Disapproved for Access to Classified Info CIA

After 6 years, I got denied. Their letter states that I will receive another letter with reasons for my denial and instructions on requesting a review of their decision.

Timeline:
Dec 2015: Applied to graduate studies program while in grad school by the advice of my initial point contact whom I met at an academic conference.

March 2016: Interviewed and accepted COE for Targeting Analyst Position instead of grad studies program. They did not inform why they changed position.

Jan 2018: Did medical, psych, and 2 polies. First poly was very smooth. Second I was scolded about my time studying in Russia. At the end of poly, was asked if I was interested in ops in addition to being an analyst. I said sure.

Jan 2017-Nov 2021: Crickets, follow-ups, and routine check ins when I was going overseas or relocating.

Dec 2021: Rejected

Was told I passed my poly, psych and medical in 2018 by my program officer and that I was just awaiting adjudication. I’ve had many PO’s due to high turnover, some more open than others. I’ve spent some time in Russia and Kazakhstan because of school/studies, but maybe this time presented a red flag? FBI twice paid me a visit to ask questions about a public diplomacy program I participated in Russia and inform me of some concerns they had about some Russian participants in the program being affiliated w/Russian intel. I know for sure that they contacted at least one other American participant. Program was very academic in nature, but it’s assumed that when you’re an American in Russia, somebody affiliated with Russian intel is watching/around. I’m not naïve. Wondering if the Russia exposure could have led to denial? I was always very transparent with PO about programs I was participating in/language studies abroad, etc, and framed it in a way that benefitted the agency by having the knowledge and exposure. They never not one time said not to go, and my initial point contact was even very encouraging to go to Russia as much as possible, hinting that Langley was less paranoid about this than other agencies. Wondering if this Russia exposure led to my denial. Feedback would be appreciated.

You know the answer to this question. If the FBI is questioning you about your foreign contacts it’s a good assumption they are problematic whether you realize it or not.

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The FBI could be right. They could also be wrong. I’d like to think I can trust them, but how they handled the Carter Page situation made me not want to trust them. They wiretapped and accused the guy of being a fool and giving info to Russian spies when in actuality, he was an agency contractor. Dragged the guy’s name through the mud. Were some of the Russian participants in my program affiliated with the Russian government? Sure. Were they Russian intel? Idk. Also, the way you to get an upper hand on your adversaries is by being close and understanding them holistically. The few months I spent in Russia and KZ did much more for me than years in university classrooms. My 2 cents response.

I’m jumping in here just to say Jesus Christ, six damn years. Right decision by agency or not, can anyone here explain how this process isn’t teetering on the absurd?

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Think of it like a hung jury. No one’s changing their mind, no conviction means no guilt or no innocence. No adjudication means no denial but no confirmation either.