“While I was home, I had a dream my girlfriend was f*****g an (African American racial slur). It literally made me want to kill every f*****g (African American racial slur) I saw all day,” a CIA security contractor said with a laugh as he watched a Denzel Washington movie with his fellow contractors. Another contractor, callsign Flanders, would use the word “Faggot” around Brett Jones, a former SEAL and the only openly gay contractor with the CIA’s Global Response Staff. This was a working environment that CIA officials allowed to persist on an American base located in Afghanistan, a culture which Jones eventually had to escape from for his own safety.

Brett served in SEAL Team 8 and 10 before being discharged in 2003, when his chain of command discovered that he was a homosexual—his orientation breaking military regulations in the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” For the last 13 years, he has served as a CIA contractor with the agency’s Global Response Staff (GRS), which is charged with running mobile security for CIA case officers who need to meet with intelligence assets in dangerous regions such as Afghanistan.

The CIA runs the GRS program, but the actual employees are hired through various private security companies. These contractors are former active-duty special operations soldiers who are put through a vetting process and then deployed overseas under the leadership of actual CIA employees from the chief of base, case officers, or Ground Branch paramilitary officers. Brett made it clear to us that the company he works for, “Does everything right,” and has very specific policies about discrimination of any kind.

Gay CIA Contractor, A Former SEAL, Forced Off GRS Contract in Afghanistan
Photo: Former Navy SEAL Brett Jones on assignment in Afghanistan as a CIA GRS agent.

In this specific case, however, those company policies were not followed by GRS employees. Furthermore, sexual and racial harassment was encouraged by the CIA officers in leadership positions. In a pre-mission PowerPoint presentation obtained by SOFREP, used to brief a low-visibility movement by GRS contractors and their CIA client, slide after slide displays racist and homophobic statements. This briefing was given to GRS and CIA officers who laughed throughout the presentation. Many of the jokes were specifically to single out Jones as the only homosexual on the detail.

One slide provides instructions for the CIA clients to go to the Neverland Ranch while GRS is to go to a gay bar. Another slide about rules of engagement for the mission in regards to the team’s sensitive items reads, “How sensitive is it? Low…Purple Drank…If they take it = they die! Same wit my chickin!” The briefing, and numerous racist pictures, were found on a CIA laptop and a second laptop belonging to the contracted company, both used for unclassified material.

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The trouble began for Jones the moment he stepped off the helicopter at the CIA base on June 9th. First, it was unusual that there was no one there from GRS to pick him up. After walking a quarter mile, he arrived at their compound. “There is usually a little excitement when a new person arrives. When I walked into the team room, several of the guys walked out without even looking at me. I thought this was odd, but chalked it up as a rough day.” The cold shoulder continued as none of the GRS contractors would sit at the same table with Jones during meals. Initially, Jones did not want to believe that this behavior from his teammates was because he was gay.

The situation at the GRS compound was so uncomfortable for Jones that be began switching up his work schedule, doing his job of preparing their low-visibility vehicles for transit on the compound while the other contractors were still asleep. “I’m all about joking around,” Jones told SOFREP. “It comes with camaraderie.” But on this contract, there was a shift in attitude—a shift that made for very hostile working conditions.