MSM Defends CIA’s ‘Whistleblower,’ Ignores Actual Whistleblower

While championing a CIA agent who should be considered an operative until proven otherwise, much of the press is ignoring the plight of Chelsea Manning, who exposed actual U.S. war crimes, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

The word “whistleblower” has been trending in news headlines lately, but not for the reasons that any sane person might hope for.

“Read the whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump’s communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky,” says The Washington Post.Trump responds to hearing on whistleblower complaint,” says MSNBC. Trump-Ukraine scandal: what did the whistleblower say and how serious is it?,” writes The Guardian. Whistleblower complaint says White House tried to ‘lock down’ Ukraine call records announces CBS. Whistleblower’s complaint is a devastating report from a savvy official,” declares CNN.

So who is this “savvy official”? Who is this courageous whistleblower who boldly shone the light of truth upon the mechanisms of power in the interests of the common man? Who is this brave, selfless individual who set off an impeachment inquiry by taking a stand and revealing that the U.S. president made a phone call in July urging Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to help investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son?

Well believe it or not, according to The New York Times this brave, noble whistleblower who the mainstream media are currently championing is an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.

“The whistle-blower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity,” The New York Times reports. “The man has since returned to the CIA, the people said. Little else is known about him.”

So there you have it. A mysterious stranger from the lying, torturing, propagandizing, drug trafficking, assassinating, coup-staging, warmongeringpsychopathic CIA was working in the White House, heroically provided the political/media class with politically powerful information out of the goodness of his heart, and then vanished off into the Langley sunset. Clearly there is nothing suspicious about this story at all.

In all seriousness, even to call this spook a “whistleblower” is ridiculous on its face. You don’t get to call someone from U.S. intelligence a whistleblower unless they are actually whistleblowing on U.S. intelligence agents. That’s not a thing. A CIA officer who exposes information about government officials is an operative performing an operation unless proven otherwise, because that’s what the CIA does; it liberally leaks information wherever it’s convenient for CIA agendas while withholding all other information behind a veil of government secrecy.

A Spook Doing Spook Things

A CIA officer who exposes information about CIA wrongdoings without the CIA’s permission is a whistleblower. A CIA officer who exposes information about someone else is just a spook doing spook things. You can recognize the latter by the way the mass media supports, applauds and employs them. You can recognize the former by the way they have been persecuted, imprisoned, and/or died under mysterious circumstances.

But if you listen to the billionaire media, we should be calling this CIA officer a whistleblower, we should be enraged at The New York Times for exposing that CIA officer’s identity, and we should be raising a small fortune on GoFundMe for “legal aid” that this CIA officer will never need.

“The idea that the media needs to ‘protect’ a high-level CIA officer making explosive claims about the president, which have now been used as the basis for impeachment proceedings, is such an insane perversion of journalistic ethics,” journalist Michael Tracey tweeted today on this new development.

While all this political/media class cheerleading for whistleblower protections is going on, the most prominent whistleblower in America remains imprisoned for taking a principled stand against secret grand juries while being driven into crippling debt. Chelsea Manning is still racking up fines of $1,000 per day while locked in a Virginia federal detention center for refusing to testify against WikiLeaksfounder Julian Assange. The mainstream press that is so keen to champion a “whistleblower” who works for the CIA and provided information which feeds into America’s fake partisan pro wrestling feud has been almost completely silent on the actual whistleblower who exposed actual U.S. war crimes.

“The courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning has now been held in a federal detention center in Alexandria, Virginia for more than six months,” reads a recent article by World Socialist Website, one of the only news outlets to consistently report on Manning’s plight. “Manning has not been charged with or committed any crime. She was sent to jail on March 8, 2019 for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury that has indicted persecuted WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, who published the information she leaked exposing rampant US imperialist criminality.”

Vindictive Treatment of Manning 

“The vindictive treatment of Chelsea Manning has included ‘administrative segregation’ — a prison euphemism for solitary confinement — and being fined an unprecedented $1,000 per day for refusing to answer grand jury questions,” WSWS reports. “By the time she might be released in October 2020, she will be left owing the US government as much as $440,000. Convicted antiwar activist Jeremy Hammond, who provided intelligence documents to WikiLeaks, has been also brought to the same jail as Manning in order to coerce him into giving false testimony.”

“On a scale of ‘haha’ to ‘lol,’ how likely would you say it is that politicians’ sudden interest in whistleblowing will lead to the reform of the Espionage Act, which the government has routinely used to jail the sources behind some of the most important stories in US history?” tweeted NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in response to an Onion article satirizing the latest hypocrisy.

