Introduction to a special edition of the International Journal of Intelligence Ethics

Andregg, Michael M.
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Introduction to a special edition of the International Journal of Intelligence Ethics

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International Journal of Intelligence Ethics


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IIEA Journal fall 2012, Draft 1, Entry 2: Published as: Vol. 3, No. 2 / Fall/Winter, 2012. Introduction This journal edition began with an essay that Jan Goldman wrote in 2007 titled: “Ethicsphobia and the U.S. National Intelligence Community: Just say ‘No’” (1). In this he claimed there was an actual fear of ethics among some parts of the bureaucracy that he knew well as a professor at what is now called the National Intelligence University (NIU) and as a former practitioner for the Defense Intelligence Agency. So I arranged a panel to look at this question specifically in 2012, “Do Intelligence Bureaucracies Fear Ethics, and if so, Why?” All but one of the papers to follow are products of that panel, and the outlier was created by teams working on ethics issues under guidance from Dr. Goldman’s successor at NIU, JD and retired Army Col. Christopher Bailey. It begins with a view from Britain by Mark Phythian of Lancaster who has been a real pioneer of intelligence studies in the UK, followed by a focus on Africa and “Authoritarian State Security Apparatus” by a former Ambassador to the African Union, Cindy Lou Courville, now another professor at America’s NIU. Then comes Bailey’s exposition on U.S. intelligence community ethos, and defense of oversight in what he claims is “a closely regulated profession.” We will debate that a bit here, but this is certainly the common view among people inside the security clearance cocoon. No doubt they see all the inefficiencies, like we dwell on the victims of error. That is followed by what was the most interesting paper to me, a brief look at “Codes of Ethics” across America’s IC including 6 quite different and interesting proposals generated by teams of students at NIU. Those are typically mid-career intelligence professionals from the uniformed services, Majors and Captains mostly, with a few civilian employees of our Pentagon related intelligence agencies. They took their task seriously and the range of ideas they came up with is especially instructive and engaging. Then comes my paper, the dullest no doubt, but also the most pointed critique of assumptions and blind spots that come with the classified Kool-Aid. Book reviews round out this edition of the International Journal of Intelligence Ethics, by Stephen Kershnar of Alhoff’s “Terrorism, Time Bombs and Torture: a Philosophical Analysis,” by Professor Bailey of Christopher Perry’s edited “In the Balance: The Administration of Justice and National Security in Democracies,” and by Ian Fishback of Fried and Fried’s “Because it is Wrong: Torture, Privacy and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror.” Now, a bit more detail on the substantive papers.


I was asked by Sr. Editor Jan Goldman to be the guest editor of this special edition focused on the question of whether intelligence bureacracies "fear" ethics in any ways, simple or mysterious. They do, for both reasons. This edition has regular, peer-reviewed articles from scholars in Britain and elsewhere, several from the US National Intelligence University, and one from myself which appears elsewhere in the U of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy collection.

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International Journal of Intelligence Ethics

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Andregg, Michael M.. (2012). Introduction to a special edition of the International Journal of Intelligence Ethics. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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