and was, many CIA personnel believed, responsible for the notable, then rare, wave of politicization, which did far less than that done during the Trump Administration.

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