Pointing out hypocrisy is such a common practice in politics that it often wears a bit thin these days, especially since it’s frequently done in a disingenuous way, but when implemented with intellectual honesty it serves a very useful purpose: it shows when people aren’t really being truthful about the position that they are taking.

The political/media class of the United States do not care about whistleblowers. They do not care about truth, and they do not care about justice. They do not care about holding power to account, because they exist only to serve power.

I don’t pretend to know what the CIA’s game is here; it probably isn’t to remove Trump from office because everyone knows that will not happen and failed impeachments historically boost a president’s popularity. But I do know that everyone cheerleading for this fake “whistleblower” while ignoring the real ones has exposed themselves.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

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32 comments for “MSM Defends CIA’s ‘Whistleblower,’ Ignores Actual Whistleblower

  1. Pablo Diablo
    October 1, 2019 at 17:17

    I’m guessing THE WHISTLEBLOWER is Clapper or Brennan, or both.

  2. Kay Weir
    October 1, 2019 at 03:33

    Thanks Caitlin for the great article highlighting the sick hypocrisy of the Democrats,
    lauding and defending as ‘whistle-blower” someone from the CIA, while the real whistleblowers,
    like Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are suffering in prison and ignored by mainstream media.

    So much hypocrisy in this: also the CIA is usually associated with deceptions and undermining
    governments in other countries, but here it is undermining the US government, not that I find Trump
    a good President, but he was elected because the others, the Dems, didn’t even obey their own rules and
    had not looked after Americans, with obsession for wars.

    It really is weird that the US ‘deep state” is so aligned with the Dems. How has this happened?
    Getting back to the Ukraine connection of Biden, with his son getting into position promptly in 2014 in a Ukraine energy company shortly after the coup arranged by the CIA. Did the son not lose his job in the US navy because of cocaine possession? So he then went without qualifications to work in a Ukraine enregy company with a big salary!

    Beyond this, I Would like to draw attention to the huge ongoing tragedy of the Ukraine conflict, set up by Obama’s regime. Courageous, independent journalist, Eva Bartlett this September has written a new column on her In Gaza blog, which reports on the situation in villages around Donetsk The Ukraine military is machine gun shooting and shelling lovely villages, where now mostly only elderly people live. People of course have died, and are injured and many have fled to live elsewhere. This is the most outrageous, senseless war imaginable, to add to all the others. Why are they doing this to these innocent villagers? I hope others may look at Eva’s site In Gaza. And make a fuss about it. Best wishes –

  3. September 30, 2019 at 14:48

    Excellent column.
    I agree with Anne R and Dennis Rice.
    And Free Manning

  4. September 30, 2019 at 11:17

    When I first heard about I figured it was just another attempt at redirection. From whether Biden was corrupt to how we got the information. Still likely the case since the real issue is whether Biden used his office for personal profit for his family. That a president would ask another president if one of his opposition is a crook doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. The real issue is whether it is true or not.

    Sometimes you wonder whether the noisy section of the Democrats want Trump to win judging by the things they do.

    Of course the other matter to be dealt with is the loose cannon and arrogant behavior of our “Intelligence” agencies. We really do need to take away the operating arm of the CIA and limit it to intelligence gathering. That would best done by a less divisive leader but he needs to take a crack at it if he wins in 2020. Trump has the motivation because he has been a target but it seems too much to ask given the power of the opposition.

    • Sally
      September 30, 2019 at 18:21

      Thank goodness the young are awake and active and protesting for Human Rights going hand in hand with a climate emergency. They haven’t the time to waste their energy on CIA political bull shit. cover ups and lies as Greta says it’s all empty words. The young will get us clean and free. New leaders are starting to emerge Go Greta the world is with you

  5. Eugenie Basile
    September 30, 2019 at 04:42

    CIA’s game is indeed to boost Trump reelection in order to keep Pompeo in control. It will be interesting to see Pompeo’s hearing before the house and which democrats will dare to provoke him…

    • Hank
      September 30, 2019 at 10:59

      Without Trump, with someone the CIA actually controls, the CIA would be in better position to implement its policies for the rich and powerful. Hillary Clinton thought she had a “slam dunk” as far as winning the 2016 election but we all saw what happened. It takes MASSIVE popular support to overcome the false perceptions that the media dishes out to Americans 24/7 and the vote fraud that now seems to be part of American politics! We really have ZERO choices for a candidate that stands up to the Deep State and its criminal war agenda against the rest of the world. That got JFK killed, Trump elected and Tulsi Gabbard . . .(?) At least “anti-war” candidates like Gabbard shows the rest of the world that there ARE Americans who oppose “their” governments reckless foreign policies that seem to revolve around the pocketbook instead of humanitarian needs.

