Podcast Show #9

The Boiling Frogs Presents Melvin Goodman

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Melvin Goodman discusses the steady decline of the CIA in the last three decades. He provides his well-argued criticism of the mainstream media, especially the Washington Post Editorials which have been acting as defenders and apologists for the CIA. Mr. Goodman talks about Robert Gates’ record during the Reagan Era, the broken political and policy making process in Washington today, the CIA torture & Secret Assassination team, Blackwater, needed reforms within the Intelligence Community, and more!

Melvin GoodmanMelvin A. Goodman is a fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC and adjunct professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University. He served at the CIA as senior Soviet analyst from 1966-1990 and as professor of international security at the National War College from 1986-2004. He resigned from the CIA in 1990 to protest the politicization of intelligence on the Soviet Union and testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1991 against the confirmation of Robert M. Gates as director of central intelligence. At the time of his resignation, Goodman was a member of the Senior Intelligence Staff. He is the author and co-author of five books on international relations including "The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze," "The Phantom Defense: America's Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion," and "Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives are Putting the World at Risk."

Here is our guest Melvin Goodman unplugged!

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  1. Don’t miss this interview. Mel Goodman really goes after the Washington Post. Of course,and after all, this is the paper that runs ‘saloons’ pimping influence! Anyone surprised here?! Didn’t think so;-)This is why we call this place ‘Home of the Irate Minority’

  2. Have to say though, I think attributing Walter Pincus’ shilling for the CIA, which has been going on for quite a long time, as mere ‘laziness’ is debatable. I don’t know if he’s on their payroll or not, but he sure acts like he is.

  3. Dawn of a Patriot says:

    Thank you Sibel for every word you speak. You are greatly appreciated!
    Thank you for your insight, your fight for truth, and your love of this country. Thank you for showing me there really are people left that work in the light and not the dark.
    For darkness bleeds into the light.
    May God grant you your every desire, and may he forgive us for needing man to rule over us when we already had the best!

  4. Dawn of a Patriot says:

    P.S. Thank you for the new web sites for real NEWS! Just in case any one misses them they are….http://therealnews.com/t/
    and http://www.consortiumnews.com/

  5. @ Miguel: Re: Pincus- we are on the same page. Bernstein exposed his ‘real ties’ in late 70s. The latest: while his son represented BlackWater (their attorney in their latest court case), his father, Walter, covered BlackWater for WashPost.

  6. Sibel – Today, Obama restored oversight power to the IOB:


    Will this help in any significant way?

  7. Kingfisher says:

    “Will this help in any significant way?”

    No. PFIAB never had much significance to begin with.

  8. @ Jade: I tend to agree with KingFisher. I’m afraid it is only symbolic; no different than let’s say Inspector General Offices of various gov agencies…No teeth…Rhetoric, and nothing in action…

  9. 1. There was the spy recently caught. 2. Now the IOB 3. Pressure on Eric Holder according to Mel Goodman I think at least it can be said people of influence are paying attention. Perhaps President Obama is testing the limits of his cage, to see whether in fact he retains any real power.

  10. bill casey. OSS. CIA.
    Would it be reasonable for the layman reader to suppose the Reagan presidency marked a strategic warp, within which vying forces, always operating around any government, legitimized a LINE behind which morality ceased to exist?
    but which was required to pretend to exist at the public level?
    Where secret otherwise criminal enterprise became a ‘norm’ in order to pursue agenda; a schizoid world view requiring control of public media born. ? Is this what we are talking about?

    Casey is recorded as saying that the use of narcotics in inner city ghettos was the choice of the addict. Their problem. If they wanted it, he would supply it and take their money. [Op Watchtower etc.] True or false? The advent of MENA [while under Bill Clintons very dubious watch] and the wholesale importation of cocaine etc began in a more serious manner under Casey, Barry SEAL Oliver NORTH and BUSH [iran contra etc].
    As I have read it, the control and importation of narcotics by administrative covert operations into the mainland USA in the era of and after CASEY became industrialized in this period [Notwithstanding the precedents set by Air ‘America and Burma Opium control of WW11.]

    So that Reagan, North et al were, more than any other administration, the CONDUITS for the present major and endemic corruptions seeming total control of the rule of LAW ; possibly/probably? represented ongoing by, among others, Gates and even Hillary herself[Rose/Stephens/Tyson etc].

