“Ethics and Intelligence in Old and New Democracies”
1. Functions of Security Intelligence in “Democracies” versus “Totalitarian States.”
a. Common missions:
i. Protecting the people from external and internal threats.
ii. Protecting the state from external & internal threats, and corruptions.
iii. Gathering intelligence for early warning of both current and potential threats. Sometimes this includes warning of opportunities also.
iv. Informing law enforcement or military units for action against threats.
v. Managing Information Operations, both offensive and defensive.
vi. Protecting the legitimacy of the state from corruptions and organized attacks by external forces.
b. Contrasting missions:
i. Democracies value their citizens over their governments, in theory.
ii. Totalitarian States value the regime of the day over rights of citizens.
iii. This fundamental distinction has profound consequences at every level of human existance, for professional conduct among police and soldiers of any kind, and even affects the probability of survival of human civilization entire. Therefore it deserves significant attention.*
iv. It also has profound effects on the welfare of military, police and all “guardian” professionals tasked with protecting people, state or both.
2. Why “Ethics” matters at all for Spies and other “Intelligence Professionals.”
a. Personal Survival
b. Family Survival
c. Mission Success
d. Minimizing Blowback, and other “Unintended Consequences.”
e. Do you think that people have Souls? If so, ethics might matter even more.
3. Does “Old” versus “New” Democracies matter as a distinction?
a. The eternal problem of Corruptions of Governance. Old democracies are often more corrupt than brand new ones, as can be very old politicians.
b. Why Guardian Professionals must take this problem more seriously than many do. (This has profound importance for your soul, if you have one).
c. How to Balance tensions between loyalty to team versus loyalty to ideals.
Intelligence Ethics: the Definitive Work of 2007*
Breaking Laws of God and Man: When is this OK for Intelligence Professionals?
* Das Leben Der Anderen, (The Lives of Others) is a great movie on this topic, about how the East German “Stasi” surveilled everyone, ruining their country until it fell.
This was a presentation for the Civil-Military Affairs group at the NPS where I was requested to focus specifically on differences between "old" and "new" democracies. What made it here is a detailed outline with three especially relevant references.
US Naval Postgraduate School
Andregg, Michael M..
Ethics and Intelligence in Old and New Democracies.
U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
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