90 top US national security pros say whistle-blower did the right thing

While the Trump administration blusters and tries to discredit the brave staffer who blew the whistle on Trump’s politically motivated extortion of the president of Ukraine, 90 former top brass in national security have issued an open letter in support of the whistle-blower. Released on Oct. 7, 2019—just before a second whistle-blower came forward—the letter emphasizes that revealing wrongdoing is the right thing to do, and that the individual involved deserves protection from retaliation.

The people who signed on to the letter are a who’s who of national security — some who are refugees from the current administration that doesn’t value expertise, thoughtful decision-making or moral responsibility, and many from previous administrations that — for the most part — did (or pretended to). Listed among them are marquee names like Brennan and Clapper, who had served in different roles under both the Obama and Bush administrations. The letter isalso signed by former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and former Senior Director for Counterterrorism on the National Security Council Javed Ali, along with a number of other former Defense Department, State Department and CIA officials.

Some of the signatories had even worked under the Trump administration, including James Nealon, who served as the assistant secretary for international engagement at the Department of Homeland Security until he resigned in February 2018 over the government’s immigration policies, as well as Roberta Jacobson, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico until she resigned in May 2018, and Andrea Kendall-Taylor, who was a deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia until resigning in July 2018.

The letter speaks for itself. Here it is in its entirety:

We are former national security officials who proudly served in a wide array of roles throughout the U.S. Government,” they wrote. “We are writing about the Intelligence Community whistleblower’s lawful disclosure, which was recently made public. While the identity of the whistleblower is not publicly known, we do know that he or she is an employee of the U.S. Government. As such, he or she has by law the right — and indeed the responsibility — to make known, through appropriate channels, indications of serious wrongdoing. That is precisely what this whistleblower did; and we applaud the whistleblower not only for living up to that responsibility but also for using precisely the channels made available by federal law for raising such concerns.

“A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer by ensuring that serious wrongdoing can be investigated and addressed, thus advancing the cause of national security to which we have devoted our careers. What’s more, being a responsible whistleblower means that, by law, one is protected from certain egregious forms of retaliation. Whatever one’s view of the matters discussed in the whistleblower’s complaint, all Americans should be united in demanding that all branches of our government and all outlets of our media protect this whistleblower and his or her identity. Simply put, he or she has done what our law demands; now he or she deserves our protection.”