    Are they fair suppositions or just misquotes by the stupid??

    Given that Karzi’s brother has just been outed on cia payroll while known as Afghani drugrunner? NYTimes.

  11. Kingfisher says:

    “Are they fair suppositions or just misquotes by the stupid??”

    Certainly has some degree of truth to it. That said, I think you paint with too wide a brush, and are reaching with some points.

    – Great power politics is fundamentally amoral. When push comes to shove there is no line. Reagan, Casey, et al were true believers – the fundamentally believed, falsely imo, that we were in a life or death, zero-sum fight against communism.

    – Did “secret otherwise criminal enterprise became a ‘norm’ in order to pursue agenda”? Possibly, but just as likely new frauds/scams/rackets/crimes are needed to finance the cover-up of old ones and it just perpetuates itself.

    – Re: Media – there is a line between conspiracy and incompetence, the truth is usually in the middle.

    “So that Reagan, North et al were, more than any other administration, the CONDUITS for the present major and endemic corruptions seeming total control of the rule of LAW ; possibly/probably? represented ongoing by, among others, Gates and even Hillary herself[Rose/Stephens/Tyson etc].”

    Too early to tell.

    “Given that Karzi’s brother has just been outed on cia payroll while known as Afghani drugrunner? NYTimes.”

    This was obvious or an open secret to people who follow AfPak matters. AWK is a warlord in Afghanistan. Warlords in Afghanistan are involved in drugs, and the agency has been buying Afghan warlords for the past 8 years. It’s like women you meet at the bar with lower-back tattoos and who smoke: it may not be a rule, but it’s pretty much a sure thing.

  12. Sibel – Good to know. I’ll write to the WH and demand that they do more. Sounds like filling Helgerson’s open position with someone who is competent would be a good starting point.

    Re: our broken Congress, the more I think about it, the more I believe that it’s all tied to our economic policies. Beginning with Reagan’s economic policies and onwards, the majority of the people in this country have been sold out. When wealth and income shift, power shifts, too. The past 30 years have seen the income of the majority of us decline or remain stagnant. It was that shift that helped transform Washington into a huge lobby shop during the 90s. And it was the the false aura of economic prosperity during that time that led even the Democratic party via Bill Clinton to be co-opted by the market fundamentalists and to latch onto their belief that democracy is best when it’s left in the invisible hands of the market. Greenspan said back then that fraud should never be investigated, because the markets will always correct for the few bad-apple perpetuators of fraud.

    Finance, PhRMA, and the MIC now have so much money and power that they dictate domestic and foreign policies. And each sector writes the legislation that is meant to regulate them. Congress is broken because of that. And they’ve allowed the corruption and conflicts-of-interest to penetrate every government and quasi-government agency. Everybody has a strong incentive to both protect their paymasters and situate themselves for more lucrative positions of power in the private sector.

    So my theory is that there will be no oversight or accountability until we find a way to recalibrate the balance of power in this country. Problem is that things like removing corporate personhood, having publicly-financed elections, increasing the top marginal tax rate, closing corporate tax loopholes, reinstating Glass-Steagall, etc. are not things that a captured Congress would advocate or vote for. Somehow, we have to shift a chuck of power back to the people. If we don’t, we’re doomed. The security-industrial complex is growing as I type this. The more money they make, the more powerful they become and the more lucrative it will become to devise systems to track innocent civilians, find a rationale to label them as domestic terrorists, and throw them into for-profit prisons. And it’s probably a safe bet to assume that our media will love to tell us those stories . . . the ones about the terrorists who may be living next door to us.

  13. Alan Premel says:

    Sibel, I am very proud of you for the site and i was very pleased and happy with the show with Goodman. I never onced disagreed with him which is unusual for me especially on Rendition and Torture. I wish you continued success in this. Keep your head and chin up as we are all proud of you. You are not only a hero for those who are not whistleblowers but an inspiration for those who are. Congratulations.

    Obama has abandoned us on whistleblowing legislation and until we see more support and reforms in that arena more people who are wanting to come out of the shadows are very reluctant to do so. Hopefully, in this coming year we can change the tide on that. Keep up the good work, i am proud.

