Ok, I know I already linked to this article in the GD thread about Goss here But I cannot debate this one in as civil a manner as I would like. Jesus Christ, permissible CIA investigations in the US, on US citizens? Are you fucking kidding me? Now I’m not trying to go anti-Bush here, and I know that it’s inevitable that this thread will go that way, but I’ve snapped. That’s it, I am seriously fucking outraged that the mere suggestion that our foreign intelligence branch be allowed to conduct operations against it’s own people isn’t starting riots in the streets. This is tantamount to fucking treason. Do we even entertain the idea of possessing civil rights in the US anymore? Have we all just rolled over and died? Shit, maybe we should go and dig up the bones of Joe McCarthy and use them to finally beat the Bill of Rights into tatters once and for all. Democracy’s “great experiment” is failing miserably if this man is appointed. Porter Goss, you are now and forever more my enemy.
I’ve always felt that no aspect of my life was absolutely private, and that if the government wanted the information they would be able to find it out somehow. Likewise, that if they wanted to investigate businesses or anything else in the country, they’d be able to get their hands onto the information somehow.
I imagine that’s not really what the founding fathers had in mind, but what are we going to do to change it? Vote in a government powerful enough to force a change? That’d be pretty ironic.
I’m wondering if this is really a bad idea. Maybe we can go further, and combine the FBI and CIA. It might not work…there would be jurisdictional problems…like whether it should be kept under Justice or independent, and both agencies have different cultures, but it would help solve communications problems between the two agencies. As it is now, it doesn’t really make sense that an enemy agent or terrorist suspect is the CIA’s responsibility when he’s out of the country, then the FBI’s when he’s in the country. That can’t be very efficient.
If there’s one thing I have learned in the past couple of years, it is that any number of authoritarian arseholes (and being in the UK, I’m looking at you, David Blunkett) will positively leap at the chance to coerce current events into an excuse to bend us over and fuck us up the ass for our rights, simply because it will make his life more convenient. It seems that the US is no exception, which I find upsetting since the focus on citizens’ rights is what I find most admirable about the US.
That said, I don’t entirely see why, if one is willing to accept that the police and FBI have government-mandated powers over the citizens, that the CIA is somehow fundamentally different. I also think that a total disconnect between internal and external intelligence is damaging, and needs to be remedied. I’m willing to be swayed though, so have at it.
Many western nations have domestic intelligence services. Yet when I think ‘Britain’, ‘Germany’, or even that favorite red-headed stepchilld, ‘France’, I don’t think ‘evil dictatorship’. (Well, not if we are thinking within the past few decades.)
Not according to the constitution:
I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but I want the intelligence community to start thinking outside the box. There’s nothing in the constitution which requires a complete seperation of the FBI and the CIA. It might have made lots of sense at one time and less sense now. As long as the CIA isn’t given any special, extra-constitutional authority, I’m willing to give this idea an airing.
What, specifically, are your objections?