Whistleblower at the CIA

Whistleblower at the CIA
An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence

"Alternet: Mel Goodman comments on the presence of all those military men in the White House."
Aug 7, 2017

"The executive ability of military officers in government is overrated, notes Mel Goodman, a former CIA analyst: 'Generals have an operational and tactical sense of how the military works,' Goodman said in a phone interview. 'What they don't have is real strategic knowledge or mastery of regional issues. McMaster is considered an intellectual because he published his PhD thesis as a book. So what?'"—Jefferson Morley

"Mel Goodman interviewed on the International Spy Museum's SPYcast"
Aug 1, 2017

Mel Goodman is interviewed by Vince Houghton on the International Spy Museum's SPYcast.

Essay "The Myth of American Exceptionalism" on Counterpunch
Jul 27, 2017

"One of the reasons why the United States has so little credibility in making the case against Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election is the sordid record of the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency in conducting regime change and even political assassination to influence political conditions around the world."—Mel Goodman

Interview on Truthout
Jul 23, 2017

"Whistleblowers are particularly vital at the current juncture in American politics because of the authoritarian nature of the Trump administration and the failing guardrails of the American democracy."—Mel Goodman

Interview with Matt Taibbi on Rollingstone.com
Jul 21, 2017

"For journalists like me who have backgrounds either working or living in Russia, the new Red Scare has been an ongoing freakout. A lot of veteran Russia reporters who may have disagreed with each other over  other issues in the past now find themselves in like-minded bewilderment over the increasingly aggressive rhetoric . . . When asked about the roots of the current Russian-American divide, former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman, the author of excellent books like Whistleblower at the CIA and Failure of Intelligence, points to a 1990 deal struck between Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze. The two men brokered a quid pro quo: The Soviets wouldn't oppose a re-united Germany, if the Americans promised not to leapfrog East Germany into the Russians' former sphere of influence. Goodman later interviewed both men, who confirmed the key details. 'They both used the word 'leapfrog,' he says. 'The Russians think we broke that deal.' Russia believes the U.S. reneged on the leapfrog deal by seeking to add the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Georgia and even Ukraine to the NATO alliance. To Russia, American denunciations of Russian adventurism in Crimea and eastern Ukraine seem absurd, when all they see is NATO leapfrogging its way ever-closer to their borders."—Matt Taibbi

Excerpt featured on Truthout
Jul 20, 2017

Interview in "The New Mexican," Santa Fe, NM
Jul 15, 2017

Interview with Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington DC
Jul 14, 2017

Interview on "The Voice of Santa Fe"
Jul 14, 2017

Bob Scheer interviews Mel Goodman
Jul 7, 2017

Melvin A. Goodman spent over four decades in government at the CIA, State Department and as a professor at the Defense Department's War College. His most recent book is Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence. Goodman and host Robert Scheer discuss presidents' conflicting views of the CIA and the politicization of intelligence over the past several decades. Goodman tells Robert Scheer that the US had the intelligence to prevent Pearl Harbor and 9/11, but the failure was with the analysis of that intelligence. And Goodman says in order for the relationship between the United States and Russia to stabilize, the two countries need to restart the program of de-nuclearization that began more than half a century ago.

Interview with Mel Goodman by Sonali Kolhatkar on "Rising Up"
Jun 27, 2017

Taped at Vroman's Bookstore on June 26th, 2017.

Interview on San Francisco's KALW "Your Call"
Jun 21, 2017

Interview on Berkeley's KPFA "Up Front"
Jun 21, 2017

Interview on The Peter B. Collins Show
Jun 20, 2017

CBC's "The Current"
Jun 7, 2017

Mel Goodman discusses the relationship between whistleblowers and the media.

The Six Day War and Israeli Lies: What I Saw at the CIA
Jun 5, 2017

"On too many occasions in U.S. history, the use of force has been justified with either corrupt intelligence or just plain lies.  Such was the case in the Mexican-American War; the Spanish-American War; the Vietnam War; and the 2003 Iraq War.  The checks and balances that were needed to prevent the misuse of intelligence were not operative, and Presidents Polk, McKinley, Johnson, and Bush deceived the American people, the U.S. Congress, and the press.  In 1967, Israeli officials at the highest level lied to the White House about the start of the Six-Day War."

