Miami Book Fair Authors’ Series
Melvin A. Goodman – Whistleblower at the CIA
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In the last of our 2017 Miami Book Fair Authors’ interviews, we feature CIA veteran Melvin Goodman, author of “Whistleblower at the CIA.”
Melvin Goodman’s long career as a respected intelligence analyst at the CIA, specializing in US/Soviet relations, ended abruptly in 1990 after twenty-four years. Goodman resigned when he could no longer tolerate the corruption he witnessed at the highest levels of the Agency. In 1991 he went public, blowing the whistle on top-level officials and leading the opposition against the appointment of Robert Gates as CIA director. In the widely covered Senate hearings, Goodman charged that Gates and others had subverted “the process and the ethics of intelligence” by deliberately misinforming the White House about major world events and covert operations.
In this breathtaking exposé, Goodman tells the whole story. Retracing his career with the Agency, he presents a rare insider’s account of the inner workings of America’s intelligence community and the corruption, intimidation, and misinformation that lead to disastrous foreign policy decisions. An invaluable and historic look into one of the most secretive and influential branches of US government—and a wake-up call for the need to reform its practices.
Whistleblower at the CIA:
An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence
“Whistleblower at the CIA offers a fascinating glimpse into the secret, behind-the-scenes world of U.S. intelligence. Melvin A. Goodman’s first-person account into the systematic manipulation of intelligence at the CIA underscores why whistleblowing is so important, and why the institutional obstacles to it are so intense. Goodman exposes a lot of dirty linen, boldly naming names—not only Agency insiders but journalistic gatekeepers—a very enlightening backstage account of major historical events and how the public has been kept uninformed about them: dangerously so, in terms of our democracy and of many lost lives. Like the high-level assessments he was trained to produce at the CIA, Whistleblower draws from many sources. It is part memoir, part analysis of open sources. At its core, it’s an invaluable historical exposé, a testimony to integrity and conscience, and a call for the U.S. intelligence community to keep its top leaders in check. Urgent, timely, and deeply recommended.” —Daniel Ellsberg
“Mel Goodman has spent the last few decades telling us what’s gone wrong with American intelligence and the American military . . . he is also telling us how to save ourselves.” —Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker
About the Author
Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC, and an adjunct professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University. His 42-year government career included tours at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense’s National War College, where he was a professor of international security. His books on international security include “A Whistleblower at the CIA: The Path of Dissent;” “National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism;” “Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives are Putting the World at Risk;” “The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze;” “The Phantom Defense: America’s Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion;” “The End of Superpower Conflict in the Third World,” and “Gorbachev’s Retreat: The Third World.”
He has written numerous articles and op-eds that have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, Foreign Policy; Harper’s Magazine; the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; and the Foreign Service Journal. His TV appearances include the PBS Newshour; the Amy Goodman Show; NBC; and CBS. He has lectured at college campuses all over the country as well as to numerous chapters of the World Affairs Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and various veteran organizations. In 1991, he testified before the Senate intelligence committee in order to block the confirmation of Robert M. Gates as director of the CIA.
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