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.

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.

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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.


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.

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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?


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.

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It’s been a long process indeed. I knew this ahead of time, which is why I had a totally different career I was working on. I never put all my eggs in one basket. I’ll see what their letter says. If it comes up that they think my time in Eurasia was problematic, too bad, their loss. I gained lots of valuable information being on the ground there. Information you can’t learn in a classroom. If it won’t be useful to them, I’m sure it’ll be useful to future employers.

I think of it as absurdity and insanity, and thank god I had a backup plan or I’d be screwed like half the people on this forum.


@justananalyst Did you ever hear from them?

Wait for letter. Challenge it. Im betting several of your exposures were intell officers. They cant say for certain if bonds of affection were created. Personally? If we had no indicators of that Id want you on my team. You were where the rubber meets the road. Boots on the ground experience. Some gov agency values that. As long as you were fully honest on poly. In adversary nations our people are watching their people as they befriend our people and interact. You will never know the extent they tailed, followed and captured intell on your every move. If a few heavy hitters interacted with you…the assumption is they tried to turn you and by varying degrees may have turned you. Higher risk.

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Yes, exactly.
I’ve learned my lessons the hard way: NEVER apply for employment in any situation where you will have no control over the application process. NEVER apply for employment in any situation where aptitude, interests, knowledge, etc. will run a distant second to being able to survive an unfair BI, which is essentially a popularity contest.

Ehhh…no popularity contest. Just documented life history compared to adjudicative standards…compared to risk of you continuing to live a life violating laws and rules. If an agency cannot trust you to reasonably follow rules…chances are your documented history of…not following rules…continues.

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Just got the dreaded FedEx from the agency in Virginia

“ we regret to inform that we are descending the COE effective immediately. This decision is not open to appeal, nor will additional information be provided “

Been in the process since Dec 2017 not sure if this is a denial or suitability or budget/program changes.

I am currently at the highest end of the grade and a step above the COE not sure if that was a deal breaker?

No appeal? No Statement of Reasons? No mention of being able to apply again in a year?

I’m not good at math but Dec 2017 to Sep 2022 sounds pretty close to five years… to end up with a fairly cryptic note.

By the way, CIA says they want to speed up their hiring process by “orders of magnitude”

Wonder if that includes not leaving people out there hanging for three years or more.

Nope nothing no mention of denial of clearance either

If it doesn’t say you were denied a clearance, then you didn’t get it denied. There could be multiple reasons. They used to hire 5 people per open billet, but I just read they hire 10 now. Keep in mind these are all people that meet the minimum requirements for the position, and the first person that makes it through gets the job. Sometimes they put you in a cleared pool and will offer you another job similar to the one you applied for. Other times they just cut ties because, based on the risk assessment, it is not worth it, or the skills the candidate has are just not unique enough to warrant keeping them hanging on. Either way, its probably nothing that you did.