Confronting Toxicity in the Defense Intelligence Agency

For over two years, we have endeavored to identify and eradicate systemic leadership and cultural issues within the DAS. This culminated in a 200+ page report sent to Congress on March 22, 2022. The final report, taken from 65 witness statements, citing 158 allegations of violations of laws and regulations, abuses and hostile acts, discrimination, and a swath of unethical practices. These allegations highlighted systemic toxicity and dysfunction in the Defense Attaché Service which pose a threat not only to national security, but also to the professional and personal lives of those who worked for the Agency.

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What We’ve Accomplished Together

Give a voice

Literally dozens of witnesses and victims reached out to the Foundation over the past year thanking us for giving the oppressed a voice. The scores of victims were real as were their stories: professional and dedicated Americans who suffered psychological trauma, flirted with thoughts of suicide, had bouts of depression, were harassed, were discriminated against, had careers derailed, had personal lives thrown into tumult. We were humbled and honored to be able to represent the incredible patriots serving our great nation, many who could not come forward due to the ever-existent threat of retribution in DIA.

Expose the truth

Vincit omnia veritas – truth conquers all! …the words we concluded our first correspondence with over a year ago. For years, the DAS cabal controlled the narrative, perverting the truth in order to further their self-serving aims. During the course of our work on this case, while witness testimonies, reports, and documents flowed in, all providing irrefutable proof of systemic leadership and cultural issues, the miscreants of the cabal proclaimed “there is no toxicity in the DAS!” These actors, decidedly more concerned about self/job preservation over mission support and execution, have now been exposed and will continue to be, helping to ensure future members of the DAS will work in an environment free from retribution, abuse, and toxicity.

Energize oversight entities

Several investigations and inquiries have been initiated targeting misconduct, dereliction of duty, and an array of violations of regulations and laws. These investigations will undoubtedly further expose the seedy underbelly of the Defense Intelligence Agency for what it is: morally corrupt.

Shape the future

The aim of our engagement throughout the course of this case has been clear: be the catalyst for positive and substantive cultural change. We were unrelenting in that pursuit; not accepting platitudinal superfluousness as acceptable measures of resolution, not accepting the malaise of DIA’s so-called avenues of redress, not being “outwaited” or “slow-rolled” as the Agency is so apt to do, not accepting anything short of what the DAS needed: a shattering of its corrupt value system in order to shape a new one for the future.

The extent of what the Foundation can influence has reached its apex. We have arrived at the final juncture beyond which it is now in the capable hands of our military leadership and lawmakers to see through the changes we have fought so persistently for. The Foundation will remain active and engaged for those who seek redress in the future – continuing in our founding mandate of closing the appreciable gap in lacking laws and protections for whistleblowers in the military.

A well-deserved “thank you!” to the brave members, past and present, of the Defense Intelligence Agency who stood up against tyranny in the organization. Without your moral courage, our efforts would have been in vain.

The Foundation would also like to convey our appreciation to our key interlocutors in HSGAC, HPSCI, CIGIE and HASC for bringing about forthcoming substantive leadership and cultural change in DIA.

And finally, we thank the professionals of the media who have, and will continue to, ensure the ‘police are policed’ and justice is served.

vincit omnia veritas!

Toxicity in the DAS makes international news.

Read The Telegraph article here.

The Department of Defense Inspector General has begun a review of DIA/IG investigations in which multiple violations of DoDIs occurred.

Read more here.

“The toxic culture within DIA is a threat to national security” and “a cancer that directly threatens the mission…”

— From WSJ Article, February 2022

Read the Wall Street Journal Article on Toxicity in the DAS and its Impact on National Security here.

“I know that my treatment by senior DAS leadership…left me completely disillusioned about serving in the DAS. As the [redacted], I often sat in on senior DAS leadership meetings where DAS leadership often expressed openly their contempt for service members who served in the DAOs around the world. I saw and heard them laugh and make jokes of people’s personal and medical issues. Many times they talked about these issues without regard considerations of HIPAA or PII…”

–Former senior member of the Defense Attaché Service

“The toxicity in the Defense Attaché Service is a threat to national security because its effects are the same that competitors and adversaries aim to achieve: alienating and disenfranchising our intelligence personnel while disrupting and degrading operations.”

–In a recent interview with the WSJ

Since the submission of the report to Congress “Toxic Culture in the DAS and the Resultant Threat to National Security,” we have worked with multiple members and committees of Congress as well as the press in an effort towards finding solutions which address root causes: failures in management, lacking protection/advocacy from individual Services, and lacking systems of recourse. Thanks to the brave men and women who stepped up to speak out against wrongdoing (over 40 at this juncture), we have gained ground in all these endeavors and are optimistic about seeing meaningful change soon, but we still need your help.

“The rampant dysfunction within DIA highlighted by these wrongdoings, and the precedent established that the Agency is incapable of timely, fair, and equitable self-correction, poses a threat to national security because of the resultant significant mission degradation, as well as the secondary effect of needlessly squandering the talent of the high-demand low-density asset of the Attaché.”

From Congressional Request for Independent Inquiry into DIA, October 2021

DAS Statistics

of the workforce had witnessed a hostile act
of the workforce described their work environment as hostile
of the workforce felt discriminated against

Longest-open DAS reprisal case has been “under investigation” for:

1385 days 20 hours 6 minutes 20 seconds

Read More…

View the files, reports, and emails. Read more on this and other cases on our Resources page here.

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