Lion of the Blogosphere

CIA analysts: liberal or conservative?

We are talking about the analysts, the people who have desk jobs in the United States, and make reports from data gathered by field agents and from other intelligence agencies, the reports that eventually funnel up the chain of command all the way to Obama (if it’s a topic that Obama is interested in).

The answer is that they are moderate liberals. I assume the heavy SJW types wouldn’t want to work for the CIA, an agency that’s historically looked down upon by liberals.

But if you look at how the CIA hires analysts, people with at least bachelor’s degrees and often masters’s degrees from good schools with majors like international relations, political science, and history. And knowledge of a foreign language is a huge plus. Do you expect to find a bunch of conservatives hanging out in the international relations departments of liberal arts colleges in the northeast?

What exactly does a person with a degree in Russian History do for a living? If the degree is from Harvard, the answer is anything that person wants, even investment banking. But if the degree is from even a slightly lesser school than Harvard (or Princeton/Yale/Stanford), there really aren’t that many employers demanding Russian History majors.

So the workforce of CIA analysts is going to be liberal-leaning SWPL types. I am sure they really liked President Obama, and they nearly all voted for HRC for the same reasons that SWPLs outside of the CIA nearly all voted for HRC. You know, because Trump is racist. And if you work in the government, maybe you are used to the last eight years and you think that President HRC means more of the same that you are used to and that’s exactly what you want.

Field agents are probably more conservative because it’s a pseudo-law-enforcement/pseudo-military type of job, and those jobs attract conservative types, but with higher IQs than the average police officer. However, the field agents aren’t the ones who make the reports, so the intelligence they gather gets filtered through a moderate-liberal worldview.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Politics

27 Responses

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  1. The same logic applies also here in Israel. The smart Ashkenazie government workers are liberal. But there are also many modern orthodox high IQ individuals working for the government. They support Netanyahu. So I am not sure there is a left wing bias in government agencies’ analysis.


    December 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

  2. Heavily female and Mormon. Why is the huge Mormon presence in federal government bureaucracies almost never discussed?


    December 17, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    • Interesting. I actually had no idea.

      Two in the Bush

      December 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    • Heavily Mormon due to strict drug testing, including a hair test that can detect drug use of almost any kind over a period of years.

      As a mathematics/machine learning guy, I looked at many positions like this in civil service, but using marijuana and mdma in the past x years kept me from ever even applying.


      December 17, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      • Which touches on another LOTB point: people who work for CIA, NSA, and major campaigns are BORING. The rules select for th ultimate bores in these fields. My current tech employer doesn’t care about my personal life, and consequently can attract more talented people.


        December 17, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      • I presume people are smart enough to lie on the security clearance application and say they never used drugs on the application, and not list their drug-using buddies as references.

        I worked in a Public Trust position, and getting past the screening was not a big deal.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 17, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      • What type of testing were you subject to? Practically everybody could pass a dipstick test without much effort. Concealing drug use from a gas chromatograph or hair testing is essentially impossible, especially with pot. Of course, if you don’t use anything they’re looking for, getting tested is no problem whatever the method.


        December 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      • They use a hair test, so it’s essentially impossible to beat the test. LOTB, of course no one lists “drug buddies” as references, but lying to the CIA on an application when you know you’ll be hair tested is stupid, so only people who have never used even apply. You may think it’s a good idea to avoid drug users in these positions, but later assure you, they are severely restricting their talent pool by doing so.

        Also, many mormons speak a second language because of the mission trips they take as young adults, which also helps with getting CIA/NSA jobs.


        December 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      • @Muelleau: As of 2010/2011 they didn’t hair test at DD1 APC for CIA. I know this because they didn’t do so for me. Do you have different info now?

        I don’t think Lion is totally right – I would say most at Langley are Romney/Bush republicans and not liberals.


        December 18, 2016 at 1:18 am

      • There is no need to lie about drug use because it doesn’t necessarily disqualify you as long as you are up front about it. Extensive recent (or ongoing) use of hard drugs, yeah that’s a problem, but “I tried pot in college” isn’t an automatic disqualifier.


        December 18, 2016 at 11:10 am

      • I call bull on your magic hair test. The false positive rate would be so high the thing would be worse than useless. Even blood testing barely works for professional classes of people, because if you assume that maybe 2% of the people might legitimately have drug metabolites in their system, well even a small level of inaccuracy in the test means that *most* positive results will be false.

