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Wayward Intelligence

Volkov
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7/15/2009 2:03:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Over the past couple of weeks, several reports have surfaced where the intelligence agencies of some countries have been found to step out of bounds - without congressional or parliamentary permission.

The best known example so far has been the case in the United States, where the Central Intelligence Agency was found to have been running, or attempting to run, a secret intelligence program without approval or oversight from Congress. (http://www.washingtonpost.com...)

Another lesser-known example was when the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) ignored human rights abuses in relation to a Guantanamo Bay detainee named Omar Khadr, didn't bother to tell the parliamentary oversight committee and they're now in trouble for it. (http://www.cbc.ca...)

A basic question is whether or not these agencies really need such oversight. Does it hinder operations that wastes taxpayer's money, or is it a valuable tool that keeps these agencies - who arguably have a lot of influence - in line with public expectations?

But, an even better question is what should be done knowing that these agencies have already crossed the line. Is the CIA really needed, given the fact that they've failed Americans several times in recent years? Are they too ineffective to even bother to maintain?

I welcome all opinions.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/15/2009 2:15:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
When you have ineffective police, you don't abolish the police. You improve upon them.

Though attempting to run a secret intelligence program doesn't exactly demonstrate ineffectiveness. It just demonstrates disregard for their master Congress, a disregard I happen to share :).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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7/15/2009 2:21:07 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 2:15:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
When you have ineffective police, you don't abolish the police. You improve upon them.

Though attempting to run a secret intelligence program doesn't exactly demonstrate ineffectiveness. It just demonstrates disregard for their master Congress, a disregard I happen to share :).

Shouldn't the government-run organization be accountable to the government though?

The entire reason for the oversight is due to the CIA's penchant for backing coup's or assassinating leaders without Congress knowing, but then Congress had the blame aimed at them anyways.

Remember - this isn't a private organization, this is something related to military and government matters. It is funded by taxpayers, so shouldn't it be accountable to the officials taxpayers put in power?
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/15/2009 2:52:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 2:21:07 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/15/2009 2:15:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
When you have ineffective police, you don't abolish the police. You improve upon them.

Though attempting to run a secret intelligence program doesn't exactly demonstrate ineffectiveness. It just demonstrates disregard for their master Congress, a disregard I happen to share :).

Shouldn't the government-run organization be accountable to the government though?
Well, if the government were worthy yes. And certainly from the government's perspective. But why should I go cheerleading about the hitman's loyalty to the godfather?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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7/15/2009 3:22:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 2:52:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Well, if the government were worthy yes. And certainly from the government's perspective. But why should I go cheerleading about the hitman's loyalty to the godfather?

In an ideal, "worthy" government, the godfather is still accountable to the family - if the family doesn't find the godfather's actions proper, the family can "take care" of the godfather.

Besides, I'd think you would want the hitman taking orders from the godfather - not himself.
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/15/2009 3:32:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 3:22:38 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/15/2009 2:52:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Well, if the government were worthy yes. And certainly from the government's perspective. But why should I go cheerleading about the hitman's loyalty to the godfather?

In an ideal, "worthy" government, the godfather is still accountable to the family - if the family doesn't find the godfather's actions proper, the family can "take care" of the godfather.
You already know that's incoherent to me (the "family" is not one entity).


Besides, I'd think you would want the hitman taking orders from the godfather - not himself.
I already know what the godfather wants, and I don't much care for it. The only knowledge I have of the CIA is what sort of motives lead to a career in it... most of which are superior to those of the people in charge.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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7/15/2009 3:42:31 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 3:32:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You already know that's incoherent to me (the "family" is not one entity).

"Family" in this case means "voters," which is an entity, made up of individuals if you'd like.

Obviously, in mafioso terms, "the family" is the establishment that supports the godfather - similar to voters/taxpayers supporting a government.

I already know what the godfather wants, and I don't much care for it. The only knowledge I have of the CIA is what sort of motives lead to a career in it... most of which are superior to those of the people in charge.

I can agree with that. But, oversight from politicians in an ideal libertarian government, whether less qualified in that specific field or not, is worth having - political control over agencies that don't much care for policy, ethics or rights is important.
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/15/2009 3:43:58 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 3:42:31 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/15/2009 3:32:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You already know that's incoherent to me (the "family" is not one entity).

"Family" in this case means "voters," which is an entity, made up of individuals if you'd like.
Of individuals who differ in regard to the referent criteria, and therefore CANNOT be considered an entity in this context.


I already know what the godfather wants, and I don't much care for it. The only knowledge I have of the CIA is what sort of motives lead to a career in it... most of which are superior to those of the people in charge.

