Challenge Match: Ian McLean vs MemoryShock: Central Intelligence Agency

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posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 02:57 PM
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The topic for this debate is "The CIA should be abolished, or at the very least, heavily reformed".

Ian McLean will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
MemoryShock will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

Character limits are no longer in effect. You may use as many characters as a single post allows.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. If you make an honest mistake which needs fixing, you must U2U me. I will do a limited amount of editing for good cause. Please use spell check before you post.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.
When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.


Responses should be made within 24 hours. One single 24 hour extension can be used by a member by requesting it in the thread. If 24 hours passes without response, you may proceed with your next post. Members who exceed 24 hours run the risk of losing their post, but may still post up until their opponent has submitted their next response.

This is a challenge match. The winner will receive 2 ranking points, the loser will lose two ranking points.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by chissler]

[edit on 14-6-2008 by chissler]




posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 09:55 PM
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My thanks to chissler, the moderators, readers, and site owners for providing this forum, and opportunity to entertain this topic.

My thanks also to my esteemed opponent MemoryShock, for accepting my presumptuous challenge.

I hope I don't offend anyone.




OPENING STATEMENT

One need look no further than the newspapers to conclude that the CIA is outdated, dangerously out of control, and should be immediately abolished.

I will show how the CIA, with its dual purpose -- integrated intelligence coupled with covert operations -- considered necessary at the end of World War II, was not only immediately co-opted for undemocratic purposes, but is now a stale and dangerous relic.

We will also see how the world and the American public is changing, and policy along with it, making the CIA increasingly redundant and ineffective within the larger intelligence community.

The accountability and reliability of the CIA will be held to light. The deficiencies of a 'compartmentalized' intelligence approach, within a single multi-purpose agency, will be mentioned, both in how it undermines internal oversight, and in how it leads to poor overall performance.

A careful distinction must be made between the actions and motives of a single agency, and unlikeable attributes of human nature. We will observe those areas where the CIA, like any other man-made organization, has blamelessly fallen short, and distinguish between foreseeable consequences, specific failings, individual maleficence, and deliberate misuse of the agency by its customers and own internal hierarchy.

The scope of this debate is vast. I will, for sake of an honest overview, not delve too deeply into details or narrowly-pointed speculation, except as prompted by my opponent, and necessary to paint the broad, solid, brush-stokes of my case. After all, we only have a few thousand words, we cannot fill an encyclopedia here.

For make no mistake -- an encyclopedia could be filled. Even a brief amount of research-gathering overwhelms, not with paranoid fantasies, but with hard solid evidence, conclusive patterns, multi-sourced verification, and indication of horrors such that the general public is loath to face -- were they to choose to.

And one might ask, why does the public not choose to face the issues we will raise here? If my case is so strong, why is this not more of an issue, in the mainstream media? We will examine the reasons, and show that the CIA itself has acted to influence and undermine the opinion of the very public it purports to serve.

We will also not shirk from ideology. We will consider whether a nation, founded on just principles and respect for the rights of man, must necessarily tolerate subtle, hidden violations of those very principles in order to perpetuate its way of life.

Do the actions of the CIA contradict the good intentions of the American public, undermine civilized diplomacy, and soil the reputation of the United States in the world? Emphatically, yes. We will examine how the actions of the CIA have undermined democracy, both at home and abroad, and in fact have caused threats to American security and well-being. The atrocious record of CIA human-rights abuses will also not be swept under the rug.

It is necessary to consider the accuracy of the public's opinion of the CIA. By its very nature, a covert agency can become a scapegoat, piled with blame for all the feelings of disingenuousness, betrayal, and paranoia that the public can muster. The historical record cannot be denied, however: we will see where the CIA actually chooses to embrace a vilified reputation, and how it clouds accountability by 'lurking in the shadows'.

Perhaps we shall shed some light here.



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 03:31 PM
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I would like to welcome a new fighter to the Debate Forum, Welcome Ian, and as well thank him for what I am sure will be a well fought debate. I would also like to thank chissler for setting up the debate and of course, the readers, of whom we all strive to make for an interesting and educational experience.

Shall we?


Originally posted by Ian McLean
One need look no further than the newspapers to conclude that the CIA is outdated, dangerously out of control, and should be immediately abolished.


I would like to take a look at the above quote by my opponent and point out a few things regarding the nature of the American society and how it operates, because my opponent is woefully presenting an inadequate picture here.

For one, the newspapers are a business. They are not only sold for 50 cents a pop (L.A. Times example, as I am in Los Angeles) but their pages are peppered with corporate advertisements. Not only that, but it takes money to place a classified ad, Sundays being the most prolific paper of the week because they include almost double the usual advertising space.

What is the point with the above? Newspapers first and foremost make money.

Now, if the papers were to focus on the facts and just the facts, how many copies would they sell?

I am going to go out on a limb and say...uummm...not as many as if they were to dramatize events and spin the facts with what the public responds to. The media blitz that surrounds each political and entertainment scandal is big business and usually not that informative.

The same can be said for all popular mediums,as I am sure that my opponent is referring to the mass media when he references "newspapers".

That said, the mass media is going to take advantage of the secrecy that the CIA and other intelligence agencies operate in to dramatize every mistake and human interest 'violation' that makes its' way into their lap.


Originally posted by Ian McLean
*Snip* and indication of horrors such that the general public is loath to face -- were they to choose to.


I suspect that the greatest horror that the public would face is the boredom that is the reality of intelligence gathering. Sure, the CIA has been associated to various scandals regarding human rights violations and political evidence suppression, problems for sure and something that I am not making light of, but the fact of the matter is that the CIA is essentially a haven for actuaries. Information is gathered, sometimes through nefarious means (illegal wiretapping is a subject that I suspect may become an issue in this debate) but essentially it is just information gathering by which to better create a profiling technique that is then used to predict the likelihood of future action.

Before getting into some actual statistics regarding the day to day life of the CIA, I would like to remind the reader that the privacy invasion began with corporate interest, your grocery store keeps some pretty good tabs on consumer spending habits through the membership cards and uses that information to plan store design and special pricing strategies.

But onto what the CIA actually does...



What does the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) do?

The Central Intelligence Agency's primary mission is to collect, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior US Government policymakers in making decisions relating to the national security.1


Their primary mission is all information based...collecting, evaluating, and then communicating this data, though I am sure that communicated data is merely a percentage of what actually gets picked up.

Is this a process that still works, despite my opponents assertion that the role the CIA was created for is "increasingly ineffective"?

Yes.



Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

*Snip*

"What the President was told on September 21," said one former high-level official, "was consistent with everything he has been told since-that the evidence was just not there." [2]


Within the past decade, the CIA has been operating in the capacity that it was designed for - to collect, evaluate, and disseminate informations for the purpose of the current administrations policy making endeavours.

Is it the CIA's fault that the Bush administration ignored intelligence reports and started their ill advised war?

Hardly. We should be discussing the abolishment of the current Presidential administration.



Who works for the Central Intelligence Agency?

The CIA carefully selects well-qualified people in nearly all fields of study. Scientists, engineers, economists, linguists, mathematicians, secretaries, accountants and computer specialists are but a few of the professionals continually in demand. Much of the Agency’s work, like that done in academic institutions, requires research, careful evaluation, and writing of reports that end up on the desks of this nation’s policymakers. Applicants are expected to have a college degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and must be willing to relocate to the Washington, D.C., area. My Emphasis [1]


Boring administrative work, that is discussed and analyzed thoroughly to create an as accurate assessment of a situation as possible. A process that works, as demonstrated in one instance above.

My opponent will no doubt bring up the various scandals that have been associated to the CIA. What he will no doubt omit is the fact that it is not a spy world. It is an office job that employs people to collaborate on information analysis.

