No one signs up to be a whistleblower. But “when you decide you have to step forward, there are risks that you have to take,” says Erik Kleinsmith, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer who helped lead a team that identified Al Qaeda operatives before 9-11. Later, he became a whistleblower in a Congressional investigation into how information from that program, called Able Danger, was handled. “The number one thing that you can arm yourself with is your credibility,” Kleinsmith, now an Associate Vice President at American Military University, tells Jorhena Thomas, an instructor in Georgetown’s graduate program in Applied Intelligence. “If you go into any whistleblower activity with either a personal or political bent, you are jeopardizing your credibility right from the start.”
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