“We Obviously Learned Nothing from The Loss in Vietnam Forty Years Ago”
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your must-read book “Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence”, you make a historical testimony about the internal functioning of the American intelligence community. What was the impact of your report on the world of intelligence? Since the publication of your book, do you think there have been positive changes in the intelligence services or, on the contrary, do the same practices that you denounce continue?
Dr. Melvin Goodman: Since my congressional testimony in 1991, there has been a greater recognition of the problem of politicization of intelligence. But my books in 2008 and 2017 on the CIA have not received sufficient attention in my opinion. Moreover, the so-called intelligence “reform” after 9/11 only made matters worse by expanding the militarization of intelligence. Also, the appointments of such CIA directors as Gina Haspel, Mike Pompeo, Gen. Petraeus, and Leon Panetta indicate that we need a president who understands the need for an independent and tough-minded CIA director. Under these leaders, the CIA has become too much of a para-military organization.
Recent News and Latest Book
What Russian Folklore Can Tell Us About Russia
Russian history is largely the history of war, as Russia found itself engaged in military confrontation between the 13th and 20th centuries. For most of its history, Russia anticipated confrontation on its long border with China in the East; with the legacy of the Mongols on its “sensitive southern frontier,” and with the Western invaders—Napoleon and Hitler. Putin and his ilk come by their paranoia, xenophobia, and siege mentality quite naturally.
U.S. Intelligence Boasting Intensifies Russian-American Proxy War
York Times’s international affairs columnist Thomas Friedman is arguably the most influential editorial writer in the country. Last week, his editorial aptly warned the Biden administration of the “huge unintended consequences” of its unplanned and impromptu remarks regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and the savagery of his tactics in Ukraine. Friedman reprised the World War II slogan, “Loose lips sink ships.”