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The Forum > Article Comments > Is the CIA bad or merely misunderstood? > Comments

Is the CIA bad or merely misunderstood? : Comments

By Peter Coates, published 18/1/2012

Some spy books actually tell it like it is, but only some.

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The CIA MOSSAD and MI5 are just arms of the Military Industrial Complex that JFK warned us about.Our Govts have also been corrupted by these powerful elites.
Posted by Arjay, Wednesday, 18 January 2012 9:12:49 AM
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Hi Arjay

From what I've read the interaction between intelligence agencies with the executive, parliament/congress and the judiciary are more complex.

The most documented is the CIA which in the case of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_operation :

"The CIA's authority to conduct Covert Action comes from the National Security Act of 1947.[2] ...This order defined covert action as "special activities", both political and military, that the US Government could legally deny

...The CIA must have a "Presidential Finding" issued by the President of the United States in order to conduct these activities

...These findings are then monitored by the oversight committees in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives.[4] As a result of this framework, the CIA ôreceives more oversight from the Congress than any other agency in the federal government."

The deniability issue can work at least 2 ways:

- the US President or Secretary of State can deny that the CIA is involved in say an information program against Iran

- but if the CIA is identified anyway the President, Congress of judiciary can deny that the CIA was acting under Top Secret orders (eg. by Presidential Finding) in the first place. The CIA is then seen as an independent "rogue actor" with hopefully less bad press for the US.

Is that info and opinion useful?

Planta
Posted by plantagenet, Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:02:27 AM
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Recently read The Increment and enjoyed it. Have always had the hunch that true stuff can sometimes be stated in novels more easily than official reports. Look forward reading Ignatius's other stuff esp his new novel Blood Money.
Posted by cancerIFA, Sunday, 22 January 2012 9:44:03 PM
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Thanks cancerIFA

Yes, I agree that the authenticity of The Increment may owe something to possible input or at least tolerance from the US and UK entities involved.

Put another way it is likely Ignatius wrote the Increment partially as a service to US and UK foreign policy - part of the broader anti-Iranian campaign. Ignatius works have a precedent in John le Carre's novels favourable to Britain's anti-Soviet position in the Cold War specifically making amends for penetration of British intelligence by the Cambridge Five (Six or Seven?.

Ignatius draws a very bleak picture of Iran particularly concerning the alienation of Iranian nuclear scientists-intellectuals. If the book contributes to a few more scientists defecting or other activities - Washington and London (and Tel Aviv) would be happy.

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 23 January 2012 10:26:30 AM
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