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On Melvin Goodman’s ‘Whistle Blower at the CIA’, an assessment of both; book & author. Of too may criticisms to detail, we begin with what appears to be the statement of a naif:

“The CIA I joined was not the paramilitary organization it is today”

This preceding statement is patently absurd; see former Pentagon liaison to CIA Fletcher Prouty’s nearly 50 years ago account ‘The Secret Team.’ What Goodman misses is, the paramilitary arm of the CIA, part of its’ directorate of operations, is simply [these days] ‘out of the closet’ as compared to the era of Alan Dulles which initially had built this quite amazing, but in those days ‘clandestine’ paramilitary arm, replete with world-wide logistics.

As Goodman details the methodical destruction of the CIA’s independent intelligence function, over decades, by politics driving policy, Goodman seems to naively believe the CIA can be salvaged with un-corrupted leadership imposing its’ will from the top down. Many a well intended executive has gone to their career gallows when presiding over a crime syndicate which despises-sabotages their leadership from within.

Goodman has a positive bias (blind spot) towards certain military, reflecting his war college days. Goodman gets the right-wing orientation and archaic military culture correct, but neglects the institutionalized religious extremism and is too generous to top military figures, particularly former students, e.g. Martin Dempsey, and certainly H.R. McMaster; Dempsey sat on his hands and did nothing to address the problem of (as documented by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation) Christian extremism in the officer corps, McMaster is likely part of this present day problem. This infection is also known to have spread throughout the CIA, how can it not be so much as be noted?

Goodman’s assessment of William Colby is unnecessarily oxymoronic; Former director Colby was a ‘reformer’ troubled by the abuses of the agency but this has to be squared with Colby’s on-site leadership of the office overseeing ‘Phoenix Program’ in Vietnam … but as Goodman was aware, Colby profiles as a ‘catholic conscience’ whose CIA crime programs he oversaw had ‘escaped the lab’ or gone out of control, Phoenix with up to 50,000 assassinations of mostly non-combatants (Colby acknowledged 20,000 dead Viet Cong proper, which is questionable), or for that matter, GLADIO aided and abetted by Colby via Opus Dei and the resultant false-flag terror in Europe. He [Goodman] couldn’t write about the prior, and dare not actually touch the latter; on account of his desire to see the CIA salvaged on the one hand, and his having to submit his book to CIA censors on the other hand. However Goodman mentions the possibility in passing, no one from the CIA is going to delve into actual circumstance of Colby’s death; pointing to assassination for his loose tongue over decades, and not least, for putting Douglas Valentine onto the principals of Phoenix, inclusive of Daniel Ellsberg and Ellsberg’s association with international narcotics traffickers.

Goodman describing Colby as an “honorable” CIA director is more than a stretch. Colby, at best, was repentant, however this cannot forgive a world class international criminal, deserving of nothing less than a life in prison term. That other CIA directors were worse, cannot conceal Colby’s personal history of initiating incalculable evil. This ‘catholic’ attitude of ‘forgiveness’ on Goodman’s part, overlooking a world class criminal’s faults, is one of the worst tools of a self-psychology skewing reality; a human defect that largely destroys his book.

On Robert Gates: “Gates lacked a moral core … his long history of lying, pandering and conniving…” Goodman might have better said Gates had been the ‘flotsam in the septic tank at Langley’ but Goodman is a gentleman in all circumstance, whereas I am not. But there is no mention of Gates’ hardcore Iran-Contra crimes as noted by rogue Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben Menache.

Instead, Goodman lays tremendous blame on William ‘Bill’ Casey for all sorts of nefarious acts and yet admits Casey was incomprehensible and senile. He seems to miss it was Robert Gates was actually running things on behalf of the Vice President George H.W. Bush, for the mentally disabled Casey, instead Goodman makes Gates out to be Casey’s sycophant. No doubt Robert Gates is worthy of utter contempt, but to put much of the book into reducing Gates’ more than considerable influence during the Reagan administration, to one of a small, shallow, vindictive, two-faced suck-up and butt-kisser (no doubt Gates was all of these) undermining objective intelligence analysis at the CIA, and whose incompetence combined with conforming ‘intelligence’ to ideological policy had done tremendous damage, is an insult to the informed reader. In reality, Robert Gates was also a cunning, accomplished, world-class criminal, throughout his government career. Despite knowing Gates from 1968, Goodman couldn’t properly read him.