Don't trust that assessment?

Read over this page, ending with the very bottom that states when last updated...[3]

The current statistics, as updated on June 10th, 2008, for the whole of one country, in this case the United Kingdom. They have similar comprehensive and updated statistics for all countries, and the only reason to have these statistics is to provide them a means by which to analyze political, social, and economic trends to determine how to advise American policy makers.

Information collection and analysis. That is what the CIA does primarily, that is what the CIA is geared for and that is what the CIA is going to do for quite awhile as it is the only major American intelligence agency designed for international Intel.


Originally posted by Ian McLean
*Snip* show that the CIA itself has acted to influence and undermine the opinion of the very public it purports to serve.


The public is not of one opinion. As well the public does not have access to the information that the individuals in various parts of the CIA and as a result cannot make a valid distinction between the reasons for an action and their own reaction to the focus of the ethical and moral implications of that which is reported.

As well, I would like to remind the reader that the public is traditionally involved with the moral and ethical aspects of current events. This is true in the intrusion the American media and public have demonstrated in regards to the private lives of their own...Abortion, Same Sex marriage, Torture, and the seemingly more important celebrity news.

What I am attempting to state is this..the publics opinion is largely concerned with reactive measures as determined by their social values. The CIA is an intricate network designed to reach objective conclusions through the analysis of the available confirmable data.

There is a huge difference in how the public perceives and how the CIA operates and we will focus on this as the debate continues. As well, we will suggest public relation strategies that may improve the public perception of the thankless job that has been undertaken by the employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Socratic Question #1

Why would it be preferable to disband an entire intelligence community citing the "deliberate misuse of the agency" as opposed to eliminating the person(nel) responsible for the misuse?

Socratic Question #2

How has the focus on the negative aspects and actions of some of the CIA's actions completely detracted and ignored the positive role that many of the agencies employees' have played throughout its' sixty plus year history?

Socratic Question #3

What are the "good intentions of the American public"?

Socratic Question #4

Does the current economic shift require an international presence from an American intelligence agency?



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 08:08 AM
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REBUTTAL #1

As my esteemed opponent has decided to skip a detailed opening summary and proceed directly to rebuttal, I will continue my presentation. I will address his questions, and some of his misrepresentations and inaccuracies, later in this response.

CIA: COLD-WAR ORIGINS

The CIA was designed as a multi-purpose organization:


The National Security Act (1947), which has remained the basic charter for the organization of American intelligence, assigned the CIA five specific functions:
  1. advising the NSC on intelligence matters related to national security,
  2. recommending to the NSC measures for the efficient coordination of the intelligence activities of departments and agencies of government,
  3. collecting and evaluating foreign intelligence and making certain that it is properly communicated within the government,
  4. carrying out additional services for other intelligence agencies that the NSC determines can best be performed centrally, and
  5. carrying out other functions and duties related to national security intelligence as the NSC may direct.

The CIA also conducts secret political and economic intervention, psychological warfare, and paramilitary operations in other countries [1]

'The great loophole', #5, remains in effect to this day.

Internal coordination for fast response was primary. Integrating intelligence collection, analysis, synthesis of possible action, and operational execution, the CIA was a dominant power-house.

CIA: BUILT FOR THE TIMES

Communications at the end of World War II were primitive compared to today. Reports were filed in written form, communicated through telex, printed, and shuffled in a vast system of paperwork. Electronic indexing systems were a dream on the horizon.

It would take days or weeks for intelligence to be gathered, transmitted, correlated, and analyzed. Then, extra days for reaction to be devised and authorized, before a response could begin.

The agency was tightly-coupled to maximize time-efficiency. Agents in the field were given large on-the-spot latitude. The CIA developed its own vast bureaucracies, mirroring the functions of other agencies.

That was necessary at the time.

The world has changed considerably. Information can now move around the global at near instantaneous speeds, via secure global networks. The agent in the field is never isolated; command and control is omnipresent and secure. Gone are the days of secret messages encoded in newspaper classified ads.

Computerize analysis has, for some time now, allowed near-instantaneous correlation of data. Huge databases can be updated and sifted in real-time, important results flagged for human perusal, without paper-shuffling delay.

Coordination within government has been streamlined. It longer takes days or weeks for agencies to work together, though 'stovepipes' that mostly existed to protect territory.

These changes have eliminated the need for a 'Central' Intelligence Agency.

A modern and robust intelligence community has been built around the antiquated CIA. Other agencies perform functions that the CIA once 'owned'. They work cooperatively, with procedures, priorities, and talent specific to their areas of expertise.

The CIA is now a relic, the sad remains of a once-necessary behemoth, surviving though inertia alone.

CIA: BLIND IN A BUBBLE

The CIA has been unable to efficiently monitor its own integrity. The first 'mole hunter', James Angleton, nearly went insane trying to do so. According to former CIA officer Robert Baer:


"he fairly well destroyed the CIA single-handedly because of his paranoia. He put a security system into place that ensures even today that CIA people work in a bubble, isolated from the way the world works. [2]

The concept of the 'bubble' is important. It isolates CIA employees not only from the sources and results of their work, but from others in the agency -- there is no 'clear picture' in which to cooperate. Information dies in bubbles.

This allows maleficence to go unseen. For example, the case of Aldrich Ames, CIA employee turned Soviet double-agent. When spies within the Soviet Union began disappearing, the CIA eventually attempted an internal investigation:


rather than looking for a mole, it searched for other logical explanations.... There was a good reason why the agency was reluctant to launch a mole hunt. It was still recuperating from a crippling witch-hunt that the legendary James Jesus Angleton had led years earlier. The careers of several promising case officers had been destroyed and the agency had been paralyzed because of Angleton’s paranoid accusations.[3]

Ames went undetected for years. Who finally caught him? The FBI. The CIA had given up and turned the case over to them.

With these examples, we can clearly see the flaws of an agency that attempts to police itself:
  • Paranoia
  • Ineffectiveness
  • Denial

    If the CIA had not arrogantly attempted to 'own' both the areas of intelligence gathering and counter-intelligence, and not decided it was most qualified to 'patrol its own', perhaps Ames would have been detected sooner, and many lives saved.

    RESPONSE

    My opponent begins by attempting to discredit all news-reporting media as driven to "dramatize events and spin the facts".

    I would have no problem with that; I could cite only the myriad declassified documents and transcripts of Congressional investigations into CIA activity, but he goes a little too far. He argues, to paraphrase, "media is business, and drama and spin sell" and then hints strongly towards the conclusion that objective reporting of facts is impossible. That's absurd. Objective truth can be found; honest reporting and overwhelming evidence should be given credence. Let's deal with specifics, please.


    Information collection and analysis

    My opponent would have us consider that the CIA's only duty. He occasionally qualifies himself with the adjective 'primary', to avoid direct misrepresentation. See the above quote from the CIA charter for a more complete picture.

    If we were to consider this single facet of the CIA as the complete picture, we could discard any unsavory or even criminal actions as being only "associated" (as my opponent says) with the CIA, in some blameless way. Let's not be so easily fooled.


    September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks
    *snip*
    abolishment of the current Presidential administration

    Let's not go down that road. There are elections coming up; the current Presidential administration shall certainly end.

    As to the CIA's performance with regard to those events, we may see a larger pattern emerging, but I don't think I'll need to go into details of such a recent controversial subject. I should have enough ammunition with the only the Bay of Pigs and Iran-Contra, for example.


    "The CIA is an intricate network designed to reach objective conclusions through the analysis of the available confirmable data."

    Should an intelligence agency simply discard unconfirmed data, rather than weighing it appropriately? Hardly. And how should we judge what is 'objective' analysis? Consistency, completeness, and accuracy should be expected, of course, but the intelligence needs of the President's economic advisers are quite different than those of his military advisers. Context is important.