  6. September 29, 2019 at 06:19

    Highly recommended reading/viewing:

    The sworn statement of former Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin can be found on, unber Shokin-Statement.

    Puts the lie to the claim that the General Prosecutor’s Burisma investigation was dormant at the time Biden made his speech. Shokin states that he was fired precisely because he refused to drop the Burisma investigation, at the urging of Biden.

    One of the more eye-opening videos I’ve watched in some time. The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the back story to Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s corrupt acts in the Ukraine and China on YouTube.

    They make a strong case that the appearance of this news at this time is a Democrat powers-that-be ploy to persuade Joe Biden to withdraw from the race, timed to force withdrawal now rather than face the Biden corruption evidence that Rudy Giuliani has been gathering during the general election season.

    By the way, has anyone noticed that this is the second effort to unseat Trump to come from the Deep State since he was elected? Time for Trump to drain the Deep State Swamp, methinks.

  7. T.J
    September 29, 2019 at 04:56

    Caitlin has got it just right, on the one hand exposing the hypocrisy of the MSM and also highlighting the deviance of the CIA. She has clearly demarcated the line between the fake and real whistleblower. However, pity not the poor disheveled Democrats, having invested the first half of Trump’s term in office to Russiagate, they now appear to be compounding their initial error by committing another error and in the process bequeathing a second term in office to Trump.

  8. JLR
    September 28, 2019 at 21:55

    Cia coup or not its not irrelevant that Trump tried to use military aid to coerce a foreign country to dig up dirt on a political opponent. This doesnt excuse what is being done to other whistleblowers and does show a lot of hypocrisy but that doesnt make it something we should ignore. Maybe youre right and it is a plot by the CIA how does that change the immoral and illegal acts that were brought to light. It doesnt strike me as implausible that a morally bankrupt CIA agent might find the acts of the President truly repugnant and so he followed the procedure to report it.

    • michael
      September 29, 2019 at 22:35

      Ukraine used a Black Ledger to expose Paul Manafort’s corruption for the Democrats (expecting Hillary to win and be eternally grateful), thus getting Manafort, Trump’s Campaign Manager, removed and effectively interfering with the 2016 Election. Does anyone seriously think Hillary would have been impeached for outside help from a foreign power? (Remember Chinagate?)
      The Mueller investigation hounded slimy Manafort and Gates, letting co-crooks Greg Craig and the Podesta Group in the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine slide. It is purely partisan.
      Most Americans would prefer that corruption be identified and punished, even if it exposes politicians and their families, even if they are running as always for Election.

    • Mg
      September 30, 2019 at 12:02

      What’s not irrelevant is why the U.S. robs the taxpayers to give aid to all these other countries. And why is it that nothing can can be asked for in return for all this free cash? And why is it okay for vice president Joe Biden to withhold the money in order to shut down an investigation into his corruption, but impeachable for President Trump to withhold the money in order to investigate corruption?

  9. CitizenOne
    September 28, 2019 at 20:34

    To me it makes perfect sense that an impeachment should begin with the same nonsense that the election became mired in.

    In thinking about this a little bit outside of this CN bubble, I have to believe that what journalists like Robert Parry saw when we helped to organize extreme right wing factions into a force that eventually overthrew the government in Ukraine, we see it the way he reported it. It was Wrong! with a capital “W”. Parry looked at the evidence that these extreme right wing nationalists were involved in ethnic cleansing and the eviction of Russians from Ukraine as also wrong.

    We viewed the annexing of Crimea as something that the majority wanted anyway which explained how it happened without a fight.

    We saw the CIA involvement in the politics in Ukraine as very dangerous because destabilization of Russia’s border states was inherently risk filled and could lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the West. Furthermore we saw the installation of ultra nationalists heading the Ukrainian government as dangerous.

    However, our own intelligence agencies who were behind the coup saw it much differently. To these secretive agencies that engage in things such as the overthrowing of other governments and the installation of puppet regimes, that is how the world works. For these groups, overthrowing a Russia friendly government in Ukraine was absolutely the right thing to do. Te answer for these groups as to why they feel that way is simple too. Russia is our mortal eternal enemy along with all other communist or socialist nations.

    That is how Obama came to slap billions of dollars on Russia cancelling the sales of many space projects for the aggressor war that Russia started in Ukraine including annexing Crimea. At least that’s the way Obama spun it.

