So, you know those CIA guys who we send overseas to work with foreign intelligence agencies, not only to protect our own security interests but also as a symbolic gesture to the world that we have a vested interest in their safety as well?
Well, apparently at least one of those CIA guys interpreted “displaying a vested interest in the safety of foreign nations” as “drugging and raping women from those foreign nations.” And when I say “one of those CIA guys,” I actually mean “one of those in charge.”
The CIA’s station chief at its sensitive post in Algeria is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly raping at least two Muslim women who claim he laced their drinks with a knock-out drug, U.S. law enforcement sources tell ABC News.
The suspect in the case is identified as Andrew Warren in an affidavit for a search warrant filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. by an investigator for the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
Officials say the 41-year old Warren, a convert to Islam, was ordered home by the U.S. Ambassador, David Pearce, in October after the women came forward with their rape allegations in September.
According to the affidavit, the two women “reported the allegations in this affidavit independently of each other.”
The article continues to go into graphic descriptions of how Warren allegedly drugged and raped the women in his home, as they slipped in and out of consciousness. Oh, and he apparently text-messaged one of them an “apology.”
Yeah, clearly the way to build good nature towards America abroad is to have our governmental authorities treat women abroad the same way that they treat them in America. Let me just say that when Isobel Coleman, a government official who specializes in women’s issues in the Middle East, says “I think this is an opportunity for the U.S. to show how seriously it takes the issue of rape,” I’m not exactly hopeful that it’s any indication that something will be done.
While recognizing broader implications, I’ll also note that these comments really got on my last nerve:
“This will be seen as the typical ugly American,” said former CIA officer Bob Baer, reacting to the ABC News report. “My question is how the CIA would not have picked up on this in their own regular reviews of CIA officers overseas,” Baer said.
“From a national security standpoint,” said Baer, the alleged rapes would be “not only wrong but could open him up to potential blackmail and that’s something the CIA should have picked up on,” said Baer. “This is indicative of personnel problems of all sorts that run through the agency,” he said.
Yeah, rape is always bad, but you know what’s really bad?
No, wait, what? Can we not keep the focus on women when talking about an issue that directly impacts women for a single second? This is about the two (or more) women who were raped. This is about the abuse of governmental authority in violent and misogynistic ways, and the implications it has for both women’s sense of safety and their actual safety. Why is it too much to ask that we actually make it about them when it is about them?
I’d ask if our bodies and rights really matter so little, but the fact that this case exists at all already provides an answer to that.