    And the CIA is expert at 'spinning' information and mysteriously generating 'confirmed' sources.


    illegal wiretapping is a subject that I suspect may become an issue in this debate

    While the CIA has illegally wiretapped in the past, the current 'warrantless wiretapping' scandal hardly mentions them. It involves the NSA, another agency. Are you trying to cloud the issue?

    QUESTIONS


    Why would it be preferable to disband an entire intelligence community citing the "deliberate misuse of the agency" as opposed to eliminating the person(nel) responsible for the misuse?

    It would not. Ah, I see: you are trying to cloud the issue. We are talking about only one agency here, the CIA, not the "entire intelligence community" that has grown around its inadequacies. And if the actions of even a single person reveal fundamental structural and systemic flaws, then yes, that agency should be eliminated.


    How has the focus on the negative aspects and actions of some of the CIA's actions completely detracted and ignored the positive role that many of the agencies employees' have played throughout its' sixty plus year history?

    Not at all. Lack of recognition goes with the job. Visit the Memorial Wall at the CIA sometime. Unlabeled stars, each an individual who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Heroic and poignant.


    What are the "good intentions of the American public"?

    There is no accurate objective metric. The democratic process is the closest we've come to ensuring that the good intentions of the American public are reflected in their government. When the public finds violation, Congress holds hearings. Sadly, the CIA has lied to and deceived Congress.


    Does the current economic shift require an international presence from an American intelligence agency?

    I have no idea what 'shift' you're talking about. Care to elaborate? The CIA has certainly participated in 'economic intervention', often with disastrous consequences. For example, in Chile, leading to the 'First September 11th' and the terrible reign of Augusto Pinochet [4].



  • posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 05:46 PM
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    Extension request please.

    I am fighting a vicious head cold currently and need time with the placebos that are Day/Night Quils...



    posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 10:17 PM
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    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    Gone are the days of secret messages encoded in newspaper classified ads.


    My opponent states this as if it happened to bypass the awareness of one of the largest intelligence communities in the world....and yes, given the scope and inclusive nature of the CIA employed, I would indeed define the CIA as an intelligence community...no doubt still apart of the intelligence eco-system.

    To harp on my opponent’s interpretation of my verbiage, I stated, "an intelligence community," which denotes more than one.

    At any rate, the CIA has indeed noted the progression in our society’s technological advances (and no doubt were likely one of the first to utilize such advances). How could they not?

    How could a burgeoning digital revolution just have bypassed the awareness of the CIA? Accusations of incompetence aside, I seriously doubt that much of this technology was not first and foremost available to our top levels of defense and intelligence, CIA included.

    In fact, an implicit proof of this "awareness" towards technological advance is that they have just introduced their own wikipedia....for intelligence personnel only.



    June 10, 2008 (Computerworld) BOSTON -- For any company moving to embrace Enterprise 2.0, some resistance to the tools that first gained traction within the consumer space is often inevitable.

    But when some in the CIA began pitching Intellipedia, a Wikipedia-like project for its analysts and spies, they were met with some fierce critics. My Emphasis[1]


    I can appreciate my opponent focusing on the CIA's history, but in doing only that we are not focusing on the fact that the CIA is an American staple; it is a way of life for many people and it is a professional entity evolving to meet the needs of the constantly changing circumstances of our society.

    In other words, the CIA is evolving constantly to meet the demands of the our fast paced society. It is utilizing the instantaneous transport of communication to grow into an agency that can keep up with the world and its' ever increasing rate of production, consumption and interaction.

    And while my opponent does indeed think that the term ‘Central’ is obsolete, the agency itself is still at the forefront of intelligence…


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    These changes have eliminated the need for a 'Central' Intelligence Agency.


    …by integrating these technological advances to make it easier for their agents to conduct their business. Wouldn't an intelligence agencies job be much easier if the information could be communicated instaneously? Less effort on the procuring and more effort on the analysis!


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    And how should we judge what is 'objective' analysis?


    Relatively. As in relative to the objective inclination of the average American.

    My point was to demonstrate that the American Media usually implores the opinion of its' audience through reactive means, or by addressing the moral and ethical bounds of its' readership. We see that in full force when we look at the amount of threads currently authored in ATS's political forums...Obama this and that. Obama is black so everything about his personal life is being scrutinized...but not necessarily his actions and the full spectrum of his political career. Indeed, his former(?) pastor receives more headlines than his political resume.

    So the judgment is relative to how the public is inclined to think and react to any given subject. The CIA is designed to be a collaborative effort, allowing for a concise illustration of events and actions to determine whether or not a pattern does indeed exist by which decisions can be made regarding action.

    The American public couldn't, collectively, recognize a sociological/political pattern if it bit them in the arm while they were watching Larry King Live...present company excluded.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean in response to Socratic Question #3
    There is no accurate objective metric.


    Then why did you state/ask the following?


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    Do the actions of the CIA contradict the good intentions of the American public*Snip*?


    As displayed on my screen, it comes across as implying that you are not only aware of all of the CIA’s actions (which I find difficult to believe considering the secrecy involved), but that you could quantify what exactly the good intentions of the American public are.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    He occasionally qualifies himself with the adjective 'primary', to avoid direct misrepresentation.


    I would like to re-direct the reader's attention to the adjectives used by my opponent in his opening argument, stock full of adjectives that paint a negative picture of the CIA without any support. Indeed, the rhetorical use of connotation was used more prolificly by my opponent in this instance.


    Originally posted by Ian MCLean
    The concept of the 'bubble' is important. It isolates CIA employees not only from the sources and results of their work, but from others in the agency -- there is no 'clear picture' in which to cooperate. Information dies in bubbles.


    And does any other agency work with this ‘bubble’ or in similar fashion to this?

    I seem to think that the phrase, “On a Need to Know Basis,” is a much utilized concept in hierarchal structures. Let’s, for a second, look at nother intelligence agency.



    This was even more apparent after the Robert Hanssen spy case exploded when it was decided FBI information should be kept compartmentalized to reduce access even within the bureau in the name of protecting national security.[2]


    We all recall the Robert Hanssen case, do we not? A huge scandal where national intelligence and security were compromised through the FBI.

    This illustrates two things, that the world of intelligence will inherently have its’ risks and associations with ‘moles’ and information leaks, and that the FBI has emphasized the use of a ‘bubble’ strategy as a recent response to insure as best as possible national security.

    So why do we not disband the FBI? And all other major organizations that are susceptable to corruption?


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    While the CIA has illegally wiretapped in the past, the current 'warrantless wiretapping' scandal hardly mentions them. It involves the NSA, another agency. Are you trying to cloud the issue?


    Absolutely not. I will repeat my oppnents words back to him when I state, “Context is important.” When I said that illegal wiretapping, and information gathering, would become an issue in this debate, I meant with regards to the other agencies.



    The FBI evaded limits on, and sometimes illegally issued, orders for phone, email and financial information on American citizens and underreported the use of these self-issued orders to Congress, according to an internal audit by the Justice Department released Friday. The DOJ Inspector General reported that the FBI used self-issued subpoenas, known as National Security Letters, to get information on at least 143,074 targets.[3]


    Shall we disband all intelligence agencies and military establishments because at times their actions didn't conform to the morality of the American public?

    What a blow to national security that would be….

    As for the economic shift I was referring to in my last Socratic Question of my last post, I was referring generally to the decline in value of the American dollar, the increase in value of the euro and the rising economies of countries such as China and India. The world is changing, again, in response to emerging technologies, globalization and the world reaction to the war on terror. I will reinstate the question as Socratic Question #1 with these clarifications.

    Socratic Question #2

    If not the CIA, who already have the resources in place, then who may be called upon to provide these services for the American public?

