December 11, 2023

Florida Representative Matt Gaetz accused the National Security Agency (NSA) of targeting white Americans after conservative news site Daily Wire leaked what it claims is a list of glossary terms produced by the agency regarding race and gender ideology.

In a report Wednesday, the Daily Wire published a 34-page document that contained several definitions for terms commonly used in conversations regarding diversity and inclusion efforts. The outlet, which was co-founded by conservative commentators Ben Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing, claimed that the document was published internally by the NSA in May 2022, and described the document as pushing “blatantly left-wing views on race and sex.”

Gaetz, a Republican and frequent critic of “woke” policies within the federal government, bashed the purportedly leaked document during an episode of his Firebrand podcast on Thursday, calling NSA’s definitions “insane, bigoted nonsense.”

Gaetz Accuses NSA of Targeting White People
Representative Matt Gaetz speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill October 23, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Gaetz on Thursday bashed the National Security Agency after a conservative news outlet claimed to leak a document outlining the agency’s terms regarding diversity and inclusion.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“The NSA has apparently been up to no good, but not in the usual sense,” Gaetz told his listeners. “Instead of spying on Americans without warrants, it seems the NSA has now shifted its focus to, you guessed it, diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Newsweek was unable to verify the authenticity of the document published by the Daily Wire. An email was sent Thursday to the NSA’s press office for comment on the report.

Several Republican lawmakers have raised concerns in recent years that, under the administration of President Joe Biden, the Department of Defense (DoD) has gone “woke,” a word used to describe being aware of racial and social injustices but has been co-opted by conservatives as a term of derision. Conservatives have especially taken issue with the department’s policies regarding abortion, transgender service members, and diversity and inclusion efforts.

Gaetz argued Thursday that the supposed NSA glossary was a sign that the DoD has been “distracted by nonsense” instead of focusing on catching up in the global arms race for hypersonic weapons. The U.S. has lagged behind China and Russia’s developments of hypersonic missile programs in recent years.

The Florida lawmaker particularly took issue with the NSA’s purported definition regarding terms like white fragility and white privilege. According to the Daily Wire’s report, the agency’s definition of whiteness is “a broad social construction that embraces the white culture, history, ideology, racialization, expressions … and structural benefits for those socially deemed white.” The glossary also lists definitions related to the LGBTQ+ community.

“So what the NSA is pushing is a load of insane, bigoted nonsense,” Gaetz continued. “And these are just a few of the 327 social justice terms listed in their glossary to blame white Europeans for engaging in settler colonialism.”

Gaetz also raised concerns that the leaked glossary could be a warning sign of the NSA and other federal agencies using these terms to target Americans.

“Big Brother getting into [critical race theory] should concern us, and if we don’t nip it in the bud right now, we’re going to be paying for it,” he continued. “Imagine the NSA intercepting your text messages and flagging … any material deemed to support extremist beliefs, like there are only two genders, or I’m not sorry that my ancestors created Western civilization. Perhaps they’re already doing this.”

“What else would they be keeping a glossary like this for?” Gaetz added.

NSA is allowed to collect the communications of American citizens in instances where the information is related to targeted security purposes under the 2008 law known as Section 702. According to a report from The New York Times on Thursday, the law is set to expire on New Year’s Eve, and it remains unclear if Congress will renew it.