        In practice drug testing is usually just an intimidation tactic. You have to have been high specifically on marijuana within a week or actually still under the influence of other drugs when the sample is taken to get caught for anything.

        With the intel agency drug and polygraph screenings I think there is an element of hazing going on. Squeaky clean people fail all the time because they freak out. I honestly believe they want to make sure you can maintain your composure and lie a little bit. They know the polygraph and all the drug testing don’t actually work very well. It’s about seeing you under a bit of pressure.


        December 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

      • A large part of the reason USG can’t defend itself against cyberattacks or do any computer-related stuff competently is nigh-on every software developer at least occasionally smokes weed and can’t pass the drug test.

        I’ve heard from buddies that to get any competent people, the spooks have started hiring programmers as consultants for the maximum before a drug test is required (2 weeks or something) then repeating when the period ends, but they still can’t get around the drug test needed to obtain a security clearance.


        December 20, 2016 at 9:03 am

      • snorlax, I do not believe the issue is really the drug tests, because as explained drug tests don’t actually work, and everybody knows this. The issue is that smart, competent people with software security skills can make more money and avoid the idiocy of government bureaucracy by working elsewhere. The system selects for bores who couldn’t do better in the real economy. Daily time sheets and monthly bullshit training sessions are probably a bigger issue than drug tests. Most people in the defense and intel communities would have to take a $25k+ pay cut to transition to real private sector business. They have no real skills.

        The kind of people profitably engaged in software security would have no patience for the work environment because they already make bank. The drug tests don’t enter into it.


        December 20, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    • There are a lot of Mormons as military linguists. They go in to either get their second language for missionary work or to add to their list of languages. And yes, it’s a lot easier for those guys to pass a background check, but even so, they are still a small minority of military linguists or Analysts; just a higher percentage than their population would suggest.

      Mike Street Station

      December 18, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    • The CIA loves LDS because they almost always come back with a squeaky clean background check and many have two years experience in a foreign country (with language skills).

      I’ve done both background checks, public trust is much easier to pass than the real clearance.


      December 20, 2016 at 9:36 am

      • Well then maybe that’s why I passed, and not because I had a clean trustworthy background. Although my impression was that Public Trust was a harder clearance to get then the lowest level DoD clearance “Secret”. Maybe it’s “Top Secret” that’s a lot more strict?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

  3. You’re probably correct overall, but I did once know a person who became a CIA analyst and who is relatively consevative. She went to a Jesuit U, is an outdoorsy, butt-kicking martial arts type, and also a real babe, sort of a Greta Scacchi lookalike (1992 version). She got in by teaching herself Arabic.


    December 17, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    • The drug testing and extensive background checks leaves them as mostly establishment conservatives or boring SWPL types.

      Also, they are disproportionately religious because of the second language preference; many conservative mormons and christians know second languages from being exposed to missionary work.


      December 17, 2016 at 5:12 pm

  4. The CIA is SWPL and the FBI is prole. That’s the breakdown. The CIA is a fatally flawed ingenue that seldom gets things right. A colossal waste of money and human talent that doesn’t deliver intelligence any better than the New York Times or Washington Post (as Richard Nixon claimed). Their analysts are Ivy educated know it alls who not only lack experience dealing with the messier part of humanity but actually recoil at doing so. Life is so easy just analyzing data, and writing reports out there in Fairfax Va. If you didn’t go to an IVY or other select school you have little shot at getting into the CIA.

    The FBI recruits from a much broader swath of people. They look for smart, tough people who have demonstrated success in their life’s path. They don’t give a damn about the Ivy league or other select schools. That want agents who can bring in results. A not untypical FBI agent was Joseph Pistone who worked undercover as Donnie Brasco and busted open the Bonnano crime family, at the time a particularly vicious Mafia clan. Pistone grew up in Jersey and got a BA at William Paterson College, then worked as an elementary school teacher before finding his way to the FBI. The CIA would have never given a second thought to the resume of Pistone or anyone like Pistone and that’s why the CIA are losers. The agency should be abolished.


    December 17, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    • If you didn’t go to an IVY or other select school you have little shot at getting into the CIA.

      No, if you are a woman or a minority you don’t have to be Ivy educated to work for CIA.


      December 18, 2016 at 11:06 am

    • Any type of law enforcement is prole. With the exception of BIGLAW, the legal field is very much prole. Hell, America is prole. “I’m proling and I can’t get up” – the New American Motto!