    The CIA is not a James Bond world where human rights are abused every day. They hire mathematicians and economists to compile economic data and then concisely present them, as evidenced by the very user friendly CIA World Factbook. No doubt this information is invaluable in conjunction with the statistics from five years to help paint the picture of what may be to come. They hire scientists and engineers, computer specialists and even, gasp secretaries!

    My point is that the CIA is not an agency bent on abusing the majority inclination of the public. In fact, they are an imperfect group who are doing what they can to insure that each and every American wakes up the next day, and that that day gives way to the next without a major catastrophe.

    Socratic Question #3

    How are human rights violations against non Americans a threat to Americans?

    Socratic Question #4

    Is the CIA tasked with the protection of American lives?

    My opponent will highlight some tragedies. What I suggest is that my opponent cannot successfully show that the CIA is solely responsible and as such there is no reason whatsoever to even consider abolishing this institution.



    posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 12:52 PM
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    REBUTTAL #2

    My esteemed opponent actually makes a valid point this time, regarding compartmentalization and 'bubbles' -- I have not yet sufficiently explained the distinction. I shall continue my case, then address his questions and other statements.

    CIA: SPINNING WHEELS WITH WHEELS

    We have seen how counter-intelligence paranoia created 'bubbles' within the CIA. While in-context information dies in bubbles, data and initiative still flow in and out, through what are known as 'stovepipes':


    Stovepiping is a metaphorical term which recalls a stovepipe's function as an isolated vertical conduit, and has been used, in the context of intelligence, to describe several ways in which raw intelligence information may be presented without proper context. The lack of context may be due to the specialized nature, or security requirements, of a particular intelligence collection technology. Alternatively, the lack of context may come from a particular group, in the national policy structure, selectively presenting only that information that supports certain conclusions. [1]


    This is different that mere compartmentalization, which only restricts access to information. Each 'bubble' can truly be a different interpretative world -- the underlying context of data, analysis, and purpose mapped to a false context, such that only the structure of the work remains the same. 'Stovepipes' translate context between bubbles, allowing coherent cooperative action while hiding the true context from individual personnel.

    As a counter-intelligence technique, this is very valuable. It means that any compromise within a bubble yields only a false context, which can be designed so as to mislead and deceive an enemy. Leaks can be proactively manufactured, safely and with deniability of intent, as a disinformation technique. Morally questionable tasks can be re-contextualized to increase employee reliability.


    Bewildering to outsiders, the Angleton-Colby dispute nevertheless lies near the heart of the current disarray of American intelligence. Counterintelligence is to intelligence as epistemology is to philosophy. [2] p.267


    CIA: THE DENIABLE PUPPET

    Within a 'complete package' intelligence agency such as the CIA or former KGB, this structure leads to abuse and a lack of effective oversight.

    Consider when the FBI and local law enforcement share information and work together on a case. There's two sides to the arrangement, and the viewpoints of the two agencies act to 'check and balance' the actions of the other. There's an accountability trail.

    Or consider the DIA and NRO, two very secretive and presumably very secure agencies within the American intelligence community. If they cooperate, we may plausibly assume that each knows and has records detailing exactly what information they have given each other, what actions they have taken together, and what they expect from each other.

    Since the CIA has intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities, strategic capability, and operational and propaganda arms, entire vast undertakings can be performed, data and initiative flowing from bubble to bubble, with an accurate picture of events available only to a very few -- those inside the CIA who create the stovepipes and spin the bubbles, and those from whom they take their orders. As this all happens within a single agency, accountability can be made not merely difficult, but impossible.

    To contrast, consider this letter obtained by the New York Times, from the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to President Bush, dated May 18, 2006:


    There has been much public and private speculation about the politicization of the Agency. I am convinced that this politicization was underway well before Porter Goss became the Director. In fact, I have been long concerned that a strong and well-positioned group within the Agency intentionally undermined the Administration and its policies. The argument is supported by the Ambassador Wilson/Valerie Plame events, as well as by the string of unauthorized disclosures from an organization that prides itself with being able to keep secrets. [3]


    I have shown that technology, improved governmental coordination, and the growing community of specialized intelligence agencies have made the monolithic leviathan of the CIA obsolete. It is now also clear that the very security measures put in place to protect the beast have made it susceptible to being exploited, internally or externally, as a dangerous, unaccountable puppet.

    RESPONSE

    My opponent begins by confusing advances in technology and technique with the evolution of the modern American intelligence community. We have seen that the larger community has grown and evolved, while the CIA has retained essentially the same dangerously flawed structure and organization that make it uniquely the CIA.

    He also points to the FBI, and makes the point that the CIA has no monopoly on corruption. He is correct that certain problems are endemic to the very nature of organized intelligence activity. It is the structure, culture, and approach to mission of each agency that determine its susceptibility thereto. Although not necessarily relevant, in specifics, to this debate, I would point the reader to the radical restructuring and heavy reformation undertaken by the FBI in the post-Hoover years.

    My opponent would also have me judge the horrors and tragedies of individual events and covert actions, so he can attempt to individually refute them, discard criticism as opinion, and obscure the larger picture. I will simply point to various attempts at intelligence reformation, initiated by the public's often-imperfect representatives, from 1947-2005:


    Major US Intelligence Reform Attempts 1947-2005:
    • National Security Act of 1947 (1947)
    • The First Hoover Commission - Eberstadt Report (1947)
    • The Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report (1949)
    • The Second Hoover Commission (1953)
    • The Doolittle Report (1954)
    • The Bruce-Lovett Report (1956)
    • The Taylor Report (1961)
    • The Kirkpatrick Report (1961)
    • The Schlesinger Report (1971)
    • The Murphey Investigation (794)
    • The Rockefeller Commission (1975)
    • The Church Committee (1976)
    • The Pike Committee (1976)
    • Clifford/Cline Proposals (1976)
    • EO 11905 (Ford) (1976)
    • Charter Legislation (1978)
    • EO 12036 (Carter) (1978)
    • EO 12333 (Reagan) (1981)
    • Iran-Contra Investigation (1987)
    • Boren-McCurdy (1992)
    • Aspen-Brown Commission (1995)
    • IC21 (1996)
    • US Commission on National Security/21st Century (2001)
    • 9/11 Commission Report (2004)
    • WMD Commission (2005) [4]


    Perhaps my opponent would like to keep beating the strawmen of an 'ignorant public' and 'necessary evil'. He may continue doing so, if he must. I will add my perspective, should he ever draw a relevant conclusion.

    Oh, and James Bond works for MI6, not the CIA.


    QUESTIONS


    Does the current economic shift [economic shift = the dollar tanking, rising euro, globalization, world reaction to the GWoT, new technologies] require an international presence from an American intelligence agency?

    I don't know; I think so, almost certainly, but let's be careful about what can be swept into the term 'presence'. I believe America, and indeed every country, should gather such intelligence as necessary to keep abreast or ahead of world affairs. You accuse me of attempting to falsely sound authoritative, rather than painting a large picture supported by specific evidence and rationality, and then ask me such a broad question? Perhaps you would care to go into specific detail, and formulate your conclusions into a coherent whole.


    If not the CIA, who already have the resources in place, then who may be called upon to provide these services for the American public?

    I would point to the other members, current and future, of the American intelligence community. The CIA has no monopoly on excellence. Please understand, I am not advocating the elimination of the analytical or even operational proficiencies exemplified within the CIA, but rather the obsolete and unreliable structure in which those individuals serve -- the Agency itself.


    How are human rights violations against non Americans a threat to Americans?

