Reference (2010): At What Cost, Intelligence? [On Ethics]

Articles & Chapters, Ethics
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Military Review June 2010 Full Article

Phi Beta Iota: Major Pryer offers a sense of ethics that has been demonstrably lacking in General Keith Alexander, USA, General Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), LtGen Ron Burgess, USA, Ms. Tish Long, and, we are sorry to say, General Jim Clapper, USAF (Ret).  We’ve decided to name names because the time has come to start calling our ranking intelligence “professionals” out for treason.  They mean well–they are convinced the ends justify the means–but their behavior and lack of commitment to the public interest as opposed to careerist and political interests–is treason never-the-less.  They think they are “going along to get along” and they do not calculate the “true cost” to the Republic of their persistent misbehavior, their persistent betrayal of  the public interest in favor of special interests.  Henry Kissinger’s murder of 20,000 additional US soldiers–and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese–for the sake of personal political expediency–is the modern precedent.  Dick Cheney’s elective war on Iraq justified with 935 documented lies is a more recent modern precedent.  In every instance where the public trust has been betrayed, it has been a lack of integrity among the professionals that has enabled treason by the politicians.  It is time for that to stop.

Fedor Dostoevsky: A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else.

Bob Seelert, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide (New York): When things are not going well, until you get the truth out on the table, no matter how ugly, you are not in a position to deal with it.

Ben Gilad: Top managers’ information is invariably either biased, subjecive, filtered or late. . . . Using intelligence correctly requires a fundamental change in the way top executives make decisions.

Daniel Ellsberg speaking to Henry Kissinger: The danger is, you’ll become like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours” [because of your blind faith in the value of your narrow and often incorrect secret information].

Alvin Toffler: Information is a substitute for time, space, capital, and labor

Robert Steele: The truth at any cost reduces all other costs.