View Poll Results: Is covert intelligence valuable?

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  • Yes, there's a job to do.

    5 100.00%
  • Yes, secrets are a part of life.

    0 0%
  • No, it operates inefficiently.

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  • No, discretion is personal, not political.

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Thread: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

  1. #1
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    Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?



    This is a fascinating debate between Ron Paul and William F Buckley on the necessity of the FBI and CIA. The debate has 3 more segments, but this is the segment which pertains to the topic.

    Buckley makes the argument that without Federal agencies, kidnap victims would be vulnerable to negligence due to abductors who cross state lines. Ergo, a coordinated effort wouldn't be foreseeable since state agencies wouldn't know where to go, nor would they have the instantaneous authority to give pursuit.

    On the other hand, Paul argues that without secret agents in the first place, society wouldn't have the motive to commit heinous acts since society would openly communicate, so people wouldn't find themselves in awkward situations.

    Similarly, Ron Paul emphasizes J Edgar Hoover's usage of covert intelligence as a political weapon despite Buckley's claim that intelligence agencies are held to far stricter rules. It isn't just domestic policy he complains about either, but also the matters of Beirut and Iran-Contra where covert intelligence is just so bad.

    What I find ironic about the debate is Ron Paul comes off with a warmer, more sociable attitude than Buckley despite being the libertarian. You would expect Buckley to be the warm one because conservatism embraces social values, but here, he gets put in the awkward position of defending the cold character of covert intelligence.

    In any case, is covert intelligence valuable?

  2. #2
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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    i would have opted for 1 and 2 but didnt have the choice.
    My question would be is RP insane? I really haven't paid much attention to him but does he seriously think if there are no secret agencies there will be no heinous crimes?
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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quag View Post
    i would have opted for 1 and 2 but didnt have the choice.
    My question would be is RP insane? I really haven't paid much attention to him but does he seriously think if there are no secret agencies there will be no heinous crimes?
    I was thinking about making it multiple choice, but wanted to keep it simple. Just pick whichever option seems primary.

    Anyway, RP seems to be saying that secrets are no fun because secrets hurt everyone. If people weren't covert in the first place, then people wouldn't be covert in the future. It's like how inside jokes are rude. Well if you have someone in society who's always the butt of inside jokes, then society will implode around someone. Someone will either become a victim or a criminal because someone doesn't know how to otherwise assimilate into society, and society perpetually turns a blind eye.

    Ergo, covert ops seem to breed the very pests they have to deal with.

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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    Yes, they are necessary.
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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    How many "Intellignce (Intel) Failures" have occured in the past few decades? The CIA is definitly a necessity. We are already too much in love with technology and satellites for intel gathering and are way to weak on human intelligence (Humint) gathering. We already have too many restrictions on Humint and "wet work".

    The FBI is a necessary function. However, I think it should be under Justice not Treasury and that the FBI, Marshal Service, BATF and any other Federal Law Enforcement Agency/Entitiy should be under a single umbrella agency, not parceled out. We only need one Federal Law Enforcement Agency.

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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quag View Post
    i would have opted for 1 and 2 but didnt have the choice.
    My question would be is RP insane? I really haven't paid much attention to him but does he seriously think if there are no secret agencies there will be no heinous crimes?
    I actually found his views on the FBI even more interesting - if ridiculous.

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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    How many "Intellignce (Intel) Failures" have occured in the past few decades? The CIA is definitly a necessity. We are already too much in love with technology and satellites for intel gathering and are way to weak on human intelligence (Humint) gathering. We already have too many restrictions on Humint and "wet work".
    Well yes, RP complains about technology in the next segment in mentioning how Satellites can be used to take pictures on unaware parties.

    That technological addiction is the problem though. Covert intel is like snooping around to find your next fix.

    The FBI is a necessary function. However, I think it should be under Justice not Treasury and that the FBI, Marshal Service, BATF and any other Federal Law Enforcement Agency/Entitiy should be under a single umbrella agency, not parceled out. We only need one Federal Law Enforcement Agency.
    Eh...

    ...I'm not sure how this is a good idea. If anything, covert intelligence should be parceled out in order to prevent corruption. That way, taskforces stay on task instead of overlapping their jurisdictions behind mission creep.

    For example, I disagree with RP's argument about consolidating the CIA under the army. If the CIA IS going to operate, it should operate in civilian hands so the military can't use it to bully civilians.
    Last edited by Daktoria; 08-05-12 at 11:20 AM.

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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    fascinating. So, if there was no CIA, Russia wouldn't do bad things, and if there was no FBI, criminals wouldn't kidnap people.

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    Re: Is Covert Intelligence Valuable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daktoria View Post
    Well yes, RP complains about technology in the next segment in mentioning how Satellites can be used to take pictures on unaware parties.
    Sort of. It's not exactly like their orbits are particularly well-kept secrets. Amateurs in their back yards with telescopes the world over track them, much less governments.

    That technological addiction is the problem though. Covert intel is like snooping around to find your next fix.
    .....no. far more is collected than can ever be exploited or analyzed.

    ...I'm not sure how this is a good idea. If anything, covert intelligence should be parceled out in order to prevent corruption.
    yeah, we had something like that. It was called "stovepiping" and the results were disastrous failures of intelligence.

    For example, I disagree with RP's argument about consolidating the CIA under the army. If the CIA IS going to operate, it should operate in civilian hands so the military can't use it to bully civilians.
    ... it does ... and furthermore, the CIA is a foreign collection entity - contra the Borne movies - the NCS is not focused on Domestic collection like the FBI.

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