    Obviously, if someone punches you in the nose, the naturally tendency is to become angry and react. Consequences can be both intended and unintended, foreseen and unforeseen. Without excusing human rights violations, as you would perhaps have me do, reactive threats against America can be mitigated by the larger diplomatic, military, and intelligence communities, such as they can be foreseen. There are known unknowns. Unaccountably, lack of inter-agency cooperation, and 'rogue' covert action undermine this responsiveness, and put the public at risk.


    Is the CIA tasked with the protection of American lives?

    Specifically? I don't know. The overarching goal of the entire intelligence community is often painted as 'protecting and preserving the American way of life'. We should be careful about where specific implementation of such goals can lead however, and learn from the lessons of history. For example, from an event which, to my knowledge, had no CIA involvement:


    "It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it." [5]



    posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 09:44 PM
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    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    My opponent begins by confusing advances in technology and technique with the evolution of the modern American intelligence community.


    Do you mean to suggest that the evolution of the modern American intelligence community is exclusive of advances in technology and technique? Indeed, they are important factors in the evolution of any institution.

    My opponent accuses of straw men and such. Fine. He has presented a case that the CIA is a stagnant entity, unchanged since its’ creation and that the creation of other intelligence agencies has made the CIA unnecessary.

    Is my opponent aware of what the other intelligence agencies do? Where is this "big picture" my opponent has been championing?[1]

    The above link is a list of the sixteen agencies that comprise the American intelligence community. Are they competing with each other?

    The DIA provides military intelligence to warfighters, defense planners, etc.

    The NGA is the go to for geospatial intelligence, working closely with the private sector as well as DoD initiatives.

    The NRO is our reconnaissance expert, developing and working with American satellites for a variety of applications, from defense planning to environmental monitoring. A major customer of the NRO? The CIA.

    The NSA focuses on the signal intelligence, intercepting and interpreting foreign electronic signals.

    The FBI is a domestic intelligence agency designed to uphold domestic law as well as serve as a barrier between American citizens and foreign threats.

    Do we see a pattern here?

    My opponent has accused me of missing the bigger picture when his entire case is set upon the narrow scope of the internal workings of one agency. While acknowledging that the CIA is a part of a greater intelligence community, my opponent has decided against actually defining what that is and expanding this debate where it is most relevant….the CIA’s role within our nation.

    All organizational entities have risk for immoral and even illegal behaviour and actions. A supermarket will hire a Loss Prevention team because the risk of external and internal theft is a known factor that is considered when budgets are being discussed (I took a class).

    That is where any discussion regarding the imperfections of the CIA need to center: How does an organization keep itself? How does an institution prevent actions and behaviours adverse to its' goals from being a mainstay?

    It took a lot of time and energy to create and evolve the CIA, which led, as technology and need arose, to other and more 'branch' specific intelligence agencies.

    But the off shoots were never intended to replace...merely compliment.

    On aside note, I am really interested to see a satellite specialist learn Arabic and then sift through mountains of middle eastern data attempting to ascertain a potential threat to American interests. Not that it can't be done...but the time lost in the interim would likely be relevant.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    If they cooperate, we may plausibly assume that each knows and has records detailing exactly what information they have given each other, what actions they have taken together, and what they expect from each other.


    My opponent is basing a major leg of his argument regarding the disbanding of decades of intelligence experience, not to mention the livlihood of many people, on an "If". An "If" that was exclusive of the fact that the CIA is already cooperating with other agencies (NRO example).

    Stovepipes and bubbles; my opponent has done a fantastic job of presenting industry specific terms....but to what avail? He is slowly creating a scenario that the CIA is a machinating machine of suspicious persons who are out to contrive against each other and the "good intentions of the American Public"; the quoted statement not only being presented by my opponent, but questioned into ambiguity when asked to elaborate.

    As I stated, it's the difference between a focus on the internal workings of an entity and said entities relevance to the community it is apart of, or the role it plays along with the many corporate and government relationships it is currently obligated to. Destroying the CIA would have ripple effects throughout our current economic, political, and social structure...which would compound an already fragile state of affairs considering the reigning political office is sustained by an imminent change in figurehead, the economic statute of our nation is declining considerably and the social issue of racism has just presented itself in the mainstream.

    A better question to ask, rather than let's do away with an intelligence agency that has thanklessly been a backbone to inconsistent political and social trend, is:

    What can we do with the CIA as opposed to just doing away with it?

    An increased sense of transparency

    Create a policy within the agency to cross check departments.

    Communication is key. Eliminate the "bubble" policy and integrate a cross departmental check and balance system.

    Create New Specialists

    Create a department focused only on the sociology of the agency environment and as well tasked with the random check up and job evaluation.

    Decrease the time it takes for declassification of documents

    An agency worried about repercussions may not invite so many, perhaps.

    There are many different options available to streamline an entity that already has the resources and government backing to perform the job it was given.

    Perhaps all we need is a sense of accountability from the CIA? Nothing is so urgent that we require an abolishment of an agency that has historically had the best interests of the American public in mind.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    Other agencies perform functions that the CIA once 'owned'.


    Socratic Question #1 and #2

    How are you certain of the above quoted? Could you elaborate?


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    I will simply point to various attempts at intelligence reformation, initiated by the public's often-imperfect representatives, from 1947-2005:


    My opponent is aware that not all of these instances are CIA centric...yes?

    And I'll agree with my opponent when he states that the public has often presented an "imperfect" representative. Is he reiterating 'my' "straw man" as his own?
     


    All arguments aside...and yet a completely different angle...

    Our nation is built and dependent on "cost". Our economy is very sensitive to it.

    We cannot disband the CIA, because it is cheaper to fix the problems than to restructure an entire network of already employed and competent people.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Oh...and James Bond is a fictional character, not an MI6 agent....



    posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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    REBUTTAL #3

    My esteemed opponent asks, perhaps rhetorically, whether I am aware that Congress has investigated agencies other than the CIA, and then questions my characterizations of their performance, in attempting reformation of the CIA, as 'imperfect'. I will choose to address those questions, while continuing to press my case.

    CIA: THE ROGUE ELEPHANT

    The CIA has many times been investigated by the US Congress, and the revelations of covert activity that have come to light have been startling, to say the least. While the CIA and other organizations have no doubt engaged in reprehensible action which the Congressional intelligence committees have secretly approved, the number of instances of Congressional ire at actions beyond the purview of the executive branch, undertaken without even classified disclosure, is telling. To give fair and adequate detail of the many instances of CIA assassination, subversion, and propaganda, in foreign states alone, would require slightly more space than allowed in these posts -- the Church Committee reports alone are some 5200 pages. [1]

    Lesser known that the Church Committee in the Senate was the contemporaneous Pike Committee in the House of Representatives:


    Pike indicated that he believed the Agency was a "rogue elephant" out of control, as Senator Church had charged publicly. It needed to be restrained and major reporting reforms initiated....

    "What we have found thus far is a great deal of the language of cooperation and a great deal of the activity of noncooperation," he announced. Other committee members felt that trying to get information from the Agency or the White House was like "pulling teeth." [2]

    In their final draft report, the Pike Committee called CIA and White House cooperation virtually non-existent, accusing them of foot-dragging, stonewalling, and deception. They claimed questions were ducked, information was withheld, and they were told only that which others "wanted the committee to know". [2]

    Ten years later, the Iran-Contra affair reared its ugly head. Stories of CIA involvement in drug trafficking abounded. The public was again shocked: the reformation attempts of the 1970s had failed.

    CIA: UNACCOUNTABLE BY ANY MEANS

    In my previous rebuttal, I posted a partial list of the attempts made to reform the CIA and other members of the intelligence community. The vast majority of the Congressional investigations listed therein were spurred by media reports of CIA-involved activities, repugnant to the public, and potentially harmful to the country.

