WASHINGTON – The Central Intelligence Agency sent an internal email warning employees not to post political messages on Social Media, after a senior official posted a pro Palestinian image on Facebook.
A U.S. official said to NBC News that the email was “just a reminder” of existing policies.
The warning came after the associate deputy director of analysis at the agency posted a picture showing a man holding a Palestinian flag, which is often used to criticize Israel.
Financial Times was the first to report about this social media post.
A person familiar with the situation confirmed that the career analyst who posted this image was not disciplined for the incident. This person stated that the analyst “had extensive background in all aspects Middle East, and this post wasn’t intended to express any position on the conflict.”
The person said that the analyst has also posted antisemitic messages.
A CIA spokesperson stated: “CIA officers are dedicated to analytical objectivity which is the core of our Agency’s work.” CIA officers’ personal opinions may not diminish their commitment to unbiased analyses.
The social media post, and the CIA’s internal admonition to staff not to be political comes amid divisions within the federal government about President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza.
A letter signed by hundreds of federal employees has been sent to President Obama, urging him to push his administration to achieve a ceasefire in order to protect Palestinian civilians. In dissenting cables, dozens at the State Department questioned the White House’s approach. And hundreds at the U.S. Agency for International Development backed an open letter criticizing the administration’s policy.