- Melvin Goodman

The Washington Post's Renewed Attack on Whistleblowers
May 29, 2017

 "The Washington Post's schizoid approach toward whistleblowers continues unabated.  On the one hand, its news staff has effectively used authoritative leaks to expose the bizarre and possibly illegal contacts between senior members of the Trump administration and high-level Russian officials.  On the other hand, its editorial writers maintain an ugly campaign against U.S. officials who have kept the Post and the New York Times aware of the dangerous antics of Donald Trump and his senior staff.  Post oped writer Michael Gerson has provided the latest example of the paper's criticism of those whistleblowers who allow investigative reporters to do their constitutionally-sanctioned job."

- Melvin Goodman

Publishers Weekly

"Goodman (National Insecurity), a former CIA analyst who served from the Johnson administration through the first Reagan administration, exposes the disconcerting politicization of intelligence at America's best-known international intelligence-gathering agency. The poisonous mixing of politics and ideology in service of White House masters culminates in Goodman’s account of his fateful but unsuccessful takedown attempt of his onetime friend Robert Gates, who became CIA director in 1991 after a failed 1987 attempt. Goodman boldly stepped out of shadows and into the harsh glare of a congressional hearing to charge Gates with downplaying his knowledge of the Iran-Contra Affair and manipulating intelligence facts to serve political ends. Recalling these events, Goodman harnesses palpable outrage to this solid, if sometimes repetitive, indictment of Gates as a relentless careerist who "lacked a moral core." He also excoriates the news media, the courts, and Congress for failing to protect constitutional democracy or even other whistle-blowers such as Edward Snowden. As Goodman ominously concludes, this ongoing abdication of oversight and commitment to the truth by the keepers of the country’s secrets presages a slow but steady drift into the very authoritarianism against which the U.S. has long railed." -- Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

"A former CIA analyst (1966-1990) deplores what he argues is the increasing deleterious politicization of the agency. In his latest book, Goodman—who has taught at the National War College, held other intelligence-related positions, and written earlier accounts of what he sees as a very troubled agency (Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA, 2008, etc.)—thoroughly rages against the corruption he has viewed in the highest ranks of the CIA."

New York Journal of Books

"The concluding chapter of Whistleblower at the CIA is worth the price of the book, providing context for national security from the past to today."—Robert Schaefer

Mel Goodman featured on CSPAN Book TV
May 20, 2017

Melvin A. Goodman talked about his book, Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence. He spoke from the James Michener Pavilion at the 2017 Gaithersburg Book Festival, held on the grounds of City Hall in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


Essay on Counterpunch, "The Wrong Way to Share Intelligence"
May 18, 2017

"There is nothing unusual about sharing intelligence, even sensitive intelligence.  The United States does regular intelligence sharing with the English-speaking countries, and the United States and UK are particularly generous in the process of sharing.  The CIA shares intelligence with key NATO, and conducts semi-annual meetings to share intelligence with Israel and Egypt.  But it is most unusual for the president of the United States to take the lead role in sharing intelligence."—Mel Goodman

- Counterpunch

"The Need for Whistleblowers" essay on Counterpunch
May 16, 2017

"Despite the increasingly bizarre and even tyrannical behavior of Donald Trump, the mainstream media are still assuring Americans that our checks and balances are in play, and that the 'guardrails' of democracy are in place. . . . The absence of aggressive [governmental] oversight makes it essential that whistleblowers step forward to report any evidence of the misuse of political power and to challenge the secrecy that fosters ignorance in the United States. . . . The uncertainty and disarray of the Trump administration and its ill-prepared national security team has made the importance of 'telling truth to power' more essential than ever."—Mel Goodman

Essay on Counterpunch: Trump's Campaign of Militarization
Nov 23, 2016

"There is no more important risk in political governance than making sure that civilian control of the military is not compromised, and that the military remains subordinate to political authority. "—Mel Goodman

- Counterpunch

Interview on Free Speech Radio News
Nov 21, 2016

Mel Goodman says, "Trump's CIA director pick Mike Pompeo an apologist for agency’s crimes."

- Free Speech Radio News

"More Lies from the Spies: the Tall Tales of Robert Gates"
Feb 4, 2016

"Former CIA director and secretary of defense Robert M. Gates, who served both Bush administrations as well as the Obama administration, has produced his third self-aggrandizing memoir.  His most recent effort, A Passion for Leadership is in the form of lessons learned, but there is no acknowledgement of any flaw or stumble, let alone mistake.  In view of Gates' emphasis on  'integrity,' it's useful to review his CIA career, particularly his relationship with CIA director William Casey. . . . "

- Counter Punch