Terrorism Course - Essay Example

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My opinion on former CIA director Stansfield Turner’s edicts of being both “rational” and “flexible” I agree that the activites of the present government of the United States vis-a-vis counter-terror operations meet the requirements of former CIA director Stansfield Turner’s edicts of being both “rational” and “flexible” albeit this does not necessarily mean to be good…
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"Terrorism Course"

I have to put my opinion in proper perspective why I said that meeting the requirements of being rational and flexible does not necessarily mean good in the present context. During Director Stansfield Turner’s time, the edict may have been applicable because the CIA then was in a very light and needing reform because of the published articles about its nefarious activities which included “covert political operations and the covert means of obtaining information . . . counter-intelligence” (War on terror: What’s the plan?, n.d.) and the details of these activities were revealed “on December 22, 1974, when the New York Times ran an article by Seymour Hersh revealing the CIA's "dirty tricks" [that includes] bribing politicians, undermining governments, spreading lies, conducting experiments with mind-altering drugs, building stocks of poison, contaminating food supplies, arming secret armies to revolt against national leaders, and above all, plotting to assassinate foreign leaders” (Canon, 1980, p. 201). Today, especially with the passage of the USA Patriot Act CIA is given virtually a blanket authority to become super flexible and hopefully rational to do anything under the license of invoking national security. This means that civil liberties can be abridged when national security is invoked. This may sound “rational” and to a certain degree acceptable when we are waging on terror but this is being abused. It also meant abridging civil liberties and the license to keep horrendous detention camp that employs torture and other illegal means of obtaining information and keeping in prisoner in Guatanamo Bay. This directive in present context meant that US government can think of itself both as the police and the military which is not necessarily healthy in upholding our civil liberties as it undertake its duty to protect us while upholding the law. The former CIA Director’s directive when applied in present context also meant the license to wage war with another country even with the obscurist of reason/s and the pretension of made up fears. It fueled the US government’s penchant and appetite for intervening in the affairs of other state making the United States both as a country and government unpopular in other countries. Being flexible and rational in present context meant waging war on Iraq under the excuse that Iraq is keeping Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) justified and was based on obscure intelligence reports only to find out later that there was no such thing as WMD in Iraq. But the US government has already wreaked its havoc in Iraq leaving it torn and in shambles after it bombed it back in stone age. The result? Rising unpopularity of the US government and intensifying terror attacks because such policy of flexibility to wage war without justification provided militants with enough hatred to further their terror attacks on US and its citizens and allies. This kind of policy is also the root of America’s deficit problem today. It overspent so much in military interventions due to its penchant to wage war as justified by being rational and flexible. America nearly went down on its knees with the recent “fiscal cliff” crisis which can be rooted back to this policy. In sum, adhering to Director Stansfield Turner’s policy of being rational and flexible with the license of the Patriot Act does not necessarily mean to be good and is Read More
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