Politico

Top intel official had inappropriate relationship, misused email, Pentagon probe found


A top Pentagon intelligence official responsible for some of the most sensitive portfolios engaged in inappropriate conduct with a female subordinate and improperly used his personal email for official business, a newly released investigation by the DoD inspector general alleges.

Garry Reid, a retired military officer and career civil servant, was recently relieved of his duties as director of defense intelligence for counterintelligence, law enforcement and security, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

But a third person said he continues to work in the Pentagon as of this week.

A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment, citing Reid’s personal privacy. And Reid, reached by POLITICO, said he could not discuss the matter without prior approval from the Pentagon press office and did not respond to direct questions about his current employment status.

Reid, 63, has been carrying out a series of high-profile tasks since the IG investigation was completed in April 2020 after at least four anonymous complaints dating back to 2019.

Reid, who has worked at the Pentagon for 15 years, led the Afghanistan Crisis Action Group created during the chaotic U.S. military withdrawal last year.

The group was responsible for screening and resettling Afghans who worked with American troops and are in danger of being punished or killed by the Taliban or other terrorist groups.

Reid’s office was also responsible for improving the screening of military recruits for extremist behavior after dozens of veterans were implicated in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The prospect that radical elements are hiding inside the military has forced the Pentagon to develop new training and enhance the legal tools at its disposal to spot soldiers who may be supporting violent groups such as white supremacists or otherwise violating their oath to the Constitution.

The IG probe investigated Reid’s relationship with two female subordinates, including allegations of inappropriate hugging and kissing, commuting to work and exercising with one of them, and holding frequent private meetings and lunches that further gave the appearance they were having an intimate relationship.

“We concluded that Mr. Reid’s overall course of conduct with [the first] subordinate … created a widespread perception of an inappropriate relationship and favoritism,” the IG concluded. “However, we did not find evidence to substantiate the anonymous allegation that Mr. Reid and [the subordinate] engaged in a ‘sexual affair’ and both denied the allegation.”

The investigators stated that “we did find many instances of conduct by Mr. Reid towards her that were unduly personal and not professional or performance related.”

The IG’s office, which interviewed some two dozen employees, did not corroborate allegations by other employees that Reid had a sexual relationship with the second subordinate.

Reid, in his response to investigators, also refuted the allegations that he created the perception of improper behavior for those who worked for him.

But the IG said, “We stand by our conclusion that Mr. Reid should have used better judgment to avoid creating a widespread perception of an inappropriate relationship and favoritism.”

The IG also found that Reid improperly used his personal email to conduct official business, a potential violation of Pentagon policy.

He did not share classified information but “forwarded DoD official communications and information marked as ‘FOUO,’ ‘Unclassified/FOUO,’ and ‘Controlled Unclassified Information’ to his personal email accounts,” the report said, referring to For Official Use Only information.

Reid maintained that the improper use of email was necessary due to “the fast-paced, short-fused mission requirements, normally working at home late at night to meet overwhelming demands” of his office’s mission, according to the IG report.

The IG’s findings were released under the Freedom of Information Act and first reported by the DeBrief, a science and technology website.

Since 2007, Reid has worked in the Office of the Undersecretary of Intelligence, where he has been responsible for overseeing counterintelligence policy and intelligence analysis.

Two former government officials said he is also named in a separate IG complaint into whether DoD officials retaliated against a former employee who went public in 2017 with complaints that officials were not taking seriously enough reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP),” the nomenclature the Pentagon now uses to describe UFOs.

Around the same time last year, the IG separately opened an investigation into the department’s actions regarding UAPs.

The DoD IG has not responded to recent inquiries about the status of those probes.

Continue

About the author

Lisa

Leave a Comment