I can agree with that. But, oversight from politicians in an ideal libertarian government,
Now that would be a VERY different question from oversight from politicians of this government no?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/15/2009 3:47:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Put it this way.

If I were a Jew, I would be very happy when the SS started breaking Hitler's rules.

That does not of course mean I would want Israel's intelligence service to behave in the same manner.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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7/15/2009 3:50:14 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 3:47:21 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Put it this way.

If I were a Jew, I would be very happy when the SS started breaking Hitler's rules.

That does not of course mean I would want Israel's intelligence service to behave in the same manner.

Which, ironically, they do.
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Volkov
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7/15/2009 3:51:15 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 3:43:58 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Of individuals who differ in regard to the referent criteria, and therefore CANNOT be considered an entity in this context.

All they need is one thing in common to be an entity aimed at one specific goal, at least in the context I am thinking of.

Now that would be a VERY different question from oversight from politicians of this government no?

True, but wouldn't you agree that even with the current government, oversight is preferential?
brian_eggleston
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7/15/2009 4:01:27 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
This type of thing happens in most countries but in the US the citizens, rightly and thankfully, have a greater freedom to information than most. That's why we get to know about at least some of their security forces' transgressions.

We are catching up here in Britain, but slowly. For example, unless my mother had become a political employee of the Houses of Parliament she would never had known that she had been monitored by the British security forces during the 1980's when she was apparently considered a potentially dangerous left-wing activist.
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Ragnar_Rahl
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7/15/2009 4:04:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 3:51:15 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/15/2009 3:43:58 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Of individuals who differ in regard to the referent criteria, and therefore CANNOT be considered an entity in this context.

All they need is one thing in common to be an entity aimed at one specific goal, at least in the context I am thinking of.
That's just it. They aren't. On every goal, some individual involved begs to differ.


Now that would be a VERY different question from oversight from politicians of this government no?

True, but wouldn't you agree that even with the current government, oversight is preferential?
It depends strictly on what violations the CIA is committing.

If the CIA were undermining US power in relation to it's enemies who were even worse, sure.

But what's it doing here? Torturing those enemies in disregard of the US's emotionalist qualms. No, I don't see how adding oversight to that is a good thing.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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7/15/2009 4:04:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 4:01:27 PM, brian_eggleston wrote:
This type of thing happens in most countries but in the US the citizens, rightly and thankfully, have a greater freedom to information than most. That's why we get to know about at least some of their security forces' transgressions.

We are catching up here in Britain, but slowly. For example, unless my mother had become a political employee of the Houses of Parliament she would never had known that she had been monitored by the British security forces during the 1980's when she was apparently considered a potentially dangerous left-wing activist.

We have the same issue here in Canada, as parliamentary review has only recently become open to the public (via our House TV network). It sounds like it is better here than in Britain though - I thought James Bond was always transparent though?
I-am-a-panda
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7/18/2009 11:35:07 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
In Ireland we have, what is reputedly, one of the best secret services in the world, the IAR (No, not IRA), the Irish Army Rangers. Very few know about them, outside Ireland, whereas every knows the CIA. We kick terrorist A&%.
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JBlake
Posts: 4,634
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7/18/2009 12:31:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/15/2009 2:03:29 PM, Volkov wrote:

But, an even better question is what should be done knowing that these agencies have already crossed the line. Is the CIA really needed, given the fact that they've failed Americans several times in recent years? Are they too ineffective to even bother to maintain?

Keep in mind that when a secret organization fails, it becomes well known to the world. When it succeeds, no one outside of the org. knows. So yes, they have failed the public a few times, but I am willing to wager that they are more effective than you think.

Of course, there is always room for improvement.
Volkov
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7/18/2009 12:32:37 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/18/2009 12:31:06 PM, JBlake wrote:
Keep in mind that when a secret organization fails, it becomes well known to the world. When it succeeds, no one outside of the org. knows. So yes, they have failed the public a few times, but I am willing to wager that they are more effective than you think.

Not according to several people that have retired and/or escaped, the latter being exclusive to groups like the KGB/FSB. The agencies, especially the CIA, are shells of what they formally were.
JBlake
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7/18/2009 12:37:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I'm not calling you a liar, I'm just interested in who is saying such things. I've seen some people saying these things who are similar to or connected to people like Alex Jones.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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7/18/2009 12:39:58 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/18/2009 12:33:28 PM, JBlake wrote:
Sources.

http://www.npr.org...
http://www.nybooks.com...
http://www.highbeam.com...
http://www.abc.net.au...
http://www.cfr.org...

Read the book entitled "The Inheritance" by David Sanger.

I never said that they don't have successes, by the way. They just have many, many shortcomings where they shouldn't.