    @kingfisher, i agree entirely with your comment and enjoyed the humor in it during such a serious matter. You are correct.

  14. Anon the Neocon says:

    Mr. Goodman weeps about the “politicization of intelligence”.

    What do 20 years of anti-Republican, now Anti-Bush “politicization” add up to? Objectivity!!?

    Take his charge against Schlessinger

    Schlesinger didn’t put it in writing, but he assembled the agency’s Soviet experts and warned them “this agency is going to stop screwing Richard Nixon.

    To any sane human being this reads as “the agency is biased against the president, and needs to be more objective”.

    Mr. Goodman claims that the following is proof of Goss’s politician of the CIA:

    “support the administration and its policies in our
    work. As agency employees, we do not identify with, support, or champion opposition to the administration or its policies.”

    Again, any sane reading reveals concern with anti-administration bias, which the Agency is obliged not to have.

    What is Mr. Goodman objecting to then? That the agency doesn’t do what HE imagines it should do?

    From most of Mr. Goodman’s writing it is apparent that his biggest bone with the Agency is that it exists at all. Everyone since Stansfield Turner was supposedly a hopeless Republican hack. Never mind that no CIA director was more hated, than – you guessed it – Carter’s appointment.

    Let’s go back to Team A and Team B.

    Mr. Goodman spins the trite lie that the Rumsfeld group were a bunch of loonies, in the pay of the military industrial complex, out to keep America’s military spending high and their seats cozy and warm.

    One wonders what Mr. Goodman would make of the obvious objection, that thanks to Mr. Casey’s work (And here, we have to admit that Turman also played his part) in conjunction with Star Wars and increased military spending, America actually facilitated the destruction of the Soviet Empire.

    Is Mr. Goodman objecting to this victory of American foreign policy? His think-tank advocates demilitarisation – but please do tell oh-good-man, how American hegemony is to benefit anyone, if it is to be toothless, all carrots and no sticks?

    Finally, Mr. Goodman spins a tale of the Iraq war invasion so long it that could get Ariadne out of the Maze five-times-over. His account ignores the Department of State and the Department of Defense. If instead of obsessing on the administration and the CIA, he took a good hard look at DOD objectives leading up to the Liberation of Iraq, he’d have a tough time explaining the meaning of “biased” let alone “biased intelligence”.

    It’s time to wake to some real Bias – anti-Bush, anti-Administration, Anti-American. (barking up the wrong tree, as usual).

  15. Here are some interesting references to Walter Pincus and a challenge.

    Citizens for Ethics obtained a redacted version of Dick Cheney\’s denial of the Valerie Plame problem to the FBI. http://www.citizensforethics.org/files/20091030%20-%20Cheney%20302%20%28redacted%29.pdf

    These redacted names and material should be easy enough for the staff at Boiling Frogs to verify. p3 Counterproliferation Division Manager ________. Cheney suggests he shared the information with Scooter Libby. Inquiries about the Joe Wilson trip by Walter Pincus would have gone to Scooter Libby. Cheney denies that he personally requested Joe Wilson investigate Niger yellow cake, but was implicated as doing so by parties unknown. Cheney also thought it strange that Joe Wilson did his work pro bono. So the briefer would have either been ______ or Craig Schmall.
    p8 It was possible the handwritten portion containing the word \’Wilson\’ was by Scooter Libby. Regarding whether or not he discussed either of the Wilsons with Eric Edelman, current Ambassador to Turkey, the Vice President advised that if Edelman was, at the time involved in the operations of the National Security Council under Scooter Libby, it was possible he discussed the Wilsons with Edelman.
    (Edelman was appointed to the position of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy on August 9, 2005, by recess appointment by George W. Bush, after his nomination was stalled in the Senate. Edelman replaced Douglas Feith, who had resigned.)
    Cheney claims he was unaware of any discussions with Marc Grossman or Richard Armitage about Valerie Plame. Scooter Libby never advised Cheney of any discussion he had with Marc Grossman at the State Department about Joe Wilson or Valerie Wilson. The Vice President was generally aware of Libby\’s contacts with Walter Pincus of the Washington Post.

  16. Like the NYT or The Atlantic, the Washington Post is where journalism used to happen.

    A city that lets the Moonies start up one of their main newspapers is a perfect fit for the WaPo.

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