Internal Islamophobia and racism are costing the FBI its vital, tiny cohort of Muslim and Arab agents


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/23/they-always-get-their-man.html


#2

Quick point: Arabic is the language, not the people. Arab is the adjective for people. So the headline should be “Internal Islamophobia and racism are costing the FBI its vital, tiny cohort of Muslim and Arab agents.”


#3

Thanks!


#4

How sad, and counterproductive. Will they end up outsourcing the translation work to the CIA? Or just not bother, because all Arabic is suspicious?


#5


#6

so the possibility of getting a politically independent investigation of Trumps Russian collusion rides on the thin line between FBI staff that are excessive white xenophobes protecting “America” and racists white conservatives protecting a republican administration.

Does not look good from here.


#7

How many of those White agents are secretly Muslim, eh?


#8

Don’t think this is just a Trump problem. It is an FBI problem that’s been going on since at least the Bush years and while some effort was made to correct it under Obama, they were reactive, not pro-active.

http://www.npr.org/2011/09/29/140902739/units-autonomy-may-be-why-fbi-missed-bias


#9

Pretty sure that’s the epitaph of the entire Obama administration.


#10

Nazi Gorka is Trump’s counterterrorism adviser. I expect the US to get a lot less effective at doing anything about terrorism enthralled to the Clash of Civilizations model.


#11

During the campaign, DT said during interviews that he would defeat ISIS quickly. One interviewer asked him, “How?”
"We’re gonna have unbelievable intelligence – UNbeLIEVable intelligence."
And the interviewer left it there, perhaps trusting that enough of her audience would see through that, instead of pushing further, "But how? How are you going to have this intelligence when you alienate our Arabic and Muslim allies?"
The media never prodded him on that, and I was pissed. I’ll still be pissed when the administration asks for the blood of my children to make up for their insanity and stupidity.


#12

The CIA had similar issues pre-9/11. One problem was (and still is, as the we see here):

U.S. spy agencies are reaching out to first- and second-generation Americans whose heritage would provide the language and cultural understanding quicker than trying to teach someone from scratch.
But they can face difficulties getting through the strict security clearance process because of family ties back in their country of heritage.

Probably one of the many reasons why the US security apparatus was unable to recognize the threat and prevent 9/11.


#13

It’s not as simple as the article suggests. The FBI isn’t a single unified group, it’s split into several branches, each of which has multiple divisions, then individuals are spread out across different offices.

The pro-Trump atmosphere is more pervasive in New York and DC, and Islamophobia is a bigger problem in the counterterrorism division. Elsewhere things are more moderate.

The Trump/Russia stuff has been a counterintelligence investigation, and those people don’t play favorites.


#14

Cory, I’m a big fan of your curation and commentary that you do on BoingBoing. A little disappointed with how racism was individualized (and de-systematized) in your take here: “the far-right, racist nature of so many agents” and on. The original article covered how the Islamophobic racism is institutionalized and is part of the FBI’s culture – this is crucial to understanding the problem! I need the full story with your keen analyses, Cory!


#15

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