Ido not agree that intelligence activities are antithetical todemocracy. It is true that intelligence activities present a threatto democracy in extreme cases. For instance, during a terror attack,it is possible to abuse the citizens’ democracy in order to attainsecurity. Further, intelligence activities must be conducted in uttersecrecy in order to be effective. This threatens democracy since itdenies the people their right to know. In such cases, the end mayjustify the means. However, the law protects citizens against anyunethical or illegal treatment even in such cases. Thus, democracy isoften upheld even when conducting intelligence studies (Jenkins,2014). This implies that intelligence activities are only done inline with the constitution. These laws bind intelligence officials,and thus they can be prosecuted if they do not protect the interestsof the law in their activities. In unique cases, intelligenceactivities may present a threat to democracy. These instances arehowever few and prosecutable. In essence, intelligence activities arenot antithetical to democracy (Jensen et al., 2012).
Themain difference between laws and ethics is the basis on which theregulations are set. Both are principles that guide the conduct of anindividual. They establish a line between right and wrong hencehelping an individual in the decision making process. However, lawsare often established by the governing power while ethics are basedon an individual’s morals and culture. Thus, most laws are oftenmoral depending on the culture of the governing bodies. An individualis obliged to act legally, failure to which the person is prosecutedin a court of law. On the other hand, unethical decisions are notalways prosecuted unless they are illegal. It is therefore hard to beethical without being legal at the same time. However, one can actlegally without being when making a decision. Intelligence activitiesare governed by a set of laws stipulated in the constitution.Intelligence officials are bound to these laws since they take anoath to protect them while in service. The officials who do notuphold these laws are therefore punished according to therepercussions stipulated in the constitution. The officials also havean ethical code that guides their conduct and decision makingprocess. However, these ethical principles do not bind them so longas their acts are legal. Thus, the main aim of ethical principles isto help the intelligence officials in the decision making process(Reding et al., 2014).
TheAmerican constitution protects the rights of its citizens fiercely.There are several laws enacted in the constitution whose aim is toprotect the liberties of civilians. However, the laws may be limitedin times of crisis in order to enhance security. Thus, most peoplefeel that the constitution does not offer citizens full protection.However, I agree that some rights must be limited in order to enhancesecurity in times of crisis. This is especially the case in thestruggle against international terrorism. Limiting these rightsoffers the intelligence officials an opportunity to gather valuableinformation regarding the terrorist. It also helps increase securitythrough enhances strictness that discourages the enemy from attacks.In the current struggle against international terrorism, I believethe Fourth Amendment may be limited in order to enhance security.Searches and seizure help limit the possibility of terrorist attacks.It is not possible to determine an enemy without conducting suchsearches. The limitation to the right to be free from search andseizure thus plays a major role in saving the lives of millions ofpeople who may be involved in terror attacks1.
Oneof the most important elements of intelligence writing includes anin-depth analysis of raw intelligence data. This helps theintelligence analysts to evaluate the existing data, and it forms thebasis of intelligence writing. The second most important aspect ofintelligence writing involves the creation of draft assessments. Thiscontains a compilation of the raw data into credible reports. Thedraft must be well written to enhance adoption. Its purpose must alsobe outlined clearly and in detail. These assessments are thendisseminated to policymakers for consideration. The dissemination maybe in the form of oral briefings or written reports. The policymakersmay then determine if the writings can be adopted (Jensen et al.,2012).
Intelligencewriting must meet the approval of decision makers such aspolicymakers before it can be adopted. Each intelligence analyststrives to sell his or her ideas to the decision makers. To enhancethe chances of catching the attention of the decision makers, theanalyst needs to write precisely. This implies that the ideas must becredible and relevant. The analyst must clearly state the main pointswithout using filler words. This will offer the decision makers achance to understand the implications of the study without goingthrough many irrelevant details. The analyst should also focus onoffering an analysis rather than describing a situation. Citingreliable sources increases the credibility of one’s analysis, andthis increases one’s chances during briefing2.
Theanalyst can avoid entering the realm of policy making when briefingby sticking to the analysis part. This implies that he should avoiddrawing conclusions. Rather, he should focus on offering the policymakers clear and accurate recommendations from which the analystswill draw conclusions. Using estimative language communicates one’sconfidence in his analysis and thus it increases the decision makers’attention without entering the policy-making realm (Jenkins et al.,2013).
Jenkins,B. (2014). “How war on terrorism has evolved.” RAND.
Jenkins,B. Liepman, A. & Wilis, H. (2013). “Identifying enemies amongus: Evolving terrorist threats and the continuing challenges ofdomestic intelligence collection and information sharing.”RAND.
Jensen,C. McElreath, D. & Graves, M. (2012). Introductionto intelligence studies.New York: CRC Press.
Reding,A. Gorp, A. Robertson, K. Walczak, A. Giacomantonio, C. &Hoorens, S. (2014). “Handling ethical problems in counterterrorism:An inventory of methods to support ethical decision-making.”RAND.
1 Brian, J. Andrew, L. & Henry, W. (2013). “Identifying enemies among us: Evolving terrorist threats and the continuing challenges of domestic intelligence collection and information sharing.” RAND.
2 Carl, J. David, M. & Melissa, G. (2012). Introduction to intelligence studies. New York: CRC Press.