    We see a clear and continuing pattern of misuse of the CIA, for illegal purposes, and for purposes which Congress and the American people did not, and would not, approve. It must be asked, with so many attempts to reign in the CIA, and bring it in line with the larger diplomatic and policy goals of the representative government of the United States, why has Congress continually been ineffective?

    We can perhaps gain some insight from the testimony of Ivan Eland, Director of Defense Policy Studies of the Cato Institute, to the House Government Reform Committee, in 2001:


    the intelligence committees of both houses can sometimes get co-opted by the agencies they oversee or exhibit other self-restraints that can undermine their oversight.... The intelligence committees:
    • claim the right to hire their staff members over the security objections of the Director of Central Intelligence or the Secretary of Defense, but in practice it rarely occurs;
    • are willing to restrict the scope of their requests for classified information or limit the manner in which it is handled;
    • have a high turnover among the chairman and members, which limits the accumulation of experience that can compete with the vast institutional memory of the CIA and other agencies...
    • avoid investigating improprieties by individuals unless they are symptomatic of a system-wide problem or part of a bad policy at the agency involved. Even in that instance, the committees shy away from the problem if it is being considered by the agency;
    • make too little use of the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the congressional investigative arm, especially for investigations of the CIA.
    The first and second self-restraints by the committees allow the intelligence agencies to shield their activities from congressional inquiry under the guise of security considerations. [3]

    With Congress clearly ineffectual, in practice and result, and with such a clear and continual pattern of misuse and rogue action, when will the American public decide that enough is enough, and demand the enactment an effective solution?

    RESPONSE

    My opponent criticises me for using the word 'if' instead of 'when', when discussing whether the NRO, who operate the nation's spy satellites, cooperates with the Defense Intelligence Agency. Point taken, but rather moot, wouldn't you say?

    He then continues to attempt to shift the scope of the debate, moving from a blinder-tight focus on the individual and various tasks of the CIA, which ignored the organizational problems of the Agency itself, to a hugely widened focus containing all 16 US intelligence agencies, and indeed, the entire nation, implying that the CIA's deficiencies are irrelevantly minuscule, in the "big picture". What's next, the world?

    My opponent also, strangely, seems to assert that the only Americans who can speak Arabic work at the CIA, and nowhere else. He also asserts that a reallocation of the various CIA functions to other new or existing agencies would be too risky and cost too much money. The US Congress has spent over a trillion dollars so far waging the War on Terror. Rather than shirking from a challenge, can resources not be allocated to ensure that properly reliable capabilities are available to do the job?

    He then proposes, rather than elimination, a series of heavy reformations for the CIA: increased transparency, elimination of counter-intelligence 'bubbles', new departments, new internal oversight and evaluation procedures, modified declassification procedures, etc. Excellent ideas, but as I have described above, Congressional attempts to reign in the CIA have, in the past, proved ineffective, time and time again.

    QUESTIONS


    How are you certain of the above quoted ["Other agencies perform functions that the CIA once 'owned'."]? Could you elaborate?

    The intelligent approach to intelligence is that nothing is ever 'certain'
    . But the evidence is clear. To elaborate, perhaps the earliest example was the formation of the NSA, resulting from a memo sent by CIA Director Walter Smith to the NSC in 1951:


    The memo observed that "control over, and coordination of, the collection and processing of Communications Intelligence had proved ineffective" and recommended a survey of communications intelligence activities. [4]

    We can also see example in the CIA's development of the U2 spy-plane, in 1955 [5]. Subsequent success contributed to the formation of the NRO, in 1960, and eventually to the consolidated NIMA (later renamed NGA) in 1996.

    It is obviously not my intent to argue that talented individuals and groups within the CIA have not contributed to the larger intelligence community. The Agency can, as shown, have significant responsibilities grow beyond its ability to manage, or taken away from it and turned into independent agencies.

    The time has come to finish the job.



    posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 11:03 PM
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    The CIA is a part of the greater intelligence community. That cannot be argued.

    What my opponent is only slightly beginning to acknowledge is the fact that the CIA is already intricately involved with the actions of the other intelligence agencies. A relevant portion of the sixteen agencies are very specific in their terms of operation. Satellite reconnaissance, imagery and domestic support.

    There does not exist an American Intelligence agency, other than the CIA, that deals with allforms of foreign intelligence. Again, there does not exist an American intelligence agency that is tasked with the analysis of foreign intelligence for the advising of our current national law makers.

    We have a system in place. That system is necessary and will continue to be necessary, despite its' imperfections. Displacing thousands of individuals in the role they are currently performing will be damaging to American interests. There is no simple way to just 'disband' an entire work in progress.

    Because that is what it is...a work in progress. Despite the potential that perceived threats may be benign in nature and a fabrication of sorts does not offset the fact that the agency is still performing it's duty, the collection, analysis and dissemination of foriegn intelligence gathering efforts.

    The CIA World Factbook is proof that a comprehensive and continuous effort on these lines are indeed taking place.

    But my opponent still brings up contentions.

    The CIA has its' share of scandal.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    With Congress clearly ineffectual, in practice and result, and with such a clear and continual pattern of misuse and rogue action, when will the American public decide that enough is enough, and demand the enactment an effective solution?


    Let's ascertain exactly how much Congress has on its' plate..the constant flow of bill consideration and approval, the constant flow of lobbyist influence (definitely an issue and should be a debate in an of itself) and the current rumblings of accountability regarding the current administration.

    That is plenty to consider and they are doing it all at once.

    The American public, despite my opponents discarding of their relevance as a "straw man" is incredibly important as nothing ever gets accounted for publicly if the public doesn't stand up and say, "HEY!!"

    The public isn't going to state anything with regards to the CIA because the CIA's primary objective is to advise our political leaders on what action to take. The public is going to hold the current administration at fault...not the agency that the current administration ignored.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean in response to Socratic Question #1 of my last post
    The intelligent approach to intelligence is that nothing is ever 'certain'


    The original question was asking how you could be certain that other agencies are currently doing what only the CIA has done in years past. Your statement, "Other agencies perform functions that the CIA once 'owned," implies that you are aware of the actions and duties of the CIA in years past, the CIA's actions and duties currently, and the actions/duties of other intelligence agencies.

    Nothing is ever certain, for sure, but you indeed did not support your statement in any way.

    Rather, I have shown that the majority of the intelligence agencies are specific in their scope of work and compliment the CIA's intelligence gathering...so that the CIA can better perform their duty of advising American policy makers.

    There has been no replacement of CIA performance.

    My opponent did indeed elaborate, in response to Socratic Question #2...



    The largest U.S. spy agency warned the incoming Bush administration in its "Transition 2001" report that the Information Age required rethinking the policies and authorities that kept the National Security Agency in compliance with the Constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" without warrant and "probable cause," according to an updated briefing book of declassified NSA documents posted today on the World Wide Web.[1]


    Using my opponents own link, we can see that his 'elaboration' is in fact an effort by the NSA to 'update' the fourth amendment to allow information seizure in light of emerging internet technologies.

    In what way does this assert that the NSA is performing a job that the CIA once 'owned'?

    It suggests that the NSA is working in tandem, but in no way is there any indication that the CIA was made obsolete.

    And that is what my opponent is presenting: That the CIA is obsolete. But there is nothing he has presented that provides a relevant amount of evidence supporting it.

    There is plenty of evidence to support CIA scandal...but as well there is plenty of evidence to supporty scandal in all of our intelligence and military institutions.



    At today’s House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights hearing on torture, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, told Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that over 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody, with up to 27 of these declared homicides: 2


    Our own military has just substantiated actions that are beyond torture. Murder. Why not focus on the heavy reformation of our military?


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    We can also see example in the CIA's development of the U2 spy-plane, in 1955 [5]. Subsequent success contributed to the formation of the NRO, in 1960, and eventually to the consolidated NIMA (later renamed NGA) in 1996.


