Showing Moral Courage: IG McCullough III

By | January 26, 2016

[January 26, 2016]  Leadership in the face of adversity is difficult … but to succeed with it, is what separates the truly great leaders from all those who want it for power and popularity.  It takes a high degree of moral courage, intestinal fortitude, to go the long haul when things don’t look in your favor.

U.S. Intelligence community Inspector General Irvin C. McCullough III is the current senior Inspector General for the United States.  Appointed by President Obama and unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate, he is experienced, tough, and above reproach (see his non-partisan confirmation hearing findings here).  Earlier this week McCullough was accused by Hillary Clinton of “collaborating with Republicans” after he wrote a letter summarizing the findings concerning allegations against her.1

The Clinton campaign doubled down on the claim when Brian Fallon, her press secretary, accused McCullough of resurfacing the “same old allegations made back in the summer.”  McCullough had earlier accused the U.S. State Department of “inaccurate and incomplete responses,” to requests for information on Clinton’s emails.2  Fallon insists this is only the same interagency dispute that’s been playing out for months.

Those familiar with the U.S. government’s complex and rigid information classification system are certain that Hillary Clinton passed highly classified information over her unclassified private email system in violation of numerous policies and U.S. law.  The fact that McCullough has remained professional and has backed up his letter with facts of the case, shows his professionalism despite the pressure from a potential future U.S. president.

Senior leadership is hard, much harder than folks can imagine because they don’t have the frame of reference for it.  McCullough is an example of a senior leader with moral courage.  It will not be the last time his professionalism and his word are questioned but he didn’t get to this point without adversity in his past and succeeded anyway.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.