There is no mention of Robert Gates role in the 1980 ‘October Surprise’ (in fact no mention at all, of this critically important event.)

Goodman mentions Robert McFarlane but there is no mention of one of the best kept secrets in Washington; that Reagan’s National Security Advisor, McFarlane, was an Israeli intelligence asset, and this is the real reason he was ‘retired’ rather than face politically damning treason charges, to protect George H.W. Bush’s upcoming run for the presidency.

There is no mention of the Guardian expose, where David Petraeus is shown to have been reported to, at the apex of chain of command, concerning clandestine torture sites, and related death squads, in Iraq. This documentary was closely timed to his [Patraeus] resigning from the CIA (only weeks prior to film release), certainly the real reason behind Petraeus departure, the illicit affair with Paula Broadwell exposed as a ‘cover story’ for his resignation, and why the Broadwell case sat on Attorney General Holder’s desk for a year; to see how revelations might develop, answering a question at the White House: would there be any instance of American press picking up the Guardian Films/BBC Arabic documentary? It stretches credulity Goodman wouldn’t have known this.

For all his criticism of Obama’s protection of John Brennan and handing the CIA over to the operations people, with Obama keeping the CIA Office of Inspector General vacant for 42 months, Goodman is timid, there is no chance this guy would look into Obama’s mother’s career as a clandestine services intelligence officer and the fact a young Barack was employed by a CIA front company.

Goodman utterly blows his North Korea analysis, when using LBJ’s metaphor of a nation that “couldn’t piss its way out of a phone booth” let alone pose an existential threat to the USA. He probably wishes he had that back; since his book’s May 2017 publication, North Korea has tested a hydrogen bomb, and appears to have successfully performed a MIRV (multiple independent re-entry vehicles) test with a medium range missile over the Pacific. Directly relevant to this, there is no mention of the ‘Tinners’ CIA ‘sting’ operation that actually accelerated North Korea’s nuclear program; when the CIA had passed authentic bomb designs, with deliberate flaws introduced, through the international black market … and the CIA’s corrupt cut-outs, who just happened to be expert nuclear engineers, caught and corrected the mistakes prior to selling the bomb schematics. This resulted in the CIA insisting all evidence of the ‘sting’ operation be destroyed, an event described by a Swiss investigator as “hiding their own stupidity.”

Goodman’s treatment of Feinstein’s torture report sticks closely to what is already reported in ‘mainstream’ without so much as a whiff of considering whether the entire exercise were a damage control information operation pointing to Feinstein and CIA in collusion to bury the real numbers of renditions and not having to deal with ‘disappeared’ people. The very idea of Feinstein holding the national security state accountable is at odds with her voting record and real actions in nearly every respect.

If Goodman were a real whistle-blower, the CIA history he details, at minimum, would have 1) pointed out the renditions story has never added up, questioning whatever exercise the Feinstein report is really all about; because there is a glaring inconsistency in the math of 11,000 known flights and more  identified renditions aircraft than acknowledged ‘black site’ prisoners, 2) brought up the Guardian expose of Petraeus, 3) confirmed the 1980 ‘October Surprise’ deal with Iran’s ayatollahs, and Robert Gates involvement, 4) fingered William Colby’s key role in setting up the GLADIO cells that eventually terrorized Europe throughout the 1980s, 5) brought up the ‘Tinners’ nuclear sting gone awry, 6) spilled on the CIA’s history of international narcotics trafficking (NOT an isolated Iran-Contra linked phenomenon but ongoing from Vietnam to this day in Afghanistan),  and, not least, 7) how it is a known cartel hit-man, Enrique Prado, rose to become the CIA equal to a two star general, even as  he continued to conduct business with the international narcotics trafficking under-world. Prado is in private business, to this day, untouched. Tell us Goodman, who at CIA is protecting Prado? Goodman could have outlined these subjects without submitting his book for review & censorship and willingly suffered the consequence, but he didn’t.

