The public impeachment hearings opened this week with a tussle over the whistleblower who raised concerns internally about President Donald Trump’s handling of Ukraine policy. Republicans, backed up by a barrage of presidential tweets and retweets, scored Democrats for not calling the whistleblower to testify. Democrat Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, vowed to protect the whistleblower’s identity and warned Republicans not to name the person in the hearings.
Trump and administration officials have sought to distract attention from the allegations against the president by questioning the whistleblower's motives and portraying the person, reported to be a U.S. intelligence officer, as part of a so-called deep state conspiracy. As a former CIA analyst and Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia who worked on Russia and Ukraine for nearly a decade, I believe the president's accusations are wrong. They also are dangerous.
The CIA is an intensely apolitical organization. As intelligence analysts, we are trained to check our politics at the door. Our job is to produce objective analysis that the country’s leaders can use to make difficult decisions. We undergo rigorous training on how to analyze our own assumptions and overcome biases that might cloud our judgement.
Andrea Kendall-Taylor, director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council and a senior CIA analyst.
Photo by Jack Gruber