Senior CIA officer 'posts pro-Palestine slogan on Facebook'
In an unusual move, a high-ranking CIA official has posted a pro-Palestine image on Facebook just two weeks after Israel launched its military offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip, The Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
The rare public political statement came amid dissatisfaction among some US government workers with President Joe Biden's support for Israel following its military campaign that killed over 15,000 Palestinians, including 8,000 children and 100 UN staff workers.
The CIA's associate deputy director for analysis, who was not named, shared an image of a man waving a Palestinian flag, the FT report said.
The official also shared a selfie with a "Free Palestine" sticker, but it was clarified that the post was from years ago and not related to the current conflict, the report added.
"The officer is a career analyst with extensive background in all aspects of the Middle East and this post [of the Palestinian flag] was not intended to express a position on the conflict," a person familiar with the situation told FT.
The individual, who oversees the president's daily brief, a classified intelligence compilation for the president, has a background in Middle Eastern affairs.
The move prompted the agency to send out an internal email cautioning staff against posting political messages on social media.
The email to staff members was "simply a reminder of existing policy", a US official told NBC News.
The incident came amid strained relations with Israeli intelligence and as CIA director Bill Burns engages in diplomatic efforts related to the exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.
Biden's strong support for Israel has led to divisions within his administration, prompting senior officials to conduct listening sessions to address concerns about the president's approach.