Edward R. Murrow once said: "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."
CIA Director Porter Goss - who in all of my conversations with intelligence officers has only ever been described as a criminal and "Cheney's boy," fired a whistleblower last night for exposing the inhumanity and extreme cruelty of this administration.
The concept of "national security" is not remotely of interest to Goss, Cheney, Bush or any other member of this corrupt and twisted administration. In order to fully care about national security, one would be required to care first. And this administration has proved over and over that it has no care for the citizens of this nation, the soldiers serving this nation, the intelligence officers working to protect this nation, the laws of this nation, the Congress of this nation, the Judiciary of this nation, and in general for anything outside of its own wretched power lust and greed frenzy.
Consider that this career officer may have at one time or another been covert, although not currently. The CIA never publicly fires employees, covert or otherwise, for this very reason. Moreover, everyone I have spoken with says this is the first case they know of where an officer was fired for leaking to the press. So why is Goss so eager to publicly expose this career officer who had recently served in the inspector general's office as well as on the National Security Council?
And why did he time it to coincide with revelations that Secretary Condoleezza Rice passed classified information to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in the same manner as the now imprisoned Larry Franklin?
Because Porter Goss had only one job at the CIA and it had nothing to do with fighting the war on terror or protecting national security. He was appointed to clean house of anyone with a conscience, to bury the bodies and silence the witnesses.
Worse still, consider the information that this whistleblower leaked and what the implications of such a public display of political dirty tricks and intimidation will mean for this nation.
Imagine for a moment that during WWII, a German whistleblower was privy to plans for the building of concentration camps and made those plans known to the world. Imagine if this person also provided information that the German leadership, under the sadistic madness of Adolph Hitler, was abducting countless innocents who where then transported to undisclosed locations, never to be heard from again.
If that person risked everything for neither fame nor money in order to get this information out, would you - as a German citizen of that time - have considered them a national security threat, in violation of the law, a criminal? Or would you have wanted to know what was being done in your name? What is national security in this context?
The whistleblower now outed by Porter Goss and sold to the press and public as some sort of criminal, treasonous, unethical person provided information that this administration was conducting extraordinary renditions of countless unnamed civilians and that this administration was using facilities located outside of US inspection to forcibly detain and torture them.
What if people providing information about the inhumane and criminal treatment of kidnapped and forcibly detained individuals at US camps, such as the one at Abu Ghraib, never came forward because they feared retribution? Would our national security be better served or would you rather not know, go about your day, watch American Idol and declare your patriotism as necessary?
What if I did not report the following?
"as of Nov. 8, coalition forces in Iraq held 13,514 in Iraqi prisons."
"The [leaked] documents also reveal the grim landscape of Iraq's internment system, in which just two percent of those detained been convicted. A UN report has confirmed the basic figures."
"U.S. forces have held 35,000 detainees in Iraq since the onset of war. Of those, only 1,300 have been tried, and only half of those tried have been convicted, averaging roughly two percent of the detainee population.
The combined figures of those detainees in both Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 is upwards of 70,000." (Source)
Would you have been better served not knowing this? What do you think endangers our national security more: that we - the citizens of this country - are kept ignorant of what is being done in our name, while the rest of the world knows, or that that the US government -which represents us to the rest of the world - has detained an unknown number of innocent men, women, and children (tens of thousands if not more) tortured, raped, and humiliated them and then released some of them quietly hoping no one would notice?
If I wanted to create an enemy army seething with hate and willing to die in order to destroy, I would do just what this government has done. If I wanted the world to know that America does not support these actions and will hold accountable those responsible, in turn also saying "please don't hurt us, we are not part of this," I would scream the truth of the horror across the planet. What would you do?
Porter Goss is covering up war crimes, silencing witnesses to those crimes, and burying the evidence.
The horror does not end there because I have spent countless nights staying awake worrying about the "no man, no problem" possibility. That is to say, what will happen when the façade of "we are only holding Al Qaeda" completely falls apart and the likes of Goss and Rumsfeld have to explain the forced detention, rape, and murder of this many people? Do you think they will wait for such a moment or do you think they will make sure that such living evidence is never found? Do you trust the likes of Goss, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush to act in good faith or would you rather have a person of conscience blowing the whistle?
By publicly firing and exposing a CIA officer who has been a whistleblower for some of the horrors of this administration, Goss has effectively silenced anyone else who might have been willing to come forward, silenced and vilified any one with a conscience who wants to do the right thing and might have marshaled enough courage to blow the whistle.
Ask yourself what type of national security a man like Porter Goss, working on orders from a man like Dick Cheney, to cover up the atrocities committed on the orders of someone like Donald Rumsfeld, could provide.
Is silence really an option, for any of us?