    So the CIA was instrumental in the creation of industry specific intelligence gathering? As stated prior, the CIA solicits information from the NRO. Hardly an indication of ineffectiveness if the NRO was created to compliment the CIA.

    The answer is clearly that the CIA needs to be held accountable. Not eliminated. And we require an outside, neutral source to implement these investigations. Alas, it is a creation of yet another intelligence agency perhaps, but for the first time, it will be an intelligence agency designed to look at ourselves.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    Congressional attempts to reign in the CIA have, in the past, proved ineffective, time and time again.


    Perhaps Congress should seperate corporate issues (Alaskan/off shore oil drilling) from intelligence matters. As stated, they have a lot on their plate. Maybe an agency specific to CIA accountability is a better answer than Congress.

    The system is not perfect. Hardly. But by taking a step back and looking at the what exactly is occurring (a task better accomplished if transparency was demanded and acquiesced to), we can see where the problems are consistent and subsequently attenuate to the presentation of debate and solution in their regards.

    This requires more action from the American public than it does the CIA. The CIA merely needs to cooperate. Which, granted, would be a huge step, but it is more likely and agreeable than tens of thousands of pink slips.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    He then proposes, rather than elimination, a series of heavy reformations for the CIA


    For the CIA. All of my propisitions are for for a neutral third party...a new 'agency' as it were.

    And one more proposition is in order...the elimination of the 'great loophole, as follows:



    *Snip* carrying out other functions and duties related to national security intelligence as the NSC may direct.[3]


    Have a concerted societal effort to eliminate such an expansive loophole and let the CIA do what they are good at, have proven competence at and work on the entirety of our political, military and social institutions.

    The fault is hardly with one agency...it's with the entire system. As such, there is more reason to focus on the entire picture than just a small portion of it.









    [edit on 21-6-2008 by chissler]

    [edit on 21-6-2008 by chissler]



    posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 10:08 PM
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    CLOSING STATEMENT

    I thank MemoryShock for this debate; I have learned much from his fine technique. I will now make a few responses and comments, present one more piece of the puzzle, and conclude my case.

    RESPONSE


    it is the only major American intelligence agency designed for international Intel.
    *snip*
    There has been no replacement of CIA performance.

    My opponent has returned to this contention, made in his opening statement, despite the fact the he himself cited four other agencies (NSA, NRO, DIA, NGA) with major responsibilities in that area. I would also remind the reader that there are at least nine other agencies in the American intelligence community as yet unmentioned in this debate. Clearly, the CIA no longer holds a monopoly on international intelligence, if they ever did.

    The statement was made that CIA provides necessary and competent service to the wider intelligence community and the US government. To be sure, individuals within the CIA have, in many ways, served with distinction and excellence, and many tasks undertaken have strengthened and protected this country. That does not excuse the flaws of the Agency itself. Nor does it excuse the illegal, unethical, and inhuman [1] actions undertaken by the Agency. We cannot let the unaccountability and deceit the Agency has practiced continue.

    Heavy reformation is required. To the extent that, as in the past, reformation is unviable or ineffective, elimination is the only acceptable alternative.

    My opponent claims that Congress is overwhelmed, and that the American public is blind, blithely ignoring the root of these problems. We must address that issue directly:

    CIA: DECEIVING THE PUBLIC

    In addition to lies to Congress, a structural organization that evades accountability, and the undertaking of illegal acts, the CIA has deliberately and calculatedly deceived and propagandized the American public.

    This activity began at the agency's inception. In 1948, Frank Wisner created the "Office of Policy Coordination" inside the CIA. His instructions were:


    create an organization that concentrated on "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world." [2]

    By 1953, the propaganda portion of this initiative, which became known as Operation Mockingbird, influenced or 'owned' members of over 25 newspaper and wire agencies. Included in the list: CBS, Time Magazine, Life Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor, to name a few. [2]

    In 1977, the operation was still in effect:


    In 1977, Rolling Stone alleged that one of the most important journalists under the control of Operation Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop, whose articles appeared in over 300 different newspapers. Other journalists alleged by Rolling Stone Magazine to have been willing to promote the views of the CIA included Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (New York Times), Charles Douglas Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), William C. Baggs (The Miami News), Herb Gold (The Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times).

    The CIA also provided them with classified information to help them with their work. [2]

    As well as undermining objective reporting, Operation Mockingbird was also able to censor stories that may have raised the concerns of the American public:


    Wisner was also able to restrict newspapers from reporting about certain events. For example, the CIA plots to overthrow the governments of Iran (See: Operation Ajax) [2]

    In 1953, Operation Ajax covertly overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran, replacing it with a pro-Western dictatorship [3]. The Iranian people are still mindful of the history of US intervention in their country, a history that no doubt underlies much of their current animosity towards the United States. Perhaps the drums of war would not be pounding quite so loudly today, if the CIA had not acted to deceive the American public so long ago.

    CONCLUSION

    The world in which the CIA lives has changed. The Soviet Union has long-fallen.

    The American philosophical basis of the Cold War was: fight fire with fire. It was considered that only an active yet covert response could counter the economic and political might of the Soviet Union, bent on the elimination of the United States and its way of life.

    Those days are gone. The new enemy of terrorism is shown as consisting of fragmented, secretive cells, perhaps tangentially sponsored by states, but having none of the constancy or stability of ligitimate nations. Those attributes have reshaped the battle.

    In the past, we have known our enemies, the rough scope thereof, and could make somewhat reasonable and accurate guesses about their capabilities. Field agents could act, to some extent, within a reliably known context. This is no longer the case, the scope of the enemies extent is vague, connection and coordination is chaotic and ever-changing.

    Intelligence gathering is thus separated from response. The field intelligence of the CIA now only makes sense within the larger context of a diversified intelligence community -- integration with communications intelligence, signal intelligence, satellite reconnaissance, military intelligence, and foreign policy is the only way in which a larger picture can be pieced together, and it is the only scope in which effective response can be formulated.

    And the CIA is not structured to mediate such a collaboration. We have seen that the approach to centralized, controlled information flow in analysis, within a single Agency, only leads to hidden inefficiencies, unaccountability, and the possibility of biased conclusions. Perhaps the specialized agencies in the new intelligence community must work together, directly with one another, though all possible lines of cooperation and communication, driven by openly-managed, secure emergent coordination, resulting from all agencies' quest for highest-quality results.

    Smaller version of the 'overall picture' no longer resemble the whole. In the past, we could guess at a state's motives, means, and opportunities, and be reasonable certain that the actions of their various agencies, and what intelligence was gathered, could be fit correctly within that understanding.

    Today's enemies are unlikely bedfellows. Disparate groups act in coordination, even though ideologies, aims, and methods contradict. Non-state sponsors of terrorism can influence several terrorist organizations, without those organizations even being aware they're being coordinated. The small picture is no longer a valid means of extrapolation.

    There is no longer a need for a multi-purpose agency such as the CIA, with its intelligence gathering, analysis, propaganda, paramilitary, scientific and technological research, and strategic capabilities all under one roof.

    Indeed, we have seen the dangers of a monolith such as the CIA: the inefficiencies it can lead to, the internal paranoia and uncooperative attitude with which it interacts with the larger government community, the extent to which it can be subverted to deceive and threaten the very people it was meant to protect.

    My opponent and I agree that this unacceptable, that reforms must be enacted, and that the CIA, as it exists and acts today, cannot be allowed to continue.

    The specifics of action are, as always, debatable. Many good points and ideas have been raised during the course of this discussion. One thing is certain: we must look with clear eyes to the past, accepting and even demanding accountability for flaws and mistakes, and be willing to look forward, with cooperation and determination: towards the structure of a better intelligence community, not just for the United States, but as a model for the world.

