If you are in the mood for a thought-provoking read, check out this article from the American Spectator (text copied in “more” text below, in case of link rot).
My take on it is that the CIA is just like every other government bureaucracy. By this I mean that its underlying motivation is not to do its job – ie, gather intelligence – rather, its primary motivation – as a whole – is to keep itself alive. The most effective way to do this, for any bureaucracy, is to grow itself so large and integrate itself into the system so well that removing it would be unthinkable.
The CIA, just like countless other government bureaucracies, is well suited to this task, and as a byproduct is not very well suited to any other task. In fact, the CIA carries out “intelligence” only so far as is necessary to accomplish its real goal. And the sad fact is, the worse the CIA does its job, the better their real agenda is served. After all, intelligence failures lead to commissions that suggest even more government and even more bureaucracy. As I said before, the CIA is not alone in this regard. The worse social programs do at actually alleviating social problems, the more money will be put into those social programs. The worse public schools do, the more money will be put into public schools. These and other institutions become excellent at doing just well enough to appear to be useful, while ensuring that they do poorly enough to require more money to expand their bureaucracy, further entrenching their ultimate goal.
This “ultimate goal” I am speaking of is rarely, if ever, the goal of any person in the organization. But it becomes the focus of the group’s efforts, because it is the only goal that serves everyone’s purposes in the organization – namely, job security, social advancement, political influence, or other wealth, power, or personal goals. Everyone’s agenda in the bureaucracy is promoted by the expansion of the bureaucracy, so the bureaucracy, if it is successful, ends up expanding. It is economics at is best and worst.
These programs – created usually by high-minded ideals that put the group above the individual – end up having the most perverse effect of all – namely, the exact opposite of the intended effect. That is, the group is hurt more than before, and the individual is demeaned instead of uplifted, as the idealists imagined would happen. Such is the way of all socialist programs, and that is what all of these programs are. They are an insidious cancer that eats away at society until it crumbles, just as every civilization before has, and just as every civilization to follow likely will.
In short, when freedom is hedged in favor or equality, social justice, or some ethereal greater good:
- The good rarely is seen, or if seen it is fleeting.
- The freedom is forever lost
- A new bureaucracy is born or an existing bureaucracy is expanded
I believe that people have proven time and again that they will come together to serve the greater good, when it is necessary to do so. No coercion is needed for this to happen. And if a people is unwilling to come together for the greater good, then it is time for that people to waste away. I believe that government expansion only dulls this sense of duty to fellow mankind – after all, its not my war to fight. Its the government’s. What attitude could be worse?
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