      December 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm

  5. I’ve none one CIA analyst, a friend of a friend. Pretty sure he was a Dem. He briefed W. when W. was POTUS (this CIA analyst was researching Al Qaeda before 9/11) and had disparaging things to say about W.’s intelligence.

    David Pinsen

    December 18, 2016 at 3:07 am

  6. I have met many CIA analysts and this is exactly right. They are all liberal-leaning SWPL types. There was a period in the 1990s when it seemed like CIA was hiring only women, and needless to say, they were far more likely to be liberal-leaning SWPL types than men. (This was certainly true of the women from grad school I knew who joined the CIA.) You are somewhat more likely to find conservatives in the field, but again, they made a big push to hire more women for that branch, too, and that means more liberal-leaning SWPL types.


    December 18, 2016 at 11:05 am

  7. Most of the various intelligence agencies are populated by a significant portion of military or retired military types so I would agree with MUFC to say they are mostly “Romney/Bush” types. However the CIA may be the exception to that, since their analyst ranks are mostly from the Ivies. That may make it the most liberal of the various intelligence agencies, however the current CIA attack on Trump (obliquely) is probably John Brennan caused. He’s a loyal partisan who serves his master well.

    Mike Street Station

    December 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    • @Mike Street Station: The Ivy % at CIA is a lot lower than 40 years ago. I wasn’t Ivy (state school ug, private non-ivy grad). My interviewers were ACC/Big10 grad and another non-ivy grad. My would be DI regional desk manager was non-ivy as well.

      A number of collection managers in the NCS/DO side that came to recruit at our schools were fat women who were not ivy.

      within the IC, INR @ State has more liberal employees than DI at CIA. Lion is slightly right within the scope of the IC analyst ranks (di at cia is more liberal than analysts at DIA or FBI imo) but I don’t think you can say that about the whole DI. Certainly not the ones above 40. The ones below 30, I don’t know how much of it is the type the agency hires or because of their age.

      Would the DI have voted for HRC in my heavier numbers? yes. but I imagine Rubio would’ve beaten her within the DI (and certainly within the whole Agency).


      December 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      • Collection Management folks are usually people who worked their way up, so I would expect them to be from more state school or no college, but a great deal of experience in their field. As for the State Department, I frankly forgot about them. I suppose they would be the most liberal.

        Mike Street Station

        December 18, 2016 at 6:43 pm

  8. The preference for Mormons in intelligence work isn’t a mystery if one is familiar with their theology.

    In short, they are unlikely to turn due to the fact that the concept of the United States is central in said theology.

    Furthermore, their brand of patriotism includes an eventual globalism, similar to Jewish beliefs (New Jerusalem eschatology).

    That they are straight edge likely also makes them more reliable, if slightly less flexible for some types of intelligence work. I wold guess that you may see less Mormons operating in a cover role, for instance, that might require socially blending in with a drink on occasion to maintain that cover. How does an operative assure that they can blend in when they’ve never had a drink?

    I once read a quote by an American spy that stated that he had never met an intelligence officer that was not a liberal. Unfortunately, I can’t now find the quote.

    If one accepts that modern “Americanism” is neo-liberalism, as it is pushed through American propaganda organs such as NPR, the NYT, and the WaPo among others, then this would make sense. The modern gestalt would be the political agenda of the deep state.

    I’m unsure what the actual end-game of globalism is. It may eventually entail a more ordered rulership than it now seems like it is. In other words, at least some of the chaos that we see could in actuality be a weapon that is used to dismantle the current order rather than to serve as the final model of what they desire. If so, the intelligence community could be part of the tip of that particular weapon.

    Intelligence work, by its nature, seems like it might work to convince one of the necessity of globalism. In the idealist’s globalist world, governments and factions are more transparent and easier to control. It seems to be a central solution to the core problems of the intelligence community.

    I’m unsure as to who the ultimate beneficiaries are. Is it the Minnesota Somalians just because they’ve been dropped within these borders? In other words, is it the multicultural “Americans”?I doubt it. This is for the benefit of an unknown or otherwise unheralded faction.

    I’m unsure if intelligence workers are necessarily liberal before they join or whether they may be converted upon being exposed to their training and the work. I don’t doubt that there are nationalists within the military industrial complex to include the pentagon, but I would have a difficult time believing that the CIA, for instance, could function well if its membership was ideologically divided.


    December 19, 2016 at 11:00 pm

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