The Central Intelligence Agency took a break from protecting the U.S. from foreign enemies to celebrate Pride Month.
In a widely criticized social media post, the agency announced that its theme for #Pride Month is “WELCO-ME!” The acronym, as the posting explained, stands for “Wellness,” “Equity,” “LGBT,” “Community,” “Openness,” and “ME!”
The CIA added that “Pride Month is an occasion for all of us at the Agency to pay tribute to the rich history, community, and mission contributions of our LGBT officers.”
The online backlash was immediate and fierce.
Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) observed that “the powers that be in the Biden administration have an agenda, and protecting the national security of America isn’t at the top of that list.”
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) June 8, 2023
Donald Trump Jr. asked if the posting came from “a parody account.” Twitter CEO Elon Musk humorously noted that he thought the agency “liked being the closet, lol.”
Another Twitter user asked, “When did the CIA care about openness?”
Conservative host Laura Ingraham tweeted that “the CIA is a woke spa, not a spy agency to protect America from foreign infiltration.”
And Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) said, “can’t believe this is real.”
Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross cited hypocrisy by the agency, referring to a 1980 memo that categorized gay persons as having mental problems. At that time, the CIA said spotting a member of that community was as difficult as identifying a communist by sight.
The memo explained that “the subject has a mental or emotional problem rather than a physical one.”
Other critics noted the long era of tension between the intelligence agency and LGBT groups. Despite this history, the CIA in recent years has made overtures to these communities, specifically starting new outreach programs in 2012.
This is the state of the U.S. in 2023. The FBI has also made celebratory postings about Pride Month in recent days. Similar social media posts have been issued on various platforms by the Justice Department and the Transportation Department.
And President Joe Biden paid careful attention to issue Pride Month proclamations in each year of his presidency dating back to 2021.