    Here is the problem. When you have a great investigative journalist like Robert Parry who can get the facts down straight it becomes transparent just how our government and the government controlled media will unify and align on a cover story that will get blasted from every media outlet like endless propaganda (which it is) until it is believed by the masses.

    It is effective too. I cannot convince people that Russia didn’t hack the election. I could not have guessed how powerfully seductive a propaganda campaign against the Russians is until I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It is officially insane IMO but even liberals and democrats have dug their heels in and declared their solidarity against the Russian menace.

    For me, I know can see how wars are started out of thin air. We are not the good guys here. We have been the bad guys too.

    Oddly enough, Donald Trump has been on the receiving end of all this official poking of the Russian Bear by intelligence and Congress.

    Trump is asking the right questions to the right people and he is now to be impeached for trying to get to the truth of what went on in Ukraine.

    We will see what this colossal pile of dung produces but it all comes down to what will ultimately prevail. The democrats who have supported the intelligence agencies and all of the lies about Russia or Trump who is honestly asking questions about our foreign policy objectives and methods.

    • michael
      October 1, 2019 at 03:24

      Nice overview!
      With more “bombshells” and a much stronger Commenter Presence, today’s news is saturated by Democrat and CIA-hype– Russiagate II! Devoid of rational thought and critical thinking, the Democrats and Intelligence Agencies realize what will happen if Trump gets honest answers about the role our and other intelligence agencies played in Russiagate, and why that was so critical to our foreign policy objectives and methods.

  10. September 28, 2019 at 17:28

    Quite true, what Caitlin says here, what to do? And amazing, too, that impeachment of George W. Bush was “off the table” by Pelosi and Obama. What a sick, sinister turn of events this is!

    • CitizenOne
      September 28, 2019 at 20:56

      I like that!! “What a sick, sinister turn of events this is!” Well said! To answer your question about what to do, I think there is little we can do. Trump will keep blasting away at the intelligence agencies, the democrats and the fake news while the democrats will continue reading from the CIA playbook trying to invent a case about how making a phone call is enough to impeach a president.

      It is clear where the line in the sand is. The line in the sand is crossed when you attempt to challenge the official narrative that maintains the balance of power between two nuclear armed superpowers. That too is a sick and sinister series of events. Whether the American people ever will know the truth? Ask George Orwell.

  11. peon d. rich
    September 28, 2019 at 16:32

    Trump , as every POTUS since forever, has committed WAR CRIMES. Impeach him for that and PUT EVERYONE IN CONGRESS AND EVERY PREVIOUS POTUS on notice: we are coming after you. And every future politician will be forewarned. I’ll be on the streets and even rot in prison to get that, but this impeachment is BS and meant to distract. Pelosi is a ———– whose cynical use of PC rhetoric corrupts the democratic struggles of the people.

  12. September 28, 2019 at 13:53

    Just so happy to know that there are still some sane people who are not buying the CIA propaganda.

  13. Uncle Bob
    September 28, 2019 at 13:15

    Times /Tactics have changed Much since 1963

  14. Mark Thomason
    September 28, 2019 at 13:00

    All that matters is who was embarrassed.

    Chelsea Manning embarrassed Hillary. Bad.

    This guy embarrasses Trump. Good.

    “Whose side are you on” is the entire substance of American politics today.

    That is hard for those of us who hate the neo-libs and hawks such as Hillary and Biden.

  15. September 28, 2019 at 11:29

    The Democrats and the media have really gone off the rails with this. Do they think no one has access to the internet?

    • AnneR
      September 28, 2019 at 14:06

      They – both the Dems and MSM – know that their die-hard supporters, the so-called progressive, bourgeois, unconcerned about the USA’s continuing (illegal) wars, proxy wars lot, will swallow whatever is repetitively fed them. They are already well primed. They haven’t accepted that Russiagate was a debacle and have been seeking any and all means to oust the Strumpet.

      Russia is “the” enemy for these people, more so than China. That despicable Voice of the establishment Dems and Israel, Scott Simon this morning was eagerly spouting the usual Russophobic garbage. His words. In regard – I think – to the Dems and their supporters linking the two gates, Russia and Ukraine with the Strumpet being reported as having said to the Russians that he didn’t think Russian interference in the US 2016 election was a problem given that the US interfered in other nations elections. So Simon expostulated that Russia was “ferocious” while any US intervention (he didn’t say interference, if I recall right) in other countries elections was to enable a democratic outcome….

      Flabbergasted doesn’t cover it. Do people like Simon *believe* the utter and despicable lies they broadcast? How can they? But there will be plenty of Dems, nice liberal, “progressive” identitarian, uninterested in income inequality or warmaking, Dems, who will believe every word.