On the other hand, as an analyst who, having never worked in the ‘operations directorate’, Goodman is a technocrat who never actually experienced the ‘underbelly’ of the CIA. That said, it is hard to believe he’d not be intimately informed of the dirtier side’s history after 24 years at the agency. And most certainly, no one who wishes to stay within the safe confines of the establishment would ever point to the official 9/11 record as being equally bizarre to any of the conspiracy theories; particularly as relates to World Trade Center Building 7 having ‘died of fright’ on the afternoon of 11 September.

Finally, Goodman’s admiration for William ‘the Iran animus’ Burns  – Condoleezza Rice’s hatchet-man, when it came to sinking any rehabilitation in the USA’s relations with Iran under cover of, or pretense of, ‘diplomatic’ efforts – and wishing that genuine creep could have been appointed Director of CIA, shows Goodman’s utter poor judgement of character, or the disingenuous nature of those portions of his book amounting to a revisionist historical fiction. I’m guessing it is poor judgement of a failed analyst for the following important facts Goodman DOES bring out:

Goodman points out that, in March 1985, the CIA was responsible for a Beirut car bomb laden with 400 lbs of explosive that entirely missed its target but killed 80 innocent people. This was result of a) false (read politicized) analysis leading to US Marines stationed in Lebanon b) the subsequent blowing up of the marine’s barracks c) resultant attempt to target a Lebanese responsible for the attack on the marines due to said false analysis placing marines in harms way d) assassination of SOLELY 80 INNOCENTS;  on account of corruption/incompetence by the CIA from beginning through end of process.

‘cash awards’ (legal bribes) paid for ‘politicized’ (falsified) analysis by superiors. Early example is the 1985 assessment Agca’s Attempt to Kill the Pope: A Case for Soviet Involvement.’ The falsifiers are promoted within the system, a legacy of Robert Gates.

Concerning subsequent falsified analysis, this following metaphor is used when choosing people to produce the product:

“”Judge shopping in the courthouse” for there is no better way to assure the outcome of a tendentious intelligence product. You can get the sentence you desire with the right judges; you can do the same with the appointment of the right analysts to draft an intelligence product”

When the better intelligence didn’t fit the politics of policy, Robert Gates routinely blocked that information’s circulation. John Brennan took this farther with his reorganizing the CIA into regional ‘fusion centers’ where the analysts themselves are now subject to manipulation via pre-corrupted ‘raw’ intelligence fed to them directly by the operations side of the agency; thus ‘taming’ the independence of the analysts. This is consistent with my own analysis of the new fusion centers (which goes much farther.)

The office of DNI was designed under Bush to give intelligence final product control (delivery/dissemination) within the administration to the Pentagon; who controls the DNI budget and personnel (!!)

The offices of inspector general are compromised at Defense, State, CIA & NSA.

The CIA’s operations directorate “senior leadership” began an internal war against the OIG office under Bush but this endeavor was much more successful under Obama…

“Obama endorsed an overall weakening of the office of Inspector General throughout the national security bureaucracy and undermined to work of individual inspectors general”

…noting Goodman’s wife was employed at CIA OIG during Bush Jr, to 2005, his source is premium. As well, Goodman notes:

“The State Department had no Inspector General during the entire tenure of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, leaving in place an acting Inspector General with close ties to Secretary Clinton and her husband”

Diane Feinstein “sat on her hands while CIA director Panetta dismantled and marginalized the oversight responsibilities of the Office of Inspector General”

And finally: “The Pentagon is responsible for nearly 90% of personnel in the intelligence community and 85% of the community’s $75 billion budget”

The upshot of Goodman’s book: the military has won the internecine intelligence battle for control set in motion with the creation of the CIA as an intelligence GATHERING (not clandestine operations) agency by Harry Truman and this is not good news. At the end of the day, with a thoroughly militarized intelligence community (noting the CIA’s operations sector has been paramilitary since the era of Allan Dulles), Goodman’s overall point is correct, but this could be lost on readers drowned in the book’s obsession with Robert Gates rants.

My upcoming amazon ranking: two stars.


Note on the preceding: embedded links upcoming


A Mephisto assessment of reality