    Thank you.



    posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 06:59 PM
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    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    My opponent has returned to this contention, made in his opening statement, despite the fact the he himself cited four other agencies (NSA, NRO, DIA, NGA) with major responsibilities in that area.


    Not despite. My opponent must not have actually looked at the responsibilities of the aforementioned agencies in context of his following assertion...


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    Other agencies perform functions that the CIA once 'owned'.


    Satellites specific to the NRO. Geospatial intelligence specific to the NGA. Military Intelligence(wartime specific coordination and preparation) to the DIA. Electronic signal interception and interpretation(cryptology) and communication of such by the NSA.

    These are all niches in the new electronic, digital world that each agency has fallen into. The CIA never 'owned' these aspects of the intelligence world..because they didn't exist in the fifties(save for electronic signals, but the CIA never 'owned that one as the NSA has been around for approximately five years less time than the CIA).

    The CIA is the amalgam of these intelligence efforts to determine trends...for the purpose of establishing the relevance of these trends as they impact the potential of various American interests.

    The other nine agencies, two of which were created as a direct response to the initiation of the war on terror(read: A few of these intelligence agencies are less than a decade old), do not supersede the CIA.

    It would take a considerable part of the word count to actually define what these agencies do, so I will trust the reader to look through Source [1] in my second rebuttal to ascertain the roles of the other agencies and as well conclude that the CIA is the only relevant foreign intelligence service. The four mentioned

    My opponent implies that these agencies together can replace the CIA...an agency who is as dedicated to the economic trends of other countries as it is to their internal politics.

    You can't replace that. As well, heavy reformation within the agency is not a viable option because of the nature of the majority of what the agency is responsible for two very good reasons.

    1) The interpretation of gathered information is an ongoing process and the elimination or change in this process on a relevantly large scale could interrupt and inflect the accuracy and relevance of the data.

    2) The amount of current contractual obligations no doubt incurred by the CIA and various partners(Read: Money).

    My opponent then concludes that the inhuman/unethical and illegal actions of the CIA are grounds to take a haphazard course of action, to disband an entity that is in many ways intricately entwined with corporate and government policy. But my opponent does not acknowledge the flaws of the entire American governmental and military structure. If we as a population are going to hold the entirety of the CIA responsible, then we must hold everyone else responsible.

    If the CIA advised the Bush administration, then the Bush administration must be held accountable. The military, which I have shown has admitted to murder, must be held accountable. The various law enforcement agencies that have given an arena for various impositions on American rights must be held accountable.

    The problem does not lie within one agency.

    The problem is broad spectrum.

    It lies within the apathy of the American population, it lies within the plausible deniability that our political structure seems to cultivate so well.

    My opponent states that the CIA is responsible for propaganda. So is every other American institution.

    The Pentagon, an amalgam of various defense and military identities has this glowing example to be placed on their resume...



    But in a surprise move, a 2009 defense policy bill passed with an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), that outlaws the Defense Department from engaging in “a concerted effort to propagandize” the American people. The measure would also force an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) into efforts to plant positive news stories about the
    war in U.S. media.[1]


    The CIA does not have a monopoly on propaganda. Not even a little. So much so, that our "apathetic" Congress has passed a bill against military sponsored propaganda.

    Not just against the CIA...but with regards to our military and our media.

    How deep does the rabbit hole go?

    My opponent has cited many examples and sources from decades ago. In a large portion of his presentation, he has excluded focus on what is happening today. The CIA was created in a post World War 2 scenario and they have performed their job. The fact that the world has changed does not mean that the CIA was blind to this and failed to move with the times.


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    My opponent and I agree that this unacceptable,*Snip*


    Indeed. But we disagree on how best to rectify the situation...

    And perhaps my opponent said it best in summation...


    Originally posted by Ian McLean
    Perhaps the specialized agencies in the new intelligence community must work together, directly with one another, though all possible lines of cooperation and communication, driven by openly-managed, secure emergent coordination, resulting from all agencies' quest for highest-quality results. My heightened emphasis


    The CIA is a part of "all agencies". Let's work with what we have instead of just throwing it away.

    And with regard to interagency cooperation....



    Another management fix that would substitute for what we all know is the almost impossible task of restructuring the American intelligence system is to encourage interagency cooperation at all levels. Years ago a study undertaken by community managers revealed that there were dozens of informal interagency cooperative groups at various levels ficused on substantive and management issues. These groups were formed mostly because the people involved recognized the need to meet from time to time to discuss problems they faced or to anticipate issues with which they might have to deal. These groups can now communicate with each other more easily via the electronic network, but face-to-face meetings can help create bonding that technology does not achieve as well.[2]


    ...it already occurs. Perhaps we need only to begin publicizing their efforts and encourage more of the same.

    The CIA does not need to be abolished. It is a vital part of the American intelligence system and is so ingrained, not only in the minds of the American public as a source of national security, but in application as well. Disrupting current and ongoing intelligence efforts on such a massive scale would have detrimental effects throughout the entire world, much less have an incredible impact on America's day to day routine.

    I do advocate the creation of another agency, an agency focused solely on the inter workings and exterior relationships of the entirety of American intelligence.

    As for the CIA...let it do what has made it one of the largest and most successful intelligence agencies in the world. Just get rid of the bad apples as they start smelling.

    Thank you, to Ian McLean for an incredibly informative debate, chissler for moderating this fight, and of course, the reader.



    posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:48 AM
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    From our judges...



    Ian McLean actually presented a good case for a possible overhaul of the CIA, but on reading through his entire presentation a second time, the information he presented and the way in which he worded it, actually made me more supportive of the very agency he was trying to demonize.

    Ian does give a solid foundation for perhaps more careful oversight and the selection of Presidential Advisors in the intelligence arena. Ian McLean’s knowledge is obviously excellent and his presentation skills worthy of a seasoned debater. The Veteran MemoryShock had his hands full.

    MemoryShock initially failed to really get into the heart of the matter. He skirted much of the really relevant information presented by Ian and bypassed it without a firm rebuttal.

    MemoryShock recovered nicely with his second reply; it was complete and factually supportive of his argument; addressing the debate topic with sound suggestions and obviously researched information.

    Ian’s continued stance that the CIA has been investigated and therefore must be disbanded, came across as hollow and without substance in the light of MemoryShock’s rebuttals.

    While both Debaters I feel fell short of their intended propositions, Ian had the “burden of proof” on why the CIA should be disband, and I feel he failed in that endeavor. He managed to give a convincing argument that the CIA should be overhauled, but never really got to the heart of the topic of the debate.

    MemoryShock also missed numerous opportunities in the beginning and while he recovered at the end, still failed to capitalize on his argument, spending far too much time trying to elaborate on “Who would replace the CIA”. It was not incumbent upon him however to “prove” the CIA is effective, only that it should not be disbanded and I feel he did that.

    MemoryShock by a VERY SLIGHT margin.



    MemoryShock is the winner.

    Congrats.



    posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 10:18 AM
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    Congratulations to MemoryShock!

    And thanks to all for a surprisingly enjoyable and informative experience.

    Look forward to many more!



    posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 10:43 AM
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    A tip of the hat to my very esteemed colleague, Ian McLean.

    I look forward to seeing more...



    posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 07:05 AM
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    Sorry to resurrect an old debate, but this has been gnawing on me for a while...


    The topic for this debate is "The CIA should be abolished, or at the very least, heavily reformed".


    From our judges...
    Ian had the “burden of proof” on why the CIA should be disband, and I feel he failed in that endeavor. He managed to give a convincing argument that the CIA should be overhauled....

    I know, my fault for not emphasizing the exact topic more in closing.

    But: just, ggrrrrrr!






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