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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/29/19

Red "Whistleblowing" Herrings

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On CNLive yesterday evening (link below), Ray discussed the new "Ukraine-gate" whistleblower, who is reported to be a CIA officer who spent some time on detail to the White House. Ray begins with a brief discussion of the intelligence officer-policy maker nexus particularly the need for the intelligence officer to keep abreast of the interests and needs of the policy maker without becoming seduced into active advocacy of this or that policy.

Ray outlines how Robert Gates placed on steroids the practice of inserting intelligence officers into policy departments, and offers short case studies, demonstrating the need to keep a respectful space between intelligence and policy not to mention the invaluable credibility and trust that accrues to an intelligence officer who avoids the slightest appearance of policy advocacy. In contrast, there has been serious mischief -- and worse -- when intelligence analysts, sitting side-by-side with policy makers, slip into the role of policy maker, blurring the lines and letting their own political/ideological views (and/or the views of those who "detailed" them) intrude inappropriately on policy making.

Seconding CIA officers to policy making offices increases this risk several-fold. The reported detailee "whistleblower" for Ukraine-gate needs to be scrutinized in this context.

Filing a complaint, based on hearsay, to the Inspector General of National Intelligence to investigate the president? Really? What did the "whistleblower" really have in mind? Already discernible with the initial leaks of this story to the media was the stench of rotting red herring.

The following is from Consortium News (Ray's segment goes from minute 7:55 to 44:40); the whole CNLive video is worth watching.)

Watch CN Live! with Katherine Gun, Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Ritter, Ray McGovern and John Wight on whistleblowing, the Iraq War, impeachment and the British political crisis.

Katharine Gun, the GCHQ whistleblower who tried to stop the invasion of Iraq and whose story is now the subject of a major motion picture, "Official Secrets," joined legendary whistleblower Dan Ellsberg for an in-depth discussion about what it means to blow the whistle to try to stop bloodshed.

Scott Ritter, a former UN chief weapons inspector looking for WMD in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, who also opposed the war, provided his eye-opening insights into that period, as well as his thoughts on the CIA "whistleblower," questioning whether he had contacts with Obama CIA Director John Brennan.

Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who used to enter the White House to brief the president, also spoke about the CIA "whistleblower," revealing that McGovern turned down the very same job in the White House because of a political conflict of interest, which apparently did not bother this "whistleblower."

We also got an incisive update on the political crisis rocking Great Britain from Scottish journalist John Wight. All on CN Live! with your hosts Elizabeth Vos and Joe Lauria. You can watch the replay here:

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
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