      Without the likes of CN and Caitlin one would go nuts.

  16. Dennis Rice
    September 28, 2019 at 11:06

    Few members in Congress understand/know who runs the country. The other congressional members just do what they have to do to remain elected.

    The average American is less interested in government and more concerned about who wins football and baseball championships and is not likely to raise a stink as long as s/he can put gas in her/his car. (Except, there is, finally, some concern about the global climate).

    We Americans are raised to be loyal to our government no matter if it is corrupt, which it is.

    In a few days/weeks, the Trump impeachment thing will be over and Trump will remain in office. If the economy does not fall too much, Trump just might be re-elected. The current “whistle-blower” will be quickly forgotten by most Americans.

    Meanwhile, Snowden and Manning and Assange will remain on the back pages, or not mentioned at all, via the mainstream media –
    until – the government needs them to show Americans that they are being “protected” and, the media needs something to sell paper and ink, and, adds.

    Manning is being illegally held. But until some organization like the ACLU, but not limited to them, can get the matter to court, Manning will remain because she is an embarrassment to the Establishment for not being “a pawn in their game.” (Bob Dylan).

  17. John Kirsch
    September 28, 2019 at 06:22

    Great article.
    This has all the earmarks of a CIA coup. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was in Venezuela or some other nation that has drawn the unwelcome attentions of our “intelligence community.”

  18. Fran Macadam
    September 28, 2019 at 05:54

    Every government in the world, even former Soviet ones, rued the day they established and unleashed their secret police from accountability, and became subject to them.

  19. Brockland
    September 27, 2019 at 22:34

    Very incisive observation.

    On the other hand, Republicans are rallying and many Democrats are in fear as to how Trump will further turn this to his advantage.

    Impeachment is a political question, to be decided by politicians – or the voters. Politicians seem to forget the electorate exists, sometimes even during elections.

    Those who bother to care, would like to know, was Biden nefariously interfering in another nation’s legal process, and if so, why?

    Still mostly trivia, though. The Ukraine file was a disaster from the moment Crimea and particularly Crimean ports didn’t separate from Russian orbit. The Ukraine is essentially like South Korea, but far larger and far more broke.

    NATO is still camped on an indefensible berm before Fortress Eurasia.

  20. TomG
    September 27, 2019 at 16:45

    Great post as per usual from Ms. Johnstone. I’m guessing if the Republicans begin to think he is unelectable, they will get on board with impeachment so Pence can assume the position.

  21. khawk
    September 27, 2019 at 16:30

    Thank you, Caitlin. Spot on as usual.

  22. Piotr Berman
    September 27, 2019 at 16:11

    “A Spook Doing Spook Things

    A CIA officer who exposes information about CIA wrongdoings without the CIA’s permission is a whistleblower. A CIA officer who exposes information about someone else is just a spook doing spook things.”

    Actually, I see a somewhat novel theme during Trump years, namely, cult of intelligence agencies including CIA and MI5/6. For example, there were editorials in NYT quite a while ago claiming that one of the top Trump crimes is raising doubts about “our” intelligence community. Now, the “community”, very much on government payroll, strikes back, not covertly or with a thin disguise, but as the official paragon of liberty and justice. What next? A custom to remove presidents from office when they fail to get sufficiently high grades for obedience and credulity from CIA? In other words, official partition of powers within US government into four branches: executive, legislative, judicial and, above them all, intelligence?

    • AnneR
      September 28, 2019 at 08:11

      There was a time – back around the 1950s-1970s, when no self-respecting Dem supporter with even a mild left leaning would have considered the CIA or FBI anything other than despicable agencies. Clearly, that is no longer the case. And this change is utterly grotesque – and revelatory with regard to many Demrat supporters.

      Apparently many of the younger Demrat supporters are ignorant about what these agencies did to such as Martin Luther King, governments across the world. Ignorant about Hoover, about Gottlieb, about the Dulles brothers.

      And they also even more disturbingly appear to be ignorant about what the US-UK government is doing to Assange, Manning and has done to previous, genuine whistleblowers – or they don’t bloody well care because the CIA/FBI/MIC are *now* the good guys….

  23. Gail Patenaude
    September 27, 2019 at 16:05

    Moment I read/heard a CIA agent… well, surprise, surprise NOT! POTUS has them fleeing like rats!

    • Tom Kath
      September 27, 2019 at 21:37

      Tremendous insight Gail ! This perspective is more than credible.
      Trump IS a “wrecking ball” and people only get upset when he wrecks something they wanted to hold onto.

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